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Messages - Sigmetnow

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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: August 09, 2020, 07:23:37 PM »

School that suspended students for posting photos of unmasked students crowded in hallway now reports nine positive cases among students and faculty.

School District defends itself saying: “Situations in which students crowd into halls only happen in between classes.”


9 people test positive for coronavirus at Georgia school where viral photos showed packed hallways

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 09, 2020, 04:05:23 PM »
—— Starship SN5
Photo below.
RGVAerialPhotography (@RGVaerialphotos) 8/8/20, 2:27 PM
SN5 after its historic 150M Hop!
@elonmusk #spacex #bocachica
2100ftMsl  08/07
What’s do you think will happen to it after it gets moved?

Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) 8/8/20, 6:11 PM

Spot the tiny humans!!! This shot really puts it into scale!!! A full blown Starship and SuperHeavy will be hard to fathom!!!! 

Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) 8/8/20, 6:24 PM
@elonmusk what’s gonna happen to our good friend SN-5? Will it fly again? Will it get 3 raptors and fly a little higher? Will it Hopper and just watch the others fly?

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/8/20, 6:28 PM
Not sure yet, but hopefully. Will need leg & other repairs. Probably SN6 flies before SN5.
We need to make flights simple & easy — many per day.  

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/8/20, 8:28 PM
A full video showing how the SpaceX teams took care of Starship SN5 following her hop on to the landing pad.
The first-ever post-flight processing flow for Starship.
Video and Pictures from Mary (@BocaChicaGal). Edited by Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer).

===== SpaceX

Success of SpaceX an inspiration for all
South China Morning Post - editorial


Policy and solutions / Re: The Boring Company
« on: August 09, 2020, 03:56:54 AM »
Elon Musk has a secret Boring Company station between LA to Vegas in the works
August 3, 2020
Elon Musk’s Boring Company appears to have something brewing in between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and it could have to deal with the company’s plans to link the two cities with a tunnel.

Photos showed a Boring Company machine, along with large tents set up in the middle of the desert in Adelanto, California. The presence of machinery and storage tents hints toward the possibility that the Boring Company could be gearing up for the prospective link between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Oil and Gas Issues
« on: August 08, 2020, 09:13:48 PM »
Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) 8/7/20, 11:24 PM
Mauritius has declared a state of environmental emergency as oil from a sinking ship has begun to spread.
Priya Hein (@PriyaHein) 8/7/20, 4:51 AM
Absolutely shattered by the ecological crisis faced by Mauritius. These pictures of the oil spill, wrecking our most beautiful lagoons, were taken by my friend Eric Villars on his flight to Rodrigues this morning. #mauritius #oilspill #wakashio #bluebay #coralreefs #marinepark

“Beef is clearly declining as a percentage of total meat production, from 39% in 1961 to only 20% in 2018. Pork is exactly the same percentage of total meat production now as it was in 1961: 35%. All of the growth has come from chicken, which has more than tripled from 11% to 34% of total meat production.”

The World Is Finally Losing Its Taste for Meat
Production is projected to dip for the second year in a row, and there’s reason to believe we’re already falling out of love with beef.
August 8, 2020
Global consumption of animal proteins has been rising, apparently inexorably, for the past six decades. The coronavirus pandemic has finally changed that trajectory.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that meat production—a decent proxy for consumption—dropped in 2019, and it forecasts a decline again this year. Last year was only the second since 1961 in which production fell; two consecutive years of decline is unprecedented and could be the start of something durable. We’re already at peak pasture as far as demand is concerned, and it looks like we’re also approaching peak beef, even in places like steak-crazed Brazil.
But by any number of measures, beef consumption looks very near its peak, and the investors betting more than $1 billion on alternative proteins this year are hoping that their portfolio companies can drive meat demand down further. For now though, the easiest and the nearest-term solution for reducing land use emissions is simply to use less land. Substituting chicken for beef does this already on the margin; a measurable shift away from beef consumption could take that trend much further. …

COVID-19 was cited as the reason for 63,517 job cuts in July. The respiratory illness has been blamed for 1.075 million layoffs so far this year. The balance of job cuts in July were attributed to market conditions, a downturn in demand and bankruptcies.

Job cuts announced by U.S. companies jump 54% in July: report
U.S. employers announced another 262,649 job cuts in July as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to weigh on demand, the latest indication that the labor market recovery is losing steam.

“The downturn is far from over, especially as COVID cases rise around the country,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president at Challenger, Gray. “Consumers are buying fewer goods and services, businesses are closing, and bankruptcies are rising.”.

Several retailers including J.C. Penney and Lord & Taylor have filed for bankruptcy since March. Job cuts remained concentrated at bars, restaurants, hotels and amusement parks. The automotive sector cut 83,853 jobs.

“It is clear that many job losses are now permanent, and it will be challenging for many workers to find new jobs and feel safe taking jobs that are public-facing,” said Challenger.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 08, 2020, 06:08:39 PM »
—— Starship ——
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/7/20, 3:10 PM
Watch Live: Starship SN5 is about to be lifted onto a stand
[ 1hr47. Crane lifts just enough to put “pipe stands” underneath to take the weight off the legs, so they can be retracted. 
Screencap below. Short clip in NSF tweet below ⬇️]

< I think [Starship legs] may have had something like a crush core. This is a screen cap from @NASASpaceflight following the hop.
Image below.

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/7/20, 4:35 PM
Humans for scale!
20 sec NSF Live clip: humans at base of Starship SN5

[ Photo below of human & Falcon 9 for comparison.]

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/7/20, 4:58 PM
[Starship with SuperHeavy booster] will look crazy tall with booster & fairing at 122m / 394 ft

Diameter:  9m/30ft
Height: 120m/394ft (SS+SH)
SS alone: 50m/160ft
SH: 70m/230ft   6 legs

Prototypes like SN5:
Diameter:  9m/30 feet
Around 30m/98 ft tall without booster or fairing

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 08, 2020, 05:44:40 PM »
Elon Musk gives SpaceX employees a day off after historic week

—- Starlink
Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) 8/7/20, 6:27 PM
SpaceX told the FCC in a late July presentation that the company’s Starlink unit is “now building 120 satellites per month” and has “invested over $70 million developing and producing thousands of consumer user terminals per month.”
Info slide below.

—- SpaceX and ULA win military launch competition worth $653 million -- and that's just the start
New York(CNN Business) Elon Musk's SpaceX and Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture United Launch Alliance are the big winners in a stiff competition to secure military launch contracts, teeing up the companies to dominate the lucrative market for launching US national security satellites for years to come.

The initial awards will give $316 million to SpaceX for one launch and $337 million to ULA for two launches. But the total value of the deal could be worth far more, as the military will ask one or the other company to launch additional missions.

SpaceX is expected to handle 40% of all national security satellites slated to go up over the next five to seven years, while ULA will handle the other 60%. Military officials did not say exactly how many launches that might enetail, nor did they provide a total contract value. …

—- The First planetary defense mission:  smash a smallish, 500kg spacecraft into a small asteroid, and see what happens.
NASA awards DART launch contract to SpaceX
April 11, 2019
SpaceX will launch a NASA mission to test an asteroid deflection technique at a significantly lower price than past agency contracts won by the company.

NASA said April 11 it awarded SpaceX a contract to launch the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) on a Falcon 9 in June 2021 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The total cost to NASA for the mission, including the launch and related services, is $69 million.

DART is a mission under development at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as part of NASA’s planetary defense program. The spacecraft will use an electric propulsion system to travel to the asteroid Didymos. DART will collide with a small moon orbiting Didymos, sometimes nicknamed Didymoon, at a speed of six kilometers per second.

Astronomers will measure the change in the moon’s orbit around Didymos as a result of the impact to measure how well the energy of the impact was transferred to the moon. That will help scientists gauge the effectiveness of the “kinetic impactor” approach proposed as one means of deflecting an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth.

DART originally planned to launch as a rideshare on the commercial launch of a geostationary orbit satellite. The mission switched several months ago to a dedicated launch. NASA did not disclose if DART, which weighs about 500 kilograms, will share the launch vehicle with another spacecraft. …
Image below.

SpaceX Falcon 9 : NASA DART : July 2021

DART - The First Planetary Defense Mission - YouTube
13 min.  Good explainer.

South Korea mulls exiting its own launch program. South Korean defense industry analysts say the nation would have difficulty competing with other countries in the launch industry, which can provide more advanced technologies and services at lower prices with their already established space-industry infrastructure. "Even if South Korea develops its own rockets, they would not be able to excel more than aerospace giants like SpaceX in terms of technology," said Shin Jong-woo, a senior researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, in The Korea Times.

