Day: July 27, 2016

Trump asks Russia to conduct espionage against Hillary Clinton

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Trump at press conference yesterday: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.”

Response from Clinton camp: “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”

If Russia or any other country or person has Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 illegally deleted emails, perhaps they should share them with the FBI!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2016

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Startup plans space-based cubesat network

Credit: Screen Capture of Audacy - SpaceConnected video

A Silicon Valley startup is planning a space-based communications network for cubesats.

Audacy is wrapping up a $15 million Series A funding round, and plans to eventually raise $750 million to build three satellites and two ground stations.

That system, the company believes, can support communications for up to 2,000 cubesats in Earth orbit, and could be extended to support missions in cislunar space. The company hopes to have its system fully operational by 2019. [SPACE.com]


More News

A Chinese venture is planning a global mobile broadband satellite system. APT Satellite Holdings of Hong Kong is partnering with mainland Chinese institutions on a joint venture called APT Mobile Satcom Ltd. to develop a network of three high-throughput satellites in geostationary orbit. The satellites would provide broadband services primarily for the aeronautical and maritime markets. APT hasn’t disclosed the total cost of the system and whether it would operate in Ka- or Ku-band. [SpaceNews]

SpaceX will spend about $300 million of its own money on its Red Dragon Mars mission, NASA estimates. In a presentation to a NASA Advisory Council committee meeting Tuesday, an agency official said that NASA will spend about $30 million to support its contributions to a Space Act Agreement with SpaceX, providing advice and other support in a variety of areas. NASA estimates SpaceX is matching than on a 10-to-1 basis, putting SpaceX’s costs for the mission on the order of $300 million. Red Dragon will land a Dragon spacecraft on the surface of Mars, with launch on a Falcon Heavy scheduled for May 2018, a schedule NASA considers “extremely aggressive.” [SpaceNews]

Telesat reported an increase in revenue and gross profit in its latest quarter.The Canadian satellite operator said Tuesday reported revenue of US$178.4 million in the quarter ending June 30, an increase of 1 percent over the same quarter of 2015 after accounting for the increase in value of the U.S. dollar over the Canadian dollar. The company said it recently won a major contract to provide Ku-band capacity on its upcoming Telstar 19V satellite for a Brazilian customer. [SpaceNews]

An Atlas 5 was rolled out to the pad Tuesday for a launch Thursday morning.The Atlas 5 421 is scheduled to launch at 8:37 a.m. Eastern on Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral, carrying a classified satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. Weather forecasts remain favorable for the launch. [Spaceflight Now]

Jeff Bezos and Neil deGrasse Tyson have joined a Pentagon advisory board.The two are among 15 members of the Defense Innovation Advisory Board, who will provide advice on how the Defense Department can adopt Silicon Valley culture and technologies. Bezos is founder of Blue Origin and Tyson is an astrophysicist and science communicator. The two are the only members of the board with strong space backgrounds. [SpaceNews]

International Launch Services has hired a new senior director of sales. Kevin Reyes joins the company from Boeing, where he worked in Asian and European business development for Boeing Network and Space Systems and …read more

Mall cop fired after bringing gun to work and accidentally shooting other guard in arse

mall-cop

A security guard at Pittsburgh’s fancy Ross Park Mall was fired this week after bringing a gun to work, fooling around with it in the security office, and accidentally shooting a colleague in the arse.

The guard was in the mall’s security office at the end of his shift at 11 p.m. and was loading a personal firearm when the gun discharged, Ross police said.

The bullet went through a wooden stand and struck another guard, who was treated and released from a local hospital.

The mall was closed when the incident occurred.

The guards there don’t carry firearms. I live in the region and the most threatening things in Ross Park Mall are the tween shoplifters lurking around Claires. That and the inexplicable sense of coldness and despair that envelops oneself as one approaches Sears.

Previously: The Legend of Mall Ninja

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This map shows where the tallest people live

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New research on trends in adult human height over the last century confirm that, no surprise, humans are getting taller overall due to better nutrition and disease control. However according to the health science group Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), the gain in adult height varies dramatically by country. From their paper, published in the journal eLife:

The largest gain in adult height over the past century has occurred in South Korean women and Iranian men, who became 20.2 cm (95% credible interval 17.5–22.7) and 16.5 cm (13.3–19.7) taller, respectively. In contrast, there was little change in adult height in some sub-Saharan African countries and in South Asia over the century of analysis. The tallest people over these 100 years are men born in the Netherlands in the last quarter of 20th century, whose average heights surpassed 182.5 cm, and the shortest were women born in Guatemala in 1896 (140.3 cm; 135.8–144.8).

