Thursday, May 28, 2020

Too Much Electricity...

Screen Capture from Making History: NASA and SpaceX Launch Astronauts to Space!
(Link)
Ibid

So close, yet not today¹...

They'll try again on Saturday, 3:22 PM EDT.


I grew up with the space program, both ours and the Soviets.

It wasn't long after Sputnik 1 went into orbit that my dad and I drove down to my paternal grandmother's house bringing her a new kitten. Said kitten being named, of course, Sputnik. He was a good boy, lived a good life.

So yeah, that was 1957 or 1958, one of my earliest memories.

After that I remember the pride we all felt when Alan Shepherd and Mercury headed into the heavens. The first American into space and he also walked on the Moon.

Gemini followed, then Apollo.

I remember the absolute shock as my favorite astronaut, Gus Grissom, and his two fellow astronauts died on the launchpad in Apollo 1. We knew of Soviet space accidents, but this was a first for the United States. A tragic first.

The crew of Apollo 1: Command Pilot Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee

I watched as Neil Armstrong stepped from the bottom rung of Eagle's ladder onto the lunar surface. The footage was in black and white, it was grainy, the audio was broken up, but I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I never looked at the Moon the same, ever again.

The Space Shuttle years made travel "off Earth" seem very routine, until the Challenger disaster.

It's good to see an American rocket on the pad, ready to take two Americans into space from American soil once more. A Marine Colonel, Douglas G. Hurley, and an Air Force Colonel, Robert L. Behnken, ready and raring to go.

The ability to see into the capsule, watching everything in close up, high definition detail was quite a change from the "old days." I was really looking forward to Wednesday, but alas Wednesday was not the day, we'll have to wait for Saturday. At least this time I can give the launch my full attention.

Can't wait.

Random screen shots from the video noted above. It was a thrill to see things so "up close and personal." Hoping for better weather on Saturday, but it sounds like a 50-50 proposition. We shall see...










¹ "Today" is yesterday as you read this. Time travel!

82 comments:

  1. It really does look like an Apollo Command Capsule, and a Space Shuttle had a progeny!

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    1. But on a lot smaller scale.

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    2. So..."progress" is "Back to the Future" days of ye old "Spam in a Can" as Chuck Yeager so pithily/disdainfully put it?

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    3. Apparently though this vehicle is reusable, even the rocket portion. In the old days most of the "can" was thrown away.

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    4. @Sarge/
      Yeah, guess it boils down to economics. Cheaper to manufacture and recover the "can" part (as opposed to the high manu/maint cost of the "flyable" shuttle) while also recovering the more expensive launch rockets as opposed to tossing 2 solid-fueled & one monster liquid-fueled rocket every launch.

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    5. It usually boils down to cost.

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    6. And, apparently, once one of the 1st stages has flown, it is less expensive to insure for failures.

      Apollo Capsules, starting with the group after the last manufactured ones, would have been 75% recyclable, just needing new exterior heat shields and some reworking on the interior and replacing chutes and stuff. Which is a better rate than the Shuttle achieved. But, of course, there were no later capsules, dangit.

      Though all Apollo capsules after Apollo 18 were reworked for LEO, and could fit 6 people in a pinch.

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    7. So far SpaceX has figured out how to recover and reuse the 1st Stage, the payload shrouds and the capsule. I think they've given up on figuring out how to recover/reuse the 2nd Stage and the Service Module, instead just looking for the evolutionary leap of Starship and Super Heavy Rocket, with all three (Starship cargo, Starship crewed and the 1st stage Super Heavy Rocket) being reuseable and made out of stainless steel for strength.

      Funny, the 'Starship User's Guide' (available in .pdf from SpaceX or... https://www.spacex.com/media/starship_users_guide_v1.pdf ) shows the Starship cargo belching forth the James Webb Space Telescope. I wonder if SpaceX knows something that NASA isn't talking about.

