A close meeting between SpaceX and OneWeb satellites in orbit that could have ended in disaster was reported earlier this month, but the company owned by Elon Musk says the publicized event never took place.
In a case to the Federal Communications Commission, SpaceX accuses its rival of sounding the alarm when there was no potential danger.
“Despite recent reports to the contrary, the parties said there was no ‘shout’ or ‘almost missed,'” writes David Goldman, SpaceX’s director of satellite policy, suggesting that both SpaceX and OneWeb have come to the same conclusion.
When asked about SpaceX, claiming it was never a problem, Chris McLaughlin, head of the OneWeb government, told the Daily Mail: “They would say no,” adding, “now trying to cover up his tracks, saying that it is an arranged maneuver. ‘
He went on to explain that when OneWeb contacted the SpaceX team, they said that “it will do a manual maneuver to make sure our satellite does not interfere with your satellite,” but then suggested that it would be better to we do nothing and let OneWeb fly its satellite.
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In a case to the Federal Communications Commission, SpaceX accuses its rival of sounding the alarm when there was no potential danger
On April 9, The Verge reported that two satellites from each company came at a distance of 190 meters from each other in orbit on April 4, which triggered several “red alerts” from the 18th Squadron of space control of the US Space Force.
The tight call, according to The Verge, was due to the recent launch of OneWeb on March 30, which sent 36 satellites into orbit and had to go through a sea of Starlinks to reach its targeted orbit.
SpaceX designs each Starlink device with an AI-powered collision avoidance system, which McLaughlin said OneWeb asked the company to stop so it could “arrange a safe flight.”
“I applauded them for coordinating them, but I emphasized that we both have different protocols and that we are waiting 12 hours to see what their automated system would do is not acceptable to OneWeb,” he continued.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX designs each Starlink device with an AI-powered collision avoidance system, which Chris McLaughlin (right) said OneWeb asked the company to stop so it could “arrange a safe flight.”
On April 9, The Verge reported that two satellites from each company came at a distance of about 200 meters from each other in orbit on April 4, which triggered several “red alerts” from the 18th Squadron. space control of the US Space Force.
“About 25 hours before the possible coalescence, the US Air Force space command signaled a red flag that needed to be triggered, indicating a 193-foot coalescence between our satellite and a Starlink satellite.”
“Our engineers immediately tried to contact SpaceX by email to say ‘what do you want to do about this’ and were told ‘don’t bother us and we’ll look into this in 12 hours, because that’s our policy.’ .
“We can’t do this like OneWeb, because we’re required to take action up to 72 hours in advance, certainly up to 24 hours, so we asked, ‘Can we get a call? ”
According to McLaughlin, OneWeb hit it in speed when SpaceX said “it might be better if we do nothing and you pilot your satellite.”
“I programmed on the move, ran overnight until Saturday morning, and as I programmed in this process, I noticed that the SpaceX automatic collision system was never demonstrated and never revealed to other operators how it works,” he said. .
McLaughlin went on to explain that when OneWeb (pictured) contacted the SpaceX team, they said they would “do a manual maneuver to make sure our satellite doesn’t interfere with your satellite,” but then suggested that it would be better do nothing and let OneWeb fly. its satellite
“I had a situation where it was like two people walking on the street – one walking in one direction, another walking in the same way and laughing. Well, in space, which could have led to a collision, both satellites trying to dodge in the same direction.
ONEWEB: SATELLITE OPERATOR OWNED BY UK
OneWeb was founded in 2012 by Greg Wyler in London, England, to bring satellite broadband to remote parts of the world.
He filed for bankruptcy in Chapter 11 in the US in 2020, after Softbank financiers withdrew their financing.
A $ 1 billion bailout deal between the British government and Bharti, allowing them to resume operations.
They plan to have 650 satellites in orbit as part of their constellation, to bring global broadband coverage by 2022.
Unlike the main competitor Starlink, the SpaceX project owned by Elon Musk, does not intend to sell directly to consumers.
