Space transport roundup – Oct.30.2019

A sampling of recent articles, videos, and images dealing with space transport (find previous roundups here):

** Northrop Grumman Antares on pad for launch of Cygnus cargo module to the ISS. Liftoff currently set for 9:59 am EDT on Saturday Nov. 2nd from Wallops Island, Virginia.

Northrop Grumman Antares CRS-12 Rollout
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket is seen as it rolls out to Pad-0A, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 12th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver about 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. Launch is scheduled for 9:59 a.m. EDT Saturday, Nov. 2. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls) – NASA IOTD

The Cygnus module is named the “SS Alan Bean” in recognition of the late Apollo 12 astronaut. The module will cary over 3719 kilograms (8200 lbs) of supplies and equipment for the station. More info about the mission:

** Reusable X-38 spaceplane returns to Cape Canaveral more than two years after launching on a SpaceX Falcon 9:

From the USAF:

The Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5 successfully landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility Oct. 27, 2019 at 3:51 a.m.

The spaceplane conducted on-orbit experiments for 780 days during its mission, recently breaking its own record by being in orbit for more than two years. As of today, the total number of days spent on-orbit for the entire test vehicle program is 2,865 days.

“The X-37B continues to demonstrate the importance of a reusable spaceplane,” said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett. “Each successive mission advances our nation’s space capabilities.”

This is the Air Force’s premier reusable and unmanned spacecraft, providing the performance and flexibility to improve technologies in a way that allows scientists and engineers to recover experiments tested in a long-duration space environment.

X-37B after landing at Cape Kennedy
X-37B after landing at Cape Kennedy on Oct.27, 2019 after 780 days in orbit. Credits: USAF

[ Update 3: Scott Manley discusses the X-37B history, features, and missions:


** Relativity Space prints big rockets: The Worlds Largest 3d Metal Printer Is Churning Out Rockets – IEEE Spectrum

The room contained Stargate, the largest metal 3D printer in the world. Relativity invented the Stargate printer for the audacious purpose of 3D printing an entire rocket that’s intended to fly to low Earth orbit. We hope our rockets will eventually fly even farther. Perhaps one day we’ll ship our 3D printers to Mars, so rockets can be constructed on the Red Planet. From there, who knows where they’ll go.

Does this sound crazy? Crazy ambitious, maybe. But plenty of people are taking our idea seriously. Four commercial customers have signed up for launches to Earth orbit beginning in early 2021. The U.S. Air Force has approved our request to build a launch site at Cape Canaveral, the famed Florida facility that launched many historic human spaceflight missions. And NASA has leased us a building at its Stennis Space Center, in Bay St. Louis, Miss., where Relativity will build a factory capable of turning out 24 rockets per year. Such mass production will represent a revolution in rocketry. By embracing additive manufacturing—that is, 3D printing—we believe we can pull it off.

** A couple of recent updates from Copenhagen Suborbitals, the all-volunteer effort to design, build, and launch a single person capsule on a suborbital space trip:

** Scott Manley comments on the history behind EXOS Aerospace, which made an unsuccessful suborbital rocket launch attempt last weekend:

** Landspace in China fires engine for reusable 1st stage booster for full flight duration:

China’s 80-ton thrust liquid oxygen-methane engine for a proposed new rocket launcher completed a variable 200-second test on Saturday. The duration is longer than the whole flying period of a rocket. The engine, named TQ-12, was independently developed by the commercial rocket company LandSpace. It has the third highest thrust level among liquid oxygen-methane engines glob

** LAROS is a Russian company developing a reusable suborbital rocket. The LAROS RN-1 will fly to 120-130 kilometers and return for a vertical landing.

The TASS article claims the first flight will be in 2020 but the LAROS item says 2022. Other info from LAROS:

Currently, work is underway on rocket engines. Experimental samples printed on a 3D — printer with a thrust of 20 kgf are successfully tested on mobile stands in the technical laboratory of the Aircraft Bureau «LAROS». «After achieving stable performance on these samples, the engine will be scaled to a capacity of 500 kg. For a new engine, we will need a testing ground», — said Larionov.

