Communications satellites

Test time for optical comms

By Debra Werner

February 1, 2021

Fiber might not have reached your neighborhood, but anyone who does business in space will need a wireless version in the cosmic neighborhood, and soon. After decades of experimentation, 2021 could become the long-sought pivotal year for optical communications in space, notwithstanding an early setback. Debra Werner tells the story.

Megaconstellations, mega trouble

By Adam Hadhazy

February 28, 2020

Sending hundreds or thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit looked like a harmless and lucrative way to target broadband internet services to societies that lack them. Then came the first launches by megaconstellation pioneer SpaceX. Adam Hadhazy assesses the surprising collateral damage to astronomy and what might be done about it.