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Postby tifosi77 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:32 pm

How far offshore was splashdown? Mrs Tif was like "Shouldn't the Coast Guard be there or something?"

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Postby Shyster » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:07 pm

I don't think that far. Less than 50 miles offshore, and I think maybe around 20 miles.

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Postby tifosi77 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:42 pm

I saw a blurb that apparently there were a ton more craft in the area that were observing the cordon the USCG had established, but a dozen or so vessels just says eff it and closed in. Asshats.

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Postby DigitalGypsy66 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:56 am

It took their spacecraft 37 minutes to get from New Zealand to Florida. To fly that commercially, it would take 28-34 hours with layovers.

Wouldn’t it be cool if airlines started using orbital flight paths? Or would your average airplane passenger not be able to handle the G-forces on either end? I mean, cost obviously would be a huge issue at first, but could come down over time.

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Postby robbiestoupe » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:24 am

It took their spacecraft 37 minutes to get from New Zealand to Florida. To fly that commercially, it would take 28-34 hours with layovers.

Wouldn’t it be cool if airlines started using orbital flight paths? Or would your average airplane passenger not be able to handle the G-forces on either end? I mean, cost obviously would be a huge issue at first, but could come down over time.
I believe this is Elon's goal at some point. I'm sure they could come up with a way to slow the acceleration to a manageable rate, even if it took an hour to get up to speed. It would still save you multiple hours on a trip across the globe.

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Postby shafnutz05 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:28 pm

It took their spacecraft 37 minutes to get from New Zealand to Florida. To fly that commercially, it would take 28-34 hours with layovers.

Wouldn’t it be cool if airlines started using orbital flight paths? Or would your average airplane passenger not be able to handle the G-forces on either end? I mean, cost obviously would be a huge issue at first, but could come down over time.
The Nazis tried to engineer a sub-orbital bomber to solve their problem of not being able to reach the American mainland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silbervogel

Allen Steele wrote a fun alternate history book about this program making it much further along and a team in the U.S. formed to stop it. It's called V-S Day, recommend it.

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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:53 pm

Isn't sub-to-low orbital commercial flight the goal of Virgin Galactic?

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Postby tifosi77 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:54 pm

Also, I just watched the ISS zip by overhead. (Well, technically it was overhead Arizona) That is so frickin' cool.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:22 am

Isn't sub-to-low orbital commercial flight the goal of Virgin Galactic?
Yes, but I don't think they're planning any point-to-point flights. Basically just tourist hops and suborbital microgravity experiments, plus their smallsat launcher.

Virgin Galactic is working with Boom Technology on a new supersonic passenger aircraft. Boom has been developing a 50-passenger Mach 2.2 airliner for a number of years now. They supposedly just signed an agreement with Rolls for engine development. I remain circumspect on whether that project will ever fly. It would not have the range to do trans-Pacific flights and would need to refuel somewhere, but I think the biggest market would be transPac. I personally don't see spending the big bucks to knock a couple hours off a NY to London flight, but offer Tokyo to LAX or SFO in four hours instead of 11, and I think the price starts to get much more competitive/attractive.

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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:33 am

I can see SSTs featuring in the inventories of state carriers to the Middle East, Australia, and southeast Asia, too.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:28 pm

SpaceX today conducted a successful 150-meter "hop" of the Starship SN5 prototype. It's flying slightly tilted because the Raptor engine is not centered. The operational Starship will have three Raptors in the center for landing. This prototype only has a single installed, so the thrust is off center.


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Postby Beveridge » Thu Aug 06, 2020 5:29 am

So as I sit here and look up at the moon, I see a round planet roughly one foot away in the view screen. Mars?

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Postby shafnutz05 » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:14 am

So as I sit here and look up at the moon, I see a round planet roughly one foot away in the view screen. Mars?
Yup. Mars was tracking behind the moon last night.

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Postby eddy » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:01 am

Got a little bit of the milky way last night in the backyard after the game. I believe this is the northern cross section. Turned out better than I thought it would with all the light pollution. Pixel astrophotography mode is really amazing. Look up targets in star walk, point and shoot with tripod.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/189627555@N06/2dAgrR

Not sure why I can't get the picture to post

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Postby Shyster » Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:39 am

The Air Force has announced the winners of its next five-year contracts to launch national security satellites for the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. Between 2022 and 2027, SpaceX and ULA will collectively will fly as many as 34 missions for the Department of Defense and the National Reconnaissance Office. It was a four-way competition between SpaceX (Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy), ULA (Vulcan), Northrop Grumman (OmegA), and Blue Origin (New Glenn). Basically the Air Force ( I think soon to be the Space Force, once it's fully up and running) decided to stick with its two incumbent launch contractors. Blue Origin I'm sure will continue to develop the New Glenn vehicle on its own; Jeff Bezos has always had other plans. Whether Northrop Grumman continues to develop the proposed OmegA launcher is far less certain. My guess is that OmegA is DOA without government contracts.

https://spacenews.com/pentagon-picks-sp ... ive-years/

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Postby eddy » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:13 am


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Postby shafnutz05 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:05 pm

That really sucks, but this response was great.


