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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => ULA - Delta, Atlas, Vulcan => Topic started by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/15/2012 07:45 PM

Title: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/15/2012 07:45 PM
I was looking around the net when I looked at the ULA website, and saw that the launch date has slipped to October 30 (presumbly because of the RL-10 issues).  ::)

http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/ (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/)

BTW I was suprised that no one has made a thread about this launch yet....
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Joffan on 10/16/2012 02:47 PM
Ha - the web page is an image, no copyable text. So, there may be transcription errors:
Quote
Atlas V to Launch Third Orbital Test Vehicle Flight

Rocket/Payload: An Atlas V 501 configuration will launch the Air Force's Third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) mission. ULA is providing the launch service on behalf of the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office.

Date/Site/Launch Time: Tuesday, Oct. 30, from Space Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

Launch Notes: The OTV-3 mission marks the 34th Atlas V launch since its inaugural launch in 2002. Atlas V vehicles also launched the OTV-1 and OTV-2 missions.

Mission Description: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the U.S. military's Third Orbital Test Vehicle, a prototype space plane. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction and concept of operations (CONOPS) development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies.

Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go OTV-3!
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/16/2012 02:51 PM
I was looking around the net when I looked at the ULA website, and saw that the launch date has slipped to October 30 (presumbly because of the RL-10 issues).  ::)

http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/ (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/)

BTW I was suprised that no one has made a thread about this launch yet....

According to another NSF member, the delay is related to weather and range constraints, not RL-10 related.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: AstroBrewer on 10/16/2012 05:33 PM
According to this article the launch is on hold pending results of the investigation. 

http://www.spacenews.com/launch/121012-shelton-investigation-delta-anomaly.html
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Prober on 10/16/2012 05:49 PM
small but available.

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 10/17/2012 06:23 PM
I'm genuinely surprised to hear of a possible Atlas-V stand-down.  Is this just precautionary until they clear common RL-10 components between the A-4 and B-2 versions or do they have genuine reason to believe the fault might affect the Centaur too?

Worst case scenario: with the possibility of a Falcon-9 stand-down due to the Merlin-1C malfunction on SpX-1, the US might be left without a medium launcher for an unspecified period of time.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: WHAP on 10/17/2012 06:26 PM
Last time there was an RL-10 issue both EELV's were down until it was resolved, at least to a point.  I wouldn't be surprised if the same situation exists here.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Prober on 10/17/2012 06:34 PM
Last time there was an RL-10 issue both EELV's were down until it was resolved, at least to a point.  I wouldn't be surprised if the same situation exists here.

Was thinking the X-37B might be "launchable" even with issues regarding the RL-10. 

Since the X-37B can raise orbits and return for another mission the only loss might be loss of time in orbit/Mission duration.

Would the RL-10 issue be such a concern to ground even with my thinking above.  Is the concern a possible LOM or more procedural ?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Jim on 10/17/2012 06:43 PM
All depends on the performance margin.  If it is zero with non degraded engine, then LOM is most likely.  Also, X-37 is not unique in the ability to change orbit.

And, no it would not be "launchable", they aren't going to take the risk
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 10/17/2012 06:57 PM
2 questions:

* When did OTV-3 arrive in Florida (astrotech ) ?

* When will OTV-3 be transported to the launch pad ?


Thanks
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: mheney on 10/17/2012 07:11 PM
Do we know if this is a new X-37B, or a reflight of one of the first two?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Jim on 10/17/2012 07:18 PM
It has been stated as reflight
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Prober on 10/17/2012 08:24 PM
Do we know if this is a new X-37B, or a reflight of one of the first two?

an article on another site said its a reflight to confirm Jim, but it does have some mods.  Expected as its still a test model.

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: jcm on 10/18/2012 01:24 AM
It has been stated as reflight

specifically, I think they've said it's a reflight of the first flight vehicle
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/18/2012 01:32 AM
This flight MIGHT land at KSC:

Quote
The military’s mysterious mini-shuttle operations might be consolidated on Florida’s Space Coast, and the upcoming third flight of the Air Force vehicle might land at Kennedy Space Center’s three-mile shuttle runway.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20120928/SPACE/309280017/Mini-shuttle-X-37B-talk-stirs-optimism-Space-Coast

Should at least save time/money/infrastructure transporting back from the West Coast. Would think that the USAF would push for the skip strip on CCAFS, but guess it is too short.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: douglas100 on 10/18/2012 09:21 AM

Should at least save time/money/infrastructure transporting back from the West Coast. Would think that the USAF would push for the skid strip on CCAFS, but guess it is too short.

Why wouldn't they use the Shuttle runway?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 10/18/2012 09:59 AM
Purely FWIW, I wonder if this is going to be a 'display and show off' mission that will be more 'public' than the other two.  After all, there really can't be much to test except reuse on this flight.  Maybe they want a day landing at CCAFS as a crowd pleaser.

(Silently wishes for rocket-cams on this launch)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Zed_Noir on 10/18/2012 01:17 PM
Purely FWIW, I wonder if this is going to be a 'display and show off' mission that will be more 'public' than the other two.  After all, there really can't be much to test except reuse on this flight.  Maybe they want a day landing at CCAFS as a crowd pleaser.


Could be an entirely new suite of sensors.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - November 13, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/20/2012 03:25 AM
New update from ULA's Facebook account:

The launch of an Atlas V carrying the OTV-3 payload for the U.S. Air Force is rescheduled for Nov. 13. United Launch Alliance continues to collect and analyze data observed during the recent Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) IIF-3 launch. While the mission successfully placed the GPS satellite in a precise orbit, a lower than normal chamber pressure was observed on the Delta IV RL10 upper stage engine. Although the Atlas V that will launch OTV-3 utilizes a different model of the RL10 engine, ULA leadership and the Air Force have decided to postpone the currently scheduled launch to allow an additional two weeks for the flight data anomaly investigation to progress to a point that will enable a thorough crossover assessment for the OTV launch to be completed. ULA is in close communication with the Air Force regarding the flight data anomaly investigation and will continue to ensure that a complete review is completed to reliably launch our customer's mission.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - November 13, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/20/2012 01:57 PM
ULA Statement

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Oct. 19, 2012) -- The launch of an Atlas V carrying the OTV-3 payload for the U.S. Air Force is rescheduled for Nov. 13. United Launch Alliance continues to collect and analyze data observed during the recent Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) IIF-3 launch. While the mission successfully placed the GPS satellite in a precise orbit, a lower than normal chamber pressure was observed on the Delta IV RL10 upper stage engine. Although the Atlas V that will launch OTV-3 utilizes a different model of the RL10 engine, ULA leadership and the Air Force have decided to postpone the currently scheduled launch to allow an additional two weeks for the flight data anomaly investigation to progress to a point that will enable a thorough crossover assessment for the OTV launch to be completed. ULA is in close communication with the Air Force regarding the flight data anomaly investigation and will continue to ensure that a complete review is completed to reliably launch our customer's mission.

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 13, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/20/2012 02:42 PM
So does that clear the deploy-able nozzle that is only used on the Delta IV?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - October 30, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/20/2012 07:44 PM
Purely FWIW, I wonder if this is going to be a 'display and show off' mission that will be more 'public' than the other two.  After all, there really can't be much to test except reuse on this flight.  Maybe they want a day landing at CCAFS as a crowd pleaser.

(Silently wishes for rocket-cams on this launch)

I wonder if we will get any kind of coverage after faring separation this time, after all it's not like we don't know what the X-37B looks like and surely the classified element is the payload in its bay not the rest of it which would still covered up from prying eyes at this stage in the flight?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 13, 2012
Post by: Prober on 10/20/2012 11:16 PM
So does that clear the deploy-able nozzle that is only used on the Delta IV?

No one wishes to talk about that.
 
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 13, 2012
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/24/2012 11:14 PM
Looks like this will be an afternoon launch.  Current public launch window for Nov 13 showing as 1645-2045Z (11:45am - 3:45pm EST).
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/02/2012 04:56 PM
Nice of them to think about my birthday! ;D

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2012) -- The launch of an Atlas V carrying the third X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) payload for the U.S. Air Force is rescheduled for Nov. 27, pending confirmation from the 45th Space Wing regarding the revised range reservation. Although the team investigating the lower than normal upper-stage engine chamber pressure from the recent Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-3 launch has been making good progress reviewing and analyzing the data, ULA leadership and the Air Force have decided to postpone the launch two weeks to allow for additional flight data anomaly investigation activities and a thorough crossover assessment for the X-37B OTV launch vehicle to be completed.  This flight data anomaly investigation is being conducted with investigative processes that have been refined over decades of launch experience and include extensive reconstruction of the flight data with analytical models, as well as detailed inspections of several engines. The OTV-3 launch will be the third launch of the Air Force's test vehicle.

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/02/2012 08:21 PM
Is that now likely to be remain where it is launch date wise, or is there the strong possibility of it slipping again?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Prober on 11/02/2012 08:46 PM
Nice of them to think about my birthday! ;D

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2012) -- The launch of an Atlas V carrying the third X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) payload for the U.S. Air Force is rescheduled for Nov. 27, pending confirmation from the 45th Space Wing regarding the revised range reservation. Although the team investigating the lower than normal upper-stage engine chamber pressure from the recent Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-3 launch has been making good progress reviewing and analyzing the data, ULA leadership and the Air Force have decided to postpone the launch two weeks to allow for additional flight data anomaly investigation activities and a thorough crossover assessment for the X-37B OTV launch vehicle to be completed.  This flight data anomaly investigation is being conducted with investigative processes that have been refined over decades of launch experience and include extensive reconstruction of the flight data with analytical models, as well as detailed inspections of several engines. The OTV-3 launch will be the third launch of the Air Force's test vehicle.



what a perfect gift
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: robertross on 11/02/2012 11:41 PM
Nice of them to think about my birthday! ;D

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2012) -- The launch of an Atlas V carrying the third X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) payload for the U.S. Air Force is rescheduled for Nov. 27, pending confirmation from the 45th Space Wing regarding the revised range reservation. Although the team investigating the lower than normal upper-stage engine chamber pressure from the recent Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-3 launch has been making good progress reviewing and analyzing the data, ULA leadership and the Air Force have decided to postpone the launch two weeks to allow for additional flight data anomaly investigation activities and a thorough crossover assessment for the X-37B OTV launch vehicle to be completed.  This flight data anomaly investigation is being conducted with investigative processes that have been refined over decades of launch experience and include extensive reconstruction of the flight data with analytical models, as well as detailed inspections of several engines. The OTV-3 launch will be the third launch of the Air Force's test vehicle.

Only a day after mine, so I'll get a belated...lol
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: rdale on 11/03/2012 01:20 AM
Is that now likely to be remain where it is launch date wise, or is there the strong possibility of it slipping again?

Yes.

Depends on the investigation.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/03/2012 09:43 AM
Is that now likely to be remain where it is launch date wise, or is there the strong possibility of it slipping again?

Yes.

Depends on the investigation.

I can see this moving back into 2013.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: rdale on 11/03/2012 11:02 AM
Based on what?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/07/2012 09:30 PM
Based on what?

That it wouldn't surprise me if this inquiry takes longer than expected.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: rdale on 11/07/2012 11:37 PM
Thanks for clarifying, I thought you had some actual insight.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/08/2012 03:11 PM
New Av. Week article that provides a little more insight. Basically, it sounds like they are still looking for the root cause.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/asd_11_08_2012_p03-02-514469.xml
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/08/2012 04:38 PM
Thanks for clarifying, I thought you had some actual insight.

Well let us hear your view on this then?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Antares on 11/08/2012 08:18 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal-to-noise_ratio ;)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: rdale on 11/08/2012 08:27 PM
Thanks for clarifying, I thought you had some actual insight.

Well let us hear your view on this then?

I have no insight at all into the progress of the troubleshooting, so my guess would be less than worthless...
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/09/2012 06:49 PM
Thanks for clarifying, I thought you had some actual insight.

Well let us hear your view on this then?

I have no insight at all into the progress of the troubleshooting, so my guess would be less than worthless...

This article seems to indicate there could be a further delay, depending on how you read it.

Quote
The U.S. Air Force was fortunate not to lose a navigation satellite after the rocket on which it was launched Oct. 4 experienced engine trouble, a senior service official said.

http://www.spacenews.com/article/usaf-survived-close-call-on-gps-launch
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/09/2012 07:24 PM
Not to sound Snarky, but the X-37 at one point was baselined to fly on the Delta II, so I wonder if flying on a larger Atlas-401 provides it with enough margin to overcome a similar issue.

Fingers crossed they find a root cause, and resume operations soon.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/09/2012 10:07 PM
Not to sound Snarky, but the X-37 at one point was baselined to fly on the Delta II, so I wonder if flying on a larger Atlas-401 provides it with enough margin to overcome a similar issue.

Fingers crossed they find a root cause, and resume operations soon.

