By: LowerCal , 8:05 PM GMT on July 03, 2012

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CURRENT MOON

moon phases

CURRENT PLANETS and brilliant stars in early July. Directions and times are for the northern subtropics and vary somewhat for other latitudes.
• Bright & golden Mercury is close to the western horizon at dusk, sets WNW after dark.
• Bright & orange Mars is SW at dusk, sets west near midnight.
• Bright & yellowish Saturn is SSW at dusk, sets west after midnight and is
accompanied very closely by the bright and blueish star Spica.
• Very brilliant off-white Jupiter rises ENE predawn, is low east late dawn.
• Extremely brilliant white Venus rises ENE predawn, is low east before sunrise and is
accompanied very closely by the bright and orange star Aldebaran.
• Brilliant & blueish star Sirius will rise before the Sun late July.
• Brilliant white star Canopus will peek above the horizon before the Sun around late August.



Scroll past the links below to find special events for current and future dates.
Scroll farther to find past events.


***** Links *****

Today - SpaceWeather.com
also EarthSky,
Astronomy Picture of the Day,
Lunar Photo of the Day,
365 Days of Astronomy
& Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
This Week - SkyandTelescope.com - This Week's Sky at a Glance
also SkyWeek | Sky and Telescope TV
& Jack Horkheimer - Star Gazer, Current Scripts
This Month - SkyandTelescope.com - Sky Tour Podcasts
also HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky: Your guide to constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and events
Anytime - Stellarium (free planetarium for your computer)
also Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart (online planetarium)

Visible Satellites:
Simplest - Satellite Flybys by SpaceweatherPhone.com
More satellites and more info - Heavens-Above.com.

Launches:
Spaceflight Now - Worldwide Launch Schedule
also Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule
& Wallops Flight Facility Launch Webcast & Blog
Reentries - Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies - Upcoming & Recent Reentries

Live Aurora Cams:
Sodankyla, Finland,
Kiruna, Sweden,
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 4),
Jokkmokk, Sweden (cam 5),
Abisko, Sweden,
Reykiavik, Iceland,
Yellowknife, Canada (click on CONNECT AURORAMAX LIVE),
& Poker Flat, Alaska


Most events described below can be viewed with your eyes alone.
Occasionally simple binoculars will improve the view and that will be noted.


***** Current & Future Events *****

See the comments or the links above.


Events earlier than those listed below will be found in previous blog entries.

***** Past Events *****

Photo Op - Crescent & Morning "Stars"

Image created with Stellarium, a free download.

July 15 before Dawn
ENE before dawn the bright & orange star Aldebaran and the ">" shaped Hyades star cluster will be visible close to extremely brilliant white planet Venus. The tiny dipper shaped Pleiades star cluster will be visible well above very brilliant off-white Jupiter.

Even in the very bright dawn shortly before sunrise the thin crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter will still be visible.

(For earlier events see previous blog entries.)


Past 24 Hours Visitors
web counterVisitor Map
Create your own visitor map!

