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Miscellaneous Launches and Payloads (updates)

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DocM    15,406

Pitiful when a cartoon like that may be more accurate than the program planners, isn't it? Maybe if so many parts didn't fall off in transit & roll around the floor.....

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Beittil    519

Not to mention that XKCD has been pretty much spot on quite often already... 

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DocM    15,406

And so it begins; NASA looking at BFR as a possible replacement for SLS.

 

https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/luvoir/

Quote

The Large UV/Optical/IR Surveyor (LUVOIR) is a concept for a highly capable, multi-wavelength space observatory with ambitious science goals. This mission would enable great leaps forward in a broad range of science, from the epoch of reionization, through galaxy formation and evolution, star and planet formation, to solar system remote sensing. LUVOIR also has the major goal of characterizing a wide range of exoplanets, including those that might be habitable - or even inhabited.

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,589

We called it! So did Academia! Not enough parts, and the factories that produce those parts won't be back online until 2022 at the EARLIEST in some cases due to the STS Infrastructure shutdown that began in 2010.

 

BFR/BFS is THE most logical path forward. Completely reusable, the CH4 fuel is far safer, easily-produced/stored, does not require cryogenics for storage either (although cryogenics are applicable in storing more of it), many parts are mass-producible pretty much anywhere that has a decently-equipped machine shop able to go to Aerospace tolerances (which is pretty much everywhere) ... the list goes on.

 

SLS is SO far out-of-date technologically that it's not even WORTH building anymore. And what's more, it has cost FAR too much money and taken too much time.

 

Get a few launches out of it and relegate it to history as "the ultimate folly/pork barrel project". We've got WAY better gear now.

 

If the money spent on SLS/Orion were spent on BFR/BFS and the Habitation technologies we'd be on [expletive] MARS now, with a dozen ships already there. Alpha Colony would be up and running with a thousand people happily bouncing around the surface doing their jobs marvelling at the views sending back INCREDIBLE science and 5,000 images a [flipping] sol -- with an additional two dozen ships leaving Earth SOI as I type this.

 

Let that sink in, folks. That's the magnitude of how big a cluster[bleep] this is. We could have been on Mars and the Moon by now.

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DocM    15,406

Haaretz....(Israel)

 


First Israeli Spacecraft to Head to Moon on Back of Elon Musk's SpaceX Rocket

The first Israeli spacecraft planned to land on the Moon will be launched in December, the SpaceIL initiative behind the craft announced on Tuesday. The plan is for the spacecraft to land on the Moon on February 13, 2019, after a two-month trip.

The SpaceIL organization is participating in the Google Lunar XC Prize competition to land the first privately funded unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. Even though the competition officially ended with no winner at the end of March this year, after a number of extensions to the deadline for the $30 million in cash prizes, the competition still continues without the cash. 

But SpaceIL continued to develop its spaceship, which it began to build in 2013 in cooperation with Israel Aeronautics Industries. The spacecraft will be launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket built by Elon Musks SpaceX company. The spacecraft will separate from its two-stage launch rocket at a height of 60,000 kilometers above the earth, where it will enter an elliptical orbit around the earth, which will expand slowly until the craft is captured by lunar gravity. 

Ido Anteby, the CEO of the nonprofit SpaceIL, says this will be the smallest spacecraft ever to land on the Moon. "It is about two meters in diameter and a meter and a half high. It will weigh 585 kilograms at launch, but will land with a weight of only 180 kilos after burning off most of its fuel."

SpaceIL is hoping to make Israel the fourth country in the world  after the United States, Russia and China, to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Beyond the technological and public relations achievement, the initiative is meant to arouse interest in space and science among Israelis, and especially the younger generation, and encourage them to study the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professions.
>

 

spaceil-lander-879x485.jpg

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DocM    15,406

/sigh....

 

The Telescope That Ate NASA continues to chomp.

 

https://spacenews.com/nasa-weighs-delaying-wfirst-to-fund-jwst-overrun/

 


>
Testifying before the House Science Committee in the first half of a two-part hearing on JWST, Bridenstine suggested that slowing down work on the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) until after JWST is launched could be a way to deal with JWSTs increased cost while maintaining a "balanced portfolio" of large and small astrophysics programs.

"The idea of WFIRST presumed that JWST would be on orbit and delivering science," he said. "So it is my recommendation that we move forward with WFIRST after we move forward with JWST."