The scientists’ hope is that understanding these changes and distributions could be used “to improve nutrition and health across the world.”

“It would also be valuable to understand how much becoming taller has been responsible for improved health and longevity throughout the world,” they write.”

A century of trends in adult human height(eLife)

How humans have changed in height in the last 100 years(CNN)

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Why did Iran's Lake Urmia just change from bright green to blood red?

urmia_amo_2016200-1

Between April and July, Iran’s salty Lake Urmia changed from a bright green color to a blood red. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the image above and reported on the science behind the strange transformation. According to NASA, the periodic color change is caused by micro algae producing carotenoids that help with photosynthesis and act as antioxidants and Halobacteriaceae, a bacteria in very salty water that releases “a red pigment called bacteriorhodopsin that absorbs light and converts it into energy for the bacteria.” From NASA:

The color changes have become common in the spring and early summer due to seasonal precipitation and climate patterns. Spring is the wettest season in northwestern Iran, with rainfall usually peaking in April. Snow on nearby mountains within the watershed also melts in the spring. The combination of rain and snowmelt sends a surge of fresh water into Lake Urmia in April and May. By July, the influx of fresh water has tapered off and lake levels begin to drop.

The fresh water in the spring drives salinity levels down, but the lake generally becomes saltier as summer heat and dryness take hold. That’s when the microorganisms show their colors, too. Careful sampling of the water would be required to determine which organisms transformed the lake in 2016, but scientists say there are likely two main groups of organisms involved: a family of algae called Dunaliella and an archaic family of bacteria known as Halobacteriaceae.

While Lake Urmia has shifted from green to red and back several times in recent years, trends suggest that a red Urmia could become increasingly common. Drought and intensive water diversion for agriculture has been limiting the amount of fresh water reaching the lake. “The lake volume has been decreasing at an alarming rate of 1.03 cubic kilometers per year,” noted Tourian, who recently analyzed data from several satellites to track how Urmia has changed. “The results from satellite imagery revealed a loss of water extent at an average rate of 220 square kilometers per year, which indicates that the lake has lost about 70 percent of its surface area over the last 14 years.”

urmia_oli_2016191

…read more

Why did Iran's Lake Urmia just change from bright green to blood red?

urmia_amo_2016200-1

Between April and July, Iran’s salty Lake Urmia changed from a bright green color to a blood red. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the image above and reported on the science behind the strange transformation. According to NASA, the periodic color change is caused by micro algae producing carotenoids that help with photosynthesis and act as antioxidants and Halobacteriaceae, a bacteria in very salty water that releases “a red pigment called bacteriorhodopsin that absorbs light and converts it into energy for the bacteria.” From NASA:

The color changes have become common in the spring and early summer due to seasonal precipitation and climate patterns. Spring is the wettest season in northwestern Iran, with rainfall usually peaking in April. Snow on nearby mountains within the watershed also melts in the spring. The combination of rain and snowmelt sends a surge of fresh water into Lake Urmia in April and May. By July, the influx of fresh water has tapered off and lake levels begin to drop.

The fresh water in the spring drives salinity levels down, but the lake generally becomes saltier as summer heat and dryness take hold. That’s when the microorganisms show their colors, too. Careful sampling of the water would be required to determine which organisms transformed the lake in 2016, but scientists say there are likely two main groups of organisms involved: a family of algae called Dunaliella and an archaic family of bacteria known as Halobacteriaceae.

