Author Topic: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25 2010  (Read 67984 times)

Offline DaveJes1979

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LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25 2010
« on: 06/28/2010 05:37 PM »
Upcoming Minotaur IV SBSS launch from Vandenberg.
« Last Edit: 08/21/2012 07:28 AM by input~2 »

Offline faustod

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #1 on: 06/30/2010 05:37 PM »

Offline sdsds

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #2 on: 07/02/2010 04:55 AM »
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Boeing_Team_Ships_First_SBSS_Spacecraft_To_Launch_Site_999.html

Jun 02, 2010:  "Boeing and its teammate Ball Aerospace and Technologies has announced that the first Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system satellite has been shipped to Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and is scheduled to launch on July 8."

http://www.spacearchive.info/vafbsked.htm
Vandenberg AFB Launch Schedule As of 2010 June 28
"JUL 8     21:41-21:55     Minotaur IV     SLC-8     Payload is the Space-Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) satellite. Delayed from OCT due to concerns with the launch vehicle. Launch window opens at the end of evening twilight"

But:

http://www.santamariatimes.com/news/local/article_bcca6fec-8466-11df-b41c-001cc4c002e0.html
June 30, 2010: "The base's next launch, a Minotaur 4 rocket carrying the Space-Based Surveillance System, was once planned for July 8, but reportedly has slipped to July 17."
« Last Edit: 07/02/2010 05:31 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline DaveJes1979

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #3 on: 07/07/2010 07:43 PM »
From the VAFB site:

by Staff
Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs

7/6/2010 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif.  -- The launch of the Space-Based Space Surveillance spacecraft planned for July 8, 2010, has been delayed pending resolution of a test anomaly associated with another Minotaur IV launch vehicle undergoing test in the factory.

The testing identified a software issue that is being assessed for implications to the SBSS mission. The integrated government and contractor team is accessing the cause of the software anomaly and potential corrective actions and expects to establish a new launch date as early as next week.

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #4 on: 07/07/2010 09:33 PM »
AW & ST had the delay in this week's issue............
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Online William Graham

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #5 on: 07/08/2010 12:34 AM »
According to MSDB, launch is now NET 27 July, and likely to slip into mid August.

Offline DaveJes1979

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #6 on: 08/04/2010 08:38 PM »
I've been scouring the web for updates on this mission.  Spacearchive.info still lists "Aug?" as the launch date, so am I to conclude that it has not yet been officially rescheduled?

Offline jcm

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #7 on: 08/06/2010 07:18 PM »
Some nice info including the mission book PDF at http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/satellite/sbss.html

Launch mass is 1031 kg. I haven't seen anything giving dimensions of the satellite (height, width, solar array span etc)
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #8 on: 09/24/2010 05:29 PM »
ORBITAL SET TO LAUNCH MINOTAUR IV ROCKET FOR U.S. AIR FORCE

-- First Minotaur IV Orbital Mission to Launch SBSS Satellite to Enhance
Air Force's Ability to Detect and Track Objects in Space --


(Dulles, VA 24 September 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 orbital mission of the Minotaur IV
rocket in support of the Air Force's Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS)
satellite, also known as SBSS Block 10.  The Minotaur IV rocket is the
latest in the family of highly reliable, cost-effective Minotaur launches
that Orbital has developed for the U.S. Air Force.  The SBSS mission will
be the 18th to be carried out by Orbital's family of Minotaur vehicles over
the last 10 years.  The previous 17 missions have all been successful.

The Minotaur IV launch vehicle is based on decommissioned Peacekeeper
rocket motors that Orbital has upgraded and integrated with modern avionics
and other subsystems to produce a cost-effective space launcher based on
flight-proven hardware.  Subject to final preparations and favorable
weather conditions, the mission will originate from Space Launch Complex-9
at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, with an available launch window from 9:41
to 9:55 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, September 25, 2010.

SBSS Block 10 will complement an array of ground-based sensors to detect
and track objects in space, such as satellites and orbital debris, to
enhance operations and situational awareness.  NASA may also use
information collected by SBSS Block 10 to maneuver the International Space
Station away from threatening orbital debris.

This mission will be the inaugural orbital flight of the Minotaur IV, which
is capable of carrying out a variety of orbital and suborbital missions for
the U.S. Air Force and other customers.  Orbital currently has eight
additional Minotaur IV launches scheduled, the next of which will launch
STP-S26, a research and development mission for the Air Force that will
carry seven small satellites with 16 experimental payloads into orbit.

"Building upon the success of our first Minotaur IV launch earlier this
year, a suborbital mission for DARPA, we are excited to begin executing our
backlog of Minotaur IV orbital missions, beginning with the SBSS mission,"
said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital's Executive Vice President and General Manager
of its Launch Systems Group.  "By developing all the Minotaur systems using
existing, flight-proven components, we have been able to provide reliable
and cost-effective launch services for a wide range of government missions
for the past decade."

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 highly reliable, capable and cost-effective space launcher.  It
utilizes three government-furnished solid rocket motors from decommissioned
Peacekeeper ICBMs and, in certain configurations, commercial solid rocket
upper stages.  The Minotaur IV rocket is capable of launching payloads up
to 4,000 lbs. (1,820 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 rocket can be
found at:
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/ImagesMultimedia/Images/SpaceLaunch

Offline jimvela

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #9 on: 09/25/2010 05:28 AM »
Some nice info including the mission book PDF at http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/satellite/sbss.html

Launch mass is 1031 kg. I haven't seen anything giving dimensions of the satellite (height, width, solar array span etc)

SBSS is GO for launch!

