Archive for the ‘satellites’ category: Page 5

Jan 3, 2024

ESA’s tiny pinhole thruster is ready for production

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, satellites

Rocket propulsion technology has progressed leaps and bounds since the first weaponized rockets of the Chinese and Mongolian empires. They were nothing more than rocket-powered arrows and spears but they set the foundations for our exploration of space. Liquid propellant, ion engines and solar sails have all hit the headlines as we strive for more efficient methods of travel but a team has taken the next leap with a palm-sized thruster system that could boost future tiny spacecraft across the gulf of space.

Palm-sized are quite different from the gargantuan rockets we are used to, for example the Saturn V that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon that stood 110 m tall. The difference for the ATHENA thrusters is that they are designed for maneuvering and propelling cubesats and once they are in space rather than propelling rockets from the surface of the Earth.

The team led by Daniel Perez Grande, CEO and Co-Founder of IENAI Spain, have called their palm-sized thruster “Athena,” not the most catchy title but neatly represents what it does—the Adaptable, THruster based on Electrospray powered NAnotechnology. The technology has been developed for ESA and, following a successful design stage and, if all goes to plan, a prototype will be available by the end of 2024.

Jan 3, 2024

SpaceX launches the first set of Starlink satellites for T-Mobile’s direct-to-cell plan

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, satellites

The first satellites capable of providing direct-to-cellular service via SpaceX’s Starlink network and T-Mobile’s cellular network have been sent into orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Six of the cell-capable satellites were among a batch of 21 Starlink satellites launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 7:44 p.m. PT Tuesday. The satellites were deployed successfully, and the rocket’s first-stage booster made a routine landing on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.

Continue reading “SpaceX launches the first set of Starlink satellites for T-Mobile’s direct-to-cell plan” »

Jan 3, 2024

SpaceX sends 6 Starlink satellites up with Direct to Cell capability

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

While we recover from New Year festivities, SpaceX is already checking off things on its 2024 list. SpaceX recently shared photos on X stating that six Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell capability will be launched into orbit soon.

“SpaceX is leveraging its experience in manufacturing [and] launching the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft to deploy Starlink satellites with the Direct to Cell capability at scale,” notes SpaceX.

“Direct to Cell satellites will initially be launched on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and then Starship. On orbit, the satellites will immediately connect over laser backhaul to the Starlink constellation to provide global connectivity.”

Jan 3, 2024

Starlink chose Kenya for first office in Africa

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

Starlink may have launched its first African service in Nigeria, but it is choosing Kenya as the location of its first physical office on the continent.

SpaceX, parent company of the satellite internet company Starlink, recently posted a job vacancy for the position of Global Licencing Activation Manager, sub-Saharan Africa.

The successful candidate is expected to manage a portfolio of countries, interfacing internally and externally, to enable Starlink to become licenced as an Internet service provider and bring the country online, so it can serve people and enterprises around the world in the near future.

Jan 3, 2024

Elon Musk’s Starlink Launches First-Ever Cell Service Satellites—Here’s What To Know And What Mobile Phone Carrier Gets It First

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, mobile phones, satellites

Starlink will test its Direct to Cell service in the U.S.

Jan 1, 2024

India to Study Black Holes With First Satellite Launch After US

Posted by in categories: cosmology, satellites

India launched its first satellite on Monday to study black holes as it seeks to deepen its space exploration efforts ahead of an ambitious crewed mission next year.

Dec 30, 2023

SN 1006 Unveiled: Chandra and IXPE’s New Insights Into a Millennium-Old Supernova

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics, satellites

SN 1,006, a supernova observed over a millennium ago, has been extensively studied using NASA ’s Chandra and IXPE telescopes, revealing critical details about its magnetic field and particle acceleration, contributing to our understanding of cosmic rays.

When the object now called SN 1,006 first appeared on May 1, 1006 A.D., it was far brighter than Venus and visible during the daytime for weeks. Astronomers in China, Japan, Europe, and the Arab world all documented this spectacular sight, which was later understood to have been a supernova. With the advent of the Space Age in the 1960s, scientists were able to launch instruments and detectors above Earth’s atmosphere to observe the Universe in wavelengths that are blocked from the ground, including X-rays. The remains of SN 1,006 was one of the faintest X-ray sources detected by the first generation of X-ray satellites.

Recent observations with nasa’s x-ray telescopes.

Dec 27, 2023

Redefining Cosmic Norms: Dwarf Galaxies and the Dark Matter Enigma

Posted by in categories: cosmology, satellites

Recent Gaia satellite findings suggest that dwarf galaxies are transient and less influenced by dark matter than previously believed, challenging long-held assumptions about their nature and composition.

Commonly thought to be long-lived satellites of our galaxy, a new study now finds indications that most dwarf galaxies might in fact be destroyed soon after their entry into the Galactic halo. Thanks to the latest catalog from ESA’s Gaia satellite, an international team has now demonstrated that dwarf galaxies might be out of equilibrium. The study opens important questions on the standard cosmological model, particularly on the prevalence of dark matter in our nearest environment.

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Dec 25, 2023

Laser Sharp GPS: How NASA’s Reflectors Are Redrawing Our World

Posted by in category: satellites

Laser retroreflector arrays (LRAs) are advancing GPS satellite capabilities, crucial for accurate Earth measurements in geodesy. This technology enables precise tracking of Earth’s shape, rotation, and environmental changes.

The best known use of GPS satellites is to help people know their location whether driving a car, navigating a ship or plane, or trekking across remote territory. Another important, but lesser-known, use is to distribute information to other Earth-viewing satellites to help them pinpoint measurements of our planet.

NASA and several other federal agencies, including the U.S. Space Force, U.S. Space Command, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency are improving the location accuracy of these measurements down to the millimeter with a new set of laser retroreflector arrays, or LRAs.

Dec 24, 2023

Holograms Might Save Physics

Posted by in categories: holograms, mathematics, mobile phones, quantum physics, satellites

Even though the guts of General Relativity are obtusely mathematical, and for decades was relegated to math departments rather than proper physics, you get to experience the technological gift of relativity every time you navigate to your favorite restaurant. GPS, the global positioning system, consists of a network of orbiting satellites constantly beaming out precise timing data. Your phone compares those signals to figure out where you are on the Earth. But there is a difference in spacetime between the surface of the Earth and the orbit of the satellites. Without taking general relativity into account, your navigation would simply be incorrect, and you’d be late for dinner.

As revolutions go, general relativity is a big one. And as unifications go, it’s a warning. To make this union happen Einstein had to radically, permanently alter not just our conceptions of gravity as a force acting through space and time, but our conceptions of space and time itself. It took no less than a complete overhaul of our entire philosophical understanding of the relation between space and time to bridge the gap.

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