It’s time for satellite makers to start doing something about space weather

September 17, 2013 4:31 AM

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A large chunk of data transfers on Earth are relayed by satellites, which hover above the Earth to provide services like TV and internet access. New research out of MIT has found that when these satellites fail, it’s often likely due to space weather — flurries of radioactive particles that bombard them and cause breakdowns over time.

Researchers studied 26 satellite failures from a 16 year period and found that most of the failures coincided with especially intense periods of particle exposure. For example, the Sun sometimes emits enormous clouds of particles, some of which head toward Earth. It is thought that the particles acc...

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