Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Universe Today (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

BlueWalker-3 Satellite Launches This Weekend, May Be Bright

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


A new satellite launching this weekend BlueWalker-3 could be conspicuously bright once it’s unfurled in orbit.

A routine SpaceX Starlink launch this coming weekend carries an unusual passenger, that you many be able to easily see gliding through the increasingly crowded night sky.

The launch is set to occur along with Starlink Group 4-2 from launch pad LC-39A from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, September 10th, at 9:10 PM EDT/1:10 UT (on the 11th). SpaceX ‘s Falcon-9 rocket will send the 60 table-sized Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit, then land the Falcon 9 stage one booster now on its 6th flight back on the ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ landing platform at sea.

(Launch VIDEO)

Note that the launch itself goes off around two hours after local sunset and could potentially put on a very photogenic show for the Florida Space Coast as the tendrils of the ‘SpaceX Jellyfish’ rise to greet the last rays of sunlight. The U.S. Eastern Seaboard will likely see the burning red stage two Merlin engine crossing the sky, looking like a glowing red ‘comet’ as the mission heads northward out across the Atlantic.

Starlink Launch
A Starlink launch out of Florida, as seen from downtown Norfolk, Virginia two hours before sunrise. Credit: Dave Dickinson

The extra passenger of interest is Texas-based AST SpaceMobile’s Bluewalker-3 satellite. The mission is a test demonstrator for the company’s Larger BlueBird satellite constellation, which will eventually field 110 satellites in low-Earth orbit for global coverage.

The aim is to provide broadband connection from orbit direct to mobile phones. The deployment has been beleaguered by supply chain setbacks, the global pandemic and technical issues, but AST SpaceMobile seems poised now to finally test the system in orbit, ahead of the full deployment and roll-out of the BlueBird satellite constellation by 2024. Soon, you may be able to simply access connectivity via a pull down app on your phone… no bulky intermediary receiver needed. AST SpaceMobile’s BlueBird system could even beat SpaceX’s Starlink/T-Mobile partnership announced last week to fielding this next generation satellite internet system.

Rise of the Megasats

Of course, SpaceX’s new generation of Starlink minus visors are still bright as well. More companies plan to follow AST SpaceMobile’s lead will direct access connectivity, to include Virginia based Lynk Global which will also launch with SpaceX starting in November 2022.

BlueWalker-3
BlueWalker-3 unfurled on Earth. Credit: AST SpaceMobile

But like advent of Starlink, the upcoming deployment of BlueWalker-3 has given many a satwatcher pause. The satellite will feature a reflective 64-meter square antenna (8-meters or ~24 feet on a side) once unfurled. For context, the inflatable Echo-1 sphere launched by the U.S. in 1960 was only slightly larger (30 meters across) and was easily visible to the naked eye at around magnitude 0.

Echo-1
The Echo-1 satellite. NASA.

As of writing this, Starlink looks to be deploying the Group 4-2 batch in a 53.2 degree inclination orbit, suggesting that BlueWalker-3 will follow the same path. Early sighting opportunities suggest that BlueWalker-3 will be visible from latitudes 20 to 40 degrees north at dusk, and 0 to 30 degrees south at dawn.

What can you do? Certainly, as we’ve stated before, our opinion on the Starlink controversy is nuanced: as a frequent traveler to remote locales, I like the idea of being able to keep connected and working while nomadic… but international oversight is also needed to protect the night sky. Actually, the battle against light pollution far predates Starlink.

What you can do is watch and document what you see. We’ll be tracking the launch and sightings of Bluewalker-3 worldwide and tweeting how bright it actually is as @Astroguyz on Twitter. We’ll also post preliminary and proper IDs and orbital elements for BlueWalker-3 once they’re posted for tracking on platforms such as Heavens-Above, Celestrak, Orbitron etc.

It’s a brave new era, one that holds both the promise of true mobile connectivity, but also the warning of a night sky where the artificial ’stars’ may one day outnumber natural ones. Be sure to chronicle what you see, as Bluewalker-3 takes flight this weekend.

The post BlueWalker-3 Satellite Launches This Weekend, May Be Bright appeared first on Universe Today.



Source: https://www.universetoday.com/157410/bluewalker-3-satellite-launches-this-weekend-may-be-bright/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Report abuse

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.