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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => ULA - Delta, Atlas, Vulcan => Topic started by: vapour_nudge on 12/24/2014 09:49 AM

Title: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: vapour_nudge on 12/24/2014 09:49 AM
Coverage thread for the AFSPC-5 mission.

This launch was originally scheduled for February 2015 but is now scheduled for the 6th of May, 2015.
Does anyone know if UltraSat is part of ELaNa-11 or is it a separate payload also hitching a ride on the same rocket?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/24/2014 09:54 AM
I read somewhere here that AFSPC-05 = X-37B OTV-4 (apparently there was a change in the user after the initial 3 flights); is that correct?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 12/24/2014 10:17 AM
That would explain some conflicting info I've been given. It certainly sounds plausible. If someone could confirm it would be appreciated as there is a little doubt in my mind as it also could be the mission which opened up a slot for Cygnus.

(Thanks to AMSAT VK3 friends for some info)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Targeteer on 12/24/2014 02:33 PM
I read somewhere here that AFSPC-05 = X-37B OTV-4 (apparently there was a change in the user after the initial 3 flights); is that correct?

Here?  http://spaceflightnow.com/2014/12/19/2015-preview-for-ula/

Their latest schedule just says AFSPC-5
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/25/2014 02:47 AM
I read somewhere here that AFSPC-05 = X-37B OTV-4 (apparently there was a change in the user after the initial 3 flights); is that correct?

Here?  http://spaceflightnow.com/2014/12/19/2015-preview-for-ula/

Their latest schedule just says AFSPC-5

Nah, it's here on NSF. I think it was a Jim's Quote (TM).

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: WHAP on 12/25/2014 06:13 PM
ULA's official manifest is also showing AFSPC-5.  That doesn't mean it won't be OTV, just that's what the paperwork says right now.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 01/17/2015 09:34 PM
SFN's launch schedule is now showing this launch slot as AFSPC-6 not 5

It might be worthwhile to change the thread title now
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/18/2015 12:13 AM
SFN's launch schedule is now showing this launch slot as AFSPC-6 not 5

It might be worthwhile to change the thread title now
We have plenty of time so let's wait a bit till L2 knows for sure.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Targeteer on 01/19/2015 05:30 PM
Copied from the US Launch schedule thread

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/553778550243749888/photo/1

A few notes...

Mid May looks like an Atlas-501 so X-37B?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 01/19/2015 09:46 PM
That certainly adds a lot of weight to the topic. It's a 5m fairing and there are no solids. I'm convinced
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 01/26/2015 04:27 PM
The Planetary Society has confirmed, that their LightSail cubesat is on board of the launch - this almost certainly means, that the UltraSat (which contains NASA's ELaNa-11 cubesats) is also onboard.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150112-lightsail-test-flight.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 01/26/2015 10:29 PM
Note that SFN have changed their reference back to AFSPC-5 from 6
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 03/11/2015 02:55 PM
Here is a post by the Planetary.Org about the LightSail cubesat, which hitches a ride on the AFSPC-05 mission.

LightSail flys in the ULTRASAT dispenser, which carries eight 3U P-POD cubesat launchers. Lightsail is the ony NASA sponsored payload on this mission.

Does any one have info, which other cubesats are to fly with ULTRASAT?

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/lightsail-arrives-in-florida.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/22/2015 02:09 AM
Does anyone have the tail number for this launch and a link to it?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 03/22/2015 02:33 AM
AV-054 is the tail/serial number. This manifest link shows almost all tail/serial numbers through 2019:

http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg (http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Targeteer on 03/22/2015 08:51 AM
AV-054 is the tail/serial number. This manifest link shows almost all tail/serial numbers through 2019:

http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg (http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg)

NROL-101?  Seems like they skipped lots of numbers...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/22/2015 10:53 AM

That certainly adds a lot of weight to the topic. It's a 5m fairing and there are no solids. I'm convinced

Just wondering in that case why does it say 401 in the thread title, shouldn't it be 501 in that case?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/22/2015 03:10 PM
AV-054 is the tail/serial number. This manifest link shows almost all tail/serial numbers through 2019:

http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg (http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg)

NROL-101?  Seems like they skipped lots of numbers...
Yes, they never seem to launch in numerical sequence. NROL-1 launched years after many NRO missions so this is to be expected.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/22/2015 03:13 PM

That certainly adds a lot of weight to the topic. It's a 5m fairing and there are no solids. I'm convinced

Just wondering in that case why does it say 401 in the thread title, shouldn't it be 501 in that case?
Might need a moderator to change the title historically
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/22/2015 04:18 PM

That certainly adds a lot of weight to the topic. It's a 5m fairing and there are no solids. I'm convinced

Just wondering in that case why does it say 401 in the thread title, shouldn't it be 501 in that case?
Might need a moderator to change the title historically
Noticed it has been changed now so all is good.:)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 03/23/2015 04:42 PM
AV-054 is the tail/serial number. This manifest link shows almost all tail/serial numbers through 2019:

http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg (http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/atlas5manifest-646x1024.jpg)

NROL-101?  Seems like they skipped lots of numbers...
Yes, they never seem to launch in numerical sequence. NROL-1 launched years after many NRO missions so this is to be expected.

NROL-1 launched in August 2004; the first ever NRO mission launched in December 1996 and was designated NROL-2.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/23/2015 05:11 PM
I wonder at what point before launch we'll learn if this is definitely an X-37B or not.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 03/23/2015 08:18 PM
It's either an X-37B or the next two GSSAP satellites. Which of these two will be the real AFSPC-5 payload alongside LightSail-A?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/24/2015 02:42 AM
I wouldn't expect a GSSAP mission to require a 5m fairing so my money is on the OTV. Happy to be wrong though.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 03/24/2015 12:48 PM
I wouldn't expect a GSSAP mission to require a 5m fairing so my money is on the OTV. Happy to be wrong though.

Me too. I'm betting my life savings on "X-37B OTV-4".
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/27/2015 11:52 PM
I wouldn't expect a GSSAP mission to require a 5m fairing so my money is on the OTV. Happy to be wrong though.

Me too. I'm betting my life savings on "X-37B OTV-4".
Your savings are safe - check out the mission artwork at the site:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/images/AFSPC5_MssnArt_Sml.jpg


Atlas V to Launch AFSPC-5 for the Air Force


ULA Atlas V AFSPC-5 Mission ArtworkRocket/Payload: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 501 will launch the AFSPC-5 mission for the U.S. Air Force.

Date/Site/Launch Time: Wednesday, May 6, from Space Launch Complex (SLC)-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Mission Description: This mission will be launched in support of the national defense.

Launch Notes: AFSPC-5 marks ULA’s 96th mission since the company was founded in 2006 and the fifth ULA launch of 2015. AFSPC-5 also will be the 54th Atlas V launch since the vehicle’s inaugural mission in 2002.

Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch.


Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go AFSPC-5!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 03/28/2015 12:19 AM
Interesting it's a night view of North America with all the light pollution added in for effect. Any idea what the significance of 11 stars is?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/28/2015 12:53 AM
Interesting it's a night view of North America with all the light pollution added in for effect. Any idea what the significance of 11 stars is?
AFAIK its the number of AFSPC payloads orbited counting this launch, with the largest one being this flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/28/2015 03:23 AM
The original listed number of small sats for the ELana X1 mission was 4. I can only find one listed now, Lightsail which is part of Ultrasat. Does anyone have further info on the cubesats on board (if there are indeed any others)
http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/CSLI_selections.html#2014
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/28/2015 08:45 AM
Why are still referring to this purely as AFSPC-5 as we can clearly see it's the X-37B, but not one mention in that presser?

He said pedantically.:)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/28/2015 08:53 AM
That's what the US Air Force is calling it. Checkout the ULA mission page:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/atlas-v-to-launch-afspc5.aspx?title=Atlas+V+to+Launch+AFSPC-5+for+the+U.S.+Air+Force&Category=2
FTL
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/28/2015 08:58 AM
It just seems odd that's all.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 03/28/2015 10:01 AM
The original listed number of small sats for the ELana X1 mission was 4. I can only find one listed now, Lightsail which is part of Ultrasat. Does anyone have further info on the cubesats on board (if there are indeed any others)
http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/home/CSLI_selections.html#2014


NASA's ELANA XI consits of only one 3U cubesat (Lightsail A). All other cubesats (total of 21U) in the Ultrasat deployer are non NASA. I have no info by now, what the others are.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/31/2015 03:07 PM
New Spaceflight Now article. Seems the Air Force has yet to confirm which of the two vehicles they will be using on this flight. Going from the quotes below makes it sound like there could be some undisclosed differences between the two vehicles.

Quote
“The program selects the Orbital Test Vehicle for each activity based upon the experiment objectives,” said Capt. Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesperson.

“Each OTV mission builds upon previous on-orbit demonstrations and expands the test envelope of the vehicle.  The test mission furthers the development of the concept of operations for reusable space vehicles.”

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/03/30/mysterious-mini-spaceplane-the-next-atlas-5-payload/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/31/2015 04:06 PM
New Spaceflight Now article. Seems the Air Force has yet to confirm which of the two vehicles they will be using on this flight. Going from the quotes below makes it sound like there could be some undisclosed differences between the two vehicles.

Quote
“The program selects the Orbital Test Vehicle for each activity based upon the experiment objectives,” said Capt. Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesperson.

“Each OTV mission builds upon previous on-orbit demonstrations and expands the test envelope of the vehicle.  The test mission furthers the development of the concept of operations for reusable space vehicles.”

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/03/30/mysterious-mini-spaceplane-the-next-atlas-5-payload/
Yes, Boeing has stated before that after the first one flew some enhancements and optimizations were made. The first vehicle will see those added over time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 03/31/2015 04:10 PM
The second vehicle should fly this time to equalize its logged missions with the first vehicle. By the time OTV-4 is done and the second vehicle was chosen to fly it, both vehicles would have flown two missions each.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/31/2015 07:19 PM
What do people think to the suggestion that's been made that the X-37B is as much psyop as anything else.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 03/31/2015 11:39 PM
While more has been spent on other things for less effect, it still would be a fairly expensive for limited benefit. Not buying the psyop angle.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 04/01/2015 08:14 AM

While more has been spent on other things for less effect, it still would be a fairly expensive for limited benefit. Not buying the psyop angle.

I believe there might be an element of this in this usage I suspect it's not its primary purpose.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 04/01/2015 08:54 AM
FWIW I am guessing it is for testing of new technology, maybe even testing hi res imaging techniques or mirror technology and perhaps even testing off the shelf technology to see how long and how well it works for in the space environment. But I do think there'd be an element of not telling anyone to "keep 'em guessing" and also to simply imply there is more going on than perhaps there really is.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 04/01/2015 09:16 AM

FWIW I am guessing it is for testing of new technology, maybe even testing hi res imaging techniques or mirror technology and perhaps even testing off the shelf technology to see how long and how well it works for in the space environment. But I do think there'd be an element of not telling anyone to "keep 'em guessing" and also to simply imply there is more going on than perhaps there really is.

How about crystal growth in micro gravity over an extended period, doesn't obtaining certain very pure and perfect crystals take an extremely long period of time?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/10/2015 09:12 PM
ULA:

The ULA Atlas V launch of the AFSPC-5 mission has been delayed to no earlier than May 20, 2015 at the request of the U.S. Air Force to accommodate a spacecraft issue.

 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/10/2015 11:53 PM
Is that two launch delays for the same issue? MUOS-4
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Newton_V on 04/11/2015 12:21 AM
Is that two launch delays for the same issue? MUOS-4

Not sure I understand the question.  AFSPC-5 is OTV/X-37.  Unless there are common components between OTV and MUOS, I don't see any connection between the two missions.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/11/2015 01:18 AM
Think I'm reading to much into it, just noticed two launch delays posted at the same time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: averagespacejoe on 04/12/2015 03:23 PM
A nice look at a mission patch for this mission a lot of awesome detail!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 04/12/2015 04:48 PM
Further to my point its got that it's mission OTV-4 on the patch. First time I think we've seen that officially mentioned.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/12/2015 08:59 PM
The patch has it going retrograde again...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 04/24/2015 08:39 PM
The USAF have unusually given details about some of the payloads carried on this flight including that one is NASA originated.

Quote
New experiments

The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office has collaborated with several partners to test new experiments on this fourth flight for the X-37B program.

The forthcoming mission will test the performance of an experimental propulsion system jointly developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and Space and Missile Systems Center. In addition, the X-37B craft will carry a NASA advanced materials investigation.

“We’re very pleased with the experiments lined-up for our fourth OTV Mission OTV-4,” Walden said. “We’ll continue to evaluate improvements to the space vehicle’s performance, but we’re honored to host these collaborative experiments that will help advance the state-of-the-art for space technology.”

http://www.leonarddavid.com/new-details-secretive-air-force-space-planes-next-mission/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: catdlr on 04/25/2015 04:27 AM
article from Space.com
Mysterious X-37B Military Space Plane to Fly Again Next Month
SPACE.com By Mike Wall

http://news.yahoo.com/mysterious-x-37b-military-space-plane-fly-again-230344657.html

Quote
"The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) and the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) are investigating an experimental propulsion system on the X-37B on Mission 4,"

Quote
"AFRCO will also host a number of advance materials onboard the X-37B for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to study the durability of various materials in the space environment,"
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 04/25/2015 06:58 AM
The greater openness with this flight makes it seem like the Air Force might be tired of the constant speculation around it now.:D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/25/2015 01:21 PM
That, or this the first flight that they have payload(s) they can talk about. Doesn't mean this is everything it is carrying.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 04/25/2015 01:47 PM

That, or this the first flight that they have payload(s) they can talk about. Doesn't mean this is everything it is carrying.

I don't expect it is.

Wonder if the propulsion system is actually being used on the X-37B to change orbit etc or just something in the payload bay.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: okan170 on 04/26/2015 03:23 AM
ULA:

The ULA Atlas V launch of the AFSPC-5 mission has been delayed to no earlier than May 20, 2015 at the request of the U.S. Air Force to accommodate a spacecraft issue.

Well maybe it'll be a bit of a birthday present for me!  ;)  Reading up on the OTV and Atlas led me to try my hand at the never-to-be Atlas V Heavy.  An alternate-universe if you will, but its still launching something important for the USAF...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: A8-3 on 04/27/2015 08:09 PM
This article on Spaceflightnow is a bit more specific about the propulsion test. It's a Hall thruster produced by Aerojet Rocktdyne.

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/04/27/x-37b-launch-date-firms-up-as-new-details-emerge-about-experiment/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Targeteer on 04/27/2015 08:46 PM
http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123446260

4/27/2015 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- The Air Force Research Laboratory, Space and Missile Systems Center, and Rapid Capabilities Office are collaborating to host a Hall thruster experiment onboard the X-37B flight vehicle.

The experiment will be hosted on Orbital Test Vehicle mission 4, the fourth flight of the X-37B reusable space plane.

The first three OTV flights have accumulated a total of 1367 days of on-orbit experimentation prior to successful landings and recoveries at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.  The X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation, and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies, and it is administered by RCO.

