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60

Yes, it really happened. It took place at the Lockheed Martin Space Systems factory in Sunnyvale, California. As the team was turning the satellite into a horizontal position, they found out that the twenty-four bolts that were supposed to hold it in place had been removed by a technician - and the action was never documented. According to NASA: The ...


47

Because beaming down images of the earth from space is restricted, and Companies and Universities require a Commercial Remote Sensing Licence (weirdly these are issued by NOAA) to do so. SpaceX has not received one for streaming second stage imagery. You can see the list of issued licenses here (a fun read). This was confirmed in this tweet by Eric Berger:


27

It is unlawful for any person who is subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States, directly or through any subsidiary or affiliate to operate a private remote sensing space system without possession of a valid license issued under the Act and the regulations. "The Act" there refers to the National and Commercial Space Programs Act (NCSPA or ...


19

The story behind this is one of several layers of procedures, as is documented in a review of NASA "mishaps". Essentially, the story comes down to the following sequence of events: A team prepared the vibration testing, including putting the bolts on. A second team removed the bolts, to use for another purpose. This removal was not documented at the time. ...


15

This satellite, NOAA-19 or NOAA-N Prime was launched in February 2009. The pictured incident happened in 2003: The spacecraft has had a troubled history at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, Calif., factory. After it suffered significant damage when it tipped over on the factory floor in September 2003, the contractor used fees earned on the NOAA spacecraft it ...


7

While the answer of Michael Stachowsky and the comments under that provide the answer to what you're seeing, I think some more context can be helpful. The plots shows are a product from the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, which, as the name implies, is a weather center for space weather. This is a conceptual term to describe the time-varying ...


7

What you are looking at is the Real Time Solar Wind (hence RTSW). This shows particle density, speed, and temperature (along with the first two graphs, which I'm afraid I don't know). Because the future is awesome, we have a website called "spaceweather.com", which tells us that the increase on August 27th was due to two "solar wind streams" approaching ...


6

There are two questions in this question. I'll answer the second question first because (a) this second question is easier to answer, and (b) the answer to this question leads to the answer to the key question. The second question: I haven't yet found exact timelines for GOES-S, GOES-T, and GOES-U, but their test phase isn't nearly as long as GOES-R. Why ...


6

The orbit's probably close to perpendicular to the Earth-Sun line, since its imaging target is the Earth. The reason the angles referenced are all positive is because they measure the divergence of two lines, Earth-Sun (passing through SEL-1) and Earth-spacecraft. In essence, they're describing the distance from SEL-1, always a positive value, in terms of ...


6

Why does the NOAA require a permit to be issued to stream images of the earth? It's not just streaming. It includes all mechanisms for taking images of the Earth from space and somehow having that imagery get back to Earth. Why do these regulations exist? One reason is the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. This treaty, to which the US is a party, deems that ...


5

The National and Commercial Space Programs Act (NCSPA) says: It is unlawful for any person who is subject to the jurisdiction or control of the United States, directly or through any subsidiary or affiliate to operate a private remote sensing space system without possession of a valid license issued under the Act and the regulations. You can find that ...


5

There is a lot of curiosity on that, but not a lot of real information. Let me look at a list of possible issues: Restriction due to the payload- Not the case, Iridium is a commercial company, they want their launches to be known, and don't care. Restrictions due to the rocket- Wouldn't change at the end, and SpaceX will have broadcasted anyways Restriction ...


5

Actually, it's less than zero. The Lagrange points are still effectively captured by the Earth, so you have not escaped. This paper states the required $C_3$ as $-0.7\,\mathrm{km^2/s^2}$. If we ignore the Sun, the $C_3$ required to get to the altitude of the S-E L1 point is: $$C_3=-{2\mu\over{r_a+r_p}}$$ where $\mu$ is the $G M$ of the Earth and the ...


3

You can now see the Lissajous path of DSCOVR using the Blueturn app: http://app.blueturn.earth Just zoom out (a lot) from the default EPIC view... More generally, this app interpolates EPIC images received from DSCOVR using real-time 3D projection techniques. In such this is the first and only interactive video of the Whole Earth, with 2+ year of data. ...


2

Actually as part of my application Blueturn (http://app.blueturn.earth) which makes interpolated video feed out of EPIC images, I have been following the EPIC feed a lot and I observed that except the memorable Moon transit of July 5th 2016, we don't have other images of the Moon photobombing the Earth. There is a reason for this; the presence of the Moon ...


2

I can't say for sure, I but would guess that it's due to maneuvers. There are other satellites in Libration Point Orbits that maneuver on the 2-3 week time frame. (They do so no matter what, it's not on an as-needed basis) Also there are a couple of factors associated with maneuvers that can preclude the ability to 'do science' on the spacecraft: The ...


1

Let me add a few other points on top of David's already excellent answer. There are some other fixed timeframes that occur after launch but before the Satellite can become operational: Orbit-raising: It will take GOES-R about 2 weeks to get to geostationary orbit. Outgassing: It can take quite a while for all of the atmospheric gasses that "hitchhiked" in ...


1

Though there are other types of satellites which fit your question, I wanted to point our that there are publicly usable amateur radio satellites. Below quoted from wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_satellite) These satellites can be used for free by licensed amateur radio operators for voice (FM, SSB) and data communications (AX.25, ...


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