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Space

SpaceX deploys another set of Starlink Satellites and two BlackSky payloads

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches another batch of its Starlink payloads together with two BlackSky observation satellites. This move comes after uneventful scheduled launches due to delays.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. One hour later, the upper core detached from the space vehicle to allow the Global-7 satellite to escape. Five minutes after this, Global-8 satellite disconnected to enter its orbit in space. The 57 Starlink satellites were the last in this detachment process 93 minutes after takeoff.

The mission is the first to take a long time before releasing the Starlink satellites. The company justified itself, saying that the launch took long since the vehicle had to burn up twice for the ejection of BlackSky satellites into their geostationary orbits.

The space vehicle’s first stage docked in the Atlantic Ocean in about eight minutes after the launch. This stage has been notable on other vital missions, including the uncrewed Demo-1 Crew Dragon trial, the trio Radarsat Constellation Mission satellites, and finally, the previous Starlink launches.

SpaceX launched two tug boats to seize the halves of the payloads from this launch. However, this move was uneventful, according to the company’s webcast statement.

This launch has been going through postponements due to the lousy weather and technical challenges. The company is yet to reveal the technical difficulties that hampered the previous scheduled launches. Tweets by the company acknowledge that the company was checking in to monitor the pre-launch tests and the time needed for the deployment.

One of the chief engineers at SpaceX, John Insprucker, revealed that the postponements are not associated with the rocket. He quotes that the delays are because of weather conditions and payload technicalities. However, he was adamant about divulging if the payload with challenges was either of the Starlink or the BlackSky satellites.

This launch is part of the SpaceX Starlink mission topping up the Starlink satellites in the geostationary orbit to 595. SpaceX is working on setting up a constellation of thousands of satellites to avail internet connection for telephone users worldwide. This move comes as a developing plan of the US is transitioning to a 5G network in all the states.

Astronomers are the concerned lot who think that the rising number of satellites will impede their astronomical exploits. SpaceX responded to this argument by deploying a satellite with visors that oblique the reflection of sun rays. SpaceX added that all the payloads they are launching, including the current launch, would have screens to avoid interfering with the astronomical studies.

In conclusion, BlackSky has successfully deployed four satellites. SpaceX has been instrumental in these launches. The firm hopes that they can keep up the zeal to reach its target of 16 satellites roaming the space with a high resolution before mid next year.

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Energy

Mahindra scouts for an associate to offer $100 million directly into electric vehicle venture

Currently, the M&M is holding discussions with suitors to enter into a contract in its unlisted contributory Mahindra Electric Mobility – one of the renowned manufacturers of electric cars in the nations. Few firms have already finished the deadline diligence activity to purchase a stake. The move will aid Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) to accomplish their aims of receiving $100 million that will help in the expansion of the product. 

The function of the Mahindra Electric Mobility is to manufacture battery-electric passenger three-wheelers, four-wheeled electric motor as well as an electric automobile. 

Pawan Goenka, Managing Director at Mahindra and Mahindra, talked to analysts stating that the firm has about $100 million of investments to help in their product development strategy in the coming 3-4 years. Goenka added that his staff holds meetings with several people, some of whom have passed the diligence stage. 

When more serious Corporate Average Fuel Economy policies are introduced in India in the coming two years, M&M will have a considerable size of electric cars in its collection. 

The over-delayed electric battery type of the KUV100 will be inaugurated later this year, registering a fourth inauguration in the electronic SUV space. Later on, the electrical model of the XUV300 will be initiated.  

Through Mahindra Electric Mobility, M&M has been able to invest in the progress of the following group of EV platform called MESM350. The Mahindra Electric Scalable and Modular Architecture 350 is a power train that runs on 350-volt power, and it wires different sizes of vehicles that vary from 60 Kw to 280 Kw. It also supports double vehicle ideas as well as dimensions of batteries ranging to 80 kWh. 

No investing in poor performers

The firm has decided to enlighten itself in leaving out a group of poor performers. M&M has seized in making its funds in Korean subsidiary SsangYong, closed its electric two-wheeled venture Ganze, situate in the United States, and also canceled a capital intensive bid for the United State Postal service. By doing this, the firm will save more money and step out of businesses that will make it incur more figures of loss. 

As the electric mobility space is among the central pieces of the M&M main game plan, Mahindra Electric Mobility (MEML) has incurred a lot of loss from the start. As of Fiscal Year 2020, MEML has recorded a loss of Rs 55 crore. 

