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Postby tifosi77 » Wed Oct 07, 2020 11:05 pm

Just had a 4 1/2 minute fly over by ISS. So cool.

When we picked it up visually, it was 'over' the coast north of San Francisco, and when we lost it in the clouds it was nearly to Mexico. +Going ap map tracking)

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Postby shafnutz05 » Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:59 am

Just had a 4 1/2 minute fly over by ISS. So cool.

When we picked it up visually, it was 'over' the coast north of San Francisco, and when we lost it in the clouds it was nearly to Mexico. +Going ap map tracking)
I love the flyovers where you can watch it start to fade as it enters Earth's shadow. It goes from being brighter than Jupiter to gone in a few seconds.

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Postby Shyster » Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:26 pm

A new crew is getting ready to launch to the ISS on a Soyuz. This launch will use the fast two-orbit, three-hour rendezvous path, which has been used for unmanned Progress vehicles, but not the manned Soyuz. If you've ever seen launch video of how the crew is packed like sardines into the Soyuz, it's really clear why NASA and Roscosmos want the ISS trip to be as short as possible.

Soyuz MS-17 prepares for ultrafast, 3 hour journey to ISS
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/10 ... ey-to-iss/

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Postby Shyster » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:22 pm

The Soyuz MS-17 launch went off without a hitch, and Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and Kathleen Rubins docked with the ISS and were aboard in less time than it takes to fly from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles. While the Dragon and Starliner are both capable of the same fast-track docking course, NASA plans to stick with a one-day docking schedule going forward. The US vehicles are luxury liners compared to the Soyuz, so it's less important for crew comfort to get the crew out of them as fast as possible.

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Postby PFiDC » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:48 pm

in less time than it takes to fly from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles.
:shock:

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Postby shafnutz05 » Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:57 am

There's something about waking up before dawn and seeing all of the winter constellations this early in the season. Not sure why but it seems like they pop so much more before the morning light.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:32 pm

There's a ~10% potential for an orbital collision between two big pieces of space junk tonight.



The potential collision would be between Cosmos 2004, a defunct Soviet tracking satellite that launched in the late 80s, and the spent upper stage of a Chinese Long March 4 rocket, which launched the Yaogan-8 military reconnaissance satellite in 2009. The combined mass of the two objects, which would impact each other with a relative velocity of 14.7 km/s, is approximately 2,800 kg. Both objects are inoperable and uncontrollable.

The collision—if it happens—would take place above Antarctica at 8:51 pm EDT tonight. Shortly after the time of probable collision, the Long March 4 stage will make a pass over a radar tracking station in New Zealand, so we'll know pretty quickly if there was a collision.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:57 pm

Good news. No signs of a collision:


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Postby Shyster » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:23 pm

SpaceX successfully launched another batch of Starlink satellites earlier today, with a successful booster recovery on the droneship and a catch of both fairing halves. That was the sixth landing for that particular core.

There's no official word on the investigation for the GPS abort, although NASA officials have said that SpaceX sent the Merlin engines from that booster back to SpaceX’s McGregor, Texas, test site for further study. The investigation is delaying the next Crew Dragon launch for NASA, and NASA is involved in the investigation. Tim Dunn of NASA’s Launch Services Program did not explain the exact problem, but he said "We’ve learned a lot. There’s going to be some hardware implications as we move forward, depending on the engines installed on various rockets."

As shown by today's launch, SpaceX is still flying its older boosters. The first stage for the GPS launch was new, and I believe the first stage for the next Dragon launch would also be new. Based on what Mr. Dunn said, I'm thinking that one of the engines had a turbopump break somehow during the ignition sequence on the GPS launch attempt, and the investigation is indicating that a recent batch of engines might have some sort of manufacturing defect or material issue. SpaceX now needs to track down the engines that might be subject to the problem.

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Postby Freddy Rumsen » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:04 pm


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Postby Shyster » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:20 pm

Boop!

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Postby eddy » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:41 pm

Incredible

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Postby shafnutz05 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:57 am

That they were able to accomplish this on the first try...just amazing stuff. I'm excited for the materials to get back to Earth safely.

It's crazy to me that it had been orbiting Bennu since October 2018, and will not actually be leaving its orbit until (I believe) March of next year.