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    8. Oh yeah, thanks for that link as well. Pretty cool.

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    9. I tell myself I'm not a fanboi, but I check their site about once a week or so...

      Hello, my name is Beans, and I am addicted to reading stuff about SpaceX...

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    10. Beans, you don't need a 12 step program for this type of addiction. I find the excitement great. Everyday I try to find out what is happening down in Boca Chica. I watch LabPadres constant live feed for a few minutes to see if there is activity.

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    11. In some ways, this excitement of the current rush into space is a 2nd childhood. Or, teen-hood for the older among us, or a young adult for those who can ident with such.

      In the olden days, on the back page of comic books, between ads for onion chewing gum and x-ray glasses, was an ad for a model of a Gemini capsule or later the Apollo Command Module, and still later, with LCM. Or a scale model of the entirety of the SLC at the Cape (with seeming miles of pipe of different diameters). Real scale models that required the patience of a surgeon. With decals. Just tape one dime to a postcard and send it to the pre-printed address. (Postage not required.)

      Between building models the talk in boy-dom was all about the space program. Common was boys holding forth on the finer points of, say explosive bolts. Ten year old boys would argue the merits of one chute v. three chutes. It went without saying that we all knew by heart the thrust of any particular engine or the relative size of internal tanks.

      At a Boy Scout Jamboree I stood next to Grissom's suit shortly after the accident. It wasn't a ghastly thing, it was more a salute to them who gave their life in the pursuit of exploration and that we tackle any challenge. Judging by his suit he was small in stature. But he was a giant.

      Years later, through connections at Rockwell, I had the pleasure of meeting several of the Mercury - Apollo astronuts. Not only meet them, but sit down and converse. Or to be invited into their homes. Or, in the case of Pete Conrad, to sail on his yacht. He was a certified genius but he lived on his own terms.

      We're going back to space! From American soil!


      Rick

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    12. Amen to that, long overdue.

      When I was a wee lad, I made the transition from dinosaurs to space. Quite a leap. Still like dinosaurs, still like space!

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  2. I was so bummed but I remember all of the delays in the early part of Project Mercury.

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    1. Yes, I was actually getting mad at the weather guy on the net! Even though the weather wasn't his fault.

      But like I saw someone say on koobecaF the other day, "Thunderstorms in Florida around 4:30 in the afternoon, who'd a thunk it?" Just anyone who has ever been in Florida!

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    2. At least SpaceX didn't build a system that couldn't fly during winter from Vandenberg AFB or Cape Canaveral. I can still hear the words now, "It never gets cold at the Cape, right?" (First year in Satellite Beach, south of the Cape, Christmas, 1973, there was snow falling for over an hour in the morning. Lots of time on the way to school on my bike I'd pass ice-encrusted yards. Doesn't get cold in Florida my big arse! Someones should have been held criminally responsible for the Challenger. And for Columbia as they didn't have any problems with ice sheets falling off the center tank until they made non-freon-filled insulation because environment or something (which is also one of the main reasons the tank went from being painted to being a giant brown turd, as the new 'environmental' insulation weighed more for the same R value as the better, stronger and cheaper old stuff. But....

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    3. I didn't know that either and yes, someone should have been held criminally responsible for that. I'm thinking manslaughter charges at the very least.

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    4. Yaknow, it's almost like some engineer head or management idjit thought "Florida, Southern California, Hot as Hades so no need to worry about temps below 50 degrees."

      It's like they never learned from Apollo-1.

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    5. The Engineers learned, Beans. The Morton Thiokol Engineers told them NOT to launch repeatedly. One of them was told to "take off your engineering hat, and put on your manager's hat". Thiokol told NASA twice not to launch, but they weasel-worded it under pressure from NASA.

      Yep, somebody's head(s) should have rolled over that one....

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  3. Interesting profile on the helmet and suit, apparently they went on a diet.......:) Brings back memories of watching those early flights in elementary school. Hope the weather improves on Saturday. Good post Sarge, helps to distract from South Minneapolis burning.......

