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FCC approves Amazon’s internet-from-space constellation of 3,236 satellites (theverge.com)
71 points by kerng 7 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 112 comments

I'm surprised by HN opinions on this. Astronomy misconception plus Kessler syndrome worries are two biggest faulty views on SpaceX and now Amazon.

As one deleted comment stated: "Stacking images and object detection can pretty much nullify this problem. Worst case scenario you throw out a couple minutes of data. It might add an extra step to data processing which is unfortunate but in the vast majority of cases won't be a problem." Pretty much sums it up. This is a problem that has been blown out of proportions by media. Sure, amateur astronomy will take a slight hit, but it is nowhere the issue being presented.

Kessler syndrome doesn't apply at altitude so low and all of the satellites are brought by gravity in few months, they need constant readjustments to stay in low orbit.

I don't know if you're seeing an accurate sample of HN opinion because of the "101" effect where every thread turns into a low-quality FAQ.

it's a problem now, yet it will only get worse at the entire Starlink fleet is fully deployed. There's only a few hundred of the thousands from Starlink alone. It will be impossible to get a single clean image. It's not the small problem you seem to suggest

Lets do the math.

We are talking about (at most - including other future companies) roughly 50,000 satellites in LEO, each about the size of a car, and they burn up in the atmosphere in a few years.

Given LEO is at a higher altitude, the "surface area" at that orbit is larger, but lets pretend its only 510 million km^2 (i.e. Earth's surface area).

If I evenly distributed 50,000 cars across 510 million km^2, you would need to search 10,200 km^2 to find 1 car.

Even 1 satellite per 1 km^2 in LEO would not impede astronomy, and that future requires 500+ million such satellites.

Amazon and SpaceX operating roughly 0.01 million satellites each is inconsequential.

Pros: competition with Starlink, more Internet connectivity for the world.

Cons: this + Starlink + OneWeb make wide-field Earth-based astronomy much harder, making it less likely that we'll notice new astronomic phenomena or inbound city-killer near earth asteroids.

SpaceX is testing a sunshield on one of their newest Starlink satellites. I hope we'll see Kuiper launch with those and other reflectivity mitigations from the beginning instead of being surprised by the whole problem like SpaceX (claims to be).

Here's some coverage that we did in Orbital Index about the issue: https://orbitalindex.com/archive/2020-02-20-Issue-52/#starli...

Solution: 10% tax on all satellite internet revenues to fund space based telescopes. Could really improve astronomy.

nearly all space companies operate on government money. we would be taxing ourselves

The people collectively provide the initial funding when stuff is still too high risk for private investors but they rarely sees any of the upside when it hits explosive growth except in a hand wavy "high tide raises all boats" or "cheaper widgets means more buying power" kind of way. In extreme cases it means we fund technologies that generate wealth that is immediately extracted by foreign entities but even in the best of cases, it creates a moral hazard that is best exemplified by the military industrial complex.

It's a resource allocation efficiency issue, through and through. The government is always going to pick "winners and losers" in high value industries like defense, resource extraction, and aerospace but all of those investments have very rough feedback loops that are disconnected from the decision making process. If government investments/grants came at least with profit/revenue sharing arrangements, there would be a positive feedback loop and an opportunity for the system to evolve and improve even if the net income change after administration overhead is zero or even slightly negative.

Obviously this isn't tenable for basic scientific research but our industries do very little of that anyway, even with government funding available.

Naw. Tax the profit. It's wild that the tax payer base doesn't seen ANY upside with grants and what not like this.

You don't think satellite internet is break even without government funding? I have a hard time seeing it either, but I just can't see much market outside of military use. Maybe they're assuming 90% of their income will come from that.

Military + industrial + aviation.

The target market is not elderly people retired to cabins in the woods. The antenna costs for individual users would be prohibitive (10s of thousands). SpaceX is aiming for military/government first, then fixed-point industrial (oil rigs, mining camps, large ships) and then aviation (internet onboard airliners). That's the priority structure.

Another angle is to look at the orbital inclinations to see which customers Musk is targeting. At the moment he isn't sending sats further north than London (+/-51*). That suggests their first/primary/target market doesn't exist north of London. It looks like they are going after either the military drone or luxury aviation consumers. I don't see communities in Canada's north getting connected anytime soon.

So it'd be a reallocation of the budget? Like the same dollar funds space based internet and also space based satellites. That sounds pretty efficient.

> making it less likely that we'll notice new astronomic phenomena or inbound city-killer near earth asteroids.

