Issue 18: Satellite Musings Part 2 (of 3)



Satellites : general discussions and musings” by Unleashed on August 27th, 2011.

More formats of the same episode:


“Fun Facts about Satellites” by kham
First published … Today! Here! (April 13, 2017 at

It is the view of the writer of this post that it is highly unlikely that satellites exist in space. The main reason is that earthly propulsion requires pushing off against something, whether it be a rocket platform or air molecules. As one rises higher in space, oxygen molecules get farther apart making thrust less efficient, requiring more fuel to gain altitude. Continuing in this pattern, there would be an exponential need for fuel as oxygen molecules decreased. A rocket ship could simply not hold enough fuel to gain enough altitude to place a satellite into orbit, or any space vehicle beyond flyable space. Of course this is one problem among many of why satellites can nor get into space. We don’t need satellites anyway. Satellites redundantly cover the same territory as terrestrial and undersea cables, radio signals and other forms of earthly communications. Satellites are simply not needed. Except perhaps as an imaginary extra layer of security so people won’t go tapping into very easy to get a hold of communication cables or radio signals. To those who know how to make money out of nothing, satellites prove fertile ground for which to bilk investors.
The farce we call the global space program is run by a bunch of insiders who have a lock on the whole thing. World and governmental agencies, and those who play along are evidence of this. Can you raise the money to build a rocket ship? Even if you do, can you get all the permits needed from the myriad of agencies? The other part of the scam involves the world media. Government and corporate scams can’t achieve public consent without them. This is why you see the fictional media story lines intertwined with so called real media events. Statistically it is highly unlikely that world media and entertainment would be running the same program and thought lines. There are far too many real event that have to be ignored in order to run these programs. My little city alone has many interesting events in week that could get national attention but don’t. Now consider all the events that occurred throughout the world in on week that are ignored by the global media. If the media were truly free, we would see a proportional amount of events. But we don’t. We are stuck with a sort of tunnel vision view of the world.
The following facts about satellites demonstrates the absurd space program that the global media and government agencies and their shareholders support.

Orbital Slots and the United Nations
The International Telecommunications Union, ITU, is the body that regulates orbital slots of satellites and radio frequencies around the world.

[EMBEDDED: “THIS IS ITU” uploaded by ITU on Jun 16, 2014]

“ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.” ITU was founded in Paris in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union. It took its present name in 1934, and in 1947 became a specialized agency of the United Nations.
Here is their website:

Space Debris and Investment Opportunities
What about space debris? Many agencies are worried about dead satellites or pieces of satellites loose in space whirling around the globe at 29,000 km/h like bullets destroying everything in their paths, including operational satellites. Depending on the source, satellite collisions have occurred about 6 times from 1994 to 2016. As of 2017, there are over 1000 live satellites and over 3000 dead satellites in space. Space debris is another issue. In the collection of space debris besides dead satellites there are spent boosters, misplaced gloves, paint chips and fragments from the disintegration, erosion, and collisions of old satellites. According to the United States Space Surveillance Network, there are more than 21,000 objects larger than 10 cm orbiting the Earth including live and dead satellites. It’s estimated there are a further 500,000 bits and pieces between 1 and 10 cm in size. And of all this, there still have only been about 6 satellite collisions with space debris since 1994.
The larger concern was that one rogue dead satellite hitting a working satellite would cause a chain reaction that would then collide with all the other satellites destroying an entire orbital slots worth of satellites and most likely everything beneath it as this massive pile of satellite debris orbit then decay and rain down havoc and satellite bits on us all. This is called the Kessler Syndrome, named for Donald Kessler in 1978. Luckily Donald had the imagination, before any satellites had actually collided yet, to conceive of a scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade where each collision generates space debris that increases the likelihood of further collisions. You know, like in the computer generated movie Gravity with the computer generated actress Sandra Bullock.

Who can cash in on cleaning up and alleviating this potential massive chain reaction that could potentially cost satellite owners billions of dollars? There have been dozens of private companies with satellite debris removal business opportunities who wish to capitalize on the removal of dead satellites. So far none have been commercialized or gone past the test in space stage. Many of these companies’ investment proposals have stopped at up glossy business plans and entertaining computer animated videos of their space machines in action. For a potential problem that has not happened yet, satellite owners are hesitant, it seems, to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a scenario that has not happened so investors are not taking the bait. The other type of customer would be a satellite owner whose satellite has stopped working on account of losing orbit because propellant has run out to correct the satellites course. Services for these satellite owners would be the refuel or re-propellant satellites that are dead in space. Even these satellite owners have not put forward capital to get their satellites up and running again.
Since no private investors wanted to cough up the cash, perhaps a governmental agency could foot the bill. The first official dead satellite revamp or removal program that was actually put into action comes from DARPA. Taxpayers to the rescue.

[EMBEDDED: “Phoenix Program Demonstration of Latest Advances” uploaded by DARPAtv on Jan 22, 2013]

The Phoenix Program, announced on October 20, 2011, was seeking to repurpose components from communication satellites operating in geosynchronous orbit (GEO). But as of 2012, when the Phoenix Program officially began, there were still no takers to sign up for this United States governmental service. Perhaps because the price tag was still too high. Fancy computer generated videos did not attract customers either. Even giving their space machines cute little names like ASTRO, as in the beloved dog from the space cartoon called The Jetsons (1962-63, 1985-87) did not invoke the lovable memories or incline the decision makers in their 50’s to open their wallets.
ASTRO is an acronym for Autonomous Space Transport Robotic Operations designed by Boeing.

