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oren

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1000 on: December 12, 2020, 11:55:43 PM »
"The higher you fly, the faster you fall".

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1001 on: December 13, 2020, 02:29:21 PM »
For a vehicle that can’t launch itself, can’t use its engine outside of the atmosphere (even on a good day), and can’t get to orbit, but you have to wear a spacesuit anyway, the Virgin craft is spectacular.
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crandles

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1002 on: December 13, 2020, 02:59:25 PM »
For a vehicle that can’t launch itself, can’t use its engine outside of the atmosphere (even on a good day), and can’t get to orbit, but you have to wear a spacesuit anyway, the Virgin craft is spectacular.

He He  ;D

OTOH
Maybe they could claim that most rockets can't launch themselves without ground support equipment, Virgin craft can (maybe ?!) (but does need air support equipment!)

Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1003 on: December 13, 2020, 04:33:01 PM »
For a vehicle that can’t launch itself, can’t use its engine outside of the atmosphere (even on a good day), and can’t get to orbit, but you have to wear a spacesuit anyway, the Virgin craft is spectacular.

He He  ;D

OTOH
Maybe they could claim that most rockets can't launch themselves without ground support equipment, Virgin craft can (maybe ?!) (but does need air support equipment!)

The two systems really are not comparable, other than both try to leave the earth’s surface and go up (or around) very fast.  The purpose and aspirations (;)) are entirely different.  Virgin won’t get to the ISS, let alone the moon or Mars.  The crafts’ abilities are soooo different.  Like the difference between walking and boating.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1004 on: December 13, 2020, 04:35:50 PM »
—- F9 SiriusXM launch window opens in one hour
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/13/20, 9:23 AM
T-2 hours to launch of the SXM-7 mission. Today’s one-hour and 59-minute window opens at 11:22 a.m. EST, and weather is 60% favorable
spacex.com/launches
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1338127365025583105

Quote
William Harwood (@cbs_spacenews)12/13/20, 10:22 AM
F9/SiriusXM7: This will be SpaceX's 25th Falcon 9 flight so far this year, the 102nd since the rocket's debut in 2010, the 61st off LC40 and the 7th flight for the first stage; a successful recovery will mark the company's 69th, its 48th on an off-shore droneship
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1338142299029692417


—- Starship
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal)12/13/20, 7:52 AM Starship SN9 is no longer leaning in the high bay thanks to Tankzilla.  …
~ I can only see damage to the right aft and forward flaps.
~ I do see a dent on the nosecone which doesn't look bad. We will have to wait for @elonmusk to give a SN9 damage report.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1338104471621169153
⬇️ Photo below.

Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 12/12/20, 10:06 PM
The Liebherr LR1600/2 Crawler Crane (dubbed "Tankzilla") has secured the leaning Starship SN9 inside the High Bay. Meanwhile, work on future Starships continued.
Video & Photos from Mary (@BocaChicaGal). Edited by Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist)
➡️youtu.be/HghOSxI1K48
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1337957142901428225

—- SN8’s flight
NSF’s cameras compilation:
Starship SN8 Soars for Groundbreaking Test Flight from SpaceX Boca Chica
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HghOSxI1K48&feature=youtu.be

Quote
Jay L. DeShetler (@jdeshetler) 12/12/20, 4:14 PM
Amazing detailed & stabilized video shot by Mary @BocaChicaGal.... watch the frost quickly develop on the underbelly of Starship SN8 prior to the flip. @NASASpaceflight @SpaceX   
➡️ https://twitter.com/jdeshetler/status/1337868552162832384
30 sec


—- Virgin Galactic
— About the abort
Quote
Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) 12/12/20, 6:28 PM
After being released from its mothership, SpaceShipTwo Unity’s onboard computer that monitors the rocket motor lost connection. As designed, this triggered a fail-safe scenario that intentionally halted ignition of the rocket motor.
~ Following this occurrence, our pilots flew back to Spaceport America and landed gracefully as usual.
When I became CEO, I was briefed on the safety engineering of our Spaceflight System, which is purposely designed to enable our pilots to safely glide back at any point.
~ Seeing firsthand how our pilots brought Unity in for a picture-perfect landing after an off-nominal condition confirmed this approach. I am even more confident that this is the level of safety that consumers will want and will be expecting from us.
~ As we do with every test flight, we are evaluating all the data, including the root cause assessment of the computer communication loss. We look forward to sharing information on our next flight window in the near future. 
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1337902126450794498

— But delays now due to Covid-19
Quote
Virgin Orbit (@Virgin_Orbit) 12/12/20, 7:07 PM Our vehicles, hardware, and software are all ready to go. With two rehearsals already complete, one final wet dress rehearsal is all that remains for us to do. However, the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our ability to safely operate, and thus our schedule.
~ … as infection rates skyrocket in our communities, that is becoming a more difficult task.
Our latest round of contact tracing Friday evening led to a new batch of precautionary quarantines.
~ Consequently, we've fallen below the number of staff we feel we require to prudently and safely proceed with pre-launch operations. …
https://twitter.com/virgin_orbit/status/1337911913036959744
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1005 on: December 13, 2020, 08:14:20 PM »
—- SiriusXM-7 mission
SpaceX:  Launch moved to 12:30 EST for optimal launch and recovery. Weather forecast improved to 80% favorable.

Liftoff! ✔️

Droneship landing ✔️
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/13/20, 12:40 PM
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship 
➡️ https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1338176923323658245
13 sec webcast clip

Satellite deploy ✔️
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/13/20, 1:03 PM
Deployment of SXM-7 confirmed
➡️ https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1338182663698489344
13-sec webcast clip

Fairing catch/scoop  - Awaiting word


—- Next SpaceX launch NET Thursday
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 12/13/20, 1:31 PM
One more launch from Florida left to go this year. SpaceX is set to launch NROL-108 no earlier than Thursday.
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/5112 
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1338189723009871873


—- More on Starship SN8 High Altitude flight
SpaceX Starship nails ‘flip’ maneuver in explosive landing video
By Eric Ralph December 9, 2020
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-nearly-sticks-landing-high-altitude-debut/
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vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1006 on: December 14, 2020, 02:34:16 AM »


Another video of the starship test from earlier this week. The initial launch gives you a bit of a sense of scale, but it's at the 5:23 mark when we can see the falling starship again that is most interesting. Turns out, a 12 story building falling sideways is actually pretty slow, or at least looks like it. Definitely a different view



--------------------------------------

I am a leaf on the wind... Watch how I soar…

“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 #1007 on: December 15, 2020, 01:34:18 AM »
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)12/9/20, 7:08 PM
Life, the Universe and Everything 
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1336825121223434241
⬇️ Image below: SN8 used Raptor #42!

Raptor 42 fired the longest (4min 40 sec), but was not one of the two that relit for landing.
Given the approximately horizontal power slide on one engine at apogee before that last engine shut down, the rocket fell for almost exactly two minutes. If the rocket reached altitude of 12.5 km (41,000 feet), that means it fell with an average descent rate of 6250 meters/min (104 meters/second) or 20,500 feet/min (342 feet/sec).  Yikes!

Edit: Although this is apparently about 1/4 the speed of a Falcon 9 booster’s approach to landing!


« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 02:48:19 AM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1008 on: December 15, 2020, 01:43:56 AM »
—- SiriusXM mission wrapping up
Quote
SpaceX:
Falcon 9 launches SXM-7 to orbit, completing SpaceX’s 25th launch this year 
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1338252961768755202
4 pics at the link, 1 is below. ⬇️

Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 12/13/20, 8:36 PM
Both fairing recovery ships are moving away from the SXM-7 LZ.
SpaceX hasn't said anything about how recovery went - This typically indicates that the catch attempt was not successful or was aborted, but no guarantees.
We will have to wait for them to arrive back in Florida.
~ As a reminder, the plan was to catch one fairing half with Ms. Tree (pending go/no-go poll) and recover the other half from the water with a second ship, GO Searcher.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1338296794841812995

——- Starship SN9
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 12/14/20, 5:21 PM
At SpaceX Boca Chica Starship SN9 has been given a lift out of the high bay.
@NASASpaceflight
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1338609996679045128
⬇️ Photo below.

Apparently the day before SN9 tipped, there was a V.I.P. event at Boca Chica.  Perhaps they made some temporary changes to SN9’s stand for that event which led to the stand’s failure? Musk remains upbeat.
SpaceX almost drops finished Starship prototype – but it might be salvageable
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-prototype-sn9-damaged/amp/


—-  SpaceX Dragon Crew-3, Fall 2021
Quote
NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew)12/14/20, 11:30 AM
.@NASA and @esa have selected three astronauts to serve as crew members for the Crew-3 mission to the @Space_Station.
The trio will consist of:
1️⃣ @Astro_Raja
2️⃣ @AstroMarshburn
3️⃣ @astro_matthias
A fourth crew member will be added at a later date
https://twitter.com/commercial_crew/status/1338521677676695561
Eric Berger:  Chari is the first astronaut from the class of 2017 to get a formal crew assignment.
< One place left for the Russian if they agree?
EB: That's a reasonably good guess, yes.

NASA, ESA Choose Astronauts for SpaceX Crew-3 Mission to Space Station
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-esa-choose-astronauts-for-spacex-crew-3-mission-to-space-station

[Note:  Boeing’s Starliner-1 mission is currently NET 2022.]

—- Record U.S. Launches licensed in 2020
The U.S. Department of Transportation said it supported a record number of commercial launches, 35, this year. The department estimates the total could reach as many as 50 next year.
Press Release – U.S. DOT Supports Record Number of Licensed Commercial Space Launches
Quote
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation is having a record year with supporting 35 licensed commercial space launches thus far in 2020 with the potential for even more before the year ends. The prior record of 33 was established in 2018.
“The record number of launches demonstrates this administration’s commitment to support the innovation and growth of the U.S. commercial space transportation industry and lead the world in aerospace capabilities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

For 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is forecasting a continued growth in licensed commercial space launches that could possibly reach 50 or more.

The 2020 commercial space launches cover a diversity of missions including the first FAA licensed crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS), cargo-only resupply of the ISS, delivery of private enterprise satellites into orbit and the testing of space capsules and rocket systems. The launches occurred from seven locations both domestic and foreign:  Alaska, California, Florida, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia and New Zealand.

An FAA license is required to conduct any commercial launch or reentry, the operation of any launch or reentry site by U.S. citizens anywhere in the world, or by any individual or entity within the United States. Once the FAA issues a license or permit, the agency works with operators to make sure they are meeting the requirements to conduct launches and reentries. This includes having FAA safety inspectors monitor licensed activities. …
https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=25480


—- Russia’s next-generation rocket is already dated
Quote
Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98)12/14/20, 1:30 AM
For the first time in six years, Russia's next generation launcher has lifted off, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The Angara-A5 rocket is completing its second of three test flights before entering operations.
ARTICLE [below]
Michael Baylor:
The last time an Angara launched, SpaceX had not even attempted to land a rocket yet.
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1338370886215282688

Russia resumes Angara test flights with third mission
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/12/russia-resumes-angara-test-third/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1009 on: December 15, 2020, 02:20:46 AM »
—- Great thread of SN8 photos, vids and memes:
Jessie Anderson:
Coolest SN8 photos?  Memes acceptable
⬇️ ➡️ https://twitter.com/whoisheartbreak/status/1338552011353018369

—-
Everyday Astronaut:
Sound on and go full screen!!! #Starship #SN8 lift off and landing in one video!!! Beautiful shot showing the belly flop, engine re-ignition, the flip, the tail down portion and the boomy bit!!! STILL WORKING on prepping everything we shot alongside @considercosmos!!!
➡️ https://twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1338198980942032903
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1010 on: December 16, 2020, 03:32:31 AM »
—- SiriusXM mission: Fairing halves retrieved
Photos:
Ms. Tree:  https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1338782288629391360

GO Searcher:  https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1338970900469780490
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 12/15/20, 8:53 PM
GO Searcher is outbound for the NROL-108 mission for another fairing recovery operation.
It has been less than four hours since the ship returned from the SXM-7 mission with a fairing half!
Photo from @NASASpaceflight Fleetcam [at the link]
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1339025875023638529


—- NROL-108 launch scheduled for Thursday, with booster landing at LZ-1
Quote
Dec. 17: Falcon 9 • NROL-108
Launch window: 1400-1700 GMT (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EST)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch a classified spacecraft payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The mission is designated NROL-108. The first stage booster is expected to attempt a return to launch site landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Delayed from Oct. 25. 
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/


—- Starship SN9: up and about
Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) 12/14/20, 10:33 PM
Starship SN9 was lifted out of the High Bay, prior to returning and being remounted/secured for repair work. A potential replacement flap was spotted nearby. Work also continuing to remove the remains of SN8.
Video & Photos from Mary (@BocaChicaGal)
➡️ youtu.be/fDlWRkwmT4g
https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1338688613555580928
~ Whoops, may have spelled "luckily" & "transport" incorrectly in two of the labels. Let my guard down apparently. My bad!
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 12/15/20, 2:43 PM
New Boca Chica road closures on Dec. 17 and 18 from 8 am to 5 pm local time. Starship SN9 and the large crane could head to the launch site during these windows.   cameroncounty.us/spacex/
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1338932795414990853
Quote
“How’s the lucky fin?” “Lucky!” ;)
➡️ https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1338652861803139072 


—- Artemis/Orion/SLS
The Orion spacecraft is now 15 years old and has flown into space just once
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/six-years-after-orions-first-spaceflight-america-still-waits-for-an-encore/
Compare what ~$23.8 billion under the Orion program got NASA, versus $20 billion by SpaceX.

The General Accounting Office says Artemis program spending is out of control. NASA agrees.
Quote
Eric Berger:
Report says NASA is committing tens of billions of dollars for upgrades of SLS and Orion "while mission requirements remain in flux." What does this mean? It means the priority (for Congress, at least) is that contractors get paid.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1338914576675516417
< This last minute action by exiting admin protects Senator Shelby’s & others’ pork barrel [spending]. Must be undone soon else harder it becomes to undo; already the situation w SLS.

GAO:  Significant Investments in Future Capabilities Require Strengthened Management Oversight
Quote
NASA is developing 3 closely related systems—the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System, and Exploration Ground Systems—to put astronauts into space.

Since our last report, NASA's launch of Artemis I—the first uncrewed test flight involving these 3 systems—was again delayed, this time due in part to manufacturing challenges. The new date, November 2021, doesn't take into account any COVID-19 delays.

NASA is awarding billions of dollars in contracts for future flights, but keeps changing its schedules and plans for system upgrades to support these flights. We recommended NASA increase oversight measures for these upgrades following Artemis I. …
https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-21-105
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1011 on: December 16, 2020, 03:42:09 AM »
—- EU reusable rocket future
Quote
Eric Berger:
France-based ArianeGroup has won a €33 million contract to develop a reusable first stage "demonstrator." As a result, a reusable rocket could be ready for orbital launch services by ... wait for it ... 2030.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1338857184986337281
< To be fair no one gave SpaceX a cat's chance in hell of being able to reuse Falcon 9 S1, so absolutely no thought was given to reusablity until Block 5 had been flying regularly (basically last year).
> Why not just buy some Falcons or acquire a license? Because reinventing the wheel is so much fun?
>> The EU and ESA want some independence from other parties (US, Russia). This lead to subsidize Ariane which was competitive until @SpaceX arrived. And now they are too far behind the curve- even subsidized launches with Ariane can lose to #Falcon9.
>> I think I remember their CEO saying in an interview 1-2 years ago they were not interested in reusable rockets because their EU subsidies required consistent work for the factories- IOW, lots of one shot rockets.
⬇️ Image below.

