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And if ground-orbit connector could be miniaturized to fit in, say... a smartphone? Yowzers! :D

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That wont work since you need targeted beams and thus large phased array antennas. The energy usage will propably be to high for mobile, too.

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Static fire ahead of tomorrow's Starlink launch.

4 hours ago, Elthy said:

That wont work since you need targeted beams and thus large phased array antennas. The energy usage will propably be to high for mobile, too.

Yeah, Elon said it was like the size of a pizza box.

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4 hours ago, Elthy said:

That wont work since you need targeted beams and thus large phased array antennas. The energy usage will propably be to high for mobile, too.

You could probably just carry the antenna in, say, your Tesla, and beam the network to your phone from there.

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(weather was not great tomorrow, so they shifted to Sunday)

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1 hour ago, tater said:
Yeah, Elon said it was like the size of a pizza box.

Do we have more details regarding ground equipment? Is line of sight (outdoor mounting) required? What about urban settings where skyscrapers are in the way? They did some test using the first two sats, but are those results available?

Regarding power consumption, we can take a look at a modern satellite phone, such as this one:

https://satellitephonestore.com/files/support/inmarsat_bgan_support/technical_specifications.pdf

It says <20W during transmission. That is way too much for a mobile phone battery, even at low bandwidth needed for a phone call. Broadband would need significantly higher power.

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1 hour ago, tater said:

(weather was not great tomorrow, so they shifted to Sunday)

Darb. But wait...now they are actually postponing launches in favor of better recovery conditions! I know it's entirely their own mission, but they didn't used to get the opportunity to do this so much.

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1 hour ago, Shpaget said:

Do we have more details regarding ground equipment? Is line of sight (outdoor mounting) required? What about urban settings where skyscrapers are in the way? They did some test using the first two sats, but are those results available?

Regarding power consumption, we can take a look at a modern satellite phone, such as this one:

https://satellitephonestore.com/files/support/inmarsat_bgan_support/technical_specifications.pdf

It says <20W during transmission. That is way too much for a mobile phone battery, even at low bandwidth needed for a phone call. Broadband would need significantly higher power.

There was a pic posted on reddit, but they were on a flatbed, and covered in little domes to hide them.

Everyone is waiting to see what it looks like.

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It's unlikely and it would inconvenience a lot of other people but I kinda hope its postponed until the 20th or 21st because I will be down in Florida at that time. That's quite a long time for it to be delayed, though. I don't think there are any other launches that could be in that timeframe.

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9 minutes ago, tater said:

There was a pic posted on reddit, but they were on a flatbed, and covered in little domes to hide them.

Everyone is waiting to see what it looks like.

As they are designed to self adjust to stay level its smart to have them under an dome if you have it on an camper or similar. 
The self adjustment seems a bit redundant on an stationary unit however but it probably not very expensive. 

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Have SpaceX made any changes to the Starlink satellites to make them less reflective (maybe painted them vantablack) after the big ground-based astronomy uproar that they caused?

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Just now, RealKerbal3x said:

Have SpaceX made any changes to the Starlink satellites to make them less reflective (maybe painted them vantablack) after the big ground-based astronomy uproar that they caused?

Weren't there a batch of darker ones on the last launch or something?

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4 minutes ago, Wjolcz said:

Weren't there a batch of darker ones on the last launch or something?

I looked at the wikipedia article for Starlink. It appears that one satellite on Starlink 2 had an experimental coating that reduced its albedo, but it doesn't give any information on how many, if any, satellites on Starlink 3 had this coating, or if 4 will either.

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5 minutes ago, RealKerbal3x said:

I looked at the wikipedia article for Starlink. It appears that one satellite on Starlink 2 had an experimental coating that reduced its albedo, but it doesn't give any information on how many, if any, satellites on Starlink 3 had this coating, or if 4 will either.

That's probably because they are still experimenting with it. Maybe it wasn't painted on the factory line but modified last-minute by hand instead for testing purposes. Modifying the factory itself probably takes time and money. Not like they lack the latter but since SpaceX is all about reducing costs they won't just employ staellite painters in FL.

