Wed. Sep 27th, 2023
SpaceX Releases Unique Footage of Starlink Satellite Launch

SpaceX has unveiled a video showcasing a special coating on its Starlink satellites aimed at reducing light pollution. The footage was captured during the launch of a new batch of 22 satellites on September 16.

The Falcon 9 rocket successfully deployed the satellites into orbit, marking the 200th flight for the Block 5 version. The first stage of the rocket then made a successful landing on an autonomous barge in the Atlantic Ocean.

The video, taken by a camera mounted on the Falcon 9’s second stage, offers a close-up view of the Starlink satellites. The satellites’ bodies are coated with a black reflective surface, which reflects both the Earth and the Falcon 9 second stage.

The decision to develop this special coating came after numerous complaints from the scientific community. Earlier launches of Starlink satellites resulted in visible “trains” of bright lights in the sky. Astronomers raised concerns about the impact on optical astronomy.

In response, SpaceX conducted experiments with different designs and ultimately settled on a combination of dielectric mirrors and dark black paint. This coating helps absorb and redirect light from the Earth, reducing the satellites’ visible brightness and mitigating damage to optical astronomy.

While this addresses concerns related to optical telescopes, it’s important to note that Starlink satellites may still interfere with radio astronomy.

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