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SpaceX to test less reflective satellite surfaces for the next Starlink launch

It has been reported that currently, each Starlink satellite is brighter than expected, and visible at dusk and dawn.

SpaceX has announced that the company is going to test a new Starlink satellite with a specialised anti-reflective coating that won’t interfere with the night sky. This revised spacecraft will be one out of a batch of 60 satellites to be launched in December, according to a report from Space News.

Scientists have warned that the sudden influx of thousands of new bright lights in the sky will wreck the view of the stars. Some astronomers have already reported that their observations of the night sky were ruined by passing Starlink satellites.

Commenting on fixing the issue, SpaceX’s President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said: “We want to make sure we do the right thing to make sure little kids can look through their telescope. Astronomy is one of the few things that gets little kids excited about space.”

The company’s Starlink mega constellation, which will add up to 42,000 satellites to orbit (only 2,000 active satellites in total orbit Earth today) to beam high-speed internet around the globe, has been taking shape in 2019. The company launched its first 60 satellites in May, followed by a second launch in November. A third launch is planned in late December, and a fourth in January – with 24 in total planned by the end of 2020.