Articles about satellites

Sputnik, image via Shutterstock

Sputnik-1 replica used to test the real thing goes under the hammer

A replica of Sputnik-1 used to test the real thing's performance goes to auction this week. Auction house Bonhams has listed the proto-satellite for sale at its Air and Space Sale this coming Wednesday. Expected to fetch between US$100,000 and $150,000, the replica is billed as a “test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, one of …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Sep 2017
LED icon

Boffins' satcomms rig uses earthly LEDs to talk to orbiting PV panels

As low-cost satellites become more common, researchers are turning their attention to improving their communications capabilities without adding crushing costs. A laser might, as NASA demonstrated earlier this year, be able to hit a gigabit per second – but the kit's expensive. So a pair of researchers from Florida-based …
Homer Simpson virtual machine superhero

SpaceX spin-out plans to put virtual machines in orbit

Virtualization admins asked to explain what they do for a living may finally have something cooler than server consolidation to tell their kids, thanks to space upstart Vector deciding it's a good idea to create software-defined satellites that lift a hypervisor into orbit. Vector is building small rockets capable of lifting …

Galileo satnav fleet waxes orbital

Europe's home-grown Galileo satnav system will take another step towards a full constellation tomorrow when satellites 13 and 14 head heavenwards from Kourou in French Guiana. Galileos 13 and 14 during encapsulation. Pic: ESA / CNES / Arianespace – JM Guillon Galileos 13 and 14 during encapsulation at Kourou. Pic: ESA / CNES …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2016
NBN SkyMuster satellite rocket

nbn™'s Sky Muster satellite lands in French Guiana

PICS nbnTM, the entity building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) is just 34 days away from putting its very own satellite into orbit, and the organisation's communications operatives are starting to reveal a little about the bird. Here, for example, is a picture of the satellite. NBN SkyMuster satellite …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
Spartan satellite launcher

Queensland boffins ponder Scramjet satellite launch plan

The University of Queensland has launched a new plan to use scramjets as satellite launch vehicles. Scramjets – aka supersonic combusting ramjets – require air to pass through an engine at supersonic speeds. Fuel is added to that supersonic air, then ignited, with the result being a supersonic plume of hot gas capable of …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2015
Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future

Intelsat to FCC: For the love of satellites, STOP ELON MUSK!

Elon Musk wants to use his commercial SpaceX rockets to put satellites into orbit that will bring broadband to the next billion, but one of SpaceX's own customers has thrown a wrench into the works. Musk's plan involves encircling the globe with a few thousand high-capacity, low-latency satellites that the Tesla Motors boss …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2015
DMC3 spacecraft under assembly

Look! Up in the sky! Five Brit satellites on one Indian rocket!

The UK is entrusting a bunch of earth observation satellites to India's burgeoning space program. Three DMC3 optical observation satellites, along with a couple of other payloads, will be hoisted on July 10 by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). It's the thirtieth mission for the PSLV, and also the heaviest. The …

Easy come, easy go: Euro astroboffins blast brace of Galileo sats INTO SPAAACE

The European Space Agency has successfully launched two new satellites into orbit as part of the Galileo project to offer EU citizens an alternative GPS system from late 2016. Late on Friday night, the brace of birds were blasted into space from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on top of a Soyuz rocket. The ESA's sats will …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Mar 2015
Dog using a satnav, Mark Robinson

Satnav launches are like buses: none for ages then three arrive at once

Satellite navigation satellites turn out to be a lot like buses: there's none for ages, then three come along all at once. The first of the three launched on Wednesday to join the US Global Posititioning System constellation. The new bird is a Boeing-built GPS IIF, the ninth of its type and one of 12 in a fleet of satellites …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Mar 2015
X-wings extended on the Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX makes nice with U.S. Air Force, gets shot at black ops launches

Private rocket firm SpaceX has settled its feud with the US Air Force over the rights to launch national security payloads. The company said that it would be able to compete with United Launch Alliance (ULA) for the ability to launch spy satellites. "Going forward, the Air Force will conduct competitions consistent with the …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jan 2015

Google: What this planet needs is INTERNET FROM SPAAACE

Google is reportedly close to flinging $1bn at Elon Musk's SpaceX to bulk up investment in the private company's development of satellites for internet-based services. According to The Information, which cited several people familiar with the matter, a deal could be sealed soon. One source said that Google had agreed to value …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Jan 2015
The Alphasat laser communications payload

ESA and Airbus test LASER data networks IN SPAAACE

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space say they have successfully sent data between satellites, using lasers, in a proof-of-concept demonstration of what both call the “SpaceDataHighway”. A canned statement from Airbus Defence and Space says two satellites - Sentinel-1A and Alphasat – were connected over …

Galileo can't do the fandango: Two Euro GPS nav sats sent into WRONG ORBIT

Two Galileo satellites have been blasted into the wrong orbit, red-faced officials at the European Space Agency said today. Errant sats Doresa and Milena were launched on a Russian-built Soyuz rocket on Friday. But launch service outfit Arianespace admitted that the satellites failed to go into the correct orbit. " …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Aug 2014
India's PLSV-C23 rocket on launch pad

Indian rocket set to sling five satellites

LIVE VID India will today attempt to launch several satellites that will include Earth imaging and microsatellite payloads. The nation's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PLSV) specialises in hoisting satellites into sun-synchronous polar orbits, with 25 successful launches recorded by April 2014. Perhaps its highest-profile launch in …
New MH370 search map

New MH370 search zone picked using just seven satellite 'handshakes'

Australia's Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has published a detailed analysis of efforts to find Malaysian Airways Flight 370. The 64-page report (PDF) explains that just seven “handshakes” between the plane and satellite systems are being analysed. The analysis is extensive: The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch, Boeing, …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jun 2014
Project Loon patent image

Satellite 'net hype ignores realpolitik

Google is generating lots of utopian excitement with its various airborne Internet plans – Project Loon, its satellite acquisitions, its work with O3b (the “other three billion”). But is technology all that stands in the way of connectivity? This musing was prompted by this post by Larry Press, who is eminently qualified to …

US allows commercial use of sharper satellite snaps

US-based satellite-images-for-sale outfit DigitalGlobe has had a win: its national government will allow it to sell higher-resolution images. As we noted in March, the US Senate has been considering whether local satellite operators should be allowed to sell more detailed images. The reason for the deliberations was that while …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jun 2014

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