Humbled

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Image credit & copyright: Shane Michael Black.

Happy Saturday everyone! Let’s start the weekend with this brilliant image by Shane Michael Black.  In this image the Milky Way stands tall beyond the faint green airglow blanket and the admirer in the foreground while the snow covered Mt. Baker sits silently with him.

Mt. Baker, located in Bellingham, Washington at 10,781 ft. is the tallest mountain in the Northern Cascade Range and get this; more snow falls in this area than almost anywhere else on Earth. Mt. Baker is also a stratovolcano and the northern most volcano in the Cascade Range.  It’s young too.  It’s one of the youngest volcanos on the range and the current cone at its summit is only about 100,000 years old.  I’d love to stand here on a clear night to take in the landscape and peer through our nightly window to the universe.

I hope you enjoyed this amazing image from Shane and be sure to check out the rest of his works in the provided links.

Shane Michael Black website: http://www.shaneblackphoto.com/

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shaneblack/

500px: http://500px.com/shaneblack

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShaneBlackPhotography

Instagram: http://instagram.com/shanemichaelblack

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Annular “Ring of Fire” Solar Eclipse Today

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Image credit & copyright: Jia-Hao.

Today, Sunday, February 26, 2017 the new moon will cross directly in front of the sun and create the first of two solar eclipses (syzygy’s) of 2017.  If you plan to witness one of the most incredible natural phenomenon that the universe has on offer, you will likely have to do some heavy traveling; at least for this event anyway.

If you want more info on 2017 solar and lunar eclipses, here’s my short writeup: https://danspace77.com/2017-eclipse-schedule/

It may sound cliché but do not look at solar eclipses (or the Sun in general) without eye protection that’s designed for looking at the Sun. Anything other than this may result in permanent eye damage to you or a loved one. If you need to know where to get them check these links or ask me. You can get a pack of 25 for just over $25 (If you’re paying much more than that you’re being ripped off IMO.) so no excuses!

Eclipse Glasses – Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project – Non Profit Educational Outreach. We'll Donate a Percentage of the Sale Back to The Charlie Bates Project.

 

Where is it Visible?

The Path of Totality (where you can see the total eclipse) is set to begin a couple thousand miles west of Chile out in the Pacific at about 13:15 UTC.  It will then cross the tip of South America and the Atlantic before totality disappears about half way across South Africa at 16:31 UTC.

The 45 mile (72 km) wide and 8,500 mile (13,700 km) long Path of Totality will make landfall in Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and DR Congo however; a partial solar eclipse will be seen for many hundreds of miles to either side of the Path of Totality.  There will be different gradations of partial eclipse visible to you depending on where you’re located.  The closer you are to totality, the greater the partial eclipse will be.  Conversely, the further from totality you are the less partial the eclipse will be until you get further enough away that you won’t see any.  That being said, unless you’re in South America, South Africa or parts of Antarctica the only way you will be able to see this eclipse is after the event in images which should be spectacular and or watch live feeds of the event which I provide below.

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What’s a “Ring of Fire” Annular Solar Eclipse?

A solar eclipse is when the Moon passes in front of the Sun, blocking out much of the Sun’s light.  For accountability, I will also add that a lunar eclipse is when the Earth gets between the Sun and Moon, preventing much of the Sun’s light from reaching the Moon.  These events happen because the Moon is 400 times smaller than the Sun but the Sun is 400 times further away than the Moon is.

This is all pretty simple as a concept but it comes in varying degrees.  You have total solar and lunar eclipses which is when the three bodies are lined up nearly perfectly so that most of the Sun’s light gets blocked. You also have partial eclipses and those are solar and lunar eclipses when the alignment of the three bodies isn’t spot on.  In this particular case we will be having a total solar eclipse but the Moon will be slightly too far away in its orbit to oblige a completely covered solar disk.  This creates the beautiful annular or “Ring of Fire” total solar eclipse.

As Johannes Kepler discovered a long time ago, orbits are not circular, they’re elliptical or slightly oval.  In the Moon’s case, its average distance (semi-major axis) from Earth is about 238,000 miles (382,900 km) but also during each cycle is has times when it’s closer (perigee) and further (apogee) from Earth. Let’s look at the extremes using this year as an example.  The Moon will get as close as 221,958 miles (357,207 km) during perigee on May 26 and it will be as far away as 252,651 miles (406,603 km) during apogee on December 19. That’s a difference of more than 30,693 miles (49,395 km).

