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Tag: orbit

TESS snaps image of the stars as it swings by the moon en route to its final orbit

TESS snaps image of the stars as it swings by the moon en route to its final orbit

Science
May 18 (UPI) -- TESS, or the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, NASA's next-generation planet hunter, snapped a picture of the stars as it swung within 5,000 miles of the moon on Thursday, using the moon's gravity to fling itself toward its final orbit. With the feat, the spacecraft moved closer to the beginning of its scientific mission: photographing transiting exoplanets. The two-second test exposure, captured on Thursday, suggests the planet hunter's cameras are working properly. The plethora of stars in the image -- at least 2,000 of them -- showcases the broad perspective provided by TESS's four cameras. At the center of the image lies the southern constellation Centaurus. While TESS's scientific mission is largely the same as NASA's veteran planet hunter Kepler's -- to take im...
SpaceX's Block 5 launches, lands safely, delivers satellite into orbit

SpaceX's Block 5 launches, lands safely, delivers satellite into orbit

Science
May 11 (UPI) -- On the second launch attempt, SpaceX's Block 5 rocket, the final iteration of the Falcon 9, successfully blasted off on Friday. The updated rocket model, upgraded to enhance reusability, carried a Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into geostationary orbit. It will be the first Bangladeshi communications satellite put into space. The rocket launched right on time at 4:14 p.m. ET from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On Thursday, a last-minute abort alert forced SpaceX to abandon it's launch plans. The brief launch window didn't give engineers enough time to identify and correct the technical glitch. However, statements from SpaceX suggested the problem was with ground support systems, not the rocket itself. After launch, the mission achieved a quick successi...
Sentinel tracks ships' dirty emissions from orbit

Sentinel tracks ships' dirty emissions from orbit

Science
The new EU satellite tasked with tracking dirty air has demonstrated how it will become a powerful tool to monitor emissions from shipping. Sentinel-5P was launched in October last year and this week completed its in-orbit commissioning phase. But already it is clear the satellite's data will be transformative. This latest image reveals the trail of nitrogen dioxide left in the air as ships move in and out of the Mediterranean Sea. The "highway" that the vessels use to navigate the Strait of Gibraltar is easily discerned by S5P's Tropomi instrument. "You really see a straight line because all these ships follow approximately the same route," explained Pepijn Veefkind, Tropomi's principal investigator from the Dutch met office (KNMI). "In this case, we also looked into how many big ships th...
SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches, releases 10 Iridium satellites into orbit

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launches, releases 10 Iridium satellites into orbit

Science
March 30 (UPI) -- SpaceX launched10 Iridium-5 Next satellites from its Falcon 9 rocket Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.The Falcon 9 blasted off at 10:13 a.m. EDT. The main engine cutoff and stage separation occurred as planned. Eight minutes after the launch, the second stage engine cutoff was confirmed.One hour after liftoff, the 10 satellites were deployed over 15 minutes in a low Earth obit. The 10 satellites are the fifth set SpaceX is launching for Iridium of a planned network of 75 satellites. The launches began in October 2017 and are scheduled to be complete in a few months. Six of the satellites will serve as on-orbit spares.SpaceX didn't attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage after launch as it has in previous flights, but planned to attempt to catch its fair...
World's fishing fleets mapped from orbit

World's fishing fleets mapped from orbit

Science
It's another demonstration of the power of Big Data - of mining a huge batch of statistics to see patterns of behaviour that were simply not apparent before. Computers have crunched 22 billion identification messages transmitted by sea-going vessels to map fishing activity around the globe. The analysis reveals that more than 55% of the world's oceans are subject to industrial exploitation. By area, fishing's footprint is now over four times that of agriculture. That's an astonishing observation given that fisheries provide only 1.2% of global caloric production for human food consumption. The investigation shows clearly that the biggest influences on this activity are not environmental - whether it is summer or winter, or whether there is an El Niño or fish are migrating, for example. Rat