Hey, watch your way! You nearly hit the other vehicle! No, this is not replica from driving school scene. These words will echo more and more often out of the space mission control centers. The sky is getting extremely crowded and you should correct your image of Earth-surrounding space: From vast hollow room to something more like morning commute traffic jam.
Sole Musk’s Space-X satellite program emits more than 12 000 (!) individual satellite units, not even counting all the military, weather and navigation ones. Orbits for possible launches will get scarce, the same way that FM spectrum frequencies were limited for radio stations in 1990s.
Besides the fact that mutual coordination (and interference prevention) becomes more and more complex, this satellite extravaganza will be taking its toll on other, serious aspects of science, too. Professional astronomers will have to live through vast light smog. As most of the launched satellites encompass solar panels to “fuel” the operation and its communication units. And those trying to sent something upwards, will have to count too many trajectories to smuggle through orbiting traffic.
Luckily, companies are not just waiting idle for this issue to be addressed. Some proactively mount light shades on satellites, while still others try to launch into orbits less detrimental for astrophysics observation. But low latency, global internet coverage (being recently the main urge behind the satellite launch programs) will be too much of the temptation. So watch out any time you want to send somebody to Mars. They might get seriously hurt in crash accident.
Publikované dňa 10. 1. 2021.