Links in space

Here’s something cool. According to the Zarya Blog, a Russian Dnepr rocket just orbited no fewer than 32 satellites, including one package that deploys no fewer than nine subsatellites. They’re a huge variety of scientific and engineering experiments.

At the same time, a NASA Minotaur rocket was launched from the Wallops Island range, with some four Prometheus satellites dispensing 28 Cubesats, including a Phonesat, a tiny satellite built on the electronics of a Google Nexus smartphone. The range of projects is enormous, ranging from student projects to experimental tactical radios for USSOCOM.

The Cubesats are the key to this, a very cheap platform to handle about a kilo of experimental payload that fits in whereever there’s a bit of spare payload on someone else’s rocket. The idea is to provide a simple, cheap, and quick way for scientists (or just hackers) to get their projects into orbit.

The Planetary Society blog has a fascinating piece on the prospect of using them for missions beyond Earth orbit, linking to this NASA paper.

Meanwhile, the Beyond Apollo space history blog discusses how the lunar-orbit rendezvous plan for Apollo was chosen, and how it was invented in London in 1948.

Satellite data, and kriging (which is absolutely nothing at all like twerking), fills in the gaps in the global temperature record, and the answer is that there isn’t even the ghost of a “pause”, no matter how carefully you cherrypick.

And Hush-Kit is hilarious about a BAE promotional film for the Eurofighter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.