After testing the suborbital rocket, the company will begin to create an orbital reusable light rocket-LAROS-RN2, which will display a payload weighing up to 200 kg at a height of up to 400-500 km.

LAROS-RC2 orbital carrier
LAROS reusable orbital  launch system.

** Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket and Photon satellite tug to use Kongsberg ground station servicesRocket Lab partners with Kongsberg Satellite Services for Electron and Photon ground station support | Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, has partnered with Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), the world’s largest provider of ground station services, to be the sole provider of ground station services for the Electron launch vehicle and Photon satellite bus customers. The agreement sees Rocket Lab deliver a complete solution for small satellite operators, including satellite design and build, launch, and ground segment support leveraging an existing global network of ground stations.


The closely integrated partnership with KSAT now provides launch to operations ground segment support for Photon customers – the final piece for small satellite operators seeking an end-to-end mission partner. This enables small satellite operators to focus on what really matters—their applications and their customers—freeing engineering time and capital from having to develop a spacecraft platform, secure a launch, and coordinate access to ground stations from different providers.

** The DC-X was the rocket that accelerated the emergence of New Space: DC-X: The NASA Rocket That Inspired SpaceX and Blue Origin – The Crux

** SpaceX

***The base section of Starship Mk1 moved to launch pad site from the construction facility today.

[ Update 2: More about the move: Starship Mk1 arrives at launch site ahead of flight test –

Update: Another view of the move:


*** Landing Starships wherever – Lars Blackmore made key contributions in the effort to return and land Falcon 9 boosters and now he is working on landing Starships:

What’s next for Lars?

Sending people to the Moon and Mars! I’m now leading entry and landing for Starship, a fully reusable rocket that will one day be able to land up to 100 people on the surface of Mars. Because it lands vertically, like Falcon 9, it should be able to land almost anywhere in the solar system. The Starship’s engines run on methane, this means we can refuel it using propellant generated on Mars and then fly back to Earth or fly further to more distant planets. The near-term goal is just to get Starship into Earth orbit and back with a 100% reusable vehicle, but even that is exciting, because the payload capacity will be far beyond that of any rocket that has ever existed – and with full reusability, the cost should be tiny compared to existing rockets.

For me personally, this is a great opportunity to continue learning, especially outside of my main field of expertise. Designing the rocket hardware from the ground up to be capable of landing, will require a much broader understanding of engineering, combined with all the lessons learned from landing Falcon 9. “Experience comes immediately after you need it,” and many times I realised late in the game that our lives would have been much easier if we could have made simple changes at the start. This time around, I’m hoping to use that experience early in the design cycle, and perhaps save myself some grey hairs in the process! 

Landing Starship will be much harder than landing Falcon 9, but if we can do it, it will be revolutionary. Let’s see what happens!

*** Another look at the Mk.1 video shown by Gwynne Shotwell at IAC 2019:

*** Views of the Starship Mk.1 assembly work earlier this week at Boca Chica Beach:

Over in Boca Chica, SpaceX’s Starship Mk1’s landing legs have been installed, as work continues on the vehicle and (per the flashes) inside the fairing section. With the Roll-Lifts arriving, the two halves will be moved close to each other for re-mating in the coming days. Several clips, with numerous photos edited in. Some of the video has been sped up, some plays at normal speed so you can hear the noise of the worksite. All filmed and photographed by Mary (@bocachicagal).

** The work continues late into the night:

*** Preparations are underway for the next Crew Dragon tests. The the test include:

  • Static firing of all the SuperDraco engines on the Crew Dragon that will do the in-flight abort test. Appears to be set for Nov. 6th.
  • In-flight abort test will see an uncrewed Dragon fly off a Falcon 9 upper stage during the max-Q moment of a launch. The test is currently expected in early December.
  • First crewed flight of a Dragon to the ISS. This could happen by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

More at SpaceX’s Crew Dragon astronaut launch debut a step closer after SuperDraco milestone – Teslarati.

*** Practicing Falcon 9 fairing catches: SpaceX’s new Falcon 9 fairing recovery ship kicks off sea trials ahead of next launch – Teslarati

After a brief installation period, SpaceX’s second Falcon 9 fairing-catching ship departed Port Canaveral to begin sea trials with its new net and arms, a critical step before it can be declared ready to attempt its first fairing recovery.

