NASASpaceFlight.com Forum

Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Orbital ATK - Antares/Cygnus Mission Section => Topic started by: antonioe on 04/09/2010 05:50 AM

Title: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 04/09/2010 05:50 AM
A quick status on Cygnus.

Passed ISS Phase II safety review.

Wrapped up the CDR series (which began Nov 2009).

First Pressurized Cargo Module assembly underway in Torino - basic welded structure completed.

Will provide pictures as I get them.

We plan to have a full-scale mockup of a Cygnus spacecraft (Service Module plus a Pressurized Cargo Module) at the National Space Symposium at the Broadmore in Colorado Springs which starts Moday April 12 (by the way, we're sponsoring the opening fireworks...)

If you happen to be at the NSS, you can't miss it: it will be by the lake, to the right of the bridge that crosses the lake.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 04/09/2010 08:36 AM
Thanks for the update!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Nicolas PILLET on 04/09/2010 09:07 AM
First Pressurized Cargo Module assembly underway in Torino - basic welded structure completed.

Wooaah ! This project moves really fast !
Thank you for this update AntonioE !
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Rabidpanda on 04/09/2010 09:19 AM
When is the first orbital test launch scheduled?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: aquarius on 04/09/2010 09:37 AM
When is the first orbital test launch scheduled?

The last I heard, it was March 2011.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Downix on 04/09/2010 10:00 AM
A quick status on Cygnus.

Passed ISS Phase II safety review.

Wrapped up the CDR series (which began Nov 2009).

First Pressurized Cargo Module assembly underway in Torino - basic welded structure completed.

Will provide pictures as I get them.

We plan to have a full-scale mockup of a Cygnus spacecraft (Service Module plus a Pressurized Cargo Module) at the National Space Symposium at the Broadmore in Colorado Springs which starts Moday April 12 (by the way, we're sponsoring the opening fireworks...)

If you happen to be at the NSS, you can't miss it: it will be by the lake, to the right of the bridge that crosses the lake.
I have friends there, I'll pester them to take pictures.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: renclod on 04/28/2010 07:19 PM
Courtesy of someone at JSC - Innovation 2010



Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kkattula on 04/28/2010 08:31 PM
Very cool. 

(Is it just me, or does it look like a giant beer keg with solar panels bolted on? ;)
Hmmm beer... )

It also look a lot bigger than an Orion CM.  Yes I know Cygnus will be full of racks and cargo.

Comparisons in pressurized volume (m^3):

Cygnus = 18.7
Orion CM = 14.75
Dragon = 10
Progress = 7.6
ATV = 48
HTV = 30?
MPLM = 31
Soyuz (OM + DM) = 10
Apollo CM = 5.9
Shuttle = 71.5
ISS = 1000 (approx)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: bad_astra on 04/29/2010 08:17 PM
Will Cygnus be used for reboost?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/29/2010 08:22 PM
Will Cygnus be used for reboost?

Good question! Also, is a fuel-only cygnus possible, which can be used as a tug?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 04/30/2010 02:11 AM

(Is it just me, or does it look like a giant beer keg with solar panels bolted on? ;)
Hmmm beer... )

Yes, Düff (semi-imported)...

Quote
Comparisons in pressurized volume (m^3):

Cygnus = 18.7
Orion CM = 14.75
Dragon = 10
Progress = 7.6
ATV = 48
HTV = 30?
MPLM = 31
Soyuz (OM + DM) = 10
Apollo CM = 5.9
Shuttle = 71.5
ISS = 1000 (approx)

Careful... not all the volume is dedicated to pressurized cargo - some have equipment in the pressurized volume - and some of that is lost on the hatch mechanism/opening swept volume and the "free space" (space for the astronauts to get inside and get the cargo out - hint: Progress has NO free space: you unload it from the top down...)

You may be interested in this old presentation from the early Cygnus design days.  The actual "basic" PCM we ended up with is somewhere in between the "regular" and the "+" version in that presentation, with a total pressurized volume of 18.7 m3, and a useable cargo volume of about 12-13 m3.  The "enhanced" version (to go with the liquid-second-stage Taurus II) has a whopping 19m3 of useable cargo volume (out of about 26m3 total pressurized vol).

Moral(s) of the story: a) Not all volume is pressurized and b) Not all pressurized volume is useable for cargo.

Do not pay too much attention to the spacecraft sketches - much has changed (single main engine, location of RCS jets, location of grapple fixture, etc. etc.) However, it is a curious insight into the design process... how much changes in less than two years!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 04/30/2010 02:22 AM
Will Cygnus be used for reboost?

No, wrong nominal attachment location (big moment arm wrt ISS center of mass.)  Right now the only docking position in the U.S. side suitable for reboost has an APAS in it (Cygnus PCM uses a CBM)

Quote

Good question! Also, is a fuel-only cygnus possible, which can be used as a tug?

Yes, the SM was designed to be a self-standing spacecraft (power, comm, C&DH, RCS, star trackers, etc.)

And if you add a remote manipulator arm...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: tlewis615 on 04/30/2010 02:38 AM
Quote from: kkattula on 04/28/2010 08:31 PM
(Is it just me, or does it look like a giant beer keg with solar panels bolted on?  Hmmm beer... )

Well form does follow function, and I can think of no finer form to share than an icey steel vessel of great beer.  This could result in some interesting traditions. Resupply missions could be refered to as "beer runs" out of Wallops.  ISS crews could refer to opening the Cygnus as "tapping the keg".  I now know how I will properly toast the sucess of Cygnus.  I've always liked the concept of this spacecraft and this just makes me like it even more.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/30/2010 02:49 AM
And if you add a remote manipulator arm...

So have you been secretly lobbying the bean counters that be for inclusion of an arm?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 04/30/2010 03:55 AM
Below is a weblink to one example from Orbital Sciences that was presented at last month's NASA Goddard Servicing Study Workshop (http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/workshop_1_presentations.htm):


http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/presentations_final/day3/Warren_Frick/Cygnus_Satellite_Servicing_R4.pdf (10 slides)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Danderman on 04/30/2010 03:36 PM
I wonder about the heritage of the Cygnus pressurized section. Does Alena produce any other system with the same diameter?

Yes, I know that Alenia makes MPLMs, but they have a much larger diameter.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 04/30/2010 05:30 PM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has its April 2010 Cygnus progress update posted at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/index.shtml.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sdsds on 04/30/2010 09:48 PM
I wonder about the heritage of the Cygnus pressurized section. Does Alena produce any other system with the same diameter?

Yes, I know that Alenia makes MPLMs, but they have a much larger diameter.

Excellent question!  Presumably the interest in heritage is motivated by a desire to understand the extent to which the success of the MPLMs (and other ISS modules from Alenia) predicts success for the Cygnus PCM program. 

Has Orbital specifically said the tooling (e.g. formers, welders) Alenia used for larger diameter modules is being re-used for Cygnus?  Similarly for test equipment used to e.g. examine welds for flaws?

Then, because the CBM is the same, is it fair to assume the same test equipment that verified the MPLMs as functioning pressure vessels can be used to verify Cygnus pressure vessel integrity?

How much value is inherent in Alenia's ability to get the simple stuff (like precise equipment rack dimensions) correct, with greater certainty than a "de novo" supplier could?  From a business perspective, Orbital's out-sourcing certainly highlights their philosophical difference with "Everything Done In-House" SpaceX....
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Danderman on 04/30/2010 10:24 PM
I missed this news the first time around, but its still interesting:

http://www.satnews.com/cgi-bin/story.cgi?number=110046316

"Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has agreed with Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital) to supply Proximity Link System (PLS) components to guide Orbital’s Cygnus Spacecraft to the ISS on nine re-supply missions for NASA.  Mitsubishi Electric will deliver the PLS components to Orbital between 2010 and 2014 in a deal valued at approximately US$66 million (6 billion yen), making it one of the largest contracts tying a Japanese company to NASA’s space exploration program.

The PLS components, composed of transponders, diplexers and data handling processors, are essential for rendezvous control between re-supply spacecraft and the ISS. When the re-supply spacecraft approaches the ISS, the on-board PLS initiates a signaling exchange with the PROX (Proximity Communication System), which is built into the ISS as a part of the Japanese Kibo Experimental Module, and guides the spacecraft in rendezvous and berthing with the ISS.
"
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kkattula on 05/01/2010 10:10 AM
Careful... not all the volume is dedicated to pressurized cargo - some have equipment in the pressurized volume - and some of that is lost on the hatch mechanism/opening swept volume and the "free space" (space for the astronauts to get inside and get the cargo out - hint: Progress has NO free space: you unload it from the top down...)

You may be interested in this old presentation from the early Cygnus design days. 
...

Thanks Antonio, that presentation is quite interesting.  My list above was just trying to get a grasp on relative size of the various vehicles.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/01/2010 07:48 PM

Careful... not all the volume is dedicated to pressurized cargo - some have equipment in the pressurized volume - and some of that is lost on the hatch mechanism/opening swept volume and the "free space" (space for the astronauts to get inside and get the cargo out - hint: Progress has NO free space: you unload it from the top down...)

You may be interested in this old presentation from the early Cygnus design days.  The actual "basic" PCM we ended up with is somewhere in between the "regular" and the "+" version in that presentation, with a total pressurized volume of 18.7 m3, and a useable cargo volume of about 12-13 m3.  The "enhanced" version (to go with the liquid-second-stage Taurus II) has a whopping 19m3 of useable cargo volume (out of about 26m3 total pressurized vol).

Moral(s) of the story: a) Not all volume is pressurized and b) Not all pressurized volume is useable for cargo.

Do not pay too much attention to the spacecraft sketches - much has changed (single main engine, location of RCS jets, location of grapple fixture, etc. etc.) However, it is a curious insight into the design process... how much changes in less than two years!

Interesting mention of PCM+, if I had to guess I would imagine that is an enlarged version of the PCM when HESS comes along.

Also, why not have the Recoverable return module return racks as well?  Seems like an asset NASA would want especially if a rack malfunctions and needs to be repaired on the ground rather than rebuild another and trash the previous one.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 05/01/2010 07:50 PM

Also, why not have the Recoverable return module return racks as well?  Seems like an asset NASA would want especially if a rack malfunctions and needs to be repaired on the ground rather than rebuild another and trash the previous one.

They would only have to return a component of the rack and not the whole thing.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/02/2010 07:44 AM
Will Cygnus be used for reboost?

No, wrong nominal attachment location (big moment arm wrt ISS center of mass.)  Right now the only docking position in the U.S. side suitable for reboost has an APAS in it (Cygnus PCM uses a CBM)

Quote

Good question! Also, is a fuel-only cygnus possible, which can be used as a tug?

Yes, the SM was designed to be a self-standing spacecraft (power, comm, C&DH, RCS, star trackers, etc.)

And if you add a remote manipulator arm...
Hmmm... very interesting, antonioe... I read the presentation someone linked about using the Cygnus for servicing, and it mentioned refueling... How much fuel could a refueling Cygnus carry? 2 tons? 3 tons? Maybe more, if launched on a bigger launch vehicle? Sounds like an excellent bus for a tanker, or perhaps for picking up passive cargo in LEO and delivering them to a LEO depot or station. Could Cygnus be used as a tug for ULA's Payload Bay Fairing?

Also, the presentation mentioned attaching electric propulsion modules for end-of-life disposal of other satellites. Could such a module be added to Cygnus itself for boosting other payloads, perhaps with bigger solar arrays added to the Cygnus? Can Cygnus be used in deep space?

EDIT: Also, what's the on-orbit life of the Cygnus? Could it stay at GSO for years, servicing or deorbiting satellites on-demand?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 05/29/2010 01:56 AM
Orbital Sciences has issued its May 2010 progress update report for the Cygnus spacecraft.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 05/29/2010 02:08 AM
To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Wallops Flight Facility, NASA will hold an open house on Saturday, 5 June 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT).

Orbital Sciences will have its Cygnus spacecraft on display.

On that weekend, the NASA Wallops Flight Facility will also be hosting the USAF Thunderbirds as their homebase while performing in the nearby Ocean City (Maryland) Air Show.  Practice day for the air show is Friday, 4 June 2010, with formal performances on Saturday and Sunday, 5-6 June 2010. More information can be viewed at http://www.ocairshow.com.

http://www.dailypress.com/news/breaking/dp-nws-wallops-island-open-house-0526,0,1279973.story
http://hamptonroads.com/2010/05/nasa-holding-open-house-next-month-wallops-facility?cid=ltst
http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20100526/NEWS01/100526015
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: simonth on 05/29/2010 07:50 AM
Orbital Sciences has issued its May 2010 progress update report for the Cygnus spacecraft.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/.

I wonder why they say "up to 2000kg", if the actual design can hold 2700kg+.

Anyway, I hope the cargo demonstration flight won't slip much further than Q2 2011 and that NASA won't stand in the way of Orbital packing the demo mission full of (low cost) supplies, like water, clothing and packaged food.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Skyrocket on 05/29/2010 09:23 AM
Orbital Sciences has issued its May 2010 progress update report for the Cygnus spacecraft.  It can be read at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/.

I wonder why they say "up to 2000kg", if the actual design can hold 2700kg+.

because they are speaking of the basic version, not the enhanced one. Please read in the August 2009 update:

Quote
The CDR included two Cygnus PCM configurations. A standard configuration will carry up to 2,000 kg of cargo for the ISS, and will be used in the COTS demonstration mission in 2011 and the first two missions under the Cargo Resupply Services (CRS) contract between 2011 and 2012. An enhanced configuration will carry up to 2,700 kg of cargo for CRS missions between 2013 and 2015.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/29/2010 04:41 PM
A hypothetical question: Are there any plans or suggestions that Cygnus may have an optional configuration like that of the HTV with a much smaller pressurised module and an unpressurised cargo rack?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: hop on 05/29/2010 10:38 PM
A hypothetical question: Are there any plans or suggestions that Cygnus may have an optional configuration like that of the HTV with a much smaller pressurised module and an unpressurised cargo rack?
The initial plan had unpressurized and pressurized variants. ISTR NASA has requested only the pressurized variant for early flights, where the initial plans had a mix fairly early on. All of this has been covered in the various Cygnus/Torus/Orbital threads.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/04/2010 07:14 PM
Just to let people know, I will be traveling to Wallops/Mars this weekend for an open house, most updates will be in L2 but I will drop a few nuggets here, and if anyone want to pose a question let me know.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/23/2010 02:46 AM
a Quick question for Dr Elias or anyone who might have the ability to answer, will there be a possibility to add or move the existing grapple fixture for SSRMS to the PCM+ ?  It might save the ISSP some headaches for a few years as seen by a L2 document.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sdsds on 07/02/2010 03:52 AM
The current Cygnus fact sheet (©2010 Orbital Sciences Corporation. FS006_08g) does not provide dimensions (other than volume) for the Pressurized Cargo Module.  Yet those must now be set, as the manufacturing pathfinder article is well into production.  Are length and diameter values available from some source other than the fact sheet?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 07/02/2010 06:46 AM
The current Cygnus fact sheet (©2010 Orbital Sciences Corporation. FS006_08g) does not provide dimensions (other than volume) for the Pressurized Cargo Module.  Yet those must now be set, as the manufacturing pathfinder article is well into production.  Are length and diameter values available from some source other than the fact sheet?

http://www.thalesaleniaspace-issmodules.com/cygnus?b4f4bf81ce5452ec539b6223c5253ffd=3ac64fb1bba5fc2803873bdc746628cb
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 07/08/2010 05:32 PM
Here's a great article about Cygnus being assembled by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in Torino, Italy.

BBC News'/Jonathan Amos' "Spaceman" Blog: "The private spaceships taking shape in Torino".
www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2010/07/cygnus.shtml

The article refers to a "37-inch hatch, specially developed by TAS". I thought Cygnus is going to use the CBM hatch (which is 50-inches in diameter)?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/08/2010 07:15 PM
Here's a great article about Cygnus being assembled by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in Torino, Italy.

BBC News'/Jonathan Amos' "Spaceman" Blog: "The private spaceships taking shape in Torino".
www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2010/07/cygnus.shtml

The article refers to a "37-inch hatch, specially developed by TAS". I thought Cygnus is going to use the CBM hatch (which is 50-inches in diameter)?

What I find hilarious is how the article goes to great lengths to show how much more sophisticated ATV is from its "American cousin"  That may be true technically, but Cygnus is more robust operationally (Ie can lift racks, berth to multiple ports) for less cost.technology, isnt that a good thing?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sdsds on 07/09/2010 04:31 AM
Here's a great article about Cygnus being assembled by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in Torino, Italy.

BBC News'/Jonathan Amos' "Spaceman" Blog: "The private spaceships taking shape in Torino".
www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2010/07/cygnus.shtml

The article refers to a "37-inch hatch, specially developed by TAS". I thought Cygnus is going to use the CBM hatch (which is 50-inches in diameter)?

In the audio clip right near the end of the article Walter Cugno (programme manager on Cygnus at TAS) describes this a bit.  Short synopsis:  no ISPRs, so no need for 50 in. hatch.

It's apparently still compatible with CBM, though.  The vacuum seal must be out at the circular perimeter rather than the square hatch?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2010 07:53 AM
What I find hilarious is how the article goes to great lengths to show how much more sophisticated ATV is from its "American cousin"  That may be true technically, but Cygnus is more robust operationally (Ie can lift racks, berth to multiple ports) for less cost.technology, isnt that a good thing?

Bla bla to explain why you are spending so much more (tax) money on ATV. People could compare apples to oranges and ask why Cygnus is cheaper.

You can't really compare the two since they are built to completely different requirements.
ATV has a smaller hatch because it docks on the Russian side but that gives it reboost  capability, can make it dock autonomously and allows it to deliver fuel.
Both do what they were designed to do (well, Cygnus WILL hopefully do what it is being designed to do). Is an iPhone more advanced than, say, a Dell notebook? Or the other way around?

ISS is an international cooperation. You have a set of overall functions that have to be available to operate it but not every system (supply vehicle in this case) needs to fulfill all of them.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/09/2010 01:36 PM
What I find hilarious is how the article goes to great lengths to show how much more sophisticated ATV is from its "American cousin" 

How is it "American" if it is being built in Italy?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/09/2010 01:45 PM

Who paid for it?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 07/09/2010 02:17 PM
What I find hilarious is how the article goes to great lengths to show how much more sophisticated ATV is from its "American cousin" 

How is it "American" if it is being built in Italy?

 - Ed Kyle

Only the shell is Italian, the service module is the spacecraft and US.  Especially, since it can be used with an unpressurized logistics carrier.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sandrot on 07/09/2010 02:19 PM
Does this mean the SM/US can be readapted to be a tug?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: charlieb on 07/09/2010 02:30 PM
Does this mean the SM/US can be readapted to be a tug?

no doubt in my mind... It could be a tug as is for small payloads, or enlarged to a degree for larger payloads..
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: edkyle99 on 07/09/2010 06:49 PM
Only the shell is Italian, the service module is the spacecraft and US.  Especially, since it can be used with an unpressurized logistics carrier.

Orbital calls it a "Pressurized Cargo Module" (PCM), which sounds like a lot more than just a "shell".  Orbital says that the entire PCM is being manufactured by Thales Alenia Space of Italy.

Orbital is assembling the Service Module (SM), which accounts for only 37% of the total Cygnus dry mass.  Even then, important parts of the Service Module will not originate in the U.S.  The SM, for example, will be Japanese-powered, by IHI thrusters.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 07/09/2010 07:24 PM
Does this mean the SM/US can be readapted to be a tug?

Yes, please go to http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/presentations_final/day3/Warren_Frick/Cygnus_Satellite_Servicing_R4.pdf.

This presentation by Orbital Sciences was made during an international workshop on 24-26 March 2010 at NASA Goddard as part of the latter's current Servicing Study (http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/).

All presentations made at the workshop can be accessed through http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/workshop_1_presentations.htm.

Coincidentally, SpaceX also presented at the workshop and gave a presentation of how its Dragon spacecraft, as one example, could be used to service the Hubble Telescope.  Please see http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/presentations_final/day2/Max_Vozoff/20100325_Robotic_Servicing_Workshop.pdf.  (Many thanks to Sandrot for the updated weblink.)

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 07/09/2010 08:08 PM
Here's a great article about Cygnus being assembled by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in Torino, Italy.

BBC News'/Jonathan Amos' "Spaceman" Blog: "The private spaceships taking shape in Torino".
www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathanamos/2010/07/cygnus.shtml

The article refers to a "37-inch hatch, specially developed by TAS". I thought Cygnus is going to use the CBM hatch (which is 50-inches in diameter)?

In the audio clip right near the end of the article Walter Cugno (programme manager on Cygnus at TAS) describes this a bit.  Short synopsis:  no ISPRs, so no need for 50 in. hatch.

It's apparently still compatible with CBM, though.  The vacuum seal must be out at the circular perimeter rather than the square hatch?

Hmm, that is interesting.

Cygnus will have to use the standard CBM berthing collar (which contains the vacuum seals). But the smaller diameter hatch will make it impossible to install the VBA (Vestibule Barrier Assembly), which means that the vestibule for Cygnus will be left exposed during berthed ops.

I don't know why Cygnus isn't using the CBM hatch - surely it would have been cheaper & quicker to use a proven system than design, build & test a new one?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sandrot on 07/09/2010 08:16 PM
Does this mean the SM/US can be readapted to be a tug?

Yes, please go to http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/presentations_final/day3/Warren_Frick/Cygnus_Satellite_Servicing_R4.pdf.

This presentation by Orbital Sciences was made during an international workshop on 24-26 March 2010 at NASA Goddard as part of the latter's current Servicing Study (http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/).

All presentations made at the workshop can be accessed through http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/workshop_1_presentations.htm.

Coincidentally, SpaceX also presented at the workshop and gave a presentation of how its Dragon spacecraft, as one example, could be used to service the Hubble Telescope.  Please see http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=post;quote=616394;topic=21179.0;num_replies=42;sesc=bcb95b60f305387c44351521c7627548.



The forum link doesn't work for me, but the SpaceX presentation should be this:

http://servicingstudy.gsfc.nasa.gov/presentations_final/day2/Max_Vozoff/20100325_Robotic_Servicing_Workshop.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 07/10/2010 11:42 AM

I don't know why Cygnus isn't using the CBM hatch - surely it would have been cheaper & quicker to use a proven system than design, build & test a new one?

It uses up too much space.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 07/10/2010 01:38 PM

I don't know why Cygnus isn't using the CBM hatch - surely it would have been cheaper & quicker to use a proven system than design, build & test a new one?