Some other resources to look at for your questions...

Ball Aerospace pages on SBSS:

http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=234

http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=189

Orbital will be webcasting the launch starting 30 minutes prior:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/MinotaurIV_SBSS/index.shtml

Weather yesterday, today, tomorrow and Sunday is/should be very favorable.  Today was a beautiful day.

This is the 2nd launch campaign for SBSS, and all of the teams are very excited to finally see this great asset on orbit and the whole system up and running.

We've got a lot of work to do tomorrow, so no more posts from me aside from hopefully a yeah-hoo Saturday night.

GO SBSS!!

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #10 on: 09/25/2010 05:46 AM »
This thread will be moved for live coverage Saturday afternoon. Article will be on site Saturday afternoon-ish.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2010 05:48 AM by Chris Bergin »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #11 on: 09/25/2010 08:15 PM »

Offline Andy USA

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #12 on: 09/26/2010 02:58 AM »
Note to all, this will become the live update thread for this launch. Any changes to the scheduled launch time will be noted here.

Offline TitanFan

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2010 03:21 AM »
Apparently some sites are having difficulty getting updates on this launch. 

I also tried picking up the countdown net on my scanner...no joy :(...

(We're not concerned about other sites - Andy).
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 03:29 AM by Andy USA »
TITAN...assured access to space.

Offline catdlr

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #14 on: 09/26/2010 03:26 AM »
So our only hope is the Orbital Webcast starting at 9:10 p.m. PST ?
Tony De La Rosa

Offline matthewota

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #15 on: 09/26/2010 03:34 AM »
Link to the Orbiital webcast please?
"Nightime is merely the Earth's shadow"
                                        ---(unknown)

Offline catdlr

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #16 on: 09/26/2010 03:38 AM »
Link to the Orbiital webcast please?

See jimvela's post on the previous page
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Andy USA

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #17 on: 09/26/2010 03:41 AM »
Orbital will be webcasting the launch starting 30 minutes prior:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/MinotaurIV_SBSS/index.shtml

Offline TitanFan

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #18 on: 09/26/2010 03:49 AM »
What's the delay on webcasts?  I remember there being a delay...having my scanner and launch webcast on at the same time, I remember there being quite a delay between the call on my scanner and the same call on the webcast.
TITAN...assured access to space.

Online edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #19 on: 09/26/2010 03:50 AM »
Orbital will be webcasting the launch starting 30 minutes prior:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/MinotaurIV_SBSS/index.shtml

It sounds like it (the webcast) isn't happening, due to a problem on the Air Force side of things. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline catdlr

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #20 on: 09/26/2010 03:54 AM »
Orbital will be webcasting the launch starting 30 minutes prior:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/MinotaurIV_SBSS/index.shtml

It sounds like it (the webcast) isn't happening, due to a problem on the Air Force side of things. 

 - Ed Kyle

Isn't the launch 45 min from now and Obrital will start at 9:10 PDT. 30 min from launch?

"the mission will originate from Space Launch Complex-9
at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, with an available launch window from 9:41 to 9:55 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, September 25, 2010."
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 03:55 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline TitanFan

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #21 on: 09/26/2010 03:58 AM »
Countdown net is up and running
TITAN...assured access to space.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #22 on: 09/26/2010 04:00 AM »
10 minutes to webcast start.  I'll provide a video of the launch as well as coverage.

Offline JosephB

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #23 on: 09/26/2010 04:00 AM »
Some nice info including the mission book PDF at http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/satellite/sbss.html

Launch mass is 1031 kg. I haven't seen anything giving dimensions of the satellite (height, width, solar array span etc)

I was going through the mission book while waiting for launch & had a trivial question regarding the patch on the last page. Is the first word “Vivi” or “Vidi” ?

If it’s Vidi a translation can be: I came, I saw, I conquered. (The laconic despatch in which Julius Ceasar announced to the Senate his victory over Pharnaces.)

Scio: to know, understand
Patrocinor: to protect, defend, support, patronize


And yes, there is nothing interesting on TV tonight.

Online hop

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #24 on: 09/26/2010 04:04 AM »
What's the delay on webcasts?
Variable, anything from seconds to minutes, not necessarily the same for  different viewers of the same webcast.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #25 on: 09/26/2010 04:11 AM »
Webcast has started.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #26 on: 09/26/2010 04:13 AM »
Weather will not be an issue tonight.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:13 AM by Ford Mustang »

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #27 on: 09/26/2010 04:17 AM »
First three stages are reconditioned peace keeper missile stages - first time being used to launch something to space.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:17 AM by Ford Mustang »

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #28 on: 09/26/2010 04:17 AM »
View of the satellite - about the size of a "small car":
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:19 AM by Ford Mustang »

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #29 on: 09/26/2010 04:20 AM »
Here's the SBSS Mission Threads (the mission it will perform):

SBSS is going to help catalog objects in space - over 10,000 objects cataloged... with only 1,000 of those objects working!
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:22 AM by Ford Mustang »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #30 on: 09/26/2010 04:24 AM »
Nice work Steven! :)

L-17 minutes.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #31 on: 09/26/2010 04:24 AM »
Winds acceptable.