REVISED FORECAST!.VERY IMPORTANT NEWS=7/12/12 Photo At 3:19 PM (Ralfo)
Of AR1521,AR1520 & AR1519...X-FLARE! Big sunspot AR1520 unleashed an X1.4-class solar flare on July 12th at 1653 UT. Because the sunspot was directly facing Earth at the time of the blast, this is a geoeffective event. Stay tuned for updates about possible CMEs and radio blackouts. Solar flare alerts:
REVISED FORECAST!.VERY IMPORTANT NEWS=7/12/12 Photo At 3:19 PM
northern lights from the observation deck (blu56jay)
northern lights from the observation deck
X1.4 Auroras! (emixam101)
1h14 AM - The storm intensified drasticly and reached a G3 Level (Strong) with an Index of KP7! (Severe).Auroras were briefly visible to 110° on highest! Great Auroras show since August 2003!!! Somes shots the focus is quite bad because of the VERY Hazy conditions.It was still very warm to at this hour with 69F/21C!
X1.4 Auroras!
Northern Lights 1 (smyezek)
Taken east of Grafton Iowa, 7/14/2012
Northern Lights 1
Aurora Australis 1 (astrophotographer)
Oh boy what a beautiful sight. A CME from the sun has hit us and sparked this wonder of nature.
Aurora Australis 1
Aurora Australis 1 (astrophotographer)
A panorama of two photos and the streak is a satellite crossing the visual path.
Aurora Australis 1
Looking East (IC)
Jupiter, Venus, Taurus and Moon
Looking East
Celestial Spectacle (snapperone)
This morning offered a treat just before sunrise. The waning crescent moon is seen here nestled between Venus, Jupiter and Aldebaran. The Hyades and Pleiadies are also in this frame!
Celestial Spectacle
Endeavour Leaving for California (Skyepony)
Endeavour Leaving for California
Endeavour Leaving for California (Skyepony)
Endeavour Leaving for California
Endeavour Leaving for California (Skyepony)
Endeavour Leaving for California
Space-X Dragon Launch (dcfrench)
Headed to the International Space Station with 1,000 pounds of cargo on board. Even ice cream
Space-X Dragon Launch
Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) (Endosidney)
Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS)
Comet Pan Starrs (Westerberg)
Pan Starrs and the New Moon as seen from Joshua Tree National Park, California
Comet Pan Starrs
Comet PanSTARRS (Shotonsite)
the skies over Deming NM, March 12, 2013.
Comet PanSTARRS
Comet & Moon in Nautical Twilight (CJSprinkle)
Looking out toward Ventura from Mt.McCoy in Simi Valley, CA. Comet with the crescent moon made for an excellent shot with the setup of the city lights and the ocean, and the colorful skies following sunset.
Comet & Moon in Nautical Twilight
Delta IV Nocolucent Clouds (Skyepony)
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV has launched with the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite on Friday night, following a 24 hour delay caused by an issue associated with a ground support system helium pressurization line. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force occured at 20:27 local time.
Delta IV Nocolucent Clouds
Delta IV Noctilucent Cloud (Skyepony)
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV has launched with the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite on Friday night, following a 24 hour delay caused by an issue associated with a ground support system helium pressurization line. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 37B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force occurred at 20:27 local time. From the area of sky where the rocket separation occurred grew two small Noctilucent Clouds. This is the one that went bird shape a bit.
Delta IV Noctilucent Cloud
STS131 Noctilucent Cloud (Skyepony)
This is the short life of the Noctilucent Cloud beast created by the launch of Shuttle Discovery as I watched from the Turn Basin at Kennedy Space Center. Here is a link to a NASA study done on Shuttle created Noctilucent Clouds.
STS131 Noctilucent Cloud

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608. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
4:23 PM GMT on October 20, 2014
Mark Thursday (Oct. 23) on your calendar as "Solar Eclipse Day," for if the weather cooperates, you should have no difficulty observing a partial eclipse of the sun.

Nearly all of North America, except for a portion of eastern Canada and a slice of eastern New England, will experience the partial solar eclipse this week. People who live east of a line running from roughly Quebec City to Montauk Point, New York, will miss out on the solar show, since the sun will set before the dark disc of the moon begins to encroach upon it.

The several hundred thousand people who inhabit parts of Siberia will get a brief view around local sunrise time — but on Friday (Oct. 24), because this part of the eclipse visibility zone is to the west of the International Date Line. So, for this part of the world, the event will begin on the day after it ends!

Partial Solar Eclipse To Darken United States Skies This Week (October 19-25)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46165
607. Patrap
11:34 PM GMT on October 06, 2014



Launch Abort System Installed for Orion Flight Test

The launch abort system for the Orion Flight Test is lowered by crane for installation on the Orion spacecraft inside the Launch Abort System Facility, or LASF, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The completed crew and service modules will be tested and verified together with the launch abort system. Orion will remain inside the LASF until mid-November, when the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket is ready for integration with the spacecraft.

Orion is the exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to destinations not yet explored by humans, including an asteroid and Mars. It will have emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The first unpiloted test flight of the Orion is scheduled to launch in December atop the Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to an altitude of 3,600 miles above the Earth's surface. The two-orbit, four-hour flight test will help engineers evaluate the systems critical to crew safety including the heat shield, parachute system and launch abort system.

Image Credit: NASA/Cory Huston
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
606. EdwardinAlaska
12:18 PM GMT on October 03, 2014
According to the write-up on spaceflightnow.com: "The sunrise liftoff Dec. 4 should be visually spectacular, lighting up
the Space Coast with three distinct pillars of fire from the main
engines trailing more than 200 feet long."

