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Space Blog

Chartered flights for satellites?

Virgin Galactic and SSTL’s American operation, SST-US, are collaborating to radically lower the cost of building and launching small satellites. Alternative launches aren’t new but are currently an area of such frenetic activity that we thought we’d take a step back and look at "˜space planes’ an...

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30 July 20120 Comments0 Comments


NigeriaSat-2 captures Olympic Park in high res

SSTL has released a high resolution satellite image of the Olympic park, taken on the eve of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Games. The 2.5m resolution image, captured by NigeriaSat-2, was part of a much wider-area image of London and shows the Olympic Park nestled in the capital’s East E...

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27 July 20120 Comments0 Comments


exactView-1 rockets into orbit

On Sunday at UTC 06.41.39, exactView-1 was successfully launched into its 800km sun synchronous polar orbit from the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan. exactView-1 was launched by Soyuz vehicle - the most-flown orbital launch system ever developed "“ and is expected to be the highest detection ...

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25 July 20120 Comments0 Comments


Students weigh up creep-ing around Mars

In September 2011, four sixth formers from Royal Grammar School in Guildford, embarked on an ambitious engineering challenge to see if rovers could be creep-ing around Mars in the future as part of the Engineering Education Scheme (EES). Over the following months the students, mentored by Sahand ...

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16 July 20120 Comments0 Comments


SST-US and Virgin Galactic redefine launch costs

Yesterday SSTL’s US operation, SST-US, and Virgin Galactic signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) at Farnborough International Air Show to collaborate on radically lowering the cost of building and launching small satellites. The MOU comes hot on the heels of Virgin’s announcement of the new...

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13 July 20120 Comments0 Comments


Charting GIOVE-s contribution to Galileo

GIOVE-A, the satellite that played a crucial role in setting up Europe’s Galileo SatNav system, has been retired after six and a half years of service. SSTL built the satellite for ESA to fulfil four mission objectives. Firstly, to secure the use of the frequencies allocated by the Interna...

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12 July 20120 Comments0 Comments


Satellite in a suitcase

Last month, we discussed the benefits of using a simulator to test groundstation equipment and to train operators. Most satellite simulators are custom-built and large pieces of equipment. The Kazakhstan MRES satellite simulator, for example, is a high-end tower PC with a 19-inch rack that houses...

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13 June 20120 Comments0 Comments


The building blocks of a future in space

In the popular imagination, spacecraft and satellites are still the stuff of 1950s science fiction: large in scale and perhaps more shining matter than technological substance. However, the time has come to radically alter how we think about the scale of space technology. After all, the iPhone i...

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30 May 20120 Comments0 Comments


Satellite simulators: training for space

In Space, timing is everything. During the commissioning and deployment of a satellite, operators have a limited time to get the system commissioned and handed over to the customer. The same is true when an anomaly occurs, such as an electrical glitch caused by exposure to radiation. Operators th...

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15 May 20120 Comments0 Comments


Busy weekend for Space Apps Challenge!

Last weekend over 2,000 software developers, engineers, hackers and space enthusiasts gathered at 26 different locations across the world to partake in the NASA Space Apps Challenge. The two day Challenge took on real world problems and tried to solve them using freely available open-source data...

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26 April 20120 Comments0 Comments


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