Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : Iridium NEXT Flight 4 : December 22/23, 2017 : Discussion  (Read 101040 times)

Offline freda

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Visiting Palm Springs CA. Watched the Iridium launch on YouTube stream from hotel bar. Few minutes later, spouse said “what’s that light in the sky”. I immediately jumped over the table and dashed outside and had a nice view of S2 pushing south. A very unexpected bonus to a Christmas vacation!

Offline Marine_Mustang

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From Oceanside, CA.

Offline mdeep

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Is this the first launch that featured both a liftoff from darkness into sunlight at altitude and a stage return? I've been waiting to see one of these in this lighting, and I think the last SpaceX launch that had this timing predated stage recovery.
Mike - Photographer for spaceflightinsider.com
See also: personal website

Offline catdlr

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Launch in 4K

SpaceX Iridium 4 Launch from Alhambra, CA

Doug Ellison
Published on Dec 22, 2017

DJI Mavic Pro from Alhambra, CA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE5C3O71Xqo?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline xyv

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The video from Mudgett to really shows it.  The first stage shows wild swirls that are caused by the periodic fireing of the cold thrusters.  Later you see the fairings drop off.  The whole time the first stage is as bright as the still firing second stage.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 03:30 AM by xyv »

Offline jimbowman

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from Jim Mudgett on YouTube

First stage blowing some serious smoke rings
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 03:26 AM by jimbowman »

Offline cppetrie

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch, Boostback, Landing Burn - Iridium-4 - 2017-12-22


Justin Foley
Published on Dec 22, 2017

The launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base on December 22th, 2017. It carried 10 Iridium satellites. INCREDIBLE!! You can see the 1st stage shut down, stage separation, 2nd stage engine start, THE FAIRINGS! and their RCS thrusters, the first stage boost back burn started, AND the first stage landing burn!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU5KpfOT-_Y?t=001


A couple of things struck me watching this video:
1) RCS thruster bursts are readily visible from the booster and one of the fairings. The other fairing I don’t think ever displayed any RCS bursts. My conclusion is that only one of the fairings was loaded with recovery hardware.
2) the fairing demonstrating the RCS bursts appears to fall much slower than the one that does not suggesting a slowed descent from chutes. It could just be perspective that creates that illusion, though.
3) the landing burn of the booster is clearly visible and quite bright against the dark sky. It is visible to within a fairly low altitude and the camera stays low for several seconds afterwards. There is no flash visible at any point after the booster goes below the horizon, which I would have expected a dim flash had the booster exploded after falling in the drink. The lack of a flash leads me to think that the booster remained in one piece.

Offline Req

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3) the landing burn of the booster is clearly visible and quite bright against the dark sky. It is visible to within a fairly low altitude and the camera stays low for several seconds afterwards. There is no flash visible at any point after the booster goes below the horizon, which I would have expected a dim flash had the booster exploded after falling in the drink. The lack of a flash leads me to think that the booster remained in one piece.

Entry burn.

Offline Marine_Mustang

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This is interesting; a different perspective (from Tehachapi, to the north) as well as a time-lapse.

https://twitter.com/RogerCraigSmith/status/944393685571067904

Online wannamoonbase

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Congrats SpaceX and Iridium.

Massive year for both.

SpaceX with 18 successful missions and 5 reflown cores.

What an age we live in.
SpaceX, just a few things planned for 2018: FH, Starlink Prototypes, Block 5, Dragon 2, Increased launch rate.

Offline jebbo

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Oh dear, Demi Lovato thinks it's a conspiracy:

Quote
I’m calling Incorrect on SpaceX’s excuse. That shit’s a UFO and there’s been others that have been seen that are just like it!!
https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/944408972496216064

[ Not sure if this really belongs here or in the party thread. Please move if necessary ]

--- Tony

Online ugordan

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So they did perform a boostback burn in the end after all, but an obviously shorter one and on a single engine only.

Offline Stan Black

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In this age of recycle and environment considerations, and Blue Planet II, I find dumping a rocket that can be recovered leaving me conflicted.

Online ugordan

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If you look at the archived webcast at around 17:20 in, the IR camera nicely shows how virtually the entire rocket is being engulfed in recirculating exhaust near the end of 1st stage burn, being responsible for at least part of the soot buildup on the returning boosters.

Offline Star One

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Oh dear, Demi Lovato thinks it's a conspiracy:

Quote
I’m calling Incorrect on SpaceX’s excuse. That shit’s a UFO and there’s been others that have been seen that are just like it!!
https://twitter.com/ddlovato/status/944408972496216064

[ Not sure if this really belongs here or in the party thread. Please move if necessary ]

--- Tony

She’s not the only one look at some of the quotes in this article.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mysterious-ufo-glowing-tail-hovering-over-los-angeles-stuns-onlookers-aliens-are-landing-1652643

Online ugordan

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One more airborne video, just for the commentary's sake.


Offline su27k

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Telephoto video taken by a SpaceX employee, some nice outreach:
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 11:31 AM by su27k »

Offline nacnud

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Hey considering he had no idea what it was to start with he worked it out fairly quickly, had me  ;D ;D ;D at the beginning!
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 11:36 AM by nacnud »

Offline nisse

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Did SpaceX perform some experimental landing manoeuvre since they didn't want to risk the drone ship? Maybe some high speed energy saving scheme?

Offline clongton

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What was the purpose of a boostback and entry burn for a vehicle that was intended to be disposed of?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

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