Updates Planetary Internet: SpaceX vs OneWeb

Scruce

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Both SpaceX and OneWeb seem to be creating different satellite networks that are supposed to provide Internet to the entire world. Coincidentally; they were both announced at the same time.

SpaceX's plan (4025 satellites) and OneWeb's plan (648 satellites).
 

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mikusingularity
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Wasn't reusable launch vehicle development in the 1990s driven by predictions of large satellite constellations in low Earth orbit, thereby creating the high flight rates needed to make an RLV economically viable (fixed cost divided over more flights)? Then the latter failed to happen.

Also, there's the obvious delay when communicating with Mars.
 

Urwumpe

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*Grabs book about mobile communications*

Lets see... what had been planned in the Naughties....

Iridium - still exists because the DoD pays the bills. Damn we would even donate for seeing Iridium flares in the sky.

Globalstar - missing, 48 + 4 satellites planned
ICO - missing, 10 + 2 satellites planned
Teldesic - missing, 288 satellites planned

Sorry, but I am a bit skeptical that such LEO or MEO internet services will be available before terrestrial connections reach every place - and will then be cheaper.
 

kamaz

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sOrbComm seems to have developed a viable business by targeting machine-to-machine market. They do it by using asychrinous communication - the terminal waiting for the satellite to come into view. This allowed them to start the business with a reasonably sized constellation. Now adding birds just shortens the delay time and allows gradual expansion to higher latitudes.

Contrast with Iridium which had to be fully deployed before it could start operating because the birds are in polar orbits.

I think you could build a business case if you put a reasonably small constellation in equatorial orbit and marketed to people living in low latitudes... But the pricing is going to be a problem because you are targeting a low income market... Also, the biggest potential market i.e. India has outlawed use of satellite terminals by the public. And you're competing with Thuraya which already has an established customer base... And richer customers will rather go with Thuraya based in Qatar than s US company due to privacy concerns.

Also the world is 74% water and if you can afford a ship you can afford Inmarsat...

BTW Globalstar does operate but with GEO birds...
 
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DaveS

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Wasn't reusable launch vehicle development in the 1990s driven by predictions of large satellite constellations in low Earth orbit, thereby creating the high flight rates needed to make an RLV economically viable (fixed cost divided over more flights)? Then the latter failed to happen.
Exactly. The two EELVs, Atlas V and Delta IV were built on the premise that the commercial sat-com industry would provide the majority of the payloads. This failed to happen, so their prices soared into the thermosphere instead of staying in the predicted stratosphere.

I think SpaceX is just lucky to on the field so to say when the amount of payloads to be launched is going up a bit. If they would have arrived on the scene back in 2004-2007 with the F9, they would have most likely ended going bust due to lack of payloads.
 

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The sale of the failed satellite company OneWeb to Bharti Global Ltd of India and the UK government has been approved by a US bankruptcy court.

The two parties' joint bid of $1bn (£800m) secures them the firm's assets.

It means OneWeb will soon be able to resume building a space network capable of delivering broadband internet connections to all parts of the globe.

Ministers hope the resurrected firm can also transmit navigation signals as an alternative to the EU's Galileo system.

Britain walked away from involvement in the European project when it ceased to be a Union member state in January.

Still the ongoing saga.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-53370930
 

Soumya-8974

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I think both Starlink and OneWeb should coexist since their coexistance would give broader internet access to 7.8 billion people than Starlink or OW alone.
 

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Astronomers have raised concerns about the mission, and claim the satellites are so bright that they've affected a number of astronomical observations so SpaceX has started adding a dark sunshade to some of the Starlink satellites to make them less visible in the night sky.
 

Cosmicat

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Astronomers have raised concerns about the mission, and claim the satellites are so bright that they've affected a number of astronomical observations so SpaceX has started adding a dark sunshade to some of the Starlink satellites to make them less visible in the night sky.

I watched this:

IMG_20210126_170127_464.jpg
On the left, observation of a star using the VLAN radiointerferometer. On the right, what is detected in the same sky when Starlink satellites pass. And they're going to fill the whole sky with them.

And I don't think that to add a dark sunshade resolve it...
 

Urwumpe

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Looks like astronomy has to move to the moon... and then to Mars...then beyond Mars ... and then at the fringes of commercial space.
 

N_Molson

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This is pure madness... Spamming Earth Orbit with thousand of satellites... I can't believe nations of the world let this happen... :cry:
 

Urwumpe

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This is pure madness... Spamming Earth Orbit with thousand of satellites... I can't believe nations of the world let this happen... :cry:

Well, the issue is: So is the law. As long as the USA can afford SpaceX, they can continue building...


Yes, that phrase was intentional. The USA are responsible for all damages caused by SpaceXs satellite. Not SpaceX. The USA might turn to SpaceX eventually for compensation, but the full damage to the satellites of other countries has to be compensated by the USA.

The same applies to all other countries. Each country of the world can have its own SpaceX. Or its own multihundred satellite fleet.

Unless the UN manages to create a working successor to the Outer Space Treaty, this will continue. The Moon Treaty already failed, since no spacefaring country ratified it....
 

N_Molson

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Each country of the world can have its own SpaceX. Or its own multihundred satellite fleet.

Well, probably not. Add China, India, Russia doing the same and you'll get to the Kessler point pretty fast. And that will be the end of spaceflight for centuries. Yes UN have to do something and fast. Else we're all screwed.
 

Urwumpe

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Well, probably not. Add China, India, Russia doing the same and you'll get to the Kessler point pretty fast. And that will be the end of spaceflight for centuries. Yes UN have to do something and fast. Else we're all screwed.

Sure - but the one starting the chain reaction will be the one to pay the mess. 🤭

Think of it as Russian Roulette. All can have fun in space. Until the fun is over and the passing of the buck begins.
 
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