Showing posts with label SpaceX. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SpaceX. Show all posts

Oct 26, 2019

More Satellites

Last month I wrote about a handful of companies adding satellites for new internet and TV broadband services. LINK
Elon Musk is at it again. SpaceX has just filed for permission to add 30,000 more satellites to the 12,000 already approved. The company has deployed a few of the first 12,000 already and plans to have more deployed by the end of 2019.

There are strict international rules for deployment size, weight, height of orbit, wave length for transmitting signals, etc. Nonetheless, many "experts" (fearmongers) have complained that space is cluttered with too many satellites already and worry about accidents as they might bump into each other.
To add perspective, as of January 2019, about 8,950 satellites were placed into Earth orbit since 1957. About 5,000 of those were still in space, according to the European Space Agency. Only about 1,950 of those are still functioning.

As of 2019 here are 276 million cars and trucks on the roads in the United States alone. There are over 1.4 billion cars, trucks, and buses around the world. Neither figure includes off road vehicles. Since space is infinitely larger than earth, it seems unlikely mankind will be able to fill it up any time soon.

Feb 5, 2016

Energy and Power

Energy is measured in Joules. Power is measured in Watts. Energy is how far you can run. Power is how fast you can run.

When it comes to batteries, Elon Musk says, "It’s really rare that there’s a big breakthrough because there are so many constraints. You can easily improve, say, the power, but then it’d make the energy worse."

Current electric cars have batteries that provide less power and less energy. This is why the Nissan Leaf has a range of only 84 miles (one-third that of the Tesla Model S) and takes three times as long to get to 60 miles per hour.

Musk's Tesla Gigafactory, being built outside Reno, Nevada, will be the second-largest building in the world by volume. It opens in 2016 and will be complete during 2020. His plan is to build enough batteries to reduce the price and improve the power and energy of batteries, so electric cars can go faster and farther. (The latest edition of the Model S received a score of 103 from Consumer Reports, which was a problem only in that Consumer Reports ratings are typically scored out of 100. The magazine had to revise its scale in response to the record-breaking result.)

In addition, the plant will produce large batteries that store energy in homes and even larger batteries that do the same for utilities and businesses. One of its goals is to make home and business solar power more practical. Current prices are already half what other battery manufacturers charge. Musk says, "The issue with existing batteries is that they suck. They’re expensive. They’re unreliable. They’re stinky. Ugly. Bad in every way." His new battery plane are on the path to fix those problems.

In addition to CEO of Tesla Motors and Space X, Musk is also the chairman of solar energy provider SolarCity.