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Monday, May 14, 2018

This Week in Satellite News! (May 7 – May 14 2018)

Iridium to complete next-generation satellite deployment by this fall

Iridium expects to have its next-generation satellite constellation deployed and in service by this fall as it looks to win approvals for new maritime and aviation applications.
In a conference call with reporters May 14, Iridium Chief Executive Matt Desch said the remaining three launches of Iridium Next satellites should be completed by the third quarter of this year, with the satellites in the final positions shortly thereafter.

Artist view of an IRIDIUM NEXT satellite. The IRIDIUM NEXT operation is a modernisation programme of Iridium satellites. Iridium is a provider of mobile satellite communications services.
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SpaceX launches Bangladeshi satellite on debut Block 5 Falcon 9 mission

SpaceX on May 11 successfully launched its most modern Falcon 9 rocket, delivering Bangabandhu-1, the first Bangladeshi telecom satellite, into geostationary transfer orbit.
The Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5 version, lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base at 4:14 p.m. Eastern. The 3,500-kilogram Bangabandhu-1 satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage about 34 minutes later.

Falcon 9 Bangabandhu 1 launch
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NASA agrees to fly helicopter demo on Mars 2020

NASA announced May 11 that it will fly a small helicopter as a technology demonstration on its next Mars rover, despite concerns from some on the project that it could be a distraction.
In a statement issued late May 11, the space agency said it will include the Mars Helicopter on the Mars 2020 rover mission, where it will perform a series of test flights over the course of a month.

JPL has been touting its Mars Helicopter since January but has not before linked it to any particular mission. The drone would be solar powered and capable of flying for two to three minutes a day, according to a video JPL uploaded to youtube earlier this year. Credit: NASA artist's concept.
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Spirit Airlines to Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi with Thales

Guests on Spirit Airlines will soon be able to watch, stream, surf and text from 30,000 feet, as the carrier has signed an agreement to install Wi-Fi on all of its planes by summer 2019. Spirit Airlines Wi-Fi technology partner, Thales Group, a global technology provider for aerospace, defense and security, and transportation markets, is bringing the Ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) system onboard the aircraft to provide high-speed web browsing and streaming experiences similar to what passengers would find at home.
Spirit Wi-Fi is projected to provide service coverage immediately for 97 percent of its routes upon entry into service, starting with an average price of $6.50, and a cost range expected to be lower or higher based on the route and demand.

Image result for In-Flight Wi-Fi thales
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How the Fourth Industrial Revolution is Shaping the Satellite Industry

We are now in the dawn of the Fourth Industrial Revolution — or “Industry 4.0.” From mechanization of production in the first industrial revolution to mass production in the second, and automation of production in the third, the concept of digitizing everything forms the basis of how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is influencing and impacting the world. Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), and other advanced technologies are rapidly revolutionizing and reshaping infrastructure, global-local economies and possibilities for future generations.

Image result for Satellite Industry revolution
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NASA Makes History with West Coast Launch of InSight

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket carrying NASA‘s InSight Mars lander lifted off from the Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 3 on Saturday. InSight is the first mission launched to another planet from the West Coast, which requires more energy than an East Coast launch that takes advantage of the Earth’s rotation.
The West Coast Mars launch was made possible by the performance of the Atlas 5, an optimized trajectory design to achieve the very exact hyperbolic injection required to deliver the spacecraft to Mars, and Aerojet Rocketdyne propulsion systems.

InSight is a robotic lander designed to study the interior of the planet Mars
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Musk details Block 5 improvements to Falcon 9

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk on May 10 went into detail on modifications made to the latest version of the Falcon 9, including redesigning a pressure vessel implicated in the rocket’s 2016 pre-launch explosion.
In a briefing with reporters hours before the scrubbed launch of the first Block 5 Falcon 9 rocket, Musk said the Block 5 is designed to be “the most reliable rocket ever built.”

Falcon 9 Block 5
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Astronomers resist NASA push to delay astrophysics decadal survey

With uncertainty about the future of two large space telescopes, NASA is continuing to suggest that the next decadal survey for astrophysics be postponed, a move opposed by many astronomers.
Recently, the Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group, one of three advisory groups chartered by NASA to support the agency’s astrophysics program, sent out a questionnaire to astronomers asking for their thoughts about delaying the next survey, currently scheduled for release in late 2020.

After much tinkering, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems has at last finished the cryogenic cooler that will keep JWST's Mid-Infrared Instrument at its frosty-cool operating temperature of minus 270 Celsius. Credit: NASA artist's concept
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