Author Topic: LIVE: Shenzhou 9 (SZ-9), Long March 2F/G (CZ-2F/G) - Jiuquan - June 16, 2012  (Read 257597 times)

Online Phillip Clark

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LAUNCH DAY Coverage with video links begins here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27391.270

DOCKING Coverage begins here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27391.msg917866#msg917866

MANUAL DOCKING TEST Coverage begins here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27391.855

RE-ENTRY AND LANDING Coverage begins here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27391.975

=------=

At the suggestion of TonyQ last week, I have now had a chance to do (in the words of a cricket commentator many years ago) some mental arithmetic with a pocket calculator to see when it is reasonable to expect the Shenzhou 9 launch.   Any such calculations must come with a health warning because I am looking at the decay rate of Tiangong 1 and future decay rates are difficult to predict with accuracy because we do not know how the upper atmosphere's density will vary.

Anyway, here goes.

I looked at three periods of Tiangong 1 decay, as follows: dates are given as days of the year, and then the orbital period at that time is shown:

Period 1     278.8187 - 91.3725 min to 298.7771 - 91.2010 min
                mean decay rate is -0.008593 min/day

Period 2     308.4507 - 91.2259 min to 319.2649 - 91.1595 min
                mean decay rate is -0.006140 min/day

Period 3     322.5959 - 92.0136 min to 331.1051 - 91.9699 min
                mean decay rate is -0.005136 min/day

For part of Period 2 Shenzhou 8 was attached and this will have affected the decay rate.   So I have used only the decay rates for Periods 1 and 3.   The geometric mean of these is -0.006643 min/day.

The 31 circuit repeating orbit period is ~91.20 minutes, so the orbital period has to drop from 91.9699 minutes: with the mean decay rate this will take 115.9 days from day 331.1051 in 2011, which brings us to day 82 in 2012, which is March 22.

So these ball-park calculations suggest that the launch of Shenzhou 9 in the final third of March 2012 is a reasonable expectation.

Please do not remind me if this turns out to be wrong!!!!!

(Have I missed any horrendous typos? - apologies if I have!)
« Last Edit: 06/29/2012 03:47 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline tonyq

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #1 on: 11/27/2011 04:14 PM »
Thanks Phil, for making such excellent use of your pocket calculator!

Chinese internet sources were already suggesting a March/April launch date for SZ-9 and your calculations come up with a date which slots right into that range.

Obviously some external factors could cause things to change, but the Chinese have said they don't expect to re-boost TG-1 again before the SZ-9 flight, so this is starting to look fairly solid for a late March manned mission.

 

Offline Satori

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #2 on: 12/05/2011 08:06 AM »
From SpaceDaily: First Crew for Tiangong.

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #3 on: 12/05/2011 05:48 PM »
From SpaceDaily: First Crew for Tiangong.

Thank you for the name-check, Morris!

Offline tonyq

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #4 on: 12/09/2011 08:06 AM »
Linked from a posting on the www.9ifly.cn forum:-

http://guba.eastmoney.com/look,002025,4012701390.html

Online translation:-

"Shenzhou 9 on January 23 ascends to the heavens, on January 26 to the heavenly palace (Tiangong) carry out the docking.
It is reported Shenzhou 8 appraisal reports already completed, 119 scientific researches are successful. Shenzhou 9 will launch on January 23, 2012, will carry 3 people to ascend to the sky (includes first female astronaut), and on January 26 once more will dock with the heavenly palace (Tiangong)"

I've no idea now credible the source website is and I cannot find any other reports. The 9ifly posters seems to be treating the report with understandable scepticism!

Discuss!

Offline Satori

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #5 on: 12/09/2011 09:31 AM »
Linked from a posting on the www.9ifly.cn forum:-

http://guba.eastmoney.com/look,002025,4012701390.html


Damn! If this is true (and I'm deeply doubtful about it), this are very unexpected news. On the other hand being trusty, means that Chinese specialists are 101% confident about the system and that SZ-8 was an astounding success.

