And while SpaceX has more or less kept things under wraps since this dreadful anomaly ... it is no wonder. I just located a link to a site that has released a 'hidden' video that shows just how suddenly Hypergolic Rockets can go from being under control to suddenly having everything get, "Blown to Smithereens...".
There is NO way anyone could have survived if this Crew Dragon Capsule had been occupied:
Just six weeks after splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean following a successful Demo-1 test…
I would like to caution everyone from jumping to any conclusions about my next comments... but recently, Vladimir Putin was making his displeasure known about losing so much Money and Prestige to the Russian Space Agency if and when the United States Companies such as SpaceX, Lockheed and Boeing successfully create a HRF Space Capsule and more or less ...steal their lucrative trade.
It follows on that I would hope that ALL aspects of this latest test will come under the greatest scrutiny for anything that may have either been accidentally...or intentionally... mishandled or misused in the lead up to fueling the Spacecraft with UDMH or MMH and NTO. In situations of such a complete explosive and destructive outcome... any specious circumstances that might have allowed this failure to occur will require a very thorough investigations. Given all of these circumstances... I would advise Mr. Musk to, "Widen Your Gaze, Elon... I would not put anything past Putin in his efforts to 'Defeat The West" and keep the Russian Rubles flowing back to his Launch Pads in Kazakhstan..."
I strive to be as optimistic as I can be at all times and it is with that fervent prayer that I hope that the Folks at SpaceX can get to the bottom of this matter and eliminate the threat and danger it poses to all future Space Travelers. I'll end on this positive note... On Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 at around 03:30 AM EST, SpaceX will launch its latest Cargo Mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The pending Launch of the Falcon 9 Block Five Rocket carrying the next CRS (Cargo Re- Supply) Mission to the International Space Station scheduled for Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 will have to be delayed due to a Failure in One of its Four MBSU Solar Array Power Switching Modules. It’s easy to look at all of the “Gold Trimming” Solar Panels and forget that Solar Energy provides all of the Power to the ISS converting the Energy of the Sun directly into useful Electricity. Those Four MBSU (Main Bus Switching Unit) mechanisms act as the means to shunt or switch the power grid from any one of the Four Solar Panels and feed one or more of them to ‘Keep The Juices Flowing” into the power hungry ISS.
NASA has always had the reputation of building in enough redundancy in all of their on-board support systems so that the overlap will cover the ordinary requirements. However in this case… The SpaceX CRS Mission requires the use of the Canadarm Ambidextrous unit to grab and then maneuver the SpaceX Cargo Ship into its proper Docking Position. And unfortunately… since it uses Electric rather than Hydraulic Motors to drive the Giant Arm… and the fact that this particular MBSU Switch is on the same Electrical Bus supplying power to the Canadarm… The Launch and Delivery Manifest for this next CRS Mission must be delayed until this MBSU R&R can take place.
The Engineering Jargon that of necessity must accompany discussing so great an object as the International Space Station can lose its meaning in the absence of better diagrams and explanations of the complexity involving redundant systems designed to keep Human Beings as safe as possible.
This link and these attached images will put more meat on the skeleton of what must be done now to replace the errant MBSU Equipment prior to the Launch of the Falcon 9 Rocket with the CRS-17 Capsule on board scheduled for this coming Friday, May 3rd, 2019:
SpaceX confirms crew capsule destroyed in ground testing
Posted: 1:29 PM, May 02, 2019
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has confirmed that its crew capsule was destroyed in ground testing two weeks ago.
A company vice president told reporters Thursday it’s too soon to know what went wrong during the April 20 test or whether the capsule’s March space flight contributed to the failure. Flames engulfed the capsule a half-second before the launch-abort thrusters were to fire.
SpaceX still cannot access the test stand at Cape Canaveral, Florida, because of toxic fuel contamination.
Vice president Hans Koenigsmann says the cargo version of the Dragon capsule, meanwhile, is safe to fly to the International Space Station.
SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon rocket with station supplies early Friday morning. The flight was delayed by a power problem that occurred at the station Monday and was fixed Thursday.
On Wednesday, April 22 at 3:30 p.m. EDT, or 19:30 p.m. UTC, SpaceX launched its seventh Starlink mission. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The latest update from NASA on the ISS efforts to repair the MBSU concerns their pending busy workday that was to begin early on Thursday morning, May 2nd, 2019 at around 03:30 CT. In the mean time, the Astronauts have been allowed to be “Off Duty” and are all resting up until such time as these important and complex repair events can take place.
This is a Live Feed from the ISS showing the actual MBSU #3 being replaced by the Canadarm:
As vouched for in NASA’s own Lexicon… The SPx-17 (CRS-17) Cargo Re-Supply Mission is set arrive on Sunday, May 5th, 2019 around 06:00 AM after a much anticipated SpaceX Launch to occur on Friday. May 3rd, 2019 from Cape Canaveral and the expectation of SPx-17 docking soon after to unload and exchange Cargo loads with the ISS without further delays:
The very last thing anybody on board wants to worry about are ANY Failures in Redundant Systems of ANY kind that may threaten their life support and operational systems on board the Space Station. The recent MBSU-3 (Main Bus Switching Unit #3) Failure for the delivery of Solar Powered Electrical Energy is just such an event, because being exposed to the dangerous environment of having to live in Outer Space demands that your “Back-UPS ...have Back-UPS”.
You might think that the Astronauts living on board the ISS simply float around inside of the various ISS ‘Tin Cans’ as the Space Station endlessly falls in a low and roughly circular orbit at just shy of 18,000 MPH around 250 Miles above Mother Earth. Meanwhile, it is expected that they tinker around with one science experiment or another. That… and spending a lot of time enduring each others’ Testing of Human Physiology to determine the short and long term affects upon them during Space Travel.
They can often be seen drinking little oscillating, free-floating Globs of Cold Water and Gelatin Food Packs while being filmed for Classroom Podcasts… literally GLOB-ular in this case, due to the very strong surface tension of liquids in “Zero G” that makes everything as “spherical” as possible. But you might be very surprised at just how Chock Full their Daily Activities Schedules really are after getting a gander at the NASA ISS Monthly Summary Activities Report from their Daily Blog output about what all was accomplished during April of 2019:
This is the IBM Cloud Live Feed of the ISS Coverage of the various Cameras focused on the ISS. I cannot swear that the feeds will be turned on when you visit this link… but check out all of the other feeds from their library just below the ‘Main Viddy-Screen’… and turn down the Sound to avoid hearing the perpetually irritating background noise. Every once in a while… You will hear the voice of a Houston Ground Station or from Russia as both members communicate directly with their own particular On Duty ISS Crews about current activities. If you hear anyone respond by saying what sounds phonetically like, “Yob Ponya Mayu...” That's Russian for, “I Understand You...” ... sort of like a Russian "Roger That...".
Be patient… sometime the IBM Cloud feed takes a little while to ‘sync and send’ the video of what is actually happening up there. Also, in those static scenes… it may LOOK like nothing is happening… but if you follow how quickly the sunlight and shadows change as the ISS moves through its Low Earth Orbit from bright Sunlight into Darkness… you’ll come to appreciate just how fast it is moving in a circle around the Planet:
Damn.... Shakespeare once wrote, "Troubles Come... Not as Single Spies.... But in Battalions..."
It certainly would seem so of late for SpaceX, as during this early morning launch on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 at around 03:00 the Launch had to be aborted... NOT because of any problems with the Falcon 9 Rocket ...but because of a problem occurring with the Floating Drone Recovery Ship, "Of COURSE I still Love You" well off shore in the Eastern Seaboard region of the Atlantic Ocean.
Since this event requires an "Instantaneous Launch" in order to set the approach for the CRS-17 Capsule towards the ISS, this present effort to get the Cargo Vessel into Low Orbit will have to be postponed until around this very same time on Saturday, May 4th, 2019.
Let's hope things for THIS particular problem can be easily sorted out. Once the LOX (Liquid Oxygen) gets Off-Loaded from the Falcon 9 internal oxidizer tank, the Falcon 9 Launch Vehicle will be lowered down horizontally onto the "Strong Back" Hydraulic Lift and then transported safely away from the Launch Pad. So... Fingers Crossed for this coming Weekend.
