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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #450 on: January 01, 2020, 04:08:03 PM »
Starlink-2 mission now no earlier than (NET) 9:20 pm ET, January 6th (02:20 UTC, Jan 7).  The delay could well be due to upper level winds, as the jet stream is forecast to slide south in front of storms in Florida this weekend.

SpaceX rings in the New Year with preparations for first Falcon 9 launch of 2020
Quote
...this will give SpaceX a constellation of at least 170 operational satellites less than eight months after the company began launching the satellites.

This may not immediately seem significant but 170 operational satellites in orbit could make Starlink the world’s largest satellite constellation and SpaceX the world’s largest constellation operator. The only known competitor that comes close is Planet Labs, an Earth observation company believed to have approximately 150-170 operational satellites in orbit – most of which are 5-10 kg (10-20 lb) ‘Doves’ roughly the size of a loaf of bread.

Put another way, after Starlink-2, SpaceX will have around 45 metric tons (100,000 lb) of functional Starlink satellites in orbit, a constellation mass probably only rivaled by major geostationary commsat operators, global navigation satellites, and a few other high-value military constellations.

Meanwhile, according to NASASpaceflight.com, SpaceX has assigned Falcon 9 booster B1049.3 to its Starlink-2 mission, meaning that the launch will mark the second time that a single SpaceX rocket has flown four orbital-class missions. This follows on the footsteps of the November 11th, 2019 Starlink-1 launch, which saw Falcon 9 B1048 become the first booster to fly four times.

At this point, SpaceX has two additional Starlink launches scheduled in January and has plans for as many as 38 orbital launches throughout 2020. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-new-year-first-falcon-9-launch-2020/
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crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #451 on: January 02, 2020, 04:59:40 PM »


DM2 mission CGI rendering of how the mission should go.

FCC applications for pad 39a could be for DM2
https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=97232&RequestTimeout=1000
dated 27 Jan 2020 to 27 July 2020

but no chance for a few months yet judging by

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1211497049906196480
Quote
Crew Dragon should be physically ready & at the Cape in Feb, but completing all safety reviews will probably take a few more months

If it is a few more months, why request from as soon as 27 Jan? So maybe going to use pad 39a for something else between abort test and DM2?

Rob Dekker

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #452 on: January 05, 2020, 05:37:12 AM »
I'm not so sure about the viability of that StarLink endeavor.

Allow me to elaborate :

SpaceX intents to put 12,000 satellite in LEO to provide high-speed internet to the entire planet.
That's a GREAT goal, but when we look at the details, it may not be so useful.

For starters, urban areas (where people live) cover about 3% of land area, or 1% of Earth's surface area. That means that StarLink's satellites will be, for 99% of the time, essentially idle.

For that 1% of the time over urban areas, StarLink would not be able to provide enough bandwidth to cover the needs of millions in these urban areas.

So StarLink would mostly be useful for the 99% of the time it spends over non-urban areas (oceans, mostly).

However, for these remote areas, other satellite services (like Iridium) already provide data service, and StarLink would thus compete with them.

Since bandwidth requirements over that 99% of the Earth surface is not that great, it may be that StarLink's competitive advantage (LEO instead of GEO orbit) creates a "market" that is confined to high-speed requirements of the US Military and high-frequency stock traders.

Not the kind of mass market that SpaceX set out to serve....
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #453 on: January 06, 2020, 04:26:23 PM »
Starlink launch tonight!

SpaceX to kick-start global 2020 launch year with Starlink mission
Quote
Falcon 9 is targeting a launch tonight midway through a 20-minute window that extends from 21:09 to 21:29 EST (02:09 – 02:29 UTC on 7 January), with a preferred in-plane liftoff targeted for 21:19 EST (02:19 UTC).
...
What’s different about this mission from the previous operational Starlink flight is that the deployment orbit is approximately 10 km higher and that one of the Starlink satellites will test a new “experimental darkening treatment” to reduce its visibility from the ground.

This is in direct response to the astronomical community’s desire to see SpaceX address visibility concerns the Starlink constellation has for ground-based astronomy.

While this is an important conversation, it should be noted that the Starlinks are brightest after their initial deployment and during checkout when they are in a special low-drag orientation that aims [their] brighter side toward the surface of Earth. Once the satellites are undergoing checkout operations and raise themselves to their operational orbits and orientations, they become far less visible.

SpaceX is responding to the astronomical community’s concerns by testing a new darkening treatment on one of these satellites.  If successful, SpaceX could employ the darkening feature on future Starlinks.

Moreover, SpaceX will begin providing astronomy groups with what are known as predictive two-line elements (TLEs), orbit and ground pass predictions generated at least once per day, so astronomers and stellar observatories can “better coordinate their observations” around the satellite passes.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/01/spacex-kick-start-global-2020-starlink/


Static booster test fire for this mission — with the 60-Starlink satellite payload bolted confidently on top — was completed successfully on Saturday:

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tests engines for first launch and landing of the new decade
Quote
SpaceX has successfully fired up a Falcon 9 rocket for the first time in 2020, setting the company up for the first of potentially dozens of Starlink launches over the next 12 months.

On the afternoon of January 4th, SpaceX loaded Falcon 9 with hundreds of tons of liquid oxygen, refined kerosene (RP-1), nitrogen, and helium and ultimately ignited all nine of the booster’s Merlin 1D engines, briefly producing some 7600 kN (1.7 million lbf) of thrust in a routine test known as a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) and static fire. As is tradition, SpaceX confirmed that the test looked successful just a handful of minutes after it was completed and verified that the rocket is now scheduled to launch 60 new Starlink satellites as early as 9:19 pm ET, January 6th (02:19 UTC, Jan 7). ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-first-launch-landing-2020/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #454 on: January 06, 2020, 04:44:51 PM »
Quote
If it is a few more months, why request from as soon as 27 Jan? So maybe going to use pad 39a for something else between abort test and DM2?

The previous filing that this request refers to seems to have been for DM-1.  SpaceX may merely be padding the dates again, just in case.

Quote
This STA uses information from previous application 0998-EX-ST-2018, and covers the experimental first-stage recovery operation following a Falcon 9 launch from Kennedy Space Center. This request for authority is limited to two functions: 1) pre-launch checkout test of the command uplink from an onshore station at CCAFS (less than five minutes in duration), and 2) command of landed stage from recovery boat (less than five minutes in duration). All operations are pre-coordinated with the launch Range. Launch vehicle flight communications for this mission are covered by a separate STA
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/9reshu/2_new_spacex_filings_in_fcc_database/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #455 on: January 07, 2020, 03:29:55 PM »
SpaceX launches more Starlink satellites, tests design change for astronomers
January 7, 2020
Quote
Sixty more satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink global Internet network streaked into orbit Monday night from Cape Canaveral, including one spacecraft to test an experimental dark coating to address scientists’ concerns that the thousands of the quarter-ton, flat-panel satellites will impede astronomical observations.

The launch of 60 more spacecraft for the Starlink project, which SpaceX sees as a core business area in the coming years, makes the company the operator of the largest fleet of commercial satellites, surpassing the previous mark set by Planet, an operator of Earth-imaging nanosatellites. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/07/spacex-launches-more-starlink-satellites-tests-design-change-for-astronomers/

Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/6/20, 10:23 PM
Successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed!
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1214387122146177024
10 sec clip of webcast: Starlink satellite deploy.

