Elon Musk threatens South Africa’s SKA telescope


11 days ago



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Elon Musk’s Starlink project could cripple South Africa’s Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Musk is building a constellation of satellites to deliver high-speed internet to the entire planet.

SpaceX – which he founded, and still owns - has already launched more than 900 of his Starlink satellites into space, potentially spelling trouble for the operation of SKA, the world’s largest radio telescope.

The company disputes the claim that its planned network of 42 000 satellites will interfere with SKA’s sensitive astronomy hardware.

However, an impact analysis by the SKA Organisation found it impossible for SKA to remain unaffected by Musk’s project.



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Kieno Kammies interviewed Jan Vermeulen, editor-at-large at MyBroadband.co.za.

Starlink satellites are going to be orbiting in swarms around the Earth. Astronomers here are extremely unhappy about Elon Musk’s plans…

Jan Vermeulen, editor-at-large - MyBroadband.co.za

Starlink uses a chunk of the same spectrum as SKA, effectively blinding it in those bands…

Jan Vermeulen, editor-at-large - MyBroadband.co.za

The SKA describes this, euphemistically, as ‘extremely worrying’…

Jan Vermeulen, editor-at-large - MyBroadband.co.za

Listen to the interview in the audio below [skip to 15:49].

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Elon Musk threatens South Africa’s SKA telescope

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