Category Archives: Launch / Landing

InSight Ready to Land on Mars

Tomorrow is the day! InSight lands on Mars! Coverage should be pretty easy to find, we will of course have it so if you cannot get NASA TV, check in here at 09:00 UTC / 14:00 ET for a mirror of NASA’s Public channel

NASA also posted a time line of spacecraft actions I thought was pretty interesting, mostly because of the exactness of the timing.

I added in the UTC times below, funny NASA doesn’t do that. No matter, but if I mess up the conversions, it’s my error and not NASA’s. Remember the Beagles! (LOL)

Here’s the time line NASA published:
11:40 a.m. PST (2:40 p.m. EST / 19:40 UTC) — Separation from the cruise stage that carried the mission to Mars
11:41 a.m. PST (2:41 p.m. EST / 19:41 UTC) — Turn to orient the spacecraft properly for atmospheric entry
11:47 a.m. PST (2:47 p.m. EST / 19:47 UTC) — Atmospheric entry at about 12,300 mph (19,800 kph), beginning the entry, descent and landing phase
11:49 a.m. PST (2:49 p.m. EST / 19:49 UTC) — Peak heating of the protective heat shield reaches about 2,700°F (about 1,500°C)
15 seconds later — Peak deceleration, with the intense heating causing possible temporary dropouts in radio signals
11:51 a.m. PST (2:51 p.m. EST / 19:51 UTC) — Parachute deployment
15 seconds later — Separation from the heat shield
10 seconds later — Deployment of the lander’s three legs
11:52 a.m. PST (2:52 p.m. EST / 19:52 UTC) — Activation of the radar that will sense the distance to the ground
11:53 a.m. PST (2:53 p.m. EST / 19:53 UTC) — First acquisition of the radar signal
20 seconds later — Separation from the back shell and parachute
0.5 second later — The retrorockets, or descent engines, begin firing
2.5 seconds later — Start of the “gravity turn” to get the lander into the proper orientation for landing
22 seconds later — InSight begins slowing to a constant velocity (from 17 mph to a constant 5 mph, or from 27 kph to 8 kph) for its soft landing
11:54 a.m. PST (2:54 p.m. EST / 19:54 UTC) — Expected touchdown on the surface of Mars
12:01 p.m. PST (3:01 p.m. EST / 20:01 UTC) — “Beep” from InSight’s X-band radio directly back to Earth, indicating InSight is alive and functioning on the surface of Mars
No earlier than 12:04 p.m. PST (3:04 p.m. EST / 20:04 UTC), but possibly the next day — First image from InSight on the surface of Mars
No earlier than 5:35 p.m. PST (8:35 p.m. EST / 01:35 UTC) — Confirmation from InSight via NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter that InSight’s solar arrays have deployed.

Arianespace Launches VV13 – Replay

Arianespace launched an Earth observation satellite for the Kingdom of Morocco, the MOHAMMED VI – B. The launch took place yesterday (20 Nov 2018)at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana

has successfully launched the MOHAMMED VI – B Earth observation satellite, developed for the Kingdom of Morocco.

Yes, I did attempt a live feed and a live feed was available, however I have had quite a few issues fouling my attempts. I’m afraid this computer is on the way out. For now things seem to be running.

Launching Cygnus NG-10 – Replay

Nice launch, here is the replay. I was going to leave the live video up for the continuing coverage but decided not. If anything is not going as it should I will up date to be sure.

Delayed from yesterday here is the Cygnus NG-10 cargo-spaceship

Rocket: Antares 230 Rocket.

Launch site: Wallops Flight Facility from Virginia

Destination: International Space Station

Launch time 09:01 UTC

Space X Launches Es’hail-2 – REPLAY

Another great launch from SpaceX. This time around it was Es’hail-2 mission for Qatar and is put communications satellite into orbit.

If you missed the LIVE launch don’t feel too bad, I did also; but thankfully I have both power and internet back!

There are a couple more launches coming right up too so check back, yes four launches in almost as many days.

Tomorrow: Cygnus cargo-spaceship to the ISS, time 09:01 UTC / 04:01 EST

It’s Business Time

Here’s a replay of the launch of Electron rocket called”It’s Business Time” by Rocket Lab. Launch time was 03:50 UTC / 16:50 NZDT 11 November 2018.

I believe the payload was a number of small satellites including at least one to provide connectivity to “the internet of things” which is interesting.

Congratulations Rocket Lab for the beautiful launch and great video!!