Canaveral Launch Success! (see comment 649)

By: LowerCal , 10:19 PM GMT on August 15, 2011

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On the east side of the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) is a circular area of low clouds rotating counterclockwise. High clouds above it are moving clockwise. Deep convection is bursting near the center.

UPDATE: A satellite loop of the system described is in comment 1. Similar systems continue to appear. Below I've added self updating satellite images and surface maps of the area.

I'll add loops of similar systems that I see to the comments. Currently there are loops in comments 1 and 7.

Click on image for loop.


Click on image for loop.




Click on image for loop.







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Grail Moonbound (Skyepony)
Last launch of a Delta II after 22 years. It was a Heavy so the sound rolled on a while. It is carrying twin satellites that are headed to survey The Moon. Beautiful launch NASA!
Grail Moonbound
Grail Moonbound on the last Delta II (Skyepony)
Last launch of a Delta II after 22 years. It was a Heavy so the sound rolled on a while. It is carrying twin satellites that are headed to survey The Moon. Beautiful launch NASA!
Grail Moonbound on the last Delta II
Precision (anvilhead)
A Super Scooper Fixed Wing Aircraft Makes A Water Drop Directly Behind A Home At The Wagon Fire.
Precision
Sunset Allure (anvilhead)
Sunset Allure
Development Of A Severe Thunderstorm (anvilhead)
I watched this storm develop for about an hour before it slowly bled off the mountains and turned severe in the Santa Clarita Valley. 60+ mph winds and dime sized hail. Wild weather day here !
Development Of A Severe Thunderstorm
Waxing Gibbous Moon (Ralfo)
Full Moon on 10,11,11
Waxing Gibbous Moon
Cagtripodi Sun Spots (Ralfo)
Mr. Cagtripodi discovered these sunspots on the Sun today from Italy as shown here earlier before on this site. This is a picture angled from Yonkers, N. Y. USA. All credit and thanks Must go to Mr. Cagtripodi for making us aware of the phenomena
Cagtripodi Sun Spots
Port St. John Fl. (joebed)
Atlas 5
Port St. John Fl.
Longs Peak beneath the lunar eclipse (PCG)
The moon is nearing entirely in the Earth's shadow as Longs Peak sits below.
Longs Peak beneath the lunar eclipse
()
Moonset (mcgino)
Another near infrared image. The bright part of the mountain is bright because it is covered in snow still.
Moonset
Almost Gone (MikePic)
Almost Gone
From the NW (kippic)
The clouds moved in and covered the moon just after I took this shot. Everett, WA
From the NW
Full Lunar Eclipse (catilac)
I had to bundle up this morning as temps were in the teens..
Full Lunar Eclipse
éclipse lunaire (anvilhead)
Over the Santa Clarita Valley
éclipse lunaire
Winter Solstice – The Shortest day of the Year (Ralfo)
Every Year on the Winter Solstice for many years now I have taken the Sunrise. It is always in the same spot behind that Evergreen Tree. This year there are some clouds but you can still see the Sun Blazing through. Today is the shortage amount daylight. The Good News! We will start picking up daylight from now on! Happy Holidays, Make it The Best Ever! P.S. In the Northern Hemisphere the Winter Solstice starts: Dec. 22, 12:30 A.M. EDT (05:30 UT*), Sun enters sign of Capricorn; winter begins.
Winter Solstice – The Shortest day of the Year
Quadrantid meteor (LaddObservatory)
A very bright meteor from the Quadrantids at 3:00:08 am EST captured by the wide field sky camera on the roof of Ladd Observatory.
Quadrantid meteor
Delta 4 Rocket Launch (Skyepony)
Delta 4 rocket launching the Air Force's Wideband Global SATCOM 4 military communications satellite.
Delta 4 Rocket Launch
Because the night belongs to lovers. (Altred)
Because the night belongs to lovers.
Natures night lite. (johngomes)
Not the best due to all the local light pollution but still better than a black sky. It was approximately 5 below with a slight wind while waiting for the lights to appear.
Natures night lite.
Green and clean. (Altred)
Green and clean.
Final Shuttle Launch (Skyepony)
I did this in Charcoal. It is ~6"X8". It should be the first in a series of three.
Final Shuttle Launch
Discovery Launch STS-120 (Skyepony)
I did this in pen & ink it is STS-120 Discovery, launched on October 23, 2007. It's ~6
Discovery Launch STS-120
Tonights Moon (Ralfo)
Full Moon Tomorrow. 2/7/12.
Tonights Moon
STS-1 (Skyepony)
I did this in pencil.
STS-1
Atlas V (Skyepony)
Atlas 5 rocket launching the Navy's MUOS 1 mobile communications satellite.
Atlas V

