Author Topic: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 17, 2017  (Read 21925 times)

Offline baldusi

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This is Orbital's Press Release

Quote
Orbital Signs Launch Agreement With Skybox Imaging
-- Company to Launch Six Commercial High-Resolution Imaging Spacecraft for New Customer Aboard Commercial Version of Minotaur Rocket in Late 2015 --


(Dulles, VA 20 February 2014) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it has signed a commercial launch contract with Skybox Imaging to carry six high-resolution imaging and video-capable spacecraft into low-Earth orbit (LEO) in late 2015 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The Skybox spacecraft will be launched aboard the Minotaur-C space launch vehicle, a commercial variant of the company’s Minotaur product line that serves the U.S. government market. The mission will be overseen by the same Small-Class Launch Vehicles unit of the company’s Launch Systems Group that has executed 25 consecutive successful Minotaur launches since 2000. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

“We are very pleased to have been selected by Skybox Imaging for this exciting opportunity,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As fellow participants in the expansion of the commercial space industry, Orbital and Skybox share similar values of innovation, affordability and reliability, which make this partnership a perfect fit. We have offered options for additional launch services to support the development of Skybox’s business, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to forge a long-term, multi-launch relationship with their team.”

The Minotaur-C rocket will use four solid rocket motors supplied by ATK as its propulsion system, all of which have been flown dozens of times and thoroughly flight-proven in various combinations on Orbital’s other small space launch vehicles, including Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur, as well as on the company’s Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) long-range missile defense interceptor. It will also incorporate numerous design features that are common with the Minotaur product line, such as the rocket’s electrical power system, payload fairing, flight termination system, navigation sensors and RF components. In addition, the Minotaur-C will utilize its SkySat satellite dispenser, currently in design by the Minotaur team, which will be built and tested at the company’s Chandler, AZ launch vehicle design and engineering facility.

Orbital’s family of small space launch vehicles provides reliable “right-sized” launch services that are the industry standard for boosting small payloads to orbit. From the innovative air-launched Pegasus to traditional ground-launched rockets like the Minotaur family of launchers, Orbital’s small-class launch vehicles share flight-proven propulsion, avionics, engineering teams, production and testing facilities, and management systems to provide low-cost and reliable access to space.

About Orbital
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com. Follow the company on Twitter @OrbitalSciences.

About Skybox Imaging
Skybox Imaging (Skybox) empowers global businesses to make better decisions with timely, high fidelity imagery and infinite analytics. By combining the power of web technologies and a constellation of high-resolution imaging satellites, Skybox is generating a unique data source describing daily global activity with timely, accessible, sub-meter color imagery and high definition video of the Earth. Founded in 2009, Skybox Imaging is backed by leading venture firms and comprised of internet and aerospace professionals. For more information, visit www.skybox.com.

First mention of the Minotaur-C I've ever seen.
« Last Edit: 09/06/2017 04:01 AM by gongora »

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #1 on: 02/20/2014 02:32 PM »
I guess the Minotaur-C is just a commercialized version of the Minotaur-I? ?_?
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #2 on: 02/20/2014 02:50 PM »
If this is Minuteman-based, this would break a boatload of space policy regulations.

However, this could simply be a new small solid launcher, sort of like an Athena.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #3 on: 02/20/2014 02:51 PM »
I guess the Minotaur-C is just a commercialized version of the Minotaur-I? ?_?

Something alike. But as the refurbished ICBM motors are not available for commercial flights, the M55 motor of the first stage must be replaced by something else - possibly an Orion-50SXL.

Orbital has a rudimentary page on the Minotaur-C:

http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/Minotaur/Minotaur-C/

Quote from: Orbital
The Minotaur-C rocket will use four solid rocket motors supplied by ATK as its propulsion system, all of which have been flown dozens of times and thoroughly flight-proven in various combinations on Orbital’s other small space launch vehicles, including Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur, as well as on the company’s Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) long-range missile defense interceptor. It will also incorporate numerous design features that are common with the Minotaur product line, such as the rocket’s electrical power system, payload fairing, flight termination system, navigation sensors and RF components. In addition, the Minotaur-C will utilize its SkySat satellite dispenser, currently in design by the Minotaur team, which will be built and tested at the company’s Chandler, AZ launch vehicle design and engineering facility.


Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #4 on: 02/20/2014 03:01 PM »
Since we are talking multiple deployments, might they use something like HAPS as a final stage?
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Offline Jim

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #5 on: 02/20/2014 03:04 PM »
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Offline Danderman

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #6 on: 02/20/2014 03:15 PM »
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Let's hope with a fairing change, too.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #7 on: 02/20/2014 03:15 PM »
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?
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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #8 on: 02/20/2014 03:42 PM »
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #9 on: 02/20/2014 04:35 PM »
Well....I asked OSC's PAO on Twitter and the answers aren't completely clear....

Cosmic Penguin ‏@Cosmic_Penguin
@OrbitalSciences @skyboximaging Is the Minotaur-C just a "sold commercially" version of the Minotaur I? ?_?

Orbital Sciences ‏@OrbitalSciences
@Cosmic_Penguin @skyboximaging the two gov't furnished motors are replaced with commercially supplied motors from ATK

https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/436524075343556608
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #10 on: 02/20/2014 05:45 PM »
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C
I am told that Minotaur-C is believed to be the designation being used to refer to all commercial versions of the current Minotaur launcher family. It is my understanding that Minotaur-C will use  commercial equivalent motors and offer the similar payload performance as the existing Minotaur Family, which I designating as Minotaur-G (Government) for simplicity.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #11 on: 02/20/2014 06:03 PM »
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C
It is no longer in the menu and side bar, but it can be found via this link: http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/Taurus/

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #12 on: 02/20/2014 06:45 PM »
Perhaps this new vehicle has some relation to their ICBM-Target, for which Orbital has also two contracts.

This ICBM-Target uses a new first stage,  an Orion-50SXLG as the second stage, which might be good replacement for the two Minuteman stages.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #13 on: 02/20/2014 07:00 PM »
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C

When you folks see pictures of it I believe you will indeed recognize it.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #14 on: 02/20/2014 07:02 PM »
What is the plane change possible with a Minotaur (let's say -IV) in LEO? Skybox wants a constellation, but populating the planes with 2 launches of 6 sats is going to be interesting.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #15 on: 02/20/2014 08:02 PM »
What is the plane change possible with a Minotaur (let's say -IV) in LEO? Skybox wants a constellation, but populating the planes with 2 launches of 6 sats is going to be interesting.

That's easy, you just dump the sats into a low parking orbit, and then raise them a bit to the final orbit after they have moved into the right plane locations.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #16 on: 02/20/2014 08:25 PM »
What is the plane change possible with a Minotaur (let's say -IV) in LEO? Skybox wants a constellation, but populating the planes with 2 launches of 6 sats is going to be interesting.

That's easy, you just dump the sats into a low parking orbit, and then raise them a bit to the final orbit after they have moved into the right plane locations.
That's if you want to keep them all in the same plane. There are some ways to play with precession and have them on different planes with very little fuel during a years. Since the sats are designed for at least three, they could do this.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #17 on: 02/21/2014 12:27 PM »
I am told that Minotaur-C is believed to be the designation being used to refer to all commercial versions of the current Minotaur launcher family. It is my understanding that Minotaur-C will use  commercial equivalent motors and offer the similar payload performance as the existing Minotaur Family, which I designating as Minotaur-G (Government) for simplicity.

There are only so many surplus Peacekeeper bits out there so there was always going to be a need to ultimately migrate to new-build motors. It's interesting that Orbital are investing in developing an all-civil version. Obviously they are anticipating a lot of interest in non-USG launches in its payload class.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #18 on: 02/21/2014 01:11 PM »

There are only so many surplus Peacekeeper bits out there so there was always going to be a need to ultimately migrate to new-build motors. It's interesting that Orbital are investing in developing an all-civil version. Obviously they are anticipating a lot of interest in non-USG launches in its payload class.

