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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

Oct 9, 2019

Ekipazh: Russia’s top-secret nuclear-powered satellite

Posted by in categories: energy, military, satellites

There is strong evidence from publicly available sources that a Russian company called KB Arsenal is working on a new type of military satellite equipped with a nuclear power source. Called Ekipazh, its mission may well be to perform electronic warfare from space.

KB Arsenal, based in St. Petersburg, is no newcomer to the development of nuclear-powered satellites. In the Soviet days it built satellites known as US-A (standing for “active controllable satellite”), which carried nuclear reactors to power radars used for ocean reconnaissance (in the West they were known as “radar ocean reconnaissance satellites” or RORSAT for short.) The satellites had been conceived in the early 1960s at the OKB-52 design bureau of Vladimir Chelomei before work on them was transferred to KB Arsenal at the end of that decade. The satellites’ three-kilowatt thermoelectric reactors, known as BES-5 or Buk, were built by the Krasnaya Zvezda (“Red Star”) organization. The US-A satellites operated in low Earth orbits at an altitude of roughly 260 kilometers and, after finishing their mission, the reactors were boosted to storage orbits at an altitude of about 900 kilometers.

Oct 6, 2019

Virgin Orbit Plans First Satellite Launch in 2 Months

Posted by in category: satellites

Virgin thinks it can make its way to orbit — but can it compete with SpaceX?

Oct 4, 2019

FIRST UP | Intuitive Machines hires SpaceX for 2021 rideshare • Maxar awards contract for Gateway arrays • OrbitFab raises $3M for propellant depots

Posted by in categories: finance, satellites, solar power, sustainability

Lunar lander developer Intuitive Machines has signed a contract with SpaceX for its first mission to the moon. The company announced this week that a Falcon 9 will launch its Nova-C lander in 2021 as part of a rideshare mission, but terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company won a contract from NASA in May to carry five payloads to the moon on that mission as part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. Separately, a federal appeals court this week upheld a verdict in favor of the company in a suit against Moon Express, another commercial lunar lander company. That suit, involving work disputes between the companies, led to Intuitive Machines receiving $4.1 million in cash and stock. [SpaceNews]

Maxar Technologies awarded a contract to Deployable Space Systems to manufacture flexible solar arrays for the first element of NASA’s lunar Gateway. The contract this week is for a pair of Roll Out Solar Array solar panels, each capable of producing 32.5 kilowatts of power. The arrays will be used on the Power and Propulsion Element that Maxar is building for NASA that will serve as the foundation for the Gateway in orbit around the moon. [SpaceNews]

A startup planning propellant depots in orbit for refueling satellites has raised $3 million. OrbitFab announced Thursday it raised the seed round of funding from venture capital fund Type 1 Ventures, Techstars and others. The company is working on technology to allow for refueling of satellites using small depots in orbit, and recently tested that technology on the International Space Station. At a conference in Washington earlier in the week, the company said it was still working on raising a funding round but hopes to have its first tanker in orbit by the end of next year. [TechCrunch].

Oct 4, 2019

DARPA wants a robotic satellite mechanic launched by 2022

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

DARPA expects to have a new commercial partner lined up for the Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites spacecraft by the end of the year.

Oct 1, 2019

SETI Scientist: Aliens May Have Left a Spy Probe Orbiting the Sun

Posted by in categories: alien life, satellites

O.o I remember one time seeing an article I was not sure of basically talking about aliens coming out of the sun I thought it was crazy at the time but now I am not so sure o, o.


New research argues that ancient aliens could have turned space rocks orbiting near Earth into de-facto spy satellites.

Sep 18, 2019

SpaceX may be a $120 billion company if its Starlink global internet service takes off, Morgan Stanley Research predicts

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

Financial analysts are looking at Elon Musk’s plans to surround Earth with thousands of high-speed internet satellites — and they see a lot of green.

Sep 12, 2019

SpaceX says it will deploy satellite broadband across US faster than expected

Posted by in category: satellites

SpaceX will reorganize orbits to cover more of the US in initial deployment.

Sep 12, 2019

Toyota tests solar-powered Prius in quest for plugless electric car

Posted by in categories: government, satellites, sustainability

TOKYO (Reuters) — Inspired by new ultra-thin solar panels developed for satellites, a project led by Toyota Motor Corp is experimenting with a sun-powered Prius that it hopes will one day require no plugging in.

In the Japanese government-funded demonstration project, Toyota engineers fitted solar panels designed by Sharp Corp to the hood, roof, rear window and spoiler to see how much juice the sun can generate.

The electricity from the panels goes directly to the drive battery, so the Prius can charge while moving or when parked.

Sep 11, 2019

A European Spacecraft Almost Collided With A SpaceX Satellite

Posted by in categories: alien life, military, satellites

The tradition of road rage on earth does not apply to space where someone can yell at you to move. There has to be a channel of communication form the earth’s control centres and even then, those emails can be missed. Well, this may have almost caused two assets to run into each other about 350 km above Earth last weekend. This involved a Starlink satellite belonging to SpaceX and the European Space Agency’s Aeolus satellite.

The incident actually started on Wednesday when the US Air Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron issued a risk warning to both organisations. The unit that monitors space vessels and debris warned that the collision might happen around September 2nd at 7 am ET, with a 0.1% probability.

Continue reading “A European Spacecraft Almost Collided With A SpaceX Satellite” »

Sep 10, 2019

SpaceX to launch SES’s O3b mPower constellation on two Falcon 9 rockets

Posted by in category: satellites

SpaceX received a contract to launch the first seven O3b mPower satellites using Falcon 9 rockets, the companies announced Sept. 9.

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