STUNNING SATELLITE PHOTO SHOWS WHAT THE VERNAL EQUINOX LOOKED LIKE FROM 22,300 MILES AWAY - One picture makes it easy to define an equinox: it’s when the Earth is as different as night and day. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) captured the the glory of that fleeting moment on Wednesday in a photo taken by one of its Geostationary and Polar-Orbiting Weather Satellites. The GOES-16, as it's known, is positioned approximately 22,300 miles away from Earth and is lined up at 75.2 W longitude and the equator. The distance is far enough away to provide the breathtaking "full-disk" imagery of our planet. More
(Source: AccuWeather.com - Mar 22)
NASA SCHEDULES ITS FIRST WOMEN-ONLY SPACEWALK - U.S. space agency NASA will send astronauts Anne McClain, 39, and Christina Koch, 40, on NASA's first women-only spacewalk on March 29.
The all-female spacewalk will be supported by a female ground crew: Mary Lawrence will serve as lead flight director and Jackie Kagey will be lead spacewalk flight controller at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
It's a fitting milestone for Women's History Month, although NASA says the timing is coincidental. More
(Source: Space Daily - Mar 22)
MITIGATING THE LOSS OF SATELLITE DATA BY USING CUBESAT REMOTE SENSING TECHNOLOGY - Advanced infrared and microwave sounding systems, usually onboard traditional polar-orbiting satellites, provide atmospheric sounding information critical for nowcasting and weather forecasting through data assimilation in numerical weather prediction models. This means weather forecasts have become increasingly dependent on satellite observations. But what if we lose one or more of these instruments? How do we mitigate the data gap?
(Source: Phys.org - Mar 21)
ONEWEB STARTS TO MASS-PRODUCE SATELLITES IN FLORIDA - In the shiny white laboratory that is OneWeb Satellites' new Florida manufacturing plant, a historic first happened this week: The first few mass-produced satellites ever to be built in Florida started coming together.
Workers in lab coats and hairnets pushed solar panels into cabinets where bright lights checked for fractures. Satellite frames covered in gold-colored film, about the size of a washing machine, neared the final radio-frequency test chambers. More
(Source: UPI - Mar 20)
US MILITARY WANTS $300M TO START TESTING SATELLITE-MOUNTED LASERS AND ‘PARTICLE BEAMS’ - The U.S. military is looking to develop and test more weapons it can blast into space to fire at targets on the surface of the earth.
According to Defense One, the first plan on the agenda is a space laser that could be used to blow up enemy missiles "coming off the launch pad".
A study to see if this is feasible should wrap up within six months, but only takes up $15m (£11m) of the total budget. More
(Source: Fox News - Mar 20)
TOILET ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION GETS A BACTERIA-KILLING UPGRADE - Killing bacteria in space is surprisingly hard. Space missions have been plagued by bacterial biofilms that have coated surfaces and corroded equipment.
Now, an antimicrobial metal surface that explodes bacteria on contact has been tested on the International Space Station (ISS), and it may be used in future missions to keep astronauts healthy. More
(Source: New Scientist - Mar 20)
CHINA LAUNCHED ITS 300TH LONG MARCH ROCKET THIS MONTH - China just hit a rocket launch milestone.
Last week, the China National Space Administration launched its 300th Long March rocket mission, successfully placing the new communications satellite ChinaSat 6C into orbit. The mission launched March 10 atop a Long March 3B rocket that lifted off from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's southwestern Sichuan Province. More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 18)
CHINA PLANS A SOLAR POWER PLAY IN SPACE THAT NASA ABANDONED DECADES AGO - John Mankins has spent his professional life working on novel ideas that could transform the way humans use technology in space, solar power among them. But Mankins’ interplanetary musings went beyond the way solar is already used to power satellites and the International Space Station. During a 25-year career at NASA and CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he devised multiple concepts to extend the use of solar in space, among them a solar-powered interplanetary transport vehicle and a space-based power system.
(Source: CNBC - Mar 18)
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SPACEWALKS EXPECTED TO LAST 6 HOURS EACH - Four astronauts are preparing for their first spacewalks outside the International Space Station, scheduled for March 22, March 29 and April 8. Live coverage of all three spacewalks will begin at 6:30 a.m. on the respective day of the spacewalk. Designated as U.S. spacewalks 52, 53 and 54, each is expected to last about 6.5 hours. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Mar 17)