The company aims to become a new broadband backbone for most of the world, leasing network space to existing telecommunications companies that “already know their market.”
He hopes to launch 36 satellites per month over the next two years, each the size of a refrigerator.
They are placed in the Polar Orbit 750 miles above the Earth and have incorporated orbit capabilities, as well as “hooks” to allow them to be removed if something goes wrong.
The Goldman timeline in the SpaceX state-filling spaces was initially offered to manually maneuver Starlink satellites, but both companies decided to wait.
“The probability of a collision never exceeded the threshold for a maneuver, and the satellites would not have collided even if no maneuver had been performed,” he added.
Next, SpaceX, OneWeb and FCC officials held a call on Tuesday to discuss the situation. Goldman claims that OneWeb offered at the meeting “to withdraw its previous incorrect statements” regarding the incident.
According to the report from The Verge, the Space Force said that the probability of the two satellites colliding is 1.3% and, if it had hit, it would have added hundreds of other unwanted spaces in orbit.
Millions of pieces of debris throw space and can travel as fast as a fast bullet, which can destroy satellites, telescopes, spacecraft – and a NASA scientist fears it could eventually create Kessler syndrome.
This theoretical scenario was proposed by NASA scientist Donald Kessler in 1978, who says that the density of objects in low Earth orbit could increase to a point where collisions occur that generate more space debris to the point where it is dangerous. for humans to venture the planet.
OneWeb has 146 satellites in orbit, while SpaceX has 1,378 stellar links – and the company owned by Elon Musk went under fire for flooding the skies.
Communications company Viasat asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites in December, claiming that the constellation poses a danger to the environment.
The document mentions a number of grievances, including the failure rate of SpaceX satellites in orbiting devices and the risk of re-entry pollution.
However, Musk considered the petition and did what most billionaires do – he took it to Twitter.
Musk tweeted on his page, saying “Starlink” is a danger “for Viasat’s profits, more than this.”
John Janka, Viasat’s chief global and regulatory affairs officer, told DailyMail.com: “There have been strong concerns among a large number of industry players this summer about the satellite’s orbital debris, space security and interference issues ”.
“It’s not just SpaceX, these concerns are related to mega constellations in general – anyone is proposing to send thousands and tens of thousands of satellites into orbit.”
SPACEX ELON MUSK IS SET TO BRING THE BROADBAND INTERNET TO THE WORLD WITH THE STARLINK SATELLITE CONSTELLATION
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the fifth batch of “Starlink” space internet satellites – reaching 300.
They form a constellation of thousands of satellites, designed to provide broadband internet services at a low cost from low Earth orbit.
The constellation, informally known as Starlink, is developing at the SpaceX facility in Redmond, Washington.
Its purpose is to transmit the internet quickly in your home from space.
While satellite internet has been around for some time, it has suffered from high latency and insecure connections.
Starlink is different. SpaceX says that placing a “constellation” of satellites in low Earth orbit would provide high-speed, cable-type internet worldwide.
The billionaire’s company wants to create a global system that will help it generate more money.
Musk previously said the deal could provide three billion people who currently do not have access to the internet a cheap way to get online.
It could also help fund a future city on Mars.
Helping humanity reach the red planet is one of Musk’s long-held goals and was what inspired him to start SpaceX.
The company recently submitted plans to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 4,425 satellites in orbit above the Earth – three times as many as those currently operating.
“Once fully implemented, the SpaceX system will traverse all parts of the Earth’s surface and, therefore, will, in principle, have the capacity to provide ubiquitous global services,” the company said.
“Every point on the Earth’s surface will see a SpaceX satellite at all times.”
The network will provide internet access to the United States and the rest of the world, she added.
Investments of $ 9.8 billion (£ 7.1 billion) are expected to take more than five years, although satellite internet has proved expensive in the past and analysts expect the final bill to be higher. .
Musk compared the project to “rebuilding the Internet in space” because it would reduce dependence on the existing network of underwater fiber optic cables that traverse the planet.
In the US, the FCC welcomed the scheme as a way to provide internet connections for more people.