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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Orbital ATK - Antares/Cygnus Mission Section => Topic started by: baldusi on 02/20/2014 02:28 PM

Title: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: baldusi on 02/20/2014 02:28 PM
A very meaty overview article by William Graham!
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/orbital-atk-minotaur-c-skysat-mission-vandenberg/

This is Orbital's Press Release (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=1888)

Quote
Orbital Signs Launch Agreement With Skybox Imaging
-- Company to Launch Six Commercial High-Resolution Imaging Spacecraft for New Customer Aboard Commercial Version of Minotaur Rocket in Late 2015 --


(Dulles, VA 20 February 2014) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it has signed a commercial launch contract with Skybox Imaging to carry six high-resolution imaging and video-capable spacecraft into low-Earth orbit (LEO) in late 2015 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The Skybox spacecraft will be launched aboard the Minotaur-C space launch vehicle, a commercial variant of the company’s Minotaur product line that serves the U.S. government market. The mission will be overseen by the same Small-Class Launch Vehicles unit of the company’s Launch Systems Group that has executed 25 consecutive successful Minotaur launches since 2000. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

“We are very pleased to have been selected by Skybox Imaging for this exciting opportunity,” said Mr. David W. Thompson, Orbital’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As fellow participants in the expansion of the commercial space industry, Orbital and Skybox share similar values of innovation, affordability and reliability, which make this partnership a perfect fit. We have offered options for additional launch services to support the development of Skybox’s business, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to forge a long-term, multi-launch relationship with their team.”

The Minotaur-C rocket will use four solid rocket motors supplied by ATK as its propulsion system, all of which have been flown dozens of times and thoroughly flight-proven in various combinations on Orbital’s other small space launch vehicles, including Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur, as well as on the company’s Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) long-range missile defense interceptor. It will also incorporate numerous design features that are common with the Minotaur product line, such as the rocket’s electrical power system, payload fairing, flight termination system, navigation sensors and RF components. In addition, the Minotaur-C will utilize its SkySat satellite dispenser, currently in design by the Minotaur team, which will be built and tested at the company’s Chandler, AZ launch vehicle design and engineering facility.

Orbital’s family of small space launch vehicles provides reliable “right-sized” launch services that are the industry standard for boosting small payloads to orbit. From the innovative air-launched Pegasus to traditional ground-launched rockets like the Minotaur family of launchers, Orbital’s small-class launch vehicles share flight-proven propulsion, avionics, engineering teams, production and testing facilities, and management systems to provide low-cost and reliable access to space.

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

About Skybox Imaging
Skybox Imaging (Skybox) empowers global businesses to make better decisions with timely, high fidelity imagery and infinite analytics. By combining the power of web technologies and a constellation of high-resolution imaging satellites, Skybox is generating a unique data source describing daily global activity with timely, accessible, sub-meter color imagery and high definition video of the Earth. Founded in 2009, Skybox Imaging is backed by leading venture firms and comprised of internet and aerospace professionals. For more information, visit www.skybox.com (http://www.skybox.com).

First mention of the Minotaur-C I've ever seen.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 02/20/2014 02:32 PM
I guess the Minotaur-C is just a commercialized version of the Minotaur-I? ?_?
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Danderman on 02/20/2014 02:50 PM
If this is Minuteman-based, this would break a boatload of space policy regulations.

However, this could simply be a new small solid launcher, sort of like an Athena.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/20/2014 02:51 PM
I guess the Minotaur-C is just a commercialized version of the Minotaur-I? ?_?

Something alike. But as the refurbished ICBM motors are not available for commercial flights, the M55 motor of the first stage must be replaced by something else - possibly an Orion-50SXL.

Orbital has a rudimentary page on the Minotaur-C:

http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/Minotaur/Minotaur-C/

Quote from: Orbital
The Minotaur-C rocket will use four solid rocket motors supplied by ATK as its propulsion system, all of which have been flown dozens of times and thoroughly flight-proven in various combinations on Orbital’s other small space launch vehicles, including Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur, as well as on the company’s Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) long-range missile defense interceptor. It will also incorporate numerous design features that are common with the Minotaur product line, such as the rocket’s electrical power system, payload fairing, flight termination system, navigation sensors and RF components. In addition, the Minotaur-C will utilize its SkySat satellite dispenser, currently in design by the Minotaur team, which will be built and tested at the company’s Chandler, AZ launch vehicle design and engineering facility.

Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/20/2014 03:01 PM
Since we are talking multiple deployments, might they use something like HAPS as a final stage?
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Jim on 02/20/2014 03:04 PM
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Danderman on 02/20/2014 03:15 PM
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Let's hope with a fairing change, too.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 02/20/2014 03:15 PM
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/20/2014 03:42 PM
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 02/20/2014 04:35 PM
Well....I asked OSC's PAO on Twitter and the answers aren't completely clear....

Cosmic Penguin ‏@Cosmic_Penguin
@OrbitalSciences @skyboximaging Is the Minotaur-C just a "sold commercially" version of the Minotaur I? ?_?

Orbital Sciences ‏@OrbitalSciences
@Cosmic_Penguin @skyboximaging the two gov't furnished motors are replaced with commercially supplied motors from ATK

https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/436524075343556608 (https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/436524075343556608)
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/20/2014 05:45 PM
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C
I am told that Minotaur-C is believed to be the designation being used to refer to all commercial versions of the current Minotaur launcher family. It is my understanding that Minotaur-C will use  commercial equivalent motors and offer the similar payload performance as the existing Minotaur Family, which I designating as Minotaur-G (Government) for simplicity.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/20/2014 06:03 PM
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C
It is no longer in the menu and side bar, but it can be found via this link: http://www.orbital.com/SpaceLaunch/Taurus/
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/20/2014 06:45 PM
Perhaps this new vehicle has some relation to their ICBM-Target, for which Orbital has also two contracts.

This ICBM-Target uses a new first stage,  an Orion-50SXLG as the second stage, which might be good replacement for the two Minuteman stages.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/20/2014 07:00 PM
I bet this is a renamed Taurus I with some motor changes

Ah yes I have forgotten that the Taurus name now has a black mark on it..... one SkySat is IIRC ~150 kg so 6 of them should be just OK for a modified Taurus-XL - which I guess is now called Minotaur-C?

Interestingly, the Taurus does no longer appear on Orbital's website in the launcher section. But i do not know, when the Taurus was removed.

Looks indeed like some kind of re-branding the Taurus to Minotaur-C

When you folks see pictures of it I believe you will indeed recognize it.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: gosnold on 02/20/2014 07:02 PM
What is the plane change possible with a Minotaur (let's say -IV) in LEO? Skybox wants a constellation, but populating the planes with 2 launches of 6 sats is going to be interesting.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Danderman on 02/20/2014 08:02 PM
What is the plane change possible with a Minotaur (let's say -IV) in LEO? Skybox wants a constellation, but populating the planes with 2 launches of 6 sats is going to be interesting.

That's easy, you just dump the sats into a low parking orbit, and then raise them a bit to the final orbit after they have moved into the right plane locations.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: baldusi on 02/20/2014 08:25 PM
What is the plane change possible with a Minotaur (let's say -IV) in LEO? Skybox wants a constellation, but populating the planes with 2 launches of 6 sats is going to be interesting.

That's easy, you just dump the sats into a low parking orbit, and then raise them a bit to the final orbit after they have moved into the right plane locations.
That's if you want to keep them all in the same plane. There are some ways to play with precession and have them on different planes with very little fuel during a years. Since the sats are designed for at least three, they could do this.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 02/21/2014 12:27 PM
I am told that Minotaur-C is believed to be the designation being used to refer to all commercial versions of the current Minotaur launcher family. It is my understanding that Minotaur-C will use  commercial equivalent motors and offer the similar payload performance as the existing Minotaur Family, which I designating as Minotaur-G (Government) for simplicity.

There are only so many surplus Peacekeeper bits out there so there was always going to be a need to ultimately migrate to new-build motors. It's interesting that Orbital are investing in developing an all-civil version. Obviously they are anticipating a lot of interest in non-USG launches in its payload class.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/21/2014 01:11 PM

There are only so many surplus Peacekeeper bits out there so there was always going to be a need to ultimately migrate to new-build motors. It's interesting that Orbital are investing in developing an all-civil version. Obviously they are anticipating a lot of interest in non-USG launches in its payload class.

Assuming it's not a renamed/branded Taurus.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/21/2014 01:13 PM
I am told that Minotaur-C is believed to be the designation being used to refer to all commercial versions of the current Minotaur launcher family. It is my understanding that Minotaur-C will use  commercial equivalent motors and offer the similar payload performance as the existing Minotaur Family, which I designating as Minotaur-G (Government) for simplicity.

There are only so many surplus Peacekeeper bits out there so there was always going to be a need to ultimately migrate to new-build motors. It's interesting that Orbital are investing in developing an all-civil version. Obviously they are anticipating a lot of interest in non-USG launches in its payload class.

