A Starlink satellite terminal from SpaceX sits in front of the gigantic 32m wide dish at The National Space Centre at Elfordstown in Co. Cork.
The NSC was celebrating their tenth birthday this weekend with two open days featuring work by Nicklas Lundberg and local school children highlighting space waste. A very broken looking dish in a darkened room with pounding sound representing the radio pollution on Earth, an interactive display and a visual display of “waste” created by local school was all lit up with fantastic colours.
A tour followed explaining the history of the site and what they do there. It was fascinating to hear that the 32m dish received data at a rate of 4Mbps in 1984, while the tiny Starlink dish has a rate of 200Mbps. The small dish on the roof of the building in the background aids in satellite navigation, helping satellites remain in their stable orbits. They had hoped to use the large dish when the USA returns to the Moon in 2025 but they ran out of time to do that. Future plans are for it to become a radio telescope. More about the history can be read on this Wikipedia page.
Thanks for a nice experience NSC!