The Latest SpaceX Rocket Launches...

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MRRSM

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Due to High Winds and High Seas in the Atlantic Ocean Recovery Areas involved, SpaceX has cautiously delayed the Launch of the Crew- Dragon Abort-Escape Test Flight until Sunday, January 19th, 2020 with a (6) Hour Launch Windows that begins at 08:00 AM EST. This linked informative and VERY entertaining Youtube Video is of of the First Successful Test Launch of the New Crew Dragon Capsule to and from the ISS that will be running on a Loop with a Countdown Timer and Two Information Crawlers running on screen... right up until the Falcon 9- Crew-Dragon Test Abort-Escape Launch takes place tomorrow morning:

 
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Fingers Crossed... The Live Test of the Crew Dragon Abort Escape Launch is a GO in about 10 Minutes:

 
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AWESOME!!!!


Estimated Time @ around 11:30 AM EST on 01/19/2020 ...NASA TV Post Crew Dragon Escape Launch Test News Conference:

 
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This Morning’s Launch of the Latest Batch of (60) StarLink Satellites went Glass Smooth on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 under Fair Weather, Blue Skies and Cool Temps down at Cape Canaveral United States Air Force Space Launch Complex #40...aka “Slick Forty” (SLC-40).

From Launch at the Count Down Terminal Times of 16:07 into this Video and nearly an hour later around 1:16:50 into the Flight… for the Satellite delivery into a Low Earth Orbit, all launch activities went smoothly. Here is a Still Shot of what this Satellite Carrier Platform looks like:

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If you want to change up the “watching grass grow” phenomena of watching so many SpaceX Rocket Launches… Skip ahead to the key moments of action in this procedure to better appreciate the motion of the Rocket Booster at launch, release, return and Landing on the Drone Ship “Of COURSE I Still Love You” for a Real Visual Treat when Played at 1.5X Normal Viewing Speed.

The two Huge White Faring halves were expected to be captured by the two Ships, “Ms. Tree” (Mystery) and “Ms. Chief” (Mischief) at some later point in their descent back to the Atlantic Ocean but whether or not that was a success will have to wait for a later Update:

 
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Its been hard for us all to raise the eyes to the Heavens, what with the “Ground Truth” of the COVID-16 Crisis dominating all terrestrial human life for the past months as the focal point for our struggle to survive this World Wide Pandemic. But the Earth keeps turning on its Axis and for the few Men and Women who live inside the ISS ‘container cars’ presently in orbit at 18,000 MPH… their survival still requires our attention, lest they run out of Food, Air and the Power necessary to sustain their lives in Outer Space.

In a surprising announcement from NASA and SpaceX… Two American NASA Astronauts; Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will climb aboard the freshly re-designed and proof-tested SpaceX Dragon II Capsule and with God’s Grace and the power of 10 Merlin Rocket Engines and the two stages of a New Falcon 9 Rocket bearing the OLD NASA WORM LOGO (... and using (9) M1-D and (1) M-VAC Rocket Motors) and attempt a launch on May 27th, 2020:

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As the first people from the long dormant NASA Space Program to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida outward bound to meet and mate up with the International Space Station since 2011… They will be risking their lives aboard a hunk of purpose built machinery created by the Private Company: SpaceX. These images and the Demonstration of Concept Video show that when all of these elements come together and they ‘Light That Candle’…. For the first few minutes after that, we’ll be thinking about these men and their safety instead of our own for the first time in a long time... Godspeed, Gentlemen:
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Redbeard

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On a similar vein as MRRSM shares these rocket launches, a recent book I read is "An astronaut's guide to life on Earth". It's an autobiography by Chris Hadfield (Canadian no less :smile: ) that is well written that will help one to think a bit more clearly. And it is written so all of us on these pages will appreciated and understand. The author completely understands "Chance Favors The Prepared Mind..." Dr. Louis Pasteur " that MRRSM uses at the end of his notes.


 
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Thanks Brother... Here is Astronaut Chris Hadfield being interviewed by Joe Rogan on YT JRE (Joe Rogan Experience) related to his Book: "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth":

 
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Right "Out Of The Blue"... I had the experience of being completely surprised by a series of PMs from none other than "The Roadie"... Himself. I screen printed Bill's Messages and I'm including the series of Photos he shared. As he is among a very few and rare "Band Of Brothers" as one of THE Founding Father's of GMT Nation... I felt Privileged and Thankful to be contacted by him and know that he and his Wife and 50,000+ Followers on his Facebook SpaceX outlet still take such a keen and professional level of interest in concert with my own shared interests in ALL of the on-going activities of SpaceX.

