Author Topic: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5  (Read 30510 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« on: 04/28/2009 11:54 PM »
Do we not already have a thread for this - or am I going blind?

ULA:

United Launch Alliance is happy to provide the Missile Defense Agency Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) Advanced Technology Risk Reduction (STSS ATRR) mission booklet detailing the mission timeline for the launch of this satellite aboard a ULA Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. ULA will perform the launch on behalf of NASA. The launch is set for May 5, 1:24 1:52 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time.  Remote camera set up is set for May 4, 1-3 p.m.  Please meet at the Vandenberg AFB main gate at 1 p.m.

Offline Stephan

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #1 on: 04/29/2009 05:44 PM »
"At the request of the Missile Defense Agency, an external TV and internet broadcast of this mission will not be provided."

http://www.ulalaunch.com/
Best regards, Stephan

Offline eeergo

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #2 on: 04/29/2009 06:27 PM »
"At the request of the Missile Defense Agency, an external TV and internet broadcast of this mission will not be provided."

http://www.ulalaunch.com/

More secretive than NRO? That's quite lame... I can understand -with a stretch of imagination- why they want to cut the webcast off once the fairing has dropped, but the whole launch? The orbital parameters are public and there are even artist impressions of the spacecraft.
-DaviD-

Offline Jim

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #3 on: 04/29/2009 06:48 PM »
The orbital parameters are public and there are even artist impressions of the spacecraft.

What spacecraft?   There are none of the ATRR spacecraft.   There are some of the Demo spacecraft.

This spacecraft is not ATRR
http://www.st.northropgrumman.com/media/presskits/mediaGallery/stss/photos/media1_4_16376_16380.html
« Last Edit: 04/29/2009 06:49 PM by Jim »

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #4 on: 04/29/2009 08:17 PM »
What spacecraft?   There are none of the ATRR spacecraft.   There are some of the Demo spacecraft.

Pg. 1 and 5 of the mission overview show it - unless they're not it...

Pg. 1 is one of ther NG built STSS satellites
Pg. 5 looks like the LDCM satellite

Offline Jim

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #5 on: 04/29/2009 09:12 PM »
Pg 5 looks like GLAST

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #6 on: 04/29/2009 09:30 PM »
Pg 5 looks like GLAST
No, more like LDCM (although both are SA-200HP spacecraft)

See

LDCM

GLAST

Offline William Graham

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #7 on: 04/29/2009 10:08 PM »
MDA did the same for NFIRE.

Offline yinzer

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #8 on: 04/29/2009 11:02 PM »
I'm thinking about going to watch this launch.  The internet seems to indicate that my best bet is probably to ride up to the top of Santa Ynez Peak, which is accessible to the public, probably above the clouds, and fairly close to the launch site.

Does anyone have any better suggestions?  Is there a nasaspaceflight.com hookup to get to a viewing location on base?
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline DaveJes1979

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #9 on: 04/29/2009 11:55 PM »
yinzer, I highly recommend against going to Santa Ynez Peak.  I tried it for one launch, and it simply is too far away from the launch site (about 40 miles).  Unless the coast is completely socked in by fog, there is no point in watching from there.  BTW - last time I went it the road were conditions were *really* spotty - we might as well have been off-roading.

My wife and I have seen two launches now from the weather station (both Delta II launches at night), located on Corral Road.  If you can't get onto the base, this is where most of the public go to view the launch.  It is about 5.4 miles from the Delta 2 pad.  It is a tad tricky to find - you have to park alongside the road in a dirt shoulder, then walk through an unmarked dirt path through the treed area on the west side of the road.  There is a sparse concrete bleacher there, which has been more than adequate for the small crowds that gather there (or just set up a cot in the open field).  They are kind enough to set up speakers so the public can hear the mission control and countdown feed.  The location is a few hundred feet above sea level, and there are no viewing obstructions of the pad.

NOAA is reporting that the fog should be gone by 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Yeah, I wish I had a base hookup.  Unless Chris wants to write us press accredidations!

The only other spot I know of would be the Golf Course just NW of the weather station.  It is technically closer to the pad by a bit, but I understand that the hills obstruct a direct view of the pad, and you are further north, away from the line of flight.

I am tempted to try viewing from Surf beach, almost directly south of the pad a few miles down.  But I haven't heard anything about it from others.  It would only work if there was absolutely no coastal fog and assuming the local authorities don't close it down for range safety purposes.

