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  1. #2551
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    Dragon launch
    Space News thread-dragon-launch-jpg

    Dragon fires for abort
    Space News thread-dragon-firing-jpg

    First stage explosion
    Space News thread-first-stage-explosion-jpg

    second stage (dummy)falling
    Space News thread-second-stage-falling-jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Space News thread-dragon-launch-jpg   Space News thread-dragon-firing-jpg   Space News thread-first-stage-explosion-jpg   Space News thread-second-stage-falling-jpg  
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  2. #2552
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    The astronauts would have been safe then?
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  3. #2553
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    The astronauts would have been safe then?
    Yes they would have been safe. Photo showing a very clean capsule brought into port by Julia Bergeron. She provides excellent photos of things happening at the Cape. Her twitter photo.

    Space News thread-recovered-capsule-jpg Space News thread-julia-bergeron-jpg


    A Scott Manley video with explanations of what happened. Some stunning video sequences.




    A
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Space News thread-recovered-capsule-jpg   Space News thread-julia-bergeron-jpg  
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  4. #2554
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    The capsule for DM2, the manned demo mission will be ready by end of next month. Some SpaceX staff said end of this month.

    But then everything will be again triple and quadruple checked by Spacex and NASA will do their own evaluations. Elon Musk said he expects the manned launch in Q2 this year. Kathy Lueders of NASA, responsible for the Commercial Crew program, mentioned days ago that the manned flight could be as early as April.

    One important decision needs to be made by NASA soon. DM-2 was planned to be a short demo mission. But staff at the ISS is going to be small for a while because there are no more Soyuz capsules purchased by NASA. Any more NASA astronauts at the ISS will take a place in capsules planned for russian cosmonauts and possibly space tourists. So they are now contemplating having the demo mission stay longer at the ISS to have additional staff.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  5. #2555
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    Thank you for the exciting video along with the excellent, understandable and the very optimistic commentary.

    Very clear.

    The Chinese need to up their game regarding their own space exploration reporting.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  6. #2556
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    Thank you for the exciting video along with the excellent, understandable and the very optimistic commentary.

    Very clear.

    The Chinese need to up their game regarding their own space exploration reporting.

    Not only the Chinese. Coverage of the Boeing Starliner launch was abysmal as well. Not to talk of Arane launches. After the rocket leaves the pad they only show animations of what is supposed to happen, not what happens.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  7. #2557
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    SpaceX are going for a new record on launch cadence. Yesterday the pad abort which was very labor intensive. Today they want to do the static fire for their next Starlink launch with the launch scheduled for tomorrow. So 2 days from launch to launch. On different pads at the Cape but mostly the same crew.

    They are pushing hard for 2 Starlink launches every month to have an operational constellation later this year. Maybe high speed internet coverage for unserved areas in Germany some time next year if they can get regulatory approval that fast.



    A short video of the Starlink satellite train as it looks a short time after launch. If I am vey lucky I may be able to see it just minutes after the launch tomorrow.

    A record only for recent rocketry. In cold war times the Soviets launched Soyuz even faster than that.
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  8. #2558
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    Lunar probe to visit unexplored region


    Space News thread-5e25150ea3101282064d02f9-jpeg

    "The next mission in China's lunar exploration program-Chang'e 5-will land a probe on an area never reached by astronauts or spacecraft and is expected to bring back at least 1 kilogram of samples, a project insider said.

    Peng Jing, deputy chief designer of the Chang'e 5 probe at the China Academy of Space Technology, said it is scheduled to be launched atop a Long March 5 carrier rocket, the biggest and strongest in the nation's rocket fleet, at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province during the fourth quarter of this year.

    It will land on the northwestern part of the Oceanus Procellarum, a vast lunar mare on the western edge of the moon's near side, after flying for dozens of days.

    "This particular landing site was selected because it has never been reached by man or rover and also because scientists are interested in the geological history of that place," Peng explained.

    Compared with previous Chinese lunar missions, Chang'e 5 will be more sophisticated and challenging as it will be the first tasked with collecting samples and bringing them back to Earth, he said.

