Author Topic: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010  (Read 57233 times)

Offline William Graham

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Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« on: 04/19/2010 07:54 AM »
The maiden flight of the Minotaur IV is scheduled for a five-hour launch window opening at 19:00 GMT tomorrow. The payload is HTV-2a, a hypersonic technology experiment for DARPA, which will make a suborbital flight.

http://www.darpa.mil/Docs/FalconHTV-2FactSheet.pdf
http://www.darpa.mil/Docs/GeneralFalconHTV-2FAQ.pdf
« Last Edit: 04/21/2010 05:48 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 20 April 2010
« Reply #1 on: 04/19/2010 06:44 PM »
ORBITAL SET TO LAUNCH FIRST MINOTAUR IV ROCKET FOR U.S. AIR FORCE THIS WEEK


-- Suborbital Launch of Peacekeeper-Based Rocket to Support DARPA's HTV-2
Hypersonic Research Mission --

(Dulles, VA 19 April 2010) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one
of the world's leading space technology companies, today announced that it
is prepared to launch the first of its  Minotaur IV rockets in support of
the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Hypersonic
Technology Vehicle-2 (HTV-2) program.  The Minotaur IV launch vehicle is
based on decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors that Orbital integrates
and upgrades with modern avionics and other subsystems to produce a
cost-effective booster based on flight-proven hardware.  Subject to final
preparations and favorable weather conditions, the mission will originate
from Space Launch Complex-8 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, with its
first available launch window from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PST) tomorrow,
April 20, 2010.

For the HTV-2 mission, Orbital will fly a three-stage Minotaur IV "Lite"
version of the rocket to carry out the suborbital flight trajectory.  The
Minotaur IV will propel the HTV-2 air vehicle into the upper atmosphere,
where it will be released.  The HTV-2 will then descend at hypersonic speed
into the Pacific Ocean near Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The Minotaur IV rocket is the newest in the Minotaur family of launchers
that Orbital produces for the U.S. Air Force under the Orbital/Suborbital
Program-2 contract.  The first orbital mission of the Minotaur IV will take
place later this year when it launches the Air Force's Space Base Space
Surveillance (SBSS) satellite.

"The first flight of the Minotaur IV rocket ushers in an all-new capability
for the Air Force and other U.S. Government customers at a time when
reliable, cost-effective missions are at a premium," said Mr. Ron Grabe,
Orbital's Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch
Systems Group.  "Building on the outstanding record of the 16 previous
flights of the Minotaur family, all of which have been successful, we are
excited to begin flying the Minotaur IV rocket for our Air Force customer."

The debut of Minotaur IV begins a series of launch vehicle system
introductions that will highlight Orbital's position as the most active
current developer of new rocket systems in the world.  Beginning with
Minotaur IV, Orbital is scheduled to complete the development and carry out
the first flights of five new space and strategic launch systems in the
next two and a half years.

The four other launch vehicles are the Launch Abort System for NASA's Orion
program, the two-stage interceptor booster for the Missile Defense Agency's
Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, the Taurus II medium-class space
launch vehicle for NASA and other customers, and the Air Force's Minotaur V
rocket that is scheduled to launch NASA's LADEE lunar mission in 2012.

Mr. Grabe also stated, "With the introduction of several new space launch
vehicles in the next couple of years, combined with our heritage Pegasus,
Taurus and Minotaur vehicles, Orbital will offer its defense and
intelligence, civil government and commercial satellite customers the
world's most complete and proven line of launchers for small- and
medium-class satellites weighing up to 12,000 lbs."

About the HTV-2 Mission

DARPA's HTV-2 program objective is to create new technological options that
enable capabilities that urgently address threats to U.S. national
security.  The program is developing and testing an unmanned,
rocket-launched, maneuverable, hypersonic air vehicle that glides through
the Earth's atmosphere, at speeds of Mach 20 and above.  The key technical
challenges of the HTV-2 program are the design of an innovative high
lift-to-drag aerodynamic shape, advanced lightweight but tough thermal
protection structures, materials and fabrication technologies, autonomous
hypersonic navigation guidance and control systems, and an autonomous
flight safety system.

About Minotaur IV

The Minotaur IV space launch vehicle leverages the flight-proven heritage
of Orbital's Minotaur I, Pegasus and Taurus space launch vehicles to
provide a reliable, capable and cost-effective space launcher. Minotaur IV
utilizes three government-furnished solid rocket motors from decommissioned
Peacekeeper ICBMs and a commercial solid rocket upper stage. Minotaur IV
builds on a long heritage of launch systems with over 50 flights of each
core stage and is capable of launching payloads up to 3,800 lbs. (1,730
kgs.) to low Earth orbit.