Assuming it's not a renamed/branded Taurus.
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Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #19 on: 02/21/2014 01:13 PM »
I am told that Minotaur-C is believed to be the designation being used to refer to all commercial versions of the current Minotaur launcher family. It is my understanding that Minotaur-C will use  commercial equivalent motors and offer the similar payload performance as the existing Minotaur Family, which I designating as Minotaur-G (Government) for simplicity.

There are only so many surplus Peacekeeper bits out there so there was always going to be a need to ultimately migrate to new-build motors. It's interesting that Orbital are investing in developing an all-civil version. Obviously they are anticipating a lot of interest in non-USG launches in its payload class.

Ummmm, no. The components this rocket uses have been procured and used commercially in the past. This is not new investment; this is buying existing commercial stages (from ATK) in a combination that has been used commercially before.

As for "a lot of interest"......probably nothing more than there has been for the last decade.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #20 on: 02/21/2014 01:31 PM »
Dual Castor-120, the second one wit vacuum optimized nozzle, perhaps?

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #21 on: 02/21/2014 02:41 PM »
Dual Castor-120, the second one wit vacuum optimized nozzle, perhaps?

Sorry, no. This is not a new rocket.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #22 on: 02/21/2014 04:27 PM »
Minotaur-C is using a payload fairing that is only used by Minotaur and OBV launchers is what I read. So if it is a rebranded Taurus it is not using the previous fairing system. So if my previous sentence stands correct it may be using Payload fairing used by Minotaur-1 or II otherwise I know that it is not the fairing system used on the failed Taurus-XL as it is worded as indicating that the Fairing and rest of the launcher originate from only OBV, Minotaur and Pegasus-XL.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #23 on: 02/21/2014 05:50 PM »
Minotaur-C is using a payload fairing that is only used by Minotaur and OBV launchers is what I read. So if it is a rebranded Taurus it is not using the previous fairing system. So if my previous sentence stands correct it may be using Payload fairing used by Minotaur-1 or II otherwise I know that it is not the fairing system used on the failed Taurus-XL as it is worded as indicating that the Fairing and rest of the launcher originate from only OBV, Minotaur and Pegasus-XL.

My understanding is that this mission will use the 92" fairing, which is from the Taurus XL catalog and has flown successfully. The failed Taurus XL missions used the 63" fairing.

Please note: OBV, Pegasus XL, Minotaur I & III/IV/V, and Taurus XL all share various ATK motors.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #24 on: 02/21/2014 06:25 PM »
Come on Orbital.  Pick a name and stick to it!

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #25 on: 02/21/2014 10:50 PM »
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work. They've fixed those problems. I would be more worried about the next Falcon 9 v1.1 launch than I would about another Taurus XL fairing problem. Read a little about it here (though it doesn't tell the whole story) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_(rocket)#Glory_launch_failure
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Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #26 on: 02/22/2014 01:30 AM »
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #27 on: 02/22/2014 03:36 AM »
I wonder if the renaming of Taurus to Minotaur C (assuming this is what is happening) might be avionics-based.  Minotaur was equipped from the outset with an upgraded version of Orbital's older Pegasus and Taurus avionics system.  This included the inclusion of Orbital's Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) system and the use of high-data rate telemetry.  MACH was originally developed, as I understand it, for OSP and Target Launch Vehicle.  Perhaps a Taurus equipped with updated Minotaur avionics suite is now going to be called "Minotaur C". 

Just a guess.

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #28 on: 02/22/2014 03:50 AM »
I wonder if the renaming of Taurus to Minotaur C (assuming this is what is happening) might be avionics-based.  Minotaur was equipped from the outset with an upgraded version of Orbital's older Pegasus and Taurus avionics system.  This included the inclusion of Orbital's Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) system and the use of high-data rate telemetry.  MACH was originally developed, as I understand it, for OSP and Target Launch Vehicle.  Perhaps a Taurus equipped with updated Minotaur avionics suite is now going to be called "Minotaur C". 

