New Report Asks: Could Your Phone Compromise National Security?

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., August 8, 2019 (Aerospace Corporation PR) – Imagine a world in which realtime Earth observations from satellites and related analytics are available globally on the handheld device of an average citizen.

This scenario is called the GEOINT Singularity, and, thanks to artificial intelligence analysis and large satellite constellations with a range of imaging capabilities, it is a possible future. A new report by The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS), The Future of Ubiquitous, Realtime Intelligence: A GEOINT Singularity, examines the ramifications of the GEOINT Singularity for the U.S. military. What would the availability of ubiquitous, realtime intelligence mean for the military operator and warfighter? 

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New Report on the Future of National Security Space

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The United States is changing how it uses space for national security. From a raw awareness of threats from malign actors, to an increased reliance on private sector players, many dynamics are driving this change.

So how are the ways people are thinking about these dynamics — the schools of thought — influencing the way we discuss, debate, and ultimately formulate U.S. initiatives and policy in space? A new report by The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS), What Place For Space: Competing Schools of Operational Thought in Space, identifies six different major schools of thought and explores the priorities each would elevate for U.S. policy makers in the Space Force debate.

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Propelling the Field of Small Sats Forward

Brandie Rhodes checks the electrical connections of HyPer in a vacuum chamber. (Credit: Jeff Berting/Aerospace)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation) — Small satellites are becoming more and more capable, taking over missions that used to require larger spacecraft. However, adding propulsion systems to these smaller platforms remains a challenge, which means many small sats are limited to applications that do not require active orbit maintenance, increases in altitude, or changes in inclination.

Working in conjunction with the University of Southern California, Aerospace is developing a monopropellant vapor propulsion system that could help solve this problem.

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Innovative AeroCube-10 CubeSats Deployed From Cygnus

AeroCube-10 being tested in the large area solar simulator in El Segundo, Calif. (Credit: Aerospace Corporation)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation PR) — The AeroCube-10 dual CubeSat mission, packed with space experiments and technology demonstrations, was launched into orbit from the Cygnus automated cargo spacecraft after its recent departure from the International Space Station.

Possibly the most intriguing experiment aboard the Aerospace-funded spacecrafts was designed in-house at Aerospace and consists of hardware for a never-before-done mission. The hardware is a dispenser with a set of 28 atmospheric probes, releasable one at a time on command.

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Coast Guard’s Polar Scout CubeSats Aid in Arctic Rescues

Polar Scout satellite (Credit: USCG)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation PR) — For decades, the dense sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean has been shrinking and, in some regions, disappearing altogether. This environmental change is dramatically altering areas that were once blocked by ice and creating open water that is being turned into shipping lanes for an increasing number of vessels looking for a faster route between Asia, eastern North America and Europe.

According to data from the U.S. Committee On The Marine Transportation System, the number of vessels operating in the Arctic region has increased from 52 in 2008 to 144 in 2013. The committee predicts that the Arctic Ocean will see 2,111 vessels by 2025. This rapid increase in traffic through a dynamic environment like the Arctic has made U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) missions especially challenging while underscoring the need for prompt and reliable emergency distress signal response.

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MEI Technologies-supported Payloads Arrive at International Space Station

STP-H6 on the ISS. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (MEI Technologies PR) — Officials at MEI Technologies, Inc. (MEIT) have announced the successful arrival of two MEIT-supported payloads—the Space Test Program-Houston 6 (STP-H6) and the RED-EYE—brought to the International Space Station onboard the SpaceX-17 resupply vehicle. These two payloads represent the culmination of the efforts of the Space Test Program, Aerospace Corporation- and MEIT-integrated teams to fly new technologies.

The STP-H6 payload, which is designed, built and integrated by MEIT includes multiple experiments from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
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NASA Demos CubeSat Laser Communications Capability

Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) Spacecraft Configuration. OCSD differs from other space-based laser communication systems because the laser is hard-mounted to the spacecraft body, and the orientation of the CubeSat controls the direction of the beam. This makes the laser system more compact than anything previously flown in space. (Credit: NASA/Ames)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (NASA PR) — Two NASA CubeSats teamed up on an impromptu optical, or laser, communications pointing experiment. The laser beam is seen as a brief flash of light close to the center of the focal plane, to the left of Earth’s horizon.

