SpaceX | SatSignature | SmartSat CRC | Covid-19 | Long March 7A | U.S. Space Force | Vega launcher | Septentrio | Lynk | OneWeb

issue 9

Hi friends;

The two main challenges in colonizing other planets are transportation and survival once there. For the first point, in addition to the economic costs and technological challenges, the very long duration of the journey makes the crossing psychologically and biologically stressful. Remember that The Voyager 1 probe has covered only 0.0005% of the distance to the nearest star, yet it has been traveling nonstop for 42 years at an insane 60.000 km/h (ten times the fastest bullets). Several solutions have been imagined in literature such as hibernation, teleportation, travel at the speed of light or beyond...
The second challenge, and which interests us here, is how to make the environment of our host planet, most probably hostile to us, habitable. The most plausible scientific solutions today are either constructing a hermetic city on the surface, in the manner of the ISS, or artificially transforming the planet to make it habitable...As you can see, these are two solutions adapting the environment to humans...why should we do it that way? Wouldn't it be easier to rather adapt humans to this environment? Remember cartoon episodes where sea characters come out of the water and wear a helmet filled with water...wouldn't it be wiser to simply stick lungs on them?
The approach in my opinion would be to first target a planet, and then to finely analyze its atmosphere, temperature, radioactivity, soil composition, natural resources... Then, we should explore about what biological processes could protect us and transform the elements of this planet into vital and essential ingredients for our body. Finally, once the process has been mastered, try to augmente us either by transplanting new organs or by modifying our genetic material before we are born…
If there are interested investors, it is surely in countries like China that they will find their happiness. China is a country that is at the cutting edge of technology and where scientific research is much less subject to regulations. I see you mocking there!!! You will see, in maybe 100 years, where the rest of the world will be walking in very uncomfortable suits, the Chinese will be walking around on Mars in flip-flops.
I would be really surprised that this idea was not well already explored in some literature (fiction or scientific), do you have some references?

Have a great week and if your country is touched by COVID-19, stay safe and stay at home when possible!

🛰 Here is what you missed

👉SpaceX successfully launched 60 more Starlink satellites. During the launching, and despite the loss of one of its nine engines, the rocket was still able to deliver the satellites batch. For the second consecutive time on a strarlink mission, SpaceX did not succeed in recovering the first stage. This latter had already put into orbit: the Iridium-7 NEXT, SAOCOM 1A, Nusantara Satu, and the second launch of Starlink in November of 2019.

👉SatSignature launched the world’s first spectrum analyzer-in-the-cloud service. This web-based subscription service now offers an instant 24/7 global satellite spectrum monitoring and recording all over the world. This will allow satellite operators and all kind of users to monitor any carriers without need to deploy and equipment. Very good idea. Being in the academia sector, I clearly see in this tool good pedagogic opportunities.

👉Machine Learning for Space lab won a $600,000 grant from Australia’s SmartSat CRC to conduct research in the feasibility of detecting and tracking space debris using machine learning algorithms…Hmm…puzzled (cf my previous newsletter). For those who have never heard of SmartSat CRC, It was established just last year to work with the Australian Space Agency toward tripling the size of the space sector to $12 billion and creating 20,000 jobs by 2030

👉Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to fully implement the measures decided by the French government, launch campaigns are suspended at the Guiana Space Center (CSG). Similarly, all NASA centers, and almost all Europe’s space agencies shift to mandatory telework.

👉Launch of China’s new Long March 7A ends in failure. Remember the Chinese launch that was confirmed by images and footage shared online by some spectators? Well, the China’s attempt to launch their new-generation Long March 7A rocket failed and the onboard classified satellite failed to enter GEO.

👉The U.S. Space Force announced that a new version of a ground-based communications jammer used to block adversaries’ satellite transmissions is ready to be used in combat operations. This transportable electronic warfare system, developed by L3Harris, temporarily denies targeted adversary satellite communications.

👉Released video footage in the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, showed that Europe's lightweight Vega launcher succeeded firing tests. This new European launcher has many characteristics: not only it is cheaper to manufacture and is more environmentally friendly, but also several parts are 3D printed. "Non-destructive inspection such as tomography and ultrasound is used to detect defects, geometry distortions and potential obstructions within cooling channels," the ESA agency spokesman added.

👉The Belgium startup Septentrio announced the mass production their next-generation, multi-constellation and multi-band positioning receiver module (mosaic TM-X5). This new ship is able to receive every existing and future signal from all positioning constellations (the American GPS, European Galileo, Russian GLONASS, Chinese BeiDou, Japanese QZSS, Indian NavIC and different L-Band satellites)

👉Lynk, a Hong Kong based company, has successfully connected a LEO satellite to a regular and unmodified mobile phone on ground. Their LEO smallsats constellation was able to send the world’s first text message from space to a mobile phone.

👉 Despite the coronavirus pandemic, OneWeb increases its constellation by 34 more satellites taking it to a total of 74 satellites. According to a Bloomberg report, OneWeb may be considering filling bankruptcy filing for bankruptcy proceedings due to a lack of liquidity at a time of high manufacturing costs and strong competitors (SpaceX Starlink, Amazon Kuiper…). OneWeb from their side, declined to comment…News or rumor…only the next few days will tell…

🍪 Cookie of the week

Orbital Index is a newsletter similar to this one. It just turned one year old this month and I am a very happy subscriber. The format is quite different: the news of the week are exposed and linked together in one paragraph in the form of a newspaper article, and both space industry as well as astronomy news are summarized. There is some overlapping but I think it is quite complementary with my newsletter. I highly recommend it. You can subscribe here!

Here you are debriefed 👌. Rendezvous next week!

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