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Missile Test Creates Huge Expanding Halo of Light Over Hawaii

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the looks-like-progress dept.

The Military 93

The Bad Astronomer writes "A Minuteman III missile launch from California early Wednesday morning created a weird, expanding halo of light seen from the CFHT observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea. The third stage of the missile has ports that open and dump fuel into the near-vacuum. This cloud expands rapidly as a spherical shell, shock-exciting the air molecules and causing them to glow, creating the bizarre effect."

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93 comments

Huddled up asshole! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43799647)

Why am I near your bare asshole, you ask? Because I'm going to poke it as I please like corn on bajeebus.

Re:Huddled up asshole! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43799741)

Well, if they got a fireball on each side for hands, they could call it a goatse.

Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43799687)

I thought they outlawed above ground nuclear testing decades ago. This is a pretty obvious cover up of a small nuke and I doubt this would fool anyone.

Re: Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800025)

Which one is funny, a possibility of cover up or a story that "dumped fuel" creates a glowing halo of astronomical proportions?

Re: Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800193)

Which one is funny, a possibility of cover up or a story that "dumped fuel" creates a glowing halo of astronomical proportions?

well, if you had some basic understanding of the sky brightness @ mauna Kea, you would know that this was a very low light level event, therefore etc.....

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (4, Insightful)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year ago | (#43800085)

You can't cover up an atmospheric nuke, you can hardly even cover up an underground one. people will find out. we're good at spotting the radiation and fallout and unique shockwave if it's underground.

the rest of the world wouldn't agree to stay quiet about things

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

twisted_pare (1714106) | about a year ago | (#43800197)

Perhaps you've never heard of an EMP then. You'll knock out satellites and ground electronics for many hundreds of miles. People notice those.

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43800215)

The Experience Music Project [theinterrobang.com] ? Yeah, people definitely notice - that building is pretty darn weird...

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43802631)

Oh, FFS. This is a nerd site, not a musician site (yes, I know the two groups have some of the same menbers, I play guitar myself). Your comment is as stupid as a comment in a thread about satellites in LEO saying "what are satellites doing inside policemen?" or a computer story about a new RAM chip with a comment about Dodge pickup trucks, or something about Remote Area Medical [ramusa.org] (yeah, dumbass, I can google too).

We're nerds. Go away and leave us alone.

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43809177)

Your comment is as stupid as a comment in a thread about satellites in LEO saying "what are satellites doing inside policemen?"

We finally put the satellites where they belong?

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800089)

I thought they outlawed above ground nuclear testing decades ago. This is a pretty obvious cover up of a small nuke and I doubt this would fool anyone.

how do you find you that this is a nuke ????

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801463)

It wasn't a nuke, it was probably a target for a missile defense test. They launch a target missile from California, and attempt to shoot it down over the Pacific.

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year ago | (#43802221)

Missile defense test targets are launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, not from Vandenberg. Vandenberg is used for traditional missile systems testing, with a dummy warhead, and no THAAD/Aegis/GMD defensive testing. Also, when missile defense targets are launched, they don't use Minuteman III missiles, as they make up the current land-based nuclear deterrent force, they use mocked up missiles or decommissioned separating missiles that were part of the land-based force in the past.

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801971)

Obviously, you know NOTHING about nuclear weapons and their effects.

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43802231)

Obviously, you know NOTHING about nuclear weapons and their effects.

Obviously ? ? ? TWI....(texting while intoxicated) otherwise no clue found on /.

Re:Is this how they are covering up airbursts? (2)

artao (648799) | about a year ago | (#43803857)

This was not a nuke. The missle was unarmed. It was a flight and systems test. One thing the article fails to point out is the the fuel in the third stage is hypergolic. It is two parts, monomethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, which ignite upon contact. SO!! One can only assume that upon a fuel dump, there would be ignition which, it seems to me, would fully and totally explain this expanding cloud of glow.

Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43799695)

Now the United States will finally be able to fight off it's number 1 threat. Vampires.