ArianeGroup signs contract with ESA to develop Themis reusable stage demonstrator
https://www.ariane.group/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Themis-contract-ENG-.pdf


—- OneWeb receives funding
Bharti CEO Mittal estimates @OneWeb will need $2.5bn to complete the constellation.  Bharti Enterprises joined forces with the British government to acquire OneWeb out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Quote
Eric Berger:
I've seen estimates that suggest it will cost twice as much as this.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1338872519449862145
< Even at $5bn, from a UK perspective this is a lot cheaper than the est. £40bn to rollout high speed broadband plus 5g to the entire country
<< The UK government invested... Which suggests it will cost 10x as much and then fail to work...
< Maybe if they get Starship to launch it...

OneWeb optimistic about raising the funding needed to complete its constellation
December 15, 2020
Quote
WASHINGTON — The new executive chairman of OneWeb is optimistic the company can raise the billions of dollars of additional funding needed to complete development of the company’s broadband constellation and work on a second generation of the system.

He estimated the cost of getting OneWeb’s initial constellation of about 650 satellites into orbit, and establishing the other infrastructure needed for the network, at between $5.5 billion and $7 billion. “Thankfully, OneWeb spent a lot of money in the first phase, and that’s where a lot of money goes booking the launches, building satellites,” he said.

He estimated OneWeb will need to raise $2.5 billion to complete the constellation. Half of that, he said, has been arranged between Bharti Enterprises and the U.K. government, who combined own about 85% of the post-bankruptcy company. “I don’t see raising capital for this wonderful project for the balance amount to be any issue,” he said, noting that Bharti Enterprises had raised more than $12 billion in the last 18–24 months for other projects.

OneWeb halted deployment of the constellation shortly after filing for Chapter 11 in March. It will resume deployment Dec. 18 with the launch of 36 satellites on a Soyuz rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. Mittal said launches will then follow roughly once a month until the constellation is completed.

That schedule will allow OneWeb to provide service in northern latitudes, which he defined as above 50 degrees north, by October or November of 2021. Full global coverage will follow in May or June of 2022. 
https://spacenews.com/oneweb-optimistic-about-raising-the-funding-needed-to-complete-its-constellation/


—- Astra’s small rocket finally launches successfully, and just barely misses making orbit.
Quote
Loren Grush:
Chris Kemp on Astra's flight: "After reaching an altitude of 390 kilometers, which was our nominal orbital altitude, we reached a velocity of 7.2 kilometers per second... short of the orbital velocity of 7.68 kilometers per second."
https://twitter.com/lorengrush/status/1338977683594731523
[They ran out of fuel a bit early.]

Astra (@Astra) 12/15/20, 7:08 PM

A quick video recap of our 8.5-minute flight to space today!
➡️ https://twitter.com/astra/status/1338999451893915649
1 min vid. Space views at the end!

Eric Berger:
Just a reminder that getting to orbit is freaking hard. Only three U.S. companies have done so with privately developed rockets: Orbital (Pegasus), SpaceX (Falcon 1, 9, Heavy), and Rocket Lab (Electron).
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1338920140633763844

Rendering below is of the EU rocket.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1012 on: December 17, 2020, 02:30:45 PM »
—- NROL-108 launch weather delay: 45 minutes
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/17/20, 7:55 AM
Targeting 9:45 a.m. EST for today's launch of NROL-108 to allow some weather to pass
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1339554692615979009
⬇️ Photo below from: https://twitter.com/emrekelly/status/1339550698007113728

—- Starship
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 12/16/20, 1:23 PM
New Boca Chica road closures for testing on Dec. 28, 29, and 30 from 8 am to 5 pm local time. No reason for the closures was given. The Starship SN9 rollout closures on Thursday and Friday were cancelled a few hours ago.
cameroncounty.us/wp-content/upl…
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1339275078119215104

Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist)12/16/20, 3:18 PM
Starship SN10's nosecone has a flap mounted, bringing it closer to final stacking. Large pieces of SN8 cleared from the landing pad in preparation for SN9's rollout and flight.
Video & Photos from Mary (@BocaChicaGal)
➡️ youtu.be/49-1D_-WA2E 
https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1339303943445368835

Quote
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut)12/16/20, 11:12 AM
One week ago we watched the test flight of #Starship #SN8, & I lost my mind. It was the most surreal thing I've ever seen. I saved the best video for last, here's over the shoulder, behind the scenes, including corrections to my errors by @andrutay -
➡️ youtu.be/ujCmpqWcJxk

https://twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1339241885215449091

Everyday Astronaut:
In hindsight we got a TON wrong while watching SN8 because it did SO many things that were completely unusual. @flightclubio and I assumed it would only use as little propellant as possible, but it seems like they really wanted to crawl up to Apogee, so they loaded it!
Elon Musk: Far from fully loaded, but we were going slow or the ship would have gone crazy high/far with three engines
Everyday Astronaut: Sorry, meant fully loaded as in pretty much as three raptors could handle since it lumbered off the pad and burned for over 4 minutes (with shut downs)
Elon Musk: The Raptors were well below max thrust or the ship would have blown through the altitude limit. As we hit min throttle point, an engine would shut off.
Everyday Astronaut: That’s incredible. Watching the raptors transition and thrust vector like crazy on those shut downs was unbelievable. What was terminal velocity on the way down? It looked SO SLOW, really shows how efficient that will be compared to pencil diving like F9!
➡️ https://twitter.com/erdayastronaut/status/1339249506983038976 
16 sec: exterior view, first Raptor shutdown


—- Astra’s (small) Rocket
Astra set up a rocket launch with five people and came within seconds of orbit
Eric Berger - 12/16/2020
Quote
The company's next booster, Rocket 3.3, is already 75 percent complete, Kemp said. Based on an initial review of Tuesday's flight, this rocket will not need any major hardware or software changes. Instead, the company will tweak the fuel mixture in the upper stage to provide the performance needed to put a small payload into orbit. He would not say how large a payload Rocket 3.3 was likely to be able to accommodate. However, Astra has a customer for the mission, and it will be launched in "a few months." It has customers for more than a dozen missions and now expects to sign more.

Astra was founded to provide rapid, low-cost access to space for small satellites. The quick turnaround between its first and second flights suggests it may make good on this promise. It's impressive, too, that the company needs just five people to set up its launch site. At Kodiak, Astra has a concrete pad and a tent. A week before launching the rocket, its launcher, propellant, and other equipment arrived in four shipping containers from California. A team of five set the launch system up, and employees back at Astra's headquarters in Alameda, California, controlled the launch through cloud computing. …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/astra-set-up-a-rocket-launch-with-five-people-and-came-within-seconds-of-orbit/


—- Blue Origin’s (in development) big New Glenn rocket
Quote
Eric Berger:
NASA says Blue Origin is eligible to compete for space agency launch contracts. Big day for the big rocket.
~ I'd love to see @blueorigin offer some kind of substantial update on the status of New Glenn—be it engine testing, a stage testing timeline, launch dates, recovery tests, or what have you. For now we're left to guess. It's definitely not flying in 2021. So maybe, possibly, 2022?

< At this point Rocket lab has more orbital launches than Blue Origin...
EB:  14 of them. And they've launched NASA payloads.
< How can Blue get on board without ever demonstrating any orbital capability?
EB:  They're eligible to bid, and have New Glenn assessed by NASA's Launch Services Program. That does not necessarily mean they will win contracts.
<> So, in response to all you, including me on another thread, @TGMetsFan98 reminded me that NASA awarded @SpaceX missions to the ISS before a single Falcon9 had flown. So far, I think we can say that has turned out okay for NASA and @SpaceX.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1339325244641849346
 
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract to Blue Origin
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-contract-to-blue-origin-for-new-glenn-launch-services


—- Artemis and CSA
 NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have signed an agreement that puts a Canadian astronaut on the Artemis II mission. Would be the first non-US astronaut to fly beyond low-Earth orbit.
NASA, Canadian Space Agency Formalize Gateway Partnership for Artemis Program
Quote
CSA will provide the Gateway’s external robotics system, including a next-generation robotic arm, known as Canadarm3. CSA also will provide robotic interfaces for Gateway modules, which will enable payload installation including that of the first two scientific instruments aboard the Gateway. …
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-canadian-space-agency-formalize-gateway-partnership-for-artemis-program/

—- Artemis and ESA
Quote
ESA:  Plse note ESA [European Space Agency] already signed an MoU with NASA on Gateway, which also included three flight opportunities for European astronauts to the Gateway. See
https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Gateway_MoU_and_Artemis_Accords_FAQs
https://twitter.com/esa/status/1339359126086950914
« Last Edit: December 17, 2020, 02:38:36 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1013 on: December 17, 2020, 04:11:22 PM »
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX)12/17/20, 10:07 AM
Falcon 9 auto-abort called at T-1:53 due to a second stage sensor reading. Today’s launch window closes at 12:00 p.m. EST.
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1339587994903187458

William Harwood:
F9/NROL-108: The rocket's 1st stage, making it's 5th flight, will attempt a return-to-launch-site landing at Cape Canaveral; if successful, it will be SpaceX's 70th booster recovery, its 19th in Florida and its 3rd Cape Canaveral landing this year
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1339573076347006976

Eric Berger:
The National Reconnaissance Office has agreed to launch a satellite on a Falcon 9 core used four times—a first for the U.S. spy agency in terms of "flight proven" rockets …
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1339579943647404033

—-
Quote
Trevor Mahlmann (@TrevorMahlmann) 12/17/20, 9:49 AM
I can neither confirm nor deny if there is a rocket in this photograph. #NROL108 
https://twitter.com/trevormahlmann/status/1339583620042788864
⬇️ Photo below.
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1014 on: December 17, 2020, 05:13:09 PM »
SpaceX:
Falcon 9 auto-abort called at T-1:53 due to a second stage sensor reading. Today’s launch window closes at 12:00 p.m. EST.

Elon Musk:
Pressure is slightly high in upper stage liquid oxygen tank. Review underway.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1339590482439991296

Quote
William Harwood (@cbs_spacenews) 12/17/20, 11:08 AM
F9/NROL-108: SCRUB! SpaceX has called off today's launch attempt; Launch director says SpaceX now setting up for another launch try Friday at 9 a.m. EST; most recent forecast is 80% go
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1339603289101402113
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1015 on: December 17, 2020, 05:18:44 PM »
Quote
Trevor Mahlmann (@TrevorMahlmann) 12/17/20, 9:49 AM
I can neither confirm nor deny if there is a rocket in this photograph. #NROL108 
https://twitter.com/trevormahlmann/status/1339583620042788864

Quote
Eric Berger:
I can confirm there is a giant ball of LOX in this photograph.

Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 12/17/20, 9:56 AM
And because it's one hell of an image, here is said LOX ball being moved to SLC-40 after SpaceX acquired the pad, in preparation for the first Falcon 9 launch. 
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1339585254290464769
⬇️ Photo below.
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1016 on: December 18, 2020, 02:10:04 PM »
—- NROL-108 launch moves right
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/18/20, 12:00 AM
To allow additional time for checkouts, now targeting Saturday, December 19 for Falcon 9’s launch of NROL-108 spacex.com/launches
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1339797676636848131

—— Booster Returns to Port
Quote
Kyle Montgomery (@Kyle_M_Photo) 12/17/20, 2:30 PM
Octagrabber is holding on, but one leg is off the ground. #SpaceXFleet #SpaceX
https://twitter.com/kyle_m_photo/status/1339654127773691905
⬇️ Photo below.

Chris B - NSF:
By the way, shock and horror "OMG, SpaceX needs to work on something here, that's another leaner" replies don't work, given most launch providers throw their boosters into the drink to go play with the fishes. They've got this booster back, SEVEN times. …
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1339663799088013324

Eric Berger:
When seven flights to space you reach, look this good you will not.
Trevor Mahlmann:
https://twitter.com/trevormahlmann/status/1339688406197149701
⬇️ Photo below. The white stripes are the seams they have cleaned for checking the welds.

—- Starship
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 12/17/20, 4:14 PM
New Boca Chica road closures on Dec. 21 through Dec. 23. Here is the current list of scheduled closures for Starship activities.
cameroncounty.us/spacex/
Dec 21, 22, 23
Dec 28, 29, 30
All 8am to 5pm Central US Time
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1339680432124690432

—- Space News Roundup
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 12/17/20, 5:06 PM
Summary of what we've learned today:
• @csa_asc has a wicked sense of humor
• NASA has formally started a Mars Sample Return mission
• A Falcon 9 rocket needs just three legs to stand up
• China is officially in the Moon rock club
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1339693372613783554

Quote
The Orbit:
“Eh?” Says Canadian Astronaut Upon Learning Canada Has A Space Program And That He Is Scheduled To Fly On Artemis II -

   Canada will send astronaut around the moon in deal with U.S.
   https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/canada-astronaut-moon-1.5843540

https://twitter.com/newsfromorbit/status/1339273050471067648

CanadianSpaceAgency:
Wait, what? Canada has a space agency?
https://twitter.com/csa_asc/status/1339638415256633345

NASA Moves Forward with Campaign to Return Mars Samples to Earth
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-moves-forward-with-campaign-to-return-mars-samples-to-earth

Chinese sample return capsule lands on Earth after round-trip flight to moon
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/16/chinese-sample-return-capsule-lands-on-earth-after-round-trip-flight-to-moon/
« Last Edit: December 18, 2020, 02:15:14 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1017 on: December 19, 2020, 02:15:04 PM »
—- Today’s launch period opens 09:00 EST (14:00 UTC)
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/19/20, 8:00 AM
T-1 hour until Falcon 9 launch of the NROL-108 mission; all systems and weather look good. Webcast will go live ~15 minutes before liftoff → spacex.com/launches
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1340280832334811136

• 26th Falcon 9 launch of 2020
• 103rd Falcon 9 launch overall
• 5th flight of booster B1059
• 2nd dedicated launch for the NRO

SpaceX to complete 2020 manifest with covert flight for NRO
December 19, 2020
Quote
In order to round off a record-breaking and historic launch manifest for 2020, SpaceX will conduct its second dedicated launch for the United States National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on Saturday – following a scrub on Thursday – with a flight-proven Falcon 9 carrying out the NROL-108 mission.

Liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) is set to occur within a three-hour window, with the opening of the launch period scheduled for 09:00 EST (14:00 UTC) on Saturday.

This mission will mark the 103rd launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket since its first flight in June 2010 and the company’s 26th launch in 2020. This is a new record for SpaceX, having broken their previous record of 21 launches set two years prior. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/12/spacex-to-complete-2020-with-nro/

NRO using SpaceX’s commercial launch service for spy satellite payload
December 16, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to take off Thursday from Florida’s Space Coast with a secret cargo for the National Reconnaissance Office, which broke with standard practice to procure the launch commercially, outside of the government’s established contracting schemes.