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The next launch attempts of the NASA GRAIL mission on a Delta II-Heavy from Cape Canaveral have been pushed back to Saturday at 8:29am & 9:08am EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
sp Thank you for that article. That is the issue I said I was planning to address in comment 40.
.... Yes, unfortunately NASA & United States spaceflight are no longer sacred but just another political football. I'll have another illustration of that in an upcoming comment.
....
Your linked article has great descriptions and illustrations of the capabilities and of the 85% of work already completed on the James Webb Space Telescope. I'm going to excerpt some small bits that illustrate the political issue.
.... what was originally slated to be a $5.1 Billion project, to launch in 2013, was re-evaluated, and found that it would actually cost $6.5 Billion, and wouldn't be able to launch until 2015.

....the government did an independent review of James Webb in 2010, determined what the quickest and cheapest way to complete it was, and what was needed to make that happen. They then didn't provide the funds for it, and now further allow the blame to fall on NASA for the delays and cost overruns that they knew would happen.

.... while NASA Astrophysics deserves the blame for the initial cost overruns and delays (to $6.5 billion and 2015), the most recent, disastrous news (a cost of $8.7 billion and delays to 2018) should fall on the shoulders of a miserly US congress.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
OK... that live video link wasn't very lively for me. I'll look for something a bit more animated next time, lol.

I'll put up a YouTube of the test when it becomes available.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
ATK will conduct a static test burn of their 5 segment solid rocket booster at 5 minutes past the hour. Live video here.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
More info on the launch of the NASA GRAIL mission is in comment 42.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
BTW video, commentary and updates can be found at

Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Mission Status Center

and

NASA TV via cable, satellite or the web.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Today's second launch attempt has been scrubbed due to upper level wind constraint violation.

The launch team is preparing for tomorrow's launch opportunities at 8:33am & 9:12am EDT.

UPDATE: The next launch attempts have been pushed back to Saturday at 8:29am & 9:08am EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Skye Good morning! As far as I can tell from the video not much in the way of clouds there. I'm looking forward to some nice pics by you. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
53. Skyepony (Mod)
Thanks for reminding me.. (inserts camera card in camera)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37339
"Red" for upper level winds not expected to clear for today's first launch opportunity.

The hold will be extended to attempt today's other launch opportunity at 9:16am EDT.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Weather is "go" except for upper level winds.

Currently the count is at T minus 4 minutes in a planned hold.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Weather is "go" for the today's first scheduled launch opportunity at 8:37am EDT of a Delta II-Heavy from Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida carrying the NASA GRAIL mission.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
sp You're welcome.

I would be interested to hear your take on El Empleo. I should have qualified my statement about movie credits. I only stay until the very end of the credits if I stayed until the end of the movie, lol.

It appears we have moisture approaching from two different directions at the moment. This morning's forecast mentioned the possibility of a third direction for the weekend. The forecast was low confidence on the source but confident of a nonzero chance of precip in any case. I'm definitely looking forward to cooler temps this weekend even though today fell short of possible record heat. It hit 105 today. Last month I saw it at 108 a couple of days but it only felt like 103, lol.

I'm glad to hear you're looking up again now that you can actually see into space again. It's always a nice surprise to make an unexpected satellite sighting (unless you're doing some long exposure astroimaging, lol).

Pat LOL! You had me worried for a sec. :^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
I think I've spotted Alan Sheperd's Ball in that one image.

