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Old 11-12-2014, 10:23 AM   #241
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The Europeans have pulled it off and landed a spacecraft on a comet. Well done!

Cosmic 1st: European spacecraft lands on comet
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Old 11-12-2014, 04:54 PM   #242
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Launched in 2004. Really unbelievable in some ways the amount of planning and the durability of the equipment.
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:18 PM   #243
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Looks like Orion will be launched tomorrow if all goes well.
NASA's Orion spacecraft poised for critical test flight - CBS News
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:47 PM   #244
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I'm on the other coast of FL. I might be able to see some vapor trail if it's not cloudy in the morning. That would be fun.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:17 PM   #245
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"There's Your New Spacecraft, America"

It looks like the Orion spacecraft's first unmanned flight was a success.

Excite News - NASA: 'There's your new spacecraft, America!"
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:52 PM   #246
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Video of the launch today





I grew up watching the Apollo missions. EXCITING !!!!
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:13 PM   #247
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And the re-entry/splash down

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Old 12-05-2014, 05:03 PM   #248
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They had great camera shots of the launch and re-entry from the Orion spacecraft. Thanks for posting the videos.

Great shots of the two side boosters falling away, the fairings separation and the first stage falling away. Not to mention the Earth and the horizon with space.
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:40 PM   #249
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That was amazing. I was late for work this morning due to watching the launch. Was startled when the boosters separated and I saw all those flames. Someone at work said they think it's some kind of explosive charge that disconnects the booster rockets. Anyone know why all the flames?
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:48 PM   #250
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Very exciting to see the Orion test go so well. Will be even more exciting when testing is done and astronauts go back out beyond earth orbit.

I was a total space geek when I was a kid so this brings back great memories.
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:50 PM   #251
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Exciting stuff. The video was great thanks Freebird
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:28 PM   #252
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Exciting indeed. I'm happy to see this happen, hopefully not far to go to end reliance on paying someone else for rides to the space station. Not to mention maybe going to the moon or perhaps even Mars! Now that would be exciting to see happen.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:53 PM   #253
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That was amazing. I was late for work this morning due to watching the launch. Was startled when the boosters separated and I saw all those flames. Someone at work said they think it's some kind of explosive charge that disconnects the booster rockets. Anyone know why all the flames?
They are most likely explosive bolts. I have worked on NASA programs both on ground systems and on board computer systems. Lots of fun and the launches are always exciting.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:14 PM   #254
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Brings back memories. We watched many of the Canaveral launches of Discovery, Columbia, Atlas and Endeavor... since 1990. They were about 65 miles away from our home in Leesburg, FL so it was common for the whole community to go out during the day ... or night... and watch the bright spark in the sky, and the contrails as the rockets disappeared. Lots of pride in those days. Remember well how we gathered at the main gate to watch, and applaud when the launch was successful.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:33 PM   #255
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They are most likely explosive bolts. I have worked on NASA programs both on ground systems and on board computer systems. Lots of fun and the launches are always exciting.
Thanks for the reply. I do remember hearing something about explosive bolts. Just very surprising to see the flames.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:37 AM   #256
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You're very welcome for the video links.

I had no idea that the Orion launch was scheduled.

I was watching the Weather Channel and saw the post-launch briefings. So I bipped right over to the NASA site and tried to find the live footage there in the NASA TV section. It directed me to the youtube site.

I thought this was pretty cool..."The Orion capsule launched Friday lacked seats, cockpit displays and life-support equipment for obvious reasons. Instead, bundles of toys and memorabilia were on board: bits of moon dust; the crew patch worn by Sally Ride, America’s first spacewoman; a Captain James Kirk collector’s doll owned by Star Trek actor William Shatner; and more."
Full article here NASA's Orion spacecraft back on Earth after successful test flight - The Globe and Mail

Google Orion and Star Trek "The Cage" and "Whom Gods Destroy" from the Original Series....too funny.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:14 AM   #257
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Nice to see America back in the heavy lift business.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:12 AM   #258
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Nice to see America back in the heavy lift business.
If this thing launches successfully next year we will have a rocket with a bit more than 50% of the Saturn V thrust.

Falcon Heavy | SpaceX

I think the Delta IV that launched Orion has about 1/2 of the thrust of the Falcon Heavy. It also has an excellent launch record. The Delta rockets are very reliable.
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Old 12-06-2014, 10:47 AM   #259
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Here's an interesting history of the Apollo missions. As the author notes, yesterday's Orion mission was a replay of some of the things done during Apollo, but with much more powerful boosters than today's Delta IV heavy. And with less fancy technology.

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NASA has a long way to go before it can hope to replicate the kind of deep-space piloted missions that it staged over a four-year period between Apollo 8 in December 1968 and Apollo 17 in December 1972.
Through a Glass, Darkly: Reflections on EFT-1 and Shadows of Apollo (Part 1) « AmericaSpace

Also of interest is the fact that Apollo 8 mission to circumnavigate the moon was a relatively late decision caused in part by the death of the three Apollo 1 astronauts on the launch pad.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:58 AM   #260
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Here's an interesting history of the Apollo missions. As the author notes, yesterday's Orion mission was a replay of some of the things done during Apollo, but with much more powerful boosters than today's Delta IV heavy. And with less fancy technology.


Through a Glass, Darkly: Reflections on EFT-1 and Shadows of Apollo (Part 1) « AmericaSpace

Also of interest is the fact that Apollo 8 mission to circumnavigate the moon was a relatively late decision caused in part by the death of the three Apollo 1 astronauts on the launch pad.
Great link and site. I enjoyed reading the articles. As a kid, I was totally enthralled by Apollo and can still remember Apollo 8's Christmas 1968 rendezvous with the moon. I still have all the mission patches and models of the CSM/LM and the Saturn IB and V. The achievements of that era were astounding and sometimes leave me feeling a bit saddened when reflecting on what we have done since. Hopefully, we will eventually find our way off this fragile planet and in the meantime will wake up and start taking care of it a bit better.
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