Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012  (Read 125272 times)

Offline knotnic

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #180 on: 12/11/2012 05:29 PM »
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I heard two altitude callouts, 265 miles was the first one and I missed the second.  He also said the dogleg maneuver had been successfully completed.  Don't suppose anyone got the second altitude number or timestamps for either one?  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.

Also if someone recorded it a screenshot of that 1/2 second during the promo video where they showed a CAD model of the X-37B with something visible in the payload bay would be cool.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #181 on: 12/11/2012 05:29 PM »
Does the X-37B use a special fairing as it looks huge, or is it just a size of fairing rarely used?

Nope, it's the 5 meter fairing, short version that got used on 9 previous flights like Juno, New Horizons and Curiosity.

Need to get that wasp nest away from the camera (assume on the support gantry).

Concur on the tie--nothing like a human-rated Atlas (a-hem).

Are you sure that's a wasp? I remember very clearly of the very same type of bug attacking a camera at SLC-40 right at liftoff of the 1st F9 2.5 years ago!  :P

Way to go ULA!

Is it me, or in the animation does everyone secretly wish they would replace the X-37 mockup with Santa's sleigh?

How do you know that wasn't in the payload bay?

 ;D
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #182 on: 12/11/2012 05:31 PM »
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I heard two altitude callouts, 265 miles was the first one and I missed the second.  He also said the dogleg maneuver had been successfully completed.  Don't suppose anyone got the second altitude number or timestamps for either one?  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.

Also if someone recorded it a screenshot of that 1/2 second during the promo video where they showed a CAD model of the X-37B with something visible in the payload bay would be cool.

It wasn't just me that thought it was a slow launch, it almost seemed to saunter off the launch pad.

@Galactic Penguin SST thanks for the info on the fairing.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2012 05:32 PM by Star One »

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #183 on: 12/11/2012 05:31 PM »
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I believe the launch phase only needs a single burn to reach the planned orbit. The second burn is used to de-orbit the Centaur (see here for details: http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0079.html).
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #184 on: 12/11/2012 05:34 PM »
Way to go ULA!

Is it me, or in the animation does everyone secretly wish they would replace the X-37 mockup with Santa's sleigh?

How do you know that wasn't in the payload bay?

Because, to leave a present for 7 billion girls and boys you need at least a 5m fairing!
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Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #185 on: 12/11/2012 05:36 PM »
Well done Atlas & Centaur.  It was labeled MECO 1 so at least one more burn (circularization probably) to go, but a beautiful launch, especially the slow slow slow clearing of the tower at just barely over 1:1 thrust-to-weight.

I believe the launch phase only needs a single burn to reach the planned orbit. The second burn is used to de-orbit the Centaur (see here for details: http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0079.html).

Good link some interesting info on there.

@kevin-rf they have been miniaturized, clever fellow that Santa.
« Last Edit: 12/11/2012 05:37 PM by Star One »

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #186 on: 12/11/2012 05:41 PM »
Bob Christy and Ted Molczan are theorizing that the weird launch windows might be related to photographing opportunities by in-orbit spy satellites (KH-11) of the X-37: http://www.zarya.info/Diaries/US/OTVwindows.php
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline knotnic

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #187 on: 12/11/2012 05:48 PM »
I believe the launch phase only needs a single burn to reach the planned orbit. The second burn is used to de-orbit the Centaur...

Makes sense. Am following the SeeSat-L discussion; thought some trajectory info could be gleaned from the launch broadcast.

Regarding my payload image request above, nevermind, the same generic image is in Boeing's public materials. 

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #188 on: 12/11/2012 06:13 PM »
United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Third X-37B

Orbital Test Vehicle for the Air Force

 

First Spacecraft to Launch on an Atlas, Return to Earth and Launch Again

 

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (Dec. 11, 2012) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3) for the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) at 1:03 p.m. EST today from Space Launch Complex-41. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. The first two OTV missions also were successfully launched by ULA respectively on April 22, 2010 and March 5, 2011.

            "The ULA team is proud to have played a critical role in successfully launching these three important Orbital Test Vehicle missions for the Air Force RCO,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “This is a unique spacecraft since it is the first to launch on an Atlas V, return to Earth landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and then fly again on this mission.”

            This launch completes the most aggressive campaign in the history of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program with 10 missions launched during 2012, including eight launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and two from Vandenberg Air Force Station in California.

            This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V EELV 501 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) RL10A-4 engine.

            “I sincerely congratulate our OTV customer on today’s successful launch as well as our integrated team of mission partners that successfully accomplished ten critical one-at-a-time launches in 2012,” said Sponnick. 

The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV Program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems. 

ULA's next launch is the Atlas V TDRS-K mission for NASA scheduled Jan. 29, 2013 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo.  Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch.




###

Contact:

Chris Chavez, (303) 269-5550 (office), (303) 332-6416 (cell), chris.s.chavez@ulalaunch.com

Online Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #189 on: 12/11/2012 06:14 PM »
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Dec. 11, 2012) – A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 1:03 p.m. EST with the U.S. Air Force’s

third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3). This launch marks the 10th and last ULA launch this year, the 55th Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) mission, and the 66th launch since ULA was formed nearly six years ago. The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies. Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance.