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Space

United States Space Command again opposes Russia for developing and testing anti-satellite weapons

American Space Command on the 23rd of July publication revealed that it has evidence that Russia on the 15th of July performed a non-damaging try out of a space-related anti-orbiter armament.

American Space Command highlighted that Russia blasted off a recent substance towards the orbit from Cosmos-2543.

Cosmos-2543 is the similar orbiter that at the onset of this year moved around an American satelitte, per an American Space Command. 

General John Raymond, commandant of American Space Command as well as head of space missions of the American Space military, in February summoned out Russia for dispatching an assessor orbiter termed as Cosmos-2543 that expelled a sub-orbiter, Cosmos-2543. The latter was allegedly pursuing USA 245, an off the record imaging orbiter managed by National Reconnaissance Office,

John, sometime back in April, raised concern concerning Russia test dismissal of a direct-ascension anti-orbiter projectile that he cautioned could endanger U.S.A orbiters in the Lower Earth Orbit.

In a publication, John stated on the 15th of July test was further proof of Russia’s persistence attempts to advance and test space-related mechanisms, and constant with the Kremlin’s in print armed forces policy to employ armaments that contain American as well as associated space properties in danger.

The American federal division has condemned Russian orbiters manners as unpredictable with their specified operation, and these orbiters showcased features of a space-allied armament, American Space Command stated.

Christopher Ford, American vice-secretary of federal government executing the roles of the undersecretary regarding arms management as well as global security, highlighted in a publication that the recent test outlines Russia’s deceitful activism of outer space arms management, with which Moscow targets to restrain the competencies as well as what would seem to be real in-orbit anti-orbiter military hardware.

The maturing cat-and-dog game in orbit is worrying because it could amount to growth, cautioned space doctrine specialist and advisor Laura Seward

Laura remarked that the difficulty was not only that Russia was persisting to test anti-orbiter mechanisms, even non-destructively. She further added that it was bothersome because it sets pressure on the American regime as well as other space powers to contemplate trying out ASAT mechanisms. It was a risky response cycle.

The leader of Britain’s Space Directorate as well voiced concern regarding what he defined as Russia experimenting on one of its orbiters through dispatching a missile with the features of armaments.

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Space

Astronauts from NASA tie spacewalk to EVA to prepare ISS upgrades

On 21 July 2020, two astronauts of NASA coupled a spacewalk record while preparing International Space Station for potential updates.

Bob Behnken, who disembarked at space station on SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 spaceship in May and Expedition 63 leader Chris Cassidy, carried out their fourth spacewalk jointly on Tuesday. The five hours and thirty minutes expedition manifested the tenth extravehicular movement, or EVA, by two crewmates coupling the record for the majority of spacewalks that gets to be performed by an American, as two additional astronauts also accomplished it. 

Swiftly realizing their first undertakings, the installation of an instrument kit at the foot of the station’s Canadarm2 automatic arm and photographing their workstation from the last spacewalk to improve the batteries for the power system of the station. Both Behnken and Cassidy then operated on eliminating two gadgets called “H-Fixtures” that helped in holding the solar arrays of the station before the launching of the panels. 

Behnken had tried to get rid of one of the meetings on a previous spacewalk, however, failed to pry it loose. For EVA, astronauts were organized with a mixture of tools, comprising a long-handled wrench, a power drill and a tape-wrapped plier, and also a 3D printed wedge on board space station for the duty.

With the job done two hours into spacewalk, the astronauts packed their instruments, relocated a moveable foot restraint, and rearranged their tethers before moving in the station’s Tranquility Node3 to commence arranging the module for the outpost first commercial airlock installation.

Bishop airlock of Nanoracks that gets its name from diagonally-moving chess bits will boost the capacity of the place to position commercial CubeSats among other tiny satellites. The module shaped like a bell jar is scheduled for a send-off on the SpaceX Dragon cargo spaceship later in the current year.

Both Cassidy and Behnken operated at Tranquility’s end cone, constituting it for extra Bishop Airlock. Both astronauts initially removed the pressurized mating adapter envelop that had been mounted to replace a misplaced thermal guard. 

Both Cassidy and Behnken also coupled back three thermal envelopes and removed a little patch of debris. Proceeding on to their last assignments, Behnken and Cassidy re-routed wires for the new wireless data method and got rid of a filter from the camera lens. 

