US companies intend to adjust the "Star Chain" program

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US companies intend to adjust the "Star Chain" program

2018-11-13 20:25:36 44 ℃

Xinhua News Agency US Space Exploration Technologies Inc. plans to reduce the orbital altitude of more than 1,500 satellites to be launched in the Star Chain program, saying it will help To reduce space junk.

US media quoted Space Exploration Technologies’ recent application to the US Federal Communications Commission as showing that the private company plans to reduce 1,600 satellites, originally scheduled to operate at 1,150 kilometers above the Earth, to 1,584. The height is reduced to 550 kilometers.

Previous studies have suggested that the large number of small satellites will increase the risk of space collisions, so once they complete their mission, they should immediately derail.

Space Exploration Technologies said that lowering the orbital height of these satellites would make the space environment safer, especially when satellite fuel is insufficient or not functioning properly, and it is easier to clean in lower orbits. At this height, particles in the Earth's atmosphere will strike the satellite more quickly, push it away from its original orbit and “drag” it to Earth, eventually burning up in the atmosphere.

But Space Exploration Technologies also acknowledges that moving in lower orbits will also introduce new problems, such as the area covered by each satellite at a certain time will be reduced, so the signal transmission method needs to be modified. Also ensure that the satellites are not "drag" back to Earth by atmospheric particles.

Space Exploration Technologies previously planned to deploy 4,425 satellites in low-Earth orbit from 1,150 km to 1,325 km above the ground, with transmission bands between Ku and ka; and about 7,500 satellites It deploys very low Earth orbits between 335 and 346 km above the Earth, transmitting data in the V-band. These satellites will form a so-called "star chain" that provides high-speed Internet access from space to the United States or the world . (Zhou Zhou)