Love the video!
Even after all these years there is still something wonderful about the sight of a rocket blasting off into space on a pillar of fire - even better at night!
Europe's home-grown Galileo satnav network is two orbiting operatives closer to a full constellation following the successful launch earlier today of satellites 13 and 14. The pair blasted off atop a Soyuz rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 08:48 GMT, en route to joining their fellow Galileos at an altitude of 23,222km …
- The UK is already well-committed to ideas of congestion charging and user-pays and the likes, so don't expect voting "leave" to stop that. Indeed anybody expecting the BrExited UK state to be freedom-loving and transparent probably hasn't paid enough attention to the past couple of decades
- Satellite-based toll charging already exists, using GPS, so even if Galileo doesn't "facilitate" it (? other than better resolution what does it add to GPS?) govts can pursue it just as merrily
- Compulsory satnav would indeed be terrifying - a nation commanded to "turn around where possible" rather than just taking whichever route they want. But I guess you mean "location tracking" rather than navigation?
It would take years for it to happen if it ever did. All the cars that are on the road would need to have some sort of GPS system put in, while some have a GPS, they don't normally have anyway of collecting that data. Also smaller cheaper cars do not have GPS at all, it would cost millions.
You only have to look at the mess that is made of trying to have smart meters put properties.
It would cost millions, and make it all back in a year or so.
Step 1 will be to make it compulsory for some major arterials that most people rarely use so all the transport companies and long distance drivers are your early adopters who help with the beta test to iron out the bugs and get people used to the idea, then slowly roll it out for local arterial roads then onto city centres and finally suburban roads.
Pitch initially it as an alternative, cheaper method for traditional tollway charging systems coupled with a bunch of bare faced lies about how it won't ever be expanded to the whole road network and a lot of people will actively welcome it.
I was breathlessly informed a few years back that there would be EU-wide road pricing based on GPS in place by the end of 2015 with every vehicle including kid's trikes tagged and monitored 24/7 by the Evull EU. The respondent had probably seen the same document you're hyperventilating about, a "what if" paper saying "could we do this?" like sixty-thousand other Powerpoint presentations that went nowhere.
If the UK government wanted to do this they've got enough ANPR cameras on the main roads to implement a road-pricing scheme without requiring everyone to fit a GPS tracker on their vehicles -- it's already illegal to not have camera-readable licence plates, after all.
Gallileo is significant. As with competition it drives up features and lowers cost.
The US GPS system had a flip switch, that, during the first gulf war, rendered the system uselessly inaccurate to the public. To the point if you were lost in rugged country it put you at gross risk.
No surprise then, the US is preparing by undertaking to not reduce accuracy in times of conflict.
Regardless, Gallileo with be sub metre accurate.
The US is not at all happy about Gallileo, but havent figured out what to do about it.
It's not just about competition. Gallileo is technically very similar to GPS (and GLONASS and BeiDou), to it's entirely feasible for one device to use all the satellites it can 'see' for navigation, regardless of which network they're part of.
This means that if you're (eg) in a deep valley, there's more likely to be enough satellites to calculate your position, and the more satellites you're using, the more accurate the position will be.
Attempts to recover ESA's stricken Sentinel-1B satellite are continuing and one of the failure scenarios engineers are considering will be familiar to some of us: possible leakage of a ceramic capacitor.
The satellite, launched in 2016 aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket from the Arianespace facility at Kourou in French Guiana, remains under control. However, power problems have rendered its C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (C-SAR) instrument pretty much useless, thus defeating the point of the spacecraft.
Sister spacecraft, Sentinel-1A, has continued to collect data despite recently having to dodge some debris.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has pulled back from yet more "cooperative activities" with Russia as the agency continues to adjust to life without its former partner.
It said yesterday that a "fundamental change of circumstances... make it impossible for ESA to implement the planned lunar cooperation."
ESA's ExoMars project was already put on hold last month as bosses ponder how to get the completed rover to the red planet without the Proton rocket they had expected to launch it on in September.