I presume you mean the 501 & yes in light of that information it must give them a considerable performance margin. A policy that as we saw with the recent GPS launch seems to be highly sensible. It must be the case that all such launches have similar performance margins? 
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Jim on 11/09/2012 10:15 PM
A policy that as we saw with the recent GPS launch seems to be highly sensible. It must be the case that all such launches have similar performance margins? 

It is not a policy but just a happenstance.  X-37 can't fly on any other vehicle.  Read the GPS thread.  GPS can't fly on a plain Medium DIV and when it flies on M+ (4,2)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/09/2012 10:20 PM
A policy that as we saw with the recent GPS launch seems to be highly sensible. It must be the case that all such launches have similar performance margins? 

It is not a policy but just a happenstance.

So a performance margin isn't a factor here then when it comes to picking a launcher for a particular military payload?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: hoku on 11/09/2012 10:39 PM
Not to sound Snarky, but the X-37 at one point was baselined to fly on the Delta II, so I wonder if flying on a larger Atlas-401 provides it with enough margin to overcome a similar issue.

Fingers crossed they find a root cause, and resume operations soon.
I seem to remember that X-37B should have launched on the Delta II w/o a protective shroud, but cross-wind analysis deduced a too high risk during launch for this configuration. This at least seems to be the official narrative providing a plausible explanation for moving X-37B from Delta II to Atlas V.

The fact that the Air Force had contracted a certain number of Atlas V launch vehicles, and thus had to put them to use might also have contributed to this decision. Launching the X-37B definitely ain't "cheap" (unless someone else has already paid for your launch vehicle).
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Jim on 11/10/2012 12:18 AM
A policy that as we saw with the recent GPS launch seems to be highly sensible. It must be the case that all such launches have similar performance margins? 

It is not a policy but just a happenstance.

So a performance margin isn't a factor here then when it comes to picking a launcher for a particular military payload?

Not an excessive one like GPS had.  All that is required is a positive margin
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/10/2012 02:30 PM
A policy that as we saw with the recent GPS launch seems to be highly sensible. It must be the case that all such launches have similar performance margins? 

It is not a policy but just a happenstance.

So a performance margin isn't a factor here then when it comes to picking a launcher for a particular military payload?

Not an excessive one like GPS had.  All that is required is a positive margin

Thanks for that insight. Why did the GPS end up on the Delta if there is no need for such an excess in performance as I would have thought the Delta would have been the more expensive option to launch it on?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Prober on 11/20/2012 03:52 PM
any updates on the schedule?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET December 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/21/2012 10:43 AM
any updates on the schedule?


It was actually known on L2 about 10 days ago that a new launch date in early December was set, but it seems this was dropped too, as ULA's site was finally updated today with a launch date of NET December 11: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/ (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/)

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 11/21/2012 01:56 PM
Latest news is (from L2) that there is no launch date anymore.......
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/21/2012 03:38 PM
Latest news is (from L2) that there is no launch date anymore.......

Is this due to problems with schedule conflicts, the launch vehicle or payload?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/21/2012 04:03 PM
Latest news is (from L2) that there is no launch date anymore.......

Is this due to problems with schedule conflicts, the launch vehicle or payload?

I believe that it is due to the RL10 failure investigation.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/21/2012 04:17 PM
ULA:
The new OTV-3 planning date for launch is Dec. 11 pending approval from the range.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: ugordan on 11/21/2012 06:50 PM
I believe that it is due to the RL10 failure investigation.

Your definitions of failure are getting more and more interesting, Ed.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/21/2012 08:41 PM
Lengthy article on Space.com about the delay, also including details of a statement from the Union of Concerned Scientists about the whole X-37B concept.

http://www.space.com/18592-secretive-x37b-space-plane-delay.html
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET November 27, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/22/2012 02:35 AM
I believe that it is due to the RL10 failure investigation.

Your definitions of failure are getting more and more interesting, Ed.

RL10B-2 suffered some type of failure during the GPS 2F-3 mission that resulted in low thrust and extended burn times.  A propellant leak is one possible explanation, among others.  The Delta IV managed to score a success only due to substantial margin on the mission, but the engine or some part of the propulsion system failed to do its job as designed.  That's why ULA, NASA, the Air Force, etc., are performing an investigation right now, why ULA is grounded right now, etc.. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: steveb23 on 12/04/2012 04:30 PM
Hi,

Is there any update on this launch date? Travelling to Florida next week so wondering if I can watch it...

Steve
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 12/04/2012 04:48 PM
Hi,

Is there any update on this launch date? Travelling to Florida next week so wondering if I can watch it...

Steve

Looks like no range approval as yet...
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: WHAP on 12/04/2012 09:35 PM
Hi,

Is there any update on this launch date? Travelling to Florida next week so wondering if I can watch it...

Steve

Don't give up just yet...
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/05/2012 12:41 AM
Since there are dates waiting for range approval, does that mean a root cause on the low thrust has been determined?  Have the details been released?  Because an accident board was convened, they probably will/should be.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/05/2012 08:50 PM
Range Approval for date 11 December 2012 appears to have gone through as Launch is no longer listed as pending approval on ULA website.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2012 01:40 AM
Range Approval for date 11 December 2012 appears to have gone through as Launch is no longer listed as pending approval on ULA website.

I hope to see better confirmation thurs.

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Kim Keller on 12/07/2012 03:40 PM
Since there are dates waiting for range approval, does that mean a root cause on the low thrust has been determined?  Have the details been released?  Because an accident board was convened, they probably will/should be.

An accident board was not convened; an anomaly investigation team was. Don't expect to see much detail emerge from this investigation.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/07/2012 05:11 PM
Range Approval for date 11 December 2012 appears to have gone through as Launch is no longer listed as pending approval on ULA website.

This is the date Spaceflight Now are now reporting as well.

http://spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av034/status.html
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/07/2012 06:48 PM
Time to remove the "NET" from the thread title! On ULA's launch page (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/ (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Launch.shtml#/33/)) they have reported that the Launch Readiness Review has been completed, clearing the way for launch on December 11 at 1:03 pm EST (18:03 UTC)!
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/07/2012 08:52 PM


United Launch Alliance Clears X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for

Dec. 11 Launch

 

Centennial, Colo., (Dec. 7, 2012) – Today, United Launch Alliance (ULA) cleared the next launch of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) for Dec. 11, after a thorough flight clearance process was executed following a flight data anomaly that occurred on the Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-3 launch on Oct. 4.

            "Although the GPS mission was successful and the satellite was delivered to a precise orbit, ULA and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) are executing an extremely robust investigation into the cause of the reduced engine performance on the recent Delta IV mission,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “Our 50-year heritage of launch experience and decades of launch data have enabled the robust investigation processes we perform for any flight conditions that differ from our nominal predictions, in order to continue the critical focus on mission success that our customers demand.”         

            The ULA investigation has concluded that a fuel leak occurred in a specific area of the interior of the thrust chamber, and that this leak started during the first engine start sequence.  Although the investigation into the flight data anomaly continues, all credible crossover implications from the Delta anomaly for the OTV-3 Atlas vehicle and engine system have been thoroughly addressed and mitigated, culminating in the flight clearance decision for the OTV-3 launch.

            “Our flight data anomaly investigation includes substantial involvement and oversight from senior industry technical advisors, as well as our Air Force OTV customer, Air Force EELV customer, and NASA customers,” said Sponnick. “We thank the OTV customer for their patience and participation throughout the flight clearance process for this important mission.”

            Following the OTV-3 launch, ULA’s next launch is the TDRS-K mission for NASA, which is planned for Jan. 29, 2013.         

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

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

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/07/2012 10:07 PM
Since there are dates waiting for range approval, does that mean a root cause on the low thrust has been determined?  Have the details been released?  Because an accident board was convened, they probably will/should be.

An accident board was not convened; an anomaly investigation team was. Don't expect to see much detail emerge from this investigation.

An AIB was, in fact, convened by the AF Space Command Commander, Gen Shelton.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321945
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/07/2012 10:22 PM
Good linkage! I think I'll write something up :)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Kim Keller on 12/07/2012 11:37 PM
Since there are dates waiting for range approval, does that mean a root cause on the low thrust has been determined?  Have the details been released?  Because an accident board was convened, they probably will/should be.

An accident board was not convened; an anomaly investigation team was. Don't expect to see much detail emerge from this investigation.

An AIB was, in fact, convened by the AF Space Command Commander, Gen Shelton.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321945

I stand corrected, and very surprised. Still, I wouldn't expect too much detail when the findings are released.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/07/2012 11:50 PM
Since there are dates waiting for range approval, does that mean a root cause on the low thrust has been determined?  Have the details been released?  Because an accident board was convened, they probably will/should be.

An accident board was not convened; an anomaly investigation team was. Don't expect to see much detail emerge from this investigation.

An AIB was, in fact, convened by the AF Space Command Commander, Gen Shelton.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321945

I stand corrected, and very surprised. Still, I wouldn't expect too much detail when the findings are released.

You might be surprised.  For those who have not seen one, I suggest the 28 Mar 12 F-15E report available here to see how detailed they can--and are required to be--by AF instructions.

http://usaf.aib.law.af.mil/indexFY12.html
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/08/2012 02:43 AM
Bit later than planned due to having to rescue a drunk friend who managed to get lost in what is the city he's lived in all his life, yet still remembered my phone number (don't reply to that or we'll go way off topic ;))

But put something together:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/atlas-v-green-light-rl-10-exonerated-delta-iv-review/
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Lee Jay on 12/08/2012 02:58 AM
Bit later than planned due to having to rescue a drunk friend who managed to get lost in what is the city he's lived in all his life, yet still remembered my phone number (don't reply to that or we'll go way off topic ;) )

But put something together:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/atlas-v-green-light-rl-10-exonerated-delta-iv-review/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/atlas-v-green-light-rl-10-exonerated-delta-iv-review/)

Great article.  I am left with a question.

Are the RL10 versions the same between the mentioned Atlas and Delta versions?  The commonality reference seems to imply they are different.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 12/08/2012 03:06 AM
Since there are dates waiting for range approval, does that mean a root cause on the low thrust has been determined?  Have the details been released?  Because an accident board was convened, they probably will/should be.

An accident board was not convened; an anomaly investigation team was. Don't expect to see much detail emerge from this investigation.

An AIB was, in fact, convened by the AF Space Command Commander, Gen Shelton.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321945

I stand corrected, and very surprised. Still, I wouldn't expect too much detail when the findings are released.

You might be surprised.  For those who have not seen one, I suggest the 28 Mar 12 F-15E report available here to see how detailed they can--and are required to be--by AF instructions.

http://usaf.aib.law.af.mil/indexFY12.html

There are ITAR and propriety implications that will limit the detail in the public report
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 12/08/2012 03:07 AM
Bit later than planned due to having to rescue a drunk friend who managed to get lost in what is the city he's lived in all his life, yet still remembered my phone number (don't reply to that or we'll go way off topic ;) )

But put something together:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/atlas-v-green-light-rl-10-exonerated-delta-iv-review/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/atlas-v-green-light-rl-10-exonerated-delta-iv-review/)

Great article.  I am left with a question.

Are the RL10 versions the same between the mentioned Atlas and Delta versions?  The commonality reference seems to imply they are different.

Different
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/08/2012 03:02 PM
Bit later than planned due to having to rescue a drunk friend who managed to get lost in what is the city he's lived in all his life, yet still remembered my phone number (don't reply to that or we'll go way off topic ;) )

But put something together:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/atlas-v-green-light-rl-10-exonerated-delta-iv-review/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/atlas-v-green-light-rl-10-exonerated-delta-iv-review/)

Great article.  I am left with a question.

Are the RL10 versions the same between the mentioned Atlas and Delta versions?  The commonality reference seems to imply they are different.
Atlas-V/Centaur currently uses: RL10A-4-2
Atlas-V/Centaur is planned to switch to: RL10C which is a derivative of RL10B-2
----
Delta-IV currently uses: RL10B-2
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/08/2012 03:44 PM
Are the RL10 versions the same between the mentioned Atlas and Delta versions?  The commonality reference seems to imply they are different.
Thrust, mixture ratio, chamber pressure, and specific impulse differ between the two models.  RL10B-2 has a big extendible nozzle that RL10A-4-2 does not have.  Here's how the manufacturer describes its products.
http://www.pw.utc.com/Content/RL10_Engine/pdf/B-4-4-4_pwr_rl10b-2.pdf
http://www.pratt-whitney.com/Content/RL10_Engine/pdf/B-4-4-4_pwr_rl10a-4.pdf

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/08/2012 09:55 PM
Since there are dates waiting for range approval, does that mean a root cause on the low thrust has been determined?  Have the details been released?  Because an accident board was convened, they probably will/should be.

An accident board was not convened; an anomaly investigation team was. Don't expect to see much detail emerge from this investigation.

An AIB was, in fact, convened by the AF Space Command Commander, Gen Shelton.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321945

I stand corrected, and very surprised. Still, I wouldn't expect too much detail when the findings are released.