Quote
Tom Randall (@tsrandall) 1/6/20, 9:36 PM
Landing rockets on autonomous drone ships used to be science fiction. SpaceX has now done it 48 times. This is the fourth landing for this particular booster spacex.com/webcast
https://twitter.com/tsrandall/status/1214375296314617856
Image below.

You can watch a replay of the launch and mission at spacex.com

——
Oh, and the latest SpaceX Cargo Dragon has left the ISS and will splash down in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles at 10:41 a.m. EST (1541 GMT) today.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #456 on: January 07, 2020, 03:49:25 PM »
Having a “Space Force” feels weird.  But Elon Musk supports it.

From Sunday:
Quote
45th Space Wing (@45thSpaceWing) 1/5/20, 8:42 PM
Tomorrow at 9:19 p.m., the @SpaceX #Starlink launch is slated to become the 1st official launch of the @SpaceForceDoD!

The 45 WS has identified the cumulus cloud rule as the primary concern for the launch, however the probability of violating launch weather constraints is <10%!
https://twitter.com/45thspacewing/status/1213999173374226437

The U.S Space Force will support a SpaceX mission for the first time
https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/u-s-space-force-will-support-spacexs

Quote
United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) 12/23/19, 10:58 AM
#ICYMI - @POTUS signed the #NDAA establishing the #USSF as the sixth armed service branch. The new, independent U.S. Space Force will maintain and enhance the competitive edge of the @DeptofDefense in space while adapting to new strategic challenges.
https://twitter.com/spaceforcedod/status/1209141134267748352
Image of the document from the Secretary of the Air Force at the link.

Quote
United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) 12/29/19, 12:00 PM
What is the Mission of the U.S. Space Force?
https://twitter.com/spaceforcedod/status/1211331089287041036
Image below. More at @SpaceForceDoD

   —-
Quote
< Elon, are you FOR or AGAINST Space Force?
I mean... it could potentially lead to advances into space travel. But then again, it's inherently silly.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 9/7/19, 3:53 PM
Definitely for Space Force. We need to make Starfleet real.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1170424775149117440

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/20/19, 11:37 PM
@SpaceForceDoD Starfleet begins
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1208245144702468096
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gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #457 on: January 07, 2020, 04:10:22 PM »
Having a “Space Force” feels weird.  But Elon Musk supports it.

i.e. Elon Musk supports making the world a more dangerous place. Plonker.
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Bernard

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #458 on: January 07, 2020, 06:00:13 PM »
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.

gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #459 on: January 07, 2020, 06:11:19 PM »
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.
Risk assessed?
Yes, NASA did, and made recommendations which are in theory being implemented.
BUT - The recommendations assumed that between 6,700 and 8,300 additional probes could be added. The latest figure is 40,000 being chucked into LEO, half from SpaceX.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/9/28/17906158/nasa-spacex-oneweb-satellite-large-constellations-orbital-debris
AS SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS GROW LARGER, NASA IS WORRIED ABOUT ORBITAL DEBRIS
The space agency argues that these probes need to be de-orbited — reliably

Quote
The aerospace industry is particularly concerned with spacecraft collisions because these accidents can create multiple pieces of debris zooming through space at thousands of miles per hour. And these fragments can threaten other spacecraft in orbit, causing further crashes and damage. Many are concerned that these collisions could cause a cascade effect, where crashes become more and more frequent so that low Earth orbit becomes too crowded to safely sustain satellites — a hypothetical future referred to as the Kessler syndrome.
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TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #460 on: January 07, 2020, 06:46:28 PM »

I do hope The Elon hasn't upset his Chinese landlord/partner with his praise for America's Space Force.
https://www.infowars.com/china-claims-us-space-force-a-direct-threat-to-peace/

Many of Tesla's strongest supporters may remember Musk's heavy financial backing of the warmonger John Mccain when they hear him singing praises of Trump's arming of space, instead of acting in accord with International Law, UN resolutions & standing treaties.
https://www.redstate.com/diary/qstarweb/2016/04/20/john-mccain-bought-paid-elon-musk/
A preponderance of Tesla buyers ascribe to leftist (and pacifist) politics. Cheering on one of Donald Trump's most militaristic programs may be difficult for many to swallow.



I suppose Germany's regulatory agencies won't be inclined to end GF4's fast track approvals even if they're Government isn't crazy about Trump's or Macron's militarization of outer space.
https://newswire.net/newsroom/news/00115612-donald-trump-launches-u-s-space-force.html


This was not The Elon's greatest tweet.


Terry

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #461 on: January 08, 2020, 03:29:30 PM »
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft shown off in photo ahead of next launch
By Eric Ralph
Quote
NASA has published a new SpaceX photo of the next Crew Dragon spacecraft scheduled for launch and confirmed that the mission is now scheduled to lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket no earlier than (NET) January 18th.

Known as an In-Flight Abort (IFA) test, the exceptionally challenging mission will represent a major milestone for Crew Dragon regardless of the results. Meant to simulate an abort at the (near) worst possible time during launch, Crew Dragon will ignite its SuperDraco abort thrusters around 60-90 seconds after liftoff, subjecting the spacecraft to even more extreme stresses around the same time both it and Falcon 9 are passing through Max Q – “the moment of peak mechanical stress”. If the test is unsuccessful, SpaceX Demo-2 – Crew Dragon’s first NASA astronaut launch – would almost certainly be delayed several months.

If successful, however, it could pave the way for Crew Dragon’s first astronaut perhaps just a month or two later, although Q2 2020 is much more likely. Simultaneously, while difficult to rationally explain, Boeing appears confident that its Starliner spacecraft – having lost control and failed to reach the International Space Station (ISS) barely more than a week ago and suffered a parachute deployment failure on a pad abort test one month prior – is still on track for its first astronaut launch (“Crewed Flight Test”, CFT) just a handful of months from now. In line with the special treatment NASA seems fated to bestow upon Boeing, it appears that Crew Dragon and Starliner’s unofficial race to become the first commercial spacecraft to launch astronauts is as close as it’s ever been. …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-spacecraft-photo-next-launch/

—-
Here’s a 9-minute video of the recent Dragon ISS departure.  It speeds through the most boring parts!
SpaceX CRS-19: Dragon unberthing and departure



——
Quote
< When can we hear more about the starlink terminals?
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1/7/20, 9:06 AM
Looks like a thin, flat, round UFO on a stick. Starlink Terminal has motors to self-adjust optimal angle to view sky. Instructions are simply:
- Plug in socket
- Point at sky
These instructions work in either order. No training required.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1214548764054216704
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #462 on: January 08, 2020, 03:48:06 PM »
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.

The folks who most understand the risks, and who would be the most worried, about space debris:  namely, the space launch countries/companies, and satellite companies, are not raising a ruckus.  That should tell you something.

