Space and Astronomy in general

It's NASA. He was probably on the other side of a sealed window.

Edit - Even better; they kept Pence distanced, and he only spoke to the astronauts after they had fully donned their environment suits.

So they're going to take the virus to space on the outside of their environment suits and bring it back after getting hit with cosmic rays. I think I read that novel. Movie was better.

Let's try again today at 3:22.

What's the fallback date if they cannot go today? I think weather may scrub today too (hope not), looks like things are set up for some thunderstorms in the area this afternoon.

Florida has rainstorms every day from May-Sept around 4-6 PM for the entire 4 years I lived there. I'm not sure who is scheduling this sh*t.

If I am not mistaken, the launch window is set based on being able to rendezvous with the ISS in a timely and efficient manner. As well as avoiding satellites and debris currently up in orbit.

tboon wrote:

What's the fallback date if they cannot go today? I think weather may scrub today too (hope not), looks like things are set up for some thunderstorms in the area this afternoon.

Tomorrow, slightly earlier in the day IIRC (edit: 3:00 EDT).

Stele wrote:

Florida has rainstorms every day from May-Sept around 4-6 PM for the entire 4 years I lived there. I'm not sure who is scheduling this sh*t.

Isaac Newton.

Edit: Gaald-hausered.

ISS orbits like 15 times a day. Just seems like there'd be a similar window with better ground weather.

The path precesses, right? So it's not going to be convenient for a launch from a given location on most orbits.

Stele wrote:

ISS orbits like 15 times a day. Just seems like there'd be a similar window with better ground weather.

Earth rotates underneath the orbital path every 24 hours, so KSC will pass underneath the orbital plane twice daily. They only want to launch an the northbound side of the orbit for safety reasons. That leaves you with one daily launch opportunity where KSC intersects the plane. You can launch at other times, but have to spend a lot of energy changing the orbital plane of the space vehicle.

I don't know why they didn't want to launch on Thursday or Friday, but suspect it is what Gaald said (collision avoidance) or scheduling at ISS itself.

Stele wrote:

Florida has rainstorms every day from May-Sept around 4-6 PM for the entire 4 years I lived there. I'm not sure who is scheduling this sh*t.

If they go today, it only takes 19 hours to get to the ISS. They have a backup window for tomorrow, apparently with a roughly similar rendezvous time.

Then they have another attempt Tuesday, with an excellent forecast, but it will take over twice as long to make the ISS... 38+ hours in that tiny capsule is probably not most people's idea of fun.

So keep your fingers crossed for today, it'll be a much shorter trip for them if it happens.

edit: woohoo, launch successful. 19 hours to the ISS from here.

Love that "Zero Gee Indicator" that they tossed towards the camera.

That was pretty cool.

Malor wrote:

edit: woohoo, launch successful. 19 hours to the ISS from here.

Guess I'll have to get up early to watch the docking.

That was cool.

Every time they talk about "Bob and Doug" i wonder why we're launching Canadian astronauts.

Makes me a bit happier in bad times, in so many different ways, that humanity is able to send people into space.

My wife streamed this for the kids in the car ride home from our nature hike and them throwing rocks in the Sound this morning.

And now I'm all Circle of Life and sh*t.

Hrdina wrote:
Malor wrote:

edit: woohoo, launch successful. 19 hours to the ISS from here.

Guess I'll have to get up early to watch the docking. :D

I will be up already with the toddler. Looking forward to it.

I am so glad the launch went well. This was five years ago now, but I was watching live when this happened, and it was shocking, and there weren't people on it.

I didn't really start to calm down until around the first stage separation.

Watching docking!

Slow and steady. Soft capture complete. Looks like things are going well.

Hrdina wrote:

Every time they talk about "Bob and Doug" i wonder why we're launching Canadian astronauts.

Me too!

From Emily Lakdawalla, Every Mars Landing Attempt, Ever.

IMAGE(https://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/charts-diagrams/2020/20200603_map-mars-landing-sites-2020-detailed_ver1-3_f840.png)

There is an embiggened version with the article.

Embiggened? ...Is that a cromulent word?

Robear wrote:

Embiggened? ...Is that a cromulent word?

Perfectly cromulent.

NSMike wrote:

I am so glad the launch went well. This was five years ago now, but I was watching live when this happened, and it was shocking, and there weren't people on it.

I didn't really start to calm down until around the first stage separation.

FWIW, Falcon 9 has had either 52 or 53 successful launches in a row, now. So far, knock on wood, they're at 100% orbital delivery with the Block 5 variant of their booster.

They did have a problem a few missions back, where some cleaning fluid got left in what I think is an overpressure area that doesn't normally take fuel. Eventually, that fluid heated up enough to explode, and that wrecked the engine it was in. Falcon 9 can make orbit with 8 engines, so the mission proceeded normally, but they lost the booster on landing. I assume that means that the engine that failed was the center one, as that's the one used for landing, but that's a guess on my part.

Anyway, they just did a Starlink launch yesterday, and they were using an alternate barge for the landing with an upgraded video link, so the night landing sequence is uninterrupted and really neat looking. It didn't drop the connection as soon as the rocket showed up.

Malor wrote:

Anyway, they just did a Starlink launch yesterday, and they were using an alternate barge for the landing with an upgraded video link, so the night landing sequence is uninterrupted and really neat looking. It didn't drop the connection as soon as the rocket showed up.

Yeah, that barge video was pretty cool. I have to admit, though, that when the F9 downlink dropped out just after shutdown of the entry burn IIRC, I thought they had lost the booster.

Hrdina wrote:
Malor wrote:

Anyway, they just did a Starlink launch yesterday, and they were using an alternate barge for the landing with an upgraded video link, so the night landing sequence is uninterrupted and really neat looking. It didn't drop the connection as soon as the rocket showed up.

Yeah, that barge video was pretty cool. I have to admit, though, that when the F9 downlink dropped out just after shutdown of the entry burn IIRC, I thought they had lost the booster.

The barge video *always* cuts out just as it lands. I'm sure there's some technical reason why.

@tanstaafl The barge video actually stayed up and you could kinda see the booster land once the camera was able to adjust for the quick change in light. It was pretty cool! Malor mentioned a new upgraded video link on the barge that I guess allowed for that.

What Hrdina is referring to is the camera on the booster itself cutting out shortly after the re-entry burn. I assume it cut out because of re-entry. The burn slows the booster down but it's still traveling really fast, and once it hits the thicker atmosphere things get hot and there is a lot of turbulence. I'm pretty sure all of the launches I have watched that camera cuts out at around that point.

It's possible if they acquired the signal again it was just too dark to bother bringing it back up or something.

Doesn't the heat of reentry produce a sort of curtain of ions which interfere with radio signals? I seem to recall something like that.