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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => ULA - Delta, Atlas, Vulcan => Topic started by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/29/2013 09:02 AM

Title: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/29/2013 09:02 AM
Update thread for Atlas V mission with NROL-39.

Hmmm...... octopus? Super-belle? 
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/29/2013 11:55 AM
Light weight, large fairing, big antenna?

I was just thinking, someone could have a ton of fun designing random mission patches, printing them up on off those programmable embroidery machines, and tossing them on e-bay ... but I am off topic.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: QuantumG on 08/29/2013 12:14 PM
I was just thinking, someone could have a ton of fun designing random mission patches, printing them up on off those programmable embroidery machines, and tossing them on e-bay ... but I am off topic.

Profitable too.. *ring* *ring* .. Mum?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Lurker Steve on 08/29/2013 01:29 PM
Light weight, large fairing, big antenna?

I was just thinking, someone could have a ton of fun designing random mission patches, printing them up on off those programmable embroidery machines, and tossing them on e-bay ... but I am off topic.

I assume that's how these patches are made. They are all low-volume runs, right ? It's probably a couple of hours per patch, but not much actual human interaction required. Just a small room full of machines cranking these out one at a time.

Is there any history to "Belle" appearing on previous mission patches ?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Jim on 08/29/2013 02:16 PM
The patches associated with spacecraft program are provided by the program*.  The launch patches are done by the launch base USAF personnel and are part of the a fund raising group for morale activities.   Sometimes, there are multiple USAF groups producing patches at the launch site (launch squadron, range squadron, space wing, etc) and even the spacecraft control center groups.

For NASA missions, I help sell the USAF launch site patches to spacecraft project personnel.

* it is done for a similar reason like the launch site groups, to raise money for morale activities.

"Approved/sanctioned" patches are provided by project to its people as morale boosters.  They are not for sale in large qualities.  You will see 1  or 2 on sale on Ebay but that is individuals selling their own or somebody's who didn't want theirs (the latter is decreasing for NASA and the unwanted patches are used for outreach).   The exception is somebody who makes a copies of the official patch and sells them.

As for the current mission patches on ebay, those are from somebody who knows somebody with direct access to the morale patches.  The fund raising patches cost $5, the ebay ones are what the market can bear.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/29/2013 06:42 PM
I assume with morale activities you mean things like free pizza and coke.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Jim on 08/29/2013 07:27 PM
I assume with morale activities you mean things like free pizza and coke.

picnics and Xmas parties.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Targeteer on 08/30/2013 03:49 PM
I assume with morale activities you mean things like free pizza and coke.

picnics and Xmas parties.

And departure tokens due to change of station or retirements--plaques, lithographs, figurines, etc.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Targeteer on 08/30/2013 04:09 PM
The SBIRs HEO-3 payload was shipped to the "host space vehicle program" on June 13

http://www.afspc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123352888

Is it reasonable for it to be integrated onto a "host" 6 months before launch?

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Antares on 08/30/2013 04:11 PM
Yes, anywhere from 2-18 months depending on the level of integrated testing required and how risky the owner thinks it is to have hardware in someone else's control.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Jim on 08/30/2013 05:27 PM
The SBIRs HEO-3 payload was shipped to the "host space vehicle program" on June 13

http://www.afspc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123352888

Is it reasonable for it to be integrated onto a "host" 6 months before launch?


Could be done at the launch site.  This only applies to a payload and host  that have flown together before.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: William Graham on 09/18/2013 10:32 AM
The CubeSat mission on this launch is named GEMSat, and consists of eight three-unit PPODs. Two of the PPODs are dedicated to NASA's ELANA programme, designated ELANA-II (this designation was previously used for a cancelled secondary payload on an ORS launch).

From stickers on GEMSat's transport canister, the ELANA payloads are MCubed-2, IPEX, CUNYSAT-1 and FIREBIRD (x2)
http://exploration.engin.umich.edu/blog/?p=1745

The other identifiable patch is for ALICE, a 3U CubeSat for the US Air Force Institute of Technology, which is part of the NRO's Colony CubeSat programme.

This leaves five PPODs unaccounted for.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: jcm on 11/10/2013 03:57 PM
Based on the analysis at http://www.klofas.com/papers/   Upcoming CubeSat Launches: The Flood Has Arrived
we have

 - PPOD with three 1U cubes:  Michigan M-Cubed 2, CalPoly CP8-IPEX,
City U. of New York's  CUNYSAT-1
 - PPOD with a two 1.5U cubes: Montana Space Grant Consortium
Firebird A and Firebird B,  space weather studies
 - PPOD with a 3U  USAF AFIT payload, ALICE for atmosphere studies and tech
 - PPOD with two 1.5U  Aerospace Corp. Aerocube-5a/5b
 - PPOD with 3U  SMDC-ONE 2.2  for USA SMDC
 - PPOD with 3U SMDC-ONE 2.3
 - PPOD with 3U TacSat-6  (unknown, AFRL/ORS?)
 - PPOD with 3U SNAP   (possibly SMDC NAnosatellite Program - Joint
Capabilities Tech Demo)

I haven't been able to find anything specific about the Tacsat-6 mission - any takers?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: SpaceDave on 11/10/2013 07:15 PM

Is there any history to "Belle" appearing on previous mission patches ?