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Postby Shyster » Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:58 pm

SpaceX has revealed the issue with the GPS-III launch abort, and it shows how a tiny thing can have a big impact on a complex system. The abort was triggered when two of the Merlin engines actually started slightly earlier/faster than they were supposed to. As Ars Technica is reporting, the problem has been traced to a tiny amount of protective lacquer clogging a port:
SpaceX technicians removed the two engines and shipped them from Florida to the company's test site in McGregor, Texas, where they were able to replicate the problem. They found that a relief valve within the gas generator—a tiny rocket within the engine that starts up and powers its machinery—was clogged with a masking lacquer akin to nail polish. They were able to show that removing the lacquer from the vent hole allowed the engines to start up normally.

This lacquer is applied during an anodizing process to treat aluminum components of the gas generator. It is supposed to be subsequently removed, but in the case of these two engines, a tiny amount of the material had been trapped within a bore hole less than 2mm across.

After this, SpaceX inspected other engines across its fleet (the company inspected new boosters only, as Falcon 9 first stages that have already flown are not subject to this issue). SpaceX found that two of the engines on the Falcon 9 rocket that will be used for the Crew-1 launch also had this problem. Those two engines are now being swapped out for new Merlins.
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/10 ... ine-issue/

With the problem identified and solved, the GPS launch is now scheduled for November 5, and the next crew launch is scheduled for November 14.

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Postby robbiestoupe » Thu Oct 29, 2020 10:52 am

That’s a common issue with anodized aluminum. A similar thing happens with castings when cores are not completely blown out and you get pockets of sand in your system.

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Postby PFiDC » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:59 pm

https://trib.al/r2xKLCR

NASA reestablishes contact with 43-year-old Voyager 2 which is 11.6 BILLION miles from Earth after repairs to antenna in Australia left spacecraft flying solo for seven months.

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Postby shafnutz05 » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:05 am

https://trib.al/r2xKLCR

NASA reestablishes contact with 43-year-old Voyager 2 which is 11.6 BILLION miles from Earth after repairs to antenna in Australia left spacecraft flying solo for seven months.
Voyager 2 is an incredible feat of human engineering

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Postby PFiDC » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:15 am

Absolutely agree. The GD thing is still able to communicate with earth 11.6 BILLION MILES AWAY and it was built in the 70s...

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Postby robbiestoupe » Wed Nov 04, 2020 8:13 am

Went on a walk with my two boys last night and saw both Mars and Jupiter. They were kicking and screaming before going for a walk but after were little chatter bugs asking question after question about space. Love that.

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Postby DigitalGypsy66 » Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:06 am

It was very clear here last night, and I need to play with my Pixel 3's astrophotography mode a bit more. I bought a cheap tripod, because holding the phone still for 2 minutes is a lot harder than it sounds. :lol:

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Postby Shyster » Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:09 pm

After replacing those two engines, SpaceX today successfully launched the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 Mission with a flawless launch and vehicle deployment and a successful droneship landing of the booster.

Yesterday, ULA had to scrub a launch of an Atlas 5 carrying a classified NRO mission when they encountered "an unexpected system response from remotely commanded ground system liquid oxygen valves." ULA has been having a ton of issues recently with its vehicles and their ground systems. ULA still hasn't announced a new launch date for the NRO Delta 4 Heavy launch, which has twice aborted right before launch.

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Postby Shyster » Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:30 pm

SpaceX conducted a successful static fire for the booster for the first official Crew Dragon mission, Crew-1, which is scheduled to lift off on Saturday afternoon. As part of the launch preparations, NASA announced that it has formally certified the Crew Dragon for missions, so nothing from this point on is experimental or a test flight. Crew-1 will be carrying three American astronauts, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and one Japanese astronaut, Soichi Noguchi. This is the first ISS mission carrying more than three people since the end of the Shuttle program.

Soichi Noguchi is a space veteran and will become only the third person in history and the first non-American to launch to space on three different spacecraft: Shuttle, Soyuz, and Crew Dragon. Only NASA astronauts Wally Schirra (Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo) and John Young (Gemini, Apollo, and Shuttle) hold a similar distinction. No one to date has ever launched into space on four different vehicles.

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Postby shafnutz05 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:52 am

Shyster, do you envision even more launches coming from Wallops over the next decade or so? Would love to see more launches from my house. One of these years I'm going to make a trip of it and drive down to watch

I was shocked that there were over 1000 full time employees at Wallops alone.

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Postby Gaucho » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:13 am


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Postby shafnutz05 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:33 pm

Curiosity has been on Mars for over eight years. The original mission was two years. Just awesome.

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