MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Space Agency (ESA) said Monday it had prevented a collision between a satellite from Elon Musk’s SpaceX-deployed Starlink constellation and an Earth observation satellite for the first time.
“This morning, @ESA’s #Aeolus Earth observation satellite fired its thrusters, moving it off a collision course with a @SpaceX satellite in their #Starlink constellation… For the first time ever, ESA has performed a ‘collision avoidance manoeuvre’ to protect one of its satellites from colliding with a ‘mega constellation’,” the ESA said on Twitter.
For the first time ever, ESA has performed a ‘collision avoidance manoeuvre’ to protect one of its satellites from colliding with a ‘mega constellation’#SpaceTraffic pic.twitter.com/kmXvAgpj1U
— ESA Operations (@esaoperations) 2 сентября 2019 г.
In late-May, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the group of satellites, after two delays caused by excess upper-level winds. In total, there’re 60 Starlink satellites that have been sent to space.
The Starlink project was launched in 2015 in a bid to develop global low-cost and high-performance internet. SpaceX has reportedly raised over $500 million to launch as many as 12,000 satellites. The network is expected to become operational after at least 800 of them are deployed into Earth’s orbit. The programme is estimated to cost at least 10 billion dollars.