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Chimpy
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Reply #1015 on: January 12, 2018, 11:08:14 AM

The white and black patterns were likely so observers on the ground could easily see the rotation of the rocket during flight.

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calapine
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Reply #1016 on: January 12, 2018, 11:13:02 AM

Always was a fan of the orange color scheme of those rockets.  Next task for Elon is to get a unique paint job for his rockets instead of the boring white.   awesome, for real
They were orange because that's the colour of the spray-on insulation. Painting them white adds weight - for the Shuttle main tank, leaving it unpainted saved almost 300Kg. They used to paint them white for UV protection purposes but, if you keep them under cover until they are needed, then that stops being a problem.

Picture to illustrate Iain's explantion:



STS-1, the very first flight. Shuttle is Columbia, btw.

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calapine
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Reply #1017 on: January 12, 2018, 12:25:39 PM

Oh my, the Chinese:



Dropped Long March 3C booster.  They run on unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine.


Here is a video of it going down: https://twitter.com/cnspaceflight/status/951700575015419904

Note the red-brownish mushroom cloud. The smoke is unburned Dinitrogen Tetroxide, the oxidiser component of the boosters NTO/UDMH bi-propellant.

Totally not safe. 🤨

« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 01:44:48 PM by calapine »

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Reply #1018 on: January 12, 2018, 04:50:20 PM

Delta IV launch video

I mentioned before that Delta IV won't fly that often anymore. Turns out this was actually the last flight of the Delta IV Medium+ (5,2) version as well as the last of the Delta IV Medium+ that lifts off from Vandenberg.

A quick version guide:

Delta IV Medium: Base variant
Delta IV Medium+ (4,2): Includes two GEM-60 solid rocket boosters, +1950 kg payload to GTO
Delta IV Medium+ (5,2): As above + 5 m diameter fairing , larger 2nd stage with more fuel
Delta IV Medium+ (5,4): As above but 2 extra GEM-60 boosters

A launch GIF:



Delta IV is the only rocket that sets itself on fire and thinks this a normal thing to do.  swamp poop

Liftoff. Note how toasty it's underside is:


Finally, the launch trajectory:



Because of the orbit (1500 km, 108° inclination)  we have a pretty good guess that the secret payload is a radar satellite. Possibly Topaz series.

Funfact: Topaz radar sats were part of the larger 'Future Imagery Architecture' which turned out to be kind of a shitshow:

Quote
In 1999 the development contract for FIA was awarded to a Boeing team, which underbid Lockheed Martin's competing proposal by about US$ 1 billion (inflation adjusted US$ 1.47 billion in 2017).[2][3] By 2005, an estimated US$ 10 billion had been spent by the US government on FIA, including Boeing's accumulated cost overrun of US$ 4 to 5 billion,[4] and it was estimated to have an accumulated cost of US$25 billion over the ensuing twenty years.[5] In September 2005 the contract for the electro-optical satellites was shifted to Lockheed Martin because of the cost overruns and delays of the delivery date.[6] Lockheed was asked to restart production of KH-11 Kennan satellite system with new upgrades.[1] The contract for the imaging radar satellite remained with Boeing.[1] In September 2010 NRO director Bruce Carlson stated that while most NRO "(...) programs are operating on schedule and on cost (...)", one program is "(...) 700 percent over in schedule and 300 percent over in budget".[7]

Funfact 2: Remember when the NRO donated two large telescopes to NASA for free? Reports say those weren't old KH-11 Kennen, but new builds for the above FIA programme that Boeing messed up so badly.

This concludes tonight's reporting! *yaaawns*

Edit: I took the time to rephrase that in a 6-degrees-of-separation style

« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 05:45:18 PM by calapine »

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Reply #1019 on: January 13, 2018, 12:38:50 AM

So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.

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MahrinSkel
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Reply #1020 on: January 13, 2018, 12:46:25 AM

So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.
Delta IV vents hydrogen while it's on the pad, when the igniters go off it flashes off the hydrogen.

--Dave

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calapine
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Reply #1021 on: January 13, 2018, 04:43:42 AM

So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.
Delta IV vents hydrogen while it's on the pad, when the igniters go off it flashes off the hydrogen.

--Dave

That, although I don't know what is special about the RS-68 engine's startup procedure or the pad configuration (layout of flameducks) that this effect is so pronounced.

