Author Topic: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014  (Read 17990 times)

Online Chris Bergin

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June 22, 2010

CONTRACT RELEASE: C10-036

NASA AWARDS LAUNCH SERVICES CONTRACT FOR OCO-2 MISSION

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA has selected Orbital Sciences Corp. of
Dulles, Va., to launch the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)
mission. The spacecraft will fly in February 2013 aboard a Taurus XL
3110 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The total cost of the OCO-2 launch services is approximately $70
million. The estimated cost includes the task-ordered launch service
for a Taurus XL 3110 rocket, plus additional services under other
contracts for payload processing, OCO-2 mission-unique support,
launch vehicle integration, and tracking, data and telemetry support.


OCO-2 is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon
dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the leading human-produced greenhouse gas
driving changes in the Earth's climate. OCO-2 will provide the first
complete picture of human and natural carbon dioxide sources and
"sinks," the places where the gas is pulled out of the atmosphere and
stored. It will map the global geographic distribution of these
sources and sinks and study their changes over time. The OCO-2
spacecraft will replace OCO-1, lost during a launch vehicle failure
in 2009.

The OCO-2 project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, Calif. NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space
Center in Florida is responsible for launch vehicle program
management of the Taurus XL 3110 rocket.

For more information about NASA and agency missions, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov 


Online Lee Jay

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This one's going to go better, I trust (and hope).  Best of luck to Orbital!

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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This one's going to go better, I trust (and hope). 

Shh! Don't jinx it!  ;)
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

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Offline bolun

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NASA Suspends Payments on Launch Contract with Orbital

Thu, 23 June, 2011

WASHINGTON — NASA is suspending payments on a nearly $70 million contract with Orbital Sciences Corp. for launch of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 environmental satellite aboard a Taurus XL rocket, which failed in its last two missions.

Dulles, Va.-based Orbital remains under contract to build OCO-2, a duplicate of the $200 million carbon-mapping satellite destroyed in a 2009 Taurus XL launch failure blamed on payload-fairing separation error. However, the $68.1 million NASA had budgeted for a February 2013 Taurus XL launch of OCO-2 has been “temporarily put on hold” as the agency evaluates “launch services options for the OCO-2 mission,” according to NASA’s 2011 initial operating plan.

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110623-nasa-suspends-payments-orbital.html

Offline sdsds

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NASA Suspends Payments on Launch Contract with Orbital

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110623-nasa-suspends-payments-orbital.html

Ouch.

Quote
“I would go more than recertified, personally,” Michael Freilich, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, told Space News in May. “I would go demonstrated.”

Is there another payload that could be launched by Taurus XL?  What customer would accept the risks (that Freilich apparently won't accept) of riding on a demonstration flight?
-- sdsds --

Offline Malderi

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Probably one that gets a substantial discount.

Online Antares

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Iridium?
Maybe an MTV writer is this era's best philosopher: "You think you know, but you have no idea."

Offline HMXHMX

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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Possibly a test payload containing recording equipment, cameras and other sensors that permits what the fairing actually does to be seen.

Offline sdsds

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Does this enable OCO-2?

Quote
Thompson also said Orbital has completed a review of the March failure of its smaller Taurus XL rocket, whose fairing malfunctioned for the second consecutive time. In both cases the principal payloads were NASA science satellites whose combined cost is estimated at more than $600 million.
http://www.spacenews.com/launch/110722-taurus-debut-delayed.html
-- sdsds --

Online ugordan

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Enable it in what way?

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Enable it in what way?

ORS-1 launch used modified fairing that worked successfully

Quote
Thompson also said Orbital has completed a review of the March failure of its smaller Taurus XL rocket, whose fairing malfunctioned for the second consecutive time. In both cases the principal payloads were NASA science satellites whose combined cost is estimated at more than $600 million.

Orbital’s June 29 flight of a Minotaur rocket, a converted ICBM, used a fairing that had been redesigned to account for the two Taurus XL failures. The launch, carrying the U.S. Defense Department’s Operationally Responsive Space-1 satellite into low Earth orbit, was a success

Online ugordan

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Wasn't the same fairing previosuly successfully flown on Minotaurs also flown on the first ill-fated Taurus?