You might be surprised.  For those who have not seen one, I suggest the 28 Mar 12 F-15E report available here to see how detailed they can--and are required to be--by AF instructions.

http://usaf.aib.law.af.mil/indexFY12.html

There are ITAR and propriety implications that will limit the detail in the public report

Thanks for the clarification.  I think it can be safe to say the report will say (much) more than just "a fuel leak occurred in a specific area of the interior of the thrust chamber"
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/10/2012 02:26 AM
Am I the only one who have noticed these photos for the launch at the ULA site?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/10/2012 02:57 AM
when did those go up?   I would have posted those.

Thx for finding them & hope more come out.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: sdsds on 12/10/2012 03:51 AM
If I'm reading the mission booklet correctly, roll to the pad is scheduled for T-32 hours. For a launch at 13:03 EST Tuesday that would be 05:03 EST Monday. EST is UTC - 5 hours. So roll should be at 10:03 UTC, or 5 hours and 15 minutes from now.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/10/2012 02:46 PM
If I'm reading the mission booklet correctly, roll to the pad is scheduled for T-32 hours. For a launch at 13:03 EST Tuesday that would be 05:03 EST Monday. EST is UTC - 5 hours. So roll should be at 10:03 UTC, or 5 hours and 15 minutes from now.

I spy something that looks like Atlas V tail AV-034 at SLC-41.....  ::)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/10/2012 05:40 PM
Weather forecast doesn't seem all that good for either Tuesday or Wednesday sitting at 30% probability of launch for either day.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/10/2012 08:59 PM
ULA:

 

 

L-0: Tuesday, Dec. 11

-          11 a.m.: 45th SW/PA and ULA Communications meet media in the Space Florida parking lot for escort to media launch viewing site

-          The OTV-3 launch will be carried live beginning 20 minutes prior to launch and will conclude approximately 20 minutes after launch. A simulcast of the broadcast can be viewed here: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/Multimedia_Webcast.shtml.

 

Weather Forecast

Overall probability of violating weather constraints:  70%;

Primary concern(s):  Lightning, Cumulus Cloud, Disturbed Weather, Thick

Cloud

 

Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 hour delay:

70%;

Primary concern(s):  Lightning, Cumulus Cloud, Disturbed Weather, Thick

Cloud

Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/10/2012 09:01 PM
ULA: Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. (Dec. 10, 2012) -  The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the Air Force’s third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) stands ready for launch from its Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Tomorrow’s launch window opens at 1:03 p.m. EST. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/10/2012 09:17 PM
Overall probability of violating weather constraints:  70%;

I'd say that at least a 24-hour hold is indicated here.  Unless the forecast clears up fairly quickly, 70/30 is very steep odds.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/10/2012 09:28 PM
Overall probability of violating weather constraints:  70%;

I'd say that at least a 24-hour hold is indicated here.  Unless the forecast clears up fairly quickly, 70/30 is very steep odds.

Predicting weather accurately at the Cape has been historically difficult.  Numerous Shuttle launch attempts show that so holding beforehand is probably unwarranted until you get closer to launch time.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: cygnusx112 on 12/10/2012 10:57 PM
Overall probability of violating weather constraints:  70%;

I'd say that at least a 24-hour hold is indicated here.  Unless the forecast clears up fairly quickly, 70/30 is very steep odds.

Predicting weather accurately at the Cape has been historically difficult.  Numerous Shuttle launch attempts show that so holding beforehand is probably unwarranted until you get closer to launch time.
If weather ends up being an issue Tuesday and Wednesday, do you know if they would make a third attempt on Thursday? Or would they stand down and make the next attempt on Friday? Thanks!
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/10/2012 11:05 PM
something interesting in this from the ULA site

note the colors in the exhaust trail, the colors are upside down.  A hidden meaning?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 12/10/2012 11:43 PM
something interesting in this from the ULA site

note the colors in the exhaust trail, the colors are upside down.  A hidden meaning?


Selling out to the French perhaps? LOL  (j/k)
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/11/2012 01:02 AM
Hyperspectral?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/11/2012 01:44 AM
Probably a stupid question--but why does OTV need a shroud?
It obviously has the structural and thermal protection capability to survive re-entry just like the space shuttle.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/11/2012 01:51 AM
Probably a stupid question--but why does OTV need a shroud?
It obviously has the structural and thermal protection capability to survive re-entry just like the space shuttle.

Aerodynamic loads on the OTV at launch and max-q. IIRC, back in the NASA-managed days it was once planned to launch without the should on a Delta II.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Art LeBrun on 12/11/2012 01:56 AM
ASSET (small / Thor boosted) flew without a shroud but PRIME (Atlas boosted) used a shroud. Not sure of the reasons.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: Antares on 12/11/2012 04:01 AM
I think it can be safe to say the report will say (much) more than just "a fuel leak occurred in a specific area of the interior of the thrust chamber"

Why do you think that's "safe to say"?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Antares on 12/11/2012 04:04 AM
Most likely the fairing is not protecting the payload in this case.  It's protecting the rocket from the payload.  Cheaper to launch an outer mold line that's already been analyzed.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - NET Dec. 11, 2012
Post by: joek on 12/11/2012 04:10 AM
I think it can be safe to say the report will say (much) more than just "a fuel leak occurred in a specific area of the interior of the thrust chamber"
Why do you think that's "safe to say"?
A hope and a guess, but maybe something as to the root cause, and why there is confidence that it won't occur again?  Or are we asking for too much?
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 12/11/2012 10:55 AM
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/11/2012 11:49 AM
ASSET (small / Thor boosted) flew without a shroud but PRIME (Atlas boosted) used a shroud. Not sure of the reasons.
I would say that using a shroud simplifies the equation for the guidance system on the Altas. Less eye candy for us though... ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 12:29 PM
Moved for live coverage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: brettreds2k on 12/11/2012 12:38 PM
Good picture from the video feed with 39A in the background.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: spectre9 on 12/11/2012 01:34 PM
An Atlas V launch?

I remember these  ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Hunts Villain on 12/11/2012 02:02 PM
Weather currently green, but no change in 70% POV for the early part of the window.  Gets worse as front moves north and showers and clouds move closer.  Similar conditions expected tomorrow.

Disabled sailboat being towed in by USCG, no issue for the window.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 02:08 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: brettreds2k on 12/11/2012 02:11 PM
Wonder how long this one will stay up considering that last was 1 year 4 months  :o
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 02:32 PM
Doesn't look like this is going to happen today. 

Don't see any signs of any fueling going on.

Anyone in the know on this?

Looks like its getting darker clouds now....


Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/11/2012 02:42 PM
Go to proceed with countdown...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Hunts Villain on 12/11/2012 02:42 PM
Go for cryo.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 02:53 PM
ULA: Everything is proceeding toward an on time launch of the OTV-3 satellite for the U.S. Air Force today. Vehicle fueling operations are underway. The weather remains at a 30 percent chance of favorable weather conditions.

 

The launch team is not currently working any technical issues.

 

The launch period begins at 1:03 p.m. EST. The ULA broadcast begins 20 minutes prior at www.ulalaunch.com.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 03:03 PM
nice pic with a small ray of sunshine passing

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Maciej Olesinski on 12/11/2012 03:31 PM
Just wanted to say congratz on another successful launch (yes i know they didnt launche yet but I am sure how it will end up :p)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Orbiter on 12/11/2012 03:32 PM
A thick cloud deck has passed over the launch complex, under two hours from launch. Trying to remain cautiously optimistic, Florida is infamously known for its dynamic and constantly changing weather, so whether or not it holds at T-0 is unclear.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 03:54 PM
HA!  I caught a ULA site slipup...

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Hunts Villain on 12/11/2012 04:10 PM
Fully loaded.  Watching anvil and cumulus from the SW.
Title: Re: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/11/2012 04:13 PM
Probably a stupid question--but why does OTV need a shroud?
It obviously has the structural and thermal protection capability to survive re-entry just like the space shuttle.

Aerodynamic loads on the OTV at launch and max-q. IIRC, back in the NASA-managed days it was once planned to launch without the should on a Delta II.

Here is an illustration of an unshrouded X-37 on a Delta II
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:15 PM
William Graham's article - apologies for its lateness:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/12/ula-atlas-v-launch-x-37b-otv-3-mission/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 12/11/2012 04:17 PM
apologies for its lateness:


To stress, that is entirely my fault.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 04:18 PM
ok guys we have bars...

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/11/2012 04:25 PM
ok guys we have bars...

And drinks?  ;D

Seriously, what is the big issue with the weather? I've seen Protons and Deltas fired into solid cloud cover just a hundred feet or so above the top of the tower.  Is it high-altitude winds or the possibility of lightning strikes?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:26 PM
Keep the chatter down, there's a launch coming up.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Hunts Villain on 12/11/2012 04:35 PM
Weather expected green for the first 10 minutes of the window.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 04:44 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:45 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:45 PM
ULA:

We have entered our 20 minute hold and all is progressing well towards our 1:03 p.m. launch period. Weather looks favorable for the first half of the window.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 04:46 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:46 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 04:47 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 04:48 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 04:51 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:55 PM
Coming to the final polling, to come out of the hold.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 04:55 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 04:55 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:56 PM
Polling is go!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 04:59 PM
T-4 mins and counting.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 04:59 PM
T-4 minutes and counting.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:01 PM
Vehicle internal power.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:01 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:01 PM
Launch enable.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:02 PM
T-60 seconds.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 05:02 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:02 PM
T-1 minute.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:02 PM
GO Atlas GO Centaur.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:03 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:03 PM
Launch!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:03 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:04 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:04 PM
MaxQ.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:04 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 05:04 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:05 PM
Mach 1, passing max Q
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:05 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:05 PM
Nice..
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:06 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:06 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:06 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:07 PM
Fairing Sep.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:07 PM
Fairing jettison.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:08 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:08 PM
Staging.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:08 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:08 PM
Centaur firing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:10 PM
Is it me or is the X-37B video giving more info than previously?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 05:11 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 05:12 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 05:13 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 05:15 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:15 PM
Is it me or is the X-37B video giving more info than previously?
Yep!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21122.msg581151#msg581151

Also in that video I think we saw the first live video of a fairing separation on an X-37B mission.

It feels to me that the vehicle itself has become more declassified, if you see what I mean. It's more its payload that is still hush hush.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:15 PM
Awesome to imagine what this would look like from a sat or something.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:17 PM
I wish they would launch it without the fairing.

More info in that live simulation video it seems?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Dappa on 12/11/2012 05:21 PM
MECO
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:21 PM
MECO 1
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: BrightLight on 12/11/2012 05:21 PM
16,000 mph, almost in orbit
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 05:21 PM
Coverage ending. Nice tie:
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:22 PM
Well that's that no more info for us!!! ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 05:22 PM
Great Mission, and ULA, AF, Boeing great video production

Also this was the perfect mission to retest the Centaur.



Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: BrightLight on 12/11/2012 05:23 PM
chalk another successful launch for Atlas V - congrats to ULA
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Space Pete on 12/11/2012 05:24 PM
Great work ULA! Love watching X-37B launches. There's still one more little space plane I'd like to see ride atop Atlas V though. ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:24 PM
Congratulations ULA, USAF & Boeing on a successful launch.

Does the X-37B use a special fairing as it looks huge, or is it just a size of fairing rarely used?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: PahTo on 12/11/2012 05:25 PM

Congrats to ULA, Boeing and USAF thus far on the mission.  Nice to see the RL-10 perform as expected (again, thus far).

Need to get that wasp nest away from the camera (assume on the support gantry).

Concur on the tie--nothing like a human-rated Atlas (a-hem).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/11/2012 05:26 PM
Way to go ULA!

Is it me, or in the animation does everyone secretly wish they would replace the X-37 mockup with Santa's sleigh?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:27 PM
Way to go ULA!

Is it me, or in the animation does everyone secretly wish they would replace the X-37 mockup with Santa's sleigh?

How do you know that wasn't in the payload bay?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/11/2012 05:28 PM
Congrats and well done to all the teams! Chris there was that belated birthday candle as promised... ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Halidon on 12/11/2012 05:28 PM
Congrats to all involved, great teamwork producing great results.

So, how long until we start seeing articles from Iran/Russia/China/Syria/the Republican Party that the X-37 is stealing their mojo?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: knotnic on 12/11/2012 05:29 PM
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I heard two altitude callouts, 265 miles was the first one and I missed the second.  He also said the dogleg maneuver had been successfully completed.  Don't suppose anyone got the second altitude number or timestamps for either one?  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.

Also if someone recorded it a screenshot of that 1/2 second during the promo video where they showed a CAD model of the X-37B with something visible in the payload bay would be cool.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/11/2012 05:29 PM
Does the X-37B use a special fairing as it looks huge, or is it just a size of fairing rarely used?

Nope, it's the 5 meter fairing, short version that got used on 9 previous flights like Juno, New Horizons and Curiosity.

