Author Topic: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010  (Read 59504 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 »

Online 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

Online 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!

Online 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?
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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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Offline mrhuggy

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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 !

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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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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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 »

Offline Bean Kenobi

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #20 on: 04/21/2010 05:59 PM »
Uh oh... Mystery... :)

After mentionning Thursday before, now I read this :
" 4/20/2010 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- The launch of a Minotaur IV spacelift booster is delayed due to forecasted weather.

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. Wednesday, April 21, 2010. "

Reload the page ?

Offline ugordan

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #21 on: 04/21/2010 06:00 PM »
Reload the page ?

Thursday for me.

Offline Bean Kenobi

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #22 on: 04/21/2010 06:04 PM »
OK, you got it : seems to be a problem by my side, sorry for disturbing. Wait and see...

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #23 on: 04/22/2010 01:29 PM »
Re-alinging William's article for the latest attempt. We'll need to keep an eye on the above link in case of another delay.

Offline JimO

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #24 on: 04/22/2010 05:20 PM »
Still no word on any webcast?

And the coincidence with X-37B launch is more than enough to freak the nuts, it's semi-freaking ME....   ;->


Online Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #25 on: 04/22/2010 05:23 PM »
No sign of a webcast from what we can see, Jim.

Maybe somone in California wants to take a trip over and feed a webcam into a LiveFeed hosting program? :)

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #26 on: 04/22/2010 05:28 PM »
Do you guys have one of those LiveFeed backpacks with the six EVDO cards in it for doing Flash Media Encoding and uplink from anywhere?  If so, I think I can find someone out here to be your launch cameraman :  )
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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #27 on: 04/22/2010 05:30 PM »
So we don't know the exact launch time? Usually VAFB tightens up the launch window a little bit for launches like these when we get closer to the launch.  Seems like the NOTAMS restrictions for a six hour launch window would be semi-ridiculous...

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Offline William Graham

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #28 on: 04/22/2010 05:35 PM »
So we don't know the exact launch time? Usually VAFB tightens up the launch window a little bit for launches like these when we get closer to the launch.  Seems like the NOTAMS restrictions for a six hour launch window would be semi-ridiculous...

--Craig


That is the window. It doesn't have to reach a specific orbit (or any orbit for that matter), so it isn't dependant on the position of the Earth, Sun and other spacecraft relative to the target orbital plane at the time of launch. Minuteman tests also have long windows.

Offline craigcocca

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #29 on: 04/22/2010 05:43 PM »
So we don't know the exact launch time? Usually VAFB tightens up the launch window a little bit for launches like these when we get closer to the launch.  Seems like the NOTAMS restrictions for a six hour launch window would be semi-ridiculous...

--Craig


That is the window. It doesn't have to reach a specific orbit (or any orbit for that matter), so it isn't dependant on the position of the Earth, Sun and other spacecraft relative to the target orbital plane at the time of launch. Minuteman tests also have long windows.

Right, I'm with you on the lack of need to reach a specific orbital plane.  I'm just surprised that they didn't tighten up the window more than they did given the effect that it has on the range during daylight hours.
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Offline William Graham

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #30 on: 04/22/2010 05:45 PM »
So we don't know the exact launch time? Usually VAFB tightens up the launch window a little bit for launches like these when we get closer to the launch.  Seems like the NOTAMS restrictions for a six hour launch window would be semi-ridiculous...

--Craig


That is the window. It doesn't have to reach a specific orbit (or any orbit for that matter), so it isn't dependant on the position of the Earth, Sun and other spacecraft relative to the target orbital plane at the time of launch. Minuteman tests also have long windows.

Right, I'm with you on the lack of need to reach a specific orbital plane.  I'm just surprised that they didn't tighten up the window more than they did given the effect that it has on the range during daylight hours.

A longer window gives them a better chance of resolving problems, or waiting for weather to improve.

Offline jimvela

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #31 on: 04/22/2010 05:47 PM »
So we don't know the exact launch time? Usually VAFB tightens up the launch window a little bit for launches like these when we get closer to the launch.  Seems like the NOTAMS restrictions for a six hour launch window would be semi-ridiculous...

