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Tugger
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Arianespace launches

Wed Aug 22, 2018 11:22 pm

Arianespace successfully launched ESA’s Aeolus climate science satellite on their Vega rocket today. It is a much smaller rocket than we have been seeing with ULA and Spacex lately. You can sure see the acceleration it gets being smaller and lighter, looks like it move like a bat outs hell compared to the others.

Full video of the launch here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4XLImXKgSo

A good report on the mission is here:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/08 ... us-launch/

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
WIederling
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:33 am

"Good acceleration"
One effect may just be the difference in height/length. ( 30m vs ~50m ).
you often perceive speed magnitude in relation to vehicle length.
a longer vehicle at the same speed takes longer to pass from one end to the other.
May look slower but isn't.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:25 pm

WIederling wrote:
"Good acceleration"
One effect may just be the difference in height/length. ( 30m vs ~50m ).
you often perceive speed magnitude in relation to vehicle length.
a longer vehicle at the same speed takes longer to pass from one end to the other.
May look slower but isn't.


Agreed. I would highly doubt it's accelerating any faster than other modern rockets. More G's means more structures which means less payload.
 
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Erebus
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:41 pm

WIederling wrote:
you often perceive speed magnitude in relation to vehicle length.
a longer vehicle at the same speed takes longer to pass from one end to the other.
May look slower but isn't.


This is true, but when it comes to acceleration, smaller vehicles are often quicker than larger ones. e.g. Cars accelerate faster than trucks.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:44 pm

Erebus wrote:
WIederling wrote:
you often perceive speed magnitude in relation to vehicle length.
a longer vehicle at the same speed takes longer to pass from one end to the other.
May look slower but isn't.


This is true, but when it comes to acceleration, smaller vehicles are often quicker than larger ones. e.g. Cars accelerate faster than trucks.


Yeah but when you're carrying precious cargo in your vehicle (car or truck) you don't accelerate too fast or you'll tip the wedding cake over and it will spill everywhere. Doesn't matter if you're in a F350 or a prius or a Bugatti veyron.
 
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:04 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Agreed. I would highly doubt it's accelerating any faster than other modern rockets. More G's means more structures which means less payload.


I was looking through the live telemetry of some of the Falcon 9 launches for comparison with this Vega launch. The mission was to launch a satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO), so I picked the Falcon 9 launch from Feb 22 which was used for the same purpose.

At T+ 3.00 minutes,

- the Vega was at an altitude of 102 km going at a speed of 3.82 km/s or 13,752 km/h
- the Falcon 9 was at an altitude of 118 km going at a speed of 6,504 km/h

I've seen other Falcon 9s doing between 8,000-9,000 km/h at the same mark but those were to different orbits, so I'm not sure if you want to use those.

However, I think it is fair to say that the Vega considerably outpaces the Falcon 9 here. (Note: wanted to use a timestamp closer to launch but the Vega video doesn't provide one until about the two and half minute mark).
 
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:52 pm

That's quite a bit of difference velocity wise. Good evidence.

I found additional evidence here: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/08/22/v ... th-aeolus/
and here for falcon 9: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/02/20/f ... -with-paz/

Vega achieved Max Q about 15 seconds earlier than Falcon 9 did.

I chose to look at the first point reported for Vega, T=141seconds (2:21) Alt = 53km Vel = 1775m/s = 6934km/h (from the link i provided above)
For Falcon 9 T = 141seconds (2:21) Alt = 62.4km Vel = 1561 m/s = 5620 km/hr (based on youtube footage provided in your post)


So something is fishy there because at that point Falcon 9 is higher altitude than Vega but Vega is now moving faster.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:38 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
That's quite a bit of difference velocity wise. Good evidence.

I found additional evidence here: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/08/22/v ... th-aeolus/
and here for falcon 9: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/02/20/f ... -with-paz/

Vega achieved Max Q about 15 seconds earlier than Falcon 9 did.

I chose to look at the first point reported for Vega, T=141seconds (2:21) Alt = 53km Vel = 1775m/s = 6934km/h (from the link i provided above)
For Falcon 9 T = 141seconds (2:21) Alt = 62.4km Vel = 1561 m/s = 5620 km/hr (based on youtube footage provided in your post)


So something is fishy there because at that point Falcon 9 is higher altitude than Vega but Vega is now moving faster.


Could be explained by lag time between actual telemetry and presenting the telemetry data in the launch broadcast. Let’s look a time the specs. (All data spaceflight101.com/space rockets.)

