Author Topic: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.  (Read 99726 times)

Offline Satori

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #160 on: 02/24/2009 09:37 AM »
Images of the Taurus-XL at the time of payload fairing separation announcement...

Offline Launch Fan

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #161 on: 02/24/2009 09:42 AM »
Chris, there's lots of diagrams and info on the Taurus fairing in the launch vehicle manuals on L2. The Taurus pdf is 85 pages.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #162 on: 02/24/2009 09:49 AM »
Thanks, I see it, that's a good overview. However, we don't know much more than it "appears" to be the fairing sep that caused the failure.

Which fairing size was used on this mission?


5.1  Payload Fairings
Taurus offers two payload fairing configurations,
enabling the Customer to optimize performance
and  volume  requirements.    The  92”  diameter
payload  fairing provides  the  largest payload en-
velope, while  the  63”  diameter  fairing  provides
increased  performance-to-orbit  with  a  smaller
payload envelope.  Both provide security and en-
vironmental  control  during  ground  processing,
integration operations, and ascent.   The  fairings
utilize  graphite/epoxy  composite  construction,
are RF-opaque,  and  include one  inch  (25.4 mm)
thick  internal  acoustic  blankets  to  control  the
payload acoustic environment.
The two halves of the fairing are structurally joined
along  their  longitudinal  interface using Orbital’s
low contamination frangible joint system.   An ad-
ditional circumferential frangible joint at the base
of  the  fairing attaches  the  fairing  to  the Stage 3
assembly.   At separation, a gas pressurization sys-
tem  is activated to pressurize the fairing deploy-
ment  thrusters.      The  fairing  halves  then  rotate
about external hinges that control the fairing de-
ployment to ensure that payload and  launch ve-
hicle clearances are maintained.   All elements of
the deployment system have been demonstrated
through test to comply with stringent contamina-
tion requirements. See graphics below.

Offline John44

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #163 on: 02/24/2009 09:49 AM »
 Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) Taurus XL launch

http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4693

backup link
space-multimedia.6x.to
« Last Edit: 02/25/2009 08:03 AM by John44 »

Offline Satori

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #164 on: 02/24/2009 09:59 AM »
Thanks, I see it, that's a good overview. However, we don't know much more than it "appears" to be the fairing sep that caused the failure.

Which fairing size was used on this mission?



The fairing diameter was 63 inches (160 centimeters).

Offline William Graham

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #165 on: 02/24/2009 10:01 AM »

Which fairing size was used on this mission?


Looking at images of this and previous launches, I'd say it was the smaller of the two.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #166 on: 02/24/2009 10:46 AM »
Darn.  Well, it just goes to show that even a 'routine' launch can be struck by the gremlins.  If this was a fairing seperation no-go, it could have been something as simple as a 25c bit of wire and solder in the trigger control cable that shook loose.

Speaking as an amateur, I assume that the Taurus US would have been in an 'insertion' trajectory that would have allowed the OCO to have entered orbit under its own power whilst the booster stage itself dropped back down and re-entered the atmosphere as it approached perigee.  As the spacecraft could not seperate from the booster, it would burn up too.

Just out of interest, does anyone know where the spacecraft re-entered (it must have happened by now)? Somewhere over Antarctica or Southern Ocean/Indian Ocean?
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Offline cb6785

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #167 on: 02/24/2009 10:48 AM »
Since I believe it was a Taurus 3110 it was the small fairing. 3210 would have been the bigger one.

The larger fairing can be seen on the launch of ROCSAT 2 in 2004 (see pic attached).
« Last Edit: 02/24/2009 11:30 AM by cb6785 »
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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #168 on: 02/24/2009 10:51 AM »
Speaking as an amateur, I assume that the Taurus US would have been in an 'insertion' trajectory that would have allowed the OCO to have entered orbit under its own power whilst the booster stage itself dropped back down and re-entered the atmosphere as it approached perigee.  As the spacecraft could not seperate from the booster, it would burn up too.

No, Taurus would have provided orbit insertion into the final orbit.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #169 on: 02/24/2009 10:56 AM »
Steve Cole
Headquarters, Washington
805-605-3051
stephen.e.cole@nasa.gov
RELEASE: 09-038

MEDIA BRIEFING SCHEDULED TO DISCUSS ORBITING CARBON OBSERVATORY MISSION

WASHINGTON -- NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory failed to reach orbit
this morning after a 4:55 a.m. EST liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force
Base in California. A media briefing on the mishap has been
tentatively scheduled for 7:15 a.m. from Vandenberg. The briefing
will be carried on NASA TV.

For more information about the Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission,
visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/oco

Offline Satori

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #170 on: 02/24/2009 11:14 AM »
We should be coming up on the latest update any minute.

It was delayed to 8:00am EST (1300UTC)
« Last Edit: 02/24/2009 11:15 AM by Satori »

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #171 on: 02/24/2009 11:14 AM »
Press Briefing is now rescheduled to NET 8:00 a.m. EST

Offline wjbarnett

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #172 on: 02/24/2009 11:14 AM »
NTV now says conference will be NET 8am EST.

Edit: Ouch! 4 updates with same info within 35 sec of each other. I'd hazard a guess people are paying close attention to this!
« Last Edit: 02/24/2009 11:16 AM by wjbarnett »
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Offline KEdward5

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #173 on: 02/24/2009 11:24 AM »
That is such a shame. Will this hurt their contract with CRS?

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #174 on: 02/24/2009 11:26 AM »
Thanks guys. We'll keep an eye on the time of the update as they're obviously still gathering data etc.

That is such a shame. Will this hurt their contract with CRS?

Depressing to say the least, but hey, that's what this business is about, you learn your lessons and you comeback. SpaceX were failing all over the place, and yet now they are NASA's poster child.

If it was down to a failure with fairing sep, one could assume it's a reasonably easy fix. Orbital have already gained the CRS contract and are working through it. They may have to answer some questions, but nothing along the lines of "hurt".

Offline Jim

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #175 on: 02/24/2009 11:31 AM »
First failure under the watch of NASA LSP

Offline thomasafb

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #176 on: 02/24/2009 11:31 AM »
It's not unknown for expected events to be announced even if they didn't happen. IIRC, during the first Delta III launch they were still calling out events after the rocket exploded.

Not to mention Mr Navis' call out: "1 minute 15 seconds, velocity..."
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Offline William Graham

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #177 on: 02/24/2009 11:37 AM »
It's not unknown for expected events to be announced even if they didn't happen. IIRC, during the first Delta III launch they were still calling out events after the rocket exploded.

Not to mention Mr Navis' call out: "1 minute 15 seconds, velocity..."
I'd always assumed he was reading the last "good" data they had.


Do we know if anything reached orbit or not?

Offline ksc_houston

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #178 on: 02/24/2009 11:44 AM »
Maybe I am wrong...if the spacecraft achieved orbit (a lower orbit) but with the same inclination, it may be possile to raise the orbit using OCO's thrusters ?
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Offline Jim

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Re: FAILED: Taurus XL - OCO - Feb 23/24, 09.
« Reply #179 on: 02/24/2009 11:48 AM »
The vehicle more than likely splashed.   Anyways if it did reach orbit, the spacecraft couldn't do anything, it is surrounded by a fairing, which means no power, no comm, no attitude references, no attitude control (thrusters are buried) and no orbit control
« Last Edit: 02/24/2009 11:49 AM by Jim »

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