TURNING SPACE DATA INTO SMART INSIGHTS - Today, big data is being collected thousands of miles up in space by a whole host of orbiting satellites. The increase in data volumes continues to grow exponentially as more satellites are launched. According to a report by Sparks and Honey, 6,200 small satellites are expected to be launched over the next 10 years. The falling costs of satellites and their growing sophistication have enabled new uses for “space data” across many industries and fueled investment in the sector.
The satellites orbit 99 to 1,200 miles (160 to 2,000 kilometers) above the Earth and provide an overhead view using cameras and sensors to create a very unique dataset. Those images are analyzed by computers using Machine Learning (ML) algorithms that extract information and extrapolate patterns. More
(Source: Via Satellite - Mar 10)
THE U.S. WEATHER SATELLITE NETWORK IS STRONGER THAN EVER - In 2013, with a reliance on aging weather satellites in orbit past their intended life span, the nation faced a dire possibility: a “satellite gap” that would leave forecasters blind if one or more of these critical eyes in the sky should fail.
This was a concern not only within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration but also for the Government Accountability Office, which elevated it to the unenviable category of “high risk.” More
(Source: Washington Post - Mar 10)
SPACEX DRAGON DEMO CAPSULE RETURNS TO EARTH - America's new commercial astronaut capsule has completed its demonstration flight with a successful splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.
The SpaceX Dragon vehicle left the International Space Station after being docked there for the past week, and re-entered Earth's atmosphere.
It had a heat-shield to protect it from the high temperatures of re-entry.
Four parachutes brought it into "soft contact" with water about 450km from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The mission - which had no humans aboard, only a dummy covered in sensors - went according to plan. More
(Source: BBC News - Mar 8)
WATCH LIVE: SPACEX CREW DRAGON PREPARES TO RETURN TO EARTH - SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft proved the private space company is capable of safely launching and carrying astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station.
Now, SpaceX and and Crew Dragon must demonstrate their ability to safely shepherd astronauts back to Earth. "The uncrewed SpaceX DM-1 mission has one final milestone and that is the safe return to Earth," NASA wrote in an update.
On Thursday afternoon, the International Space Station confirmed in a tweet that the Crew Dragon hatch had closed. The spacecraft will undock at approximately 2:30 a.m. ET Friday morning. More
(Source: UPI - Mar 8)
WANT TO HACK A SATELLITE? IT MIGHT BE EASIER THAN YOU THINK - Just because a satellite is high up in orbit doesn't mean it's beyond the reach of a determined hacker, as outlined by security experts here at the RSA conference.
Satellites are basically Internet of Things (IoT) devices, said Bill Malik, VP of Infrastructure Strategies at Trend Micro. "They're snazzy, they're wild, it's spaaaaace, but they're IoT devices," he said. More
(Source: PCMag.com - Mar 8)
SPACECRAFTS’ SOLAR PANELS CAN SERVE DOUBLE-DUTY AS SAILS - Manoeuvring a satellite in orbit usually requires thrusters. Sometimes the thrust is provided by a fuel-burning rocket motor. Sometimes it comes from electrically heated gas. Both methods, though, add weight in the form of propellant, thus reducing launch payload. They also involve parts that may fail. And eventually they run out of juice. Moreover, satellites carrying an energetic fuel like hydrazine must undergo special tests to be certified as safe for inclusion in a launch. Other ways of manoeuvring spacecraft would thus be welcome. And two, in particular, are now being developed. More
(Source: The Economist - Mar 8)
NASA SAYS IT HAS SCHEDULED THE FIRST ALL-FEMALE SPACEWALK - Just in time for International Women’s Day, NASA announced Wednesday that it will be conducting the first-ever, all-female spacewalk, CNN reports.
Astronauts Christina Koch and Anne McClain will exit the International Space Station on March 29, 35 years after the first woman performed a spacewalk. They’ll be guided from the ground by flight director Mary Lawrence, and flight controllers Jackie Kagey and Kristen Facciol, according to CNN. More
(Source: TIME - Mar 8)
LITTLE EARTH'S BIG WEEK ON THE SPACE STATION - This week, Earth was introduced to something adorably wonderful: Little Earth.
Little Earth, also called Buddy, has enjoyed an eventful week tagging along with the astronauts on the International Space Station after launching on SpaceX's Crew Dragon on Saturday.
The plush toy, made by Celestial Buddies, launched alongside space-suited dummy Ripley.
Ripley, obviously named in honor of Ellen Ripley from the "Alien" movies, was meant to make sure that the first commercially operated spacecraft designed to carry astronauts would be safe and comfortable for humans. Ripley even has little sensors at key points like the head, neck and spine to see what the experience might be like for astronauts who could be using it as soon as this summer. More
(Source: CNN - Mar 8)
ELON MUSK ALWAYS THOUGHT SPACEX WOULD 'FAIL' AND HE'D LOSE HIS PAYPAL MILLIONS - With Saturday's successful test launch of the spacecraft SpaceX will use to send humans to space for the first time, SpaceX has already vastly exceeded any expectations Elon Musk had when he founded the aerospace company 17 years ago.
"I always thought we would fail," Musk said of founding SpaceX during a press conference Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "So, this is … it's all upside." More
(Source: CNBC - Mar 7)