Feature The European Space Agency's (ESA) JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) spacecraft has kicked off electromagnetic testing in the Airbus Defence and Space cleanrooms in Toulouse.
The JUICE mission, which is due to launch on the very last Ariane 5 from French Guiana in April 2023, will spend nearly eight years cruising to Jupiter and a further three and a half years observing the Jupiter system. In 2034 it will become the first spacecraft to orbit a moon other than Earth's own satellite as it drops into orbit around Ganymede for some close-up science.
The Register visited Airbus's facility while the spacecraft was undergoing testing in the "quiet" room of the Toulouse site, the purpose being to check out any interference from the payload components. Visitors were therefore politely asked to surrender phones and anything that might interfere with the environment. We also had to wear protective gear to keep the spacecraft as squeaky clean as possible, although the end of the mission will see JUICE sent crashing into the surface of Ganymede to avoid any contamination reaching Europa.
There was a sigh of relief from ESA controllers over the weekend as the Copernicus Sentinel-1A satellite successfully dodged a decades-old rocket fragment.
The debris' closing speed was over 50,000 km/h (∼31,068 mph) and it was expected to come close enough that controllers opted to perform a pair of thruster burns in order to lift the satellite 100 meters (∼328ft) above the predicted point of closest approach.
One of the engineers responsible for flying the spacecraft, Thomas Ormston, summed things up with the inevitable meme.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has slammed the brakes on its ExoMars rover, Rosalind Franklin.
According to an ESA insider, the agency today agreed to suspend the mission at its ruling council meeting in Paris.
The joint ESA-Roscosmos Mars rover Rosalind Franklin is "very unlikely" to launch this year after Russia was hit with fresh economic sanctions for invading Ukraine.
Following a meeting with its 22 member states, the European Space Agency confirmed on Monday it was "fully implementing sanctions imposed on Russia."
"We deplore the human casualties and tragic consequences of the war in Ukraine. We are giving absolute priority to taking proper decisions, not only for the sake of our workforce involved in the programmes, but in full respect of our European values, which have always fundamentally shaped our approach to international cooperation," ESA said. "Regarding the ExoMars programme continuation, the sanctions and the wider context make a launch in 2022 very unlikely."
The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the successful launch of the 27th and 28th satellites in its Galileo satnav constellation on Sunday.
"With these satellites we are now increasing the robustness of the constellation so that a higher level of service guarantees can be provided," said ESA Director of Navigation Paul Verhoef.
The 715kg satellites were launched by Arianespace-operated Soyuz launcher VS-26 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, as seen in this photo tweeted by the ESA:
A double helping of plastic playtime this Monday as we honour the achievements of the James Webb Space Telescope by building one out of Lego and an ESA astronaut takes some Playmobil on a tour of the ISS.
Having constructed many examples of spacecraft and their infrastructure, the unfolding of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and its successful insertion into L2 orbit seemed as good an excuse as any to raid the boxes of plastic bricks once more in tribute to the observatory and the brains behind it.
NASA has picked Lockheed Martin Space as the developer of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), one of the vehicles that will retrieve samples collected by the Perseverance rover on the Red Planet.
Perseverance is equipped with a drill and 43 sample tubes. Its mission plan calls for those tubes to be filled, then left on the Martian surface so that they can be retrieved and returned to Earth. The rover has collected six samples to date.
While the rover has merrily gone about its sample-collection business, much of the hardware for the Mars Sample Return Program remains on the drawing board. Until today, no contractor had even been appointed to build the rocket to lift the samples from Mars.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is inviting applications from attackers who fancy having a crack at its OPS-SAT spacecraft.
It's all in the name of ethical hacking, of course. The plan is to improve the resilience and security of space assets by understanding the threats dreamed up by security professionals and members of the public alike.
OPS-SAT has, according to ESA, "a flight computer 10 times more powerful than any current ESA spacecraft" and the CubeSat has been in orbit since 2019, providing a test bed for software experiments.
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