DELTA IV first operational flight

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3488

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From Spaceflightnow.com. Justin Ray.<br /><br />0159 GMT (8:59 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 9 minutes, 15 seconds. The rocket is 147 miles in altitude and 1,039 miles <br />downrange from the launch pad. <br /><br />0158 GMT (8:58 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 8 minutes, 15 seconds. Chamber pressure reported normal on the <br />RL10 engine as it continues to fire. <br /><br />0157 GMT (8:57 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 7 minutes, 30 seconds. No problems have been reported during the upper stage <br />engine firing. The RL10B-2 is burning consuming its mixture of liquid hydrogen <br />and liquid oxygen. <br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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docm

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That strap-on jettison was a WOWZA! <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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From Spaceflightnow.com. Justin Ray.<br /><br />0201 GMT (9:01 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 11 minutes. The duration of the burn is governed by the rocket's guidance system.<br />The engine will be commanded to shut down once the desired orbit is obtained. <br /><br />0200 GMT (9:00 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 10 minutes. The upper stage is firing at full thrust to accelerate the <br />upper stage into orbit. It will take another three minutes to reach the initial <br />parking orbit around the planet. <br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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3488

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From Spaceflightnow.com. Justin Ray. <br /><br />0204 GMT (9:04 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 14 minutes. The vehicle will be coasting in this initial orbit for about an hour <br />before the upper stage engine is restarted. <br /><br />0203 GMT (9:03 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 13 minutes, 12 seconds. Engine cutoff. The upper stage has completed <br />the first of three burns tonight to haul the DSP 23 satellite into the planned <br />geosynchronous orbit. <br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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rocketwatcher2001

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<font color="yellow">The Port is better view </font><br /><br />I like the port for Delta II's, and a few years ago for the Atlas II's but for the Delta IV's and Atlas V's I think Titusville is better. To each his/her own. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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From Spaceflightnow.com. Justin Ray.<br /><br />0312 GMT (10:12 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 82 minutes, 5 seconds. Engine shutdown! Two firings complete, one more <br />to go for the Delta 4-Heavy rocket's upper stage tonight to place the <br />Defense Support Program 23 spacecraft into geosynchronous orbit. <br /><br />0310 GMT (10:10 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 80 minutes, 10 seconds. Engine chamber pressures still looking good. <br /><br />0308 GMT (10:08 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 78 minutes, 45 seconds. Pitch and yaw steering is nominal. <br /><br />0308 GMT (10:08 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 78 minutes. The Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10B-2 cryogenic rocket engine <br />continues to burn well. <br /><br />0307 GMT (10:07 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 77 minutes, 15 seconds. The vehicle is 568 miles in altitude over the extreme <br />western Pacific, northeast of Australia as it travels 24,900 feet per second. <br /><br />0305 GMT (10:05 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 75 minutes, 45 seconds. Chamber pressures have stablized after ignition. <br /><br />0305 GMT (10:05 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 75 minutes, 36 seconds. Ignition! The RL10B-2 powerplant is firing again <br />for a seven-minute burn. <br /><br />0300 GMT (10:00 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 70 minutes. The upper stage is about five minutes away from re-igniting its engine. <br />This second of three planned firings will raise one side of the rocket's orbit to <br />geosynchronous altitude around 22,000 statute miles. <br /><br />Fantastic images here from Chris Miller & Ben Cooper.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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Successful launch....looks like<br /><br />But what were thos huge flames at ignition just before launch? I thought it was going to BBQ itself.<br /><br />Good job Delta IV team <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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rybanis

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Hydrogen in the air around the booster prior to ignition. It burns off real quick <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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mithridates

