SpaceX Launch Updates – January 2021

All eyes were on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida this past Sunday for the second US East Coast launch of the Falcon 9 rocket this year for SpaceX. The mission, known as Transporter-1, was the debut for Space Flight Incorporated’s Sherpa-FX, a new transport vehicle. All the satellites launched so far will be used to create a massive network of internet connectivity for areas around the globe that don’t have local access to high-speed broadband. This will apply to both residential and business use, as well as a potential military application. The launch also gives SpaceX a world record for the most satellites ever launched at once, a total of 143. The network is being created aims to be one-of-a-kind. The launch also allowed the Starlink program to add an additional 10 satellites to its own growing network. On top of SpaceX’s launch of their own satellites, the company also has its Rideshare program. 

The SpaceX Rideshare program’s primary purpose is to get smaller satellite companies and developers a chance to get their product up into orbit and come one step closer to achieving their own vision. The range of companies covered with this program is already vast. Still, it could become more extensive as time goes on with military use, satellite radio, Internet, and TV. The growing number of successes that SpaceX has had over the last few months to last year does not stop here.  

It successfully launched its Dragon Crew mission on May 30 of 2020, which carried astronauts to meet up with the International Space Station for ongoing scientific research. On January 18, 2021, the Starlink program officially had its first batch of satellites launched into orbit, beginning to weave its ever-growing network of connectivity. Since June 2010, SpaceX has had 107 successful launches. 

From the SpaceX Dragon Crew mission to Starlink and Falcon 9, there seem to be no signs of slowing down for the company. With a massive 26 launches left to go in 2021, it is exciting to see the great potential on display. Space is an ever-evolving presence, and SpaceX continues to evolve along with it. The next launch is currently set for January 29 this year.  

If you would like to read more, click here for an article from Yahoo.com and here for another article  from Teslarati. 

Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Update

Despite a recent vaccine breakthrough for Covid-19, new strains of the virus have been identified worldwide. News of the new mutations has heightened concern for healthcare workers worldwide. Still, they remain vigilant and confident that the current vaccine can battle the strain without issue. The Pfizer vaccine is in use in the UK, Europe, and the United States, with production expected to ramp up in massive quantities this year. Approximately 2 billion doses are expected to be available by the end of 2021. Pfizer has helped open six manufacturing sites to help meet demand. One area in Germany is expected to open in early February of this year. Other than the Pfizer vaccine, there is also the Moderna variation of the shot. Both versions of the vaccine needing two doses given 21 days apart to be fully effective against Covid-19.  

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, herd immunity with Covid is undoubtedly possible. Still, it would require as many people as possible that can get the vaccine do indeed get it. For many states now, vaccine rollout will be in three phases. Phase I will be essential workers, first responders, and people over 65; the second phase is a high-risk population. The final step would be the entire remaining population of an area. Even though this rollout is slow to begin, any positive progress is good, and Lenox Laser is proud of the ongoing effort. 

If you would like to read more, click here

SpaceX Early 2021 Launch Highlights

               2020 was a great year of success for Elon Musk’s SpaceX program. For example, some of the things his company has launched in the past have been Dragon and XirusXM satellites. The new year of 2021 is expected to be of no difference in the measure of success. The first launch of a Turkish satellite intended to expand television services throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa was a magnificent success. It took place on Thursday, January 7. One of the company’s next missions is called Transporter 1, which will carry dozens of smaller satellites into orbit as soon as the week of January 11.

               Even this year, SpaceX has plans to launch even more. In the spring of this year, a four-man crew mission called Crew 2 will be launching to meet with the International Space Station, increasing the staff to seven. Two Russian cosmonauts and three American astronauts are already aboard the station. These accomplishments have been a dream for years for the US NASA space program. Another launching of a multitude of Falcon rockets is a plan for this year to expand an ever-growing satellite network to bring information to the masses. With the launch of more satellites planned and building more ground stations, the Starlink program plans to expand its reach even further. One of its big goals is to improve its network latency by 16 to 19 ms within 2021.

               2021 looks to be a big year yet again for SpaceX, with up to three crewed space missions planned. At Lenox Laser, we are just as excited about the wonderful potential impact that all this innovation on their part could have. We wish them the most tremendous success.

                If you would like to read more, please click here.

