Author Topic: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES  (Read 114131 times)

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #320 on: 02/09/2017 05:02 PM »
X-37B isn't where she's supposed to be:

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2017/0024.html

Could it have sneakily landed or is that to far fetched?
Any NSFs hear some double-sonic booms?? :)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #321 on: 02/09/2017 05:03 PM »
I'd love the idea of that, but I assume they mean she's in a different orbit than expected (which could point to preps to return).

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #322 on: 02/09/2017 05:05 PM »
I'd love the idea of that, but I assume they mean she's in a different orbit than expected (which could point to preps to return).

Well I did suspect that's the real reason, but you never know!!!
« Last Edit: 02/09/2017 05:09 PM by Star One »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #323 on: 02/09/2017 05:15 PM »
I'd love the idea of that, but I assume they mean she's in a different orbit than expected (which could point to preps to return).

Well I did suspect that's the real reason, but you never know!!!
She's looking down at your house... ;D
« Last Edit: 02/09/2017 05:56 PM by Rocket Science »
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Online zubenelgenubi

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #324 on: 02/09/2017 05:49 PM »
From the voluminous research of Ted Molczan:
each X-37B flight has decreased mean orbital altitude before re-entry and landing.

(Is there a more recent version of this file that includes the current mission, Flight 4?)
« Last Edit: 02/09/2017 05:52 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Online zubenelgenubi

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #325 on: 02/09/2017 06:55 PM »
Moving my speculation from an L2 thread, as the immediate content is all non-L2 level...

I have doubts about X-37B landing on SLF. According to this article:
http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/565424/aircraft-to-spacecraft-airfield-ops-lands-them-all.aspx
Quote
Prior to the second landing of the space plane, civil engineer Airmen and Boeing employees spent countless hours grinding down protrusions greater than one eighth of an inch and filling seemingly insignificant divots on the flightline.
SLF is pretty rough. So unless Boeing improved tire technology, X-37B will only land on SLF after short missions.

Speculation: Improving the tires could have been a program requirement to allow designating SLF as the primary landing site--if it's true that SLF is now the primary landing site.

(Is SLF primary landing site something that we, the spaceflight enthusiasts on the outside of the program, know?  Or, is it information deduced--that we think we know?)

Has the surface of SLF degraded and not been restored since the return of STS-135?  ISTR that the surface was improved substantially in the RTF after the loss of Challenger.

***
Another, somewhat related question for our experts:
Is there any public evidence for an X-37B Flight 5?

I would speculate that given the increased flexibility of the Atlas V/Centaur operations, that another flight could be inserted into the manifest on a few months notice, like the upcoming Cygnus flight?
« Last Edit: 02/09/2017 07:00 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Jim

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #326 on: 02/09/2017 08:14 PM »

Has the surface of SLF degraded and not been restored since the return of STS-135?  ISTR that the surface was improved substantially in the RTF after the loss of Challenger.


No and no.   It was grooved for drainage, which later was found to cause too much friction for shuttle landing.  The approaches were ground down in 1988 and the whole strip was done in 1994.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2017 08:18 PM by Jim »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #327 on: 02/09/2017 11:14 PM »
Vandenberg WX doesn't clear out till Saturday. :(
Cape Canaveral looks good! :)
http://www.patrick.af.mil/Portals/14/documents/Weather/09FEB17.pdf?ver=2017-02-09-075710-927
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #328 on: 02/10/2017 03:30 PM »
I just checked Edwards AFB just in case and the WX clears out tomorrow same as Vandy...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #329 on: 02/10/2017 11:40 PM »
Well, worth checking into at least!

https://twitter.com/macsenoverdrive/status/830213584131072001

Cougarfox
‏@macsenoverdrive

@NASASpaceflight Just heard sonic boom in Orlando. X-37B returning?

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #330 on: 02/11/2017 10:14 AM »
From the article on CRS-10:
Quote
However, that date subsequently moved to a new official target date of 18 February due to a range conflict.

The conflict, curiously, was not with the ability of the Falcon 9 to launch but rather with the ability of the first stage to return to Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) back at the Cape.

While the precise nature of the conflict is not known, it is understood that a portion of the range asset necessary for the Falcon 9 first stage’s return was already spoken for by another customer during the period of the 14-17 February.

Wonder if that asset is tasked to support a X-37B Landing.


Edit:There is a NOTAM this weekend over Palm Beach, but it seems to be for a POTUS visit
http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_7_2894.html

Looking into it, seems POTUS is going a round of golf diplomacy with the Japanese Prime Minister, so strike today on a return for the X-37.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 10:24 AM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline Antares

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #331 on: 02/11/2017 04:59 PM »
Have satellite observers found it?  If not, I think it's down.  How could it land at SLF or VAFB without hearing the booms?  Could it scrub off speed at high altitude or over the ocean and then approach the runway subsonic?
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Kryten

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #332 on: 02/11/2017 05:17 PM »
 It's been found again; http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2017/0032.html
best future near-term window for landing from the new orbit is apparently about 7:00 UTC on the 13th.

Online zubenelgenubi

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #333 on: 02/11/2017 05:56 PM »
From the article on CRS-10:
Quote
However, that date subsequently moved to a new official target date of 18 February due to a range conflict.

The conflict, curiously, was not with the ability of the Falcon 9 to launch but rather with the ability of the first stage to return to Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) back at the Cape.

While the precise nature of the conflict is not known, it is understood that a portion of the range asset necessary for the Falcon 9 first stage’s return was already spoken for by another customer during the period of the 14-17 February.

Wonder if that asset is tasked to support a X-37B Landing.

Questions for our experts:
What range assets would be used for both an unmanned shuttle landing at the SLF and for a booster landing at LZ-1?  I could guess, but much prefer an expert answer.

Forgive my memory on a slightly different topic: Did Shuttle landing ops at the SLF ever preclude launches from the several KSC/CCAFS launch facilities?
***

It's been found again; http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2017/0032.html
Best future near-term window for landing from the new orbit is apparently about 7:00 UTC on the 13th.

The "old" OTV-4 orbit, epoch January 14, was 322 x 354 km x 38.0 deg.  (It's still displayed on www.heavens-above.com as of this posting.)

The new orbit appears to be 307 x 320 km x 38.0 deg.

The seesat-l poster calculates that the orbit change could have occurred on February 5.  Chris B's first post regarding SLF preparations was on February 8.

I wonder if there were any potential KSC/SLF landing opportunities that were missed due to the unfavorable weather mentioned up-thread, opportunities that could be calculated from the new orbit?
***

Do our experts think (or know, and can speak of it), whether or not the X-37B will forego use of a SLF landing from a descending node approach--one that would feature descent over the southern continental United States?
IIRC, the Shuttle only de-orbited from ascending node orbits to KSC after the loss of Columbia.

Thank you in advance for any answers any of you can provide.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 06:17 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #334 on: 02/11/2017 08:17 PM »
Quote
X-37B Space Plane maneuvers into Lower Orbit, likely Precursor to Landing
 February 11, 2017

http://spaceflight101.com/x-37b-space-plane-maneuvers-into-lower-orbit-likely-precursor-to-landing/

Offline Alter Sachse

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #335 on: 02/12/2017 05:10 PM »
I found an interesting counter
http://lk.astronautilus.pl/sat/x37b.htm


Offline Orbiter

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #337 on: 02/14/2017 11:14 AM »
Not sure of how valid the orbital path is, but it does seem to line up with the predictions of a landing in a little over 30 minutes.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Offline Jim

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #339 on: 02/14/2017 11:48 AM »
Commercial aircraft have been flying over the area

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