His "Golfball" dat iz.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127546
Thanks for the further storm stories, LC – always good to get first-hand accounts :)
Your take on El Empleo was different than mine so that was appreciated. I, too, stay through movie credits – unless the movie was terrible and I just want to leave, lol
I went looking for that donut storm again and still couldn't find it. It must have been rich who did so. Ah, well. Looks like rain from the other direction this weekend – is it in your forecast, too? Hope so! You deserve a break from the heat that I am only now, happily, experiencing :)
I forgot to tell you that last week I was looking up (got out of the habit when it was consistently overcast!) and gazing at the Swan when an apparent satellite went overhead, briefly. Found later that it was one of the Cosmos rocket bodies! I've never tried to see one before because their appearance is usually so brief I always figured I'd miss it. It was cool :)
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shore Don't worry about cluttering my blogging room. You may have noticed that it is rather sparsely furnished lately. ;^)

Thanks for calling my attention to that NASA tidbit. Thanks to the all the high resolution satellite imagery available to the general public via Google now there are many more discoveries waiting to be made.

New Desert Crater Found Using Google Maps and Free Software - Technology Review
....
Most of the rocky planets, moons and asteroids in the Solar System are pock-marked with impact craters of all sizes. On Earth, however, small craters are rare because they quickly get eroded by weather and water.

So the discovery of new small craters is a reason to celebrate. A couple of weeks ago, an Italian team announced in the journal Science that it had used Google Earth to identify an impact crater in the remote desert of southern Egypt. A quick trip to the region showed this crater to be 45 meters in diameter and reasonably well-preserved in the desert rocks.

Now, just a few days later, Amelia Sparavigna at the Politecnico di Torino in Italy has found evidence of another crater in the Bayuda Desert in Sudan using Google Maps. This one is a little bigger: about 10 kilometres in diameter.
....
If you'd just like to explore from your armchair see

Meteor Craters - Explore 50 Asteroid Impact Sites! - GEOLOGY.COM.


GG That works. :^)

Thank you for that article. It also answers a question I was wondering about. If we do nothing else those tracks (and artifacts) should be be evident for millions of years! What we might do is build big low G amusement parks near them someday in case they aren't enough of a tourist draw by themselves... or maybe we should build them just to keep tourists from adding tracks and traces of their own.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Hi, just saw an article on new close up pictures of the moon that show tracks where they walked around.

Hopefully this link works.

Link
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LC ~ Believe it or not, I actually have a NASA tidbit in my blog just now. #110. I'll just tell you about it rather than bringing the photos and such over and cluttering up your blog. It has to do with photography from space. ;)
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NASA - NASA Spacecraft Images Offer Sharper Views of Apollo Landing Sites
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
A Delta II-Heavy launch from Cape Canaveral is scheduled for Thursday, September 8 at 8:37am or 9:16am. With 9 solid fuel rocket boosters (SRBs) the launch will create a thick column of smoke visible for quite a distance weather permitting.

Spaceflight Now | Delta Launch Report | Lunar duo to tackle lingering questions about our Moon
....
Two precise moments in time are available daily for liftoff to occur during the mission's launch window. The dual opportunities each day are driven by which azimuth the rocket is sent on -- either 93 or 99 degrees. The window closes in October to ensure GRAIL's mapping is completed before next June's lunar eclipse that is expected to be lethal to the satellites.
....
The two-stage launcher sports nine strap-on solid rocket boosters slightly larger in diameter than normally used, which gives the vehicle its "Heavy" designation. This is the last scheduled launch of the venerable Delta 2 from the Cape after 22 years of service.

The public can view the launch from the Jetty Park pier located just three miles south of pad 17B. It's the closest you can get to witness a rocket blasting off from the Cape.
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Spaceflight Now | Space Station Mission Report | Mission extended for three space station residents
....
Space station managers delayed the Expedition 28 crew's return from Sept. 8 in the wake of the launch failure of a Soyuz rocket last week with an unpiloted Progress resupply ship bound for the orbiting lab. The mission extension will allow the space station to continue functioning with a full six-person crew an extra week, freeing up more time for scientific research.

Russian engineers traced the Aug. 24 failure to an anomaly in the Soyuz rocket's third stage RD-0110 engine.

