India sets record launching 104 satellites aboard a single rocket

The Indian Space Research Organisation, India’s version of NASA, set a record on Valentine’s Day when one of its PSLV rockets successfully launched 104 satellites into orbit. Riding onboard were 88 "Dove" mini-satellites from Planet, a US-based private imaging service, India’s Cartosat 2D high-resolution imaging satellite, and 15 others from various nations.

These Doves aren’t the first of their kind to be sent into orbit, or even the 14th. Planet already has a flock of 50 such miniaturized probes up there. But with these additional 88, Planet can claim the distinction of having "the biggest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites — and of satellites in general — in human history," a company rep told The Verge.

Now that the diminutive, 4-inch by 12-inch satellites have reached space, they’ll enter into a Sun-synchronous orbit, which will have them circling the poles. This allows the flock to cover the same part of the planet every day at the same time, which in turn allows the company to collect standardized, predictable imaging of the Earth’s surface. This won’t happen immediately, however, as the company will next need to spend a couple months properly positioning each probe in its assigned orbit.

Via: Verge

Source: ISRO

from Engadget

The Danbocchi Soundproof Cardboard Studio is a cheap whisper room

Danbocchi Whisper Room

If you’ve ever lived in or visited someone in an apartment in Japan, you know how much sound travels. Talking too loud can have you worried that the neighbors will be upset with you, so it can be very difficult to pursue any hobby or career that makes a lot of sound. This includes everything from playing an instrument and voice acting to playing video games and being immersed in music that’s turned all the way up.

Space is also an issue there, so it makes sense that this Danbocchi Soundproof Cardboard Studio would be created. It’s a less-professional whisper room that’s made out of lightweight materials, weighing in at 66.6lbs once it is completely set up. You will need to put things together on your own, but there aren’t many pieces, and you shouldn’t have to worry about it being as difficult as furniture from IKEA.

When it’s assembled, it measures 3.6 x 3.6 x 5.4′, which should give you enough room to at least sit comfortably in the box. This isn’t a cheap box made of cardboard, costing you $1,618, but it is certainly cleaner than anything you could jerry-rig at home out of grocery store boxes. There are a couple different variations of this box for those that have more or less space, but none cost less than a grand, so it’ll need to be a pretty serious consideration to dump money into.

Available for purchase on JapanTrendShop
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from Coolest Gadgets

A bolder, risk-taking NASA? Agency looking at Orion crew launch in 2019

NASA’s Orion spacecraft may first carry crew into space in 2019 under a new plan NASA is considering.


When presidential transition officials recently reviewed NASA’s existing plans for using its Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, they were not particularly impressed with the agency’s stretched-out timelines. Under NASA’s current plan, an initial crewed launch of the new vehicles was unlikely to occur before 2021, and independent analyses pegged 2023 as a more realistic target. That would put the first crewed flight into deep space beyond the first term of President Trump.

In response to these concerns, top-level NASA managers have been considering the possibility of launching crew on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System, known as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), instead of making an uncrewed test flight of the rocket as presently planned. Although this would delay the initial launch of the SLS rocket from 2018 to at least 2019 or 2020, it would also add more sizzle by bringing crew to the mix.

from Ars Technica