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Delta IV Heavy: NROL-71 (mission)

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Stream terminated for tonight.

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Yep. Hopefully it's just one engine that they have to refurb. We know how long that took ...

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

[EDIT] Oh snap, it'll be two of 'em ...

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

I'm gonna go see what they're saying at NSF about it.

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Draggendrop    5,747
Just now, Unobscured Vision said:

I'm gonna go see what they're saying at NSF about it.

spent most of the time in the SpaceX section tonight....didn't bother with the "live launch" section.

 

See what you can find out...

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

So far everyone's saying all three engines had indeed started but were not to launch thrust when the abort was triggered. One commenter said it was "the scariest since STS-93".

 

They almost lost control of this one, I think ... water deluge system quenched it. Abort triggered at T+ 0:07, and there was still flame until T+ 0:03? Eep ...

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44545.msg1886113#msg1886113

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Watching some slow-motion of T+ 0:10 onward ... yeeeaaaahh ... bad stuff, Mikey. Bad stuff. :no: 

 

Those engines are effing hosed. Might as well dunk 'em in the ocean, same effect. They had no recourse but to drown them -- otherwise it was either launch or they explode.

 

This flight isn't going anywhere soon.

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Draggendrop    5,747

That was the way I saw it.

 

The igniters were sparking...engine startup...seemed like forever..yet no increase in thrust.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Yep. :( 

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Draggendrop    5,747

We are spoiled with Falcons...here, run once and repeat...entire engine build sequence...

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Yep ... old way versus new way. :no: 

 

The Merlins would sneeze that stuff out, SpaceX would reset everything, top off the tanks, be ready to try again. Launch Window permitting, of course. Caution would probably dictate otherwise simply because SpaceX would want to see why it happened (they're not above data collection) ...

 

Then again SpaceX won't use LH2 because of .. well, just because. It's dumb. Too much can go wrong.

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

Bullshit_Amplifier_Detector.thumb.GIF.7e1f9c9d77d2920fc3b002cb4c634b72.GIF

 

That means they stood around for 10 seconds and did nothing.

 

Obviously, I was watching the wrong launch.

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Bulls**t! They were ON. We SAW them alight.

 

If they launch that rocket without performing the needed maintenance/refurb on those engines .... it will be a bad day.

12 minutes ago, Draggendrop said:

 

Yeesh ... no kidding. Near catastrophe on the pad. That water deluge system saved everything -- literally everything -- viewable in that image.

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

It appeared to be almost 10 seconds with nothing of importance said.

 

Just saw the lower banner scroll by...obstructing the great view.

 

The advantage was the night launch...saw a good burn-off followed by nothing at all...for what seemed way too long.

 

Something was not right...and they should have had a good scare with 3 tanks flaming away.. with no thrust to disperse the flame front.

 

I'll have to watch a replay, but I could have sworn I heard ignition.....maybe I am just tired tonight....but it was close to a real bad day.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Yep ... exactly as we're seeing. Nothing but burning. Water deluge system saves the day, but those engines (certainly) are damaged. The insulating layer at or near the aft section engine compartment where it meets the metal bulkhead exceeded thermal limits (black smoke before the deluge system quenched the quickly-escaping fire -- LH2 doesn't burn anything but clear on its' own), etc. etc. ...

 

Sublimating LH2 isn't something you want in contact with anything else if there's an ignition source nearby ... it tends to catch fire in the presence of O2. And this includes some metals that won't normally burn ...

 

I bet they're going to find damage to this rocket that they weren't expecting.

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

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Jim K    13,636

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

That is one long delay for engines not igniting.

 

Must be a paperwork issue as well for NROL...for that amount of money...it should be.

 

This puppy will be $300 mil plus. No dial a rocket here.

 

We should be able to be the scorch marks on the lower boosters as well...ULA will have an official "sooty" to join the club.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Yep. I am under the impression that they're doing a "quick refurb" (as quick as can be done, anyway) and repairing damage done when the engines did briefly light -- hot enough to get the LH2 going, anyway ... there's gonna be stuff that got toasted that they need to replace.

 

This launch is going to be super sketchy ... and I mean SUPER sketchy. I hope it ends up being fine, no problems, etc. ULA doesn't need a big setback right now. They can't afford one. It won't kill the company as such; but ULA is in a weird place right now ... don't need things going badly.

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DocM    16,580

Agreed.

 

There haven't been that many Delta IV Heavy launches, just 10 and the first was a partial failure due to pump cavitation in the boosters. The liquid hydrogen valves &  sequencing has also been a bit twitchy. 

 

Hopefully this is all smooth for it's close-out launches, about one per year until about 2023 when Vulcan-Centaur/Vulcan-ACES, Falcon Heavy and New Glenn take over.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

The myriad benefits of moving to CH4/LOX will be readily apparent to ULA once they get Vulcan in testing and all the kinks worked out. That platform is robust because it has to be ... and I think they'll discover what they could have done with their earlier platforms to mitigate some or most of the issues they're seeing now.

 

Hindsight is sometimes 20/20 ... and who knows? Lessons learned could be applied to the LH2 platforms still being used today. If they're brave enough.

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DocM    16,580

 

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DocM    16,580

Webcast

 

 

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