Need to get that wasp nest away from the camera (assume on the support gantry).

Concur on the tie--nothing like a human-rated Atlas (a-hem).

Are you sure that's a wasp? I remember very clearly of the very same type of bug attacking a camera at SLC-40 right at liftoff of the 1st F9 2.5 years ago!  :P

Way to go ULA!

Is it me, or in the animation does everyone secretly wish they would replace the X-37 mockup with Santa's sleigh?

How do you know that wasn't in the payload bay?

 ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:31 PM
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I heard two altitude callouts, 265 miles was the first one and I missed the second.  He also said the dogleg maneuver had been successfully completed.  Don't suppose anyone got the second altitude number or timestamps for either one?  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.

Also if someone recorded it a screenshot of that 1/2 second during the promo video where they showed a CAD model of the X-37B with something visible in the payload bay would be cool.

It wasn't just me that thought it was a slow launch, it almost seemed to saunter off the launch pad.

@Galactic Penguin SST thanks for the info on the fairing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/11/2012 05:31 PM
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I believe the launch phase only needs a single burn to reach the planned orbit. The second burn is used to de-orbit the Centaur (see here for details: http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0079.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0079.html)).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/11/2012 05:34 PM
Way to go ULA!

Is it me, or in the animation does everyone secretly wish they would replace the X-37 mockup with Santa's sleigh?

How do you know that wasn't in the payload bay?

Because, to leave a present for 7 billion girls and boys you need at least a 5m fairing!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 12/11/2012 05:36 PM
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I believe the launch phase only needs a single burn to reach the planned orbit. The second burn is used to de-orbit the Centaur (see here for details: http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0079.html (http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0079.html)).

Good link some interesting info on there.

@kevin-rf they have been miniaturized, clever fellow that Santa.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/11/2012 05:41 PM
Bob Christy and Ted Molczan are theorizing that the weird launch windows might be related to photographing opportunities by in-orbit spy satellites (KH-11) of the X-37: http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/US/OTVwindows.php (http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/US/OTVwindows.php)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: knotnic on 12/11/2012 05:48 PM
I believe the launch phase only needs a single burn to reach the planned orbit. The second burn is used to de-orbit the Centaur...

Makes sense. Am following the SeeSat-L discussion; thought some trajectory info could be gleaned from the launch broadcast.

Regarding my payload image request above, nevermind, the same generic image is in Boeing's public materials. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 06:13 PM
United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Third X-37B

Orbital Test Vehicle for the Air Force

 

First Spacecraft to Launch on an Atlas, Return to Earth and Launch Again

 

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (Dec. 11, 2012) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) for the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) at 1:03 p.m. EST today from Space Launch Complex-41. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. The first two OTV missions also were successfully launched by ULA respectively on April 22, 2010 and March 5, 2011.

            "The ULA team is proud to have played a critical role in successfully launching these three important Orbital Test Vehicle missions for the Air Force RCO,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “This is a unique spacecraft since it is the first to launch on an Atlas V, return to Earth landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and then fly again on this mission.”

            This launch completes the most aggressive campaign in the history of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program with 10 missions launched during 2012, including eight launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and two from Vandenberg Air Force Station in California.

            This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V EELV 501 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) RL10A-4 engine.

            “I sincerely congratulate our OTV customer on today’s successful launch as well as our integrated team of mission partners that successfully accomplished ten critical one-at-a-time launches in 2012,” said Sponnick. 

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

ULA's next launch is the Atlas V TDRS-K mission for NASA scheduled Jan. 29, 2013 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

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

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




###

Contact:

Chris Chavez, (303) 269-5550 (office), (303) 332-6416 (cell), chris.s.chavez@ulalaunch.com
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/11/2012 06:14 PM
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Dec. 11, 2012) – A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 1:03 p.m. EST with the U.S. Air Force’s

third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3). This launch marks the 10th and last ULA launch this year, the 55th Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) mission, and the 66th launch since ULA was formed nearly six years ago. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/11/2012 06:24 PM
  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.


The X-37B has no "final orbit" it can be changed at any time.  That's why Red China will be up late nites from now on.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jcm on 12/11/2012 07:17 PM
  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.


The X-37B has no "final orbit" it can be changed at any time.  That's why Red China will be up late nites from now on.



On the contrary, the orbit change capability of the X-37B is moderately limited. It's demonstrated minor changes in the past, but will remain in the same general altitude and inclination regime throughout its mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 12/11/2012 07:29 PM
News Release Issued: December 11, 2012 2:43 PM EST

ATK Technologies Support ULA's Atlas V Launch of OTV-3
ATK Composite and Space Structures Support Launch Vehicle

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) composite technology supported the successful December 11 launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The ULA Atlas V rocket launched the U. S. Military's third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a prototype space plane.  The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction and concept of operations (CONOPS) development for a long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies.  The rocket flew in the 501 vehicle configuration with a 5.4 meter fairing and a single-engine Centaur upper stage, with no solid rocket boosters.

Using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques, ATK produced the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield that provides essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle, the 10-foot diameter Centaur Interstage Adapter (CISA) and the 18-foot diameter boat tail that connects the CISA to the payload fairing. The parts were fabricated by ATK at its Iuka, Miss., and Clearfield, Utah, facilities.

The Reaction Control System (RCS) propellant tank for the Atlas V rocket was manufactured at ATK's Commerce, Calif. facility. This is the 34th Atlas V launch using ATK-built composite structures. 

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: spectre9 on 12/11/2012 07:39 PM
I slept through it, bad time for me but I'm glad it didn't scrub.

Good to see the US fleet is no longer grounded  8)

Go Atlas, Go Centaur.

Jury is still out of X-37B for me. 3rd launch vehicle for this program and I'm still not sure what it actually does.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 12/11/2012 07:45 PM
Boeing's Reusable, Unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Begins 2nd Flight

Affordable, responsive vehicle delivers unprecedented capability to US Air Force
 
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Dec. 11, 2012 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] today successfully returned an unmanned U.S. Air Force X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle to orbit, continuing to demonstrate how the system provides responsive, reusable access to space.
 
An Atlas V rocket launched OTV-1, the first of two vehicles in the program, into a low Earth orbit at 1:03 p.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41.
 
The X-37B, which combines the best of aircraft and spacecraft design in an unmanned test platform, is testing reusable vehicle technologies dealing with space experimentation, risk reduction and concept-of-operations development.
 
"The second mission for OTV-1 demonstrates the vehicle is capable of multiple missions and affordable access to space," said Paul Rusnock, vice president of Boeing Government Space Systems.
 
OTV-1 was first launched in April 2010 and returned to Earth that December. It is the United States' first unmanned vehicle to return from space and land on its own. The space shuttle had been the only space vehicle capable of landing on a runway.
 
A second vehicle, OTV-2, set a record for a reusable space vehicle in June of this year when it completed a 469-day mission. Previously, Space Shuttle Discovery held that record with an accumulated total of 365 days in orbit.
 
Boeing's commitment to space-based unmanned vehicle technology spans a decade and includes support to the Air Force Research Lab's X-40 program, NASA's X-37 program, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's X-37 Approach, Landing and Test Vehicle program.
 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 12/11/2012 07:47 PM
Great coverage guys, thanks!

Congrats to ULA and the teams on what looked to be a spectacular launch.

Go little birdie!  :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/11/2012 08:08 PM
OTV-3 has already been spotted by satellite hobbyists based on Ted Molzcan predictive elements.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0087.html
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0088.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/11/2012 08:24 PM
OTV-3 has already been spotted by satellite hobbyists based on Ted Molzcan predictive elements.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0087.html
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0088.html


That was fast, sigh, there goes the dreams of being the first to spot it on the morning walk... Oh well, it will just be me, the dog, and the Geminid's!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: 00rs250 on 12/11/2012 10:40 PM

Are you sure that's a wasp? I remember very clearly of the very same type of bug attacking a camera at SLC-40 right at liftoff of the 1st F9 2.5 years ago!  :P


Yep, I think I’m going to gift wrap a can of spray so my friend can take it in to work to give to the Atlas guys.  The camera makes them look like they have a wing span of two feet.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Artyom. on 12/12/2012 01:57 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VhAxiU5xL24#!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/12/2012 11:07 AM
Two cool shots of the launch along with deep rumbling of the RD-180! 8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxQbex7LJwg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxQbex7LJwg)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlTLTYr8qOI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlTLTYr8qOI)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/12/2012 12:54 PM
Good videos. 

Does anyone have that great X-37B video Boeing made?
Title: Atlas V / OTV-3 launch video (GoPro and from the press site)
Post by: landofgrey on 12/12/2012 03:15 PM
Hey all, here are a couple videos I and my team captured from yesterday's Atlas / OTV-3 launch. The first one is from a remote GoPro Hero that was placed at the launch pad perimeter. The second is a video clip I shot from the press location near the ASOC. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlTLTYr8qOI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l71H-eH2Nk8
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Lewis007 on 12/12/2012 03:34 PM
Is it me or is the X-37B video giving more info than previously?

Well, unfortunately, for this mission I haven't seen any pictures of the launch preparations of the X-37B vehicle (I checked ULA, Boeing, USAF and Patrick AFB, and various websites with space news)...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: ChileVerde on 12/12/2012 03:52 PM
OTV-3 has already been spotted by satellite hobbyists based on Ted Molzcan predictive elements.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0087.html
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0088.html


After initial confusion regarding interpretation of observations, Ted has a new set of elements which should be close. Further observations will firm them up.

OTV 3                                                    345 X 363 km
1 39025U 12071A  12346.78009259  .00006904  00000-0  50000-4 0    07
2 39025  43.4966 137.4464 0013041 309.6975 307.5436 15.72393679    00
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 12/12/2012 04:18 PM
OTV-3 has already been spotted by satellite hobbyists based on Ted Molzcan predictive elements.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0087.html
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0088.html


After initial confusion regarding interpretation of observations, Ted has a new set of elements which should be close. Further observations will firm them up.

OTV 3                                                    345 X 363 km
1 39025U 12071A  12346.78009259  .00006904  00000-0  50000-4 0    07
2 39025  43.4966 137.4464 0013041 309.6975 307.5436 15.72393679    00

If this TLE is correct, and there is no reason to doubt Ted's excellent work, the inclination of 43.4966 was easily reachable directly from the Cape.  Why was the dogleg maneuver mentioned in the live broadcast necessary--or desirable?
Title: Re: Atlas V / OTV-3 launch video (GoPro and from the press site)
Post by: ugordan on 12/12/2012 04:44 PM
The second is a video clip I shot from the press location near the ASOC.

New camera? Doesn't seem to capture the rumble nearly as well as your older launch videos do.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/12/2012 05:18 PM
A special treat from the AF

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/12/2012 05:22 PM
Is it me or is the X-37B video giving more info than previously?

Well, unfortunately, for this mission I haven't seen any pictures of the launch preparations of the X-37B vehicle (I checked ULA, Boeing, USAF and Patrick AFB, and various websites with space news)...

more details from the program AFRCO
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123329533

"We couldn't be more pleased with the strides we've made in this program and the success of the X-37B vehicle on the first two flights," said Mr. Richard McKinney, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space. "However, it is important to keep in mind that this is an experimental vehicle and a third mission is still relatively young for a test program. This is the first re-flight of a vehicle so that is certainly a key objective for us. We have only just begun what is a very systematic checkout of the system."

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: catdlr on 12/14/2012 07:27 PM
Secretive Space Plane's Retro-Burn Snapped By Satellite Hunter | video

Published on Dec 14, 2012
by: VideoFromSpace
Greg Roberts captured footage of a fast moving cloud above over Cape Town, South Africa, created by the retro-burn of the 2nd stage Centaur rocket that launched the robotic X-37B space plane.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYJPAyt_cKc
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: knotnic on 12/14/2012 07:55 PM
...Why was the dogleg maneuver mentioned in the live broadcast necessary--or desirable?

They launched southward so they had to avoid overflying the Caribbean islands.  The NOTAMs for the stage drop zones were on a ground track heading of about 110 degrees; about a 126-degree azimuth would have been needed to go direct to the 43.5-degree orbital inclination.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/14/2012 09:48 PM
Secretive Space Plane's Retro-Burn Snapped By Satellite Hunter | video

Published on Dec 14, 2012
by: VideoFromSpace
Greg Roberts captured footage of a fast moving cloud above over Cape Town, South Africa, created by the retro-burn of the 2nd stage Centaur rocket that launched the robotic X-37B space plane.



why do they keep showing those wrong slides?   
the x-37B design was changed
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2012 01:48 AM

why do they keep showing those wrong slides?   
the x-37B design was changed


Because there are no others
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Zero-G on 12/15/2012 12:29 PM
Secretive Space Plane's Retro-Burn Snapped By Satellite Hunter | video

Published on Dec 14, 2012
by: VideoFromSpace
Greg Roberts captured footage of a fast moving cloud above over Cape Town, South Africa, created by the retro-burn of the 2nd stage Centaur rocket that launched the robotic X-37B space plane.