Well… Finally… after some problematic issues over the last few days… on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 at around 02:45 AM EST The SpaceX Falcon 9 lit off its (9) Merlin 1D Rocket Engines and lifted the Cargo Re-Supply Spacecraft on board into a beautifully aligned Low Earth Orbit. There were some spectacular views this morning that included the chance to observe the following phenomena:
(1) Shortly after lift-off and the separation of the Falcon First Stage Booster…. Its Boost Back Burn gave a spectacular Bluish White Glow around the base of the nine Merlin Engines.
(2) As the Boost Back Burn was completed ...the views of the Cape Canaveral and adjacent Florida Coast cities that were very well lit up and you could actually see the interruption of that light source by the passing over of lower altitude clouds.
(3) There was an uncommonly clear view of the Second Stage Single Merlin Vacuum Engine Nozzle displaying the soft, pale Green Glow of the Chemical Igniter SpaceX uses for re-lights of their LOX-RP-1 Merlin Engines called T-TEP.
(4) There was a first ever flawless and continuous view of the Secondary Landing Burn of the Falcon 9 First Stage brilliantly captured in Infra-Red Light as it made its approach on an angle, fired up only (3) of the (9) Merlin-1D Rocket Engines and then went vertical just before landing successfully on the Drone Ship Target.
(5) SpaceX finally got around the problem of having the usual extreme vibrations that happen during the First Stage landings that ordinarily cut off the final moments of any board Camera Re-Transmissions made during these events. On this, the 39th Successful Landing of a First Stage Booster… this vibration control worked well enough to allow for uncommonly clear and unbroken coverage during this entire event.
(6) Just as the CRS-17 Capsule separated from the nose pf the Second Stage Booster… More well placed lighting managed to provide perfect illumination of the ‘under-bay’ or trunk of the Capsule that carries its additional science experiments payload in its “trunk” in the open vacuum of space. Shortly afterwards, the two Solar Arrays unfolded without incident and were also well lit by the on-board lights and cameras.
(7) When you can hear the punctuation of the Cheers and Applause from the SpaceX personnel out at Hawthorne, California over the narration from the young woman describing this event for SpaceX, you can tell that those are key points of concern where the ‘minny-milestones’ that MUST be achieved at precise moments during this launch have been achieved. You can sense their combined relief more than anything else as the activities move from one transition for the Space Craft to another.
The CRS-17 Space Craft will arrive in a parallel position with the ISS and is due to be captured and docked to the Harmony Module on Sunday, May 5th, 2019.
Around 10:30 PM EST last night, SpaceX successfully launched the First Group of 60 Satellites that will inaugurate SpaceX into a Brand New Market: StarLink Broadband Satellite Communications. Now this may not seem like a very Big Deal, considering that the Broadband Internet Market is dominated by a mere handful of Giants in Telecommunications. However, now that Elon Musk has gotten the Green Light from the FCC and Congress; albeit given permission for quite a few less satellites in the StarLink Constellation than he originally envisioned… It will be VERY interesting to see how this New SpaceX Venture pans out.
What is unique in this present circumstance however… is that since Musk OWNS his OWN Rocket Launch Platform for this very purpose… He can damned well do whatever he wants to do… anytime he wants to do it... in the way of putting this Space Based TelComm Network up there as quickly as possible using all of the capabilities of his OWN Company: SpaceX at his personal disposal. Now, I’d like to see AT&T or Verizon or anybody else for that matter… make THAT claim! :>)
What this means for the the future consumers of these Broadband Internet services is that, just like all of Elon’s other successful companies, adding his StarLink Company into the TelComm fray will probably open up opportunities for them to have many more options for Less Expensive Internet Connectivity than are currently out there in such an over-priced Cellular Communications Market. Anyway… Let’s all hope this turns out to be the case. Have a look at the latest Launch Video from YouTube to see how things went last night:
Not everything that is relevant to the On-Topic Fireworks of YouTube SpaceX launches and landings that is important necessarily involves… Pyro-Technics. Unless you consider and really believe as I do that that the ‘Engine” inside of your head is capable of generating So Much Power through Imagination. It follows on that if you enjoy THINKING for its own sake and have bought into the idea that traveling to Mars and establishing Human Beings as a multi-planet species IS very important… this linked article GOES VERY DEEP into the matters of what it WILL take to make the Trips… To Land Safely… To Obtain Re-Supplies, To Re-Fuel from the Local Martian Environment and then ...To Return Safely to our Home Planet.
The ‘Ars Technica' site might seem a little High Brow at first… but there really is nothing wrong with ‘rubbing elbows’ with Brilliant, Thoughtful People... who, if you’re like me… are all also equally passionate about The People of Earth… Occupying Mars. This article stresses that while NASA may be piddling around the edges of “Going to The Moon... and blah...blah...blah...” AGAIN fascinated with the absurd notion that they’ll raise greater revenues by selling “Tourist Tickets to Visit the Space Station... Meanwhile ...” SpaceX is trying Very, Very Hard right now to figure on being In Orbit around The Planet Mars during the next closet positions it will assume in the ecliptic of the Solar System in closest proximity to our Planet… and that means right around the corner time-line for the Years 2024 and 2025.
I’m always realistic about the fact of my advanced age making me a “Short Timer” rather then being an “Old Timer” as per the popular prejudice for labeling "The Ancient" when viewed from the perspective of just how Little Time I might really have left to be “Alive on the E-Ticket Ride” as a Human Being. So it is with that inevitable, pressing engagement to meet with 'The Eternal Mystery" that I'm one of many people who would sincerely like to be around when the Mars Landing occurs. I don’t care if it turns out to be the ‘The Cast of The Nickelodeons’ who finally manages to GET SAFELY THERE… GET SAFELY DOWN ...and GET SAFELY BACK to us all here on The Good Earth… I urgently just want to Experience it first hand and know that it Really Can Be Done. So enjoy this Read and consider the responses people wrote in, too, Folks… It’s a Real Keeper:
Live right now... Wednesday, June 12, 10:12 AM EST... The Canadian Space Agency will launch its next series of RADARSAT Constellation Satellites from the SpaceX Launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force base out In Hawthorne, California...with intentions of landing the First Stage Falcon 9 Rocket (...in the presence of the Heavy Fog and Rain) back at Vandenberg immediately after the launch.
By the Way... Please Enjoy Ms. Kate Tice performing the Flight narration... as SHE more than makes up for us NOT being able to see the Falcon 9 Rocket on the Strong-Back Launch System through the Fog coming off of the pacific Ocean inland to Vandenberg:
Okay Folks... THIS is THE Long Awaited, LONG VIDEO from Tim, The Every Day Astronaut's Epic Run Down on:
Comparing a Wide Range of Rocket Engines for Concept, Performance and Reliability
Tim does a superb job during the demystification of the "Jam in The Jelly Roll' of these Powerful Machines working away underneath...and outside of every single Space Launch Vehicle for the Last and Present Centuries. THIS Video is a Keeper for SpaceX Fans who really want to understand:
Most of us get our Internet Access via one of only a handful of Internet Service Providers... and generally that involves the necessity of being physically anchored to our homes by some type of actual, physically installed High Speed Network Cabling or Fiber-Optic System for a seamless experience, regardless of how many in-home Wireless Devices we have working using an ISP Modem to Switch then cabled into some other type of "Radiant Router" pumping out either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz... or BOTH to allow us all to enjoy WPA2 encrypted Internet Access. The cost of using one's Cell Phone and IPad like devices is reduced only if there are sufficient WiFi Hot-Spots scattered around and those invariably still restrict what we can do online.
A few years ago... Elon Musk conceived of having SpaceX become a Pioneer in creating a unique Space Satellite Internet Service Provider that would involve using not a mere handful of Telecommunications Satellites... but literally Many Thousands of them to be able to fill in a special niche not completely dominated by the already entrenched HUGE Tel-Comm Companies. After quite a bit of struggling; probably caused by the heat created by the competition from these other companies fearing another incredibly gifted and inventive competitor who is capable of launching Spacecraft from any two locations in the United States ..."In House" and almost on a whim... at Cost ...versus whatever they normally have to pay SpaceX or ULA of the other few Space faring Companies well equipped enough to make this happen to the tune of Hundreds of Millions of Dollars when the need arises to "Get Their Gear Into Outer Space...".