You don't see this with Shuttle, Ariane 5 nor Jaxa H-II launches - all of which use hydrogen.


It's even worse with Delta IV Heavy:



Burning insulation.  swamp poop
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 05:05:24 AM by calapine »

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Sir T
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Reply #1022 on: January 13, 2018, 07:51:19 AM

Burning Insulation seals in the flavour.

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Reply #1023 on: January 13, 2018, 03:39:17 PM

Why does that look like something bad is about to happen in KSP?

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Reply #1024 on: January 15, 2018, 08:17:36 AM

In KSP I would only be slightly concerned, even after it eventually goes BOOM. Jeb has survived worse.
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Reply #1025 on: January 15, 2018, 08:45:38 AM

A 'Today I Learned'


All mountains on Titan are named after loctions from Tolkien's middlearth.  headache


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Chimpy
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Reply #1026 on: January 15, 2018, 09:47:12 AM

Nerds.

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Reply #1027 on: January 15, 2018, 11:13:30 AM

"They're taking the robots to Isengard!"

- And in stranger Iains, even Death may die -

SerialForeigner Photography.
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Reply #1028 on: January 15, 2018, 12:22:10 PM

It just reminds me that eventually, we're going to run out of sensible or appropriate names for things like this. Maybe we'll start seeing naming schemes in the vein of Iain Banks' Culture books: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series#Consider_Phlebas

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calapine
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Reply #1029 on: January 15, 2018, 02:06:47 PM

They found the fairing too - in a tobacco field  rolleyes rolleyes




SirT: No half-funny smoking kills puns, please...

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Reply #1030 on: January 15, 2018, 02:16:32 PM

Edit: If you have 17 minutes and want to watch something, this is a pretty concise, good documentary about Herschel.


Herschel and its legacy



Quote
The Herschel Space Observatory was a space observatory built and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). It was active from 2009 to 2013, and was the largest infrared telescope ever launched, carrying a 3.5-metre (11.5 ft) mirror and instruments sensitive to the far infrared and submillimetre wavebands (55–672 µm). Herschel was the fourth and final cornerstone mission in the Horizon 2000 programme, following SOHO/Cluster II, XMM-Newton and Rosetta. NASA is a partner in the Herschel mission, with US participants contributing to the mission; providing mission-enabling instrument technology and sponsoring the NASA Herschel Science Center (NHSC) at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center and the Herschel Data Search at the Infrared Science Archive.

The observatory was carried into orbit in May 2009, reaching the second Lagrangian point (L2) of the Earth–Sun system, 1,500,000 kilometres (930,000 mi) from Earth, about two months later. Herschel is named after Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of the infrared spectrum and planet Uranus, and his sister and collaborator Caroline Herschel.[10]

The observatory was capable of seeing the coldest and dustiest objects in space; for example, cool cocoons where stars form and dusty galaxies just starting to bulk up with new stars. The observatory sifted through star-forming clouds—the "slow cookers" of star ingredients—to trace the path by which potentially life-forming molecules, such as water, form.

The telescope's lifespan was governed by the amount of coolant available for its instruments; when that coolant ran out, the instruments would stop functioning correctly. At the time of its launch, operations were estimated to last 3.5 years (to around the end of 2012). It continued to operate until 29 April 2013 15:20 UTC, when Herschel ran out of coolant.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 02:26:34 PM by calapine »

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Reply #1031 on: January 15, 2018, 02:25:01 PM

A 'Today I Learned'
All mountains on Titan are named after loctions from Tolkien's middlearth.  headache

Also all moons of Jupiter are named after his various affairs and mistresses. Consequently NASA named their Jupiter probe Juno. Which is the name of Jupiter’s wife.

So Jupiter’s wife went out there to check what her husband was up to.

Astronomer’s humor is creating the punchline to a 400 year old joke.
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Reply #1032 on: January 16, 2018, 02:00:05 PM

So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.

TL:DW

When starting an engine you need to first expel some fuel and then light it up. The rocket engines are hydrogen/oxygen. Oxygen is corrosive and so if you run the normal mixture through the engine before/during ignition there is a potential for pockets of oxygen to corrode critical engine components. To combat this the engine runs its pre-ignition phase with more or less pure hydrogen. The hydrogen rises out of the engine cone and ignites when the rest of the engine ignites(or any other spark makes it go up)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=i-zmptK7PDE
calapine
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Reply #1033 on: January 16, 2018, 09:15:58 PM

So what's the deal with the rocket immolating itself? I thought there was an issue at first.