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Since we're using outdated measurements I'll also provide the translation into Japanese ri and shaku:<br /><br />0312 GMT (10:12 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 82 minutes, 5 seconds. Engine shutdown! Two firings complete, one more<br />to go for the Delta 4-Heavy rocket's upper stage tonight to place the<br />Defense Support Program 23 spacecraft into geosynchronous orbit.<br /><br />0310 GMT (10:10 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 80 minutes, 10 seconds. Engine chamber pressures still looking good.<br /><br />0308 GMT (10:08 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 78 minutes, 45 seconds. Pitch and yaw steering is nominal.<br /><br />0308 GMT (10:08 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 78 minutes. The Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10B-2 cryogenic rocket engine<br />continues to burn well.<br /><br />0307 GMT (10:07 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 77 minutes, 15 seconds. The vehicle is 232 ri in altitude over the extreme<br />western Pacific, northeast of Australia as it travels 23,490 shaku per second.<br /><br />0305 GMT (10:05 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 75 minutes, 45 seconds. Chamber pressures have stablized after ignition.<br /><br />0305 GMT (10:05 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 75 minutes, 36 seconds. Ignition! The RL10B-2 powerplant is firing again<br />for a seven-minute burn.<br /><br />0300 GMT (10:00 p.m. EST Sat.)<br /><br />T+plus 70 minutes. The upper stage is about five minutes away from re-igniting its engine.<br />This second of three planned firings will raise one side of the rocket's orbit to<br />geosynchronous altitude around 9,016 ri. <br /><br />(it's just a joke, seriously I'm glad to see the launch was a success) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>----- </p><p>http://mithridates.blogspot.com</p> </div>
 
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3488

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Absolutely stunning photographs here, as usual from Chris Miller & our own Ben Cooper. <br /><br />Also some more amazing work by Ben Cooper.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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PistolPete

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Man, that looked awesome! I just wish I could have seen it live. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><em>So, again we are defeated. This victory belongs to the farmers, not us.</em></p><p><strong>-Kambei Shimada from the movie Seven Samurai</strong></p> </div>
 
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spacester

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OMG<br /><br />Ben Cooper, you have outdone yourself once again! Honestly, these pix are just unparalleled IME. wow.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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vulture2

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From the port there was a brilliant green flash visible just as it lifted off. Did anyone else see it? Atmospheric refraction?<br /><br />This launch vehicle can put 9.6 metric tons on an escape trajectory. This would be an impressive size for a planetary probe, should NASA ever decide to launch one. Is any other operational rocket capable of this?
 
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rocketwatcher2001

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<font color="yellow">From the port there was a brilliant green flash visible just as it lifted off. Did anyone else see it? Atmospheric refraction? </font><br /><br />Everyone where I was saw it too, judging by the collective "uh-oh" said at the same time, but I thought is was just some of the ablative engine material getting blown off, just like it was supposed to. What got my heart going was when the engines started it was very bright for about 5 seconds, and got completely dark again, I thought there was a pad abort, or something like that, but 2 seconds later we could see it climbing off, and those flames were awesome. It was a lot quieter than I expected, I've heard Delta II's make a lot more sound from farther away. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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bpcooper

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We all saw the green flash about 20 seconds up, and I hear there was a couple more that I didn't catch later on. our theory was perhaps just a gulp of too much of one propellant for an instant, because the whole flame changed color. But I honestly don't know the cause.<br /><br />If you could view every launch from the same distance you'll easily find the shuttle on top and Delta 4 Heavy close to it. Delta 2 goes very fast and is louder than D4 from where the public can view, but you are talking D2 from three miles and D4 from over eight. (Though I am not sure where you were watching from). The slow ascent lets the sound reverberate around, which is akin to how Saturn V was much more impressive than shuttle. So it's not always about power/thrust.<br /><br />I can tell you that having seen Shuttle and now D4H both from exactly three miles, the D4H was very very impressive but not quite as intense as the shuttle :) And Delta 2 from three miles does not match either, because of its quickness.<br /><br />Thanks for the comments above. I have posted a full suite on my personal site now:<br /><br />http://www.launchphotography.com/Delta_4-Heavy_DSP-23.html <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-Ben</p> </div>
 
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rocketwatcher2001

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I've seen Delta II's from Jetty Park, which is about 3 miles, and also from all over Titusville. The last Delta II launch I saw was about a month or 2 ago, the morning Dawn launch and I saw it from Chain of Lakes, which is north of Titusville, and for what ever atmospheric reasons, the Delta II was louder than Delta IV, even though it was further away. I don't doubt you a bit that from 3 miles away the Delta IV is louder, it just makes sense, but that's why I was surprised that the II's I heard were louder. Maybe it's because if the atmospheric conditions, we were about 500 feet out on a fishing pier, and maybe there was a lot of moisture, just below the level to form fog right where we were. But I have to say it was a beautiful launch to watch, and your pictures are fantastic, thank you for sharing them. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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