Eventually, all that the New "StarLink" Customers will need to do in order to have a Very Low Cost Pathway to Internet Access anywhere on the Planet ...is to purchase a Small, Encrypted Signal Decoding Box and then their Internet Access for Broadband would essentially become completely portable! Inevitably, Musk and SpaceX prevailed with Congress and the FCC Licensing and it was only quite recently that the First 60 "StarLink " Satellites for this highly populated constellation were launched successfully from a Single SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket into Low Orbit around the earth. Unlike many of their companion orbiting Satellites.. the ones that are part of the "StarLink" System are capable of elevating their orbital positions quite dramatically using Onboard Non-Chemical Rockets that use the Plasma-Electrical Field concept and employ the Rare Earth Gas 'Krypton' as its durable, long lasting Rocket Engine Fuel.
These amazing engines will also allow the "StarLink" Satellites to gradually expand their orbits to higher valences while moving carefully through the very dense cloud of Space Debris that surrounds our planet and threatens catastrophic damage to these 'small birds' should their orbits accidentally coincide. Most of these orbital objects travel at speeds of just under 18,000 MPH, so any Anti-Orbit counter-collisions at close to the speed of 36,000 MPH would certainly have devastating effects on other nearby existing Satellite Constellations. The other advantage of using these Kr Powered Satellites is that as the Satellites age... they can also safely, deliberately de-orbit and burn themselves up harmlessly in the Earth's Outer Atmosphere. With all that said... Here is a VERY Comprehensive Update Video on everything I've mentioned here about "StarLink"...and MORE:
NOTE: SpaceX is on a BIG Hiring Binge for their New Space Based "Star-Link" Satellite Internet Service Provider... So if you are looking for exciting employment... Checkout www.spacex.com ...and I wish you the Very Best of Luck if you can become one of their New Employees!
Strap yourselves in Folks... Because Tomorrow Night, on Monday, June 24th, 2019 at around 11:30 PM EST (Florida Tropical Weather Permitting...) for only the 3rd time so far... and for the First Time EVER at NIGHT... SpaceX will be Launching the Falcon Heavy Rocket System from Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral, Florida. This will be the Second Launch of (24) additional DOD Top Secret Satellites for the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) and another first will be that the SpaceX Customer; The United States Air Force...(Space Test Program SPT-2) has agreed to re-use (2) of the (3) Falcon 9 Side Boosters flown during the April 2019 Launch of the GIANT ArabSat-16 Mission that successfully landed back at the New Dual Rocket Landing Zone Pads at the Cape and which were later recovered and re-furbished for use on this Mission.
If you are anywhere NEAR the Cape of the Eastern Seaboard in the Southern States... with the present Weather prediction as of now being around 70% and hopeful for a 'Go For Launch...' THIS Night Time Launch will Defy ANY Experience you will EVER have in your life of seeing something for the very first time so spectacularly lighting up the Night Skies over Florida.
Twenty Seven Merlin (27) M-1D Rockets are expected to Light Off and 'Start the Show' at around 11:30 EST ...with the expectation of Four (4) Booster Re-Firings to bring two of the three Boosters right back to the Cape Landing Zone while the Third Center Booster will attempt to land well out in the Atlantic Ocean on the Drone Recovery Ship, "Of COURSE... I Still Love You...".
So if you are close enough to see the First Launch events... the 2nd and 3rd events happen soon after and will be equally exciting when viewed at Night. The Mission will involves Three Separate Orbital Releases of those satellites over a (6) Hour Long Deployment Period. Due to the important issues of National Security... The NRO does not customarily give positional or time reports on the locations and conditions of these launches. They did specify that One Additional Satellite would be placing an Atomic Clock into a Geo-Synchronous Orbit around The Earth.... along with the Human Remains of (52) People who were willing to drop $5,000.00 a GRAM on their Funerals!
Bear in mind that presently... The SpaceX FH (Falcon Heavy) Rocket is THE Most Powerful Rocket Platform on Earth...by a Factor of TWO... and is capable of lifting (70) Tons ...roughly 141,000 Pounds of Cargo ...into Low and High Earth Orbit with the added proven ability to recover a substantial portion of the System for Re-Use with light refurbishment.
Upon lighting off "The 27 Candles" the Huge Triple-Rocket will display enough power to launch Eighteen (18) Fully Loaded 747 Jet Air Liners into Outer Space and will be generating around 5,000,000 Pounds of Thrust. So if you are unable to personally attend this launch... Please be aware that on Monday, June 24th, 2019, you can still tune in at around 11:15 PM EST on the SpaceX Youtube Channel to enjoy this amazing "SpaceX Spectacular". :>)
The Launch Window has been "Bumped" by an additional 3 Hours... either for reasons of Threatening Weather...or because just like B4... Those 'NRO Boys' just Like "F*****g with the Russians' Heads"... ;>)
So, Look for the launch to be right at around 02:30 AM EST Tuesday, June 25th, 2019. Click HERE to follow the Clock Timer Down Count to the Live Show:
On Wednesday, April 22 at 3:30 p.m. EDT, or 19:30 p.m. UTC, SpaceX launched its seventh Starlink mission. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Early Morning Launch finally came to pass at around 02:30 AM after a short (3) Hour Delay to repair a Hydraulic Ground System Problem. Even having the safety and comfort of watching this Launch Live on Youtube... You just cannot get your mind around how it is possible that SpaceX can stand (27) Merlin M1D Rocket Engine in (3) Groups of (9) Motors and once they all light off... Not Completely Melting from all of that Infernal Action!
It is staggering to watch 5,000,000,000 Pounds of Thrust hurling so massive a group of objects out into Space with such PERFECT Technical Choreography. If you watch the Velocity in Kilometers Per Hour Meter on screen... You can see an analog indicator of what was happening when so much Liquid Oxygen and RP-1 Rocket Fuel Catch Fire under the precise control of (27) Rocket Motor Bell Nozzles is literally Set ABLAZE. The Falcon Heavy Rocket Platform really can get whatever it is carrying up to 141,000 Pounds in Gross Weight up into Outer Space ...FAST!
After such an Incandescent Start, next up was the anticipated Twin Side Booster Separation and Boost Back Burns, slowing both Falcon 9 Boosters down enough to make a controlled Gravity Drop right back at the New Landing Zone and once again... both successfully landed almost simultaneously at The Cape Canaveral LZ-1. It is an important observation that those Two Boosters have already done this very same job back in tandem back in April of 2019... after the successful launch and deployment of the Saudi Arabian GIANT ArabSat-6 Satellite. So with their second set of safe Vertical Landings ... they bring back even more credence to Elon Musk's idea that unless you can Bring Down the Cost of Space Flight through Re-Usability... Going from The Earth to Mars and Back will be much too expensive to attempt.
With (44) such successful Falcon 9 First Stage Booster Return Landings to date... THAT translates into One Helluva Lot of Savings ...just on the recovery of the (396) Merlin Rocket Engines that would have been lost alone! The same savings comes with the recovery of the outrageously expensive and difficult to manufacture "All Titanium" Grid Guidance Fins. For BOTH Booster to go from the Ground ...to Outer Space and then Right Back The The Ground is the Stuff of Science Fiction Movies!
After the Dual Booster Separation Phase... Upon reaching a sufficiently fast velocity to have a MECO (Main Engines Cut Off) and achieve its initial Orbit, the final separation of the Core Booster from the Second Stage Booster and Payload occurred. The Center Core Falcon 9 Rocket Booster then made an unsuccessful attempt at landing on the Drone Ship, "Of COURSE I Still Love You...". This was probably due to the fact that it was going SO fast while descending ...that having to use (3) Merlin Rocket Engines instead of the usual (1) (One Center and one each, left and right of Center) that The Core Booster probably ran out of Fuel... or the Helium necessary to pressurize the Internal Fuel Tanks and feed enough LOX and RP-1 to those (3) Engines... or BOTH. It crashed upon contact with the outer edges of the Drone Ship.
Hopefully... the Recorded Telemetry will allow the Flight Data Analysis Team at SpaceX to learn from these issues and make the necessary corrections as required for future flights. As the SpaceX Engineer-Announcer Mr. John Insperger at SpaceX often says... " Space Flight is HARD... and THIS Launch will be our Hardest yet..."
