(Roughly) Daily

“Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows”*…

Low Earth Orbit Satellites are objects that orbit the earth at lower altitudes than geosynchronous satellites, usually at between 160 km and 1000 km above the earth. They’re primarily used for imaging (think Google Maps/Earth, military reconnaissance, spying, and the like) or communications (signal relay, a la Starlink‘s new satellite internet service).

Even as there are concerns about the proliferation of objects in the sky at that altitude– ranging from the occlusion of the view into space through privacy to the accumulating layer of junk that defunct satellites could become— the rush to launch is on.

Leo Labs (@LeoLabs_Space) is a platform that aims to support developers and operators of LEOs. They provide a handy (and mesmerizing) real-time visualization of all of the LEOs aloft.

* a recurring line on Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour, a radio show that aired from 1934-1948 (then became Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour on television).

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As we look up, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that President John F. Kennedy (and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson) visited newly-minted American hero John Glenn at Cape Canaveral to congratulate Glenn on becoming the first American to orbit the earth. Piloting Friendship 7, he had orbited the earth three times before splashing down in the Atlantic.

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