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    1. The new suits are pretty interesting, damned near stylish!

      I turn my head from the evil, stupid things that people do, it's the only way to keep from going insane.

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    2. They meet all the requirements for a flight suit, give better maneuverability, are far less bulky, and... based on designs from a Hollywood costumer.

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    3. As to Minneapolis and Los(t) Angeles, funny how people are rioting over a self-defense shoot of an actual thug, as usual. But since when have facts mattered when people want to riot and loot?

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    4. Beans - The flight suit makes sense and why not make it look good at the same time.

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    5. As to the other thing, I get their anger and frustration. Most, if not all, white people cannot and will not understand that. And that's all I'll say on that topic.

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    6. I understand getting peeved. But looting as one's expression of frustration against The Man? WTF? Over?

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    7. If you haven't been there...

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    8. No. Not from civilized people. You don't see all the pro-gunners in California or New York or Virginia going and looting the local gun shops.

      And the ones victimizing them have been their own community leaders and politicians and THEMSELVES.

      No excuse for looting. If they were scrounging only food or essentials it might be somewhat forgivable. But booze and televisions and clothing and non-essential stuff, followed by setting fire to their local stores? Nope. Line up. Set Bayonets. First Rank, Level, Fire. Second Rank, 5 steps forward, Level, Fire. First Rank, 5 steps Forward, Level, Fire. (repeat, repeat, repeat.)

      Want to protest? Do it like civilized people. Stand in front of City Hall and express peacefully your feelings. Peacefully. Do a sit down if you want. Heck, stage an actual revolution, if you can.

      But looting? No Excuse At All. You are no longer protestors, you are criminals tearing down the foundation of civilization. Thus... Volley Fire. Bayonet Charge. Death, destruction. It's the only answer to barbarism.

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    9. Until you've walked a mile in their shoes, you really don't know what you're talking about. Are they beyond the pale? Sure, but we don't get it, we really don't. We're not second class citizens in this country, they feel like they are.

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    10. Wait until Fredrick's of Hollywood gets involved.


      Rick

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    11. Sarge, how can you say we don't get it then pontificate on what a '2nd class' citizen feels?

      Beans actually said, "And the one victimizing them have been their own community leaders and THEMSELVES."

      There is the cause of the victimization of '2nd class' citizens. Oh, we get it alright. But they choose to stay as victims. It's generational until one steps in to break that chain. Ben Carson's mother, as example. What did she have that others did not?

      I look forward to you explain why they stay as victims and how we don't get it. Because so far all I hear is there are some who don't know that they actually have a choice. That sounds like saying they are mentally or emotional so retarded that they are unaware. Free choice. I'm not saying it is easy, I am saying it can be done.


      Rick

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    12. Rick #1 - Well, that might be, uh, interesting?

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    13. Rick # 2 - Give it a rest.

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  4. I remember cutting a little square hole in a big cardboard, and draping a blanket over the card table to make a "block house" and watching an Apollo launch "in mission control" on the black and white.

    I think it's good it's a non-gov rocket too. Boiing is in business to make money now, not make airplanes or anything else. Very disappointing they went that way.... (intentional typo)

    I've met Grissom's son. He lives out here in the wilds of south Texas. He seems to be a good man. I worked with his missus for years, and she is a peach.

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    1. The apple didn't fall far from the tree I guess.

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    2. We used to take the dining room chairs and lean them against pillows on the couch and make a 'capsule' by covering the whole thing with blankets. Crawl in through one side (the main hatch) and lay with your back on the floor and your legs hooked over the couch.

      Ah, imagination. I miss seeing it in kids.

