Category Archives: Space and Satellites

The Space and Satellite blog posts news about the aerospace industry, including links to industry news and articles, and announcements of continuing education for professionals who are working in the space and satellite profession.

New Color Maps of Pluto

The Principal Investigator (PI) for the LORRI instrument is Andy Cheng, and it is operated from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) in Laurel, Maryland. Alan Stern is the PI for the MVIC and Ralph instruments, which are operated from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas. And as you can plainly see, the maps are quite detailed and eye-popping!

Dr. Stern, who is also the PI of the New Horizons mission, commented on the release of the maps in a recent NASA press statement. As he stated, they are just the latest example of what the New Horizons mission accomplished during its historic mission:

“The complexity of the Pluto system — from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere— has been beyond our wildest imagination. Everywhere we turn are new mysteries. These new maps from the landmark exploration of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons mission in 2015 will help unravel these mysteries and are for everyone to enjoy.”

 

Maps at
https://www.universetoday.com/136498/hey-map-collectors-heres-new-map-pluto/

SpaceX successfully launches third satellite in 12 days

34718447506_7ff2cfa1b2_oRApplied Technology Institute offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering.  SpaceX launched a commercial communications satellite using a Falcon 9 rocket, its third flight in just 12 days.

The rocket blasted off on Wednesday evening at 7.38 p.m. (local time) from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, delivering the satellite called the Intelsat 35e to a geostationary transfer orbit, reports Xinhua news agency.

The satellite was deployed about 32 minutes after launch.

The California-based company tried to launch the satellite on Sunday and Monday, but stopped twice in the final seconds of countdown.

With a launch mass of over 6.7 tonnes, the Intelsat 35e is the heaviest satellite Falcon 9 has ever sent to orbit.

As a result, SpaceX did not attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage after launch this time, the company said.

It was lofted to provide high-performance services in both the C- and Ku-bands. Wednesday’s mission came just 10 days after SpaceX’s first-ever “doubleheader” weekend, when it launched two missions within about 50 hours.

One saw the launch of BulgariaSat-1, the first geostationary communications satellite in Bulgaria’s history, from the Kennedy Space Centre on June 23.

Another had 10 satellites launched to low-Earth orbit for the U.S. satellite phone company Iridium from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California two days later.

The Intelsat 35e also marked the tenth of SpaceX’s more than 20 launches planned this year. Last year, the company completed eight successful launches before an explosion during routine ground testing temporarily halted Falcon 9 launches.

Meanwhile, while the Intelsat 35e mission involved an expendable Falcon 9 first stage, SpaceX has recovered 11 first stages on previous missions, re-flying and re-landing two of them. The company has also started tackling the challenge of recovering and reusing the launch vehicle’s payload fairings.

 

 

NASA bets the farm on the long-term viability of space agriculture

Old MacDonald had a space farm.

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering.

Also, our president, Jim Jenkins, is an avid gardener who grows a garden full of tomatoes, peppers, squash, peas.

Jim_Tomato

If you give an astronaut a packet of food, she’ll eat for a day. If you teach an astronaut how to farm in space, she’ll eat for a lifetime—or at least for a 6-month-long expedition on the International Space Station.

Since its earliest missions, NASA has been focused on food, something astronauts need whether they’re at home on Earth or orbiting 250-odd miles above it. Over the years, the administration has tried a series of solutions: John Glenn had pureed beef and veggie paste, other flight crews used new-age freeze drying technology. More recently, NASA’s been trying to enable its astronauts to grow their own food in orbit.

Bryan Onate, an engineer stationed at the Kennedy Space Center, is on the forefront of this technology. He helped lead the team that built Veggie, NASA’s first plant growth system, and next month he’s sending up Veggie’s new and improved brother, the Advanced Plant Habitat.

The habitat is the size of a mini-fridge. But instead of storing soda, it will carefully record every step in the growth of plants aboard the space station. This will allow researchers on the ground unprecedented insight into how plants are shaped by microgravity and other forces at work in outer space. And, Onate says, “astronauts may get to enjoy the fruit of our labor.”

