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What’s the Ordeal?

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Just in case your FNM is looking a little dreary this time of year, I’m here to save the day with a little holiday spice. Don’t let your Black Friday be filled with boring old Standard decks that every opponent has seen and tested against many times. Kick it up a notch.

Ordeal #8 (Bant Auras)

Holy cow! What’s the ordeal with that deck list? The ordeals are exactly what I’m talking about actually. Anytime you have cards that have a profound impact on limited formats, I recommend taking a serious look at them for their constructed applications. That’s exactly what I have done here.

Here's the ordeal through which I arrived at the list.

On the Road

As I was finishing up a recent journey out in the east coast region of the U.S., I found myself with a plethora of time at my disposal due to a car of sleepy Magic players. My love for driving is seldom rivaled by anyone in my play group so this is not an uncommon sight for a Saturday or Sunday night.

After a long grueling weekend of intense mental competition, what’s better than analyzing the format and trying to find a weakness to exploit? Based on my prior experience, I’d have to argue that nothing is better. After those long weekends, often all I want is to play more.

So there I was, just jamming away to some music. With no conversation to be had I was left to think through the available card pool. I spent my time desperately trying to find the sprouting of a new idea to grab hold of.

Right before the idea hit me, I had been reminiscing about how great Theros Limited was and how I’d played almost as much of it as I had Standard in the last month or two. There is a lot of interaction between players in this limited format except for times when someone has an early and unanswered ordeal.

I wondered about ordeals for a moment. Two of them was nutty because they trigger each other much earlier and you get their spell effect as well as buff your creature. The idea of two ordeals spurred a line of thought that I was not expecting. Could that idea be transferred into a solid Standard deck?

After the auras deck from last Standard season and Boggles in Modern, players are starting to take the idea of an enchantment Voltron more seriously. If you think it through, the idea is solid. Basically, your opponent can never target your creature, so the more auras you put on it the more your opponent can’t handle what you’re doing. If a giant untargetable monster was not enough, it most likely has lifelink so they can’t race you either.

Filling the Gaps

Was this really going to work though? We only have Gladecover Scout and Witchstalker left as decent hexproof creatures, but there are a couple other ones that are okay. Voice of Resurgence, for example, is a solid threat and if they kill it and the enchantments on it, you still receive a creature in return.

There are a couple of decent auras like Unflinching Courage and Ethereal Armor, but the deck was still lacking something. Could ordeals really be the solution? Ordeal of Heliod seemed a likely inclusion, but the green one was underwhelming at best.

At this point, I was already considering playing some temples for the filtering effect, but they could also help me work in a third color. What could a third color even offer? After a moment of thought, it hit me. Ordeal of Thassa!

Now that was exactly what this deck was looking for. Not only did it give you the ability to have double ordeal draws, but it also drew cards so you would always be putting pressure on your opponent. Adding blue just for this one enchantment may seem like a bit much, but the only real drawback is that you are now required to take some damage from your lands.

That cost is well worth how much the blue ordeal brings to the deck. You would be surprised how often the card reads like this:

1U Sorcery
Put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control, then draw two cards.

Tons of decks would play that card if it existed and often that is how good it is in this deck. The combination you need to pull off the change of text is any creature and two ordeals.

For example, turn one Gladecover Scout, turn two ordeal, turn three ordeal and trigger both of them. That’s either 20 life, 10 life and two cards, or four cards in addition to giving your creature three +1/+1 counters!

Strengths and Weaknesses

Obviously that’s one of the deck’s most powerful draws, but it happens with relative frequency. Even if you have to wait until turn four to play your two ordeals on your Witchstalker, no big deal because you will trigger them both on turn five!

Despite having some powerful lines of play, there are occasionally consistency issues. As with any deck like this, you need a healthy mix of lands, creatures, and enchantments. If you draw some of each, you will be golden, but there are times when you draw too many of one type and not enough of another.

Also, despite Favored Hoplite adding much-needed consistency and power to the deck, any type of black removal will deal with him swiftly, so be careful about going all in on that creature against any deck with black mana. Sometimes it's your only option, but overall, the risk is worth the reward. Against any non-black deck, Hoplite plus ordeal is going to be hard to deal with.

A note about Ajani, Caller of the Pride. You may have noticed this planeswalker in the deck and not given him a second thought. He pairs well with an aggressive deck so he seems like an easy inclusion. That was not the case for me however.

The main reason he found a home in the deck was because of his synergy with the ordeals. Ordeals don't care where the +1/+1 counters come from. As long as you have three counters, it will trigger and the spell ability will go onto the stack. So with one creature, one ordeal and Ajani, you can trigger the ordeal on the second attack.

Sideboarding Ideas

As it stands now, the sideboard is up in the air. My main thought is what to do against Esper Control. I think that matchup may be the worst by a large margin. You can play all the hexproof creatures you want and all the enchantments you desire, but in the end, they just wipe the board with Supreme Verdict.

It's possible that three or four Mending Touch plus just as many Mistcutter Hydras would be enough to take down the most popular control deck of the format. This deck may need a more transformational sideboard strategy. It's possible you might bring in Rootborn Defenses, Fleecemane Lion, Advent of the Wurm, as well as the Mistcutter Hydras.

One card I know will make the sideboard will be Rapid Hybridization. That removal spell will help you deal with Master of Waves, Desecration Demon, or whatever problematic creature your opponent has in their deck. Here is what I would go with based on my limited testing so far.

Overall this is a solid deck with a focused gameplan. Be careful about your mulligans and sideboard cautiously as well.

Not many opponents will be able to handle your hexproof army that is ready with battle enchantments. Most aggro decks can't handle all the lifegain and most midrange decks can't handle the inability to target your dudes. All you need to worry about are decks like Esper.

Hope this ordeal was worth your time. If you find yourself showing your opponent what the ordeal is, post some feedback about your thoughts on the deck.

Until Next Time,

Unleash the #8 ordeal Force!

Mike Lanigan
MtgJedi on Twitter
Jedicouncilman23@gmail.com

68 thoughts on “What’s the Ordeal?

