Satellites

nepal first satellite launch

Nepal launches its first Satellite named Nepali Sat-1

Nepal realizes its dream of having its own satellite by launching the first satellite into space. The first satellite named NepaliSat-1 was launched in the early morning (2:31 am) of Baishak 5, 2076 (April 18, 2019). As per the US time, the launching date is April 17, 2019. CygnusNG11 mission launches the NepaliSat-1, operated by …

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Watch a space harpoon impale a piece of space debris

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The U.S. government tracks 500,000 chunks and bits of space junk as they hurtle around Earth. Some 20,000 of these objects are larger than a softball.

To clean up the growing mess, scientists at the University of Surrey have previously tested a net to catch chunks of debris. Now, they’ve successfully tested out a harpoon.

The video below, released Friday by the university’s space center, shows a test of the experimental RemoveDEBRIS satellite as it unleashes a harpoon at a piece of solar panel, held out on a 1.5-meter boom.

The harpoon clearly impales its target. 

“This is RemoveDEBRIS’ most demanding experiment and the fact that it was a success is testament to all involved,” Guglielmo Aglietti, director of the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey, said in a statement.  Read more…

More about Space, Science, Space Junk, Satellites, and Science

Swarm Technologies raises $25M to deploy its own 150-satellite constellation

Swarm Technologies is one of several companies looking to populate low Earth orbit with communications satellites, setting itself apart with the sheer smallness of its devices — and of course with the notoriety of having defied the FCC and earned a fine. But investors are bullish, and the company has just raised a $25 million round A to put 150 of its tiny SpaceBEEs in orbit.

To rebuild satellite communications, Ubiquitilink starts at ground level

Communications satellites are multiplying year by year as more companies vie to create an orbital network that brings high-speed internet to the globe. Ubiquitilink, a new company headed by Nanoracks co-founder Charles Miller, is taking a different tack: reinventing the Earthbound side of the technology stack.

FCC fines Swarm Technologies $900K over unauthorized satellite launch

Back in March came the surprising news that a satellite communications company still more or less in stealth mode had launched several tiny craft into orbit — against the explicit instructions of the FCC. The company, Swarm Technologies, now faces a $900,000 penalty from the agency as well as extra oversight of its continuing operations.

AWS launches a base station for satellites as a service

Today at AWS Re:invent in Las Vegas, AWS announced a new service for satellite providers with the launch of AWS Ground Station, the first fully-managed ground station as a service. With this new service, AWS will provide ground antennas through their existing network of worldwide availability zones, as well as data processing services to simplify […]

FCC approval of Europe’s Galileo satellite signals may give your phone’s GPS a boost

The FCC’s space-focused meeting today had actions taken on SpaceX satellites and orbital debris reduction, but the decision most likely to affect users has to do with Galileo. No, not the astronomer — the global positioning satellite constellation put in place by the E.U. over the last few years. It’s now legal for U.S. phones to use, and a simple software update could soon give your GPS signal a major bump.

SpaceX’s Starlink aims to put over a thousand of its communications satellites in super-low orbit

SpaceX’s planned communication satellite constellation, known as Starlink, will now be targeting a much lower orbit than originally planned, at least for over a thousand of the satellites, the company revealed in an FCC filing. The move should help mitigate orbital debris and provide better signal for the company’s terrestrial users as well.