Author Topic: LIVE: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008  (Read 62938 times)

Offline jacqmans

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LIVE: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« on: 07/25/2008 03:36 PM »
IBEX SPACECRAFT HEADS WEST, TAKES MAJOR STEP TOWARD LAUNCH


Greenbelt, Md. — NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft, designed to image global interactions at the outer reaches of the solar system, today began its move to Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif.

The IBEX spacecraft was loaded into a truck at Orbital Sciences Corporation, Va., where engineers integrated the science payload with the spacecraft and completed numerous tests to ensure optimum performance during the launch and operational phases of the mission.

“This is a huge milestone for the IBEX mission. It’s great to have our spacecraft making its road trip west,” said Dr. David McComas, IBEX principal investigator and senior executive director of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute. “At Vandenberg, IBEX will undergo some final testing, fueling, and spin balancing prior to being mated to a Pegasus launch vehicle.”

IBEX will move once more before its scheduled October 5 launch. In late September, the spacecraft will be transported to a facility on Kwajalein Island, a part of the Marshall Islands, roughly equidistant between Hawaii, Japan and Australia. There it will undergo final preparations for its unique launch. An L-1011 aircraft is set to carry IBEX and the Pegasus rocket out over the South Pacific, fly toward the east, and drop it. Shortly after drop, the rocket will ignite and carry IBEX up to about 130 miles above Earth, spin it up to 60 RPM, and release it.

“This move to VAFB begins the final sequence of ground processing for the IBEX mission,” said Greg Frazier, IBEX Mission Manager. “We are all looking forward to completing the ground processing, integrating with the Pegasus launch vehicle and having a successful launch.” 

Using a concept never before attempted, the IBEX team integrated its own additional solid rocket motor and internal propulsion system to transport the spacecraft all the way up to its final high-altitude orbit (about 200,000 miles high) — most of the way to the Moon. This groundbreaking, relatively inexpensive launch method holds great promise for delivering future small government and commercial spacecraft to high-altitude orbits.

During its science investigation, IBEX will use a pair of energetic neutral atom “cameras” to image interactions between the million mile-per-hour solar wind continually blown out by the Sun and the low-density material between the stars, known as the interstellar medium — interactions never before imaged. The spacecraft begins imaging the edge of the solar system within a couple of weeks after it reaches final orbit. Every six months, the spacecraft will complete an all-sky map of the interstellar boundaries, expected to reveal much about our home in the galaxy.

“The IBEX mission will provide a much deeper understanding of the Sun’s interaction with the galaxy and will also address a serious challenge facing manned exploration by studying the region that shields us from the majority of galactic cosmic ray radiation,” said McComas.

IBEX is the next in NASA’s series of low-cost, rapidly developed Small Explorers spacecraft. The IBEX mission was developed by Southwest Research Institute with a national and international team of partners. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the Explorers Program for the Science Mission Directorate.


For more information about the IBEX mission, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/ibex

or

http://ibex.swri.org

« Last Edit: 10/18/2008 11:02 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline antonioe

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #1 on: 07/27/2008 07:23 AM »
As you may note, IBEX is an example of a spacecraft built (probably "assembled" is a better term, like Ford "assembles" cars) by Orbital launched on an LV made ("assembled"?) by Orbital.  Unless I'm wrong (aero313 and all of you who make a living of pointing out my mis-satemements, please correct as needed) Orbital may have been the first company in the US to launch on its own LV a satellite it built (Orbcomm OXP-1, secondary payload on the third Pegasus flight on 9 Feb 1993).

Then Lockheed and Martin merged in 1995 and Boeing bought McDonnell Douglas in 1997, becoming LV and satellite manufacturers themselves.  But now that EELV and Delta II are products of ULA, to the degree that ULA is a separate company from its parents (as the Consent Decree requires) it seems to me that Orbital has once again become the only US company to launch its satellites in its LV's.

Now that I think of it, is there such a company elsewhere? (I guess the PLA, it you consider it a "company"...)
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Analyst

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #2 on: 07/27/2008 02:16 PM »
This small mission has been delayed quite a lot. Any idea why?