About Orbital

Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class 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 exploration
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 provides satellite subsystems and space-related
technical services to U.S. Government agencies and laboratories.  More
information about Orbital can be found at http://www.orbital.com

# # #

Note to Editors: High-resolution images of the Minotaur IV rocker can be
found at:
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/ImagesMultimedia/Images/SpaceLaunch/index.shtml

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 20 April 2010
« Reply #2 on: 04/20/2010 12:45 AM »
... For the HTV-2 mission, Orbital will fly a three-stage Minotaur IV "Lite"
version of the rocket to carry out the suborbital flight trajectory.  ...

I take it that the "Lite" version only uses the three Peacekeeper motors, with no fourth stage?

An MX missile, except with Pegasus/Taurus avionics and a Taurus payload fairing, and launched from a fixed above-ground stand rather than pressure-launched from a silo?

 - Ed Kyle


Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 20 April 2010
« Reply #3 on: 04/20/2010 12:50 AM »
Looks like a delay until April 21 at the earliest, due to weather.

http://www.keyt.com/news/local/91551629.html

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #4 on: 04/20/2010 01:57 AM »
Looks like a delay until April 21 at the earliest, due to weather.

http://www.keyt.com/news/local/91551629.html

 - Ed Kyle

Blimey, someone needs to get a subeditor to that article! But the info is what counts.

Changed the thread title.

Offline cd-slam

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #5 on: 04/20/2010 04:36 PM »
Blimey, someone needs to get a subeditor to that article! But the info is what counts.

Changed the thread title.
Yeah, I sure hope it's not carrying 3 Peacekeeper missiles!

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #6 on: 04/21/2010 06:20 AM »
Ok, this one should head uphill today. Still the same launch window?

Offline William Graham

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #7 on: 04/21/2010 08:17 AM »
Ok, this one should head uphill today. Still the same launch window?
Same opening time, but it is one hour longer.

According to the Launch Alert mailing list, the countdown is proceeding, but there is a 90% probability of unacceptable weather.

Offline David AF

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #8 on: 04/21/2010 12:09 PM »
I assume this won't be webcasted?
F-22 Raptor instructor

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 20 April 2010
« Reply #9 on: 04/21/2010 01:22 PM »
I take it that the "Lite" version only uses the three Peacekeeper motors, with no fourth stage?

An MX missile, except with Pegasus/Taurus avionics and a Taurus payload fairing, and launched from a fixed above-ground stand rather than pressure-launched from a silo?

Basically, yes.


Offline MikeMi.

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #11 on: 04/21/2010 01:58 PM »
I assume this won't be webcasted?

Double it, someone know the answer for that?

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #12 on: 04/21/2010 01:59 PM »
Nice article,

Quick question

Quote
Athena launches are only likely to be made from Vandenberg if payload requirements prevent the launch occurring from the other Athena launch sites at Cape Canaveral, Wallops Island, and Kodiak Island.

Is Vandenberg not a preferred site? As in there is a reason why, like the need to doge oil rigs and stuff? Are Kodiak and Wallops easier to fly out of?
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Offline jcm

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #13 on: 04/21/2010 02:21 PM »
Yes, nice article. Based on other stuff I've seen, the altitude range of the flight will be 45-60 km, so reaching the mesosphere, and Earth-relative velocity somewhere in the range 5.0-6.5 km/s. If the payload were ballistic (which of course it isn't) this would correspond to a suborbital trajectory with a perigee of -3000 to -4700 km,
similar to an ICBM but with a much lower than usual apogee, and of course well short of orbital energy - an unusual profile for the booster. Even though this isn't a spaceflight, still interesting for us to follow!
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Offline robertross

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #15 on: 04/21/2010 05:27 PM »
Just did a little looking to see if there a webcast and found out it's delayed till Thursday.

VAFB - Minotaur Delayed


Offline jimvela

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #16 on: 04/21/2010 05:38 PM »
Just did a little looking to see if there a webcast and found out it's delayed till Thursday.

VAFB - Minotaur Delayed



I'm not sure if it is or is not on for today, but the link you provided above says it is on for Today...

Offline Bean Kenobi

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #17 on: 04/21/2010 05:41 PM »
Just did a little looking to see if there a webcast and found out it's delayed till Thursday.

VAFB - Minotaur Delayed



It seems to have been updated few minutes ago, Wed. is back as the launch date !

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 21 April 2010
« Reply #18 on: 04/21/2010 05:43 PM »
Just did a little looking to see if there a webcast and found out it's delayed till Thursday.

VAFB - Minotaur Delayed



It seems to have been updated few minutes ago, Wed. is back as the launch date !

Still read 'Thursday' when I read the linked blog post.
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #19 on: 04/21/2010 05:48 PM »
"The rocket was set to launch from Space Launch Complex-8 on south base Tuesday, April 20, 2010. The launch has been rescheduled with a time frame of noon - 6 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 2010. "
« Last Edit: 04/21/2010 05:49 PM by Chris Bergin »

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