Starlink terminals deployed in Ukraine

Matthew Petach mpetach at
Tue Mar 1 23:01:26 UTC 2022

On Tue, Mar 1, 2022 at 11:59 AM Scott McGrath <smcgrath at> wrote:

> Starlink however forgets that Russia does have anti satellite weapons and
> they probably will not hesitate to use them which will make low earth orbit
> a very dangerous place when Russia starts blowing up the Starlink birds.
> I applaud the humanitarian aspect of providing Starlink service,
> unfortunately there are geopolitical realities like access to space which
> is likely to be negatively impacted if and when Russia starts shooting down
> these birds.    Fortunately if they start shooting down the birds the
> debris will burn up in a year or so unlike geosync orbit where it would
> stay forever.

Anti-satellite weapons hearken from the NASA-era of satellite launches,
which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were planned years if not
in advance, and would take an equivalent amount of time and money to
replace if shot down.

Note SpaceX's response when 40 out of 49 satellites were fried shortly
launch due to recent solar activity:

Pretty much just a "ho hum, s**t happens, we'll make sure they burn up
safely and don't hit anything on the way down."

And then they launched another 46 birds three weeks later:,Rocket%20Launch%3A%20February%2021%2C%202022%209%3A44%20AM%20EST,Falcon%209%20Starlink%204%2D8

and a week after that, launched another 50 birds:

Sure, Russia could start shooting them down.
But at the rate SpaceX can build and launch them, in that war of
attrition, I'd put my money on SpaceX, not Russia--and it would
let everyone in the world get a very detailed map of exactly what
the capabilities and limitations of Russia's anti-satelite weaponry
are as they fired it off dozens if not hundreds of times in a relatively
short time period.

I think people are just now waking up to how radically SpaceX has
changed access to space.   ^_^;

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