It uses up too much space.

How do you mean exactly? Do you mean that the CBM hatch would occupy too much space inside the PCM when opened? Or do you mean that using a CBM hatch would preclude cargo from being stowed immediately behind it, thus reducing upmass?

On an unrelated note, below is an excerpt from a document presented to the Augustine Commission last June, showing the cargo accommodation of the PCM. As you can see, pretty much all the available volume will be filled with CTBs.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lars_J on 07/10/2010 03:57 PM

I don't know why Cygnus isn't using the CBM hatch - surely it would have been cheaper & quicker to use a proven system than design, build & test a new one?

It uses up too much space.

Doesn't Dragon use a full CBM hatch?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 07/26/2010 09:47 PM
Orbital Sciences has released a further update about Cygnus and COTS/CRS Development & Flight Milestones that can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 08/13/2010 07:30 PM
Orbital Sciences has released an August 2010 update entitled "Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Module Completes Proof-Pressure Testing" that can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 09/06/2010 04:40 AM
While everyone in the space community is focused on the commercial crew capsule, the opportunity is ripe for Orbital to go all out for the Advanced Rendezvous & Docking Vehicle (ARDV) concept NASA has proposed by utilizing the Cygnus bus. After all OSC has the most experience with autonomous R&D in the US right now, and the bus seems almost tailor made for such an application. Crew transport might be flashy, but the ARDV looks like it will be the cargo hauler for LEO and interplanetary missions, perhaps more important than crew transport and therefore more lucrative.

L2 link to ARDV stuff:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22088.0
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 09/06/2010 06:30 AM
One of the options for the propellant depot is that the depot is refilled using cheap LV tankers.  The cheapness comes from the tankers not having a main engine or RCS.  Plus the avionics being limited to a radio location bleeper.  The complex process of docking the tanker to the depot being performed by a short range tug.  Solar electric spacecraft could use some help rendezvousing when in the shadows cast by the Earth and the depot's solar arrays.

The J-130 may be able to lift heavy loads in the 60 to 75 metric ton range to LEO but basically being a first stage the J-130 lacks an RCS to dock the cargo to say the ISS.

The task of a long range chemical tug are covered elsewhere.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: NotGncDude on 09/12/2010 10:33 PM
After all OSC has the most experience with autonomous R&D in the US right now, and the bus seems almost tailor made for such an application.


What do you mean? (honestly curious)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: HMXHMX on 09/13/2010 04:51 AM
After all OSC has the most experience with autonomous R&D in the US right now, and the bus seems almost tailor made for such an application.


What do you mean? (honestly curious)

DART:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DART_(spacecraft)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: jongoff on 09/13/2010 04:50 PM
After all OSC has the most experience with autonomous R&D in the US right now, and the bus seems almost tailor made for such an application.


What do you mean? (honestly curious)

DART:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DART_(spacecraft)

Not to diss their experience, but I would think that Boeing's experience with Orbital Express (which worked after a few initial bugs were recovered from) might be a better baseline to start with than DART (which ran out of propellant and accidentally impacted it's target satellite).  Of course they a) probably learned a lot from that, and b) may have been involved with stuff since then, and c) the general industry knowhow on AR&D has advanced a bit in the past several years.

I think Orbital could do a tug, just saying they're not the only ones or even necessarily the best ones for the job.

~Jon
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 09/13/2010 05:02 PM
Heh. Bear in mind that Orbital Express wasn't autonomous but remotely operated.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: jimvela on 09/13/2010 05:19 PM
Heh. Bear in mind that Orbital Express wasn't autonomous but remotely operated.

No it wasn't.  There's a big difference between remotely commanded autonomous operation and remotely operated.

OE was executed as a sequence of incremental autonomous commanded activities as part of a very conservative sequence of demonstration/evaluation activities.

Representing it as being "remotely operated" is at best uninformed.

DART also operated as commanded, so by you apparent definition, neither one qualifies as autonomous.  As another poster noted, DART also bounced off of its target, and did neither capture, transfer, or fueling operations.

There's no comparison between what the Boeing/Ball team  did with ASTRO and NEXTSat and what DART did.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 09/13/2010 05:23 PM
I read it was much more than just remote commanding. There was a live video link and a lot of hand holding IIRC.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 09/13/2010 05:24 PM
I didn't say DART was more impressive than Orbital Express and I knew it had bumped into its target.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: HMXHMX on 09/13/2010 07:34 PM
Heh. Bear in mind that Orbital Express wasn't autonomous but remotely operated.

No it wasn't.  There's a big difference between remotely commanded autonomous operation and remotely operated.

OE was executed as a sequence of incremental autonomous commanded activities as part of a very conservative sequence of demonstration/evaluation activities.

Representing it as being "remotely operated" is at best uninformed.

DART also operated as commanded, so by you apparent definition, neither one qualifies as autonomous.  As another poster noted, DART also bounced off of its target, and did neither capture, transfer, or fueling operations.

There's no comparison between what the Boeing/Ball team  did with ASTRO and NEXTSat and what DART did.

There wasn't much comparison between DART and Orbital Express on cost, either.  $95 vs. $267M, respectively. 

But it is fair to say both contributed to our database of on-orbit AR&D information.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: jongoff on 09/13/2010 07:41 PM
Heh. Bear in mind that Orbital Express wasn't autonomous but remotely operated.

No it wasn't.  There's a big difference between remotely commanded autonomous operation and remotely operated.

OE was executed as a sequence of incremental autonomous commanded activities as part of a very conservative sequence of demonstration/evaluation activities.

Representing it as being "remotely operated" is at best uninformed.

DART also operated as commanded, so by you apparent definition, neither one qualifies as autonomous.  As another poster noted, DART also bounced off of its target, and did neither capture, transfer, or fueling operations.

There's no comparison between what the Boeing/Ball team  did with ASTRO and NEXTSat and what DART did.

There wasn't much comparison between DART and Orbital Express on cost, either.  $95 vs. $267M, respectively. 

But it is fair to say both contributed to our database of on-orbit AR&D information.

FWIW, knowing some of the Boeing OE guys personally, they thought they could've done things a lot quicker/cheaper, had the customer allowed them to use more of the rapid development tricks they wanted to use.  At least some of the Boeing OE guys were part of the same former Mac Dac group that did DC-X and Clementine.

But that's getting off-topic.  The idea of turning Cygnus into a tug is not a silly one by any stretch.  I think Orbital is competent to do the job.  Just making the point that there are other companies that have demonstrated equal or greater competence.

~Jon
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: simonbp on 09/14/2010 07:17 PM
More pertinent than DART is the Orbital Raising Kit, which has plenty of (non-crash) flight heritage, and is the basis for the Cygnus SM.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: NotGncDude on 09/17/2010 05:14 AM
After all OSC has the most experience with autonomous R&D in the US right now, and the bus seems almost tailor made for such an application.


What do you mean? (honestly curious)

DART:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DART_(spacecraft)

How is that a good thing to be pointing out??  :-[

The most experience with autonomous AR&D in the US comes from: NASA, Orbital Express heritage, Draper (who, btw, is doing all the AR&D stuff for Cygnus, and that's a good thing), and all the people you don't hear about in the news (because we all know the DoD has been doing AR&D regularly for a while, right?)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/03/2010 07:26 PM
Includes ISS considerations for Cygnus docking ports:

ISS updates failure investigations and future configuration challenges - by Pete Harding:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/iss-updates-failure-investigations-future-configuration/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 10/04/2010 11:15 AM
Includes ISS considerations for Cygnus docking ports:

ISS updates failure investigations and future configuration challenges - by Pete Harding:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/iss-updates-failure-investigations-future-configuration/

I'm genuinely surprised that Tranquility Forward is being considered for berthing the Cygnus.  To my mind only Harmony Zenith and Nadir are well-placed for CRS docking.  Unless there are serious proposals for having an HTV, Dragon and Cygnus on station at the same time, I would have thought it an unnecessary risk.  Of course, I'm of the opinion that Tranquility should have gone on Unity Nadir to leave more ports open for future labs and logistical modules.

The only explanation that I can think of is that Harmony Zenith or Nadir is being reserved for the Inflatable Hab demonstrator or Node 4, in which case it is plausible that a second CRS port will be needed elsewhere.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 10/04/2010 01:28 PM
Includes ISS considerations for Cygnus docking ports:

ISS updates failure investigations and future configuration challenges - by Pete Harding:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/iss-updates-failure-investigations-future-configuration/

I'm genuinely surprised that Tranquility Forward is being considered for berthing the Cygnus.  To my mind only Harmony Zenith and Nadir are well-placed for CRS docking.  Unless there are serious proposals for having an HTV, Dragon and Cygnus on station at the same time, I would have thought it an unnecessary risk.  Of course, I'm of the opinion that Tranquility should have gone on Unity Nadir to leave more ports open for future labs and logistical modules.

The only explanation that I can think of is that Harmony Zenith or Nadir is being reserved for the Inflatable Hab demonstrator or Node 4, in which case it is plausible that a second CRS port will be needed elsewhere.

Node 3 Forward isn't being considered for Cygnus - it would be impossible as Cygnus' solar arrays would contact the Truss. The only thing Node 3 Forward is being considered for is the Cupola.

Node 2 Zenith (the current back-up port) can't support Cygnus due to clearance issues with a grapple fixture on Cygnus. Plus, the Orion docking adapter is going there in 2014.

Therefore, under the current configuration, the only port that Cygnus can berth to is Node 2 Nadir (the current primary port). So if a VV becomes stuck at Node 2 Nadir, Cygnus is screwed!

That's why the ISSP is looking at moving the primary port to Node 2 Zenith, and having the back-up port on Node 2 Nadir. That way, if a VV became stuck at Node 2 Zenith, Cygnus would still be able to berth to Node 2 Nadir.

However, in order to have two primary ports (to support simo VVs), and a back-up port, they will need to move the PMM to Node 3 Aft, and Cupola to Node 3 Forward (doing so would free up Node 1 Nadir & Node 3 Nadir for VVs).

There's also the Node 4/DHS option.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 10/17/2010 01:48 PM
September update.

Major Software Integration Milestone Completed, PCM Production in Full Gear.

Over the course of three weeks in August and early September, the NASA/Orbital Joint Avionics Test #2 (JT2) was held at the NASA Station Development and Integration Laboratory (SDIL) near Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. This early integration test of the International Space Station (ISS) and Cygnus flight software involved personnel from NASA, Orbital, Boeing and Mitsubishi Electric Company, and Orbital’s processor-in-the-loop testbed (pictured below left).

The purpose of the test was to ensure that Cygnus and ISS flight software were capable of communicating via both berthed and proximity communications system links. The primary objective of the test was to demonstrate basic command and telemetry data routing between the ISS and Cygnus flight software. A number of secondary objectives were included as well.

During the course of the test, Orbital engineers were able to fully demonstrate 16 out of the 21 design verification objectives required to satisfy NASA requirements. This was a remarkable accomplishment given that this was the first time the NASA, JAXA, and Orbital hardware and software had been physically integrated into a working system. Orbital will return to the SDIL in November 2010 with final integration testing slated for March 2011.

Meanwhile, at Thales/Alenia Space in Turino Italy, production of the Pressurized Cargo Modules (PCM) continues at a robust pace as evidenced by the image below right of two PCMs on the production floor. Structure welding on the last standard configuration PCM was completed in late September. Delivery of the first PCM to Orbital is currently planned for Q1 2011.


www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo on 11/10/2010 06:01 PM
http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/images/Milestone10-20-2010.pdf

3-rd quarter 2011 - Risk reduction test flight Taurus II;
4-th quarter 2011 - Cygnus Demo;
1-st quarter 2012 - Cygnus CRS1/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo on 11/10/2010 06:20 PM
http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/
Quote
Cygnus Primary Structure Completes Static Load Testing

October, 2010

The Cygnus Service Module primary structure successfully completed its static load testing In October at Applied Aerospace Structures Corp. In Stockton CA. The test program applied loads to the structure to
simulate the forces that it will experience during a Taurus II launch while carrying a fully loaded Pressurized Cargo Module on top. For the load case that simulated the maximum axial acceleration of the rocket,
almost 90,000 lb were applied to the cargo module Interface ring; which is equivalent to supporting a dry Boeing 737 on top of the structure. Other load cases applied about 35,000 lb to the sides of the structure.
The structure performed well during the test and is now being prepared for shipment to Dulles to start integration and test.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 11/15/2010 09:15 PM
Orbital Opens Mission Operations Center for NASA's Commerical Cargo Services Program.

-- Control Center for International Space Station Cargo Resupply Missions Now Fully Functional at Company’s Dulles, Virginia Facilities --

-- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden On Hand for Opening Ceremony --

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced that it held a formal dedication ceremony earlier today to mark the completion of a new facility that will serve as the Mission Operations Center (MOC) for the company’s cargo logistics missions to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA that begin in 2011. The ribbon-cutting event was attended by NASA’s Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. and several other senior representatives of the space agency.

“After nearly three years of developing the Taurus II rocket and the Cygnus spacecraft, we are less than a year away from our first scheduled launch to the ISS,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The Mission Operations Center dedicated to the COTS and CRS programs is a critical element in our overall system architecture, providing us with robust command and control systems for the upcoming missions, as well as providing direct connectivity capabilities with our Houston-based customers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.”

While at Orbital’s Dulles, VA facilities, the NASA delegation viewed a full-scale mock-up of the Cygnus spacecraft, which will carry essential cargo to the ISS following its launch aboard Orbital’s Taurus II rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility in Eastern Virginia. In addition, Administrator Bolden and the other NASA officials toured Orbital’s Mission Control Complex, which includes three additional MOCs that support the company’s extensive manifest of other satellite and launch vehicle missions. The delegation also visited Orbital’s satellite manufacturing facility, at which four NASA scientific satellites – Glory, NuSTAR, OCO-2 and GEMS – are in various stages of design, production and testing by the company’s technical operations team.

COTS and CRS Overview

Under a 2008 cooperative research and development agreement with NASA in its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, Orbital is developing a new autonomous spacecraft and related launch vehicle and ground infrastructure for the delivery of cargo and supplies to the ISS. The COTS program encompasses the full-scale development and flight demonstration of a commercial cargo delivery system that consists of a Taurus II medium-class space launch vehicle, a Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft, and ground-based command and control systems.

With the award of the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract in late 2008, NASA selected Orbital to carry out eight cargo logistics missions to the ISS from 2011 to 2015. For NASA, CRS will provide an automated cargo delivery service, produced and operated in the United States, for ISS logistics support. The new system will complement Russian, European and Japanese ISS cargo vehicles.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary exploration spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories. More information about Orbital can be found at www.orbital.com

Note to Editors: High-resolution photographs of the dedication ceremony and the COTS/CRS Mission Operations Center are available on Orbital’s web site at: www.orbital.com/images/High/Dulles_MOC%2007_high.jpg


www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=752
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 12/03/2010 04:10 PM
We just held a cargo loading exercise for the PCM in Torino.  I don't know which crew members supported that, I'll report as soon as I find out.  Here are two pictures of the inside of the loaded PCM and a team picture that also shows the "sting" used to carry the load items inside the PCM for stowage.

Let's just hope the Longshoremen's Union doesn't find out we're loading cargo without a union card; we may have a grievance on our hands...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 12/08/2010 12:46 AM
Here's some more pics:
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 12/08/2010 12:50 AM
I forgot to mention: Marsha Ivins was the CB rep at the cargo demo in Torino.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 12/08/2010 12:55 AM
I forgot to mention: Marsha Ivins was the CB rep at the cargo demo in Torino.

I understand what you went through.  She was the CB rep for Spacehab ISS cargo.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 12/08/2010 12:56 AM
I forgot to mention: Marsha Ivins was the CB rep at the cargo demo in Torino.

Cool pics! Thanks.

Yeah, it doesn't take long to fill up a space.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 12/08/2010 12:58 AM
I forgot to mention: Marsha Ivins was the CB rep at the cargo demo in Torino.

I understand what you went through.  She was the CB rep for Spacehab ISS cargo.

I detect a story in there!  ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 12/08/2010 07:01 PM
Wow, those CTBs are packed very tightly inside the PCM (which makes Cygnus very efficient)! :)

Thanks for the photos!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 01/17/2011 10:17 PM
Orbital Sciences has posted at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/ a January 2011 update, entitled "NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver Visits Orbital Dulles, Virginia Facility."
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 02/18/2011 10:12 PM
Orbital Sciences Corporation has updated its schedule and milestones for the Cygnus spacecraft and the Taurus II launch vehicle.  The new information can be viewed at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Stephan on 03/29/2011 08:51 AM
Thales Alenia Space España supplies Telecommunications equipment for Orbital’s Cygnus Spacecraft

24 March 2011

Madrid, March 24, 2011 - Thales Alenia Space España, has provided Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE:ORB) with advanced telecommunications systems for Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) data for the Cygnus unmanned cargo resupply vehicle.The contract is worth more than 4 million Euros.

The contract with Thales Alenia Space España, signed last year, considers design, manufacturing, and supply for three TTC telecommunication systems in spread spectrum technology (a technology that prevents interference with nearby satellites) for the establishment of telecommunications links through the Tracking Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)network. Thales’ systems will be installed in the first three Cygnus vehicles.

Juan Garcés de Marcilla, President and CEO of Thales Alenia Space España, said “ I am very pleased with the delivery of the communications systems to Orbital Sciences Corporation for its first Cygnus vehicle, seeing as this will encourage more collaboration between the companies and strengthen our leadership in telecommunications systems for space infrastructures and spacecrafts.¨ Also, Garcés de Marcilla stressed that “the flexibility of this product will serve all types of vehicles and launchers as it allows communication with the ground through various satellite systems.”

Thales Alenia Space España is the only European supplier of TTC telecommunications systems compatible with TDRSS satellites and validated by NASA. The Spanish company is a leading global supplier with a strong presence in the field of data telecommunications systems for both the European ATV and the Japanese HTV resupply vehicles. It also works actively in the definition and development of telecommunications systems, and for the future in-flight rendezvous manned vehicles (ARV).

http://www.thalesgroup.com/Press_Releases/Countries/Spain/2011/240311_Thales_Alenia_Space_Espa%C3%B1a_supplies_Telecommunications_equipment_for_Orbital%E2%80%99s_Cygnus_Spacecraft/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 04/22/2011 02:58 AM
Orbital Sciences has posted today April 2011 updates today for its Cygnus spacecraft at http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices and its Taurus II launch vehicle at http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/ .
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 05/11/2011 09:08 PM
Andrews Space Delivers Cargo Module Power Unit for Orbital's Cygnus Spacecraft

Seattle, WA - May 10, 2011.      Andrews Space (Andrews) announced today that it has successfully delivered the first of four fight-qualified Cargo Module Power Units (CMPUs) that will supply power to payloads aboard Orbital's Cygnus spacecraft.

Andrews was contracted by Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) in September 2010 to deliver three flight-qualified CMPUs, which power mid-deck locker payloads destined for the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus cargo vehicle.   Under the $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, Orbital will fly eight missions between 2012 and 2015, delivering 20,000 kilograms of cargo to the ISS.  The recently delivered CMPU will provide up to 150 Watts of 28VDC payload power and will be used on the first CRS mission scheduled for early 2012.

"I'm extremely proud of our team," said Jason Andrews, President and CEO of Andrews Space.  "We were on the critical path from the day we signed the contract and we met our aggressive cost and schedule commitments."  Andrews further commented,  "It was a pleasure working with the Orbital team on developing the CMPU and look forward to future collaborations."

Orbital recently contracted for a fourth flight unit.  All units will be delivered by the end of June 2011.

About Andrews Space:

Andrews Space, Inc. was founded in 1999 to be a catalyst in the commercialization and development of space. The company is an affordable integrator of aerospace systems and developer of advanced space technologies. To learn more, please visit: www.andrews-space.com.

http://www.andrews-space.com/news.php?subsection=MzU2
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Danderman on 05/13/2011 06:31 PM
This is the part of aerospace that I really don't understand. Why couldn't Orbital itself produce a simple power unit for Mid Deck Lockers? Are they too busy? Can Andrews really sell a power unit to Orbital more cheaply than Orbital's cost?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2011 06:41 PM
This is the part of aerospace that I really don't understand. Why couldn't Orbital itself produce a simple power unit for Mid Deck Lockers? Are they too busy? Can Andrews really sell a power unit to Orbital more cheaply than Orbital's cost?

Where do you work, Danderman?

Where I work, we basically buy everything from other vendors and integrate it together into a working product. We don't actually forge any steel or even do any machining. But this is pretty common! We are a small company, and there's NO WAY we could afford to keep up a machine shop just to produce enough parts to put in our products (and the parts we use are used for many other products that we don't sell).

Horizontal integration is a GOOD THING for a healthy industry. That SpaceX is forced to be vertically integrated for their launch vehicles (and Orbital is forced to use a lot of foreign components for its launch vehicles) is evidence that the domestic launch vehicle industry isn't exactly healthy (though that's not necessarily anyone's fault in particular). But other than eye-tar, the US satellite industry is much better and is somewhat competitive in the world market.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Danderman on 05/13/2011 06:55 PM
This is the part of aerospace that I really don't understand. Why couldn't Orbital itself produce a simple power unit for Mid Deck Lockers? Are they too busy? Can Andrews really sell a power unit to Orbital more cheaply than Orbital's cost?

Where do you work, Danderman?

Where I work, we basically buy everything from other vendors and integrate it together into a working product. We don't actually forge any steel or even do any machining. But this is pretty common! We are a small company, and there's NO WAY we could afford to keep up a machine shop just to produce enough parts to put in our products (and the parts we use are used for many other products that we don't sell).

Horizontal integration is a GOOD THING for a healthy industry. That SpaceX is forced to be vertically integrated for their launch vehicles (and Orbital is forced to use a lot of foreign components for its launch vehicles) is evidence that the domestic launch vehicle industry isn't exactly healthy (though that's not necessarily anyone's fault in particular). But other than eye-tar, the US satellite industry is much better and is somewhat competitive in the world market.

You would think that a sub-system worthy of a press release is probably a large enough system that Orbital would make it inside the company.  I wouldn't expect Orbital to make its own machine tools or screws or metals, but I would expect Orbital to produce such subsystems.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2011 07:11 PM
This is the part of aerospace that I really don't understand. Why couldn't Orbital itself produce a simple power unit for Mid Deck Lockers? Are they too busy? Can Andrews really sell a power unit to Orbital more cheaply than Orbital's cost?

