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LADEE Launch coming up

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is scheduled to launch at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6. Backup launch days are Sept. 7-10. LADEE is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the structure and composition of the thin lunar atmosphere and determine whether dust is being lofted into the lunar sky.

A thorough understanding of these characteristics of our nearest celestial neighbor will help researchers understand other bodies in the solar system, such as Mercury, outer planet moons and larger asteroids.

LADEE will launch from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport's (MARS) Pad 0B on a U.S. Air Force Minotaur V rocket, an excess ballistic missile converted in to a space launch vehicle and operated by Orbital. This will be the first flight of the Minotaur V and the first launch beyond Earth orbit from Wallops.

Defines "snarky"

ARTICLES: Tired kids? Look at their media habits

Parents who are concerned that their children are always tired or are having difficulties concentrating should look at their media habits, scientists have said.

They claim that the more time a child spends on a computer or watching television, the more their sleep pattern is likely to be disrupted.

According to the scientists from Finland, previous studies have already suggested that the use of electronic media can affect a child's sleep. Since sleep directly affects a child's mental and physical health, including their performance in school, they decided to look into this further.

They looked at the sleep, TV viewing and computer use patterns of children aged 10 and 11. These patterns were then reassessed in the children 18 months later.

full article

Note: Details of these findings are published in the journal, BMC Public Health.

A fun place with glass rain..blue but far from here very far

Monday, 29 July 2013

There's a moon out tonight

Evoking the haunting beauty of Earth's Moon, a crescent Enceladus appears in the skies around Saturn.
Lit terrain seen here is on the Saturn-facing hemisphere of Enceladus. North on Enceladus is up and rotated 25 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 1, 2013.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 329,000 miles (530,000 kilometers) from Enceladus and at a Sun-Enceladus-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 138 degrees. Image scale is 2 miles (3 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.

Not the green lantern.. from the AP Wire

 A woman was arrested Monday after green paint was found splattered inside two chapels at the Washington National Cathedral, and police were investigating her in connection with two similar incidents on the National Mall, authorities said.
The woman was arrested in the area of the cathedral shortly after the paint was found, Assistant D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said. Investigators were hoping to question her about the vandalism on the Mall, including at the Lincoln Memorial, but a language barrier delayed the interrogation, Newsham said.
The woman would likely be charged with destruction of property, Newsham said.
Green paint was found early Friday morning on the Lincoln Memorial, and symbols were found painted in green later Friday on another statue on the Mall. The Lincoln Memorial was closed temporarily but reopened later Friday.
Officials at the cathedral discovered the paint inside two chapels Monday afternoon. It was still wet, which led them to believe the vandalism had just occurred. Officials called police immediately and closed the cathedral to visitors while authorities searched the grounds.
The paint was splashed onto an organ and on the floor inside the cathedral's historic Bethlehem Chapel on the basement level, officials said. It was also found inside Children's Chapel in the nave of the cathedral.
Also Monday, U.S. Park Police said green paint was found on the statue of Joseph Henry outside the headquarters of the Smithsonian Institution on the Mall. Henry was the Smithsonian's first secretary.
Meanwhile, crews continued working Monday to remove the paint from the Lincoln Memorial. The National Park Service said progressively stronger substances would be used until all the paint is gone, which could take several days. The memorial was scheduled to be power washed Tuesday.
Sgt. Paul Brooks, a U.S. Park Police spokesman, said it was too early to tell whether the same person was responsible for the vandalism at the two Mall landmarks. He noted that while the paint appeared to be splattered indiscriminately on the memorial, the statue appeared to have been deliberately painted. The symbols on the statue were not immediately decipherable.
Bethlehem Chapel has surveillance cameras, but it wasn't immediately clear whether the vandalism was captured on video, said Richard Weinberg, a cathedral spokesman.
D.C. police said paint from the cathedral would likely be sent to the FBI for testing.

