The Latest SpaceX Rocket Launches...

MRRSM

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Unless this this topic demands being listed strictly over in the Videos section(s) ... many people have information before, during and frequently after these amazingly regular launches coming our way from SpaceX. This first one being posted today comes on the heels of the successful First Launch of the Falcon Heavy Triple First Stage Rocket that ended up with a bonus activity by landing the two outboards booster sections right back at Cape Canaveral-Air Force-SpaceX Dual landing Pads...almost simultaneously!

In a like manner ...todays launch is employing another previously used First Stage Booster to launch The PAZ Satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Hawthorne, California at around 09:17 EST. The link below will spring to life as soon as their coverage begins in just a short while. After the second launch of this particular First Stage Booster Rocket... it will not be getting recovered for re-use. In all probability... its unique Pacific Bound launch profile prevents this from being possible for the benefit of the delivery of the Satellite into orbit. So in about two hours from now... grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the show...;


SpaceX is getting Dead Serious about setting up their own Broadband Internet Service ... from Outer Space and compete with all of the other carriers... They should be worried about what Elon Musk has in store for this field:

 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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For the 50thTime… SpaceX has attempted and succeeded in launching a Satellite into orbit around the Planet Earth. This time… (at night time on the Florida Cape Canaveral Launch Pad) … The Satellite is the largest one ever to sit as a massive payload atop a SpaceX Launch Platform; indeed, it is as Big as a City Bus and weighing in at a Hefty Six (6) Tons. Take note of how long the Second Stage Rocket must fire in order to induce a lengthy amount of SI (Specific Impulse) "Push" in order to hurl this enormous thing at speeds close to 17,000 MPH in a mere matter of minutes.

Due to (26 Meter high churning North Atlantic Seas... The SpaceX Maritime Landing Platform called, "Of COURSE I Still Love You...!" remained In Port and was not used on this launch ... so the recovery of the Brand New First Stage Falcon 9 Rocket was not undertaken. It was landed directly into the Atlantic Ocean and its recovery may have to occur in an alternative manner... if at all. So...I wonder what the Salvage Rights would be on the value of the Metal alone inside of that object...? Man... That is a LOT of Scrap Aluminum-Lithium!

In order to accommodate such a large, 12,000 Pound Object the SpaceX Fairings length and width dimensions had to be enlarged. Once again, with the exception of secrecy necessary for launching Military Satellite Payloads… SpaceX continues with its publicly shared and very ambitious Launch Manifest Schedule. This one comes within two weeks of the first launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket Launch. Please enjoy the hurling of the... HispaSat 30W-6 Satellite ...into orbit around our Planet:

 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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There was a March 30th, 2018 launch of another group of 10 Iridium Communications Satellites that was unfortunately “Blacked Out” due to some odd restrictions placed upon SpaceX’s use of so many in -flight on board Video Cameras. Even more Odd is the fact that this almost instantaneous launch “Change of Viewing” Ban Hammer was being swung by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and not from the NSA. The complete article is available for digest here;

https://www.space.com/40153-spacex-launch-video-noaa-restrictions.html

For Better News that will happen tomorrow regarding the Next Launch on the SpaceX Manifest for 2018… keep your eyes on the skies down here at Cape Canaveral for the next Dragon Re-Supply Mission to the ISS:

SpaceX does not expect to have a similar issue with its next launch on Monday (April 2), when it will launch a used Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo ship (also previously flown) to deliver NASA cargo to the International Space Station.”
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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The 14th Cargo Re-Supply Mission (CRS-14) looks to be a "GO" aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket leaving from Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida in about Two Hours from now (2:14 PM EST on Monday April 2nd, 2018). So ....Check back on this link around 4:00 PM EST Today and Watch The Launch LIVE.

This Cargo Group includes an enormous number of Plant and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Experiments to determine whether or not Food Plants can grow successfully in the Zero Gravity encountered in Outer Space for Long Duration Space Flights... and much more:


CRS-14 Docking:

 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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Once again… SpaceX has succeeded in not only launching a very important NASA Spacecraft (TESS) into an elliptical orbit position of around 270,000 Kilometers above the Earth… But NAILED the First Stage Rocket Landing on the SpaceX Recovery Barge/Ship “Of COURSE I Still Love You!” setting down inside of the inner-most Yellow Target Ring of the "SpaceX Bullseye". This took place in the early evening of Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 and you will appreciate being able to observe the actions of the Dry Nitrogen Thrusters located in the First Stage Falcon 9 Rocket due to the angle of the Sun bathing the rocket in bright light. Its presence make this Launch/Landing even more interesting to watch:


Today’s manifest payload was The NASA TESS Observatory Spacecraft; designated to attempt to study over 200,000 Stars that possess evidence of Exo-Planets in their ecliptic planes around those Stars. The Shape, Size and Variety of the Planets being explored so distant from us will no doubt reveal some very interesting Science. These are the links to the NASA TESS Spacecraft videos and information:



… and more information is located here:

https://tess.gsfc.nasa.gov/
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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SpaceX will perform a cool Maiden Launch today (Thursday, March 10th, 2018 at around 4:12 PM EST) of its latest, updated version of the Falcon 9 Rocket Platform with an eye towards demonstrating a more consistent set of Launches, Landings and Re-Launches in order to streamline the time it takes to improve the repeatability of these amazing mechanical-chemical rocket powered machines. Apparently... today's effort will be designed to try to first ...get the Payload delivered into orbit... then return to the Cape Canaveral Landing Pads... Then Prep the same Rocket ... Re-Fuel and Re-Load it and send it right back up into the sky for a second go at this in the shortest possible time frame.

The impetus for making the more rapid turnarounds needed for such Space Launches and Landings is that, not only will it become the order of the day... but evolve into a common-place activity similar to that of Aircraft Travel. So if you get the chance to visit Spacex.com or visit the links below (...for our Florida GMT Nation Brethren... Just cast your eyes upwards towards The Cape and catch this activity in the early evening...) it might prove very interesting for us to see yet another live, historic effort from Elon Musk and his SpaceX Crew to normalize these activities for the thousands of launches/landings that will soon become necessary to support an eventual permanent Colonial Settlement of Humankind on Mars:

https://www.wired.com/story/watch-the-new-spacex-reusable-rocket-make-its-debut/amp

https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2018/05/10/Watch-live-SpaceX-to-launch-Block-5-rocket-for-first-time/9131525894747/
 
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MRRSM

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In keeping up with its very ambitious Launch Manifest Schedule ...SpaceX conducted the launch of the latest five Iridium 6 Communications Satellites ...preceded 11 minutes into the Launch by the GRACE FO (Follow On) group of Two Gravity Analysis Satellites also on board today (May 22nd , 2018 @12:14 PM PDT} from the Space Launch Complex SLC-4E platform at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Hawthorne, California. This flight will not include the usual recovery attempt of the First Stage of the 70 Meter Tall Falcon 9 Rocket due to the fact that this Booster was previously flown and is NOT one of the New Block Five Boosters.

However… efforts will be made to recover the Faring sections as they make up a considerable portion of the expense involved with these endeavors and if they can be located and recovered ...refurbishing them will save a lot of money for future SpaceX launches. This a longer than average film and the views it provides of the Polar Continent of Antarctica are quite new and remarkably beautiful to observe. The Launch Video can be observed as it unfolded earlier at this link:

 
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MRRSM

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AN IMPORTANT UPDATE... June 9th, 2018:

I just realized that SpaceX does NOT maintain there own contemporary links with updates referred over to their Youtube site for any of their Historical Space Flights. Consequently... Today... I had to go back from the very beginning of these posts and edit in the proper Youtube Links to these prior launch videos.

