Space Products & Innovation

Governance, Education, and Infrastructure

Solving Space Junk Problem Could Net Federal Prize

Polar objects in orbitPolar objects in orbit

A grand prize could be in the offing for inventors who come up with new methods to prevent orbiting debris or design tools that can clean up space junk, according to recommendations from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

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Satellite Radar Helps UK police in critical searches

Whether using multispectral imagery from satellite imagery providers such as DigitalGlobe, or synthetic aperture radar (SAR) products from satellites such as the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) TerraSAR-X, law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom and other countries are learning how crime-related investigations can benefit from satellite assistance. The constabulary is using SAR and imagery to reduce costs and time associated with conducting searches for hidden graves in urban locations.

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Conversations of Space Robots and Explorers in Social Media

Social media and space agency public relations worked together to bring awareness of space program activities by endowing personality to robots flying through space. “Namaste, @MarsOrbiter!” displayed a playful tenor in one of the first friendly greetings given to India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) satellite from NASA’s ground-hugging Mars Curiosity rover.

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Earth Observation Imagery Reduces Copper Thefts

The high-resolution imaging capabilities of satellites can be used to help power utilities with maintenance and planning. High rates of copper wiring theft at electrical substations motivated electricity company Dominion Virginia Power to hire DigitalGlobe Analytics for a solution. DigitalGlobe compiled satellite, air, and ground images of the electrical system and studied previous thefts to identify the next most likely targets. By improving security at these locations, which were primarily those near scrap metal businesses, copper theft was reduced by ##%.

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Taikonaut Teaches 60 Million From Space Station

Space exploration and utilization activities help inspire students to pursue careers in STEM fields. All the ISS partners devote some portion of their activities on the station to educational purposes. Many other space agency programs also have an outreach component. Aside from cultivating an interest in STEM, the microgravity environment of space allows students to learn about other physical phenomena in unique ways.

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Sticky GPS Trackers Slow Police Down

Satellite services are also being used by law enforcement in new ways to find and apprehend suspects. StarChase is a GPS-based pursuit management system that reduces the need for dangerous and destructive high-speed vehicle chases. Installed into the front of a law enforcement vehicle, StarChase targets and launches an adhesive GPS-enabled tracking device at fleeing suspect vehicles. Law enforcement can then track the suspect’s car at a safe distance.

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