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.

James Webb Telescope Testing Update

Imagine being able to see deep inside the makeup of the galaxy, or better yet, deeper inside of a star than ever before. That is where the James Webb telescope comes in with its next groundbreaking mission planned for October 31, 2021. Some of James Webb’s past tests included the March 2016 durability experiments on the football field size solar mirrors that will be used to reflect light from galaxies and stars back to NASA for readings. The secondary mirrors for the telescope were also installed that year, along with the optics subsystems and completing the cryogenic testing on the mirrors. The telescope itself completed construction in November 2016. Initial launches for planned in 2017 and 2018 respectively, but later postponed to the date currently set. In early October of this year, the project passed yet another milestone bringing it one step closer to its goal.

The passing of environmental tests on the mirrors and the telescope in general. Everything from temperature to durability, to maintaining stability during the elements of ever-changing galaxies and planets. Acoustic and vibration tests were also done at Northrop Grumman’s lab in California. Northrop Grumman are the minds responsible for building the telescope for NASA. When Webb is finally ready it will be folded and packed up before beginning the journey to French Guiana for launch. These tests were also to ensure that the telescope could even survive its rocket journey to space, which scientists are now confident that it will. Webb will orbit approximately one million miles from Earth. The initial rocket launch is expected to be the most perilous part of the entire mission for the telescope.

Northrop Grumman, along with the European space agency and the Canadian space agency have all partnered in collaboration with NASA to create James Webb and see its massively ambitious vision come to fruition. After the launch, the operation of the telescope will be handled by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Lenox Laser continues to give our best wishes to all involved. For further information please visit NASA’s website.

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