Did you hear about the space satellite that crashed on a Michigan farm?
I first heard about it when I failed to check the URL before clicking a link, and ended up at New York Daily News. The reporting was as bad as you’d expect from NYDN
Not a satellite. That’s the payload package from a high altitude balloon. Specifically, it’s one Samsung launched as a “Space Selfie” advertising campaign.
Those balloons typical reach altitudes between 18 and 37 kilometers. I believe the current record is 53 kilometers. Space starts at the Karman Line; 100 kilometers. So much for the “space” descriptor. Anyone participating in Samsung’s campaign might want to check the fine print; if they say “space,” you might hit them for false advertising.
Possibly Samsung found someone smart enough to specify “near space,” the region in the atmosphere above which a human requires a pressure suit and oxygen to survive but below the Karman Line.
A satellite is an object in a gravitationally curved trajectory around another body.* A balloon floats in atmosphere. Scratch “satellite.”
ABC also ran with the “space satellite” story, but invented the term “pseudo satellite.” Presumably because they couldn’t spell “balloon.” Or maybe Cathey confused an airborne balloon with a terrestrial pseudolite.
Wonder of wonders, NBC managed to get the story almost right.
“It looked like a satellite.”
“No injuries occurred and the balloon was subsequently retrieved,”
The device reportedly included a high-altitude balloon…
So close. And then…
…and was supposed to remain in space until Oct. 31.
“Space.” See above re: Karman Line, Stelloh and Samandi.
Ah, well. What else can you expect from an industry that believes in semiautomatic assault rifles and carbon as a deadly poison that will wipe out life on Earth?
* There are also “Non-Keplerian orbits” in which the trajectory is modified by thrust. That would included the boost phase from low Earth orbit to a final geosynchronous orbit for a communications satellite.
An extreme example is a hypothetical polar stationary satellite, which would remain high above the rotational pole balancing on constant thrust just enough to counter gravity. I don’t if it’s ever actually been tried, but the proposal pops up occasionally as a way to provide comm coverage to polar regions largely outside the reach of equatorial geosynch satellites.
Amusingly, two of my books (Bargaining Position, and an unpublished draft) have lighter-than-air vessels (dirigibles) that do go into space. The concept is that they float/drive high into the stratosphere, then fire main boosters to blast out of the remaining atmosphere and up to orbital velocity. Reentry is the opposite; fire engines to come to a virtual stop and rather gently drop into the upper atmosphere. Perhaps Samsung would like to license my idea.