Analyst

Offline jcm

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #3 on: 07/27/2008 03:35 PM »

Now that I think of it, is there such a company elsewhere? (I guess the PLA, it you consider it a "company"...)

Well, not the PLA in fact. The launch vehicles are  Chinese Academy of Space Tech (Beijing)
and Shanghai Bureau of Astronautics; the satellites are Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle
Technology (Beijing) and Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. At least that's my understanding; of course the degree to which these organizations are really separate parts of the government is another issue. But Israeli Aircraft Industries meets your criterion I think.
 In the US one might argue for NRL as prime contractor for Vanguard both LV and payload, although Martin of course made the first stage. But I think  one that probably dethrones you is Martin Marietta, which did build some spacecraft launched on Titans - namely the VIking Landers and the classified LACROSSE radar satellite.  I think McDonnell Douglas built the Delta 180 and Delta Star payloads launched in the 1980s for SDIO on Deltas. And GD/Convair in San Diego built the USAF OV1 research satellites in the 1960s launched on GD/Convair Atlas missiles.
In Russia/Ukraine/USSR it is/was much more common: Energiya, Khrunichev, Yuzhnoe are all both LV and spacecraft makers and have been since the 1960s.
  Cheers, Jonathan
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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #4 on: 07/28/2008 01:13 AM »

Now that I think of it, is there such a company elsewhere? (I guess the PLA, it you consider it a "company"...)
Martin Marietta [...] build some spacecraft launched on Titans - namely the Viking Landers and the classified LACROSSE radar satellite.  I think McDonnell Douglas built the Delta 180 and Delta Star payloads launched in the 1980s for SDIO on Deltas. And GD/Convair in San Diego built the USAF OV1 research satellites in the 1960s launched on GD/Convair Atlas missiles.
You are correct, as usual, Jonathan.  I didn't know about the GD OV1 but I certaily knew - but forgot - the Martin spacecraft.
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Justin Space

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #5 on: 07/28/2008 06:02 AM »
Oh cool! It's been a long time since a Pegasus mission, at least one that's likely to be on NASA TV and thus will get the full live coverage here. Although I hope it doesn't conflict with Shuttle Atlantis and STS-125 if they move the launch date up to the 5th.
« Last Edit: 07/28/2008 06:03 AM by Justin Space »

Offline jcm

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #6 on: 07/30/2008 03:51 AM »

Now that I think of it, is there such a company elsewhere? (I guess the PLA, it you consider it a "company"...)
Martin Marietta [...] build some spacecraft launched on Titans - namely the Viking Landers and the classified LACROSSE radar satellite.  I think McDonnell Douglas built the Delta 180 and Delta Star payloads launched in the 1980s for SDIO on Deltas. And GD/Convair in San Diego built the USAF OV1 research satellites in the 1960s launched on GD/Convair Atlas missiles.
You are correct, as usual, Jonathan.  I didn't know about the GD OV1 but I certaily knew - but forgot - the Martin spacecraft.

Of course, you're quite right that you're the only US company doing that these days... unless, I suppose, you consider Sea Launch just an arm of Boeing.
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #7 on: 08/01/2008 11:04 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-080108

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Pad: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Pacific Atoll
Launch Date: Oct. 5, 2008
Launch Window: 12:41:54 p.m. EDT (4:41:54 a.m. local time)

The IBEX spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California
on Monday, July 28. It was taken to the Astrotech Space Operations
facility for processing. The following day the spacecraft was removed
from its shipping container and placed on a test stand in the clean
room high bay. IBEX was powered on July 31 to begin the
state-of-health checks of the spacecraft's operating systems. Next
week, testing of the spacecraft science instruments is scheduled.

At the Orbital Sciences launch vehicle hangar, prelaunch processing of
the Pegasus XL rocket is under way. Work to attach the second and
third stages is scheduled to begin Aug. 6. Integration of the first
and second stages is planned to start Aug. 8. Fairing preparations
also are scheduled to begin next week.