Ummmm, no. The components this rocket uses have been procured and used commercially in the past. This is not new investment; this is buying existing commercial stages (from ATK) in a combination that has been used commercially before.

As for "a lot of interest"......probably nothing more than there has been for the last decade.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: baldusi on 02/21/2014 01:31 PM
Dual Castor-120, the second one wit vacuum optimized nozzle, perhaps?
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/21/2014 02:41 PM
Dual Castor-120, the second one wit vacuum optimized nozzle, perhaps?

Sorry, no. This is not a new rocket.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/21/2014 04:27 PM
Minotaur-C is using a payload fairing that is only used by Minotaur and OBV launchers is what I read. So if it is a rebranded Taurus it is not using the previous fairing system. So if my previous sentence stands correct it may be using Payload fairing used by Minotaur-1 or II otherwise I know that it is not the fairing system used on the failed Taurus-XL as it is worded as indicating that the Fairing and rest of the launcher originate from only OBV, Minotaur and Pegasus-XL.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/21/2014 05:50 PM
Minotaur-C is using a payload fairing that is only used by Minotaur and OBV launchers is what I read. So if it is a rebranded Taurus it is not using the previous fairing system. So if my previous sentence stands correct it may be using Payload fairing used by Minotaur-1 or II otherwise I know that it is not the fairing system used on the failed Taurus-XL as it is worded as indicating that the Fairing and rest of the launcher originate from only OBV, Minotaur and Pegasus-XL.

My understanding is that this mission will use the 92" fairing, which is from the Taurus XL catalog and has flown successfully. The failed Taurus XL missions used the 63" fairing.

Please note: OBV, Pegasus XL, Minotaur I & III/IV/V, and Taurus XL all share various ATK motors.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/21/2014 06:25 PM
Come on Orbital.  Pick a name and stick to it!

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/21/2014 10:50 PM
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work. They've fixed those problems. I would be more worried about the next Falcon 9 v1.1 launch than I would about another Taurus XL fairing problem. Read a little about it here (though it doesn't tell the whole story) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_(rocket)#Glory_launch_failure
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/22/2014 01:30 AM
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/22/2014 03:36 AM
I wonder if the renaming of Taurus to Minotaur C (assuming this is what is happening) might be avionics-based.  Minotaur was equipped from the outset with an upgraded version of Orbital's older Pegasus and Taurus avionics system.  This included the inclusion of Orbital's Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) system and the use of high-data rate telemetry.  MACH was originally developed, as I understand it, for OSP and Target Launch Vehicle.  Perhaps a Taurus equipped with updated Minotaur avionics suite is now going to be called "Minotaur C". 

Just a guess.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/22/2014 03:50 AM
I wonder if the renaming of Taurus to Minotaur C (assuming this is what is happening) might be avionics-based.  Minotaur was equipped from the outset with an upgraded version of Orbital's older Pegasus and Taurus avionics system.  This included the inclusion of Orbital's Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) system and the use of high-data rate telemetry.  MACH was originally developed, as I understand it, for OSP and Target Launch Vehicle.  Perhaps a Taurus equipped with updated Minotaur avionics suite is now going to be called "Minotaur C". 

Just a guess.

 - Ed Kyle

You're on to something there, Ed. But it's not just a MACH upgrade; it's cutting loose the soiled baggage of the past.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/22/2014 04:04 AM
You're on to something there, Ed. But it's not just a MACH upgrade; it's cutting loose the soiled baggage of the past.
Unless it uses different motors, I'll still call it Taurus.  :)

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/22/2014 04:15 AM
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
No, more than one aspect...
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Silmfeanor on 02/22/2014 07:59 AM
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
No, more than one aspect...

Could you elaborate please Robotbeat, instead of just saying "you're wrong"?
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: osiossim on 02/22/2014 08:24 AM
http://www.spacenews.com/article/launch-report/39561skybox-taps-orbital-sciences-for-2015-minotaur-launch

"While the Minotaur is based on the U.S. Peacekeeper and Minuteman missile programs, its commercial Minotaur-C version uses four solid-fueled motors built by ATK."

Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/22/2014 07:03 PM
You're on to something there, Ed. But it's not just a MACH upgrade; it's cutting loose the soiled baggage of the past.
Unless it uses different motors, I'll still call it Taurus.  :)

 - Ed Kyle
If they decided to rename it, we have no choice but to use the new name. Very few are still using Taurus II to describe Orbital's Antares. Do you still call a post merger Boeing 717 a MD-95 or  DC-9?

btw.  When Kim Keller wrote: When you folks see pictures of it I believe you will indeed recognize it. I was so tempted to post a picture of a Saturn V with a big old question mark, then thought better of it ;)
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/22/2014 07:34 PM
Unless it uses different motors, I'll still call it Taurus.  :)
 - Ed Kyle
If they decided to rename it, we have no choice but to use the new name. Very few are still using Taurus II to describe Orbital's Antares. Do you still call a post merger Boeing 717 a MD-95 or  DC-9?
I'll call it whatever name Orbital assigns, but if it is simply a rename its reliability record will still include launches made under its old name.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/23/2014 12:43 AM
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
No, more than one aspect...

Since I was involved in the investigation you'll have to be a bit more specific.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: baldusi on 02/23/2014 01:28 PM
Wasn't a material uncontrolled secondary property that failed to propagate the fissure?
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/24/2014 05:02 PM
Wasn't a material uncontrolled secondary property that failed to propagate the fissure?

If that's meant to indicate that the frangible joint was not manufactured by a subcontractor to aerospace requirements, then you're right.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/24/2014 08:47 PM
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1402/24minotaurc/#.Uwu99vldWAg
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Lurker Steve on 02/24/2014 09:28 PM
So it actually uses the "standard" Minotaur fairing, and not the same fairing as the Taurus.

Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Skyrocket on 02/24/2014 10:07 PM
So it actually uses the "standard" Minotaur fairing, and not the same fairing as the Taurus.

Which was in turn taken from Taurus-2210 and -3210. So it is in fact the large Taurus fairing - not the small, which caused so much trouble.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/24/2014 10:34 PM
So is it not so much renaming a rocket as a hostile takeover merger of the Taurus and Minotaur teams?

Might we see similar Pegasus synergy in the future?
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: LouScheffer on 02/25/2014 12:18 AM
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
Well, for the first failure only one thing had to go wrong.  For the second failure, another thing had to go wrong - the failure review board had to fail to find the right problem (or perhaps specify the wrong set of fixes).
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: ineedalife999 on 02/25/2014 02:42 AM
I wonder if the renaming of Taurus to Minotaur C (assuming this is what is happening) might be avionics-based.  Minotaur was equipped from the outset with an upgraded version of Orbital's older Pegasus and Taurus avionics system.  This included the inclusion of Orbital's Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) system and the use of high-data rate telemetry.  MACH was originally developed, as I understand it, for OSP and Target Launch Vehicle.  Perhaps a Taurus equipped with updated Minotaur avionics suite is now going to be called "Minotaur C". 

Just a guess.

 - Ed Kyle

After OCO and Glory, Taurus was actually out of flight computers; the original manufacture had moved on.  One of those two crapped out in testing and had to be sent back for repair prior to OCO, which made a few people pretty nervous.  So I guess instead of keeping the Taurus name and paying to upgrade they are just doing the upgrade to MACH and giving the vehicle a clean start. 
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/25/2014 01:07 PM
There were multiple things that had to go wrong with the Taurus fairing for it not to work.

No, just one thing.
Well, for the first failure only one thing had to go wrong.  For the second failure, another thing had to go wrong - the failure review board had to fail to find the right problem (or perhaps specify the wrong set of fixes).

Unfortunately, no. The same problem bit twice. The wrong "problem" was fixed after T8/OCO.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/25/2014 01:09 PM
After OCO and Glory, Taurus was actually out of flight computers; the original manufacture had moved on.  One of those two crapped out in testing and had to be sent back for repair prior to OCO, which made a few people pretty nervous.  So I guess instead of keeping the Taurus name and paying to upgrade they are just doing the upgrade to MACH and giving the vehicle a clean start. 

Orbital's very sensible plan is to use the MACH avionics family throughout the product line. The architecture is very flexible. I'm currently evaluating such an upgrade to another of Orbital's vehicles.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/25/2014 01:21 PM
So is it not so much renaming a rocket as a hostile takeover merger of the Taurus and Minotaur teams?

Might we see similar Pegasus synergy in the future?

The engineering teams for Minotaur & Pegasus/Taurus will probably remain separate. The Vandenberg operations have always been integrated across the product line.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/25/2014 01:25 PM
So it actually uses the "standard" Minotaur fairing, and not the same fairing as the Taurus.

Which was in turn taken from Taurus-2210 and -3210. So it is in fact the large Taurus fairing - not the small, which caused so much trouble.