The NRO, owner of the U.S. government’s spy satellite fleet, has not disclosed any details about the payload awaiting launch on the Falcon 9 rocket. But an NRO spokesperson confirmed the agency procured launch services for the mission, designated NROL-108, on its own, without going through the U.S. Space Force’s National Security Space Launch program. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/16/nro-using-spacexs-commercial-launch-service-for-spy-satellite-payload/
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1018 on: December 19, 2020, 03:17:06 PM »
SpaceX makes it look easy.

⬇️ Screengrabs from the SpaceX webcast a few minutes ago.
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1019 on: December 19, 2020, 04:17:38 PM »
—- Falcon 9
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)12/17/20, 9:54 PM
I believe this is the first time that a Falcon 9 has ever been lifted to the booster stand in Port Canaveral at night.
SpaceX means business with this booster. Hoping to fly it again for an eighth flight as early as January.
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1339766017199726594
 ⬇️ Image below

Julia: In the past work stopped at dark. The spotlights on the cap make total sense now. Rapid reusibility just kicked into high gear with nights shifts in port!

Port Canaveral Fleet cam live:  ➡️https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gnt2wZBg89g
⬇️ Recent screencap below.


—- Starship
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 12/18/20, 9:35 AM
Checking in on that amazing production cadence at SpaceX Boca Chica.
Latest Mary (@BocaChicaGal) video shows (among a lot of other things!) work on Starship SN9, SN10, SN17 (yep!) and Super Heavy BN1.
And that was just a Thursday!
➡️ https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1339942349619802112
4 photos

Amid Starship SN8 clear up ops, SN9 in high bay being inspected and repaired ahead of rollout, and vehicles through to SN17 being prepared - Super Heavy BN1 section sleeving was taking place!

SpaceX Boca Chica: From Super Heavy to Starship SN17 - new vehicles point to exciting future - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11EVbohSnrM&feature=youtu.be

SpaceX Boca Chica - First Super Heavy lining up sections for stacking - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nkv8EL-Y5A&feature=youtu.be


——
SpaceX took a fan design for an SN8 flight patch, added their trademark lucky clover, and handed it out to locals.
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight)12/18/20, 7:41 PM
The SpaceX patch for the Starship SN8 test flight. Handed out to some of the locals by SpaceX. This one is @nomadd13's:
As per usual with patches, there are easter eggs in this. …
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1340094989880225797
Tickle Stuff:
SPLC will be making available an amazing commemorative patch for Starship SN8's high altitude flight and 'belly flop' maneuver test. Yours for an un-ironic $8 soon on the site.
spacexpatchlistcollectors.space/index.html
Alessandro Lovesio:
As a reddit moderator, this patch was made by /u/Straumli_Blight . Maybe SpaceX adopted it, but it was not 100% made by them (they added the clover)
Chris B - NSF:
Reddit still has moderators? ;)
But yeah, amazing. So that's certainly been "adopted". Any idea if that person was contacted before they made it into a patch like this? The one SpaceXers were handing out today [had] a SpaceX logo on the back too.
⬇️ Images below.


SpaceX’s first Starship booster a step closer as custom parts arrive
By Eric Ralph December 18, 2020
Quote
While SpaceX remains focused on Starship flight testing as the dust settles from SN8’s launch debut, the company continues to make slow but steady progress building the first Super Heavy booster prototype.

For the most part, SpaceX has learned from trial and error and developed a decent stainless steel rocket manufacturing process by building a dozen Starship prototypes over the last ~12 months, ranging from a lone nosecone tip to stout test tanks and Starship SN8, which launched to 12.5 km (~7.8 mi) earlier this month. Practically identical below the nose, Super Heavy directly benefits from that maturity and is more or less an extended Starship tank section with more engines and bigger legs.

In many ways, Super Heavy can be much simpler than Starship, as a suborbital booster has no need for header tanks, flaps, or a nosecone, and can be much stronger and heavier in all aspects. However, carrying three or more times as propellant as Starship (and carrying Starship itself), Super Heavy also needs to be stronger. All those changes – requiring new design work and new fabrication – take time. In a great sign that most of that work is complete, some of that custom hardware needed to strengthen and power Super Heavy has begun to arrive over the last several weeks. …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-first-starship-super-heavy-booster-custom-parts/

  —- Boca Chica history
Quote
Eric Berger:
Elon would agree that SpaceX's greatest achievement this year was building the machine to build the machine. Remarkable cadence, as you say.
Chris B - NSF:
Aye!  A few years ago that was a road to the beach.
Then a tent and what appeared to be the construction of a water tower (the immortal Starhopper) showed up.
Now it's a rocket assembly line, and a launch and landing site, testing rapidly reusable interplanetary starships.
Eric Berger:
Yeah, even just 15 months ago, there were some construction trailers, some work being done between sea vans, one smallish tent, and a small fabrication building they'd just completed.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1339946386805170178

—-
—-  SLS WDR: first too hot, then too cold
SLS Core Stage tanking test is first Green Run moment of truth for NASA
Quote
NASA stood down from a second attempt to complete a critical propellant loading and countdown demonstration test of its first Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage December 18 in the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi. Prime contractor Boeing is conducting the Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR) test which is a full rehearsal of the countdown for the final test, an eight-minute long Hot-Fire of the Core Stage.

Issues with activating ground-controlled heaters stopped the second attempt before propellant loading could begin. The first attempt to load the rocket stage with propellant on December 7 was terminated early when the real-world behavior of the vehicle and Stennis test facility equipment deviated from the agency’s analytical modeling; liquid oxygen (LOX) wasn’t cold enough when it reached the vehicle, which prevented conducting a full test.

The plan is for the countdown dress rehearsal to be cut off at T-33 seconds and also includes test objectives to demonstrate hold capabilities for long launch windows and for last-minute troubleshooting. NASA will not broadcast this test, but if it goes well, the flight-duration test firing of the stage could take place sometime in January after the holidays. … 
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/12/sls-tanking-test-first-green-run-moment-truth/
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1020 on: December 20, 2020, 04:26:07 PM »
—- Falcon 9
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/19/20, 7:23 PM
Footage from a helicopter of Falcon 9‘s 26th and final launch of 2020
➡️ https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1340452736664481794
50 sec launch & landing, audio is mission control & LZ-1 ambient audio (3+ Sonic booms!)

—-
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 12/19/20, 9:09 AM
Falcon 9 B1059.5 arrives into LZ-1 at Cape Canaveral.
That's 70 successful Falcon 9 landings!
➡️ https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1340298218165383169
39 sec webcast view, from booster, to landing.

Watch (rather short) NROL-108 webcast replay at spacex.com/launches

—— Statistics
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 12/19/20, 2:17 PM
Falcon 9 conducted 26 total missions in 2020. That is more than the combined total for the remaining US-based orbital-class rockets.
Falcon 9 is now on 75 consecutive successful missions – setting it up to surpass Atlas V's success streak in early 2021.
~ On reuse, Falcon first stage B1051 flew five missions in 2020 – equaling the number flown by all of the expendable Atlas V rockets. SpaceX's fleet-leading boosters are now on seven flights, up from four in 2019.
~ SpaceX could hit nine flights on a single booster in Q1 2021, with a 10th flight possible in the first half of the year. The company is targeting an ambitious launch cadence of four launches per month in 2021 – a cadence that will lean heavily on reusability.
< After a quick count I think they used 11 boosters to fly those missions. Only 5 of them had their first launch this year. That would mean 80% of this years launches used a flight-proven booster!
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1340375808284663808


—- Starship, ISS, etc.
Marcus House vid
Starship SN9 recovery for flight and Super Heavy progress + ISS, SXM-7, Angara-5, Rocket Lab updates
➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybceNKcogG0&feature=youtu.be
Dec 19, 2020
Quote
Another very interesting week with a bunch of launches to talk about. Starship progress has been super interesting as well in the aftermath of SN9 falling over into the high bay wall last week. Rapid progress never stops at Boca Chica! We have Starship SN9 recovery to talk about and Super Heavy progress (new parts seen) + news on the ISS, SXM-7, Angara-5, Rocket Lab, Astra and more. Some very interesting news on the International Space Station with some more gremlins on board. The team have been battling to keep all things well.
[ISS power module problems forcing some shut-downs.  More leaks in the Russian section. Plans for new stations.]
⬇️ Screencap below: SN9’s damaged flap. (SN10 is missing a flap; perhaps it was donated to SN9.)


—- Alrighty, then
Quote
United States Space Force (@SpaceForceDoD) 12/18/20, 4:59 PM
Today, after a yearlong process that produced hundreds of submissions and research involving space professionals and members of the general public, we can finally share with you the name by which we will be known: Guardians.
https://twitter.com/spaceforcedod/status/1340054052894326785
~ The opportunity to name a force is a momentous responsibility. Guardians is a name with a long history in space operations, tracing back to the original command motto of Air Force Space Command in 1983, “Guardians of the High Frontier.”
~ The name Guardians connects our proud heritage and culture to the important mission we execute 24/7, protecting the people and interest of the U.S. and its allies.
United States Space Force: Guardians. #SemperSupra!
Quote
George Takei (@GeorgeTakei)12/19/20, 9:18 PM
For the life of me, I’ll never understand why this wasn’t the end of it.
https://twitter.com/georgetakei/status/1340481623519801347
⬇️ Image below.

—- Russia
Dmitry Rogozin insinuates that SpaceX is less capable because Russian rockets and people do their work in very cold weather.  Others see things a little differently:

https://twitter.com/soberalmost/status/1340302883355553792
« Last Edit: December 20, 2020, 04:32:13 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1021 on: December 21, 2020, 04:07:46 PM »
—- NROL-108 Fairing halves back in port
Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 12/20/20, 11:09 AM
Welcome back to Port Canaveral GO Searcher! All personnel and assets are finally home for the Holidays. The delivery of the second fairing half from #NROL108 completes 2020 recovery operations.
#SpaceXFleet #Fleetcam

➡️ Live views of offload and transport: youtu.be/gnt2wZBg89g
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1340690808190742534
Port Canaveral Fleetcam pic at the Twitter link.

—- Starship
Starship SN9 prepares to roll to launch site – Super Heavy construction ramps up
Chris Bergin  December 21, 2020
Quote
SpaceX Boca Chica is now transitioning towards the next launch campaign, with Starship SN9 expected to roll to the launch pad this week. There remains a slim chance SN9 will be ready to launch before the end of the year, repeating the flight profile that almost saw SN8 return in one piece. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/12/starship-sn9-roll-launch-site-super-heavy-ramps-up/

—- This day in SpaceX history
Quote
Garrett Reisman (@astro_g_dogg) 12/21/20, 9:02 AM
5 years ago today @SpaceX successfully landed a Falcon 9 rocket for the first time! It's hard to describe the energy that was in that building that day, personally - once it sank in that this really happened I totally freaked out!
https://twitter.com/astro_g_dogg/status/1341021282637373446

Historic [First] Landing of Falcon 9 First Stage at Landing Zone 1 (OG-2 Mission)
Dec 21, 2015
The very first Falcon 9 first stage has successfully landed at Landing Zone 1, formally Launch Complex 13, of Cape Canaveral after launching as part of the OG-2 return to flight mission from Space Launch Complex 40 just 10 minutes before landing.



—- More on Russia
Russia’s space chief cannot seem to get “gentle” SpaceX out of his mind
"I wonder if gentle SpaceX is able to work in such conditions?"
Eric Berger - 12/21/2020
Quote
The irony, as noted by some users in response to Rogozin, is that "gentle" SpaceX engineers do not need to brave inclement weather to recover their rocket stages. They have built a smarter rocket. SpaceX designed the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage to return to land or set itself down on an autonomous drone ship for future reuse. And its second stage can be commanded to reenter the atmosphere and burn up. …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/russias-space-chief-cannot-seem-to-get-gentle-spacex-out-of-his-mind/

—- Lockheed Martin to acquire engine maker AerojetRocketdyne
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 12/20/20, 7:03 PM
For me, the interesting thing about Lockheed acquiring Aerojet is that before the behemoth didn’t have a stake in SLS. Orion and the rocket might have been decoupled. Now, Lockheed will make hundreds of millions of dollars from every launch.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1340810031017684996

   More: https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1340808004329988098
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1022 on: December 22, 2020, 04:34:31 PM »
—- December 22: Starship SN9 repaired and on the move
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace)12/22/20, 8:57 AM
SN9 is rolling to the launch pad this morning, less than two weeks after SN8 met its fate. Meanwhile, eight more Starship prototypes are in various states of construction in Boca Chica. This is a company with serious intent.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1341382374496583680

Mary (@BocaChicaGal)12/22/20, 9:15 AM
Now we can see that both damaged flaps have been replaced on Starship SN9.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1341386927447166977
⬇️ Photo below.

SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle)12/22/20, 8:20 AM
➡️ https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1341373113200762880
10 sec vid: zooming in from wide shot to closeup of video monitor closeup of base of SN9

—-
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 12/22/20, 9:54 AM
Starship SN9 is out of the high bay.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1341396804814970881
⬇️ Photo below. Patch of black heat shield tiles, too.

—-
Mary (@BocaChicaGal)12/21/20, 4:20 PM
Tankzilla [biggest crane] is now at the launch site at SpaceX Boca Chica. Hopefully, we will see Starship SN9 roll to the pad within the next few days. …
➡️ https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1341131489317105665
Photo at link: Tankzilla near Hoppy


Quote
Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) 12/21/20, 10:54 AM
It's Boca Chica Weekly Update Time! This week: the successful operation to save Starship SN9, and progress on Super Heavy BN1.
Video and Pictures from Mary (@BocaChicaGal). Hosted by Ian Atkinson (@IanPineapple). Edited by Theo Ripper (@theoripper).
https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1341049358616150016

SpaceX Boca Chica Weekly Update - Starship SN9 Repaired before Rollout - Booster Number 1 Progress
➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVn36QoUxhw&feature=youtu.be


—- Save SN8!
Quote
SPadre (@SpacePadreIsle)12/10/20, 6:57 PM
Elon can you please save this nose cone as a monument to remember ?!
Please RT if you agree!!!
https://twitter.com/spacepadreisle/status/1337184743939592192
⬇️ Photo below, others at the link.

Elon Musk:
Agreed, should be preserved in memory of SN8


< it reminds me of Mos Eisley
⬇️ Image below.
Find a spot for the SN8 nosecone in the future Boca Chica Spaceport!


—- Musk re: earth-to-earth suborbital travel
Quote
Wonder of Science (@wonderofscience) 12/8/20, 9:05 AM
Flying over the Earth at night in the International Space Station, from Shanghai to South Korea.
➡️ https://twitter.com/wonderofscience/status/1336310878606684160
30 sec, city lights pass by at dusk

Elon Musk replies:
Near-orbital space is the fastest way to travel long distance on Earth!
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1023 on: December 22, 2020, 07:47:35 PM »
Happening now:
LIVE: Starship SN9 rolls out to SpaceX's Boca Chica launch site
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upNvJ61NvFc&feature=youtu.be
⬇️ Screencap below.