While Lake Urmia has shifted from green to red and back several times in recent years, trends suggest that a red Urmia could become increasingly common. Drought and intensive water diversion for agriculture has been limiting the amount of fresh water reaching the lake. “The lake volume has been decreasing at an alarming rate of 1.03 cubic kilometers per year,” noted Tourian, who recently analyzed data from several satellites to track how Urmia has changed. “The results from satellite imagery revealed a loss of water extent at an average rate of 220 square kilometers per year, which indicates that the lake has lost about 70 percent of its surface area over the last 14 years.”

urmia_oli_2016191

…read more

Unseen photos of Ciro's Nightclub stars snapped by a cigarette girl and her best friend

ciros

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Ciro’s Nightclub of the Stars

by Andra D. Clarke and Regina Denton-Drew

Arcadia Publishing

2015, 128 pages, 6.5 x 9.2 x 0.3 inches

$22 Buy a copy on Amazon

In the 1940s and ‘50s, everyone who was anyone went to Ciro’s Nightclub on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. The famous and infamous came to dine, dance, and perform during its 15 plus years in business. Regina Drew was a Cigarette Girl and photographer at Ciro’s for eight years. Her best friend Nancy Caporal was the head photographer from 1940 to 1957. These women were part of the glitz, glamour and decadence of the Ciro’s era, and they seemed to love every minute of it.

Regina’s daughter, Andra Clarke, worked tirelessly to research and cull through both women’s photographic mementos. As tribute to what Regina called the “best job of my life,” Andra created Ciro’s Nightclub of the Stars, a compact coffee table book filled with photos and stories that capture the semi-private lives of Hollywood’s elite.

Most of the pictures in this book had previously not been seen by the public. Some of my favorite photos include Elizabeth Taylor dining with President Nixon and his daughters; Bing Crosby photographed with his sons; Ray Bolger (from “The Wizard of Oz”) joking around with Zero Mostel (from Fiddler on the Roof), Clark Gable chatting with (or to) a bevy of admirers, and Lucille Ball having drinks at a table with Peter Lawford, with no Desi in sight. The captions for each picture are as interesting as the images themselves. There are also Ciro’s behind-the-scenes tidbits like Yvonne de Carlo having the hatcheck girls watch her pet monkey, and Errol Flynn’s special food preference of octopus. Ciro’s Nightclub of the Stars offers a great glimpse into the past and is much more interesting than today’s tabloids!

Fun fact not in the book: Before these photos were turned into a book, Andra’s collection was appraised on the 18th season of Antiques Roadshow. Per the appraiser, the most expensive photo Andra brought in was of Marilyn Monroe. Monroe was photographed at Ciro’s after her movie premiere of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Andra was told at the auction that an unseen photo of Marilyn Monroe would sell for about $100 to $150. All the other photos were in the value range of $30 to $75 each.

– Carole Rosner

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John Hinckley, who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, will go free

John_Hinckley,_Jr._Mugshot

On March 30, 1981 in Washington DC, John Hinckley fired six bullets at President Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress the actress Jodie Foster. Reagan fully recovered but his press secretary, James Brady, who was also hit, lived the rest of his life in a wheelchair. The courts found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity. As soon as next week, Hinckley will be released from the mental hospital where relives to stay with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Virgina. From NPR:

Under the terms of the order, Hinckley is not allowed to contact his victims, their relatives or actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed. Hinckley also will not be permitted to “knowingly travel” to areas where the current president or members of Congress are present. The judge said Hinckley could be allowed to live on his own or in a group home after one year.

“Mr. Hinckley shall abide by all laws, shall not consume alcohol, illegal drugs… shall not possess any firearm, weapon, or ammunition and shall not be arrested for cause,” Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ordered…

In a prepared statement, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute said, “Contrary to the judge’s decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others and we strongly oppose his release.”

John Hinckley, Who Tried To Kill A President, Wins His Freedom

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How the Republican party went from Lincoln to Trump

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tldr; The GOP was founded by anti-slavery activists in the North in 1854 and White in the South were in favor of slavery so they stuck with the Democratic party. A lot of Republicans became wealthy from the civil war, and in an effort to retain power, decided that fighting for black rights wasn’t in their best interest and stopped trying to reform the South allowing white Democrats to rise to power in th South. The Great Depression halted Republican power, putting big-government-advocate FDR in the White House. Republicans fought back, advertising themselves as champions of small government. In the 50s and 60s the civil rights movement divided the country again. In the North, 96% of Democrats and 84% of Republicans were in favor of civil rights, while in the South, 7% of Democrats and 0% of Republicans supported civil rights. In 1964, Democrat LBJ signed the Civil Rights act, which helped white Southerners get over the hatred of Abraham Lincoln enough to jump ship and start joining the GOP. The GOP’s small government pitch, along with its support of school prayer and anti-abortion platform, appealed to Southerners. Black Southerners, meanwhile, moved en masse from the GOP to the Democratic party. The GOP started losing elections because minorities won’t vote for it. Some GOP senators attempted to pass and immigration amnesty bill, which angered white GOP voters. They turned to Trump whose anti-immigrant rhetoric appeals to them.