Edited by Wjolcz

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7 hours ago, Shpaget said:

Do we have more details regarding ground equipment? Is line of sight (outdoor mounting) required? What about urban settings where skyscrapers are in the way? They did some test using the first two sats, but are those results available?

Regarding power consumption, we can take a look at a modern satellite phone, such as this one:

https://satellitephonestore.com/files/support/inmarsat_bgan_support/technical_specifications.pdf

It says <20W during transmission. That is way too much for a mobile phone battery, even at low bandwidth needed for a phone call. Broadband would need significantly higher power.

Yer, you need an unobstructed, roof mounted antenna. I heard this is mainly because the signals they use do not penetrate through objects well. 

Edited by Dale Christopher

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4 hours ago, Wjolcz said:

That's probably because they are still experimenting with it. Maybe it wasn't painted on the factory line but modified last-minute by hand instead for testing purposes. Modifying the factory itself probably takes time and money. Not like they lack the latter but since SpaceX is all about reducing costs they won't just employ staellite painters in FL.

Instead of paint, I'm wondering if they could use some kind of optical processing. You can do all sorts of funky things with a metal surface by rastering a pulsed laser over it - including making it extremely black. 

Advantages - no paint required so there's no extra weight added and no coatings to spall off in orbit due to thermal cycling or whatever.

Disadvantages - expensive, relatively slow and requires some fairly precise optics if you're treating anything over than a flat sheet.

All in all it's probably not worth it right now but it would be a gold-standard solution to reducing albedo if that becomes a serious matter.

 

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No question now who is going first (we all knew this, but NASA just made it official).

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They deleted the tweet. As if it wasn't clearly a simple fact that SpaceX will beat Boeing at this point. There's not even a second Starliner ready, vs Dragon at the Cape.

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4 hours ago, tater said:

They deleted the tweet. As if it wasn't clearly a simple fact that SpaceX will beat Boeing at this point. There's not even a second Starliner ready, vs Dragon at the Cape.

Accidents occur.

Spoiler

ct-spacex-launch-explosion-florida-20160

Accidents.

 

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10 minutes ago, Xd the great said:

Accidents occur.

  Reveal hidden contents

ct-spacex-launch-explosion-florida-20160

Accidents.

 

Hopefully not.

I'm not sure what the obsession with "who is first" is in this forum, but I think most people (especially NASA) want *both* options as soon as possible and don't care who is first and who is second. There is no extra money involved for that, as far as I know.

I get the sense that some people here have a lot emotionally invested in the idea that SpaceX must demonstrate that they got there first.

Edited by mikegarrison

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3 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Hopefully not.

I'm not sure what the obsession with "who is first" is in this forum, but I think most people (especially NASA) want *both* options as soon as possible and don't care who is first and who is second. There is no extra money involved for that, as far as I know.

I get the sense that some people here have a lot emotionally invested in the idea that SpaceX must demonstrate that they got there first.

It really comes down to bragging rights. As if SpaceX doesn’t have enough impressive accomplishments, getting crew to space first, for (a lot) cheaper, is a big ol’ ostrich feather in their cap. 

I’d say it was a shot across Boeing’s bow, but that happened long ago, when SpaceX won their  CCrew contract. 

As for emotional investment, that probably stems from an antipathy against Boeing, probably due to their appearance of foot-dragging/milking on cost+ contracts, along with other displays of apparent mistakes or incompetence. 

Edited by StrandedonEarth

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4 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Hopefully not.

I'm not sure what the obsession with "who is first" is in this forum, but I think most people (especially NASA) want *both* options as soon as possible and don't care who is first and who is second. There is no extra money involved for that, as far as I know.

I get the sense that some people here have a lot emotionally invested in the idea that SpaceX must demonstrate that they got there first.

The "contest" aspect is related entirely to this:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts135/multimedia/gallery/fd11flag.html

572464main_fd11flag_full.jpg

I wasn't being a fanboy, it's been an informal competition since commercial crew was started. Who gets to take the flag home.

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