Possible Fix for SpaceX’s Glaring Error?


The Big Picture:

SpaceX has launched more than 120 Starlink satellites with the aim of providing space-based Internet service. The current plan is to build a constellation of satellites by launching a batch of 60 every 2-3 weeks over the next year.


The Problem:

The satellites are each covered with a reflective coating that causes a glare that interferes with astronomy. Astronomers at the Andes-based Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), home of the Southern Astrophysical Research and Gemini telescopes, say 19 of the satellites have caused interference with their astronomy research.


The Proposed Fix:

To address this problem, SpaceX president & C0O Gwynne Shotwell says the company will experiment with an anti-reflective coating on the bottom of one of the next batch of 60 satellites. Hopefully, it won't cause thermal problems and can be applied to future Starlink satellites.


Space For Women?

Clara Martinez-Vazquez is the CTIO astronomer who alerted the world to this problem.

Gwynne Shotwell is referenced above.