After a solar storm, up to 40 of Elon Musk's

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After a solar storm, up to 40 of Elon Musk's SpaceX satellites may fall out of orbit.

Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched a series of Starlink satellites from the Kennedy Space Center last week.
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After being hit by a geomagnetic storm, Elon Musk's SpaceX satellite fleet is sliding out of space.

According to the business, up to 40 of the 49 small Starlink satellites launched on February 3 have either re-entered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up, or are on the verge of doing so.

"Unfortunately, the satellites launched on Thursday were badly affected by a geomagnetic storm on Friday," according to a SpaceX statement.

"These storms cause the atmosphere to warm, resulting in an increase in atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes."

According to SpaceX, the denser atmosphere increased the drag on the spacecraft.


 Ground controllers attempted to salvage the satellites by placing them into a state of sleep and flying them in such a way as to reduce drag - "essentially 'taking refuge from the storm'."


According to the business, the satellites were unable to awaken and climb to a higher, more stable orbit due to the strong air drag.


The missing satellites were termed as a "one-of-a-kind situation" by the firm.


According to the business, these recently launched satellites pose no threat in space or on the ground.


"The deorbiting satellites offer zero collision risk with other satellites and, by design, degrade during atmospheric reentry - meaning no orbital trash is formed and no satellite parts strike the earth," SpaceX continued.



In May 2021, a constellation of SpaceX's StarLink satellites passes above a historic stone house near Florence, Kansas.

Credit: Associated Press

When there is an extremely effective interchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth, a geomagnetic storm occurs.
They generate long-duration bursts of high-speed solar wind.
Nearly 2,000 Starlink satellites are still orbiting the Earth, bringing internet access to far-flung regions of the globe. They circumnavigate the globe at a height of around 340 miles (550km).

The satellites that were impacted by the solar storm were only in orbit for a short time. SpaceX places them in this unusually low orbit to ensure that any failures reenter the atmosphere swiftly and pose no threat to other missions.
Each satellite is under 575 pounds in weight (260kg).

Intense solar activity, such as flares, can send streamers of plasma from the sun's corona hurtling out into space and toward Earth, causing geomagnetic storms.

Since the first Starlink satellites were launched in 2019, Musk has envisioned a constellation of thousands of additional satellites to expand internet connectivity.

Following the horrific volcano eruption and tsunami, SpaceX is attempting to restore internet access to Tonga via this network.

OneWeb, situated in London, has its own internet satellites in orbit. Later this year, Amazon wants to begin launching its satellites.

Astronomers are concerned that these massive constellations will interfere with Earth's nocturnal observations. The International Astronomical Union is establishing a new dark-sky protection center.

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