——
Pursuant to the environmental impact study updating SpaceX’s plans for the Boca Chica site:
Quote
Michael Baylor:
Some details on SpaceX's plans for Boca Chica, per an FAA public scoping period.

Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)12/22/20, 1:14 PM
"SpaceX is proposing to construct a redundant launch pad and commodities, a redundant landing pad, two integration towers, tank structural test stands and a desalination plant. More information about the project can be found on the FAA project site located here."
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1341447125138227200

—- Rogozin reacts
Russia’s space chief is hopping mad over most recent US restrictions
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/russias-space-chief-is-hopping-mad-over-most-recent-us-restrictions/
Quote
Eric Berger:
Worth noting that in 2014 Rogozin's anger was tempered by strong financial ties. NASA buying Soyuz seats. ULA buying RD-180s. But those financial guard rails are now disappearing from the US-Russia space partnership. Hoping for the best, but I'm not sure this ends well.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1341385605981335554
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1024 on: December 23, 2020, 08:48:39 PM »
—- Starship
Dec 22
SpaceX Boca Chica: Starship SN9 Rolls Out to the Launch Pad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFXQS01U4Eo&feature=youtu.be

—-
Quote
SN9 rolls to the launch pad ahead of test campaign. SpaceX engineers and technicians in South Texas rolled the next Starship prototype, SN9, to the launch pad on Tuesday. This time, three Raptor engines were already attached to the vehicle, as well as a nose cone and flaps—one of which was replaced after the SN9 vehicle leaned over in its high bay.

Fewer tests this time ... According to a report in NASASpaceflight.com, this vehicle is likely to undergo a more streamlined ground-test campaign than SN8, perhaps requiring only a single cryo-proof testing run with liquid nitrogen, followed by a triple-Raptor static-fire test. If those tests go well, and SpaceX obtains regulatory approval, SN9 could make a test flight before the end of the year or possibly in early 2021.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/12/rocket-report-sn9-rolls-to-the-launch-pad-sls-wet-dress-test-ends-early/


—- Florida
SpaceX closes out record-setting year of launches from Florida’s Space Coast
December 19, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
“The future for this industry is no longer conjecture, prognostication and wishful thinking,” said Wayne Monteith, the FAA’s associate administrator for space transportation. “It is demonstrated an accelerated growth. It is an increase in cadence on steroids.”
“We’ve launched more commercial space launches in just the last four years than we did in the previous 15 years combined
,” Monteith said Tuesday in virtual presentation at the Space Foundation’s Space Symposium 365 forum. “In 2011, we only had a single commercial space launch.”
“Next year, we should easily surpass 50 commercial launches, and potentially over 100 shortly thereafter,” Monteith said. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/19/spacex-closes-out-record-year-of-launches-from-floridas-space-coast/


—-  About that first F9 RTLS landing, vid in #1021 above…
Elon actually ran outside to watch the rocket return.  The sonic boom from the returning rocket hit him just as the rocket was landing (behind the trees), so he thought it had exploded, but when he got back inside, everyone was freaking out and there it was on the monitors, standing up just fine! 


—- The Final FY2021 congressional NASA budget was just released
The total is more than last year, but it cuts NASA’s funding request for Artemis in a way that pretty much rules out a moon landing happening in 2024. 

Human Landing System only gets $850M.  In February, NASA is due to select one or two HLS projects to proceed.  Although the three companies’ funding requests are being revised, original proposals were for a total of:
SpaceX: $2.2B
Dynetics: $5.2B
National Team: $10B

SpaceX being the lowest cost and actually flying a Starship prototype would seem to give it an edge.  But the SpaceX Moonship proposal was to work with Orion, SLS and the Gateway….  Moonship is designed to spend its time on and near the moon; it cannot withstand earth reentry forces, so astronauts will need another way to get home.

Quote
Casey Dreier (@CaseyDreier) 12/21/20, 2:01 PM
Final FY2021 congressional NASA budget just released: $23.2B for NASA, $7.3B for Science, $850M for HLS.
https://twitter.com/caseydreier/status/1341096413745201153
textpic at the link:  breakdown of $ for NASA.

Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) 12/21/20, 3:05 PM

SLS/Orion/ground systems were funded at or above request. The House and Senate effectively split the difference on the Human Landing System, providing $850 million—just a quarter of the administration’s request. Will make this spring’s downselect… interesting.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1341112457838931970

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight)12/21/20, 3:08 PM

… Interesting indeed if the National Team bid is a lot more money than SpaceX's. SpaceX always tends to be highly competitive on price. …
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1341113388110385159
Eric Berger:  My understanding is that the National Team has been told, essentially, to never again submit a ludicrously high bid in comparison to its HLS competitors.

Eric Berger:  However, Congress does relent on use of SLS for the Europa Clipper rocket. Says if SLS is not available, or if a "torsional loading analysis" confirms SLS shakes too much for Clipper, then NASA can launch it on a commercial vehicle.
rules.house.gov/sites/democrat…
Toby Li:  Flying Clipper on Falcon Heavy rather than SLS would save ~$700 million

Eric Berger:  The budget also provides NASA $850 million for a human landing system. This amount entirely extinguishes the chance of a 2024 human landing on the Moon.
> How much was requested?
Eric Berger:  More than $3 billion.


—- Jan. 4/5: Falcon 9 • Turksat 5A
Launch window: 0127-0529 GMT on 5th (8:27 p.m.-12:29 a.m. EST on 4th/5th)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Stationi, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Turksat 5A communications satellite for Turksat, a Turkish satellite operator. Built by Airbus Defense and Space with significant Turkish contributions, the Turkish 5A satellite will provide Ku-band television broadcast services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Delayed from Nov. 30 and December.
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1025 on: December 25, 2020, 04:08:49 PM »
—- SN8 Highlight Reel
Quote
Elon Musk:  12 story rocket turns off its engines & does a controlled fall

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 12/23/20, 7:52 PM
Recap of Starship SN8 high-altitude flight test → youtu.be/_qwLHlVjRyw   
➡️ https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1341909583262961665
2 min. vid with labels and captions.  New views, including focus on fin movements.

[My favorite mission control instruction in the original vid, from just after liftoff:  “All teams, triage alarms.”  As in: you may get red warning lights across the board, but only announce the important ones!]


——Starship/Super Heavy
FAA doc, December 21, 2020
Quote
Project Description
SpaceX proposes to conduct Starship/Super Heavy launch operations from the Boca Chica Launch Site in Cameron County, Texas. The proposed operations would include suborbital launches and/or orbital launches. The action would also include the associated actions of tank tests, static fire engine tests, expansion of the vertical launch area (VLA) and solar farm, and construction of additional infrastructure. …
https://www.faa.gov/space/stakeholder_engagement/spacex_starship/starship_super_heavy/


—— SLS WDR 2.0
SLS Core Stage Green Run WDR countdown ends early
 Philip Sloss  December 23, 2020
Quote
NASA partially completed the Green Run Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR) test of the Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage on the second attempt in the B-2 Test Stand at the Stennis Space Center. The test was again conducted in secrecy on 20 December, and the test team was able to fill the rocket stage with its liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid hydrogen (LH2) propellants for the first time ever; however, a crucial, 10-minute long terminal countdown was aborted inside of the 5 minute mark when a valve failed to close within pre-set time limits.

Although the countdown ran for over half of its intended duration, the early cutoff left several major milestones untested. With the countdown aborted at that point, the stage’s propellant tanks weren’t fully pressurized, the hydraulic Core Stage Auxiliary Power Units (CAPUs) were never started, the final RS-25 engine purge sequence was never run, and the vehicle power transfer didn’t occur.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/12/sls-green-run-wdr-ends-early/

Quote
Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 12/23/20, 3:13 PM
Filling the tanks went perfectly. It was commanding a valve to close (which it did) for tank pressurization to flight levels that revealed a software rule that was too conservative -- just like the too-conservative software rule on Crew-1 Dragon's thruster temperature limits. 1/x
~ The previous aborted fueling attempts were because of ground equipment issues at Stennis, not hardware on the stage. 2/x
~ Decision before teams is what to do now. True they didn't press tanks for flight or complete a lot of critical elements in final 4.5 mins of the count. But they might have gotten far enough to safely say... 3/x
~ "Let's go for the hot-fire since we have to fuel and press and do all those things in order to fire the engines." They can always cutoff and stop if a new issue appears. 4/4
https://twitter.com/chrisg_nsf/status/1341839449672601601


—- #ChrisMsTree
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet)12/25/20, 9:15 AM

Happy Holidays!
#ChrisMsTree
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1342473924450242561
⬇️ Image below.

Happy Holidays, space fans!
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1026 on: December 27, 2020, 04:15:55 PM »
—- Starship
Chris B - NSF:  Starship SN10's nosecone aero surface installation takes place ahead of mating operations inside the High Bay, with the latter seeing crane action at its roof level.
SpaceX Boca Chica - Starship SN10 Nosecone Flap install - High Bay crane action
➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayVgfYMNmvA&feature=youtu.be

Chris B - NSF:  The gap between Starship flights will come down to a matter of days based on this production cadence. Even more so when they successfully land and get turned around for a second flight!

Quote
RGVAerialPhotography (@RGVaerialphotos)12/23/20, 9:49 PM
"The Moon, Mars and Beyond" @SpaceX
#spacex #bocachica #starship
(2100ft msl, 12/22/2020)
https://twitter.com/rgvaerialphotos/status/1341938940627083265
⬇️ Aerial image below.

Marcus House:  Interesting they are using Pad B this time around. I wonder what the possibility will be of seeing SN10 sitting there on Pad A alongside.
Elon Musk: Coming soon

Viv:  How far out is first Super Heavy hop?
Elon Musk:  A few months
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1342062363105759232 

If you’re new to the subject:
SpaceX Starship Super Heavy rocket testing could initiate in 'A few months,' says Elon Musk
 https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/superheavy

How to get people from Earth to Mars (and safely back again)
Chris James
https://www.inverse.com/science/how-to-get-people-from-earth-to-mars-safely-back-again
⬇️ Image below.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1027 on: December 27, 2020, 04:20:57 PM »
SpaceX’s first dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare lines up dozens of smallsats
By Eric Ralph December 23, 2020
Quote
Already set to include several dozen small satellites for companies and institutions around the world, SpaceX’s first self-managed Falcon 9 rideshare launch is just around the corner.

Scheduled to launch no earlier than (NET) January 14th, the mission – known as SpaceX Rideshare 3 (SXRS-3) – will be the company’s third mission under the umbrella of the “Smallsat Program” it debuted in 2019. The first two SXRS missions came in the form of Starlink rideshares in June and August 2020, carrying a total of five Earth imaging spacecraft into orbit for Planet and BlackSky alongside 115 of SpaceX’s own Starlink satellites.

Potentially costing just $1 million or less per 200-kilogram (440 lb) satellite ($5,000/kg), SpaceX’s smallsat launch pricing is by far the most competitive ever commercially offered, but the company has yet to make a major dent with only five spacecraft launched. However, that’s about to change – and rather dramatically so – just three or so weeks from now.

Back in June 2020, SpaceX revealed that it had already secured more than 100 smallsat launch contracts less than 12 months after opening its doors, turning what might otherwise be a rounding error into a source of substantial income – likely on the order of $50 million or more.

Six months later, the large ambitions of SpaceX’s Smallsat Program are becoming clear. Between Spaceflight Inc and Exolaunch alone, two third-party rideshare organizers, SpaceX’s first dedicated Smallsat Program mission is already scheduled to launch no less than 46 satellites – closing in on a record 63 satellites launched by SpaceX for Spaceflight in December 2018. …
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-falcon-9-dedicated-rideshare-dozens-smallsats/

—- 2020 World/U.S. Launches By the Numbers
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)12/26/20, 8:27 PM
Falcon was 25% of successful orbital launches in 2020, but maybe a majority of payload to orbit. Anyone done the math?

Closer To Space:
A graph like that?
On the first one, you can see in green the proportion of the USA in the world, compared to other countries. On the second graph, you can see a comparison of the launchers launched from the USA.
Your statistics are impressive this year! 
https://twitter.com/closertospace/status/1343082028498087938
⬇️ ⬇️ Tables & pie charts below; click to embiggen. More stats in the Twitter replies.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1028 on: December 28, 2020, 09:10:17 PM »
—- Starship SN9
Starship SN9’s time to shine – test series targets a New Year’s resolution
Chris Bergin  December 28, 2020
Quote
Starship SN9 is currently tracking an early New Years’ launch, providing the upcoming test series clears the path for what will be a similar flight to SN8, albeit aiming for a “softer” landing.

With the vehicle on the launch mount, the first test will involve cryoproofing as early as Monday, ahead of a three engine Static Fire test. Should the trio of Raptors – and their silver ringed host – perform as expected, a 12.5 KM test flight could come as soon as the first or second week of January.

Starship SN9 has been undergoing integration ops on the launch mount over the Christmas holiday, setting the stage for what will be a streamlined pre-launch test series when compared to that undertaken by SN8.

The first test will involve filling the vehicle with nitrogen, usually in a two-step fashion. Initially, the vehicle will be filled with gaseous nitrogen – called the ambient test, ahead of being loaded with super-cold liquid nitrogen (LN2) for the cryo test.

This test sequence is expected early in the coming week, with preparations for testing already ongoing on Monday morning.

Providing all goes to plan with the proofing test, SN9 will be prepared for what is currently expected to be one Static Fire test involving all three Raptors. This is an expedited test schedule compared to SN8, which underwent several Static Fire tests ahead of launch.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/12/starship-sn9s-test-series-targets-new-years/
Article has embedded videos.

Road closures have been scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 8am to 5pm CT, for this week and next:  https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1343649605330771969


—- Starlink
Quote
Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) 12/27/20, 8:07 PM
Starlink 48, inactive since July 2019, has come back to life and started raising its orbit since late November
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1343362923977191424
Altitude graph at the link. Also, “Zombie satellite” comments.

Jonathan McDowell:
Starlink 60 reentered between 1120 and 1210 UTC on Dec 26. It failed shortly after launch in May 2019 and has undergone natural orbital decay since then.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1343361584496844808
Altitude graph at the link.
< The slope of that curve correlates to the density of the atmosphere at each elevation? Or does that oversimplify it?
Jonathan McDowell:  That's roughly true, yes.

Jonathan McDowell: 
Starlink 1772 reentered on Dec 28. It began uncontrolled decay on Nov 1.
https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1343366030970773506
Altitude graph at the link.

—- Not Starlink
Quote
William Harwood (@cbs_spacenews) 12/27/20, 7:23 PM
 Correction: SIX photo-bombing airplanes
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1343351851303972865
⬇️ Photo below.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1029 on: December 29, 2020, 10:53:29 PM »
—- Starship testing today
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 12/29/20, 2:52 PM
LIVE: Starship SN9 cryogenic proof test
youtu.be/r1KfJZfTT3k
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1344008501039796224

—- Fairing net testing
Quote
Kerbal Space Academy (@KSpaceAcademy)12/28/20, 5:25 PM
Earlier, GO Ms. Chief underwent load testing, using the mobile port crane to place a fairing in various areas of the catch net.
ICYMI, here's 2 hours of testing rolled into 72 seconds.
Thanks to @SpaceXFleet for operating #Fleetcam for this!  youtu.be/gnt2wZBg89g
➡️ https://twitter.com/kspaceacademy/status/1343684566893142016
Time lapse at the Twitter link.

