Questions tagged [commercial]

Questions regarding space activities or services performed by private entities for commercial interests/the gain of money.

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30 votes
1 answer
59k views

What is the current cost-per-pound to send something into LEO?

As a student of economics and finance I would love to learn more about the cost structures of sending a payload into orbit. More specifically - What is the cost-per-pound to send something into LEO ...
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6 votes
0 answers
533 views

Can they watch TV at the South Pole? What satellites are used for data, comms, and entertainment?

edit: This answer adds one more piece to the puzzle, at least for data. For navigation, I believe GPS covers the poles. For data, there is at least Iridium (see answers to What (actually) makes ...
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1 vote
2 answers
224 views

Do you know a rocket for launching femto and pico satellites smaller than the SS-520?

The question has already been asked here why no one has built a rocket to launch one CubeSat. Why isn't there a rocket to launch a single cubesat? If there "won't be" rockets to ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

How much of a commercial space launch can be insured?

When Orbital Sciences' Antares rocket exploded at Wallops Island just six seconds after launch, the loss of the rocket and spacecraft was estimated at more than $200 million, not including damage to ...
12 votes
1 answer
511 views

California's rocket tax "by the mile", how would that work exactly?

I see several mentions in recent news of a proposed tax on launches in the state of California, and that it would be 'by the mile'. If someone is familliar with the issue, could they outline how this ...
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11 votes
1 answer
985 views

Is there a record for unbroken series of "successful launches" by some objective criteria? Who has it now? What has to happen for it to change hands?

From the (I'd say) historic and pivotal hearing Wednesday, March 5, 2014 Defense Subcommittee (Chairman Durbin) Time and Location: 10:00 a.m., in Room SD-192 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building ...
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8 votes
4 answers
333 views

What prompted all of those private launch companies to get into the business?

It seems that, somewhere around the turn of the century, a bunch of private companies started gearing up for launching things into space when nobody (at least not private entrepreneurs) seemed very ...
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7 votes
2 answers
427 views

Was a commercial (ad) balloon satellite ever deployed?

I remember hearing a story from some two decades ago, about a publicity stunt by one of the two - can't remember which - Pepsi or Coca-Cola. The action was allegedly deployment of a gigantic balloon ...
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6 votes
3 answers
807 views

How were Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” and Telstar 1's "hundreds" of simultaneous telephone conversations multiplexed/demultiplexed?

When did they stop routing long-distance analog phone calls through satellites? What was the maximum volume at its peak? contains images, sources and descriptions of both The Intelsat 1 “Early Bird” ...
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4 votes
1 answer
287 views

What expenses and risks might the state of California incur that might partially justify a new "rocket tax"?

I see several mentions in recent news of a proposed tax on launches in the state of California, and that it would be 'by the mile'. The nature of the currently proposed tax is described in this ...
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3 votes
1 answer
210 views

Who's "winning" with launch rate/cadence?

Launch rate, or cadence, is not necessarily a fundamental metric for evaluating a launch provider, but it's an easy one. From India Today's Sept. 18, 2018 article 6 months, 18 missions: ISRO sets new ...
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

How should we point our SpaceX Starlink ground transceiver antennas?

I don't have one of course, but I see that the Starlink ground transceiver antennas are flat but "pointable" to some extent. I assume but don't know for sure that there's at least some kind ...
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14 votes
4 answers
662 views

Why is private spaceflight suddenly expanding so quickly?

Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Stratolaunch Systems, XCOR, and Blue Origin. These companies have all been formed since 1999, and together are the bulk of the truly private space industry (i.e. are not ...
13 votes
2 answers
554 views

Are there any resources available on the moon that could make a base commercially viable?

It seems that if we had a lunar base going then we would be more likely to invent things that would improve space travel. It also seems that private industry is faster at developing these ...
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13 votes
3 answers
2k views

What portion of SpaceX's revenue comes from private sources?

SpaceX is often called a "commercial" company and participates in NASA's Commercial Crew Program. In SpaceX's early days, all of SpaceX's revenue came from non-government sources. But today, SpaceX ...
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12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is Cape Canaveral the ideal launch location in the US?

Is there any reason why we can't launch from other primary locations other than Cape Canaveral? I know we have begun launching some rockets from Virginia, but is the Space Coast really the ideal ...
10 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why did NASA close the space shuttle program? [duplicate]

The era of the space shuttle program was one of the highlights in the history of space exploration. Why did NASA decide to retire the space shuttles, or why aren't they planning to start a new program ...
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the closest intentional separation achieved by two satellites?

I would like to know what is the closest separation achieved by two satellites. Let's restrict it to Non experimental satellites (or else it would be 0) Operational satellites (no collision) Post ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

How big will a space billboard have to be to be visible?

So recently there's been the news story about how SpaceX is launching a billboard to space (space billboards are an approximately bi-annual occurrence). This "billboard" is a cubesat that ...
6 votes
2 answers
484 views

Are there any private space probes presently active?

Are there any private space probes presently active? I'm asking about instruments which have left / are leaving the Earth-Moon system. I know there is a plan for a telescope in one of the Earth - ...
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6 votes
1 answer
722 views

Why are there no more Delta II rockets?

The Delta II is a rocket capable of up to 6 metric tons to LEO, and has the best safety record of any launcher in history. ULA still has the launcher listed as one of its products because it has one ...
5 votes
1 answer
162 views

Bishop airlock: explanation of the name?

Nanoracks' new Bishop Airlock will soon be installed on Node 3 and will provide some cool operational capabilities. But, I don't get the name. This Verge article says ...
3 votes
1 answer
727 views

Who designed the cool-looking Orbita Molniya tracking station at Khabarovsk? What does it look like inside?

Wikipedia's Orbita (TV system) says: Orbita (Russian: орбита) is a Soviet-Russian system of broadcasting and delivering TV signals via satellites. It is considered to be the first national network of ...
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3 votes
0 answers
54 views

Proposed Canso Spaceport, challenges to commercial viability of a private spaceport?

Maritime Launch Services is proposing to build a spaceport facility to launch Ukrainian built Cyclone 4M rockets from Canso into polar and sun synchronous orbit. Knowing very little about the space ...
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1 vote
1 answer
88 views

Psyche & others will use Maxar 1300 series platform; are these the first instances of a commercial communications satellite bus sent to deep space?

Maxar's own blogpost Power and Propulsion Element: Five Questions with Maxar’s Tim Cole links to it's 1300 series platform page which says: The SSL 1300 is the world’s most popular spacecraft ...
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0 votes
1 answer
90 views

Which deep space missions have had beverages named after them?

Which deep space missions have had beverages named after them? Just that, though a passing reference to the beverage or photographic evidence may be required supporting information. Here "deep space"...
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