"It is true we can do some development now. I'm not saying that we need to shut down WFIRST, and we shouldn't do it," he added. "What I'm saying is theres opportunity here."

Current plans for WFIRST call for a launch in 2025, assuming full funding. That funding is uncertain at the moment, though, since the administration proposed cancelling WFIRST in its 2019 budget request. House and Senate versions of appropriations bills would keep the mission going, but the House bill offers $150 million versus $352 million in the Senate bill. The latter amount, NASA says, is what's needed to keep the mission on schedule.
>

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Unobscured Vision    2,589

At this rate it's going to eat NASA.

 

And by the time it actually launches the ground-based scopes are going to be so sensitive that the science that it was slated to do can be done on Terra Firma at high altitudes.

 

So ... what benefits are there (and what need is there) to justify JWST's existence now? Oh wait ... Northrop-Grumman's. I'd call it "the ultimate pork barrel project" but that's SLS/Orion. This'll be the #2 though.

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Jim K    11,299

The final Delta II launch is about to take place.  This workhorse has had more than 150 missions over 29 years.

 

 

 

About the payload ... ICESat-2
 
Quote

The Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, will measure the height of a changing Earth, one laser pulse at a time, 10,000 laser pulses a second. Slated for launch in 2018, ICESat-2 will carry a photon-counting laser altimeter that will allow scientists to measure the elevation of ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and more - all in unprecedented detail.

 

Our planet's frozen and icy areas, called the cryosphere, are a key focus of NASA's Earth science research. ICESat-2 will help scientists investigate why, and how much, our cryosphere is changing in a warming climate. The satellite will also measure heights across Earth's temperate and tropical regions, and take stock of the vegetation in forests worldwide.

 

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Jim K    11,299

Japan successfully lands two rovers on asteroid Ryugu...a first.
 

Quote

MINERVA-II1: Successful image capture, landing on Ryugu and hop!

 

On September 21, the small compact MINERVA-II1 rovers separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft (time of separation was 13:06 JST). The MINERVA-II1 consists of two rovers, Rover-1A and Rover-1B. We have confirmed both rovers landed on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. The two rovers are in good condition and are transmitting images and data. Analysis of this information confirmed that at least one of the rovers is moving on the asteroid surface.

 

MINERVA-II1 is the world’s first rover (mobile exploration robot) to land on the surface of an asteroid. This is also the first time for autonomous movement and picture capture on an asteroid surface. MINERVA-II1 is therefore “the world’s first man-made object to explore movement on an asteroid surface”. We are also delighted that the two rovers both achieved this operation at the same time.

 

Fig2.thumb.jpg.b2929cb332630b3ec3c6d2757fd09661.jpg

 Image captured by Rover-1B on September 21 at around 13:07 JST. This color image was taken immediately after separation from the spacecraft. The surface of Ryugu is in the lower right. The coloured blur in the top left is due to the reflection of sunlight when the image was taken.

 

Fig3.thumb.jpg.e870166dcaeffe4bc5e38591e58d1c41.jpg

 Image captured by Rover-1A on September 22 at around 11:44 JST. Color image captured while moving (during a hop) on the surface of Ryugu. The left-half of the image is the asteroid surface. The bright white region is due to sunlight.

 

Ryugu-and-Hayabusa2-shadow.thumb.jpg.1384460cd11b7c3bf0bd99ee68142d2a.jpg

This spectacular photo shows asteroid Ryugu as well as the spacecraft shadow visible on the surface, as Hayabusa 2 was descending on September 21, 2018, to release the pair of rovers. The image was taken from about 443 feet (135 meters) from the space rock.

 

JAXA

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DocM    15,406

Good job JAXA!! 

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Unobscured Vision    2,589

NICE!!

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Beittil    519

Nice job, to bad they are not nearly as good at public engagement as ESA was back then with Rosetta though. 

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Draggendrop    5,656
Quote

The European Japanese @BepiColombo mission to Mercury will be launched in less than 12 hours from French Guiana! Follow live from 03:15 CEST

https://twitter.com/DLR_en/status/1053286130991403009

 

Livestream at...

https://livestream.com/ESA/BepiColomboLaunch

 

Background...

