Author Topic: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?  (Read 46480 times)

Offline Joey S-IVB

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Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« on: 12/29/2014 02:36 pm »
This appeared originally in the Facebook SpaceX unofficial fan group. Photos to follow. Apparently, the Asiasat's second stage, from the September launch, re-entered the atmosphere over Brazil, on 28 December 2014, and some parts of the stage survived, including some tankage. Next post will have the photos. This one deals with the coordinates.

 Carlos Augusto Di Pietro Hi ! I'm one of the friends of Cris Ribeiro which determined the re-entry bolide trajectory and identified it as the Falcon 9 (40142).


Here the last propagated final orbit data (TLE) for 40142 calculated by C. Bassa, Joseph Remis and Ted Molczan


C.Bassa:
1 99999U 14862C 14362.19593750 .00000000 00000-0 50000-4 0 03
2 99999 24.7924 171.4723 0001000 0.0000 284.7256 16.27220000 05


Joseph Remis:
1 40142U 14052B 14362.14561576 9.99999999 50000+2 40735-2 0 00003
2 40142 25.4291 172.5189 0171354 315.6180 43.0211 16.36884005 2930


Ted Molczan:
1 40142U 14052B 14362.16559196 6.00782537 38275 2 33684-2 0 90609
2 40142 25.4202 171.3074 0326827 317.6835 39.8403 15.89135640 2957


All are in according with the re-entry time and trajectory. (a little variation between them)


C.Bassa calculated the TLE using the bolide capture of allsky cam images of Cerro Paranal.


Ted Molczan reprocessing Remis TLE in Satevo.


Now it's time to locate the possible other pieces fell, which certainly exists.


Regards
Carlos
« Last Edit: 12/29/2014 02:45 pm by Joey S-IVB »

Offline Joey S-IVB

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #1 on: 12/29/2014 02:42 pm »
Here's the photos courtesy of Chris Ribeiro from the Facebook SpaceX unofficial fan group. The second stage apparently landed on 28 December 2014 (yesterday).

 
Cris Ribeiro
11 hrs
 
Hello I am from Brazil, SpaceX fan!
Thanks for adding me to the group, my English is not perfect, but I think I can communicate.
I will share these images with you on the day of the dawn 28/12 now, there was space junk re-entry, and a group (Bramon) of friends mobilized in finding answers to what would be found that is the second stage of the rocket FALCON 9 R / B.
 The second part has not been found yet. According to residents of the region there were three "explosions" when reentered.
Well, fell here in my state, in a nearby town on a small farm. It was a spectacle in the sky that can be seen even in Paraguay.
I wonder what is done with that space debris, SpaceX has the right to collect it from here?
I wish a great 2015 to all and more successful SpaceX!

Offline R7

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #2 on: 12/29/2014 03:56 pm »

I wonder what is done with that space debris, SpaceX has the right to collect it from here?


Per OST SpaceX still owns the debris and Brazil should return it to US. Good PR opportunity here for SpaceX, donate those farm people something nice to boost their livelihood in return.

Looks like a helium bottle, would be funny karma if it's still leak free.

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Offline llanitedave

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #3 on: 12/29/2014 06:39 pm »
This is probably the best argument for making the second stage controllable/returnable.  Allowing uncontrolled entries like that is a lawsuit or worse, a tragedy waiting to happen.  Just pure luck that it hasn't landed on top of anybody.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #4 on: 12/29/2014 07:08 pm »
This is probably the best argument for making the second stage controllable/returnable.  Allowing uncontrolled entries like that is a lawsuit or worse, a tragedy waiting to happen.  Just pure luck that it hasn't landed on top of anybody.
This was a geosynchronous transfer orbit mission, which left the spent second stage in something not far from the satellite's 185 x 35,786 km x 25.3 deg insertion orbit.  SpaceX has purposefully de-orbited second stages into the ocean on LEO missions, but this one did not allow the process.  The low perigee purposefully hastened the stage de-orbit, which I believe is an international goal for all such stages.  There is a randomness to the de-orbit process, but so far luck has prevailed.  I agree that we cannot expect luck to prevail indefinitely.  Pressurant tanks like these are typically the surviving parts.  The problem, of course, is that the stage is "dead" shortly after it completes its mission.  Other GTO launch providers, like Arianespace, ILS, and ULA, have the same dilemma.  Perhaps they will find ways to encourage more complete destruction of these parts during reentry.   

