FIRST PUBLISHED ON PULSE BY LINKEDIN
Since it first visibly emerged on the market, I thought Tesla was a company to watch. And the sporty lotus-based electric car that first appeared at the end of the Bush presidency, really made me pay attention. Until then, a fast and long charge battery operated electric car was almost a dream.
It hit a lot of us in the right spots. And then it’s owner, Elon Musk, got a lot of support from the Obama Administration to help him shake up the automotive industry.
That seems now eons ago, as Musk’s companies are now going into space, and into high speed transport, as well as not only electric cars, but also boats and airplanes.
But amongst this child like love of adventure and new technology that Mr. Musk transmits everywhere, there is also a little feeling, maybe a nagging one, about the fact that he doesn’t seem to be all that interested in some of the byproducts of his adventures. Egos are wonderful things, and success is built on them and, more often than not, it feeds enormous ones.
It is quite clear that battery operated electric cars are the most ecologically friendly solution we have found as yet, in terms of everyday transport, so both he and Tesla are to be thanked for being very helpful to the general planetary environment in that regards. And his batteries and solar panels are definitely great.
But I find extremely annoying, as well as visually polluting, the fact that his 1300 little Starlink satellites that he’s sending into our lower atmosphere to provide wi-fi everywhere (again a great idea) seem to keep popping up more and more into our daily night skies.
It is true that there is enough junk out there – a major problem in terms of space pollution- to make this 1300 Wi-Fi providing satellites just a spec in a sea of space debris. Now, unlike Starlink, all that debris cannot be seen by the naked eye.
These orbiters are quite the opposite. Furthermore, they are supposed to be seen, partially allowing us to marvel at the technology, but also as a marketing exercise, leaving us wondering why we have to be forced to see how a commercial enterprise changes our view of the Earth’s sky forever.
These satellites are plainly visible, and as they grow into bigger and bigger sets, they will be crisscrossing our night sky more and more. In fact, it is plainly obvious that sooner or later, other companies will start doing the same, thus changing our night views, and our nights, forever.
That is why I believe that it may be a good idea to start raising our voices if we feel that this is not acceptable to us. I understand that the sky seems to be nobody´s, but it’s actually everybody’s.
Furthermore, it may be time for some internationally sponsored regulations on the subject -sooner rather than later- on a worldwide scale. That is if we wish to avoid the unchecked pollution of our planetary orbits, and the making of our night sky into just another branding exercise for those who can afford it. And as long as we are there, we may revisit the need to start cleaning up what we can´t see from here, but which is so dense already that it presents a problem -for example- for a future Mars Mission, since it will have to go so much debris that is may damage a spaceship.
So, what do you think? Do we need to start doing something about it? I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Go ahead, make your comments known.
Until next time.
©2021 by Ignacio Alperin Bruvera