As a University of Toronto graduate and employee, I find this all rather embarrassing.
No they aren't.. SSOs need a retrograde inclination, meaning you have to take out whatever Earth rotation contribution your launch site gives you. Less Earth rotation contribution is better for retrograde orbits.
Yes, you have: most launches are not equatorial. Polar sun-synchronous orbits are very popular, especially for small satellites.
Monster's general counsel said the move would "significantly disrupt Monster's business and that the two companies had worked well for years, with Monster paying Apple more than $12 million in licensing fees since 2008."
So, this is a philanthropic move from Apple, then. Monster are bottom-feeders that prey on the naive, and the world would be a better place without them.
Agh, wtf is a salad? Come on posters, use links so those of us without a clue can figure out what's going on!
Not to mention that the first sentence on the linked article describes it concisely.
Local overheating, hard radiation hits; voltages can actually be pretty high depending on string length and your orbit. Spacecraft experience high differential charging depending on the plasma environment through which they are passing. Outright cell failure is relatively rare though; typical failure mode is degradation below the operable voltage.
I don't know the underlying physics, but radiation (including solar radiation), especially at high temperature, causes the junctions in the solar cells to become less efficient over time. Less efficient cells generate more heat, which increases the rate of deterioration. Eventually the open-circuit voltage of the cell drops so low that it is below your spacecraft power bus and you stop being able to pull power off the array.
Another failure mode is when individual cells short-out, which happens when the junctions just straight up burn out. This generally results in the loss of individual cells, which lowers the voltage of the array or, depending on architecture, may take down that cell's entire string.
L1, L2, and L3 are weakly stable; think being at the top of a parabola. It doesn't take much effort to keep yourself there, but you do have to reject orbit perturbations. L4 and L5 on the other hand are actually stable, which is why trojans collect there. Note that there aren't any natural equivalents to trojans at L1, L2, and L3.
Sorry you said L1 and L2; ignore eclipse season comment.
Solar cells will degrade to the point they can't supply keep-alive power to the spacecraft; batteries will degrade to the point they can't sustain the spacecraft through eclipse season; electronics will accumulate more and more total ionizing dose, single event upsets and latchups will become more and more frequent, and things will basically stop working. I don't think anything we've launched will come within an order of magnitude of a millennium.
We don't design LEDs into our own boards, and we explicitly remove them from COTS boards that we use. Generally speaking the diffusers on LEDs outgas, meaning a) they are depositing materials on your spacecraft surfaces (bad) and b) could result in a shorting risk (also bad). There may be space-grade LEDs that big-space (think Hubble, JWST, Voyagers, etc.) use but I would be surprised. There's simply no need.
"Is it plugged in? Is it turned on? Is it on frequency?" solves about 99% of basic device connection issues. An LED will make one very short portion of that slightly shorter, and then only when testing on the bench, since you can't see it as soon as you box it up. As soon as you can talk to a device, you are able to run a long form functional test on it, exercising every part of the design and ensuring everything is working correctly. If it passes, you're good. If it fails, you pull the unit.
For ground support equipment, yeah sure, throw an LED on every rail and switch output.
They don't re-use those (yet), but they don't burn up on re-entry, they parachute-drop in the ocean. Every Crew Dragon flight gives them valuable engineering data and experience on their heat shields.