Where do you work, Danderman?

Where I work, we basically buy everything from other vendors and integrate it together into a working product. We don't actually forge any steel or even do any machining. But this is pretty common! We are a small company, and there's NO WAY we could afford to keep up a machine shop just to produce enough parts to put in our products (and the parts we use are used for many other products that we don't sell).

Horizontal integration is a GOOD THING for a healthy industry. That SpaceX is forced to be vertically integrated for their launch vehicles (and Orbital is forced to use a lot of foreign components for its launch vehicles) is evidence that the domestic launch vehicle industry isn't exactly healthy (though that's not necessarily anyone's fault in particular). But other than eye-tar, the US satellite industry is much better and is somewhat competitive in the world market.

You would think that a sub-system worthy of a press release is probably a large enough system that Orbital would make it inside the company.  I wouldn't expect Orbital to make its own machine tools or screws or metals, but I would expect Orbital to produce such subsystems.

Why, when there are specialists that can do it for you?

Orbital doesn't like to do deep vertical integration. If Andrews is better at it than Orbital and can give Orbital a good price, why shouldn't Orbital buy it from Andrews?

Deep vertical integration is usually capital-intensive. It also means you have a non-specialist having to fight the learning curve, rather than a company that's likely done it before. If you pick the right suppliers (that have experience, etc), there can be less schedule risk. Andrews (and Orbital) is one of the last decade's "Alt Space" companies who were founded to try to do aerospace for cheaper and/or better than the traditional aerospace primes. Division of labor, in a healthy market, is better and more efficient than everyone doing vertical integration.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2011 07:31 PM
Personally, I prefer a bunch of small and medium-sized aerospace businesses like Andrews Space and XCor (etc) to very large corporations like Boeing and Lockheed. Andrews Space is a relatively small company (~100 employees?), so that may be one reason for the press release.

The only way you can expect high levels of vertical integration is with a relatively large company. That's why SpaceX is already well over 1000 employees (and likely to have many more when all is said and done) when they've only done a handful of launches. Orbital does other stuff besides launching spacecraft, and they have over 3000 employees. Now, SpaceX may well be able to do things more efficiently and with fewer employees than the traditional aerospace primes, but they are still going to be a relatively large company because they are so deeply vertically integrated.

Eventually (once launch vehicles--almost surely RLVs--fly often enough to be out of their test flight programs), the companies who operate commercial rockets will be different than the ones who design and manufacture them. This is starting with suborbital reusable rockets, like XCor selling their Lynx to different folks and Armadillo selling NASA the Morpheus rocket to play around with and to a certain degree with Scaled designing and building SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic (though the entity who owns the tech and actually builds the spacecraft is technically partially owned by both Virgin and Scaled). And to a certain extent, Orbital is doing this... they are operating the launch vehicle though many parts are built or designed by others.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 05/13/2011 07:47 PM
Personally, I prefer a bunch of small and medium-sized aerospace businesses like Andrews Space and XCor (etc)

they won't have the resources to do anymore than bit roles
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 05/13/2011 07:53 PM
Orbital is doing this... they are operating the launch vehicle though many parts are built or designed by others.

No this is nothing new, this is SOP for spacecraft and launch vehicles and is the same thing as Boeing does for airliners. It is System design and integration.

Look at the Delta II and what other bring to the table

RS-27  PWR
GEMs  ATK - UT
PLF  ATK - Iuka
AJ-110 AJ
STAR-48 - MD
SS tanks - Alenia
Guidance - L3 (this may have changed)
Other boxes - Cant remember.
What does ULA do?
Over all design and integration, 1st and 2nd stage structure.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2011 08:12 PM
Orbital is doing this... they are operating the launch vehicle though many parts are built or designed by others.

No this is nothing new, this is SOP for spacecraft and launch vehicles and is the same thing as Boeing does for airliners. It is System design and integration.
Agreed that it's nothing new and that it's the same for airliners, but for launch vehicles, generally the same company who designs and integrates the launch vehicle also operates it. It makes a lot of sense for expendable launch vehicles, but eventually with RLVs it will change to be more like the airliner model, where the aircraft designer and integrator is different from the operator.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2011 08:15 PM
Personally, I prefer a bunch of small and medium-sized aerospace businesses like Andrews Space and XCor (etc)

they won't have the resources to do anymore than bit roles
Important roles, not bit roles. In a healthy industry, there's a large spread of companies.

I agree that a launch vehicle designer/integrator generally needs to have about a thousand employees. But an operator doesn't necessarily need that many.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 05/13/2011 08:26 PM
1.  Important roles, not bit roles. In a healthy industry, there's a large spread of companies.

2.  I agree that a launch vehicle designer/integrator generally needs to have about a thousand employees. But an operator doesn't necessarily need that many.

1.  Avionics boxes are bit roles. there are many options.  Same goes for structure.

2.  There won't be operators until there are RLV's.  Operations of ELV's require to much work of the designer.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/13/2011 08:32 PM
...
2.  There won't be operators until there are RLV's.  Operations of ELV's require to much work of the designer.
I completely agree.

EDIT: And in fact, that's just what I said a couple posts back: ;)
Orbital is doing this... they are operating the launch vehicle though many parts are built or designed by others.

No this is nothing new, this is SOP for spacecraft and launch vehicles and is the same thing as Boeing does for airliners. It is System design and integration.
Agreed that it's nothing new and that it's the same for airliners, but for launch vehicles, generally the same company who designs and integrates the launch vehicle also operates it. It makes a lot of sense for expendable launch vehicles, but eventually with RLVs it will change to be more like the airliner model, where the aircraft designer and integrator is different from the operator.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 05/22/2011 01:32 AM
This last exchange really bother me.  Let me make something perfectly clear: THERE ARE NO BIT ROLES IN SPACE TECHNOLOGY.  Due to the realities of mass fraction and specific impulse, launch vehicles and spacecraft are fundamentally designed to rely on the proper and predicted behavior of EVERY SINGLE BIT THAT GOES INTO THE VEHICLE!!!  And that INCLUDES, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, REDUNDANCY.  That is why any attempt to design/build spacecraft and LVs "like aircraft" is, by definition, wrong.  If an Andrews CMPU fails to operate as spec'd, we lose $25M, no questions asked.

As to "why can't Orbital build a simple power supply", let me tell you this: the space business has a lot of ups and downs: one month you have six spacecraft in the assembly floor, two months later only two.  The same goes for space-qualified (even more for HUMAN-SPACEFLIGHT-qualified) avionics.  You try to balance your load by carefully interleaving in-house build and vended units.  You want to be able to build space-qualified boxes in house, but you ALSO want to have a reliable source of qualified, financially stable partners and suppliers.  If we can't offer more orders to Andrews, it is our hope that others will buy their fine products, so they can even out THEIR load without Orbital help.

Humans are social animals; the success of the species is due to a delicate balance between cooperation and competition between individuals, tribes, villages, cities, nations, cultures.  Too much individualism is quickly snuffed out in the Darwinian sieve; same goes for too much dependency.

Wow!  It's been a long time since a forum exchange got me into flaming mode.  I apologize :( .  We DO manufacture in-house the Cygnus main avionics (Combined Avionics Unit - CAU, Partial Avionics Unit - PAU and Power Control Units - PCU; three of the four Fault Isolation Zones  or "FIZs" use a CAU each, the fourth a PAU... sounds familiar?)

It IS generally true, that, when in doubt, we would rather buy than build.  It's not always possible or affordable, however.

Traditionally harnesses are always built in-house.  Because of the four-FIZ architecture, the Cygnus harnesses are by far the most complex we've ever done - and we've built over a hundred spacecraft!  We build harnesses both at Dulles and at Gilbert.  The LV avionics are built at Chandler, the S/C avionics at Dulles (Gilbert used to, but during the GD era they lost that capability since big GD is in the avionics box business big time.)

We just bolted and connected fourth FIZ on Cygnus number 1.  The system went from three FIZs to four FIZs on the first power-up!  (well, it had done so many times in the "flatsat..." but it's always good when it does on the actual S/C...)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/22/2011 01:55 AM
Thanks for the very informative reply, and congrads on the powerup! I can not wait to see it fly. Any chance we will see an ISS bound launch from the boston area or would a road trip be in order?

Of course if you keep flaming, we will have to report you ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 05/22/2011 02:32 AM
Any chance we will see an ISS bound launch from the boston area
My understanding is that while an ascending node shot from Wallops to ISS is theoretically possible, the first few ones will definitely be descending nodes, so no luck for the Boston area.
Quote
or would a road trip be in order?
Indeed, and it's an easy trip compared with FL.  Great area for a nice quiet beach vacation, unlike the madness at and around CCB.  Just remember, plan for a two-week vacation if you REALLY want to a see any given launch... see the story of STS-51 (I went to all the launch attempts, including the T-3 seconds scrub!!!  DID see the launch, after FOUR trips... have some hilarious J.R. Thompson anecdotes during these trips...)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 05/22/2011 10:02 AM
2.  There won't be operators until there are RLV's.  Operations of ELV's require to much work of the designer.

Can you explain why? I thought the problem was that with ELV launch prices there weren't enough flights to make the separation between designer / manufacturer and operator feasible. Since an RLV is so much more complicated than an ELV I would have thought an RLV needed more input from the designer.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: bad_astra on 05/24/2011 03:48 PM
I'm hoping to see one of the initial launches and combine it with a trip to Williamsburg for the kids, weather permitting, but after multiple attemps to KSC and 0 launches seen, I've begun to be wary :D
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Danderman on 05/24/2011 03:57 PM
As to "why can't Orbital build a simple power supply", let me tell you this: the space business has a lot of ups and downs: one month you have six spacecraft in the assembly floor, two months later only two.  The same goes for space-qualified (even more for HUMAN-SPACEFLIGHT-qualified) avionics.  You try to balance your load by carefully interleaving in-house build and vended units.  You want to be able to build space-qualified boxes in house, but you ALSO want to have a reliable source of qualified, financially stable partners and suppliers.  If we can't offer more orders to Andrews, it is our hope that others will buy their fine products, so they can even out THEIR load without Orbital help.

Thanks for answering the question!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 05/24/2011 04:16 PM
This last exchange really bother me.  Let me make something perfectly clear: THERE ARE NO BIT ROLES IN SPACE TECHNOLOGY. 

Dr Elias,

The term  "bit role" was used to describe small companies who are suppliers of components or subsystems vs companies who are system integrators.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: tobi453 on 05/24/2011 06:37 PM
2.  There won't be operators until there are RLV's.  Operations of ELV's require to much work of the designer.

Arianespace is an operator and has ~300 employees. However, there is still a lot of engineering support by other companies like Astrium, Snecma etc.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 05/24/2011 06:44 PM
2.  There won't be operators until there are RLV's.  Operations of ELV's require to much work of the designer.

Arianespace is an operator and has ~300 employees. However, there is still a lot of engineering support by other companies like Astrium, Snecma etc.

Arianespace is just a contracting figurehead much like ILS.  The engineering support provided by other contractors is indicative of a nonoperator paradigm.

This is applicable to Sealaunch and USA.  The hardware contractors still perform a large role in the day to day ops.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Freddie on 05/31/2011 01:45 PM
"Turin, May 30, 2011 – Thales Alenia Space announced that it has delivered to Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) its first Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) developed to transport cargo to the International Space Station. This first PCM will be used for the CygnusTM demonstration mission, under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) research and development initiative with Orbital."

"The module was shipped from the Thales Alenia Space plant in Turin, Italy to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, where Orbital will integrate it with the Cygnus service module to produce the complete Cygnus spacecraft. The first mission is currently scheduled for December 2011, using Orbital’s Taurus® II launcher."

Read more of the Thales Alenia Space news release at http://www.thalesgroup.com/Press_Releases/Markets/Space/2011/Thales_Alenia_Space_delivers_first_Cygnus_PCM_to_Orbital_Sciences_Corporation/.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 06/04/2011 06:10 PM
Here's a great, newly-released animation of a Cygnus cargo mission to the ISS - available in 1020p HD! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dCDQorXzWE
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/04/2011 06:29 PM
It burned up! Is it supposed to do that? ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 06/04/2011 06:32 PM
It burned up! Is it supposed to do that? ;)

OMG, what a waste! We should leave them all in LEO and assemble a Mars transit vehicle out of them! ;D

(BTW, that was a joke, before the "Cygnus as MTV?" thread shows up!)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 06/04/2011 08:24 PM
It burned up! Is it supposed to do that? ;)

OMG, what a waste! We should leave them all in LEO and assemble a Mars transit vehicle out of them! ;D

(BTW, that was a joke, before the "Cygnus as MTV?" thread shows up!)

Well, some might just see that part and start to question: "is that normal?" 

Pretty neat video, thanks for the post. Like how they meld the people in the Cupola into it.
Let's hope it all goes that smoothly. Now what we really need is for it to happen, and soon!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 06/04/2011 09:09 PM
Good to see Orbital releasing some flashy promos of their own. :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sdsds on 06/04/2011 11:15 PM
Like how they meld the people in the Cupola into it.

I was particularly struck by the scene just after that, that shows the Cygnus berthing.  It somehow makes the comparative sizes of the modules more clear:  Cygnus isn't much smaller than Columbus, but it sure looks smaller than Kibo!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: perian on 06/05/2011 03:50 PM
  It somehow makes the comparative sizes of the modules more clear:  Cygnus isn't much smaller than Columbus, but it sure looks smaller than Kibo!

Cygnus is smaller, much smaller. Look at diameter: 3.07 m vs. 4.5 m.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: majormajor42 on 06/05/2011 07:41 PM
Quote
It burned up! Is it supposed to do that? ;)

I'm looking back at the COTS awards and CRS awards. I was wondering if SpaceX was getting more money because they have downmass capability. If NASA was intending on using that downmass capability and if so, compensate SpaceX for it. In looking back, I came across this:

Quote
The Cygnus spacecraft to be launched aboard the Taurus II rocket  will be capable of delivering up to 2,300 kg of cargo to the ISS and will be able to return 1,200 kg of cargo from the ISS to Earth.

“We are very appreciative of the trust NASA has placed with us to provide commercial cargo transportation services to and from the International Space Station, beginning with our demonstration flight scheduled in late 2010,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2008/12/spacex-and-orbital-win-huge-crs-contract-from-nasa/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2008/12/spacex-and-orbital-win-huge-crs-contract-from-nasa/)

did the return capability of Cygnus get dropped at some point?

have the award values changes to reflect the difference in return capability?

sorry if I missed the point at which this was discussed in the forum. Skimmed through some COTS and CRS threads trying to find info.

I enjoyed the video and look forward to driving down from NY one day. Good luck to them!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: ugordan on 06/05/2011 07:48 PM
I'm looking back at the COTS awards and CRS awards. I was wondering if SpaceX was getting more money because they have downmass capability.

They got more money because they were one of the two original COTS winners. Once Kistler was dropped, the remaining money was awarded to Orbital.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: majormajor42 on 06/05/2011 08:01 PM
from that same article:
Quote
The award from NASA orders eight flights valued at about $1.9 billion from Orbital and 12 flights valued at about $1.6 billion from SpaceX.

quote from me corrected
Quote
I'm looking back at the COTS awards and CRS awards. I was wondering if SpaceX should now be getting more money because they have downmass capability
.

@ugordan your response would seem to indicate that SpaceX will in fact be paid more than Orbital? I'm hoping to clear this up, otherwise I might have to move these questions to a COTS/CRS thread. not sure which one though.



for some reason my ability to reply with quote is being blocked. sorry.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: ugordan on 06/05/2011 08:14 PM
@ugordan your response would seem to indicate that SpaceX will in fact be paid more than Orbital?

I was talking about COTS money, not CRS money. Both SpaceX and Orbital entered their prices in their CRS bids and NASA accepted.

I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable on whether SpaceX will get paid extra for any downmass. My understanding is the CRS contracts didn't factor in any downmass capability, but I didn't study the topic closely.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/06/2011 12:11 AM
@ugordan your response would seem to indicate that SpaceX will in fact be paid more than Orbital?

I was talking about COTS money, not CRS money. Both SpaceX and Orbital entered their prices in their CRS bids and NASA accepted.

I'll defer to someone more knowledgeable on whether SpaceX will get paid extra for any downmass. My understanding is the CRS contracts didn't factor in any downmass capability, but I didn't study the topic closely.
I think SpaceX is feeling like they left a lot of money on the table for CRS. I remember SpaceX getting upset that Orbital got the same money for fewer flights.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: ugordan on 06/06/2011 09:09 AM
I think SpaceX is feeling like they left a lot of money on the table for CRS. I remember SpaceX getting upset that Orbital got the same money for fewer flights.

That's nobody's fault but their own. Whether because they felt they had to go on the cheap side for NASA to select their bid or something else, it's irrelevant now.

I will point out, though, that looking at the CRS selection letter, OSC came pretty close to losing out to PlanetSpace. You can't set the price either too high or too low. So how do you a priori know what the sweet spot is?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: majormajor42 on 06/06/2011 04:32 PM
Thanks for the responses. I might look into the SpaceX side of things more in other threads or ask there. Back to Cygnus, in my post above, I have some quotes from the CRS award where it appears that Cygnus will have downmass capability. When did that change and does it effect the CRS contract if that was part of the original deal?

Quote
The Cygnus spacecraft to be launched aboard the Taurus II rocket  will be capable of delivering up to 2,300 kg of cargo to the ISS and will be able to return 1,200 kg of cargo from the ISS to Earth.

“We are very appreciative of the trust NASA has placed with us to provide commercial cargo transportation services to and from the International Space Station, beginning with our demonstration flight scheduled in late 2010,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

edit: thanks for those links two posts below notherspacexfan. beginning to understand now.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: ugordan on 06/06/2011 04:45 PM
I have some quotes from the CRS award where it appears that Cygnus will have downmass capability.

I think "downmass" means garbage disposal, not actual safe return of cargo to earth.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: notherspacexfan on 06/06/2011 05:00 PM
There were 3 cygnus cargo modules initially, all were offered in the CRS contract.

PCM (pressurized)
UCM (unpressurized)
RCM (return)

Only the PCM was ordered for CRS. The COTS demo was originally to use a UCM but was switched to a PCM after the CRS order.

see:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11939.msg246697#msg246697
www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/418855main_oc_nnj09ga02b.pdf
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cygnus-rcm.htm
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 06/09/2011 03:15 AM
I think SpaceX is feeling like they left a lot of money on the table for CRS. I remember SpaceX getting upset that Orbital got the same money for fewer flights.

That's nobody's fault but their own. Whether because they felt they had to go on the cheap side for NASA to select their bid or something else, it's irrelevant now.

I will point out, though, that looking at the CRS selection letter, OSC came pretty close to losing out to PlanetSpace. You can't set the price either too high or too low. So how do you a priori know what the sweet spot is?

Do you have a link to the CRS selection statement?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: notherspacexfan on 06/09/2011 12:45 PM
I think SpaceX is feeling like they left a lot of money on the table for CRS. I remember SpaceX getting upset that Orbital got the same money for fewer flights.

That's nobody's fault but their own. Whether because they felt they had to go on the cheap side for NASA to select their bid or something else, it's irrelevant now.

I will point out, though, that looking at the CRS selection letter, OSC came pretty close to losing out to PlanetSpace. You can't set the price either too high or too low. So how do you a priori know what the sweet spot is?

Do you have a link to the CRS selection statement?
this should help:
http://www.gao.gov/decisions/bidpro/401016.htm
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 06/10/2011 04:06 AM
Thanks, I also found the CRS selection statement on L2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15518.0
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 06/15/2011 09:22 PM
First Cargo Module Ships. Service Module Integration Continues.

June 2011

The first Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) for Orbital's COTS demonstration mission completed Qualification and Hardware Acceptance Reviews at Thales/Alenia's facility in Turin Italy. The PCM and its Ground Support Equipment will now be prepared for shipment from Italy to the Wallops Island Virginia launch site. Read about the PCM in this news release (http://www.thalesgroup.com/Press_Releases/Markets/Space/2011/Thales_Alenia_Space_delivers_first_Cygnus_PCM_to_Orbital_Sciences_Corporation/) from Thales/Alenia.

As the PCM makes its way to the launch site, integration and testing of the Cygnus Service Module for the COTS demonstration mission continues in Orbital's Dulles, Virginia Satellite Manufacturing Facility. The Service Module completed its Open Panel assembly activities and will transition to its Initial Integrated Systems Testing.

Upon completion of all its testing, the Service Module will be shipped to Wallops Island, where it will be mated to the PCM. The fully assembled Cygnus spacecraft will then be attached to Orbital's new Taurus II rocket and launched to the International Space Station to demonstrate the delivery of supplies and payload items. See the Taurus II Microsite (http://www.orbital.com/TaurusII/) for more progress updates.

Image 1: PCM production in Turin, Italy (Thales/Alenia photo)

Image 2: View of the interior of the PCM (Thales/Alenia photo)

Image 3: Cygnus Service Module Integration


http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: simonbp on 06/16/2011 12:16 AM
I love the sight of spaceship production lines. :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/19/2011 04:14 AM
Atlantis prepares for undocking – TriDAR tests continue with flyaround - by Chris Gebhardt.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/07/atlantis-undocking-tridar-tests-continue-flyaround/

Includes breaking news that TriDAR has been selected as the rendezvous sensor for Cygnus. A follow on article will be written.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/19/2011 03:50 PM
Can you give any further details on the manufacturing process used to make the MPLM's? I believe they are forged and have no longitudinal seams.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 07/19/2011 03:56 PM
Can you give any further details on the manufacturing process used to make the MPLM's? I believe they are forged and have no longitudinal seams.

They have longitudinal seams
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 07/21/2011 03:13 PM
Can you give any further details on the manufacturing process used to make the MPLM's? I believe they are forged and have no longitudinal seams.

The MPLMs were built by modifying designs and methods developed by Boeing at MSFC back in the early 90's for the original Space Station Freedom Lab/Hab modules and Nodes.  Those modules consisted of quarter-round chords bump-formed to bend them into shape and then welded together.  I still remember seeing photos of the first test articles that were . . . somewhat less than successfully shaped. :p  The welds were x-ray inspected, with all the x-rays being recorded and stored digitally.  That in itself was quite an impressing IT feat in 1990/91.  In any case, all the designs were made available to Alenia when SSF morphed into ISS thereafter, and Alenia determined how best to detail design and manufacture the actual flight articles.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 07/23/2011 12:14 AM
Can you give any further details on the manufacturing process used to make the MPLM's? I believe they are forged and have no longitudinal seams.

