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As of the beginning of 2023, nearly 15,000 satellites are orbiting our planet. With so many orbiting bodies circling the Earth, it's a miracle they don't crash into each other, right? It might seem like magic, but in reality, it's because they aren't all orbiting at the same height. Let's take a closer look at what LEO, MEO and GEO satellites are, and why more companies are investing in LEO and MEO satellites to support space exploration.
We've been dreaming of the stars for longer than we can remember, staring up at the twinkling lights that fill the night sky and wondering what they are. We've even written songs about them. Centuries ago, before the advent of GPS, explorers and adventurers relied on celestial navigation to help them map a path to their destination. What is celestial navigation, how does it work and when was it relied upon?
Humanity has watched the International Space Station orbit this little blue marble for the last two and a half decades. This modern marvel has seen hundreds of astronauts and been home to thousands of scientific experiments. The ISS provides a unique laboratory that allows researchers to carry out their experiments in microgravity. So how, exactly, is the ISS outfitted to support this scientific research? What sorts of experiments are astronauts and scientists conducting on the ISS?
If you’re lucky when you look up in the sky at night, you might see a shooting star. As you’re making your wish, what you’re actually seeing is a small piece of rock or space junk burning up in the atmosphere. The friction of re-entry causes the shooting star to ignite and burn, which is why you see a brief flash of light.
The Internet of Things has the potential to change our world immensely. It will present new opportunities, as well as new challenges. IoT refers to the idea of connecting virtually any electronic device to the Internet and connecting them through the Internet to each other. Astronomers have also jumped in on the IoT conversation, and it turns out they have some issues with the up-and-coming network of connected devices.
Sometimes it's all in the details. Something as simple as polyurethane foam made the modern space shuttle a possibility. This crucial material opened up a range of new options for spacecraft, as well as everyday objects.
When we think about space-age technology and exploring the Cosmos, we usually think of metals, foils and ceramics. But what about textiles? As many NASA engineers can tell you, textiles have always been an unsung hero in the world of material science. But if the future of space exploration pans out the way engineers expect, humanity's status as a spacefaring species will see the inclusion of — and even come to depend on — advanced new types of fabrics, textiles and membranes.
As a species, we're working on expanding our horizons — literally — by making our first forays into outer space. Despite this push toward space exploration, there is still a lot about the universe around us that we don't know, and a lot that we don't even know to ask about yet. On top of that, much of the data that we could be collecting from outer space is invisible to the human eye. What tools are scientists using to gather data in space?
While we're excited to see the Artemis astronauts make their way to the lunar surface, they aren't the first human beings to set foot on the moon. How did NASA choose the Apollo astronauts for the 1969 mission? How has the selection process changed over the years, and what is NASA looking for in its Artemis astronauts?