Another weekend and yet more space stuff for your enjoyment and knowledge….
Back in the 50s the US was caught flat-footed by the Russians when they successfully put a object in space, the Sputnik.
History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I. The world’s first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball (58 cm.or 22.8 inches in diameter), weighed only 83.6 kg. or 183.9 pounds, and took about 98 minutes to orbit Earth on its elliptical path. That launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments. While the Sputnik launch was a single event, it marked the start of the space age and the U.S.-U.S.S.R space race.
The Soviet Union inaugurates the “Space Age” with its launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for “satellite,” was launched at 10:29 p.m. on 04 October 1957. Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic.
And ever since the US has tried to always tried to remain one step ahead of the Russia…..and today is NO different…..
Space has once again become a prominent national security issue 63 years after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the world’s first satellite. Sputnik’s launch sent shockwaves throughout the U.S., thought to have been the world’s technological leader. This historical event and the U.S. response provides us with valuable context for how the U.S. faces the current space challenge posed by today’s array of potential adversaries.
In meeting this challenge, the U.S. has established Space Force, a U.S. Air Force component. The operational arm of Space Force will be U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM), a unified combatant command created in 1985 before being disbanded and subsumed by U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) in 2002.
These days there is a whole industry built up around space…..with Musk and others trying to capitalize on the promise of unforeseen profits the race is on…..and with this type of stuff changes are inevitable….
The attention of the world has recently been captured by the return of Japan’s Hayabusa-2 asteroid mission, the activities of Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture, and China’s Chang’e 5 moon landing, yet a quiet revolution is taking place in the global space industry. This revolution started in the 2010s and its full impact on global space industry should be measured over the next decade.
In the next 10 years, the entry into service of constellations of small satellites should reshape the face of the global space industry. While the miniaturization of satellites is not a disruptive innovation in itself, it signals a paradigm shift. It will continue to significantly reduce the cost of access to space and pave the way for the mass production of satellites, which in turn will reduce the cost of the space infrastructure itself.
The space industry used to be organized in highly hierarchical industrial chains around prime contractors, most often under public leadership, NASA being a leading example. It now operates like industrial ecosystems budding upstream or downstream around private space infrastructure.
It use to be about the scientific first….but today it is more about the promise of profit than the exploration for the sake of exploration.
I Read, I Write, YOu KNow
“lego ergo scribo”