During Sunday’s eclipse, the Moon will be 235,010 miles (378,211 km) from Earth which means is will be slightly too small on the sky to completely cover the Sun.  In fact it will only be about 570 miles (917 km) too far away for the umbra to reach Earth which would equate to a fully covered Sun.

Jia-Hao Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/34615469@N04/albums

Jia-Hao Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Starscapes

Watch the eclipse live: http://live.slooh.com/

NASA page for this event: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Feb26Agoogle.html

Time & Date: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2017-february-26

Dominic Ford’s “In-The-Sky”: https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20170226_10_100

Fred Espinak “Mr. Eclipse”: http://mreclipse.com/main/preview.html

Bill Kramer “Eclipse Chaser”: https://www.eclipse-chasers.com/

Michael Zeiler: http://eclipse-maps.com/Eclipse-Maps/Welcome.html and https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/

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NROL-79 Kicks off a 3 Launch March for ULA

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Image credit & copyright: United Launch Alliance (ULA).

LAUNCH ALERT: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 17:50 UTC (09:50 PST & 12:50 EST) the United Launch Alliance (ULA), will be launching an Atlas V-401 rocket designated (AV-068) for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) as part of NROL-79, from Space Launch Complex 3E (SLC-3E), Vandenberg Air force Base, California.

This will be the ULA’s 117th launch, the 70th launch of the Atlas V, and the 35th launch of the Atlas V in its 401 configuration.

Continue reading

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Glory of the Night

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Image credit & copyright: Morteza Safataj.

Here’s an incredible image to take with you into the weekend by Morteza Safataj. In this image we have the Milky Way standing nearly vertical over the travertine terraces of Badab Sourt’s natural hot springs in Mazandaran Province, Iran.  The perfectly calm waters of the spring create a canvas on which our home star city can reflect its stars to be captured by our eyes and distributed to our emotions.

This location is just as beautiful in the daylight as it is at night and its one of the few places on Earth where locations of this size can be seen. I hope you all enjoy this image, check out more of Morteza’s work and have a great weekend!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/safatajphoto/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/safatajphoto/

500px: https://500px.com/mortezasafataj

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A Momentous Day, Indeed

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Images credit & copyright: SpaceX. Live streaming links and mission information below.

LAUNCH ALERT: Saturday, February 18 at 10:01 EST (15:01 UTC), SpaceX will make history as a Falcon 9 Full Thrust (FT) rocket will rise from NASA’s legendary Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) as part of Commercial Resupply Service 10 (CRS-10 or SPX-10) to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). Dragon will be captured and berthed to Stations Harmony module (Node-2) on Monday, February 20 where it will remain for approximately one month before returning to Earth.

Falcon 9 first stage at Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1): SpaceX image.

Falcon 9 first stage at Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1): SpaceX image.

This will be Space-X’s 30th Falcon 9 flight (F9-31) and the parameters of this mission will allow for a Return To Landing Site (RTLS) where the first stage of the Falcon 9 will return to, and land back at Cape Canaveral at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) (former LC-13) allowing them to forego landing on their East Coast Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY).  If successful this will be SpaceX’s 8th landing overall; 5 on drone ships and 3 on land.

The space shuttle Atlantis is seen shortly after the rotating service structure (RSS) was rolled back at launch pad 39a, Thursday, July 7, 2011 at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is set to liftoff Friday, July 8, on the final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The space shuttle Atlantis is seen shortly after the rotating service structure (RSS) was rolled back at launch pad 39a, Thursday, July 7, 2011 at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is set to liftoff Friday, July 8, on the final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA Launch Complex-39A (LC-39A): On May 25, 1966 test Saturn V (500F) was rolled out to LC-39A and just over a year later on November 9, 1967, LC-39A would see its first flight use as the first Saturn V; Apollo 4 (SA-501) launched into the Florida sky. From that day, all but one Saturn V (Apollo 10) would launch from that historic site to include all 12 humans in the history of our species to walk on the Moon and the launch of Skylab for a total of 12.

In the coming years, 39A would also see the first Space Shuttle stand full stack at the 39 complex, OV-101 Enterprise for fit check testing. STS-1 Columbia launched from 39A on April 12, 1981 and on July 8, 2011 STS-135 Atlantis would close out the Shuttle program from that same pad.  In the years between, all 6 Shuttles would stand at 39A for a total of 80 launches.