Who is the green paint guy or girl

WASHINGTON - The oldest part of the National Cathedral has been shut down after green paint was discovered Monday.
The National Cathedral is the third landmark to be vandalized with green paint since Friday. In addition to the Lincoln Memorial, green paint was also found on the statue of Joseph Henry outside the headquarters of the Smithsonian Institution.
National Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg says green, wet paint was found splattered on an organ inside the Bethlehem Chapel. A music department employee discovered the damage about 2 p.m. Monday.
The building is currently being searched by D.C. police and the lower level is closed off, Weinberg says.
The chapel is the oldest portion of the Cathedral, completed in 1912. And it was the original location of President Woodrow Wilson's burial tomb, according to the Cathedral.
Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Brooks says the vandalism of Joseph Henry's statue was reported on Friday, the same day that green paint was found splattered on the Lincoln Memorial.
Henry was the Smithsonian's first secretary.
Brooks says the incident is under investigation, and it's not clear whether it was the same paint that was used on the Memorial. He says it appears that something was intentionally drawn on the statue. The Lincoln Memorial had nothing drawn on it, just splattered paint.
The Lincoln Memorial has reopened to visitors, and crews are working to remove the paint.

  Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group gets all eight of DC-based Allbritton Communications' broadcast TV stations, including Channel 7/WJLA and local cable-oriented NewsChannel 8. The $985 million deal also includes Allbritton's stations in Harrisburg PA, Lynchburg VA, Birmingham AL, Little Rock AR, Tulsa OK, and Charleston SC. All of Allbritton's broadcast stations are ABC affiliates. To comply with FCC local television ownership rules, Sinclair says it expects to sell the license and certain related assets of existing stations it owns in the Birmingham, Harrisburg, and Charleston markets. Allbritton head Robert Allbritton stated: "Sinclair is the ideal buyer of our superb television stations. Its existing reach and history of innovation matches exceptionally well with our long tradition of viewer service and news gathering excellence. David Smith and his team have been a pleasure to work with. I am confident that their leadership and resources will enable our stations to reach new heights of service to our communities." Sinclair, which its headquartered in the Baltimore County suburb of Hunt Valley, owns Baltimore's Fox affiliate, Channel 45/WBFF, and operates that market's CW station, Channel 54/WNUV. It has also announced plans to operate Baltimore's MyNetworkTV affiliate, Channel 24/WUTB, which has been a Fox-owned property. Sinclair owns or operates about 150 TV stations in about 75 markets. More atwashingtonpost.com.

Sinclair has a reputation as a 'bad operator' and at one point did all it's local stations newscasts from Baltimore. Let's see if they've learned anything.
Newsroom employees at Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7) are worried that job cuts might be in the station’s future now that it’s being purchased by Sinclair Broadcast Group.
WJLA parent company Allbritton Communicationsannounced today that it had struck a deal to sell WJLA, local cable channel NewsChannel 8, and 6 other local TV stations to Sinclair, which is based in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The deal, worth $985 million, will add to Sinclair’s portfolio of nearly 150 television stations across the country.
The deal is not expected to close until the end of the year, while the companies wait for federal regulatory approval. No changes to the station are planned in the meantime, but newsroom employees worry that Sinclair — which is conservative in its politics and in its fiscal management — may cut jobs and make other changes once the deal is approved.
“Everybody [is] shitting bricks,” one newsroom source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ARLnow.com. “[The] mood is very tense. Everyone thinks there’ll be massive cutbacks and reductions in the next year. Not a single person is happy about the new owners.”
WJLA currently employs about 240 part-time and full-time newsroom employees, according to station General Manager Bill Lord. That doesn’t include station advertising and business staff.
One thing not likely to change in the near future, says Jerry Fritz, Senior Vice President for Legal and Strategic Affairs at Allbritton Communications, is the station’s location in Rosslyn.
“We have a long-term lease here and we believe we’ll be staying here,” Fritz told ARLnow.com.
It was announced in May that the Allbritton family was seeking a buyer for its television holdings. The announcement came five months after Joe L. Allbritton, whose initials were used as the call letters for WJLA,passed away at 87. His son, Robert Allbritton, said he would use proceeds from the sale of the stations to concentrate on another asset, Politico, and invest in internet ventures.
In a statement, Allbritton said he hopes the stations he’s selling will “reach new heights” under the new ownership.
“Sinclair is the ideal buyer of our superb television stations,” he said. “Its existing reach and history of innovation matches exceptionally well with our long tradition of viewer service and news gathering excellence. David Smith and his team have been a pleasure to work with. I am confident that their leadership and resources will enable our stations to reach new heights of service to our communities.”

.

