SpaceX’s SN10 “Belly Flop” Composite

Earlier this week SpaceX’s SN10 rocket took off, ascended to ±10km, and then after a free fall in the horizontal position turned vertical again to successfully land (only to explode a few minutes later).

While you can rewatch the whole thing online I’m more fascinated by this composite photo by Jack Beyer, visualizing the trajectory:

Cool! 🚀

Mars 2020 Entry Descent Landing

Relive the whole Mars 2020 Entry Descent Landing in your browser, in 3D, powered by Three.JS/WebGL 🤯

Here’s a few pointers to use:

  • Use the ⏪ ⏩ at the bottom to speed up / slow down the animation
  • Scroll over the pane on the left to jump between phases of the landing
  • You can click and drag around as you see fit, zooming also possible

Mars 2020 Entry Descent Landing →

SPACEX – ISS Docking Simulator

This simulator will familiarize you with the controls of the actual interface used by NASA Astronauts to manually pilot the SpaceX Dragon 2 vehicle to the International Space Station. Successful docking is achieved when all green numbers in the center of the interface are below 0.2. Movement in space is slow and requires patience & precision.

My inner space-geek rejoices! 🤓

SPACEX – ISS Docking Simulator →

How we Know the Distance to Stars

Johnny Harris, whom you might know from the Vox Borders series, on how we can possibly measure the distance to things a quadrillion km away.

NASA: We Are Going

We are going to the Moon, to stay, by 2024. And this is how.

Must admit I got some goosebumps while watching this …

Train of SpaceX‘s Starlink Satellites captured as they fly over Holland

Yesterday SpaceX deployed the first batch of satellites for “Starlink”, its ambitious internet-from-space program. In total 60 of the 12000 planned satellites got deployed.

Holland based Dr. Marco Langbroek captured the train of satellites as they passed over Leiden, the Netherlands, about 22.5 hours after launch.

Over the coming days the “train” of objects will be making 2-3 passes each night. As they are actively manoeuvering with their ion thrusters, they will be more spread out with each pass, so the “train” will probably quickly dissipate.

Amazing stuff! 🛰

SpaceX successfully launches first 60 Starlink satellites →
StarLink (Wikipedia) →
A SPECTACULAR view of the SpaceX Starlink satellite train! →

Not your typical map: “Where is all the poop on the moon?”

Ever wondered what the astronauts that landed on the moon did with their waste? Well, they ditched them on the moon itself.

It’s been nearly 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing. Neil Armstrong’s iconic footprint is still there, undisturbed; there’s no atmosphere, no wind on the moon to blow it away.

But the bigger human footprint on the moon is, arguably, the 96 bags of human waste left behind by the six Apollo missions that landed there.

Yes, our brave astronauts took dumps on their way to the moon, perhaps even on the moon, and they left behind their diapers in baggies, on humanity’s doorstep to the greater cosmos.

Just look at the big white bag right underneath the lunar lander:

💩💩

Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit. →

👨‍🚀 That’s not all what’s been left on the moon. If you were to land on the moon, you’d also find Hammers, Earplugs, Batteries, Camera Systems, etc. Check out the full Catalogue of Manmade Material on the Moon (PDF) (with coordinates) if you’re interested. The catalogue is from 2012, so SpaceIL’s crashed Beresheet Lander is not included on it.

What is the Closest Planet To Earth? Well, it ain’t Venus …

As with everything: It Depends (when you’re looking):

When Earth and Venus are at their closest approach, their separation is roughly 0.28 AU — no other planet gets nearer to Earth. But just as often, the two planets are at their most distant, when Venus is on the side of the Sun opposite Earth, 1.72 AU away.

As the video show our closest planetary neighbour on average is not Venus but …

(Via Kottke)