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Jul 3, 2020

SpaceX nails second Falcon nosecone recovery in one month

Posted by in categories: internet, military, satellites

SpaceX has successfully recovered two pairs of Falcon 9 payload fairings (nosecones) – one twice-flown – in one month after twin ships GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. Chief returned to port on July 2nd.

Around 45 minutes after Falcon 9 B1060 lifted off for the first time with the US military’s third upgraded GPS III satellite in tow and around 40 minutes after the rocket’s payload fairing deployed, both fairing halves gently splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean just a few miles apart. Lacking their main recovery nets in an odd configuration, Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief both fished one half out of the ocean with smaller secondary nets before placing the fairings on their decks for technicians to secure them.

A little more than two weeks prior, both ships were in the midst of recovering the Starlink-8 mission’s twice-flown fairings from the ocean, safely returning them – intact – to shore for the first time since SpaceX began fairing reuse. As SpaceX itself noted at the tail end of its GPS III SV03 webcast, the intact recovery of the mission’s fairing halves all but guarantees that they’ll be reused in the near future.

Jul 1, 2020

Nanosatellites could beam ‘quantum internet’ to Earth

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics, satellites

Tiny satellites could be the key to a global quantum internet network. That could mean internet from space on Earth, and communication between spacecraft.

Jun 27, 2020

Foam ‘spider webs’ from tiny satellites could help clean up space junk

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

The Russian startup StartRocket is developing a “Foam Debris Catcher,” a small, autonomous satellite that would snag and de-orbit space debris using sticky polymer foam.

Jun 27, 2020

NASA Funds Harvard Hunt for Alien “Technological Civilizations”

Posted by in categories: alien life, satellites, solar power, sustainability

A team of astronomers from Harvard and other institutions are collaborating on a new project to scan the skies for technological signatures from alien civilizations.

It’s a noteworthy new project, as it’s the first to receive a NASA grant for SETI-specific research in more than 30 years, according to a statement.

“Technosignatures relate to signatures of advanced alien technologies similar to, or perhaps more sophisticated than, what we possess,” said Avi Loeb, the chair of the Harvard astronomy department Harvard, in a statement. “Such signatures might include industrial pollution of atmospheres, city lights, photovoltaic cells (solar panels), megastructures, or swarms of satellites.”

Jun 26, 2020

Elon Musk calls Jeff Bezos a copy cat after Amazon buys self-driving startup

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, robotics/AI, satellites

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk called Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos “a copy cat” on Twitter after the online retailer announced it is acquiring self-driving startup Zoox Inc.

.@JeffBezos is a copy 🐈 haha

Continue reading “Elon Musk calls Jeff Bezos a copy cat after Amazon buys self-driving startup” »

Jun 26, 2020

SpaceX delays launch of Starlink and BlackSky satellites for more rocket checks

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

SpaceX called off the launch of its latest Starlink satellite mission Friday (June 26) to allow more time for preflight checks.

Jun 26, 2020

NASA Extends Deep Space Atomic Clock Mission

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, robotics/AI, satellites

Smart phone apps provide nearly instantaneous navigation on Earth; the Deep Space Atomic Clock could do the same for future robotic and human explorers.

As the time when NASA will begin sending humans back to the Moon draws closer, crewed trips to Mars are an enticing next step. But future space explorers will need new tools when traveling to such distant destinations. The Deep Space Atomic Clock mission is testing a new navigation technology that could be used by both human and robotic explorers making their way around the Red Planet and other deep space destinations.

In less than a year of operations, the mission has passed its primary goal to become one of the most stable clocks to ever fly in space; it is now at least 10 times more stable than atomic clocks flown on GPS satellites. In order to keep testing the system, NASA has extended the mission through August 2021. The team will use the additional mission time to continue to improve the clock’s stability, with a goal of becoming 50 times more stable than GPS atomic clocks.

Jun 25, 2020

China ‘becoming true space power’ as satellite launch completes BeiDou system

Posted by in category: satellites

Observers said that the fully fledged system could put China in a competitive position against the world’s three other satellite navigation networks – the US-owned Global Positioning System (GPS), the European Union’s Galileo and Russia’s Glonass. It could also expand China’s international engagement and offer an alternative to other countries that had been reliant on US technology, they said.


Final satellite in the navigation network – China’s answer to the US-owned GPS – is sent into orbit on Tuesday after technical problems delayed it by a week.

Continue reading “China ‘becoming true space power’ as satellite launch completes BeiDou system” »

Jun 24, 2020

3D rocket printer Relativity signs deal with Iridium and plans to build a California launchpad

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, satellites

Relativity Space, a growing startup that aims to almost entirely 3D-print rockets, on Wednesday announced it struck another major launch deal, as well as an agreement with the U.S. Air Force, to build a launchpad on the California coastline.

The Los Angeles-based rocket builder signed an agreement with satellite operator Iridium Communications, to launch up to six satellites as needed as early as 2023. Over the course of more than half a dozen launches with SpaceX, Iridium completed its second-generation satellite constellation in January 2019, with 66 operational satellites and 9 spares in orbit.

The Iridium deal means Relativity now has agreements to launch for five different companies, having previously announced contracts with Canadian satellite communications operator Telesat, California-based Momentus, Thai satellite broadband company mu Space and Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc. All the contracts have remarkably come before Relativity’s first launch, which is scheduled to happen before the end of 2021.

Continue reading “3D rocket printer Relativity signs deal with Iridium and plans to build a California launchpad” »

Jun 23, 2020

Xinhua Headlines: China launches last BDS satellite to complete global navigation constellation

Posted by in category: satellites

China launched the last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System on Tuesday, marking the completion of the deployment of its own global navigation system. The mission, the 336th by the Long March rocket series, was a “complete success” http://xhne.ws/qCGPZ


– China launched the last BDS satellite on Tuesday, marking the completion of the deployment of its own global navigation system.

— The three GEO satellites, including the newly launched one, feature two distinctive creations of the BDS system — active positioning and short message communication.

Continue reading “Xinhua Headlines: China launches last BDS satellite to complete global navigation constellation” »

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