Is tonight the night that NASA launches its SLA rocket?
November 15, 2022 11:30 PM   Subscribe

 
Seeing fundamental space science continuing amidst all the shenanigans going on down here is always inspiring. Also, lol unrine coffee </nasa>
posted by Marticus at 11:38 PM on November 15


uh oh i found the live feed
there goes my bedtime
posted by not_on_display at 11:41 PM on November 15 [2 favorites]


Most unexpected cameo by Jack Black on NASA feed.
posted by Marticus at 11:45 PM on November 15 [4 favorites]


Not so surprising to me-- Jack's mother Judith Love Cohen was a key engineer on Apollo.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 12:19 AM on November 16 [19 favorites]


and eventually the surface of the mun.

Looks like somebody has been playing Kerbal Space Program. :)
posted by swr at 12:51 AM on November 16 [6 favorites]


I like rocket launches as much as the next guy and of course I watched the Artemis launch this morning, but somehow the propaganda of the past (“We do this for all mankind!”) spoke more to me than the propaganda of the present. (“This glorious nation is preparing space for commercialization!”)
posted by dominik at 1:03 AM on November 16 [8 favorites]


Ahh, Kerbal Space Program... Making orbital mechanics accessible to all nerds for the last decade.

I would like to post the rather complicated mission profile.

I consider myself to be a space buff, and just found out a couple of months ago about Artemis I. So they are flying a complete unmanned mission, including getting into and out of lunar orbit? And I found out by chance?

It's probably just me, but I have the feeling there was less buzz around this mission, compared with events like the Curiosity landing, or the Rosetta mission.
posted by LaVidaEsUnCarnaval at 1:14 AM on November 16 [9 favorites]


I remember my high school science teacher (who introduced us to Carl Sagan by way of showing full episodes of Cosmos and I was quite grateful that we could just show up and watch TV) telling us "NASA could launch a rocket a year for less than $0.50 from every taxpayer" and thinking - as a recent fast food employee - "well, that sounds more than worth it".

While NASA is still grossly under-funded, it's fantastic to see they're still doing the things.

That said, as someone who - as a child - still remembers Columbia, I'm always nervous about launches. I have the live feed on in the background as I fall asleep, but it sounds like all went well.
posted by revmitcz at 1:29 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]


LaVidaEsUnCarnaval: thanks for that mission profile! A flight to the moon and back is wonderful. Oddly, though, it was the grey C that made my heart jump: they're deploying cubesats around the moon!

I'm not sure why that's so exciting, other than cubesats are neat.
posted by davidwitteveen at 2:38 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


A video about all the problems with moon dust that are having to be solved in order to make longer moon missions possible. Apparently it gets into and wrecks pretty much everything.
posted by clawsoon at 4:11 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


I was able to see it up here in North Florida for about one second before it disappeared behind the clouds. But it was a glorious second!!
posted by saladin at 4:12 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Watching the broadcast now... last minute tightening bolts, replacing an ethernet switch... damn, those are both skills I've got! I coulda been out there!
posted by clawsoon at 4:16 AM on November 16 [8 favorites]


Was able to stay awake long enough to see the technicians walking up the stairs next to essentially a potential bomb with more energy than dropped in japan, O2 venting just needs one little spark. I hope those guys get interviewed, most incredible "just doing a job" story.

Just an amazing launch, huge, spectacular, hope all goes well for the next month or so and a successful splashdown.
posted by sammyo at 4:31 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


A video about all the problems with moon dust yt that are having to be solved in order to make longer moon missions possible. Apparently it gets into and wrecks pretty much everything.

Anakin: I don't like lunar regolith. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:43 AM on November 16 [9 favorites]


I spent a week in Florida for the last 2 scrubbed launches and didn’t allow myself to get excited until yesterday afternoon. The jarring announcement that they were sending a red crew
out gave me that oh here we go again with the fueling problems feeling, but those dudes did the job!

I was somewhat appalled though to think that an Ethernet switch could have brought the whole thing to an ignominious end, but luckily Best Buy was open and they managed to find the credit card and send an intern after one just in time!

My daughter was at the causeway viewing area about 3 miles south of 39 b- her and several of her workmates were on night shift over at the assembly building, but they let everyone off work around 10 so they could go see it (Her manager had sent out an ALL CAPS email about not climbing the fire escape to watch from the roof) and when it went up alll she texted me was

“Dad
Aaahhh”

And a couple minutes later

“I just sent something to space”

I just replied “Yes you did” and sent about 50 heart emojis. I was out of words. I’m still just out of words about how I feel about this.

