Silicon Sky: How One Small Start-Up Went over the Top to Beat the Big Boys into Satellite Heaven

By Gary Dorsey | Go to book overview

Preface

The Space Age is dead, they say, and commerce is King.

Childhood fantasies once sparked by model rocket contests, science fiction adventures, and romantic memories of barnstormers on the moon still find fulfillment in a new spaceflight revolution, though not quite in the same way that the heroic deeds of cowboy astronauts made breathtakingly possible thirty years ago. In fact, the near heavens now have been so well defined, so thoroughly charted and domesticated, that they may no longer be accurately called a frontier at all.

But there is a Klondike overhead, and cowboys of a different sort cruise the skies.

Orbital stations and artificial constellations today frame dark industrial settings for billion-dollar shoot-outs among mavericks and aerospace superpowers. At the end of this year, corporations around the world will have poured $50 billion into a ferocious battle to build, launch, and sell a broad range of satellite services to massive consumer markets around the globe. Commercial satellites will eventually make Dick Tracy—style wristwatch radio communicators available to almost anyone on Earth. Satellites will identify potholes on highways, locate lost backpackers in the Appalachians, relay a cornucopia of TV channels to the Amazon, and provide high-speed, broadband Internet services for intrepid travelers wherever they roam.

In only the last few years, a fundamental shift has occurred. The historic role of government in space ventures now pales compared with efflorescent commercial businesses springing quickly into place. Satellite trajectories from low-Earth orbit, about 450 miles high, to geosynchronous platforms 22,000 miles away, are creating high-tech infrastructures for a monumental industry that no longer relies on Defense Department contracts and pork-barrel politics. In 1997, for the first time in history, the number of commercial satellite launches nearly equaled the number of new government and military satellites in space. The investment of private capital in new launch systems overshadowed money spent for similar government projects. The number of in-orbit, active commercial satellites nearly doubled the number of active government satellites.

The profound realignment of capital that occurred in 1997 has been building rapidly since the end of the cold war, and the trend is not likely to reverse. The

-xv-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Silicon Sky: How One Small Start-Up Went over the Top to Beat the Big Boys into Satellite Heaven
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 332

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.