 

Quote

BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to Mercury. It will set off in 2018 on a journey to the smallest and least explored terrestrial planet in our Solar System. When it arrives at Mercury in late 2025, it will endure temperatures in excess of 350 °C and gather data during its 1 year nominal mission, with a possible 1-year extension. The mission comprises two spacecraft: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). BepiColombo is a joint mission between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), executed under ESA leadership.

http://sci.esa.int/bepicolombo/

 

 

BEPICOLOMBO LAUNCH MEDIA KIT

http://sci.esa.int/bepicolombo/60754-bepicolombo-launch-media-kit/

 

1584662859_ESA_BepiColombo_VA245_FitcheckCU1_132_295.thumb.jpg.2b0dd0366dd793b039b82136745483fc.jpg

 

 

163978278_ESA_BepiColombo_VA245_FitcheckCU1_009_295.thumb.jpg.d9156ee97485eb89c69724cec06f7274.jpg

 

http://sci.esa.int/bepicolombo/60586-bepicolombo-science-orbiters-stacked-together/

 

BepiColombo mission to Mercury  video is 2:57 min....problem displaying here, go to link for viewing

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et-kte0XNzQ

 

Dp5BdxTUwAAxYZY.thumb.jpg.bef88658d8270cc2c642ebc4e00b15f1.jpg

https://twitter.com/SPACEdotcom/status/1053351344461930496

Edited by Draggendrop
added unfurled payload image

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Draggendrop    5,656

Student payloads

 

Quote

Two student teams in Canada will have the chance to design and test a small scientific experiment to fly on board a High-Altitude Balloon provided by the @csa_asc. Your team could be one of them! Send us your #CANSBX proposal by November 2nd: http://seds.ca/projects/can-sbx/ …

https://twitter.com/sedscanada/status/1053329802072088576

 

Dp4lHFVX0AA9YEl.thumb.jpg.0c9da5df162f03eb085d35c243a02320.jpg

 

Canadian Stratospheric Balloon Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-SBX)

 

Quote

The Canadian Stratospheric Balloon Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-SBX) is a competition for Canadian post-secondary students to design and test a small scientific experiment to fly on board a High-Altitude Balloon provided by the Canadian Space Agency. The CAN-SBX program allows post-secondary students to develop different experiments in areas such as astrophysics, Earth atmosphere, Earth magnetic field, biology, remote sensing and technology demonstrations.

 

Any student team at a Canadian university or college may submit a proposal for their experiment, after careful consideration, 2 teams will be selected to fully design, build and fly their experiments. Three to Six students from each team will attend the 2019 launch campaign in Timmins, Ontario. The first iteration of the campaign in 2018 included two teams. Team HABOO (High Altitude Balloon Ozone Observer), a joint team from the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto, looked at materials for solar geoengineering applications. Team MIIST (Multispectral Imager In-Situ Testing), from the University of Alberta’s AlbertaSat team, tested a multispectral imager that will be used on their next cube satellite, Ex Alta-2.

 

SEDS Canada strives to create a tangible student-led impact in space exploration and development. This is a unique opportunity allows students to develop skills in STEM and conduct research in an environment that is unparalleled here on Earth.

https://seds.ca/projects/can-sbx/

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Draggendrop    5,656

BepiColombo is on it's way...

 

Arianespace . VA245 Successful Launch

 

 

 

 

Quote

STAGE SEPARATION! #Ariane5's top stage separates from the spent lower stage & starts pushing @BepiColombo on the correct path to leave Earth

https://twitter.com/esaoperations/status/1053464818131312641

 

Approx 9 flybys and 7 years in transit are starting now...

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Draggendrop    5,656
Quote

After a long first day in #space, our #BepiColombo @ESA_MTM returns its first #space #selfie http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/10/BepiColombo_s_first_image_from_space2 …

https://twitter.com/esascience/status/1053726057822597120

 

Dp-WVQ3X0AAcweO.thumb.jpg.ef55c2c4289ab70ac557e133c7dcf302.jpg

 

 

Dp-WQ89WoAANpGt.thumb.jpg.b1fe0256c25ccf9f1405b890946e1631.jpg

 

for fun...

 

Dp-AGNZU0AAn60c.thumb.jpg.71739045b496cb782e050234beb806b2.jpg

 

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Draggendrop    5,656

BEPICOLOMBO IMAGES ANTENNAS

 

 21/10/2018 6:00 pm

 

Quote

The BepiColombo Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) has returned its first images of the deployed antennas onboard the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO). 