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  5. I was 6 years old. My Dad was a pilot in the Marine Corps and we were stationed at MCAS Cherry Point. I remember my Dad sitting me down in front of the television telling me "Watch this, you will never forget it." First time EVER my Dad told me to watch television!!! I remember that rocket sitting there, white clouds of LOX billowing around it. I remember Walter Cronkite counting down the seconds. The rumble and the thunder that emanated from that 20" television as that massive rocket started clawing its way skyward. I remember being awestruck at the image of those flames shooting out of the bottom of the rocket as it began inching toward the heavens. Walter Cronkite removed his glasses and had to wipe his eyes from the tears of happiness and joy. I looked at my Dad, the hard charging Marine Aviator, to discover the same thing happening to him. I will never forget that moment!

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    1. We went to the neighbor's house to watch the launches and splashdown/recoveries, as they had Color TV!!! But we watched the in-space portion at home on our black-and-white tv. Till June of 1970, when we went overseas and had no TV.

      After November 1973, we could watch on the same B&W (finally died in 1976) the launch and then run out and watch it fly.

      We even got to watch one of the Skylab missions launch, from the viewpoint of the 528 Causeway just south of Kennedy SC.!!!!

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    2. Now that must have been awesome!

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    3. Oh, it was.

      Though one of my greatest regrets is not being able to feel a Saturn V liftoff. 5 F-1 engines in perfect harmony.

      And I was robbed of the F-1a improved at 1.8 million pounds thrust, or the new and improved 3d printed and CNC manufactured F-1b starting at 1.8 million pounds thrust, most likely tuneable to 2.1 million pounds thrust, variable tuned thrust, which was designed but never built for the SLS, instead they went to a J2/SSME/RS-25 at 10 times the price...

      Yaknow, sometimes NASA pisses me off. Like almost everything about manned flight I hear from them...

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    4. Oh well, NASA ain't the same as it used to be.

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    5. NACA did all sorts of aeronautical research and discovery and gave its findings away freely in order to ensure safe airplanes.

      Early NASA focused and codified basic spaceflight capability.

      Then there is NASA as a jobs program. Yeah...

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    6. Six years old at Cherry Point MCAS, the son of a career Marine. That sounds familiar. One of my memories is the sky went dark as so much hardware of every type was flying out. Later I realized their destination.

      Later at El Toro we'd sneak out of the house at night to go lay in the grass at the end of the runway to feel the F-4s take off in full burner.

      Rick

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    7. Ah yes, the roar of an F-4 taking off. We lived a good five miles from the engine test pad in Korea. They take one of the Rhinos out there, chain her down and run those engines up. Woke me up in the middle of the night once. Pretty impressive!

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  6. And yes, I was sitting there watching the countdown of this latest rocket and groaned when they called it. I will be watching again on Saturday!

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  7. Like you all, I remember being enthralled by our early space program and the achievements that followed. Always anxiety about what could happen and relief when things went "A-OK". We looked at Sputnik (satellite, not cat) flying overhead with a bit of anxiety as well, using Navy surplus binoculars that were so big we had to rest them on a stepladder to have them be steady enough to see well. When we caught up and then surpassed the USSR, it was a source of national pride. Alan Shepherd and John Glenn were heroes, as were the others who went in harm's way. When you go to a museum and see the small capsules they rode aloft, especially the Mercury ones, you realize how loudly those men must have clanked when they walked. Also remember hearing praise for Werner von Braun and his huge contribution to our space program and how the lessons learned from the Nazi V-2 program were invaluable to our efforts.
    Noted that the new helmets are all 3D printed to be a personalized fit for each person - wonder how much other bits and pieces of the program's apparatus is made via "additive manufacturing"?
    And our unmanned space program is alive and well with Space Force and the X37-B secret squirrel programs, which are ancestors of the Dyna-Soar.

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    1. Hoping for a good launch on Saturday!

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    2. The Draco and Super Draco thrusters (maneuver and escape engines on the Dragon capsule) are additive manufacturing. So are many of the components of the Merlin engines of the Falcon 9. As are many other of the components.

