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"Silicon Valley's New Spy Satellites"

Business startups are eying applications in space, according to "Silicon Valley's New Spy Satellites," and focusing on small spacecraft in process.

In January, [Plant Labs] hopes to send 28 micro-satellites in space—the largest constellation of private Earth-observing satellites, ever. (The incredibly awesome collective noun for a group of satellites is a constellation.)

Planet Labs can send that many into space because the satellites are designed for extensibility. 10 by 10 by 30 centimenters, Planet Labs’s “doves” are derived from Cubesat technology—the set of tools and standards developed at Stanford in the early 2000s that let universities affordably fly small, low-orbit satellites.

Picture here is Bob Twiggs, creator of the CubeSat standard and current professor at Morehead Sate University in Kentucky.

Wayne

Pamela Gay on "sheer diversity" of community spacecraft

Astronomer, citizen science enthusiast and podcaster Pamela Gay writes that she didn't appreciate "the sheer diversity" of amateur/community spacecraft until she was preparing for another Astronomy Cast episode.

Indeed. Kentucky Space has launched three separate spacecraft from two different continents in the past two plus months. If you'd like to learn more about its latest Cubesat, KySat-2, or about PocketQubes, click here and here, respectively. And speaking of community, you can also help us track KySat-2 with this software.

A slightly more technical series on the development of KySat-2 may be found here.

Wayne

Happy New Year (The World Today)

Tweeted a few hours ago, here is an image from NASA of "the world today" taken a few hours after midnight UTC.

Nicely done, NASA.

Wayne

Kentucky Space on Flickr