Space weather issues to satellites

Space had too harsh weather conditions for recent Starlink communications satellite update.

40 Starlink satellites doomed: SpaceX reported last night that 40 of the 49 Starlink satellites launched to low Earth orbit on February 3 are now doomed by a geomagnetic storm. SpaceX said: “The satellites deployed on Thursday were significantly impacted by a geomagnetic storm on Friday … Preliminary analyses show the increased drag at the low altitudes prevented the satellites from leaving safe-mode to begin orbit raising maneuvers … up to 40 of the satellites will reenter or already have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere.”
It seems that those 40 satellites are burning up on re-entry.

Preliminary analysis show the increased drag at the low altitudes prevented the satellites from leaving safe-mode to begin orbit raising maneuvers, and up to 40 of the satellites will reenter or already have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere. The deorbiting satellites pose zero collision risk with other satellites and by design demise upon atmospheric reentry—meaning no orbital debris is created and no satellite parts hit the ground.

SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites since 2018, and has plans to launch a total of at least 12,000 as part of a plan to offer high-speed satellite internet across the globe.

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A geomagnetic storm is a major disturbance of Earth’s magnetosphere that occurs when there is a very efficient exchange of energy from the solar wind into the space environment surrounding Earth. These storms result from variations in the solar wind that produces major changes in the currents, plasmas, and fields in Earth’s magnetosphere. During storms, the currents in the ionosphere, as well as the energetic particles that precipitate into the ionosphere add energy in the form of heat that can increase the density and distribution of density in the upper atmosphere, causing extra drag on satellites in low-earth orbit. A geomagnetic storm can also modify the path of radio signals and create errors in the positioning information provided by GPS and disturb other satellite communications. A very strong geomagnetic storm can also cause problems to electrical power distribution networks because of the (nearly direct) currents induced in the power transmission lines from geomagnetic storms can be harmful to electrical transmission equipment, especially transformers.

Read more about geomagnetic storms:


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kessler Syndrome and the space debris problem
    By Mike Wall published November 15, 2021

    This feared space-junk cascade called Kessler Syndrome may have already begun.

  2. geometry dash says:

    This article is great. I like it very much. Thank you!

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Earth is set to be hit by a fresh solar eruption on Wednesday and Thursday, that could trigger a geomagnetic storm, researchers have said. This comes just a week after a similar moderate geomagnetic storm was triggered by the powerful eruptions hurtled by the Sun towards the Earth

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NASA has written a letter to the US federal government raising concerns about SpaceX’s proposed second-generation Starlink mega-constellation of 30,000 satellites.

    In the five-page page letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), NASA argues that SpaceX’s plans to fill the skies with thousands more Starlink satellites could lead to a “significant increase” in potential collisions in low Earth orbit, as well as interfere with their science and human spaceflight missions.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    If you need evidence that our outwardly peaceful little neck of the solar system is actually a dangerous place, look no further than the 40 newly launched Starlink satellites that were just clobbered out of orbit. It seems that the SpaceX launch on February 3 was ill-timed, as it coincided with the arrival of energetic plasma from a solar storm that occurred a few days before. The coronal mass ejection followed an M-class flare on the Sun, which was aimed just right to hit just as the 49-satellite addition to the Starlink constellation was being released. This resulted in an expansion of the upper atmosphere sufficient to increase drag on the newborn satellites — up to 50% more drag than previous launches had encountered. Operators put the satellites into safe mode, but it appears that 40 of them have already met a fiery demise, or soon will. Space is a tough place to make a living.

    SpaceX says a geomagnetic storm just doomed 40 Starlink internet satellites
    By Tariq Malik published 5 days ago
    The satellites launched on Feb. 3, only to be hit by the storm a day later.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SpaceX Loses 40 Satellites To Solar Storm

    SpaceX were caught by surprise when their latest batch of 49 Starlink Satellites launched into low Earth orbit with much higher atmospheric drag then they expected as a result of high solar actitivity. This drag has ultimately resulted in the satellites being unable to gain altitude and reach their deployment orbit.

    I used to wonder how likely it is for Starlink to get wiped out by a massive solar flare but I never thought about some passive effects like that.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Thousands of Britons facing internet BLACKOUT as Musk’s satellites in ‘critical’ state

    ELON MUSK’s satellite company, Starlink, is facing outages, as a “critical” warning has been issued for London.

    The warning was issued at 6:56am by Fingerpick Internet Alert. They reported thatcher a “critical” internet outage was “ongoing” for Starlink in England. The issue is said to have started at 12:50am, with London impacted.

    It is not yet clear what the source of the problem is, but Ofgem estimates there are around 27,000 homes and businesses in the UK that rely on satellite broadband.

    To date, SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 satellites for its Starlink network. 

    Mr Musk began rolling out its internet service to customers last year, and now has approximately 145,000 users in 25 countries worldwide.

    Starlink is available to order in more than six counties and recently rolled out its “Better Than Nothing Beta” test.

    It costs $99 (£73) a month, plus (£366) $499 for a kit with a tripod, a WiFi router, and a terminal to connect to the Starlink satellites.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Solar Storms Can Cause Train Delays In The UK, Scientists Say
    Moments of intense Sun activity can affect the signaling systems of UK trains and cause delays.


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