Monday , October 3 2022

How many satellites have Earth's orbiting, why not conflicts?


64 satellites in one mission.

That's what Spaceton Aerospace company in SpaceX intends to launch in the South African billionaire, Ellon Musk, on Sunday, after re-programming.

It's an historic launch, since the Falcon rocket 9 Take the largest number of satellites in one mission that pulls off the US soil.

The 64 satellites that share a launch They come from 34 different organizations from up to 17 different countries.

The devices have different sizes and will carry out different functions, from improving communication with the internet to pursue pirates at sea.

But have you thought of how many satellites are in space? Can anyone send them? Can they fight with each other?

How many satellites are there?

If you had to guess the number of human satellites that turn around the Earth, what number would you say? Hundreds, Thousands?

According to the Objective Index launched in External Space, prepared by the United Nations Office for External Spatial Issues (in English, UNOOSA), there is 4,921 satellites marching at this time.

But not all are active.

"There are around 2,600 non-working satellites but still in an orbit, and a total of about 17,000 objects in space, explains David Barnhart, director of the Center for Space Engineering Research at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. , United States.

The expert refers to the Earth-shaped space debris that is more than 7,600 tonnes, according to the United States National Aviation and Space Administration in February of this year. (NASA, for her acronym in English)

"They all have an orbit around the Earth at a 100km height (low Earth orbit) to 35,000km (geometation orbit)," said Barnhart to BBC World.

What is satellite size?

If you're thinking about a satellite, the first image that comes to think is a huge device that is made of heavyweight weight weighting material.

But not everyone all like that.

"Its size varies from the one bread basket (for example, tens of centimeters per side and some kilograms in weight) up to school bus (several meters per side and thousands of kilos), "said Barnhart, dedicated to the design of satellites.

What is satellite function?

Not all satellites are dedicated to observing the Earth and taking images.

"The orbit of satellites around the Earth performs a host of functions that include communicate (cell phone coverage and data transfer), observe from Earth, navigation and locating (This is the GPS system we all use), a study space and space on behalf of science", describe the expert.

How does satellite stay in an orbit?

Satellites can orbit around the planet because they have been programmed at a speed that is fast enough to overcome gravity.

A rocket carries the satellite into the space and, once the specified location reaches, it sets the satellite in its orbit.

The speed reached by the satellite while being separated from the rocket is enough to keep the device in orbit for hundreds of years, notes the National Satell, Environmental Data and Information Service (Nesdis, for its acronym in English), which relies on the United States of Oceans and Atmospheric Service.

A satellite stays in an orbit due to its speed and gravity force that the Earth has on it. The nearest one to the Earth requires more speed to resist the force of gravity, explains Nesdis on its website.

And satellites carry their own fuel supply only in case of changing the orbit or avoiding collisions.

So satellites can wrap?

"Yes, they can crash, but it does not happen often. Although there are many satellites, the space is large, and it is usually set in orbits that do not cross or interfere with Together, "said the expert at Southern California University.

"That does not happen and can not happen, and with the plans to install thousands of more satellites, the likelihood of a possible collision will increase," he added.

In February 2009, two satellite communications, one America and one Russia refused, in space. It is believed that this is the first time for two white libraries accidentally made conflicts, describing the Nesdis center.

Who controls the satellites?

Organizations, companies, governments and individuals can own satellites.

There are many regulations to control the frequency in which radio communications work in orbit and in what order they come into, to avoid interference.

"According to the External Space Agreement (1967), every country has some kind of regulatory control on satellite launching specifically to help avoid radio intervention and prevent potential collisions at the launch," said Barnhart to BBC World.

In the United States, for example, private companies must have a federal license to operate in space.

If you want to carry out communications with satellite communications, you must request a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or if you want to launch a satellite space, you need the Federal Flight Ministry (FAA)'s permission.

And in global terms, the United Nations Office for External Spatial Issues (in English, UNOOSA) is responsible for implementing United Nations space-related policies, so that acts as a space law regulator in the world.

Can anyone send satellite space?

"Yes, today it is possible that almost anyone can send satellites to a space. Even secondary school students had built and launched their own satellite programs sharing programs with launching vehicles and various agencies and government all over the world, "said Barnhart.

Commercial companies are launching satellites into space at a rate that has trebled almost in the last 10 years, with investments reaching billions of dollars.

"It's a very exciting time in the space industry, with a lot of innovation not only in new satellites but in the development industry for service satellites, which did not exist so far ", analyzes Barnhart.

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