One of the most effective defense mechanisms, when one is at blame, is to minimize the accusation. Elon Musk (the CEO and lead designer of SpaceX) is doing just that when confronted with astronomers’ allegations of polluting the sky with his Starlink satellites.
Astronomers worry that SpaceX Starlink satellites will affect space observations
To realize the megalomaniac plan of deploying 42,000 satellites that will most likely monopolize the internet network worldwide, SpaceX has to put up with astronomers whining for no good reason, Musk claims.
The astronomers complained that the 300 satellites launched so far are polluting with light and impair scientific observation. They claim that the satellites leave trails of reflected light, and bring evidence. They are even on their way to take legal action to delay future satellite deployments.
The American Astronomical Society, the UK Royal Astronomical Society, the International Astronomical Union, and other organizations are trying to make the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the European Committee on Radio Astronomy Frequencies take action.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO and founder, doesn’t buy the astronomers’ claims
Elon Musk, on the other hand, minimalizes the astronomers’ worries and says that Starlink “will not cause any effect whatsoever in astronomical discoveries. Zero. That’s my prediction. We’ll take corrective action if it’s above zero.”
Still, he is developing two possible strategies to decrease the possibility of that zero effect. He can be paradoxical. He is Elon Musk! So, SpaceX is working on making Starlink satellites looking less shiny in the astronomers’ pictures by reducing their brightness. The satellites will either wear a coat that makes them less reflective when the sun’s rays hit them or they will incorporate a sunshade that has the same effect.
Elon Musk is an engineer, industrial designer, and technology entrepreneur. He is a citizen of South Africa, Canada, and the United States. In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People. He has a net worth of $44.2 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 20th-richest person in the world.