The Hall thruster that will fly on the X-37B experiment is a modified version of the units that have propelled SMC's first three Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communications spacecraft.  A Hall thruster is a type of electric propulsion device that produces thrust by ionizing and accelerating a noble gas, usually xenon.  While producing comparatively low thrust relative to conventional rocket engines, Hall thrusters provide significantly greater specific impulse, or fuel economy.  This results in increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines.

This experiment will enable in-space characterization of Hall thruster design modifications that are intended to improve performance relative to the state-of-the-art units onboard AEHF.  The experiment will include collection of telemetry from the Hall thruster operating in the space environment as well as measurement of the thrust imparted on the vehicle.  The resulting data will be used to validate and improve Hall thruster and environmental modeling capabilities, which enhance the ability to extrapolate ground test results to actual on-orbit performance.  The on-orbit test plans are being developed by AFRL and administered by RCO.

The experiment has garnered strong support from AFRL senior leadership.

"Space is so vitally important to everything we do," said Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello, AFRL commander.   "Secure comms, ISR, missile warning, weather prediction, precision navigation and timing all rely on it, and the domain is increasingly contested.  A more efficient on-orbit thruster capability is huge.  Less fuel burn lowers the cost to get up there, plus it enhances spacecraft operational flexibility, survivability and longevity."

Dr. Greg Spanjers, the AFRL Space Capability Lead and Chief Scientist of the Space Vehicles Directorate, added, "AFRL is proud to be able to contribute to this research teamed with our partners at SMC, RCO, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Aerojet-Rocketdyne.  It was great to see our Gov't-Contractor team identify an opportunity and then quickly respond to implement a solution that will offer future Air Force spacecraft even greater capabilities."

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 04/27/2015 09:14 PM
As this flight seems a bit more open than the first three I wonder if we'll see more of the launch coverage rather than the usual early cut off?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 04/27/2015 10:02 PM
As this flight seems a bit more open than the first three I wonder if we'll see more of the launch coverage rather than the usual early cut off?
With a 98% certainty I can say no. There's still classified payloads and the orbit is still classified so nothing will be shown.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 04/28/2015 01:36 PM
The actual launch time has been revealed: 10:45:00 AM EDT (14:45:00 UTC). I thought it was 11 AM sharp as it was exactly between the four-hour window from 9 AM to 1 PM, but I was fifteen minutes off.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 04/28/2015 05:46 PM
Another open question:
How will the Centaur stage be used/disposed of after spacecraft separation (and after the cubesats are deployed)?

Engineering experiments?
Disposal via controlled atmospheric re-entry into a remote swath of ocean?
Disposal into solar orbit?

I don't expect any press releases--but sometimes the amateur satellite observations provide answers, or at least preclude possibilities.

Just a thought,
Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2015 06:29 AM
Some more details on the materials science payload from NASA.

Quote
Known as the Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space, or METIS, the investigation on the X-37B will expose nearly 100 different materials samples to the space environment for more than 200 days, NASA says. METIS is building upon data obtained by several missions of the Materials on International Space Station Experiment (MISSE), which flew more than 4,000 samples in space from 2001 to 2013.

For both MISSE and METIS, small samples the size of quarters are used. METIS will fly a variety of materials including polymers, composites and coatings.

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/06/nasa-gives-more-information-on-its-experiment-aboard-the-x-37b/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/07/2015 07:50 AM
Are there any full list of the cubesats flying along with the X-37B available right now?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/07/2015 08:52 AM
Are there any full list of the cubesats flying along with the X-37B available right now?

I haven't found a complete list. The only cubesats i have found, are the LightSail-A and AeroCube 8A and 8B. Thats only 2 of 8 PPods in UltraSat.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 05/07/2015 01:22 PM
This PPT suggests 4 cubesats on the ELaNa XI mission tagging along with AFSPC-05:
https://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/NRO RideShare Charts 2014 Final RevA-Skrobot.pptx


Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/07/2015 02:33 PM
This PPT suggests 4 cubesats on the ELaNa XI mission tagging along with AFSPC-05:
https://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/NRO RideShare Charts 2014 Final RevA-Skrobot.pptx

This is outdated. NASA has since reduced ELaNa XI to only one cubesat -  Lightsail-A
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/07/2015 02:35 PM
someone put one of those EM drives on there ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2015 03:06 PM

someone put one of those EM drives on there ;)

You wouldn't know if they had as probably the majority of the payload is still classified.;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jacqmans on 05/07/2015 06:38 PM
May 06, 2015
RELEASE 15-081
NASA Test Materials to Fly on Air Force Space Plane

Building on more than a decade of data from International Space Station (ISS) research, NASA is expanding its materials science research by flying an experiment on the U.S. Air Force X-37B space plane.

By flying the Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space (METIS) investigation on the X-37B, materials scientists have the opportunity to expose almost 100 different materials samples to the space environment for more than 200 days. METIS is building on data acquired during the Materials on International Space Station Experiment (MISSE), which flew more than 4,000 samples in space from 2001 to 2013.

“By exposing materials to space and returning the samples to Earth, we gain valuable data about how the materials hold up in the environment in which they will have to operate,” said Miria Finckenor, the co-investigator on the MISSE experiment and principal investigator for METIS at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “Spacecraft designers can use this information to choose the best material for specific applications, such as thermal protection or antennas or any other space hardware.”

The International Space Station is a unique orbiting laboratory used to conduct hundreds of investigations each year, with half of the research resources designated as a U.S. National Laboratory for investigations selected through the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to provide direct benefits to people living on Earth. NASA research focuses on advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating technologies to enable human exploration into deep space through investigations such as the current one-year mission with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly.

It is difficult to simulate all the aspects of the space environment, so testing materials for extended durations is particularly important. Programs across the aerospace industry, including NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover, the James Webb Space Telescope, and SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft have improved performance by selecting materials tested on the space station. All of the data from the MISSE investigations are available in the Materials and Processes Technical Information System, where the METIS data also will be made available.

Researchers are flying some materials as part of METIS that also were tested during MISSE. Testing the same types of materials again can help scientists verify results obtained on the orbital outpost. If researchers see different results between the same type of materials used on both METIS and MISSE, it would help scientists learn about the differences experienced in various orbital environments.

“When we flew newly developed static-dissipative coatings on MISSE-2, we did not know they would be used for both the Curiosity rover and the SpaceX Dragon,” said Finckenor. “Some program we don't know about now will be successful because engineers found the data they needed.”

The METIS experiment complements the station research, looking at a variety of materials of interest for use on spacecraft built by NASA, industry, and other government agencies. The materials flown in space are potential candidates to replace obsolescent materials with environmentally-friendly options.

Finckenor leads a diverse team of investigators from other NASA centers, aerospace companies, and universities. For both MISSE and METIS, the customers supply small quarter-size samples. METIS will fly a variety of materials including polymers, composites, and coatings. Finckenor prepares the samples for flight and helps with post-flight sample analysis.

“Data from the space station and METIS materials experiments will improve the lifetime and operations of future spacecraft needed for NASA’s journey to Mars,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, Marshall’s chief engineer.

Marshall provided the hardware for the experiment, while the Air Force is providing NASA the opportunity to fly the experiment. The flight provides researchers an opportunity to collect additional data in advance of the next MISSE experiment aboard the space station in a couple of years.

The Air Force operates the unpiloted, robotically controlled and reusable X-37B space plane to test technology during long-duration missions. It has completed three missions launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, with the last mission ending in October 2014 after 674 days in orbit. It takes off vertically, lands horizontally, and continues to further industrial advancement for reusable space test vehicles.

Data in the Materials and Processes Technical Information System are available to U.S. citizens, who can apply for an account at:

http://maptis.nasa.gov/

More information about the MISSE experiments and data is available at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/misse_research
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/08/2015 08:57 PM
I have now found the Cubesat Passengers for 4 of the 8 PPODS in UltraSat:

* LightSail A (3U)
* USS Langley (3U)
* AeroCube 8A, AeroCube 8B (both 1.5U)
* PSAT A, PSAT B  (both 1.5U) with BRICsat (not cubesat) housed in unused Space between the PSATs

This leaves 4 PPODs still unknown
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: wkann on 05/08/2015 09:02 PM
The X-37B was mated to the Atlas V.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jcm on 05/09/2015 05:06 AM
I have now found the Cubesat Passengers for 4 of the 8 PPODS in UltraSat:

* LightSail A (3U)
* USS Langley (3U)
* AeroCube 8A, AeroCube 8B (both 1.5U)
* PSAT A, PSAT B  (both 1.5U) with BRICsat (not cubesat) housed in unused Space between the PSATs

This leaves 4 PPODs still unknown

I think the not-Cubesat version of BRICsat was an earlier (2013?) design and the current design
is a full 1.5U judging from more recent USNA papers... but I'm not certain.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/09/2015 10:02 AM
I have now found the Cubesat Passengers for 4 of the 8 PPODS in UltraSat:

* LightSail A (3U)
* USS Langley (3U)
* AeroCube 8A, AeroCube 8B (both 1.5U)
* PSAT A, PSAT B  (both 1.5U) with BRICsat (not cubesat) housed in unused Space between the PSATs

This leaves 4 PPODs still unknown

I think the not-Cubesat version of BRICsat was an earlier (2013?) design and the current design
is a full 1.5U judging from more recent USNA papers... but I'm not certain.

Yes, i think you're right. The 1.5U BRICsat-P design appears to have replaced the original sub-Cubesat design.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/09/2015 04:36 PM
What do people think to the suggestion that's been made that the X-37B is as much psyop as anything else.
I'm seeing it more as analogous to the multipurpose Agena stage that handled such a variety of missions over the years.  Agena served not just as a launch stage, but also as a satellite bus for many of its missions [1].  It was built, of course, for optical recon, but ended up supporting everything else, including one-off oddball missions like Snapshot and MPRV (attempted) and ASTEX and Quill, or the GATV missions, etc..  X-37B even has roughly the same payload capability as Agena.  I'm starting to believe that X-37B is an Agena that comes back [2].

 - Ed Kyle

[1] http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_stage/agena.htm
[2] Though of course limited to LEO, unlike the original Agena.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/09/2015 05:59 PM
More payload mating photos:
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/09/2015 07:20 PM
UltraSat Cubesat update:

* LightSail A (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/lightsail-1.htm) (3U)
* USS Langley (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/uss-langley.htm) (3U)
* AeroCube 8A, AeroCube 8B (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/aerocube-8-impact.htm) (both 1.5U)
* PSAT A, PSAT B (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/psat.htm)  (both 1.5U)
* BRICsat-P (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/bricsat-p.htm) (1.5U)

This leaves 3.5 PPODs (= 10.5U) still unknown
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jacqmans on 05/12/2015 08:07 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKYlehI0Hkk
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/13/2015 12:26 AM
We've seen no imagery of the spacecraft's enclosure in the payload fairing (yet).  Why?  (I checked the "usual" web sites--did not find.)

There is such imagery from within Astrotech for the 1st (and 2nd, 3rd?) flights.

Also seeking confirmation (if possible)--this OTV was processed for launch within the former OPF-1 &/or -2?  Is that the reason?

Curious,
Zubenelgenubi

EDIT re: former OPFs.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/17/2015 08:25 AM
ULA:
Everything is progressing toward the AFSPC-5 launch for the Unites States Air Force. The mission is set to liftoff on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Wednesday, May 20 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Today's L-4 forecast continues to show an 40 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. The launch period is 10:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. EDT.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/17/2015 08:25 AM
Mission Booklet.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/17/2015 10:35 AM
Weather forecast attached

Quote
Launch day overall probability of violating weather constraints: 60%
Primary concern(s): Cumulus Clouds, Anvil Clouds, Lightning

24-hour delay overall probability of violating weather constraints: 70%
Primary concern(s): Cumulus Clouds, Anvil Clouds, Lightning
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 05/17/2015 06:30 PM
Weather forecast attached

Quote
Launch day overall probability of violating weather constraints: 60%
Primary concern(s): Cumulus Clouds, Anvil Clouds, Lightning

24-hour delay overall probability of violating weather constraints: 70%
Primary concern(s): Cumulus Clouds, Anvil Clouds, Lightning

Wow. Looks like there's a small chance of AFSPC-5 launching on time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/17/2015 07:40 PM
Updated forecast issued today. No change to either summary or probability for either day.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: mdeep on 05/17/2015 10:24 PM
The discussion text makes it sound like the weather at the beginning of the launch window will be better than the overall numbers indicate.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/18/2015 03:45 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5wQ-7WY-UY
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/18/2015 05:01 AM
UltraSat Cubesat update:

* LightSail A (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/lightsail-1.htm) (3U)
* USS Langley (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/uss-langley.htm) (3U)
* AeroCube 8A, AeroCube 8B (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/aerocube-8-impact.htm) (both 1.5U)
* PSAT A, PSAT B (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/psat.htm)  (both 1.5U)
* BRICsat-P (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/bricsat-p.htm) (1.5U)

This leaves 3.5 PPODs (= 10.5U) still unknown

The Press Kit says there are 8 PPODs and 10 cubesats. That implies there are six 3U and four 1.5U cubesats. That leaves four 3U and one 1.5U cubesat unaccounted for. I think one of the 3U cubesats might be the Biarri Risk Mitigation Flight cubesat, but that's only an educated guess.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ximig on 05/18/2015 12:51 PM
I just got one Launch Hazard Area  from http://www.patrick.af.mil/

Anyone have more detail notams?...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: fringe_dweller on 05/18/2015 03:39 PM
Anyone have more detail notams?...

NAVAREA IV 377/2015 (11,14,26)

WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC.
ROCKETS.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 201505Z TO 201730Z MAY, ALTERNATE 211518Z TO 211744Z MAY IN AREAS BOUND BY:
A. 28-36N 080-36W, 28-43N 080-19W, 28-41N 080-19W, 28-35N 080-26W, 28-34N 080-29W, 28-34N 080-35W.
B. 31-39N 073-56W, 32-18N 072-17W, 32-12N 072-14W, 31-31N 073-53W.
C. 36-17N 059-50W, 36-36N 058-31W, 36-30N 058-28W, 36-10N 059-49W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 211844Z MAY 15.

( 150350Z MAY 2015 )

HYDROPAC 1602/2015 (61,75)

SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN.
SPACE DEBRIS.
DNC 03.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 201735Z TO 201939Z MAY, ALTERNATE 211748Z TO 211953Z MAY IN AREA BOUND BY
49-00S 073-48E, 54-18S 095-42E, 56-24S 094-24E, 51-06S 072-00E.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 212053Z MAY 15.

( 150318Z MAY 2015 )
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/18/2015 09:08 PM
Ted Molczan has a very informative new post on Seesat-l regarding
X-37B OTV 4 search elements
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/May-2015/0132.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/May-2015/0132.html)

Some tidbits, paraphrased by me:
He's predicting an optimal launch time at 15:05 UTC (local time is EDT = UTC - 4 hours).

Launch azimuth is 61 degrees (east of north), from which he derives an orbital inclination (assuming no dogleg yaw steering) of 39 degrees.  He points out some yaw steering was performed on the 3 previous X-37B launches.