Yet Another Alien Visit? (4, Funny)

jarich (733129) | about a year ago | (#43799725)

I've seen Stargate. I know this is just another lame government cover up of an alien visitation. Better check on your cows!!

Re:Yet Another Alien Visit? (2)

JWSmythe (446288) | about a year ago | (#43799763)

    It's ok, they were just jumping a meteor through the Earth... again...

Re:Yet Another Alien Visit? (3, Funny)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year ago | (#43799783)

I know this is just another lame government cover up

Don't be silly. This was the testing of a 50 year old missile platform causing a previously unseen anomoly thousands of miles from the launch site of said missile.

Re:Yet Another Alien Visit? (1)

fishybell (516991) | about a year ago | (#43799977)

I know this is just another lame government cover up

Don't be silly. This was the testing of a 50 year old missile platform causing a previously unseen anomoly thousands of miles from the launch site of said missile.

Yes, but with really intense music!

Re:Yet Another Alien Visit? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43799801)

I've seen Stargate. I know this is just another lame government cover up of an alien visitation. Better check on your cows!!

It is Valence-Time Day for space faring races. Your similar, but mangled, Valentines' day has you lopping off the reproductive parts of plants, our bonding ceremony is at the molecular level, the cow genitals are just party favors.

Re:Yet Another Alien Visit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800131)

our bonding ceremony is at the molecular level

Keel-Verezy, I presume? I'm guessing it cuts down on the divorce rate.

Re:Yet Another Alien Visit? (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | about a year ago | (#43799847)

SG1 will save us...

Re:Yet Another Alien Visit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43799993)

We [youtube.com] try to make it look like spilled rocket fuel. Just a hiccup in our cloaking device. Carry on.

Launch Rescheduled from Before? (4, Informative)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about a year ago | (#43799831)

Any bets that this is the same exercise as the launch we didn't do [slashdot.org] back in April? We wouldn't want to have North Korea have a hissy fit or anything.

Cheers,
Dave

Re:Launch Rescheduled from Before? (2)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43800583)

Yes, that's the one. While it originated at Vandenberg, technically it wasn't launched from Vandenberg. It was launched from a modified L-1011 in mid-flight.

SpaceX has its first west coast launch scheduled for July 9, launching a Canadian communications and research satellite [wikipedia.org] from Vandenberg. That's been pushed back from April, then June, to its current July 9 date. Word is it may slip again to July 20. Elon Musk has said they're going to try to execute a powered soft landing of the first stage into the ocean so they can recover it and reuse it.

After that is an NRO spy satellite currently scheduled to go up on Aug 28 on a Delta IV Heavy, which with the retirement of the Shuttles is now the biggest rocket in service in the U.S.

Re:Launch Rescheduled from Before? (2)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43800613)

Doh, mixed up the Minuteman with the Pegasus. My apologies. The Pegasus is the one launched from the L-1011, and there's one scheduled for late June.

Re:Launch Rescheduled from Before? (1)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about a year ago | (#43807451)

There was some testing done back in I think the '80s to drop launch a Minuteman from a C5A. This was back when there was the huge debate over what was then called the MX and how to base it so that the Soviets couldn't take it out with a first strike, One idea was to have nuclear armed missiles loaded on airplanes flying around so there was no possibility of a first strike. Kind of an extension of "Looking Glass" to include the weapons, too.

Cheers,
Dave

Anyone wanna bet? (5, Funny)

Smerta (1855348) | about a year ago | (#43799895)

North Korea's about to follow. They've got their best Photoshop team on the job right now!

Re:Anyone wanna bet? (1)

siddesu (698447) | about a year ago | (#43800669)

Sadly, they are just following the example set by the big boys and don't need a stinking Photoshop. I'm only hoping they won't follow that other bad example the big boys set in August of 1945.

Re:Anyone wanna bet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43805763)

Brought to you by the same team from China that gave you the floating government officials [kym-cdn.com] !

Test? (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#43799899)

Why do they need to test a Minuteman III ?

Its not a new weapon, they have been operational for around over 40 years

Re:Test? (2)

CajunArson (465943) | about a year ago | (#43799913)

"Its not a new weapon, they have been operational for around over 40 years."