  1. I like it. I am brewing something similar using the Theros event deck as a basis.
    As to deal with spot removal on the creatures holding ordeal(s) i am thinking on adding mizzium skin / simic charm to it.
    And i love Phalanx Leader with ordeals : it can easily pump all creatures with +1 counters, thus faster triggering ordeals resolutions.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but with the t1 scout, t2 ordeal, t3 ordeal, wouldn’t only one of them trigger to get you 10 life or draw 2 cards not both since when the first trigger happens there are only 2 +1/+1 counters on the creature? Not a huge deal b/c it will just trigger next time though.

  3. Turn 1 Scout
    Turn 2 Ordeal, attack, trigger, 1 counter
    Turn 3 Ordeal (2), attack, trigger, trigger, resolve trigger, 2 counters, resolve trigger, 3 counters, trigger, sack ordeal (draw 2 cards -or- gain 10 life.)

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  20. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 11, 2008A Delta 2 rocket roared to life and successfully boosted a $690 million space telescope into orbit today, the most sophisticated observatory ever built to study the tell-tale high energy gamma rays generated by the most violent explosions and processes in the known universe. Credit: NASAThe Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope – GLAST – “is going to be a great new instrument for looking at the extreme universe, the high-energy sky, in gamma rays,” said Project Scientist Steven Ritz. “It will open a new window on phenomena throughout the universe, such as super-massive black holes, neutron stars, gamma ray bursts, and what really excites us is the unknown.”We want to understand some of these incredibly large systems that seem to put out huge amounts of power that range from as nearby as our sun all of the way out to the edge of the visible universe. 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GLAST also may shed light on the nature of dark matter thought to pervade the cosmos.”Gamma rays are the extreme high energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Ritz. “How high an energy? Well, the light that we see with our own eyes corresponds to a few electron volts, which is the unit we use for describing energy. The photons that GLAST will study in gamma rays are literally millions to hundreds of billions of times as energetic.”Since gamma rays are at the extreme high end of the electromagnetic spectrum, it’s not a surprise that they tell us about the most extreme environments throughout the universe, places where gravitational fields are extremely strong, magnetic fields and electric fields are absolutely enormous, so large that you couldn’t possibly make those conditions on the Earth.”In order of increasing energy – and decreasing wavelength – the electromagnetic spectrum runs from radio waves to infrared, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays. 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It will discover objects and processes that astronomers have not yet imagined.”With such a huge leap in capabilities,” he said, “I’m expecting that the most important science GLAST is going to do that we’re going to be talking about years from now is actually not yet on anybody’s list.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:THE DELTA 2-HEAVY ROCKET BLASTS OFF WITH GLAST VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD 17B WIDE-SCREEN CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD 17A LOOKING SOUTHWARD VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE UCS-23 WEST TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: TRIDENT BLUFF LOCATION VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CCAFS INDUSTRIAL AREA VIDEO:ROLLBACK OF PAD’S MOBILE SERVICE TOWER VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:DELTA 2’S PRE-LAUNCH CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS VIDEO:GLAST’S PRE-LAUNCH CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS NEW!:STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. 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The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.New American engine allows Delta 4 to ‘defeat gravity’SPACEFLIGHT NOW

