Skip to comments.The Falcon has taken off: SpaceX Dragon roars at last
Posted on 05/22/2012 12:59:41 AM PDT by iowamark
This time, it worked: the SpaceX Falcon 9 has lifted off without incident, and is on the way to the International Space Station.
After the weekends launch was aborted due to a valve error causing excessively high pressures in chamber number 5, SpaceX spokespeople correctly stated that there was no failure: the software functioned correctly in the presence of a malfunction, and the rocket was preserved intact.
Those old enough to remember the days of light the blue touch paper and retire are probably sympathetic with the feeling: you know you lit the fuse, but the rocket just didnt lift. The problem had been caused by a failed check-valve.
Kevin Brogan, propulsion engineer for SpaceX, said ahead of todays launch: we take the engines up to full power the computer aborted the launch and put the vehicle into safe mode, which is exactly what was designed to happen. I couldnt be happier ... thats the way we designed our system.
The Dragon capsule boosts 1,000 pounds (a little over 453 kg) of provisions to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (who must surely be tapping their watches impatiently and wondering if there was a delivery guarantee on their pizza). The spacecraft is now in the process of catching up with the ISS.
The successful launch marks the first time a private venture has successfully sent a mission to the ISS and opens the era of private space travel.
I believe I saw this here in VA! Just happened to be outside.
GO PRIVATE ENTERPRISE IN SPACE!!!!
“T+plus 15 minutes. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft reached an orbit with a high point of 346 kilometers, or 215 miles, a low point of 297 kilometers, or 184 miles, and an inclination of 51.66 degrees to the equator. All the values are close to prelaunch predictions.”
“Rocket: Falcon 9
Payload: Dragon C2+
Launch Date: May 22, 2012
Launch Time: 0744 GMT (3:44 a.m. EDT)
ISS Grapple: May 25, 2012 @ 1206 GMT (8:06 a.m. EDT)
ISS Departure: May 31, 2012 @ TBD
Landing: May 31, 2012
Launch Site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral, Florida
Landing Site: Pacific Ocean”
“The rocket’s flight path is taking it northeast parallel to the U.S. East Coast.”
Flawless. Well done!
I was struck by a difference in image over time. Was a time when Mission Control was a massive cavern full of guys who looked like Les Nessman poring over blinky-light consoles that would have looked at home on the set of ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’.
Now, it looks like a well-appointed LAN party at someone’s house. LOL!
This is really amazing, and shows a level of brilliance and ingenuity that is spectacular. Think of it this way ...these chaps have managed to do something that North Korea could only dream of - and they are private enterprise!
I had just walked around the corner of the house and saw what I took to be rays of light reflecting from the moon peeking over a cloud but after a second realized there was no cloud. Then I thought maybe it was an asteroid but it didn’t fizzle out like a shooting star and I realized it was a little big for a shooting star. We have lived “toward the end” of various runways over the decades so I figured it must just be landing lights of a large plane but the swing through an arc as the plane banks and get dim but this didn’t. There was a moment that I thought if it was a beam of light it was coming right at me because it didn’t change in intensity. I pushed that thought down because the possiblility of “coming right at me” seemed pretty slim. Then I realized it was moving and picking up speed and heading down. It had a tail like a comet (two bright “wings” with a dark center). I thought “if that is a comet it is way too clsoe for comfort”. About this time my neighbor who works for the Air Force started his car and I thought, “Hmmmm, must be something going on.” The trajectory of the thing looked like it might impact and I was wondering if I shouldn’t take shelter for a second or two. After it went “over the horizon” (which I took to be “down” or “on the ground”) there was no “BOOM” or anything so I thought I would see if any freepers saw anything. The first article was this one. It was sort of a relief. For a few minutes I didn’t know what to think. “Hmmm, ‘roll back the Eastern Sky like a Scroll’” Nahhh, no trumpet. “Incoming EMP” Nahhh, the neighbor’s car started fine and all the lights were on. “Incoming fizzle” pretty unlikely but if so that is one hell of an alert roster the AF has. So I was sort of releived to find it was something that hadn’t even crossed my mind.
I understand the NATO protestors flung poo today
You may be more correct than you know. EPA has long had an array of air monitoring sites surrounding NASA’s rocket engine test site at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Thank goodness those morons weren’t around to interfere with the Apollo program; I may have never seen a Saturn V launch.
What wonderful news to start the day! I am so proud of that team right now. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of Space Exploration Technologies?
I remember complaints during the early 70's about the amount of RP-1 the SV was using when it could have better been used, they said, by power plants to produce electricy. Also, when we were going to launch the Galileo probe, there was a contengency of protester from Rollins College outside the gate. The main bone of contention was the use or RTGs(radioisotope thermoelectric generators) to power the spacecrat. I remember one protester's sign saying "NO RADIATION IN SPACE". I suppose he thought the sun was electric. Stupidity goes way back.
They are up to 1/10th of the Saturn V. Still quite a ways to go to get back to 1967! The Saturn 1 had only 9 tonnes of lift capacity to LEO, so they are ahead of the Saturn 1. The next one up is the Saturn 1B. The Saturn 1B had a payload of 21 tonnes.
If their payload is 26k, they are ahead of the Ariane series at 20k. The Atlas V is at 29k. Delta IV is at 22.5k. The Proton M is at 22k. They are ahead of the Titan IV, the last of the Titan series at 21k.
I believe there are only two rockets that have ever had a larger payload than the S9 - the Atlas V and the Saturn V. That’s it.
O.K., now <b>that's</b> too funny.
A few thousand years from now I'm sure there will be some moron carrying a "black hole's suck" sign or something.
Why wait thousands of years. “Black Holes Suck!” Well - they do! ;-)
Fellow nerds... Check out the heavens-above website. SpaceX Dragon and ISS both visible for next week. Dragon magnitude 1.0 tomorrow AM at my location. Brighter than I expected.
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