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 12/29/2014 07:13 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline pospa

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #5 on: 12/29/2014 07:38 pm »
I assume this is one of the 3 or 4 inner He bottles inside LOX tank visible on this screenshot.
So the issue with surviving debris even multiplies.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=35686.0;attach=604187;image
« Last Edit: 12/29/2014 08:19 pm by Chris Bergin »

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #6 on: 12/29/2014 07:43 pm »
This is probably the best argument for making the second stage controllable/returnable.  Allowing uncontrolled entries like that is a lawsuit or worse, a tragedy waiting to happen.  Just pure luck that it hasn't landed on top of anybody.

pure LUCK? well, not quite. the odds are VERY MUCH in your favor that you won't be hit by space debris... really, you'd have to be extraordinarily unfortunate to be hit by anything from space.

odds per reentering satellite -- "According to Mark Matney, a scientist in the Orbital Debris Program Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the odds that any of the 7 billion people on Earth will be struck by a piece of [a] soon-to-fall satellite is 1 in 3,200. "The odds that you will be hit … are 1 in several trillion," Matney said. "So, quite low for any particular person."

and the general risk -- "The annual risk of a single person to be severely injured by a re-entering piece of space debris is about 1 in 100,000,000,000" [one in 100 billion], said Heiner Klinkrad, head of the ESA's Orbital Debris Office. In the course of a 75-year lifetime, then, the odds of getting injured by space junk would be a little less than one in 1 billion."

http://www.livescience.com/33511-falling-nasa-satellite-uars-risk.html

there are (as far as i'm aware) only two confirmed incidents where people have been struck by space debris (there are several unverified or unlikely claims). A meteorite impact in 1954 and a small bit of a Delta II rocket in 1997.
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Online Comga

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #7 on: 12/29/2014 07:49 pm »

I wonder what is done with that space debris, SpaceX has the right to collect it from here?

Per OST SpaceX still owns the debris and Brazil should return it to US. Good PR opportunity here for SpaceX, donate those farm people something nice to boost their livelihood in return.
Looks like a helium bottle, would be funny karma if it's still leak free.
Aren't the Falcon 9 second stage COPV Helium tanks spheres?   
I recall seeing that in some illustrations.  I found this on a reusable second stage configuration from Jon Goff's blog.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online Comga

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #8 on: 12/29/2014 08:31 pm »
There is a post on the AsiaSat6 thread with a photo of the bottom of the second stage. It has two red tanks with approximately this shape and size.  It would not be a Helium tank, as those are inside the LOX tank.
Anyone have an idea of what it COULD contain?

edit: tank quantity, 2 vs 1
« Last Edit: 12/29/2014 08:33 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline ugordan

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #9 on: 12/29/2014 08:33 pm »
Anyone have an idea of what it COULD contain?

GN2 for the thrusters?

Offline saliva_sweet

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #10 on: 12/29/2014 08:46 pm »
There is a post on the AsiaSat6 thread with a photo of the bottom of the second stage. It has two red tanks with approximately this shape and size.  It would not be a Helium tank, as those are inside the LOX tank.
Anyone have an idea of what it COULD contain?

edit: tank quantity, 2 vs 1

I think the He tanks in pospa's picture are a better match in shape and color, also better protected assuming the stage reenters engines first.

Offline Hotblack Desiato

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #11 on: 12/29/2014 10:22 pm »
This is probably the best argument for making the second stage controllable/returnable.  Allowing uncontrolled entries like that is a lawsuit or worse, a tragedy waiting to happen.  Just pure luck that it hasn't landed on top of anybody.

pure LUCK? well, not quite. the odds are VERY MUCH in your favor that you won't be hit by space debris... really, you'd have to be extraordinarily unfortunate to be hit by anything from space.

odds per reentering satellite -- "According to Mark Matney, a scientist in the Orbital Debris Program Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the odds that any of the 7 billion people on Earth will be struck by a piece of [a] soon-to-fall satellite is 1 in 3,200. "The odds that you will be hit … are 1 in several trillion," Matney said. "So, quite low for any particular person."

a few months ago, I got a letter from my household-insurance, that they upgraded my contract and it won't cost any additional fee. and guess what: I found a clause, that they cover damages due to rockets, spacecrafts or satellites hitting and damaging my home. I was quite baffled.

I agree, there are tons of other things more likely than being hit by space debris. but hey, they cover it.

Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #12 on: 12/29/2014 11:01 pm »
Statistics lie, and their interpretations are lies built upon lies.

Yes, your individual chance of injury from orbital debris is slight. But, like H-Bomb tests, the chances of *an* individual suffering is quite different. It's like the asteroid impact danger: you are unlikely to suffer, but your species is (ask the dinosaurs).

On the asteroid (etc) front, we have the spookily accurate (in terms of the alleged statistics) once-in-a-century Russian airbursts... ...twice in the past 100 years.  But these ignore all the other incidents which were never noticed apart from the odd MilSat looking in the right direction, and the output of which is a secret. It's like 'thousand year flooding' being of little succour if you're the one baling out your house.

I was asked recently about disaster backup for a major UK company, and was surprised by the response I got to my warnings about tsunamis, which were considered to be 'foreign' problems. Well, go and Google the Bristol Channel tsunami, and the NE Scotland tsunami, and then look at the projected tsunami events across the Atlantic in the next few thousand years, and weep.
 
