What type of flying machines is this ?

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bmcj

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The math does not add up. If mine is right you're looking at something around $25 billion in launch cost alone, plus the satellites, plus the ground networking system, plus satellite replacement maintenance, and on and on.
But for a young launch company like SpaceX, these launches can also serve as testbeds for new modifications and also builds the company’s reputation for launch reliability. It’s hard to place a value on those.
 

Johan Fleischer

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I disagree.
There's lots of the planet with poor or no internet that will be willing to pay.
One satellite dish + a micro-cell, and you have internet & mobile.
There's plenty of people in remote Aus who would pay for this, let alone Africa.
Guess it's not the satellite dish or the mirco-cell that's the problem. It will be the monthly subscription for access to the service.
 

gtae07

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Guess it's not the satellite dish or the mirco-cell that's the problem. It will be the monthly subscription for access to the service.
One Starlink station, a wifi base with repeaters, and many people can share the subscription cost. Besides, who says the pricing will be the same per subscription?

Those of us in wealthy countries would buy/rent our own station and our own subscription but other places can do it differently. Heck, we did that as college interns living in an apartment complex 15 years ago--one goy got the internet service and a good router and we all split the cost.

I don't think many here really appreciate what Musk and his team did here. They're making internet satellites at half a million each--or less--and launching sixty of them every two to three weeks or so. In other words they're putting up sixty of these things at a time for less than anyone else can even buy a rocket for, let alone the satellite. That's
how it's viable.
 
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ScaleBirdsScott

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I remember 20 years ago the whole idea of broadband internet was pretty wild to me, dealing with my 56k as it was. Within just a few years broadband cable internet was indispensable. Then, it was 3/4/5G cell internet. Internet on the phone now, is an amazing feature.

Phones with bluetooth and data connections streaming music, along with cars having bluetooth built in, crushed any possible advantages satellite radio had. Satellite radio doesn't play what you want, doesn't have uncensored music, has DJ's still, and cuts out whenever you pass by a random tree or go through an underpass. So it's arguably worse than a good FM station.

Having one service that can people can link to from anywhere is going to be a big deal if it works. It seems like a no-brainer that it should be a better setup than having to run physical highspeed cable everywhere;, but the fact no-one has, well, means there was something stopping it. If the only thing stopping it was that launch costs and satellite assembly costs were too high before, and now SpaceX's launch economics make sense, then I'm cautiously optimistic. The fact is they're already doing it, it's not some hypothetical thing. We'll just have to see what the speeds and uptime are really like.

The fact that the satellites interfere with astronomy has me really sad, but, I'm hopeful that between better communication and tech between the Starlink network and the astronomers doing their surveys, that the issues won't be too big.
 

lr27

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Hmmm... The combination of gun enthusiasts and ever higher tech may make these satellites into orbital skeet. ;-)
 

RogFlyer

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There are also plenty of people in well-off areas who are fed up with their current provider and would switch if an option were available. I would.
If I could put it on/in the car, I'd very seriously look at. I go fairly bush (in normal times, now festering at home) and my sat phone costs me $200+ per month - lots of dropouts, restricted SMS and with basically zero internet. But its convenient to be able to ring, and also for added safety - even though I have HF in the chariot and an EPIRB.
 

Aviacs

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As for Africa and Central Asia, those people live off about $50-100/mnth (or less) ... how are they going to afford $50/mnth satellite internet ?
We live in upstate NY, pay more than $50 month, have s(p)it for performance & data (can only intermittently watch video's, e.g.). Would love to have competition for current provider.

smt
 

MadProfessor8138

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Pops.......one of my friends works security on the airbase in Louisville and he was telling me that there was a big movement of aircraft.
I heard them flying over all night but didn't know if it was a few aircraft on maneuvers at Ft.Knox that kept circling or if it was many individual aircraft passing over in route.
He said there was a mass movement of several hundred aircraft that night for some reason.
I know that I heard them for around 6 hours continuously through the night so i don't dought his count.
That may have been what they saw.....

Kevin
 

Pops

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Pops.......one of my friends works security on the airbase in Louisville and he was telling me that there was a big movement of aircraft.
I heard them flying over all night but didn't know if it was a few aircraft on maneuvers at Ft.Knox that kept circling or if it was many individual aircraft passing over in route.
He said there was a mass movement of several hundred aircraft that night for some reason.
I know that I heard them for around 6 hours continuously through the night so i don't dought his count.
That may have been what they saw.....

Kevin
The other day I watched an Airforce C-5 land at KPKB and about 20 minutes latter took off and headed north. Small airport/ small town. There is a Helo National Guard unit at the airport. They have been flying far less than normal the last couple weeks. Have no idea ???
 

TFF

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I think also the issue is these small satellites are short term life span. They are designed to litter the lower edges of space and then fall out. Another batch gets sent to replace. Launching these things have to be constant. The business beauty is if it becomes staple, you have to buy rocket time. The litter will also challenge any other launches. Slight control over space landscape too.

I thought this was supposed to be something like Radio Free Europe. Cheap internet, but cheap internet for people not intended to have internet. A little social disruption as much as information.
 
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