  21. Posted: April 18, 2006T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The four ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:04.7Ground SRM BurnoutThe ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:22.5Jettison Ground SRMsThe spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.T+04:26.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:35.0Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.T+04:40.5Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the CALIPSO and CloudSat spacecraft into the proper orbit.T+04:45.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the satellites atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+11:15.2Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached CALIPSO and CloudSat spacecraft spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 434 miles at apogee, 115 miles at perigee and inclined 98.08 degrees.T+59:59.5Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit’s perigee.T+60:11.6Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 12-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 436 miles at apogee, 427 miles at perigee and inclined 98.2 degrees.T+62:24.0CALIPSO SeparationThe joint U.S. and French Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) spacecraft is released from the Delta 2 rocket.T+95:19.0DPAF Jettisonthe Dual Payload Attach Fitting — the barrel-like structure that supported CALIPSO during launch and enclosed CloudSat — is opened up by jettisoning the top portion.T+96:39.0CloudSat SeparationNASA’s CloudSat spacecraft is released from the Delta 2 rocket to complete the launch.Data source: Boeing.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 322 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  22. Posted: November 12, 2006T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-16 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:57.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-16 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:48.1Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-16 spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 111 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 37.5 degrees.T+62:29.2Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a brief firing that will raise the orbit’s high point.T+63:11.7Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down. The orbit achieved should be 670 miles at apogee, 103 miles at perigee and inclined 37.95 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+64:04.7Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+64:41.7Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is ignited to deliver the GPS 2R-16 satellite into its intended orbit around Earth.T+66:08.4Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-16.T+68:01.7GPS 2R-16 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-16 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 104 nautical miles inclined 40 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit and raise inclination to 55 degrees for joining the GPS constellation.Data source: Boeing.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-17 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  23. By precisely measuring the distance between the two spacecraft as they orbit the moon — and thus the subtle effects of the moon’s gravity as they sail over visible and sub-surface geologic structures — scientists will be able to determine the nature of the moon’s enigmatic core and perhaps confirm or refute theories about how the moon formed some 4.5 billion years ago.”There have been many missions that have gone to the moon, orbited the moon, landed on the moon, brought back samples of the moon,” said Maria Zuber, principal investigator of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory — GRAIL — mission. “But the missing piece of the puzzle in trying to understand the moon is what the deep interior is like.”Is there a core? How did the core form? How did the interior convect? What are the impact basins on the near-side flooded with magma and give us this man-in-the-moon shape whereas the back side of the moon doesn’t have any of this? These are all mysteries that despite the fact we’ve studied the moon before, we don’t understand how that has happened. GRAIL is a mission that is going to tell us that.”It also may help inspire school kids to take more of an interest in science. Each satellite is equipped with four cameras sponsored by former shuttle astronaut Sally Ride’s science education company that can be used by students around the world to photograph the lunar surface.”While GRAIL is performing its gravitational experiments, MoonKam will serve as eyes on the moon for Earth’s students,” said Leesa Hubbard, teacher in residence with Sally Ride Science. “And how they will do that is through the use of these cameras.”This program is available at no cost to schools, and students are going to be able to take their very own photos. This is what’s going to make the difference. We know there are lots of images of the moon out there, but this gives students their own ownership of that.”High winds aloft forced the NASA launch team to pass up two one-second launch windows Thursday and concern about a heater that ran longer than expected during detanking prompted another 24-hour slip.More high winds Saturday forced NASA to pass up the first of two more “instantaneous” launch windows, but a final weather balloon showed conditions were acceptable and at 9:08:52 a.m. EDT (GMT-4), the Delta 2 roared to life and vaulted away from complex 17B at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.It was the 110th and final planned flight of a Delta 2 from Cape Canaveral and while ULA has enough hardware on hand to build a final five medium-lift Delta 2s, any future flights of the workhorse rocket almost certainly will be launched from the West Coast.As such, the GRAIL launch marked the end of an era after more than 22 years of memorable Delta 2 flights, including 49 Global Positioning System navigation satellites and all of NASA’s recent Mars missions, including the enormously successful Spirit and Opportunity rovers.Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now Saturday’s launching was virtually flawless and one hour and 20 minutes after liftoff, the GRAIL-A satellite was released from the Delta 2’s second stage, followed a few minutes later by GRAIL-B. Both spacecraft will follow looping 2.6-million-mile trajectories to the moon, a low-energy approach that allowed the use of a less expensive, medium-lift rocket.”If you leave Earth and go barreling to the moon, you need a lot of fuel to slow down (and get into lunar orbit),” said Zuber. “We (wanted) to use small spacecraft with small fuel tanks.”So as a consequence of that, we use something called a low-energy trajectory where we go out to a point called the Earth-sun Lagrange point (a million miles from Earth). So we take three-and-a-half to four months to get the moon. In addition to saving fuel, what this allows to happen is these two spacecraft will arrive at the Moon on the same day no matter what day in the launch window we launch.”The round-about journey also will allow time for the GRAIL spacecraft to “outgas,” or lose trapped particles that might otherwise impart a small but measurable force on the satellites later that could be confused for gravitational effects.The flight plan calls for the GRAIL-A spacecraft to brake into an elliptical 11.5-hour orbit around the moon’s poles on New Year’s Eve with GRAIL-B following the next day. Over the next two months, flight controllers will carefully maneuver the two satellites into the same circular orbit at an altitude of about 34 miles.If all goes well, science operations will begin around March 8. Flying in formation at distances ranging from about 46 to 140 miles, the two spacecraft will send radio pulses and timing signals back and forth to precisely measure the distance between them.Sailing over buried mass concentrations, craters, mountain ranges, basins and other geologic features, the satellites will ever so slightly speed up and slow down, one after the other. The ranging system is accurate enough to detect differences of as little as one micron, or the width of a red blood cell.By carefully analyzing those changes, scientists can determine the distribution of mass within the moon to gain insights into its hidden interior structure and the nature of its core.”Grail, simply put, is a journey to the center of the moon,” said Ed Weiler, NASA’s associate administrator of space science. “It will probe the interior of the moon and map its gravity field 100 to 1,000 times better than ever before. We will learn more about the interior of the moon with GRAIL than all previous lunar missions combined.”The satellites “will monitor the distance between each other and as the first satellite goes over a higher mass concentration, or higher gravity, it will speed up slightly. And that will increase the distance. Then as the second satellite goes over, that distance will close again. That’s how it actually maps the gravitational field of the moon and it’ll do that over the course of three months. And it’ll do a complete map three times over those three months.”The altitude and separation distance will be based on the size of features scientists plan to target.”The separation distance is what we call tuning for what wavelength gravity field you’re after,” said Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist. “So if you want to see, gravitationally small features, craters, mountains, you want to be close to each other and low. But if you want to see global features, such as the core of the moon that we’re after, then you want