SpaceX ultimately wants Starlink to grow to include potentially thousands of satellites over the next few years. The company says it could make available low-cost internet for a significant portion of the world’s population that isn’t yet online and offer a competitive alternative for people who aren’t happy with their broadband provider.
Source: SpaceX launches first batch of 60 internet satellites in landmark mission – CNN
When sending an internet message via Starlink, a ground station will begin by using radio waves to talk to a satellite above it. Once in space, the message will be fired from satellite to satellite using lasers until it is above its destination. From there, it will be beamed down to the right ground station using radio waves again.
Source: The first detailed look at how Elon Musk’s space internet could work | New Scientist
Between distant places, this will allow messages to be sent about twice as fast as through the optical fibres on Earth that currently connect the internet, despite having to travel to space and back. This is because the speed of the signal in glass is slower than it is through space.
“The National and Commercial Space Program Act requires a commercial remote sensing license for companies having the capacity to take an image of Earth while on orbit,” NOAA said in a statement last week. “Now that launch companies are putting video cameras on stage 2 rockets that reach an on-orbit status, all such launches will be held to the requirements of the law and its conditions.”
What’s odd is that the law in question has been on the books in its current form since at least 2010. SpaceX has been broadcasting video back to Earth from orbit for years without issue or, apparently, license.
Source: SpaceX Falcon 9 camera blackout still seems strange – CNET
Following successful first and second-stage burns, Electron reached orbit and deployed customer payloads at 8 minutes and 31 seconds after lift-off.
“Rocket Lab was founded on the principle of opening access to space to better understand our planet and improve life on it.
Source: Blast off! Rocket Lab successfully reaches orbit on second attempt
SpaceX hopes to start testing its satellites before the end of this year and continuing through the early months of 2018. If that’s successful, the company plans to launch satellites in phases between 2019 and 2024, after which the system will be at full capacity.
Source: SpaceX plans to start launching high-speed internet satellites in 2019
Once operational Crew Dragon missions are underway for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth. Lift-off will be from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral – the same launch pad used by the Apollo program for its lunar missions. This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them.
Source: SpaceX to Send Privately Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Beyond the Moon Next Year | SpaceX
Employees at SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California headquarters cheered emphatically as a bright orange speck blazed into view on video screens tracking the landing. Just before touchdown, the first stage deployed its landing legs and came into view against the darkened Cape Canaveral sky. The rocket settled onto the landing pad and the single center engine shut down, marking a giant leap forward in SpaceX’s quest for reusable rocketry.
Source: SpaceX Falcon 9 Returns to Flight, Sticks Landing at Cape Canaveral
Lichtl says that people have tried to use wavelet compression before, and these particular simulations are based on work done by Jonathan Regele, a professor at the department of aerospace engineering at Iowa State University.
“The difference is that without GPU acceleration, and without the architecture and the techniques that we just described, it takes months on thousands of cores to run even the simplest of simulations. It is a very interesting approach but it doesn’t have industrial application without the hardware and the correct algorithms behind it. What the GPUs are doing here is enabling tremendous acceleration.
via Rockets Shake And Rattle, So SpaceX Rolls Homegrown CFD.
To be more precise, if you get the temperature wrong in the simulation by a little, you get the kinetic energy of the gas wrong by a lot because there is an exponential relationship there. If you get the pressure or viscosity of the fluid wrong by a little bit, you will see different effects in the nozzle than will happen in the real motor.
Three House members—Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)—have sent a memo to NASA demanding that the agency investigate what they call “an epidemic of anomalies” with SpaceX missions.
via Congress and SpaceX: Red tape ties up private space..
That’s why this whole thing looks to me to be a transparent attempt from members of our Congress to hinder a privately owned company that threatens their own interests.
Reuters – A cargo ship owned by Space Exploration Technologies arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, with a delivery of supplies and science experiments for the crew and a pair of legs for the experimental humanoid robot aboard that one day may be used in a spacewalk.
via ‘Easter Dragon’ makes delivery to International Space Station | Reuters.
Dragon will be reloaded with science samples and equipment no longer needed on the station and returned to Earth in about a month.