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.
Ted thinks that cities should offer free citywide WiFi. Leo says that many cities have done that, but telcos have lobbied congress and even state governments to prohibit municipal WiFi, claiming it's anti-competitive. And it's in 23 states so far and counting. Leo adds that Elon Musks Starlink satellite WiFi network will make the debate a moot point.
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.