Any other projects on the horizon, Dr. O'Neill?
Right now I'm working on Geostar, a satellite
communications system that could be used by private
individuals for a moderate price. It's very practical
and not "blue sky" at all. The network we're planning
would be based on a system of supercomputers on the
ground and satellites in orbit. Four satellites would
be used for coverage of the Americas, and ten for the
rest of the world.
The satellites I'm talking about would be in the same
weight class as those RCA has been making for the last
ten years. And there would be inexpensive transceivers
of about the same size as a pocket calculator, which
individual people could buy from places like Radio Shack.
What subscribing to the system would give you is the
capability to communicate, with short telegraphic messages
of thirty-six characters or so, from any place to any
other place in the world, and at the same time have your
position measured down to a precision of a few feet.
I have two daughters in their twenties, and they're interested
in the security issue. If they were walking alone on the
street and were threatened by an attacker, they could push
a button on the transceiver. Within half a second, the
satellite would have located the nearest police car and
informed the patrolman of the exact location and identity
of the victim. Within another half a second, a subscriber
would get a message saying that help is on the way. I've
been working on this invention for a number of years, and
last year  the U.S. Patent Office granted my claims.
Would we all be hooked up?
The system could handle many millions of subscribers.
We've already formed the Geostar Corporation to set up the
system. The response and the backing seem to be tremendous.
There's just a lot of work to be done.