< The boat pivot is equally impressive
Kerbal Space Academy:  Watching Chief and Tree ballet around the basin is really impressive. We regularly see them move the entire ship instead of a crane, our wild speculation being that it's faster/easier to do.
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 12/28/20, 9:36 AM
Is anyone really good at untangling nets..?
Asking for a friend.
Live views on @NASASpaceflight Fleetcam: youtu.be/gnt2wZBg89g   
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1343566397729861636
⬇️ Image below.


—- Starlink
Quote
I was planning on running #Starlink in parallel w legacy provider for at least a couple months, but the performance is so inarguably better (even in a snowstorm), I'm dropping legacy in the next week.
This morning, @CenturyLink vs. @SpaceXStarlink:

Everything in the house is now on #Starlink. Previously useless internet-connected tv in bedroom now without signal drops. Same w Peloton bike sessions. Annd.... no technician for install, just unbox, plug in & online.
This is the way.
https://twitter.com/bonnienorman/status/1343955173048082432
At the link: Screencaps: Centurylink download 9.56 Mbs vs. Starlink 104.33 Mbps

—-
Orbital debris, risk of collision, atmospheric impacts of launches and reentries, and effect on the night sky.  Scary stuff — but to Viasat, the risk to its own profits may actually be the scariest thing.

Viasat asks FCC to perform environmental review of Starlink
Jeff Foust December 28, 2020
Quote
WASHINGTON — Viasat has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to perform an environmental review of SpaceX’s Starlink broadband constellation, arguing that the satellite system poses environmental hazards in space and on Earth. …
https://spacenews.com/viasat-asks-fcc-to-perform-environmental-review-of-starlink/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1030 on: December 30, 2020, 07:05:36 PM »
—- SN9 testing
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 12/29/20, 4:24 PM
WOW! Amazing RCS testing on Starship SN9. She's alive for the first time! Some sweet cold gas thruster action there! Seemed much more powerful than we've ever seen before (no clue!)
youtube.com/watch?v=r1KfJZ…  [ https://t.co/SDwGFGQj4G ]
➡️ https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1344031598455492610
[ 1min webclip. Many energetic RCS firings, fore & aft. ]
< Reaction control system or reaction control thrusters. They help orientate the vehicle in space but also for Starship's bellyflop maneuver

—- Super Heavy news
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)12/30/20, 12:01 PM
We’re going to try to catch the Super Heavy Booster with the launch tower arm, using the grid fins to take the load
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1344327757916868608
Edit:
Quote
Elon Musk:  Saves mass & cost of legs & enables immediate repositioning of booster on to launch mount — ready to refly in under an hour

< How're you feeling about SN9? What exactly had to be addressed to keep the CH4 tank from losing pressure? Any hardware changes or just software? Header tanks are also back pressurized with GCH4 and GOX, right?
Elon Musk:
SN9 will press CH4 header tank with helium. Long-term solution is under debate. Not clear what is lightest/simplest.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1344344855237992448
Another edit:
Quote
Everyday Astronaut:
 Woahhh :o ... you made a switch TO helium that quickly between SN8 and SN9?!? Amazing that you can just make adjustments on the fly... no offense to traditional companies *cough Boeing* but that would've been a 2 year design change + 4 year delay from the drop (see SLS tank drop)
 
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/30/20, 1:31 PM
 Production is hard, prototypes are easy. Building ~1000 Starships to create a self-sustaining city on Mars is our mission.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1344350420735410177

—- ICYMI
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 12/29/20, 3:37 PM
 This is not CGI
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1344019835341180930
⬇️
Do You Love Me?


“Happy New Year from Boston Dynamics.”

Quote
Elon Musk:
Snake-head dog had my undivided attention until winder-head ostrich came gliding through all nonchalant 
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1344219458324160512
« Last Edit: December 30, 2020, 07:41:53 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1031 on: January 01, 2021, 04:08:01 PM »
—- Next Falcon launch
Tugboat Finn Falgout and JRTI droneship were headed to the landing zone, but have returned to Port Canaveral; the Turksat 5A launch has been delayed slightly. Reason unknown — perhaps unsafe weather for the crew and boats in the landing/recovery zone this weekend?

Unofficial speculation and fleetcam pics:
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1344642080136695808

⬇️ A wind forecast image is below.

Quote
Falcon 9 • Turksat 5A
Launch window: Approx. 0127-0529 GMT on 5th (8:27 p.m.-12:29 a.m. EST on 4th/5th)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Turksat 5A communications satellite for Turksat, a Turkish satellite operator. Built by Airbus Defense and Space with significant Turkish contributions, the Turkish 5A satellite will provide Ku-band television broadcast services over Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Delayed from Nov. 30 and December. Delayed from Jan. 4. [Updated Dec. 31]
   — Spaceflightnow.com


—— Shhh! It’s a secret:  The NROL-108 payload was two satellites.
Two payloads orbited by SpaceX’s launch of NRO mission
December 27, 2020 Stephen Clark
Quote
Tracking information released by the U.S. military indicates two government payloads rode a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket into orbit Dec. 19 on the NROL-108 mission, a dedicated launch for the National Reconnaissance Office.
The identities and purposes of the satellites remain top secret, but both spacecraft are presumably owned by the NRO, the U.S. government’s spy satellite agency.
The two spacecraft — publicly designated USA 312 and USA 313 — have been catalogued by the Space Force unit charged with tracking all satellites and space debris orbiting Earth. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/27/two-payloads-identified-from-nros-launch-on-spacex-rocket/

—- “The Falcon has landed”
December 21, 2015
It was only five years ago when the @SpaceX rocket successfully landed from space for the first time.
➡️ https://twitter.com/valaafshar/status/1344284213483335680
2 min NatGeo clip features Elon’s rush outside to watch the boosters’ return.

Here’s SpaceX’s 3 minute recap, with music
"The Falcon has landed" | Recap of Falcon 9 launch and landing



—- Vandenberg contract
SpaceX wins $150 million contract to launch Space Development Agency satellites
SpaceX will launch the Space Development Agency satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The agency estimates they will be ready to launch in late 2022. 
December 31, 2020
Quote
WASHINGTON — SpaceX has been awarded a $150.4 million contract to launch as many as 28 satellites for the Pentagon’s space agency, the Defense Department announced Dec. 31.
The contract is to launch a mix of small and medium spacecraft of different sizes that the Space Development Agency is acquiring from multiple vendors. That includes 20 data-relay satellites known as the Transport Layer and the other eight are missile-warning satellites known as the Tracking Layer.
SpaceX will launch these satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. …
https://spacenews.com/spacex-wins-150-million-contract-to-launch-space-development-agency-satellites/


—-  Looking more like Crew-3 may include a Russian cosmonaut
Three astronauts assigned to Crew Dragon mission in late 2021 – Spaceflight Now
Dec 29
Quote
Rookie NASA astronaut Raja Chari — a former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot — veteran physician-astronaut Tom Marshburn, and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer have been assigned to fly to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship in the fall of 2021. A fourth crew member will be added to the mission at a later date, following a review by NASA and its international partners, the U.S. space agency said in a Dec. 14 announcement.

Chari, Marshburn, Maurer, and the fourth crew member will launch on the third operational flight of a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. The mission, designated Crew-3, will launch in the fall of 2021 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and last into the spring of 2022.

The fourth member of the Crew-3 team might be a Russian cosmonaut.
Kathy Lueders, head of NASA’s human spaceflight directorate, told Spaceflight Now in November that NASA and Roscosmos aim to finalize a no-funds-exchanged agreement to fly Russian cosmonauts to the space station on U.S. crew vehicles, and continue launching U.S. astronauts on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The agreement, if signed, would help ensure the Russian and U.S. segments of the space station always have at least one fully-trained crew member, even if problems ground the Soyuz, Crew Dragon, or Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule, once it begins ferry flights to the orbiting research outpost. …
https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/12/29/three-astronauts-assigned-to-crew-dragon-mission-in-late-2021/


—- Starship
Elon Musk says 'Building ~1,000 Starships to create a self-sustaining city on Mars' is SpaceX's Mission
Quote

SpaceX has not published a specific timeline for when its first missions to Mars will be, Musk has previously stated that the first Martian base could be up and running by 2028. He targets to launch the first crewed mission by 2026 and the first uncrewed cargo mission as early as 2024. To create a self-sustaining city on the Red Planet, Musk says SpaceX must build approximately 1,000 Starships to deliver megatons of cargo that will be needed to increase the astronauts chances of survival on the Martian surface. “…Building ~1000 Starships to create a self-sustaining city on Mars is our mission,” he wrote via Twitter Wednesday morning.

To achieve that ambitious goal, SpaceX could build one hundred Starships per year over the course of ten years. –“Building 100 Starships per year gets to 1,000 in 10 years or 100 megatons per year or maybe around 100,000 people per Earth-Mars orbital sync,” Musk said in January. SpaceX would launch a Starship fleet approximately every 26 months, which is when Earth and Mars orbits align closer to each other. …
https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/1000-starships
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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1032 on: January 04, 2021, 05:59:36 PM »
—- Starship
Road closures for expected STATIC FIRE testing of #Starship SN9 have an 8am-5pm CT window beginning Mon, Jan 4, with Tues and Wed as backup days, if needed.

https://twitter.com/bluemoondance74/status/1345791030529036288

—-
Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist)1/1/21, 10:44 PM

With the New Year upon us, SpaceX readies Starship SN9 for flight. SN10 is nearly fully stacked, with SN11 and SN12 close behind. 2021 looks to be a landmark year for the Starship program!

Video & Photos from Mary (@BocaChicaGal)

   SpaceX Boca Chica: Starship SN9 Prepared to Fire its Raptor Engines - SN12 Joins SN11 in the Mid Bay
   ➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyaCCBBY8Lg&feature=youtu.be

New flaps arrive in darkness!
https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1345214400471429121
⬇️ Screencap below: New angle on SN8 remains: nosecone & flap(s)

Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal)1/2/21, 12:55 PM
Starship SN10 nosecone is being stacked in the high bay.
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1345428410013769729
➡️ Photo at the link: Tight angle inside the high bay

Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) 1/3/21, 8:41 PM

SpaceX is clearing the way for Starship SN9's first flight, hopefully making a successful landing where SN8's wreckage currently resides. At the same time, final stacking of SN10 continues.

Video from Mary (@BocaChicaGal). Edited by @theoripper
➡️ youtu.be/6Jg8HBZwCpA
https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1345908222046199811


—- SpaceX sea fleet
Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron)1/3/21, 5:53 PM
The entire SpaceX Fleet remains in a dreary Port Canaveral tonight. Tomorrow would have kicked off the new year for SpaceX but it is unknown at this time when #Turksat5A will occur. Will they reach their goal of 48 launches this year? I can't wait to find out! #SpaceXFleet
➡️ https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1345865941830275073
At the link: Labelled port pic!

Quote
Julia (@julia_bergeron)1/3/21, 8:00 PM
Good thing I caught the fleet family portrait when I did. Finn Falgout is leading JRTI out of Port. I'll be watching tracking to see if they are going on mission and which way they go. #WatchtheFleet
Live views on the @NASASpaceflight Fleetcam: youtu.be/gnt2wZBg89g   
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1345897956344475649

Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/3/21, 10:26 PM
Departure (For real!)
Just Read the Instructions is outbound from Port Canaveral, presumably for the Turksat-5A mission.
JRTI previously departed earlier in the week but was recalled to Port Canaveral because of a mission delay.
Photo via @NASASpaceflight Fleetcam
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1345934664574394371
➡️ Nighttime Fleetcam pic at the link.

Still awaiting word from SpaceX on launch date & time

—-
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 1/1/21, 9:57 AM
Using NSF Fleetcam footage from multiple Falcon 9 returns to Port Canaveral on the drone ships, a superb edit by Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) showing the entire recovery processing of a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster.

How SpaceX Recovers Falcon 9 after Drone Ship Landings - Port Canaveral Recovery Operations
➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdEgAMWJGk0&feature=youtu.be

https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1345021393986084866
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1033 on: January 04, 2021, 06:04:38 PM »
—- ISS Crew-1, et al.
Quote
Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998) 1/4/21, 10:42 AM
Seems like the ISS crew had a good New Year’s celebration!  :)
They were able to take Jan. 1 off before getting back to their busy schedule, which included loading discarded gear and trash into the @northropgrumman Cygnus NG-14 spacecraft ahead of its departure on Wednesday.
https://twitter.com/tylerg1998/status/1346119757544742913

Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini)1/4/21, 9:25 AM
Expedition 64 on New Years Day
➡️ https://twitter.com/astro_illini/status/1346100348176384001
Pic at the link: Astros in the cupola


—-  Rocket Reuse
;)
Eric Berger:
Big scoop here on rocket reuse — imagine if SpaceX had thought of this!
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1345218795074416643

SpaceX rival reveals a hidden advantage to reusing rockets
Mike Brown 12.31.2020 4:56 AM
SpaceX is on a mission to reuse rockets, but it's not the only one in the race.
Rocket Lab, a California-based firm focused on small satellite launches, has been perfecting its helicopter-based booster recoveries. But while SpaceX wants to save its rockets to reduce the costs of spaceflight, Rocket Lab has identified another bonus: it won't need to build so many rockets. …
https://www.inverse.com/innovation/rocket-lab-recovery

—-
SpaceX sets reuse records in 2020, looks ahead to even more ambitous 2021
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/01/spacex-reuse-records-2020-ambitious-2021/


—- Space is easy! Anyone can do it! Not.  
Jeff Foust:
Ten companies submitted bids for a NASA small launch competition. Half were effectively disqualified for reasons ranging for being submitted late (oops) to “a lack of understanding of the complexity of a space launch service” (oops!)

Ten companies bid for NASA small launch vehicle contract
Jeff Foust  January 3, 2021
https://spacenews.com/ten-companies-bid-for-nasa-small-launch-vehicle-contract/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1034 on: January 05, 2021, 04:32:29 PM »
—- TurkSat 5A
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)1/4/21, 6:25 PM  
The Turksat 5A launch has been delayed 24 hours, per hazard zones. The launch is now scheduled for Jan. 7 at 8:28 pm Eastern.
forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topi…   [ https://t.co/KdTcxXUDj2  ]
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1346236314073456641

—- First Cargo Dragon 2.0 returns from ISS:  undock and splashdown Jan 11
Quote
NASA (@NASA) 1/4/21, 2:30 PM
Watch the @SpaceX cargo Dragon, loaded with science experiments and cargo, fire its thrusters and undock from the @Space_Station on Jan. 11.
Live NASA TV coverage will begin at 9am ET: go.nasa.gov/2Llby2l 
https://twitter.com/nasa/status/1346177082506833922

Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet)1/4/21, 2:33 PM
The first splashdown of Cargo Dragon in the Atlantic Ocean will conclude the CRS-21 mission!
Recovery operations will be handled by ship(s) GO Searcher and/or GO Navigator.
spacexfleet.com/dragon-recover…  [ https://t.co/7a6NJxkPo1 ]
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1346177876480163840
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com:
Splashdown is set for 9pm ET and will be the second-ever night splashdown of a Dragon vehicle.
The first was CRS-16 on Jan 13th, 2019.