I wouldn't read too much into it. I think the guys at VAFB typically name rockets after their wives/girlfriends.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/26/2013 03:52 PM
Are there any launch window reported for this launch yet?  ::)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/26/2013 04:00 PM
Are there any launch window reported for this launch yet?  ::)
Past email replies from ULA that i have received regarding launch times for previous NROL-xx launches tend to say that due the request of the customer the times for the launch window are not going to be made public until launch week/a day or two before launch. The NROL-39 launch is currently set to occur on Thursday, 05 December 2013.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/26/2013 04:02 PM
Are there any launch window reported for this launch yet?  ::)
Past email replies from ULA that i have received regarding launch times for previous NROL-xx launches tend to say that due the request of the customer the times for the launch window are not going to be made public until launch week/a day or two before launch. The NROL-39 launch is currently set to occur on Thursday, 05 December 2013.

OK maybe my query was one or two days too early - I somehow remember that a "launch period" usually shows up on here or other spaceflight news site 1-2 weeks before NRO launches...
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/26/2013 04:04 PM
Are there any launch window reported for this launch yet?  ::)
Past email replies from ULA that i have received regarding launch times for previous NROL-xx launches tend to say that due the request of the customer the times for the launch window are not going to be made public until launch week/a day or two before launch. The NROL-39 launch is currently set to occur on Thursday, 05 December 2013.

OK maybe my query was one or two days too early - I somehow remember that a "launch period" usually shows up on here or other spaceflight news site 1-2 weeks before NRO launches...
it typically varies but the Monday of launch week is typically the average for the norm from my own observations.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2013 03:22 PM
Are there any launch window reported for this launch yet?  ::)

Can someone check the suspected drop zones to see if there are any NOTAMs issued for them yet?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: William Graham on 12/02/2013 07:42 PM
According to a USAF press release which was reposted on the Launch-Alert mailing list, launch is scheduled for 23:13 local, which corresponds to 07:13 UTC on 6 December.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013
Post by: input~2 on 12/02/2013 07:57 PM
Quote
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
MISSILES.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 0630Z TO 1005Z DAILY
   06 THRU 10 DEC IN AREAS BOUND BY:
   A. 33-53N 121-10W, 34-00N 121-16W,
      34-40N 120-37W, 34-34N 120-28W.
   B. 27-41N 125-41W, 29-14N 127-27W,
      30-31N 126-00W, 28-56N 124-14W.
   C. 16-06N 132-54W, 20-14N 137-37W,
      22-50N 135-05W, 18-37N 130-22W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 101105Z DEC 13.

( 011002Z DEC 2013 )

Potential launch window: December 6, 0630 to 1000UTC (in line with William's information of T0= 0713UTC)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/02/2013 08:46 PM
Quote
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
MISSILES.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 0630Z TO 1005Z DAILY
   06 THRU 10 DEC IN AREAS BOUND BY:
   A. 33-53N 121-10W, 34-00N 121-16W,
      34-40N 120-37W, 34-34N 120-28W.
   B. 27-41N 125-41W, 29-14N 127-27W,
      30-31N 126-00W, 28-56N 124-14W.
   C. 16-06N 132-54W, 20-14N 137-37W,
      22-50N 135-05W, 18-37N 130-22W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 101105Z DEC 13.

( 011002Z DEC 2013 )

Potential launch window: December 6, 0630 to 1000UTC (in line with William's information of T0= 0713UTC)
Looks retrograde, like NROL 25, so Topaz 3?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: William Graham on 12/02/2013 08:51 PM
I've overlaid the NOTAMS for L-25 onto the L-39 NOTAMS. If it goes down the middle it's more or less the same track. Clearly another TOPAZ.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/02/2013 09:54 PM
Quote
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
MISSILES.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 0630Z TO 1005Z DAILY
   06 THRU 10 DEC IN AREAS BOUND BY:
   A. 33-53N 121-10W, 34-00N 121-16W,
      34-40N 120-37W, 34-34N 120-28W.
   B. 27-41N 125-41W, 29-14N 127-27W,
      30-31N 126-00W, 28-56N 124-14W.
   C. 16-06N 132-54W, 20-14N 137-37W,
      22-50N 135-05W, 18-37N 130-22W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 101105Z DEC 13.

( 011002Z DEC 2013 )

Potential launch window: December 6, 0630 to 1000UTC (in line with William's information of T0= 0713UTC)
Looks retrograde, like NROL 25, so Topaz 3?

 - Ed Kyle
What was Topaz 2 launch on since drop zones are different??
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/02/2013 10:50 PM
What was Topaz 2 launch on since drop zones are different??

It was launched on a Delta-IVM+(5,2) rocket.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/03/2013 05:40 AM
Ted Molczan's pre-launch observer search assessment

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0017.html

Interesting note on the time of launch

"A couple of weeks ago, Cees Bassa reminded me that the first two FIA Radar orbits are almost precisely 180 deg apart in RAAN. Cees suggested that the present launch might target a plane midway between them. The above orbit falls reasonably close to that separation. Delaying the launch to 07:36 UTC would place the new orbit exactly midway between the first two in RAAN, with the following approximate elements:"
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/03/2013 06:42 PM
Slightly different version of the patch image posted earlier in the thread from a ULA Facebook post

"The NROL-39 mission will be launched for the National Reconnaissance Office in support of national defense."

