Daily Archives: May 17, 2021

Satellites and Sunflowers . . .

This past Saturday evening SpaceX put another 52 Starlink satellites into orbit, less than the normal 60 since they had a couple of paying customer’s satellites onboard, taking up the space.

And I’m hoping that every launch puts us closer to getting our Starlink online. We’ve paid the $99 deposit, so now we’re just waiting for Starlink to tell us we’re ready to got in our area. Then we’ll pay the $499 for the equipment, and we’ll be ready to go.

And I’m really looking forward to getting speeds like this.

Glenn Reynolds Starlink Test

Yes, that’s over 300 Mbps, compared to what we have here at the RV park.

Petticoat Junction RVP Speed Test

That’s a big difference!

And at my client’s up in the Clear Lake area, we get between 50 and 60 Mbps, so Starlink is even 6 times faster than that.

For now!

Elon Musk says that as they get more and more satellites on orbit, they hope to get speeds up around 1 Gbps. That’s 1000 Mbps.

Since all these launch from SpaceX’s facility down at Boca Chica, Jan suggested we might take a trip down that way to try and see a launch sometime. We saw a Shuttle launch from the Cape in 2009, and I was at the STS-3 Shuttle landing at White Sands in 1982.

So it would be nice to add another one to the scrapbook.

Boca Chica is about 20 miles northeast of Brownsville right out on the Gulf of Mexico, and just south of South Padre Island by about 5 miles.

So we’ll have to see what we can put together, but almost certainly after we get back from our June vacation to Illinois and Alabama.

And since we’re on the subject of rockets, here’s what’s going in the Gaza area of Israel right now.

Israeli Gaza Rockets

On the right you can see the ballistic rockets that Hamas is launching into Israel. And on the left you can see the interceptor rockets that Israel’s Iron Dome defense system has launched maneuvering to intercept them.

The term ‘ballistic’ means that once launched, the rockets follow a predicable path and don’t maneuver, making it possible to know where each rocket is going to land.

The Iron Dome system quickly knows whether a incoming rocket is going to land in a field, or out in the desert, and ignores those, only going after ones that look to be headed for populated areas.

The interceptors are very smart, smart enough divide up the targets so they don’t all go after the same few rockets, and to re-target themselves to another rocket if necessary.

A really amazing system that’s said to stop over 90% of the incoming rockets.

Tomorrow we’re making the trip down to Galveston once again to meet up with Jim and Peri Dean for lunch at Sunflower Café, a really great breakfast/brunch/lunch place.

Really looking forward to seeing them again.

Thought For The Day:

Intelligent Life