At 2:39 PST, a Falcon 9 v1.2 rocket launched from Space Launch Complex-40, Cape Canaveral, FL. The rocket carried a telecommunications satellite for Thai satellite operator Thaicom.
Then, at 2:47 PST to loud cheers at SpaceX and elsewhere, the first stage landed upright on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship, 400 mi (680 km) off the coast of Florida. This is the second of hopefully many ocean landings! The first stage had to survive a much faster and hotter re-entry with much less fuel for landing, as with the previous successful landing.
And finally, at 3:11 pm, Thaicom 8 was deployed, ultimately to circle the Earth at 36000 km Super Synchronous Transfer Orbit. By contrast, the International Space Station is at a close 350 km (in LEO). Thaicom 8 will provide service to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The satellite is over 3000 kg and is designed to operate for 15 years.
On the telecast, SpaceX personnel noted that they would soon attempt to land and reuse the payload fairing. Where are they going to find space for them, with all of those recovered 1st stages?
Congratulations to SpaceX on another success!
UPDATE: The spacecraft has acquired signal – confirmed by Orbital ATK
The Endeavour’s external tank, ET-94, reached the California Science Center (Los Angeles,CA) yesterday (May 21) amidst great fanfare, after winding its way through Marina del Rey, Westchester, Inglewood and Los Angeles. Welcome home!
Here are some photos from Inglewood, California: Arbor Vitae and Glenvillea, and then La Brea and Manchester.
Airplane passengers got quite a view!
OASIS former vice president Gareth Powell handed out Ad Astras and glow-in-the-dark 3D-printed space shuttles
“OMG it’s like James the Giant Peach!”
Moving the light poles
Shuttle astronaut Kathryn “Kay” Hire (STS-90 in 1998 and STS-130 in 2010) greets the crowd.
On May 6, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage of the rocket carried the Japanese communications satellite JCSAT-14 to geosynchronous orbit, and then headed back towards Earth and a successful landing aboard the droneship “Of Course I Still Love You”.
Elon Musk’s simple “Woohoo!” tweet said it all.
This is the second time a first stage has successfully landed on a platform in the ocean.
A major difference is that the rocket carried its payload all the way up to geosynchronous orbit, so it had a much higher orbital velocity and greater re-entry heating. Less fuel was left to use in landing. A precise landing under these conditions is a much trickier proposition.
Will the recovered rockets in fact be reusable? We’ll see when SpaceX attempts to fly the first stage that just landed. SpaceX has a busy launch schedule ahead…
On December 21, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket and landed it vertically on solid ground, at Cape Canaveral, FL. This is the first vertical landing on the ground of the first stage of a rocket from an orbital flight.
The rocket carried a payload consisting of 11 ORBCOMM satellites, and they were successfully deployed.
Have you seen The Martian yet? It will be interesting to know what will be happening when we reach the same year as in that movie. Scientists are now answering people’s questions about Mars science, exploration, and so on.
Michael Meyer, Lead Scientist, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program
Todd May, Deputy Center Director for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
Brian Muirhead, JPL Chief Engineer and former Project Manager of Pathfinder
Quote from Robert Gounley, OASIS Membership Director and JPL scientist:
“Claudia’s intelligence, enthusiasm, and glowing smile made her a joy to
work with. Time and again, I saw assemble her fellow scientists into
effective teams that accomplished great things. She will be missed.”
Many thanks to all who visited the OASIS table on Saturday, March 28th. There was no shortage of amazing aeronautical acrobatics and precision flying. Did you witness the awesome engine power of the C17 as it backed up (and up, and up… surely caught a few by surprise)? Did you see the Predator autonomous drone? The DeLorean?
It’s our mission to spread the word about how science and engineering is so important to the future. We hope the 3D printed give-aways and science toy raffle prizes ignite a spark of interest in younger minds to get interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) and eventually to add their own unique contribution to the many achievements of this great country.
Leonard Nimoy may have played a fictional character, but his contributions to space exploration were very real, as seen here. From inspiring those of us who grew up with Star Trek: TOS to his contribution to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles to his narration of IMAX films on space explorations, his work will live on into the 23rd century and beyond.
“The Falcon takes flight! Propelling the Deep Space Climate Observatory on a million-mile journey to protect our planet Earth” proclaimed the NASA TV announcer.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the DSCOVR launched successfully from Cape Canaveral at 6:04 ET on February 11. About 40 minutes later, DSCOVR separated from the second stage and took off for its final destination – orbit around L1.
Unfortunately, the Falcon 9 first stage won’t be able to attempt a landing on a ship – the ocean waves are too rough. Next time…
Congratulations to SpaceX, the USAF, NASA and NOAA.
The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) spaceplane launch-reentry mission was a big success! At approximately 6 am PT (2 pm GMT) on February 11, IXV launched atop a Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Center (Kourou, French Guiana), and splashed down in the South Pacific at 7:20 am PT (3:20 pm GMT).
This is the 4th launch of a Vega; all have been successful. These launches have shown that the Vega can launch different payloads in different orbits, which has tremendous scientific and commercial significance. This is also the 45th mission by Arianespace.
This is a very large collaboration: Thales Alenia Space Italia was the prime contractor building the IXV, with over 40 companies, universities, and research institutes involved.
The mission tested several of IXV’s parameters: its wingless spaceplane shape; the thermal protection systems, which incorporate ceramic and ablative; and its advanced automated guidance and navigation system for reentry and landing.
This mission is a big step in the ESA’s development of re-entry technology. Congratulations to the ESA, Arianespace, Thales Alenia Space Italia, and all collaboration efforts!
Welcome to OASIS, the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the National Space Society. The Organization for the Advancement of Space Industrialization and Settlement is one of the oldest and largest chapters of the NSS.