And now that space is becoming more accessible, it’s becoming more possible to begin the cleanup:
There's a Junkyard Orbiting Earth. These Companies Want to Clean It Up
https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/01/04/theres-a-junkyard-orbiting-earth-these-companies-w.aspx

SpaceX’s Starship is planned to have a “chomper” version that can snag satellites or debris for repair or return to earth, as well as placing satellites into orbit without the need of a second stage on a rocket.  (SpaceX Falcon 9 second stages go through a routine after satellite deployment that burns off remaining fuel and puts the stage into a trajectory that will assure it burns up in the atmosphere.  Also, the new Starlink lower-orbital-deploy that SpaceX got approval for will result in any malfunctioning Starlinks deorbiting much more quickly.)
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gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #463 on: January 08, 2020, 04:20:59 PM »
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.

The folks who most understand the risks, and who would be the most worried, about space debris:  namely, the space launch countries/companies, and satellite companies, are not raising a ruckus.  That should tell you something.
That tells me
- either they have got it sorted,
or
- optimism "what could possibly go wrong?"


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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #464 on: January 08, 2020, 09:37:29 PM »
Maybe I miss something in this thread, but did anyone assess the (arguable) benefit of those hundreds and soon thousands of satellites, like bringing facebook, snapchat, netflix, streaming porn etc in every corner of the world, vs the huge risk of cluttering the LEO closer and closer, or maybe already beyond, the critical density of objects leading to a Kessler cascade of collisions.

No argument given by SpaceX holds against the bare fact that multiplying the number of objects by n in LEO multiplies by the same factor the number of targets for existing debris impossible to detect and mitigate, typically in the centimeter range.

The folks who most understand the risks, and who would be the most worried, about space debris:  namely, the space launch countries/companies, and satellite companies, are not raising a ruckus.  That should tell you something.
That tells me
- either they have got it sorted,
or
- optimism "what could possibly go wrong?"

It’s a little of both. ;)
Newer satellites (like Starlink) are fed updated data regarding orbits of larger items, and they can sense their surroundings and take evasive maneuvers autonomously when necessary.  Other satellite constellations have humans on the ground using similar programs to warn of upcoming conflicts, who communicate with the owner of the item at risk and between the two of them they arrange a resolution.

Quote
Meanwhile, Matt Desch – CEO of Iridium, the owner and operator of one of the largest LEO constellations ever flown – stated that its Iridium NEXT satellites perform similar maneuvers weekly, without the need to “put out a press release to say who [Iridium] maneuvered around”. In simple terms, collision avoidance maneuvers are extremely common and extremely routine and are a fundamental part of operating satellites on orbit – be it one, ten, or ten thousand.

Matt Desch (@IridiumBoss) 9/2/19, 1:51 PM
Hmmm. We move our satellites on average once a week and don't put out a press release to say who we maneuvered around...
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/1168582141128650753

As for the smaller stuff... that’s just one of the known risks of spaceflight at this point.  Spacecraft are built to withstand hits from smaller bits, including meteorites, and have redundant systems, in case one is taken out or becomes inaccurate due to a radiation surge or whatnot.  (Boeing Starliner’s Mission Elapsed Timer notwithstanding.  ::) )

Like the cleanup efforts in the article I linked above, “space garbage collectors” will increasingly find it to be a profitable business — and will likely receive investments from the launch community itself to do more.
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Bernard

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #465 on: January 09, 2020, 11:21:18 AM »
There is no possible effective way to actively remove the 500,000+ orbital debris in the centimetric range, not to mention the 100 million+ in the millimetric range.

Bear in mind that a 1g chunk (that is sub-centimetric) at relative orbital speed of 10km/s has the same kinetic energy as a 10 kg stone at 360 km/h.

The probability of a random bullet hitting a target is growing in direct proportion of the number of targets. Any hit will generate hundreds or thousands of new bullets. This is just a crazy Russian roulette.

See https://commons.erau.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1233&context=stm

TerryM

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #466 on: January 09, 2020, 07:56:07 PM »
^^
But when The Elon calls a hero a child molester, that's acceptable behaviour. When he chops down a German forest, conservationists applaud. When Evo Morales is ousted by a right wing coup, Tesla's stock prices levitate even as the Left applauds.


Were Spacex to cause near earth orbits to sustain the horrors depicted (poorly) in the film "Gravity", his fumbling efforts to clean up the crime scene will be widely heralded and enormously rewarding.


He spends nothing on "advertising", but millions (that we know of) on "Public Relations". I'm amazed at how effective his self promotion campaign has become.
Terry

gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #467 on: January 09, 2020, 08:10:10 PM »
What could possibly go wrong?

A lot according to the American Astronomical Society.
See https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2750.msg243684.html#msg243684,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51049746
& image below.

The Private Sector acting without thought for anyone other than themselves is likely screwing up a good deal of space science. & not just SpaceX. But Musk / SpaceX leads the charge. The sooner he goes to Mars the better.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #468 on: January 10, 2020, 01:34:06 AM »
Definitely not “without thought for anyone other than themselves.”
Quote
In response to concerns from astronomers, Shotwell said one of the 60 satellites set for launch Monday will test a new less-reflective coating designed to reduce the brightness of the spacecraft. The first 120 satellites were brighter than expected, raising worries from scientists that thousands of Starlink craft could interfere with astronomical observations.

The satellites are especially bright soon after launch, when they are bunched together and flying at lower altitudes.

“During orbit raise, the satellites are closely clustered together and their solar arrays are positioned in a special low-drag configuration, making the satellites appear visible from the ground just after deployment,” said Lauren Lyons, a SpaceX engineer who co-hosted the company’s webcast of Monday night’s launch. “However, once the satellites reach their operational altitude and begin on-station service, their orientation changes and the satellites become significantly less visible.

SpaceX is seeking to strike a balance between astronomers’ concerns and the company’s ambitions for the Starlink network. Skywatchers will gauge the effectiveness of the new experimental coating to determine if it reduces the reflectivity of the satellite, and SpaceX wants to ensure the treatment does not impact the performance of the spacecraft.

“We also make satellite tracking data available to astronomers so they can better coordinate their observations with our satellites,” Lyons said. “These measures, along with our work with leading astronomy groups, will enable SpaceX to bring Internet access to underserved and unserved populations around the world without materially impacting the use of the night sky.”
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/07/spacex-launches-more-starlink-satellites-tests-design-change-for-astronomers/

Astronomers need to get with reality in the 21st century.  The improvement in the lives of millions of less well-off in the world, as well as life-saving aircraft and emergency tracking and communication, should outweigh the requirement for first world scientists to stay up-to-date with computer satellite tracks and image processing in their endeavors.
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Rob Dekker

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #469 on: January 10, 2020, 07:51:22 AM »
What could possibly go wrong?

A lot according to the American Astronomical Society.
See https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2750.msg243684.html#msg243684,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51049746
& image below.

The Private Sector acting without thought for anyone other than themselves is likely screwing up a good deal of space science. & not just SpaceX. But Musk / SpaceX leads the charge. The sooner he goes to Mars the better.

Hi gerontocrat, that BBC article talks mostly about Starlink's potential "brightness of its satellites", which is (for LEO satellites) only an issue about 30 minutes after sunset and 30 before sunrise.

