Who doesn’t like to see a rocket blasting its way through the atmosphere, it reminds us that we are the alpha species, that even space holds no boundary for our thirst for knowledge. But what’s not always talked about everytime a new rocket blasts into space is the fact that rockets tend to leave a mark on the atmosphere as they leave earth and enter the void. Something that even the venerable Elon Musk might have overlooked, as the Space X Falcon 9 left the Earth’s atmosphere in August 2017. Researchers looking into the aftermath of Space X rocket found that cut a giant hole in the earth Ionosphere as it left. The circular shockwaves from the rocket’s exit trajectory left a 900 km wide hole of plasma in the ionosphere that lastest for the almost 3 hours after the rocket had left the atmosphere. Creating a magnetic storm that was concentrated in one single area.
However, it wasn’t just Elon Musk, SpaceX or for that matter Falcon 9 that caused the tremendous shockwave, the Falcon 9 was carrying a payload the Formosat-5 satellite, weighing in at just about 475 kg. What usually happens is that rockets, because of all the weight they’re carrying, launch in an oblique trajectory that helps reduce the pull of gravity, however, since the Falcon 9 was so light at the time of exit, it took a straighter more vertical path through the atmosphere.Leaving a magnetic storm brewing on the surface of the atmosphere as it made its way out. Magnetic storms, especially on the surface of the atmosphere, causes havoc with wireless technology that usually relies on satellite. Ie GPS and navigation devices. Experts hypothesize that this could have potentially affected trans-global traffic for long after the 900 km hole slowly closed.
And while researchers` are still estimating the extent of the damage, they say that if such a thing were to occur too frequently, more and more wireless technology is likely to be affected. With results lasting over an extended period of time.