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Proton-M/ViaSat-1 Rollout

Rollout of a Proton-M launch vehicle with the telecommunications satellite ViaSat-1.

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Posted: 2011-10-21

The best of OrbitalHub

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has implemented the UN Space Debris Mitigation guidelines in a number of standards.
Canada is actively involved in space debris mitigation research and development activities. Canada hosted the International Conference on Protection of Materials and Structures from the Space Environment (ICPMSE) in May 2008, and contributed to the 37th Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Scientific Assembly in July 2008.
Let us see how the areas mentioned in the previous Sustainability in LEO post are covered at national level in the United States.
Space debris mitigation measures address issues in two major areas: protection from space debris and reduction of the space debris population growth.
Only a small fraction of the existing space debris population is detectable and tracked by ground systems. A smaller fraction is catalogued by special programs and/or departments of national space agencies. This is where statistics comes into play. Numerous models have been created in order to assess present collision risks associated with certain orbits and to predict future evolution of the debris environment around Earth.
In April 1984, the Space Shuttle Challenger placed into low Earth orbit a NASA spacecraft carrying a number of experiments for the purpose of characterizing the low Earth orbit environment. The spacecraft, the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), was a twelve-sided cylindrical structure and three-axis stabilized in order to ensure an accurate environmental exposure.
Space debris, also known as orbital debris, consist of artificial objects in orbit around Earth that no longer serve any useful purpose. Most of the space debris population consists of fragments resulted from explosions and collisions, but some are spent rocket stages and satellites that are no longer operational.
The adventure started on October 4, 1957, when the former Soviet Union successfully launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik-1, using a rocket that was a modified Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICMB). Even if the political implications at that time were very important, as the launch ignited the Space Race within the Cold War, we can argue that the scientific accomplishments were more significant.
One thing that I find fascinating about astronomy is the ingenious ways astronomers have come up with to solve the puzzles laid out in the skies. You cannot travel to distant stars and galaxies to study them… so what do you do? Well, you use all of the knowledge that mathematics and physics give you and find out anything you want to know (or pretty much everything) about them.
The Aerial Regional-scale Environment Survey, ARES for short, is an autonomous powered airplane. ARES will bridge the gap between remote sensing and surface exploration on Mars. This new class of science will allow magnetic surveys with an improved resolution, geologic diversity coverage, and in-situ atmospheric science.

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Latest blog posts

Atlas V To Carry Cygnus To ISS
Posted on 2014-12-19
Orbital Sciences Corporation has announced that Atlas V will be the launch vehicle that will help the company fulfill its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) commitment to NASA. Orbital's Antares will undergo an upgrade of the main propulsion system.
Antares Explosion Updates
Posted on 2014-11-04
Orbital Sciences Corporation confirms that Antares rocket launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility was not successful. Shortly after lift-off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A at 6:22 p.m. (EDT), [on October 28, 2014], the vehicle suffered a catastrophic failure. According to NASA's emergency operations officials, there were no casualties and property damage was limited to the south end of Wallops Island.
Posted on 2014-04-13
Satoshi Nakamoto is a member of a crypto-anarchist organization (Krypt0) that does not exist yet. Far in the future, he is the citizen of a totalitarian Martian federation which eventually tracks down and takes down one by one all of Krypt0′s members; all but one, Satoshi.
The winning teammates are members of Space Concordia, a student-run astronautical engineering association based in the Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at the Concordia University in Montreal. The selection process was conducted by industry experts at the David Florida Laboratory of the Canadian Space Agency in Ottawa. From twelve teams that initially entered the competition, Space Concordia Team was among only three to go for final testing.
Disruptive technology is a very bizarre (and scary) concept, but it is not a bizarre or scary idea. The concept was introduced by Clayton Christensen. In one of his books, The Innovator’s Dilemma, The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business, Christensen proves that, under certain circumstances, companies that do things right can lose their market share or even get out of business. He also presents a set of rules that can help companies capitalizing on disruptive innovation. While I am not trying to give a lecture on economics, I would like to understand how to apply (if possible) the principles of disruptive technologies to the space industry. A very good example is quite at hand… SpaceX.
Dalhousie University T-Sat Project
Posted on 2012-04-03
The second Canadian Satellite Design Competition (CSDC) team that answered our invitation to a Q&A is the team from Dalhousie University. Colin O’Flynn, graduate student at Dalhousie University and CTO of the CSDC team, answered our questions.
The Canadian Satellite Design Competition (CSDC) is a Canada-wide competition for teams of university students (undergraduate and graduate) to design and build low-cost satellite. The CSDC plans to subject the satellites in competition to full space qualification testing, and to launch the winning satellite into orbit to conduct science research. One of the teams in competition is the University of Manitoba Team, UMSATS.
The 140 companies and organizations listed in the Canadian Space Directory generated $3.44 billion CDN in revenue and employed over 8000 Canadians in 2010, according to the 2010 State of the Canadian Space Sector Report. These firms support the technologies required for weather forecasting, remote sensing, GPS systems, satellite and cable television, remote phone communication systems and even our Canadian astronautcorps. But this infrastructure is in a state of crisis. What must we do to protect, support and grow this disparate group of private and public organizations, capabilities and supporting infrastructure?
ASX 2012 Symposium in Toronto
Posted on 2012-01-09
The University of Toronto Astronomy and Space Exploration Society (ASX) announced its 9th annual symposium. The ASX symposium is an event that aims to educate the public on space exploration related topics. Past symposium speakers include the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, Anousheh Ansari, and Dr. Carolyn Porco.
A team at the Space Systems Design Studio, Cornell University, focuses on Sprite, a simple, feasible design of spacecraft systems printed on small wafers of silicon. This design packages traditional spacecraft systems onto a single silicon microchip.
Underground Astronomy
Posted on 2011-08-22
When Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, he did not receive it for his contributions to the understanding of gravity through his theory of relativity… actually he received it for a paper he wrote in annus mirabilis 1905 on the law of the photoelectric effect. At that time, relativity and the new perspective on gravity offered by Einstein’s theory was so controversial that the Nobel Prize Committee members chose to protect their reputations and felt that it would be appropriate to award Einstein the Nobel Prize for “his services to theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. One hundred years later, the theory of relativity is part of second-year University curriculum and reputations are safe.
Posted on 2011-08-01
Juno is a NASA spacecraft scheduled to start its journey to Jupiter in a few days. Juno will help scientists understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. While the dense cover of clouds helps Jupiter keep its secrets away from Earth observers, Juno will get close enough to Jupiter so that fundamental processes and conditions characteristic to the early solar system will be revealed.
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