SpaceX Tuesday...

SpaceX Tuesday...

Author
Discussion

MartG

17,748 posts

169 months

Tuesday 20th April
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Perhaps some of the tankers will be designed to remain in orbit permanently, thus saving the mass and complexity of the gubbinry required to land back on Earth

Beati Dogu

7,379 posts

104 months

Wednesday 21st April
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An orbital fuel depot is not a bad idea, because it could be kept topped up at a more leisurely and routine pace. It's not a new idea, but nothing like on the scale that would be required for Starship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propellant_depot

Beati Dogu

7,379 posts

104 months

Wednesday 21st April
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Meanwhile, Amazon plan to start launching their $10 Billion rival to Starlink - the snappily-titled Project Kuiper.

Since Jeff Bezos has no orbital rocket of his own yet, they've just bought nine Atlas V launches from ULA as a starter. They'll use other providers as and when they can.

They intend to have an initial constellation of 3,236 satellites, but their FCC licence is time limited, so they need to get going or they'll lose it. They have to put half the satellites in orbit by 2026 and the rest by 2029, so the clock is ticking.

Trouble is, they're about halfway through designing their satellites, let alone manufacturing them, so I expect these launches will begin next year at the earliest. They haven't said yet.

RobDickinson

30,853 posts

219 months

Wednesday 21st April
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Spacex is also time limited too, though somewhat father along than Amazon is ..

Eric Mc

115,019 posts

230 months

Wednesday 21st April
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Beati Dogu said:
Meanwhile, Amazon plan to start launching their $10 Billion rival to Starlink - the snappily-titled Project Kuiper.
Gerald P Kuiper was a pioneer in planetary science. The old NASA flying infra-red telescope aircraft (a Lockheed C-141A Starlifter) was called the Gerald P Kuiper Laboratory in his memory.

He is also the chap the Kuiper Belt is called after as he predicted its existence decades before the first Kuiper Belt Objects were detected.

rxe

4,887 posts

68 months

Wednesday 21st April
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A starship in LEO IS a fuel depot - 1200 tonnes is a lot of fuel. It has to be said, methane is looking to be an inspired choice for both Mars and the Moon. Having hydrogen liquified for any material duration is challenging, but you can have methane as a liquid at reasonable temperatures and pressures.

I suspect tanker efficiency will come down to how much weight they can strip out of a tanker Starship. But overall it points to the fact that manufacturing and fuel production needs to be done in Space - lugging everything from earth is just too hard.

Dog Star

12,428 posts

133 months

Wednesday 21st April
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Beati Dogu said:
Meanwhile, Amazon plan to start launching their $10 Billion rival to Starlink - the snappily-titled Project Kuiper.

Since Jeff Bezos has no orbital rocket of his own yet, they've just bought nine Atlas V launches from ULA as a starter. They'll use other providers as and when they can.

They intend to have an initial constellation of 3,236 satellites, but their FCC licence is time limited, so they need to get going or they'll lose it. They have to put half the satellites in orbit by 2026 and the rest by 2029, so the clock is ticking.

Trouble is, they're about halfway through designing their satellites, let alone manufacturing them, so I expect these launches will begin next year at the earliest. They haven't said yet.
I noted that with some interest - what’s an Atlas V launch cost? How many satellites can it deploy in one go? What’s the launch cadence going to be?

I suspect ether answer to all those questions is going to be a very bad one compared to the cost per satellite on a stack of Starlinks going up. I guess Amazon just need to get things moving, sod the cost.

Beati Dogu

7,379 posts

104 months

Wednesday 21st April
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Amazon didn't start Project Kuiper until 2019, so they're way behind Starlink and even OneWeb. They haven't even had any test satellites launched. They were supposed to have their FCC application in by 2016 like nine other companies did, but requested a special waver. Something the others are lobbying the FCC to deny. There's all sorts of legal & lobbying shenanigans going on between these guys to hamper each other's efforts.

Each Atlas V launch is likely to cost around $100 million each, even with a block discount. They can thank SpaceX that it's not more like $200 million, like it used to be. Nothing is known about the satellites yet, or how many they can fit on an Atlas V. Assume they'll just copy the Starlink model of a skinny, fold out design to fit as many in as they can - 50-60 maybe.

