First images from NASA’s TESS cameras shows over 200,000 stars 

NASA’s famous exoplanet satellite has sent back images, and it is more than what we were waiting for. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has captured over 200,000 stars in the image according to NASA. One of TESS’s four cameras captured the image. 

NASA’s TESS made a grand launch in April this year. The satellite launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force base in Florida aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Block 4 rocket. The rocket deployed TESS into Earth’s orbit 49 minutes after liftoff. 

The exoplanet satellite will search for alien worlds and would continue the work of Kepler. NASA’s space telescope called Kepler has found 2650 exoplanets. Kepler has explored 70% of the worlds beyond the solar system. 

Kepler stared at one part of the sky and monitored over 150,000 stars. After Kepler’s planet-hunting expedition, the telescope is now on a different mission called K2. The telescope will research on cosmic objects and phenomena. 

SpaceX and NASA delayed TESS’s launch for two days before the successful launch of the satellite. TESS would cover about 85% of the sky in its two-year mission.  

TESS captured the image on May 17. The camera captured the image after flying by the moon. The satellite had to fly past the moon to be able to enter into its final orbit. The exoplanet satellite will start searching for planets in June. 

The image the camera captured is not of the best quality. According to NASA, the camera will capture images of high quality when the cameras are done calibrating. NASA will further study the planets that TESS will discover in a new mission. 

The new mission will begin in 2020. NASA will launch the James Webb Space Telescope in 2020 to allow scientists to study the planets that TESS will find. The James Webb Space telescope will focus on four areas; planets, the formation of stars, galaxies in the early universe, and the first light in the universe. 

The telescope will launch aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. 

The telescope’s spacecraft elements underwent environmental tests in April this year. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems conducted the test. They will do more tests to ascertain whether the spacecraft elements can survive the harsh environment in space. 

The launch of the James Webb Space telescope was initially slated for 2019, but NASA had to postpone the launch date because the elements of the telescope will need further testing.  

Glasgow swaps ships for satellites after grasping Britain’s thriving space industry 

Glasgow constructs a bigger number of satellites compared to any other City that is located outside the United States of America as indicated by space industry specialists, represent considerable authority in little “CubeSats” that can be utilized for anything from climate prediction to worldwide situating. Scotland has dependably been celebrated for making. The organization’s workplaces are only a couple of meters from the forcing. Finnieston Crane used to lift tanks and steam trains onto ships. Clyde Space propelled Scotland’s first since forever satellite in 2014 and inside of two years, it was delivering six satellites each month. That set off time of fast development in the space business, which insider’s expectation will get a further lift from supposed plans to fabricate two brand new spaceports in Scotland. 

England’s gets ready for a home-developed space industry have been ventured up in the midst of concerns it will be prohibited after Brexit from offering for deals on the European Union’s £9 billion (US$12 billion) Galileo worldwide situating framework. The UK needs entire access to the Galileo as it assumed a noteworthy part in the improvement of the framework, which is required to be completely operational in 2026, yet the EU has chosen to move a satellite observing base from Britain to a country by the name Spain to “safeguard security.” 

Head administrator Theresa May has made a team of designing and aviation specialists, driven by the UK Space Agency, to create choices for  British Global Navigation Satellite application that would manage rockets and power satnavs. In Scotland, the space part has developed by more than seventy percent since 2010 to a total turnover of £2.7 billion a year ago, as per aviation exchange body ADS in Scotland. The business utilizes about 7,500 individuals. Clyde Space imparts an office complex to Spire Global which has constructed eighty satellites in Glasgow since the year 2014. 

Spire’s lead builder Joel Spark said the organization had profited from a high-talented workforce as of now set up from the times of the Dotcom blast when the territory was known as Silicon Glen. The prospering space industry has enlivened littler new companies, for example, AlbaOrbital, which is getting ready for the dispatch of its debut satellite, Unicorn1. The satellite, set up in AlbaOrbital’s office, will be tied to a bigger payload and shot out from a spring-stacked launcher in the container. It does cost more than gold per kilogram to dispatch a satellite, so making a little cube seemed well and good. What’s more, trusts are high with the belief that Scotland will have its particular platforms for launch, 

SpaceX to now launch Iridium Satellites using Single Falcon 9 Rocket

A recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket is all set to mark its impression of an Uber when it will send various satellites to the orbit for both the telecom company Iridium and NASA on Tuesday. It is one of the most significant step taken by the Elon Musk’s company SpaceX and has been looking forward by people all over the world. 

This rare mission will carry around five of Iridium’s next-generation satellites along with the twin spacecraft that make up the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and GRACE Follow-On (FO) mission for NASA. 