The subsequent arrival of the Second Stage into an assortment of different altitudes, velocities and orbital conditions was successful in dropping off a HUGE Number of satellites. It was like watching a Mother Goose ... Laying Golden Eggs in Outer Space at 16,500 Miles Per Hour! The entire process took around (6) Hours as the Second Stage Merlin M-Vac Engine was re-lit (3) Times while adjusting itself to suit the needs of all the Cargo-Satellites... so The Falcon Heavy Rocket Platform was easily capable of hoisting up all of the Gear into their Safe Orbits.
Apparently, SpaceX will need some time to put together their OWN version of the usual YouTube Videos they produce.. .so until that happens... the LEAST offensive and often most edifying flavor of what happened can best be seen from the "Tim... The Every Day Astronaut" Channel. As soon as "The Official" Video becomes available... I'll add it just above this next one. Please note that the Fun Begins... at around (12) Minutes into the Filming:
EDIT: The TOP Video is the Original from spacex.com via YT:
NASA tests abort system for the Orion spacecraft that will carry humans to the moon in 2024
NASA's Orion spacecraft, which will carry the first woman and the next man to the moon in 2024, was successfully tested Tuesday.
Weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center in Florida were perfect for the launch to conduct the flight test, called Ascent Abort-2. The "stack" -- the parts comprising the rocket, abort system and capsule -- that launched is about 93 feet tall.
A test version of the Orion crew capsule launched at the beginning of a four-hour window that opened at 7 a.m. ET Tuesday. No crew was aboard.
"It was a very smooth liftoff," said Mark Kirasich, Orion program manager. "By all first accounts, it was magnificent." The abort system performed as expected. The next time the abort system is used, astronauts will be on board.
The test needed to be performed as early as possible for the Orion team to gather data and inform missions going forward.
"This test is extremely important," Kirasich said. "Our Launch Abort System is a key safety feature of the spacecraft — it will protect the crew members who fly onboard Orion during the most challenging part of the mission, which is the ascent phase."
The test is meant to ensure that when the craft carrying humans ascends to space after launch, the abort system can pull the crew module away if there's an emergency. On Tuesday, NASA will test a full abort as well as collect data from 900 sensors on the spacecraft.
The Space Launch System rocket that will carry Orion to space will be the most powerful engine ever used, which means a more powerful launch abort system is required to keep the crew safe in the event of a problem.
To provide an idea of the power involved, here's a snapshot of the test launch on Tuesday: 500,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff that provided the craft with a speed of 800 mph. This allowed the craft to reach 31,000 feet in 55 seconds. Then, the abort was initiated, causing the abort motor and attitude control motor, which provides steering, to ignite. A peak of 45,000 feet was reached.
A little over 20 seconds later, the jettison motor pulled the capsule away from the rocket. The capsule fell into the ocean at 300 mph, likely coming apart because there weren't be any parachutes to slow it down. It's weighted down to sink. When Orion launches in 2024, parachutes will be used to slow descent and keep the capsule intact.
The motors on top of the module pull the capsule away from the rocket, rather than motors positioned at the base to push it away. The abort system is designed to automatically fire within milliseconds if an error rises so the capsule can literally outrun the rocket.
"In an abort scenario, the Launch Abort System and crew module essentially become its own aircraft," said Chuck Dingell, chief engineer for Orion. "Not only do we want to get that craft away from a dangerous scenario quickly, but we also want to control it so that it flies in a direction as far as possible from the rocket. It's also easier to control a vehicle with a forward center of gravity and that is heavier on the front end."
For the final design, the crew will also have an abort button they can use.
Twelve data recorders ejected in pairs and fell into the ocean. While all of the data from the recorders will be downlinked during the flight, the team needs to be able to recover at least one data recorder to provide a full backup if data is lost.
Recorders will likely wash up on the beach because they can float. They're bright orange and are labeled with a phone number and email address in case people find them on the beach. They also feature a beacon and transmitter for recovery.
"We are incredibly excited," said Jenny Devolites, Ascent Abort-2 crew module manager and test conductor. "It's such an honor to be a part of this activity and to have this opportunity."
In 2024, Artemis 2 will carry astronauts to the Gateway, a spaceship that will go into orbit around the moon and be used as a lunar outpost. From there the astronauts can use another vehicle to descend to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972.
Meanwhile, on the other side of this globe in Chile they say this today, Tuesday July 2, 2019
The moon blocks the sun during a total solar eclipse in La Higuera, Chile, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Northern Chile is known for clear skies and some of the largest, most powerful telescopes on Earth are being built in the area, turning the South American country into a global astronomy hub. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
The latest Space Mission from SpaceX and NASA comes as CRS-18 launched on Thursday July 25th, 2019 at around 6:00 PM EST from Cape Canaveral Pad 39A in Florida. This mission was originally meant to “Go For Launch” on Wednesday July 24th, 2019… however it was scrubbed for Bad Weather and was re-scheduled for around 24 Hours later due to the requirement of making an “Instantaneous Launch” that must be accurately coordinated with the Orbital Position and Velocity of the ISS International Space Station.
This happens of necessity as the CRS-18 Dragon Cargo Capsule must more or less “Chase” after the ISS and follow a multi-orbit approach burns with maneuvers that involve complex celestial mechanics to place these two facilities adjacent one another and at near equal orbital velocities approaching 18,000 MPH. Both the Dragon Capsule and the Falcon 9 First Stage Rocket have been into Space on previous successful missions. They Don't call It "Rocket Science" For NOTHING.
As it concerns one special Sub-Forum here at GMT Nation… it is worth mentioning that among many other scientific experiments, the Goodyear Tire Manufacturing Company has one Special Experiment on board involving their efforts to attempt mixing Rubber Compounds along with Silica (Or Purified Glass) in a Zero Gravity environment. This will be an attempt to achieve a Bonding of these disparate elements that unfortunately… Do NOT get along well or Bond well together back here on the Planet Earth.
The implications for a successful series of the “Space Borne Blending” of these materials would naturally bode well for Goodyear if they can come up with the means to better manufacture Tires that can withstand greater rotational and axial stresses of Terrestrial Wear and Tear and improve their longevity and durability as well. I note that the First Stage “Re-Usable” Falcon 9 Rocket safely came right back down under powered control and landed upright and in good shape at the Special Return Vehicle Landing Zone within just a few minutes after the successful launch and separation of the of Stage 2 Rocket carrying the CRS-18 Dragon Capsule. The arrival and Docking of this SpaceX Cargo Delivery Space Craft at the ISS will be the next thing to be covered a few days hence after this excellent series of Launch-Landing Events.
The Views of The Earth and the SpaceX Rocketry Actions as shown in this Video are Superb!
This is a slightly off topic post...but critical to understanding that "The Vast and Empty Regions of Space..." are anything but...EMPTY:
“Sky Iron”… I’m coining that phrase right now as referring to the Rare and Mostly Metal Meteors that fall through Empty Space for eons until they get close enough to the “Warped Space” around massive enough Planets to get their attention. As these ‘Things’ careen along at speeds approaching 20-40 Miles per second… once they strike the Earth’s atmosphere, they undergo significant changes from contact with gaseous molecules that generate enough friction to cause these objects to melt and bubble out asymmetrically.
They also endure a first ‘name change’ and become “Meteoroids” as they begin to glow and spew the vapor of disintegration that converts their substances from a mish-mash of Solid Rock and other Metals… mostly into oblivion. Some of these objects have an abundance of Metals in their make up that can include Nickel and Chromium and regardless of the strength and durability of those Metals… most Meteoroids will completely vaporize into a White Plasma that is Hotter than the Surface of The Sun.
If these objects don’t explode and incinerate themselves altogether in the denser portions of the lower atmosphere they pass through, they then have to suffer a third indignity of being called “Meteorites” and most will wind up falling harmlessly into the Oceans, onto Ice Sheets and Glaciers at the Poles. Thankfully, it is very rare that some of these objects will manage to hit the ground with enough velocity to create the likes of Meteor Crater in Arizona and the one that struck in Chicxulub in Mexico at the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.
