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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

Nov 11, 2019

SpaceX launch highlights threat to astronomy from ‘megaconstellations’

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Spaceflight company SpaceX is set to launch 60 communications satellites into orbit today as the basis for a web of spacecraft designed to provide global Internet access. But many astronomers worry that such ‘megaconstellations’ — which are also planned by other companies that could launch tens of thousands of satellites in the coming years — might interfere with crucial observations of the Universe. They fear that megaconstellations could disrupt radio frequencies used for astronomical observation, create bright streaks in the night sky and increase congestion in orbit, raising the risk of collisions.


Researchers fear that plans to send tens of thousands of communications satellites into orbit will disrupt scientific observations of the Universe.

Nov 11, 2019

A Satellite That Fires Fake Shooting Stars Is Ready to Launch

Posted by in category: satellites

Burning Garbage

The satellite will launch centimeter-long pellets that will incinerate upon re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. From the ground, they’re expected to look similar to slow-moving shooting stars and will take anywhere from three to ten seconds to burn away, Space.com reports.

“With this launch, we are a step closer to realiz[ing] the man-made shooting star,” Astro Live Experiences CEO Lena Okajima said, per Space.com. “Please look forward to the world’s first demonstration we are aiming [for] in 2020, which will be a major milestone for ALE.”

Nov 11, 2019

SpaceX launches 60 more mini satellites for global internet

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

SpaceX launched 60 mini satellites Monday, the second batch of an orbiting network meant to provide global internet coverage.

The Falcon blasted into the morning sky, marking the unprecedented fourth flight of a booster for SpaceX. The compact flat-panel satellites—just 575 pounds (260 kilograms) each—will join 60 launched in May.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk wants to put thousands of these Starlink satellites in orbit, to offer high-speed internet service everywhere. He plans to start service next year in the northern U.S. and Canada, with global coverage for populated areas after 24 launches.

Nov 10, 2019

SpaceX readies upgraded Starlink satellites for launch

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

New satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network set for launch Monday from Cape Canaveral will debut several performance and safety upgrades, but they do not include changes to reduce the brightness of the satellites, a modification SpaceX says it will introduce on future Starlink craft to mitigate their impacts on ground-based astronomy.

The 60 Starlink satellites awaiting launch Monday will join 60 others launched in May. SpaceX says 1,440 of the flat-panel satellites are needed to provide Internet service over the “populated world,” a service level the company says could be achieved after 24 launches.

The Starlink network could offer service for parts of the United States and Canada after six launches, according to SpaceX.

Nov 9, 2019

SpaceX to Launch Another 60 Starlink Satellites on Falcon 9 Rocket

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

The goal of the Starlink mission is to provide broadband internet all over the globe.

Nov 5, 2019

Spaceflight and Rocket Lab will put a Japanese shooting-star satellite into orbit

Posted by in categories: electronics, satellites

Seattle-based Spaceflight says it’s handling the pre-launch logistics for a Japanese satellite that’s designed to spray artificial shooting stars into the sky.

Tokyo-based ALE’s spacecraft is just one of seven satellites due to be sent into orbit from New Zealand as early as Nov. 25, aboard a Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle.

Continue reading “Spaceflight and Rocket Lab will put a Japanese shooting-star satellite into orbit” »

Oct 30, 2019

Water Plasma Propulsion tested successfully in Space

Posted by in categories: innovation, satellites

This is yet another glaring example of the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley. The startup has been successfully testing the novel idea on its El Camino Real spacecraft — launched on a Russian Soyuz rocket in July 2019. Momentus will continue to perform simulations on its spacecraft for the next few months to gather enough data to compare it with the results of the ground tests to validate the proper functioning of the new system.

It’s spacecraft, El Camino Real, is a 16-unit CubeSat integrated by Astro Digital — a spacecraft manufacturer and geospatial data analysis company based out of California as well. Momentus has already secured funding of $34 million funding to develop two shuttles, Vigoride and Vigoride Extended, which will maneuver satellites between orbits.

The most prominent application for this is when new satellites are deployed in orbits via rockets. When the former is dropped off in orbits, they can be moved to optimal positions using this technology in a cheap & efficient manner. Momentus originally started off in 2018 as a transportation service for small satellites seeking rides to medium Earth, geostationary or low lunar orbit.

Oct 28, 2019

Rarely Seen Gravity Waves Captured Rippling in Earth’s Atmosphere

Posted by in categories: physics, satellites

The atmosphere is fluid. This means it’s subject to fluid dynamics, such as circulation, currents, and, yes, gravity waves. The atmosphere is always in motion, so these phenomena happen all the time; but actually seeing them is another matter.

Well, thanks to weather satellites, now you can take a mighty gawk at atmospheric gravity waves that rippled out over Western Australia last week.

Not to be confused with gravitational waves, which are disturbances in the curvature of spacetime created by massive acceleration, gravity waves, also known as buoyancy waves, are a physical phenomenon where waves are generated in any fluid medium, such as waves at the beach, or ripples in a glass of water.

Oct 27, 2019

SpaceX reveals early users of satellite-based high-speed internet

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, habitats, internet, satellites

(CNN) — SpaceX is on a mission to beam cheap, high-speed internet to consumers all over the globe. And this week the company revealed a few earthly locations that are already linked to the network, including CEO Elon Musk’s house and the cockpits of a few Air Force jets.

It’s part of early testing for the 60 broadband-beaming satellites and two demo devices that SpaceX has already launched into orbit.

Eventually, the company wants to operate thousands of satellites that will circle the planet at about 300 to 700 miles overhead. The project is called Starlink, and if it’s successful it could forever alter the landscape of the telecom industry.

Oct 25, 2019

Rocket Report: Would you buy Virgin Galactic stock? Rocket Lab goes lunar

Posted by in categories: materials, satellites

Potential for small science missions … “Small satellites will play a crucial role in science and exploration, as well as providing communications and navigation infrastructure to support returning humans to the Moon,” Rocket Lab head honcho Peter Beck said. “They play a vital role as pathfinders to retire risk and lay down infrastructure for future missions. We think this could be useful for CubeSat science around the Moon or possibly communications relay capability on the cheap.” (submitted by 3ch0 and ADU)

Firefly considering AR1 engine for its Beta rocket. Firefly Aerospace has said it is collaborating with engine-maker Aerojet Rocketdyne to increase the performance of its upcoming Alpha launch vehicle, and the company is also considering Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 engine for a future launch vehicle, SpaceNews reports. In a statement, Firefly CEO Tom Markusic praised the AR1 as an engine well suited for Beta but stopped short of saying the engine’s selection is a done deal.

How far along is AR1 really? … Markusic: “Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 engine, which incorporates the latest advances in propulsion technology, materials science, and manufacturing techniques, is incredibly well-suited to power Beta given its cost-effective, high-performance capabilities.” It is not at all clear to us how close Aerojet is to completing and qualifying the AR1 engine. It also seems like Firefly should get Alpha up and running before it worries too much about the larger Beta rocket. (submitted by Unrulycow)

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