Archive for the ‘satellite’ Category
Mercury, the innermost planet of our humble little solar system, is getting itself an orbital friend. The MESSENGER space probe (known as MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging to his nearest and dearest) is concluding a six-year sojourn through the dark void of space with an elliptical orbit around the tiny and otherwise inhospitable planet. Systems are about to get turned on and fully checked next week, before the data-gathering phase kicks off in earnest on April 4th. Science, isn’t it beautiful?
Space junk is a growing problem — 200,000 pieces and counting — and as the amount of earth’s orbital debris increases, so does the chance some satellite will be involved in a cosmic collision. As this would cause much gnashing of teeth and woe for the affected terrestrial parties, some researchers from NASA’s Ames Research Center have pitched the idea of removing said junk with a laser — once again proving that everything’s better with lasers. The idea is to use a 5kW ray, like the one we’ve got at the Starfire Optical Range, to slow our galactic garbage enough to burn it up in earth’s atmosphere. Current estimates say such a laser could eliminate ten pieces of junk a day, promising us a future of neat and tidy skies.
If you’ve been following the drama over LightSquared’s application to build a wholesale integrated broadband / satellite network, it’s time to put away the tissue box and toss out the bonbons. That’s right, the FCC finally approved the company’s conditional waiver for an ancillary terrestrial component integrated service rule. In other words, the entity gave LightSquared the green light to offer terrestrial-only phones, in addition to satellite service, as long as interference problems are addressed before the company starts building its network. Just two weeks ago, it looked like the FCC might strike down the proposal on a recommendation from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which warned of potential interference on the SMS network with the likes of Department of Defense Communications. LightSquared remained silent during deliberation, but following the FCC’s decision, both parties gave a thumbs up to the outcome. Honestly, we could have done with a more heated back and forth, but we’ll leave that to the professionals. What time is Bridalplasty on again?