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Satellite

— Aircraft

StratoBus seeks to occupy the midpoint between airship and satellite

By - March 27, 2014 1 Picture
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

By - March 17, 2014 3 Pictures
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

By - March 13, 2014 1 Picture
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

By - March 10, 2014 2 Pictures
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

By - March 2, 2014 2 Pictures
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
— Space

Space fishing: ESA floats plan to net space junk

By - February 28, 2014 4 Pictures
With the film Gravity hoovering up awards for its portrayal of astronauts dodging colliding satellites, now seems a good time to talk about the very real threat posed by space debris. It’s small wonder, then, that ESA’s Clean Space initiative is looking at developing a satellite that can rendezvous with space debris and render it harmless by netting it like fish. The proposal is just one of the ideas to be discussed as part of a symposium this May focusing on the space agency's e.DeOrbit mission. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Iridium Go! hotspot can turn your smartphone into a satellite phone

By - February 4, 2014 2 Pictures
Smartphones are practically everywhere. But if you're in the middle of nowhere without a signal, that iPhone 5s or Galaxy S4 won't do you much good. Many people already turn to satellite phones when they're at sea or in other far-off places, but a new device from Iridium takes a satellite signal and turns it into a Wi-Fi hotspot for your existing mobile devices. Read More
— Space

GPM satellite to usher in a new era of weather observation

By - January 30, 2014 2 Pictures
NASA is set to launch a new satellite designed to take detailed, near real-time measurements of rain and snowfall on a global scale whilst mapping the interior of storm systems. The Core Observatory of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) has been in development since 2005 and is a collaboration project between NASA and the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). The satellite is due to be launched on the Japanese manufactured H-IIA delivery vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Centre, Tanegashima Island, Japan, on February 27. Read More
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