The latter has proven that it managed to bash a Giant Hole in the surface of the Mexican Terra Firma around 65 Million years ago and succeeded in wiping out not only the Dinosaurs… but played no favorites while also eliminating the majority of Life on Earth. We all know know now that this kind of Planet Killing Event has already happened more than once in the Earth’s 4.5 Billion Year Old History… and with all of that “stuff” left over from the formation of the Solar System still floating around out there in the firmament ...it WILL happen again. The ejecta that issued from the Chicxulub Crater reached almost halfway to the Moon before most of it fell back to the Earth and essentially Set The World On Fire.
But the present topic that interests and concerns me the most is that some of the strongest and most durable building materials around that we Humans have to scrape, dig, refine and melt down in order to get at the 'useful' stuff... is just out there now, floating endlessly in the Solar Ecliptic as Iron Meteors.
You have to see one of these things up close and personal to really appreciate how magnificent they are. I got to do just that over 60 years ago on a school trip to the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. The one that made my jaw drop weighed somewhere around 11,000 Pounds and the Museum Curators had propped that Giant Bronze, Brown Lump on top of a HUGE “Toledo Scale”; probably so they would NOT have to bother answering the very same question posed 100,000 times a year by curious Grade School Kids asking, "Say Mister… How much does that ‘Thing’ WEIGH?”
During that amazing visit, we were told by Posted Signs and verbal admonitions, “Please DO NOT TOUCH...”. But I purposely held back from the group just long enough to place my small hand and my cheek against it. Even though it was as so damned HARD and as Cold as Ice... I had the strangest feeling that it was ageless and almost alive. One can only imagine how large it must have been and what it must have looked like before burning sideways through a few thousand mile of the Earth’s Atmosphere to destroy most of its Mass before striking the Planet.
As a grown and educated man, I can accurately surmise that this must have happened exactly as I suspect with confidence, because had that immense Piece of Iron struck the earth at a Right Angle; even as far away from where we stood in NYC as the Catskill Mountains were situated , my Classmates and I would not have been around to admire what if anything was left of it.
Here are some images of what these bizarre and “Other Worldly” objects look like when they are sliced open like loaves of bread into thin enough layers that you can see light through them once their surfaces get polished down to a mirror smooth sheen. Talented Meteorite Hunters eventually become Millionaires from finding and selling these slices and pieces in a parsimonious fashion to Rich Collectors of these “Objet D’Art” from Outer Space:
The main thing that has been painfully and obviously missing from Day One on the Topic of SpaceX Launches has been a Basic and Reliable Launch Schedule. For reasons that baffle me... SpaceX does not seem to have an EZ-2-ACCESS Launch Schedule that might at the LEAST give some Better-Than-Thumb-Nail Sketches of what all is involved ...You know... Something a bit beyond all of the Arcane Alpha-Numeric Nomenclature that doesn't seem to get unwrapped and described until the actual Launch Days arrive. And even then, this information is covered only within a few hours of "Lighting Off the Pale Green T-TEP Igniter". This is the expected repeatable feature of the Merlin 1D Rocket Engines that gets things "Jiggy With It" between the LOX (Super-Chilled Down Liquid Oxygen) and RP-1 (Rocket Propellant One) as a highly refined Kerosene Fuel needed to "Boost" those Payloads off the ground down here in Florida... and get them all well on their way upwards into Outer Space.
But THIS Site DOES have all of that information... and so much more. The Link also provides an opportunity to check in on OTHER Government Sponsored Rocket Launches from OTHER companies, This includes the one company in the USA that at one time, damned near held a Monopoly over launching ANYTHING into nether-regions of Space: ULA (United Launch Alliance).
But this all changed after Congress approved Competitive Bidding for Space Vehicle and Satellite Launches back in 2010 that has proven to save Tax Payers Billions onf Dollars ever since and with the advent of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Block 5 and Falcon Heavy 72 TON Lift Vehicles. The proven SpaceX re-usability factors available now to launch practically ANY conceivable HUGE Payloads maxing out at around 142,000 Lbs have opened up entire new Markets for Satellite Delivery within Budget. In any case... this means that SpaceX has become the Go To Launching Choice and delivered on the promise of becoming a much more economical option than ULA ever had to offer. Nonetheless... the Launch Manifests and Schedules of other Rocket Companies can also be checked at this site as well.
Just looking over the Opening Page at this Link... the Next SpaceX launch brings us up to this coming Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 when the Amos-17 Mission will be set to "Go For Launch...". Check Out the "Down Count To Launch" On-Screen "Egg Timer" here to appreciate just how handy THAT Little Goodie will become as well:
There were Two recent Space Launches in close time intervals with one another involving both SpaceX for the Israeli AMOS-17 Satellite and one from ULA (United Launch Alliance) involving a Military Mission for the United States Air Force of their AEHF-5 Satellite aboard an Atlas V Rocket powered by the Russian Made RD-180 Rocket Motor(s) and an array of (5) Solid Rocket Boosters and using a Centaur Rocket Second Stage to finish delivering the Satellite manifest(s) into Low Earth Orbit.
Since SpaceX launched first...they get “First Dibs” in this latest Post with an abbreviated Video of the Launch of the Falcon 9 Rocket carrying the AMOS-17 Satellite. It is important to observe that even though it was NOT possible for the Falcon 9 First Stage to return and land due to the need for an extended Burn Time to deliver its Payload, SpaceX DID manage to achieve another First by actually capturing the Spacecraft Faring worth every penny of $6,000,000.00 for Reuse on future Flights...by literally Catching out of the Air like a Fly Ball into a Giant Baseball Mit. The Follow On Video shows this activity happening in Real Time:
...and the Cargo Faring "Catch":
Thi activity was later followed by the ULA launch of their Atlas V Rocket Platform with the United States Air Force AEHF-5 Satellite on top:
I still have a very bad taste in my mouth each and every time I watch the Senate Hearing when ULA tried desperately to Stop Elon Musk from getting ANY Space Contracts they held a Monopoly over… knowing that the head of the approving committee’s Home Town is in Huntsville, Alabama with obvious ties to his Voter Base and that support for ULA's position from him was most likely in their corner.
Nonetheless… Elon somehow managed to survive that day; One that could have heralded the END of the SpaceX Company ...FOREVER… and America’s Plans and Prospects for going to the Moon and Mars are MUCH Better for THAT Outcome! If you think I’m kidding… just watch what happened during this hearing ...it begins around 10:40 into this Video:
Yesterday… The SpaceX “Star-Hopper” Test Bed of the HUGE Starship Platform in the works for Round Trips to the Moon and Mars had a very successful Test Flight at Cape Canaveral. The brief or even modest Launch and Landing of this Craft does not belie the paradigm shift in the sheer size and power that will eventually be married under this Thing using the New Raptor Engine in what will become A VERY Powerful VERY Efficient Array of Chemical Rockets.
Consider if you will that this Test Bed was SO HUGE that it took a Metal Fabrication Company familiar with a necessary Skill Set for of Applied Engineering using extremely robust Steel Pipes and Girders in arrangements ordinarily used for the building of Enormous Municipal Water Towers.
The next unusual aspect of this Test Flight concerned the use of a Single Brand New Raptor Engine that is not much larger than the ordinary (if that word even applies) SpaceX Merlin M1D Engine that travels as a Set of (9) Rockets arrayed underneath the equally ordinary (again..if THAT word even applies) Falcon 9 Block 5 First Stage Rocket Boosters. The importance of using just One Raptor Engine is testament to its ability to generate ENORMOUS (SI) Specific Impulse that will certainly be needed to get such a Heavy Space Craft Off of the ground and on its way towards Inter-Planetary Missions.
Watch this Video very closely for the signs of the “MACH DIAMONDS” present within its incredibly energetic Rocket Exhaust and you will understand what it means to force ANY burning fuels and oxidizers through a Rocket Nozzle capable of withstanding up to 320 BAR through such a small space...and NOT Explode from the tremendous Over-Pressure!
The last observation concerns the ‘kinds’ of propellants that the Raptor Engines will burn as Fuel when using the familiar LOX (Liquid OXygen) as its “Oxidizer”. There will be NO possibility of making a “Round Trip “ from the Earth to Mars and safely back again if these flights ever depended upon the use of the Fossil Fuel of RP-1 (Rocket Propellant One) which is made from Highly Refined Kerosene. This is because it will be IMPOSSIBLE for any Space Craft to carry enough of this stuff on board to make the Return Trip Home due to the sheer Mass and Weight of carrying it all aloft in one go aboard a Single Space Craft. The Fuel powering the Star Hopper during this Test was and will always be: METHANE.