Knowing these facts, is that last remark (in bold) just a joke, or are you serious ? And if you are serious, please elaborate. Thanks !
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gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #470 on: January 10, 2020, 01:04:55 PM »
What could possibly go wrong?

A lot according to the American Astronomical Society.
See https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2750.msg243684.html#msg243684,
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51049746
& image below.

The Private Sector acting without thought for anyone other than themselves is likely screwing up a good deal of space science. & not just SpaceX. But Musk / SpaceX leads the charge. The sooner he goes to Mars the better.

Hi gerontocrat, that BBC article talks mostly about Starlink's potential "brightness of its satellites", which is (for LEO satellites) only an issue about 30 minutes after sunset and 30 before sunrise.

Knowing these facts, is that last remark (in bold) just a joke, or are you serious ? And if you are serious, please elaborate. Thanks !
Read previous posts concerning space debris. Satellites are machines, built by humans. As such, there is always a chance of a malfunction, and machines wear out. Put 40,000 satellites (built on a production line**) into LEO and the probability of malfunction uncontrollable from earth of some of these machines tends to certainty.

One day, nobody knows when, the sun will have a big burp pointing at earth, and 3 or 4 days later a significant solar wind/storm will arrive. Consequences? Not a clue. Do SpaceX and the other satellite  companies have a clue with tested plans in place? I dunno, but the brightness problem was not anticipated at all.

Optimism is great (I wish I had some of it). But when optimism morphs into recklessness? We are doing a pretty good job of screwing up life on earth. Will we screw up near space as well? If we do it's one of those things that can't be fixed.

_________________________________________________
** Production lines. Of every 40,000 Tesla 3 vehicles produced, how many were built with errors liable to cause malfunction? Error is inevitable. Satellites are complex machines operating in a harsher environment.
__________________________________________________________
Just a reminder that Space is a difficult place to work in, even to get there.
2017 Space launches 2017
Country   Launches   Failures
USA                29   0
Russia        21   1
China        18   2
Europe          9   0
Japan          7   1
India                  5   1
New Zealand     1   1
Total               90   6

And from (to 2014)
https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/8566/what-is-the-success-failure-ratio-of-space-bound-rockets
Some descriptive statistics:
% Manned Failures in Manned, Entire Data Set = 1.64%
% Manned Failures in Manned, Last 20 Years = 0.79%
% Unmanned Failures in Unmanned, Entire Data Set = 8.08%
% Unmanned Failures in Unmanned, Last 20 Years = 6.68%
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 01:12:08 PM by gerontocrat »
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gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX - What could possibly go wrong?
« Reply #471 on: January 10, 2020, 01:30:46 PM »
What could possibly go wrong? (continued)

So then I looked at satellite failure rates.
The data stinks.
"Forgive them, Lord, for they know not what they do."
(Because I will not)

https://spacenews.com/starlink-failures-highlight-space-sustainability-concerns/
Starlink failures highlight space sustainability concerns
Quote
WASHINGTON — The failure of at least five percent of the first batch of SpaceX Starlink satellites has put a spotlight on the growing concerns that satellite megaconstellations could litter low Earth orbit with hundreds of dead satellites.

SpaceX said in a June 28 statement that three of the 60 Starlink satellites the company launched May 23 are no longer responding to commands from the ground and appear to be dead. The company said those satellites will deorbit naturally, burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Matt Desch, chief executive of Iridium, dubbed dead satellites “rocks” during an on-stage interview at the conference June 26. “What if you launch 1,000 satellites, 5,000 satellites, 12,000 satellites?” he asked. “Say, 10 percent create rocks. We are creating an environment that may make LEO an environment that isn’t sustainable.”

Desch speaks from his own company’s experience. The company has emphasized reliability — it’s noted all 75 of its next-generation satellites are functioning — and sustainability, including taking first-generation satellites out of orbit within a matter of weeks once retired from the fleet.

Those first-generation satellites were designed to operate seven years, but in some cases lasted three times as long. Yet, nearly a third suffered in-orbit failures and cannot be deorbited. “We’ve created, inadvertently, using highly reliable components, almost 30 percent rocks in space that will be up there a long time,” he said.

That 30 percent failure rate is for the company’s original fleet of 95 satellites. “It freaked everybody out to launch 95 satellites” back in the 1990s, he recalled. “Now, of course, we look like slackers.”

Holger Krag, head of the space safety program office at the European Space Agency, noted in a June 25 talk at the meeting that many satellite operators aren’t adhering to guidelines that call for deorbiting satellites within 25 years after end of life. He found that only 30 percent of operators were implementing proper post-mission disposal of their spacecraft.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20190002705
NASA/TM—2018– 220034
Small-Satellite Mission Failure Rates

Quote
The purpose of this report is to determine the failure rate of small-satellite missions launched between the years 2000 and 2016. This analysis considers the rates of both partial and total mission failure, as well as the failures attributable to failure of the launch vehicle. This study observed that between the years of 2000 to 2016, 41.3% of all small satellites launched failed or partially failed. Of these small satellite missions, 24.2% were total mission failures, another 11% were partial mission failures, and 6.1% were launch vehicle failures. The small satellite failure data reveals an increase in the failure rate as the yearly launch rate has increased. The period 2000 to 2008 averaged 15 launches per year, during which 28.6% of the small satellite missions failed or partially failed. The period from 2009 to 2016 averaged 48 launches per year, during which 42.6% of the small satellite missions failed or partially failed. The launch vehicle failure rate for both periods was the same at around 6.1%. The implication is that for modern small satellite missions, almost one out of every two small satellite missions will result in either a total or a partial mission failure. Counting the partial mission successes as “successful missions” reduces the failure rate, but only to 38.2% for the period 2009 to 2016.
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gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #472 on: January 10, 2020, 02:33:23 PM »
Full report by NASA on satellite mission successes and failures is here. Good stuff

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20190002705.pdf
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oren

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #473 on: January 10, 2020, 05:20:10 PM »
Am I wrong to think that dead satellites and debris in Low Earth Orbit are burned off within a few years due to orbit decay?

gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #474 on: January 10, 2020, 05:48:13 PM »
Am I wrong to think that dead satellites and debris in Low Earth Orbit are burned off within a few years due to orbit decay?
Eventually, but space companies are being told to build into their satellites a mechanism to shove them earthwards at the end of their useful life. The data below excludes the effect of solar storms on the magnetosphere etc.

https://www.spaceacademy.net.au/watch/debris/orblife.htm
A ROUGH GUIDE
The following table provides a very rough guide to the lifetime of an object in a circular or near circular orbit at various altitudes.