Known as GO Ms. Chief, the ship’s first opportunity could come as early as a few weeks from now, potentially marking a major milestone for SpaceX’s fairing recovery and reuse program.

*** More about Gwynne Shotwell’s comments on launching lots of Starlink satellites:  SpaceX president teases Starship’s game-changing Starlink launch capabilities – Teslarati

Beyond Shotwell’s clear confidence that Starlink’s satellite technology is far beyond OneWeb and years ahead of Amazon’s Project Kuiper clone, she also touched on yet another strength: SpaceX’s very own vertically-integrated launch systems. OneWeb plans to launch the vast majority of its Phase 1 constellation on Arianespace’s commercial Soyuz rockets, with the launch contract alone expected to cost more than $1B for ~700 satellites.

SpaceX, on the other hand, owns, builds, and operates its own rocket factory and high-performance orbital launch vehicles and is the only company on Earth to have successfully fielded reusable rockets. In short, although Starlink’s voracious need for launch capacity will undoubtedly require some major direct investments, a large portion of SpaceX’s Starlink launch costs can be perceived as little more than the cost of propellant, work-hours, and recovery fleet operations. Boosters (and hopefully fairings) can be reused ad nauseum and so long as SpaceX sticks to its promise to put customer missions first, the practical opportunity cost of each Starlink launch should be close to zero.

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The Space Show this week – Oct.29.2019

The guests and topics of discussion on The Space Show this week:

1. Monday, Oct. 28, 2019; 7 pm PDT (9 pm CDT, 10 pm EDT): We welcome Anthony Longman to the show to discuss his concept for rotating space stations.

2. Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019; 7-8:30 pm PDT (9-10:30 pm CDT, 10-11:30 pm EDT): We welcome Dr. Umair Siddiqui to discuss the new plasma propulsion system being designed by his company, Phase Four.

3. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019; Pre-recorded Hotel Mars Program with John Batchelor. See Upcoming Show on The Space Show website for details.

Note that there is no Thursday program this week.

4. Friday, Nov. 1, 2019; 9:30-11 am PDT (11:30 am -1 pm CDT, 12:30-2 pm EDT): We welcome back Michael Mealling with Steven Jorgenson to discuss commercial space investment and their investment fund.

5. Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019; 12-1:30 pm PDT (3-4:30 pm EDT, 2-3:30 pm CDT): We welcome Adam Hadhazy to discuss his article, Homo sapiens astronauta in Aerospace America, on gene modification for human spaceflight.

Some recent shows:

** Sun, 10/27/2019 – David Livingston led a discussion with listeners of an array of space issues.

** Fri, 10/25/2019Don Pickering, CEO of Olis Robotics, discussed AI and robotics for spaceflight.

** Thu, 10/24/2019Suzana Bianco discussed “Space architecture and her concept designs for free space habitats and stations”. See the slides from her SSI conference presentation: New Venice – set 2019 (pdf).

** Hotel Mars – Wed, 10/23/2019 with John Batchelor & Dr. David Livingston – CBS News space correspondent William Harwood talked about “NASA’s ISS all-female spacewalk to replace the power controller for the station”.

See also:
* The Space Show Archives
* The Space Show Newsletter
* The Space Show Shop

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.

The Space Show - David Livingston
The Space Show – David Livingston

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Space policy roundup – Oct.28.2019

A sampling of links to recent space policy, politics, and government (US and international) related space news and resource items that I found of interest (find previous space policy roundups here):


** Space Policy Edition: Happy Fiscal New Year! | The Planetary Society

October 1st kicked off federal fiscal year 2020—a day that should also have kicked off a new budget for NASA. But Congress has not funded the space agency yet, instead passing a temporary stopgap measure to keep the government open until November 21st. Brendan Curry, The Planetary Society’s Chief of D.C. Operations, joins the show to discuss the latest political developments in Washington, good news for planetary defense, and how the funding delay could spell trouble for the space agency’s 2024 lunar goal.

