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Monday, October 31, 2022

I saw a meteor last week

 


THE TAURID SWARM IS COMING:
A swarm of meteoroids is approaching Earth, and it could double the number of fireballs we usually see at this time of year. Researchers call it the "Taurid Swarm." It comes from the breakup of a giant comet 10 to 20 thousand years ago. Next week's lunar eclipse might be a good time to watch for these meteoroids hitting Earth and the Moon. 

Full story @ Spaceweather.com

 

Never miss another geomagnetic storm. Sign up for Space Weather Alerts and you'll receive a text message when magnetic storms erupt. Aurora tour guides and professional astronomers use this service. You can, too!

 

ALL QUIET: There are four sunspots on the sun today. All four have stable magnetic fields unlikely to explode. NOAA forecasters say there is a 5% chance of M-class flares and no more than 1% chance of X-flares on Oct. 31st. Aurora alerts: SMS Text

THE 'TAURID SWARM' IS COMING: Have you ever heard of the "Halloween Fireballs?" Astronomers call them Taurid meteors. They appear every year from late October through early November when Earth passes through a stream of debris associated with Comet 2P/Encke. Dan Bush photographed this Taurid exploding over Albany, Missouri:

"Fireball season has arrived," says Bush. "I have caught many with my meteor camera system including this Taurid fireball above the clouds on Oct. 27th and another good one on Oct. 28th"

We're about to see a lot more of these. Forecasters believe that a swarm of Taurid meteoroids is approaching Earth, and it could double the usual rate of fireballs--not only on Halloween, but also through the early weeks of November.

Taurid meteors are thought to be debris from a giant comet that broke apart in the inner Solar System 10 to 20 thousand years ago. The breakup produced a mixture of dust and larger bodies that are still present today. Comet 2P/Encke itself may be just one of the fragments.

Over the years, Jupiter's gravity has shepherded some of these meteoroids into a well-defined cloud--the "Taurid Swarm." It visits Earth every 3 or 7 years. Previous encounters with the Swarm in 2005 and 2015 produced showers of fireballs observed around the world. The last outburst was 7 years ago, which means 2022 should be a Swarm year, too.


Above: A Taurid fireball exploding behind clouds over Albany, Missouri, on Oct. 27th. Credit: Dan Bush.

real spooky shit

Abby Zimet: ReAwakening To Insect Burgers, Deep-State Trash, Globalist Predators and Demonic Satellites, Praise God

Roger Stone does his Richard Nixon thing at the ReAwaken Tour, where he fit right in. Twitter screenshot.

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We regret to inform you that a bewilderingly sizeable segment of our country has mutated into a horde of racist, crackpot, paranoid, Covid-denying, demon-obsessed, anti-trans-and-illuminati-and-quantum-physics “Army of God” warriors who, citing numerological prophesies and extremely select Scriptures, vow “the Angel of Death” will soon smite down their Satanic enemies – Hillary, Soros, Stacey Abrams, John Roberts (?) and other elites sex-trafficking children – in order to bestow upon us their devoutly-to-be-wished Christian nationalism, political executions, and God’s “rightful president,” with cow bells. Whew. Even as that malignant clown of a “president” is still free, ranting, and “an unparalleled danger…drowning in himself,” his deranged followers are flocking to the barn-storming, soul-saving, traveling roadshow of God, hate and crazy that is Michael Flynn’s national ReAwaken America Tour, which made its 25th stop this weekend in Manheim, Pennsylvania at – wait for it – the Spooky Nook. Co-hosted by right-wing radio host Clay Clark, the event marked the latest step in Flynn’s ongoing, hallucinatory “Holy War” wherein good battles evil to restore an America that prays in school, has only two genders and one religion, doesn’t wear masks or teach the icky parts of history, and boasts smiling (white) wives greeting their (ditto) husbands each night with meat loaf.

The two-day event didn’t fill the Spooky Nook – capacity 3,000 – but was crowded enough with older white people sporting “Trump Forever” hats, “All Rifles Matter” t-shirts, and Jesus-loves-QAnon hysteria to give one pause about the state of the nation. From the red, white and blue microphone to the “COVID-19 and the Globalist PredatorsWe Are the Prey” book handed out on arrival, the event’s agenda was clear. Insane, but clear. It was confirmed by many stalls hawking God, country and no vaccines. There were “anointing oils,” “Constitution cards,” Christian weight-lifting supplements, blankets to block 5G wireless signals, portraits of Jesus hugging an American flag, natural substances to keep us healthy for the coming war, booths displaying charts of fictional COVID vs. hospital/vaccine deaths, a “Save The Kids” shirt mapping out the tunnels across the country where liberal Jewish Hollywood Illuminati are harvesting adrenochrome from the blood of children they have sex-trafficked to make them immortal – another whew – and, at the end of the day, full immersion baptisms. Things kicked off with a suitably vindictive prayer asking that Trump’s eyes be opened so he knows when to “implement divine intervention” to destroy enemies accusing him of crimes. Also, “You will surround him, Father, with none of this deep-state trash, none of this RINO trash,” which prompted yelled Amens and fervent hands thrust into the ugly air ’cause, c’mon, vengeance is mine saith the Lord.

