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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 7

Apr 21, 2020

Scientists Explore Underwater Quantum Links for Submarines

Posted by in categories: encryption, internet, quantum physics, satellites

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Underwater quantum links are possible across 30 meters (100 feet) of turbulent water, scientists have shown. Such findings could help to one day secure quantum communications for submarines.

Quantum cryptography exploits the quantum properties of particles such as photons to help encrypt and decrypt messages in a theoretically unhackable way. Scientists worldwide are now endeavoring to develop satellite-based quantum communications networks for a global real-time quantum Internet.

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Apr 18, 2020

Parasitic Spacecraft Docks With Dead Satellite, Brings It Back to Life

Posted by in category: satellites

The old satellite just got brought back from the dead.

Apr 16, 2020

The Sun Is Spitting Out Strange Patterns of Gamma Rays—and No One Knows Why

Posted by in categories: climatology, particle physics, satellites, sustainability

Scientists have studied this ebb and flow for centuries, but only began understanding its effects on our planet at the dawn of the space age in the mid-20th century. Now it is clear that around solar maximum the sun is more likely to bombard Earth with charged particles that damage satellites and power grids. The solar cycle also plays a minor role in climate, as variations in irradiance can cause slight changes in average sea-surface temperatures and precipitation patterns. Thus, a better understanding of the cycle’s physical drivers is important for sustainable living on Earth.

Yet scientists still lack a model that perfectly predicts the cycle’s key details, such as the exact duration and strength of each phase. “I think the solar cycle is so stable and clear that there is something fundamental that we are missing,” says Ofer Cohen, a solar physicist at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. One obstacle to figuring it out, he says, is that crucial details of the apparent mechanisms behind the cycle—such as the sun’s magnetic field—are largely hidden from our view. But that might be about to change.

Tim Linden, an astronomer at The Ohio State University, and his colleagues recently mapped how the sun’s high-energy glow dances across its face over time. They found a potential link between these high-energy emissions, the sun’s fluctuating magnetic field and the timing of the solar cycle. This, many experts argue, could open a new window into the inner workings of our nearest, most familiar star.

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Apr 16, 2020

Space and Missile Systems Center awards $35 million Space Test Program

Posted by in categories: futurism, satellites

The U.S. Space Force’s Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, part of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise, today awarded a $35 million task order to VOX Space, LLC of El Segundo, California, for the Space Test Program-S28 (STP-S28) launch service. This is the first task order under the Orbital Services Program-4 (OSP-4) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.

STP-S28 is a complex mission that will deliver a number of technology demonstrations to orbit, such as Space Domain Awareness and communications advancement, and inform future space system development.

VOX Space, a U.S.-incorporated, wholly-owned subsidiary of Virgin Orbit, LLC, will utilize three launches of the LauncherOne rocket to deliver 44 small satellites to low earth orbit. The first launch is tentatively planned for October 2021.

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Apr 16, 2020

Russia conducts another test of its missile system to take out satellites

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

ASAT tests are also widely condemned by many in the space community, as these demonstrations typically create hundreds to thousands of pieces of debris that can last for months, and even years, in orbit. Because these tests are high speed and high impact, the resulting debris can spread far and wide. Those pieces then pose a threat to other functioning spacecraft. A fast-moving piece of junk can render an operational satellite inoperable if they hit head on.


Today, Russia conducted another test of its missile system designed to destroy a satellite in orbit around Earth, according to US Space Command. It is believed to be the 10th test of this anti-satellite, or ASAT, technology, but it’s unclear if the missile actually destroyed anything in space.

Regardless of its target, US Space Command is openly condemning the demonstration. “Russia’s [anti-satellite] test provides yet another example that the threats to US and allied space systems are real, serious, and growing,” Gen. John Raymond, commander of USSPACECOM and the US Space Force chief of space operations, said in a statement. “The United States is ready and committed to deterring aggression and defending the Nation, our allies and U.S. interests from hostile acts in space.”

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Apr 16, 2020

SpaceX Competitor To Launch Japanese Satellite Constellation In 2020

Posted by in category: satellites

Rocket Lab is pursuing rocket reusability using a different method than SpaceX’s self-landing rockets.

Apr 14, 2020

Exolaunch signs first launch agreement with SpaceX

Posted by in category: satellites

SAN FRANCISCO — German launch services provider Exolaunch announced plans April 14 to send multiple small satellites into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission scheduled for December.

Exolaunch has integrated payloads and arranged launches for almost 100 satellites, but this is the company’s first launch services agreement with SpaceX, Exolaunch Commercial Director Jeanne Medvedeva told SpaceNews.

“Participation in SpaceX’s smallsat rideshare program will allow Exolaunch to offer reliable and cost efficient rideshare options out of the United States,” Medvedeva said by email. “Most of our customers have been proactively requesting such opportunities.”

Apr 14, 2020

How Do You Shield Astronauts and Satellites From Deadly Micrometeorites?

Posted by in category: satellites

Circa 2013

Apr 11, 2020

China’s space dream on track

Posted by in categories: engineering, satellites

Last January 3, China dazzled the world with the landing of the Chang’e-4 spacecraft on the far side of the Moon, accomplishing a first for humanity. On December 14, its Yutu-2 rover set the record for longest active rover on the Moon, breaking the record of the erstwhile Soviet Union’s Lunokhod-1 that was active for ten and a half months (November 15, 1970 to October 4, 1971). Yutu-2 has travelled about 345 meters on the lunar surface and is entering its 13th lunar day.

Soon after China had successfully landed on the far side, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced several follow-on missions, to include the 2020 lunar sample return mission, Chang’e-5, followed by Chang’e-6, which will bring back samples from the lunar south pole, believed to be rich in resources like water ice. Chang’e-7 will land on the Lunar South Pole to carry out a comprehensive survey, followed by Chang’e-8, which will lay the groundwork for a research base on the Moon by 2036.

Some of these follow-on lunar missions, however, depended on China’s successful launch of its heavy lift rocket, the Long March 5. Two earlier test launches (2016, 2017) of the rocket were either partial or total failures, resulting in a two-year hiatus to fix the engineering problems. On December 27, the Long March 5 successfully launched into orbit in a stunning nighttime liftoff, sending the eight-tonne Shijian-20 technological experiment satellite into its planned orbit.

Apr 11, 2020

Chinese Launched Satellite Seen Crashing Back to Earth Over Guam, USA

Posted by in categories: astronomy, satellites, science, space, space travel

From the US territory Guam, sightings came in of a fireball falling from the sky. The strategic location of Guam and the U.S. military stationed there has drawn attention for years. Guam thrust into the limelight during heightened tensions with North Korea. In August 2017, North Korea launched missiles that flew over Japan and into the northern Pacific Ocean in an apparent attempt to threaten the US territory of Guam. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not follow up on his threats, but a fireball came crashing down from a different source.

Local officials quickly released an announcement indicating the Chinese Long March Launch as a likely source of the fireball. Indeed, an Indonesia satellite launched on a Chinese rocket came crashing back to Earth. The satellite failed to reach orbit. The failure of the new communications satellite for Indonesia to reach orbit marked the second failure for china’s space agency in less than a month, state media reported April 9.

It is unlike the Chinese Long March 3, workhorse of the Chinese launch industry, series rocket to fall. According to the Xinhua News Agency, the rocket lifted off at 7:46 p.m local time from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the Sichuan province. The rocket traveled according to plan during the first and second stages. The Rocket third stage experienced abnormal conditions.

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