Author Topic: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008  (Read 33718 times)

Online William Graham

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Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« on: 04/02/2008 08:26 PM »
On 15 April, an OSC Pegasus-XL is scheduled to launch with the C/NOFS satellite for the US Space Test Programme (STP) office.

The rocket will be launched from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, into a  400 X 710km X 13° orbit.

Does anyone have any further information, particularly a launch window and whether a webcast will be available?

Thanks.

Offline Jirka Dlouhy

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #1 on: 04/03/2008 07:30 PM »
Meanwhile a peinture

Online William Graham

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #2 on: 04/10/2008 09:37 PM »
Any news on this? MSDB is down, and I can't find any other information on this.

Strangely quiet for a US launch.

Online edkyle99

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #3 on: 04/10/2008 11:30 PM »
A description, or two, of the experiment.

http://www.kirtland.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070404-094.pdf
http://www.kirtland.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7873http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/nssrm/initiatives/cnofs.htm
http://www.kirtland.af.mil/afrl%5Fvs/

This is a Space Vehicles Directorate program out of Kirtland AFB, the folks who did XSS-11.
http://www.kirtland.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-070404-108.pdf  

Kirtland doesn't talk much, and I think that the reasons are apparent.  "[T]he Spacecraft Technology Division provides technology to revolutionize space capabilities for global awareness and control of space".  

I doubt we will be hearing much about this one.

Regarding MSDB, I'm starting to think that it isn't "down" so much as "removed".    

 - Ed Kyle

Online William Graham

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #4 on: 04/11/2008 07:54 AM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 10/4/2008  11:30 PM

Regarding MSDB, I'm starting to think that it isn't "down" so much as "removed".    


When it first went down, it was an error rather than a 404. That's why I think it is only temporary downtime. The odd thing is that NASA's Space Calendar is down as well at the moment.

Offline eeergo

Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #5 on: 04/11/2008 03:33 PM »
There's some info about CINDI, C/NOFS's principal payload, in the brand new NASA Science website:

http://nasascience.nasa.gov/missions/cindi

Here you can also find a link to the main page of the instrument:

http://cindispace.utdallas.edu/

There's again another link to what should be the main site of C/NOFS but I can't get through... however, I suspect it's the same Ed posted, just his is more recent.
-DaviD-

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #6 on: 04/14/2008 11:57 AM »
A few sources suggest that the launch may occur today. I am guessing that this is a timezones issue, and thus I predict that launch will occur sometime in the next 16 hours (It is just approaching midnight on 15 April in the Marshall Islands (GMT+12), and I suspect the launch will occur on 15/04 there, but 14/04 in a different timezone. Not sure if that'll be GMT or EDT).

Online Chris Bergin

RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #7 on: 04/14/2008 03:42 PM »
Let me fire off an e-mail and try and get the lowdown on this one...

Online Chris Bergin

RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #8 on: 04/14/2008 03:50 PM »
Delayed a couple of days is the call. Will try and get some specifics later.

Online William Graham

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #9 on: 04/14/2008 03:51 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 14/4/2008  3:42 PM

Let me fire off an e-mail and try and get the lowdown on this one...

Thanks. With MSDB down, and all of the project websites out-of-date bar CINDI which has very little information, we're pretty much blind at the moment.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #10 on: 04/15/2008 03:16 AM »
NASA TV COVERAGE?

Online William Graham

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #11 on: 04/15/2008 06:25 AM »
Quote
jancarlobascu - 15/4/2008  3:16 AM

NASA TV COVERAGE?
Very unlikely.

Offline PA space fan

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #12 on: 04/15/2008 05:03 PM »
Per SpaceflightNow, Pegasus has been rescheduled for April 16, time TBD.

