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Tugger
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Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Fri May 01, 2015 5:49 pm

Or maybe it'll get a lotta love!!

Here is a pic of the launch....
Image
OK, OK, maybe not an entirely accurate picture of the launch....  

So.....
Blue Origin,successfully launched their New Shepard rocket yesterday, though it did not have a successful recovery of the launch booster which it is designed to do (attributed to a loss of hydraulic pressure). Lift off was smooth and the capsule performed as expected and landed under parachute. Overall a good success if not recovery (but I don't think it was unexpected to not be successful).

But in the greater population and media, no one really noticed and followed like has been done with the SpaceX launches and news! Oh well. But the one that was noted and commented on.... well here is an actual pic of the launch:

http://wwwcache.wral.com/asset/business ... 28x463.jpg

.... and what was noticed was that the rocket looks a little.... penis-like  

I myself was a bit surprised at its girth to length ration, for a rocket it's pretty fat and stubby. I actually like it as it is a bit different than all the other sticks out there. But still it is funny.

Ah well, I wish BO (unfortunate initials?) good luck and continued success and progress.

A good link with videos:
http://www.popsci.com/video-jeff-bezos- ... miles-high

A pic of the capsule return:
Image

Tugg
Last edited by KarelXWB on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Fri May 01, 2015 6:01 pm

Quoting Tugger (Thread starter):
But in the greater population and media, no one really noticed and followed like has been done with the SpaceX launches and news! Oh well. But the one that was noted and commented on.... well here is an actual pic of the launch:

I think a lot that has to do with the amount of secrecy maintained within Blue Origin. I mean, to even get media to the launch site, they are looking at an all day proposition. IIRC, its something like 25 miles north of Van Horn, Texas, which is literally in the middle of nowhere. They don't want people to see about it, IMO.

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ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Fri May 01, 2015 10:27 pm

Yeah, on the media relations front Blue Origin is the polar opposite to SpaceX. Where SpaceX is all "Look at what we're doing!!!" Blue Origin is all "... ... ... We flew, that is all ... ... ..."

Anyways, good luck to them. Rockets is hard.
 
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Fri May 01, 2015 11:01 pm

Quoting ZaphodHarkonnen (Reply 2):
Yeah, on the media relations front Blue Origin is the polar opposite to SpaceX. Where SpaceX is all "Look at what we're doing!!!" Blue Origin is all "... ... ... We flew, that is all ... ... ..."

Maybe when Blue Origin does more than spend 15 years and vast amounts of money for the equivalent of a really big
model rocket flight they'll get better headlines. SpaceX started out two years later and is flying half the commercial payloads in the world and it looks like, for a while, most of the space station cargo runs.
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Sat May 02, 2015 1:08 am

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 3):
Maybe when Blue Origin does more than spend 15 years and vast amounts of money for the equivalent of a really big
model rocket flight they'll get better headlines. SpaceX started out two years later and is flying half the commercial payloads in the world and it looks like, for a while, most of the space station cargo runs.

Blue Origin has two public goals at the moment, and neither of them seem to conflict with SpaceX:

1. Suborbital tourism flights (Competitor: Virgin Galactic/TSC)
2. Engines for other companies, such as ULA (Competitors: Rocketdyne, SAFRAN, Energomash, etc.)
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Sat May 02, 2015 1:29 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 1):
which is literally in the middle of nowhere.

No it's not.

You have to pass nowhere about a hour before getting to Van Horn.
 
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Sat May 02, 2015 5:38 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 5):
No it's not.

You have to pass nowhere about a hour before getting to Van Horn.

I've spent some time in Van Horn, believe it or not, I had the fastest hotel internet I've ever seen there. But yes, they are totally isolated out there in West Texas, mostly, I believe, to cover up how many times they fail, and then release positive press when they want to.

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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Mon May 04, 2015 4:43 am

Quoting Tugger (Thread starter):
.... and what was noticed was that the rocket looks a little.... penis-like

I myself was a bit surprised at its girth to length ration, for a rocket it's pretty fat and stubby. I actually like it as it is a bit different than all the other sticks out there. But still it is funny.