In any case, I doubt this "enables" OCO-2. Methinks NASA is still going to go by the old fool me once... saying.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2011 09:43 PM by ugordan »

Offline zaitcev

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According to SFN, OCO-2 was taken off Taurus.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1202/10oco2/
Quote
While NASA holds another competition for OCO 2's launch, integration and testing of the satellite will continue, officials said. Orbital Sciences is building the spacecraft in Dulles, Va.
Too bad Falcon-1 is dead.

Online William Graham

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According to SFN, OCO-2 was taken off Taurus.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1202/10oco2/
Quote
While NASA holds another competition for OCO 2's launch, integration and testing of the satellite will continue, officials said. Orbital Sciences is building the spacecraft in Dulles, Va.
Too bad Falcon-1 is dead.

So, the available candidates:
Atlas V - Too big
Athena I/IIc - Unproven
Delta II
Falcon 1 - Retired, 1e unproven
Falcon 9 - Too big
Minotaur I - Restricted
Pegasus-XL - Too small

Doubt if they can piggy-back it on an Atlas or Falcon launch to SSO, and they'd be paying for a lot of excess capacity if they opt for a dedicated launch. I doubt if F1e could be ready in time even if SpaceX were actively developing it. I'm also not sure if Athena needs to be requalified given that it has been out of service for so long, and now has a different second stage. Pegasus can't carry it, and Minotaur can only be used if NASA can prove that no other rocket is capable of launching it.

ULA do have a few unassembled Delta II rockets in reserve, and OCO has been linked with it in the past. A 7320 would still have plenty of room for secondary payloads, but it does seem the most likely option.

Offline Skyrocket

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According to SFN, OCO-2 was taken off Taurus.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1202/10oco2/
Quote
While NASA holds another competition for OCO 2's launch, integration and testing of the satellite will continue, officials said. Orbital Sciences is building the spacecraft in Dulles, Va.
Too bad Falcon-1 is dead.

So, the available candidates:
Atlas V - Too big
Athena I/IIc - Unproven
Delta II
Falcon 1 - Retired, 1e unproven
Falcon 9 - Too big
Minotaur I - Restricted
Pegasus-XL - Too small

Doubt if they can piggy-back it on an Atlas or Falcon launch to SSO, and they'd be paying for a lot of excess capacity if they opt for a dedicated launch. I doubt if F1e could be ready in time even if SpaceX were actively developing it. I'm also not sure if Athena needs to be requalified given that it has been out of service for so long, and now has a different second stage. Pegasus can't carry it, and Minotaur can only be used if NASA can prove that no other rocket is capable of launching it.

ULA do have a few unassembled Delta II rockets in reserve, and OCO has been linked with it in the past. A 7320 would still have plenty of room for secondary payloads, but it does seem the most likely option.

Minotaur-IV could be an alternative, if no other acceptable launch vehicles are available (e.g. LADEE on Minotaur V). The Minotaur I mentioned above is likely not powerful enough.

Offline Zed_Noir

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According to SFN, OCO-2 was taken off Taurus.
http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1202/10oco2/
Quote
While NASA holds another competition for OCO 2's launch, integration and testing of the satellite will continue, officials said. Orbital Sciences is building the spacecraft in Dulles, Va.
Too bad Falcon-1 is dead.

So, the available candidates:
Atlas V - Too big
Athena I/IIc - Unproven
Delta II
Falcon 1 - Retired, 1e unproven
Falcon 9 - Too big
Minotaur I - Restricted
Pegasus-XL - Too small


What do you mean by too big? In terms of lift capacity or cost?

Online ugordan

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Copied from another thread:

If this happens, is Delta II is only launch vehicle (in this class) certified to launch NASA scientific payloads?

Delta II is in Taurus class as much is Atlas V is in Delta II class

So basically, OCO-2 is going up on a Minotaur IV?

Offline TheMightyM

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Falcon 1 is also very likely too small. Would take a Falcon 1e, which is unproven.

Another possibility besides a Minotaur IV would be to fly OCO-2 and another payload on a Delta 7320.

Offline edkyle99

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Does this mean the end of Taurus?

If so, that would be two U.S. small-sat launchers that have bit the dust in recent months.

Could a Delta 2 even be ready to fly by "mid-2014"?

Minotaur 4 really is the right match for this payload in terms of basic capability and proven flight history, but will the Pentagon approve such a launch?  Athena 2c might be a good match too, but it hasn't flown.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/11/2012 03:30 PM by edkyle99 »

Online ugordan

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Could a Delta II even be ready to fly by "mid-2014"?