Speakers included many of the usual frothing right-wing cabal: Roger Stone, Mike the Pillow Guy, demon sperm lady Dr. Stella Immanuel: “We need to pray and crush the demonic satellites”; Doug Mastriano was listed but didn’t show – too bonkers even for him? Still, there was plenty of grievance to go around. Gender dysphoria is “the work of Satan,” COVID vaccines cause brain damage, there’s too many homeless people and Muslim babies. Pillow Guy whined about voting machines and the media. Eric Trump called his dad, who bewailed that “this country has never been in such bad shape as it is now” and promised, “We’ll be back doing things that…” Stone, fresh from unearthed video calling Ivanka an “abortionist bitch daughter,” decried all the “harassment” against him when he’s only “guilty of the crime of supporting President Donald Trump (sic), loving him for 40 years.” “We are in an epic struggle in this election,” he declaimed. “If we fail, this nation will step off into a thousand years of darkness.” Well, that could be true. Crowd fave Clay Clark charged Michelle Obama is a man, McDonald’s is part of the deep state’s “war on food” – that’s kinda true too – and Socialists want to start feeding “insect burgers” to the masses. Like others, he also boasted he’s now owning the “Christian Nationalist” moniker because “I would rather be labeled a Christian Nationalist than a godless globalist,” even though real Christians denounce his beliefs as “toxic,” “divisive,” “contrary to the values of the Gospel,” and “kissing cousins with White nationalism.”

The crowd’s “Christian” zealotry was, in fact, their most frenetic, jarring thread. Never mind Jesus’ call for love, tolerance, forgiveness; deeply bellicose, they just want to “put on the armor of God” and call up the Angel of Death. Anti-vaxxer Sherri Tenpenny allowed as how people who gullibly got a vaccine could “repent and go sin no more,” but then they better grab their armor pronto. “Christian prophet” Julie Green got more specific: She presented a massive banner of two dozen sinners – Biden, Trudeau, Rachel Maddow, yada yada – under the declaration, “An Angel of Death Is Coming for Them By Year’s End”; below, it vowed, “TREASON will be written on them for all eternity.” No forgiveness here, God told her: “My army is coming.” God also told her, “You can’t stop my son, who is the rightful president (cue wild applause, cowbells, co-opted shofars). He is on his way back…and I am with him.” Bo Poiny, an “analyst” in crypto-currency who cites Biblical timelines, also bade the Angel of Death take on God’s hit list; afterwards, because “God’s kingdom comes in abundance,” everyone’s debts will be canceled, though that makes God sound a lot like the Dems, which is weird. Rounding out the lunacy was book-burning, Covid-denying “pastor” Greg Locke, who called the Pope “a pimp” in a very Catholic state and maniacally galloped around the stage. “JESUS IS COMING! JESUS IS COMING! JESUS IS COMING!” he shrieked. “God. Is. Not. Done. With. This. Nation.” Well, damn. Then She better hustle and get on with it. 


First published in Common Dreams.

Abby Zimet has written Common Dreams’s Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women’s, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues.

Old Copper Culture: North America's Forgotten Metal Workers

what is really happening in the world


Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story

Here’s a Halloween monster for yer. I obviously don’t celebrate Jimmy Savile (1926-2011) but it resonates that his birthday was October 31, when horrors traditionally walk abroad in full view of everybody with sanction and impunity.

When scandal broke following Savile’s death a decade ago most Americans had two questions. The first was: “WHO?” We were informed that Savile was a “British institution”, but usually we hear about those across the pond and get to partake in them as well. But there are plenty of local British institutions that don’t make it over here. In the course of doing this blog I discover them all the time, from the days of music hall to rock acts that never charted in the U.S. or TV shows that never played here, and it’s normally delightful. Savile, as you’ll see, was obviously one of those.

The second question we had, those of us who made the effort to study the Savile story more closely, was: “WTF? How could an entire country NOT know that this seedy, sketchy, weird old creep was a serial pedophile?!? He’s got everything but a sign tacked to his forehead”. Yes, yes, benefit of hindsight and all that. My knowledge about Savile and his crimes comes almost entirely from the Netflix two-part series Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story, which was released only about six months ago, and the show seems to quite carefully compile all of those “we should have seen it” moments, in which Savile comes off as a psychotic to rival The Joker. It might have been more illuminating to have included a certain amount of footage of him not looking like the one man you kick out of the homeless shelter for trying to hump the dude in the cot next to him. Maybe there isn’t any such archival media — his weirdness seems to go way back.