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Energy

KenGen Company to develop solar power plants in dams’ reservoirs

The Kenya Generating Power Company (KenGen) recently got involved in discussions regarding the expansion of the energy industry. The firm announced its ardent plans underway to develop solar power plants on three major damn in Kenya. KenGen commissioned the contract to a Norwegian firm in the installation of the panels and other related infrastructures. The hybridization plans will place the country on the map as a developing country with ambitions to improve its green energy sector.

KenGen, with the help of Multiconsult Company, will conduct extensive research on the selected dams. Kamburu and Turkwell are among the three dams considered for the project. Multiconsult will undertake the project evaluation based on social, ecological, climatic, and risk concerns associated with the project. The basins of the HEP dams will provide a large surface area enough for the accommodation of numerous solar panels with the ability to generate sufficient and sustainable power.

Multiconsult’s project manager positioned the hybridization plan as with the capacity to facilitate ideal management. Additionally, he mentioned the cost-effectiveness of the project, which will achieve economic possibilities in heightening KenGen’s operations. According to the expert, Kenya possesses enormous resources to support the solar power platform in the entire country. The specialist further explained how the solar project would salvage a quicker developmental process. The hydroelectric power sector will save a significant amount of energy as it will only operate during the night. The solar projects will then simultaneously provide power during the day in the presence of the sun.

In a statement by KenGen’s official, solar power will mitigate emissions from fossil fuels and other conventional sources with energy-containing carbon, which powers the HEP projects on the three dams. The need for alternatives to power the HEP dams have got caused by the fluctuation of water levels during the dry seasons. 

During the dry seasons, the evaporation rate will significantly reduce with the use of photovoltaic solar panels, according to Multiconsult. The move will propagate the production of more energy throughout the year with no unnecessary power surges. KFW, a German-based agency, will support the operations of the floating solar power projects.in addition, the floating solar power project is a phenomenon that has been in existence in the country for long. 

Ecoligo Company, an equally German-based firm, is currently progressing with a string of related floating solar power projects. 

In conclusion, the induction of the renewable energy project will provide a significant energy service and lower the cost of energy. 

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Space

NASA still fighting with the impacts caused by Coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON: Following four months of closing working centers, NASA has managed to keep its primary operations on track as much as others postpone their planned launch missions. 

Mars 2020 operations are planned to occur on July 30 on Atlas 5 rocket, which will lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. At first, the launch operation was scheduled to take place on July 17, but as the launch vehicle developed some launch problems, it was delayed to August 15. 

In the middle of the pandemic, the liftoff plans seem to be still progressing well. 

Michael Watkins, who is the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, stated that over 1,000 people who have taken part in the operation, approximately 100 were from Cape Canaveral working on the final sendoff activities, and others were from the JPL. The exercise was excellent, despite the outbreak of Coronavirus. Practically, they seem to be prepared to carry out the launch. 

NASA made the Mars 2020 one of its topmost strategies even after the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic had forced the organization to shut down all its centers and to some of its workforces, although those serving primary duties remained.

Another effective launch was that of SpaceX Demo-2 commercial crew test flight after lifting off March 30 and landed it with the International Space Station the following day. The operation is almost coming to an end. 

Speaking at a similar Webinar, Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator, asserted that the return of Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley would be one of the main focus since the last time they engaged in spacewalk activities was on July 21.

As much as both Demo-2 and Mars 2020 remain on the track, there are still launch problems facing NASA Organization. On July 16, NASA confirmed that James Space Webb Telescope’s launch had been delayed to seven months, meaning it will take place in October next year (2021). 

When the pandemic appeared to have cut past the anticipated figures, all operations, more so those of carrying out experiments on the main phase of Space Launch Systems, were canceled. The good thing is that those operations have resumed, and the static fire experiment planned to take place in October. However, Jim Bridenstine said that no one is certain if the pandemic will end, and that might still put the mission to delay until further notice. Further delays will affect all scheduled launches planned to be accomplished by companies. 

Those who will attend NASA’s Demo-3 launch occasion will be denied access to the launch site- Kennedy Space Center. 

