Cheaper Launch Options for Science?
Low cost launchers, like SpaceX’s Falcon family, could have a significant impact on scientific missions, which typically rely on scarce public funds. Payloads from universities and research labs often “piggy back” on the launch of commercial satellites.
The Tangible Benefits of Space Research Realized
Space-based platforms provide unique opportunities for microgravity research and international scientific cooperation. The ISS, the space shuttles, Skylab, Russia’s Mir Space Station and Soyuz, and the Chinese Shenzhou have enabled microgravity research.
From the Outside Looking In: Earth Observation
In 2005, NOAA requested $## million for scientific research to provide funding for internal research laboratories and partnerships with academia. In addition to gathering data through Earth observation satellites, NOAA research projects use space systems for communication and navigation such as the joint NOAA/NASA Altair Unmanned Aircraft System.
Oh, the Learning You Shall Learn (through Space Telescopes)
Telescopes placed in space have greater capabilities than those located on the ground. Light received by telescopes in Earth orbit does not travel through the atmosphere (which causes the characteristic “twinkle” in stars). Orbital telescopes are protected from vibrations and weather.
Lunar and Interplanetary Exploration
More than ## missions carrying scientific instruments, in the form of probes and rovers, have been launched into the solar system to study planets, comets, asteroids, and other phenomena. These instruments return valuable scientific data on the history and nature of the solar system. Recently, NASA launched the New Horizons probe in January 2006 to study Pluto.
Globe-spanning Education Networks
World-class education services to rural and remote locations will continue to proliferate and stimulate economic development in those locations. The OECD’s Space 2030 recommends governments use satellites to provide services such as distance learning to rural and remote areas. India’s EDUSAT satellite, launched in 2005 with the goal of developing rural states like West Bengal by 2020, is a prime example of governments using distance learning in remote and undeveloped areas.
“For the Next Hour, Sit Quietly and We Will Control All That You See and Hear.”
Retail stores themselves have been increasing the use of “digital signage,” in-store TV or radio content that features programming and advertisements produced exclusively for viewing in the store.
Managing Inventory Through Space Connections
Inventory management is a crucial element to the profitability of retail stores, and this process has come to incorporate satellite capabilities at critical moments. The most sophisticated retail outlets collaborate closely with their suppliers; for instance, when a Proctor & Gamble item is scanned for purchase at a retail store, a message is sent via satellite uplink to the factory.
Satellite Terminals Saves Wal-Mart Money
The management of large corporations requires dedicated networks to support a number of communications applications, from the financial transactions discussed above to video conferencing, local network interconnection, wide area wireless networking, multicasting, virtual private networks, Inter… This article is for subscribers. Please sign up for a subscription or login below. Username Password Remember Me …
Banking on VSAT and GPS
According to OECD’s Space 2030, satellites have the ability to reduce the digital divide and provide telecommunication infrastructure, opening markets for e-commerce. E-commerce applications are well established and expanding broadband networks via satellites is likely to have a strong effect on the economy and electronic trade in the near future.