Each of these videos of the complete launches rather than anything that has been posted either as foreshortened videos or as mere snippets of these various launches. In the future... I will follow up with each new launch and as soon as spacex.com releases these events over to their Youtube Channel ... I will continue to ensure that these videos remain viable per post and reliably linked back here for each of the follow-on launch postings... Sorry about that!

The familiar expression, “It’s As Big as a Bus….” Can be well applied to the SES-12 Communications Satellite… interesting even more so since this Orbital Space Device is actually made by AirBus as well. The latest SES-12 Satellite was launched by SpaceX on one of its Legacy Falcon 9 First Stage Boosters on Monday, June 4th, 2018 during a night time period. This launch should hold your particular interest because the SpaceX Narrator, Brian (Software Engineer) does an exceptional job of going much deeper into the details of the entire launch.

His comments cover everything that happens; before during and after these amazing events… so even if you have only a passing fancy of concern about Space Flights and Launches in general… watching these things unfold will give you a chance to pause from your terrestrial troubles and reflect upon the things that can be done when so many smart, young people work together towards successfully doing something that H. G. Wells and Jules Verne could only dream of and write about. There are some very unique space images to be seen during this launch as well.

It might seems that these launches somehow all manage to blend; one into the other because SpaceX maintains such a busy Launch Manifest Schedule… But Please… Ladies and Gentlemen… Resist any jaded inclination you might have at becoming easily bored and avoid believing that all of this technological wizardry is merely passe… and maintain your capacity for becoming astonished by it all.

Very soon… Human Beings will climb atop the latest Block (5) Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle and once inside of a Dragon Capsule, they’ll strap themselves in and await being launched towards the Heavens while "Riding The Dragon" and tethered to over 1,000,000 Pounds of Rocket Fuel and Oxidizer to light it up, lift it off the Earth ...and hopefully, allow them to safely rendezvous with the International Space Station. So if nothing else… consider that each and every one of these SpaceX Satellite Launches is more than a simple exercise of “Practice Makes PERFECT”...and therefore each and every one is worthy of your kind attention:

 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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Over the last few days… The SpaceX “Falcon Heavy” Rocket System has managed to pass “Military Muster” and achieve its certification by the United States Air Force and in doing so ...has won a $130,000,000.00 Contract to launch the United State Air Force Space Command-52 Satellite into orbit. In addition to beating out whoever was in the competition for this prize… SpaceX has been winning the Lion’s Share of similar contracts; given their remarkable cost saving methods in manufacturing their complete major component systems in-house. We can look forward to this launch happening around the month of October of this year.

And with their proven payload capability and reliability as well as the re-usability factor from repeated successful recoveries of their First Stage sections of these Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy Rockets... this market share should come as no surprise. The Falcon Heavy Launch System is capable of lifting around 145,000 Lbs of Cargo into Earth Orbit... literally twice as much as any other Rocket Platform in the World. Think of it ...that is the ability of hurling almost 73 Tons at up to approximately 18,000 Miles Per Hours to remain up there in perpetual free-fall around our globe. Here is the article and some short videos on the matter:

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/06/21/spacex-falcon-heavy-rocket-wins-air-force-certification-130-mln-deal.html

The Chinese have a saying:

"May You Live In Interesting Times..."

We are privileged to be doing that... right now...
 
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MRRSM

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This is the most recent and rare High Quality Night Time Launch video of the latest SpaceX Cargo Re-Supply mission to the International Space Station… designated the CRS-15 via the Cape Canaveral, Florida Launch Pad on June 29th, 2018. Of all the CRS Missions so far this year… THIS one displays a greater variety of closeups of the hardware prior to the launch and has more clarity in the images at every point of this launch:


This next video (for the sake of seeing more of the destination of the CRS-15 Mission... and how seriously dangerous coming back home to the surface of the Earth from that place can really be) ...covers the process of Multi-National Astronauts leaving the ISS in a Russian Soyuz Spacecraft… that takes around 3 hours to complete… Yeah… You wanna talk about having a “sustained pucker factor"…while being shoe-horned inside of that thing?

But thankfully... with rare exceptions.. .the cramped Soyuz Space Craft Line has been changed very little in over 50 Years of use because the Russian Engineers prefer reliability over wasting time and resources trying to anything create newer… and perhaps invite more problems than they already have should they attempt any radically new alternative or buggy Space Hardware to play out there at 18,000 MPH in their Sandbox in Space:


Also… This unusual engineering seagoing marvel from SpaceX calls the “Mr. Steven” Recovery Ship was used to successfully capture the discarded rocket fairings which are worth $6,000,000.00 in cost savings after last month’s Pacific Coast launch of some near earth Satellites:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/11/looking-like-a-seagoing-dr-octopus-spacexs-mr-steven-has-added-four-articulated-longer-arms-off-san-pedro/amp/
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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SpaceX seems to be launching Rockets with Satellites aboard ... about as often now as I change my socks! Brian Mahlmstedt ... a Software Engineer for SpaceX out in Hawthorne, California stayed up late again last night for an early EST frame to Narrate the launch of the huge TelStar 19 Television and Internet Communications Satellite. He also introduced the Second use of the Block 5 First Stage Falcon 9 Booster as well and the First Launch of one of these from the Space Platform 40.

It is expected that these New Boosters at minimum should be able to be fired 10 times in a row, without requiring anything more than Basic Maintenance and Re-Fueling of LOX and RP-1 in between these launches. If we want to get to Mars... this low cost and high reliability will become paramount in getting us there...and back.

And besides achieving the expected sterling "Money Shot" delivery of this device at around 560 Kilometers out in space for a Geo-Stationary Orbit... that New Block 5 First Stage Falcon 9 Rocket made a very successful ballistic trajectory approach out over the Atlantic Ocean and landed damned near Dead Center inside of the Bullseye of the Drone Ship called "Of COURSE I Still Love You". Brian closed out the show by mentioning that there will be yet another launch from the Cape Canaveral site ...in "Just a Few Days"... So Stay Tuned!

 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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As promised… Early yesterday morning, SpaceX successfully launched its latest batch of 10 Iridium “NEXT” Satellites from their launchpad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Hawthorne, California. If you’ve ever seen the old SCI-FI Movie called “The Incredible Shrinking Man”… then you know that the protagonist winds up standing near the bow of his pleasure craft when suddenly ...a thick, creepy Fog and Mist moves rapidly towards him and after being enveloped and coated in some weird stuff... that is when his troubles begin.

Back in the 90’s I was on a lecture tour that took me to San Diego, California. As soon as I dropped off my gear in my room, I exited on the Pacific Ocean Beach mezzanine side of the Hotel to look around… just then this unbelievable Mist came over so fast and so thick that you could not take a step without being completely obscured in the dense, cool Fog. THAT was one of the spookiest damned things I had ever seen in my life!

The same phenomena is present here during this latest launch as the Pacific Fog obscures most of the view of the entire New Block Five (5) Falcon 9 Booster carrying the Satellites of the Iridium 7 Platform bringing their total of being successfully launched and deployed by SpaceX up to (65) Orbiting Satellites within the Iridium NEXT Constellation.

The Falcon 9 Booster was scheduled to land in very unfavorable high altitude sheer winds and choppy seas out in the Pacific on the SpaceX Drone Ship called “Just Read The Directions….” . It follows on that the Faring Recovery Ship, “The Mr. Steven” has been re-equipped with an even larger “Catch Net” (4 Times Larger) to try to snatch the Spacecraft Faring(s) right out of the air as they fall back to Earth… Difficult … Yes… but made even more so when facing sheer winds at 1,000 feet and very choppy Pacific waters. I'll do some follow up on this and find out how things went in all aspects ...post-launch.


UPDATE:

In spite of all the impediments of bad weather and untidy seas... The First Stage Falcon 9 Booster from Iridium 7 was successfully landed on the Big Floating Landing Platform Barge known as "Just Read The Directions..." around 10 Minutes after this Iridium 7 Launch started. Also... the image below shows a perfectly clear view of what the New Block 5 Booster looks like prior to launch. Note the sturdier Black Landing Legs and the All Black Mid-Section of the 2nd Stage of the Booster as new changes right along with a New Type of White Paint that will be less susceptible to "sooting" up once these Boosters land and minor refurbishment begins during its expected (10) Ten Consecutive Flights prior to requiring any Major Overhauls. Hopefully, this New Block "5" Platform will be good to go after what amounts to a "Diaper Change on a Healthy Baby" to allow the Rockets to return to service quickly and with less expense as well.

Have a Look at THIS "Baby":



As promised… here are the follow up images and article covering the Recovered Block (5) First Stage Falcon 9 Booster that was able to land on the Drone Ship “Just Read The Instructions...” during a recent period of High Winds and Rough Seas out in the Pacific. All of this happened in total darkness...save the obscuring over-illumination coming out from the three to one Merlin Rockets Engines being used to soft pedal the landing successfully.

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/07/27/space-x-falcon-9s-first-stage-returns-to-san-pedro-for-rocket-biz-recycling/amp/

...and likewise...the Mr. Steven Catch Net Ship Recovered the Fairings from the Iridium 7 Launch from the adjacent waters:

https://www.dailynews.com/2018/07/26/spacexs-mr-steven-rocket-catcher-returns-to-san-pedro-after-snatching-fairing-that-fell-into-the-sea/amp/

All in All... These are some very good outcomes from so much activity involving this Iridium 7 Launch. Only One More Iridium Launch to complete all of the (75) Satellites in this "NEXT" Constellation!
 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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SpaceX...has once again kept up its busy Cargo Manifest Delivery Schedule by Launching the Indonesian Merah Putih (translated from Indonesian... that expression means “RED & WHITE” as the Colors of the Flag of Indonesia) Communications Satellite to a Geo-Stationary position using the First Block (5) First Stage Falcon 9 Booster that was used last month on its re-flight here on August 7th, 2018 just after 01:00 AM EST from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

No efforts were made to recover the Satellite protective enclosure after jettison since the Fairing Recovery Ship, “The Mr. Steven” was deployed elsewhere out in the Pacific Ocean. The First Stage Falcon 9 Booster looked sooty because just as planned… from now on… the Block (5) Boosters are expected to follow (10) Launch and Recovery sequences before requiring any serious “Dry Dock” Refurbishment. As usual… the Launch Narration is chock full of additional data.

Something very interesting happens just after the MECO (Main Engine Cut Off) occurs at T+ 00:02:48 and the Split Screen shows the Falcon 9 Booster on the Left Side of the Screen with its Titanium Grid Guidance Fins being deployed. If you look around the perimeter at the base of the Rocket Booster… you can see the various cluster of lights around the major cities that criss-cross Florida from the East Coast to the West ...and also observe the numerous lightning strikes emanating from many Thunderstorms happening and “grounding” all of that Electricity ...terrestrially ...all across the limb of the state.

When the Stage 1 Booster makes its approach towards the Landing Drone Barge, “Of COURSE I Still Love You! There will be a lot of “Oooooohs… OHHHHHHs! And Ahhhhhhhs...” with the SpaceX Staff vocalizing a lot more than usual… and all impressions to the contrary… a Real Surprise is in store for the Block (5) Booster returning from Outer Space for the Second Time. The successful payload delivery of the Merah Putih Satellite from the front delivery platform of the Stage 2 Falcon Rocket section as the Primary Mission Goal happens ...almost as an afterthought to this earlier drama.

After over 50 Successful Launch Events such as this and 27 First Stage Falcon 9 Booster recoveries; both on Land and at Sea… you might wonder...”Sooo... What’s All the Fuss and Fanfare About…?” when so many Young Engineers keep gushing out with so much emotion? It all comes down to this: The Human Crews for the 2019 Manned Dragon Missions for SpaceX, NASA and Boeing have just been named... and the feats that these Men and Women of SpaceX want to keep succeeding at… Flawlessly, if at all possible… is something akin to hitting a Golf Ball at 5Xs the speed of a Rifle Bullet over 160 Miles into Outer Space...and then having it make a U-Turn in Mid-Flight...and coming back in Total Darkness… and then hit a moving, square smidgen of Grass ...300 Miles Off Shore way out in the Atlantic Ocean...and get a Hole In One… Each and Every Time they try this out. So each time they can actually DO these amazing feats of brilliant effort without having any Materials or Engineering Failures… means more proof that their ideas and manufacturing will reliably work… when the “Golf Balls” theoretically being hurled along inside of their Machinery are replaced ...with Human Beings. So if you listen to their Cheers and Excitement through that sound lens... you'll know that they all understand what is really at stake here.


...and if You have ever wondered "Why Does the Video Feed of the Stage 1 Landings Always Cut Off Just when the Booster is About to Land...?" Here is a very thoughtful and valid explanation:

 
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MRRSM

MRRSM

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Tonight at around 11:25 PM EST on September 9th, 2018... SpaceX will attempt to launch the Telstar 18 Communications Satellite into a Geo-Stationary Orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The launch window will extend to four hours due to the heavy cloud cover that can be filled with ice particles at very high altitudes.

The Falcon 9 First Stage Booster being used tonight will be Brand New and they anticipate landing it in the dark back down on the floating landing platform... the Redoubtable "Of Course I Still Love You,,,!" around 300 miles off shore out in the Atlantic Ocean.

https://www.spacex.com/

This time... I am including this alternative link to the space.com as the folks at SpaceX have given them permission to do so:

SpaceX Will Launch Telstar Communications Satellite Tonight:


https://www.space.com/41762-spacex-telstar-18v-satellite-launch-webcast.html
 
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On Monday, September 17th, 2018 at around 6:00 PM EST… SpaceX will announce the Name of the First Passenger to be signed up for the Inaugural Flight of the Largest Spaceship ever conceived to be constructed… FOR REAL... in the History of Modern Rocketry and Space Travel. The Big Falcon Rocket or “The BFR” as it has been affectionately Nick-Named ...is so enormous and so complex that the only way to do it any justice in making any sheer size and scale comparisons is for you to observe this screen capture from a recent Youtube Video covering the differences that start from the Height of an Average Man… (Yup... That Tiny White Dot at the far left of the image... is a Man) then moving to the right through the various increasingly larger Generations of the Falcon 1 through the Falcon 9 and most recently… The Falcon Heavy (FH) Rocket Platforms....all standing next to an enormous BFR.