Offline Jirka Dlouhy

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #13 on: 04/16/2008 06:14 AM »
According of Spaceflight Now April 16, launch window will be open from 12:47 p.m. EDT

Online William Graham

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #14 on: 04/16/2008 08:43 AM »
Launch window will be 16:47-18:47 GMT, release currently scheduled for 16:52.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #15 on: 04/16/2008 10:53 AM »
No word of a webcast on the Orbital website.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #16 on: 04/16/2008 11:50 AM »

Online William Graham

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #17 on: 04/16/2008 05:01 PM »
If launch occurred on schedule, burnout of the third stage should be happening around about now. SC sep would be expected in about 2 mins time (according to the AIM mission profile, I don't know if it's the same for all missions)

Now we wait for news.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #18 on: 04/16/2008 05:42 PM »
Per Spaceflight Now, the launch took place at 12:55 p.m. EDT and was successful.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #19 on: 04/16/2008 05:45 PM »
Quote
PA space fan - 16/4/2008  5:42 PM

Per Spaceflight Now, the launch took place at 12:55 p.m. EDT and was successful.

Thanks. That's great news. C/NOFS is finally in orbit, 5 years behind schedule, but better late than never.

Offline eeergo

Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #20 on: 04/16/2008 05:57 PM »

Quote
GW_Simulations - 16/4/2008  6:45 PM C/NOFS is finally in orbit, 5 years behind schedule, but better late than never.

Could you summarize the history behind C/NOFS? I'm curious now you mention the 5-year delay. 

-DaviD-

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #21 on: 04/16/2008 06:37 PM »
Quote
eeergo - 16/4/2008  5:57 PM

Quote
GW_Simulations - 16/4/2008  6:45 PM C/NOFS is finally in orbit, 5 years behind schedule, but better late than never.

Could you summarize the history behind C/NOFS? I'm curious now you mention the 5-year delay. 


I don't know the details, I just know that the contract was signed for a 2003 launch.

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #22 on: 04/17/2008 04:40 AM »
ORBITAL PRESS RELEASE

Orbital Successfully Launches Pegasus Rocket Carrying U.S. Air Force's C/NOFS Satellite
-- Latest Mission Is 25th Consecutive Successful Launch for Pegasus --

(Dulles, VA 16 April 2008) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that its Pegasus® space launch vehicle successfully launched the U.S. Air Force’s Communications/Navigation Outage Forecasting System (C/NOFS) satellite into its intended low-Earth orbit. The mission was the 25th consecutive successful mission for the Pegasus program since 1997 and the 39th overall flight of the company’s air-launched system since its introduction in 1990.

“Pegasus continues to prove that it is the most reliable and versatile small launcher in the world today, with another successful mission supporting an important Air Force program,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “Orbital-developed launch vehicles continue to demonstrate their value to our customers in the military, civil government and commercial markets with highly reliable and available launch services at reasonable prices.”

The Pegasus/C/NOFS mission took place earlier today, originating from the Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands in the mid-Pacific Ocean. Following a one-hour long preplanned positioning flight, the Pegasus rocket was released from Orbital’s L-1011 carrier aircraft at approximately 1:00 p.m. (EDT). The C/NOFS satellite, which weighed approximately 870 lbs. (395 kg.) at launch, was accurately deployed into its targeted elliptical orbit of 205 x 385 nautical miles (400 x 850 km.) after an 8-minute powered flight sequence. Due to its launch from the near-equatorial Reagan Test Site, the satellite’s orbit is at a low inclination of 13 degrees to the equator.

The C/NOFS satellite is a joint project of the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Center’s Space Development and Test Wing and the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate, both of which are based at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. General Dynamics designed and built the satellite and Orbital provided the launch services.

About Pegasus

Pegasus is the world’s leading launch system for the deployment of small satellites into low-Earth orbit. Its patented air-launch system, in which the rocket is launched from beneath Orbital’s “Stargazer” L-1011 carrier aircraft over the ocean, increases performance, reduces cost and provides customers with unparalleled flexibility to operate from virtually anywhere on Earth with minimal ground support requirements.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small 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 offers space-related technical services to government agencies and develops and builds software-based transportation management systems for public transit agencies and private vehicle fleet operators.

