Archive for the ‘Space Tourism’ Category

Virgin Galactic’s First Flight: Global Broadcast

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

NBC Universal will broadcast the first Virgin Galactic flight live.

The Today show will be seen by millions and get incredible ratings. Hopefully, the first flight will be during sweeps.

WBMSAT Satelite Industry News Bits 12/21/2012

Friday, December 21st, 2012

U.S. Navy to install Raytheon Company’s Navy Multiband Terminal on over 300 ships.
[Satellite Spotlight – 12/21/2012]

Telefonica will use Eutelsat’s high-performance KA-SAT to provide satellite Internet connectivity across Europe.
[msn money – 12/21/2012]

Globalstar’s common stock to be delisted by NASDAQ.
[Satellite Today – 12/20/2012]

British-made military satellite with ‘anti-jamming’ capability is orbited.
[Yahoo News UK & Ireland – 12/20/2012]

ViaSat receives $52 million contract from unnamed U.S. government agency to provide broadband services via satellite to government aircraft.
[North County Times – 12/20/2012]

China Mobile Satellite Communications Group and Thuraya Telecommunications announce successful launch of a new business focusing on mobile satellite phones. [People’s Daily Online – 12/20/2012]

UK-based GVF adds three authorized test entities in three major regions, doubling the size of the industry network of authorized test entities to provide type-approved equipment for the satellite industry.
[Broadcast Engineering – 12/20/2012]

Mexsat Bicentenario satellite sends first signals from space.
[Satellite Today – 12/20/2012]

Gilat will begin supplying satellite-based communications solutions for all Israeli governmental offices and defense organizations.
[Israel Defense – 12/20/2012]

Kratos gets $17.5 million U.S.A.F. contract for Command and Control System for current and future military communication satellites.
[Street Insider – 12/20/2012]

Export-Import Bank of Chine to provide Belarus with $280.8 million load for development of national communication and broadcasting satellite service.
[Belarusian Telegraph Agency – 12/20/2012]

Airtel and Comtech EF Data get award for Best Backhaul Solution for Africa at 5th annual AfricaCom Awards ceremony.
[Satellite Evolution Group – 12/20/2012]

Racking up over 100 million flight hours in more than 40 years, Honeywell Reaction Wheel Assemblies have never caused a satellite to fail or abort a mission. [Satellite Evolution Group – 12/20/2012]

Astronomers using Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory ask public for help in finding holes in the dust clouds throughout the galaxy using images from Herschel.
[SatNews – 12/20/2012]

GoGo, a leader in in-flight connectivity, signs major satellite capacity deal with SES. [Satellite Evolution Group – 12/20/2012]

Map of Earth at night published by NASA two weeks ago showed large number of lights in uninhabited areas of Western Australia that turned out to be lightning and wildfires.
[SatNews – 12/20/2012]

U.S. House and Senate agree on satellite export reform legislation.
[Space Policy Online – 12/19/2012]

Ariane 5 completes it’s 67th launch, the 7th and final of 2012, accurately delivering Skynet-5D and Mexsat Bicentenario into their respective orbits.
[European Space Agency – 12/19/2012]

Independent Oversight Board formed to investigate solar array deployment anomaly following launch of Intelsat 19 exonerates Sea Launch rocket in the incident.
[Satellite Today – 12/19/2012]

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two completes first test glide flight with rocket motor components installed and thermal protection applied to its leading edges.
[SatNews – 12/19/2012]

United Space Alliance closes its Washington lobbying operation.
[Space News – 12/19/2012]

SES announces that it is the first satellite operator to offer satellite broadband service with download speeds up to 20Mbit/s for consumers in France.
[SatNews – 12/19/2012]

NASA’s next-generation communications satellite, TDRS-K, arrives at Kennedy Space Center in preparation for January 29, 2013 launch.
[Bloomberg – 12/18/2012]

XTAR retools and reconfigures infrastructure to provide new potential for its X-band bandwidth, including Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (AISR).
[Satellite Today – 12/18/2012]

Eutelsat 21B fully enters commercial service at 21.5 degrees East.
[Satellite Today – 12/18/2012]