to be high and separate from each other.”The three-month science mission is sandwiched between eclipses in December and June. The solar-powered satellites are not expected to survive the latter and flight controllers expect the spacecraft will lose power and eventually crash.But by that point, GRAIL’s mission will be complete, and the results are expected to be a giant leap for lunar research. A major objective is to confirm or rule out theories about the moon’s formation and evolution and, by extension, improve understanding of the early histories of other terrestrial planets.”We’ve used gravity science before to try to gain some insight as to what’s going on inside the moon,” said Asmar. “However, these have been very primitive attempts compared to what GRAIL will be able to accomplish. If those previous attempts could be likened to a magnifying glass, GRAIL, by contrast, would be a high-powered microscope.”Researchers believe the moon formed at the dawn of the solar system when a Mars-size planet crashed into Earth, blowing off a huge amount of material that later coalesced to form the satellite we see today.Recent computer simulations suggest a second body, about a third the size of the moon, may have bumped into the still-forming world and stuck in place, explaining the rugged terrain seen on the moon’s far side and the lack of magma-filled basins like those visible on the near side.The nature of the core is a major factor in the moon’s evolution. Based on previous missions and on-going Earth-based observations, scientists believe the moon has a solid inner core, possibly surrounded by a liquid layer, a thick mantle and a relatively thin crust. But proving that is another matter.”We actually don’t have direct evidence that the moon is made up this way,” Asmar said. “So we’re trying to answer the core question. … If there’s a liquid layer, it becomes a lubricant between two solid pieces and allows them independent motion. We can detect that by time-varying gravity, basically how the gravity field changes by a function of time.”Along with shedding light on the moon’s history, GRAIL also will help future spacecraft avoid unseen pitfalls.”Knowing the gravity field will allow future landed assets, manned, unmanned, to do that much more safely,” Asmar said. “Sometimes below the surface there are mass concentrations. When you look at the topography, it looks flat and you’d think the gravity is average, but there’s actually an embedded object beneath surface that would pull the landed asset and destroy it if it’s not well understood in advance.”Said Zuber: “On the moon, after GRAIL … if you want to land right next to a particular outcrop, you’re going to be able to do it. There will be no reason to do another gravity experiment to the moon in any of our lifetimes. If there’s a particular sample return that we want to do, a particular reconnaissance in a particular area of the moon, you will be able to go exactly there and get it done.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:THE FULL LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:ONBOARD ROCKET CAMERA: GRAIL-A DEPLOYED VIDEO:ONBOARD ROCKET CAMERA: GRAIL-B DEPLOYED VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:GRAIL LAUNCH AS SEEN LIVE! VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD 17A CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD 17B CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: BACKSIDE CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: NORTHSIDE CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: JETTY PARK VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AFB VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE 1 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: KSC TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: TRIDENT BLUFF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS 23 TRACKER VIDEO:AERIAL VIEWS OF HISTORIC COMPLEX 17 VIDEO:FIRST LAUNCH ATTEMPT IS SCRUBBED VIDEO:MOBILE SERVICE GANTRY ROLLED BACK VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE OF TOWER RETRACTION VIDEO:GRAIL’S PRE-LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:ROCKET’S PRE-LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:GRAIL PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR INTERVIEW VIDEO:PREVIEW OF DELTA 2-HEAVY ROCKET’S ASCENT VIDEO:LEARN ABOUT GRAIL’S SCIENCE GOALS VIDEO:THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:PRE-FLIGHT MISSION INTRODUCTION BRIEFING VIDEO:GRAIL’S ROADMAP TO THE MOON VIDEO:DELTA/GRAIL LAUNCH ANIMATION VIDEO:GRAIL LUNAR MAPPING ANIMATION VIDEO:HOW GRAVITY MEASUREMENTS ARE MADE VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET’S NOSE CONE INSTALLED VIDEO:GRAIL MOVES TO ROCKET’S LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:SECOND SATELLITE PUT ON LAUNCH DEPLOYER VIDEO:FIRST SATELLITE PUT ON LAUNCH DISPENSER VIDEO:SOLAR ARRAYS UNFURLED FOR CHECK VIDEO:SATELLITES READY TO START TESTING VIDEO:UNBOXING THE SPACECRAFT AT ASTROTECH VIDEO:SATELLITES UNLOADED FROM TRANSPORT PLANE VIDEO:GRAIL SPACECRAFT TOUCH DOWN IN FLORIDA VIDEO:ROCKET’S SECOND STAGE INSTALLED VIDEO:SECOND STAGE CARTED TO COMPLEX 17 VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS ATTACHED VIDEO:READYING THE FIRST SET OF BOOSTERS VIDEO:ON-PAD ASSEMBLY OF ROCKET UNDERWAY VIDEO:GANTRY HOISTS FIRST STAGE VERTICALLY VIDEO:FIRST STAGE ARRIVES AT THE PAD STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!Delta 4-Heavy launchThe first operational Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches the final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite for the Air Force.STS-76: In reviewThe STS-76 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that launched Shannon Lucid to the Russian space station Mir.STS-75: In reviewThe STS-75 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that saw the tethered satellite suddenly break free from the shuttle.STS-72: In reviewThe STS-72 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that retrieved a Japanese satellite.STS-122: In reviewThe STS-122 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered Europe’s Columbus module to the space station.STS-100: In reviewThe STS-100 astronauts narrate highlights from the April 2001 mission that installed the station’s Canadian robot arm.STS-102: In reviewThe STS-102 astronauts narrate highlights from the March 2001 mission that conducted the first ISS resident crew exchange.Launching on the shuttleVideo cameras on the boosters and tank, plus a cockpit camera show what the shuttle and its astronauts experience during the trek to space.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!Delta 4-Heavy launchThe first operational Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches the final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite for the Air Force.STS-76: In reviewThe STS-76 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that launched Shannon Lucid to the Russian space station Mir.STS-75: In reviewThe STS-75 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that saw the tethered satellite suddenly break free from the shuttle.STS-72: In reviewThe STS-72 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that retrieved a Japanese satellite.STS-122: In reviewThe STS-122 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered Europe’s Columbus module to the space station.STS-100: In reviewThe STS-100 astronauts narrate highlights from the April 2001 mission that installed the station’s Canadian robot arm.STS-102: In reviewThe STS-102 astronauts narrate highlights from the March 2001 mission that conducted the first ISS resident crew exchange.STS-123 landingShuttle Endeavour returned from space with a night landing March 26 at Kennedy Space Center.STS-123 day 1 highlightsThe highlights from shuttle Endeavour’s launch day are packaged into this movie.Launching on the shuttleVideo cameras on the boosters and tank, plus a cockpit camera show what the shuttle and its astronauts experience during the trek to space. STS-120: In reviewThe STS-120 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered the station’s Harmony module and moved the P6 power truss.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!Delta 4-Heavy launchThe first operational Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches the final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite for the Air Force.STS-76: In reviewThe STS-76 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that launched Shannon Lucid to the Russian space station Mir.STS-75: In reviewThe STS-75 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that saw the tethered satellite suddenly break free from the shuttle.STS-72: In reviewThe STS-72 astronauts narrate highlights from the 1996 mission that retrieved a Japanese satellite.STS-122: In reviewThe STS-122 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered Europe’s Columbus module to the space station.STS-100: In reviewThe STS-100 astronauts narrate highlights from the April 2001 mission that installed the station’s Canadian robot arm.STS-102: In reviewThe STS-102 astronauts narrate highlights from the March 2001 mission that conducted the first ISS resident crew exchange.STS-123 landingShuttle Endeavour returned from space with a night landing March 26 at Kennedy Space Center.STS-123 day 1 highlightsThe highlights from shuttle Endeavour’s launch day are packaged into this movie.Launching on the shuttleVideo cameras on the boosters and tank, plus a cockpit camera show what the shuttle and its astronauts experience during the trek to space. STS-120: In reviewThe STS-120 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered the station’s Harmony module and moved the P6 power truss.Gallery: Debut launch of Delta 4-Heavy rocket Posted: December 21, 2004 The Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches from Cape Canaveral on its test flight. