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Starlink broadband satellites will have zero impact on astronomy: Elon Musk

Speaking at the 2020 Satellite Conference in Washington DC, Musk said he thought there was “zero” chance that Starlink would have any impact on space science.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Monday said that he was confident that the Starlink broadband satellite constellation won’t have an impact on astronomy.

“I am confident that we will not cause any impact whatsoever in astronomical discoveries,” Musk said during the opening day keynote of the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, DC.

He further said: “That’s my prediction. We’ll take corrective action if it’s above zero.”

Musk also said that SpaceX was “running a bunch of experiments to paint the phased array antenna black instead of white,” a possible reference to the so-called “darkened satellite” launched by the company earlier this year.

He further noted the company was working on a “sunshade” for the satellites while adding: “There are certain angles where you can get a reflection.”

SpaceX is already in the process of launching over 4,000 of its Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit, to provide high-speed, low-latency internet globally. To that end, the FCC has given SpaceX permission to launch up to 12,000 satellites.

SpaceX is still moving along rapidly with Starlink launches. The company has already launched 300 satellites, with more than 1,000 satellites set to follow by the end of 2020. The company is set to launch its next batch of 60 Starlink satellites this weekend.