spacex-rockets-falcon-1-9-heavy-bfr-youtube.jpeg

Once built… These “BFR” Engineering Marvels will be the chosen re-usable methods for SpaceX to Launch not One but Two “BFRs” at a time… back to back ...into LEO (Low Earth Orbit) with the First BFR carrying the Humans and Cargo… while the Second one launches and mates up with its Twin... backwards... to refuel the First “BFR” ...topping it off with enough “GAS” to head out into space for long Trips to The Moon and eventually … out to The Planet Mars:

https://www.spacex.com/webcast

This is the SpaceX CEO and President ...Elon Musk... explaining the BFR to a rapt and astonished audience along with an Animation to give a better idea of how this will work:

 
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In keeping with a better sense of objectivity that, while I favor the developments and constant progress performed by the people at SpaceX… I completely realize and appreciate that such activities do involve many other nations, cultures and peoples on the Planet Earth...and those activities don’t happen in an engineering ‘vacuum’...even though the work they accomplish actually does. This next video from the Discovery HD television series “Mega-Structures” covers a lot of ground on the topic of the International Space Station in the arena of the space sciences and goes a long way in explaining the difficulties and technical aspects that must be overcome in order to be able to launch satellites and space station human life supporting equipment into low orbits around the planet… and remain up there in safety:


Even more contemporary is this NASA coverage of the Space Launch of the Japanese Heavy Lift Cargo Vessel to the ISS called HTV-7 that was launched on September 22nd, 2018 and which will arrive at the ISS for automatic docking sometime today on Thursday, September 27th, 2018. Please bear in mind that this second video covers a time span of almost 12 Hours… so it will be necessary to pick and choose your way through the various portions of this launch of (5) Five Tons of unique Cargo that might interest you the most:


If nothing else... these videos offer some contrast between what SpaceX is doing versus other Space Fairing Nations on the other side of the world.
 
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It is easy to forget the actual Human Dimension of First Hand Observation and the affect it can have on people when observing something as dramatic and impressive as the SpaceX First "All Up" First Test Flight of the Falcon Heavy Rocket with 27 Merlin Rocket Engines burning at Full Tilt and demonstrating what the World's Most Powerful Rocket by a Factor of 2 looks...sounds... and feels like... In Person.

This video also affords some spectacular scenes of the Two Outer First Stage Boosters coming back down to land successfully simultaneously at Cape Canaveral from several hundred miles up and away in Outer Space. There simply are not enough superlatives in the minds of the people on hand to see this wondrous event unfold:

Talk about making a “Florida Road Trip” turn out to be a very worthwhile experience for "The Kerbel Krew":


...and once again... this is the same activity from a Living Room Front Row Seat:

 
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In just around (7) Hours from 3:00 PM EST on Sunday October 7th, 2018… The Vandenberg Air Force site Rocket Launch Base used by the United States Air Force will be Ground Zero for the launch of a SAOCOM 1A Satellite Mission that will also involve the return of the Falcon 9 First Stage Booster Rocket during its First Attempt to land it under Rocket Power …right back where it started from on the newly created LZ-4 Landing Zone. This location was once occupied by the launches of Titan Missiles conducted by the USAF and was formerly known as “Space Launch Site 4W”. The Live Launch Broadcast can be viewed at around 10:20 PM EST on Sunday, 10/07/2018 at this Link:

https://www.spacex.com/webcast

Senior SpaceX Engineer, Hans Koenigsmann also provides a very worthwhile lecture on the Engineering and Performance of the various Falcon Rockets and Merlin Engine Designs he has spearheaded and the reasons for why they do the things they do... in the way they do them to obtain the necessary outcomes of safety and reliability in all of the SpaceX Hardware :


...and here is Gwynne Shotwell, the CEO of SpaceX giving a motivating TED Talk on SpaceX to a group of Young Engineers:

 
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Due to the spectacular completion and nature of Just How Great this latest Launch and landing came off... I will add some "PLOBS" or... "Post Launch OBServations" from now on to make mention of anything that happened that was particularly awesome or significant occurring before, during and after these launches. Here Goes:

The SAOCOM 1A Launch happened out on the West Coast of California last night due to the need to launch the Falcon 9 Rocket and its Cargo in roughly a Southerly Direction... almost into a Polar Orbit to place the satellite in its expected orbital path to cover Argentina and other areas of South America. The sky was inordinately clear and very "Twilight" in appearance just before the Launch.

SPOILER ALERT:

There are some uncommon views of the adjacent Launch Pad and we don't get to see just how dangerously close the New Landing Pad for the Returning Falcon 9 First Stage Booster really is... until the last few minutes of the Video. The view of the California Coastline with the City Lights from the nearby landscape is amazing. The best way to appreciate all of this is to just watch this 30+ minute Video of how everything came off ....As Smooth as SpaceX Glass:

 
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On October 16, 2018… A piece of leftover debris from a SpaceX Rocket Launch washed up along the US Eastern Atlantic Seaboard Coastline of the North Carolina Outer Banks:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/spacex-rocket-debris-washes-up-along-outer-banks-north-carolina/

SPACEXDEBRIS1.jpg

Since this is the second time a debris piece like this (... the last one being a jettisoned SpaceX Nose Cone) has been recovered in close proximity to this latest find… it might be worth modeling the variables of the Rotation of the Earth, The Moon's predictable gravitational affect upon tidal flows and the Coriolis Effect happening in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean if SpaceX intends upon collecting as much of this stuff as possible from a reliable locale for Post Operations Materials Analysis.

I like the idea that SpaceX leaves behind the least amount of Space Junk as possible floating around out there in Low Orbit around the Earth ...and by recovering and landing so many First Stage Boosters (with 9 Merlin Engines per Booster) from just falling into the Ocean depths as it is getting awfully crowded up there with all this stuff.

This video will illustrate just what a “Hornets Nest’ that stuff really is and the fact that as these items will all eventually endure ‘Orbital Decay’ causing them to fall by the Force of Gravity at very high velocities that manage to dip just below the required 18,000 MPH necessary to keep this crap going endlessly around above our heads. That congestion of Space Junk can threaten the Human Population when it comes down unpredictably from Outer Space ...and is even more dangerous for any would-be ‘Space Travelers' when trying to penetrate that Veil of Crap via Rocket Ships heading on out into the clear and empty areas well above the orbital ecliptic of the Planet Earth. Life imitates Art here as the Shades of the Pixar Movie 'WALL-E comes to mind':

"Too Much TRASH in Your FACE? There's Plenty of SPACE ...in OUTER SPACE!"
BNL (Buy-N-Large) Advertisement for the AXXIOM Star-Liner 5 Year Cruise into Deep Space.


 
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This is a reprise of the Highlights from the SpaceX First Test Flight of the Falcon Heavy Rocket Platform from many months ago. But the difference here though... is that there are some additional snippets of the setting up of the Special Tesla Roadster inside of the 2nd Stage Fairing Compartment that do not appear in the filming on the Launch Day Youtube Video.

Once downloaded... this short segment can be SLO-MO’d using VLC (Videolan) to get a better look at what was necessary to do to solidly mount and launch the Tesla Red Roadster on its Billion Year (thats right...YEARS...Not MILES) Journey around The Sun. This is the stuff that should whet our appetites for every single coming SpaceX Launch. Watch the looks on the faces of the Kids as they stand in awe ...while the windows in buildings nearby vibrate from the rumble of 27 Merlin 1D Engines...Literally Hauling ‘Buggy’ into Outer Space!:

 
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The Latest SpaceX Mission involves the Launch of the Es Hail-2 Communications Satellite from Cape Kennedy on November 15th, 2018 atop the same Falcon 9 First Stage Rocket that was used back in July of 2018 to launch the Telstar Comms Satellite. Instead of having these thankfully successful and all too familiar views of these launches we’ve come to know and appreciate, this time… New Cameras and New Camera Positions have been installed to afford some even better and more unique views of the Rocket-ship at Cape Canaveral ...Before, During and after Take-Off.

