> it demonstrated that the Soviet Union was more technologically advanced than the United States
Oooh, controversial! Just wait, you'll be getting angry tweets from the Idiot in Chief.
A replica of Sputnik-1 used to test the real thing's performance goes to auction this week. Auction house Bonhams has listed the proto-satellite for sale at its Air and Space Sale this coming Wednesday. Expected to fetch between US$100,000 and $150,000, the replica is billed as a “test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, one of …
Possibly apocryphal story, (quote from A Challenge to Apollo by Asif Sidiqui)
"Korolev, of course, kept close tabs on the development of the PS-1 and continuously made sure that the spherical satellite was kept spotlessly clean and shiny, not only for its reflective qualities, but also for its overall aesthetic beauty. On one occasion, he flew into a rage at a junior assembly shop worker for doing a poor job on the outer surface of a mock-up of the satellite. "This ball will be exhibited in museums!" he shouted."
That mock up might be the one in this auction.
"And while that history has its roots in conflict and space remains of enormous strategic significance, space programs from many nations now also conduct scientific endeavours that expand our knowledge of the universe while also showcasing human ingenuity."
Shame that if we'd just focused on the science instead of the in-fighting, and allocated the budgets accordingly, we could probably be 100 years or more ahead of where we are by now.
"Shame that if we'd just focused on the science instead of the in-fighting, and allocated the budgets accordingly, we could probably be 100 years or more ahead of where we are by now."
I get your point and I'd like to agree with it, but the really big money goes to the military. Without that, we'd be many years behind where we are now. Of course, if there was no military, things would be very different, which I suspect is what you mean, but I wonder if there would be the same drive for technology without the regular international conflicts? Look at Victorian Britain. The richest, most widespread empire the world has known and industrially the most advanced but the majority lived in horrendous conditions with the country as a whole little more than a cesspit.
"Look at Victorian Britain. The richest, most widespread empire the world has known and industrially the most advanced but the majority lived in horrendous conditions with the country as a whole little more than a cesspit."Compared to the standards of today. Compared to what prevailed previously, not so horrendous. Unless you count more abundant and affordable food, better housing, more affordable clothing etc. as "horrendous".
Compared to the standards of today. Compared to what prevailed previously, not so horrendous. Unless you count more abundant and affordable food, better housing, more affordable clothing etc. as "horrendous".
I'm well aware of being cautious about comparing "then" and "now", rather than "then" and "more then" :-) and am aware that that was also the era when some of the best changes for the better began to happen. I was simply pointing out that despite the great wealth around, not that much trickled down other than from individual philanthropists such as Salt, Cadbury etc. until quite late in the era when city and town councils eventually got around to incorporating and doing stuff, often with philanthropists donated money, land donated as public parks etc. or even by public subscription.
I understand from a book I read about Korolev that while the Russians had much greater launch capacity than the US - they could get a missile/rocket into space - they could not do re-entry. The one thing the Americans could do. The Americans just assumed that the Russians could do reentry.
The reason Sputnik was launched was that by leaving it up there the Russians didn't have to solve the re-entry problem.
That's because everyone look at various complicated, expensive technologies for heatshields. Thing is, one of the materials tested by the Chinese was wood. And it seemed to work quite well:
I know they probably used modern (for the era) fabrication techniques, but in my mind i can't shake the image of Tom Hanks sitting on the beach of a lonely island, knife in hand, proclaiming "I made a heatshield!!!!".
@Simon Rockman: it seems rather odd, confusing and somewhat misleading to claim that Sputnik 1 was only left in orbit because the USSR didn't have the capability to return it to Earth when the US did exactly the same thing with their first orbital satellite, Explorer 1. Both satellites were intended to stay in orbit, where they could produce useful data, rather than return to Earth, where they could not.
Whilst the US started testing re-entry vehicles suitable for sub-orbital IRBMs in 1956, the entry in to service of the R-7 Semyorka in 1959 shows that the USSR had, by then, ICBM re-entry vehicles capable of re-entry from orbit, which suggests that the USSR must have started research and development in this area to around the same time-frame as the US; it seems that if the US had any lead over the USSR in re-entry vehicle capability it wasn't very great or of any practical significance because the US didn't have orbital capable boosters, at least for non-trivial payloads, until the entry in to service of the SM-65 Atlas booster, also in 1959.
If there was any clear lead during the early stages of the 'Space Race' it was by the USSR, largely because they focused all their efforts and resources upon developing the single R-7 project. The US, on the other hand, were somewhat hampered by the in-fighting and splitting of resources between the entirely separate and competing US Army and US Navy projects.
"Whoever buys the Sputnik-1 replica will therefore acquire a remarkable piece of technology, but also a remarkable symbol that catalysed the last 60 years of human history."
Not to mention scoring an international espionage coup of unparalleled proportions.
Come on, Mr President, lets show those Soviet bastards what the US can do in the post-sanity world by buying their secret tech on the open market!
The reentry problem can be mitigated by not re-entering, or by "doing your thing" before the heat builds up too much. I have seen speculation that the happy-talk about NK: "They may have rockets and warheads but they haven't solved reentry" is too optimistic, ignoring the altitudes where EMP can be effective. Why turn Silicon Valley into a glassy plain when you can just hobble all the electronics on the west coast? (I'm guessing that Rocketman has the same attitude about that area that POTUS does, so that's my assumed target)
Dundee Satellite Station's home turf at Scotland's Errol Aerodrome is to host an Optical Ground Station to test and demonstrate satellite quantum secure communications.
The name may sound familiar. Dundee Satellite Station Ltd. is a phoenix rising from the ashes of the University of Dundee Satellite Receiving Station (DSRS), which was axed in 2019 after more than 40 years of operations.
The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) cut funding for the facility in 2019 and, despite protestations from the likes of NASA, the lights went out when Dundee University refused to underwrite the annual costs of £338,000. As a reminder, the Principal of the University (paid nearly £300,000 including pension contributions) departed later that year under somewhat of a cloud.
The German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has put out an IT baseline protection profile for space infrastructure amid concerns that attackers could turn their gaze skywards.
The document, published last week, is the result of a year of work by Airbus Defence and Space, the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and BSI, among others. It is focused on defining minimum requirements for cyber security for satellites and, a cynic might say, is a little late to the party considering how rapidly companies such as SpaceX are slinging spacecraft into orbit.
The guide categorizes the protection requirements of various satellite missions from "Normal" to "Very High" with the goal of covering as many missions as possible. It is also intended to cover information security from manufacture through to operation of satellites.
South Korea's Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) yesterday succeeded in its endeavor to send the home-grown Nuri launcher into space, then place a working satellite in orbit.
The launch was scheduled for earlier in June but was delayed by weather and then again by an anomaly in a first-stage oxidizer tank. Its October 2021 launch failed to deploy a dummy satellite, thanks to similar oxidizer tank problems that caused internal damage.
South Korea was late to enter the space race due to a Cold War-era agreement with the US, which prohibited it developing a space program. That agreement was set aside and yesterday's launch is the culmination of more than a decade of development. The flight puts South Korea in a select group of nations that have demonstrated the capability to build and launch domestically designed and built orbital-class rockets.
NanoAvionics has unveiled a 4K satellite selfie taken by a GoPro Hero 7 as the company's MP42 microsatellite flew 550km above the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef.
Space selfies are hardly new. Buzz Aldrin snapped an image of himself during 1966's Gemini 12 mission, and being able to get a picture of spacecraft can be invaluable when diagnosing issues.
The MP42 microsatellite was launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 earlier this year and the camera (mounted on a space-grade selfie stick) sprung out to snap shots to demonstrate techniques to check for payload deployment, micrometeoroid impacts, and general fault detection.
Sony on Friday launched a subsidiary dedicated to optical communications – in space.
The new company, Sony Space Communications Corporation (SSCC) plans to develop small optical communication devices that connect satellites in low Earth orbit using a laser beam, and provide the resulting connection as a service.
These small devices can provide high speed communication more effectively than radio, because they do not need a large antenna, high power output or complicated licenses, said Sony in a canned statement.
An egghead at the Beijing Institute of Tracking and Telecommunications, writing in a peer-reviewed domestic journal, has advocated for Chinese military capability to take out Starlink satellites on the grounds of national security.
According to the South China Morning Post, lead author Ren Yuanzhen and colleagues advocated in Modern Defence Technology not only for China to develop anti-satellite capabilities, but also to have a surveillance system that could monitor and track all satellites in Starlink's constellation.
"A combination of soft and hard kill methods should be adopted to make some Starlink satellites lose their functions and destroy the constellation's operating system," the Chinese boffins reportedly said, estimating that data transmission speeds of stealth fighter jets and US military drones could increase by a factor of 100 through a Musk machine connection.
The UK's SaxaVord spaceport has agreed a deal with Astra Space to launch satellites from the Unst facility from 2023.
Starlink customers who've been itching to take their dish on the road can finally do so – for a price.
The Musk-owned satellite internet service provider quietly rolled out a feature this week called Portability which, for an additional $25 per month, will allow customers to take their service with them anywhere on the same continent – provided they can find a clear line-of-sight to the sky and the necessary power needed to keep the data flowing.
That doesn't mean potential Starlink customers sign up for service in an area without a wait list and take their satellite to a more congested area. Sneaky, but you won't get away with it. If Starlink detects a dish isn't at its home address, there's no guarantee of service if there's not enough bandwidth to go around, or there's another outage.
OneWeb has agreed with the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organization, New Space India Limited, to deploy its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband satellites from the country's launch pad outside Chennai.
The launches from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, on the island of Sriharikota, north of Chennai on India's east coast, will occur sometime before the end of the year, OneWeb said in its canned statement.
The company will reportedly use its largest launch vehicle – the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).
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.
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