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Live rocket launch


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I made a rocket like SN8 when I was about ten years old.  I can understand why SpaceX may be having a few problems today.  I had terrible trouble getting the tin foil to stick to the cardboard tube.

Not sure if anyone else interested in this sort of thing, but in about 30 mins there's a live launch here: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx  

As seen here in this uninterrupted footage from somebody on the ground with an LX200 and some nice tracking software. It's an incredible feat.  The little detail (from the press conference) that

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1 hour ago, SilverAstro said:

One thing though that is puzzling me, the thing takes off at huge great speed, flies rapidly (<understatement!) down range, boosters peel off, , ,then,  how did they fly back to the Cape to land ? I saw no wings and extra motor.

See the CGI mission profile. They flip, re-ignite the motor and fly back where they came. They flip again, deploy grid-fins to give them aerodynamic stability and use the motors to control the descent. The principle is simple, the engineering and computer control must be incredible.

If you watch from about 1:25 the animated ones land with a bigger gap between them than the real ones!

Edited by Stub Mandrel
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5 minutes ago, Stub Mandrel said:

 computer control must be incredible.

Thanks.

Yep, needed a bit more than the ZX81 they used for the moon landings :D

and after all that they came back within seconds / inches of each other !

 

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1 hour ago, SilverAstro said:

which precise computer control of simultaneous firings makes one's thoughts turn to conspiracy theory -  did they really mean to shoot for the asteroid belt after all,  hehee !

Time for another coffee :)

Almost certainly :happy11:

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4 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

They flip, re-ignite the motor and fly back where they came.

As seen here in this uninterrupted footage from somebody on the ground with an LX200 and some nice tracking software. It's an incredible feat. 

The little detail (from the press conference) that stood out for me was how they had to land them not quite simultaneously to avoid confusing the radar.

 

Edited by johnfosteruk
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Talking about the boosters being returned reminds me of the various abort modes for the Space Shuttle.

While the boosters were still burning there was no abort option, there was a narrow window, after booster separation but before the shuttle had too much energy, where the shuttle could RTLS, return to landing site. It was never used and most astronauts considered it an improbable survival mode. 

The first ever Shuttle launch was originally intended to be an RTLS for no better reason than to examine its feasibility, commander John Glenn said words to the effect of "not on his watch"!

Other abort modes included aborting to designated landing sites on the east side of the Atlantic and aborting to Orbit. Abort to Orbit was used a couple of times after shuttle main engine failure, the missions continued to a stable but lower than scheduled orbit. After the Challenger Disaster a crew escape system was introduced but never used. The crew would climb out to the end of a deployable escape boom and parachute down to the Atlantic. Only a very narrow window of viable usage and very limited survivability even then.

Not sure I fancy being strapped in the pointy end of a huge great rocket!

 

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44 minutes ago, johnfosteruk said:

As seen here in this uninterrupted footage from somebody on the ground with an LX200 and some nice tracking software. It's an incredible feat. 

Bet he's chuffed with that video - could do with making some flats though :grin:

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1 minute ago, bingevader said:

Sorry, I'm with the, "Yet more space junk!" brigade.

Just because he can, doesn't mean he has to....

But it's in pursuit of the bigger picture and exploration even further. The technology behind this is amazing and let's remember space is exactly that, full of space. 

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The US government put a lot of stuff up there while testing and flying Apollo and its predecessors. Other countries have left their share of junk too.

I'm more positive about future exploration now than any time since Apollo. Imagine what could have been done with the money spent on the Shuttle program and so much of its activity was little more than pointless missions to keep it moving and justify NASA's existence. Oopss!, sorry getting near the boundaries of forum rules!

 

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39 minutes ago, bingevader said:

Sorry, I'm with the, "Yet more space junk!" brigade.

Just because he can, doesn't mean he has to....

It was either a nice shiny car or a block of concrete, the ship needed a payload of some description...I know what I would choose.

Alan

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Every time I watch that there car, with Earth as a backdrop, I can hear Bowie singing about his Starman. I know there is no connection and the timing is all wrong but I bet Bowie wouldn't have minded leaving this world inside that space suit. 

He could have paid his passage too I suspect.

Who wouldn't? :)

 

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2 hours ago, bingevader said:

Sorry, I'm with the, "Yet more space junk!" brigade.

Just because he can, doesn't mean he has to....

Not sure how much junk is actually going to be there apart from the third stage and payload, which given its new orbit may not be intact after its 1st encounter with tge asteroid belt

Boosters are recovered, centre stage took a swim and the failings fell back to be recovered. Far less random chod left floating from this test

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2 hours ago, Alien 13 said:

 the ship needed a payload of some description...I know what I would choose.

True, but  I am conflicted on this junk / novelty aspect.

Every satellite needs, now, to have an end of life plan. Usually to de-orbit and burn up. So by rights the final burn should have been to lower perigee to cause the no longer needed dummy load to return to Earth, not to raise its apogee to 'out there'  ???

 

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2 minutes ago, SilverAstro said:

True !  I am conflicted on this junk / novelty aspect.

Every satellite needs, now, to have an end of life plan. Usually to de-orbit and burn up. So by rights the final burn should have been to lower perigee to cause the no longer needed dummy load to return to Earth, not to raise its apogee to 'out there'  ???

 

I wouldn't be surprised that at sometime in the future that Mr Musk will re capture the car and return it to Earth, after all that sort of mission will be vital for any Mars exploration.

Alan

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10 hours ago, SilverAstro said:

True, but  I am conflicted on this junk / novelty aspect.

Every satellite needs, now, to have an end of life plan. Usually to de-orbit and burn up. So by rights the final burn should have been to lower perigee to cause the no longer needed dummy load to return to Earth, not to raise its apogee to 'out there'  ???

 

Not possible to remain in earth orbit and test the full system - unless they had put a 64-tonne load on top. Two articulated lorries?

In fact a load heavy enough to remain in orbit would have been very difficult to re-enter safely as it wouldn't burn up.

Something in orbit WOULD be hazardous space junk

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10 hours ago, SilverAstro said:

True, but  I am conflicted on this junk / novelty aspect.

Every satellite needs, now, to have an end of life plan. Usually to de-orbit and burn up. So by rights the final burn should have been to lower perigee to cause the no longer needed dummy load to return to Earth, not to raise its apogee to 'out there'  ???

 

I think this was a demonstration of ability as much as a test flight. Actuall it would have been a test flight if it failed and a demo flight if successful :) 

The ability for Falcon Heavy to launch an interplanetary or even interstellar payload had to be demonstrated. As Mr Musk said in one interview, it could deliver an interplanetary payload without gravity assist flybys. So the performance of the second stage was a critical aspect of this flight and might as well be done if all that rocket fuel is being expended to prove the launch vehicle.

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On 07/02/2018 at 22:12, Shelster1973 said:

Not sure how much junk is actually going to be there apart from the third stage and payload, which given its new orbit may not be intact after its 1st encounter with tge asteroid belt

Boosters are recovered, centre stage took a swim and the failings fell back to be recovered. Far less random chod left floating from this test

It was the car I was thinking of! :D

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