Dec 21 2015

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Live-blogging the ORBCOMM-2 SpaceX Launch and Booster Recovery

Alrighty…here we go. Just got home from work.

All times Pacific. I’ve got a good feeling about today’s events. Just sayin’…

CONGRATS TO SpaceX!! I wonder how close they got to the center of the landing pad?

Time Event/Observations
1750 SpaceX Webcast signing off.
1748 Next 2 ORBCOMM satellites deployed — there they go. It’s cool in so many ways…not the least because you can see the earlier satellites in the distance.
1747 Next 2 ORBCOMM satellites deployed. Should be one more deployment.
1746 Next 2 ORBCOMM satellites deployed. I’ve never seen a satellite deployed from a rocket live. Too cool!!!!!
1745 Next 2 ORBCOMM satellites deployed.
Video snip:

That dot in the center of the frame is the first satellite that was deployed.
1744 First 2 ORBCOMM satellites deployed. They’ve got live video of it from the rocket — pretty freakin’ cool!!
1740 The crowd at SpaceX is chanting USA!! USA!! USA!!
1739 TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Video snip:
1737 Entry burned started!!!!!! Everything is nominal and center of track.
1734 Things are looking great for both the first stage and second stage.
1733 Second stage ignited. Altitude: 181 km. Boostback burn started. Burn is for 30 seconds.
1732 Main engine cutoff. Booster is now returning.
1731 Falcon 9 at max Q…Altitude: 55
1730 Altitude 7 km.
1729 Ignition….Launch!!!!!!
Video snip:
1728 Falcon 9 in startup. Stage 1 & 2 ready for flight.
1727 Wind looks like it’s kicking up.
1726 Strongback retracting.
1722 ORBCOMM payload on internal power. Last Weather balloon has returned its results: Weather is good! Nothing between here and launch except to fire the rockets.
1720 Still a “go” on all fronts.
1719 Falcon 9 opening pre-valves and begin engine chill prior to launch.
1714 They’re showing a tour of SpaceX’s factory floor. I toured it in 2013, and it was awesome back then. I walked away thinking that they were going to lap the rest of the industry.
1711 The launch team is not working any issues at this time. Things look good: Rocket, Satellites, Range are green. 20% chance that winds will scrub the launch.
1710 Fuel is now venting from the Falcon 9.
1707 First flight of upgraded Falcon 9. Deploying 11 satellites (most ever for SpaceX). First flight since CRS-7 failure. Booster return attempt.
1702 Launch is scheduled for 5:29pm, so we’re less than 30 minutes away. Still just the freaky music on the SpaceX channel. Per the Press Kit, these events have already happened or are occurring now:
  • – 00:34 Launch Conductor takes launch readiness poll
  • – 00:30 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) and liquid oxygen (LOX) loading underway

Next event is at T-10 minutes (Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch)

1706 The freaky music is off. Now we’ve got the SpaceX intro. Hallelujah!!
1657 Up and running…here’s the live link if you’re interested: SpaceX’s live broadcast link. So far, just a bunch of freaky music, so I’m assuming I (and we) haven’t missed anything yet. Here’s the Press Kit

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