When they launch this thing, you better believe I'll be in Titusville to watch. The Delta IV Heavy is the next best thing to a shuttle launch. I really wish it could be a night launch, but I'll take it no matter when it goes up.

Quoting 605. Patrap:

Let's get this Blog up and running Flight....






Delta IV Heavy Rocket Rolls to Launch Pad for Orion's First Flight Test

Member Since: February 4, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 467
605. Patrap
1:47 AM GMT on October 03, 2014
Let's get this Blog up and running Flight....






Delta IV Heavy Rocket Rolls to Launch Pad for Orion's First Flight Test
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
604. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
2:20 AM GMT on September 12, 2014
REAL TIME AURORA BOREALIS PREDICTION:

Here is the prediction of storm intensity for the next few minutes (the higher the Kp number, the larger the Aurora):


The Space Environment Center's Neural Net Program estimates that . . .

in 4 minutes, the Geomagnetic Activity level (Kp number) will be 2.67 -- Quiet
in 20 minutes, the Geomagnetic Activity level (Kp number) will be 5.33 -- at STORM LEVEL!
in 34 minutes, the Geomagnetic Activity level (Kp number) will be 4.67 -- Very Active.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46165
603. Ohwellfine
5:07 PM GMT on July 25, 2014
Pictures are beautiful, but did we just launch a variety of invasive species into some other world?


Check it out!

http://azumamakoto.com/?p=5051
Member Since: January 15, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
602. goofyrider
10:26 PM GMT on July 13, 2014
No luck with launch from Wallop's Isle due to clouds.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2795
601. Patrap
2:49 AM GMT on April 12, 2014
Forging a New frontier with Pride. America is getting ready to go back to Space.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
600. Patrap
2:46 AM GMT on April 12, 2014
NASA's Orion Spacecraft Powers through First Integrated System Testing



Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this year.
Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

NASA's Orion spacecraft has proven its mettle in a test designed to determine the spacecraft's readiness for its first flight test -- Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) -- later this year. EFT-1 will send the spacecraft more than 3,600 miles from Earth and return it safely.

The spacecraft ran for 26 uninterrupted hours during the final phase of a major test series completed April 8 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The test verified the crew module can route power and send commands that enable the spacecraft to manage its computer system, software and data loads, propulsion valves, temperature sensors and other instrumentation.
"This has been the most significant integrated testing of the Orion spacecraft yet," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's human exploration and operations at the agency's Headquarters in Washington.

"The work done to test the avionics with the crew module isn't just preparing us for Orion's first trip to space in a few months. It's also getting us ready to send crews far into the solar system."

In October 2013, NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers powered on Orion's main computer for the first time. Since then, they have installed harnessing, wiring and electronics. This was the first time engineers ran the crew module through its paces to verify all system actuators respond correctly to commands and all sensors report back as planned. More than 20 miles of wire are required to connect the different systems being powered.

"Getting all the wiring right, integrating every element of the avionics together, and then testing it continuously for this many hours is a big step toward getting to deep space destinations," said Mark Geyer, Orion program manager.

Engineers now are preparing the crew module for vibration testing, scheduled for the week of April 14. In May, the heat shield will be installed and, shortly thereafter, the crew module will be attached with the service module.

During EFT-1, an uncrewed Orion spacecraft will take a four-hour trip into space, traveling 15 times farther from Earth than the International Space Station. During its reentry into Earth's atmosphere, Orion will be traveling at 20,000 mph, faster than any current spacecraft capable of carrying humans, and endure temperatures of approximately 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The data gathered during the flight will inform design decisions to improve the spacecraft that will one day carry humans to an asteroid and eventually Mars. EFT-1 is targeted for launch in December.
For more information on Orion, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/orion
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
599. GardenGrrl
4:01 PM GMT on January 15, 2014
Hey LC miss you. Hope things are going good you are star gazing in clear skies :)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 257 Comments: 9715
598. Cloudyinthewest
8:47 AM GMT on January 15, 2014
There is a full Moon tonight.
Member Since: December 2, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 108
597. RobDaHood
2:41 AM GMT on January 15, 2014
Saw you over on Doc's blog tonight.

