Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 421 - MMS - March 12/13, 2015 (02:44 UTC/10:44 pm Eastern)  (Read 77780 times)

Offline jacqmans

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Feature article - by William Graham:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/ula-atlas-v-mms-launch/

--Below is the coverage from 2014---

Friday, December 19, 2014 - 15:00

MMS: Solar Array Cleaning, Inspection

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket arrived aboard the Delta Mariner yesterday,  December 18, and was taken to the Atlas Space Flight Operations Center on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to begin check out.


Meanwhile the lower stack of the MMS spacecraft underwent solar array cleaning and inspection this week at the Astrotech payload processing facility near Kennedy Space Center in preparation for the solar array illumination test scheduled for Jan. 29.  Similar activity is planned for the upper stack in mid-January. 
« Last Edit: 03/12/2015 09:59 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #1 on: 12/29/2014 01:58 PM »

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #2 on: 01/08/2015 07:10 PM »
Successful initial power-on test in the ASOC highbay today.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #3 on: 01/08/2015 09:58 PM »
I see that MMS's Common Core Booster came in by barge.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #4 on: 01/12/2015 07:29 PM »
MMS passes solar array illumination testing at Astrotech near KSC. Now prepping to fuel the MMS lower stack by the end of this week.

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #5 on: 02/02/2015 09:10 AM »
From ULA web site: http://www.ulalaunch.com/
Mission brochure available here: http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Mission_Booklets/AV/av_mms_mob.pdf


Atlas V to Launch NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission

Atlas MMS Mission ArtworkAtlas V MMS Mission Brochure

Rocket/Payload: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 421 will launch the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission for NASA.

Date/Site/Launch Time: Thursday, March 12, 2015, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Mission Description: The Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission studies the mystery of how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively releasing energy via a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical spacecraft that work together to provide the first three-dimensional view of this fundamental process, which occurs throughout the universe.

Launch Notes: MMS will be United Launch Alliance’s 94th launch since the company was founded in December 2006. It will mark the third of 13 planned ULA missions in 2015.

Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch.


Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go MMS!

Online zubenelgenubi

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #6 on: 02/07/2015 04:45 AM »
"Atlas Stage at Pad for MMS Mission"
The Common Core Booster moved from the ASOC (Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center) high bay to the VIF (Vertical Integration Facility) on Wednesday, February 5.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/mms/2015/02/06/atlas-stage-at-pad-for-mms-mission/

The blog post says the Centaur stage will be brought to the VIF and stacked on Wednesday, February 11.

Another spaceflight news source has this flight designated serial no. AV-053.

However, there's no serial number yet listed on Gunter's Space Page.
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/atlas-5.htm

And the ULA mission booklet link in the previous post currently leads to "HTTP Error 404.0 - Not Found."

Zubenelgenubi
« Last Edit: 02/07/2015 04:54 AM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #7 on: 02/09/2015 12:52 AM »
Since SpaceX has a launch scheduled at the end of February, and SpaceX is generally late in their launches, how much can the SpaceX slip before running up against this March 13 scheduled launch?

If SpaceX slips, which launch has priority, or does this launch have to be postponed to give SpaceX the range?

Offline Jim

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #8 on: 02/09/2015 01:17 AM »
Since SpaceX has a launch scheduled at the end of February, and SpaceX is generally late in their launches, how much can the SpaceX slip before running up against this March 13 scheduled launch?

If SpaceX slips, which launch has priority, or does this launch have to be postponed to give SpaceX the range?


MMS gets the days it is scheduled for. 

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #9 on: 02/11/2015 07:24 AM »

February 10, 2015

NASA Media Accreditation Now Open for Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida has opened accreditation for news media to attend the launch of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission. Launch will be aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) March 12, 2015. The 30-minute launch window opens at 10:44 p.m. EDT.

MMS is an unprecedented NASA mission to study magnetic reconnection, a fundamental process that occurs throughout the universe. Unlike prior missions which have observed the evidence of magnetic reconnection events, the MMS mission will have sufficient resolution to measure characteristics of ongoing reconnection events as they occur. It has the primary task of collecting data to understand the mystery of how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively converting magnetic energy into particle energy via a process known as magnetic reconnection.  MMS consists of four identical observatories that will provide the first three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection. The four MMS observatories will fly through reconnection regions in a tight formation in well under a second, so key sensors on each spacecraft are designed to measure the space environment at rates faster than any previous mission.

