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Elon Musk

SpaceX is Real World Testing to the Max

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In the technology business we often assess new products from specs on a page then step it up with a hands-on impression, maybe even run a few programs to simulate performance. Unless you have a long term review going, you may miss a flaw or cool feature. Unfortunately some companies have been busted making products that excel at tests only. Essentially cheating.

When it comes to space travel, you can’t cheat.

SpaceX on X

SpaceX’s rapid burn-and-learn approach can look like a failure when there’s a massive explosion at the end of it – but the reality is – this is progress.

Nothing beats a real world test.

And that’s why the latest flight test of Starship was a success. Improvements were made from the first launch and that’s what matters. SpaceX is able to get real world data from these launches that offer way more than any computer simulation.

SpaceX on X

SpaceX posted this response:

“Starship successfully lifted off under the power of all 33 Raptor engines on the Super Heavy Booster and made it through a successful stage separation.

“The booster experienced a rapid unscheduled disassembly after its boostback burn following the successful stage separation while Starship’s 6 second stage Raptor engines fired for several minutes as the Ship climbed to an altitude of ~150 kilometres.

Elon Musk on X showing the launch pad in good shape after changes to structure

“With a test like this, success comes from what we learn, and today’s test will help us improve Starship’s reliability as SpaceX seeks to make life multiplanetary.”

The key takeaways for me are:

1. ALL 33 RAPTOR BOOSTER ENGINES WORKED TO STAGE SEPARATION

2. STAGE SEPARATION WAS SUCCESSFUL

3. FIRST HOT STAGING

4. STARSHIP MADE IT TO SPACE (150km)

5. LAUNCHP PAD IMPROVEMENTS WORKED

SpaceX is failing fast but more importantly, learning faster.

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Elon Musk

STARSHIP LAUNCH DELAYED

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The launch of SpaceX’s second fully integrated Starship test flight has been delay by one day.

Elon Musk said in an X post, “We need to replace a grid fin actuator, so launch is postponed to Saturday.”

Grid fins are needed to guide the booster on its return to earth.

SpaceX made a number of upgrades to the vehicle and ground infrastructure following the first integrated Starship/Heavy configuration test flight in April.

The initial two-hour launch window that was scheduled to open at 7:00 a.m. CT. Friday (Midnight AEST) is now Saturday CT.

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Aviation

Starship Ready to Launch as SpaceX Receives Clearance

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The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has cleared SpaceX to proceed with the launch of its second flight test of a fully integrated Starship.

Starship reached an altitude of 39km in the first test flight

SpaceX made a number of upgrades to the vehicle and ground infrastructure following the first integrated Starship/Heavy configuration test flight in April.

Starship reached an altitude of 39 kilometres over the Gulf of Mexico before an self-destruct command was given. Troubles began when leaking propellant ignited, leading to loss of communications to the majority of booster engines.

There was also work to be done on the ground. The launch pad essentially designated under the enormous thrust of the Super Heavy engines. Chunks of concrete were sent flying for kilometres. SpaceX has since made reinforcements to the pad foundation and added a water-cooled steel flame deflector.

 SpaceX made reinforcements to the pad foundation and a water-cooled steel flame deflector

Following approval from the FAA, which also required a report from and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Starship is set to launch on Friday, November 17.

A two-hour launch window opens at 7:00 a.m. CT. (Midnight AEST)

If Elon Musk’s team pull this off, it will super-charge the modern space race.

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Communications

Telstra to offer voice-only and voice plus broadband via Starlink in rural Australia

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Telstra is the first Telco in the world to offer voice-only and voice plus broadband powered by Starlink to rural and remote Telstra customers in Australia.

The deal with Starlink will provide additional connectivity option for people and businesses in bush locations where distance and terrain make it difficult to reach with existing networks.

Obviously, LEO (low earth orbit) satellites are much closer to Earth, allowing them to send and receive signals much faster. This makes Starlink ideal for services that need low-latency, like voice and video calls or providing backhaul to mobile networks.

“We’re expecting to be able to offer this to customers and businesses towards the end of 2023, when we’ll also be able to share our unique pricing and plan details as well as how basic voice calls will work with our modem which will be offered with the service,” said Telstra Regional Australia Executive Loretta Willaton.

The agreement will also provide connectivity options for our business customers in Australia and overseas, as a higher bandwidth business grade option in areas without fixed and mobile connectivity.

“Telstra is always looking to invest in new and better connectivity options for our customers. We know that collaborating with the right partners is one of the best ways to help unlock a digital future, in this case for people in rural and remote Australia looking for an improved voice or broadband service,” said Telstra CEO Vicki Brady.

“Our teams have been out across the country testing and trialling Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology to ensure we understand where it’s the best solution for our consumer and business customers.

“What will set our offer apart is the addition of Telstra voice service, a professional install option and the ability to get local help with your set up if needed.”

Telstra currently uses a mix of technologies to provide voice and broadband services in rural and remote Australia, including nbn Fixed Wireless, Telstra’s own mobile network and older copper and radio networks.

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