Then ...the ever dramatic views from Low Earth Orbit come into view followed on by the surprising return of the First Stage through some beautiful atmospheric conditions … with the chance to observe it safely landing back down on the Drone Ship “Of COURSE I Still Love You!” about 300 Nautical Miles out in the Atlantic Ocean on a fairly “bouncy” ocean. Think about what it takes technologically and what it must go through to perform this High Flying Act with such amazing precision!

Finally… the proper orbit insertion for the Es Hail-2 Satellite is normalized and achieved and it gets to be softly launched from the spring-loaded platform in the nose of the Falcon Second Stage as “The Money Shot” to finish up this excellent ‘piece de resistance’ . Once again… in order for SpaceX to reach HLAF (Human Level Approved Flight) the most important “Three R’s” to demonstrate during all of these SpaceX launches are paramount:

Reliability
Repeatability
Return-ability

May God and His Angels... Guard the Lives of Those Brave Enough to Go Into... Outer Space!


PS

If you listen closely to the ambient sounds coming from the SpaceX Command Center in Hawthorne, California you will notice the familiar "tinkling" of glassware, plates. knives, forks and spoons being used. This is because Elon Musk insisted that the Employees Cafeteria be immediately placed right near the Observation Windows of the Command Consoles Unit... so they can enjoy looking at Live Launches on the Big TV Screens... while eating and drinking.
 
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On December 3rd, 2018… SpaceX launched (64) Satellites all at once as their first ever attempt at this unique Launch Manifest Payload via (6) Separate orbital positions over portions of the Earth that have no Ground Support Communications Stations available to maintain continuous communications with these devices. However… since the data and imagery will be getting saved on board the Spacecraft sub units… it will be later downloaded and become available for viewing.

I’m sure that if you have been following these launches either live at spacex.com or via Youtube Videos like this one for nearly a decade...you will be happy to see the return of the SpaceX Engineer, Ms. Kay Tice back in the fold of the group of narrators and announcers familiar to us all by now...She is just GORGEOUS...and is about the ONLY thing to be seen during these Videos that will draw your attention away from the Space Shot… It will be very hard for you all to decide which of these events is more visually stunning. :>P

KAYTICEFORSPACEX.jpg

Besides the scope of the (64) Micro-Sats for this busy payload launch and the much anticipated landing of the Falcon 9 First Stage Rocket back down in the Pacific Ocean on the SpaceX sea-going vessel platform called “Just Read The Directions… “… The SpaceX Giant Net Ship “Mr. Stevens” will be attempting to capture the Fairing Section(s) (Off Cameras) out on the Pacific Ocean... even as SpaceX is planning ANOTHER Launch as a follow on activity for December 4th, 2018 for the next Cargo Re-Supply Mission CRS-16 to the International Space Station over on the opposite coast at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

MRSTEVENNETSHIP2.jpg

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There has also been also been some other NASA noteworthy activities involving a Space Mission to a Small, Remote Asteroid that is very worth linking here to clarify that of course... "When it comes to Space… There is always Room at The Top." for more things to marvel at and learn about as a privilege for Human Beings to experience in their present lifetimes:

Osiris Rex… Is an Observation and Sampling Spacecraft that also just arrived On Target on December 3rd, 2018 after a Two Year Flight when it reached its destination target of Asteroid 101955 Bennu and managed to successfully establish an orbit around that Ancient Orbiting Object. The O-R Craft will study and photograph this Asteroid and eventually it will attempt to make a direct ‘contact grab’ of some of the surface material from Bennu by using an Extendable Arm ...but it will NOT land on the Asteroid to in order to accomplish this “Snatch and Grab” Task.

Then the small Spacecraft will make a return flight back to the Earth and is expected to arrive in March of 2021; returning at a velocity of around 27,000 MPH. It will use it’s Heat Shield for “Brakes” and then deploy a Large Landing Parachute. The Asteroid is uniformly shaped like a Raw Diamond Gem Gemstone rather than appearing as an asymmetric chunk of space rubble as it has insufficient size and Mass necessary to crush itself into a spherical Planetoid.

The attached in-motion GIF was created during one, single orbit the O-R Craft made around this interesting, leftover relic from the Birth of our Solar System. The pristine Chemistry and the Carbonaceous materials scientists hope to find in their sample may be able to answer many questions about what this tiny piece of ‘virgin’ stuff really is that collectively aggregated eons ago and helped to form the Rocky Planets. If the Building Block of life can be found in all of that space debris and dust… so much the better for the possibility of the distribution of the Raw Materials needed for the origins and possible creation of Life Off of the Planet Earth.

OSIRIS-REx - Wikipedia.gif

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page#/media/File:Asteroid-Bennu-OSIRIS-RExArrival-GifAnimation-20181203.gif
 
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It is now December 5th, 2018 at around 11:18 AM and for any interested East Coast Florida Resident Members that are here at GMTN.... The Next Flight for the SpaceX CRS-16 Re-Supply Mission will be launched from Cape Canaveral in about (2) Hours EST. So if you cast your gaze toward the Sky near the Cape around that time... you'll enjoy a better view of this event than most can appreciate. For the others of us with a similar interest... We can get a Front Row Seat at spacex.com and monitor the progress and watch it just as well... right here:

 
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For anyone who watched the Last Broadcast of the CRS-16 ISS Cargo Re-Supply Mission and were upset with the disappointing response from the SpaceX Flight Director when he cut off the Live Transmission when it appeared that one of the Titanium Grid Fins suddenly failed as the Falcon 9 First Stage Rocket was about to land back at Cape Canaveral... this is the complete video of this Anomaly:


..and here is a better description of "What Actually Went Wrong?"


It is important to realize that all of our expectations are always set from whatever has happened during all of the prior completely successful Launches and Landings... including the one performed on December 3rd, 2018 when a Block 5 Falcon 9 First Stage Booster successfully landed on the Recovery Drone Ship "Just Read The Directions..." out in the Pacific Ocean. It is a given that with so many powerful and dangerous variables involved... no matter how many of these Launches are conducted... the potential for catastrophic failures are never far removed from each and every one.

Fortunately... this part of the Launch Procedures had absolutely NO impact on the successful deployment of the Dragon Capsule into a closing orbit at around 17,500 MPH with the matching speed of the orbiting ISS. Elon Musk will collect the Failed First stage ASAP and determine what needs to be changed and improved to eliminate this flight failure from recurring.

It is worth giving an Honorable Mention about how well the navigation computer software and the rapid gimbaling of the Merlin 1D Engines behaved as they reacted to countermand this out of control condition. This speaks well of the redundancy the Engineers have built into the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Guidance Systems. They damned near were able to get right ...even with so much else going wrong,

So for anyone tempted to think about these launches as some sort of settled and comfortable science that it is always a successful ...but 'boring technology'... Consider this: Space Travel of ANY Kind using ANY Rocket Platform... Will ALWAYS be a Very Dangerous Endeavor... and we should never close our eyes and ignore this reality. The fact that up until this event occurred... Musk advised his people to "show everything that happens"... and they departed from that position during this problem launch deserves his undivided attention.