I started life watching the Apollo moon shots as a 7 & 8 year old kid, and was transfixed. Now, at 60, I’m winding things down here by watching my kid send things to the moon- what a fucking ride.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:56 AM on November 16 [120 favorites]


Totally missed this live, didn’t think it would launch. Thank god for video replay!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:26 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


I sort of wish we'd gotten more views of engineering cameras than poorly tracked night vision from 16 miles away, and the later timelines were frustrating as hell - they showed the vehicle in perigee raising mode for several minutes before it was actually in the ~30 second perigee raise, and the same thing for several other phases of flight. C'mon, NASA, you obviously care about this presentation, you go to a lot of effort to fill the dead time with interviews and prepared segments, but then your broadcast director is letting it down a bit.

(I mean, I guess the early morning liftoff means even the engineering cameras would've been blown out, but still.)
posted by Kyol at 5:28 AM on November 16


Devils Rancher: but luckily Best Buy was open and they managed to find the credit card and send an intern after one just in time!

Wait, is that actually a real story? That happened on this launch?
posted by clawsoon at 5:30 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Range Safety had an issue with an ethernet switch and the launch was delayed while it was replaced. But yeah, I'm sure it was a certified for Air Force use rack mounted switch and they had spares, not a Netgear four port unmanaged switch from Best Buy. But that would have been hilarious.
posted by beowulf573 at 5:43 AM on November 16 [7 favorites]


Hydrogen is sneaky. Helium is sneakier. But helium does not burn. Unless you consider pressure and temperature. Let's face it. At some temp and pressure, everything burns.

We did not start the fire.

Nor can we end it.
posted by Splunge at 6:30 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Absolutely thrilling!
posted by lazaruslong at 7:26 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


We did not start the fire.

No, we did not light it, but we tried to fight it.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:27 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Apollo 17 Launch — Network TV (YT). This was the Apollo program’s only night launch, December 7, 1972.
• Wikipedia > Apollo 17 — 1972 Moon landing mission.
• NASA > Apollo 17 Lunar Surface Journal and Image Library.
Harrison Schmitt, (b. 1935) is the last living Apollo 17 crew member and the most recent living person to have walked on the Moon.
posted by cenoxo at 7:29 AM on November 16 [7 favorites]


Also wow Devils Rancher, I literally cannot imagine how much pride you must be feeling. Hearty congratulations to you and your daughter.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:34 AM on November 16 [5 favorites]


Whelp, call my career officially done. I retired 5 years ago after 35 years as a NASA employee at KSC. The last 12+ working as a H/W engineer designing/procuring/implementing/testing the Firing Rooms and associated computer systems. Although the original launch date was to be before I retired, I knew better. While I'm glad I didn't wait to retire (Retirement just doesn't suck), I will admit to a bit of dust in my eyes as I saw the team in "my" Firing Room doing what it was intended to do and doing it well.

Just to be clear: I was but a cog in the large machine it took to pull this off. My team was awesome and were the true stars of that particular portion of the complicated system of systems needed for something like this. It still felt great and I'm very proud.

And a fun, overlooked, fact. During Shuttle there were exactly zero launch delays due to issues with the launch systems. Hopefully, we can keep that record going with this next generation. Go Artemis! Go Orion! Go LCS!
posted by jeporter99 at 7:58 AM on November 16 [59 favorites]


Short interview with the red crew
posted by Mavri at 8:02 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Wait, is that actually a real story? That happened on this launch?

That was a little bit of satire. I was sitting on my couch, more or less reduced to yelling at my TV screen “An Ethernet switch is going to bring this whole program down?!”

They did lose connection to the the launch termination system for a hour, which is Range’s responsibility. This is where if things go awry after launch and they have to abort mid-flight, they can push the big button. But yeah, I’m sure they’re not using a netgear 4-port off-the-shelf hub.

There are so many moving parts causing so many delays for so many different reasons that I was becoming concerned that we had finally invented a device too complicated for humans to operate. So glad I was proven wrong.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:07 AM on November 16 [5 favorites]


Also wow Devils Rancher, I literally cannot imagine how much pride you must be feeling.

Thanks- words can barely describe it. Verklempt works. My kid is a totally awesome human no matter what she does, but this was hugely important to her. She has absolutely poured her entire life into if for the last 3 or 4 years.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:12 AM on November 16 [10 favorites]


I stayed up late and saw the launch. I was surprised at my emotional reaction as the engines started, but I saw Kayla Barron say she got choked up too. So maybe it's not that uncommon.

One thing I was struck by as I was watching live on YouTube was the unbelievable number of the tens of thousands watching the stream along with me who commented, "I was here," in the chat.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:15 AM on November 16


Just to be clear: I was but a cog in the large machine it took to pull this off. My team was awesome and were the true stars of that particular portion of the complicated system of systems needed for something like this. It still felt great and I'm very proud.