The Progress mission used a Soyuz-U rocket, which employs the same third stage as the Soyuz-FG rocket used launch manned spacecraft. Officials say the Soyuz rocket won't launch another crew until Russia completes its investigation, implements corrective actions and conducts test flights of the rocket with unmanned payloads.
....
If the Soyuz rocket is unable to ferry another crew into space by mid-November, NASA says the space station will probably be temporarily abandoned until the next set of astronauts arrive.
[Emphasis added by me.]
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
sp First some links to the 15 AUG 2008 lightning photo series' for the convenience of other readers - Fotoguy77 & Photo5150.

I haven't had any luck finding a satellite loop of that event. As for satellite archives in general the further back I go the less I find in detail (smaller areas) and presentation selection (like RGB). I can "View Archived Image" for the selected date on WU radar but it doesn't show the context and evolution. I was actually thinking of that event when I started watching the recent monsoon pushes. If something does evolve I'll be able to get a detailed series from the partial day archives at http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/sw/img/.

That invest turned right too soon and hit the curb before it made it to the Gulf of California. However that doesn't mean it won't have southern Calfornia impacts. It still might have some influence on SoCal monsoon weather. Just north of it over the state of Sonora, Mexico is a very impressive convective complex right now. It will be interesting to see what remains of that and what develops from it tomorrow.

Thanks for the feedback and links re. today's little shake. I was concerned also at the initial lack of depth. I thought it might be a big explosion. That hurricane coverage will do you in. Even the Northridge quake was over in 30 seconds. That hurricane coverage can wring anxiety out of you for days on end.

shore That's a clever writer's turn of phrase with gravitis. ;^) Yes, unfortunately NASA & United States spaceflight are no longer sacred but just another political football. I'll have another illustration of that in an upcoming comment.

Thank you very much for the heads up on the kernel.org incident. In my case and for most Linux users there were several layers protecting us from that danger. PrivaSecTech is an excellent feed and is now the latest addition to my Twitter "follow" list.

One quality of that photo is maybe the most important thing to be gained from astronomy... perspective.

BTW I'm still intending to share my incredible Dog tale. ;^)

goofyrider Good to see you safe and sound! I'm glad you got to see a truly dark sky. Those are really hard to come by in the Northeast.

After the Northridge quake many Angelenos got to see a truly dark sky for the first time. Some thought the big white thing that touched the ground in the south (the Milky Way) might have something to do with the earthquake, lol.

I hope life in near the Jersey shore can return to something that can pass as normal soon.

Karen We're fine thanks. We'd be better if you weren't going to hog the marine layer this weekend. ;^)

Skye We could get some interesting weather here a lot more often if that Sea was at least 3 times as wide. :^)

We don't mind lots of earthquakes as long as they're light like this one was. Theory is that heads off the big ones.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Looks like maybe one foreshock 12 hours ahead and 10 bitty aftershocks, at this time. Kinda shocking!
They changed the depth to 4.5 miles which is good - I was thinking volcano at .1 miles ;)
I feel unusually nervous. Must have been something I ate. Or I'm watching too much hurricane coverage!
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38. Skyepony (Mod)
I had just noticed that over the Sea of Cortez.

Hope ya'll don't get anymore earthquakes..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37339
Didn't feel a thing, heck, didn't even know about it until I saw the posting on FB from my daughter this evening. But, now that I see your map, I see why we didn't feel a thing! Hope everything is well with you and yours!
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Doh! Too slow! ;)

But here's a link to the map.
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Weird! I didn't feel it but I now see it on the eq map. You're right - 4.2 but closer than your guess.

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My estimates were partly good and partly way off. Mag 4.2 about 10 miles away and .1 miles deep is the initial estimate from the USGS.



Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
At 1:47pm PDT I felt a sharp jolt here in Woodland Hills. Minor shaking subsided in about 4 seconds. My guess is something in the low 4.x range about 50-100 miles away.

