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Old 09-06-2013, 08:44 PM   #101
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Speaking of launches, NASA is launching LADEE this evening and it should be visible along large portions of the east coast. See NASA's LADEE Mission | NASA
Yep, should be a good one. The weather is perfect, so unless there's a mechanical problem it should be a go. 45 miles SW of me, so I should have a great view from the driveway. I've really been enjoying watching the Wallops Island launches since I moved out here.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:07 PM   #102
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I am near Betheny Beach tonight so I plan to watch the launch.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:33 PM   #103
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Wow! Very cool. We could clearly see al the stages light off. Much better view than I expected.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:37 PM   #104
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Yeah, really cool! It was so bright at take off it was hard to look at. Then we saw both stage separations. The first one looked like it would drop straight down on the Ocean City Boardwalk. But probably not. This one was much brighter than the Antares rocket I watched a few weeks back. I guess because it's going to the moon instead of just high orbit. Totally cool.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:12 PM   #105
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Chuckanut We got on the NASA's video link for the Ladee Mission. After lift off, we ran outside were able to see it in the night sky off the coast of Virginia. Saw the second boosters go off too! Shortly after we couldn't see it anymore. It was very cool to see!

You are right though, there wasn't a lot of media coverage on it or at least it wasn't front and center until today. I'm sure a lot of people who may have wanted to watch it, missed it.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:28 AM   #106
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This reminds me of Asimov's books where robots did most of the space exploration. However, unlike the books, I hope we don't decide to just hang out on Earth and let the robots take the risks.
I think that's what is going to happen, driven not by lack of desire, but cost. And nobody except those involved in the mission gets upset if a robot is lost in space.
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Old 09-07-2013, 08:02 AM   #107
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I think that's what is going to happen, driven not by lack of desire, but cost. And nobody except those involved in the mission gets upset if a robot is lost in space.
Perhaps from a gov't perspective. But I think private companies are the future of manned space flight and resource mining. I'm sure robots will be used to save human life, but I think men will be out there.

Also, just so nobody can say they didn't know, there's another launch from Wallops Island in a couple of weeks. NASA robotic explorer runs into trouble after launch (nothing serious, though).

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Wallops will be back in the spotlight in less than two weeks. The Virginia-based Orbital Sciences will make its first delivery to the International Space Station, using its own Antares rocket and Cygnus capsule. That commercial launch is scheduled for Sept. 17.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:55 PM   #108
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PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun.

"Now that we have new, key data, we believe this is mankind's historic leap into interstellar space," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "The Voyager team needed time to analyze those observations and make sense of them. But we can now answer the question we've all been asking -- 'Are we there yet?' Yes, we are."

How do you know when your space ship has entered a plasma field? Read on for the explanation. Also a good review of Earth's oldest operating spacecraft.


NASA Spacecraft Embarks on Historic Journey Into Interstellar Space | NASA
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:19 PM   #109
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PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft officially is the first human-made object to venture into interstellar space. The 36-year-old probe is about 12 billion miles (19 billion kilometers) from our sun.

"Now that we have new, key data, we believe this is mankind's historic leap into interstellar space," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist based at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "The Voyager team needed time to analyze those observations and make sense of them. But we can now answer the question we've all been asking -- 'Are we there yet?' Yes, we are."

How do you know when your space ship has entered a plasma field? Read on for the explanation. Also a good review of Earth's oldest operating spacecraft.

NASA Spacecraft Embarks on Historic Journey Into Interstellar Space | NASA
Although I am a neophyte on subject matter this fascinates me who remembers as a student in grade school the launch. Just think how much technology has changed and evolved since the launch over 35 years ago. And yet it still works and are able to communicate with it. And it travels at over 30,000 mph. Amazing stuff to me.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:35 PM   #110
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It helps to have a plutonium reactor for power.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #111
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Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy English humorist & science fiction novelist (1952 - 2001)

I watched the original launches of the Voyager spacecraft when I was 23 years old. Now, I'm retired and about to turn 60, and these craft are just now leaving the Solar system.

It's bigger than the SF movies make it out to be...
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:07 PM   #112
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The nearest star to our own is alpha centauri, at just over 4.37 light years away. Even after all these years of traveling, Voyager I is just 17 light hours away. Very big indeed.
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:38 AM   #113
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The nearest star to our own is alpha centauri, at just over 4.37 light years away. Even after all these years of traveling, Voyager I is just 17 light hours away. Very big indeed.

We need a more powerful propulsion system. 17 years to get out of the solar system and 6 months to get to Mars is not going to work well.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:37 AM   #114
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This is why we need warp drive. Can't leave home without it.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:36 AM   #115
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No current science for anything like warp drive, too bad. Until then the best we can do is CA (continuous acceleration) using ion thrusters. Good wiki on spacecraft propulsion: Spacecraft propulsion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Just need to figure out how to break those laws of physics.
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:37 AM   #116
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This is why we need warp drive. Can't leave home without it.
The vendor withdrew 'Warp' from marketing years ago.

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Old 09-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #117
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Just need to figure out how to break those laws of physics.
I am sure the Quantum physics crowd is busy working on it as we speak.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:29 PM   #118
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I am sure the Quantum physics crowd is busy working on it as we speak.
Sticking to 4 dimensions when there are 7 more to be had is pretty limiting.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:35 PM   #119
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Orbital Science has launched its first spacecraft to the ISS today.

Private Cygnus Spacecraft Launches on Maiden Space Station Voyage | Space.com

Looks like SpaceX has some competition. The Orbital Science craft can only make a one way trip. It burns up upon re-entry, unlike the Dragon from Space X which returns in one piece and can carry things in both directions. Orbital Science also recently launched the LADEE moon probe earlier this month.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:30 PM   #120
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I read that the payload is also smaller than the SpaceX vehicle.
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