Recent Posts by Megan Harris

New Chinese Launch Vehicles Raise Concerns about Unfair Competition 

The development of new Chinese launch vehicles has raised concerns among other, private companies that also provide rideshare launch services and small launch vehicles. Chief among their worries is the fear of unfair competition, which could drive down launch prices. Companies who provide those services could see their already slim profit margins narrow to the…
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NASA Starts Gathering New Data about the Sun

The Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor, or TSIS-1, has finally been powered-on. It was launched in December of 2017, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 and installed in the International Space Station two weeks later. The first sensor began collecting data in what is commonly known as its “first light” phase in early January. The…
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The Disintegration of China’s Space Station

China has been having issues with their space station since the late fall of 2017. Tiangong-1, the Chinese space station has been left with no reliable system to steer it in its orbit around Earth. Fears that it may return to earth in violent way may become founded in the near future. A crash is…
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Polish Space Agency Considers Massive Investment in Satellite Development

The Polish Space Agency is currently eyeing plans to spend approximately $420 million on its National Space Program. Officials hope this program can give the Polish Space Agency a chance at partnering with other leaders in the space agency to create two satellites and to develop additional technologies. A relatively new organization, the Polish Space…
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Successful Launch of Hispasat Satellite

The Hispasat 30W-6 launched successfully on March 6, 2018, after a short delay last month. Repairs to the Falcon-9 involved the fairing pressurization system. The need for repair shut down the planned February 24, 2018 mission. SpaceX requested a March 1st launch, however, the U.S. Air Force denied the request due to a conflicting launch.…
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GOES-S Advanced Weather Satellite Set to Launch

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) is set to launch this week. Once it reaches final orbit, it is to be renamed GOES-West. Together with GOES-East, which is already in orbit, its purpose is to provide precise images of the weather conditions over the United States. In particular, they are designed to track cyclones, storms,…
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The Misguided Ariane 5 Launch

On January 25, 2018, the Ariane 5 rocket took an unexpected route as those on the ground tried to figure out why they lost contact it. It was later confirmed that the wrong coordinates had been entered into the system. Two telecommunications satellites were on the flight. The rocket, however, made it into orbit. The…
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NASA Announces Lunar Exploration Plans, Including Astronaut Landings

NASA’s acting agency administrator, Robert Lightfoot, spoke to reporters in mid-February about plans to explore the moon. The goal is to have a steady stream of crewed flights heading back and forth from a lunar exploration platform to the surface of the moon. This platform would be placed in low Earth orbit to facilitate easier…
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SpaceX is Playing a Game of Catch

When items go into space it is usually accepted that some items are not coming back for use in another mission. SpaceX is trying to change this by setting up a simple recovery system. They may not recover large amounts of items, or any at all. The effort, however, is a big deal in a…
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