The L-1011 carrying the Pegasus XL rocket with IBEX is currently
planned to depart from Vandenberg on Sept. 26. After a stop in
Hawaii, the flight will continue and arrive at the Reagan Test Site
at Kwajalein Atoll in the south Pacific on Sept. 28.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #8 on: 08/08/2008 05:37 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-080808

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Facility: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Pacific Atoll
Launch Date: Oct. 5, 2008
Launch Window: 12:42 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. EDT
(04:42 a.m. - 04:45 a.m. local Kwajalein time)

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this week, the IBEX
spacecraft is undergoing testing of its science instruments. On
Monday, Aug. 11, the spacecraft will be fueled. Meanwhile, the upper
stage motor was spin-balanced on Aug. 7. This will be followed by
spacecraft spin balancing on Aug. 14. On Aug. 15, IBEX will be mated
to the upper stage, and the integrated stack spin-balanced the
following day.

At the Orbital Sciences launch vehicle hangar, prelaunch processing of
the Pegasus XL rocket continues on schedule. Mating of the second and
third stages is under way. Mating of the first and second stages is
scheduled for next week.

The L-1011 carrying the Pegasus XL rocket with IBEX is currently
planned to depart from Vandenberg on Sept. 25. After a stop in
Hawaii, the flight will continue and arrive at the Reagan Test Site
at Kwajalein Atoll in the south Pacific on Sept. 26.

For information about IBEX and its mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ibex

Offline antonioe

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Re: IBEX - Pegausus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #9 on: 08/09/2008 01:32 AM »
Oh cool! It's been a long time since a Pegasus mission
Well, since April... is that a "long time"?...

I agree about the video but, barring a chase aircraft there is precious little to watch... setting up a chase at Kwaj is a very, very expensive proposition, and both we and our customers are unwilling to spend the $$$'s...

To make it worse, April's was a night launch, and an L-1011 taking off at night from Kwaj is not very exciting, even if it carries a 24 MT rocket underneath...
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #10 on: 08/15/2008 05:09 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-081508

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Facility: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Pacific Atoll
Launch Date: Oct. 5, 2008
Launch Window: 12:42 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. EDT
(04:42 a.m. - 04:45 a.m. local Kwajalein time)

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., the IBEX spacecraft was fueled
with hydrazine control propellant on Aug. 12. This was followed by
spacecraft spin balancing on Aug. 14. Friday, IBEX is scheduled to be
attached to the upper stage booster. Technicians will then perform a
final spin-balance test of the entire flight stack on Aug. 16. After
de-integration, the upper stage will be transported to the Pegasus
launch vehicle hangar on Aug. 19. The IBEX spacecraft will be moved
there on Aug. 20.

At the Orbital Sciences launch vehicle hangar, prelaunch processing of
the Pegasus XL rocket continues to occur on schedule. Mating of the
first and second stages was completed yesterday. Attachment of the
second and third stages was done on Aug. 12.

The L-1011 aircraft carrying the Pegasus XL rocket with IBEX currently
is planned to depart from Vandenberg on Sept. 25. After a stop in
Hawaii, the flight will continue and arrive at the Reagan Test Site
at Kwajalein Atoll in the south Pacific on Sept. 26.

For information about IBEX and its mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ibex

Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 05, 2008
« Reply #11 on: 08/29/2008 09:18 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-082908

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Facility: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Pacific Atoll
Launch Date: Oct. 5, 2008
Launch Window: 12:42 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. EDT
(04:42 a.m. - 04:45 a.m. local Kwajalein time)

At Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, final spin-balance testing
of the integrated IBEX spacecraft and upper stage booster flight
stack was successfully completed on Aug. 16. The upper stage motor
and the IBEX spacecraft were then moved to the Pegasus launch vehicle
hangar Aug. 19-20. They will be attached to the Pegasus rocket Sept.
8-9.

Meanwhile, at the Orbital Sciences launch vehicle hangar, prelaunch
processing of the Pegasus XL rocket continues to occur on schedule.
Mating of all of the three stages now is complete, and the interface
verification test is planned for Tuesday, Sept. 2.

