SpaceX Will Bring Down 100 Older Starlink Satellites To Lower Likelihood of ‘Failure’





In the coming weeks and months, SpaceX will de-orbit 100 older Starlink internet satellites.

The Elon Musk-owned company detailed the plans citing “space sustainability,” but said its Starlink team also “identified a common issue in this small population of satellites that could increase the probability of failure in the future.” The operation is set to take about six months.

“Accurately knowing where every satellite is and will be in orbit is critical to space sustainability,” SpaceX said in a statement.

So far, SpaceX said it’s brought down 406 satellites of the nearly 6,000 launched.

“SpaceX has the capacity to build up to 55 satellites per week and launch more than 200 satellites per month, which allows us to continually improve our system and make it more resilient,” SpaceX said.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellites live in low-earth orbit to provide high-speed, low latency internet to its customers. The company aims to eliminate dead zones and increase connectivity.

“[E]ven as we lower and de-orbit satellites, Starlink’s customer experience will not be impacted,” SpaceX said.

Over the past year, Starlink’s service has become more accessible to grow its customer base. This month the company launched its fourth generation of its Standard Actuated dish, the V4 model.

The service’s price tag may still be a sticking point for the average customer.

Starlink’s Standard plan, listed as the one best for households, costs $120 a month and a one-time $599 hardware fee. The Priority plan for businesses and “high-demand users” costs up to $500 a month with a one-time $2,500 hardware fee.

The company said it would continue to share information during the deorbiting process with operators and launch providers.

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