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pwnies t1_j5mjmzs wrote

Don't get me wrong, I’m not a fan of Elon, but IMO the functionality of swam sats outweighs the downsides of the light pollution they cause. Software filtering can provide solutions to telescope captures, but there's little that can provide internet access in the same way worldwide.

If we want cheap and accessible information worldwide, satellites are the best solution to that problem.


do_you_even_ship_bro t1_j5mt5ya wrote

This opinion is what leads to terrible societal decisions at the detriment of the environment. We need food so over fishing is NBD. Plastic is amazing so use it everywhere. Strip mining…. We can do satellites w/o running astronomers view. Space telescopes might be better but land ones are way easier to make…


pwnies t1_j5ricq1 wrote

First, this is a perfect example of a slippery slope fallacy in place. "Satellite infrastructure will lead to less concerns about strip mining" is an unfounded premise.

Second, scientists are actively telling us overfishing/single-use plastics/strip mining are disasters in progress, but scientists aren't saying the same thing about swam sats.

Bruce Macintosh, director of the University of California Observatories, has said this about Starlink:

> For astronomers I think this is more of a nuisance than a disaster, but changing the sky for every human needs talking about.

Optical telescopes can filter out the light flares these small satellites leave easily. The larger impact is likely radio telescopes which are more heavily affected, but even these can be mitigated if scientists know the parameters of them. Quote from a nat geo article on this:

> “As a general principle, radio astronomy facilities are particularly vulnerable to satellite downlinks and to airborne uses, as radio telescopes cannot be protected from high-altitude transmissions through geographical shielding alone,” says Indiana University’s Liese van Zee, chair of the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Radio Frequencies, or CORF. She says it is CORF’s understanding that a coordination agreement with Starlink is currently in the works, and that historically such agreements have balanced the interests of science and telecom companies.

> Both SpaceX and OneWeb—another company with plans to launch a fleet of communications satellites—have been working out such details with the National Science Foundation and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, adds Harvey Liszt of the NRAO.

There is value in this infrastructure that humanity benefits from. It clearly isn't a disaster according to those in the know. Overall I see satellites as being a net benefit rather than a detriment to humanity.


systemsfailed t1_j5qvfqi wrote

Absolutely not. In the vast majority of locations fiber lines are significanluy better. Also starlink is significantly too expensive for the global poor don't fucking pretend it isn't lol.


pwnies t1_j5rffvc wrote

Fiber lines are better for throughput, but are significantly more expensive. We have recent data from Australia's attempt to install fiber nationwide as a good comparison point of costs.

Australia estimated 14-15b AUD (about 10.5b USD) to run fiber to 98% of the country's population (though this would encompass < 10% of the landmass). Fiber is a mature technology, so we should expect these costs to be fairly static.

Starlink's investment costs so far have been 10b to design and launch, but also provide coverage nearly worldwide. Swarm satellites are a fairly new tech for internet infrastructure, so we should expect the cost to decrease over time.

Overall for delivering internet worldwide, a swam satellite based approach is far cheaper (though will provide less throughput). For getting internet to those in developing or remote countries, it's an excellent choice overall.


systemsfailed t1_j5riemx wrote

Significantly more expensive? Over what timeframe?Cheaper than the constellation with a 5 year shelf life that has to be constantly relaunched?

The constellation that cannot possibly handle the bandwidth of tens of millions or more?

The AUS population alone is 25 million.
Starlink speeds are already slowing with the subs they have, in what world do you expect this to be feasible on a global scale? Also Musk himself has said it won't be functional in cities


achillymoose t1_j5nmqm0 wrote

Civilization has gone on for millenia without the internet. I'd trade the internet for a sky full of galaxies in a heartbeat.

>If we want cheap and accessible information worldwide

I, for one, could care less about this. I don't think the people of third world countries are missing out by not having Tik Tok


ACCount82 t1_j5npvoz wrote

Internet is a great boon, especially to people in third world countries. Today, there are people who wouldn't be able to get an education otherwise - but were able to self-educate through Internet. Access to information and access to education used to be some of the greatest inequalities of the world - and Internet does a lot to level the playing field.

"A sky full of galaxies" is just another pretty thing in a world full of pretty things. Internet's benefits go far beyond that.


achillymoose t1_j5nqzgq wrote

>a world full of pretty things.

It won't be if we keep destroying all the pretty things


[deleted] t1_j5mlhww wrote



D1g1taln0m4d t1_j5mqnco wrote

So you’re saying the first picture of a black hole is the work of dinosaurs? You’re confused. Telescopes in space or on the moon are great but land based telescopes will ALWAYS be a thing


Drakonx1 t1_j5mr7df wrote

Plus, fuck amateurs who just want to look up at the night sky right?