Author Topic: Orbitalís Cygnus preparing for the opening salvo to regain US independence  (Read 20086 times)

Online Chris Bergin

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/08/orbitals-cygnus-preparing-to-regain-us-independence/

Now you may be thinking "Hang on Chris, this isn't some exclusive L2 acquired news we've come to expect from this site" and you'd be right.

However, this is a milestone which should be reported (as much as you'll of seen the pressers and as much as I worked this into a standalone article). It also provides us with a baseline reference article, as the good folks at Orbital have agreed to work with us on content :)

So you can expect some excellent coverage on Orbital from this point onwards.

Chris = very happy with Orbital today :)

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Orbital and Cygnus really dont get enough attention, and deserve the quality press work from this site regardless.  Just happy to see Virginia is getting into the big time for space access.
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline RyanC

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Hyperbolic title anyone? It's not re-gaining US independence if the launch vehicle uses NK-33/43.

Offline mmeijeri

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Opening salvo? What about Falcon 9 and Dragon?
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Online Chris Bergin

Hyperbolic title anyone? It's not re-gaining US independence if the launch vehicle uses NK-33/43.

NASA contract with a US commercial company. The title also represents the "opening salvo" towards that goal, which is why COTS, CRS and CCDEV are all referenced.

Opening salvo? What about Falcon 9 and Dragon?

Yep, they are part of the salvo, as referenced three times in the article.

Offline Jason1701

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Great article and header image - hadn't seen it before. The title made me visualize a Cygnus flying to the Battle of Brandywine to punish the British Redcoats.

Online Norm Hartnett

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Great article and header image - hadn't seen it before. The title made me visualize a Cygnus flying to the Battle of Brandywine to punish the British Redcoats.

Oh, not a good analogy.

"The battle, which was a decisive victory for the British, left Philadelphia, the revolutionary capital, undefended."
ďYou canít take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.Ē Mike Gold - Apollo, STS, CxP; those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it: SLS.

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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Hyperbolic title anyone? It's not re-gaining US independence if the launch vehicle uses NK-33/43.

NASA contract with a US commercial company. The title also represents the "opening salvo" towards that goal, which is why COTS, CRS and CCDEV are all referenced.

Opening salvo? What about Falcon 9 and Dragon?

Yep, they are part of the salvo, as referenced three times in the article.

"preparing to join" would have been more accurate title

Offline Rocket Science

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How similar are the fairings being used to the last two failures both with hot/cold gas separation. I donít think we know the root cause yet do we? They all looked really stunned at the press conferenceÖ
Regards
Robert
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Downix

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How similar are the fairings being used to the last two failures both with hot/cold gas separation. I donít think we know the root cause yet do we? They all looked really stunned at the press conferenceÖ
Regards
Robert

Simple, they're not.  The Taurus II uses a new fairing, produced by a different company.

http://www.aascworld.com/Taurus_II/service--1211796061/program.html
« Last Edit: 08/26/2011 12:53 AM by Downix »
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline Rocket Science

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How similar are the fairings being used to the last two failures both with hot/cold gas separation. I donít think we know the root cause yet do we? They all looked really stunned at the press conferenceÖ
Regards
Robert

Simple, they're not.  The Taurus II uses a new fairing, produced by a different company.

http://www.aascworld.com/Taurus_II/service--1211796061/program.html
Thanks Nate,
Well thatís one way around the problem I hope. Would be still nice to learn something from those two failures.  I donít want to see another presser like that last one, felt bad for those guysÖ and we need reliable cargo to station in light of what is going on now. Fingers crossedÖ
Regards
Robert
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline Downix

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How similar are the fairings being used to the last two failures both with hot/cold gas separation. I donít think we know the root cause yet do we? They all looked really stunned at the press conferenceÖ
Regards
Robert

Simple, they're not.  The Taurus II uses a new fairing, produced by a different company.

http://www.aascworld.com/Taurus_II/service--1211796061/program.html
Thanks Nate,
Well thatís one way around the problem I hope. Would be still nice to learn something from those two failures.  I donít want to see another presser like that last one, felt bad for those guysÖ and we need reliable cargo to station in light of what is going on now. Fingers crossedÖ
Regards
Robert

If you go to the address on that page you'd also see that this company is making the shroud for the Orion as well.