That is such a ridiculous claim.

This + remote work is a boon from gods, i will happily go enjoy life in the wilds.

I believe the antenna's + gear you will need will be larger than you'll want to haul around. Starlink is mainly for permanent rural installations where cable+fiber sees no profits.

5G will also help some but it's become pretty clear that there isn't the public interest to generally bring broadband to rural areas the way telephone and electricity was (in the US among other places). The only real option today is conventional satellites, which for a lot of people are unacceptable because of latency/data limits/cost especially as video is increasingly not really optional.

Of course, we'll have to see how good these efforts of relative to normal broadband but they do offer hope that you won't have to choose where to live based on the broadband options.

I suppose by 5G helping you mean non-mmWave having more bandwidth to go around per tower? (If that’s true, I’m just guessing it is.)

Which I suppose does help, but only for people who probably already have 4G. So, not very rural.

Yes, primarily bandwidth--so that 5G will likely be a legitimate alternative to wired in some areas. And there's a pretty big build-out in general going on around 5G so maybe coverage gets better.

But you're right. A lot of places that are pretty patchy or non-existent today for cell service, especially 4G, will likely have the same problem even after 5G rolls out.

Once the gear is available for purchase, people who need 5G in particular places will install it themselves without interference from the Daughters Bell. (This won't just be rural users; more typically it might be industrial or commercial users who have lots of Io-Things.) Backhaul, where required, typically will be over fiber, as it should be. Eventually, since spending on radio equipment will be tied to how it's used rather than how ATTVZN would like to distort the market, 5G will be as normal as Wifi.

I see this view a lot. May i ask you a question that comes to my mind when I consider it: do you worry about access to modern medicine, living out in the middle of nowhere? Having an ambulance take 2 hours to get to you in case of a heart attack would be a death sentence, for example.

You don't need to get nearly that far out to be without reasonable internet.

I just looked at a property this week that's 15 minutes from a major regional hospital and has no access to reasonable wired internet.

My dad's property in Maine is similar. 15 minutes outside of a small city which has a perfectly good hospital etc. He gets about 1Mbit broadband--so you basically can't use for video--and very marginal cell service. And houses further down the road can't get broadband at all.

I think a lot of people here assume you're either in Manhattan/SF or in some remote section of Wyoming. But, as you say, you don't need to get far away from dense civilization for broadband to be problematic.

I live about 40 miles outside of a major city off a somewhat main road. While I do get Comcast, Verizon FIOS isn't available at my address (in site of the fact that they constantly send me mailings).

I guess we'll just have to put some telescopes on the Moon!

All of SpaceX's new starlink satellites have the new sun visor, per musk. I believe the last launch (or maybe two?) of starlink satellites had them. The one coming up this weekend also will have them.

And I still don't get the financial benefit for commercial use. Getting stuff to orbit is expensive, satellites are expensive, maintaining stuff in orbit is expensive.

Laying fibre and putting up 5G towers is cheaper, they can be serviced and upgraded.

Satellites make sense for governments, as it is harder to screw with them for adversaries. But for commercial use, what's exactly the benefit?

According to Elon Musk, Starship will be able to launch 400 Starlink satellites in one go[0]. He also says a Starship launch will cost ~$2 million[1] per launch.

Given that this is Elon we're talking about, we'll call it 300 sats at $20 million per launch.

Per their FCC application, SpaceX were allowed an upper eventual limit of 30,000 sats.[2] Let's assume that upper limit is what's required for a global comms network.

(30,000 / 300) * 20,000,000) = $2 Billion in launch costs. Assuming a lifetime of 5 years[3], that's $4 Billion per decade.

30,000 sats at $250K per[4] gives us $7.5 Billion in hardware costs. Twice per decade is $15 Billion.

That's 19 Billion per decade. Round and double it, just to be safe. 40 Billion per decade, so 4 Billion per year.

Could you build and maintain a global fiber network for $4 Billion per year?

[0]https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/27/spacex-president-we-will-lan... [1]https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/spacex-starship-rock... [2]https://www.space.com/spacex-starlink-satellites.html [3]https://phys.org/news/2020-05-costly-collateral-elonmusk-sta.... [4]https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2019/12/spacex-starlink-satell...

> Handley’s simulation suggests that the project will be most appealing to high-frequency traders at big banks, who might be willing to fork out large sums for dedicated, faster connections.[1]

So even if LEO is more expensive, which it will not be, the expense will be covered by large financial firms.

