Satellite

EPFL plans satellite that gobbles space junk like Pac-Man handles ghosts

EPFL plans satellite that gobbles space junk like Pac-Man handles ghosts

Swiss space agency EPFL has revealed its plans to help clean up space debris like old satellites with a new Pac-Man-like solution called "CleanSpace One." The mission will involve a new satellite that will capture small pieces of orbiting junk through the use of a net. The idea actually came about as a solution to EPFL's first satellites, the small SwissCubes launched five years ago, that need to be collected so they don't pose further threats to other satellites or astronauts.

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Google Earth celebrates 10 year anniversary, adds ‘Voyager’ feature

Google Earth celebrates 10 year anniversary, adds ‘Voyager’ feature

Ten years ago, today, Google unveiled Google Earth, a magical way to explore the world and surroundings with the click of a mouse. In that time, Google has come a long way, expanding its scenic views via Street View cars and treks. To celebrate, Google Earth is introducing a new feature, Voyager. It's a new layer for Earth that lets you visually explore the world through new and interesting images. Voyager is only available for Google Earth desktop users, but the images are breathtaking, so you'll enjoy seeing them on a bigger screen

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NASA will launch CubeSats as part of next year’s Mars mission

NASA will launch CubeSats as part of next year’s Mars mission

NASA has announced that when it launches a stationary lander next year as part of its Mars effort, it will include a pair of CubeSats. This will mark the first time CubeSats have been flown into deep space, says the space agency, and a success will demonstrate that the technology is able to rapidly transmit data about the status of the primary spacecraft destined for Mars. The CubeSats were both built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and will fly independent of the InSight lander, which will land on Mars next September.

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SpaceX applies for FCC approval of space Internet plans

SpaceX applies for FCC approval of space Internet plans

We are really veering dangerously close to Skynet, this time a literal interpretation of that name. SpaceX has finally gone official with its ambition to put a swarm of low-orbiting satellites around the earth to deliver Internet where no carrier has gone before. And also where carriers profit. The company has filed an FCC application, marking the formal start of the road towards its dreams. If approved, SpaceX plans to start test next year. Barring any disastrous setbacks, its space Internet service could go live by 2020.

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Facebook ditches plan to send satellite into space

Facebook ditches plan to send satellite into space

Many of the major tech companies that rely on the internet for users to take advantage of their service are focused on getting people online in areas where broadband is traditionally lacking. Getting the next billion internet users online is a big area of focus for Google. Facebook is also interested in getting as many people online as possible. The more people who use the web around the world, the more users Facebook gains and the more revenue it can potentially generate.

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FTC charges DirecTV with fraud for misleading customers

FTC charges DirecTV with fraud for misleading customers

DirecTV has been charged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for misleading customers. The advertising in question was DirecTV's 12-month discount package. The plan was advertised as costing only $19.95, but obscured from customers was the fact that a 2-year contract was needed to get deal. Even more astounding is that the FTC alleges that DirecTV charged customers for premium channels after a 3-month trial period, and DirecTV never told customers that they needed to cancel these channels in order to avoid being charged automatically.

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Delta to improve in-flight WiFi with faster satellite-based system

Delta to improve in-flight WiFi with faster satellite-based system

Airline Wi-Fi is notoriously slow, it's easy to get frustrated when online games like Words with Friends are inaccessible at 35,000 ft. There is nothing worse than a long flight when the Wi-Fi that you've paid a premium for can't deliver anything but video that never stops buffering. Long flights will be getting more bearable because Delta is planning to improve its Wi-Fi service's broadband speed and coverage by switching to the Gogo's new 2ku satellite service. This will replace their older Gogo Wi-Fi which was said by frequent-flyers to have speed and coverage availability issues.

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NASA satellite shows how much sand from the Sahara is in the atmosphere

NASA satellite shows how much sand from the Sahara is in the atmosphere

NASA is using one of its satellites to determine how much sand from the Sahara Desert in Africa ends up helping the Amazon rainforest in South America to grow. While the two locations are on different continents, the amount of dust from the desert that makes its way to the rain forest will surprise you. NASA used one of its satellites to quantify how much dust from the desert makes it to South America for the first time.

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US Navy launches MUOS-3 satellite to support ground troops

US Navy launches MUOS-3 satellite to support ground troops

The launch of the third Mobile User Object Satellite or MUOS-3 may be downplayed by some because of its purpose of assisting, and therefore furthering, warfighting but the moment is also of significance to rocket science and engineering. The satellite has so far been the heaviest payload that the Altas V launch system has ever had to carry, testifying to the system's capability and the rocket's durability. It also marked the 200th launch of the Centaur upper stage on the Atlas in it's nearly 50 year run.

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Google said close to $1bn SpaceX investment

Google said close to $1bn SpaceX investment

Google is reportedly near to splashing a considerable amount of cash on SpaceX, Elon Musk's ambitious space exploration company, as part of a funding round that would value the company at more than $10bn. SpaceX has already begun running unmanned resupply missions to the International Space Station, and is currently testing reusable rocket technology that could potentially slash the cost of putting people, satellites, and other cargo into orbit, or even further beyond, such as a manned mission to Mars that Musk continues to promise. According to insiders, with Google's own space plans stumbling, the next best thing is a slice of SpaceX.

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