ULA aren't exactly used to a fast launch cadence and they'll have to fit these in between their usual defence / NASA work. They haven't launched one yet this year and they only did five Atlas V launches in the whole of last year. They've only got one launch pad for it in Florida, unlike SpaceX, and it will share duties with their new Vulcan rocket from later this year too. If they can launch one for Amazon every month I'd be surprised.




loudlashadjuster

4,080 posts

149 months

Wednesday 21st April
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Beati Dogu said:
ULA aren't exactly used to a fast launch cadence and they'll have to fit these in between their usual defence / NASA work. They haven't launched one yet this year and they only did five Atlas V launches in the whole of last year. They've only got one launch pad for it in Florida, unlike SpaceX, and it will share duties with their new Vulcan rocket from later this year too. If they can launch one for Amazon every month I'd be surprised.
Meanwhile, SpaceX have done, what, ten launches this year already?!

MartG

17,748 posts

169 months

Wednesday 21st April
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"Bad weather offshore has forced SpaceX and NASA to delay tomorrow's planned launch of the Crew Dragon by a day. Better conditions are expected on Friday for a 05:49 am EDT (0949 GMT) liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center"

https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/04/15/falcon-9-cre...

Beati Dogu

7,379 posts

104 months

Thursday 22nd April
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loudlashadjuster said:
Beati Dogu said:
ULA aren't exactly used to a fast launch cadence and they'll have to fit these in between their usual defence / NASA work. They haven't launched one yet this year and they only did five Atlas V launches in the whole of last year. They've only got one launch pad for it in Florida, unlike SpaceX, and it will share duties with their new Vulcan rocket from later this year too. If they can launch one for Amazon every month I'd be surprised.
Meanwhile, SpaceX have done, what, ten launches this year already?!
Yes, ten. Eight of which have been Starlink ones. One of the others was a rideshare and had 10 test Starlinks on it for a polar orbit (with frikin' lasers!)

ULA haven't actually launched a commercial satellite since December 2016 (EchoStar 19). Their next one is in the second half of next year.

RobDickinson

30,853 posts

219 months

Thursday 22nd April
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craig_m67

886 posts

153 months

Thursday 22nd April
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RobDickinson said:
Perfect example of a graphic that can’t be read by a colour blind person
(30yrs in IT.. used to sh#it me to tears)

Smiljan

8,833 posts

162 months

Thursday 22nd April
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MartG said:
"Bad weather offshore has forced SpaceX and NASA to delay tomorrow's planned launch of the Crew Dragon by a day. Better conditions are expected on Friday for a 05:49 am EDT (0949 GMT) liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center"

https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/04/15/falcon-9-cre...
Is this still planned for same time tomorrow morning?

Beati Dogu

7,379 posts

104 months

Thursday 22nd April
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So far. The launch is set for 5.49 am local time (10.49 UK time). The SpaceX webcast will start about 6.30 am UK time.


As before, they have emergency splashdown areas off Newfoundland, Canada and Shannon, Ireland.

If all goes well, about 20 minutes after launch, the capsule will pass over the southern edge of Ireland, over Devon and should take French astronaut Thomas Pesquet right over his native Rouen.

Beati Dogu

7,379 posts

104 months

Thursday 22nd April
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The mystery caged Starship nose has been wheeled out to the test area today.



It's actually a test cell, so they can push and pull it around to simulate the stresses of max-Q.

Smiljan

8,833 posts

162 months

Thursday 22nd April
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Beati Dogu said:
So far. The launch is set for 5.49 am local time (10.49 UK time). The SpaceX webcast will start about 6.30 am UK time.


As before, they have emergency splashdown areas off Newfoundland, Canada and Shannon, Ireland.

If all goes well, about 20 minutes after launch, the capsule will pass over the southern edge of Ireland, over Devon and should take French astronaut Thomas Pesquet right over his native Rouen.
Thank you beer

Smiljan

8,833 posts

162 months

Friday 23rd April
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Anyone know why the ground crew on the launch tower are wearing black leatherette gimp masks?



Looks set for an on time launch so far.

F20CN16

8,423 posts

163 months

Friday 23rd April
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Someone is a fan of slipknot I think hehe Also the large numbers on their backs is curious.

Beati Dogu

7,379 posts

104 months

Friday 23rd April
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Yes, I've mentioned before they look like Slipknot. biggrin



I guess the numbers are to make ID possible from behind.