On Monday (Jan. 6), SpaceX became the company operating the most satellites with the launch of its third batch of Starlink satellites. A Falcon 9 rocket delivered the payload of 60 Starlink satellites into orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, bringing the total number of satellites in the internet constellation up to 180.
The successful launch was the first under the governance of the newly established U.S. Space Force. The Falcon 9 first stage that carried the satellites into orbit had been used three times before, and this is the second Falcon 9 booster to fly four times.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 9:19 p.m. EST on Jan. 6 (0219 GMT on Jan. 7).
The 60 new Starlink satellites, marking the third batch deployed, made SpaceX the operator of the largest satellite fleet in space.
The Falcon 9 rocket soars into space with 60 of the company’s Starlink internet satellites in this long-exposure photo of the launch.
The Falcon 9 rocket launch arches far into the atmosphere on its way to space as seen from Cocoa Beach, Florida. The Starlink satellites will provide internet coverage to Earth, expanding coverage to areas that have poor or no coverage now.
While in orbit, the Falcon 9 deploys its grid fins to help guide it back to Earth safely (left). On the right the Falcon 9 second stage fires to power the rocket back into Earth’s atmosphere.
As the Falcon 9 heads back to Earth the protective protective nosecone is deployed. The Starlink constellation of broadband satellites currently stands at 180 with a goal of 400 for minimal coverage and 800 for moderate coverage.
Welcome to your weekend! The first week back after CES has been a long one, but now it’s time to relax. Below there are some highlighted stories from Friday and the rest of the week, but the news I needed to see is that a rumored “Pro Mode” for MacBooks could bring back the illicit thrill of a Turbo Button that’s been missing since the days of the 486.
With official support from Netflix, Ben & Jerry’s has announced a new flavor called Netflix and Chill’d. It’s made with peanut butter, salty pretzel swirls and fudge brownie chunks. The lid displays the company’s logo and declares that you’re about to eat “A Netflix Original Flavor.”
Microsoft has been experimenting with streaming Xbox games to Android phones and tablets for a while as it looks for an answer to the PS4’s Remote Play. Now, after opening a limited beta late last year, all Xbox Insiders in countries that support Xbox One can have a go.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Bad weather forced Elon Musk’s SpaceX to delay until Sunday a test in which it will destroy one of its own rockets in atrial of a crucial emergency abort system on an unmanned astronaut capsule.
The test, the company’s final milestone test before flying NASA astronauts from U.S. soil, had been planned to take place on Saturday.
SpaceX said in a Twitter post it was standing down from the Crew Dragon capsule test because of high winds and rough seas in the recovery area.
It was now looking at carrying out the test on Sunday, with a six-hour test window starting at 8 a.m. ET (1300 GMT).
Less than two minutes after liftoff from a launchpad in Florida, the Crew Dragon will fire on-board thrusters to eject itself off a Falcon 9 rocket mid-air, simulating an emergency abort scenario that will prove it can return astronauts to safety.
The test is crucial to qualify SpaceX’s astronaut capsule to fly humans to the International Space Station, which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to come as soon as mid-2020. It follows years of development and delays as the United States has sought to revive its human spaceflight program through private partnerships.
NASA awarded $4.2 billion to Boeing and $2.5 billion to SpaceX in 2014 to develop separate capsule systems capable of ferrying astronauts to the space station from U.S. soil for the first time since NASA’s space shuttle program ended in 2011.
The space agency has since relied on Russian spacecraft to hitch rides to the space station.
In the test, the Falcon 9 rocket’s boosters will shut down roughly 12 miles (19 km) above the ocean, a mock failure that will trigger Crew Dragon’s so-called SuperDraco thrusters to jet itself away at supersonic speeds of up to 1,500 miles per hour (2,400 kph).
The capsule will deploy three parachutes to slow its descent to water, carrying aboard two human-shaped test dummies dressed in motion sensors to collect valuable data on the immense g-force – the effect of acceleration on the body – imposed during abort.
The booster will free-fall and tumble back uncontrollably toward the ocean, SpaceX’s Crew Mission Management director Benji Reed said. “At some point we expect that the Falcon will start to break up.”
