Monday, January 22, 2018

So The Dreaded Government Shutdown Was a Three Day Weekend

As the news is saying, (to quote Poultry Heist) "they're ba-ack!"  Paid, of course.  Everyone always gets paid for the missed day, at least in the history of gubmint shutdowns. 

My condolences to those of you who got the three day weekend and are going back to work tomorrow. 

Turns out the shutdown did have an effect.  A planned static engine test for the SpaceX Falcon Heavy that was on Saturday was cancelled and the shutdown was cited as the reason.  The test will probably happen this week.  They had said the launch was targeted to be by the end of the month if the tests went well, so the delay probably pushes it into early February.  Note of course that these tests are not empty formalities without risk.  SpaceX lost a payload, rocket and most of a launch complex doing such a test in September of '16.  And that rocket was 1/3 the power of the Heavy. 

So whatever will we do?  We're in the awkward gap between the end of the shutdown and the news coming out of SHOT show. 


  1. Yup, a whole lotta stored chemical energy right there.

    I've seen what can happen when things deviate from plan....

  2. Probably something like this, drjim:

    Although the question is whether the affected village would be T'ville or Melbourne or Miami or the Big Craphole...

  3. That was a launch of a satellite Loral built. When I worked at Sea Launch, we launched a lot of satellites for Loral, so I got to work with their launch team many times. One of the guys I met (hi, Mario!) was on that launch, and he said the devastation was far worse that what the state-sanctioned TV showed.

  4. This is one of the failures I was there for....

    1. Oops! Who was "Range Safety" for SeaLaunch? For CONUS launches, that is provided by USAF, either from ETR or WTR depending on where the actual launch "site" is - OSC Pegasus launches over the Atlantic were ETR, for example. I'm not sure of the international law regarding a launch "site" that is ported on the West Coast but that can sail "anywhere" to launch...

      I note that there is no Range "Go for launch" on that audio...

    2. "Range Safety" was controlled by the Russian team that was in charge of the Launch Vehicle. The Russians have on interesting take on "Range Safety". Since they launch over unpopulated areas, if there's a problem with the LV, they just shut the engines down, and let gravity take over.

      The video was from NSS-8, and that one lost the turbopump several seconds after the hold down clamps released. The LV dropped back down through the launch platform, ripped off the hot gas deflector, and broke up.

      The audio on that recording only has what would go out over the air. Many, many readiness calls don't go out to the general public, but everything got recorded, and many displays got video taped.