Blog Editor’s Revised Notes:
An interesting phenomena, but not something that we could expect to impact GNSS.
A good reminder, though, that space is a dangerous place.
- At least 40 of the 49 Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX last week have been destroyed by a geomagnetic storm, the company announced on Tuesday, dealing an expensive blow to the Elon Musk-backed satellite internet service.
- In an update published on its website, SpaceX said last week’s launch of the satellites was severely affected by the storm which caused “up to 50 percent higher drag” than earlier launches.
- Despite the company’s best attempts to reorient the satellites to fly “edge-on (like a sheet of paper)” to help minimize drag, the company expects at least 40 of those satellites will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere instead of reaching their orbit.
- The company noted that the destroyed satellites pose “zero collision risk” with other satellites and are designed to fully burn up on atmospheric reentry, which means no debris or satellite parts will hit the ground.