Category Archives: Launch / Landing

GOLD Launch Tomorrow

Just a heads up.  There is a launch scheduled for 25 January 2018 of an Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA rocket from French Guiana.

The launch window opens at 22:20 UTC / 17:20 EST.  I hope to provide a link so check back and of course replays afterwards. Note: coverage begins at 22:00 and launch window opens at 22:20.

This launch should be of interest to Amateur Radio operators.  The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, mission will explore in unprecedented detail our near-space environment, which is home to astronauts, radio signals used to guide airplanes and ships, and satellites that provide communications and GPS systems.

New Zealand Makes History

Rocket Lab launched the Electron Rocket successfully into orbit and deployed a couple of CubeSats.
The Electron rocket is 17 meters / 55 ft tall and is powered by by nine Rutherford main engines fueled with a kerosene and liquid oxygen mix.

Lift off was at 8:43 p.m. EST Saturday (0143 GMT; 2:43 p.m. New Zealand time Sunday.

Rocket Lab is a commercial entity with a New Zealand and US team developing the program. Rocket Lab claims to be able to launch 50 flights a year.

The Rutherford engines get their name from the New Zealand-born nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford and get this, the engines are the first to be primarily produced by 3D printing!

CONGRATULATIONS ROCKET LAB and New Zealand!!! Oh and beautiful video too!

ULA – Atlas V Launch

There will be a launch of an Atlas V rocket in a few hours:  00:32 UTC (19 Jan) / 19:32 EST ( 18 Jan).

We will have (hopefully) live coverage.  That Atlas V is a beast!

UPDATE: Launch scrubbed for today. I believe due to a valve problem on the ground possibly with the LOX system.

New Launch Day/Time:  00:48 (20 Jan) / 19:48 EST (19 Jan)

Of course we will have replays a few hours after launch.



NROL-47 Launch – Replay

UPDATE: Wow!  Nice launch video off the pad.

This is another launch for the US Government that has a classified payload.

Today is the second launch attempt, yesterday’s attempt was scrubbed due to a ground control valve.

Launch time: is now at 20:30 UTC / 15:30 EST Coverage starts 20 prior to launch.
Launch Vehicle: Delta IV. This is not a change to be honest, the times were listed in US Pacific time and I used Eastern.  BUT WAIT there’s more, ha, depending on where you look you get different launch times so I feel a little vindicated.

This launch is dedicated to Mike Hewitt.  Good Voyage!

You probably remember the ZUMA launch last weekend, great launch.  BUT reports have ZUMA failing to reach orbit and returning to Earth in a bad way. Are the reports accurate? I am not sure and would not bet either way.

The Big Question

It looks like question mark on the Sun; almost if asking will SpaceX launch Zuma in the next few days.

Update: It appears that the launch will be on Sunday 07 January between 20:00 and 22:00 EST / Monday 08 January between 00:00 and 02:00 UTC.

A launch in the next few days is the rumor. Reports have it that Space X did some testing on the pad, the sort of routine pre-launch testing the precedes every SpaceX launch.

These sorts of launches are usually live on-line but with very short notice, so we will wait and see.

My guess is Saturday afternoon/night, but it could be tonight too.  What’s really going on with the image of the Sun? Glad you asked:

Original caption:  Oddly enough, an elongated coronal hole (the darker area near the center) seems to shape itself into a single, recognizable question mark over the period of one day (Dec. 21-22, 2017). Coronal holes are areas of open magnetic field that appear darker in extreme ultraviolet light, as is seen here. These holes are the source of streaming plasma that we call solar wind. While this exercise is akin to seeing shapes in clouds, it is fun to consider what the sun might be asking? Perhaps what the new year will bring? Guess what I am going to do next?

Credit: NASA/GSFC/Solar Dynamics Observatory

Space X Iridium 4 Launch — Replay

A replay of another spectacular Space X launch to deploy the fourth set of 10 satellites in this Iridium 4 launch. Watch the pre-flight portion of the video for a description of the Iridium network.

Launch is about 14:30 into the video. Not only is the launch spectacular but about an hour and twelve into the video we get to watch the deployment (s). I left the video intact but you can fast-forward through much of it if you are short of time.

Let’s try this, this should start at T +57:00, just prior to the satellite deployments.