Ah well, I wish BO (unfortunate initials?) good luck and continued success and progress.

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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Mon May 04, 2015 11:36 am

[quote=Tugger,reply=0] and what was noticed was that the rocket looks a little.... penis-like

You'd think someone there would say 'isn't there a chance someone is going to call it 'blue-veiner'?
 
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Mon May 04, 2015 1:32 pm

Quoting Tugger (Thread starter):
I myself was a bit surprised at its girth to length ration, for a rocket it's pretty fat and stubby. I actually like it as it is a bit different than all the other sticks out there. But still it is funny.

Seems like a good opportunity for the rest of us to learn about rocket design.

I was too curious why the rocket is stubby. But then you look at the landing stage. Seems reasonable to think that the taller your booster, the more difficult it would be to keep it stable during landing. Specially if there is any cross wind involved.

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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Mon May 04, 2015 2:40 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 6):
I've spent some time in Van Horn, believe it or not, I had the fastest hotel internet I've ever seen there. But yes, they are totally isolated out there in West Texas, mostly, I believe, to cover up how many times they fail, and then release positive press when they want to.

I believe another reason for the location is the access to Nat Gas in that location so they can create their own fuel (Liquid Oxygen and Hydrogen. The area has major gas pipelines running right through it so no need to truck it in etc.

Tugg
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RE: Blue Origin- Successful Launch -Can't Get No Love!

Mon May 04, 2015 5:55 pm

Not my work.... But damn good...


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XBEG6grrEJE

Will the booster be a second stage for an orbital vehicle? Who knows!

Cheers!

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Blue Origin Test Flight

Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:43 pm

Blue Origin will be launching it's booster again this morning, this time with the crew capsule in place for the test of its escape systems. This is to be done when the craft is at max dynamic pressure and so the booster, now on its fourth flight, is not expected to survive. It might though, it will be interesting to see if the booster systems can recover from the velocity disruption and escape booster ignition.

"About 45 seconds after liftoff at about 16,000 feet [5,000 meters], we'll intentionally command escape," Bezos wrote in a blog post last month. "Redundant separation systems will sever the crew capsule from the booster at the same time we ignite the escape motor."

That escape motor, which is mounted beneath the New Shepard capsule, will burn for 2 seconds, blasting the vehicle hundreds of feet away from the rocket. The capsule will coast for a while and then deploy three "drogue" parachutes near the top of its flight path, Bezos added. The main parachutes will open shortly thereafter, allowing New Shepard to touch down softly.

The rocket, which has already flown and landed four times, probably won't be so lucky: The 70,000 lbs. [32,000 kilograms] of force exerted by the capsule's escape motor will knock it off-kilter, making a successful landing unlikely, Bezos wrote.

http://www.space.com/34290-blue-origin- ... eview.html

Live webcast will be here starting at 10:45am EDT / 7:45am PDT: https://www.blueorigin.com/#youtubebqUIX3Z4r3k
(or here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqUIX3Z4r3k)

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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:49 pm

Success! All round!

Good launch, successful emergency system activation and separation, and apparently successful landing of the crew capsule (it always looks like it hits to hard but I know that's just the retro rockets at the last second).

And the booster didn't seem to miss a beat! It just did its thing and went to the edge of space and came back and landed again perfectly!

All around a great show and appears to be a rousing success for the Blue Origin team. Congratulations to them!

Image

Tugg
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zanl188
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:37 pm

I believe this is the first escape test I've seen where the booster survived...
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:21 pm

Awesome stuff.

The booster just kept going like nothing happened.

I find it interesting that the booster landing strategy is very different from the SpaceX approach.
The thing literally hovers for a short while before settling down. SpaceX's strategy is to aim right, come in hot and do one mighty retro boost just above the pad.

They're obviously very different rockets in terms of size and flight profile, but I like the 'sci-fi' touch of Blue Origin's landings, even if it seems a bit wasteful.

