SpaceX Starlink satellites responsible for over half of close encounters in orbit, scientist says

March 31, 2023

The current 1,600 close passes include those between two Starlink satellites. Excluding these encounters, Starlink satellites approach other operators’ spacecraft 500 times every week. Once SpaceX launches all 12,000 satellites of its first generation constellation, Starlink satellites will be involved in 90% of all close approaches, Lewis’ calculations suggest. A graph showing the number of close encounters between Starlink satellites and spacecraft of other operators plotted by Professor Hugh Lewis based on data from the Socrates database. Related: The worst space debris events of all timeA visualization of satellites and space debris around Earth.