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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #400 on: November 19, 2019, 04:14:10 PM »
It’s alive!  ;)  And it’s been washed.  But not fed.

SpaceX’s Starship comes to life for the first time in lead-up to launch debut
November 19, 2019
For the first time ever, SpaceX has pressurized Starship Mk1’s building-sized propellant tanks, a critical test that culminated in the rocket prototype essentially taking its first ‘breaths’.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-comes-to-life-launch-debut-lead-up/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #401 on: November 19, 2019, 04:30:40 PM »
Quote
Yusaku Maezawa (MZ) 前澤友作 (@yousuck2020) 11/19/19, 2:19 AM
久しぶりにイーロン @elonmusk とご飯。 @SpaceX の月行きロケットStarshipの開発が想定以上に順調とのこと。さあそろそろ同乗者を誘わないと。
https://twitter.com/yousuck2020/status/1196689387041378304
“Elon and dinner after a long @elonmusk time. It is said that @SpaceX the development of the lunar rocket Starship is better than expected. Now it's time to invite a passenger.”

Yusaku Maezawa is paying for multiple seats on a Starship flight around the moon, so that accomplished artists can accompany him, and their creations can inspire all of us to greater love and respect here on earth.

Edit: 
Quote
Of note, in his tweet showing off the thruster pod, Maezawa suggested that “Starship development is going better than expected”, indicating that he may “need to invite a passenger soon” for his planned circumlunar voyage around the Moon. Prior to Starship’s radical shift from carbon fiber to steel, that mission was scheduled no earlier than 2023. In recent months, SpaceX executives have made it clear that they are now targeting Starship Moon landings by 2022, suggesting that the first circumlunar missions – a far easier task than landing – could be possible even sooner than that.
more here: https://www.teslarati.com/elon-musk-gifts-spacex-investor-starhopper-hardware/
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 12:23:37 AM by Sigmetnow »
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BeeKnees

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #402 on: November 20, 2019, 06:54:25 AM »
Astronomers are unhappy about the new satellites

The trail of the newly launched satellites interfered with astronomical observations at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in northern Chile on 18 November. Astronomers were using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which can take images of large areas of the night sky in visible and near-infrared wavelengths of light.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2223962-spacexs-starlink-satellites-are-interfering-with-astronomy-again/#ixzz65nJhBbdO

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #403 on: November 20, 2019, 03:22:55 PM »
Astronomers are unhappy about the new satellites

The trail of the newly launched satellites interfered with astronomical observations at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in northern Chile on 18 November. Astronomers were using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), which can take images of large areas of the night sky in visible and near-infrared wavelengths of light.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2223962-spacexs-starlink-satellites-are-interfering-with-astronomy-again/#ixzz65nJhBbdO

Welcome to astronomy in the 21st century!  If it weren’t SpaceX, it would be (and will be) some other satellite constellation, perhaps by a company that can’t or won’t redesign its satellites and orbits as fast.  The locations of satellites are tracked and published; algorithms that deal with them will become a part of in-depth sky-watching.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #404 on: November 20, 2019, 03:27:15 PM »
SpaceX skips Falcon 9 landing leg retraction on record-breaking booster
Quote
Eight and a half days after Falcon 9 helped deliver all 60 satellites to an exceptionally low ~280 km (175 mi) parking orbit, all satellites have successfully deployed their solar arrays and powered on their electric thrusters, including the lone spacecraft SpaceX had concerns about prior to launch. That straggler came alive roughly 60 hours after its siblings but has since raised its orbit ~20 km, while the other 59 satellites have booster themselves by an average of 40 km (25 mi) or so.

At their current collective pace of ~5 km per day, all 60 satellites should reach their operational ~550 km (340 mi) orbits around the beginning of 2020.
Quote
As the first Falcon 9 Block 5 booster to fly four times, B1048 has first and foremost proven that the Block 5 design can be practically reused at least three times. However, the Block 5 upgrade is designed to support not just four – but at least ten – launches per booster, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has estimated that 100 or more launches may be achievable with more substantial routine maintenance. All this is to say that with B1048.4 safe and sound back on land, SpaceX technicians and engineers will likely pore over the booster to determine how exactly it has fared after four orbital-class launches, atmospheric reentries, and landings.

