How DoD confirms a possible satellite breakup

When a Japanese astronomy satellite broke up March 25, operators at the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base were among the first to know.

The JSpOC works as the Air Force’s satellite nerve center, tracking 1,300 active satellites and 23,000 man-made objects in space each day.
SpaceX’s “Red Dragon” concept envisions using a Dragon spacecraft with only minor modification to land on the surface
of Mars as a precursor to later human missions.

Red Dragon vs. Red Tape

On April 27, SpaceX announced it was pressing ahead with plans to send a spacecraft to Mars. In a brief announcement — just a few tweets by the company and its chief executive, Elon Musk — SpaceX said it planned to launch a version of its Dragon spacecraft, without a crew, on a Falcon Heavy as soon as 2018 to land on the surface of Mars.

XS-1: The Government’s Last Shot at Reusable Launch Vehicles

For decades, U.S. government agencies, both civil and military, have sought to develop a reusable launch vehicle (RLV), seeing it as a critical tool for lowering the cost of space access. The space shuttle is the best known such effort, but it’s hardly the only one: the National Aerospace Plane, Delta Clipper, X-33, X-34 and Space Launch Initiative all tried to develop reusable launchers — and all failed.

Cubesat swarms about to set space abuzz

NASA’s first would-be cubesat swarm ended up in the drink. Eight cubesats equipped with space radiation sensors and software to help them cooperate were destined for low Earth orbit last November when an experimental rail-launched Super Strypi rocket broke apart shortly after launch and dumped them into the Pacific Ocean.
All over the globe, the scene is repeated: lengths of pavement are being dug up to lay masses of fibre optic cable. Credit: Creative Commons/Warrenski

An Irresistible Urge to Lay Cable

What if your right hand knew full well what your left hand was doing, but chose to ignore it?

That mindset may explain why some governments invest heavily in satellite technologies as good for the economy and taxpayers alike, then completely ignore these technologies when it’s time to invest in closing the digital divide.
Bill Gattle, President, Harris Space and Intelligence Systems. Credit: Harris Space and Intelligence Systems

Big Data, Big Challenge

We’re awash in big data. Never before has it been easier for users to quickly collect imagery, from the big picture grabs offered on Google Earth to the detailed images offered on platforms such as MapMart (full disclosure, this is a Harris platform). For business users who rely on this data, it is both a blessing and a curse — how do you make all of it meaningful?