The L-1011 carrying the Pegasus XL rocket with IBEX currently is
planned to depart from Vandenberg on Sept. 25. After a stop in
Hawaii, the flight will continue and arrive at the Reagan Test Site
at Kwajalein Atoll in the south Pacific on Sept. 26.

For information about IBEX and its mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ibex

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #12 on: 09/19/2008 09:57 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-091908

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Facility: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Pacific Atoll
Launch Date: Oct. 19, 2008
Launch Time: 2:58 p.m. - 3:06 p.m. EDT
(06:58 a.m. - 07:06 a.m. local Kwajalein time)

The IBEX spacecraft, its upper stage booster and the Pegasus XL rocket
are in the Orbital Sciences launch vehicle hangar at Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California.

Integrated verification testing of the IBEX spacecraft and the Pegasus
XL rocket, originally scheduled for Sept. 13 and 14, was delayed due
to some problems found in the IBEX flight stack electrical harnesses.
The issues were resolved and the initial integrated testing on
IBEX/Pegasus was completed on Sept. 17 with no major complications.

The complete IBEX flight system tentatively is planned to be attached
to the Pegasus launch vehicle Sept. 22-24.

Departure of the L-1011 carrying the Pegasus XL rocket with IBEX from
Vandenberg currently is planned for Oct. 10. After a stop in Hawaii,
the flight will continue and arrive at the Reagan Test Site at
Kwajalein Atoll in the south Pacific on Oct. 11.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2008 09:58 PM by jacqmans »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2008 07:08 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-092608

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Facility: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Pacific Atoll
Launch Date: Oct. 19, 2008
Launch Time: 2:58 p.m. - 3:06 p.m. EDT
(06:58 a.m. - 07:06 a.m. local Kwajalein time)

The IBEX spacecraft, its upper stage booster and the Pegasus XL rocket
are in the Orbital Sciences launch vehicle hangar at Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California.

IBEX was attached to the Pegasus XL rocket on Tuesday, Sept. 23. A
check of the critical systems of the spacecraft was performed on the
spacecraft Thursday following mating with the launch vehicle.

The payload fairing will be installed around IBEX on Sept. 29. Arrival
of the L-1011 is scheduled for Oct. 2, with the mate of the Pegasus
rocket to the L-1011 scheduled for Oct. 6.

Departure of the L-1011 carrying the Pegasus XL rocket with IBEX from
Vandenberg currently is planned for Oct. 10. After a stop in Hawaii,
the flight will continue and arrive at the Reagan Test Site at
Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific on Oct. 11.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #14 on: 10/02/2008 04:14 PM »
MEDIA ADVISORY: M08-188

NASA TO DISCUSS MISSION TO EXPLORE THE EDGE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM

WASHINGTON -- NASA will hold a media teleconference on Monday, Oct. 6,
at 1 p.m. EDT, to discuss the upcoming launch of the first spacecraft
that will image and map the dynamic interactions taking place where
the hot solar wind slams into the cold expanse of space.

Called the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, the spacecraft is
set to launch Oct. 19 from Kwajalein Atoll, a part of the Marshall
Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Participants will be:

- Willis S. Jenkins, IBEX program executive, NASA Headquarters in
Washington
- Gregory V. Frazier, IBEX mission manager, NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
- David J. McComas, IBEX principal investigator and senior executive
director of the Space Science and Engineering Division at the
Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio
- Eric R. Christian, IBEX program scientist, NASA Headquarters

Reporters should call 1-888-606-5951 and use the pass code "IBEX" to
participate in the teleconference. International media should call
1-212-547-0184. Supporting information for the briefing will be
available at the start of the briefing on the Web at:

http://www.nasa.gov/ibex

For more information about the mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ibex

Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #15 on: 10/03/2008 09:01 PM »
STATUS REPORT: ELV-100308

EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE STATUS REPORT

Mission: IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer)
Launch Vehicle: Pegasus XL (Orbital Sciences)
Launch Facility: Reagan Test Site, Kwajalein Pacific Atoll
Launch Date: Oct. 19, 2008
Launch Time: 3:02 p.m. - 3:05 p.m. EDT
(07:02 a.m. - 07:05 a.m. local Kwajalein time)

The IBEX spacecraft, its associated upper stage booster and the
Pegasus XL rocket are in the Orbital Sciences Corporation launch
vehicle hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. IBEX has
been mated to Pegasus, installation of the fairing around the
spacecraft was completed on Oct. 1, and the Pegasus has been
installed on its transporter.