More information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com

Offline eeergo

Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #23 on: 04/17/2008 04:19 PM »
Quote
GW_Simulations - 16/4/2008  7:37 PM  
Quote
eeergo - 16/4/2008  5:57 PM  

Quote
GW_Simulations - 16/4/2008  6:45 PM C/NOFS is finally in orbit, 5 years behind schedule, but better late than never.

Could you summarize the history behind C/NOFS? I'm curious now you mention the 5-year delay.

 I don't know the details, I just know that the contract was signed for a 2003 launch.

Now we know!

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/pegasus/cnofs/

It was because of solar panel redesign issues and the technology required to make it very radiofrequency silent, given its instruments are very sensitive to those. 

-DaviD-

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #24 on: 04/17/2008 10:27 PM »
Launch Photos?

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #25 on: 04/18/2008 12:30 PM »
An interesting trivia bit on the orbital site about the launch, with out going to wikki/google/astonautix, who can name the six ranges Pegasus has launched from .... (No Google)
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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #26 on: 04/18/2008 12:37 PM »
Quote
kevin-rf - 18/4/2008  7:30 AM

An interesting trivia bit on the orbital site about the launch, with out going to wikki/google/astonautix, who can name the six ranges Pegasus has launched from .... (No Google)

Kennedy Space Center (I think in fact the runway used - RW15/33 on February 9th 1993 -belongs to the KSC)
Vandenberg AFB
Wallops Island
Edwards AFB
Gando, Canary Islands
USAKA US Army Kwajalein Atoll

Online edkyle99

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #27 on: 04/18/2008 01:50 PM »
Quote
jancarlobascu - 17/4/2008  5:27 PM

Launch Photos?

Nothing so far.  Not from Orbital, not from the main Air Force page, not from Kirtland or Vandenberg, not from the Marshall Islands.  No photos at all is a rarity these days.  China and Russia and India (and Iran!) provide photos of nearly every launch!

While searching for images, I found this interesting news report.  There is some dispute between the U.S. and Marshall Islanders that could, in the worst case, force the U.S. to shut down Kwajalein altogether.  Won't happen, but not impossible.  SpaceX take note!

 http://www.pacificmagazine.net/news/2008/04/18/marshalls-in-showdown-with-us-over-kwajalein

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Jirka Dlouhy

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #28 on: 04/18/2008 07:47 PM »
I think the launch is so secret because of the instruments are very unique and informations about navigation signals are very important.

In passive form: to be poised to different kinds of anomalies. It means to be ready to elimination of their effects.

In active form: to be able to use this anomalies by actions against possible enemy. In the better case to be able to create this anomalies in war situation.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #29 on: 04/19/2008 01:38 AM »
Quote
Jirka Dlouhy - 18/4/2008  2:47 PM

I think the launch is so secret because of the instruments are very unique and informations about navigation signals are very important.

In passive form: to be poised to different kinds of anomalies. It means to be ready to elimination of their effects.

In active form: to be able to use this anomalies by actions against possible enemy. In the better case to be able to create this anomalies in war situation.

True, but I have a hard time understanding how a photo of the Pegasus could compromise whatever mission its payload is to perform.  Unless, that is, the Pegasus had to be fitted with a mission-unique payload fairing.

Here's a page on ionopheric scintillation.  It clearly affects GPS signals, since a ground network of GPS receivers is used to measure its effect.

http://iono.jpl.nasa.gov/scint.html

I'm left wondering why this particular satellite was placed in a 13 deg inclination.  That orbit covers very little landmass of interest, except for Kwajalein.  It doesn't even reach Hawaii.  

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #30 on: 04/19/2008 02:18 AM »
Easy answer to no launch photos.  Didn't want to spend the money.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #31 on: 04/19/2008 03:35 PM »
Quote
Jim - 18/4/2008  9:18 PM

Easy answer to no launch photos.  Didn't want to spend the money.

