SpaceX has recently launched 60 Starlink satellites into orbit as the company plans to create an artificial constellation which should provide access to fast internet for people who live in remote areas across the world.
SpaceX lost contact with three of its Starlink satellites
A spokesperson has recently stated that the company has lost contact with three of the satellites. The trio will deorbit passively in the following weeks, as the gravitational pull and atmospheric drag will attract them towards the atmosphere, where they will burn up.
It was already known that some of the satellites weren’t able to join the orbit raising sequence after they were launched on May 23 with the help of a Falcon 9 rockets. The satellites were placed into a low-Earth orbit, and 31 were responsive during the initial stage.
The company has also announced that a pair of satellites will be deorbited intentionally in an attempt to test the propulsive deorbit capabilities of the spacecraft. The design and low orbital position will ensure complete disintegration as they enter the atmosphere of Earth, supporting SpaceX’s promise to reduce the number of potential debris.
SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, admitted that the first Starlink satellites might have flaws
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has stated in the past that the early satellites may not work as expected since they carry experimental position. There was always a chance that some of them would malfunction, but the engineers strived to create devices with a maximized success probability.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission allowed Space X to place some of the satellites in a 550-kilometer orbit instead of the initial 1,150-kilometers altitude. The lower orbit will allow the satellites to deorbit within five years without the need for additional propulsion.
Several 45 satellites reached the desired target while five are still in the orbit raising stage and another five are going through some test before they will begin orbit raising. It was also mentioned that future satellites might be changed to enhance their performance and usability. It remains to be seen if he project will be successful in the long run.