Good to hear from you!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 99 Comments: 32845
596. RobDaHood
8:49 AM GMT on January 12, 2014
Hey LC.
Haven't seen you around in a while. Hope all is well.
You are missed.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 99 Comments: 32845
595. DaveFive
5:53 AM GMT on January 12, 2014
Which month this year will we be having a blue moon?
Member Since: August 16, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 311
594. goofyrider
8:02 PM GMT on January 10, 2014
Rocket: Saw the plume from Pier Beach clear as a bell till it turned sideway and got lost in the haze It better at night.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2795
593. goofyrider
6:46 PM GMT on January 04, 2014
fyi: planet watch

http://news.yahoo.com/jupiter-shines-night-long-s unday-see-162251724.html

edit

Launch window: 1832-1837 GMT (1:32-1:37 p.m. EST)
Launch site: Pad 0A, Wallops Island, Virginia

The Orbital Sciences Antares rocket will launch the second Cygnus cargo freighter on the first operational cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station. The mission is known as Orb-1. The Antares rocket will fly an upgraded Castor 30B second stage motor for the first time. Delayed from November, Dec. 8, Dec. 17, Dec. 18 and Dec. 19. Moved forward from Jan. 13. Delayed from Jan. 7 by cold temperatures. [Jan. 3]
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2795
592. DaveFive
12:08 PM GMT on January 02, 2014
Happy New Year, how is the weather in your area. There is a drought going on here in Central California
Member Since: August 16, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 311
591. Patrap
7:25 AM GMT on December 04, 2013
Gotta Love a launch "In the Evening"...


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
590. Skyepony (Mod)
3:56 AM GMT on December 04, 2013
SpaceX launch this evening from my house. Click first pic for series.




So noticed how this cloud or you can see the atmosphere go around the vehicle, now including the boosters..this started happening with the shuttle toward the end of that program. It's just got more & more to where it is startling apparent. What has changed to see this so well? Looks like the noctilucent factor is helping..



Then as other times some sort of noctilucent dragon formed. This one not very bright.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38679
589. Patrap
10:29 PM GMT on December 03, 2013
SpaceX Falcon 8 Launch, live link

Launch at 5:41 EDT

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
588. DaveFive
10:57 AM GMT on November 10, 2013
Hello LowerCal, I'm Dave from San Jose, CA. Your astronomy info and photos are great and educational. The weather in San Jose has been dry for quite some time.
Member Since: August 16, 2013 Posts: 9 Comments: 311
587. goofyrider
1:06 PM GMT on November 03, 2013
Nice clear night but clouds arrived towards sunrise. Off shore clouds were down to the water for our location. A wee bit north a fellow got some shots( Blizzard92 's blog ), and at least a view of the eclipse.
Member Since: February 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2795
586. sp34n119w
6:45 PM GMT on October 24, 2013
Time once again for the Great World Wide Star Count!
October 25 - November 8, 2013
Hurray for citizen science! :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
585. GardenGrrl
10:21 AM GMT on October 01, 2013
White Rabbits, White Rabbits, White Rabbits!
*****Happy October*****
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 257 Comments: 9715
584. sp34n119w
1:04 AM GMT on October 01, 2013
Hurray! So glad somebody got to go! Even if it wasn't me, LOL
I'm surprised nobody followed it here ... too uncertain, maybe? Anyway, came across a video -
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
583. Ohwellfine
4:55 PM GMT on September 30, 2013
It was great fun watching the launch! We made it just in time! Flames were as long as or longer than rocket itself. Loved the low rumbling roar.... could feel it. The little pops and puffs during second stage gave pause, but later learned they were planned. I'm so happy we made the trip. It was a great day all around.
Member Since: January 15, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 63
582. sp34n119w
4:15 PM GMT on September 29, 2013
http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/006/status.html
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
581. sp34n119w
4:14 PM GMT on September 29, 2013
Did you see it? Are you there? I saw the smoke trail 7 minutes late! Everything looks good :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
580. sp34n119w
9:21 PM GMT on September 27, 2013
It should be an easy and pleasant drive up the coast on an early Sunday morning :)
I, however, will be heading in the other direction :(
So, I expect to get all the details from you, LC - have fun!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4307
579. LowerCal
9:09 PM GMT on September 27, 2013
Chance of favorable weather is 80% for the Vandenberg launch.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
578. LowerCal
1:38 AM GMT on September 27, 2013
The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9v1.1 from Vandenberg AFB, California is scheduled for a 2 hour window from 9-11AM the morning of Sunday, September 29. It's early enough that I don't think beach traffic on the drive from southerly departure points will be a major factor.