Member of European Space Agency officially approve cooperation between ESA and Roscosmos on European Mars exploration ExoMars, led by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor.
[SatNews – 12/17/2012]

Thuraya Telecommunications combines with Japan’s SoftBank Mobile to provide Japanese business, enterprise, and consumer subscribers across Thuraya’s satellite network with mobile satellite communication services.
[Satellite Today – 12/17/2012]

NASA’s Commercial Drew Program selects Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser Space System Program to receive a Certification Products Contract, a first step to enabling International Space Station transportation services and provide government certification of its commercial crew orbital transportation system. [SatNews – 12/17/2012]

 WBMSAT satellite communications consulting services

Rocket’s Eye View

Friday, February 10th, 2012

This is the view from a sub-orbital flight? I think you will have “high rollers” ready to spend whatever Sir Richard suggests for a Virgin Galactic trip to see this, captain!

Nice test of the STIG-A rocket from Armadillo Aerospace.

WBMSAT Satellite Industry News Bits 10/21/2011

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Satellite Broadband on Airplanes: A New Era Set To Begin (Part Two).
[A Satellite Today Webinar October 25, 2011]

Arieanespace detects ground-based Soyuz fuel leak; postpones Galileo Launch.
[Satellite Today – 10/21/2011]

DARPA seeks innovators for its satellite servicing technology programs, with  goal of cooperatively harvesting and re-using valuable components from  nonworking retired satellites in geosynchronous orbits.
[SatNews –  10/21/2011]

SES will invest $4.1B in Latin America and Asia expansion efforts.
[Satellite Today – 10/21/2011]

China expects to launch its first Mars probe between November 8th and  November 20th, following a two-year delay.
[SatNews –  10/21/2011]

Boeing delivers 50,000th Combat Survivor Evader Locater combat search and  rescue communications system to U.S. joint services.
[SatNews –  10/21/2011]

Democratic Voice of Burma web site says Burmese government is preparing to  allow licenses for satellite television receivers again following a six-year  ban.
[Advanced Television – 10/21/2011]

TSF (Telecoms Sans Frontieres) faces conflict and insecurity and can only be  on site in daytime as it works to establish communications for humanitarian  organizations in Sirte Libya, Gaddafi’s home town and where he was killed.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

ViaSat-1, touted as DSL competitor, is in orbit following International  Launch Services Proton rocket launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
[Space News  – 10/20/2011]

Space Systems/Loral announces that ViaSat-1 is performing post-launch  maneuvers according to plan.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

Telesat, owner of nine Canadian beams on ViaSat-1, is delighted with the  successful launch of the satellite; has 15-year agreement with Xplornet  Communications for use of the capacity.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

ViaSat-1, launched Wednesday afternoon aboard Proton rocket in Kazakhstan,  will allow Xplornet of Canada to provide broadband service to 1.5 million North  American customers, and download speeds up to 25 Mbps.
[CBC News – 10/20/2011]

NASA pushes back NPOESS weather satellite launch by one day to October 28.
[Satellite Today – 10/20/2011]

Russia’s space program – presently the only way that the United States can  access the International Space Station, also seeks to match or even surpass the  United States in overall space capabilities.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

Hermes Datacomms announces that offshore and onshore VSAT services are back  in full operation in Libya.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

EUMETSAT’s Metop-A achieves 15 years of service, providing weather and  climate monitoring for Europe.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

Euroconsult consulting firm says governments will continue to drive Earth  observation industry over the coming decade through new satellites and growing  demand for data.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

KVH opens Asia-Pacific headquarters featuring state-of-the-art demo and  training lab to serve partners and customers.
[MarketWatch – 10/20/2011]

German scientific satellite Rosat may fall to earth this weekend.
[Washington Post – 10/20/2011]

Selex Elsag of Italy to upgrade NATO’s satellite communication systems and  associated infrastructure.
[UPI – 10/20/2011]

Indian media criticizes government for constant delays in the Indian military  satellite program.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

NSD reaches 20 million homes (100 million viewers) for its Indian pay-TV  service.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