Ten times the cost ... The country's space institute, KARI, has developed several small-satellite rockets, but these are not competitive with SpaceX's Falcon 9, which recently launched South Korea's first military communications satellite, ANASIS-II. "The costs spent by the South Korean government to develop the two rockets were 10 times higher than those spent by SpaceX," Kim Seung-jo, former president of KARI, said. "But the South Korean government's outcomes in its rocket projects were far behind the Falcon 9 rocket produced by SpaceX."

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: August 08, 2020, 04:55:29 PM »
Likely they wore the mask until seated on the plane, then removed it.

Aug 1: 
Delta flight returns to gate after two travelers refuse to wear masks
"Delta statement to CNN: “Flight 1227 from Detroit to Atlanta returned to the gate following two customers who were non-compliant with crew instructions. After a short delay, the aircraft departed to Atlanta.” The two passengers were removed from the plane, a spokesperson said."
< Bravo to Delta!! Apparently those 2 passengers took off their shoes at TSA and gave up their luggage to have it scanned without it being a violation of their body or constitutional rights or whatever they rationalize it with.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: August 08, 2020, 04:47:26 PM »
Electric car power accepted as payment for parking in Japan
Nissan Leaf drivers in Japan can now pay for parking with electricity from their vehicle.
The proof-of-concept experiment, at Nissan’s Pavilion exhibition space in Yokohama, allows EV owners to pay for their stay by feeding battery power back into a localised grid.
The Pavilion opened on August 1, 2020, and will run until October 23. It is an arena for the Japanese manufacture to show off new technologies.
“The Pavilion is a place where customers can see, feel, and be inspired by our near-future vision for society and mobility,” said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida.
“As the world shifts to electric mobility, EVs will be integrated into society in ways that go beyond just transportation.”
Practical implementation of the displayed energy storage and sharing systems is still in its early stages, however Nissan has reportedly entered into agreements with local governments to use their vehicles as mobile battery units during natural disasters.
The Nissan Leaf was launched globally in 2010.  It is priced in Australia from $49,990 (plus on road costs).

Audi lowers the E-Tron SUV's starting price by $9,000 for 2021
And introduces a new Sportback model.

Used Teslas sell very fast compared to other models, data confirms
August 7, 2020
As overall demand for used cars slows due to the coronavirus pandemic, used Teslas are selling faster than other electric cars.
According to new analysis from, the Tesla Model 3, Model X, and Model S were the top three fastest-selling electric cars, while the Model 3 was the fastest-selling used car overall—including both electric and internal-combustion models.

That's based on analysis of vehicles from model years 2015 through 2019 listed on that website, which used two datasets for this analysis. One from November 2019 to February 2020 represent pre-coronavirus sales trends, and another from March 2020 to June 2020 gave a tally of sales during the pandemic.
The sales trend is in part a classic case of supply and demand.
"The Tesla Model 3, which was the automaker's least-expensive vehicle, had the highest number of preorders of any car ever produced, and the long wait time helped further drive the high demand for the vehicle which has been sustained in the secondary marketplace," …

Should I Buy An Electric Car Or Hybrid Now?
Not much new here for regular readers of this thread, but it’s a good reflection of where the public is now.  Includes several personal stories and their reasoning.

Automotive News (@Automotive_News) 8/6/20, 2:21 PM
FCA likely to recall 1M vehicles in U.S. for excess tailpipe emissions

Ford CEO surprises everyone by retiring after just three years
Ford just got its fourth CEO in six years.

Coronavirus hastens Big Oil's Atlantic divide on climate change
The big picture: Economic shutdowns around the world in response to the coronavirus choked off oil demand at a time when the industry was already awash in too much of the fuel and struggling financially. Now, the world may be changing in permanent ways that tilt society away from what has been a steadily growing demand for oil despite rising concerns about its impact on the planet.

“The coronavirus crisis has, all of a sudden, accelerated at least the potential that oil demand will plateau,” said Martijn Rats, global oil strategist at Morgan Stanley.

Persistently low oil prices are making other sources more intriguing investments. “The profitability of investing in renewables versus oil and gas is an awful lot closer now.”

How it works: Europe’s more progressive governments and investors are major reasons why its oil companies are looking to evolve compared to their U.S. counterparts.

“If you’re a European company, you’re looking at much more aggressive government policies,” said Yergin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who is about to publish another book — "The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations" — next month. ...

Consequences / Re: Hurricane Season 2020
« on: August 08, 2020, 03:52:01 PM »
Andrew Freedman on Twitter: "[THREAD] Why the new NOAA hurricane seasonal outlook is so dire.
Note: We've already had a record 9 named storms so far. Typically, the ninth-named storm forms in early Oct. It's early August. After the 21st named storm, we go into the Greek alphabet.
[WaPo article at the link.]
"Sea surface temperatures in tropical Atlantic, along East Coast, and in Caribbean are well above avg. (in some cases record warm). That's fuel ready and waiting for storms to tap into. 2/
“A developing La Nina event in the tropical Pacific may lead to reduced wind shear over the tropical Atlantic, making it a more favorable environment for tropical storms and hurricanes. 3/
"An unusually active West African Monsoon season is bringing more thunderstorms off the west coast of Africa, which can then organize into tropical cyclones. 4/
"Weaker than average Atlantic trade winds favor more storm development. 5/
"We're in an "active" phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), which favors more active hurricane seasons. This cycle began in 1995. 6/
"Climate change is driving ocean temperatures up, and leading to wetter, more intense hurricanes. It's also increasing the chances for storms to rapidly intensify. But it's not leading to more storms overall, based on studies to date. 7/
"Lastly, and NOAA didn't mention this, but, it's 2020. So..."

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 07, 2020, 03:32:24 PM »
—— Starlink’s tenth mission
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/7/20, 1:13 AM
20 sec webcast clip

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/7/20, 1:21 AM
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship
20 sec webcast clip

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/7/20, 2:21 AM
Both BlackSky satellites have been deployed

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/7/20, 2:47 AM
Deployment of 57 Starlink satellites confirmed
30 sec clip from webcast

SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/7/20, 12:58 AM
Watch Falcon 9 launch SpaceX’s tenth Starlink mission →
And the Twitter Broadcast replay is in the tweet.

SpaceX launches tenth Starlink mission, nails booster’s fifth landing
By Eric Ralph August 6, 2020 
While Starlink-9 was originally scheduled to launch as early as June 23rd, Principal Integration Engineer John Insprucker – a familiar fixture and voice on SpaceX webcasts – was quick to note that through the more than six subsequent weeks of delays, “Falcon 9 has been trouble-free.” He also partially answered the main question on everyone’s mind, noting that all of those delays could be traced back to bad weather and issues with the mission’s payloads.

Notably, the next two non-Starlink launches currently on SpaceX’s manifest are SAOCOM 1B – the first polar orbit launch from the East Coast in half a century – and Crew-1 – Crew Dragon’s first operational astronaut launch. Scheduled no earlier than late-August and late-September, respectively, both major customer missions are likely to be punctuated by several Starlink launches over the next two months. With Starlink-9 complete, SpaceX could be just 4-5 missions away from rolling out Starlink internet service according to a comment from COO/President Gwynne Shotwell that service could begin after the 14th Starlink launch. ...

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 06, 2020, 10:13:38 PM »
—— Tonight!
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/6/20, 12:28 PM
Targeting Friday, August 7 at 1:12 a.m. EDT [0512 GMT ] for Falcon 9’s launch of 57 Starlink satellites and 2 spacecraft from @spaceflight’s customer BlackSky
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/6/20, 12:30 PM
Falcon 9’s first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched two Starlink missions, Crew Demo-1, and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission
Four launch photos at the link.


—— More on this:
—— No operational Boeing Starliner Crew flights expected before 2022. :o
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/5/20, 9:07 PM
Commercial Crew notional dates:
- SpaceX Crew 1 - NET 9/27/20
- OFT-2 - 11/18/20 (Under review)
- SpaceX Crew 2 - 3/30/21
- CFT - 4/21
- SpaceX Crew 3 - 8/12/21
- SpaceX Crew 4 - 2/4/22

- Boeing Crew 1 - 2/24/22
- Boeing Crew 2 - 4/21/22
- Boeing Crew 3 - 12/14/22

Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/5/20, 9:09 PM
Schedule planning seems to represent the earliest that each mission could be ready and needed, as launching two Commercial Crew missions in February 2022, seems unlikely to happen, for instance. Will likely end being only one of those.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: August 06, 2020, 06:06:52 PM »
Nikola’s Q2 earnings call this week mostly consisted of them reading the SEC filing.  They refused to give a number of Badger reservations, and still have not contracted with an OEM to build it.

