ESA Speaks Against Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellite Launches Due to Space Debris23rd Dec 2021
Elon Musk has been making headlines again, this time for a rather ominous reason caused by his multi-satellite launches. The European Space Agency has come forward with a warning: don’t let tech billionaire Elon musk dictate how space operates. Musk’s Starlink will boost Tesla’s Internet service capabilities by a hundredfold, warns the ESA, causing a disbalance in competitors.
Satellite launches cause quite a stir among world leaders
Josef Aschbacher, the new director of the ESA, has warned European leaders that giving Musk too much free reign over what goes into space could prove catastrophic in the long run.
This concern arose after Germany vouched for Musk and applied to the International Telecommunications Union for permission to launch over 40,000 satellites to be part of Starlink. If approved, the satellite launches will be scheduled throughout the next two years. Germany has been lobbying for Starlink ever since Musk promised to expand his broadband network throughout Europe to reach rural areas.
Musk already received approval from the US government for an additional 30,000 satellite launches and is expecting an answer from the Indian government regarding 30,000 more.
Aschbacher warned that when one person owns half of the active satellites in the world, this person will be the only one calling the shots.
Excess satellite launches could lead to excess space debris
Some have raised concerns regarding the overpopulation of space. Even before humanity colonised another planet, it seems that the available free space in space is quickly being overridden by satellites and space debris. As more and more satellite launches become available, Earth’s lower orbit is becoming dangerously overpopulated with space debris and other garbage. NASA has stated that there are plans in motion that will limit the spread of space debris, mainly through the repurposing of damaged or old satellites.
Amazon’s Project Kupier and the Chinese government have also made plans for satellite launches that orbit close to Earth.