—- SpaceX space business
Gwynne Shotwell talks about selling flight-proven rockets, Starship
"It was easier to sell 'flight proven' to customers than it was to sell Falcons."
Eric Berger - 1/4/2021
Quote
Shotwell has also been busy working with commercial satellite customers and getting them increasingly comfortable with launching on previously flown rockets. The vast majority of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rockets now employ previously flown first stages.
Unless a customer has a strong argument one way or the other, the decision on what booster to use is left up to SpaceX. "You're buying a launch service, and we will provide you the best vehicle that we can in the timeframe that you need to fly," she said. "And we basically put the control for the most part in our hands."

"We have signed deals where we can pick whether it's a Falcon or a Starship," she said. "We want to provide launch services, and we want to provide it in the most cost-effective way for us and our customers, and the most reliable way for us and our customers. So we really want that to be in our hands. And we know we have work to do with the insurance community, just like we did with Falcon 9, just like we did with Falcon 9 reuse. So there's still work to go, but hopefully people trust that we are going to do what we intend to do."

If there are technical problems with Starship, and it's late, Shotwell said the company will be able to fall back on the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy vehicles. But she said SpaceX has already removed a lot of the risk with its Starship test program. Shotwell noted that the flight of the SN8 Starship prototype in December addressed a lot concerns about the vehicle's flight profile during a landing.

"We certainly de-risked that program pretty massively with that," she said of the flight. "You always have schedule concerns and issues, but the amount of flight hardware down in Boca with that team is really impressive." Asked if she thinks Starship will reach orbit in 2021, Shotwell said, "I'm voting yes." 
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/gwynne-shotwell-talks-about-selling-flight-proven-rockets-starship/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1035 on: January 05, 2021, 04:42:10 PM »
—- Starship
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)1/4/21, 8:56 PM
The road closure in Boca Chica for Starship testing on Tuesday has been canceled.
A closure remains in place for Wednesday, Jan. 6, so that would be the earliest possible static fire attempt. However, the reason for that closure has not been confirmed.
nextspaceflight.com/starship/   
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1346274305273810946

Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) 1/4/21, 8:14 PM
Starship SN8 is now fully scrapped ahead of SN9's static fire and flight! New forward domes are set to be sleeved while SN10's stacking is completed and SN11's tapered nosecone section is ready to move.
SpaceX Boca Chica: Final Sections of Starship SN8 Scrapped - New Forward Domes Ready to be Sleeved
➡️ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-45OCQmAzBQ&feature=youtu.be
  So, no SN8 memorial. :'(
⬇️ Screencap below.

—-
Eric Berger:
Here are a few thoughts on SpaceX's idea to catch its Super Heavy rocket with a launch tower. Bottom line: You don't build a fully reusable orbital rocket with conventional ideas.

SpaceX may try to catch a falling rocket with a launch tower
At first blush, this sounds insane.
Eric Berger - 1/4/2021
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/spacex-may-try-to-catch-a-falling-rocket-with-a-launch-tower/
 
Quote
Andrew Foster Wall (@AndrewFosterWa1)1/4/21, 11:49 AM
Mass savings isn't the main reason. It's turnaround time. Unless they can get it automatically reconnected to GSE after landing, they would have to wait hours for the last of the fuel to boil off for people to approach. They want to have launched again in that amount of time.
https://twitter.com/andrewfosterwa1/status/1346136700762918913
< F9 was supposed to test single digit hours of turn around time. They haven't even reached single digit weeks.
Andrew Foster Wall:
Yes, because it was not designed from the ground up to support those kind of turnaround times. The biggest hurdle is the fuel, RP1 burns sooty and clogs the engines. Methane burns cleanly.
<<  There's crazy and then there's SpaceX crazy. I never bet against SpaceX crazy.

—- Reddit discussion
Why wait for a Starship crewed launch/flight/landing to be FAA certified?  Instead, outfit a Starship with life support, science and the equipment you want to test for long-term moon/Mars use, certify it like a space station module, launch it unmanned to LEO, then send up crew in a Dragon, which will dock and serve as a lifeboat and return vessel while the crew lives on board Starship for a few months.

”Starship won’t launch people this year, but could it house them on orbit instead?” 
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/kp3mza/starship_wont_launch_people_this_year_but_could/


—- 2021 NASA Top Objectives
Quote
Ben Brockert (@wikkit)1/4/21, 12:12 PM
The @NASA account lists three top line objectives for 2021. How many will happen?
• Percy soft landing on Mars in February (currently in transit)
• Artemis 1 orbiting the moon launched by SLS (slated for November)
• James Webb Space Telescope first light (slated for November)
https://twitter.com/wikkit/status/1346142353883619339
Poll: choose 0, 1, 2, or 3.

I love “Percy” as a nickname for the Mars Perseverance rover!
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1036 on: January 06, 2021, 03:51:32 PM »
—- U.S.: What the Jan 5 Georgia Senate Runoff election means for Space
One Democrat, Raphael Warnock, has been declared a winner.
The other Democrat, Jon Ossoff, is 9,000 votes ahead in his race and the districts remaining to be counted are heavily Democratic, so his win is likely.  These two wins mean Democrats take control of the Senate (the Dem. VP Kamala Harris breaks all tie votes), and President Biden’s initiatives have a good chance of being passed.  Heads of Senate committees will also be passed to Democrats:
Quote
Eric Berger:
If it happens, Richard Shelby losing his position as chair of Senate Appropriations would be notable for space. He has wielded his enormous power to steer funding to Alabama across all disciplines, but especially for Marshall Space Flight Center and the Space Launch System.
Eric Berger:
Something like moving the Europa Clipper off the SLS rocket and onto a (much cheaper, available now, doesn't shake violently) commercial rocket becomes infinitely easier in a world where Shelby doesn't control NASA's budget.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1346648832365506561

Eric Berger:
Shelby will still have considerable power, and the SLS still has a broad base of political support in Congress. But now performance will matter a little more than, and the fact that the program is based in Alabama will matter a little less.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1346649119041990661

With Shelby out, Senate Appropriations chairmanship would move to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D - Vermont


—-  Starship
Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 1/5/21, 7:03 PM
Just received the usual "Alert" notice ahead of SN9's static fire test [Wednesday]. …
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1346608323282538499
At the link:  image of the printed notice.

Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 1/5/21, 4:06 PM
HOP ALERT: If a static fire test happens on Wednesday for SN9, we could potentially see a hop as early as Friday. Weather for that day looks fine.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1346563746035093504

Space TFRs (@SpaceTfrs)1/5/21, 2:24 PM
Brownsville (TX) SpaceX high-altitude flight TFR: From January 08, 2021 at 1400 UTC To January 08, 2021 at 2359 UTC
Altitude: From the surface to space
tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/det…
https://twitter.com/spacetfrs/status/1346537965212807168
Similarly for Jan 9 & 10, although this would require a weekend beach closure exception.
The previous hop flight restricted area was also from the surface to unlimited altitude, so this does not indicate the hop’s height.

—- SLS, though
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace)1/5/21, 4:23 PM
If Starship SN9 flies Friday it will come on the one-year anniversary of Boeing rolling the SLS core stage out of Michoud, and shipping it to Stennis. …
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1346567966025003008

Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 1/5/21, 7:48 PM
NASA says it will conduct a hot fire test of its SLS rocket core stage on January 17. This is the big one.

< Odds they get through the count on the first attempt are slim to none - but I can’t wait to see the mighty RS-25 fire up again
Eric Berger:
I think this is probably right. Because the first core stage WDR test did not make it into the final minutes, there very well could be a sensor or hardware issue that scuttles the countdown before ignition of the shuttle main engines. Hope for the best, but prepare for a scrub.

Eric Berger:
This test is now scheduled to occur three days before administrator Jim Bridenstine will resign. Should the hot fire be completed on his watch successfully, Bridenstine and VP Pence deserve some credit for getting the sluggish SLS program moving.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1346627549640716291

NASA Space Launch System Proceeding with Green Run Hot Fire
https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/proceeding-with-green-run-hot-fire.html


—- ISS Christmas
Quote
Eric Berger:
Still do a double take when I see seven people on station. It's been six, or fewer, for so long ...

Victor Glover (@AstroVicGlover) 1/4/21, 5:10 PM
God bless you and this new year! I pray for renewed strength, compassion, and truth and that we can all be surrounded by family and friends…
https://twitter.com/astrovicglover/status/1346217455786500097
⬇️ Photo below.

—- 2021
There are an insane amount of cool space things happening in 2021
Yeah, we're going to say it. We really think Webb is going to launch this year.
Eric Berger - 1/5/2021
Quote
Finally, Axiom's AX-1 mission may fly to the International Space Station near the end of the year. This privately funded mission, on board a Crew Dragon vehicle, will be commanded by Michael López-Alegría. The full crew of paying customers—presumably three others—will probably be unveiled in January. Note, this first mission will not include actor Tom Cruise, as that mission to film a movie in space has been deferred by a year or two.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/there-are-an-insane-amount-of-cool-space-things-happening-in-2021/
⬇️ JWT graphic below.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1037 on: January 07, 2021, 05:55:27 PM »
—- Whew! …
Quote
U.S.:  ...
We could use a good launch tonight.

Quote
Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 1/7/21, 9:18 AM
Launch day weather forecast. 70% chance of good weather tonight for [@SpaceX]'s launch of #Turksat5A. #Falcon9's 4 hour launch window opens at 20:28 EST (01:28 UTC).
https://twitter.com/chrisg_nsf/status/1347185804775477253
Text image of forecast at the link.

—- Starship
LabPadre:  SN9’s name is  “Eileen Dover” ;D
—-
Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) 1/6/21, 6:01 PM
Starship SN6 has its mass simulator removed, potentially preparing it to be used as the NASA Human Landing System mockup.
Meanwhile SN9 continues toward launch preparations. …
Video & Photos from Mary (@BocaChicaGal)
➡️ youtu.be/woarJ2QrBoo
https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1346954971867209731

  The static fire on Jan 6 seemed short, but another may be on tap for today.
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight)1/6/21, 5:08 PM
STATIC FIRE: Starship SN9 has conducted a triple Raptor Static Fire test.
Overview: nasaspaceflight.com/2021/01/starsh…
Live: youtube.com/watch?v=j8VyAD…
20-sec clip: ➡️ https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1346941667878662148

Chris B - NSF:
Seemed like it was only a second or so, but could be by design to protect the pad and still get the data they want.

Chloe:
 Btw. 8 Months ago OTD we had the first ever Static Fire of a Starship Prototype. The Staticfire of SN4
➡️ youtu.be/TwSfIMWSG7E 

—- Transporter-1
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 1/6/21, 5:29 PM
SpaceX is targeting Jan. 14 through Jan. 18 for the launch of Transporter-1, the company's dedicated rideshare mission, per hazard zones.
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1346947057030844417
Possibly 85 sats?  10 Starlinks, if approved?

Exolaunch Integrates 30 Small Satellites for SpaceX First Dedicated Rideshare Launch
Company Begins Launch Campaign for its U.S. and European Customers Flying Aboard Falcon 9
https://exolaunch.com/news-block-22.html

—- OCISLY maintenance
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/6/21, 4:01 PM
OCISLY droneship has been subjected to 40+ Falcon 9 landings in the last five years and requires a lot of love to keep going.
   …
In contrast, JRTI droneship has only been subjected to 14 landings.

Julia (@julia_bergeron) 1/6/21, 3:58 PM
You can check out the maintenance being done on OCISLY via the @NASASpaceflight #Fleetcam view from @RustysInThePort while you wait for SN9 to static fire. I took the second photo in December to give you an idea of the work ahead of the technicians. youtu.be/gnt2wZBg89g

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1346924045003071497 
Two photos at the link 

—-   ISS   
Quote
Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 1/6/21, 10:12 AM
#Cygnus NG-14 has left the Station for a 2 week mission... during which a fire will intentionally be ignited inside the craft. Read about that experiment and others the #NorthropGrumman Cygnus now hosts...
ARTICLE from Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998):  [below]
https://twitter.com/chrisg_nsf/status/1346837152315932672

NG-14 Cygnus departs ISS, kicks off busy year for Station crew
 Tyler Gray January 6, 2021
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/01/ng-14-cygnus-departs-iss/


—-Last year reusable rockets entered the mainstream, and there’s no going back
Quote
"When we look back on 2020, we will say this year was a watershed moment," said Randy Kendall, vice president of launch and enterprise operations for The Aerospace Corporation, in an interview. "Commercial, civil, and national security missions have all signaled their intent to fly their most precious payloads on previously flown rockets." …
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/last-year-reusable-rockets-entered-the-mainstream-and-theres-no-going-back/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1038 on: January 07, 2021, 11:02:07 PM »
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/7/21, 2:07 PM
Falcon 9 and Turksat 5A vertical on pad 40; tonight’s four-hour launch window opens at 8:28 p.m. EST, and weather is 70% favorable → spacex.com/launches 
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1347258678940897280
Photo at the link

Quote
ElonX.net (@scr00chy)1/7/21, 4:37 PM
The first launch of 2021 will be @SpaceX Falcon 9 with @turksat 5A satellite. Booster B1060.4 will be landing on JRTI and reused fairings will (presumably) attempt to land in nets on Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief. There was also no pre-launch static fire.
Infographic by @PavelVantuch
https://twitter.com/scr00chy/status/1347296302498000899
⬇️ Infographic below; click to embiggen.

Miss Ashley James H. (@kamenrangerXVI) 1/7/21, 2:45 PM
Airbus built the satellite, a Eurostar E3000 bus. Does kinda raise the question why this isn't on Ariane, but, it's here, it's on the pad, not much use dwelling on it.
https://twitter.com/kamenrangerxvi/status/1347268175990288391
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vox_mundi

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1039 on: January 10, 2021, 08:51:13 PM »
NASA's Europa Clipper Has Been Liberated from the Space Launch System
https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/533382-nasas-europa-clipper-has-been-liberated-from-the-space-launch-system?amp

Almost unnoticed, tucked into the 2021 fiscal NASA funding section of the recently passed omnibus spending bill, is a provision that would seem to liberate the upcoming Europa Clipper mission from the Space Launch System (SLS).

According to Space News, the mandate that the Europa Clipper mission be launched on an SLS remains in place only if the behind-schedule and overpriced heavy lift rocket is available and if concerns about hardware compatibility between the probe and the launcher are resolved. Otherwise, NASA is free to search for commercial alternatives to get the Europa Clipper to Jupiter's ice-shrouded moon.



Europa Clipper is slated to go into orbit around Jupiter and make multiple flyby maneuvers near Europa, an icy world that many scientists believe has a warm ocean under the ice layer. Life may exist in that ocean, the confirmation of which would be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of this or any other century.

