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SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

Post by jztemple2 »

Zaxxon wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 9:06 am
2020 in a nutshell: "O hai, I heard you had a major launch scheduled for today that will bring folks together and serve as a spot of light in an otherwise terrible timeline. Here's a tropical storm right in your abort path for today. Kthxbye."
Yeah, it's funny because last night they were predicting a low chance of development. However Bertha is moving on-shore at Charleston which is helpful.

I've read up on the abort scenarios (and posted an article above) but there seems to be some black magic in determining how many and which of the abort locations have to have acceptable weather for launch. NASA hasn't actually posted a solid number, but I'm assuming that is due to making some compromise decisions on which sites are acceptable.

And just because these things happen, in an article about the DoD teams that support abort landing, we have this tidbit:
Any other Atlantic splashdown would fall to Rescue 2 from Charleston [South Carolina] because they have more powerful aircraft that could reach Starliner or Dragon or Orion quicker than the Patrick [Florida] support craft.
Oops! It's going to be a nasty day to be launching aircraft from Charleston :doh:
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

Post by Zaxxon »

I guess we'll see what we see. Still have my fingers crossed.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

Post by Max Peck »

NASA is streaming on Twitch and Youtube.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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As is SpaceX. And Discovery, et al. Crazy that combined we're prob well over a million viewers, almost 4 hours before a launch that probably won't happen. :)

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

Post by Max Peck »

They're really pushing the "Bob and Doug" thing. The idea of Bob and Doug in Space simultaneously makes me chuckle and feel old.

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Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Awwww... Strange Brew. I always enjoyed that movie. Been years since I saw it. I'd definitely have watched a "Space Brew" movie. :D
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Zaxxon wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:48 pm
As is SpaceX. And Discovery, et al. Crazy that combined we're prob well over a million viewers, almost 4 hours before a launch that probably won't happen. :)
We just got home from lunch and shopping in Orlando to our home about 18 miles west of the launch pad. It is pretty nasty out there, lots of small thunderstorms drifting mainly west to east. Trouble is that they are still forming in the middle of the state due to the sea breeze collision so we might be seeing storms all afternoon. If they do try, it would be a case of loading the astronauts, fueling and going down in the count to the last hold point and hoping the weather is good at that time. I believe it is a ten minute window, so not a lot of time to juggle with. I think the next attempt would be on Saturday May 30th and right now the weather looks just as bad.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Yep, the backups are Sat and Sun, and last I saw their weather forecasts are no better than today's. Come on, 2020. Throw us a friggin' bone here.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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They just said that there is currently a 40% probability that the local weather will be good to go.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Max Peck wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:00 pm
They just said that there is currently a 40% probability that the local weather will be good to go.
Did I mention that they just issued a tornado WARNING for the northern part of our county (where the space center is located), and that about ten miles north of the pad radar is seeing signs of rotation? If I was launch director I wouldn't want to be in front of Congress explaining why I left the crew in the spacecraft with really bad weather like that happening. Time to scrub the launch guys.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Too politically dumb to scrub it seems. Too scared of Trump. Fuck lives lets do this! *Marches into Storm*

Also "Lets get that COVID to the station!"
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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They mentioned a few minutes ago that a cell near Orlando is the gating factor right now, but that it's eroding. So I guess this might actually happen. Fingers crossed.

T-1 hour, 50 minutes.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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This is all a little surreal for me since it's been 45 years since I've watched a manned launch from US soil that I've not been on-site in the firing room. I'm currently listening to com checks from the ground to the spacecraft while watching the closeout crew stand around in the white room waiting for the go to leave the tower. Very surreal.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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jztemple2 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:43 pm
This is all a little surreal for me since it's been 45 years since I've watched a manned launch from US soil that I've not been on-site in the firing room. I'm currently listening to com checks from the ground to the spacecraft while watching the closeout crew stand around in the white room waiting for the go to leave the tower. Very surreal.
I imagine you have some stories.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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My first job on the Shuttle program was at the Liquid Hydrogen facility at Pad A. In the image I captured from NASA TV below, I've circled where my trailer was located.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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They just confirmed that Trump is flying in to watch the launch. So we get a free political rally to go with the rest of the show. Yay...
Last edited by Max Peck on Wed May 27, 2020 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Time and tide melt the snowman.

