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Thread: SpaceX sticks the landing perfectly!

  1. #21
    Benevolent Dictator Uwe's Avatar
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    OK, that was cool. Rumor had it that Shuttle launches on ISS missions were plainly visible from where I am right now, and I now can vouch for the fact that F9 missions are too, particularly at night. In fact, the vehicle came into view within seconds of launch, and from our vantage point, it seemed to go right up the coast. Stage separation occurred right off the coast here (about 75-80 miles north of the Cape). Second stage was visible for a long time, as were both the re-entry and landing burns of the booster. Shortly after landing, we had a couple of muted sonic booms roll through. Worth staying up late for!
    Ceterum censeo, delenda est Daesh.

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  3. #22
    FoRT jyoung8607's Avatar
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    Oh you #$@#, you were there tonight. Super jealous. Beautiful landing, and I bet we get to see some even better rocket pornography tomorrow, since LZ-1 will be covered in cameras and we didn't get to see that much cool stuff live. Although, for the first time, we were able to see the business end of the re-entry burn.

    I almost got to see one in-person last summer, when we were nearby on vacation, but the date got scrubbed and pushed out. On the other hand, that mission was CRS-7 and that would have really put a damper on the week.

    Jason

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  5. #23
    Benevolent Dictator Uwe's Avatar
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    Well, I wasn't really "there". I was about 75-80 miles north, but that turns out to be a decent vantage point for ISS launches, which head north to match the ISS's 51.6 degree orbital inclination. If this launch had been scheduled for earlier in the evening, I would probably have driven down to Titusville, or maybe to the end of the A1A at the Canaveral National Sea Shore, which is about 20 miles north of the pads.

    I've seen three launches in my lifetime. The first was in the early 2000's. We were in Orlando/Disney with the kids one spring, and there happened to be a shuttle launch scheduled mid-week, so I took Mike and drove east. Traffic was horrible! We didn't have tickets or anything, so we settled for the Titusville "beach", which is roughly 12 miles from the launch pads. It was neat, but not quite as spectacular as I'd hoped due to the distance.

    Then in 2010, Eric and I were on our motorcycle trip south and passing through Titusville, there were people gathered on the beach looking expectantly toward the Cape. It wasn't anywhere close to as many people as for the Shuttle launch the better part of a decade earlier, but it was obvious they were there to see something get launched. So we pulled into a stop & rob across the street and asked what was planned and when. "Some super-secret DoD thing, the launch window opens in about 10 minutes". Talk about lucky timing! U-turn, park bikes and wait:



    We weren't there real long until:



    And then there was the show last night described above. Unfortunately, none of the pics we took turned out worthy.
    Ceterum censeo, delenda est Daesh.

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  7. #24
    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uwe View Post
    I've seen three launches in my lifetime. The first was in the early 2000's. We were in Orlando/Disney with the kids one spring, and there happened to be a shuttle launch scheduled mid-week, so I took Mike and drove east. Traffic was horrible! We didn't have tickets or anything, so we settled for the Titusville "beach", which is roughly 12 miles from the launch pads. It was neat, but not quite as spectacular as I'd hoped due to the distance.

    Then in 2010, Eric and I were on our motorcycle trip south and passing through Titusville, there were people gathered on the beach looking expectantly toward the Cape. It wasn't anywhere close to as many people as for the Shuttle launch the better part of a decade earlier, but it was obvious they were there to see something get launched. So we pulled into a stop & rob across the street and asked what was planned and when. "Some super-secret DoD thing, the launch window opens in about 10 minutes".
    Meh. Back in the 1970's, we were on vacation in Orlando when one of the Voyager probes launched. Saw it from the motel's second floor balcony. V-GER will come home some day!

    Back in the early 1990's, I was hooked up with a connection at NASA for on-site launch tickets whenever I was down there. Banana River causeway (white line on this map), 5-7 miles from complex 39 A/B:



    I saw STS-45 (Atlantis) launch during the day, a night launch (with a visible comet overhead!) where the capcom cleared the shuttle to "wake up the space coast," and even an RSLS abort (liquid engines running, shutdown an instant before lighting the SRB fireworks) during the day.

    On the incoming side, I felt/saw a shuttle landing from Titusville, and felt/saw another one from Daytona. The double sonic boom is something that I won't ever forget...and was actually better in Daytona. (The Orlando newspaper reported that the sonic boom from last night's launch/landing was felt all the way to Orlando.)

    My grandmother used to see shuttle launches in the distance all the time from Daytona when she was down at the family's winter complex, taking pictures of the smoke/vapor trails. After watching the STS-45 launch through the viewfinder of my camera, I decided that I would just bring binoculars to future launches and enjoy the experience and let NASA document it.

    I tried to work some political connections for VIP bleacher seats at the Vehicle Assembly Building (3-5 miles?), but the donkeys had just taken over the Congress and White House and cut off the favors to elephants.....