Bently Walker selected by Wayuyu Taya Foundation to provide satellite  Internet to Los Lechosos school in remote area of Venezuela.
[SatNews –  10/20/2011]

Government and Defence markets prepare for significant growth in satellite  data rates, according to leading international satellite market research and  consulting firm NSR.
[SAT PR – 10/19/2011]

Newtec expects significant growth based on the NSR report on Government and  Defence markets, posturing its FlexACM as a solution for maximizing bandwidth  efficiencies.
[SatNews –  10/19/2011]

SkyBlue receives third extension to its Iridium frequency bandwidth approval  for aviation satellite communications in China.
[Satellite Today – 10/19/2011]

Caribbean’s newest low fare airline REDjet chooses Blue Sky Network for new  tracking and communication systems.
[MarketWatch – 10/19/2011]

Farm groups anxious for resolution of issue of interference by proposed  LightSquared wireless network with GPS.
[AgAlert – 10/19/2011]

European Space Agency picks Thales Alenia Space to lead nine-month study on  satellite communications for unmanned aerial systems.
[UPI – 10/18/2011]

Globe Wireless is granted Blanket Wireless Radio Station License by Japanese  Ministry of Information and Communications, allowing it to offer Inmarsat  FleetBroadband mobile satellite services in Japan and on Japanese registered  vessels.
[Marine Link – 10/18/2011]

Sir Richard Branson, children Sam and Holly, and troupe of dancer/acrobats,  scale down, dancing, on walls of new Virgin Galactic Spaceport in New Mexico  during dedication.
[SatNews – 10/18/2011]

NASA books flight on Virgin Galactic, with options for two more, to allow  engineers, technologists, and scientific researchers to conduct experiments in  suborbital space.
[SatNews –  10/17/2011]

Newtec gives support for standardization and adoption of industry-wide  counter-measures to combat interference, with the DVB accepted work topic  Carrier ID as a first step.
[SatNews –  10/17/2011]

NASA and Japan release the most complete digital topographic map of Earth  produced to date.
[SatNews –  101/17/2011]

Small satellites from less-than-500-kilograms to less than 100 grams prompt  big ideas for next 25 years.
[ – 10/17/2011]

Astrium accepts financial backing from European Space Agency to build new  high-speed data relay service for Europe while simultaneously creating a market  for it.
[Aviation Week – 10/17/2011]

Harris Corporation receives $51.5M delivery order for advanced satellite  terminals under U.S. Army’s Modernization of Enterprise Terminals program.
[Business Wire – 10/17/2011]

ViaSat wins U.S. DoD study contract to assess bandwidth cost reduction  methods for commercial communication satellite systems.
[Market Watch – 10/17/2011]

Locus Traxx to use GSM service from Vodafone, and ORBCOMM’s satellite  network, to support dual-mode SmartTraxx shipment monitoring, reporting, and  alerts solution.
[TMCnet – 10/17/2011]

WBMSAT satellite communications systems consulting services

WBMSAT News Bits February 18, 2011

Friday, February 18th, 2011

SatNews Publishers announces release of free online Satellite Industry Database, a digital tool designed for professionals that instantly and easily provides critical satellite company information.
[SatNews – 02/18/2011]

UK Satellite and Cable Broadcasters’ Group fights proposal by House of Lords Communications Committee to restrict advertisements on pay and free-to-air channels to seven ad-minutes per hour.
[Hollywood Reporter – 02/18/2011]

Eutelsat revenue growth across all businesses up 13.3% in first half of 2011, with group share of net income up 25%.
[PR Newswire – 02/18/2011]

SES to launch SES-4 and SES-5 satellites this year, to meet needs of the largest European Direct-to-Home (DTH) providers and fuel growth in Africa and the Middle East.
[Peace FM Online – 02/18/2011]

European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli gets photo of Arianespace 5 launch of ATV Johannes Kepler from International Space Station.
[SatNews – 02/18/2011]

Global Xpress deal a "win-win" for Inmarsat and iDirect.
[NSR – 02/18/2011]