--Craig


That is the window. It doesn't have to reach a specific orbit (or any orbit for that matter), so it isn't dependant on the position of the Earth, Sun and other spacecraft relative to the target orbital plane at the time of launch. Minuteman tests also have long windows.

Right, I'm with you on the lack of need to reach a specific orbital plane.  I'm just surprised that they didn't tighten up the window more than they did given the effect that it has on the range during daylight hours.

Makes it a lot  harder for someone with
Quote
backpacks with the six EVDO cards in it for doing Flash Media Encoding
to set up off-base somewhere... amongst other undesired watchers...

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #32 on: 04/22/2010 06:00 PM »
Having been to Vandenberg, unless you're on base, the closest you're going to get is to the south.  And it's possible that they have evacuated some of the southern beach areas depending upon launch safety concerns (although I doubt it).  Viewing from the east isn't all that great.

So unless you're right there, the best you're going to get is a smoke trail.

Offline jimvela

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #33 on: 04/22/2010 06:05 PM »
Having been to Vandenberg, unless you're on base, the closest you're going to get is to the south.  And it's possible that they have evacuated some of the southern beach areas depending upon launch safety concerns (although I doubt it).  Viewing from the east isn't all that great.

So unless you're right there, the best you're going to get is a smoke trail.

I've managed to find places to see launches of vehicles I worked on, when I wasn't on base for the launch... But yes, you are at long range.

Hopefully I'll be there watching one I supported take its ride in July...

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #34 on: 04/22/2010 08:18 PM »
Nothing on the VAFB site about a launch yet.

Offline billmeco

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #35 on: 04/22/2010 09:16 PM »
There targeting the end of window 4pm (local) after working a problem with the HTV.

Offline billmeco

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #36 on: 04/22/2010 09:19 PM »
They powered down Minotaur and are doing a recycle to T-70. Which should pickup in about 30 minutes. Very cloudy here but no word on weather.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #37 on: 04/22/2010 09:26 PM »
Thanks Bill!

Offline billmeco

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #38 on: 04/22/2010 09:44 PM »
Minotaur is Green, HTV is Green, weather is Amber? (What ever that means) Weather downrange is Green. Picking up count in about 5 minutes for a 4:00pm local launch.

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #39 on: 04/22/2010 09:44 PM »
Appreciate any info so great thanks Bill!

Offline Aeroman

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #40 on: 04/22/2010 09:46 PM »
Any kind of webcast?

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #41 on: 04/22/2010 09:51 PM »
Any kind of webcast?

Nope. We were discussing that on page 2.

Offline billmeco

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #42 on: 04/22/2010 09:51 PM »
No Webcast

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #43 on: 04/22/2010 09:51 PM »
Has this gone up yet? Do you think it will be very visible from the Orlando/ Central Florida area (if viewed from a hill or good shuttle viewing spot)?

Offline billmeco

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #44 on: 04/22/2010 09:51 PM »
T-70 and counting

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #45 on: 04/22/2010 09:52 PM »
Probably won't be able to update until after launch. Press Site has very bad cell coverage.

Offline William Graham

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #46 on: 04/22/2010 09:58 PM »
Has this gone up yet? Do you think it will be very visible from the Orlando/ Central Florida area (if viewed from a hill or good shuttle viewing spot)?
Not yet. No chance of seeing anything from Florida at all*. It's launching from California and heading West.

*There is another launch tonight which should be visible from Florida. See
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21122.0

That is an Atlas V, which will launch from Cape Canaveral about ten minutes before midnight GMT (20:00 EDT), and head East South East.
« Last Edit: 04/22/2010 10:05 PM by GW_Simulations »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #47 on: 04/22/2010 10:06 PM »
Probably won't be able to update until after launch. Press Site has very bad cell coverage.


You've already managed more than we could have hoped for via official channels, and we have a target T-0 now, so thanks again!

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #48 on: 04/22/2010 10:55 PM »
Has this gone up yet? Do you think it will be very visible from the Orlando/ Central Florida area (if viewed from a hill or good shuttle viewing spot)?

