Author Topic: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018  (Read 44781 times)

Offline catdlr

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #40 on: 10/05/2017 02:51 AM »
Quote
🚀We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

Does anyone know where these photos were taken?

Jim is the definitive person to answer this, but I think it's at VAFB:  Source : https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/10/04/pegasus-rocket-prepared-for-nasas-icon-mission/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL rocket is being prepared to launch NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON mission. The rocket is being prepared in a facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 02:51 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline The Phantom

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #41 on: 10/09/2017 08:38 PM »
Quote
🚀We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

Does anyone know where these photos were taken?

That's OATK's Vehicle Assembly Building on the north base side of VAFB. It's a nondescript building with two side-by-side bays for doing horizontal assembly and integration of some of OATK's rockets.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #42 on: 10/09/2017 11:32 PM »
Quote
We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

Does anyone know where these photos were taken?

Jim is the definitive person to answer this, but I think it's at VAFB:  Source : https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/10/04/pegasus-rocket-prepared-for-nasas-icon-mission/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL rocket is being prepared to launch NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON mission. The rocket is being prepared in a facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.
VAFB Building 1555 is used solely for processing Orbital ATK's Minotaur-C and Pegasus-XL. All other Minotaur and defense target products use VAFB Building 1900.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 11:44 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #43 on: 10/19/2017 10:31 PM »
VAFB Building 1555 is used solely for processing Orbital ATK's Minotaur-C and Pegasus-XL. All other Minotaur and defense target products use VAFB Building 1900.
Both of which can be seen in a new photo from the Minotaur-C mission thread.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #44 on: 11/03/2017 03:50 PM »
Quote
Mission Update Nov. 3, 2017 - NASA is postponing launch of the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) until 2018. The mission was previously planned to launch Dec. 8, 2017, on an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. NASA and Orbital ATK need additional time to assess a separation component of the rocket. More information on a revised launch date will be provided once it becomes available.

From: https://www.nasa.gov/content/icon-mission-overview

Offline starchasercowboy

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #45 on: 11/19/2017 04:46 PM »
Speculating,  maybe this separation component has something to do with SpaceX Zuma component.  Explosive bolt testing might have found a bad batch?

Offline Lar

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #46 on: 11/19/2017 05:43 PM »
Speculating,  maybe this separation component has something to do with SpaceX Zuma component.  Explosive bolt testing might have found a bad batch?

Fairly[1] far fetched.  Not every thread is about SpaceX.

1 - see what I did there?

"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Jim

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #47 on: 11/20/2017 12:21 AM »
Speculating,  maybe this separation component has something to do with SpaceX Zuma component.  Explosive bolt testing might have found a bad batch?

Spacex doesn't use explosive bolts

Offline The Phantom

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #48 on: 12/22/2017 09:12 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #49 on: 12/22/2017 11:03 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...
The mission is not restricted to solely US launch Sites, although that is generally preferred. It can also launch from many sites in allied nations.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #50 on: 12/22/2017 11:29 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...
The mission is not restricted to solely US launch Sites, although that is generally preferred. It can also launch from many sites in allied nations.

An example of an "allied nation launch" was from Gran Canaria in the Spanish Canary Islands.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

Offline The Phantom

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #51 on: 12/23/2017 12:10 AM »
The mission is not restricted to solely US launch Sites, although that is generally preferred. It can also launch from many sites in allied nations.

In the case of this mission the two launch site options I cited are the only two launch site options on offer. While Pegasus has indeed launched from other locations, NASA will not, unless there are special conditions identified by the launch customer. Historically, all NASA Pegasus missions have launched from US-controlled territory (Wallops, VAFB, EAFB, RTS, CCAFS). ICON will follow this model.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 12:28 AM by The Phantom »

Offline The Phantom

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #52 on: 12/23/2017 12:25 AM »
An example of an "allied nation launch" was from Gran Canaria in the Spanish Canary Islands.

Bad example: Minisat 01 was a Spanish Space Agency payload, so they specified a Spanish launch site. Celestis was a commercial customer on that flight and didn't really care where it launched from.

Offline gongora

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #53 on: 05/01/2018 09:01 PM »
From GAO's "NASA: Assessments of Major Projects" for 2018
Quote
The ICON project had planned to launch early, in June 2017, but the project has experienced delays associated with its launch vehicle. In January 2017, two of the Pegasus launch vehicle’s three stages were involved in a transport accident. The stages were subsequently returned to the launch vehicle contractor facility for inspection and testing, and no damage was found. The launch vehicle contractor then delivered the stages to Vandenberg Air Force Base for integration and testing activities. Due to conflicts at the launch vehicle range, the earliest available launch date was December 2017, which resulted in a 6-month launch delay from the planned June 2017 launch date.

In September 2017, however, an anomaly identified in bolt cutter assembly confidence testing—testing to show that the bolts that hold the launch vehicle and payload together will separate as planned during launch—resulted in additional delays, but the magnitude of the delay is unknown. One of nine bolt cutter assemblies failed to fracture a bolt during testing. As a result, NASA and the contractor halted testing and began an investigation of the anomaly, which is ongoing. NASA’s Launch Services Program is working with the launch vehicle provider to identify the root cause of the anomaly, evaluate options to resolve the issue, and determine a new launch readiness date. In February 2018, NASA determined the project will launch no earlier than June 2018, but this date is still under review.

As of January 2018, the observatory remains in the Orbital-ATK cleanroom in Gilbert, Arizona in a safe state—under continuous purge and performing periodic monitoring of the battery voltage—awaiting determination of a new launch date and shipment for launch vehicle integration.

