Are Small Sats the future?

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SpaceX just asked permission to launch 4,425 satellites.

"The system will be able to provide broadband service at speeds of up to 1 Gbps per end user."

http://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-internet-satellite-constellation-2016-11
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Jim16

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Posted 2 years ago

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Russtytrucker

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Wow! That would be cool if they can pull that off.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Sounds like a copy cat of the failed Google attempt at this a few years back.

Of course, SpaceX first will have to perfect their rockets, which have a history of destroying themselves and their payloads on launch.

A nice idea, but there are many financial and technical things to overcome. Never give up hope, though.
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Nathan Williams

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SpaceX is your bargain launcher. Cheap flights but you get what you pay for.
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david, Champion

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They're launching like clockwork now. 
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Matt F, Viasat Official Rep

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Hi Jim16, 

This interview has some interesting thoughts from our CEO Mark Dankberg on this subject: http://www.satellitetoday.com/telecom/2015/12/14/viasat-embarks-on-global-triple-satellite-network/  

(The article was written a little while ago, so some of the specifics might be slightly dated, but I think Mark's thoughts are still quite relevant.)

Basically, he says that ViaSat has thought about a Low Earth Orbit constellation similar to what SpaceX announced. But he also notes that a LEO network of thousands of weaker satellites would have a lot of wasted capacity, since most of the satellites would be sitting above empty water at any given time. 

LEO just has a different set of advantages and disadvantages compared to what we are doing in the immediate future, and we obviously think our approach is better for our current goals. But I think it's fair to say that a lot of companies are interested to see if someone can make a LEO constellation really work.

Exede Matt
(Edited)
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Jim16

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Thanks Exede Matt, very interesting article.
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Jim16

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Another interesting article.  It seems more companies are going to these "constellations".
http://spacenews.com/fcc-grants-telesat-leo-market-access-despite-viasat-protests/
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Bradley

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The low latency you could get with these is key. I’m onboard for whoever is first.

Didn’t ViaSat file to put up medium satellites too?
(Edited)
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Jim16

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"One analysis of data submitted by SpaceX to the FCC concluded there is a 45 percent chance of injury or death to someone over a five-year period from debris that survives reentry of SpaceX's Starlink satellites. Individual Starlink satellites comply with a requirement that they pose no greater than a 1-in-10,000 chance of causing injury or death upon reentry, but the FCC noted that the sheer size of the constellations, which could eventually comprise nearly 12,000 satellites, created a much higher aggregate risk. SpaceX says it's working with NASA on ways to ensure more parts of each satellite burn up on reentry and other design changes to minimize risk to people."
https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/aerospace/satellites/the-odds-that-one-of-spacexs-internet-satel...

(Edited)
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Russtytrucker

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A 100' Douglas fir fell by my house in a storm the other day.  Missed by about 20'.  Life goes on, bring on the LEO internet!
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Jim16

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Did it make a sound?
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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On falling, it was heard to exclaim "I'm good!"
(Edited)