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/03/2013 10:57 PM
ULA: Everything is progressing for the National Reconnaissance Office (NROL-39) launch. The mission is set to liftoff on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Thursday, Dec. 5 from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Today’s L-2 forecast shows a 20 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

--


That's another "fun" patch. I see on twitter it's "upset" some people.....they should see some of the other ones! ;D
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/03/2013 11:02 PM
Today’s L-2 forecast shows a 20 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

Not exactly something usually seen for California launches!  :o
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/04/2013 04:50 AM
Ted Molczan's pre-launch observer search assessment

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0017.html

Interesting note on the time of launch

"A couple of weeks ago, Cees Bassa reminded me that the first two FIA Radar orbits are almost precisely 180 deg apart in RAAN. Cees suggested that the present launch might target a plane midway between them. The above orbit falls reasonably close to that separation. Delaying the launch to 07:36 UTC would place the new orbit exactly midway between the first two in RAAN, with the following approximate elements:"

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0019.html

Updated message expanded to include future FIA radar launches and prospective viewing opportunities of the upper stage and payload before re-entry--of the upper stage obviously  :D
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Star One on 12/04/2013 06:38 AM

Ted Molczan's pre-launch observer search assessment

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0017.html

Interesting note on the time of launch

"A couple of weeks ago, Cees Bassa reminded me that the first two FIA Radar orbits are almost precisely 180 deg apart in RAAN. Cees suggested that the present launch might target a plane midway between them. The above orbit falls reasonably close to that separation. Delaying the launch to 07:36 UTC would place the new orbit exactly midway between the first two in RAAN, with the following approximate elements:"

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0019.html

Updated message expanded to include future FIA radar launches and prospective viewing opportunities of the upper stage and payload before re-entry--of the upper stage obviously  :D

Thanks. I wonder why he would expect them to swap launchers, is there any pressing reason I wonder to do this?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/04/2013 05:03 PM
The NRO press release for the NROL-39 mission and the cubesats:

http://www.nro.gov/news/press/2013/2013-04.pdf
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: input~2 on 12/04/2013 09:52 PM
Quote
!CARF 12/006 (KZAK A5279/13)  ZAK AIRSPACE DCC 2 ROPS AIROP DO-1312 STATIONARY ALTITUDE RESERVATION WITHIN AREA DEFINED AS 2741N12541W 2914N12727W 3031N12600W 2856N12414W AND WITHIN AREA DEFINED AS 1606N13254W 2014N13737W 2250N13505W 1837N13022W SFC-UNL 1312060658-1312060909
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/04/2013 09:53 PM
The patches associated with spacecraft program are provided by the program*.  The launch patches are done by the launch base USAF personnel and are part of the a fund raising group for morale activities.   Sometimes, there are multiple USAF groups producing patches at the launch site (launch squadron, range squadron, space wing, etc) and even the spacecraft control center groups.

For NASA missions, I help sell the USAF launch site patches to spacecraft project personnel.

* it is done for a similar reason like the launch site groups, to raise money for morale activities.

"Approved/sanctioned" patches are provided by project to its people as morale boosters.  They are not for sale in large qualities.  You will see 1  or 2 on sale on Ebay but that is individuals selling their own or somebody's who didn't want theirs (the latter is decreasing for NASA and the unwanted patches are used for outreach).   The exception is somebody who makes a copies of the official patch and sells them.

As for the current mission patches on ebay, those are from somebody who knows somebody with direct access to the morale patches.  The fund raising patches cost $5, the ebay ones are what the market can bear.


You can learn a lot about the patches from here:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1197/1
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/04/2013 09:56 PM

"A couple of weeks ago, Cees Bassa reminded me that the first two FIA Radar orbits are almost precisely 180 deg apart in RAAN. Cees suggested that the present launch might target a plane midway between them. The above orbit falls reasonably close to that separation. Delaying the launch to 07:36 UTC would place the new orbit exactly midway between the first two in RAAN, with the following approximate elements:"

Three satellites orbiting the Earth, spread equidistantly apart. Three tentacles wrapping around the Earth, spread equidistantly apart.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/04/2013 10:19 PM

"A couple of weeks ago, Cees Bassa reminded me that the first two FIA Radar orbits are almost precisely 180 deg apart in RAAN. Cees suggested that the present launch might target a plane midway between them. The above orbit falls reasonably close to that separation. Delaying the launch to 07:36 UTC would place the new orbit exactly midway between the first two in RAAN, with the following approximate elements:"

Three satellites orbiting the Earth, spread equidistantly apart. Three tentacles wrapping around the Earth, spread equidistantly apart.
but is each tentacle the same size and thickness?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: William Graham on 12/04/2013 10:27 PM

"A couple of weeks ago, Cees Bassa reminded me that the first two FIA Radar orbits are almost precisely 180 deg apart in RAAN. Cees suggested that the present launch might target a plane midway between them. The above orbit falls reasonably close to that separation. Delaying the launch to 07:36 UTC would place the new orbit exactly midway between the first two in RAAN, with the following approximate elements:"

Three satellites orbiting the Earth, spread equidistantly apart. Three tentacles wrapping around the Earth, spread equidistantly apart.


