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Thread started 16 Dec 2017 (Saturday) 05:19
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Another cargo delivery . . .

 
golfecho
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Dec 16, 2017 05:19 |  #1

So, the SpaceX company's Falcon 9 rocket finally launched from Pad 40 on Dec 15th. After staging, the first stage returned for landing at Cape Canaveral Pad 13 (They call it landing zone 1, but we traditionalists call it by its original name). Here are some shots I took in sequence . . .

Launch, just clearing the tower


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Picking up speed . . .


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golfecho
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Dec 16, 2017 05:21 |  #2

Going through "Max Q" . . .


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And now the fun . . . this is the re-entry burn, where the engines re-ignite to slow the stage so it can re enter without burning up . .


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golfecho
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Dec 16, 2017 05:23 |  #3

After the re-entry burn, the stage falls straight down, still traveling supersonic . . .


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At about 5000 feet or so, the engines re-ignite once again for the landing burn, and will continue to slow the rocket until it lands . . .


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golfecho
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Dec 16, 2017 05:25 |  #4

Slowing . . .


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Getting closer to the ground now. WAIT! What about landing gear?


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golfecho
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Post has been edited 1 month ago by golfecho.
Dec 16, 2017 05:27 |  #5

Ahhh, the landing legs just beginning to extend . . .


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Now almost extended, final slowing . . .

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golfecho
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Post has been edited 1 month ago by golfecho.
Dec 16, 2017 05:28 |  #6

And just before landing, the legs are down and locked, and the rocket is less than 100 feet from touchdown . . .

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A very successful flight and land-back. It was a great mission!

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saea501
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Dec 16, 2017 05:41 as a reply to golfecho's post |  #7

Cool sequence.

Seems like you have an awful lot of color noise for ISO 100 though.


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Jethr0
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Dec 16, 2017 05:52 |  #8

Perhaps the noise is more prominent because of a heavy crop?


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golfecho
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Dec 16, 2017 06:36 as a reply to Jethr0's post |  #9

Exactly. Even though I can get "close" because of my job, "close" is still a relative term. The launch was 8.65 miles from my vantage point, while the landing was 3.68 miles away. These are more than 100% crops. I was using a 70-200 (at 200mm needless to say), and hand-held. Moving subject, and all . . .


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Jethr0
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Dec 16, 2017 07:06 |  #10

Regardless. An awesome sequence. I didn’t know they were doing that kind of thing.


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golfecho
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Dec 16, 2017 08:02 |  #11

Jethr0 wrote in post #18519092 (external link)
Regardless. An awesome sequence. I didn’t know they were doing that kind of thing.

Yes, it has become somewhat common (although spaceflight is never "routine"). SpaceX attempts to land and re-use their first stage whenever possible. Sometimes they need every ounce of fuel to hit desired orbits with heavy payloads, and when that happens, the booster is "expendable", which means it falls back and into the ocean like everybody else's launch. Sometimes they land on a barge at sea when the fuel-distance equation won't allow them to fly all the way back to launch site.

There is a new company out there, Blue Origins, that intends to start launching from Cape Canaveral perhaps as early as next year. They will also land their booster back and re-use it. They plan to use liquid natural gas (LNG) as their fuel, which will be a first (and very exciting too).

ULA is designing the Vulcan rocket, which, if they follow through, will have a very unique and amazing fly-back/re-use scheme. Too detailed for here, but very promising. Google can get you details on their scheme if you are interested . . .


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joeseph
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Dec 18, 2017 03:01 |  #12

Lovely stuff - thanks for posting... (waits patiently for Rocket Labs "still testing" to lift off from the Mahia peninsular, New Zealand.)


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TustinMike
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Dec 19, 2017 16:47 |  #13

Phenomenal !


All New Year, All New Sig !

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