Successful launch of Orion

Yesterday there was a boat too close, then winds were too high, then a fuel valve wouldn’t cycle properly. This morning, the countdown went smoothly.
I realized that while I know the rhythm of the Shuttle launches – the max Q, the booster separation, eight minutes to main engine cutoff – I don’t know squat about a Delta 4 Heavy launch. That was impressive.
Splashdown around 11:30 AM Eastern time off Baja California.

5 thoughts on “Successful launch of Orion”

  1. Delta 4 Heavy has 2.1 million pounds of thrust. Optimized/flown Saturn V (“moon rocket”) had 7.7 millions pounds of thrust, Why are we not building more Saturn V?

  2. Good question, I’ll have to start reading up on this program. I have much skepticism regarding NASA, maybe they’ll do it right. As an aside, Apollo test flights were for the most part conducted using the Saturn IB with 1.6 million lbs thrust.

  3. RFH, is the reason we can not duplicate the Saturn 5 is because of lack of a manufacturing base?

    Harrison “Stormy” Storms wrote an interesting tell-all book about the effort to manufacture the 2nd stage to the Saturn V rocket. It was a hard slog all the way. I doubt we can duplicate that today.

    1. I’m sure some of the reason is manufacturing. There was a lot that was really labor-intensive. Some of it is materials like asbestos that you can’t use any more or no longer exist. Some of it is the move away from LOX/kerosene to LOX/LH2 and solid rocket motors. Some of it is trying to have more reusable hardware, e.g. recoverable solid rocket motors and an Orion with a removable heatshield. And I’m sure some of it is political (keep solids to keep Utah representatives happy).

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