      There's a company out there that has like a 90% printed rocket, from engine to the stages. They are Relativity Space, and they do small scale rockets, nothing as large as even Falcon 1.

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    3. Until today I had no idea what "additive manufacturing" was. The name makes sense, once you know the process behind it.

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    4. Adam Savage had an 'IronMan' suit additive printed out of titanium powder. It is amazing to watch.

      Then again, any machining is amazing to watch.

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  8. Seems that I remember that the three branches started out competing to be first with a successful launch around the time of Sputnik? (NTTAWWT)
    It’s good to have something to distract us,

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    1. I'm hoping that it advances our knowledge and ain't just another circus.

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    2. Yes, they did. Early on, compete, that is. The Air Force was really going full guns into the air-launched space plane, to be followed by the missile-carried space plane. The Army was doing the satellite thingy and starting on capsules, and was seriously looking at putting a base on the Moon. The Navy was looking into the satellite thing as a way of command/control and possible weapons in space.

      All of which have now mostly gone by the wayside. Though the AF does have the X-37B. And they have a deep penetrator bomb that suspiciously is sized to fit inside the X-37B, made from ferro-cobalt with guidance fins much like the Falcon 9's booster has. Suspicious... Hmmmm......

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    3. The other day I watched a video of a civ flying back seat in a Viper. They passed MM 1. Except for the ASI temporarily going wild while trans sonic he was completely nonchalant about it. Amazing.


      Rick

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    4. I doubt I could be so nonchalant, I'm an excitable type.

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  9. Yay! Finally the world we were promised post-Apollo to the Moon. Except without NASA running the show 100%. Which was also promised ups post-Apollo to the Moon.

    Can't wait for Starship to lift up the first NERVA or other Atomic Teakettle design. I don't expect to see an Orion Drive, but one can hope!

    And, yes, I am as excited about space travel as I was pre-Shuttle. Now if the original plans for the Shuttle had been followed, using it as a crew vehicle and transport vehicle for some stuff, while using Saturn derivatives and Heavy Lift variants of shuttle components to lift massive stuffs into LEO like NERVA and stuffs like that, well, I'd have been excited about the Shuttle. The Shuttle minus LEO assembly of space-only vessels and stations and space infrastructure is like having a 5 ton Army truck for your daily commuter vehicle, rather than a sensible mini-van or SUV. (No, I don't consider a car that is cramped with 1 person and groceries to be sensible at all, though 4 people and a minor amount of groceries or luggage is okay, but then again we never got the promised mini-shuttle for just people transport and for rescue use either, because people suck!)

    And, yes, I am a SpaceX fanboi. Almost a SpaceX otaku. The rest of them? Boeing? Lockheed-Marting-MD-Whomeverelsethey'vegobbledup? Sierra Nevada? Blue Origins? United Launch Alliance? Arianne-Space? The Russkies? Commie Chinese? They can all suck it!

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    1. You really need to provide a glossary for a lot of the terms you use. Not everyone has the time to Google all of those things.

      Gotta remember, in the old days the taxpayers had to pick up the tab for all of that stuff. That is, most of those things weren't fiscally viable. Having an actual business foot the bill, and derive what profit they can from the venture, makes it more palatable for the average American. Just sayin'.

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    2. NERVA - The Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application was a nuclear thermal rocket engine development program that ran for roughly two decades. NERVA was a joint effort of the Atomic Energy Commission and NASA. It was managed by the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office until the program ended in January 1973. Heat reaction mass, usually water, by pumping it through a reactor and letting it flash-steam. Leaves a radioactive trail of radioactive water...

      Atomic Teakettle - Kind of NERVA, but super powered. Heat water and then the steam into radioactive and really hot gas. Also known as a Torchship, from Heinlein, due to the reaction stuff assuming a plasma state.

