At first, it was more like a hunch that Starlink satellites would cause major hindrances for astronomers willing to look for space objects using telescopes placed on the ground. SpaceX started to deploy those satellites with the purpose of providing fast internet access to remote regions across the world.
It pretty much remained a hunch, however. But the recent plan of SpaceX to launch another set of 30,000 Starlink satellites into orbit complicates things, according to NASA.
NASA issues important warning
According to ArsTechnica.com, there are several possible problems that could occur because of the new set of satellites that SpaceX wants to launch, as NASA claims: asteroid detection from the surface, the Hubble telescope, human spaceflight, as well as other science missions would be hindered.
The space agency wrote, as quoted by ArsTechnica.com:
With the increase in large constellation proposals to the FCC, NASA has concerns with the potential for a significant increase in the frequency of conjunction events and possible impacts to NASA’s science and human spaceflight missions,
Consequently, NASA submits this letter for the purpose of providing a better understanding of NASA’s concerns with respect to its assets on-orbit and to further mitigate the risk of collisions for the benefit of all involved.
Another official statement says, as quoted by the same source:
With the addition of ~30,000 Starlink satellites as described in the Gen2 amendment request, NASA estimates that there would be a Starlink in every single asteroid survey image taken for planetary defense against hazardous asteroid impacts, decreasing asteroid survey effectiveness by rendering portions of images unusable.
Hopefully, some solutions will be found for the safety of space exploration. Otherwise, humanity might be forced to encounter some unpleasant scenarios for all of us.
NASA sent its concerns within a letter issued to the Federal Communications Commission.