Re: Satellite launches.

Message posted by Peter Merlin on November 12, 2016 at 5:21:12 PST:

Yes, I remember the NROL-41 launch very well. A guy sitting next to me had worked on the satellite, and said that he had been waiting 10 years for that launch!

I recall that it was a night launch, with liftoff scheduled for 8:29 pm. The weather was great, and everything was good with the vehicle. Then, they announced an unexpected delay due to a “range clearance issue” when a privately owned vehicle was found parked at SLC-8, one of the other Vandenberg launch pads. Although SLC-8 is five miles southwest of SLC-3E (the Atlas pad) and well outside the minimum safe distance for observers, it was considered to be within the zone where debris could fall in the event of a launch mishap.

The discovery came just moments before the launch sequence was scheduled to emerge from a built-in 10-minute hold preceding the final four minutes of the countdown. Tensions mounted as a security sweep was initiated to verify that no unauthorized personnel were present within the restricted buffer zone. The launch director was forced to extend the hold several times, using up more than half of the available 59-minute launch window. Finally, at 8:48, he received word that all was clear to proceed. A significantly longer delay would have resulted in postponing the launch until the next evening. I'm glad they didn't have to do that.

In Reply to: Re: Satellite Resolution. posted by WheresJanet on November 11, 2016 at 22:20:49 PST:


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