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Thread: Kessler syndrome IRL

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Kessler syndrome IRL

    If a Kessler Syndrome -a cascading wreckage of satellites- occurs, could our networks recover and function?

    I know we'd lose all low orbit com sats. Also, GPS, orbital telescopes, weather and spy sats, ISS. But the biggest effect on daily life would be the disruption of communications: phones, internet, cable. We'd probably have local lines and nets working, but spottily.

    Could the existing landlines and cell towers absorb the overload? Would we have to resort to rationing our phone time to essentials only, and for how long?

    Loss of GPS would certainly put the kibosh on self driving vehicles. Flights may be grounded for lack of navigation. No doubt military strategies would have to be hastily re-written. Weather prediction and reports would be affected. Map sales would skyrocket.

    What other consequences could there be?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    GPS birds are in MEO orbits - they would be fine if it were a LEO Kessler unless I am missing something dramatic. There isn't sufficient density of objects in MEO (or GEO) to see a Kessler there.

    Most non-polar weather satellites are in GEO so they'd be fine too. We'd only suffer degradation above 60-70 latitude (north or south). A lot of weather data is also still derived from sounding stations. I don't think the effects on weather prediction would be that severe.

    Most TV birds are in GEO, and a lot of long haul comms are still MEO and GEO. Yeah, phones would go and satellite internet would die. But there would still be capability.

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