The MPLMs were built by modifying designs and methods developed by Boeing at MSFC back in the early 90's for the original Space Station Freedom Lab/Hab modules and Nodes.  Those modules consisted of quarter-round chords bump-formed to bend them into shape and then welded together.  I still remember seeing photos of the first test articles that were . . . somewhat less than successfully shaped. :p  The welds were x-ray inspected, with all the x-rays being recorded and stored digitally.  That in itself was quite an impressing IT feat in 1990/91.  In any case, all the designs were made available to Alenia when SSF morphed into ISS thereafter, and Alenia determined how best to detail design and manufacture the actual flight articles.

Huh?  Alenia used the experience from Spacelab and Spacehab, which predated any SSF test articles
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: john smith 19 on 07/26/2011 09:48 PM
Can you give any further details on the manufacturing process used to make the MPLM's? I believe they are forged and have no longitudinal seams.

The MPLMs were built by modifying designs and methods developed by Boeing at MSFC back in the early 90's for the original Space Station Freedom Lab/Hab modules and Nodes.  Those modules consisted of quarter-round chords bump-formed to bend them into shape and then welded together.  I still remember seeing photos of the first test articles that were . . . somewhat less than successfully shaped. :p  The welds were x-ray inspected, with all the x-rays being recorded and stored digitally.  That in itself was quite an impressing IT feat in 1990/91.  In any case, all the designs were made available to Alenia when SSF morphed into ISS thereafter, and Alenia determined how best to detail design and manufacture the actual flight articles.

Curious. There's an interview with someone from Alenia on the BBC website by their space correspondent. I think it was linked to earlier in this thread.

The interviewee said the design was made of forged rings with the the stiffener pattern machined into them. The difference between the Cygnus section and the standard design was it had a reduced wall thickness (roughly 2mm from >3mm) although OSC had wanted to go with 1mm walls.

I was very impressed at this as I'd read that Boeing had looked at this for the Integrated Airframe Structure programme but could not make it work. It sounded a good way to *eliminate* lengthwise welds and in Europe forged rings are available up to 8.8m (28 feet) in diameter. Not very good for aircraft (where the production methods seem to be driven by how to make the wings, then see if they can make a fuselage as well) but excellent for launch vehicle tanks and large cylindrical structures.

I checked the Alenia site but it's basically marketing. Very little actual information. hence my interest in anyone who could point me in the direction of more information.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/18/2011 10:40 PM
Holds relation to Cygnus:

ISS Managers Conduct Expedition 29 FRR, Prepare Station for Post-Shuttle Ops:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/08/iss-managers-expedition-29-frr-prepare-station-post-shuttle-operations/

Superb article by Pete Harding via ISS presentations and Increment 29, Soyuz 26/28 FRR Presentations (August 17) available on L2.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: corrodedNut on 08/24/2011 12:58 PM
Cygnus!

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/580727main_4%20-%20Lindenmoyer%20COTS%20Status_508.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/24/2011 05:49 PM
Cygnus!

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/580727main_4%20-%20Lindenmoyer%20COTS%20Status_508.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: block51 on 08/24/2011 07:02 PM
Per http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/insidethegate/view20.html, the Cygnus Cargo Module will be arriving here at Wallops Flight Facility via an AN-124 at 4pm today. I'll try and get some pictures and post them!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: block51 on 08/24/2011 08:24 PM
Here are the pictures I got of the landing. Just took them on my cellphone so they aren't amazing, but hopefully after work I can swing by and see if they are doing any unloading!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/24/2011 08:26 PM
per flight aware, appears it has arrived:

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/VDA1396
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jose on 08/24/2011 08:48 PM
I wonder what the pictures taped to the top of the avionics ring are.


Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 08/24/2011 08:59 PM
I wonder what the pictures taped to the top of the avionics ring are.


My guess is either "reference pics" to confirm for techs that what they're doing matches up with how things are supposed to be connected (photos taken in a systems integration lab or something), or less likely close-out pics (but it wouldn't make sense to take them, print them and then display them there).
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lars_J on 08/24/2011 09:09 PM
I wonder what the pictures taped to the top of the avionics ring are.


My guess is either "reference pics" to confirm for techs that what they're doing matches up with how things are supposed to be connected (photos taken in a systems integration lab or something), or less likely close-out pics (but it wouldn't make sense to take them, print them and then display them there).

Yep, they look like reference pictures to me as well. Note how each picture has the same component pictured as below it.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sdsds on 08/24/2011 09:27 PM
In light of the Progress failure is there any chance Orbital could offer NASA any schedule improvement for Cygnus resupply missions in exchange for additional payments to e.g. expedite availability of components?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Patchouli on 08/24/2011 09:57 PM
In light of the Progress failure is there any chance Orbital could offer NASA any schedule improvement for Cygnus resupply missions in exchange for additional payments to e.g. expedite availability of components?

I wonder if early Cygnus vehicles could be launched on an Atlas to get one flying before Taurus II is ready?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: ugordan on 08/24/2011 09:58 PM
At this stage in the game? No.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 08/25/2011 02:25 AM
per flight aware, appears it has arrived:

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/VDA1396

And it flew right overhead of my province  :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 08/25/2011 03:44 AM
Cygnus Module.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: jacqmans on 08/25/2011 03:49 PM
RELEASE: 11-276

CYGNUS SPACE STATION CARGO CARRIER ARRIVES AT NASA WALLOPS

WASHINGTON -- NASA's work to help develop the next generation of
commercial space transportation systems reached another significant
achievement yesterday with the arrival at Wallops Flight Facility in
Virginia of the Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Module, Orbital Science
Corp.'s spacecraft to carry supplies to the International Space
Station.

"This is one more important step in our partnership with U.S. private
industry to build safe, reliable and cost effective cargo
transportation systems," said Philip McAlister, acting director of
commercial spaceflight development at NASA Headquarters in
Washington. "We are pleased that Orbital has made this accomplishment
and look forward to the company flying the Cygnus spacecraft in
2012."

During the next several months, Orbital's engineering team will
integrate the pressurized module with the Cygnus service module that
includes the spacecraft's avionics, propulsion and power systems.

The Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for a demonstration flight from
Wallops early next year on an Orbital Taurus II launch vehicle under
NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services agreement with the
company.

For information about NASA's commercial space transportation efforts,
visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/index.html


For images and information about the Cygnus arrival, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/news/cygnus-arrives.html 

       
-end-
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: jacqmans on 08/25/2011 03:49 PM
ORBITAL'S CYGNUS CARGO MODULE ARRIVES AT NASA'S WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY

-- Pressurized Cargo Module Built by Thales Alenia Space to be Flown on
COTS Demonstration Mission in Early 2012 --

(Dulles, VA 25 August 2011) - Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one
of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced that the
first pressurized cargo module (PCM) for its Cygnus™ cargo logistics
spacecraft has arrived at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern
Virginia.  Following a transatlantic flight from its manufacturing location
in Italy, the PCM was unloaded from the Antonov An-26 transport aircraft in
its specialized shipping container and was brought to NASA's H-100 payload
processing facility where it will be uncrated later this week and prepared
for integration with the spacecraft service module.  Together, the PCM and
the service module will form the first operational Cygnus that will be
launched to the International Space Station (ISS) to carry out a
demonstration mission under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
(COTS) joint NASA and Orbital research and development program.

"The arrival of the first pressurized cargo module at Wallops is an
important milestone for the Cygnus program, signifying that we are making
great progress toward carrying out the COTS demonstration mission early
next year," said Mr. Frank DeMauro, Orbital's Cygnus Program Manager.
"With the first fully-assembled service module currently in testing at our
Dulles, Virginia satellite design and production facilities, it won't be
too long before both of the major elements are united at Wallops for final
system integration, followed by integration with the Taurus II rocket that
will launch Cygnus to the International Space Station."

The PCM was manufactured and tested by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in Italy.
Orbital selected TAS because of its unrivaled experience in designing and
building pressurized space modules for the ISS.  TAS is already well along
in manufacturing and testing the next three PCM units for the Cygnus
program, ensuring on-schedule deliveries of a critical element of the
spacecraft.  For the COTS demonstration and the first two operational
Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions, the PCM is designed to carry
approximately 2,000 kg of cargo.  For later missions, an enhanced PCM will
carry about 2,700 kg of cargo.

 About Cygnus

The Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft is being developed by Orbital to
demonstrate cargo delivery services under the COTS agreement and to carry
out ISS resupply flights under the $1.9 billion CRS contract, which
encompasses eight missions between 2012 and 2015 carrying approximately
20,000 kg of cargo to the ISS.

The Cygnus system is a low-risk design incorporating elements drawn from
Orbital and its partners' existing, flight-proven space systems
technologies.  Cygnus consists of an advanced service module and a PCM. The
service module incorporates avionics, power and propulsion systems from
Orbital's flight-proven LEOStar™ and GEOStar™ satellite product lines.
Based on NASA's requirements, it will deliver crew supplies, scientific
experiments and equipment, spares parts and other essential cargo to the
ISS.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 08/25/2011 05:40 PM
NASA TV Video: Commercial Cargo Module Arrives at Wallops.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i2j7gdHuuE


NASA photos of the PCM arrival are here: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cygnus-arrives.html
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jose on 08/25/2011 07:10 PM
I love the guy going "stop. No, really, Stop! How about stop?"
(holds his arms crossed above his head, truck keeps backing up anyway)


Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/25/2011 07:31 PM
Looks a little boxy, must be the jet lag ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/25/2011 11:36 PM
I've written up the arrival of the PCM, and noted an important message associated with it on this specific article thread :)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26577.0
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Zed_Noir on 08/26/2011 12:13 AM
ORBITAL'S CYGNUS CARGO MODULE ARRIVES AT NASA'S WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY

-- Pressurized Cargo Module Built by Thales Alenia Space to be Flown on
COTS Demonstration Mission in Early 2012 --

(Dulles, VA 25 August 2011) - Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one
of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced that the
first pressurized cargo module (PCM) for its Cygnus™ cargo logistics
spacecraft has arrived at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern
Virginia.  Following a transatlantic flight from its manufacturing location
in Italy, the PCM was unloaded from the Antonov An-26 transport aircraft in
its specialized shipping container and was brought to NASA's H-100 payload
processing facility where it will be uncrated later this week and prepared
for integration with the spacecraft service module.  Together, the PCM and
the service module will form the first operational Cygnus that will be
launched to the International Space Station (ISS) to carry out a
demonstration mission under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
(COTS) joint NASA and Orbital research and development program.


I believe that's an Antonov An-124 transport. The An-26 Curl is a light twin turbo-prop tactical airlifter.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sdsds on 08/26/2011 01:21 AM
Allow me please to ask this again, with more specificity.  As of July 2011, the Cygnus COTS/CRS schedule is:
 - 2011Q4: Taurus II test flight
 - 2012Q1: COTS demonstration mission
 - 2012Q2: CRS mission 1
 - 2012Q3: -- nothing --
 - 2012Q4 CRS mission 2

Given the Progress failure, is there a way to guess the incremental cost increase to Orbital (and the price increase to NASA) of CRS mission 2 if it were moved forward into 2012Q3?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 09/01/2011 01:17 PM
CYGNUS HITS THE BRAKES - UNEXPECTED PCM SPEED LIMITATION!!!

Upon opening the shipping container for the Thales Alenia Space (Italy) - built Pressurized cargo module, Orbital engineers were dismayed to find a speed placard for the unit.  This makes it unlikely that it could reach orbital speeds.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/01/2011 01:44 PM
Groan ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/01/2011 01:50 PM
I fully expect a full congressional investigation to why Cygnus is limited to 4km/h ;)

Can we put it on Steroids?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/01/2011 01:55 PM
I fully expect a full congressional investigation to why Cygnus is limited to 4km/h ;)

Can we put it on Steroids?

That has to be the slowest Italian-built vehicle ever. Why does the Bieber get a faster Italian vehicle than us ?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: JWag on 09/01/2011 02:15 PM
The "Z" is next to the "Y"; the vehicle was clearly built 90 degrees off.  :o

Lovely shot of the hatch latching mechanism.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 09/01/2011 02:18 PM
CYGNUS HITS THE BRAKES - UNEXPECTED PCM SPEED LIMITATION!!!

Upon opening the shipping container for the Thales Alenia Space (Italy) - built Pressurized cargo module, Orbital engineers were dismayed to find a speed placard for the unit.  This makes it unlikely that it could reach orbital speeds.

Now that, sir, is one good looking spacecraft. I love that baby CBM hatch. :D
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/01/2011 05:22 PM
CYGNUS HITS THE BRAKES - UNEXPECTED PCM SPEED LIMITATION!!!

Upon opening the shipping container for the Thales Alenia Space (Italy) - built Pressurized cargo module, Orbital engineers were dismayed to find a speed placard for the unit.  This makes it unlikely that it could reach orbital speeds.

Now that, sir, is one good looking spacecraft. I love that baby CBM hatch. :D
What is the size of the hatch, by the way?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 09/01/2011 05:28 PM
Great picture.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 09/01/2011 07:23 PM
What is the size of the hatch, by the way?

37 by 37 inches
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/01/2011 08:17 PM
What is the size of the hatch, by the way?

37 by 37 inches
Thank you, kindly. I'm really excited to see your spacecraft berthed to Station! :)
(And also glad to see your Dawn sending back great photos of Vesta...)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 09/09/2011 12:35 AM
Cygnus Module.
Welcome to America.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/13/2011 03:59 AM
What about a little respect for Cygnus, which is the far more spacious of the two CRS vehicles?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: woods170 on 09/13/2011 10:51 AM
What about a little respect for Cygnus, which is the far more spacious of the two CRS vehicles?

Yeah, and also is incapable of returning to earth, from orbit, in one piece.
I have as much respect for Cygnus, as I have for Dragon. However, both vehicles serve different purposes. No sense in comparing internal volume.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/13/2011 04:07 PM
What about a little respect for Cygnus, which is the far more spacious of the two CRS vehicles?

Yeah, and also is incapable of returning to earth, from orbit, in one piece.
I have as much respect for Cygnus, as I have for Dragon. However, both vehicles serve different purposes. No sense in comparing internal volume.
Right, they serve different purposes and have different strengths. My point is that maybe the people working on the spacecraft (our antonioe, for instance) don't want it to be a flying advertisement?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 09/13/2011 04:11 PM
My point is that maybe the people working on the spacecraft (our antonioe, for instance) don't want it to be a flying advertisement?

Well, it's their call, if they don't want it then they shouldn't do it. But there's absolutely no disrespect involved. I think it would be a great idea that would generate a lot of positive publicity for NASA, for CRS and for commercial space.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/13/2011 04:29 PM
Might be something for a splinter thread, as this has less to do with the processing of Cygnus.

We're going to be writing a lot of updates on Taurus II and Cygnus over the coming months, so I've renamed this thread to a more specific general update thread, ahead of additional threads on specific news.

The Orbital dedicated section also allows for splinter threads, such as Martijn's point, maybe?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 09/15/2011 05:39 PM
Chris: maybe this reply belongs to a different thread, if so, my apologies and feel free to move it to the right thread (if the existing technology allows it.)

My point is that maybe the people working on the spacecraft (our antonioe, for instance) don't want it to be a flying advertisement?

Well, it's their call, if they don't want it then they shouldn't do it. But there's absolutely no disrespect involved. I think it would be a great idea that would generate a lot of positive publicity for NASA, for CRS and for commercial space.

In my feeble attempts at humor I may have mis-communicated .

AFAIK nobody at Orbital opposes using Cygnus for advertising - hey, cash is King!  I was joking about spending a lot of time marketing the "can" to Coors etc.  In reality, we've been a little lazy in this department, partly because of our unverified concern that no large (sane) company would want their logo on the FIRST flight of any space thingy, just in case.

We would certainly welcome any revenue-producing advertisement, and I think NASA would at least not OPPOSE that... (although they may ask for a refund :) )
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/15/2011 05:57 PM
Alright, understood, Antonioe! And yeah, it does sort of look like a flying Beer Keg!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/15/2011 06:13 PM
In reality, we've been a little lazy in this department, partly because of our unverified concern that no large (sane) company would want their logo on the FIRST flight of any space thingy, just in case.

Then go for the insane companies ;) GoDaddy comes to mind,

I'm sure if you named it Colbert, you would get a fair amount of positive media coverage ... why should the other new space companies get all the good PR?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 09/15/2011 06:25 PM
New splinter thread:

Advertising on commercial launch vehicles / spacecraft (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26794.0)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/07/2011 03:55 AM
Ok, here's where we stand on things, including long-range. Note this is all up in the air with the Soyuz situation.

ISS partners prepare to welcome SpaceX and Orbital in a busy 2012:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/10/iss-partners-welcome-spacex-orbital-busy-2012/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 10/20/2011 03:55 PM
I think I read somewhere that you were switching LIDAR suppliers very early. Care to give any information on that?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: synchrotron on 10/24/2011 03:35 PM
I think I read somewhere that you were switching LIDAR suppliers very early. Care to give any information on that?
It seems unlikely that a safety critical item would be swapped out shortly after proving it works. What was the context of the comment you read?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 11/13/2011 10:16 PM
Andrews Space Delivers Cargo Module Power Unit for Orbital's Cygnus Spacecraft

Seattle, WA - Nov 08, 2011.  Andrews Space (Andrews) announced today that it has completed delivery of four Cargo Module Power Units (CMPUs) that will supply power to payloads aboard Orbital's Cygnus spacecraft.

Andrews was contracted by Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) in September 2010 to deliver a total of four flight-qualified CMPUs, which power mid-deck locker payloads destined for the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus cargo vehicle.   Under a $1.9 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, Orbital is scheduled to fly eight missions between 2012 and 2015, delivering 20,000 kilograms of cargo to the ISS.  The recently delivered CMPUs will provide up to 150 Watts of 28VDC payload power and will be used on the first CRS mission scheduled for early 2012.

"It has been a pleasure working with Orbital on this important program," said Krissa Watry, CMPU Program Manager at Andrews Space.  "Delivery of the CMPU marks a major milestone for Andrews and sets a new standard for our spaceflight hardware programs."  The CMPU was on critical path from day one and the Andrews team went from contract award to first unit delivery in less than 10 months.

http://www.andrews-space.com/news.php?subsection=MzY1
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo on 11/19/2011 09:59 AM
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/OrbitalQuarterly_Fall2011.pdf
Quote
Taurus II Rocket and Cygnus Spacecraft Programs Pass Development Milestones

Taurus II Engine Acceptance Test Successful; Cygnus Pressurized Cargo Module Delivered to Wallops Launch Site in Virginia

The development of Orbital’s new Taurus II medium-class launch vehicle and Cygnus spacecraft, which will carry cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) under a Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, achieved two important milestones recently. On September 26, Orbital, Aerojet and the NASA Stennis Space Center successfully conducted an acceptance hot fire test of one of the two AJ26 flight engines that will power the first stage of Taurus II on its inaugural mission.
The test gauged the engine’s performance to ensure its operation during an actual launch. The engine was recently shipped to the Wallops Flight Facility launch site in Virginia where it will be integrated with the Taurus II first-stage core as a main engine assembly. Meanwhile, the two AJ26 engines that will be used for a first-stage hot fire test have been integrated with the thrust frame structure, which will then be mated to the first-stage core. This process is taking place in the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) at Wallops. The stage-one hot fire test will occur at the Taurus II Launch Pad 0A.
In late August, the first Cygnus spacecraft Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) arrived at the Wallops Flight Facility. The PCM was transported to NASA’s H-100 payload processing facility where it will be mated to the Cygnus service module. Together, the PCM and the service module will form the first operational Cygnus that will be launched to the ISS to carry out a demonstration mission under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) joint NASA and Orbital research and development program. Designed to carry up to 2,700 kg of cargo, the PCM was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy. Integration and testing of the service module continues at Orbital’s Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Dulles, Virginia. The COTS demonstration mission to the ISS is currently scheduled for the second quarter of 2012.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 11/30/2011 01:51 PM
From @OrbitalSciences via Twitter:

Orbital debuts image of enhanced Cygnus to carry 2,700 Kg. of cargo to ISS for NASA. To fly on 4th CRS mission. http://pic.twitter.com/d42MlD2W

----------

Wow! :)

Interesting to note that the SM appears to have both a PDGF and an FRGF.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/30/2011 02:23 PM
From @OrbitalSciences via Twitter:

Orbital debuts image of enhanced Cygnus to carry 2,700 Kg. of cargo to ISS for NASA. To fly on 4th CRS mission. http://pic.twitter.com/d42MlD2W

----------

Wow! :)

Interesting to note that the SM appears to have both a PDGF and an FRGF.

The solar arrays have changed shape as well, maybe using the Orion ones?

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/30/2011 02:30 PM
Here is a presentation of the ATK Ultraflex arrays which appear to be utilized:

http://www.atk.com/Products/documents/UltraFlex%202011c.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/30/2011 02:39 PM
Confirmed:

Quote
ATK (NYSE: ATK) was awarded a $20 million contract by Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) to provide its UltraFlex™ solar arrays to power Orbital's enhanced Cygnus™ cargo logistics space vehicle, which is being utilized under NASA's Commercial Resupply System contract.

 http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/30/4089059/atk-awarded-20-million-ultraflex.html#ixzz1fCgKqT8b
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/30/2011 03:21 PM
Good idea on the Ultraflex... made in America (I think... well, assembled at least) and very lightweight for the power it produces.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 11/30/2011 03:35 PM
The PCM also appears to have been stretched by roughly 1/3 of its previous length.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/30/2011 03:52 PM
The PCM also appears to have been stretched by roughly 1/3 of its previous length.

Yes that would be the PCM+ configuration, with an extra band added to add more pressurized volume/cargo lift. This configuration depends on the introduction of the Castor XL upper stage for performance increase. The first flight of Castor 30 XL will be on Taurus II flight 5, or OSC CRS flight 3.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 11/30/2011 04:41 PM
Cygnus Enhanced Spacecraft to Use Ultraflex™ Solar Arrays

November 2011

Orbital has selected lightweight ATK Ultraflex solar arrays to power its enhanced Cygnus cargo logistics module beginning with the fourth mission under Orbital's Cargo Resupply Services agreement with NASA to provide cargo logistics services to the International Space Station. The enhanced Cygnus variant incorporates a larger pressurized cargo module that can carry up to 2700 kg of crew supplies, spares and scientific experiments to the ISS. Measuring more than 11 feet in diameter, the Ultraflex arrays will provide the same power as the arrays to be used in the first three Cygnus missions but with significantly reduced mass.

http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 11/30/2011 04:43 PM
Hmm, what happened to the Dutch Space deal? Edit: looks as if the first three will be the Dutch Space panels, after which they will switch to the lighter ATK panels.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 11/30/2011 04:46 PM
What's PDRF/FRGF?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 11/30/2011 04:56 PM
What's PDRF/FRGF?

