Capitalism in space: The Canadian company Space Flight Labs announced yesterday that its first test of a solar sail for de-orbiting a small satellite ended successfully last month.
The CanX-7 (Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXperiment-7) was a three-kilogram, 10x10x34cm satellite that was launched on September 26, 2016. The satellite was funded by the Defence Research and Development Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, COM DEV Ltd. (now Honeywell), and the Canadian Space Agency.
According to SFL [Space Flight Labs] “the satellite successfully completed a seven-month aircraft tracking campaign before deploying its drag sails in May 2017 to demonstrate drag-sail based deorbiting.” SFL said it took five years for the drag sail to deorbit the satellite and without it the satellite wouldn’t have burned up in the atmosphere for roughly another 178 year.
When the four drag sails, each about one square meter in size, were deployed, engineers immediately measured an increase in the orbital decay rate. Though it still took five years to force a de-orbit, the system removed the satellite from orbit much sooner than otherwise.
The system is aimed at the smallsat market, satellites too small for other proposed removal methods that also might remain stranded in orbit for a very long time because of their small size.
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.
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.
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