The alternative idea to the impossibility of carrying away so much additional RP-1 is to allow the First Martian Flights to travel to “The Angry Red Planet”, then land and set up “Mini-Methane-Fuel-Creation Stations” that are capable of first collecting (CO2) (Carbon Di-Oxide) and (H) Hydrogen from the Martian Landscape and surrounding Martian Atmosphere and then to combine the Gas and Liquid substances using the proven “Sabatier Process” ...and create Liquid Methane…and Drinkable Water... One Drop At A Time. Gradually, the Methane will be manufactured and safely stored in containers on the surface of Mars. The Water can also be stored for later use ...for some very obvious reasons....There is NO readily available Liquid Water on Mars.
Likewise… using ‘Regular Old Electricity’ the H20 Molecules can be easily split into constituent Hydrogen and Oxygen Molecules which can then be accumulated and liquefied and likewise stored inside of Pressurized Cylinders in adjacent facilities. Subsequently, both substances will be pumped in quantity back aboard a “Mars to Earth Ship” in preparation for a Six Month Long Space Flight back to the Planet Earth. I realize this all seems so very complicated… but THAT is precisely why so much Planning, Designing and Equipment Testing must be performed very well ...and well in advance of placing any Human Beings in any jeopardy ...ahead of schedule.
During this entire series of regular updates on the Creations, Actions and Outcomes that Elon Musk and the SpaceX Corporation have attempted and for the most part... Against All Odds and contrary to All Naysayers... succeeded beyond belief… The Completed, All Polished Stainless Steel Skin Starship being unveiled in this next Video is simply… Incredible. I have no small ability as an Ordinary Wordsmith to find enough expressions when describing these things … but lately, I’ve found myself almost speechless ...often with tears in my eyes... when I realize that I am still alive on this Planet and have the pure privilege of witnessing the Next Wave in Inter-Planetary Space Travel being made REAL with Technical Hardware from SpaceX that has come right off the pages of the 1930s Buck Rogers Comic Books; startling in that it has almost been created as an IDENTICAL DESIGN in its appearance.
When he speaks… Elon Musk’s mind is revealed almost as though his Gears are Jammed whenever he tries so hard to express himself in that staccato, explosive style as he shows us all what his Latest Creation REALLY looks like now that it has finally been BUILT. Watch and listen while he uses a combination of Inspirational Chat, some Child-Like Laughter and Excitement and Still Shots on HUGE TV Screens along with more Animations to clarify what this Amazing Machine is expected to perform within the next few months. All you need to do is remain patient and catch the occasional startling glimpses of a Gigantic Space Ship just behind him, as it truly is an example of Sheer Metal-In-Motion even as it is presently at rest on the Launch Pad … The Fully Assembled SpaceX Starship.
Catch site of the unique Gimbaled Raptor Engines Arrayed with pent up power beneath the lower Base and Rocket Shroud that will initially hurl this enormous, glittering S/S Test Space “Plane” up to an altitude of 65,000 Feet. Once this occurs, it is expected to glide and almost “Parachute” its way back to the Earth, shedding the enormous build up of the Thermal Energy from Atmospheric Friction via its Black Glass Tiled Belly, Short Wing Surfaces and Nose Heat-Shielding. Hopefully… It will Pass this next Flight Test and then land right back at the same Launch Platform in Brownsville, Texas:
A Rocket Engineer was once questioned about the absolute necessity of having the shapes and materials used for designing “Elegant Rockets” in order to be able to fly smoothly and attractively along. He replied, “Look Mister… with enough Power from a running Rocket Engine… I could throw a Refrigerator up into Orbit around the Earth”. I was reflecting on that humorous Rocket Science Anecdote while watching THIS SpaceX Fan Video that seems to have been made by an English-Speaking German (...or perhaps his is an Austrian accent?). This fellow SpaceX Enthusiast has recently Vlogged about the latest, intimate Dope he’s managed to winkle out about the recent uptick in the construction and modification of the amazing SpaceX Stainless Steel *Starship* down in Boca Chica, Texas, US of A:
As a Follow Up on what SpaceX has been doing to Iron Out the Danger Wrinkles after the catastrophic failure of the “Used” Crew Dragon that Blew Up on the Test Pad in April of 2019. This video breaks down the efforts to isolate the problem to a Helium Pressure Line inhaling some Hypergolic residual NTO Fuel (Nitrogen Tetroxide) from a leaking Titanium Valve and detonated like bomb as a result:
Since then, SpaceX has engaged 700 Tests subsequent to this anomaly and believe they have solved this problem. This topic and other information about New Parachute Testing that is in the improvement that NASA demands in order to qualify the Crew Dragon for Human Rated Flight:
According to the the GAO (Government Accounting Office)… Very soon now, NASA must make the decision as to whether or not to Re-Up its existing Flight Services Contract with the Roscosmos (Russian Space Launch Facilities) using their aging, but reliable Soyuz Platform for carrying American Astronauts to the ISS and safely back to the Earth.
NASA’s alternative and most desirable choice would be to shift ‘All of its Eggs’ into the SpaceX Crew-Dragon Basket. But first, SpaceX MUST overcome all of the technical problems that lead to the disastrous Crew-Dragon Capsule Explosion back in April, 2019. The linked Video provides some assurances that much progress has been made since then.
Logically, NASA will NOT be able to make this shift until the Final Testing of the Crew-Dragon Super-Draco Hypergolic Abort Rocket System can be thoroughly Stress-Tested this coming Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. SpaceX (right along with Boeing) also needs to sort out any remaining doubts regarding the demand for a perfectly functioning, Multi-Parachute Re-Entry System.
Fingers Crossed and Best Hopes for a Completely Successful Test on this coming Saturday, 11/02/2019:
This is a very comprehensive Update on the SpaceX Parachute Testing of their Brand New Mark-3 Quad Parachute System meant for the SpaceX Crew-Dragon Human Rated Capsule. This New Design included the use of Xylon vs. Nylon, which is a new Polymer touted to be 1.6 Xs as durable as Kevlar... and 3 Xs as Strong as Nylon.
In order to simulate a single Chute Failure, SpaceX worked with a prominent Parachute Design and Manufacture Company to arrive at a Chute System capable of landing a Phone Booth Sized Dead Weight Object of 8 Tons to an upright position over twelve times in a row with only 3 of the 4 Chutes involved.
The Heavy Object Landings with this configuration is proving very sound in the current line of tests. The end of the Video includes a bit more information about the pending Launch Abort System Static Ground and In-Flight Abort Tests for the Super-Draco Rocket Re-Design.
As ever… SpaceX is proving that it can ‘Walk and Chew Gum at the Same Time' and maintain a near on-schedule launch time expectancy for the first USA Manned Flight to and from the International Space Station since the Space Shuttle stopped its "Taxi Service" back in 2011. Elon Musk will never rush things along at the expense of safety:
It has been said, "There is Nothing NEW... Under The Sun..." indicating that perhaps ALL ingenious Ideas have Origins of Previous Conception. This Video describes the presently unthinkable idea of using Nuclear Energy to Power a Radiation Filled Rocket Engine using Liquid Hydrogen as its super-heated propulsive fuel resulting in achieving an EXTREMELY High SI (Specific Impulse) of close to 900 Seconds ...necessary for a Manned Mission to Mars. This is quite an Excellent Documentary on a little known Chapter in The History of Space Technology from the 1960s.
The similarities to the SpaceX Designs for the Falcon Heavy Triple Booster are remarkable. Even more astonishing is the fact that around 60 years ago, the Materials and Atomic Energy Scientists and Engineers worked hard enough to have actually BUILT this Incredibly Dangerous, Radioactive Rocket Engine... and against all odds and technical issues, the Damned Thing actually WORKED!
The other aspect of this Atomic Rocket Project (NRX) is that the people privileged enough to work on it way back then had similar visionary ideas about desperately wanting to make Round Trips to and from ... The Planet Mars. So the ideas about Mars the likes of Percival Lowell imagined long ago has many kith and kin in the same spirit with very same the desire to achieve such a terrific feat of Human Ingenuity and Imagination. The drive and interest to Explore Our Solar System has never rested exclusively within the heart and mind of the only man who has brought us closer to that goal than any other person on Earth; living or dead. Elon Musk... You are NOT Alone!