Also companies like AWS pay a lot of money for bandwidth between their datacenters. Once Amazon's satellites are up and running, AWS will continue to need government permissions to build new datacenters (including ground stations) but will not need to interact with any other company for bandwidth. Improving AWS' profit margin for existing datacenters.

Finally, today AWS cannot build a datacenter in low cost areas because they need great internet connectivity. However, a LEO constellation enables them to build in significantly cheaper locations (think about the land/construction costs in Moldova vs Germany i.e. 6x reduction[2]).

These alone are huge benefits that outweigh the costs, but adding general purpose internet traffic will only improve cost effectiveness.

[1] https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg24032033-300-the-firs... [2] https://www.numbeo.com/property-investment/country_result.js... vs https://www.numbeo.com/property-investment/country_result.js...

coverage in remote areas too expensive/difficult to deploy fiber/towers

I worry this is really going to mess up astronomy. Lots of the pictures we see of space are long exposure. Even now astronomers are having a hard time of doing a long term exposure and then it getting washed out by a bright close orbiting device.


These satellites are temporary. Internet connectivity is a vital service these days and global connectivity will do a lot to lift a lot of people out of poverty.

The ability for people to take pictures being diminished is unfortunate, but if I had to choose between the two options I'll choose the one that significantly increases a lot on people's standard of living

Maybe in the future when we aren't ruled by capitalist overlords that make expanding traditional internet infeasible we can stop launching and replacing these satellites and can take pretty pictures again

How sad is it that it is easier to launch 3200 satellites into orbit than to change FCC's mind on Comcrap's stranglehold on the internet.

That's not the issue that satellites are solving.

Huge portions of the world are simply so sparsely populated that running wires is cost prohibitive.

This feels a bit like "we'll all drown in horse manure by year 2000" kind of issue. Given the way SpaceX is going, we'll probably end up with a wide range of space-based observatories that offer much better tools than current ground-based observatories that are limited by Earth's atmosphere, noise from radio local transmissions, overflying satellites, etc.

The reason why the largest telescope observatories are on earth is because it's I feasible to get them into orbit.

And it's not a theoretical problem - there's plenty of people who have already had their work impacted

Software to remove the satellites would be great, given that the satellites are already interfering with astrophotography, can someone point me to the software to remove the starlink satellites from my images?

Sure, here are a couple examples:



There are a few use cases/reasons to put telescope observatories on earth.

One reason is because it's cheap enough for hobbyists. An ordinary enthusiast can go out in their backyard and point a couple hundred dollars worth of gear at the sky and get shockingly gorgeous images with little more than a webcam and a cheap scope. Software like what I linked above can help remove satellites from those images. Post-processing of images is a (nearly) cost-free but complexity-expensive way to remove noise, distortion, and other artifacts from the images produced by cheap gear, might as well remove satellites while you're at it!

The second reason is because it's cheap enough for scientists and students. A few universities have their own observatories. They're abundantly aware that not only satellites but also air and light pollution get in the way of good seeing. There are all kinds of effort devoted to fixing the problems that air and light pollution cause, but the easiest fix is just to move the telescope. A university can contract time for its students with an observatory in a favorable location (low light pollution, clear skies, right latitude/hemisphere, high altitude, good seeing) and do science through that remote interface. These are, I think, the most important users to take care of with space-based telescopes. Maybe their Chilean observatory doesn't have the server hardware or network connection to do stacking and post-processing to remove satellites, and images taken by the old method of long exposure astrophotography are getting ruined by satellites. Time on a space-based telescope would, for many use-cases, be as good or better than time on a terrestrial observatory. And there are zero air or weather issues!

The third is because it's the only place where we can put telescopes of the required size for a particular imaging task. Maybe they're in an interferometric array, maybe they're 3+ meters in diameter, who knows. There are only a couple dozen telescopes in this category in the world, the few astronomers using these telescopes don't need HN commenters to point them to software to remove satellites!

I do acknowledge that processing for a hobbyist does increase the learning curve and reduce the raw awesomeness of the hobby a bit - "why not just go to nasa.gov and download someone else's preprocessed images" isn't the same as seeing something from your own backyard through nothing but a mirror and a piece of glass. I also acknowledge that there's a ton of money invested in terrestrial observatories, but everyone needs to keep up with the times.

That was true in the 90s, now ground-based telescopes outpace most potential space telescopes. Adaptive optics mean the atmosphere is no longer the wobbly lens it once was.