The article does state that's realistically the earliest date for a launch.

Online Antares

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Are there any other spacecraft in line to go into the A-train orbit?  That's would be an excellent opportunity for a dual manifest - and probably the only one likely.

AIUI, OSTP is who has the say on whether a spacecraft can go on a government-furnished launcher, and the mission project has to request it first.  Also AIUI, other commercial providers have the right to protest OSTP's decision with the GAO.
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Offline TheMightyM

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Are there any other spacecraft in line to go into the A-train orbit?  That's would be an excellent opportunity for a dual manifest - and probably the only one likely.

SMAP, scheduled to launch in November 2014, might be a possibility.

Online ugordan

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Well, the Soil Moisture Active and Passive mission wants to go to a sun-sync orbit, but a 6 AM/PM one so I don't know if that's doable.

Online William Graham

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Minotaur-IV could be an alternative, if no other acceptable launch vehicles are available (e.g. LADEE on Minotaur V). The Minotaur I mentioned above is likely not powerful enough.
I meant IV. Posted that when I was still waking up, and in hindsight it was probably a bad summary.

What do you mean by too big? In terms of lift capacity or cost?

Capacity mostly, but smaller rockets are generally cheaper. That said, the increased fixed costs of a Delta II launch would probably make it more expensive than an F9 - not sure how much a Delta goes for these days. But ULA are still marketing it, so presumably they believe that it is still competitive.

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #25 on: 02/11/2012 08:23 PM »
I think this issue with an F-9 or even an Antares is they have not yet flown often enough.

I wonder if the Taurus XL issues where part of the reason for Orbital's Taurus II name change.
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Online kevin-rf

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #26 on: 02/11/2012 11:52 PM »
If OCO-2 flies on a Delta II, would it be a three solid Delta 7320, or would it use three Delta II heavy solids and have a different designation?
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Online Antares

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #27 on: 02/12/2012 12:35 AM »
I think the only certified version with big GEMs is the 79xx.
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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #28 on: 02/12/2012 11:33 AM »
The reason I asked on that, is I thought in all the Delta II discussions the only remaining GEM's where the large GEM-46's.
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Online William Graham

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #29 on: 02/12/2012 11:48 AM »
The reason I asked on that, is I thought in all the Delta II discussions the only remaining GEM's where the large GEM-46's.
Delta IIH can't fly from Vandenberg, and I believe ULA is no longer offering Delta II launches from Canaveral (in any case, OCO-2 would have to fly from Vandenberg*). They have said that GEM-40s can be produced if necessary.


*Actually there have been a few SSO launches from Canaveral in the past (using early Thor-Delta configurations), and although I haven't done the maths, a 7920H could probably (theoretically) put OCO-2 up from Canaveral if necessary, but that's beside the point
« Last Edit: 02/12/2012 11:50 AM by GW_Simulations »

Offline marsman2020

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #30 on: 02/12/2012 11:45 PM »
They should have pulled the Glory contract and dual-manifested Glory and OCO-2 on a Delta II after the original OCO failure.

Especially when it became clear that Orbital had no intent to actually address all of the issues that came out of the OCO MIB report (no change was made to the flawed design of the frangible joints on the payload fairing).

Quote
Does this mean the end of Taurus?

9 launches in 18 years with a 33% failure rate.  Who in their right mind would manifest their payload on that?
« Last Edit: 02/12/2012 11:51 PM by marsman2020 »

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #31 on: 02/13/2012 12:52 AM »
They should have pulled the Glory contract and dual-manifested Glory and OCO-2 on a Delta II after the original OCO failure.


Yeah, right.  You have all the hindsight.  There were no more Delta II's at the time nor a DPAF available, which is still not available even though Delta II is.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #32 on: 02/13/2012 01:06 AM »
They should have pulled the Glory contract and dual-manifested Glory and OCO-2 on a Delta II after the original OCO failure.

Especially when it became clear that Orbital had no intent to actually address all of the issues that came out of the OCO MIB report (no change was made to the flawed design of the frangible joints on the payload fairing).

All 4 NASA MIB recommendations were mitigated, and hundreds of people participated in RTF reviews and decisions.

Your statements are somewhere between FUD and lies.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2012 01:06 AM by Antares »
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Offline marsman2020

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #33 on: 02/13/2012 01:20 AM »
They should have pulled the Glory contract and dual-manifested Glory and OCO-2 on a Delta II after the original OCO failure.

