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  #1  
Old 12-10-2017, 05:29 PM
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Default Electron's countdown

Hello All,

It looks like (see: http://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/1...-status-center/ ) live coverage of the launch of Rocket Lab’s second Electron test vehicle, called “Still Testing,” will begin in just over an hour and a half from now.
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:29 PM
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SCRUB! Today's Electron (see: www.rocketlabusa.com ) launch attempt, at Rocket Lab's seaside launch complex in New Zealand, has been scrubbed. They will try again to launch "Still Testing" (as they have named this second round of their two-stage Electron satellite launch vehicle) tomorrow (Monday [Tuesday in New Zealand]) at the same time, with the launch window opening at 8:30 PM EST (0130 GMT) and extending for 4 hours. As the company reported online about today's scrub:

"Still Testing launch attempt scrubbed for the day," the company tweeted. "Weather factors and orbital traffic mean opportunities for launch today are tight, so we'll try again tomorrow. Updates on new launch target to follow." The live coverage will be available *here*: https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/...-status-center/
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:16 AM
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I like the name. I wonder if it was inspired by SpaceX's barge names...
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
I like the name. I wonder if it was inspired by SpaceX's barge names...
I've wondered that myself, as they're of similar "comedic character." Also, Peter Beck (Rocket Lab's President) and Elon Musk strike me as having similar personalities and sensibilities (when things quiet down after this latest test launch, I'll contact Mr. Beck and suggest that he offer scale model rocket kits of the Electron and/or Rocket Lab's earlier, suborbital sounding rocket vehicles). This evening's (in our hemisphere) launch window for "Still Testing" opens in 10 minutes (see: http://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/1...-status-center/ ).
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:38 PM
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UPDATE: Electron countdown and launch coverage will begin at approximately 0230 UTC (a bit under 1 hour from now, see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_oAGlhFezo ).
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
I've wondered that myself, as they're of similar "comedic character." Also, Peter Beck (Rocket Lab's President) and Elon Musk strike me as having similar personalities and sensibilities (when things quiet down after this latest test launch, I'll contact Mr. Beck and suggest that he offer scale model rocket kits of the Electron and/or Rocket Lab's earlier, suborbital sounding rocket vehicles). This evening's (in our hemisphere) launch window for "Still Testing" opens in 10 minutes (see: http://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/1...-status-center/ ).
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http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:57 PM
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Scrubbed again...unless what I just saw wasn't live.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Scrubbed again...unless what I just saw wasn't live.
I think so, too--the YouTube screen has also gone blank again, with the same message ("This video is unavailable") on its screen as appeared yesterday when they scrubbed. They did load at least the LOX. They might have had unacceptable weather again (I'm sure Rocket Lab will post an announcement about what happened before long).
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Old 12-12-2017, 12:56 AM
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They had a dramatic "engine light-up, then shutdown" abort! The Electron vehicle is okay, but this incident has pushed back the launch attempt by a couple of days. Rocket Lab posted:

"Rocket Lab counted down to the second test launch of its commercial Electron satellite launcher Monday, U.S. time, but a dramatic computer-commanded abort triggered moments after its engines ignited kept the light-class booster on its New Zealand launch for at least two more days. Liftoff has been rescheduled for no earlier than 8:30 p.m. EST Wednesday (0130 GMT Thursday)" *ALSO*, here (see: http://spaceflightnow.com/2017/12/1...-for-wednesday/ ) is the full story.
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Old 12-12-2017, 09:08 AM
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When I got home and tuned in, they were flushing the business end with water so I knew it was a last second abort. I just wasn't sure if it was actually live or if I was looking at a previous attempt. I've only had a few seconds in front of a computer the last few days. I'm glad their failsafes worked and hopefully the problem will be solved quickly.
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
When I got home and tuned in, they were flushing the business end with water so I knew it was a last second abort. I just wasn't sure if it was actually live or if I was looking at a previous attempt. I've only had a few seconds in front of a computer the last few days. I'm glad their failsafes worked and hopefully the problem will be solved quickly.
You were lucky--I wasn't watching when that video was being shown. :-) I agree--such events can potentially turn into debris-collection exercises if more goes wrong during the abort sequence (even static firings--on a launch pad or a test stand--can [and on occasion, have] become expensive fireworks displays [the Atlas-Able on-pad explosion after a static firing of the Atlas' engines is a famous example]). Also:

For anyone else who may have missed the Electron launch abort, here are videos of it--a short version (1:15, see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpJj6DhweU ) and a longer version (10:15, see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2u0gDCZoz8 ), plus a 4:38 report (see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=laEqnXAsj64 ). If an Electron and a Russian Proton were ever launched together (an Electron with payload(s) could be strapped to the side of a Proton and go its own way to orbit after launch, like the pod-launched OV1 satellite/solid upper stage motor units that rode piggyback on Atlas ICBM flights), it could be called a "hydrogen mission," or a "protium" (ordinary 1-proton, 1-electron, no neutron(s) hydrogen) launch vehicle :-)
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http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
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