Dr Stuart Grey

Home Publications Public Engagement All Posts


Video: Watch this Space - Episode 2

Jun 25, 2016

In this episode we cover the rest of the satellite launches and newly tracked pieces of debris for May 2016.

All of the object orbits are taken from real tracking data (from https://www.space-track.org) so every single coloured dot is a real object. The positions and motion of the objects relative to the Earth are to scale but each objects size is greatly exaggerated (otherwise there would be nothing to see!).

The objects covered are:

New Satellites

Galileo 13 and 14

Galileo is the European GNSS (Global Satellite Navigation System). The latest two Galileo satellites, 13 and 14 were launched into a 22,522km orbit by a Soyuz rocket flying out of Sinamary in French Guiana on the 24th May 2016.

Thaicom 8 Thaicom 8 is a geostationary (its orbit keeps it over the same point on the Earth) communications satellite launched by SpaceX on the 27th May 2016.

Kosmos 2516 Kosmos 2516 is part of the Russian GNSS system, GLONASS. The satellite was launched on the 29th May 2016.

ÑuSat 1 and 2 The Argentinian ÑuSat 1 and ÑuSat 2 are earth observation satellites that will form part of the Aleph-1 constellation. The constellation is designed to allow real-time Earth imaging and video with a ground resolution of 1 metre

Ziyuan 3-2 Ziyuan 3-2 is a Chinese Earth imaging craft and will be used in land resources surveys, natural disaster prevention, agricultural development, water resources management and urban planning.

New Debris

Fregat Rocket Body (2016-030C) In order to get to higher orbits satellites need an extra boost from an “upper stage”. This rocket body is left over from boosting Galileo 13/14 to their 22,522km orbit.

Falcon 9 Rocket Body (2016-031B) This Falcon-9 rocket body is left over from boosting THAICOM 8 to its geostationary altitude (35,786km).

Fregat Rocket Body (2016-032B) This Fregat rocket body associated with the Cosmos 2516 GLONASS satellite launch is still in orbit.

Chang Zheng-4B Rocket Body (2016-033D) This is the upper stage of the CZ-4B (Chang Zheng-4B) associated with the Ziyuan 3-2 launch.