all 11 comments

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (3 children)

This will become a problem for every radio enthusiast. But you gotta do the research yourself.

I never liked Musk. Just another idiot selling Hope in things that surely never will come true.

[–]johnnybravo 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

Things could come true, unfortunately.

How will it become a problem for radio enthusiasts? Do tell

[–]soundsalad 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

More of a problem for astronomers.

[–]noice 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

As a non-radio-enthusiast, can you give a hint or two? I'm more of a radio... curious-ist? I think I had read about folks bouncing radio waves off of something in the atmosphere. Is that what you're referring to? Or do you mean that the satellites will be sending out radio signals and controlling the bandwidth?

[–]Algebruh 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (2 children)

Do we have anything (known) to take out space debris? I'd imagine if we're going so quintuple the amount of stuff up there we should probably have a way to get rid of anything gets hit and breaks up. I vote nuclear powered death ray. I'd settle for net drones that drop space junk on Illinois.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The problem is the debris can easily take things out at sizes of a single bolt, given enough speed and an unlucky hit. You can't really blow it up. As it is, we're very rapidly approaching a situation where garbage collection needs to take place. But like every other example of "tragedy of the commons" everywhere, nobody wants to bother doing it.

Basically, magnets are great... for the parts that would be magnetic. But many are not. And there's not going to be some universal attractor we can just throw out there. Meaning to some extent you have to go and pick shit up manually, like with large nets (which is impossible for paint flecks and whatnot, which nonetheless travel at such speeds as to cause damage). Only instead of trash cleanup in the oceans, it's inconceivably more expensive, and more difficult. There's a reason people have been pointing out that we have a problem. It's a big problem. One that's only getting bigger.

Generic wikipedia overview for the lazy

[–]magnora7[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

No we don't have a way to take out space debris unfortunately.

But one of the things about these 12k starlink satellites is that they're 1/50th the altitude of normal geostationary satellites, which means they have low ping, but it also means they have a bit of drag against the atmosphere. So they have to use ion thrusters to slowly push the satellites away from earth to keep them in stable orbit. This also means that if they stop functioning, the average time for it to return to earth and burn up on reentry, is just 3 months. So if the whole starlink system broke down entirely, it'd all burn up within 3 months. This helps reduce the amount of space debris.

However increasing the overall amount of satellites by 7x is going to still create a lot of junk... but hopefully this 3 month limit will help keep that more controlled than it would be otherwise.

[–]soundsalad 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

I used to really like Musk but I've kinda grown to distrust him. He wants to bring the internet to the entire world? Bullshit. He's likely CIA or something and will use this for nefarious reasons. Who in their right mind actually thinks that covering the skies with satellites is the best way to bring the internet to people?

[–]magnora7[S] 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

He's likely CIA

He definitely is. IN-Q-TEL funded SpaceX, and that's the CIA's venture capital fund.

[–]magnora7[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]7h8_3g4 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Related in the news: 1-20% probability of an immediate collision: