Wednesday, May 18, 2022

One Down, One to Go

Got up early for this morning's Starlink mission and found that the launch time had been changed, from 6:20 to 6:59.   That's about a half hour after sunrise.  I didn't learn until later in the day that the change was about two hours before the launch time.  Photographer Trevor Mahlmann Tweeted "With just two hours notice of a new launch T-0, captured @SpaceX’s Falcon 9 transiting the Sun this morning in Florida."  Mahlmann's work appears regularly on Ars Technica. 

I had to share this picture.

Notice the sunspot groups on either side of the rocket?  Look around, there's a sunspot group near the right limb and the larger couple of groups left of the booster.  Those are moving left to right so the group on the left will be facing Earth in a couple of days, centered on the disk. 

Booster B1052 successfully landed on A Shortfall Of Gravitas offshore of the South Carolina/North Carolina state line

Eric Ralph at Teslarati points out that this the 28th launch since November 11, 2021, which is 27 weeks - one week over halfway to the goal of one launch/week for 52 weeks.  The company certainly seems to be able to support the operational goal of 52 launches in calendar year 2022.  

Later in the morning, Starliner successfully rolled out to the launch pad atop its Atlas V booster, for tomorrow evening's test flight to the Space Station.


  1. I hope Starliner works this time. If it doesn't, then other companies need to be working fast to provide a secondary solution to Crew Dragon. Also, if it doesn't, Boeing is in deep doodoo.

  2. I'd like to think that Boeing can prove that when they commit to doing something properly, they still can, but they're deeply into the hole of "prove to me I can trust you."

    The first flight back in '19 was embarrassingly bad. I don't know if anyone in charge was fired, but they should have been. Their response since then has been mixed, with some positive (agreeing they screwed up and would pay to fix it) and some bad (the whole issue with the valves corroded by what they're designed to handle). I guess we'll find out in the next day or so.

  3. sorta looks like insemination to me!

    1. I think about 3/4 of the Twitter replies said that. It’s not just you seeing that.