Astronomers have dubbed plans for a high-speed global internet a 'tragedy' as the thousands of new satellites required will get in the way of key scientific observations.
Next week will see SpaceX's Starlink begin a drive to place 60 new satellites at a time into orbit every few weeks — aiming for around 1,500 by the end of 2020.
These 'mega-constellations' of satellites are intended to beam internet to the ground from low-earth orbit, with the potential to offer coverage in even remote regions.
Meanwhile, UK firm OneWeb are planning to send up between 650–2,000 satellites and Amazon a constellation of 3,200 orbiting craft.
However, the launch of the first chain of 60 Starlink satellites on May 24, 2019 was seen to impact views of the night sky — with the bright objects outshining the stars.
The development is seen as a new headache for researchers who already have to find workarounds to deal with objects cluttering their images of deep space.
Furthermore, the orbiting satellites can also interfere with the workings of ground-baaed radio telescopes that experts use to see more distant phenomena.
Read more: Astronomers slam plans for a high-speed global internet as a 'tragedy' because thousands of new satellites will 'get in the way' of key scientific observations