Photo courtesy of Sports InformationGo green · Sophomore Justin Suh and the men’s golf team defeated Georgia Tech in the final round of the Cypress Point Classic on Tuesday to take first place. The final score was 19.5 – 4.5 in favor of the Trojans.While the No. 12 men’s golf team found itself competing under different circumstances this week, Trojan golfers managed to salvage a triumphant finish in their most recent competition. The invitational was played on the world-famous Cypress Point Club course, and the teams competing participated in a match-play scoring system — not the traditional stroke-play scoring system. The Trojans dominated No. 29 Georgia Tech — by a score of 19.5 – 4.5 — in the final round of the Cypress Point Classic, held in Pebble Beach on Tuesday to pick up their first team victory of the season. The two-day tournament included three rounds of golf — 54 holes in total — all of which were scored in different fashion. The first and second rounds were played Monday, and had teams divide their rosters into duets to play Four Ball (best ball) and Foursome (alternate shooting) rounds of golf. The final round, which was played on Tuesday, had golfers compete in singles matches. Teams could score a total of four points on each 18-hole match played throughout the invitational — two points were awarded for winning a match, and an additional point would be awarded to the best scorer from the front-nine, and the back-nine holes, respectively.In the championship round against the Yellow Jackets, USC excelled in its singles matchups. Five of the six individual golfers for USC on Tuesday won their singles matches against opposing Georgia Tech golfers. “Match play is a lot different than stroke play … As coaches, we try not to change too much of the way that we are playing normally because of the different format, sometimes you can read too much into it, and suddenly all the experience you have goes away because you are trying to reinvent the wheel,” head coach Chris Zambri said. “By looking at the way the matches went and asking [the golfers] about their scores, it felt like everybody was performing well.” Redshirt senior Andrew Levitt and freshman Cheng Jin both swept their respective singles matches Tuesday 4-0 as a part of USC’s championship-clinching victory over Georgia Tech. “To see us take 19.5 of a possible 24-points in [Tuesday’s] match means that we were obviously all playing pretty well as a team,” Levitt said. “We didn’t start the season off so hot, but everyone’s been playing better and better as of late, and it feels great for us to go out there and pick up our first win.”Juniors Sean Crocker and Jonah Texeira played significant roles in USC’s winning performance at Cypress Point. As a tandem, Crocker and Texeira nearly swept Alabama (taking three-and-a-half of a possible four points) in the first round. In the second round against UCLA, Crocker and Texeira swept the Bruins’ opposing tandem, 4-0. As individuals in the final round of play on Tuesday, both Crocker and Texeira came away with victories in their singles matches.To advance to Tuesday’s final round, USC defeated both Alabama (9.5 – 2.5) and UCLA (6-6, took the tiebreaker) in the first and second rounds, respectively, on Monday. “We did win, which is great, but to see us do it in stroke-play will really help us see where we are as a team,” Levitt said. “I think that individually, everyone is now starting to really play better.”The team will return to competition on Nov. 7-9 in Napa for the Gifford Collegiate.
Starting in 2019, SpaceX plans to launch thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit. Together, the armada network hubs will blanket the planet in cheap, fast, low-latency satellite internet. At least that’s what SpaceX told the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday. It’s ambitious, to be sure, but if it works, we could see a dramatic shift in global high-speed internet access.If you’ve ever had satellite internet, you probably think this is bunk. Satellite internet is notoriously slow. SpaceX plans to solve the problem by making the network tighter and using custom-made machines.Patricia Cooper, the company’s VP of Government Affairs attended the hearing, stating that they will start testing their tech later this year.“Following successful demonstration of the technology,” Cooper said, “SpaceX intends to begin the operational satellite launch campaign in 2019. The remaining satellites in the constellation will be launched in phases through 2024 when the system will reach full capacity with the Ka- and Ku-Band satellites. SpaceX intends to launch the system onboard our Falcon 9 rocket, leveraging significant launch cost savings afforded by the first stage reusability now demonstrated with the vehicle.”Once complete, the satellites will all sit just a few hundred miles up — stunningly close given that most other communications satellites are more than 20,000 miles away. That really matters because even though light is stupid-fast, signals have to the hub, get processed and forwarded to another satellite and then go back down. That adds a few tenths of a second. Not much, but enough that anything requiring two-way communication, like a competitive game, will suffer as a result of the delay.Sounds great, right? So what’s the catch? Well… there’s a lot.For starters, this would quadruple the number of operational satellites orbiting our little blue ball. And if you’ve been keeping with space news, you know that’s a problem. There’s only so many places for satellites to be above Earth. It sounds silly, but it’s true.GPS, for example, has to be able to “see” you to be effective. And there’s only so many orbital positions where that works. Many are at geostationary orbits, meaning that they always face the same part of Earth. That’s great for consistent connections, but that adds even more, problems — there’s only a narrow shell of space where you can make a geostationary flight path work. Outside that band, and you have to start looking at all the other flight paths of all the other gadgets whizzing around us. Plus, you’ll have to make sure you’re not running into any of the space junk we’ve left out there from any of our previous launches.Humans are a messy bunch, and everywhere we go, we leave garbage. Early missions didn’t usually take this into consideration, and they just tossed crap out into space right above is. There’s now tons and tons of the stuff of the up there, and if you’ve seen Gravity, you know that even something the size of a grain of rice could rip right through just about anything we send up because it’ll be zipping by at tens of thousands of miles per hour.Cooper’s Senate hearing was, in part, a plea to loosen regulations on where satellites can go and for the company to be included in future government-led infrastructure plans.If the system ever goes live, it’ll basically operate like a turbo-charged mesh-based, wireless networks, like those you’d get with Plume or Google WiFi. The system will dynamically shift resources wherever they’re needed to keep everyone running smoothly. It should also offer latencies as low as 25 milliseconds — or roughly comparable to most high-end cable networks. SpaceX also claims it can push a gigabit or more downstream. And that would put it in the same tier as services like Google Fiber or Verizon’s FiOS network. Then again, we won’t be able to take full advantage of that until the 2020s. And who knows if any of us will still be here then, given the current political climate.