The Indian Ocean NOTAM appears to be for the Centaur stage (no heliocentric orbit disposal this time), but at a greater orbital inclination, approximately 56 degrees.  This matches information already released about the expected orbital parameters for the secondary payloads.  It appears that the Centaur stage will do some substantial maneuvering after OTV separation to provide this.

Ted M's analysis also assisted Craig Covault in his article at AmericaSpace:
Fourth Atlas-V Spaceplane Launch Heralds X-37B Program Shift As Centaur To Deploy Naval Satellites at Higher Inclination
http://www.americaspace.com/?p=82099 (http://www.americaspace.com/?p=82099)

Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/18/2015 09:31 PM
Do we know for definite yet which of the two vehicles is going up on this launch?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/18/2015 11:44 PM
Significant improvement in weather forecast for Wednesday, now 60% go (still only 30% go for Thursday).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/18/2015 11:56 PM
concerning the Cubesats:

NRO has posted the Cubesat Passengers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatReconOfc/status/600408238438240256

Now we know:

The CubeSats are (by PPODs):

* LightSail-A
* Aercoube 8A & 8B
* GEARRS 2
* PSAT 1, 2 (and BRICSat <not cubesat>)
* USS Langley
* O/C 1
* O/C 2
* O/C 3

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jcm on 05/19/2015 12:47 AM
concerning the Cubesats:

NRO has posted the Cubesat Passengers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatReconOfc/status/600408238438240256

Now we know:

The CubeSats are (by PPODs):

* LightSail-A
* Aercoube 8A & 8B
* GEARRS 2
* PSAT 1, 2 (and BRICSat <not cubesat>)
* USS Langley
* O/C 1
* O/C 2
* O/C 3




ULALaunch posted details on the cubesats

They suggest it's PSAT 1 only, with BRICSAT (no PSAT 2)


http://www.ulalaunch.com/atlas-v-to-launch-afspc5.aspx

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jcm on 05/19/2015 12:52 AM
The OptiCubes (O/C) are very puzzling. Is there any info about them anywhere? Cal Poly, but presumably under
contract to DoD in some form??
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/19/2015 06:29 AM
The OptiCubes (O/C) are very puzzling. Is there any info about them anywhere? Cal Poly, but presumably under
contract to DoD in some form??

Wouldn't have thought so as assuming then to be the classified passengers?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/19/2015 06:33 AM
concerning the Cubesats:

NRO has posted the Cubesat Passengers on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NatReconOfc/status/600408238438240256

Now we know:

The CubeSats are (by PPODs):

* LightSail-A
* Aercoube 8A & 8B
* GEARRS 2
* PSAT 1, 2 (and BRICSat <not cubesat>)
* USS Langley
* O/C 1
* O/C 2
* O/C 3




ULALaunch posted details on the cubesats

They suggest it's PSAT 1 only, with BRICSAT (no PSAT 2)


http://www.ulalaunch.com/atlas-v-to-launch-afspc5.aspx



This seems to be correct - i had always got the impression, that the two PSATs would be launched together, but apparently this had changed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/19/2015 12:33 PM
The weather forecast update issued today attached; no real change from yesterday. Conditions at the start of tomorrow's launch window still looking the most favourable.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/19/2015 01:43 PM
Atlas V is now rolling to the pad
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/19/2015 01:47 PM
And now on the pad!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 05/19/2015 07:00 PM
Will the OTV-4 portion of AFSPC-5 stay in space for 800 days or maybe a thousand?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jacqmans on 05/19/2015 07:31 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: input~2 on 05/19/2015 08:03 PM
Anyone have more detail notams?...

NAVAREA IV 377/2015 (11,14,26)

Illustration
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/19/2015 11:33 PM
Moved for live coverage!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/19/2015 11:38 PM
Another superb feature article by William Graham!

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/atlas-v-x-37b-spaceplane-launch/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/20/2015 02:21 AM
If you don't care for the X-37 but cares for the solar sail, here's the Planetary Society's mission control page: http://sail.planetary.org/missioncontrol  ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/20/2015 08:02 AM
ULA has updated the launch time with 2 narrow windows: 11:05-11:15 a.m. and 12:42-12:52 p.m. EDT. (15:05-15:15 & 16:42-16:52 UTC)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/20/2015 11:58 AM
Any weather updates posted yet for today?  Last I heard, it was 60% likelihood of a weather scrub for today, 70% for tomorrow.  Any relaxation of those discouraging numbers now that the day has dawned?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jacqmans on 05/20/2015 12:21 PM
ULA ‏@ulalaunch   
Countdown has entered a planned 30-min hold. This is the first of 2 planned holds in the #AFSPC5 count. On track for 11:05 amEDT launch.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 12:50 PM
Any weather updates posted yet for today?  Last I heard, it was 60% likelihood of a weather scrub for today, 70% for tomorrow.  Any relaxation of those discouraging numbers now that the day has dawned?

It is severe clear here.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 12:51 PM
If you don't care for the X-37 but cares for the solar sail, here's the Planetary Society's mission control page: http://sail.planetary.org/missioncontrol  ;)

the video is good; good things in small packages 8)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZu_NfU9cGA

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: MattMason on 05/20/2015 01:05 PM
In case you're like me, flailing about in vain for a video link, don't look to NASA TV, as they aren't covering this launch. But ULA will be, at the following link, once coverage is active.

http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx (http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 01:07 PM
Centaur LO2 loading underway.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 01:15 PM
Atlas LO2 loading underway.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 01:44 PM
Centaur LH2 at 30%.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 01:45 PM
Atlas TVC testing underway.

edit: 1347Z, testing complete.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 01:50 PM
Centaur TVC (EMAC) testing underway.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 01:58 PM
FTS receiver checks underway.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: abaddon on 05/20/2015 02:04 PM
Always love watching the only remaining operational space plane launching.  Also excited about the light sail experiment, hope it is successful!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:16 PM
L-50 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:29 PM
15 mins to the webcast.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 02:30 PM
We have the bars up 

http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx

full feed...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:45 PM
Here's the big headed Atlas V 501!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:46 PM
T-4 mins and holding. No issues being worked.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:46 PM
Steve is back for this one.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:46 PM
They are going to have Bill Nye on later, instead of some fresh faced USAF Lt.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:48 PM
Weather is green.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:48 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 02:48 PM
weather looking good
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 02:50 PM
nice pic from the rollout
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Bargemanos on 05/20/2015 02:53 PM
Nice video about this launch
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:54 PM
Cubesats....
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 02:55 PM
Denver Engineering & Tiger Team poll complete and go for launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:55 PM
Coming up on polling to come out of the hold.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 02:57 PM
nice cool view

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:57 PM
Solar radiation is acceptable :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:58 PM
A look into Kim's man cave....
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 02:58 PM
Polling....a long list of controllers.

All Go to come out of the hold.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 03:00 PM
A look into Kim's man cave....

Not mine - I'm in the TM Lab at Hangar AE! But that's where the ULA engineering & tiger team live.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:01 PM
T-4 mins and counting!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:01 PM
Ground power enabled.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:02 PM
FTS internal.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:03 PM
T-120 seconds.

Internal power.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:03 PM
Securing tanks, into press.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:04 PM
T-60 seconds.

Fair winds and following seas, X-37B!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:04 PM
Go Atlas. Go Centaur. Go AFSPC-05!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:05 PM
LAUNCH!!

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Bargemanos on 05/20/2015 03:05 PM
Lift Off!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:06 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 03:06 PM
Launch
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:06 PM
MaxQ and nominal.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:07 PM
Pitching.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:07 PM
Always my favourite view of an Atlas V ascent.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:09 PM
Fairing jettison.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: cscott on 05/20/2015 03:09 PM
Pitching.
What's that protrusion from the fairing?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:10 PM
BECO.

Staging!

Centuar ignition!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:10 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 03:11 PM
some of the great pics
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 03:12 PM
more
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 05/20/2015 03:12 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:13 PM
Planetary Society segment for LightSail.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 03:14 PM
and the guest
showing off his special tie
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Damon Hill on 05/20/2015 03:17 PM
Pitching.
What's that protrusion from the fairing?

Vent for hydrogen gas boiloff.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/20/2015 03:17 PM
Boeing promo of X-37 “first unmanned vehicle to return to Earth and land by itself”... That would be Buran... :o
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Tuts36 on 05/20/2015 03:19 PM
Fantastic, smooth launch! 

I haven't watched many ULA launches - do they always announce the engine model number like that when they fire? ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: NovaSilisko on 05/20/2015 03:22 PM
Boeing promo of X-37 “first unmanned vehicle to return to Earth and land by itself”... That would be Buran... :o

Was thinking the same thing. Maybe they decided Buran didn't qualify because it was designed to carry crew, whereas X-37 never was?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: hpras on 05/20/2015 03:23 PM
Pitching.
What's that protrusion from the fairing?

Vent for hydrogen gas boiloff.
Now everyone has to drink.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:23 PM
Steve talking about his Shuttle tie. He worked STS-95.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:27 PM
Ok, so that's the end of coverage. Ended with fashion tips. Bizarre! ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: MattMason on 05/20/2015 03:28 PM
Webcast ends.

Congrats to ULA, the USAF and the many people who will get their cubesats into orbit!

Quite a refreshing change to see a launch success of late. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Mapperuo on 05/20/2015 03:29 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJCEVFgswjw
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Mark McCombs on 05/20/2015 03:30 PM
Congrats to ULA, USAF et al.   8)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 03:30 PM
William's article updated:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/atlas-v-x-37b-spaceplane-launch/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: PahTo on 05/20/2015 03:30 PM

The nozzle "extension" on the RL-10C looked longer/larger than the A4--or perhaps better stated, the C1 nozzle looks different than the A4, and very impressive.  Materials sciences is a good thing--can't wait to see clusters of said engine working in concert...
Congrats to the teams, now on to mission(s) success(es)!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/20/2015 03:32 PM
Congratulations to all involved in getting the only currently flying spaceplane successfully into orbit again.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/20/2015 03:35 PM
Ok, so that's the end of coverage. Ended with fashion tips. Bizarre! ;D
Post launch celebrations must have started early... ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/20/2015 03:36 PM
Congrats to ULA for a good, solid, on-time launch.  It's what we're beginning to expect, every time.

That rocket cam was sorta weird, though.  Every time they'd cut to it, it looked like the Atlas was still climbing vertically up from the launch complex.  Even well after the vehicle was pitching down into its near-horizontal trajectory.  Made me wonder there, for a minute, if the thing wasn't gonna keep goin' straight up...  ???
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/20/2015 03:37 PM
Other duties kept me from watching all but the end of the ULA webcast...

Great launch replay at the end-of-webcast.

I enjoyed the Steve & Bill show!  They looked like they were having fun!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: cscott on 05/20/2015 03:41 PM
Boeing promo of X-37 “first unmanned vehicle to return to Earth and land by itself”... That would be Buran... :o

Was thinking the same thing. Maybe they decided Buran didn't qualify because it was designed to carry crew, whereas X-37 never was?

Well, and Dragon "returns to earth and lands" as well, as have a number of BEO probes (Stardust, etc).  I think they were missing the words "American" and "winged": "first American unmanned winged vehicle to return to Earth and land". The "by itself" is redundant, considering it is unmanned -- unless they are thinking of some sort of remotely-piloted drone?  But I don't think that's been ever been done, so the qualification seems unnecessary.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: douglas100 on 05/20/2015 03:46 PM
Congrats to ULA for a good, solid, on-time launch.  It's what we're beginning to expect, every time.

That rocket cam was sorta weird, though.  Every time they'd cut to it, it looked like the Atlas was still climbing vertically up from the launch complex.  Even well after the vehicle was pitching down into its near-horizontal trajectory.  Made me wonder there, for a minute, if the thing wasn't gonna keep goin' straight up...  ???

Yeah, I've seen that on other launches, like Antares for instance. But if you look, you can see the land start to foreshorten as she pitches over.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: abaddon on 05/20/2015 03:46 PM
Bah, work duties forced me to miss the launch  >:(.

Congratulations to ULA and USAF as well as the associated partners on another picture perfect launch!

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: BrianNH on 05/20/2015 03:52 PM
Congratulations to ULA on a beautiful launch!   :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: baldusi on 05/20/2015 03:54 PM
And congratulations to ULA for making all this seem so routine.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 05/20/2015 03:57 PM
Congrats to ULA for the AFSPC-5 mission's launch today.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: PahTo on 05/20/2015 03:59 PM
Congrats to ULA for a good, solid, on-time launch.  It's what we're beginning to expect, every time.

That rocket cam was sorta weird, though.  Every time they'd cut to it, it looked like the Atlas was still climbing vertically up from the launch complex.  Even well after the vehicle was pitching down into its near-horizontal trajectory.  Made me wonder there, for a minute, if the thing wasn't gonna keep goin' straight up...  ???

Yeah, I've seen that on other launches, like Antares for instance. But if you look, you can see the land start to foreshorten as she pitches over.

Note the trajectory was indeed much more vertical at the start--at one point I heard the call that they were 25 up and 15 downrange.  I believe this was due to the 5m fairing (both for flight and for jettison).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/20/2015 04:03 PM
Boeing promo of X-37 “first unmanned vehicle to return to Earth and land by itself”... That would be Buran... :o

Was thinking the same thing. Maybe they decided Buran didn't qualify because it was designed to carry crew, whereas X-37 never was?
Well, and Dragon "returns to earth and lands" as well, as have a number of BEO probes (Stardust, etc).  I think they were missing the words "American" and "winged": "first American unmanned winged vehicle to return to Earth and land". The "by itself" is redundant, considering it is unmanned -- unless they are thinking of some sort of remotely-piloted drone?  But I don't think that's been ever been done, so the qualification seems unnecessary.
Context is everything! :)

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: MarekCyzio on 05/20/2015 04:07 PM
Congratulations to ULA! This shows why customers may prefer to pay more for the service.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Lars-J on 05/20/2015 04:14 PM
Congratulations on a beautiful launch - and thanks for the great rocket cam footage! :)

Neat to see the RL-10 gimbaling quite a bit after Centaur ignition.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 04:36 PM
Success!

 
ULA:
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 20, 2015) A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA’s fifth launch in 2015 and the 96th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 04:37 PM


United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for the U.S. Air Force

 

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (May 20, 2015) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the Air Force Space Command 5 (AFSPC-5) satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41.The rocket carried the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle or OTV, a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force.

“ULA is honored to launch this unique spacecraft for the U.S Air Force. Congratulations to the Air Force and all of our mission partners on today’s successful launch! The seamless integration between the Air Force, Boeing, and the entire mission team culminated in today’s successful launch of the AFSPC-5 mission” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs.

This Atlas V mission also includes the Aft Bulkhead Carrier (ABC) carrying the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO’s) Ultra Lightweight Technology and Research Auxiliary Satellite (ULTRASat).  ULTRASat is composed of 10 CubeSats managed by the NRO and NASA.

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 501 configuration Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) , which includes a 5.4-meter-diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine. This was ULA’s sixth launch of the 501 configuration, and ULA’s 54th mission to launch on an Atlas V rocket.

ULA's next launch is the Atlas V GPS IIF-10 mission for the U. S. Air Force, scheduled for July 15 from Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 90 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 04:38 PM
ULA Photos (they didn't give a name of who took them).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: davey142 on 05/20/2015 04:55 PM
Nice! Is the Rl-10 Engine view new? I don't recall seeing it before.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: parham55 on 05/20/2015 04:57 PM
Great job ULA and all others involved!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: chewi on 05/20/2015 05:14 PM
Quote
Jason Davis @jasonrdavis (https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis) · 1m ago (https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/601072326864666625)

P-POD 8 deployment! #LightSail (https://twitter.com/hashtag/LightSail?src=hash) is in orbit!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ugordan on 05/20/2015 05:19 PM
Nice! Is the Rl-10 Engine view new? I don't recall seeing it before.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EldwbkVyeP0

Very first Atlas V. Even some earlier Atlases had video IIRC. Better quality and framerate than what is seen today, at that. Analog vs digital and associated costs, I guess...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/20/2015 05:31 PM
CubeSat separation! Revised release attached.

Subject: United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for the U.S. Air Force



Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 20, 2015) A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA’s fifth launch in 2015 and the 96th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
 

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for the U.S. Air Force

 

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (May 20, 2015) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the Air Force Space Command 5 (AFSPC-5) satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41.The rocket carried the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle or OTV, a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S. Air Force.

“ULA is honored to launch this unique spacecraft for the U.S Air Force. Congratulations to the Air Force and all of our mission partners on today’s successful launch! The seamless integration between the Air Force, Boeing, and the entire mission team culminated in today’s successful launch of the AFSPC-5 mission” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs.

This Atlas V mission also includes the Aft Bulkhead Carrier (ABC) carrying the National Reconnaissance Office’s (NRO’s) Ultra Lightweight Technology and Research Auxiliary Satellite (ULTRASat).  ULTRASat is composed of 10 CubeSats managed by the NRO and NASA.

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 501 configuration Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) , which includes a 5.4-meter-diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine. This was ULA’s sixth launch of the 501 configuration, and ULA’s 54th mission to launch on an Atlas V rocket.

ULA's next launch is the Atlas V GPS IIF-10 mission for the U. S. Air Force, scheduled for July 15 from Space Launch Complex-41 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 90 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Joffan on 05/20/2015 05:33 PM
Great launch on an exciting project; well done to all involved. And thanks as always for NSF coverage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jacqmans on 05/20/2015 06:56 PM
ULA Photos (they didn't give a name of who took them).

High Res.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/20/2015 07:21 PM
We've seen no imagery of the spacecraft's enclosure in the payload fairing (yet).  Why?  (I checked the "usual" web sites--did not find.)

There is such imagery from within Astrotech for the 1st (and 2nd, 3rd?) flights.

Also seeking confirmation (if possible)--this OTV was processed for launch within the former OPF-1 &/or -2?  Is that the reason?

Curious,
Zubenelgenubi

EDIT re: former OPFs.
Following up on some of my questions:

The USAF would not confirm that the OTV processing was performed in the former OPFs.

Why is this information important enough to refuse to confirm or deny?

Also, the USAF will not identify if OTV-1 or 2 is the craft launched today.  Again, why?  The reason given by the spokesperson quoted in the article is "operational objectives."

Following on that, are there any distinguishing marks differentiating the two craft?  I know of none.  This wouldn't help distinguish identity at launch--the OTV is under the payload fairing--but it might at landing time (either at KSC or Vandenberg).

Respectfully,
Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: jacqmans on 05/20/2015 07:51 PM
Orbital ATK Supports U.S. Air Force and NASA Technolgoy Demonstration Missions

AFSPC-5 the Third of Eight Atlas V Launches in 2015

(Dulles, Virginia 20 May 2015) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, supported the third successful launch this year of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Today’s mission included payloads from the U.S. Air Force’s Space Command program and NASA’s Technology Demonstration Mission (TDM) program.

“Witnessing yet another successful launch of an Atlas V serves as a reminder of how much Orbital ATK values our partnership with ULA,” said Ron Grabe, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “Our highly engineered composite and control products play an important role in ensuring dependable access to space and affordable innovation for our customers.”

For the ULA Atlas V rocket, Orbital ATK produced several large composite assemblies, including the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield, which provides higher performance with lower weight and essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle from engine exhaust temperatures in excess of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Orbital ATK also produced the Centaur Interstage Adapter (CISA) that houses the second stage engine, and the boattail that adapts the core vehicle to the five-meter diameter fairing. These assemblies were fabricated using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques at Orbital ATK's Iuka, Mississippi facility. This is the 54th Atlas V launch using Orbital ATK-built composite structures.

This launch also marked the 19th successful flight of Orbital ATK-produced retro motors. Eight of these solid motors supported separation of the spent first stage. The Atlas retrorocket is built at Orbital ATK’s Missile Defense and Controls facility in Elkton, Maryland.

Today’s mission included two payloads designed to test alternative forms of space propulsion. The primary payload was the U.S. Air Force Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a reusable unmanned spacecraft also known as the X-37B. Flying under NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites program, the secondary payload flown was a Planetary Society-sponsored LightSail 2 solar sail test vehicle designed to use solar wind for its primary propulsion.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/20/2015 08:18 PM
Round and round she goes, when she’ll land nobody knows...

Congrats Boeing and ULA! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/20/2015 09:10 PM
Success!

 
ULA:
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 20, 2015) A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA’s fifth launch in 2015 and the 96th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

We must plan a 100th launch party :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: northenarc on 05/20/2015 10:45 PM
Success!

 
ULA:
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 20, 2015) A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA’s fifth launch in 2015 and the 96th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

We must plan a 100th launch party :)


   Looks to likely to be Cygnus CRS Orb-4, if that's a coincidence I'm sure ULA isn't unhappy about it. And congrats to ULA and the Air Force for another picture perfect launch, those last few seconds of feed from the Centaur when it pitched over you could really see the speed as it headed over the Atlantic. 
  edit: miscounted, it should be a GPS flight, but it would have sounded nice.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ximig on 05/20/2015 10:47 PM
‏@jasonrdavis
Updated: Our Mission Control Center has a #LightSail ground track, radio info, and TLE link! http://sail.planetary.org/missioncontrol 

1 91919U 15999A   15140.67013889  .00040047  00000-0  10233-2 0 00006
2 91919 054.9991 339.9648 0250932 182.3369 074.3135 15.12540571000013

Source of the keplerian elements: AFSPC   
FROM www.n2yo.com


RADIO TRACKING

Are you an amateur radio tracking enthusiast? You can help us track LightSail! Send any data you capture to lightsail@planetary.org.

Frequency: 437.435 MHz
Protocol: AX.25
Encoding: FSK
Baud: 9600 bps
Call sign: KK6HIT
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/20/2015 11:55 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Riq9rr4ao
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 05/20/2015 11:57 PM
Success!

 
ULA:
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 20, 2015) A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA’s fifth launch in 2015 and the 96th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

We must plan a 100th launch party :)

Great idea! But, how would it work?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: northenarc on 05/21/2015 12:32 AM
Success!

 
ULA:
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 20, 2015) A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA’s fifth launch in 2015 and the 96th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

We must plan a 100th launch party :)

Great idea! But, how would it work?
   ULA could fly us all to Florida first class for a 5 star party and put it on their public relations budget, maybe if we said mean things about certain other space companies ;) (I forgive the mods if they zap this post) 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/21/2015 03:12 AM
Following up on some of my questions:

The USAF would not confirm that the OTV processing was performed in the former OPFs.

Why is this information important enough to refuse to confirm or deny?
Makes ELINT harder?  Makes it more difficult to monitor classified payload arrival?  Makes it harder for media to discover schedule delays and cost overruns in OPF rebuild project?  Wild guesses all.
Quote
Also, the USAF will not identify if OTV-1 or 2 is the craft launched today.  Again, why?  The reason given by the spokesperson quoted in the article is "operational objectives."
Perhaps the X-37B flying today looks different than earlier X-37Bs, and the reason has to do with the classified payload it is carrying (or bringing back).  Maybe this X-37B is a new bird, or a heavily modified previously flown vehicle.  Or maybe the payload in that big fairing wasn't an X-37B at all.  It will get really interesting if they also don't provide images of it after it supposedly lands.

The program is oddly mysterious. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jim on 05/21/2015 03:15 AM
cost overruns in OPF rebuild project? 

Adding a rollup door to an empty building qualifies as "rebuild"
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: averagespacejoe on 05/21/2015 04:40 AM
Is it safe post-launch to ask if anyone has a digital copy of the launch patch from ULA of the AFSPC-5 mission?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/21/2015 05:02 AM
cost overruns in OPF rebuild project? 

Adding a rollup door to an empty building qualifies as "rebuild"
Redecorating, then.  :)

  - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jim on 05/21/2015 10:29 AM
Is it safe post-launch to ask if anyone has a digital copy of the launch patch from ULA of the AFSPC-5 mission?
ULA doesn't make launch patches. 
This is the spacecraft patch
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jim on 05/21/2015 11:14 AM
This is the processing team patch
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/21/2015 01:12 PM
Success!

ULA:
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (May 20, 2015) A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the AFSPC-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:05 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA’s fifth launch in 2015 and the 96th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

We must plan a 100th launch party :)

Great idea! But, how would it work?

Sounds like Emily Lakdawalla has the party favors down!
https://twitter.com/elakdawalla/status/601157861868089344
Quote
Guys for four months I have not had a kitchen and the remodel is just about done and I am baking a #LightSail pie
Quote
@elakdawalla #LightSail pie deployment successful! (Since it's a FAQ: strawberry rhubarb.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: daveglo on 05/21/2015 02:34 PM
I was at KSC for this launch yesterday, my first one.  Here are a couple of screen grabs from the video I shot with my phone.

My impressions of the launch are that I'm glad I went, but watching from the Visitor Center leaves a lot to be desired.  The view angle was poor, the parking lot they set stands on was smoking hot, and the sound quality of the countdown and commentary was bad.

But Atlas, even with no SRBs, puts on a great show.

And as a postscript, the Atlantis Center is a must-see if you're anywhere near the area.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/21/2015 03:04 PM
My impressions of the launch are that I'm glad I went, but watching from the Visitor Center leaves a lot to be desired.  The view angle was poor, the parking lot they set stands on was smoking hot, and the sound quality of the countdown and commentary was bad.
I hope they improve this situation well before commercial crew launches begin.  Good viewpoints for visitors could be established for launches from LC 40 and 41.  If nothing else, the Visitors Center could erect elevated viewing stands or something.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if, for example, the stands could be built on the roof of a building within which visitors could, in air conditioned comfort, monitor the countdown on giant screens with full mission audio?  People could come and go to the viewing level as desired, which should of course have a clear view of the launch pad.  On non-launch days, the site could serve as a good viewing platform of the entire Space Center for visitors who don't have time to take the bus tours.

Or porta-potties and mosquitoes by the river, which would also be an improvement over the current setup.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/21/2015 07:21 PM
Some interesting speculation from Space Daily, could the outside appearance of this X-37B have been altered in some way which is why they wouldn't produce any pictures of it or even confirm which vehicle it was.

http://www.spacewar.com/m/reports/X_37B_Mysteries_Continue_999.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/21/2015 07:28 PM
Maybe the Hall effect thruster was stuck in the other engine location, or the materials they are testing for 'NASA' are TPS mounted external to the vehicle.

That or they supper pimped it....
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: catdlr on 05/21/2015 08:01 PM
SLOW MOTION Pad Camera 240 FPS - Atlas V Launches With X-37B AFSPC-5 And LightSail

Published on May 21, 2015
A super slow-motion GoPro Hero 4 recording at 240 frames per second captures the launch of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the X-37B spaceplane on the AFSPC-5 mission for the U.S. Air Force and the Planetary Society's LightSail experimental solar sail spacecraft.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLaqGI9jmGk
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: catdlr on 05/21/2015 08:01 PM
Atlas V AFSPC-05 X-37B LightSail ULA Launch Broadcast Replay

Published on May 21, 2015
Atlas V AFSPC-05 X-37B LightSail ULA Launch Broadcast Replay

Video Credit: United Launch Alliance, All Rights Reserved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MznY-Io1bI

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 05/21/2015 08:54 PM
Here is something interesting, a sub-contractor for the flaperons and ruddervators mentions a 4th flight unit, now I assume its a 4th set of flaperons/ruddervators, or could it be a 4th X-37B ? .....nahhh :)

http://www.lx3.net/development-manufacturing-x-37-space-plane-flaperons-ruddervators.html


"Currently on DQ4 (4th Flight Unit)"
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: a_langwich on 05/21/2015 09:15 PM
Here is something interesting, a sub-contractor for the flaperons and ruddervators mentions a 4th flight unit, now I assume its a 4th set of flaperons/ruddervators, or could it be a 4th X-37B ? .....nahhh :)

http://www.lx3.net/development-manufacturing-x-37-space-plane-flaperons-ruddervators.html


"Currently on DQ4 (4th Flight Unit)"


Could it be they've inspected past units, revised the design, and are building a newer version of that part?  Those are probably some of the most stressed parts on the vehicle...movable, hot, control surfaces on a small reentry vehicle are one of the toughest problems (one I'm not sure SNC had completely addressed yet on DC).

Why would "Manufacturing Turn Around Time" be a focus for an experimental vehicle?

Interesting, indeed.  OTOH, if there are two "flight units" per vehicle, might the fourth flight unit have finished the second vehicle, and the page is just poorly written/updated to reflect that?  The last date on the page is 2011?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: catdlr on 05/21/2015 09:33 PM
GoPro Camera Captures The Launch Of Atlas V Rocket With the X-37B / AFSPC-5 Mission

Published on May 21, 2015
GoPro Camera Captures The Launch Of Atlas V Rocket With the X-37B / AFSPC-5 Mission

And LightSail

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqnehc6DrNM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: catdlr on 05/21/2015 09:34 PM
POW! Remote Camera Gets Beaten Up By The Atlas V / AFSPC-5 X-37B Launch

Published on May 21, 2015
Remote Camera Gets Beaten Up By The Atlas V / AFSPC-5 X-37B Launch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP90fSExeDg
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/21/2015 09:36 PM

Maybe the Hall effect thruster was stuck in the other engine location, or the materials they are testing for 'NASA' are TPS mounted external to the vehicle.

That or they supper pimped it....

Wonder if we'll see anything of it when it eventually lands.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/21/2015 09:45 PM
Here is something interesting, a sub-contractor for the flaperons and ruddervators mentions a 4th flight unit, now I assume its a 4th set of flaperons/ruddervators, or could it be a 4th X-37B ? .....nahhh :)

http://www.lx3.net/development-manufacturing-x-37-space-plane-flaperons-ruddervators.html


"Currently on DQ4 (4th Flight Unit)"


Well there was the X-37A, and then combined with the two X-37B's make three units.  Perhaps the X-40 counts as well even though it was a subscale model?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: catdlr on 05/22/2015 05:22 PM
GoPro East Of The Pad Captures Atlas V AFSPC-5 X-37B / LightSail Launch

Published on May 22, 2015
GoPro East Of The Pad Captures Atlas V AFSPC-5 X-37B / LightSail Launch

Video Credit: Matthew Travis / Zero-G News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VCz44ZqUnU
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: catdlr on 05/22/2015 05:30 PM
Atlas V AFSPC-5 X-37B / LightSail Launch Captured By GoPro South Of The Pad

Published on May 22, 2015
Atlas V AFSPC-5 X-37B / LightSail Launch Captured By GoPro South Of The Pad

Video Credit: Val Phillips, Editing By Matthew Travis / Zero-G News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhHA-kWICB4
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/27/2015 03:40 PM
Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission
Jason Davis' blog on The Planetary Society web site, posted 2015/05/26 21:35 UTC
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html)

An informative read.

