The Apple Pips

Inside All Apple Products

Tag: satellites (Page 1 of 2)

Watch live as SpaceX performs its groundbreaking internet satellite launch after scrubbing yesterday’s attempt

spacex launch

SpaceX is still riding high on a wave of public hype from its Falcon Heavy launch, but even as Starman sails through space the company is wasting no time in proceeding with its long list of missions. The company is prepared to launch the first of over 10,000 internet satellites today, after scrubbing its first launch attempt on February 21st due to high altitude wind shear. That was a bit of a disappointment, but SpaceX is giving it another go today, and the launch window opens at 9:17am EST this morning.

The mission will deploy a pair of SpaceX's high-tech internet satellites into orbit. It's the first step in an incredibly ambitious plan by the company to blanket the Earth in high-speed wireless connectivity. SpaceX calls the initiative "Starlink," and it will require nearly 12,000 satellites to be successfully launch before all is said and done.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. The best-selling wireless headphones on the entire Amazon site are just $35 right now
  2. This $80 smartwatch lasts for 4 months per charge and works with iPhones or Androids

Trending Right Now:

  1. Amazon just made shopping at Whole Foods even cheaper for Prime members
  2. Amateur astronomer witnesses something scientists have been waiting decades for
  3. All cryptocurrencies are crashing, and we have no idea why

Watch live as SpaceX performs its groundbreaking internet satellite launch after scrubbing yesterday’s attempt originally appeared on on Thu, 22 Feb 2018 at 08:55:06 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

As satellite threat looms, Air Force moves to buy small rocket services

Enlarge / A dedicated 747-400 aircraft will carry Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne to an altitude of approximately 35,000 feet before release for its rocket-powered flight to orbit. (credit: Virgin Orbit)

The U.S. military apparently wants to get into the business of launching smaller satellites on smaller rockets. In the administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2019, the Air Force budget contains a new "Rocket Systems Launch Program" item for the purpose of buying "small launch services" for the timely delivery of smaller payloads into low-Earth and geostationary transfer orbit.

The new program, which must be approved by Congress, provides $47.6 million in fiscal year 2019 and a total of $192.5 million over the next five years. It deals with the delivery into space of payloads weighing up to 8,000 pounds (about 3,600kg)—considerably less than the capability of an Atlas V or Falcon 9 rocket. This program comes just as several new US-based companies, including Rocket Lab, Virgin Orbit, Vector, Stratolaunch Systems, and more have developed, or are in the midst of developing, small satellite launch boosters.

“Like the commercial and entrepreneurial communities, the government needs small satellites and dedicated small launch vehicles to provide affordable, responsive space capabilities," Dan Hart, the chief executive of Virgin Orbit, told Ars. "This request is another important signal that the government is taking proactive steps to assure they can rapidly reconstitute and replenish critical space capabilities, which is something that the new generation of affordable, commercially developed launch vehicles are perfectly positioned to do. We are strongly supportive of this request.”

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Amateur search for dead spy satellite turns up undead NASA mission

Enlarge / IMAGE's instrument deck during construction. If those are still working, its rediscovery may be valuable. (credit: NASA)

Earlier this week, an amateur radio astronomer named Scott Tilley decided to have a look for the presence of secret military satellites. It's something he apparently does semi-regularly, and in this case his search was inspired by the Zuma satellite, a secret US government payload that was reportedly lost on its way to space. Most accounts have suggested that Zuma failed to make it to orbit, but the secrecy of the mission (we've got no clear idea what Zuma even was) means that everything about its fate is unclear. Tilley could either find a hint that Zuma is up there—or stumble across some other hardware put into space by other countries.

Instead, he found an undead NASA mission.

Given the clear indication of a radio signal, Tilley matched its orbit to a NASA satellite called IMAGE. IMAGE was launched back in 2000 with a mission of studying Earth's magnetosphere. Over five years of operation, it created a three-dimensional map of the charged particles that move along Earth's magnetic field lines. But contact was lost in 2005, and NASA eventually attributed that to a one-time event in the power system that the satellite wasn't designed to recover from.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Silicon Valley rose as water use restrictions kicked in

Enlarge / Satellite measured elevation loss (greatest in the dark blue) between 2011 and 2017. The linear break in color is an inactive fault that walls off part of the aquifer. (credit: ASI/University at Buffalo/NASA-JPL/Caltech/Google Earth/U of Basilicata)

The GRACE satellites are, unfortunately, about to die. The pair of formation-flying gravity sensors has provided revolutionary data over the past 15 years, tracking ice loss and groundwater depletion through the subtle change in gravity triggered by that lost mass. Replacements will hopefully be launched soon.

But GRACE isn’t the only way to track groundwater in places like California. InSAR is a satellite radar measurement technology that can detect extremely small changes in ground elevation—including before-and-after mapping of the shifts around an earthquake. But they also work well for tracking elevation changes that occur as areas gain or lose groundwater. A new study takes advantage of that to track the golden state's response to its recent drought, and it even detected changes due to the policy response.

Rise and fall

Parts of California have lost impressive amounts of elevation over the years as groundwater levels were lowered. The loss of water in between grains of sediment allows the sediment to compact more densely. And if you compact the sediments, the surface elevation drops.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

SpaceX and OneWeb broadband satellites raise fears about space debris

(credit: OneWeb)

Thousands of new satellites are expected to be launched into low-Earth orbit in the coming years to provide high-speed broadband, and the projects have caused concern for experts and government officials who worry about a worsening space debris problem.

As the Federal Communications Commission considers satellite applications from SpaceX, OneWeb, Boeing, and others, two US senators asked the FCC to coordinate with other agencies to prevent space debris.

"As the Commission considers multiple requests for new LEO [low-Earth orbit] satellite constellations, we ask that you formally coordinate with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish an interagency working group on space debris and to develop a comprehensive domestic policy on space debris mitigation," Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) told FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a letter this week.

Read 25 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén