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HIVE. Photo: Hypergiant Industries

A new tool for satellite operators could allow one ground controller to keep an eye on dozens of spacecraft at once.

Why it matters: Today, satellite operators are only able to control three to five satellites at a time. With potential mega-constellations of hundreds or thousands of satellites coming online, companies and governments will likely need to find ways to scale up their operations rapidly.

  • The new tool called Hyper Intelligent Vehicle Enhancement (HIVE) from Hypergiant Industries aims to make satellite operation more flexible and able to respond to crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

How it works: According to Hypergiant, HIVE software can be used on top of existing platforms to streamline them and make them remotely operable using tablets or phones.

  • "This software is built to reduce the cost of operations, support nominal and safe manned and unmanned spaceflight operations, and decrease training time while increasing productivity for the satellite operators of tomorrow," Hypergiant founder Ben Lamm told Axios. "In essence, it is satellite command and control in the palm of your hand."
  • Hypergiant also hopes to incorporate social media feeds and FEMA databases into the tool to alert operators when a major event like an earthquake or other disaster occurs to help people make decisions about where to task their satellites to look.
  • "We want people to be able to operate their entire constellation from their phones or tablets while in the field," Lamm added.

What's next: The Air Force has already signed on to use the tool, according to Hypergiant, and the company is in talks with other agencies and commercial entities as well.

Go deeper: The earthly limit on satellite ambitions

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Updated Aug 4, 2020 - Science

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.

19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Hundreds of Biden staffers receive COVID vaccine

Screenshots of an email inviting White House staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, obtained by Alayna Treene/Axios

A week into the job, President Biden's White House medical team has administered the coronavirus vaccine to several hundred staffers — and aims to vaccinate all in-person staff over the next few weeks, officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: The new administration is ramping up steps to protect President Biden and all staff working inside the White House complex. The administration is also requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The Leon Black clock strikes midnight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Leon Black is "retiring" as CEO of Apollo Global Management, the alternative investment giant he has led since co-founding it in 1990. But he is not making a full break, as Black will remain chair of Apollo's board of directors.

Why it matters: This is the culmination of 18 months of head-in-the-sand obfuscation of Black's dealings with Jeffrey Epstein.