Rocket Launch Kennedy Space Center Dec 20 2019

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by AllisonR, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. AllisonR

    AllisonR Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    [SIZE=5]Rocket Launch: ULA Atlas V Boeing CST-100 Starliner Orbital Flight Test
    [/SIZE]
    Anyone going to the rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center Dec 20? We are flying in from Denmark on the 19th, staying at the Radisson in Cape Canaveral. SO PSYCHED we will be able to see the launch live!!!

    Any advice where we should stand for best viewing results? Should we walk to a local beach near the hotel? Or should we drive into the Kennedy Space Center Visitor center parking lot? Or....?

    https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/...mber/rocket-launch-commercial-uncrewed-boeing
     
    Galileo7 and XCV330 like this.
  2. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    Wish I could make it. Atlas V launches from the AFB and not NASA so one of the best places to watch is Jetty Park.
    There is usually parking, and you'll find a lot of fellow enthusiasts. The local ham radio club might be there with their comm van and they are a bunch of great folks, with some close up cameras on the launch pad.

    Have fun! Take some photos!
     
  3. AllisonR

    AllisonR Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Thanks a million. Perfect information. We are staying close to Jetty Park, so a nice 3km walk or quick drive over there in the morning.
     
  4. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    I hope it's a great launch.
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    I wish I could go.

    Funky looking launch stack
     
  6. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    Boeings will be Boeings, Bad Boeings, Bad Boeings
    Boeings will be Boeings, Bad Boeings, Bad Boeings (nothing but trouble)


    oh well.. toss more money to the Russians. shit.
     
  7. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Asbo Zaprudder
    Did it make it to orbit? From the launch footage, it looked like the first stage rocket nozzles were gimballed over to one side.

    ETA: It seems it made it to orbit but is unable to manoeuvre and change its orbit? So is this down to a failure in the service module?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2019
  8. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    from what I can gather, the orbital burn was based on the Mission Elapsed Timer. For some reason the avionics either didn't get the event right from the MET or else failed in some other way. It looks like they used manouvering thrusters to get the spacecraft into a very low orbit and it won't be up there for long now, unless they chose (if they can?) to do a manual burn now.

    how they screwed this up, i don't know. A lot of questions are going to be asked. How an error like that passed multiple design reviews, FRR I don't understand. But this is a commercial vehicle, and was not under the same watchful eye as NASA. Boeing hasn't exactly thrilled anyone with quality control lately.
     
    KennyB likes this.
  9. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Asbo Zaprudder
    Oh well, at least it sounds like some limited testing of the orbital vehicle will be possible even if rendezvous with the ISS is not possible. Could do a lot better though, Boeing.
     
    XCV330 likes this.
  10. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    Yeah. Looks like they are slowly boosting the orbit and will be able to eke a mission out of this. I don't think they will go for ISS rendezvous now, but that was never really an absolute requirement.

    But is really calls into question quality control at Boeing.
     
  11. SCE2Aux

    SCE2Aux Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    I'm finding myself thinking "hmmm, these unexpected occurrances are really getting too common now."
    Both Boeing and SpaceX have had parachute anomalies. Both Boeing and SpaceX have had abort motor anomalies. The vehicles have been delayed so many times due to changing NASA requirements and reduced funding... I just can't sustain my enthusiasm for manned spaceflight any more.

    On the positive side, it's always nice to see a beautiful Atlas V launch. Those things are just super.
     
    XCV330 likes this.
  12. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Location:
    Atlas V really is a marvel.

    I was just thinking though, the last time an Atlas carried humans to orbit, the mission clock wasn't even onboard the Mercury capsule. It didn't have a computer. Everything was transmitted from the ground. An IBM vacuum tube computer handled the mission elements. If the timer had failed, the Mercury astronauts could not have done anything about it. But ground coverage was pretty good thanks to new and incredibly expensive network of tracking stations and ships.

    In the case of the CST-100 flight today, the event happened during a break in coverage between TDRS satellite links. f an Astronaut had been in the spacecraft they could have, and probably would have made the burn happen and saved the mission.
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    Updates here:
    starlinerupdates.com/starliner-completing-test-objectives-while-on-orbit-given-go-for-landing-sunday/

    It is actually a bit wider than Falcon--which shocked me--just shorter I guess. Falcon Heavy and D-IV heavy are about the same size.

    I just wish it was the full strength RD-170 they went with, instead of RD-180. The Russians are working on RD-175:
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29810.msg972847#msg972847

    Here are some comments from around the web on Starliner, and I want to see if you agree:

    The more I've looked at this the more it seems Atlas isn't so mighty in this config for the mission. Instead of building basically the bottom half of the five meter fairing so that it supports CST's loads by passing them into the first stage instead of Centaur, they went with the skirt and due to the increased mass and the lack of being able to add another SRB because it would exceed the loads the Centaur can take, the launch became suborbital because it lacks the DV to get the stack into orbit. Centaur being the weak link in the chain.

    The downside is, lets say CST can't start it's propulsion, it's going to reenter somewhere between Africa and Australia, so the prop system has to be able to work immediately or your going to need a rescue somewhere there is not likely to be anyone to rescue you for awhile.

    Imagine the early Dragon cargo mission where it took awhile to get the prop system going, they were orbital so no issue, that happens on this and you have a few minutes to solve it tops. Is it likely to happen, probably not, but I'd love to see the studies showing it was worth the trade. In reality it needed a stronger second stage or a support that transferred the loads to the first stage so they could add another SRB.