Great comments all. I'll have to respond at a later time.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
afternoon Cal:

Mon nite skies were clear from the departing Irene and since power was out for the county there was very little backlighting. The stars were out in all their glory. I always wondered where the designs came from for the various constellations but there were at least four majors visible unaided in the sky. Awesome. My cameras were too fast to pick up the sight. My nikkromat was on the fritz. Some things stay in your memory. This will be one of the good ones

This was the only good thing associated with Irene's visit.
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LC ~ Thanks for that great collation of links, reflections, musings and etc. on the ISS & other issues. Plenty of good reading there for later this evening.

Humph. If gravity and gravitas are related, I'd say the repeal already has happened.

I don't know if you twitter much, but if you do you might take a peek at these folks: PrivaSecTech. As the name suggests, they're a privacy, security and technology company out of Victoria. They've been of use to me a couple of times, and I thought of you when I saw their latest posting about kernel.org being hacked. You probably know all about this, but what good's information if it's not shared, eh?

ADD: GREAT photo in #29! Awe-inspiring, actually.
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Good info on the challenges facing the ISS, future and present.
They have no choice but to consider bringing the 'nauts down. It only makes sense to plan for that, even if they don't do it.

Re: weather, and comment 21 - the whole discussion puts me in mind of that nifty little swirl that rolled up the coast on August 15, 2008. Photo5150 and fotoguy77 had pics here at wu, and you and I both blogged about it. I would like to find a sat loop of that event, and think it did pop up once (may have been you or rich who found it?), but don't know where to look.
We now have an EPac invest that is forecast by some models to head up the Vermillion Sea - one to watch!
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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Jupiter-Bound Space Probe Captures Earth And Moon - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This image of Earth (on the left) and the moon (on the right) was taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft on Aug. 26, 2011, when the spacecraft was about 6 million miles (9.66 million kilometers) away. .... The solar-powered Juno spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Aug. 5 to begin a five-year journey to Jupiter.
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Virginia launch facilities spared by Hurricane Irene
....
Situated about 100 miles southeast of Washington, the rocket launch facility experienced winds of more than 60 mph and received drenching rains. But the Wallops Island launch pads did not see the severe storm surge originally feared.
....
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
It's looking more hopeful for a quick resolution of the problem of human spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS).

Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Russia determines causes of back-to-back launch failures
In an announcement Monday, the Russian space agency said the investigation into the Soyuz launch failure Aug. 24 was focusing on a malfunction in the rocket's third stage gas generator. The launch was carrying an automated Progress cargo ship to the International Space Station, and debris from the mission crashed in the Altai region of southern Russia.

"Off-nominal performance of [Soyuz third stage] propulsion system was found by the board to be due to the gas generator whose operating conditions were disrupted," the Russian announcement said.

The Soyuz investigation has not formally issued its findings or recommended corrective actions. A launch schedule for the next manned flight to the International Space Station will not be decided until the commission completes its work.
....


Oss I'm hopeful and optimistic about the reuse of ISS components if and when it is decertified in 2020 or 2028. After all, in terms of expense to deliver them every piece of mass up there is quite literally worth more than its weight in gold.

> Where is this puppy at anyhow?

X-37B - Orbit Data

Too bad it wasn't designed to have a crew. Its first flight and landing went very well.

Thanks for the *excellent* article which I will take an extended quote.

The Space Review: Avoiding “the end” of NASA
.... anyone who was paying attention to space policy over the past few years should not have been surprised when the Constellation Program was canceled. The Augustine Committee made it abundantly clear that the status quo was unaffordable and unsustainable. Continuing with the Constellation plan would have put the ISS in the Pacific Ocean in 2016 and left an increasingly expensive Orion/Ares 1 stack with nowhere to go for decades. They found that the Ares 5 rocket would not have been ready until the mid-2020s and a new lunar lander would not have been available until the 2030s.

Unequivocally, I think that would have been the end of the NASA manned space program. What President or Congress would have continued with a program that could do nothing but fly four people at a time in LEO for 20 (or more) years? Constellation was not only underfunded and behind schedule, it would have torn down the entire rest of the manned space program just to keep chugging along.

