How are Starlink internet satellites of SpaceX faring almost a month after blast off? If you ask SpaceX, the answer is quite well. The firm claimed that it is in contact with 57 of the 60 original broadband satellites. Even though it is not sure what occurred to those 3 defective satellites, they will ultimately fall to our planet as gravity does its job.
SpaceX also aims to deorbit 2 of the operational satellites so as to test the procedure.
It is still early phase for Starlink, but it recommends that you will not see a host of dead satellites clogging up the orbit of the Earth. The issue is more one of scale. Ultimately, SpaceX expects to put a constellation of almost 12,000 Internet satellites into space. There is no assurance that SpaceX will have similar or enhanced success rates for all of them. An analogous failure ratio might still impact hundreds of satellites eventually, elevating the danger of persistent space fragments.
Luckily, the satellites will not last forever. SpaceX already hopes for the satellites to last 5 Years before they get pushed into the atmosphere. It is just a matter of how many of those devices make a regulated plunge instead of failing in unpredictable methods.
On a related note, while we have not witnessed the Starship fly still, SpaceX just got done with its short “hops” and test firings earlier in April. We may not have to hang around that long for its first commercial flight. As per Jonathan Hofeller (SpaceX VP of commercial sales), the firm is expecting to send it to orbit in 2021 for its first commercial mission. He disclosed in Indonesia at an event that SpaceX is already in talks with 3 different clients for that flight, all telecom firms possibly seeking to send satellites to space.