Starlink services interrupted by massive solar storm

Elon Musk’s SpaceX, through its satellite internet arm Starlink, is facing challenges from a powerful geomagnetic storm – the strongest in two decades according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Starlink, a dominant player in satellite internet with roughly 60% of the 7,500 operational satellites currently orbiting Earth, warned of potential “degraded service” due to the solar activity.

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While acknowledging the pressure on Starlink satellites in an earlier post, Musk reported they were holding up so far. This resilience is crucial as SpaceX gears up for an ambitious expansion. Starlink’s ultimate goal is a massive constellation of internet-beaming satellites, far exceeding the current number.

The current storm, expected to persist over the weekend, poses risks to various systems including navigation, power grids, and satellite communication.  Starlink’s network combats potential disruptions through its unique design. Thousands of satellites in low-Earth orbit utilize inter-satellite laser links, essentially creating a data highway in space that transmits information at the speed of light. This robust network structure allows Starlink to offer internet coverage across the globe.