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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Starlink Satellites Changed Course to Avoid Collisions 25,000 Times in the Past 6 Months

 Still concerned about the process near the earth.

Half of all Starlink avoidance maneuvers have come between Dec. 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023.

By Ryan Whitwam July 12, 2023  in the WSJ via ExtremeTech

When SpaceX began launching its Starlink megaconstellation in 2019, barely 2,000 operational satellites were orbiting Earth. Today, that number is over 6,000, with SpaceX controlling over 4,000. As space around Earth becomes ever more crowded, the chance of a collision increases. New data released by the FCC shows how serious that problem might become. In the past six months, SpaceX has been forced to reroute its satellites to avoid collisions more than 25,000 times.

On the one hand, it's good to know that SpaceX is working to limit close interactions between orbiting objects. However, 25,000 avoidance maneuvers in just six months is a lot. That works out to 137 maneuvers every single day. The FCC report (PDF) also includes the total number of recorded avoidance maneuvers from all four years of Starlink's existence: 50,000.    ...  '

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