No chase plane, maybe (has Pegasus ever launched without a chase?), but someone photographed this thing on the tarmac, taking off, etc.  Kwajalein surely had optical tracking.  

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #32 on: 04/19/2008 04:13 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 19/4/2008  11:35 AM

Kwajalein surely had optical tracking.  

 - Ed Kyle

Just like for a KSC launch that is about 40 miles off shore, I doubt there  is much coverage

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #33 on: 04/30/2008 01:41 AM »

Quote
Jim - 18/4/2008 9:18 PM Easy answer to no launch photos. Didn't want to spend the money.

You are absolutely right; this was a commercial sale to (then Spectrum Astro) GD who had to pay a significant sum for the delay - the longest in Pegasus history, I'm afraid (no criticism of GD intended - we build satellites, too, and know that sometimes stuff happens).  Not very incentivized to spend even a dime on pictures! 

Quote
edkyle99 - 19/4/2008 11:35 AM  No chase plane, maybe (has Pegasus ever launched without a chase?)

Many, many times... (e.g. when launching the ORBCOMM satellites... again, for $$$ reasons...) 

Quote
but someone photographed this thing on the tarmac, taking off, etc. Kwajalein surely had optical tracking. - Ed Kyle

Yes, we have photos; a landing one with smoke coming out of the tires and the rocket underneath is especially spectacular, but we can't distribute them without the customer's permission.  maybe in a few weeks in the Orbital website?

By the way, the rocket had painted, in the middle of stage 1, right under the wing fairing, the following:

"In loving memory of G. David Low"

 

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #34 on: 05/14/2008 07:34 PM »

I was wrong about the wording of the David Low inscription on Pegasus.  Here's a bunch of photos from the C/NOFS launch.  There are two L-1011 landings: first at Kona (with the overcast skies), on the Big Island, the second (with a puff of smoke) at Kwaj.  Other than barging in a tube trailer worth of Nitrogen from Hawaii about a month before, and some early comm checks, the bulk of the operation started about two weeks before the launch.  Aircraft and most of the team arrived at L-8 days.  All the spacecraft support equipment was carried on three containers in the belly of the L-1011.  The ground air conditioning unit came via a USAF cargo plane.  Two days after the launch, everything but the a/c (which will stay there until the IBEX launch September 13) was gone.

Compare these pictures with the pictures of Elon's operations at Omlek.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #35 on: 05/15/2008 12:37 PM »
Quote
antonioe - 14/5/2008  3:34 PM

I was wrong about the wording of the David Low inscription on Pegasus.  Here's a bunch of photos from the C/NOFS launch.  There are two L-1011 landings: first at Kona (with the overcast skies), on the Big Island, the second (with a puff of smoke) at Kwaj.  Other than barging in a tube trailer worth of Nitrogen from Hawaii about a month before, and some early comm checks, the bulk of the operation started about two weeks before the launch.  Aircraft and most of the team arrived at L-8 days.  All the spacecraft support equipment was carried on three containers in the belly of the L-1011.  The ground air conditioning unit came via a USAF cargo plane.  Two days after the launch, everything but the a/c (which will stay there until the IBEX launch September 13) was gone.

Compare these pictures with the pictures of Elon's operations at Omlek.


Pictures? Where? ...These things happen ;)
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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #36 on: 05/15/2008 02:58 PM »
Aaaargh... when I tried to upload a picture, I get a "cannot display this page" message.  It may have something to do with the firewall on my office computer.  I thought the message had NOT been posted when the upload failed.  I will try again from home this evening.  Sorry, folks!
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline elmarko

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #37 on: 05/15/2008 03:48 PM »
Firewalls shouldn't stop you uploading something via the forums. It's just over HTTP all the same.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #38 on: 05/15/2008 06:32 PM »

Hmmmm.... maybe the pictures are too big... is there a size limit?

Well, I reduced the David Low inscription picture to 120KB and it still gave me the "page does not exists" error after I push the "Submit" button after browsing to the file...

Any ideas, anyone?

