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DOZENS OF SATELLITES COULD FEED NOAA’S FUTURE WEATHER MODELS DOZENS OF SATELLITES COULD FEED NOAA’S FUTURE WEATHER MODELS - The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s future satellite constellations are likely to look far different from the current ones, particularly in low Earth orbit where small satellites of various sizes could gather targeted observations. That is one of the conclusions leaders of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service have reached since releasing the NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture study in early 2018.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 14)


SPACEX'S STARLINK COULD CAUSE CASCADES OF SPACE JUNK SPACEX'S STARLINK COULD CAUSE CASCADES OF SPACE JUNK - This Wednesday SpaceX will launch its first batch of Starlink satellites—a “mega constellation” of thousands of spacecraft to provide high-speed Internet access to billions of people at any location on the planet. Starlink is only the first of many such projects; there are at least eight more mega constellations in the works from other companies. Although they promise to revolutionize global telecommunications, these efforts are not free of peril: as the number of satellites inexorably grows, so, too, does the risk of creating dangerous debris that could threaten the continued safe use of Earth orbit. “This is something we need to pay attention to,” says Glenn Peterson, a senior engineering specialist at the Aerospace Corporation, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif. “We have to be proactive.”   More
(Source: Scientific American - May 14)


NASA, ULA FIND LAUNCH OPPORTUNITY FOR INFLATABLE HEAT SHIELD DEMONSTRATOR NASA, ULA FIND LAUNCH OPPORTUNITY FOR INFLATABLE HEAT SHIELD DEMONSTRATOR - A flight demonstration of an inflatable heat shield that could be used to retrieve reusable engines from United Launch Alliance’s next-generation Vulcan rocket, and for the delivery of heavier cargo to the surface of Mars, is planned for launch in late 2021 or early 2022 as a piggyback payload on an Atlas 5 rocket with a NOAA weather satellite. The inflatable re-entry decelerator will launch as a joint project between NASA and ULA, which foresee different uses for the technology.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 14)


SMALL SATELLITES: BREAKING THE MONOPOLY OF POWERFUL NATIONS IN SPACE INDUSTRY – ANALYSIS SMALL SATELLITES: BREAKING THE MONOPOLY OF POWERFUL NATIONS IN SPACE INDUSTRY – ANALYSIS - In 2017, India launched a record 104 satellites into space. Barring one, the rest of the satellites that were launched were small satellites. Small satellites are miniaturised satellites that weigh under 500 kilograms. Evolution of the technology for building small satellites is making it accessible to a wide range of users, from university students to engineers and scientists all over the world. Small satellites have several advantages over large satellites namely cost effective ways to test newer technologies, opportunities for local industry, bigger basket of potential users and thus a large variety of mission possibilities.    More
(Source: Eurasia Review - May 13)


ELON MUSK SHOWS SPACEX’S FIRST 60 STARLINK INTERNET SATELLITES PACKED FOR LAUNCH ELON MUSK SHOWS SPACEX’S FIRST 60 STARLINK INTERNET SATELLITES PACKED FOR LAUNCH - SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a first look on Saturday of his company’s internet satellites packed and ready for launch in a few days. These satellites represent SpaceX’s ambitious plan to build an internet satellite network, known as Starlink. The company is one of several, including Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, which are building these so called “constellations” of interconnected satellites to deliver high speed internet from space. “These are production design, unlike our earlier TinTin demo sats,” Musk said in a thread of tweets, adding that it’s a “tight fit” to get all 60 on top of a single SpaceX rocket.   More
(Source: CNBC - May 13)


BEANIE BABIES, THE INVENTION OF CUBESAT AND STUDENT-DESIGNED AND BUILT SATELLITES BEANIE BABIES, THE INVENTION OF CUBESAT AND STUDENT-DESIGNED AND BUILT SATELLITES - The democratization of space began 20 years ago with Beanie Babies – or, more accurately, the clear acrylic box that brought them home. These 4-inch (10-cm) cubes inspired space engineer Bob Twiggs to create CubeSat, the first satellite with a standard design. From 1957 when the first human-made satellite, Sputnik-1, was launched until 1999 when Twiggs proposed CubeSat, satellites came in all shapes and sizes. And almost all satellites were designed from scratch. CubeSat provided the first universally accepted satellite standard – a cube with 4-inch sides and weighing about 3 pounds (1.3 kilograms).   More
(Source: Space.com - May 12)


RUSSIA, US EXTEND AGREEMENT ON ASTRONAUTS’ TRAVELS TO SPACE STATION ON BOARD OF SOYUZ
RUSSIA, US EXTEND AGREEMENT ON ASTRONAUTS’ TRAVELS TO SPACE STATION ON BOARD OF SOYUZ - Russia and the United States have agreed on two additional places on board of Soyuz carrier rockets for journeys of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Programs Sergei Krikalyov told TASS. "The documents have been approved," Krikalyov said adding that it the procedure to sign the papers took place before a recently reported incident with Crew Dragon spacecraft.    More
(Source: TASS - May 11)


X-RAY COMMUNICATIONS EXPERIMENT DELIVERED TO SPACE STATION X-RAY COMMUNICATIONS EXPERIMENT DELIVERED TO SPACE STATION - A novel communications experiment developed by NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory has arrived at the International Space Station to prove data can be transmitted in space using X-ray signals, a breakthrough that could have uses in deep space exploration and military technology on Earth. The X-ray communications experiment, known as XCOM, is one of several scientific and tech demo payloads inside a U.S. military instrument named STP-H6, which arrived at the space station Monday in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 11)


AIR FORCE GAINS INCREASED CAPACITY WITH NEW ANTI-JAMMING SATELLITE AIR FORCE GAINS INCREASED CAPACITY WITH NEW ANTI-JAMMING SATELLITE - The Air Force took control of the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite on May 3, marking a step forward in the service’s efforts to provide jam-resistant communications for the military. The AEHF system replaces the Milstar constellation to offer highly protected communication for high priority military assets and national leaders. AEHF also serves the United States’ international partners of Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.    More
(Source: C4ISRNet - May 11)


ROCKET LAB ANNOUNCES DATE, PAYLOADS FOR SATELLITE RIDESHARE LAUNCH ROCKET LAB ANNOUNCES DATE, PAYLOADS FOR SATELLITE RIDESHARE LAUNCH - Space launch startup Rocket Lab has announced a launch date for several spacecraft on behalf of Spaceflight, a satellite rideshare company. Rocket Lab has also specified which satellite payloads will be hitching a ride. The mission is nicknamed "Make It Rain" due to the amount of rainfall in both Seattle (Spaceflight's headquarters) and New Zealand (where the launch site is located), according to a statement from Rocket Lab.   More
(Source: Space.com - May 11)

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