NASA
Excelsior!

Elon Musk Says SpaceX Could Launch Orbital Observatories

byDan Robitzski
4. 27. 20
NASA

"I'm very excited about a future of space-based telescopes that could be very large."

Take Me Higher

After ongoing criticism over how bright SpaceX’s Starlink satellites appear from the ground, Elon Musk has a new solution for how astronomers can continue their work uninterrupted.

Speaking to a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Musk suggested that research agencies partner up with SpaceX to launch new orbital observatories even higher up than Starlink satellites orbit, CNET reports. That way, they’ll have an unimpeded view as they scan the cosmos.

The Rain Has Gone

Detached from the current situation, Musk’s suggestion sounds like a cool, aspirational project for scientists to get behind.

“I’m very excited about a future of space-based telescopes that could be very large,” Musk told the committee.

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But it’s a tortuous workaround given that his company, with its plan to launch tens of thousands of satellites, is the one blocking astronomers’ view in the first place.

Dark Shades

Presently, Musk’s plan to minimize his satellites’ interference on scientific research and other forms of stargazing is to equip them with sunshades to make them less reflective and appear dimmer from the ground.

“We will take further steps as needed,” Musk told the committee, according to CNET. He seemed to suggest their concern was unjustified, adding “we’ll feel a bit silly in hindsight.”

READ MORE: Elon Musk wants to launch new planet-spying space-based telescopes [CNET]

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More on Starlink: Scientists: SpaceX Satellites Threaten “Astronomy Itself”


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