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline eeergo

Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #39 on: 05/15/2008 06:42 PM »
Quote
antonioe - 15/5/2008  7:32 PM  

Hmmmm.... maybe the pictures are too big... is there a size limit?

Well, I reduced the David Low inscription picture to 120KB and it still gave me the "page does not exists" error after I push the "Submit" button after browsing to the file...

Any ideas, anyone?

I think the default maximum size is 100 KB, but I'm sure Chris can raise that limit locally as an exception... however, I think downsizing it just a bit more may do the trick for now.

On the other hand, I've just realised when I exeed the 100 KB limit I don't get that error message, just a notice on the attachment page saying the image must be smaller... :O 

-DaviD-

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #40 on: 05/20/2008 01:33 AM »

OK - now I'm trying it from home and using Mozilla Firefox, not Internet Explorer:

 

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #41 on: 05/20/2008 01:42 AM »

Yesss!! It worked!!!.  OK, here come more: the L-1011 landing at Kona on the big island after departing Vandenberg.  The L-1011 flew from Mojave, where it is normally parked, to Vandenberg; there the satellite had been attached to the Pegasus, and then the Pegasus was attached to the L-1011.

After refueling at Kona and crew rest, the L-1011 flew to Kwaj about 9 days before the launch.  The next picture shows the landing at Kwaj.

 

The Air Force C/NOFS site  has a picture of the L-1011 departing Vandenberg.

 

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #42 on: 05/20/2008 01:57 AM »

Here's three more: first, the L-1011 at its parking spot.  To the left of the aircraft the Nitrogen tube trailer, one of two large pieces of launch support equipment; it was barged from Hawaii about a month before the flight.  The second one, an air conditioning unit, was taken by an Air Force plane a couple of weeks before the flight (it is barely visible under the wing of the L-1011).

All the satellite ground support equipment was carried on three LD3 containers carried on the belly of the L-1011.  The L-1011 also acted as a nice, air conditioned lab to make small repairs.

The entire Orbital launch team at kwaj peaked at about 30 people or so; most of them arrived shortly before the L-1011, about two weeks before the flight.  Everybody left about two days after the flight - could have departed the day after, but Continental had some problems and the departure commercial flights were delayed.

 

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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Re: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #43 on: 05/20/2008 02:04 AM »

Last two pictures.  First, the launch control room (really!).  The audio boxes were supplied by the USAF, the laptops were Orbital's.  It took a couple of days to set up the room and check it out (well, this was our second launch from Kwaj; the first time it took a bit longer to setup and debug).

Finally, the L-1011 a few hours before takeoff.  Trajectology required the drop to occur around 4 am local, so it was a night takeoff.  The nitrogen trailer is clearly visible, as was an air-conditioned half-length shelter that we conveniently "found" at the island for the satelliters to use as a shelter during satellite pre-launch checkout.  The air conditioning unit we airlifted from Vandenberg is immediately to the right of the rocket.

And that's all a Pegasus launch needs!  Can you spell "Operationally Responsive Launch"?

 

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline jimvela

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #44 on: 05/20/2008 03:12 AM »
Great pictures, Antonio! Thank you.

It's easy to forget with all the current excitement being generated by the new alt.space companies that you guys pulled it off and never widely got proper credit for those achievements.

I see that the spirit of getting a job done right but with an emphasis on being quick, efficient, and frugal is still very much alive and well over there.  

If all of the other players in the industry had that kind of narrow focus on getting the job done cost effectively, we'd be sending settlers out amongst the planets by now...

Even working for a sometimes competitor, I salute you.  

That L1011 sure looks more comfy to work in than the rest of those sparse surroundings!!

 :cool:

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #45 on: 05/20/2008 11:19 AM »

Thanks for the kind words.  The nice thing about it, it's still as much fun today as it was 20 years ago!  Perhaps a lot has to do with DWT's personality: while having made a sucessful transition from garage-shop entrepreneur to billion-dollar CEO (and very few people have been sucessful doing that), he still retains the thriftness (he flies coach) and small-trusted-team flavor of a 40-person company (Orbital had 40 employes, counting DWT and the receptionist, when I joined the organization).