Ratings are going to drop. You have to pay for talent and it's overhead From the paper of record in this town Politco

In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year, an industry source told POLITICO on Sunday.
Cumulus has decided that it will not renew its contracts with either host, the source said, a move that would remove the two most highly rated conservative talk personalities from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets. 
The decision comes after negotiations between Cumulus and Premiere Networks, the division of Clear Channel that distributes Limbaugh and Hannity's shows, broke down due to disagreements over the cost of the distribution rights, the source said. Cumulus is known to drive a hard bargain on costs, and Clear Channel is known to seek top dollar for big names.
As industry insiders caution, Cumulus and Clear Channel have come to the brink before during contract negotiations only to resume talks. But the source told POLITICO that Clear Channel was unlikely to reduce the cost for distribution rights to a level that would satisfy Cumulus.
Cumulus declined to comment for this story: "Cumulus is not in a position to comment about negotiations with talent under contract, no matter what the rumor of the day might be," a spokesperson told POLITICO.
But in recent weeks, Cumulus has been quietly reaching out to radio talent agents and political insiders about new local and regional station hosts to fill some of the airtime that will be left vacant by Limbaugh and Hannity, industry sources said. Cumulus is also expected to move some of its existing talent -- which includes Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage -- into one of the slots.
Premiere, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday night, is expected to carry Limbaugh and Hannity on stations in many of the markets where they are currently signed with Cumulus, should the negotiations not go through. A spokesperson for Limbaugh was not immediately available for comment; Hannity did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Back in May, a source close to Limbaugh told POLITICO that the host was considering ending his affiliation agreement with Cumulus because CEO Lew Dickey was blaming the company's advertising losses on Limbaugh's controversial remarks about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student. On an earnings call two days later, Dickey reported a $2.4 million first-quarter decline in revenue related to talk programming, which he attributed, indirectly, to Limbaugh's remarks about Fluke. 
Dickey is expected to hold another earnings call this week, though it is unclear if he will address the contract negotiations.
Rush Limbaugh: I’m going nowhere.
Rush Limbaugh is dismissing reports his show will be dropped by Cumulus Media stations. But he said today that his syndicator Premiere Networks is still in talks with Cumulus, explaining, “Negotiations have been taken public by one side.” Politico cites an unnamed source saying Cumulus will drop Limbaugh and fellow Premiere talk host Sean Hannity. Limbaugh told listeners they’ll still be able to hear him regardless of how things play out. “You are going to be able to get this radio program on as many, if not more, radio stations down the road than it's on now,” he said.

NEWS: TVNZ axes social media-driven youth channel

TVNZ says it will close youth channel TVNZ U on August 31 and replace it with a time-shifted version of TV2.

Social media smarts have not been enough to make up for a threadbare programming budget.

“Despite our best efforts, we’ve not been able to make it work financially," CEO Kevin Kenrick says.

The channel has been making a loss since its March 2011 launch, the state broadcaster says.

“As it is, the channel is a very lean operation and no significant savings can be made to address the shortfall,” Mr Kenrick says.

full article

NEWS / TRAINING: First Ever Bahamas Youth Media Camp A Success

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Nassau, Bahamas - Thirty campers were immersed into the world of media this summer, thanks to a collaboration between the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and True Vision Media Group.  Through the government's free summer programme, children ages 8 to 15 learned about the importance of media; social responsibility and the role of media; careers in media; interviewing skills; writing and presentation skills; how to set up camera equipment and accessories; and photography.  

The camp also contained general and social competency components that allowed the children to combine learning media skills with fun and games, creative writing, conflict resolution, and saving and budgeting skills

full article



Finally some one got it right

Friday, 26 July 2013

A new online radio guide that aggregates thousands of stations is positioning itself as the Google of broadcast radio. UberStations is the latest brainchild of Michael Robertson, founder of Dar.fm and the original MP3.com. The web-based service, which launched in late June, is intended to help consumers discover and listen to broadcast radio streams, with access to 14,000 stations, including 11,000 in the U.S.

Great if you are looking for US only stations not so great for the rest of the world.

NEWS / GRANTS: $4.9 Million MacArthur Foundation Grant Funds Additional Research on New Media and Youth Participation in Politics

OAKLAND, Calif.--()--The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded a four-year, $4.9 million grant to Mills College to fund theMacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics, which is led by Mills College Professor of Education Joseph Kahne. The grant supports Kahne’s new media research efforts with partner institutions including Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the University of Southern California, and the University of Arizona.

full article

NEWS / CHILDREN'S TV: Yep! puts children's channel plans on ice (GERMANY)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

German media companies Mainstream Media and m4e have put their plans to launch a standalone children's channel named Yep! on ice.