 

The ‘M-CAM 2’ camera captured the medium-gain antenna, while ‘M-CAM 3’ looked towards the deployed high-gain antenna. Glimpses of the MTM solar arrays are also visible in both images (follow the links to full descriptions of what can be seen in each image).

 

These two images follow the view obtained by ‘M-CAM 1’ yesterday, which imaged one of the deployed solar arrays of the transfer module. The successful deployments had all been confirmed by telemetry before the images were taken.

 

The transfer module’s three monitoring cameras provide black-and-white snapshots in 1024 x 1024 pixel resolution. The location and field of view of ‘M-CAM 2’ and ‘M-CAM 3’ are indicated in this graphic.

 

The monitoring cameras will be used on various occasions during the cruise phase, notably during the flybys of Earth, Venus and Mercury. While the MPO is equipped with a high-resolution scientific camera, this can only be operated after separating from the MTM upon arrival at Mercury in late 2025 because, like several of the 11 instrument suites, it is located on the side of the spacecraft fixed to the MTM during cruise.

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2018/10/BepiColombo_images_antennas

 

BepiColombo_images_antennasLwrRes.thumb.jpg.99cb557fdd597d061c701db08996c26b.jpg

 

Higher resolution images available at the above link.

 

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Draggendrop    5,656
Quote

ZhuQue-1 sitting on the pad waiting to become the first private orbital launch from China.

https://twitter.com/LaunchStuff/status/1056029917689864192

 

DqfFF7hWsAUOM7v.thumb.jpg.66997f87a6de3f270c6703c27669f0aa.jpg

 

-------------------------------------

 

Quote

T-30 minute countdown procedure to begin at 1530 local time for launch of the Landspace Zhuque-1 at 1600 (0800 UTC/0400 Eastern).

https://twitter.com/AJ_FI/status/1056036771501367297

 

-------------------------------------

 

Quote

The name of the rocket refers to the Vermilion Bird, a Chinese mythical creature that stems from their own constellations, probably the most prestige one of them all (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermilion_Bird …). Most of the stars lies around where Hydra is today.

https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/1056044142692712448

 

-------------------------------

 

Quote

Beijing lanjian kongjian keji YG, known in English as Landspace, is a private launch company based in Beijing with an assembly plant in Huzhou, Zhejiang province.

Quote

Payload for the first launch is a 20 kg satellite called Weilai, built by (and maybe owned by?) the Weina xingkong keji YG (Micro-Nano Star Space Tech Co Ltd, Beijing), also called MinoSpace

https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/1056040378359599104

 

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Draggendrop    5,656

Update for LandSpace...

 

Landspace fails to reach orbit with milestone private Chinese launch

Quote

Landspace suffered an issue with the third stage of its Zhuque-1 solid launch vehicle Saturday as it bid to become the first Chinese private launch company to reach orbit.

 

The three-stage Zhuque-1, named after the Vermillion Bird from Chinese mythology, lifted off from a mobile platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, northwest China, at 4 a.m. Eastern (4 p.m. local time).

 

No live coverage or reporting was available, but space enthusiasts tracking Chinese launches attended, posting apparent images and footage of the launch on Sina Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like microblogging service.

 

After nominal first and second stages and fairing separation an issue with the third stage resulted in the spacecraft failing to achieve orbit, Landspace CEO Zhang Changwu confirmed to press at the site following the launch.

 

The lost payload was the Weila-1 (‘Future’) satellite with a mass of 10-30 kg for China Central Television (CCTV) and developed by Beijing MinoSpace Technology company, founded in 2017. The satellite was intended to be used by the broadcaster for a science outreach TV series.

 

The launch was China’s 30thof 2018 and the first to fail to reach its intended orbit. The previous failure took place in July 2017 with a first-stage engine failure afflicting the second Long March 5, delaying major lunar exploration and space station missions.

 

Quote

Landspace looking to methalox and medium-lift

 

Landspace had stated at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany, earlier this month that it saw its future in the development of medium-lift launchers powered by liquid methane and liquid oxygen propellant.

 

The two-stage Zhuque-2 (ZQ-2), which Landspace aims to manufacture next year and launch for the first time in 2020, will measure 48.8-meters tall with a diameter of 3.35 meters and be capable of delivering a 4,000-kilogram payload capacity to a 200-kilometer low Earth orbit and 2,000 kilograms to 500-kilometer SSO, using 80-ton and 10-ton methalox engines.

