Ever since Sputnik 1 was launched in 1957, the lower orbit near the earth has become a gradually crowded surrounding with approximately more than 2,200 satellite being launched, and the region has been filled with fog due to the satellites alongside components of launch vehicles and debris that led to mechanical disintegration and collisions, in turn, causing it to be swamped.
In the past few weeks, the so-called SpaceX launched new satellites that are 60 in number as part and parcel of the StarLink program hence increasing the number to 400 Starlink satellites in the lower part of the earth orbit as a program that targets to convey cheap satellite-initiated internet access to every person. This program will put almost 12,000 satellites in orbit near the earth.
The earth orbit is overcrowding with amazon and others plotting satellite constellations that resemble.
Debris varies in size from microns to meters, an aerospace engineer called Stuart Grey from the University of Strathclyde produced spectacular visualizations that display more than 20,000 objects that are over 10 centimeters in size revolving around the earth.
Substandard astronomers have expressed uneasiness over the increasing figure of objects in motion in the night.
Overcrowding the earth orbit has an inescapable outcome for astronomers who are grounded-based, the reflection of rays from the sun on bright surfaces on satellites gives rise to sunlight focused towards the earth’s surface, the burst of the light is very intense and robust which in turn impedes the observation of objects that are distant in space.
Billions of dollars have been spent on optical telescopes, and more is to be paid again into new platforms after ten years like the large telescope built in Atacama plateau in Chile.
Competition is now stiff in observing time on such resources hence any possible threat from the reflection of satellites should be taken keenly because observations made on the evolution of the universe may be impossible.
SpaceX has made the guarantee to the public that StarLink would not contribute to the problem, and it has taken a step further to lessen the effects of its satellites on observational astronomy. It has gone to the extent of conducting tests whether or not a black coating can decrease visibility on the spacecraft. Overcrowding in the lower part of the earth orbit has an impact for spacecraft as well as other space vehicles.
Satellites try to find the balance between their speeds to attain orbit, the speed with which they foldaway depends on an altitude above the earth.
NASA and ESA have come up with a program called orbital debris research program that seeks to perceive such debris and come up with ways to curb its outcome.