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Gallery: Launch of GPS 2R-15The Boeing Delta 2 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s pad 17A at 2:50 p.m. September 25 carrying the GPS 2R-15 navigation satellite.Photo credit: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET LIFTS OFF WITH GPS 2R-15 VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:MORNING PAD TOWER ROLLBACK Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Gallery: Launch of GPS 2R-16The first two images below were taken by sound-activated cameras at pad 17A. The other photos were taken from Kennedy Space Center’s space shuttle press site. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Photo credit: U.S. Air Force Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now Our view of the launch from inside the Spaceflight Now office at Kennedy Space Center. Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now Photo credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowVideo coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:THE DELTA 2 ROCKET LIFTS OFF WITH GPS 2R-16 VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN LAUNCH MOVIE FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:WEDNESDAY’S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:GPS SATELLITE ANIMATION VIDEO:MOST RECENT GPS LAUNCH FROM SEPT. 25 Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Gallery: Photographers set up launch pad cameras Posted: December 11, 2004 Photographers hurry to set up their sound-activated cameras around launch pad 37B before dawn December 11 as the countdown entered its final hours to liftoff of the Delta 4-Heavy rocket. Aviation Week photographer Bill Hartenstein is seen here putting out one of his six cameras. Photos: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.SFN+ Hi-DefExperience the space program like never before in stunning high definition video!LRO and LCROSSNASA’s new lunar orbiter and impactor experiment are being prepped for launch in May.Delta 4 and GOES OA Delta 4 rocket has rolled out to launch a new geostationary weather satellite.Current shuttle videoShuttle Discovery is being prepped for its STS-119 mission planned to launch in February.Shuttle mission STS-126High definition from orbit! New clips from Endeavour’s mission to the space station.From the vaultHistorical footage from the early days of the space program.Shuttle mission STS-124High definition footage of Discovery’s launch and landing on a mission to deliver Japan’s science lab to the space station.The GLAST launchThe countdown and launch for NASA’s GLAST gamma ray observatory.Geosynchronous orbit surveillance set to launchSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: July 20, 2014 CAPE CANAVERAL — Twin inspector spacecraft and a microsatellite testbed will share a Delta 4 rocket ride into space Wednesday evening from Cape Canaveral. Credit: ULA videoThe 205-foot-tall United Launch Alliance booster rocket is scheduled for liftoff at 7:03 p.m. EDT (2303 GMT) from Complex 37.The countdown begins with final preparations to retract the 33-story mobile service gantry away from the Delta 4 rocket. Once the tower is pulled back around 11 a.m. EDT, pad configuration steps will be completed before the site is cleared of all workers.Fueling, which begins in the early afternoon, is a multi-hour process will load the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks on both stages of the rocket.Once clocks enter the last phase of the countdown at T-minus 4 minutes, the vehicle will be armed, pressurized and placed on internal battery power.In the final 15 seconds of the count, the radial outward-firing ignitors, or ROFIs, will be triggered beneath the main engine to burn away excess hydrogen and the terminal countdown sequencer rack, or TCSR, will assume control of the last 10 seconds.The main engine will begin its ignition sequence start at T-minus 5 seconds. Flowing hydrogen through the engine for cooling, the fuel will strike the ROFIs and create the trademark Delta 4 fireball. Photo credit: Walter Scriptunas II / Once the engine is up and running at full thrust, it passes a pre-planned health check and the solid strap-on boosters are commanded to light at T-0 for liftoff on 1.2 million pounds of thrust.The three swing arms will pull away as the rocket ascends from the launch pad, then executes pitch and yaw maneuvers to obtain the proper heading and minimize aerodynamic stresses on the vehicle.Delta pushes through Mach 1 in 47 seconds and the region of maximum air pressure at 59 seconds as the RS-68 main engine consumes liquid hydrogen and supercold liquid oxygen. The twin solid motors burn out at 94 seconds and jettison at 100 seconds.Approaching main engine cutoff four minutes into flight, the vehicle is burning propellants at a rate of 1,000 pounds per second. The first stage propels the Delta to 11,000 mph over 80 miles in altitude and 200 miles downrange of the launch pad before the Common Booster Core stage separates, the upper stage lights and the payload shroud jettisons.The rocket then goes into a news blackout.But the final destination: geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the planet.It will take several hours and work by the rocket’s cryogenic upper stage to reach the high ground to deploy the two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program, or GSSAP, satellites and release ANGELS, a microsatellite riding a ring-like adapter below the primary passengers.Together, the two different projects make up the Air Force Space Command mission No. 4, a once-classified flight until GSSAP was unveiled to the public by AFSPC commander William Shelton in February.”The GSSAP will uniquely contribute to timely and accurate orbital predictions, enhancing our knowledge of the geosynchronous orbit environment and further enabling spaceflight safety to include satellite collision avoidance. ANGELS, a microsatellite, is designed to achieve a high level of safety and experimental flexibility,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA’s vice president for Atlas and Delta programs.All three satellites were built by Orbital Sciences. Credit: ULAGSSAP will fly one satellite just below and its twin just above the geosynchronous satellite belt where spacecraft match the Earth’s rotation and appear fixed above a certain spot along the equator on the globe.”From that unique vantage point they will survey objects in the GEO belt and allow us both to track known objects and debris and to monitor potential threats that may be aimed at this critically important region,” said Douglas Loverro, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, at the Department of Defense.”In short, threats can no longer hide in deep space.”It is where the U.S. military operates a number of critical communications, missile warning and reconnaissance platforms, making it key to tracking man-made objects for U.S. Strategic Command and characterizing threats in that orbit.”Up in geosynchronous orbit, 22,300 miles up in space, some of our most precious satellites fly in that orbit. The reason they’re there obviously is to be able to look down and surveil vast pieces of the Earth and also provide communications support,” said Shelton. “It is capability in existential circumstances for the United States. The President will rely on these for information that he needs and to provide communications out to the forces he needs to get to.”But because our assets in GEO are so valuable, we’ve been building additional space surveillance capability over that orbital regime in any number of ways,” said Shelton.”The electro-optical payload on GSSAP gives us very close-up neighborhood watch capability that helps prevent surprise, and that protects our assets in GEO.”In 2010, the Air Force launched the Space Based Space Surveillance satellite that flies in low-Earth orbit but can track some geosynchronous objects.”This satellite brings persistence and timeliness to our GEO coverage that isn’t available from ground-based sensors or from ground-based radars or optical sensors or from our low Earth orbiting satellites. We must continue the unique capability of SBSS and build the follow-on program to sustain the capability,” said Shelton.But adding the GSSAP will put inspectors at the geosynchronous belt itself. Credit: USAF”This neighborhood watch program will complement our ground based sensors and our SBSS by producing (space situation awareness) data from a unique perspective not achievable by sensors some 22,000 miles away,” said Shelton.”To bring all this data together we are building a new system at the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. And the JSpOC Mission System will give us a much better capability to be proactive versus reactive in Space.”We are really data rich, but we don’t have the system that can ingest disparate data from all kinds of sensors, fuse it together, bring all source intelligence into the picture; bring things like missile defense radars into the space surveillance realm, telescopes from around the world. The JSpOC Mission System will give us that capability to do this and to do it very well in a high performance computing environment.”Shelton added that the Air Force routinely tracks about 23,000 objects on a daily basis. “There are some 500,000 objects in space, so a big traffic management problem and a big threat to fragile spacecraft,” he said.Co-passenger ANGELS is a technology testbed from the Air Force Research Laboratory. Officially called the Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space, the microsatellite will demonstrate autopilot space situational awareness in geosynchronous orbit. Credit: USAFANGELS, will fly above the GPS constellation but use those positioning signals to test maneuverability around the spent Delta 4 upper stage. It’s also equipped with a space situational awareness sensor payload “to evaluate techniques for detection, tracking and characterizing of space objects, as well as, attribution of actions in space,” according to the AFRL fact sheet.The launch will be the 368th for a Delta rocket, the 27th Delta 4 and the 12th to fly in the Medium+ (4,2) configuration with a pair of strap-on solid motors. For United Launch Alliance, it is the company’s 33rd flight for the Air Force and the 85th launch overall since 2006.For tips on taking pictures of the launch, see our . For details on where the best spots are to see the launch, see the .And if you will be away from your computer but would like to receive occasional updates, sign up for our to get text message updates sent to your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting “follow spaceflightnow” to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)About the authorJustin Ray has been a reporter with Spaceflight Now since the website’s inception in November 1999. The online news service, based at Cape Canaveral, has documented U.S. and international space news with a specialty of live launch coverage.Prior to that, Justin worked for two years as an aerospace reporter at the Florida Today newspaper and its pioneering Space Online website. He began his career as an intern at Patrick Air Force Base’s public affairs office in 1996 and wrote for the Missileer base newspaper.The Ohio native has covered 134 Delta rocket launches, 94 Atlas flights, 65 space shuttle missions, 46 Pegasus launches and the entire construction of the International Space Station, plus scientific spacecraft such as the Mars rovers and Cassini. He attended college at the University of Central Florida and now resides in Viera, Florida.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Global weather-tracking satellite to launch mid-week SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 8, 2005Taking the pulse of our planet’s health and detecting clues needed for weather forecasts have been the chief tasks for Earth-orbiting weather observatories over the past four decades, and that legacy will be extended this week when the latest spacecraft blasts off from California. Workers install the first half of the Delta rocket’s nose cone around NOAA-N at the launch pad last week. Photo: Russ Underwood/Lockheed MartinThe NOAA-N satellite is slated for liftoff at 1022 GMT (6:22 a.m. EDT; 3:22 a.m. PDT) from Space Launch Complex-2 West at Vandenberg Air Force Base atop a Boeing-built Delta 2 rocket.”When it launches, NOAA-N will not only be our eyes above the Earth, but our eyes into the future,” said Gregory Withee, assistant administrator for the NOAA Satellite and Information Service.”Because it will strengthen our understanding about what the environment around the world is doing, not just here in the U.S., NOAA-N will bring us one step closer to truly global coverage of Earth’s complex processes,” added NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr.The 3,130-pound spacecraft — to be renamed NOAA-18 once safely in orbit — is the fourth in the current series of five Polar Operational Environmental Satellites with improved imaging and atmospheric sounding capabilities that will operate to the end of this decade. The program has a heritage that dates back to the dawn of the space program.After entering service later this summer, the Lockheed Martin-made satellite will replace an aging sister-craft, NOAA-16, launched in September 2000, ensuring an uninterrupted flow of data such as imagery, temperature measurements and atmospheric profiles that are the building blocks of weather forecasts.”Today, satellites provide more than 99 percent of the observations used in NOAA’s operational weather and climate prediction numerical model runs. Recognizing that, we can’t understate the importance of satellite data in the success of these forecast models,” said Louis Uccellini, director of the NOAA Centers for Environmental Prediction.”Since NOAA-N will be operational by late summer, it will help us to develop the outlook for the upcoming fall and winter.”The satellites also build long-term databases for climate monitoring and global change studies. “Data from NOAA’s polar-orbiting satellites are essential to the success of our weather and seasonal forecasts and El Nino and La Nina forecasts,” said Uccellini.While meteorologists use the data gathered by the craft to generate weather predictions, agricultural scientists need the information for drought management and monitoring vegetation and soil moisture, and the aviation community uses NOAA satellites to detect and track volcanic ash plumes and re-route aircraft as needed.This newest spacecraft becomes the catalyst to developing the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, Withee said.”GEOSS was established by an agreement signed by 60 nations just recently, including the United States and European Commission. (The program) commits to linking existing environmental monitoring technology into one system to better predict a whole host of issues to the benefit to mankind, including weather, climate and natural catastrophe,” he said.”The challenge before us is to connect with scientific dots and technology dots an integrated, international, comprehensive Global Earth Observation System of Systems so that we have a complete picture of the global environment. NOAA satellites, including NOAA-N, will play a significant role.” This illustration depicts a NOAA polar-orbiting weather satellite in space. Photo: NASALike its predecessors, NOAA-N is fitted with the international Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking System, called COSPAS-SARSAT. Over the past 23 years, spacecraft equipped to hear distress signals from emergency beacons are credited with saving almost 5,000 people in the United States, and more than 18,000 worldwide.In the first four months of 2005, NOAA said 36 people were rescued in the U.S. thanks to the vital link between the satellites and beacons carried by airplanes, boats and hikers. Last year, Alaska had the most rescues, with 37, while Florida had 36.”These beacons help save lives,” Withee said. “As temperatures get warmer, and outdoor activities increase in remote areas — where cell phones don’t work — having one of these emergency beacons is a good safety practice.””Beacons remain one of the most reliable means of signaling a distress to search and rescue personnel,” said Lieutenant Commander Jay Dell from the Coast Guard’s Office of Search and Rescue. “The timeliness and accuracy of SARSAT alerts are extremely valuable to search and rescue planning and response.”The weather satellites detect a beacon’s transmission and alert ground controllers in Suitland, Maryland. From there, the signal is forwarded to a Rescue Coordination Center operated by the U.S. Coast Guard for maritime emergencies or the Air Force for land search and rescue situations, according to NOAA.Wednesday’s launch will mark the first NOAA weather satellite to ride a Delta 2 rocket into space. Recent spacecraft in the series flew aboard refurbished Titan 2 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that were originally built to carry nuclear bombs.The Titans lacked the necessary thrust to deliver the satellites into their 540-mile high orbits. In fact, the Cold War relics deployed the satellites on sub-orbital trajectories, forcing the craft to carry onboard solid-fueled kick motors to generate the critical final boost to achieve orbit.”There is tremendous benefit for using the Delta 2 because the Delta 2 is a rocket that was specifically designed to deliver a satellite to orbit. That is what we are getting from the Delta 2. Previously, we launched on rockets that were trying to deliver weapons,” said Karen Halterman, NASA POES project manager at Goddard Space Flight Center.”Once we separated from the Titan, we had to have our own solid rocket motor to fly the satellite into orbit. It is risky and excessive. So we believe that the reliability of NOAA-N is much improved by going to a Delta 2, which is a very proven launch vehicle.”NOAA-N is the 119th flight of the workhorse Delta 2 rocket, which debuted in 1989. The booster has performed successfully for the past 63 consecutive launches since 1997 and 116 times overall in its history.The construction of NOAA weather satellites, getting them launched into space and performing the initial on-orbit checkout falls under NASA’s responsibility. Control of the spacecraft is handed from the civilian space agency to NOAA about three weeks after liftoff. The NOAA-N mission is valued at $341 million, which includes $160 million for the satellite structure, $71 million for the instruments and $65 million for the Delta 2 rocket.You can follow Wednesday’s early morning countdown and the ascent to orbit in our live .Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GOES launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  24. