Categories
Space

Pentagon selects SpaceX and ULA to run the NSSL Phase 2 contract 

The US Air Force has selected the United Launch Alliance and SpaceX to meet the NSSL Phase 2 contract’s demands. This five-year contract involves the deployment of national security payloads for the US forces, which attracts $653 million.

ULA and SpaceX overtook Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman to win the Phase 2 contract called the National Security Space Launch payload deal. 

So far, the United Launch Alliance confirmed the reception of a $337 million deal while SpaceX got a $316 million deal for the respective projects. These contracts will run through the 2022 financial year according to the press release by the Pentagon.

SpaceX and ULA will be launching missions beginning 2022 to 2027 when the Phase 2 contract schedules to come to a halt. The Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office will be launching over 30 missions in this Phase 2 contract. 

Air Force’s assistant secretary for procurement, technology and transit services, Will Roper, stated that the agency motivates innovation by serving both the government and commercials through the competitive launch market. 

Roper reiterates that the success of Phase 2 contracts will mark a milestone in which the US will stop depending on Russia for the launch of payloads. He said that the deployment of the American payloads via the American rockets would minimize their reliance on the Russian RD-180 engines. The US will be able to launch space vehicles in both its private and public sectors.

The transition to the advanced space launch cars will help the US minimize their use of Atlas V rocket, which has a Russian-made engine. The Department of Defense will no longer purchase the Atlas V rockets for its launches once this ideology becomes law at the terminal of 2022.

Phase 2 of the NSSL contract details that ULA will receive 60% of the subcontracts, while SpaceX will receive 40%. The Pentagon will be giving out missions to these rockets’ developers annually, depending on the rising demand. The Air Force forecasts to purchase launches in the next half-decade until the purpose comes to a cataclysmic end.

The initiation of the Phase 2 NSSL contract began last year with the auction of agreement between various firms. The firms that participated in this bid include Blue Origin, the United Launch Alliance, SpaceX, and Northrop Grumman. The startups like Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman lost the contracts to ULA and SpaceX, forcing them to focus on their ongoing projects.

Nonetheless, ULA is organizing the creation of the Vulcan Centaur launch vehicle, which survives on Blue Origin’s engine. SpaceX, on the other hand, is giving out Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy, the approved projects for Phase 2. The CEO of Blue Origin is happy that their engine will be usable in the upcoming eventful launches of the Vulcan.

In conclusion, Northrop Grumman was unhappy with the Pentagon’s choice but confident that they submitted a quality proposal for consideration in the NSSL Phase 2 contract bid.

Categories
Energy

‘Audio wizardry’ and optional engine noise features found in Electric Ford Mustang Mach-E.  

ROMEO, Mich-any driver who has driven the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, can tell its uniqueness from any other car that has ever carried the badge from Ford Motor industries. 

First, the vehicle has a considerable table screen, like that of Tesla, in the middle of the instrumental panel. Secondly, the acceleration of the car is just excellent. It is instantaneous. The common difference is that it comprises all-electric intersects rather than a double-door activity car with an internal combustion engine.  

The vehicle goes for $44,000, and it is being hyped for being ‘Mustang-inspired,’ where one can easily fall for its unique features. However, the most common element in the vehicle is the sound produced by its engine as its velocity increases. 

As expected during the exhibition of the Mustang Mach-E vehicle later this year, customers will hear the sound produced by the engine the pedal of increasing the velocity is pushed. The Mustang Mach-E vehicle is powered by batteries and electric motors rather than gasoline. In a statement to CNBC, Leeway Ho, who is the motor engineering director of the Mustang Mach-E, stated that power, the sound of the engine among other features are what the firm is trying to provide to the customers. He added that the engine sound is what makes the ride of the Mustang Mach-E vehicle, or else, the exception of the music makes the car a conventional electric vehicle.  

Audio wizardry

Over the past years, external sounds produced by EVs have been the topic of discussion. Since batteries and electric motors are what powers up a vehicle, they do not provide any music with engines. That becomes a secure hazard, especially for the visually impaired since they depend on the car’s engine to affirm their vehicles’ presence.

Users of the vehicle will be able to turn the engine sounds off by visiting the car’s settings on its huge center control screen. The noises from the driver appear to be originating from the front trunk of the vehicle, but in a real sense,  sounds come from vehicle’s speakers.

The noises vary with the type of mode the radio is set to function. the three methods include; whisper, engaged, and unbridled. ]the driver can switch to any way of his or her choice, which makes it more efficient. Each of the modes is tuned to change the driving dynamics and other components like data collection, ambient lighting, and sounds.

