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Satellite

Space

Sentinel-1A satellite returns first shots of Earth

ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite has returned its first images of Earth from space in its second week of achieving orbit. The satellite, having been launched on Apr. 3, has only recently undergone a complicated maneuver to extend its 10 m (32 ft) solar wings and 12 m (39 ft) radar imaging array.Read More

Space

EU launches Sentinel 1A earth-monitoring satellite

The EU has launched the first satellite as part of its Copernicus Earth observation program. Copernicus will provide a means of monitoring Earth's sub-systems, the atmosphere, oceans, and continental surfaces. The Sentinel 1A satellite was launched from French Guiana at 23:02 on Thursday April 3rd.Read More

Aircraft

StratoBus seeks to occupy the midpoint between airship and satellite

Satellites may be very useful for communications, navigation and other applications, but they're awfully expensive to build and launch, and once they're in orbit ... well, there's no reusing them. That's why a consortium led by Thales Alenia Space is developing the StratoBus. It's a planned autonomous airship that can be launched like a regular blimp, but that will be able to hover at an altitude of 20 km (12 miles) – that's up in the stratosphere, hence the name. Read More

Space

Lockheed-Martin introduces 100 percent refund or refly program for ATLAS payloads

Lockheed-Martin (LM) has a problem. Their Atlas V orbital launch system, while very popular with the US military, at around US$225M per launch is too expensive to compete effectively for commercial missions, whose launch costs are generally about half that amount. As part of an effort to reposition their services, LM is now offering a 100 percent money-back or reflight guarantee if the launch vehicle causes mission failure. The guarantee covers the cost of the vehicle launch, but not the cost of the satellite. Read More

Space

SPHERES remote control demonstration bodes well for future space exploration

Controlling a robot in space from the ground can be a bit like hitting a moving target. There’s a one to three second delay as data passes back and forth between the robot and ground control, which means that operators have to anticipate how the robots will move during these delays. This week, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) announced the first-ever demonstration of collaborative tele-operations that involved control of robots on the International Space Station (ISS) by astronauts on the ISS and operators on the ground.Read More

Space

New SARAS system speeds up satellite tracking

As you might expect, acquiring a signal from a satellite traveling at speeds of over 17,400 mph can be a tricky business. A new system called SARAS, which is a Spanish acronym for "Fast Acquisition of Satellites and Launchers," more than doubles the effective area of the receiving dish antenna, allowing the signal to be acquired much faster.Read More

Space

GPM weather observatory successfully launched

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory was launched last Thursday aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket that blasted off from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in southern Japan. Weighing in at 4-ton, the GPM is the largest spacecraft ever built at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and will help provide a more detailed picture of the Earth's precipitation to assist climate scientists and help improve forecasting of extreme weather events.Read More

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