Tagged: space

Satellite Orbits: Global Navigation Systems - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Feb 05, 2019

Apart from the US-provided Global Positioning System (GPS) used by most commercial navigation systems – such as in your car, or mobile phone – there are several distinct networks operated by other space agencies deploying their own satellite fleets. Here I describe the orbits employed by the Russian, European Union and Chinese GNSS constellations. (Part 3 in a series of … Read More

Harry Hindmarsh Atkinson: obituary - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jan 27, 2019

Harry Atkinson in 2012 (courtesy William Tobin). Harry Atkinson was one of those able New Zealanders who went overseas to study, fully intending to return one day to these shores to live, but due to their great success in their adopted homelands never did so. A physicist by training, he moved into science advice and administration in Britain and … Read More

The invention of the geostationary communications satellite - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jan 18, 2019

The idea of satellites beaming radio communications around the globe was discussed by science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke in 1945, though he imagined huge geostationary space stations permanently staffed by astronauts who would be needed to change the electronic valves in the onboard radio transmitters. We’ve not been able to watch live cricket matches from around the globe on … Read More

Satellite Orbits: Geostationary - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jan 16, 2019

What sorts of orbits around Earth do we use for different types of satellite, and why are those paths chosen? In this, Part 1 in a series of blog posts, geostationary orbits are described. Satellites come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, ranging from half the size of a bus down to something not much … Read More

Space War and NZ’s Position - Out of Space

Duncan Steel Jan 09, 2019

With regard to tracking military satellites newly-launched from eastern Asia and potentially of concern to our allies, New Zealand’s geographical position is of huge (yet overlooked) significance.   Surely no-one could imagine that space-wise there is not a lot going on at present, with another probe just landed on Mars, three other spacecraft missions having encounters with asteroids, and … Read More

We’re Going Multiplanetary: The Quest for New Earths - Guest Work

Guest Author Jun 29, 2018

Becky Turner Theoretical physicist and one-man-phenomenon Stephen Hawking contributed a wealth of knowledge to mankind during his lifetime. One of his recommendations was that humans would need to colonise other planets in the next hundred years to avoid annihilation. His fears took the form of deadly viruses, nuclear war, asteroid impacts, and global warming. In order to avoid … Read More

Launching in May, the InSight mission will measure marsquakes to explore the interior of Mars - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 30, 2018

Katarina Miljkovic, Curtin University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. When we look up at Mars in the night sky we see a red planet – largely due to its rusty surface. But what’s on the inside? Launching in May, the next NASA space mission will study the interior … Read More

Take it from me: I’m not signing up to become a space tourist just yet… - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 11, 2018

Rowena Christiansen, University of Melbourne This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Take it from me is a new series in Science and Technology, where we find an expert to provide a personal but informed perspective on a topical issue. Elon Musk’s SpaceX reportedly has two people signed up for a … Read More