Articles about satellite

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
mayak

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
ISS

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 …
ViaSat2

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 let satellites run XenServer so they can run virtual machines, which sounded intriguing enough that we decided to learn more. And we’re glad we did, because – without going all gadget-mag OMG! about it – this stuff sounds cool. The company plotting to put VMs in space is …
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
launch

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 …

Euro space agency's Galileo satellites stricken by mystery clock failures

Europe's GPS-alike system Galileo is suffering a number of unexplained clock failures on its satellites, the European Space Agency has admitted. Each of the 18 Galileo satellites currently in orbit carries four maser*-based atomic clocks. Two clocks are hydrogen-based, while the other pair use rubidium. The ESA says the clocks …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Jan 2017
SpaceX

SpaceX makes successful rocket launch

Elon Musk's SpaceX, space cargo contractor and purveyor of space rockets for the well-heeled masses, successfully launched a two-stage rocket into orbit on Saturday. The rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54am local time, carrying a satellite payload on behalf of Iridium Communications. Ten …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2017
Restore-L

NASA spunks $127m on SSL-powered robot to refuel satellites in space

SSL (previously Space Systems/Loral) has won a contract to build a robot capable of refueling satellites in orbit, whether or not they have been designed to get more fuel. There are already scores of satellites in orbit that are useless due to lack of fuel, and NASA wants the ability to refuel future orbital platforms without …
Iain Thomson, 7 Dec 2016
GEOS-R

Launch set for GOES-R satellite capable of 30-second weather updates

NASA meteorologists have given a 90 per cent chance of good weather for the launch of the revolutionary Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite – R Series (GOES‑R) on Saturday. GOES-R is possibly the most advanced weather satellite ever produced, capable of providing high-definition, multi-spectrum snapshots of …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2016
NBN SkyMuster satellite rocket

nbn™'s Sky Muster II satellite launch grounded by wind

nbn™'s second satellite for delivering wireless broadband to remote areas, Sky Muster™ II, is unexpectedly still on the ground. The launch of Sky Muster™ II was scheduled for 05:00 AM Wednesday, Sydney time, atop an Ariane 5 rocket launched from the the European Spaceport in Kourou, Guyana. But as Arianspace reports, “ …
Artist's impression of Sentinel-1B in orbit. Pic: ESA / Pierre Carril

Drama in orbit: Brazen UFO attacks Earth's Sentinel-1A satellite

The European Space Agency's Sentinel-1A satellite has been hit by an unidentified flying object while in orbit. Panic not: the probe remains fully operational. At 1707 GMT on August 23, the satellite's ground controllers noted that the bird changed its orientation and orbit slightly, and there was a small loss of power …
Iain Thomson, 31 Aug 2016

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