Categories
Energy

The London Underground is preparing to transition all of its operations to renewable energy

London intends to run its London Underground on 100% renewable energy. This move is in line with the city’s popular rail system zero-emissions strategy by 2030, to catapult the whole town to be emission-free come 2050. London’s biggest power consumer is Transport for London (TfL), which averages about 1.6TWh of power annually. Of this quantity, the Tube, which hosts the buses, trams, and over ground trains, uses approximately 1.2TWh of electricity annually.

Research by British Business Energy projects that 200 wind turbines or an equivalent of 5.5 million solar panels would be required to operate the system on renewable energy annually fully. This quantity would fill up the space occupied by the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Currently, the Tube uses 16% of electricity generated from renewables to operate. London has thought through the wind turbines plan and decided that since it can’t afford to create such a considerable space for wind turbines or solar panels, it will procure the power from renewable energy distributors. This move will save the city a vast stretch on its resources to install the turbines.

The mayor for London, Sadiq Khan, stated that since TfL will be one of the prime consumers of energy in London, they must spearhead the transition to clean energy. He reiterates that this move will help catalyze the inevitable shift of this city to an emission-free zone by 2030.

The London lawmakers are ready to finalize the spread of renewable energy use from the City Hall to the whole city. This move would help to meet the energy demand for the TfL system for both the police and the fire services. The resolution by the London Mayor is advocated for by the environmental activists like Greenpeace and the Renewable Energy Association.

Khan says that the expansion of the renewable energy system will ensure that transportation via rail network is swift while remaining cost-efficient. He hopes that the spread can go all through to the Greater London Authority to hasten the achievement of the goals that London has concerning global warming and climate change. 

Many of the UK businesses are adopting the work from home formula after the institution of shelter-in-place measures implicated by the coronavirus pandemic. Commuter services are feeling the impact of the epidemic, with some of the positives being clean air for the citizens.

Finally, if the rate of commuting remains the same throughout the year, 460000 kWh of power will be saved or even used domestically in 46000 homes in a year. 

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Energy

The subsidies and incentives on the Renault Zoe make it an almost free EV in the country’s auto market

European car customers can now access the newly engineered electric cars at a subsidized price. This move is possible because of the government subsidies and the EU incentives, which have made the vehicle appear superfluous and cost-effective.

Customers are joining the webinar showrooms all over France and Germany after their governments instituting incentives and subsidies for the EVs. These two countries are Europe’s biggest car markets. Seemingly, the transition to EVs is inevitable with these two pioneers championing for this move. 

BloombergNEF reports that these two nations have the most customer-friendly prices globally. 

The German government is ready to let Autohaus Koenig market Renault Zoe EV and the payment method for this car. Autohaus Koenig is a car marketer with over 50 branches in Germany. This distribution by the firm makes it the most suitable supply chain for these incentivized cars. Twenty days after marketing, the vehicles have witnessed over 2000 inquiries and approximately 200 signed deals.

The head of EV sales for Autohaus Koenig in Berlin, Wolfgang Huber, substantiates that more transactions would be recorded if only the staff exceeded the current number. He says that they did not anticipate such an efficacious sales period, especially after introducing incentives.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Emmanuel Macron evaluate how to recuperate the car industry from the unprecedented coronavirus impact. Europe’s sales are picking up at a sluggish rate in Europe than in North America, causing lawmakers to focus their attention on the primary sources of job opportunities.

Nonetheless, the Renault model sales in France are trailing on a couply increase, leading to the tailing of the ICE vehicles in terms of demand. In the Netherlands, the busy Amsterdam city is prohibiting the ICE cars beginning 2030, a move that has attracted an expenditure of US$11.4 million to finance the influx of EVs in less than a fortnight.

BloombergNEF’s analyst Aleksandra O’Donovan states that the increasing subsidies and incentives are escalating demand for electric cars. He adds that the EU is going ahead in an abrupt move to transition to clean transportation after cataclysmic support from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Finally, Germany is witnessing a substantially high EV sales courtesy of the government incentives and subsidies on these cars. One of the country’s virtual car market website, Carfellows, is experiencing high sales volume due to the approximately 9000 euros’ incentives imposed on each EV. Carfellows spokesman Rainer Westdoerp submits that this is the whooping climax in sales since the launch of the startup. 

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Space

China Launches three satellites for remote sensing, commercial data acquisition and x-ray astronomy

China was able to launch three satellites on Long March 4B rocket with the intention to be able to achieve commercial data acquisition, novel lobster eye x-ray astronomy and, last but not least, remote sensing. The launch took place on Friday 11:13 p.m. Eastern Time from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre. Even before an hour ended following the launch, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. announced that the launch was a success.