Launch Readiness Poll upcoming.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #32 on: 09/26/2010 04:25 AM »
Launch team confirmed the T-20 minute checks are go.  Launch pad clear of all personnel.  Winds within acceptable levels.

Will have launch video shortly after launch.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #33 on: 09/26/2010 04:25 AM »
Final launch readiness poll in progress.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #34 on: 09/26/2010 04:26 AM »
T-16 minutes poll - all go.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #35 on: 09/26/2010 04:26 AM »
Go for launch.  L-15 minutes.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #36 on: 09/26/2010 04:27 AM »
Range/hazard and limit area is clear for launch.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #37 on: 09/26/2010 04:27 AM »
T-14 minutes.  All areas clear for launch, impact areas clear in the pacific.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #38 on: 09/26/2010 04:29 AM »
Nice view of the satellite before it was put into the payload fairing:

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #39 on: 09/26/2010 04:31 AM »
T-10 minute checks are complete and good.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #40 on: 09/26/2010 04:35 AM »
Battery charge terminated.

T-5 minutes.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #41 on: 09/26/2010 04:35 AM »
First stage will fire for 58 seconds.
Second stage will ignite and fire for 60 seconds.
Third stage will ignite 12 seconds after second stage separation.

Launch vehicle will exit the atmosphere 24 seconds after the third stage, and payload fairing will occur.

Third stage will burn for approximately 1 minute, 20 seconds.  Then an 8 minute coast phase.

I think I heard about 30 seconds firing for the fourth stage, and we will have spacecraft separation about 15 minutes after launch.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:36 AM by Ford Mustang »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #42 on: 09/26/2010 04:36 AM »
Avionics internal power - On.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:37 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #43 on: 09/26/2010 04:36 AM »
T-5 minutes and counting.  Avionics on internal power.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:37 AM by Ford Mustang »

Online edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #44 on: 09/26/2010 04:37 AM »
Aspect ratio is wrong on the webcast.  Yuk.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #45 on: 09/26/2010 04:37 AM »
T-4 minutes, all systems still go.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #46 on: 09/26/2010 04:38 AM »
RSO - Range Green.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #47 on: 09/26/2010 04:38 AM »
Range is still green.  T-3 minutes.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:39 AM by Ford Mustang »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #48 on: 09/26/2010 04:38 AM »
T-180 seconds.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #49 on: 09/26/2010 04:39 AM »
Flight computer Auto Sequence started.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #50 on: 09/26/2010 04:39 AM »
T-2 minutes and counting.  Auto sequencer is started.  Limit checks are go.

Flight computer launch time confirmed.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #51 on: 09/26/2010 04:40 AM »
Final launch checklist complete.

T-60 seconds.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #52 on: 09/26/2010 04:40 AM »
L-1 minute.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #53 on: 09/26/2010 04:40 AM »
Go for launch.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #54 on: 09/26/2010 04:41 AM »
LAUNCH!

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #55 on: 09/26/2010 04:41 AM »
LAUNCH!!

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #56 on: 09/26/2010 04:41 AM »
Wow!  Flew off that pad!

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #57 on: 09/26/2010 04:42 AM »
MaxQ Nominal flight.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #58 on: 09/26/2010 04:42 AM »
Max-Q.  Attitude nominal.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #59 on: 09/26/2010 04:42 AM »
Staging 1-2.

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #60 on: 09/26/2010 04:42 AM »
Stage 1-2 separation.  Stage 2 ignition.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #61 on: 09/26/2010 04:42 AM »
Stage 2 flight nominal

Offline Ford Mustang

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #62 on: 09/26/2010 04:43 AM »
Attitude and flight path are nominal.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #63 on: 09/26/2010 04:43 AM »
Staging 2-3 - coasting 15 seconds on second stage burnout till sep and Stage 3 ignition.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:44 AM by Chris Bergin »

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #64 on: 09/26/2010 04:43 AM »
Stage 2 burnout.  15 second coast phase.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #65 on: 09/26/2010 04:43 AM »
Stage 2-3 separation, Stage 3 ignition!

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #66 on: 09/26/2010 04:44 AM »
Fairing jettison.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #67 on: 09/26/2010 04:44 AM »
Fairing sep!

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #68 on: 09/26/2010 04:44 AM »
Stage 3 flight nominal.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #69 on: 09/26/2010 04:44 AM »
Stage 3 burnout. 8 minute coast.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:45 AM by Chris Bergin »

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #70 on: 09/26/2010 04:45 AM »
Stage 3 burnout.  Waiting for 8 minutes, coast phase.

Offline Danderman

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #71 on: 09/26/2010 04:46 AM »
Very impressive burn from Orange County. With a full moon, the 3rd stage ignition produced a visible puff of smoke.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #72 on: 09/26/2010 04:46 AM »
Launch video encoding.  Currently watching a video about the ships recovering the stages.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #73 on: 09/26/2010 04:47 AM »
Very impressive burn from Orange County. With a full moon, the 3rd stage ignition produced a visible puff of smoke.


Looked like a big plume for a vehicle that size. Speedy vehicle, didn't take long to get up there!