Only if you jump really high.  I suggest using a trampoline.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #49 on: 04/22/2010 10:58 PM »
Although there are clouds around VAFB, its not the really heavy stuff with rain. They often launch through fog, so the weather may cooperate today.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #50 on: 04/22/2010 11:00 PM »
Has this gone up yet? Do you think it will be very visible from the Orlando/ Central Florida area (if viewed from a hill or good shuttle viewing spot)?

Please tell us about those hills in Central Florida.

 8)

Offline William Graham

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #51 on: 04/22/2010 11:09 PM »
The scheduled T-0 has come and gone. Hopefully we'll get some word on whether launch has occurred or not soon. Otherwise there are still a couple of hours left in the window.

A local (to Vandenberg) news agency reported that it was still on schedule about eight minutes before the scheduled T-0.
« Last Edit: 04/22/2010 11:12 PM by GW_Simulations »

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #52 on: 04/22/2010 11:10 PM »
Minotaur IV launched at 4pm local and everything appeared good.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #53 on: 04/22/2010 11:21 PM »
Has this gone up yet? Do you think it will be very visible from the Orlando/ Central Florida area (if viewed from a hill or good shuttle viewing spot)?

Please tell us about those hills in Central Florida.

 8)

They have scales and are called alligators.

Standing on them is not advised.

Offline Lompoc guy

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #54 on: 04/22/2010 11:26 PM »
Urf
Minotaur IV launched at 4pm local and everything appeared good.


Looked good from the surf beach train station.
Jay
« Last Edit: 04/23/2010 02:10 AM by Lompoc guy »

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #55 on: 04/22/2010 11:31 PM »
Has this gone up yet? Do you think it will be very visible from the Orlando/ Central Florida area (if viewed from a hill or good shuttle viewing spot)?

Please tell us about those hills in Central Florida.

 8)

They have scales and are called alligators.

Standing on them is not advised.

The central area of the state, around Clermont and up toward Gainesville, has some very nice hills, actually. Geological, not biological, hills.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #56 on: 04/23/2010 12:01 AM »
Minotaur IV launched at 4pm local and everything appeared good.


Excellent, thanks again Bill!

Offline TitanFan

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #57 on: 04/23/2010 03:15 AM »
Hey Lompoc Guy...you got me in your pic! :D

BTW, hit me up via PM if you want the scanner freq. for Vandenberg's Countdown net.
« Last Edit: 04/23/2010 03:16 AM by TitanFan »
TITAN...assured access to space.

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #58 on: 04/23/2010 03:25 AM »
Hey, guys - did the California sunset appearance tonight have anything to do with the Minotaur launch?
« Last Edit: 04/23/2010 05:13 AM by Art LeBrun »
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #59 on: 04/23/2010 04:43 AM »
Official VAFB photo.  Looks like Minotaur 4 is white, just like the pathfinder.

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #60 on: 04/23/2010 11:39 AM »
any news on whether the test is success or not?

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #61 on: 04/23/2010 01:59 PM »
any news on whether the test is success or not?

http://www.santamariatimes.com/news/local/military/article_3a0e8f48-4ea6-11df-a282-001cc4c03286.html

"Minutes after Minotaur blasted off and quickly disappeared into clouds, ground controllers announced that the payload had separated from the rocket.

However, hours after the launch, officials with DARPA and the Air Force still hadnít confirmed the outcome of the mission."

No news releases from DARPA or Orbital this morning, which is interesting.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/23/2010 02:02 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #62 on: 04/23/2010 09:51 PM »
any news on whether the test is success or not?

http://www.santamariatimes.com/news/local/military/article_3a0e8f48-4ea6-11df-a282-001cc4c03286.html

"Minutes after Minotaur blasted off and quickly disappeared into clouds, ground controllers announced that the payload had separated from the rocket.

However, hours after the launch, officials with DARPA and the Air Force still hadnít confirmed the outcome of the mission."

No news releases from DARPA or Orbital this morning, which is interesting.