Satellite
Altitude   Lifetime
200 km   1 day
300 km   1 month
400 km   1 year
500 km   10 years
700 km   100 years
900 km   1000 years

SpaceX Just Launched a New Fleet of Its Controversial Starlink Satellites
SpaceX says it has a plan for that, too: its Starlink satellites deploy at an altitude of 290 kilometers (180 miles) and then engage their ion thrusters to reach an orbit of 550 kilometers (340 miles).
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Bernard

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #475 on: January 10, 2020, 05:51:37 PM »
Am I wrong to think that dead satellites and debris in Low Earth Orbit are burned off within a few years due to orbit decay?
Depends what you mean by LEO. Upper limit is altitude 2000 km, the most crowded area being between 300 and 500 km.
This page is rather old but gives a simple introduction to this question with round figures. https://www.spaceacademy.net.au/watch/debris/orblife.htm
The orbit decay is indeed a few years (less than ten) for orbits under 500 km. At 700 km, it's 100 years, at 900 km, 1000 years.
Those are rough figures, an important parameter being m/A, m being the satellite mass, and A its effective cross sectional area. Compact and dense objects (a steel bolt) are less subject to atmospheric drag than plastic bags (like in free fall in low atmosphere, in fact) and operational satellites with solar panels, for example.
Bear in mind that those are simplified figures for circular orbits, many debris are likely to have highly eccentric orbits, with only a part of it in LEO.

[Edited] : Just saw gerontocrat's answer after posting. At least we agree  ;)

oren

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #476 on: January 10, 2020, 05:55:08 PM »
Thanks gerontocrat and Bernard, that's roughly what I thought, at least for the lower orbits.

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #477 on: January 10, 2020, 05:59:27 PM »
I am pretty sure that they de-orbit the satellites after 5-7 years but that is if they are responding to commands.  so longer and more random burnup than planned.
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #478 on: January 10, 2020, 06:06:12 PM »
Given these variables, a paper (by Antonio Lira, published 22 December 2014) offered a generic average of "31.75 years" for Low Earth Orbit satellites.
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Bernard

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #479 on: January 10, 2020, 06:09:21 PM »
To make my point in a wider perspective. The SpaceX and al. attitude is exactly the same one that put the planet in its current state, and the orbital debris issue is today in the same state global warming was fifty years ago. We know, but so far so good because we're not seeing the actual consequences yet.
We can draw an exact parallel with atmospheric carbon. Mainstream awareness of the problem, and serious works about the solutions, is coming a bit too late, because we've already passed critical density tipping point. The issue with tipping points in slow processes is that you see them too late, when they are passed. Some writers say today that we have already passed the critical density in LEO, and whatever we do, we'll have major collisions in years to come.
I had done some napkin computations years ago I have to unearth from my archives, but they led to a couple major collisions before 2030, and by 2040-2050 a major incident on a yearly basis, a point beyond which the growth of production of debris is faster than their removal by orbital decay.
The Kessler cascade will not happen in a few hours/days like in Gravity. It will take years and decades, but as the melt of Antarctic Ice, once started, no mitigation will be possible.

Bernard

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #480 on: January 10, 2020, 06:27:16 PM »
I am pretty sure that they de-orbit the satellites after 5-7 years but that is if they are responding to commands.  so longer and more random burnup than planned.

Of about 20,000 objects in orbit tracked by the U.S Space Surveillance Network as October 2019 (basically objects over 10 cm in size), 5,000 are operational missions, 15,000 are rocket bodies and other debris. 

That means 3 out of 4 objects in orbit over 10 cm are totally out of control.

From certainly the best source for facts and figures about orbital debris https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov
In Nov.19 issue of their "Quarterly News"
https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/quarterly-news/pdfs/odqnv23i4.pdf, page 10.

vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #481 on: January 10, 2020, 09:52:38 PM »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #482 on: January 10, 2020, 10:47:12 PM »
“To date, SpaceX has demonstrated their respect for our concerns and their support for astronomy.”
- The Royal Astronomical Society

Notes:
The first batch of Starlinks will have included many different combinations of hardware, software, and construction methods, to help determine the combination that would perform the best overall.  It would be foolish to assume that the failure rate for the later satellites will be the same as the first batch.
Quote
In response to concerns from astronomers, Shotwell said one of the 60 satellites set for launch Monday will test a new less-reflective coating designed to reduce the brightness of the spacecraft

Reflectivity is a requirement to keep the satellite’s circuitry from being fried by the intense heating caused by the sun’s radiation in space.
OneWeb’s constellation satellites cost about $1 million each.  SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are thought to cost much less than this, but trying out an untested, less reflective coating which could potentially fry one Starlink satellite means SpaceX is risking several hundred million dollars in their efforts to find a solution to the problem.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-satellite-launch-second-announcement/

Quote
During the Starlink-1 launch webcast, SpaceX described some of the significant upgrades it has made to its Starlink satellites, ranging from massively improved bandwidth to "100% demisability".
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-next-starlink-launch-worlds-largest-constellation/
Meaning they burn up completely in the atmosphere.

As I noted above, SpaceX has lowered the deployment orbit for Starlink so that any malfunctioning satellites will encounter increased atmospheric drag, and deorbit more quickly.  The bright streaks are most noticeable immediately after deployment, and decrease as the satellites raise their orbits, spread out, and adjust their orientation for work rather than ascent.

Quote
The Royal Astronomical Society said in June that the large number of broadband satellites proposed by SpaceX, Amazon, OneWeb and Telesat “presents a challenge to ground-based astronomy.”

“The deployed networks could make it much harder to obtain images of the sky without the streaks associated with satellites, and thus compromise astronomical research,” the society said in a statement.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory, funded by the National Science Foundation, said in May it was working with SpaceX to “jointly analyze and minimize any potential impacts” on astronomical observations caused by radio transmissions coming from the Starlink satellites.

“These discussions have been fruitful and are providing valuable guidelines that could be considered by other such systems as well,” the NRAO said in a statement. “To date, SpaceX has demonstrated their respect for our concerns and their support for astronomy.”

The NRAO said it continued to monitor, analyze and discuss the “evolving parameters” of the Starlink system. The NRAO identified several proposals under consideration, including exclusion zones and other mitigations around the National Science Foundation’s current and future radio astronomy facilities.

SpaceX says it is actively working with leading astronomy groups from around the world to make sure their work is not affected by the Starlink satellites. Engineers are taking steps to make the base of future Starlink satellites black to “help mitigate impacts on the astronomy community,” SpaceX said.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2019/11/11/successful-launch-continues-deployment-of-spacexs-starlink-network/

—-
Also consider other obstructions to astronomical viewing which will not bow to the wishes of astronomers.  The ISS appears as a very bright, slow-moving star when it is above the horizon near sunrise or sunset.  As do many other satellites, and have done so for decades.

https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #483 on: January 10, 2020, 10:53:23 PM »


I really hope everyone realizes this animation merely imagines the movement of a constellation of satellites, and is not what the sky will look like, right?  ::)   

Quote
Visible objects in low-Earth orbit (such as the International Space Station) take about 90 minutes—5,400 seconds—to complete a single orbit. Unequivocally far beyond the mesosphere at 240-250 miles above Earth, such objects might provide a rough proxy for measuring the portion of blue "sky" that is visible.

Now when viewed from their backyard, most people will estimate that an object in low-Earth orbit passes directly over a fixed location in about five to ten seconds. By this measure, from a single point on Earth you can usefully “see” 0.185% (about 2 tenths of one percent) of the local sky.
https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/129317/how-much-of-the-sky-is-visible-from-a-particular-location


https://www.starlink.com
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 11:34:49 PM by Sigmetnow »
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gerontocrat

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #484 on: January 10, 2020, 11:09:47 PM »
It's amazing what gets in the way of a telescope.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #485 on: January 11, 2020, 02:12:19 AM »
Successful Starship tank pressurization-to-failure test today in Boca Chica.
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 1/10/20, 10:13 AM
Bopper (Baby StarPopper) this morning after the overpressure event at SpaceX Boca Chica.
@NASASpaceflight 
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1215652963735293959
Second Photo below; another at the link, plus a link to more.

