Starlink satellites are being delivered into orbit aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9

SpaceX / Flickr

Objectives 40 Starlink Thursday’s SpaceX launch satellites are set to crash back into Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate into the atmosphere, according to a SpaceX update on Tuesday.

Last week, SpaceX sent 49 Starlink satellites to Falcon 9 from the Kennedy Space Center in what became a fairly routine operation for Elon Musk’s space flight company. SpaceX restarts 2000 Starlink satellites from 2018 in an attempt to bring high-speed satellite internet to all corners of the globe – and especially those where access is usually limited.

But after Thursday’s launch, a geomagnetic storm struck the Earth’s atmosphere. Geomagnetic storms are caused by the sun, which emits particles from the solar wind, which eventually crash into the Earth. Particles interfere with the planet’s magnetic field and destroy satellites, increasing resistance and interfering with their orbits.

That’s exactly what happened to a potential 40 Starlink satellites just after they were in their intended orbit, SpaceX said.

When a geomagnetic storm hit Earth last week, it increased the atmospheric resistance of the group of satellites. SpaceX quickly threw satellites into safe mode and put them “on edge” to minimize resistance and, as they say, “hide from the storm”, but preliminary analysis shows that satellites have never come out of safety and can “They are raising their orbit.

SpaceX said the satellites would “re-enter or have re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere” on Tuesday, effectively ending their short lives. When satellites collide with the atmosphere, they are designed to burn completely so that no debris reaches the ground. SpaceX also says it does not pose a risk to other satellites.

Astronomers are concerned about the ever-increasing number of Starlink satellites orbiting. In January, astronomers at the Zwicky Transient Facility published a study showing that Starlink satellites had caused streaks in telescopic images and the problem was growing. On February 2, the International Astronomical Union announced the creation of a new body – the Center for the Protection of Dark and Quiet Skies – to mitigate the negative effects of satellite constellations.