Division of Ottawa company Calian Technologies signs US$15 million contract to provide antennas and rf systems to VT iDirect.
[Winnipeg Free Press – 02/18/2011]




Strongest solar flare in four years disrupts ground communications.
[ – Denver – 02/18/2011]

Echostar to take control of numerous Hughes satellite farms around the country as part of acquisition.
[Broadcast Engineering – 02/17/2011]

TerreStar Networks withdraws bankruptcy restructuring plan which would have given ownership to Echostar and other creditors.
[Denver Post – 02/17/2011]

Orbital awarded contract for SES-8 satellite by SES WORLD SKIES.
[Trading Markets – 02/17/2011]

Panasonic Avionics signs Letter of Intent with Scandinavian Airlines to deliver full broadband connectivity and mobile phone service on SAS’ domestic, pan-European, and intercontinental flights.
[SatNews – 02/17/2011]

Yahsat’s first satellite arrives successfully at launch site.
[zawya – 02/17/2011]

KVH unveils world’s smallest, most affordable maritime VSAT antenna, measuring just 14.5", providing download speeds as fast as 2Mbps on KVH’s proven mini-VSAT broadband network.
[SatNews – 02/17/2011]

SES Astra and Eutelsat both win long-term capacity deals in Italy and Germany, continuing to ramp up their capacity market rivalry.
[Satellite Today – 02/17/2011]

TeleCommunications Systems announces exclusive arrangement with Cisco to commercialize IT communication services on the World’s first space router.
[Marketwire – 02/17/2011]

EchoStar and Hughes combination expected to deliver substantial value to shareholders.
[Satellite Spotlight – 02/16/2011]

Ariane 5 launches second European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) for servicing of the International Space Station, carrying aloft its heaviest payload ever (19,700 kg).
[SatNews – 02/16/2011]

Intelsat plans landmark African satellite launch, with New Dawn, the region’s first private sector communications satellite, to be launched from French Guiana March 29.
[Broadcasting Cable – 02/16/2011]

TeleCommunications Systems SwiftLink Tactical Transportable Tropo Solution receives 2010 Satellite Spotlight Product of the Year Award from TMC.
[SatNews – 02/16/2011]

Tennis enthusiasts across European Russia, Siberia, and Ukraine enjoyed coverage of Australian Open 2011 from leading Russian satellite broadcaster NTV-PLUS and Global Crossing.
[SatNews – 02/16/2011]

50 years ago NASA launched Explorer 9, a balloon satellite (satelloon), as U.S. raced to catch up to Soviet Union in space race.
[The Atlantic – 02/16/2011]

Globecomm Systems completes satellite uplink hub for Televisa at its Mexico City Broadcast Center.
[SatNews – 02/16/2011]

Boeing hands over first LightSquared satellite, SkyTerra 1, for service after post-launch testing is completed.
[Space Daily – 02/15/2011]

U.S. Air Force and Lockheed in talks over AEHF satellite, and financial fallout from engine failure preventing the satellite from reaching intended orbit.
Reuters – 02/15/2011]

NewCom international telemedicine project connects Haiti hospital with top doctors in U.S.
[MMD Newswire – 02/15/2011]

Blue Sky Network, which developed technology to pass packet-based data over Iridium satellites for tracking aircraft, finds other uses for its satellite technology.
[xconomy – 02/15/2011]

RRsat carries over 50 religious broadcast channels worldwide.
[PR Newswire – 02/15/2011]

Sky-Stream selects iDirect TDMA to power Apple TV platform in Dubai.
[Satellite Today – 02/15/2011]

Echostar to buy Hughes Communications for about $1.32B.
[Bloomberg – 02/14/2011]

$78 billion in additional Pentagon cuts:  diminishing demand for commercial SATCOM?  Maybe not.
[NSR – 02/14/2011]

Avanti Communications shares expected to soar as company is transformed by operations based on the new HYLAS 1 satellite, and its follow-on satellites to be launched.
[Sharecast – 02/14/2011]

New report by Global Industry Analysts projects world satellite transponders demand to exceed 7,150 36-MHz transponder equivalents by 2015.
[Benzinga – 02/14/2011]