< how’d it go?
Buff Mage (@elonmusk) 1/10/20, 2:38 PM
Dome to barrel weld made it to 7.1 bar, which is pretty good as ~6 bar is needed for orbital flight. With more precise parts & better welding conditions, we should reach ~8.5 bar, which is the 1.4 factor of safety needed for crewed flight.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1215719463913345024


—- Back Story:
SpaceX prepares new Starship tank for explosive test after rapid construction
Quote
All hail Baby Tank

In an apparent response to the unsatisfactory results of Starship Mk1’s manufacturing methods, SpaceX has rapidly initiated an already-planned upgrade of its Starship facilities and manufacturing methods in South Texas, taking delivery of a wealth of new tools over the last several weeks. Most recently, SpaceX’s latest step towards demonstrating that it has substantially improved manufacturing quality arrived in the form of a single propellant tank – the same diameter as Starship Mk1 but much shorter than any possible flight hardware.

Quickly nicknamed Bopper (short for Baby Starhopper) by locals and close followers, the miniature Starship test article came together at a truly spectacular pace. Comprised of two single-weld steel rings and two brand new tank domes, it appears that all four of the components were nothing more than parts and steel stock less than three weeks ago. The first sign of activity came around December 19th, when technicians began placing pressed steel sections onto a bulkhead (dome) assembly jig – used to precisely hold the pieces in the right shape and place as they are welded together.

Incredibly, aside from taking less than three weeks to go from miscellaneous parts to an assembled Starship tank delivered to the test site, SpaceX technicians appeared to finish stacking and welding its two halves (each a ring and a dome) perhaps a handful of hours before it was lifted onto a transporter and driven to the launch pad.

Even for SpaceX, moving a prototype from factory to test site hours after its primary structure was welded together represents an almost unfathomably fast pace of work – truly unfathomable in traditional aerospace.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-new-starship-tank-explosive-test/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #486 on: January 11, 2020, 05:51:38 PM »
Static fire of Falcon 9 prior to In-Flight Abort [IFA] test has been completed satisfactorily.
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/11/20, 10:42 AM
Static fire of Falcon 9 complete – targeting January 18 for an in-flight demonstration of Crew Dragon’s launch escape system, which will verify the spacecraft’s ability to carry astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency during ascent
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1216022644614545409

Here’s a video of the static fire (starts ~ minute 24):
https://www.youtube.com/embed/SvVYyUw8IRE?start=1476

From Reddit:
Alexphysics
For the usual questions:
   •   No, the booster won't be recovered
   •   The second stage is a normal second stage with the engine replaced by a mass simulator because it won't be needed and yes, it will be fully fueled during this mission (as it has been for the static fire).
   •   Crew Dragon is expected to abort at 88s into flight. Around 20km high and 5km downrange, it should splashdown around 30km off the coast about 5-10min later.
   •   The abort will be triggered via a planned shutdown of the 9 Merlin engines on the booster. That's what the Crew Dragon will use as the abort signal and will fly away firing its SuperDraco engines for up to 10 seconds. The rocket is expected to break up due to aerodynamic forces. In the rare situation that it survives it won't do anything magical, any trick or anything fancy, it'll just continue its own parabolic trajectory until it hits the water maybe as far as 100km downrange.
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/en8xa0/static_fire_of_falcon_9_complete_targeting/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #487 on: January 15, 2020, 09:40:04 PM »
Crew Dragon IFA scheduled for this Saturday.
Quote
NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) 1/15/20, 3:05 PM
.@SpaceX's uncrewed in-flight abort test is targeted for 8am ET on Jan. 18. This test will show that the #CrewDragon can protect astronauts even in the unlikely event of an emergency during launch.

Currently, weather is 90% GO for the demonstration.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/spacex-nasa-gear-up-for-in-flight-abort-demonstration
https://twitter.com/commercial_crew/status/1217538321347465217
At (both) links: an animation of what will happen.  We hope!
This is the one big remaining test for the Crew Dragon to be certified for human space flight.  The rest is mostly NASA paperwork and solving any schedule issues with the ISS.  (SpaceX has its 20th operational Cargo Dragon mission to the ISS scheduled for March 1.)

And the Falcon 9 rocket being used for the test:
Quote
< AFTS going to end it or natural self destruction?
Buff Mage (@elonmusk) 1/11/20, 7:03 PM
Destroyed in Dragon fire
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1216148780635938816

Elon Musk says a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is about to be "destroyed in Dragon fire"
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-rocket-destroyed-dragon-fire/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #488 on: January 17, 2020, 08:14:17 PM »
Elon Musk shares details about SpaceX’s Starship, including estimated 20 to 30-year service life
Quote
... Ultimately, Musk says that he hopes to achieve a construction rate of 100 Starships being produced per year, with a goal of hitting 1,000 in total in service over the course of the next decade, which can transport as much as 100 megatons per year in cargo, or about 100,000 people “per Earth-Mars orbital sync” in terms of human passengers. That translates to a schedule of roughly once every two years, when Earth and Mars are closest to one another because of the coincidence of their respective orbits around the Sun.

Musk clarified in response to another question that the way this will work will be getting the Mars fleet into a staging orbit above Earth, where they can be refueled in space prior to their synchronized departure. Then, once every 26 months approximately 1,000 ships will all depart over the course of 30 days for their Mars transit. While Starship will require an in-orbit refuel to make the trip to Mars leaving from Earth, because of how much boost is needed to exit Earth’s atmosphere, the same is not true for the reverse trip, Musk pointed out. ...
https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/17/elon-musk-shares-details-about-spacexs-starship-including-estimated-20-to-30-year-service-life/
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Bruce Steele

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #489 on: January 17, 2020, 08:30:20 PM »
“We regret ruining our world, only to chase the dream of a paradise across the stars.”

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #490 on: January 18, 2020, 02:52:17 AM »
“The Earth is the cradle of humanity, but mankind cannot stay in the cradle forever.“
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #491 on: January 18, 2020, 02:46:13 PM »
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/18/20, 5:01 AM
Standing down from today’s in-flight Crew Dragon launch escape test attempt due to sustained winds and rough seas in the recovery area. Now targeting Sunday, January 19, with a six-hour test window opening at 8:00 a.m. EST, 13:00 UTC
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1218473546772430848
< Much calmer conditions at sea Sunday w light SW wind. Small opportunity to launch early in the window before cloud cover increases ahead of an approaching strong cold front Sunday night


Recorded Friday:
Pre-Launch Briefing for SpaceX In Flight Abort Test - YouTube
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #492 on: January 19, 2020, 09:08:21 PM »
Crew Dragon In-Flight Abort test appeared flawless!

In the image below, you can see the Dragon’s Super-Draco rocket engines firing even before the Falcon 9 engines had completely shut down.