One recovery method is waiting for a cosmic ray strike on electronics to cause a reboot.

One of the commenters asked why the .csv beacon file overflow > system crash failure mode wasn't caught in the design or ground testing phases?

Once a reboot occurs, they plan a manual sail deploy ASAP.

Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/27/2015 04:09 PM
Haven't heard of any sightings of this supposed "X-37B" so far.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevinof on 05/27/2015 04:25 PM
Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission
Jason Davis' blog on The Planetary Society web site, posted 2015/05/26 21:35 UTC
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html)

An informative read.

One recovery method is waiting for a cosmic ray strike on electronics to cause a reboot.

One of the commenters asked why the .csv beacon file overflow > system crash failure mode wasn't caught in the design or ground testing phases?

Once a reboot occurs, they plan a manual sail deploy ASAP.

Zubenelgenubi

wow. Very poor s/w testing process there. Scary that their only "hope" is a random cosmic ray to zap it into a restart.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: HammerD on 05/27/2015 04:33 PM
Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission
Jason Davis' blog on The Planetary Society web site, posted 2015/05/26 21:35 UTC
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html)

An informative read.

One recovery method is waiting for a cosmic ray strike on electronics to cause a reboot.

One of the commenters asked why the .csv beacon file overflow > system crash failure mode wasn't caught in the design or ground testing phases?

Once a reboot occurs, they plan a manual sail deploy ASAP.

Zubenelgenubi

wow. Very poor s/w testing process there. Scary that their only "hope" is a random cosmic ray to zap it into a restart.

Agreed.  Testing boundary conditions (such as the maximum size of a file) is pretty common in software engineering/testing and computer science.  They do teach you about that stuff, at least with my CS degree it was very common, we had to have all sorts of checks in our code.   I'm surprised/shocked that this wasn't part of their testing/checking.  Sounds a bit like they trusted/relied a bit too much on the supplier of the original software.

Darren
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Andrewwski on 05/27/2015 05:10 PM
I've worked with the same flight computer board and we encountered the exact same issue (before we were on orbit).  The manufacturer of the board is awful with documenting issues and their revision control is extremely poor (at least as presented to the customer), so this does not surprise me - even though we encountered this issue about 18 months ago.  We actually ended up dumping this board because of issues like this.

This also shows the importance of having a hardware watchdog timer - automatically resetting the computer if it doesn't issue a command within a certain interval.  I'm actually surprised that they did not include a hardware watchdog on the spacecraft - even in cubesats, it's an encouraged practice.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/27/2015 05:14 PM

Haven't heard of any sightings of this supposed "X-37B" so far.

 - Ed Kyle

Apparently from prior comments read elsewhere it's not the easiest of vehicles to find.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/27/2015 05:14 PM
Software Glitch Pauses LightSail Test Mission
Jason Davis' blog on The Planetary Society web site, posted 2015/05/26 21:35 UTC
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150526-software-glitch-pauses-ls-test.html)

An informative read.

One recovery method is waiting for a cosmic ray strike on electronics to cause a reboot.

One of the commenters asked why the .csv beacon file overflow > system crash failure mode wasn't caught in the design or ground testing phases?

Once a reboot occurs, they plan a manual sail deploy ASAP.

Zubenelgenubi

wow. Very poor s/w testing process there. Scary that their only "hope" is a random cosmic ray to zap it into a restart.

Agreed.  Testing boundary conditions (such as the maximum size of a file) is pretty common in software engineering/testing and computer science.  They do teach you about that stuff, at least with my CS degree it was very common, we had to have all sorts of checks in our code.   I'm surprised/shocked that this wasn't part of their testing/checking.  Sounds a bit like they trusted/relied a bit too much on the supplier of the original software.

Darren

The other method to accomplish reboot is sending a reboot command from either the Cal Poly or Georgia Tech ground stations.  Multiple attempts over the last few days have not (yet) worked.  (It's in the article.)

Maybe TPS members/donators need to have a few words with Bill Nye et al about using their donations to best effect?

Just a thought,
Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Andrewwski on 05/27/2015 05:19 PM


The other method to accomplish reboot is sending a reboot command from either the Cal Poly or Georgia Tech ground stations.  Multiple attempts over the last few days have not (yet) worked.  (It's in the article.)

Right, but this requires the computer to be able to interpret the uplinked commands - which if it is frozen, it will not.  Not including a hardware watchdog timer is a poor design decision.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/27/2015 05:22 PM

wow. Very poor s/w testing process there. Scary that their only "hope" is a random cosmic ray to zap it into a restart.

Most likely comes down to money. constrained time for SQA.

Sounds like they didn't have the time and money to test the system for extended periods before flight. A clue is in the hope for a cosmic reset before the flight ends. The reason is most likely it is not a rad harden embedded system. They expect resets and built the system to deal with and handle them.

Raise your hand for how many times you tested something, had it pass SQA, get released to the wild, and then found the SQA test didn't cover everything and had to issue a fast patch. I would raise my hand, but I don't have enough ;)   
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/27/2015 06:27 PM

Haven't heard of any sightings of this supposed "X-37B" so far.

 - Ed Kyle

Apparently from prior comments read elsewhere it's not the easiest of vehicles to find.

I've seen it naked-eye from suburban Washington DC, and it can be one of the brighter satellites visible on a given night--I've even used it as "tonight's featured satellite pass" at the star party series that I host.

(My notes from the October 26, 2014 program list an estimated maximum magnitude of +1.5, estimate via Heavens-Above.)

But, "discovering" it in the first place, that has been a challenge.

Looking back through the SeeSat-L archives:

OTV-1 launched April 22, 2010
1st usable observations made May 20, 2010
Ted Molczan wrote a great summary of the "discovery" process in this post:
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/May-2010/0190.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/May-2010/0190.html)

OTV-2 launched March 5, 2011
1st observation March 9, 2011

OTV-3 launched December 11, 2012
1st observation 19 minutes after Centaur MECO

And, there have been times when the OTV has been "lost" for some time after an orbit change.

I'm sure the amateur satellite observers are doing their best to find OTV-4.  It's interesting that there has yet been no posted success.

I'm curious how long it will take to find this craft.  Also, when found, if the intrinsic magnitude will be the same or different (particularly fainter) from the previous three flights.

Respectfully submitted,
Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/27/2015 07:05 PM
OTV-4 X37B located and orbital elements
Greg Roberts reports that the OTV has been found!  He had some help from other amateur astronomers in South Africa.
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/May-2015/0190.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/May-2015/0190.html)
Orbit is 312 km X 325 km X 38.0 degrees

Well done!
Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 05/27/2015 07:18 PM
Just because LightSail-A shut down, does that mean it failed?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevinof on 05/27/2015 07:18 PM
agreed but also the s/w is supplied (I think) by the board manufacturer and I got to say that 20 years ago I was dealing with such suppliers who knew h/w but didn't have a clue about s/w and tools.  Would expect that today these suppliers can carry out the basic sqa testings.

Having a buffer/storage area overflow is a very basic test and common across all platforms. Just think it's such a shame that something so simple and common as this error could doom a sat.





wow. Very poor s/w testing process there. Scary that their only "hope" is a random cosmic ray to zap it into a restart.

Most likely comes down to money. constrained time for SQA.

Sounds like they didn't have the time and money to test the system for extended periods before flight. A clue is in the hope for a cosmic reset before the flight ends. The reason is most likely it is not a rad harden embedded system. They expect resets and built the system to deal with and handle them.

Raise your hand for how many times you tested something, had it pass SQA, get released to the wild, and then found the SQA test didn't cover everything and had to issue a fast patch. I would raise my hand, but I don't have enough ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Prober on 05/27/2015 08:14 PM
I've worked with the same flight computer board and we encountered the exact same issue (before we were on orbit).  The manufacturer of the board is awful with documenting issues and their revision control is extremely poor (at least as presented to the customer), so this does not surprise me - even though we encountered this issue about 18 months ago.  We actually ended up dumping this board because of issues like this.

This also shows the importance of having a hardware watchdog timer - automatically resetting the computer if it doesn't issue a command within a certain interval.  I'm actually surprised that they did not include a hardware watchdog on the spacecraft - even in cubesats, it's an encouraged practice.

if they charge an arm and leg for the board; the customer needs some type of insurance their hw is up to do the job.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/27/2015 08:28 PM
Just because LightSail-A shut down, does that mean it failed?

If they can't get the satellite to reboot, then yes.  The photon sail had not yet been deployed.

If they cannot reboot the satellite, or they revive the satellite, but the sail deploy fails:
"LightSail is capable of remaining in orbit about six months in its CubeSat form." (from Mr. Davis' blog post)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/27/2015 09:02 PM
Right, but this requires the computer to be able to interpret the uplinked commands - which if it is frozen, it will not.  Not including a hardware watchdog timer is a poor design decision.

Based on what you said up-thread it sounds like this system does not have a watchdog, or a watchdog enabled by default.

That said, it is also possible to screwup the implementation of a watchdog. If done wrong, it could be updating the watchdog while still stuck...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevinof on 05/27/2015 09:12 PM
Right, but this requires the computer to be able to interpret the uplinked commands - which if it is frozen, it will not.  Not including a hardware watchdog timer is a poor design decision.

Based on what you said up-thread it sounds like this system does not have a watchdog, or a watchdog enabled by default.

That said, it is also possible to screwup the implementation of a watchdog. If done wrong, it could be updating the watchdog while still stuck...

From what I understand there is no watchdog timer in the system.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Andrewwski on 05/28/2015 12:01 AM
The board they are using does not have a built-in watchdog.  They would have had to implement an external one.  I haven't seen one mentioned in any of the articles, so it does not seem that they have one.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: king1999 on 05/28/2015 04:16 AM
Raise your hand for how many times you tested something, had it pass SQA, get released to the wild, and then found the SQA test didn't cover everything and had to issue a fast patch. I would raise my hand, but I don't have enough ;)
Yes, they need to assume that this kind of human errors would happen and have something built-in to handle it. A simple hardware watchdog would do well. This kind of bugs are very common even in space. Mars Rover had to deal with it.
http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1148448

By the way, Vx-Works was written by an intern during a summer.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/28/2015 01:02 PM
Solar sails seem to be functioning under something of a curse, don't they? I'm aware of three vehicles so far.

One was Japanese and didn't work, one was American and never flew because the contractor's internal organisational issues led to its cancellation, now LightSail-1's apparent brain-death.

How long will they keep monitoring the vehicle for a reboot? It would be a shame if they give up after a month and then, a month later, the vehicle restarts, deploys and soars off with no-one the wiser!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/28/2015 01:53 PM
Solar sails seem to be functioning under something of a curse, don't they? I'm aware of three vehicles so far.

One was Japanese and didn't work, one was American and never flew because the contractor's internal organisational issues led to its cancellation, now LightSail-1's apparent brain-death.

How long will they keep monitoring the vehicle for a reboot? It would be a shame if they give up after a month and then, a month later, the vehicle restarts, deploys and soars off with no-one the wiser!

You missed NASA's NanoSail-D and NanoSail-D2. The first was lost in a falcon 1 launch failure, the other was launched on a Minotaur-4 in 2010.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/nanosail-d.htm
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/28/2015 02:29 PM
Article on the X-37B's unusual low orbit and inclination. Interesting speculation in the comments ELF propulsion anyone.:) Perhaps that's why there was no photos of it before launch.

http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/27/x-37b-spaceplanes-orbit-discovered/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/28/2015 03:04 PM
194 by 202 mile orbit (312 X 325 km) inclined 38 degrees, should lead to some really fast passes for those far enough south.

I just checked heavens above and for me it will never be higher than 30 degrees. Might have to take trip down to DC for viewing...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/28/2015 03:42 PM
Solar sails seem to be functioning under something of a curse, don't they? I'm aware of three vehicles so far.

One was Japanese and didn't work, one was American and never flew because the contractor's internal organisational issues led to its cancellation, now LightSail-1's apparent brain-death.

How long will they keep monitoring the vehicle for a reboot? It would be a shame if they give up after a month and then, a month later, the vehicle restarts, deploys and soars off with no-one the wiser!

You missed NASA's NanoSail-D and NanoSail-D2. The first was lost in a falcon 1 launch failure, the other was launched on a Minotaur-4 in 2010.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/nanosail-d.htm

The Planetary Society lost their previous solar sail experimental satellite in June 2005 in a launch failure--a Volna-O rocket launched from a Russian submarine.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cosmos-1.htm (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cosmos-1.htm)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: eeergo on 05/28/2015 05:38 PM

One was Japanese and didn't work, [...]

IKAROS (launched with Akatsuki) did work, and so successfully they're still in contact with it after solar opposition!

http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/ikaros/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kansan52 on 05/28/2015 06:00 PM

IKAROS (launched with Akatsuki) did work, and so successfully they're still in contact with it after solar opposition!

http://global.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/ikaros/

Did not know that. Excellent news.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/31/2015 05:42 AM
Well the luck is there! LightSail's computer has re-booted 8 hours ago!  ;D

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150530-lightsail-phones-home.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ZachS09 on 06/01/2015 12:05 AM
Well the luck is there! LightSail's computer has re-booted 8 hours ago!  ;D

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150530-lightsail-phones-home.html

Let's hope the computer stays on.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: hop on 06/01/2015 02:00 AM
Let's hope the computer stays on.
Looks like they have a plan for that:
Form Jason Davis https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/605130192638451712
Quote
102 LightSail packets received since yesterday. Team attempting software patch; rebooted manually to keep troublesome beacon.csv in check.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: a_langwich on 06/04/2015 03:15 PM
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150603-ls-panel-deploy-update.html

-- solar panels commanded to deploy
--- subsequently temps dropped, consistent with exposure to space, but voltage levels have not risen as expected
--- possibly camera heaters + power used to deploy solar panels depleted batteries and will recover

Battery voltage is at 3.9 V, team would like to see 4.2 V before solar sail deployment.  This will be monitored during comm passes Thursday June 4.  If the voltages recover, the team would like to command sail deployment Friday June 5.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/04/2015 09:45 PM
LightSail has fallen silent once again, no signals detected at all during the ground station passes today: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/606559935086759939

Early thinking is battery protection mode: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/606486955191189504
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kaputnik on 06/06/2015 10:48 PM
Lightsail is back online after a suspected battery problem.
Sail deployment is scheduled for tomorrow:

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150506-lightsail-wakes-second-time-1.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 05:52 PM
All is GO for LightSail deploy at 2:02 pm EDT: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607581131299356672

Teams on console ready for deployment: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607605030078652416
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 06:06 PM
LightSail AOS: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607609277579001856
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 06:11 PM
Sail motor deployment command has been issued: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607610657756741633
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 06:16 PM
No deployment: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607611814478635008
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 06:19 PM
LightSail now out of comm range: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607612472808251392
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 06:32 PM
No indication that the spacecraft received the deploy command: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607615787512168448
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 06:35 PM
Team regrouping to consider the options prior to the final overflight for the day: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607616232628453376
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 06:53 PM
They're retrying during the 3:51 pm EDT overflight: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607620661373079552
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 07:45 PM
AOS is early and commands are being prepared: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607634142969237506
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 07:50 PM
Motor commands appear to have been successfully received: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607635156782837760
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 07:51 PM
Motor is working: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607635594668175360
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 06/07/2015 07:57 PM
The final pass of the day is over: https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607637057758838784
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: a_langwich on 06/07/2015 08:30 PM
https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis

Three beautiful lines of telemetry:
78: Motor_Current_Position =67029 (50%)
79: Camera_0_onOff=1 (on)
80: Camera_1_onOff=1 (on)

--
which I take to mean the sail is at least 50% extended, and the cameras are taking pics of the process as scheduled
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Silmfeanor on 06/08/2015 05:19 PM
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150607-lightsail-deployment-initiatied.html (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150607-lightsail-deployment-initiatied.html)

Planetary article; the sail has deployed.
Some problems with images, but they are working on it

https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607952349810683904 (https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/607952349810683904)
Quote
LightSail image update: team initiated re-transfer of pics from onboard cams to flight software. Will try downlink again at 11:02 PDT.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: eeergo on 06/09/2015 01:43 AM
Emily Lakdawalla has tweeted a couple of hours ago the first look at the deployed sail! Although the image has some corrupted areas, it seems clear it has deployed successfully:

Quote from: Emily Lakdawalla ‏@elakdawalla
I've been working on descrambling the partial pic of #LightSail....just a few little sail bits I can't figure out

See also Mike Patton's post in the Planetary Society's website: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2015/20150608-sails-in-space.html - the image is expected to be completely downloaded tomorrow morning. If (as it appears) the sail is not fully tensioned, the booms will be commanded in the next few days to achieve it, as the orbit is already decaying fast.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kaputnik on 06/09/2015 06:40 PM
Picture of full sail is up on facebook!

