SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk mentioned April 27 that he hopes to check a new solution to cut back the brightness of the corporate’s Starlink satellites on the following launch for the broadband mega constellation.
In a briefing to a committee engaged on the following astrophysics decadal survey, Musk stated the experimental “VisorSat,” together with a new method for orienting Starlink satellites as they elevate their orbits, ought to deal with considerations raised by astronomers that the Starlink constellation might intrude with their observations.
SpaceX first tried to deal with the brightness downside with an experimental “DarkSat” included in a batch of Starlink satellites launched in January. The satellite used what the corporate described as experimental darkening remedies over reflective surfaces, like its antennas, in an effort to scale back the quantity of daylight it displays and thus makes it darker.
Whereas DarkSat has shown some promise, showing about one magnitude darker than untreated Starlink satellites, the corporate is transferring in a unique path. “We discovered a choice that’s even higher than that, which is principal to offer the satellites shades,” he stated.
Musk and others at SpaceX have beforehand mentioned a sunshade that they in comparison with a patio umbrella that may deploy from a satellite, retaining the antennas in shadow. Musk, on the committee assembly, described an idea referred to as VisorSat that may deploy panels, like sun visors mounted on an automotive windshield, to dam the solar.