These are mirrors. Even SpaceX's slick spacesuits have limited mobility, especially when the astronauts are strapped into the seats. The mirrors allow them to see corners of the spacecraft that they can't otherwise see because the helmet is in the way, they can't turn their head, they can't leave the seat, or similar.
For example, if you try to look up, ...
The contract between SpaceX and NASA required two demo flights (and SpaceX voluntarily did the in flight abort, notice Boeing is not doing that).
They did an unmanned demo flight with Dragon C201, that launched Mar 2, 2019 and docked to the PMA/IDS on the ISS.
Then they did the in flight abort, Jan 19, 2020 with the C205 capsule.
Then they flew the Demo-2 ...
Ground testing of heatshield components and materials can and has been done in arcjet facilities.
An arcjet typically combines a super- or hyper- sonic wind tunnel with a large electrical heating device. "The
gases (typically air) pass through a nozzle aimed at
a test sample in vacuum, and flow over it, producing
a reasonable ...
The previous one was also crewed (two crew) but it was called "demo" for some reason - despite taking astronauts to the ISS.
The "some reason" that it was called "Demo" is that it was a demonstration flight, not an operational flight.
How is the recent one different?
It is not a demonstration flight, it is an operational ...
Launches out of Vandenberg in California are generally into high inclination orbits (like polar and near-polar) rather than retrograde. Per NASA:
Launches from Vandenberg have an allowable launch path suitable for polar insertions south, southwest and southeast. The launch limits at Vandenberg are 201 and 158 degrees. At a 201-degree launch azimuth, the ...
flightclub.io is awesome and Declan is a genius.
Here's the visualization for the Flacon 9 Sentinel 6-Michael Freilich mission that took place on 21st November - Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Simulation. If I am not mistaken by the parallax error, the flight profile did pass over Southern Africa. Check if it satisfies your requirements.
A Tesla Roadster was launched into space in February, 2018 on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket as a test payload. This vehicle was a first generation 2008-model Tesla Roadster. The car was personally owned by Elon Musk and used previously for commuting to work. The attached photo of Starman and the Roadster are from SpaceX shot with a camera attached to the ...
Yes, the grid fins can control the rotation of the stage -- and they're the primary mechanism for that during descent, since the cold-gas thrusters have little force and the engines are shut down for most of the time.
To keep the stage stable, the fins are left horizontal, and adjusted by small amounts to correct for other sources of rotation.
To spin the ...
The "powerheads" of the shuttle's main engines were nicely sealed away to provide thermal and debris protection.
Photo credit NASA - from STS-127
These diagrams from the KSC SSME System Engineering Handbook show details of the closures. You can see the sliding engine-mounted shield that allowed the engine to gimbal in the first diagram.
Short answer: Three cargo and five crew vehicles.
Gwynne Shotwell answered this
Specifically, Shotwell revealed that SpaceX intends to build three reusable Cargo Dragon 2 capsules, one of which is already completed and in Florida preparing for its December 2nd CRS-21 launch debut. On the crew side of things, SpaceX will build “three more” Crew Dragon ...
The prior flights where Demo flights, and had test pilots as crew. Crew-1 had "regular" astronauts from NASA and other agencies.
They are all crewed, why is it different? Test pilots vs Passengers.
Think a commercial flight, you won't load up passengers on the first manned tests, you do test pilots and some test crew and such. Then you do the paid ...
There is a GPS Module in Dishy, and they know where you are (Also if you have been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake).
In a Reddit AMA they were asked that, and more implied that the location may not work due to coverage issues, vs they will block it. But it is very early. This will almost certainly change as they deploy more and more customers.
The Starship design is a series of 1.8m tall rings (since commercial stainless steel is most commonly available at a maximum roll height of 1.8m) welded together into a long tube.
One of the innovations SpaceX is doing is similar to what they did in Falcon 9, a shared common dome between tanks. That is, it would otherwise be two rounded ends, meeting and ...
Based on this article,
[Elon Musk] shared that the terminal "looks like a thin, flat, round
UFO on a stick." The "Starlink terminal has motors to self-adjust
optimal angle to view sky," Musk explained. The device's technology is
advanced enough to find the signal on its own, users will not have to
figure out where the Starlink ...
They haven't publicly laid out detailed plans, but they have or are actively working on all the pieces such a system would require, and have mentioned it a couple times.
Shotwell discussed it in an interview for TIME magazine:
The second reason was once we take people to Mars, they're gonna need a capability to communicate. In fact, I think it will be even ...