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SpaceX is committed to minimizing the impact of Starlink satellites on astronomy – science

the National Science Foundation in the United States of America And SpaceX reached an agreement to reduce the effect of the satellite constellation For the company created by Elon Musk in astronomy activities. the Communication interference and solar reflection from satellites are among the issues that have become major problems, as the number of Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit increases. To lessen the impact of these two issues, the space company has made a set of commitments, as reported by Digital Trends.

As far as the visual effect is concerned, The fact that satellites reflect sunlight today multiplies this effect by the thousands, contrary to the ability of scientific observation, in a sky that was once crammed with satellites dark and silent. the The issue is more relevant to satellites that support Starlink Internet services.which is placed in low Earth orbit, which makes its light more visible.

In partnership with the SpaceX Corporation, which operates services Starlink, has developed ways to reduce this impactranging from changing the orientation of satellites to reflect less light, to painting them in darker colors to reduce light reflection.

In order to reduce interference in radio communications, the agreement provides for a set of obligations to maintain the working conditions of astronomers, at the frequency used for this type of observation, between 10.6 and 10.7 GHz.

Satellites operate on a different frequency band, but this activity can be observed on other frequencies. To reduce this possibility, the SpaceX pledges to take some precautions in operating its satellitessuch as suspending transmissions when they pass near radio astronomy stations.

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the The agreement signed between SpaceX and this American corporation is a first step towards achieving a balance between scientific and economic space exploration.which does not have the force of law, nor does it guarantee that SpaceX will have the scientific community on its side and complicity with the project.

the The Dark-Sky Society, for example, also in the US, has a lawsuit against the space companywith which he is trying to stop the expansion of the Space-X satellite constellation, arguing that it harms both amateur and professional astronomy.

However, it is seen as a The first important step is to reconcile two activities, which cannot coexist without consensus in the best conditions for those who promote them.. “We are paving the way for a successful partnership between commercial and public efforts, which will allow the preservation of important scientific research development alongside satellite communications,” the NSF director stressed. Seethuraman Panchanathan.

the Starlink already has it More than 3,000 satellites are in orbit And I got a new one A license to launch another 7,500 satellites For a new generation and to strengthen the constellation he was creating.