I have a question, that confuses me a bit:
At about 0:35 he writes: "The cloud was first thought to be a fuel dump by the 2nd stage Centaur rocket, but later shown to be a retro-burn of both objects as can be seen in this video taken by Greg Roberts."
Does this make any sense?
Since he mentions Centaur and OTV-3 as the two objects earlier in the video, I assume he wants to tell us that OTV-3 made a retro-burn as well.
But how could that be? Why would OTV-3 do a retro-burn so soon after launch? It did not land already, did it?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2012 01:50 PM
Secretive Space Plane's Retro-Burn Snapped By Satellite Hunter | video

Published on Dec 14, 2012
by: VideoFromSpace
Greg Roberts captured footage of a fast moving cloud above over Cape Town, South Africa, created by the retro-burn of the 2nd stage Centaur rocket that launched the robotic X-37B space plane.

I have a question, that confuses me a bit:
At about 0:35 he writes: "The cloud was first thought to be a fuel dump by the 2nd stage Centaur rocket, but later shown to be a retro-burn of both objects as can be seen in this video taken by Greg Roberts."
Does this make any sense?
Since he mentions Centaur and OTV-3 as the two objects earlier in the video, I assume he wants to tell us that OTV-3 made a retro-burn as well.
But how could that be? Why would OTV-3 do a retro-burn so soon after launch? It did not land already, did it?

retro burn was the wrong terminology to use.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Zero-G on 12/15/2012 01:58 PM
Secretive Space Plane's Retro-Burn Snapped By Satellite Hunter | video

Published on Dec 14, 2012
by: VideoFromSpace
Greg Roberts captured footage of a fast moving cloud above over Cape Town, South Africa, created by the retro-burn of the 2nd stage Centaur rocket that launched the robotic X-37B space plane.

I have a question, that confuses me a bit:
At about 0:35 he writes: "The cloud was first thought to be a fuel dump by the 2nd stage Centaur rocket, but later shown to be a retro-burn of both objects as can be seen in this video taken by Greg Roberts."
Does this make any sense?
Since he mentions Centaur and OTV-3 as the two objects earlier in the video, I assume he wants to tell us that OTV-3 made a retro-burn as well.
But how could that be? Why would OTV-3 do a retro-burn so soon after launch? It did not land already, did it?

retro burn was the wrong terminology to use.

Thanks! What would be the right terminology then?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 12/15/2012 04:21 PM
It did any of the following:
a thruster firing
a burn
an orbital adjustment
a phasing burn
a sep burn
a thruster checkout
an OME burn/firing
a maneuver

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 02/21/2013 02:50 PM
New article on the mission.

http://www.space.com/19893-military-space-plane-x37b-mystery.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: DeanG1967 on 04/01/2013 04:00 AM
Having no luck tracking OTV-3 anymore on http://www.n2yo.com/satellite/?s=39025

Has anyone tracked any orbit corrections?

Thanks

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 05/28/2013 05:48 PM
New article on this mission.

http://www.space.com/21321-military-space-plane-x37b-mystery.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Aeroman on 11/25/2013 08:23 PM
Any new information on OTV-3 - X-37B mission?  Haven't been able to find anything to say whether it landed or is still in space.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/25/2013 08:28 PM
Any new information on OTV-3 - X-37B mission?  Haven't been able to find anything to say whether it landed or is still in space.
people are hinting that it will likely be in orbit well over a year and possibly two years depending upon fuel reserves.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 11/25/2013 08:54 PM
Heaven's Above.com (http://www.heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=39025) shows the orbit as

inclination:    43.4934°
perigee height:    381 km
apogee height:     409 km

according to visual observations on 20 November 2013 16:31:48

Amateur observer extraordinaire Kevin Fetter posted a video of his observations on 24 Nov

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2013/0126.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/25/2013 09:09 PM
Any new information on OTV-3 - X-37B mission?  Haven't been able to find anything to say whether it landed or is still in space.
people are hinting that it will likely be in orbit well over a year and possibly two years depending upon fuel reserves.

Seriously two years, that seems extraordinary?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 11/25/2013 09:27 PM
Not really, it isn't manned.  How long do you think weather or reconnsats last?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 11/25/2013 10:42 PM
Not really, it isn't manned.  How long do you think weather or reconnsats last?

If they are going to use it for that sort of length of time why not use a dedicated satellite for the job, could it not be cheaper?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: a_langwich on 11/26/2013 01:22 AM
Not really, it isn't manned.  How long do you think weather or reconnsats last?

If they are going to use it for that sort of length of time why not use a dedicated satellite for the job, could it not be cheaper?

The short answer is because whatever they are doing, it involves returning something to earth.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/26/2013 11:53 AM
That or, what ever they are doing, they have a platform to mount it on instead of having to do what ever they are doing and build the platform to mount it on...

I am not convinced the value is returning the payload to earth.

This provides them a platform with power and altitude control to mount things on. I think that is the real savings.

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Darren_Hensley on 12/13/2013 01:06 AM
I see by the last post that no one noticed that yesterday was the 1 year mark for OTV-3. Go USAF!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 12/13/2013 01:12 AM
I see by the last post that no one noticed that yesterday was the 1 year mark for OTV-3. Go USAF!

Nope, totally engrossed in ISS FCV issues...

Indeed, go USAF! Quite a ship.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jason1701 on 12/13/2013 01:44 AM
The LA Times marked the anniversary:
http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-mysterious-space-plane-20131211,0,227769.story#axzz2nJqbNJx2
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 02/02/2014 09:23 AM
Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane passes 400 days in orbit

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/01/30/air-force-mysterious-x-37b-space-plane-passes-400-days-in-orbit/

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 02/02/2014 02:08 PM

Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane passes 400 days in orbit

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/01/30/air-force-mysterious-x-37b-space-plane-passes-400-days-in-orbit/

From the sound of that article it sounds like we shouldn't expect its return any day soon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/02/2014 05:00 PM
I've been wondering about how long a liquid helium dewar tends to hold its contents in space.  It seems to line up with the duration of theX-37B missions.  Probably a coincidence.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/02/2014 05:19 PM
“If” the TPS specified for DC is the same as used on the X-37 it would speak well for long stays on orbit...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/02/2014 06:09 PM
I've been wondering about how long a liquid helium dewar tends to hold its contents in space.  It seems to line up with the duration of theX-37B missions.  Probably a coincidence.

 - Ed Kyle
Now that's a thought, is it a consumable limiting the on orbit life. Brilliant!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: hop on 02/02/2014 09:02 PM
I've been wondering about how long a liquid helium dewar tends to hold its contents in space.  It seems to line up with the duration of theX-37B missions.
That's an intriguing thought, but there it isn't a fixed time, it depends on how much you have, and how much effort you put into preserving it.

The X-37 payload is rumored to be around 500 lbs. An expendable spacecraft launching to the same orbit on the same launcher would easily have several tons more available for consumables, so it's hard to see that alone justifying re-use. Unless the consumable is spectacularly expensive...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/02/2014 09:43 PM
Well that would actually be good debate.

If you have a consumable like LHe that limits on orbit life to 1 year or so. Do you:

1. Build and launch a new satellite every year?
2. Launch a refueling mission each year?
3. Bring it back and refuel it then relaunch each year?

Considering satellites are so expensive they might as well be coated in Gold (IR pun intended ;) ). There might be some merit in choosing option 3 over option 1.

Also, I thought the X-37 500 lbs limit was payload it could land with. With the Atlas's extra performance, nothing says it cannot launch with more than a 500 lbs payload as long as the consumable boils off before it comes home.

Anyone know if any intelligence beyond early warning can be obtained in the IR bands?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/06/2014 01:47 PM
Anyone know if any intelligence beyond early warning can be obtained in the IR bands?
Anything that produces heat. 

Powerplants.  Reactors.  Aircraft.  Tanks.  Trucks.  People.  Animals.  Ships.  Satellites.  Submarines.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/06/2014 01:56 PM
Yeah, but does the atmosphere mask/blur the heat signatures as viewed from space?

ICBM's and aircraft afterburners are a special case since they are above a good portion of the atmosphere.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/06/2014 07:44 PM
Yeah, but does the atmosphere mask/blur the heat signatures as viewed from space?

ICBM's and aircraft afterburners are a special case since they are above a good portion of the atmosphere.
The atmosphere attenuates IR to an extent that varies by wavelength.  IR sensors have nonetheless been used in some earth observing satellites, including KH-11 according to FAS.  NASA's VIIRS on Suomi NPP has an infrared sensor, as do any number of weather satellites.  The above are not cooled IR sensor types, but cryogenic cooled IR sensors are needed for certain IR wavelengths.  It stands to reason that experimentation with cryo-cooled IR systems might occur for purposes of Earth observation.  It may already have occurred long ago for all I know.

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Antares on 02/07/2014 07:49 PM
I started typing a response to this a few days ago, but when I started researching the IR bands that peak at temps where a cryo cooled sensor was needed it didn't make sense (too low for looking down).  IR imagers just need temperature difference.  Something can appear dark (cold) against a hotter background or vice versa.  Was it Thomas Crown Affair where they fooled the IR security cameras by making the room 98.6F?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 02/07/2014 08:27 PM
I started typing a response to this a few days ago, but when I started researching the IR bands that peak at temps where a cryo cooled sensor was needed it didn't make sense (too low for looking down).  IR imagers just need temperature difference.  Something can appear dark (cold) against a hotter background or vice versa.  Was it Thomas Crown Affair where they fooled the IR security cameras by making the room 98.6F?

Yup (the newer release with Pierce Brosnan & Rene Russo)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/07/2014 10:38 PM
I started typing a response to this a few days ago, but when I started researching the IR bands that peak at temps where a cryo cooled sensor was needed it didn't make sense (too low for looking down).  IR imagers just need temperature difference.  Something can appear dark (cold) against a hotter background or vice versa.  Was it Thomas Crown Affair where they fooled the IR security cameras by making the room 98.6F?

Kinda why I asked the question... I was wondering if sensors that need LHe cooling actually look at bands that won't be masked by the earth background and the earth's atmosphere.

IR sensors are not the only thing that might benefit from LHe cooling, didn't they cool sensitive radio telescope receivers in LN to bring the background noise from the receiver down?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: baldusi on 02/08/2014 04:31 PM
IR sensors are not the only thing that might benefit from LHe cooling, didn't they cool sensitive radio telescope receivers in LN to bring the background noise from the receiver down?
That's probably for a superconducting electronic. Those things have zero internal noise, so are super sensitive. Can happen also with magnets, like those proposed for the AMS (then they moved to non superconducting to get a lot more life time) or the CAT scan machines.
But I've never heard of space based LHe that last longer than five years.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/08/2014 06:17 PM
[...]
But I've never heard of space based LHe that last longer than five years.

Spitzer Space Telescope: 360 litres of superfluid LHe to cool several IR sensors.  Launched 25 Aug 2003, LHe was exhausted on 15 March 2009 when telescope continued in its 'warm' phase of operations.  LHe lasted 2090 days, or 5.73 years.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: ZachS09 on 02/08/2014 06:23 PM
Any ideas when OTV-3 will land at VAFB? ??? Or will the USAF push the limits onwards to allow the spaceplane to stay in orbit for two or more years?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 02/08/2014 08:34 PM
Any ideas when OTV-3 will land at VAFB? ??? Or will the USAF push the limits onwards to allow the spaceplane to stay in orbit for two or more years?

I would not be surprised if it exceeded the length of the last flight, as so far each flight has it appears looked to go longer than the last.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Antares on 02/09/2014 02:35 PM
I thought the consensus was it will land at the SLF.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/09/2014 06:53 PM
Maybe it's waiting for the them to finish the paper work needed to change the landing site to SLF ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 02/11/2014 09:48 AM
Maybe it's waiting for the them to finish the paper work needed to change the landing site to SLF ;)

Or they are waiting until one of the OPF's is available to store it in ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: DeanG1967 on 03/24/2014 03:28 AM
OTV-2 Launch 03/05/11 and Land 06/16/12 = 469 days

OTV-2 Launch 12/11/12.  469 days will be as of 03/25/14.

How long will she be up there.....Vegas odds are on longer than 469.
Title: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 03/24/2014 06:23 AM
OTV-2 Launch 03/05/11 and Land 06/16/12 = 469 days

OTV-2 Launch 12/11/12.  469 days will be as of 03/25/14.

How long will she be up there.....Vegas odds are on longer than 469.