As for the “British institution” business, my fellow Americans, I’ll cut to the chase. Savile was initially a sort of English Dick Clark. He was a live DJ in his native Leeds at dance halls, then on radio, and finally was one of the hosts of a show some of you may have heard of (as I had) Top of the Pops, on which many important British rock and pop acts performed over the decades. Savile hosted the first Top of the Pops in 1964 and the last in 2006 and many of them in between. The other show he was associated with, Jim’ll Fix It (1975-1994) might be even better known to British audiences, and was undoubtedly his highway to hell. The premise of that show was that he would grant wishes, usually to children. And so many people apparently looked on him as a kind of Santa Claus. Kids would write him touching letters, and he would bestow dreams. Except…

Except. Well, picture a leering, cigar-smoking Santa Claus tricked out in a stained track suit and pimp bling, winking and making suggestive and lewd comments all through this. I mean the guy LITERALLY looks nightmarish, like a cross between Mr Hyde and the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Sure, back in the day, when he was a DJ he was more of a run of the mill greasy sleazeball, of the Oily Man type. In the old clips you see the foundation of his appeal. He was from the North Country, had worked in mines. He had the common touch. His off color remarks delighted old working class ladies. This aspect reminds me a little of Richard Dawson, who managed to bring a similar quality to American audiences on Family Feud. Anyway, that early period apparently gave Savile his start macking on teeny boppers and groupies. But then he pushed the envelope young and younger. Jim’ll Fix It, and the charities he funded and promoted as an outgrowth of the show gave him access to young CHILDREN. And so by the time of his death, there were literally HUNDREDS of allegations of child sexual abuse. The nearest American equivalent I can think of is Bill Cosby’s dozens of date rapes (it’s the wrong term since often they weren’t dates, but it comes closest to Cosby’s M.O.) A character who is widely thought of as the essence of benevolence having a secret career of predation. Though in Savile’s case he looked and acted the part of the predator and STILL no one was the wiser. It’s confounding.

And yet it isn’t. The crux of the story of Jimmy Savile, my main takeaway from the Netflix doc, and the lesson of our times, is that stories like his differ from lots of similar misbehavior only in scale. The amount of damage they can do depends only on the power they wield. Invariably, such people are protected on two fronts. On the one hand, powerful friends and institutional protection mean that complaints against people like Savile and Cosby and Harvey Weinstein go unexamined and ignored for as long as possible. Savile’s friends and benefactors included the present King of England, for God’s sake. As far as I know, Savile’s OBE still hasn’t been revoked!

On the other hand, there is the obstinacy of the public, and this you must realize is not just a socio-political issue but a biological one. Human beings are only partially creatures of reason. I’d go even farther than that — many human beings are not creatures of reason at all. It’s not hyperbole, it’s a phenomenon we have witnessed time and time again, in cult behavior, and in personality-based political movements from Mussolini to Trump, where empirically incontrovertible facts become irrelevant in the face of emotional attachment to some public figure. It’s mysterious, but not if you consider it as the animal behavior it is. A social group picks a leader and then behave as one unit at his behest. Theoretically, humanity is supposed to be about being ABOVE susceptibility to that, about measuring right and wrong for oneself, and making choices based on what’s happening in the world around them. What’s really happening, not what they’re told is happening by the razorback. The problem for humanity, both as a matter of criminal justice and of politics, is how can we transcend animal nature? How can we protect people, taken as a whole, from the worst amongst us, when the worst amongst are disguised as our designated protectors?

A galling thematic trope throughout A British Horror Story are chilling clips of Savile delivering one of his popular catchphrases “My trial comes up next Thursday.” Well, as it happens, in America, his trial comes up next Tuesday. Please think about it. It’s not just a British horror story, but ours as well.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Down with Empires

 

Miguel Pang II

"Three years ago I made this illustration to celebrate Hispanic Day or what is its equivalent in the US Columbus Day or Christopher Columbus Day. Down with empires and the new colonialism that is neoliberalism!" Miguel Pang 

I couldn't agree more, and love this illustration.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

How an illusion of efficacy can be established for any treatment

👇The Cat is out of the Bag VIDEO

 

https://vernoncoleman.org/videos/coronavirus-hoax-century

 

Kids who develop vaccine-induced myocarditis will be dead in 5 YEARS:  Canadian doctor 

Posted by Lou on October 27, 2022 

Posted in: Covid injuries, Covid mandates, Covid-19, COVID-19 variant, Myocarditis. 