Now, if only the damn thing didn't look like a giant sex toy...
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:33 pm

zanl188 wrote:
I believe this is the first escape test I've seen where the booster survived...
.
It was pretty awesome watching it and realizing what the booster must have gone through with the aerodynamic and mass changes and trust impacts, etc. It made me wonder if perhaps the capsules engine thrust in fact helped create a "cocoon" of disturbed air that helped reduce what otherwise would be an instantaneous change. Whatever occurred, the boosters systems did a great job obviously, it appeared as if nothing happened or changed and it just kept going.

Francoflier wrote:
Now, if only the damn thing didn't look like a giant sex toy...

If I may refer you to my earlier thread for their first capsule launch and test:
viewtopic.php?t=1028003
:D

Tugg
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:44 pm

I want to have a chat with their design department.

All I see is an erect male body part with lots of power.

No, siriusly: I wonder how spaceflight will develop with these powerful engines and fully reusable stages. I also wonder if any company has thought of using petal-like wings to slow the fall, thus saving fuel which can be burned during the ascent otherwise.


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SeJoWa
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:55 pm

Very happy to see Blue Origin progressing smoothly with their phlying phallus. It will make a wonderful museum piece.

One day, people will look in wonder at these marvellous contraptions, just as the Wright flyer seems both ingenious and archaic all at once.

In an aside, the Wright bros.were both very methodical engineers.

I noticed the capsule slewing heavily upon firing of its rocket - wouldn't want to be cleaning the interior of that capsule after a real life saving abort.
 
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:08 pm

Although it would be a distraction from the more important matter of getting to orbit, I'd love for SpaceX to put the effort into their launch video's that Blue Origin does. SpaceX videos are mainly for the benefit of the engineers if something goes wrong.

Blue Origin instead relishes the dramatic shots, and the results are really stunning to watch despite being a far less powerful vehicle. The mix of close-up and distant shots, especially the booster plummeting towards landing at 600+ mph until the rocket fires up with only a few seconds before it becomes a crater tell an incredible story.

Francoflier wrote:
I find it interesting that the booster landing strategy is very different from the SpaceX approach.
The thing literally hovers for a short while before settling down. SpaceX's strategy is to aim right, come in hot and do one mighty retro boost just above the pad.


The empty SpaceX 1st stage is too light, and the Merlin engine has too high of a minimum thrust to hover. Instead, they time the start up and vary the thrust a small amount to make speed=0 at almost exactly the same moment as altitude=0.

It's like driving your car full speed at a brick wall and slamming on the brakes at the ragged edge of sliding out of control, only to stop with your bumper touching the wall, but undamaged. Landing wasn't one of the original Falcon 9 design goals, but they were willing to try crazy things to see if they could make it work, and to almost everybody's surprise (mine included), they only crashed twice before they pulled it off, and have managed about 50:50 since then.

In large part due to its significantly lower performance requirement, the Blue Origin booster is heavy compared to its thrust, and they've focused more throughout the whole design process on deep throttling (like car engines, rocket engines don't tend to run as well at low settings). The Blue Origin engine can throttle down low enough (1:1 thrust:weight) to do a true hover.

zanl188 wrote:
I believe this is the first escape test I've seen where the booster survived...


It's the first where recovering the booster has even been attempted, as the ability to recover it hadn't been tested. SpaceX now has that capability, too, but I don't think SpaceX is going to try to recover theirs, although I might not be remembering that correctly. They have a heavier capsule, which will consequently cook the booster worse.
 
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:27 pm

SeJoWa wrote:
I noticed the capsule slewing heavily upon firing of its rocket - wouldn't want to be cleaning the interior of that capsule after a real life saving abort.

I thought the same thing. It seems like it was fine when it was firing, it was when the booster was expended that it went all "vomity comety".

For anyone interested here is a good view of the booster at separation of the capsule:
https://youtu.be/rEdk-XNoZpA?t=95
(This is from the first capsule launch test in April 2015.)

