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10

July is when the range takes a two week closure to maintain and upgrade the equipment. Radar, tracking cameras, software and so on. This cut July down to two usable weeks. Until mid-July only JRTI was available, and ASOG had yet to be delivered. The last launch was Jun 30th I think, and they need a few days to recycle an ASDS and send it back out. I cannot ...


6

Because the first stage isn't designed to get to orbit.


4

[...] with orbital refilling [...] This seems to be the part were orders of magnitude can be snuck in . Refilling the 1,200t propellant tanks of the 120t starship makes it possible to start with a 1,320t stage in LEO, rather than the 20-50t than can be brought up there today. Since the rocket equation only concerns mass ratios, you can scale this $\approx10^...


4

Does the US government plan to issue “Astronaut Wings” for anyone passing 80 km forever? No. From https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2021/07/22/us/faa-changes-astronaut-wings-scn/index.html (mirror): FAA changes policy on who qualifies for commercial astronaut wings on same day as Blue Origin spaceflight. [...] Effective July 20, [2021], the FAA issued one more ...


3

Starlink launches aren't like other satellite launches. The current plans call for a constellation of around 10,000 satellites to be launched in the next six years at a minimum cadence of 33 launches a year. To achieve that rate, SpaceX is taking an "assembly line" approach to the entire launch process. SpaceX completed their first shell of ...


3

I can think of one reason to try to get a Starship Booster into orbit, even stripped of heat tiles, landing legs etc. Such a large hull in orbit could act as a high-capacity supertanker for Starship missions to the Moon and beyond. It could be topped off at a different cadence to Lunar Starship missions - say taking surplus fuel from Starship Starlink ...


2

I suspect these points are complete nonsense, but I'm just going to address #2 since David already has a good answer that covers the other points. Here is Soichi Noguchi putting on the SpaceX suit in microgravity, without assistance, and in less than 5 minutes: I couldn't find a good similar video of the Sokol, but those that ...


1

I'll take a partial stab at this. But first, I believe this rocket is not on a GTO trajectory (judging by the (relatively) high latitude view of the CONUS + Mexico, indicating inclined orbit). This is probably GPS III-05 (17 June 2021 16:09 UTC launch, image was tweeted ~4 hours later), TLE history for reference: Not knowing the specs of the camera used, I ...


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