Author Topic: Atlas-V - Mars Science Laboratory - Pre Launch Updates  (Read 253914 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas-V - Mars Science Laboratory - November 26, 2011
« Reply #740 on: 11/26/2011 05:03 AM »
I've been puzzling through the easily available information about this ascent.  Having just learned the concept of an "Africa gate" I've been trying to answer the question, "At what point during this ascent will the launch vehicle pass through its Africa gate?"  (Short background summary:  the range will send a destruct command unless it can confirm the vehicle has passed through its Africa gate.)  It looks like this will take place during the first Centaur burn, even though the ground trace shows that at MECO1 the vehicle has barely passed Antigua. 

The reasoning supporting that conclusion involves the location of MES2, which takes place while the vehicle is over Africa.  The IIP at MES2 is the same as the IIP at MECO1, yes?  So this must surely be somewhere in the Indian Ocean.  Or is the vehicle already orbital at MECO1?

As a side note it looks like they have telemetry coverage up the wazzoo for the second Centaur burn.  Hartebeesthoek, Diego Garcia, and TDRS 275?  No expense spared!

The vehicle is orbital before MECO1.  The IIP vanishes a few seconds before it.


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