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The Lounge>Space Exploration megathread
DaFace 09:40 AM 06-01-2014
Since a number of cool things are happening in space exploration these days, we'll widen the scope of this thread a smidge. Conversation about all things space exploration are welcome, whether it be from NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Blue Origin, or anyone else. Chances are most of the discussion will still be about SpaceX since they love to make things public and fun, but nothing's off limits. I'll eventually get around to modifying the OP to include resources for other companies too, but in the meantime, feel free to post any cool stuff you run across.

Lists of Upcoming Missions

Spoiler!


How to Watch a Live Launch
Spoiler!


Where to Learn More
Spoiler!


Glossary
Spoiler!

[Reply]
MagicHef 11:42 AM 12-05-2019
Originally Posted by SuperBowl4:
Biggest waste of money and time. We have many homeless and many problems here on this planet that could use this money WASTED ON SPACE EXPLORATION. SUPER LAME according to me. GO CHIEFS!
Disagree. Space exploration is one of the biggest drivers of technological advancements we have, and technology has been reducing global poverty in large amounts in recent years.
[Reply]
MagicHef 12:01 PM 12-05-2019
Originally Posted by DaFace:
Pretty mundane anymore. :-)
I'm really looking forward to the in-flight abort test and seeing a Falcon 9 explode in the air.
[Reply]
GloryDayz 12:08 PM 12-05-2019
Originally Posted by DaFace:
Pretty mundane anymore. :-)
It really is..
[Reply]
Megatron96 03:16 PM 12-05-2019
Originally Posted by SuperBowl4:
Biggest waste of money and time. We have many homeless and many problems here on this planet that could use this money WASTED ON SPACE EXPLORATION. SUPER LAME according to me. GO CHIEFS!
What on God's green Earth are you talking about? This year we spent 21.5 billion on NASA's budget, or 0.49% of the federal budget.

0.49%. In case the decimal threw you, that's less than a 1/2 (HALF) percent.

Our space exploration budget has been operating on a shoe string budget for decades. Since its inception in 1958, the U.S. has spent just 601 billion dollars on its space program, not even 2/3rds of a trillion dollars. Or less than what we spend on public education annually. And you think the space program is a waste of money. The fact is that our space program is probably the leanest program in the history of modern Man.

We should be spending more, not less. If we'd spent just another half a percent (1/2, 0.5) for the last 30 years, we'd have a permanent colony on the Moon by now, Americans would've already walked on Mars, and we might've already sent a light sail laser-powered probe to the nearest stars. And all of that new tech would've meant significant expansions in manufacturing, production, energy efficiency, etc.
[Reply]
DaFace 03:54 PM 12-13-2019
Looks like Boeing is finally getting ready to test their ISS crew capsule next week!

https://www.space.com/boeing-starlin...ch-dec-20.html
[Reply]
Donger 03:57 PM 12-13-2019
Originally Posted by DaFace:
Looks like Boeing is finally getting ready to test their ISS crew capsule next week!

https://www.space.com/boeing-starlin...ch-dec-20.html
I'm really excited to see the Atlas V stick the landing.
[Reply]
DaFace 03:59 PM 12-13-2019
Originally Posted by Donger:
I'm really excited to see the Atlas V stick the landing.
Ha. While blowing up in the atmosphere isn't quite as exciting as a Falcon 9 landing, I mainly just want to get SOMEBODY who can get people up to the ISS and back...
[Reply]
DaFace 04:02 PM 12-13-2019
Also, another (routine) SpaceX launch is on the way next week as well.

The booster supporting this mission previously supported the CRS-17 and CRS-18 missions pic.twitter.com/BDtOZOxZ9J

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 13, 2019

[Reply]
eDave 04:12 PM 12-13-2019
I believe they are delivering marijuana cultures to the station this time.
[Reply]
DaFace 04:18 PM 12-13-2019
Originally Posted by eDave:
I believe they are delivering marijuana cultures to the station this time.
Next CRS launch - yes - but that's not until March.
[Reply]
GloryDayz 05:37 PM 12-13-2019
Seeing the clip of the Boeing control room full of people wearing ties was interesting.
[Reply]
njchiefs 12-14-2019, 01:42 PM
This message has been deleted by njchiefs. Reason: Picture doesn’t appear
Donger 02:39 PM 12-16-2019
Tonight, SpaceX is set to launch one of its last missions of the year from Florida. For this flight, the company will be trying to recover as many pieces of its rocket as possible post-takeoff. The Falcon 9 rocket flying today will attempt one of SpaceX’s signature landings after launch, targeting a drone ship floating in the Atlantic Ocean. After that, two of the company’s modified boats will try to catch the rocket’s nose cone with giant nets.

