Lately Starlink’s deployment has been important and the company continues to increase the number of satellites it sends into Earth orbit. On February 3 there was a great launch with 49 satellites, but due to a geomagnetic storm 40 of them did not reach their destination.
At Starlink it seems that they have tightened the accelerator and in recent weeks they have also expanded the offer of rates with the intention of gaining customers. For their enormous deployment they are breaking records in terms of satellites put into orbit, but sometimes it seems that there are situations that they did not count on, or had not valued enough.
In recent hours it has been reported that the Most of the satellites launched on February 3 will be destroyed because they did not reach the proper orbit around the Earth encountering “up to 50 percent more resistance than during previous launches“.
The consequences of this inability to reach their destination due to the geomagnetic storm will be that 40 of the satellites will soon burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
In the company they tried to make them fly “on edge (like an hour of paper)” to reduce drag, but it was not enough, they publish in The Verge, so their path is almost immediate disintegration.
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These storms are not too rare and are formed when the sun sends solar wind particles that collide with the Earth. The particles affect the planet’s magnetic field and come to increase the resistance or alter the orbit of satellites, as has happened.
In any case, there is no risk with satellites because they are designed to burn up completely in case of colliding with the atmosphere, their debris will not reach the ground. A blow to the company, but it sure doesn’t make them slow down their release rate.