Angola establishes its first space strategy


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The new colonial movement: Angola has enacted its first space strategy, aimed at encouraging a new space industry in that nation.

The document is mostly government bureaucratic blather. More important, it seems mostly centered on what Angola’s governmental space agencies will do in the future. The policy makes nice about encouraging the private sector, but offers little to actually accomplish this.

Nonetheless, this action once again shows that more and more countries across the globe want in on the exploration of the solar system. The international competition is going to be fierce.

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7 comments

  • Orion314

    Until someone comes up with a way to clean up the debris in Low Earth Orbit ., and soon, I can see its just a matter of time before a catastrophic screw up of the 1st magnitude is right down the road. NorKo with lil’ kimi, already as demonstrated he can go beyond L.E.O. Just imagine if he , or some other 3rd world banana republic with a few bucks, might come up with the idea of showing the US , USSR, or China, they can spoil the party if they cooked off a nuke in LEO.. Sayonara to the ISS…100billion + down the drain. I know some readers here are reminded of the movie Gravity. If people recall , from wiki ” Starfish Prime was a July 9, 1962 high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States, …. After the Starfish Prime detonation, bright auroras were observed in the detonation area as well as in the southern conjugate region … These man-made radiation belts eventually crippled one-third of all satellites in low Earth orbit….destruction is always easy.

  • wayne

    Angola is an authoritarian dictatorship.
    The current tough-guy, has been “president” since ‘like 1980.

    Orion314-
    Interesting stuff.

    Compiled Starfish Prime video (including the “interim report.”)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZoic9vg1fw
    (1:09:30)

  • fred k

    Please, “orion314” let’s not give out ideas. Obviously, anyone that knows about orbital mechanics knows that the N0 K0’s can cause problems in LEO now … not with high precision, but I doubt that is required.

  • wodun

    As launch costs come down and off the shelf habitats are launched, anyone can have a space program.

    When the socialists talk about seizing assets of spacefarers, they always frame things as rich countries raping the universe and abusing the poor on Earth. The reality is that it won’t only be rich countries with big government programs like NASA who can go to space.

    A country might not have the expertise or the money to develop their own launchers or habitats from scratch but they are certainly capable of buying these products and services.

  • Edward

    wodun wrote: “As launch costs come down and off the shelf habitats are launched, anyone can have a space program.

    That is just for a manned space program. Many countries are already creating their own unmanned space programs by making their own satellites or even by buying satellites from companies in other countries. Small satellites are making these programs even more affordable.

    Even now, several universities have courses that build and fly satellites, especially cubesats*. These courses come close to being space programs at these universities.

    I think that the next decade will be very exciting in the space exploration and expansion industry, because so many countries are already creating unmanned space programs and will be eager to take advantage of this low cost of creating a manned program through the use of hardware and services provided by commercial space companies.

    * Cubesats were invented by a couple of university professors specifically for universities to use as standard sizes and weights in order to ease the complications of launching as secondary payloads on large rockets. They have become very popular in industry and government, too. Small satellites, such as cubesats, are the reason that several companies are now making small satellite launch vehicles, to put these satellites in orbits that are more useful to the satellite operator rather than the arbitrary orbits that small satellites have been getting by piggybacking on launches of large satellites.

  • Max

    Orion314 said:
    “Until someone figures away to clean up all the debris in the low Earth orbit… And soon!”
    http://ixquick-proxy.com/do/spg/show_picture.pl?l=english&rais=1&oiu=https%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fb%2Fb4%2FComparison_satellite_navigation_orbits.svg&sp=82c07bfcf1e688dd2958d72e3c01023e
    This diagram shows there is a Lot of room yet to expand into. Think of a satellite no larger than a rowboat crossing the ocean and running into another rowboat. Now what is the likelihood that it would also run into a submarine or an airplane? Based on how many meteors we see on any given night, it is 100 times more likely that they’ll run into meteoroid then another satellite. You have better odds at winning the lottery.
    Low Earth orbit is technically in the thermosphere inside the atmosphere of earth. This will eventually drag all satellites under 300 miles down to reentry.
    Space junk in orbit is valuable and no doubt will be collected. Prototypes to do this have already been created.
    https://www.space.com/37493-orbital-suit-dismissed-darpa-satellite-project.html

  • Edward

    Max,
    That is a nice diagram that you linked, but it is a bit misleading. The diagram is two dimensional, missing the crossing-orbits in other planes; GPS, Galileo, and Glonass constellations are in multiple, intersecting, planes. The diagram only shows circular orbits, whereas many or most satellites are in elliptical orbits; even satellites in the same plane cross some of the orbits of the other satellites as they travel from perigee to apogee.

    The reason why there is so much open space is because the orbits where there are the most satellites are the most useful orbits; it is like looking at a map of a desert and noting that there are only settlements where there are oases and concluding that there is a lot of room to expand into. Satellites that venture into the regions of the Van Allen radiation belts don’t last very long unless they have radiation hardening, which adds weight and launch costs; those regions are generally less desirable.

    Because the problem has worried the space community for so long (at least since the 1970s), the general guideline for operators putting up new satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) is that they be placed in orbits that degrade into reentry within 25 years. Many cubesats and smallsats are now being placed in such orbits. Then again, that makes the small volume of LEO that much more popular and that much more crowded.

    The problem is not that we are concerned with the “submarines” running into the “rowboats” or the “airplanes;” we are concerned with the submarines running into each other, the rowboats running into each other, and the airplanes running into each other. Satellite orbits cross each other, giving two opportunities for collision with each orbit of each satellite that it crosses for each orbit of the Earth (for LEO, this is about 16 orbits per day or 32 opportunities per day for collision with each intersecting satellite orbit; for GPS’s 12-hour orbit, this is 2 orbits per day or only 4 daily opportunities for collision in this much, much larger orbital space). As more and more satellites are added, there are many more collision opportunities per day, and almost four orders of magnitude more opportunities for collisions over a 25-year lifetime.

    We already have a problem with collisions between satellites. In 2009, the active Iridium 33 and the dead Cosmos 2251 collided with each other. The overall problem is so worrisome that we have a system known as the “Space Fence” that predicts when satellites will come close to other satellites or to orbiting debris. They predict closeness rather than collisions because it is very difficult to predict the future location of anything in a perturbation-free elliptical orbit, and factoring in the perturbation effects of atmospheric drag on irregularly shaped satellites makes it even harder.

    Geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) is also crowded, and it is impossible for those satellites to be in 25-year-reenty orbits, so those operators will, at the end of a satellite’s operational life, send the satellite into a graveyard orbit, a 200 to 300 km higher orbit, to ensure that it will not be a hazard to the remaining satellites in geostationary orbit. Satellites in this region of space will likely be some of the first space junk collected, as there is so much already there and it is in planes that are reasonably close to equatorial.

    Changing orbital planes takes a lot of propellant, so getting space junk to an orbital reprocessing facility will take some effort. Even the satellites in the GEO graveyard orbit drift out of the equatorial plane (a north-south motion relative to the equator), due to the effects of the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun. Operational satellites in GEO occasionally use small thrusters to counteract the effects of that pull in order to remain in the equatorial plane. The point being that salvaging a satellite from the graveyard orbit will take more propellant than salvaging an end-of-life satellite from GEO.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary_orbit#Limitations_to_usable_life_of_geostationary_satellites

    The good news is that we already have in orbit hundreds of tonnes of aluminum alloys, carbon composites, and other useful materials constructed into these satellites. At foreseeable launch costs, that is high value material to have already in orbit. All we need is a space-based salvage, recycling, and manufacturing industry in order to reuse this valuable, previously-launched material. (I make that sound so easy.)

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