Phil, can you please tell us about the orbital position of TG-1 in this time frame? Also, if it is too high then TG-1 will have to use a good amount of propellant to maneuver to a lower orbit and then go up again, unless SZ-10 will make a jump on the schedule as well.
« Last Edit: 12/09/2011 09:39 AM by Satori »

Online Galactic Penguin SST

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #6 on: 12/09/2011 09:45 AM »
Linked from a posting on the www.9ifly.cn forum:-

http://guba.eastmoney.com/look,002025,4012701390.html

Online translation:-

"Shenzhou 9 on January 23 ascends to the heavens, on January 26 to the heavenly palace (Tiangong) carry out the docking.
It is reported Shenzhou 8 appraisal reports already completed, 119 scientific researches are successful. Shenzhou 9 will launch on January 23, 2012, will carry 3 people to ascend to the sky (includes first female astronaut), and on January 26 once more will dock with the heavenly palace (Tiangong)"

I've no idea now credible the source website is and I cannot find any other reports. The 9ifly posters seems to be treating the report with understandable scepticism!

Discuss!


Sounds like a hoax to me: January 23 fell exactly on the first day of the Chinese new year, so I would expect that all engineers would be back to their homes at that time (I wouldn't even bet on ANY Chinese orbital launch attempt in late January 2012). Plus this article came from a stock-trading website, of all places...  :P
Hmm....where can I apply for the job of United Launch Alliance internet cheerleader?

Offline Satori

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #7 on: 12/09/2011 10:11 AM »
Sounds like a hoax to me: January 23 fell exactly on the first day of the Chinese new year, so I would expect that all engineers would be back to their homes at that time (I wouldn't even bet on ANY Chinese orbital launch attempt in late January 2012). Plus this article came from a stock-trading website, of all places...  :P

Well, then that says it all...

Offline tonyq

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #8 on: 12/09/2011 11:56 AM »
Whilst I share everyone's instinctive scepticism here, there was this CCTV report, filed just after SZ-8/TG-1 docking, which indicated that Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) would see the settling of  SZ-9 and 10 crews.

http://video.sina.com.cn/p/news/c/v/2011-11-14/220361560563.html

Coincidence?




Offline Satori

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #9 on: 12/09/2011 12:33 PM »
Whilst I share everyone's instinctive scepticism here, there was this CCTV report, filed just after SZ-8/TG-1 docking, which indicated that Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) would see the settling of  SZ-9 and 10 crews.

http://video.sina.com.cn/p/news/c/v/2011-11-14/220361560563.html

Coincidence?

I think so. And then the new report just confused the dates saying that SZ-9 would be launched on January.
« Last Edit: 12/09/2011 12:37 PM by Satori »

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #10 on: 12/11/2011 07:09 AM »
I am preferring to stick with the maths over this, and looking for Shenzhou 9 at the end of March.   Unless the Chinese decide to manoeuvre Tiangong 1 down in the meantime or its orbital decay rate suddenly increases.

Offline input~2

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #11 on: 12/27/2011 08:01 PM »
The assembly of CZ-2F (Y9) has started
(source in Chinese)

Offline apace

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #12 on: 12/27/2011 08:11 PM »
The assembly of CZ-2F (Y9) has started
(source in Chinese)

Cool! Hopefully we will see soon more. Last coverage was great.

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #13 on: 12/28/2011 06:39 AM »
The assembly of CZ-2F (Y9) has started
(source in Chinese)

This would mean that SZ-9 is quite unlikely to be launched in March 2012, since if it's three months before launch the rocket stages would already been assembled prior to transporting to JSLC.
An article in the Hong Kong Commerce Daily points to a more likely June 2012 launch date.
Hmm....where can I apply for the job of United Launch Alliance internet cheerleader?

Offline input~2

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Re: Shenzhou 9
« Reply #14 on: 12/28/2011 07:06 AM »
A direct link to HKCD (in Chinese) confirming a June launch
http://www.hkcd.com.hk/content/2011-12/21/content_2869006.htm

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