Does that photo seem like it is just a peaceful view of the scenic California coast off Point Loma in California with some cool pelicans gliding by?
Well, that it may be, but there is more to it.
Anytime you are in public, you are probably on camera.
Another view of those pelicans:
Missed the live broadcast so watched the archived copy. SpaceX put another 60 Starlink sats into their constellation which will provide worldwide internet access. Link to video of the launch is at the end of this post.
Previous missions lifted 362 satellites, so adding these 60 makes 422 by my count.
This is the fourth flight for the booster and the second flight for one of the fairings.
For a few indicators of the cost for some big projects and thus some reference points for big numbers, take a look at the Nuclear Notebook – United States nuclear forces, 2020, published by The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Some projects with their specific costs mentioned in the article:
SpaceX boosted another 60 satellites into orbit this morning. These will be part of its Starlink system providing high speed internet access to any point on the planet.
Video link to replay of launch is at end of this post.
This is the fourth launch for the Starlink project and increases the sat count to 182. The first launch was a test with only 2 satellites. The other three launches, including the one today, each carried 60.
SpaceX is one of the companies working to get a constellation of sattelites in low-earth orbit which can provide high speed internet access across the planet. Tonight they launched 60 more sats into orbit, bringing their total to about 180.
The video on the launch was incredible. Amazing view from the ground, all the way to main engine cutoff at 50 kilometers altitude.
Crude oil production hit yet another record level in October at 1,517,796 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) (preliminary). September was not a record at 1,443,980 BOPD (revised). September was only the third highest production.
During 2019, record level of production was hit in October, August, July, June, and January. Record was broken in 2018 during December, October, September, August, July, and May.
What does the average daily production trend look like? Check it out:
We are about to get a sixth branch of the U.S. military. There are currently five branches:
And most people forget to include the:
The soon to be approved sixth branch?
Yes, the Congress is just about to approve moving space missions out of the Air Force and into a new branch.
Just checked on the status of the players in the Silk Road dark web bazaar.
Updated previous post for the location and release date for Andrew Michael Jones. Release date and location for Gary Davis is now listed. Release date for Carl Mark Force has been shorted one month.
I won’t repost all the details. Check out the status at:
How’s this sound for another down side of technology?
Applying cutting edge technology to a video, changing the words said, altering the mouth movement to conform to the fabricated words, changing facial expressions, and thus fabricating a new video telling a story that doesn’t exist.
That is called deepfake.
Currently, the technology is at a level where a human watching a deepfake can tell it is fake. Inconsistencies in facial movement or lighting or pixelation will give away the fabrication. Several articles say the technology is advancing so fast that soon humans will not be able to detect a fake just by watching.
Special computer programs can detect the alterations.
A few articles for more background:
Just a few days ago we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. What an astounding accomplishment and what a joy to remember. Take a look at the grainy views of the launch and walk on the moon mentioned in immediately previous post.
Check out the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission yesterday, 7/25/19. CRS-18 carried about 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. In four weeks about 3,300 pounds of cargo will be returned to earth.
The mission press release says this is the third time this Dragon capsule has flown, which is a new record for reuse. This is the second time this particular Falcon 9 booster has flown. The booster was successfully recovered.
The announcer on the broadcast said this is the 44th successfully recovery of a booster.
Transatlantic travel time has dropped radically in the last 500 years. Time to transit the Atlantic has dropped about 99% and cost has dropped about 95% by my calculations.
Let’s look at several data points for cost and time, then calculate one indicator of improved quality of life.
Human Progress provides fun data points on August 2, 2018 in their post, A Reminder of How Far Transatlantic Travel Has Come.
Update: An earlier post on November 27, 2015 discussed Time to cross the Atlantic – 500 year history.
Update: Added in travel time of Concorde at end of the post.
Columbus’ first trip
The 1492 trip by Christopher Columbus took two years of lobbying before the king and queen of Spain approved 2 million Spanish maravedis to fund the trip. A professor has calculated that would be comparable to about US$1,000,000 today.
The cost seems low to me. I’ll look at that more later.
Crew size was 87 according to this article. The accountant in me is driven to calculate the cost per crewman. That would give an average cost of $11,494. I’ll round that to $11,500 and ignore any adjustment for several crew members who died on the trip.
His trip took two months, nine days, which I calculate at 70 days (30+31+9).
A few fun articles on the Chinese space program.
10/15/17 – Behind the Black – China’s first test space station, Tiangong-1, is out-of-control – The Chinese space agency said they have lost control over the “Heavenly Palace” space station. Its orbit is decaying and it will likely reenter the atmosphere and burn up in the next several months. Most of the station will burn, but there will likely be chunks as large as 200 pounds hit the ground.
(Hat tip to Behind the Black for the next two articles.)
10/18/17 – GB Times – China’s Tiangong-1 space lab will soon reenter the atmosphere, but there’s no need to panic – Disclosed reason for the “Heavenly Place” space lab not being able to maintain orbit is a battery charger failed, thus meaning the batteries couldn’t be charged.
Current guess is perhaps the last half of January for reentry into atmosphere, where most of the 8.4 ton spaceship will burn up.
10/17/17 – GB Times – China progressing with work on new medium, heavy, and super-heavy Long March launch vehicles – Articles says China is working on several new rocket designs.
New models include the Long March 8 and Long March 9. Some stats:
Fun articles on technology change that caught my interest over the last few months:
6/7/17 – BBC – Why printers add secret tracking dots – A large portion of color laser printers add tiny yellow dots to the page in order to allow tracking of which specific printer was used to print a specific page.
This is handy for criminal or espionage investigations. A particular leaking case is in the news, with the perpetrator having been found using microdots.
Might be handy for tracking down whistle blowers.
The espionage angle isn’t of interest to anyone reading my blog.
If you every want to keep something you print really private, you might want to pay attention.