In the post-launch test briefing, Elon Musk explained how the abort “sequence” happens in about 700 milliseconds:  the Dragon senses an anomaly, commands the Falcon 9 to shut down, and the Dragon’s eight super-Draco engines pressurize and fire incredibly quickly, pushing the Dragon to safety — potentially before the rocket has a chance to explode — and even if one of the Super-Draco engines fails.

Dragon Abort acceleration could go to more than 6 g, but the system limits acceleration to maximize comfort and safety of the astronauts.  It reconfigures “at almost the millisecond level” to achieve “the maximum probability of safety and minimize injury.” *

[Bridenstine: This abort today, the highest g was ~3.5 g, coming down was 2.3 g.  That’s impressive.]

The Falcon 9 was destroyed today in a “fireball, not an explosion.”  (As in, fuel spewed out and ignited.)  Dragon could fly right out of a fireball — the heat shield withstands much more than that on a normal reentry from orbit. 
It is one benefit of having the integrated super-draco abort engines that can be used all the way to orbit, making system safer than using an escape tower that is jettisoned soon after launch.

Peak altitude was about 40km or 131,000 feet, and peak velocity was over twice the speed of sound: mach 2.2   Dragon landed in relatively high winds, so this will help SpaceX refine their landing envelope conditions.

In the Future:  SpaceX might catch the returning Dragon in flight, before it splashes down! :o

Asked about private customers, Musk said: “We have no announcement to make at this time about flying private customers.”

Jim Bridenstine insisted no decision has been made about the possibility of increasing the crew size or the planned duration of the DM-2 mission.  Musk said SpaceX will be ready for whatever is decided.

Image below from:
Quote
David Hash (@turndownformars) 1/19/20, 10:58 AM
Still frame at the moment of abort during the #SpaceX #InFlightAbort test
420mm refractor, ZWO ASI290MM, 850nm IR filter. Video to come!
https://twitter.com/turndownformars/status/1218925720736600066

Full webcast link is below, but if you just want to watch the Dragon zip away and the Falcon 9 go boom, here you are:
Jasper (@CasselmanJasper) 1/19/20, 11:20 AM
https://twitter.com/casselmanjasper/status/1218931187240046593

Although this article says early March, Musk sandbagged the date during the press conference and said “Q2.”
Article has a detailed look at the ISS crew schedule and explains why earlier would be better:

Pending test outcomes, NASA says SpaceX could launch astronauts in early March
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/01/17/pending-test-outcomes-nasa-says-spacex-could-launch-astronauts-in-early-march/

Watch the entire webcast here:
Crew Dragon Launch Escape Demonstration


*No wonder Teslas are so safe….
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 09:18:49 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #493 on: January 20, 2020, 01:11:28 AM »
IFA addendum:

Musk:  “The system is designed to withstand a first stage booster explosion or an explosion that happens even before the escape event.”

Bridenstine:  “This spacecraft knows precisely where it is in space — latitude, longitude, altitude, yaw, pitch, roll, trajectory, velocity — it constantly knows where it is supposed to be and it knows what is happening to it, so it can make a determination early, before the explosion were to happen, to execute the launch abort capability.”

——
Edit: Wow, amazing video clip from the big tracking cameras, at the link.
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/19/20, 2:20 PM
Crew Dragon separating from Falcon 9 during today’s test, which verified the spacecraft’s ability to carry astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency on ascent
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1218976479150858241
——

Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 1/19/20, 6:56 PM
And the SpaceX Crew Dragon involved with the IFA test is sailing into Port Canaveral on Go Searcher. ...
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1219046009436852225
Video at the link.  Dragon looks to be in good shape!

Image below is a screencap from the webcast: interior of the Dragon for the test.  Two “anthropomorphic test devices” in the seats.  No interior wall panels.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 08:28:22 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #494 on: January 22, 2020, 02:36:26 PM »
Waves in the recovery zone off the Florida coast are 12-15 feet (4-5m)! 
SpaceX is now targeting their next launch for Friday January 24 at 10:54 a.m. EST, 15:54 UTC, for launch of 60 Starlink satellites; team is continuing to monitor weather in the recovery area.
Falcon 9’s first stage supporting this mission previously launched off LC-39A and from SpaceX’s West Coast launch pad.

While we wait, let’s catch up on Starship, and the competition:

New buildings going up at Boca Chica, a new Starship tank being built, and a road and beach closure:
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/22/20, 12:45 AM
Improved Accommodations
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1219858516619358208
Image below.

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 1/22/20, 6:11 AM

The likely reason there's a new road closure notice.
Bopper 2.0.
Would also explain why they were filling up the LN2 tanks at the launch site again:
youtu.be/9Usbu7LzJUQ
- …yeah, we'll have to wait and see - but with the road closure notice and the tank filling, that's what makes me think this is another test tank [this time with cryogenics]
Let's see what Elon spills on this one.
Never a dull day in Boca Chica.

< Bopper 2.0: The revenge
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 1/21/20, 7:06 PM
There is a planned Hwy. 4 and Boca Chica beach closure for SpaceX activities at Boca Chica on January 25, 2020 from 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1219773234507403269
ScreenCap of closure notice at the link.

——-
“This is part of the game of us learning to work with a commercial provider,” Santora said.
Tesla, SpaceX confirm Model X will be official ride of astronauts
From suit-up area to the launch pad
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-x-spacex-astronauts-transportation/

—-
Update on Boeing’s OFT failure last month
The NASA source said eight or more thrusters on the service module failed at one point and that one thruster never fired at all.
Starliner’s thruster performance receiving close scrutiny from NASA
“Many of the elements of the propulsion system were overstressed.”
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/01/nasa-and-boeing-are-closely-looking-at-starliners-thruster-performance/
Eric Berger - 1/21/2020

—-
Finally, the “Geez, NASA, what gives?!” article SpaceX supporters have been waiting for:
SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft sails home after flawless in-flight abort test
By Eric Ralph, January 19, 2020
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-crew-dragon-sails-back-to-port-flawless-launch/
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 02:47:22 PM by Sigmetnow »
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blumenkraft

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #495 on: January 22, 2020, 02:47:17 PM »
BTW there is an amazing podcast with Hans Koenigsmann, employee number 4 at SpaceX.

In German language though.

Link >> https://raumzeit-podcast.de/2020/01/17/rz083-spacex/
“I’m an introvert. I’m just different that’s all. I’m so sorry. I don’t have a gun. I don’t do that stuff... All I was trying to do was to become better. I’ll do it... You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful. And I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m sorry.”

Elijah McClain

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #496 on: January 22, 2020, 02:52:20 PM »
BTW there is an amazing podcast with Hans Koenigsmann, employee number 4 at SpaceX.

In German language though.

