There are literally many more things in space than last week – or at least the number of active man-made satellites in Earth orbit has increased a good deal thanks to the launch of the first 60 of SpaceX satellites. This week, there were also moves in other key areas of commercial space and some other activities to promote the early-stage start-up ecosystem.
Some of the "New Space" companies are showing the benefits of helping them to shake up an industry. Only a few armaments companies are left, and NASA is preparing for space exploration in several ways ,
The 60 Starlink satellites SpaceX launched this week are the first to exist. It has been specifically designated as a test vehicle, although it launched a series of 60 vehicles earlier this year. These will form the cornerstone between 300 and 400, which will provide the first commercial service to US and Canadian customers next year, if everything goes according to SpaceX's plan for its new global broadband service.
Building on the company's first product delivered directly to the end-user, SpaceX had the opportunity to show how far reusability has progressed. It flew, for example, the company's first salvaged missile disguise and used a Falcon 9 booster for the fourth time ̵
Rocket Lab is committed to providing more and more high frequency launch capabilities, and the company has a new robot that can handle rocket production very quickly: Rosie. Rosie the Robot can make a launcher about every 12 hours. The main task is to process the company's Electron Carbon compound stages to require less than a hundred manual man-hours than is possible twice a day.
This is big because SpaceX exploded and took the capsule with the final firing of Crew Dragon's crucial SuperDraco thrust system. Now the crew's space probe can proceed to the next step demonstrating crash during the flight (the emergency crash method that allows astronauts to save their lives on board in an emergency after takeoff in the midst of flight)) and then it gets closed manned tests.
It's not like they've got to get out and fix something in zero gravity, but the few rich people who have paid Virgin Galactic $ 250,000 per seat for a trip to … The room still has to be trained before they ascend. That is exactly what they have started now, as Virgin plans the first commercial flights for space tourism in the first half of next year.
You now have a couple, and this new one is being conducted in partnership with the US Air Force, along with Allied government agencies in the Netherlands and Norway. This does not require that the participants be relocated to a central location for the duration of the program, which should mean greater global appeal.
Bespins cloud cars were cool, but a more realistic way to navigate through the upper atmosphere of a gaseous planet could actually be afflicted with robotic stingrays that actually beat their "fins".
Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin announced a multi-partner team that will be working on the company's lunar module to launch its orbital release mechanism. An important component is the longtime space expert Draper who emerged from MIT and is perhaps best known for developing the Apollo 11 guidance system. Draper will also develop the Blue Origin lunar module avionics and guidance systems, and Mike Butcher talked to Ken Gabriel, CEO of Draper. (Extra Crunch subscription required)