... As Ars Technica points out, launching the Europa Clipper on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy saves the mission $1.5 billion.

Both the economics and physics of getting to Europa change if SpaceX's Starship, currently under development in Boca Chica, Texas, becomes available to launch the Europa Clipper in the mid-2020s. The Starship is meant to fulfill SpaceX's CEO Elon Musk's dreams of settling Mars. But the massive reusable rocket would be available for other things, presumably including sending probes to the outer planets.

The massive cost savings by using a commercial launcher for the Europa Clipper creates other possibilities. The Europa Lander could be placed back on. A mission to Saturn's frozen world Enceladus may also be greenlit.

... The SLS has since been a lead weight on America's space ambitions. ... It would not be too great a leap to cut out the SLS entirely and go directly with the Starship, if it were not for congressional budget politics.

https://europa.nasa.gov/

“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 #1040 on: January 10, 2021, 09:07:16 PM »
—- TurkSat 5A success
Quote
45th Space Wing (@45thSpaceWing) 1/8/21, 9:31 AM
Congratulations to the 45th Space Wing, SpaceX and Türksat on the successful launch of the Türksat 5A mission! The Türksat mission is one of two next generation communication satellites. We are proud to see the teamwork & drive behind our first launch of 2021. #SetThePaceForSpace
https://twitter.com/45thspacewing/status/1347551492723658753
⬇️ photo below, others at the link.

SpaceX lofts Turkish satellite to orbit in first global launch of the year
3,500 kilograms, the satellite is built around the all-electric Eurostar E3000EOR bus with a power system capable of generating 12 kilowatts for its 42 Ku-band transponders that will service Turkey, the Middle East, continental Europe, and portions of Africa.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/01/spacex-turkish-satellite-first-launch-year/

SpaceX (@SpaceX)1/7/21, 9:49 PM
Deployment of Turksat 5A confirmed
➡️ https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1347374803787792386
8 sec webcast clip

William Harwood (@cbs_spacenews) 1/7/21, 9:48 PM
F9/Turksat-5A: Turksat 5A deploy confirmed; the satellite will use on-board plasma thrusters to transition from its initial elliptical orbit to its operational altitude of 22,300 miles above the equator
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1347374579132600320

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 1/7/21, 9:24 PM
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship
➡️ https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1347368622264438785
10 sec webcast clip

—-
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/9/21, 7:29 PM
Ms. Tree has delivered an intact fairing half that was scooped from the water!
Ms. Chief was reportedly going for a catch attempt but has returned with a badly damaged half instead.
Full stats: spacexfleet.com/fairing-data/
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1348064358060990471

Chris B - NSF: …That's a pallet of cash that fell from the sky successfully recovered, as Elon's put it.
Ms. Tree with the prize.

Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/10/21, 11:33 AM
That'll buff right out...
Not the ideal outcome for the second fairing half. The first half was unloaded earlier today in a good condition. twitter.com/SpaceXFleet/st…
[Fleetcam pic ➡️ https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1348306891290636292


—- Next up:  CRS-21 splashdown
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet):
CRS-21 Dragon ISS departure and splashdown (9pm ET) is tomorrow!
Cape Canaveral is the main splashdown site with three other backup sites.
NASA intends to use the upgraded capabilities of GO Searcher to land a helicopter onboard to immediately take priority cargo to KSC. (1/2)
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1348298187505807361
Gavin:
Additional cargo will be unloaded to a second helicopter or sail back to Port Canaveral on the ship.
If the Cape Canaveral splashdown site is used, Dragon could return to port within hours. I will be providing full updates until Dragon arrival! (2/2)
go.nasa.gov/3oJfpVq
< Will Dragon reentry be visible from land?
Gavin:
No. Too far offshore and it will be nighttime


SpaceX Dragon Capsule to Make First of Its Kind Science Splashdown
By capsule, helicopter, boat, plane, and car, space station science experiments are about to make a first of a kind journey back to researchers on Earth.
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/spacex-dragon-science-splashdown

Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/10/21, 1:56 PM
A change in hazard notices suggests that the primary splashdown for CRS-21 tomorrow is now Daytona Beach.
Alternate dates available at all four sites on Wed 13th.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1348342964741951488
Gavin:
Unsurprising to note that the Coast Guard have been running an extensive campaign to inform local mariners to keep away from the hazard areas.
Graphic via USCG Southeast 
⬇️ Images below.

Edit:
The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is "go" for a Monday undocking at 9:25am ET with live NASA TV coverage starting at 9am.
NASA to Air Departure of SpaceX Cargo Dragon from Space Station | NASA
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-air-departure-of-upgraded-spacex-cargo-dragon-from-space-station

—- Transporter-1 smallsat mission
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet)1/8/21, 9:00 AM
Transporter-1 will be the first droneship landing on the Cape Canaveral southern launch corridor!
OCISLY droneship will be stationed ~556 km downrange, south east of Miami, near the Cuba coastline.
 https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1347543659936362497

Raul (@Raul74Cz)1/8/21, 8:32 AM
#Transporter-1 mission LHAs for Jan 14 14:19-16:16 UTC, altern.Jan 15-18. Droneship booster landing 556km downrange. Roughly estim.fairing recovery position and groundtrack with dogleg maneuver to polar orbit azimuth. S2 debris reentry in South Pacific. bit.do/LHA13 


—- Later, baby
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/9/21, 3:22 PM
Nevermind... launch delayed.
Droneship assignments reset to unknown.
Starlink V1 L16 NET Jan 17th
Transporter-1 NET Jan 21st
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1348002131815641090

—-
FCC grants permission for polar launch of Starlink satellites
Jeff Foust  January 9, 2021
Quote
The FCC will allow SpaceX to launch 10 Starlink satellites into a polar orbit on the Transporter-1 mission later this month. Credit: SpaceX

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission will allow SpaceX to launch 10 Starlink satellites into polar orbit on an upcoming mission, but deferred a decision on a much broader modification of SpaceX’s license.
In an order published Jan. 8, the FCC granted SpaceX permission to launch 10 Starlink satellites into a 560-kilometer orbit with an inclination of 97.6 degrees. Those satellites will launch on a Falcon 9 no earlier than Jan. 14 as part of Transporter-1, a dedicated smallsat rideshare mission.

[The FCC] rejected Viasat’s opposition to the request, stating that allowing the 10 satellites “does not present concerns in connection with the issues raised by commenters.” That included orbital debris concerns about failed Starlink satellites. “We conclude that the addition of these ten satellites is unlikely to have any significant incremental effect on the operations of other satellites in the relevant orbital altitudes,” the order stated. …
https://spacenews.com/fcc-grants-permission-for-polar-launch-of-starlink-satellites/


—- Roscosmos $
Quote
Eric Berger:
So, like, Roscosmos is suing itself?
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1347231920489336832

Roscosmos sues its subsidiary over satellite that stopped working in orbit
Quote
MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Russian space agency Roscosmos filed a lawsuit against its subsidiary, the Progress Rocket and Space Center, for producing a satellite that stopped working in the orbit, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said on his Facebook page.

"Several years ago, our subsidiary used a rocket that it had manufactured to put into the orbit a satellite that it had also manufactured. Soon, the latter had ‘died’ in the orbit," he wrote. "In line with the current legislation, we are obliged to file a lawsuit in connection with the satellite’s failure." According to the space official, Roscosmos is obliged to seek compensation for the faulty satellite and the launch services.

In his words, the top management of the space corporation and its subsidiary has since been reshuffled.
"Those guilty left long ago, but we are obliged to punish the enterprise and its current employees for the mistakes committed by people who have not been working at this plant for quite a while," Rogozin said.
He explained that if such a lawsuit is not filed in due time, the top management of Roscosmos will have to stand trial themselves, for failing to properly react to the mistake and the missed opportunities it had entailed. …
https://tass.com/science/1240029/amp
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 09:16:18 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1041 on: January 10, 2021, 09:20:50 PM »
—- Starship
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight)1/8/21, 8:04 PM
And the testing has ended, as the road is now open.
Some strange items heading to pad with the Party Cars.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1347710749561544706
< Why do they need a trebuchet down there?!? ;D
IceBeforeSunSet (@IceBeforeSunSet)1/8/21, 8:08 PM
Looks like the New raptor SN49 delivery they received a few days back. Maybe a minor malfunction of one of the engines led to an early abort during the short SF and now they realized its unfixable. Just a theory but seems logical.

—-
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist)1/10/21, 1:59 AM
After an aborted static fire attempt, SpaceX replenishes the tank farm with a fresh delivery of SN9 propellant. Meanwhile, SN10 work continues and the upgraded Starship, SN15, begins to take shape.
Video from Mary (@BocaChicaGal), Edit by @NGautschi
➡️youtu.be/VMR-7kTgtHY
https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1348162601356828672 
< hey, I guess you were right - is that a trebuchet... pic.twitter.com/n0yQnsoec6
⬇️ Image below.
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight)1/10/21, 8:59 AM
Next roadblock [scheduled] for a Static Fire test is Monday at present.

Go ahead, laugh at the “trebuchet.”  Then read Elon’s comments below about accessing the high bay….

—- SN9 Test Flight
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 1/9/21, 3:57 PM
SpaceX is now targeting no earlier than Tuesday for Starship SN9's test flight, per updated Temporary Flight Restrictions. Backup opportunities are available on Wednesday and Thursday.
tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1348011006513999872

—- Restaurant at this end of the universe
Quote
Everyday Astronaut:
Can we all just stop and admire for a second that @SpaceX has a Tiki Bar that has MK1’s flaps ;D I’m sorry, but that’s the coolest thing ever. Fun to imagine that this place could be packed someday with people getting ready to go to Mars :o pic.twitter.com/gMsRYOSdsF
⬇️ Image below.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/9/21, 1:35 PM
That’s actually our restaurant, but SpaceX is building a futuristic bar at the top of the high bay with 360 degree windows & a glass floor looking down on the rocket factory
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1347975294729154560
Everyday Astronaut:
Probably employees and guests only, right? I really think there should be a public space out here too. It’s too exciting for people to see everything, a good way for the engaged public to feel be involved. I know people who would love to run one (I’m sure you do too) ;)
Elon Musk:
I super support public spaces around our production & launch sites, wherever it can be done safely and securely. When covid passes, we will open up our restaurant to the public & figure out ways to allow limited access to the High Bar.
Elon Musk;
Was also thinking that SpaceX Boca should hold fun parties and give tours for the community from time to time
< Really, how does one get to this bar when complete?
Elon Musk:
Catapult high into the air & land on the roof with a base jumping parachute (the only way to travel)


—- SNx
Quote
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 1/8/21, 11:34 AM
This is a very interesting forward plan for Starship via Mary (@BocaChicaGal).
SN9 - on Pad B.
SN10 - in the High Bay.
SN11 - in the Mid Bay.
Now joined by...
SN15 - in the Mid Bay (previously thought to be SN12).
So, SN11, then SN15 (no 12, 13, 14).
➡️ video:  https://t.co/rEVjK2Bass
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1347582529285582851
➡️ Photos at the link.
Everyday Astronaut:
Nice!!! Skipping ahead to a more refined vehicle probably! Makes sense, why fly outdated hardware? At this point launching is the bottleneck, clearly developing and building these things is not.

—- Starship retrospective video
Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) 1/7/21, 10:14 AM
From its humble with SN1 to the first belly flop test at full scale, SpaceX's Starship program has enjoyed incredible successes in 2020. @thejackbeyer recaps these milestones as we look forward to 2021!

Video from Mary (@BocaChicaGal)

➡️youtu.be/Wt8bnZEfMVo 
https://twitter.com/thefavoritist/status/1347199993959034883
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1042 on: January 11, 2021, 04:07:53 PM »
It’s ScrubMonday!

SCRUB! Dragon departure is no-go for today due to weather.
Quote
William Harwood (@cbs_spacenews)1/11/21, 9:55 AM
CRS-21: Undocking of the SpaceX CRS-21 Dragon cargo ship launched to the ISS 12/6 was called off today because of weather concerns in the capsule's splashdown zone east of Daytona Beach, Florida
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1348644764988694529

Quote
Michael Baylor:
The top priority of the new NASA administrator must be upgrading NASA TV to 1080p.
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1348643038483030018


Quote
Mary (@BocaChicaGal)1/11/21, 9:24 AM
Today's road closure for the SN9 static fire attempt has been cancelled. Next opportunity is tomorrow. …
https://twitter.com/bocachicagal/status/1348637008894291970
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1043 on: January 13, 2021, 09:43:26 PM »
—- CRS-21 Cargo Dragon splashdown tonight
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX)1/12/21, 9:09 AM
Separation confirmed! Dragon performing 3 departure burns to move away from the @Space_Station
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1348995595080409091
⬇️ Photo: Dragon away, against a black space background
Elon Musk:
One day, we will get a camera up there that also shows the star field in the background
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1349166774646943746

Splashdown:  01:27 UTC

Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/12/21, 8:06 AM

NASA is targeting CRS-21 splashdown at 8:27pm ET on Wednesday - offshore near Tampa, [Florida, in the] Gulf of Mexico.
Recovery ship GO Navigator will be on station.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1348979592485339139

Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com:
A helicopter will take the priority cargo straight from the ship, at sea, to KSC.

USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast)1/13/21, 2:22 PM
#BreakingNews @USCG Sector St. Pete will activate a 2 [mile] safety zone in the Gulf of Mexico tonight w/ @NASA @faa & @SpaceX for CRS 21 Dragon 2 Cargo Capsule return. Boaters should STAY BACK for the safety of all responders & spacecraft & monitor VHF CH 16 for updates. #boatsafe
https://twitter.com/uscgsoutheast/status/1349436704592175106
⬇️ Text image of the notice


—- Starship
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/13/21, 2:06 PM
Today at SpaceX is about practicing Starship engine starts. Ship is held down by massive pins while engines are fired. Two starts completed, about to try a third.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1349432529657294848
Quote
Sassquatch (@Sassquatch0) 1/13/21, 1:48 PM
 @LabPadre 's camera had really great audio of the static fire & engine noise after shutoff.
➡️ https://twitter.com/sassquatch0/status/1349428239060541440
18 sec clip. Also: debris.

Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 1/13/21, 3:23 PM
SN9 has completed its second static fire test of the day, this one occurring about 2 hours after the first one.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1349452102481944581
⬇️ Image below

——
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)1/13/21, 9:43 AM
SpaceX has added a Temporary Flight Restriction for Starship SN9's hop on Saturday. Launch opportunities are currently available on Jan. 14, 15, and 16, per hazard zones.
tfr.faa.gov/tfr2/list.html
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1349366355582046208

—-
Quote
Brendan (@brendan2908) 1/12/21, 4:59 PM
SN7.2's forward dome has been mated with its aft dome. This is the first tank to be built using 3mm stainless steel instead of the current 4mm.
@elonmusk what bar are you expecting SN7.2 to reach and when will it be tested?
By: @BocaChicaGal for @NASASpaceflight
➡️ https://twitter.com/brendan2908/status/1349113844648431617
Photo & Render of the tank at the link


—- Starlink & Russia
Russia may fine citizens who use SpaceX’s Starlink Internet service
Russia is planning its own Internet from space plan, called Sphere.
Eric Berger - 1/12/2021, 9:11 AM
https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/russia-may-fine-citizens-who-use-spacexs-starlink-internet-service/
Quote
Elon Musk (responding to the ars article):
We’re just trying to get people to Mars. Help would be appreciated.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1349187570647920640

Lyubomir Vladimirov (@lvladimirovBG)1/12/21, 6:03 PM
Dear Elon,
I'm a game dev. and I am making a game about colonizing Mars with you and SpaceX in it. If you think it's cool, all I need is the "Go ahead" to use your name and Logos.
I will post this every day for a year or until I get a Yes or a No! 
154 / 365
Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/13/21, 3:04 AM
@lvladimirovBG You can steal our name/logos & we probably won’t sue you
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1349265937392930816
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 10:19:16 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1044 on: January 13, 2021, 09:55:31 PM »
—- So many launches planned for this weekend!
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 1/12/21, 3:11 PM
Looks like Blue Origin's next New Shepard Launch will take place sometime from this Thursday through Sunday.