Read more here.

Babylon 5 solar system bears striking resemblance to our own

 

The number of planetary systems discovered seems to grow on a daily basis, but most of them are wildly different to our own solar system. Now a team of University of Arizona researchers led by Kate Su have used NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) flying observatory to take a closer look at a system 10.5 light years away and discovered it has a familiar general structure.


 

The star in question is Epsilon Eridani (ε Eri) in the southern hemisphere of the constellation of Eridanus. Its previous claims to fame were as the setting for the sci fi television series Babylon 5 and the disputed location of Star Trek‘s planet Vulcan. It’s also been the subject of several early studies seeking extrasolar planets and was even monitored in the 1960s by Project Ozma as a possible source of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Much of the previous work on Epsilon Eridani involved the Spitzer Space Telescope, but SOFIA is over twice the size of Spitzer, has three times the resolution, and can operate in the infrared at wavelengths between 25 and 40 microns. What this meant was that SOFIA could discern much smaller details, especially from warm materials, than before, which suggested an alternative model to the one provided by Spitzer’s data.

 

NASA astronaut: Space toilet inspires ‘sheer terror’

Forget motion sickness and adjusting to microgravity. Astronaut Jack Fischer is most worried about facing the space station’s intimidating bathroom facilities.

On Thursday, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer is scheduled to embark on his first voyage to the International Space Station. He’s excited to be working on a variety of experiments, including ones dealing with plant growth and bone growth, but he’s less than thrilled about the prospect of using the loo in microgravity.

In a NASA Q&A, Fischer reveals what he expects his greatest challenge will be. He says it’s the toilet. “It’s all about suction, it’s really difficult, and I’m a bit terrified,” Fischer says.

In case you think Fischer is exaggerating his toilet trepidation, here’s NASA description of how the commode functions: “The toilet basically works like a vacuum cleaner with fans that suck air and waste into the commode.” It also requires the use of leg restraints.

“Unlike most things, you just can’t train for that on the ground,” Fischer says, “so I approach my space-toilet activities with respect, preparation and a healthy dose of sheer terror.”

 

Stunning Space Station photo of glowing auroras

Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed brightly glowing auroras from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station on March 27, 2017. (ESA/NASA)
Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed brightly glowing auroras from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station on March 27, 2017. (ESA/NASA)

NASA has released an amazing photo show by Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, who photographed bright auroras from the International Space Station on March 27, 2017.

“The view at night recently has been simply magnificent: few clouds, intense auroras. I can’t look away from the windows,” Pesquet wrote in a tweet that included the image.

Here’s what NASA wrote about the image:

“The dancing lights of the aurora provide stunning views, but also capture the imagination of scientists who study incoming energy and particles from the sun. Aurora are one effect of such energetic particles, which can speed out from the sun both in a steady stream called the solar wind and due to giant eruptions known as coronal mass ejections or CMEs.’

Check out more images from NASA’s Aurora Image Gallery

Super-Moon Photos and Facts

One of the super-moon photos is a humorous hoax. Can you spot it? We knew that ATI’s instructors are world-class experts. They are the best in the business, averaging 25 to 35 years of experience, and are carefully selected for their ability to explain advanced technology in a readily understandable manner. We did not know that many are talented photographers. We challenged them to take some photographs of the November 13-14 super-moon.  See our previous post and then the resulting photographs.

http://www.aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2016/11/13/get-your-camera-ready-super-moon-november-13-14/

Tom Logsdon, who teaches Orbital & Launch Mechanics – Fundamentals provided us some of the orbits key parameters.

