Author Topic: Virgin Orbit preparing for busy LauncherOne future  (Read 43538 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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We are now cleared to test our rocket engines during the night shift! More time = more testing. Thanks to @MojaveAirport & @kerncountyfire

https://twitter.com/virgin_orbit/status/905210196208656384

Offline john smith 19

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You identified the number one reason this concept is a bad idea.  It's repeating the Space Shuttle mistake all over again:  unnecessarily risking people to launch unmanned payloads into orbit.  Almost every rocket design has had a RUD event near the launch point at some time in its history, some sooner than others.  Take a good look at the Cosmic Girl-- when that event inevitably happens to Launcher One, that will be the end of the Girl and the poor crewmen whose number came up that day.  Probably the end of Virgin Orbit as well.  All for some range flexibility and questionable decrease in price.
From a certain angle this really does sound like concern trolling.

You wouldn't believe Orbital have been doing Pegasus air launches since 1990 and Stargazer is still in one piece, and yet it is.  :(

Air dropped LV's are challenging but I consider your concerns excessive.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Stephen Clark‏ @StephenClark1 1m1 minute ago

Virgin Orbit's Dan Hart: Pathfinder for LauncherOne completed in last few weeks, shipping to Mojave for tanking tests. Test flight next yr.

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/907537241819553792

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Caleb Henry‏ @CHenry_SN 5h5 hours ago

.@Virgin_Orbit talking 24 launches in 2020. Rapidly scaling launch rate.

https://twitter.com/CHenry_SN/status/907533553394733056

Offline Comga

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Caleb Henry‏ @CHenry_SN 5h5 hours ago

.@Virgin_Orbit talking 24 launches in 2020. Rapidly scaling launch rate.

https://twitter.com/CHenry_SN/status/907533553394733056

More interesting to me than the supposed rapid growth rate is the launch pattern.
Long ferry flights to remote bases but the launch points are shown as close to the bases.
Moderate inclination, ~30-60 deg, from the east coast, the Cape and Wallops, but not from "KOA" (Kona?)
KOA would seem to include zero, which says these are launch azimuths not inclinations, but that detail is almost irrelevant to missions. 
And the flight paths and IIPs for low inclination from KOA if launched north of east would go over the continental US.  Seems unlikely.
Seems .... unrefined
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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We are thrilled that @SpaceBelt1 has selected #LauncherOne for initial deployment of their constellation! Agreement signed today at #WSBW17
https://twitter.com/virgin_orbit/status/907669009553747968

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The @SpaceBelt1 system is a truly secure global data storage network ... in space! They'll start w/ 12 dedicated flights on #LauncherOne
https://twitter.com/virgin_orbit/status/907669636040187904


Offline Davidthefat

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We are thrilled that @SpaceBelt1 has selected #LauncherOne for initial deployment of their constellation! Agreement signed today at #WSBW17
https://twitter.com/virgin_orbit/status/907669009553747968

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The @SpaceBelt1 system is a truly secure global data storage network ... in space! They'll start w/ 12 dedicated flights on #LauncherOne
https://twitter.com/virgin_orbit/status/907669636040187904



I'm not sure how that is any more secure way to store data. Can't anyone listen in on the transmissions, and you are now only relying on the encryption of the data? How is that any different than the current state of the art? Other than in space?

Offline Kabloona

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Caleb Henry‏ @CHenry_SN 5h5 hours ago

.@Virgin_Orbit talking 24 launches in 2020. Rapidly scaling launch rate.

https://twitter.com/CHenry_SN/status/907533553394733056

And here's his writeup for Space News.

http://spacenews.com/virgin-orbit-still-expects-to-fly-twice-a-month-in-2020-despite-delayed-test-campaign/

Offline ThePhugoid

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And the flight paths and IIPs for low inclination from KOA if launched north of east would go over the continental US.  Seems unlikely.
Seems .... unrefined

Not necessarily.  They can also fly over South America.  And in either of those cases (North America or South) the vehicle IIP is moving quickly and corresponds to a small upper stage, which greatly helps the casualty expectation thresholds.  A majority of the regions in South American overflight would also be sparsely populated.

Northern azimuth departures out of KSC to ISS fly over Europe in this sense all the time.  No issues there.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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http://spaceref.biz/company/cloud-constellation-selects-virgin-orbit-for-spacebelt-initial-constellation-deployment.html

"The initial deployment of the SpaceBelt network will be powered by a dozen ~400 kilogram satellites placed into low inclination orbits. Taking full advantage of LauncherOne as a dedicated launch service for small satellites and as a uniquely flexible service enabled by air-launch, the SpaceBelt constellation will be deployed using single-manifested launches occurring in rapid sequence. The initial launch is expected to occur as early as 2019."
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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I'm not sure how that is any more secure way to store data. Can't anyone listen in on the transmissions, and you are now only relying on the encryption of the data? How is that any different than the current state of the art? Other than in space?

Your data is stored on the satellite and not on the ground where it might be accessed through nefarious means. Laser communications will make it difficult to intercept the data. If they use quantum key encryption, then it will be impossible to crack.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Picture from Virginís press release about new contract: https://virg.in/oft

Edit: replaced with higher-res image
« Last Edit: 09/15/2017 06:02 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline TrevorMonty

I'm not sure how that is any more secure way to store data. Can't anyone listen in on the transmissions, and you are now only relying on the encryption of the data? How is that any different than the current state of the art? Other than in space?