On December 13, 2013, NASA leased LC-39A to SpaceX exclusively for 20 years. When SpaceX’s CRS 10 leaves Earth to resupply the Space Station that 39A helped build, it will also mark the 93rd launch from 39A and it will also be the first non-Saturn V or Shuttle to launch from 39A.  In the years ahead, SpaceX plans to launch regularly from 39A to include the Falcon 9 Heavy and humans as well.

SpaceX's East Coast Autonymous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) "Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY): SpaceX image.

SpaceX’s East Coast Autonymous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) “Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY): SpaceX image.

Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships (ASDS): Were built at the Conrad Shipyard in Morgan City, Louisiana, the same place that NASA’s Pegasus barge is being refitted to support the SLS program. Pegasus carried lots of equipment throughout the years but most famously the space shuttle external fuel tanks from NASA’s Michaud Plant in Louisiana to KSC.

SpaceX’s barges are 300 by 100 ft. with “wings” that extend that width to 170 ft. It has also been fitted with thrusters repurposed from deep sea oil rigs that are able to hold balance and position to within 3 meters even in storm conditions. ASDS’s are painted black with the SpaceX “X” logo, a yellow inner ring and outer white ring acting as a bull eye. The East Coast ASDS is “Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY)” and the West Coast’s ship is “Just Read The Instructions (JRTI).”

In total there have been three ASDS’s. The first of which was Marmac 300, a deck barge named “Just Read The Instructions (JRTI).” That ASDS was used for two east coast landing attempts (CRS 5 & 6), deconstructed and retired. East Coast duties were then transferred to Marmac 304 named “Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY).” A third ASDS, Marmac 303 was constructed and stationed on the West Coast where it fields launches from Vandenberg AFB, CA. Its name, “Just Read The Instructions (JRTI).”

These fun yet odd names come from Scottish Sci-fi legend Iain Banks’s “Culture” series of 10 novels. They are spacecraft known as General Contact Units (GCU’s) from the novel “Player of Games.” Other spacecraft in the series (which get to name themselves) are even more entertaining such as “Size Isn’t Everything,” “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Death and Gravity.” Here’s a fun Wiki page with more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_spacecraft_in_the_Culture_series

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The Rocket: The greatly improved Falcon 9R FT rocket is a 2-stage partially reusable rocket with future ambitions of becoming fully reusable. The new version is 3.7 m (12 ft.) in diameter and 70 m (229.6 ft.) tall which is about 1.6 m (5.6 ft.) taller than the Falcon 9 v1.1 or “Block 2” in order to house a higher volume fuel tank. It is also fitted with upgraded Merlin family main engines. They have replaced the 9 Merlin-1D (and before them were the 1C engines), with the more powerful Merlin-1D+ engines that will provide a thrust of nearly 694,000kg (1.53 million lb.) at sea level. Each Merlin-1D+ provides 180,000 lb. (81,600 kg) of thrust at sea level, which equates to roughly a 20% increase in overall performance. If you add that with the new process of densifying the fuel and improving the overall airframe, the total gain in performance is about 33%.

Dragon Spacecraft (when in use) = The Dragon spacecraft is about 23.6 ft. (7.2 m) tall with trunk attached and 12 ft. (3.7 m) wide. It’s comprised of two main sections; the pressurized cargo area which can carry 388 cubic ft. of cargo as well as the unpressurized cargo area. The trunk (unpressurized area) carries 494 cubic ft. of cargo as well as the solar arrays. OR: Main Composite Payload Fairing (when in use) = the composite payload fairing is 13.1 meters (43ft) in length and 5.2 meter (17ft) in diameter. Dragon, along with Russia’s Progress & Soyuz, Europe’s (ESA) Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), Orbital ATK’s Cygnus and Japan’s (JAXA) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), is one of only six vehicles that can fly to the Space Station. While Russia’s Soyuz is currently the only crewed means of reaching and returning from Station, SpaceX’s Dragon is currently the only means of returning experiments and supplies back to Earth from Station.

Second Stage: Powered by a single Merlin-1D+ Vacuum engine with aluminum-lithium alloy tanks fueled by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (LOX/RP-1). The Merlin 1D+ are basically the same Merlin-1D engines used previously but instead of utilizing them at only 80%, they will now be operating at 100%. This stage can be restarted multiple times to place multiple payloads into desired orbits. For maximum reliability, the second stage has redundant igniter systems and has a burn time of 375 seconds.

Interstage: a composite structure that connects the first stage to the second stage and holds the release and separation system. Its al all pneumatic stage separation system for low shock, highly reliable separation that can be tested on the ground, unlike pyrotechnic systems used on most launch vehicles.

