back to article Rival rocketeers SpaceX and ULA make oblations to weather gods ahead of double-launch action

The 45th Space Wing has a busy few days ahead of it as the team prepares for launches from SpaceX and ULA less than 48 hours apart from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Stationed at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, the unit is responsible for the operation of the Eastern Range and launches of Atlas, Delta and, of course, …

  1. LeahroyNake Silver badge

    Risk analysis

    I'm obviously hoping that both launches go ahead and are successful...

    But... if the SpaceX launch is delayed for any reason and the ULA launch goes ahead and has an issue and somehow managed to damage the Falcon ONLY 2 miles away. I'm just thinking of the insurance implications, it am sure it has been addressed. Would really like to know how much that premium costs and just imagine the headline, Falcon 9 destroyed by ULA.

    1. DryBones

      Re: Risk analysis

      Out on the west coast a few years back it was the other way about. Not sure if there was actual overlap, but SpX wanted to launch while ULA had a NSA payload on the pad. "Oh hell no" was the word (from the NSA), I believe.

    2. Jon 37

      Re: Risk analysis

      For safety reasons, they always have the ability to remotely blow up a rocket if it goes off course. This is used if the rocket decides to head to a populated area - and there are plenty of those around the launch complex. They decide in advance where the "blow it up" line on the map goes, and that's chosen so that once the rocket has been blown up the fast-moving debris won't hit anybody.

      (The "blow it up" line actually depends on the rocket's altitude, speed and direction of travel, and nowadays might be computed by an algorithm that's figuring out "where would the debris land" in real-time based on the actual position of the rocket).

      In this case, they will probably decide that the other launch pad is an area where debris is not allowed to land, so the rocket would be blown up before it could get there.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Risk analysis

      "Falcon 9 destroyed by ULA"

      Will anyone be checking if the ULA rocket has a remote controlled sniper rifle up in the nose cone?

  2. Atcals

    Nice to know the local news. I live in Florida but we do not hear about things like this. Local news is all politics not science.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      News for the regular guy(ess), Floridaman :-)

  3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    The 45th Space Wing

    Has anyone told them, wings aren't much use in space.

    1. electricmonk

      Re: The 45th Space Wing

      Has anyone told them, wings aren't much use in space.

      Ah, so that's what happened to the first 44 Space Wings...

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: The 45th Space Wing

      Tell that to the Space Shuttle

  4. A K Stiles Silver badge

    Another Successful launch and faring capture

    Well done SpaceX folks. Loving your work. For your next trick can we see two concurrent faring captures and a droneship landing?

    Beers all round to the clever people that make this sort of thing happen.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Another Successful launch and faring capture

      Indeed, and that really puts the pressure on ULA

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Another Successful launch and faring capture

        The pressure isn't on ULA until they lose all of their cushy government contracts, and given how much lobbying ULA's parent companies do, that's unlikely to happen any time soon.

  5. cray74

    Atlas V Launch

    Nice dawn launch. I saw it from about 100km due west of the Space Center. Perfect viewing conditions - I couldn't see the ISS flyover last night because of clouds, but the sky was completely clear this morning. In those conditions, you can see the exhaust plume really expand in vacuum as the rocket starts dropping toward the horizon. The boosters were visible as sparkling red dots as separation.

    I wasn't able to get a clear shot, but I have snagged a few from teh interwebs:

    Launch Shot Before the Space Whale Arrived

    The Space Whale is Born

    ("Space whale" isn't my first choice of description, but I'm not sure how The Register would react to me comparing it to while, tadpole-like male germ cells.)

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