Author Topic: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.  (Read 5793 times)

Offline Jim

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This is another one of those threads.  No facts involved, just opinions, but it brings about good hearted discussion.

Even though I havent worked around them much, RP-1 vehicles intrigue me.  I like the wispy flame from the turbopump exhaust on Saturn I's, MA-2 & MA-5 powered Atlases and solid less Thors.  I like the quick belch of flame from the turbopump exhaust on Deltas before it is obliterated by the start of the SRM's.  Watching the slowmo of the start of Saturn I's on Spacecraft Films, you can see the dirty fuel rich exhaust as dark smoke coming out the corner engines. When the exhaust hits an object such as a mast, it mixes with the air and bursts into flame.  With the Saturn V, dumping of the exhaust into the F-1 nozzle extension causes a another neat effect,  the first 10 feet of flame is masked by the dark exhaust.  The TP exhaust eventually catches fire and it is very bright.  The interface between burning and unburned exhaust is like a person running on a treadmill, never really gaining or losing ground.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2012 12:06 AM by Jim »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #1 on: 04/05/2012 12:13 AM »
Mach diamonds.. Delta IV Heavy launches have great ones.. the rare Atlas V launch with no strap-on solid boosters are pretty good too.

XCOR makes 'em like a production line.


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Offline Jim

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #2 on: 04/05/2012 12:23 AM »
Mach diamonds.. Delta IV Heavy launches have great ones.. the rare Atlas V launch with no strap-on solid boosters are pretty good too.


Good one.
The shuttle had its classic blue triangles.
Titan II/III cores had some good diamonds.

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/titan2.htm

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #3 on: 04/05/2012 12:35 AM »
Prandtl-Glauert singularity.

Online Chris Bergin

I always loved the roll program for Shuttle. Something very graceful about that, especially considering how much power is involved.

Big fan of staging too, for any vehicle. Saturn V's staging was immense!

Offline DMeader

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #5 on: 04/05/2012 12:37 AM »
I always liked watching the solids peeling off of the Delta II.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #6 on: 04/05/2012 12:51 AM »
Ya got me thinking, and you know having witnessed two night Centaur blowdowns (fuel dumps), I  would say that about tops it for me. Just nothing like noticing a glowing cloud out of the corner of the eye and watching it evolve into two clouds then slowly disperse and fade as it moves across the night sky. And I mean slow, the last one Strata had his leash in mouth and was trying to drag me home. I wasn't a squirrel and he could careless.

I get really excited when the NRO does non GEO east coast launches.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #7 on: 04/05/2012 12:57 AM »
It’s the sound… The shriek at start-up and then continuous rolling thunder.

Crank up the speakers!! ;D



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Online corrodedNut

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #8 on: 04/05/2012 01:17 AM »
Glowing, red-hot niobium. Best seen on the dark side.

Offline Jim

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #9 on: 04/05/2012 01:37 AM »
It’s the sound… The shriek at start-up and then continuous rolling thunder.

I was also going to say the sound, or sounds, of launch.  Titan 2 engines shrieked at startup, for example.  Rocketdyne Atlas made a low rumble thunder crackle sound that changed pitch as it rose due to Doppler effect. 

I witnessed the first aborted launch attempt of Discovery, back in 1984, when I heard the super-odd burp-whomp-shriek-whomp sound of SSMEs starting and aborting.  Weird!  And, of course, the sound always lags what you see by several seconds, which is also weird.  Adding to the strangeness is the feeling of the ground moving beneath your feet shortly *before* the sound arrives. 

Weird!

 - Ed Kyle

The shutdown of the S-IC had a weird shriek.

Offline The-Hammer

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #10 on: 04/05/2012 01:55 AM »
GSLV for two reasons:
1. LRBs around a solid propellant core.
2. Boosters burn for nearly a minute after the core stage burns out.
Grant Imahara: Oxygen deficiency alarm? Is that something I should be worried about?
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Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #11 on: 04/05/2012 06:39 AM »
Liquid oxygen loading under the searchlights.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2012 06:47 AM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #12 on: 04/05/2012 06:44 AM »
Turbine exhausts: multiple favorite aspects of a rocket for me.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2012 06:55 AM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #13 on: 04/05/2012 06:53 AM »
Transparent jets with shock diamonds or similar
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #14 on: 04/05/2012 06:59 AM »
Cascading ice shake off and venting pre-ignition vernier engines. Note the telemetry cable going aloft to record the engine data (maybe 4 seconds of data) because of the abrupt ignition and liftoff for Atlas E and F R&D missiles.
« Last Edit: 04/06/2012 03:58 AM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline STS-200