Just a guess.

 - Ed Kyle

You're on to something there, Ed. But it's not just a MACH upgrade; it's cutting loose the soiled baggage of the past.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #29 on: 02/22/2014 04:04 AM »
You're on to something there, Ed. But it's not just a MACH upgrade; it's cutting loose the soiled baggage of the past.
Unless it uses different motors, I'll still call it Taurus.  :)

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #30 on: 02/22/2014 04:15 AM »
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
No, more than one aspect...
« Last Edit: 02/22/2014 04:16 AM by Robotbeat »
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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #31 on: 02/22/2014 07:59 AM »
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
No, more than one aspect...

Could you elaborate please Robotbeat, instead of just saying "you're wrong"?

Offline osiossim

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #32 on: 02/22/2014 08:24 AM »
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39561skybox-taps-orbital-sciences-for-2015-minotaur-launch

"While the Minotaur is based on the U.S. Peacekeeper and Minuteman missile programs, its commercial Minotaur-C version uses four solid-fueled motors built by ATK."

« Last Edit: 02/22/2014 08:24 AM by osiossim »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #33 on: 02/22/2014 07:03 PM »
You're on to something there, Ed. But it's not just a MACH upgrade; it's cutting loose the soiled baggage of the past.
Unless it uses different motors, I'll still call it Taurus.  :)

 - Ed Kyle
If they decided to rename it, we have no choice but to use the new name. Very few are still using Taurus II to describe Orbital's Antares. Do you still call a post merger Boeing 717 a MD-95 or  DC-9?

btw.  When Kim Keller wrote: When you folks see pictures of it I believe you will indeed recognize it. I was so tempted to post a picture of a Saturn V with a big old question mark, then thought better of it ;)
« Last Edit: 02/22/2014 07:04 PM by kevin-rf »
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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #34 on: 02/22/2014 07:34 PM »
Unless it uses different motors, I'll still call it Taurus.  :)
 - Ed Kyle
If they decided to rename it, we have no choice but to use the new name. Very few are still using Taurus II to describe Orbital's Antares. Do you still call a post merger Boeing 717 a MD-95 or  DC-9?
I'll call it whatever name Orbital assigns, but if it is simply a rename its reliability record will still include launches made under its old name.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #35 on: 02/23/2014 12:43 AM »
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
No, more than one aspect...

Since I was involved in the investigation you'll have to be a bit more specific.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #36 on: 02/23/2014 01:28 PM »
Wasn't a material uncontrolled secondary property that failed to propagate the fissure?

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #37 on: 02/24/2014 05:02 PM »
Wasn't a material uncontrolled secondary property that failed to propagate the fissure?

If that's meant to indicate that the frangible joint was not manufactured by a subcontractor to aerospace requirements, then you're right.

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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #39 on: 02/24/2014 09:28 PM »
So it actually uses the "standard" Minotaur fairing, and not the same fairing as the Taurus.


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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #40 on: 02/24/2014 10:07 PM »
So it actually uses the "standard" Minotaur fairing, and not the same fairing as the Taurus.

Which was in turn taken from Taurus-2210 and -3210. So it is in fact the large Taurus fairing - not the small, which caused so much trouble.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #41 on: 02/24/2014 10:34 PM »
So is it not so much renaming a rocket as a hostile takeover merger of the Taurus and Minotaur teams?

Might we see similar Pegasus synergy in the future?
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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #42 on: 02/25/2014 12:18 AM »
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
Well, for the first failure only one thing had to go wrong.  For the second failure, another thing had to go wrong - the failure review board had to fail to find the right problem (or perhaps specify the wrong set of fixes).