As promised, On Veterans' Day, Novemeber 11th, 2019, SpaceX successfully launched and Deployed its 2nd Batch of 60 Star-Link Satellites and achieved the following Landmark Events by do so:
(1) This was the First Time that a previously Launched and Recovered Payload Faring (...originally caught like a ‘Willie Mays Fly-Ball’ by the Netting Ship) was Re-Used in this 2nd Star-Link Launch. This represents a significant Cost Savings of $6,000,000.00. While this 2nd effort did NOT include yet another ‘Outfielder’s Glove Catch’… the Faring naturally landed in the Atlantic Ocean and became available for a later conventional at-sea recovery.
(2) This is the First Time that previously used Falcon 9, Block 5 First Stage Booster was used for a FOURTH LAUNCH AND RECOVERY that successfully occurred when it landed practically DEAD CENTER on board the Drone Ship Target Platform, “Of COURSE I Still Love You… “.
(3) This 2nd Star-Link Launch successfully deployed 60 more Satellites to add to the Star-Link Communications Satellite Network total to date of 120 Satellites. Recently, Elon Musk and the President of the SpaceX Corporation, Gwen Shotwell have succeeded in getting the FAA Approval for over Launching 40,000 similar such Star-Link Satellites in the years to come
(4) Musk plans on being able to deliver Affordable, High Speed. Low Latency Broadband Internet access EVERYWHERE on the Planet Earth using a Portable, Pizza Pie Sized Antennae. Considering that unlike OTHER Satellite driven services, HE OWNS THE ROCKET SHIPS AND ALL OF THE HARDWARE NEEDED TO DELIVER THEM INTO LOW EARTH ORBIT(S)… there is little doubt that he will be able to achieve these goals with MUCH less expense than all of the other Communications Satellite Companies combined.
(5) One of the 60 Star-Link Satellites launched may NOT be deployed, but rather purposely De-Orbited as a Test to give SpaceX the opportunity to demonstrate its capability of sweeping “Dead Satellites” out of their ultimately useless orbits. This will help to reduce the “Orbital Debris and Space Junk Clutter” that many other Satellite Companies cannot achieve as an additional service for the sake of safety and to clear pathways for other Launched Space Craft.
While we await 2020 and the Next Big Thing from Elon Musk and SpaceX… and with the arrival of the Holiday Season… This Video can serve as a “Pause that Refreshes” our sense of what his present efforts might mean to us ALL in the Centuries to come… that is if we can resist the urge of destroying this Blue World along with everyone and everything that lives upon it. Happy Holidays, Long Life and Much Happiness to Each and Every One of Us Earthlings:
The Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40 will be Ground Zero tomorrow at around 12:51 PM on Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 for the 19th Cargo Re-Supply Mission to the International Space Station. Included with the usual Life Support Gear of Food, Water, Oxygen along with the newest batch of Science Experiments weighing in at around 5,700 Pounds will be something that everyone who EVER owned a Pick Up Truck will appreciate: A Tool Chest- Robotic Equipment Hotel mounted on the OUTSIDE of the Space Station.
Dubbed “The RiTS” (...Think… ‘Ritz Hotel’ here…) the “Robotic Tool Stowage Assembly” unit will store many cumbersome Robotic and difficult to handle additional items that don’t really need to brought into the Living Quarters of the ISS at all. Think about what you see when the Chevrolet Truck that pulls up next to you at a Red Light sporting a Tooled Aluminum Locking Tool Chest that carries EVERYTHING that would never fit comfortably behind the Seats or on the Passenger Side Floor Board. The same principle applies when you are working in Outer Space: The “Space” inside of the ISS is always at a premium… so much so that that they must use ALL FOUR ‘FLOORS’ to either mount or store all of the stuff they need to constantly work with in “Zero Gravity”.
Part of the reason for setting up this external storage is also the excessive amount of time (sometimes… over 12 Hours of Prep Time) that it can take to prepare and acclimate their Specialty Tools and Gear that ordinarily comes into the living quarters through the Cargo Bay Door and then have to be reconditioned before taking them back outside in order to function properly in the Cold Vacuum of Outer Space. So it makes perfect sense to mount and store gear that is robust enough to be in that environment in the first place… and allow the Space Walking Astronauts the chance to just “Open Up The Cabinet” and use this Cool Gear.
The only concerns SpaceX and NASA have for the launch tomorrow afternoon on 12/04/2019 is the 10% possibility of having High Altitude Sheer Winds that could threaten the safety of the Falcon 9 Block 5 Launch Vehicle due to excessively high sheer forces on the 1st and 2nd Stage Rockets during the ascent period of MAX-Q which is defined as “Maximum Aerodynamic Pressure” achieved shortly after take off at the moments when the Air of the Earth is being compressed so hard as to risk damaging the outer metal cylinder structure of the two Rocket Stages. This article from UPI covers the rest of the data about this pending launch:
The oft used expression, "There is a LOT Riding on THIS..." was never more appropriate than its use where the delivery of MUST HAVE, life sustaining goods and services are concerned. So to err on the side of Caution... Unfortunately (or...Fortunately, when you think about it...) SpaceX has delayed their launch of the CRS-19 Mission until Thursday, December 5th, 2019 at around 12:30 PM. This was an anticipated reaction due to the presence of High Altitude Sheer Winds and also having a similar problem with High Seas around the Falcon 9 Booster Recovery Ship, "Of COURSE I Still Love You..." tossing it about well out in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX has left their Webcast Logo Video available on Youtube for LIVE play at the Link below... Just click on the Play Icon and observe the Hour Down-Counter that will go LIVE around 30 Minutes before the Re-Scheduled Launch Event tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, in about 20 or so hours... The Weather Gods will look down upon the Brand New Falcon 9 Booster and CRS-19 Payload resting at the Launch Complex 40 of Cape Canaveral ... and Smile:
On Wednesday, April 22 at 3:30 p.m. EDT, or 19:30 p.m. UTC, SpaceX launched its seventh Starlink mission. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The CRS-19 Launch and Orbital Insertion went perfectly. The Brand New Falcon 9 First Stage Booster landed DEAD CENTER on the SpaceX Bull's Eye on the Recovery Ship "Of COURSE I Still Love You" pre-positioned around 300 Nautical Miles east of the Florida Coast on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The Cargo Vessel will arrive at the ISS on Sunday, December 8th, 2019 and the plan is for Capture and Docking courtesy the CanadaArm Unit. This was the 12th successful launch for SpaceX so far in 2019.
The attached image is a FIRST showing the white CRS-19 with the Solar Panels deployed in the lower left area of the image and the Falcon 9 Second Stage Single Merlin M-VAC Rocket Nozzle seemingly pointing the wrong way. What caused it to rotate into this position was the expulsion of pressurized Liquid Oxygen from a Vent Nozzle at the Mount Point near the base mounting of the Rocket Engine. This caused the thing to slowly rotate from nose to tail and alter its original position of having the Rocket Nozzle facing the RIGHT way as when it was under the constant velocity of the Merlin Engine Exhaust. So Far... So Good:
The United States Air Force SLC-40 Launch Pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida will be the site for the SpaceX Planned Rocket Launch tonight. This is scheduled for an early evening Take-Off of the JCSAT-18-Kacific-1 Satellite via the Falcon 9 Rocket at around 7:10 PM on Monday, December 16th, 2019:
...and just to round off the corners on the CRS-19 Mission to the ISS... This abbreviated NASA Video shows the Docking and Capture activities of the Cargo Capsule after a successful Launch and Orbital approach to the Space Station. In around Three Months... the CRS-19 Mission Dragon Capsule will Detach and De-Orbit for a return trip to Earth:
...and here is an unusual video of the CRS-19 Falcon 9 First Stage Booster(B-1059) that "Bull's Eye" landed on the Drone Recovery Ship 300 NM Off Shore on December 5th, 2019 ...returning by water to Port Canaveral down in Florida to be land-loaded and then head back to the SpaceX Facilities for refurbishment.
