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Astroscale stops orbital capture demo after detecting “anomalous spacecraft conditions”

Capitalism in space: Astroscale has halted an ambitious demonstration in-orbit of its magnetic capture technology when its engineers detected “anomalous spacecraft conditions.”

The demo involved a client satellite (posing as space junk) and a separate robot. Both were equipped with Astroscale’s magnetic capture device. A test in August had successfully separated the two units by a small distance, and then demonstrated that the magnetic capture device could grab the client satellite.

In the on-going but paused demo the robot was to separate, fly a distance away, and then use its autonomous programming to rendezvous with the client and then recapture it again. It successfully separated but that’s when the anomalies were detected. Engineers are now reviewing the data to see if they correct these issues and then proceed with the rest of the demo.

If successful Astroscale would demonstrate that their magnetic capture system works, thus giving them a strong selling point to have satellite companies buy it and install it on their satellites. Then, when the satellite was no longer needed Astroscale could send a robot up, capture it, and then de-orbit it safely.

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Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

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