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #74 on: 09/26/2010 04:54 AM »
Almost time for Stage 4 ignition.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #75 on: 09/26/2010 04:54 AM »
Two minutes from payload sep.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #76 on: 09/26/2010 04:55 AM »
Must have really missed Stage 4 ignition.  About 2 minutes from payload separation.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #77 on: 09/26/2010 04:55 AM »
Must have really missed Stage 4 ignition.  About 2 minutes from payload separation.

Yep, they came back at Stage 4 shutdown.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #78 on: 09/26/2010 04:56 AM »
Spacecraft separation!  Congrats to Orbital, SBSS, and Boeing! 

About 8 minutes until the solar array wings are deployed.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #79 on: 09/26/2010 04:56 AM »
SBSS Spacecraft Sep.

Congrats to all involved!
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:56 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #80 on: 09/26/2010 04:57 AM »
I saw the Pacific Collector at Alameda a few years ago.  She was moored near the USS Hornet Museum.  I didn't take this picture, but it's a beauty.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #81 on: 09/26/2010 04:57 AM »
Launch video is up!

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22824 (In the FREE video section. Only need to have a forum account)

Showing a replay now, then ending coverage.  No different views, so nothing really to show.
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 05:57 AM by Andy USA »

Offline csmjr91090

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #82 on: 09/26/2010 04:57 AM »
Looked really great from San Fernando Valley....Very bright 1st stage (missed getting photos of it because of pesky trees, no focus) everything else was great. Also saw the puff of smoke as well, a nice treat. The photos I did get are basically an orange ball with a trail.

Congrats to the Vandenberg team and all involved for providing yet another wonderful launch!


Offline Blackstar

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #83 on: 09/26/2010 04:58 AM »
Looked like a big plume for a vehicle that size. Speedy vehicle, didn't take long to get up there!

Designed to throw nukes...

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #84 on: 09/26/2010 04:59 AM »
Thanks for the coverage guys!!! Returning to bed!!!

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #85 on: 09/26/2010 05:04 AM »
Great view from Orange County, California......similar to Delta first stage during SRM burn...........
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #86 on: 09/26/2010 05:19 AM »
Great view from Signal Hill in Long Beach, California. The exhaust was bright red, with a faint plume visible for a time. Second stage ignition was visible. To bad it did not launch right after sunset....it would have been more spectacular.
"Nightime is merely the Earth's shadow"
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Offline csmjr91090

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #87 on: 09/26/2010 06:06 AM »
Great view from Signal Hill in Long Beach, California. The exhaust was bright red, with a faint plume visible for a time. Second stage ignition was visible. To bad it did not launch right after sunset....it would have been more spectacular.

The Delta II scheduled to launch on Oct 29th looks like it will be a twilight launch. Launch window opens at 7:21 local time. Should be a great sight to see.

Offline jimvela

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #88 on: 09/26/2010 07:06 AM »
Spacecraft separation!  Congrats to Orbital, SBSS, and Boeing! 

... and of course the Ball contingent that built the payload and bus were pretty stoked to see our baby off as well...

The Minotaur 4 is a very bright and fast mover, big contrast between that and the majestic, loud, and deliberate Atlas we saw at the start of the week.

One more near term- I hope to see the webcast of a repeat Minotaur performance out of Kodiac in November.

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Re: Minotaur IV - SBSS
« Reply #89 on: 09/26/2010 09:12 AM »
I was going through the mission book while waiting for launch & had a trivial question regarding the patch on the last page. Is the first word “Vivi” or “Vidi” ?

If it’s Vidi a translation can be: I came, I saw, I conquered. (The laconic despatch in which Julius Ceasar announced to the Senate his victory over Pharnaces.)

Scio: to know, understand
Patrocinor: to protect, defend, support, patronize

I don't think it can be "vivi", so

 vidi scio patrocinor

All first person singular, but varying in tense and voice

vidi (video, videre, vidi)
1st sing, perfect, active
"I saw" (the thing)

scio (scio, scire, scivi)
1st sing, present, active
"I understand" (the thing)

patrocinor (patrocino, patrocinare, patrocinavi)
1st sing, present, passive
"I defend" (in general)

(someone with better Latin is free to correct this!)

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #90 on: 09/26/2010 12:57 PM »
I saw the Pacific Collector at Alameda a few years ago.  She was moored near the USS Hornet Museum.  I didn't take this picture, but it's a beauty.

That is a beauty. Thanks for posting that.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #91 on: 09/26/2010 02:18 PM »
During the webcast one of the team members gave a "Go wolfpack!"
Does that refer to the fleet of tracking/telemetry ships?  i.e. Worthy, Pacific Collector & possibly others.

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #92 on: 09/26/2010 02:42 PM »
During the webcast one of the team members gave a "Go wolfpack!"
Does that refer to the fleet of tracking/telemetry ships?  i.e. Worthy, Pacific Collector & possibly others.

Not sure, but I think it refers to a squadron.  Possibly the group responsible for the launch, rather than the ship(s).

I really enjoyed the video, because that's something that we never see.  Quick question: when was the last time you saw a documentary that took you aboard a _tracking ship_ and even showed you the dishes inside the domes?  Probably never.  (I hope they put the video in a good quality version on the web somewhere--heck, I'd love to have it as a DVD just to get a better picture.)