Here are the best, most appropriate, average orbital parameters for Earth’s.

perigee radius: 363,300 Km (for the super-moon it was 356,508 Km (or 221,524 miles)

apogee radius: 405,400 Km

Inclination to the ecliptic plane: 5.145 deg

(the plane containing the Earth and the moon)

orbital eccentricity: 0. 0549 (sometimes quoted as 5.49 percent)

recession rate from the Earth: 3.8 cm/yr

Siderial month: 27.3 days

Synodic month: 29.5 days

( the sidereal month is the time it takes for the moon to make one 360 deg trip around the earth;

the synodic month is the month we observe from the spinning earth…it involves a few extra degrees of travel beyond the sidereal month)

Dr. Peter Zipfel Shalimar, Florida

  Dr. Peter Zipfel

Six Degree of Freedom Modeling of Missile and Aircraft Simulations

Aerospace Simulations In C++

  James  Jenkins, Riva, MD

Sonar Signal Processing

 Matt Moran, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Engineering Systems Modeling with Excel / VBA

Thermal & Fluid Systems Modeling

  Matt Moran, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Richard Carande, Denver, CO

Fundamentals of Synthetic Aperture Radar

Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar

Richard Carande, Denver, CO

The photos that beat them all! Taken by the wife or Matt Moran

ELON MUSK AND COLLEAQGUES RESURRECTING THE GIANT TELEDESIC S CONSTELLATION

Elon Musk in SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, seems to become enamored by a new grandiose idea every week or so. And this week was no exception. This time he and his well-heeled colleagues are trying to find a way to serve the 3 billion earthlings hunkering down at scattered locations around the globe lacking service by modern cellphones or conventional telephones.

The solution? Launch a giant swarm of broadband communication satellites into low-altitude circular orbits flying in a tight formation with one another as they circle around the globe. It is called OneWeb.

300-pound satellites are to be launched into 18 orbit planes with 40 satellites following one another in single file around each plane. Ku-band transmitters will provide satellite-based cellphone services to remote and underserved users everywhere in the world. Mass production techniques and the economies of scale should help keep the cost of each individual satellite in the $500,000 range. Recently the OneWeb satellites passed their preliminary design review at the famous satellite design center in Toulouse, France. OneWeb’s total network cost, including a widely dispersed network of gateway Earth stations, is expected to come in at about $3.5 billion, provided the cost-conscious satellite-makers in Exploration Park, Florida, can come in within their target budget. Company spokesmen ha ve indicated that, so far, their team members are on schedule and within 5% of their estimated costs.

About 15-percent of the $3.5 billion has been raised and has been funding about 300 full-time experts. Present schedules call for initial money-raising services to being in 2019. Some industry experts have been calling the concept the O3b “other three billion”, for the three billion widely distributed individuals unserved by mobile or hard-wired telephones.

Elon Musk is famous for turning wild ideas into practical reality and squeezed out impressive profits along the way. Many of his ideas have been floating around for some time when he decides to take a shot at turning them into reality. An earlier version of OneWeb was touted by Edward Tucks in the 1970’s. It was called Teledesic.

The Teledesic concept sprang to life because Tucks read that “40 million people (were) on the waiting list for telephone services around the world.” He quietly sketched up the plans for an 840-satellite constellation of communication satellites flitting through space in 435-mile orbits.

Launch costs were a big barrier then. But Elon Musk can now put a big dent in that problem with his surprisingly inexpensive Falcon boosters.

Tom Logsdon, the author of this blog teaches short courses for the Applied Technology Institute in Riva, Maryland. He will be discussing, in detail, the rapidly evolving OneWeb plans as they are springing from the drawing boards in the following short courses:

The author of this article, Tom Logsdon, teaches short courses, on a regular basis, for the Applied Technology Institute in Riva, Maryland. Here is his upcoming schedule of courses:

GPS and International CompetitorsDec 5-8, 2016Colorado Springs, CO
GPS and International CompetitorsApr 17-20, 2017Columbia,MD
Orbital & Launch Mechanics – FundamentalsJan 23-26, 2017Albuquerque, NM
Orbital & Launch Mechanics – FundamentalsFeb 28-Mar 3, 2017Columbia, MD

Click here for further information: ATIcourses, Tom Logsdon

How to Promote Your ATI Course in Social Media

How to Promote Your ATI Course in Social Media

LinkedIn for ATI Rocket Scientists

 

Did you know that for 52% of professionals and executives, their LinkedIn profile is the #1 or #2 search result when someone searches on their name?