The original GRACE Mission, stands for Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment mission, observed the water flow on the planet. GRACE-FO will now continue the work by tracking the water movement on the surface and other types of masses on Earth. It will also work on collecting data which will help in monitoring the glaciers, ice sheets, lakes, oceans, rivers as well as underground water stores. 

It will also carry two Earth-watching satellites that will test the new technology which uses laser to calculate the distance between them rather than just the microwaves. Falcon 9 Rocket will be launched from the Vanderberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex, which is in California. The time set for the launch is 12:47 p.m. PT, and after 11 minutes of its launch, GRACE-FO satellite will be deployed from the station. 

After the landing, the upper stage of Falcon 9 will take around 45 minutes to fly in different orbits to deploy the five new Iridium satellites. The company is also working on replacing its old satellites or constellations in the space with the dozens of new ones. 

Though Falcon 9 has already been used to boost one of the top secret Zuma spacecraft to its orbit, where it suffered a payload adapter malfunction, there are no plans to land and fix the stage one of the Falcon 9. According to reports, the spacecraft failed to separate from the upper stage part and burned up after it reentered the atmosphere. 

Many claims have also been made on the company for failing of the mission, but the company later cleared the blames for the $3.5 billion botching. SpaceX is also expected to search the nose cone that protects the payload in the Pacific Ocean using the boat and the giant net. 

Details of the three CubeSats flying with Cygnus Spacecraft

Along with the launch of Orbital ATK’s OA-9 Cygnus, three CubeSats were also launched whose primary purpose would visualize Earth from different angles for better studying of the various aspects of the Earth’s atmosphere. The principal investigators of the three CubeSats developed spoke at a “Whats on Board” pre-launch briefing which took place at the NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Centre Auditorium held on may 20 2018.

The first one among them is called as the TEMPEST-D. It stands for The Temporal Experiment or Storms and Tropical System-Demonstration. It is a CubeSat which was invented in the Colorado State University which s located in the Fort Collins, Colorado. The primary aim of this CubeSat would be to judge the clouds as well as the precipitation process within them. If the technology receives a green signal, then it would be deployed in a satellite constellation to gauge the source of precipitation and the cycle within them. It would also help to understand the precipitation process on a global scale as well.

V. Chandrasekhar who is the head of this CubeSat said that it is imperative they this discovery becomes a success, and then they can utilize its capacity within a constellation. But they have to ensure the fact that it can work for a continues period of 90 days. The attitude control of this CubeSat is done with the help of reaction wheel and torque rods. Chandrasekhar further said that it is essential to ensure that the attitude control is ultra precise.

The next CubeSat is known as the Raincube. It is designed to find out the eligibility of a radar payload in the CubeSat platform. It is a system through which the measurement of rainfall snowfall can be done quickly. It is a technique which would find out climate as well as weather models in a low cost and efficient manner. One of the latest technologies adapted in this CubeSat is the radar antenna deployment mechanism. 

The third one is called as the Cuberrt. It means for Cubesat Radiometer Radio Frequency Interference Technology. It is a system which is founded to test the new radiometer instruments to put a curb on the ever-increasing amount of radio frequency interference that satellites face while attempting to collect all the information necessary.

All these three CubeSats along with the other Cubesats are packed inside a Nanoracks deployer inside the Cygnus.

SpaceX releases two satellites to track earth’s water

On May 22, SpaceX lifted off two brand new satellites and five Iridium next communication satellites into space. The satellites were lifted in a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vanderberg Air Force Base which is located in California at 3:47 pm EDT. According to Gay Yee Hill who is the TV launch commentator of NASA said that launching the GRACE-FO has maintained the legacy and the pride of the GRACE mission which will be mainly be positioned to find out the water position on the surface of the Earth. Even Sammy Kayali who was the former deputy manager of GRACE-FO also appreciated the launch procedure very much.

For this launch, the company used the same Falcon 9 rocket which it had used to lift off the controversial Zuma mission meant of the US force in January. The Zuma mission was a total failure as the spacecraft crashed before reaching the desired position in orbit. However subsequent investigations proved that the rocket was not the cause of the crash. Still, then the SpaceX did not take any chances and refurbished the rocket accurately before engaging it into the launching activities.

SpaceX did try to recover the valuable payload fairing that was covering the GRACE-FO as well as the Iridium satellites during the launch of the same. There fairing was expected to come back to the Earth and be caught by Mr.Steven, which a space recovery boat and is equipped with a substantial net suspended within huge metals arms. However, the boat was not successful in getting hold of the payload. The company officials said that they were very close to catching the same but could not do so. They will further work on the same to rectify the loopholes.