The reason is the recently announced collaboration with free-to-air channel ProSieben Maxx which will show children's and youth programmes provided by Yep!.


full article

Much bigger than Apollo

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Two NASA astronauts conducted flight suit evaluations inside a fully outfitted test version of The Boeing Company's CST-100 spacecraft July 22, the first time the world got a glimpse of the crew capsule's interior.

The CST-100 test vehicle was optimized to seat five crew members, but the spacecraft could accommodate up to seven or a mix of crew and cargo

WRUL WNYW WYFR Shuts down forever

WYFR to close all shortwave services


We regretfully inform you that the final day of operation for WYFR will be June 30, 2013.

This station descended from W1XAL (an experimental class license assigned in 1927).  In 1939 the call letters were changed to WRUL, and then changed to WNYW in 1966.

Initially, broadcasts came from Boston.  In 1936 the station moved to Scituate, Massachusetts.

On October 20, 1973 Family Stations, Inc. took ownership of the station using the call letters WYFR.  (FSI had been buying airtime from WNYW starting in January of 1972.)  At that time, the station sported four transmitters and nine reversible rhombic antennas.

Construction started in Florida in 1976.  On November 23, 1977 the first transmission from Okeechobee went on the air.

For several years WYFR operated simultaneously from Scituate and from Okeechobee.  The last broadcast from Scituate took place on November 16, 1979. 

The Okeechobee site eventually grew to 14 transmitters and 23 antennas.  And now we’ve gone full cycle.

Thank you Harold Camping whose end of the world thing caused the fsi radio group to sell all it's major market fms on the us east coast and close down this long time shortwave powerhouse.  

The only royal baby gif you'll ever need

Monday, 22 July 2013

From the lovely folks at buzzfeed

Here's a coronal hole on the Sun thank you solar max

The European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, captured this image of a gigantic coronal hole hovering over the sun’s north pole on July 18, 2013, at 9:06 a.m. EDT. Coronal holes are dark, low density regions of the sun’s outermost atmosphere, the corona. They contain little solar material, have lower temperatures, and therefore, appear much darker than their surroundings

When you smile the whole world smiles with.

Earth as seen from Saturn and Earth and Moon from Mercury
Raw Image of Earth and Moon as seen from the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn,
This is a shot of the earth and it's moon as taken from the Messenger Spacecraft orbiting Mercury
Orbiting near the rings of Saturn, Cassini took this photo of a pale blue dot  Earth,

ARTICLES: Use social media as positive tool, youth told

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A young Dubai-based woman who participated in an online conversation with the former UN head Kofi Annan is urging youth in the region to be patient, educate themselves and use social media as a positive tool for change, in light of the Arab Spring.

Danya Bashir Hobba, a campaigner for democracy and women's rights in Libya who spends her time between Dubai and Libya, was one of nine youth leaders taking part in the online One Young World Kofi Annan Dialogues with former head of the United Nations last Thursday.

During the conversation, Hobba, who works with the Dubai School of Government, said she believed social media was a way for youth to move forward and create positive democratic change " as long as they were educated and informed.

full article

OK spot the pale blue dot and it's moon

Saturday, 20 July 2013

N00213966.jpg was taken on July 19, 2013 and received on Earth July 20, 2013. The camera was pointing toward EARTH at approximately 898,419,474 miles (1,445,865,990 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the RED and CL2 filters. This image has not been validated or calibrated. A validated/calibrated image will be archived with the NASA Planetary Data System in 2014. 

NEWS: Media should show empathy in reporting children's issues: NGO

New Delhi: Urging the media to be more responsible in reporting on children's issues, an NGO said here Friday that most of the coverage by news channels and newspapers showed a lack of empathy.

At a one-day workshop organised by NGO Butterflies, discussions were held on the impact of media reports on children.

Citing examples, Rita Panicker, director, Butterflies, said: "In the recent media coverage of the Uttarakhand flash floods, one story which was highlighted was a news video where a child was seen in desperation, crying as her parents were in hospital. The news anchor attempted to emulate the child asking for her mother, and saying that she repeated: "Mother, where are you? Look at me, I am not able to walk."

Panicker said the attempt was only to highlight the tragedy, and showed little empathy for the feelings of the girl.

