Category Archives: Launch / Landing

Welcome Home Expedition 53 Crew

I was not going to put up a video today since there have been quite a few this week but this one of the Expedition 53 crew’s  ( Sergey Ryazanskiy, Randy Bresnik and Paolo Nespoli ) return to Earth is just too good not to:

The parachute changing shape is really quite interesting.

Hopefully you got a chance to go out and have a look at the Geminid meteor shower or at least got to peek at the Live cam being broadcast from NASA in Huntsville Alabama. The linked video will be up as long as the feed continues.

I did get a chance to watch for a while. I braved the -15 C cold for about 45 minutes and returned into the warm house, it was then I discovered I could watch through a sliding glass door as long as the lights were out, once my eyes adjusted it was fun. The meteor shower will gradually taper off so I would expect to see a few meteors for at least the next few nights.

One of the things I seemed to notice was there would be something of a pause in the activity and all at once you would get five or six meteors in couple of minutes.

Orion Parachute Test


Hopefully we will get to see the Orion parachute test being conducted at 15:10 UTC / 10:10 EST. It is not clear if NASA TV will cover the event. They WILL be streaming this live on Facebook, so one would hope they would make it more available than that.  Apparently not, and I tend to stay away from Facebook as much as I can (for security reasons) so I hope this isn’t a new trend.

SPACE X Update: The Space X launch has been moved to 15 December, details to follow.

Coverage of the Expedition 53 hatch closure and farewells to the returning crew will begin at 01:30 UTC 14 December / 20:30 EST 13 December. So I will leave the feed up and you can just pop back in.

Launch Day!

Here’s the replay. There was a short replay posted yesterday, but I opted for the longer verison.

I set the video to start at 19 minutes into the video, which is T minus 1 minute.


For the Ariane Launch:

I am not able to embed the video properly so here is the link.  Replay when available.

So for all the drama I put myself through,  the launch was great but overcast skies limited viewing some.  None the less, they do a nice job on the live feed.

I thought I had made a mess of the launch dates but as it turns out not so much!  Two launches within about an hour would have been a treat!

UPADATE:  SpaceX requested additional time for prelaunch ground systems checks, so the launch is moved to “no earlier”  than  tomorrow (13 December) times as below for now.

Space X is launching the Dragon in the re-supply mission CRS-13 Launch is scheduled for 16:46 UTC (11:46 EST). Check here after 15:50 or so for live coverage.  The video says tomorrow but that was a back up date.





UPDATE 2:  I have not found a live feed for this launch and it is getting pretty close.

Arianespace Flight VA240  is scheduled for launch at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, lift off time is 18:36 UTC (13:36 EST). This is an Ariane 5 rocket, so I am hoping to have a live feed of the launch, and we should.

I will put up replays as they are available.

Preparing for Launch

ESA is buttoning up the four Galileo satellites that will sit atop an Ariane 5 for launch.

Flight VA240 is scheduled for for tomorrow, 12 December 2017. Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana is the host for the launch scheduled for 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time).

We hope to have a live feed for the launch, which by the way is the first of a few launches in the next week.

Soyuz 2-1B Launch from Vostochny — REPLAY

A Soyuz 2-1B rocket lifted off from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome earlier today with a Meteor-M 2-1 weather satellite.

I thought there were a few CubeSats were on board as well but cannot confirm that.

It appeared to be a very nice launch with orbit achieved, but then this from Roscosmos: “According the flight program, the first three stages of Soyuz-2.1b have taken the ascent unit into the specified intermediate orbit. However, during the first planned communication session with the satellite, it was not possible to establish a connection due to its absence in the target orbit. Currently, the information is being analyzed.”

Updates when available. There is no news being reported at least from Roscosmos now about 15 hours after launch.

Launch of the JPSS-1 Satellite — REPLAY

Here is a replay and be sure to watch after the three-minute point for some spectacular video!

All is going as planned so far.

Launch time: 04:47 ET / 09:47 UT

Rocket: United Launch Alliance Delta II

Location: Vandenberg AFB, California.

Payload: US NOAA Weather satellite JPSS-1 AND four CubeSats.

Replays later of course.

Zuma Launch — Postponed

The Zuma mission did not launch as you may know. SpaceX is “take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing /for another customer.” Launch range has been preserved for 17/18 November but not date is solid as yet.

Will SpaceX put the “zoom” in Zuma? The launch window opens shortly at 01:00 UT / 20:00 EST.

Well if you are here on time you are seeing the same result “Live stream offline” message.  Keep in mind the window is two-hours.  I will just leave the feed up just in case.

Space X to Launch Zuma

I will try to have a live-link up for an expected launch of “Zuma” atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

Launch time is expected to be between 01:00 UT and 03:00 UT (17 Nov 2017) / 20:00 ET and 22 ET (16 Nov 2017) from the Kennedy Space Center with back up slots 24 hours later if needed.

What is Zuma?  Zuma is a classified American government payload and to be honest I don’t want to know. LOL.

What I do want is for Space X to keep the telemetry on the first-stage all the way to landing back at Cape Canaveral which they probably will do so I can continue to chart the altitude/time profile.  Please?  Usually there is breaks in the published data.   Hey it is a very interesting graph plot — yes  I am a data geek.




Will the JPSS Satellite Launch?

We will find out  at 12:47 UT / 07:47 ET / 01:47 PT. That is the launch time, other than some possible ground wind concerns the weather looks pretty good.

And the answer is NO.  It was NOT the ground winds that were the problem rather the upper winds.  They were talking about winds in the 120 + range at an altitude of 10 km while at ground level they were negligible .

From the discussion taking place between the forecasters and the launch control, it  sounded like the launch could be delayed for at least 48 hours and likely a bit longer than that.

Arrival and Departure

We have both an arrival and departure today!

First the docking of the S.S. Gene Cernan cargo-spacecraft at the International Space Station (coverage) at 08:15 UT  / 03:15 ET and an hour later the launch of an American weather satellite the JPSS-1.

Missed the coverage?  NOTE: The JPSS launch has been scrubbed. Rescheduled for tomorrow morning, I will update the time.

Docking replay and I will replace this with a more concise version shortly: