Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - August 18, 2017  (Read 44368 times)

Online Chris Bergin

October 30, 2015
CONTRACT RELEASE C15-047
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Next Tracking, Data Relay Satellite

NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the agency’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) mission. The mission will launch in October 2017 aboard an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch TDRS-M is approximately $132.4 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

TDRS-M will join other TDRS spacecraft of the NASA Space Network, which provides voice, data, video and telemetry services for low-Earth orbiting satellites, such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, weather and environmental monitoring satellites. The Space Network also captures real-time telemetry data from expendable vehicles during launch and early orbit. Customers using data from scientific satellites can also take advantage of TDRS-M. Signals will be sent through the primary TDRS ground station located in White Sands, New Mexico.

NASA’s Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida manages and oversees the Atlas V 401 launch services for TDRS-M. The TDRS Project at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages TDRS-M spacecraft development for the agency’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #1 on: 10/30/2015 07:48 PM »
ULA:
NASA Selects United Launch Alliance Atlas V to Launch TDRS-M Satellite

 

Centennial, Colo., (Oct. 30, 2015) – NASA’s Launch Services Program announced today that it selected United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) proven Atlas V vehicle to launch the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite M (TDRS-M) mission, the third and final satellite in the current TDRS series.

            “We are very pleased that NASA has selected ULA to launch TDRS-M,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president of Atlas and Delta Programs. “ULA and NASA have collaborated on 11 highly successful Atlas V launches and we look forward to applying a one-launch-at-time focus on mission success to the TDRS-M mission.”

The mission is scheduled to launch in late 2017 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. This mission will launch aboard an Atlas V 401 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), which includes a 4-meter diameter payload fairing.

            “NASA has trusted our highly reliable Atlas vehicles to launch all second and third generation TDRS satellites,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Custom Services.  “Our team is ready to again demonstrate the critical teamwork with NASA to ensure the successful integration and launch for the next in the series of TDRS satellites.”

NASA established the TDRS project in 1973, with the first launch in 1983, to provide around-the-clock and around-the-Earth communications for the network that routes voice calls, telemetry streams and television signals from the International Space Station, as well as telemetry and science data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other orbiting spacecraft.

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 100 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. Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch, and instagram.com/ulalaunch.

 

Offline Targeteer

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #2 on: 10/30/2015 08:20 PM »
So can any of the smart people out there extract the cost of the Atlas 401 itself from the total cost and give everyone a rare look at how much is charged for the rocket?
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Offline arachnitect

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #3 on: 10/30/2015 10:12 PM »
So can any of the smart people out there extract the cost of the Atlas 401 itself from the total cost and give everyone a rare look at how much is charged for the rocket?

I am not a smart person, but I'll try: Spacex' TESS contract was ~140% of the "list price."

If you assume a similar percentage LV/services split you get ~$95M for the Atlas.

If you assume the service prices are the same and subtract them, you get ~$107M for the Atlas.

If you assume as above, but also subtract the ELC reimbursement, you get a number in the low 90s.


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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #4 on: 10/31/2015 03:23 AM »
This one is a non-military launch so its RD-180 does not count against the USA congress imposed limitation

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #5 on: 10/31/2015 08:29 AM »
This one is a non-military launch so its RD-180 does not count against the USA congress imposed limitation

A cynic might say it really is a military launch if the persistent reports of significant DOD/NRO use of TDRS are true.  The recurring periods of "no TDRS Ku coverage" for ISS support despite fully functional, redundant satellites at the West, East, and Indian Ocean orbital locations indicate something is using that capacity and it isn't NASA.  http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/scan/services/networks/txt_tdrs_fleet.html
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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #6 on: 10/31/2015 10:19 AM »

This one is a non-military launch so its RD-180 does not count against the USA congress imposed limitation

A cynic might say it really is a military launch if the persistent reports of significant DOD/NRO use of TDRS are true.  The recurring periods of "no TDRS Ku coverage" for ISS support despite fully functional, redundant satellites at the West, East, and Indian Ocean orbital locations indicate something is using that capacity and it isn't NASA.  http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/scan/services/networks/txt_tdrs_fleet.html

Even if it's true they co-use it. It's still a win win for NASA as these other users no doubt pay their way & without that I doubt NASA alone would be able to pay for such effective coverage.