She also pointed to crime stories where children were targeted.

full article - NGO Butterflies

Waving at Saturn

Friday, 19 July 2013

To celebrate the first time the public has had advance notice that Earth's portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances, scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other Earthlings elsewhere gathered to wave at Saturn on July 19, as Cassini took pictures of Earth. The Earth images are part of a larger mosaic of the Saturn system that Cassini is taking while in Saturn's shadow.

Successful Atlas V launch with the Navy MUOS 2 On board



BTW I am the guy who first thought of putting music behind a rocket launch as any audio promo in 1973 at WRMF AM AND FM in Titusville, FL.

This wasn't bad but I would have done something with a nautical theme cause after all it's the US Navy Sat and they're going to run it,

I also would have done a promo for the next ULA Launch at the end,, which makes sense but guess these guys are just learning promotion 101

TRAINING / WORKSHOPS: Roma citizen journalism training program BUVERO

Buvero started!

On 17th of July Romedia Foundation has started a groundbreaking and inspirational citizen journalism training program called BUVERO. This training for young Romani women from all over Hungary will be held in Dunabogdány and finish on the 1st of August. During the training these 12 young women will gain knowledge about media, film making, story telling and they will develop their own short movies. On their first day they had the opportunity to meet Károly Mágó, a successful reporter and learn how to introduce themselves on several media platforms. This program will provide the participants with tools any young journalist should have, and work towards creating a better understanding of Romani culture.

From today you can expect new videos, articles, stories and updates every day. You can follow the training and support the participants by sharing their work and effort. The intensive training started with excitement from the first day and here you can see small part of it.
 
Let's support the young Roma women who are brave enough to raise their voices!

See part of the 1st day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpVY1pyrGfg

OPPORTUNITIES / ACTION: Want to see your face in Times Square? Send a snap and get beamed on the massive MTV billboard!



Big news x 2.

1)      MTV Voices is relaunching. You heard it here first! Keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for an amazing new site, and some awesome content coming your way.

2)      To celebrate we are taking over 2 massive screens in Times Square, New York, on International Youth Day (12th August). We want to show the world what being a young person is really all about and best of all, we want you to star in it.

So here’s what you need to do:

First thing
 is to snap a pic of you holding up the answer to one of these questions:
·        What’s the biggest challenge you face?
·        Why are you not the stereotype?·
·        Three words that define your generation.
·        If no money/person could stop me I would….

We need it as high res as possible, and in landscape*.
Next, email the pic, with your name and the question you’ve answered to mtv.voices@mtvnmix.com.

The deadline is August 4th.

We might share your picture on mtvvoices.com or our social media sites, so if you don’t want to be a part of that, let us know in the email, otherwise we’ll assume it’s ok.

So, all that’s left to do is go get snapping – you can be creative as you like, and choose any location you want. It’s your chance to show the world just what it means to be you.

*We’re looking for photos from people who are 16+, but if you’re younger than that and want to get involved drop us an email, as we’ll need to get your parents’ permission.

STUDIES / ARTICLES: Teens Have Better Relationship With The ‘Rents When They Connect Via Social Media

Parents who worry they might be ruining their childrens' social lives by lurking on their kids' Facebook pages and monitoring their tweets have more ammunition to keep snooping, er, "parenting."

A new study out of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, found that teenagers actually have a better relationship with their parents when they stay connected through social media.

Half of the teens in the survey of 491 teen-agers and their parents said they used social networking to keep in touch with their parents, with 16 percent saying that they interacted with their parents every day, according to NPR.

full article

JOBS: Internews Europe is hiring three country project directors for its new “Child Rights Connect” programme in India, Brazil and Kenya








Internews Europe is hiring three country project directors for its new "Child Rights Connect" programme in India, Brazil and Kenya. 

Likely to run till 2018!

More info:

http://www.internews.eu/Careers/Project-Director-Kenya/

How Cool is this we are on MARS

Thursday, 18 July 2013

 An image from Mars orbit taken 10 years after the launch of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the long-lived rover on its trek to a new destination on Mars.

The color image taken July 8, 2013, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter catches Opportunity crossing relatively level ground called "Botany Bay" on its way to a rise called "Solander Point."

The image is available at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA17278 andhttp://uahirise.org/ESP_032573_1775 .

