Both SpaceX and OneWeb have announced that they plan to begin commercial service this year. They are both racing to convert the most beautiful place in the world, whose unchanging vista has given a sense of peace and belonging to millions of generations of people, animals and birds — the heavens — into the world’s largest garbage dump, streaking with moving lights and the refuse of burned up and exploded satellites.
With its launches of April 28, May 4 and May 9, 60 more satellites per launch, SpaceX now has 1,554 operating Starlink satellites in low orbit around the Earth. For command and control of these satellites it has already built 61 ground stations in the U.S., 1 in Canada , 6 in New Zealand, 9 in Australia, 2 in Germany, 2 in France, 3 in the UK, and 7 in Chile, and many more are under construction. More than 10,000 customers are now beta testing the satellite network, and 500,000 people worldwide have pre-ordered user terminals. SpaceX expects to fill all their orders and begin commercial service of high-speed Internet from space this summer. At that time, users will still only be able to receive stationary service in a single location. By the end of 2021, SpaceX expects to also be able to provide mobile service anywhere in the world with user terminals that can be mounted on ships, planes, RVs and trucks.
With its launch of 36 more satellites on April 25, OneWeb now has 182 satellites in low polar orbit. It has announced that by June of this year, after two more launches, it will be able to provide connectivity to the UK, Alaska, northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic Seas and Canada, that it will begin commercial service to those northern regions before the end of this year, and that it will provide global service in 2022.
SpaceX states in its application to the FCC for approval of its mobile user terminals that it is responding to consumer demand. It states that by 2022 approximately 4,800 billion gigabytes of data will be exchanged worldwide per year. “No longer are users willing to forego connectivity while on the move,” writes SpaceX.
And that is exactly the problem. People are treating data, which didn’t even exist as a commodity until the 1990s, as their God-given right. They do not understand that “data” is not something abstract but has its source in a finite and increasingly scarce natural world. That when you manipulate “data” you are manipulating forests, oceans and wildlife. People do not understand that the more data you shoot all over the world, the quicker you scramble this planet’s ecosystems until there is nothing left of them.
Meanwhile, building and launching rockets is becoming quicker, easier and cheaper all the time. A company called Relativity Space is now able to produce rockets using the world’s largest 3-D printer, dubbed “Stargate.” It already has contracts with Lockheed Martin, Telesat, Iridium and other companies and plans to begin launching its disposable rockets this fall. It advertises on its website that its rockets have “100 times fewer parts” and that it can go “from raw material to flight in 60 days.”
Now, virtually anyone can destroy the Earth.
Source : Arthur Firstenberg newsletter this morning.