Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 421 - MMS - March 12/13, 2015 (02:44 UTC/10:44 pm Eastern)  (Read 74581 times)

Offline lbiderman

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #40 on: 02/25/2015 08:06 PM »
Since this appears to be a night launch, what is the best option to get closest to the launch pad?


+1. I'm going to the KSC to watch this launch (first one for me & family). Any recommendations will be welcomed!
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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #41 on: 02/25/2015 08:09 PM »
Port Canaveral or Jetty Park would work well.
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #42 on: 02/25/2015 09:37 PM »
Since this appears to be a night launch, what is the best option to get closest to the launch pad?


+1. I'm going to the KSC to watch this launch (first one for me & family). Any recommendations will be welcomed!

It is going to be a night launch, so some of the usual observing sites will not be open.

Offline catdlr

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #43 on: 02/25/2015 09:41 PM »
MMS media briefing:

NASA mission’s magnetic personality

Published on Feb 25, 2015
During a Feb. 25 briefing at NASA headquarters, details were discussed about the upcoming Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, scheduled for launch March 12 from Cape Canaveral Florida. MMS will study a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection – a fundamental process during which magnetic fields around Earth connect and disconnect, releasing explosive energy. Magnetic reconnection also occurs throughout the universe and can accelerate particles up to nearly the speed of light.

« Last Edit: 02/25/2015 09:42 PM by catdlr »
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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #44 on: 02/26/2015 08:29 AM »

February 25, 2015

NASA Spacecraft Prepares for March 12 Launch to Study Earth’s Dynamic Magnetic Space Environment

Final preparations are underway for the launch of NASA’s quartet of Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) spacecraft, which constitute the first space mission dedicated to the study of magnetic reconnection. This fundamental process occurs throughout the universe where magnetic fields connect and disconnect with an explosive release of energy.

“Magnetic reconnection is one of the most important drivers of space weather events,” said Jeff Newmark, interim director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Eruptive solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and geomagnetic storms all involve the release, through reconnection, of energy stored in magnetic fields. Space weather events can affect modern technological systems such as communications networks, GPS navigation, and electrical power grids.”

The launch of MMS, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, will be managed by the Launch Services Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is targeted for 10:44 p.m. EDT Thursday March 12 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The spacecraft will begin science operations in September. Unlike previous missions to observe the evidence of magnetic reconnection events, MMS will have sufficient resolution to measure the characteristics of ongoing reconnection events as they occur.

The mission consists of four identical space observatories that will provide the first three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection. Because the observatories will fly through reconnection regions in a tight formation, in less than a second, key sensors on each spacecraft are designed to measure the space environment at rates faster than any previous mission.

“MMS engineers have completed final observatory closeout procedures and checks and are awaiting transport to the launch pad tomorrow for integration with the Atlas rocket,” said Craig Tooley, MMS project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The team is in high spirits and ready to get these technological marvels in space.”

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, such as the atmosphere of the sun, the vicinity of black holes and neutron stars, and the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space.

“This is the perfect time for this mission,” said Jim Burch, principal investigator of the MMS instrument suite science team at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas. “MMS is a crucial next step in advancing the science of magnetic reconnection. Studying magnetic reconnection near Earth will unlock the ability to understand how this process works throughout the entire universe.”

MMS is led by Goddard, which also built, integrated and tested the four spacecraft. The MMS Instrument Suite Science Team is led by SwRI. The spacecraft are controlled and operated from the MMS Mission Operations Center at Goddard. Science operations planning and instrument command sequence development are performed at the MMS Science Operations Center at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder.

More information about the MMS mission is online at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mms

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #45 on: 02/26/2015 08:32 AM »
MMS Rollout Now Planned for Friday

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 15:01

The rollout of NASA's MMS spacecraft from the Astrotech payload processing facility to Space Launch Complex 41 has been postponed 24 hours due to the weather forecast for tonight. It is rescheduled for the overnight hours of Friday morning pending the outcome of a weather briefing on Thursday afternoon. This will not affect the March 12 launch date. Meanwhile, MMS is being placed on the payload transporter today.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #46 on: 02/26/2015 12:21 PM »
Anyone have a guess where/when blow down and venting of the Centaur will occur?

