Monthly Archives: February 2018

Private Companies Invited to Pitch at Air Force Space Laboratory 

Interested in receiving innovative proposals from private companies, the Air Force Research Laboratory has announced that it is seeking proposals. They are focusing on those that serve to advance scientific knowledge about space systems, including any technological developments that could help them achieve these goals. The solicitation was released late last week. The timing is…
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The Misguided Ariane 5 Launch

On January 25, 2018, the Ariane 5 rocket took an unexpected route as those on the ground tried to figure out why they lost contact it. It was later confirmed that the wrong coordinates had been entered into the system. Two telecommunications satellites were on the flight. The rocket, however, made it into orbit. The…
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US Army and York Space Systems Small Satellite is Ready for Launch

York Space Systems is a Denver-based company that manufacturers small satellites. The company had teamed up with the US Army to launch its Harbinger mission in November of this year. Before the satellite could be cleared for launch, it had to pass several key technical reviews. The US Army Space and Missile Systems Defense Command…
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NASA vs. Congress, Looking at the 2019 Budget

NASA has to have approval for important funding to keep the space program up and running. Every project must undergo scrutiny about its relevance to research and other uses. The 2019 budget seems to be set up for dispute, already.  NASA’s proposal includes a funding request for the Europa Clipper Mission. There is more than…
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NASA’s Carbon Monitoring Instruments Set to be Launched Early Next Year

Despite budgetary disruptions, NASA’s plans to study atmospheric carbon dioxide are still set to go ahead with the launch of their Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3) next year. The OCO-3 was developed from an existing satellite instrument, albeit altered and repurposed to study carbon in the atmosphere while attached to the International Space Station. This satellite…
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NASA Announces Lunar Exploration Plans, Including Astronaut Landings

NASA’s acting agency administrator, Robert Lightfoot, spoke to reporters in mid-February about plans to explore the moon. The goal is to have a steady stream of crewed flights heading back and forth from a lunar exploration platform to the surface of the moon. This platform would be placed in low Earth orbit to facilitate easier…
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SpaceX is Playing a Game of Catch

When items go into space it is usually accepted that some items are not coming back for use in another mission. SpaceX is trying to change this by setting up a simple recovery system. They may not recover large amounts of items, or any at all. The effort, however, is a big deal in a…
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The Loss of a Space Genius

It takes the cooperation of many great minds to invent vehicles to go into space. It also takes innovative minds to lead the research as we find out what is out there. Donald Lynden-Bell had a mind for the unusual and the impossible. He was a British theoretical astrophysicist who recently passed away at 82…
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First Starlink Internet Constellation Test Satellites Launched by SpaceX

SpaceX experienced yet another successful launch, sending the Paz radar satellite and two Starlink test satellites into orbit. The satellites were launched with a two-stage Falcon 9 at about 6:00 am local time from an Air Force base in California. With this launch, SpaceX also tried to recover the nose cone payload fairing, using a…
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Identifying the Tesla Roadster in Space

Pictures have emerged of an extremely small dot of light, said to be the Tesla Roadster that was launched into space in early February of 2018. It wasn’t easy to gain an image of the Tesla. After all, it is wandering through space approximately 2.1 million miles out from Earth. This put a decent amount…
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