The problem: SpaceX is not popular with astronomers right now. The first 60 satellites of its planned Starlink constellation launched in May wereclearly visible in the sky, as were the following 60 launched in November. And it has plans to launch as many as 42,000 in total. Yikes. Alarmed scientists have warned that they could wreck our view of the stars forever.
The solution?: So SpaceX has said it will test an experimental coating that is meant to make its satellites less reflective. The coating will go on the bottom of one of the 60 new Starlink satellites due to be launched into orbit later this month.
Trial and error: It might make them less visible to the general public, but nobody knows whether the coating will make much of a difference to professional astronomers who look for extremely faint signals from stars.
Go high: A more effective solution would be to place the satellites in higher orbits but this requires more powerful transmitters––incurring higher costs. Read more here.