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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/15/24 10:54 p.m.

Pretty good view tonight. The rocket headed south.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
3/21/24 5:05 p.m.

Just watched today’s Dragon launch. Clear skies but eventually lost sight as it arced over us.

A loud, rumbling launch, too. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
3/21/24 6:20 p.m.

I suppose this is the appropriate place for the launch from CA a few days ago

 

Had no idea what it was until the next day. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/21/24 6:39 p.m.

In reply to barefootcyborg5000 :

I wonder how many UFO sightings get called in for those early dusk (I assume from the lighting) launches. They look wild.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
3/21/24 6:51 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Fairly sure that number isn't zero. I only saw it because my wife was driving to the store and called me "go outside and look south. What is that?"

I assumed it was some comet or other because there is one visible according to the headlines I keep getting. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/21/24 7:07 p.m.

I get the "what IS that?" phone calls when people see Starlink trains too.

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 UltimaDork
3/21/24 7:11 p.m.

 I'd say late dusk. Long exposure on the still shot. This is unprocessed iPhone 11. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
4/12/24 1:17 p.m.

From a recent Vandenberg launch (they have been doing a lot recently).

Anyone know what these bright spots are?  They seem to appear as the booster gets up in the atmosphere.  They are quite bright, persist for quite a while (at least 30 seconds) and do follow the velocity of the rocket well (which is reasonable even if they are very low mass, considering how high it is at this point).

Normally I would say something like ice chucks falling off, but this is WAY late for that (this is before staging), and I don't think they would glow.  The trailing ones could be glowing because they are getting hit by the rocket exhaust, but you can clearly see one that has dropped off and is still glowing.  

This was shot as the sun was setting to the right of this shot BTW.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/12/24 11:12 p.m.

Good view for tonight’s launch. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/10/24 11:59 a.m.

A frame from my attempts to capture a Vandenburg launch.  I need to work on my setup a bit next time.  Autofocus needs to be off since it kept picking up trees etc, and I need to keep my tripod looser.   Launch was supposed to be 1/2 hour after sunset, which would have been perfect for ascending into sunlight, but it was delayed for about an hour unfortunately.

I have to say it is a crazy reality that I can look out a window from my house (pics where taken from neighbors front yard which has a slightly clearer view) and see a rocket go up!   It's a bit of a "the future is now" situation.  The launched from Vandenburg has been pretty furious recently, but I don't know how long that will last.  High inclination orbits are far easier from Vandenberg for SpaceX at this point, so I suspect it will be at least an occasional thing for a long time.

Also of note, they will apparently try and use the capture arms on the Starship launch pad in Corpus Cristi to capture and recover the booster after the next text launch.  Clearly that will save a LOT of engines.  Could get exciting.  There will not be much fuel in it, but it could still make a pretty big boom(!)

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/17/24 8:49 p.m.

Just now:



David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/17/24 8:51 p.m.

And a view from north of the cape. The ones right around sunset can just look spectacular. 

Kendall Frederick
Kendall Frederick GRM+ Memberand Reader
5/17/24 10:35 p.m.

I'm further south in Hobe Sound tonight and we had a great view with the over-horizon sunset lighting up the rocket exhaust.. it was pretty spectacular!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/24/24 12:22 p.m.

For those who are interested, SpaceX has released the report on the last Starship test flight.

https://www.spacex.com/updates/#flight-3-report

Flight 4 is expected in about 10 days. The goal is to survive reentry. They can test a lot of stuff on the ground, but there's only one way to test orbital reentry...

Here's the mission timeline.

https://www.spacex.com/launches/mission/?missionId=starship-flight-4

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/24/24 12:34 p.m.

Looks like they are not going to try and capture the booster at the launch pad, but seemly a simulation of that over water:

The primary objectives will be executing a landing burn and soft splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico with the Super Heavy booster, and achieving a controlled entry of Starship.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/24/24 12:47 p.m.

In reply to aircooled :

Not a surprise, they're not going to risk that expensive tower until they've managed at least one water landing. I think Musk has said they'll attempt it on flight 5 if everything goes perfectly, which is pretty aggressive, or "success-oriented" to quote the video from April.

https://spacenews.com/musk-outlines-plans-to-increase-starship-launch-rate-and-performance/

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/5/24 10:00 p.m.

Starship 4 could launch tomorrow, window opens at 8 am EST. 

Hoondavan
Hoondavan Dork
6/5/24 10:36 p.m.

I saw a launch last night (6/4 at about 10:15 PM ET).  I was driving but had enough time to call Kiddo so he could see it before the boosters shut off.  Very Cool.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/24 9:07 a.m.

Starship is in space right now. The booster came back and did a water landing, at the moment we're waiting to reconnect to the ship before it attempts reentry. That's the big target for this flight, getting the ship down to the ocean in one piece.

https://www.spacex.com/launches/mission/?missionId=starship-flight-4

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/6/24 9:56 a.m.

Holy berkeley it did it!

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/6/24 9:59 a.m.

Seeing the booster land was impressive. Starship coming in, flaps being burned/pulled apart live on camera but still enough to pull off the flip and landing was incredible.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/24 10:18 a.m.

That was an amazing flight. One engine out on launch (3% loss of thrust) and one on the landing burn but they safed properly and caused no other problems. The reentry was hard core. When the camera came back and the flap was still working, wow.

I'm sure SpaceX will post it to YouTube but you'll want to go straight to the channel to watch it - lots of spam streams out there pimping crypto and pretending to be legit. This is also a rebroadcast of the real, live SpaceX stream with no extra commentary.

Launch at 39 minutes, booster landing at 46, reentry begins at 1:25 or so.
 

 

DasAuto
DasAuto GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/24 10:39 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Holy cow they did it! Landing both the booster and starship! Are they going to recover them with ships??

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/24 10:42 a.m.

The booster might be floating just off Texas, waiting for a pickup. We've seen Falcon 9s float after a soft water landing.

The ship might have some holes in it, and is in a less accessible place. That one might be left to sink.

DasAuto
DasAuto GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/24 10:48 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

You'd think they'd really want to see how the ship held up to it's first re-entry. 

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