Darpa continues to make fancy computer generated videos of satellites engaged in debris removal to sell their Phoenix Program but still have been unable to find actual customers. Even backed by the U.S. Military, customers are not banging down any doors to inquire about satellite re-fueling needs. The 80% computer generated movie Gravity with 80% computer generated Sandra Bullock had a timely release 2013 that coincided with the needs of the Phoenix Program. Hopefully, audience members, also known as taxpayers, satellite owners and other interested parties would see the need for the Phoenix program as they watched the full computer generated effects of the Kessler Syndrome in full computer generated action. Alas, still no takers from private industry.

Propulsion of Geostationary Satellites in Space
In order to obtain a license to provide telecommunications services in the United States by way of satellite, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all geostationary satellites launched after March 18, 2002, to commit to moving to a graveyard orbit at the end of their operational life.
This means that all geostationary satellites put in space today must have some sort of propulsion system. The old method of moving satellites in space is a propellant propulsion, as in shooting propellant out of a steel bottle, like a fire extinguisher, which makes the satellite move in the opposite direction. This technology is demonstrated quite nicely in the Disney/Pixar movie Wall-E.

There are two main types of Satellite propulsion: propellant and electric. The old type of propulsion is propellant. The most used chemical in these type of propellant satellites is hydrazine. One of its main uses back on earth is to put bubbles in plastics to make them foamy and less dense. It is also added to jet fuel and a whole host of other applications. Toxic and deadly, the world produces over 100,000 of metric tons of it yearly. Hydrazine is quite a reactive liquid so when the Hydrazine liquid is exposed to atmospheric pressure and normal ambient temperature is vaporizes quickly. This is the reason it is such an awesome propellant. Back on earth, at normal temperatures and pressures, hydrazine is very reactive. Interesting fact about hydrazine is that it freezes at 35 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s about 2 degrees Celsius. So how can the propellant work in space? It only vaporizes in its liquid form. Tried to find how the hydrazine was melted into its liquid form so that it could be useful in space but patents and schematics seems to ignore this issue. Once the propellant Hydrazine runs out, the satellites can no longer correct their course. The last bit of remaining propellant should be saved for the satellite to move about 300km above their current position so they are not a hazard to other geostationary satellites, according to the FCC. This zone is called, among other things, the disposal orbit.

The other type of propulsion in satellites which is new technology is called the electric ion thruster. Ion thrusters use xenon gas and then charge it up with electricity, like a neon bulb, that is why you see it light up in use. The resulting ion gas is then vented into space and the satellite is supposed to move in the opposite direction. Geostationary satellites move through space using another application of light bulb technology.
And look how pretty the electrified xenon lights up space. Hydrazine can’t do that. Once the xenon gas runs out, the satellites can no longer correct their course or move to the

Space Law
If you like space and you like law, be a space lawyer. Earn you space law degree today at the University of Mississippi School of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento CA, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Northeastern University School of Law, American University Washington College of Law, the McGill Faculty of Law in Montreal, the University of Paris-Sud, and the University of Sunderland in the U.K.
One part of space law is about who owns what in space. Who owns a dead satellite? Like squatters rights, if an owner of a satellite abandons it, then is it up for grabs? Can parts be taken from abandoned satellites and reused in space?
What if your properly working satellite was damaged by a dead satellite veering off track? There are currently conferences and seminars by space lawyers to try figure out how to charge for satellite damages caused by other derelict satellites. If one has come to the conclusion that satellites cannot exist in space, then it is a rather humorous scenario where by imaginary derelict satellites owners are getting sued for imaginary damages to their satellites.
The practical part of space law is the biggest portion which is suing for damages for breach of contracts over satellites. Over the last 15 years, parties have increasingly had recourse to litigation to settle the disputes arising from the performance of contracts related to the manufacture, launch and operation of satellites. Guess one needs a space layer when satellite investment opportunities turn into scams. Will no space lawyer questions why the scam in the first place?

Space is a big place, whether actual or imaginary, and is full of opportunities to make money, for those who know how. Like municipalities and governments, who bleed cash from tax collections, the satellite industry attracts those who know how to make money out of nothing.


Hoi’s note: We have included this old DirecTV commercial as a recontextualization of the product, not because they or anyone else has paid us to expose their satellite bullshit but because it is genuinely disturbing how a fictional military technology is rebilled as an advanced gift to “the consumer”.

audio excerpt from:

“Directv Satellite Commercial 1995” uploaded by TELEVISIONARCHIVES on Jun 20, 2009

“International Space Station” by The Social Service

“Consideration” by The Social Service

@77:46 & @152:46
“Niagara” by The Social Service

audio excerpt from:

“Sue NASA Get Money – Law Commercial for Falling Satellite” uploaded by Boima LIVE on Sep 23, 2011

audio excerpt from:

“Skyscan Satellite TV commercial from 1985” uploaded by va2ae on Jun 13, 2014

Hoi’s note: the name of the company makes its own point, but it’s worth watching for the silly explanations and magical graphics. Not much has changed about our gullibility since 1985, it seems.


Please review the CluesForum thread for references.