Since this is a night launch, there is a good chance people from the southern US will be able to see it. If it occurs late enough, those of us further north will be able to see it. These events are quite noticeable to the unaided eye looking like a large slow moving ball of gas.

Having watched two NOSS Centaur blow downs from the light polluted Boston area, I can tell you, they are well worth watching. I highly recommend people in the southern US try to spot it. It is a nice treat.   
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Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #47 on: 02/26/2015 02:46 PM »
Anyone have a guess where/when blow down and venting of the Centaur will occur?

Since this is a night launch, there is a good chance people from the southern US will be able to see it. If it occurs late enough, those of us further north will be able to see it. These events are quite noticeable to the unaided eye looking like a large slow moving ball of gas.

Having watched two NOSS Centaur blow downs from the light polluted Boston area, I can tell you, they are well worth watching. I highly recommend people in the southern US try to spot it. It is a nice treat.   

Blowdown should start around T+2h 10m, but I'm not sure where the stage will be - probably somewhere south of Florida or southeast in the Caribbean. It's ~25m after the last S/C sep, which takes place over the Gulf of Mexico. My data source is a few months old, so there may be some refinements to that timeline.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #48 on: 02/26/2015 02:49 PM »
Port Canaveral or Jetty Park would work well.

I'd recommend Port Canaveral. 2nd choice would be the Titusville riverfront near the intersection of US1 and Rte 50; the pad is due east from there.

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #49 on: 02/27/2015 10:11 AM »
MMS Rollout Tonight, Hoist Friday

Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 15:07

After a weather briefing this afternoon, mission managers gave the green light for the rollout of MMS overnight tonight from the Astrotech payload processing facility located near Kennedy Space Center. Encapsulated within the Atlas V payload fairing, MMS will head for Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Once there at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41, it will be hoisted atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket shortly after sunrise Friday.

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #50 on: 02/27/2015 10:28 AM »
And Roll out of MMS at Astrotech last night. Photo: Matthew Travis

Offline ZachS09

Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #51 on: 02/27/2015 12:10 PM »
MMS should've been placed on the Atlas/Centaur by now.
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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #52 on: 02/27/2015 12:41 PM »
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #53 on: 02/27/2015 07:25 PM »
MMS should've been placed on the Atlas/Centaur by now.

Yeah, it was hard-down on the Centaur at 0940. Connections continue...

Offline ZachS09

Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #54 on: 02/27/2015 11:42 PM »
MMS should've been placed on the Atlas/Centaur by now.

Yeah, it was hard-down on the Centaur at 0940. Connections continue...

Brilliant. Keep up the good work, ULA.
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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #55 on: 02/28/2015 07:34 AM »

February 27, 2015

NASA Sets Coverage for Launch of Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is set to lift off at 10:44 p.m. EDT Thursday, March 12, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. There is a 30-minute window for the launch.

NASA Television launch coverage begins at 8 p.m. NASA TV will also air a prelaunch news conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, and a mission science briefing at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, and a NASA Social at 3 p.m. on March 12, all originating from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

MMS will study magnetic reconnection, a fundamental process that occurs throughout the universe when magnetic fields connect and disconnect explosively, releasing energy and accelerating particles up to nearly the speed of light. Unlike previous missions that have observed only evidence of magnetic reconnection events, MMS has sufficient resolution to observe and measure reconnection events as they occur. While MMS will fly through reconnection regions in less than a second, key sensors on each spacecraft are able to capture measurements 100 times faster than any previous mission. In addition, MMS consists of four identical observatories, which together  will provide the first ever three-dimensional view of magnetic reconnection.

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 scientists understand reconnection elsewhere, 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.

Media who want to attend the MMS prelaunch events, including the launch pad photo opportunity, prelaunch news conferences and the launch must apply for credentials at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov/

U.S. media accreditation requests must be received by noon on Thursday, March 5.

The deadline for accreditation requests by foreign media has passed.

All registered media must present two forms of unexpired government-issued identification to access Kennedy. One form must be a photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license. For more information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or 321-867-2468 and by email at jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov.

