The OneWeb and SpaceX satellites avoid orbital collisions
The OneWeb and SpaceX satellites avoid orbital collisions

Last weekend, the satellites OneWeb and SpaceX avoided the danger of approaching orbit. This is the first known collision avoidance event in which two companies compete to expand their new broadband network into space.

On March 30, five days after OneWeb launched its last 36 satellites from Russia, the company received several alerts from the US Space Forces' 18th Space Observation Squadron to warn of potential collisions with the Starlink satellites.

Since the OneWeb constellation operates in higher orbits around Earth, the company's satellites must pass through SpaceX's Starlink satellite network, which orbits at an altitude of about 550 kilometers.

The alert indicated a 1.3% collision probability because the two satellites were 190 feet away and dangerously close to the orbiting satellite.

When satellites collide in orbit, this can lead to ongoing disasters and hundreds of debris can be created that can destroy satellites, telescopes, and spacecraft.

These alerts helped OneWeb engineers send emails to the Starlink team to coordinate the exercise and make the inter-satellite distance safer.

While coordinating with OneWeb, SpaceX disabled its AI-controlled automatic collision avoidance system so OneWeb could hijack its satellites.

SpaceX has approximately 1,370 satellites in orbit and thousands more are expected to launch. It is planned to build a network of 12,000 satellites, while OneWeb has launched up to 146 satellites so far and plans to launch about 650 satellites.

The company hopes broadband internet access will reach most of the world's rural areas to meet the growing demands of consumers and governments.

This is an example of how satellite operators can take responsibility, share data, communicate with each other and do so without a global organization, the US Space Force said.

Satellite operations are widespread in space, but with OneWeb, SpaceX and other companies scrambling to send more satellites, people's interest is increasing day by day.

To avoid potential collisions, a European Space Agency satellite was forcibly removed from SpaceX's satellites in 2019.

At the time, SpaceX stated that it did not have any mobile satellites because it was unable to properly communicate with the European Space Agency due to a computer malfunction.

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