Space and Astronomy in general

No, that elevation is where the Space Sprites live, and they turn off all cameras so that nobody will see them.

Malor wrote:
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.

I get your point and I know they've had success after success, but nothing is guaranteed with space travel - it's still one of the most obviously quantifiably dangerous things human beings do. And when you consider that commercial space travel is going to include business models similar to, for example, the automotive industry, where a supplier can provide a substandard part, and things like this happen... Yeah, I'm still gonna be nervous.

Gaald wrote:

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.

Yup, that's what I meant. You can see it starting at about 22:10 in the SpaceX video. A few seconds after the engines shut down, there is a lot of plasma (?) coming up from beneath the booster, then the downlink cut out. About 30 seconds after that, they announced that the stage was trans-sonic, so I figured it was still healthy enough to send telemetry.

Did they manage to catch the fairings?

For those that want to know what it was like in my Monday morning briefing after that launch... The one running the meeting was very happy with the result but "puckered" was mentioned....

My boss always likes to talk statistics, but when you have so many parts and details on such a massive project, damn it's hard to make sure things go well without much doubt. 99% ain't anywhere close to good enough.

tanstaafl wrote:
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.

i can;t find the youtube video right now, but there is a technical reason: As the exaust of the landing rocket hits the barge, it causes vibrations in barge that often cause the directional antenna on the barge to lose tracking on it's satellite.

Oh, nice! Good to know.

Apparently, the barge Just Read The Instructions has an upgraded video link, which is why it didn't cut out. I don't know any technical details, other than the vibration from landing messes up the link on the old barge, Of Course I Still Love You. That's why it almost always cut out just before the interesting bit. The upgraded barge can apparently stay connected even when getting shaken around some.

edit: I'm curious if they're using an early Starlink connection.....

Serengeti wrote:
Hrdina wrote:

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

Me too!

Fraser Cain wrote:

I refuse to say "Bob and Doug" in my Canadian accent.

Part of me wonders if the "upgrade" was just a small pontoon platform with the antenna on it, tethered to the barge at a distance, and hard-wired to the camera.

Additionally, Scott Manley's video about "Details you might have missed" had an interesting (terrifying) fact.

He mentions the "windows" inside the capsule that appear to be just blacked out, and how they were actually paneled over to increase the chances of not losing the vehicle. Apparently the requirement is that there be a minimum of a 1-in-270 chance that the vehicle could be lost.

The Space Shuttle, on paper, had a 1-in-90 chance of being lost.

But before you say "yikes" to those odds - upon analyzing the Space Shuttle, and the data available about its launches after the program had been dismantled, the real number was actually 1-in-9 that the vehicle would be lost.

Yeah, I'm not so sad about the shuttle era ending anymore.

Scott's video:

NSMike wrote:

Part of me wonders if the "upgrade" was just a small pontoon platform with the antenna on it, tethered to the barge at a distance, and hard-wired to the camera.

Funny, I was thinking along those same lines.

Hrdina wrote:
NSMike wrote:

Part of me wonders if the "upgrade" was just a small pontoon platform with the antenna on it, tethered to the barge at a distance, and hard-wired to the camera.

Funny, I was thinking along those same lines.

Same.

Yeah missed the comet last night. But got a 6 minute flyover of ISS. That was cool.

Stele wrote:

Yeah missed the comet last night. But got a 6 minute flyover of ISS. That was cool.

That's no moon...

I’ve seen it a few times, it’s pretty cool and distinctive. I remember Skylab, too, and also watching polar satellites from Northern VT, with binocs. Fun times.

New: Mars In 4K

Here is a rocket cam view of the Perseverance launch. I like how you can see the shadow of the rocket exhaust up until 1:45 or so.

...also, Dragon left ISS this afternoon and will be splashing down in the Gulf, off Pensacola early Sunday afternoon.

Was worried about landing sites with the hurricane, but I guess they have some clear.

Stele wrote:

Was worried about landing sites with the hurricane, but I guess they have some clear.

Yeah, all the sites on Florida's east coast were no-go for tomorrow. It looks like they chose the westernmost available site.

IMAGE(https://mk0spaceflightnoa02a.kinstacdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/landingzones.jpg)

Perseverance is going to Jezero crater?

So apparently Florida recreational boaters are all out gawking while the astronauts are still in the capsule. Lots of video on twitter right now.

And something about cleaning chemicals off before they can open the door, but these idiots are all endangering themselves trying to get some video.

Not sure where the hell the Coast Guard is.

No wonder we never land in the gulf.

They had an issue with hypergolic fuel (NTO, I think?) leaking in very small amounts, so they took the time to do a purge of the system before opening the door, just to be safe.

Stele wrote:

So apparently Florida recreational boaters are all out gawking while the astronauts are still in the capsule. Lots of video on twitter right now.

And something about cleaning chemicals off before they can open the door, but these idiots are all endangering themselves trying to get some video.

Not sure where the hell the Coast Guard is.

No wonder we never land in the gulf.

Yeah, I was watching this live and was really frustrated watching some a****** in his boat sailing right between the recovery vessel and the capsule, proudly flying his political flag (I don't need to say which one).

Next time I hope the USCG or USN is on-hand to offer some additional deterrence for that kind of crap.

I thought people had to have some basic understanding of water safety in order to operate a boat.

I learned to sail when I was 11 and I had to learn knots and safety and the rules of the road in open water before I was even allowed to take control of a boat.

That those idiots were even allowed nearby just horrifies me.

Hrdina wrote:

I thought people had to have some basic understanding of water safety in order to operate a boat.

Nope. It sucks. It's so easy for incompetent and ignorant people with money to get behind the "wheel" of a boat. Testing is super minimal. As a boater, I have to be so careful. I made a 20' fishing skiff that can go out in the ocean from scratch with my dad and worked a bit of marine retail, so I know all the different types of boaters.

I mostly get frustrated at people not wearing inflatable life jackets. Nobody wears life jackets in practice on the river our out in the ocean. Well, hardly anybody.

mortalgroove wrote:

I learned to sail when I was 11 and I had to learn knots and safety and the rules of the road in open water before I was even allowed to take control of a boat.

That those idiots were even allowed nearby just horrifies me.

Do you not have a tagging thread?

Choose your tag!

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
Hrdina wrote:

I thought people had to have some basic understanding of water safety in order to operate a boat.

Nope. It sucks. It's so easy for incompetent and ignorant people with money to get behind the "wheel" of a boat. Testing is super minimal. As a boater, I have to be so careful. I made a 20' fishing skiff that can go out in the ocean from scratch with my dad and worked a bit of marine retail, so I know all the different types of boaters.

I mostly get frustrated at people not wearing inflatable life jackets. Nobody wears life jackets in practice on the river our out in the ocean. Well, hardly anybody.

Aaaand case in point as of today in Oregon: https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020...