PDGF is Power Data Grapple Fixture, a powered grapple point for the SSRMS, located on the Aft of the Cygnus SM. It will be used to capture the free-flying Cygnus.

FRGF is Flight Releasable Grapple Fixture, an unpowered grapple point for the SSRMS, located on the side of the Cygnus SM. I think it will be used during relocations of Cygnus from Node 2 Nadir to Node 2 Zenith, as using the PDGF for relocations creates SSRMS clearance issues.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/30/2011 04:58 PM
Really glad about the Ultraflex panels... such good technology, I'm glad it's getting more business. They have state-of-the-art specific power (up to ~150W/kg at the solar array level, several times what ISS's solar arrays have), and the more people who use them, the more it will encourage development in that direction.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/30/2011 04:59 PM
What's PDRF/FRGF?

PDGF - Power and Data Grapple Fixture
FRGF - Flight Releasable Grapple Fixture

These can be grabbed by the ISS robotic arm to allow the spacecraft to be positioned for berthing.

You can get the forum software to enable pop-up definitions of all acronyms that are in the existing acronym list (but not all acronyms are in it!).

In the menu bar select the following sequence:

Profile - Look and Layout (Modify Profile section) - check the "highlight items from Acronyms List" box

After that all acronyms in the list will be underlined with a dotted line - then just hover over with mouse to see the definition.  You can also view the entire list by selecting it from the menu bar.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: simonbp on 11/30/2011 06:27 PM
Hmm, what happened to the Dutch Space deal? Edit: looks as if the first three will be the Dutch Space panels, after which they will switch to the lighter ATK panels.

Interesting. So the first three flights (COTS, CRS1, and CRS2) will be "Cygnus PCM" with Castor 30, short PCM, and Dutch solar panels. Then, the following flights will be a "Cygnus PCM+" with Castor 30XL, longer PCM, and ATK Ultraflex panels.

Am I getting that right?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/30/2011 09:47 PM
From the announcement is sounds like the ultraflex will only be incorporated on CRS 4, so CRS 3 will probably have the Dutch arrays but with a PCM+ .

Quote
beginning with the fourth mission under Orbital's Cargo Resupply Services agreement
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: spectre9 on 12/01/2011 02:04 AM
Looks awesome with the rounded panels.

Thanks for the updates and pictures guys  ;D
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/01/2011 12:27 PM
Here is a presentation of the ATK Ultraflex arrays which appear to be utilized:

http://www.atk.com/Products/documents/UltraFlex%202011c.pdf

More:

http://www.atk.com/capabilities_space/documents/UltraFlex.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/01/2011 02:55 PM
Thanks, Ronsmytheiii... Nice to look at that again.

BTW, what is "Wake Shield 04"?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 12/01/2011 06:10 PM
BOL means Begining Of Life for the solar panels?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/01/2011 06:13 PM
BOL means Begining Of Life for the solar panels?

Yep. BOL and EOL (End of Life) performance parameters are usually quoted for solar cells/arrays.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 12/01/2011 07:58 PM
Thanks, Ronsmytheiii... Nice to look at that again.

BTW, what is "Wake Shield 04"?

A Shuttle payload
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/01/2011 08:30 PM
Thanks, Ronsmytheiii... Nice to look at that again.

BTW, what is "Wake Shield 04"?

A Shuttle payload

More specific: a version of the Wake Shield 1-3 (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/wsf.htm) spacecraft. WSF-04 would have solar arrays for a longer mission endurance, but was never flown.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mmeijeri on 12/01/2011 08:50 PM
Parochial note: Dutch Space is located in my home town of Leiden, within walking distance of my office. I sometimes see tarpaulin-covered objects with a VEGA marking. I wonder if there will be any shipping containers marked CYGNUS.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/01/2011 11:10 PM
Thanks, Ronsmytheiii... Nice to look at that again.

BTW, what is "Wake Shield 04"?

A Shuttle payload

More specific: a version of the Wake Shield 1-3 (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/wsf.htm) spacecraft. WSF-04 would have solar arrays for a longer mission endurance, but was never flown.
Thanks Jim and Gunter (?). I thought so, but didn't realize that they were apparently thinking of a much longer duration Wake Shield experiment.

I really wonder if it's worth doing another Wake Shield spacecraft. Perhaps on ISS as planned, or perhaps unmanned. If someone is able to find something that is profitable and needs to be manufactured in space, it may open up a whole new market for space.

.... Of course, some may ask, "Is this a solution in search of a problem?" Yup! :) (though it is devilishly difficult to make an extremely, extremely high vacuum on Earth...)

Back on track, it's good that the UltraFlex panels are getting more use.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 12/02/2011 02:52 AM
Cygnus Enhanced Spacecraft to Use Ultraflex™ Solar Arrays

November 2011

Orbital has selected lightweight ATK Ultraflex solar arrays to power its enhanced Cygnus cargo logistics module beginning with the fourth mission under Orbital's Cargo Resupply Services agreement with NASA to provide cargo logistics services to the International Space Station. The enhanced Cygnus variant incorporates a larger pressurized cargo module that can carry up to 2700 kg of crew supplies, spares and scientific experiments to the ISS. Measuring more than 11 feet in diameter, the Ultraflex arrays will provide the same power as the arrays to be used in the first three Cygnus missions but with significantly reduced mass.

http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices

More logistics capability for ISS, excellent!  :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/16/2011 09:03 PM
From the just released Commercial Spaceflight - 60 Day Report, Issue 4:

Currently, Orbital is planning the maiden launch of their newly named Antares launch vehicle (previously referred to as “Taurus II”) in late February or March 2012, and the COTS demonstration flight to the ISS in April. NASA amended the OSC SAA last year to add a risk-reduction test flight of OSC's launch vehicle prior to the Cygnus Demonstration flight. At present, the initial Antares launch vehicles are being integrated at the Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) in Virginia. The engines were recently mounted to the first stage in preparation for integrated vehicle hot fire testing on the launch pad. The new launch complex at WFF is nearly complete and is the pacing item for the upcoming test firing and demonstration flights.

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/610831main_Dec_2011_60_Day_Report-508.pdf (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/610831main_Dec_2011_60_Day_Report-508.pdf)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/05/2012 05:46 PM
Orbital presser:

New Cygnus Photo Release from Orbital Sciences Corporation:
Orbital Sciences Corporation released the attached images of the first two Cygnus™ spacecraft service modules in production at the company’s Dulles, VA Satellite Manufacturing Facility (SMF).  The service module on the left will carry out the program’s demonstration flight to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year.  The service module on the right will carry out the first of eight cargo resupply missions under Orbital’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, also scheduled for later this year.  A third Cygnus service module (not shown) is also undergoing integration in a separate clean room facility at Orbital’s Dulles facility.

Cygnus is an advanced maneuvering spacecraft being developed by Orbital to demonstrate cargo delivery services under a NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement.  In addition to the COTS development and demonstration program, Orbital will utilize the Cygnus to perform the ISS resupply flights under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract. This NASA contract authorizes eight missions between 2012 and 2015 carrying approximately 20,000 kg of cargo to the ISS.

In the photo, two service modules are being integrated and assembled in a class 100,000 clean room prior to the beginning of environmental testing, the last major phase of the spacecraft development and testing prior to shipment to the Wallops Island, VA launch site, where it will be integrated with the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) that was delivered in 2011.  The Cygnus service module on the left will begin its thermal vacuum testing in February, followed by mechanical environmental tests one month later.  The banner seen on the wall above the Cygnus service modules is a full-scale depiction of the complete Cygnus system with its solar arrays deployed.

Other photos, images and video animation of the launch sequence of Orbital’s Cygnus spacecraft and the Antares launch vehicle that will carry the Cygnus into orbit are available at:

http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/ImagesMultimedia/

http://www.orbital.com/Antares/ImagesMultimedia/

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/05/2012 08:00 PM
Very cool, would love to see the manufacturing of the service modules up close (hint hint to the orbital guys)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 01/12/2012 08:32 PM
dont know if this video has been posted before:

http://www.orbital.com/video/CygnusMissionOverview/video.html
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jose on 01/13/2012 05:49 PM
...
http://www.orbital.com/Antares/ImagesMultimedia/



Some broken links at that page. Hopefully they'll get fixed soon.


Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: bolun on 01/14/2012 04:46 PM
From http://twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield

Quote
Cmdr_Hadfield Chris Hadfield
in the Dome simulator, grappling the Cygnus resupply ship using Canadarm2 (with crewmate @AstroMarshburn) twitpic.com/8767gg
4 hours ago
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jorge on 01/15/2012 12:48 AM
From http://twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield

Quote
Cmdr_Hadfield Chris Hadfield
in the Dome simulator, grappling the Cygnus resupply ship using Canadarm2 (with crewmate @AstroMarshburn) twitpic.com/8767gg
4 hours ago


The same dome simulator we used to use for shuttle rendezvous/robotics training. The cockpits could be wheeled in and out. Now, of course, the shuttle cockpit has been retired and the station cupola is in there semi-permanently.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 02/13/2012 03:17 PM
Three quick updates on Cygnus:

The spacecraft completed its Electromagnetic compatibility tests this weeked.  These tests included self-interference, interference *to* ISS systems, and interference *from* ISS emissions.  It passed, as expected.

The COTS Demo flight Service Module is being prepped for TVAC (see picture).

The ORB-3 (third CRS operational flight) Service Module structure is at Wallops for a fit check with the COTS Demo Pressurized cargo Module later this week.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/13/2012 03:52 PM
Must resist linking recent XKCD concerning white balance...

Glad to hear things are progressing, can not wait to see them attached to the ISS!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/13/2012 04:07 PM
Three quick updates on Cygnus:

The spacecraft completed its Electromagnetic compatibility tests this weeked.  These tests included self-interference, interference *to* ISS systems, and interference *from* ISS emissions.  It passed, as expected.

The COTS Demo flight Service Module is being prepped for TVAC (see picture).

The ORB-3 (third CRS operational flight) Service Module structure is at Wallops for a fit check with the COTS Demo Pressurized cargo Module later this week.
Great! :) Good luck, you guys.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 02/13/2012 06:33 PM
Must resist linking recent XKCD concerning white balance...

Hey!  What do you expect from a &@## BlackBerry camera!...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 02/13/2012 08:13 PM
Three quick updates on Cygnus:

The spacecraft completed its Electromagnetic compatibility tests this weeked.  These tests included self-interference, interference *to* ISS systems, and interference *from* ISS emissions.  It passed, as expected.

The COTS Demo flight Service Module is being prepped for TVAC (see picture).

The ORB-3 (third CRS operational flight) Service Module structure is at Wallops for a fit check with the COTS Demo Pressurized cargo Module later this week.

Thanks for the update Sir!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/14/2012 09:53 PM
Must resist linking recent XKCD concerning white balance...

Hey!  What do you expect from a &@## BlackBerry camera!...

Hold on there, here is a retouched version
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 02/15/2012 03:03 PM

Hold on there, here is a retouched version


Wait, wait!... can you do the same with this one, taken this morning?...

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 02/15/2012 03:30 PM
Wait, wait!... can you do the same with this one, taken this morning?...
That's in or out?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/15/2012 03:36 PM

Hold on there, here is a retouched version


Wait, wait!... can you do the same with this one, taken this morning?...


You know, there should be options on your blackberry to adjust the white balance. There is on mine, and I've got an old one.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 02/15/2012 03:38 PM
Wait, wait!... can you do the same with this one, taken this morning?...
That's in or out?

Just in, takes a couple of days to make all the connections, then a couple more to do some open-air tests, then you start to pump down, then a couple weeks of cycles/plateaus, then a day or so back to ambient.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 02/15/2012 03:45 PM
You know, there should be options on your blackberry to adjust the white balance. There is on mine, and I've got an old one.

Welll.. actually a) it was an Android, not a BlackBerry (O.K., O.K., so I took RIM's name in vain... shows my bias... currently use an iPhone) and b) I did not take the pic, Neiland Haggard (head of Cygnus I&T) did.  And I'm thankful enought to Neiland for taking them and sending them to me so I won't nag him about being unbalanced ;)

my "plan" is to crowd-source the white balancing of Orbital cheesy pictures
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/15/2012 04:03 PM

Hold on there, here is a retouched version


Wait, wait!... can you do the same with this one, taken this morning?...


This is my go at retouching (while waiting for Ron)!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 02/16/2012 01:19 AM
And I'm thankful enought to Neiland for taking them and sending them to me so I won't nag him about being unbalanced ;)

my "

And we thank both of you: we love pictures as things progress :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/16/2012 01:43 AM

Hold on there, here is a retouched version


Wait, wait!... can you do the same with this one, taken this morning?...


This is my go at retouching (while waiting for Ron)!

pretty close, but a bit overblown, hope this is better
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 02/18/2012 03:39 PM
Progress Update on Orbital's Cygnus and ISS Cargo Resupply Activities

February 2012

Frank Culbertson, Orbital's Senior Vice President and head of our human space systems business, gave a presentation to the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, DC on February 16 with an update on our Cygnus and ISS Cargo Resupply Activities. His presentation, which contains some new photos and updates, is posted below.

http://www.orbital.com/Antares/files/Culbertson_FAA_Conference_2012.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 02/18/2012 04:22 PM
Some cool Cygnus images from the aforementioned presentation.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/19/2012 07:11 AM
Some cool Cygnus images from the aforementioned presentation.
Looks like they have a lot of hardware pretty far along already, even the first "enhanced" Cygnus started! That's very good.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/19/2012 03:18 PM
Some cool Cygnus images from the aforementioned presentation.
Looks like they have a lot of hardware pretty far along already, even the first "enhanced" Cygnus started! That's very good.

Well the "enhanced" or PCM+ is only a third band added on, so I assume it would not require any major changes for the Thales Alenia tooling. The long pole will probably be the bus modifications to support the Ultraflex arrays. Cygnus is designed to have most of its major systems in the bus to get it to act as a bus to support multiple different configurations (pressurized cargo, large unpressurized cargo ORU's, and cargo return versions)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/20/2012 03:37 AM
Some cool Cygnus images from the aforementioned presentation.
Looks like they have a lot of hardware pretty far along already, even the first "enhanced" Cygnus started! That's very good.

Well the "enhanced" or PCM+ is only a third band added on, so I assume it would not require any major changes for the Thales Alenia tooling. The long pole will probably be the bus modifications to support the Ultraflex arrays. Cygnus is designed to have most of its major systems in the bus to get it to act as a bus to support multiple different configurations (pressurized cargo, large unpressurized cargo ORU's, and cargo return versions)
I wasn't saying it's incredibly hard for them to make the extended version (compared to the original), just good that they have hardware starting to come together several future flights in advance.

Regarding the rest of your post... I'm really interested in how much control authority the Cygnus bus has... Could it act as an ARDV (well, berthing instead of docking) for Node 4, for instance?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 02/21/2012 09:36 PM
Updated 2012 COTS & CRS Schedules

February 2012

Today, Orbital updated its 2012 COTS and CRS operational schedules. Gone is our colorful Development and Flight Milestones chart, now that we're in the homestretch to our four major milestones for the year, which are as follows:

May - Antares First-Stage Static Fire Test at Wallops

June - Antares Test Flight for COTS

Third quarter - COTS Demonstration Mission*

Fourth quarter - CRS Mission #1*

*Orbital's operational dates are subject to coordination with NASA's ISS cargo delivery schedule
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/22/2012 05:40 PM
Update - will create standalone:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/02/orbital-upbeat-ahead-of-antares-debut/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 02/26/2012 12:51 PM
Progress Update on Orbital's Cygnus and ISS Cargo Resupply Activities

February 2012

Frank Culbertson, Orbital's Senior Vice President and head of our human space systems business, gave a presentation to the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, DC on February 16 with an update on our Cygnus and ISS Cargo Resupply Activities. His presentation, which contains some new photos and updates, is posted below.

http://www.orbital.com/Antares/files/Culbertson_FAA_Conference_2012.pdf
Thanks for the link Pete  :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: raketen on 03/18/2012 11:38 AM
The PCM also appears to have been stretched by roughly 1/3 of its previous length.

Yes that would be the PCM+ configuration, with an extra band added to add more pressurized volume/cargo lift. This configuration depends on the introduction of the Castor XL upper stage for performance increase. The first flight of Castor 30 XL will be on Taurus II flight 5, or OSC CRS flight 3.

I have seen quotes of the Enhanced Cygnus mass of about 6.5 mt which includes 2.7 mt of payload.  I assume that Cygnus would do all the orbital maneuvers from the Antares insertion point of 200 km.

But if I look at the capabilities of Antares 130 to 200 km and ISS inclination (using Castor 30XL), its capability is about 5.5 mt (see attached plot from Orbital's Antares brochure).

What am I missing?

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/18/2012 03:00 PM
The PCM also appears to have been stretched by roughly 1/3 of its previous length.

Yes that would be the PCM+ configuration, with an extra band added to add more pressurized volume/cargo lift. This configuration depends on the introduction of the Castor XL upper stage for performance increase. The first flight of Castor 30 XL will be on Taurus II flight 5, or OSC CRS flight 3.

I have seen quotes of the Enhanced Cygnus mass of about 6.5 mt which includes 2.7 mt of payload.  I assume that Cygnus would do all the orbital maneuvers from the Antares insertion point of 200 km.

But if I look at the capabilities of Antares 130 to 200 km and ISS inclination (using Castor 30XL), its capability is about 5.5 mt (see attached plot from Orbital's Antares brochure).

What am I missing?

There were plans a year or more ago for an "Enhanced" Taurus 2 projected to lift 6.6 tonnes to LEOx51.6deg, but those plans appear to have been shelved, or at least placed on the back-burner for the time being.  It would not surprise me, though, if similar growth options aren't still under consideration.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 03/19/2012 01:44 PM
The May 2011 Briefing stated that Taurus IIe (now Antares something), would do 6tonnes to 52d x 200km.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: simonbp on 03/22/2012 05:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tw7_QIw5Btw&noredirect=1

This video appears to show a Cygnus using an inflatable heat shield to recover the pressurized section. Any more info on that?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 03/22/2012 05:30 PM
I'm really loving this video. This is where NASA research combined with the private sector  can result in breakthroughs in technology. Let's hope that future Cygnus modules can utilize this for return cargo.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: douglas100 on 03/22/2012 08:15 PM
Inflatable heat shield technology was flight tested 12 years ago with only partial success. See: http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bullet103/marraffa103.pdf (http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bullet103/marraffa103.pdf)

It was also part of Spacehab's proposed ARCTUS vehicle. I imagine it could be applied to Cygnus, HTV or even ATV if there were a pressing need for it, but a lot of development work will still be needed.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: simonbp on 03/23/2012 04:00 PM
Inflatable heat shield technology was flight tested 12 years ago with only partial success. See: http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bullet103/marraffa103.pdf (http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bullet103/marraffa103.pdf)

The program in question (at NASA Langley) has successfully tested a suborbital shield much more recently (IRVE II in September 2009) and will test another vehicle (IRVE 3) later this year at much higher entry velocities. It's pretty low-key (and low-budget) for a NASA development program, but they seem to be making great incremental progress with it.

The specific vehicle that the video shows is a Cygnus PCM with an IRVE-style heatsheild deploying from the PCM/SM interface after separation. I'm not sure how that would work, but that's what the video shows. They also had what appeared to be a low-speed wind tunnel model of this configuration sitting on the table, so it's more than just a video.

The key would be for whomever actually looks at Cygnus manifests to keep an eye out for "IRVE-n" sometime after 2014, where n>4, as IRVE-4 is still suborbital and planned for 2014 (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=%22irve+4%22&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fntrs.nasa.gov%2Farchive%2Fnasa%2Fcasi.ntrs.nasa.gov%2F20110012170_2011012601.pdf&ei=QKtsT6-1H-iniQLerIGHBQ&usg=AFQjCNEQp8Ve1pPl6wo0U5VSVJI87qTTYg&sig2=zEEvpW3g0IQ_J2l8B8azmA&cad=rja).
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/23/2012 04:59 PM
It'd be great for Mars EDL... It'd allow a fully-fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle to be landed on the surface ready to go.

The IRVE doesn't look terribly reusable... Could it be reused?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: douglas100 on 03/23/2012 09:59 PM
It'd be great for Mars EDL... It'd allow a fully-fueled Mars Ascent Vehicle to be landed on the surface ready to go.

The IRVE doesn't look terribly reusable... Could it be reused?

I believe Lavochkin first developed their system for Mars EDL, but I don't want to take this further OT.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: hkultala on 03/29/2012 08:32 AM
The PCM also appears to have been stretched by roughly 1/3 of its previous length.

Yes that would be the PCM+ configuration, with an extra band added to add more pressurized volume/cargo lift. This configuration depends on the introduction of the Castor XL upper stage for performance increase. The first flight of Castor 30 XL will be on Taurus II flight 5, or OSC CRS flight 3.

I have seen quotes of the Enhanced Cygnus mass of about 6.5 mt which includes 2.7 mt of payload.  I assume that Cygnus would do all the orbital maneuvers from the Antares insertion point of 200 km.

But if I look at the capabilities of Antares 130 to 200 km and ISS inclination (using Castor 30XL), its capability is about 5.5 mt (see attached plot from Orbital's Antares brochure).

What am I missing?