Dr. Chris Alan Shoemaker, who has more than 45 years of experience in medicine, issued the chilling warning during an interview with Ben Armstrong of the New American.  The licensed physician also pointed out that 95 percent of people in intensive care units (ICUs) are fully vaccinated because the injections damaged their immune systems.  Clearly, the COVID-19 shots do more harm than good. “The vaccinated have been harmed,” said Shoemaker. “In the last eight months, 95 percent of the people in the ICU are fully vaccinated. Their immune systems are harmed. Stop harming your immune systems; you are only going to perpetuate this pandemic.” 

To back up his claim, Shoemaker cited a report from the U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS report said that in the first eight months of vaccination, children injected with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had a 5,200 percent higher chance of dying than unvaccinated ones. 

Natural News https://www.naturalnews.com/2022-10-26-kids-vaccine-induced-myocarditis-dead-5-years.html

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Destroying

 

Killing Starlink! Russian Media Says Over 4000 Missiles Required To Destroy Starlink Service; Experts Say ‘Mission Impossible’

US billionaire Elon Musk-owned SpaceX’s satellite network system Starlink is in the limelight again. Local Russian media has revealed how the destruction of the Starlink satellite network may be achieved, confirming Musk’s suspicions that Russia could attempt to ‘kill’ the satellites.


According to local Russian media reports, a massive number of missiles with a target engagement range of at least 500 kilometers will be required to obliterate the Starlink satellite network.

The Starlink satellites ensure high efficiency of interaction between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the NATO command, aiding military operations.

The report, which claims that it is based on military experts’ opinions, further noted that with more than 3000 SpaceX satellites currently in orbit, at least 4,000 missiles would be required to destroy the satellite network.

However, the network might still be able to work, albeit in a minimal mode, since some of the satellites are orbiting at an altitude of 600 kilometers beyond the missile’s reach.

The report comes after Elon Musk said on October 15 that Russia was trying to “kill” Starlink satellite services in Ukraine. The system could stop working regardless of the resources invested in its protection.

“Starlink is the only comms [communications] system still working at the waterfront – others are all dead. Russia is actively trying to kill Starlink. To safeguard, SpaceX has diverted massive resources toward defense. Even so, Starlink may still die,” Musk said in a tweet.

 

Starlink is a next-generation satellite network designed to provide broadband internet services worldwide. SpaceX launched the project in February 2018. In September, Musk announced that Starlink satellite internet provider is available on every continent.

According to a SpaceX report published in September, the company has donated more than $120 million in Starlink services to Ukraine this year, and it anticipates that continuing to do so might cost as much as $400 million in the future.

This is potentially why the corporation recently asked the US Pentagon to take the mantle and pay for this satellite assistance to Ukraine.

Mykhailo Fedorov, the minister of digital transformation for Ukraine, requested Musk to send Starlink stations and satellite internet to his country on February 26, right after Russia launched the invasion and disabled Kyiv’s communication network. Soon after, Musk declared that the Starlink service was running in Ukraine and pledged to send more terminals there.


However, the satellite terminals put together by Musk over Ukraine have been in the eye of the storm for a while. Earlier this month, media reports indicated that Ukrainian troops encountered widespread interruptions in Starlink’s internet connectivity.

Two government officials informed the media that Ukrainian troops suffered connectivity problems when they went to cities that had just been freed from Russian rule.

According to experts, the difficulty may have been brought on by SpaceX staff members attempting to stop the Russian military from deploying the technology, as the liberation of some areas had not yet been officially proclaimed.

Sabotaging SpaceX?

Earlier this month, media asserted that the Russian military was trying to jam Starlink’s satellite communications with the Tirada-2S electronic jamming device. There are few details about the system available in the public domain.

A military review journal claims that the Starlink system is one of the potential targets for Russian forces. The report also stressed how Starlink is so efficient that it is almost the only way for Ukrainian military forces to communicate in space, ensuring continuous communication, surveillance, and navigation.

When asked if Russia would try to obliterate the Starlink network, Squadron Leader Vijainder K Thakur (Retd), Indian Air Force veteran and in-house analyst with EurAsian Times, said: “An attempt to physically take out the Starlink system would be foolhardy.

Surely, Russia neither has the resources nor the inclination. It could contemplate degrading Starlink satellites using EW or its Persevet laser weapon, but even that would not make sense.

Satellite communication is versatile and cheap, but it’s not the only way to communicate. Alternatives abound – troposcatter, microwave, HF, etc. Also, attacking satellites is a game that others can also play.”

An artist’s illustration of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites in orbit. (SpaceX)

Starlink’s Satellite system has assisted Ukrainian troops with precision strikes. Several drone systems and advanced missiles are guided by satellite navigation service provided by Starlink and other NATO satellites. This is why the Russians have grown wary of Starlink. The Russians warned that they could destroy civilian satellites assisting the war.