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #46 on: 05/20/2008 12:16 PM »

Quote
jimvela - 19/5/2008  11:12 PM  That L1011 sure looks more comfy to work in than the rest of those sparse surroundings!!    :cool:

Indeed.  The front part of the cabin has the Launch Panel Operator (LOP) console, auxilliary equipment rack, and eight (first-class!) seats - the original leather ones in the picture we got from Air Canada as part of the deal on the L-1011, but have been since replaced, as the previous picture shows.  In the galley there is an air filtration and conditioning unit, as well as Nitrogen bottles for the satellites.

Behind a (blue) fireproof curtain, the rest of the cabin was stripped clean of all soundproofing, insulation, etc., making N140SC the lightest L-1011 ever. By the way, that's yours truly in the picture of the aft cabin (a few years ago, with much darker hair than today; I don't know what I was doing that day - the tie is unusual, definitely not Orbital dress code).  The picture looks forward, towards the blue fire curtain.  The yellow railing protects the staircase leading down to the galley area.

The LPO console with two seats: one LPO takes care of the rocket, the other takes care of the satellite; you can say that these two people - plus the pilots - are actually doing the launch; the people on the ground only monitor telemetry during the L-1011 flight and issue verbal commands to the LPOs, there is no "command uplink".)

Forward of the LPO console you can see a small closet where we store clothing, snacks, etc.(the lav is on the starboard side) and the entrance to the cockpit.  I'm afraid we would not pass the TSA requirements for armoder cockpit doors, I'm afraid!

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #47 on: 05/22/2008 01:28 AM »

Quote
antonioe - 20/5/2008  7:19 AM (Orbital had 40 employes, counting DWT and the receptionist, when I joined the organization).

Sorry, I was wrong (it's the age, you know...) Orbital had TWENTY employees when I joined... I was employee number 40, but 20 people had left by the time I got there...

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline jcm

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #48 on: 05/22/2008 02:34 AM »
Quote
antonioe - 21/5/2008  9:28 PM

Quote
antonioe - 20/5/2008  7:19 AM (Orbital  ...)


Antonio - great pictures and info, thanks! Do you have the drop time and L-1011 takeoff time handy?
I've seen 3 different drop times quoted...
And was the drop point the same as last time -  7.65N 167.70 E I believe...

 thanks if you can supply any of this
  Jonathan McDowell
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Offline antonioe

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #49 on: 05/22/2008 12:04 PM »

Jonathan:

I'll get you the precise drop time.

By the way, an interesting on-board video of the Alexis launch (Pegasus Flight 4, back in 1993) is now posted in the L2 Ultimate Video Section along with a "play-by-play" commentary by yours truly who was the LPO on that flight.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #50 on: 05/22/2008 04:08 PM »

Quote
jcm - 21/5/2008 10:34 PM Do you have the drop time and L-1011 takeoff time handy? I've seen 3 different drop times quoted... And was the drop point the same as last time - 7.65N 167.70 E

L-1011 takeoff time: 16:04:00 UTC (actually, brakes-off time)

Drop time: 17:02:48 UTC (ignition is drop + 5 seconds)

Lat/Lon: in work, will report.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline jcm

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #51 on: 05/23/2008 12:16 AM »
Quote
antonioe - 22/5/2008  8:04 AM

Jonathan:

I'll get you the precise drop time.

By the way, an interesting on-board video of the Alexis launch (Pegasus Flight 4, back in 1993) is now posted in the L2 Ultimate Video Section along with a "play-by-play" commentary by yours truly who was the LPO on that flight.


Antonio - thanks much for the times!
Jeff Bloch actually showed me a version of that video years ago, it's great. I assume you know Jeff, he was Dr. Alexis, and spent
an interesting few months trying to get the satellite talking to him.

