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Musk’s Starlink satellites disrupted by major solar storm


This photograph taken on September 25, 2022, shows an antenna of the Starlink satellite-based broadband system donated by the US tech billionaire Elon Musk in Izyum, Kharkiv region, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Yasuyoshi Chiba | AFP | Getty Images

Starlink, the satellite arm of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, warned on Saturday of a “degraded service” as the Earth is battered by the biggest geomagnetic storm due to solar activity in two decades.

Starlink owns around 60% of the roughly 7,500 satellites orbiting Earth and is a dominant player in satellite internet.

Musk said earlier in a post on X that Starlink satellites were under a lot of pressure due to the geomagnetic storm, but were holding up so far.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said the storm is the biggest since October 2003 and likely to persist over the weekend, posing risks to navigation systems, power grids, and satellite navigation, among other services.

The thousands of Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit use inter-satellite laser links to pass data between one another in space at the speed of light, allowing the network to offer internet coverage around the world.

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