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SpaceX F9v1.1 First Stage Recovery: Where are the Best Videos?

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Qualchan, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Qualchan

    Qualchan Member

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    #1 Qualchan, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Has anyone else, having seen this amazing picture from September's launch, been waiting to see more? Like the video from which this frame was grabbed, perhaps? I believe this shot shows the first stage 3 meters above the ocean. If you watched that launch you could see the first stage re-firing as it fell away from the second stage after separation. SpaceX is keeping these images hidden away. (Where's TEG?)


    Then there's this:

    Beginning at 3:45.


    For November's SES-8 launch Elon Musk stated that they would not try to recover the first stage, but if you watch beginning at 3:45 in this amateur video you can see the first stage begin to correct attitude by firing thrusters and begin a powered descent after separation. (It's also amazing that I think you can see the faring separate from the second stage.) Barring an explosion of the second stage (which of course didn't happen) the videographer would have seen something far more amazing than he did by continuing to track that second stage. I'm thinking that someone out there, right on the ocean with no obstructions, would have been able to track the first stage as it continued to descend if there was available light. Was there enough fuel for a soft touchdown? Did the SpaceX engineers fix the centrifuging fuel issue?

    I was fascinated by the Roadster, then mesmerized and ecstatic over the launch of the Model S, but this new awe of the Grasshopper (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZDkItO-0a4) and finally these recovery attempts and what they mean for the space industry and the future of human spaceflight is an order of magnitude beyond . . . I want to see more!!! I must have more. I can't wait until the end of the month or early next year for another fix of this extreme tech tightrope walk.

    Who out there has better video? Elon, please hook us up! :cool:
     
  2. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    #2 glhs272, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
    On this video it does not appear that Stage 1 actually re-lights while it is still within the frame of the video at least. To me it looks like it is using it's reaction control thrusters reorient the stage for reentry but let it burn up. They may have in fact relit the stage, but at least I can't tell from that video. On the Cassiope demo flight there is a similar video of the upper stage that while it is in view with the first stage, you can see doing RCS maneuvers. That video is posted on this forum already on Upgraded Falcon 9 Demonstration Flight 2013-09-29 page 4 towards the end of the video. Spacex has released a few short clips of the first stage relighting. I too would like to see the full video of the stage 1 recovery, but I am guessing it too sensitive to release just yet.

    So what we need to do is get the message out to the spaceflight community to KEEP FILMING THE FIRST STAGE. I know some members here on TMC also contribute to such sites like nasaspaceflight*com they might help get the word out. CRS-3 may do a full return of the first stage. They will likely do more testing on stage recovery for the next Thiacom-6 launch. So please someone out there film it. Thanks.

    edit: I would think that by the time they attempt their first return to launch site it will be hard ignore this falling stage coming back into the area and that it will be filmed no matter what.
     
  3. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    I think you posted the best pic and video that have been publicly released, and hit the nail on the head -- SpaceX certainly has other photos/videos but are choosing not to release them.

    Part of the reason has to do with perception of an uninformed public, watching a rocket headed back to Earth or going "in the drink" could be easily perceived as an accident or failure at first glance. Similarly, I don't think SpaceX is releasing static-fire videos to watch after-the-fact -- without context, someone watching could think "Ha ha, their rocket failed to lift off!". So I think it will take a full-on successful landing of the first stage before SpaceX officially releases additional photos/videos of their attempts.

    Now what Joe Public or news organizations could capture is a different story -- that last video was fantastic, and was captured by an observer using a $1000 telescope with video mount and powered aiming. In this case, the dusk launch caused the rocket stages, fairings etc. to be illuminated in sunlight shortly after launch, making them quite bright in the sky. It would have been fantastic to track the first stage after separation, but if there had been any issue with the second stage the videographer would have been kicking himself for not tracking it, so I can't blame him. He just needs a friend with an identical setup so they can track both stages next time! :biggrin:
     
  4. DRM

    DRM Roadster #619

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    BTW: The first stage did in fact relight after separation on the most recent (SES-8) launch, but it isn't shown in the video.
     
  5. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    Source? I am not arguing against you, I am just curious where you found the relight info. I scour nasaspaceflight.com daily (no L2 access though) and have not found any substantiated info, just rumor.
     
  6. Qualchan

    Qualchan Member

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    Yes, I think you're right in regard to that nearly successful ocean landing attempt after the Cassiopeia demo flight. Video of that splash-over might have been construed as a failure* . . . but seeing the 1st stage approach the ocean's surface in a controlled descent would be an amazing sight to see and could have had the opposite effect - at least to discerning eyes. But I do understand the wisdom of managing public perceptions and safeguarding proprietary technical information. Part of me likes the fact that "more will be revealed" in the coming months; it's something to look forward to.

    So, next up will either be another ocean landing attempt following the Dec/Jan Thiacom-6 launch, as glhs272 suggests, or a higher altitude Falcon 9R test from New Mexico - perhaps later this month? - that Gwynne Shotwell mentioned:

    "SpaceX is now moving on to a full Falcon 9-R (“Falcon Niner”) first stage equipped with flight-weight, retractable landing legs, for test flights at Spaceport America in New Mexico starting in late December.

    “The testing that we’ll be doing here in New Mexico will be of a flight stage,” Shotwell said, "with the only difference being that the stage will lift off with its landing legs extended; there were no plans to test retracting and extending the legs, at least on the initial test flights. “We’re trying to make it as flight-like as possible.'"
    http://www.newspacejournal.com/2013/10/18/spacex-wrapping-up-falcon-9-second-stage-investigation-as-it-moves-on-from-grasshopper/


    Overall, I just haven't been this excited by any grand technological endeavor since . . . I don't know when. And this is of course aided by other recent tech advances like YouTube and space enthusiasts with Celestron telescopes with mounted HD video cameras. Heck, then there's SpaceX' own use of a hexacopter to capture the Grasshopper hops, which produced audacious videos that bordered on CGI-looking science fiction. And they made it look easy and routine which shows the level of progress evident in that distant, grainy, just-about-made-it ocean landing shot. Marvelous! I want more!!


    *I wonder what the reaction of the hot engine nozzles (3 for descent, then the center engine for landing?) was to air temperature sea water during that test. But still, a few seconds of hovering and a judicious edit before water contact would still be awesome.
    Will I need L2 access to get my fix? There's probably more video out there . . . That's a great suggestion, glhs272, to get the spaceflight community on board!
     
  7. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    This article, for one: SES-8 success plots trajectory for future SpaceX possibilities | NASASpaceFlight.com

    "The CASSIOPE mission also involved the first “boost back” test of the first stage, while sources note there was also a boost back test during the SES-8 mission, or at least the restart of the first stage post staging."
     
  8. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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