Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: 2014-11-30

December 4, 2014

Live streaming of Orion space launch

Dear readers and followers,

Earlier this morning, the United Launch Alliance tower used to prepare the Orion spacecraft for liftoff was moved away. You can watch the rollback below: 

Mobile Service Tower rollback from NASA Orion Spacecraft on Vimeo.

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop is seen here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37, Florida. 

Update in pictures there:

The second stage issue and boat in the range. Delay possible, but 2 hours launch window gives flexibility. This delay is not due to technical or weather problems for launch. It's on a hold due to a boat in range of launch

- New launch time set for 7:17 a.m EST, but it has been delayed again because of wind, as shown in the picture below which show the 1-minute peak wind speed measured at 230-ft above pad 41.

7: 46 am ESTNew T-0 of 7:55 am EST has been decided

7: 43 am EST: Hold hold hold again ... launch delayed

- 8: 16 am EST: New T-0 8:26 am EST, the launch will be for today

- 8: 24 am EST: HOLD AGAIN . Launch team reports the rocket's fill and drain valve did not close.

- 8:39 am EST: The technical problem seems to come from the valves. Fill-&-drain valves on 3 core boosters will be cycled open and closed to see if that solves the problem.

- 9:44 am EST: Launch of the Orion mission scrubbed for today,if the valve issue can be fixed today, NASA will try again tomorrow.

Live launch coverage of Orion begins on NASA TV at 4:30 a.m. EST with the link below:

Source: +NASA

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December 3, 2014

Successful launch of H-IIA with Hayabusa2 Onboard for its asteroid mission

Dear readers and followers,

H-IIA F26 (the Japan space launch vehicle) with the Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa2 onboard launched at 1:22:04 p.m. on Dec 3, 2014 (JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan. The rocket flew smoothly, and, at about approximately one hour, 47 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff, "Hayabusa2" was separated from the space vehicle H-IIA F26.

H-IIA (H2A) is an active expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( +JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 ). The several step occurring after the liftoff has been done with success:

1. Liftoff : 0 min. 0 sec.
2. SRB-A burnout *2 : 1 min. 33 sec.
3. SRB-A jettison *3 : 1 min. 47 sec.
4. Payload fairing jettison : 4 min. 11 sec.
5. First stage main engine cutoff (MECO) : 6 min. 36 sec.
6. 1st and 2nd stages separation : 6 min. 44 sec.
7. Second stage engine lock-in (SELI1) : 6 min. 54 sec.
8. Second stage engine cutoff (SECO1) : 11 min. 20 sec.
9. Second stage engine lock-in (SELI2) : 1 hour 39 min. 26 sec.
10. Second stage engine cutoff (SECO2) : 1 hour 43 min. 31 sec.
11. Hayabusa2 separation : 1 hour 47 min. 21 sec.
12. SHINEN2 separation : 1 hour 54 min. 1 sec.
13. ARTSAT2-DESPATCH separation :1 hour 58 min. 11 sec.
14. PROCYON separation : 2 hour 2 min. 21 sec.

While Philae sleeps on the comet 67P, the spacecraft MASCOT (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout) is planned explore asteroid and land on it. The asteroid lander developed by +DLR, German Aerospace Center, the Japan space agency +JAXA | 宇宙航空研究開発機構 and the French space agency, +CNES

In 2018 the Japanese Hayabusa 2 Mission will feature an asteroid landing and will, for the first time, allow for data acquisition at various points of this kind of celestial body, assisted by MASCOT , the hopping landing craft developed by the German Aerospace Center. 

The plan is to send the orbiter to its destination in 2014. Upon arrival in 2018, the spacecraft will initially remain in orbit to scout the unknown terrain. A stable, yet extremely light cover will protect the shoe box-sized lander as it falls to the asteroid’s surface. The four instruments designed to conduct in situ measurements on the asteroid are located inside the DLR landing craft: the infrared spectrometer that will analyse the surface composition magnetometer to investigate the magnetic field a wide-angle camera to record the landing site and the fine structure of the soil a radiometer that will measure surface temperatures, among other things.

Once the initial measurements are complete, MASCOT will hop to the next measurement site, providing scientists with data from different positions on asteroid on 1999 JU 3, gathered over two asteroid days and nights. During its mission, the landing craft will be monitored from the DLR Microgravity User Support Center (MUSC).

1999 JU3 is an Apollo asteroid. The asteroid was discovered in 1999 by the LINEAR project. The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo, the first asteroid of this group which was discovered by Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth. 

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