They also revealed that each hydrogen station will take 18 months to build, and no production is expected this year.
ALEX  (@ajtourville) 8/5/20, 1:36 PM
Nikola signed the contract with Anheuser-Busch in February 2018 which stipulates Nikola must provide hydrogen trucks & hydrogen fueling stations for each of the 13 AB locations in the Network by December 31, 2021.
~ 7/9
30 months after signing the Anheuser-Busch contract, Trevor Milton says Nikola hasn't even determined the location of the first 2 hydrogen stations & that it will take Nikola 18 months to assemble each Nel plug & play station!
~ 8/9
Not to mention Nikola only began the beta engineering of its hydrogen truck in Q1-2020 & that it isn't even scheduled to go into production until 2023!

The “factory” in Ulm, Germany where the BEV Nikola Tre is to be made is a small warehouse with no assembly equipment visible in the SEC photos.  (One photo shows a long-abandoned, empty space.)   The “Business Outlook” section of the filing is exactly three lines, saying only that they plan to begin “testing” (of some sort) in 2021 before proceeding to “low volume production” of the Nikola Tre (no time frame given).

Nikola Tesla’s Ghost  (@Nikola_Truth) 8/4/20, 4:37 PM
So what was once ‘12 months’ and became ‘mid to late next year’ is actually at best late next year.
Even then, that’s probably still optimistic.

The only Q2 revenue in the filing is $36,000 (reported as “$0.04 million”) which Trevor Milton paid the company to install solar panels on his house in Utah.
< $0.04 million is the cutest way I’ve ever seen to say $40,000  This year, they also built 0.0 million vehicles.

"Is this all we get?" Paul Coster of JPMorgan asked. Jeff Osborne, an analyst at Cowen, said Nikola's rollout timeline is "a bit confusing."
Tesla competitor Nikola sinks 17% after debut earnings report misses forecasts and analyst call turns contentious

Why Nikola Stock Fell Sharply After Earnings
Investors would have been delighted to hear that Nikola has a manufacturing partner for its electric Badger pickup -- but no news was forthcoming on Tuesday.

Nikola's stock is down because the company missed a different set of expectations. As Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner said in a note on Monday, before Nikola reported, investors were expecting news on any of several fronts.

News of (for instance) new fleet customers for Nikola's upcoming battery-electric semi, an announcement of a commercial partner for its hydrogen refueling network, or a manufacturing partner for its Badger pickup truck could have pushed the stock significantly higher. …

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 06, 2020, 04:54:46 PM »
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/5/20, 6:09 PM
Starship liftoff and landing photos →
Photos below.

Remembering Starhopper - 150 m Hop 6 Month Anniversary
Published on Feb 27, 2020
6 months ago, Starhopper successfully completed a 150 meter hop, marking a significant step toward making Humans a multi-planetary species and the second flight of a Full Flow Staged Combustion rocket engine (the first being Starhopper’s 20 meter hop). Relive the glory days with this video, including never before posted footage of the Abort Flamethrower, both 20 and 150 meter hops + more.
6 min

—- Starlink 9/ BlackSky Global
Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/5/20, 7:02 PM
OCISLY has arrived at the Starlink landing zone! The droneship is ~634 km downrange.
Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief are nearing the fairing recovery area, ~695 km downrange.
Launch NET Aug 7th at 01:12 EDT.
Marine tracking map below.

Aug. 7:  Falcon 9 • Starlink 9/BlackSky Global
Launch time: 0512 GMT (1:12 a.m. EDT)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to launch the tenth batch of approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network, a mission designated Starlink 9. Two Earth observation microsatellites for BlackSky Global, a Seattle-based company, will launch as rideshare payloads on this mission. Moved forward from June 24. Delayed from June 23, June 25 and June 26. Scrubbed on July 8 due to poor weather. Scrubbed on July 11 due to technical issue. Delayed from July 29, July 31, Aug. 1 and Aug. 6. [updated Aug. 4]

Policy and solutions / Re: The Boring Company
« on: August 06, 2020, 02:59:46 PM »
Las Vegas tunnel project clears last major hurdle for expansion
Aug 5 2020
On Wednesday, county officials unanimously approved designs for two additional tunnels connecting hotels with the Las Vegas Convention Center, clearing the way for Musk’s Boring Co. to expand its first commercial underground transportation system.

Approval form the Clark County commission is one of the last hurdles to a proposed expansion of a Boring Co. project burrowing underneath the convention center, which was largely finished in May but has yet to open for rides. One of the hotels connecting to the Loop, Resorts World, said it expects construction on the expansion to begin by the end of this year, Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World Las Vegas, said in an emailed statement.

In May, Musk tweeted that Boring Co. would “also connect Vegas hotels & airport.” Airport officials have held introductory conversations with the Boring Co. in recent weeks, according to Chris Jones, a spokesman for McCarran International Airport.

With the coronavirus pandemic curbing travel, including to Las Vegas, Boring Co. and its hotel partners may benefit from some extra time to get their projects ready. Boring Co. has said it’s on track to finish the Vegas convention center Loop by January, in time for the massive Consumer Electronics Show, though conference organizers said last week that the event will be held exclusively online. A Boring Co. Loop to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is still mired in the city’s environmental review process and missed a deadline for opening this year that had been set by the baseball team’s financial chief. ...

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 06, 2020, 03:36:52 AM »
—- Starship SN5 hop
Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) 8/4/20, 8:04 PM
Just so we're clear, SpaceX built a Mars rocket out of rolls of steel, in tents, in South Texas, in weeks. And the first time they flew it, it made a smooth launch, a controlled flight, and safely landed. This is truly remarkable.
Eric Berger: Mars is still long freaking way away. So very far. But the first step is low-cost, frequent access to space for tons of stuff. This is the first step toward that first step. And it's a big one.

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/4/20, 8:29 PM

SpaceX Starship leaps towards Mars with picture-perfect hop debut

—- Demo-2 splashdown videos
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/5/20, 5:44 PM
NASA has released some gorgeous 4K footage of Dragon Endeavour splashdown and recovery ops following the successful conclusion to Demo-2.
4k links and some clips at this link.⬆️

—— No operational Boeing Starliner Crew flights expected before 2022. :o
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/5/20, 9:07 PM
Commercial Crew notional dates:
- SpaceX Crew 1 - NET 9/27/20
- OFT-2 - 11/18/20 (Under review)
- SpaceX Crew 2 - 3/30/21
- CFT - 4/21
- SpaceX Crew 3 - 8/12/21
- SpaceX Crew 4 - 2/4/22

- Boeing Crew 1 - 2/24/22
- Boeing Crew 2 - 4/21/22
- Boeing Crew 3 - 12/14/22

—- Falcon 9 mission contracts signed
SpaceX, ULA to launch C-band satellites for SES
Commercial satellite operator SES has selected SpaceX and United Launch Alliance to each launch two geostationary satellites designed to replace C-band capacity in the United States that the Federal Communications Commission is repurposing for 5G cellular networks.

PredaSAR may launch 48 satellites with SpaceX, exec says
August 4, 2020
“We agreed to do one and we will negotiate the rest later,” Bell said. “We would like to work with SpaceX on the rest of them, and I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement in the near future.”

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: August 05, 2020, 07:56:07 PM »
Global Plug-In Electric Car Sales June 2020: Model 3 Leads, Model Y In 14th YTD
The top three models in June were:
   •   Tesla Model 3 - 35,854 (#1 YTD: 142,346)
   •   Renault ZOE - 10,553 (#2 YTD: 37,154)
   •   Tesla Model Y - about 7,500 (#14 YTD: 13,415)
Graph below.

—- The Honda “e” city car
Honda Electric Car Is Range And Price Challenged, But Technology, Quality Are Plusses
Cars like the Renault Zoe (240 miles) and the Peugeot 208 e (220 miles) are priced very close to the Honda e but are bigger, and have this huge almost double advantage in range. Honda counters with the argument that the interior quality of the “e” is in a higher class, and the technology offered is also worth paying for. Honda says that for most daily commuters, the range of 125 miles would be more than adequate, while its fast charging is top class. Honda says it can be 80% recharged in 30 minutes.

Honda has no current plan to sell the car in the U.S.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 05, 2020, 01:37:29 PM »
—— Starship SN5 first hop video from SpaceX
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/4/20, 11:37 PM
Starship takes flight
At the link: 1-minute drone & interior view, with control room audio.

—- This South Padre Island Starship cam view vividly illustrates the rocket’s pitch changes during the flight.
Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) 8/4/20, 9:31 PM
A full-scale prototype of the huge Starship vehicle SpaceX says will fly people to the moon and Mars flew for the first time Tuesday in South Texas.
“Mars is looking real … Progress is accelerating,” says @elonmusk.
Video: @SpacePadreIsle
FULL STORY: [link below]
Hop video at the link.

