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Musk’s Starlink almost collided with people in the sky

However, to cover the whole world, 12,000 satellites are needed, so SpaceX will launch satellites into the sky every other time. Usually 60 satellites are in a group. There are currently more than 1,000 satellites in the sky.

Sometimes communication satellites launched into the air are also photographed by people. At first glance, it looks like a row of stars across the sky.

While Musk was advancing his Starlink plan, a competitor came out to disrupt the plan, saying that Musk’s Starlink almost collided with his own satellite.

Little Chili was a little puzzled at first, but Starlink still has a competitor for its sophisticated technology?

As a result, I went to the Internet and found that I was ignorant. . .

A telecommunications start-up company called OneWeb launched 6 test satellites in 2019, and has already launched 146 communication satellites. This company also wants to do satellite Internet broadband business.

The satellite that Starlink almost hit this time belongs to OneWeb.

OneWeb said that your Starlink doesn’t talk about martial ethics. Everyone is playing fair and using technology to talk. What is the matter of grabbing places with my satellite? And if it’s about to hit, can’t Starlink hide it for a while?

Of course, it can be avoided. Starlink even has an AI automatic collision avoidance system.

But I never expected that SpaceX engineers said that we turned off the collision avoidance system. . .

Good guy, there is an automatic collision avoidance system, but I don’t use it, just for fun?

In the end, OneWeb manually moved its own satellite down, which avoided the space traffic accident.

Seeing this wave of SpaceX operations is a bit confusing, some people even feel that Starlink can’t automatically avoid collisions at all. It’s just that Musk is drawing a pie.

But it is actually feasible to let satellites avoid this thing automatically.

On a question and answer website called Stack Exchange, an old man gave an analysis on the automatic avoidance of satellites.

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How does Starlink avoid collisions automatically?

To sum up the answer of this old man, SpaceX hugged the thighs of several big guys, and the big guys provided information support to Starlink. After receiving the information, SpaceX adjusted its position.

One of the big names is the US Department of Defense, which also has a large number of departments under its umbrella, including but not limited to the Navy, Army, and Air Force.

The US Air Force has a space tracking project (Project Space Track).

The role of this project is just like its name, to create a system that can track satellites and detectors, and this national-level project has been in place since the 1950s and 1960s.

If it is not enough, there is also a department called the Joint Space Operations Center, which is also a space-related department headed by the United States.

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You ask why they can have the Starlink information of SpaceX?

You have to send a mobile phone to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for review first, let alone this kind of space-level commercial activities? I must report it to the above.

There is also a big man we are very familiar with, NASA, which has signed an agreement with SpaceX, the two can share data and some cooperation, and develop some flight safety, procedures and responsibilities.

Next is the second step. After understanding the distribution of satellites through NASA or space tracking projects, you can know when an accident might happen next.

Once the danger of collision is detected, this information will be sent to SpaceX.

The third step is to receive information and issue an avoidance instruction. This matter can be solved by AI at first glance.

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After the satellite receives the command, the ion thruster on the satellite will start working.

Compared to chemical combustion, its thrust is actually much smaller. However, ion propulsion is highly efficient and has a long lifespan, so it is very suitable for spacecraft to maintain position or adjust posture, etc.

When the evasion command is issued, the satellite’s propulsion system will make a little trick to temporarily deviate from the current orbit, and then jump back left and right after a while.

The analysis made by this old man is somewhat reasonable, and SpaceX also said that it has such a system, but the problem lies in SpaceX’s own special shutdown of this system. . .


this matter gradually became a big issue, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States was also invited, but SpaceX not only did not advise, but also dumped a report.

The content in the report is very detailed and comprehensive. To sum it up, it is: My Starlink is not wrong, we have no problems, the risk of collision is also very low, and our system is absolutely fine!

The report says that SpaceX knows that satellites are at risk of collision, but they don’t want to disturb the satellites, and don’t wait and see what’s going on.

But OneWeb was in a hurry and decided to let its own satellite move, and said that you turned off your automatic collision avoidance system for me, so that you don’t need to move and I move, so that it will collide in the end.

Although the two companies almost didn’t fight, fortunately, this wave of operations still avoided a collision. As long as the satellite did not collide, it would be a good thing.

Otherwise, losing money is the business of these two companies, and the increase in space junk is all of us. . .

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Space junk refers to the spacecraft, except for the spacecraft in operation,

Various discarded aviation-related supplies.

As of 2012, the remaining space junk in orbit has exceeded 4,500 tons. . .

Since the first time humans explored space, space junk has been increasing. Some of it has been burned out after falling into the atmosphere, but there is still a large amount of space junk floating in space, which will bring a lot to future space exploration. Hidden dangers.

And people will continue to launch satellites and space equipment. If this continues, space junk will continue to increase, but our earth has long been surrounded by a layer of junk.

Fortunately, someone has already taken action. A Swiss startup, ClearSpace, plans to conduct its first space junk removal mission, ClearSpace-1, in 2025.

This task will prioritize the clearing of large pieces of space junk, so as to prevent collisions between large pieces of junk and avoid generating more small pieces of junk.

In fact, the idea of ​​cleaning up space junk has been around for a long time, and a classic veteran “Space Cleaner” was based on this background more than ten years ago.


when the space environment is already a bit severe, thousands of satellites have to be launched into the sky, which will indeed cause greater hidden dangers to the space environment.

It now appears that satellite Internet broadband is good or bad, and it is impossible to draw conclusions so early, but if the future is really like Musk’s plan, the satellites can’t collide together and the network conditions are better, then this may be possible. It’s the best ending.

And the only thing that can witness the outcome is time.

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