Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 9

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.

Dec 21, 2019

China finishes core network for GPS rival Beidou

Posted by in category: satellites

With two new satellites sent into space, China’s Beidou navigation system is one step closer to full deployment.

Dec 17, 2019

Watch SpaceX launch a Boeing-built satellite and attempt to recover its spacecraft fairing live

Posted by in categories: electronics, satellites

SpaceX is launching yet another rocket this evening — its 13th this year. This Falcon 9 launch is set for liftoff sometime during a window that’ll last for just over an hour, and that opens at 7:10 PM EST (4:10 PM PST) and extends to 8:38 PM EST (5:38 PM PST). The launch will use a first-stage rocket booster that previously flew in May and July of this year, and it’ll include an attempted landing of that booster, as well as a try at recovering both halves of the fairing used to protect the spacecraft’s cargo as it ascends to space.

The cargo itself is a satellite built by Boeing that hosts two payloads for different clients, including Japanese pay TV broadcast service provider SKY Perfect JSAT, and a high-speed broadband connectivity satellite developed by Kratos called Kacific1. The Falcon 9 spacecraft will be looking to deliver these to orbit around half-an-hour after liftoff.

It’s definitely going to be worth watching the secondary mission elements of this one, as SpaceX has so far succeeded only in recovering one half of a fairing used during a mission with a single barge stationed in the ocean. This will see it try to catch both pieces, using two ships named “Ms. Tree” and “Ms. Chief” that have been retrofitted with a large net assembly specifically for the purpose.

Continue reading “Watch SpaceX launch a Boeing-built satellite and attempt to recover its spacecraft fairing live” »

Dec 16, 2019

ESA satellite set for launch to measure sizes of exoplanets

Posted by in category: satellites

A compact exoplanet observatory built in Europe to help astronomers determine the sizes of distant worlds around other stars is scheduled for launch Tuesday from French Guiana aboard a Soyuz rocket.

Designed to build upon discoveries made by previous pioneering exoplanet telescopes — like NASA’s Kepler mission — the European Space Agency’s Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite, or CHEOPS, mission will orbit some 435 miles (700 kilometers) above Earth with a small but ultra-sensitive telescope looking at faraway stars.

CHEOPS will be capable of registering tiny changes in the brightness of stars as planets block their light from reaching the telescope. This way of observing exoplanets is called the transit method, and it’s been used by Kepler, NASA’s TESS observatory, and the French space agency’s CoRoT mission to discover planets around other stars.

Continue reading “ESA satellite set for launch to measure sizes of exoplanets” »

Dec 15, 2019

Satellites Spot Earth’s Ocean Plastic From Orbit

Posted by in category: satellites

You can see plastic waste in our oceans from space 😳

Via NowThis

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