Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 85

May 24, 2020

Russian military satellite launch junk fireball over Australia (video)

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

Russia launched a military satellite to orbit on Friday (May 22), and the mission generated plenty of drama in the downward direction as well.

May 23, 2020

Swarm probes weakening of Earth’s magnetic field

Posted by in categories: particle physics, satellites

In an area stretching from Africa to South America, Earth’s magnetic field is gradually weakening. This strange behaviour has geophysicists puzzled and is causing technical disturbances in satellites orbiting Earth. Scientists are using data from ESA’s Swarm constellation to improve our understanding of this area known as the ‘South Atlantic Anomaly.’

Earth’s is vital to life on our planet. It is a complex and dynamic force that protects us from and charged particles from the Sun. The magnetic field is largely generated by an ocean of superheated, swirling liquid iron that makes up the outer core around 3000 km beneath our feet. Acting as a spinning conductor in a bicycle dynamo, it creates electrical currents, which in turn, generate our continuously changing .

This field is far from static and varies both in strength and direction. For example, recent studies have shown that the position of the north is changing rapidly.

May 23, 2020

Earth’s magnetic field is mysteriously weakening, causing chaos for satellites

Posted by in category: satellites

A localised region of weakness is ‘developing vigorously’, scientists warn.

May 21, 2020

SpaceX now dominates rocket flight, bringing big benefits—and risks—to NASA

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, satellites

Researchers see both benefits and risks in the company’s increasing power. It has lowered the cost of spaceflight through innovations such as reusable stages and fairings, saving NASA money. With its outsize capacity, Starship could cheaply put large telescopes in orbit and heavy science experiments on moons and planets. Yet SpaceX, with a fast-and-loose Silicon Valley mindset, has overlooked the potential for its technologies to contaminate night skies and pristine planets. Some worry the company, led by brazen billionaire Elon Musk, could jeopardize NASA’s long-standing culture of safety. “NASA tries to model everything to the nth degree,” says David Todd, an analyst at Seradata, which tracks launches and satellites. “SpaceX works on the basis of ‘test it until it breaks.’”.

First commercial crew flight deepens ties between company and space agency.

May 13, 2020

Planet’s next six satellites will launch on upcoming SpaceX Starlink missions

Posted by in category: satellites

WASHINGTON — Planet announced that its next six SkySat satellites will fly to low Earth orbit on SpaceX Starlink missions scheduled later this summer.

The six SkySats will be evenly split across two launches on SpaceX’s Falcon 9, Planet said May 13 in a news release. Planet’s spacecraft will be rideshare payloads on the Starlink launches.

The first three — SkySats 16–18 — will launch on SpaceX’s ninth Starlink mission expected to launch in June. The next three — SkySats 19–21 — will launch later this summer. Both missions will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

May 12, 2020

DARPA to begin launching Blackjack satellites in late 2020

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency plans to launch the first experimental satellites of the Blackjack program in late 2020 and early 2021, the agency said May 11.

DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office started the Blackjack program in 2018 to show the military utility of low Earth orbit constellations and mesh networks of low-cost satellites.

As many as 20 satellites will be launched by 2022.

May 9, 2020

Where you can see the new Starlink satellites in the sky tonight

Posted by in category: satellites

If you missed the previous set, you’ll be able to view more satellites in the sky over the weekend.

May 9, 2020

NASA, partners launch virtual hackathon to develop COVID-19 solutions

Posted by in categories: astronomy, computing, cosmology, engineering, events, hacking, health, information science, innovation, open source, satellites, science, software, space

The U.S. space agency National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), European Space Agency (ESA), and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are inviting coders, entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders, artists, and technologists to participate in a virtual hackathon May 30–31 dedicated to putting open data to work in developing solutions to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the global Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge, participants from around the world will create virtual teams that – during a 48-hour period – will use Earth observation data to propose solutions to COVID-19-related challenges ranging from studying the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and its spread to the impact the disease is having on the Earth system. Registration for this challenge opens in mid-May.

“There’s a tremendous need for our collective ingenuity right now,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “I can’t imagine a more worthy focus than COVID-19 on which to direct the energy and enthusiasm from around the world with the Space Apps Challenge that always generates such amazing solutions.”

The unique capabilities of NASA and its partner space agencies in the areas of science and technology enable them to lend a hand during this global crisis. Since the start of the global outbreak, Earth science specialists from each agency have been exploring ways to use unique Earth observation data to aid understanding of the interplay of the Earth system – on global to local scales – with aspects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including, potentially, our ability to combat it. The hackathon will also examine the human and economic response to the virus.

Continue reading “NASA, partners launch virtual hackathon to develop COVID-19 solutions” »

May 8, 2020

Payloads revealed for next flight of X-37B military spaceplane

Posted by in categories: energy, military, satellites

The next flight of the U.S. military’s reusable X-37B spaceplane — scheduled for liftoff May 16 from Cape Canaveral — will carry more experiments into orbit than any of the winged ship’s previous missions, including two payloads for NASA and a small deployable satellite built by Air Force Academy cadets.

Military officials announced new details about the upcoming X-37B mission Wednesday, and confirmed its target launch date of May 16. The Boeing-built spaceplane was mounted on top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket Tuesday inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad.

The unpiloted spacecraft launches inside a payload shroud on top of a conventional rocket, unfurls a power-generating solar array in orbit to generate electricity, and returns to Earth for a runway landing like NASA’s retired space shuttle.

May 7, 2020

SpaceX describes exactly how they’re planning to make Starlink satellites less visible from Earth

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, Elon Musk, engineering, internet, satellites

In 2015, Elon Musk announced that his company, SpaceX, would be deploying satellites to orbit that would provide high-speed broadband internet access to the entire world. Known as Starlink, SpaceX began deploying this constellation in May of 2019 with the launch of the first 60 satellites. As of April 22, a total of 422 satellites have been added to the Starlink constellation, and the response hasn’t been entirely positive.

In addition to fears that we’re adding to the problem of “space junk,” there are also those who’ve expressed concern that Starlink and other constellations could have a negative impact on astronomy. In response, SpaceX recently announced that it will be instituting changes in how the satellites are launched, how they orbit the Earth, and even how reflective they are in order to minimize the impact they have on astronomy.

These changes were the subject of a presentation made during the Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics 2020 (Astro2020) hosted by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. As part of the Optical Interference from Satellite Constellations Meeting held on Monday, April 27th, the Starlink Panel (which included Musk) presented how the company hopes to minimize light pollution caused by their constellation.

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