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Analysis and Comment (11)

A US Chinook similar to the one involved in the gun battle of Takur Ghar. A US Chinook similar to the one involved in the gun battle of Takur Ghar. Flickr/The U S Army

Bad space weather may have caused fatal Afghan gun battle

Three American soldiers* may have died in Afghanistan’s battle of Takur Ghar because of disruptions caused by plasma bubbles – a form of space weather – according to a new study. Space weather is normally…
Our moon orbits the Earth in the same way satellites do. Our moon orbits the Earth in the same way satellites do. Flickr/Alexey Kljatov

Explainer: how do satellites orbit the Earth?

Take a look at the moon and it isn’t hard to imagine it as a planet. A 3,476 kilometres-in-diameter ball of rock, with basalt plains and mountain ranges, whose gravitational pull produces tides here on…
Plenty of space junk out there. Plenty of space junk out there. EOS Space Systems

Earthbound and down: last night’s bright meteor was space junk

A bright meteor lit up the sky across Australia last night, grabbing the attention of anyone who happened to be outdoors. Seen around 10pm AEST, it was intensely bright and slow moving, with many observers…
Volunteers are trawling satellite imagery in the hope of finding the wreckage of MH370. Volunteers are trawling satellite imagery in the hope of finding the wreckage of MH370. EPA

Volunteers and algorithms need training to find MH370

It has been nearly a week since flight Malaysia Airlines MH370 disappeared some time after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Despite searches led by the Malaysian authorities, there is…
Images released by China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense that it says are three large floating objects in an area where missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 vanished. Images released by China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense that it says are three large floating objects in an area where missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 vanished. AAP/SASTIND

Can satellites help find missing flight MH370?

China has released several satellite images its officials say could be wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people onboard. If they are proved to be true it shows how remote…
It’s getting crowded up there. It’s getting crowded up there. Copyright, European Space Agency, ESA

George Clooney isn’t the only one with an eye in the sky

George Clooney revealed details last week about “his” spy satellite over Sudan, which he funds to keep an eye on the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who has been accused of war crimes. The Satellite…
Australia needs to stop piggy-backing on other nations and get its own space agency. Australia needs to stop piggy-backing on other nations and get its own space agency. NASA

Ten reasons why Australia urgently needs a space agency

There is a hole in the Australian public administration where a space agency should be. That was the clear lesson from the Australian Space Research Program (ASRP) project delivered at the end of June…
If we assume that demand for in-flight internet is going to increase, it’s time we did something about it. If we assume that demand for in-flight internet is going to increase, it’s time we did something about it. Damian Shaw/AAP

Qantas drops in-flight Wi-Fi – the NBN to the rescue?

The trial of in-flight Wi-Fi on six Qantas Airbus A380s flying between Melbourne, Los Angeles and London has ended, following an announcement by the carrier last week. So why does this matter? And could…
Unless something is done about space junk, it might become too unsafe to have satellites in Low-Earth Orbit. Unless something is done about space junk, it might become too unsafe to have satellites in Low-Earth Orbit. ESA

You, me and debris: Australia should help clear ‘space junk’

At some point in the next few months, Australia will get its first ever national space policy. The release of the report, following consultation by experts in the space industry, will be a defining moment…
Australia relies on foreign-owned satellites to deliver a range of critical services. Australia relies on foreign-owned satellites to deliver a range of critical services.

Australia will soon have a national space policy – no giggling, please

A draft of Australia’s first national space policy was recently considered by federal cabinet and is currently undergoing a consultation process with experts within the space sector. The document, which…

Research Briefs (2)