      Orion Drive - Okay, you take a thick armor plate with a closable hole in the center. Attach really big springs to the top of the plate. Attach springs to your vehicle. Fire explosives through the hole, close the hole, let the explosive explode on the other side of the armor plate. Explosion pushes plate, which pushes the springs, which transfer the wham-pulse into a rebound push to the vehicle. Do it again. And again. Tested with a small test vehicle, works well with regular high explosives. Now think a battleship-sized space ship. With really really big springs, tossing out small nukes out the back to get the push. We had the plans...

      LEO - Low Earth Orbit. Close in, where non-fixed position satellites and stuff hang around in moving orbits around Earth. Where Mercury and Gemini played. Where Skylab and all the Soviet/Russkie stations hung, and even a Commie Chinese one, and the highest the Shuttle could ever reach (that underpowered flying turd...)

      Heavy Lift - just like it sounds. Not a normal satellite or capsule. Previous to the Shuttle, the Saturn family of rockets was to provide lift to LEO orbit up to a million pounds in one variation. Saturn was a family of interchangeable components. Pick a 1st Stage, add boosters (like the shuttle had) if needed. Select one of a handful of 2nd Stages from the catalog, to lift the payload to whatever orbit you need it. With the right 1st stage and boosters, you may only need a small 2nd stage to get the payload into space. And if you want to go trans-Earth (leave Earth orbit) a variety of 3rd stages are also available. But instead we threw it all away...

      Fanboi - someone who goes all crazy over something.

      Otaku - take a fanboi and really make him/her crazy and obsessive and stalkerish and crazy... From Japanese, for crazy followers of Manga (adult comics.)

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    3. Sierra Nevada - been working on a mini-shuttle space plane for like forever and still haven't even sub-orbited one.

      Blue Origins - Jeff Bezos' answer to Space X. Haven't gotten anything up really high, though they talk a big number.

      ULA - United Launch Alliance - an unholy alliance between Boeing and Lockheed, using Atlas and Delta rockets, that, before SpaceX, controlled all civilian and military launches much to their profit and at the cost of much taxpayer money. (SpaceX undercut the launch prices so much that ULA had to go to Congress and whine in order to keep some of their overpaid systems going.)

      Arianne-Space - Frogs in Space. Yes, the Frogs, I mean, the French, have control over all launches from the European Union. They launch from Devil's Island. And anytime a euro-nation thinks of launching with SpaceX or the Russians, France gets all pissy and beats them down. But... SpaceX cut the legs out from under them, too. Darned Frogs, serves you right. (amazing how you can charge prices cheaper than ULA when using French taxpayer money to subsidize your flights...)

      Shuttle - a craptastic design of supposedly reusable space planes that were originally designed to help launch crews and components along with Saturn evolved systems in order to open up space. No. It wasn't originally designed to carry AF satellites, it was originally designed to carry space stuff for LEO construction projects. Only when all the explore space stuff was cancelled did Congress force the AF to conform their payloads to the Shuttle, not the other way around. And Shuttle wasn't really reusable, having to be rebuilt from the frame up every time. So much for a promised 2 week turnaround time.

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  10. (Don McCollor)...Lightning is not to be trifled with. Apollo 12 was struck twice by lighting twice 37 seconds after launch. Knocked out the guidance platform and telemetry. Werner von Braun was old school and had designed the Saturn V big and dumb. The boosters shrugged off the lightning strikes and just kept burning for orbit. There was a John Aaron deep in the trenches who suggested "SCE to Aux" (signal conditioning equipment to auxiliary). The lights came back on. [incidentally, NASA has mission reports, transcripts, and audio of most missions available if you look hard enough]...

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    1. ((Don McCollor)...Another close one was Gemini 6. Countdown zero. Engines started, then shut down. Sitting on a hot fully fueled booster waiting for the fuel pressures to drop. Alternative was to use the ejection seats at almost zero altitude (during testing, the hatches had failed to open, and the rocket ejection seats [with a dummy] had torn right through them) Gemini 6 seemed jinxed. First their Ageiena (sp)target vehicle failed to orbit. Gemini 7 (long duration) was launched first, then this. They finally launched and flew formation with 7...