We in the technical world share some of the blame for this, though. The Vision for Space Exploration and the 2004 Aldridge Commission were explicitly clear that NASA should not build new booster rockets unless it was absolutely necessary to do so. Instead, NASA under Administrator Mike Griffin went with the “Apollo on steroids” approach that would have given us—eventually—the Ares 1 and 5 rockets.
We need a framework bridging the strategic and political needs of the nation and the technical expertise of NASA to develop a relevant national human spaceflight program.

We allowed ourselves to focus more on building rockets to get to space than developing the systems to do actual work when we get there. We failed to manage all of our stakeholder relationships and their expectations, in terms of cost, schedule, scope, and politics. Mike Griffin had a grand strategy to make Constellation too painful to cancel, gambled big, and lost.

The sad consequence is that Constellation would not have returned America to the Moon simply because neither the Bush Administration nor Congress ever provided NASA with the funds it estimated it needed to make the initial schedule.
The program’s inability to close its business case, as assessed by both the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Budget Office, threatened the entire enterprise.

The Constellation Program was well on the road to ruin even before President Obama was elected, despite the tendency of some to lay everything that ails NASA at his feet. It was so far behind schedule that we weren’t even going to be doing flags-and-footprints missions for another two decades, much less build a lunar outpost, even with the billions of taxpayer dollars already spent.

Unfortunately, many of those same mistakes seem like they are about to be repeated. Despite mandating the construction of a crew capsule derived from Orion and a “Space Launch System” heavy-lift rocket, Congress still hasn’t provided budget for missions or mission systems. They’ve put the cart before the horse and threaten to put SLS on the same unsustainable path that doomed the Constellation Program. It’s not just that Congress wants NASA to build a new heavy-lift rocket. It’s that they want NASA to do it with greater constraints on the engines, boosters, cost, and schedule than even Constellation. This is design-by-committee at its worst.

Those same politicians threaten to cut funds for commercial crew vehicle development, which is arguably our best chance at restoring American human access to low Earth orbit.
This is a competitive process that is bringing out the best in the US aerospace industry. Boeing is bringing its spaceflight heritage to bear with the CST-100 capsule. SpaceX, the first private company to launch, orbit, and recover its own capsule, is proposing a crewed version of its Dragon capsule that will soon be delivering cargo to the ISS. Sierra Nevada Corporation, with its lifting body design, and Blue Origin’s biconic capsule are in the running, as well. It is that very tension between the traditional and “NewSpace” firms that will enable America to have “assured, low cost access” to space.

These companies are trying to provide a much-needed service to NASA by ensuring continuous access to the International Space Station, but some in Congress would rather we spend billions of dollars on a heavy-lift rocket just so we can say we have it—and so taxpayer money will keep flowing to their states. I doubt any of the representatives or senators, or their staffers, who insist that SLS is “the law” can actually explain what purpose the rocket will serve, beyond vague assurances that we “need” it to go back to the Moon or on to Mars.
....
[Emphasis added by me.]

Oss, thank you also for the compliment on my "Landcane Light" efforts. :^)


shore As you can see from the article that I quoted above I believe there is blame to share for the botched transition away from the Space Shuttle.

Thanks for the job fair link. There are some local ex-employees of Shuttle contractors who might me interested too.

I knew it was just a matter of time until the media latched onto that scenario analysis paper. Here is a link to the actual 22 April 2011 paper - Would Contact with Extraterrestrials Benefit or Harm Humanity? A Scenario Analysis. The paper lists three authors and the third listed is the NASA scientist. The introduction states, ".... we do not know how contact would proceed ...." and ".... a broad range
of outcomes are within the realm of possibility.
"

Among the broad range of outcomes considered are two related to our greenhouse gas signatures which can be detected from another planet.

"Another recommendation is that humanity should avoid giving off the appearance of being a rapidly expansive civilization. If an ETI perceives humanity as such, then it may be inclined to attempt a preemptive strike against us so as to prevent us from growing into a threat to the ETI or others in the galaxy."

and

"Similarly, ecosystem-valuing universalist ETI may observe humanity’s ecological destructive tendencies and wipe humanity out in order to preserve the Earth system as
a whole.
"

In the second case the "green" aliens probably wouldn't throw out the bathwater (Earth) with the baby (humanity).