I wonder if its endurance is such that it could stay up there into four figures days wise?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 04/08/2014 08:02 PM
Quote
A secretive mission will pass a quiet milestone at the end of this month when the U.S. Air Force’s unmanned spaceplane the X-37B surpasses 500 days in space.
Launched atop an Atlas V rocket flying in a 401 configuration from Cape Canaveral Florida after several delays on December 11th, 2012 on OTV-3, the X-37B has already surpassed its own record of 469 days in space set on OTV-2. Said milestone was crossed last month. If the current mission stays in space until April 25th of this year, it will have surpassed 500 days in space.
Two X-37Bs were built for the USAF, and the first test mission flew in 2010. NASA performed drop glide tests with an early variant of the X-37A in 2005 and 2006, and DARPA is thought to be a primary customer for the program as well.
Measuring just 8.8 metres in length, the X-37B is tiny compared to its more famous spaceplane cousin the U.S. Space Shuttle. The X-37B has a maximum weight at liftoff of 4,990 kilograms and features a payload bay 2.1 by 1.2 metres in size.

Read more: http://www.universetoday.com/111020/the-usafs-super-secret-x-37b-approaches-a-milestone/#ixzz2yKKkA5JK
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 04/24/2014 05:16 PM
It has now hit 500 days in orbit.

http://www.space.com/25611-x37b-military-space-plane-500-days.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/26/2014 09:03 PM
Was it really launched in 2012?

What ever they where tweaking between flights, the must have finally tweaked it just right ;)

I think we should re-name it Goldilocks. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 04/26/2014 09:06 PM

Was it really launched in 2012?

What ever they where tweaking between flights, the must have finally tweaked it just right ;)

I think we should re-name it Goldilocks.

Whatever it's carrying must be a payload that consumes very little if any materials, it seems to be unlikely to be something that needs cooling like an IR sensor.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/27/2014 04:04 AM
I was referring to the three bears, not her curl's superior IR reflecting capabilities ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Liss on 05/05/2014 06:40 PM
Can this NOTAM for Vandenberg be related to X-37B landing?

Quote
M0104/14 - RUNWAY CLOSED. 07 MAY 14:30 2014 UNTIL 07 MAY 23:00 2014. CREATED: 04 MAY 17:56 2014
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: JBF on 05/05/2014 07:34 PM
Can this NOTAM for Vandenberg be related to X-37B landing?

Quote
M0104/14 - RUNWAY CLOSED. 07 MAY 14:30 2014 UNTIL 07 MAY 23:00 2014. CREATED: 04 MAY 17:56 2014

Nice catch, I bet you are correct.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 05/05/2014 11:22 PM
Can this NOTAM for Vandenberg be related to X-37B landing?

Quote
M0104/14 - RUNWAY CLOSED. 07 MAY 14:30 2014 UNTIL 07 MAY 23:00 2014. CREATED: 04 MAY 17:56 2014

Nice catch, I bet you are correct.

VAFB contacts I spoke to today and a trip out to look at the airfield lead me to believe this NOTAM is not related to the X-37B. There is another flight operation using the facility.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: DeanG1967 on 05/06/2014 04:53 AM
Agree.  Probably not for OTV-3 return.  Runways close for maintenance now and then.  Also, reference below for OTV-2 landing...you usually see R2516 closed when they return (or I would expect R2517 and 2516 closed if they were to land to the north on Runway 30).

Oddly enough the NOTAM below is for the warning area (W532) due west of Vandenburg and the restricted area (R2516) right over the base

06/013 (A1536/12) - AIRSPACE W532E ACT SFC-UNL. 16 JUN 07:30 2012 UNTIL 16 JUN 16:30 2012. CREATED: 15 JUN 18:11 2012

and

M0295/12 - RESTRICTED AREA 2516 CLOSED SURFACE TO FL250. 16 JUN 08:00 2012 UNTIL 16 JUN 13:30 2012. CREATED: 15 JUN 19:44 2012

So the warning area (surface to unlimited) is active the 16th 0730Z to 1630Z and the restricted area (surface to 25,000 feet MSL) is closed the 16th 0800Z to 1330Z.  Any passes fit in those times?
 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: JosephB on 07/07/2014 01:20 AM
Anyone have recent pics of OPF-1?
Or a X-37C? (wishful thinking)... seriously, we could be testing this by now.


http://www.space.com/24168-secret-x37b-space-plane-boeing-hangar.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: JosephB on 07/07/2014 01:47 AM
Or OPF-2 as I guess they have both. OPF-3 going to CST-100.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: JosephB on 07/07/2014 11:48 AM
That's good to hear. Wonder how ready they are to receive OTV-3?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 07/21/2014 07:39 AM
I don't have a photo to share, but OPF-1 has a big blue sign on the south side of it now that says "HOME OF THE X-37B". It's hard to tell from a distance (someone at KSC please chime in) but it appears almost as if it were a new vertical door (as in fairing rollout) but I may be very incorrect on this as I have not seen it up close.

Here a photo.... OPF-1 is Boeing now....
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: wkann on 07/22/2014 03:44 PM
I don’t think you can see it from this image, but there were people working on scissor lifts inside of OPF-1 yesterday. It looks like the bay has already been gutted because you can see all the way threw to the north side.   

Its also interesting that Boeing got OPF-3 a while ago and they still don’t have their logo on the building, yet OPF-1 already has it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: JosephB on 07/24/2014 09:16 PM
Thanks for the images.
The door looks to be of the same size & shape of the one shown in this article, not that it means anything.

http://defensetech.org/2012/06/18/video-x-37b-robo-shuttle-landing/

Also, that landing video is so damn cool!

Maybe we'll get to see processing pics some day.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: DeanG1967 on 08/03/2014 03:07 AM
Of note:  Tomorrow (3 Aug 14) OTV-3 will hit the 600 day mark.
Title: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 08/10/2014 07:22 PM
It's been carrying out some manoeuvres of late leading to some speculation that one answer is that it's getting ready to return, but this is not the only possible explanation.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Aug-2014/0066.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: DeanG1967 on 08/11/2014 03:49 AM
   08/818 - AIRSPACE R2933 ACT 5000FT-UNL. 5000FT - UNL, 11 AUG 13:00 2014 UNTIL 12 AUG 01:00
2014. CREATED: 10 AUG 13:03 2014
   08/804 - AIRSPACE R2934 ACT SFC-8000FT. SFC - 8000FT, 11 AUG 12:00 2014 UNTIL 11 AUG 20:00
2014. CREATED: 10 AUG 12:03 2014
 
The two restricted areas around the Cape go active on 11 Aug at 1300Z until 0100Z on the 12th).  Could they try a landing there?  I thought they weren't ready to receive it?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/11/2014 12:27 PM
Based on the Heavens-above data (Which might be out of date if it is maneuvering) , here are some passes during those windows.
Title: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 08/13/2014 03:07 PM
It appears to have changed orbit to produce a more circular one than before.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Aug-2014/0085.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 10/08/2014 06:41 PM

October 8, 2014

NASA Partners with X-37B Program for Use of Former Space Shuttle Hangars

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Air Force's X-37B Program for use of the center’s Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) Bays 1 and 2 to process the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for launch.

The OPF bays were last used during NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. With the agency’s transition to the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, the agency currently does not have a mission requirement for the facilities. This agreement ensures the facilities will again be used for their originally-intended purpose -- processing spacecraft.

"Kennedy is positioning itself for the future, transitioning to a multi-user launch facility for both commercial and government customers, while embarking on NASA's new deep-space exploration plans," said Kennedy Center Director Robert Cabana. "A dynamic infrastructure is taking shape, designed to host many kinds of spacecraft and rockets."

In addition to vehicle preparation for launch, the X-37B Program conducted testing at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility to demonstrate that landing the vehicle at the former shuttle runway is a technically feasible option.

The Boeing Company is performing construction upgrades in the OPFs on behalf of the X-37B Program. These upgrades are targeted to be complete in December.

For more information on partnering with NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/business/index.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Liss on 10/12/2014 08:26 AM
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Oct. 10, 2014 (Vandenberg PR) – Preparations for the third landing of the X-37B, the Air Force’s unmanned, reusable space plane, are underway at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

See more at: http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/10/11/vandenberg-prepares-x37b-landing/#more-53658
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/12/2014 08:42 AM
Be interested to see its condition after being in orbit for so long.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: SMS on 10/12/2014 08:21 PM
Secretive U.S. robotic mini-shuttle to end 22-month mission on Tuesday (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/12/us-space-military-spaceplane-idUSKCN0I106E20141012)

Quote
(Reuters) - The U.S. military plans to land its secretive X-37B robotic space plane in California on Tuesday, ending a classified 22-month mission, officials said.

The exact time and date will depend on weather and technical factors, the Air Force said in a statement released on Friday. The X-37B space plane, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, blasted off for its second mission aboard an unmanned Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Dec. 11, 2012.

The 29-foot-long (9-meter) robotic spaceship, which resembles a miniature space shuttle, is an experimental vehicle that first flew in April 2010. It returned after eight months. A second vehicle blasted off in March 2011 and stayed in orbit for 15 months.

The military has said the vehicles, built by Boeing, are designed to test technologies, though details of the missions are classified.

Last week, the Air Force and NASA finalized a lease agreement to relocate the X-37B program from California to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The military is studying using the space shuttle’s runway for landing, but said the X-37B currently in orbit will touch down at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where the previous two missions also ended.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: DeanG1967 on 10/14/2014 12:41 AM
Airfield is closed from 0800L to 1700L (1500Z to 0000Z) on 14 Oct

W532N and S is active SFC - UNL all day on the 14th (Warning area West and Northwest of Vandenberg). 

However, I don't see the restricted area around Vandenberg closed (R2516 usually goes hot before they land)

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 10/14/2014 04:40 AM
Here is the closest ground track pass of Vandenberg at about 1100 local from Heavens Above for today

http://www.heavens-above.com/gtrack.aspx?satid=39025&mjd=56944.7513756481

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 10/14/2014 04:52 AM
The closest track for Wednesday is a descending node.  Any idea whether the previous landings were ascending/descending ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jcm on 10/14/2014 06:30 AM
The latest orbital data is from Oct 6, when it had lowered its orbit 50 km since Sep 28.
I would caution that it may have maneuvered again since then, so attempts to derive a ground track for today or tomorrow are ... optimistic
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: avollhar on 10/14/2014 08:43 AM
As of last elset from Ted Molczan in 2012, the last X-37 landing occurred on an ascending node.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: pargoo on 10/14/2014 09:20 AM
     Be really nice of them to release a flare/touchdown pic this time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/14/2014 12:08 PM
I'll be out there today. There was fog/marine layer clouds yesterday. Not sure what is going to be visible.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: collectSPACE on 10/14/2014 03:54 PM
Irene Klotz (Reuters/Discovery News) notes on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/522050213192937472):

Looks like #X-37B landing is off until tomorrow. New notice to pilots closes Vandy airspace from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m local time on Wednesday.

And here's the NOTAM:

Data Current as of: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:51:00 UTC   
VBG   VANDENBERG AFB
M0267/14 - AERODROME AND CLASS DELTA AIRSPACE CLOSED FROM 15 OCT 0800L - 15 OCT 1700L. 15 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 16 OCT 00:01 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 14:17 2014
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: nblackwell on 10/14/2014 06:16 PM
Well, it is pretty overcast out there. Maybe want to get better long range camera views?

Irene Klotz (Reuters/Discovery News) notes on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/522050213192937472):

Looks like #X-37B landing is off until tomorrow. New notice to pilots closes Vandy airspace from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m local time on Wednesday.

And here's the NOTAM:

Data Current as of: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 15:51:00 UTC   
VBG   VANDENBERG AFB
M0267/14 - AERODROME AND CLASS DELTA AIRSPACE CLOSED FROM 15 OCT 0800L - 15 OCT 1700L. 15 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 16 OCT 00:01 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 14:17 2014

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/14/2014 10:39 PM
I was out there today and judging from the activity, they waved it off pretty early. The tracking cameras were never uncovered and there were few people about. Judging from the positioning of the tracking instrumentation, the vehicle will land on Runway 12, approaching from the northwest over the ocean. This will eliminate overflight of off base civilian property in the Lompoc Valley that would occur with a Runway 30 landing.

This Runway 12 landing presents a bit of challenge in that the prevailing winds are out of the northwest nearly every day at Vandenberg as they were today, giving a moderate to significant tailwind on landing. Without knowing the weather limits for the X-37's arrival I would guess the winds were the factor as they were already blowing by 8 am local. Ceilings were around 2000 feet with relatively thin broken clouds in the morning which cleared to blue skies with scattered high cirrus. Good 10 mile plus visibility prevailed all day.

Pictures are looking NW along the 15,000 feet of runway 30. The covered tracking camera would be looking head on at the vehicle as it approached the runway, flared, and rolled out. There are at least 5 large camera positions set up on the airfield, so I'm imagining some good shots should be obtained. I hope they will be released to the public.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/14/2014 11:48 PM
Finally! After almost two years in orbit, the OTV-3 mission is landing at where Space Shuttle Discovery was supposed to land, at Runway 12, if it did launch from Vandenberg in 1986.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: avollhar on 10/15/2014 07:49 PM
Any updates on today's attempts? Ascending node should have been around 1800UT(1100LT), descending node coming up around 2244UT(1544LT). Webcams of the region show partly cloudy skies.

