Work begins on Starlink-like constellation of small hypersonic missile-tracking satellites

062678A1-FFF7-4544-AAB7-52D026869F54

The Pentagon’s grand space strategy envisions a shift from larger, expensive satellites to massive constellations of smaller, easier to replace ones.

 The U.S. military has hired L3Harris and SpaceX to build small satellites with powerful infrared sensors capable of spotting and tracking ballistic missiles and hypersonic weapons. These satellites could become part of a large and broader early warning constellation with hundreds of space-based sensors and communications nodes watching for incoming threats, monitoring their flight, and potentially providing targeting data to missile defense assets.

The Pentagon announced that the Space Development Agency (SDA) had awarded the contracts to L3Harris and SpaceX, worth around $193.5 million and just over $149 million, respectively, on Oct. 5, 2020. Each company will be responsible for building four satellites, each with a wide field of view (WFOV) overhead persistent infrared (OPIR) sensor, in support of work on what SDA calls Tranche 0 of the Tracking Layer of the planned overarching early warning constellation.

Continue reading… “Work begins on Starlink-like constellation of small hypersonic missile-tracking satellites”

0

Elons Musk’s Space X’s road to the fastest internet from orbit: Here’s what latest stats say

31120AC4-EAE1-46DB-ABEC-D321F582BDEB

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been dreaming of creating a constellation of broadband satellites surrounding the Earth. He vowed to provide the fastest broadband internet service to anyone in the world, and he seems to be on his way to fulfilling his promise.

With the new data from Speedtest.net, Starlink users can expect download speeds from 11 megabits per second (Mbps) to 60 Mbps while upload speeds range between 5 Mbps and 18 Mbps. Starlink is currently at 80% to the required satellites to achieve “moderate” capability, but its recent performance is impressive.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – OCTOBER 07: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the SAOCOM 1A and ITASAT 1 satellites, as seen during a long exposure on October 7, 2018 near Santa Barbara, California. After launching the satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully returned to land on solid ground near the launch site rather than at sea. The satellites will become part of a six-satellite constellation that will work in tandem with an Italian constellation known as COSMO-SkyMed.

Although the results show just 6% of the 1 Gbps that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires for the $16 billion funding competition under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), it is still much faster internet than many rural service providers.

Continue reading… “Elons Musk’s Space X’s road to the fastest internet from orbit: Here’s what latest stats say”

0

Elon Musk’s SpaceX: We now want to bring Starlink internet from space to 5 million in US

The rise of Elon Musk and SpaceX

 SpaceX asks to operate 5 million end-user terminals after the US approves Amazon’s rival satellite broadband plan.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has applied for a license to roll out five million ‘UFO on a stick’ end-user terminals, after 700,000 US residents signed up to be updated about the service’s availability.

“SpaceX seeks to increase the number of fixed earth stations authorized under this blanket license from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000,” the company said in an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Continue reading… “Elon Musk’s SpaceX: We now want to bring Starlink internet from space to 5 million in US”

0

GPS III isn’t fully operational yet, but when it is, it’ll be great

 FECD01F7-3DA5-4B6F-86D8-A5439DD95042

The GPS III satellite armada will eventually make our GPS technology more accurate, but we’re not quite there yet.

Just three satellites have been launched thus far, and only one of them is operational at the moment.

Elon Musk recently tweeted that our ‘GPS just got slightly better,’ but that isn’t entirely true.

We tend to take GPS for granted these days. It works pretty well already and it feels like it’s always been there, even though it’s a relatively new technology, all things considered. It’s not perfect, of course, and we can see evidence of that in our map apps and games like Pokemon Go that sometimes send us flying all over the map as it tries to zero in on our position.

But like any technology, it’s improving, and the launch of a new GPS III satellite is a tiny step toward a more accurate Global Positioning System for the future. Elon Musk is obviously very proud that he has played a part in this and tweeted out a not-entirely-accurate boast that your GPS just got better.

Continue reading… “GPS III isn’t fully operational yet, but when it is, it’ll be great”

0

Elon Musk reveals when Starlink internet service will go live

D19CFFD6-84A5-43CB-B03C-A8454CDCD359

SpaceX’s Starlink broadband service will begin private beta testing in around 3 months, with a public beta opening in around 6 months.

Elon Musk revealed this tentative timeline in a tweet after the Wednesday launch of 60 new Starlink satellites.

On Wednesday afternoon, SpaceX sent one of its Falcon 9 rockets into space. It was carrying 60 shiny new satellites that will eventually become part of the company’s Starlink communications network. SpaceX has been launching the pint-sized satellites into space for months already, with over 400 of them now in orbit around Earth.

The long-term plan is for Starlink to serve high-speed data to just about every corner of the globe, but with an estimated 40,000 satellites needed to fulfill the company’s most grand ambitions, it was unclear exactly how long it would take before the system was up and running in any capacity. Thanks to some tweets by SpaceX boss Elon Musk, now we know.

Continue reading… “Elon Musk reveals when Starlink internet service will go live”

0

SpaceX’s first manned flight gets a launch window

B1DC997F-B407-4B2F-BF07-0A49E1129F0E

When will SpaceX’s first manned flight launch? No earlier than mid-to-late May, the company declared via its Twitter account Wednesday. The “Demo–2” Crew Dragon flight will see astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley fly to the International Space Station. A successful mission will enable SpaceX to send NASA astronauts to the space station, giving the agency a new means of ferrying crew.

