• "[T]he QB50 constellation was organized under the management of Jean Muylaert, who is Director of VKI; previously, he was the head of Aerothermodynamics Department in ESTEC and involved with the development of the EXPERT (European Experimental Reentry Testbed) payload to be tested in mid-2010 with a Russian Volna rocket. The constellation of 50 Double Cubesats, sequentially deployed by a single launch (with the Russian Shtil 2.1 rocket, based upon the Volna technology) is to put around the Earth a network for multi-point, in-situ, long-duration measurements in the lower thermosphere, between 90 and 320 km. This environment used for atmospheric re-entry operations is not very well known because of its variability under the influence of “space weather” changes (due to the activity of the Sun)."
  • "The lower thermosphere (90-320 km) is the least explored layer of the atmosphere. Atmospheric Explorers were flown in the past in highly elliptical orbits (typically: 200 km perigee, 3000 km apogee); they carried experiments for in-situ measurements but the time spent in the region of interest below 320 km was only a few tens of minutes. Nowadays, sounding rocket flights provide the only in-situ measurements."
  • "The kilometre-high skyscraper, the underwater hotel, the cloud on stilts … Steve Rose mourns the eye-popping erections that should never have been commissioned." Who could have guessed that some of this would turn out to be speculative vanity projects with shaky financing? Weren't the business cases for an underwater hotel and city with its own Death Star pretty ironclad?
  • "Could CubeSats be used to demonstrate newly discovered non-contact assembly principles that might be used to build large equipment and satellites in space?"
  • "SwissCube is the first satellite entirely built in Switzerland…. Due to its size and available power (less than a few Watt are generated by the solar panels), SwissCube can of course not compete with the capabilities of much larger satellites. However, it carries most of the sub-systems (e.g. structure, on-board computer, communication, attitude control, antennas) that exist on large satellites and allowed students to build a complex engineering system." Insert your own Swiss Army Knife in space joke here.
  • Set of 2 scenarios written by Siemans in 2004. Focused geographically on Europe, but the scenarios cover many aspects of life in great detail – unfortunately, not warfare. It's a beast of a document.
    (tags: gpp)