Re: Scott Tilley on NPR

From: Scott Tilley via Seesat-l <>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2020 23:38:59 -0700
Hi All

Brad asked me a very thoughtful and interesting question about why 
searching for and tracking old 'semi-active' (read zombie) satellites 
may be relevant in our world today.

1) Satellite's that haven't be properly passivated could be problematic 
to currently operational missions and there is no one I'm aware of 
actually monitoring success in the passivization process. Essentially 
its a self declaration thing.  So we are blindly relying on the 
satellite operator's (respective nation's) word. I.e. imagine if there 
is a design flaw in Starlink and that flaw doesn't allow them to switch 
off and they all continue to transmit...? Ku band access could change 
for years/decades!?

2) Old satellites that continue to provide some spark of life allow us 
in the present to understand and relate to the past. History is 
something easy forgotten and these old birds remind us of a different 
time and different priorities in space. They make us research the past 
when we become aware of what their streak of light was across our retina 
represents... History repeats and as a group that studies space we 
should study the past and report on it as our hobby is fairly unique in 
the sense we are leading edge and also able to view back decades with 
real life examples.

3) Technology is fascinating.  Old technology that continues to operate 
for 50+ years without a service call is mind boggling to most folks as 
we fight each day to deal with our own technology challenges.  So 
studying things that have 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' decades 
earlier and continue to do their thing could be great lessons for 
technicians, technologists, engineers, scientists and those that fund them.

Why do I search for zombie satellites?  See above.

Thanks Brad for making me ponder why and express it in a manner that 
others could consider the value.


Scott Tilley

On 2020-04-24 9:44 p.m., Brad Young via Seesat-l wrote:
> Scott Tilley was interviewed today by NPR - definitely worth a listen or read...
> Brad Young PE
> Advisory Consultant
> ConsenSys Space
> Visual:
> Oberwerk 8 x 40 Mariner binoculars
> Meade ETX-125
> 22" f/4.2 UC Obsession
> COSPAR 8336 =TULSA1 +36.139208,-95.983429 660ft, 201m
> COSPAR 8335 =TULSA2 +35.8311  -96.1411 1083ft, 330m
> Remote Imaging:
> MPC I89 COSPAR 7777 38.165653 -2.326735 5150ft, 1650m Nerpio, Spain
> MPC Q62 COSPAR 7778 -31.2733 149.0644 3400ft, 1122m Siding Spring, NSW, Australia
> MPC H06 COSPAR 7779 32.92 -105.528 7298ft, 2225m Mayhill, New Mexico USA
> MPC 323 COSPAR 7782 -32.008 116.135 984ft, 300m Perth, WA, Australia
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Received on Sat Apr 25 2020 - 01:39:56 UTC

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