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Starlink Carbon Footprint Up to 30 Times Size of Land-Based Internet

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A satellite in orbit.

The satellite Internet services provided by SpaceX Starlink, Eutelsat OneWeb, or Amazon Kuiper will come with a carbon footprint much higher than that associated with land-based alternatives.


Researchers in the U.S. and U.K. calculated a significant carbon footprint for Internet service-providing satellite constellations launched by U.S. spacecraft company SpaceX, satellite operator Eutelsat, and e-commerce giant Amazon.

The researchers found each constellation's emissions are potentially 14 to 21 times higher per online subscriber than those produced by land-based mobile Internet, when factoring in carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions from rocket launches.

They also determined this footprint could grow to 91 times that of land-based Internet when incorporating additional rocket-launch particles like black carbon, aluminum oxide, and water vapor exhaust.

SpaceX's Starlink network generated the smallest carbon footprint, at 31 times that of land-based Internet.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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