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UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • I’m late to the party, but for some reason I’m taking a liking to Elon Musk and the Tesla Products.

    I’ve been watching developments of Tesla batteries, power walls, but not their vehicles. Well the cyber truck got my attention.

    For reasons unknown to me I’ve warmed to the CEO Elon Musk. He reminds me of a best mate who died recently. He was also born with a spoon in the feeding slot and lived in the house of tomorrow. But this guy seems genuine and the Tesla products are everything we hoped for in our past darker years. Long life batteries, energy from the sun. The hippy dream was once candles and outside fires, minimal footprint as we stomped around the countryside in smokey old recks, looking for jack plug points for the electric guitar. We had it all, except affordable, portable technology. Times change hippies are evolving, fision, fusion, next to zero carbon are duplicating the hippy renewable mantra.

    Everything about the Tesla concept appears to float my boat and it’s not Chinese.

    This guy Elon seems young and hopefully the years ahead of him will benefit all of us facing a future without our tried and tested diesel rigs which we cherish. We have excepted technology into our lives freely, but the material tech has come with a price tag, not only to acquire, but to maintain and use.
    Some of the technical developments like LED lighting, Solar panels, computers, tablets, smartphones have revolutionised not only industry and science, but life on boats, vehicles, and in homes. The future battery storage, and propulsion of vehicles will make a hugue difference to our lives, especially as energy seems to be increasing in our demands and it’s cost.

    What am I not seeing in this Tesla company developments? I’m seeing mega factories in Countries like USA and Australia, along with mining operations for battery minerals.

  • Perhaps you'd better take a look at the controversial Starlink project before lauding Elon Musk too much......

    He has put hundreds of low Earth orbit satellites up already, without international consultation, and intends to put up over 40,000 more. Raising protests from astronomers who don't want their viewing of the night sky spoiled by such a huge number of satellites, which will eventually become space debris.....

    He says he will try to reduce the glare from his satellites because of these protests, but big money talks, and he is likely to continue with his project anyway.

    Do it first, and see if anyone complains later. The American way....

  • I watched the latest launch at the weekend. It sure is getting crowded up their. I’m not going to say we should all abandon our cell phones, sat navs, to limit the interference for ground based astronomers oldkeith. The way I see it, these satellites, along with all the others up there for whatever country, use, service is the price we collectively pay for the drive for advanced information technology, civil, science and military.

    The car orbiting the sun is probably a crass move by Tesla industry. But if you had that ability, Im sure some folk would find abjection in whatever it was you wanted to do beyond the norm.

    I do have a issue with destroying a object in space (other than a direct threat to earth) and subsequently creating a debris trail that will not only threaten satalites and space exploration for generations to come China

    I've been studying rocket advancement and the shear numbers involved with fuel/s requirements, speeds/ time scales and distances. If we are to put man on mars or search deep space for Earth 2. It blew my mind to watch the fuel cells return to Earth and land on deck at sea. That is far better than waste and potential hazards of burn up or ejection into space.

    So the dilemma is should we continue to allow low orbit to be further cluttered with orbit based communication/science equipment and space stations, To limit obstruction and hazards. I’m of the opinion access to space telescopes data like Hubble for example, is a fair trade off for earth based amateur astronomers inconvenience. Light pollution from land based infrastructure plays more havoc that orbiting equipment.
    There will be a time when we have to clean up all space junk in orbit.

  • I am not at all convinced that this plethora of low Earth orbit satellites are necessary.

    You realise Musk is just in this for the money he hopes to make from these communication satellites? And perhaps a little bit of glory, or ego-massage, of course.

    The point is, he has not consulted with the other countries of the world, and their scientists, before doing this. He has only got 'permission' from the Federal Communications Commission, whose authority, so far as I am aware, extends only to American territory. The Earth and the sky above, most people would say, if it belongs to anyone, belongs to everyone on Earth.

    So you have one branch of (privately-funded) science, really commercial science, spoiling some of the processes of publicly-funded science, astronomy. If Musk puts 40,000 satellites up there, and Amazon puts at least 10,000 satellites up there, and various other big concerns will want their systems up there too, it is quite likely that well over a hundred thousand could be up there in a few years time. And as these first ones degenerate, others will take their place, and the dead ones, many of them, will become more space debris in low orbit. Do we really want all this junk - millions of tons of it - encircling the planet above our heads? Where is the planetary ecology in all this?

