Twinkle, twinkle little spacelink

I’m happy to see the new, revitalized Skepchick, and I’ve been checking in every day. I’m recommending you all read Nicole’s recent post on the Spacelink intrusion. I guess Elon Musk just decided for all of us that we needed a few thousand satellites cluttering the sky, so he spewed a bunch of them upwards to get in the way of astronomers. Nicole gives a, I guess you could say, balanced perspective, but even at that she doesn’t have much good to say about this commercial venture.


  1. DonDueed says

    Scott Manley did a video on this recently. Musk isn’t the only bad actor;

  2. DonDueed says

    Did not expect that to embed. Delete if necessary, or change to a link if possible.

  3. William Webb says

    Entitled rich person doesn’t care about ruining things for everybody else, part 10^100.

  4. numerobis says

    Here comes a powerful, wealthy, white dude who is going to benevolently give internet to the poor non-white people of the world without bothering to partner with them or ask what they want

    Musk isn’t claiming to give internet to the poor, he’s looking to sell internet to the US and make a lot of money doing it (and there’s at least two other similar proposals, SpaceX is just the first to start deploying). Giving internet to Africa was Zuckerberg’s idea.

    There’s no regulatory body that could really evaluate and potentially refuse this. The FCC has indicated it’s out of its depth. It can evaluate whether it’s good for communication but there’s broader questions that they aren’t sure how to deal with. Light pollution is one; even worse, putting up 10x as many satellites as previously existed means the potential for accidents, which could block access to space to everyone for decades to centuries.

  5. brucegee1962 says

    I think the most disturbing part of this entire idea is how little it’s been discussed. There are all kinds of questions that ought to be answered before we allow this to go forward.
    One that I’ve wondered about: would this mean that China and North Korea would no longer be able to block the internet from their citizens? And if so, would China allow it, or would they threaten shooting satellites down and flooding the orbits with debris?