Why do soldiers need to fire rifles? They aren't new weapons, they have been operational for decades.

Re:Test? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#43801205)

Why do soldiers need to fire rifles? They aren't new weapons, they have been operational for decades.

The rifles might have been around for decades but the soldiers have not; even if they had humans need practice to remain skilled.

Re:Test? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801415)

Wooosh.

Re:Test? (5, Informative)

NouberNou (1105915) | about a year ago | (#43799927)

You answered your own question. These missiles have been active for 40 years. They need to be tested to make sure they work. They go out to the missile fields and they pick a missile at random, pull it out of the silo, remove the warheads, fly it over to Vandy, install instrumentation and dummy warheads, take the crew from the field it was in and fire it down range, making sure everything works right still.

This is also one of the very few times that a crew actually gets to launch a live missile, so its an exciting exercise for them as well, so much so that the exercises are called "Glory Trip".

Anyway, pretty much everyone tests their stockpile of ICBMs and SLBMs to make sure they are working, otherwise deterrence starts to lose some of its credibility.

Furthermore, and a little dark, but think about how amazing it'd look to be in north central Canada if WW3 breaks out on a clear night and you have hundreds of these missiles going down range... The end of the world would be somewhat pretty.

Re:Test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800005)

Pull out the punch card targeting system and upgrade it with an 8088 with an optional 8087. Gotta keep the defense budge alive somehow.

Re:Test? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year ago | (#43800087)

The end of the world would be somewhat pretty.

...to the cockroaches and our new ape overlords.

Re:Test? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800575)

Don't we already have one of the latter?

Re:Test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801269)

I immediately imagined that as an opening cutscene for the next megabudget post-apocalyptic video game

Re:Test? (2)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43801341)

I find it a little morbid that this would be considered a "glory" trip, when there really is no glory in wiping out millions of innocent civilians with nuclear weapons.

Absolutely agreed (1)

waspleg (316038) | about a year ago | (#43801481)

I was thinking the same thing. America is the modern Rome, for a few more years maybe, and if I had had the mod points they would have been yours.

Re:Test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801843)

I would think there is in finally doing something you've trained for years to do and only experienced in simulations in a completely harmless context.

Get over yourself.

Re:Test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43802297)

when there really is no glory in wiping out millions of innocent civilians with nuclear weapons.

And there is no wiping out millions of innocent civilians while on a glory trip, seems like it got your seal of approval.

Re:Test? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43810967)

There is also no glory in PRETENDING to wipe out millions of innocent civilians with nuclear weapons.

Re:Test? (2)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year ago | (#43801623)

What makes you think they were testing the missile? They could be testing ABM radar, satellite launch detection sensors, penetration aids... any number of things.

Usually however they combine tests whenever possible especially in this age of sequestration.

Re:Test? (1)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#43802661)

So they can track the performance and reliability of a forty year old weapon system and make statistical projections about the performance and reliability of the fleet as a whole.

Re:Test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43803355)

Nuclear weapons have to be tested periodically to see if they still work. You see, there's tha matter of half-life to consider. After some time, the fissile (nuclear explosives) parts change into diffrernt elements whicch probably will not explode. Probably not enough of the nuclear core transmutes to prevent a nuclear explosive but given enough time it will happen. Also if a nuclear explosion does occur, it could be significantly less than what it originally was.

Re: Test? (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | about a year ago | (#43807355)

The MM III is not the test, its the target most likely. Somewhere, where it was headed, was an even bigger "show to see", just not anywhere near any telescopes you might hear reports from. If I'm right you might read something about it on the MDA website.

Cue conspiracies (4, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#43799969)

Cue conspiracy theories about alien technology and/or chemtrails in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Cue conspiracies (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about a year ago | (#43800153)

0...: Chemspheres - a new and far more sinister threat.

Re:Cue conspiracies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801633)

ChemTime-CubeTrail-Spheres for Magnetic Healing

Re:Cue conspiracies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43803409)

Are you kidding? It will not even need a coun of three.