Spaceflight Now | Falcon Launch Report | Mission Status Center
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
577. LowerCal
1:37 AM GMT on September 27, 2013
Bogon Thanks for the link and the reminder about Comet ISON. Here are some articles of interest and updates:

Comet ISON to Fly By Mars - News from Sky & Telescope - SkyandTelescope.com (includes an animation)
....

Oct. 1st: Comet ISON sails 10.8 million km from the Martian surface

Nov. 19th: ISON will pass closest to Mercury, with Messenger as its witness.

Nov. 28th: Comet ISON whips through the outer solar corona, passing within 1.2 million km of the Sun%u2019s visible surface.

Dec. 26th: Assuming the comet survives its graze past the Sun, it%u2019ll pass 64.2 million km from Earth (167 times farther than the Moon).

....
Updates on Comet ISON - Observing Blog - SkyandTelescope.com (includes a locator graphic)

One possibility is that Comet ISON will be a predawn binocular comet in early December. However if Comet ISON should break up on November 28 or soon after it could be much brighter.


Gg All is well, thanks!

It will probably be a few years before a vehicle of comparable magnitude to a Space Shuttle launches. However Florida's Space Coast should be able to see more than one launch most months for the foreseeable future.

Check the Spaceflight Now | Tracking Station | Worldwide launch schedule.


Pat Thanks for the heads up on the launch.

Updates on ongoing activity are at Spaceflight Now | Space Station Mission Report | Mission Status Center.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
576. Patrap
9:31 PM GMT on September 24, 2013
New Space Station Crew to Launch on Wednesday

On Wed., Sept. 25, Michael Hopkins of NASA and Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will depart from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:58 p.m. EDT (2:58 a.m. Kazakh time Sept. 26) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft headed for the International Space Station.

NASA Television coverage will begin at 4 p.m. and will include video of pre-launch activities leading up to spacecraft boarding.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
575. Gatorxgrrrl
9:27 PM GMT on September 24, 2013
Hi LC - now that the shuttle program is gone, nothing fun to see hardly anymore here on the east coast of Florida. Hope all is well!
Member Since: May 10, 2007 Posts: 70 Comments: 15599
574. Bogon
4:28 PM GMT on September 17, 2013
According to an old article at space.com today the launch window opens for Project BRRISON.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3744
573. LowerCal
6:23 PM GMT on September 15, 2013
Next "probable" launch for Falcon 9 v1.1 from Vandenberg AFB, California is "Sept 29/30". In the meantime the Air Force will be busy with Minuteman missile testing.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
572. LowerCal
1:29 AM GMT on September 15, 2013
No static fire test was conducted today of the Falcon 9 v1.1 at Vandenberg AFB, California. It has been scheduled for Wednesday so the actual launch will be NET (No Earlier Than) Friday.


Meanwhile on the East Coast another coastal Virginia launch is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18 at 10:50am EDT.

Spaceflight Now | Cygnus Mission Report | Mission Status Center
....

Orbital Sciences Corp. announced today the launch of its Antares rocket with the company's first functioning Cygnus cargo craft for the International Space Station will be delayed one day [to Wednesday] to change out a faulty cable.

....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
571. LowerCal
8:16 PM GMT on September 13, 2013
Rob Yep, and most people's weekday schedules aren't as flexible. I'm crossing my fingers that I don't have any irresolvable conflicts with the next launch date.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
570. RobDaHood
8:01 PM GMT on September 13, 2013
Oh, Man!
A Sunday launch would've been great! Not nearly so many distractions on Sundays.

Oh, well, will stay tuned.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 99 Comments: 32845
569. LowerCal
7:57 PM GMT on September 13, 2013
A second static fire test of the Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket at Vandenberg AFB, California will be conducted on Saturday and a Sunday launch will not be possible.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
568. LowerCal
5:58 PM GMT on September 13, 2013
After yesterday's static fire test the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch from Vandenberg AFB, California is still scheduled for a 2 hour window beginning 9AM Sunday, September 15 but...

Spaceflight Now | Falcon Launch Report | Mission Status Center
....


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2013
0825 GMT (4:25 a.m. EDT; 1:25 a.m. PDT)

Elon Musk, SpaceX's CEO and chief designer posted an update on his Twitter account this morning.