SpaceX clears big hurdle on next-gen Starship rocket program

—— NSF’s edited video. 10 minutes.
Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/5/20, 12:44 AM
Under the roar of Raptor, Starship SN5 took flight during a successful 150m test hop at Boca Chica.

Mary (@BocaChicaGal) had several cameras filming this historic event, with editing by Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer)



The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 05, 2020, 04:39:36 AM »
Starship’s landing legs are hidden under the bottom “skirt,” and thus are not easily visible while on the launch mount, but they extend for landing.

Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/4/20, 10:03 PM
Sounds like the plan is now to get more experience with the launch process. Makes sense, given that a lot of the ground support equipment and systems on the vehicle are new. Perhaps, SN6 will get to fly to 150 meters too!

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/4/20, 9:17 PM
V1.1 legs will be ~60% longer. V2.0 legs will be much wider & taller — like Falcon, but capable of landing on unimproved surfaces & auto-leveling.

< What's next, Elon? 20km hop?
Elon Musk:We’ll do several short hops to smooth out launch process, then go high altitude with body flaps

< when will you do a hop and a relight? i.e. - land and take off again?
Elon Musk: Soon

< Road to Mars
Photo below: SN5, Starhopper. 

Elon Musk:
Progress is accelerating

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 05, 2020, 03:21:06 AM »
The Raptor is a full-flow staged combustion cycle rocket engine — a very efficient but very complex engine that has rarely been attempted before.  This is only the second time one has (intentionally ;) ) flown. 
SpaceX’s ‘Starhopper’ was the first.

Is SpaceX's Raptor engine the king of rocket engines?
Article and video.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 05, 2020, 02:57:18 AM »
Starship’s landing legs are hidden under the bottom “skirt,” and thus are not easily visible while on the launch mount, but they extend for landing.

Trevor Mahlmann (@TrevorMahlmann) 8/4/20, 8:44 PM
Leg deploy…

support me on patreon and help me get to more tests like this:
Photo below.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 05, 2020, 02:41:08 AM »
The single Raptor engine in SN5 is mounted off-center, because future prototypes will have 3 Raptors in a triangular configuration, per Elon Musk.  That is why the rocket does a “power slide” off the launch mount and the engine does not thrust straight down.  SN5 also rolled (rotated) approximately 90° during its flight, testing the ‘steering’ thrusters.

Trevor Mahlmann (@TrevorMahlmann) 8/4/20, 8:20 PM
There for 20m.
There for 120m.
Here for 150 m.

With certainty, I can say, offset thrust is the best thrust.

full-resolution download:…
Photo below.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 05, 2020, 02:26:16 AM »
➡️ 90 second video of the flight at the link.  Screencap below.

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/4/20, 7:59 PM
LAUNCH! Starship SN5 has launched on a 150 meter test hop at SpaceX Boca Chica.
Under the power of Raptor SN27, SN5 has conducted what looks like a successful flight!
Listen to the SpaceXers cheer!
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) filming history!

~ To the uninitiated and casual followers. IN THE LAST TWO DAYS SpaceX concluded the mission that returned US domestic crew launch and return capability, then test hopped a prototype rocket that is destined to be the first vehicle to land humans on Mars.

THAT'S why we're excited!

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: August 04, 2020, 08:07:14 PM »
Looking Back on a Revolution: Tesla Model 3 Turns Three
Jul 29, 2020
Tesla's Master Plan
In 2006, Tesla CEO Elon Musk posted Tesla's secret master plan online for the world to see.

"So, in short, the master plan is:
Build sports car
Use that money to build an affordable car
Use that money to build an even more affordable car
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options"

2008: Tesla delivered the first Tesla Roadster. Check.
2012: Tesla delivered the first Model S. Check.
2016: Tesla acquired Solar City. Check.
2017: Tesla delivered the first Model 3. Check.

Project BlueStar
On July 28, 2017—three years ago today—Tesla's decade-long master plan came to fruition when Tesla handed over the first BlueStar, now known as Model 3, vehicles to customers. The goal for BlueStar was clear from the start: drive volume.

"With BlueStar, we're looking at cost and lowering the overall expense to the user. If it's not cost-competitive (with oil), you are going to have a hard time scaling to a high level." - Tesla co-founder JB Straubel to CNET, 2008

While scaling to a high level has not been without challenges, the Model 3 has cemented its revolutionary status by quickly becoming the best-selling electric vehicle in history despite 5-10 year head starts from runners-up.

But it's not just other EVs that the Model 3 has overthrown. In the United States, the Model 3 has outsold competing premium internal combustion engine sedans: the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and S4, Lexus IS, and Jaguar XE. Combined. ...

—- China quality study
Ray4️⃣Tesla (@ray4tesla) 8/2/20, 12:57 PM
JUST IN: CheZhiWang, Automobile quality complaint data collecting site in China , finds in Q2, Model 3 is the least complained car w/ 0.7 complaint/10k cars, topping all 37 other models foreign or domestic. This is the 1st time Model 3 ranks top spot in the findings.
~ BYD Qin (PHEV) ranks 4th to the last with 33.3 complaints per every 10k vehicles.
~ Chinese brand Aion S is the only pure EV brand other than Model 3 on the list I can find. It ranks the 8th with 8.1 complaints per every 10k vehicles.
  [ List (mostly in Chinese) at the link.]

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 04, 2020, 02:59:14 PM »
—— Demo-2 splashdown footage
SpaceX (@SpaceX) 8/3/20, 10:44 PM
Tracking footage of Crew Dragon’s descent, parachute deployments and splashdown
1:16 vid, no audio, at the link.

—-  preps for next Starlink launch
Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/3/20, 6:05 PM
Of Course I Still Love You droneship is about to depart for the Starlink V1 L9 mission.
This will be the fourth time that tugboat Finn Falgout has towed the droneship out for this mission...
Destination: "Back to the LZ"
Marine tracker map at the link.

Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/3/20, 6:13 PM

Of Course I Still Love You droneship is en-route to the Starlink LZ. Launch NET August 6th.
Photo captured via the WKMG ClickOrlando Canaveral Webcam.
Photo of OCISLY & tug leaving port at the link.

Julia (@julia_bergeron) 8/4/20, 3:53 AM
OCISLY still has quite a way to go to make it to the Starlink landing zone. I am now seeing the Starlink 10th mission launch scheduled for Aug. 7th at 1:12 am EDT from LC 39A. That would line up with when the fleet would be ready for recovery.

—— GO Navigator update
Kyle Montgomery (@Kyle_M_Photo) 8/3/20, 2:00 PM
GO Navigator is still docked in Pensacola. Looks like they craned something onto(or possibly off) GO Navigator, I'm guessing it's a new backup generator. #SpaceXFleet #SpaceX
Photos at the link.
< Better late than never! Naughty generator. ;)
Kyle Montgomery (@Kyle_M_Photo) 8/3/20, 2:09 PM

Looks like the believed to be generator is now strapped down the helipad
Another photo 

—- Starship SN5 hop attempt aborted yesterday, will try again today
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/3/20, 7:23 PM
 I’m in the Boca control room. Hop attempt in ~33 minutes.

Some comments submitted to the live video:
< Thank you for televising the revolution.
< Elon is there!  In the control room via Twitter.
< My mom asked why I am watching a bunch of tanks. ;D

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/3/20, 8:44 PM
Scrubbed for the day. A Raptor turbopump spin start valve didn’t open, triggering an automatic abort. We’ll figure out why & retry tomorrow.  

Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) 8/3/20, 11:37 PM
Starship SN5's first hop attempt was ended before it began. A turbopump spin start valve failed to open, ending the test prematurely. Mary provides gorgeous views as Starship is tanked, spun up and detanked.
Video from Mary (@BocaChicaGal)

Watch at the NASAspaceflight youtube channel:

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 03, 2020, 03:54:31 PM »
—— Crew Dragon Demo-2
Mary (@BocaChicaGal) 8/2/20, 2:20 PM 
It appears that the satellite tracking antennas at Boca Chica are tracking Crew Dragon.
Antenna photo below.

Christian Davenport (@wapodavenport) 8/2/20, 7:47 PM
"Five hours ago we were bobbing around in a spacecraft making prank satellite phone calls to whoever we could get ahold of," Doug Hurley said, in one of the best post-landing quotes ever.

Anthony Vareha (@Enterprise_Flt) 8/2/20, 10:17 PM
I recieved one of these calls at the flight director console. It started with an opening line like "Hi it's Doug and Bob and we're in the ocean." I think my response was "Yeah, I can see that."
~ After the call ended, my witty Capcom Megan Levins suggested that my response SHOULD have been "oh crap, was splashdown supposed to be TODAY?"
<  Considering they’d said they expected to spend the time between splashdown and recovery barfing, this was a way better use of time.

