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Musk’s satellites could cause close encounters of a new kind

World

Musk’s satellites could cause close encounters of a new kind

Nasa warns that SpaceX plan for 30,000 new satellites could put International Space Station at risk

Todd Shields and Ed Ludlow

Elon Musk’s plan to boost the SpaceX satellite fleet by 30,000 could endanger the International Space Station and hamper efforts to watch for potentially catastrophic asteroid strikes, Nasa said.

Crowding in the low-Earth orbits the satellites would occupy could impact ground-based systems that warn of possible collisions by interstellar objects. In addition, “the safety of the International Space Station (ISS) and all other Nasa assets may be impacted” by the surge in space-based platforms, the agency said in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC is vetting the plan by SpaceX for a new generation of satellites. Musk said in a January 15 tweet that the company had 1,469 Starlink satellites active, with 272 moving to operational orbits...

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