July 2012

South Korean Student Makes His Own Satellite

"The goal of the project, according to Song, was not to simply make something neat and stick it into orbit. "

 

Song Hojun, a 34-year old university engineering student decided that he was going to design and build his own satellite and launch it into space.  After 6 years of research and work, it looks like his dream may soon be coming true.  While designing small satellites and launching them is nothing new, this is the first time the endeavor has ever been undertaken by a single individual.

The satellite, dubbed OpenSat, was made from parts that Song bought at local electronics stores and ordered over the internet.  He assembled it at home in his basement and the whole project cost less than $500.  The finished apparatus weighs just over 2 lbs. and was built complete with a radio that it will use to transmit information on its operation back to Earth.

Hubble Telescope discovers ‘impossible’ galaxy

Once again, one of the great technological marvels that originated on our planet, the Hubble Telescope, has spotted something far, far away that is interesting, strange and potentially impossible.  Scannings of deep space revealed a spiral galaxy that is beyond ancient, dating back more than 10 billion years to approximately 3 billion years post-Big Bang.  The light from said galaxy has taken around 10 billion years to reach us on Earth, which means we’re seeing it in much the same state as it was shortly after its formation.

The legal battle over asteroid mining rights about to begin

When I think of space, I think of the future, a new hope for humanity and a place among the stars where the human race may learn more about its origins.  But some people think of it more as a place to make some big bucks once asteroid mining starts up.  And with all things money-related, there needs to be laws in place to make sure that those who can make the money do make the money.  Thus, the battle for who owns which giant piece of floating rock is beginning to heat up.

You’d think that with so many of them, there would be plenty to go around and make everybody happy.  But some are closer than others and operating a mining craft will be damn expensive.  Not to mention that when people finally figure out how to determine exactly what the mineral content of a given asteroid is, there will be a race to grab up the biggest cash cows.  Thus, the competition to own as many of the best asteroids as possible will be on.

The Pathfinder: A camera for watching earth

I already wrote a little bit recently on the asteroid-hunting telescopes that are being developed and sent into space.  While they may have their own missions, either guarding Earth against rogue meteors or looking for some viable mining locations for future endeavors, there is one thing that they’re ignoring and that’s turning their lens on the Earth itself.  A new super-powered camera, called the Pathfinder, is going to be making its way to the International Space Station to accomplish just such a task.