SpaceX satellite network has garnered much interest and attention in the aftermath of a Russian invasion. Chinese military observers have grown increasingly concerned that SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network will aid in the US military’s space dominance, as reported by EurAsian Times.

“SpaceX has decided to increase the number of Starlink satellites from 12,000 to 42,000 – the program’s unchecked expansion and the company’s ambition to use it for military purposes should put the international community on high alert,” said the article on China Military Online, the official news website affiliated with the Central Military Commission (CMC), China’s highest national defense organization headed by President Xi Jinping himself.

Group Captain Arvind Pandey (Retd), a geospatial intelligence analyst, told EurAsian Times that Russia could not eliminate the entire Starlink network.

He said, “Moscow could obliterate a handful of Starlink satellites but not thousands. The only way it could achieve this was through Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) or Anti-Satellite missions for which satellites would have to be launched into space.

The Starlink satellite network is based in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Even if missiles were to be launched, they would be launched from the ground and in thousands. Further, even the Starlink satellites are not stationary. This is, in my opinion, very heavy speculation.”

This brings us to Musk’s media interactions in which he stated that it would be challenging to “take out” the satellites. “If you attempt to take out Starlink, this is not easy because there are 2,000 satellites,” he said.

He added: “That means a lot of anti-satellite missiles. I hope we do not have to put this to the test, but I think we can launch satellites faster than they can launch anti-satellite missiles.”

quickly erasing all the data on the system

Russia hacked an American satellite company one hour before the Ukraine invasion

The attack on Viasat showcases cyber’s emerging role in modern warfare.

May 10, 2022child outside a destroyed residential building in Kiev

Scenes of destruction on February 25 in Kyiv. Russian hackers launched their own attack just the day before.Pierre Crom/Getty Images

Just an hour before Russian troops invaded Ukraine, Russian government hackers targeted the American satellite company Viasat, officials from the US, EU, and UK said today.

The operation resulted in an immediate and significant loss of communication in the earliest days of the war for the Ukrainian military, which relied on Viasat’s services for command and control of the country’s armed forces. 

The Viasat cyberattack is the biggest known hack of the war, says Juan Andres Guerrero-Saade, a threat researcher at the cybersecurity firm SentinelOne "because it’s the most concerted effort to disable Ukrainian military capabilities.” It is also one of the first real-world examples of how cyberattacks can be targeted and timed to amplify military forces on the ground by disrupting and even destroying the technology used by enemy forces.

The attack, on February 24, launched destructive “wiper” malware called AcidRain against Viasat modems and routers, quickly erasing all the data on the system. The machines then rebooted and were permanently disabled. Thousands of terminals were effectively destroyed in this way. 

Guerrero-Saade, who has been at the forefront of research into AcidRain, says that where previous malware used by the Russians was narrowly targeted, AcidRaid is more of an all-purpose weapon.

“What’s massively concerning about AcidRaid is that they’ve taken all the safety checks off,” he says. “With previous wipers, the Russians were careful to only execute on specific devices. Now those safety checks are gone, and they are brute-forcing. They have a capability they can reuse. The question is, what supply-chain attack will we see next?”

The attack has turned out to be typical of the “hybrid” war strategy employed by Moscow, say experts. It was launched in concert with the invasion on the ground. That exact kind of coordination between Russian cyber operations and military forces has been seen at least six times, according to research from Microsoft, underlining the emerging role of cyber in modern warfare. 

“Russia’s coordinated and destructive cyberattack before the invasion of Ukraine shows that cyberattacks are used actively and strategically in modern-day warfare, even if the threat and consequences of a cyberattack are not always visible for the public,” the Danish defense minister, Morten Bødskov, said in a statement. “The cyber threat is constant and evolving. Cyberattacks can do great damage to our critical infrastructure, with fatal consequences.”

In this instance, the damage spilled over from Ukraine to affect thousands of internet users and internet-connected wind farms in central Europe. And the implications are even bigger than that: Viasat works with the US military and its partners around the world.

“Obviously, the Russians messed it up,” says Guerrero-Saade. “I don’t think they meant to have so much splash damage and get the European Union involved. They gave the EU pretext to react by having 5,800 German wind turbines and others around the EU impacted.” 

Just a few hours before AcidRain began its destructive work against Viasat, Russian hackers used another wiper, called HermeticWiper, against Ukrainian government computers. The playbook was eerily similar, except instead of satellite communications, the targets were Windows machines on networks that, in those early hours of the invasion, would be important for the government in Kyiv to mount an effective resistance. 

How effective these attacks have been remains an open question. A senior Ukraine official said the Viasat hack resulted in a “huge loss in communications in the very beginning of war” but offered no detail. 

Cyber is supporting military operations, but it’ll be a long time before we get a full view of all of the operations in play during this war. It’s clear from the way AcidRain was built, though, that we will likely see it in action again.

Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation’s operating system

 

 

Chinese Researchers Publish Strategy to Destroy Elon Musk’s Starlink

Chinese Researchers Publish Strategy to Destroy Elon Musk’s Starlink
SpaceX launched 53 additional Starlink satellites to orbit in April. (Photo: John Raoux, AP)

In anticipation of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites posing as a threat, military researchers in China want their nation to be ready to disable, or perhaps completely destroy, the gigantic internet constellation. It’s an ominous possibility, but one easier said than done.

In a research paper published in China’s peer-reviewed journal Modern Defence Technology and reported on by the state-run South China Morning Post this past Wednesday, lead author Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher with the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications, argues that the Chinese military should develop ways to counteract any threat posed by Starlink. The paper was freely available as early as yesterday, but as of today it appears to be taken down. However, a translated version of the article can be accessed here.

“A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation’s operating system,” the paper reads, citing “hidden dangers and challenges” to China. The researchers behind the recent paper also warn of Starlink going on the “offensive” and using the satellites’ ion thrusters to knock China’s spacecraft or satellites out of their orbits.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is building out the Starlink satellite constellation in low Earth orbit, and it’s designed to provide high-speed internet to virtually any part of the world. The plan is to launch upwards of 42,000 satellites to orbit using the company’s Falcon 9 rockets, and so far about 2,300 functioning Starlink satellites have been placed in orbit.

“If you’re a part of any country’s military whose job it is to think about war in space, you see Starlink as a different problem,” astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics told Gizmodo.

The main issues with the Starlink satellites is that there’s just too many of them, and so you would have to dispatch a tremendous number of anti-satellite missiles to destroy the entire constellation. Knocking out one or two, or even several dozen, won’t disable the entire system. What’s more, SpaceX would have very little difficulty replacing a few lost units. And as McDowell said, “replacing a Starlink satellite is cheaper than replacing an anti-satellite missile.”

collisions coming

 

Is There Enough Space in Outer Space for Both China and Elon Musk?

The controversial tech billionaire is under growing scrutiny in China as his satellites almost collided with the country’s space station twice.



You could call it an invasion of space—in outer space. Authorities in China have lashed out after satellites launched by Elon Musk’s Starlink program nearly collided with the country’s space station twice this past year. 

In an official complaint filed with the UN’s space agency earlier this month, Beijing said that its space station was forced to take evasive action during the near misses, which took place in July and October this year.

The complaint added that Musk’s satellites “constituted dangers” to the safety of Chinese astronauts aboard the space station, which has been under construction since April and is due to be completed in 2022.

“As the [Starlink] satellite was continuously manoeuvring, the manoeuvre strategy was unknown and orbital errors were hard to be assessed, there was thus a collision risk between the Starlink-2305 satellite and the China Space Station,” the complaint read. 

Chinese officials also stated that all those party to the Outer Space Treaty, including the U.S., had to bear “international responsibility” for activities carried out by both government and non-governmental bodies in space. Starlink is operated by SpaceX and has already launched 1,900 satellites into orbit to serve its broadband internet network, receiving permission from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to do so.

With nearly 30,000 satellites and other objects orbiting our planet, space debris has become a major problem, with scientists urging governments to share data to reduce the risk of catastrophic space collisions. They also predict that there could be ten times as many artificial satellites in low-Earth orbit alone in just a few years due to launches by commercial companies. 

China itself contributed to the problem of space debris when it blew up one of its own satellites in 2007, resulting in a cloud of space junk. A chunk of a Chinese satellite also had a close encounter with the International Space Station in an incident in November.

Musk is already facing growing scrutiny in China, a key consumer market, as his electric car company Tesla faces criticism over the safety of its vehicles, namely issues with braking, and its attitude towards consumers. 

In April, a Tesla owner who was involved in another crash went viral after climbing on top of a car at a Shanghai show to protest the company’s safety standards and poor responsiveness to customer complaints. In May, a traffic policeman in the Chinese city of Taizhou was killed in a crash involving a Tesla car.

This latest controversy surrounding the billionaire has only angered Chinese citizens further. Musk’s name started trending among disgruntled Chinese citizens who slammed his “arrogance” and criticized his companies.

On the Sina Weibo Chinese microblogging website, users called Musk’s Starlink satellites “American space warfare weapons” and dismissed them as “space junk.” “What can we expect from another arrogant American billionaire? China was being too forgiving by reporting it as an accident, but the incident reads as blatant sabotage,” wrote another Weibo user who went by the name of Luo Kaiqi. 

On Musk’s official Weibo page, users reacted to old posts and chided him over the near-collision. “You’re lucky that Chinese astronauts think quickly,” one user wrote on a post. “Only shows the incompetency of your creations.”