Orbital Sciences' L-1011 carrier aircraft arrived at Vandenberg on
Oct. 2. The Pegasus will be mated to the aircraft on Oct. 6.

Departure of the L-1011 from Vandenberg, carrying the Pegasus XL
rocket with IBEX, is currently planned for Oct. 10. After a stop in
Hawaii, the flight will continue and arrive at the Reagan Test Site
at Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific on Oct. 11.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #16 on: 10/07/2008 01:42 PM »
RELEASE: 08-253

NASA SPACECRAFT READY TO EXPLORE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM

GREENBELT, Md. -- The first NASA spacecraft to image and map the
dynamic interactions taking place where the hot solar wind slams into
the cold expanse of space is ready for launch Oct. 19. The two-year
mission will begin from the Kwajalein Atoll, a part of the Marshall
Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Called the Interstellar Boundary Explorer or IBEX, the spacecraft will
conduct extremely high-altitude orbits above Earth to investigate and
capture images of processes taking place at the farthest reaches of
the solar system. Known as the interstellar boundary, this region
marks where the solar system meets interstellar space.

"The interstellar boundary regions are critical because they shield us
from the vast majority of dangerous galactic cosmic rays, which
otherwise would penetrate into Earth's orbit and make human
spaceflight much more dangerous," said David J. McComas, IBEX
principal investigator and senior executive director of the Space
Science and Engineering Division at the Southwest Research Institute
in San Antonio.

The story of the outer solar system began to unfold when the Voyager 1
and Voyager 2 spacecrafts left the inner solar system and headed out
toward the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space.

"The Voyager spacecraft are making fascinating observations of the
local conditions at two points beyond the termination shock that show
totally unexpected results and challenge many of our notions about
this important region," said McComas.

Other spacecraft have continued the exploration of the interstellar
boundary region. Recently, a pair of NASA sun-focused satellites, the
Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory mission, detected a
higher-energy version of the particles IBEX will observe in the
heliosphere. The heliosphere is an area that contains the solar wind.
It stretches from the sun to a distance several times the orbit of
Pluto.

IBEX is poised to thoroughly map this interstellar boundary region of
the solar system. The images will allow scientists to understand the
global interaction between our sun and the galaxy for the very first
time.

IBEX will be launched aboard a Pegasus rocket dropped from under the
wing of an L-1011 aircraft flying over the Pacific Ocean. The Pegasus
will carry the spacecraft approximately 130 miles above Earth and
place it in orbit.

"What makes the IBEX mission unique is that it has an extra kick
during launch," said Willis Jenkins, IBEX program executive at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. "An extra solid-state motor pushes the
spacecraft further out of low-Earth orbit where the Pegasus launch
vehicle leaves it."

The IBEX mission is the next in NASA's series of low-cost, rapidly
developed Small Explorers spacecraft. NASA's Goddard Space Flight
Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the Explorers Program for NASA's
Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The mission was developed
by Southwest Research Institute with national and international
partner participation.

For more information about IBEX, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ibex

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #17 on: 10/08/2008 12:31 AM »
Seems orbital is live on the ELV stream channel 1:

http://kscwmserv1.ksc.nasa.gov/ae%20video%20channel%201

"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #18 on: 10/08/2008 01:39 AM »
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline antonioe

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Re: IBEX - Pegasus-XL - October 19, 2008
« Reply #19 on: 10/08/2008 11:14 AM »
Seems orbital is live on the ELV stream channel 1:

*SIGH* no, it's not Orbital... thank NASA for that one... we're too cheap ("thrifty"?) to pay for video...  :'(
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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