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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:25 am

I wonder how fast the booster was accelerating when the capsule separated.
The capsule itself accelerated probably at a relative 3-5g (complete guess) away from the booster, which itself might have been accelerating away from the ground at about 3g...

That ride might even be more exciting than the one customers will be paying for...

They mention how they have to throttle down the booster after separation in order for it to remain controllable after shedding all that weight, but I wonder if they throttle down at the same time the capsule separates to lower the g force on the capsule or whether it happens afterwards.
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KarelXWB
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:35 am

Francoflier wrote:
I find it interesting that the booster landing strategy is very different from the SpaceX approach.
The thing literally hovers for a short while before settling down. SpaceX's strategy is to aim right, come in hot and do one mighty retro boost just above the pad.


Falcon booster is much larger, I imagine it's more difficult to hover a large, tall object.

To put things into perspective:

Image
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GST
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:32 am

KarelXWB wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
I find it interesting that the booster landing strategy is very different from the SpaceX approach.
The thing literally hovers for a short while before settling down. SpaceX's strategy is to aim right, come in hot and do one mighty retro boost just above the pad.


Falcon booster is much larger, I imagine it's more difficult to hover a large, tall object.


This will very much depend upon the mass distribution, gimballing range and speed of the engines etc at the time that you are trying to hover.

A bigger reason for the difference is that the "suicide burn" favoured by Spacex is the most fuel efficient way to slow a descending object to a safe touchdown speed, every litre of fuel that doesn't need to be used for landing can be used for putting a bigger payload into orbit, or into pushing the booster back uprange so that you can head back to the launch site instead of a barge at sea (or other downrange landing site). Most of the Spacex launch schedule is for high energy geosynchronous insertion of big enough payloads which pushes the boosters fairly flat out, so even going for the barge they don't have fuel to mess around with a hover for final position adjustments even if it takes only a couple of seconds.

EDIT: I forgot to add that when Blue Origin start playing in the orbital arena with reusable hardware, they'll be using ""suicide burns" too I bet.
 
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:11 pm

GST wrote:
A bigger reason for the difference is that the "suicide burn" favoured by Spacex is the most fuel efficient way to slow a descending object to a safe touchdown speed, every litre of fuel that doesn't need to be used for landing can be used for putting a bigger payload into orbit, or into pushing the booster back uprange so that you can head back to the launch site instead of a barge at sea (or other downrange landing site). Most of the Spacex launch schedule is for high energy geosynchronous insertion of big enough payloads which pushes the boosters fairly flat out, so even going for the barge they don't have fuel to mess around with a hover for final position adjustments even if it takes only a couple of seconds.

That is the point that Musk has tried to make a few times (somewhat inelegantly I think, a bit too much hubris in him perhaps - earned but still). The New Shepard is just going straight up and then falling back down. It is not doing the extensive navigating that the F9 booster must do to complete its task. But I do not want to take anything away from BO's success and progress. I very much appreciate the very different paths to their goals that the companies are taking.

GST wrote:
I forgot to add that when Blue Origin start playing in the orbital arena with reusable hardware, they'll be using ""suicide burns" too I bet.

What will be really interesting is seeing "New Glenn" booster do its return landing.... THAT thing is big.

Tugg
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GST
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:36 pm

Tugger wrote:
That is the point that Musk has tried to make a few times (somewhat inelegantly I think, a bit too much hubris in him perhaps - earned but still). The New Shepard is just going straight up and then falling back down. It is not doing the extensive navigating that the F9 booster must do to complete its task. But I do not want to take anything away from BO's success and progress. I very much appreciate the very different paths to their goals that the companies are taking.


Quite. That the New Shepard has fuel remaining to do these final adjustment landing hovers indicates that there is at least some more performance in the booster that they are not using in the flights so far made. I don't doubt that they will push the boundaries of their flight profiles as they rack up the tests. Exactly like Spacex did with the Grasshopper program which I think is fairly comparable to New Shepherd flights in the technology testing and learning aspect, those flights started off very gingerly if you're judging by the later ones.
 