Confirming of the success of the mission the NASA scientists said that after 12 minutes from the takeoff, the second stage of the rocket released the twin satellites into the near-polar orbit. The second stage the again started working and moved in the higher orbit to release the five Iridium satellites that it was carrying. SpaceX further confirmed that the Iridium satellites are also positioned successfully in the desired orbit after one hour of the take-off. These satellites are supposed to join a constellation of 50 satellites which is being owned by the company and known as Iridium Communications. Thereby the total number of Iridium satellites will now become fifty-five in numbers.

Trump wants to introduce a new military branch: the Space Force

President Trump is intent on creating a new military branch; the “space force”. In a speech to the football team of West Point, Trump wants this space force to fight wars even beyond Earth’s atmosphere. 

When giving a speech to members of the military in California, Trump had previously iterated the idea. It has received Congress’ support and disapproval from the Pentagon. After the establishment of the Air Force in 1947, this would be the first instance of a branch of the military being created. 

According to Terry Virts, ex-commander of the ISS (International Space Station) and a U.S. Air Force veteran, operations in space had been conducted by the military long time back. Every country on Earth having substantial military power has also invested in space in some way. He feels the military can make it more efficient and more structure to it. 

U.S. Air Force Space Command attends to USA’s military operations in space. The space command enforces situational awareness in space, which is done by tracking objects and also keeping a note of what other nations are going about in space. Events likely to affect the Army or the Air Force’s operations keep happening. It does not sit well with Pentagon. They feel it will make the Defense Department bureaucracy somewhat complicated. It will result in added costs and complicated bureaucratic structures. Representatives Mike Rogers and Jim Cooper initiated an effort for shifting Air Force Space Command’s duties to a separate service. The Senate did not warm up to this plan. 

According to Roger, Russia and China were overtaking the US in their space capabilities. Thus, having a team for handling military operations in space would be advisable. Roger and Cooper’s proposal of creating a new space force would not have impacted NASA. Its purpose was to shield military space budget. Space force concept goes back to the Cold War. Donald Rumsfeld proposed the creation of space corps in 2000. He was Bush’s defense secretary. However, the wars in Iran and Afghanistan, along with the World Trade Center tragedy stopped the plan. Some critics do not want the USA to increment its military any further. However, space has already been associated with the military, with military satellites in orbit. 

It will not adversely impact the forces present on Earth. The dilemma is not about increasing weapons or forces; it has more to do with efficient organization of those forces. With growing number, organizational structure suffers. 

Trump wants to create Space forces as a sixth military branch

While addressing the West Point football team which had gathered at the White House in the earlier part of this month, expressed his vision to create “space force” military branch. Such a department would be equipped enough to combat war fighting situations in space. Previously Trump had given the idea of space corps in March to the members of the military located in California.

However, the proposal had received lots of criticism from the Pentagon Military base although it won the congressman support. The establishment of such a force would mark the beginning of a new military base after the Air Force as established in the year of 1947. Trump said that since his nation was doing brilliantly in the space industry, he thought of introducing a new force, that will further ensure proper authentication of the nation’s contribution in the process of space exploration.

To this statement, one of the former military officers, Mr. Terry Virts said the military has, in fact, contributed a lot towards space programs over an extended period. So it will be further more accessible for them to be associated with such a branch. Terry Virts was a former commander of the International Space Station and also spent 30 years in US Force. He further added that every nation on the surface of the earth which has military base has some space component to it. He wants the space component to make the military base much stronger and at the same time more efficient.

Majority of the country’s military operations which takes place in space is being managed by the US Force Space Command, which is a part of the Air Force that has a headcount of nearly 36000 people spread around more than 130 sites in and around the world. One of the primary jobs of the space command is to control the GPS and weather communication satellite to perfection.

Space command also does the job of tracking what the other countries are doing concerning space exploration. There are a lot of activities that occur in space which lead to warfighting situations within the nations on the Earth. For many years the Pentagon has opposed this move. The main reason has been that if such a decision would come into force, then it would make the military process much more cumbersome and complicated.

Experts feel that space force would create more confusion for executing military operations and it should not be spread any further.

SpaceX rocket to make a pit stop 305 miles up in space

Falcon 9 rocket of the SpaceX company will be all set to carry two payloads into the orbit. Scientists believe that this launch will be pretty exciting one. It will be sending five communication satellites for Iridium which needs to get positioned at 500 miles up from the Earth’s surface. However, a NASA mission needs to be executed at the 300-mile mark. At that position, NASA needs to make a pit stop and make a turnout.