    The 8.2-metric-ton probe has four components-orbiter, lander, ascender and re-entry module. After the probe reaches lunar orbit, the components will separate into two parts, with the orbiter and re-entry module remaining in orbit while the lander and ascender head toward the moon's surface.

    The lander and ascender will make a soft landing and then get to work on tasks such as using a drill to collect underground rocks and a mechanical arm to gather lunar soil.

    After the surface operations are done, the ascender's rocket will lift it into lunar orbit to dock with the re-entry module. It will transfer lunar samples to the module, which will carry them back to Earth.

    If the mission is successful, it will make China the third nation to bring lunar samples back to Earth, after the United States and Russia, and also make Chang'e 5 the world's first lunar sample-return mission in more than four decades.

    "The quantity of samples it will bring back depends on many factors, such as the landing site's geology. We hope that it can collect at least 1 kg, and if everything goes well, it may bring 2 kg or even more," Peng said. "The samples will be distributed to scientists for research on topics including the moon's physical composition, geological traits and shallow structures, which will consequently help with the understanding of the moon's evolution."

    Speaking of future plans in the country's lunar exploration program, Peng said scientists and engineers have proposed that two or three missions could be made to set up a simple scientific outpost on the moon, which would be able to accommodate astronauts for short-term stays, to carry out experiments and explore the feasibility of long-term visits.

    In another development, Ma Xiaobing, deputy chief designer of China's new-generation manned spacecraft, which has yet to be named, said that the new spaceship's prototype will make its debut flight during the first mission of the Long March 5B rocket this year at the Wenchang center.

    The three-day flight will test and verify several key pieces of equipment on the new spacecraft, which will be bigger than the previous Shenzhou-series manned spaceships, he said, noting the new model will be reusable."

    Lunar probe to visit unexplored region - Chinadaily.com.cn
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  9. #2559
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    SpaceX are going for a new record on launch cadence. Yesterday the pad abort which was very labor intensive. Today they want to do the static fire for their next Starlink launch with the launch scheduled for tomorrow. So 2 days from launch to launch. On different pads at the Cape but mostly the same crew.

    They are pushing hard for 2 Starlink launches every month to have an operational constellation later this year. Maybe high speed internet coverage for unserved areas in Germany some time next year if they can get regulatory approval that fast.



    A short video of the Starlink satellite train as it looks a short time after launch. If I am vey lucky I may be able to see it just minutes after the launch tomorrow.

    A record only for recent rocketry. In cold war times the Soviets launched Soyuz even faster than that.
    Kinda cluttering up space with these things aren't they?

  10. #2560
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Kinda cluttering up space with these things aren't they?
    Depends on how you see it. This is how they look shortly after launch. Once raised to operational altitude and attitude they are barely visible under good very dark conditions. They are working on making them darker to a point where they will not be visible to the naked eye even under the best conditions.

    Given the planned launch cadence Starlink trains will always be in the sky, that's true. But they are localized and won't affect astronomy too much.

    Initially some astronomers threw a hissy fit and claimed that observations will no longer be possible. But they realized since, that hissy fits won't help their cause and are now engaged in constructive dialog with SpaceX. There are a lot of things that can be done to enable astronomy in the age of Starlink. SpaceX is willing to do what is possible. Like providing live data so that astronomers can plan around them. Of course plenty of people on the internet still run with initial claims and scream about the lost sky.

    Prohibiting SpaceX Starlink won't help. There will be a chinese constellation sooner or later. Standards for protecting the nightsky and astronomy are set now with Spacex cooperative. Other providers later will not fall back below those standards I believe but who knows what they would do without such standards.

    Most of astronomy is done during the night anyway. Starlink sats are only visible during dusk and dawn when it is dark already on the ground but the sats are still in sunlight. That's not saying there is no influence, there will be.

    I watched a number of sats flying by just minutes ago. But under conditions here I was able to see them only with a good binocular 10x50 and because they passed close to Venus so I knew exactly where they would pass.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  11. #2561
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    BTW the initial constellation launched this year will be ~1500 sats. Completed the first and second set it will be 12,000. With launches never stopping because when they are up the oldest already get decomissioned and replaced after a planned lifespan of 5-7 years.