Your data is stored on the satellite and not on the ground where it might be accessed through nefarious means. Laser communications will make it difficult to intercept the data. If they use quantum key encryption, then it will be impossible to crack.
Even microwave transmissions are not easy to listen in on. Need to be near receiving station and will only get downlink traffic. Traffic can be split between multiple ground stations around world making one comms session very fragmented for listener.

Safe from earth based natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Vunerable to solar flare but these are rare and data would still be backup on ground.

The same security reasons are why new LEO broadband constellations are appealling to large data companies for direct comms links between databanks.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2017 06:17 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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AM Conference Speaker: DMG MORI and Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit and DMG MORI will discuss the aerospace companyís experience as the first adopter of the machine tool manufacturerís hybrid AM machine.

Blog Post: 9/18/2017
JULIA HIDER
Assistant Editor, Modern Machine Shop

Virgin Orbitís need to produce critical components for launch vehicles using material combinations such as Inconel with copper alloys led the company to become the first adopter of DMG MORIís mill-turn-based hybrid AM machine.
Dr. Andrew Duggleby and Kevin Zagorski of Virgin Orbit will join DMG MORI senior vice president Greg Hyatt at the 2017 Additive Manufacturing Conference to give a talk describing Virgin Orbitís experience as the first customer to implement DMG MORIís hybrid AM machine. They will also discuss how Virgin Orbit is considering a similar experience in becoming the first adopter of DMG MORIís robot-based AM machine.
The group presents Wednesday, October 11, at 9:30 a.m.

Register for the Additive Manufacturing Conference here. Already registered? Follow @LearnAdditive on Twitter for the latest updates, and use #additiveconference to join the conversation.

http://www.additivemanufacturing.media/blog/post/am-conference-speaker-dmg-mori-and-virgin-orbit

Online catdlr

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Virgin Orbit - Cosmic Girl Flight Test

Virgin Orbit
Published on Sep 21, 2017


All of our flights to space with LauncherOne will start with our flying launch pad, a Boeing 747-400 named Cosmic Girl. Cosmic Girl is already active in our rigorous flight test program. Recently, our friends at Virgin Galactic captured some fun air-to-air footage of Cosmic Girl in the skies above Mojave. Thanks also to our friends at Virgin Atlantic for taking such great care of Cosmic Girl when she was a baby!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6O0A8qUgaA?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline HVM

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I asked in the last video, will Cosmic Girl carry LOX onboard for Launcher One top off? I know nobody in big channels answers YouTube comments but still. Video was removed and re-uploaded, maybe there was editing error, it looked like exactly same to me...

Offline HVM

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From Brian Lockett's book Balls Eight: History of the Boeing NB-52B Stratofortress Mothership:

"LOX Top-Off System Automation:

As the NB-52B hauled the X-15 to the launch point, the liquid oxygen in the tank of the X-15 was evaporating. The X-15 liquid oxygen supply was replenished from the tank in the bomb bay of the NB-52B. North American installed instrumentation to automate the operation of the liquid oxygen top-off system in February 1960. Forty-eight man-hours were expended over three days on the installation. A ďblack box" was mounted on a bulkhead in the bomb bay and its associated wiring was routed through the pressure bulkhead into the lower crew compartment..."

Online Kryten

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 It doesn't sound like it will. From the LO environmental impact report;
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The wing would be modified to carry both the rocket and a removable adapter, which houses the structural release mechanism, and quick release electrical and pneumatic connections to the carrier vehicle. The carrier vehicle provides electrical power, purge gasses, and monitoring and control of the rocket by a launch engineer onboard the carrier vehicle.

Offline Pomerantz

I asked in the last video, will Cosmic Girl carry LOX onboard for Launcher One top off? I know nobody in big channels answers YouTube comments but still. Video was removed and re-uploaded, maybe there was editing error, it looked like exactly same to me...

(Long time lurker, first time poster)

We try to respond to comments and questions even in the treacherous corners of the internet (what could be more treacherous than the comments on YouTube?)--but admittedly, it's at the end of a very long To Do list...

In answer to your main question: no, we do not top-off LOX in flight. To date, there has not been a need for us to do so--we believe we can meet all of the missions on our manifest without LOX top-off.

And in answer to the minor point: there was one shot within the video that somehow got mirror (left to right). We pulled the video to replace that one shot.

Online catdlr

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Virgin Orbit - NewtonFour Hotfire with Gimbal (25 September 2017)

Virgin Orbit
Published on Oct 3, 2017

LauncherOne is powered by two rocket enginesóa single NewtonThree on the main stage and a single NewtonFour on the upper stage. Both engines are turbopump-fed, gas generator cycle, LOX/RP-1 engines developed in-house here at Virgin Orbit. In this test, the rocket engine gimbals--in other words, it pivots--over a large range of motion. In flight, gimbaling allows the rocket engine to change the direction of thrust--and thereby steer the rocket. We've added a diagram on the left-hand side of the screen to show the orientation of the engine throughout the test.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYImjgBF2oM?t=001

« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 04:34 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

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