Next Crewed American Space Flight on May 27

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OverTheTop

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Seeing live video of the astronauts in the Crew Dragon is pretty amazing. Are they going to keep live video during the launch? That sounds risky.
I have seen this in Soyuz launches too. I was even watching live when they had that abort recently (Oct '18?). Seeing the astronauts get buffeted around during the abort burn was interesting.

The weather guy even asked if they could have ten more minutes,
He was actually joking :).
 

DAllen

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I would highly recommend keeping an eye on this:

heavens-above.com

or whatever ISS tracking app/software you have. It takes 19 hours to get the Dragon up to the ISS so there might be a visible pass just prior to docking where you could potentially see 2 dots of light - one being the ISS and the other the Dragon. I've seen it before and it's pretty daggum cool. If they launch Saturday at 3:20 Eastern (I think) that will put the dragon up at the ISS at about 9:22 Eastern Sunday so if you're on the West coast you might be able to see them both early in the morning.
 

BBowmaster

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Disappointing. You’d think by now we’d be able to launch in a little weather. I guess I watch and read too much science fiction.
 

NateB

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Disappointing. You’d think by now we’d be able to launch in a little weather. I guess I watch and read too much science fiction.
I'm a little surprised our main spaceport is in a region with near daily afternoon thunderstorms. If so many launch windows are instantaneous, you'd think they would add larger pads to areas with a higher likelihood of clear skies.
 

DAllen

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Disappointing. You’d think by now we’d be able to launch in a little weather. I guess I watch and read too much science fiction.
In my limited understanding of these things...The ISS is whipping around the Earth at 4.6 or something miles per second so you really need to launch at a pretty precise time and velocity and too high of winds will make docking with the ISS really difficult.
 

Nytrunner

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I'm a little surprised our main spaceport is in a region with near daily afternoon thunderstorms. If so many launch windows are instantaneous, you'd think they would add larger pads to areas with a higher likelihood of clear skies.
To consider, launch port location is premium. Don't want to get too far from the equator or your orbital inclination is off
 

Gerald

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I'll be watching.

Got maybe a dumb question but I am puzzled, why did the powers to be build NASA launch base in Florida ? It is the state with the most Lightning strikes. Has hurricanes, humidity, tropical rains, freezes and frost, swampy with sink holes, and just plan 70% of the time the weather has caused cancelled launches.
Does anyone know why it was chosen over say Virginia's eastern shore or Deleware ?
 

heada

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I'll be watching.

Got maybe a dumb question but I am puzzled, why did the powers to be build NASA launch base in Florida ? It is the state with the most Lightning strikes. Has hurricanes, humidity, tropical rains, freezes and frost, swampy with sink holes, and just plan 70% of the time the weather has caused cancelled launches.
Does anyone know why it was chosen over say Virginia's eastern shore or Deleware ?
There's Wallops Island in Virginia for some launches.

You want to go as close to the equator as possible without actually being on the equator (except for some special launches directly on the equator) Farther away from the equator you go, more power is needed due to the earth's rotation. Basically it comes down to you want south and ocean to the east/south-east (so it can crash into the ocean instead of land in the event things go wrong) That gives Florida and parts of Texas.
 

neil_w

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You want to go as close to the equator as possible without actually being on the equator (except for some special launches directly on the equator)
Why not be directly on the equator?
 

heada

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Why not be directly on the equator?
I forget exactly but there are not many missions that require true equatorial orbits. I think part of it is that you'll only ever "see" the equator. If you have some amount of inclination, then as you orbit, the land you "see" changes on each orbit and so over time, you end up "seeing" nearly all the earth. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule like Geo-sync orbits.

Equatorial orbit = most efficient but limited use
Polar orbit = least efficient and still limited use
between equatorial and polar = varies by latitude but 95%+ of desired orbits.
 

heada

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I forget exactly but there are not many missions that require true equatorial orbits. I think part of it is that you'll only ever "see" the equator. If you have some amount of inclination, then as you orbit, the land you "see" changes on each orbit and so over time, you end up "seeing" nearly all the earth. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule like Geo-sync orbits.

