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Mon May 27, 2019, 10:38 PM

View the long freight train of satellites in the Starlink Group.

As many here already know, Musk launched the first of the Starlink sats on Thursday. They will eventually be used for global internet (pending Space Force Supreme Command approval, I guess).

Anyway, the schedule is now up at n2yo. For those unfamiliar with the satellite tracking site, just click "10 day predictions" here and see when they will be visiting your neighborhood. It takes about ten minutes to go horizon to horizon.

It's best to register if you plan to check often for this or ISS tracking because it keeps your location. They don't seem to spam.

https://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=74001

Here they are streaming across the Netherlands skies on Friday:


<iframe width="1053" height="790" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

To be honest, I'm not sure I'm going to like seeing these once they're all streaking around like a hypersonic legion of lightning bugs. They're said to be very bright.

Read more about them on Jalopnik:

https://jalopnik.com/spacexs-starlink-satellites-are-forming-an-impressive-c-1835036656

7 replies, 1142 views

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Reply View the long freight train of satellites in the Starlink Group. (Original post)
JohnnyRingo May 2019 OP
SergeStorms May 2019 #1
JohnnyRingo May 2019 #2
SergeStorms May 2019 #7
MontanaMama May 2019 #3
brooklynite May 2019 #4
AtheistCrusader May 2019 #6
AtheistCrusader May 2019 #5

Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 11:53 PM

1. I do the same for the International Space Station.

You can register at NASA and they'll send an email whenever it's within viewing sight of your location. I'd like to see this as well, so I might as well register and take a gander. If nothing else I get to look to look at all the beautiful stars. Thanks for the post!

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Response to SergeStorms (Reply #1)

Tue May 28, 2019, 02:11 AM

2. n2yo also tracks the ISS and many other satellites.

It gives a ten day prediction rated by viewing quality.
It's usually cloudy that night though.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Reply #2)

Tue May 28, 2019, 06:31 PM

7. "It's usually cloudy".....

How right you are! I noticed that list of other satellites, and I'll be on the lookout for some of them. I love watching the Space Station. Just thinking that they about 250 miles above earth traveling at 17,000 mph is mind blowing. I've been watching satellites since I was a kid in the 60s. They were rare then, but now there's so much junk up there it's hard NOT to see one on any given clear night. It's finding that clear night that's problematic.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 05:03 AM

3. Thanks for the post!

Itíll be fun to watch for this....my kiddo will love it.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 05:52 AM

4. Before getting excited, read the story of "Iridium"...


Iridium, the global satellite phone company backed by Motorola (MOT), filed for bankruptcy in 1999, after the company had spent $5 billion to build and launch its infrastructure of satellites to provide worldwide wireless phone service. At the time, it was one of the 20 largest bankruptcies in US history. To work properly, the system needed 66 satellites. The creation of this enormous system forced the company to default on $1.5 billion of debt. The service had been such a failure that it only had 10,000 subscribers. This was, in part, due to technical difficulties with Iridium's first handsets. According to a Dartmouth Tuck Business School case study on the history of Iridium in 1998, the company forecast that it would have 500,000 subscribers by the following year. But, the service was expensive for customers, and the cellular phone business had started to take hold as its infrastructure was built out in most of the large developed countries. An Iridium handset cost $3,000 and talk time was as much as $5 a minute. Cellular service was not as broadly available, but it was far less expensive.Technology difficulties also made the service unpopular. Because Iridium's technology depended on line-of-sight between the phone antenna and the orbiting satellite, subscribers were unable to use the phone inside moving cars, inside buildings, and in many urban areas.

http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1898610_1898625_1898640,00.html


Elon Musk is a great inventor; he is not necessarily a great businessman.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #4)

Tue May 28, 2019, 03:27 PM

6. Iridium was quickly supersceded by terrestrial coverage/bandwidth.

If SpaceX can control costs... at 200$ it's only double the cost of a regular cable modem to the end user. Compare a old Motorola flip phone to an iridium-compatible phone from the 90's. (Let alone service costs.)

If this works out like getting Fibre wirelessly, Comcast is dead in the water.

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Response to JohnnyRingo (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 03:21 PM

5. They won't be bright for too much longer.

They are at 440km altitude, and will be boosted to 550km shortly.

They're already hard to spot, most of the time. They don't look like that photo unless optimal viewing angle. I spotted two of them last night, but they didn't glow like that, I just caught a couple bright flashes as they apparently rotated.

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