Eric Berger:
Because of course it will. We'll add this to the list of SLS Green Run, SN9 test flight, LauncherOne demo flight, and Rocket Lab.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1349086963949776896

—-
Quote
Eric Berger:
New year, new NASA!
➡️ https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1349384241101025280
Text image at the link:  NASA will telecast Saturday’s SLS core stage hot fire test!  Starting at 4:20 pm ET! ;D


—- Moon Lander mission selects SpaceX
Intuitive Machines Selects SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket for Second Moon Mission
Quote
January 13, 2021
There are currently five awarded Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) missions to the lunar surface in the next three years. Intuitive Machines (IM) has two of the missions and both will be launched by SpaceX.
https://7c27f7d6-4a0b-4269-aee9-80e85c3db26a.usrfiles.com/ugd/7c27f7_d4e8fd8ca00244ef9d28ab1dbcf68bd5.pdf


—- New Solar Arrays for the ISS
Quote
Eric Berger:
Boeing is building six additional solar arrays for the International Space Station. They will launch beginning in 2021, the company said.
These new arrays will combine with the eight existing arrays to provide a 20-30% increase in power. "The arrays will provide ISS with electricity to sustain its systems and equipment, plus augment the electricity available to continue a wide variety of ... experiments."

Mack Crawford (@brickmack):
They go in front of (or on top of, if you prefer) the existing panels. They cover up part of the old ones, but since they're way more efficient (and not degraded by 20 years of radiation and oxidation) it works out.
Carried 2 at a time on Cargo Dragon.
https://twitter.com/brickmack/status/1348739627071377408

Press Release:
Quote
HOUSTON, Jan. 11, 2021 – Boeing will support the International Space Station’s (ISS) growing research capabilities and commercial opportunities with new solar arrays to increase the orbiting laboratory’s power supply. The modification to Boeing’s ISS sustainment contract with NASA calls for Boeing to deliver six additional solar arrays to NASA for installation beginning in 2021. … 
https://boeing.mediaroom.com/news-releases-statements?item=130801


—- A core stage for the second SLS is being built
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace)1/12/21, 1:40 PM
John Shannon of Boeing says production of the second core stage (for Artemis 2) is going well. COVID-permitting, it will be shipped from Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana in June, 2022.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1349063739849515011
Eric Berger:
This means it's all but certain that Artemis 2 (the mission to carry a crew of four astronauts around the Moon, similar to Apollo 8 ) will not launch until mid-2023 at the earliest.


Lori Garver (@Lori_Garver) 1/12/21, 2:20 PM
@SciGuySpace Congress gave @NASA $850M v $3.4B for HLS. When-if ever-will that get us a lander? Do we keep circling the moon 1 or 2 times a yr for $10B? What about Gateway? Please don't blame @JoeBiden. Inheriting false expectations makes it harder to gain new Admin. support #tellthetruth
https://twitter.com/lori_garver/status/1349073766723293189
< But it's enough to keep the legacy workforce employed, which is all Congress really cares about.
< Boots on the moon in 2024!
<< You mean lob a pair of empty boots at the moon? That could work
> Which makes the chances of it launching at all substantially less. It will be very interesting to see what the Biden Administration does with SLS given the cost overruns.
>> Hardware already exists and NASA fully plans to use it. It’ll fly
> Hardware for Apollo 19 and 20 was also built, but never flown. It is not unprecedented for a program to get cancelled and leave behind hardware.


—- The Lunar Gateway
NASA and Japan finalize Gateway agreement
Jeff Foust January 13, 2021
https://spacenews.com/nasa-and-japan-finalize-gateway-agreement/
⬇️ Render below.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1045 on: January 13, 2021, 10:14:06 PM »
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet) 1/13/21, 4:00 PM
Live: Just Read the Instructions droneship is departing for the Starlink V1 L16 mission:

     NSF Fleetcam - LIVE SpaceX Fleet Operations at Port Canaveral, FL 24x7 - YouTube
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnt2wZBg89g&feature=youtu.be
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1349461380928311299

Quote
Jan. 17 Falcon 9 • Starlink V1.0-L16
Launch time: 1823 GMT (1:23 p.m. EST)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the 17th batch of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network, a mission designated Starlink V1.0-L16.

Jan. 21 Falcon 9 • Transporter 1
Launch time: 1424 GMT (9:24 a.m. EST)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Transporter 1 mission, a rideshare flight to a sun-synchronous orbit with dozens of small microsatellites and nanosatellites for commercial and government customers. Delayed from Dec. 16 and Jan. 14.
https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

—- Today’s Starship static fires continue!
Quote
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight)1/13/21, 4:06 PM
The only thing better than two static fires is three static fires.
SpaceX is going again with Starship SN9!

LIVE: https://t.co/kTBRmCMbk4 
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1349462889334153218
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1046 on: January 14, 2021, 02:35:34 AM »
—- Cargo Dragon 2.0 CRS-21 splashdown
Quote
SpaceX (@SpaceX)1/13/21, 8:28 PM
Splashdown of Dragon confirmed, completing SpaceX’s 21st @Space_Station resupply mission and the first return of a cargo resupply spacecraft off the coast of Florida
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1349528716951474177

Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com:
One of the features of the new CRS-2 contract is splashdown near Florida.
SpaceX has two recovery ships with helipads in Florida, allowing them to fly cargo back to scientists faster than ever before.
Previously, it would take 24 - 72 hours for Dragon cargo to arrive by ship.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1349513761254748160

William Harwood (@cbs_spacenews) 1/13/21, 7:24 PM

CRS-21: Rcovery crews are standing by to quickly extract a rodent habitat and frozen, time-critical experiment samples so they can be flown back to Cape Canaveral for a speedy handover to researchers
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1349512667875205122


—- Starship multiple static fires!
Quote
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 1/13/21, 2:06 PM Today at SpaceX is about practicing Starship engine starts. Ship is held down by massive pins while engines are fired. Two starts completed, about to try a third.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/13/21, 4:47 PM
All three static fires completed & no RUDs!

Everyday Astronaut:
Awesome milestone! Back to back to back static fires!!!! We’ve never seen that before. Very impressive. And they still haven’t detanked.... think they’ll go for four?!

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)1/13/21, 5:07 PM
Detanking & inspections now. Good progress towards our “Hop in & go to Mars!” goal.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1349478110027280386

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Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 1/13/21, 5:54 PM
Starship prototype SN9 performed three static fire tests today. This is a notable achievement, and really points to maturing hardware, ground systems, and procedures. Test flight could take place as early as tomorrow, but weather may be better on Friday or Saturday.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1349489959019933696
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1047 on: January 14, 2021, 04:39:32 PM »
—- CRS-21
Science delivered to Kennedy Space Center only 3 hours after splashdown!
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NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy)1/13/21, 11:48 PM
Welcome back to Kennedy Space Center!
Time-critical research that was on the @SpaceX cargo Dragon has arrived to the Launch and Landing Facility. This short trip allows researchers to collect data with minimal loss of microgravity effects:

    SpaceX Cargo Dragon Splashes Down Loaded With Science Experiments – Space Station
    https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2021/01/13/spacex-cargo-dragon-splashes-down-loaded-with-science-experiments/
    Some of the scientific investigations Dragon returned to Earth are described.
    Is also the source of the “SpaceX-21” patch shown below.

https://twitter.com/nasakennedy/status/1349579187615535104
⬇️ Photo below. :o 8)
< Nice, a Eurocopter Super Puma (EC-225)

NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy)1/14/21, 1:37 AM
From the Launch and Landing Facility to the Space Station Processing Facility, the time-sensitive @ISS_Research delivered by @SpaceX’s upgraded cargo Dragon is now being processed for handoff. …
➡️ https://twitter.com/nasakennedy/status/1349606576638844930
14 sec: rolling cargo out of a truck at a loading dock


—- Starship
Quote
Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) 1/13/21, 11:20 PM
SpaceX defied expectations by static firing Starship SN9's Raptor engines three times in one day! This was the final test before SN9 can fly.
Video from Mary (@BocaChicaGal), Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer), and NSF Robotic Cameras.

    Starship SN9 Static Fires - Three Raptor Engine Tests in One Day - YouTube
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqRaa7WfIeU&feature=youtu.be
      10 min vid
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1048 on: January 16, 2021, 01:04:34 AM »
No wonder Viasat is fighting against Starlink as hard as it can. But city dwellers may be disappointed, because Starlink will not replace other ISPs in congested, well-served areas.
SpaceX Starlink internet ready to be adopted by over 50% of Americans: survey
January 14, 2021
Quote
A recent survey has determined that over half of Americans are ready to switch to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service. This was despite only 5% of internet subscribers in the United States being connected via satellite today.

The study was conducted by Reviews.org, which asked respondents whether they would consider getting on board with Starlink once the satellite internet service is fully set up. As it turns out, over half of those surveyed stated that they’d be signing up for the Starlink Beta program, despite the $499 cost of the satellite dish and the service’s current $99 per month fee.

Interestingly enough, 55% of the study’s respondents who do not use satellite internet today noted that they would stay with Starlink permanently if the system’s connection was faster, even if its price was higher than their current internet service provider. Over 40% of the respondents also stated that they would stay with Starlink if SpaceX would allow subscribers to make payments on the satellite system instead of an upfront $499 fee.

Average internet costs in the United States today stand at 57.2 Mbps for about $65 per month, which translates to a $1.13 per Mbps rate. Starlink is more expensive at $99 per month, but considering that the system provides average speeds of 103.1 Mbps at its present state, SpaceX’s satellite system is actually cheaper on a per Mbps basis. ...
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starlink-50-percent-usa-adoption-survey
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Sigmetnow

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Re: SpaceX
« Reply #1049 on: January 16, 2021, 06:52:08 PM »
—- CRS-21
Quote
Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet)1/15/21, 7:33 AM
SpaceX has published a photo of the CRS-21 Dragon after successful recovery!
spacex.com/updates/crs-21…
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1350058427221991424
⬇️ Photo below

—- Starlink launch preps  
  North & South Carolina
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Gavin - SpaceXFleet.com (@SpaceXFleet)1/16/21, 11:13 AM
Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief docked at the Port of Morehead City earlier this morning.
JRTI droneship and GO Quest are offshore near Georgetown, SC.
The weather at the Starlink LZ is pretty bad and there is no rush to get onsite just yet.
https://twitter.com/spacexfleet/status/1350476367733862404

NCSpaceOps (@ncspaceops)1/16/21, 11:09 AM
.@SpaceX fairing catching vessels Ms Tree and Ms Chief are in the Port of Morehead City. They’ll be supporting the next #Statlink mission #nc #northcarolina #SpaceX #spacexfleet @SpaceXFleet
https://twitter.com/ncspaceops/status/1350475368839475200
Photo at the link.

—- Next Starlink launch
Quote
Emre Kelly (@EmreKelly)1/14/21, 4:06 PM
Looks like SpaceX is now targeting no earlier than Monday, Jan. 18, for the next Starlink launch from 39A. Hazard warnings indicate a T-0 sometime between 0835 and 0943 ET.
https://twitter.com/emrekelly/status/1349825152847122436


—- Opinion | Policy: Defense
How Joe Biden can galvanize space diplomacy
Quote
Nascent efforts to establish international norms for behavior offer an major opportunity to reduce the chances of a conflict.

The potential for future conflicts to originate in outer space, or for terrestrial conflicts to extend there, has grown as various governments are developing an array of counterspace weapons. The explosion of commercial space activity has also raised the risk of damaging incidents in space.

These developments have renewed interest in the role that international norms of responsible behavior could play in enhancing safety and security in the space domain. Those norms can range from informal "rules of the road" that evolve from practice to international political agreements or even legally-binding measures.

But previous efforts to establish norms have had limited results. The Biden administration has an opportunity, working with like-minded allies and partners, to galvanize nascent international efforts. …
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/15/how-joe-biden-can-galvanize-space-diplomacy-459331


—- Reusable Rockets
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace)1/15/21, 7:52 AM
ArianeGroup and the French space agency have reached a deal to expedite development of the low-cost, reusable Prometheus rocket engine. They seek to begin testing before the end of 2021 at the Vernon site in Normandy, France. Would be used for rockets after Ariane 6.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1350063388924268546


—- SLS Green Run hot fire test today.
The Wet Dress Rehearsal did not complete a full duration, so be prepared for countdown holds.
Quote
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace)1/16/21, 8:14 AM
NASA says it will proceed with fueling operations for today's hot fire test of the SLS rocket core stage. Live coverage begins at 4:20pm ET (21:20 UTC) with a two-hour firing window opening at 5pm ET. NASA TV will broadcast it.
blogs.nasa.gov/artemis/2021/0…
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1350431165665177600

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 1/16/21, 9:56 AM
SLS Green Run Day.
Vehicle is into prop loading on the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis.
Here's the most comprehensive overview article for the SLS Green Run from the most prolific SLS writer, Philip Sloss.
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1350456941697527809
⬇️

NASA SLS Core Stage ready for high-stakes Green Run static fire
written by Philip Sloss January 16, 2021
Quote
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) program and Core Stage prime contractor Boeing are finally ready for the big moment of the rocket’s Green Run campaign and the biggest moment in the 10-year old program, a static firing of the stage. After a year of test cases at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, visits from hurricanes, and waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, an eight-minute long, flight-duration Hot-Fire test planned for January 16 hopes to demonstrate the readiness of the new rocket stage for its first launch.

Four veteran Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME), now equipped with upgraded computers and adapted to meet SLS performance requirements, are supporting actors in this crucial test of the rookie stage. The Hot-Fire test is planned as a full flight duty cycle to demonstrate the real-world performance of the large, complicated rocket; the renamed Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines will be put through a set of circular and sinusoidal gimbaling experiments that will help demonstrate operating margins predicted by analytical models.

Green Run design verification campaign a first and last opportunity before first SLS launch
Boeing is conducting the SLS Core Stage Green Run design verification campaign with the stage bolted into the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis. Core Stage-1 arrived at the test site almost a year ago in mid-January, 2020; the campaign is now ready for the culmination of testing with a flight-duration, nearly 500-second test firing of the stage. …
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/01/sls-core-stage-green-run-static-fire/
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