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View Full Version : Anyone watching MER-B (Opportunity) Launch?



Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 02:37 AM
Was going to crash out, but noticed it was happening - now I'm stuck here for 1.5 hours. Ah hell, need to know what a Delta 2 Heavy looks like at launch in any case...

Standing by...

Josh_imported
2003-Jun-29, 02:39 AM
Simulpost!

Checking it out right now. :)

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 02:44 AM
Simulpost!

Checking it out right now. :)

Cool. I've got a good link, but thought it was just me and Delta Launch Control :)

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jun-29, 02:57 AM
I got NASATV streaming from Space.com, but hopefully CNN or one of the other news networks will carry it. Every so often I need to rebuffer the video stream because it gets too choppy. :(

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 03:07 AM
Them built-in holds do my head in...

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 03:18 AM
Look at how that venting plume looks - like a dark nebula. Wow. I can quite imagine how Apollo hoaxers would have a problem with that stuff, but this is in realtime and it's real. When it's in the light, it looks like steam - then it turns into smoke...

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jun-29, 03:25 AM
Yea, those built-in holds drive me nuts. They just announced two minutes left in the hold, yay! Hopefully everything will go smoothly for this launch...

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 03:31 AM
Yea, those built-in holds drive me nuts. They just announced two minutes left in the hold, yay! Hopefully everything will go smoothly for this launch...

Just don't call 'Hold, Hold Hold!' on a whim - they might hear you (well, same continent...)

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jun-29, 03:45 AM
Some idiot driving a boat near the range (looking for a good view of the launch, probably) just helped delay them coming out of the second hold. That and bad weather moving in from Central Florida...


Argh.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 03:46 AM
How is it that some bloody idiot has a 'boat in the area'? You hold a Mars launch because of this? Dammit - let them take their chances, I say (and I'm a Euro-commie-liberal-weenie person)

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jun-29, 03:54 AM
I'm surprised one even got in. I thought they closed the surrounding range area about a day in advance, and would've had the Coast Guard out to enforce it.

Just heard the announcer say the range has reported the boat is out of the area and is 'believed to be a fishing vessel.'

Josh_imported
2003-Jun-29, 04:03 AM
Looks like we have another half an hour to go. Hope the weather stays "green."

Grand Vizier, are you going to be needing toothpicks pretty soon?

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 04:09 AM
I think you guys need a new launch site. Sure, the boat's gone - but now we have the 'toxic dispersal model' to deal with. Kourou doesn't seem to do too badly here - and Argos has some reason to feel smug about Alcantara. Let's not do Russia.

And then, of course, there's Sea Launch.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 04:11 AM
Looks like we have another half an hour to go. Hope the weather stays "green."

Grand Vizier, are you going to be needing toothpicks pretty soon?

Right now, Josh. But the fingernails are taking the real beating.

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jun-29, 04:14 AM
I'm surprised we arenít utilizing the Kodiak Launch Site more. Although it probably wouldn't work for Mars missions and such, it seems to average about one launch a year, if that. Logistics must be a killer, shipping rockets up to Alaska and all.

Anyway, this weather better hold off so they can launch in about half an hour.

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 04:23 AM
I'm surprised we arenít utilizing the Kodiak Launch Site more. Although it probably wouldn't work for Mars missions and such, it seems to average about one launch a year, if that. Logistics must be a killer, shipping rockets up to Alaska and all.

Anyway, this weather better hold off so they can launch in about half an hour.

Alaska (no - I don't know why the US set up a pointless launch site there either, but it does have something to do with missile defence, IMO - polar orbits?). If you want advantages in throw-weight for real commercial sats, then the closer the Equator the better. For example, moving Soyuz-Fregat from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to Kourou gives you a 25-30% payload mass improvement - and no chance that a toxic propellant cloud will hit major cities....

Josh_imported
2003-Jun-29, 04:30 AM
What about Vandenberg AFB in California? They can launch just about anything. (Maybe they're already booked?)

aporetic_r
2003-Jun-29, 04:30 AM
A question to fill the time as this hold crawls by... Periodically they show a control center, and in the foreground are 2 guys in USAF flight suits, with what look to me like SAC patches. What is the role of the AF in a launch like this?

Aporetic
www.polisci.wisc.edu/~rdparrish

Grand Vizier
2003-Jun-29, 04:33 AM
Scrub. Damn. See you guys for the next try then?

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jun-29, 04:33 AM
Vandenberg might be a choice, if that works out with all the dynamics necessary to launch a probe to Mars (not really familiar with those). I think they have a full schedule, especially with all these 'Classified NRO Payloads' lately.

Just got word that they scrubbed due to high altitude winds. Argh!

Josh_imported
2003-Jun-29, 04:34 AM
:evil: Arrgh! :evil: A scrub. It would've been nice to see live... :(

EpsilonIndi
2003-Jun-29, 04:35 AM
I think they are actually launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Pad 17B so the Air Force would logically have people there.

I'll try to be here when it launches. ::)

ToSeek
2003-Jun-29, 05:37 AM
I checked in at both launch opportunities long enough to find out the status. Well, better luck next time....

Humphrey
2003-Jun-29, 04:28 PM
IF it is not cloudy, i am going outside i might be able to see it co up if it is at night. :-)