Glonass-K replacement set for launch February 24.
[Satellite Today – 02/14/2011]

XipLink to provide bandwidth optimization technology to Middle Eastern Internet service provider Icces for Saudi Arabia-based network.
[Satellite Today – 02/15/2011]

Wireless advances could put end to new cell towers – small cubic antenna systems acting as outdoor femtocells could be backhauled by fiber or satellite.
[R&D Magazine – 02/11/2011]

WBMSAT PS satellite communications systems services

Space Kisses

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011


NASA’s Stardust-NExT: Valentine’s Night Comet Flyby

How did they do that? Math, kids. It’s all in the math.

Voyager-1 Continues

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011




 Nice piece by Frank Roylance in the Baltimore Sun on Voyager-1. Love the closing…

Sometime around 2025, the two craft will fall silent. In 40,000 years, Voyager 1 will sail as Earth’s ambassador among the stars of the constellation Camelopardalis — the Giraffe — in the northern sky. Voyager 2 is headed for Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. It should arrive in 296,000 years.



Lego Antikythera Mechanism

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011


 Think you can build cool things in Lego? Ha!

Apple engineer Andrew Carol just wrecked your thinking. He built a working Lego replica of the famous Antikythera Mechanism, created by ancient Greeks in 100 B.C. as a way of predicting astronomical events like eclipses, and probably the oldest known analog computer.

My machine uses about 110 gears, and 7 complete differentials, to do most of what the original one did. But their calendar and ours are completely incompatible, so I also had to add complexity to make the eclipse predictions understandable. My machine has two extra indicators: one for the decade and one for the year. That way, as you turn the crank on the machine, you can read the dials and say "OK, a solar eclipse will happen in April of 2024."


New Scientist reported on a recreation a couple of years ago. Here’s that video…

Pwanet Season

Thursday, December 16th, 2010




 I can almost see this as a new TV show on Discovery Channel: Planet Hunters. Not as easy as you think…

Finding Earth-size planets is a difficult task because the transit-signals, the dimming of the star’s light caused be a planet moving in front of the star, are so shallow. For a Jupiter-size planet, the transit depth is ~1% of the star’s brightness. For an Earth-size planet transiting a Sun-like star the decrease in brightness is less than .001%. Ground-based surveys have not reached the sensitivity to detect such planets around stars similar to our Sun, but with NASA’s space-based Kepler mission, launched in March 2009, astronomers are primed to start a new era in the study of exoplanets. Even with the exceptional data from the Kepler telescope, finding these Earth-sized planets will be extremely difficult, but in the age of Kepler, the first rocky planets will likely be detected including the potential to find Earth-like planets residing in the habitable zone, warm enough to harbor liquid water and potentially life on their surfaces.

Get started here, rocket scientist.

Be vewy, vewy quiet. I’m hunting pwanets!




Geminid Meteor Shower

Monday, December 13th, 2010


Get up early on Tuesday! Why? Because, via StarDate Online

The Geminid meteor shower will be at its best a few hours before dawn on Dec. 14, according to the editors of StarDate magazine.

The Geminids are one of the most reliable meteor showers. This year, skywatchers can expect to see dozens of meteors per hour, rising to more than 100 meteors per hour at the shower’s predicted peak at 5 a.m. CST.

Skywatchers will also be able to see meteors on the night of Dec. 13, but viewing will improve after midnight when the waxing gibbous Moon sets.

Geminid meteors appear to fall from near the star Castor, one of the “heads” of the constellation Gemini, the twins. The meteors are not related to Castor. They are debris from an asteroid called Phaethon. The shower recurs each year when Earth passes through this debris strung along Phaethon’s orbit around the sun.

The Geminid shower was the first to be linked to an asteroid. Most meteor showers occur when Earth crosses the orbit of a comet. Though the Geminid shower was discovered in the 1860s, it was in 1983 that astronomers identified Phaethon as the shower’s source.

For your best view of the Geminid meteors, get away from city lights. Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites. Lie on a blanket or reclining chair to get a full-sky view. If you can see all of the stars in the Little Dipper, you have good dark-adapted vision.