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October 20 2013

The world needs a rocket tax to solve the “Gravity” space junk problem – Quartz

The world needs a rocket tax to solve the “Gravity” space junk problem – Quartz

Earlier this year, a group of economists from Indiana-Purdue University, the US Federal Communications Commission, and the US Naval Academy tried to figure out how to limit the potential damage to a satellite industry that is responsible for everything from internet communications to GPS networks, and which was worth some $170 billion in 2012.
(...) The study found that commercial #satellite firms launch more satellites than is “socially desirable,” and they use launch technology that is more likely to create debris “because they only compare individual marginal benefits and costs of their technology choice and fail to take into account social benefits and costs.” That puts space debris squarely into the category of a “negative #externality,” (...)

One answer, they suggest, is a tax on satellite launches that could be used to pay for orbital clean-up


September 13 2013

Kenya water discovery brings hope for drought relief in rural north | Global development |…

#Kenya water discovery brings hope for drought relief in rural north | Global development |

Two vast underground aquifers, storing billions of litres of water, have been discovered in the poorest and least developed area of Kenya.

The finds, in Turkana county in the north west, were uncovered using new technology to interpret ground-penetrating radar from satellites. Professor Judy Wakhungu, appointed minister of environment, water and natural resources in April, described the find as extremely significant. “It is not too deep and ought not to be not too expensive to develop,” she added.

Wakhungu said Kenya plans to use the technology to map the entire country: “We are excited to be able to provide a national map of the country’s water resources.”

“We processed imagery from the pace shuttle,” Gachet said. “This allowed us to build up a detailed surface map. Then we interpreted radar imagery from the Japanese space agency and deep seismic data from the oil industry. With this approach, we were able to peel back the surface of the earth like an onion.”

#eau #satellite #cartographie #aquifère

August 05 2013

December 02 2010

Four short links: 2 December 2010

  1. Glasgow University to License Its IP For Free -- while a small proportion of high value University of Glasgow IP will still be made available to industry through traditional licensing and spin-out companies alone, offering the bulk of IP to a larger audience for free adds value to the UK economy. (via Hacker News)
  2. Apollo 13 Spacelog -- the Apollo 13 mission transcripts presented as though it were a chat session. Not cheesy, but an effective presentation.
  3. Kafka -- LinkedIn's open source pub/sub message system.
  4. Buy This Satellite -- The owner of the world's most capable communication satellite just went bankrupt.We're fundraising to buy it.So we can move it to connect millions of people who will turn access into opportunity. (via Daniel Spector on Twitter)

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