SpaceX: Starlink satellites face a new legal challenge

Admittedly, the chances of the case reaching the Supreme Court are relatively slim, says Sarah Bordlon, a Nevada environmental attorney with Holland & Hart. She says a Supreme Court scrutiny is highly unlikely, considering that thousands of cases are submitted for review each year, and only a small number are selected. But even if the case doesn’t make it to the Supreme Court, the appeals court’s finding could “create new laws for NIPA,” Bordlon says. “It will set a precedent.” This makes it worth keeping an eye on developments.

There could soon be 65,000 satellites in orbit

The result in favor of Viasat could be welcome news for many astronomers. It is currently believed that the huge constellations would have a great influence on their celestial studies. If all publicly known plans for such systems – including the US, China and UK – are implemented – there could soon be about 65,000 satellites in orbit. There are currently about 4000.

A recent analysis by Samantha Lawler of the University of Regina in Saskatchewan and Aaron Polly of the University of British Columbia shows that this is the case. “More than 2,500 satellites will be visible all night long during the summer.”Lawler says. “I was really shocked when I saw this number. Most North Americans and Europeans would do it [künftig] See satellites potentially more than stars. I don’t want to imagine my children growing up with something like this.”

“There will be some unusable data and some things we can’t figure out”
(Meredith Rawls, Astronomy)

These satellites will seriously impede astronomical exploration of the universe: streaks of them will affect the scanning of the night sky and the imaging of distant stars and galaxies, making a certain number of observations essentially unusable. “There will be some unusable data and some things we can’t figure out,” says Meredith Rawls of the University of Washington, who leads a group dealing with massive stars at a virtual conference called Satellite Constellations 2. (will be 2) Classified next month. “That’s what worries me the most.”

The change in the night sky will also affect cultures – with unexpected consequences. “A good example is the Hawaiian Polynesian tradition of finding the way,” says Aparna Venkatesan of the University of San Francisco, who investigates such potential conflicts for SATCON2. “It is a useless celestial navigation in which one reads the winds and ocean currents, but also the stars. [Natürliche] The dawn and dusk constellations are very important. We want to make sure of that [Satelliten] Not with [solchen] contrary to cultural traditions.”

Efforts are being made to reduce the influence of giant stars on astronomy. SpaceX, which has already launched more than 1,400 Starlink satellites, is working with astronomers to reduce the number of sunlit satellites. with some success. But even if they were now too weak to be a problem in large-scale scans of the night sky, in other cases, they would still cause a distraction. “To get them into the ‘safety’ category, they would have to be at least 100 times darker,” says Richard Green of the University of Arizona, who heads the SATCON2 group that deals with policy issues related to massive planets. “This goes beyond what is physically possible.”

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