SpaceX Taking Proactive Steps to Deorbit 100 Starlink Satellites

SpaceX has announced plans to deorbit approximately 100 of its first-generation Starlink satellites. This decision to deorbit these satellites was prompted by the detection of a potential flaw that could increase the risk of future failures.

The affected satellites, part of the early-version 1 batch launched in 2019 and 2020, are currently operational and serving users effectively. However, a SpaceX internal review identified a common issue that could potentially compromise their functionality in the future, according to the company’s ‘Commitment to Space Sustainability’ report released on Monday.

The deorbiting process is expected to take approximately six months, and will be conducted in a controlled manner to ensure the satellites descend safely and burn up upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

This method aligns with SpaceX’s design philosophy that prioritizes complete disposability of its satellites, effectively eliminating any risk to people on the ground or in the air.

SpaceX’s ability to rapidly produce and launch satellites, with capabilities to build up to 55 satellites per week and launch over 200 per month, ensures that the deorbiting of these 100 satellites will not impact the overall performance or availability of Starlink services.

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