Especially when it became clear that Orbital had no intent to actually address all of the issues that came out of the OCO MIB report (no change was made to the flawed design of the frangible joints on the payload fairing).

All 4 NASA MIB recommendations were mitigated, and hundreds of people participated in RTF reviews and decisions.

Your statements are somewhere between FUD and lies.

The NASA Engineering Safety Center flagged the failure of the frangible joints to completely separate as a red risk - probability of occurrence 11-50%, impact - loss of mission in NESC-RP-10-00630, "Assess Qualification of the Taurus Fairing Frangible Joint System", dated May 27, 2010.

As far as I am aware the redesign from hot gas to cold gas on the separation system did not include changes to the frangible joints. 

Per the NESC report, qualification of the frangible joint *prior to* the OCO failure was based on a total of *3* firings, which yields a statistical reliability of 36% on a 95% confidence interval (!!).  Typical qualification programs for launch vehicle pyrotechnic devices include 10s of firings.

That's what the taxpayers got for their money when they paid Orbital ~$50 million for the OCO launch services contact.

Offline deltaV

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #34 on: 02/13/2012 03:56 AM »
Why doesn't NASA charge launch providers (or their insurers) for the value of the payloads it loses to launch failures? I would think charging for failure would be a simpler and more effective way to ensure reliability than mountains of paperwork.

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #35 on: 02/13/2012 11:27 AM »
Why doesn't NASA charge launch providers (or their insurers) for the value of the payloads it loses to launch failures? I would think charging for failure would be a simpler and more effective way to ensure reliability than mountains of paperwork.

Then nobody would fly several hundred million dollar spacecraft.

Also, do you know that it is actually "mountains of paperwork?"

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #36 on: 08/06/2013 03:45 PM »
http://www.nasa.gov/press/2013/august/nasa-administrator-views-atmospheric-science-satellite-meets-media-in-arizona/#.UgEZHI1JOAg

NASA Administrator Views Atmospheric Science Satellite, Meets Media in Arizona

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will visit an Orbital Sciences Corp. facility in Gilbert, Ariz. on Friday, Aug. 9, to view progress on the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) satellite.

At 8:15 a.m. MST, Bolden and Orbital CEO David Thompson will tour the company’s satellite manufacturing and clean room facility where the OCO-2 satellite is under construction. They will speak with reporters at 9:15 a.m., following the tour.

Their remarks and media availability will not be broadcast live on NASA Television or the agency's website. Media interested in participating must contact Barron Beneski at beneski.barron@orbital.com or 703-406-5228 for credentialing information no later than 5 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. MST) Thursday, Aug. 8.

OCO-2 will be NASA’s first dedicated Earth remote sensing satellite to study atmospheric carbon dioxide from space. OCO-2 will collect global measurements of carbon dioxide with the precision, resolution, and coverage needed to characterize sources and sinks on regional scales, and quantify carbon dioxide variability over the seasonal cycles annually. OCO-2 is targeted to launch next year.

For more information about Orbital Sciences Corporation, visit:
http://www.orbital.com

For more information about OCO-2, visit:
http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/
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Online kevin-rf

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #37 on: 08/06/2013 04:13 PM »
https://twitter.com/OrbitalSciences/statuses/364771746546589696
Quote
#OCO-2 is next Earth Science spacecraft for @NASA to come out of #Gilbert plant following successful #Landsat8 deployment for @NASA_Landsat

https://twitter.com/OrbitalSciences/statuses/364770758515367937
Quote
More information on #OCO-2 spacecraft that we are designing, building and testing in #Gilbert, AZ for @NASAJPL http://www.orbital.com/SatellitesSpace/ScienceTechnology/OCO/

btw. Does anyone have an easy way to convert twitter tweets to posts here. Using the embed options results in garbly gook, and copy and paste loses the formatting.
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Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #38 on: 08/06/2013 08:17 PM »
Why doesn't NASA charge launch providers (or their insurers) for the value of the payloads it loses to launch failures? I would think charging for failure would be a simpler and more effective way to ensure reliability than mountains of paperwork.

Then the launch providers would simply purchase insurance, and pass the cost on to NASA.  If that is the intention, it would be better for NASA to purchase insurance directly.

