Sunday, February 9, 2014


What kind of sign would you like, a stop sign, a traffic light or  an actual space cop? How about we stop at STARE – Space Based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris.

Current methods of locating, accurately of course, a satellite in low Earth’s orbit at any moment is iffy at best. Things such as atmospheric drag create errors in tracking the exact position and velocity of the satellite. As a result the Space Surveillance Network has to keep a cautious eye on 20,000 objects at all times. Still, these methods allow us to know only within 3/5ths of a mile. Not bad, but if your flying through space that 3/5ths of a mile error can be a major problem.

With this in mind STARE was created. Think of all those countries and satellites and the ISS and Tiagong-1 perhaps an orbiting hotel, all waiting for a collision – one that threatens your very survival.

A team of scientists had that thought and did something about it. From the Livermore National Laboratory comes a mini-satellite whose sole purpose will be to help control traffic in space. No more satellite on satellite crime or unexpected run in’s with the Romulans, or even with that trash that someone threw from their window.

Good thing to have in a place where the speed limit is the speed of light!

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