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Re: Blue Origin Test Flight

Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:41 pm

GST wrote:

A bigger reason for the difference is that the "suicide burn" favoured by Spacex is the most fuel efficient way to slow a descending object to a safe touchdown speed, every litre of fuel that doesn't need to be used for landing can be used for putting a bigger payload into orbit, or into pushing the booster back uprange so that you can head back to the launch site instead of a barge at sea (or other downrange landing site). Most of the Spacex launch schedule is for high energy geosynchronous insertion of big enough payloads which pushes the boosters fairly flat out, so even going for the barge they don't have fuel to mess around with a hover for final position adjustments even if it takes only a couple of seconds.

EDIT: I forgot to add that when Blue Origin start playing in the orbital arena with reusable hardware, they'll be using ""suicide burns" too I bet.


As I said above, the ultimate reason SpaceX does not hover the Falcon 9 is because the Falcon 9 can not hover. The Merlin engine was designed for low cost, reliability, and performance, not deep throttling, and the empty first stage is extremely light weight. Musk has stated they can throttle down to about 40% of rated thrust, or about 65,000 pounds. The empty stage weight has been estimated at around 55,000 pounds.

As a result, instead of hovering, the Falcon 9 would reach zero speed but smoothly continue accelerating upward until it ran out of fuel.

So SpaceX had to develop their "hover-slam" technique (in between a hover and slamming into the ground) or else make significant changes to the engine in order to recover first stages.

The better efficiency of the technique is a bonus, and has already allowed them to make recoveries that would have been impossible with a true hover, but not why they originally developed it.

It would have been easier not to. They showed with Grasshopper they could control the hovering of the unwieldy rocket (Grasshopper was heavier than the normal flight stages), but several of their landing attempts have failed because of precision hover-slamming requires.
 
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Re: Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:45 pm

Blue Origin has released a new video promoting the New Glenn rocket.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTEhohh6eYk

Image
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Re: Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:47 pm

And last week Blue Origin presented the first BE-4 engine:

Image
https://twitter.com/JeffBezos/status/838748139964272640
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Re: Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:08 pm

Engine looks great Jeff, but BE4 was supposed to have a full scale test last year -- the pace has to be picked up. ILA is still using Russian RD180 for Atlas and they need a design decision soon...Methane in BE4 or RP-1 alternative for the new 'Vulcan" launcher to replace Atlas and Delta. Here is what you have to worry about...

...Recent leadership changes in a soon to be great again country have made Russia a friendlier and perhaps more viable engine supplier. Would save ILA and US $ billions if we could just keep Atlas as it is -- and make Vulcan/BE4 unnecessary...

..."New Glenn" would then be the only BE4 user. Just please remove the silly feather on the side of the rocket ;)
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Re: Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:59 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Blue Origin has released a new video promoting the New Glenn rocket.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTEhohh6eYk


Absolutely HATE that they put noises in the video for the fairing and payload separations & second stage firing in space. I find this lack of attention to detail highly disturbing.
That would never happen at SpaceX.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:39 pm

Probably deserves a separate thread but I sure hope those holding the government purse strings are holding lessons learned meetings over the strides that both Space X and BO are delivering.

Guys, thanks for all the good coverage.
 
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Re: Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:52 pm

aviationaware wrote:
Absolutely HATE that they put noises in the video for the fairing and payload separations & second stage firing in space. I find this lack of attention to detail highly disturbing.


Sounds like a drum strike to me. Technically there would have been sound at separation. The sound would have been generated in the small amount of gas generated by the explosive bolt. If a mechanical release was used instead of bolt, then the sound would have been propagating through the structure of the hardware. But you would be right, the sound would not have been heard at the point of view of the camera. But there would not be music either.

Still, I say it was just the drums.

bt
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aviationaware
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Re: Blue Origin - Tests, Launches, Developments

Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:26 am

bikerthai wrote:
Still, I say it was just the drums.

bt


While I definitely do not, there is still the engine firing noise.

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