The delta-v capacity of Cygnus itself? Second stage goes "almost to orbit", cygnus uses it's own engine to achieve orbit and rise to iss orbit?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 04/24/2012 11:01 PM
So what's this for?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 04/25/2012 01:25 AM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 04/25/2012 04:39 AM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: woods170 on 04/25/2012 06:37 AM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
There are four of those units on the forward end of the PCM, clocked 90 degrees apart. To my untrained eye they look like forward facing RCS thrusters.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 04/25/2012 06:54 AM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
There are four of those units on the forward end of the PCM, clocked 90 degrees apart. To my untrained eye they look like forward facing RCS thrusters.
I also thought that but I've never seen them mentioned before.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: woods170 on 04/25/2012 05:28 PM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
There are four of those units on the forward end of the PCM, clocked 90 degrees apart. To my untrained eye they look like forward facing RCS thrusters.
I also thought that but I've never seen them mentioned before.
They are clearly visible in this artist impression from Orbitals CRS micro-site (http://www.orbital.com/images/High/Cygnus_SS.jpg)

and also in this PDF from Orbital (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/COTS-CRS_Brochure.pdf)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 04/25/2012 08:48 PM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
There are four of those units on the forward end of the PCM, clocked 90 degrees apart. To my untrained eye they look like forward facing RCS thrusters.
I also thought that but I've never seen them mentioned before.
They are clearly visible in this artist impression from Orbitals CRS micro-site (http://www.orbital.com/images/High/Cygnus_SS.jpg)

and also in this PDF from Orbital (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/COTS-CRS_Brochure.pdf)
They appear and disappear on several conceptual drawings.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jorge on 04/25/2012 09:03 PM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
There are four of those units on the forward end of the PCM, clocked 90 degrees apart. To my untrained eye they look like forward facing RCS thrusters.
I also thought that but I've never seen them mentioned before.
They are clearly visible in this artist impression from Orbitals CRS micro-site (http://www.orbital.com/images/High/Cygnus_SS.jpg)

and also in this PDF from Orbital (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/COTS-CRS_Brochure.pdf)
They appear and disappear on several conceptual drawings.

They are on Orbital's Cygnus mockup that was displayed at JSC.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25251.msg744835#msg744835
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: woods170 on 04/26/2012 07:06 AM
So what's this for?

need context.  Which pic is it from?
There are four of those units on the forward end of the PCM, clocked 90 degrees apart. To my untrained eye they look like forward facing RCS thrusters.
I also thought that but I've never seen them mentioned before.
They are clearly visible in this artist impression from Orbitals CRS micro-site (http://www.orbital.com/images/High/Cygnus_SS.jpg)

and also in this PDF from Orbital (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/COTS-CRS_Brochure.pdf)
They appear and disappear on several conceptual drawings.

So? They are there on the flight hardware. The conceptual drawings don't always show the final 'look' of the hardware. That is particularly true for the earlier conceptual drawings.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: spectre9 on 05/25/2012 02:40 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/news/boldenvisit.html

Charlie having a look at the Cygnus.

Other space craft are stealing the lime light right now  :P

It seems to me like the volume of Cygnus is much more than the competition especially in the enhanced configuration.

High commonality with MPLM I'm guessing being built by Thales Alenia Space.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 05/25/2012 09:50 AM
High commonality with MPLM I'm guessing being built by Thales Alenia Space.
Indeed the pressurized section is being build in Italy by Thales Alenia Space. Thales Alenia Space used the same technology for it as for the MPLM's, Columbus, Node 2 and 3 and the pressurized section of the ATV. The only difference is the smaller diameter.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/05/2012 01:59 AM
Demo mission overview, will give it a standalone thread:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/orbitals-cygnus-debut-mission-iss-outlined/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/03/2012 02:42 PM
Update from GSFC today on Demo launch:

COTS OSC Demo-1: Launch delayed until 12/12/2012
(Source: GSFC Mission Activity Forecast 6/29/2012)


http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php (http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lars_J on 07/03/2012 09:08 PM
Update from GSFC today on Demo launch:

COTS OSC Demo-1: Launch delayed until 12/12/2012
(Source: GSFC Mission Activity Forecast 6/29/2012)


http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php (http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php)

If this the 1st COTS demo flight that is delayed - has there been any word on the first Antares test/demo launch flight? (sorry if wrong thread)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jose on 07/03/2012 09:12 PM
It got moved from August 9th to September on June 16th:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.msg914853#msg914853
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/03/2012 09:14 PM
It got moved from August 9th to September on June 16th:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.msg914853#msg914853
It's going to have it's first flight second? ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo Ukr on 07/07/2012 07:33 AM
Meanwhile, the first Antares hold-down test at Pad 0-A is now scheduled for September. As part of its fight demonstration agreement with NASA, Orbital has to complete that test before it can launch Antares on its maiden flight, now scheduled for December. In the December flight, Antares will fly without its Cygnus cargo module. It would not be until next year, when Antares flies for the second time, that Orbital’s European-built Cygnus freighter would fly to orbit and berth with the space station. The first Antares/Cygnus flight was supposed to happen in December 2010.

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120706-nash-replaces-reed-vcsfa.html
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 07/09/2012 03:45 PM
Meanwhile, the first Antares hold-down test at Pad 0-A is now scheduled for September. As part of its fight demonstration agreement with NASA, Orbital has to complete that test before it can launch Antares on its maiden flight, now scheduled for December. In the December flight, Antares will fly without its Cygnus cargo module.
http://www.spacenews.com/civil/120706-nash-replaces-reed-vcsfa.html

As I mentioned in the Antares thread, I think the Space News reporter had the Antares Test and the Obital Demo-1 flights confused.  As far as anybody at Orbital knows, ORB D-1 is still scheduled for 12 December 2012 (knock on wood...)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: pippin on 07/09/2012 03:51 PM
And you'll do everything to get that 12/12/12 date on the record, right?
Some people plan their weddings, some their launches....
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/09/2012 04:19 PM
I noticed he Antonioe only mentioned ORB D-1, and not the Antares Test flight, does that mean the test flight has slipped until after ORB D-1 ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 07/09/2012 04:40 PM
I noticed he Antonioe only mentioned ORB D-1, and not the Antares Test flight, does that mean the test flight has slipped until after ORB D-1 ;)
And you'll do everything to get that 12/12/12 date on the record, right?
Some people plan their weddings, some their launches....

O.K., O.K.... 12 Dec 2012 assuming a) MARS finally gets the $%^&# pad finished b) The static fire (so-called "5K/7K test") works and c) The Cygnusless test flight (currently shcduled for mid-September) does not have any major anomalies.

Other than that, the Play should be fine...

P.S. We now have TWO Cygnuses (Cygni?) in storage...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jose on 07/09/2012 04:42 PM
It does look like the hardware is beginning to pile up at Wallops from the pictures I've seen.


Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 07/09/2012 04:54 PM
There's more of a pile-up at Dulles: Cygnus 3 and 4 (ORB-2 and ORB-3) are in quite advanced stages of integration...

It's a lot harder to store Service Modules than either Cargo Modules or Antares stages...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: strangequark on 07/09/2012 05:25 PM
There's more of a pile-up at Dulles: Cygnus 3 and 4 (ORB-2 and ORB-3) are in quite advanced stages of integration...

It's a lot harder to store Service Modules than either Cargo Modules or Antares stages...

Is that just because of the storage environment, or is there more to it? I'm assuming they aren't loaded with hypergols until the pad...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Silmfeanor on 07/09/2012 05:25 PM
There's more of a pile-up at Dulles: Cygnus 3 and 4 (ORB-2 and ORB-3) are in quite advanced stages of integration...

It's a lot harder to store Service Modules than either Cargo Modules or Antares stages...

Thanks for the info! I am looking forward to all of the milestones coming up - and especially for the first Cygnus module being caught by a robotic arm  ;D
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/09/2012 07:14 PM
Will the Cygnusless test flight include a fairing test?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/09/2012 07:38 PM
Will the Cygnusless test flight include a fairing test?
Yes.

But it's not like Orbital has ignored the issue. They've identified the root cause (more than one, actually), and they've studied it to death. They've done over 50 launches with fairings, so it's not like they're new to this whole thing. The solution is a certainly belt-and-suspenders type so they'll never have this sort of issue again. Or at least they'll be no more likely to have an issue than any other launch provider.

This is one of those circumstances where a little knowledge of history (but not having up-to-date and complete information) can be more misleading than having none.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 07/09/2012 08:01 PM
There's more of a pile-up at Dulles: Cygnus 3 and 4 (ORB-2 and ORB-3) are in quite advanced stages of integration...

It's a lot harder to store Service Modules than either Cargo Modules or Antares stages...

Is that just because of the storage environment, or is there more to it? I'm assuming they aren't loaded with hypergols until the pad...

Yes, the storage environment and the "babysitting" (batteries, etc.)

To quote Dave Steffy "the safest place to store an assembled satellite is on-orbit" (neglecting radiation, solar cell aging and the like, of course; but seeing what happens to stored spacecraft - cranes bumping into them, fire suppression deluges systems misfiring, etc. etc. - he's not far from the truth...)

P.S. I have personally experienced both crane bumping (twice) and deluge misfiring (also twice!) - none of them caused by Orbital, I may add...

P.P.S. The satellite that was "deluged" (the other deluge incident involved Pegasus motors) was carefully rinsed with distilled water  - you can't imagine how dirty fire sprinkler water can be - and dried with hair dryers by the customer in whose facilities the incident occurred and not only worked perfectly after launch, but EXCEEDED ITS DESIGN LIFETIME BY A FACTOR OF 2.5!!!  Hmmm...

In BOTH cases - one in the U.S., the other one overseas - the deluge was triggered by improper servicing of the fire suppression system during an inspection.  In both cases, the deluge happened some 12 hours after the mistake was made!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 07/10/2012 01:25 AM
I noticed he Antonioe only mentioned ORB D-1, and not the Antares Test flight, does that mean the test flight has slipped until after ORB D-1 ;)
And you'll do everything to get that 12/12/12 date on the record, right?
Some people plan their weddings, some their launches....

O.K., O.K.... 12 Dec 2012 assuming a) MARS finally gets the $%^&# pad finished b) The static fire (so-called "5K/7K test") works and c) The Cygnusless test flight (currently shcduled for mid-September) does not have any major anomalies.

Other than that, the Play should be fine...

P.S. We now have TWO Cygnuses (Cygni?) in storage...

And I assume MARS now has a new guy in charge because of fracking pad isn't certified yet.

Are there any non-Cygnus flights for Antares booked yet (other than the initial demo flight ) ?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Skyrocket on 07/10/2012 05:53 AM
Are there any non-Cygnus flights for Antares booked yet (other than the initial demo flight ) ?

No
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 07/11/2012 08:41 PM
(*SIGH*)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo Ukr on 07/19/2012 10:29 PM
Updated COTS and CRS Schedules
July 2012

Orbital updated its COTS and CRS operational schedules, with plans to achieve four major operational milestones within the next year. They are as listed below:

 Late August/Early September 2012 - Antares First-Stage Static Fire Test at Wallops
 October 2012 - Antares Test Flight for COTS
 December 2012 - COTS Demonstration Mission to ISS*
 First quarter 2013 - CRS Mission #1 to ISS*

*Dates are subject to coordination with NASA's ISS cargo delivery schedule.

http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 08/08/2012 12:00 AM
I imagine that this has been discussed elsewhere but what happens to Cygnus after the ATV is retired?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 08/08/2012 12:25 AM
I imagine that this has been discussed elsewhere but what happens to Cygnus after the ATV is retired?
What does the ATV have to do with Cygnus?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 08/08/2012 12:57 AM
I imagine that this has been discussed elsewhere but what happens to Cygnus after the ATV is retired?
What does the ATV have to do with Cygnus?

They are very similar spacecrafts.
http://www.thalesaleniaspace-issmodules.com/cygnus
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 08/08/2012 01:07 AM
I imagine that this has been discussed elsewhere but what happens to Cygnus after the ATV is retired?
What does the ATV have to do with Cygnus?

They are very similar spacecrafts.
http://www.thalesaleniaspace-issmodules.com/cygnus

Just the pressure vessel is made by the same company, but that doesn't mean that they are codependent.  Alenia has made many pressure vessels, all contractually independent. 
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 08/08/2012 01:20 AM
I imagine that this has been discussed elsewhere but what happens to Cygnus after the ATV is retired?
What does the ATV have to do with Cygnus?

They are very similar spacecrafts.
http://www.thalesaleniaspace-issmodules.com/cygnus

Just the pressure vessel is made by the same company, but that doesn't mean that they are codependent.  Alenia has made many pressure vessels, all contractually independent. 

Thanks. That answers my question. 
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Prober on 08/16/2012 06:05 PM
New video?   Looks more finished  Anyhow just released on Nasa yesterday

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=150511441
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: daveklingler on 08/24/2012 05:48 AM
Does the SpaceX flight slip have any effect on the Antares demo?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 08/24/2012 06:39 AM
Does the SpaceX flight slip have any effect on the Antares demo?
I don't believe so, I think launching from MARS allows them not to have to worry about flights from the Cape or KSC.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: john smith 19 on 10/02/2012 04:32 PM
This is a tremendously exciting moment. The point at which CRS becomes a real 2 horse race.

It's interesting to compare the planned pace of OSC's build up to that of Spacex.

June 2010 Dragon simulator on F9 flight
COTS 1 demo Dec 8th 2010
COTS 2+ demo May 22nd 2012
CRS1 (all being well) Oct 7th 2012
Roughly an elapsed time of 2 1/2 years.

Whereas OSC is expecting to being actual *cargo* delivery by Q113!

Successful carrying out this programme would be quite a vote of confidence for using a traditional prime/multiple sub-contractor route, given the *huge* schedule reduction (once they have achieved successful launch).

It's a pity they did not plan in *some* down mass, which Spacex will still have a US monopoly on until the CTS contract is awarded.

The next year is going to be a very exciting time for commercial space.
 
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: ugordan on 10/02/2012 04:41 PM
The next year is going to be a very exciting time for commercial space.

Haven't we all heard that before...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/02/2012 04:42 PM
This is a tremendously exciting moment. The point at which CRS becomes a real 2 horse race.

It's interesting to compare the planned pace of OSC's build up to that of Spacex.

June 2010 Dragon simulator on F9 flight
COTS 1 demo Dec 8th 2010
COTS 2+ demo May 22nd 2012
CRS1 (all being well) Oct 7th 2012
Roughly an elapsed time of 2 1/2 years.

Whereas OSC is expecting to being actual *cargo* delivery by Q113!

Successful carrying out this programme would be quite a vote of confidence for using a traditional prime/multiple sub-contractor route, given the *huge* schedule reduction (once they have achieved successful launch).

It's a pity they did not plan in *some* down mass, which Spacex will still have a US monopoly on until the CTS contract is awarded.

The next year is going to be a very exciting time for commercial space.
 
Downmass isn't just something to add on so easily. Part of the reason for Orbital's compressed schedule vs Spacex is because they are using a largely regular satellite bus while spacex is developing a full capsule spacecraft capable of reentry. Spacex chose the harder road.

That said, orbital has looked at ballute reentry for Cygnus…
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 10/02/2012 05:03 PM
The next year is going to be a very exciting time for commercial space.

Haven't we all heard that before...

And it's been true for a while.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Prober on 10/02/2012 06:52 PM
This is a tremendously exciting moment. The point at which CRS becomes a real 2 horse race.

It's interesting to compare the planned pace of OSC's build up to that of Spacex.

June 2010 Dragon simulator on F9 flight
COTS 1 demo Dec 8th 2010
COTS 2+ demo May 22nd 2012
CRS1 (all being well) Oct 7th 2012
Roughly an elapsed time of 2 1/2 years.

Whereas OSC is expecting to being actual *cargo* delivery by Q113!

Successful carrying out this programme would be quite a vote of confidence for using a traditional prime/multiple sub-contractor route, given the *huge* schedule reduction (once they have achieved successful launch).

It's a pity they did not plan in *some* down mass, which Spacex will still have a US monopoly on until the CTS contract is awarded.

The next year is going to be a very exciting time for commercial space.
 
Downmass isn't just something to add on so easily. Part of the reason for Orbital's compressed schedule vs Spacex is because they are using a largely regular satellite bus while spacex is developing a full capsule spacecraft capable of reentry. Spacex chose the harder road.

That said, orbital has looked at ballute reentry for Cygnus…

would love to see the ballute reentry developed and tested.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: SpacexULA on 10/02/2012 07:50 PM
The next year is going to be a very exciting time for commercial space.
Haven't we all heard that before...
And it's been true for a while.

Outside of ISS/Shuttle stuff, I have to say every year has been more intersting than the prior for the last 7-8 years now.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 10/03/2012 04:05 AM
The next year is going to be a very exciting time for commercial space.

Haven't we all heard that before...

Yes.  So exiting that it made the international TV news.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo on 10/06/2012 09:01 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html
Quote
Date: Late 2012
Mission: Orbital Sciences Corporation Test Flight
Launch Vehicle: Antares
Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility, Va.
Launch Pad: 0A
Description: The Antares is scheduled for a test flight under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services agreement with the company.


Date: Spring 2013
Mission: Orbital Sciences Corporation Test Flight
Launch Vehicle: Antares/Cygnus
Launch Site: Wallops Flight Facility, Va.
Launch Pad: 0A
Description: The Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for a demonstration flight on an Orbital Antares launch vehicle under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services agreement with the company. Cygnus will make an attempt to rendezvous and berth with the International Space Station.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo on 10/06/2012 09:12 AM
Antares First Stage Test Article Rolled Out to Pad

October 2012

Orbital and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) have completed checkout and performance testing of Launch Pad 0A and its associated Liquid Fueling Facility (LFF), paving the way to begin on-pad operations for the Antares Program at Wallops Island, VA.  On October 1 an Antares first stage test article was transported from the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF), where the Antares launchers are assembled, to the pad about a mile away.

At the pad, the test article will be used to verify the launch pad fueling systems through a series of "wet dress rehearsals" during which Antares is fueled and then defueled to test all launch complex systems. Later, Orbital will conduct a 30-second hot-fire test of the Antares first stage and its dual AJ26 rocket engines. After these tests are successfully conducted, the test article will be returned to the HIF and the stage and the engines will be refurbished for a later flight.

Approximately one month after the successful hot fire test, the maiden flight of the Antares rocket will occur. For this mission Antares will carry a simulated payload that will be heavily instrumented to gather data on the launch environment aboard the vehicle. In addition, four small "pico satellites" will also be deployed from two dispensers that will be integrated with the mass simulator.

In 2013 Antares will conduct a demonstration mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) under the company's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreement with NASA. For this mission, a fully operational Cygnus spacecraft will be launched into orbit by Antares and, following an extensive series of in-orbit tests, will autonomously rendezvous and berth with the ISS. The first Cygnus will deliver approximately 550 kg of cargo upon its arrival and will remove about 1,000 kg of disposal cargo upon its departure from the Station.

http://www.orbital.com/Antares/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: BrightLight on 11/05/2012 09:01 PM
presentation about Cygnus in the Von Braun 2012 program:
"Frank Culbertson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Programs Group, Orbital Sciences Corporation "
at
http://www.astronautical.org/node/191
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/05/2012 09:31 PM
presentation about Cygnus in the Von Braun 2012 program:
"Frank Culbertson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Programs Group, Orbital Sciences Corporation "
at
http://www.astronautical.org/node/191

Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 11/05/2012 09:57 PM
Interesting to note that the Enhanced Cygnus has two PDGFs.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: BrightLight on 11/05/2012 10:02 PM
The change to the "ATK" type solar panels is interesting, I think Emcore is claiming better than 30% QE. Also are those purple units the redundant power controllers?

...all they need to do is put a polyethylene jacket on the outside, micrometeorite shields......ponies and unicorns ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 11/05/2012 10:38 PM
Interesting to note that the Enhanced Cygnus has two PDGFs.


I never noticed that...good catch!

I wonder what the reason is?
Better capture capabilities/options?
Future satellite servicing demo/capability? (using Dextre)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/05/2012 11:18 PM

I never noticed that...good catch!

I wonder what the reason is?
Better capture capabilities/options?

Probably to alleviate the zenith CBM clearance issue.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 11/06/2012 12:37 AM
The change to the "ATK" type solar panels is interesting, I think Emcore is claiming better than 30% QE. Also are those purple units the redundant power controllers?

...all they need to do is put a polyethylene jacket on the outside, micrometeorite shields......ponies and unicorns ;)

The solar panels are actually supplied by ATK.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Salo on 12/18/2012 09:36 PM
http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/

Three Cygnus Service Modules in Dulles

December  2012

As the year draws to a close there are now three substantially complete Cygnus Service Modules in Orbital's Dulles, Virginia Satellite Manufacturing Facility (see photo below).  In addition to the integration and testing of the spacecraft, the program has achieved a number of key milestones in the last few months:

Mission Operations to Spacecraft Testing:  The Orbital team successfully completed the first test of the Mission Operations to Spacecraft link. The COTS demo service module was attached via data and command lines to Orbital's Mission Operations Center in Dulles, Virginia, and the mission timeline from launch to berthing was exercised by the Cygnus team.  This test required the team to operate in shifts, flying the spacecraft continuously for approximately 80 hours to simulate all required maneuvers to achieve ISS berthing, successfully executing all required procedures.

Safety Review:  In addition, the Cygnus engineering and safety teams successfully completed the presentation of our final safety hazard assessment to the ISS Safety Review Panel, including design and operational controls to mitigate hazards to the Space Station or its Crew.

Joint Avionics Software Validation Testing: At the Johnson Space Center (JSC) Orbital connected its Cygnus "Flatsat" to a ISS "Flatsat" platform to validate the avionics that comprise the spacecraft and the Cygnus ground control system. Joint Test 4 (JT4) validated Cygnus interfaces to the ISS successfully demonstrating its ability to send commands and receive telemetry. Cygnus flight software also demonstrated nominal and off-nominal approaches, nominal departures, aborts, and a wide variety of responses to faults.

Joint Test 5, also known as the End-to-End-Test, used the same test configuration and included mission control centers in Houston, Texas, Dulles, Virginia, and Tskuba, Japan to validate the ability of the distributed ground control system to properly operate ISS and Cygnus. The team passed all test cases on the first pass with no issues.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/27/2012 02:26 PM
Sweet. Looks like they'll hit the ground running once launch is taken care of.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/01/2013 11:47 AM
Excellent ISS-centric feature by Pete Harding - previewing 2013....the year Cygnus gets to meet the ISS:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/01/yir-part4-iss-new-year-successful-2012/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: antonioe on 01/13/2013 12:24 AM
Here's another picture of the three Cygnus Service Modules practically complete... the one on the right is, quite literaly, gathering cobwebs... (well, at least FIGURATIVELY...)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Silmfeanor on 01/13/2013 09:51 AM
Here's another picture of the three Cygnus Service Modules practically complete... the one on the right is, quite literaly, gathering cobwebs... (well, at least FIGURATIVELY...)