By comparing B1048.4 to B1046.3, B1047.3, B1048.3, and B1049.3, SpaceX should be able to determine just how big the hurdle from a third launch to a fourth launch is compared to going from two launches to three launches. If the changes between those different reusability milestones are similar, it will be increasingly easy for SpaceX to rationally conclude that Falcon 9 Block 5 is fully capable of achieving its 10-flight design goal. If booster wear and tear appears to speed up from Launch 3 to 4 relative to Launch 2 to 3, design tweaks or additional refurbishment may be needed. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-skips-falcon-9-landing-leg-retraction-record-booster/

Below:  The status of SpaceX’s Starlink-1 satellites as of November 19th.
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BeeKnees

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #405 on: November 20, 2019, 07:02:24 PM »
Welcome to astronomy in the 21st century!  If it weren’t SpaceX, it would be (and will be) some other satellite constellation, perhaps by a company that can’t or won’t redesign its satellites and orbits as fast.  The locations of satellites are tracked and published; algorithms that deal with them will become a part of in-depth sky-watching.

I find the whole thing a complete waste of money and resources.  Millions spent on objects to burn up in our atmosphere after only a few years is not the route to a sustainable future.
Not to mention the risks and harm done to astronomy.

Sometimes you have to ask whether just because something can be done, it should be done.  On this one I'm seriously unconvinced.

oren

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #406 on: November 20, 2019, 08:31:26 PM »
IMHO the best thing for astronomy is to launch very large space-based telescopes. The interference of the atmosphere, pollution, dust, LEO and GEO satellites, Earth gravity, Earth rotation, seismic activity, and other disruptions could be avoided, parallax could be increased, and measurement precision could be much improved (layman's opinion, not substantiated).
SpaceX could pave the way for such launches both by increased launch weight and by lower costs. Maybe Musk could win some points with astronomers by offering a free or half-price launch for such a telescope.

TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #407 on: November 20, 2019, 11:30:41 PM »
Any word on why MK-1 went BOOM a few min. ago.


Can't find anything on the internet except 2 videos. AFAIK there were no tests scheduled for today but something caused an explosion that blew the lid off the beast.


Can't cut the videos for some reason - perhaps someone with more internet knowhow?


Terry
EDITS] The video's are apparently from live stream sites. The streaming comments are replete with speculation while duckduckgo has nothing as of yet. There was a man lift crane up and fairly close in - hopefully there was no human cargo.
I'll be back when I find out more.


Captured 1 of the videos - still no communication from Spacex


edit3]
A rather cryptic twitter from Elon in response to the question ...Elon, any chance you'll just move onto MK-3


Absolutely, but to move to Mk3 design. This had some value as a manufacturing pathfinder, but flight design is quite different.


Lots of tweets followed but nothing more from Elon.


CNET has picked up the story so I'll not be editing this post any further. It seems as though this is expected to set the program back from 2-4 months, and the Florida facility is expected to be running the next tests (the above is from Spacex groupies that have been following things far more closely than I, but still nothing official - oh, and someone posted that the man lift was on;y carrying cameras)
https://www.cnet.com/news/new-spacex-starship-prototype-pops-its-top-during-test-literally/


Terry

« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 12:20:44 AM by TerryM »

TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #408 on: November 21, 2019, 01:22:54 AM »
Another view of the the incident. The whole structure bounced about and after the initial explosion the uppermost section appears to implode.





The skin stretches as it comes under pressure, then at some point after something is ejected through the top the upper portion crumples. I can't tell at what moment the nose was ejected (it flew high, then fell well behind the structure.) The struts that it's standing on managed to survive what was probably tremendous forces, but a number of welding seams failed quite early.