[via]

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Premiere: Trippy cinematic surf music reissues from 1960s-70s Australia

In 1971, Australian filmmaker Paul Witzig released his fourth surf movie Sea of Joy, celebrating the rise of the short boards. To score the film, Witzig enlisted Sydney band Tully, best known at the time as the backing band for the Australian production of the psychedelic musical Hair. Now, the good people at Anthology Recordings have reissued Tully’s “Sea of Joy” soundtrack on vinyl. Here’s what they say about the release:

Like many surfers and non-surfers alike, Witzig had been mesmerised by Tully’s concert performances. By the time he finished filming his latest surfing epic, Evolution, the sound of Tully had changed though. Gone was the organ-dominated sound (the group was reputedly the first Australian band to use the Moog synthesiser), replaced by more gentle melodies, many with spiritual significance.

Recorded at EMI’s Sydney studios, Tully’s soundtrack material was subsequently edited for the album release into cohesive musical interludes. As such, they are held together in the album sequence by a magnetic musical flow that starts with “Sea Of Joy (Part 1)” (above) and ends with “Sea Of Joy (Part 2).” Vinyl edition features booklet liner notes by Aussie surf historian Stephen McParland and other-wordly ephemera.

Along with Tully’s “Sea of Joy,” Anthology Recordings have also reissued Tamam Shud’s glorious soundtrack to Witzig’s prior surf film, “Evolution.”

Pitted. So pitted.

TULLY-AT-WHALE-BEACH-1-1

ARC040-Cover-1400x1400

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Super-Fun-Pak Comix, feat. How to Draw Doug + MORE!

Follow @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

Please join Tom the Dancing Bug’s subscription club, the INNER HIVE, for early access to comics, and oh so much more. (You will not learn anything, regardless of how little care you exercise.)

And DID YOU KNOW that you can buy Ruben Bolling’s new book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures? You can. Book One here. Book Two here.

More Tom the Dancing Bug comics on Boing Boing!
(more…)

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Tor Project says accusations against Jake Appelbaum are accurate

Jacob Appelbaum

The Tor Project announced Wednesday that an investigation had confirmed sexual misconduct allegations against Jake Appelbaum, describing them as accurate and him as having humiliated, intimidated and bullied others inside and outside the project. Appelbaum left Tor in May, after public accusations forced the organization to act; The New York Times reports that the circumstances raised questions about the management of the project.

Shari Steele, the executive director of the Tor Project, said in a statement that the investigation found that “many people inside and outside the Tor Project have reported incidents of being humiliated, intimidated, bullied and frightened by Jacob, and several experienced unwanted sexually aggressive behavior from him.”

The investigation was conducted by a private investigator hired by the nonprofit group. Ms. Steele added that new allegations were made over the course of its investigation, and that two members of the larger Tor community had also been involved in the incidents. The two individuals were not named and Ms. Steele said they were no longer part of the Tor community.

Appelbaum (who contributed an article to Boing Boing in 2011) denied the allegations and, the NYT’s Nicole Perlroth adds, is planning to respond to the investigator’s report.

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10 strange inventions from the future

4-pills-that-let-you-change-genders-temporarily--or-forever

Brain implants that allow people to read each other’s minds. Pills that let you change genders temporarily. Reputation Statements that list any good deeds you do. These are a few of the things from the future I discussed with Chris Weller of Tech Insider. These things were created by Institute for the Future (where I’m on staff) to provoke people to think about current trends and innovations and how they might play out in the future.

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Bill O'Reilly: Slaves who built White House were "well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government"

slaves

In response to Michelle Obama’s speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, former history teacher Bill O’Reilly told his viewers that the slaves who built the White House were well-fed and had decent lodgings. He didn’t mention the other not-so-great parts about being a slave, which include being the property of another person.

O’Reilly said:

Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it all? There will be a quiz.

