Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, presented an ambitious project, Starlink. The Starlink project aims to build a broadband network with a group of spacecraft in low Earth orbit. Elon Musk wants to launch more than 40,000 satellites into space. SpaceX already has more than 3,000 satellites in the sky in service. They have been a crucial tool for Ukrainian forces fighting Russia.
Astronomers now fear that Elon Musk’s ambitious project will be overrun by satellites and many others racing for a slice of space. This can overload the space and increase the risk of collisions. They also say that collisions can cause debris to rain down on the earth. Andy Lawrence, Regius Professor of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, explains: “The debris would burn as it passes through the atmosphere, but a small piece can bring down the plane.
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Andy Lawrence spoke to The Sun and said: “There’s so much rubbish, something is going to hit a plane and 300 people will be killed if we’re not careful.” Aircraft manufacturers say they have built-in AI algorithms to avoid collisions. Andy rejects their idea, “They make sure the old satellites burn up, so we have to trust them that it still works, and it won’t work.”
Prof Lawrence said debris moves quickly in orbit, so even if a small pebble hits the plane it can cause havoc, adding that Elon Musk needs to slow down. “Most of the time, I say, for God’s sake, let’s slow down, do some proper studying, find out how to do this so we can all share heaven,” he added.
Edinburgh Astronomical Society amateur group chairman Mark Phillips told The Sun: “We could end up with a view of an ‘artificial sky’ if things continue.” Mark Phillips begged Musk: “Please wait until we’ve all done the studies, and together figure out the best way to do this.”
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