Satellite In A Satellite

Unlike the recent Russian satellite failure, our satellites work like they’re supposed to.

NASA Solar Sail Satellite Ejects from Mothership in Space

A small NASA satellite carrying a folded-up solar sail ejected from its mothership in low-Earth orbit yesterday (Dec. 6), marking a key success in NASA’s efforts to develop and deploy solar-sail technology.

NanoSail-D, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, ejected from NASA’s washing-machine-sized FASTSAT satellite at 1:31 a.m. EST (0631 GMT) Monday.

NanoSail-D’s 100-square-foot sail is still folded up tight for now. It should unfurl in about two days, demonstrating a technology that NASA hopes will help bring decommissioned satellites down from Earth’s orbit without using up valuable propellant. The idea is to use radiation from the sun as a sort of wind pushing against a thin sail to propel the lightweight craft through space.

See also:
NASA’s Nanosail-D Released into the Winds of Space
NASA’s Nanosail-D satellite ejects into space
Miniature satellite ejected in space
NASA Launches Solar Sail Satellite, Hints at Future for Space Debris
Big satellite launches small one
NASA Launches Space Kite into Orbit
NASA launches first satellite from a satellite in Huntsville-controlled experiment
NanoSail-D
NanoSail-D
FASTSAT
FASTSAT
Marshall Space Flight Center
Marshall Space Flight Center

These mini-satellites are about the size of a loaf of bread? They must be pretty hard to keep track of from the ground.

/I bet this technology gets picked up by the military pretty quick

They’ll Call Your Piracy And Raise Death

Talk about upping the ante.

Commercial ship strikes back in deadly shootout with Somali pirates

Private security guards protecting a commercial ship shot dead a Somali pirate Tuesday, the first recorded incident of its kind.

The pirate attack on the Panamanian-flagged MV Almezaan occurred off the coast of Somalia, and comes at a time when increasing numbers of commercial ships are hiring private armed security units to protect them during their passage through the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. While US and French Navy crews have killed Somali pirates before during hostage rescues on the high seas, today’s shooting shows that the Somali piracy problem is potentially growing more violent.

“This could be the beginning of a violent period,” says E.J. Hogendoorn, head of the Horn of Africa program at the International Crisis Group’s office in Nairobi. “If [the pirates] see guys with shiny barrels pointing at them, they might fire first.”

‘Pirate’ dies as ship’s guards repel attack off Somalia

A suspected pirate has been shot dead as private guards repelled an attack on a cargo ship off Somalia, in what may have been the first such incident.

Guards aboard the Panamanian-flagged MV Almezaan returned fire after the ship was attacked – the third time in a year that pirates had targeted the ship.

The EU naval force (Navfor) said a team from an EU warship found the dead man after responding to a distress call.

Six other suspected pirates were detained by a Spanish Navfor ship.

The ESPS Navarra found one pirate mother ship and two skiffs. The mother ship was destroyed after the suspects were taken into custody, Navfor said.

Navfor spokesman Cmdr John Harbour told the BBC News website that he believed there was strong evidence to prosecute the six suspects detained.

“All the evidence suggests that there was a fire-fight,” he said.

Bullet-holes were found in the skiffs in which they were found, he added.

See also:
Security guards shoot dead Somali pirate in attack on MV Almezaan cargo ship
Pirate killed in failed hijacking off Somalia, EU says
Somali pirate killed by private guards
Somali pirate killed by ship’s guards in thwarted attack
Suspected pirate shot dead off Somalia
Private guards kill Somali pirate for first time
Somali pirate killed in cargo ship hijack shooting
In First, Private Guards Kill Somali Pirate
Somali Pirate Killed By Private Security Guards
Pirate shot dead in attack on UAE ship
Suspected pirate shot, six arrested

Well, maybe the pirates will think twice now that the stakes have been raised to this point. Finally, these commercial ships are applying the proper penalty to pirates that’s been accepted throughout history.

/the only good pirate is a dead pirate!

L16, You Sank My Mothership!

Score one for NATO.

NATO warship sinks pirate ship off Somalia

A NATO destroyer has sunk a pirate mothership in the Indian Ocean off the Somali coast after allowing the crew to leave, the alliance said Monday.

Shona Lowe, an anti-piracy spokeswoman, said the HDMS Absalon — the Danish flagship of the three-vessel NATO flotilla in the region — disrupted a pirate operation by “scuttling” one of the large boats used by Somali gangs to transport attack teams to piracy hunting areas far off the coast.

The mothership was fired on and sunk after its crew members were transferred to a smaller boat in tow, which was allowed to return to the mainland, she said.

“NATO is not in the business of firing at skiffs with pirates in them,” Lowe said in an interview from NATO’s naval headquarters in Northwood, near London.

Lowe said no further details were immediately available.

The action occurred Sunday in the Indian Ocean, rather than the adjacent Gulf of Aden where most pirate attacks take place.

See also:
NATO Warship Sinks Somali Pirate Mothership
NATO Sinks Pirate Mother Ship Off Somalia
NATO Disrupts Piracy in the Somali Basin
NATO warship sinks pirate ship off Somalia
Danish NATO destroyer sinks pirate mothership off Somalia
Pirate ship sunk
Absalon Class Combat / Flexible Support Ship, Denmark
Absalon Class Combat / Flexible Support Ship, Denmark
HDMS Absalon (L16)

/it’s nice that NATO is fighting back and sinking pirate ships, but they really need to develop rules of engagement that allow them to detain the actual pirates, rather than just keep releasing them, free to plunder another day