The ships are manned by civilians, as you saw in the video.  They probably have a very few military people onboard for official duties, and they might take a few more "observers" along for the ride.  But I think that in general the way these ships work is they spend most of their time in port and then head out for a few days to cover a launch before returning back to port.  As you saw the one woman say, this was the first time they had taken one of the ships out to support a space launch.  Most of the time the ships track ICBM launches and anti-ballistic missile tests.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #93 on: 09/26/2010 02:49 PM »
I saw the Pacific Collector at Alameda a few years ago.  She was moored near the USS Hornet Museum.  I didn't take this picture, but it's a beauty.

That is a beauty. Thanks for posting that.

Do a search under the ship's name for other pictures.  There is a larger format version of that picture on the web that really shows her off.  The photographer did push the colors a bit.  But it's a gorgeous photo and I envy the photographer's skill.

Several of the pictures I've seen show the Pacific Collector moored at Alameda, which is where I saw her a few years ago.  That leads me to suspect that she spends a lot of time there and only heads to Hawaii as a staging area to support certain missile campaigns.  I'm not sure why she would be moored at Alameda, because that's a little far north (San Francisco Bay) compared to where the ship should be operating, which is down near the equator and south of there, in the Hawaii and Kwajelein area (and I'm too lazy at the moment to Google for more information).  It may be that because she's a government ship, and the government owns the piers there, that they moor her there when not in use.

By the way, when she is moored at Alameda, she is only a few piers over from the USS Hornet Museum.  The Hornet has a lot of Apollo displays (she was a prime recovery ship).  That area is part of the former Alameda Naval Air Station.  If you watch Mythbusters, they frequently go out onto the old runways at Alameda to test car myths, and they use some of the old hangars for testing other things where they need a big enclosed space.  The City of San Francisco is right across the bay.

Offline JosephB

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #94 on: 09/26/2010 03:00 PM »
We got a glimpse of something pretty neat indeed. Very well done and a DVD would be cool to have on the TV cabinet.

I wonder if they will support the DIVH from VAFB?

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #95 on: 09/26/2010 03:13 PM »

I wonder if they will support the DIVH from VAFB?

Doubtful, Delta IV uses TDRSS

Offline JosephB

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #96 on: 09/26/2010 03:19 PM »
Forgive me as I'm not very technical, but why couldn't this launch have used TDRSS as well? Doesn't TSRSS have global coverage?

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #97 on: 09/26/2010 03:33 PM »
Forgive me as I'm not very technical, but why couldn't this launch have used TDRSS as well? Doesn't TSRSS have global coverage?

Might have to do with the fact that this LV is a former ICBM.

Congratulations to Ball and Boeing on getting the SBSS ready, and impressive satellite to say the least.  Congratulations as well to OSC for the successful premier of another LV (in its orbital configuration)  This bodes well for Taurus II development.
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Offline Space Pete

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #98 on: 09/26/2010 04:24 PM »
Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur IV Rocket for U.S. Air Force Carrying Space Based Space Surveillance Satellite.

-- Second Successful Flight of Minotaur IV Extends Perfect Launch Record of Minotaur Rocket Family to 18 Missions --

-- Launch of SBSS Block 10 System Supports Air Force’s Ability to Track and Respond to Threats in Space --

Orbital Sciences Corporation, one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it successfully launched the U.S. Air Force’s Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) Satellite, also known as SBSS Block 10, aboard a Minotaur IV rocket. The launch, which took place on Saturday, September 25, 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California, extends Orbital’s record of launches with the Minotaur family of rockets to a perfect 18 successes out of a total of 18 missions.

The Minotaur IV rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex-8 at VAFB at 9:41 p.m. (PDT). The rocket flew an orbital trajectory downrange over the Pacific Ocean and delivered the SBSS satellite to the desired separation conditions.

The Minotaur IV launch vehicle is based on decommissioned Peacekeeper rocket motors that Orbital has upgraded and integrated with modern avionics and other subsystems to produce a cost-effective launcher based on flight-proven hardware. The launch of the SBSS satellite marks the first orbital mission for the Minotaur IV, which currently has a manifest of eight missions over the next several years.

“The second successful Minotaur IV flight, and the first orbital mission for the vehicle, continues the strong and growing tradition of mission success of the Minotaur rocket family. We are proud to support the U.S. Air Force with the next generation of the Minotaur family for the government’s Space Based Space Surveillance satellite program,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “With two successful launches, we are confident the Minotaur IV can provide the flexibility and reliability the Air Force demands.”

Orbital has eight subsequent Minotaur IV launches scheduled, the next of which will launch the STP-26 mission, which is a small developmental satellite for the Air Force. The mission will originate from the Alaska Spaceport launch complex in Kodiak, Alaska.

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, in certain configurations, a commercial solid rocket upper stage. Building on long experience of launch systems with over 50 flights of each core stage, Minotaur IV is capable of launching payloads up to approximately 4,000 lbs. (1,830 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 www.orbital.com


www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=747
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 04:24 PM by Space Pete »
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Offline Space Pete

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #99 on: 09/26/2010 04:26 PM »
1st Boeing SBSS Satellite Sends Initial Signals from Space.

The Boeing Company has acquired initial on-orbit signals from the first Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) satellite following its launch at 9:41 p.m. Pacific time on Sept. 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The signals indicate that the satellite is functioning normally and is ready to begin orbital maneuvers and operational testing.

