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Latest satellites news and updates

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Solar storms from giant sun spot heading toward Earth

According to the Space Weather Observers Solar flares are heading towards Earth and are expected to strike Earth’s magnetic field sooner.

Spectacular solar storm to hit Earth today!

An unusual solar storm could hit Earth in the next 24 hours, warns NASA. According to the U.S. space agency, the sun has unleashed a medium-sized solar flare early yesterday morning (June 7, 2011), which could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power grids on Earth within a day or so.

Fueling error blamed in loss of satellites

Moscow -- Russia's loss of three satellites during launch this week was caused by an off-course booster rocket that had been given too much fuel, officials said.

The estimated 1-1/2 to 2 tons of excessive fuel caused the rocket to deviate from its course and the satellites crashed into the Pacific Ocean, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"According to preliminary information, the problem was not with the fuel service unit at the launching site, but with one of the sensors showing the fuel level," Gennady Raikunov, head of the investigation commission, said.

"We do not rule out the factor of human error," he said.

Raikunov said the Russian space rocket corporation Energia may be linked to the incident.

Space-based solar power described

Washington -- A former president of India says satellites could harvest the sun's energy from space and beam it to Earth to solve the global energy crisis.

A.P.J. Kalam, along with the U.S. non-profit National Space Society, has announced a space-based solar power initiative, SPACE.com reported Tuesday.

Under the initiative's plan, a satellite with a large array of solar panels would be launched to collect energy from the sun, and then the energy, converted to a microwave beam, would be transmitted to Earth. A special receiving antenna on the ground would convert the microwave energy into electricity to be fed into the into the power grid.

Satellites join up to map Earth

Berlin -- Two German satellites orbiting within 380 yards of each other are preparing to create the most detailed map ever made of Earth's entire surface, officials said.

The radar satellites TanDEM-X and TerraSAR-X will make 3-D maps of the surface as they orbit the globe, sweeping around the planet at more than 14,000 mph, the BBC reported.

TerraSAR-X was launched in 2007 and TanDEM-X was put in orbit in June, then slowly brought closer and closer to its companion.

The final maneuvers to bring them together were made step-by-step over the past week, German space agency officials said.

"It's tricky and I must confess we've all been a bit nervous," Manfred Zink said.

NORAD to track Santa's journey tonight

New York, December 24 -- It’s Christmas eve and keeping the tradition alive, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will be tracking every move of Santa Claus, as he delivers gifts to kids around the world.