August 31, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

 

FinHouse
When FinSpace means something really different… 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!

Eyes In The Sky: The New Way To Identify Human Rights Abuses

This isn’t the only story of its kind, but its part of a trend in which people use data in a different way than it was intended.

Certain companies have used satellite imagery to solve crimes in the United Kingdom. Others, to detect when robbers have hit ancient sites in hard-to-get locations, such as Syria. And certain organizations buy overhead data to monitor the activities of regimes, such as when North Korea’s leader decided to make examples of his enemies by using anti-aircraft guns for a firing squad.

I remember a time when U.S. Department of Defense officials worried about what would happen if imagery got into the wrong hands, such as those of a terrorist group or hostile nation. They wanted so badly to be the only ones with rights to access this kind of information. With the advent of so many Earth observation companies, not just in the U.S. but from other countries, that particular genie is out of the bottle. Besides, I like to think there are many more smart and well-meaning folks on this planet, and that stories like this help drive that point home.

Like any tool, satellite-collected imagery can be used for good or for ill.

Finnish City Seinäjoki Declares Itself ‘Capital of Space’

Does this mean it’s the capital of nothing?

3D Printing Lattice Structures for a More Lightweight CubeSat Bus

There have been a few experiments with 3D printing of cubesat platforms (buses) for a few years now. This is the first one I’ve seen that looks like some serious effort was made to keep things structurally sound while subtracting mass. Mass is the enemy when launching satellites, so this type of paring down makes sense.

The prints failed a critical NASA experiment, but, baby steps, right?

SpaceChain CEO Brings Blockchain to the NewSpace Industry

The space industry bubble is here.

Seriously–there’s so much leveraging and collaboration in the text, some readers may feel like they are back in the early 2000’s. This is an answer to a question no one in the space industry has asked. Or maybe the company needs a better PR person.

Hey look–more people promoting Blockchain in space: “Nexus partners with BitSpace to Advance Blockchain Technology in Space.”

Astro-Tortoise: The First Animal to Orbit the Moon

The Soviet Union did this, proving the tortoise is indeed faster than the hare. And then brought the critters back safely. Not to be outdone by Soviet space smarts, the U.S. sent frogs up to space.

The frogs were not retrieved. But if Soviet societal utopia had ever come to fruition, the following linked post explains how that society’s version of science fiction would have made things more tolerable.

Russian Cosmism’s Vision of “Full-Throttle Luxury Space Communism”

Ah, revisionism at its best, if not most its imaginative. Envision waiting in line–in space.

Chinese VCs Are Hunting For China’s SpaceX, But It May Still Be Years Away

Houston, we have a perception problem–for NASA, that is. Not my fault if the perception is based on some inconvenient truths. It’s still noteworthy that a nation throwing as much resources to a space program as China is, has citizens that view fairly thrifty SpaceX as the one to copy to be successful in the space launch business. There’s obvious data to back that perception up, but it might be worth NASA’s while to observe the attention the rest of the world is paying to SpaceX, instead of NASA.

Bricks from Moon Dust

The European Space Agency would really like to build a moon base. One way to do this is actually use materials available on the moon. There’s a lot of moon dust, and the European eggheads have some ideas about how to use that moon dust. If this works, it means a lot of materials don’t need to be lifted from the Earth to the Moon, which saves time and money.

 

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