Categories
Space

Virgin Galactic details SpaceShipTwo test flight program to grab FAA Passenger Trips authorization

A commercial operator’s permit might be just a single spaceflight away for the Virgin Galactic.  The Virgin Galactic head space officer, George Whitesides, confirmed that the firm’s latest SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity, has been to suborbital space two times on the piloted trial flight, initially in December 2018 and subsequently in February 2019. One or two additional operations should be sufficient to gratify the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) permit requirements. 

Whitesides confirmed during a news discussion held on Tuesday, July 28, that their trust is that the statistics they got from the forthcoming flight will be able to give them final data that is needed to clear their commercial operating permit.  

The central focus of the media occasion was to converse about the cabin interior of SpaceShipTwo, the blueprint of which Virgin Galactic revealed on Tuesday. 

The SpaceShipTwo that is steered by two pilots and carries about six passengers is towed up by a shipper plane dubbed WhiteKnightTwo. At close to 50,000 feet altitude, SpaceShipTwo detaches and blasts off it aboard shoot up motor that powers the spaceship to space.

The six passengers on board the SpaceShipTwo will observe the Earth’s curvature against the deep space and get several minutes of buoyancy before returning for a runway touchdown at Virgin Galactic commercial hub spaceport in New Mexico.  

Whiteside confirmed that close to 600 people had secured a seat onboard the suborbital spaceship at a recent price of $250,000 for one ticket, and the number is expected to increase in the coming days. However, Whitesides also stressed that Virgin Galactic targets bringing down the price after a while, making spaceflight more available to more customers all over the world.  

The two spaceflights of VSS Unity to date the two came from Space Port and Mojave Air in California, close to the central offices of The Spaceship Company, the manufacturing subsidiary of Virgin Galactic. However, Spaceport America will accommodate the future space missions of the company. VSS Unity, together with its shipper plane, which is a WhiteKnightTwo car dubbed VMS Eve, moved to the New Mexico location earlier in the current year to finalize their test operation. 

The operation will not finish with the two piloted flights or the forthcoming one, even after they net Virgin Galactic, a profitable functioning license from the FAA. The last phase is going to be a small number of flights which will have some test passengers; who are going to be four in the back, where they are going to perform final phases of testing out customer experience. 

Categories
Energy

The $30,000 Sedan roofed with solar panels that energize fast

Image provided by Sono Motors

You can declare that Laurin Hahn does not have the drive, while in middle school; he invented what has recently become the most accepted dance society in Munich. Without real engineering skills, Laurin Hahn and buddy decided to produce a car energized by solar panels. After four years, they had a functioning prototype and created a firm to sell it. After several years, when the main stakeholders refused to invest more money, the two twisted to Crowdfunding. After about two months, they had gathered $62 million. Hahn, who is currently 26 years of age, states with amusement that he is relatively motivated; however, the vehicle’s point was to assist the world.

Their firm, dubbed Sono Motors, a Latin word for sound, is a riff on how silent electric cars are expanding a boxy, four-door rear door roofed in solar panels that are hardly visible. However, it could produce enough power to give the vehicle an additional 10 miles of range after some hours in the sun. After hitting the market in about 18 months, Sono pronounced as Sion will be of the black solar cell. Hahn states that the cost will be about 25,500 pounds, which would make it contend with Volkswagen AG ID.3, an electric sedan that began advertising in July for 35,000 pounds.  The Sion could also be electrical. However, Hahn believes that solar panels will eradicate one of the critical concerns drivers boast about electric vehicles’ much anxiety. Hahn confirms that even during cloudy weather, you can manage the car completely dry, abscond it on the roadside, and recharge on its own. He added that the thought that he cannot get jammed is exceptionally crucial.  

The idea was established in Hahn’s garage back in 2012, together with his friend Jona Christians purchased and gutted a previous Renault Twingo tailgate. The two spent days fixing solar panels to the top of the cars, hood, and doors and eventually pushed the vehicle out in the sunlight to absorb some sunlight and coped with driving some meters at a slow move. Christians and Hahn kept at it, with diversions to home universities to sharpen their technical knowledge, although the two finally dropped out. Their Twingo Street became legal throughout the time, capable of reaching distances and speeds that could work for many commuters.

They introduced a third associate, Navina Pernsteiner, who also happened to be Hahn’s roommate during the time, to take care of marketing. 

Categories
Space

The FCC has given Amazon’s mega satellite constellation project the green light.

