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What Would Happen If All Our Satellites Were Suddenly Destroyed?

Stashed in: Teh Internets, History of Tech!, Maps!, Weather!

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We'd lose maps, military communication, and weather prediction.

And it would take at least 11 years to recover:

“If our communications satellites are lost, then bandwidth is also lost,” Jonathan McDowell tells io9. He’s an astrophysicists and Chandra Observatory scientist who works out of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

McDowell says that, with telecommunication satellites wiped out, the burden of telecommunications would fall upon undersea cables and ground-based communication systems. But while many forms of communication would disappear in an instant, others would remain.

All international calls and data traffic would have to be re-routed, placing tremendous pressure on terrestrial and undersea lines. Oversaturation would stretch the capacity of these systems to the limit, preventing many calls from going through. Hundreds of millions of Internet connections would vanish, or be severely overloaded. A similar number of cell phones would be rendered useless. In remote areas, people dependent on satellite for television, Internet, and radio would practically lose all service.

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