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: November 20, 2004CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA launched a $250 million quick-response satellite today to study enigmatic gamma ray flashes from brief-but-titanic deep space explosions that may be the “death cries” of massive stars imploding to form black holes. The Delta 2 rocket ignites on pad 17A. Photo: Carleton Bailie/BoeingThe Swift satellite’s 126-foot-tall Boeing Delta 2 rocket roared to life at 12:16 p.m. and quickly thundered away through a mostly clear sky. Arcing east over the Atlantic Ocean, the slender rocket put on a spectacular sky show for area residents and tourists as it climbed away toward space.It will take engineers about a month to check out and calibrate the satellite’s three gamma ray, X-ray and optical telescopes before scientific observations can begin. If all goes well, Swift will detect at least 200 gamma ray bursts during its two-year primary mission.Discovered during the Cold War by U.S. military spy satellites on the lookout for Soviet nuclear activity, gamma ray bursts are among the most perplexing phenomena in modern astronomy, the most powerful explosions since the big bang birth of the universe.”Every aspect of gamma ray bursts boggles the mind,” said principal investigator Neil Gehrels. “They’re very short flashes of gamma rays that last just a few seconds. But they’re very bright. They’re the brightest thing in the gamma ray sky when they’re going off.”If you had gamma ray vision, it would be like sitting in a dark room with a flash bulb going off a few times a day. They’re that bright.”So bright, in fact, they briefly shine with the intensity of a billion billion suns before quickly fading from view.”In scientific terms, it’s 10 to the power 52 ergs,” Gehrels said at a pre-launch news conference. “To put that into perspective, it’s more energy coming out in this short flash of gamma rays than the sun emits in its entire lifetime, billions of years, at all wavelength bands.”How can you possibly make so much energy in such a short amount of time? We don’t really know,” he said.Because gamma ray bursts appear so bright and evolve so rapidly, astronomers initially thought whatever was producing them must be relatively nearby, somewhere within or around the Milky Way galaxy. But satellite observations in the mid 1990s showed the bursts were, in fact, extra-galactic, occurring at extremely remote distances.That meant the explosions that produce the gamma rays must be truly titanic by even astronomical standards.”It’s only about seven years ago that astronomers learned that gamma ray bursts were not local but they came from outside of our galaxy, that they were, in fact, cosmic events, not local events,” said Anne Kinney, a senior science manager at agency headquarters. “People were very resistant to this idea because that immediately implied that they were immensely powerful events.”So powerful, they may have played a role in the evolution of life on Earth and on other planets throughout the cosmos.”If a gamma ray burst occurred within a few thousand light years of Earth, it would strip the atmosphere off,” Gehrels said. While the possibility of such a nearby detonation is extremely small, “it may have happened once during the time that there was life on Earth, perhaps not.””But it is still a very interesting question because whenever a gamma ray burst goes off, there are presumably stars with planets around it and those planets do have the atmosphere stripped off,” he said. “And so we can think about how many planets there are with life on them and how long life lasts in the context of both asteroid extinctions and gamma ray bursts. So it is a factor in terms of life-forming planets.”Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET BLASTS OFF WITH SWIFT VIDEO:COCOA BEACH TRACKING CAMERA VIDEO OF LAUNCH VIDEO:CAMCORDER VIEW OF LAUNCH FROM CAPE PRESS SITE VIDEO:ONBOARD ROCKET CAMERA SHOWS NOSE CONE JETTISON VIDEO:ONBOARD ROCKET CAMERA SHOWS DEPLOYMENT OF SWIFT VIDEO:MOBILE SERVICE TOWER ROLLED BACK BEFORE DAWN VIDEO:SWIFT’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN SHOWN WITH NARRATION VIDEO:ENTIRE ON-PAD ASSEMBLY OF ROCKET WITH NARRATION Gathering data to help scientists figure out what causes such unimaginable explosions is the goal of the Swift satellite, an international spacecraft equipped with three telescopes and computer software capable of spotting bursts and quickly repositioning the spacecraft to observe the afterglow before it fades from view.It’s that quick response that sets Swift apart from all earlier efforts to study gamma ray bursts. To appreciate the problem, consider Gehrels’ flashbulb analogy. Imagine sitting in a dark room, instruments at the ready, to study the light from flashbulbs popping off randomly around you. By the time you could aim your instruments in the direction of any given flash, it would have faded from view.But the appropriately named Swift is up to the challenge, equipped with six oversized, spinning reaction wheels that can be spun up or down on computer command to quickly reorient the spacecraft in time to observe the afterglow of a burst.The initial detection of a burst will be made by the wide-field Burst Alert Telescope, built by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Then, after the satellite has been reoriented, the afterglow will be studied in detail by the X-ray Telescope built by Penn State University, the University of Leicester and Italy’s Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera. The radiation also will be captured by the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope, built by Penn State and the Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Britain. The satellite itself was built by Spectrum Astro.”Swift is just the right tool needed to solve this mystery,” Gehrels said. “One of Swift’s instruments will detect the burst, while, within a minute, two higher-resolution telescopes will be swung around for an in-depth look. Meanwhile, Swift will ‘e-mail’ scientists and telescopes around the world to observe the burst in real-time.”Along with alerting large ground-based observatories and other space telescopes to an evolving burst, Swift’s own instruments will spectroscopically analyze the radiation to shed light on the processes that created it.One possibility is the collision of two ultra-dense neutron stars or a black hole and a neutron star. But the most compelling theory holds that bursts are generated when super massive stars run out of nuclear fuel and collapse to form black holes.”When black holes form, there’s a lot of mass, gas that falls down into the black hole and creates it,” Gehrels said. “That gravitational potential energy is the source of the energy that powers these gamma ray bursts in this model of black hole origin. So it’s gravitational energy that we’re collecting.”Of course, you think about black holes as just swallowing light and light can’t come out. But as the gas flows down into the black hole and creates it, it gets extremely hot and a significant (amount of radiation) is emitted. We don’t know exactly how that would come out, shooting out as gamma rays, but that’s one of the things we want to learn with Swift.”Stars maintain their equilibrium by balancing the inward pull of gravity with the outward pressure of thermal radiation produced by nuclear fusion in the core.When the fuel in a star’s core is exhausted, gravity dominates and the core contracts. Eventually, the pressure in the core or surrounding layers becomes so extreme that heavier elements begin fusing and equilibrium is briefly restored.What happens after that depends on the star’s original mass. When average-size stars like the sun finally exhaust their fuel, fusion stops and they contract to a point where quantum mechanical effects prevent further collapse. But the density in the core is not high enough to support continued fusion. The result is a slowly cooling white dwarf.For more massive stars, those quantum effects cannot offset gravity and the collapse continues until protons and electrons are crushed together and yet another quantum effect kicks in to prevent further contraction The result is an ultra-dense, ultra-compact neutron star.But for super massive stars, even those atomic forces are not enough to stop gravity. The result in those cases, astronomers believe, is a black hole, a so-called singularity that effectively vanishes from the known universe.”The black hole is actually formed in a very short collapse,” Gehrels said. “And at that same time that it’s being formed, the gamma rays come out. It’s almost simultaneous. But essentially, the black hole’s first and then the gamma rays are shooting out.”Super massive stars burn their nuclear fuel much faster than smaller stars like the sun and many of the gamma ray bursts observed to date occurred in the remote past among the first generations of stars to form after the big bang.”Gamma ray bursts happen throughout the universe,” Gehrels said. “And the reason we’re seeing them at these great distances is because the average galaxy is billions of light years distant from us. Early in the universe, there may have been more massive stars forming. The purported population 3 stars that scientists think formed (early), those could have produced larger gamma ray bursts or a higher fraction of those stars may have made gamma ray bursts. But we don’t really know for sure.”There may have been more in the early universe than there are now. But in general, any place where there’s star formation going on, even in this epoch in galaxies nearby us, you can produce massive stars and make gamma ray bursts. So this happens throughout the universe.”Swift’s launch originally was scheduled for October, but the flight was delayed in the wake of three hurricanes that blew through Florida and by a longer-than-expected campaign to launch a Delta navigation satellite from an adjacent pad. Launch this week slipped three more days because of trouble with the rocket’s self-destruct system. Liftoff today came six minutes late because of minor countdown snags.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.

