Satellite

NASA’s new Saharan dust blanket images reveal its massive size

NASA’s new Saharan dust blanket images reveal its massive size

NASA has published images that reveal the blanket of dust from the Saharan dust storm as it moves across the ocean toward the Americas. This isn't a new phenomenon -- the dust has gravitated this way before many times. However, NASA notes that this particular dust storm's resulting blanket has been 'quite expansive.' Using the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite, the space agency is able to give the public a detailed look at this event.

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China’s Beidou GPS rival is now complete

China’s Beidou GPS rival is now complete

The shutdown of Chinese facilities earlier this year due to COVID-19 showed just how much the world's products and businesses are dependent on them, perhaps much to the chagrin of the US. That said, the drama surrounding US export bans against Huawei also revealed some of China's own dependence on US and international technologies. One of the lesser-known dependencies is on global navigation systems, commonly (and inaccurately) referred to as GPS. As of today, China may no longer need to rely on the US-based system as it successfully launched the last two satellites to complete its own Beidou navigation system.

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SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites with sun-blocking visors

SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites with sun-blocking visors

It hasn't even been a week yet and SpaceX already made its second rocket launch. Of course, such frequent launches will be the norm if the company ever achieves its goal of economic commercial rocket launches. While last week's historic launch brought two astronauts to the International Space Station, this latest catapults non-living satellites into orbit. While comparatively less exciting, it still makes a few first for Elon Musk's highest-profile company after Tesla.

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SpaceX has a new plan to reduce Starlink satellite light pollution

SpaceX has a new plan to reduce Starlink satellite light pollution

SpaceX has another test planned that aims to reduce the amount of light pollution produced by its Starlink satellites, this one involving sunshades rather than an anti-reflective coating. Elon Musk first spilled the details on this plan in a tweet following the Starlink 6 satellite launch, revealing that there will be a few more launches before the sun visors are deployed.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches new batch of Starlink satellites

SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launches new batch of Starlink satellites

On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 22, SpaceX successfully launched its latest batch of Starlink satellites from its used Falcon 9 rocket. The Starlink satellites will provide broadband Internet access in places where service isn't available, as well as places where high-speed Internet is too expensive or otherwise unreliable. The satellites work together, forming what is referred to as a mega-constellation.

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Groundbreaking SunRISE telescope could help map a safe route to Mars

Groundbreaking SunRISE telescope could help map a safe route to Mars

An innovative distributed telescope, combining the efforts of six satellites, will give NASA an unprecedented insight into some of the Sun's most powerful - and dangerous - activity. The Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, or SunRISE, is a new multi-million dollar application of cutting-edge CubeSat technology, and if successful could pave the way to a whole new, and more affordable, age of space science.

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DARPA inks deal with private company to develop satellite-fixing space robot

DARPA inks deal with private company to develop satellite-fixing space robot

DARPA has revealed the partner that will work with it on developing 'advanced robotic capabilities in space.' The project aims to deploy a space robot that will be able to fix and improve US satellites that are already in orbit. The work is being performed under DARPA's Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program; the development of the robot is described as the first step in the program.

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Lynk just sent a text message – here’s why that’s a huge milestone

Lynk just sent a text message – here’s why that’s a huge milestone

You'd be forgiven for thinking that the humble text message is just about as mundane as telecoms tech gets right now, but startup Lynk is aiming to correct that assumption. The company has become the first to directly send a text message from an orbiting satellite to a standard cellphone back on Earth, and it turns out that's a big deal - and a huge challenge.

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SpaceX launch today adds 60 satellites to controversial Starlink constellation

SpaceX launch today adds 60 satellites to controversial Starlink constellation

SpaceX successfully deployed 60 new Starlink satellites today, adding to its controversial internet constellation, though what happened down on the ground was arguably just as important. Falcon 9 launched from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:16am ET, the sixth Starlink mission and another opportunity for SpaceX to demonstrate the reusability of its rockets.

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DirecTV satellite suffers ‘major anomaly’ putting batteries at risk

DirecTV satellite suffers ‘major anomaly’ putting batteries at risk

A DirecTV satellite has suffered a 'major anomaly' that has put its batteries at risk of exploding, according to a document recently published by the FCC. The company is working on decommissioning the satellite in order to get it out of orbit before the batteries burst, which would jeopardize other satellites.

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China GPS alternative will be completed by mid-2020

China GPS alternative will be completed by mid-2020

The US and China may be butting heads over 5G dominance among other things but that isn't the only technology that two giants are fighting over. Far older and years in the making, China has been working to create its own navigation satellite system independent of the popular US-owned GPS. While it might still take more than a decade before it goes fully online, China is close to completing its Beidou constellation with the launch of the final two satellites by June 2020.

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Japan’s affordable constellation satellite plan gets a launch window

Japan’s affordable constellation satellite plan gets a launch window

Japan's space agency is planning a standardized platform for constellation satellites, paving the way for a globe-circling mesh of relatively affordable, modular units that will be designed by Mitsubishi. Constellations typically consist of numerous small, identical satellites, relying on ease of deployment and economies of scale to open access to space to a broader audience.

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