Stellar Flares and Life Beyond Earth

When we think of space, it may be questioned if there is life beyond our world and how life can be sustained or even exist? With the help of stellar flares, that is a question that a new study conducted at the University of Colorado is trying to answer. A stellar flare is a sudden interruption of magnetic energy on or near the sun’s surface, sometimes associated with sunspot and electromagnetic radiation bursts. The idea of using flares to take life is because scientists believe that flares can increase the life-sustaining gases such as nitrogen oxide, nitric acid, and nitrogen dioxide to readable levels when they were previously non-detectable. The flares matter because they can take several hours or several days to form. This gives scientists an idea of the range of their effects on the exoplanet’s environment. The impressive study will explore the planet with inhabitable loans of M class and K class stars. An M class star is a spectral class having stars with weak hydrogen absorption and red color. A K class star is a main-sequence hydrogen-burning star that lived for between 17 to 70 billion years.

Study findings asserted that both the weather in space itself and these exoplanets may help or hinder the chances of harbor life. The distance between the planet and the stars also affects the planet’s ability to sustain life. However, in some cases, on other planets, solar flares can diminish any chance of life by destroying the planet’s ozone layer, wiping out life-sustaining gases. 

Using 3-D models and data from 2018 by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey, the team determined atmosphere properties such as gases, water vapor, oxygen levels, and more. Our planet Earth has a strong magnetic field that prevents dangerous solar winds and other hazards from entering our atmosphere and ultimately breaking down I ozone layer. For exoplanets farther away from stars, this is not the case, as there is no protective magnetic barrier to stop anything harmful from coming into the atmosphere and wiping out chances of life.

Lenox Laser gives our best to all involved in the study. If you would like to read more, click here for an article from ScienceDaily or here for a report from Phys.org

James Webb Sunshield Passes Final Tests

               When completed, the famous James Webb telescope will be the world’s premier observatory for exploring galaxies. Webb will explore our galaxy’s makeup and beyond, studying inside stars and help map and explore undiscovered, uncharted areas of our solar system and universe.

However, the telescope’s most recent achievement is the final deployment test of its massive football-field-sized sunshield. It is designed to handle the harshest temperatures in space, enduring temperatures of -380°F to 85°F. The sunshield is intended to protect the telescope optics and internal mechanisms while keeping them cold while exploring galaxy and star readings properly.

Courtesy of NASA/Chris Gunn

               The sunshield’s successful unfolding completes Webb’s final tremendous milestone before the expected October 2021 launch. Altogether the telescope is costing NASA an estimated $10 billion, with potentially higher costs coming if any further delays happen. Not only will the sunshield protect Webb’s many internal optics from the sun’s heat, but it will also protect them from the light, which could help avoid potentially false readings upon exploration. Past tests included folding and unfolding the telescope’s many massively sized mirrors, tests of its optics, the sunshield tests, and interior and exterior components.

               The teams involved in creating James Webb were scientists from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency. Partnerships were also formed with Northrop Grumman, who helped design some onboard computers and the telescope. Thus far, everyone is extremely pleased with the progress made, and they cannot wait to see the outcome of all the hard work done for the project. However, the James Webb project has faced many hurdles and delays in its continuous journey towards a successful launch. Some of those delays include government funding, the most recent Covid-19 pandemic, equipment malfunction, and multiple ongoing tests that were postponed. Barring any other unforeseen circumstances or uncertainties, the James Webb telescope mission is expected to launch Halloween 2021. 

Lenox Laser is proud of everyone involved in this undertaking. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for the project. If you would like to read more about this development with James Webb, please click here.

SIMPLEx Mission to the Moon

The Moon has been vastly explored by mankind for several decades. Despite the progress, it is believed that its geography has not fully mapped. That is the potential goal of the new Lunar Trailblazer built by NASA. One of its primary functions will be to determine the amount of water on the Moon that could be hidden inside football-sized craters on the surface. This massive venture was an idea in partnership with NASA and Caltech University; its construction began in early 2019. The images that are taken will be the highest resolution possible. Now in the approval process, Trailblazers flight systems are expected to be delivered in October 2022. Altogether the satellite will measure 3.5 m in length upon full deployment of its onboard solar panels.