I've whipped up a quick map using Powerpoint and Google Earth for directions to the public viewing location near the Corral Road weather station.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #10 on: 04/30/2009 03:04 AM »
"At the request of the Missile Defense Agency, an external TV and internet broadcast of this mission will not be provided."

http://www.ulalaunch.com/

More secretive than NRO? That's quite lame... I can understand -with a stretch of imagination- why they want to cut the webcast off once the fairing has dropped, but the whole launch? The orbital parameters are public and there are even artist impressions of the spacecraft.

I wonder if there's a chance that the payload fairing is somehow "special" to the extent that MDA doesn't want photos.  I kinda doubt it, but we'll see.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #11 on: 05/01/2009 02:42 AM »
"At the request of the Missile Defense Agency, an external TV and internet broadcast of this mission will not be provided."

http://www.ulalaunch.com/

A real shame, considering that if both this and its sister launch are restricted from broadcast, only seven or so additional Delta II launch viewing opportunities exist before the end.

We got to see video of Iran's and North Korea's launches, after the fact.  Perhaps MDA will at least meet that standard.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/01/2009 02:45 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline WHAP

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #12 on: 05/01/2009 03:13 AM »

A real shame, considering that if both this and its sister launch are restricted from broadcast, only seven or so additional Delta II launch viewing opportunities exist before the end.

We got to see video of Iran's and North Korea's launches, after the fact.  Perhaps MDA will at least meet that standard.

 - Ed Kyle

What's your point, Ed?  While it certainly is nice to see the video, in reality these will look a lot like other Delta II missions.  It's not that no record of the flight will exist, just that you won't have the close up video to watch.  Neither MDA nor ULA needs to prove to you that they launched a rocket, so comparing this launch to those by Iran and NK isn't relevant.

By the way, including the 2 STSS missions, there are 14 Delta II vehicles left.  Some are unsold, but it is unlikely that they will never fly.
ULA employee.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Offline William Graham

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #13 on: 05/01/2009 07:09 AM »
Neither MDA nor ULA needs to prove to you that they launched a rocket, so comparing this launch to those by Iran and NK isn't relevant.

I think his point was that the USA, which prides itself on its "freedom", shouldn't appear less open in terms of information release than what it considers to be an unfree communist dictatorship.

Offline WHAP

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #14 on: 05/01/2009 01:19 PM »
Really, guys.  Does video of a rocket launch constitute a freedom that must be compared to a communist dictatorship?  NK is probably still telling its people (and its leader) that the launch was completely successful.  Is that the kind of freedom you want?  There have always been reasons for classification in the free US, and I find it hard to believe that this one item is worth complaining about.  Besides, since it hasn't happened yet, who knows what will be available after the launch?
ULA employee.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

Offline eeergo

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #15 on: 05/01/2009 02:10 PM »
First, I want to stand corrected about the public artist conceptions of the satellite(s?), as I was clearly confused by depictions of other sats.

However, I still think closing this launch to public eyes doesn't offer any advantages to the MDA and invalids some of the heralded speeches of freedom of information, openness, etc, so used by the US. Of course it can't be compared with NK's attitude, but restricting the information like this is not a behaviour the 'leader of the free world' should be exhibiting.

In fact, I think it'll attract more attention than in normal circumstances. How many Delta II launches go up with nothing more than a brief footnote, including defense-related payloads? By suppling a short clip of recorded footage after the launch, this puts the US in the same basket as Russia, and they're constantly accused of having a 'secretive and obscure' military program. As mentioned, even the NRO releases more information!
-DaviD-

Offline WHAP

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #16 on: 05/01/2009 03:29 PM »
Next time Spain holds some military maneuvers, let us know how much live footage you receive.  What would you say if Hispasat asked Ariane not to broadcast a launch because something about the vehicle would give away competitive information?  Would that really be a problem for your?  Would that really be a black mark on Spain's policy of openness?

I'll restate my point.  You have been privy to a huge amount of information available live for US launches, including, as a couple of you have stated, many NRO launches.  The fact that MDA chooses to restrict live video for this launch does not significantly affect the openness of the US.  For any of us to say that it doesn't offer advantages to MDA is totally presumptive on our part.  If you believe it truly "invalidates" the US as a leader of the free world, I would say that's just a bit of exaggeration. 