 - Ed Kyle

Several news reports have used the word "successful" when describing the Minotaur 4 launch, but no word has come on the fate of the Hypersonic Test Vehicle (HTV-2a) nearly 24 hours after the flight.  My guess - only a guess - is that the HTV-2a portion of the flight didn't go entirely "as planned". 

IMO

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Offline marshal

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #63 on: 04/23/2010 10:20 PM »
My guess -  Classified .

Offline jcm

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #64 on: 04/23/2010 10:25 PM »
any news on whether the test is success or not?

http://www.santamariatimes.com/news/local/military/article_3a0e8f48-4ea6-11df-a282-001cc4c03286.html

"Minutes after Minotaur blasted off and quickly disappeared into clouds, ground controllers announced that the payload had separated from the rocket.

However, hours after the launch, officials with DARPA and the Air Force still hadnít confirmed the outcome of the mission."

No news releases from DARPA or Orbital this morning, which is interesting.

 - Ed Kyle

Several news reports have used the word "successful" when describing the Minotaur 4 launch, but no word has come on the fate of the Hypersonic Test Vehicle (HTV-2a) nearly 24 hours after the flight.  My guess - only a guess - is that the HTV-2a portion of the flight didn't go entirely "as planned". 

IMO

 - Ed Kyle

DARPA PAO says the program team is out for the weekend! I don't blame them.
(probably they are on travel on the way home from the launch site).
I don't think this is a group that is set up for the spaceflight style of news releases. Let's see what they say next week before jumping to conclusions about success or failure.

In the meantime, I looked a little more carefully at the prelaunch statements to try and reconstruct the planned mission. The statement is that of the 4100 nautical miles between VAFB and KMR, the hypersonic glide would take up 3100 of them. For a Mach 15-20 entry after a 1000 nmi range ballistic flight I can get a reasonable fit with an apogee of about 100 km - making this a spaceflight and so legitimate topic for us :-) - I have a feeling that it must be hard to give the Minotaur such a shallow launch, those three chunky solid stages were designed to punch high out of the atmosphere to 1000 km apogee or so; does anyone with launch vehicle knowledge have a feel for the aerodynamic heating and control problems of shaping the trajectory that shallowly?
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Offline Calphor

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #65 on: 04/23/2010 11:45 PM »
I would caution you not to assume that the only way to get between two points is a straight line. From what I know of the program, the notional flight plan was to approximate a AMaRV-style trajectory. That doesn't give a really good answer as to what the trajectory of the launch vehicle looks like, but I wouldn't assume a depressed trajectory.

From what I've been able to gather from people associated with the program, the flight itself was planned to include about a 30 minute glide phase, but vehicle telemetry was lost approximately 10 minutes into the glide phase. I do not have first hand knowledge, so take it for what it is worth.
« Last Edit: 04/23/2010 11:45 PM by Calphor »

Offline jcm

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #66 on: 04/24/2010 01:12 AM »
I would caution you not to assume that the only way to get between two points is a straight line. From what I know of the program, the notional flight plan was to approximate a AMaRV-style trajectory. That doesn't give a really good answer as to what the trajectory of the launch vehicle looks like, but I wouldn't assume a depressed trajectory.

From what I've been able to gather from people associated with the program, the flight itself was planned to include about a 30 minute glide phase, but vehicle telemetry was lost approximately 10 minutes into the glide phase. I do not have first hand knowledge, so take it for what it is worth.

Very interesting, thanks.
Although the AMaRV traj suggestion doesn't seem to be really consistent with the statement about the 3100-nautical-mile atmospheric glide phase, if I understand AMaRV correctly...
Not saying it's wrong!
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Offline rdale

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #67 on: 04/24/2010 02:38 AM »

Offline Calphor

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #68 on: 04/24/2010 03:47 AM »
I would caution you not to assume that the only way to get between two points is a straight line. From what I know of the program, the notional flight plan was to approximate a AMaRV-style trajectory. That doesn't give a really good answer as to what the trajectory of the launch vehicle looks like, but I wouldn't assume a depressed trajectory.