For ATI instructors, that number is substantially lower – just 17%. One reason is that about 25% of ATI instructors do not have a LinkedIn profile. Others have done so little with their profile that it isn’t included in the first page of search results.

If you are not using your LinkedIn profile, you are missing a huge opportunity. When people google you, your LinkedIn profile is likely the first place they go to learn about you. You have little control over what other information might be available on the web about you. But you have complete control over your LinkedIn profile. You can use your profile to tell your story – to give people the exact information you want them to have about your expertise and accomplishments.

 

Why not take advantage of that to promote your company, your services, and your course?

Here are some simple ways to promote your course using LinkedIn…

On Your LinkedIn Profile

Let’s start by talking about how to include your course on your LinkedIn profile so it is visible anytime someone googles you or visits your profile.

1. Add your role as an instructor.

Let people know that this course is one of the ways you share your knowledge. You can include your role as an instructor in several places on your profile:

  • Experience – This is the equivalent of listing your role as a current job. (You can have more than one current job.) Use Applied Technology Institute as the employer. Make sure you drag and drop this role below your full-time position.
  • Summary – Your summary is like a cover letter for your profile – use it to give people an overview of who you are and what you do. You can mention the type of training you do, along with the name of your course.
  • Projects – The Projects section gives you an excellent way to share the course without giving it the same status as a full-time job.
  • Headline – Your Headline comes directly below your name, at the top of your profile. You could add “ATI Instructor” at the end of your current Headline.

Start with an introduction, such as “I teach an intensive course through the Applied Technology Institute on [course title]” and copy/paste the description from your course materials or the ATI website. You can add a link to the course description on the ATI website.

This example from Tom Logsdon’s profile, shows how you might phrase it:

 

Here are some other examples of instructors who include information about their courses on their LinkedIn profile:

  • Buddy Wellborn – His Headline says “Instructor at ATI” and Buddy includes details about the course in his Experience section.
  • D. Lee Fugal – Mentions the course in his Summary and Experience.
  • Jim Jenkins – Courses are included throughout Jim’s profile, including his Headline, Summary, Experience, Projects, and Courses.
  • 2. Link to your course page.

In the Contact Info section of your LinkedIn profile, you can link out to three websites. To add your course, go to Edit Profile, then click on Contact Info (just below your number of connections, next to a Rolodex card icon). Click on the pencil icon to the right of Websites to add a new site.

Choose the type of website you are adding. The best option is “Other:” as that allows you to insert your own name for the link. You have 35 characters – you can use a shortened version of your course title or simply “ATI Course.” Then copy/paste the link to the page about your course.

This example from Jim Jenkins’ profile shows how a customized link looks:

 

3. Upload course materials.

You can upload course materials to help people better understand the content you cover. You could include PowerPoint presentations (from this course or other training), course handouts (PDFs), videos or graphics. They can be added to your Summary, Experience or Project. You can see an example of an upload above, in Tom Logsdon’s profile.

4. Add skills related to your course.

LinkedIn allows you to include up to 50 skills on your profile. If your current list of skills doesn’t include the topics you cover in your course, you might want to add them.

Go to the Skills & Endorsements section on your Edit Profile page, then click on Add skill. Start typing and let LinkedIn auto-complete your topic. If your exact topic isn’t included in the suggestions, you can add it.

5. Ask students for recommendations.

Are you still in touch with former students who were particularly appreciative of the training you provided in your course? You might want to ask them for a recommendation that you can include on your profile. Here are some tips on asking for recommendations from LinkedIn expert Viveka Von Rosen.

6. Use an exciting background graphic.

You can add an image at the top of your profile – perhaps a photo of you teaching the course, a photo of your course materials, a graphic from your presentation, or simply some images related to your topic. You can see an example on Val Traver’s profile.