Hopefully no one was injured and we'll soon get an official word on what happened.
Terry


vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #409 on: November 21, 2019, 01:42:51 AM »
Yesterday there was some work to reposition the dome on top. This apparently at one point required workers at the Boca Chica site to take a sledgehammer for some reason.



In hindsight, maybe not a good idea.


THIS IS HOW WE FIX PROBLEMS ON RUSSIAN SPACE STATION!!!!!!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 01:50:04 AM by vox_mundi »
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #410 on: November 21, 2019, 02:29:43 AM »
There were no road closures today in Boca Chica although the nose section either landed on the road, or sailed over it.


http://www.co.cameron.tx.us/wp/space-x/


The highway was scheduled for closure on the 19th, the 21st or 22nd, and the 25th or 26th for Spacex testing.


The procedure attempted was so safe as designed that alerting the local authorities wasn't seen to be necessary. Will more stringent safety procedures be required in the future? Will Spacex's Florida facility also face tighter scrutiny & regulations?


Terry


Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #411 on: November 21, 2019, 02:31:28 AM »
Quote
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut)11/20/19, 4:50 PM
Starship MK-1 appears to have blown its top off during a pressure test today. My guess... this will be a good time for @SpaceX to move onto their next, more refined and higher quality versions (MK-2/3) instead of reparing MK-1. @elonmusk, any chance you’ll just move onto MK-3?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 11/20/19, 4:54 PM
Absolutely, but to move to Mk3 design. This had some value as a manufacturing pathfinder, but flight design is quite different.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1197271943180771329

 :'(   
Musk mentioned the future versions, Mk3, 4 & 5 during the Starship presentation in September.  We’ve already seen many of the new one-piece rings at the Florida site!

SpaceX Starship Mk. 1 fails during cryogenic loading test
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/11/spacex-starship-mk-1-fails-cryogenic-test/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #412 on: November 21, 2019, 02:39:50 AM »
Because the next versions of Starship have already been designed and are already being built, the timeline may not be greatly affected.  As we’ve seen, SpaceX comes back fast from failure.

SpaceX offering Starship to NASA for lunar landing missions
Quote
SpaceX is eligible to propose using its next-generation Starship vehicle to carry NASA robotic science payloads to the lunar surface, the U.S. space agency announced Monday, on missions that could precede future Starship flights with people on-board.

SpaceX is one of five companies NASA selected Monday to join a roster of commercial transportation providers to deliver scientific instruments and technology demonstration packages to the moon through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, program.

“For CLPS, we offered the Starship and Super Heavy launch capability,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer. “That capability far exceeds the mass that CLPS was looking for, but we think that brings pretty extraordinary capability to NASA, both for the CLPS program and others. We can bring about 100 metric tons* to the moon, and certainly return more.

NASA requires the CLPS providers to be capable of delivering at least 22 pounds*, or 10 kilograms, of payload mass to the moon. ...
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/19/spacex-offering-starship-to-nasa-for-lunar-landing-missions/

 * ;D
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 02:52:28 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #413 on: November 21, 2019, 02:44:15 AM »
There were no road closures today in Boca Chica ...

Incorrect.

Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 11/20/19, 1:55 PM
Not sure as to what testing is going on at the Boca Chica launch site. The highway has been closed. There's venting from the tank farm.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1197227002425724928
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #414 on: November 21, 2019, 03:31:40 AM »

As Sig noted.


According to "Mary" @ BocaChicaGal, the Boca Chica road was closed, possibly as the result of noticeable venting from the "tank farm". It's possible that this is the same Mary that provided one of the excellent videos capturing the incident.
Interestingly, the county authorities never noted this on the county website where road closings are required to be posted.


It appears possible that problems had been noted prior to the explosion and that there was no time to go through the proper channels. Since it now appears that there were no injuries I'll amend the above to read as "It appears probable .."


