October 5, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

The SpaceBees return. 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!

Company that launched satellites without permission gets new license to launch more probes

The Spacebees story isn’t quite done. Much earlier this year, Swarm Technologies launched four very small satellites into orbit with no U.S. Federal Communications Commission license to do so. Some of this story is about new companies dealing with old government processes that aren’t responsive to new business models (although the FCC might say they are faster than they’ve ever been…but moving from snail to tortoise speed is still slow). Some of this story is also about new companies that seem ready to just ignore regulation and hope for forgiveness later.

The latter seems to have happened, but the FCC is being quiet about this.

Renowned Space Satellite Industry Expert Joins Akash Systems

You know, if you or I went through three jobs with three different companies, we’d be considered job-hoppers. But somehow there’s a magic level that an employee passes where it ceases to be job-hopping to become “Proven visionary.”

That observation noted, it may also be a disturbing lack of confidence indicator of Airbus’ intentions/plans for the OneWeb constellation that Brian Holz is leaving behind.

Launching Rogue Satellites Into Space Was a ‘Mistake’

Another Spacebees story–this one about how the company went through with having its unlicensed satellites launched. Swarm Technologies went ahead with the launch, citing previous FCC decisions that provided U.S. satellite operators licenses AFTER satellites had launched. In the story, the FCC hadn’t commented yet. But if true, then part of the blame lies with the commission for not being consistent, or maybe not posting very obvious guidelines to newcomers in satellite operations.

Also, Swarm’s CEO, Sara Spangelo, seems to have come from the Mark Zuckerberg school of providing non-apologies that sound, almost, like apologies.

An Alien Satellite is in Retrograde Orbit Around Earth

I would really like to see alien contact with Earth one day. This is very likely not that contact. I’ll be kind and note there are quite a few factual issues with this article…

Bavaria One: German state to launch its own space program

Eerrm…when someone puts his face on a logo to represent his state’s space program, should the announced program be taken seriously? Especially when the country from which that state resides has a pretty good space program to begin with?

It’s fantastic others are becoming interested in the space industry, but Bavaria already has a historical coat of arms, with colors. It would have looked a lot better than an portrait-mode filtered image of the Bavarian premier. It certainly would have represented the state of Bavaria better.

Open Cosmos Disrupts The Space Industry With Its One-Stop-Shop Approach To Orbit

Could we just please, please, please stop using these words into meaninglessness? Words like “disrupt, democratization, and One-Stop-Shop?”

Yes, Open Cosmos has an interesting idea. Yes, it may actually be a useful idea. I’ve met the CEO and listened to his spiel–it was good. But when I see jargon-filled headlines, I think it just turns regular readers off, which means the message is missed. I see this sort of thing, and I believe the writers really don’t know what the heck is going on, because they aren’t making the article easier to read. And I think that’s supposed to be their job.

Russia Worried About Space Competition From Elon Musk

Where have I heard this lament before? Oh…yeah…here it is: “Minky”-shines In the French Space Sector.

In that blog post, we dissected Ariane Group’s Alain Charmeau’s similar space lamentations. Russia’s Rogozin notes SpaceX gets paid $150 million per launch from the U.S. Department of Defense. It would be interesting to see how the Russians came to that number, since there are a few public statements of DoD contracts with SpaceX that are significantly lower than that number.

And the Russians really shouldn’t worry about competition from SpaceX. Their industry really has a lot of other problems to address. A lot. But as we can see from Charmeau’s comments, deflecting one’s own inability or unwillingness to compete with SpaceX, by blaming SpaceX for one’s problems, is nothing new.

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