Some users called for Musk to “apologies profusely.” “Tesla has been responsible for fatal car crashes in China. Don’t tell us that SpaceX will do the same,” one wrote. 

“Can you imagine what would have happened if your satellites had indeed crashed into the space station? China has long been in outer space before you, and we deserve an apology and assurance that it won’t happen again because there will be grave consequences,” another said in a comment that drew hundreds of likes. 

Speaking to the Financial Times on Dec. 29, Musk addressed claims that his satellites were taking up too much room in space and that he was “making the rules” for the emerging commercial space economy.


"Space is just extremely enormous, and satellites are very tiny,“ he said, refuting criticism that his SpaceX satellites were obstructive and damaging. „We’ve not blocked anyone from doing anything, nor do we expect to. A couple of thousand satellites is nothing. It’s like, hey, here’s a couple of thousand of cars on Earth, it’s nothing.“

space junk danger

 

Explained: What is the dangerous traffic jam happening outside Earth

Space Traffic Jam explained

Traffic jam happening outside Earth: With the advancement of technology and the growing human need to explore the vast reaches of the cosmos, the first stop outside the planet is the Low Earth Orbit. Extending up to 500 kilometers outside the planet, this region is where thousands of satellites operate hovering around the planet.

However in the last couple of years, this region has seen a massive influx of artificial spacecraft, several small and big satellites have filled up the area covering the length and breadth of the planet, and with private space companies launching satellites one after another, the congestion in the Low Earth Orbit has emerged as one of the biggest challenges for astronomers the world over.

According to the European Space Agency, LEO is normally at an altitude of less than 1000 km but could be as low as 160 km above Earth – which is low compared to other orbits but still very far above Earth’s surface. LEO’s close proximity to Earth makes it useful for several reasons. It is the orbit most commonly used for satellite imaging, as being near the surface allows it to take images of higher resolution. It is also the orbit used for the International Space Station (ISS), as it is easier for astronauts to travel to and from it at a shorter distance.

traffic outside earth
Courtesy SpaceX

WHY IS THERE A TRAFFIC JAM IN LOW EARTH ORBIT?

With the advent of technology and the growing need of monitoring the developments on the planet, satellites are being launched by countries the world over. With time these satellites have not only become cheaper to develop but smaller in size too.

Satellite constellations are the next big thing in space infrastructure, most being aimed at providing free and fast broadband services. Companies like SpaceX, OneWeb, Amazon are all pushing clusters of satellites with every launch creating a network outside Earth and functioning information. SpaceX with its Starlink has emerged as the biggest player in the sector.

The Elon Musk-led company has conducted 10 launches in the first 10 weeks of 2022 with plans for at least one launch every week this year. Most of these Falcon-9 launches launch with Starlinks onboard that has emerged as the source of the internet not only in urban but in conflict-hit regions of Ukraine or disaster hot Tonga.

HOW IS IT AFFECTING SCIENCE?

While the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Telescope operate from outside the planet astronomers mostly rely on ground-based telescopes to survey and scan deep space looking for developments happening in deep space. With satellite constellations covering large parts of the sky this field of view is being blocked affecting observations.

The most affected are the studies center around radio waves that are estimated to be the oldest light in the sky and give us a view of the universe moments after the Big Bang. The distant emissions that are picked up by telescopes on the ground are bound to be affected, which is giving astronomers headaches. Meanwhile, asteroid tracking will be hot as well. A prime example would be the potentially hazardous asteroid research done by the international asteroid warning network. “As the number of satellites continues to grow, astronomy is facing a watershed moment of increasing interference with observations and loss of science,” Connie Walker from NOIRLab told BBC.

THE RISING THREAT OF COLLISION

China recently complained to the United Nations after it had to maneuver its under-construction space station when it came close to a collision with a Starlink satellite.

Even NASA has raised concerns about SpaceX’s new Starlink satellites, including an increase in the risk of collision in orbit as the company submitted a proposal to the FCC to put 30,000 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit as part of a “Gen 2” Starlink system.

spacex causing traffic jam
Courtesy: SpaceX

Most of the satellites launched outside Earth have specific functions, with associated altitudes and inclinations (Fig. 2). This increases congestion and requires active management for station keeping and collision avoidance9, with automatic collision-avoidance technology still under development.

According to a study in Nature, the development of mega-constellations risks multiple tragedies of the commons, including tragedies to ground-based astronomy, Earth orbit, and Earth’s upper atmosphere.

MORE AND MORE DEBRIS

One of the major concerns when it comes to LEO is the rising volume of junk made from old satellites, discarded parts, and decommissioned spacecraft that continue to go around the planet. Debris can also be caused by an explosion in space or when countries conduct missile tests to destroy their own satellites by missiles. Apart from Russia, China, the United States, and India have shot down satellites, creating space debris.

