Category Archives: Satellites

SpaceX successfully launched it’s 12th Starlink mission containing a stack of 60 satellites

SpaceX successfully launched its twelfth Starlink mission, which launched 60 Starlink satellites to orbit on September 3, 2020. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported launch of the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission in June 2020. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Project – Starlink
  • Rocket – Falcon 9
  • Location – Kennedy space center, Florida
  • Company – SpaceX
  • Droneship – OCISLY
  • Fuel – Rocket grade kerosone & liquid oxygen
  • Altitude – 550km and dispersed into orbits by ion-thruster propellers after 2 days
  • Stages – 2 stage separation
  • Computer controlled launch sequence
  • Live coverage – until T+15 mins

A total of over 700 satellites have been launched till now. Beta testing is being carried out by the employees and beta users to test the latency and download speeds. Till now testing has been seen with good results enough for playing online games and downloading hd quality videos. This is an ongoing project and updates are available at starlink.com

Stay tuned for more updates.

Best day for ISS spotting in May 2020 from Surat

On May 14, 2020 ISS will be passing over Surat. It will be visible clearly in the evening as it rises from South-West sky to pass before your eyes in the East sky to disappears in North-east direction.

No spotting in May. It has been a while seen ISS has been fairly visible in Surat with naked eye. Whole of May there was no spotting till today. The brightness of objects in sky are measured by scale of Magnitude. Negative values indicate brighter object like Venus is near -4 while positive values indicate fainter objects like stars in constellations. Venus is the brightest planet visible in night sky. Sirius comes next as the brightest star in the sky. If you have seen any stars in the west after Sunset, you may have either seen Sirius or Venus shining brightly like a bulb or local lighting.

ISS will be visible as bright as -3.2 on 14th May 2020 at around 8:10 PM or so. It will rise from the South-West sky slowly appearing like an aeroplane light but it doesn’t blink. It will appear to constantly increase in brightness as it rises high and then seeming to fly by towards the North-east. It will be visible for 4-5 minutes before it disappears into thin air where it will fall in the shadow region due to which it won’t be visible even though it is flying ahead.

Bright dot in the centre is ISS

Watching ISS flyby with naked eye is a unique experience, especially knowing that there are people in it. Currently there are three astronauts housed at International Space station from April 9, 2020 as a part of Expedition 63. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner are part of the crew.

To get the best experience get yourself positioned for darkness and direction 15-20 minutes before the flyby time. You can enjoy looking and spotting other objects in sky like Venus, Sirius, Antares and other bright objects in sky. Also use a compass to identify the direction like South, East and West.



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ISS Spotting in Surat – December 2019

Location: Surat, India

The following ISS sightings are possible from Wednesday Dec 11, 2019 through Friday Dec 27, 2019

Date Visible Max Height Appears Disappears Share Event
Date: Wed Dec 11, 7:09 PM Visible: 3 min Max Height: 40° Appears: 12° above NNW Disappears: 40° above NE
Date: Thu Dec 12, 6:21 PM Visible: 5 min Max Height: 20° Appears: 10° above N Disappears: 10° above E
Date: Thu Dec 12, 8:00 PM Visible: 1 min Max Height: 17° Appears: 17° above WSW Disappears: 16° above SW
Date: Fri Dec 13, 7:09 PM Visible: 6 min Max Height: 38° Appears: 10° above WNW Disappears: 11° above SSE
Date: Sat Dec 14, 6:20 PM Visible: 6 min Max Height: 86° Appears: 11° above NW Disappears: 10° above SE
Date: Mon Dec 16, 6:24 PM Visible: 1 min Max Height: 16° Appears: 16° above SSW Disappears: 11° above S
Date: Thu Dec 19, 6:06 AM Visible: < 1 min Max Height: 13° Appears: 11° above SSE Disappears: 13° above SSE
Date: Sat Dec 21, 6:04 AM Visible: 6 min Max Height: 75° Appears: 10° above SW Disappears: 11° above NE
Date: Sun Dec 22, 5:18 AM Visible: 3 min Max Height: 30° Appears: 30° above SE Disappears: 11° above ENE
Date: Mon Dec 23, 6:08 AM Visible: 2 min Max Height: 20° Appears: 20° above NNW Disappears: 11° above N