Chris joins Leo to talk about how Elon Musk's Starlink satellites are causing problems for astral photographers and astronomers. The satellites are congesting the night sky, even though SpaceX says that they are putting sunshades on the satellites to prevent light reflection and make the satellites more invisible. But Chris says that instead, they are reflecting infrared, which is also problematic when scanning the sky and taking long-exposure photographs. Chris says at least SpaceX is listening and is trying to engineer a solution to prevent light noise from reflecting down from the sky.
Chris joins Leo again to talk about the new Starlink satellites that Space X has been launching into orbit. Starlink's goal is to cover the world with ultra-fast gigabit wireless internet. Currently, there are 180 satellites in orbit, with the goal of 12,000 satellites total. The satellites will be in a low earth orbit, and as such, they will be visible in the night sky. That's going to be a problem for astronomers and astrophotographers. SpaceX is experimenting with a coating that they say will reduce reflectivity, but the other 179 satellites are still going to be a problem.
Louis wants Leo's thoughts on the Starlink project by Elon Musk and SpaceX. Leo says he has mixed emotions. He likes the idea of gigabit speeds anywhere in the planet, but he's not sure he's supportive of 42,000 satellites in low earth orbit. They are already interefering with astronomy, and there's less than 125 of them so far. Astronomers are already complaining, and SpaceX is working to make changes to the reflectivity of future satellites to be launched. Gwen Shotwell, of SpaceX said that nobody thought of that problem when they first conceived of it.
The FCC has approved an application from Elon Musk's SpaceX to deploy 7,000 satellites into space that would offer global broadband internet access. Elon Musk wants a total of 12,000 satellites around the earth in Low Earth Orbit to provide internet to every square inch of the planet's surface. One of the problems with satellite internet is that there's a lot of latency, but Musk says they can get it down to 25 milliseconds, which could be faster than the internet many of us have at home.
Elon Musk's company SpaceX has announced that it has signed the first private moon traveler. The company will announce who it is, and when that flight to the moon will be, on Monday. The original plan called for two passengers to fly around the moon using a Falcon Heavy rocket and a Crew Dragon capsule, but the new strategy is to fly around the moon using an even bigger SpaceX rocket that has its own dedicated passenger ship with only one person aboard.