Starlink Launch

#1
Set for 11:00 PM EDT, 8:00 PM PDT Wednesday May 15

Watch live here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-6SXOYHSmE

or here

https://www.spacex.com/webcast

The plan is for the booster to land on the ocean landing barge.

The launch is intended to orbit 60 Starlink satellites, built by SpaceX and intended to provide internet access worldwide. (I'm a little concerned that eventually putting up hundreds or even thousands of these will just make low earth orbit a dangerous shooting range, filled with space junk.)

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1127388838362378241

This will be the heaviest Falcon 9 payload ever, at 18.5 tons. This particular block 5 booster (B 1049) has already flown twice before (putting up a Telstar comsat and some Iridium comsats) and this is its third trip.

Word just in that upper altitude winds exceed specifications and the launch has been rescheduled for tomorrow, same time.

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1128856704517414918
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#2
(May 16, 2019 03:26 AM)Yazata Wrote: . . . The launch is intended to orbit 60 Starlink satellites, built by SpaceX and intended to provide internet access worldwide. (I'm a little concerned that eventually putting up hundreds or even thousands of these will just make low earth orbit a dangerous shooting range, filled with space junk.) ...

Junkyard space race. "If we don't extensively pollute space with smallsats, India will do it first with cubesats and military-test debris."

Quote:Word just in that upper altitude winds exceed specifications and the launch has been rescheduled for tomorrow, same time.

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1128856704517414918


No surprise there. Kind of like Helen Roper scheduling a liftoff for Stanley. But at least this is something that will eventually happen.
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#3
A flock of Starlinks is a mumuration. They can be something to behold, one of the wonders of nature. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that they were divine revelations.

Watch these Youtube videos, you'll be glad you did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRNqhi2ka9k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eakKfY5aHmY

Apparently they behave like cellular automata. Each bird's behavior is a function of what the six or seven birds closest to it are doing. And each of those birds is doing the same thing. So waves propagate through the mumuration and the whole thing starts to display unexpected holistic behaviors.

https://phys.org/news/2019-02-starling-m...atest.html

Edit to add perhaps the definitive paper on the mumuration behavior of Starlinks, from Italy:

https://www.pnas.org/content/105/4/1232
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#4
(May 16, 2019 05:09 PM)Yazata Wrote: A flock of Starlinks is a mumuration.


LOL, that's a pearl of a pun. Enough of the noisy things around here during the fall. Cedar waxwings come in hordes during the winter, but minus interesting flying patterns -- just that ineffable sort of chattering sound they make.

(May 16, 2019 05:09 PM)Yazata Wrote: A flock of Starlinks is a mumuration. They can be something to behold, one of the wonders of nature. The ancient Greeks and Romans thought that they were divine revelations.

Watch these Youtube videos, you'll be glad you did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRNqhi2ka9k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eakKfY5aHmY

Apparently they behave like cellular automata. Each bird's behavior is a function of what the six or seven birds closest to it are doing. And each of those birds is doing the same thing. So waves propagate through the mumuration and the whole thing starts to display unexpected holistic behaviors.

https://phys.org/news/2019-02-starling-m...atest.html
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#5
(May 16, 2019 06:05 PM)C C Wrote: LOL, that's a pearl of a pun.

Too bad that it wasn't original with me. Somebody else made that remark and it got my mind racing (again)...

Quote:Enough of the noisy things around here during the fall. Cedar waxwings come in hordes during the winter, but minus interesting flying patterns -- just that ineffable sort of chattering sound they make.

We have plenty of them around here, but I've never seen them flocking as spectacularly as in the videos. Apparently it's more common in Europe, where the birds originally came from. (They aren't native in North America.)

It's not unknown around here though. Here's a video of them doing it outside Sacramento, about 100 miles from me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8Prw9AZ9jw
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#6
(May 16, 2019 07:04 PM)Yazata Wrote: We have plenty of them around here, but I've never seen them flocking as spectacularly as in the videos. Apparently it's more common in Europe, where the birds originally came from. (They aren't native in North America.)

It's not unknown around here though. Here's a video of them doing it outside Sacramento, about 100 miles from me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8Prw9AZ9jw


I feel it must be the presence and temptation of the dense trees that limit starling pattern-making around here to one or two twirls. No sooner do they soar up en mass, they will settle down quickly in the limbs of another spot.

During the wintertime, I'd often not know the cedar waxwings were around if it wasn't for the subdued sounds they make, that only gradually creep up in one's awareness of any background racket. Look up and realize there is a legion of them sprawled across the branches. Attracted to the cold-weather bearing trees and shrubs yielding berry-sized fruit.

What's officially called a "high-pitched, trilled bzeee" vocalization now strikes me as "wheezy" (guess it's not so difficult to express with words after all). The waxwings in this video are far more raucous and issuing a couple of other sounds -- maybe because it looks like it was shot in spring or warmer weather.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TXFE3szT110
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#8
Here's a fairly long video showing B 1049 arriving back in Cape Canaveral after its third trip into space, this latest one launching Elon's flock of Starlinks. Lots of closeups and good views of its custom transporter vehicle making tight turns while carrying this huge thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_conti...YdF1nMy71o
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#9
If you haven't gotten enough Starlinks (and who has? The astronomers, that's who) another flock of 60 of them is scheduled to be released on November 11.

The booster will be longtime veteran B1048, making its fourth trip to space. (It's the booster that launched that ill-fated Israeli lunar lander, among its earlier missions.) So far, the most times SpaceX has flown an individual booster is 3x, so 4x will be a first. The valiant booster just successfully completed a static test-fire at Cape Canaveral in preparation for the 11-11 launch.

They will try to recover B1048 again and also will try to recover both payload fairing halves with their catchers-mitt ships. This particular fairing is also a veteran, having flown on the last Falcon Heavy mission.

Here's a cool SpaceX video shot from a camera on a fairing, showing the fairings coming free, the second stage powering away to the left, the Earth below, the fairing rotating 360 degrees so that the Earth reappears and you can see both the second stage receding into the distance (it looks like a bright fuzzy star above the Earth's horizon) and the other fairing half (dark against the blue of the Earth).

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1191779329467748353
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#10
Map of Starlink launch area. It looks like the rocket will take an unusual northeastward direction from Cape Canaveral (most rockets head southeast) in order to get the Starlinks in the desired orbit. The map shows both where the booster recovery barge will be stationed (the blue marker) and the fairing catcher ships (green). The orange outline shows where temporary aircraft flight restrictions will be in effect. (They don't want brave booster B1048 coming down on top of an airliner.)

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid...798607&z=7

Note the large area south of Australia where they plan to deorbit the second stage.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index....3234;image
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