Offline Prober

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #190 on: 12/11/2012 06:24 PM »
  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.


The X-37B has no "final orbit" it can be changed at any time.  That's why Red China will be up late nites from now on.

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Offline jcm

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #191 on: 12/11/2012 07:17 PM »
  Would help for guessing at the final orbit.


The X-37B has no "final orbit" it can be changed at any time.  That's why Red China will be up late nites from now on.



On the contrary, the orbit change capability of the X-37B is moderately limited. It's demonstrated minor changes in the past, but will remain in the same general altitude and inclination regime throughout its mission.
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #192 on: 12/11/2012 07:29 PM »
News Release Issued: December 11, 2012 2:43 PM EST

ATK Technologies Support ULA's Atlas V Launch of OTV-3
ATK Composite and Space Structures Support Launch Vehicle

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) composite technology supported the successful December 11 launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The ULA Atlas V rocket launched the U. S. Military's third Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), a prototype space plane.  The OTV, also known as the X-37B, supports space experimentation, risk reduction and concept of operations (CONOPS) development for a long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies.  The rocket flew in the 501 vehicle configuration with a 5.4 meter fairing and a single-engine Centaur upper stage, with no solid rocket boosters.

Using advanced fiber placement manufacturing techniques, ATK produced the 10-foot diameter composite heat shield that provides essential protection for the first stage of the launch vehicle, the 10-foot diameter Centaur Interstage Adapter (CISA) and the 18-foot diameter boat tail that connects the CISA to the payload fairing. The parts were fabricated by ATK at its Iuka, Miss., and Clearfield, Utah, facilities.

The Reaction Control System (RCS) propellant tank for the Atlas V rocket was manufactured at ATK's Commerce, Calif. facility. This is the 34th Atlas V launch using ATK-built composite structures. 


Offline spectre9

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #193 on: 12/11/2012 07:39 PM »
I slept through it, bad time for me but I'm glad it didn't scrub.

Good to see the US fleet is no longer grounded  8)

Go Atlas, Go Centaur.

Jury is still out of X-37B for me. 3rd launch vehicle for this program and I'm still not sure what it actually does.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #194 on: 12/11/2012 07:45 PM »
Boeing's Reusable, Unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Begins 2nd Flight

Affordable, responsive vehicle delivers unprecedented capability to US Air Force
 
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Dec. 11, 2012 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] today successfully returned an unmanned U.S. Air Force X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle to orbit, continuing to demonstrate how the system provides responsive, reusable access to space.
 
An Atlas V rocket launched OTV-1, the first of two vehicles in the program, into a low Earth orbit at 1:03 p.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 41.
 
The X-37B, which combines the best of aircraft and spacecraft design in an unmanned test platform, is testing reusable vehicle technologies dealing with space experimentation, risk reduction and concept-of-operations development.
 
"The second mission for OTV-1 demonstrates the vehicle is capable of multiple missions and affordable access to space," said Paul Rusnock, vice president of Boeing Government Space Systems.
 
OTV-1 was first launched in April 2010 and returned to Earth that December. It is the United States' first unmanned vehicle to return from space and land on its own. The space shuttle had been the only space vehicle capable of landing on a runway.
 
A second vehicle, OTV-2, set a record for a reusable space vehicle in June of this year when it completed a 469-day mission. Previously, Space Shuttle Discovery held that record with an accumulated total of 365 days in orbit.
 
Boeing's commitment to space-based unmanned vehicle technology spans a decade and includes support to the Air Force Research Lab's X-40 program, NASA's X-37 program, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's X-37 Approach, Landing and Test Vehicle program.
 

Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #195 on: 12/11/2012 07:47 PM »
Great coverage guys, thanks!

Congrats to ULA and the teams on what looked to be a spectacular launch.

Go little birdie!  :)
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Offline Targeteer

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #196 on: 12/11/2012 08:08 PM »
OTV-3 has already been spotted by satellite hobbyists based on Ted Molzcan predictive elements.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0087.html
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0088.html
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #197 on: 12/11/2012 08:24 PM »
OTV-3 has already been spotted by satellite hobbyists based on Ted Molzcan predictive elements.

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0087.html
http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Dec-2012/0088.html


That was fast, sigh, there goes the dreams of being the first to spot it on the morning walk... Oh well, it will just be me, the dog, and the Geminid's!
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Offline 00rs250

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #198 on: 12/11/2012 10:40 PM »

Are you sure that's a wasp? I remember very clearly of the very same type of bug attacking a camera at SLC-40 right at liftoff of the 1st F9 2.5 years ago!  :P


Yep, I think I’m going to gift wrap a can of spray so my friend can take it in to work to give to the Atlas guys.  The camera makes them look like they have a wing span of two feet.
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Offline Artyom.

Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #199 on: 12/12/2012 01:57 AM »
!
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