Please... Enjoy these images along with me...

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djthumper

Administrator
You are welcome, one of the mods mentioned you before I could to him. Bill is good people, we met up several years ago here in Vegas and I am sure when I get to visit Oregon again I will meet up with him up there.
 
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The next all important launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon is getting closer now… and for some reason, I completely forgot that from the Launch of the SpaceX Dragon Cargo Flights of this New Dragon 2 Crew Flight coming up next Friday, May27th, 2020… that The Two Men will have to remain on board in a careful, measured and safe approach to the International Space Station for a period of Two Days before they actually arrive there.

For those Two Days...They will be hurtling through that vacuum with the Bright, Blue Earth just below and the endless, Inky Black Emptiness just above them in their Parallel Orbit. Gradually, they will get closer and closer to the ISS; almost sneaking up to it and arriving within a safe distance to eventually dock on the side port of the American Space Module.

I’ve been dwelling on this for some time now... ever since Americans were no longer able to do this task after 2011 with the end of using the STS Space Shuttle. I’m humbled by the differences here as it hearkens back to the days of The Mercury and The Apollo Space Missions of the 1960's and 1970's. Given this reality created by SpaceX, even though I’m not the least bit “religious”... lately I’ve found myself on my knees, hands clasped together in many sincere, respectful and hopeful prayers to The Almighty.

I’ve been praying that He might send His “Great Angel” to watch over these Two Men and protect them and their "Tiny Dragon Capsule Metal Home" all the way from their Launch at the Cape on a New Falcon 9 Rocket and then well up and into a correct Near Earth Orbit in their 18,000 MPH race to catch up with and safely arrive at the ISS. We will be the Silent Passengers riding along with the Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley … All the way to and from the International Space Station. Elon... Thank You for your Brilliance and for creating these Amazing, Space Faring Machines.
 

Redbeard

Well-Known Member
Hey MRRSM,

I was about to mark my calendar, but I couldn't find a Friday ("coming up next Friday, May27th, 2020" ) the 27th on my calendar :sadcry: Mine shows the 27th for Wednesday.
This I did locate :
May 27 Falcon 9 • Crew Dragon Demo 2
Launch time: 2033:33 GMT (4:33:33 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
(https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/)

It boggles my mind to think at 18,000 mph they can "play tag" and must mate up perfectly to ensure a leak proof seal without damaging all surfaces which must remain undamaged. Looking at us humans I see all the dented license tags when we try to back up to a trailer at 1 mph and see the damage left.

Just think, at 18,000 mph the INDY 500 would be finished in a mere minute and forty seconds.
 
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@Redbeard... Thanks for the 'Date Math' correction, Brother... And Just in the nick of time...!

So it's Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 @ 4:30 PM EST of the coming Week and NOT Friday...

(*Whew*)

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All of your other analogies are Spot On, too... And if I can return to describing just how these difficult tasks USED to be done... Back in the 1960's and 1970's NASA was ALMOST at the inception point of including an IBM Main Frame Computer into their need for achieving very precise mathematical calculations that were necessary to keep "The Mercury Seven" Astronauts alive during these primitive Rocket Launches and Landings.

But well before that took place, the majority of this work was done by Engineers using Plastic Slide Rules... and then their 'numbers' were double and triple checked by a pool of working women who were gifted with Math Skills. These Women were called..."COMPUTERS"....One of them was a gifted African American Lady named Katherine Johnson who managed to demonstrate to NASA her amazing ability to properly hand calculate the ballistic trajectories of the orbits needed to achieve safe Launches and Re-Entries... right off the top of her head.

This scene from the Movie "Hidden Figures" is one of my favorite. The problem NASA was facing here was that their Scientists and Engineers were uncertain whether or not they would be able to get John Glenn's Mercury Capsule re-positioned correctly enough to De-Orbit and re-enter the Earth's Atmosphere... or failing to do so... either to first reduce the Capsule and then the Man into a burned out cinder... or wind up continuing on in an endless orbit around the Earth:


These same celestial calculations being done presently using Modern Computers are still underpinned by Ancient and Modern Mathematics. These calculations will allow a Tiny Speck of Metal carrying Two Human Beings inside to leave our World at blinding speed and arrive at a Moving Target in Space as the ISS sweeps past at nearly 18,000 MPH. This is something akin to using one 155 MM Howitzer Projectile fired from a Cannon to catch up to another Artillery Round as it flies by in Outer Space. The very lives of Doug Hurley ad Bob Behnken depend upon such Mathematics to be done correctly in every way.

Thanks, Redbeard...