I'll add that my main hope is that the scale required for launching large satellite constellations will also make it cheaper to launch space-based telescopes, but it's far from clear that would be a major benefit (after all, launch costs will probably be on the order of 1% of the JWST's total ~$10B cost).

It is not just optical astronomy. Radio is also in danger


This is history repeating itself.

Many of you will be too young to remember this but there was a glut of these companies/constellations in the 1990s. For example, Teledesic [1]. For awhile 20 years ago we had Internet access of international flights. We have it again but there was 10-15 years in the middle where we didn't.

The reason was that there just wasn't that much demand for LEO satellite Internet and the capacity way exceeded demand.

We're at the beginning of another cycle like this. Not all these companies will survive. My money is on Starlink being one of the survivors because SpaceX, of any of these companies, is vertically integrated with the biggest cost: launches. Even better, their launch costs are the lowest.

Maybe Amazon can do this since Bezos also is throwing big money at Blue Origin but, at best, I think Blue Origin is years behind SpaceX.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teledesic

> The reason was that there just wasn't that much demand for LEO satellite Internet and the capacity way exceeded demand.

I think you have to factor is the access cost though. There wasn't much demand at that cost.

Oh I get there are different economics now. To be clear, my point isn't that there isn't demand for things like Starlink. My point is merely that even with that demand, we'll end up building more capacity than we need and some won't survive, just like 20 years ago.

I like the simplicity of the Starlink design, in that it's simply ground-to-satellite-to-ground. There are no satellite relays. I wonder if this will limit access in more remote places (eg Alaska, on the ocean, Antarctica). I guess SpaceX has decided this limitation is worth the cost-savings.

I'm curious to know what the effective range is from subscriber to access point (via satellite). And also what if you can talk to multiple Starlink satellites but only some of them are within range of an access point? I'm sure they've thought about this. I'm just curious on the technical details.

The economics of getting satellites into orbit are drastically better now. The RF technology and thus bandwidth available between ground and satellite is drastically improved now. Pricing of these services should make them feasible for everyday use by something resembling an "average" rural user, whereas past services were really just a luxury for narrow circumstances.

All in all, this time seems very different.

From that era, wasn't the lesson: "the best way to make money on a satellite venture is to buy out a bankrupt satellite venture"?

I can't wait to switch to either spacex or amazon's satellite internet, especially if there is a price war.

And be free of cox's monopoly price gouging as the sole provider of speeds over 5mb/s for my neighborhood, which is part of the second largest metropolitan area in the nation.

If cox and the rest had provided decent service and decent prices instead of gouging and underinvesting, they wouldn't be faced with competition from satellite clouds anywhere near as soon as they are going to be.

Doubtful they'd be able to compete with any terrestrial provider on price. Perhaps on performance.

Great news to have a viable competitor to Starlink. Most places on Earth still don't have internet access available, and these constellations are going to make it possible to bring everybody left behind online.

It's easy to make snark about this or that, but inexpensive, global, high bandwidth internet access seems like one of the most consequential technologies of the 21st century so far.

(Also, I wonder who will get the launch contract.)

Do other nations have to agree on this? I assume not, but they're obviously not just blocking the sky over the US.

I'm a big fan of the idea of competition when it comes to internet providers, so this is good news.

I can't help but worry about where this ends though. 100,000 satellites orbiting the sky? Will our sky just be a bunch of moving dots, like you see in some sci-fi movies?

China will no doubt follow with tens of thousands. Maybe India, Japan etc too

Could Kessler Syndrome become a real thing?

This is in LEO so the damage would be limited - these are designed to decay and fall out of orbit in a few years - and so would most debris.

Most communication satellites (currently) have much higher altitudes, where such an event would be much worse as the debris would stay in orbit for much longer.

They're nowhere the altitude to do any harm.


Boy, it's a great thing those satellites will only ever orbit above the US!


Boy, those astronomers are going to be so grateful for the extra bandwidth in their remote observatories!

I am curious what the comments would be like when China or other country will put thousands of satellites around the world. I expect one of the first comments to be "why not give money to X US company instead of reinventing the wheel" and other comment about spying.

I will be happy when anyone in any country does it, because they will likely be paying SpaceX to perform the launches, and SpaceX, regardless of national origin, seems to be making the most progress toward a future where there is regular passenger service to the moon.

I would very much like to live off of the Earth.

I think you forget other countries have rockets too, satellites and rovers that were not launched by SpaceX.

There is no more a theoretical situation that US can have a country locked our of software or hardware so larger countries would not want to have this dependency or have NSA/CIA intercept your satellites before launch and backdoor them(that is their job will be the excuse).

