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Entries by Izzy Taylor

Sentinel 3B Good to Go

Sentinel 3B Good to Go

After being put through its paces to make sure it is fit for life in orbit around Earth, the Copernicus Sentinel-3B satellite is ready to be packed up and shipped to Russia for liftoff.

Its twin, Sentinel-3A, has been in orbit since February 2016, systematically measuring our oceans, land, ice and atmosphere. The information feeds a range of practical applications and is used for monitoring and understanding large-scale global dynamics.

The pairing of identical satellites provides the best coverage and data delivery for Europe’s Copernicus programme – the largest environmental monitoring programme in the world.

Sentinel-3B has spent the last year at Thales […] Read more

Space Helps Forests Regenerate

Space Helps Forests Regenerate

Many of us probably think of trees during the festive season more than any other time of the year. With Christmas trees now discarded and decorations packed away, we will be turning our attention back to daily life. The task of cultivating and regenerating forests, however, is a year-long concern – but one that can be made easier and cheaper thanks to satellites and cloud-computing.

In Finland, conifers are not only the most common native species of tree, but economically the most important. Once the trees have been felled, seedlings are planted as part of the regeneration process.

Click here to read […] Read more

Prototype satellite makes way for 4K ‘Earth observation’

Prototype satellite makes way for 4K ‘Earth observation’

British company Earth-i confirmed the successful launch of a prototype satellite earlier today. Called the CARBONITE-2, it’s an early test version of a planned constellation (the Vivid-i) that will be the first network bringing full color, full motion video from Earth’s orbit.

The prototype satellite has a UHD camera aboard, which will be able to capture high-res images of locations anywhere on Earth, as well as record up to two minutes of video similar to Urthecast. It’s just the first step for Earth-i, though; the company plans to use CARBONITE-2 to prove that its tech is viable, as well as demonstrate what the eventual […] Read more

Earth Observing System: Monitoring the Planet’s Climate

Earth Observing System: Monitoring the Planet’s Climate

NASA is well known for observating space, but the agency also has a strong hand in monitoring Earth. NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) is a collection of satellites designed to monitor and understand key components of the climate system and their interactions over an extended period.

“NASA and other space agencies had launched satellites to study [Earth] before,” the agency said in a press release after EOS had operated for a decade and a half. “But the past 15 years have produced a more comprehensive look at Earth from space than any other period in history. At a time when our […] Read more

Elon Musk’s huge Falcon Heavy rocket set for launch

Elon Musk’s huge Falcon Heavy rocket set for launch

Elon Musk is attempting to fly the world’s most powerful rocket with his own sports car on the top. The US entrepreneur’s Falcon Heavy launcher is designed to have twice the lifting capacity of any other vehicle, but because of the historic high failure rate of maiden flights, only a dummy payload is being risked. Mr Musk has decided this should be his old cherry-red Tesla roadster with a space-suited mannequin strapped in the driver’s seat. David Bowie’s classic hit Space Oddity will be looping on the radio as the car is hurled into an elliptical orbit that stretches […] Read more

Op-ed: The Golden Age of European Earth Observation

Op-ed: The Golden Age of European Earth Observation

In the past two decades, European priorities for space have had a clear focus: not about a race to space, but about making what we do in space relevant to humans down on Earth. Last month, the world watched as Europe launched their latest satellite, Sentinel-5p, making the Copernicus program fully operational and collecting terabytes of data per day.

When coupled with the operational Galileo program — Europe’s position, navigation and timing constellation — Europe has realized its two-decade goal of an independent Earth observation program for the environment and security, turning the page to begin the golden age of European […] Read more

UrtheCast and Twenty First Aerospace Technology Sign a Strategic Partnership

UrtheCast and Twenty First Aerospace Technology Sign a Strategic Partnership

UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”), and Twenty First Century Aerospace Technology Co. Ltd (“21AT”), China’s largest independent commercial satellite operator and non-governmental investor in remote sensing satellite systems, today announced a long-term strategic partnership to acquire geospatial data from the UrtheDailyTM Constellation, UrtheCast’s planned constellation of Earth observation satellites which will deliver daily, medium resolution imagery of the entire planet’s landmass, excluding Antarctica.

By entering into this agreement, 21AT becomes a key anchor partner for the UrtheDailyTM Constellation and UrtheCast’s strategic partner for UrtheDailyTM Constellation data within the large Chinese market. 21AT, already one of the world’s leading providers […] Read more

Crossing Drones with Satellites: ESA Eyes High-Altitude Aerial Platforms

ESA is considering extending its activities to a new region of the sky via a novel type of aerial vehicle, a ‘missing link’ between drones and satellites.

High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites, or HAPS, are platforms that float or fly at high altitude like conventional aircraft but operate more like satellites – except that rather than working from space they can remain in position inside the atmosphere for weeks or even months, offering continuous coverage of the territory below.

The best working altitude is about 20 km, above the clouds and jet streams, and 10 km above commercial airliners, where wind speeds are low […] Read more