As for what's happened, whatever it is, the Minotaur has yet to be effected, which makes it even more curious.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline Rocket Science

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How similar are the fairings being used to the last two failures both with hot/cold gas separation. I donít think we know the root cause yet do we? They all looked really stunned at the press conferenceÖ
Regards
Robert

Simple, they're not.  The Taurus II uses a new fairing, produced by a different company.

http://www.aascworld.com/Taurus_II/service--1211796061/program.html
Thanks Nate,
Well thatís one way around the problem I hope. Would be still nice to learn something from those two failures.  I donít want to see another presser like that last one, felt bad for those guysÖ and we need reliable cargo to station in light of what is going on now. Fingers crossedÖ
Regards
Robert

If you go to the address on that page you'd also see that this company is making the shroud for the Orion as well.

As for what's happened, whatever it is, the Minotaur has yet to be effected, which makes it even more curious.
All I can say is donít call the Russian priest who blessed ďtheirĒ last launchÖ. Didnít work out so well for them ::)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online Chris Bergin

Great article and header image - hadn't seen it before.

Thanks! And here's a better res image. I screenshot it out of their cool video:

http://www.orbital.com/video/CygnusMissionOverview/video.html

Offline Launch Fan

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Thanks for the article Chris. Good to see the no nonsense Orbital are doing well. I say no nonsense compared to the "other guys" ;)

Offline Antares

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The fairing itself isn't relevant.  The problems seem to be in the part that holds it together when it's supposed to be together and separates when it's supposed to be apart.  Fairing manufacturers don't make those.  They either come from ordnance or metal suppliers.

As for T2/Cygnus, I'm honestly very concerned that the program will survive the direct hit from Irene at Wallops.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2011 04:18 AM by Antares »
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline arachnitect

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Quote
The PCM was unloaded from the Antonov An-26

I think it came over on an AN-124

The Thales press release says AN 24, but I believe they meant AN-124

AN-24/26 are relatively small.

Kudos to NSF on being so prolific lately.

Online HMXHMX

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The fairing itself isn't relevant.  The problems seem to be in the part that holds it together when it's supposed to be together and separates when it's supposed to be apart.  Fairing manufacturers don't make those.  They either come from ordnance or metal suppliers.

As for T2/Cygnus, I'm honestly very concerned that the program will survive the direct hit from Irene at Wallops.

A very real concern.  The NWS Interactive Storm Surge program shows 10-20 ft surge 2-4 miles inland.  As I recall, the assembly hall is about 11 ft above sea level, and Sunday is high tide, too.

There are two first stages, one second stage (I think) and a Cygnus at risk.

Offline Lewis007

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A video and some pix of the Cygnus arrival at Wallops
Source: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/commercial/cygnus-arrives.html






Online Chris Bergin

Quote
The PCM was unloaded from the Antonov An-26

I think it came over on an AN-124

The Thales press release says AN 24, but I believe they meant AN-124

AN-24/26 are relatively small.

Kudos to NSF on being so prolific lately.

Thanks very much! I'll check into the plane.

Offline as58

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Quote
The PCM was unloaded from the Antonov An-26

I think it came over on an AN-124

The Thales press release says AN 24, but I believe they meant AN-124

AN-24/26 are relatively small.

Kudos to NSF on being so prolific lately.

Thanks very much! I'll check into the plane.

It's clearly an AN-124.

http://uk.flightaware.com/live/flight/VDA1396

Offline simonbp

Yeah IIRC, Cygnus has about the payload capacity of an AN-26... :)

Offline strangequark

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Hyperbolic title anyone? It's not re-gaining US independence if the launch vehicle uses NK-33/43.

We will be making AJ-26s here; we just haven't run through the Russian stock.

Offline RyanC

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We will be making AJ-26s here; we just haven't run through the Russian stock.

You mean taking NK-33s from the 1970s, refurbishing them, and giving them a US designed gimbal system then changing the nameplate to read AJ-26?

As for US production of NK-33, I remain highly skeptical that a 30 year old Russian engine can have it's production line restarted in a foreign country that doesn't speak the same language and makes use of a different measurement system in a lot of things.

