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SpaceX F9 - Starlink 1 - SLC-40


Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
Bay Area
I am very curious about this project and hoping it will improve my slow wifi.

Short answer? It probably won’t help you, and it definitely won’t be anytime soon.

The nuanced answer depends on what your current connectivity looks like and how the terrestrial telecom giants plan to serve you in the future. As an analogy, consider that in a little over a decade Tesla has climbed to something like 2% of US auto sales. Of course the nature Starlink in the IT sector won’t align with those figures, but it does help put a bit of perspective on things. If I had to make a prediction I’d say that in ~5 years Starlink might serve ~5% of US traffic. If you’re statistically likely to be one of those few percents, then yes, Starlink might improve your slow connection.

Not sure what that was, shooting across the frame in a straight line seemingly well below stage 1 as it coasted after separation.

Its kinda hard to say when you've got a grainy image in microgravity+thin atmosphere. It could be a speck of something really close? Its kind of going the wrong way to be a rocket part far away if that matters. That said, I think a few seconds before the screenshot you captured its plausible the tumbling thing is the fairing (going from center screen to screen left).

The thing that went into my list of amazing capabilities, after listening to some of the Everyday Astronaut and other stuff about how rocket engines actually work, is that SpaceX can turn their engine on and back off in 1 second (give or take). Maybe it's my own ignorance and in fact engines that turn off and on in a second are more the norm than not; but that struck me as being impressive.

It depends on the motor and then also the context of "1 second". Like, on-then-back-off-in-a-second is kind of a weird metric. Anyway, if we're talking about a turbopump fed motor and a completely cold system (like, 0 rpm on the pumps), 1 second to stabilized thrust is pretty friggin impressive. If the turbines are spinning and we're talking about 1 second from command to ignition to command to shutdown...maybe less impressive. Its really easy to take things out of context.

For something like an electric propulsion thruster (like they have on Starlink) its pretty fast to go from command to thrust. Same for hypergols and some monopropellants. Others that require external heat could be "fast" but only if, for instance, a heated catalyst bed can be held in some kind of standby mode.
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Just got back. Cloud cover made it not a great launch to see onsite. Only a few seconds. This one did seem to take its time to accelerate, more so than others.
Anecdotally, I've seen about a dozen launches from the cape and with each launch the crowd of first-time folks continues to grow as word of SpaceX's success gets out. More and more people are showing up. I thought this one being a non-RTLS would be different. Nope. Packed at Jetty park. Like I said, anecdotal and Monday was a public holiday for many, but the trend is definitely positive.
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Is that link to SoCal passes specifically?
You can set your location in the upper right of the screen and it will generate a list of visible passes for you. The site owner appears to be very interested in Starlink launches, so you can find up-to-date information on the main page. Phone app is great too if you are in for this sort of thing, along with ISS passes and other visible artificial satellites.
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Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2012
I watched the CRS-7 launch live. It took my breath away when it slowly RUDed. So I have fears every time I watch a launch. I'm usually exercising in some way to keep my stress under control. I was doing jumping jacks during the entire ascent of the first Falcon Heavy and yelling "go-baby-go!" My stress is a lot lower on standard F9 launches these days though. SpaceX has lulled me into complacency on any normal launch. I was a little more stressed on this one since there were so many important factors involved with this particular one.

Back to the launch. It was a long wait to get to this one but it was worth it.
I was watching FH live in Cape Canaveral with Bill Nye the science guy as our guest, and at t-0 as I saw the huge smoke come out, but could not see the rocket get out of the launch pad, in what looked like a very long time and I said to myself, perhaps even loudly - "Its okay. Thats how we learn. Thats all a part & parcel of doing space missions". In that 2 seconds I had prepared a long lecture in my mind of what I would tell the nay sayers. Luckily the rocket rose from the launch pad and the rest is history.

Same with the AMOS (?) mission right after the launch pad disaster. I was ready to see an explosion anytime and my mind was prepared for that.


New electron smell
Aug 23, 2015
San Francisco, CA
Up close pics of same operation. Note the new crane is exactly the same color as that barge’s thruster(?).
Ken Kremer on Twitter

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