Sea Technology

NOV 2018

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Page 23 of 52 November 2018 | ST 23 I n December 2017, in what an ob- server called a "holiday light show for Southern California and much of the desert southwest," a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from the U.S. Pacific coastline carrying satellites for a new communications network. Stephen Clark described the launch in Spaceflight Now: "The Falcon 9 left a brilliant white plume of exhaust in its wake, catching rays of sunshine as it soared above the stratosphere. The ever-expanding plume left a tear- drop-shaped mark in the sky, prompt- ing countless social media posts from rush-hour drivers and others who hap- pened to catch an unexpected glimpse of the rocket's trip to space. "The Falcon 9 turned south from Vandenberg on 1.7 million pounds of thrust from its nine Merlin 1D engines, and surpassed the speed of sound about one minute after liftoff. The first stage's nine engines switched off, and the booster separated from the Falcon 9's second stage about two-and-a-half minutes into the mission," he wrote. "The upper stage's single Merlin en- gine ignited right on time to drive the rocket's 10 Iridium satellite passengers into orbit, and the first stage began a controlled propulsive descent back to Earth." Shortly thereafter, the Falcon 9's payload of satellites successfully de- ployed into a new constellation that is revolutionizing ship-to-ship and ship- to-shore voice and data links. These Iridium NEXT satellites and Thales Ves- Unparalleled Connectivity at Sea Thales VesseLINK: New-Gen Satellite Technology, Maritime Comms By Robert Squire Thales VesseLINK utilizes Iridium Certus broadband services with a network of 66 satellites covering 100 percent of the globe, including deep oceans and the poles. This robust network provides reliable, mobile and essential voice, text and web communications.

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