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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 7

May 17, 2022

EchoStar says Jupiter-3 won’t be ready for 2022 launch

Posted by in category: satellites

At 9.2 tons, it may be the largest spacecraft to ever launch to geostationary orbit.

SpaceX will launch the heaviest commercial geostationary satellite ever aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket early next year, following several delays.

Earlier this month, SpaceX customer EchoStar announced satellite builder Maxar Technologies had delayed the delivery of the much-anticipated Jupiter-3, which had been scheduled to launch near the end of the year.

May 17, 2022

Google Maps to add ‘immersive view’

Posted by in categories: mapping, satellites

Google Maps to add “immersive view”

Google Maps, the world’s most-downloaded travel app, will soon become more immersive and intuitive thanks to a major upgrade.

The online tool is used by over 1 billion people every month. It already includes satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning. At its annual I/O developer conference held in California, Google announced key features being added to further enhance its appearance and functionality.

May 17, 2022

SpaceX launches two Starlink missions in 24 hours

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, satellites

Two SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets have completed back-to-back Starlink launches less than 24 hours apart, successfully delivering 106 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO).

Originally scheduled just a handful of hours apart, slight delays eventually saw Starlink 4–13 and Starlink 4–15 settle on 6:07 pm EDT, May 13th and 4:40 pm EDT, May 14th, respectively. Entering the final stretch, launch preparations went smoothly and both Falcon 9 rockets ultimately lifted off without a hitch.

The series began with Starlink 4–13 on Friday. SpaceX chose Falcon 9 B1063 to support the Starlink launch and the booster did its job well, wrapping up its fifth launch since November 2020 with a rare landing aboard drone ship Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY). Since SpaceX permanently transferred OCISLY from the East Coast to the West Coast in mid-2021, the drone ship has only supported five booster recoveries. Save for an unusual East Coast Starlink launch in May 2021, Falcon 9 B1061 has also primarily been tasked with supporting SpaceX’s West Coast launch manifest. With only one older pad – Vandenberg Space Force Base’s (VSFB) SLC-4 complex – available to SpaceX, the company’s West Coast Falcon launches are also considerably rarer than its East Coast missions.

May 17, 2022

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket to launch record-breaking communications satellite

Posted by in category: satellites

A report on the latest in a long line of SpaceX launches significantly delayed by customer payload readiness has been updated to confirm that the satellite in question will launch on Falcon Heavy, not Falcon 9.

Hughes revealed that it had selected SpaceX to launch its Maxar-built Jupiter-3 geostationary communications satellite during an industry conference on March 21st, 2022. At the time, Hughes stated that the satellite was on track to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, a refinement but also a delay from earlier plans to launch sometime in H2 2022. Just six weeks later, manufacturer Maxar reported that the completion of Jupiter 3 – like many other Maxar spacecraft – had been delayed, pushing its launch to no earlier than (NET) “early 2023.”

At the same time, Maxar revealed that Jupiter 3 – also known as Echostar 24 – was expected to weigh around 9.2 metric tons (~20,300 lb) at liftoff when that launch finally happens. That figure immediately raised some questions about which SpaceX rocket Hughes or Maxar had chosen to launch the immense satellite.

May 16, 2022

Is Solar Energy from Outer Space in Our Future? — Part Two: Alternatives to the Geosynchronous Solar Array

Posted by in categories: satellites, solar power, sustainability

Can we deploy a constellation of solar power generating satellites to energize the entire planet? It is feasible.


In this second part of a two-part series, we look at a constellation of solar satellites as an alternative to geosynchronous power arrays.

Continue reading “Is Solar Energy from Outer Space in Our Future? — Part Two: Alternatives to the Geosynchronous Solar Array” »

May 15, 2022

Is Solar Energy from Outer Space in Our Future? — Part One: Building a Geosynchronous Solar Power Plant

Posted by in categories: satellites, solar power, sustainability

Today a state-of-the-art solar panel on Earth can convert between 20 to 30% of the energy it collects from sunlight into electricity. At night solar panels here contribute nothing. But in space with nothing to block the Sun, that same Earth-based solar panel becomes thirteen times more efficient. And that is enough of an incentive to consider solar power from space.


The Chinese and UK models are massive arrays located in geosynchronous orbit while continuously beaming energy to receiving stations here on Earth.

The US model is different using a constellation of solar power generating satellites. These would be in relatively low orbits and interconnected to form a mesh network. The total network would generate continuous energy beaming it to the surface even when a portion of it gets blocked when the satellites enter the night side of the planet.

Continue reading “Is Solar Energy from Outer Space in Our Future? — Part One: Building a Geosynchronous Solar Power Plant” »

May 15, 2022

CACI to launch experimental satellite to demonstrate alternative to GPS navigation

Posted by in categories: business, military, satellites

WASHINGTON – U.S. defense contractor CACI International is funding an experiment to demonstrate space technologies for military use, including an alternative to GPS navigation.

As part of the company’s plan to grow its space business, CACI is launching two demonstration payloads on a York Space satellite scheduled to fly to low Earth orbit in January aboard the SpaceX Transporter 7 rideshare.

“We’re looking at an alternative PNT [positioning, navigation and timing] solution that will work in a contested space domain,” CACI’s president and CEO John Mengucci said during a third-quarter fiscal year 2022 earnings call.

Continue reading “CACI to launch experimental satellite to demonstrate alternative to GPS navigation” »

May 13, 2022

Space Force general: Commercial satellite internet in Ukraine showing power of megaconstellations

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

A lesson from the Ukraine war is the resiliency provided by large proliferated constellations, said Gen. David Thompson.

WASHINGTON — During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing May 11, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked Space Force officials if any lessons could be drawn from the war in Ukraine about the role of commercial satellites in armed conflicts.

One lesson is the resiliency provided by large proliferated constellations, said Gen. David Thompson, vice chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force.

Continue reading “Space Force general: Commercial satellite internet in Ukraine showing power of megaconstellations” »

May 11, 2022

Satellite mission finds that Tonga volcanic eruption effects reached space

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Now, scientists are finding the volcano’s effects also reached space.

Analyzing data from NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Swarm satellites, scientists found that in the hours after the eruption, hurricane-speed winds and unusual electric currents formed in the —Earth’s electrified upper atmospheric layer at the edge of .

“The volcano created one of the largest disturbances in space we’ve seen in the modern era,” said Brian Harding, a physicist at University of California, Berkeley, and lead author on a new paper discussing the findings. “It is allowing us to test the poorly understood connection between the lower atmosphere and space.”

May 4, 2022

Physicist designs magnetic thrust engine that could rocket us to the Red Planet

Posted by in categories: chemistry, physics, satellites, sustainability

Circa 2021


With SpaceX continuing the testing phase for Starship and enthusiasm spreading for an actual crewed flight to Mars, an interesting magnetic thrust rocket concept conceived by physicist Fatima Ebrahimi at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) might make the mission much more cost effective.

Continue reading “Physicist designs magnetic thrust engine that could rocket us to the Red Planet” »

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