The European Space Agency said on Monday it should fire its Aeolus satellite arrows to avoid a collision with a satellite in the SpaceX Starlink constellation.
"Experts in our team #SpaceDebris calculated the risk of a collision between these two active satellites, determining the safest option for # Aeolus would be to increase its height and to exceed its height. @SpaceX "agency tweets through its ESA account operations. "The maneuver took place about 1
ESA said it had to move a satellite for the first time, to avoid a collision with a megastar, although not enough SpaceX Starlink satellites have been launched so far to provide mega-class fleets
Elon Musk Company hasthat is being built to offer global broadband Internet access, but so far only the first batch of 60 small satellites has been launched. 9 in May and Musk hopes to launch thousands more in the coming years.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ESA says that it performed 28 collision avoidance maneuvers throughout its fleet in 2018, but noted that "very rarely collision avoidance active maneuvers are performed. Most of the maneuvers to avoid collisions ESAs are the result of dead satellites or fragments of previous collisions. "
The Space Agency continued to warn that as Starlink and other satellite constellations grow to hundreds or thousands of satellites, manually avoiding collisions "will become impossible."
ESA added that it was working to automate the collision avoidance process using artificial intelligence.