If all goes well, it’ll mark the first time that SpaceX has recovered so many parts of its vehicle following a launch, catching them all before they hit the ocean. While SpaceX has been fairly consistent with landing its rockets after each flight, the company has just started seeing some success with catching the rocket’s nose cone, also known as the payload fairing. But SpaceX has only had the capability to catch part of the fairing after each flight. That could change today.

The fairing is the bulbous structure that sits on top of the rocket to protect the satellite payload during the ascent to space. Once the vehicle has made it past the bulk of Earth’s atmosphere, the fairing breaks into two pieces and falls back to Earth. Typically, these pieces of the rocket go to waste — something that SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was not happy about. “Imagine you had $6 million in cash in a pallet flying through the air, and it’s going to smash into the ocean,” Musk said once during a press conference. “Would you try to recover that? Yes. Yes, you would.”

In an effort to save these expensive pieces of hardware, SpaceX bought a boat and outfitted it with a giant net in order to catch one half of the fairing when it comes back to Earth. At the same time, SpaceX outfitted each fairing half with its own tiny thrusters and guidance system to help them navigate through our planet’s atmosphere. They also have their own parachutes to slow their fall. When timed just right, the netted boat can swoop underneath the descending fairing and catch it before it hits the ocean.

For a handful of recent launches, SpaceX has been able to catch one of the fairing halves after takeoff — not both. But that’s mostly because the company only had one boat with a giant net. Now, SpaceX has two vessels — named Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief — which will work in tandem to catch both fairings after today’s mission.

As for what’s going up on tonight’s flight, the Falcon 9 rocket is tasked with lofting a dual-use communications satellite called JCSAT-18/Kacific1 to geostationary orbit — a high path 22,000 miles above the Earth’s equator where satellites follow the rotation of the planet. The JCSAT-18 portion of the satellite is meant to provide communication coverage over the Asia-Pacific region for the Japanese SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation. The Kacific1 portion of the satellite will aim to provide communications coverage for areas in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands without much access to the internet.

The rocket flying today’s mission has already been to space twice before; it previously sent cargo to the space station once in May and then again in July. Today could mark its third landing following a trip to space. So far, the most SpaceX has reused a single vehicle has been four times, though the company claims the latest version of its Falcon 9 rocket can fly up to 10 times without the need for much refurbishment between launches.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is set to launch from the company’s pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The company has a launch window that lasts roughly an hour and a half, opening at 7:10PM ET and ending at 8:38PM ET. If, for some reason, the mission cannot get off the ground today, SpaceX can try again at the same time tomorrow, December 17th. So far, the weather seems pretty good for today, with a 90 percent chance that conditions will be favorable, according to the 45th Space Wing that oversees launches from the Cape.

SpaceX’s live coverage will begin about 15 minutes before takeoff, which could change leading up to the launch window. Check out SpaceX’s Twitter for any updates.

Rocket fairing falling from space (higher res) pic.twitter.com/sa1j10qAWi

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2019


[Reply]
DaFace 05:36 PM 12-16-2019
Launch coming up in about 30 minutes.

Falcon 9 looking gorgeous on the pad ahead of its 7:10pm EST window opening! Lot of haze in the air tonight but should be a great one regardless.

Watch @NASASpaceflight’s live stream here: https://t.co/arVm1aKKXA@ChrisG_NSF & @KSpaceAcademy will be there answering questions! pic.twitter.com/6VQOiCxkpc

— Brady Kenniston (@TheFavoritist) December 16, 2019

[Reply]
Donger 06:06 PM 12-16-2019
SpaceX webcast is live
[Reply]
Donger 06:17 PM 12-16-2019
47 consecutive successful landings? What about that one that landed in the water?
[Reply]
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