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Mysterious Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch detected from the International Space Station..

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posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 11:16 PM

reply to post by Arken

Could it be a deliberate counter-measure they saw? Like flak deployed from an aircraft to break pursuit of weapons? Maybe that deploys some big cloud of something to effectively blind whatever is left on the other side of it? (I may be missing something big...but that's my best guess on what we're looking at?)

Can't let the chance pass to congratulate this insightful and imaginative suggestion, because there are several clues supporting it -- mainly that the launch was into a test range that concentrates on anti-missile technology AND on testing penetration aids to overcome enemy defenses.

While I can't see any penetration enhancement from a cloud release, other stuff could also have been released and the cloud was just a visual consequence of that release -- sort of like the 'UFOs' Bob Jacobs freaked out over so many years ago with that Atlas launch from California.

Space is unearthly -- we need powerful imagination to even try to get our minds around it, so attaboy to the poster. Hang around and keep pulling that same trick!!!

posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 11:19 PM



Dude, these sighting were in predicted IN ADVANCE, in this thread....

If the weather was clear, we might expect some spectacular videos to show up on youtube and rutube. Keep an eye out for them.

I believe he was suggesting the type of propellant used in the missile would not make a contrail like this. Or something like that lol.

The Bot

The idea has merit. The cloud was visible wa-a-a-a-ay after the normal three-minute main thrusting period. There's a strong possibiliity it was a much smaller 'sustainer' engine of still undetermined fuel.

I'm working on this story and there's nothing open-and-shut about it. Even the weirdest ideas posted here help keep sparking imagination. Don't stop speculating wildly, outer space demands it.

Later we can evaluate, assess, and winnow out. Early on, mind-stretching is our only hope.

posted on Oct, 24 2013 @ 03:01 AM
The expanding cloud reminds me of this launch (the Soyuz 2 rocket carrying Glonass-K satellite):

The plume catches Sun's light in the dark predawn sky. The Soyuz 2 rocket uses liquid fuel (liquid oxygen + kerosene).

I think solid fuel exhaust would also leave a big expanding plume. Particles are still particles, solid or liquid. Besides, solid particles can serve as nucleation sites for water condensation.
edit on 24-10-2013 by wildespace because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 30 2013 @ 01:03 PM
The two sets of images of the Topol plume have pushed me to a hypothesis to explain it and precursor plumes. It is a new form of space rocket structure I'd like to suggest be called a 'combustion gown'

Previous Topol KY-SS flights [this is the 5th] showed this fan-shaped apparition. It had a bright head -- evidently the burning upper stage -- but the tail end seemed to be a discrete boundary, not a gentle fade-out, and is broader than a simple straight-back fan. My attempts to determine a consistent angular and physical size from ground views never converged. The visibility phase seemed to appear already high in the sky -- no continuous display up from the horizon seems to have been observed/recorded. And it ended with a brief spiral that was disconnected from the head of the plume. Illumination occurred in dark skies with twilight sunlight available.

Once the full set of ISS images were posted here, perpendicular viewing angles were available Ground and head-on views seemed to show identical 'features' within the plume, including a hollow aft core and four circumferential notches. Hi-res ground views showed brightness irregularities emerging from the apex and propagating backwards into the plume. There’s even a head-on view of an expanding segmented ring that could be the ground-observed spiral segments. And subsequent ISS views show truncation of the lower portion – possibly occultation by setting behind the horizon, but also possibly just dissolution from atmospheric impact of the constituent particles. Time-tags of the ISS images would resolve this ambiguity.

It finally occurred to me is that what are seeing was the space equivalent of skywriting. By assuming this is the delayed third-stage burn, nominally [from START date] 60 seconds, and by calculating the expected coasting speed at second stage burnout plus 2-3 minutes, and by assuming an exhaust velocity based on a 180-sec Isp, it leads to the scenario that the ‘fan’ is the ENTIRE effluent trail moving across the surface, high enough to be in effective vacuum. Because the third stage is accelerating at > 3 G, it pulls ahead of the effluent it has sprayed behind, but that effluent, even with the approx. 1.6 km/sec kickback, still has a forward velocity. The plume stretches out, and does fade as it thins, but as the 3rd stage accelerates, the stretching is accentuated and the ‘fan’ narrows toward the apex – exactly as observed.

