<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This launch used a Falcon 9 first stage booster that twice previously, both times earlier this year, including just in September for the delivery of a prior batch of Starlink satellites. The booster was also recovered successfully with a landing at sea aboard SpaceX’s ‘Just Read the Instructions’ floating autonomous landing ship in the Atlantic Ocean.” data-reactid=”20″>This launch used a Falcon 9 first stage booster that twice previously, both times earlier this year, including just in September for the delivery of a prior batch of Starlink satellites. The booster was also recovered successfully with a landing at sea aboard SpaceX’s ‘Just Read the Instructions’ floating autonomous landing ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Earlier this week, Ector County Independent School District in Texas announced itself as a new pilot partner for SpaceX’s Starlink network. Next year, that district will gain connectivity to low latency broadband via Starlink’s network, connecting up to 45 households at first, with plans to expand it to 90 total household customers as more of the constellation is launched and brought online.
SpaceX’s goal with Starlink is to provide broadband service globally at speeds and with latency previously unavailable in hard-to-reach and rural areas. Its large constellation, which will aim to grow to tens of thousands of satellites before it achieves its max target coverage, offers big advantages in terms of latency and reliability vs. large geosynchronous satellites that provide most current satellite-based internet available commercially.
NASA, Boeing Starliner mission to ISS delayed again, launch uncertain – CNET
Boeing is hoping to launch its Starliner crew capsule for a second time in an attempt to dock with the International Space Station. Boeing’s to reach the correct orbit but gave it valuable data. The company seemed ready to try again, but its launch attempt was scrubbed Tuesday — the second delay in less than a week.
Engineers “detected unexpected valve position indications in the propulsion system” during a health check of the spacecraft after Monday’s electrical storms in the region, Boeing said Tuesday. It’s uncertain if the storms were responsible for the technical issue.
The company and NASA considered Wednesday as a possible target for a new launch time, but the valve issue continues to haunt the mission. “Engineering teams have ruled out a number of potential causes, including software, but additional time is needed to complete the assessment,” NASA said Tuesday night. There is no new launch date at this time.
The mission was originally scheduled to take off Friday, but that was delayed due to anfiring its thrusters shortly after docking with the station. That knocked the space station around and forced teams to evaluate the station’s status.
“The International Space Station team will use the time to continue working checkouts of the newly arrived Roscosmos Nauka multipurpose laboratory module (MLM) and to ensure the station will be ready for Starliner’s arrival,” NASA said in a July 29 statement.
NASA will livestream the launch when it eventually happens.
When Starliner does finally launch, it will lift off on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. The capsule will be packed with around 400 pounds of crew supplies and cargo. If all goes well, it’ll dock with the space station about 24 hours later. Docking will also be covered live by NASA TV.
Software defects and a communications link problem led to a premature end to the original Boeing test flight in 2019, though the CST-100 Starliner capsule landed safely back on Earth. The upcoming Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission is a chance for Boeing to thoroughly vet its hardware and software before a crew of three American astronauts would fly on Starliner.
Both Boeing and SpaceX are part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which is all about sending astronauts to the ISS from American soil. SpaceX has now delivered 10 astronauts to the ISS, and Boeing would like to catch up. But first, it’ll need to show that its Starliner can safely reach the ISS and return to Earth.
Starliner will spend between five and 10 days at the ISS before bringing research samples back to Earth. Boeing will aim to bring the spacecraft back for a parachute landing in the desert of New Mexico.
“OFT-2 will provide valuable data that will help NASA certify Boeing’s crew transportation system to carry astronauts to and from the space station,” NASA said in a statement July 22 after concluding a flight readiness review.
The mission is a key step for NASA’s plans to run regular crewed launches from the US, ending its reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Boeing is also looking ahead at its first crewed mission, Boe-CFT, which it had been hoping to launch within the next six months. The delays with OFT-2 could mean a longer wait before people fly on Starliner.
