Why Elon Musk’s satellite swarm is an accident waiting to happen
Astronomers are worried about the SpaceX satellites ruining astro images but what’s there are the moment is nothing compared to what could happen once crashes between satellites produces a cascading fields of space debris. Crashes in space are not only extremely costly, but they also leave behind huge amounts of orbital debris that can hurtle through orbit at incredible speeds for thousands of years in some cases.
The oldest zombie satellite still in orbit is Vanguard-1, which was launched by the US in 1958.
“Space junk is a big problem now, after 60 years of humans flinging spacecraft into the sky with not enough thought about the long-term consequences,” said Dr Gorman, a space debris expert.
“It’s going to become an even bigger problem as massive constellations like Starlink are launched.”