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Postby DigitalGypsy66 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:57 pm

This literally happens in Battlefield 4, as a set piece "Levelution." Players can destroy the cable stays and it pulls the support tower down through the dish. Pretty cool in game. No cool IRL :lol:

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Postby tifosi77 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:04 am

Hahahahaha, this is great.......

Emmys: Apollo 11 Astronauts Earn Cinematography Nominations
Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin, at age 90; and Michael Collins, at age 89, earned Emmy nominations for the footage that they lensed in space during their historic 1969 mission that was the first to land humans on the moon.

They are nominated for cinematography for a nonfiction program, as their restored footage is central to the CNN documentary Apollo 11. Todd Douglas Miller was nominated for both directing and editing Apollo 11. The doc also received nominations for sound editing and sound mixing.

Following their 1969 mission, Aldrin and Collins, along with late Apollo 11 Commander Neil Armstrong, were named honorary members of the American Society of Cinematographers. A letter from the three astronauts hangs in the ASC President's Office at the Society's Hollywood clubhouse.
(From last month, but I only just saw it pop up on Buzz Aldrin's Facebook page this morning)

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Postby Shyster » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:28 pm

Some space news:

The much-delayed Russian Nauka ISS module has arrived at Baikonur for final launch preparations. Nauka is a science module that has been delayed for more than 13 years. It was originally constructed as a backup to the currently-on-orbit Zarya module, also known as the Functional Cargo Block, and is based on the design of the TKS spacecraft designed way back for the Russian Salyut program. Nakua will be used for experiments, docking, cargo, and crew work and rest, and it will have a backup guidance system that could be used to control the ISS in the case of a failure to the main systems. Launch is scheduled for the first half of next year aboard a Proton rocket.

SpaceX extended its record for booster reuse and recovery with the sixth launch and landing of a Falcon 9 first stage. Core B1049 flew and landed for the sixth time on a mission carrying 58 Starlink satellites and three imaging satellites for Planet Labs.

As predicted, Northrup Grumman has stopped development of the OmegA rocket after failing to be one of the two winners for an Air Force/Space Force launch contract. I'm a little sad to see that. The OmegA had a huge solid first stage with strap-on solid rockets, and was thus by far the most Kerbal of recently proposed launch systems. Northrup Grumman is still in the rocket business with its own Minotaur and Antares rockets, and it just tested the first GEM-63XL solid-rocket motor, which will be used on ULA’s Vulcan rocket. The GEM-63XL is an all-composite strap-on solid booster that offers higher performance at half the cost of the Aerojet AJ-60A boosters currently being used on the Atlas V.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:55 pm

SpaceX later this week is scheduled to do something that hasn't been done in 60 years: execute a polar launch from Florida. Launches into polar orbit have to launch either straight south or north, and doing such a launch from Florida would usually require overflying populated areas, which is verboten. But the SAOCOM 1B satellite for CONAE, Argentina’s space agency, is a light payload, so the Falcon 9 has plenty of extra performance, and the regulatory authorities recently authorized polar launches from Florida so long as the launch vehicle has an autonomous flight-termination system, which the Falcon 9 has. So the Falcon 9 will actually conduct a dogleg launch where it will fly east to clear the coast and then curve back to the south.

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Postby tifosi77 » Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:31 pm

Whoa, that's actually kinda neat. You don't really ever think about rockets changing heading too much.

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Postby Kaiser » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:13 pm

because this happens:
Image

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Postby Shyster » Tue Aug 25, 2020 7:38 pm

Whoa, that's actually kinda neat. You don't really ever think about rockets changing heading too much.
They usually don't. Standard practice is to roll after liftoff (if necessary) to the proper launch azimuth, and from that point guidance is pretty just a matter of controlling pitch. That's why even cylindrical rockets usually execute roll programs; it makes guidance simpler. Yaw would only be used to correct for crosswinds and the like. Maneuvers like the Falcon 9 will be doing here aren't unprecedented, but they're rare.

Everyday Astronaut has a detailed explanation of why launchers usually execute roll programs. Interestingly, the Falcon 9 does not usually do so. It just pitches over to whatever angle it needs to.

Why Do Cylindrical Rockets Roll?
https://everydayastronaut.com/why-do-cy ... kets-roll/

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Postby Shyster » Wed Aug 26, 2020 7:15 pm

In addition to the SpaceX launch, which is currently scheduled for Friday around 7 pm eastern, ULA is gearing up for a launch of the Delta 4 Heavy early Thursday morning around 2 am. It's the NROL-44 mission, which is carrying a classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Even though the payload is top secret, we can figure out what it probably is from the launch location and the launch azimuth. Imaging satellites typically fly into polar or sun-synchronous orbits, which launch from Vandenberg AFB. Signal-interception or signals intelligence (SIGINT) satellites usually go into equatorial or geosynchronous orbits, and launch from Cape Canaveral. We can figure out the launch angle because even top-secret launches have to provide warnings to mariners to avoid the areas where spent boosters and fairings will be falling back into the ocean. This launch is from CCAFS and the launch angle is as low as you can go, so this is probably a SIGINT satellite headed for geosynchronous orbit, where it will probably attempt to sidle up to a Russian or Chinese military communications satellite and intercept its signals.

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