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #7 on: 10/31/2015 10:57 AM »
A few interesting notes from a 2014 IG report...

DOD use is actually confirmed--maybe for the first time?

"Other Government agencies, including the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation, and commercial entities also rely on the Space Network to communicate with various spacecraft."

"The Space Network will expand its operations with a ground station in Blossom Point, Maryland, which SCaN anticipates will be operational by early 2017."

"Although NASA had planned to launch TDRS-M as early as December 2015, it now expects to delay that launch by as many as 6 years because it lacks funding to procure a launch vehicle." 

Guess they found the money, somewhere.

"Based on a December 2013 contract award in support of a science mission, the estimated cost of an Atlas V launch vehicle is $160 million." "NASA’s contract with Boeing has provisions for up to 2 years of additional storage for TDRS-M beyond 2015 at a cost of $10 million. If NASA delays the launch beyond that date, it is likely to incur additional costs. NASA has directed Boeing to examine the technical and cost implications of extended storage."

"Even if it's true they co-use it. It's still a win win for NASA as these other users no doubt pay their way & without that I doubt NASA alone would be able to pay for such effective coverage."

Not so much...

"Other Matters. Since 2009, between 9 and 13 external customers have used Space Network assets each fiscal year and reimbursed NASA between $2.1 and $3.1 million. In September 2010, we reported that NASA had not updated the rates it charged customers for use of the Space Network for more than 4 years.3 Following our audit, NASA agreed to update the rates annually. However, in this audit we found that NASA had not updated the rates for FY 2014 and, as of March 2014, continued to charge FY 2013 rates that may not accurately capture current operating costs."    "The Space Network does not charge NASA missions for its services. However, it charges other Federal and private sector customers on a reimbursable basis. Until this year, the Space Network collected approximately $70 million per year in reimbursable funding from these external customers and was largely self-sustaining. However, in 2006, NASA entered into a cost sharing arrangement with some of its customers to defray development costs for TDRSs K and L. In exchange for this up-front contribution, NASA agreed not to charge those customers for Space Network usage for 25 years – an estimated value of $1.8 billion. However, NASA failed to develop a plan for replacing the lost revenue. The reasons for this failure are unclear because the Agency no longer has the documentation supporting the cost sharing decision and the personnel involved in the decision have left NASA."
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Offline Star One

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #8 on: 10/31/2015 12:32 PM »
I didn't so much mean paying for their use but rather paying to help build the satellite & paying for the launcher.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #9 on: 10/31/2015 12:36 PM »

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #10 on: 10/31/2015 07:14 PM »
Is TDRS-M a replacement or an upgrade?

Will it decrease the LOS from the ISS at all?

The last EVA was painful to watch with all the 15 min drops :(
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Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #11 on: 11/01/2015 10:38 AM »
replacement and no

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #12 on: 11/02/2015 11:51 PM »
http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/new-system-giving-smap-scientists-the-speed-they-need

This piece is interesting because it covers TDRS relaying high-speed data downloaded to a ground site first.  Is that due to orbital inclination?

Oct. 29, 2015

New System Giving SMAP Scientists the Speed They Need

For scientists now studying the voluminous amounts of data collected daily by NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission, speed is everything. A new NASA-developed data-transmission technology installed at the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station in Antarctica is giving them the speed they need.

Since SMAP began gathering soil-moisture measurements in the spring, the upgraded McMurdo TDRSS Relay System (MTRS) operating as part of NASA’s Near Earth Network has transmitted terabytes of data via NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) at a whopping 200 megabits per second (Mbps).

SMAP measures the amount of water in the top two inches of soil everywhere on Earth’s surface, distinguishing between ground that is frozen or thawed. The mission is now producing its global measurements with just its radiometer instrument after it was found this summer that the SMAP radar could no longer return data.

With the SMAP radiometer data, scientists will produce global maps to improve their understanding of how water and carbon in its various forms circulate. The data also will enhance scientists’ ability to monitor and predict natural hazards like floods and droughts. In addition, SMAP data have additional practical applications, including improved weather forecasting and crop-yield predictions.

