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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

Feb 29, 2024

‘Air-breathing’ propulsion tech could unlock unlimited propellant for satellites

Posted by in category: satellites

Earth’s orbit is so populated that the space industry is now developing technologies to remove space debris caused by satellites from an over-crowded low Earth orbit (LEO).

One untapped orbit above Earth does exist, though. The so-called very low Earth orbit (VLEO) would allow satellites to fly in a less crowded space closer to home and take more detailed pictures of our planet.

Feb 28, 2024

SpaceX Improves Falcon 9 Performance and Flies a Record 24 Starlink v2 Mini Satellites

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

It turns out an old dog can learn new tricks. After over 300 flights and 13 years in service, Falcon 9 continues to improve as SpaceX tweaks the design for higher performance.

SpaceX hit a new record on Sunday, flying 24 Starlink v.2 minis aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, surpassing its previous high water mark of 23 satellites. “This mission is carrying one additional Starlink satellite from previous east coast missions thanks in part to performance increases on Falcon 9,” SpaceX wrote on X.

The company did not detail how it was able to squeeze more performance out of Falcon 9. The Starlink v.2 mini debuted at the start of last year, boasting around 4x more capacity than its predecessors. The company has previously been launching 21–23 Starlink satellites per flight.

Feb 28, 2024

Unlocking the Mysteries of Rainfall With FY-3G, Earth’s New Eye in the Sky

Posted by in categories: chemistry, energy, satellites

Measuring the precise quantity of rainfall in a particular area is straightforward when there is equipment specifically designed to accurately capture and relay precipitation data. However, quantifying and identifying the types of precipitation across all locations on Earth presents significant logistical challenges.

Importantly, this information could provide a wealth of data for characterizing and predicting Earth’s water, energy, and biogeochemical cycles. Researchers from China recently deployed a satellite, FengYun 3G (FY-3G), that is successfully collecting Earth precipitation data from space.

Feb 27, 2024

SpaceX Plans To Orbit Cell Phone Starlink Constellation By Aug. 31

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, satellites

SpaceX plans to place its first direct-to-cellular phone Starlink constellation in orbit by the end of August.

The company aims to initially provide text messaging services over its low-Earth-orbit satellites to T-Mobile customers using unmodified cellphones operating with standard LTE/4G protocols. Service is expected to start this year, according to SpaceX’s website.

The rocket and satellite manufacturer lofted its first 21 direct-to-cellphone Starlink satellites on Jan. 2. Its plan to have the constellation orbiting Earth by the end of August was announced by Jon Edwards, SpaceX vice president of Falcon Launch Vehicles, on Feb. 26 on the social media website X.

Feb 26, 2024

China is building its own Starlink—even as questions surround Musk’s constellation

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

A recent rocket launch lofted satellites for a Chinese constellation mimicking that of SpaceX, which was slammed this weekend by a top U.S. lawmaker.

Feb 26, 2024

Starlink’s Direct to Cell satellites complete first post on X

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

SpaceX recently tested Starlink’s Direct to Cell satellites and posted on Elon Musk’s X platform.

The test X post simply said: “This post was sent through a SpaceX Direct to Cell satellite.”

SpaceX’s Director of Satellite Engineering provided more information about the X post. He revealed that the post was made under the cover of trees in a small valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Feb 26, 2024

How Antarctica’s history of isolation is ending—thanks to Starlink

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

The seventh continent has always been a bleak, unconnected place. Elon Musk’s satellite internet is changing that, and people want to see what life is like there.

Feb 25, 2024

SpaceX to launch 24 Starlink satellites from Florida on Sunday

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Liftoff is scheduled for 4:34 p.m. ET on Sunday (Feb. 25).

Feb 23, 2024

Alarming New Satellite Can Spy on Individual People

Posted by in category: satellites

Albedo Space wants to launch satellites that can track the movements of and even image individual people. Obviously, privacy is an issue.

Feb 23, 2024

A Fiery Farewell to ESA’s Pioneering ERS-2 Satellite

Posted by in categories: chemistry, satellites

At approximately 18:17 CET (17:17 UTC) on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, ESA’s ERS-2 satellite completed its atmospheric reentry over the North Pacific Ocean. No damage to property has been reported.

ESA’s second European Remote Sensing satellite, ERS-2, was launched almost 30 years ago, on April 21, 1995. Together with the almost-identical ERS-1, it provided invaluable long-term data on Earth’s land surfaces, ocean temperatures, ozone layer, and polar ice extent that revolutionized our understanding of the Earth system. It was also called upon to monitor and assist the response to natural disasters.

“The ERS satellites have provided a stream of data which has changed our view of the world in which we live,” said ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Simonetta Cheli. “They have provided us with new insights on our planet, the chemistry of our atmosphere, the behavior of our oceans, and the effects of mankind’s activity on our environment – creating new opportunities for scientific research and applications.”

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