On a happier note Spacex has posted that there were no injuries related to the incident. I've seen burns from liquid nitrogen and they can be horrific, so congratulations to the team for getting everyone out safely.
Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #415 on: November 21, 2019, 02:47:53 PM »
Quote
According to SpaceX, "The purpose of today's test was to pressurize systems to the max, so the outcome was not completely unexpected. There were no injuries, nor is this a serious setback. The decision had already been made to not fly this test article, and the team is focused on the Mk3 builds, which are designed for orbit."
https://www.engadget.com/2019/11/21/spacex-starship/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #416 on: November 21, 2019, 07:36:16 PM »
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle) 11/21/19, 10:08 AM
Starship MK1 morning after
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1197532247785721859
< Crack in your lens?
SP- Dog in my truck
SP- At time of incident, winds were south at 12-14kts, not nearly enough wind to cause that lateral motion. Guessing it may indicate failure originating from southern side, purely speculating
SP- I think only LN2 was on site, no flammables
<< It's like they put a cover sheet over the body at a murder scene lol
Hopefully they can reuse legs, flaps, actuators, and the whole nosecone section to save build time on mk3
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #417 on: November 24, 2019, 05:24:44 PM »
Not wasting any time applying lessons learned.
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 11/24/19, 10:29 AM
Meanwhile, in Boca Chica - a new bulkhead is being born for Mk3. This one will aim to go flying - but this time with the rest of its Starship.
Latest on Mk1 to Mk3 at BC: youtu.be/mRx9d6Y0mkc
All via Mary (@BocaChicaGal).
Starship (BC) Updates [photos]: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48895.0
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1198624739348172800
Photo below.

It has been noted that the first Starship bulkhead flew higher than SLS has flown in its eight years.... ;)  ;D
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 05:29:57 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #418 on: November 27, 2019, 02:14:10 PM »
One possible reason for switching to the drone ship landing is minimizing risk to the critical launch of ULA’s CST-100 Starliner Orbital Flight Test, currently scheduled for Dec. 17.  SpaceX CRS 19 is scheduled to launch on Dec 4 at 1751 GMT (12:51 p.m. EST).

SpaceX Falcon 9 booster fires up ahead of NASA launch and surprise drone ship landing
Quote
SpaceX has successfully fired up a new rocket ahead of what is now believed to be a surprise Falcon 9 booster drone ship landing, to follow shortly after the company’s upcoming CRS-19 Cargo Dragon resupply mission for NASA.

Around 5:30 pm EST (22:30 UTC) on November 26th, a Falcon 9 rocket – featuring a rare unflown booster – successfully performed a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) and ignited all nine of its first age Merlin 1D engines, verifying the rocket’s health and perfectly simulating a launch right up to the point of liftoff. With that routine static fire complete, SpaceX now has a luxurious seven days to bring the rocket horizontal, roll it back into LC-40’s integration and processing hangar, install Cargo Dragon atop the second stage, and roll the fully-integrated rocket back out to the launch mount.
...
SpaceX says that CRS-19’s Cargo Dragon capsule previously flew CRS-4 (Sept 2014) and CRS-11 (June 2017), identifying it as capsule C106. As it turns out, C106 supported SpaceX’s first Cargo Dragon capsule reuse, making it a fairly historic vehicle – the first commercial orbital spacecraft reused in history. Beginning with CRS-3, Dragon 1 vehicles were designed to support up to three orbital missions each, leaving SpaceX with four possible capsules (C110-C113) capable of supporting CRS-20, Dragon 1’s last planned launch. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-booster-surprise-drone-ship-landing/
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vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #419 on: December 01, 2019, 09:03:38 PM »


StarLink Express starts @ 0.20
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #420 on: December 02, 2019, 02:55:46 PM »
Not SpaceX, but here’s a sky display to be done on purpose:

Japanese company to launch artificial meteor shower satellite
Quote
The artificial shooting star satellites are part of ALE’s “Sky Canvas” project. The company says tracking the re-entry of the shooting star particles will help scientists predict the path of satellites and other objects as they fall into the atmosphere, and could also contribute to meteorological and climate research.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/28/japanese-company-to-launch-artificial-meteor-shower-satellite/

The launch has been delayed due to problems with the ground service equipment at the launch site.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #421 on: December 02, 2019, 03:19:17 PM »
Looks like the two-site competition is closing down, at least for now.  Materials from the Florida site are being shipped to Boca Chica, and employees are being laid off. 