Rocket
Mass (kg)
Thrust at sea level (100% throttle on liquid engines) (kn converted to kg (simplied by using kn x 100 = kg))
Thrust / Mass ratio at liftoff

Vega
137,000
226,100
1.65

Ariane 5
777,000
1,390,000
1.79

Falcon 9
549,054
760,500
1.39

Atlas 5
334,500
382,700
1.14

So, Ariane is capable of larger acceleration than Vega at liftoff. Falcon 9 and Atlas 5 are not. Vega leaps off the pad and accelerates 20% faster than F9 and 45% faster than Atlas, which I would think should noticeable to the naked eye.

In relation to Ariane, I think the perceived difference in speed early in the launch between Ariane and Vega is likely related to the size of the rockets, as you point out. Their initial performance off the pad are similar, but Ariane sheds mass much faster (result of three engines running through 1st stage) and is likely much faster than Vega over time (in terms of velocity as a function of time).

This is also true of F9, which burns mass at a similar rate to Ariane. So as time passes, F9 would catch and surpass Vega if they were racing to an orbital altitude.

This is my first shot at trying to compare rocket velocities based on mass and thrust, so hopefully I’m in the ballpark.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:40 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
I found additional evidence here: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/08/22/v ... th-aeolus/
and here for falcon 9: https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/02/20/f ... -with-paz/

Vega achieved Max Q about 15 seconds earlier than Falcon 9 did.

I chose to look at the first point reported for Vega, T=141seconds (2:21) Alt = 53km Vel = 1775m/s = 6934km/h (from the link i provided above)
For Falcon 9 T = 141seconds (2:21) Alt = 62.4km Vel = 1561 m/s = 5620 km/hr (based on youtube footage provided in your post)


So something is fishy there because at that point Falcon 9 is higher altitude than Vega but Vega is now moving faster.

Your calculations are off above, you note T=141s but it is actually T=114s

Image

Tugg
Last edited by Tugger on Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:47 pm

Tugger wrote:
Your calculations are off above, you note T=141s but it is actually T=114s


Tugg


Thanks Tugg, I knew something had to be awry there. That re-orients everything into making sense.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:50 pm

Updated numbers with thanks to Tugg for finding my mistake:

Vega, T=114 seconds (1:54) Alt = 53km Vel = 1775m/s = 6934km/h (from the link i provided above)
For Falcon 9 T = 114 seconds (1:54) Alt = 33.8km Vel = 906 m/s = 3261 km/hr (based on youtube footage provided in your post)
 
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Tugger
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:54 pm

Also regarding the altitude, the Aeolus cut its altitude and went into a high speed lower altitude orbit of 199 miles. (I was confused by the little CG video Arianespace had running during launch because here: https://youtu.be/Z4XLImXKgSo?t=1726 they had the vehicle basically "pointing down" and I am always used to them "going up". It took me a bit to figure it wasn't a screwup on the computer graphics part but was them killing altitude increase while still accelerating.)

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:01 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Updated numbers with thanks to Tugg for finding my mistake:

Vega, T=114 seconds (1:54) Alt = 53km Vel = 1775m/s = 6934km/h (from the link i provided above)
For Falcon 9 T = 114 seconds (1:54) Alt = 33.8km Vel = 906 m/s = 3261 km/hr (based on youtube footage provided in your post)


Excellent. Data is improving with each post! So at T+114, thrust to weight ratios should be approximately:

Vega: 2.23
Ariane: 3.88
F9: 4.19

Vega still leading the pack in altitude and velocity but the pack is gaining.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:08 pm

DarkKnight5 wrote:

Excellent. Data is improving with each post! So at T+114, thrust to weight ratios should be approximately:

Vega: 2.23
Ariane: 3.88
F9: 4.19

Vega still leading the pack in altitude and velocity but the pack is gaining.


Another thing to consider, at least with Vega vs F9. Vega has 3 stages whereas F9 has only 2.

Are all three stages of Vega Solid Rockets or is the last stage a liquid?
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:14 pm

First three stages are solid (HTPB 1912) according to the site I posted above. Fourth stage (AVUM) burns hydrazine/nitrogen tetroxide.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:21 pm

And another correction! I feel enlightened already.

Well, to summarize my position. I find it interesting that they accelerate so fast. As a structures engineer I cringe a little thinking about the g forces applied. I'm sure it's all taken into account and just fine.

I wonder if that's why the F9 is a little slower out of the gate. So that they can also be man rated.
 
WIederling
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:38 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
WIederling wrote:
"Good acceleration"
One effect may just be the difference in height/length. ( 30m vs ~50m ).
you often perceive speed magnitude in relation to vehicle length.
a longer vehicle at the same speed takes longer to pass from one end to the other.
May look slower but isn't.


Agreed. I would highly doubt it's accelerating any faster than other modern rockets. More G's means more structures which means less payload.


