Author Topic: Minotaur IV / HTV-2a - 22 April 2010  (Read 53834 times)

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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Offline Blackstar

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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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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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