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Archive for the ‘satellites’ category

Feb 12, 2019

Report: Space will likely be a battlefield in any U.S. conflict with China, Russia

Posted by in categories: military, satellites

WASHINGTON — A new U.S. intelligence report warns that both China and Russia are investing in weapons that could attack U.S. satellites and assets in space, and that both nations are now preparing to use space as a battlefield.

Last month, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report about China’s military capabilities, warning that the Asian country was making advances in counterspace technology that could threaten U.S. satellites responsible for communications, reconnaissance, GPS and early warnings of missile launches.

But a new DIA report, “Challenges to Security in Space,” warns that both China and Russia are making advances in space technology, and that both are likely to turn to space early on in any major military conflict to cripple their adversaries.

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Feb 9, 2019

Scottish space firm unveils world’s largest 3D printed rocket engine

Posted by in categories: 3D printing, energy, engineering, satellites

Scottish space firm Orbex has unveiled an engineering prototype of a rocket that’s at the heart of plans to develop a UK satellite launch capability.

The company, which is involved in plans to develop the UK’s first spaceport in Sutherland, Scotland unveiled the rocket at the opening of its new headquarters and rocket design facility in Forres in the Scottish Highlands.

Designed to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit, Orbex Prime is a two-stage rocket that’s claimed to be up to 30% lighter and 20% more efficient than any other vehicle in the small launcher category. It is also the first commercial rocket engine designed to work with bio-propane, a clean-burning, renewable fuel source that cuts carbon emissions by 90% compared to fossil hydrocarbon fuels.

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Feb 2, 2019

Blue Origin inks deal to launch internet satellite constellation

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

An artist’s rendering of Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket during its ascent into orbit. Image Credit: Blue Origin.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket has been selected by Canadian-based Telesat to send a fleet of satellites into orbit. The payload for these flights could help improve web services around the globe.

The satellites, designed to provide internet services across the globe, will be sent to low-Earth orbit by Texas-based Blue Origin’s New Glenn over the course of multiple launches.

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Feb 1, 2019

Jeff Bezos’ rocket company to help Telesat take on Elon Musk in internet satellite race

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

Telesat picked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin New Glenn rocket to launch its satellites into space.

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Jan 22, 2019

Facebook’s Plans for Space Lasers Revealed

Posted by in category: satellites

The technology giant appears to be quietly building laser satellites for global communications.

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Jan 18, 2019

Astronomers aren’t pleased about a Russian plan to put billboards in space

Posted by in categories: government, mobile phones, satellites

This is a horrible, horrible idea. The company wants to create a series of satellites that can unfurl, which will reflect light, and that can be manipulated to send messages to earth. The entire collection, comprised of CubeSats, will provide an area of about 50 sq. km. and create a whole new kind of orbital debris.

According to the website, “When phones don’t work, during zero visibility, power cuts and catastrophical emergencies – government can use the display for urgent notifications for the population.” We can ignore the idea of them being seen during zero visibility, but can you imagine a message floating in the sky that you can’t just turn off?


It was bound to happen.

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Jan 7, 2019

This is how Elon Musk plans to use SpaceX to give internet to everyone

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, internet, satellites

You get internet! And YOU get internet!


The Starlink satellite launch is just the beginning of SpaceX’s plan to cover the globe with internet.

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Jan 7, 2019

PH CUBESAT MAYA-1 successfully deployed to space

Posted by in categories: engineering, satellites

It was a good year for DOST-Philippines after it successfully launched two satellites under the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite (PHL-Microsat) program: Maya-1 the country’s first cube satellite measuring only 10 cubic centimeters in August, and Diwata-2, the improved version of both its predecessors in October.


Manila, August 10, 2018 — Cheers full of Filipino pride were heard in the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute building as officials from UP, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) witnessed the live deployment of Maya-1, the Philippines’ first ever cube satellite (CubeSat).

After its turnover to JAXA last May 15, the Maya-1 CubeSat was brought to the International Space Station (ISS) through the SpaceX Falcon 9 CRS-15 on June 29. “This is actually our second major achievement in space science and technology,” said UP Diliman chancellor Michael Tan, looking back on the Diwata-1 microsatellite launch on March 23, 2016 from Cape Canaveral and its deployment from the ISS on April 27, 2016.

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Jan 4, 2019

MIT Envisions ‘Guide Star’ Satellites to Stabilize Giant Telescopes

Posted by in categories: innovation, satellites

Missions like the Kepler Space Telescope and the newer Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) have revealed thousands of exoplanets out there among the stars, but we know surprisingly little about them. To get up close and personal, we’re going to need extremely precise space telescopes. MIT scientists have proposed an innovative way to make sure those instruments remain calibrated and capable of peering at distant exoplanets. They suggest designers incorporate a smaller secondary satellite that can act as a “guide star” for the telescope.

Space researchers are anxious to get new super-sized telescopes in space because the equipment we have right now is only adept at finding planets and relaying basic information. Most exoplanets in the database were discovered via the transit method, which watches for dips in brightness as planets pass in front of their home stars. From this, we can often discern a planet’s size, orbit, and approximate temperature. To get detailed data about its atmosphere and composition, we need telescopes like the upcoming (and chronically delayed) James Webb Space Telescope.

Webb will offer much greater imaging prowess than Hubble because its primary mirror is larger, composed of 18 hexagonal segments with a total diameter of 6.5 meters. In the coming decades, space telescopes could reach 15 meters with as many as 100 mirror segments. Such telescopes would have a coronagraph, an instrument capable of separating the intense light of a star from the faint light of an exoplanet. If this measurement isn’t perfect, the telescope would be unable to resolve the details on a planet.

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Jan 4, 2019

Clever AI Hid Data From Its Creators to Cheat at Tasks They Gave It

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, satellites

Recent research from Stanford and Google has made the worst nightmare of some concerned with artificial intelligence (AI) all the more real. A machine learning agent was caught cheating by hiding information in “a nearly imperceptible, high-frequency signal.”

Clever, but also creepy.

The agent was instructed to turn aerial images into street maps and back again as part of research to improve Google’s process of turning satellite images into the widely used and relied upon Google Maps. The process involves CycleGAN, “a neural network that learns to transform images of type X and Y into one another, as efficiently yet accurately as possible.” Though the agent was performing this task quite well, it quickly became apparent that it was performing the task too well.

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