nojay (nojay) wrote,

Something Amazing Happened in Space Yesterday...

as well as that Pluto flyby thingy that got all the headlines. This was probably more important.

Yesterday at 15:36 GMT an Atlas 5 lifted off from Canaveral carrying a replacement satellite to be added to the existing GPS constellation in preparation for the decommissioning of an older unit in the near future. Ho hum, another successful launch of several tonnes of hardware into space. But there's more...

Just over six hours later at 21:42 an Ariane V was launched from Kourou to put a replacement weather satellite and a commercial direct-broadcast satellite into orbit.

So, it's not just that successful launches are no longer headline news, it's that we're throwing them up at such a rate that the human race can launch two rockets on the same day and it's not a Big Thing.

It's also kind of noteworthy that both launches involved putting a replacement satellite into orbit, not for immediate use but because it was cheaper than storing them on the ground and only fitting them into a launch slot when their predecessors failed as was the usual way in the past.

The Future, we has it. Today (well, yesterday but you know what I mean...)
Tags: spaceflight

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