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Launches...

Launch and ascent were nominal, as was the majority of payload deploy, but the later demo stage on-orbit has hit a hitch. The APU shut down so the upper stage wasn't repressurised. This means no pointing to release the final payloads and no deorbit (and disposal) burn.

So it's fucked?
 
The mission
The mission was to test the launch vehicle and deploy multiple separate payloads. The launch vehicle worked. All the cubesats were deployed. Two re-entry bodies couldn't be deployed (actually, they elected not to release them in order to minimise any potential debris footprint). The upper stage can't immediately be disposed of. So partial success, or partial failure (glass half full/empty). A lot of mission profiles can be completed with the successful stages demonstrated today (eg direct ascents to geosynchronous orbit, lofts to Lagrange points, heliocentric trajectories). They need to demo the further upper stage restart (APU reliability) to meet a commitment to dispose of the upper stage at the end of every mission.
Venting from the upper stage. Conducted to reduce risk of debris formation and unintended accelerations that could modify the trajectory, and otherwise impact disposal. Vented gases were lit up in twilight (being at an altitude that placed them outside the Earth's shadow).
 
Right.

In other news I'm watching a space disaster movie called Gravity. It's all space stations and space suits - except Sandra Bullock who is in a vest top, natch, and recreating the role she played in Speed 20 years earlier.
 
Launch and ascent were nominal, as was the majority of payload deploy, but the later demo stage on-orbit has hit a hitch. The APU shut down so the upper stage wasn't repressurised. This means no pointing to release the final payloads and no deorbit (and disposal) burn.

Upper stage passivation was spotted from Central/E Europe.
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vaders-tie-fighter_8bcb92e1.jpeg


:hmm:
 
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