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PostPosted: February 27th, 2020, 1:13 pm 
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There is talk that SpaceX will be starting public trials this summer of its Starlink Network. They intend to roll out the full program by 2021. What is it? Its cellular and internet coverage to the entire earth via satellite - high speed and no latency. I was going to purchase an In-Reach or Spot this year, but now it seems unnecessary. Any thoughts?

Here's an article about it- https://www.iphoneincanada.ca/tesla/spa ... et-canada/


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PostPosted: February 27th, 2020, 1:32 pm 
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Will whatever receiving equipment needed fit in my pocket?

How much will it cost?

Satellite connectivity will surely come, either Elon or someone else but I'm not waiting around for it.

Initially I can see this as a great solution for fixed location access but I worry about the cost for a smartphone like device that can connect via either the cellular system and a satellite system.

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PostPosted: February 28th, 2020, 8:39 am 
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At least initially Elon says the receiving antenna will be the size of a pizza (not sure if S, M or L), so that might be a bit much to carry on a trip for some.

Kinguq.


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PostPosted: February 28th, 2020, 9:38 am 
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Yeah, the initial 800 satellites Musk will be sending up will not provide mobile service to handheld phones, that pizza-box sized receiver will be necessary. The goal is to provide cheap service to everybody around the world. There are estimates, maybe $80/mo. Later on there may be many more satellites, 30,000 and others like Amazon, Boeing, Richard Branson, have their own plans, so who knows.

Lots of criticism from experts that Starlink will fail as a business, since there will be few buyers in remote areas and urban areas are already well-served. But Musk has plans to have Starlink work and then fund the money needed to send humans to Mars, which is another high-risk plan. Again, some say not possible to do at this time, esp with the rocket technology available plus dangers of radiation, toxic Mars environment, etc. Maybe we'll live long enough to see it.

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PostPosted: February 28th, 2020, 12:34 pm 
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Yeah, great. We'll all have Twitter while tripping, we just won't be able to see the stars anymore.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/02 ... -telescope


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PostPosted: February 28th, 2020, 4:33 pm 
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Peter K. wrote:
Yeah, great. We'll all have Twitter while tripping, we just won't be able to see the stars anymore.
Riight. I am and have long been part of both amateur and government astronomical community. The satellite tracks are simply awful.


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PostPosted: February 29th, 2020, 9:29 am 
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Yup... humans are being absorbed into cyberspace and thousands of satellites may be part of that since there's so much demand for access. When there are megabucks to be made, I don't think governments or regulators are going to stand in the way.

The increase in the numbers of satellites seems to be almost a sure thing now, but it remains to be seen whether Musk's and the others' plans will prove to be successful, since making money, growth in sales and profits, is what will be needed to build out the satellite network. And to fund Musk's eventual space travel to Mars... IMHO humans won't be able to live there and robots will be much more capable of doing what needs to be done on Mars (what exactly is that, anyway), but I'm no expert on the matter.

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PostPosted: March 1st, 2020, 11:43 am 
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FT wrote:
IMHO humans won't be able to live there...
Yeah, it'll be a while before we're using our SolarCity cells to charge our Tesla vehicle for a trip from our home at Valles Marineris through the Boring Company's Hyperloop to SpaceX's re-launch facility at Olympus Mons.
We've understood the basic science to do the engineering to put an ISS-style facility on Mars for a while now. Give enough engineers enough resources and they'll figure it out. Musk is doing (attempting) that and more - actually using Martian resources like solar energy to crack H2O to free up its oxygen or combine with CO2 to make rocket fuel.
Now a completely self sustaining colony with natives born and raised is orders of magnitude more difficult. But it's the same thing, isn't it? Lots of basic science-y stuff to do and lots of engineering but no new physics required.
And then there's terraforming.....

Quote:
doing what needs to be done on Mars (what exactly is that, anyway)

Explore. Learn. Some would say to exploit or expand.

The question is will our civilization commit suicide before we get there. Our greed and our ignorance seem to be building our own Great Filter.


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PostPosted: March 2nd, 2020, 9:57 am 
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Krusty,

Quote:
We've understood the basic science to do the engineering to put an ISS-style facility on Mars for a while now. Give enough engineers enough resources and they'll figure it out.


Well, maybe... still, getting humans to survive on Mars for any length of time over a four-year trip there and back will take piles of money out of government funds, when robots and whatever high tech is up to the job could be doing it much cheaper.

IIRC, George Bush back in 2004 initiated the funding to put humans back on the moon by 2020 and start the humans-on-Mars program, both of which were cancelled because of high costs and other priorities appearing. Right now there's a lot of political enthusiasm for a Mars mission but that could change as time goes on, as it has in the past.

Musk and the others may be able to do it in the private sector, with or without NASA's partnership, but again dependent on money coming in from business profits, like Starlink. Still not a sure thing, risky.

Lots of known problems with getting there, staying there, and returning...

- the current four year's there and back travel time is far longer than any astronauts have had yet due to inadequate rocket technology unable to get astronauts there faster, and along the way, there will be radiation exposure, health issues with zero gravity, isolation, unforeseen diseases from weakened immune systems, all adding up.

- on Mars, there's more low gravity causing more health problems, more radiation exposure due to thin atmosphere and no magnetic field deflecting radiation away like here on earth, low air pressure outside the lander making things difficult, toxic chlorine compounds in the soil and dust getting into everything... and very cold.

And once humans actually set foot on Mars, it's likely that that planet is contaminated forever if human micro-organisms are able to survive... which is avoided by using sterile non-human high tech. So there are going to be scientific objections slowing things down, or adding more cost. Or eliminating humans entirely.

IIRC right now, the humans on Mars target is about the mid-2030s... maybe the problems will disappear as technology develops, it'll at least be interesting to see how progress moves ahead.

I have my doubts it'll be that fast as there isn't a lot of money to be made in space travel to move it forward at any great speed... but things could change.

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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2020, 8:00 am 
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Hey FT;
Yes, all the problems you mention and more. Plus things we don't know about yet. I was specifically quoting the phrase "won't be able to" which I interpreted as referring to intractable scientific and technical problems.
Read something recently quoting Musk, famous for his, ummm, aspirational statements, as believing it possible to have a million people on Mars by 2050 - a plan eventually leading to a thousand giant ships making 3 trips per day into LEO or something equally fantastical.
Yeah, that ain't gonna happen. One hell of a salesman though.
BTW, and on topic, the list of Musk's Mars related ventures of course includes a Mars Starlink Network. With some kind of high bandwidth (but high latency) pipe back to earth. That latency thing - now there's a problem our science says we can't engineer our way around.
(please don't start talking about quantum entanglement - it makes my head hurt)


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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2020, 5:30 pm 
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nessmuk wrote:
Peter K. wrote:
Yeah, great. We'll all have Twitter while tripping, we just won't be able to see the stars anymore.
Riight. I am and have long been part of both amateur and government astronomical community. The satellite tracks are simply awful.


I'm an astrophotographer myself. I think I'll hold off buying new stuff until I see how far this tech goes. :o
Was also thinking of Inreach the other day and what this might mean.


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