Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012  (Read 130008 times)

Online jcm

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #280 on: 10/14/2014 06:30 AM »
The latest orbital data is from Oct 6, when it had lowered its orbit 50 km since Sep 28.
I would caution that it may have maneuvered again since then, so attempts to derive a ground track for today or tomorrow are ... optimistic
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Offline avollhar

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #281 on: 10/14/2014 08:43 AM »
As of last elset from Ted Molczan in 2012, the last X-37 landing occurred on an ascending node.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2014 08:43 AM by avollhar »

Offline pargoo

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #282 on: 10/14/2014 09:20 AM »
     Be really nice of them to release a flare/touchdown pic this time.

Offline Helodriver

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #283 on: 10/14/2014 12:08 PM »
I'll be out there today. There was fog/marine layer clouds yesterday. Not sure what is going to be visible.

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #284 on: 10/14/2014 03:54 PM »
Irene Klotz (Reuters/Discovery News) notes on Twitter:

Looks like #X-37B landing is off until tomorrow. New notice to pilots closes Vandy airspace from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m local time on Wednesday.

And here's the NOTAM:

Data Current as of: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:51:00 UTC   
VBG   VANDENBERG AFB
M0267/14 - AERODROME AND CLASS DELTA AIRSPACE CLOSED FROM 15 OCT 0800L - 15 OCT 1700L. 15 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 16 OCT 00:01 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 14:17 2014

Offline nblackwell

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #285 on: 10/14/2014 06:16 PM »
Well, it is pretty overcast out there. Maybe want to get better long range camera views?

Irene Klotz (Reuters/Discovery News) notes on Twitter:

Looks like #X-37B landing is off until tomorrow. New notice to pilots closes Vandy airspace from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m local time on Wednesday.

And here's the NOTAM:

Data Current as of: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:51:00 UTC   
VBG   VANDENBERG AFB
M0267/14 - AERODROME AND CLASS DELTA AIRSPACE CLOSED FROM 15 OCT 0800L - 15 OCT 1700L. 15 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 16 OCT 00:01 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 14:17 2014


Offline Helodriver

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #286 on: 10/14/2014 10:39 PM »
I was out there today and judging from the activity, they waved it off pretty early. The tracking cameras were never uncovered and there were few people about. Judging from the positioning of the tracking instrumentation, the vehicle will land on Runway 12, approaching from the northwest over the ocean. This will eliminate overflight of off base civilian property in the Lompoc Valley that would occur with a Runway 30 landing.

This Runway 12 landing presents a bit of challenge in that the prevailing winds are out of the northwest nearly every day at Vandenberg as they were today, giving a moderate to significant tailwind on landing. Without knowing the weather limits for the X-37's arrival I would guess the winds were the factor as they were already blowing by 8 am local. Ceilings were around 2000 feet with relatively thin broken clouds in the morning which cleared to blue skies with scattered high cirrus. Good 10 mile plus visibility prevailed all day.

Pictures are looking NW along the 15,000 feet of runway 30. The covered tracking camera would be looking head on at the vehicle as it approached the runway, flared, and rolled out. There are at least 5 large camera positions set up on the airfield, so I'm imagining some good shots should be obtained. I hope they will be released to the public.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2014 10:41 PM by Helodriver »

Online ZachS09

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #287 on: 10/14/2014 11:48 PM »
Finally! After almost two years in orbit, the OTV-3 mission is landing at where Space Shuttle Discovery was supposed to land, at Runway 12, if it did launch from Vandenberg in 1986.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 12:46 PM by ZachS09 »
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline avollhar

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #288 on: 10/15/2014 07:49 PM »
Any updates on today's attempts? Ascending node should have been around 1800UT(1100LT), descending node coming up around 2244UT(1544LT). Webcams of the region show partly cloudy skies.

Just checked NOTAMs:

   
M0277/14 - RUNWAY 30/12 CLOSED. 15 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 15 OCT 23:59 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 23:59 2014
M0276/14 - AERODROME AND CLASS DELTA AIRSPACE CLOSED FROM 16 OCT 0800L - 16 OCT 1700L. 16 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 16 OCT 23:59 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 23:31 2014


So move landing to 16th?

Offline Helodriver

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #289 on: 10/15/2014 10:37 PM »
Landing moved to the 16th. Waved off before 0900L the Vandenberg range control broadcast on its maritime frequency a notice to mariners closing the offshore danger areas starting 0400L tomorrow morning.

Offline avollhar

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #290 on: 10/16/2014 02:17 PM »
As of now (1400UT, Vandenberg 0700LT), NOTAM is still in effect. Time of ascending and descending nodes is virtually identical to days before.

Offline thomasafb

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #291 on: 10/16/2014 04:04 PM »
Current weather at Vandenberg (15:55 UT):
Winds:  from the ESE (110 degrees) at 6 MPH (5 knots; 2.6 m/s) 
Visibility:  10 or more miles (16+ km) 
Ceiling:  2500 feet AGL 
Clouds:  few clouds at 900 feet AGL
few clouds at 1300 feet AGL
broken clouds at 2500 feet AGL 

Source: http://aviationweather.gov/adds/metars/index.php?submit=1&station_ids=KVBG&chk_metars=on&hoursStr=2&std_trans=translated&chk_tafs=on
Visited Shuttles (so far):
OV-104, OV-105

Offline Helodriver

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #292 on: 10/16/2014 04:18 PM »
Waived off again at 0815 local time.

Offline Helodriver

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #293 on: 10/17/2014 05:12 PM »
Vehicle landed successfully at appx 0925L. Fourth times the charm. That is one fast and hard to see little vehicle. Did not spot it until it was in the deep into the flare.  Shuttle like double sonic boom heralded its arrival about two minutes before touchdown on runway 12.

Online PahTo

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #294 on: 10/17/2014 05:19 PM »

Nice!  Thanks for the update Helodriver, and congrats to the teams involved!  Welcome home OTV-3!

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #295 on: 10/17/2014 05:59 PM »
Nice! Will see if I can put an article together!

Offline A12

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #296 on: 10/17/2014 06:46 PM »
Great ! We can expect at least one photograph?

Offline Helodriver

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #297 on: 10/17/2014 07:19 PM »
I'm not sure when the USAF will release landing images. There were a lot of big cameras pointed at the vehicle on the approach.

Offline SMS

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #298 on: 10/17/2014 07:51 PM »
X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle-3 Lands at Vandenberg AFB

Quote
10/17/2014 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3), the Air
Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. Oct. 17 .

"The 30th Space Wing and our mission partners, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Boeing, and our base
support contractors, have put countless hours of hard work into preparing for this landing and today we were
able to see the culmination of that dedication," said Col Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander.
"I'm extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third safe and successful landing.
Everyone from our on console space operators to our airfield managers and civil engineers take pride in this
unique mission and exemplify excellence during its execution."

The OTV-3 conducted on-orbit experiments for 674 days during its mission, extending the total number of days
spent on-orbit for the OTV program to 1367 days.

"The landing of OTV-3 marks a hallmark event for the program" said the X-37B program manager.
"The mission is our longest to date and we're pleased with the incremental progress we've seen in our testing of
the reusable space plane. The dedication and hard work by the entire team has made us extremely proud."

The X-37B is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft. Managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities
Office, the X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development
for reusable space vehicle technologies.

The Air Force is preparing to launch the fourth X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2015.
---
SMS ;-).


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