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Space News,Notes (2020)

Discussion in 'GatorTail Pub' started by gatorjjh, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    SpaceX tries to fix its brightness problem
    By Chabeli Herrera sentinel
    They were seen sparkling across the skies of Montana right around Christmas: a tidy row of lights that some mistook to be UFOs. The glowing celestial train has been spotted in California, Texas, in the Netherlands and even Chile.
    And it has astronomers worried.
    Because the twinkling lights are not stars, planets or the faint objects hunted by observatories. They’re satellites, the first 120 in a constellation that could one day number in the tens of thousands if everything goes as planned for SpaceX.

    Elon Musk’s rocket company made its entrance into the telecommunications field this year with the first two launches — each with 60 satellites — of Starlink, satellites that endeavor to blanket the globe in high-speed Internet connectivity.
    The satellites have to be close to the planet, in low-Earth orbit, to provide a reliable, quick connection — unlike typical geostationary satellites that orbit the planet thousands of miles from the surface and that appear to be in a fixed spot. And there need to be thousands of them to create easy Internet accessibility even in the most remote areas of the globe. So far, SpaceX has been approved to launch about 12,000 Starlink satellites.

    That has astronomers concerned the satellites will interfere with their data calculations and pollute the night sky with artificial stars.
    “What caught everybody off guard was just how bright the initial launch was. It was pretty dramatic,” said Jeffrey Hall, the director of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

    SpaceX tries to fix its brightness problem
     
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  2. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Here’s what 2020 could bring to spaceflight
    By Christian Davenport, The Washington Post
    This year could herald significant moments in space exploration: NASA astronauts flying from United States soil for the first time since 2011, the first paying tourists traveling to the edge of space, rockets sending hundreds of satellites into Earth orbit to beam the Internet to remote parts of the globe, and the first serious steps toward returning a human being to the surface of the moon.
    But as 2020 begins, the rosy promise of those developments could quickly be overruled by gravity and engineering issues. Already, NASA finds itself struggling with a technical problem - a software issue that marred the maiden flight of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft just before Christmas and prevented it from reaching the International Space Station. It is a reminder of the many things that can go wrong when attempting to punch through the atmosphere.
    This year is born full of hope and enthusiastic predictions of triumph, despite 2019′s catalogue of calamity, a one-step-forward-two-steps-back year, marked as much by failure as by success - by stuck valves, failed parachute systems and faulty onboard computers.
    Yet hope remains for triumph. NASA will celebrate 20 continuous years of humans living in orbit aboard the International Space Station, and there are other records likely to be set.
    SpaceX intends to break its record of 21 launches in a single year. The United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, plans to fly about a dozen times, including Boeing’s first mission with astronauts to the space station. Northrop Grumman has three launches planned.
    And the United Arab Emirates is also planning to fly an uncrewed spacecraft to orbit Mars that would be launched by Japan later this year.

    Here's what 2020 could bring to spaceflight
     
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  3. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    Artemis I core stage could arrive at KSC as early as July
    By Richard Tribou Sentinel

    NASA’s long path back to the moon is finally inching its way closer to Florida
    .
    The first core stage for the planned Artemis I lunar mission left NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Wednesday for a barge ride over to Mississippi where it will throttle up all four engines to simulate its eventual launch from Kennedy Space Center.

    “It is a historic milestone,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard. “You think about last March when Vice President Pence gave us the direction at NASA to go forward to the moon by 2024, and we said we’d finish the core stage just before the end of the year, and today it’s really less than two weeks from the date we said we’d be done.”

    The nine-hour trip on NASA’s Pegasus barge will see the 212-foot piece of hardware arrive at the Stennis Space Center along the Pearl River in Mississippi where it will be prepped for a series of tests that will culminate with a more than 8-minute burn of the four converted engines from the Space Shuttle era producing 2 million pounds of thrust.

    If all goes to plan, the core stage could make its way to Kennedy Space Center as early as July, although officials with Boeing, the main contractor on the core stage said that could be delayed to as far out as October.
    Artemis I core stage could arrive at KSC as early as July
     
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  4. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    SpaceX to destroy rocket to test safety

    Will check systems in place during potential failure with astronauts

    By Marco Santana Orlando Sentinel
    To prove that it can successfully transport humans into space, SpaceX will first destroy one of its Falcon 9 rockets in a launch from Florida this weekend.

