Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

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Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:26 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2021/0901.shtml

Over the past 60 years we've been priming the heavens above our heads for a gigantic chain reaction that, some experts say, effectively close the door on our use of space as a resource and even make it near-impossible to send probes to distant parts of our solar system or beyond.

It would appear that Elon Musk's SkyLink could be the final catalyst for this massive chain reaction -- yet nobody seems to be listening.

Could this once again be the effect of a billionaire and his mega-corporation greasing the palms of decision-makers to the extent that they lose all grasp of commonsense?

You tell me.
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Re: Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

Postby Perry » Wed Sep 01, 2021 7:43 am

Well I'll be damned! That's what Saturn's rings are made up of! :twisted:

Isn't Rocket lab doing something akin to starting to vacuum up some of the space junk?
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Re: Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:00 am

Perry wrote:Isn't Rocket lab doing something akin to starting to vacuum up some of the space junk?

I think the practicality of their plan is something akin to sweeping all the sand off 90-mile beach with a toothbrush :-)
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Re: Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

Postby hagfish » Wed Sep 01, 2021 8:49 am

Fortunately the GPS/TV satellites are all waay further out in geosynchronous/geostationary orbits. It is a very busy orbit, but I think (hope!) it's heavily regulated. Low Earth Orbit is where the over-crowding is happening.

There's a rumour that upcoming phones could include a radio that allows two-way communication with satellites in LEO. That would be an interesting development, unless they all start raining down on us.
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Re: Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:08 am

GPS satellites are not quite geosynchronous... orbiting the earth about once every 12 hours from around 20,000Km. Yes, this is pretty much outside the effects of the Kessler Syndrome but one can't help but wonder at the effect of all those reflective "fragments" floating around up there will have on the propagation of their signals. GPS receivers do not cope that well with the multipathing caused by reflections.

I can't see how a cell-phone would be able to communicate effectively with even a LEO satellite, given the available antennas and power levels in such a phone. Just look at the existing satellite phones and you'll see that they have quite a significantly sized antenna that doesn't fit the "flat slab" styling of modern smartphones. Perhaps you'll have to use an external antenna to use satellite comms.
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Re: Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

Postby joeseph » Wed Sep 01, 2021 9:58 am

hagfish wrote:Fortunately the GPS/TV satellites are all waay further out in geosynchronous/geostationary orbits.


all well & good, until you need to replace a satellite & cannot get one positioned intact thru the debris field!
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Re: Closing the door to space (1 Sep, 2021)

Postby Kiwiiano » Fri Sep 03, 2021 4:53 pm

There’s no guarantee that the debris from Kessler impacts will continue in their original orbits. They could fan out in all directions including the outer geostationary regions. True, some will fan inward & burn up on re-entry which may give us a few weeks of fireworks.
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