Agreed, I think the two raised tentacles are the two satellites already in orbit, with this one in between - the tentacle going around the earth. Two more tentacles are just visible in the bottom corners - the two satellites still awaiting launch?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/04/2013 10:56 PM
The NRO press release for the NROL-39 mission and the cubesats:

http://www.nro.gov/news/press/2013/2013-04.pdf

When the opportunities for these auxiliary payloads are announced, how much detail on the planned orbit is provided to the payload providers?   Some knowledge would seem to be needed to determine power support, command and control, tracking, etc yet the details of the launch orbit parameters for NRO missions are obviously classified.  Government agencies could have some level of security clearance but civilian universities would present a problem.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Jim on 12/04/2013 11:44 PM
The NRO press release for the NROL-39 mission and the cubesats:

http://www.nro.gov/news/press/2013/2013-04.pdf

When the opportunities for these auxiliary payloads are announced, how much detail on the planned orbit is provided to the payload providers?   Some knowledge would seem to be needed to determine power support, command and control, tracking, etc yet the details of the launch orbit parameters for NRO missions are obviously classified.  Government agencies could have some level of security clearance but civilian universities would present a problem.

the basic orbital parameters are given and that is all they need.  Cubesat by definition doesn't need anymore.  It is self contained and quiescent until deployed.   
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Nick L. on 12/05/2013 01:37 AM
The most interesting "ride alongs" that I know of are NASA's two TWINS payloads, which are carried aboard two NRO satellites in Molniya orbits. It was a little surprising to me that the NRO would allow that. Having separate auxiliary payloads is one thing, but having them mounted directly to the spacecraft seemed to me like a big step, though clearly they were okay with it.

http://twins.swri.edu/index.jsp

Anyone know of any more like this?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/05/2013 05:09 AM
Octopus on the move....
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/05/2013 06:30 AM
The most interesting "ride alongs" that I know of are NASA's two TWINS payloads, which are carried aboard two NRO satellites in Molniya orbits. It was a little surprising to me that the NRO would allow that. Having separate auxiliary payloads is one thing, but having them mounted directly to the spacecraft seemed to me like a big step, though clearly they were okay with it.

http://twins.swri.edu/index.jsp

Anyone know of any more like this?

If you want high inclination at that distance, aren't the NRO birds pretty much the only option? 
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/05/2013 08:41 PM
NROL-39 is last launch for 33 year program veteran

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/year-employee-to-bid-farewell-after-one-last-liftoff/article_4fb13442-5d7d-11e3-9251-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/05/2013 08:47 PM
Moved for live coverage.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/05/2013 09:01 PM
NROL-39 is last launch for 33 year program veteran

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/year-employee-to-bid-farewell-after-one-last-liftoff/article_4fb13442-5d7d-11e3-9251-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true (http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/year-employee-to-bid-farewell-after-one-last-liftoff/article_4fb13442-5d7d-11e3-9251-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true)
Nice story....wonder if any of nsf users know him or if he is a user?
 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: savuporo on 12/05/2013 09:14 PM
Lots of cubesats http://www.cubesat.org/index.php/missions/upcoming-launches/134-l39-launch-alert
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: William Graham on 12/05/2013 09:17 PM
Some details on the ELaNa CubeSats:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/ELaNA-II-FactSheet-v4.pdf
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 12:35 AM
ULA from Facebook--good news

The weather forecast for tonight's ‪#‎NROL39‬ launch has improved to 60% favorable! Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base is planned for 11:13 pm PST, and the webcast begins at 10:53 pm PST
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 12:38 AM
NROL-39 is last launch for 33 year program veteran

http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/year-employee-to-bid-farewell-after-one-last-liftoff/article_4fb13442-5d7d-11e3-9251-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true (http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/year-employee-to-bid-farewell-after-one-last-liftoff/article_4fb13442-5d7d-11e3-9251-001a4bcf887a.html?comment_form=true)
Nice story....wonder if any of nsf users know him or if he is a user?
 

I got that link from a ULA Facebook post in full disclosure
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 12:45 AM
William Graham's extensive launch overview - again a very informative read:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/atlas-v-launch-nrol-39-vandenberg/

Going to get some sleep and back for live coverage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: robertross on 12/06/2013 01:07 AM
William Graham's extensive launch overview - again a very informative read:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/atlas-v-launch-nrol-39-vandenberg/

Going to get some sleep and back for live coverage.

Super article William. Thanks.

Sadly I will be in a state of beautiful sleep while the launch takes place, after a trying day. Go Atlas V!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Artyom. on 12/06/2013 03:36 AM
Quote
ULA ‏@ulalaunch
The NROL39 count has just entered a planned 30-min hold. This is the first of two planned holds in the count.

https://twitter.com/ulalaunch/status/408816958248079360
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Helodriver on 12/06/2013 03:43 AM
Record cold temperatures for the California Central Coast tonight, but I'll be heading out there in a little bit to see it. Debating the view from the bluff on north base or getting closer by the south base gate. At least there's no marine layer tonight. :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: flying_penguin on 12/06/2013 04:08 AM
KVBG 060455Z AUTO 04008KT 10SM CLR 04/M10 A3012 RMK AO2 SLP194 T00441100 TSNO VISNO RWY12

4.4 C = 39.9 F

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Helodriver on 12/06/2013 04:14 AM
That's cold for here. I'm going to wait for confirmation of fueling beginning before making the drive.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 04:44 AM
Webcast is at

http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Webcast.shtml

starting at 10:53 pm PST (6:53 am UTC).