There already is a person that claims the tornado that hit Moore, Oklohoma this week was a government conspiracy. There is no limit to what thses kooks will say!

Dump Fuel? (2)

Roachie (2180772) | about a year ago | (#43800125)

Its a solid rocket.

Re:Dump Fuel? (3, Informative)

twisted_pare (1714106) | about a year ago | (#43800185)

RTFM: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGM-30_Minuteman [wikipedia.org] "Minuteman-III introduced in the post-boost stage (“bus”) an additional liquid-fuel propulsion system rocket engine (PSRE) that is used to slightly adjust the trajectory."

Re:Dump Fuel? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43801775)

The bus is something completely different. You need the bus to guide the multiple individual RVs. This is about killing the third stage thrust.

Re:Dump Fuel? (2)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year ago | (#43800265)

The key to making a solid fueled ballistic missile is the ability to turn it off. They do that by blowing out vents on the side of motor to vent the exhaust. AKA dumping the fuel.

Re:Dump Fuel? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43801819)

But they're not actually "dumping the fuel". What they're doing is stopping the combustion process by means of an explosive decompression. It's more like stopping a campfire by opening doors into space, rather than venting a tank. The wood pile stays inside, it just stops burning. (And if the solid fuel only continues burning at a reduced rate, it can't generate any thrust anyway because there's little pressure in the chamber, and no de Laval nozzle attached to it anymore to turn it into a supersonic stream.)

Re:Dump Fuel? (2)

budgenator (254554) | about a year ago | (#43802829)

I'm sure it doesn't work that way,
1 solid rocket motor fuel burns in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere, rocket motor fuel has an oxidiser incorporated into the mixture,
  2 pressure on the forward bulkhead from the combustion and no aft bulkhead would still produce thrust due to delta pressure, just not optimum thrust.

Re:Dump Fuel? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year ago | (#43808997)

actually it does work that way. The decompression is so fast that it puts out the fuel.

Re:Dump Fuel? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about a year ago | (#43809003)

True I was giving the quick explanation of what they mean.

Re:Dump Fuel? (2)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43800309)

Yeah, I caught that as well.

Third stage, at least, has dump ports. At precise time according to flight plan, charges open vents in side of can, venting combustion gases and this abruptly ends continued boost. (Yah, I know that first stage is called boost phase, so sue me.)

Guy who thought it was fuel being dumped maybe thinks solid-fuel rockets burn from one end to the other. Obviously he doesn't understand just what solid fuel means. He was certainly too lazy to look it up (that or had a five minute deadline and little prior knowledge of rockets).

Re:Dump Fuel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43802601)

Homer Hickman at its best !

Re:Dump Fuel? (2)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#43805651)

The Minuteman III has ports in the third stage that can be blown to vent the motor case, slowing or stopping the burning of the grain, and essentially shutting down[1] the motor. It's this vented gas ("dumped fuel") that produced the halo. When the ports are blown the motor decelerates rapidly, so they use this to their advantage by simultaneously separating the bus, thus ensuring the third stage will be clear as the bus maneuvers to start releasing warheads.

This used to be a fairly common method of controlling the final velocity of solid fueled ballistic missiles. It was used by; MM-I, MM-II, MM-II, Peacekeeper, Polaris A-1 and A-2, Poseidon C-3, ASROC, and SUBROC. (There may be more, those are just the ones I know about.) Trident -I and -II use GEMS (Generalized Energy Management Steering) to adjust the missiles trajectory so that at burnout it's at the desired final velocity.

[1] Yes Virginia, you can (contrary to what "everyone knows") essentially shut down a solid rocket motor - but it's a very violent event. A tandem staged missile can just leave the decelerating stage in it's wake, but the Shuttle cannot. Whether they simply blew the connections to the ET (which also exposes the orbiter to the sandblast of the SRB's exhaust), or blew ports in the SRB casing, the transient forces would turn the stack into confetti. The orbiter would be tossed into the airstream and be torn apart. (This is what happened to Challenger when the ET broke up after the RH SRB came loose and crashed into it. The subsequent explosion, while very impressive to the naked eye, was actually very low pressure and low energy and played very little part in destroying the orbiter.) The looked into using an Orbiter mounted solid fueled escape motor to power away from the stack under thrust and control, but it turned out to be way too heavy. (Even if they traded fuel in the ET for the solid fuel in the escape motor and used it for part of the final kick into orbit.)