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  9. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by vreihen View Post
    Meh. Back in the 1970's, we were on vacation in Orlando when one of the Voyager probes launched. Saw it from the motel's second floor balcony. V-GER will come home some day!
    Both V-GER 1 and V-GER 2 still require the information! This is a neat page to visit when you're bored:

    http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

    Reminds you how much gear we (and other DSN partners) have up there actively working. You still see both Voyagers talking all the time. I bookmarked that page during all the ISEE-3 reboot activity a few years ago. What a kick-ass ride that was, even if it ended far too soon.

    Jason

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  11. #26
    Benevolent Dictator Uwe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vreihen View Post
    The Orlando newspaper reported that the sonic boom from last night's launch/landing was felt all the way to Orlando.
    Yeah, I was surprised we heard it here. It was by no means objectionable, and may not have been noticeable inside (my wife slept though it), yet there are people whining about it:
    Sonic booms prompt 911 calls after SpaceX rocket launch, landing
    Ceterum censeo, delenda est Daesh.

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    FoRT jyoung8607's Avatar
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    Gas-and-go of the JCSAT-14 booster, full duration, same as a normal launch. This is the booster that came in so hot they aren't planning to fly it again. They didn't even clean off the soot from re-entry and retropropulsive landing, which I'm sure is part of the statement being made here to all the reusability naysayers.



    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016...ster-mcgregor/

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    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    SpaceX has another geostationary satellite launch scheduled for 1:26 AM Sunday morning from the cape, with a 2-hour launch window:

    http://www.spacex.com/webcast

    Recovery attempt of the first stage booster will be on the drone ship, due to the high orbit they are aiming for needing most of the fuel.....

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  16. #29
    Benevolent Dictator Uwe's Avatar
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    Sixth landing!

    Ceterum censeo, delenda est Daesh.

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    Verified VCDS User vreihen's Avatar
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    http://www.universetoday.com/130432/...er-front-yard/



    SPACEX JUST PUT THE COOLEST GARDEN GNOME EVER IN ITS FRONT YARD
    Published: 23 Aug , 2016
    by Matt Williams

    SpaceX has certainly pulled off some successful feats lately. In the past few months, the private aerospace company made its second successful landing on solid ground and its third successful landing at sea with their Falcon 9 rocket. In so doing, they demonstrated that they have achieved the long sought-after dream of reusable rocket technology.

    And to celebrate these feats, SpaceX has placed a particularly special first stage on display outside the company headquarters in Hawthorne, California. This particular rocket stage made history about eight months ago (on Dec. 21st, 2015), when it became the first-ever first stage to be recovered in the entire history of spaceflight.

    For the sake of this mission, which was the 20th flight conducted by SpaceX using this class of rocket, the Falcon 9 was tasked with delivering 11 Orbcomm-OG2 communications satellites into orbit. After separating, the first stage descended to Earth and became the first rocket stage ever to make a soft landing and recovery.

    Prior to this flight, SpaceX’s had made two attempts at a vertical landing and booster recovery, both of which ended in failure. The first attempt, which took place in January of 2015, ended when the rocket came close to a successful landing aboard the company’s Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), but then fell over and exploded.

    An investigation determined that failure was due to the rocket’s steering fins running out of hydraulic fluid. The second failed attempt, which took place in April of last year, ended when the rocket stage was mere seconds away from landing on ASDS, but once again fell over and exploded. This time around, the culprit was a failure in one of the rocket stage’s engine throttle valves.

    On the third attempt, which took place on Dec. 21st, the Falcon 9 first stage landed a mere ten minutes after launching from Earth. After its descent, it successfully touched down in an upright position on SpaceX’s Landing Zone (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

    The success of this recovery was a major milestone for the company, and a breakthrough in the history of space exploration and technology. Little wonder then why the company is choosing to honor it by placing it on display at the Hawthorn facility, where their rocket manufacturing plant is located.

    It all happened this past weekend, where work crews spent Saturday and Sunday standing the 50 meter (165 foot) Falcon 9 stage up on its landing skids. Prior to it being transported to their headquarters in Hawthorne, the rocket’s first stage was being kept in a horizontal position at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and then at a location a few blocks away from the HQ.

    Getting it to stand again was no easy task, and required two days and two cranes! The rocket also underwent some “aesthetic renewal” before being erected, which included a cleaning in order to remove all the soot it had accumulated on re-entry. Its logos were also repainted, and most of its engines were replaced by spent versions.

    Since this first recovery, SpaceX has managed to conduct five more successful recoveries, four on land and four on its ASDS. They are moving ahead with the first launch of their Falcon Heavy – Demo Flight 1, which is scheduled to take place by the end of 2016 – which will be the heaviest rocket to be launched from the US since the retirement of the venerable Saturn V.

    Yes, the little company Elon Musk started with the dream of one-day colonizing Mars has certainly achieved some milestones. And between the creation of this display, and the Dragon capsule they have on display inside their Hawthorn headquaters, the company is clearly committed to immortalizing them.

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