Tag Archives: space

Our biggest enemy in space conquest is… humanity itself

I bet that 90% of people reading this article wished to become astronaut back in their childhood. To be honest, that was my wish too! Sadly, this article won’t be about bright future of space conquest, but rather grim reality of work in space sector.

Since beginning of space race, humanity has launched around 8100 satellites of which some 5000 remains in orbit. As you can imagine, Earth’s orbit has plenty of space and 5000 satellites should be as “big” concern as 5000 cars for a small town, so basically none. But… there are several circumstances that makes it a little bit more complex! Every artificial satellite needs to be delivered to space, which demands a big rocket that can get it into our orbit, then some parts must detach, and so on. Every step in orbit will leave new parts, and these parts will fly at speed of several thousand kilometers per second, and guess what. If you would get hit by screw at speed that high, it would be like you were hit by bolt of plasma, and same goes for every object in space.

As you may see in the picture above, this is what happens when spacecraft is hit by small debris. You might think that “come on there can’t be enough debris made by launching some satellites” and to be honest you are kind of right. Problem is that more than 95% of current object in orbit are so called zombies, serving no purpose, floating in space, waiting for impact with other body. When this happens, hundreds of small pieces burst into all directions, posing enormous threat to everything else. Sometimes government come up with “brilliant” ideas, for example Chinese government decided to test if their rockets can shoot down their own satellites – Turns out they can, however test also created enormous amount of space garbage. We could go on and on to see new examples, but let’s get to the point.

Everyday U.S. Military issues 21 warnings about space collisions. That is US alone, we can only guess that everyday there is more than one hundred warnings about space collision, so during whole year, there is at least more than 36 thousand warnings! This shows exactly how dangerous it becomes to travel into our orbit. Some specialist claims that every year we are getting closer to point of no retreat, and that means that Earth will become our jail, because we won’t be able to get safely into space.

But how can we fight with this threat you may ask? That is what you will find out in my next article!

Sources:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-quest-to-conquer-earths-space-junk-problem/

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06170-1

 

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BeiDou might be your new GPS

Each of us have at least once used such apps as Google Maps, Jak Dojadę or Snapchat. Their functions relay on geolocation. GPS is present in our lives and so do Chinese want. Late in November this year, China’s state space agency confirmed that Long March 3B rocked has been launch. On board: another two satellites for BeiDou, new global navigation system. China has been working on the system from 2000, launching new satellites from 2017. Only in 2018 the orbit has gained 11 new Chinese satellites. There are 19 of them total, which gives China possibility to start offering the global navigational services. CNSA (Chinese National Space Administration) has announced that the target number of satellites is 35. 5 geostationary and 30 non-geostationary satellites is enough to achieve the worldwide coverage.

Ilustration by Insights India

BeiDou in Chinese means Big Dipper, which is the name of one of the astronomical constellation. The system firstly was created to decrease dependence on American GPS system, especially when it comes to the military needs. Later on, CNSA decided to use it on commercial purposes and it will be available for private customers from 2020. The accuracy of restoring the location for private purposes will be about 10 meters. Interestingly, for military purposes, this accuracy will be only 10 centimeters. This approximation will also be maintained for authorized governmental purposes. In August this year, the BeiDou system was installed in around half of Beijing’s taxis. Chinese government’s goal is to have all of them guided by BeiDou by 2020. It also measures the speed within 0.2 millionth of thons per second and is able to provide clock synchronization accurate to 0.02 millionths of a second.

Launch of the latest two satellites in the Long March 3B rocket

This is just the beginning of gaining an influence in the world. The creation of this system is considered crucial for China in order to control the perception of the world. No wonder that companies such as Xiaomi, Huawei or OnePlus have decided to make their products compatible with the BeiDou system. Although Apple has not decided to become BeiDou friendly while launching the new products on September 12th, it is only a matter of time.In 2014 the suggestion appeared, that the system can be also able to navigate the drones to destroy foreign forces in case of the attack. It seems to me that CNSA has created a “rival” to the GPS but is it going to be as much successful? We are about to find out.

 

 

References:
1.Data references
https://www.ft.com/content/3c2ca48e-f2eb-11e8-ae55-df4bf40f9d0d
https://futurism.com/china-just-moved-one-step-closer-to-completing-a-global-satellite-network
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-16337648
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45471959
2. Photos
http://www.insightsonindia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BeiDou.jpg
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/china-launches-latest-beidou-3m-satellite-duo/
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The world’s most expensive „hotel” will be in space

The most expensive hotel will not be situated in Dubai, Seychelles or other exotic places. In 2021, Aurora station will be launched into orbit, which will be a hotel for very wealthy people. A 12-day stay in a space hotel will cost $ 9.5 million, and you can now pay a deposit of $ 80,000 to guarantee your seat.

Orion Span, technological start-up from the USA is responsible for the project. Frank Bunger is the CEO and founder of the company. The Aurora station will be able to accommodate 6 people at once – 4 guests and 2 crew members. The stay in space hotel will take 12 days, interestingly the company does not have its own rockets that would allow to transport the guests and crew to the station. In this regard, Orion Span is negotiating with Space X and Blue Origin for the purpose of lending them their rockets. The flight from Earth to the Aurora station would take 30 minutes and the station would be hanging 200 miles above the Earth. Although the first guests will have to pay as much as $9.5 million, President Frank Bunger says “I think by the mid-2020s, we’re going to see quite a bit of possibilities for getting up there, and the cost going down”.

Guests of the hotel will have the opportunity to stay in touch with the Earth through internet connectivity, as well as participate in experiments such as growing plants in space, which later could be brought to Earth as a souvenir. The company has also developed a special training program, which will be mandatory for anyone who wants to visit the Aurora station. However, the preparation for the flight will take only 3 months, which is a very short period compared to the NASA training program, which lasts up to 24 months.

Below you can watch a short movie with the visualization of the Aurora hotel.

 

Sources:

https://nypost.com/2018/04/06/inside-the-first-ever-space-hotel/

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/aurora-station-luxury-space-hotel/index.html

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