Tagged: space

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

60 years in orbit for ‘grapefruit satellite’ – the oldest human object in space - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 22, 2018

Alice Gorman, Flinders University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Sixty years ago, a grapefruit-sized aluminium sphere with six antennas and some tiny solar cells was launched into Earth orbit. The Vanguard 1 satellite is still up there and is the oldest human-made object in space. It’s our first … Read More

Explainer: why you can hear gravitational waves when things collide in the universe - Guest Work

Guest Author Mar 14, 2018

David Blair, University of Western Australia This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Whenever there’s an announcement of a new discovery of gravitational waves there is usually an accompanying sound, such as this: We have only detected half a dozen signals so far. The first five are black holes whose … Read More