“The mission is downloading terabytes of data; hence the need for a faster link,” explained Philip Baldwin, a systems engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who led a six-member team that spent five years redesigning and building the system that allows for one of the fastest data transfer off the Antarctic continent.

“Not only do they have a lot of data to downlink, the mission’s data also is time-sensitive. We have only 30 minutes to deliver the data from one pass. So far, we haven’t lost any data, and SMAP is happy with the service we’re able to provide,” he said, adding that MTRS is actually capable of 300 Mbps data-transfer speeds.

Other Polar-Orbiting Spacecraft Will Benefit

Although developed to accommodate SMAP’s titanic data and tight time requirements, MTRS eventually will function as a multi-mission asset under the Near Earth Network and become available to other polar-orbiting spacecraft. “This will greatly increase Goddard’s ability to support an even greater range of science missions,” Baldwin added.

The system’s performance is striking, Baldwin said, adding that it went operational in March when SMAP started gathering data. “It really has improved data flow,” he said.

As the polar-orbiting SMAP flies over Antarctica, it downlinks roughly 10 gigabytes of data during each pass to an X-band receiver located at the McMurdo Ground Station. (Due to TDRSS visibility, SMAP downloads up to six times a day.)

A fiber-optic cable carries the data to the MTRS equipment housed 1.5 miles away inside an orange and white radome covering the MTRS 4.6-meter antenna dish and the system’s high-speed terminal consisting of two boxes or racks of electronic equipment.  Every 12-hour period, the data are transferred to a TDRSS spacecraft that then downlinks the data to NASA’s Space Network ground station at the White Sands Complex, east of Los Cruces, New Mexico, for ultimate delivery to SMAP scientists.

To create the capability, the team upgraded an existing system that Goddard initially developed 15 years ago to demonstrate data transfer from McMurdo to White Sands. The previous incarnation of the system was last used in 2005 and had remained dormant since. Among other issues, the existing equipment fell far short of SMAP’s operational readiness for data transfer and timing. “We assessed what we needed to do and basically started over,” Baldwin said.

The team, which visited Antarctica five times to complete the job, designed, upgraded, and refurbished every aspect of the system, Baldwin said. It created the software, custom transceivers, and high-speed computers to produce the fastest data link off the world’s southern-most continent.

“It’s certainly faster than my Internet service at home,” he added.

For more Goddard technology news, go to https://gsfctechnology.gsfc.nasa.gov/newsletter/Current.pdf
Lori Keesey
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
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Offline Brovane

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #13 on: 11/03/2015 01:19 AM »
What NASA payload class are the TDRS satellite's?
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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #14 on: 11/03/2015 09:20 PM »
What NASA payload class are the TDRS satellite's?

Class B

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #15 on: 11/03/2015 10:05 PM »
What NASA payload class are the TDRS satellite's?

Class B

Thank you, When did the RFP go out for this contract?   Based on the timing I would think ULA was the only company with a certified vehicle that was capable of meeting the contract requirements. 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #16 on: 11/04/2015 02:29 AM »
no, Falcon has been eligible to fly the previous TDRS missions

Offline a_langwich

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #17 on: 11/04/2015 02:42 AM »
no, Falcon has been eligible to fly the previous TDRS missions

When was SpaceX eligible to fly Class B missions?  Wouldn't TDRS-L have been contracted in the 2011 time frame, long before SpaceX had launched any satellites to GEO?  Or were K and L launches contracted even earlier than that?

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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #18 on: 11/04/2015 03:14 AM »
no, Falcon has been eligible to fly the previous TDRS missions

When was SpaceX eligible to fly Class B missions?  Wouldn't TDRS-L have been contracted in the 2011 time frame, long before SpaceX had launched any satellites to GEO?  Or were K and L launches contracted even earlier than that?

It seems that from the timing of Jason-3 award (2012) that NASA will award a contract for a launch by a launch vehicle before certification has been achieved.  Since Jason-3 was awarded before the F9 was certified as a Category-1 or 2 LV.  I wouldn't think that NASA would award a contract to a un-certified vehicle. 
« Last Edit: 11/04/2015 03:15 AM by Brovane »
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Re: Atlas V 401 - TDRS-M - Cape Canaveral - Oct. 2017
« Reply #19 on: 11/04/2015 11:03 AM »
certification is not a requirement for contract award

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