There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Zaxxon wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:48 pm
jztemple2 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:43 pm
This is all a little surreal for me since it's been 45 years since I've watched a manned launch from US soil that I've not been on-site in the firing room. I'm currently listening to com checks from the ground to the spacecraft while watching the closeout crew stand around in the white room waiting for the go to leave the tower. Very surreal.
I imagine you have some stories.
Yeah, including ones where I'd have to change the names so as to not embarrass people :D
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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jztemple2 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:51 pm
Zaxxon wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:48 pm
jztemple2 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:43 pm
This is all a little surreal for me since it's been 45 years since I've watched a manned launch from US soil that I've not been on-site in the firing room. I'm currently listening to com checks from the ground to the spacecraft while watching the closeout crew stand around in the white room waiting for the go to leave the tower. Very surreal.
I imagine you have some stories.
Yeah, including ones where I'd have to change the names so as to not embarrass people :D
Not sure about you, but I've got *checks notes* about an hour and 40 minutes to kill.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Traffic building up heading towards Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. Glad I'm home.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Well, there was the time that my NASA counterpart and I were supporting 2nd shift debug at the LCC (Launch Control Center, that low white building connected to the VAB0) on a Friday. We waited a couple of hours for the computer systems to get booted up, but they told us it would be a couple more hours. So my NASA guy put me on the back of his motorcycle, a big Kawasaki, and we drove off-base to the bar where our engineers do their Friday night drinking.

Being young and carefree and not too bright, we knocked back several drinks apiece and after an hour or so, rode back onto KSC, feeling rather happy. I was holding onto my NASA guy for dear life as there was no sissy bar and he delighted in blasting way over the limit. We got back to the LCC but found that all debug had been canceled due to further computer problems. We went home.

Monday morning I was called into the office of the chief engineer of our company, who happened to be at that bar that night. He gave me a stern lecture about how what I had done was dumb and dangerous. I agreed and said I wouldn't do it again, which I didn't. The incident was forgotten and I never heard about it again.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Causeway leading to Cape Canaveral...
Image

Hwy 50 leading into Titusville, the closest city viewing spot.
Image

Traffic trying to get onto the Max Brewer bridge, always a favorite location for launches from LC-39
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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jztemple2 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:01 pm
Well, there was the time that my NASA counterpart and I were supporting 2nd shift debug at the LCC (Launch Control Center, that low white building connected to the VAB0) on a Friday. We waited a couple of hours for the computer systems to get booted up, but they told us it would be a couple more hours. So my NASA guy put me on the back of his motorcycle, a big Kawasaki, and we drove off-base to the bar where our engineers do their Friday night drinking.

Being young and carefree and not too bright, we knocked back several drinks apiece and after an hour or so, rode back onto KSC, feeling rather happy. I was holding onto my NASA guy for dear life as there was no sissy bar and he delighted in blasting way over the limit. We got back to the LCC but found that all debug had been canceled due to further computer problems. We went home.

Monday morning I was called into the office of the chief engineer of our company, who happened to be at that bar that night. He gave me a stern lecture about how what I had done was dumb and dangerous. I agreed and said I wouldn't do it again, which I didn't. The incident was forgotten and I never heard about it again.
I'm pretty sure that's from Top Gun ;)

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Daughter and I will be putting on our NASA shirts and watching the launch on TV. Hope the weather holds for a safe launch!
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Max Peck wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 2:50 pm
They just confirmed that Trump is flying in to watch the launch. So we get a free political rally to go with the rest of the show. Yay...
Maybe a piece will fall on him.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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morlac wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:07 pm
I'm pretty sure that's from Top Gun ;)
My NASA counterpart would have been thrilled to be compared to Tom Cruise :D

One time one of my engineers and I snuck, err, made an unauthorized visit to Pad A (from where the Demo-2 is launching today) one evening back in the late seventies. This was during the re-activation phase a couple of years before the first shuttle launch and there was no work after 1st shift, but we knew where there was an open gate. We climbed up the steps of the Liquid Hydrogen storage tank (holds about 800,000 gallons of LH2), turned on our transistor radio and waited, facing south.

Just south of LC-39A was one of the Air Force's Titan launch pad and that night, we knew, there was a secret launch scheduled (we had people who knew people). Since it was secret there were no searchlights, no pad lights at all there. And where we were was supposedly in the off limits danger zone (cue music) :roll:. We knew the planned time of launch but had no way of knowing if it was delayed or scrubbed, so we were just going to sit there and wait.