“Our Falcon 9 recovery forces will be standing by ready to go and recover as much of the Falcon as we can as safely as possible,” Reed said.
The in-flight abort test was originally scheduled to take place in mid-2019, but the timeline was delayed by nine months after one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules exploded in April on a test stand just before firing its launch abort thrusters, triggering a lengthy investigation.
SpaceX zeroed in on a previously unknown explosive reaction between a titanium valve and the capsule’s rocket fuel. Reed told Reuters SpaceX had completed the investigation within the last week.
They travel through space, and they’ve puzzled astronomers since they were first discovered just over decade ago. They’re called fast radio bursts, and thanks to a team of Canadian scientists, a new signal has been precisely located in a nearby galaxy. It’s a major step to figuring out where these enigmas come from in our universe.
The findings are in part due to the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) Fast Radio Burst collaboration, a team made up of more than 50 scientists across North America. The team collects data from a radio telescope stationed at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory south of Penticton, B.C.
FRBs are bright bursts of radio waves that come from far beyond Earth’s galaxy. Lasting less than a second, the phenomenon was first reported in 2007. Many have been spotted since, but only around a dozen have been shown to repeat — a quality crucial to spotting them again so researchers can find out more.
There are many theories of what they could be, but with such a small sample size, astronomers can’t rule much out just yet. They’ve only traced the origins of two repeating signals so far.
“They’re telling us something about an energetic arena we’ve had very little insight of to date,” said Paul Delaney, a professor in the physics and astronomy department at York University who was not involved in the study.
“It’s going to give us a window into new astrophysics, and that gives us a better understanding of the universe as a whole,” he said.
The team, co-led by the universities of British Columbia, Toronto and McGill, along with the National Research Council of Canada, has been working toward that goal since 2017.
Extragalactic signal discovery! Canada’s <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CHIME?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CHIME</a> telescope detects second-ever repeating fast radio burst, a collaboration between <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/UofT?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#UofT</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/UofTArtSci?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@uoftartsci</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/UBC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@ubc</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/mcgillu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@mcgillu</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/NRC_CNRC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@nrc_cnrc</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/Perimeter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@perimeter</a>. 💫 <a href=”https://t.co/pNSn8goz4U”>https://t.co/pNSn8goz4U</a> <a href=”https://t.co/02K1p7I22j”>pic.twitter.com/02K1p7I22j</a>
The telescope’s ability to look at large portions of the sky at a time gives the team a better look at the random and elusive behaviour of FRBs, said the University of Toronto’s Mubdi Rahman, CHIME research associate and co-author of the study.
“Unlike most other telescopes, CHIME stays stable and doesn’t point at things. It lets the sky move,” he said.
After co-ordination with CHIME, the latest burst to be tracked, known as FRB 180916.j0158+65, was spotted and tracked by the European VLBI Network, eight telescopes spanning the globe.
The eight-metre Gemini North telescope in Hawaii was the crucial last piece to trace the FRB to a spiral galaxy 500 million light years away, according to results published in the Jan. 9 edition of Nature.
Since the discovery, scientists have found nine more repeating signals from space, according to a report released earlier this week. That means they could be localized, too, identifying the environments in space they come from, what causes them — and eventually, what these massive energy bursts are.
But CHIME can’t localize FRBs on its own. After seeing the signals repeat, it can narrow down the origins to certain parts of the sky. CHIME can then team up with more precise telescopes to match it with a galaxy. It’s set to get an extension in a few years that will enable it to localize data points on its own.
Right now, the telescope is predicted to detect between two and 50 FRBs per day, an event rate scientists consider very high. That’s putting CHIME, a Canadian led and funded project, at the forefront of FRB research.
CHIME was also behind the first repeater ever spotted, FRB 121102. It was traced to a different environment, a dwarf galaxy in 2017.
Both repeaters tracked so far have been found to originate from star-forming galaxies, an attribute that might be important for further research, said Deborah Good, a post-doctoral student at UBC and CHIME researcher.
“It’s hard to say. We always have to be really careful about generalizing from a really small number like this,” she said. “But it also means that every data point we get is super important.”
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.