I saw one of these (5, Informative)

rleamon (895852) | about a year ago | (#43800167)

In LA in the late 80s. I thought aliens were invading. The sun had set but still illuminated the upper atmosphere, where a strangely large greenish globe of glowing gas gently expanded while a small bright object traveled remarkably slowly through its center. People had stopped and were watching as alertly as I was -- seriously, it was one of those slightly spine-tingling moments when you believe something impossible and possibly very bad might be happening... The next day the newspaper had a short piece about a launch from Vandenberg causing it. Or so they say...

Re:I saw one of these (4, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43800661)

Unlike Cape Canaveral which launches into an equatorial orbit to the east, Vandenberg launches into polar orbits to the south, and tests to the Marshall Islands to the west. That means the vapor trail is in prime position to be backlit by sunlight in the upper atmosphere just after sunset, making for very dramatic sights and photos [google.com] as you describe. If the timing is right, on a clear day it's visible from most of Southern California. A friend of mine has a spectacular photo he took of such a launch from Joshua Tree, which is about 250 miles away.

Re:I saw one of these (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43801913)

Unlike Cape Canaveral which launches into an equatorial orbit to the east

Are you sure about that? Unless we're talking about GTO launches, an equatorial orbit is dfficult to reach from Cape Canaveral since you're actually not on the equator.

Re:I saw one of these (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year ago | (#43810681)

I'm sure he was talking about an orbit with a low inclination in general, not one that was exactly zero. In any case, it does tend to launch to the east. If you wanted to launch from the east coast into a polar orbit it would probably be cheaper to do it at a more northern facility like Wallops Island.

Re:I saw one of these (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800729)

In North Australia in the mid 80s, there was a second, bigger, brighter moon for 3 days. This has never been explained.

Re:I saw one of these (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43801863)

In LA in the late 80s. I thought aliens were invading.

You know, had you actually watched Star Trek VI and the new episodes of Star Wars by the time you saw that, you would have known that an alien explosion would have made a 2D shockwave [wikimedia.org] and not a spherical one. If nothing else, we can at least thank Lucas for fixing this bit of general education.

Re:I saw one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43802047)

Well, yes, but, but, it was a strip mining operation! Clearly some kind of geological formation on Praxis must have caused the energy wave to be compressed into a very narrow band! Yes, that's it! That's why by the time it reaches Excelsior it's vertically huge! Right? Right?

Re:I saw one of these (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43803311)

Ditto in 1988 (IIRC). From a Florida launch. I was driving north of Atlanta though, so it looked like what could be an airburst over the city or some kind of Tunguska bang. It was definitely an Oh Shit hour and had me checking the radio news channels, which I figured would go down if there was an EMP or at least say something about it.

Directed by J.J. Abrams (4, Funny)

Mr. Chow (2860963) | about a year ago | (#43800439)

The lens flare does not lie!

Missle fuel dumps or staging, common phenom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800987)

Similar phenomena have been are common from missile launches from Vandenberg Airforce Base in Southern California, and I would expect them to be seen from Cape Canaveral. I've seen dozens in Southern Calif. dating back to the early 1960's. Generally they would be seen from launches around sunset or after. The trajectory is toward the Pacific in the west, for reasons of safety--not shooting over inhabited areas inland, or physics, involving the earths rotation? The sun over the horizon would light them up against a darkening sky. The trails/plume IFIC could be hundreds or even thousands of miles away and high up.