Quote
ULA ‏@ulalaunch 1m
New launch time for #NROL39: 11:14:30 pm PST.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/06/2013 05:11 AM
ULA ‏@ulalaunch
New launch time for #NROL39: 11:14:30 pm PST.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Artyom. on 12/06/2013 05:18 AM
https://twitter.com/ShuttleAlmanac/status/408841819888164864
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:40 AM
Good morning.

Remember, it's much faster sending a message to me if there is a need for a correction.

Webcast....
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 05:54 AM
Coverage has started.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:54 AM
Off we go with the http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Webcast.shtml webcast...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 05:54 AM
good eve. bars
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:55 AM
T-8 mins
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:56 AM
Heading to the hold at T-4 mins.

On track for the opening of the window. Will cut off coverage at fairing jettison as per usual.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 05:56 AM
she looks good to go
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:56 AM
Vigilance....................from above!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:57 AM
Weather improved a lot!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:58 AM
She's such a good looking rocket.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 05:58 AM
some larger
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 05:59 AM
Mooooon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:00 AM
T-4 mins and holding for 10 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:00 AM
Mission profile....nice through the clouds shot.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:02 AM
Cubesats.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 06:02 AM
the cubesats
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 06:04 AM
a closer view
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:05 AM
L-9 mins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:05 AM
Giant space octopus on internal power.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:06 AM
Polling to come out of the hold shortly.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 06:07 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:08 AM
Polling:

All GO!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:08 AM
Two minutes until the hold is released.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:11 AM
Out of the hold.

T-4 mins and counting.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:11 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:12 AM
Tanks into press to flight pressure.

FTS internal.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:13 AM
Launch sequencer start.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:13 AM
Launch enable. FTS armed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:13 AM
Good luck Belle and freedom loving octopus!

Range Green!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:14 AM
Go Atlas. Go Centaur. Go NROL-39!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:15 AM
LAUNCH!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:15 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:15 AM
Nominal first stage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 06:16 AM
launch
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:16 AM
1000 mph. Four miles up. Mach 1. MaxQ....in that order.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:16 AM
Good control and good pressures.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:17 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:17 AM
Very pretty plume.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2013 06:17 AM
looking good
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:18 AM
Staging 1-2 Sep.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:18 AM
Last shot before the cut off.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Lars_J on 12/06/2013 06:20 AM
Looked like the fairing halves were briefly illuminated by the engine before they disappeared.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Jason1701 on 12/06/2013 06:20 AM
Amazing view of it from the LA area! Saw a great plume up to staging.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: jcm on 12/06/2013 06:21 AM
Cubesat deploy to be reported on NASA EDGE http://www.ustream.tv/nasaedge

[Did anyone catch the time they said for that?]  Edit:  2.06 PST which is 0506 EST / 1006 UTC.
I'm on EST, so am going to catch some zzzs for a bit
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: belegor on 12/06/2013 06:22 AM
Did anyone catch the time they said for that?

2:06 a.m. PST = 1006Z, if I heard correctly.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/06/2013 06:23 AM
NASA EDGE is covering the deployment of the cubesats at ustream.tv/nasaedge (http://ustream.tv/nasaedge) between 2:06 and 2:40 am PST (10:06-10:40 UTC), so we won't know the mission outcome until then.

Anyone knows the planned orbit parameters of the cubesats?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: craigcocca on 12/06/2013 06:23 AM
Looked incredible from the Orange County area.  Bet a lot of surprised people on the ground wondered what that was.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 06:23 AM
Only one tracking angle and not the usual side angle view which was sort of dissappointing.  Mentioned that cubesat deployment will be streaming live at 6 minutes after the top of the hour. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: savuporo on 12/06/2013 06:26 AM
Looked incredible from the Orange County area.  Bet a lot of surprised people on the ground wondered what that was.
And they'll keep wondering until it gets declassified :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 06:31 AM
William's article updated to post launch:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/atlas-v-launch-nrol-39-vandenberg/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: craigcocca on 12/06/2013 06:32 AM
Looked incredible from the Orange County area.  Bet a lot of surprised people on the ground wondered what that was.
And they'll keep wondering until it gets declassified :D

While that is certainly true, I was speaking more to the fact that the launch was not well publicized in the SoCal area.  With 30 million people in the LA country area, I'm sure there were more than a few eyes who looked up and saw something much too fast to be an airplane with this amazing plume streaking out its rear end!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 06:41 AM
ISS appeared to be crossing the US/Canada coastline at liftoff. Interesting to hear if they saw anything..
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 06:46 AM
Looked incredible from the Orange County area.  Bet a lot of surprised people on the ground wondered what that was.
And they'll keep wondering until it gets declassified :D

That's easy, it was USA-247 on its way to orbit.  What more could they possibly want to know?  ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Mapperuo on 12/06/2013 06:48 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2tEsvrt5bQ
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 06:52 AM
The amateur satellite observer network is all spun up to see the payload/upper stage--from Facebook

I am unfortunately clouded over receiving sleet/frozen rain all morning....

