Crew Dragon launch

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  • #574578
    Steve Knight
    Participant

    You’ve probably seen that SpaceX have announced that they plan on launching astronauts to the International Space Station on Crew Dragon at 21.32 on May 27th.

    First US manned launch since 2011.

    The UK has an ISS pass at 21.20, Crew Dragon should be visible in UK sky about 15 minutes after launch on its way to rendezvous with ISS

    Looks like a good opportunity to watch the launch coverage live and the go into garden to wave them on there way.

    Let’s hope it is not delayed and we have a clear sky.

    #582299
    Paul Leyland
    Participant

    “launching astronauts to the International Space Station on Crew Dragon at 21.32 on May 27th”; “The UK has an ISS pass at 21.20,”; “and the[n] go into garden to wave them on there [sic] way.”

    Am I missing something?  How do I subsequently wave at the crew 12 minutes before they leave the Earth?

    #582300
    David Swan
    Participant

    Thanks for posting this. My interpretation of this is that because the ISS has a visible pass over the UK on 27th May (it’s expected to be at 21:20), then it is reasonable to suppose that an object launched just a little later on an intercept path might become visible in our skies too. (I am not an expert, so do let me know if this isn’t correct 🙂 ). Anyway I hope Dragon is visible on that day – if so, I’ll be looking up!

    #582301
    Nick James
    Participant

    Thanks for that Steve. It is always fun to see a spacecraft go over only 15 mins or so after it has launched from the Cape. This one will be particularly interesting because of the manned aspect. Sometimes there are interesting things to see as well if the second stage of Falcon 9 is venting propellants.

    #582302
    Nick James
    Participant

    Dragon will be lower than ISS at this point so it will go into shadow sooner. I would think at 21:30 (BST I assume) it will still be illuminated. The twilight sky will be quite bright though.

    #582303
    Nick James
    Participant

    The launch is scheduled for 2132 (BST) on May 27 and Dragon comes over the UK 15 minutes later. Steve is saying that you could watch the launch on TV (at 2132) and go into your garden 15 minutes later (at 2147) to see the Dragon go over. You could, if you wish, also see an ISS pass at 2120 (BST).

    #582305
    Steve Knight
    Participant

    No breach of causality, the relevance of the ISS pass is that they’ll be on way to same orbit so their path will be same (subject to rotation of Earth over 25 min).  I did see an unmanned Dragon on way to ISS last July, it was fairly spectacular you could see thrusters firing.  Not as spectacular as the 2009 STS128 launch.  Watched it live then went outside and watched the shuttle Discovery and its external fuel tank pass over, they’d just seperated.

    #582306
    Mel Gigg
    Participant

    Should be a good opportunity to see something like this the CRS-18 capsule, second stage and solar panel covers passing over Oxfordshire, watch from 25 seconds to see the reaction control thrusters firing, it was very spectacular to watch https://youtu.be/TEUlDejkNXM

    #582501
    Steve Knight
    Participant

    Well my forecast is looking good for tonight.  Let’s hope no launch delays.

    #582502
    Grant Privett
    Participant

    As far as I understand it, about 10 mins after launch the second stage separates from the dragon capsule. Presumably, it then lags behind steadily as drag and the capsule thrusters start to do their thing. So, by the time they pass over us it would be quite a big separation. Anyone any ideas how big?

    I’m wondering what lens to use to get both. As I’m only using a tripod, I’m assuming something like a 85-135mm with a short exposure and high ISO to avoid tralling. 

    This is going to be fun. 🙂

    PS I believe that on this variant of the system the solar panels are actually fix mounted on the vehicle and do not deploy.

    #582503
    Neil Morrison
    Participant

    Oh well the weather  cant  be  controlled.  Launch now  scheduled for Saturday.  However a the launch  will take place a little  earlier in the day  so our UK  Sky may not  be  dark enough to watch the  Over flight  of the  Dragon Capsule and attendant items.

    #582504
    Nick James
    Participant

    Another thing I mentioned in Sky Notes that immediately got cancelled. 

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