Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/20/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Satellite technology is becoming cheap as designers use cellphones for key components.

Residents of the Eastern U.S. and those out at sea were treated to an amazing fireworks display as a rocket launched from Virgina put a record 29 satellites into space on Tuesday.

The Minotaur rocket awaiting launch.

The Minotaur rocket awaiting launch.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/20/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Minotaur, rocket, launch, Wallops, NASA, school, nano, satellite, cubesat

MIAMI, FL (Catholic Online) - Launched from NASA's Wallop's Flight Facility in Virginia, the nighttime launch was seen from as faraway as Indiana and Michigan, and all up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

The rocket was a Minotaur 1, which is a hybrid rocket built from retired Minuteman and Peacekeeper ballistic missiles by the Orbital Sciences Corporation.

Launches from Wallops Island have been rare until recently, but what makes this launch so exceptional is the number of satellites lofted by it. In this case, 29. This is the most ever launched into orbit by a single rocket.

Included in the payload was a satellite designed and built by high school students. Known as the TJ3Sat, the student-built satellite can receive commands via text message and broadcast radio messages to the ground. Students from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA.

The satellite is a nano-satellite, a.k.a the CubeSat, a miniature device that relies on cell-phone technology which now cheaply provides GPS, hi-res cameras, and fast processors to tiny satellites that can be cheaply built and launched for a variety of applications.

The development of nano-satellites is making space exploration accessible on a budget, including to students.

Of course, the primary payload of the satellite wasn't the student-built prototype, but the U.S. Air Force's $55 million STPSat-3, which is designed to monitor the space environment. That satellite is the latest in a trend to make military research satellites cheaper and easier to launch.

The Air Force is interested in gathering more data about the space environment since it now relies on space-based operations for much of its work.

Another satellite on the rocket was the "Firefly" designed to study lightning flashes.

In addition to the successful launch of the 29 satellites aboard the Minotaur on Tuesday, three additional CubeSats were launched from the International Space Station. In all, 31 satellites were placed into orbit on Tuesday, which is by far, a record.

Nearly every day, and at least a few times each week, something is launched into space, mostly from the United States and Russia, although Japan, India, China, and the European Space Agency, among others, frequently launch rockets of their own. This is filling the space around Earth with satellites and other objects, but there's no need to worry. There's a tremendous amount of room up there, which is good, because the trend of more people putting more stuff into space is only going to accelerate.

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Technology

Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS! Watch

Image of The New Shepherd rocket, safe on its West Texas launch pad, after the first-ever such landing made by a space rocket.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a technological upset, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos has successfully tested a reusable rocket by flying it into space and landing it back on Earth. The test puts Bezo's Blue Origin ahead of Elon Musk's Space X in the race to develop a reusable rocket. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

What the heck is Dark Matter and what's Triangulum II? Watch

Image of Triangulum II may have a greater concentration of dark matter than any other object yet observed.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have discovered a galaxy that may be composed mostly of dark matter. Dark matter is an elusive substance that is yet to be described by scientists. They know what it does, but not what it is. The discovery could help solve the mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Anonymous VS ISIS: Hacker group launches counter-terrorism attacks from the shadows Watch

Image of Hacker group Anonymous takes on ISIS (YouTube).


While ISIS supporters and member utilize social media to attract recruits and sympathizers to their cause, hacker group Anonymous has stepped forward to fight back. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Following the Paris terror attacks Friday, hacker group Anonymous ... continue reading

3 reasons why having sex with robots is wrong, according to the Catholic Church Watch

Image of Should we have sex with robots? Not according to the teachings of the Church, and Natural Law itself.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As robotics manufacturers look to the future, they're planning to tap into the multi-billion dollar sex industry. In the not-too distant future, people will be able to keep robot companions that provide them with sexual gratification. What happens when people begin ... continue reading

Ever wonder why the other line always moves faster? This book has the answer Watch

Image of The practice of lining up is taught in school and is a quintessential aspect of modern civilization.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Why does the other line move faster than yours? This is a question explored, and answered in a new book which used science and history to study standing in line. In "Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster: The Myths and Misery, Secrets and Psychology of Waiting in ... continue reading

The unimaginable truth behind Facebook's threat to society that you need to know NOW Watch

Image of Has social media taken over?


Teenage internet sensation Essena O'Neill decided to leave social media behind after realizing it did nothing but make her dependent on anonymous "likes" and "shares." Her dependency on social media is just one of many. What else does social media cause? LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading

Move over Uber - Check out the newest 'Air Taxis' that the richest people will ride Watch

Image of Magnetic levitation technology produces the lift and forces the car to propel forward, which makes the system energy efficient.


Futuristic, "Jetsons" -styled "air taxis," that glide 20 to 30 feet above the air on elevated tracks will be debuting in Israel shortly. The dream project of Skytran, based in Mountain View, California had been perfecting the technology over the past five ... continue reading

Here are five shocking surprises from Comet 67P that are keeping scientists awake at night Watch

Image of Rosetta and the Philae lander. Both are on a three-year mission to gather data about comet 67P, but so far they've served to mystify as much as they have explained.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The recent announcement that Comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko (67P) is rich in oxygen molecules has sent scientists scurrying to explain this extraordinary finding. It is the latest in strange discoveries reported by the Rosetta spacecraft in orbit around the enigmatic ... continue reading

If it's not an alien megastructure, could it be... a black hole? Watch

Image of Could it be aliens? No.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Astronomers continue to puzzle over a distant star that for some reason, is having a substantial quantity of its light blocked from reaching Earth. The find is one-of-a-kind and is fueling speculation that intelligent life could be at work. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Are you under surveillance? Watch

Image of The government sanctions the use of tech that is able to connect to your phone and pull anything they want from it.


Stingray is the name of a device called an IMSI-catcher or a "cell-site simulator," and is roughly the size of a briefcase. It works by impersonating cell phone towers and strips metadata or content from phones that connect to them. What does the government have to say ... continue reading

All Technology News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. Andrew: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • Daily Readings for Monday, November 30, 2015
  • Who Needs Advent? I do!

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 33:14-16
14 "Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall fulfil the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your paths.5 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
25 'There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations ... Read More

Reading 2, First Thessalonians 3:12--4:2
12 May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 29th, 2015 Image

St. Saturninus
November 29: St. Saturninus Bishop of Toulouse and Martyr ... Read More