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https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1578126178442915840

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Dragon has been given a "go" to dock to the @space_station
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Houston and Hawthorne have polled GO for docking
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Soft capture ring extension complete, Dragon is configured for docking
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How about putting the crew acceleration couches in a sealed crash and fire resistant compartment near the top of Starship (also acting as the storm shelter) and arranging the support structure for the decks underneath or at least the central part of them in such a way that they would provide deceleration over the whole length of Starship as the crew compartment is forced down through the ship on impact. The central cylindrical corridor could be designed with four or eight weak points running down its length to split apart. that would provide a considerable crush zone even if the landing were at an angle. It might even be possible to arrange an emergency vent of oxygen from the header tank to ensure it was as upright as possible before impact in case of total engine failure.

But I don't think they are going to do that. Probably because it would involve a vast amount of testing and design work which would hardly ever be use and even when it was need might not always work.

I like it.  But I think testing is not a big deal.  It's all drop-from-crane testing and the car industry does this all the time.
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Expect the eventual fallout from all of SpaceX's experimentation with reflectivity and effects to terrestrial observation assets to result in an eventual US and then later an International set of standards for all new sats in Earth orbit. This will be a big gain for the terrestrial astronomical instruments usage. But for even more advanced observations will likely move out into space beyond most of the objects that are in the way such as placed out at Lagrange  Earth-Sun 2 past the Moon's orbit and is permanently facing away from the sun. This is beyond the Lagrange Earth-Moon 2 point.
Most observations can't and won't move out into space. The cost of a space based observatory is HUGE compared to an equivalent ground based one. And just for the record, launch cost has no impact on this. Free launch won't change this.

My bold.

Do you have links to actual numbers I can do research on?  Published reports, etc.  Also interested in $/minute of actual observation time for different types and locations of terrestrial observatories.  Thx.

Since this is not really Starlink specific, a PM is probably more appropriate.


Look up the price of literally ANY space telescope. Also, the price is as much time as it is money.  Look into the years and years of time it takes to build and design one. This is a silly fantasy that free launch matters is the majority of the solution.

However, to save you the 3 seconds of google time, the ELT (biggest telescope EVER https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extremely_Large_Telescope) has a price tag of 1.5 billion euros. We literally do not have the technology to build this in space, but if we tried, after the tech dev and decades of work, it would easily be 50billion plus. How does the difference of $30million on the launch price change anything?

 Even if there was free launch today, it would easily be a decade to fund, design, build, and test something to take advantage of it.

I was actually asking about the development, construction and operation costs of terrestrial observatories as a baseline.  No reply necessary.  I'll find that info myself.

Now back to discussions directly related to Starlink...
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Waypoint 1 is reached; waypoint 2 in about 8 mins
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