BLUEWALKER 3 SATELLITE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     6th October 2023        

Context: Recently launched test satellite BlueWalker 3 shines as brightly as the brightest stars in Canis Minor and Eridanus constellations, as per a recent study.

  • Satellites such as BlueWalker 3 could also present an additional source of noise for radio astronomy.

BlueWalker 3 Satellite

  • About: It is part of AST SpaceMobile’s ambitious 5G communications system, designed to connect everyday smartphones globally.

oIts remarkable brightness results from a massive phased-array antenna, making it appear like a giant mirror reflecting sunlight from Earth’s perspective.

oBlueWalker 3 is considered the largest commercial antenna system ever deployed in low-Earth orbit.

  • Launch Date: It was launched into orbit on September 10, 2022.
  • Purpose: To establish direct communication with cellular devices using 3GPP standard frequencies, delivering data at 5G speeds.
  • Brightness in the Night Sky: Observations of BlueWalker 3 revealed that it stands out as one of the brightest objects in the night sky, surpassing all celestial objects except for the brightest stars, according to researchers.
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