Sunday, August 12th, 2012 | photos, rocket, science, space | No Comments
In 2010 I became aware of a group in Denmark Copenhagen Suborbitals.
The group is building rockets, rather big ones, no New Year’s fireworks.
Given the size of their vehicles they could not get permission to launch from land (Denmark is a small country, and has no large deserted areas). What did they do ? Easy ! If you can not launch from land, then it must be from the sea.
In the summer 2010 I went to the presentation of their Mark 1 sea launch platform, named Sputnik. It was set to sea carrying the rocket, using a crane. This is one of the better pictures I got from the presentation.
The Mark 1 of the platform is not self powered, so they used another self made project for propulsion of the platform, yes, it is a submarine you see on the picture.
The rocket itself is 9m (30ft) tall and 60cm (2ft) diameter.
The first launch attempt later in the year failed. The count went down to 0 and – nothing happened. Well, the pyrotechnics went off as expected, but the rocket stayed in place. The failure was due to a frozen valve for the liquid oxygen.
They learned a lot about procedure and tech from the failure, and one year later, June 2011 a modified rocket and launch platform (this time self propelled) were used. Counting down to 0 and – nothing happened. After a look at the telemetry it was found that the launch signal had not arrived, and 10 – 15 minutes later another attempt was made, and off it went. I do not have pictures from that event, since only active members of the group were allowed in the area. They did, however publish a press kit on the website.
Their criterion for success was that the rocket lifted itself above the platform, the flight went up to about 2km when the flight was aborted from the ground, in order to stay within the designated area.
The rocket had no active steering and veered off like a missile. The “payload” was recovered, but not the engine stage. More on this project later.
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 | space, technology | No Comments
Today Iran is a member of a very exclusive group of countries – those who have launched satellites into space.
The then Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, in October 1957. The United States followed with the successful launch of Explorer 1 in January 1958.
France, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, India and Israel followed later .
The satellite is called “Omid” which means “Hope” in Persian, and carries experimental control systems, communications equipment, and a small remote sensing payload, according to Iranian news reports.
I do find it a bit worrying that a nation with a stated hostile intent towards USA and Israel in particular, and the West in general, now has the capability to deliver whatever type of weapons they have (their secrecy about the nuclear installations, anyone ?) to any place in the world.
It remains, however, quite a feat from a nation to do what they have done, so we must have some respect for their technical abilities. Let us hope that they will learn the lesson of the Cold War – and that they will not start a “hot one”.
Find more information on Spaceflight Now
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 | science, solar energy, space, technology | No Comments
NASA has finished listening for the Phoenix Mars Lander, reports Spaceflight Now in *this article*.
It comes due to the Martian Winter fast approaching, the solar panels are unable to keep the batteries charge…. and it is a little tricky to send someone to run a generator or change the batteries.
In a sense it is sad to lose a spacecraft, but Phoenix had done what it was supposed to do, and was operational for 2 months longer than its original 3 months mission. Not bad at all. The Odyssey orbiter appears to continue functioning, so not all is over yet, even if we are unlikely to hear it for some time while Mars passes behind the Sun (from our perspective).
Saturday, November 15th, 2008 | space | 3 Comments
I am sitting here at the computer with NASA TV running. The final preparations for the launch of STS-126 with new living quarters and other items.
I will set my receiver at 259.700 MHz (AM mode) listening for the possibly few seconds of communication to the ground.
Unless …. the launch is canceled at the last moment.
Monday, November 3rd, 2008 | astronomy, science, space | No Comments
I just looked at a few sites providing space related images for download. All images – except the logo’s from these three sites are freely useable for non-commercial purposes, including personal web sites – of course with a clear attribution of the source.
The three sites I looked up here are
NASA (of course)for general space travel and some astronomical images.
The Spitzer Space Telescope for images taken in infrared
and of course The Hubble Space Telescope with some of the most stunning astronomical images made
If you like images, maybe using them part of your web pages these are three very good sources.
Do not forget that many observatories and universities have images available. These include very old images from the classical telescopes in the world. I believe there is a project to scan all those ancient images before they are lost forever due to the deterioration pf the photographic material.
The old images *could* become important for detecting transient events or variable phenomena, like recurring nova outbursts, so we can not afford to lose these images.
Sunday, October 12th, 2008 | space, technology | No Comments
Today the Soyuz TMA 13 was launched from Baikonur. At the first two orbits signals were heard here in The Netherlands and in Germany on their downlink frequency 121.750 MHz. signals were quite strong for a while.
I did not understand much of it since the comms were in Russian. One word I did recognize the Russian word for “good” (or OK) was used frequently.
The communications can only be heard for about 5 minutes, because the spacecraft need to be “visible” for both my position and the ground station in Russia.
Nils in Germany made two mp3 recordings , with his permission I have uploaded them :
Thursday, September 25th, 2008 | space | No Comments
The Chinese space agency has launced their 3rd manned spacecraft with 3 astronauts (“Taikonauts”) on board. see the article from SPACE.com
The plan is to have a Space Walk of about 40 minutes in order to test a newly made Chinese space suit, collect some scientific experiments from the outside of the craft and launch a small satellite sending images back to Earth. The Space Walk should happen on Friday or Saturday.
Exciting to see the Chinese emerge as a manned space faring nation. along with the US and Russia.
There are still not many nations/organisations capable of launching space craft into orbit. I count
- Europe (ESA)
did I forget anyone ?
I am curious to see when and if the Chinese will join the ISS. I think they belong there along with the others.
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- September 2011
- March 2011
- January 2011
- October 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- December 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- May 2009
- April 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- audio play
- Babylon 5
- comet outburst
- Doctor Who
- film and tv
- off topic
- solar energy
- star trek