News from Earth 3-19-2020

Well, here’s the weekly news roundup from Earth.

This article about the design of cubesats. Elon Musk, again I love ya, but this video of a close call of one of your cubesats almost destroying your own spacecraft is a real example of what I’ve written about cluttering up space with junk. Is the destruction of one of your own rockets be what it takes to realize the orbital pollution your putting up there? What if humans were on that rocket? And have you considered the ramifications of just one accident alone leaving shards up there, colliding with other cubesats and leaving a ton of orbital shrapnel? Sure, it will de-orbit, but how long, How does that effect other nations missions? I love what your doing for humanity, but please for the love of all of us, stop! Spend your money on burying fiber optic cable and making telephone poles disappear. Cable, telephone, all of it. Roads should be lined with trees, not dead ones posing as telephone poles.

This got me to thinking about others of a similar mindset. I wanted to learn more about these cubesats, So I did some armchair research. This great HackADay article, entitled “Thousands Of Internet-Connected Satellites Above Us, What Could Possibly Go Wrong!” is spot on the topic. Not only are you creating space junk, but yes – you may inspire others to be a bit more..motivated. Your team neglected safety, security – endangered other spacecraft. This article I think best explains the idea, Imagine some angry fool with a tool to force those thousands of cubesats to swarm and be used for nefarious purposes. If your reading this, please – really READ it and understand the dire consequences of what your creating. Now, Not to say StarLink isn’t trying. Off the shelf is cheap, but what about the software? This article about the design of the StarLink stats shows a lot about how they are cheaply made and can deorbit, but one thing concerns me.

“SpaceX‚Äôs Starlink fleet is reportedly set to cost around $10 billion, with nearly 12,000 Ku-band, Ka-band and V-band satellites positioned in at different altitudes in multiple orbital planes. The first 1,584 Starlink satellites are slated to operate in orbits 341 miles (550 kilometers) above Earth, spread in 24 orbital planes inclined 53 degrees to the equator.”

So say, 5 years orbit in the short term times how many thousands of these? You keep adding them weekly, increasing the chances of a catastrophic accident, exponentially. Elon, I do have to mock you a little about worrying about reaching Mars before you die. Pfft, I bet you wont make it out of orbit without getting hit with your own junk.

However, Elon, I must say, I understand insanity. And good deeds, so I can not be all critical of your works. Your battery farm is what the earth needs now. Sure, they call you insane, but why not – YOLO and all that. Keep doing what you do, just pace yourself a bit. Come visit me, I’d be happy to go slumming with you and let ya sleep on my couch. However, for all the poking I do at you, Yea, a few beers and lets launch.

Next up is NASA.

Be sure to check NasaWatch.com for great updates. In depth reporting and such. I’ll start out with something really neato to me, NASA building a version of the Concord from junkyard parts. Now stop and consider how cool this is! The video alone show the dedication and speed of these ‘space mechanics’. This is how you Get Things Done. Everything about this story is correct, in my book. (Excellent embedded video.)

HOWEVER, there is a sad side to report. Like any agency or business, most failures are because of bad management. Now THIS, and I mean THIS! Really?! NASA spent a decade and nearly $1 billion for a single launch tower.

I know a team of boilermakers and welders would have got that done for regular wages and pizza at 1/16 the cost.. That’s full on failure of management, NASA. People need to be fired! How many palms got greased? Shame on you. You can’t even erect the tower cheaper then the rocket? I go after Elon Musk, but hell yea, he’s getting it done, and on budget.

I can’t be sensitive here, You see it gets worse the more you read. You have wasted BILLIONS of dollars and still cant get off the ground. The team in the next building is working from a junkyard and Getting It Done. What Is Wrong? People need to be fired or investigated. Honestly NASA, you so excel in some areas yet so completely fail in others.

Who wins this week? its Rocket Lab. Wiki HERE. Rocket Lab recently got approved for cubesat launches. That means a load of more clutter and NO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

All you space agencies, have you considered how to tame this wild west of space travel? The considerations? Will we have to shoot our way into space to ensure safe transport from this planet without risking a collision from your junk? There is no discussion about swarm control, it has become just launch and hope for the best at this point. This needs to be a larger public discussion.