The most significant part of this endeavor is to find out if there is water on the Moon and why. Temperatures on the Moon can be up to 260°F in sunlight and can drop to -280°F; this could lead to ice pockets and formations around the Moon’s surface. Trailblazer’s design team includes some brilliant scientists from Lockheed Martin that will test the satellite’s design and instrument functionality. They are also joined by scientists at Oxford University who will be designing the instruments which enable Trailblazer to do the necessary water studies on the Moon. Some of the questions about the study needing to be answered are the following: Is there water found in rock? Does the temperature change of water happen during the day-night cycle? Most importantly, does water exist in the shadow covered areas of the Moon? If all goes well, the mission is planned to launch in 2025.

Full mapping of the Moon would allow scientists to understand its geological makeup, surface area, water, and rock formations. Some of the events in the timetable of the lunar Trailblazer started in 2018 when it was announced as a candidate for NASA’s Planetary Small Satellites program. Last year Trailblazer was selected for the upcoming mission; beyond this, no further information is available at this time. The previously mentioned high-resolution images taken by the satellite will give scientists a more real-time feel of what is being dealt with on the Moon surface. Lenox Laser wishes all the teams involved the very best of luck and cannot wait to see the study results. If you would like to read more, click here.

We here at Lenox Laser also wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

SiriusXM Satellite Launched by SpaceX

The SpaceX program’s momentum continues to grow this past Sunday’s launch of another Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket contained a massive 15,000-pound SXM-7 satellite used by Sirius XM satellite radio to further broadcast signals even stronger across the US and Canada. For the Falcon 9 rocket, this was the seventh consecutive flight, which took SpaceX eight days to pull off. About half an hour after launch, the massive satellite was released into orbit to fly on its own power. The new satellite is intended to have a life expectancy of approximately 15 years before it would need to be replaced with an upgraded model. It is one of five new satellites that will join a group to form a cohesive network to operate with constant speed and efficiency—the satellite docked with the International Space Station late Sunday evening.

The XM seven satellite will be capable of broadcasting Sirius XM satellite signals into trucks, cars, homes, and businesses with an ever-growing lineup of content ranging from news, sports, and music. The satellite will sit approximately 22,300 feet in orbit above the equator, moving in sync with the Earth’s rotation but can still be seen in the sky. It was built by Maxar Technologies, which specializes in optical imagery, image mapping, robotics, global imagery. It is hoped that if this SpaceX venture is a massive success, different areas of the globe to get satellite radio may be explored. The Falcon 9 launch was the 25th of the year, and flight number 102 in total since SpaceX began 10 years ago. The XM 7 is replacing the XM 3 satellite that was launched in 2011.

The Starlink program started by SpaceX is another essential part of this puzzle. Its purpose is to bring affordable, high-speed satellite Internet to areas that cannot access an ISP. The last space excellent for 2020 is expected to be on Thursday, December 17, weather permitting. The launch will take place at the Kennedy Space Center. Lenox Laser wishes SpaceX all the best in their current and future endeavors. We cannot wait to see what is done with the technology of this magnitude at their disposal. If you would like to read more, please click here.

New Study about The Darkness of Space

Darkness is defined as the partial or total absence of light; however, new studies are potentially showing that space may not be so dark after all. NASA’s New Horizons satellite was launched in 2006 with an initial purpose of exploring the dwarf planet of Pluto, but, in 2015, New Horizons entirely shot past the world in what was to be a six-month reconnaissance flyby along with exploring the Kuiper belt. Beyond the Milky Way galaxy, researchers have taken photos, extracted any light coming from random stars or from the Milky Way, and concluded that there is light beyond our own universe. With this finding, scientists began to ask where the light may be coming from.

Thanks to highly detailed images in the Hubble telescope’s many attempts, scientists may now have detailed pictures of light existing in the far corners of the universe. However, minuscule the light amount may be, scientists believe that even a small amount is a groundbreaking find. However, the discovery does come with some caveats. An example is that whatever light the observer may be looking at may affect the amount of dust in the space.

The Hubble Telescope has contributed more to the question of light outside of the Milky Way. So far, according to this study, the Hubble Telescope has helped in finding some of the farthest and dimmest galaxies known to man to this day. However, despite finding so much, Hubble’s capabilities are limited because there could exist light sources that cannot be seen. Given that light is infinite and can go in any number of directions, a piece of dust in space can project a considerable amount of light and, therefore, mess up findings. While scientists still have a long way to go as to what they may or may not discover with this new study, they are astounded continuously so far as to what they found. This is a real example of just how far technology has come to give humankind such an in-depth look at the mystery with such potential.

