Articles about satellite

Icebreaker - Australian Antarctic Division

Poor NASA sods sent to spend Xmas in Antarctic ahead of satellite launch

A NASA team is heading on a trip arcing around the South Pole to check that their new satellite's measurements from space are just as good as their own back on terra firma. The ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2) will launch next year, tasked with measuring elevation around the world to investigate the changes …
Richard Priday, 15 Dec 2017

Russian rocket snafu may have just violently dismantled 19 satellites

Updated A Russian weather satellite and 18 micro-satellites are right now thought to be at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean after a Soyuz rocket carrying the birds malfunctioned shortly after launch. The launch of the Soyuz 2-b rocket – the latest addition to Russia's venerable line of boosters – took place at the new Vostochny …
Iain Thomson, 28 Nov 2017

Greenhouse gas-sniffing satellite to be built and tested in Britain

The UK Space Agency has made a deal with Thales Alenia Space to assemble and test a carbon-measuring satellite, the British government announced yesterday. Thales Alenia Space UK, last seen in The Register building part of the European Aviation Network, will assist with the MicroCarb project, a collaboration between the UKSA …
Richard Priday, 10 Nov 2017

ViaSat hops into bed with European Space Agency in €68m deal

Satellite outfit ViaSat is forming a €68m (£60m) public-private partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), which among other things is intended to fund ground stations for home broadband speeds of 100Mbps. The programme will focus on developing fixed and mobile terminals to allow its ViaSat-3 satellites to provide a …
Kat Hall, 6 Nov 2017

Intelsat and Intel reckon satellite spectrum could help with 5G's coming capacity crunch

Intelsat and Intel reckon there's a chunk of spectrum currently devoted to satellite operations that could be useful for capacity-starved mobile comms. The two (unrelated) outfits have submitted a joint proposal to the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking that it consider clearing some C-band …
Sea Shepard

Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

The anti-whaling organization Sea Shepherd Global has said it won't be going after the Japanese fleet of cetacean "research vessels" in their annual pilgrimage to the Southern Pacific – because satellite technology has made the job impossible. For the past 12 years, the group, set up by former Greenpeace activist Paul Watson, …
Iain Thomson, 30 Aug 2017
A still from the Arizona flight

GPS III satellites and ground station projects get even later as costs gently spiral

US defence technology firm Raytheon’s advanced GPS project has encountered yet more cost-inflating delays, according to reports. Raytheon’s Operational Control Network is being built to take advantage of the latest technology updates in GPS III satellites. Amongst other things, the company is “integrating robust cyber …
Gareth Corfield, 31 Jul 2017

Russia launches non-terrifying satellite that focuses Sun's solar rays onto Earth

Skywatchers are going to see a new light in the heavens this week after the successful launch of the Russian satellite Mayak this past weekend. Mayak, the Russian word for "beacon," is a standard tiny CubeSat probe. It will deploy 170 square feet (16 square metres) of reflective Mylar material in a pyramid shape that will …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jul 2017

Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

The UK stands to lose £1bn per day in the event of a major disruption to the Global Positioning System (GPS), according to a government report. Emergency services would also be severely affected and struggle to cope with demand. Longer emergency calls, less efficient dispatch, navigation, and congested roads would mean a total …
Kat Hall, 19 Jun 2017

US spook-sat buzzed the International Space Station

For a little while earlier this month, astronauts on the International Space Station had a spooky companion: a spy satellite that circled just outside its “danger zone”. Dutch satellite-watcher Marco Langbroek (whose day job is at Leiden University) analysed the orbit of USA 276, a spy satellite owned by the US National …

ViaSat lofts world's most powerful communications satellite into orbit

American comms specialist ViaSat is set to put the world's most powerful communications satellite into orbit on Thursday afternoon atop an Ariane rocket. The launch – scheduled for 1645 PDT (Friday 2345 UTC) from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana – will see the 6,418kg (14,149lb) Boeing-built ViaSat 2 sent up into …
Iain Thomson, 1 Jun 2017
Homer Simpson virtual machine superhero

Space upstart plans public cloud in low Earth orbit

Last week we talked to a space startup that wants to load satellites with server virtualization tool XenServer so they can run virtual machines (VMs), which sounded intriguing enough that we decided to learn more. And we’re glad we did, because this is a more-than-interesting development in both computing and commercial use of …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2017
Tasmanian fireball

RF pulses from dust collisions could be killing satellites

Space scientists have long known that impacts too small to pierce a craft's skin can still damage the electronics inside, by creating electromagnetic pulses. Why those pulses happen, however, is still not well understood. Alex Fletcher of Boston University and MIT, and Sigrid Close of Stanford University reckon they've cracked …
Boeing's concept illustration of a Deep Space Transport at Mars

New satellites could cause catastrophic space junk collisions

Broadband satellites could lead to an explosion in the volume of space junk, a British scientist has said. Dr Hugh Lewis, a senior lecturer in aerospace engineering at the University of Southampton, said that the rise in orbital traffic could create a 50 per cent increase in the number of collisions between satellites. Such …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Apr 2017

SpaceX wows world with a ho-hum launch of a reused rocket, landing it on a tiny boring barge

Pics Elon Musk's promised revolution in affordable orbital delivery has begun: today his upstart SpaceX successfully launched a refurbished rocket from Earth, carrying a commercial satellite into orbit, and then landed the rocket's first stage on a sea barge. For any miserabilists hoping for drama, failure, and explosions, no such …
Iain Thomson, 30 Mar 2017
Gwynne Shotwell

What went up, Musk come down again: SpaceX to blast sat into orbit with used rocket

March is going to be a crunch month for SpaceX: it hopes to, for the first time ever, launch a commercial satellite into orbit using a previously used rocket. One of the Falcon 9 boosters Elon Musk's upstart has successfully blasted off and landed has been extensively refurbished for the mission. SpaceX's president Gwynne …
Iain Thomson, 9 Mar 2017
Tasmanian fireball

Fireball in Tasmania: Possible CubeSat re-entry sparks alien panic

A small satellite burning up in the atmosphere has led to big excitement. As the skies lit up over Tasmania on the morning of February 28, so did Facebook with speculation that included - sigh - alien interventions. The reality looks far more prosaic: a Lemur-2 CubeSat owned by Spire Global came to Earth. Between September …
Laser communicates with satellite

Boffins build laser satellite data link

A satellite's radio-communications failing is a crisis if you need to keep it from drifting off station, so a pair of boffins suggest firing up an Earth-bound laser as a backup comms channel. The idea comes from Xinchen Guo of Purdue University and Jekan Thangavelautham of Arizona State University, in a paper they've prepared …

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