July 20, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

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Someday soon someone will combine “blockchain technology” with small satellites…. This site contains my opinions and ideas only, not the opinions or ideas of any organization I work for. It’s my idea playground, and I’m inviting you in. Welcome!

Why Smaller Satellites and Cheaper Tech Are Fueling The Space Boom

Maybe because they’re cheaper? And smaller?

There should be some skepticism of the business plans of a CEO who is jumping in the small satellite market being quoted that satellites can be as small as refrigerators.

They can be smaller. Satellites can be as small as a credit card. Maybe not as useful, but definitely smaller. The Swarm Technologies SpaceBee satellites aren’t much bigger than a tuna can. The most common size for small satellites may be about the size of a WonderBread loaf. And people are making wonderful tools of these small satellites. Third world nations are using them as learning opportunities.

But the point is, satellites can be very, very small–and useful. And it doesn’t sound like the CEO understands the market his company is supposed to be catering to.

NASA Could Have People Living on the Moon in 8 Years. And That’s Just the Beginning

Because that’s how long it will take Boeing and others to complete SLS and launch it?

Speaking of way into the future…

We Talked To The New Leader of Space Nation Asgardia About What The Future Holds

And he uses a crystal ball 😉

Maybe the most surprising item in this story is the mention of a ‘global internet’ named SpaceBook, which will use satellites. First, SpaceBook sounds like a bad idea. It could influence Asgardian elections. If it’s anything like FaceBook, then I’m out. Imagine a “Space Trump.”

Second, there are other, more established and competitive companies out there with plans for a satellite broadband network. They might even become a reality and support open internet standards. And they won’t require citizenship and allegiance to a cul…virtual society.

Scottish Site Chosen for UK Space Launch Activities

As the saying goes from the old SNL “All Things Scottish” skit–“If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!” I shudder at the thought of haggis in a tube…

LandSpace Unveils Highly Ambitious New Rocket

Another of China’s “New Space” companies introducing plans for a new rocket. I would normally be dismissive about this kind of talk. However…China has some interesting industrial capability. I still am waiting for the nation to let the factories making smartphones and tablets to be converted in smallsat factories. The technologies for both are about the same. Which means small satellites may become even cheaper than they are today.

Then the country will have rockets, like the one LandSpace introduced, to launch those. LandSpace isn’t the only company–OneSpace is talking up its plans for small satellite launch, too. If that happens, what then happens to the prices for small satellite launch services globally? Hint: the word “tank” comes to mind.

UK military eyes on-demand space launch from new spaceport

I suppose this capability will support her royal majesty’s navy around the world and keep the Empire running.

The Tiny Nation Leading a New Space Race

Is it New Zealand? New Zealand has launched a few rockets and is kind of tiny.

Nope–turns out the “tiny nation” in the article’s title is Luxembourg. I lived right on the Luxembourg border for a few years. During my teenage years Luxembourg wasn’t necessarily a destination of interest–but I do remember listening to RTL on the radio and that wasn’t too bad. I don’t know how much has changed in that country since my stay, but at least one satellite communications company, SES, is headquartered there. It was founded around the time I lived nearby.

As the article points out, a few “new space” companies have managed to wrangle some favor with Luxembourg. It’s amazing what a country will fund just on hope, mixed in with some nice words about the nation being forward-thinking.

New Mexico, not a nation, had the same hopes with Spaceport America, using taxpayer money to build the spaceport-to-nowhere. Only problem is, unlike Luxembourg,  no one wants to visit that part of New Mexico–ever (I guess the land was a good deal?). I think the state wanted to be considered forward-thinking, too. Reminds me of the stories involving Springfield and monorails.

The Indians seem to be doing this backwards…

China’s super-sized space plans may involve help from Russia

With the problems Russia is having with its space industry right now, Russia has much more to gain from this potential partnership than China. China seems to be doing just fine. Russia doesn’t appear to be fine at all. The question that needs to be asked is: if the story is true, why would China cooperate with Russia on technologies they would likely each use against the other in battle?

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