    Having to add that aero skirt ate what little DV they had left, without it not sure mass wise it would have been orbital, but it would have bought some more margin for sure. CST becomes a very necessary third stage in this setup to get to orbit.

    Looking at the latest info this flight flies a pretty strange trajectory. 98 X 39 nautical miles at 51.6 degrees, which is a suborbital trajectory. That means it's service module has to put it into orbit. Supposedly this is so it can abort at anytime to orbit but Crew Dragon can orbit at anytime and it's not going into a sub orbital trajectory, nor does Orion, Soyuz or Apollo need a suborbital trajectory for abort.

    Basically it looks like Centaur is under-powered for this job, and because of g-loading and aero loads they couldn't strap another SRB to the Atlas core stage. The core stage gets the stack to 60 nautical miles and then Centaur gets it to 98 nautical miles. For reference I went back and looked at the Crew Dragon test launch, the first stage cuts off at 48 nautical miles and the second stage kicks in at 52 nautical miles altitude, the second stage cuts off at about 9 minutes after lift off placing it initially at 112 nautical miles in a roughly circular orbit. It starts its orbit raising shortly after to catch up to the ISS, but even if it took a bit, it would stay orbital for more than one orbit. In the case of CST, if it's not able to raise orbit, she's coming right back in.

    They had to do a lot of strange trades to make this work on Atlas it seems.

    From Tall Texan
    (Mission Elapsed Time (MET) anomaly failure in a launch parameter file is a very sad, rookie kind of mistake.

    From Terry:

    AP; Is there any impact to SpaceX plans?

    Bridenstine : Important to maintain dissimiilar redundancy. The other system can keep going forward in the face of one system anomaly. (meaning Crew Dragon)

    Others:

    What appeared to have happened is that Starliner was unable to orient to the proper attitude when the orbital insertion burn was to be done and it was held off on until the vehicle could be pointed properly enough to get an insertion burn. Doing that appears to have precluded any chance of an ISS rendezvous and docking. Right now Starliner is being reported in a stable orbit and is pointing tail-first towards the sun to keep the solar arrays in sunlight to keep the batteries charged.

    Boeings problems
    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/how-boeing-lost-its-bearings/602188/

    "It wasn’t just technical knowledge that was lost, Aboulafia said. “It was the ability to comfortably interact with an engineer who in turn feels comfortable telling you their reservations, versus calling a manager [more than] 1,500 miles away who you know has a reputation for wanting to take your pension away. It’s a very different dynamic. As a recipe for disempowering engineers in particular, you couldn’t come up with a better format.”

    "It gets worse. Remember the 777-X test failure in September, when a door failed and blew off the fuselage? Turns out, that was bull shit. The fuselage itself had a catastrophic rupture. Oops.
    As many a politician has learned the painful lesson "it's not the crime, it's the cover-up".

    Don't get me wrong; the 777 is a great a/c and this test was as extreme as you can get, in reality it's not a big problem. But the MBA ass holes in Chicago didn't like the "optics", so this failure was kept quiet and the Times initial reporting was not corrected by Boeing. Just one more black eye for this once great company.

    ..."Just as the test approached its target stress level, an explosive depressurization tore through the fuselage.

    Boeing has kept the details secret, but photos obtained by the Seattle Times show that the extent of the damage was greater than previously disclosed and earlier reports were wrong about crucial details.

    The test plane is a complete write-off, its fuselage skin ripped wide open just behind the wing. A passenger door that blew out and fell to the factory floor was a secondary impact of the initial rupture, which was located far below the door."

    https://www.seattletimes.com/busine...it-dramatically-during-september-stress-test/

    Boeing's Debbie Hopkins once said that you don't need engineers to build airplanes.
    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthread.php?173501-Life-changing-experiences

    Back on topic--I really like Starliner's instruments
    https://twitter.com/trevormahlmann/status/1207409799706664961
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
  14. AllisonR

    AllisonR Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    I have not kept up with the problems from this launch, though admittedly 98% of it is over my head. I am a painter, not a scientist. We had a blast watching the launch, first time I have ever seen one. We were at the Residence Inn Marriott Cape Canaveral and had a balcony with direct view, I'd say about 12-15 miles away. It was like the sun at first, just a perfect ball getting bigger and brighter. Then the "sun" went upwards with an intense glow and a ribbon of white behind it. We couldn't see the rocket motors jettison off, but we could tell that is what it was because of the lack of smoke and then a new type of light appearing in the sky. Then a short time after it looks like the whole thing is falling downward but it isn't, we watched it round the earth and disappear over the horizon. The whole thing was I guess less than 10 minutes but it was majestic.
    [​IMG]
     
    XCV330 likes this.
  15. AllisonR

    AllisonR Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    A few pictures from KSC. If you haven't been, try to find a way. There are a lot of astronauts and engineers that have worked on various projects that are generous in answering questions. My son and husband spent quite some time asking about various components.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Galileo7 likes this.
  16. SCE2Aux

    SCE2Aux Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Thanks for taking the time to relay your impressions of the launch - I bet it was a sight to see!
    Those photos of the KSC visitor centre are awesome, and I would love to go see all those iconic vehicles sometime when I can eventually put enough funds together. For now, I have to be content with making cgi images of these vehicles (like you, I'm more artist than engineer).
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    Very nice pics

    Same here...