From Think Progress:

Liam Hogan, a historian whose work focuses on slavery, noted on Twitter that O’Reilly’s comments are reminiscent of “how chattel slavery was defended by slave owners and pro-slavery interests.” To cite just one example, a U.S. history primer put together by the Independence Hall Association notes that “defenders of slavery argued that by comparison with the poor of Europe and the workers in the Northern states, that slaves were better cared for. They said that their owners would protect and assist them when they were sick and aged, unlike those who, once fired from their work, were left to fend helplessly for themselves.”
The reality, Hogan added, is that slavery were “treated like livestock.”

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Minipresso is the Aeropress of portable espresso makers

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Harkening back to my days as a boy scout, camping gear is some of my favorite stuff. This Minipresso portable espresso maker is has me pretty jazzed!

Using boiling water and a small hand pump Wacaco’s Minipresso makes a near perfect shot of espresso with a nice layer of crema. For consistency and ease of use it beats some home counter-top espresso machines I’ve had.

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Minipresso is small, about the size of at the average cycling water bottle. Great for camping, this incredible device is not only easy to pack, but easy to use and clean. Fill the basket with 1 scoop of grounds and attach it. Fill the water reservoir with boiling hot water and attach. Squeeze the pump and expresso will squirt out the bottom into your glass.

The hand pump gives my CTS/RSI ridden hands a nice stretch after a long motorcycle ride.

Clean up is simple. Rinse it out and off. Over time I’m sure you’ll need to scrub a bit, or use some vinegar, etc to remove coffee crud deposits. It also feels well made, and like it’ll last. I think of this as a high pressure, gasket sealing version of the Aeropress, for espresso instead of coffee.

MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker by Wacaco via Amazon

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The Ultimate 'Netflix and Chill' Bundle

winc

It’s one thing to enjoy dinner at home and a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your best friend, Netflix, but it’s another thing entirely to make that meal from scratch and get that wine delivered right to your doorstep.

But what if we told you theres a way to make this possible? To keep your social life, stay caught up on your favorite shows, and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal paired with that equally delicious glass of wine?

It’s as easy as grabbing one (or any) of these deals from Blue Apron, Winc Wine Delivery, and Getflix.

Blue Apron delivers gourmet recipes—and the farm-fresh ingredients to make them—directly to you. New customers can get three 2-person Blue Apron meals for $27 (54% off the usual $59.94). That’s just $4.50 per serving.

Winc Wine Delivery does the same with wine. Just answer a few questions about your taste preferences, and you’ll receive deliveries that are tailored to your palate. New customers will get three bottles from Winc for $26 (42% off the usual $45).

And to cap off your lovely homemade meal and glass of wine, add Getflix to complete your dream evening. Getflix unblocks more than 100 streaming channels for only $39 (95% off the usual price) so around the world you can watch movies, TV, and sports wherever life may take you.

If you really want to make a splash at your next ‘Netflix and Chill’ night, give these deals a try. But act fast, because they’re certain to sell out shortly.

blue

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SpaceX spending about $300 million on Red Dragon mission

SpaceX Red Dragon

WASHINGTON — NASA estimates that SpaceX is spending on the order of $300 million on its Red Dragon Mars lander mission, a down payment on the company’s long-term ambitions for human Mars missions.

At a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s technology committee in Cleveland July 26, Jim Reuter, deputy associate administrator for programs in NASA’s space technology mission directorate, provided an overview of NASA’s agreement with SpaceX, announced in April, to support that company’s plans for an uncrewed Mars landing mission that could launch as soon as May 2018.

That agreement, in the form of an unfunded Space Act Agreement, does not include any exchange of funds between NASA and SpaceX. Reuter said NASA estimates it will spend approximately $32 million over four years, primarily in the form of NASA personnel providing technical support for SpaceX. About $6 million of that will be spent this fiscal year, he added.

Asked by the committee how much SpaceX was spending, Reuter indicated that the company’s investment was 10 times that of NASA. “They did talk to us about a 10-to-1 arrangement in terms of cost: theirs 10, ours 1,” he said. “I think that’s in the ballpark.” Given NASA’s investment, that implies SpaceX is spending around $300 million on Red Dragon.

