A month in space #20

What has been going on over our heads for the past month? OneWeb is back in orbit, two European Agency probes have crossed over Venus, and NASA has begun experiments on the habitat of Mars.

OneWeb appears again

The British operator, believed to be bankrupt, rises from its ashes, approaching half its target, in terms of satellites placed in orbit. In fact, after the launch of 34 new satellites a few days ago via a Soyuz rocket it operates ArianespaceAnd OneWeb Today it has 288 satellites in low orbit.
Hoping to commercialize satellite Internet service by the end of 2022, Constellation You must have at least 648 satellites in low orbit.

As a reminder, OneWeb was about to Bankruptcy in March 2020, in the midst of a health crisis. The company owes its survival only to the British willingness to give the project a chance, by injecting $500 million. where, Indian giant Bharti and France’s Eurelsat have in turn invested heavily in OneWeb.

Today, the operator plans to continue orbiting the moons of its planet, as soon as possible, to have the chance of being in the middle of a sector where competition is fierce, with starlink, a subsidiary of SpaceX, which already has 3,000 satellites in orbit…

Two European Space Agency probes flew above Venus in less than 33 hours

Respondents solar orbit And BepiColombo They both approached Venus on August 9 and 10, still about 8,800 km away solar orbitwhich is heading towards the sun and 550 km to BepiColombothat is heading towards Mercury.

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Photos of the “meeting” are not many, but they are available at ESA website.

Venus, seen from the BepiColombo probe. © ESA

NASA is looking for four volunteers to live in a 3D-printed “Martian” house

3D printing may be necessary to imagine building a habitat on another planet. NASA is preparing to test a habitat entirely built using 3D printing, and is looking for 4 volunteers to live in it for an entire year. The idea is to gather valuable information to improve the concept as it is.

icon, the American 3D printing giant, is the company that develops these habitats:

The four tenants of this habitat will have different tasks: simulating a spacewalk, limited communication with the outside, limited resources, collapses… such as NASA science director, Grace Douglas, explains, by evoking life on Mars: We want to understand how humans behave there. We study real situations on Mars. »

However, the conditions required by NASA for the application are strict. To be eligible, you need at least:

  • be a US citizen;
  • Hold a degree in a scientific field related to engineering or aviation;
  • Be between 30 and 55 years old;
  • Don’t be prone to motion sickness.

In short, a glimpse into the astronauts. For application, it is Here.

The project that must Starting in fall 2022It will provide 157 square meters of living space for the four tenants of the property. It remains to be seen whether the colonization of Mars It is more about life than survival !

Written by Pierre Thüferez

Picture A: Baby Colombo flying over Venus © ESA

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