"Full thrust achieved on 2 sec static fire," Musk tweeted. "Some anomalies to be investigated, so launch date tbd [to be determined]."

....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
567. LowerCal
1:14 AM GMT on September 13, 2013
A successful static fire test was conducted and the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch is still scheduled for Sunday along with an attempt at a special trick.

Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Upgraded Falcon 9 rocket clears major prelaunch test
....

SpaceX plans to put the Falcon 9's empty first stage through a series of reusability tests after it completes its burn about 3 minutes into flight.

The flight plan calls for the first stage to reignite to slow the spent rocket's descent and impact the water with "minimal velocity," according to a waiver document issued by the Federal Aviation Administration, which licenses commercial launches for providers such as SpaceX.

The feat of returning the Falcon 9's first stage to the Pacific Ocean intact would be a key step toward SpaceX's goal of developing a reusable Falcon 9 rocket, in which the launcher's first stage would guide itself back to a pad near the launch site and make a rocket-assisted vertical touchdown on landing legs.

....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
566. LowerCal
11:31 PM GMT on September 12, 2013
Today's countdown was for a pre launch static fire test.

Spaceflight Now | Falcon Launch Report | Mission Status Center
....

The nine first stage engines will only fire for a few seconds - and the rocket will remain firmly attached to the launch pad - but the test will give engineers data on how the rocket and ground systems functioned during the final countdown. SpaceX already put the Falcon 9 v1.1 through a wet dress rehearsal, in which controllers oversaw the loading of the two-stage rocket with liquid oxygen and kerosene before aborting the countdown moments before a simulated liftoff.

....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
565. LowerCal
11:21 PM GMT on September 12, 2013
Looking more doubtful for a Sunday launch of the Falcon 9 v1.1 from Vandenberg AFB, California.

Spaceflight Now | Falcon Launch Report | Mission Status Center
....

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2013
2200 GMT (6 p.m. EDT; 3 p.m. PDT)
Today's countdown has been halted two times in the final minutes before the Falcon 9 rocket's nine Merlin 1D engines were supposed to ignite. There is no word yet whether another attempt will be made today.

....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
564. LowerCal
11:19 PM GMT on September 12, 2013
shore I just stopped by to post this and found you already did. Thanks! :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
563. shoreacres
5:10 PM GMT on September 12, 2013
If anyone has missed the photo of the frog that was launched with the LADEE spacecraft, here it is, straight from NASA.

Froggie went a-launching and he did ride...
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
562. LowerCal
12:17 AM GMT on September 12, 2013
Spaceflight Now | Falcon Launch Report | Mission Status Center
Today's planned Falcon 9 engine static fire in California was scrubbed, according to a source familiar with SpaceX's launch preparations.

The scrub will likely push back the Falcon 9's launch at least one day to Monday, but SpaceX has not confirmed the delay.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
561. LowerCal
5:42 PM GMT on September 11, 2013
Spaceflight Now | Falcon Launch Report | Mission Status Center
....

SpaceX plans to put its next-generation Falcon 9 rocket through a crucial ground test as soon as Wednesday [today] at the launcher's new West Coast launch pad in California.

....

If the rocket and ground systems look healthy, SpaceX could press on with plans for launch of the 23-story rocket as soon as Sunday, Sept. 15. The launch window opens at 1600 GMT (12 p.m. EDT; 9 a.m. PDT).

....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
560. LowerCal
12:00 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
Launch views from North Carolina to New Hampshire.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
559. LowerCal
4:04 AM GMT on September 07, 2013
goofy Thanks for the first hand report. Glad to hear you got a good look and that there was a good turnout. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211
558. LowerCal
4:02 AM GMT on September 07, 2013
The spacecraft's own propulsion will execute the burns required to eventually achieve lunar orbit the first week of October.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9211

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APRSWXNET Woodland Hills CA US
Calabasas, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 51.0 °F
Dew Point: 34.0 °F
Humidity: 53%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 2.0 mph
Updated: 5:33 AM PST on December 01, 2013
At Gonzales Drive
Woodland Hills, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
Temperature: 64.5 °F
Dew Point: 31.6 °F
Humidity: 29%
Wind: Calm
Wind Gust: 0.0 mph
Updated: 8:46 PM PDT on October 24, 2014

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