Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites To Be Visible In UK Skies Again Tonight
The trail of lights that make up Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites are set to be visible above the UK tonight as they make their way overhead.
With the promise of bringing high-speed internet across the globe, SpaceX launched another batch of its satellites into the atmosphere on Sunday, October 18.
A total of 835 have been launched so far, with the service currently targeting North America and Canada but expected to expand to near global coverage by next year.
The satellites have caught the attention of those on Earth in the past for the unique way they travelled through the sky, with dots of light following one another into space.
Following a launch in April, one person questioned whether the satellites were actually UFOs, writing:
just went out in the garden, to take in the stars, and saw six “satellites”, in a row, a fairly equal distance apart, moving north. Wasn’t planes, cos a blinky light jumbo flow under them, and it was lower and slower. Wasn’t meteors, cos they dont’ travel in a convoy…. #UFOs
Star-gazers will be able to catch another glimpse of Starlink this week, as Find Starlink reports sightings will begin tonight, October 19, at 7.25pm, and will continue in the morning and late evening for the next three days.
More specifically, they will appear at 6.29am and 8.01pm on October 20, 6.50am and 7.01pm on October 21, and 5.42am and 7.37pm on October 22.
The most recent Starlink launch took off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, where there was a successful controlled landing and recovery of the first-stage booster.
Things got a bit rocky when the fairing halves used to protect the satellites’ cargo came floating back down to Earth, as one of the nets on the recovery barges intended to collect them gave way during the catch, Tech Crunch reports. Thankfully, the recovery crew were all fine after the blunder.
The 60 satellites launched on Sunday are some of the near-300 launched since June, and SpaceX has plans to launch at least two more lots during the next month.
When their life comes to an end in space, the satellites use an on-board propulsion system to deorbit over the course of a few months. If the propulsion system doesn’t work, the satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within one to five years, according to the Starlink website.
The satellites proved their usefulness earlier this month when they were used to help provide internet to US towns struggling with wildfires. Terminals used to access the network were loaned to the Washington Emergency Management Division and helped firefighters coordinate their firefighting efforts in remote areas of the state.
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