Author Topic: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)  (Read 80709 times)

Offline a_langwich

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #160 on: 12/15/2014 11:00 PM »
Did it strike anyone else as bass-ackwards to say the launch complex has selected a launch vehicle as its launch vehicle of choice?  That seems a bit different from the usual process.

I suppose, given the target market is entirely polar orbit satellites, AAC may be a reasonable choice.  Given the millions of dollars in seed money, they may be an absolute lock.

Didn't the USAF ORS program get $20 million unasked-for again this year?  Perhaps they could put together some of that money plus pull some from other places (maybe write a few checks from the USAF "assured access" fund  ;) ) to send up an Athena.

Aren't some of the Minotaurs actually surplus motors from de-commissioned ICBMs?  Or are they now just using new-build motors to that spec?  (Can they build new motors like those, or do they have to change the propellant down to less energetic compounds?)

Anyway, it seems to me USAF has an interest in increasing the volume of missile-motor-like launches--if it can find some small, unaccounted-for payloads with all the block-buy and competed-for and now mandated-by-Congress-that-we-launch-SOMETHING going on.  As the volume of solids being used goes up, Athena and Minotaur (all of Orbital's launch vehicles actually) and Stratolaunch and even ULA solids on boosters all get better economics.  A la Vega.

Offline rusty

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #161 on: 12/15/2014 11:25 PM »
Did it strike anyone else as bass-ackwards to say the launch complex has selected a launch vehicle as its launch vehicle of choice? ...
No. If you read the article; The site is being rebuilt on insurance dime after a previous launch failure. The new design will allow, but not exclusively launch, Athena 2S (Athena 2 with up to six boosters). Kodiak will continue launching a variety of rockets with this rebuild adding Athena 2S to the list.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #162 on: 12/20/2014 05:04 AM »
Yes Minotaur stages are surplus Minuteman II/III/Peacekeeper stages. Makeup of vehicle configuration determines which suplus stages are employed to achieve the putforth requirements outlined by the mission team.y

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #163 on: 12/28/2014 08:36 PM »
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/12/28/kodiak-launch-complex-upgrade-caught-spending-freeze/

Kodiak Launch Complex Upgrade Caught in Spending Freeze
by Doug Messier
on December 28, 2014, at 10:02 am

Facing a $3.5 billion budget shortfall due to the falling cost of oil, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has ordered work stopped on a handful of major construction projects.

SNIP

The upgrades to the launch paid would accommodate Lockheed Martinís medium-lift Athena IIS rocket.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #164 on: 12/29/2014 05:26 PM »
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/12/28/kodiak-launch-complex-upgrade-caught-spending-freeze/

Kodiak Launch Complex Upgrade Caught in Spending Freeze
by Doug Messier
on December 28, 2014, at 10:02 am

Facing a $3.5 billion budget shortfall due to the falling cost of oil, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has ordered work stopped on a handful of major construction projects.

SNIP

The upgrades to the launch paid would accommodate Lockheed Martinís medium-lift Athena IIS rocket.
I presume this is upgrade, rather than flat-out repair, money? 

Are both Kodiak and Wallops MARS examples of something wrong with how launch pads are "insured"?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #165 on: 12/29/2014 11:38 PM »

Are both Kodiak and Wallops MARS examples of something wrong with how launch pads are "insured"?

 - Ed Kyle

More an issue of states getting in over their heads, I say.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #166 on: 12/30/2014 04:45 AM »
A bad year for U.S. launch pads.  There were maybe a dozen or so active or sort-of active orbital launch pads in the U.S. at the start of 2014.  Now there are ten or so, along with two wrecked sites.

If Kodiak does not rebuild, will that be the end of Athena?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline ZachS09

Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #167 on: 01/21/2015 07:08 PM »
Can the Athena still launch from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 46? An example was the Lunar Prospector in 1998 and the FORMOSAT 1 Satellite in 1999.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

Online edkyle99

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #168 on: 01/21/2015 08:25 PM »
Can the Athena still launch from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 46? An example was the Lunar Prospector in 1998 and the FORMOSAT 1 Satellite in 1999.
The site is still available, though it was placed in mothball status and would need work to reenter service.  The launch stand was removed, for example.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline ZachS09

Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #169 on: 01/21/2015 10:00 PM »
I see. With that said, is Wallops Island LP-0B, Vandenberg SLC-8, or Vandenberg LC-576E available?

LP-0B is where the Minotaurs launched from the East Coast
SLC-8 was where the Minotaur launches began from
LC-576E was the home of the Taurus aka Minotaur-C
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

Online edkyle99

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #170 on: 01/22/2015 12:10 AM »
I see. With that said, is Wallops Island LP-0B, Vandenberg SLC-8, or Vandenberg LC-576E available?

LP-0B is where the Minotaurs launched from the East Coast
SLC-8 was where the Minotaur launches began from
LC-576E was the home of the Taurus aka Minotaur-C
To begin, I would like to emphasize that SLC 46 is not that far from being returnable to service.  The launch stand is stored nearby, for example, and the service tower is still there, but the place has been collecting dust and rust for 15 years.

Of those you listed, I would expect SLC 8 and Pad 0B to be more compatible with Athena than SLC 576E.  Athena and Minotaur (and Taurus) use mobile launch support equipment, designed from the outset to be setup and torn down.  576E used scaffolding rather than a fixed service tower, if I'm remembering correctly.  Thus 8 and 0B and 46 should all be compatible.  They all have service towers that look Athena capable.  Work required of course.  (SLC 8 hasn't seen a launch since 2011 I think.)

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/22/2015 12:13 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #171 on: 01/22/2015 02:46 AM »
I see. With that said, is Wallops Island LP-0B, Vandenberg SLC-8, or Vandenberg LC-576E available?

LP-0B is where the Minotaurs launched from the East Coast
SLC-8 was where the Minotaur launches began from
LC-576E was the home of the Taurus aka Minotaur-C
To begin, I would like to emphasize that SLC 46 is not that far from being returnable to service.  The launch stand is stored nearby, for example, and the service tower is still there, but the place has been collecting dust and rust for 15 years.

Of those you listed, I would expect SLC 8 and Pad 0B to be more compatible with Athena than SLC 576E.  Athena and Minotaur (and Taurus) use mobile launch support equipment, designed from the outset to be setup and torn down.  576E used scaffolding rather than a fixed service tower, if I'm remembering correctly.  Thus 8 and 0B and 46 should all be compatible.  They all have service towers that look Athena capable.  Work required of course.  (SLC 8 hasn't seen a launch since 2011 I think.)

 - Ed Kyle

Looks like people were working on it last year:
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-centers/ccafs/space-florida-taps-atk-finish-slc-46-communications-systems-upgrade/

Maybe more about supporting Orion Abort test than Athena though.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Athena News (Athena 3 Still Kicking)
« Reply #172 on: 01/22/2015 01:36 PM »
You're correct: SLC-8 has not supported a launch since August 11, 2011, at 7:45:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time, when a Minotaur IV Lite launched the Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2b on a suborbital trajectory but lost contact with controllers nine minutes after launch.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital class rocket."

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