Just checked NOTAMs:

   
M0277/14 - RUNWAY 30/12 CLOSED. 15 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 15 OCT 23:59 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 23:59 2014
M0276/14 - AERODROME AND CLASS DELTA AIRSPACE CLOSED FROM 16 OCT 0800L - 16 OCT 1700L. 16 OCT 15:00 2014 UNTIL 16 OCT 23:59 2014. CREATED: 14 OCT 23:31 2014


So move landing to 16th?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/15/2014 10:37 PM
Landing moved to the 16th. Waved off before 0900L the Vandenberg range control broadcast on its maritime frequency a notice to mariners closing the offshore danger areas starting 0400L tomorrow morning.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: avollhar on 10/16/2014 02:17 PM
As of now (1400UT, Vandenberg 0700LT), NOTAM is still in effect. Time of ascending and descending nodes is virtually identical to days before.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: thomasafb on 10/16/2014 04:04 PM
Current weather at Vandenberg (15:55 UT):
Winds:  from the ESE (110 degrees) at 6 MPH (5 knots; 2.6 m/s) 
Visibility:  10 or more miles (16+ km) 
Ceiling:  2500 feet AGL 
Clouds:  few clouds at 900 feet AGL
few clouds at 1300 feet AGL
broken clouds at 2500 feet AGL 

Source: http://aviationweather.gov/adds/metars/index.php?submit=1&station_ids=KVBG&chk_metars=on&hoursStr=2&std_trans=translated&chk_tafs=on
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/16/2014 04:18 PM
Waived off again at 0815 local time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/17/2014 05:12 PM
Vehicle landed successfully at appx 0925L. Fourth times the charm. That is one fast and hard to see little vehicle. Did not spot it until it was in the deep into the flare.  Shuttle like double sonic boom heralded its arrival about two minutes before touchdown on runway 12.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: PahTo on 10/17/2014 05:19 PM

Nice!  Thanks for the update Helodriver, and congrats to the teams involved!  Welcome home OTV-3!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/17/2014 05:59 PM
Nice! Will see if I can put an article together!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: A12 on 10/17/2014 06:46 PM
Great ! We can expect at least one photograph?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/17/2014 07:19 PM
I'm not sure when the USAF will release landing images. There were a lot of big cameras pointed at the vehicle on the approach.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: SMS on 10/17/2014 07:51 PM
X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle-3 Lands at Vandenberg AFB

Quote
10/17/2014 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission 3 (OTV-3), the Air
Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. Oct. 17 .

"The 30th Space Wing and our mission partners, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Boeing, and our base
support contractors, have put countless hours of hard work into preparing for this landing and today we were
able to see the culmination of that dedication," said Col Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander.
"I'm extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third safe and successful landing.
Everyone from our on console space operators to our airfield managers and civil engineers take pride in this
unique mission and exemplify excellence during its execution."

The OTV-3 conducted on-orbit experiments for 674 days during its mission, extending the total number of days
spent on-orbit for the OTV program to 1367 days.

"The landing of OTV-3 marks a hallmark event for the program" said the X-37B program manager.
"The mission is our longest to date and we're pleased with the incremental progress we've seen in our testing of
the reusable space plane. The dedication and hard work by the entire team has made us extremely proud."

The X-37B is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft. Managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities
Office, the X-37B program performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development
for reusable space vehicle technologies.

The Air Force is preparing to launch the fourth X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2015.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/17/2014 07:57 PM
Our article, with eyewitness report :)

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/10/third-x-37b-returns-home-two-years-space/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: A12 on 10/17/2014 08:09 PM
Our article, with eyewitness report :)

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/10/third-x-37b-returns-home-two-years-space/

Great reportage !

No tire damage:after two years, just wondering if they did some service before landing, at least to inflate them.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Satori on 10/17/2014 08:37 PM
Our article, with eyewitness report :)

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/10/third-x-37b-returns-home-two-years-space/

Great reportage !

No tire damage:after two years, just wondering if they did some service before landing, at least to inflate them.

I second that! Great article indeed!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Rocket Science on 10/17/2014 08:40 PM
I third that! :) Eyewittness report and double sonic booms! Robo-Shuttle does it again... Film at 11? ;D
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/18/2014 12:06 AM
No tire damage:after two years, just wondering if they did some service before landing, at least to inflate them.
Impressive, isn't it, that something like that can orbit for that long in the temperature extremes and vacuum of space and then, when needed, after being exposed to extreme reentry heating, all of its control surfaces, tires, wheels, and brakes work?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/18/2014 12:16 AM
Video and images!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

X-37B ORBITAL TEST VEHICLE-3 LANDS AT VANDENBERG AFB

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -  Video imagery of the X-37B Orbital Test
Vehicle-3 landing can be viewed at the posted YouTube link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65oh_fpMwM0&list=UUim4yCI9sKyfinPuHqI9s3A



For still images, visit the Vandenberg Air Force Base Facebook page; link
below.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153540971359897.1073742042.95781119896&type=1

- 30 -
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: ChrisC on 10/18/2014 12:41 AM
Oh, hell yes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: collectSPACE on 10/18/2014 12:46 AM
For still images, visit the Vandenberg Air Force Base Facebook page

Better quality versions of the same photos on Facebook here:
http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123428671
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: ChrisC on 10/18/2014 12:47 AM
High resolution photos (10 of them) are available at:

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123428671

(possibly the same ones as at the Facebook link above, without the FB (http://www.theonion.com/video/cias-facebook-program-dramatically-cut-agencys-cos,19753/) tracking ...)

EDIT: dang, Robert beat me to it :)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 10/18/2014 01:23 AM
Video and images!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

X-37B ORBITAL TEST VEHICLE-3 LANDS AT VANDENBERG AFB

Wow, what an entrance!

That just screams awesomeness.

I thank the US military for that release. That made my day.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: catdlr on 10/18/2014 02:01 AM
The following is a news release from Vandenberg AFB:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

X-37B ORBITAL TEST VEHICLE-3 LANDS AT VANDENBERG AFB

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -  The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle mission
3 (OTV-3), the Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, landed at
Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. Oct. 17 .

"The 30th Space Wing and our mission partners, Air Force Rapid Capabilities
Office, Boeing, and our base support contractors, have put countless hours
of hard work into preparing for this landing and today we were able to see
the culmination of that dedication," said Col Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing
commander.

"I'm extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third
safe and successful landing.  Everyone from our on console space operators
to our airfield managers and civil engineers take pride in this unique
mission and exemplify excellence during its execution."
The OTV-3 conducted on-orbit experiments for 674 days during its mission,
extending the total number of days spent on-orbit for the OTV program to
1367 days.

"The landing of OTV-3 marks a  hallmark event for the program" said the
X-37B program manager.

"The mission is our longest to date and we're pleased with the incremental
progress we've seen in our testing of the reusable space plane. The
dedication and hard work by the entire team has made us extremely proud."
The X-37B is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft.  Managed by
the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the X-37B program performs risk
reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for
reusable space vehicle technologies.

The Air Force is preparing to launch the fourth X-37B mission from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station in 2015.
______________________________________________________________
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: deadman719 on 10/18/2014 02:20 AM
Does anyone else find the shape of the flaperon interesting?  What would be the purpose of the apparent twist?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jeff Lerner on 10/18/2014 02:28 AM
I'm impressed with the overall appearance of the vehicle...seems to be in quite a good condition after spending so much time in space....
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Lee Jay on 10/18/2014 02:34 AM
Does anyone else find the shape of the flaperon interesting?  What would be the purpose of the apparent twist?

Prevent tip stall (i.e. washout)?  Keep tip heating down during entry?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 10/18/2014 02:38 AM
The main engine is offset correct?  Why do that?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Lee Jay on 10/18/2014 02:46 AM
The main engine is offset correct?  Why do that?

Make room for something on the left?  Like a fuel or pressurization tank maybe?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/18/2014 04:56 AM
The main engine is offset correct?  Why do that?
I think that original plans called for two engines, or at least for the possibility of two engines, but only one has been used in practice so far.  There was a drawing long ago that showed two.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 10/18/2014 06:16 AM
https://www.facebook.com/30thSpaceWing/photos/a.97094879896.77266.95781119896/10153541383784897/?type=1&theater

"Touchdown! Behind the cool pictures of the vehicle there are hundreds of down-to-earth people who literally brought the X-37B down to Earth! They may be humble, but they made history! An amazing team: mission support professionals around the whole base, technicians on the flight line, operators in the ops centers, analysts crunching the numbers and so many others. The game ball (boomerang) went to the primary Range team who truly put some awe into this awesome accomplishment."

Decoding the picture for those unfamiliar with the Air Force :)  The folks in the middle, 1 Capt, 2 1LTs, an enlisted Airmen (can't see the stripes) and 1 civilian who did all the work. On the end, 2 Cols who horn in on the picture and take all the credit on their yearly officer performance reports (OPRs)--"skillfully directed team members resulting in successful recovery of high-value, classified asset..."
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: A12 on 10/18/2014 06:37 AM
Helodriver, Is the noise hearable in the footage coming from a chase plane or it is just her real noise ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/18/2014 07:19 AM
What's the purpose of the the big pipe you can see being attached to it, is it cooling something onboard?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: plutogno on 10/18/2014 08:10 AM
What's the purpose of the the big pipe you can see being attached to it, is it cooling something onboard?

draining of hypergolic fuel, probably
Title: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/18/2014 10:13 AM
What's the purpose of the the big pipe you can see being attached to it, is it cooling something onboard?

draining of hypergolic fuel, probably

Thanks, hence the guys in the environmental suits.

I see yet again people have been saying it has been carrying out reconnaissance, I don't believe this I think it's doing what they say they it's doing that's materials & technology testing & validation through long term exposure to space.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: douglas100 on 10/18/2014 11:26 AM
I think you were right the first time: I think it's for cooling. It seems too thick for handling prop. It looks more like an air con hose. Cooling would come first and prop offload later. The environmental suits would be needed for approaching the vehicle anyway.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: jacqmans on 10/18/2014 01:32 PM
Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Successfully Completes 3rd Flight

Unmanned spacecraft concludes record-setting 674-day mission

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Oct. 17, 2014 – The Boeing [NYSE: BA]-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) successfully de-orbited and landed today at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. PDT, concluding a 674-day experimental test mission for the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. The X-37B was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Dec. 11, 2012. 

“We congratulate the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base on this third successful OTV mission,” said Ken Torok, Boeing director of Experimental Systems. “With a program total of 1,367 days on orbit over three missions, these agile and powerful small space vehicles have completed more days on orbit than all 135 Space Shuttle missions combined, which total 1,334 days. The innovative X-37B combines the best of an aircraft and a spacecraft into an affordable, responsive unmanned vehicle and continues to demonstrate that reusable space vehicles are affordable options that support vital missions.”

The first OTV mission began April 22, 2010, and concluded on Dec. 3, 2010, after 224 days in orbit. The second OTV mission began March 5, 2011, and concluded on June 16, 2012, after 468 days on orbit.

The X-37B program is demonstrating a reliable, reusable unmanned space test platform for the Air Force. Its objectives include space experimentation, risk reduction and concept-of-operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies that could become key enablers for future space missions.

Boeing's commitment to this space-based unmanned vehicle spans a decade and includes support to the Air Force Research Lab's X-40 program, NASA's X-37 program and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's X-37 Approach & Landing Test Vehicle program.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 10/18/2014 01:40 PM
Helodriver, Is the noise hearable in the footage coming from a chase plane or it is just her real noise ?

That is the real noise.  The shuttle was even louder.    There are no chase planes
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 10/18/2014 01:46 PM
What's the purpose of the the big pipe you can see being attached to it, is it cooling something onboard?


It is for cooling the vehicle.  The avionics may be still running and there is soak back from the entry heat.  The radiators are stowed, so there has to be a way to remove the heat.   The same connection is used while the vehicle is in the fairing at the pad.  Standard spacecraft have surfaces/radiators exposed to fairing air during prelaunch.  There has to be a way to remove the internal heat from entry vehicles that are clad in TPS. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 10/18/2014 01:50 PM
I think you were right the first time: I think it's for cooling. It seems too thick for handling prop. It looks more like an air con hose. Cooling would come first and prop offload later. The environmental suits would be needed for approaching the vehicle anyway.

They won't be deservicing the vehicle on the runway.  The suit are just to protect the workers from residual fumes and any leaks.

Note to those who think space stations need large pressurized bays to service spacecraft.  If you still have to wear a suit to approach a spacecraft, might as well just do as an EVA.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Antares on 10/18/2014 02:58 PM
Does anyone else find the shape of the flaperon interesting?  What would be the purpose of the apparent twist?
Prevent tip stall (i.e. washout)?  Keep tip heating down during entry?