The mission observes reconnection directly in Earth’s protective magnetic space environment known as the magnetosphere. By studying reconnection in this local, natural laboratory, MMS helps us understand reconnection elsewhere as well, such as in the atmosphere of the Sun and other stars, in the vicinity of black holes and neutron stars, and at the boundary between our solar system’s heliosphere and interstellar space.

For U.S. media, the deadline to apply for accreditation to cover launch activities on Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is noon on Thursday, March 5.

International media without U.S. citizenship may request access to cover launch and associated prelaunch activities from the Kennedy Space Center only. The deadline to apply for credentials is 4:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 25. International journalists are required to submit a scanned copy of their "I" visa and passport. Green card holders must submit a scanned copy of their card. Scanned documents must be sent to jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov for the credential request to be processed.

All media representatives must present two forms of unexpired, government identification to enter Kennedy. One form must be a photo ID, such as a passport or driver's license.

All media accreditation requests need to be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

Questions about accreditation should be addressed to Jennifer Horner at jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov, 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468.

For more information about the MMS Program, visit:

http://www.mms.nasa.gov/

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #10 on: 02/11/2015 07:24 AM »

February 10, 2015

NASA Offers News Media Access to MMS Spacecraft Feb. 18

The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) observatories will be the focus of a media opportunity at 9 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Florida. MMS is a NASA mission led by the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The instrument payload science team consists of researchers from a number of institutions and is led by the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.  MMS will be launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket managed by Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Services Program. Liftoff is targeted for March 12, 2015, at 10:44 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

MMS is an unprecedented NASA mission to study magnetic reconnection, a fundamental process that occurs throughout the universe. Unlike prior missions which have observed the evidence of magnetic reconnection events, the MMS mission will have sufficient resolution to measure characteristics of ongoing reconnection events as they occur. It has the primary task of collecting data to understand the mystery of how magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, explosively converting magnetic energy into particle energy via a process known as magnetic reconnection. MMS consists of four identical observatories that will provide the first three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection. Because the four MMS observatories will fly through reconnection regions in a tight formation in well under a second, key sensors on each spacecraft are designed to measure the space environment at rates faster than any previous mission

The mission observes reconnection directly in Earth’s protective magnetic space environment known as the magnetosphere. By studying reconnection in this local, natural laboratory, MMS helps us understand reconnection elsewhere as well, such as in the atmosphere of the Sun and other stars, in the vicinity of black holes and neutron stars, and at the boundary between our solar system’s heliosphere and interstellar space.

Spokespersons from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will be available for questions and interviews.

Full clean-room attire must be worn and will be furnished. Journalists should not wear perfume, cologne or makeup. Long pants and closed-toe shoes must be worn. No shorts or skirts will be permitted. Because MMS is magnetically sensitive, magnets or devices containing magnets may not be brought in.  All equipment will be scanned for magnetic potential prior to entry. Camera equipment identified for cleaning will be cleaned by contamination control specialists before being taken into the high bay facility. The necessary alcohol wipes will be provided. Non-essential equipment such as suede, leather or vinyl camera bags or other carrying cases must be left outside the clean room.  Clean-room paper and non-retractable ballpoint pens will be provided.  No notebook paper, pencils or retractable pens can be permitted. No food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches or pocket knives will be allowed.

All camera equipment must be self-contained and no portable lights can be allowed. Flash photography will not be permitted; however, the facility has adequate metal halide lighting for pictures. Wireless microphones can be permitted inside the high bay if foam covers are removed; however cell phones inside the clean room are not allowed.

On Feb. 18, U.S. news media representatives may proceed directly to Astrotech, which is located in the Spaceport Florida Industrial Park, 1515 Chaffee Drive, Titusville. Access will be available starting at 8:45 a.m., and the event will begin at 9 a.m.

Only news media who are United States citizens may attend this event.  A government-issued photo identification, such as a driver's license or permanently issued NASA news media accreditation badge from Kennedy, will be acceptable. In addition, proof of U.S. citizenship also is required, such as a passport or birth certificate.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, built MMS.

Media representatives should call Kennedy's media update phone line at 321-867-2525 on Tuesday evening, Feb. 17, to confirm the event is on schedule.

For more information about the MMS Program, visit:

http://www.mms.nasa.gov/

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #11 on: 02/11/2015 01:11 PM »
Another spaceflight news source has this flight designated serial no. AV-053.

However, there's no serial number yet listed on Gunter's Space Page.
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/atlas-5.htm

And the ULA mission booklet link in the previous post currently leads to "HTTP Error 404.0 - Not Found."

Zubenelgenubi

This Atlas is indeed AV-053. And Centaur lift & mate has been slipped to Thursday due to winds and area clears for Falcon launch ops. The ISA should go up today.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #12 on: 02/14/2015 07:56 AM »
Centaur Connection

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 10:59

Engineers are lifting the Centaur upper stage into place today atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V that will carry the MMS spacecraft into orbit. Working at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the crews are using the cranes and fixtures inside the Vertical Integration Facility to perform today's stacking as preparations continue on pace for a March 12 launch of the mission. Several miles away at the Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the lower stack of two MMS spacecraft are being connected to the payload adapter for the Atlas V. MMS is comprised of four individual spacecraft with a total of 32 GPS antennas. Engineers have cleaned and inspected those antennas as well as all the instruments on the four spacecraft ahead of the stacking of all four together in their launch configuration scheduled for Feb. 16.

Online edkyle99

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #13 on: 02/15/2015 02:26 PM »
Frustrating to figure out this mission without a real press kit yet, but here are some details from: 
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mms/news/faqs.html#.VOC5EyyI4po

"At launch, with a full load of propellant, each observatory weighs approximately 2,998 pounds (1360 kg). This is slightly lighter than a 2012 Toyota Prius."

Each satellite is "4 feet tall and 12 feet wide. When stacked all together on the launch vehicle, the complete stack of four MMS observatories is over 16 feet tall. In space, with axial booms and wire booms extended, each observatory grows to be about 94 feet tall and 369 feet wide;"

The orbits:  "MMS will have two different orbits around Earth for two different mission phases. The first phase of the mission has an orbit that comes to 1,600 miles (2,550 km) altitude at its closest approach to Earth and at its farthest, extends out to 43,500 miles (70080 km). For the second mission phase, the closest approach remains the same, but the orbit will now extend out to 95,000 miles (152,900 km) at its farthest away from Earth – this is about 41% of the distance to the moon."

When these things deploy all of their booms, they will take up a lot of "space" as they spin, carving out a 112.5 meter wide circle.

The four satellites are supposed to fly in formation.

My understanding is that the inclination will be near equatorial.  I'm wondering if this will be a three-burn Centaur mission.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/15/2015 02:27 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Prober

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #14 on: 02/15/2015 02:52 PM »
4 Sats dispenser?

This is an interesting mission to watch.

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Offline ZachS09

Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #15 on: 02/15/2015 04:00 PM »
Will all four satellites fit in the payload fairing?
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Online zubenelgenubi

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #16 on: 02/15/2015 04:49 PM »
Will all four satellites fit in the payload fairing?
I assume so, given:
According to Gunter's Space Page, this launch will use the 4L payload fairing--4 meters in diameter, and 11.2 meters inner height.
http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/atlas-5.htm

And, according to one of the attached images in Ed Kyle's post, the 4-satellite stack height is 5.933 meters.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2015 04:50 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline WHAP

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #17 on: 02/15/2015 06:12 PM »
Will all four satellites fit in the payload fairing?

No, they're planning to drag one behind.... ::)

Sorry, sarcasm made me do it.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2015 06:13 PM by WHAP »
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Offline kch

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #18 on: 02/15/2015 06:32 PM »
Will all four satellites fit in the payload fairing?

No, they're planning to drag one behind.... ::)

Sorry, sarcasm made me do it.

Another Al Jaffee fan, I see ... :D

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #19 on: 02/15/2015 09:30 PM »


The orbits:  "MMS will have two different orbits around Earth for two different mission phases. The first phase of the mission has an orbit that comes to 1,600 miles (2,550 km) altitude at its closest approach to Earth and at its farthest, extends out to 43,500 miles (70080 km).

My understanding is that the inclination will be near equatorial.  I'm wondering if this will be a three-burn Centaur mission.

 - Ed Kyle
If it's a three burn mission, it might be a really long one, assuming the normal sequence:  (1) get to parking orbit, (2) after arriving at equator, burn to hit apogee, (3) at apogee, raise perigee and reduce inclination.

But since even the initial apogee is higher than GTO, it takes longer to get there.  Back of the envelope says 12 hours between burns (2) and (3), as opposed to the 6 hours of dropping a satellite off in GEO.

Or maybe the Centaur does the usual, and the satellite does the rest.  I have no idea....

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