(http://s15.postimg.org/u2re8yz47/image.jpg) (http://postimg.org/image/u2re8yz47/)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: gwiz on 06/10/2015 10:22 AM
Possibly not deployed fully, edges look bowed inwards between the poles.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: mtakala24 on 06/10/2015 11:19 AM
They haven't done the final tensioning prior to those images.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Ohsin on 06/10/2015 04:18 PM
Quote
CROWDSOURCE CALL: Can you help compile a #LightSail image? This JPG is from other camera, but loads as blank image. http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/z-misc/2015/P01_15878x16388_176-1_T47_3_26_D2_20_0.out.jpg …
https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/608625405449261057

Quote
The #LightSail image I posted has first 24 bytes removed (metadata), and this header attached: http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/z-misc/2015/header.txt …
https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/608630375745593344

Quote
Finally, here's the original-original #LightSail image, with metadata intact and no headers attached: http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/z-misc/2015/1.jpg … Thanks!
https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/608630904894803968

Help them if you can!

Edit:
https://twitter.com/jasonrdavis/status/608647966170054656
Quote
For those having trouble with LightSail links, here's a Google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1DiPleK4f0VEK2joqYXFrceWBS-CWV25kTOYo0UC3AUA/edit?usp=sharing …



Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 06/10/2015 05:37 PM
New article with more speculation as to why we might not have seen this particular X-37B.

http://www.spacewar.com/m/reports/X_37B_Still_Largely_Unexplained_999.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: nlec on 06/10/2015 11:50 PM

How do you move a rocket?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0UqrPSofE8

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 06/14/2015 01:21 PM
Ted Molczan's June 14, 04:30 UTC report on SeeSat-L reports LightSail-A will re-enter today, June 14, near 20:39 h UTC.

Uncertainty is +/- 4 hours.

His updates are at: http://www.satobs.org/LightSail-A.html (http://www.satobs.org/LightSail-A.html)

Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 06/14/2015 10:30 PM
Follow-up re: LightSail-A

Ted Molczan reports that his calculations from various observations today that LightSail-A:
>>>
would have reached the altitude when decaying objects typically become self-luminous (96 km), on Jun 14 near 17:22 UTC, and would have passed through the typical altitude of "main-break-up" (78 km) near 17:23 UTC.
<<<
http://www.satobs.org/LightSail-A.html (http://www.satobs.org/LightSail-A.html)

Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 07/06/2015 05:25 PM
Article containing some further official information that's been released about this flight.

Quote
Now we know just a little more through official channels. We were told before launch that the spacecraft was testing a Hall Thruster, which uses electricity instead of chemical combustion for propulsion.

The thruster is believed to be stored inside the X-37B's payload bay. We have now been told that the thruster has "completed initial on-orbit validation testing" in a media release from Aerojet Rocketdyne, makers of the thruster. This may seem like a small point, but it's the only solid news we have received on this mission since its launch.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Open_Secrets_from_X_37B_999.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 07/31/2015 11:09 AM
This just showed on the KSC weather channel. I don't know if it is for a simulation or a training exercise:
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 07/31/2015 11:28 AM
This just showed on the KSC weather channel. I don't know if it is for a simulation or a training exercise:

Could it even be fore real? IIRC it was reported that this flight might be the shortest of the 4 so far.  ::)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 07/31/2015 12:28 PM

This just showed on the KSC weather channel. I don't know if it is for a simulation or a training exercise:

Could it even be fore real? IIRC it was reported that this flight might be the shortest of the 4 so far.  ::)

If you don't mind me asking where was it reported?

All I saw was that it would be at least 200 days long.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 07/31/2015 12:31 PM

This just showed on the KSC weather channel. I don't know if it is for a simulation or a training exercise:

Could it even be fore real? IIRC it was reported that this flight might be the shortest of the 4 so far.  ::)

If you don't mind me asking where was it reported?

All I saw was that it would be at least 200 days long.
Could be that they have a serious system problem that require a next PLS de-orbit and landing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 07/31/2015 12:34 PM


This just showed on the KSC weather channel. I don't know if it is for a simulation or a training exercise:

Could it even be fore real? IIRC it was reported that this flight might be the shortest of the 4 so far.  ::)

If you don't mind me asking where was it reported?

All I saw was that it would be at least 200 days long.
Could be that they have a serious system problem that require a next PLS de-orbit and landing.

Could be related to the speculated experimental propulsion system its alleged to be using. Wonder if we'll see it land or will that be kept from public view as it was at launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Orbiter on 07/31/2015 12:42 PM
Doesn't sound like they're going to be able to land it at KSC per that weather report. 90% of a weather violation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 07/31/2015 01:56 PM
From a weather briefing being conducted right now. I really think this real, the X-37B is coming home rather soon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: saliva_sweet on 07/31/2015 02:06 PM
I guess if they really come down today it would indicate some sort of emergency.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/31/2015 02:07 PM
I guess if they really come down today it would indicate some sort of emergency.

I was thinking this seems sooner enough for it to be a contingency return. I'd ask around, but it's a super secret mission, so that won't get any responses.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 07/31/2015 02:13 PM
I guess if they really come down today it would indicate some sort of emergency.

I was thinking this seems sooner enough for it to be a contingency return. I'd ask around, but it's a super secret mission, so that won't get any responses.
Do we have any sources at KSC that can see any convoy actions either the Skid Strip (CCAFS) or the SLF? That should be indicative of which runway they're targeting and if a landing is imminent.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/31/2015 02:14 PM
I guess if they really come down today it would indicate some sort of emergency.

I was thinking this seems sooner enough for it to be a contingency return. I'd ask around, but it's a super secret mission, so that won't get any responses.
Do we have any sources at KSC that can see any convoy actions either the Skid Strip (CCAFS) or the SLF? That should be indicative of which runway they're targeting and if a landing is imminent.

That's a good shout. I'll ask....and report back if so.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: daveglo on 07/31/2015 02:42 PM
If the Air Force is evaluating landing opportunities at KSC, wouldn't that be counter to prior landings, that were all conducted at Edwards?  Does that imply they don't think it can make an Edwards landing attempt?

Would they attempt a landing even if conditions are No Go? 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: douglas100 on 07/31/2015 02:50 PM
Previous landings were at Vandenberg.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 07/31/2015 03:00 PM
Previous landings were at Vandenberg.
Yes. I think that was just the interim landing site. Now that they have X-37B processing facilities at KSC (former OPF-1 and 2) KSC/CCAFS would be the prime landing site to speed up processing by not having to ship the spacecraft cross-country.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Zaran on 07/31/2015 03:11 PM
Any word of Airspace Closures that would confirm they want to attempt a return today?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 07/31/2015 03:24 PM
Any word of Airspace Closures that would confirm they want to attempt a return today?
No need for airspace closures as KSC/CCAFS is restricted airspace by default.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kryten on 07/31/2015 03:55 PM
Quote
Mike Gruss ‏@Gruss_SN  7m7 minutes ago
Air Force: X-37B is not landing today. Kennedy Space Center is conducting an exercise.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 07/31/2015 04:54 PM
Any word of Airspace Closures that would confirm they want to attempt a return today?
No need for airspace closures as KSC/CCAFS is restricted airspace by default.
There have been NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) issued for the three previous OTV landings at Vandenberg AFB, IIRC.

Am I correct to say a NOTAM is not necessarily equivalent to an airspace closure, but a NOTAM could be an announcement of an airspace closure?

Zubenelgenubi
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 07/31/2015 05:17 PM

Quote
Mike Gruss ‏@Gruss_SN  7m7 minutes ago
Air Force: X-37B is not landing today. Kennedy Space Center is conducting an exercise.

Confirmed on a well known satellite watching site.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/31/2015 10:15 PM

Quote
Mike Gruss ‏@Gruss_SN  7m7 minutes ago
Air Force: X-37B is not landing today. Kennedy Space Center is conducting an exercise.

Confirmed on a well known satellite watching site.
KSC and USAF performed a landing exercise last year too as p art of KSC fire response training. It appears that this exercise is similar.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 07/31/2015 10:31 PM
I do wonder if this might still be a shorter flight thought as its looked atypical from the other missions from the get go.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Newton_V on 07/31/2015 10:37 PM
I do wonder if this might still be a shorter flight thought as its looked atypical from the other missions from the get go.

Considering the next flight is pretty far off, I'm not convinced that is the case.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Helodriver on 08/01/2015 01:05 AM
Just for fun I checked out the Vandenberg Airfield today. None of the tracking and support hardware that was staged for the last X-37 landing, which I witnessed in person, was deployed. Last time things were put in place days in advance. I have a source who says that even in the event of a scheduled Cape landing Vandenberg will be staffed as a backup location.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 11/03/2015 08:37 PM
OTV-4 "found" (by amateur satellite observers) after being "lost" (by amateur satellite observers) for 73 days.

Seesat-l posting on October 25 by Ted Molczan: http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Oct-2015/0153.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Oct-2015/0153.html)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DeanG1967 on 05/15/2016 05:28 AM
6 days away from 1 year.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 05/20/2016 05:31 PM
6 days away from 1 year.
And 1 year is up. A long way to go yet to equal the last mission of 675 days
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 09/07/2016 12:47 PM
6 days away from 1 year.
And 1 year is up. A long way to go yet to equal the last mission of 675 days
This mission is now the second longest duration for the X37B at (currently) 475 days.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Firehawk153 on 09/09/2016 12:09 AM
Fitting that on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek we launch a vehicle to boldly land on another world and come back.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 11/23/2016 08:51 PM
6 days away from 1 year.
And 1 year is up. A long way to go yet to equal the last mission of 675 days
This mission is now the second longest duration for the X37B at (currently) 475 days.
This mission is now at 550 days
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 01/11/2017 07:12 AM
6 days away from 1 year.
And 1 year is up. A long way to go yet to equal the last mission of 675 days
This mission is now the second longest duration for the X37B at (currently) 475 days.
This mission is now at 550 days
Now at 600 days
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/08/2017 11:55 AM
Remember this bird? A lot of prep work going on at the SLF. No confirmation it's for this one's arrival, but that was the hint.

Weather hasn't been great, so that may have waived off some earlier ops.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Orbiter on 02/08/2017 11:59 AM
Current X-37B orbital path per Heavens-Above... the plane isn't far away from the Cape. If the intention is to land today, then it'll be soon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 02/08/2017 01:37 PM
Remember this bird? A lot of prep work going on at the SLF. No confirmation it's for this one's arrival, but that was the hint.

Weather hasn't been great, so that may have waived off some earlier ops.

As we never saw it before launch, no pictures released, I have to wonder if the landing will be shrouded in as much secrecy.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: MarekCyzio on 02/08/2017 01:48 PM
Current X-37B orbital path per Heavens-Above... the plane isn't far away from the Cape. If the intention is to land today, then it'll be soon.

I expect Sunday morning landing - less KSC personel on site.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/08/2017 01:52 PM
Current X-37B orbital path per Heavens-Above... the plane isn't far away from the Cape. If the intention is to land today, then it'll be soon.

I expect Sunday morning landing - less KSC personel on site.
The WX looks good today...
http://www.patrick.af.mil/Portals/14/documents/Weather/08FEB17_0800L.pdf?ver=2017-02-08-062720-837
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/08/2017 02:00 PM
Remember this bird? A lot of prep work going on at the SLF. No confirmation it's for this one's arrival, but that was the hint.

Weather hasn't been great, so that may have waived off some earlier ops.
I'm told alternate restricted (military) landing sites (one for each orbital pass over North America) are also in preparations should they choose to land elsewhere.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/09/2017 11:52 AM
X-37B isn't where she's supposed to be:

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2017/0024.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 02/09/2017 04:59 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 too far fetched?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science 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?? :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin 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).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One 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!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science 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
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi 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?)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi 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?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jim 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.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science 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
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/10/2017 03:30 PM
I just checked Edwards AFB just in case and the WX clears out tomorrow same as Vandy...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin 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?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Ronsmytheiii 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.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Antares 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?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Kryten 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.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi 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.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist 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/ (http://spaceflight101.com/x-37b-space-plane-maneuvers-into-lower-orbit-likely-precursor-to-landing/)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Alter Sachse on 02/12/2017 05:10 PM
I found an interesting counter
http://lk.astronautilus.pl/sat/x37b.htm
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/14/2017 08:44 AM
We've been watching this since the first note.

Article via Chris Gebhardt:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/air-forces-x-37b-landing-kscs-slf/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Orbiter 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.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/14/2017 11:47 AM
WX: Looks like 33 from the winds...
http://www.patrick.af.mil/Portals/14/documents/Weather/13FEB17_1600L.pdf?ver=2017-02-13-152842-437
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jim on 02/14/2017 11:48 AM
Commercial aircraft have been flying over the area
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 02/14/2017 11:51 AM
Let's see if we get any video of the landing because with this particular one it wouldn't surprise me if we don't. Keeping in mind before launch there was no pictures released of it unlike the other flights.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 02/14/2017 11:59 AM
Let's see if we get any video of the landing because with this particular one it wouldn't surprise me if we don't. Keeping in mind before launch there was no pictures released of it unlike the other flights.

