With the recent launch of OneWeb’s, SpaceX’s, and Amazon’s satellite constellations – thousands of new satellites circling the Earth have drawn the attention of business leaders to new opportunities for new startups in the space sector.
Space will have a big role to play in future data transmission, data processing and data storage. New international laws will need to be written to control the distribution, storage, and processing of data in space.
With the convergence of reduced cost per kilo to orbit and miniaturisation of satellite technologies, space data solutions are now a hot startup topic. New Zealand based company Rocket Labs provides such services, with sub-$1 million satellite launch capability. Soon it will be common that medium and large companies all have their own data processing and data storage servers in space. Amazon has also opened this area up by launching its “Ground Station” AWS web service allowing companies to more easily beam down and beam up data to and from Earth.
Companies like PlanetLabs and MAXAR currently provide consumer services that allow startups to use near real-time satellite imagery in remote sensing solutions used by Wall Street hedge funds to monitor global Walmart parking lot foot traffic from space to predict future share price movement.
One of the primary reasons for using space for data transmission is that the speed of data in a vacuum is the same as the maximum speed of light at ~300,000 km per second, whereas on Earth the speed of data in fibre optics is about 30% slower. Many companies depend on the fastest data transmission possible and already use expensive space-based commercial satellite systems such as those offered by Iridium and Intelsat. Startups are disrupting space data transmission with lower cost and more disposable microsatellites.
As part of the Apollo 11 – 50th-year celebrations, Datalytyx recently participated in the US Space and Rocket Center “Global Rocket Launch” (https://www.rocketcenter.com/apollo50/GlobalLaunch) challenge.
As part of the celebrations, Datalytyx launched a rocket from a local park in London. Datalytyx space aficionados gathered in a local park and led the countdown from 10 seconds before 14:32 (13:32 UTC) on 16th July 2019, the moment of launch when Apollo 11 left Launchpad 39A in Florida on 16th July 1969 for its historic journey to the Moon to land the first humans on its surface.
The 10-second countdown was held at 14:32, the exact time of the launch 50 years ago.
Apollo 11 travelled over 400,000 km over 4 days to reach the Moon. Our humble rocket achieved a height just above the trees in Lincoln Inn Park of approximately 200 feet.
Afterwards, the Datalytyx team celebrated by visiting the Cinema to watch Apollo 11 The Movie. This was a once in a lifetime moment to watch 70mm high-definition archive footage of the launch. Overall, the event was met with great interest and was an enjoyable day out for the team.