In many ways this makes a lot of sense.  High reliability launchers would be able to get cheaper insurance, quantifying the advantage of reliability.  Also there would then be a clear path to a replacement spacecraft in case of a loss.   It's not even much more expensive in some large scale view - say insurance for a $400M mission on a 90% rocket costs $60M ( http://www.casact.org/pubs/forum/00fforum/00ff047.pdf says the premiums range from 7% to 15%).  Then for $460M you get a working mission.  As of now you get 9/10 of a mission for $400M, or $444M per working mission, with no assurance of getting the replacement funded if the first one crashes.

On the other hand, self-insurance is usually cheaper than regular insurance, in the long run and if you can afford the losses.  (After all, the insurance company's profit comes from the difference.)  And although the US government can afford the losses, it's not clear NASA can.  So it might make sense for the military to self-insure, but NASA to buy insurance.

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #39 on: 08/06/2013 09:55 PM »
And although the US government can afford the losses, it's not clear NASA can.  So it might make sense for the military to self-insure, but NASA to buy insurance.

The other way around.  NASA flies mostly one of a kind spacecraft vs constellations of satellites.  It makes more sense in self insuring.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #40 on: 08/07/2013 02:22 AM »
And although the US government can afford the losses, it's not clear NASA can.  So it might make sense for the military to self-insure, but NASA to buy insurance.

The other way around.  NASA flies mostly one of a kind spacecraft vs constellations of satellites.  It makes more sense in self insuring.

I think this is backwards.  If a GPS or Wide-band gap filler drops into the  ocean, there's another one right behind it in the short term, and long term the military can decide whether to make do with one less, or fund another.  Furthermore, since they are built in batches, it's pretty straightforward for the contractor to build another. 

If NASA loses a scientific satellite, and it's not insured, they need to either go back to Congress to fund a replacement, or screw up their science program for a few years to pay for it.  A loss, IMO, is much more disruptive to NASA than to the military, and hence purchasing insurance makes more sense.

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #41 on: 08/07/2013 02:32 AM »
And although the US government can afford the losses, it's not clear NASA can.  So it might make sense for the military to self-insure, but NASA to buy insurance.

The other way around.  NASA flies mostly one of a kind spacecraft vs constellations of satellites.  It makes more sense in self insuring.

I think this is backwards.  If a GPS or Wide-band gap filler drops into the  ocean, there's another one right behind it in the short term, and long term the military can decide whether to make do with one less, or fund another.  Furthermore, since they are built in batches, it's pretty straightforward for the contractor to build another. 

If NASA loses a scientific satellite, and it's not insured, they need to either go back to Congress to fund a replacement, or screw up their science program for a few years to pay for it.  A loss, IMO, is much more disruptive to NASA than to the military, and hence purchasing insurance makes more sense.

One of a kind spacecraft can't be replaced, even if there is money.  Design teams are long gone, I&T people move on to other projects.   

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #42 on: 08/07/2013 02:57 AM »
It NEVER makes sense for governments to insure, it just adds cost.

I don't know about budgeting in the US, but at least over here any insurance being paid would go straight to the general budget, not the entity that had the loss so it doesn't make sense to insure for the entity, too.

Usually, governments prohibit insurance for government run agencies and institutions.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #43 on: 08/07/2013 03:09 AM »
In industry we call that self insured.
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Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #44 on: 08/07/2013 01:07 PM »

One of a kind spacecraft can't be replaced, even if there is money.  Design teams are long gone, I&T people move on to other projects.   

This seems a weird conclusion.  Building another years later is surely more expensive then building a second while building the first, for the reasons you mention.  On the other hand, if you could build the first one at all, there is no reason you can't build another, and it should be cheaper.  You obviously need new hardware, but a lot of the analysis work should not need to be redone.

Historically, there are several examples of this.  For example, OCO (Orbiting Carbon Observatory) was intended to be one of kind.  It cost $280M.  When it died due to Taurus fairing failure, NASA requested and got $170M to build a replacement.  It was describes as a "carbon copy" of the first design.

I suspect JPL, or Ball Aerospace, or JHU, would be more than happy to get a contract to build another of what they built before, even if they cannot assign the exact same people to the tasks.  The only reason I can see that would prevent this is if the satellite had some really hard to acquire parts, such as plutonium for RTGs.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #45 on: 08/07/2013 01:53 PM »

One of a kind spacecraft can't be replaced, even if there is money.  Design teams are long gone, I&T people move on to other projects.   

