Astronomers Worry SpaceX Starlink Program Could Alter Night Sky The private space company run by Elon Musk launched 60 satellites into orbit this week. Science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel explains why astronomers worry that kind of traffic — if it continues unabated — could permanently alter their ability to observe the night sky. Follow host Maddie Sofia on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.
NPR logo

SpaceX's Satellite Swarm: Could It Hurt Astronomy?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/778483584/778687506" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
SpaceX's Satellite Swarm: Could It Hurt Astronomy?

SpaceX's Satellite Swarm: Could It Hurt Astronomy?

SpaceX's Satellite Swarm: Could It Hurt Astronomy?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/778483584/778687506" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off Monday from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying 60 Starlink satellites. The Starlink constellation eventually will consist of thousands of satellites designed to provide worldwide high-speed Internet service. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off Monday from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying 60 Starlink satellites. The Starlink constellation eventually will consist of thousands of satellites designed to provide worldwide high-speed Internet service.

Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The private space company run by Elon Musk launched 60 satellites into orbit this week. Science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel explains why astronomers worry that kind of traffic — if it continues unabated — could permanently alter their ability to observe the night sky. Follow host Maddie Sofia on Twitter @maddie_sofia. Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

Geoff Brumfiel's original report for NPR on the SpaceX Starlink launch is here.

This episode was produced by Brent Baughman and edited by Viet Le.