Re: Interesting Story In "The Space Review" Web Site Today

From: Charles Phillips via Seesat-l <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2018 11:30:56 -0700 (MST)
An interesting discussion... Let's see if this formats well. I will try to stay
on topic and NOT get distracted from the intention of the email list. Forgive me
if I stray a bit.

Thomas Goodey says:

> Message: 3
> Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2018 23:23:36 +0200
> From: "Thomas Goodey" <>
> To: <>
> Subject: Re: Interesting Story In "The Space Review" Web Site Today
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII

> On 2 Jan 2018 at 14:05, Charles Phillips via Seesat-l 

>> About a year ago, one of the 9x,xxx satellites (90020)
>> reentered and this is about where it reentered...
>> Comments are always welcome.

> You say in the article, "The US government can continue to 
> conceal the missions of important satellites but it is 
> being irresponsible in concealing the orbits of satellites 
> in this situation. We are better than that." But I don't 
> understand what would be the point of telling people in 
> some quite large part of the globe, "One of our satellites 
> is probably going to fall down in your area next week." 
> Nobody could do anything about it anyway; nobody could 
> dodge the satellite if it were actually falling on them; 
> and the chance of anybody being injured or killed is really 
> very low indeed. 

If that is true, why does any country notify anyone about any satellite reentry? 
You would propose that we just stop? No one makes us do it anyway.
No one has been hurt - yet - and for many of these satellites it
would not be our satellite or our problem anyway. If someone in some
Third World country is hurt, is it our problem?

As a citizen of the world - I am glad that we alert people below
satellite orbits, it is the responsible thing to do. 
> The US Government has, very sensibly, 
> decided to run that risk, and - obviously - to pay 
> compensation for any property damage or human damage that 
> may occur. (Actually an international treaty says that they 
> must.) I don't think it would be a good idea to alarm 
> populations in the areas in question in advance. It would 
> just spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt, and prejudice 
> people against space operations generally, and possibly 
> even engender false claims. We have quite enough artificial 
> panics as it is.

That is an interesting theory - why would any government alert people to
almost any potential problem? Especially alert people in other countries of 
possible threats not from their territory? Why not just let people take
their chances with volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, satellite reentries, etc?
Think of the money we could save. And we would not alarm anyone - until of course
something happened. I am not trying to be snide here, this is a serious concern.

But as a responsible citizen I feel an obligation even to people in hostile countries.

The remarkable thing to note here is that an international group has come
together to look at some of this - Joseph Remis in France and the noted astronomer
Greg Roberts in South Africa as well as a guy in Texas. The article has already gotten
a potentially interesting conversation started with some responsible organizations.

> Thomas Goodey

Charles Phillips
Spaceflight Research, LLC
Houston, Texas
Seesat-l mailing list
Received on Wed Jan 03 2018 - 12:31:43 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Wed Jan 03 2018 - 18:31:43 UTC