However... Considering that NASA and ULA (United Launch Alliance) have long restricted and obscured many similar events by NEVER showing ANYTHING or educating the The Tax Paying Public who are the OWNERS of the Federal Space Programs... should take the Heat off of Elon. I defy anyone to produce any videos that show that any other Government Agencies have been as inclusive for the General Public understanding as those from SpaceX have been.

Besides all of these issues... I hope to God that they NEVER invite that NASA Spokesperson back again to wedge herself like she did into Tom Predario's Live Narration during CRS-16. She kept talking over him about stuff that everyone already knows about the ISS Mission.

But... I suspect that since NASA has to be tolerated, babied and indulged with this 'invasion' because of the pending contracts for Human Flight and that their NASA Contract to re-supply the Space Station is about to expire. I guess Musk had to allow this irritating outsider to 'sit in' with his better qualified SpaceX Employees. Just watch the CRS-16 Launch Video again and while listening to her 'Nails on a Blackboard' voice... take a look at Tom Predario's face... his expression says it all.
 
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I noticed that for the first time since becoming a GMTN Member that a Fellow Space Travel Enthusiast, @The_Roadie is online this evening...and I would like to pose the rhetorical question:

"Do you have ANY idea How many Tens of Thousands of GM Truck Enthusiasts you have helped, encouraged and instructed over all these years?"

What a Remarkable Life you have lead, Brother!
 
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EDIT:

The Weather Conditions decayed on 12/20/2018 to the extent that the launch has been delayed until Saturday, 12/22/2018 @ 08:55 AM EST. Florida is presently experiencing very high ambient winds that may also change the launch time if they are too excessive. The physics involving Danger to the Spacecraft here have to do with how much the Atmosphere compresses when being penetrated at super-sonic velocities, such that an excessive amount of "Maximum Aerodynamic Pressure" or MAX Q could cause the Aluminum-Lithium Metal Cylinder walls of the Falcon 9 First Stage Booster to buckle, crush and collapse in flight like an Empty Beer Can.

The problem of fast moving, High Altitude Winds pushing on the side of the Launch Vehicle must also be taken into account to avoid "Sheer Wind Forces" that could alos damage the fast moving Rocket. Generally, as this pressure builds ... the (9) Merlin Engines get Throttled Down until the Rocket can rise high enough up into the less dense atmospheric regions before the SpaceX Launch Director can confirm "Go at Throttle Up" and the Cluster of Merlin M1D Engines can "Pour On The Coals".

Most people imagine that these Space Launches always involve propelling any/all rockets in a straight-up line into Outer Space. But the truth is that while it IS necessary to gain enough altitude to escape the friction caused by the Earth's Atmosphere (approximately 100 Miles Thick as measured from Sea Level to its absence in Space)... these launches actually are more akin to Hurling a Football almost parallel with the curvature of the Earth. The speed required to achieve a sustained balance between Earth's Gravity and the Velocity needed to maintain a perpetual "Free Fall" in any Low Earth Orbit... is just shy of around18,000 MPH. So in order to escape Earth's Gravitational Field entirely... a minimum speed of around 25,000 MPH is required.

The Original Posted Information Follows:

In about 82 Minutes from now… 07:41 AM on Thursday, December 20th, 2018… even with the steady light rain we are experiencing right now down here is Florida … There is a small chance that SpaceX will be able to launch their latest effort called the GPS III SV01 MISSION if the atmospherics provide a decent window. This information comes from their active Launch Site:

SpaceX is now targeting Thursday, December 20 for launch of the United States Air Force’s first Global Positioning System III space vehicle (SV) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Weather remains a challenge, currently forecasted at 20% favorable during the 26 minute launch window, which opens at 9:03 a.m. EST, or 14:03 UTC.

https://www.spacex.com/webcast
 
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While most of us are familiar with the concept of the CRS (Cargo Re-Supply) Missions to the ISS (International Space Station) ...we seldom to get a Blow By Blow of what some of the Cargo Sub-Packages are that get to ride along with the other absolute necessities of Oxygen Support Equipment, Water, Food, Batteries, and other Consumables needed to keep Human Beings as healthy and capable as possible during these extended visits into the unforgiving conditions present in the alternating thermal extremes in the vacuum of Outer Space. Here is a better sampling of some of the Scientific Cargo brought to ISS during CRS-16:

 
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They say that "The Third Time... Is The Charm..." So hopefully... it will be a "GO" for the GPS III Launch this morning... say... in about (15) Minutes from NOW (08:35 AM EST)... So Grab your Toast and Coffee...and watch it from here if you don't live on the East Coast of Florida... Click to watch... NOW:

 
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What On Earth…?” is Elon Musk up to over at Boca Chico State Park in Brownsville, Texas? The rumor has it that he is in the middle of constructing “The Next Generation Starship” out of… get this… “Stainless Steel”. Hmmm ...Intriguing…But HEAVY AS HELL! And from the looks of this image Musk posted on Twitter… whatever it is ...It will be large enough in it’s dimensions to demand a ride on top of The SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket Platform in order to have enough Power to get it off the ground. Supposedly… This Thing will get Launched some time in 2019. Scott Manley over at SpaceNews.com has also posted a Youtube Video covering this item in more detail:

https://valleycentral.com/news/local/somethings-brewing-at-spacex-launch-facility-near-boca-chica-state-park

31cd45af-9833-4b32-8200-ffcc2e328267-large16x9_spacecraft.jpg


And… as an aside… This Video proves that while Elon Musk remains of the Cutting Edge of technology… he STILL employs Human Workers in his TESLA Model-3 Electric Car Factory. Here is the Proof taken during the Complete Factory Assembly of a TESLA 3 Electric Sedan:

https://electrek.co/2018/12/29/tesla-model-3-assembly-video/
 
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SpaceX and The Iridium Communications Company have saddled up the Last 10 of the Iridium Satellites needed to COMPLETE Iridium's NEXT 75 Orbiting Satellite Constellation so the company can fire up their World Wide Network.... The Final Iridium 8 Launch is ongoing ...Right NOW January 11th, 2019 @ 11:55 AM:

https://www.spacex.com/webcast


PLOB: (Post Launch OBservations...)

The Launch went nominally On Schedule leaving from the Vandenberg Air Force Base Launch Facilities and subsequently... the First Stage of the Falcon 9 Rocket safely returned landed DEAD CENTER IN THE BULL'S EYE on the Drone Ship called "Just READ The Directions..." out in the Pacific Ocean on a fairly rolling sea.

THAT Big Chunk of Technology is worth $60,000,000.00 each and every time it self-recovers by landing vertically...for re-use. The remaining (10) Iridium Next Satellite deployed via a nominal insertion orbit... completing their world wide coverage and performing an effective replacement for an aging system that had previously been on LOE (Low Earth Orbit) for over (15) Years.
 
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The months of February and March were filled with many Landmark SpaceX events which require a lot of catching up on my part to make mention of here. The one very disturbing event though that stands out as a very worrying occurrence happened not with SpaceX ...but with the occupied International Space Station suffering from an intentional act of internal sabotage that occurred when it was discovered that someone on board the ISS… deliberately drilled hole through from the wall of one of the Russian Modules…. From the Inside!