0

Elon Musk’s SpaceX: Now 1 million Starlink user terminals OKed for US internet service

7AB56BC4-2B5E-4BA6-A8AC-FEC61F7F2D68

The Federal Communications Commission has approved SpaceX’s application to roll out a million user terminals in the US to connect with its growing Starlink satellite broadband network.

The approval gives SpaceX a 15-year “blanket license for the operation of up to 1,000,000 fixed earth stations that will communicate with its non-geostationary orbit satellite system”.

Continue reading… “Elon Musk’s SpaceX: Now 1 million Starlink user terminals OKed for US internet service”

0

Human settlements in space are closer than we think. Here’s what it will look like

3CB0CD79-3703-4783-874B-6B2A2AAB561E

From vast spaceships orbiting close to Earth to tunnels the size of Los Angeles under the surface of the moon

 European Space Agency’s plan for the Moon Village.

“We already have, or at least understand, the technology needed for a moon base,” says Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist from the University of Westminster in London. “The time frame could be in a matter of years,” he adds, “if money were no object and nations around the world were to decide that they needed to build a lunar base together.”

Prof. Dartnell is not alone in his optimism. Many scientists, space engineers and industrialists believe that humanity is on the brink of a breakthrough in settlement. Recent developments could advance the realization of this vision.

For example, a report published last month stated that the radar used by the Chinese spacecraft that was the first to reach the far side of the moon is particularly useful for locating subterranean ice layers. One day, that ice may make it possible for people to remain on the moon for lengthy periods.

Continue reading… “Human settlements in space are closer than we think. Here’s what it will look like”

0

Elon Musk says he’s ‘definitely going to be dead’ before humans ever reach Mars — unless the pace of innovation picks up

F66A0692-4AF6-43AC-AD59-DD52B5B74815

An illustration of a woman orbiting Mars inside a SpaceX vehicle. Elon Musk/SpaceX

Elon Musk said he’s “definitely going to be dead” before humans reach Mars unless innovation speeds up.

The SpaceX CEO made the comments on Monday while speaking to attendees of the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, DC.

Musk said the biggest obstacle is designing and building a large and “rapidly reusable” rocket.

Continue reading… “Elon Musk says he’s ‘definitely going to be dead’ before humans ever reach Mars — unless the pace of innovation picks up”

0

You can now book an all-inclusive 10-day trip to the International Space Station for $55 million

CB70C703-2CCC-4478-8A3A-656E3D6A98CD

The trip is expected to launch during the second half of 2021.

It may not be a trip to the moon, but Axiom Space is offering deep-pocketed customers a trip to space. And no, we’re not talking a quick little jaunt into orbit either. Instead, the company is offering an all-inclusive stay on the International Space Station for the humble sum of $55 million.

On Thursday, Axiom announced it had signed a contract with SpaceX that will allow a trained commander and three private astronauts the chance to hitch a ride to the space station aboard one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules, reports the New York Times. Expected to take place next year, the trip could very likely be the first fully private human spaceflight to orbit.

Currently scheduled to launch during the second half of next year, the trip will give customers the chance to “experience at least eight days of microgravity and views of the Earth that can only be appreciated in the large, venerable station,” according to a press release from Axiom. In addition to the two days of travel and room and board on the ISS, the company will also provide training, planning, life support, medical support, crew provisions, certifications, on-orbit operations and overall mission management.

Continue reading… “You can now book an all-inclusive 10-day trip to the International Space Station for $55 million”

0

Here are all the ways to visit space this decade (if you’re extremely rich)

9C0AFAF4-7550-4C2E-B583-E1FF5E45F48C

Glamping in zero gravity will cost a few millions bucks at least.

Have you always dreamt of leaving Earth? Are you a member of the two, or better yet three commas club? Well it’s a great time to be alive because after decades of delays, the space tourism industry may finally be taking off. Not just the kind Dennis Tito pioneered in 2001, where you buy a ticket from the Russian government to visit the International Space Station (ISS), but real honest-to-goodness free market tourism with multiple private companies vying to turn your hard-earned millions into an out-of-this-world experience.

SpaceX, which is preparing to launch astronauts to the ISS any month now in its newly human-rated Crew Dragon capsule, announced last week that NASA won’t be the only paying customer for its new vehicle. The private company is also offering to launch up to four private citizens into orbit in late 2021 or 2022. And SpaceX is far from the only company on the verge of starting space tourism operations. Here’s a primer to where and when you can go, and how much it might cost you.

Continue reading… “Here are all the ways to visit space this decade (if you’re extremely rich)”

0

SpaceX will launch private citizens into orbit

F34D4AE0-38F8-426F-BA4A-61D69F6ECCF8

SpaceX is planning to send up to four private citizens into space to take a trip around Earth sometime at the end of 2021 or in early 2022. The spaceflight company announced an agreement on Tuesday with Space Adventures, a space tourism business that has helped seven different private citizens take trips to (and from) the International Space Station aboard Russia’s Soyuz rocket and spacecraft.

Space Adventures said the price of the mission will not be disclosed, and the two companies were light on other details, like what kind of preparation the tourists will have to go through. The companies did say Tuesday that the tourists will fly in the human-rated version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and that they will orbit Earth at two to three times the roughly 250-mile height of the ISS.

SpaceX has spent the last few years building and testing out this new version of Dragon as part of a contract with NASA to shuttle astronauts to and from the ISS, after years of using the spacecraft to shuttle cargo to the space station. The private spaceflight company recently completed the second major flight test of the Crew Dragon, as it’s called, which demonstrated the capsule’s ability to escape an exploding rocket.

Continue reading… “SpaceX will launch private citizens into orbit”

0