It might cheer you up to read entire Avoiding "the end" of NASA article above. Some of the positive parts are not in my extensive quote.

BTW I heard a rumor that the Senate is repealing the law of gravity to solve our spaceflight problems. They only have to work out the details of how the Federal money will be distributed among the states. (J/K, I made that up, LOL!)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
As a truly sad sidenote, Baker Hughes is holding a job fair for displaced NASA workers just up the street from me at the "Aerospace Transition Center". It's a two day event that starts tomorrow, and perhaps 200 can find jobs.

In the middle of all this, that crazy NASA-affiliated scientist shows up saying the extraterrestrials may blow earth out of orbit or take us over or whatever to stop global warming. I just was thinking... if he's got a direct line to the ETs, maybe he could persuade them to help out with the ISS. Someone needs to. ;(
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I was afraid this would happen :(

The ISS only has so long to stay up there and we have no alternate means to get anywhere in space now in the USA ????? WTH!

I had forgotten reading this on the ISS last year. I guess things just wear out in all that energy.

The formal plan for it here

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/578543main_asap_eol_plan_ 2010_101020.pdf

This situation with evacuation just plain sucks........

Where is this puppy at anyhow?

Spec sheet

X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle

Article

Avoiding the end of NASA



BTW, excellent obs and imagery of the "Landcane Light" :)

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Spaceflight Now | Space Station Mission Report | NASA assessing procedures to leave space station vacant
....
Engineers are evaluating what steps are necessary to safeguard the International Space Station should the orbiting lab be temporarily evacuated in the wake of last week's Soyuz rocket failure.
....
Engineers are analyzing what's needed to keep the station alive in case astronauts have to pull out of the international laboratory, ....

Russia's Soyuz rocket -- the only vehicle able to carry astronauts to the space station after the space shuttle's retirement -- has been grounded since the Aug. 24 failure of a launch with a Progress resupply freighter heading for the outpost.
....
(See also comments 10, 12, 16 & 20.)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
bug That's brilliant! DeBeers has the means *and* incentive to start their own space program. ;^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156

Abandon the ISS? Even temporarily is a step backwards, though I understand why. If the freighter is the same as the manned craft, they've got to figure out what went wrong. If only they hadn't shut down our shuttle program.......

A diamond planet? If that's true, then DeBeers will soon have their own space program before you could shake a stick in an attempt to corner the space diamond market.
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A mesoscale convective vortex at the California-Arizona border.

Morning of 2011-08-28


From Wikipedia:
A mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) is a low-pressure center within an mesoscale convective system (MCS) that pulls winds into a circling pattern, or vortex. With a core only 30 to 60 miles (97 km) wide and 1 to 3 miles (4.8 km) deep, an MCV is often overlooked in standard weather analysis. But an MCV can take on a life of its own, persisting for up to 12 hours after its parent MCS has dissipated. This orphaned MCV will sometimes then become the seed of the next thunderstorm outbreak. An MCV that moves into tropical waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico, can serve as the nucleus for a tropical storm or hurricane.
....
The primary reference for the Wikipedia article is available without a fee or membership as this PDF.

MCVs that form on the western slopes of the Sierra Madre of mainland Mexico's Pacific coast sometimes do evolve into tropical cyclones. For MCVs that form on on the western slopes of the Sierra Madre east of the Gulf of California the opportunity is *severely* limited.


Image credit: NASA

(See also the blog entry and comments 1, 7 & 11-14.)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Spaceflight Now | Space Station Mission Report | Space station could be abandoned in November
....
Space station control centers in Houston and Moscow are equipped to monitor and operate the $100 billion laboratory from the ground, but retreating from the outpost would halt promising medical research and break a string of almost 11 years of continuous manned operations.
....
(See also comments 10, 12 & 16.)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
GG When angry birds vs. piggies aren't enough... LOL!

sp Great minds .... I was just about to post the following on your blog.

We did get random spots on the pavement for a few minutes here. This morning's activity could act as "priming the pump" so any showers tonight would have an easier time reaching the ground.