As you can clearly see from this image… several failed attempts to gain enough purchase during the drilling while in "Zero Gravity" … that the Drill Bit get skewed around in swirls causing partial damage until the penetration from within the space craft successfully exposed the interior of the orbiting dwelling to the absolute vacuum of Outer Space. The fact that so many attempts were made to perform this dubious and dangerous job is proof positive of the serious intent to do harm in the mind of the person who did this:

iss_drill_hole.jpg


The Russians cast some vague doubts that it would have been any member from their on-board Crew… but another Earth bound Russian later stated… ‘It looks like someone wanted to come home early...’. The matter is still under investigation by the Russians and other supervising groups back on the Earth. Fairly soon afterwards... Russian Cosmonauts performed a brief Space Walk and used some order of Epoxy and Tape to seal up the small hull penetration that was first recognized after ISS to Ground Telemetry discovered that the on board Atmosphere inside of the Space Station was gradually ....but inexorably… losing pressure. All I can say about this matter is that the very last thing you need if you are living in the company of others in the harsh and unforgiving conditions of Outer Space… is to have ANY Member of ANY Nation or Crew on board … floating around within the ISS...with a “Screw Loose” inside of his (or her) head!

Before I get into posting the latest and greatest successes due to the incredible efforts and work happening between the joint works of SpaceX and NASA… I found what can only be described as The VERY Best Primer of Rocketry that was recorded after the fall of the Nazis in WWII and the seizure and study of what the Germans called “The A4 Rocket”… also know as “The Vengeance Weapon Two” or plainly know to us all as “The V2 Rocket”. This video does a superb job of taking us through the early and subsequent designs of the A4 Rocket Program once headed by Dr. Werner Von Braun and a whole gaggle of German Rocket Scientists that chose to bail out and “Come to The West” before they all wound up either getting killed by the Gestapo while trying to escape Germany in 1945… or get captured later on as many German Scientists did by the then NKVD of the USSR.

It is interesting to note how little the Basic Design of Liquid Propellant Rockets has changed since it was first conceived of and successfully built by the German Professor Werner Von Braun with the help of much slave labor during World War II. This attached video is an unusually comprehensive film made by the British providing “Everything you EVER wanted to know about the Vengeance Weapon Two (V2) Rocket”. Were it not for its development by the German Scientists back then for Good or Ill… God knows how long it would have taken to have an effective working design created that is the durable model we use to this very day in all Rocket Engines and Flight Shapes of the fuselage. Consequently… seeing this video will provide us all with an original baseline of its conception, designs and implementation:


More to Follow...
 
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The “Holy Grail” for The United States NASA Standard of Excellence in Space Travel is called by the Three Letter Acronym: HRF. For us mere mortals who in all probability will never have the problem of contemplating the importance of HRF ...or “Human Rated Flight” it will not mean very much. But if you do have this chance in your life time… I can guarantee that the concept of HRF WILL cross your mind, just prior to boarding any Space Craft about to be hurled off the ground ... ten times faster than a Rifle Bullet moving rapidly along thanks to the Basic Chemistry of Rocket Engines generating sufficient velocity to either coast into LEO or Low Earth Orbit… or ‘...to break the surly bonds of Earth’...and fly you and your family to either The Moon ...or Mars… or God Knows Where.

Recently, in what can only be described as a spectacular achievement of One Visionary Man with a serious desire to help the Human Race, Elon Musk has managed to reach the point at which the chance of fulfilling his life-long dream allowing the People of Earth to become a “Multi-Planet Species” in only (10) Years Time is about to come true. The sheer pace of his Engineering achievements and successes with hitherto unthinkable “Science Fiction Technological Fantasies” becoming REAL is absolutely breathtaking!

Thanks to his deep personal commitment to prove that not only can a Private Company succeed in “The Space Game” ...but excel to the point of putting entire world governments to shame with his commitment of private money and investments and razor sharp cutting edge technologies that have brought SpaceX to the brink of transporting Human Passengers into Outer Space with the complete blessing of NASA. The recent completion of the Crew Dragon Launch, followed close aboard by the safe recovery of the Falcon 9 Booster, then achieving a successful LEO orbit and allow the latest Crew Dragon Space Capsule to automatically dock with the International Space Station and then return to the Earth unscathed is testament to the dedication of everyone at SpaceX to make HRF finally possible for the first time in over 25 Years from American soil.

The momentum SpaceX has achieved since making their maiden satellite launch with the Falcon 1 Rocket cannot be overstated. Very soon, on April 11th, 2091, the unique Super-Draco Rockets that are part of the Flight Safety System will undergo a deliberate Abort in Flight Test at the point of “MAX Q” or the maximum aerodynamic pressure the Falcon 9 and Capsule Payload must endure during every flight that places the greatest structural strain on the engineering and materials of the ship in flight… and allow for the Final Piece of the HFR Safety Puzzle to be tested under the most dangerous time during the early portion of the flight.

The Crew Dragon will automatically fire the Super Draco Rockets located in pairs withing four aft sections of the Crew Dragon capsule and hopefully, achieve a safe escape from the failing Falcon 9 below and then safely land by parachute(s) (4 of them) and land in the Atlantic Ocean. If successful… in all probability…. Sometime in either June or July of 2019… Two NASA Astronauts will board a New Crew Dragon for the Demo Two Test Flight and head out for the International Space Station on board an American Made Space Craft for the first time since the Space Shuttle was used for this purpose too long ago. Here are the Videos of all these efforts being realized:

The Launch...


The Automated ISS Docking and layover with the Space Passenger known as "Ripley"…


The Un-Docking and The Return to Earth using a Quad Parachute Water Landing…


More to Follow about the up and coming launch of an enormous Saudi Arabian built Satellite on board the Falcon Heavy Rocket Launch System for its first Commercial Payload Delivery on the World’s Most Powerful Rocket… by a factor of (2)...
 
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If you either live on the Florida Atlantic Coast and/or have Friends and Family vacationing down here... Let everyone know that the SpaceX Launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket bearing a HUGE Satellite Payload for Saudi Arabia is scheduled to lift off Tomorrow Morning at around 06:30 with a Launch Window ending around 08:30 AM EST on Wednesday, April 9th, 2019. This will NOT be a typical launch of a familiar Falcon 9 Rocket Booster with (9) Merlin M1D Rocket Engines... Oh No...

The Falcon Heavy sports THREE Falcon 9 Booster Segments fastened together that have a Total of (27) Merlin Rocket Engines with enough power to hurl ANYTHING into orbit weighing as much as 72 Tons. The Falcon Heavy Launch System is The World's Most Powerful Rocket presently in use ... more powerful than ANYTHING else working ...by a Factor of TWO... When Creating 5,000,000 Pounds of Thrust!


FALCONHEAVYROCKET27MERLINROCKETENGINES.jpg

So if you are up and not busy Tomorrow Morning and cannot get your Eyes on the East Coast Florida Skies just around Sunrise near Cape Canaveral... you can still enjoy the view and the coverage by visiting www.spacex.com and Watching the Live Launch on your PC, Laptop or Cell Phone. This is a very nice article covering the lead up on this Launch..and hopefully we will all get to see a successful Launch and The Return Landings of ALL THREE BOOSTERS:

 
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The Launch of the Falcon Heavy Rocket toting the very big and bulky "Arab-Sat" Payload has been delayed until around 9:30 PM EST on Thursday, April 11th, 2019.

For whatever the reasons... Better Safe... Than Sorry.

 
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Spacex is LAUNCHING FALCON HEAVY IN 7:00 MINUTES April 11th, 2019 @ 6:26PM

So Go to either www.spacex.com or to Youtube to watch this launch LIVE!
 
