Category Archives: Launch / Landing

Arianespace VA247 Launch – Replay

Here is a replay. It is only a couple of minutes long and if you were here for the live version you know why – very moist fog/cloud conditions.

Launching from the Guiana Space Center, communication satellites the
Saudi Geostationary Satellite 1/Hellas Sat 4, GSAT-31 atop an Ariane 5 – ECA.

Yeah I know I just noticed the typo.

Replays when available

NROL – 71 Launch Replay

Here’s a replay of the United Launch Alliance Delta IV with the NROL-71.

Yes, I missed the live-launch. Not by choice I assure you. My day went something like this:

I was rushing to complete all outside tasks completed as quickly as possible, the temperature was around -18 C / 5 F. I also decided to make certain my snow-thrower machine while I was grilling chicken – the last chore.

The machine stared fine and was ready for action. I was going to NEED that thing as the forecast was for 40 to 60 cm / 15 to 24 inches. Later after bringing in the chicken I realized I did not have the key to the snow-thrower. I layered up and went out to the show-thrower and the key was gone. They key must have fallen out of my pocket. So I ended up looking for the key all afternoon and much of that outside and involving the 27 meter long path of snow I was wading through to feed the wild birds. That was loads of fun, sifting through the snow that whole distance, mercifully the snow was very light.

No luck. At this point the radar was showing the snowfall was only about an hour from starting. So I hurry to town, nobody had a replacement. This key is just stamped metal, not like a house or automobile key, simple but needed. Anyway we called a neighbor who I knew had it plowed to see if I could get them to do mine as well. The lady called her son and he came over we talked and he left wanting to see what he had that could help. We lined up the plow guy and next thing you know the neighbor’s son was back and he was holding the very key I needed!!

Yesterday (Sunday) we started the day at -19 C / -3 F and I cleaned out my driveway and the one to my workshop early when we had about 30 cm on the ground and again near the end when our total was 46 cm.

One more time today and I will be caught up!

JAXA Launches an Epsilon Rocket

According to JAXA, the launch put “seven different satellites into orbit from Uchinoura Space Center on Jan. 17, 2018. The payloads consisted of the RAPid Innovative payload demonstration Satellite-1 (RAPIS-1), developed by JAXA via consignment to Axelspace Co., Ltd. and six ultra-small satellites.”

SpaceX Launches Iridium 8 – Replay

The launch replay.

Below is the replay of the first-stage landing on the barge:

This launch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, is the eighth and final set of satellites in a series of 75 that SpaceX will launch for Iridium’s next generation global satellite constellation.

Weather looks good – good luck SpaceX

Is SpaceX Launching Today? Done!

A good question, will SpaceX be making the fourth attempt to launch the GPS III SV01 mission? Indications are yes because they are listing the time 13:51 UTC but are not yet providing a link.

SpaceX comes through as expected.

Good luck wishes, hoping this time will be the one.

I’ll put a replay up later today. This is taking a little longer because the orbit is higher than typical, about halfway between the low orbit of the International Space Station and the high geostationary orbits.

Great launch though.

Third Time a Charm for SpaceX?

UPDATE: Well I’ll be, down to T minus 29 seconds. On to attempt number 3. Launch halted for high upper-level winds. Note: I had put a “4” in there inadvertently.

The next attempt will be 23 December at 13:51 UTC / 08:51 EST.

By the way, I don’t know if anybody noticed but SpaceX has greatly improved the time issues posted on the video — MANY THANKS to SpaceX!

Today is the third attempt to get the GPS III and Space Vehicle 01 into orbit. The weather looks more favorable so it could be.

Coverage starts at 13:55 UT / 08:55 ET

On another note, yesterday I mentioned that since the solstice was after sunset. I was asked why not do it at noon? Ah, well for one there was no snow to put the stake where I wanted, you see I want to do this in my backyard and have these nice flat marker stones. The ground is frozen solid too and while I thought about driving a piece of iron rod into the ground, we also were getting flooding rain. Yeah, kind of takes the fun out of it; besides I want to mark the exact point AT the moment of the solstice. So the plan now is to drive a stake into the ground next spring – it’s the only way to do it properly.

SpaceX to Launch GPSIII SV-01 – Aborted

SpaceX is launching a Global Positioning System III space vehicle (SV) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. What is a GPS space vehicle? I don’t know exactly, it is a launch for the US Air Force.

The launch window opens at 14:11 UTC / 09:11 ET (26 minute window)

Replays later today (if it goes up).

Side note: I am really please to see this launch, I thought the Rocket Lab launch was today, then when that was a couple of days ago I thought I was going mad. Not mad, just a but confused. LOL. Crazy busy is the big problem. There are a few launches scheduled by various entities, I will try to get caught up.

Rocket Lab Launches CubeSats

Rocket Lab makes history with this launch of CubeSats, including one by students atop an Electron rocket. Great job and it looks like the future is bright for Rocket Lab. By the way, the launch is at about the 18 minute mark so you may want to fast-forward.

NASA: A series of new CubeSats now are in space, conducting a variety of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations, following launch Sunday of Rocket Lab’s first mission for NASA under a Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract.

An Electron rocket lifted off at 1:33 a.m. EST (7:33 p.m. NZDT) from the company’s launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand, marking the first time CubeSats have launched for NASA on a rocket designed specifically for small payloads.

“With the VCLS effort, NASA has successfully advanced the commercial launch service choices for smaller payloads, providing viable dedicated small launch options as an alternative to the rideshare approach,” said Jim Norman, director of Launch Services at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “This first mission is opening the door for future launch options.”

At the time of the VCLS award in 2015, launch opportunities for small satellites and science missions were limited to ridesharing – flying only when space was available on other missions. Managed by NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, VCLS awards are designed to foster a commercial market where SmallSats and CubeSats could be placed in orbits to get the best science return.

This mission includes 10 Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa)-19 payloads, selected by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The initiative is designed to enhance technology development and student involvement. These payloads will provide information and demonstrations in the following areas:

“Low cost launch services to enable expanded science from smaller satellites are now a reality.  NASA’s Earth Venture program and indeed our entire integrated, Earth-observing mission portfolio will benefit greatly from the ability to launch small satellites into optimal orbits, when and where we want them,” said Dr. Michael Freilich, Director of Earth Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington.  “Our partnership with LSP on the VCLS effort is helping both NASA and the commercial launch sector.”

CubeSats are small satellites built in standard units of 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm, or in configurations of two, three or six units. These small satellites play a valuable role in the agency’s exploration, technology, educational, and science investigations, including planetary exploration, Earth observation, and fundamental Earth and space science. They are a cornerstone in the development of cutting-edge NASA technologies like laser communications, satellite-to-satellite communications and autonomous movement.

NASA will continue to offer CubeSats an opportunity to hitch a ride on primary missions in order to provide opportunities to accomplish mission objectives, and expects to announce the next round of CubeSats for future launches in February 2019.