Russian Soyuz Rail Trip and Orion Capsule Abort Test

#1
A couple of things.

First, a short video from Roscosmos of a Soyuz booster leaving its assembly barn for a short rail journey to its pad, it's arrival and its being raised from horizontal to vertical. Scheduled for launch July 5 to loft a Meteor M weather satellite. The Russian text says that this is Baikonur East, but it's definitely not the Kazakhstan desert, judging from the surrounding forests. So I'm assuming that it's Vostochny in the Russian far east.

https://twitter.com/roscosmos/status/114...4661761025

And here's a 2 minute video showing today's AA-2 abort test for NASA's new Orion capsule. Kind of redundant in my opinion, given SpaceX's Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner. Does America really need three capsules? This is potentially the best of the bunch, though it's years behind schedule. The little booster fires off, rises, then the capsule's abort rockets fire separating the capsule from the booster.

This kind of system is what saved the lives of those two astronauts whose Soyuz came apart last year.

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/stat...0741919744
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#2
(Jul 2, 2019 09:10 PM)Yazata Wrote: . . . The Russian text says that this is Baikonur East, but it's definitely not the Kazakhstan desert, judging from the surrounding forests. So I'm assuming that it's Vostochny in the Russian far east.


Definitely not the rail that passes by a kind of junk pile in the grass, below an embankment, along the way.
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#3
It indeed was Vostochny. The launch went according to plan and the Meteor M weather satellite appears to be in its proper orbit. The launch also orbited a whole bunch of little cubesats which were sharing the ride, many of them from Germany it seems.

https://twitter.com/roscosmos/status/114...0226655234

Roscosmos photo from this morning, their time


[Image: D-teR_lWwAAUTr2.jpg]


One of the ride along cubesats is interesting (to me, anyway).

What got my attention is that it's called "El Camino Real" (Spanish for Royal Highway) which is the name for what amounts to main street on the San Francisco peninsula from SF to SJ. (I was out on El Camino yesterday and almost certainly will be again today. Every day, pretty much.) So I figured that it had to be local.

The satellite is a "large" 16-U cubesat (large in cubesat terms but still small in satellite terms, consisting of 16 4" cubes). It's from a company in Santa Clara called Momentus, intended as a technology demonstrator of the new orbital thruster that they are working on, intended to allow satellites to maneuver more easily from orbit to orbit.

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/el-camino-real.htm
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