Shane Kimbrough (@astro_kimbrough) 8/2/20, 10:00 PM
Amazing, historic day today as our @SpaceX @NASA Guice Offshore and Air Center teams recovered the first crewed dragon with our astronauts onboard the DM-2 mission. I was honored to be part of the team today. #nasa #crewdragon #SpaceX
Dragonship Endeavor aboard GO Navigator photo below. Shane is a member of Crew-2.

TomCross (@_TomCross_) 8/2/20, 8:25 PM
A monumental achievement for this group of people on the Dragon team.

I think I speak for everyone in saying that we will all remember what part of the vehicle we designed, fabricated and assembled to make Demo-2 a success. Together @SpaceX we did what some thought impossible.
Photo at link:  Pre-Covid, a huge SpaceX crowd is joyous in front of the Dragon

How we were coming into 2020 vs how we feel now #SplashDown
Dragon/Astronaut photo below.

—-  next Starlink launch?
Emre Kelly (@EmreKelly) 8/3/20, 8:51 AM
Space news! It doesn’t stop. Hazard area issued for Thursday, Aug. 6 launch of tenth Starlink mission from pad 39A. Targeting ~0130 ET, but stay tuned for exact time confirmation from SpaceX.

Dear boats: don’t even think about it.
Map at the link.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 03, 2020, 03:40:34 AM »
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/2/20, 9:25 PM
Bob and Doug inside of Dragon Endeavour shortly after hatch opening. #SpaceX #Demo2

Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/2/20, 9:26 PM
Some more good ones from NASA's very talented photographer, Bill Ingalls.
Full album:…

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 03, 2020, 02:50:45 AM »
US Coast Guard statement
Miles Doran (@MilesDoran) 8/2/20, 8:29 PM
.@USCG statement on boaters surrounding @SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule after splashdown: "numerous boaters ignored the Coast Guard crews’ requests and decided to encroach the area, putting themselves and those involved in the operation in potential danger."
Text image below.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 03, 2020, 01:39:24 AM »
Successful autonomous return to earth of the Dragon capsule!  Astronaut egress occurred just over an hour after splashdown, delayed by small concentrations of toxic propellants outside the capsule, discovered after Dragon Endeavor had been brought aboard GO Navigator.  Given the option of exiting earlier, the astronauts radioed that they were fine with waiting, to assure everyone would be safe.

SpaceX lands NASA astronauts in the ocean for the first time in decades

SpaceX Crew Dragon makes historic 1st splashdown to return NASA astronauts home

The good weather, low wind and glassy sea made for an easy splashdown — but it also allowed a buildup of the toxic combustible gas (common to returning spacecraft), plus an unhealthy concentration of pleasure boaters surrounding the capsule before it had been safed. Coast Guard vessels had maintained a safe area for splashdown, but Pensacola boaters clearly have a lot to learn.

Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/2/20, 5:05 PM
The first question of the press conference addresses all the boats near Dragon.
The Coastguard cleared a 10 nautical mile area prior to splashdown but the boats came in afterward once they saw splashdown. "It's something we need to do better next time."
< How many @USCG cutters would it require to restrain the boating public's interest and enthusiasm for @NASA @SpaceX ? A lot.
<< I live on the Space Coast. I don’t think that would have happened if the landing was off Cape Canaveral. The people around here know the boundaries when it comes to NASA

Elon Musk and Gwynne Shotwell were front and center at displays in Hawthorne mission control.  After Bob and Doug were safely out, they celebrated the mission success with a little champagne.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 03, 2020, 01:35:26 AM »
So they spend all that money on a rocket, but Elon can't afford a decent camera to show us the debarkation of those astronauts onto the ship?  :-\

They may have cut away on purpose, for privacy and respect in a difficult moment, after the astros  had been in weightlessness for two months.  It’s rare to see much of folks exiting the Soyuz until they are all comfortably out of the capsule and arranged nicely for photographs.

Edit:  they are now broadcasting live on the ground in Texas.  Joking about making prank satellite phone calls from the ISS [Edit: from Dragon, see #766 below :) ] just a few hours ago.
NASA (@NASA) 8/2/20, 7:39 PM
LIVE NOW: Our #LaunchAmerica astronauts are welcomed home after today's historic splashdown aboard the @SpaceX Dragon Endeavour. @AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug arrive at Ellington Field in Houston... 

Another edit:  privacy of the ship’s crew’s identities may have also been a consideration when setting up the video cameras.  The crew was definitely under stress today, dealing with the fuel fumes vs. the requirement to get the hatch open quickly, and some of their... “discussions” looked rather embarrassing.  They did have a photographer at work, so we’ll likely see nice photos later.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 02, 2020, 05:39:29 PM »
Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 8/2/20, 10:04 AM
For today, as I know many are wondering:
1. First and foremost, all attention and good energy to #CrewDragon as it returns for splashdown at 2:48 pm EDT (18:48 UTC).
2. After that, attention can shift to Boca Chica, where #SpaceX is preparing to hop #Starship 150m later today.

NASA (@NASA) 8/2/20, 8:00 AM
Space dads @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug woke up aboard @SpaceX’s Dragon Endeavour to hear a message from their sons, awaiting the #LaunchAmerica crew’s arrival back on planet Earth.
At the link: rather than the usual wake-up music, Doug and Bob were awakened with taped callouts from their kids.

Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 8/2/20, 9:50 AM
#CrewDragon is committed to splashing down in #Pensacola now today. Dragon passed the last point an hour ago where it could have phased its orbit to align with the backup location in Panama City. So it's Pensacola or waive off to tomorrow now. 1/2
#DM2 #Demo2 #SpaceX #NASA
~ All weather and sea states are ACCEPTABLE for landing. Winds are at 1 mph and seas are "calm" in the Pensacola recovery area. 2/2

Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/2/20, 10:21 AM
SpaceX: Unable to get the replacement generator onboard before GO Navigator had to depart.
The recovery ship should arrive at the splashdown site at 17:00 UTC (1pm EDT)
~ This does not impact the mission at all. This is why they have a redundant generator..

Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) 8/2/20, 10:41 AM
Good reinforcement to all the "looking-for-any-tiny-thing-to-cause-needless-alarm-on-social-media" folks out there that 1 generator is fine. No safety rules are being violated. This is why there is a redundant generator onboard GO Navigator. #CrewDragon #DM2 #Demo2 #SpaceX #NASA

NASA (@NASA) 8/2/20, 10:38 AM

GO Navigator is on its way to the splashdown zone off the coast of Florida. Despite being down one generator, the #LaunchAmerica crew's prime recovery ship is well equipped and there is no impact to the timeline.
Clip: crew notification.

Chris G - NSF (@ChrisG_NSF)8/2/20, 11:22 AM
The remaining timeline for today:
13:51:54 EDT - Trunk separation
13:56:45 EDT - Deorbit burn
14:36:33 EDT - Entry Interface (re-enters atmosphere)
14:44:13 EDT - Drogue chute deploy
14:45:00 EDT - Main chute deploy
14:48:24 EDT - Splashdown
#CrewDragon #DM2 #Demo2 #SpaceX #NASA

17:51:54 UTC - Trunk separation
17:56:45 UTC - Deorbit burn
18:36:33 UTC - Entry Interface (re-enters atmosphere)
18:44:13 UTC - Drogue chute deploy
18:45:00 UTC - Main chute deploy
18:48:24 UTC - Splashdown

NASA (@NASA) 8/2/20, 11:09 AM
CRUISE VIEWS: See the @SpaceX recovery ship GO Navigator make its way to the splashdown zone. The hydraulic lift on the bottom right will hoist the Dragon Endeavour carrying @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken.
1 min clip from the webcast.

Chris B - NSF (@NASASpaceflight) 8/2/20, 9:57 AM
It's the EOM (End Of Mission) Ground Track Screen!
Dragon Endeavour Demo-2 (Left).
Image below; Shuttle Endeavor EOM screen at the link.

Demo-2 to splashdown in Gulf; SpaceX, NASA eye operational Crew Dragon flights

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 02, 2020, 02:55:33 PM »
—— Demo-2 re-entry and splashdown explainer
Everyday Astronaut (@Erdayastronaut) 8/2/20, 1:15 AM
When @SpaceX’s Crew Dragon deorbits, I know many will be asking, “Why didn’t they use the SuperDraco engines?” & maybe “can they use the SuperDracos if the parachutes don’t work?” Well here’s those answers in a sneak peek for tomorrow’s video all about reentering from orbit!
[2 min vid at the link]

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 8/2/20, 1:42 AM
@Erdayastronaut All correct. Parachutes were originally the backup landing system, with SuperDraco thrusters as primary. Difficulty of proving thruster landing safety *and* architecture being suboptimal for moon/Mars caused us to change focus to parachutes.
~ However, we did prove that a SuperDraco landing could work by doing a propulsive hover
Dragon 2 Propulsive Hover Test - YouTube

[45 sec, including slo-mo] [/size]

Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 8/2/20, 1:00 AM
Webcast presenters talking about how they are excited to have two Dragons docked to the Space Station at once this fall with the Crew-1 and CRS-21 vehicles.

Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/2/20, 8:07 AM
SpaceX: Working an issue with the generator on the recovery ship which has eliminated power redundancy. Working a plan to get a backup generator.
Even without this resolved, we do expect the ship to be at the designated landing site. No impact to timeline.

—- Starship
Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) 8/2/20, 1:27 AM
SpaceX and SN5 appear ready to attempt a 150m hop! Bluezilla returned to work, a new four ring stack with lead ins was spotted, and construction at the production and launch sites continued.
Video + Photos by Mary (@BocaChicaGal) for @NASASpaceflight.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 02, 2020, 03:23:52 AM »
SpaceX Crew Dragon undocks from space station to bring NASA astronauts home for 1st time
The first astronauts to fly in SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft are on their way back to Earth from the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who spent about two months at the space station following the historic launch of the Demo-2 mission on May 30, climbed aboard their Crew Dragon spacecraft today (Aug. 1) and began their 19-hour trip home with a smooth undocking at 7:35 p.m. EDT (2335 GMT). Both craft were sailing nearly 270 miles (430 kilometers) above Johannesburg, South Africa at the time.

"It's been a great two months and we appreciate all you've done as a crew to help us prove out Dragon on its maiden flight," Hurley told the station's crew just after undocking. "We look forward to splashdown tomorrow."

"Safe travels and have a successful landing," station commander Chris Cassidy of NASA replied. He rang the a "ship's bell" on the station as they departed. "Endeavour's a great ship. Godspeed." ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: August 01, 2020, 09:28:37 PM »
Pretty much the direct opposite of “vertical manufacturing.”  Don’t make anything yourself, just pray that all your suppliers deliver an acceptable product, in needed amounts, on time... and that someone has the skills to pull it all together.  Very few new auto companies succeed (before Tesla, Ford was the last) — I don’t see how lessening your control over the final product improves those odds.

Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: August 01, 2020, 09:09:33 PM »
—— GigaBerlin
Quote #GigaBerlin. (@Gf4Tesla) 7/31/20, 12:44 PM
July 31/ 2020
+++Weekend update +++
- new reinforced concrete pillars in ( BiW ) set
- new foundations in ( GA - SE ) prepared
- a quantity of building materials delivered in ( DU )
- More walls and roof elements in ( PT )
- "Tesla Straße" is being prepared.
2 min drone vid of the construction site.

—- Engineering Graduates Rank Tesla & SpaceX As The Top 2 Favorite Employers
Today's businesses operate in a highly competitive employment landscape, so they must be attractive. Through Universum research, employers can gain valuable insight into how their organization is perceived by the employees of tomorrow.

Universum is the most recognized Employer Branding specialist in the world. On an annual basis, Universum works with over 2000 universities, alumni groups, and professional organizations across 50 markets to gather insights from students and professionals in order to advise employers on how to attract talent that fits their culture and purpose.

Elon Musk's companies are the most coveted employer among engineering graduates in a recent Universum study. Tesla is #1 on this list, and SpaceX #2. …
From the Tesla Q2 2020 earnings call:
Elon Musk:  “… But it's -- I just want to be clear, at Tesla, we love manufacturing. It's awesome, and I really think more smart people should be working on manufacturing.

… It's actually extremely exciting and fulfilling to design new production systems. And I think that for some reason, [it] kind of got a bad rap, especially in the U.S., for a long time.

And I think people didn't think that manufactured -- they sort of put manufacturing is like, oh, this is for some boring, just making copies, whatever. But actually, there's far more opportunity for innovation in manufacturing than in the products itself, [orders of] magnitude. So like if there's one thing that comes out of this call, it's like, hey, if you want to help us invent amazing, new manufacturing techniques and have input into the product itself, it's not like you just get touch the product and say, hey, make this product, and it's kind of a lousy design. If you're manufacturing, you get to change the product design, and say, hey, this product, you're asking your manufacturers [for is] dumb.

Like, great, let's fix it. So it has -- if you work on manufacturing engineering, but you don't just get force fed a sandwich. You get to change the product design. So it's super exciting.

And we evolve the lines even after they're [built] this rapid evolution of the production system. So --  the long-term sustainable advantage of Tesla, I think, will be manufacturing. …

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 01, 2020, 08:22:37 PM »
Pensacola is in the “panhandle” of west Florida
Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 8/1/20, 1:43 PM
BREAKING: @NASA and @SpaceX are targeting Pensacola as the primary return location for Crew Dragon w/ @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken from the @Space_Station. We are targeting undocking at 7:34 p.m. EDT today.
Read more: ⬇️

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2: Teams Targeting Gulf of Mexico for Splashdown
August 1, 2020
Following a scheduled assessment of weather conditions for splashdown, teams from NASA and SpaceX are proceeding with preparations to bring NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley home to Earth aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft.

Conditions are “Go” at the primary targeted site, off the coast Pensacola, and alternate site off the coast of Panama City in the Gulf of Mexico for splashdown and recovery on Sunday, Aug. 2. Teams will continue to closely monitor Hurricane Isaias and evaluate impacts to the potential splashdown sites.

SpaceX will monitor changes to conditions until 2.5 hours prior to the scheduled undocking, when a determination to proceed with departure will be made. If conditions are marginal and exceed the accepted criteria, a joint recommendation by SpaceX and NASA will be made whether to proceed with undocking at 7:34 p.m. EDT. NASA and SpaceX will make the final decision to proceed after the astronauts are ready inside Crew Dragon just before undocking.

Live coverage of NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 return will begin at 5:15 p.m. and continue through the targeted splashdown at 2:41 p.m. on Sunday, the first return of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft carrying astronauts from the space station. It will wrap up NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight after more than two months at the International Space Station. ...

Pensacola or Panama City splashdown will be supported by SpaceX recovery ship GO Navigator.
Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/1/20, 1:58 PM
GO Navigator is currently preparing for the recovery operation at the Port of Pensacola - ~65 km northeast of the splashdown location.
Local marine map at the link.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 01, 2020, 05:23:23 PM »
—— #LandAmerica ;D
Bob Behnken (@AstroBehnken) 8/1/20, 10:58 AM
All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go… #LandAmerica
Photo below.

Who recovers the crew and the Dragon Endeavour capsule from the water? What vehicles and personnel are involved?

For splashdown at any of the seven potential sites, SpaceX personnel will be on location to recover the capsule from the water. Two recovery ships, the Go Searcher and the Go Navigator, split locations between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. On either ship will be more than 40 personnel from SpaceX and NASA, made up of spacecraft engineers, trained water recovery experts, medical professionals, the ship’s crew, NASA cargo experts, and others to assist in the recovery

From July 24:
Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 7/24/20, 10:25 PM
It's happening! Crew Dragon recovery ship GO Navigator has departed from Port Canaveral and is heading to the Gulf of Mexico to support the Demo-2 splashdown.
GO Navigator will be positioned to support the 4 potential splashdown locations in the Gulf.
Photo and marine tracking map at the link.  Destination “IFAT”


—-  Starship hop
Michael Baylor (@nextspaceflight) 7/31/20, 4:28 PM
SpaceX is targeting Aug. 2 for Starship SN5's 150 meter hop test, per the latest Boca Chica beach and road closures.
Backup days are available on Aug. 3 and 4. Windows are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central.
Text image at the link.


—- Wannabe engineers crave SpaceX
Engineering Graduates Rank Tesla & SpaceX As The Top 2 Favorite Employers
Today's businesses operate in a highly competitive employment landscape, so they must be attractive. Through Universum research, employers can gain valuable insight into how their organization is perceived by the employees of tomorrow.

Universum is the most recognized Employer Branding specialist in the world. On an annual basis, Universum works with over 2000 universities, alumni groups, and professional organizations across 50 markets to gather insights from students and professionals in order to advise employers on how to attract talent that fits their culture and purpose.

Elon Musk's companies are the most coveted employer among engineering graduates in a recent Universum study. Tesla is #1 on this list, and SpaceX #2. …

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: August 01, 2020, 04:48:06 PM »
—— Crew Dragon Endeavor, Demo-2 mission:  Return to earth
NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) 8/1/20, 8:26 AM
Join us this morning at 9:10 a.m. ET for the @SpaceX Dragon Demo-2 Farewell Ceremony aboard the @Space_Station.
Undocking remains scheduled for today at approximately 7:34 p.m. ET, and splashdown at 2:42 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 2
Portrait photos of Bob & Doug in their SpaceX suits at the link.