Greg Roberts
Looks like TOPAZ 3 lifted off about 1m 30sec into the launch window at 07h14m30sec UT - today - I missed the lift-off as I was busy shopping - domestic duties have to take priority otherwise my "government" gets into a flap because her routine has been changed. Anyway, assuming the expected orbit is obtained- which should be the case - South Africa has optical visibility at around 1811 to 1829 UT tonight , reaching an elevation of about 59 degrees at about 18h19m30sec at azimuth 100 degrees, rising at azimuth 055 and setting at azimuth 218 degrees, and a second pass starting at about 2000UT at azimuth 348, reaching a maximum elevation of about 28 degrees at 20h02m30sec at azimuth 310 and setting at about 20h11min at azimuth 257. The first pass should be easily naked eye - probably around magnitude + 2 or +3. I should have more accurate elements later in the day once it has been tracked by the amateur network - the United States has optical passes around 2pm our time ( their morning). I have radio passes during the day but do not think Ill be trying as I am too lazy and have some other chores I have to attend to so cant play "satellites"...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: marshal on 12/06/2013 09:00 AM
United Launch Alliance has declared this launch a success.
The Colorado-based launch services company, formed in 2006 by merging the rocket divisions of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., announced the mission was a success in a press release.

"Today's successful launch of the NROL-39 mission is a testament to the tremendous government-industry partnership. We greatly appreciate the teamwork with the NRO Office of Space Launch and our many mission partners," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president of Atlas and Delta programs, in the press release. "We are honored to be entrusted to launch these one-of-a-kind national assets to orbit to protect our national security and to support the many brave men and women serving around the world."

Still to come later this morning is the deployment of 12 CubeSat secondary payloads.

The next Atlas 5 launch is set for Jan. 23 from Cape Canaveral with NASA's next Tracking and Data Relay Satellite.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:10 AM
NASA Edge has started.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:12 AM
Fairing Separation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:17 AM
ULA Live Data
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:19 AM
P-Pod
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:21 AM
Live Data. Now talking about Firebird.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:23 AM
Live animation of satellite deploy. Firebirds deployed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Artyom. on 12/06/2013 09:29 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:30 AM
P-Pod 2 and 3 Deploy.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:34 AM
Discussing Ipex with example cubesat. P-Pod 5 deploy (I think). Sorry for low resolution.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:36 AM
Just after P-Pod 6 deploy. Sorry I missed it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:37 AM
Discussing Cunysat.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:41 AM
Another deploy. Sorry for the escape message.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/06/2013 09:46 AM
And the “ULA Express” leaves the station on time as scheduled... Congrats to all the teams, well done!
Thanks for the great coverage NSF in the wee hours of the morning for me... Great to wake up to! :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:47 AM
After the last deploy. Looks like two more to go.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 09:53 AM
And we're off the air. Congratulations to ULA and all the cubesat teams!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: jcm on 12/06/2013 09:58 AM
Great captures, Steven!  So I got 1022:10 UTC for Firebird,  1034:10 UTC for MCUBED/IPEX/CUNY, with
some of the other deploys at about 1024:10 and 1028:10; looks like the last one you got was around 1037 UTC.

Note that the Centaur final orbit appears to be 467 x 883 km x 120.5 deg. We were expecting 123 deg but looks
like the Centaur made an inclination change when it lowered its orbit following the main payload deploy;
also looks like there were two orbit lowering burns since we think the initial altitude was around 1050 km.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/06/2013 10:04 AM
Thanks Jonathan. Glad to give a little back for the other coverage out there on NSF. They were a happy bunch on the NASA coverage. Must have been the early morning.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Artyom. on 12/06/2013 10:19 AM
My congratulations  :) !

https://twitter.com/ulalaunch/status/408917836544086016
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: jacqmans on 12/06/2013 10:39 AM
AV-042 Mission Success Announcement

 1:05 am PST (4:05 am EST) - Press Release from ULA on Mission Success

 United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Successfully Launches Payload for the National Reconnaissance Office

 VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Dec. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 on Dec. 5 at 11:14 p.m. PST. Designated NROL-39, the mission is in support of national defense.

 "Today's successful launch of the NROL-39 mission is a testament to the tremendous government-industry partnership. We greatly appreciate the teamwork with the NRO Office of Space Launch and our many mission partners," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. "We are honored to be entrusted to launch these one-of-a-kind national assets to orbit to protect our national security and to support the many brave men and women serving around the world."

 This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle 501 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10A-4 engine.

 In addition to the NROL-39 payload, the Government Experimental Multi-Satellite (GEMSat), consisting of 12 CubeSats, took advantage of the Atlas V launch vehicle ride share capabilities and were deployed following completion of the primary mission. The NRO and ULA partnered to develop an Aft Bulkhead Carrier (ABC) on the Centaur upper stage, which is a platform for accommodating auxiliary payloads aboard Atlas V missions.

 The CubeSats were developed under a sponsorship of both the NRO and NASA. The Aerospace Corporation, the Air Force Institute of Technology and the Army developed the seven NRO-sponsored CubeSats. The five NASA-sponsored CubeSats were developed by Montana State University, California Polytechnic State University, the University of Michigan, and Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York.

 "We are pleased we could support the NRO, NASA, and all of the associated institutions by successfully delivering these important auxiliary payloads which will test and validate new technologies for debris mitigation, propulsion, space weather, communications, on-orbit data processing and the use of commercially available components," said Sponnick.

 Developed by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads, the commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.

 ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

 For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch.

 SOURCE United Launch Alliance


 RELATED LINKS
http://www.ulalaunch.com/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: Helodriver on 12/06/2013 11:13 AM
Very pretty launch as seen from my location 2.1 miles from the pad. Beautiful clear night with a sky full of stars and the beams from the searchlights. Exhaust on launch was so bright it washed out my pictures entirely :-\  but I managed to capture an excellent high definition audio recording with rumbling audible for 7 minutes until it finally faded away.   

http://vimeo.com/81181145 (http://vimeo.com/81181145)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/06/2013 11:38 AM
Congrads!!!