This seems a weird conclusion.  Building another years later is surely more expensive then building a second while building the first, for the reasons you mention.  On the other hand, if you could build the first one at all, there is no reason you can't build another, and it should be cheaper.  You obviously need new hardware, but a lot of the analysis work should not need to be redone.

Historically, there are several examples of this.  For example, OCO (Orbiting Carbon Observatory) was intended to be one of kind.  It cost $280M.  When it died due to Taurus fairing failure, NASA requested and got $170M to build a replacement.  It was describes as a "carbon copy" of the first design.

I suspect JPL, or Ball Aerospace, or JHU, would be more than happy to get a contract to build another of what they built before, even if they cannot assign the exact same people to the tasks.  The only reason I can see that would prevent this is if the satellite had some really hard to acquire parts, such as plutonium for RTGs.

It isn't a weird conclusion, it is reality.

Historically, there are few examples.  Cases like OCO-2 are exceptions and not the rule. 

The contractor building the spacecraft bus is only a small part of the team.  There are the mission's principle investigator, all the instrument teams and their investigators.  Those "really hard to acquire parts" are the instruments.  Instrument teams are fluid and are not permanent entities.  Many are not part of NASA and some are foreign.  They may not get their money from NASA.

Also, again, the insurance money would not go to NASA, it would go to the general treasury fund, much like the money NASA collected from commercial satellites flying on the shuttle.   It is not a simple thing to change or make exceptions for NASA because there are other agencies with similar situations, it is a fundamental way our governments works.
« Last Edit: 08/07/2013 01:56 PM by Jim »

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #46 on: 08/07/2013 02:49 PM »
I think a more historic look is this in order.

For unique missions, back in the 60's and 70's NASA bought insurance by building identical probes and duplicating each mission. The assumption being the risk was high enough that a second copy was needed for mission assurance.

Look at:
Mariner 1,2
Mariner 3,4,5
Mariner 6,7
Mariner 8,9
Pioneer 10,11
Voyager 1,2
Viking 1,2
Helios A,B

Noticed some of these missions failed and the backup completed the mission. Mariner 1,3,8 come to mind. And in the case of Mariner 5, Mariner 4 succeeded and Mariner 5 was declared surplus and rebuilt for a Venus mission.

When confidence grew, the dual mission insurance plan was dropped. Look at Mariner 10. Only a single mission, though wasn't a backup vehicle built.

We fast forward to the late 70's, 80's, 90's, and present. You will notice confidence in the hardware and launch vehicles grew enough that only one set of hardware built and flown for each unique mission. The only exception was the risky dual Mars Rover mission. It will take me all morning to compile a list of unique single missions. If you had to build two of everything, how many of these missions would not have flown?

Someone decided the second backup mission was not worth the extra cost.

Insurance for NASA would be building and running two missions for each unique mission.

In an era of tight budgets, that is a luxury.

The extra cost would also reduce the number of unique missions that NASA can run.
« Last Edit: 08/07/2013 02:53 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #47 on: 08/07/2013 03:30 PM »

The contractor building the spacecraft bus is only a small part of the team.  There are the mission's principle investigator, all the instrument teams and their investigators. 

I can't imagine you'd have any problem with the PI or instrument investigators.   They've already invested a decade or so in the project, and have already planned to spend the next decade running the mission, then analyzing the data.  If it blows up on launch, and is not re-flown, they've just tossed a decade of hard work in the toilet.  If you give them a chance to re-fly, they'll jump at it.

Quote
Those "really hard to acquire parts" are the instruments.  Instrument teams are fluid and are not permanent entities.  Many are not part of NASA and some are foreign.  They may not get their money from NASA.

This seems a much more realistic concern since scientific satellites often have independent or international contributors.  NASA would need to let them know in advance of signing up that if the launch fails, they will build a replacement satellite.  As long as this is known up front, I think foreign instrument teams would think of this as a plus, not a minus.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #48 on: 08/07/2013 03:35 PM »

Insurance for NASA would be building and running two missions for each unique mission.

In an era of tight budgets, that is a luxury.

The extra cost would also reduce the number of unique missions that NASA can run.
Building two of each mission is a *very* expensive method of insurance if only a small percentage fail.  Except for planetary missions with non-recurring launch windows (outer planet missions come to mind), it's much cheaper to take out insurance that pays money if the probe fails, then build a new one with the money.

Offline Danderman

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #49 on: 08/07/2013 03:39 PM »
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32552.msg1082069#msg1082069

This is the topic for discussions about NASA insuring itself against launch failures.

