Since GPS achieved Fully Operational Capability on July 17, 1995, GPS has become an essential navigational tool for civilians and military alike. Keeping the system up-to-date has proved to be a problem. Originally the system was supposed to be up and running in February of 2016 but has been delayed at least until 2023.
The latest iteration of the GPS satellite array is called GPS Block III. These satellites must be launched (and will greatly increase navigational accuracy) in order to keep the Navstar global positioning system operational.
The satellites have already been built by Lockheed-Martin and consist of ten new, advanced satellites to be launched into orbit by SpaceX Falcon rockets. The hold up is the U.S. government wanting to make sure the hardware actually gets up there as they independently seek to confirm the safety and reliability of the SpaceX rocket systems.
The new GPS satellites will boost additional easier to track signals for civilian navigational uses and a Military code (M-1) providing anti-jamming security use for the military.
NASA and other space agencies have launched missions to the moon, just not with astronauts. For example, the Japanese space agency once launched a satellite to completely map the surface of the moon in high definition detail.
The main reason (not sure why you don’t know this) we stopped sending men to the moon was that the Vietnam war was getting expensive and politicians decided to cut the space budget because we needed money.
Seems now like NASA is revising it’s scheme to return to the Moon within a few years time. Surely you’ve been following the news.
It already is being used for military purposes right now as in spy satellites. Even very recently SpaceX was tasked to launch a U.S.but it exploded and the satellite didn’t make it.
In 1984 arocket launched the and satellites for “reconnaissance,” and the satellite for missile detection. The list just starts there and goes into the hundreds including many satellites and so on.
And, by the way, not just by the United States, but other governments as well.
Furthermore, the Chinese government once shot a missile to destroy their own satellite in space just to say the could, and they succeeded, vastly increasing the dangerous debris cloud floating now in orbit. It was a military demonstration.
Edit addendum: The government of India has recently done the same foolish thing – shot down a satellite to prove they could do it – increasing the amount of space junk exponentially.
Okay. I admit it.
This is a weird blog. It’s my blog and I post whatever I want on it and I get, for some reason, a whole lot of traffic.
I post about weird stuff. Space. Occasionally politics. Life and death stuff. Philosophy. Linux. Weird stuff. At all times of the day.
Now I want to tell you about Cassini–Huygens. It’s an unmanned spacecraft sent to the planet Saturn. It is a Flagship-class NASA–ESA–ASI robotic spacecraft. Cassini is the fourth space probe to visit Saturn and the first to enter orbit, and its mission is ongoing as of April 2017.
That last paragraph was mostly plagiarized which I can do. Sue me.
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune could all fit in the gap between the Earth and our Moon with about 4,990 miles to spare
Think of Earth as a basketball and the moon like a tennis ball. How far would you have to place them apart to approximate the distance between the Earth and Moon? Five feet? Ten feet? Twenty feet? Nope! Further even then that! A tennis ball would then have to be about 24 feet from the basketball to be of the proper scale. Farther than most people visualize.
This is how it looks (See image). Kind of surprising. The moon looks bigger to us than that, doesn’t it? Well, no it doesn’t. Our minds eye just makes it look bigger. Hold your thumb out at arms length. The tip of your thumb at that distance more than covers the moon. Still, the moon is the biggest thing in the night sky, and it really stands out much brighter and bigger than all the stars, relatively.
Surprisingly, people really do think the Moon is closer to the Earth than it is. You can see from the photo taking a “mere trip to the Moon” is no easy task!
Here’s a statistic for you! Think how big Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, the gas giants, are in relationship to our tiny Earth.
Yet our Moon is so far from Earth that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune could all fit in the gap with about 4,990 miles to spare (using the average Earth-moon distance of 238,555 miles).
Not very big! It would just have to be natural. Not made by man! And it wouldn’t have to be there for very long either. Just long enough for it to be in orbit.
The astronomical community doesn’t have a definition for moon other than it has to be a natural object. Thus captured asteroids can be moons. It’s even possible for a moon to have a moon!
Mars has two moons, neither of which are large enough to be round. Objects in space get round due to their own gravity. The first image above is Deimos and the second is Phobos, the Martian Moons. Deimos (top) is the smallest. It has a mean radius of 3.9 miles.
Some of my readers embrace my pessimism. Some hate it!
Finding life on other planets is the Holy Grail of science. The final punch in the age-old fight between scientists and creationists. It runs deep.
It would finally prove life can exist elsewhere. To date no proof exists.
There are candidates right here in our own solar system with some moons in orbit around Saturn and Jupiter. They are going to spend a lot of money to look. They had hope for Mars. That hope faded quickly when we realized Mars is dead.
My gut feeling is on the side of pessimism, though.