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SATELLITE SWARMS COULD EAT THEMSELVES

SATELLITE SWARMS COULD EAT THEMSELVES What goes up, may come down in pieces—and cause some trouble in the process. As hardware prices and launch costs fall, there’s an increasing trend to launch swarms of satellites into space to monitor our planet and transmit data. But some academics are concerned that the rising numbers may make an existing space junk problem far worse. At the end of 2016, it was estimated that 1,459 operating satellites were in orbit around Earth. But that number looks set to rise quickly, as companies continue to launch swarms of smaller spacecraft. Earlier this year, for instance, Planet Labs popped 88 of its tiny satellites into space to photograph the planet below.   More



(Source: MIT Technology Review - Apr 19)

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