Akademik Shokalskiy: Satellites helped free trapped vessel in the Antarctic

Image by the satellite TerraSAR-X showing two vessels trapped in the Antarctic

The Russian research vessel Akademik Shokalskiy was trapped for over a week in the Antarctic ice. High-resolution radar satellite data provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) helped to assess the conditions at the location and develop a rescue plan. In pack ice, conditions can change fast due to change in winds and air conditions. For this reason the German researchers used up-to-date, high-resolution images from the Earth Observation satellite TerraSAR-X, which they provided to the team of the trapped vessel and the rescue mission participants.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 13/01/2014 - 11:20

Satellite imagery show origins of giant underwater waves

NASA's satellite Terra ASTER radiometer captured an image of internal waves

Satellite imagery helps scientists investigate underwater waves. Internal waves can tower hundreds of feet and have great impact on climate and ocean’s ecosystems.

Publishing Date: 

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 11:28

Space debris: How satellites could retire in the future

NASA's image shows the population of satellites orbiting around the Earth

What happens with satellites when they finish their mission? Staying in orbit may pose a threat to other spacecraft, so now scientists are testing safe ways to deorbit ageing satellites.

Future satellites might carry a “gossamer sail” – a device which will open when the spacecraft has to leave orbit. The increased aerodynamic drag will pull the satellite out of orbit to burn up in the high atmosphere. This technique will reduce the risks for the environment.


Publishing Date: 

Wed, 08/01/2014 - 15:02

China: Expansion of Beidou satellite navigation system until 2020

Satellite image of Beijing, China

China is planning to expand its homegrown Beidou navigation system by 2020 and make it accurate to within centimeters. Up until now the Chinese system has 16 satellites and it is expected to grow to 30 by 2020.

Currently the system reaches an error margin as low as 5 meters. With the improvements China hopes to be able to compete with the US GPS. The system serves the Asia-Pacific region a year now and hopes to expand coverage to other Asian countries.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 13:18

Chinese students built and launched own satellite

Asia seen from Space

A group of students from the National Central University Advanced Rocket Research in Taiwan (Province of China) successfully built and launched with an APPL-7II rocket their own satellite, as SatNews reported.

The CanSat will report temperatures, record atmospheric pressure and transfer data. It will also be used for navigation purposes with GPS systems. The Space organization is cooperating with the university in order to teach students how to integrate systems in restricted space.

Publishing Date: 

Mon, 06/01/2014 - 13:42

NASA is developing GPS-based Natural Hazard Warning Systems

GPSstation used by NASA to develop early warning system technology for disasters

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in cooperation with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, USA, is trying to upgrade GPS technologies to use them for early warning systems for hazards like earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events.

Their success with local systems was presented by weather forecasters at NOAA National Weather Service Offices in San Diego. The presentation included tracking of real-time rain event and flash flood warnings.

Publishing Date: 

Mon, 16/12/2013 - 14:52

Proba-V ready for operations

Proba-V is ready for operations

Launched on 7 May 2013, ESA’s Earth Observation satellite Proba-V has now completed the crucial commissioning phase and declared ready for its operational phase, providing global vegetation data for operational and scientific use. Designed to map land cover and vegetation development, the Proba-V miniaturised satellite tracks the entire planet every two days alerting authorities to crop failures, monitoring inland water resources and tracing the steady spread of deserts and deforestation.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 10/12/2013 - 11:57

British Inmarsat-5F1 satellite launched by ILS Proton rocket

The launch vehicle, Proton-M, includes improvements regarding the rocket ProtonK

On 8 December 2013, the Inmarsat-5F1 (I-5 F1) telecommunications satellite of the British Inmarsat global mobile operator was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan at 12:12 GMT by the International Launch Services (ILS) Proton-M main booster. The Inmarsat-5F1 was launched according to the already tested method of orbiting the satellite: In a first stage the rocket Proton-M put the upper stage rocket Breeze-M onto a suborbital trajectory carrying the telecommunications satellite.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 09/12/2013 - 10:43

China: successful launch of Yaogan XIX satellite

The satellite will be used to aid in preventing and reducing natural disasters

On 20 November 2013 China successfully launched the Yaogan XIX, a remote-sensing satellite. Yaogan XIX was sent into scheduled orbit on the back of a Long March 4C carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province.

According to the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, the satellite will be used to aid in preventing and reducing natural disasters, conduct scientific experiments, carry out land surveys and monitor crop yields.

This launch marks the 184th mission for the nation's Long March rocket family.


Publishing Date: 

Thu, 28/11/2013 - 10:06

Relief efforts in Philippines: satellite data used for crowdsource mapping

Relief workers continue struggling to reach some of the most devastated regions

More than 900 volunteers are helping in the recovery efforts in Philippines by collaborating on online maps, through the OpenStreetMap network. The method uses satellite technology and the knowledge of the public to develop those maps in order to help relief organizations. One week after Typhoon Haiyan hammered the islands, blocked roads, destroyed buildings and downed telecommunications systems it still difficult for survivors to receive the water and food they so desperately need. Relief workers continue struggling to reach some of the most devastated regions of the Philippines.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 27/11/2013 - 10:02


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