[REVIEW] : NASA is working with SpaceX and Amazon on the next generation of space communications

NASA has just granted a budget of 278.5 million dollars (256 million euros) to six private sector companies including SpaceX and Amazon, to develop the next generation of space communications.

NASA wants to replace its old satellites

The American space agency has therefore chosen six companies to develop the new technologies that will ensure good communication in space, close to the Earth. This new generation of space communications should make it possible to support future NASA missions.

“Adopting this new generation of space communications technology will allow future missions to leverage private sector investment, which far exceeds what government can do,” a NASA spokesperson said. Currently, the American space agency relies on its own system of satellites for communications in space, close to the Earth. It turns out that many of these satellites were launched in the 80s and 90s… The system is getting old and should be decommissioned in the years to come.

SpaceX gets the biggest budget

NASA has therefore released a budget of 278.5 million euros and SpaceX gets the biggest slice of the cake. Elon Musk’s company has proposed a “commercial high-speed low-orbit optical relay network”. The company is allocated a budget of 70 million dollars to develop this project. SpaceX has a good command of the subject thanks to Starlink and already has many satellites in low earth orbit. Just behind, Amazon gets $67 million to develop its Kuiper project (a network of 3,236 satellites).

Science Brief: Amazon and SpaceX Block NASA Space Communications Contracts; Scientists prepare to restart CERN collider to search for ‘dark matter’ and more

Scientists prepare to restart CERN collider in search of ‘dark matter’

Scientists at the European Physics Research Center will launch the 27-kilometre Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the device that found the Higgs boson, this week after an extended downtime for maintenance and updates due to COVID-19 delays. Restarting the collider is a complicated procedure, and CERN researchers have champagne on hand if all goes well, ready to join a row of bottles in the control room to celebrate milestones, including the discovery of the particle elusive subatomic ten years ago.

Europa’s similarity to Greenland suggests Jupiter’s moon may harbor life

The curious similarity between features of the frozen surface of Europa and the landform of Greenland sitting atop a large pocket of water offers intriguing new indications that this moon of Jupiter could harbor life. A study published on Tuesday explored similarities between an elongated terrain called double ridges that look like huge fissures on the surface of Europa and a smaller version in Greenland examined with ice-penetrating radar.

Stunned astronomers have discovered a new type of star explosion – a micronova

Astronomers have discovered a previously unknown type of stellar explosion called a micronova that involves thermonuclear explosions in the polar regions of a type of blazing star called a white dwarf after sucking material from a companion star. Micronovas are by far the least powerful type of stellar explosion currently known – less energetic than an explosion called a nova in which the entire surface of a white dwarf explodes and is small compared to a supernova that occurs during the agony, researchers said Wednesday. A few giant stars.

Australian scientists power a Tesla on a 15,000 kilometer journey with printed solar panels

Australian scientists are testing the printed solar panels they will use to power a Tesla on a 15,100 kilometer (9,400 mile) journey from September, which they hope will inspire the public to consider measures to help to avoid climate change. Project Charge Around Australia will power a Tesla electric car with the team’s 18 printed plastic solar panels, 18 meters (59ft) long, thrown alongside the car to absorb sunlight when it needs energy. to be recharged.

As for Amazon and SpaceX, they block NASA space communications contracts

Amazon’s satellite project, SpaceX’s Starlink network and other satellite companies won combined $278.5 million contracts from NASA on Wednesday to demonstrate communications in space as the space agency US is about to replace its existing network of in-orbit satellites with privately-built systems. NASA is increasingly looking to rely on private space companies for its operations and wants to stimulate more commercial activity in areas ranging from space communications to sending humans into orbit.