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Impact of space station spin requires study, official says – CTV News
Space engineers will analyze whether a glitch that caused the International Space Station to spin out of its normal orientation could have impacted any of its systems, a Russian space official said Wednesday.
Sergei Krikalev, the director of crewed space programs at the Russian space corporation Roscosmos, emphasized that last week’s incident did not inflict any observable damage to the space station but he said that experts would need to study its potential implications.
“It appears there is no damage,” Krikalev said in an interview broadcast by Russian state television. “But it’s up to specialists to assess how we have stressed the station and what the consequences are.”
NASA emphasized Wednesday that the station was operating normally and noted that the spin was within safety limits for its systems.
Thrusters on Russia’s Nauka laboratory module fired shortly after the module arrived at the International Space Station on Thursday, making the orbiting outpost slowly spin about one-and-a-half revolutions. Russia’s mission controllers fired thrusters on another Russian module and a Russian cargo ship attached to the space station to stop rotation and then push the station back to its normal position.
Both U.S. and Russian space officials said the station’s seven-person crew wasn’t in danger during the incident.
The station needs to be properly aligned to get the maximum power from solar panels and to maintain communications with space support teams back on Earth. The space station’s communications with ground controllers blipped out twice for a few minutes on Thursday.
NASA said in a tweet Tuesday that the station was 45 degrees out of alignment when Nauka’s thrusters were still firing and the loss of control was discussed with the crew. “Further analysis showed total attitude change before regaining normal attitude control was (tilde)540 degrees,” NASA said.
On Wednesday, NASA noted that “continued analysis following last week’s event with unplanned thruster firings on Nauka has shown the space station remains in good shape with systems performing normally.”
“Most importantly, the maximum rate and acceleration of the attitude change did not approach safety limits for station systems and normal operations resumed once attitude control was regained,” it said.
Roscosmos’ Krikalev, a veteran of six space missions who spent a total of 803 days in orbit, noted Wednesday that firing orientation engines created a dynamic load on the station’s components, making a thorough analysis of whether some of them could be overstressed necessary.
“The station is a rather delicate structure, and both the Russian and the U.S. segments are built as light as possible,” he said. “An additional load stresses the drivers of solar batteries and the frames they are mounted on. Specialists will analyze the consequences. It is too early to talk about how serious it was, but it was an unforeseen situation that requires a detailed study.”
Krikalev said Nauka’s engines fired because a glitch in the control system mistakenly assumed that the lab module hadn’t yet docked at the station and activated the thrusters to pull it away.
The launch of the 22-ton (20-metric-ton) module has been repeatedly delayed by technical problems. It was initially scheduled to go up in 2007, but funding problems pushed the launch back, and in 2013 experts found contamination in its fuel system, resulting in a long and costly replacement. Other Nauka systems also underwent modernization or repairs.
Nauka is the first new compartment for the Russian segment of the International Space Station since 2010, offering more space for scientific experiments and room for the crew. Russian crew members will have to conduct up to 11 spacewalks beginning in early September to prepare it for operation.
The space station is currently operated by NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur; Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos; Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
In 1998, Russia launched the station’s first compartment, Zarya, which was followed in 2000 by another big piece, Zvezda, and three smaller modules in the following years. The last of them, Rassvet, arrived at the station in 2010.
Perseid Shower season | 96.1 Renfrew Today – renfrewtoday.ca
If you’ve been looking to the night skies on clear occasions of late, you may have been seeing quite the show.
Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle says it’s Perseid (Per-say-id) Meteor Shower Season.
The natural phenomenon began July 14th, and is on-going.
Boyle says two nights next week (this week) will provide optimal viewing opportunities.
The event is great for the naked eye, but it’s an impossible challenge for cellphones- you’ll need a 35mm camera, and best, one with a time-lapse feature.
The Backyard Astronomer says that this year, the crescent moon sets within a couple of hours after sunset leaving us with a dark sky.
By contrast, next year’s Perseids takes place under a full moon, drastically reducing the hourly rate.
The Perseid Meteor Shower activity comes to an end August 24th.
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