Carnival of Space 634

1. Universe Today – This Dried Up Riverbed Shows that Water Once Flowed on the Surface of Mars

Nirgal Vallis is one of the longest dried-up river system on Mars. It is almost 700 km (435 miles) long. It’s just south of the equator, in a region shaped not only by water flowing on the ancient surface, but by impacts.

2. Universe Today – A Satellite Just Launched Whose Job is to Extend the Life of Geosynchronous Satellites.

Space Logistics is a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman. It launched a satellit called MEV-1 (Mission Extension Vehicle-1). MEV-1 will rendezvous with Intelsat-901 (IS-901), a communications satellite launched in 2001 that is almost out of fuel. MEV-1 will dock with Intelsat-901, fire its thrusters, and boost the communication satellite’s orbit, extending its life by about five years.

MEV-1 has the capability to extend satellite life by 15 years. It could un-dock from the communications satellite and dock with another satellite, extending that one’s operational life. MEV-1 is basically a space tug, but only for geosynchronous satellites.

3. Universe Today – Lava Flows on Venus Suggest That the Planet Was Never Warm and Wet

4. Universe Today – This is What Moondust Looks Like When You Remove All the Oxygen. A Pile of Metal

5. Universe Today – They’ve Got Spacesuits that Fit Now. Christina Koch and Jessica Meir Will Spacewalk on October 21st

6. The Hill – Remembering Alexei Leonov, the first human being to walk in space

7. The Hill – How to stop million-dollar satellites from becoming space junk

8. Nextbigfuture – NASA Buying Ten SLS Rocket Launches Through 2035 in a Show of Washington Corruption

NASA has provided initial funding and authorization to Boeing to begin work toward the production of the third core stage and to order targeted long-lead materials and cost-efficient bulk purchases to support future builds of core stages. This action allows Boeing to manufacture the third core stage in time for the 2024 mission, Artemis III, while NASA and Boeing work on negotiations to finalize the details of the full contract within the next year. The full SLS contract is expected to support up to 10 core stages and up to eight Exploration Upper Stages (EUS).

We see a clearly technically and economically superior alternative cannot kill a $60 billion waste for an inferior and delayed project over the next two decades.

The SpaceX Heavy cost $500 million to develop versus $18 billion already spent for no test flights for the Space Launch System. Space Launch System will need another $6-10 billion to get to a first mission. Two SpaceX Heavy’s could perform the first mission. SpaceX would be able to handle the various SLS missions with perhaps 10% of the funding of the SLS program.

Space Launch System will now be an embarrassing poster child for government waste and corruption.

NASA Administrator Bridenstine had said that with modifications, the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket could carry astronauts on Orion to the Moon if the SLS rocket was not ready. SLS political allies in Congress most notably Alabama Senator Richard Shelby have prevented a $100 million or less SpaceX Falcon Heavy with less than $1 billion in modifications from saving $7+ billion per launch of the SLS with Artemis.

Ten already obsolete SLS rockets will launch once every year or two until 2035 or later if there are delays…Again.

9. Nextbigfuture – Orbion Space Technology Solves Orbital Last Mile Issues

Dr. Brad King, CEO of Orbion Space Technology, was interviewed by Nextbigfuture. Brad King has two decades in the space field and many professional awards recognize his research contributions in propulsion.

SpaceX and Spaceflight Industries will be providing ridesharing flights to place 10-100 satellites into orbit at one time. This is like dozens of people reaching a bus stop. Rocket companies will drop off the satellites in one location in one orbit. The satellites will need propulsion to reach their operating location. This is where Orbion Space Technology will help them. They will provide proven Hall thruster technology for fuel-efficient and lightweight propulsion to move satellites to the right orbit.

Orbion will be able to mass-produce proven hall thruster technology.
Orbion will be able to reduce the mass of satellite propulsion by 3 times while improving the imaging, lifespan, orbit control and re-entry.
they will have
Traditional testing takes 6 to 8 months before delivery. Orbion’s manufacturing approach aims to build and ship thrusters within just 6-8 days of order.
Hall Thrusters have about 1600 ISP which is four times more than chemical rockets.

10. Nextbigfuture – Future of SpaceX Starlink and Starships

SpaceX has submitted requests to add 30,000 satellites for Starlink 3.0. They had 20 filings to the ITU (International Telecommunications for 1,500 satellites apiece in various low Earth orbits. SpaceX had originally filed for an initial Starlink network of 4425 satellites. Once the first 1000 satellites are up they will be able to start operation.

Starlink Constellations

Starlink 1.0 4,425 satellites around the end of 2021
Starlink 2.0 7,518 satellites around the end of 2023
Starlink 3.0 30,000 satellites around the end of 2027

In November 2018, SpaceX received US regulatory approval to deploy 7,518 broadband satellites, in addition to the 4,425 approved earlier. SpaceX’s initial 4,425 satellites had been requested in the 2016 regulatory filings to orbit at altitudes of 1,110-kilometer (690 mi) to 1,325-kilometer (823 mi). The new approval was for the addition of a very-low Earth orbit NGSO [non-geostationary satellite orbit] constellation, consisting of 7,518 satellites operating at altitudes from 335-kilometer (208 mi) to 346-kilometer (215 mi). In November, SpaceX altered the orbits of 1,600 from 1,150 km (710 mi) to only 550 km (340 mi) orbital altitude.

In 2021, there could be 12 launches of Super Heavy Starship used for Starlink deployment. These would launch 3 to 4 times as many Starlink satellites. 12 launches of 180 Starlink satellites and 24 launches of 60 satellites would mean 3600 Starlink satellites in orbit by the end of 2021. This would mean nearly the entire 4425 first network would be in orbit. Two more Super Heavy Starship launches would complete the 4425 network by the end of 2021 even with some satellite losses.

In 2021 and 2023, SpaceX could have its planned 24 launches of Super Heavy Starship. This would be another 4,320 Starlink satellites each year. Some Super Heavy Starship launches would be used for other customers like the military or NASA. If we assume that Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launches fill in the gaps for the estimate. This means by the end of 2023, the second 7,518 Starlink satellites would be placed.

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