If we do, it'll be post landing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Orbiter on 02/14/2017 12:01 PM
Jut passed 0800L and no reports of X-37B landing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/14/2017 12:04 PM
I'm checking KSC video feeds...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DatUser14 on 02/14/2017 12:05 PM
Someone on the Space Hipsters page just reported a boom at about 0800 ET.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 02/14/2017 12:06 PM
Jut passed 0800L and no reports of X-37B landing.

So a few things for us all to remember.  0800L was the earliest possible landing today based on NOTAM at KSC SLF that starts at 0800L and extends to 1600L.

We have no proven orbital ground track for OTV-4 since its maneuver last week, just some good approximations -- hence the guess of 0748-0800L for the first possible landing opportunity today.

The Range, per SpaceX's slip from today to the 18th, was a conflict from 14-17 February. 

In short, we've got a ways to go.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 02/14/2017 12:10 PM
I'm checking KSC video feeds...
This is the best: https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg (https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg). The third feed in the top row is a few of the SLF, the 33 end, showing the towway that connects LC39 with the SLF.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: spacekid on 02/14/2017 12:13 PM
From the SeeSat list, based on the latest inaccurate orbit observation, possible landing times (UTC) are:

Date      Time    Node
Feb. 14   06:30   Asc.
Feb. 14   12:46   Desc.
Feb. 15   06:13   Asc.
Feb. 15   12:21   Desc.

The first 2 have expired.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/14/2017 12:19 PM
I'm checking KSC video feeds...
This is the best: https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg (https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg). The third feed in the top row is a few of the SLF, the 33 end, showing the towway that connects LC39 with the SLF.
Do you get anything when you click on the live feed Dave? I don't... :(
~Rob
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DaveS on 02/14/2017 12:23 PM
I'm checking KSC video feeds...
This is the best: https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg (https://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg). The third feed in the top row is a few of the SLF, the 33 end, showing the towway that connects LC39 with the SLF.
Do you get anything when you click on the live feed Dave? I don't... :(
~Rob
No, they're both dead. TBH, that site is a rather dead one. NASA/KSC web staff isn't updating it anymore, not since the end of the shuttle program. One dead give away is the very low-res feeds which where state-of-art in the early 2000's. Also they have RealMedia links which hasn't been that popular since that time either. My guess it's being kept up for legacy's sake more than anything. I'm rather surprised that they haven't taken it down.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/14/2017 12:45 PM
Depends how late we go it could be 15 and tomorrow the gusts are high and may be out of limits...
http://www.patrick.af.mil/Portals/14/documents/Weather/13FEB17.pdf?ver=2017-02-13-081905-240
Vandy, just in case...
http://aviationweather.gov/adds/metars/index?submit=1&station_ids=KVBG&chk_metars=on&hoursStr=2&std_trans=translated&chk_tafs=on
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: collectSPACE on 02/14/2017 01:34 PM
Spaceflight Now: No X-37B landing planned anytime soon
http://spaceflightnow.com/2017/02/14/no-x-37b-landing-planned-anytime-soon/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/14/2017 01:41 PM
Spaceflight Now: No X-37B landing planned anytime soon
http://spaceflightnow.com/2017/02/14/no-x-37b-landing-planned-anytime-soon/

So what was/is the NOTAM for?!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 02/14/2017 01:49 PM
Spaceflight Now: No X-37B landing planned anytime soon
http://spaceflightnow.com/2017/02/14/no-x-37b-landing-planned-anytime-soon/

So what was/is the NOTAM for?!

"Is" would be the correct question.  It's still in effect for today and was extended to include tomorrow as well.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 02/14/2017 01:52 PM
to quote the exact statement :

“The X-37 is still on-orbit. The program is conducting a regularly scheduled exercise this week,” said Capt. Annmarie Annicelli, media operations officer at the Pentagon’s Air Force Press Desk."

which says what ?? we know its on orbit, so which program is conducting which exercise that creates several new active NOTAMs with commercial aircraft being re-routed around them?

Or is that statement just vague enough that we can still expect a landing "soon".....

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: spacekid on 02/14/2017 02:08 PM
Would the NOTAM be for SLBM tests off of the cape? The subs come by from time to time to practice launching missiles.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 02/14/2017 02:13 PM
Would the NOTAM be for SLBM tests off of the cape? The subs come by from time to time to practice launching missiles.

No, also because there is a "linked" NOTAM over the gulf that got updated as well, which then basically looks like a shuttle entry ground track, but hey, what do I know, i'm across the pond :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 02/14/2017 02:25 PM
more analysis on-going on L2, lets see later :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 02/14/2017 03:57 PM
https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/02/the-air-forces-secretitve-x-37b-space-plane-may-or-may-not-be-about-to-land/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 02/14/2017 11:17 PM
Current authorative speculative fact is the Pentagon has seen my June landing prediction on the 2017 predictions thread and decided to hurriedly abort any landing attempt
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 02/15/2017 09:36 AM
Hello !

https://twitter.com/eHardinda/status/831520692847964160 (https://twitter.com/eHardinda/status/831520692847964160)

"My coworker took this pic on Thursday of an X-37 making its way from the Shuttle Landing Facility to the OPF. #X37B #Boeing @usairforce #KSC"

Looks like mock-up, used for tow/interface tests, obviously not the real thing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/15/2017 06:01 PM
Hello !

https://twitter.com/eHardinda/status/831520692847964160 (https://twitter.com/eHardinda/status/831520692847964160)

"My coworker took this pic on Thursday of an X-37 making its way from the Shuttle Landing Facility to the OPF. #X37B #Boeing @usairforce #KSC"

Looks like mock-up, used for tow/interface tests, obviously not the real thing.


Huh, wonder if that is a repainted X-37A!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 02/15/2017 08:47 PM
Hello !

https://twitter.com/eHardinda/status/831520692847964160 (https://twitter.com/eHardinda/status/831520692847964160)

"My coworker took this pic on Thursday of an X-37 making its way from the Shuttle Landing Facility to the OPF. #X37B #Boeing @usairforce #KSC"

Looks like mock-up, used for tow/interface tests, obviously not the real thing.


Huh, wonder if that is a repainted X-37A!

Nope, X-37A (ALTV) looks slightly different, and ruddervator position/angle is off.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 02/25/2017 10:56 PM
The Astrotech Mission History web site pages http://www.astrotechspaceoperations.com/mission-history list AFSPC-5 as one of their missions.

I thought it was processed by Boeing in the former OPF-1 (or 2)?

Did Astrotech subcontract to Boeing on this job, performing work in the Boeing facility?

(The first 3 flights of the X-37B were processed at Astrotech Titusville.)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jim on 02/25/2017 11:26 PM
The Astrotech Mission History web site pages http://www.astrotechspaceoperations.com/mission-history list AFSPC-5 as one of their missions.

I thought it was processed by Boeing in the former OPF-1 (or 2)?

Did Astrotech subcontract to Boeing on this job, performing work in the Boeing facility?

(The first 3 flights of the X-37B were processed at Astrotech Titusville.)

All flights have been processed at Astrotech
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 02/26/2017 07:43 PM
The Astrotech Mission History web site pages http://www.astrotechspaceoperations.com/mission-history list AFSPC-5 as one of their missions.

I thought it was processed by Boeing in the former OPF-1 (or 2)?

Did Astrotech subcontract to Boeing on this job, performing work in the Boeing facility?

(The first 3 flights of the X-37B were processed at Astrotech Titusville.)

All flights have been processed at Astrotech

Interesting...the consensus assumption was that the X-37B Flight 4 processing was performed by Boeing in the former OPF-1 (or 2).
EDIT 2/27: The consensus assumption in 2015, for this flight, was wrong.

Please see my post from this thread, May 20, 2015, for some background.

We've seen no imagery of the spacecraft's enclosure in the payload fairing (yet).  Why?  (I checked the "usual" web sites--did not find.)

There is such imagery from within Astrotech for the 1st (and 2nd, 3rd?) flights.

Also seeking confirmation (if possible)--this OTV was processed for launch within the former OPF-1 &/or -2?  Is that the reason?

Curious,
Zubenelgenubi

EDIT re: former OPFs.
Following up on some of my questions:

From May 18, 2015: Preview: X-37B spaceplane to journey back into space Wednesday (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/18/preview-x-37b-spaceplane-to-journey-back-into-space-wednesday/)
Quote
This latest mission comes amid work to convert two former shuttle hangars at Kennedy Space Center over [to] the X-37B post-flight refurbishment halls. The Air Force won’t say if OTV 4 was readied for flight at KSC.

“OTV is leveraging previous space shuttle investments and the OPF facilities to conduct recovery and refurbishment activities at a single location,” said Capt. Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesperson.

“Upon completion of the preparations at KSC, the program will have two landing options, one at KSC and one at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.”

Why is this information important enough to refuse to confirm or deny?

From May 20, 2015: Recap story: X-37B spaceplane embarks on fourth voyage in orbit (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/20/recap-story-x-37b-embarks-on-fourth-voyage-in-space/)
Quote
But the military won’t say which of its two X-37B spaceplanes launched today, the first craft which has flown twice or the second vehicle that has flown once. “No, that information is not releasable due to operational objectives,” said Air Force spokesman Capt. Chris Hoyler.

Again, why is this information important enough to refuse to confirm or deny?

Following on that, are there any distinguishing marks differentiating the two craft?  I know of none.  This wouldn't help distinguish identity at launch--the OTV is under the payload fairing--but it might at landing time (either at KSC or Vandenberg).

Respectfully,
Zubenelgenubi
There are still some unanswered questions remaining from 2 years ago.

EDITed back in the links and quotes that were supposed to be in my May 2015 post when posted.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/27/2017 12:43 AM
The Astrotech Mission History web site pages http://www.astrotechspaceoperations.com/mission-history list AFSPC-5 as one of their missions.

I thought it was processed by Boeing in the former OPF-1 (or 2)?

Did Astrotech subcontract to Boeing on this job, performing work in the Boeing facility?

(The first 3 flights of the X-37B were processed at Astrotech Titusville.)

All flights have been processed at Astrotech

Interesting...the consensus assumption was that the X-37B Flight 4 processing was performed by Boeing in the former OPF-1 (or 2).

Please see my post from this thread, May 20, 2015, for some background.

We've seen no imagery of the spacecraft's enclosure in the payload fairing (yet).  Why?  (I checked the "usual" web sites--did not find.)

There is such imagery from within Astrotech for the 1st (and 2nd, 3rd?) flights.

Also seeking confirmation (if possible)--this OTV was processed for launch within the former OPF-1 &/or -2?  Is that the reason?

Curious,
Zubenelgenubi

EDIT re: former OPFs.
Following up on some of my questions:

From May 18, 2015: Preview: X-37B spaceplane to journey back into space Wednesday (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/18/preview-x-37b-spaceplane-to-journey-back-into-space-wednesday/)
Quote
This latest mission comes amid work to convert two former shuttle hangars at Kennedy Space Center over [to] the X-37B post-flight refurbishment halls. The Air Force won’t say if OTV 4 was readied for flight at KSC.

“OTV is leveraging previous space shuttle investments and the OPF facilities to conduct recovery and refurbishment activities at a single location,” said Capt. Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesperson.

“Upon completion of the preparations at KSC, the program will have two landing options, one at KSC and one at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.”

Why is this information important enough to refuse to confirm or deny?

From May 20, 2015: Recap story: X-37B spaceplane embarks on fourth voyage in orbit (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/05/20/recap-story-x-37b-embarks-on-fourth-voyage-in-space/)
Quote
But the military won’t say which of its two X-37B spaceplanes launched today, the first craft which has flown twice or the second vehicle that has flown once. “No, that information is not releasable due to operational objectives,” said Air Force spokesman Capt. Chris Hoyler.

Again, why is this information important enough to refuse to confirm or deny?

Following on that, are there any distinguishing marks differentiating the two craft?  I know of none.  This wouldn't help distinguish identity at launch--the OTV is under the payload fairing--but it might at landing time (either at KSC or Vandenberg).

Respectfully,
Zubenelgenubi
There are still some unanswered questions remaining from 2 years ago.

EDITed back in the links and quotes that were supposed to be in my May 2015 post when posted.
Nope, Jim is correct. Eventually future flights will use the former OPF's however Astrotech will perform the work previously done at its own facilities inside the OPF's including transport to SLC-41. as to when this will happen is not public information
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jim on 02/27/2017 01:17 AM
When the vehicles start using the OPF's, Astrotech will have no involvement.

Transport of encapsulated spacecraft has always been the task of the launch vehicle contractor.

Astrotech doesn't process spacecraft, they only provide facilities for others to do the work
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 02/27/2017 01:43 PM
Nope, Jim is correct. <snip>

Yes, I'm sure Jim is correct.

I wasn't disputing Jim's statements in reply to my post.  I suppose that I could have made that clearer.  I've gone back today and edited in a clarification--that the consensus assumption in 2015 regarding the processing location was wrong.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/18/2017 01:11 AM
6 days away from 1 year.
And 1 year is up. A long way to go yet to equal the last mission of 675 days
This mission is now the second longest duration for the X37B at (currently) 475 days.
This mission is now at 550 days
Now at 600 days
About a week away from the previous flight record of 675 days
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: vapour_nudge on 03/24/2017 08:22 PM
6 days away from 1 year.
And 1 year is up. A long way to go yet to equal the last mission of 675 days
This mission is now the second longest duration for the X37B at (currently) 475 days.
This mission is now at 550 days
Now at 600 days
About a week away from the previous flight record of 675 days
This mission now equals the longest elapsed mission of 675 days. Unless it lands today we have a new mission record. I'm aiming for a June landing still
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: SpaceCadet1983 on 03/24/2017 08:46 PM
My prediction is a KSC landing on or about July 20th.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 03/27/2017 06:51 AM
Air Force's Mysterious X-37B Space Plane Breaks Orbital Record

http://www.space.com/36205-x-37b-space-plane-breaks-record.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Alter Sachse on 04/19/2017 04:38 PM
6 days away from 1 year.
And 1 year is up. A long way to go yet to equal the last mission of 675 days
This mission is now the second longest duration for the X37B at (currently) 475 days.
This mission is now at 550 days
Now at 600 days
About a week away from the previous flight record of 675 days
Today 700 days
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/07/2017 12:11 PM
Back!