Go to Edit Profile, then run your mouse over the top of the page (just above your name). You will see the option to Edit Background. Click there and upload your image. The ideal size is 1400 pixels by 425. LinkedIn prefers a JPG, PNG or GIF. Of course, only upload an image that you have permission to use.

 

Share News about Your Course

You can also use LinkedIn to attract more attendees to your course every time you teach.

7. When a course date is scheduled, share the news as a status update.

This lets your connections know that you are teaching a course – it’s a great way to reach the people who are most likely to be interested and able to make referrals.

Go to your LinkedIn home page, and click on the box under your photo that says “Share an update.” Copy and paste the URL of the page on the ATI website that has the course description. Once the section below populates with the ATI Courses logo and the course description, delete the URL. Replace it with a comment such as:

“Looking forward to teaching my next course on [title] for @Applied Technology Institute on [date] at [location].”

Note that when you finish typing “@Applied Technology Institute” it will give you the option to click on the company name. When you do that ATI will know you are promoting the course, and will be deeply grateful!

When people comment on your update, it’s nice to like their comment or reply with a “Thank you!” message. Their comment shares the update with their network, so they are giving your course publicity.

If you want to start doing more with status updates, here are some good tips about what to share (and what not to share) from LinkedIn expert Kim Garst.

8. Share the news in LinkedIn Groups.

If you have joined any LinkedIn Groups in your areas of expertise, share the news there too.

Of course, in a Group you want to phrase the message a little differently. Instead of “Looking forward to teaching…” you might say “Registration is now open for…” or “For everyone interested in [topic], I’m teaching…”

You could also ask a thought-provoking question on one of the topics you cover. Here are some tips about how to start an interesting discussion in a LinkedIn Group.

9. Post again if you still have seats available.

If the course date is getting close and you are looking for more people to register, you should post again. The text below will work as a status update and in most LinkedIn Groups.

“We still have several seats open for my course on [title] on [date] at [location]. If you know of anyone who might be interested, could you please forward this? Thanks. ”

“We have had a few last-minute cancellations for my course on [title] on [date] at [location]. Know anyone who might be interested in attending?”

10. Blog about the topic of the course.

When you publish blog posts on LinkedIn using their publishing platform, you get even more exposure than with a status update:

  • The blog posts are pushed out to all your connections.
  • They stay visible on your LinkedIn profile, and
  • They are made available to Google and other search engines.

A blog post published on LinkedIn will rank higher than one posted elsewhere, because LinkedIn is such an authority site. So this can give your course considerable exposure.

You probably have written articles or have other content relevant to the course. Pick something that is 750-1500 words.

To publish it, go to your LinkedIn home page, and click on the link that says “Publish a post.” The interface is very simple – easier than using Microsoft Word. Include an image if you can. You probably have something in your training materials that will be perfect.

At the end of the post, add a sentence that says:

“To learn more, attend my course on [title].”

Link the title to the course description on the ATI website.

For more tips about blogging, you are welcome to join ProResource’s online training website. The How to Write Blog Posts for LinkedIn course is free.

Take the first step

The most important version of your bio in the digital world is your LinkedIn summary. If you only make one change as a result of reading this blog post, it should be to add a strong summary to your LinkedIn profile. Write the summary promoting yourself as an expert in your field, not as a job seeker. Here are some resources that can help:

Write the first draft of your profile in a word processing program to spell-check and ensure you are within the required character counts. Then copy/paste it into the appropriate sections of your LinkedIn profile. You will have a stronger profile that tells your story effectively with just an hour or two of work!

Contributed by guest blogger Judy Schramm. Schramm is the CEO of ProResource, a marketing agency that works with thought leaders to help them create a powerful and effective presence in social media. ProResource offers done-for-you services as well as social media executive coaching. Contact Judy Schramm at jschramm@proresource.com or 703-824-8482.