The US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has agreed to Amazon’s demand for running a fleet of approximately 3200 network satellites that operate in the low-Earth orbit.

The FCC told Amazon to hasten this project to deploy about half of the satellites in this project before 2026. This move will ensure that they fulfill part of the project whose completion must not exceed 2029 for the full constellation in the low-Earth orbit.

Amazon revealed that it would be cashing in $10 billion in Kuiper to facilitate the deployment of these internet satellites. However, Amazon is still developing the deployment plan of the Kuiper project’s satellites. Amazon stated that it intends to launch the spacecraft in five consecutive sets with the first set of 578 satellites to the low-Earth orbit.

FCC explained that the Kuiper satellite system would improve the internet services for the hypersonic broadband for the customers, the government, and commercial businesses.

For this project to proceed, Amazon must give a detailed debris handling plan once the Kuiper satellite development is complete. Amazon will run the Kuiper project in three foldings with one at 590 kilometers, the other at 610 kilometers, and the final one at 630 kilometers.

The chair of FCC Ajit Pai reiterated his plan to launch the constellation with the Kuiper project. He tweeted earlier that this project will avail high-speed internet connectivity for Americans and the world at large.

Dave Limp, the Vice President of Amazon, is thankful to Pai for his agency’s unanimous support for the Kuiper project. Amazon is the latest addition to the firms that facilitate the deployment of high-speed internet satellites. These firms include SpaceX, Viasat, Telesat, and OneWeb.

Limp explains that the Kuiper project will facilitate hypersonic internet connectivity to places where there is none. Kuiper will alter the US landscape and create new jobs for its citizens in this $10 billion project. Amazon hopes that this project will expand the 4G and 5G internet connectivity to places where this network connection is yet to reach.

The lead technologist of the Kuiper project, Rajeev Badyal, noted that Amazon is working to avail internet connectivity at an affordable price. Experts think that this project depends on the accessibility of cheap mass-developed antennas. Amazon is creating an R&D facility for this Kuiper project in Redmond. 

Finally, Amazon has another comparable project whose purpose is to sell cloud services in the satellite industry. The founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos said that his other firm Blue Origin would be reaching out for the Kuiper contracts. Blue Origin is also championing for additional agreements with SpaceX through its New Glenn rocket facility. The success of these projects will facilitate the layout of this firm in the space industry roadmap.

Categories
Energy

Europe is transitioning to clean transportation despite the coronavirus challenge.

Although coronavirus has caused a standstill to various business operations, Europe’s transition to electric cars is still untamed. The sales of EVs and their hybrid counterparts are still high despite the market recess all due to government efforts. 

The 27 EU country members are going on with their scheduled transition in the transportation industry from ICE cars to electric vehicles to counter climate change. The regulatory commission on climate change is forcing carmakers to slide into the EV industry to minimize greenhouse gas emissions come next year.

Electric cars are cheap compared to the ICE cars thanks to the considerable government subsidies. Market studies show that the drop in demand for conventional petrol cars is a countereffect for the high demand for EVs and hybrids that combine electric motors with traditional engines. However, the US is witnessing a slow transition to electric-powered vehicles because of uncertainty in future policy changes.

European markets have witnessed a rise in the market share for electric vehicles and their hybrids despite the closure of showrooms because of the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, Germany recorded an increase of 5 per cent despite the 35 per cent drop in the overall car sales. On the other hand, France and Sweden recorded a 7 and 15 per cent increase in market sales for electric vehicles and hybrids.

One of the luring powers of EVs is the dedication of the government incentives in them. For example, an EV that costs 40000 euros in Germany has a total incentive of 12000 euros, making these vehicles irresistible. Currently, car fanatics have over 50 varieties of battery and hybrid models to consider buying. These vehicles go for as low as 20000 euros. 

Landsberg is Lech’s auto dealer Juergen Sangl says that the demand for EVs is tremendous. He expects his business to flourish in the future, thanks to the government’s efforts to shift to clean transportation. Customers of Electric Vehicles find them thrilling to drive for over 300 kilometers in a single charge.

However, the pandemic has had an enormous impact on the automakers. The chief executive of Daimler (designer of Mercedes Benz), Ola Kallenius, elaborates that they now have a challenge of pruning their costs with this new regular lifestyle pattern.

Finally, automakers in the EU member countries intend to minimize the emissions of their vehicles to as low as 90 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer of driving in 2021. The Transport & Environment advocacy group states that this move is possible if the countries raise their EV sales from 7 to 12 percent of the market. This move will also ensure the compliance of the EU with the Paris climate policy of tackling global warming and climate change.

