While an impressive technical achievement I can’t imagine what a nightmare 42,000 sats or even a small fraction of that will make for astronomy which typically deals with very light sensitive sensors and hours long exposures. Not to mention the hazards for other sats and spacecraft.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
With the advent of Starship and mass production of satellites (Spacex can build up to 7 per day currently - faster than they can launch them at present), we have an opportunity to put a constellation of cheap, powerful space telescopes into high LEO (1500Km or so - at lower edge of the Van Allen radiiation belt (allowing cheaper electronics) and above the current LEO comms sats. (Which suffer lag if they are placed in higher orbits.)
This will allow spectacular resolution when used in clusters in a fashion similar to Very Large Array telescopes to drastically boost resolution above and beyond ridding them of atmospheric distortion issues. With a separation on the order of 10,000 km, the effective resolution would be enormous.
In short, this is both an impediment to existing infrastructure and a doorway to new, cheaper, vastly more powerful telescopes. Using Musk's costs as a guideline for his satellites and multiplying a telescope cost by 10x, you could build and launch hundreds of mass produced telescopes for less than half the price of the James Web telescope. They could be assigned to wokring groups to allow multiple VLA clusters and/or operate individually for earth observations and other less demanding tasks. Spacex indicates they can launch 400 of their satellites at a time in Starship. Imagine launching 40 telescopes at a time for $200 million in sat build costs and $20 million per launch (or a $5mil/satellite + $500k/sat/launch). $2.2billion for 400 satellites vs $10 billion for James Webb. ... just saying.... (not a perfect comparison, but a good indicator that this would be a bargain).
As they would cover 100% of the sky they could also continuously watch for Near Earth Objects when not otherwise tasked.
Maintenance costs would also be lower - simply have spares and deorbit sats as needed and the rest pick up the slack by closing gaps with Hall thrusters. Launch a new batch every year as replenishment As for fails that won't de-orbit. It would be relatively easy to build batches of microsats to use Hall thrusters and harpoons to attach to and slowly pull down failed sats as a cleaning service. These would cost even less than Musk's comms satellites and could be launched in a few annual "Clean up" swarms to pull down all the dead objects and keep space "clean".
Especially if one considers that other players will follow suit, and so will the Chinese, and the Russians if they'll find the cash. The result will be absolute mayhem in LEO that could seriously endanger further missions. I saw the train (Starlink 6, already split in two distinct groups) here in the South of Switzerland and was shocked how bright they were in spite of extremely hazy conditions. I have an inkling that something will stop this madness, bit I'm probably wrong.
"The plans to beam highly penetrative 5G milliwave radiation at us from space must surely be one of the greatest follies ever conceived of by mankind. There will be nowhere safe to live." Olga Sheean , Former WHO employee and author of No Safe Place
The Schumann Resonance is a geomagnetic electric resonance between the surface of the earth and the lower levels of the ionosphere, which has a natural ultra-low frequency and extreme low-frequency signal. They are discovering that the Schumann Resonance signal is correlative with sunspot numbers and has a real physical mechanism located in the D-layer of the ionosphere with an ion and electron density that varies with the S-GMA. The Schumann Resonance would be potentially disrupted by 20,000 5G satellites put into orbit in the D-region of the ionosphere, as this D-region forms the upper boundary of the resonant cavity in which the Schumann Resonance is formed in relation to the earth. Research suggests that the Schumann Resonance signals are the mechanism through which melatonin production is activated. When the Schumann Resonance goes above 7.87 Hz, there is a decrease in melatonin secretion.
Many feel that the Schumann Resonance is already being altered by all the radiofrequency/microwave (RF/MW) radiation humans are presently creating, and 5G will alter it significantly more. In the process, the 5G may also be creating enough electropollution noise, whether or not it is raising the Schumann Resonance frequency, and therefore disconnecting humanity from accessing the Schumann Resonance itself, and, thus, creating and/or amplifying a variety of acute and chronic disease problems documented in over 10,000 scientific papers that come from these 2G, 3G, and 4G frequencies.
The 5G rollout is absolutely insane. Dr. Martin Pall addressing the NIH Allowing this technology to be used without proving its safety is reckless in the extreme, as the millimeter waves are known to have a profound effect on all parts of the human body. Prof. Trevor Marshall, Director...