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Cumberland Island Homes Association Opposes Spaceport Camden Plan

Spaceport Camden launch trajectories (Credit: Camden County)

LITTLE CUMBERLAND ISLAND, Ga. ( Little Cumberland Island Homes Association PR) – Cumberland and Little Cumberland Islands have just become the first communities in America to be directly downrange from a vertical launch spaceport awaiting license approval from the FAA. More than sixty private homes lie in the path of rockets that Camden County commissioners hope someday to launch.

In the history of U.S. space flight, neither NASA nor the FAA have permitted a vertical launch over private homes or people directly downrange. The risk to people and property from an exploding rocket is too great.

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Aerospace, JPL Develop Concept to View Distant Planets

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 19, 2018 – In a new development in the search for potentially habitable planets far beyond our solar system, JPL and Aerospace are conducting a study to further develop an innovative deep-space concept that relies on a solar gravity lens (SGL) to enable enhanced viewing of exoplanets.

The SGL would provide 100-billion optical magnification, allowing it to show details as small as 10 kilometers across – similar to being able to spot something the size of New York City on an exoplanet.

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Aerospace Corporation Paper Explores Case Study on Commercial Partnerships for Space

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 24, 2018 (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) released a new report today, A Model for Space Sector Growth: A Luxembourg Case Study, which analyzes the country’s success in growing its space sector by supporting commercial partnerships and other incentives to strengthen its position in the space industry.

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UCLA Students Launch Project that’s Out of this World

By Rebecca Kendall
UCLA

Five years ago, a group of UCLA undergrads came together with a common goal — to build a small satellite and launch it into space. In the years since, more than 250 students — many of whom are now UCLA graduate students and alumni — have been the mechanical engineers, software developers, thermal and power testers, electronics technicians, mission planners and fabricators of the twin Electron Losses and Fields Investigation CubeSats, known as ELFIN.

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New Launch Unit Standards Announced for SmallSats

LOGAN, Utah (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) announced details of a new small satellite (smallsat) standard called a Launch Unit (Launch-U) during a briefing at the Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.

This standard provides major benefits to the smallsat industry—manufacturers, launch providers, and satellite users—by increasing access to space and decreasing launch costs. It also enables the space community to come together to work innovative solutions for sharing costs, adopting new business models, and adapting to regulatory or statutory changes.

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NASA’s Laser Communications Small Satellite Mission Demonstrates Technology First

OCSD satellite (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — For the first time, a free-flying CubeSat has successfully completed space-to-ground optical communications. The Optical Communication and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) mission, designed and built by The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California, sent a laser signal from low-Earth orbit to a ground station at the company’s facilities.

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Aerospace Corporation Examines the U.S. Regulation of Space Commerce

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 25, 2018 (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) released a new issue brief today that analyzes the U.S. administration’s plans to significantly enlarge the space portfolio of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

The plan calls for DOC to expand its range of responsibilities beyond regulatory reform to encompass space traffic management and to promote the nation’s commercial space sector.

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NanoRacks Completes Fifth External Cygnus Deployment, Six More CubeSats in Orbit

DULLES, Virginia (NanoRacks PR) — Yesterday evening, NanoRacks successfully deployed six CubeSats from the Company’s CubeSat deployer mounted on the outside of the Cygnus spacecraft. This brings the overall count to 223 small satellites deployed into low-Earth orbit.

The ninth contracted resupply mission from Orbital ATK (now Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) launched on May 21, 2018, carrying NanoRacks’ fifth mission providing opportunities for CubeSat deployment from Cygnus after the vehicle departs from the International Space Station. Prior to launch, the NanoRacks External Cygnus Deployer is installed on the exterior of the Cygnus service module with the capability to deploy satellites after the spacecraft completes its primary space station commercial resupply mission.

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