And just at the time predicted, there was a bright light and a few seconds later, a rising Titan rocket. This was (we found out later) a launch of one the huge Keystone satellites so the Titan had the two big strap-on solid rocket boosters. It was almost blinding as we were only 2-3 miles away. And what we hadn't anticipated was the vibration! It shook the air, the ground and especially the tank we sat on, full to the brim with liquid hydrogen. We stayed up on the tank as it was too dangerous to try to go down the stairs till everything stopped shaking.

Still, it was freaking awesome :D
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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$iljanus wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:12 pm
Daughter and I will be putting on our NASA shirts and watching the launch on TV. Hope the weather holds for a safe launch!
Same wearing gear we got at last years night launch :)

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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jztemple2 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:25 pm
morlac wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:07 pm
I'm pretty sure that's from Top Gun ;)
My NASA counterpart would have been thrilled to be compared to Tom Cruise :D

Still, it was freaking awesome :D
You realize what part you played, right ? :D

I kid, great story!

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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They may luck out after all with the weather. One more small line of rain headed towards KSC and then what looks to be an opening from storms for a while.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Those guys have been sitting in there over 30 minutes already with at least another hour to wait. No way I could do that. Id have to piss already by now. Combine that with nerves Id need to pee every 15 minutes. Id want them to let me climb in at t minus 5 minutes. Then Id have to go as soon as I got to the station.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Daehawk wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:32 pm
Those guys have been sitting in there over 30 minutes already with at least another hour to wait. No way I could do that. Id have to piss already by now. Combine that with nerves Id need to pee every 15 minutes. Id want them to let me climb in at t minus 5 minutes. Then Id have to go as soon as I got to the station.
I might be wrong, but I think they just pee in their pants.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Probably the biggest attraction for going into the astronaut business.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Well, if no one minds, another story. This was late in the program, 2010 or maybe even 2011. I was in the management firing room in the LCC at my usual console, sitting with the NASA head of propulsion and a bunch of other propulsion folks. It was the middle of the night and we were in the replenish phase, where the external oxygen and hydrogen tanking are being continuously topped off while the flight crew is being brought out to the pad for entry into the shuttle. We don't have much of anything going on at the time so we are yakking and trying to stay awake (very hard for me, that's another story) when in comes Charlie Bolden, former astronaut and now NASA administrator under Obama. He looks around the room, spots my NASA guy who he has known for a couple of decades, and sits down with us and starts chewing the fat.

Charlie (I get to call him Charlie since he called all of us by our first names) is a pretty cool guy, but at this point in time rather harried. He is dealing with the wind-down of the Shuttle program, trying to get Congress to fund follow-on manned programs (with no luck) and basically catching flak for everything that goes wrong. Your basic NASA administrator job. We talk somewhat about his job, but mostly we reminisce about his Shuttle flights. When he found out I'd been there since the program started, he wanted to hear more from me, which was very nice of him.

Finally after a while, my NASA guy (who for the life of me I can't remember his name) turns to Charlie and asks, why the heck did you take this job with all its troubles? Charlie pauses for a moment and says that he couldn't say no to the person that asked him (Obama). We talked a bit more and then he move on to chat with some of his other old buddies.

Cool guy.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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I don't know.... Peeing in your pants is a pretty good attraction. But I don't think it beats "no pants".
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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hepcat wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:45 pm
Probably the biggest attraction for going into the astronaut business.

I always thought that was Tang and Velcro zippers.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Crew access arm has been retracted and launch abort system has been activated. Anything goes badly wrong from now till launch and the spacecraft will automatically escape from the launch vehicle.

Next step is fuel and oxidizer loading.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

Post by hepcat »

jztemple2 wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:54 pm
Next step is fuel and oxidizer loading.
...in their pants.

also, thanks for the story above! that was pretty cool!
Last edited by hepcat on Wed May 27, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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If you didn't get your parking spot before, it might be too late now...
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Sitting in your own water for an hour then taking off in the same water at whatever G it is does not sound fun.

Also we've used rockets for 60 or 70 years now. They seem so primitive and I know they are unsafe. In the same time frame of 70 years we went from no flight to planes to jets to space rockets. Yet here are are still on rockets with explosive liquids in them.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Daehawk wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:59 pm
They seem so primitive and I know they are unsafe.
What is your metric here?
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

Post by hepcat »

Star Trek
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