News Star and NASA sign agreement to ensure satellites don't hit each other

Mar 19, 2021
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SpaceX will maneuver the Starlink satellites, autonomously or manually, to ensure uninterrupted operation of NASA's scientific probes and other vehicles belonging to it. In turn, NASA promised not to take any action to prevent convergence without a request from SpaceX with the aim of avoiding dangerous situations.
 
Reactions: forrestwhite
Sep 26, 2020
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There are a couple of mistaken ideas expressed in the article. First, there aren't any "objects floating around Earth's orbit." We get that impression because of images of people and objects appearing to float in the zero gravity within spacecraft and the ISS but the near zero gravity is a result of them being in freefall at a very high velocity. For example Starlink satellites orbiting at 550 km are moving at more than 7.585 km/s (16,967 mph). It is those velocities that make collisions catastrophic.

Second, SpaceX has received approval from the FCC for a total of about 12,000 satellites but most of them would not be in low earth orbit (LEO). The application for 7,518 of them is for very low earth orbit (VLEO). One advantage of very low earth orbit is that anything at those altitudes would leave orbit and demise in the upper atmosphere in just weeks when it is not actively station keeping. This does not just apply to the satellites but also to any junk.
 
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