Friday, 16 Apr 2021

NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX agree deal to stop devastating space collisions

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Elon Musk's SpaceX has signed an agreement with NASA to prevent crashing into each other in space.

NASA announced on Thursday that it is adapting to the recent rise in commercial satellites by strengthening communications with SpaceX.

The idea is that the two companies will inform one another of potential collisions with ongoing exchanges of data.

Acting NASA Administrator, Steve Jurczyk, said: "Society depends on space-based capabilities for global communications, navigation, weather forecasting, and much more.

“With commercial companies launching more and more satellites, it’s critical we increase communications, exchange data, and establish best practices to ensure we all maintain a safe space environment.”

SpaceX has agreed its Starlink satellites will autonomously or manually manoeuvre to ensure NASA satellites can operate uninterrupted, the space agency said.

Musk last year announced he planned to list Starlink several years in the future when revenue growth is smooth and predictable, saying that it is an important new revenue stream for SpaceX.

Since Jurczyk's statement on the agreement, NASA has appointed its next head of the organisation, Bill Nelson.

The 78-year-old moderate Democrat was nominated for the role by President Joe Biden on Friday but will need to be confirmed in the Senate before he can take up the role, BBC News reports.

The former astronaut said he was "honoured" to be picked for the role, adding that he would "help lead Nasa into an exciting future".

In a statement, the White House said he was "known as the go-to senator for our nation's space programme" for many years.

"Almost every piece of space and science law has had his imprint," it said.

The Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, said: "I cannot think of anyone better to lead Nasa."

  • BBC
  • Elon Musk
  • Nasa
  • Spacex
  • Science
  • Space

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