SpaceX Starship hardware mystery solved amid reports of Florida factory upheaval
Quote
Roughly two-dozen steel Starship Mk4 rings may also be scrapped after SpaceX’s Florida team could not overcome a technical hurdle. Per the source, many of those single-weld steel rings were slightly different diameters, making it next to impossible to build a sound pressure vessel (i.e. Starship Mk4) with them.

Combining the appearance of Starship hardware on GO Discovery just yesterday and reports of major Cocoa layoffs, it’s all but certain that the Starship components on Discovery are going to head to Boca Chica, Texas. Schlang’s source also indicated that all affected employees were given the option to transfer to Boca Chica or Hawthorne, a prime indication that this abrupt change in plans is more a strategic move than a financial one. With any luck, many of those laid off will be able to move, although such a major and abrupt change is likely a no-go for anyone with major ties to South Florida.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-hardware-mystery-solved/
(There are plenty of other rocket-related projects going on around the Space Center....)

——-
Preparing for the upcoming Dragon cargo mission on Dec 4:
Quote
SpaceXFleet Updates (@SpaceXFleet) 11/30/19, 3:36 PM
Octagrabber has been rolled into the blast-proof garage and the landing area is almost clear.
OCISLY is nearly ready to depart for the CRS-19 mission!
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1200876282352984066
Photo at the link.

Greg Scott (@GregScott_photo) 11/30/19, 1:56 PM
SPACEX FLEET: OCISLY is getting a clean up today after sitting idle for a couple of weeks now. Eagerly anticipating the recovery of booster B1059.1 from next weeks #CRS19 mission to the ISS. I am still not sure why it was not designated as a LZ1 landing but... #SpaceX #Space
https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1200851168685121542
Photo below.

——-
In the “Which Company Will Get Humans from U.S. Soil to the ISS First?” news:  Coincidentally or not, after their far-from-perfect pad abort test last month, the Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test has been moved to “Mid-2020” on SpaceFlightNow’s schedule. 
Starliner Crew Flight Test delayed
Quote
Latest changes:
Nov. 27: Adding date for Long March 4C/TBD; Electron/”Running Out of Fingers” delayed; Adding timeframe for Falcon 9/Starlink 2; Adding month for SSLV/Demonstration Launch; Adding AV number for Atlas 5/Solar Orbiter; Atlas 5/CST-100 Starliner Crew Flight Test delayed
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

SpaceX’s “CrewDragon Demo 2” is listed among the January/Early 2020 items on that list, with a “TBD” date. 

• After the successful Falcon 9 static fire test, SpaceX is set to launch a cargo Dragon to the ISS on Dec 4 at 12:51 pm EST (1751 GMT).  Presumably the pre-launch press briefing will cover the reason for the OCISLY landing rather than returning to the Cape.

• And the Starliner uncrewed flight test to the ISS is scheduled for Dec 17 at 7:47 am EST (1247 GMT).
« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 08:18:14 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #422 on: December 02, 2019, 04:46:18 PM »
Quote
Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) 11/30/19, 11:30 PM
New developments in Starlink:
44 of the satellites from the first launch are lowering their orbits from 550 km; currently at 530 km. Sat 44246 is heading back down to the altitude of 44278 again.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1200995635622817792
[First and second image below.]