The spacecraft will be moving around thousands of miles per hour. The situation would be similar to the dropping a friend midway and then be going away to the next destination. What does this mean? The first stage of the rocket will take up above the earth’s atmosphere. Then it will separate itself and land very successfully. The second stage then will further carry the payload up to the orbit. Generally, at this position, the payload may burn if it does not reach the required altitude and the attitude. Then it is required to deploy the payload. However, in this particular situation of pit stop the circumstances would be slightly different.

The rocket when reaches the mark of 305 lies up from the Earth surface, the programs will make the nose of the rocket dip 30 degrees down and after that roll slightly to put the GRACE-FO satellites in its desired position. One satellite has to point towards the Earth, and the other has to look towards space. Once the entire spacecraft is in position, then the system will eject out both the satellites in their direction at a speed of about one foot per second.

The satellite that will be positioned towards the earth side will be placed at a lower obit than that of the other satellite which will be facing the space. After both satellites have spread across a distance of 137 miles. The smaller spacecraft will move upwards and try to match up with the other one. This synchronization will take place after a few days; however, after 10 minutes of launching the GRACE-FO into space, Falcon 9 is supposed to move further in its journey. In the second phase of its mission, it will be igniting the second stage engine and bring up the Iridium satellites 485 miles up. At this point, the engine will come to a standstill again and remaining of the payload will be delivered.

This Week China Went A Step Ahead and Launched Its First Private Space Rocket 

China has made history this week. Onespace Technologies launched the first ever private space rocket of China. The goal of this flight is simple, and that is to encourage more and more private space firms to work separately and independently. According to the reports of CNN, The space rocket OS-X was launched from a launch pad in China’s Northwestern region on Thursday. 

The 230 foot and 200 Pounds capacity rocket took 170 miles from the launch pad to reach the altitude of 25 miles. Onespace had a budget of $78, and it took the OS-X about a year to be developed. Many experts such as Xin Zhang an aerospace engineering professor from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology believes that owing to the purpose of saving money they might not have concentrated on the originality of the design. 

As per reports Onespace too had the agenda of cutting cost and reusing rockets. But as per Verge, this 200 Pound capacity rocket loses the race in its carrying prowess. Also, the other components used for the rocket such as rocket fuel cannot be reused. The edging competition with Onespace and SpaceX are turning heads as the latter empowers its agenda by reusing rockets and cutting cost.  But the goal of becoming world’s largest small-satellite launch company will need significant cost-cutting but by keeping the quality in mind. Many believe it’s a great step on the part of Onespace by launching this rocket, but there is a long way to cover and have to counter various small to large competitors to reach its coveted goal. 

How far will this launch be effective in the market of small satellite companies is a question. But there are various considerations to be kept in mind. Whether the Onespace is competent enough to counter big, small satellite companies such as Virgin, Orbital ATK or the Rocket Lab? Who are equally present in this competition! Whether western countries including the USA will catch a ride in these private companies to launch their satellites? Questions are many. 

But Onespace’s CEO Shu Chang feels that whatever be the contention, when talking about competition with other contemporaries launching a rocket is a milestone and no argument can counter that. He feels it’s a special and an important achievement on the part of the company as well as the Government, media and many more. 

Space Tourism- The New Venture

It has always been a matter of enthrallment to know that space tourism could be possible in the future. Different space-faring companies are in constant endeavors to make space easily accessible to the common man and thereby space tourism a reality. Enlarging few more steps ahead in the niche Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin hit some significant milestones making space a place for spending the vacations for common people. Both these two companies related to space science and technology has made remarkable progress in the field. In early April Space Ship, Two of Virgin Galactic made a successful test flight which was long awaited, and Blue Origin made another successful test launch of its New Shepard rocket.

The launch and test flight of New Shepard and Space Ship Two respectively are on the verge of making space tourism a success. The spaceship of Blue Origin is equipped with crash test dummy and a good number of scientific experiments. Therefore it has become highly reliable to use for ventures like space tourism. According to Christian Davenport who launched his new book, The Space Barons says that this is one of the most crucial moments for people who are enthusiastic about space science and technology and looking for the scope of space tourism. As per the reports Both Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are on the mission to start sending paying customers into space by the end of 2018. 

According to Davenport both these space-faring companies have invested a huge amount of their fortunes in this field. It is like a gamble and we hope that it becomes a success. Davenport who covers the space industry for the Washington Post added “They say the quickest way to become a millionaire in space is to start out as a billionaire.” 

As per the researchers and scientist going to space and surviving there is not a child’s play. It is a rare process and till date only 560 people have ever done it. But all those who have been there described their experience as transformative. “What Branson and Bezos want to do is make it easier for more people to see the curvature of the earth, see the blackness of space, and see the thin blue-greenish hue of the atmosphere and the land below without any boundary lines,” says Davenport. If everything goes well, in the coming days we will be able to experience the space world.