Offline Jim

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We will be making AJ-26s here; we just haven't run through the Russian stock.

You mean taking NK-33s from the 1970s, refurbishing them, and giving them a US designed gimbal system then changing the nameplate to read AJ-26?

As for US production of NK-33, I remain highly skeptical that a 30 year old Russian engine can have it's production line restarted in a foreign country that doesn't speak the same language and makes use of a different measurement system in a lot of things.

The process was already done for the RD-180

Offline Jason1701

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We will be making AJ-26s here; we just haven't run through the Russian stock.

You mean taking NK-33s from the 1970s, refurbishing them, and giving them a US designed gimbal system then changing the nameplate to read AJ-26?

As for US production of NK-33, I remain highly skeptical that a 30 year old Russian engine can have it's production line restarted in a foreign country that doesn't speak the same language and makes use of a different measurement system in a lot of things.

The process was already done for the RD-180

Have any RD-180s actually been produced in the US?

Offline Nomadd

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 US independence by using Russian motors to launch Italian modules.

Online JazzFan

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US independence by using Russian motors to launch Italian modules.

How about, to a Chinese space station in the 2022.
« Last Edit: 08/27/2011 01:58 PM by JazzFan »

Offline Antares

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This foreign FUD is tiresome and stale.  The same issues have now been rehashed for years.  No new data for the argument.  Can we rise above it?
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline strangequark

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You mean taking NK-33s from the 1970s, refurbishing them, and giving them a US designed gimbal system then changing the nameplate to read AJ-26?

As for US production of NK-33, I remain highly skeptical that a 30 year old Russian engine can have it's production line restarted in a foreign country that doesn't speak the same language and makes use of a different measurement system in a lot of things.

No, I mean building them here.

You can be as skeptical as you want. I know with 100% certainty that the AJ-26 can be made here, and I am in a position to know.

Russia using SI has not prevented us from creating a space station with them. Is that the best you can come up with?

To try to bring this back on topic, Orbital using some foreign made components does not negate the fact this this helps restore an independent mode of US station access. Show me an aircraft or spacecraft made in Country X, and there is plenty of it made in Countries Y, Z, Q, W, etc.
« Last Edit: 08/28/2011 04:51 AM by strangequark »

Offline happyflower

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Congrats to Orbital's Cygnus team. We all wish you a very successful first flight to the ISS.

Looking forward to seeing both Cygnus and Dragon making regular deliveries to the ISS. People that think the US is going to lose their leadership role in the future of human and cargo space flight better watch out!  ;)

Also I donít understand how procuring components or parts from your European partners casts a shadow on the program here?

Offline mmeijeri

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Not to mention that US policy has long been in favour of free trade and the fact that starting with foreign / third party components allows you to work towards producing them yourself if there's a business case for it.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline Lars_J

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To try to bring this back on topic, Orbital using some foreign made components does not negate the fact this this helps restore an independent mode of US station access. Show me an aircraft or spacecraft made in Country X, and there is plenty of it made in Countries Y, Z, Q, W, etc.

Not that I disagree with you in general, but there are examples. There isn't "plenty" of F9 that is made abroad.

Offline strangequark

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To try to bring this back on topic, Orbital using some foreign made components does not negate the fact this this helps restore an independent mode of US station access. Show me an aircraft or spacecraft made in Country X, and there is plenty of it made in Countries Y, Z, Q, W, etc.

Not that I disagree with you in general, but there are examples. There isn't "plenty" of F9 that is made abroad.

Fair enough, and noting that SpaceX's level of vertical integration is a rare beast anywhere in industry these days. And I bet that at least one mission critical component is still made in another country.

Offline Prober

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To try to bring this back on topic, Orbital using some foreign made components does not negate the fact this this helps restore an independent mode of US station access. Show me an aircraft or spacecraft made in Country X, and there is plenty of it made in Countries Y, Z, Q, W, etc.

Not that I disagree with you in general, but there are examples. There isn't "plenty" of F9 that is made abroad.

Fair enough, and noting that SpaceX's level of vertical integration is a rare beast anywhere in industry these days. And I bet that at least one mission critical component is still made in another country.

Agreed, some of the electronic parts must be.

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