JD:  Meanwhile 40 of the sats from the 2nd launch have stopped raising at 350 km (magenta); the remaining 20 have now reached 390 km (blue); the deployment rods continue to decay (green)
[Third image below.]
< Have the rods from the first launched reentered?
JD:  Nope - they are the green lines on the left hand plot.
< Why do you think it will go all the way down to [satellite] 44278 again and not another altitude?
JD: Because they hung out together before. Could easily be wrong
< Didn't they said in the FCC filling that they would do this? If I remember correctly they now want 72 orbital planes instead of 24. So they will raise the satellites in groups of 20 to change the planes.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #423 on: December 02, 2019, 08:16:10 PM »
Also not SpaceX (although SpaceX launched many Iridium satellites) — but relevant:  Iridium plans a live webcast as it deorbits the last satellite from its original constellation.

A Final #Flarewell
Who Wants to Geek Out with us and Learn How to Deorbit a Satellite!?
Quote
As many of you know, the bittersweet time has come for Iridium to deorbit the lone remaining satellite (SV097) from the original constellation. We say bittersweet because although we celebrate the success of the Iridium® NEXT satellite upgrade campaign completed earlier this year, we also mourn the end of the Iridium flare era.

That said, we want to make sure we “retire” SV097 in style and bid a proper #flarewell to the satellite constellation that began with a vision of connecting anyone from anywhere, instantly making the vast remote parts of the planet feel so much closer.  That vision of the Iridium network lives on and is by all accounts stronger than ever through a combination of the Iridium NEXT satellite upgrade campaign completing earlier this year and a growing base of over 1 million subscribers around the world (#ShamelessSuccessPlug). However, it will also do so without the familiar Iridium flares many have come to love.

That’s why we’re inviting all of you to take a peek behind the curtain through a live webcast from inside the Iridium Satellite Network Operations Center (SNOC) main mission room.  A publicly broadcasted event from the SNOC’s main mission room is a rarity (in fact, no one here can ever think of it happening before). To be honest, we have no idea how smooth it’s going to be, but we’re excited to give it a whirl! We felt this is too important a moment and if people around the world can learn a thing or two about positive space stewardship, how a constellation as complex as Iridium is flown and why Iridium flares were such an unexpected treat, then it’s a major win!  If we also manage to inspire a few kids into STEM-focused careers in the process… double-major win!

Here are the details:
When:           Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 12pm EST (1700 UTC)
Webcast feed will begin approximately 10 minutes prior
Where:          The Iridium Satellite Network Operations Center (SNOC).
The live webcast can be viewed beginning at noon EST on December 5, 2019 at www.iridium.com/webcast
More details here:
https://www.iridium.com/blog/2019/12/02/a-final-flarewell/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #424 on: December 04, 2019, 01:33:10 AM »
A longer than usual burn of the Falcon 9 first stage, to allow the second stage to perform some extended performance testing, means the booster will not have sufficient fuel to Return to Landing Site this time.

SpaceX’s surprise Falcon 9 drone ship landing explained ahead of Cargo Dragon launch
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Jensen says that the coast test will be performed for unspecified “other” customers, presumably referring to the US Air Force (USAF) and other commercial customers interested in direct-to-geostationary (GEO) launch services. Direct GEO launches require rocket upper stages to perform extremely long coasts in orbit, all while fighting the hostile vacuum environment’s temperature swings and radiation belts and attempting to prevent cryogenic propellant from boiling off or freezing solid. In simple terms, it’s incredibly difficult to build a reliable, high-performance upper stage capable of remaining fully functional after 6-12+ hours in orbit.

Although SpaceX said that the test was for “other” customers, that may well have been a cryptic way to avoid indicating that one such customer might be NASA itself. NASA is in the midst of a political battle for the Europa Clipper spacecraft’s launch contract, which is currently legally obligated to launch on NASA’s SLS rocket. Said rocket will likely cost on the order of >$2 billion per launch, meaning that simply using Falcon Heavy or Delta IV Heavy could save no less than ~$1.5 billion. Incredibly, that means that simply using a commercial launch vehicle could save NASA enough money to fund an entire Curiosity-sized Mars rover or even a majority of the cost of building a dedicated Europa lander. Such a launch would demand every ounce of Falcon Heavy’s performance, including a very long orbital coast.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-surprise-falcon-9-drone-ship-landing-explained/

Also from the briefing:  After mentioning that ISS EVAs won’t be scheduled for after Feb 6, 2020, when only 3 astronauts will be on board, the NASA rep answered a question about extending Crew Dragon’s first stay by saying NASA is preparing to support whatever ship gets to the ISS, to stay “for as long as we can keep them.” “We’ll be ready to welcome whomever shows up.” 

