So it's basically pic related?
That image is a worst case scenario since the satellites are clustered together shortly after launch, they raise their orbits, and SpaceX is lowering the brightness of newer versions. Nevertheless, space-based astronomy is going to completely dominate ground-based in the coming decades. Guess who is selling the cheapest launch capability (per kilogram)?That's pretty bad, but if you don't give a shit you can say you're perfectly content knowing everything we currently know about the universe and will never need to study anything any more.
https://spacenews.com/spacex-astronomers-working-to-address-brightness-of-starlink-satellites/Didn’t they say that the Starlink Satellites are going to be painted with Vantablack soon?
A suspicious person might point out that a person with an interest in a company that intends to build autonomous heavy lifting rockets might have an interest in making astronomy unworkable from the ground.The future of astronomy is going to be space based anyway, not earth bound. This is progress.
Internet access is a national infrastructure issue, an easily solved one.Better internet access means more access to education for poor nations, which may actually have a positive effect on the benighted people in those locales. I know that in the developed world we fuck around on the internet all day, but people who actually need the information might use it for more than looking up hentai and posting memes.
There are multiple other companies looking at doing the same thing.Right now, we have less than 3k satelites orbiting Earth.
Adding another 38k doesn't seem like a good idea, especially if it's done by a single corporation.
We're essentially letting 1 guy monopolize Earth's orbit.
No competition means low quality and don't even get me started on the fact that we don't even know what these satelites will be capable of (the 24/7 surveillance of today is nothing compared to what's coming).
I don't like this at all but I can't do anything about it.
Astronomy has ALWAYS been better with less atmosphere in the way. It's just until recently it was too expensive to get anything up there to do it.A suspicious person might point out that a person with an interest in a company that intends to build autonomous heavy lifting rockets might have an interest in making astronomy unworkable from the ground.
Internet access is a national infrastructure issue, an easily solved one.
I know there aren't many WiMax networks in the US, but creating light pollution over the entire world isn't actually the solution to your third world infrastructure.
How is this going to be cheap though?Cheap fast internet worldwide
It's a solution for a problem that doesn't really exist anymore thanks to cell phones.How is this going to be cheap though?
It's going to cost - what? - to launch 40,000 satellites. Or even "just" 12,000. Plus all the ground infrastructure (backhaul) to actually connect it to the internet.
"At least $10Bn" over a decade, according to SpaceX a couple of years ago. I dunno how optimistic that estimate is, but assume it's true.
$10Bn isn't a small investment. They're going to want customers to pay this back at some stage. Probably before they get to the 40,000 mega constellation.
So where are the customers? First world countries already have good internet coverage, and it's getting better all the time. Probably isn't a huge market for this in the US, or Europe, or Australia, or Japan, or Korea. Rural broadband for isolated communities is a niche because it's a tiny market.
So - third world countries? But there's a few problems:
* These guys have less money to spend on fancy internet plans, especially if they involve buying expensive (and very stealable) outdoor antennas to work. People in South Africa will kill you to steal plastic lawn furniture. That could put customers off mounting a big "rob me" sign on their homes.
* The Third World already has the internet, mostly. 70% of the African population had mobile broadband coverage by 2019. Cellphones are cheap and popular and ubiquitous. It's a lot cheaper and easier to keep building and upgrading cell towers and cable infrastructure on the ground in Lagos.
The other 30% is still a lot of people, but those people tend to live in dirt-poor villages, where their problem isn't being able to stream Netflix in 4K, it's reliable access to clean water. Are they going to be able to pay for Starlink in chickens or cassava? Africa's population is growing fast, but people are moving to the cities - which already have good internet options. Similar situation in Asia, most of their cities have good internet and that's where the population is moving to.
* What will legacy internet providers do when Starlink starts competing with them? They've already sunk billions into 3G, 4G, 5G, DSL, and cable. Starlink still has to spend many billions of dollars to even begin to compete. The phone and cable companies can afford to cut prices and still make a profit. Can Starlink compete on price with fiber already in the ground, or cellphone masts that already exist? Probably not. And those options don't need you to buy an expensive antenna, then mount it on your house.
Are any of his businesses profitable?* Every satellite internet company to date has either gone bust or had to retrench to tiny niche markets such as oil rigs and cruise ships. Maybe Elon has the secret sauce to make it a profitable business, but maybe he's just shooting for the most spectacularly expensive failure.
Tbf to Starlink, the latency should be a lot better than older satellite internet providers, because it's in low Earth orbit (280km) instead of geostationary orbit (37,000km). They're boasting of latency "as low as" 25ms, which means it's probably higher but still competitive with legacy consumer broadband. No idea how contention ratios, weather and backhaul will affect the service for customers in the real world though.Consumer satellite internet is nothing new, it just sucks.
It's expensive, has high latencies, is unreliable (ever watched satellite tv on a snowy day?), it usually only works in one direction (receiving from a satellite is much easier than sending to one) - so you can't use it without a separate internet connection.
Do you know how I know you are American?Cheap fast internet worldwide or some nerds staring at the sky while pretending like they're doing something important... hm, that's a hard choice.
Personally I'm don't care that much about my own short-term self-interest since I'm not a hedonistic hypercapitalistic sociopath/sadist.I don't care what the satellites do, I can't wait to dump my money into Elon Musk space internet company. I don't even like the guy.
Well...Do you know how I know you are American?
Space debris is an extremely important issue, so go fuck your sister instead of being an unfunny smug exceptional individual with that highbilly Midwestern anti-intellectualism of yours and perhaps only then humankin won't be so doomed.
Weed wrapped in tobacco, and Joe Rogan, respectively.Elon Musk has a lot of dumb ideas for such a smart guy. Makes me wonder what he's smoking and where to get some.