The launch of Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s space internet project Starlink satellites has been in news for quite some time. On Sunday, May 9 at 2:42 a.m. EDT, SpaceX’s rocket Falcon 9 launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This is the second time in the same week the Falcon 9 rocket has carried 60 satellites to orbit.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter Saturday, to announce about Sunday’s launch.
First time a Falcon rocket booster will reach double digits in flights https://t.co/wrojsaGExZ
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 8, 2021
The sighting of the train of satellites created excitement and anxiety in people in many parts of the world. Starlink satellites were visible in many parts of the USA over the last week. Some people mistook the bright lights in the night sky as UFOs. A string of about 50 satellites shining like stars was seen cruising in a line one right after another across the night sky. Many people posted videos of the spectacular event on Twitter.
Each satellite launch of the #Starlink constellation of #SpaceX is visible as a “train” as they reach their final orbit. It is spectacular, and that is why it is a serious problem for astronomy. via @javyfeu #VideoCiencia S. Bath pic.twitter.com/nSUSaYSQf4
— ?Sara? (@PeronaSara) May 2, 2021
A starlink constellation pic.twitter.com/zjy5c6Fcwq
— Kalabria (@K__Jenna) May 6, 2021
— Peter Kitch (@PeterKitch) May 7, 2021
Turkey also witnessed the train of Starlink satellites last week. In Turkey also many people speculated that the lights were aliens coming to earth. Some others thought they were seeing parts of the out-of-control Chinese rocket. (The Chinese rocket landed in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives early Sunday morning.) Many people shared the pictures and videos of the celestial show on Twitter and other social media platforms.
— Erdem (@erdem_diner) May 6, 2021
Elon Musk uydular? Türkiye'de heyecan yaratt?..?????
Elon Musk'a ait Starlink uydular? zincir ?ekilde görüntülendi. Harika bir geçi? gerçekle?ti…
Bu uydu tak?mlar?, Starlink Amerikan uydu ?irketi SpaceX taraf?ndan uydu interneti eri?imi sa?lamak üzere in?a edildi. #bodrum pic.twitter.com/ckPdsVTGTC
— #instagram @eraslan.tc (@eraslantc1) May 6, 2021
— Only Yi?it ?? (@onlyigit0) May 6, 2021
SpaceX’s Project is to launch 12,000 satellites and provide high-speed internet coverage to the world even to remote and rural areas. As part of this, they have successfully launched over a thousand satellites. This is the second time in the same week the Falcon 9 rocket has carried 60 flat-paneled Starlink broadband satellites. They had launched 60 satellites on May 4 also.
This year, 11 SpaceX missions have carried about 1600 broadband satellites into orbit including some that are no longer operational. SpaceX has been using its previously flown boosters to transport its satellites into space. Sunday’s mission was the 118th flight for the Falcon 9 rocket and the 64th flight of a refurbished booster. SpaceX has been using reused rockets for all its missions in 2021.
Though the sightings of the train of satellites create excitement, and happiness in ordinary people, astronomers are apprehensive about them. Their main allegation is that these satellites which orbit very closely to earth shine brighter in the night sky blocking out the view of outer space. They also fear the satellites can create more space debris. Many also see this as the industrialization of space.