Microwaving Our Planet
In an effort to connect every “thing”, event, and place on the planet to the internet, plans are for launching over 100,000 satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to complement terrestrial 5G. (NB: estimates vary.) As of April 2nd, 2021, over 80 countries had satellite programs. Elon Musk’s SpaceX is leading the charge with plans for 48,000 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites set to communicate with millions of User Terminals and hundreds of Earth base stations. Most recently, the company has applied to the FCC for additional user terminals for vehicles called, Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM).
For an overview of LEO satellites operating, approved and proposed, please see: 441,449 LOW EARTH ORBIT SATELLITES
For an overview of satellite companies in China, please see: https://spacenews.com/automaker-geely-gains-approval-for-satellites-for-self-driving-constellation/
Dangers posed by satellites include space debris, collisions, depletion of the ozone layer; risk of devastating cyber attacks, pollution from rocket launches and from “dead” satellites burning up in the atmosphere; plutonium and uranium spills from nuclear-powered satellites and space vehicles; increase in already harmful levels of EMF radiation, permanent compromise of the night sky, interference with astronomical research and weather forecasting; effects on wildlife, yet more tracking, surveillance and erosion of privacy; vastly more energy consumption, and the “promise” of increasing the lethality of war.
Satellites are being used for commercial gain, be it communications, data-harvesting, growing artificial intelligence, weather-forecasting, smart cities, banking, critical infrastructure etc.. They are also being used by the military in Systems Warfare and are slated to increase the lethality of war.
Although SpaceX and other mega constellations claim satellites are necessary to “bridge the digital divide”, doing so would be far more effectively accomplished by means of safer wired connections, with wireless or laser filling in on essential services, if and where cable is absolutely unfeasible.
Satellite companies claim speeds will exceed those of fiber optics. But this is highly speculative as there are many variables to consider as data makes its way around the world. Satellite communications must also rely on laser, fiber, WiFi, and cell towers depending on the application, and speeds will vary accordingly.
Satellites can be placed at varying distances from earth.
High Earth Orbit (HEO) – c. 35,000 km above Earth (22,000 mi) (Geo-synchronous Orbit)
Middle Earth Orbit (MEO) – 2000 – 35,000 km above Earth (c. 1200 – 22,000 mi)
Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO) – 160 to 2,000 km (99 to 1200 mi) above Earth, but primarily in the closer range, 160-1000 km (99 – 600 mi).
At least 80,000 satellite applications have been, or are in the process of being approved by the Federal Communica5ions Commission in the USA, most of which are destined for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Very Low Earth Orbit. It is unclear how many satellites are in orbit or planned from the other 80+ countries with satellite programs.
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The Future of 5G in Defense is Here – This is AT&T marketing propaganda, but it does show the intention.
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The Military is Preparing for a ‘Space Superhighway,’ Complete with Pit Stops