Categories
Energy

China is speeding up the work on the massive projects for Hydropower in Pakistan

A handful of global projects earn the same amount of criticism and praise as Road Initiative (BRI), and China’s Belt does. Regardless of one’s opinion, the BRI is President Xi’s signature international policy initiative of magnificent allure. Total expenditures could hit $1.2-1.3 trillion by 2027, according to Morgan Stanley. Beijing also made huge investments not only in monetary terms, as well as in politics.

The performance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in this context is vital to highlight Beijing’s model of development. In 2013 the CPEC was revealed as a cause by the administrative requirements and economic needs of the countries. Chinese-Pakistani ties faced a difficult period after the election that put Imran Khan to power because of the new government’s criticism of the loans’ terms. More recently, the CPEC saw rebirth as the nations resolved some disagreements and signed new multi-billion deals in the energy domain, among many others.

Pakistan is, in several respects, the only real ally for China. Beijing’s dislike for formal alliances derives from its confidence in holding the country back from following its interests. Pakistan is an exception that China is willing to tolerate due to the vulnerabilities and reliance of the South Asian nation on its giant neighbour.

CPEC intended to become the poster child project. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has quickly tried to renegotiate the terms of his loans because of the connection with the previous regime. Debt insolvency was also becoming a serious issue. Islamabad has won numerous concessions and an IMF bail-out after a challenging round of talks.

Many major projects have already been established, including nine companies that generate 5,320 Megawatts worth $7.9 billion, whereas another 4,470 MW installed. The constructed facilities are low hanging fruits, including coal and LNG power plants, according to Samiullah Tariq, head of research at Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company. China provides a crucial friend to Pakistan.

There is no question that Chinese investments are essential to Pakistan. Few multinational banks and companies prepared to take such risks as the Chinese. The CPEC could potentially change Pakistan’s backward economy, although the reasons are partly political. In both nations, the stakes raised, but so are rewards.

In conclusion, the improvement of relations with Pakistan does not only serve strategic purposes for Beijing but also guarantees a steady production for Chinese manufactured goods. In an increasingly populated world, considerable industry and manufacturing capability built over the decades as regards development projects. Investing in Pakistan provides an export market for Chinese surplus goods thanks to industrial activities.

Categories
Energy

Renewable energy stocks are more desirable than oil stocks in the context of perpetual growth

The oil sector is at its rock bottom this year. Some of the events spiraling down to this statement include the massive oil price crash four months ago and the shelter-in-place measures due to the coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, investors should cash into renewable energy stocks. Below is an illustration of why it is crucial to invest in renewable energy stocks and their shares being far ahead of the oil shares.

Although the oil stocks may seem far from recuperating in this period, the Pew Research Center submits that petroleum is the dominant energy source in the US. The challenge is that a high percentage of oil goes into the transport industry. The US heavily depends on petroleum fuels for power-consuming processes like running ICE cars.

Petroleum-based fuels have a preference in the transport industry because of their feasibility. For instance, liquid fuel is manageable less bulky than coal. However, natural gas and other energies are more reliable in terms of efficiency than petroleum-based fuels. With close to 70% of petroleum produced spiraling to the transportation industry, it is harmless to conclude that the transportation industry solely determines the life of the oil stocks.

Currently, the challenge is that the transport sector is in recess due to the coronavirus pandemic. There is no significant automotive line that is active, including the aviation line. Many people are working at home due to the shelter-in-place measures, limiting the demand for petroleum fuel. Additionally, most businesses have shut down, minimizing the number of business people who use petrol cars.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) anticipates the demand for oil to go down by 9.3 million barrels daily. Analyst articulate that this drop is one that this industry is likely never to recuperate. It seems that renewable energy is the only sector doing well, although its use is limited to electricity generation. Nonetheless, the electricity consumption went down by approximately 15% since commercial and industrial facilities closed down.

Surprisingly, investments in renewable energy are rising, with the latest beneficiary being the offshore wind projects. This news is a source of joy for renewable energy companies like Brookfield Renewable Partners and Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure since cash will be gushing into their projects.  Renewable energy companies anticipate massive growth in this decade, contrary to the oil industry, which is currently between a rock and a hard place.

Finally, it is wise to invest in renewables since they have a high possibility of existing in the coming years. This move is appropriate considering that electric vehicles will be indirectly cushioning the shares invested in the renewables.