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After a few thoughtful delays over the past few days, SpaceX finally launched the Falcon Heavy Triple Core, Block Five Rocket System with the ArabSat-6A Satellite nested on board inside of the Nose Cone on only its Second Flight since the first time it launched back in February of 2018. All three Major Broadcast Television Companies provided Live Coverage (NBC, ABC & CBS) ...but it seems that as usual, the SpaceX people provided the Best Viewing experience from www.spacex.com.

This Commercial Mission cost only $90 Million versus what ULA would have charged at around $300 Million, with the added Bonus that in this instance… All Three First Stage Falcon 9 Booster Cores safely delivered the ArabSat-6A into an orbit 34 Minutes after Lift Off which will eventually find it parked over the region of what was once called Persia in a Geo-Stationary Orbit around 20,000 Miles above the Earth.

It followed on that instead of having the Launch Vehicle Segments simply fall uselessly into the Atlantic Ocean after running out of propellant, as would be the case with any other Launch System presently in use, on April 11th, 2019… for the first time ever… SpaceX successfully had All Three Falcon Cores power back to Earth under their control using Gravity and their on board remaining Fuel and Oxidizer to steer, guide and then land with Pin-Point Precision, right back at Cape Canaveral at Landing Zones One and Two. Likewise… the Central Falcon 9 Core Booster landed around 500 Miles off of the Atlantic Eastern Seaboard on the floating recovery ship, “Of COURSE I Still Love You...” making this a Perfect “Hat Trick” for Modern, 21st Century SpaceX Rocketry.

Consider for a moment what that means in proving the two concepts of reliability and the practicality of re-usability which dominates the one factor transcending all of the Physics of Rocket Flight. In a word: COST. All Three of those Falcon 9 Rocket Booster Cores can now be used again on the next Falcon Heavy STP-2 Mission. It only costs around $200,000.00 to place RP-1 Kerosene and Liquid Oxygen on board per each of all three cores… and so if necessary, after some very light refurbishment… it will seriously reduce the cost down to a fraction of what it used to be for doing business when the largest portion of all this amazing technology can be used again, and again. All this… and STILL… The Falcon Heavy Platform remains, Twice Over, The LEAST Expensive...and The MOST Powerful Rocket Powered Payload Delivery System on The Planet Earth!

SpaceX… FTW!


And so, without further ado… Pick up the spot at around 18 Minutes into this Video for 'The Terminal Countdown' ... and watch all of these Words… Getting turned into Amazing Deeds:


This Last Link provides information about the U.S. DoD STP-2 Project in relation to the use of the just now successfully recovered Falcon Heavy Block Five Boosters for use with its launch of about Two Dozen Satellites and Hardware this April, 2019 designed to test Flight Reliability of SpaceX Systems for Military Applications:

 
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After the spectacularly successful Launch and Landings of the second Falcon Heavy Triple Boosters during the Ararbsat-6A Mission on April11th, 2019, the Falcon 9 Block Five Center Booster that landed on the Autonomous Drone Ship “Of COURSE I Still Love You...” was subjected to some very rough seas en route back to Port Canaveral, Florida. The violence of the surface waves caused the Falcon 9 Center Core to break loose after one or more of its “Welded on Shoes” designed to cup each of the four Landing Leg feet and secure them to the ship deck had failed and like an over-sized Birthday Cake Candle… the Tall Booster tipped over and was damaged in the fall.

There have been some very shoddy news reports that after the inner Falcon Heavy Rocket segment had successfully landed, that it had been… “Lost at Sea...” . However, as you can see from the latest attached image of the Drone Ship moored at the dock of Port Canaveral… The Falcon 9 Booster has indeed been brought home; a bit battered and bruised… but neither lost due to any explosion of the remaining RP-1 refined Kerosene and residual Liquid Oxygen as it fell over, nor completely “Lost at Sea”.

FALCON9TIPPEDOVER.jpg
 
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Yesterday, April 20th, 2019, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Test of the Escape Rocket System for the Capsule over at Cape Canaveral suffered a catastrophic setback when something went wrong with one of the Super-Draco Engines out of the Quad Set of having Two Rockets per Corner of the Spacecraft. This resulted in the apparent complete destruction of the Re-Used SpaceX Crew Capsule.

Given that this is the system anticipated for the use of transporting Humans into Outer Space for visits to the ISS, the Moon and to Mars… better to have such events occur now and solve any and all issues involving Technical and/or Materials Failures much prior to achieving any HFR (Human Flight Rating) status and perhaps putting the next Two Man Crew at risk during any subsequent Human and Cargo Launches. Here is the Wiki on these amazing, 3D- Printed Rocket Motors:

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

...and here is a Live Test Firing of a Single Super-Draco Rocket Motor:


Unlike the Merlin 1D Engines that use RP-1 Highly Refined Kerosene and Liquid Oxygen as their Rocket Propellants along with a TTEP Chemical Igniter instead of a Powered Spark Ignition System… The Super-Draco Rockets use a combination of either UDMH (Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine) or MMH (Monomethylhydrazine) as the “Gas” and NTO (Dinitrogen Tetroxide) as the “Oxidizer”. In combination, these are known as “Hypergolic” Fuels and so the Super-Draco Engines do NOT require any Ignition Source because when both of these chemicals get injected into the Combustion Chamber, they instantly ignite on contact and Burn with Furious, Explosive Intensity. As Rocket Fuels go… both can be stored separately for very long periods inside of specially made, corrosive-resistant tanks and they will NOT lose their potency and strength over time. This Video explores the Chemistry of Hypergolic Rocket Fuels quite well... But Note With Caution that the VOP (Video Original Poster) is opening that bottle of Nitrogen Dioxide directly near a Working Electric Hood Fan containment space in order to draw the Toxic Fumes of NTO away from himself as he conducts this Hypergolic Experiment:


Do you think the Guy in this Corrosive Liquid Protective Suit is "Nervous ...In The Service.." in the presence of so much Hydrazine ? Eeeeeee-Yuuuuppp. You BET he is!

PROTECTIONFROMHYPERGOLICFUEL.jpg

The last VOP mentioned "IMPULSE" which is more technically named "SPECIFIC IMPULSE". This is an interesting visual way of using A VERY Dangerous, Home Made Plasma Cannon to observe the “Action = Reaction” phenomena used to achieve Propulsive Rocket Power ...or… (SI) Specific Impulse as it is known and being being demonstrated as experimental proof of Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion he introduced to Physics way back in the 17th Century as:

“For EVERY Action… There is an OPPOSITE and EQUAL Re-Action...:

PLEASE … Do NOT Attempt to Perform THIS Experiment!


There is much more present danger, however in that whenever NTO (Nitrogen Tetroxide) is exposed to the open air, it presents as a Highly Toxic, Rusty-Orange-Brown colored Vapor that is EXTREMELY Corrosive to Organic Life. Inhaling even the smallest amount of this dangerous stuff will induce the destruction of Lung Tissue that just melts away and kills the unfortunate person quickly by suffocation. Ergo… it requires Special, Fully Protective Suits and Careful Handling Procedures to avoid Accidental Explosions of the release of NTO into the Atmosphere.

Getting back to the Latest Issue with Crew Dragon Capsule Safety… you can see in this video from a very disappointed Scott Manley, that whatever happened to cause this failure anomaly over at Cape Canaveral is a VERY serious development that WILL need to be completely sorted out and solved long before the SpaceX Crew-Dragon Capsule is allowed to carry anyone into space atop the Falcon 9 Rockets:

 
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