Sometimes you could see the rocket as a bright spot, not as bright as the brightest stars but mag 1or 3, not as point sourced, and the brightest variable. I've tracked a few from Los Angeles with a small telescope of binoculars, and you can see they are closer and a 'thing' compared to a star. With staging you get an expanding plum that can take several minutes to reach maximum size. The size from Los Angeles could be several moon diameters, larger than the size of your outstretched hand. They can look like a 'sun-dog' with bright reflection and often rich colors of blues, reds, purples, pinks. The trail, like the contrail from a plane, but fatter is there also. Over time winds twist and warp the plume out of shape, and it can expand to affect an area of sky larger than the diameter of a yardstick held out by a straight arm, although fainter.

An explosion is usually lower, faster developing, more irregular. These may look different from Hawaii, if launched from Vandenberg. As an artist, I'd like to do some things like this!

Re:Missle fuel dumps or staging, common phenom (2)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#43802591)

The following is from Ted Molczan, an expert on satellites and launches and a major contributor to the seesat-l list. There's a good change of seeing a fuel dump from a Delta 4 medium if you're in the right place at the right time.

WGS 5 is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral on a Delta 4 Medium+(5,4) in about 11 hours, on 2013 May 24, between 00:27 and 00:57 UTC.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/delta/d362/status.html [spaceflightnow.com]
I offer the following rough TLE of the orbit after the final burn of the 2nd stage, assuming launch at window-open:
SECO-2 440 X 66991 km
1 78901U 13144.04069444 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 02
2 78901 24.0048 67.6288 8299446 177.8402 1.4113 1.08160032 04
Following spacecraft separation, observers within range should look for the following 2nd stage events (times
approximate):
        T+ UTC
00:45:00 01:12:00 CCAM Start (Collision and Contamination Avoidance Manoeuvre)
00:47:20 01:14:20 CCAM End
00:54:41 01:21:41 H2 Depletion End
00:56:40 01:23:40 O2 Depletion End
01:18:33 01:45:33 N2H4 depletion End

The fuel dump could produce a spectacular comet-like phenomenon, similar to that of WGS 4, imaged last year despite
challenging conditions by Willie Koorts: http://satobs.org/seesat/Jan-2012/0270.html [satobs.org]

Instead of watching blinking lights... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43800997)

Know this.

Right now there are several Near Earth Orbit objects that some coming really fucking close can you say .0081 ?, even if they don't hit they bring debris and flying shit from space along with them, possibly gravity as several are predicted to kind of tag along right next to Earth, also the sun has been going fucking nuts with flares, and in turn, the earth quakes have been off the fucking charts lately, volcanoes off the charts, tsunami warnings a couple damn it! , fires are low/normal, I don't know enough about the G and G2 clouds or whatever the fuck that shit is, hope it don't end up in hard particles which destroy the planet again. Yeah I said again. You deny 35' Giants? Even North America had Giants with TWO ROWS OF TEETH.

Changing pace, Russian government is getting pissed at American Government while American government pokes sticks into (I can't say) but the dilema is what the fuck is so important about Syria? Think Hard Now. Ya have to turn off the disaster in OK, you have to turn off the CHOPPING in UK, you have to fucking get the fuck off slashdot, and go spend 18 or 76 hours a day/days straight, out of your own time in dialogue with your own government. ONLY THEN can you see what this evil bullshit is.

-- I'm on a mission from wake the fuck up!

Re:Instead of watching blinking lights... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about a year ago | (#43801545)

Did someone forget their meds again?

UN Condemation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801043)

The UN Security Council has voted that this missle lauch is an aggresive act and have put sanctions on the US. As if

Not fuel, and not a Minuteman [CONSPIRACY!!!!] (3, Insightful)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43801327)

It's chemtrails. It's your government putting mind control chemicals into the atmosphere, and rainbows in your sprinklers [youtube.com] .

Hah...

Re:Not fuel, and not a Minuteman [CONSPIRACY!!!!] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801811)

You laugh, but see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serratia_marcescens#Role_in_bio-warfare_testing
Some of those "West Coast crazies" remember being tested on by having crap sprayed on them or dropped from planes. This was not the only time this was done, and sometimes it was the real deal (ie. weaponized biological or chemical agents) and not just surrogates. And if you think what the government tests on the public is fun, you should see what they do to those in their employ: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Olson

Re:Not fuel, and not a Minuteman [CONSPIRACY!!!!] (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43801841)

"That the simulant bacteria caused these infections and death has never been conclusively established. Nevin's son and grandson lost a lawsuit that they brought against the government between 1981 and 1983."

