There's literally a lot more to space than there was last week – or at least, the number of man-made active satellites in Earth's orbit has grown a bit, thanks to the launch of SpaceX the first 60 Starlink satellites. This week also saw movement in other key areas of commercial space and some continuing activities to encourage an ecosystem for initial space.
Some of the New Space companies are flexing the advantages that help them consolidate the industry, usually reserved for only a few deep-pocketed defense contractors, and NASA prepares for planetary exploration of space in more ways than one.
60 Starlink satellites featuring SpaceX launched this week are the first to be specifically designated as test vehicles, despite launching a series of 60 earlier this year. These will form the cornerstone of between 300-400 or so by providing the first commercial customer service in the US and Canada next year, if everything goes in SpaceX's plan for its new global broadband service.
In addition to being the building blocks for the company's first product directly to the consumer, this launch was also an opportunity for SpaceX to show how far it comes with reuse. In the first field, the rocket launcher was first discovered in the company and also used in the 9 booster for the fourth time – and landed it so he could potentially use it for another mission in the future.
Rocket Lab aims to provide more frequent launch opportunities, and the company has a new robot that will help it achieve a very fast turnaround of rocket production: Rosie. Rossi The robot can produce a vehicle launch once every 12 hours – tackling the key task of processing the company's electron carbon composite phases in a way that reduces what used to be hundreds of manual work hours to something that can be done twice a day .
This is great because the last time SpaceX released the Super Dragon's key Super Dragon launch system, it exploded and took the capsule with it. Now, the crew of the spacecraft can move on to the next step of demonstrating abortion in flight (the emergency cancellation procedure that will allow astronauts on board to take their lives in the event of a post-launch, state of emergency mid flight), and then is on crew tests.
It's not like they have to go out and fix something in zero gravity or whatever, but the rich few who paid for Virgin Galactic $ 250,000 per space trip to space will still need to be trained before boarding. They have now begun to do just that, as Virgin looks in the first half of next year for the first commercial flights of space tourism.
They now have a couple, and this new one is made in partnership with the US Air Force, along with allied government agencies in the Netherlands and Norway. This does not require participants to move to a central hub for the duration of the program, which should also mean greater global appeal.
Bespin's cloudy cars were cool, but a more realistic way to navigate the upper atmosphere of a gaseous planet could actually be with robotic stings that really flick their fins. "Yes, actually.
Blue origin Effef Bezos announced a multi-partner team working on the company's lunar earthquake and its orbital delivery mechanism. The key ingredient is long-time space industry experts Draper, born outside of MIT and perhaps best known for developing the Apollo 11. guidance system Draper will develop aviation and guidance systems for the Blue Origin Earthquake, and Mike Butcher caught up with Draper CEO Ken Gabriel, to talk. (Crunch extra subscription required)