TL:DW

When starting an engine you need to first expel some fuel and then light it up. The rocket engines are hydrogen/oxygen. Oxygen is corrosive and so if you run the normal mixture through the engine before/during ignition there is a potential for pockets of oxygen to corrode critical engine components. To combat this the engine runs its pre-ignition phase with more or less pure hydrogen. The hydrogen rises out of the engine cone and ignites when the rest of the engine ignites(or any other spark makes it go up)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=i-zmptK7PDE

Yeah..no......we know that.

That doesn't answer the question why Delta IV does it.

The RS-68 engine is an off-shot of the Space Shuttle RS-25 engine. Admittedly with very major differences, but still in the same thrust-class. But there are quite a few - different-from-each-other - Hydrogen engines neither of which have that effect:

ULA - Delta IV - RS-68 - Gas Generator
NASA - STS - RS-25 - Staged combustion
ESA - Ariane 5 - Vulcain - Gas Generator
JAXA - HII-B - LE-7 - Staged combustion

Without further backgroundknowlege one could guess that, well, RS-68 has the most thrust of all these engines so these effects would be most pronounced there. But..eh..no. You don't see any kind of that hydrogen burn with other launchers. So it might be something to do with the RS-68 design, maybe to simply the start-up sequence (reduce cost, risk) or maybe because the layout of the launchpad and flameducts is different (worse dissapent).

But you can't say "It's Hydrogen, it needs to boil off" or "Its a Hydrogen engine, it needs to be flushed at startup because XY". It's definitely something very specific to the RS-68 design.


EDIT: Another fact-point  is that while that effect was predicted in Delta-IV design, it was, especially with Delta IV Heavy, worse-than-anticipated. So much that after the first start some countermeasure were introduced. Such as starting the engines staged, so that that the fire-exhaust of one burning engine would burn off the excess hydrogen of the other two engines during start up, thus limiting the buildup of hydrogen.

And again, I don't know the specific reason why this happens with Delta IV, but it's not something inherent in hydrogen/Lox engines.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 09:33:41 PM by calapine »

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Reply #1034 on: January 17, 2018, 04:29:02 PM

A Japanese Epsilon rocket successfully launched the Asnaro-2 radar Earth-observing satellite into orbit from Uchinoura Space Center at 4:06 p.m. EST today, Jan. 17, though it was early Jan. 18 at the launch site. (Text copied from a space site I watch www.space.com)

Full webcast here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd-BpM1z3nk

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Reply #1035 on: January 17, 2018, 08:05:00 PM

Huh, interesting.  Didn't know anybody was using full solid fuel rockets to launch things.

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calapine
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Reply #1036 on: January 18, 2018, 06:57:48 AM

Huh, interesting.  Didn't know anybody was using full solid fuel rockets to launch things.

Are you completley out of your mind??!!!  Grin tongue wink


It's very common.

This had technological reasons - solid motors are comperativly easy (and cheap) to develop. Especially if your country's space agency is still a the Baby's First Rocket stage.

As well as pragmatic-programtic ones. A popular way to start of with orbital launchers is by taking an existing (solid fuel) sounding rocket as base and go from there. Either by scaling them up or adding more stages Kerbal-style.

In both cases your jumping off point is a solid rocket, so you sort of locked in technology wise already.

More recently there has been the trend to use old ICBM. Either as complete rocket or re-use of some stages.

ICBM example:
US Scout had Polaris heritage
US Minotaur > Mintuteman II heritage

Tech examples:
When Italy started to develop Vega they had only expertise in solid fuel, so that's what VEGA ended up being. With a tiny liquid 4th stage. Since at that time no other European state wanted to join the they had to go to Ukraine to get it developed (AVUM).

Now that Vega has proven a technical and market success the Germans suddenly come of their high horse and offer to build a single liquid engine to replace the 3rd solid and AVUM stages.   rolleyes


With JAXA's Epislon there is another factor: If you look at it's specs or just simply at it looks...it's veeery ICBMy.

I suspect there is a similar thing going as with the Izumo class ships which, according to Japan, are destroyers.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?


« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 07:04:36 AM by calapine »

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Reply #1037 on: January 18, 2018, 07:03:00 AM

Two lovley post-launch pictures



You can totally tell it's a Japanese design because the exhaust clouds are so delicate and graceful!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 07:07:35 AM by calapine »

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Reply #1038 on: January 18, 2018, 07:41:55 AM

Huh, interesting.  Didn't know anybody was using full solid fuel rockets to launch things.

Are you completley out of your mind??!!!  Grin tongue wink

That is a distinct possibility.  

I'm aware that rockets of the more military nature (we're launching a nuke with this, who cares if it explodes at this point) are used like that.  Just seems like every commercial/civilian launcher I see has gone liquid fuel for awhile now (I know space shuttle used solid for the initial boosters).  I thought I recall that the potential danger of solid fuel rockets was always a big detrimental factor in using them, even if it was cheaper, thus why in modern times everybody has transitioned to liquid fuel.  I'm aware that there are plans on using old ICBM's, this is just the first time I can recall in a long time that I saw a satellite launch using a solid fuel rocket.  

I obviously need to up my space game.   awesome, for real

You can totally tell it's a Japanese design because the exhaust clouds are so delicate and graceful!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

I feel like there is potential for somebody to do a national space launch contrail version of this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzdsFiBbFc
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 07:43:34 AM by Teleku »

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Shannow
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Reply #1039 on: January 18, 2018, 03:07:10 PM



I suspect there is a similar thing going as with the Izumo class ships which, according to Japan, are destroyers.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?



It's a helicopter carrier but because ...anime?...its referred to as a Helicopter Carrier Destroyer class.

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Reply #1040 on: January 18, 2018, 07:30:59 PM

grab bag of responses:

Wild guess the Japanese helicarrier might be a "Destroyer" due to some constitutional limitation on what they can build imposed/adopted after WWII.

re the Delta IV rockets: paint scheme is Burnt Orange!  evil

Typos in the otherwise incredibly good English translation (thank you for that, really well done!): "reignitable" is a word, reigniterable is not. Is Ariadne (last paragraph) Ariane's other sister?

edit: and I could swear I remember seeing what was basically a pilot light on the launch pad under the Saturn V nozzles to burn off any Hydrogen wafting around pre-ignition before it had a chance to make a big boom?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 07:54:25 PM by Count Nerfedalot »

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MahrinSkel
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Reply #1041 on: January 18, 2018, 11:43:05 PM

I suspect there is a similar thing going as with the Izumo class ships which, according to Japan, are destroyers.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
It's a helicopter carrier but because ...anime?...its referred to as a Helicopter Carrier Destroyer class.
It's an LHA very similar to the old US Tarawa class, but it would be a violation of the Japanese constitution as well as very destabilizing for Japan to field an 'Invasion in a Box'. So...it's a destroyer, with a very large helicopter pad and facilities for a battalion of Marines.

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calapine
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Reply #1042 on: January 21, 2018, 10:36:54 AM

RocketLab's Electron rocket had it's 2nd (and first sucessfull launch) from New Zealand.





Here the offical launch broadcast Skip to 14:45 for lift-off.


Due to it's unique feature of having electrically-powered turbopumps this launcher also stages batteries. Pretty neat:

« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 10:47:39 AM by calapine »

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Reply #1043 on: January 21, 2018, 02:33:13 PM

I should add that Electron is quite innovative in some ways and RocketLab was faster than SpaceX in their Falcon 1 days when counting the time from rocket on pad to successful launch.


Good job by the New Zealanders.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 02:41:59 PM by calapine »

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Mandella
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Reply #1044 on: January 21, 2018, 05:15:16 PM

Go go Rocketlab! Micro sats for the win!

Not even joking. Super happy to see this design working out. The electric pump feature is especially interesting, though I understand it does not scale well.
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Reply #1045 on: January 22, 2018, 05:24:44 AM

The more the merrier!

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Shannow
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Reply #1046 on: January 22, 2018, 08:49:29 AM

choice

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Reply #1047 on: January 22, 2018, 08:22:09 PM

Go go Rocketlab! Micro sats for the win!

Not even joking. Super happy to see this design working out. The electric pump feature is especially interesting, though I understand it does not scale well.

Hah, you can say that loud. The Hydrogen turbopump is of Ariane 5 Vulcain 2 engine has a performance of 20.4 MW.

That battery pack I'd like to see ^^

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