I'll have to give full credit on the question anyway as I can't refind the reference by any intuitive search strategy. (Don't you hate when that happens?) I saw it was a translation of the color name given by the *original* locals.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Looks like the clouds are helping to keep your temps down a little bit, too, LC. No rain here but hoping the lower atmosphere soaks up enough moisture to allow for some water to hit the ground later on.

Thanks for the time-sink-link at 14 ;)

I have an idea why it's called the Vermillion Sea but no idea who first named it thus.

Weather Geeks in Spaaaaaaaaaaaace heehee That was cool :)

gg - I was next going to get another Prof. Layton game for my ds but, on your recommendation, maybe I'll go with plants vs. zombies, instead :)
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Oh dear, did you have to ask that question? My mind has such a fertile imagination.

But even further off topic, one good zombie link deserves another. This is a live production of the Plant vs Zombies, (my fav computer game),video.
There are no words for this diamond planet.

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Russia May Launch Another Soyuz Rocket Friday Despite Recent Failure | Space.com
(see also comments 10-12)


What's your preference - A nude white dwarf or a diamond planet?

Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Irene Video from the International Space Station
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
I think it is the interaction with land especially where the mountains are close to either shore that knocks down tropical cyclones in the Gulf of California. However, if they tread that path very carefully they can maintain enough integrity to have significant effects in southern California and Arizona. Search this article Background: California's Tropical Storms for "Gulf of California" and particularly note the September 1967 storm.

BTW you can see the monsoon making a broad push into our area from the ESE on my rgb loop or your wv loop. Be alert for crackle-boomage tomorrow morning and tomorrow night. Well, don't be alert just don't wake up mistaking it for an earthquake and bonk your head diving under a desk. ;^)

.... who calls it the "Sea of Cortez"?

John Steinbeck for one. ;^D

Bonus round question for you, who named it the "Vermillion Sea"? ;^)
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156
Oh, well, there you go. Thanks. I never saw the anti-cyclone-type feature but it is actually visible in that loop, isn't it? And I did see the 'eye' :)
Is it wind shear that kills Gulf of California storms? Even if they come straight up from the south they blow apart there.
Also, who calls it the "Sea of Cortez"? ;)

It would have been good to work with the Chinese. The world turns.
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sp "They have been incredibly reliable."

True that.

Spaceflight Now | Space Station Report | Station partners assess impacts after cargo launch failure
....engineers want to find out what went wrong with the Soyuz-U upper stage as soon as possible because it is virtually identical to the third stage used by Russia's manned Soyuz spacecraft. Launch of the next manned Soyuz mission is targeted for Sept. 22.
....
Given the safety record of the Soyuz-U rocket -- 745 successful launches and just 21 failures over nearly four decades -- NASA managers are optimistic the Russians will resolve the problem before it would be necessary to reduce the station's crew size.
....

It's a shame we didn't find an acceptable way to cooperate with China regarding spaceflight.


Yes, we do see big blobs of convection erupt on or near the Pacific Coast of Mexico and the eastern shore of the Gulf of California especially around this time of year. They can bloom and dissipate within a day.

What was striking about the feature I show in the short loop in comment #1 was that a nearly circular upper level anticyclone was perfectly stacked over a circular lower level cyclone (the basic structure of a tropical cyclone with intensification potential). The convection was scattered but there were some deep bursts. If such a system were over the Gulf of Mexico instead of over Mexico near the Gulf of California it would be generating the usual inordinate amount of speculation and wild claims in the big blog comments. ;^)

What also caught my notice was that it was moving towards but nearly parallel to the axis of the Gulf of Cali. I was curious to see what effect extended time of over that super warm water would have. My initial tounge-in-check title for the entry "1st Sea of Cortez Invest-to-Be?" was intended to provoke either or both intelligent informed comments or wild derisive diatribes. ;^) However, the sources of both currently have bigger fish to fry and rightly so.

There is an interesting loop from another day in comment #7. I'm leaving the current day's self updating image & loop near the top of this blog entry as a convenient way to check for additional interesting features if they occur.
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 58 Comments: 9156

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APRSWXNET Woodland Hills CA US
Calabasas, CA
Elevation: 984 ft
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