  25. Posted: March 17, 2004T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-11 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:58.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-11 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:44.8Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-11 spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 108 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 36.85 degrees.T+62:30.9Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit further.T+63:10.5Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 40-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 622 miles at apogee, 101 miles at perigee and inclined 37.2 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+64:03.5Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+64:40.5Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is then ignited to complete GPS 2R-11 satellite’s delivery into its intended orbit around Earth.T+66:07.2Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-11.T+68:00.5GPS 2R-11 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-11 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 101 nautical miles inclined 39.0 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit.Data source: Boeing.Apollo patchesThe Apollo Patch Collection: Includes all 12 Apollo mission patches plus the Apollo Program Patch. Save over 20% off the Individual price.Choose your store: – – – John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.New StationCrew PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The Expedition 38 embroidered crew patch for the International Space Station is now available in our store! | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-12 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  26. Posted: March 6, 2008T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-19 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:57.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-19 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:48.1Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-19 spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 111 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 37.5 degrees.T+62:29.2Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a brief firing that will raise the orbit’s high point.T+63:11.7Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down. The orbit achieved should be 670 miles at apogee, 103 miles at perigee and inclined 37.95 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+64:04.7Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+64:41.7Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is ignited to deliver the GPS 2R-19 satellite into its intended orbit around Earth.T+66:08.4Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-19.T+68:01.7GPS 2R-19 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-19 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 104 nautical miles inclined 40 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit and raise inclination to 55 degrees for joining the GPS constellation.Data source: ULAAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-20 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  27. I den nuvarande versionen av Arkivet ?r det ?nnu inte m?jligt att s?ka kombinationer eller avgr?nsningar av nyckelord (t.ex. person: Urho Kekkonen OCH plats: Sovjetunionen). Denna m?jlighet hoppas vi dock snart kunna erbjuda.

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