"The Opportunity team particularly appreciates the color image of Solander Point because it provides substantially more information on the terrains and traverse that Opportunity will be conducting over the next phase of our exploration of the rim of Endeavour crater," said Mars Exploration Rover Project Scientist Matt Golombek of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Opportunity was launched from Florida's Space Coast on July 7, 2003, PDT and EDT (July 8, Universal Time). The rover finished nearly two years of investigating an area called "Cape York" two months ago. Both Cape York and Solander Point are raised portions of the rim of Endeavour Crater, which is 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.

HiRISE first imaged Opportunity in 2006, the year Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter began orbiting Mars with six science instruments. The rover had then just reached the edge of Victoria Crater, which is half a mile (800 meters) in diameter. Opportunity spent two years investigating Victoria Crater before heading toward much-larger Endeavour Crater.

HiRISE is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson. The instrument was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., Boulder, Colo. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project and Mars Exploration Rover Project are managed for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mro . For more information about Opportunity, visit http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov .

Babylon 5 they won't make this show again,

Admiral on deck Fridays Atlas V 551 launch one with strapon boosters

The Navy’s second Mobile User Objective System satellite is scheduled to be launched July 19 from Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida.  
An artist rendering of a U.S. Navy Mobile User Objective System satellite in space. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
An artist rendering of a U.S. Navy Mobile User Objective System satellite in space. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

The second satellite of the Mobile User Objective System will enable mobile users to communicate securely using smartphone-like features. It will launch in July 2013 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
The second satellite of the Mobile User Objective System will enable mobile users to communicate securely using smartphone-like features. It will launch in July 2013 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical communications system designed to improve communications for U.S. forces on the move. This launch is therefore important because the MUOS satellite constellation will ultimately provide users with 10 times more communications capacity over the existing system by leveraging 3G mobile communications technology and simultaneous voice and data capability.
You might ask, what exactly is the Navy’s role in space, what capability do we bring to the table for our nation, and what does this (narrowband tactical communications) mean?
The U.S. Navy is responsible for providing narrowband satellite communication for the Department of Defense and U.S. Fleet Cyber Command is assigned to serve as the Navy component command to U.S. Strategic Command for space, cyberspace and information operations.
So, the Navy provides this capability for DOD under the operational auspices of the Fleet Cyber Command team. The MUOS program is managed by our teammates at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, theNavy’s Program Executive Office for Space Systems, Chantilly, Va., and its Communications Satellite Program Office in San Diego, Calif.
Now, as to the question of what narrowband tactical communications means, in addition to providing continuous, beyond line of sight communication for all branches of the U.S. military, the Navy delivered space-based narrowband capability that MUOS provides also ensures reliable worldwide coverage for national emergency assistance, disaster response and humanitarian relief.
From its orbit above earth, the MUOS-2 satellite will cover approximately a third of Earth’s surface and provide users with improved connectivity in stressed environments such as congested urban areas, mountains, jungles and during inclement weather.
Thus, whether our service members are on ships; in submarines, aircraft, or vehicles; or carrying radios while dismounted and on the move, MUOS is designed to bring them dedicated, on-demand and secure voice and data communication services, both in point-to-point mode and through networked communications.
No longer will a Soldier or Sailor, for example, have to remain stationary with an antenna pointed up toward a satellite to communicate, as is the case with yesterday’s narrowband communication system.
Instead, MUOS will allow the warfighter to move around the battlespace while communicating and it allows him or her to do so while sending data at greatly increased rates.
This secure, tactical communications capability for mobile warfighters, it is worth noting, is a key element of the Navy’s Information Dominance vision (see for example the Information Dominance Roadmap 2013-2028).
When complete, the MUOS constellation will consist of four satellites and an on-orbit spare. The system also includes four ground stations strategically located around the globe, which provide worldwide coverage and the ability to connect users wherever they are. The ground system transports data, manages the worldwide network and controls the satellites.
As background, the Naval Satellite Operations Center at Point Mugu, Calif., began flying the MUOS-1 satellite in June 2012 after a successful launch in February 2012.  In November of last year, the Navy announced that USSTRATCOM had accepted it for initial operational use.
Looking ahead, the MUOS constellation is expected to achieve full operational capability in 2015, extending narrowband availability well past 2025.
With the launch of MUOS-2 scheduled for tomorrow morning, we will be one step closer to providing this enhanced operational capability to our warfighters.
You can get a first-hand look of the launch beginning approximately 8:20 a.m. EDT,  July 19 at the United Launch Alliance website.

 

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