....although the frangible joints used on the two sizes were very similar and supplied by the same vendor. Orbital now has an aerospace qualified vendor.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: baldusi on 02/25/2014 02:33 PM
The engineering teams for Minotaur & Pegasus/Taurus will probably remain separate. The Vandenberg operations have always been integrated across the product line.
Antares is a third team? Pegasus II a fourth? I'm trying to understand why Taurus is being folded into Minotaur-C, but the other solids aren't.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/25/2014 03:08 PM
The engineering teams for Minotaur & Pegasus/Taurus will probably remain separate. The Vandenberg operations have always been integrated across the product line.
Antares is a third team? Pegasus II a fourth? I'm trying to understand why Taurus is being folded into Minotaur-C, but the other solids aren't.

Antares is a separate team. I know nothing about "Pegasus II" (?). Taurus is not being folded into Minotaur-C. For all intents and purposes, Minotaur-C is simply a new name for Taurus XL. This is all about re-branding, not reorganization. Yes, there will be some changes to details of the rocket, but the engineering team will continue as it has in the past, handling Pegasus and Taurus vehicle engineering.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/25/2014 03:30 PM
Pegasus II is the informal name for the Stratolaunch launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kim Keller on 02/25/2014 05:03 PM
Pegasus II is the informal name for the Stratolaunch launch vehicle.

Oh yeah, forgot...thanks. It's easy getting old, tough being old!
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: gongora on 08/29/2017 08:40 PM
Spaceflight Now shows this launch scheduled for October 17 at 1437 PDT/2137 GMT.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - October 17, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/05/2017 01:22 PM
Quote
Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes 9m9 minutes ago

Six @planetlabs 100-kg SkySat high-res observation sats built by @sslmda arrive Vandenberg AFB for Oct launch on @OrbitalATK Minotaur.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/905056160671309824
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - Late 2015
Post by: Kabloona on 09/05/2017 09:40 PM
Wasn't a material uncontrolled secondary property that failed to propagate the fissure?

If that's meant to indicate that the frangible joint was not manufactured by a subcontractor to aerospace requirements, then you're right.

I realize the above quotes are a few years old, but some new info has recently come to light on the subject of those frangible joint failures. NASA is reportedly investigating the supplier, who allegedly falsified materials test results.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43508.0

So not only was the joint not "manufactured to aerospace requirements," the supplier intentionally falsified test results. Hope someone goes to jail for that.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - October 17, 2017
Post by: myersd97 on 09/06/2017 01:58 AM
Unless I am mistaken, the VV07 launch (Vega launch in Sep 2016) put Skysats 4-7 into orbit. The title should be updated to reflect Skysat-8/9/10/11/12/13. 
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat-4/5/6/7/8/9? - October 17, 2017
Post by: Targeteer on 09/06/2017 02:50 AM
http://sslmda.com/html/pressreleases/2017-09-05-High-Resolution-Smallsats-Built-by-SSL-Arrive-at-Vandenberg-AFB-for-Launch.php

High Resolution Smallsats Built by SSL Arrive at Vandenberg AFB for Launch
Six Planet satellites — California owned, California built, California launched

PALO ALTO, Calif. – September 5, 2017 — In a first for the industry, six satellites, built in California, to be launched in California, for a California company have arrived at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, where they are scheduled to be launched on a Minotaur rocket in October.  Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, built the six high-resolution small satellites for Planet for its SkySat Earth observation constellation – a fleet Planet gained through the acquisition of the Terra Bella business from Google, Inc. in April 2017. The satellites will double Planet’s high resolution imaging capabilities and help deliver information to users about our physical world that impacts decision making.

“Small satellites and Earth observation satellites are a growing focus for SSL,” said Dario Zamarian, group president of SSL. “SSL is known for working very collaboratively with our customers and it has been a great pleasure for our team to work together with Planet. For these satellites we have taken a fresh approach to manufacturing, learning from our GEO experience but also looking for new and more efficient processes that in turn also inform our large satellite manufacturing.”

The satellites, called SkySat 8 through 13, are each about 60 x 60 x 95 centimeters, weigh about 100 kilograms, and capture sub-meter color imagery and up to 90-second clips of HD video with 30 frames per second. Working together with the seven SkySats already on orbit, the satellites will dramatically increase Planet’s high resolution imaging capabilities, enabling multiple imaging passes in a single day. These capabilities, combined with Planet’s over 170 Dove satellites and their advanced software analytics platform, make it possible to derive timely insights from any location in the world. The Planet constellation provides a broad range of data, tools, and analytical services that help leaders in business and humanitarian sectors solve complex problems.

“These SkySats double the amount of high resolution data that we can capture and serve to users, and will power insights, inform smart decisions, and most importantly, help make the world a better and safer place,” said Will Marshall, co-founder and chief executive officer of Planet. “The highly experienced team at SSL has been helpful and responsive as we work together to get the satellites prepared for launch.”

SSL has deep experience in building and integrating some of the world’s most powerful and comprehensive solutions for services such as communications, Earth observation, in-orbit servicing, space robotics, and exploration. Four SkySats built by SSL were launched in September 2016, and SSL is currently building an additional eight LEOs for Planet in its SmallSat manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif., where the company takes an innovative approach to satellite design, assembly, and test.

Please visit SSL’s new website which reflects the company’s broad capabilities as a provider of integrated space technologies and systems.

 
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 17, 2017
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 09/27/2017 06:36 PM
Quote
Planet will be launching 6 SkySats (SkySat 8-13) and 4 Doves (Flock 3m) on an Orbital-ATK Minotaur-C rocket from the SLC-576E launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on October 17, 2017. The target orbit is a Sun Synchronous, 500 km orbit with a 13:30 (1:30pm) crossing time. 


https://www.planet.com/pulse/all-in-the-family-planet-to-launch-skysats-and-doves-on-minotaur-c/
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 17, 2017
Post by: Skyrocket on 09/27/2017 08:19 PM
Quote
Planet will be launching 6 SkySats (SkySat 8-13) and 4 Doves (Flock 3m) on an Orbital-ATK Minotaur-C rocket from the SLC-576E launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on October 17, 2017. The target orbit is a Sun Synchronous, 500 km orbit with a 13:30 (1:30pm) crossing time. 


https://www.planet.com/pulse/all-in-the-family-planet-to-launch-skysats-and-doves-on-minotaur-c/

I think, that means the COPPER 2, CPOD A/B, MinXSS 2, RANGE A/B cubesats were dropped from the mission. The launch of these university cubesats were sponsored by Google, when Skysat was still a Google company.
 
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 17, 2017
Post by: gongora on 10/11/2017 02:09 PM
Quote
Orbital ATK‏
@OrbitalATK
Orbital ATK is requesting a later launch date of its #MinotaurC rocket from @30thSpaceWing to accommodate further verification & testing

Source: https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/918102913666441216

Unfortunately, I was unable to find anything more specific.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - NET October 2017
Post by: The Phantom on 10/16/2017 05:17 PM
No vehicle or spacecraft issues. This mission is being treated as a return-to-flight for Taurus XL/Minotaur-C, so a thorough paper review is being conducted.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - NET October 2017
Post by: input~2 on 10/17/2017 02:23 PM
The present FCC license expires November 9
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - NET October 2017
Post by: Helodriver on 10/18/2017 04:13 PM
First stage has been stacked on the launch mount at site 576E. This is the first use of this bare bones site in quite a few years.

Standard construction cranes and off the shelf scaffolding are used to stack and support the vehicle out in the open. There is no MST.

The site was originally a test silo for Atlas ICBMs, which can be seen as the fenced off area immediately behind the Minotaur launch mount.

Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - NET October 2017
Post by: Kim Keller on 10/18/2017 06:22 PM
First stage has been stacked on the launch mount at site 576E. This is the first use of this bare bones site in quite a few years.

Yeah, I was there for that last launch, T9/Glory. And the one before, T8/OCO. Bummers, both.

To refresh everyone's memory of this vehicle, the Castor 120 is referred to as 'Stage 0' by OATK. The rest of the stages are basically a Pegasus without the wing.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - NET October 2017
Post by: The Phantom on 10/19/2017 04:19 PM
Looks like this mission is going on the calendar for 10/31
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - NET October 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/19/2017 09:11 PM
Confirmed:

Quote
Our #MinotaurC upper stack w/ @PlanetLabs spacecraft is prepped for transport to the pad for a 2:37 p.m. launch Oct. 31 from VAFB

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/921120379371843584 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/921120379371843584)
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/23/2017 05:38 PM
Quote
OrbitalATK's commercial #MinotaurC rocket is stacked on the pad, ready to launch @planetlabs spacecraft on Oct. 31 from VAFB @30thSpaceWing

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/922508602010513409 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/922508602010513409)
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Helodriver on 10/25/2017 12:50 AM
As unseasonable record high 100 degree F temperatures bake Vandenberg AFB today, the Minotaur C vehicle being readied for launch on 31 October glistens in the bright sun at its seaside launch pad 576E.

