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GOCE
ngunn
post Mar 16 2009, 10:44 AM
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Set for launch today:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/index.html

Some interesting new technology here - half satellite half airplane! Well maybe mainly satellite, but an interesting concept that could have applications in other atmospheres, making lower orbiting feasible.
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Stu
post Mar 16 2009, 11:42 AM
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Just been writing about that smile.gif GOCE has to be the most gorgeous-looking satellite ever! That thing should be on Babylon 5 and taking on The Shadows... cool.gif


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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Mar 16 2009, 12:54 PM
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indeed: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMFIYITYRF_0.html
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ugordan
post Mar 16 2009, 02:27 PM
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Countdown hold and scrub for the day. Possibly related to the service tower not moving as it was supposed to.


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MahFL
post Mar 16 2009, 03:31 PM
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The service tower did not move ? wow.
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ugordan
post Mar 16 2009, 03:57 PM
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It's only speculation at this point, the hold could have been called even before the tower was supposed to move. The webcast countdown timer is not directly connected to the Plesetsk launch control center.

Launch is now scheduled for tomorrow at 14:21 UTC

EDIT: According to this release, "the doors of the launch service tower did not open. Due to this anomaly, the tower was held in position and did not move back as required for a launch. "


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dmuller
post Mar 16 2009, 10:36 PM
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I was watching the webcast and heard them talking about "all green" and that the doors will open now and the tower move away. That was 10 minutes prior to launch. I thought something was fishy when nothing moved ... either the camera froze or the door / tower didnt move. Let's hope it will work next time!


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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Mar 17 2009, 08:50 AM
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Another attempt today at 10:21 am EDT (1421 GMT) on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome...
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ugordan
post Mar 17 2009, 02:23 PM
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GOCE has just lifted off from Plesetsk.

2nd stage burning, payload fairing has jettisoned.

3rd stage has now ignited, the vehicle went out of tracking range. Expect confirmation of status in 90 minutes, so far everything looks nominal.


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dmuller
post Mar 17 2009, 03:56 PM
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Spacecraft signal received and separation confirmed. Well done, GOCE


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imipak
post Mar 17 2009, 08:32 PM
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Ditto, and well done to Eurockot too smile.gif


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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Mar 20 2009, 05:27 PM
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ESA's GOCE satellite was formally declared ready for work at 01:00 CET on 20 March:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GOCE/SEMZ8TJTYRF_0.html


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rlorenz
post Mar 21 2009, 09:29 PM
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QUOTE (ngunn @ Mar 16 2009, 06:44 AM) *
Some interesting new technology here - half satellite half airplane! Well maybe mainly satellite, but an interesting concept that could have applications in other atmospheres, making lower orbiting feasible.


Not least for Titan.

I have to say I have a very soft spot for the concept of aerodynamic stabilization for ram-pointing coupled with electric propulsion. The very first conference paper I wrote (which I presented a couple of months after my 19th birthday at the IAF conference in Bangalore..) was about just that...

Aerodynamic attitude stabilization for a small, low-orbiting, manoeuvrable satellite,
(later published in Acta Astronautica, 19, 573-576, 1989)

I since discovered that a few early satellites did exploit aerodynamic stabilization, albeit without
ion thrusters or resistojets..
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lyford
post Apr 7 2009, 08:01 PM
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Fire in the hole!

GOCE's electric ion propulsion engine switched on


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Lyford Rome
"Zis is not nuts, zis is super-nuts!" Mathematician Richard Courant on viewing an Orion test
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stevesliva
post Apr 7 2009, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (lyford @ Apr 7 2009, 04:01 PM) *


QUOTE
The success of GOCE's ultra-sensitive gravity measurements depends on finely controlling the satellite's orbit and speed. The push from the thruster must be just enough to compensate for the tiny amount of drag generated by the few wisps of atmosphere at GOCE's orbital height.

No normal jet engine could do this, but GOCE's sophisticated electric ion propulsion system can.


In fact, the ESA engineer that suggested putting a jet engine on a satellite ended up working at an investment bank instead.
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