If your post isn't specifically about OCO-2, please post over there.

The moderator should move the messages about NASA over there, too.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #50 on: 08/07/2013 04:29 PM »
it's much cheaper to take out insurance that pays money if the probe fails, then build a new one with the money.

No, it is cheaper to self insure with extra insight

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - Feb, 2013
« Reply #51 on: 08/07/2013 04:33 PM »

1.  I can't imagine you'd have any problem with the PI or instrument investigators.   

This seems a much more realistic concern since scientific satellites often have independent or international contributors.  NASA would need to let them know in advance of signing up that if the launch fails, they will build a replacement satellite.  As long as this is known up front, I think foreign instrument teams would think of this as a plus, not a minus.

1.  Missions ops use different people and skills sets than hardware developers. So yes, it is a problem and many PIs work multiple missions.

2.  It still doesn't mean they have the money for a back up.

All my points are realistic concerns and reflect reality.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #52 on: 08/09/2013 05:36 PM »
For those not folling @Bolden and @OrbitalSciences on twitter.

Bolden is visiting OCO-2 today.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/sets/72157634995321509/
http://instagram.com/p/czIGHMR6dY/

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #53 on: 12/21/2013 02:26 PM »
SRB's for the OCO-2 Delta II have arrived at VAFB:

http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=4

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #54 on: 12/26/2013 08:01 PM »
OCO-2 Observatory Conducts Environmental Tests

NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 spacecraft is moved into a thermal vacuum chamber at Orbital Sciences Corporation's Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Gilbert, Ariz., for a series of environmental tests. The tests confirmed the integrity of the observatory's electrical connections and subjected the OCO-2 instrument and spacecraft to the extreme hot, cold and airless environment they will encounter once in orbit. The observatory's solar array panels were removed prior to the test.

OCO-2 is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide and is the latest mission in NASA's study of the global carbon cycle. Carbon dioxide is the most significant human-produced greenhouse gas and the principal human-produced driver of climate change. The mission will uniformly sample the atmosphere above Earth's land and ocean, collecting between 100,000 and 200,000 measurements of carbon dioxide concentration over Earth's sunlit hemisphere every day for at least two years. It will do so with the accuracy, resolution and coverage needed to provide the first complete picture of the regional-scale geographic distribution and seasonal variations of both human and natural sources of carbon dioxide emissions as well as the places where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored.

Image Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation/NASA/JPL-Caltech
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #55 on: 02/28/2014 05:27 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII ISA arriving at VAFB Building 836.
« Last Edit: 02/28/2014 05:28 PM by russianhalo117 »

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #56 on: 02/28/2014 05:34 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII Second Stage arriving and being unloaded at VAFB Building 836.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #57 on: 02/28/2014 05:40 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII Second Stage being transferred from VAFB Building 836 High Bay to the Horizontal Processing Facility located at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2).

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #58 on: 03/08/2014 11:57 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this other post are also of the ULA DII Second Stage arriving and being unloaded at VAFB Building 836.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #59 on: 03/09/2014 12:05 AM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are also of the ULA DII Second Stage being transferred from VAFB Building 836 High Bay to the Horizontal Processing Facility located at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2).

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #60 on: 03/09/2014 12:10 AM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII Second Stage being processed inside the Horizontal Processing Facility located at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2).

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #61 on: 03/23/2014 05:47 PM »
First stage arrived at Vandenberg, great to see Delta II processing again (if only for a short time)

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #62 on: 03/28/2014 04:42 PM »
Booster should be going on-stand today.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #63 on: 03/28/2014 06:34 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII First Stage arriving at VAFB Building 836.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #64 on: 03/28/2014 06:53 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII First Stage being unloaded from its trailer at VAFB Building 836.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 07:20 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #65 on: 03/28/2014 07:09 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII First Stage being loaded onto its transportation and processing hardware cradle at VAFB Building 836.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 07:20 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #66 on: 03/28/2014 07:24 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the ULA DII First Stage being transferred from VAFB Building 836 High Bay to the Horizontal Processing Facility located at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2).
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 07:31 PM by russianhalo117 »

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #67 on: 03/28/2014 07:42 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of pad preparations at the launch mount and of Mobile Service Tower (MST) Roll back at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2) ahead of receiving the DII fairings.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 07:43 PM by russianhalo117 »