Image MIN3 and MIN4: The road to space is long with many a winding turn.

Image MIN7 shows the larger SLC-2W looming behind, the launch site of the JPSS aboard a Delta II scheduled for November.

Image MIN12 shows the distant coastline of Vandenberg South Base, with SLC-4 and SLC-6 clearly visible on a rare hot clear marine layer free day.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: rayleighscatter on 10/26/2017 09:23 PM

[2] Brings up the obvious question, what does the "C" stand for?  Why isn't there a "Minotaur-B", or a "Minotaur-A"?
Commercial.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/27/2017 12:42 PM
As near as I can tell, this is the one and only Minotaur-C launch on the books[1][2].  Has anyone run across differing information?

 - Ed Kyle

If Minotaur-C was still called "Taurus", then technically, this would be the tenth flight of this rocket.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Sam Ho on 10/27/2017 02:05 PM
As near as I can tell, this is the one and only Minotaur-C launch on the books[1][2].  Has anyone run across differing information?

 - Ed Kyle
If Minotaur-C was still called "Taurus", then technically, this would be the tenth flight of this rocket.
As per Orbital ATK's Minotaur-C fact sheet, the official name of the vehicle being launched next week is 3210 Minotaur-C XL.

OA seems a little conflicted about what to call Minotaur-C.  The Minotaur webpage says "To date, our Minotaur rockets have completed 26 missions out of every major U.S. spaceport with 100% success," which conveniently excludes three Taurus failures.

Meanwhile, the Minotaur-C fact sheet on that page says "All major Minotaur-C configurations (SSLV, Standard and XL) have launched," which counts Taurus as a Minotaur-C configuration, since all of those launches were Taurus launches.

https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/space-launch-vehicles/minotaur/default.aspx
https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/space-launch-vehicles/minotaur/docs/Minotaur-C_Factsheet.pdf
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/27/2017 02:14 PM
Right.  What I'm asking is if it might be the last.

 - Ed Kyle

I'm not sure if it's the last one ever.

There's a possibility that some future payload contracts could be manifested for Minotaur-C.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: catdlr on 10/28/2017 03:49 AM
The following is a news item from Vandenberg AFB:

Minotaur-C Scheduled to Launch

30th Space Wing Public Affairs / Published October 27, 2017

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Team Vandenberg is scheduled to launch the Skybox imaging satellite aboard the Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket from Space Launch Complex 576-E here, Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 2:37 p.m. PDT.

Col. Greg Wood, 30th Space Wing vice commander, is the space launch commander.

"Our unique geographic location makes Vandenberg an ideal place to launch commercial imaging satellites," said Wood. "We are excited to partner with Orbital ATK to make this mission a reality."

Due to the remoteness of the launch site, the Hawk's Nes (https://www.google.com/maps/@34.7303722,-120.5039543,621m/data=!3m1!1e3)t on Hwy 1 south of Vandenberg Air Force Base's main gate will not be open.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/28/2017 08:04 AM
Quote
The fog rolls in at VAFB as the team finishes preps on the #MinotaurC launching Oct. 31 at 2:37 pm PDT @planetlabs @30thSpaceWing @FAA news

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/924095780721266689 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/924095780721266689)
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/28/2017 08:43 AM
Right.  What I'm asking is if it might be the last.

 - Ed Kyle

I'm not sure if it's the last one ever.

There's a possibility that some future payload contracts could be manifested for Minotaur-C.

Surely that depends if NG decides to stay in the launcher business.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: rayleighscatter on 10/29/2017 02:14 PM
Right.  What I'm asking is if it might be the last.

 - Ed Kyle

I'm not sure if it's the last one ever.

There's a possibility that some future payload contracts could be manifested for Minotaur-C.

Surely that depends if NG decides to stay in the launcher business.

Well yes, but this is true of any launch vehicle and any launch service provider though. Nothing says ULA or SpaceX or any other has to keep launching their rockets either.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: savuporo on 10/29/2017 10:01 PM
As many of these launch threads don't call out why the payloads are significant for space technology, let me call this one out a bit.

Quote
Abstract: On-Orbit commissioning of High Performance Green Propulsion (HPGP) in the SkySat constellation

In late 2012 Skybox Imaging selected HPGP technology for implementation of their second generation (propulsive) SkySat small Earth observation satellite platform. During 2013 ECAPS worked to design a complete, compact and 'modular' HPGP propulsion system; the first (protoflight) version of which was delivered in 2014. A total quantity of nineteen SkySat HPGP propulsion systems have been ordered thus far, and 'assembly line' manufacturing is ongoing at ECAPS - with multiple deliveris accomplished in 2015 & 2016, and continuing into 2017.

The first five SkySat satellites with HPGP propulsion systems were launched during 2016 and an additional six SkySat satellites with HPGP systems are scheduled for launch in 2017 from Vandenberg AFB on Orbital ATK's Minotaur-C. SkySat-3 was launched in June 2016 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Antrix's PSLV and SkySat-4 through SkySat-7 were launched in September 2016 from the Guiana Space Centre on Arianespace's Vega. Each satellites' HPGP system has been successfully commissioned and is now being operated in-orbit.

This paper will begin by providing a brief introduction of HPGP technology; with a more in-depth description of the SkySat HPGP propulsion system design. A summary of the PSLV and Vega launch campaign fueling operations will also be provided, followed by the process and results of the post-launch propulsion system commissioning activities, and a performance overview of nominal on-orbit maneuvers executed to-date.

Finally, a short update will be provided regarding the continued progress and improvement of HPGP technology, including maturation of the 5N & 22N HPGP thrusters to TRL-6 and the development of a new lower-cost 'next generation' 1N HPGP thruster.

Welcome to commercial smallsat technology revolution !

Between this and increased drive for more and more electric propulsion by commercial GEO birds, the retirement of good old hydrazine is maybe not so far off anymore.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/30/2017 05:42 AM
Quote
It's a beautiful night at the pad as our #MinotaurC rocket stands ready for its Halloween launch at 2:37 pm PDT @planetlabs @30thSpaceWing

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/924859192560590848
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 10/30/2017 03:17 PM
Will there be any Halloween-themed goings-on on-camera during tomorrow's launch? :)

EDIT: No webcast link yet at www.orbitalatk.com .  They do promise "Watch the live broadcast here beginning 20 minutes before the launch window opens."

EDIT2: Added file attachments: Minotaur-C factsheet, Minotaur Mission History, and SkySat Ortho Scene Product Spec Sheet.
From https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/MinotaurC_SkySat_Mission-Page/default.aspx?prid=283

EDIT3: Added links to said documents.
https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/space-launch-vehicles/minotaur/docs/Minotaur-C_Factsheet.pdf
https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/space-launch-vehicles/minotaur/docs/MinotaurMissionHistory.pdf
https://assets.planet.com/marketing/PDF/SkySat-Ortho-Scene-Product-Spec-Sheet.pdf
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: jcm on 10/30/2017 05:11 PM
As near as I can tell, this is the one and only Minotaur-C launch on the books[1][2].  Has anyone run across differing information?

 - Ed Kyle
If Minotaur-C was still called "Taurus", then technically, this would be the tenth flight of this rocket.
As per Orbital ATK's Minotaur-C fact sheet, the official name of the vehicle being launched next week is 3210 Minotaur-C XL.

OA seems a little conflicted about what to call Minotaur-C.  The Minotaur webpage says "To date, our Minotaur rockets have completed 26 missions out of every major U.S. spaceport with 100% success," which conveniently excludes three Taurus failures.

Meanwhile, the Minotaur-C fact sheet on that page says "All major Minotaur-C configurations (SSLV, Standard and XL) have launched," which counts Taurus as a Minotaur-C configuration, since all of those launches were Taurus launches.

https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/space-launch-vehicles/minotaur/default.aspx
https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/space-launch-vehicles/minotaur/docs/Minotaur-C_Factsheet.pdf

I'm confused, doesn't this one have the 63" fairing per earlier in the thread? Which would make it 3110 not 3210 [Edit:  I misremembered the earlier part of the thread. It's the large 92" fairing, so indeed 3210, correct?]
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Kim Keller on 10/30/2017 05:47 PM
I'm confused, doesn't this one have the 63" fairing per earlier in the thread? Which would make it 3110 not 3210 [Edit:  I misremembered the earlier part of the thread. It's the large 92" fairing, so indeed 3210, correct?]

Correct.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 10/30/2017 08:18 PM
We just set up remote cameras 300 yards from Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/30/2017 08:20 PM
https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=298

Orbital ATK Set to Launch Minotaur C Rocket Carrying SkySat and Dove Spacecraft for Planet
Commercial Launch and Mission to Send 10 Spacecraft to Orbit

Dulles, Virginia 30 October 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced it is in final preparations to launch the company’s Minotaur C rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on October 31 at approximately 2:37 p.m. PDT. The Minotaur C will carry Planet’s SkySat and Dove spacecraft, which will capture medium and high resolution multispectral imagery of Earth at unprecedented scale and frequency for the commercial market. Approximately 12 minutes into flight the ten Planet spacecraft will deploy into their targeted sun synchronous orbit 310 miles (500 kilometers) above the Earth.

