Space Stuff and Launch Info

  • #726
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Today (Mon. Dec. 21, 2020 - Winter Solstice) is the big conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Don't miss it! (e.g. 45' after sunset) ... if you're not under clouds ... [It looks like a Christmas Star]
Also DO NOT miss to check out today's Google's Doodle! ... It's fun and hilarious!!!
https://www.google.com (for Dec. 21, 2020)

See also (today Dec. 21, or later the archive for this day):
https://spaceweather.com
Here is the time-fixed links:
1)
beta&t=4bsFKRK-vbo04my5iV8OiWq9BWOXlPdAYGP6hnwh7UI.gif


2)
https://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=21&month=12&year=2020
 
  • #727
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Rideshares are really taking off this year. Literally as well.

The spaceflight year starts January 10, with the second attempt of LauncherOne to reach orbit. On board: 10 cubesats
Just 4 days later SpaceX launches its first dedicated rideshare mission with close to 100 small satellites.
Also planned for January (but might be delayed) is the maiden flight of Firefly Alpha. On board: ~35 satellites
SpaceX has another rideshare mission planned, not earlier than February but no launch date yet.
March 20: Soyuz flying a rideshare mission with ~25 satellites
Arianespace doesn't want to be left out: A Vega mission is planned for not earlier than March, carrying several satellites (number to be determined).
Add several missions with a large spacecraft where smaller satellites are carried along.

That's just the first quarter.
 
  • #728
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Gwynne Shotwell talks about selling flight-proven rockets, Starship

Interesting insight in how SpaceX sells launches.

* You buy the service, not the rocket. Which booster to use where is up to SpaceX unless you have special requests.
* Making people accept reused boosters was easier than selling Falcon 1 and Falcon 9. At that time the company had a track record of getting things done already.
* They already sold contracts where it is up to SpaceX if they fly with Starship or Falcon 9. This is going far beyond the first point: You don't even know which rocket type you will fly with. It gives SpaceX flights for Starship while the customers can be assured they will go to space even if Starship is delayed - because Falcon 9 is available.

If you send a package from A to B you normally don't ask for a specific airplane to do the delivery either. You care about the arrival time, proper handling in between and similar, but not about the exact route. Looks like SpaceX wants to go in the same direction.
 
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Likes Tom.G
  • #730
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First flight of the New Shepard capsule that's designed to fly crew, hopefully this year: T-12 minutes + x
Livestream
 
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  • #731
berkeman
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First flight of the New Shepard capsule that's designed to fly crew, hopefully this year: T-12 minutes + x
Livestream
Interesting flight; thanks for the heads-up.

That was a strange vertical oscillation in the telescopic camera's tracking of the ascending rocket. Have you seen that oscillation in previous launches? They need to fix that, IMO. It was pretty annoying. I loved the view from the plane/helicopter/drone/whatever it was as the rocket screamed past it early in the launch. Do you know what they used?
 
  • #732
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I would expect a drone but I don't know.
The tracking could get improved.
 

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