That's interesting.  Washout or washin on aircraft is usually done on the leading edge.  However, the LE shape is constrained by entry heating, so for a hypersonic vehicle it would have to be done on the TE.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/18/2014 03:37 PM
Helodriver, Is the noise hearable in the footage coming from a chase plane or it is just her real noise ?

That is the real noise.  The shuttle was even louder.    There are no chase planes

What Jim said. That airflow sound was audible about 10 seconds before the vehicle could be spotted flaring over the runway lights. The vehicle is so small that it was hard to pick out before it was very low. The sound was the only clue. Blink and you'd miss it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: HarbingerDawn on 10/18/2014 06:33 PM
I noticed something interesting when examining the OTV-3 landing photos which might give some clues about its on-orbit behavior.

There is a notable amount of discoloration on the top side of the vehicle. At first I assumed this was related to entry heating, but then I noticed that it is only present on the payload bay doors.

(http://i.imgur.com/tyvvUjM.png)

It is most prominent at the front of the doors, and totally absent just forward of them. This makes the reentry heating hypothesis unlikely, as it fails to explain that sharp boundary.

I think the most logical conclusion is that it is caused by prolonged sun exposure, indicating that OTV-3 had its bottom side continually facing the sun for the vast majority of its mission (to protect sensitive optics or other equipment from sun exposure perhaps). The boundary between the discolored area and the clean area matches very well where the shadow of the wing would be while the doors were open and the bottom side was facing the sun.

I created a very approximate model of the vehicle to illustrate the concept (see attached).

You can see which parts of the payload bay doors are sunlit, and which parts are in shadow. It seems to correspond well with the difference in coloration on the doors.

Comments appreciated.

EDIT: Realized after posting this that the spacecraft's orientation relative to the sun would not significantly affect which parts of the payload bay doors were suntanned. Given their close proximity to the wings, some places will be in shadow regardless of sun angle. So my previous statement about the bottom strictly facing towards the sun the whole time is not warranted. It's much more likely that the top was pointed towards Earth, or specific locations on it, without regard to sun angle. Still, it's cool to observe this effect.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: JosephB on 10/18/2014 07:38 PM
HarbingerDawn, good observation and seems a likely cause. The flat aft end appears a bit sun scorched relative to past photos as well but as Ed remarked a couple pages back, the fact that all systems worked well after two years in orbit is very impressive. I can't help but imagine the cool video if X-37B had a couple stabilizer cameras, maybe displayed on split screen. Columbia's was pretty big but probably offered more protection.
Edit: oops, shuttle camera mount was fixed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: robertross on 10/18/2014 07:58 PM
Something from a CBC report (AP image)

Thermal image
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/secret-x-37b-robotic-space-plane-returns-from-2-year-orbital-mission-1.2804695

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Zero-G on 10/18/2014 09:36 PM
The landing video is quite interesting, especially the view from the approach end down the runway: It looks like main gear touchdown was about one wingspan away to the right of the runway centerline, which is about 14 ft. After main gear touchdown the vehicle is correcting the offset by moving to the left to reach the centerline. Nose gear touchdown is just before reaching the centerline, and the airbrake seems to be deployed after nose gear touchdown, about the time when the centerline is reached. But then the vehicle overshoots the centerline a bit to the left and just before the video ends you can see that the vehicle is moving to the right again.
Do we know, if there was any crosswind?

What is the nominal speed at touchdown?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: collectSPACE on 10/18/2014 11:51 PM
(AP image) Thermal image

That is from OTV-2 in 2012. Here is the AP caption:

This June 16, 2012 file image from video made available by the Vandenberg Air Force Base shows an infrared view of the X-37B unmanned spacecraft landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: darkenfast on 10/19/2014 06:17 AM
Regarding the discoloration on the payload bay doors: I think we're seeing a difference in thermal protection.  There are the thermal protection blankets that cover heated areas that don't require tiles, then there's a white area just ahead of the doors that appears to have some sort of white protection (painted on?), and then there's the door's themselves which show a bit of charring (less or different type of paint?).  Anybody got any other ideas?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/19/2014 09:25 AM

Do we know, if there was any crosswind?

What is the nominal speed at touchdown?

Winds at the surface were negligible. Not sure what the winds a few hundred feet were, but its unlikely they were strong enough to carry the vehicle off course too far given the very high sink rate.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: HarbingerDawn on 10/19/2014 01:58 PM
Regarding the discoloration on the payload bay doors: I think we're seeing a difference in thermal protection.  There are the thermal protection blankets that cover heated areas that don't require tiles, then there's a white area just ahead of the doors that appears to have some sort of white protection (painted on?), and then there's the door's themselves which show a bit of charring (less or different type of paint?).  Anybody got any other ideas?

I can't see any obvious difference in the materials used; the top of the doors seem to be the same white material as the rest of the top of the vehicle, and the sides seem to use the same thermal blankets as the rest too, so I see no reason to think that there's some unseen difference there, though it is possible. The color of the affected area matches what would be expected from sun exposure, as does the pattern of the discoloration, so that still strikes me as the most likely cause.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: JosephB on 10/19/2014 03:09 PM
Re: discoloration

http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/3200/what-is-the-cause-of-discoloration-along-the-edges-of-the-quest-joint-airlock-th
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/19/2014 03:51 PM
Could the solar panels it uses be part of the technology it's developing, there's nothing to say it's using the same panels on each flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: veblen on 10/19/2014 04:27 PM
Probably is just space weathering (sun tan) but I am also wondering about the thermal effects on the s/c skin, if any, of the operation of the radiators (open payload bay) on a 675 day mission. Cumulatively that's a lot of heat to get rid of. Just a guess.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Jim on 10/19/2014 05:36 PM
Could the solar panels it uses be part of the technology it's developing, there's nothing to say it's using the same panels on each flight.

no, there are cheaper and easier ways to do that
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Zed_Noir on 10/19/2014 06:01 PM
Wonder if the flight duration was dictated by the air pressure in the landing gear tires.
Title: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/19/2014 06:10 PM
An interesting chart from Ted Molczan which shows that each flight has had a different mean altitude. To me this indicates that there is a possibility that the payload carried was different each time.

http://satobs.org/seesat_ref/misc/X-37B_OTV_1,2,3_mean_altitude_history.pdf
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: veblen on 10/19/2014 06:23 PM
I've read speculation on other sites that possibly the tires were only inflated a short time prior to landing using some sort of device. Commercial tire inflating kits are available for trucks. More speculation that the tires are solid but somehow I doubt that, solid equates to weight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/20/2014 01:57 AM
Other than, it does fly on a v501 and at one point in it's history was manifest for the smaller Delta II. So the weight of solid tires might not bust the mass budget. But wouldn't you need to heat them before landing?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Zed_Noir on 10/20/2014 11:28 AM
I've read speculation on other sites that possibly the tires were only inflated a short time prior to landing using some sort of device...
It is possible. But that would meant some kind of disconnect mechanism along with verifying the 3 tires are at acceptable pressure range. IMO, it is a lot simpler to overfilled the tires at launch and monitor the pressures with tire rim pressure gauge with a dis-connectable cable. Presuming there will be some air leakage from the tires over time.



Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/20/2014 04:54 PM
Interesting observation about the duration of the three OTV missions

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Oct-2014/0138.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Norm38 on 10/20/2014 05:34 PM
Is it known if the solar array was folded up and stowed?  Or was it simply jettisoned before the doors closed?  Jettison would have to be after the deorbit burn, to avoid it becoming debris?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/20/2014 05:52 PM
Jettison after the reentry burn sounds like a scary potential failure mode to me...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Star One on 10/20/2014 07:06 PM

Is it known if the solar array was folded up and stowed?  Or was it simply jettisoned before the doors closed?  Jettison would have to be after the deorbit burn, to avoid it becoming debris?

I believe it's folded away into the craft.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: SMS on 10/20/2014 09:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9_P87uSKgs
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Zero-G on 10/20/2014 09:39 PM
That's old footage from OTV-2.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Norm38 on 10/21/2014 02:41 AM
Jettison after the reentry burn sounds like a scary potential failure mode to me...

Dragon jettisons the trunk after the deorbit burn. No other way to get it quickly out of orbit. If an event is mission critical, doesn't really matter when it happens.

But that's cool if the array is retractable. Would also let them inspect that for wear and tear.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Helodriver on 10/24/2014 08:29 PM
Now that the official photos have been released, one of my own. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: ion guzu on 12/26/2014 10:38 AM
I am a space modelist  and I want to build a flying scale model of Atlas V 501 - OTV-3. For this I need a detailed plan of the rocket, especialy the first stage zone of the engins skirt. Also I need some pictures of details and a color scheme. Thank you in advance. ION
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: dmorken on 12/26/2014 12:44 PM
Try this

  http://www.spaceflight101.com/atlas-v-501.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: dmorken on 12/26/2014 12:44 PM
Try this

  http://www.spaceflight101.com/atlas-v-501.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Prober on 12/26/2014 02:57 PM
I am a space modelist  and I want to build a flying scale model of Atlas V 501 - OTV-3. For this I need a detailed plan of the rocket, especialy the first stage zone of the engins skirt. Also I need some pictures of details and a color scheme. Thank you in advance. ION

Put some sources of 3D cad and stl format sources.   Why reinvent the wheel when you can use these files as a starting point?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29378.msg1307395#msg1307395



Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: happyflower on 04/26/2015 05:27 AM
Now that the official photos have been released, one of my own.

Why is the engine off centered? Is it the deployable solar panel?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Skyrocket on 04/26/2015 09:08 AM
Now that the official photos have been released, one of my own.

Why is the engine off centered? Is it the deployable solar panel?

The X-37 was changed several times during development. It was once to have 2 engines, but later one was deleted.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: happyflower on 04/27/2015 08:11 PM
Now that the official photos have been released, one of my own.

Why is the engine off centered? Is it the deployable solar panel?

The X-37 was changed several times during development. It was once to have 2 engines, but later one was deleted.

But dont you want the engine push to go through the center of the mass of the craft? How can they just get rid of one of the engines and be off centered and maintain thrust without pushing the craft to one side?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 04/27/2015 08:14 PM
Now that the official photos have been released, one of my own.

Why is the engine off centered? Is it the deployable solar panel?

The X-37 was changed several times during development. It was once to have 2 engines, but later one was deleted.

But dont you want the engine push to go through the center of the mass of the craft? How can they just get rid of one of the engines and be off centered and maintain thrust without pushing the craft to one side?
TVC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/28/2015 01:33 AM
Does that engine have TVC? The simplest solution is just cant it through the vehicle's (including the payload) center of mass.

Most LV solids do that.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: happyflower on 04/28/2015 04:04 AM
Does that engine have TVC? The simplest solution is just cant it through the vehicle's (including the payload) center of mass.

Most LV solids do that.

Since I dont know enough about it, i"ll just take space ghosts word for it.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/04/2015 06:43 PM
Does that engine have TVC? The simplest solution is just cant it through the vehicle's (including the payload) center of mass.

Most LV solids do that.

Since I dont know enough about it, i"ll just take space ghosts word for it.

He's right that you don't need a controlled system to vector the thrust through the CM, just a fixed angle that intersects it. In any case where the thrust vector is offset from center,  cosine losses, RCS offset thrust, and GNC that can cope with thrust asymmetry are required.

The cost of using TVC is complexity/reliability, the benefit can be lower total prop usage (less RCS offset thrust, shorter maneuvers) due to its greater control authority. And there are things you can do with it you can't any other way.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/04/2015 06:53 PM
Space Ghost, don't forget with no "air resistance" in space a single offset engine canted through the center of mass has no cosine losses.

You only have loses when you cant more than one engine or are trying to fly through atmosphere with canted engine(s).

Getting back to TVC, did the AJ-10 on the Shuttle use TVC, or rely on RCS for fine tuning?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/04/2015 07:37 PM
Space Ghost, don't forget with no "air resistance" in space a single offset engine canted through the center of mass has no cosine losses.

You only have loses when you cant more than one engine or are trying to fly through atmosphere with canted engine(s).
Sure where drag occurs. But if you have a fixed angle offset engine, attitude control before/through/after the burn is maintained by RCS (or CMG) solely. If the guidance for the burn is inexact, say to slight CM shift (prop/consumable depletion etc), then cosine terms come into play, as you "waste" part of RCS/engine burn cancelling the error. That was what I was referring to.

Quote
Getting back to TVC, did the AJ-10 on the Shuttle use TVC, or rely on RCS for fine tuning?

OMS engines are gimballed. FRCs/ARCs for adjusting vector so as not to exceed gimbal rate/limits.

I can go through the entire OMS thrusting maneuver control sequence (attitude hold, ...) and decisions. Variable forward/aft depletion on Shuttle RCS was a big deal, you could have surprises on mission/mission planning often as a result.

add:
(http://klabs.org/DEI/Processor/shuttle/sp-504/section_4/figures_4/figure_4_30.jpg)
(https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=1785.0;attach=82787;image)