Elon Musk’s trademark reusable rocket will be making its third flight when it lifts off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 10:57 a.m. PT (1:57 p.m. ET). This specific unit sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and then launched a South Korean satellite in July. So far, SpaceX has managed to launch and land the same rocket up to six times.
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The launch was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it got scrubbed and pushed back a day due to a “recovery issue.” It could be that SpaceX didn’t like the look of the weather in the Atlantic where the first stage and the fairing were set to be recovered.
One half of the nose cone, or fairing, atop the rocket has also seen two previous flights, both of them earlier Starlink missions.
This should be a fairly routine launch. It will be the 13th Starlink mission so far, and SpaceX is ultimately planning on dozens more as it grows its broadband mega-constellation.
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Following the launch and separation of the rocket’s second stage and payload, the first-stage booster will again return to Earth to land on a droneship in the Atlantic.
SpaceX will stream the entire thing via the feed above, starting at about 10 minutes before launch.
Two flights to Abbotsford have each had a recent COVID-19 exposure, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
The agency indicates on its website that the flights involved were WestJet flight 637 from Calgary to Abbotsford on Wednesday, Oct. 14 (rows nine to 15) and Swoop flight 107 from Hamilton to Abbotsford on Monday, Oct. 19 (rows 20 to 26).
The CDC advises that anyone who was on these flights should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
Passengers on domestic flights are not required to self-isolate, but those who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival.
Passengers seated on a plane with a case of COVID-19 that was later identified are no longer directly notified of their potential exposure. Instead, anyone who has travelled is asked to monitor the CDC website.
Passengers seated in the affected rows are considered to be at higher risk of exposure due to their proximity to the case.
At least she didn’t have to wait in line. A US astronaut cast her ballot from the International Space Station on Thursday, making her voice heard in the presidential election despite being 408km above the Earth.
“From the International Space Station: I voted today,” crew member Kate Rubins, who began a six-month stint aboard the orbiting station last week, said on Nasa’s Twitter account.
The post featured a photo of Rubins, her hair floating in the zero-gravity environment, in front of an enclosure with a sign that reads “ISS voting booth”.
Rubins and Nasa described the process as a form of absentee voting. A secure electronic ballot generated by a clerk’s office in Harris County, home of Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, was sent up via email to the ISS. Rubins filled out the ballot in the email and it was downlinked and delivered back to the clerk’s office.
Rubins had cast her vote from the ISS during the 2016 election as well. “We consider it an honour to be able to vote from space,” she said in a video before she and two Russian cosmonauts launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 14.
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