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Possible new topic: Upcoming Launches

PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:11 pm
by rick m
Hi Paul,
This should make a good topic. I would also like to know if this Atlas launch from California will be visible to you. I live ~150 miles away and might be able to see the solid boosters and it sounds like it might put on a show so some of you folks in Europe; see MOLCZAN'S COMMENTS below.

LAUNCH ALERT Brian WebbVentura County, 2009 October 17 (Saturday) 05:49 PDT----------------------------------------------------------------------
LAUNCH ON SCHEDULE Sunday morning's launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying a militaryweather satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base appears to be onschedule. The Atlas is slated to lift-off from Space Launch Complex-3 East onsouth Vandenberg at 9:12 a.m. PDT, the start of a 10-minute launchwindow. Although the Air Force predicts an 80% probability of weather withinacceptable limits for launch, the forecast also calls for fog and avisibility of 1 mile at the launch site. The forecast also predicted the following cloud cover at launch: Stratus 7/8ths from 500 to 1500 feet Cirrus 3/8ths from 22,000 to 25,000 feet Given the predicted fog and low clouds at the launch site, the basicstrategy for viewing this launch is to get near south base and moveinland or go up in altitude to avoid the fog and low clouds. Fordetails regarding weather and launch viewing, go to: This may be the final Launch Alert that you will receive beforelaunch. Please go to the following page for launch and countdownstatus: Please note that because of my schedule, it will be difficult for meto answer all of your questions regarding this launch. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
LAUNCH RESOURCES For further information about Sunday's launch, use the followingresources: Launch/Countdown Status Launch/Countdown Webcast Go to the following location and click the Webcast tab on the left: Vandenberg Launch Viewing (go to "Questions") Launch Booklet Detailed information about the launch is available at: Photographing Vandenberg Launches ----------------------------------------------------------------------
MOLCZAN'S COMMENTS Independent space analyst Ted Molczan recently commented on Sunday's launch on the See-Sat Internet discussion group. The following are selected excerpts from his post: "The launch vehicle's performance far exceeds mission requirements; somuch so, that its Centaur stage will be disposed of in an unusua lmanner: a heliocentric orbit. That burn will be visible from parts ofEurope about 3 h after launch, followed within minutes by the dump of any remaining propellant." "On the first pass of Europe, beginning near 17:30 UTC, the Centaur is likely to lead the DMSP by several seconds in time. One rev later, at 19:10:07 UTC, while north bound over ~30 N, 6 E, the Centaur will begin a 220 s burn. At 170 s into the burn, it will reach escape velocity. By the end of the burn, it will have considerably exceeded escape velocity, by 1 or 2 km/s, I estimate." "The blow down will begin at 19:17:14 UTC, and will last for more than13 min."

Re: Possible new topic: Upcoming Launches

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:12 am
by Monroe
Hey, I do think we need a section for N-Prize launches! like the CUSF balloon launches and our NSE launches. How about one for static test too, like the kiwi igniter and our motors?


A section for really cool events like LCross or the Atlas Launch would be really cool too.

Re: Possible new topic: Upcoming Launches

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:36 pm
by pauldear
Hi all,

I added a "Don't miss this!" forum, where people can post heads-ups on launches, astronomical events and other upcoming things.


Re: Possible new topic: Upcoming Launches

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:42 pm
by rick m
Excellant idea Paul!