The #AirForce #X37B #OTV4 has returned from orbit and has landed safely @NASAKennedy. Stay tuned for more info.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/07/2017 12:30 PM
Waiting for pics:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/air-forces-x-37b-landing-kscs-slf/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 05/07/2017 01:29 PM
Pics after 717 days on-orbit...

https://twitter.com/usairforce/status/861210390918770690 (https://twitter.com/usairforce)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/07/2017 01:52 PM
Did anyone actually see the landing or the approach?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/07/2017 02:07 PM
Quote
Looking at the NOTAMS i'm wondering if the landing ground track for #X37B #OTV4 was similar to #STS135 Orbit 200 plan #shuttle @waynehale

https://twitter.com/dutchspace/status/861217995502362624 (https://twitter.com/dutchspace/status/861217995502362624)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 02:14 PM
Hope we get some video of the landing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 05/07/2017 02:19 PM
video

https://twitter.com/usairforce/status/861223103346741250
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/07/2017 02:20 PM
Finally a spaceplane lands again at KSC. 8) Thanks for the great news article to wake up to Chris G! :)
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/air-forces-x-37b-landing-kscs-slf/
http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1175402/x-37b-orbital-test-vehicle-4-lands-at-kennedy-space-center/
Video:
https://www.dvidshub.net/video/523059/x37b-otv4-landing-profile
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 02:24 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Olaf on 05/07/2017 02:28 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 02:28 PM
video

https://twitter.com/usairforce/status/861223103346741250

You certainly can't see much of it in that landing video.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 02:30 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41

Must be so is that date wrong then, deliberately so?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/07/2017 02:31 PM
Mods perhaps a thread merge with Jester unless you feel a stand-alone thread for this "first"...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: northenarc on 05/07/2017 02:46 PM
 More video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoailiPGTZQ
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: DatUser14 on 05/07/2017 02:52 PM
Excuse the dumb question, but why is there a space shuttle next to the runway?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Jester on 05/07/2017 02:59 PM
Excuse the dumb question, but why is there a space shuttle next to the runway?

mock orbiter "Inspiration"

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-042916a-space-shuttle-inspiration-slf.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Space Pete on 05/07/2017 03:27 PM
Nice to finally see something land from space on the old SLF again!

I propose we keep the name SLF, but alter it slightly - Spaceplane Landing Facility! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Newton_V on 05/07/2017 03:35 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.
Title: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 05:14 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/07/2017 05:15 PM
Landing page with video & photos:

https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/otv4 (https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/otv4)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: woods170 on 05/07/2017 05:24 PM
Back!

The #AirForce #X37B #OTV4 has returned from orbit and has landed safely @NASAKennedy. Stay tuned for more info.
Ha! Brilliant! USAF took everybody here by surprise. Love it!
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: rayleighscatter on 05/07/2017 05:41 PM
And this is the first time an X-37 has been refurbished at an OPF? (I know the last three landed at Vandenberg but I don't know where they were later serviced).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Alter Sachse on 05/07/2017 06:12 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Atlas V 551 not typical for OTV-launches.
My suggestion:2018 TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: ZachS09 on 05/07/2017 07:00 PM
I'm guessing the OTV-5 mission will raise the bar even further; possibly going to 1,250 days in space.

Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: baldusi on 05/07/2017 07:23 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/07/2017 07:43 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 07:44 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Could it be a deliberate confusion?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/07/2017 08:08 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

Not that I don't doubt you, just wondering why it couldn't launch by the end of 2017, as I thought the RapidLaunch service could go up in as little as three months?

Quote
Last September ULA announced its RapidLaunch service, aiming to fill gaps in its launch manifest with commercial missions contracted at as little as three months’ notice.

Is that just for Atlas 401 (not 501 as the X-37B needs), just for commercial clients, or is the 2017 manifest that full?

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/04/atlas-v-oa-7-cygnus-launch-iss/
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/07/2017 08:10 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Could it be a deliberate confusion?

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 08:12 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Could it be a deliberate confusion?

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.

Didn't OTV-4 suddenly appear on the schedules only a relatively short amount of time before it actually flew?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: smoliarm on 05/07/2017 08:27 PM

...

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.

Florida Today, May 7, 2017:
**The Air Force says the fifth X-37B mission, OTV-5, is scheduled to launch later this year from Cape Canaveral.**
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/05/07/air-forces-x-37b-space-plane-lands-ksc/101401768/
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/07/2017 09:13 PM
This forum is quoted in this news report.

Quote
According to NASASpaceFlight.com, which reported back in February, “Depending on the specific path the X-37B follows in its entry sequence – currently understood to be a descending node entry over portions of the United States and Florida – large swathes of Central Florida could be graced with twin sonic booms during the morning commute as the X-37B rather insistently heralds its arrival back home.”

The site also noted that this would be the first time since the mini shuttle landed at Kennedy Space Center, where America’s space shuttle program used to call its home for decades during their program.

“The ability for this fourth mission to attempt a return to the runway at Kennedy follows three highly successful, completely autonomous deorbit, entry, and landing sequences of the first three X-37B flights, which all ended with precise touchdowns at the runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA,” the site said.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/go-for-launch/os-sonic-boom-military-space-shuttle-0507-story.html
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: vapour_nudge on 05/07/2017 09:50 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Any chance they mean the 2017 financial year. Or perhaps it will be a Rapid Launch? ( is rapid launch only for an AV401 or is an AV501 possible?)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/07/2017 11:14 PM

...

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.

Florida Today, May 7, 2017:
**The Air Force says the fifth X-37B mission, OTV-5, is scheduled to launch later this year from Cape Canaveral.**
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/05/07/air-forces-x-37b-space-plane-lands-ksc/101401768/

Not clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/07/2017 11:25 PM
Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/07/2017 11:50 PM
Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)

X-37 is not NRO
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: kch on 05/08/2017 12:15 AM
Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)

X-37 is not NRO

... and May 1st is not later than May 7th.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: vapour_nudge on 05/08/2017 01:33 AM
Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)
Probably not Kevin, they're not secretive about the launches, only about what is inside the payload bay
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/08/2017 03:27 PM
Quote
Looking at the NOTAMS <snip>

https://twitter.com/dutchspace/status/861217995502362624 (https://twitter.com/dutchspace/status/861217995502362624)

I'm away from NSF for a day and this happens!

When/where were the relevant NOTAMs?

Wow, this landing SEEMS to have surprised the amateur satellite observing community!  (No slight intended)

I see no advance notice postings on the Seesat-l bulletin board.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: SMS on 05/08/2017 04:09 PM
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/07/x-37b-spaceplane-returns-to-earth-and-makes-precision-autopilot-landing/

Editor’s note: Exact landing time now added

Quote
With Runway 15 fast approaching the glider dropped its landing gear with dinner plate-sized wheels for a tire-smoking touchdown at 7:47 a.m. EDT (1147 GMT) while flying on a sophisticated autopilot fed with GPS navigation.

Total flight duration was 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes from liftoff to landing.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: dawei on 05/08/2017 04:24 PM
Wow.  I stop paying attention for just a bit and a spaceplane comes and lands at the SLF.  Makes me think of the immortal words of Ferris Bueller.... "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Citabria on 05/08/2017 04:25 PM
Maybe they brought her down so they could install a new Twitter-based command system?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/08/2017 04:55 PM
Interesting that they've never identified which of the two vehicles flew this mission.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/08/2017 05:52 PM
A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/air-forces-x-37b-landing-kscs-slf/)

(Great reporting!  :) )

Quote
In fact, after landing, the X-37B is expected to be towed to OPF-1 for post-flight servicing operations. This operation has been tested several times with a mock-up space plane.
This appears to be "new news," but not unexpected.  Do you know when this happened?  Were practice moves also performed at Vandenberg before OTV-1?

Quote
Presently, two X-37Bs are known to exist, with the first flying the OTV-1 and -3 missions and the second flying the OTV-2 and -4 missions.

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
***

Questions for any knowledgeable peanut in the NSF Peanut Gallery:

Pardon me if this question has been asked and answered.  Is there any reason PRECLUDING launching an X-37B from Vandenberg?

Could an X-37B in polar orbit land at KSC?  (Another way of asking this question--if Shuttles had launched from Vandenberg, could they have used the KSC SLC as a back-up landing location?)

Thank you in advance!
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/08/2017 06:08 PM
Interesting that they've never identified which of the two vehicles flew this mission.

Maybe it's a bit of both ;)

(before people take that seriously, it's a joke, both vehicles are separate vehicles, right?)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/08/2017 06:48 PM
I wonder if the X-37B is able to be launched on other vehicles?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 05/08/2017 07:21 PM
I wonder if the X-37B is able to be launched on other vehicles?

Cross-post:
Didn't they choose the wingspan so that it would fit inside the payload bay of the shuttle?

My understanding is that the dimensions of the craft were frozen before changing launchers from STS to Delta II, no payload fairing.  Or, the USAF chose not to change the dimensions, even though Shuttle was no longer the launcher.

(The launcher was then changed again from Delta II to EELV, with payload fairing.)

I also >think< I remember one of our NSF experts stating that a Delta IV Medium could be used to launch an X-37B, but it was chosen against because of greater cost?

EDIT: On Gunter's Space Page (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/x-37.htm), the alternate launch vehicle is stated to be Delta IV-M+(5,2).
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/08/2017 07:47 PM
A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/air-forces-x-37b-landing-kscs-slf/)

(Great reporting!  :) )

Quote
In fact, after landing, the X-37B is expected to be towed to OPF-1 for post-flight servicing operations. This operation has been tested several times with a mock-up space plane.
This appears to be "new news," but not unexpected.  Do you know when this happened?  Were practice moves also performed at Vandenberg before OTV-1?

Quote
Presently, two X-37Bs are known to exist, with the first flying the OTV-1 and -3 missions and the second flying the OTV-2 and -4 missions.

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
***

Questions for any knowledgeable peanut in the NSF Peanut Gallery:

Pardon me if this question has been asked and answered.  Is there any reason PRECLUDING launching an X-37B from Vandenberg?

Could an X-37B in polar orbit land at KSC?  (Another way of asking this question--if Shuttles had launched from Vandenberg, could they have used the KSC SLC as a back-up landing location?)

Thank you in advance!

There are pictures of the test tows and mock-up at KSC.  One is included at the bottom of the article.

The source material for OTV-4 using the second X-37B comes from its launch, when it was referred to as "the second flight of the second X-37B."

Nothing would preclude X-37B from launching from Vandenberg if a polar orbit mission was required.  Yes, the SLF can be used for polar orbit landings.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/08/2017 08:55 PM
Air Force Orbital Test Vehicle Lands at Kenned Space Center (KSC)
Yesterday, one of our spaceport partners, the U.S. Air Force, successfully landed their  X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle at the Space Florida-operated Shuttle Landing Facility here at KSC.  I am proud to congratulate the Air Force on their program accomplishment and welcome them as a member of the KSC multiuser spaceport family.  What an outstanding use of a runway and processing facilities that once prepared for launch, and landed, the Space Shuttle and now support a new orbital vehicle.
 
This achievement is just one more example of how KSC is a vibrant spaceport full of activity.  We continue to forge new relationships with commercial space industry and other partners to expand the spaceport.  We enable organizations to achieve mission success through a comprehensive range of resources that is unmatched anywhere in the world.  Having industry partners enables us, as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to do what we do best, explore the unknown and forge the path to send humankind to Mars and beyond.
 
 
Bob Cabana
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/09/2017 05:29 AM
A couple more images released.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/09/2017 03:40 PM
I'm always wondering how much those stubby wings, body-flap, control surfaces, gear and TPS actually actually tally-up to weight-wise for a vehicle that will remain unnamed... ;D
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Machdiamond on 05/09/2017 05:11 PM
The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/09/2017 08:04 PM
The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.
The relatively small vehicle size compared to the runway width really adds to the illusory excitement when viewing... :)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/10/2017 09:59 AM
Someone was asking on another forum that shouldn't the hall thruster on the back have been stained by the conventional RCS?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: jacqmans on 05/10/2017 10:36 AM
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Machdiamond on 05/10/2017 12:12 PM
Someone was asking on another forum that shouldn't the hall thruster on the back have been stained by the conventional RCS?

The Aerojet Rocketdyne XR-5A thruster has a protective cover in the post landing images.

http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne%E2%80%99s-modified-xr-5-hall-thruster-demonstrates-successful-orbit-operation (http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne%E2%80%99s-modified-xr-5-hall-thruster-demonstrates-successful-orbit-operation)

Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: jcm on 05/10/2017 02:05 PM
A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/air-forces-x-37b-landing-kscs-slf/)

 

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
 



The source material for OTV-4 using the second X-37B comes from its launch, when it was referred to as "the second flight of the second X-37B."
 


Can you source this more precisely?  At the time of launch and shortly after there was discussion on NSF
that in fact USAF *refused* to specify which X-37B it was.   Exactly who said it was the 2nd flight of the 2nd one, was it someone official?  This is definitely new news and I'm skeptical of the quote.

Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Star One on 05/10/2017 02:39 PM
A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/air-forces-x-37b-landing-kscs-slf/)

 

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
 



The source material for OTV-4 using the second X-37B comes from its launch, when it was referred to as "the second flight of the second X-37B."
 


Can you source this more precisely?  At the time of launch and shortly after there was discussion on NSF
that in fact USAF *refused* to specify which X-37B it was.   Exactly who said it was the 2nd flight of the 2nd one, was it someone official?  This is definitely new news and I'm skeptical of the quote.

Same here as far as I am aware the Air Force never said which of the two vehicles it was.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: daveglo on 05/10/2017 04:34 PM
The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.


Ok, so in videos associated with the landing, and apparently used for the photo analysis, while watching the whole thing, I see a space shuttle sitting out in the open off to the side of the runway.

What shuttle?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Ictogan on 05/10/2017 04:37 PM
The X-37B appears to be landing crazy fast in these videos due to its small size.

So I was curious and I counted 61 frames in the 30 fps video for the vehicle to cover the runway overrun, which Google Earth measures up at 200 m long.

61/30 seconds to cover 200 m equals: 190 knots (355 km/hr)

Unsurprisingly similar to the Space Shuttle.


Ok, so in videos associated with the landing, and apparently used for the photo analysis, while watching the whole thing, I see a space shuttle sitting out in the open off to the side of the runway.

What shuttle?
From what I've read it's space shuttle inspiration, a Mockup shuttle.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: Perchlorate on 05/10/2017 04:44 PM
Makes more sense if you capitalize it:  Inspiration.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES
Post by: rpapo on 05/10/2017 04:50 PM
For some more Inspiration, try these articles and posts:

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-011316a-space-shuttle-inspiration-move.html
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-042916a-space-shuttle-inspiration-slf.html
http://www.space.com/36759-x-37b-lands-near-space-shuttle-model.html
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31325.msg1675719#msg1675719
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Alter Sachse on 06/07/2017 10:26 AM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Atlas V 551 not typical for OTV-launches.
My suggestion:2018 TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
The riddle is solved
August - AFSPC-7: OTV-5 (X-37B 01 flight 3) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: Newton_V on 06/07/2017 02:01 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Atlas V 551 not typical for OTV-launches.
My suggestion:2018 TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
The riddle is solved
August - AFSPC-7: OTV-5 (X-37B 01 flight 3) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
Why are you associating AFSPC-7 with this launch?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 06/07/2017 03:46 PM
The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?
Maybe this one from 2018?
Quote
March - AFSPC-11 - Atlas V 551 (AV-079) - Canaveral SLC-41
Atlas V 551 not typical for OTV-launches.
My suggestion:2018 TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41
The riddle is solved
August - AFSPC-7: OTV-5 (X-37B 01 flight 3) - Falcon 9 - Kennedy LC-39A
Why are you associating AFSPC-7 with this launch?
I suspect Alter's information is from Salo's US Launch Schedule listings...updated yesterday after the news,
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.msg1680751#msg1680751
which also contained this in the 2018 listings:
TBD - AFSPC-7 - Atlas V (AV-0??) - Canaveral SLC-41