“We are looking forward to launching Planet’s spacecraft, which will provide incredible data for commercial use,” said Rich Straka, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Launch Vehicles Division. “The Minotaur C provides an excellent low-cost option for small to medium spacecraft providers.”

The Minotaur C rocket is an all commercial vehicle capable of launching payloads up to 3,500 lbs. The Minotaur C space launch vehicle is a variant of the Minotaur product line designed to support U.S. government and commercial customers. Minotaur C employs four Orbital ATK solid rocket motors as its propulsion system, all of which have been flown dozens of times and are thoroughly flight-proven in various combinations on the company's other small space launch vehicles, including Pegasus, Taurus and Minotaur, as well as on the Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) long-range missile defense interceptor.

The constellation of seven SkySats, soon to be 13, is the world’s largest commercial fleet of high-res satellites operating in space. Together, the Dove and SkySat network of remote sensing satellites deliver a global information feed to businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world.

Live coverage of the Minotaur launch will be available at www.orbitalatk.com starting 20 minutes before liftoff. Details about the mission can also be found on the website.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/30/2017 08:31 PM
From the press release, 10 satellites are to be deployed, including 6 Skysat satellites. Presumably the other four satellites are Flock 3m 1 to 4. Enlarged image of the first SkySat deployment below. Four SkySats are on top of the cage (Upper Bulkhead), with two in the cage. The drawing doesn't seem to show the other satellites.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: russianhalo117 on 10/30/2017 08:53 PM
From the press release, 10 satellites are to be deployed, including 6 Skysat satellites. Presumably the other four satellites are Flock 3m 1 to 4. Enlarged image of the first SkySat deployment below. Four SkySats are on top of the cage (Upper Bulkhead), with two in the cage. The drawing doesn't seem to show the other satellites.
Flock 3m 1 to 4 deployer is not visible in the orientation of the deployer.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/30/2017 10:27 PM
Launch weather forecast for tomorrow is 100% GO!

Quote
Overall, there are no expected constraints of concern for range safety or the launch agency leading to a 0% POV for primary day.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: jhnphm on 10/30/2017 11:37 PM
Photo from pad tour today.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 10/31/2017 06:25 AM
More photos during remote camera setup.
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 10/31/2017 06:48 AM
From 2nd remote camera site overlook SLC-576E.

Ideal marina & lighting condition permitted this unexpected photos across the water.
1) SLC-4 (SpaceX) - 7.25 miles
2) SLC-3E (Atlas) - 6.8 miles
3) SLC-6 (Delta) - 10.8 miles
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/31/2017 10:19 AM
Nice view of the rocket cabling and umbilicals:

Quote
It’s launch day! The window for #MinotaurC launch of @planetlabs SkySat & Dove spacecraft will open at 2:37pm PT/5:37pm ET. @30thSpaceWing

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/925316114590109696 (https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/925316114590109696)
Title: Re: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - Oct. 31, 2017
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/31/2017 11:19 AM
Moved for live coverage.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 11:45 AM
Is the fact it’s sitting up on top of that stand due to launcher heritage as an ICBM?
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: StarryKnight on 10/31/2017 11:52 AM
The stand is in lieu of a flame trench.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 10/31/2017 12:21 PM
Without any way to tell scale, the Minotaur looks like an Estes hobby rocket or something!
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 01:25 PM
A very meaty overview article by William Graham!
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/orbital-atk-minotaur-c-skysat-mission-vandenberg/
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: marshal on 10/31/2017 02:34 PM
any logo for the mission ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 03:01 PM
Is the fact it’s sitting up on top of that stand due to launcher heritage as an ICBM?
The original "Darpa Taurus" used the Peacekeeper missile first stage.  Peacekeepers were "cold-gas" ejected from their silos to ignite 150 to 200 feet above ground, a technique not used by Taurus.  This stand was built to get the "Darpa Taurus" vehicles off the ground a bit for their ignition, avoiding the construction of a costly launch duct, etc.  The first Taurus was intended to be a bare-bones, low cost effort.  Other, later-developed rockets that use this SR-118 stage motor (Minotaur 3-5, etc.) have launched from new pads equipped with exhaust ducts, etc.

Today's Taurus XL (Minotaur-C) uses a commercial Castor 120 first stage motor.

 - Ed Kyle

Thanks. The Russian launchers based on ICBMs always appear to use the same kind of launch as they would have done as a missile.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: savuporo on 10/31/2017 03:46 PM
A very meaty overview article by William Graham!
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/orbital-atk-minotaur-c-skysat-mission-vandenberg/

Good article. Minor nit: would help to caption the images in the article.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 10/31/2017 04:01 PM
From the LIVE: Delta II - Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July 2, 2014 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22083.0) thread:

Quote from: sdsds on 6/23/2011 8:34 pm http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22083.msg761965#msg761965
Quote
Quote from: bolun on 06/23/2011 05:55 PM http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22083.msg761930#msg761930
Quote
NASA Suspends Payments on Launch Contract with Orbital

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110623-nasa-suspends-payments-orbital.html
Ouch.

Quote
“I would go more than recertified, personally,” Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, told Space News in May. “I would go demonstrated.”

Is there another payload that could be launched by Taurus XL?  What customer would accept the risks (that Freilich apparently won't accept) of riding on a demonstration flight?

To answer sdsds' 6-year-old question: Apparently Planet Labs accepted the risks of riding on a demonstration flight.

My multi-part question: Will this flight recertify ex. Taurus/now Minotaur-C for NASA launches?  Is restoring this LV to the NASA launch stable even being considered?

(Is this no longer a necessary or desirable option in the age of Elon (Falcon 9)?

Or has the subsuming of Orbital into Orbital ATK, followed by the subsuming of OATK into Northrop Grumman, changed the corporate business plan so much that they won't really press to procure any more launch contracts for this LV?)

(Semi-parallel discussion re: Antares LV in Antares General Discussion thread, most recent wave starts here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32903.msg1740219#msg1740219)).
***

Please excuse the crude quotes: their parent thread is locked, and that removes the Quote function.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: russianhalo117 on 10/31/2017 04:14 PM
From the LIVE: Delta II - Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July 2, 2014 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22083.0) thread:

Quote from: sdsds on 6/23/2011 8:34 pm http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22083.msg761965#msg761965
Quote
Quote from: bolun on 06/23/2011 05:55 PM http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22083.msg761930#msg761930
Quote
NASA Suspends Payments on Launch Contract with Orbital

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110623-nasa-suspends-payments-orbital.html
Ouch.

Quote
“I would go more than recertified, personally,” Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, told Space News in May. “I would go demonstrated.”

Is there another payload that could be launched by Taurus XL?  What customer would accept the risks (that Freilich apparently won't accept) of riding on a demonstration flight?

Will this flight recertify ex. Taurus/now Minotaur-C for NASA launches?

Please excuse the crude quotes: their parent thread is locked, and that removes the Quote function.
I believe more than one flight would be needed to be re-certified for NASA Launches. Jim and others can better answer this question than I can.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 10/31/2017 05:37 PM
any logo for the mission ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/31/2017 07:03 PM
Quote
[email protected]labs artist Forest Steans unveiled his mission artwork which is on the fairing of today's #MinotaurC carrying Doves & SkySats #STEAM

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/925411725842804743
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 07:37 PM
Under one hour to launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 07:41 PM
SpaceTV are providing their own YouTube link of the OA livestream. This might be handy for those people who may have trouble getting the OA stream to work.

http://www.spacetv.net/live/launch-of-minotaur-c-with-6-skysat-satellites/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppE0uqKBB6w
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 07:52 PM
T-45 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: russianhalo117 on 10/31/2017 07:55 PM
Official on-site Orbital ATK Livestream:  https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/MinotaurC_SkySat_Mission-Page/default.aspx?prid=283
Official Standalone Orbital ATK Livestream: https://livestream.com/accounts/8687243/events/7874395
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:06 PM
T-30 minutes.

About ten minutes until the webcast begins.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:07 PM
T-30 minutes. Webcast should be starting in 10 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:11 PM
Five minutes away.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:12 PM
Leo as come by to watch the launch, with appropriate scary yellow eyes for Halloween! :-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Helodriver on 10/31/2017 08:15 PM
Not a perfect weather day out at Vandenberg today, good enough for launch but a 3000' overcast cloud deck is likely to limit views to only the first 15 or 20 seconds of flight. That said I have my spot with direct views of the vehicle on the pad. Should be a good show this Halloween afternoon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:17 PM
T-20 minutes. Webcast has begun.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:18 PM
And we're live from Vandenberg Air Force Base's Launch Complex 576E. The Minotaur-C 3210 rocket is less than 20 minutes away from launching ten small Earth-observing satellites for Terra Bella and Planet Labs.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:18 PM
Today's commentator is Sean Wilson.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:18 PM
As you can see, it looks pretty cloudy outside, but it's still favorable for the planned T0.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:19 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:19 PM
Colonel Hough being interviewed about today's mission.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:20 PM
Talking with the 30th Space Wing Commander.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:20 PM
Far shot.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:21 PM
Captain Jennifer Haden providing us with a weather update.