Thank you, and damn straight you should be proud. This is one of the most complicated things humanity has ever done and it took thousands of our best minds to pull it off. Hats off to each and every one of you!
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:17 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Current NASA Livestream: Earth Views from Artemis
posted by Acey at 8:20 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


I just managed to catch up on this (late night vets office visits with eldest stinky gremlin) and besides the immense "holy shit, we're actually doing this vibe" I let out a whole stream of tears after the booster separation. Latent Challenger trauma? I don't know, but that's the point it felt real to me.
posted by drewbage1847 at 8:20 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Acey, link is broken...
posted by clawsoon at 8:22 AM on November 16


Whoops, here you go: NASA Livestream.

Now we see our "moonekin" in the capsule. I believe these streams should still be accessible for a while afterwards.
posted by Acey at 8:26 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Short interview with the red crew

Check the swagger on these badasses. They literally walked under a giant hydrogen bomb with a 2-mile blast radius and fixed it with a wrench.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:29 AM on November 16 [5 favorites]


Here's the page with all the streams so far today.
posted by Acey at 8:31 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


I’d like to point out for all the Elon SpaceX simps who’ve been shitting of SLS for years that Starship is still sitting on the pad after failing yet another test during its development . Starship/BFR was announced in 2012 while SLS was 2011. SLS launched the Orion capsule around the moon with life support testing, meanwhile Starship hasn’t even made an orbit, much less built out its upper stage crew compartment.
posted by interogative mood at 8:50 AM on November 16 [14 favorites]


listening to the smart person explaining all the stuff that was happening under the hood during the t-minus 10 minute countdown was so intense!! highly recommended. there's good captioning too on the youtube stream.

the countdown resumes after the delay somewhere around the -10:26 mark
(youtube won't let me timestamp link livestreams i guess)
posted by lazaruslong at 9:07 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


I did not know that SLS is using refurbished Space Shuttle engines for its core. That's either an amazing feat of engineering (in the 1970s), or an indictment that NASA couldn't build a newer solution in the past decades. Perhaps it's NASA's conservative "it already works, why reinvent the wheel" culture.
posted by meowzilla at 12:21 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]




I did not know that SLS is using refurbished Space Shuttle engines for its core.

Congress ordered NASA to reuse Shuttle parts and hardware and there were 16 engines left over, so they’ve been put to work. Once those engines are used up, NASA will switch to newer versions of those engines, which will be cheaper and more powerful .
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:35 PM on November 16 [9 favorites]


The reused Shuttle engines are really one of the saddest parts of the SLS - these were reusable engines that had already flown to space one or more times each, were arguably of historical value (maybe not too much because there are a bunch of them laying around), and four of them just got thrown away. And for what? They were supposed to save time and costs by using existing hardware, but that didn't work out so well.
posted by allegedly at 12:52 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


Do the shuttle engines go in the blue bin since they're recyclable?
posted by kirkaracha at 2:40 PM on November 16


Yes in the sense that the ocean is like a blue bin.
posted by allegedly at 4:12 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Odd, I remember watching the moon as first memories, like most people. I never really saw the moon knowing no one had been there. I remember Apollo 14-17 on T.V.
But that deep engine crackle at lift off was awesome.
posted by clavdivs at 4:16 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


I’d like to point out for all the Elon SpaceX simps who’ve been shitting of SLS for years that Starship is still sitting on the pad after failing yet another test during its development

SLS has so far cost about half as much as the Twitter buyout.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:22 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


But that deep engine crackle at lift off was awesome.

Max your volume and listen up (YT): The Ultimate Saturn V Launch Video with INCREDIBLE SOUND!!!
posted by cenoxo at 9:08 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


From the NASA Artemis Press Kit (PDF, 41pp):
The outbound trip to the Moon will take several days, during which time engineers will evaluate the spacecraft’s systems. Orion will fly about 60 miles (97 kilometers) above the surface of the Moon at its closest approach, and then use the Moon’s gravitational force to propel Orion into a distant retrograde orbit, traveling about 40,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) past the Moon. This distance is 30,000 miles (48,000 kilometers) farther than the previous record set during Apollo 13 and the farthest in space any spacecraft built for humans has flown.
More details in the kit.
posted by cenoxo at 2:54 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia > List of Apollo Astronauts > Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon. At this time, four are still alive: Buzz Aldrin (92), David Scott (90), Charles Duke (87), and Harrison Schmitt (87).
posted by cenoxo at 9:23 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


And, in all the hopeful excitement, let us not forget Apollo 1.
posted by cenoxo at 9:32 AM on November 17 [2 favorites]


If you watched the launch on a livestream, I can assure you it was 10x better in person.

We were at a viewing spot that pretty much only locals know about, and were closer than anyone except those on base. The weather was great -- thin clouds, the evening typically cool (around 72ºF) for a fall evening in Florida, with light winds and not many biting bugs. There were about one hundred or so other people there, and we all gathered onto a fishing pier that extends out into the Banana River. It was a party-like atmosphere, with people having a good time and in a good mood.

