Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012  (Read 125285 times)

Offline Aeroman

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #220 on: 11/25/2013 08:23 PM »
Any new information on OTV-3 - X-37B mission?  Haven't been able to find anything to say whether it landed or is still in space.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #221 on: 11/25/2013 08:28 PM »
Any new information on OTV-3 - X-37B mission?  Haven't been able to find anything to say whether it landed or is still in space.
people are hinting that it will likely be in orbit well over a year and possibly two years depending upon fuel reserves.

Offline Targeteer

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #222 on: 11/25/2013 08:54 PM »
Heaven's Above.com (http://www.heavens-above.com/orbit.aspx?satid=39025) shows the orbit as

inclination:    43.4934°
perigee height:    381 km
apogee height:     409 km

according to visual observations on 20 November 2013 16:31:48

Amateur observer extraordinaire Kevin Fetter posted a video of his observations on 24 Nov

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Nov-2013/0126.html
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #223 on: 11/25/2013 09:09 PM »
Any new information on OTV-3 - X-37B mission?  Haven't been able to find anything to say whether it landed or is still in space.
people are hinting that it will likely be in orbit well over a year and possibly two years depending upon fuel reserves.

Seriously two years, that seems extraordinary?

Offline Jim

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #224 on: 11/25/2013 09:27 PM »
Not really, it isn't manned.  How long do you think weather or reconnsats last?

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #225 on: 11/25/2013 10:42 PM »
Not really, it isn't manned.  How long do you think weather or reconnsats last?

If they are going to use it for that sort of length of time why not use a dedicated satellite for the job, could it not be cheaper?

Offline a_langwich

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #226 on: 11/26/2013 01:22 AM »
Not really, it isn't manned.  How long do you think weather or reconnsats last?

If they are going to use it for that sort of length of time why not use a dedicated satellite for the job, could it not be cheaper?

The short answer is because whatever they are doing, it involves returning something to earth.
« Last Edit: 11/26/2013 01:31 AM by a_langwich »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #227 on: 11/26/2013 11:53 AM »
That or, what ever they are doing, they have a platform to mount it on instead of having to do what ever they are doing and build the platform to mount it on...

I am not convinced the value is returning the payload to earth.

This provides them a platform with power and altitude control to mount things on. I think that is the real savings.

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Offline Darren_Hensley

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #228 on: 12/13/2013 01:06 AM »
I see by the last post that no one noticed that yesterday was the 1 year mark for OTV-3. Go USAF!
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Offline robertross

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #229 on: 12/13/2013 01:12 AM »
I see by the last post that no one noticed that yesterday was the 1 year mark for OTV-3. Go USAF!

Nope, totally engrossed in ISS FCV issues...

Indeed, go USAF! Quite a ship.
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Offline Jason1701

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Offline jacqmans

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #231 on: 02/02/2014 09:23 AM »

Offline Star One

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #232 on: 02/02/2014 02:08 PM »

Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane passes 400 days in orbit

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/01/30/air-force-mysterious-x-37b-space-plane-passes-400-days-in-orbit/

From the sound of that article it sounds like we shouldn't expect its return any day soon.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #233 on: 02/02/2014 05:00 PM »
I've been wondering about how long a liquid helium dewar tends to hold its contents in space.  It seems to line up with the duration of theX-37B missions.  Probably a coincidence.

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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #234 on: 02/02/2014 05:19 PM »
“If” the TPS specified for DC is the same as used on the X-37 it would speak well for long stays on orbit...
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #235 on: 02/02/2014 06:09 PM »
I've been wondering about how long a liquid helium dewar tends to hold its contents in space.  It seems to line up with the duration of theX-37B missions.  Probably a coincidence.

 - Ed Kyle
Now that's a thought, is it a consumable limiting the on orbit life. Brilliant!
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Online hop

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #236 on: 02/02/2014 09:02 PM »
I've been wondering about how long a liquid helium dewar tends to hold its contents in space.  It seems to line up with the duration of theX-37B missions.
That's an intriguing thought, but there it isn't a fixed time, it depends on how much you have, and how much effort you put into preserving it.

The X-37 payload is rumored to be around 500 lbs. An expendable spacecraft launching to the same orbit on the same launcher would easily have several tons more available for consumables, so it's hard to see that alone justifying re-use. Unless the consumable is spectacularly expensive...

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #237 on: 02/02/2014 09:43 PM »
Well that would actually be good debate.

If you have a consumable like LHe that limits on orbit life to 1 year or so. Do you:

1. Build and launch a new satellite every year?
2. Launch a refueling mission each year?
3. Bring it back and refuel it then relaunch each year?

Considering satellites are so expensive they might as well be coated in Gold (IR pun intended ;) ). There might be some merit in choosing option 3 over option 1.

Also, I thought the X-37 500 lbs limit was payload it could land with. With the Atlas's extra performance, nothing says it cannot launch with more than a 500 lbs payload as long as the consumable boils off before it comes home.

Anyone know if any intelligence beyond early warning can be obtained in the IR bands?
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #238 on: 02/06/2014 01:47 PM »
Anyone know if any intelligence beyond early warning can be obtained in the IR bands?
Anything that produces heat. 

Powerplants.  Reactors.  Aircraft.  Tanks.  Trucks.  People.  Animals.  Ships.  Satellites.  Submarines.  Etc.

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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501 - X-37B OTV-3 - Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #239 on: 02/06/2014 01:56 PM »
Yeah, but does the atmosphere mask/blur the heat signatures as viewed from space?

ICBM's and aircraft afterburners are a special case since they are above a good portion of the atmosphere.
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