The SBSS Block 10 satellite, which was built for the U.S. Air Force by a Boeing-led team that includes Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., was launched by an Orbital Sciences Minotaur IV rocket. The first signals from the advanced space surveillance satellite were received a short time later. The Boeing SBSS Satellite Operations Center at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., confirmed that the satellite is healthy.

When it goes into operation with the Air Force, the SBSS satellite will be the service’s only space-based sensor capable of detecting and monitoring debris, satellites and other space objects without the disruptions from weather, atmosphere or time of day that limit ground-based observations. The satellite and its ground system will dramatically improve the accuracy and timeliness of tracking and monitoring capabilities, and provide the flexibility to quickly respond to new and changing mission requirements.

“The United States depends on space assets for security, communications, weather forecasting, and many other essential services,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. “America’s adversaries recognize this increasing dependence, which makes the need for enhanced space situational awareness more and more vital. Today, the Air Force and Boeing SBSS team are delivering this advanced capability to the nation.”

Shortly after launch, the SBSS satellite began an automated sequence that deployed solar arrays, pointed them at the sun, and initialized satellite operations. For the next two weeks, operators will perform health checks on the satellite bus, followed by payload checkout. Tests include sending simulated space situational awareness tasks to the SBSS Satellite Operations Center, which will send commands to the satellite and collect data from those tasks for the Air Force Joint Space Operations Center. The SBSS system is expected to be ready to perform its mission and be turned over to the Air Force within 60 days.

“The successful launch of SBSS is an important milestone to ensure that this nation’s assets are protected,” said David L. Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace. “We are proud to be a leader in providing critical technology development to the Air Force’s space situational awareness mission.”

Boeing is responsible for overall program management; systems engineering and integration; design and development of the SBSS Satellite Operations Center at Schriever; and system operations and maintenance. Ball Aerospace developed, designed, manufactured, integrated and tested the satellite, using the Boeing-built onboard mission data processor.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions of important national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world’s largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.


http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1436
NASASpaceflight ISS Editor

Offline Space Pete

Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #100 on: 09/26/2010 04:30 PM »
Here's the launch video on YouTube.


And here's a hi-res launch photo.
www.orbital.com/images/High/SBSS1.jpg
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Offline Jim

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #101 on: 09/26/2010 06:35 PM »
Forgive me as I'm not very technical, but why couldn't this launch have used TDRSS as well? Doesn't TSRSS have global coverage?

Weight of another transmitter

Online edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #102 on: 09/26/2010 07:45 PM »
Here are photos showing how the launch was broadcast, along with an image corrected to approximately the proper aspect ratio.  Sorry - pet peeve.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/26/2010 07:56 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #103 on: 09/27/2010 01:03 AM »
There's an upcoming launch of what looks like it could be a classified NRO satellite.  It is only labeled as Space Test Program 26.

Offline jimvela

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #104 on: 09/27/2010 02:41 AM »
There's an upcoming launch of what looks like it could be a classified NRO satellite.  It is only labeled as Space Test Program 26.

Really should be in another thread, but since I just got back from our after-party for SBSS, I'll comment that, as described here:
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/application/enterprise/entconfirmation.jsp?arnumber=5447016

Quote
The actual payload manifest of STP-S26 includes four ESPA-class satellites manifested on the MPA and three cubesats. One of the four ESPA-class satellites is STPSat-2, the first Standard Interface Vehicle.

There is at least some info here:
http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=126


Offline JosephB

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #105 on: 09/27/2010 02:53 AM »
Interesting info but I had to chuckle when I came across:
"(2) Provisions for the inclusion of up to four Poly-Picosat Orbital Deployers (P/PODs) to be mounted on the Stage 4 avionics cylinder."

Pea pods? cute. That's not a forced acronym is it? Cool stuff none the less.

Offline antonioe

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #106 on: 09/27/2010 03:51 AM »
Just arrived home from the launch.  Was at the Rod and Gun Club at VAFB which is on a hill maybe 4-5 miles north of the launch pad.  The USAF has some bleachers there, and we rented four or five mid-size outdoors screen and a Satellite van to watch the broadcast.  About 300-400 people there, mostly families but also a few VIPS.  DWT was standing next to me - we decided to stand behind the TV screens to avoid the glare.

From our location we were almost perfectly aligned with the launch plane - the trajectory did not deviate appreciably left or right.  We had no sense whatsoever of distance, so it appeared as if the rocket was going straight up.  The acceleration is amazing.

We followed it, naked eye, all the way to third stage burnout!!!  Everybody was saying the night was absolutely extraordinary - even thirty-plus year Vandenberg veterans had never seen such a thing.

A couple observations:

About ten minutes before launch, TC called "step 83".  made me realize how amazingly simple SOLID LV launch operations are.  On a Delta II, we would be at step 283, with 17 pending steps (Taurus II promises to be as complex at Delta II, countdown-wise).

The "quick look", IMU-based orbital injection data seems to indicate the injection apsis accuracy to be around 2 km (pretty good, but not completely unusual), but the non-injection apsis (derived from burnout velocity) ALSO to be within 2 km, MOST unusual for a solid fourth stage without a precision injection kit!!!  Apparently the fourth stage impulse dispersion was a 0.1-sigma case!!!

