Satellites in Space

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by EmoBorg, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I came across this interesting graph about satellites around our planet, Earth and i wanted to share it with you guys and girls.



    [​IMG]




    The source is from the website below in case you need to know.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelpaukner/4314987544/in/pool-16135094@N00





    BTW South Korea just had a successful launch of a satellite ,STSAT-2C, into space in 2013, after two previous failed attempts. This new data is not reflected in the graph above.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  2. Chemahkuu

    Chemahkuu Admiral Admiral

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    Break out a tinfoil hat and call me when I care.
     
  3. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree that the heading does sound paranoid but that wasn't why I bought up the graph. I am more interested in the number of functional and dysfunctional satellites and the amount of space debris generated by the individual countries.
     
  4. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'll assume that "dysfunctional" satellites are all or mostly useless. ("There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead.")

    As for the size of the circles—is that number of satellites, or tonnage? The US, Russia and China appear to have launched about the same amount. Of that, Russia has the most big junk cruising around, and China has the most small debris. (And the US has the most active satellites.)

    Whether active or not, all that stuff is a potential problem for other ships, especially manned ones. I'm reminded of:

    * The UFO episode "Conflict!" where Straker is pushing for the clearance of all space junk because it is a hazard for SHADO's regular flights to Moonbase, and it is potential camouflage for alien ships.

    * The Pixar film WALL*E showed so much junk in orbit that Earth is surrounded by a brown haze, like Los Angeles smog from the '70s. (Including Sputnik 1 or 2, which actually deorbited in only a matter of weeks after launch.)
     
  5. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The huge amount of space debris that China has, was created when they tested an anti satellite weapon on one of their dysfunctional satellites in 2007.


    The Russians have a huge amount of dysfunctional satellites dating back from their Soviet days.
     
  6. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, so long as they weren't "testing" it on someone else's functional satellites... that would be bad. (Or maybe they did, and we don't know about it. And the bulk of that Chinese space debris is what's left of their anti-satellite platform.)

    "I'm fuzzy on the whole 'good-bad' thing. What do you mean by 'bad'?"
     
  7. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Do you mean the functional and dysfunctional satellites?
     
  8. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ Quote from GHOSTBUSTERS. ("Don't cross the streams. It would be bad.") I was referring to space warfare—blasting each other's satellites—as bad.
     
  9. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the Soviets did have so called space mines in orbit during the Cold War. They were bascially satellites that could move near an enemy satellite and explode. They were said to be nuclear powered which means they had a lot of power to be active for a long time. I don' t think the Russians have launched any new space mines since the end of the Cold War. The Americans and Chinese like to use anti satellite missiles. If a war in space did break out, the resulting debris could make manned space missions dangerous. That is why i don' t think there will be a war in space between humans. The Americans, Russians and the Chinese will want to continue with their manned space missions.
     
  10. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm guessing you don't know anything about orbital mechanics. While a satellite can be shifted to a new orbit, this "space mines" idea would be terribly inefficient.
     
  11. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A nuclear powered satellite would not have such a problem. When the space mine uses it's nuclear power supply to increase the effect of the explosion, that explosion would have a large radius. Even if it does not physically cause the destruction of the enemy satellite, it could still fry the electronic circuits of the target to make it dysfunctional.
     
  12. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This is probably what you were thinking about the Istrebitel combat Sputnik
    http://www.astronautix.com/craft/isa.htm

    Some spacecraft even were to be armed with cannon
    http://www.astronautix.com/astros/nudelman.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudelman-Rikhter_NR-23

    Cosmonauts had this until recently--the Russians are packing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TP-82

    Comparison chart of weapons--Casaba howitzer is about as big as it got ship to ship
    http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacegunconvent.php
     
  13. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which the Russians eventually realized, and is one of the reasons they stopped using them.:p
     
  14. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The Russians had interceptors, not "mines." Big difference.
     
  15. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, they started developing co-orbital interception vehicles (e.g. armed satellites, missile- and laser-based anti-satellite weapons and even an antiaircraft gun on one of their space stations) after it began to emerge that filling the sky with a bunch of orbiting bombs was a stupid way to cope with American spy satellites. They still TRIED it, though, and the exact nature of their experiments with those technologies is still not entirely clear since the only reason we know as much as we do about it NOW is because of ex-soviet Scientists willing to go public about it.
     
  16. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I like the way the OP makes it clear what our planet is.
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What scared folks here more than anything else for awhile (other than road mobile ICBMs like Gnom http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/gnom.htm) were their FOBS
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractional_Orbital_Bombardment_System

    I can't imagine what having that new R-7 pad now in Kourous to replace the defunct Ariane 4 would have been like had it been built in the Cold War. We'd have DEW lines in the south.
     
  18. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The idea of launching nuclear warheads from orbit was taken seriously in the 1960s. The four unmanned satellites we see orbiting the Earth in 2001: A Space Odyssey were originally meant to be nuclear weapons platforms, though there was no reference to that fact in the finished film.

    [​IMG]


    (Damn, now I can't get The Blue Danube out of my head.)
     
  19. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ There was in the book, though. The first thing David Bowman does when he comes back to Earth as a space baby is to arm and detonate all of those platforms because he "prefers cleaner skies."

    Ironically, the 2010 movie DID feature a cold-war subplot even while the novel version sidelined the Cold War altogether and depicted the U.S. and Russia in a three-way space race with a surprisingly innovative China. Life immitating art?
     
  20. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    This just demonstrates that you also don't know much about nuclear detonations in space. A nuclear explosion in space is not that big, most of the energy is radiated as light and heat. The EMP that you are referring to is actually done at high altitude while still in the atmosphere.

    Remember, space is BIG. For something to be "close" to be effective, it really needs to be right on top of each other.

    On a separate note how does "the space mine uses it's nuclear power supply to increase the effect of the explosion, that explosion would have a large radius" work?? Do you really think having a nuclear reactor near a conventional explosion will trigger a nuclear detonation?? No. it doesn't work like that. At most you'll have a "dirty" explosion meaning that the reactor is destroyed and it's radioactive bits are scattered around.