As SpaceX's Starlink Ramps Up, So Could Light Pollution

The constellation of internet-providing satellites is growing. Now the company and its rivals must avoid creating brighter night skies and space debris.

With some 1,800 satellites already orbiting Earth, providing internet access to about 100,000 households, SpaceX’s Starlink broadband service is poised to emerge from the beta testing phase this month, according to a recent tweet from Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO.

Just a decade ago, there were only a few thousand spacecraft orbiting Earth. Now Starlink engineers aim to build up to 12,000 satellites, and SpaceX launches scores more on its Falcon 9 rockets almost every month. (A <a data-offer-url="https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-48A1.pdf" class="external-link" data-event-click="{"element":"ExternalLink","outgoingURL":"https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-48A1.pdf"}"

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