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #43 on: 02/25/2014 02:42 AM »
I wonder if the renaming of Taurus to Minotaur C (assuming this is what is happening) might be avionics-based.  Minotaur was equipped from the outset with an upgraded version of Orbital's older Pegasus and Taurus avionics system.  This included the inclusion of Orbital's Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) system and the use of high-data rate telemetry.  MACH was originally developed, as I understand it, for OSP and Target Launch Vehicle.  Perhaps a Taurus equipped with updated Minotaur avionics suite is now going to be called "Minotaur C". 

Just a guess.

 - Ed Kyle

After OCO and Glory, Taurus was actually out of flight computers; the original manufacture had moved on.  One of those two crapped out in testing and had to be sent back for repair prior to OCO, which made a few people pretty nervous.  So I guess instead of keeping the Taurus name and paying to upgrade they are just doing the upgrade to MACH and giving the vehicle a clean start. 
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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #44 on: 02/25/2014 01:07 PM »
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
Well, for the first failure only one thing had to go wrong.  For the second failure, another thing had to go wrong - the failure review board had to fail to find the right problem (or perhaps specify the wrong set of fixes).

Unfortunately, no. The same problem bit twice. The wrong "problem" was fixed after T8/OCO.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #45 on: 02/25/2014 01:09 PM »
After OCO and Glory, Taurus was actually out of flight computers; the original manufacture had moved on.  One of those two crapped out in testing and had to be sent back for repair prior to OCO, which made a few people pretty nervous.  So I guess instead of keeping the Taurus name and paying to upgrade they are just doing the upgrade to MACH and giving the vehicle a clean start. 

Orbital's very sensible plan is to use the MACH avionics family throughout the product line. The architecture is very flexible. I'm currently evaluating such an upgrade to another of Orbital's vehicles.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #46 on: 02/25/2014 01:21 PM »
So is it not so much renaming a rocket as a hostile takeover merger of the Taurus and Minotaur teams?

Might we see similar Pegasus synergy in the future?

The engineering teams for Minotaur & Pegasus/Taurus will probably remain separate. The Vandenberg operations have always been integrated across the product line.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #47 on: 02/25/2014 01:25 PM »
So it actually uses the "standard" Minotaur fairing, and not the same fairing as the Taurus.

Which was in turn taken from Taurus-2210 and -3210. So it is in fact the large Taurus fairing - not the small, which caused so much trouble.

....although the frangible joints used on the two sizes were very similar and supplied by the same vendor. Orbital now has an aerospace qualified vendor.

Offline baldusi

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #48 on: 02/25/2014 02:33 PM »
The engineering teams for Minotaur & Pegasus/Taurus will probably remain separate. The Vandenberg operations have always been integrated across the product line.
Antares is a third team? Pegasus II a fourth? I'm trying to understand why Taurus is being folded into Minotaur-C, but the other solids aren't.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #49 on: 02/25/2014 03:08 PM »
The engineering teams for Minotaur & Pegasus/Taurus will probably remain separate. The Vandenberg operations have always been integrated across the product line.
Antares is a third team? Pegasus II a fourth? I'm trying to understand why Taurus is being folded into Minotaur-C, but the other solids aren't.

Antares is a separate team. I know nothing about "Pegasus II" (?). Taurus is not being folded into Minotaur-C. For all intents and purposes, Minotaur-C is simply a new name for Taurus XL. This is all about re-branding, not reorganization. Yes, there will be some changes to details of the rocket, but the engineering team will continue as it has in the past, handling Pegasus and Taurus vehicle engineering.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2014 05:04 PM by Kim Keller »

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #50 on: 02/25/2014 03:30 PM »
Pegasus II is the informal name for the Stratolaunch launch vehicle.
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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #51 on: 02/25/2014 05:03 PM »
Pegasus II is the informal name for the Stratolaunch launch vehicle.

Oh yeah, forgot...thanks. It's easy getting old, tough being old!

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #52 on: 08/29/2017 08:40 PM »
Spaceflight Now shows this launch scheduled for October 17 at 1437 PDT/2137 GMT.

