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The Norminal Newsletter issue #5
🚀 SN15 might re-fly 🌏 Starship goes orbital 🛰️ Voyager-1 detects interstellar hum
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After SN15's successful high altitude test and flawless landing, Elon posted on Twitter that they might refly it soon. Currently, SN15 is secured on the landing pad and the teams at SpaceX are inspecting the vehicle and gather data from the successful flight. Reflying the vehicle will mark a milestone in Starship's rapid development and will provide the engineers valuable insights into full reusability.
A filing posted on the FAA's communications websites reveals SpaceX's plans for Starship's first orbital test flight between June 2020 and December 2020. The full-stack Starship vehicle will take off from the Starbase launch site, after ~8mins the super-heavy booster will land ~32km off the coast of South Padre, the second stage Starship will continue its journey at orbital velocities and perform an atmosphere re-entry for a powered splashdown ~100km off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii at T+90 mins.
SpaceX successfully launched and returned a booster for the 10th time making it a record for reusability of a first stage and landing an orbital class rocket. With Starlink's aggressive launch schedule, SpaceX is able to show how reusable their rockets are, Elon has previously mentioned that they could "possibly" fly a Falcon9 booster 100+ times.
Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) announced the DOGE-1 Mission to the Moon which will be the first the first-ever commercial lunar payload in history paid entirely with DOGE and will launch on a Falcon9 rocket. With Elon's current interest in the meme currency, this news has gathered a lot of public attention. The mission is set to launch in the first quarter of 2022 on a SpaceX rideshare mission and will deliver a CubeSat to gain lunar-spatial intelligence, details are not public at this time.
SpaceX has been awarded a $50 million contract from NASA for an "on-orbit large scale cryogenic propellant management and transfer demonstration." This will allow SpaceX to demonstrate Starship to Starship refueling capacity by transferring 10 metric tons of liquid oxygen between tanks in low earth orbits. Orbital refueling is crucial to the success of the Starship program and will get SpaceX closer to its goal of landing on Mars by 2024. The demonstration contract is estimated to be completed by the end of 2022.
In 2018 Japanese entrepreneur and billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced he’d be taking a trip aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon on a round-trip flight passing the moon. Maezawa is so eager to go to space that he’ll make a visit to the ISS as a private astronaut this December aboard the Soyuz. The mission will take place over the course of 12 days, and he’ll be doing three months of training in Russia to get ready for the experience.
Voyager 1 the NASA spacecraft launched 44 has long zipped past our solar system's edge and has entered the interstellar medium, now, its instruments have detected the constant drone of interstellar gas (plasma waves). This data shows there is more low-level activity in the interstellar gas than scientists had previously thought, which allows researchers to track the spatial distribution of plasma. "The interstellar medium is like a quiet or gentle rain," said senior author James Cordes, the George Feldstein Professor of Astronomy.
SpaceX SN16 timeline
🏗️ Fully stacked in high bay ✅
💨 Ambien pressure test
❄️ Cryogenic test
🔥 Static fire
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