As a US citizen, I have no problem with a "secretive and obscure" military program - that's one aspect that allows the US to remain a leader.  I have no problem when Russia or any other country restricts access to its military programs, including satellite launches.  It's when Russia, Iran, NK or any other country says that they had a successful launch (especially commercial) when they really didn't - and everyone knows it, that I wonder about that country's ability to lead anyone.
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Offline eeergo

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #17 on: 05/01/2009 04:47 PM »
Next time Spain holds some military maneuvers, let us know how much live footage you receive.  What would you say if Hispasat asked Ariane not to broadcast a launch because something about the vehicle would give away competitive information?  Would that really be a problem for your?  Would that really be a black mark on Spain's policy of openness?

This isn't a military maneuver, it's a rocket launch with an enshrouded military payload than can remain, by and large, secret. The Spanish Ministry of Defense precluding Arianespace broadcasting a launch (not for competitiveness, but for 'security' reasons, though I don't know what competitiveness they may lose because of a broadcast of a launch) would make headlines here, bear no doubt... or at least that's what I hope. I, for one, would not be comfortable with our authorities' behaviour. It would mean a black mark if the majority of similar operations had been shown, at least in part, to the public. If none are shown... well, then the whole policy would be a black mark.

Quote
I'll restate my point.  You have been privy to a huge amount of information available live for US launches, including, as a couple of you have stated, many NRO launches.  The fact that MDA chooses to restrict live video for this launch does not significantly affect the openness of the US.  For any of us to say that it doesn't offer advantages to MDA is totally presumptive on our part.  If you believe it truly "invalidates" the US as a leader of the free world, I would say that's just a bit of exaggeration. 

It's not that I'm saying the US is not open, don't get me wrong. Much the contrary: I, as a foreigner, have access to many details that in most of the rest of the world aren't even available to nationals. Just that movements like this 'secretive launch' are unnecessary (given anyone can watch the launch from a distance, and probably the rocket doesn't carry a banner with the payload's specifications) and leave an unpleasant feeling about something murky being hidden, when there really shouldn't be. It's a satellite to develop technologies against enemy missiles, so what? If it was a NK launch, I wouldn't be surprised at their oscurantism and would despise it. The problem is, it isn't them.

In my view, measures like this can make a precedent available for those people that wish they could restrict any information about defense projects for 'national security reasons'.

Simply put, I don't like giving carte blanche to the military/intelligence agencies/defense corporations just because "they're brave men who must know what they're doing". More often than not, they aren't either. Be they Russian, American, Spanish, Chinese, Korean or Tanzanian.

I know I'm not American and so, strictly speaking, have no right to complain about what they offer or restrict. Just talking as an interested observer here, and offering my comments on the matter :)
-DaviD-

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #18 on: 05/01/2009 05:51 PM »

This isn't a military maneuver, it's a rocket launch with an enshrouded military payload than can remain, by and large, secret.

Umm was not there a launch failure in the 1980's that the shroud came off exposing for all to see the super duper secret spy payload before smashing it to bits? The one thing both the Delta II and the Titan III have in common is they have both blown a solid shortly after clearing the tower. Maybe that is the fear. It has happened, a live feed could show the whole world what is behind the curtian ... eeer shroud.

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Online Chris Bergin

Re: Delta II - STSS ATRR - May 5
« Reply #19 on: 05/01/2009 05:58 PM »
ULA PAO Mike:

everything is on track for the May 5 launch of the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the Missile Defense Agency Space Tracking and Surveillance System Advanced Technology Risk Reduction (STSS ATRR) payload.  As a reminder, the launch window is 1:24-1:52 p.m. PDT.  If we scrub a day, the launch window is the same on May 6.

 

Some important notes for media covering the launch

 

1)     Due to the classified nature of this launch, an external TV and internet broadcast will not be provided.  An audio line for media to listen to the countdown will also not be provided.

 

2)     Media remote camera set up is set for May 4.  Please arrive at the front gate of Vandenberg AFB at 1 p.m. PDT for escort to the Delta II pad.

 

3)     The meet time for media launch day viewing is May 5 at 12:30 p.m. PDT at the Vandenberg AFB front gate.

 

Post launch media releases will be sent after the mission has concluded.

 

Have a great weekend and Im happy to address any questions I can.  The MDA or 30 SW/PA will need to address mission specific questions.


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