Starlink is one of the most ambitious projects developed by SpaceX, but it appears that the venture may encounter a new roadblock in the form of legal action. A group of astronomers has stated that it plans to sue the company in an attempt to stop Starlink launches, as they affect the sky in a negative manner.
The project involves the use of satellite constellations to offer access to high-speed internet in areas where internet infrastructure is poor, or the costs are too prohibitive for many people. To complete this goal the company needs to launch thousands of satellites into the lower orbit.
An initial batch of satellites was launched in 2019 and it is estimated that the total number of operational Starlink satellites will reach 240 units when the next launch takes place in Match. The target is to launch and control more than 42,000 satellites spread across the globe.
Astronomers Plan to Sue SpaceX to Stop Starlink Launches
While the goal remains quite distant, the number of Starlink satellites that have already been deployed have caused problems and angered many astronomers across the world. The astronomers have stated that the satellites can hinder their observation of the night sky since they are bright and reflective.
Several reports have highlighted the fact that the satellites can hinder astronomic activities in the case of scientists and amateur stargazers alike, with the latter tending to confuse the satellites with actual stars.
The group of scientists has stated that a case will be filed at the International Court of Justice if SpaceX does not cancel upcoming launches, arguing that the night sky is a human right under the protection of the World Heritage Convention. It was also mentioned that the launches should be stopped only temporarily, to allow researchers to collect valuable data that could be used to craft a new set of regulations.