Nobody else has reusable rockets (yet), which means that regardless of capability, it is much, much more expensive for anyone else to do an orbital launch.

LEO constellations require lots of launches.

This is not to say it’s impossible, just that for it to be within an order of magnitude of the cost on SpaceX, someone else needs to come up with reusability as well.

I have no doubt that someone will, I just wonder about when, and if it will be in time to benefit anyone else’s presently announced LEO internet access constellations. It’s also possible that Amazon will just eat the cost of disposable rocket launches; it’s not like they couldn’t afford it if they wished.

Yes is more expensive but governments burn this kind of money all the time on military and other shit. I do not see China or India giving money to US to launch satellites from them. Private small companies will probably rent such SpaceX satelites.

Are there any planned government LEO internet access constellations that will be consumer-facing products? The only ones I’ve heard about are Starlink (first party by launching entity), OneWeb (which had to be bailed out), and Kepler (Amazon, so theoretically unlimited funding available).

I am not aware of any, it is a very niche thing though since the majority of people can be connected with cables(I know in US there are issues but in other countries if you have electricity in a remote place you can just add a internet cable on the same polls and bring cheap and fast internet to everyone).

Do you honestly see China,Russia or India governments giving money to a foreign company when they have their own space programs? The governments to not min-max for short term financials and you also have on top of that the security issue to trust US.

I think there will be tons of global customers for Starlink. Any cable or signal that leaves the premises has to be encrypted anyway, addressing the privacy security issue for civilians, and the military, which also has availability as a security concern already has a local/nationally-run satcom system for their use today.

Satcom isn’t an issue for governments right now. It is, however, for billions of normal people who live far from population/commerce centers.

I'd imagine China doing this soon, even if it's just because they can.

You're not kidding. I can only imagine the anger and outrage if North Korea, China, Russia etc. all launched 20,000+ satellites into space.

I'd guess we'd have a few people trying to shoot them down from their back yard, actually.

Boy, those astronomers are going to be so grateful for the extra bandwidth in their remote observatories!

They will when economical access to LEO pays off in the form of cheap orbital telescopes.

millions of people own telescopes (most with internet access already) and for 99.999% of them there is no upside.

They'll live.

Shouldn't the companies that launch these satellites be responsible for their externalities?

Why is whoever is first has the moral high ground? That's why cities in California have a water shortage while people are growing alfalfa and exporting it for less than what others would pay for the water alone.

you can choose not to live in CA. you cannot choose not to live under the common sky, or breath the common air. unless you're suggesting to just avoid looking up at night?

this is a whole 'nother level of NIMBY.

NIMS ("not in my sky")? Yes that would be an escalation in this already tedious boomer tendency.

I'm not sure that being able to see the stars is an unreasonable thing to ask. There is probably some middle ground between allowing NIMBYs to hold society hostage and not giving homeowners any rights over their broader environment.

They could launch billions of micro-cubesats into LEO, and it wouldn't block anyone's view of the stars. They're too small and they're moving too fast.

Besides, at some point there will be a valid reason to have a visible device in orbit. I don't want any precedent set that some small number of narcissists can repeat e.g. the opposition to offshore wind power we've seen on Martha's Vineyard.

I've long dreamed of sailing the world. The biggest obstacle is being able to support myself while doing that, and looking at existing boat satellite service is really depressing.

Does anyone here know if between this, Starlink, and OneWeb, it will ever become realistic to work remotely from a boat in, say, the middle of the South Pacific?

Iridium Pilot already exists, albeit it's only 134 kbps (although maybe it's already been upgraded to 1 Mbps? I'm not sure). VSAT service may also work (although that might be spotty in the middle of the ocean).

I see $4,000+ for the Iridium terminal and $500/m for a 100MB plan.

Thats really really expensive for not a lot of data. Click the wrong link from HN front page and you could burn through half that in one click!

I suppose it could be doable. You'd want to be setup with all your software and development environment before hand and just use the satellite connection for text-only email/chat. Maybe SSH to an outside server and use w3m for web browsing?

It's very expensive but doesn't scale linearly (random searches find 10 GB plans for $2400/m).

I do know people who manage with just satellite, including some in tech. But it's certainly a stretch and being basically unable to stream video is increasingly a liability.

Yes. That use case would be enabled... at a commensurate price.

For everyone worried about these satellite's effect on astronomy, don't the new satellite launch capabilities that make "internet-from-space" suddenly feasible mean that telescopes could be more easily put in orbit too?