Due to VEGA's 4 stage design min ( after ignition ) and max acceleration ( @ brennschluss ) have less span
than the 2 stage systems.
Murphy is an optimist
 
meecrob
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:06 pm

Something to potentially consider here is if SpaceX was trying to gain data for their recoveries I.E. flying a profile closer to that of a launch they were trying to recover even though the one referenced above was expendable. I don't know the answer and may be way off base, I was hoping you guys could chime in.
 
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Erebus
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:28 pm

Should have thought about this earlier but I think we have good enough data to work out a sense of what the actual average acceleration is like.

For the Vega, using Tugger's chart above,

- T=0 to T=114, acceleration is 15.6 m/s^2
- T=114 to T=217, acceleration is 20.7 m/s^2
- T=217 to T=390, acceleration is 20.2 m/s^2

For the Falcon 9, using the Feb 22 launch video above,

- T=0 to T=114, acceleration is 7.9 m/s^2
- T=114 to T=217, acceleration is 9.5 m/s^2
- T=217 to T=390, acceleration is 7.9 m/s^2

So the Vega does what, 1.6 - 2g and the Falcon 0.8 - 1g?
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:41 pm

Erebus wrote:
Should have thought about this earlier but I think we have good enough data to work out a sense of what the actual average acceleration is like.

For the Vega, using Tugger's chart above,

- T=0 to T=114, acceleration is 15.6 m/s^2
- T=114 to T=217, acceleration is 20.7 m/s^2
- T=217 to T=390, acceleration is 20.2 m/s^2

For the Falcon 9, using the Feb 22 launch video above,

- T=0 to T=114, acceleration is 7.9 m/s^2
- T=114 to T=217, acceleration is 9.5 m/s^2
- T=217 to T=390, acceleration is 7.9 m/s^2

So the Vega does what, 1.6 - 2g and the Falcon 0.8 - 1g?


I don’t know if those G-figures can be supported. To lift off, the rocket must surpass 1G.

So add 9.8 m/s^2 to each of your acceleration figures to account for the force of gravity.

Vega:
15.6 + 9.8 = 25.4 or 2.6G
20.7 + 9.8 = 30.5 or 3.1G
20.2 + 9.8 = 30.0 or 3.06G

F9:
7.9 + 9.8 = 17.7 or 1.8G
9.5 + 9.8 = 19.3 or 1.96G
7.9 + 9.8 = 17.7 or 1.8G

My estimation gets less accurate as time passes since the flight path changes from perpendicular to the force of gravity to the parallel to it, but you get the idea.

Either way, Vega puts more G-load on the payload and therefore accelerates faster, as you said.
 
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Erebus
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Re: Arianespace launches

Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:24 am

DarkKnight5 wrote:
I don’t know if those G-figures can be supported. To lift off, the rocket must surpass 1G.

So add 9.8 m/s^2 to each of your acceleration figures to account for the force of gravity.


Oops sorry, it's been more than a decade since my last physics class and it has nothing to do with my profession either. I tried, haha.

Vega acceleration is still 2x Falcon 9 though.

And to trpmb6's point about man-rating, I've seen most sources put the maximum limit of such vehicles at 3g.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: Arianespace launches

Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:33 am

Erebus wrote:
DarkKnight5 wrote:
I don’t know if those G-figures can be supported. To lift off, the rocket must surpass 1G.

So add 9.8 m/s^2 to each of your acceleration figures to account for the force of gravity.


Oops sorry, it's been more than a decade since my last physics class and it has nothing to do with my profession either. I tried, haha.

Vega acceleration is still 2x Falcon 9 though.

And to trpmb6's point about man-rating, I've seen most sources put the maximum limit of such vehicles at 3g.


You were definitely right on the point that Vega accelerates faster than F9. And yes, for man-rating, 3G seems like the standard for what an agency will subject a naught to. They might all be fighter pilots, but nobody wants them blacking out during launch.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Arianespace launches

Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:40 am

Gotta say, I am really enjoying this different discussion that I accidentally started with my comment about apparent launch velocity. Actual science! (Well OK, just math really) :biggrin:

As to launch velocity while trying to find more on that I came across this for the Saturn V:
Image
https://space.stackexchange.com/questio ... es-history

I am hoping it gives just a bit more insight that those more knowledgeable than I can use.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
WIederling
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Re: Arianespace launches

Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:23 am

Erebus wrote:
So the Vega does what, 1.6 - 2g and the Falcon 0.8 - 1g?


you have to figure in gravity the rocket drive has to compensate for to begin with.
So it is the vector sum of 1g + a(rocket). a simple sum as long as you go straight up.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:50 pm

On page 20 and 21 of the Falcon 9 User guide, there is a discussion about axial and lateral loading. For a typical 4000 lb payload the design envelope has a maximum 6g axial requirement (combined simultaneously with a 0.5g lateral loading) and a maximum 3.5g lateral requirement (combined simultaneously with a 2.0g axial loading). So these would be the do not exceed limits of the flight envelope.

