SpaceX’s Starlink is in trouble again.
According to foreign media reports, the U.S. Space Army (guardians) pointed out that the satellite launched by the British communications company OneWeb collided with SpaceX’s Starlink.
The distance between the two satellites was only 190 feet (about 58 meters).
It is reported that OneWeb, like SpaceX’s Starlink, launches satellites into space to provide network Internet services. On March 30, five days after OneWeb launched 36 satellites from Russia, the company received a “red alert” from the US Space Force, warning that its satellites might collide with Starlink satellites.
Since OneWeb’s satellite orbit is higher than Starlink’s orbit, its satellites must pass through Starlink satellites. The US Space Force’s warning showed that the two satellites are only 190 feet (about 58 meters) apart, and the collision probability is 1.3%.
After receiving a warning from the Space Army, OneWeb urgently communicated with the Starlink team to coordinate the safe distance between the two satellites. OneWeb staff said that the accident was due to SpaceX’s disabling of the self-installed anti-collision system controlled by artificial intelligence.
It is not clear why SpaceX disabled the automatic collision avoidance system, but this move has attracted the attention of other satellite operators, because although the satellite has a collision avoidance system, it is not enough to rely on one side.
So far, OneWeb has launched 146 satellites and plans to launch about 650 satellites to establish its network services. SpaceX has already launched about 1,370 Starlink satellites, and it eventually plans to launch an attack on 4.2 satellites.
In Addition Amazon also plans to launch more than 3,000 satellites to establish network services. As more and more satellites enter space, their safe distance and collision avoidance system will become more and more important.