The battle for inner space needs traffic control and a garbage truck

inner space
Image credit | ONYXprj/

Inner space is now as accessible as the ring roads around any major city in the world. The only slight hitch is you have to be a billionaire or a Government to get there.

While countries set off to explore Mars and the region beyond our own solar system, inner space is now the battleground for the billionaires.

Elon Musk launched StarLink, a network of thousands of low orbit satellites with sunglasses and broadband beaming capabilities. The aim is to provide low latency, global broadband.

OneWeb, Greg Wyler’s brainchild had similar objectives but filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and was bailed out by the UK Government and Bharti Global.

Most recently, Amazon and/or Jeff Bezos has clearance for yet another constellation of satellites called Kuiper and will involve over 3,200 satellites. The company has committed to investing over $10 billion in the endeavour.

And there are others.

All of this is fine and has you wondering whether we needed to mess about with all this terrestrial 5G nonsense but then you have to wonder just how much hardware will be circling above our heads in the not too distant future.

Then you wonder about how messy humans are and how prone to getting things a little bit wrong from time to time.

And you then wonder what happens to all the rubbish that will be orbiting Earth. If something goes wrong with one of Musk’s satellites (he has the most so is the most likely) and it sets off on its own trajectory, it would be like throwing a brick through a greenhouse window. Using a nuclear-powered slingshot.

Inner space will soon be the garbage patch of space. And there are people not far away – here on Earth and up in the International Space Station. A fight between a piece of StarLink and the ISS and the piece of StarLink will win (and not in a good way).

Meanwhile you have Russians messing about with new satellite killing toys (allegedly) and the Chinese cutting them up on the inside to get to the moon and start mining it for precious metals – Africa is running out after all.

It is, of course, true that there are (or normally are) hundreds of aeroplanes over our heads at any one time and it is true that they could fall out of the sky and cause chaos, but somehow inner space feels a little bit scarier. And a little bit too cluttered.

Presumably others are putting plans together to join the fun and clutter in inner space.

Which begs the question: ‘how many billionaires can you fit in inner space’.

Meanwhile, here is a StarLink launch.

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