Categories
Energy

Reliable renewable energy needs to substitute fossil fuels for health and climate security

The cold front chelating the Lump Gulch Fire got everyone off the ropes in the wildfire battle during the first round of 2020. Although the rapid pummeling came to an end, long intervals lay ahead. Our fire season in the 1980s was August, occasionally September — never May. Those weeks have passed. Driven by global warming, the wildfire season expanded by at least 78 days, and the burnt area multiplied.

Each summer, our city is swamped with haze already for weeks. It means children coughing themselves to sleep, labored breathing, and burning eyes for my dad. Wildfire smoke increases hospital admissions significantly and is particularly detrimental to children. Like Lewis and Clark, multiple western counties of Montana have earned Warnings regularly over the past decade in air quality from the American Lung Association and now are amongst the worst pollution nationally.

COVID-19 should intensify the unhealthy condition. In Montana, wildfire smoke is causing widespread influenza during the winter, a worrying sign about what the pandemic will bring. The scenario threatens to hit fright-show proportions without significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Global Change Research Program estimates that the burned area will rise by 200-600 percent by the middle of the century with associated rises in air emissions. And this is just one example of unabated climate change’s dangerous effects.

Yet there is excellent news: They can cut emissions quickly enough to avoid the very worst impacts. A study conducted by UC Berkeley estimates that by 2035 the United States will reach 90 percent carbon-free electricity. The eureka moment is that we’re doing it without any increase in energy bills and no decline in efficiency, while still creating millions of sustainable energy jobs and going to deliver significant benefits to public health from lowered air pollution.

The strategy is simple and clear: rapidly falling costs allow for a significant build-up of renewable and battery storage, facilitating the closing of the nastiest fossil plants and preventing any new fossil plants. Current low- and no-carbon battery storage supplies provide support when renewable production is small for rare occasions.

To sum up, there is a hope of a decent world — one in which children will not hack themselves to sleep during the summer. We have the equipment, and it’s cheap, the solution. Everything it lacks is political will. For so many lawmakers tied up with the petroleum industry, and that is where the real battle lies.

Categories
Space

Mega-sets to accelerate orbiter activity

France-based consultancy Euroconsult claims that despite the COVID-19 crisis it still anticipates nearly one thousand smallish orbiters to be dispatched every year across this decade. 

The force shall majorly arise from would-be communication network providers with mega-sets players justifying for almost half of all dispatches and one-fifth of the market worth.

Euroconsult’s projection [inclusive within prospects for small satellite market], proposes that two mega-sets shall justify for one-fifth of the whole smallsats market worth because of economies of scale, colossal manufacturing as well as consignment dispatches. The publication also talks about the outcome of coronavirus on the tiny orbiters industry. It gives out an updated assessment of the recurrent uncertainties allied to the outbreak, smallsat sets, and the OneWeb insolvency, despite its latest procurement.

Euroconsult stated that the 2020s were projected to be the decade of tiny orbiters with a yearly average of one thousand smallsats to be deployed. Through assessment, 2019 had the most significant figure of smallsats up to date, with three 385 smallsats deployed. Those space shuttle realized 2.8 billion dollars of market worth in 2019, of which seventy percent was from manufacturing while the remaining thirty percent was for dispatch. From 2020 through 2029, the smallsat market worth had been anticipated to amount to 51 billion dollars, of which 18 billion shall go to dispatching while 33 billion dollars shall go to manufacturing. That was over four times the market size of the ten years that passed.

Alexandre Najjar [chief advisor at Euroconsult] highlighted that the coronavirus crisis was anticipated to have a substantial outcome on the industry. That outcome shall, however, alter contingent on the size and disposition of the investors. While numerous early-stage business fresh entrants shall be unsuccessful in augmenting finances and dispatch their sets, the two market giants, Amazon as well as SpaceX, had been braced by the outbreak. 

Najjar further stated that by the time the business division [Kuiper, as well as Starlink, shall reduce when compared to the concluded years because of coronavirus-induced market validation, maturity in regime smallsat schemes was boosting as countries presently realized the probability and cost savings empowered by the smallsat form both for armed forces situation and the general public. 

Furthermore, she added that in the coming days, smallsat market maturity should be conquered by communication orbiters with almost 5700 components projected for deployment. In comparison, Earth monitoring orbiters shall reduce in market share but shall nevertheless in terms of components, with 1520 expected. Nevertheless, a significant level of ambiguity endures as the smallsat market was, through characterization, extremely unstable. The unfruitfulness of a solitary set might symbolize multiple orbiters of distinction.