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Category: Space (Page 1 of 2)

Is the new ‘Starlink for RVs’ scheme worth it for you?

Starlink, for many, is filling a need, especially for those with limited or no access. Yet, these are still early days and Elon Musk‘s satellite internet service–operated through SpaceX—is not robust enough to accomodate everyone who needs or desires access. This might be a reason Starlink and the Starlink for RVs program is seemingly aimed at those who are incapable of waiting, can afford it, and don’t mind paying the inflated prices.

Starlink for RVs for Canadians » CDN$947.60 (~ US$740) 1st month then CDN$195.50 (~US$153) per month for service thereafter (Conversion rate 2022.05.24 / CDN$1 = US$0.7777371 or US$1 = 1.00 US Dollar = CDN$1.2848661)

Richard Lawler, The Verge »

Taking that route won’t be cheap, though. Like most people in the US who live east of the Mississippi River, my home address is waitlisted for Starlink service, but I could sign up for a dish today with $99 down and an estimated $110 monthly service price. If I opt for Starlink for RVs, then I can get a dish shipped to me ASAP, as long as I’m willing to pay the full $599 price plus fees immediately and $135 per month for internet service.

For my extra $25 each month, I would enjoy “best effort service,” as well as the option to pause service for months when I don’t need it. As the Starlink for RVs FAQ explains, “Network resources are always de-prioritized for Starlink for RVs users compared to other Starlink services, resulting in degraded service and slower speeds in congested areas and during peak hours. Stated speeds and uninterrupted use of the service are not guaranteed. Service degradation will be most extreme in “Waitlist” areas on the Starlink Availability Map during peak hours.” »

Elsewhere » Engadget / PC Mag / Business Insider / Interesting Engineering / ZDNet

 

Video » A Canadian rover will explore a polar region of the Moon within the next five years

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is preparing for a Canadian rover to explore a polar region of the Moon within the next five years. Two Canadian companies, MDA and Canadensys, have been selected to design lunar rover concepts.

The mission will demonstrate key technologies and accomplish meaningful science. The rover will carry at least two science instruments. Its mission will aim to gather imagery, measurements, and data on the surface of the Moon, as well as to have the rover survive an entire night on the Moon. Lunar nights, which last about 14 Earth days, are extremely cold and dark, posing a significant technological challenge.

The Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) prepares Canada’s space sector for lunar exploration by offering a wide range of opportunities for Canadian science and technology activities in lunar orbit or on the Moon’s surface.

Amazon to launch first two Internet satellites in 2022 to compete with SpaceX

NY Times »

The first two prototype satellites from Project Kuiper, the internet-from-space venture from the e-commerce giant, are scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, Amazon announced on Monday. That will formally kick off its competition with SpaceX, the space company owned by Elon Musk, and OneWeb, among other rivals, for beaming high-speed internet connections to customers from low Earth orbit. It will also be a crucial test of the satellites’ design before the company launches thousands more devices into orbit.

Amazon first announced its goal of deploying a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit in 2019. This was the second pursuit in space by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and former chief executive who also owns Blue Origin, the rocket company. A handful of other firms are also racing to offer high-speed internet to governments, other companies and consumers whose access is hampered by the digital divide in remote locations.

Like SpaceX, Amazon plans to spend $10 billion on the project, which sits within its devices unit. But the company has been slower to start than SpaceX, whose Falcon 9 rockets have lofted nearly 2,000 internet-beaming satellites into orbit for its own venture, Starlink. Thousands of customers are testing the SpaceX service for $99 a month with $499 antenna kits.

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Video » Satellite images show the change in the Arctic

European Space Agency, ESA via YouTube »

Satellites images from space play a vital role in monitoring the rapid changes taking place in the Arctic. Tracking ice lost from the world’s glaciers, ice sheets and frozen land shows that Earth is losing ice at an accelerating rate. Currently more than a trillion tonnes of ice is lost each year. The sooner Earth’s temperature is stabilized, the more manageable the impacts of ice loss will be.

 

For the second time in three months, a Russian spacecraft has knocked the International Space Station off-kilter

The Russian Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft is seen docked to Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module at the International Space Station. (Image » NASA)

Mike Wall , Space »

Unplanned thruster firings by a Russian spacecraft briefly knocked the International Space Station off-kilter today (Oct. 15), the second such incident in less than three months.

The spacecraft involved today was the Soyuz MS-18, which is scheduled to bring cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, film director Klim Shipenko and actor Yulia Peresild back to Earth early Sunday morning (Oct. 17). Russian flight controllers fired up the vehicle’s thrusters at 5:02 a.m. EDT (0902 GMT) in a planned pre-departure test.

“The thruster firing unexpectedly continued after the end of the test window, resulting in a loss of attitude control for the International Space Station at 5:13 a.m.,” NASA officials wrote in an update this afternoon.
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Updated » William Shatner and three other passengers launched into space today on the second crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket

Video from inside the New Shepard Mission NS-18: Apogee »


Update » Immediately after his trip to space, Shatner tells Jeff Bezos the following »

What you have given me is the most profound experience, I can imagine. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.

You can see it for yourself in the video below. Start at about 2:44:00 to see the crew exit the capsule and greeted Bezos.


William Shatner will join Dr. Chris Boshuizen, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries.

Live launch coverage begins at 12:30 UTC.

The crew of Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18 mission, from left: Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries. (Source » Blue Origin)

Elsewhere »

  • Star Trek star William Shatner ready to boldly go into space » BBC
  • William Shatner is set to launch into space on Wednesday and, this time, it’s not the set of Star Trek — it’s real life. But did you know Shatner’s journey from infancy to outer space actually started in Montreal? » MTL Blog
  • William Shatner, the veteran actor who spent four decades playing the fearless commander of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, is set for a real-life leap into the stars on Wednesday on the next stage of billionaire Jeff Bezos’s quest to dominate the fledgling space tourism industry. » The Guardian
  • Shatner, 90, will become the oldest person to fly into space » NPR
  • Actor William Shatner counted down Wednesday to his wildest role yet: riding a rocket into space, courtesy of “Star Trek” fan Jeff Bezos. » CityNews Toronto

Video » European Space Agency is playing a vital role in humankind’s return to the Moon

European Space Agency via YouTube »

The European Space Agency is playing a vital role in humankind’s return to the Moon. In a few months NASA will launch Artemis I from the Kennedy Space Center. The uncrewed mission will carry NASA’s Orion spacecraft incorporating ESA’s European Service Module (ESM-1), built and tested by Airbus Bremen, in Germany, with the help of 10 European nations. ESM-1’s main engine and 32 thrusters will propel Orion into orbit around the Moon and return it to Earth.

As Artemis I prepares for launch, the second European Service Module (ESM-2) is about to ship to the US with ESM-3 also currently under construction. The second Artemis mission, however, has a crucial difference: it will carry four astronauts for a lunar flyby. ESM-2 will provide propulsion, power, oxygen, water and life support as well as controlling the temperature in the orbiting crew module. ESM-3 will go one step further and put the first person on the Moon for 50 years.

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