Space

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Voyager 1 is fully operational again.

Best wifi in the world.

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For some values of “in the world”.

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I think SpaceX will do the same test for ITF-5 as last time to see if they can get the heat shielding better.

IFT-6 will try to catch the booster on the current pad. If it destroys it, they’ll just use the new pad which will be an upgrade.

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I agree. That seems like a prudent course of development for the next two flights. Also why they are getting a new pad and launch tower ready.

They will need the 2nd pad in Texas and in Florida for the in space tanker fueling demos starting next year.

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Watching Space-X fail fast is awesome. It shows what can be done without the handcuffs of not being able to be seen to fail. Government space agencies are perfectly capable of doing the same, but if footage of a crashing rocket hit the news the budget would be instantly cut. That makes them massively risk averse and gold plate every piece of engineering so that it works first time, no matter the cost.

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What’s happened after 2 shuttle disasters has proved that to be correct. They cancelled the program and started outsourcing.

SoaceX, rocket labs, blue origin and other private companies will do almost all of the space launches. There will be some nasa and esa funded rocket builds due to political reasons but they won’t continue for long.

SpaceX put over 95% of payloads into space on their own last year.

Rocket labs is a company on the rise. Has a NZ launch site and CEO. Almost all of their Electron rocked mechanicals including the engine is 3D Printed. They are about to break the record time to launch 50 flights beating SpaceX. Smaller payloads and not as reusable or capable as falcon 9 or starship will be but exciting.

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The shuttle was meant to be a cheap reusable system, but it ended up costing a fortune to reinstate after each mission. Turnaround was slow and costs were high.

For SpaceX they would have immediately gone back to the design phase after the costs became clear. Government couldn’t abandon that spent cost, so spent decades pouring money into an overly expensive system.

I love the shuttle by the way, seeing the one in LA was an unexpected life highlight.

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The space shuttles that flew were effectively version 1. They were developing a more reusable version but after the last failure, they had no appetite for the reasons you said.

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The military has a mini shuttle that’s been doing some… interesting… things of late.

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