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The Mystery of the ‘SpaceBees’ Just Got Even Weirder

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The Mystery of the ‘SpaceBees’ Just Got Even Weirder

 

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As the government investigates an unauthorized satellite launch, amateur trackers are watching the skies for clues.

The Atlantic

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    “Perfect timing!” Mike Coletta said when he answered the phone. I called him recently to ask about some satellites currently orbiting Earth. Just then, one of them was passing over his home in Colorado.

     

  • Coletta has been tracking satellites with radio antennas mounted on his house for years. This spring, he’s on a special mission: He wants to catch the transmissions of “SpaceBees,” four satellites that were launched into space without permission.

     

  • Last December, the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. government agency that oversees satellite launches, explicitly told the California-based maker of these satellites that they couldn’t launch them. They did it anyway the following month, marking the first-known unauthorized launch of a commercial satellite in American history.

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..snipped cool story

 

kL

 

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Wow, they said they are about the size of coasters, about 4" x 4" by 1" wide, pretty small. I expect the U.S. government will at least warn the company for these unauthorized satellite placements, fine them, or maybe shut down their operations for their violations of permission. Cool name though for these tiny satellites, Spacebees. NASA is planing for a "swarm" of similarly small, very high flying satellites or spacecraft in the coming years.

 

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/small_spacecraft/feature/NASA_Selects_University_Partners_for_Small_Spacecraft_Collaboration

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They need to knock that off.  It's bad enough that governments are putting more stuff up there.  It shouldn't be uncoordinated.  Every launch puts up a bit closer to the day we have no satellites at all.

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