Replay of farewell ceremony here:
NASA (@NASA) 8/1/20, 9:09 AM
LIVE NOW: Tune in to watch as @AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug say farewell to their @Space_Station crew members.
 Soon, the #LaunchAmerica crew will close the hatch on their spacecraft ahead of their return to planet Earth:

—- Jacksonville, Florida
Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/1/20, 9:12 AM
The fleet has docked on the St Johns River, between the Matthews and Hart bridges.
GO Searcher could deploy from here for Demo-2 Atlantic recovery operations, if required.
Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/1/20, 4:01 AM
The SpaceX recovery fleet will shortly be arriving at Jacksonville.
They will shelter further inland, attempting to avoid the worst of Hurricane Isaias.
Marine tracking map below.
~ Somewhat rare to see this many fleet ships sailing together. An action shot of the Jacksonville arrival would be cool.
Gavin - (@SpaceXFleet) 8/1/20, 5:51 AM
*The invasion of Jacksonville begins* /s   

45th Space Wing (@45thSpaceWing) 8/1/20, 9:34 AM
The 45 SW Commander has declared HURCON 3 at 0810L for the 45th SW. Accountability is not required at this time. Visit…  for more information.

Thomas Burghardt (@TGMetsFan98) 7/31/20, 2:59 PM
A NASA Gulfstream V has departed Houston for Pensacola. #Demo2 #BringThemHome
~ The crew will return to KSC regardless of where they splashdown.

The preferred splashdown zone is just south of Panama City.
Crew Dragon astronauts ready for re-entry, splashdown

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: July 31, 2020, 09:13:14 PM »
—— Starship
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 7/30/20, 4:31 PM
Drone photo of Starship static fire below.

SpaceX applies for FAA license to hop Starship.
On Tuesday, SpaceX submitted its application for pa launch license to fly its Starship vehicle up to 20km. The company stated that its purpose is for "Experimental med altitude hop, landing, and recovery tests of the Starship Prototype suborbital test vehicle from Boca Chica TX."

Tests later this year? ... The proposed dates for the test run from August 18, 2020, through February 18, 2021. It is not clear which Starship prototype will be tested up to 20km. The current prototype on the launch pad in Boca Chica, SN5, may make a short hop up to 150 meters early next week after undergoing a successful static fire test on Thursday.

—-  Starlink 9 launch delayed yet again, this time due to Hurricane Isaias.
Julia (@julia_bergeron) 7/31/20, 9:40 AM
OCISLY and crew have returned to Port Canaveral after aborting the planned journey to the Starlink LZ. The fleet will dock in Port Canaveral with Isaias heading north. GO Navigator remains in the Gulf area. #SpaceXFleet
Photo below, another at the link.

now targeting:
Aug. 6  Falcon 9 • Starlink 9/BlackSky Global
Launch time: 0533 GMT (1:33 a.m. EDT)

Policy and solutions / Re: Aviation
« on: July 31, 2020, 08:39:31 PM »
“There is a customer calling us every day with a desire to want to defer and to deal with the difficult environments that they are dealing with.”

Boeing slashes aircraft production plans, warns on new job cuts as coronavirus devastates travel
• CEO Dave Calhoun announced the production cuts after the company released a $2.4 billion quarterly loss.
• Boeing’s commercial aircraft unit suffered the most, with a 65% drop in revenue from a year earlier as deliveries of new planes tumbled.
... Boeing also said it would end production of the 747, a plane it has produced for more than five decades and is credited with spurring a boom in travel worldwide, in 2022.

Boeing has more than 470 planes sitting on the ground that haven’t been delivered to customers, most of them 737 Max jets, according to consulting firm Ascend by Cirium.

Airbus, Boeing’s main rival, is also hurt by the crisis and is set to report results on Thursday.

Calhoun said in April that air travel demand will likely take two or three years to recover. International demand has been particularly soft, hurting the outlook for Boeing’s widebody commercial planes, like the 787 Dreamliner. The International Air Transport Association, a trade group that represents most of the world’s airlines, said Tuesday it expects passenger air travel demand globally to recover to 2019 levels in 2024, a year later than it previously forecast. ...

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: July 31, 2020, 08:25:26 PM »
Fisker hits snag in deal to use Volkswagen’s EV platform
Talks are now delayed until at least September after the two sides failed to reach an agreement
Fisker Inc. has hit a snag in the plan to power its electric vehicles with Volkswagen’s modular EV platform, as negotiations over a “cornerstone agreement” that were supposed to end this month are now delayed until at least September.

In a scripted presentation to investors filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) early Friday morning, founder Henrik Fisker says his company has “not achieved our goal of signing a cornerstone agreement with VW by the end of July 2020 as we previously anticipated.” The agreement is supposed to lock in costs, production capacity, and a production timeline.

Fisker says he “looks forward to continuing discussions with VW again in September after the traditional European summer holidays,” but adds that Fisker Inc. remains “in conversation with several other potential OEMs and suppliers.” ...

 :o This sounds suspiciously like Nikola:
Fisker Inc. is currently trying to become publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange by merging with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. Spartan, which was started by Apollo Global Management, is a “blank check company” or “special purpose acquisition company” — essentially an entity with no real business that gets listed on a stock exchange and then seeks out a company to merge with, thereby offering something of a shortcut around the traditional IPO process. The script was filed with the SEC by Spartan.

While Fisker says he still believes in Fisker Inc.’s overall timeline (deliveries starting “as early as the end of 2022”), time is of the essence. Spartan shareholders gave the company two years to merge with another company, and that deadline is up on August 14th. In the meantime, Spartan has asked those shareholders to approve an extension of the deadline to February 2021. A vote is scheduled for next week.

Fisker Inc. and Spartan announced their proposed merger earlier this month, adding themselves to a suddenly growing list of investments and mergers in the electric vehicle space. As The Verge first reported, Fisker Inc. revealed at the time that it has been in talks with Volkswagen to use the German automaker’s so-called MEB platform (which consists of scalable battery packs, electric motors, and the other EV tech that drives a car) for years. The two signed a memorandum of understanding in November 2017, and a “collaboration agreement” in December 2018. The first prototype of Fisker Inc.’s Ocean SUV, which debuted at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, was even built by Volkswagen’s Italdesign subsidiary on the MEB platform.

Fisker Inc. has said it wants to build two more models on the MEB platform beyond the Ocean. …

In order to avoid the pitfalls of making an electric vehicle in-house, Fisker has said he wants Fisker Inc. to be “asset light” and not vertically integrated. Instead, he’s planning to source as much of the hardware from other companies as possible so Fisker Inc. “can focus exclusively on innovation in consumer-facing areas of the car, which are software, sustainability and a highly emotional design.”

“We are confident that this asset light model will allow us to deliver a compelling, affordable vehicle with an unparalleled digital consumer experience,” Fisker says in the script made public on Friday. “[W]e are pursuing an industry changing business model that will deliver Emass, or Emobility as a service, with the most sustainable, emotional design to deliver ultimate value to the consumer, while driving the biggest profits in the automotive industry. This is our commitment, and we are on target to deliver on this.”

Tesla Cybertruck Reservations 713,000. Fisker Ocean SUV: 7,062
Fisker shared today that reservations for the Fisker Ocean SUV, expected to begin production in the second quarter of 2022, hit 7,062.
“Registered interest” numbers hit 30,277.

Policy and solutions / Re: Electric cars
« on: July 31, 2020, 08:14:47 PM »
——  VW ID.3 pre-orders
Joe Miller (@JoeMillerJr)7/27/20, 3:00 AM
Encouraging news for VW as it begins its Tesla offensive.
85% of pre-orders for the ID.3 came from customers who’d never driven a VW before. Purchasers were also 10 years younger than the average Golf buyer.
Has a Financial Times link.

——  Polestar 2: a heavy, traditional-looking car for an EV
Alex (@alex_avoigt) 7/10/20, 8:53 AM
First Polestar tests are coming in & my high hopes are disappointed
A first Nexmove test (summer conditions): a range of 270km (176 miles) vs the promised 470km!
Android looks good, less cabin space, charging [thumbs down], good built quality for €57k - 70k

[German, with English subtitles.]