0% POV for the T0 at 21:37 UTC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:22 PM
T-15 minutes and counting.

No technical issues are being worked at this time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:22 PM
Weather is no constraint.

T-15 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:22 PM
Trina Patterson being interviewed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:23 PM
Mission coverage will continue through the last satellite deployment.

At L-13 minutes, we'll enter a planned built-in hold.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:23 PM
Talking with OA Communications Manager.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:23 PM
Trina!
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:24 PM
Family.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:24 PM
T-13 minutes. Showing Minotaur family.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:25 PM
L-13 minutes and counting.

It's actually T-8 minutes and holding.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:25 PM
T-8 mins. Five minute BIH.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:25 PM
Trina Patterson showing us an animation of today's mission events.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:25 PM
Holding at T-5 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:28 PM
Back to live coverage.

Launch Director performing the final GO/NO GO poll.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:28 PM
L-9 minutes. Polling is complete and we're GO.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:29 PM
Launch animation.

Go for launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:29 PM
L-8 minutes and counting. The countdown should resume at this time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:30 PM
Showing a promo video of Planet Labs.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:31 PM
T-7 minutes. Weather remains 100% favorable.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:31 PM
T-8 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:31 PM
T-7 minutes. Showing Planet video.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:32 PM
T-6 minutes.

From launch until the last payload is deployed, this mission should last about 19 minutes and 44 seconds. However, it's technically not over until signal is reacquired.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:32 PM
T-6 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:33 PM
Under 5 minutes to launch.

Still counting down towards the planned T0 at 21:37 UTC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:33 PM
T-5 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:33 PM
FTS Armed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:34 PM
T-4 minutes. Minotaur-C and its payloads should be on internal power.

Now listening to Launch Conductor Adam Lewis perform the final countdown steps.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:34 PM
The Flight Termination System is armed.

The launch vehicle stages' igniters are also armed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:34 PM
T-4 minutes. Vehicle and FTS are armed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:35 PM
T-3 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:35 PM
T-2 minutes. The Western Range is GO for launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:36 PM
T-60 seconds and counting. First stage ignition should occur exactly at T0, immediately lifting the vehicle off the launch pedestal due to its high thrust-to-weight ratio.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:36 PM
T-2 minutes. SIGI in NAV mode.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:37 PM
T-45. Automatic sequencer is up and running.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:37 PM
T-30 seconds. Go Minotaur, Go SkySat, Go Flock.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:37 PM
T-1 minutes. Autosequence start.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:37 PM
T-15 seconds.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, and ignition of the Minotaur-C rocket with six SkySat satellites and four Flock cubesats, marking a Return to Flight for one of Orbital ATK's small-lift launch vehicles.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:38 PM
T+15 seconds. Roll and pitch programs have commenced.

Launch vehicle attitude is nominal as we approach Mach 1.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:38 PM
T+40 seconds. Now going through Max-Q. Everything still looks good.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:38 PM
Liftoff!
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:38 PM
LAUNCH!
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:38 PM
1 minute into the flight. Less than twenty seconds remaining in the first stage burn.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:39 PM
We have first stage burnout. 1 minute, 20 seconds in.

The vent covers surrounding the second stage nozzle will be jettisoned prior to staging.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:39 PM
Launch with the oddly named stage 0 performing nominally.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:39 PM
Nominal guy is back.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:39 PM
First stage separation, second stage ignition. Second stage burn will last for 1 minute and 9 seconds.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:39 PM
T+1 minute.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:39 PM
Second stage thrust vector actuator is nominal.

T+2 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:40 PM
On Stage 1 (which is the second stage).
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:40 PM
Loss of telemetry in the center.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: abaddon on 10/31/2017 08:40 PM
Negative telemetry :(
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:40 PM
Stage 0 separation.

T+2 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:40 PM
No telemetry?
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:41 PM
Still have lock on range data.

Should be on third stage powered flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: DaveS on 10/31/2017 08:41 PM
Still have Range Tracking.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:41 PM
Lost telemetry!

Have lock on range data.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:41 PM
Three minutes Mission Elapsed Time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: abaddon on 10/31/2017 08:41 PM
It's back!  Phew...
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
Recovered telemetry.

Fairing has separated. Third stage has burnt out.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
Recovered telemetry.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
The vehicle will now coast for 1 minute and 10 seconds until the third stage separates.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
Fairing separation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
Phew. Telemetry is back.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: DaveS on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
Fairing jett confirmed as well as Stage 2 burn out.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
Again, we have lost telemetry in the center.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:42 PM
Lost telemetry again.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:43 PM
Five minutes into the flight.

Positive telemetry again.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:43 PM
Conformation of fairing separation.

Have lost telemetry again.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:43 PM
T+5 minutes 2 seconds. Telemetry back.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:43 PM
Third stage should have separated by now.

The next major event will be fourth stage ignition, which will occur at the current apogee.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:44 PM
Now we’ve got the talking heads. What’s going on with the telemetry?
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:45 PM
In four minute coast. "We do all the testing."

Talking with planet representative.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:45 PM
T+7 minutes. Vehicle attitude and power buses are healthy.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:45 PM
T+7 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:45 PM
Now talking about the art that was painted on the payload fairing.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:46 PM
T+9 minutes. Fourth stage has pitched down in preparation for ignition.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:47 PM
T+8 minutes. Talking about mission artwork. Macaw represents the larger SkySats.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:47 PM
Fourth stage has ignited and will burn for about 1 minute and 8 seconds.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:47 PM
Vehicle has gone over the horizon and we've lost telemetry yet again.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:47 PM
Third stage ignition.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:48 PM
Gone over the horizon and lost telemetry for last time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:48 PM
Fourth stage should have burnt out, placing the payloads in their desired orbit.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:48 PM
T+11 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:49 PM
The next major event will be the start of the payload deployment sequence in less than two minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:49 PM
Simulation indicating satellites should be in orbit.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:50 PM
Each Flock cubesat is the size of a bread loaf.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:50 PM
How bizarre they can’t maintain telemetry over the horizon and we just have a simulation.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:50 PM
T+12 minutes.

Upcoming events.

13:22 First SkySat Separation
13:42 Second SkySat Separation
14:02 Third SkySat Separation
14:22 Fourth SkySat Separation
15:22 Upper Bulkhead Separation
16:43 Fifth SkySat Separation
17:03 Sixth SkySat Separation
18:13 Set A Secondaries Separation
19:44 Set B Secondaries Separation
21:26 End of Mission
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:51 PM
T+13 minutes, 22 seconds. The payload deployment should start at this point. Once the four upper satellites are away, the upper bulkhead will jettison, allowing the other six satellites to be deployed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:51 PM
T+13 minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:52 PM
Expected orbital parameters:

Perigee -  506.36 kilometers
Apogee - 513.11 kilometers
Inclination - 97.41 degrees
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:52 PM
First one is simulated away.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:52 PM
By now, the first four SkySat satellites should have deployed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:52 PM
Fourth SkySat deployed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:52 PM
Second and third sat away.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:53 PM
At this point, the fourth stage should've used its RCS system to position itself for the separation of the upper bulkhead.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:53 PM
Fourth sat away. Turning vehicle.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:53 PM
The upper bulkhead should've separated, and the fourth stage should be positioning itself to release the last two SkySat satellites.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/31/2017 08:53 PM
I wish they had disabled comments in the chat feed for the live webcast on Youtube :'(
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:54 PM
Forward bulkhead is away. All expected, not actually confirmed yet.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:55 PM
The last two SkySat satellites should be away.

The fourth stage would then orient itself for the separation of the first two Flock-3m cubesats.

17 minutes, 10 seconds into the flight.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:55 PM
SS9 is away.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:55 PM
Sixth SkySat deployed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:55 PM
Last Skysat is away.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:56 PM
The first two Flock-3m satellites should have deployed at this point.

A final reorientation of the fourth stage would then be made to release the last two Flock-3m cubesats.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:56 PM
Doves 1 & 3 deployed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:56 PM
Talking about deploying multiple satellites on previous missions.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:57 PM
Doves 1 and 3 are away.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:57 PM
The last two Flock-3m cubesats should have separated at this point, ending the mission.

Standing by to regain telemetry in order to confirm that all ten satellites have separated.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:58 PM
Doves 2 & 4 deployed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2017 08:58 PM
Job Done!