What will be surprising is just how much BIGGER this thing looks on board the Ship than it does during the Launch and Landing as there are few things around it to have for making a scale size comparison:
Once again... all went well with the Launch of the JCSAT-18/Kacific1 Mission and the Night Time Landing ...”Right ON The ‘Bull’s Eye’ ...” using the Drone Ship “Of COURSE I Still Love You...” as the Text Book Recovery Spot out in the Atlantic of the Falcon 9 First Stage Rocket. THIS is much the same as placing a Postage Stamp on a piece of floating Styro-Foam in Total Darkness...100 Miles away from where you Toss a Brass Dart... Hitting the 'Bull's Eye" ...Right On The Money.
“It Was Very Nice...
...to see Ms. Kate Tice...”
...back once again as the SpaceX Engineer's Live Narration and pointing out that this would turn out to be the 48th time that a Falcon 9 First Stage Rocket has been successfully and safely brought back to the Earth. Even without calculating the TOTAL value of the Falcon 9 Rocket Systems necessary to create that powerful rocket platform… just consider the value and complexity of the Merlin Rocket Engines that, back in the “Old Days”, ALL of them would have been “Lost At Sea” ...sinking right on down to the bottom of ‘Davy Jones’ Locker’.
Multiply 9 X 48 to determine that this represents the recovery and return of 432 Working, Re-Usable Merlin Rocket Engines. This exemplifies the highly successful efforts by SpaceX to make their Space Borne Business AND the Goals of NASA to “Get THE Biggest Bang For The Tax-Payers' Bucks“ as REAL returns for the money spent during this amazing New Paradigm Shift in making Space Travel affordable.
The Next SpaceX "Starlink" group of 60 Communication Satellites will Launch instantaneously on either December 30-31, 2019 as per this Notification:
One last note for this post… Gear Up for the Next SpaceX Launch to happen in about 48 Hours on Thursday, December 19th, 2019involving the placement of the next batch of (60) more SpaceX “Star-Link” Internet Telecommunications Satellites heading up into Low Earth Orbit from SLC-40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida:
Here is the latest SpaceX Launch Manifest available on Reddit:
The Difference between Elon Musk of SpaceX Corporation and Jim Bridenstine, the Director of NASA is that Musk is ALWAYS willing to admit his mistakes. But when asked Point Blank about the Failure of the Boeing Starliner Spacecraft to get launched and delivered to the International Space Station on December 20th, 2019… Bridenstine flatly obfuscated by saying, “No… It’s NOT a Failure...” Really? Well Dude...You Had BETTER Aggregate Your Fecal Material and Work The Problem. THIS is nothing less than ridiculous! Visit THIS Link and watch his disingenuous statement… First Hand:
If SpaceX had been on the receiving end of this dreadful outcome… They would NEVER hear the end of it from the Boys at ULA (United Launch Alliance) which is comprised of portions of Lockheed – Martin and Boeing Aircraft Corporation. Meanwhile, after ostensibly being funded by payments from NASA to the tune of 12 BILLION Dollars over the Last Decade along with and God Only Knows how many Cost Over Runs, ULA has yet to deliver the Goods as Promised. THIS FUBARed Starliner Test Flight to the ISS is perhaps almost the WORST thing that can happen, short of running out of Gas on a Road Trip (...like they apparently DID in this instance) and wind up leaving Human Beings hurtling around the Earth, stranded inside of a Friggin’ Useless, Over-Priced TIN CAN until somebody can figure out how to get them back on the Earth!
Back in 2010 when the Senate Hearings were taking place as the Last Best Opportunity for SpaceX to have the chance to play in what was then the ULA USA Space Monopoly… the President of United Launch Alliance opined to the Head of the Committee who just happened to be from the Huntsville area and for The Great State of Alabama about the fact that “American Should Just Go With What You Know...”.This was pointed out by Mr. Musk’s testimony that ULA did everything they could (including Re-Writing and Changing the Rules and Qualifications On-The-Fly) to keep ANY other companies from competing with them. Back then ...the Average Cost of ONE, Non-Recoverable ULA Rocket and Satellite Launch was around 350 Million Dollars PER LAUNCH! Here is the Senate Hearing on this matter:
SpaceX not only managed to Pass Muster with the Senate and NASA… but had the backing of the Military too, because the Air Force NRO costs for the required Satellites Launches for National Security was practically Bankrupting their Space Activities Budgets! After getting their Foot In The Door… it should be obvious how well SpaceX has lived up to all of those expectations… (with costs coming in at around $60-$90 Million Dollars Per Launch). At least Elon Musk was Gentleman enough back in 2010 to suggest to the Senators that, “There SHOULD be More Than ONE means to deliver Access to Space ...Affordably.” Now all ULA has to do is prove TWO Things:
(1) They Can ACTUALLY Build and Launch AFFORDABLE Rockets and Human Rated Spacecraft.
(2) They Can ACTUALLY make them WORK Safely and Reliably Enough to Get Where They Need to GO and Come Safely Back Home!
Whether or not they will be able to succeed on BOTH of these counts… remains to be seen.
Tomorrow Night... Monday, January 6th, 2020 at around 9:19 PM EST... SpaceX will launch another Group of (60) SpaceX Star-Link Internet Communications Satellites from the United States Air Force "Slick Forty" SLC-40 Launch Pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
For those GMT Nation Members on the European Continent (...and The UK) and anybody else on the Planet below who wants to watch this first hand, try to get the accurate coordinates of this event's eventual Azimuth and Elevation from Space.com.
If you are in the right position at the right time on the Globe and get very lucky at around Dusk, you should be able to see this Latest Star-Link Satellite Group traversing in a line across the Twilight Night Sky while catching and reflecting the waning rays of the Sun.
This well mannered, Space Faring Group can shine brightly, like Pearls on a String (or like the Trailing Iridescent Lights in the Flagellum of some Deep Sea Creature, if you prefer...) following each other in Lock-Step Orbit around 500 Miles above the Earth, just a Smidgen under 18,000 MPH. Pretty Damned Cool ...for The Fastest (persistent, long-lasting)Things you will EVER witness in your Life Times... Huh?
On Wednesday, April 22 at 3:30 p.m. EDT, or 19:30 p.m. UTC, SpaceX launched its seventh Starlink mission. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Tomorrow, Saturday .. January 18th, 2020, may prove to be a Most Significant Event in the History of the Space Faring Company... SpaceX... as the Crew Dragon 2 Human Rated Capsule will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 Rocket Booster destined to be intentionally DESTROYED.
As the Rocket approaches MAX-Q where the Aerodynamic Pressure and Physical Strain on the Booster will be at its greatest level. The Ground Controller will command the Booster to de-stabilize in Flight for it to then get ripped apart and explode in mid-flight.
If All Goes Well... just before that Booster Failure Event occurs...the Dragon 2 Capsule (8) Super-Draco Escape Rockets will Fire Very Quickly just as the Falcon 9 Rocket starts to Self Destruct below. These amazing Hypergolic Fueled Rocket Engine are designed to Safely carry the Dragon 2 Capsule Up and Away during the Abort-Escape Emergency response happening inside of the Capsule.
This will be the first effort at attempting to get the Human rated Capsule away from the Explosive Danger happening underneath from the Falcon 9 Rocket Booster.
Then... if the Unoccupied Capsule manages top successfully land in the Atlantic Ocean after being slowed down while falling under its rightly deployed (4) Specially Reinforced Parachutes, for the First Time since 2011 when the NASA Space Shuttle Program was put on the shelf, America will FINALLY be able to carry Human Beings and Cargo from the Earth up into Outer Space.
This article from the Los Angeles Times tells a more complete story. Fingers Crossed and Godspeed to our Astronauts as they climb inside of these SpaceX New Dragon 2 Capsules:
SpaceX plans to test its in-flight abort system Saturday to prove its escape engines and parachutes could save astronauts' lives in an emergency.
This video shows a preliminary test of the Super-Draco Engines... Noting that these Rocket Motors are actually Completely Manufactured by a 3-D High Intensity Printing Method ...Which is Just Way Cool...all by itself!
...and a Full On-Launch Abort Escape Test from the Ground into the Sky and then back down for a Parachute assisted Water Landing... all happening under the power of (8 X 18,000) Pounds of Super-Draco Rocket Thrust: