SpaceX second launch of the week

I just never get tired of mentioning the growing success of SpaceX.  On October 11 they had yet another successful satellite launch.  This launch featured the re-use of a Falcon 9 first stage and the successful landing of that first stage booster so it can be used again.  This mission marked the 18th time SpaceX successfully recovered a Falcon 9 booster.

Anyway, here is the video if you want to see the lift-off, the booster landing and the deployment of the satellite.

SpaceX rocks again!

Those space wizards over at SpaceX have done it yet again.  This morning they launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying ten Iridium-3 satellites into orbit.  All ten satellites deployed successfully.  Also, the Falcon 9 first stage successfully landed on the drone ship in the Pacific so that it can be used again in a future launch.  Right now no country or company on Earth does space launches like SpaceX does space launches.

You can watch a replay of the whole thing, including the first stage landing and the satellite deployments here:

If you think hurricane blackouts are bad…

then you need to learn about the Carrington Event, and the next global blackout.  Really.

The video above is good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t make the problems of recovery scary enough.  Large electrical transformers cannot simply be ordered off the shelf.  Some of the parts and materials used in them are in short supply and it can take over a year to get one delivered – assuming there is no blackout affecting the manufacturing and transportation of the unit.  Repairing and/or replacing electrical grid components will be a nightmare of epic proportions.

I could go on and on discussing how costly and lengthy recovery from a Carrington Event will be, but doing what we can to harden our electrical distribution network will go a long way toward mitigating the other problems that will arise.  It is easy to think about roads, bridges, and piplelines when thinking about infrastructure updates, but the electrical grid needs lots of attention.

Experts say there is a 12% chance (roughly 1 in 8) of a Carrington-level event happening by 2022.

If you want to keep track of what the sun is up to, I suggest the site spaceweather.com for a great daily look at what is up with the sun.