From what I've been able to gather from people associated with the program, the flight itself was planned to include about a 30 minute glide phase, but vehicle telemetry was lost approximately 10 minutes into the glide phase. I do not have first hand knowledge, so take it for what it is worth.

Very interesting, thanks.
Although the AMaRV traj suggestion doesn't seem to be really consistent with the statement about the 3100-nautical-mile atmospheric glide phase, if I understand AMaRV correctly...
Not saying it's wrong!

I think the main thing to remember is that the HTV-2a vehicle is not a ballistic RV. It is/was intended to perform a series of maneuvers to approximate an AMaRV-style trajectory. There would potentially be a pull-out maneuver, a glide/cruise phase, some avoidance/energy management maneuvers and a pitch down dive to the target. Some of the conditions are quite severe, however, this test flight was supposed to be relatively benign, compared with an actual AMaRV flight. The glide phase would be the longest portion of the flight, but remember, flying at M5+, you can cover a great deal of distance in a relatively short time.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #69 on: 04/24/2010 03:49 PM »
I would caution you not to assume that the only way to get between two points is a straight line. From what I know of the program, the notional flight plan was to approximate a AMaRV-style trajectory. That doesn't give a really good answer as to what the trajectory of the launch vehicle looks like, but I wouldn't assume a depressed trajectory.

From what I've been able to gather from people associated with the program, the flight itself was planned to include about a 30 minute glide phase, but vehicle telemetry was lost approximately 10 minutes into the glide phase. I do not have first hand knowledge, so take it for what it is worth.

Very interesting, thanks.
Although the AMaRV traj suggestion doesn't seem to be really consistent with the statement about the 3100-nautical-mile atmospheric glide phase, if I understand AMaRV correctly...
Not saying it's wrong!

Note that the press release mentions use of an unprecedented "energy management maneuver" during the Minotaur IV ascent.  Perhaps it "wasted" some delta-v by performing an off-axis deviation during third stage burn, etc.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline yinzer

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #70 on: 04/24/2010 08:48 PM »
I would caution you not to assume that the only way to get between two points is a straight line. From what I know of the program, the notional flight plan was to approximate a AMaRV-style trajectory. That doesn't give a really good answer as to what the trajectory of the launch vehicle looks like, but I wouldn't assume a depressed trajectory.

From what I've been able to gather from people associated with the program, the flight itself was planned to include about a 30 minute glide phase, but vehicle telemetry was lost approximately 10 minutes into the glide phase. I do not have first hand knowledge, so take it for what it is worth.

Very interesting, thanks.
Although the AMaRV traj suggestion doesn't seem to be really consistent with the statement about the 3100-nautical-mile atmospheric glide phase, if I understand AMaRV correctly...
Not saying it's wrong!

Note that the press release mentions use of an unprecedented "energy management maneuver" during the Minotaur IV ascent.  Perhaps it "wasted" some delta-v by performing an off-axis deviation during third stage burn, etc.

I'm pretty sure SLBMs have done this for a while.  Since they can't offload propellant and don't want to carry a big liquid final stage, the third stage will deliberately fly less efficient trajectories (spirals, etc) to use up excess delta-v.

It's the same concept that the THAAD SAM used during early test flights to stay within range boundaries:

I wouldn't be surprised if this was the first time that a Peacekeeper had done such a maneuver, hence the "unprecedented."
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

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« Last Edit: 04/27/2010 05:00 AM by Calphor »

Offline Lewis007

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #72 on: 04/28/2010 06:36 AM »
Orbital has published its press release on the launch, which includes a nice close-up picture of the launch
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=732

Offline Jester

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #73 on: 04/28/2010 04:13 PM »

According to DARPA's Johanna Spangenberg Jones:

    Preliminary review of data indicates the HTV-2 achieved controlled flight within the atmosphere at over Mach 20. Then contact with HTV-2 was lost. This was our first flight (all others were done in wind tunnels and simulations) so although of course we would like to have everything go perfectly, we still gathered data and can use findings for the next flight, scheduled currently for early 2011.


