Category Archives: Launch / Landing

India Launches Two British Satellites

Coverage from India of the ISRO launch of two British Satellites, the NovaSAR-1 and SSTL S1-4 satellites into a 583 km Sun Synchronous Orbit from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota

I think India has shown it’s ability to provide commercial launch capabilities — excellent work.

By the way, speaking of commercial / private space services, one of the world’s leaders Space X is about to make a major announcement.

ICESat-2 Launching Today

NASA is launching a mission called ICESat=2 today. The ICESat-2 spacecraft has a single instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS), which will send 10,000 laser pulses a second to Earth’s surface and measure the height of ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and vegetation. The time for the laser to return will determine the height, pretty straight forward even if technically challenging.

The launch will be from Vandenberg California so no tropical systems to get in the way.

Coverage starts at 12:10 UTC / 08:10 EDT / 05:46 PDT with the launch window opening up at 12:46 UTC / 08:46 EDT / 05:46 PDT.

Coverage is via NASA, the link below will go to NASA TV programming so will be active before hand.

Here is a replay from “VideoFromSpace”. I was a bit tardy about this, spent too much time looking around for information on the Solar Observatory closure – and I found nothing much.

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