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12 November 2019


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SpaceX has made many impressive accomplishments in a relatively short period of time.
Will be nice to have some real competition to terrestrial service providers!


Matter is neither created nor destroyed. It goes somewhere. Where? Or has heavily-subsidized Elon Musk also over turned the laws of thermodynamics.


BTW out west, Musk is salivating over our recent power shut-offs. Gleefully encouraging investments in his Tesla Power Walls - which can barely keep a light bulb on so you need at least two of them at the installation price of over $15,000 each.

Better to take a world cruise for a few months while the power is off and eat all the ice cream in your freezer in one sitting.


Didn't know what to make of the astronomers' concerns, but found this video [NYT link] captioned "A constellation of Starlink satellites seen in the night sky over the Netherlands, nearly 24 hours after being launched by SpaceX in May. Credit...By Marco Langbroek Via Reuters" Part of a NYT article on the impact to astronomy [link] but comes with a half-page nag screen about registration and logging in.

Even after repositioning to their permanent higher altitudes and dispersing, the satellites will still be visible and brighter than most stars well after dusk or before dawn. It's the solar panels. SpaceX painted some parts of the earth-facing antenna side black, but they are limited on how much anti-reflective coating they can use on the solar panels while avoiding overheating issues.

This is not a rant for or against Starlink - SpaceX is aware of and working on the problem. The astronomers are right to be concerned about it today, though. It would be a little late to do much once 45,000 of these satellites are in orbit.


Tech-heavy (and starry-eyed for Musk/tech-Utopia) breakdown of Starlink/Starship business plan, using FCC filings:

"Gwynne Shotwell was recently quoted as saying that Starlink is 17x cheaper or faster than OneWeb, which would imply a comparative cost of $0.10/GB... It turns out that SpaceX has an insurmountable advantage over the competition: they can launch a more capable satellite, today, for 15 times less per unit."


Factotum, actually, no, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Powerwall#Powerwall_specifications --each Powerwall now costs about $5,500 to $5,900 & has 13.5 kiloWattHours of power

-ie, it's 13,500 watt hours of power is enough power the common, standard 10-13 watt CFL/LED lightbulb (equal in brightness to old 60 to 100 watt incandescent lightbulbs) for about
1,350 hours
TEN of those light bulbs for 135 hours (for about 6 DAYS continuous)

Each PowerWall battery has a peak simultanenous output of 7,000 watts peak or 5,000 watts continuous,
meaning it can ALSO power your 3,000 watt air conditioner, 1500 watt heaterpool pump, & all electrical appliances also (55 watt HDTV, etc)

It is recommended 1 Powerwall battery per about 1,000 square feet of home to power a home for about a 1 week
it's two Powerwall batteries for a 2,200 square foot home

There is an additional cost of about $1,000 header/inverter (only need 1 inverter per installion)

Standard Labor/installation cost is either free do-it-yourself or $800 to $2,000 depending on the contractor you hire as it is for all home contracting jobs, costs can vary greatly depending on the contractor


Add an appropriate size natural gag powered generator and you have a nice backup power system.



I have a 20 KW gas fed Generac generator. Works splendidly.


Excellent size for home backup.
The ability to run pumps and blowers for heating systems run freezers and refrigerator maintain communication and lighting.
We apso have a wood burning insert but that is as much for pleasure as need


I wonder about usable life span of these satellites. With 'modern' technology advancing so quickly, when will these satellite units become obsolescent? I'll surmise that Space-X has figured the cost to benefit figures out to be profitable for the company, but that makes me wonder what the return on investment is? The business side of this endeavour is mayhaps more important to Space-X, the company, not necessarily Musk the 'projector,' than the science aspect of it.
That said, at least Space-X is considering the end of life issues involved with any low Earth orbit satellite.
I am still seeing a business opportunity presented by the eventual need to "police" the near Earth space "junk" population. It can be done robotically. There is where Space-X can literally "reap" a fortune. DARPA would be all onboard.
Whenever I begin to despair for mankind, along comes some "visionary" to make a new stride into "the unknown." There is hope for us all.

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