http://gizmodo.com/5526308/air-forces-falcon-hypersonic-glider-disappears-mysteriously

darpa release:
http://www.darpa.mil/Docs/DARPAFalcon%20HTV-2NewsRelease%20Final.pdf
« Last Edit: 04/28/2010 04:18 PM by Jester »

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #74 on: 04/28/2010 07:40 PM »
Orbital has published its press release on the launch, which includes a nice close-up picture of the launch
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=732

I wonder how this launch bodes for orbital, specifically COTS/CRS. The LV worked perfectly and they did not build the payload, but still having orbital and failed project together does not seem good.
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Offline ugordan

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #75 on: 04/28/2010 07:43 PM »
The LV worked perfectly and they did not build the payload, but still having orbital and failed project together does not seem good.

Why would it impact their COTS/CRS involvement in any way? They didn't build the payload as you say. Unless it was some non-advertised vehicle-induced environment that impacted the payload, they're off the hook IMO.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #76 on: 04/28/2010 07:44 PM »
Orbital has published its press release on the launch, which includes a nice close-up picture of the launch
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=732

I wonder how this launch bodes for orbital, specifically COTS/CRS. The LV worked perfectly and they did not build the payload, but still having orbital and failed project together does not seem good.
I agree with ugordan. Another successful flight for Orbital, but a failed payload.
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Offline ugordan

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #77 on: 04/28/2010 07:53 PM »
Another successful flight for Orbital

Actually, it was another successful flight for subOrbital.



OK, OK, I'll go get my coat...

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #78 on: 04/28/2010 08:30 PM »
With respect to the HTV-2a - I'm presuming that as this was launched from VAFB, it was on a  southwards near-polar trajectory, so the HTV would have been lost over the Pacific.

How would have it been recovered after a nominal flight? If it was meant to be recovered from the sea, then it might be bobbing around out there somewhere, choc full of classified electronics and engineering.  What chances are there of recovering it?
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #79 on: 04/28/2010 08:36 PM »
With respect to the HTV-2a - I'm presuming that as this was launched from VAFB, it was on a  southwards near-polar trajectory, so the HTV would have been lost over the Pacific.

How would have it been recovered after a nominal flight? If it was meant to be recovered from the sea, then it might be bobbing around out there somewhere, choc full of classified electronics and engineering.  What chances are there of recovering it?
I doubt they are going to recover it, since they haven't recovered other hypersonic test vehicles (i.e. like scramjets). You never know, though. After all, it is full of classified-ness, like you say.
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Offline yinzer

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #80 on: 04/28/2010 08:53 PM »
It was aimed toward Kwaj.  The typical result of a non-capsule-like object tumbling at hypersonic speed is breakup followed by massive overheating, with only the most heat-resistant bits coming down in recognizable form.  Most of said bits would probably sink to the bottom of the ocean.

The Pacific is really big and HTV-2 was really small.  Finding it without having tracked it down on radar is going to be effectively impossible.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #81 on: 04/28/2010 09:45 PM »
How would have it been recovered after a nominal flight? If it was meant to be recovered from the sea, then it might be bobbing around out there somewhere, choc full of classified electronics and engineering.  What chances are there of recovering it?

No recovery was planned.  HTV-2a was supposed to impact in an assigned area near (north of, if I remember correctly) Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, in the western Pacific.  I assume that the vehicle would have been essentially destroyed on impact, even during a nominal flight, and so would not have been left floating on the surface.  See the results of any number of even low-speed aircraft crashes over water for an example.

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #82 on: 04/29/2010 03:36 AM »
I wonder how this launch bodes for orbital, specifically COTS/CRS. The LV worked perfectly and they did not build the payload, but still having orbital and failed project together does not seem good.

It doesn't matter one bit.  Orbital does a lot of stuff.  They didn't just suddenly appear because of the COTS contract.  They've got satellites, launch vehicles, targets, and other stuff.

Back in the 1990s I really had my doubts about the company.  And they almost went bankrupt a few years ago.  But they seem to have really turned themselves around.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2010 03:51 PM by Blackstar »

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #83 on: 04/29/2010 04:31 PM »
The typical result of a non-capsule-like object tumbling at hypersonic speed is breakup followed by massive overheating, with only the most heat-resistant bits coming down in recognizable form.