Thanks for the picture! lots of interesting stuff to see!
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 01/13/2013 02:19 PM
Dutchspace is supplying the solar panels for this three, and then you move to ATK, right? You could have asked them to add the Cygnus logo to the panel cover ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 01/13/2013 05:43 PM
Dutchspace is supplying the solar panels for this three, and then you move to ATK, right?
Yes.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/04/2013 03:24 AM
What kind of testing and work are still needed before the tin can swan can fly this summer?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/27/2013 03:01 PM
The first swan tail, errrr the Cygnus Service Module was shipped to Wallops on March 26, and now awaits the mating to the PCM in early April. The PCM has already got most of its cargo (560 kg) loaded on March 22-23.

http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/ (http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 03/27/2013 03:43 PM
Brings back the memories of Spacehab.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/27/2013 03:45 PM
Brings back the memories of Spacehab.

Would be interesting to see a diagram showing the size differences between the Cygnus PCM (v1/2), the Spacelab pressurized module, the Spacehab modules and the MPLM....
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 03/27/2013 06:00 PM
Did you noticed the label: "Last stop ISS"?  :P
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/02/2013 02:01 PM
Recently tweeted:

@OrbitalSciences: #Cygnus service module (foreground) meets up with pressurized cargo module (background) at @NASA_Wallops http://t.co/x80uZUtPCF
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 04/03/2013 03:04 PM
An update with some new info and graphics. The second grapple fixture is for "Dual Berthed Visiting Vehicle Capability", although I'm not exactly sure what that is.

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/16th_cst_Presentations/media/COTS_CRS_Program_Update_Culbertson.pdf
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 04/03/2013 04:27 PM
Cargo and service module joined for first time
http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/03/2013 04:30 PM
Cygnus Integration Begins at Wallops Flight Facility

April 2013

Orbital has unpacked the Cygnus Service Module (SM) (pictured in the foreground below) from its transfer trailer and has begun launch site integration testing following its journey from Orbital's Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Dulles VA. The Cygnus SM and its Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM)(background) are now both located in Building H-100 at the Wallops Flight Facility. Orbital is planning to mate the cargo-loaded PCM to the SM early in the week of April 1st.

Someone capture and add corresponding image from:
http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/03/2013 04:31 PM
COTS Demo Cygnus Spacecraft Mated at Wallops

April 2013

The COTS Demonstration Cygnus spacecraft completed a significant milestone on Tuesday, April 2, when its Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) was attached to the Service Module (SM), and all mechanical flight connections were attached. The PCM was recently loaded with cargo, and was reoriented from the horizontal to the vertical to facilitate the attachment. The vertically oriented PCM was then lifted and precisely relocated over the SM by Orbital engineers and technicians.

After connecting electrical harnesses, the now completed Cygnus will perform a final set of tests to ensure proper functioning of the combined PCM/SM systems. After completion of the testing, the Cygnus will be prepared for transportation to the fueling facility.

Someone capture and add corresponding image from:
http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 04/03/2013 04:51 PM
COTS Demo Cygnus Spacecraft Mated at Wallops

April 2013

The COTS Demonstration Cygnus spacecraft completed a significant milestone on Tuesday, April 2, when its Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) was attached to the Service Module (SM), and all mechanical flight connections were attached. The PCM was recently loaded with cargo, and was reoriented from the horizontal to the vertical to facilitate the attachment. The vertically oriented PCM was then lifted and precisely relocated over the SM by Orbital engineers and technicians.

After connecting electrical harnesses, the now completed Cygnus will perform a final set of tests to ensure proper functioning of the combined PCM/SM systems. After completion of the testing, the Cygnus will be prepared for transportation to the fueling facility.

Someone capture and add corresponding image from:
http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/

From today onwards I will forever call it the tin can beer mug swan.  :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: drpepper on 04/03/2013 05:31 PM
An update with some new info and graphics. the second grapple fixture is for "Dual Berthed Visiting Vehicle Capability", although I'm not exactly sure what that is.

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/16th_cst_Presentations/media/COTS_CRS_Program_Update_Culbertson.pdf

The following is based on my faulty memory and may be wrong, in part or whole, buyer beware  ;)

If Cygnus is to be on station at the same time as Dragon or HTV, the first must be moved from Node 2 nadir to zenith so that the second can be captured and berthed to the nominal nadir port. The way the regular grapple fixture on Cygnus is positioned, clearance issues prevent the arm from berthing it at the zenith port. Presumably the second grapple fixture gets around this limitation.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: jacqmans on 04/03/2013 08:26 PM
MEDIA ADVISORY: M13-055

MEDIA INVITED TO NASA COMMERCIAL PARTNER NEW ROCKET ROLLOUT APRIL 6

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- News media are invited to cover the scheduled
Saturday, April 6, morning rollout of Orbital Sciences Corporation's
Antares launch vehicle to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's
Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va.

Orbital is testing the Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo logistics
spacecraft under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services
(COTS) program. A demonstration flight of Antares and Cygnus to the
International Space Station is planned for later this year. Following
the successful completion of the COTS demonstration mission to the
space station, Orbital will conduct eight cargo resupply flights to
the orbiting laboratory through NASA's Commercial Resupply Services
contract.

The rollout, which is scheduled to begin at about 4:45 a.m. EDT, is in
preparation for the launch vehicle's test flight later this month.
Pad operations to raise the rocket to a vertical position will begin
at about 6 a.m. will take two to three hours to complete. The launch
window for Antares' test flight is between April 17 and 19.

Media representatives interested in covering the Antares rollout and
pad operations must contact Rebecca Powell at 757-824-1139 or
rebecca.h.powell@nasa.gov by 4 p.m., April 5. A media escort will
leave Wallops' main gate at 4:30 a.m. for vehicle rollout. Orbital
and NASA representatives will be available for comment. All times are
tentative, and reporters should contact Wallops for up-to-date
information.

NASA initiatives like COTS are helping develop a robust U.S.
commercial space transportation industry with the goal of achieving
safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the
space station and low-Earth orbit. In parallel, NASA's Commercial
Crew Program is working with commercial space partners developing
capabilities to launch U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil in the next few
years.

For more information about the upcoming test flight, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/orbital

       
-end-

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 04/04/2013 05:02 PM
Sure would like to see a HD picture of Cygnus now that it's assembled. :)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 04/04/2013 05:11 PM
Does Cygnus have any "late load" capability or does everything have to be loaded before the PCM and SM are mated?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 04/04/2013 06:05 PM
Does Cygnus have any "late load" capability or does everything have to be loaded before the PCM and SM are mated?

Late load would be after the Cygnus is encapsulated in the fairing. I assume that happens at least a day or two before launch.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 04/16/2013 02:21 PM
Interesting article on Cygnus' capabilities:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_04_11_2013_p0-567633.xml
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/01/2013 06:42 PM
Cygnus Spacecraft Fueled At Wallops Flight Facility

April 2013

While all eyes have been on Antares in the recent weeks, our Cygnus spacecraft has achieved many significant firsts as it prepares for its maiden voyage to the International Space Station. After initial cargo installation at Wallops Flight Facility building H-100 and the first-time mating of the Cygnus Service and Cargo Modules, Cygnus completed its next milestone by completing its Launch-Site Integrated Systems Test and its transfer from the Wallops Main Base to the Wallops Fueling Facility, on Wallops Island, just north of the Antares launch site.

For the transfer, the Cygnus was loaded into the Cygnus Vertical Carrier (CVC). Because Cygnus was using the main road through the town of Atlantic, Virginia, the transfer was conducted at midnight, when road traffic would be minimal. Local residents did come out to watch Cygnus’ historic trip, which gave a festive air to a technical activity. Total travel time was a little less than 3 hours, with speeds averaging between five and seven miles per hour. Cygnus was delivered to the hypergolic fueling facility at building V-55, early on the morning of April 13th, where preparations immediately began for the fueling.

Because Cygnus uses hypergolic propellants, Orbital loads the fuel on one day, and then the oxidizer several days later. Since both fuel an oxidizer are poisonous, our Orbital personnel must wear special personal protective equipment while working with the propellants in the event of a leak in the facility. In the following pictures, Orbital personnel are “suited up” in SCAPE suits for the fuel loading. SCAPE stands for “Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble,” and the suits look very much like an astronaut’s space suit. Fueling is monitored by engineering and safety personnel in building V-50, located nearby to V-55. Personnel in V-50 used a series of closed circuit TV cameras to monitor activities during the propellant loading process. Fuel loading occurred on April 15th, with oxidizer loading occurring on April 19th. Now fully fueled, Cygnus will be returned to the CVC for transfer from V-55 to the Horizontal Integration Facility, where it will wait for integration onto the Antares for the COTS Demonstration mission to the space station.

NOTE/REQUEST: Someone please capture and attach the seven corresponding images to this post please.

LINK (This update is located, as of 01 May 2013, second down from the top of the page with title: Cygnus Spacecraft Fueled At Wallops Flight Facility): http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/

Thanks,
RH117
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/01/2013 06:50 PM
The demo flight to the ISS has been delayed (it was until recently listed as NET June 15)

Date posted: 2013-05-01
Mission: COTS OSC Demo-1
Change: Launch date is 9/28/2013
Source: SCNS HSF Supervisor Melissa Blizzard 5/1/2013

http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php (http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php)

Note that CRS/OSC-01 previously listed as NET September 12 is now showing as "TBD"
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: newpylong on 05/02/2013 01:52 PM
3.5 month slip?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 05/02/2013 03:43 PM
Right, I wonder why it slipped ? The Cygnus is already fueled, and ready to go.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/02/2013 04:29 PM
Right, I wonder why it slipped ? The Cygnus is already fueled, and ready to go.

Maybe they decided to remove some brush around the pad first. As I am understanding things i get impression that it is probably the pad since it was said that additional checks were to occur before next launch. Also maybe something to do with umbilical connections and the TEL which they said was an issue for them so maybe slight redesign or longer umbilicals for the 2-stage.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: IanO on 05/02/2013 04:34 PM
Right, I wonder why it slipped ? The Cygnus is already fueled, and ready to go.
Given other recent news, perhaps NASA cannot afford the COTS and CRS payment schedule due to the sequester.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: psloss on 05/02/2013 04:38 PM
Right, I wonder why it slipped ? The Cygnus is already fueled, and ready to go.
Given other recent news, perhaps NASA cannot afford the COTS and CRS payment schedule due to the sequester.
No, General Bolden testified that the sequestration problem with the CRS contract would be FY 2014 and beyond.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Squid.erau on 05/02/2013 04:55 PM
Right, I wonder why it slipped ? The Cygnus is already fueled, and ready to go.


Word I've heard is the delay is to swap out one of the Antares first stage engines.  I don't know why they want to do that however.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/02/2013 06:22 PM
Right, I wonder why it slipped ? The Cygnus is already fueled, and ready to go.


Word I've heard is the delay is to swap out one of the Antares first stage engines.  I don't know why they want to do that however.
When A-ONE launched there were 3 other nearly/fully integrated 1-stage cores inside HIF.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/03/2013 03:29 PM
The demo flight to the ISS has been delayed (it was until recently listed as NET June 15)

Date posted: 2013-05-01
Mission: COTS OSC Demo-1
Change: Launch date is 9/28/2013
Source: SCNS HSF Supervisor Melissa Blizzard 5/1/2013

http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php (http://msdb.gsfc.nasa.gov/change_log.php)

Note that CRS/OSC-01 previously listed as NET September 12 is now showing as "TBD"

I see that the GSFC change log has been retrospectively edited with the COTS OSC Demo-1 launch date now shown as "TBA"
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 05/06/2013 01:15 AM
I am unable to track down the source, but the US launch schedule thread shows:

Quote
Scheduled:

Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site - Time (UTC)

2013
June 15 - Cygnus Orb-D1 (COTS Demo) - Antares-110 - MARS LP-0A ~ 12:30 (or first half of July September 28)

Changes on May 4th

Anybody knows what's going on?

EDIT: Turns out to be information from a Russian source: http://novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/forum/messages/forum10/topic13209/message1067220/ (http://novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/forum/messages/forum10/topic13209/message1067220/)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Kabloona on 05/06/2013 03:46 PM
I am unable to track down the source, but the US launch schedule thread shows:

Quote
Scheduled:

Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site - Time (UTC)

2013
June 15 - Cygnus Orb-D1 (COTS Demo) - Antares-110 - MARS LP-0A ~ 12:30 (or first half of July September 28)

Changes on May 4th

Anybody knows what's going on?

EDIT: Turns out to be information from a Russian source: http://novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/forum/messages/forum10/topic13209/message1067220/ (http://novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/forum/messages/forum10/topic13209/message1067220/)

The Russian website above mentions a last-minute decision by NASA to offer a ride to a Nanoracks mini-lab payload to ISS on Cygnus. The payload was to go on Soyuz but is apparently having last-minute logisitics problems. Maybe the delay is to allow coordination and integration time to get that Nanoracks payload onto Cygnus.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/06/2013 04:18 PM
Gives Orbital's view on possible launch times for the ISS demo flight (see third paragraph)

Antares Post-Flight Analysis Results - Flawless Launch Confirmed; Company Updates COTS Demonstration Mission Schedule
May 2013

In the two weeks following the successful debut fight of the Antares rocket on April 21, the program's technical team gathered and analyzed large volumes of data collected during the A-ONE mission's countdown, ignition and lift-off, and flight sequence. This data is used to validate that the launch vehicle's propulsion, navigation and other major subsystems, as well as the supporting ground systems, all performed as designed. The Antares team's conclusion was definitive: the rocket's first- and second-stage performance was right on the mark; the stage and fairing separation events were performed exactly as planned; and the data gathered from the heavily instrumented mass simulator payload confirmed Orbital's engineering models that predicted a benign launch environment for Cygnus and other future satellite payloads in terms of the thermal, acoustic, vibration, acceleration and other measurements captured during the flight.

"While the launch looked great to the casual observer, our team was hungry for data in order to validate our expectations for the rocket's performance," said Mr. Mike Pinkston, Orbital's Antares Program Manager. "Comprehensive post-flight analysis is an absolutely critical step to understanding exactly how a launch vehicle has performed and whether there are any necessary adjustments to its main systems prior to the next launch. Having intensively reviewed the data for a couple weeks, our conclusion was the inaugural Antares flight really was as good as it looked."

With the Antares Test Flight successfully completed, Orbital's Antares and Cygnus teams are now focused on the Demonstration Mission to the International Space Station (ISS), the final milestone in the COTS joint program with NASA. Orbital currently expects to be ready to carry out the Demonstration Mission in August. Orbital is swapping out one first stage AJ26 main engine for another unit that is already fully tested in order to further inspect and confirm a seal is functioning properly. The company expects the engine change-out process to add about three to four weeks to the schedule. In addition, missions to the ISS must be carefully scheduled with NASA to fit into the pre-planned traffic pattern at the orbiting laboratory. A Japanese cargo ship, the HTV, is also scheduled for a mission to the ISS in August. If the HTV schedule slips, Orbital expects to be ready to go in August. If the HTV holds its schedule, Orbital's Demonstration Mission could be planned for September.

Meantime, the Antares production team will keep pressing forward on the third Antares rocket that will launch the first of eight Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) missions. The CRS-1 mission is slated to take place in the fourth quarter of this year. For the CRS-1 mission, both AJ26 engines for that rocket have been fully tested and are already at Wallops. In addition, the two major components of the Cygnus spacecraft to be used for CRS-1 are complete and will be mated and integrated at Wallops this fall. The Service Module is fully tested and ready to be shipped to Wallops from Orbital's Dulles manufacturing facility, and the Pressurized Cargo Module is also complete and awaiting shipment to Wallops from Thales Alenia's plant in Turin, Italy.

http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/ (http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: runaground on 07/17/2013 08:02 PM
LINK: http://www.nasa.gov/content/media-advisory-space-station-cargo-carrier-arriving-july-17-at-nasa-wallops-0/

Quote
Media Advisory: Space Station Cargo Carrier Arriving July 17 at NASA Wallops
July 16, 2013

WALLOPS ISLAND, VA – As part of NASA’s ongoing effort to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) using commercially-developed space systems, the second Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) for Orbital Sciences Corp.’s Cygnus spacecraft is schedule to arrive at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility July 17 to begin processing.  The PCM being delivered will be used for the first of Orbital’s eight operational cargo delivery missions to the ISS under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. This first contracted cargo flight will follow Orbital's demonstration mission to the space station, which is scheduled for mid-September.

The Cygnus PCM is schedule to arrive around 6 p.m., via an Antonov An-124 aircraft.  The An-124 is the world’s second largest operating cargo aircraft.  It is being shipped from the Thales Alenia Space’s facility in Turin Italy, where it is manufactured under a subcontract from Orbital.

The Cygnus PCM will be unloaded from the An-124 and delivered to the Payload Processing Facility at NASA Wallops.  Over the next few months, Orbital’s engineering team will load it with supplies bound for the ISS and will integrate it with the spacecraft’s service module which houses the spacecraft’s avionics, propulsion and power systems. Orbital builds and tests the service module at it Dulles, Va., manufacturing facilities and ships the completed unit to Wallops for integration with the PCM.

Orbital is currently scheduled to launch its first Cygnus mission to the ISS under the Commercial Orbital Transportations Services (COTS) development program in September with the first complete Cygnus that is already at Wallops awaiting integration with Orbital’s Antares rocket.  All of Orbital’s ISS cargo resupply missions will occur from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s pad 0A at Wallops.

Media wanting to cover the arrival of the Cygnus pressurized cargo module should contact Keith Koehler via email or at 757-824-1579 by 10 a.m. July 17.

Information on the Cygnus spacecraft is available on the Internet at: http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/

Information on NASA’s commercial space transportation efforts is available on the Internet at: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/index.html

Keith Koehler
Wallops Flight Facility
757-824-1579

ARTICLE IMAGE CAPTION:
Cygnus in the processing facility at Wallops.
Image Credit:  Patrick Black

Image LINK to Above Caption:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/cygnus1_0.jpg?itok=19twoyvT

Flight tracking for the An-124 (Volga-Dnepr 2946) carrying the PCM -- Gander (CYQX) to Wallops (KWAL), currently scheduled to land at Wallops at 5:20 EDT:
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/VDA2946/history/20130717/1800Z/CYQX/KWAL
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 07/18/2013 12:01 PM
Media Advisory: Space Station Cargo Carrier Arriving July 17 at NASA Wallops
I think that's a new image.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 07/18/2013 12:03 PM
It's arrived.

http://hamptonroads.com/2013/07/photos-spacecraft-part-lands-wallops-flight-center
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 07/18/2013 01:53 PM
Moderator note: Moved all posts about the PCM arrival for Orb-1 into the generic Cygnus update thread (as opposed to the Orb-D update thread).
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: jebbo on 07/18/2013 05:05 PM
More arrival images: http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/15/2013 12:50 AM
Launch date latest for CRS-3/SpX-3 - now 2014, with ORB-1 going in December.

Article by Pete Harding (with the meat) and the dates covered by yours truly.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/08/nasa-planners-switch-spacex-dragon-mission-2014/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: robertross on 08/15/2013 02:18 AM
Launch date latest for CRS-3/SpX-3 - now 2014, with ORB-1 going in December.

Article by Pete Harding (with the meat) and the dates covered by yours truly.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/08/nasa-planners-switch-spacex-dragon-mission-2014/

I'm so glad that scheduling conflict is currently resolved. Let's hope everyone & everything keeps to that schedule as close as possible.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: catdlr on 08/19/2013 03:01 PM
Cygnus Readies for Flight to the Station

Published on Aug 19, 2013
Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo craft is bound for the International Space Station on a test flight. This flight will prove Cygnus' ability to rendezvous with the station and be captured by the crew on board. Once this is completed, the Cygnus will join the station's current fleet of cargo vehicles delivering supplies to the crew in space. This test flight is also the final set of milestones as part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ECHJkDUy84
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Darren_Hensley on 09/20/2013 03:05 PM
What is the size of the hatch, by the way?

37 by 37 inches

Is there any discussion about using a full sized hatch on Cygnus?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: psloss on 09/20/2013 03:10 PM
What is the size of the hatch, by the way?

37 by 37 inches

Is there any discussion about using a full sized hatch on Cygnus?
That was asked at one of the pressers this week (there's video of both of those); if I recall correctly, Mr. Culbertson said that they could do that (with the impacts that would have), but that they haven't got a request for it.  Space Pete posted something related in another thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31845.msg1098302#msg1098302
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Darren_Hensley on 09/20/2013 05:16 PM
What is the size of the hatch, by the way?

37 by 37 inches

Is there any discussion about using a full sized hatch on Cygnus?
That was asked at one of the pressers this week (there's video of both of those); if I recall correctly, Mr. Culbertson said that they could do that (with the impacts that would have), but that they haven't got a request for it.  Space Pete posted something related in another thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31845.msg1098302#msg1098302

Thanks, "Curioser and Curioser" I always thought the developers were supposed to think beyond current mission requirements. This is a trend with ISS, No Node-4, CBM hatches smaller than the standard, budget year by year the list goes on, but I digress... Thanks again.

Is there a thread for Cygnus Double CPM?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/20/2013 05:22 PM
uote]

Thanks, "Curioser and Curioser" I always thought the developers were supposed to think beyond current mission requirements.

No, quite the opposite.  There is no money for anything beyond approved requirements and cost is a driver, so items don't have excess capabilities.  Not a trend, been that way for a long time.

Budget, year by year is nothing new.  It has always been that way.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/20/2013 05:23 PM
http://spacecraft.ssl.umd.edu/akins_laws.html
Akin's law:
13. Design is based on requirements. There's no justification for designing something one bit "better" than the requirements dictate.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/20/2013 05:32 PM
Actually, you could argue the smaller hatch not only meets the current requirements, but also cuts down on the weight of the PCM structure, so that the Cygnus can actually carry more cargo. Do you want to sacrifice cargo capacity for a larger opening that is not needed on 99.9 percent of the flights ?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Darren_Hensley on 09/20/2013 05:45 PM
I don't know, I just read to many articles about how if Wigit "A" had more capability, we would not have to replace it with an all new Wigit "B", it comes back to "why buy one when you can buy two at twice the price?".

Budget year by year, yes it's always been done that way. But I can't help asking myself, "Is there a better way?" Seems like agencies always end up fighting over money, and getting less of it every year.

Thanks for the input... Back to updates, what's new with ORB-D, how are the checkouts going?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/20/2013 05:50 PM
They make them new each time anyway. If they need one with a bigger hatch, they can certainly get it.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: sdsds on 10/04/2013 04:01 AM
http://andrews-space.com/news-blog/2013/10/2/andrews-space-delivers-four-more-cargo-module-power-units-to-orbital-sciences-corporation

October 2, 2013
Andrews Space (Andrews) announced today that they've completed on-time delivery  of four more Cargo Module Power Units (CMPUs) to Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) which supply power to payloads aboard Orbital's Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft.

