posted on Jun, 7 2010 @ 03:02 AM
Misinformation and garbage has returned to this thread. So let me recap from an earlier post, along with some new information...
As an aerospace engineer I thought I'd put my ideas down in simple terms so that you can see that the Falcon 9 explanation is highly likely.
1. Falcon 9 is a 2-stage rocket that uses liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene (RP-1). Stage 1 sits at the bottom, then stage 2 above it and the
payload on top.
2. Falcon 9 lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on 4th June at 2:45pm EDT (or 1845 GMT). This is 4:45 am on 5th June (local time) on the east
coast of Australia.
3. The rocket lifts off heading east and stage 1 burns for a bit over 3 minutes.
4. Once stage 1 is empty, it is jettisoned and falls back down into the Atlantic Ocean (east of Florida).
5. Stage 2 then ignites and burns for just under 6 minutes. During this burn, the vehicle develops an uncontrolled roll (see video). The cause of this
roll is unknown at this stage.
6. Once stage 2 burn is complete, the vehicle is in orbit at an altitude of about 250 km (150-170 miles). It is orbiting around the earth in a west to
east direction (at about 28,000 km/hr or 17,400 miles/hr).
7. Normally, stage 2 would be jettisoned once the burn was complete and it would either remain in orbit or another burn would be made to "de-orbit"
the stage where it would burn up on re-entry.
8. However, stage 2 was left attached to the payload on this mission.
9. This orbit is an ellipse where the altitude above earth varies from 230 to 270 km. The orbit will trace a curved path on the earth's surface that
will take into the northern hemisphere and down into the southern hemisphere. I've seen a number of images (2 in this thread) showing the orbital
path (passing over east coast of Australia to the north of Sydney) but I'm uncertain of the source of the data. It may be based on actual orbital
data or it is more likely to be the planned orbital track.
10. The orbit will take Falcon 9 east over Africa/Europe, then Asia/Australia and then back over the US. The time to do one orbit (once in orbit) is
11. If you look at the distance from East Coast of US to East Coast of Australia (using Google Earth) as a fraction of a complete orbit, you will be
looking at approximately 60 to 65 minutes (2/3 of orbital distance).
12. Therefore if you add 65 minutes to 1845 GMT you get 1950 GMT or 5:50am local time on the east coast of Australia. So the timing is spot on.
13. As for the spiral, this is possible if stage 2 is spinning and propellant is leaking or being released.
14. The video of launch shows that the rocket was going into a slow roll (clockwise) during ascent. If this was not corrected, the roll would continue
while it was in orbit. It's in a vacuum so nothing to slow or stop the roll. We don't know what happened after the video ends. It is possible that
the controllers may have tried to correct the roll and it may have possibly ended up rolling in the opposite direction if they over-corrected. The
spiral may actually be the roll correction maneuver.
15. At an altitude of approximately 250 km, the vehicle can be theoretically seen from a distance of 1800 km away from the path the orbit traces on
16. If the vehicle is passing directly overhard, it will take about 7 minutes to go from western horizon to eastern horizon. Most witnesses first
spotted the object after it had passed overhead and then followed it to the horizon. They indicate a time of about 2-3 minutes. This is consistent
with speed of Falcon 9.
The only bits of information that are missing is the actual (official) orbital track that shows the path over the earth during the first orbit and the
mission log showing whether anything happened at 1950 GMT. This is only something that SpaceX (or NASA ) can provide.
FYI, I'm an open-minded individual and I'm not willing to rule out something besides the Falcon 9, but the evidence leads me to be 99% certain it
[edit on 7/6/10 by LightningStrom]