Washington-SpaceX decided to add umbrellas to future Starlink satellites to reduce their impact on astronomy and chose to implement reflection hardware throughout the constellation.
SpaceX Vice President of Government Satellite Relations Patricia Cooper said on May 26 that SpaceX is also preparing to launch another 80 Starlink satellites. These satellites will be launched according to the current design, and then sun visors will be installed regularly to prevent sunlight from reflecting on each satellite.器件上。 On the part. ..
“We will have about 500 satellites at their current brightness, and then all satellites will have these shadows,” Cooper said in a webinar hosted by the American Astronomical Society and the Satellite Industry Association. “This is the ratio we will see.”
SpaceX has launched 422 Starlink satellites since 2018, including two prototypes. The company is building and launching an initial constellation of approximately 4,400 satellites, although regulatory documents indicate that the company can increase Starlink to 12,000 or even 42,000 satellites. The first
SpaceX satellite equipped with a sun visor, called VisorSat, was originally scheduled to launch on May 17, but due to Tropical Storm Arthur, it was postponed until the company’s highly anticipated Crew 2 demonstration mission. , which was scheduled for 4:33. PM on May 27th. this. Cooper said SpaceX has not announced the date of the next Starlink mission.
SpaceX generally launches 60 Starlink satellites in batches on the Falcon 9 rocket. This speed indicates that if Starlink satellites are not regularly equipped with canopies, they will launch once or twice. Cooper said SpaceX could retire the first Starlink satellites more quickly to reduce their impact on astronomy.
“The older versions of the satellites that we launched, we don’t want them to have a full five-year lifespan,” he said. “We want to reduce VisorSat mitigation to the point where we are still launching on 500 satellites.”
Vera Rubin Observatory’s Chief Scientist Tony Tyson said that Starlink satellites must be dimmed to level 7 so that astronomers can use it. Image processing to solve them. Recent observations show that the magnitude of the Starlink satellite is about 5th magnitude. He said that DarkSat is a Starlink satellite that has been processed with an experimental dimming layer and was observed at about level 6.
“Progress is being made, [but] we have not reached the seventh class,” Tyson said. He said that SpaceX is working with astronomers to reduce the impact of Starlink. When
Cooper was asked if SpaceX has the same goal of reducing Starlink’s brightness to 7, he said this is an “interesting threshold,” but did not promise to achieve that goal.