Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

May 30, 2023

63 new moons of Saturn discovered

Posted by in category: satellites

Saturn has become the first planet to exceed 100 known moons!

The discovery of 63 new moons of Saturn is reported by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, bringing the gas giant’s total confirmed number to 146 and overtaking Jupiter.

Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest in our Solar System, has long captivated astronomers and space enthusiasts. In addition to its striking and beautiful ring system, the gas giant has a vast array of natural satellites.

May 30, 2023

China launches mission with first civilian to space station

Posted by in categories: economics, military, satellites

JIUQUAN — China sent three astronauts to its Tiangong space station on Tuesday, putting a civilian into orbit for the first time as it pursues plans to send a crewed mission to the Moon by the end of the decade.

The world’s second-largest economy has invested billions of dollars in its military-run space program in a push to catch up with the United States and Russia.

Continue reading “China launches mission with first civilian to space station” »

May 28, 2023

Exclusive: Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft arrives at India’s spaceport in preparation for July launch

Posted by in categories: satellites, security

The spacecraft that the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) hopes to land on the moon later this year, has been wheeled into the country’s spaceport, Satish Dhawan Space Centre, WION has learnt.

Named as Chandrayaan-3 (Sanskrit for Moon Vehicle-3), this will be India’s third lunar mission and will attempt both controlled soft-landing on the lunar surface and in-situ analysis by the means of a rover.

In the evening hours on Friday, the slow-moving, specialised truck ferrying the spacecraft from UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru arrived at India’s spaceport, under a security blanket.

May 27, 2023

Rocket Lab’s Electron delivers TROPICS constellation to orbit

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

Electron, Rocket Lab’s small satellite launch vehicle, launched twice, just ~2 weeks apart from the companies Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand to deliver the 4 CubeSat constellation to orbit.

Payload deployment confirmed! Congratulations to the launch team on our 37th Electron launch, and to our mission partners at @NASA @NASA_LSP @NASAAmes: the TROPICS constellation is officially on orbit!

The two missions, dubbed ‘Rocket Like a Hurricane’ and ‘Coming to a Storm Near You,’ contain two 11.8-lb (5.34 kg) CubeSats each delivered to a 30-degree orbital inclination in order for the constellation to monitor tropical systems forming in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean and will be capable of performing scans about once every hour.

May 25, 2023

AI-Driven Maritime Custody Service Now Available Commercially

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

BlackSky Technology and Spire Global have teamed up to create a real-time, commercially available Maritime Custody Service that can automatically detect, identify and track more than 270 thousand vessels worldwide in open water, along rivers and canals, and while docked at port.

The system uses data from Spire’s radio frequency-monitoring satellite constellation to detect emissions from maritime targets, including the ability to detect and locate dark vessels that manipulate their reported position in order to conceal nefarious activities. Then, BlackSky’s satellites automatically tip-and-cue to collect imagery and analyze the images using artificial intelligence to detect vessels, classify each vessel by type, estimate cargo and monitor change over time.

“BlackSky and Spire have developed a very cost-effective and flexible vessel tracking service capable of delivering on-demand maritime intelligence at scale,” said Patrick O’Neil, chief innovation officer at BlackSky. “The unique AI-driven system reduces end-to-end latency across the entire tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination process. With interoperability in mind, the MCS provides an easy-to-use autonomous, continuous and predictive maritime tracking capability directly into customer hands.”

May 25, 2023

China launches two satellites to monitor Earth’s weakening magnetic field

Posted by in category: satellites

The two Macau Science 1 satellites lifted off atop a Long March 2C rocket on Sunday.

China launched two satellites designed to investigate and monitor Earth’s magnetic field changes at 4 pm local time on Sunday, May 21, at the Jiuquan launch site in the Gobi Desert.

The mission called Macau Science 1 lifted a pair of satellites weighing 500kg (1,100lbs) each atop a Long March 2C rocket. It is the first Chinese space mission operated as part of a partnership with scientists in Macau, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

May 23, 2023

Starlink: SpaceX is developing a low latency, broadband internet system to meet the needs of consumers across the globe

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Enabled by a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites, Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to populations with little or no connectivity, including those in rural communities and places where existing services are too expensive or unreliable.

May 19, 2023

SpaceX plans to launch Falcon 9 from both the East and West coasts hours apart

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

SpaceX plans to launch two Falcon 9 rockets hours apart from Florida and California. Starlink group 6–3 will launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with a planned launch time of 12:41 AM ET (04:41 UTC) and from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Iridium OneWeb rideshare launch at 6:19 AM PT (13:19 UTC).

First up, SpaceX will launch booster 1,076 on its 5th flight to deliver 22 Starlink V2 mini-satellites to a 43 degree orbit inclination. The 22 Starlink V2 mini-satellites come in at a combined ~17.6 metric tons, potentially setting the record for the most mass to low Earth orbit for a Falcon 9. This shows a gradual increase in the confidence of the Falcon 9 to deliver high-mass payloads to orbit while maintaining the ability to recover the first stage. On station for this recovery is the droneship “A Shortfall of Gravitas,” stationed roughly 636 km downrange, just East of the Bahamas.

The current weather outlook for this launch has a 60% chance of violating launch criteria at the opening of the launch window. However, this launch has three more opportunities, 1:13 AM ET (05:31 UTC), 2:19 AM ET (06:19 UTC), and 3:09 AM ET (07:09 UTC) in which the weather improves to a 40% chance of violating launch criteria.

May 19, 2023

Modified NASA space tech provides sustainable batteries that last 30 years

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites, sustainability

It “lasts more than three times as long” as lithium-ion, according to EnerVenue CEO Jorg Heinemann.

With the advent of space tourism for the world’s wealthiest and a looming global recession, there has been a predictable increase in arguments against public spending on space technologies.

However, those calling to halt space operations often ignore the immense benefits space technologies bring us here on Earth. Obvious examples come in the form of GPS and the many satellites used to investigate the effects of climate change.

May 17, 2023

M9.6-class solar flare EXPLODES, sparks blackouts! Satellite hints at new solar storm

Posted by in category: satellites

After a relatively low period of solar activity, the Sun sprung back into action yesterday, May 16. A near-X-class solar flare eruption occurred on the southeastern limb of the Sun. Even as the explosion was on the horizon of the Sun and a part of it was eclipsed due to its edge, the solar flare had a major impact on the Earth. Ultraviolet radiation ionized the upper atmosphere and caused a shortwave radio blackout over North America and the northern parts of South America. And now, fears are rising over another major solar storm that could be headed toward the Earth.

As per a report, “Earth-orbiting satellites detected an M9.6-class solar flare from a sunspot hiding behind the sun’s southeastern limb. It was only percentage points away from being an X-flare. The event could herald a period of renewed solar activity as the sunspot turns toward Earth”.

The radio blackout was so severe that several reports highlighted that most of the shortwave frequencies faded away when the flare erupted. This would have affected mariners, amateur radio operators, and aviators. The blackout persisted for about an hour before subsiding.

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