How many satellites, and is it possible to choose

I’ve been looking into how the satellite system works, and learned a lot from this post and from forum discussions. But what I don’t see is, if I were to perform a Graceful Exit on one of the six satellites I’m currently using, would it be possible to replace it with a different one, which might or might not have more storj node needs? If so, will that just happen automatically, or would I need to take some kind of action?

Currently your node automatically connects to all Storj Labs satellites automatically based on a trust list hosted by them. In the future you will be able to either add individual trusted satellites or possibly trust lists hosted elsewhere. Adding trusted satellites manually is already being done for testing purposes. There are currently 2 unpaid test satellites you could set up a node for to help out.

If you exit a satellite, you exit it for good though. You can’t get back in.

This is great info, but leads to further questions:

  • When you say “you exit it for good,” what exactly does that mean? It sounds like maybe you’re suggesting that exiting means more than leaving that one satellite. Does it mean that where I used to interface with six satellites, I can now only interface with five satellites, no matter which ones they are?
  • Is it known, or public info, how many satellites Storj Labs operates? On this forum I have seen names for satellites (such as US central) that are not in my dashboard, but (I think?) are operated by Storj Labs. So, is it just “luck” which ones get selected from the outset (until such time as the whitelisting or blacklisting is implemented)?
  • I think I’d be happy to move the traffic away from my lowest performer (which has generated all of 5 cents of revenue over 9+ months), and replace it with a test satellite. But (see the first bullet point) maybe it’s not possible for me to do this, without setting up an entire new node?

Yes and no. It means you can no longer interface with that satellite as it will never accept your node ID again. (Unless reentry is implemented at a later moment)
You can still join other satellites, but currently there are only 6. So for now you would be stuck with 5, yes.

Yes, they have 6 at the moment. Satellites have been renamed. Us central is now us1. This is because they were migrated into multiregional setups and because the domain changed from tardigrade to storj. In the past there was a stefan-benten satellite as well, which has been decommissioned (though work is ongoing on reintroducing one on that domain).

The current active satellites are listed here.
Unless you exited one or were disqualified, your node will be connected to all of them.

Your node is not limited to connect to only 6 satellites. If a new one goes life on the satellite list I just posted, your node will automatically connect to it. I’m not entirely sure if you even could add test satellites to a node that is also using a trust list at the moment. But I wouldn’t recommend it. The idea with the test satellites is that you can test things from both ends. So we as node operators can also test to see if we can mess with the satellites :laughing:. It doesn’t seem like a good idea to mix test nodes with production nodes.

You can set up a new node to join the test satellites though.

Info on that here: Please join our public test network

And here: Stefan Testnet Satellite


Thank you. This addresses my questions perfectly.