Core/Boost Stage is powered by nine (9) Merlin-1D+ engines in their circular “octaweb” configuration with aluminum-lithium alloy tanks fueled by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (LOX/RP-1). The Merlin 1D+ engines are basically the same Merlin-1D engines used previously but instead of utilizing them at only 80%, they will now be operating at 100%. The core stage has a burn time of 180 seconds and is gradually throttled. Its 9 Merlin-1D+ engine system can sustain up to two engine shutdowns during flight and still successfully complete its mission.

The first stage is fitted with four independently steerable grid fins that help control pitch, yaw and roll during vertical decent. It’s also fitted with four landing legs that will extend before touchdown.

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Watch Live:

Launch coverage begins Saturday, February 18, at 08:30 EST.

Rendezvous & capture coverage begins Monday, February 20, at 07:30 EST.

Berthing coverage begins Monday, February 20, at 11:30 EST.

NASA TV: www.nasa.gov/ntv

NASA TV Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv

SpaceX Webcast: http://www.spacex.com/webcast/

SpaceX YouTube (Hosted Webcast): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5bG37hzwqk

SpaceX YouTube (Technical Webcast): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8U2KXZzvtA

CRS-10 (SpX-10) Mission Info:

45th Space Wing L-1 Weather Forecast: http://www.patrick.af.mil/About-Us/Weather

SpaceX CRS-10 press kit: http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/crs10presskitfinal.pdf

NASA CRS-10 briefings & events: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/spacex-crs-10-briefings-and-events

NASA CRS-10 info: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-air-prelaunch-briefing-launch-of-next-space-station-resupply-mission

NASA SpaceX blog: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacex/

Heroicrelics Launch Complex 39 (LC-39): http://heroicrelics.org/info/lc-39/lc-39-abcd.html

Wiki Launch Complex 39 (LC-39): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39

SpaceX:

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 page: http://www.spacex.com/falcon9

Elon Musk Twitter: https://twitter.com/elonmusk

SpaceX Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpaceX

SpaceX Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpaceX

SpaceX YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/spacexchannel

SpaceX Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SpaceX

SpaceX Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacexphotos

SpaceX launches (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches

SpaceX booster landing attempts (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_9_booster_controlled-descent_and_landing_tests

SpaceX Stats: https://spacexstats.com/

General ISS Pages:

NASA’s HDEV 24hr LIVE streaming feed from the ISS: https://danspace77.com/2014/05/07/nasahdev-deliver-live-streaming-view-of-earth-from-the-iss/

NASA ISS main mission page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/

NASA ISS Blog: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/

ISS Main Twitter: https://twitter.com/Space_Station

ISS Research Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISS_Research

ISS CASIS Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISSCASIS?lang=en

ISS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ISS

ISS CASIS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISSCASIS

ISS Instagram: http://instagram.com/iss

ISS CASIS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iss_casis/

NASA ISS multimedia pages: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/index.html

NASA ISS Photos (All the photos you will ever need from the ISS): http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/index.html

NASA “2 Explore” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/

NASA “HQ Photostream” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/

NASA “Goddard” Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/

NASA Spaceflight TMA-15M: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31414.0

Roscosmos homepage: http://www.federalspace.ru/

Great ISS schedule page: http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-calendar/

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India Lights the 2017 Fire With PSLV-C37

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Image credit & copyright: India Space Research Organization (ISRO). Live streaming links below (hopefully).

LAUNCH ALERT! Tonight, Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 22:30 EST (03:30 UTC on the 15th), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will be launching a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in its “XL” configuration, designated “PSLV-C37” carrying the Cartosat-2 series Earth observation satellite from the First Launch Pad (FLP), at the Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India.

PSLV-C37 will be the 39th flight of the PSLV rocket and its 16th flight in the “XL” configuration.

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV):

The PSLV is a medium lift, 4 stage rocket standing 44 m (144 ft.) tall with a diameter of 2.8 m (9 ft. 2 in.) and is India’s space launch workhorse. It can deliver 3,800 kg (8,400 lb.) into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), 1,750 kg (3,858 lb.) into a Sun-Synchronous Polar Orbit (SSPO) and 1,425 kg (3,141 lb.) into a Sub-Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).  The PSLV comes in 3 variants; the “PSLV-XL” and “PSLV-G” which use six strap-on solid rocket motors, while the “PSLV-CA” is the no-booster, “Core Alone” version.

