Discarded Atlas 5 upper stage breaks up in orbit • Viasat, China Satcom partner on IFC • Hughes signs Jupiter-3 customer24 Apr 2019, 18:44 UTC
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Ground-based telescopes in Spain identified 40 to 60 pieces of debris after the Atlas 5 rocket stage fragmented. Credit: Deimos Sky Survey
The upper stage of an Atlas 5 rocket left in space broke apart nearly 10 years after launching. Ground-based observatories in Switzerland and Spain spotted debris from the event, with the Spanish Deimos Sky Survey observatory identifying 40 to 60 fragments bigger than 30 centimeters. Objects in orbit that break up or collide with each other are top causes of space debris. The reason for the Atlas 5 upper stage break up, believed to have occurred between March 23 and March 25, is not yet known. [Inside Outer Space]
Viasat has formed a partnership with China Satcom to provide Wi-Fi to aircraft in China. The partnership includes a roaming agreement whereby Viasat customers can stay connected in China through China Satcom, and Chinese airlines can roam onto Viasat’s service outside of the country. China Satcom has one Ka-band satellite, ChinaSat-16, in orbit, and a second, ChinaSat-18, launching later this year. Viasat said it will provide in-flight connectivity equipment to ...