    They may come a time when our grandchildren tell their grandchildren that at one time you could look at the sky from Earth, and see the stars.....:(

  • I agree with your concerns. To date we have placed 9,000 objects in orbit. 6,000 are still in operation. These satellites are not stationary, so are not constantly over one Country. Maybe that’s why he has the go ahead. Plus it will allow remote clients valuable access to the internet. So those who actually gain will vastly outnumber those who maybe inconvenienced. On the bright side these many thousands of satellites have only a 6year life expectancy.

  • But a 6-year life expectancy means an even quicker replacement cycle, so more and more junk thrust into orbit, more and more space debris, and a much higher risk of accidents from junk as it burns in. And as for one country, logically all these satellites should be in stationary orbit locked over the USA, because that is the only country that has given permission for them. (Would the US public like that?)

    Let's put the boot on the other foot for a moment:

    China puts a 100,000 low-orbit satellites into the sky over a five-year period. Despite protests from other countries and their scientists. Are we happy with that?

    The aim, apart from the obvious one of making money from a communications system, is to be able to trace and pinpoint any dissidents of Chinese origin anywhere in the world, and if thought necessary, take them out with mini-drones. There might be a few collateral casualties, but maybe not too many.

    The technology already exists, but there are many places in the world it does not cover at present. Such a satellite system would give it full coverage.

    Then perhaps we could move on from Chinese dissidents, to most anyone who expressed an opinion contrary to the powers of the day. These too could be taken care of, at a price of course, wherever they were hiding, so long as they had a vehicle, a phone, or any other electronic communications device.

    Good system, huh?:reddevil:

  • I think the ability to hunt, seek and destroy already exist. Those high orbit, stationary satellites have covered the globe. There’s obviously a few moments when coverage is lost.
    The physics/science behind many satellites in low orbit, means time lag is reduced from 1.5 milliseconds (each way) to practically be faster than land based fibre optics. Since light travels faster in vacuum. Plus signal with be transferred via laser. Also the higher power requirements to transmit/receive is vastly reduced with low orbit

    After 6 years, these satellites will be powered/flown in on command, to burn up on reentry.

  • After 6 years, these satellites will be powered/flown in on command, to burn up on reentry

    You hope! Just like the present ones, which regularly cannot be brought down. As an ex-technician, I can assure you that if an electronic device can go wrong, once in a while it will go wrong:).

    You are over-optimistic about present capabilities of hunt seek and destroy. Most cell phones cannot signal satellites without any intermediary device in between. They lack the power to do so. That is why we have masts to transmit signals to booster stations. There are many areas of the earth where a cell phone is currently useless, because there are no masts within its transmission distance. Much depends on local geography, too. Even down the hill in Dovedale you can have difficulty getting a signal in and out, and that is in the middle of a densely-populated country. An area I visit in Norfolk often has similar difficulties.

    When these satellites are in place, such dead areas will no longer exist, and the whole earth will be covered, for better or worse, depending on who or what is running the operations.

  • I agree with you with phones that rely on a tower signal. I’ve got a Magellan 2000XL gps handheld unit. I’ve had it since 1999/2000 it can pin point me to within a few metres including altitude. I gave my grid ref to the control tower at a RAF base in 2000 I had asked permission to attempt a world record largest model rocket attemp at a festival I founded. A fighter jet dropped through the clouds and buzzed the festival site. Minutes later RAF phoned me to say go for launch. You can’t buy publicity like that. :D or setting fire to the grass/woodland festival site when the rocket crashed :) I even got the festival on the BBC 6 O’clock news because of the rocket/grass fire :whistle:

    Three satellites overhead to triangulate. When I bought it, the military allowed civilian use and intermittently jigged the signal discrepancy. Now with more motorists/em services relying on accuracy they have stopped jigging the signal. Similar satellite tech can see the registration plate on a motor vehicle. Any phone can be traced and if enough eyes are on the target, less chance of a miss shot. it’s not all cyber wars granted.
    Musk doesn’t strike me as a Political/military puppet and sees any income generated going on SpaceX rocket development to discover a 2nd Earth exoplanet and explore space. Have faith. :thumbup::dready:

  • I have no faith in rich men.

    'Show me a rich man, and I'll show you a thief' A mate of mine used to say.:reddevil:

    I have met some quite pleasant rich men in the course of a lifetime, but I have never met one who thought he had enough....

    But that's another topic.