Scientists are angry about a rocket launch funded by a startup that they say would put a giant disco ball into space.
Some are calling it a giant disco ball, some are calling it space graffiti, and some are calling it just plain bad science. Scientists, astronomers, and the public are roundly condemning a startup’s launch of a highly reflective satellite that resembles a large shiny ball into low-space orbit from a pad in New Zealand last week.
They call it the Humanity Star, which is a “bright, blinking satellite” visible to the naked eyes in the night sky that the company hopes will cause “everyone to look up and consider our place in the universe,” according to a tweet from its official Twitter account. Also, the company says on their website that they hope to provide frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit in order to lower the barriers to launch.
The Humanity Star will be in orbit for 90 days, and it has 65 panels of carbon fiber making up its structure. Scientists are criticizing it for essentially being bad for astronomy and a bit of space graffiti, with one adding that it sets a “horrible precedent.” Yet another said it was like someone who lets their dog poop in someone’s yard and does not clean up the mess.