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经济学家:航天员的光谱


来源:经济学家    作者:经济学家   时间:2013-03-15 19:01   点击: 次  

The private space industry
私人航天业

Spectrum for spacemen
航天员的光谱

America’s telecoms regulator aims to give commercial rocketeers a boost
美国电信监管部门要提升商业火箭专家


AS AMERICA’S chief telecoms watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is used to apportioning radio waves among earthbound companies. It also oversees spectrum for some satellites. Now it is heading farther into space. Julius Genachowski, its chairman, is expected shortly to announce a plan that carves out specific radio spectrum that can be used for private rocket launches.

作为美国电信的首席监管部门,联邦通信委员会(FCC)习惯给地球上的公司分配波段。它还监视一些卫星的光谱。现在它进一步向太空推进。它的主席朱利叶斯•格纳科斯基近期要发表一份声明,计划给私人火箭发射分配专门的无线电频谱。

This business is now starting to take off. SpaceX, whose Dragon spacecraft is resupplying the International Space Station, already has five launches of its Falcon 9 rocket under its belt. And next month Orbital Sciences, another American firm, is due to conduct a test launch of its Antares rocket. As the private space industry develops, its backers hope it will carry to the heavens everything from astronauts to the ashes of people who want their remains consigned to the cosmos.

现在这个行业开始起飞。太空探索技术公司的天龙号宇宙飞船再次给国际空间站提供补给,在它已经在腹带下面发射了5个猎鹰9号火箭。下个月,另一家美国企业——轨道科学公司要给自己的心宿二火箭做试验发射。随着私人航天业的发展,赞助商希望宇航员能把一切东西带进苍穹,有人委托他们将自己的骨灰洒向宇宙。

Sending stuff into space requires plenty of sophisticated technology. It also requires radio spectrum to carry signals used for everything from tracking a spacecraft to sending a self-destruct command if something goes wrong. The FCC has been liaising with various outfits, including the armed forces and NASA, to secure airwaves that can be used temporarily for private launches. It has already issued several one-off authorisations involving spectrum that it has cobbled together.

载人航天需要很多复杂的技术。如果出了差错,要追踪航天器发射自毁命令,所有的地面设施都能收到无线电频谱的信号。联邦通信委员会已经与包括军方和国家航空和航天局在内的各种机构合作,保障电波能够临时用于私人发射。它颁发的几份一次性授权里面都有关于光谱的内容。

One industry insider says this ad hoc approach has occasionally caused “some heartburn” because firms can’t be certain they will get spectrum in time for a launch. Moreover, there is no legal guarantee the airwaves will be free from harmful interference. Hence the upcoming move by the FCC, which will also lay the groundwork for a formal licensing process for the dedicated spectrum and for enshrining in law a guarantee that the airwaves will be safe for rocketeers to use.

一位业内认识说这种特别措施时常让人“烧心”,因为公司不确定自己的发射能及时得到光谱。此外电波不受有害干扰没有法律保障。联邦通信委员会要为以后的活动铺平道路,给专用频谱的正式执照核发程序以及立法保障火箭专家安全使用电波奠定基础。

As chairman of the FCC, Mr Genachowski has multiple responsibilities, including encouraging broadband deployment and policing mergers. (On March 12th the commission approved a proposed link-up between T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, two wireless firms.) But using the FCC’s clout to foster a new industry may hold particular appeal for the former internet executive. Rumours are rife that Mr Genachowski may soon step down after almost four years in his job. Space could be his final frontier at the FCC.

作为联邦通信委员会的主席,格纳科斯基先生肩负很多责任,他要鼓励宽带设施建设和监督任务的合并。(3月12日委员会批准了两家无线公司——美国电信公司和摩托罗拉实施联合的提案。)利用联邦通信委员会的影响培育这项新兴产业可能对这位前互联网高管特别有吸引力。现在盛传格纳科斯基先生干完近四年的任期立马走人。太空可能是他在联邦通信委员会最后的领域。

As chairman of the FCC, Mr Genachowski has multiple responsibilities, including encouraging broadband deployment and policing mergers. (On March 12th the commission approved a proposed link-up between T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, two wireless firms.) But using the FCC’s clout to foster a new industry may hold particular appeal for the former internet executive. Rumours are rife that Mr Genachowski may soon step down after almost four years in his job. Space could be his final frontier at the FCC.

作为联邦通信委员会的主席,格纳科斯基先生肩负很多责任,他要鼓励宽带设施建设和监督任务的合并。(3月12日委员会批准了两家无线公司——美国电信公司和摩托罗拉实施联合的提案。)利用联邦通信委员会的影响培育这项新兴产业可能对这位前互联网高管特别有吸引力。现在盛传格纳科斯基先生干完近四年的任期立马走人。太空可能是他在联邦通信委员会最后的领域。


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