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Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/23/2021 11:42 AM

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Without comment I give you, from the Webzine "Interesting Engineering", Elon's second self driving challenge:

"Elon Musk's SpaceX might be breaking the barriers here on Earth but it will most probably break up satellites in space in the near future. In a bid to offer high-speed internet, SpaceX is launching thousands of minisatellites in what is already a crowded space. The number of close shaves is on the rise and the problem will intensify in the near future, LiveScience reported.

According to estimates from the European Space Agency, there are 7,520 satellites that are currently in space. As these fly around their orbits, they are bound to encounter other satellites. A close encounter is when two flying objects come within a distance of 0.6 miles (1 km) of each other."

It seems not only are Elon's net satellites cluttering space, they have self-driving systems that reposition themselves too avoid collisions. Only 1 small problem, they don't report the repositioning or the new position to anybody including SpaceX. They become ghost satellites, but unlike spirit ghosts they have real corporeal bodies.

Read the whole article at:

https://interestingengineering.com/spacexs-satellites-cause-nearly-1600-near-collisions-each-week?_source=newsletter&_campaign=YqX4R9DJgzvkA&_uid=APdRonXVeG&_h=b7dcbf76b020f730253413fbe5e8020cb92ab581&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=mailing&utm_campaign=Newsletter-23-08-2021

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#1

Re: Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/23/2021 2:12 PM

Old puff piece...very misleading

Satellites are constantly tracked and monitored by the Air Force Space Command and contractors....and orbits vary considerably in their altitude from 160km to 35000km LEO to GEO...

https://www.semiconductorstore.com/blog/2018/LEO-vs-MEO-vs-GEO-Satellites-Whats-the-Difference-Symmetry-Blog/3327/

The only collision that is of note is the Chinese and Russian event...

..."On Saturday (Aug. 14), McDowell spotted an update in the Space-Track.org catalog, which the 18SPCS makes available to registered users. The update included "a note for object 48078, 1996-051Q: 'Collided with satellite.' This is a new kind of comment entry — haven't seen such a comment for any other satellites before," McDowell tweeted on Saturday.

He dove into the tracking data to learn more. McDowell found that Object 48078 is a small piece of space junk — likely a piece of debris between 4 inches and 20 inches wide (10 to 50 centimeters) — from the Zenit-2 rocket that launched Russia's Tselina-2 spy satellite in September 1996. Eight pieces of debris originating from that rocket have been tracked over the years, he said, but Object 48078 has just a single set of orbital data, which was collected in March of this year."....

https://www.space.com/space-junk-collision-chinese-satellite-yunhai-1-02

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#2

Re: Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/23/2021 2:46 PM

Most are in low earth orbit, with the next most crowded space 23000 miles out in synchronous orbit above the equator.

Here is an interactive plot:

Satellite Map | Space Map Shows 19K+ Satellites Orbiting Earth (esri.com)

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#3

Re: Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/23/2021 4:43 PM

Elon should also be addressing the issue of gathering-up enough space debris to avoid causing ''cascading collisions'' and not just contributing more objects out there to do more colliding...

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/23/2021 5:29 PM

2 Things:

1. The Space Command is an operating arm of the US Military which, when it comes to critical information, has proven to be slow or NO.

2. Just because something hasn't happened yet it doesn't mean it won't happen and when it does it will only be a one off. (Elon's self piloting cars have proven that).

Murphy (the 1950's high performance jet aircraft engineer) critically said, "Our failures don't happen in what we (have) test(ed) for, but what what we haven't."

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/24/2021 12:47 PM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_Control_Network

I would not argue the point that there exists a need for debris cleanup of LEO space....but many satellites are powered and can be moved to avoid collision, other space junk like remnants of rockets and older defunct satellites seem to pose the most threat....Elon's communication satellites are in LEO and are powered to maintain position and deorbit on command, these seem to be a minimal threat...

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/24/2021 3:33 PM

Good point. Junk far outnumbers satellites and is not steerable.

Selecting "junk", there are 13054 pieces of junk out of 19219 tracked objects. An there are a lot of pieces too small to track but still have enough kinetic energy to do serious damage.

Satellite Map | Space Map Shows 19K+ Satellites Orbiting Earth (esri.com)

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#7
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Re: Elon Musk, The Scourge of the High C's

08/26/2021 2:03 AM

..."Astroscale's ELSA-d orbital debris removal satellite has tested for the first time its ability to capture a spacecraft in space. In a demo performed on Wednesday, August 25th, ELSA-d successfully used the company's magnetic capture system."..

https://www.autoevolution.com/news/elsa-d-satellite-has-a-magnetic-appetite-for-space-junk-does-its-first-capture-in-orbit-168071.html

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