Payload Fairing: The PSLV payload fairing is two-shell protective enclosure that protects the spacecraft until it is high enough to be safe from atmospheric turbulence and is 8.3 m (27 ft. 3 in.) in length and 3.2 m (10 ft. 6 in.) in diameter.

Propulsion Stage 4 (PS4): Fourth (upper) stage is 2.6 m (8 ft. 6 in.) in length and 2.8 m (9 ft. 2 in.) in diameter. It’s two L-2-5 engines use Monomethylhydrazine as fuel, MON-3 as oxidizer and has a variable burn time but the high end is more than 500 seconds.

Propulsion Stage 3 (PS3): Third stage is 3.5 m (11 ft. 6 in.) in length and 2.8 m (9 ft. 2 in.) in diameter. Its single S-7 engine uses HTPB solid fuel and has a burn time of 112 seconds.

Propulsion Stage 2 (PS2): Second stage is 12.8 m (41 ft. 11 in.) in length and 2.8 m (9 ft. 2 in.) in diameter. Its single Vikas engine utilizes Unsymmetrical Dimethylhydrazine as fuel, Nitrogen Tetroxide as oxidizer and has a burn time of 158 seconds.

Propulsion Stage 1 (PS1): First stage is 20.3 m (66 ft. 7 in.) in length and 2.8 m (9 ft. 2 in.) in diameter. Its S139 engine utilizes HTPB solid fuel and has a burn time of 105 seconds.

Strap-On Boosters: The PSLV-XL and PSLV-G variants each use 6 HTPB solid fueled, strap-on boosters. The PSLV-G uses 6 standard size boosters, each 10 m (32 ft. 9 in.) in length and 1 m (3 ft. 3 in.) in diameter with a burn time of 44 seconds.  The PSLV-XL uses 6 extended boosters, each 13.5 m (44 ft. 3 in.) in length and 1 m (3 ft. 3 in.) in diameter, with a burn time of 50 seconds.  Four of the six boosters ignite on the launch pad while two ignite at 25 seconds into flight. If you look at the boosters they will say PSOM but if they are “XL” boosters they will say “XL” below that.  Below even that is the number of the booster 1-6.

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Watch Live:

ISRO: http://www.isro.gov.in/pslv-c37-cartosat-2-series-satellite/pslv-c37-cartosat-2-series-satellite-live

ISRO PSLV LIVE: http://cdn.24fd.com/events/isro/150217/PSLV-C37/

Doordarshan: http://www.ddindia.gov.in/Pages/Home.aspx

Doordarshan LIVE YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPPV46KaR5o

Doordarshan National LIVE YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fujsQ5teHJI

PSLV-C37 Mission Information:

PSLV-C37 main page: http://www.isro.gov.in/launcher/pslv-c37-cartosat-2-series-satellite

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Social Media:

Main Site: http://www.isro.gov.in

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/isro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/isro

ISRO Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Space_Research_Organisation

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV):

ISRO PSLV page: http://www.isro.gov.in/launchers/pslv

ISRO PSLV launch list: http://www.isro.gov.in/launchers/list-of-pslv-launches

PSLV Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_Satellite_Launch_Vehicle

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Ariane 5’s 2017 Debut Coming Up!

VA 233 / Galileo M-6

Image credit & copyright: ESA of the VA233 launch.  More launch images like this please!

LAUNCH ALERT: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 (Hint: Valentine’s Day) at 21:39 UTC (16:39 EST) Arianespace will launch the beautiful and massive heavy lift, Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA235. This mission will deliver a dual payload; SKY Brasil-1 and Telkom 3S communication satellites into orbit.

Launch will take place from Launch Site, Ensemble de Lancement Ariane-3 (ELA-3) at the Arianespace Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. This will be the 91st launch of the Ariane 5 and its 1st launch in 2017.

Arianespace, Ariane 5 Rocket: is a 2-stage expendable launch vehicle that stands 54.8 m (179.9 ft.) tall and is 5.4 m (17.7 ft.) in diameter and is equipped with two solid rocket boosters.  It comes in two variants (ECA & ES) and carries payloads weighing more than 10 metric tons to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) and over 20 metric tons into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). With only 2 failures to date and closing in on 100 launches, the Ariane 5 has earned it a place in history as an overall reliable heavy lift delivery system.

Ariane 5 ECA: is the Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) workhorse and usually carries a payload of two satellites. The primary difference from the Ariane 5 ECA configuration is the use of a storable propellant upper stage, which can perform multiple burns to deploy payloads into the desired orbit.

