(A satellite the size of a showbox. Image from Bloomberg)
As discussed in my article The soon-to-be commercial ‘Space Race’ may entail that more junk will be sent into Space the launch of a billionaire’s very expensive electric car, that in reality an environmental conscious ‘poor’ people (that is pretty much everyone) may not be able to afford to ween off the barbarism of the Middle East and revel in an environmentalist euphoria in support of the electric car. The space car at this point, although it was never intended to hit Mars, in its ad hoc and irresponsible advertising stunt, is on its way to the asteroid belts of our Solar System. It will be destroyed at some point (via the possible trillions of asteroids in those regions), as the Cosmos in its design, will attempt to remodel anything of weak design, that may have formed from intelligent life. A remodeling that eventually turns it into a space debris or better known as “junk”
So, with my critique of childish superficiality of utilizing space as an advertising stunt with what could have been sent into Space (monuments of human endurance) was missed on this occasion.
The new Space race which has begun in gusto not seen since the first superpower space race that occurred within the last cold war over fifty years ago. In this flux of digital connectivity with its Potemkin villages, the assumption could be viewed at times that all is well. It’s not. We have a new cold war which entails that there is also a new nuke arms race erringly similar to to the past. Space, that is also considered cold war territory, which in turn has the interests of all the major superpowers to have a dominance over, thus, with SpaceX leading the charge in its ability to deliver anything into outer space, more so to our very crowded lower and upper atmospheres. Private Space companies will also offer the service, this may extend to security contract firms who are developing smaller and more advanced communication satellites. A space race to build Space-internet networks, that could, say in a major conflict on Earth, be the last bastion of communication and global positioning systems.
Except, as noted in my previous article. This will lead to a further deregulation of the Space industry, that will lead to increases in the amount of unauthorized launches into space of various communication satellites from private companies.
From the Register article 9th March 2018
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has pulled permission from Silicon Valley startup Swarm Technologies to launch four satellites into space after what it says was an “apparent unauthorized launch” back in January.
According to IEEE Spectrum, that unauthorized launch consisted of four experimental satellites that the FCC had decided were too small to be noticed in space – and hence pose an unacceptable risk of collision – but which the company may have launched anyway, using a rocket based in India.
The federal regulator has sent a stern letter [PDF] to Swarm withdrawing its permission to launch four new, larger version of its “SpaceBee” satellites while it looks into events.
“The grant for STA 0026‐EX‐ST‐2018 has been set aside and is now in a pending status for further review,” an email from the head of the FCC’s Experimental Licensing Branch, Anthony Serafini, to Swarm’s owners reads. “The International Bureau requested that the grant be set aside in order to permit assessment of the impact of the applicant’s apparent unauthorized launch and operation of four satellites, and related statements and representations, on its qualifications to be a Commission licensee. “
The launch under scrutiny carried a range of satellites but while Indian space agency ISRO lists all those satellites and their owners, the four “two-way satellite communications and data relay” devices in question are anonymous.
“…The idea behind the mini-satellites – which the company proudly calls “the world’s smallest two-way communications satellites” – is to create an internet-of-things network in outer space.
Swarm envisions many, smaller and cheaper satellites circling the globe and providing tracking for billions of devices on the ground. The National Science Foundation has even given the company grants to pursue its plans.
The company is run by people with an impressive track record of space-related engineering, and, according to the space biz, several very large corporations and the US military have expressed an interest.