Link >> https://raumzeit-podcast.de/2020/01/17/rz083-spacex/

So, tell us what he says! (begging)


======= Edit:
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/23/20, 11:11 AM
Weather in the recovery area continues to be unfavorable so team is now targeting Monday, January 27 for launch of Starlink, pending Range availability
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1220378488680697856
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 05:15:32 PM by Sigmetnow »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #497 on: January 27, 2020, 10:29:01 PM »
Starlink 3 launch update
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX)1/27/20, 9:19 AM
Standing down today due to strong upper level winds. Next launch opportunity is tomorrow at 9:28 a.m. EST, or 14:28 UTC.
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1221799899848531969
< Are the wind tolerances for falcon 9 dramatically different than those for other rockets? I feel like spacex had an inordinate number of weather related delays.
Chuck (@Chuckhasfriends) 1/27/20, 10:36 AM
I believe the Falcon 9 has the largest height to width ratio of any rocket flying today (it's the "skinniest"), so wind can knock it around easier, meaning lower power winds would still be a concern.

Quote
< When a scrub happens like this, do they leave the rocket and payload on the pad? Is there ever a point in a scrub that it's taken down?
Scott Manley (@DJSnM)1/27/20, 9:47 AM
They only take it down if there’s a hardware that needs serviced, or if a big storm is expected.
https://twitter.com/djsnm/status/1221806906332704769
< what are those strong upper level winds anyway? aren't the rockets going through the jetstreams anyway which are like 100-200 kph strong?
Scott Manley: It’s more when they go between layers that are flowing at different rates - the transition can be rough.

—-
SpaceX’s Third Operational Starlink Mission moved to Tuesday
by Thomas Burghardt January 26, 2020
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/01/spacex-launch-third-operational-starlink-mission/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #498 on: January 27, 2020, 10:35:47 PM »
Quote
Jon Shaban (@Jon_Shaban) 1/27/20, 11:08 AM
The #Starlink may have scrubbed today, but #SpaceX has it's crew on the #GoSearcher working with what appears to be a #CrewDragon capsule.
https://twitter.com/jon_shaban/status/1221827307486240769
 Brief time lapse video at the link.

—-  Whither Crew Dragon?
Crew Dragon’s In-Flight Abort Test seems to have proceeded flawlessly.  Kathy Lueders, NASA’s commercial crew program manager, suggested recently that SpaceX’s crewed Demo-2 mission might be ready for launch as soon as the first half of March. Yet when asked for a date at the Dragon IFA post-flight press briefing, Elon Musk said that although the SpaceX rocket and capsule should be in Florida by the end of February… the “consensus answer” (between the SpaceX, Commercial Crew, and NASA folks preparing to go onstage) was to say that a crewed launch would not occur until Q2 (April-June).

Why not launch ASAP?  I see a complex list of reasons why a slight delay makes sense:

First, I assume SpaceX and NASA’s Dragon reviews will go well, the two additional full-system parachute tests in February will be as successful as the others so far, and that everything could be “quadruple checked” by March if needed.

- In early April, Soyuz will bring up the next three-person crew to the ISS — and three will leave the following week, leaving the space station crewed by only three people, including only one astronaut, Chris Cassidy, to do all NASA experiments, maintenance, etc. until the next Soyuz flight in October!  (I note the next Cygnus cargo freighter delivery was moved up from April to early February, when there will still be two NASA astronauts aboard the ISS.)

- No Soyuz seat has been purchased beyond April, though NASA mentioned purchasing one more, “so we have options.”

- Why not send Dragon in March?  Because Dragon — like Soyuz and Starliner — is limited to about six months in space per mission.  If launched in March, it would need to return before October, resulting in a reduced ISS crew again, if no other personnel have arrived.

- The Starliner Question
Besides the pad abort test parachute bungle, NASA expects to take at least two months studying the Orbital Flight Test failures of Starliner’s software and engines:  its Mission Elapsed Timer was 11 hours off; eight thrusters malfunctioned and one did not fire at all.
Will thruster redesign be required?  And if the software problem is just a software problem, how long will it take to fix?  (Boeing originally said the 737-Max airliner problem was a simple software fix, but the planes remain grounded over a year later.)
• Will NASA require another uncrewed orbital flight test before allowing crew to fly in the Starliner?  Common sense would suggest yes, but Boeing has historically received “special treatment” from the agency.  (An independent investigation revealed corruption and con games or outright fraud by Boeing to extort more money [pay us or we’ll quit the program] from NASA for what was a “fixed price” commercial crew contract.)  A reporter asked the Boeing rep at the Starliner OFT post-flight conference if Boeing would ask for more money or quit if NASA required another unmanned flight.  Boeing said they were “all in.” Whatever that is supposed to mean in this case.
• The Russians.  They pushed back hard against the uncrewed Dragon mission in 2018;  NASA had to talk them down. They ended up sequestering themselves in the Russian section of the ISS during the automated docking in case of a catastrophe.  (Even though Soyuz and several of the other cargo vessels already use automated docking.)   Imagine the Russian reaction to a mission of an unproven Starliner with a less than stellar history.  (Although I suppose Boeing would gladly pay off the Russians to make any complaints disappear.)
• Boeing of course wants to fly a crewed mission as soon as possible, too.  Even if NASA signs off on a next mission for Starliner, their launch provider ULA has military missions planned for SLC-41 (the pad Starliner uses) in May and September, plus the Mars 2020 rover that must launch within a limited window in July. 

So it’s hard to figure when the three-person Starliner crew might launch.  Could the Starliner crew launch in April?  Seems doubtful.  Might they be delayed up to six months, or a year?  Possible. 

The best plan at this point would indeed seem to be for astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to fly the Dragon to the ISS in April, and stay until October (the original plan for the Demo-2 mission was for them to stay only two weeks!).  NASA keeps saying no decision has been made, but such a scenario has been discussed for months, so it’s hard to believe Bob and Doug have not been training for this eventuality.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #499 on: January 28, 2020, 02:37:45 AM »
We’re waiting!
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/27/20, 6:07 PM
Now targeting Wednesday, January 29 at 9:06 a.m., 14:06 UTC, for launch of Starlink due to poor weather in the recovery area
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1221932844269752321

——
Starship tank testing update:  Improvements being made in materials manufacturing and stainless steel welding techniques.  Starship SN1 tank domes are being built!

Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1/27/20, 6:30 PM
Starship 9m test tank made 7.5 bar at room temp! Small leak at a weld doubler. Will be repaired & retested at cryo.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1221938474233868288
[Image below.]

< Awesome! Congrats! Feeling confident enough in the welds and manufacturing to go ahead with SN1?
EM: Yes
<< I’m amazed at @SpaceX’s new steel ring process for Starship. The difference is absolutely night and day! when do you think construction of SN1’s main hull will begin?
EM: First two domes of SN1 are almost complete

< Hearing you point out room temp, you think it’d have no problem holding that at cryo, right?
EM: Parent material strength roughly doubles, so weld strength is the only real question mark
> This particular type of stainless steel is in its weakest state at room temperature. Making it colder or hotter just improves the strength of the steel.   Elon: Will you double up the steel on the vertical welds of the hoops? A good place for a propellant/cable race. Waste NOTHING!
EM: Already being done
Previous tank test made it to 7.1 bar.  7.5 is good enough for orbital flight, but they want 8.5 for a ship to be human-rated.

===
Edit:
Article by Eric Ralph, Jan 28
SpaceX is ready to build the first Starship destined for space after latest tests
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-ready-first-starship-destined-for-space/amp/
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 03:11:55 PM by Sigmetnow »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.