I'm a novelist and have an interest in space science and physics. I've been a programmer for more than 30 years and I like reviewing new and up-and-coming authors.
If you want me to review your novel, please look at my page.
Please consider registering (see top of page) to help support this site. Your personal data isn't shared with anyone, but it makes me feel good.
Satellites offer such huge benefits, including communications, taking the internet where it wouldn't otherwise be feasible, monitoring our weather and sea-level changes, GPS etc. etc. We shouldn't forget spying (um, military intelligence) either, because despite its sordid nature, it is important. At least, some people think so.
Every nation able to build and launch a satellite is doing that, and they usually are building one or more constellations of satellites for permanent white coverage (no blackout windows when cover is not available). Even if they can't build or launch, they can usually pay someone else who can do these things for them. A constellation may have more than thirty member satellites.
While this is great for general consumers of the services they provide, it's not so great for ground-based astronomy. The image to the right shows trails across a composite image of the Orion Nebula, and highlights just what a problem this is becoming.
It takes seven minutes for a vehicles to descend through the Martian atmosphere to the surface. The distance between Earth and Mars is always greater than seven light minutes when these landings take place, so by the time Earth gets the message that the vehicles has made contact with the atmosphere, it is already on the ground. Hopefully in one piece.
My internet connection has now been established in my new home, and the Raspberry Pi's are working their hearts out to update the pages containing NASA data. There is a brief period that Mars Weather data is temporarily lost (I assume I'll be able to recover it when the data is next uploaded to the PDS repository in about 6 months time).
Meanwhile, it is just a week untilmakes its in Jezero Crater on the flanks of Syrtis Major in the northern hemisphere of Mars. I am assured that the rover will be sending back weather data which I'll be able to pick up from the NASA servers in the same way I've been picking up the weather data from InSight. I'll start a new section for Mars Weather with pages for InSight data, InSight data (recalibrated) from the PDS archive, and Perseverance (and later Perseverance recalibrated).
It'll be a while before Perseverance begins sending data back, but feel free to hold your breath!