 

It is not immediately clear how Saturday’s launch issue will affect financing for development of the rocket or future launchers planned for the series, and if and when a second Zhuque-1 solid rocket launch could take place.

 

Landspace had announced plans to further, larger Zhuque-2 series three-stage rockets—using variable thrust engines to allow attempting vertical landings and reuse of first stages—capable of carrying up to 32,000 kilograms to 200-kilometer low Earth orbit. Saturday’s setback underlines that there are huge challenges in living up to such ambitions.

 

https://spacenews.com/landspace-fails-to-reach-orbit-with-milestone-private-chinese-launch/

 

ZQ102.thumb.jpg.03734f50219598af56feeeba8c60b28a.jpg

 

A few local video's here...

https://twitter.com/LaunchStuff/status/1056100550226395136

 

 

// This was an excellent attempt for "orbit". Two other private firms have done sub-orbital, but orbital is the major goal. LandSpace will be switching to their methane model...looking forward to all the new startups and their adventures...well done everyone.

 

For reference, sub-orbital...

 

Chinese startups OneSpace, iSpace succeed with suborbital launches

 

Quote

snip

 

OneSpace’s launch followed a suborbital launch two days earlier by iSpace’s Hypebrola-1Z rocke, which is t roughly the same size as the OS-X1 . Hyperbola-1Z  lifted off 01:00 a.m. Eastern (05:00 UTC) Sept. 5 from the same site at Jiuquan, marking iSpace’s second suborbital flight.

 

snip

more at the link...

https://spacenews.com/chinese-startups-onespace-ispace-succeed-with-suborbital-launches/

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DocM    15,406

A Chinese Grasshopper

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,589

Talk about small .. hmm.

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Draggendrop    5,656
1 hour ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Talk about small .. hmm.

Test article.

 

Design for scalabilty, prototype small and blow up cheap stuff....😎

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Draggendrop    5,656

NASA Retires Kepler Space Telescope, Passes Planet-Hunting Torch

 

Quote

After nine years in deep space collecting data that indicate our sky to be filled with billions of hidden planets – more planets even than stars – NASA’s Kepler space telescope has run out of fuel needed for further science operations. NASA has decided to retire the spacecraft within its current, safe orbit, away from Earth. Kepler leaves a legacy of more than 2,600 planet discoveries from outside our solar system, many of which could be promising places for life.

Quote

Before retiring the spacecraft, scientists pushed Kepler to its full potential, successfully completing multiple observation campaigns and downloading valuable science data even after initial warnings of low fuel. The latest data, from Campaign 19, will complement the data from NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, launched in April. TESS builds on Kepler's foundation with fresh batches of data in its search of planets orbiting some 200,000 of the brightest and nearest stars to the Earth, worlds that can later be explored for signs of life by missions, such as NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

 

NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley manages the Kepler and K2 missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation in Boulder, Colorado, operates the flight system with support from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

more at the link...

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-retires-kepler-space-telescope-passes-planet-hunting-torch

 

BFFHoj9j.thumb.jpg.ef1740481f6a7623763600b86c7272d1.jpg

Edited by Draggendrop
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Draggendrop    5,656

NASA’s Dawn Mission to Asteroid Belt Comes to End

 

Quote

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has gone silent, ending a historic mission that studied time capsules from the solar system’s earliest chapter.

 

Dawn missed scheduled communications sessions with NASA's Deep Space Network on Wednesday, Oct. 31, and Thursday, Nov. 1. After the flight team eliminated other possible causes for the missed communications, mission managers concluded that the spacecraft finally ran out of hydrazine, the fuel that enables the spacecraft to control its pointing. Dawn can no longer keep its antennas trained on Earth to communicate with mission control or turn its solar panels to the Sun to recharge.

 

The Dawn spacecraft launched 11 years ago to visit the two largest objects in the main asteroid belt. Currently, it’s in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, where it will remain for decades.

more at the link...

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-dawn-mission-to-asteroid-belt-comes-to-end

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=175&v=Hth3nKGKTFc

 

video is 3:04 min.

 

again...

BFFHoj9j.thumb.jpg.3f241bd56b33f7a87901ce9d19b0894a.jpg

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,589

We knew it was bound to happen. :( 

 

#&*@. Two of 'em in a weeks' time ... bummer.

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