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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

Apr 10, 2019

SpaceX to livestream Falcon Heavy Block 5 launch debut at 6:15pm ET today

Posted by in categories: energy, satellites

SpaceX is half a day away from the planned launch debut of Falcon Heavy Block 5, a milestone that will also be the rocket’s second launch ever and first mission with a commercial payload.

First and foremost, Falcon Heavy’s job is to safely place the Saudi Arabian communications satellite Arabsat 6A into a high-energy geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) more than 35,000 km (~22,000 mi) above Earth’s surface. Despite the satellite weighing no less than 6000 kg (13,200 lb), Falcon Heavy will still have enough latent performance to attempt the recovery of all three of its new Block 5 boosters. With any luck, this will hopefully return SpaceX’s East Coast landing zones (LZ-1 and LZ-2) to successful operations after an anomaly in December 2018 caused Falcon 9 B1051 to landing a mile or so offshore.

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Apr 9, 2019

Blue Origin urging Air Force to postpone launch competition

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

COLORADO SPRINGS — Blue Origin wants the U.S. Air Force to wait until 2021 before picking the two companies it intends use for launching critical military satellites in the decade ahead.

The Air Force, however, aims to solicit proposals this spring and choose its two preferred launch providers in 2020 — perhaps a year or more before the new rockets that the Air Force is fostering at Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance and Northrop Grumman make their first flights.

All three companies were chosen in October by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center to share $2.3 billion in so-called Launch Service Agreement (LSA) funding to support development of next-generation rockets capable of meeting the military’s satellite launch needs.

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Apr 9, 2019

Made In Space unveils small satellite interferometry tool

Posted by in category: satellites

COLORADO SPRINGS – Made in Space unveiled a product April 8 to help customers conduct interferometry missions on small satellites.

Possible applications for the new product, Optimast-Structurally Connected Interferometer (Optimast-SCI) include space situational awareness and detection of near-Earth objects, Andrew Rush, Made In Space president and chief executive, told SpaceNews.

Traditional space-based interferometry missions bring along large deployable structures to separate their telescopes or other instruments. Hinges and mechanical systems on the deployable structures allow them to be folded in launch fairings and extended in orbit.

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Apr 5, 2019

There’s a chance your GPS system could go haywire this weekend

Posted by in categories: computing, satellites

Older computer systems that rely on GPS satellites could suddenly go 20 years out of date at 7:59 p.m. ET on Saturday.

A Block IIR(M) satellite, one of 24 GPS satellites overseen by the Air Force. GPS.gov.

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Apr 4, 2019

Amazon is Planning to Launch Thousands of Satellites to Offer High-Speed Internet

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Want one more option for home internet? Today it was announced that Amazon is planning to launch 3,236 satellites to build a network to provide global high-speed internet. Unlike current satellite internet, these devices will be in a far lower orbit and offer far faster speeds compared to current sa…

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Apr 3, 2019

‘A terrible, terrible thing’: NASA said India’s satellite destruction created so much space junk it now threatens the safety of the International Space Station

Posted by in category: satellites

NASA’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, says India’s satellite shattered into pieces of debris that pose an “unacceptable” threat to ISS astronauts.

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Mar 31, 2019

This company wants to deliver a baby in space and prepare humanity for a life beyond Earth

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, satellites

What happens when Earth’s resources run out? Well, if science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that humanity will seek a new and habitable planet somewhere in the cosmos on which to keep the species going in perpetuity. When that day comes, we’ll need a viable way to procreate and deliver children in the vastness of outer space.

Enter SpaceLife Origin, a one-of-a-kind tech company that is seeking to make it possible for humans to give birth in the vacuum of space by 2024, a goal titled “Mission Cradle.” While that is its ultimate goal, SpaceLife is also striving to become the first company to “safe-guard human ‘Seeds-of-Life’ in space [Mission Ark] by 2020 [and] make embryo conception in space feasible [Mission Lotus] by 2021,” according to its official website.

The gallery below offers a glimpse at the patent-pending “Ark” designs. Vials of human DNA will be protected within the radiation-shielded spheres that are to be kept on Earth and satellites surrounding the planet. SpaceLife Origin describes this as an insurance policy for the continuation of mankind in case a catastrophe hits and we need to leave in a hurry.

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Mar 26, 2019

SpaceX proves higher than necessary safety of Starlink constellation

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

In an electronic filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), SpaceX has demonstrated a higher than necessary safety for their Starlink constellation satellites in terms of collision risk with other objects in orbit in the scenario that a Starlink satellite becomes uncontrollable after launch.

The filing, in response to FCC questions, reveals SpaceX’s upcoming space-based internet project carries a collision risk 2.1 times less likely than the accepted NASA standard.

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Mar 17, 2019

Pentagon Wants to Test A Space-Based Weapon in 2023

Posted by in categories: existential risks, military, particle physics, satellites

Defense officials have asked for $304 million to fund research into space-based lasers, particle beams, and other new forms of missile defense next year.

Defense officials want to test a neutral particle-beam in orbit in fiscal 2023 as part of a ramped-up effort to explore various types of space-based weaponry. They’ve asked for $304 million in the 2020 budget to develop such beams, more powerful lasers, and other new tech for next-generation missile defense. Such weapons are needed, they say, to counter new missiles from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. But just figuring out what might work is a difficult technical challenge.

So the Pentagon is undertaking two studies. The first is a $15 million exploration of whether satellites outfitted with lasers might be able to disable enemy missiles coming off the launch pad. Defense officials have said previously that these lasers would need to be in the megawatt class. They expect to finish the study within six months.

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Mar 12, 2019

China to develop a quantum satellite to provide 24h-service

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, satellites

China plans to develop a medium-high-earth-orbit quantum communication satellite able to provide services around the clock in the next few years, Pan Jianwei, member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), told CGTN at the press conference for the second session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee on Sunday.

When asked about the future plan for quantum communication technology, Pan said his team is planning to design a new one to supplement the Mozi satellite, which can only function at night due to interference from the sun.

The nation launched its first quantum satellite in 2016. As the world’s first quantum communication satellite, Mozi is expected to provide a technical foundation for China to build a self-developed ultra-secure communication system.

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