NASA also noted that November 2 marked the 20th year of continuous human presence on the ISS.

SpaceX’s Jensen said the recent Dragon pad abort test was “nominal,” and they were targeting the In-Flight Abort Test  “no earlier than December, end of the year.” 
She also said they had investigated to confirm that the thrusters on the Progress cargo ship, expected to arrive to the ISS shortly after Dragon, will not harm Dragon’s solar panels.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #425 on: December 04, 2019, 02:15:55 AM »
Quote
What about it!? (@FelixSchlang) 12/3/19, 3:50 PM
I had a phone call with officials at SpaceX today and it cleared up a few things. SpaceX did not lay off workers. Those that left the Cocoa Site were reasigned to other projects either in Boca Chica or at KSC. Thank you very much for reaching out to me like this @SpaceX You Rock!
https://twitter.com/felixschlang/status/1201967029844140032

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SpaceX expediting Mk3 construction in Texas, pausing Florida-based Starship builds
By building Mk3 with a combined team, SpaceX believes that they can reach the first flight faster.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/12/spacex-mk3-texas-florida-starship-builds/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #426 on: December 04, 2019, 06:16:51 PM »
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SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/4/19, 12:12 PM
Standing down today due to upper altitude winds and high winds at sea creating dynamic conditions around the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – next launch opportunity is tomorrow at 12:29 p.m. EST, 17:29 UTC
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1202274520402317314
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vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #427 on: December 08, 2019, 12:57:15 AM »
SpaceX Working On Fix for Starlink Satellites So They Don’t Disrupt Astronomy
https://spacenews.com/spacex-working-on-fix-for-starlink-satellites-so-they-dont-disrupt-astronomy/

... President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said the Starlink brightness problem caught the company by surprise

... Shotwell said the next batch has one satellite “where we put a coating on the bottom.” She noted that this is just an experiment and could not predict if it will work. “We’re do trial and error to figure out the best way to get this done,” said Shotwell.

Shotwell admitted that nobody in the company anticipated the problem when the satellites were first designed.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #428 on: December 08, 2019, 06:39:49 PM »
SpaceX resupply mission reaches International Space Station
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/08/spacex-resupply-mission-reaches-international-space-station/


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Dragon InFlight Abort test is on the KSC range’s schedule for NET Jan 4.
“We’re hoping for the first crew flight in February,” Shotwell said.

After redesigns, the finish line is in sight for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/12/07/after-redesigns-the-finish-line-is-in-sight-for-spacexs-crew-dragon/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #429 on: December 09, 2019, 10:58:13 PM »
SpaceX Starship “chomper” version is expected to retrieve orbiting satellites/debris, as well as place satellites into orbit.  As cheaper rockets become increasingly available, space cleanup will become a big business.

European Space Agency Approves Mission to Yoink* a Piece of Trash Out of Orbit
Quote
The mission features a spacecraft, ClearSpace-1, which will first launch to 500 kilometers (310 miles) above Earth’s surface for testing. Then, spacecraft operators will raise the ship to a higher orbit and use four robotic arms to grab onto the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Vespa upper stage that the ESA left in orbit in 2013. The craft, clutching the debris, will then slow itself down in order to deorbit and burn up in the atmosphere.

One single piece of debris obviously does not make a dent in the problem. But the ClearSpace-1 mission hopes to show that the technology works before moving on to more difficult targets or multiple objects at a time. ...
https://gizmodo.com/european-space-agency-approves-mission-to-yoink-a-piece-1840315971

*“Yoink”:  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Yoink ;)
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