Space X: Geomagnetic Storm Destroys 40 Of Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has confirmed that a geomagnetic storm destroyed 40 of its 49 Starlink satellites that it launched last Thursday.

The space company said that its 40 destroyed satellites —  which had been part of a planned satellite constellation, intended to eventually provide continuous internet coverage for the majority of the globe —  would now fall back to Earth. However, SpaceX assured the public that there was no risk of collision with Earth as the satellites are designed to burn up upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. 

Unfortunately, the satellites deployed on Thursday were significantly impacted by a geomagnetic storm on Friday,” SpaceX said in a statement

These storms cause the atmosphere to warm and atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes to increase.”

The de-orbiting satellites pose zero collision risk with other satellites and by design demise upon atmospheric re-entry – meaning no orbital debris is created and no satellite parts hit the ground.”

A geomagnetic storm, caused by solar activity, is not an unusual event. The risks of a geomagnetic storm de-orbiting spacecraft have been previously highlighted as a concern by NASA in its plan to crash the International Space Station back to Earth when it is finally time for it to retire. 

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