The cost of a Minotaur IV launch to the USG is about $35M (the first three stage engines are, of course, surplus); there are several "rumors" about the cost of the satellite, but it's probably about $500M - this may very well be the lowest LV to satellite ever.

The broadcast was being generated a few miles away, yet the best was to get the material to the viewing site was for the signal to go to Geosynchronous orbit and back... I guess that sez something for the value of space...

All and all, a very good day...
« Last Edit: 09/27/2010 04:03 AM by antonioe »
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #107 on: 09/28/2010 12:33 AM »
The cost of a Minotaur IV launch to the USG is about $35M (the first three stage engines are, of course, surplus); there are several "rumors" about the cost of the satellite, but it's probably about $500M - this may very well be the lowest LV to satellite ever.


Just to be fair, I looked up how much an individual Peacekeeper cost:

Quote
The cost of procuring a Peacekeeper missile (the "flyaway" cost) was only about $20 million (FY 82). The total cost of the program was approximately $20 billion however, at a pro-rated cost of $400 million per operational missile

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/Mx.html
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Offline iamlucky13

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #108 on: 09/28/2010 12:56 AM »
I saw the Pacific Collector at Alameda a few years ago.  She was moored near the USS Hornet Museum.  I didn't take this picture, but it's a beauty.

It's been spending a fair amount of time docked in Portland lately. It took me a bit of searching to learn exactly what it was. I believe the pier she is at is a private shipyard, but it's one that gets a lot of naval reserve maintenance business.

It's an interesting one to look at. I like it's lines. I have a few more pictures of her but never caught her under way. Unfortunately, I don't live in the area anymore, but here's a picture I took about 2 years ago. It was still there earlier this summer.
« Last Edit: 09/28/2010 12:59 AM by iamlucky13 »

Online edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #109 on: 09/28/2010 02:28 AM »
The cost of a Minotaur IV launch to the USG is about $35M (the first three stage engines are, of course, surplus); there are several "rumors" about the cost of the satellite, but it's probably about $500M - this may very well be the lowest LV to satellite ever.


Just to be fair, I looked up how much an individual Peacekeeper cost:

Quote
The cost of procuring a Peacekeeper missile (the "flyaway" cost) was only about $20 million (FY 82). The total cost of the program was approximately $20 billion however, at a pro-rated cost of $400 million per operational missile

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/Mx.html

That price bought 17 or so years of on-service nuclear deterrent duty for the United States.  It also included a lot of wasted spending on the long-fought basing decision.  It only makes sense to use the retired hardware.  It will be a shame when the motors are used up, because this particular launch vehicle has a chance to prove itself to be super-reliable. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/28/2010 01:19 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline yinzer

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #110 on: 09/28/2010 03:02 AM »
The cost of a Minotaur IV launch to the USG is about $35M (the first three stage engines are, of course, surplus); there are several "rumors" about the cost of the satellite, but it's probably about $500M - this may very well be the lowest LV to satellite ever.


Just to be fair, I looked up how much an individual Peacekeeper cost:

Quote
The cost of procuring a Peacekeeper missile (the "flyaway" cost) was only about $20 million (FY 82). The total cost of the program was approximately $20 billion however, at a pro-rated cost of $400 million per operational missile

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Weapons/Mx.html

That that price bought 17 or so years of on-service nuclear deterrent duty for the United States.  It also included a lot of wasted spending on the long-fought basing decision.  It only makes sense to use the retired hardware.  It will be a shame when the motors are used up, because this particular launch vehicle has a chance to prove itself to be super-reliable. 

Quite so.  In retrospect the argument about not allowing former ICBMs to be used for launch vehicles (put forth by none other than Orbital!) seems flawed; why not get people hooked on cheaper access to space and build the market?

The space policy problem of what to do once you've launched 40 Minotaur IV flights probably falls into the category of "nice problems to have," eh?

Congratulations to Orbital on a successful flight.
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #111 on: 09/28/2010 03:07 AM »
That that price bought 17 or so years of on-service nuclear deterrent duty for the United States.  It also included a lot of wasted spending on the long-fought basing decision.  It only makes sense to use the retired hardware.  It will be a shame when the motors are used up, because this particular launch vehicle has a chance to prove itself to be super-reliable. 

 - Ed Kyle

I am not mitigating it, simply stating that the LV was not "free" in overall scheme of things. Also, for the length and size of service, and the fact that the very ICBM it was meant to replace has taken back all duties....
« Last Edit: 09/28/2010 03:10 AM by Ronsmytheiii »
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #112 on: 09/28/2010 01:34 PM »

Quite so.  In retrospect the argument about not allowing former ICBMs to be used for launch vehicles (put forth by none other than Orbital!) seems flawed; why not get people hooked on cheaper access to space and build the market?

The space policy problem of what to do once you've launched 40 Minotaur IV flights probably falls into the category of "nice problems to have," eh?

Congratulations to Orbital on a successful flight.

Ignoring the obvious elephant in the room (shuttle) did flying all the surplus Atlas's in the 60's, 70's and early 80's help or hurt the US launch industry? I've always looked at it as putting a damper on what we would have developed during that period if we had to make new ELV's for each launch. Admittedly Thor, overcame the surplus issue and started building new Thor's and Delta's by the 1980's. 
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Online edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #113 on: 09/28/2010 04:10 PM »
... did flying all the surplus Atlas's in the 60's, 70's and early 80's help or hurt the US launch industry? I've always looked at it as putting a damper on what we would have developed during that period if we had to make new ELV's for each launch. Admittedly Thor, overcame the surplus issue and started building new Thor's and Delta's by the 1980's. 