The initial appearance would be a bright light, becoming a small fan that grows in size. I’ve watched maybe 2 dozen high quality ground videos and they all have the fan shape already present, and none exceed 45 seconds in burn duration – time to notice in the sky, and activate the cam. Even the few dashcam videos just didn’t catch the very start.
At stage burnout the tip of the fan recedes from the stage at exhaust velocity, and appears more and more blunt since it is not being fed with new effluent. When the spiral occurs – presumably RV monoblock spinup – there is already a discrete gap, as to be expected.

The resulting structure, as shown by the ISS near-head-on images, is not a 2-D ‘fan’ but a 3-D structure circularly symmetrical along its thrusting axis – that’s why I suggest use of the term ‘gown’ with its own 3-D base broadening analogy. And the lengthening of the structure is a feature of the high-speed expulsion of the effluent, not merely a gentle gas release or propellant dump, hence my suggestion of the explicatory term ‘combustion gown’. I feel a unique term is also justified because it requires very specific thrusting conditions – near horizontal burns – to keep the gown out of the upper atmosphere and being disrupted by impact. Any positive flight angle during thrusting would quickly push the effluent into the upper atmosphere – the negative thrusting angle, also evident in some ground videos, can be explained as a method of creating ICBM-entry conditions at Sary Shagan.

After all, this ‘combustion gown’ is NOT a cloud in the traditional sense, it is a swarm of millions of non-interacting independent combustion-product grains. ISS views show how translucently thin it is. It is most bright near the apex, and fades as it thins. Without being fed by an exhaust plume, it would spread to invisibility quickly. And at the expected velocities, the particles would reenter within a matter of a few more minutes.

What still puzzles me is how much the ‘short shot’ trajectory modifications contributed to the unique thrusting profile that created this ‘combustion gown’ with a lifetime long enough to be widely noticed and recorded. Was the stage 2 to 3 gap significantly lengthened, and stage 2 cutoff lofted? And stage 3 firing pitched down slightly?
How high did the stage 3 burn then occur? Don’t forget the June 2012 mission was observed above the NE horizon from Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. Was it anywhere near ISS altitude?

I’ve gotten to this point by plodding along paths suggested by number crunching. I suspect others made the intuitive leap, the easy way, so I don’t claim any originality. Does it make any sense?

posted on Nov, 2 2013 @ 05:22 PM
Saturday, November 02, 2013 5:18 PM

I now believe that the fan-shaped sky apparition created by the October 10 'Topol'
launch, seen from many points on the ground AND from the ISS by at least the
three astronauts [we don't know if the Russian cosmonauts in their own segment
were watching or not] was the 'combustion gown' NOT of the three main stages,
but of the 'battle stage' bus carrying the monoblock warhead and penetration aids.

With the entire missile shown here
it's clear this unit [shown to me by Ed Kyle] called the 'battle stage'
was injected by the first three stages into free flight.
At the end of ITS burn, it ejected the warhead which
then performed the brief spinup burn creating the spiral
seen from the ground -- and possibly in some ISS images
not yet released.

If the four circumferentially mounted units beneath the aero shrouds
are thruster clusters, as Ed suggests based on other photos [and I find compelling also], we
then have a good explanation of the shape observed in the 'combustion gown':
a hollow core and four circumferential notches. These are exactly the aft spaces
that would be shadowed from plume 'fill-in' by the structure of the object shown.

If this is correct, it's kinda cool how the asymmetrical structures observed in the
'combustion gown' itself, seen from the ground and from the ISS, allowed a
speculation about the required physical layout/structure of the propulsion system that
was making it, AND a subsequent discovery of detailed photos of that stage structure
are perfectly in alignment with predictions made from analysis of the 'combustion gown'
photos. DANG!

Here's an excellent ground view from the side showing the hollow core and perimeter indentations:

Here's a brightened NASA-released image, viewing the apparition from nearly 'nose-on' from in front.:

Now I want to make a good estimate of the altitude and raw physical dimensions of the stage.
The length of the combustion cloud can allow an estimation of the ejection velocity and
consequently a good guess at the engine specific impulse [Isp].

Another question is what caused the lower portion of the cloud to become invisible as it dropped.
At first I thought it was 'setting' beyound the horizon, but that's too far away for the relative
motion that is now falling into place -- and would make the cloud much, MUCH larger as seen
from the ground. The crew reported seeing it settling into the upper atmosphere, but I
think that was a trick of perspective. I now prefer the theory that it was dropping beneath the
sunlight -- but I'm working the numbers now to test that hypothesis.

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