Author Topic: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES  (Read 97058 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #40 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?

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #41 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.

 

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #42 on: 04/10/2015 11:53 PM »
Is that two launch delays for the same issue? MUOS-4
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Newton_V

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #43 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.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #44 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.
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline averagespacejoe

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #45 on: 04/12/2015 03:23 PM »
A nice look at a mission patch for this mission a lot of awesome detail!

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #46 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.
« Last Edit: 04/12/2015 09:24 PM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #47 on: 04/12/2015 08:59 PM »
The patch has it going retrograde again...
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #48 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/
« Last Edit: 04/24/2015 08:56 PM by Star One »

Online catdlr

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #49 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,"
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #50 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
« Last Edit: 04/25/2015 10:11 AM by Star One »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #51 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.
I just saw some idiot at the gym put a water bottle in the pringles holder on the treadmill.

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #52 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.

Online okan170

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #53 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...

Offline A8-3

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #54 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/

Offline Targeteer

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #55 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."

Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #56 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?

Offline DaveS

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #57 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.
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Online ZachS09

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #58 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.
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #59 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
« Last Edit: 04/28/2015 05:49 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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