Recall that until 1989, there was no "commercial" U.S. launch services industry.  It was all government work, so any launch contract, whether it used new or "used" vehicles, was "help" for the launch vehicle manufacturers.  Those "used" rockets had to be refurbished and modified and the launches themselves required manpower that provided income.  All of those Air Force and NASA contracts, new and "used", essentially kept the Atlas, Titan, and Thor/Delta, production lines running (albeit in low-unit-rate form after the missiles were retired) from the mid 1950s until the dawn of the 21st Century.

Consider Minotaur 4.  It can lift payloads that no other Orbital Science's vehicle can currently lift.  That is new business for the company. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline yinzer

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #114 on: 09/28/2010 06:13 PM »
That that price bought 17 or so years of on-service nuclear deterrent duty for the United States.  It also included a lot of wasted spending on the long-fought basing decision.  It only makes sense to use the retired hardware.  It will be a shame when the motors are used up, because this particular launch vehicle has a chance to prove itself to be super-reliable. 

 - Ed Kyle

I am not mitigating it, simply stating that the LV was not "free" in overall scheme of things. Also, for the length and size of service, and the fact that the very ICBM it was meant to replace has taken back all duties....

But all the money spent on the Peacekeeper program is gone and never coming back.  So it costs the government effectively nothing to give the rockets to the Orbital-Suborbital program to use as launch vehicles - this is the sunk cost fallacy.  It might even save the government money, since disposing of large solid rockets safely can be a tricky and expensive affair.
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline yinzer

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #115 on: 09/28/2010 06:52 PM »

Quite so.  In retrospect the argument about not allowing former ICBMs to be used for launch vehicles (put forth by none other than Orbital!) seems flawed; why not get people hooked on cheaper access to space and build the market?

The space policy problem of what to do once you've launched 40 Minotaur IV flights probably falls into the category of "nice problems to have," eh?

Congratulations to Orbital on a successful flight.

Ignoring the obvious elephant in the room (shuttle) did flying all the surplus Atlas's in the 60's, 70's and early 80's help or hurt the US launch industry? I've always looked at it as putting a damper on what we would have developed during that period if we had to make new ELV's for each launch. Admittedly Thor, overcame the surplus issue and started building new Thor's and Delta's by the 1980's. 

I don't know that there's enough of a market for space launch to support a purely commercial player.  There haven't been any amazing successes so far; Orbital did OK with Pegasus.  The jury is still out on SpaceX, but even they are getting most of their money from government development contracts.
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline antonioe

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #116 on: 09/28/2010 11:08 PM »
As I said, it was a spectacular night...

I wish I could credit the photographer, but I don't have his/her name (it wasn't me, I assure you).

Can you find the satellite?
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #117 on: 09/28/2010 11:55 PM »
As I said, it was a spectacular night...

I wish I could credit the photographer, but I don't have his/her name (it wasn't me, I assure you).

Can you find the satellite?


Incredible image. Slow shutter speeds really work well for night launches.
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Offline antonioe

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #118 on: 09/29/2010 12:50 AM »
My guess is about 20-30 seconds.
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Offline Comga

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #119 on: 10/04/2010 10:25 PM »
The cost of a Minotaur IV launch to the USG is about $35M (the first three stage engines are, of course, surplus); there are several "rumors" about the cost of the satellite, but it's probably about $500M - this may very well be the lowest LV to satellite ever.

All and all, a very good day...

Your cost estimate is high, expecially if you stop counting at the original delvery to VAFB, but not by a factor of two. 

However, that's for the entire contract for the flight segments.  You can't really calculate a valid ratio without including the development cost of the rocket, possibly including some of the ICBM development costs, or leaving out some of the spacecraft and payload development costs.  (And the costs involved in waiting for the rocket. ;-)   )

In any case, no one would dispute your last statement.  Quite a good day for all involved.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25
« Reply #120 on: 11/20/2010 01:27 AM »
Arguments about cost ratios aside, congratulations to Pontifex Maximus and the Orbital team.

Offline kevin-rf

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Offline input~2

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Offline Comga

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25 2010
« Reply #123 on: 09/30/2012 05:11 AM »
US Air Force begins using Boeing surveillance satellite

Ahem!  A "Boeing surveillance satellite"?  Some credit needs to be given to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. who built the spacecraft and sensor.

PS Boeing did "build" most of the sticker shock referred to by kevin-rf. IMO
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: LIVE: Minotaur IV - SBSS - September 25 2010
« Reply #124 on: 07/26/2016 03:58 PM »
USAF next space surveillance system on target for 2021

Quote
WASHINGTON – After telling Congress it needed $11.5 million less than it expected this year for an upcoming space surveillance mission, the U.S. Air Force said July 22 it still plans to launch the next Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) system in 2021.

The current SBSS satellite, the Block 10 pathfinder, was launched in 2010 and is expected to last until about 2020, according to budget documents.

http://spacenews.com/u-s-air-forces-next-space-surveillance-system-on-target-for-2021/

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