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - October 17, 2017
« Reply #53 on: 09/05/2017 01:22 PM »
Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 9m9 minutes ago

Six @planetlabs 100-kg SkySat high-res observation sats built by @sslmda arrive Vandenberg AFB for Oct launch on @OrbitalATK Minotaur.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/905056160671309824

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
« Reply #54 on: 09/05/2017 09:40 PM »
Wasn't a material uncontrolled secondary property that failed to propagate the fissure?

If that's meant to indicate that the frangible joint was not manufactured by a subcontractor to aerospace requirements, then you're right.

I realize the above quotes are a few years old, but some new info has recently come to light on the subject of those frangible joint failures. NASA is reportedly investigating the supplier, who allegedly falsified materials test results.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43508.0

So not only was the joint not "manufactured to aerospace requirements," the supplier intentionally falsified test results. Hope someone goes to jail for that.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2017 09:47 PM by Kabloona »

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - October 17, 2017
« Reply #55 on: 09/06/2017 01:58 AM »
Unless I am mistaken, the VV07 launch (Vega launch in Sep 2016) put Skysats 4-7 into orbit. The title should be updated to reflect Skysat-8/9/10/11/12/13. 

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Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - October 17, 2017
« Reply #56 on: 09/06/2017 02:50 AM »
http://sslmda.com/html/pressreleases/2017-09-05-High-Resolution-Smallsats-Built-by-SSL-Arrive-at-Vandenberg-AFB-for-Launch.php

High Resolution Smallsats Built by SSL Arrive at Vandenberg AFB for Launch
Six Planet satellites — California owned, California built, California launched

PALO ALTO, Calif. – September 5, 2017 — In a first for the industry, six satellites, built in California, to be launched in California, for a California company have arrived at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, where they are scheduled to be launched on a Minotaur rocket in October.  Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, built the six high-resolution small satellites for Planet for its SkySat Earth observation constellation – a fleet Planet gained through the acquisition of the Terra Bella business from Google, Inc. in April 2017. The satellites will double Planet’s high resolution imaging capabilities and help deliver information to users about our physical world that impacts decision making.

“Small satellites and Earth observation satellites are a growing focus for SSL,” said Dario Zamarian, group president of SSL. “SSL is known for working very collaboratively with our customers and it has been a great pleasure for our team to work together with Planet. For these satellites we have taken a fresh approach to manufacturing, learning from our GEO experience but also looking for new and more efficient processes that in turn also inform our large satellite manufacturing.”

The satellites, called SkySat 8 through 13, are each about 60 x 60 x 95 centimeters, weigh about 100 kilograms, and capture sub-meter color imagery and up to 90-second clips of HD video with 30 frames per second. Working together with the seven SkySats already on orbit, the satellites will dramatically increase Planet’s high resolution imaging capabilities, enabling multiple imaging passes in a single day. These capabilities, combined with Planet’s over 170 Dove satellites and their advanced software analytics platform, make it possible to derive timely insights from any location in the world. The Planet constellation provides a broad range of data, tools, and analytical services that help leaders in business and humanitarian sectors solve complex problems.

“These SkySats double the amount of high resolution data that we can capture and serve to users, and will power insights, inform smart decisions, and most importantly, help make the world a better and safer place,” said Will Marshall, co-founder and chief executive officer of Planet. “The highly experienced team at SSL has been helpful and responsive as we work together to get the satellites prepared for launch.”

SSL has deep experience in building and integrating some of the world’s most powerful and comprehensive solutions for services such as communications, Earth observation, in-orbit servicing, space robotics, and exploration. Four SkySats built by SSL were launched in September 2016, and SSL is currently building an additional eight LEOs for Planet in its SmallSat manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif., where the company takes an innovative approach to satellite design, assembly, and test.

Please visit SSL’s new website which reflects the company’s broad capabilities as a provider of integrated space technologies and systems.

 
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