Equatorial orbit = most efficient but limited use
Polar orbit = least efficient and still limited use
between equatorial and polar = varies by latitude but 95%+ of desired orbits.
Looking at a map... Brazil, Somalia and Indonesia meet equatorial and ocean to the east. Out of the 3, only really Brazil might work but its kinda right at the mouth of the Amazon river.
 

Spitfire222

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I'm a little puzzled by all of the comments about the location of the launches. I'm sure countless meetings were held and a lot of resources (time and money) were spent in finding a suitable location, and Cape Canaveral, while not perfect, likely fit more of the requirements than other contenders. Also, one can assume that one of the non-negotiable requirements was "US location".

Every location is at the mercy of weather. I'd say the Cape's history of successful launches demonstrates that Florida weather is not a huge deterrent to that location. Regardless, it's a huge bummer when missions are scrubbed, especially for major milestone ones like this one.
 

heada

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I'm a little puzzled by all of the comments about the location of the launches. I'm sure countless meetings were held and a lot of resources (time and money) were spent in finding a suitable location, and Cape Canaveral, while not perfect, likely fit more of the requirements than other contenders. Also, one can assume that one of the non-negotiable requirements was "US location".

Every location is at the mercy of weather. I'd say the Cape's history of successful launches demonstrates that Florida weather is not a huge deterrent to that location. Regardless, it's a huge bummer when missions are scrubbed, especially for major milestone ones like this one.
Because sometimes the why is almost as interesting and important as the how. Launch site selection is just as much rocket science as vehicle design.

At least 1 early SpaceX launch happened from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.
 

Nytrunner

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Regardless, it's a huge bummer when missions are scrubbed, especially for major milestone ones like this one.
Eh, its been 9 years. I can wait a few more days/weeks

At least 1 early SpaceX launch happened from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific.
Truth, the early Falcon 1 test flights were conducted out there where they could prove themselves without blowing anything up on the mainland. That was all before my career got started, but a coworker of mine was out on the atoll for other projects and rode the boat with some of the X folks. She got a bunch of early X-space swag because they would all go hang out and get dr...blow off steam at the end of the day/week.
 

JLP1

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The EU goes all the way to Guiana to launch their stuff. Most Russian and Chinese stuff flies polar obits and most of the launches I ever saw from Vandenberg always headed north up the coast except for the Minuteman test that went west headed toward Kwajalein. I figured the ones going north were spy birds headed for obit over those countries of interest. I'm assuming that once SpaceX finishes building out south Texas they will start launching from there. Even here in Houston they are talking about building a space port at the former Ellington AFB that will have the capability to do low earth orbit insertion. What I have never figured out is why White Sands has fallen out of favor over the years. :)
 

JLP1

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You might be right I would guess those areas are a little more crowded now than they were in the late 40's and 50's
 

Greg Furtman

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You might be right I would guess those areas are a little more crowded now than they were in the late 40's and 50's
Yes, NASA & SpaceX need to be aware of any population centers along the flight line. Rockets don't go straight up but arch over to get to their intended orbit. Cape Kennedy & French Guiana have lots of water to the east of them just incase something goes wrong. And Russia launches from one of the most desolate places in west asia. India's Satish Dhawan Space Centre is located on their east coast and they launch over the Bay of Begal in the Indian Ocean.
 

Funkworks

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Take 2 is scheduled for 3:22 p.m. EDT today!

Typing “launch” on YouTube gave me plenty of live-streaming options last time. Plus now it’s Saturday so it’s hard to justify doing anything else!
 

Mugs914

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I was just watching the live feed showing the crew suiting up and I noticed that they are strapped in to their seats with five-point harnesses for suit check out. Does anyone know why? Doesn't seem that there would be much chance of being thrown around during the tests.

Only thing I could think of would be that it is to more accurately simulate the actual capsule conditions. The seats they are in also seem to be the same ones as in the Dragon, so I suppose that would bolster that theory. As I recall, the Apollo and shuttle crews had their suits tested while enjoying Lay-Z-Boy's finest...
 

ewomack

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I'm going to try and remember to watch. Hopefully the riots will remain calm today. We'll see.
 
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