And then add impacts.

As regards spacecraft, let's not kid ourselves: the first time a space vehicle lands on someone, we have a major problem for space travel. No ifs, no buts, no clever understanding of statistics. All statistics are falsified when the worst happens.

Online Comga

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #13 on: 12/29/2014 11:16 pm »
This discussion is not specific to the title of this thread "Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?". 
If it is worth continuing, it belongs elsewhere.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #14 on: 12/29/2014 11:30 pm »
Can't argue with that.

Don't get me started on my fears for the ISS falling out of the sky.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #15 on: 12/30/2014 01:34 am »
There is a post on the AsiaSat6 thread with a photo of the bottom of the second stage. It has two red tanks with approximately this shape and size.  It would not be a Helium tank, as those are inside the LOX tank.
Anyone have an idea of what it COULD contain?

edit: tank quantity, 2 vs 1

I'll repost my response to that here - It is an v1.0 upper stage, the v1.1 upper stage is likely different:
-------------------
Apparently a Helium(?) tank from the second stage on this mission may have recently been found in Brazil, see the following post on Facebook (in the SpaceX group), I could't find a way to link directly to the post, so I attach a screenshot. Images from post in original resolution.

In the discussion thread on the facebook post, it was identified that this was from the second stage from this particular mission.

I'm skeptical...
1. First of all that image of F9 upper stage is a v1.0 upper stage. The v1.1 may look very different, and we have not gotten a good look at the base of it. But the SpaceX rendering (see image) of the upper stage shows no Helium tanks of that shape. (They are probably a set of smaller tanks inside the RP-1 tank)
2. Also the tank in the images looks too large to match the F9 upper stage tanks, even if they still are the same.

Offline deruch

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #16 on: 12/30/2014 03:26 am »
I'm skeptical...
1. First of all that image of F9 upper stage is a v1.0 upper stage. The v1.1 may look very different, and we have not gotten a good look at the base of it. But the SpaceX rendering (see image) of the upper stage shows no Helium tanks of that shape. (They are probably a set of smaller tanks inside the RP-1 tank)
2. Also the tank in the images looks too large to match the F9 upper stage tanks, even if they still are the same.

I'm perfectly prepared to acknowledge that the v1.1 US may look very different.  But, I'd be pretty shocked if the changes resulted in eliminating an entire subsystem.  So, yes, those tanks may not be there in the new design.  But they, or something like them, are probably somewhere aren't they? 

I agree that the tanks in the picture attached by pospa are so far the better visual match.  Whether they are He tanks or otherwise.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2014 03:26 am by deruch »
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Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #17 on: 12/30/2014 03:32 am »
This is probably the best argument for making the second stage controllable/returnable.  Allowing uncontrolled entries like that is a lawsuit or worse, a tragedy waiting to happen.  Just pure luck that it hasn't landed on top of anybody.
This was a geosynchronous transfer orbit mission, which left the spent second stage in something not far from the satellite's 185 x 35,786 km x 25.3 deg insertion orbit.  SpaceX has purposefully de-orbited second stages into the ocean on LEO missions, but this one did not allow the process.  The low perigee purposefully hastened the stage de-orbit, which I believe is an international goal for all such stages.  There is a randomness to the de-orbit process, but so far luck has prevailed.  I agree that we cannot expect luck to prevail indefinitely.  Pressurant tanks like these are typically the surviving parts.  The problem, of course, is that the stage is "dead" shortly after it completes its mission.  Other GTO launch providers, like Arianespace, ILS, and ULA, have the same dilemma.  Perhaps they will find ways to encourage more complete destruction of these parts during reentry.   

 - Ed Kyle

The Wikipedia article on AsiaSat 6, launched on 7 Sep, has some history on the gradual orbital decay of the second stage.  It doesn't have anything on this Brazil/Paraguay bolide and debris field.

If someone has a source article where the press is covering the topic, you should consider adding the article source and a summary to Wikipedia.  Something like this coming in over a country like Brazil should have made a fair amount of news, I would think.
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Offline foltster

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #18 on: 12/30/2014 02:28 pm »
I do wish there was some sort of verification of this news.

Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: Falcon 9 second stage found in Brazil?
« Reply #19 on: 12/30/2014 02:56 pm »
Hopefully the 'gas bottles' - from whatever source - were indeed only filled with He. There are a number of really horrible chemicals used in rocketry, none of which you want you, your kids, or your crops and animals to be exposed to.

They appear to have some form of black filament around them, which could indicate (obviously) some form of carbon filament structure, but that might not be the case - often, Terrestrial-use steel (etc) tanks have an outer filament sheath.

As I said, I hope the tanks did contain nice, inert gas.

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