Friday, January 27, 2023

The Fast Part is Over Quickly

Everything associated with my surgery went about as well as could be hoped for and I was discharged from the hospital about 2PM this afternoon.  I lucked into getting two very good, very helpful nurses for my 24 hours in the hospital; the kind of people who really are helpful, considerate, smart, and appreciate it when you've prepared for the procedure and what comes after it.  Add that to the luck of being minimally affected by the anesthesia they chose and procedures they followed and I quickly got through the handful of measures of progress I needed to meet.  The whole thing left me feeling very blessed.  

In no way am I out of the woods as this is just the start of the long adaptation phase.  Some complications are more likely at 6 to 12 weeks after the surgery than this week, but it's a great start. 

All that said, it seems like it was and is kind of slow in space news.  On Thursday morning as I was preparing for that surgery, SpaceX launched the Group 5-2 Starlink satellites from SLC-40 on the Cape Canaveral SFS, and they're set to launch Group 2-6 on Sunday, Jan. 29, from Vandenberg SLC-4E at 8:47 AM PST, 11:47 EST. The East/West ping pong then returns to Florida for the Starlink Group 5-3 mission on Wednesday, February 1 at 3:02 AM EST. Three launches in one week, if the pace can be held, gets them well past 100 launches.

SpaceX has gotten to the point where if you see a Falcon 9 booster that has flown five or six times, you go, "wow - that's new one" and the oldest end of the fleet is more interesting. If you think a little more you realize they're the only company on Earth doing this now, and you know that's the future.  

Now think of what's apparently going on with Starship.  On Wednesday, Jan.25th,  Ship 24 was destacked off booster 7 and transported back to the ship yard (or "rocket garden") the next day for some minor modifications.  It's widely believed that the static firings of the B7 will be done without S24 stacked for the simple argument of "if we blow up the booster, why ruin S24?"  Once the static firings up to the full 33 engines have been done, barring damage to the Orbital Launch Mount or the surrounding infrastructure, what prevents the first Starship orbital test launch?

As always, the question is "when?"  All I can say is Cameron County notes possible road closures next Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan.31 and Feb 1.

Starship can literally change everything.  Nobody in history has had the technical chops, the drive and, frankly, the balls to go after something as world-changing as Starship.  Part of that is the convergence of the technologies, "standing on the shoulders of giants," but if Starship development goes as it looks to be going, I expect there will be memorial statues of Musk on Mars and Earth in another 50 years.  

Booster 7 and Ship 24 as morning fog rolls in from the Gulf of Mexico.


  1. Get well soon. I don't know what happened, but I trust that the worst is behind you.

  2. Glad you made it through the surgery in good shape. Always helps to have competent and willing medics on hand. Here is to quick and full healing.

  3. Very good to hear things went well, SiG. Don't push yourself too hard, and follow the Doc's instructions, which I'm sure you will.

    We're witnessing our first, tentative steps off the planet.

  4. Good news, SiG - you'll recover quickly, and hopefully the complications are minimal.

    SpaceX certainly doesn't rest on their laurels, and being a private company they are nimble and quick to respond to changing requirements. Sure, they have to deal with the Gubmint and their contracts, and that's somewhat of a burden, but SpaceX has managed to perform/do what they said they could do. Musk is just overly optimistic about timelines, that's all.

    Keep up the pressure, SpaceX! Keep up the recovery, SiG!!

  5. Glad you're home and doing well. Just be careful not to over do things.

  6. I thought I commented on this the other day with well wishes for you SiG. Hope all of the post op issues are not bad.