< Autovisie (dutch magazine) did a test with model 3 and polestar. ~100km usage model 3: 16 kwh and polestar 20kwh. So 25% less efficient
<< The rather traditional body hits hard on the EV efficiency, I'd have never imagined that the cars air resistance has this much of an impact - even at merely above 100 kph.
Alex:  It's not just aerodynamics (Why that grill?) but they add to the low efficiency.
Because of the battery cell technology used automakers often reduce the usable battery capacity. …

Tesla Model 3’s Main Rival, The Polestar 2 Reviewed In The UK

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:28:48 PM »
Additional confirmation.
Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) 7/30/20, 4:56 PM
Universal Pictures committed to funding Tom Cruise's space movie, Deadline reports, with SpaceX partnering on the project that will send Cruise and director Doug Liman to the space station #CruiseDragon

Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 7/30/20, 7:05 PM

Sources said that Space X’s Elon Musk will be a partner in the project.
How Tom Cruise & Doug Liman Pitched Way To $200 Million Universal Commitment On Space Film With Elon Musk
July 30, 2020 11:31AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE: What did Universal Pictures execs require to commit to liftoff of the first ever narrative feature film to shoot in outer space? According to sources, all it took was an exuberant Zoom call with Tom Cruise, director Doug Liman, Christopher McQuarrie and PJ van Sandwijk. They pitched the picture with no script (Liman is writing it), and came away with a production commitment around $200 million.

Sources said that Space X’s Elon Musk will be a partner in the project and the expectation is that is that McQuarrie — Cruise’s writer/director on the Mission: Impossible films — will have a ground control role as story advisor and producer alongside Cruise, Liman and van Sandwijk.

The $200 million figure is an estimate, considering the project is still being scripted and the unprecedented logistics, but it costs more to make space-set blockbusters that never require breaking through the atmosphere. It seems a reasonable sum to make movie history for a movie studio in this pandemic moment when streamers are making all the noise.

Deadline revealed in early May that Cruise was working on the space-set action adventure and that he was serious about doing it and that Musk was involved. Deadline broke later that month that Doug Liman would be making the trip with him, and the director who helmed the Cruise pics American Made and Edge of Tomorrow, then went to Florida to witness the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying two American astronauts at the Kennedy Space Center, an historic public-private partnership that put the U.S. back in the business of human spaceflight for the first time in a decade.

Cruise and McQuarrie are back shooting Mission: Impossible Fallout but this is looking more real by the minute. Don’t expect Cruise and Liman to lose their nerve. Both are pilots and their adventurous spirit shows in their filmmaking. As for Cruise, he is a meticulous planner, but fearless in doing his own stunts that have included hanging from a helicopter and the side of a jet plane during takeoff in Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation. In Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol he scaled the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai skyscraper, and executed stunts 123 floors up.

No comment all around.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:16:46 PM »
NASA Announces Astronauts to Fly on SpaceX Crew-2 Mission
NASA and its international partners have assigned crew members for Crew-2, which will be the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the mission. JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join as mission specialists.

Reddit folks add details:

NASA Announces Astronauts to Fly on SpaceX Crew-2 Mission - spacex
< Megan McArthur is married to Bob Behnken
< I think its pretty cool Megan McArthur is going to be the pilot on the exact same craft that her husband, Bob Behnken, piloted.
< So the exact same seat position. But probably not the exact same seat, because Crew Dragon has different seat sizes available - IIRC.  So if Bob wants to graffiti a little heart symbol for Megan's attention, he'll have to do it on the instrument panel or something!

< Megan McArthur just made a Twitter account and wished Bob a happy birthday!

<<  The NASA term is a bit weird Doug is the commander and Bob is the pilot but the commander is the one who actually pilots the spacecraft.
< Doug is the Spacecraft Commander.
Bob is the JointOps Commander (i.e. commander of ISS ops from within Demo-2 crew). This position holds the same seat and Dragon-specific responsibilities as the "pilot".
Edit: It's worth noting that, as other comments have pointed out, for most of NASA's history the "Commander" is generally the one who does any manual flying, even when other astronauts have the title "Pilot". I think this is true of Apollo, and I know it's true of the Shuttle, where every landing was flown by the Commander, not the Pilot (though the Pilot was fully qualified to replace the Commander, if need be, and otherwise served as a fully qualified check-pilot supervising the Commander's actions). And that tradition continued with Demo-2, where Doug did most or all of the actual manual control.

[Also:  Shane Kimbrough flew on Shuttle Endeavour.

The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:02:26 PM »
Astronaut Return Flight Readiness Review Briefing - NASA, SpaceX “Go” for Astronaut Return

Lots of questions in the phone queue, so they moved right along. 49 min.
Recovery explanations.  Reuse:  SpaceX planned reuse all along, for commercial passengers.  NASA gradually came around to that.
Jim B. says the good thing about commercial partners is NASA could grow along with them.
Limiting factors to how long Dragon can stay in free-flight after undocking are food, water, oxygen, Lithium hydroxide CO2 scrubbers.  Water and lithium hydroxide are the biggest factors — they are good for three days, can be stretched longer but they plan for three. “There’s plenty of oxygen.”
The six-hour pre-undocking decisions are due to Dragon cargo loading, including science experiment results that need to be kept in freezers.
Still saying Crew-1 “late September” and Crew-2 “six months later.”

NASA and SpaceX Remain GO for Splashdown
July 30, 2020
Following a comprehensive review of the latest weather forecast in the areas surrounding each of seven potential splashdown locations, NASA and SpaceX have decided to move forward with plans to bring NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley home to Earth with a splashdown off the Florida coast on Sunday, Aug. 2, aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft.

Teams will continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Isaias and evaluate impacts to weather around the Florida peninsula, including the potential splashdown sites in the Gulf of Mexico and along the state’s Atlantic coast. NASA and SpaceX will make a decision on a primary splashdown target approximately 6 hours before undocking Saturday.

Undocking remains scheduled for approximately 7:34 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 1, and splashdown at 2:42 p.m. EDT on Sunday. This will mark the first return of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft carrying astronauts from the space station, and it will wrap up NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission after more than two months at the International Space Station.

More details about the return can be found in the Top 10 Things to Know for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Return and the splashdown weather criteria fact sheet.

Planned events currently remain on the same schedule:
Live Programming
July 31, Friday
10:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m – International Space Station Expedition 63 on-orbit crew news conference with Station Commander Chris Cassidy and astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnke (All Channels)

August 1, Saturday
9:10 a.m. – SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 Farewell Ceremony on the International Space Station (All Channels)
5:15 p.m. – Continuous coverage begins for the SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 undocking from the ISS and Aug. 2 Splashdown. Hatch closure scheduled at 5:45 p.m.; undocking scheduled at 7:34 p.m. with splashdown on Aug. 2 scheduled at 2:42 p.m. EDT – Hawthorne, Calif. and Johnson Space Center (All Channels)

August 2, Sunday
(SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 Splashdown coverage continues with splashdown scheduled at 2:42 p.m. EDT)
5 p.m. – Post-SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 Splashdown News Conference (time subject to change) (All Channels)

August 4, Tuesday
4:30 p.m. – SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 Crew News Conference (All Channels)

Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) 7/30/20, 5:06 PM
The Pensacola and Panama City splashdown sites for Demo-2 are looking better in the latest forecast: …

The rest / Re: NASA Mars Perseverence video links
« on: July 31, 2020, 02:30:35 AM »
Successful launch!  Only “issue” mentioned is that the spacecraft is still so near earth, its radio signal is overwhelming the Deep Space Network receivers.

Update:  problem resolved.

Mars 2020 Perseverance Healthy and on Its Way
The team controlling NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has received telemetry (detailed spacecraft data) down from the spacecraft and has also been able to send commands up to the spacecraft, according to Matt Wallace, the mission’s deputy project manager. The team, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, has confirmed that the spacecraft is healthy and on its way to Mars. ...

The rest / Re: NASA Mars Perseverence video links
« on: July 31, 2020, 01:52:00 AM »
ULA Chief Tory Bruno tweeted a video clip (at the link) of the spacecraft separation from the Centaur upper stage. 
Yes, it involves springs.
Tory Bruno (@torybruno) 7/30/20, 1:18 PM
#MarsPerseverance on its way to the Red Planet...

The rest / Re: NASA Mars Perseverence video links
« on: July 30, 2020, 10:43:29 PM »
Video links only?  :-\

Successful launch!  Only “issue” mentioned is that the spacecraft is still so near earth, its radio signal is overwhelming the Deep Space Network receivers.
NASA launches Mars rover Perseverance to seek signs of ancient life
NASA's boldest-ever Mars rover is on its way to the Red Planet.

The car-size Perseverance rover launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today (July 30) at 7:50 a.m. EDT (1150 GMT), kicking off a nearly seven-month cruise to the Red Planet.

After touching down inside the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater in February 2021, Perseverance will do things no Mars rover has ever done — hunt for signs of life, collect samples for future return to Earth and deploy a miniature helicopter, to name a few.

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