Author Topic: Mystery Launch?  (Read 26815 times)

Offline hyper_snyper

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #20 on: 11/09/2010 06:09 PM »
I have a related physics question.  Do solid fuel rockets leave a more pronounced contrail than liquid fuel?  If it was a rocket can you tell just by the contrail whether it was one or the other?

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #21 on: 11/09/2010 06:10 PM »
I have a related physics question.  Do solid fuel rockets leave a more pronounced contrail than liquid fuel?  If it was a rocket can you tell just by the contrail whether it was one or the other?

Typically. 
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Offline lcs

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #22 on: 11/09/2010 06:14 PM »
Here is the 'missile launch' from Dec 31 2009, similarly attributed in the LA press at the time.  Another airline contrail:



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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #23 on: 11/09/2010 06:17 PM »
This seems like it was a naval missile of some sort. Sub launched or otherwise? That I can't say. Also can't say how big although from the video it seem rather modest in size. Also seemed solid fuel.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #24 on: 11/09/2010 06:18 PM »
Tin foil hat question, but what is the burn time of standard missile? I thought the burn time of most air to ground and air to air missiles was well under 15 seconds. Do we see burnout?
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #25 on: 11/09/2010 06:19 PM »
Tin foil hat question, but what is the burn time of standard missile? I thought the burn time of most air to ground and air to air missiles was well under 15 seconds. Do we see burnout?

It did not seem like there was a burnout. I need to double check that video.
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #26 on: 11/09/2010 06:25 PM »
Tin foil hat question, but what is the burn time of standard missile? I thought the burn time of most air to ground and air to air missiles was well under 15 seconds. Do we see burnout?

I haven't seen the video (youtube is blocked and other sites seemingly have quite a bit of traffic and its bogging down) but if you see the whole launch to burnout, then assuming some standard solid properties and burn rate, you could probably derive a size of the vehicle. 
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Offline Antares

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #27 on: 11/09/2010 06:31 PM »
Biggest problem: no perspective in the video.  Too much zoom.  I'm starting to buy into lcs's theory that it's an east-flying aircraft, not a west-flying missile.  In the video, we don't see boost at all.
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Offline kq6ea

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #28 on: 11/09/2010 06:48 PM »
I can guarantee it wasn't Sea Launch!
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Online rdale

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #29 on: 11/09/2010 06:50 PM »
That does not rule out any DOD

DOD said it wasn't any of theirs...

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #30 on: 11/09/2010 06:52 PM »
That does not rule out any DOD

DOD said it wasn't any of theirs...

And that does not rule them out. However, I believe this was naval in origin.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #31 on: 11/09/2010 06:57 PM »
Given the Position of Origin, and what info we know right now, it may (and I stress the word may) have been sub launched. No way to know for sure.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #32 on: 11/09/2010 07:06 PM »
A SLBM sub launch would have had a huge heat signature. The pentagon DSP would have positive confirmation of it.

Fox talking heads are now claiming a pentagon source saying it was a sub launch. But like any fox report, the source could be the guy standing outside of the building holding the world ends tomorrow sign. Also speculating accidental launch.

ieee has an interesting quote ( http://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/aerospace/military/whose-missile-was-launched-35-miles-west-of-los-angeles ):

Quote
Update1: Jonathan McDowell who puts together Jonathan's Space Report, a newsletter on space launches, speculates:
"Launches of NASA Black Brant IX rockets from San Nicolas Island in California carrying MARTI [Missile Alternative Range Target Instrumentation] targets for the Airborne Laser testbed have been removed from public NASA schedules, but a launch seen by an LA helicopter news crew on Nov 9 (Nov 8 Pacific time) may be related to this program. The previous such launch, which was publicly acknowledged, was on Oct 21."

Though they also two paragraphs later also points to jet contrails. So who knows.
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Online ugordan

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #33 on: 11/09/2010 07:06 PM »
My 2c is it's just an aircraft with an unusually pronounced contrail. It's moving way too slow in my opinion to be a missile well into the boost phase. The wind shear of the "lower" part of the plume also reminds me of typical shear at altitude, not the twisting and breaking of the plume by varying winds low to the ground.

It being taken near sunset would just tend to make it more noticeable and pronounced.

Offline Antares

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #34 on: 11/09/2010 07:21 PM »
Also, if it were flying toward the sun, shouldn't the later/top part of the plume be brighter than the earlier/lower part of the plume?
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Online ugordan

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #35 on: 11/09/2010 07:30 PM »
Heck, it doesn't even have to fly *toward* the sun for that, near sunset the plume would be brighter near the top simply due to lower atmospheric reddening/extinction and higher sun elevation at altitude.

Offline Andrewwski

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #36 on: 11/09/2010 07:30 PM »
Read what the FAA said:  'had not approved any commercial space launches in that area' at that time”

commercial space launches. That does not rule out any DOD or research non (or even orbital) missiles.

Saw a interesting suggestion on it being a Talos target missile, based on the size of the plume.

FAA doesn't authorize government launches, as far as I know.
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Offline csmjr91090

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #37 on: 11/09/2010 07:41 PM »
Still on the fence about this one...but there is a surface missile launch tonight it appears. From NAS Point Mugu NOTAM:

NAVAIR SURFACE LAUNCH MISSILE TEST IN R-2519.  AIRCRAFT, MEN AND
EQUIPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO REMAIN CLEAR OF AREAS SOUTH OF TAXIWAY
A-2 SOMETIMES DURING THIS PERIOD.  MISSION ESSENTIAL FLIGHT REQUIRING
TRANSITIONS THROUGH THE RESTRICTED AREA SHALL CONTACT POINT MUGU
RANGE CONTROL (805-989-8280 OR 306.6) FOR DECONFLICTION. 09 NOV 22:00 2010 UNTIL
10 NOV 01:00 2010. CREATED: 09 NOV 15:17 2010

Related?

Offline Jester

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #38 on: 11/09/2010 07:42 PM »
I'm guessing it is a US Navy surface to air missile launch, or a target missile.  Something small.

Does any one else remember the Standard SAM variant used to shoot down that disabled satellite over the Pacific a couple of years ago? The Standard is a multi-stage solid.  Could this have been a test shot of the same variant? It would explain the rather implausible expressions of ignorance as ABM/ASAT systems are diplomatically awkward and the President is attempting to build bridges at the moment.

rim-161 SM-3

It would be nice of CBS to put up a proper full length video so one can figure this out

Offline William Graham

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Re: Mystery Launch?
« Reply #39 on: 11/09/2010 07:49 PM »
ieee has an interesting quote ( http://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/aerospace/military/whose-missile-was-launched-35-miles-west-of-los-angeles ):

Quote
Update1: Jonathan McDowell who puts together Jonathan's Space Report, a newsletter on space launches, speculates:
"Launches of NASA Black Brant IX rockets from San Nicolas Island in California carrying MARTI [Missile Alternative Range Target Instrumentation] targets for the Airborne Laser testbed have been removed from public NASA schedules, but a launch seen by an LA helicopter news crew on Nov 9 (Nov 8 Pacific time) may be related to this program. The previous such launch, which was publicly acknowledged, was on Oct 21."

BB launches from SNI usually appear on NASA SRPO launch schedules. According to both the WFF calendar and the SRPO Blue Book, none are currently scheduled. That said, by "none", I mean none whatsoever, so it is possible that they have just stopped listing them.

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