There are literally many more things in space than last week – or at least the number of active man-made satellites in Earth's orbit has increased slightly, thanks to the launch of SpaceX. first 60 Starlink production satellites. This week, there has also been movement in other key areas of the commercial space and some continued activities in fostering the startup space ecosystem.
Some of the companies in "New Space" are flexing the advantages that are helping them shake a sector normally reserved for just a few fund-raising defense contractors and NASA It is preparing for planetary space exploration in many ways.
The 60 Starlink Satellites That SpaceX Launched this week are the first ones that aren't specifically designated as test vehicles, even though it launched a 60 lot earlier this year as well. These will form the cornerstone of 300-400 or more, which will provide the first commercial service to customers in the US and Canada next year if all goes well with SpaceX's plan for its new global broadband service.
In addition to laying the foundation for the company's first direct product, this release was also an opportunity for SpaceX to show how far reuse is possible. He flew the company's first recovered rocket fairing, for example, and also used a Falcon 9 for the fourth time – and landed it so he can use it on another mission in the future.
Rocket Lab aims to provide increasingly high frequency launch capabilities, and the company has a new robot to help you achieve a very fast recovery in rocket production: Rosie. Rosie the Robot can produce a launch vehicle approximately once every 12 hours – addressing the main task of processing the company's electron carbon compound stages in a way that reduces what used to take hundreds of hours of manual labor in something that can be done twice a day.
That's great, because the last time SpaceX launched the SuperDraco impulse system, the Crew Dragon, it exploded and took the capsule with it. Now, the crew spacecraft can advance to the next stage of demonstrating an abortion in flight (the “emergency cancellation” procedure that will allow astronauts on board to leave their lives in the event of a post-emergency). launch and in-flight)) and then pass crew tests.
It's not like they have to go out and fix something with zero gravity or something, but the few rich people who paid Virgin Galactic $ 250,000 per seat for a space trip will still need to be trained before they climb. Now they have started to do just that, as Virgin expects for the first half of next year its first commercial space tourism flights.
They now have a couple, and this new one is made in partnership with the US Air Force, along with allied government agencies in the Netherlands and Norway. This does not require participants to be transferred to a central hub for the duration of the program, which should mean more overall appeal.
The cars in the Bespin cloud were cool, but a more realistic way of navigating the upper atmosphere of a gaseous planet might actually be with robotic stingrays that actually hit their fins. Yes, indeed.
Blue origin Jeff Bezos announced a multi-partner team that will work on the company's lunar module and its orbital delivery mechanism. A key ingredient of longtime space industry experts, Draper, who was born from MIT and is perhaps most famous for developing the Apollo 11 guidance system. Draper will also develop the avionics and guidance systems for the Blue Origin lunar module, and Mike Butcher spoke with Draper CEO Ken Gabriel, to argue. (Extra Crunch Subscription Required)