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.
Overnight SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 booster with fully loaded Dragon capsule on a Commercial Resupply Service mission (CRS-20), lifting supplies to the International Space Station.
This specific capsule already has been to ISS twice. This will make its third trip up and third recovery.
Successful recovery of this specific Falcon 9 booster back at Cape Canaveral marked the 50th time that SpaceX has recovered a booster. Astounding.
This launch was at 10 minutes before midnight, resulting in quite different visuals than a daytime launch. You can watch the launch, recovery of the booster, deployment of the capsule, and deployment of the solar panels here:
Two launches in three days. Behind the Black provides a tally that year-to-date launches are 6 for US companies, 3 for China, and 1 each for Arianespace, Russia, and Japan.
SpaceX launch of Dragon lifting 60 communication satellites
Watched the recorded video of SpaceX’s launch of 60 more Starlink satellites from this morning. This is the fifth launch in the Starlink mission. After the fourth launch there were 182 sat, with 2 on first launch and 60 on each followup launch. Sixty more on this launch brings the total in orbit to 242 by my count. Eventually the Starlink constellation will have 1,584 sats at a 341 mile altitude.
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.
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.
What a treat it must have been to watch from miles away.
Using special stereo mikes, the recording catches the clicks of many nearby cameras before being overwhelmed by the rocket sounds.
Listen carefully for the multiple sonic booms from the boosters returning to earth. Each booster gives off a boom from the engines, then the landing legs, and then the directional control arms. So 6 booms expected. Sound track wave form shows echos, but one overlapped, so there were 5 booms from each booster.
Astounding, all the way around.
Also Behind the Black provided Update on Falcon Heavy core stage landing failure. Turns out that two of the three engines scheduled to fire, slowing the descent, did not do so. Core booster missed the landing barge by around 300 feet.
BtB says this is why one runs experiments. Find out what doesn’t work, figure out the reason, and fix it.
SpaceX’s test of their three booster, 27 engine rocket was an astounding success. The three side-by-side Falcon 9 boosters worked perfectly together. The two side boosters successfully separated, which I think is the highlight of the test.
Both of the side boosters were recovered. See astounding photo above.
The payload was successfully lifted into the Van Allen radiation belt and continued to operate. Apparently that is a major milestone (my little brain doesn’t understand why that was a tremendous deal to NASA).
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.
One article pondering how the planned super-heavy lift rocket from SpaceX will open up space travel like the DC-3 did for air travel. The third reuse of a Falcon 9 booster and the 18th recovery of a booster. Also, three articles on SpaceX’s plans for Mars colonization:
In a major speech, Mr. Musk revealed the revised plans for SpaceX’s journey to Mars. The revision I see is a slightly scaled-down interplanetary spacecraft which can be multipurposed for lunar activity, resupplying ISS, or any other mission requiring heavy lift.
The vehicle will have 31 engines instead of the 47 planned a year ago. It will still lift 150 tons into low earth orbit.
Key concepts will be reusability of lift vehicles and in-orbit refueling to get vehicles ready for the interplanetary trip. Concept will be capsules can land vertically and will be able to take off without crew input.
Interplanetary capsule will be designed to have 100 person capacity and will have areas on board for entertainment.
The first trips to Mars could be in 2022 or more likely delayed until 2024. That is only 5 or 7 years from now.
Outlines of the Mars colonization plan are in line with what I’ve read before.
Lots of fun articles in the last two months describing the wide open frontier of space exploration.
Ghana puts their first sat into orbit. Yes, Ghana. Very cool.
In the GPS world, Japan gets another sat in orbit and an Indian launch fails.
SpaceX may have more launches this year than Russia and one commentator thinks SpaceX will be dominant in the launch market for decades to come
7/8/17 – Behind the Black – Ghana launches its first satellite and 223 Live News, Ghana’s first Space Satellite enters Orbit – A cubsate built by university students in the western Africa country was launched from the ISS. The small satellite will take pictures of the country in low- and high-resolution. It will also be able to broadcast the national anthem and other music during national events.
Ghana is the first sub-Saharan country to get a satellite in space.
The sat went to the ISS on June 10 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9.
It’s been a good month for SpaceX. Three launches and one recovery of an already recycled Dragon capsule. China has demonstrated that rocket science is rocket science, meaning launches don’t always work.