SpaceX Starlink satellite disintegrates over Spain

The disintegration of a Starlink satellite that the company SpaceX put into orbit on January 24, 2021 to provide Internet communications has generated tonight a spectacular fireball over Spain that could be seen from multiple points of the country.

This fireball has been recorded by the detectors that the Southwest European Meteor and Fireball Network (SWEMN Network) operates in different observatories in the country, working in the framework of the SMART Project, coordinated from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC).

The satellite that originated the fireball entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 27,000 kilometers per hour at 23:00 hours yesterday January 23.

It would be a Starlink satellite, with a mass of about 260 kilograms, which the company SpaceX put into orbit on January 24, 2021 in order to provide Internet communications.

The abrupt friction with the atmosphere at this enormous speed caused the object to become incandescent, thus generating a fireball that started at an altitude of about 100 kilometers above a point located north of Morocco, almost on the border with Algeria.

From there it advanced in a northwesterly direction and along its trajectory the satellite was fragmenting, so that several fireballs could be seen advancing in parallel as each of these fragments became incandescent.

According to the information available at this moment, the fireball would have crossed the whole Iberian Peninsula and finally would have reached Asturias, where it would have finished its trajectory over the Cantabrian Sea.

Therefore, any possible fragment of the satellite that survived its abrupt passage through the Earth’s atmosphere would have fallen into the sea.

However, the case is still under study in case new information could be useful to obtain more data.


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High rates of satellite failure leave dead, unmaneuverable satellites in orbit. The new large constellations will dramatically worsen this problem.

All of this debris, computers, electronic and chemical waste, radioactive elements, weapons, dead satellites, rocket parts, and dust come down. Aerospace officials and agencies, including the FCC, talk nonsense about “disposal” via “safe” de-orbitting and vaporization, as if the waste simply disappears.

The reality is that de-orbitting and vaporization create new problems — exploding burning debris, aerosolizing toxins, metals, paints, fuels, and other chemicals. They fall into the lower atmosphere to pollute the soil, ocean, waters, and air we breathe. “Vaporized” means it explodes into tiny particles and dust.

With these large constellations of short lifespan, increasing failures, and launch rocket debris, a barrage of debris and fall-out and increasing atmospheric dust are just beginning.

All of this debris burns at very hot temperatures as it re-enters the atmosphere, with big and little chunks landing everywhere. Exponential increases in fall-out increases the risk for fires, injuries, deaths, and property damage. A large chunk of space debris fell into a Michigan family’s yard and just missed hitting anyone. Hot debris fell in Chile last year causing fires. A Russian satellite that was supposed to stay in orbit for ten thousand years fell out of orbit this month and possibly landed in the Pacific Ocean.

Musk/SpaceX, who has stated
nuking Mars and saying the U.S. can coup whatever country it wants for rare earth minerals such as lithium.

Nice guy​:persevere:

It’s time to strip back the curtain, aerospace moguls, and rocket scientists are not heroes they are destroying the Earth.

All of this debris, computers, electronic and chemical waste, radioactive elements, weapons, dead satellites, rocket parts, and dust come down. Aerospace officials and agencies, including the FCC, talk nonsense about “disposal” via “safe” de-orbitting and vaporization, as if the waste simply disappears.


More SpaceX debris. This time it looks like Earth's Moon is going to get hit.

Runaway SpaceX rocket in orbit for 7 years expected to crash into the moon

An errant SpaceX rocket that’s been zipping through space for seven years is expected to finally come crashing down — into the moon.

The upper stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which became detached from the craft in 2015, is predicted to hit the moon on March 4, the Guardian said in a report.

The hunk of rocket already “made a close lunar flyby on January 5,” said Bill Gray, a data analyst and writer on space-junk issues.

“The bulk of the moon is in the way,” Gray said. “And even if it were on the near side, the impact occurs a couple of days after New Moon.”

He said the rocket section weighs more than 4 tons but is unlikely to make a significant dent on the moon, the outlet said.

The rocket, part of Elon Musk’s space program, launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in February 2015 to deploy a weather satellite, Newsweek reported.

The runaway section didn’t have the juice to come back into Earth’s orbit and instead went hurtling into space — and toward the moon, the magazine said.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard and Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, confirmed that the rocket will likely hit the moon — but so what?

“For those asking: yes, an old Falcon 9 second stage left in high orbit in 2015 is going to hit the moon on March 4,” McDowell tweeted on Tuesday. “It’s interesting, but not a big deal.”