Great work from Steven, Zach and all with the coverage.

William's article updated:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/orbital-atk-minotaur-c-skysat-mission-vandenberg/
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:58 PM
About an hour will pass until AOS is confirmed.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 08:59 PM
Doves 2 and 4 are away. Note that is all expected. We don't yet have actual confirmation.

Expected contact at 1300 UTC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 08:59 PM
The webcast now coming to a close with a final launch replay.

Congratulations to Orbital ATK, Terra Bella, and Planet Labs on the Return to Flight for Minotaur-C.

See you next time.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 08:59 PM
Launch replay.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 09:00 PM
Webcast ending soon.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 09:00 PM
Showing launch replay.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 09:00 PM
And ended.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 09:02 PM
End of webcast.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: William Graham on 10/31/2017 09:02 PM
Expected contact at 1300 UTC.

They said 13:00 UTC, but that's fifteen hours from now. I'm assuming they meant 23:00 UTC.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: rayleighscatter on 10/31/2017 09:03 PM
Telemetry issues and a clean fairing separation. Trick or and treat.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/31/2017 09:08 PM
IIRC flights out of VAFB have such telemetry drop outs once in a while (e.g. some of the Delta II flights I watched), but for this one the wait certainly seemed to be longer.  :-X
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/31/2017 09:10 PM
First contact will be when the Satellites loop around the Earth and pass over Alaska:

http://mstl.atl.calpoly.edu/~bklofas/Presentations/DevelopersWorkshop2016/1_BryanKlofas.pdf
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: russianhalo117 on 10/31/2017 09:13 PM
First contact will be when the Satellites loop around the Earth and pass over Alaska:

http://mstl.atl.calpoly.edu/~bklofas/Presentations/DevelopersWorkshop2016/1_BryanKlofas.pdf
To be exact, AOS will be via the Alaska Satellite Facility at University of Alaska Fairbanks (https://www.asf.alaska.edu/). Planet and Terra Bella have equipment located on site.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: tmoesser on 10/31/2017 09:22 PM
How bizarre they can’t maintain telemetry over the horizon and we just have a simulation.
TDRS is expensive, and so are floating ground stations.  If the mission doesn't require it, no need charging the customer for service they don't need.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2017 09:26 PM
How bizarre they can’t maintain telemetry over the horizon and we just have a simulation.
TDRS is expensive, and so are floating ground stations.  If the mission doesn't require it, no need charging the customer for service they don't need.

Maybe I’ve missed something but I don’t remember any such issues with any recent Space X, ULA and even other Orbital launches.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: DaveS on 10/31/2017 09:35 PM
How bizarre they can’t maintain telemetry over the horizon and we just have a simulation.
TDRS is expensive, and so are floating ground stations.  If the mission doesn't require it, no need charging the customer for service they don't need.

Maybe I’ve missed something but I don’t remember any such issues with any recent Space X, ULA and even other Orbital launches.
I believe those are equipped with TDRS transmitters. And with the Minotaur-C being a low-cost launcher, it doesn't have a TDRS transmitter.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: russianhalo117 on 10/31/2017 09:41 PM
How bizarre they can’t maintain telemetry over the horizon and we just have a simulation.
TDRS is expensive, and so are floating ground stations.  If the mission doesn't require it, no need charging the customer for service they don't need.

Maybe I’ve missed something but I don’t remember any such issues with any recent Space X, ULA and even other Orbital launches.
I believe those are equipped with TDRS transmitters. And with the Minotaur-C being a low-cost launcher, it doesn't have a TDRS transmitter.
According to the latest users guide that I have on my computer, TDRS is provided as an optional service.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 09:53 PM
TDRS is expensive, and so are floating ground stations.  If the mission doesn't require it, no need charging the customer for service they don't need.

That philosophy is fine right up until there is a problem with the launch. Then you wish you had the telemetry since knowing when the problem occurred and other information before the anomaly is a big help in working out what the problem is. Without the telemetry you are working completely in the dark.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 09:53 PM
Quick update:

AOS of the SkySat and Flock satellites should occur in about three minutes.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 10/31/2017 10:27 PM
Have AOS of the satellites occurred yet?
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 10:30 PM
Have AOS of the satellites occurred yet?

We don't know. I'm watching the OA and Planet Labs twitter accounts, but there has been no updates. Contact should have occurred by now though.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Kim Keller on 10/31/2017 10:35 PM
Telemetry on sun-synchronous missions out of VAFB is a real problem for solid-fueled vehicles relatively early in flight. The TM antennas are looking almost straight up the rocket's tailpipe, and remember that solid fuel contains a lot of aluminum. It's like a fighter dispensing chaff to throw off a radar guided missile.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 10/31/2017 10:39 PM
2.5 miles from the launch site. 

We can’t pick up the remote cameras due to the ongoing fire around the pad.

The helicopter w/ water bucket did went over the pad within few minutes after the launch. However 2 hours have passed and still didn’t get “All Clear” signal yet.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Helodriver on 10/31/2017 10:43 PM
Shots of the Minotaur-C launch from the western foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains on South Vandenberg, one of the few areas with direct visibility to the pad from 8.1 miles away. In the frames can be seen two of the tracking radars as well as the offshore patrol boat enforcing the closed sea area. Other observation locations were slightly closer, but with obscured view as area 576E is down the shoreward slope of the Burton Mesa which makes up a large portion of North Vandenberg. This elevated hillside viewpoint provided a unique perspective of today's launch.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: marshal on 10/31/2017 10:58 PM
Gen. Jay Raymond‏ @AFSpaceCC

Congrats @OrbitalATK on the successful #MinotaurC launch!
Thanks @30thSpaceWing & @AF_SMC for your great support. Well done,
team!"

and some pics of the minotaurc launch

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1359408/vandenberg-launches-a-minotaur-c-rocket/
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 11:03 PM
Launch success! Congratulations to Orbital ATK and Planet Labs for the successful launch!

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/925513283519598594

Orbital ATK‏Verified account @OrbitalATK 52 seconds ago

Our #MinotaurC successfully placed @planetlabs 10 satellites into orbit! Congrats to the entire team! @30thSpaceWing #OrbitalATKDelivers
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: marshal on 10/31/2017 11:04 PM
 Orbital ATK‏

Our #MinotaurC successfully placed @planetlabs 10 satellites into orbit! Congrats to the entire team! @30thSpaceWing #OrbitalATKDelivers
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: hartspace on 10/31/2017 11:05 PM
 Planet‏Verified account @planetlabs 2m2 minutes ago

Successful launch & commissioning going as planned. Contact made with Doves & SkySats. Thanks to @orbitalatk & @30thspacewing
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/31/2017 11:05 PM
Report from Planet Labs.

https://twitter.com/planetlabs/status/925513196240113664

Planet‏Verified account @planetlabs 3 minutes ago

Successful launch & commissioning going as planned. Contact made with Doves & SkySats. Thanks to @orbitalatk & @30thspacewing
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: catdlr on 10/31/2017 11:05 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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



Vandenberg Launches a Minotaur-C Rocket



VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -  The Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket,
carrying 10 small satellites owned by Planet, launched from Space Launch
Complex 576-E here Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 2:37 p.m. PDT.



Col. Greg Wood, 30th Space Wing vice commander, was the space launch
commander.



"This launch was an incredible achievement for Team Vandenberg, Orbital ATK,
and our other launch partners," said Wood. "This Minotaur-C launch marked
the first at Vandenberg in six years and I am very proud of the teamwork
that led to this successful launch. The hard work and dedication of everyone
involved continues to ensure our nation's access to space."
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: spacetraveler on 10/31/2017 11:18 PM
Good to see this vehicle RTF successfully. Was wondering if it would ever fly again.

Maybe there will be other customers now.

Congrats Orbital ATK.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: catdlr on 10/31/2017 11:35 PM
Vandenberg AFB Launches a Minotaur-C Rocket

30th Space Wing, Vandenberg AFB
Published on Oct 31, 2017


The Orbital ATK Minotaur-C rocket, carrying 10 small satellites owned by Planet, launched from Space Launch Complex 576-E on Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 2:37 p.m. PDT.

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/562025/vandenberg-afb-launches-minotaur-c-rocket

YouTube Version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP_xWX9RqYU?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP_xWX9RqYU


Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2017 11:38 PM
Launch with the oddly named stage 0 performing nominally.
I liked the explanation given during the webcast that on Minotaur-C, "Stage 0" is a replacement for L1011 Stargazer, since it is essentially a wingless Pegasus stacked on top!

 - Ed Kyle

The exception is that the "Stargazer" L-1011 drops Pegasus from an altitude of 40,000 feet (12.192 kilometers) while the second stage, or the first stage of the Pegasus stack, of the Minotaur-C ignites at an altitude of 161,417.3 feet (49.2 kilometers).

