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Just a quick update – there’s still no word on when our latest satellite will be launched. But we’re all ready for it: the spac-ap-a-plenty satellite is due to launch sometime in late 2020 or early 2021. Here’s what you need to know about it.
Space jockeys rejoice!
The private sector isn’t too keen on the idea of sending private messages into space, but we’ve seen how well the idea of sending a single message into space with a satellite has done in the past. Let’s make space a little more palatable with the announcement that the private sector will be getting in on the public-space communications game. The US space agency Nasa plans to buy the shuttles used to launch the new satellite and also use them to provide communications for the private sector. The bidding for the contract will be open for about a year, during which time Nasa will evaluate the options and hire the best company.
What will the new satellite look like?
The Atlas V is the backbone of Nasa’s communications network, used for the long-term. The rocket uses the Soyuz launch vehicle to launch the satellite and its solid-rocket boosters to the upper atmosphere. Inside the boosters is the system that will receive the signal from the satellite, and transmit it to the ground. The launch vehicle used for the new satellite is the medium-class Delta IV Heavy, which Nasa expects to be available for around 2020.
How big is it?
The total length of the Atlas V rocket is 154 metres. It can carry a 26-metre payload and has a top speed of Mach 2.6. The Imperial scale is appropriate because the rocket is more than a metre wide. It is also capable of reaching altitudes of 3000 metres, making the Atlas V the most successful rocket ever to reach orbit.
Will it be cheap?
The basic price of the new satellite is expected to be around $800 million. The actual cost will likely be higher, depending on the contractor and the nature of the mission. The plan is to charge about $1.3 billion.
Where to find it?
The new sat is expected to be stored at a spaceport in the US state of Florida, where it is called SpaceX Falcon 9.
The new satellite will be big. It’s the first smallsat to hit the planable orbit and will contain a large number of passenger modules, making it one of the largest objects in the sky. It will be powered by electricity and will be powered by the Earth’s energy and fusion reactions. The new satellite is going to be a huge leap forward for the space industry, opening up new avenues for communication, navigation and other needs. Although it won’t be as numerous as the current fleet of almost 40 satellites, it will be much larger, have more components and be able to provide much more than just Internet service. The future of private space communications looks really bright. There are plans to buy the necessary launch vehicles, to build the appropriate infrastructure, and to put up space-based dishes that will provide data services. The future of space communications is bright. The only question is when and how it will be implemented.