Archive for the ‘Space Race’ Category

The new space race will be for positioning, navigation, and timing.  Why?  It’s too important not to have, or conversely, it’s too important to have to depend on someone else for such space-provided services.

Who is in the game?  The U.S., Russia, China, and the ESA.

Assuming war doesn’t break out (with selective disabling), cross-system linking and ground station enhancements will reduce miss-distances to less than one meter.


What exactly is the “space race” anyway?

And are we really losing it or are others just catching up?

This is often called reverting to the mean.  Reverting to the mean can be caused by a number of factors.  ITAR is one of those factors, and the government’s intervention has distorted the market regarding the space industry and caused a cascade of unintended consequences.

UPDATE: The first report from the field is always wrong. Spaceflight Now (via the Korea Aerospace Research Institute) reports the orbital parameters were supposed to be perigee at 186 miles and apogee at 932 miles. CNN relayed perigee may have been missed by almost 35 miles. There may be some data mangling regarding miles and kilometers.


South Korea’s Space Launch Vehicle-1, AKA Naro-1 (what, even rockets have street names?) has launched. The two-stage booster was jointly built with the Russians (at a reported cost of $400million) and the satellite was domestically produced in South Korean.

It was announced the launch failed to put its satellite into its desired orbit. The Times report says the satellite was an extra 36 kilometers farther from the earth than it should have been.

Since the announced mission of the satellite was to observe the atmosphere and ocean, and those sorts of missions are often polar orbits, it would seem likely the satellite may not be optimally positioned, but a plus 20-mile miss distance should be able to provide plenty of functionality.

However, if it is supposed to be a low-flier, and maybe even a spy satellite, this sort of miss distance may well prevent mission objectives being fulfilled.