The New England cloud cover was quite the soup, so no venting sightings.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Artyom. on 12/06/2013 12:40 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Artyom. on 12/06/2013 12:47 PM
Launch Webcast Of ULA Atlas V-501 With NROL-39 And 12 CubeSats


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnZ2Af7OeKU
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/06/2013 12:47 PM
And we're off the air. Congratulations to ULA and all the cubesat teams!

Thanks for covering all of that Steven!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: PDJennings on 12/06/2013 12:51 PM
Wow, congratulations to the ULA production and launch teams!  That's the first time since 2000 we have seen 8 Atlas launches in a year, and that's an impressive feat.  Ad multos annos!
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (ETD 23:13 PST)
Post by: eltiburon on 12/06/2013 02:55 PM
Slightly different version of the patch image posted earlier in the thread from a ULA Facebook post

"The NROL-39 mission will be launched for the National Reconnaissance Office in support of national defense."

Reminds me of this one...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: catdlr on 12/06/2013 05:15 PM
Another Launch version from the 30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB:

Atlas V NROL-39 5 Dec 2013

Published on Dec 6, 2013
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload launched by Team Vandenberg from Space Launch Complex-3 here Thursday at 11:14:30 PST.

Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, was the launch decision authority.

"This was our eleventh launch for 2013 and I couldn't be more proud of this team of professionals," said Balts. "This new capability represents our commitment to enhanced competitive launch services in support of national defense."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v0bVskvRlQ
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: robertross on 12/06/2013 05:59 PM
And we're off the air. Congratulations to ULA and all the cubesat teams!

Thanks for covering all of that Steven!

Thanks to all of you for the coverage.

Congrats ULA!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 06:24 PM
Spotted by the amateur observer network

Greg Roberts
Managed to photograph TOPAZ 3 and got about a hundred images, exposure 0.3 sec every 2 seconds. Was nice and bright and quite easy in twilight but faded into the twilight sky as it headed towards maximum elevation which was somewhat less than predicted - the satellite was actually placed in an orbit slightly more to the east, which means the next pass will be several degrees higher in the sky. Now waiting to see if I can get the Centaur rocket. Will post images tomorrow after I have measured if any are suitable.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 06:29 PM
Intriguing update from Ted Molczan thanks to amateur observations

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0042.html

"We have received observations and elements of the primary payload off-list, which reveal that the Centaur yaw-steered into orbit with a RAAN ~5 deg east of my 78802 TLE estimate, that was derived from a previous launch. It appears that the RAAN (right-ascension of the ascending node) is almost exactly midway between those of the first two FIA Radar satellites, as Cees Bassa suspected might happen. Further tracking is required to determine the precise RAAN."

Why not just delay the launch as mentioned previously to obtain the same spacing?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Antares on 12/06/2013 07:09 PM
How much of the window is that?  Could it simply be the difference between beginning and middle of the window?

Also, how close was the trajectory to no-fly zones off the coast?  Could be that ULA didn't want to make the turn with the big fairing on and just waited until second stage flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: catdlr on 12/06/2013 10:43 PM
Atlas V NROL-39 Launch Highlights

Published on Dec 6, 2013
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 on Dec. 5 at 11:14 p.m. PST. Designated NROL-39, the mission is in support of national defense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pobAggvJlOQ

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/06/2013 11:43 PM
Initial orbit from Greg Roberts' observations--as expected

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0043.html

FIA Radar 3                                            1069 X 1091 km
1 78817U          13340.79205856  .00000031  00000-0  50000-4 0    00
2 78817 122.9957 226.3329 0014502 297.5743  62.3747 13.47766224  05
Arc 20131206.76-1206.84 WRMS resid 0.021 totl 0.013 xtrk
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/07/2013 12:19 AM
That's some serious retrograde!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Lars_J on 12/07/2013 05:17 AM
Atlas V NROL-39 Launch Highlights

Published on Dec 6, 2013
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 on Dec. 5 at 11:14 p.m. PST. Designated NROL-39, the mission is in support of national defense.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pobAggvJlOQ

Nice video! :) And they ended it on the neat glimpse of the fairing separation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/08/2013 04:54 AM
Thanks for covering all of that Steven!

My pleasure Chris. Here's a capture of the fairing separation animation. Is that Topaz or a different spacecraft?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/08/2013 07:42 AM
Thanks for covering all of that Steven!

My pleasure Chris. Here's a capture of the fairing separation animation. Is that Topaz or a different spacecraft?

The animation shows (as usual for military launches) a generic spacecraft, which has nothing to do with the real spacecraft.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: mlindner on 12/08/2013 04:55 PM
Just a note. I worked on M-Cubed 1 and did some work on early revisions of the software for M-Cubed 2. I'm no longer directly insider-connected because I left the project, but from all appearances she seems to be working great!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Nick L. on 12/08/2013 08:01 PM
Thanks for covering all of that Steven!

My pleasure Chris. Here's a capture of the fairing separation animation. Is that Topaz or a different spacecraft?

The animation shows (as usual for military launches) a generic spacecraft, which has nothing to do with the real spacecraft.