I appreeshee8choobrutha!
 
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Redbeard

Well-Known Member
For eight years I got to know a man who picked these astronauts out of the drink after their ride into space. He was a good and fair man my father in law (R.I.P.) and stories like this make me wish I got to talk to him more about them. For if math wasn't correct going up their landing projectory coming down wouldn't be on target and the navy ships could easily be days away from the spaceship landed (why do I say landed when it was in the ocean? lol). And Plastic slide rules...I only tossed mine away this past year and have kept it for nearly 50 years because it was given to me by my grandfather who was an engineer. He was one of those whizs who could make that slide rule work faster than any handheld calculator nowadays. I wonder if we handed a youngster a slide rule if they could ever figure out what it was.

Thanks MRRSM for keeping us up to date and informed on these topics, it is much appreciated :smile:

& back at ya: I appreeshee8choobrutha!
 
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This next thing I propose will emulate EXACTLY what the Two Astronauts will experience while manually Piloting the Crew Dragon closer and closer in the near Black Space around the International Space Station. This SpaceX Dragon Capsule Simulator Linked below is identical to the very same controls they will be using inside of The Crew Dragon Demo 2 Space Ship if it happens that they need to manually guide their Space Craft into the proper position to Dock with the ISS.

Please.. Read all 7 of the Instruction Screens BEFORE attempting to play around with the Console Controls, as you WILL be arriving dynamically on site adjacent the ISS and will need to begin to immediately control your Craft.

Consider the caution and care needed here to avoid approaching too fast and risk smashing into the side of the ISS. If the approach speed or vector angles are incorrect.. it might not be possible for you to successfully Dock.

THIS is something these Two Men have been training for over many years of practice. But if you also realize that this will actually take place this coming Friday after they will have spent Two Days Time in orbit after being launched this Wednesday... You may find this experience just a bit terrifying.

As you make your approach and move in towards the ISS... Be careful and take your time. Remember that while doing this Task... it will seem like both vehicles are almost standing stock still and quite stationary next to one another... Both Space Craft will be floating in the Free Fall of "0" Gravity. But their almost matched orbital velocities will actually be around 8,047 Meters Per Second while they encircle the Earth below, once every 90 Minutes.

While the Earth rotates at around 1,000 MPH and revolves around the ecliptic of the Sun at around 60,000 MPH below... these two Space Craft will rapidly move through periods of blindingly bright sunlight that will include the reflected 'albedo' of the light coming off of the Earth.

And then, quite suddenly in very stark contrast... You'll have to adapt to being plunged into an Absolute Darkness, save for the small Anti-Collision Lights pulsating on your Space Craft and perhaps those emanating from the Stars at large in the Universe along with the few blinking lights emanating from the ISS for your visual field of reference:

 
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MRRSM

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Today is The Day... Please note that the anticipated Launch Time on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 is around 4:30 PM EST... if you want to watch SpaceX & NASA make History... This is your Heads Up:

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They have gotten an early start of Four Hours prior to Instantaneous Launch at 4:33 PM later today. This is being carried live right now... all the way to Lift Off and Orbital activities on YouTube:

 
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The often Fickle, Treacherous, Tropical Florida Weather emerged from the skies over Cape Canaveral today like a Delta Wing UFO and put the Brakes on the Wednesday Launch of the First Manned Flight from United States soil since 2011, bringing along the potential for High Winds, Heavy Rain and Lightning:

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I excised this Message with embedded links from the SpaceX Main Page covering their plans to make a follow up Launch attempt this coming Saturday, May 30th, 2020 at around 3:22 PM EST:

"SpaceX is targeting Saturday, May 30 for Falcon 9’s launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This test flight with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board the Dragon spacecraft will return human spaceflight to the United States.

The instantaneous launch window opens at 3:22 p.m. EDT, or 19:22 UTC, with a backup instantaneous launch opportunity available on Sunday, May 31 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, or 19:00 UTC. Tune in here to watch the launch webcast. Coverage will begin about 4 hours before liftoff."

 
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NASA and SpaceX will make a second attempt for the Drew Dragon 2 Test Launch later this afternoon on Saturday, May 30th, 2020 at 3:22 PM with a lead in time of Four Hours again to allow the world the chance to follow along with its progress.

It might seem trivial as Space Travel Lore and Trivia goes... but as it happens, NASA-SpaceX Astronaut Doug Hurley was the LAST Man to Pilot and Guide the now defunct STS Space Shuttle Mission ...way back in 2011:

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So it seems only fitting that he should be one of the Two Astronauts on board this SpaceX Vehicle. And now... Let's hope for Better Weather Today and check back in at this Link around 11:00 AM EST today of you want to get a head start on observing Space History at Cape Canaveral SLC (Space Launch Complex 39-A...in The Making:


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Loading LOX (Liquid Oxygen) to complete the 1,000,000 Pound Fuel Load onto the Crew Dragon Falcon 9... 15 Minutes to GO...