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #15 on: 04/05/2012 08:46 AM »
Near-transparent exhaust, "lean burn" HTP/Kerosene

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Online IanO

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #16 on: 04/05/2012 03:11 PM »
I like the Proton's six-fold symmetry. Why isn't a six or seven bell/booster first stage more popular?
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Offline Jim

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #17 on: 04/05/2012 03:17 PM »
It is not cost effective.

Offline mike robel

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #18 on: 04/05/2012 03:25 PM »
An early morning Posiden launch, when at staging, it made a huge pinwheel in the sky after staging.  After that one, i got up for every morning launch to try to take a picture, but alas, it never repeated and I never found a picture of it

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #19 on: 04/05/2012 03:41 PM »
Thor based launch vehicles off LC-17: ejected vertical steam cloud and vernier engines.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2012 10:32 PM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline PDJennings

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #20 on: 04/05/2012 03:42 PM »
I always liked the way a Proton launch starts with a loud bang due to the pyrotechnic start sequence of all six RD-275 hypergol engines.  You can hear it on the launch broadcast, but it doesn't do it justice, really.  Then the rattle of all the unglazed windows in the Polyot Hotel, but that's definitely not on the broadcast.

Offline Jim

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #21 on: 04/05/2012 04:28 PM »
I will add the fffffsssssss of the Shuttle ROFI's or the Titan IVB SRMU HPU's. 

Offline go4mars

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #22 on: 04/05/2012 10:27 PM »
The giant clouds made at the launch pad. 

The igniter systems (whether sparks or the green glow of triethylaluminum-triethylborane).

Mach diamonds

The sound of tearing air

Impossibly large plume width in rarified atmosphere

Imagining what an even bigger one would be like (always)

The extreme temperature contrasts/transitions that the system must handle and yet remain light-weight & strong (really frickin cold to really fricken hot) all while resisting immense pressures


Getting a little more philosophical (I guess):

They symbolize our ability as a species to look down on the whole Earth

The precision balance and control required is somehow attractive. It's like a ninja's life:  One wrong step or faulty piece of equipment and triumph turns to despair in a heart beat. 

Rockets are the modern gladiators, but with the prowess and glory stemming from man's ultimately creative mind and tools.  If the Bernaysian view is that we need something to root for, to focus our innate tribalism, I would rather be a fan of rockets (along with their future enhancing teams) than pro sports. 

The potential for a future that involves the nearly unlimited resources and power of billions of Galaxies which rockets initially enable
« Last Edit: 04/05/2012 10:33 PM by go4mars »
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Offline ARD

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #23 on: 04/05/2012 11:06 PM »
The wispy nature of the exhaust on RP-1/LOX engines.  From the inverted-candle appearance of the Falcon 9 to the great torch that the S-IC made, I've always found RP-1/LOX a more aesthetically pleasing propellant than solid propellant. 

The other effect that really stands out in my mind is the fact that, on a night launch, the sound is sometimes visible.  The recordings of Apollo 17 I've seen have the shock wave of the first stage engines visible in the air around the launch vehicle, great waves blasting out through the steam and air around LC-39A--that image always stood out to me the most of any Saturn V launch recording I've seen. 

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #24 on: 04/06/2012 01:23 AM »
Prandtl-Glauert singularity.

I'm the only one that thinks that's cool?

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #25 on: 04/06/2012 02:25 AM »
The wispy nature of the exhaust on RP-1/LOX engines.  From the inverted-candle appearance of the Falcon 9 to the great torch that the S-IC made, I've always found RP-1/LOX a more aesthetically pleasing propellant than solid propellant. 

Here's an early Thor (105) standing on its Rocketdyne tail.  (Note:  When you see these live, it is so bright that it seems like a welder's torch - an effect I've never seen captured in images.)

 - Ed Kyle
Are these representative of your visuals?
« Last Edit: 04/06/2012 02:37 AM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #26 on: 04/06/2012 02:29 AM »
Prandtl-Glauert singularity.