** Space Innovations So Incredible, They Just Might Work | The Planetary Society

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program gathers its “fellows” each year to share what they’ve learned about some of the most fascinating science and engineering imaginable. Mat Kaplan visits with Program Executive Jason Derleth and seven leaders of funded studies. Astronaut Mae Jemison also attended and returns to Planetary Radio. Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov passed away last week at 85. He is remembered and praised by space historian John Logsdon. All this, headlines from The Downlink, and Bruce Betts!

** The Space Show – Sun, 10/27/2019 – David Livingston led a discussion with listeners of an array of space issues.

** Hotel Mars – Wed, 10/23/2019 with John Batchelor & Dr. David Livingston – CBS News space correspondent William Harwood talked about “NASA’s ISS all-female spacewalk to replace the power controller for the station”.

** October 25, 2019 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast | Behind The Black

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Student and amateur CubeSat news roundup – Oct.27.2019

A sampling of recent articles, press releases, etc. related to student and amateur CubeSat / SmallSat projects and programs (find previous smallsat roundups here):

** Lightweight 3D printed composite CubeSat structure built by French university students with industrial partners:

LISA, an Italian-based company specialist for over 25 years in the use and development of advanced additive manufacturing technologies and materials, has collaborated with the Laboratoire InterUniversitaire des Système Atmosphérique (LISA) of Universite Paris-est Creteil (UPEC) on the construction of a nano-satellite that is a 3U CubeSat formfactor.

The project was carried by students under CNES and Space Campus University supervision. The goal was to develop a demonstrator that can be flight-ready in Low Earth Orbit. The engineering team at LISA and CNES decided to rely on CRP Technology and its Windform Top-Line family of high-performance materials for the manufacturing of the nano-satellite.

Lisa 3d printed CubeSat

Another CubeSat project at CRP is described in Construction of a CubeSat using Additive Manufacturing – CRP-USA

** AMSAT news on student and amateur CubeSat/smallsat projects: ANS-300 AMSAT News Service Special Bulletin

  • AMSAT Goal: “Amateur Radio in Every CubeSat”
  • AMSAT VP User Services Describes Planning for Improvements
  • AMSAT-DL Symposium and JHV 2019 November 9 – November 10
  • Reminder – ARISS Proposal Window is Open Until November 30, 2019
  • ARISS Activities & Upcoming ARISS Contact Schedule
  • Software Update for UZ7HO’s Software Packet-Radio TNC
  • Upcoming Satellite Operations
  • The AMSAT Hamfests & Conventions Web Page Updates
  • Satellite Shorts From All Over

General CubeSat/SmallSat info:

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Space transport roundup – Oct.26.2019

A sampling of recent articles, videos, and images dealing with space transport (find previous roundups here):

[ Update 2: Unfortunately, the SARGE appeared to once again suffer guidance problems and failed to achieve the target altitude.  The booster apparently hit the ground hard when it’s parachute did not deploy. At least one parachute was seen, however, and this may have been nosecone with the payloads. No details released from the company yet.

Update: EXOS Aerospace is launching the SARGE rocket today from Spaceport America. Find updates at The webcast:

More info at Exos ready for fourth launch of SARGE suborbital rocket –


** More about the lunar landing and ascent system that the Blue Origin team aims to build for NASA:

** And more about the status of Blue’s New Glenn rocket: Blue Origin teases first New Glenn rocket prototype at Blue Moon lander event – Teslarati

During his IAC presentation, Bezos revealed a video of what is almost certainly the first full-scale prototype hardware of Blue Origin’s reusable New Glenn rocket. In the clip, a massive carbon-composite payload fairing half is moved inside an even larger curing oven located on Blue Origin’s Cape Canaveral, FL campus, offering an incredibly rare glimpse inside the company’s purported New Glenn factory.

** Update on Skyrora launch company in the UK:

Skyrora is building a new small sat launcher that is environmentally conscious, possibly reusable and unlike anything else on the market. This week we’re joined by Skyrora Lead Engineer Robin Hague to talk about what they are building and when we can see it fly!

** Arianespace offering room for multiple payloads on a lunar mission: Arianespace targets 2023 for lunar Ariane 6 rideshare mission –

European launch provider Arianespace is planning a rideshare mission to the moon in 2023 as an early step toward increasing Europe’s involvement in lunar activity, CEO Stéphane Israël said Oct. 22.