    An abort test that represents one of the final steps before the company can launch astronauts to the International Space Station — and, eventually, beyond — is scheduled for Saturday from Kennedy Space Center. A four-hour window for launch will open at 8 a.m., with the same times on Sunday and Monday serving as backup dates. It said weather forecasts for Saturday morning indicate it likely wouldn’t be able to complete the test until the back-half of the four-hour window.

    If conditions allow, a Falcon 9 rocket will liftoff from KSC’s Launch Complex 39A shepherding a Crew Dragon capsule into the sky.

    After about 84 seconds, the rocket’s main first-stage engine will shut down as “SuperDraco” thrusters shoot the astronaut transporter away from the Falcon 9 to safety.
    As the Dragon capsule deploys parachutes to slow its descent toward an ocean splashdown, the rocket is expected to continue on its path before breaking up over the Atlantic.

    “We are purposely failing a launch vehicle to make sure that our abort system on the spacecraft that will be flying our crew works,” NASA’s commercial crew program manager Kathryn Lueders said during a news conference at KSC on Friday.
    SpaceX to destroy rocket to test safety
     
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  5. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    SpaceX abort-test launch pushed back to Sunday, at the earliest
    By Marco Santana Sentinel
    SpaceX had wait at least another day to destroy a rocket, a test that will prove to NASA that a mechanism meant to save astronauts’ lives by triggering if there is a problem works.

    In an early morning Tweet on Saturday, company officials said “sustained winds and rough seas in the recovery area” forced the company to stand down.

    During a news conference on Friday, representatives with the U.S. Air Force’s weather squadron had said conditions in the recovery area had posed a greater threat than the expectations of weather at the launch site.
    A six-hour test window opened at 8 a.m. today. The launch — when it happens — is expected to be one of the most seminal moments for the upstart space company.
    SpaceX abort-test launch pushed back to Sunday, at the earliest
     
  6. exiledgator

    exiledgator Gruntled

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    T-0 of 10a EST.

    Pretty excited for this one.
     
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  7. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude Moderator VIP Member

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    I bet like me you remember being excited about every lift off :)
     
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  8. exiledgator

    exiledgator Gruntled

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    I do! This morning's was particularly exciting. Huge hurdle.
     
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  9. TWGator

    TWGator GC Hall of Fame

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    We normally just watch from the backyard, but decided to drive out to the beach for this morning's launch. Glad we did.
    It was especially cool to see the plume from the capsule descent, hear the Sonic boom, and even catch a brief flash when it hit the water. Can't wait for the next one!!
     
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  10. 62gator

    62gator GC Hall of Fame

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    Falcon 9 launch tonight at 11:50pm, should be spectacular.
     
  11. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    Should be great...
    I'll be on the beach in New Smyrna Beach to watch it.
     
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  12. demosthenes

    demosthenes Premium Member

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    Planning on watching the livestream.
     
  13. exiledgator

    exiledgator Gruntled

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    Touchdown!
     
  14. WhattaGator

    WhattaGator "Where's The Beef"?? (Or the crabcakes, etc.)... VIP Member "Cook Shack Chef"

    Beautiful thing to watch on the beach at New Smyrna Beach!!!!....

    I just gotr home from watching it!!
     
  15. demosthenes

    demosthenes Premium Member

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    50th successful booster landing. That’s damn impressive.
     
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  16. exiledgator

    exiledgator Gruntled

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    Anyone bored in quarantine: SpaceX is about to launch.

    So go outside and look up if you're lucky enough - or go here.
     
  17. exiledgator

    exiledgator Gruntled

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    Well, never mind. Aborted at T-0:00. :eek:
     
  18. danmann65

    danmann65 GC Legend

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    So I was sitting with friends and we all wandered out as the countdown approached 0. We were mingling around a couple of minutes later and someone watching on facebook came out to watch it . Not sure if YouTube is prescient or Facebook lags but there is an issue.
     
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  19. exiledgator

    exiledgator Gruntled

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    Ha!

    That's awesome that you all went outside and we're all - uh, where's the rocket.

    It's also incredible how those computers do such a great job. Thats probably a catastrophic failure (RUD) 20 years ago.