If you would like to read more about this study, click here for an NPR article or here for a Forbes article on the study.

Current News in the Pharmaceutical Packaging Industry

The unprecedented times that the world is facing with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic makes the effectiveness of safe and reliable medical packaging more critical than ever.

The pharmaceutical industry uses many methods to ensure its products’ safety. One of the main processes is called container Closure Integrity Testing, or CCIT. CCIT tests every aspect of the durability of pill bottles, glass vials, storage plastics, etc. It also ensures that there is no possible way that the product being stored could leak out and contaminate. Lenox Laser is proud to offer this service, and we take great pride in our quality assurance. We can proudly provide our laser drilling services for CCIT laser drilling into many different materials such as glass, nickel, heavy-duty plastics, and stainless steel. We have even assisted the Parental Drug Association in a CCIT vacuum leak decay study. More info about the study that we participated in can be found here. Even today, there continues to be development in the field of critical packaging.

According to The Packaging Digest, The FDA recently gave approval to a new packaging method that uses water vapor that helps with relative humidity inside storage. This method can drastically change the weight of the package due to an even layer vapor across the film of the container. This is first tested by filling the cavities of blister packs with water to simulate storage weight. The idea behind this is to maintain a constant and stable pressure difference. In the end, the study found that the containers that use the water vapor method maintained a 75% vapor pressure difference from stored at 40°C. The great advantage of this method is the water vapor usage does not change the internal relative humidity on the package and or contents, and they remain stable. Is not yet known when this new packaging method will be on the market, however the results seem promising.

From shipping and tracking purposes to safe and robust storage, all of this must be done with the utmost care and highest safety standards possible. Flexible packaging allows practical delivery to hospitals or medical facilities and ease-of-use for medical staff. In the last few weeks, the world was given ecstatic hope as the vaccine being developed by Pfizer was announced to be 95% effective against Covid-19. Both Pfizer and Moderna hope to have emergency use authorization as of now. Several meetings with the FDA are also planned to discuss vaccination rollout. Several multibillion-dollar deals have been made in America and Europe to supply millions of doses to the public once a vaccine is officially approved. Lenox Laser gives our best regards in all these tremendous efforts to end this global pandemic.

SpaceX GPS3 and Starlink Satellite Launchings

               Elon Musk and his SpaceX Corporation have once again continued to make great strides in their own personal efforts to advance technology and space travel. Just recently, on November 5, SpaceX successfully launched a highly advanced global positioning satellite system for the US military’s Space Force. Codenamed the GPS 3 SV04, it was initially expected to launch on November 3 but was delayed due to technical difficulties with ground equipment two times. The previous two attempts were in August 2019 and June 2020. This mission would mark almost 100 launches for the Falcon 9 rocket. The GPS 3 was designed in partnership with Lockheed Martin. It was designed to give the US military better jamming technology to stop interference from many different sources such as radio frequencies and improve navigational capabilities.

               The US military could not be more thrilled by this prospect of such technological advancements in the fight to keep America and the world safe. In October of this year, the Pentagon granted Elon Musk a staggering $149 million contract to make four missile-tracking satellites for the Department of Defense. SpaceX will build four satellites under the deal with the Space Development Agency. Each of the four satellites will be equipped with advanced infrared technology for tracking missiles, specifically intercontinental ballistic missiles or ICBMs. If successful, the project is expected to launch sometime in 2022. This will be the second Pentagon contract that SpaceX has won.

               As mentioned previously, the Starlink program aims to give people affordable Internet who may not have access to the Internet or inexpensive Internet available to them. In the past few weeks, they have just been granted approval to use their satellite Internet in Canada, and the final steps are now being ironed out. Speed tests are being done in beta currently. People who wish to sign up for the SpaceX Starlink Internet can check availability on their website. Monthly pricing is said to be $100 per month, and the expected speeds can be anywhere from 50 to 150 MB per second with higher rates planned if this venture proves successful.

                Technologies continue to reach new heights, and SpaceX is tangible proof of that. If you would like to read more about the launchings, you can read more about the GPS launchings here and the launching of the Starlink satellites here.

1 2 3 4 5 16