Interestingly, on page 21 they make a note. For payloads of 2000 lbs or less (ultra-light payloads they call it), they have a secondary profile. With g loading as high as 8.5g axial and 4.0 lateral (not occurring at the same time - see the graphs they are very helpful in visualizing the envelope).

There's other cool nerdy stuff in there as well. That being said, I'm pretty disappointed they used the basic Microsoft word template. Didn't even bother to create their own styles. Lame.

Great chat everyone! Nice to rummage around in some of these weeds, even if it is just some wags based on the limited public info.
 
DarkKnight5
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Re: Arianespace launches

Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:50 pm

Tugger wrote:
Gotta say, I am really enjoying this different discussion that I accidentally started with my comment about apparent launch velocity. Actual science! (Well OK, just math really) :biggrin:

As to launch velocity while trying to find more on that I came across this for the Saturn V:
Image
https://space.stackexchange.com/questio ... es-history

I am hoping it gives just a bit more insight that those more knowledgeable than I can use.

Tugg

This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen posted on this site! I read lots of the 55 pages of PDF leading up to your figure. So fun.

You can see they didn’t want to accelerate faster than 40 m/s^2, so they cut the center of the five F-1 engines as they approach 36.5 or so (3.7G). It’s not noted in the events on the chart, but it’s in the abbreviations section of the PDF as CECO (center engine cutoff).

They burn on for a few seconds while with just 4 engines and probably hit 38 (3.8G). And then in a split second those engines cut out at T+161.63 and acceleration drops to zero. (Event 1 in chart)

Five seconds of weightlessness until stage 2 starts, which comes with a solid kick going from 0 m/s^2 to about 7.5, but it’s less than 1G for about 110 seconds.

They CECO stage 2 at 460 seconds (event 2), adjust the the engine fuel mixture ratio on the remaining 4 engines at 498 seconds (event 3) and shutdown the remains four engines at 548 seconds (event 4).

Stage 3 has just one engine fire and it fires at 552 seconds and burns until 699 seconds (event 5). Official parking orbit insertion marked at 709 seconds.

So the real fun happened during the first stage with all 5 F-1 engines burning. As they burned through fuel and the rocket lost tons of mass, the acceleration climbs like crazy. So fast in fact that they had to shut one down before all the fuel was spent so the crazy people on top of the stack didn’t black out or worse.

For the rest of the stages, the engine cutoffs and restarts would be pretty good jolts, but the raw G numbers never surpass about 1.9G. That’s pretty similar to the bottom of the forst on most rollercoasters, I’d estimate.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Arianespace launches

Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:44 pm

The idea that Musk wants to do commercial space flight may be why the Falcon 9 seems to be limited to 3Gs. (The shuttle was also limited to 3Gs). I suspect the BFR will also be limited to 3Gs. I need to go back and look at some of the comparisons of the Saturn V to BFR and see if this has a significant impact or not on total capabilities. (On initial looking it's reported that BFR will have more payload capability than SV. More research needed.)

From the link Tugg gave us, the (seemingly an expert) user posted this:

Falcon 9 starts at about 1.15g, and depending on payload would have a first-stage peak acceleration of around 4.5g, but it appears to throttle its engines back toward the end of the first-stage burn to maintain closer to 3.5g.


Also, cool graphic on human capabilities. I wonder if we can artificially increase this range somehow in the future.

Image
 
mxaxai
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Re: Arianespace launches

Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:58 am

The 100th Ariane 5 launch is upcoming. Scheduled 25.09.2018, two satellites to GTO for Intelsat & some partners:
http://www.arianespace.com/mission/ariane-flight-va243/
 
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Tugger
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Re: Arianespace launches

Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:46 pm

By the way, congrats to Arianepsace on their 100 successful Ariane 5 launch last night!

Another shining success!

https://youtu.be/Snzmtr5Dghw?t=3280

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
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Tugger
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Re: Arianespace launches

Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:13 am

So the BepiColombo mission to Mercury launches tonight, in less than 2 hours.

You can watch it here:
https://www.space.com/17933-nasa-televi ... ce-tv.html

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
WIederling
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Re: Arianespace launches

Sat Oct 20, 2018 7:41 am

Tugger wrote:
So the BepiColombo mission to Mercury launches tonight, in less than 2 hours.

You can watch it here:
https://www.space.com/17933-nasa-televi ... ce-tv.html

Tugg

Bepi Colombo came up when I worked on Rosetta.
These projects are nearly generation spanning.
Murphy is an optimist
 
GDB
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Re: Arianespace launches

Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:09 am

The launch of the joint JAXA/ESA mission to Mercury;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4pRe8yrHmI
 
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Tugger
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Re: Arianespace launches

Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:11 pm

Also interesting is it's orbital flight path:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK3F4fmqtbA

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner

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