Chinese scientists call for plan to destroy Elon Musk's Starlink satellites

Chinese military researchers say Starlink could threaten China's national security

China may be looking at alternative ways to counter Starlink because ASAT missiles create hazardous conditions for all nations operating in space. Explosions in orbit are dangerous not just on their own, but also because of the many thousands of debris pieces they create (ranging from basketball-size to as small as a grain of sand). This space shrapnel has the potential to cause serious damage to satellites. In November 2021, a Russian anti-satellite missile test blew up a defunct Soviet-era spy satellite in low-Earth orbit and created a debris field of at least 1,632 pieces that forced U.S. astronauts aboard the International Space Station to hide in their docked capsules, according to a US Space Force Database of orbital objects.

The U.S., China, India and Russia have all carried out ASAT tests in the past, creating space junk in the process. The U.S. announced a ban on further ASAT tests in April. In October 2021, Chinese scientists claimed to have designed a way to avoid the debris problem with an explosive device that could be packed inside a satellite's exhaust nozzle, safely blowing up the satellite without making any mess and in a way that could be mistaken for an engine malfunction.

Chinese military researchers have called for the development of a "hard kill" weapon to destroy Elon Musk's Starlink satellite system if it threatens China's national security.

The researchers drew attention to Starlink's "huge potential for military applications" and the need for China to develop countermeasures to surveill, disable or even destroy the growing satellite megaconstellation. Their paper was published last month in the journal China's Modern Defence Technology. A translated copy of the paper is available here(opens in new tab).

The Chinese researchers were particularly concerned by the potential military capabilities of the constellation, which they claim could be used to track hypersonic missiles; dramatically boost the data transmission speeds of U.S. drones and stealth fighter jets; or even ram into and destroy Chinese satellites. China has had some near misses with Starlink satellites already, having written to the U.N. last year to complain that the country's space station was forced to perform emergency maneuvers to avoid "close encounters" with Starlink satellites in July and October 2021.

"A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation's operating system," the researchers, led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher at the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications, which is part of the Chinese military's Strategic Support Force, wrote in the paper. Hard and soft kill are the two categories of space weapons, with hard kill being weapons that physically strike their targets (like missiles) and soft kill including jamming and laser weapons.

China already has multiple methods for disabling satellites. These include microwave jammers that can disrupt communications or fry electrical components; powerful, millimeter-resolution lasers that can nab high-resolution images and blind satellite sensors; cyber-weapons to hack into satellite networks; and long-range anti-satellite (ASAT) missiles to destroy them, according to the U.S. Department of Defense(opens in new tab). But the researchers say that these measures, which are effective against individual satellites, won't be enough to scuttle Starlink.

"The Starlink constellation constitutes a decentralised system. The confrontation is not about individual satellites, but the whole system," the researchers wrote. The researchers also outlined how an attack on the Starlink system would require "some low-cost, high-efficiency measures."

Exactly what these measures could be remains unclear.

The researchers propose that China should build its own spy satellites to better snoop on Starlink; find new and improved ways to hack its systems; and develop more efficient methods to down multiple satellites in the network. This could potentially mean the deployment of lasers, microwave weapons or smaller satellites that could be used to swarm Starlink's satellites. China is also looking to compete with Starlink directly through the launch of its own satellite network. Called Xing Wang, or Starnet, it also aims to provide global internet access to paying customers.

Starlink has been used for military purposes before. Just two days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov wrote on Twitter asking Musk to deploy more Starlink satellites to the country. Speaking at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, on May 24, Fedorov said that SpaceX has so far provided more than 12,000 Starlink satellite dishes to Ukraine, while adding that "all critical infrastructure [in Ukraine] uses Starlink."

Earlier this month, Elon Musk wrote on Twitter(opens in new tab) that Russia had made multiple signal-jamming and hacking attempts on Starlink. A note from Dmitry Rogozin, the director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, to Russian media also appeared to threaten Musk, accusing him of supplying "militants of the Nazi Azov battalion" with "military communication equipment" and claimed that Musk would be held accountable.
Musk responded by writing(opens in new tab) on Twitter, "If I die under mysterious circumstances, it's been nice knowin ya."

According to a recently released report from the U.S. Department of Defense, China has more than doubled its number of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) satellites since 2019, from 124 to 250. At the beginning of 2022, China's total number of satellites, including non-ISR ones, was was 499, second only to the United States' 2,944, of which Starlink makes up more than 2,300, [according to the Union of Concerned Scientists
(Satellite Database | Union of Concerned Scientists).