I'm the only one that thinks that's cool?

No, you threw me with the clever words ;D

That IS cool! :)

Additional. Twin Sonic Booms from an orbiter "announcing her return to Florida". Always loved how Rob Navias played that on some commentaries. There's some nice videos on youtube of patio doors being shaken and cats being frightened by it.

Offline Antares

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #27 on: 04/06/2012 02:30 AM »
Is there another rocket besides Delta IV that's plugged in?  Other vehicles might have fly-off instrumentation that cause them to fly away with sacrificial cables. (Are there?) However, I know of no other that actually has its igniters plugged into the ground through the engine throat.


Other thing: you haven't lived until you've felt the shock wave of a large solid (RSRM or SRMU) in your chest or at least whipping your pants leg.
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Online JWag

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #28 on: 04/06/2012 04:24 PM »
1) The video ugordan used to have for his avatar (it's now a still image) of Saturn V staging.  You see the center engine of the S-IC already out, but the other four still tailing off, glowing softly orange.  The S-II pulls away slowly until its engines light, and the whole spacebound stack surges forward again with five bright blue dots on the business end. 

I really need to buy The Mighty Saturns...


2) Something about the Shuttle's last few seconds before T-0.  I got a little verklempt when the SSME's roared to life and the blue cones materialized, all while the stack completed the twang.  Ten thousand things sprang to life in those seconds, and they all had to work just so before the big, white, unstoppable fireworks were lit.   It was almost Rube Goldbergian, and I miss it.


Amazing engineering.

Offline CrudBasher

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #29 on: 04/06/2012 04:56 PM »
I took this video of a night launch of Discovery from east Orlando.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/AzjOkvQQmiI

What is amazing is that a few seconds after I stopped filming I heard the very low frequency rumble of the solids. It rattled the windows of my house a little and I was over 40 miles away! It was a quiet night and I guess the wind was just right.

It took my breath away to realize the power that had just been unleashed.

The things in this thread are why we are all here. :)
« Last Edit: 04/06/2012 04:57 PM by CrudBasher »

Offline DMeader

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #30 on: 04/06/2012 07:06 PM »
Something about the Shuttle's last few seconds before T-0.   Ten thousand things sprang to life in those seconds, and they all had to work just so....

Find a good millisecond-by-millisecond description of the SSME start sequence and you'll REALLY appreciate it. Google "Space Shuttle Main Engine:The First Ten Years, by Robert E. Biggs". The "Start and Shutdown" section is excellent.


Offline Paper Kosmonaut

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #32 on: 04/06/2012 08:26 PM »
The jettison of the strap-ons of a Soyuz rocket, known as the Korolyov Cross. Beautiful.

I also like the big "jellyfish" the exhaust from the launched Soyuz rockets makes higher up in the sky.


As for American rockets, I always have liked the bright orange exhaust plume of the old Atlas.

I never have witnessed a launch in person, being from the Netherlands. I think I will be mighty impressed by the sound of a launch. The thunderous shredding of thin air.
PK - dei t dut mout t waiten!

Offline brad2007a

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #33 on: 04/07/2012 01:32 PM »
It’s the sound… The shriek at start-up and then continuous rolling thunder.

I was also going to say the sound, or sounds, of launch.  Titan 2 engines shrieked at startup, for example.  Rocketdyne Atlas made a low rumble thunder crackle sound that changed pitch as it rose due to Doppler effect. 

I witnessed the first aborted launch attempt of Discovery, back in 1984, when I heard the super-odd burp-whomp-shriek-whomp sound of SSMEs starting and aborting.  Weird!  And, of course, the sound always lags what you see by several seconds, which is also weird.  Adding to the strangeness is the feeling of the ground moving beneath your feet shortly *before* the sound arrives. 

Weird!

 - Ed Kyle

I got the impression from some Titan II ignition videos that they almost sounded like an old car starting up...
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Offline go4mars

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Re: Favorite or Interesting Characteristic of a Rocket.
« Reply #34 on: 04/07/2012 05:35 PM »
you haven't lived until you've felt the shock wave of a large solid (RSRM or SRMU) in your chest or at least whipping your pants leg.
Is there somewhere a regular joe can go "to live"? 
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