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SpaceX Falcon 9 FT launch - Iridium Next 11-20 - SLC-4E

interesting there was a boost back burn, although this was not an RTLS.. .. hmm I wonder why?

And also they stopped showing telemetry after about t+1:30 into the flight..

Weather was rough at the point of the natural arc destination. They had to move the drone ship away from a storm requiring a boost back to shorten the arc.
 

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
6,793
9,531
Santa Fe, New Mexico
interesting there was a boost back burn, although this was not an RTLS.. .. hmm I wonder why?

And also they stopped showing telemetry after about t+1:30 into the flight..

The consensus was that the booster had enough fuel to do a partial boostback burn. That gets the booster in a better position for recovery.
 
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The consensus was that the booster had enough fuel to do a partial boostback burn. That gets the booster in a better position for recovery.

Elon's tweet was:

"Launch at 1:25 delivering 10 satellites for Iridium. Droneship repositioned due to extreme weather. Will be tight."

Fuel limited how far they could reposition but it was the weather that made them do so.
 
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Nikxice

Active Member
Oct 31, 2014
1,203
2,079
Hudson, NH
Looking back at the graphics from the SpaceX webcast, JRTI did appear to be positioned closer to land. As others have stated, this likely created the need for a boost back burn.

In another recent tweet Elon mentioned the new titanium grid fins working better than expected. Was there ever any doubt that this would be a better fix!

tesla1-820x375.jpg
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
The launch was awesome! Since you can't see the pad from off base some people were tracking the countdown through their phones and when it got to zero, the crowd hushed and everyone just watched and waited. For about 3 seconds nothing happened from our point of view. Then the sound started to hit us and we could hear the roar of the rocket engines. A second later the F9 appeared above the hills blasting straight up!

The incredible sound washed over us: a deep rumble combined with a crackly high-pitched static sound that was amazing. The crowd found it's voice and there was a lot of excited cheering and yelling. The rocket slowly arched up and away from us so the first stage engines were pointing towards us and they were amazingly bright!

We watched it get higher and higher and suddenly a plume trail appeared, probably due to the characteristics of the atmosphere up higher. Then we saw the trail flare out, then MECO, then second stage ignition, and then it slowly disappeared into the blue. My spouse says she saw the second stage boost back burn ignite but I couldn't see it.

I did not take any photos during the launch, I just wanted to experience directly it with my eyes and ears. I did take some photos before the launch, and had the opportunity to meet many people including some SpaceX employees. Highlights were meeting Bill Carton who runs the SpaceX fans Facebook page and also SpaceX employee and webcast presenter Kate Tice! She is super nice and Bill is a true enthusiast and very friendly.

I estimate over 2,000 people were in just the area where we were (there are other places people congregate for launches) lining the sides of Ocean Ave and Renwick Ave which is almost exactly 4 miles from the pad. Clear skies and 72 degrees. What a day!

With Kate:
IMG_4079.JPG


With Bill:
IMG_4080.JPG


SpaceX enthusiasts showing off their attire, including a custom made SpaceX skirt! But my favorite is the on the left "Stand back. I'm doing science."
IMG_4086.JPG


Flying the F9 pirate flag! And future Mars colonists.
IMG_4087.JPG
 

N5329K

Active Member
Aug 12, 2009
1,863
3,768
California
Looking back at the graphics from the SpaceX webcast, JRTI did appear to be positioned closer to land. As others have stated, this likely created the need for a boost back burn.

In another recent tweet Elon mentioned the new titanium grid fins working better than expected. Was there ever any doubt that this would be a better fix!

View attachment 232727
What are we looking at in these three photos?
Thanks,
Robin
 
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swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
1,809
2,087
Kansas, USA
The launch was awesome! Since you can't see the pad from off base some people were tracking the countdown through their phones and when it got to zero, the crowd hushed and everyone just watched and waited. For about 3 seconds nothing happened from our point of view. Then the sound started to hit us and we could hear the roar of the rocket engines. A second later the F9 appeared above the hills blasting straight up!
...
I did not take any photos during the launch, I just wanted to experience directly it with my eyes and ears.

That's good to hear. I remember you saying you were going to be there for the launch, so During the webcast, I was hoping the fog we saw on the webcast wouldn't impact your viewing ability. Visibility looked really bad at the launch pad.

Good choice on just taking in the experience and not messing with the camera. For the only Shuttle launch I saw, I did very little with the camera, had it set for some wide shots and just used the remote trigger to keep snapping pictures. Wanted to enjoy the experience. On a recent ride in a 1940's Stearman biplane that I had been trying to talk one of my neighbors into for a couple years, I consciously left the iPhone in my pocket to force myself to just enjoy the ride. I'll take photos on my next ride. I'll probably do the same with viewing the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse as well.

Thanks for the on-site report. I'm happy that it worked out for you.
 
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Nikxice

Active Member
Oct 31, 2014
1,203
2,079
Hudson, NH

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