October 19, 2018: Weekly Spatial Resolutions

Launching from Kourou this weekend: The Epic Adventures of BepiColombo–watch it, it’s cute. Image from ESA. 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!

The epic adventures of BepiColombo – Part 1: to the launch pad!

In theory, this mission will be launched tomorrow. It’s a European Space Agency cartoon spin to educate folks on the mission. Kind of fun!

Waking Up to China’s Space Dream

China has launched A LOT of orbital rockets this year. More than it ever has. It’s also leading all nations in the number of launches conducted in 2018 so far.

If you didn’t think China was serious about space, then the above article will help bring some things to your attention. This includes the country’s “Belt and Road Initiative,” a sort of soft-touch diplomacy with all the strings attached that such agreements might suggest. Since before the U.S. “turtled up” on the diplomacy front, China continues exploiting a weakness of U.S. soft-power projection.

That’s smart. It creates other markets for Chinese goods, so that maybe China can decrease dependence on the U.S. market and not be vulnerable. It also creates closer ties, by providing things, such as space expertise and space operations, to countries who were interested in that sort of thing, but traditionally ignored by the U.S. Do you think those countries will be interested in U.S. “New Space” products and services instead of Chinese ones?

Maybe…but I doubt it.

Huntsville startup Paratus Universe brings outer space to the ground

The setup for this looks kind of neat. And I appreciate the inclusion of the Arts in STEAM (writing, critical thinking, etc.). I have to wonder why the NASA museum in Huntsville isn’t doing this. There’s a nice space museum there, complete with a Saturn V.

Maybe it’s because the costs are less than for “Space Camp?”

Paul Allen spent years building the world’s biggest airplane. He’ll never see it fly.

Both statements in that headline are obvious. I am not sure why the editor felt compelled to write that second sentence days AFTER Paul Allen passed away.

Whether Stratolaunch becomes the “Space Goose” or an actual orbital space launch platform remains to be seen. It’s an interesting idea, and yes, testing of Stratolaunch continues to be good.

So, we’ll see.

Does the satellite industry have antenna deficit disorder?

This. Actually a clever headline and made my day. Good article too, but maybe a little too inside baseball for some folks.

Thanks guys!

Rocket Lab Picks Virginia Spaceport As US Launch Site for Small Satellites

Since Orbital–I mean–Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (they’re innovative, because it says so on the tin) hasn’t been launching from Wallops very often at all. Because of this, Rocket Lab won’t have to worry too much about a crowded range schedule either.

Rocket Lab wins. Wallops wins. Small satellites win–even if the launch costs for those satellites will be higher per kilogram than if they were to rideshare with a Falcon 9.

Daan Roosegarde’s Space Waste Lab Performances Light Up Space Debris


An orbital space debris story that isn’t negative. Instead, it’s about a creative effort. A very cool idea, which involves shooting lasers into the sky and then having the lasers slew across the sky, tracking debris as it crosses overhead.

Not quite Laser Floyd at the planetarium. But pretty cool.

Why a City in China Wants to Launch an Artificial Moon Into Space

This isn’t a new idea. But if any nation is going to go through with this idea, China probably will. I don’t know what the health implications of this sort of thing might be, with some kind of natural light over the city 24 hours a day, but I’m sure scientists studying folks living in the northern latitudes have some clues.

Still, if it works, it would be an interesting way to save energy while keeping cities lit at night.

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