SpaceX just lost 40 satellites to a geomagnetic storm. There could be worse to come.
In turn, that could slightly affect the rollout speed of Starlink: the company would need to fly fewer satellites per launch so that each would have enough fuel to reach higher altitudes. It also means any satellites that malfunction will take longer to reenter Earth’s atmosphere, diminishing what SpaceX had touted as a benefit of launching to lower altitudes: this was supposed to minimize space debris because failed satellites would fall back to Earth more quickly. “It’s a trade-off,” says Hugh Lewis, a satellite expert from the University of Southampton. At 200 kilometers, a dead satellite will stay in orbit … Read More