I'm sitting in the middle of the French country side in a building that was built during Galileo's life time with these links up across three monitors:
Watching all of this makes me realise just how lucky we are to be alive at this point in human history.
Oh and looks like first capture attempt could be as soon as 20ish minutes from now (i.e. 14:02 UTC).
Edit: they've just given a go for capture.
Edit 2: and here's a screen shot of the Dragon capsule and space station arm: http://imgur.com/OWit7
Indeed. Sexy times!
Captured dragon: http://imgur.com/Vmnzj and http://imgur.com/mQU91
Anyone know what time it's expected to dock at?
Here is that in your local time: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=4%3A30am+pt+in+local+ti...
It's in 1 hour 48 minutes from the timestamp of this comment
It also appears that the docking isn't really supposed to start for another 2 hours.
uh oh, now it's also showing a blinking light and bands...
EDIT at last, Dragon sliding across the earth, from the ISS. Amazing seeing one spacecraft from another. Later, a thermal image of ISS from Dragon. But they're mostly showing people in front of computers...
I'm sure its some super custom software though.
(opens at least with VLC)
"FRIDAY MORNING - Final Approach, Dragon Grapple
Around 2:00 AM Pacific/5:00 AM Eastern NASA will decide if Dragon is GO to move into the approach ellipsoid 1.4 kilometers around the space station. If Dragon is GO, after approximately one hour Dragon will move to a location 250 meters directly below the station. Dragon will then perform a series of maneuvers to show systems are operating as expected. If NASA is satisfied with the results of these many tests, Dragon will be allowed to perform the final approach to the space station.
Sometime around 6:00 AM Pacific/9:00 AM Eastern, astronauts on the space station will grapple Dragon with the space station’s robotic arm and the spacecraft will attach to the station."
Excellent to see astronauts with a refined sense of humor as well.
It reminds me of the adventures that Pettit had with camera calibration yesterday, I wonder if there's a connection?
Anyway, listening to Pettit talk through the camera calibration yesterday made me think that there's a lot of room for improved UX in the software they use.
I might say that the operators of the 3 Mile Island nuclear reactor where having a fine "user experience" because the interface was telling them everything was OK...
That is the "industry accepted" meaning of the term, http://uxdesign.com/assets/ux-defined/user-experience-design...
Assuming ISS's orbit was perfectly circular, then Dragon would be moving too slow for its lower orbit, and would sink down, to its perihelion when on the opposite side of the earth, and so on, oscillating up and down, in an elliptical orbit with respect to ISS.
The only solution I see is for Dragon to artificially make its elliptical orbit circular by continuously thrusting upward. But I don't see this in the video stream. Have I got this all wrong?
EDIT s/too fast/too slow/ # and related edits, thanks mmaunder
edit, clarification: The problem is that the object closer to the earth will experience more gravitational force, which needs to be counteracted by orbiting faster, so that it's constantly falling 'tangent' to the earth. If they had the same angular velocity and the ISS was known to have a static distance from earth, Dragon would be slowly falling towards the earth because in order to maintain a static distance from earth, things above the ISS need to travel slower while things below need to travel faster.
Ugh, my physics classes are a long time away. Hope that's worded halfway comprehensibly.
For example, geostationary orbit (~36'000km radius) has period of 24h -- i.e., takes whole 24hours to cover all 360 degrees of rotation, having angular speed of 15deg/h, while Hubble's Space Telescope orbit (~560km radius) has period of 96minutes -- i.e., takes just over 1.5h to cover 360 degrees; with angular speed of 240deg/h.
Sure GEO has higher linear velocity and associated kinetic energy, but that's irrelevant.
I guess the Dragon was positioned under the Station so it gains the angular position slowly over time in a natural way.
I'll leave my comment as a warning to what age does to a person. ;-)
Here's hoping that they keep showing these shots from the ISS monitors throughout - kinda like watching someone coding but on a whole different level!
Does anyone know why this has been changed? I'd hazard a guess at dragon being slightly off the target position (slightly northwest), but haven't heard any commentary about why this may be.
I thought the planning and preparation would have some allowance for slight discrepancies, so are the changes to the planned points (220m to 250m) a part of this procedure, or would these "deltas" be a reactive response to real life?
I'll never forget these words.
Edit: CAPTURE CONFIRMED!
- SpaceX would have to want to sell the ad space.
- If NASA is paying for the mission, they may want to have a word (most likely "no").
- The owners of the Pan-Am brand would probably appreciate the gift, but I'd like to make sure they won't get mad before any such stunt.
- The Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick estates would also have something to say, after all, this is more or less a reference to 2001.
Note that the capsule has a camera inside of it (there are pictures from it on SpaceX's site) so when the hatch opens you can see pictures directly from a video camera that isn't under NASA's control.
Seeing this gives me hope that we'll eventually get back to exploring the moon and space.
There was a moment when the Dragon had a speed of 0 in that frame of reference, what's unbelievable is the complexity of catching up to the ISS!