SpaceX has not disclosed its estimated cost of the mission, or how it will pay for it. “I have no knowledge” of how the company is financing the mission, Reuter said when asked by the committee.

Reuter also provided some additional technical details about the mission. The Red Dragon spacecraft, launched on a Falcon Heavy, will be based on the Crew Dragon spacecraft SpaceX is developing for NASA’s commercial crew program. Much of the capsule’s interior will be stripped out, including displays and environmental controls not needed for the mission. The unpressurized trunk section attached to the capsule will have “more substantial” modifications, he said, primarily in the form of solar array placement and thermal controls.

NASA is providing expertise in several areas to support the Red Dragon mission. The agency has already provided landing site selection advice and engineering support, he said. Other support ranges from consultation on planetary protection protocols for the mission to the use of the Deep Space Network for communications with the spacecraft.

NASA made this investment into supporting Red Dragon because it concluded the mission appeared feasible. “We determined there was a reasonable likelihood of their concept being a successful mission,” he said. “We thought our expertise would enhance that.”

In return, NASA will gain access to data SpaceX collects during its landing attempt, which will use a technique called supersonic retropropulsion that the agency has identified as a key means to allow the landing of larger spacecraft on the surface of Mars. While NASA has landed spacecraft weighing about one ton on Mars, Reuter said Red Dragon will weigh 8 to 10 tons at landing.

An alternative to Red Dragon, Reuter suggested, would be for NASA to fly its own technology demonstration mission to show how well supersonic retropropulsion works. “In this …read more

Telesat reports revenue and profit increase, and a contract win in Brazil

Daniel S. Goldberg
CEO, Telesat. Credit: SpaceNews/Kate Patterson.
Daniel S. Goldberg
CEO, Telesat. Credit: SpaceNews/Kate Patterson.

PARIS – Satellite fleet operator Telesat on July 26 reported slightly higher revenue and gross profit for the three months ending June 30 compared to a year ago even after stripping away the effects of a higher U.S. dollar against Telesat’s home currency, the Canadian dollar.

Ottawa-based Telesat said its Telstar 19V Ku- and Ka-band high-throughput satellite, scheduled to launch over Brazil in early 2018, was already proving the validity of its design with a large Ku-band win from a Brazilian customer.

Telesat has already sold Telstar 19V’s Ka-band capacity to Hughes Network Systems of Germantown, Maryland, which is expanding its consumer satellite broadband business from North America into Brazil.

In a conference call with investors, Telesat Chief Executive Daniel S. Goldberg said Telesat’s wrested the contract from an incumbent satellite provider, whom he declined to identify. He said the company’s winning bid was at prices that were not dramatically lower than prevailing price conditions in Latin America, although the company was obliged to offer free capacity for a limited period to allow the customer to repoint its satellite dishes to Telstar 19V, to operate from 63 degrees west under a Brazilian license.

Goldberg said the pricing environment in Latin America remains under pressure, with transponder leases being signed at rates that are 10-15% below rates of a couple of years ago. In Asia and Africa, he said, the price declines have been sharper, at 15-20 percent.

“There is excess capacity for sure in certain markets, and has been for at least a year now,” Goldberg said. “Demand is still growing; folks want more bandwidth. But industry is going to have to digest” the excess supply by lowering capital investment to give time for demand to grow into the existing capacity.

“Operators are exercising more capex restraint and the excess supply will be mopped up,” Goldberg said. “These conditions have been true for at least 18 months and it will take two, three, or maybe five years to recover.”

Telesat operates 15 satellites in orbit and has two satellites – the Telstar 19V and another, which Telesat calls Telstar 19V, co-owned with APT Satellite of Hong Kong – on order and scheduled for launch in the first half of 2018.

Both satellites are under construction by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California, and scheduled for launch aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.

In addition to these two large geostationary-orbit satellites, Telesat has two small Ka-band low-Earth-orbit prototype satellites under construction and scheduld for launch in 2017.

Telesat needs to launch these two smaller satellites to keep its reservation with international regulators for a constellation of small spacecraft to deliver global Internet services.

Industry officials remain divided on whether Telesat’s ultimate goal is to build a multibillion-dollar satellite network or to sell its license at some point.

Goldberg said Telesat has issued a request for information to industry hardware manufacturers to solicit design input …read more