In Photos: SpaceX Launches Third Batch of 60 Starlink Satellites to Orbit - Space.com - Canada News Media
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In Photos: SpaceX Launches Third Batch of 60 Starlink Satellites to Orbit – Space.com

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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.

Full Story: SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites, Nails Rocket Landing in Record-Breaking Flight

Related: SpaceX Just Launched a Fleet of Starlink Satellites. Here’s How to Spot Them in the Sky.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

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.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

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).

(Image credit: SpaceX)

The Falcon 9 first stage had previously launched the first batch of Starlink satellites, as well as the Iridium-8 and Telstar 18 VANTAGE missions before this historic fourth flight.

(Image credit: SpaceX/Twitter)

The 60 new Starlink satellites, marking the third batch deployed, made SpaceX the operator of the largest satellite fleet in space.

(Image credit: SpaceX/Twitter)

The Falcon 9 rocket soars into space with 60 of the company’s Starlink internet satellites in this long-exposure photo of the launch.

(Image credit: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty)

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.

starlink 2 mission

(Image credit: SpaceX)

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.

(Image credit: SpaceX)

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.

Related: SpaceX’s Starlink Constellation Could Swell by 30,000 More Satellites

(Image credit: SpaceX)

The Falcon 9 first stage made a successful trip to space and return, landing gently on “Of Course I Still Love You,” SpaceX’s drone landing ship.

Video: Touchdown! SpaceX Lands Rocket After Launching 60 Starlink Satellites

starlink 2 mission

(Image credit: SpaceX)

The 60 Starlink satellites, stacked on the Falcon 9 second stage, shimmer against the darkness of space. Astronomers have complained about how brightly they shine in orbit.

starlink 2 mission

(Image credit: SpaceX)

The Starlink satellites ride on the Falcon 9 second stage, stacked together awaiting deployment. The rocket and its payload coast in Earth’s orbit.

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The Morning After: Counting down to SpaceX's next Crew Dragon test – Engadget

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Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

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.

This weekend we might see a dramatic test from SpaceX, however the in-flight abort test requires conditions that are right both for its landing and the Crew Dragon’s return to Earth in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX is currently targeting a six-hour window on Sunday morning for the test, but also has a backup window on Monday if necessary.

Otherwise, sit back, catch up on a few highlight stories from this week and maybe check out Avenue 5 on HBO.

— Richard


Original content.Ben & Jerry’s made a binge-worthy Netflix and Chill’d ice cream flavor

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.”


Drones with bird-like wings could fly in rougher winds.This pigeon-inspired drone bends its wings to make it more agile

A team of researchers from Stanford University’s Lentink Lab has built a robotic pigeon aptly called PigeonBot, which can bend, extend and simply change the shape of its wings like real birds can.


Bad PasswordYour online activity is now effectively a social ‘credit score’

As columnist Violet Blue explains, companies are already using your online profile to decide if they’ll allow you on as a customer.


Ready for another trip?Engadget Podcast: Super Nintendo World, here we go!

Devindra, Cherlynn and Senior Editor Nick Summers take a relaxing break from the madness of CES by diving into some of this week’s news, like the trailer for Japan’s Super Nintendo World park. They also question the wisdom of Sony abandoning E3 (yet again), and welcome Microsoft’s new Chromium-infused Edge browser. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts or Stitcher.


It could help track breathing issues — if you have the right device.Fitbit quietly enables blood oxygen tracking on its wearables

A bunch of Fitbit models already have blood oxygen monitoring hardware, but until now it wasn’t being used. The company has just snuck out an update to its Versa, Ionic and Charge 3 devices, which will look at blood oxygen levels to help track things like asthma, heart disease and sleep apnea.


Like Project xCloud, but from your home console.Microsoft’s Xbox Console Streaming preview goes global

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.


Update ASAP.Microsoft patched a major Windows 10 flaw discovered by the NSA

This week Microsoft issued patches for Windows 10 as well as Windows Server 2016 and 2019. However, it wasn’t a normal Patch Tuesday, because this time it addressed a flaw that had been uncovered by the NSA and could be used to exploit computers remotely or spy on and manipulate encrypted internet traffic. Disclosing the vulnerability so it can be fixed will hopefully stop it from leaking out, which is what happened in 2017 with the EternalBlue exploit.


Nope, no, not happening.Valve is definitely not working on ‘Left 4 Dead 3’

Despite “LFD3” popping up on an HTC slide during a presentation, Valve says there’s nothing in development for the co-op shooter series, so quit asking.

But wait, there’s more…


The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.

Craving even more? Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.

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.

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Bad weather forces delay of SpaceX simulated rocket failure test – CNBC

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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.

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Canadian scientists trace 2nd strange radio signal to nearby galaxy – CBC.ca

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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.

An artist’s impression of radio telescopes picking up a fast radio burst. (Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF; Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA)

“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. 

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.  

Astronomers using the CHIME telescope in B.C., seen here, have tracked two repeating fast radio bursts to different galaxies outside the Milky Way. (CHIME)

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.”

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