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View Diary: What NASA Could Be (320 comments)

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  •  Re: hard wired land line (1+ / 0-)
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    Futuristic Dreamer

    How many Americans do not even have a hard wired land line anymore?

    I'm pretty sure domestic calls made on cell phones have nothing at all to do with satellite communications.  

    The rest of you argument is interesting though.  I think "turn into the stone age literally overnight." is a little bit alarmist, but space debris is definitely a big problem.  

    •  cell phones (2+ / 0-)

      "The Consumer Electronics Association said this week, 17 percent of consumers who purchased wireless phones in the last 90 days are using them as their one and only telephone.

      The shift away from land lines to wireless phones is particularly common among younger age groups, renters and singles, CEA said.

      In an emergency, that could create a digital divide between those who can get through to family, friends and assistance and those who can't, some experts say.

      Cell phones failed miserably following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks, after the Great Northeast Blackout in the summer of 2003 and again following Hurricane Katrina and other storms."

      I beleve if it was a space emergency they would fail the same way.

      Weather Sats, Emergency Response, GPS, etc are all tied to space assets. The more junk we put in orbit, the bigger the problem becomes in the longterm.

      We spent a couple billion on the Hubble Space Telescope, can you imagine spending blllions on a telescope or other infrastructure on the ground and then have absolutly NO human maintence? No routine service calls? No routine upgrades?

      We have to break this idea the space is different, it not nothing more then the natural extension to our natural environment as are the seas and air.

      We have to develope IN SPACE ships to ROUTINELY service and upgrade the BILLIONS we have invested in American space infrastructure.

      America does not have assets on the moon. We DO have billions of dollars in assest in GEO. Instead of worrying about the moon and mars, lets develope the infrastructure to create a "gas n' go" LEO to GEO commercial space economy.

      •  Cell phones also failed last Thursday in NOLA (1+ / 0-)
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        ...just because it snowed, and everyone was calling everyone else to say "Hey it's snowing!!!"  Call me an old fogey but I get my phone and my internet through copper twisted pair, and I don't get cable TV at all.

      •  You're completely wrong about cellular service (1+ / 0-)
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        There is zero domestic cellular service over satellite links. Cellular backhaul is all over terrestial fiber. There is essentially zero international telephone service over satellite, because everybody hates the delay.  3E+8 m/s, it's not just a good idea, it's the law. :-)

        Landline phones suffer from exactly the same overload during natural disasters. Phone companies don't put in enough switch capacity to handle every single customer in the state calling every other single customer in the state to say "hey, how about that hurricane" (or earthquake, or whatever).

        The Hubble is a wonderful machine, but it's design suffered from "if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem you run into looks like a nail" syndrome. It was designed to fit the shuttle, because that was the launch vehicle they had. Lacking the shuttle, we would have launched multiple, smaller, cheaper, special-purpose telescopes, done just as much science (though in some cases, possibly somewhat different science), and when one fails, you de-orbit it and launch a new one (which you can afford to do because they're cheaper).


        •  cell phones and land line phones can use sats. (0+ / 0-)

          "Also it would be impossible to place towers out in the ocean far from land, again making your celullarl phone worthless when not close to a cell tower."

          "Satellite Phones do not use "cells" or cell towers. The most popular hand held satellite telephones use Low Earth Orbiting or LEO satellites. When you turn on your satellite phone the signal goes up to any number of satellites in a compatible constellation where it is then registered with the constellation. Globalstar has 48 satellites and Iridium has 66 that orbit the earth. When making a call the satellite signal goes to the satellites this it is directed down to a ground station or gateway where it is directed by the gateway the to the call destination. The call can be directed to a land-line or PSTN as well as a cellular network. The reverse is also true. Any land-line or cellular network can call satellite phones. The Gateway processes and takes care of the switching of the calls rather than the satellite network. This allows you to use your phone even when you are in the middle or no where far from any cell tower. If you call another compatible satellite phone the call is transmitted up to the satellites and then down to the ground station then transmitted back up to the satellites then down to receiving satellite phone. This is the ultimate secure calling because the encryption is handled at the ground station because the call never goes to a land-line or PSTN."

          Cell phones need towers and there isn't any on the ocean. You can have cell phones routing through sats.

          •  You're not listening, sigh. (1+ / 0-)
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            Cellular and landline phone could use satellite links, but they don't. You understand why, don't you?

            The round-trip delay over a geosynchronous-orbit satellite link is about 1/4 second. A conversation over a link like that is very unpleasant, if you've ever done it. Nobody in their right mind would pay money for service like that if there is an alternative. Since there is an alternative (terrestrial fiber service), most people will go their entire lives without ever talking over a satellite link.

            Satellite coms are used a lot for television, though, and you've seen the result when a television reporter is interviewing a "civilian" inexperienced in broadcast journalism; lots of talking over each other,
            looking confused while they're "waiting" for an answer they expect to be quick, etc.


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