I'm sure a lot of them remember being abducted and probed by aliens, too.

Re:Not fuel, and not a Minuteman [CONSPIRACY!!!!] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43805877)

yeah i'm sure its all fun and puerile jibes until it happens to you.

asshole

I found it ironic... (1)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about a year ago | (#43801439)

This story being right above "3d printers for peace".

Seen these re-enter/land (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801701)

I lived on Kwajalein Missile Range (now Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site) as a kid, the spot in the South Pacific where these target... Cool to watch these come in, with MIRV ablation off causing many streaks of light across the sky, and the RVs landing in the center of the (very large) lagoon.

Get it right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43801713)

Wow. Has /. really degenerated into this in the 10+ years I've been visiting? We've gone from discussing the physics behind the halo observed to conspiracy theories and movie references. I'm done here, and get off my lawn.

BTW, this event is called thrust termination. It does not dump fuel, it opens ports on the forward end of stage 3 that effectively negate the forward thrust and facilitate the staging event. Whereas stages 1 and 2 burn out and are jettisoned at the end of their life, this is a precisely programed event depending on the range of the target and/or the intended drop zone of stage 3 (in the case of a test launch). So the hippies and tree huggers out there can calm down right now.

Also, it's called a "Glory Trip" partly because the initials for the mission start with "GT"-- "G" referring to the model of the missile (MMIII) and "T" for test. The operators and maintainers hijacked the designation and called it a "Glory Trip" because they get to see the fruits of their labors, sometimes years in the making.

Re:Get it right! (1)

artao (648799) | about a year ago | (#43803901)

So it's NOT releasing unused monomethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide into the upper atmosphere? .. My thoughts was that this glow could be caused by the combustion of the released fuel, being hypergolic and all.

...and here's the Russian version (over Norway) (1)

hazeii (5702) | about a year ago | (#43801731)

Something much weirder [slate.com] was seen over Norway when a Russian launch went wrong.

Sorry (1)

Cinnaman (954100) | about a year ago | (#43801889)

...but this was not worth a Slashdot story.

You can see one yourself (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#43802683)

The following is from Ted Molczan, an expert on satellites and launches and a major contributor to the seesat-l list. There's a good change of seeing a fuel dump from a Delta 4 medium if you're in the right place at the right time.

WGS 5 is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral on a Delta 4 Medium+(5,4) in about 11 hours, on 2013 May 24, between 00:27 and 00:57 UTC.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/delta/d362/status.html [spaceflightnow.com]
I offer the following rough TLE of the orbit after the final burn of the 2nd stage, assuming launch at window-open:
SECO-2 440 X 66991 km
1 78901U 13144.04069444 .00000000 00000-0 00000-0 0 02
2 78901 24.0048 67.6288 8299446 177.8402 1.4113 1.08160032 04
Following spacecraft separation, observers within range should look for the following 2nd stage events (times
approximate):
        T+ UTC
00:45:00 01:12:00 CCAM Start (Collision and Contamination Avoidance Manoeuvre)
00:47:20 01:14:20 CCAM End
00:54:41 01:21:41 H2 Depletion End
00:56:40 01:23:40 O2 Depletion End
01:18:33 01:45:33 N2H4 depletion End

The fuel dump could produce a spectacular comet-like phenomenon, similar to that of WGS 4, imaged last year despite
challenging conditions by Willie Koorts: http://satobs.org/seesat/Jan-2012/0270.html [satobs.org]

What is this guys other hobbies (1)

rhade (709207) | about a year ago | (#43803017)

That his response to this glint of light is 'How cool is that?'.
seriously, ive had more interesting patterns in the foam of a mcdonalds cappucino

clearly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43803807)

it's a Higgs anti-boson missile

Don't Look Into The Light (1)

Seth (2925311) | about a year ago | (#43805455)

They've woken up God now and she's pissed.
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