It’s raining satellites: Elon Musk’s SpaceX loses 40 satellites in a storm

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has lost 40 of their 49 new Starlink satellites after a solar storm sent them spiralling out of orbit.

If you thought you were finally about to make it through a working week without hearing about Elon Musk, unlucky.

The Tesla CEO is back in the news after a geomagnetic storm wiped out 40 of his new Starlink satellites which were supposed to provide internet to hundreds of thousands of SpaceX customers.

Credit: Thom Baur/Reuters

Just a day after the 49 satellites were launched, it’s believed that 40 of them tumbled out of orbit after being hit by a solar storm that heated the atmosphere, and created more density than expected.

But don’t worry, the satellites won’t be adding a new skylight to your home. There’s no need to go out and panic-buy construction hats because the 40 falling satellites won’t even make it through the Earth’s atmosphere without disintegrating.

The new fleet of satellites were deployed by SpaceX as a bid to provide internet to Tonga, where the connection is limited following the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami.

Only Starlink’s satellites were affected by the storm as they were orbiting lower than other satellites, so they wouldn’t pose a risk to any spacecraft if something went wrong.

“Events like this are a reminder that space is challenging – getting satellites or astronauts into orbit is still not easy,” said Jacob Geer, the UK Space Agency’s Head of Space Surveillance.

SpaceX still has more than 2,000 Starlink satellites orbiting the Earth, providing internet to remote areas of the world that don’t have wired access to the internet.

Elon better add the lord and saviour, Tim Bailey to his payroll for the next launch and maybe schedule around the massive space-storm next time.