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    2. I remember that one, kinda scary!

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  11. This is an overall reply to the thread. Thanks OldAFSarge for the post. I agree with Beans on so much. I was watching the launch attempt with my grandsons that live nearby. So disappointment that the weather got them but being an aviator I understand.

    We were watching the SpaceX stream on Youtube. There was an interview with Jim Bridenstein and Elon Musk. In one part Elon was all about inspiring the younger generations to move forward in space. As to some comments above about the pressure suits, Elon said that he wanted a design that would inspire people to want to wear one as an astronaut; the design meets all of the NASA criteria while still looking stylish.

    Though I have to go to work Saturday afternoon, I will be able to watch the retry. I fear that the Florida weather will get them again. I will watch none the less. If the go, I will get up early Sunday to watch the docking and boarding of ISS. If they abort I will try to watch the next try.

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    1. They keep trying, I'll keep watching. History in the making.

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  12. Yeah, I had the TV on Discovery Channel after I got back from the Physical Therapy session (YAY! My last one!), and went to do a "GO SPACEX!" post on FakeBook, and when I went back to the TV the "weather guy" was talking about detanking, and the LOX plume was gone.

    I was just relieved it was a weather scrub, and not technical issues.

    Dealing with weather delays is just something you get used to in the launch biz. There are certain technical criteria that must be met to get the "Final Clearance to Launch", and if they're not met, you don't launch. And they're especially important if it's a manned flight.

    Or at least they are again.....

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    1. Parameters, you put them in a system for a reason. Don't meet them and it's a NO GO every time.

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  13. I'm watching this with interest from my side of the pond. I like the way Space X do it, what is it they say 'fail fast, fail often'? With technology like this it's not surprising things go wrong on occasion but Space X have the ability to rapidly innovate and learn.
    I was a teenager when the Apollo programme was on and we had wall to wall coverage of them over here. At that time I truly believed there would be a permanent base on the moon and more missions to the outer planets by now. At the time I was studying economics and a lecturer from the University of Surrey said that by 2010 there would be a lot of advanced industry in space. I'm still waiting and as someone who read a lot of sci-fi I'm a bit disappointed. As an aside the University of Surrey has a spin off business, Surrey Satellite Technologies who specialise in small space craft.
    I hope it all goes well on Saturday and here's hoping for a return to the moon.
    Retired
    Retired

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    1. Taking a rather long term view of things (like billions of years) the Sun will eventually run out of fuel and die, before it does it will expand out to the orbit of Mars (from what I've read). Which will destroy Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. So we either need to move the life on this planet elsewhere, or (maybe) learn how to refuel the Sun. Both require space travel. I've always been a supporter of space exploration for that very reason.

      I remember all of the predictions from back then, given stable conditions it might have been achievable, but since when has history been stable?

      We need to be out there again.

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  14. (Don McCollor)...There was a daring rescue mission that never happened...(Not sure if this is true)...NASA knew Columbia was hurt bad. The critical thing was oxygen. One pilot on duty, all the rest laying resting, they could survive three weeks. Enough time to put Atlantis on the pad with the ground crews working twelves 24/7 {I would have worked 18s and slept on a concrete floor if I could have helped). She would launch with the same (as yet) unknown failure as Columbia with a four person crew. There was no time for Atlantis to be fitted with the Canada Arm. The two shuttles would have to fly back to back and nose to tail twenty feet apart with cargo bays open. Bringing real pressure suits and oxygen then pulling them to Atlantis on life lines. NASA rejected it as too risky...could lose two shuttles..But Dear My God, I wished they had tried...

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    1. That would have been extremely risky, but yes, they should have tried. Not sure though if it was even really feasible given the time constraints.

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    2. Sorta like the movie "Marooned"!

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    3. I watched the trailer for that film just now. I saw it back in the day, looks like I need to watch it again!

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