Ariane 5 ES is tailored for low-Earth orbit missions with the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), a resupply spacecraft for the International Space Station (ISS) that weighs more than 19,000 kg at liftoff. The ES Ariane 5 version also is capable of lofting satellites for Europe’s new Galileo space-based navigation system. The primary difference from the Ariane 5 ECA configuration is the use of a storable propellant upper stage, which can perform multiple burns to deploy payloads into the desired orbit.

Payload Fairing (PLF): The main payload fairing is a 2-shell fairing that’s 5.4 m. (17.7 ft.) in diameter and 20 m. (65.6 ft.) in length. Roughly 3 minutes and 100 km after liftoff the shells are pyrotechnically jettisoned. Inside the fairing of the ECA configuration is the structure that accommodates two satellites called “Systeme de Lancement Double Ariane 5” or SYLDA 5.

Etage Superieur Cryotechnique (ESC-A) Cryogenic Upper Stage (For the ECA configuration): Is 5.4m (17.7ft) in diameter by 4.7m (15.4ft) in length. It’s powered by a single HM-7B engine that burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LOX/LH2) creating 14,000lb 6.5 t of thrust. Burn time for the second stage varies depending on the mission but can operate for around 945 seconds. The second stage also houses the Vehicle Equipment Bay (VEB-C) or “The Brain” which controls the entire vehicle autonomously and also transmits flight data back to the ground.

Etage Propergols Stockables (EPS) Second Stage (For the ES configuration): Is 3.9 m (12.8 ft.) in diameter by 3.35 m (11 ft.) in length. It differs from the ECA configuration because it is not cryogenic, meaning that it carries storable propellants. It’s powered by a single Aestus engine that burns monomethylhdrazine & nitrogen tetroxide creating 14,000lb 6.5 t of thrust. The second stage for this configuration can be reignited many times to suit the mission’s needs. The second stage also houses the Vehicle Equipment Bay (VEB-C) or “The Brain” which controls the entire vehicle autonomously and also transmits flight data back to the ground.

Etage dAcceleration a Poudre (EAP) Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB’s): 2 expendable SRB’s are attached to the Ariane 5 and they provide about 90% of the thrust at liftoff which equates to about 1200 t of thrust. They each stand 31.6m (103.7ft) tall and are 3m (10ft) in diameter. They are each powered by a single engine that burns solid fuel (Ammonium Perchlorate, Aluminum Powder and Polybutadiene); burn time is 135 seconds.

Etage Principal Cryotechnique (EPC) Core Cryogenic Stage (1st Stage): Stands 30 m. (98.4 ft.) high and has a diameter of 5.4m (17.7 ft.). It’s powered by a single Vulcan-2 engine which provides 136 t of thrust. It burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen (LOX/LH2) and burns for 540 seconds.

Watch Live:

Live Streaming Launch: http://www.arianespace.tv/

Arianespace Livestream: http://www.livestream.com/arianespace

Arianespace YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRn9F2D9j-t4A-HgudM7aLQ

VA-235 Mission Data:

VA-235 mission information: http://www.arianespace.com/mission/ariane-flight-va235/

VA-235 press release: http://www.arianespace.com/press-release/arianespace-to-launch-digital-tv-broadcast-satellites-for-brazil-and-indonesia/

VA-235 Launch Kit: http://www.arianespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/VA235-launchkit-EN.pdf

Arianespace:

Arianespace Homepage: http://www.arianespace.com

Stephane Israel (CEO Arianespace): https://twitter.com/arianespaceceo

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Arianespace

Instagram: http://instagram.com/arianespace

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/arianespace/

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/arianespace

European Space Agency (ESA):

ESA page for more of these spectacular VA233 launch images: http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Missions/Galileo

European Space Agency (ESA) homepage: http://www.esa.int/ESA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/esa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanSpaceAgency

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+EuropeanSpaceAgency

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/europeanspaceagency/sets/

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ESA

Spaceport Kourou & Ariane 5 Data:  

Ariane 5 vehicle information: http://www.arianespace.com/vehicle/ariane-5/

Ariane 5 User’s Manual: http://www.arianespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Ariane5_users_manual_Issue5_July2011.pdf

Ariane 5 Brochure: http://www.arianespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Ariane5-Flyer-Sep2015.pdf

ESA Ariane 5 vehicle data page: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/Launch_vehicles/Ariane_5

Spaceport French Guiana: http://www.arianespace.com/spaceport-facility/

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