Israël, speaking at the 70th International Astronautical Congress here, said the rideshare mission will be able to deliver 8,500 kilograms into a lunar transfer orbit. Orbiters and/or landers would reach the moon three days after liftoff, he said

** China developing two-stage reusable spaceplane launch system: Nation makes breakthrough in space plane project –

China recently made an important breakthrough in developing its own space plane, a genre of aircraft that is expected to become a crucial weapon in the future, a state-owned research institute said.

The First Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Aerospace and Aerodynamics successfully conducted a wind tunnel experiment, in which the second-stage aircraft freely detached from the first-stage aircraft of a two-stage-to-orbit (TSTO) space plane, according to a statement the academy released on its WeChat account on Monday.

** More about the South Korean launch company Perigee Aerospace mentioned in a recent roundup here: Backed by Samsung, South Korean startup Perigee aims for 2020 maiden launch –

A little-known Korean startup backed by Samsung is preparing to launch a small orbital rocket in July. 

Perigee Aerospace of Daejeon, South Korea, has raised around $12 million from Samsung Venture Investments, LB Investment and others to develop Blue Whale 1, a small launcher capable of carrying 50 kilograms to a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit, CEO Yoon Shin said in an interview. 

Shin said Perigee Aerospace has had sufficient funding to develop the very small rocket, allowing the company to operate in stealth mode until getting within a year of launch. 

Blue Whale-1 - Peregrine Aerospace
Blue Whale-1 – Peregrine Aerospace

** An update on the plans  of Maritime Launch Services to launch Ukrainian rockets from Nova Scotia : Nova Scotia Destined Cyclone 4M Rocket for Maritime Launch Services Passes Another Test – SpaceQ

[ MLS CEO Steven ] Matier said the Cyclone 4M upper stage tests were completed in August. The first tests were for the 7000 series qualification profile on August 23 which was then followed by a second full duration burn on August 30.

In a press release Matier also said “the full-duration burn of our C4M upper stage brings us closer to introducing this medium-class launcher into commercial operation in 2021 from our spaceport in Canada. The C4M, with well-proven rocket technology heritage over 220 successful launches, will cater to our small-GEO, constellation and rideshare customers worldwide.”

NanoRacks plans to use  a Cyclone 4M to test conversions of an upper stage into a habitat: Agreement to Re-Use C4M Upper Stages for In-Orbit Space Outposts – NanoRacks

“The proven heritage of the C4M launch family, with over 220 launches to date, will provide Nanoracks with plenty of opportunities to choose the appropriate missions on which to test and develop the proposed upper stage conversions into resilient automated habitats, and one day human habitats,” says Steve Matier, Maritime Launch CEO. “Canada has a reputation for providing in-space robotics for the International Space Station, such as the CANADARM and the Dextre programs. With Nanoracks, we hope to see this country’s legacy expanding further into economically viable space habitats, and to organize the related launch missions to bring equipment and supplies to these new working structures.”

“It’s Nanoracks vision to re-purpose upper stages of launch vehicles and convert them into Outposts. We envision populating the solar system with cost-efficient platforms, that can serve as hotels, research parks, fuel depots, storage centers and more,” says Nanoracks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We are proving time and time again that there are new ways to look at how we explore deep space, and that we need to think creatively, but work cost-efficiently. This agreement with Maritime Launch will provide us with the in-orbit test bench second stage articles to do exactly that, and to grow our space industry even further.”

** Virgin Orbit adds deep space capability to the LauncherOne rocket: Virgin Orbit to add extra rocket stage to LauncherOne for interplanetary missions –

Virgin Orbit, while preparing for the first flight of its LauncherOne smallsat rocket, is in the process of choosing an engine for a three-stage variant that would be capable of sending payloads to other planets. 

John Fuller, Virgin Orbit advanced concepts director, said the company is deciding between three “highly energetic third stage” options for LauncherOne that would enable the rocket to launch up to 50 kilograms to Mars or 70 kilograms to Venus. The “Exploration 3-Stage Variant” of LauncherOne would also have the ability to launch around 100 kilograms to the moon or toward Lagrange points, he said. 