 
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OUTSTANDING Job, SpaceX & NASA on a Successful and Safe launch of our Two Astronauts into a Nominal Low Earth Orbit...!!! Even the Falcon 9 First Stage Booster Rocket NAILED the Return landing on the Drone Ship in the Middle of the Bull's Eye.

It will take Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken just about 19
hours while using a series of controlled Crew Dragon Demo 2 Draco Engine and Cold or Hot Gas Control Rockets while making 'mini-burns' to create ever expanding, co-elliptical orbits to allow their Space Craft the chance to catch up with and match the orbital velocity of the ISS and then prepare their SpaceX Machine for a Secure Docking.

In the meantime, to give you a seriously 'cool' look at their "Destination Place ...Up In Outer Space" of The International Space Station, this next SUPER HQ Video covers the ISS EVA of Two Astronauts filmed during their preparation to "Gear Up-Suit Up" in Zero Gravity. They then headed up the Ladder and out of the Hatch into the Airless Vacuum around the Giant Space Station in order to the perform the unique task of replacing a Carbon Dioxide HVAC Cooling Unit designed to chill down the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.

This Repair Spacewalk #3, took place on Dec. 2, 2019 and demonstrates to those of us all too familiar with the Tools and Equipment needed to perform our Automotive A/C Repairs down here on Terra Firma that these Tools look very much the same as those being used by us. The only difference here was that they did NOT need to employ a cumbersome Vacuum Pump to pull down a vacuum inside of the the Hi and Low Lines they swaged back into the replacement unit.. for very obvious reasons.

The big difference here in the dynamics of Human Ambulation is that the two Astronauts must fixate their bodies, the replacement HVAC Unit and the Specialty Tools in such a manner as to avoid losing them in adjacent free falling orbits under precise procedures that also are meant to keep the Men safely tethered to the ISS. The work is more arduous than you might imagine and took the better part of 7 Hours to complete... The best imagery can be seen at 2X within the First Hour or so... but watching these activities can become immersive and addictive, knowing what the stakes are up there.

Believe it or not... ALL of those on board the ISS eventually develop callouses on their in-steps of their sock covered feet as they needed to adapt to using Hand and Foot Hold Bars for support and control of their bodies. This activity echoes the experiences of all Arboreal Primates in the progression of Early Hominids to Homo Erectus coming down out of the Trees in the African Veld over 2,000,000 Years ago to eventually walk upright and dominate this World..

These Astronauts also make great utility of having 'Human Opposing Thumbs' when using those same techniques to create Advancing Tools and Technologies. And yet... They must all still behave in very the same way that we had to for so many millennia long ago to survive in the Tall Trees. And now that we in have to climb and clamber around inside Space Craft in Orbit around the Earth, those very same Ancient Tactics of using of Hands AND Feet like the Early Primates...STILL work very well...!

 
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MRRSM

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Crew Dragon is in the process of following "The Stations of The Cross" like staging at various Way Points while getting closer and closer to the ISS. NASA is showing the Views from BOTH Space Craft LIVE:

Since this recording runs for over Ten Hours... Many would suggest using the Youtube "Sliding Access Bar" to speed through any perceived "Boring" Parts to find the sections most interesting for you to observe:


 
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I'm going to try and cover a LOT of Ground on the continuing activities of SpaceX since the successful Launch and ISS Docking of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo 2 Spacecraft.

In less than 4 days from the boarding time of Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken (who unfortunately Gashed his Forehead and was Bleeding just after he entered) onto the ISS, SpaceX raised up another of its Star-Link Pods with 60 Communications Satellites on board at the SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for yet another solid launch and on time Satellite Delivery at 9:25 PM EST on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020.

SpaceX successfully just added to their last 8 Launches this year with this continued effort to create a system of 12,000 inter-connected Star-Link Satellites designed for building a Low-Cost, High Bandwidth Space Born Internet Network Service and provide complete Internet coverage all over the Planet Earth:

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The Floating Falcon 9 Booster Return landing Platform called, "Of COURSE I Still Love You..." was unavailable for this Star-Link Launch, as it is presently occupied with bringing back the Falcon 9 Booster that carried the Crew Dragon safely into a proper Low earth Orbit with our Two Astronauts on board:

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But NOT to Worry... Its Older Sister Ship, "Just Read The Instructions" took things well in hand as you can see from these "Before" and "After" landing images some 350 Nautical Miles east from Cape Canaveral out in the Atlantic Ocean.