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #68 on: 04/01/2014 04:41 PM »
OCO-2 Booster Hoisted Into Launcher

Friday, March 28, 2014 - 16:02

In preparation for the OCO-2 launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Delta II first stage booster was raised to vertical and hoisted into the launcher today at Space Launch Complex 2.  The OCO-2 mission is scheduled for launch on July 1 at 2:56 a.m. PDT.  NASA’s OCO-2 mission is dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the leading human-produced greenhouse gas driving changes in the Earth’s climate.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #69 on: 04/03/2014 09:03 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of transportation of the DII first stage to the Mobile Service Tower (MST) at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2) for unloading and raising tasks.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #70 on: 04/03/2014 09:30 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos also in this post are of transportation of the DII first stage to the Mobile Service Tower (MST) at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2) for unloading and raising tasks.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #71 on: 04/03/2014 09:47 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of the securing of the DII first stage onto the launch mount at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2).

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #72 on: 04/03/2014 10:02 PM »

Excellent shots--thanks rh117!  Nice to see DeltaII rise again, if only for a(nother) swan song.   Really like to see so much detail re: the launch mount (1918).

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #73 on: 04/04/2014 07:10 PM »

April 4, 2014

Media Accreditation Now Open for Launch of OCO-2 Earth Science Mission

Media accreditation now is open for U.S. and international news media interested in covering the launch of NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California -- the second of NASA's five Earth science missions to launch in 2014.
 
OCO-2 is scheduled to launch at 2:56 a.m. PDT July 1 from Space Launch Complex 2 on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. U.S. Air Force policy requires that international media apply for accreditation at least 30 days before the launch.
 
News media should contact TSgt Vincent Mouzon in writing at 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., 93437; by phone at 805-606-3595; by fax at 805-606-4571; or by email at vincent.mouzon@us.af.mil.
 
International media are required to submit full legal name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and media affiliation. Information required for U.S. media includes full legal name, date of birth and media affiliation. A valid legal form of photo identification will be required upon arrival at Vandenberg.
 
OCO-2 is NASA's first mission dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide, the most significant human-produced greenhouse gas and the principal human-produced driver of climate change on Earth. OCO-2 will provide a new tool for understanding the human and natural sources of carbon dioxide emissions and the natural "sinks" that absorb carbon dioxide and help control its buildup. It will map the global geographic distribution of these sources and sinks and study their changes over time.
 
The OCO-2 project is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The agency's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for management of the launch vehicle program for the United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket.
 
For more information about the OCO-2 mission, visit:
 
http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov
 
For more information about NASA's Earth science activities in 2014, visit:
 
http://www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #74 on: 04/07/2014 04:30 PM »
LINK: http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=271

Photos in this post are of views/activities around the Mobile Service Tower (MST) at Space Launch Complex 2 (SLC-2).
« Last Edit: 04/17/2014 04:32 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #75 on: 04/08/2014 09:20 AM »
Booster Preps Underway for OCO-2

Monday, April 7, 2014 - 15:42

Now that the Delta II first stage has been hoisted into position inside the gantry at Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 2, preparations are underway to attach the three solid rocket boosters beginning Friday.  The second stage will then be hoisted atop the first stage April 16.  OCO-2  is scheduled to arrive at Vandenberg on April 29 to begin about six weeks of checkout and spacecraft processing.

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #76 on: 04/11/2014 12:38 AM »
Mission Overview

Published on Apr 10, 2014
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 is NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the main human-produced driver of climate change.

The Observatory will collect hundreds of thousands of measurements each day, providing a global description of the atmospheric carbon dioxide distribution with unprecedented coverage and resolution.

OCO-2 will provide new insights into the sources emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the processes at Earth's surface that absorb this gas.

« Last Edit: 04/11/2014 12:38 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

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Re: Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) - July, 2014
« Reply #77 on: 04/15/2014 06:37 PM »
Final Booster Attached to OCO-2 Launcher

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 11:31

The final of three solid-fueled boosters was attached to the Delta II rocket's first stage Monday at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California as launch preparations continue on pace for the July launch of the OCO-2 spacecraft. The second stage of the rocket is to be hoisted to the top of the Delta II Wednesday to complete the launch vehicle. It will take six weeks of processing before the OCO-2 spacecraft, due to arrive at Vandenberg April 29, is ready to be encapsulated in a payload fairing and connected to the top of the Delta II.

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