One of the satellites was Ziyuan-3 03, which was the main payload. Its purpose was to handle the remote sensing. The developer was China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) under the CASC. In order to ensure that it performs monitoring, resource survey and the production of geographical products, the designers included three cameras with a resolution of approximately 2.5 meters. It joins its predecessors, Ziyuan-3 1 and 2. With the help of the Gaofen-7 satellites, the trio will be in a position to provide satellite data sources that are even more stable. If things go as planned, that will be enhanced even further by the launch of an additional satellite, which will be the last of the Ziyuan-3 series satellites before the end of the year.

The other one is a smallsat means to perform x-ray astronomy. Its developer was the Shanghai ASES Spaceflight Technology Co. Ltd. It’s a research institute under a major subsidiary of CASC called the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. It is the first of its kind in China and was experimenting in collaboration with Nanjing University and Hong Kong University. It is designed to capture the x-ray energy range and dark matter signals thanks to its ultra-large field of view.

Last but not least is the data acquisition one. The developer is the same, but it is to be used largely by the Beijing Guodian Gaoke Technology Co. Ltd. It will be testing the narrow-band Internet of Things constellation. 

At the beginning of the year, CASC has said that it would launch 40 satellites or rather rounds by the end of 2020. There would also be additional missions involving Kuaizhou and Expace among other service providers. So far, China is on the right track since this particular one marked the 21st one of this year. However, one must acknowledge that not all have been a success. For instance, the inaugural flight of the Long March 7A was a failure, and the same can be said about the Kuaizhou 11. There was also the Long March 3B launch that saw the loss of the Palapa-N1 communication satellite.

Nevertheless, the proportionality of the failure and the success shows great progress. As a matter of fact, China made a great milestone not long ago marked by its first independent interplanetary mission. That’s after the success of the launching of the Tianwen-1 to Mars. 

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Energy

Africa is likely the dominant continent in the global renewable energy industry

Focus has shifted to Africa after various countries transitioning out of coal energy. The GWPF is eager to influence Africans to use fossil fuels. This agency released a report narrates how electricity is a security problem for Africa. This move by the agency is crumbling Africa’s switch to renewable energy. 

One of Kenya’s citizens notes that the coal-fueled climate is disastrous for the people in Northern Kenya. The counter-climate regulations for which GWPF is championing are the primary causes of storms, droughts, and global warming that are disastrous to the region’s inhabitants.

Coincidentally, GWPF is now faking to be the saviors of Africa, and yet they are targeting Africa as the new market for the coal industry. Another conspirator in this move is European petrol producers who discard their dirty products in the African markets.

The GWPF report is a creation of Geoff Hill, who has worked before as the Australian newspaper. Hill is spreading propaganda about climate change because he is uninformed on matters climatology and energy regulations. Three academicians are buying into this report, and here is why. The three, Dr. Jacob Masiala, Dr. Samson Bada, and Dr. Rosemary Falcon are all affiliates of the Clean Coal Technology Research group at the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg.

Africa will never prosper if it falls into the trap of the traditional pollutive energy proponents. Africa must jump into the current trend of clean, renewable energy to thrive in this ever-changing world. Below is an outline of how to achieve this mission. Africa has adequate wind, sun, and geothermal energy facilities compared to other areas on Earth.

Wind and solar energy are the cheapest energy forms worldwide, efficient, and more reliable than fossil-fuels. Africa can start by developing mini-grids and wind turbines to meet citizens’ energy needs in remote areas. This move will ensure that Africans enjoy electricity before the installation of mega power grids and turbines. Africa must understand that coal energy will only worsen the existing climate crisis and do away with it.

African governments are slowly getting the gist after their leaders set aggressive goals in the Paris climate. This move made the more prosperous pollutive nations rethink their plans to avoid embarrassments. Nonetheless, Africa is proving its ingenuity after establishing the Noor solar power farm in Morocco. This farm is currently the largest worldwide. Africa can contribute 40 percent of solar power globally. Hopefully, the leaders should amass the right knowledge and implement it to ensure Africa dominates the global renewable energy industry.

Finally, Africa needs to shovel unreliable agencies like GWPF to cut out the negativity. African governments should educate and train their youth to work towards the achievement of clean, renewable energy economies.