This is an important image to behold, as THIS seasoned F9 Booster just reached its 5th successful Launch and Landing after Five Successful Post Launch & Recovery Mission Refurbishments saving nearly $60,000,000.00 for Each and Every time that JUST THIS ONE Booster got recovered:

Just Before Landing .........................................................> And Just After

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Next and Last for this installment... Taking a step back to May 1st, 2020, SpaceX beat out all of its other competition by winning the NASA Contract for theTransport System to carry the Astronauts and Heavy Life Support Equipment down from all of their their Lunar Parking Orbits established by other means, and then back up from the Surface of The Moon into their parking orbits as needed.

This Massive Ship will provide substantial payload capacity for 'All The Necessities of Life" needed to establish any planned, permanent Moon Bases or Colonies to and from Earth's nearest planetoid-like satellite:

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Say what you will about the Idea mentioned in the movie "WALL-E" on the Digital Billboards shouting out, "There's Plenty of SPACE in OUTER SPACE...!" Only the BEST and truly successful Private Companies should be allowed to Play in the Lunar Dust Sandbox up there on The Moon. There is WAY too much at stake for such an undertaking not to get every single aspect of these sub-projects performance levels... PERFECT. Follow in the Foot Steps of SpaceX...!

***I promise to cover the Capture and Rescue of the Cargo Two Faring Halves if they were successfully caught as they fell to the ocean below...or by other means... as they are EXPENSIVE at $6,000,000.00 per half and yet, they can can also be refurbished and re-used as well.
 
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I guess I’ve been Dropping the Ball on living up to the Title Name of this Thread as I’ve missed covering not One ...but TWO Starlink Mission Launches happening within 10 Days of each other right after the successful Launch and Docking of the Crew Dragon 2 Demo Mission to the ISS.

So let’s catch up:

On Wednesday June 3rd, 2020 The 8th Starlink Mission occurred and involved the successful deployment of an additional 60 Starlink Low Earth Orbit Communications Satellites:


On Saturday, June 13th, 2020, SpaceX made another Launch involving the addition of more Starlink Satellites to their growing Constellation. While it might seem like you’ll be watching a simple replication of the June 3rd Satellite Launch and the successful Landing of the Falcon 9 Booster (3rd Successful Launch & Landing for this particular one…), due to the time line of the Pre-Dawn to Post-Dawn period during THIS event… watch the AMAZING Sunlight effects that played over the Earth’s Horizon from Space on the Falcon 9 Booster.

The Dual Packages being carried included the inaugural flight of the New SpaceX Ride Share Program involving the Planet company’s Sky-Sats 3 Small Satellites right along with 58 other Starlink Satellites riding on the 2nd Stage. Watch the Second Stage Merlin M-VAC Engine’s incandescent Rocket Bell Chamber juxtaposed against the light of the Rising Sun.

It is important to distinguish between the Two Satellite Delivery Methods employed during the Launch:

(1) First, You will clearly be able to see the Planet Sky-Sats being dropped off into their 18,000 MPH Orbits in linear sequence off of the Satellite Launch Platform. THIS is WAAAAAY COOL!

(2) Conversely, the Starlink Satellites require that the Second Stage Booster begin to create a ‘Flat Spin’ like a twirled Pencil to employ enough imparted Centrifugal Force to let all 58 SATs eject smoothly away from the 2nd Stage into their own positions and low earth orbits ... kind of like David using his Sling to Hurl Rocks at Goliath.

These will then voluntarily re-position themselves from an elevation of 260 Miles up to around 550 Miles above the Earth. They power themselves using Plasma Rocket Engines powered by the rare element Krypton instead of using Xenon Gas, which is a much more expensive Fuel:


And finally, with the goal of SpaceX in launching as many as 40,000 Satellites to provide Total Earth Coverage with High Band Width, Low Latency Internet and Communications, the idea and implications of what might happen from either unintended (or in the case of India… INTENTIONAL) impacts from LOSD (Left Over Space Debris) cannot escape our imagination. Perhaps a BETTER Acronym would be LOST (Left Over Space TRASH). This Video takes a comprehensive look at this reality:

 
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MRRSM

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Today's Launch of the latest batch of SpaceX StarLink Communications Satellites and the additional on-board customer BlackSky Global Space Craft has been held off, with plans to announce this re-scheduled launch sometime in the near future. Here is the encapsulated update on what was supposed to happen today:

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