The CMPUs provide up to 150 Watts of 28VDC payload power to mid-deck locker payloads destined for the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Cygnus cargo vehicle.  These units will be used on Orbital’s first operational cargo resupply mission scheduled for later this year.


Is there a thread specifically for the CRS-1 mission?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 10/04/2013 10:57 AM
I don't know, I just read to many articles about how if Wigit "A" had more capability, we would not have to replace it with an all new Wigit "B", it comes back to "why buy one when you can buy two at twice the price?".

Budget year by year, yes it's always been done that way. But I can't help asking myself, "Is there a better way?" Seems like agencies always end up fighting over money, and getting less of it every year.

Laws would require to be changed to change the budget process.

You can't spend more money than you have and you can't spend it on requirements you don't have at the time.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/04/2013 11:57 AM
And the most perverse part of how the budget cycle works is a phenomenon we in the private sector have always called "Christmas In July".

If you don't spend all of you budget you get less the following cycle. So at the end of the budget year (often July for academia and September for government labs) if you have extra money, you go on a massive buying spree in an effort to spend every cent. The most perverse part is the organizations that engage in this tactic, often do it in panic mode $$$ ChaChing ChaChing $$$ willing to pay extra $$$ ChaChing ChaChing $$$ to get the order onsite before the end of the budget year.

Like I said, if you are a seller/manufacture of research equipment, it is "Christmas in July".
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 10/04/2013 03:48 PM
And the most perverse part of how the budget cycle works is a phenomenon we in the private sector have always called "Christmas In July".

If you don't spend all of you budget you get less the following cycle. So at the end of the budget year (often July for academia and September for government labs) if you have extra money, you go on a massive buying spree in an effort to spend every cent. The most perverse part is the organizations that engage in this tactic, often do it in panic mode $$$ ChaChing ChaChing $$$ willing to pay extra $$$ ChaChing ChaChing $$$ to get the order onsite before the end of the budget year.

Like I said, if you are a seller/manufacture of research equipment, it is "Christmas in July".

Of course, next year's budget is based on how much you spent this year. It's hard to justify a request for additional funds if you didn't spend that much the previous year.

Then we have customers with the attitude : My expenses for this year look bad already. I might as well move some of next year's expenses forward to make next year look better.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/04/2013 03:58 PM
We'll set up the CRS-1/OrB-1 threads today.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 10/17/2013 07:30 PM
Has there been any movement on the inflatable heat shield concept for Cygnus? I remember reading about it sometime ago. Nice to have more downmass capability besides Dragon. Concept is similar to this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_mqHOoe4P4
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: stone on 10/19/2013 02:46 PM
In the evening on thursday I saw in Turin at TAS-I through a window 3 or 4 Cygni (I hope the adopted the real latin plural). During day the window was too dirty to have a look, but in the evening at 7pm it was dark outside and with the light inside it was a nice few. They had to work late. So there are enough in the pipeline for a few more launches.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: manboy on 10/19/2013 09:52 PM
Has there been any movement on the inflatable heat shield concept for Cygnus? I remember reading about it sometime ago. Nice to have more downmass capability besides Dragon. Concept is similar to this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_mqHOoe4P4
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20130013167_2013012942.pdf

If it does happen it sounds like it would most likely be a one-off mission to test inflatable heat shield technology.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/23/2014 11:04 PM
Saw this tagged to Orbital's twitter:
PCM's 4, 5, &6
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: woods170 on 03/24/2014 06:07 AM
And then there is this:

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/39934thales-alenia-space-exec-identifies-ways-to-save-on-next-cygnus-order

Quote
Given that the ninth and final vehicle (pressurized cargo module) under the current order (CRS-1) is now in full assembly and slated for delivery in 2015, production line elements will begin to shut down this year.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 04/01/2014 10:29 PM
It sounds like that 2 year CRS contract extension will come just at the right time.

Now Thales can keep the PCM assembly line busy for another year or two, so they don't need to shutdown before the follow-on contract comes up. Since there won't be an ATV, I assume the larger capacity Cygnus would be preferred over the Dragon for most of these flights.

Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lar on 04/01/2014 11:20 PM
It sounds like that 2 year CRS contract extension will come just at the right time.

Now Thales can keep the PCM assembly line busy for another year or two, so they don't need to shutdown before the follow-on contract comes up. Since there won't be an ATV, I assume the larger capacity Cygnus would be preferred over the Dragon for most of these flights.

That's an interesting assumption (but not a surprising one from you, Steve)...
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: a_langwich on 04/01/2014 11:52 PM
It sounds like that 2 year CRS contract extension will come just at the right time.

Now Thales can keep the PCM assembly line busy for another year or two, so they don't need to shutdown before the follow-on contract comes up. Since there won't be an ATV, I assume the larger capacity Cygnus would be preferred over the Dragon for most of these flights.


From the article, a quote from the Thales Alenia vp:
Quote
“There has been talk of a follow-on order for two to four modules, but with NASA having decided to extend the station’s life to 2024, there are eight years of operations beyond our last delivery, and it is eight years that, unlike the past years, will not have ATV deliveries,” Quaglino said. “So we would expect an order at least as large as the original CRS.”

So this represents the follow-on order, most likely, not the large order they wanted.  I don't think it's as simple as a production line shutdown, but the ability to plan out orders from suppliers and such.

I doubt either Dragon or Cygnus would be heavily preferred, but both may need increasing capacity and/or increasing pace of launch.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 04/02/2014 01:27 PM
It sounds like that 2 year CRS contract extension will come just at the right time.

Now Thales can keep the PCM assembly line busy for another year or two, so they don't need to shutdown before the follow-on contract comes up. Since there won't be an ATV, I assume the larger capacity Cygnus would be preferred over the Dragon for most of these flights.

That's an interesting assumption (but not a surprising one from you, Steve)...

Well, there is no need to replace any down-mass from the ATV, but there is a huge hole in the up-mass budget.
When NASA is planning logistics, isn't it easier to plan fewer missions with a larger cargo ship ? Fewer missions means less total overhead, right ?

Besides, the anyone but SpaceX in me says they want a vendor who launches on-time. With an increased number of cargo missions, they can't afford multi-week slips in the schedule.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/02/2014 03:55 PM
...the anyone but SpaceX in me says...
Ah-HA! I knew it, I KNEW it! ;)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 04/02/2014 04:55 PM
...the anyone but SpaceX in me says...
Ah-HA! I knew it, I KNEW it! ;)

Yep, ever since you went to the dark side
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Prober on 04/02/2014 06:13 PM
...the anyone but SpaceX in me says...
Ah-HA! I knew it, I KNEW it! ;)

Yep, ever since you went to the dark side

Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate him  :D
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 07/11/2014 05:38 PM
Article on Cygnus' new tridar system:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/cygnus-spacecraft-takes-ottawa-firm-neptec-s-tridar-into-space-1.2701426
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Burninate on 07/12/2014 01:44 AM
In re: Downmass - Any idea what happened to HEART (https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/docs/07_HEART%20Flight%20Test%20Overview_N.%20Cheatwood1.pdf)?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: JazzFan on 07/13/2014 05:40 PM
Goodbye Antares 120.  Next step is 130 with the Castor 30XL, then upgraded Cygnus.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Tomness on 07/15/2014 12:50 PM
I am wondering if NASA could do Bi-contract CRS with Orbital and SpaceX. Where Orbital could do a MPLM with Service Module that Shuttles sent up and SpaceX could provide the rocket.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: rpapo on 07/15/2014 01:15 PM
I am wondering if NASA could do Bi-contract CRS with Orbital and SpaceX. Where Orbital could do a MPLM with Service Module that Shuttles sent up and SpaceX could provide the rocket.
It wouldn't be too strange, given the fact that SpaceX has already carried stuff built by Orbital for third-party customers.  That said, though, I think SpaceX wants to exercise its Dragon as much as it can.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 07/15/2014 01:20 PM
I am wondering if NASA could do Bi-contract CRS with Orbital and SpaceX. Where Orbital could do a MPLM with Service Module that Shuttles sent up and SpaceX could provide the rocket.

No.  The companies would have to do it on their own.  They would have to propose it together.  NASA's conops for cargo delivery to the ISS is to buy a service (items delivered to the ISS hatch).  It is up to the contractors to determine the solution.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Norm38 on 10/27/2014 04:10 PM
Is there a diagram or data comparing the current Cygnus to the upgrade?  I've just heard it's "bigger" but nothing saying how much bigger.  50%?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Skyrocket on 10/27/2014 04:31 PM
Is there a diagram or data comparing the current Cygnus to the upgrade?  I've just heard it's "bigger" but nothing saying how much bigger.  50%?

This diagram shows the difference in size for the two versions.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/27/2014 04:55 PM
Here's another slide giving mass capabilities and some dimensions (from a presentation on using Cygnus as a module to augment Orion on BLEO missions).  The first two versions are as used for CRS to ISS.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Norm38 on 10/27/2014 07:13 PM
I was close.  38% bigger by volume.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 01/15/2016 05:02 PM
During the CRS-2 press conference, it was mentionned that Orbital/ATK has the option of bringing up a spacecraft with unpressurized cargo only.

What might that look like? Like half a Cygnus with one end missing?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 01/15/2016 05:25 PM
During the CRS-2 press conference, it was mentionned that Orbital/ATK has the option of bringing up a spacecraft with unpressurized cargo only.

What might that look like? Like half a Cygnus with one end missing?

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cygnus-ucm.htm

Basically the Cygnus service module with an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier on it.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 01/15/2016 05:48 PM
That could bring one huge ORU! Or a whole module ;-)
BTW, the numbers according to their press release were 4,400kg of cargo on an Atlas V. Have they bid the four segment Cygnus?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 01/15/2016 06:21 PM
Incidentally, this Orbital/ATK press release also belongs in this thread:

http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=112

NASA Selects Orbital ATK for New 8-Year Contract to Deliver Cargo to the International Space Station

-- CRS-2 Contract Includes Initial Order for Six Cargo Missions  to ISS Beginning in 2019 --

-- Company Offers NASA Flexible Mission Options with Cygnus Spacecraft Capable of Launching Aboard Antares and Atlas Rockets --

Dulles, Virginia 14 January 2016 – Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced it has been selected by NASA for a second contract to provide commercial cargo delivery and disposal services to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Under the Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract, the company was awarded six initial cargo missions, valued at about $1.2-$1.5 billion, to be carried out beginning in 2019.  Depending on the spacecraft/launch vehicle configurations used, these initial missions will deliver approximately 22,500-26,500 kilograms (or 49,000-58,000 pounds) of supplies and equipment to the orbiting laboratory. Later in the contract, NASA may award additional missions for the 2021-2024 period based on operational requirements of the ISS.

For the upcoming CRS-2 missions, Orbital ATK’s Cygnus™ spacecraft can be carried into orbit by either the company’s upgraded Antares™ launch vehicle or United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket. This option enables NASA to better tailor future missions to meet specific ISS operational requirements, as well as demonstrating the flexibility of the Cygnus spacecraft for cargo supply to the ISS.

“We are grateful for NASA’s continued confidence in our ability to provide reliable and affordable commercial cargo transportation services to the International Space Station,” said David W. Thompson, Orbital ATK’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With our flexible cargo delivery system now up and running, our team is well prepared to deliver essential supplies to the International Space Station for years to come.”

Orbital ATK has already delivered approximately 7,300 kilograms (or 16,000 pounds) of cargo to the ISS during four successful missions since 2013. Its next CRS mission (called “OA-6”) is scheduled for launch in March aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.  The OA-6 mission will again utilize an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft capable of carrying over 40% more cargo by incorporating a larger pressurized cargo module than the previous design. For the upcoming mission, Cygnus will deliver approximately 3,500 kilograms (7,700 pounds) of cargo to the ISS.

“This second CRS contract award reinforces Orbital ATK’s role as a trusted partner to NASA with a proven cargo delivery and disposal service that continues to support the important work being performed aboard the ISS,” said Frank Culbertson, President of Orbital ATK’s Space Systems Group. “Our goal for both CRS-1 and CRS-2 remains unchanged, which is to support the needs of the crew members aboard the ISS with 100 percent mission success and schedule certainty.”

For all upcoming missions under the CRS-1 and CRS-2 contracts, Orbital ATK will use the enhanced Cygnus design. In addition to its larger pressurized cargo module that allows increased cargo capacity, the enhanced Cygnus incorporates high-performance UltraFlex™ solar arrays designed and manufactured by the company’s Space Components Division in Goleta, California.

“By utilizing the flexibility of our Cygnus spacecraft, combined with a mixed fleet of launch vehicles, Orbital ATK is providing NASA a complete portfolio of mission options to fulfill their cargo delivery needs,” said Culbertson.

CRS-2 missions to be launched aboard the company’s upgraded Antares rocket will originate from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. With support from NASA and Orbital ATK, MARS has completed repairs and upgrades to the Pad 0A launch complex for compatibility with the new Antares configuration. The upgraded Antares will be powered by dual RD-181 main stage engines and a modified first stage core structure that provide increased lift capacity to enable greater payloads as compared to the original Antares design.

“The upgraded Antares is currently undergoing integration with the new RD-181 engines fully installed into the first stage of the rocket,” said Scott Lehr, President of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group. “We remain on schedule for Antares launches to resume in the second quarter of 2016.”
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Skyrocket on 01/15/2016 06:33 PM
During the CRS-2 press conference, it was mentionned that Orbital/ATK has the option of bringing up a spacecraft with unpressurized cargo only.

What might that look like? Like half a Cygnus with one end missing?

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cygnus-ucm.htm

Basically the Cygnus service module with an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier on it.

Except, that the unpressurized Cygnus of the CRS-2 contract would have the circular solar arrays of the enhanced Cygnus.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 01/15/2016 10:17 PM
That could bring one huge ORU! Or a whole module ;-)

Not a lot of space inside the Antares fairing...

Quote
BTW, the numbers according to their press release were 4,400kg of cargo on an Atlas V. Have they bid the four segment Cygnus?

Their press release strongly implies that the initial task orders will be the current "enhanced Cygnus." How they proposed to stuff 4.4t in there is beyond me... lots of water? Send the astros some free weights and a Bocce set?

During the CRS-2 press conference, it was mentionned that Orbital/ATK has the option of bringing up a spacecraft with unpressurized cargo only.

What might that look like? Like half a Cygnus with one end missing?

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cygnus-ucm.htm

Basically the Cygnus service module with an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier on it.

Except, that the unpressurized Cygnus of the CRS-2 contract would have the circular solar arrays of the enhanced Cygnus.

All the artwork of this thing dates back to COTS. I doubt they've worked on it much since then, but they should incorporate the same service module upgrades we've seen on PCM missions.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 01/17/2016 02:40 PM
Incidentally, this Orbital/ATK press release also belongs in this thread:

http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=112

NASA Selects Orbital ATK for New 8-Year Contract to Deliver Cargo to the International Space Station

-- CRS-2 Contract Includes Initial Order for Six Cargo Missions  to ISS Beginning in 2019 --

-- Company Offers NASA Flexible Mission Options with Cygnus Spacecraft Capable of Launching Aboard Antares and Atlas Rockets --

Dulles, Virginia 14 January 2016 – Orbital ATK, Inc. (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced it has been selected by NASA for a second contract to provide commercial cargo delivery and disposal services to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Under the Commercial Resupply Services-2 (CRS-2) contract, the company was awarded six initial cargo missions, valued at about $1.2-$1.5 billion, to be carried out beginning in 2019.  Depending on the spacecraft/launch vehicle configurations used, these initial missions will deliver approximately 22,500-26,500 kilograms (or 49,000-58,000 pounds) of supplies and equipment to the orbiting laboratory. Later in the contract, NASA may award additional missions for the 2021-2024 period based on operational requirements of the ISS.

Not surprisingly, the price per kg of using Antares is cheaper than using Atlas. It is $53,000 per kg for Antares ($1.2B/22,500kg) and $56,604 per kg for Atlas ($1.5B/26,500kg). So that is a premium of $15.9M per flight for using the more capable Atlas everything else being equal ($56,604 less $53,000 x 26,500kg/6 flights).   
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 03/12/2016 02:02 AM
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems was recently awarded a contract to provide multiple Passive Common Berthing Mechanisms (PCBM) by Special Aerospace Services (SAS) of Boulder, Colorado for Orbital ATK’s Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft in support of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 1 and 2 (CRS1, CRS2) programs. This contract follows a previous order with SNC resulting in the complete delivery of eight PCBM units in support of Orbital ATK’s CRS1 missions.

http://www.sncorp.com/AboutUs/NewsDetails/2978
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Jim on 03/12/2016 10:30 AM
During the CRS-2 press conference, it was mentionned that Orbital/ATK has the option of bringing up a spacecraft with unpressurized cargo only.

What might that look like? Like half a Cygnus with one end missing?

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cygnus-ucm.htm

Basically the Cygnus service module with an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier on it.

Except, that the unpressurized Cygnus of the CRS-2 contract would have the circular solar arrays of the enhanced Cygnus.

And a different carrier.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 03/12/2016 02:02 PM
During the CRS-2 press conference, it was mentionned that Orbital/ATK has the option of bringing up a spacecraft with unpressurized cargo only.

What might that look like? Like half a Cygnus with one end missing?

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/cygnus-ucm.htm

Basically the Cygnus service module with an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier on it.

Except, that the unpressurized Cygnus of the CRS-2 contract would have the circular solar arrays of the enhanced Cygnus.

And a different carrier.

Interesting. What did they change since CRS-1? Any info available?
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: baldusi on 03/12/2016 04:47 PM
At least Antares 1x0 to 2x0 and probably 3x0. And then you have the new segmented solid LV project.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 03/13/2016 02:32 PM
At least Antares 1x0 to 2x0 and probably 3x0. And then you have the new segmented solid LV project.

I interpreted Jim's comment as implying that they changed the unpressurized cargo carrying pallet.

the ELC form factor isn't optimized for the Cygnus application, but I'm not sure the alternatives I can picture are much better.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 01/01/2017 12:09 AM
Some captures from the presentation.

NASA. We don't think we could have lost another one. We have contingency supplies. For CRS-2 its about the same. A little more oversight for reliability and launching on time. A lot of complaints of the delays which is a big cost expense for the payloads. Station was prepared. Commercial payloads hurt more. Redundancy in CRS2. We did not overbuy. Capability to add missions if we need to. Launch on need capability. Bring up another vehicle quickly. Right now go with the missions we have if everything went according to plan. Have an ability to surge.

A small update on CRS2 and Cygnus, the initial CRS2 missions will be enhanced Cygnus' which berth (see slide below and the discussion of it at 5:55 of the video). It is not really surprising but NASA only ordered the pressurized cargo Cygnus (not OATK's unpressurized cargo spacecraft). 
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/18/2017 02:03 AM
Some quotes on CRS from the OA earnings call March 8:
Quote
We did receive our first CRS2 mission order in the fourth quarter. This year, from a financial standpoint, the overall performance of the combined CRS program will continue to be really dominated by CRS1.

It will probably be something like 85% or 90% from a revenue standpoint CRS1 and 10% or 15% CRS2 this year. There will be a crossover point sometime either very late this year, early next year where instantaneously CRS2 revenue will equal CRS1 but the story for this year will continue to be dominated by CRS1. We expect more clarity and hopefully more orders under CRS2 later this year. But for the time being, we are underway with our first CRS2 mission and I don't know what NASA has done with the other supplier.

We are still planning for three missions this year with the first of which is coming up here in about 10 days and two missions next year. Those are all CRS1 missions.

The final CRS1 mission is expected in early 2019 and the first CRS2 mission is expected that year as well. Beyond that, we will have to wait to see what NASA's needs are. We are assuming about two missions per year 2020 and beyond but we don't have clear visibility just yet to what the needs are going to be at the end of the decade and through the early years of the next decade.

And just over the next 9 to 12 months we will deliver 15 or 16 tons of cargo to the space station.
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/12/2017 02:14 PM
Quote
Orbital ATK’s Frank Culberson says NASA has exercised the first of six Cygnus missions on its CRS-2 contract; to launch in 2019 on Antares.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/874267503081525249 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/874267503081525249)
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 06/13/2017 02:49 AM
Quote
Culbertson said that Orbital ATK plans to use only the Antares for the foreseeable future. That includes the four remaining missions on its original Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA, including the OA-8 mission, as well as the six missions on its CRS-2 follow-on contract awarded last year. NASA has given an authorization to proceed with the first of those six, which he said is expected to launch some time in 2019.

http://spacenews.com/antares-to-resume-cygnus-launches-later-this-summer/
Title: Re: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Sam Ho on 08/04/2017 12:55 AM
Some comments on Cygnus from today's earnings call:
Quote
In the Space Systems Group, we conducted the OA-7 cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station for NASA, along with the associated science experiments and micro-satellite deployments from the Cygnus spacecraft. The next Cygnus vehicle, the OA-8 spacecraft is complete and ready to launch.

The Antares rocket as well as the Cygnus spacecraft that will launch on the next cargo mission to the space station and now essentially built and tested and ready for cargo loading at Wallops Island launch site.

We were in our on schedule to carry those out this month but I think NASA is going to delay that probably until October, in order to provide a full load of cargo. There's one particular item spare part or subsystem for the space station that they like us to carry on this mission and that cargo element is going to pace the launch.

It's running a bit later than previously expected. As a result, I think it now is unlikely that we will carry out two more cargo launches this year. I think we'll do on in the early fourth quarter and another one in the early first quarter of next year instead of the original plan which had called for one this quarter and one in the final quarter of the year.

But the hardware is in good shape and ready to go. And production and integration in test of both the Antares rocket and the Cygnus spacecraft for the upcoming mission have proceeded very smoothly. So, we're looking forward to that launch as soon as all the cargo is ready to go.

With regard to the CRS part of the question no, we didn't receive any CRS2 orders in the second quarter.
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4094384-orbital-atks-oa-ceo-dave-thompson-q2-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript
Title: Orbital: Cygnus Update Thread
Post by: Star One on 10/25/2017 07:50 PM
Quote
Jeff Foust
@jeff_foust
Vern Thorp, ULA: we are in discussions with Orbital ATK about flying more Cygnus missions on Atlas 5. #vonbraun

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923274861954453504