Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 6

Jan 6, 2020

With Monday night launch, SpaceX to become world’s largest satellite operator

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

If all goes to plan, this mission will be just the first of as many as 20 Starlink launches this year as SpaceX builds up a constellation of satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide global Internet service. SpaceX may begin to offer “bumpy” service by the middle of this year to some consumers.

Following this next launch, scheduled for 9:19pm ET Monday (02:19 UTC Tuesday), SpaceX will have a constellation of nearly 180 satellites in low-Earth orbit, each weighing a little more than 220kg. This will make the company simultaneously the world’s largest private satellite operator (eclipsing Planet Labs), while also being the most active private launch company.

Continue reading “With Monday night launch, SpaceX to become world’s largest satellite operator” »

Jan 6, 2020

The U.S Space Force will support a SpaceX mission for the first time

Posted by in category: satellites

Image Source: SpaceX

SpaceX’s first mission of 2020 will deploy Starlink satellites on Monday, January 6 –It will mark the first official launch supported by the new United States Space Force. A Falcon 9 rocket will lift off at 9:20 p.m. EST from Pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX conducted a static-fire test yesterday to prepare the rocket for the Starlink-2 mission.

Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched a Starlink mission, the Iridium-8 mission, and the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 4, 2020

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Jan 5, 2020

SpaceX Test-Fires Rocket for 60-Satellite Starlink Launch, the 1st of 2020

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX on Saturday fired up the rocket that will ferry the company’s next batch of Starlink satellites into space.

The company conducted a static-fire test on Saturday (Jan. 4) of a Falcon 9 rocket at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the company said on Twitter. That rocket is expected to send 60 Starlink internet satellites into space no earlier than Monday (Jan. 6), marking the first launch of the year from Florida’s Space Coast.

Jan 5, 2020

Why the quantum internet should be built in space

Posted by in categories: internet, quantum physics, satellites

The best way to distribute quantum entanglement around the globe is via a massive constellation of orbiting satellites, physicists say.

Jan 2, 2020

Forecasters predict near-ideal weather conditions Monday night for the first launch at Cape Canaveral this year

Posted by in category: satellites

Forecasters predict near-ideal weather conditions Monday night for the first launch at Cape Canaveral this year, when SpaceX plans to send another 60 Starlink broadband satellites into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

FULL STORY:…h-of-2020/

Jan 1, 2020

Final Rockot Booster Launches Russian Satellites Into Orbit

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

The final Rockot booster converted from an intercontinental ballistic missile launched into space Friday (Dec. 27) carrying a trio Russian satellites and a military payload into orbit.

The Rockot, a launch vehicle based on Russia’s RS-18 ballistic missile, launched three Gonets-M communications satellites into space from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The rocket also reportedly carried a military payload called Blits-M, a glass sphere designed to serve as a laser reflector, according to, which tracks the Russian space industry.

Dec 30, 2019

Iridium would pay to deorbit its 30 defunct satellites — for the right price

Posted by in category: satellites

WASHINGTON — Iridium Communications completed disposal of the last of its 65 working legacy satellites Dec. 28, while leaving open the possibility of paying an active-debris-removal company to deorbit 30 that failed in the decades since the operator deployed its first-generation constellation.

McLean, Virginia-based Iridium started deorbiting its first constellation, built by Motorola and Lockheed Martin, in 2017, as it replaced them with second-generation satellites from Thales Alenia Space.

Of the 95 satellites launched between 1997 and 2002, 30 malfunctioned and remain stuck in low Earth orbit, according to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Continue reading “Iridium would pay to deorbit its 30 defunct satellites — for the right price” »

Dec 30, 2019

China Launches Its Largest Rocket Ever, the Long March-5

Posted by in category: satellites

China launched its largest-ever rocket this week: The Long March-5 Y3 rocket took off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan Province, carrying a Shijian-20 satellite. The launch took place at 8:45 p.m. Beijing time on Friday night, as reported by China’s state news agency Xinhua. Just over half an hour later, the satellite achieved its planned orbit and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) declared the mission a success.

The rocket stands at 57 meters (187 feet) tall, and is 5 meters in diameter around its core stage, with four boosters each of which is 3.35 meters in diameter. This makes the Long March-5 the largest Chinese carrier rocket to date, with a total weight of 870 tonnes and producing thrust of over 1000 tonnes at takeoff.

The two-stage rocket can carry a payload of up to 25 tonnes into low Earth orbit. Alternatively, for more distant launches it can carry 14 tonnes into geostationary transfer orbit, which is an elliptical orbit that is used to reach the geosynchronous orbit which holds most satellites. Looking ahead to potential missions to the Moon and Mars, the rocket is also designed to carry up to eight tonnes into Earth-Moon transfer orbit, or up to five tones into Earth-Mars transfer orbit.

Dec 28, 2019

Space Debris Is Now a Big Problem | VICE on HBO

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

More than half a million pieces of man-made space junk are orbiting the Earth at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. Even the tiniest pieces have the potential to destroy any of the 1,700 satellites circling the Earth.

Nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson joined the Air Force Space Command to see how a growing military and commercial space presence threatens the ubiquitous satellites, which are essential to humanity’s digital way of life.

Continue reading “Space Debris Is Now a Big Problem | VICE on HBO” »

Dec 26, 2019

Japanese satellite sets low altitude record

Posted by in category: satellites

The Guinness Book of World Records has awarded the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) the official record for the lowest altitude achieved by an Earth observation satellite. During its mission from December 23, 2017 to October 1, 2019, the Super Low Altitude Test Satellite (SLATS) “TSUBAME” reached a suitably super-low altitude of 167.4 km (104 mi).

Earth observation satellites are excellent platforms for learning more about our planet, but what makes them so effective is also one of their major disadvantages. Because they sit in low-Earth orbit at up to 2,000 km (1,200 mi), they can observe large areas of the Earth’s surface. Unfortunately, being at such an altitude means that the resolution of the images that can be captured is limited.

The TSUBAME mission was designed to test the feasibility of placing satellites in super-low altitudes between 200 and 300 km (120 and 190 mi), where they can capture high-resolution images. The problem is that the highly tenuous atmosphere at that altitude produces a thousand times more atmospheric drag than higher altitudes, and the atomic oxygen present can cause spacecraft to quickly deteriorate.

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