Skip to comments.How is Spacex Starlink going to be revolutionary?
Posted on 05/27/2019 9:44:36 AM PDT by amorphous
Today we are going to talk about the 60 Starlink satellites that SpaceX just launched in a groundbreaking mission. But more than that we are going to talk about why this mission is such a big deal. I mean they are just satellites right? Surely we already have plenty of satellites around our pale blue dot by now? Here is the thing though. SpaceX have just started an amazing long term mission. Not for any other launch provider, but for themselves. This amazing set of missions aims to create a super low latency telecommunications network. And how are they going to do this? Not by launching just these 60 satellites, which is amazing by itself, but by launching around 12,000 satellites in three sophisticated orbital shells around the world.
(Excerpt) Read more at youtube.com ...
Shells so densely packed that escaping Earth will no longer be possible.
How soon will they burn up from low earth orbit?
They will be space navigation hazards for decades to come.
I have a different take.
NORAD today tracks about 20000 objects. Musk wants to increase that by almost 2000 more. I think musks lowest orbit shell is around 500 km. This mass space trash exercise will consume more than 10 percent of trackable space hazards by a single company, be a space navigation hazard for decades at least, and for what? Faster internet? Give me a break. That business model was busted by the globalstar and iridium follies 20 years ago. I honestly dont see how musk got approval for this, except he paid off Obama folks and now legally it cant be stopped.
Snippet from the LOA SpaceX filed with the FCC for their system. Here is the link for the PDF if you want to read the whole document:
Each satellite in the SpaceX System is designed for a useful lifetime of five to seven years. SpaceX intends to dispose of satellites through atmospheric re-entry at end of life. As suggested by the Commission, SpaceX intends to comply with Section 4.6 and 4.7 of NASA Technical Standard 8719.14A with respect to this re-entry process. In particular, SpaceX
anticipates that its satellites will reenter the Earths atmosphere within approximately one year after completion of their mission much sooner than the international standard of 25 years. After the mission is complete, the spacecraft (regardless of operational altitude) will be moved to a 1,075 km circular orbit in its operational inclination, then gradually lower perigee until the propellant is exhausted, achieving a perigee of at most 300 km. After all propellant is consumed, the spacecraft will be reoriented to maximize the vehicle’s total cross-sectional area, a configuration also stable in the direction of aerodynamic drag. Finally, the spacecraft will begin to passivate itself by de-spinning reaction wheels and drawing batteries down to a safe level and powering down. Over the months, the denser atmosphere will gradually lower the satellite’s perigee until its eventual atmospheric demise.
Personally, I hate being tied to a cable or cell phone tower, but high-speed internet access is a must have in today's world. Corporate income is expected to increase 5 times from this venture alone.
That business model was busted by the globalstar and iridium follies 20 years ago.
This business model has put global communications in reach of the average US citizen - albeit somewhat limited and expensive now. It has saved thousands of lives, millions of dollars, and allows for tracking and communicating with with planes, boats, scientific research parties, devices, allows others to survive and thrive in very remote areas of our planet.
Just one family I follow of on a daily basis, who are living their dream:
The DoD will no doubt have preferential access to the network. With Space-X taking the lead though, there will be no complaints about “How dare the US military launch 2,000 communications and surveillance satellites into orbit.”
These microsats dont carry that much propellant. Ill believe it when I see it.
This business model is still subsidized by the government to this day. Iridium would have folded over 15 years ago if not for the DOD contract. You cant have it both ways. Is it commercial or is it tax payer funded?
In the late-70’s to early 80’s there was a tv show about a private company going to space by building their rocket out of trash. I have always contended that the most lucrative space business will not be delivering people to space and beyond but to deliver garbage to space and direct that trash into the best incinerator in the galaxy, the sun. This business would be worth its gold in the weight of the sun. The model would go something like everyday rockets would go to and come back from an orbiting station to which compacts the garbage and is connected to a long chain of space capsules headed toward the sun. Since the first one will need to be propelled, the second and subsequent capsules would not be as they would be using the energy of the first to move toward the sun. This train type of system would be costly in the beginning but would become more inexpensive as time went along. This would reduce the need for garbage dumps and the like. There would be plans for contigencies in case a mishap were to occur. The first company to develop and realize this model would be beyond rich.
DOD buys billions of dollars of COTS services every year. The price on this contract is a drop in the bucket compared to a very many, like MS support, SAP licenses, ...
You changed the subject and missed the point. Iridium doesnt have a viable commercial business case and never had one. Globalstar never had one either since in the 10 years from its inception to launch in the late 90s the ground cell structure took away its core business at much lower cost. Internet will be the same. Space is expensive. Cant get around that.
That these initial satellite internet providers, provide service to both our DOD and the civilian market, is proof the market is there.
And thanks to our free market environment and competition, which drive costs lower and customer satisfaction higher, SpaceX is poised to take the market and broadband access for all, to another level.
You dodged my point. That DOD keeps many businesses employed for national security needs is completely independent of the internet business case. DOD can and does contract bandwidth from low cost providers when it needs it. But floating a commercial company with taxpayer dollars is not the same. Show me the national security NEED for a space based internet provider beyond what military comms we already operate, then you can justify a business plan that depends on DOD. I am doubting the national security need for space based internet, and I am doubting the cost efficiency of space based internet for commercial needs. I cite iridium and globalstar and others example cases. If you want a business case that works you have to look at geo providers. Your argument is entirely speculative.
Hopefully 5G will work on these rigs...
And it bothers me that you are so cavalier about spending tax payer dollars on so called commercial enterprises. Do you drive a Tesla?
Do you work for NASA?
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