ESA had to move its Aeolus Earth observation satellite to avoid a direct collision with SpaceX’s Starlink satellite 44. The European Space Agency asked SpaceX to move its satellites so that an impact should be avoided.
“We informed SpaceX, who replied and said that they do not plan to take action,” reported the leader of the Space Debris Office at ESA, Holger Krag, for Forbes. He added that SpaceX satellites should have collision avoidance systems, but that’s not the case, as ESA reported.
To bypass the collision with SpaceX satellites, ESA’s Aeolus Earth observation satellite had to fire its thrusters and move to another position on the Earth’s orbit to not impact the SpaceX satellite 44.
“It is sporadic to perform collision avoidance maneuvers with active satellites. The vast majority of ESA avoidance maneuvers are the result of dead satellites or fragments from previous collisions,” an ESA tweet reads.
SpaceX Refuses To Relocate Its Satellites Despite ESA Warning
Noteworthy is that ESA’s Aeolus Earth observation satellite has been live for about eight months before the launch of the SpaceX Starlink satellites that occupied the Earth’ orbit to deliver Internet to specific areas of the world.
But that’s not the only issue that SpaceX Starlink satellites caused to astronomy. Many amateur astronomers and some scientists, as well, complained that the launch of SpaceX Starlink satellites causes too much light, making Earth-based telescopes useless in observing distant planets and stars.
Well, the situation is not as excellent as expected, since SpaceX lost control of three satellites since their takeoff. In the meantime, when these SpaceX satellites likely ended up in Earth’s atmosphere, the failure rate boosted some complaints regarding the outcome of the project.
In case SpaceX launches the already-planned 12,000 Starink satellites, the amount of ‘dead’ satellites might trigger issues related to space debris.