Elon Musk’s satellites provide high-speed internet worldwide. They provide internet connectivity even in remote areas
Elon Musk’s satellites: facts and background
The company Starlink is a sub-company of SpaceX, which provides high-speed internet worldwide with its satellites. As of 2018, it is estimated that there are about 3000 satellites in orbit around the Earth. Significantly more are to be launched into space. According to Elon Musk’s plans, 12000 more satellites are to follow.
- Elon Musk, the entrepreneur: He is considered the richest man in the world, with a total estimated fortune of $260 billion. Musk is the owner of many companies. Among the most famous are PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla, Neuralink and Twitter.
- Starlink: According to its own information, the satellite internet service currently has 400,000 subscribers. These include both households and businesses in 36 countries. Most of them are in Europe, North America and Australasia. Connection fees are $549. In addition, there are $99 monthly fees.
- Satellite detection: When satellites are launched into space, they are visible even to the naked eye. If you see glowing objects in a string of pearls in the sky, it’s probably a new batch of Starlink satellites.
- Problems: Due to the increasing number of objects in Earth orbit, there may be dangers. Satellites could collide with other objects, creating wreckage. If there are too many fragments in low-Earth orbit, it could become unusable. It could become a problem to penetrate the near-Earth orbit. In addition, the work of astronomers will be affected. The satellites could cause streaks on telescope images, preventing the view of stars and planets.
- Kessler syndrome: This is a scenario named after the astronomer Donald J. Kessler. It is about the cascading increase of space debris. If there are more and more objects in space, they also collide frequently with each other and space debris is created. This means that there are more objects in space again and the probability of a collision is increased. So it’s a chain reaction that keeps increasing.
Dangers from Elon Musk’s satellites
Beyond the visible dangers, there could be other problems. If Elon Musk puts his plan into action, he could create a monopoly.
- Definition: An economic monopoly can be created by either a supplier or a buyer. If there is only one supplier for a particular market, he has the monopoly. If there is only one buyer, he has the monopoly. It can be concluded that the one who has the monopoly determines the price.
- Monopoly by Starlink: Should the company be the only provider of high-speed internet from space, this could lead to a monopoly. Nowadays, an internet connection is extremely important. For the population as well as for businesses and the state.
- Infrastructures: Since communication is mainly done online, it could become a problem if a company provides most of the internet. Production, communication as well as control processes are now dependent on an internet connection. If these are disrupted, there could be a massive impact on the population, the economy and the state.