Tagged: satellites

Tracking satellites launched from NZ - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jun 27, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] With so many thousand satellites now in orbit, and tens of thousands of other tracked items, one might think that it is difficult keeping tabs on them, simply as an interested person. In fact it is quite straightforward, with long lists of orbital elements freely available for all except the few satellites deemed by the … Read More

Talking satellites and space in Washington - Out of Space

Duncan Steel May 16, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] The annual beanfeast for the US satellite industry — featuring major participation from European nations and companies in particular — is the SATELLITE congress held at the Washington Convention Center, a few blocks from the White House. It was an amazing event to attend, compared to the sort of low-key conferences we have in New … Read More

Defending the planet from asteroids - Out of Space

Duncan Steel May 02, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] Astronauts, astronomers, planetary scientists, space researchers and aerospace engineers are meeting near Washington DC to discuss how we might deal with any asteroid found to be heading for a cataclysmic collision with Earth, perhaps causing a global catastrophe. That is, if it was actually found before it caught us unawares.  As I type this I … Read More

Orbit of the newly-launched R3D2 satellite - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Apr 02, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] Last Friday Rocket Lab successfully launched another satellite from the Mahia Peninsula. In this post I describe the satellite’s orbital path, and how it will slowly vary in time over the next week.  Rocket Lab successfully launched another satellite into orbit from the Mahia Peninsula soon after midday last Friday (March 29th), a … Read More

The NZ Aerospace Challenge - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Mar 31, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] An open competition soon to start will provide a wonderful opportunity for smart people of any age in New Zealand to take on the challenge of how we might assess water and soil pollution using satellite and drone data. What they might choose to do in attacking such environmental problems is limited only by their … Read More

Space Station and docked Dragon capsule visible throughout NZ - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Mar 04, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] As I write, the Dragon capsule – a spacecraft intended to loft US astronauts into orbit – has been docked with the Space Station for almost 18 hours on its initial test flight. It happens that you will be able to see the station plus capsule passing over New Zealand each evening for the next … Read More

The Visibility of the Space Station - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Feb 22, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] The International Space Station (and many other satellites) can easily be viewed passing overhead using the naked eye, so long as you know when to look, and where. But why  can we see it, and how does it return so often?  In a blog post a few days ago I presented tables of times when … Read More

Times to Spot the Space Station - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Feb 19, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] It’s easy to see the International Space Station passing overhead: you just need to know when and where to look. Oh, and a clear sky. The International Space Station (ISS) regularly passes across New Zealand, a little more than 400 km above our heads – rather less than the distance between Auckland and … Read More

The Nelson bush fire: What can satellite images tell us about such events? - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Feb 12, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] The ongoing fires in the Nelson-Tasman region have quite rightly provoked much alarm. The response of Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the NZ Police, the NZ Defence Force, and many private individuals, has been magnificent. However, the utilisation of satellite imagery for assessing such fires and then planning and responding is deficient in NZ compared … Read More

Satellite imagery of the Nelson bush fire - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Feb 09, 2019

[avatar user=”duncansteel” size=”thumbnail” align=”right” /] The area burnt in the ongoing bush fire in the Nelson-Tasman region, largely around Pigeon Valley near Wakefield, can easily be seen in satellite imagery collected in recent days.  Earth observation satellites frequently cross New Zealand and, clouds allowing, collect imagery of the land and sea below. In later posts I will discuss such data … Read More