Blue Origin relaunched the rocket it landed in November
On Friday, Blue Origin launched their same New Shepard rocket booster that it launched into space two months ago. Looks like the commercial space race for reusable rockets is on—SpaceX is flashier with bigger trajectories, but Blue Origin keeps winning the race to first.
In its second flight, New Shepard reached an apogee of 333,582 feet (101.7 kilometers). It’s landing this time was a little different. Part of the software upgrade was reprioritizing how the rocket targets touchdown. The rocket no longer aims for the center of the pad at all costs. Instead although it targets the center, it will down anywhere convenient. In more technical terms, it prioritized the vertical altitude over longitudinal adjustments, meaning that it doesn’t make last-minute swerves compensating for low-altitude gusts just before landing.
Increasing use of artificial intelligence in satellite operations
Satellites are carrying increasingly diverse payloads into orbit, and resolving their often-conflicting onboard schedules requires programming wizardry and a little help from artificial intelligence. Adding experimental payloads to already planned satellites is a smart, cost-effective way to provide critical in-orbit testing of new technologies.
The new planning and scheduling system was originally developed for ESA’s Telecommunication and Integrated Application programmes by engineers at ESOC, the Agency’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, as a prototype for validating AI software. It has now evolved into a proven system that used for Alphasat.
Spaceport Tucson: World View’s new home for balloon tourist flights
World View Enterprises, which aims to loft paying customers to the stratosphere beneath a giant balloon, will do so from the newly approved Spaceport Tucson in southeastern Arizona, company representatives announced Tuesday.
Pima County’s Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday (Jan. 19) in favor of setting up Spaceport Tucson, which the county will own but World View will operate. World View will also construct its new headquarters next to the spaceport, and will serve as anchor tenant of the new County Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business and Research Park.
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