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SpaceX satellites falling out of orbit after solar storm

SpaceX Rocket Launch
Posted at 12:05 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 15:05:04-05

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX's newest fleet of satellites is tumbling out of orbit after being struck by a solar storm.

The company reports that up to 40 of the 49 small Internet-service satellites launched last week have either reentered the atmosphere and burned up, or are about to do so.

SpaceX says the storm made the atmosphere denser, which increased the drag on the satellites and doomed them. Ground controllers tried to save the satellites by putting them into a type of hibernation and flying them in a way to minimize drag, but the atmospheric pull was too great.