It seems that a day cannot pass without someone having a go at Elon Musk. Either someone is saying he is insane, the cause of which is clearly smoking too much cannabis or they are saying his cars don’t work and kill people or beep all the time in Drive Thru’ lanes.
The latest whinge comes from a different sector, though. The science community says that he now has so many satellites in orbit that they are blocking their view of the stars.
The scientists might have a point.
The FCC recently gave SpaceX permission to launch up to 30,000 Starlink satellites to allow him to beam high speed broadband to everywhere on earth. What probably surprised the FCC (but frankly shouldn’t surprise anyone who follows his ‘insane’ activities) is that he got right on with it. And the satellites are brighter than anyone thought and are, apparently, generally messing with scientists’ telescopes – and heads.
It is ironic in a way. Just at the moment when technology is getting good enough to see huge and hugely significant events that will help us work out what is actually going on in deep space and time, Musk comes along and stops people seeing them.
As part of the research for the Friday article about future strangeness, a week does not pass when the scientists have not found a black hole that is pumping out new stars at a furious rate or a star being ‘yeeted’ (no, no idea but we can guess) at 3.7 million miles an hour – right out of the Milky Way. And closer to home, NASA just discovered that two of the moons around Neptune ‘dance’ to avoid each other. And the tango has been going for a long time.
All of this must put Elon Musk into something of a quandary. On the one hand he is at the forefront of insane, future thinking (and doing) and on the other, he is cluttering things up to the point that we cannot see what is becoming visible. He also, by the way, believes he can build a city on Mars from 1,000 spaceships.
Which is good, because the way things are going, Mars is going to be one place where you can still see what is happening in the heavens. And Musk will probably be there to greet you.