    There are plans to increase the size of the constellation to 30,000 and possibly up to 50,000.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  12. #2562
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    Breathing in space with moondust...

    A prototype oxygen plant has been set up in the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory of the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, based in Noordwijk in the Netherlands.

    ESA - ESA opens oxygen plant making air out of moondust

  13. #2563
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    Another Starlink launch with 60 satellites today after weather related delays for a week.

    Deployment of 60 sats.
    Space News thread-37765079ul-jpg

    They caught one fairing half in a net. They can probably fish the other half out of the water. Those fairings are incredibly expensive. $6million a piece, $3million one half. They can almost amortize operating the ship for a year with catching one half in a year. They can reuse the one out of the water too but refurbishing it is more expensive. But there is another advantage for catching some. Fairings can become a bottleneck for launches and setting up tooling for a second production line is very expensive again.
    Space News thread-fairing1-jpg

    They landed the booster too.
    Space News thread-starlink-v1-l3-b1051-lc40-012920-a

    If Starlink is half as successful as they hope and expect, SpaceX may be more valuable than Amazon in 10 years.

    I am thinking of making a dedicated thread for Starlink. High speed internet in rural Isaan maybe in 2 years. They are in full swing deploying it now.

    Edit: one more pic. The fairing half under a parachute seconds before catching it. The photo is from an earlier catch.

    Space News thread-mr-steven-go-ms-tree-amos
    Last edited by Takeovers; 30-01-2020 at 01:50 AM.
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    "The larger object is an old space telescope called the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, or IRAS: a joint mission between NASA, the Netherlands, and the UK that ran out of fuel and died in November 1983."

    Really, it should be passed that all fueled low-alt sats must use their last bit of fuel to reenter the atmosphere where they'll burn up.

  16. #2566
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luigi View Post
    Really, it should be passed that all fueled low-alt sats must use their last bit of fuel to reenter the atmosphere where they'll burn up.
    There is a rule, that any object should be deorbited or removed to a graveyard orbit within 25 years of the end of its active service life. Unfortunately that is only a recommendation and is frequently ignored. Most stupidly ignored by operators of geostationary satellites for TV and data coverage. Those sats have a design life time and plenty of fuel to be removed to a graveyard orbit at the end of that period. But the operators just ignore that date and use the sats until they drop dead in place. Especially stupid as there is only one GEO orbit and if they clutter it with debris their business model breaks down. At GEO altitude the debris will remain forever at the time scale of human existence.

    The 2 sats involved in this close encounter are both really old and launched when there was no thought of debris removal. They are at an altitude where they would not deorbit for many centuries. They should be prime targets for removal with catch systems. Instead NASA and ESA toy around with systems that can remove small pieces of debris. Which is ridiculous as there are tens of thousands of these. Emphasis should be on removing satellites before they become debris.

    Up to ~600km altitude the problem is not that big because objects there deorbit quite fast due to drag of the very thin atmosphere there. The ISS at 400km would deorbit quite quickly once they stop orbit raising maneuvers. The ISS with its huge mass should however be actively deorbited to an empty area, like the South Pacific. If it comes down at random it poses a risk with its huge mass.

    With the coming constellations of thousands of sats like SpaceX Starlink the 25 year rule is insufficient. They need to be removed much quicker to reduce risks. The presently planned altitude of 550km would remove them through drag within 1-5 years. Still a problem but they have a planned lifetime of only 5-7 years and the capability of removing themselves at that time. So the 5 years max are only relevant for sats that die prematurely, which hopefully will be only a small percentage.

    One Web constellation sats are at over 1000 km and will stay there for many thousands of years if active deorbit fails. But at least they have magnetic catch points that makes it easier to remove them at the end of their service life and they have dedicated active removal capbility.

    Our prime target should be not to add more dead satellites by making sure they are removed at the end of their service life. Second remove dead satellites before they collide and produce large numbers of small debris pieces. Removing small debris is a hopeless endeavour.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  17. #2567
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    NASA and ESA
    You mention two of the satellite launch capable organisation, unfortunately there are also the Russian, Chinese, Japanese Indian and .... maybe others with their own satellites.