What leads you to believe it tumbled at hypersonic speed? It was stated that the vehicle achieved stable M20 flight.

Offline yinzer

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #84 on: 04/29/2010 07:12 PM »
The typical result of a non-capsule-like object tumbling at hypersonic speed is breakup followed by massive overheating, with only the most heat-resistant bits coming down in recognizable form.

What leads you to believe it tumbled at hypersonic speed? It was stated that the vehicle achieved stable M20 flight.

A more or less uninformed theory that in an experimental hypersonic vehicle the odds of a pure communication system failure are lower than the odds of an unexpected flaw in the thermal protection or control systems.
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #85 on: 04/29/2010 08:00 PM »
The typical result of a non-capsule-like object tumbling at hypersonic speed is breakup followed by massive overheating, with only the most heat-resistant bits coming down in recognizable form.

What leads you to believe it tumbled at hypersonic speed? It was stated that the vehicle achieved stable M20 flight.

A more or less uninformed theory that in an experimental hypersonic vehicle the odds of a pure communication system failure are lower than the odds of an unexpected flaw in the thermal protection or control systems.

Never forget GIGO.  You'd be surprised at the consequences of a single misplaced digit or negative sign in an otherwise-flawless bit of software.
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The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #86 on: 04/29/2010 08:07 PM »
A more or less uninformed theory that in an experimental hypersonic vehicle the odds of a pure communication system failure are lower than the odds of an unexpected flaw in the thermal protection or control systems.

I work with launch vehicle RF systems, so I would not be surprised if a box or other component crapped out.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #87 on: 04/30/2010 12:36 PM »
I would "assume" that the vehicle was hot enough to be tracked by DSP through out the flight, it would be obvious to the people that paid for the flight if it flew it's flight profile, or tumbled out of control.

Now we just have to sit back and wait for clues and slips from those that know... if they stated vehicle achieved stable M20 flight, they had other methods to verify that.

Kinda why you paint black patterns on white rockets.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2010 12:38 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #88 on: 04/30/2010 04:30 PM »
I would "assume" that the vehicle was hot enough to be tracked by DSP through out the flight, it would be obvious to the people that paid for the flight if it flew it's flight profile, or tumbled out of control.

They probably would have tried to use SBIRS-HEO, which has a better sensor than DSP.  Plus, they had a lot of assets in the area.  My guess is that they would have had something in the area to observe the separation event at least.

Offline William Graham

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #89 on: 04/30/2010 04:47 PM »
I would "assume" that the vehicle was hot enough to be tracked by DSP through out the flight, it would be obvious to the people that paid for the flight if it flew it's flight profile, or tumbled out of control.

They probably would have tried to use SBIRS-HEO, which has a better sensor than DSP.  Plus, they had a lot of assets in the area.  My guess is that they would have had something in the area to observe the separation event at least.

I checked passes using Heavens Above, and assuming their data is correct, both USA-184 and USA-200 (the two satellites which are believed to carry SBIRS-HEO instruments), were over the area at the time of launch.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #90 on: 04/30/2010 06:40 PM »
I checked passes using Heavens Above, and assuming their data is correct, both USA-184 and USA-200 (the two satellites which are believed to carry SBIRS-HEO instruments), were over the area at the time of launch.

Even better.  Two sensors not only provides redundancy, but allows stereo viewing.

Where was the X-band radar that is based in Hawaii?  Did it deploy for this test?

Another question--where was Cobra Ball, the RC-135 equipped with IR sensors? 

(I know that the answer to the X-band question is probably easily obtained, but the Cobra Ball answer is not.)
« Last Edit: 04/30/2010 11:24 PM by Blackstar »

Offline jjnodice

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Re: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010
« Reply #91 on: 01/21/2011 12:31 PM »
Two months old, but here is a press release describing the flight anomaly:.

http://www.darpa.mil/news/2010/HTV-2ERBReviewRelease.pdf

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