The threat became real last year when a Chinese military satellite appeared to spontaneously disintegrate in orbit, leaving a trail of debris high above the Earth. As late as March of this year a discarded Chinese rocket crashed into the Moon creating a new crater on the far side of the lunar surface.

The US government tracks about 23,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. The European Space Agency (ESA) estimates the total mass of all space objects in Earth orbit weighs more than 9,600 tonnes.

With several countries including India in the midst of planning a constellation launch by the name of UUNITYSat, there is a need for space agencies to develop sustainable satellites that self-destruct and reduce the pressure in Low Earth Orbit.

burned up

 THE WEATHER in space is getting hectic.

A solar storm was set to graze the Earth in March 2022 as Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) publicize findings.

Light takes about eight minutes to travel 93million miles from the Sun to the Earth
1
Light takes about eight minutes to travel 93 million miles from the Sun to the Earth

A solar storm, or geomagnetic storm, affects Earth when ejections from the Sun reach the ionosphere - the border of outer space and our atmosphere.

The "cloud of protons and electrons" collides with Earth's magnetic field and contorts it, causing events like the Northern Lights.

Though solar storms sound serious - and they can be - NOAA published an even-tempered list of "potential impacts" of this solar storm, which is not major in scope.

They wrote, "an enhancement in the energetic portion of the solar radiation spectrum may indicate increased biological risk to astronauts or passengers and crew in high latitude, high altitude flights."

People are exposed to trace amounts of radiation from space - called cosmic radiation - on each flight.

However, flights that are high-altitude and far from the equator are at higher risk during a solar storm because the magnetic field will push radiation toward the poles.

"This information should be used in conjunction with the current Solar Radiation Storm conditions when assessing overall impact," the short report concluded.

Man-made hardware in orbit may be at risk as well.

"Energetic particles may represent an increased risk to all satellite systems susceptible to single event effects," NOAA wrote.

BURNED UP: Just last month, a batch of Elon Musk's Starlink satellites were doomed by cosmic weather - the satellites crashed back to the Earth after being caught up in a solar storm.

CNBC reported that satellites may be at higher risk in the future as the Sun heads toward a phase where solar flares will be more common.

NOAA and Nasa are conflicted on when exactly the latest solar storm will hit Earth - there is an 18-hour gap in the two agencies' predictions.

drama over satellites

 

Chinese military urged to destroy Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites

Starlink
The researchers noted that Starlink had strong links with the American military (Picture: Starlink)

Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites are making the Chinese government nervous enough that they’re working on plans to disable them.

According to a paper published last month, Chinese military researchers have expressed concern about the military threat posed by the Starlink constellation.

The paper reportedly highlights the need for China to develop counter measures to destroy the satellites in case they threaten the country’s national security.

‘A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functionality and destroy the constellation’s operating system,’ read a translation of the paper published in China’s Modern Defence Technology journal.

The study was led by Ren Yuanzhen, a researcher with the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications funded by the Chinese state.

The researchers noted that Starlink had strong links with the American military with funding from the US Air Force to test how well Starlink satellites could connect with military aircraft under encryption.

stopped working?

 

The news is not all bad. We learned yesterday that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system suddenly (and mysteriously) stopped working for the Ukrainian military. Recall that this system, since the start of the war, has given the Ukrainian side an advantage, in being able to share real-time information with the Pentagon. Regarding Russian troop movements, and that sort of thing.

Yesterday Ukrainian officials started reporting “panicky phonecalls” from front-line commanders. Who suddenly started getting blank screens when they tried to tap into the system. Starlink outages were widespread along all the fronts: Kherson, Zaporozhie, Kharkov, Donetsk and Luhansk. Without this system, so graciously provided to them for free by Mr. Musk, Ukrainian soldiers are fighting blind and dumb. In essence, they lost their internet. Oh, and what a coincidence this should happen right after these ingrates cursed and bot-swarmed Musk, calling him all kinds of names, tsk tsk…

The United States being a fascist oligarchy as it is, one might assume that an eccentric billionaire like Musk is allowed to do whatever he pleases: If he gets ticked off at his playmates, he may just take his toys and go home, if that is his choice. Apparently not. I just read today that the American Congress is demanding that Musk appear before Congress to explain himself. Well, at least according to Representative Adam Kinzinger: “The Starlink system stopped working along the front lines. Musk has a lot of explaining to do, since we are talking about national security.”

Natural security? But.. but.. this is just Musk private toy, no?

A lesser man than Musk would have caved to the Ukrainian lobby as soon as they started going after him. Responding laconically to Kinzinger’s demand, he deferred that “whatever happens on the field of battle” is a private and confidential matter.

Of course. You know what they say: What happens in Kharkov, stays in Kharkov.

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