    Is there not a UN organisation which includes all of them, to manage all satellites/ debris?
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  18. #2568
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    You mention two of the satellite launch capable organisation, unfortunately there are also the Russian, Chinese, Japanese Indian and .... maybe others with their own satellites.

    Is there not a UN organisation which includes all of them, to manage all satellites/ debris?
    NASA and ESA are the two organisations that tried to do something catching debris. I am not aware that any of the others did. But I certainly do not know everything.

    The UN does not have any binding authority on space debris.

    I am convinced that there is no way of dealing with all the small debris pieces. Their number is huge and they are in many different orbits. The only realistic strategy is avoiding debris in the first place. Deorbit all satellites after the end of their useful life. Or in case of GEO sats move them to a graveyard orbit slightly higher than GEO. They will stay there for millions of years and if they break up they only threaten a small band above the equator.

    The most threatening plans for the future are constellations higher up like 1000+km. They need to deorbit actively at 100% or they become a threat. As there is always a chance that some satellites become uncontrollable and can not deorbit by themselves there needs to be a means to remove them by external means.

    A constellation at these altitudes is One Web. They provide a magnetic attach point to facilitate deorbiting dead satellites. That still needs something else to catch them. They plan to launch the first 34 operational sats next month and then launches every month. They have 6 test sats up already. 6 are not a huge threat. 1000 or several 1000 are.

    SpaceX Starlink present approved plans still include a few thousand sats in that altitude range. I hope they abandon that plan and put all of their sats in lower orbits where they are deorbited by atmospheric drag if active deorbiting fails. They indicate such a change of plans on their website but have not yet followed it up by requesting change of the approved plans from the FCC, the US authority for such plans.

    There are no internationally agreed regulations for such constellations in place. The FCC has placed requirements on Starlink that they made up by themselves. Reasonable requirements mostly but not backed up by any international agreements. Hopefully future permits by other organisations will recognize the rules now being set.
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  19. #2569
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    why not send a giant magnet strong enough to catch only those small debris honest question

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    why not send a giant magnet strong enough to catch only those small debris
    All the debris is flying in its own orbit at speeds of many km/s. Also very little magnetic material there. It is aluminium and the like. They would need to match orbit with every single piece and then grab it. I don't even want to think that the pieces probably spin. Catching a whole satellite or one of the many spent upper stages there while they are spinning can be a problem all by itself.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

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    just sent a missile strike to take care of that

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    The greatest leap in human, mens ability to survive in space is provided by the Brits.

    It has been announced that a British invention installed on the ISS has now brought 50MBPs internet to the station and so removed a frustration for male astronauts trying to hit the vinegar stroke just as their porn stream locks. It also ensures the blokes don't get back to earth and rag their Mrs out for the first two weeks upon return, the wives however have a different concern.


    A Cygnus supply ship will carry COLKa from Wallops Island in Virginia to the ISS just before 9pm UK time on Friday.


    It is expected to be installed later this year outside the Columbus module, which is the ISS’s science laboratory.


    The data from COLKa will be transmitted to a ground station at Harwell. From there it will be transferred to the Columbus Control Centre in Germany and other user centres across Europe.


    The upgrade will ensure faster communications, independent from the Nasa system, the UK Space Agency said.


    According to the European Space Agency, ColKa promises speeds of up to 50 mbps, allowing “astronauts and researchers to benefit from a direct link with Europe at home broadband speeds”.


    David Kenyon, managing director at MDA Space and Robotics Limited, said: “The COLKa programme has firmly established MDA in the UK as a leading provider of high-quality space equipment, positioning us for continued business growth and new jobs in both communications and space sensor markets.”

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/uk-built-device-allow-faster-141650037.html

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    For those space heads out there. I listen to BBC Radio 4 quite a bit, although i think quality of programming has deteriorated, there is one programme called the "Inifinite Monkey Cage" which mixes science and a bit or comedy you may want to give a listen to...or not....

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00snr0w/episodes/downloads

  24. #2574
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    anyone interested in science needs to look at that new BBC series "Inside the Planets" in 4K, amazing footage

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