Offline gongora

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #54 on: 05/02/2018 09:07 PM »
Tweet from Orbital ATK:
Quote
The Orbital ATK-designed and built ICON spacecraft has arrived in Vandenberg ahead of its June 14 launch. ICON will launch from Kwajalein Atoll aboard one of our #Pegasus rockets!

Tweet from NASA Sun & Space:
Quote
ICON is headed toward launch!

The spacecraft has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and its launch from Kwajalein Atoll is now scheduled for June 14 US time / June 15 local time. #NASAICON https://go.nasa.gov/2HMI6M1

[NASA] ICON Spacecraft Arrives at Vandenberg

Online eeergo

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #55 on: 05/03/2018 12:00 AM »
In September 2017, however, an anomaly identified in bolt cutter assembly confidence testing—testing to show that the bolts that hold the launch vehicle and payload together will separate as planned during launch—resulted in additional delays, but the magnitude of the delay is unknown. One of nine bolt cutter assemblies failed to fracture a bolt during testing. As a result, NASA and the contractor halted testing and began an investigation of the anomaly, which is ongoing. NASA’s Launch Services Program is working with the launch vehicle provider to identify the root cause of the anomaly, evaluate options to resolve the issue, and determine a new launch readiness date. In February 2018, NASA determined the project will launch no earlier than June 2018, but this date is still under review.

Interesting (especially so close after the Zuma debacle) that the Parker Solar Probe+ is also experiencing problems associated with its separation mechanism. Shouldn't spacecraft adapters be one of the most tried-and-true (not to mention simple) components in an LV?
-DaviD-

Online jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #56 on: 05/22/2018 08:53 AM »
May 21, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-085

NASA Invites Media to View New Mission to Study the Frontier of Space

Media will have the opportunity June 4-5 for tours, interviews and photographs of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) as it prepares to leave Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for a scheduled mid-June launchfrom Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

ICON team members will be available to answer questions about Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL rocket, which is attached to the company’s L-1011 “Stargazer” aircraft and will carry ICON into orbit. There also will be opportunities to tour the aircraft and witness itstakeoff on its ferry flight to the island.The observatory will leave Vandenberg June 5 for ascheduled launch on June 15 from Kwajalein (June 14 in the continental United States).

ICON will study the frontier of space: the dynamic zone high in Earth’s atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above. This area at times can be filled with such beauty as the aurora, and at other times experience increases in radiation that can interfere with radio communications, satellites and even astronauts. ICON will help determine the physical process at play in this space environment and pave the way for mitigating their effects on our technology, communications systems and society.

This event is open only to U.S. citizens who possess a government-issued photo identification. One form of government-issued photo identification is required and must be a driver’s license or passport.

To apply for media credentials, go to https://media.ksc.nasa.gov. Media interested in attending this event must also RSVP via email at [email protected] In your RSVP, please include your driver’s license number and its state of issuance. The deadline for submitting credentials and to RSVP is no later than noon EDT Tuesday, May 22.

Monday, June 4

There will be an opportunity to tour the Orbital ATK L-1011 Stargazer aircraft and interview officials involved in the launch and mission.

Interview participants:

•Omar Baez, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services Program
•Bryan Baldwin, Pegasus Program senior director, Orbital ATK
•Thomas Immel, ICON principle investigator, UC Berkeley

Media should meet at the Vandenberg south gate parking lot on California State Road 246 and 13th Street at noon PDT to be escorted.Media must present a valid driver’s license or passport to receive a base pass.

Tuesday, June 5

There will be an opportunity to view the takeoff of the ferry flight of the Orbital ATK L-1011 Stargazer with the Pegasus XL rocket that will air launch ICON.

Media should meet at the Vandenberg south gate parking lot on California State Road 246 and 13th Street at 9:30 a.m. to be escorted.Media must present a valid driver’s license or passport to receive a base pass.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the Explorer Program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory leads the ICON mission. The ICON spacecraft was built by Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch service acquisition, integration, analysis, and launch management.

For more information about NASA’s ICON mission, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/icon

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #57 on: 05/23/2018 02:11 PM »
May 21, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-085

NASA Invites Media to View New Mission to Study the Frontier of Space

<snip>
The observatory will leave Vandenberg June 5 for a scheduled launch on June 15 from Kwajalein (June 14 in the continental United States).

<snip>

FYI, if I research correctly:
Kwajalein is on Marshall Islands Standard Time, UTC +12:00.

When will launch-time be announced?
Support your local planetarium!

Offline Comga

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #58 on: 05/23/2018 06:10 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

ICON will fly in an orbit around Earth at a 27-degree inclination and at an altitude of some 360 miles.

So why NOT launch from KSC/CCAFS?
I know some are looking forward to a trip to the far Pacific ;) but that's not NASA's criterion.
It's a lot closer to the west coast and easier to support.
The Stargazer can fly 1.5 degrees (167 km) south and launch due east from east of the Bahamas to hit the target inclination.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #59 on: 05/23/2018 09:23 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

ICON will fly in an orbit around Earth at a 27-degree inclination and at an altitude of some 360 miles.

So why NOT launch from KSC/CCAFS?
I know some are looking forward to a trip to the far Pacific ;) but that's not NASA's criterion.
It's a lot closer to the west coast and easier to support.
The Stargazer can fly 1.5 degrees (167 km) south and launch due east from east of the Bahamas to hit the target inclination.

I think the reason why the L-1011 is not taking off from Cape Canaveral is because of the Eastern Range maintenance, so Kwajalein is being used as the takeoff site for ICON.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

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