Everyone was keeping up with the launch on Internet streams from their phones, with many tuned into coverage on YouTube from Spaceflight Now. Others had NASA's stream up, but it was far less popular than SFN because SFN's commentator was pretty quiet unless he was relaying an announcement. I had a HAM radio receiver, and could listen to the voice of Launch Control, plus some of the control loops without having to endure the infomercial that NASA had on NASA TV. SFN was several seconds behind due to the gap in uploading its stream to the Internet and back down again. It wasn't long until people nearby asked me to turn up the volume on the radio so they too could hear it.

The best part before liftoff was listening to the Launch Control Center's go/no-go poll, and small cheer went up when each controller gave their assent for launch.

Then, finally, after all the delays, after all the years, after all the criticisms and claims of NASA's incompetence, liftoff. It was suddenly like dawn with the sun rising into the sky. For maybe thirty seconds, the rocket lit the landscape, its light glittered off of the Banana River, and shadows danced across the thin clouds. Then, the sound. No, it was not incredibly loud, not from where we were (this was a common statement for viewers off the base later) but instead like thunder that rolled and rolled and rolled some more. The rocket was followed by a billowing trail of steam and smoke that expanded into a long, thin puffy cloud behind it.

The flame of the rocket was perhaps 8-10 full moons long. Full moons seems like a strange unit of measure, but the moon is something most everyone is used to seeing in the night sky, and it seems apt to describe Artemis's pillar of fire using it.

After about maybe three minutes of flight, a meteor flashed nearly straight down and from our spot, aligned with the smoke behind the rocket.

NASA had said in an infographic to expect 70 seconds of viewing Artemis in flight, but that was wrong. We could easily see it for seven minutes -- long enough to see the solid rocket boosters falling away, and for a long time after that. Compared to other launches -- SpaceX's Falcon 9, United Launch Alliance's Atlas V, others, Artemis was visible for much, much longer.

Knowing that some of my work was on board that ride was gratifying. It wasn't much, but it was there, and it felt great.

If you ever have a chance to visit us here on the Space Coast and see a launch in person, I highly recommend doing it. The Visitor's Center often sells "Feel the Heat" packages where you can get as close as anyone, and it is worth the money. It doesn't necessarily need to be an Artemis ticket, even an Atlas V launch from 2.3 miles can rock your socks. Or, if you can't make it onto Kennedy Space Center, perhaps take in a launch from the beach.
posted by wolpfack at 11:34 AM on November 17 [13 favorites]


Link says SLS rocket - Space Launch System
posted by beesbees at 12:36 PM on November 17


So ummm, any chance we can give the technology and lend the expertise to Elon, for his Mars thing? I mean, I just like billionaires a whole bunch and think they should all get to go to Mars, whether they want to or not.
posted by evilDoug at 12:54 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]


NASA's interactive Artemis Partners map shows American, Canadian, and European technology suppliers to the program. You can zoom in and click on a marker to see company information, or click the small square sidebar icon (in the map's upper left corner) to show/hide a drop-down list of companies by Artemis system.

A global effort is needed to take care of Planet Earth and explore outer space. Research and development beats war and destruction every time.
posted by cenoxo at 7:53 PM on November 17 [1 favorite]


davidwitteveen > …cubesats are neat.

More about the swarm of CubeSats (WP) — Artemis I releases 10 cubesats, including a Moon lander, for technology and research!, Justin Davenport, NASA Spaceflight.com, November 16 2022:
Artemis I not only launched the Orion spacecraft to the Moon but also 10 6U CubeSats, most massing around 14 kilograms, which were ejected from the ICPS upper stage after the trans-lunar injection burn following launch.

These CubeSats will fly to various destinations including the Moon, asteroids, and interplanetary space. They will study various facets of the Moon and interplanetary travel, ranging from navigation techniques to radiation and biology. One of them [Japan’s OMOTENASHI (WP)] is even planned to conduct a soft landing on the lunar surface.

Thirteen CubeSat missions were initially chosen during the 2015-2017 timeframe to fly aboard Artemis I (then known as Exploration Mission-1 or EM-1), but three of them were not ready by the final deadline to process the payloads for launch….
Thirteen was an inauspicious number anyway. Details about the lucky ten follow in the article, including BioSentinel’s yeast in spaaace!
posted by cenoxo at 5:52 AM on November 18


Today's APOD: Artemis 1 Moonshot.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:31 AM on November 19 [1 favorite]


Artemis I Close Flyby of the Moon, live now.
posted by clawsoon at 4:02 AM on November 21


"White flight control room" is always a little jarring...
posted by clawsoon at 4:17 AM on November 21


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