China Sends Up Another ‘Practice’ Satellite

China Sends Up Another ‘Practice’ Satellite

Image hosted on Astrowatch. A Long March (Changzheng) rocket launches with the newest Shijian-11 satellite aboard.

On Sept 28, China, unsurprisingly, launched another satellite in their weird passive/aggressive way.  At least it seems passive/aggressive with China advertising it’s a practice satellite but then keeps its mission secret.  On the other hand, the US does the same thing with its…

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Deadly Bubbles of Plasma

Deadly Bubbles of Plasma

Image on Business Insider’s website

Business Insider posted an interesting articlelast Friday about plasma bubbles and how they affect communications between satellites and devices on Earth.  The post suggests that ionospheric plasma bubbles seem to occur primarily around the Earth’s equator.  The article also gives a short description of what a plasma bubble is–the rising of a low-density plasma…

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SpaceX: They’re Not the First Ones to Try This

SpaceX: They’re Not the First Ones to Try This

Image hosted on Pat Dollard’s website. There are some videos of the Falcon 9 Reusable’s untimely demise on that site, too.

It seems I hear this refrain a lot in reference to SpaceX and its rocket reusability attempts, “They’re not the first ones to try this.”  It gets a little tiresome because it sounds like an informed opinion, but really isn’t.   It also seems that SpaceX itself is dealing with…

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The Indian Mechanical Martian

The Indian Mechanical Martian

Image from Universe Today.

The above image is a great reminder of the playful part of conducting serious missions.  The latest mission to Mars, in this case, just arrived Tuesday and was placed into Mars’ orbit.  The country responsible for the mission?  India.

11 months ago, in November 2013, the Indians launched the Mangalyaan, or Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM) with the goal of getting the…

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Find that Airplane—FREE!!

Find that Airplane–FREE!!

GPS Satellites

Earlier this year, I wrote a little post about how Harris Corporation and Aireon were working together to make accurate global aircraft tracking a reality.  They’re doing this by placing GPS signal receivers and transmitters as an extra payload on board Iridium NEXT satellites.  This allows GPS equipment to send  a message through a special radio transmitter from an aircraft to the signal…

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Three Guys, Three Shovels, One Launchpad

Three Guys, Three Shovels, One Launchpad

They’re smiling because it’s only a few shovelfuls for them. Then the real work begins. Perry looks very comfortable at shoveling though.  Image from Rick Perry’s Twitter feed, 11:22AM, 22 Sept 14.

Let’s continue the whole SpaceX/Texas spaceport theme a little bit more.  Last week there were a few posts on this site about SpaceX’s move of launch operations near Brownsville, Texas.  According to T…

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The NASA Spin(off)

Have you ever heard of a refrigeroven?  Or plants that text you when they’re thirsty?  No?!  Okay, let’s try something easier, like shoe insoles.  How about the computer mouse?  Those two were easy, right?  So here’s a question for you:  What do they all have in common with each other?

If you answered “NASA,” give yourself a nice pat on the back.  That’s right, NASA was somehow involved in…

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DIY Space: Eyes On NASA

DIY Space: Eyes On NASA

NASAs Eyes

There are several great tools available online designed to educate the public about space discoveries.  The best ones use data gathered by our space faring machines and help put it all into an understandable form.  Which is why NASA has developed the “NASA’s Eyes” program.

NASA’s Eyes is a program that can be used for multiple uses regarding virtual planetary exploration and understanding.  The…

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NASA Awards Two Space Capsule Contracts

NASA Awards Two Space Capsule Contracts

By now, you may have heard about NASA’s awarding of two contracts to two US companies for space capsules.  You haven’t?  Then please go to my post on to read more about it:  Hope for the Space Program:  NASA Awards Two Space Capsule Contracts.

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SpaceX’s Own Spaceport Will Not Affect NASA or DoD Operations, Part 2

SpaceX’s Own Spaceport Will Not Affect NASA or DoD Operations, Part 2

Space Launch Complex 40, at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Image hosted by The Conversation, provided by SpaceX.

This post is the completion of a short analysis I started yesterday about why NASA’s and the DoD’s launch operations will not be affected by SpaceX’s choice to build and use a launch operations center in Brownsville, Texas.  It was prompted because of a post The Space Reviewput up…

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