As I type these words, a new Communications satellite, JCSAT-14, is on its way into orbit to provide Japan with more bandwidth for both entertainment broadcasts, and in an emergency, satellite based communications when grown infrastructure may be damaged. The launch vehicle for this payload was the powerful Falcon 9, provide by the commercial spaceflight company SpaceX.
I just wrapped up watching this launch live on YouTube, as well as giving a moment by moment, even by event live coverage on Twitter. This was my first time attempting such, and I actually had quite a bit of fun, while also injecting my own thoughts in (more on these in a future article).
On to the launch itself, this was in the middle of the night, about 12:30 AM my time. That’s fine, I’m usually up this late, so I was free and awake for this launch I didn’t know was coming. As always, it was a beautiful event.
This was another attempt to land the 1st stage of the launch vehicle, on a barge no less, and it was about 50/50, according to SpaceX on if if it would successful or not. Previous barge attempts usually failed, but the last attempt a few short months ago succeeded. Today would wind up being no different. This makes 3 successful landings for SpaceX, one on land, 2 on a barge. Damn good, considering no one had even much attempted this before (although it was planned so far back as the Saturn rocket time period in the 1960’s.)
This was an incredibly stressful landing attempt, as well, compared to previous ones, as this particular launch profile called for the vehicle to be flown in a trajectory to enter what is known as a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit – in laymans terms, a launch path that would allow the satellite to make itself hover over an exact spot over the earth, thousands of kilometers above the surface, rather than coast as most satellites do closer to the planet.
Truly, another amazing flight of the Falcon9, which really shows the quality behind the boosters that SpaceX develops.
Here is the entire launch livestream, provided for you to enjoy this event at your own time. While I do dislike the style that SpaceX uses to discuss launches (I’m very into space and as such I don’t need everything explained to me) it’s still great to see the flights live, when possible.
For those like me who prefer the “technical” end of things, here is what SpaceX calls the technical broadcast. Where is THIS when I am wanting to watch a livestream? Seriously, I never see this as an option when I watch the livestreams otherwise!