HomeNewsTwo SpaceX Starlink Satellites Disintegrate in Sky: VIDEO

Two SpaceX Starlink Satellites Disintegrate in Sky: VIDEO

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Two SpaceX Starlink satellites mimic shooting stars in the night sky as they plummeted to Earth this week. The mesmerizing footage, captured over Añasco, Puerto Rico, reveals different views of the disintegrating satellites. The falling pieces make up just a fraction of ones SpaceX’s destroyed satellites that launched on Thursday, February 3rd.

It takes a few moments before we actually see the disintegrating satellites come into frame. Nevertheless, the watch is definitely worth the wait. Some of the frames take a position directly beneath the falling crafts, their descent similar to fireworks in the sky. Others capture our regular view of the night sky, the remnants of the SpaceX satellites flashing in bright lines across the field of view.

According to the Daily Mail, the satellites witnessed incinerating in the skies above Puerto Rico make up two of the 40 the company said saw destruction during a recent geomagnetic storm. On February 3rd, SpaceX launched a total of 49 satellites. However now, only 9 remain intact, an estimated 40 plummeting Earthward soon after their initial liftoff.

Of the satellites’ unexpected disruption, SpaceX announced the crafts will “reenter or already have reentered the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Fortunately, people have little reason to worry as the Starlink satellites are relatively small. As per the outlet, each one measures just 10.5 feet tall by 5.25 in width. The crafts boast an overall weight of just 573 pounds. Compared to the debris that penetrates Earth’s atmosphere during each meteor shower and celestial event, the satellites pose little danger.

Are SpaceX Satellites Beginning to Clutter Earth’s Atmosphere?

After the destruction of SpaceX’s February 3rd launch, the company’s founder, Elon Musk, shared the initial launch had gone to plan. However, despite the success, and precautions taken to avoid effects from the geomagnetic storm, atmospheric drag resulted in the crafts’ downfall to Earth.

Of the geomagnetic storm, SpaceX explained, “These storms cause the atmosphere [above Earth] to warm and atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes to increase.”

Essentially, the geomagnetic storm disrupted the course of travel as the objects departed our atmosphere. The satellites’ upward motion became hindered by increased drag, causing the satellites’ descent.

Despite the hiccup, SpaceX has sent more than 2,000 satellites spaceward since 2018. That said, NASA has taken issue with the company’s growing collection of decommissioned satellites.

As per the national space agency, too many satellites in low Earth orbit could “impact science and human spaceflight missions.”

Further, as per the outlet, SpaceX has future plans to launch a second-generation megaconstellation. Altogether, it would contain a massive 30,000 satellites.

In regard to the endeavor, NASA worries plans for the future megaconstellation may lead to a “significant increase” in collisions.