Dying Starlink satellites could lead to ozone depletion: study

Long exposure was used to create this image) A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A on May 6, 2022 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

picture: Red Hopper (Getty Images)

New study From the University of Southern California published last week I found this SpaceX’s Starlink satellites The Earth’s ozone layer can be depleted. The researchers estimated the potential damage caused by the burning of Internet service satellites into the atmosphere and the release of aluminum oxides. Thanks to its growing artificial constellation, SpaceX could spew out more than 1,000 tons of aluminum oxide each year, a 646% increase over natural levels.

SpaceX There are currently just over 6,000 Starlink satellites in orbit around the planet. Each iteration has gotten heavier and heavier, with the latest model weighing in at 2,760 pounds. Every satellite It is designed to deorbit and burn up in the atmosphere at the end of its service life, which is five to seven years. SpaceX plans to double the number of satellites with aspirations to seven times the current total in orbit. Yes, 42 thousand satellites in orbit.

The scariest part is that we don’t know exactly how much damage this massive constellation could cause. The study says, “The environmental impacts of satellite returns are currently poorly understood.” If the service scales as hoped, more than 8,000 satellites above us could disintegrate each year.

As you remember from the 1980s and 1990s, the ozone layer is essential to our survival. It absorbs ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Excessive UV radiation would significantly reduce crop yields and disrupt the marine food chain. This is in addition to causing skin cancer and weakening our immune system. while SpaceX addressed the FAA’s concerns That people might be exposed to satellite debris has opened the door to an environmental catastrophe that could end humanity as we know it.

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