Chris Mclaughlin, Jonathan Mcdowell, Twelve Hundred Kilometer discussed on Future Tense

Future Tense
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Impacting the night sky. Maybe it's the way we wanna go industrialized space. But it shouldn't be done unilaterally. By one country one company should be discussed by all the stakeholders which are all the countries and cultures around the world. What we discovered in twenty. Nineteen when spacex starring their starling satellites. Those satellites are big enough and bright enough that if they are in a very low orbit an oriented particular ways they can be just super. Bright spacex is satellites during their operational orbit thereby fainter and often outcry from strana. Moore's they changed the design and also the way they operate them to make them fainter yet and so now they're at the point where space x constellation is just on the margins of to thanks to see with the naked eye even really dark spot we should talk about. Is the night sky. Something that is a natural resource for humanity. And i think it is. I think it's culturally important to many many people. Then we should protect it as part of the environment and that might mean a cap on the number of satellites above a certain size in a certain order to you know we're not trying to stop these. These internet constellations that are going up but but we do think there should be some regulation some cap on them that takes into account the light pollution environmental impacts as well as the space traffic impacts that we've talked about with the the risks of collisions. One web was one of the first to get started with these mega constellations. In fact elon. Musk was an original partner in the project. Chris mclaughlin is chief of government and regulatory engagement was a vision by an american entrepreneur to provide. Bantu everyone everywhere. Like twenty twelve in. Visit the idea of low. Ethel satellites bringing communications to the most distant village all the most remote community and he set about with initial setup shareholders. Making this vision. A reality with satellites approximately twelve hundred originally the would go up into a twelve hundred kilometer orbit around the these travelling through space at equal intervals. And these you'll coverage so just like when you're driving down the road on a mobile phone. Switches either from moss moss. So the satellites it off and disconnect the signal along the way. It's done seamlessly. So you have your internet connection but it's space. We're going to see pretty soon a realization that we just confident anymore. Satellites in some of these low orbits so there's a bit of a rush right now for companies. I think to claim we want permission to get these large numbers of satellites up while the going is still good. China is another big issue here because Trying to didn't used to be a big space player until the mid nineties. Now it's huge. It's getting up to be on a par with the us in terms of amount of space usage. And they still. I think are a little behind the us in their attitude to the environmental issues in our specs and they have as is typical for the late. Comers as we see in other environmental issues that they have been of the attitude of well. Us has been messing up for decades. We need our chance. Now before we start joining the cleanup guy If you're wondering what can happen. When space junk collides an incident that occurred in two thousand and nine is a good example. He's jonathan mcdowell again from harvard smithsonian center astrophysics. Iridium communications satellite. So this was a Basically a cell phone system that you satellites of american company and they had about seventy satellites in orbit and one of them was chortling along. Its orbit one day and an old dead soviet satellite Got in the way. And so you had to half ton. Roughly satellites that smashed into each other at twenty thousand miles an hour. If you imagine a one ton truck hitting you at a hundred miles an hour. That's a good measure of energy. It's about a mega jewel. This collision in space had fifty four thousand times that amount of energy that created thousands of pieces of shrapnel from from those satellites that are still many of them orbiting the earth today in those days. The wasn't sort of real early warning system the us military track the satellites and they go. Oh yeah we see what's That's what saddening but in those days they didn't sort of predict for to see if there was a risk of collision except for just for the space station with the astronauts on it after this collision people. When you know you should really be doing a better job on this now. We see much more than when this collision happened. Satellite's going oh i'm going to do a little maneuver because there's a warning that i might it. This piece of debris with the commercial space industry booming the laws and regulations that govern our use of space a struggling to keep up with the pace of change. He's chris mclaughlin again from one web. We haven't gone in-space unaccepted structure full policing lead. Cohen's the space commons. What is the appropriate number. How should we be ensuring that space continues to be used by all society's going forward over many many decades to come. Why should we allow one entrepreneur for example to attend actually lead space To a terminal level now in all cases that will have to be reflected on the good this dumb. We very connected society. I'm by myself. I'm talking to my in laws in sydney on a regular basis on it's done by connections that we will take for granted. Satellite plays a key part in those but we have to balance of what is good for us now. We good frog grandchildren. So we do need to reflect on. What is the correct approach to the space. Coleman's are rule satellite operators behaving equally responsibly. And does it require some thinking. On national and international level to achieve the kind of balance we have international. Maritime victoria sampson is from the secure world foundation. They work to promote the safe.

Coming up next