Space Stuff and Launch Info

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Beresheet crashed, main engine failure apparently.

The Falcon Heavy launch was a success, and all three boosters have landed successfully. The second launch of this rocket and the first commercial customer. The two side-boosters will be reused for the third Falcon Heavy launch in about two months.
 
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Bad news from Crew Dragon. The capsule used for the first uncrewed flight was tested on the ground in preparation for the in-flight abort test. An undisclosed anomaly happened during such a test and a lot of smoke was visible. Based on the little we know it looks like a problem with one of the SuperDraco engines in the abort system.
The investigation of this issue and fixing the cause will take time and will likely lead to delays in the schedule. In addition the capsule is likely to need repairs, or in the worst case even a replacement. In the best case the issue came from the SuperDraco engines being exposed to salt water during the landing - the crewed flights will all use new capsules, so it wouldn't affect these.

Nasaspaceflight has an article, expect updates over time.
Here is a picture of the smoke

Edit: Here is a video. I'm not a rocketry expert but this looks wrong. Replies suggest that the SuperDraco thrusters were not the problem.

Edit2: I created a thread
 
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Not so much going on in terms of notable orbital launches recently.
LauncherOne plans its maiden orbital flight in May.
SpaceX plans to launch the first batch of Starlink satellites in May, taking the lead from OneWeb (6 satellites launched) in the race to the first operational mega-constellation (this will need hundreds of satellites).

Starhopper is being prepared for untethered hops - initially with one engine, later with three engines. As it needs three engines to control roll (rotation around its long axis) the initial hops will probably be short. The second of the third engines has been fired for 40 seconds at a test stand.
Meanwhile work on the orbital prototype is continuing and some more sections have been stacked. Still looks a bit like a water tower.

Edit: More details about Starhopper tests
 
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The first batch of Starlink satellites will be launched on May 16, 2:30 UTC (90 minutes launch window starting at that time). "Dozens of satellites", the exact number is not known yet. It will immediately make Starlink one of the largest satellite constellations in orbit, probably second behind Iridium (75 satellites). Orbcomm has 31 satellites. There are 31 GPS satellites, 28 Galileo satellites and 24 Glonass satellites.

Unlike Iridium and Orbcomm, the Starlink satellites will fly in a very low Earth orbit and rely on satellite-to-satellite links, hundreds of satellites will be needed for reliable operation.

This will be the fourth flight of this particular Falcon 9 booster, the first time a booster will be used for a fourth flight. The previous flight of it launched (among other payloads) the Beresheet mission which tried to land on the Moon.


Edit: 60 satellites. They are missing the satellite-to-satellite laser links, they are test satellites that won't be part of the final constellations. Still a lot you can do with 60 satellites.

From the tweet:

starlink.png
 
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Please continue to use this thread for random, one off type space event notices and discussion. For any official launches or topics that may invoke large discussions please create a new thread in this new Aerospace forum. Thanks!
 

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