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With the landing of one of the U.S. Air Force's unmanned X-37B spaceplanes, video of the landing of the other X-37B, which launched in March 2011 and completed its 496-day classified mission in June 2012. Credit: Boeing

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Oct. 27, 2014 to Oct. 29, 2014
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Oct. 27, 2014 to Oct. 30, 2014
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Guest Blog | An opening door for hosted payloads

From The Space Review:
In any given year, companies worldwide launch about two dozen commercial communications satellites. These spacecraft, some weighing more than 6,000 kilograms, are distributed across geosynchronous orbit, providing a wide range of services, from relaying television programming to broadcasters and individual customers to providing critical links for credit card and banking systems.

These spacecraft, though, have the capability to perform another role as well. Many spacecraft have, or can make room for in the design process, additional payload capacity in the form of mass, volume, and power. This capacity can be used to host additional, primarily government, payloads, such as communications transponders, Earth observation cameras, or technology demonstrations. These “hosted payloads,” as they’re called, can provide the government with capabilities at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated satellite, and also provide satellite operators with an ancillary source of revenue.

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Upcoming Editorial Calendar:

Oct. 6

Profile: Thomas Berger, Director, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center

Oct. 13

Profile: Thomas Markusic, Chief Executive, Firefly Space Systems

Oct. 20

Profile: Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman, House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee

Earth Science/Climate Monitoring (Monthly Feature): Researchers using satellites to predict whether an El Nino event will bring significant rainfall is in store for drought-stricken western states.

Oct. 27

Profile: Hiroshi Imazu, Chairman, Space Policy Committee, Liberal Democratic Party of Japan.

Spotlight (Monthly Feature): Satellogic, Argentine cubesat constellation company

 

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