  Jonathan
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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #52 on: 05/23/2008 01:29 AM »

No, I never had the privilege of meeting him.  As for the drop Lat/Lon, as a token of our appreciation for Dr. McDowell's tireless pursuit and cataloguing of space activities (I have an Excel conversion of your table right on my desktop!), here's an actual snapshot of the telemetry screen showing the lat/lon/alt at drop (latitude is geodetic; I trust the GPS numbers far better than the INS numbers):

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline jcm

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #53 on: 05/23/2008 02:10 AM »
Quote
antonioe - 22/5/2008  9:29 PM


No, I never had the privilege of meeting him.  As for the drop Lat/Lon, as a token of our appreciation for Dr. McDowell's tireless pursuit and cataloguing of space activities (I have an Excel conversion of your table right on my desktop!), here's an actual snapshot of the telemetry screen showing the lat/lon/alt at drop (latitude is geodetic; I trust the GPS numbers far better than the INS numbers):


Wow, that's perfect - thank you so much!
I'm glad you find my stuff of use, Antonio. I know we are all thrilled with your informative and candid postings on this site.

  - Jonathan
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Offline jcm

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #54 on: 05/23/2008 02:54 AM »

Quote
antonioe - 22/5/2008  9:29 PM


No, I never had the privilege of meeting him.  As for the drop Lat/Lon, as a token of our appreciation for Dr. McDowell's tireless pursuit and cataloguing of space activities (I have an Excel conversion of your table right on my desktop!), here's an actual snapshot of the telemetry screen showing the lat/lon/alt at drop (latitude is geodetic; I trust the GPS numbers far better than the INS numbers):


And to further celebrate the coolness of Pegasus, I have updated my list of rockets launched by aircraft,
at
http://www.planet4589.org/space/misc/air.pdf

and attached it below.
 - Jonathan
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Jonathan McDowell
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Offline antonioe

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #55 on: 05/23/2008 04:06 AM »
Great list, Jonathan!  But I think there may have been a few (Two?  Three? One?) air launches of relatively large TARGET vehicles from a C-17 for the USAF using the classical parachute extraction method.
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline jcm

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #56 on: 05/23/2008 02:01 PM »
Quote
antonioe - 22/5/2008  12:06 AM

Great list, Jonathan!  But I think there may have been a few (Two?  Three? One?) air launches of relatively large TARGET vehicles from a C-17 for the USAF using the classical parachute extraction method.

Look at the bottom of page 5: SRALT and LRALT Targets, I lumped them with the ALBM and ASAT firings.
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Offline Skyrocket

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #57 on: 05/23/2008 02:25 PM »
On the ALBM list, there should be also the launches of two Minuteman missles (only first stage), launched from C-5A Galaxy

M-55E1 (Airlaunch) -              08.Sep.1974  WTR, C-5A
 M-55E1 (Airlaunch) -              24.Oct.1974  WTR, C-5A

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #58 on: 05/23/2008 03:02 PM »

Quote
jcm - 23/5/2008 10:01 AM Look at the bottom of page 5: SRALT and LRALT Targets, I lumped them with the ALBM and ASAT firings.

By golly!  You're right!  My most humble apologies...

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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RE: Pegasus-XL - C/NOFS: 15 April 2008
« Reply #59 on: 05/24/2008 12:04 AM »
Quote
Skyrocket - 23/5/2008  10:25 AM

On the ALBM list, there should be also the launches of two Minuteman missles (only first stage), launched from C-5A Galaxy

M-55E1 (Airlaunch) -              08.Sep.1974  WTR, C-5A
 M-55E1 (Airlaunch) -              24.Oct.1974  WTR, C-5A

I didn't include these because they were only low altitude flights within the atmosphere -
I also didn't include tens of thousands of launches of air-to-air missiles like Sidewinders.

Although the first of these two Minuteman launches did reach 50 km, so that's a marginal candidate.
The second one was just a 6 km apogee flight, I believe.

Jonathan

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