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We're so glad to be back in our home studio and record the most amazing updates on spaceflight again! From SpaceX's Starship prototype progress to the latest Starlink satellite launch, from NASA's commercial moon landers to our new insight in their Lunar Gateway, stay tuned for the return of the space couple ;)
New Starship fins / canards / flaps are being installed onto SpaceX Starship orbital prototype MK1 in Boca Chica, Texas. With luck we could already witness the first Starship prototype flight still this year.
Elon Musk Starship test rocket in Cocoa hasn't been transported to Kennedy Space Center yet, but more and more Super Heavy building parts are already being gathered there.
A large steel structure, a so-called launch mount, is being installed at Launch Pad 39A at the KSC, in order to support the upcoming Starship prototype launch as well as all SpaceX's future Starship and Super Heavy test flights at the east coast.
Besides SpaceX Starship update highlights, we also have to talk about SpaceX's Starlink project, where the latest Starlink satellite launch just happened today with a Falcon 9 rocket. Already one year ago, the US Air Force gave a contract to SpaceX for their SpaceX Starlink Internet network. Now the technology of sending low-latency broadband internet directly into the cockpits of military aircrafts is being tested a program called Global Lightning.
In response to NASA's call for a commercial lunar lander solution, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Draper and Northrop Grumman have formed an alliance to develop a moon lander for the 2024 Artemis manned mission. On the other hand, Boeing also came up with two different moon lander designs. However, all these proposals have one BIG common problem: neither does any of these companies possess a launch vehicle for their lunar module, nor does the current status of the SLS (Space Launch System) look like it would be finished in time for the 2024 moon landing.
We had the new thought that NASA's planned Lunar Gateway might not be a bad idea or superfluous at all, as a versatile space-station that can actually be re-purposed could come in handy in view of the constantly changing US politics. The Lunar Gateway could not only serve in the near future as a base for lunar exploration, but also be re-purposed as a Mars transit vehicle later on.
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