It seems like that would solve the light pollution problem. I have no relevant background, though.

could 3000 little telescopes in orbit work together to replace a large one like hubble?

Hubble is not that large compared to the mirrors on ground based telescopes[0]. Ground based Subaru: 8.2m Gran Telescopio Canarias: 10.4m

Space based Hubble: 2.4m James Webb: 6.5m (still on the ground)

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Comparison_optical_telesc...

FWIW, the picture of that black hole that was taken last year was the product of a worldwide cooperation of observatories, combining the received signals with an insanely complex computation.

Hopefully they don't launch their satellites like they do AWS services. By going GA with a buggy service and letting the oncalls smooth it out for the next year.

More seriously though I think the race against time will be a real challenge.

There are few caveats to Amazon’s FCC approval. The company must launch half of the constellation by 2026 to retain its FCC license, and then the remaining satellites by 2029.

That is a lot of satellites to launch in 5 and half years which have to thread in with all the other scheduled launches and limited amount of launch sites to go from.

It's 5 launches per year which it seems like existing launch providers (ahem) could easily accommodate.

No it's not, it's (3226/2) launches over 5 years = ~269 launches per year.

These are tiny satellites, you’re not sending them up one by one. Starlink launch 60 satellites at a time.

That's a brain-fart on my part, sorry about that :)

What is the current state of the client ground antennas used to connect to these satellite constellations? My understanding is the tech is still too large for practical use?

Is the consumer market for the larger antennas big enough to support the satellite costs?

Starlink dishes are smaller than DirectTV apparently.


Would it have the same limitations of the star link constellation? I recall a limited number of users per geographical space could use it. (Not high density areas)

I can also expect space photographers complaining even more going forward.

High density areas are areas in which it is already feasible to run fiber.

> Amazon claims that Kuiper will “provide broadband services to unserved and underserved consumers, businesses in the United States, and global customers by employing advanced satellite and earth station technologies,” according to the FCC’s approval document.

This is about getting internet to places where there is basically none at all now.

Surely Iridium NEXT must be making tons of money to justify these ventures.

There was a really good recent interview with FCC Ajit Pai from the Neoliberal Project , where he discusses a lot of excitement of these small satellites to potentially enhance rural internet connectivity (an issue that seems close to his heart). He also mentions how evolving regulatory framework around small satellites, and how the FCC will become the de facto regulator for satellites despite the FCC primary mandate being the radio spectrum.

Listening to him, you can tell he's like a lot of other crony type Trump appointees; he seems to genuinely care about enhancing communication technologies in the US. I'm not saying I see eye to eye with him on all issues, but I think it's important for federal regulators to see the costs and benefits of policies, even if we fervently disagree with the final conclusion.

Link to the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUeNZsTajJQ

I think you meant

> you can tell he's not like a lot of other crony type Trump appointees

Gah! You're right. Thank you for pointing out my prior typo.

Are those 3,236 satellites just to cover the US area or global? I can't imagine can approve this globally? Wouldn't European and Asian countries have any say in it?

Yay for competition!

I wonder who will launch them, Blue Origin or SpaceX.

I wish the space web was designed to be peer to peer from the start. That would create a new web.

Ah, I remember when Hughes showed up at the O'Reilly P2P conference looking for killer apps for their satellite router. (They ended up using it as a dumb pipe for DirecTV HD channels.)

Ultimately it's IP; it's up to you what to do with it.

There aren't massive data centers in space, so it is all routing.

Also, protocols alone don't grant users addresses that they own and can use publicly and directly P2P, which is how we end up with all these sign-ins to owners of data centers.

Light pollution ended star gazing with the naked eye and required astronomers to move to dark environments. Low orbit constellations of satellites will end astronomy research from the ground and require high orbit telescopes.

Is this really a future we want? Or Will there be room for establishing dark satellite terrains?

What about regular people start gazing?

There will be a time where the novelty of watching satellites passing once in a while will end, and you look up above and among starts you have satellite traffic ... why can't we have nice things...

Eventually they'll all have bright LEDs. They'll start by showing an emoji, :), one time on some special day and we'll all go, "Awwww!" But eventually it'll turn into "10% off Amazon!"

...oh my god.

all the complaints about “too many satellites” is the space version of NIMBY

yay for a communications agency approving space trash.


Vertical, not horizontal monopoly.

Now all I can think about is what they will call the DC region that is in space... And when I can deploy lambdas at satellite edge locations.

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