** The world is full of rocket startups: How many small launch vehicles are being developed? Too many to track! –

Of the 148 small launch vehicles on a popular industry watch list, about 40 efforts “are likely dead but the watch list continues to grow,” Carlos Niederstrasser, a Northrop Grumman master systems engineer, said at the 2019 International Astronautical Congress here.

The problem for Niederstrasser and anyone trying to keep up with the market is that the list continues to grow. “Every time I kill off one [launch vehicle], two more show up,” he said.

** SpaceX

*** SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell interviewed at the IAC 2019.  She gave an “aspirational” timetable for Starship:

  • First Starship to orbit within a year
  • Starship cargo mission to the Moon by 2022. She said this was would provide supplies for those who will come in 2024. She might have been referring to a Starship landing in 2024 but I think she was actually talking about NASA’s target of putting people on the Moon in 2024.
  • Flight with people around the moon in 2023

Highlights from the two videos that she showed: SpaceX’s Starship facilities, Raptor testing, and more shown off in new video – Teslarati.

*** Shotwell also talks about competitors at another venue: SpaceX Shotwell calls out Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, OneWeb –

Baron pointed out that Bezos, as the world’s wealthiest man, has more than enough money, asking Shotwell, “So why hasn’t he done this?”

“I think engineers think better when they’re pushed hardest to do great things in a very short period of time, with very few resources. Not when you have twenty years,” Shotwell said. “I don’t think there’s a motivation or a drive there.”

Both ventures have remained private — one of the factors Shotwell credits for SpaceX’s success. But she believes Blue Origin has not taken on nearly as much risk.

“They’ve got a ton of money, and they’re not doing a lot,” Shotwell said.

*** Starlink to open for business by late 2020. Reusable rockets enable a high launch rate:

SpaceX is confident it can start offering broadband service in the United States via its Starlink constellation in mid-2020, the company’s president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said Oct. 22.

Getting there will require the company to launch six to eight batches of satellites, Shotwell told reporters during a media roundtable. SpaceX also has to finish the design and engineering of the user terminals, which is not a minor challenge, Shotwell acknowledged.

*** SpaceX Cargo Dragon scheduled for December trip to the ISS: NASA Invites Media to Next SpaceX Space Station Cargo Launch | NASA

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida no earlier than Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 12:48 p.m. EST.

*** Crucial Crew Dragon systems tests and flights coming soon:

But amongst the success have also been setbacks. SpaceX has been working two primary technical challenges over the past year. These include a major test stand anomaly and continued problems with the spacecraft’s parachutes.

… the company must redo the static fire test. A successful static fire of the abort sequence will help to verify that the redesigned system is safe for crewed spaceflight.

It is understood that the test could occur as soon as early November.

An upgraded version of the parachutes, referred to as “Mk3”, must also go through a rigorous testing program.

Therefore, Bridenstine cautioned that while the hardware may be ready by the end of 2019, the qualification campaign will likely last longer. At this point in time, the best-case scenario would see a crewed Demo-2 test flight in the first quarter of 2020, according to Musk and Bridenstine.

*** SpaceX aims for end of year for first Starship Mk.1 flight: SpaceX says Starship Mk1 will test ‘skydiver’ landing before the end of 2019 – Teslarati

A senior SpaceX director says that the Starship Mk1 prototype could lift off for the first time before the end of 2019, a flight debut SpaceX hopes will successfully demonstrate the next-generation spacecraft’s exotic ‘skydiver’ landing method.

*** Sights and sounds from Boca Chica:

*** Boca Chica facilities weathered storm with Tesla Powerpack backups: Tesla Energy backup helps SpaceX Starship Mk1 face down tornadoes, power outages – Teslarati

SpaceX’s South Texas Starship facilities and Mk1 prototype fell under threat of damage when stormy weather – including multiple tornadoes and heavy rain – impacted the area in the early hours of October 21st.

With a healthy serving of luck, SpaceX’s Boca Chica campus managed to escape largely unscathed, but much of the surrounding area lost power after high winds knocked down numerous utility poles. Thankfully, one of the first things SpaceX installed in Boca Chica, Texas was a large Tesla solar array and multiple Tesla Powerpacks.

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