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Archive for October, 2018
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 17, 2018 @ 10:03 PM | 24,313 Views

Nifty table of all the SECO orbits. The speed & altitude can be derived from the webcasts, but the inclinations are not broadcast. Not sure how they calculated the inclination change. Even without inclinations, rough calculations based on high school geometry showed it achieving abnormally low orbits. The table confirmed those calculations were right. To recover the booster after launching a 7000kg satellite, it can only reach an elliptical 11000 miles. That's lower than GPS. It's a long way from the direct GEO insertion advertised but never used by the delta IV heavy.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 15, 2018 @ 03:59 PM | 23,917 Views
Can a PASSENGER land a PLANE? Presented by CAPTAIN JOE (15 min 51 sec)

After months of thinking about the problem, it became clear the passenger should fly manually instead of trying to reconfigure the autopilot as depicted. We're all familiar with the basic airplane controls, have played flight simulators, & can drive cars. Getting the plane to point in a certain heading & controlling speed isn't very hard.

The autopilot is a horribly complex addition. Most of the radio time is spent explaining how to use the autopilot & looking for the controls. She had to lower flaps, lower gear, & reverse thrust, despite the autolanding being engaged. A 2nd passenger could have managed the flaps & gear.
To the lay lion, manually flying would greatly increase the chances of success, but Caption Joe based the video on no doubt what the FAA recommends.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 13, 2018 @ 01:21 AM | 18,139 Views
Fascinating closeups of the tested fairing half dropped by helicopter. "LATCH +YA2", "PUSHER S/N 6", carbon fiber weaving, nitrogen bottles, are hanging out for all to see. Most important is the "NOT FOR FLIGHT [email protected]%*@! SCRAP" written on a piece, obviously perfected from reviewing many job applications.

Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 11, 2018 @ 12:35 AM | 17,214 Views
Falcon 9 launches & lands behind San Francisco (5 min 34 sec)

The plume had a similar effect as the eclipse in that it was much bigger in the sky than it looked in a photo. The flight went from Salesquota tower to the golden gate bridge. You think these events are tiny dots in the sky when in reality, they seem to take the entire sky up & they're bright. The plume was so big & bright, it felt as significant as the eclipse. Everyone else within view of it must have been as fixated on it as the eclipse.

Hopefully, someday rocket launches will be an hourly occurrence, with the bright plumes a routine sight.
Posted by Jack Crossfire | Oct 04, 2018 @ 01:22 AM | 17,519 Views
New model, showing the latest 10m thrust structure which is as wide as a Saturn V, the paint scheme you'll probably see on the real thing, a 31 engine arrangement, a window configuration which is slightly easier to model than depicted. Never perfect, but always getting better. The wings are bad, but we can see how they would interfere with a gridfin deployment on the pad. Suspected the wings & landing gear would have to be fatter than depicted to support the landing mass.