Plus, the "Stargazer" L-1011 is flying slower than the velocity at first/second stage sep for Minotaur-C.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Tomness on 11/01/2017 12:04 AM
First Taurus (Minotaur-C) success since May 20, 2004 - nearly 13.5 years ago!

I hope we see more, but I've noticed that Castor 120 production was listed as "inactive" in the 2016 OATK catalog.

 - Ed Kyle

re-purpose Antares second stages or its prof of concept for Minotaur V or restart product line... either way its all exciting.

Congratulations Orbital-ATK, Air Force, Planet for an awesome launch campaign.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: abaddon on 11/01/2017 12:04 AM
Congrats to OrbitalATK and Planet on the successful launch!  Great job keeping the streak of US successful launches this year alive.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/01/2017 12:15 AM
First Taurus (Minotaur-C) success since May 20, 2004 - nearly 13.5 years ago!

I hope we see more, but I've noticed that Castor 120 production was listed as "inactive" in the 2016 OATK catalog.

 - Ed Kyle
Castor-120 (standard) is replaced by its successor Castor-120XL which is listed as in production. Castor-120XLT and Castor-120XLG are proposed development projects that are on hold for now.

https://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/propulsion-systems/castor-motors/

Quote
CASTOR® 120XL

This variant of the CASTOR 120® predecessor is used as a first or second stage in commercial launch vehicles and provides improved performance over the baseline configuration. A version of this motor was static tested for the U.S. Air Force as part of the Large Class Stage development program, however the motor is being updated to tailor burn rates and improve performance, as well as utilize common materials & processes to improve cost control for launch vehicle providers.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 11/01/2017 12:22 AM
Finally got "All Clear" signal at 5pm to retrieve our remote cameras after they pull the bulldozer back from the site.

Looks like 1/2 acre has been burned between the Pad fence and our remote site, whew.

Last photo, the burned area is to the left of the pad. The gravel loop behind the burned area is where our remote cameras are set up at.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 11/01/2017 12:47 AM
Congratulations to the entire launch campaign team!

Thank you to: Chris B, Steven P, ZachS09, Star One, abaddon, Dave S, and William Graham for the launch coverage.  I missed it today due to an long commute.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Lar on 11/01/2017 01:15 AM
Congrats to all involved, thanks for the efforts on covering things (great pics, helodriver) and glad your remote cams survived, jdeshetler!!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Star One on 11/01/2017 05:51 AM
Congratulations to all concerned in this rather different launch experience. And thank you to all for answering my questions.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/01/2017 06:01 AM
Quote
Orbital ATK Successfully Launches Minotaur C Rocket Carrying 10 Spacecraft to Orbit for Planet
Made in California – Spacecraft Manufacturing, Rocket Integration and Launch

Dulles, Virginia 31 October 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced its commercial Minotaur C rocket successfully launched 10 commercial spacecraft into orbit for Planet. The Minotaur C launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

The rocket’s first stage ignited at 2:37 p.m. (PDT), and just over 12 minutes later, Planet’s six SkySat spacecraft began to deploy one at a time into their targeted sun synchronous orbit 310 miles (500 kilometers) above the Earth. Following deployment of the main satellites, Planet’s four secondary Dove spacecraft deployed. From this orbit, the Dove and SkySat network of remote sensing satellites will deliver a global information feed to businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the world.

“It’s an honor to deliver reliable and affordable access to space for commercial customers like Planet,” said Rich Straka, Vice President and General Manager of Orbital ATK’s Launch Vehicles Division. “Launching small- and medium-class payloads on dedicated Orbital ATK launch vehicles gives commercial customers the ability to control their schedules while meeting challenging mission requirements.”

The Minotaur C rocket is an all-commercial vehicle capable of launching payloads up to 3,500 lbs. The configuration that launched today included four solid rocket commercial motors: CASTOR 120®, Orion 50S XL, Orion 50 XL and Orion 38. Orbital ATK manufactured all four motors at facilities in Clearfield, Magna and Promontory, Utah. The company manufactured the avionics, software and separation systems at facilities in Chandler, Arizona. Integration of the Minotaur C rocket took place at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Planet’s Dove and SkySat satellites, which are manufactured in California, are some of the most capable spacecraft per kilogram ever produced. A record-breaking 275 Dove satellites have been successfully deployed and operated in space and today collect more imagery per day than any other fleet of commercial satellites. The constellation of 13 SkySats is the world’s largest commercial, sub-meter fleet of high-res satellites operating in space.

https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=299 (https://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=299)
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 11/01/2017 06:49 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Syk2wAo-OlI
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: chewi on 11/01/2017 10:09 AM
Congrats Orbital ATK!

Is it the 10th launch of Minotaur-C (Taurus) ?
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/01/2017 12:20 PM
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 November 1, 2017

Initial signals received from six small satellites built by SSL for Planet

PALO ALTO, Calif. - SSL, a business unit of Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR) announced today that six satellites it built for Planet’s SkySat Earth observation constellation launched yesterday and made initial contact with ground stations according to plan. The satellites were launched aboard a Minotaur-C rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, and will begin sending their first images early next week.

 “SSL takes an innovative approach to small satellite manufacturing, and leverages its agile commercial production capabilities to serve both communications and Earth observation markets,” said Dario Zamarian, group president of SSL. “It has been a pleasure for SSL to work with the Planet team, and to help support its growing capabilities. Congratulations to all who made the launch a success.”

 Called SkySat 8 through 13, the six satellites, which double Planet’s high resolution imaging and change detection capabilities, provide information that can simplify and speed critical decision-making processes for its customers. The SkySat constellation now includes ten satellites built at the SSL smallsat manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif., where eight additional SkySats remain in production.

 “We were pleased to inherit a strong and reliable engineering and manufacturing partner when we acquired the SkySat business,” said Chester Gilmore, vice president of manufacturing at Planet.  “Working together, SSL has helped us to expand our fleet, increasing our ability to provide timely insights from any location in the world.”
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/01/2017 01:35 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWsxNGD3fPE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWsxNGD3fPE)

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Broadcast of Orbital ATK's Minotaur C Launch of Planet Satellites
Orbital ATK 73 views

Published on 1 Nov 2017
Orbital ATK successfully launched its Minotaur C rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on October 31 at 2:37 p.m. PDT. The space launch vehicle deployed six SkySat and four Dove spacecraft, which will capture medium and high resolution multispectral imagery of Earth at unprecedented scale and frequency for the commercial market.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: bolun on 11/01/2017 02:25 PM
Congratulations to Orbital ATK. Back on business with Minotaur C / Taurus XL.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 11/01/2017 03:45 PM
Better launch image via. Planet, credited to Orbital ATK. 

Orbital itself still has only released a 700x1000 image.  I can't understand why they would hoard their pixels.

 - Ed Kyle

I suspect that the HR photos will end up at https://www.flickr.com/photos/orbital-atk/ (https://www.flickr.com/photos/orbital-atk/) - that was at least updated to the ORS-5 launch right now.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/01/2017 07:54 PM
Here are Orbital photos from Flickr but still not hi-res
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: Jdeshetler on 11/01/2017 11:22 PM
Without the telemetry you are working completely in the dark.

And the chilled champagne is getting too warm...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMvSWC9JiR4

Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: WindnWar on 11/02/2017 05:36 PM
Not really sure if this belongs here or not but does anyone know how many Castor 120 stages are left, and if there aren't any, what sort of performance increase to Minotaur-C the Castor 120XL brings?

It was nice to see this fly successfully.
Title: Re: LIVE: Minotaur-C - SkySat x6 (S/N 8-13) - October 31, 2017
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/02/2017 06:10 PM
Not really sure if this belongs here or not but does anyone know how many Castor 120 stages are left, and if there aren't any, what sort of performance increase to Minotaur-C the Castor 120XL brings?

It was nice to see this fly successfully.
From 2016 OA Motor Catalog Data:

Note: Castor-120XL is the civilian version based on the newly developed LCS I (Large Class Stage I) for military and government applications.
Castor 120
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MOTOR DIMENSIONS
Motor diameter, in.................................................92.0
Overall motor length (including nozzle), in............355
Nozzle exit cone diameter, in................................59.7
MOTOR PERFORMANCE (70°F VACUUM,
VACUUM)
Burn time, sec.......................................................79.4
Maximum thrust, lbf........................................440,000
Specific impulse, lbf-sec/lbm…..............................280
Total impulse, lbf-sec.................................30,000,000
Burn time average thrust, lbf..........................379,000

Castor 120XL
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MOTOR DIMENSIONS
Motor diameter, in.................................................92.1
Overall motor length (including nozzle), in.........378.3
Nozzle exit cone diameter, in................................59.8
MOTOR PERFORMANCE (70°F VACUUM,
VACUUM)
Burn time, sec.......................................................83.5
Maximum thrust, lbf........................................458,500
Effective specific impulse, lbf-sec/lbm…............279.1
Total impulse, lbf-sec.................................31,892,000
Burn time average thrust, lbf..........................381,701