Category Archives: Launch / Landing

Wind Delays Aeolus Launch

In kind of an ironic twist, the Aeolus mission which will study the winds on Earth, the mission start has been delayed by – winds.

New launch date: 22 August 2018

Launch time: 18:20 French Guiana / 21:20 UTC

The image shows Aeolus in the tower prior to being mounted atop the rocket that will launch into orbit.  Image courtesy ESA/CNES /Arianespace.

From ESA:   Wind conditions in the atmosphere along the launcher’s trajectory are among the flight safety elements taken into account for every Arianespace mission. With this one-day postponement, the liftoff of Flight VV12 is now set for August 22 at exactly 6:20:09 p.m., local time in French Guiana.

The mission with Aeolus will be performed with a Vega launcher – provided by prime contractor Avio of Italy – marking the 12th flight of Arianespace’s light-lift vehicle since entering service at the Spaceport in February 2012.

Both the Vega launcher and its Aeolus payload for Flight VV12 are in stabilized configurations and under fully secure conditions at the Spaceport’s Vega Launch Complex.

Aeolus is a European Space Agency-organized mission to provide much-needed data in improving the quality of weather forecasts and contributing to long-term climate research. Built by Airbus Defence and Space, the satellite carries a laser Doppler wind LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system called Aladin that will probe the lowermost 30 km. of the atmosphere in measuring winds around the Earth.

Parker Solar Probe Launch – Replay

Here we go! It’s always scary watching the take off because of the fire envelops the outside prior to lift off.

After two minutes in, the rocket is still consuming 5,000 pounds of fuel per second that’s 2,268 kg/sec!

YES! Fairing deploy!

My Perseid watching this morning was greatly hindered by transient clouds.

Parker Solar Probe Launch – Scrubbed

Earlier . . .
So here it is a hour after the initial launch time and the count is under way again.

New T-Zero time is 08:28 UT /04:28 ET – Sunday 12 August 2018.

Nix that, there is a hold at T minus 1:55

Clock is re-set to T-4

Is this scrubbed? Not much window time left.

Yes, SCRUBBED. The next try will be tomorrow (same time). I’ll leave the feed up for a time.

You could hear the disappointment in the voices of the launch team. This is an important mission so everything needs to be spot on.

I will update with a reason for the delay, they said but I missed it – noisy here this morning.

Gaseous Helium alarm has been indicated. The launch might NOT happen tomorrow depending on what is actually going on. Stay tuned.

By the way, if you are interested in hearing the Kennedy communications, you can usually hear them during launches at

Ready or Not, Here We Come

Tomorrow we will see the start of a historic mission, the Parker Solar Probe.

Launch time: 07:33 UTC / 03:33 EDT from Cape Canaveral in Florida, USA.

Spaceport: Cape Canaveral, Florida

Launching rocket: United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy

There will be a live link about a half hour before launch (07:00 UTC / 03:00 EDT). If you miss it come back a bit later as the live feed will be replaced with replays).

Also, so far there are no issues working that would delay launch but that possibility ALWAYS exists.

The image above is from the Solar Dynamics Laboratory taken yesterday (NASA/SDO). The Sun has been very quiet in terms of sunspots.

Space X Launches Merah Putih

The Merah Putih is an Indonesian communications satellite and was put into a geostationary orbit from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The rocket 1st stage was a reused Block 5 first flown in May 2018 and it was as you will see (sort of) again landed on a drone ship.

The launch took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida USA.

Launches Today – Maybe Two – Done!

Yes, launches plural, not something that happens very often! I will post a replay when available.

First we have the Ariane 5 ES rocket – VA244,- launching four Galileo satellites for Europe’s Galileo navigation constellation.

Live Replay coverage below begins at 11:10 UT / 07:10 ET for a 11:25 UT / 07:25 ET launch from ELA-3, Kourou, French Guiana:

A few minutes later from Vandenberg Air Force Base California US, SpaceX is scheduled to launch the Iridium 7 NEXT mission delivering 10 Iridium NEXT satellites using the tried and true Falcon 9 rocket.

Launch time: 11:39 UT / 07:39 ET. Space X generally begins coverage about 15 minutes before launch. Update, SpaceX always gives great information in those minutes before launch – fast forward to the 21 minute-mark in the video for the launch.