Kind of looks like a DMSP to me. :D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/10/2013 01:02 AM
Update on the orbit of the payload and rocket.  Included below is the spacing assessment of the 3 Topaz satellites as indicated pre-launch.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0061.html

 FIA                    RAAN   Precession
Radar   Desig  Cat #    deg      deg/d   
  1    10046A  37162  143.2120  3.10287
  3    13072A  78817  232.6376  3.13830
  2    12014A  38109  323.2252  3.10307
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: input~2 on 12/10/2013 07:46 AM
Update on the orbit of the payload and rocket.  Included below is the spacing assessment of the 3 Topaz satellites as indicated pre-launch.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0061.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0061.html)

 FIA                            RAAN       Precession
Radar   Desig  Cat #    deg         deg/d   
  1    10046A  37162  143.2120  3.10287
  3    13072A  78817  232.6376  3.13830
  2    12014A  38109  323.2252  3.10307
FIA Radar 3 catalog ID is 39462
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Blackstar on 12/10/2013 03:55 PM
NRO finally made The Daily Show.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Targeteer on 12/10/2013 04:06 PM
Update on the orbit of the payload and rocket.  Included below is the spacing assessment of the 3 Topaz satellites as indicated pre-launch.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0061.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0061.html)

 FIA                            RAAN       Precession
Radar   Desig  Cat #    deg         deg/d   
  1    10046A  37162  143.2120  3.10287
  3    13072A  78817  232.6376  3.13830
  2    12014A  38109  323.2252  3.10307
FIA Radar 3 catalog ID is 39462

I did not post a correction...

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2013/0062.html

In the time it took me to type my earlier message, USSTRATCOM catalogued what appears to be all of the planned objects from the NROL-39 launch.

Here are my TLEs of the objects we have been tracking, restated with their USSTRATCOM IDs:

FIA Radar 3 (USA 247)                                  1072 X 1088 km
1 39462U 13072A   13342.79479970  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    05
2 39462 123.0084 232.6376 0010697 300.1695  59.8209 13.47777025    06
Arc 20131206.76-1208.84 WRMS resid 0.021 totl 0.014 xtrk

FIA Radar 3 r                                            488 X 890 km
1 39475U 13072P   13342.81287990 -.00006326  00000-0 -71422-3 0    09
2 39475 120.4471 235.7285 0284836 340.6508  18.3910 14.61048186    09
Arc 20131207.46-1208.86 WRMS resid 0.023 totl 0.017 xtrk

Ted Molczan
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: Star One on 12/10/2013 05:36 PM

NRO finally made The Daily Show.

An article on this.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/interest/2013-12-10/henneko-tsukiko-makes-unfortunate-cameo-on-the-daily-show
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: vyoma on 12/11/2013 01:56 AM
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/12/new-us-spy-satellite-features-world-devouring-octopus/

Check promoted comment over there :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/11/2013 02:55 PM
I love how everyone think's it is the NRO's new logo and not a mission patch for a particular mission... just shaking head.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: eltiburon on 12/21/2013 01:58 AM

NRO finally made The Daily Show.

An article on this.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.co.uk/interest/2013-12-10/henneko-tsukiko-makes-unfortunate-cameo-on-the-daily-show

Here is the video segment, funniest at 3:10 mark http://on.cc.com/1dkCP8J
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 03/01/2015 05:54 AM
I hope the forum members don't mind me dredging up an old thread.
This is follow-up on the NROL-39 patch design.

Mark Robinson on SeeSat-L reports on a FOIA request submitted by Runa Sandvik to the NRO re: the NROL-39 logo approval.
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2015/0115.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2015/0115.html)

The reply document is found at
https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/6-23-14_MR9834_RES.pdf (https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/6-23-14_MR9834_RES.pdf)

It's an interesting read, in spite (or because?) of the numerous redactions.

A few observations and questions:

Question about the handwritten note on page 1: Is that written by the DNRO below initial-space?  I read the note as "A little sinister!!"

The summary instructions on page 3 are interesting and applicable to life outside the classified world.

The octopus idea originated within the program as an issue with an "octopus cable" used during a thermal vacuum test.  This is the anecdotal story, and there's the official reasoning for the choice of the octopus.

Page 13 content appears to refer to patch coverage in the news.

If the 3 prominent tentacles are a reference to this being the 3rd FIA-Radar/Topaz satellite, then it passed inspection by multiple signatories within the organization.

Is Runa Sandvik a spaceflight expert?  Well, according to this
http://encrypted.cc/ (http://encrypted.cc/)
she contributes to the Tor Project, writes for Forbes, and is a technical advisor to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and TrueCrypt Audit project.

What do you think?
Zubenelgenubi

edit: attached FOIA pdf file
edit 2: "reply document"
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - NROL-39 - December 5, 2013 (23:14 PST)
Post by: grythumn on 03/02/2015 04:19 PM
I hope the forum members don't mind me dredging up an old thread.
This is follow-up on the NROL-39 patch design.

Mark Robinson on SeeSat-L reports on a FOIA request submitted by Runa Sandvik to the NRO re: the NROL-39 logo approval.
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2015/0115.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Feb-2015/0115.html)

The reply document is found at
https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/6-23-14_MR9834_RES.pdf (https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/6-23-14_MR9834_RES.pdf)

Heh. <Redacted> "Logo is UNCLASSIFIED"

Yeah, I know you don't want to specify which missions are in the same program. But still amusing.

-Bob