Prelaunch News Conference

A prelaunch news conference on NASA TV will be held at Kennedy’s Press Site at 1 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, March 10.


Briefing participants are:


Geoffrey Yoder, deputy associate administrator
 NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington


Omar Baez, NASA launch manager
 Kennedy Space Center, Florida


Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions
 United Launch Alliance, Centennial, Colorado


Craig Tooley, NASA MMS project manager
 Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland


Jim Burch, principal investigator
 Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas


Clay Flinn, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron
 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Mission Science Briefing

An MMS mission science briefing on NASA TV will be held at NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Press Site at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 11.


Briefing participants are:


Jeff Newmark, interim director, Heliophysics Division
 NASA Headquarters, Washington


Jim Burch, principal investigator, MMS instrument suite science team
 Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio


Roy Torbert, MMS FIELDS investigation lead
 University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire


Craig Pollock, lead co-investigator, MMS Fast Plasma Investigation
 Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland


Paul Cassak, associate professor
 West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

For the prelaunch news conference and the mission science briefing, media may ask questions via a phone bridge by calling the Kennedy newsroom no more than 15 minutes before the briefings begin at 321-867-2468. Media also may post questions during the briefings via Twitter by using the hashtag #askNASA.

NASA Social

On launch day, March 12, a NASA Social will be held in the Kennedy Press Site Auditorium from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. News media are invited to attend. The event also will be carried live on NASA Television.

Press Accreditation Office Hours of Operation

The Press Accreditation Office located on State Road 3, Merritt Island, will be open to pick up media credentials at the following times:

Tuesday, March 10:  noon – 3 p.m.
 Wednesday, March 11: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
 Thursday, March 12: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.

Atlas V Launch Vehicle Rollout

Wednesday, March 11: There will be a media opportunity to observe rollout of the Atlas V rocket from the Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad. Media should be at Kennedy’s Press Site at 9 a.m. for transportation to the viewing location near Space Launch Complex 41. Media will be returned to the Press Site by noon.

Remote Camera Placement at Space Launch Complex 41

On Wednesday, March 11, photographers who wish to set up remote sound-activated cameras at the Atlas V launch pad will be transported to Space Launch Complex 41. Media should meet in the Kennedy Press Site parking lot at 2:15 p.m. Only photographers establishing remote cameras may go to the pad for this opportunity. Media will be returned to the Press Site by 5:30 p.m.

Launch Day Press Site Access

On Thursday, March 12, media will cover the MMS launch from Kennedy’s Press Site. Media also may cover the launch from the ITL Causeway, a location on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. However, there is no power or other facilities there. News media access to Kennedy Space Center for launch will be through Gate 3 on State Road 405, east of Kennedy’s visitor complex, and through Gate 2 on State Road 3 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Kennedy News Center Hours


Tuesday, March 10:  8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
 Wednesday, March 11:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
 Thursday, March 12:  8 a.m. – 1 a.m. Friday

NASA Television Coverage 

On Tuesday, March 10, NASA Television will carry the MMS prelaunch news conference at 1 p.m. EDT. On Wednesday, March 11, NASA Television will carry the MMS mission science briefing at 1 p.m. EDT.

On Thursday, March 12, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 8 p.m. and conclude after the MMS spacecraft deployments from the Atlas V are complete, which occurs one hour, forty-seven minutes after launch.

A post-launch news conference will not be held. A post-launch news release will be issued about two hours after launch once the state-of-health of each of the four MMS spacecraft are known. Spokespersons also will be available at the Press Site to answer questions.

For NASA Television downlink information, schedule information and video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

All of the briefings will be carried live on NASA Television. Call-in questions also will be taken by dialing 321-867-2468 no later than 15 minutes before the start of each briefing to establish a position in the queue.

Audio only of the press conferences and the launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220 or -1240 or -1260 or -7135.  On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor’s countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 7 p.m.  Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage
 

Extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the liftoff of the MMS spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket will be available on NASA's home page at:
 

http://www.nasa.gov


The MMS prelaunch news conference and the mission science briefing will be carried live on the web. A prelaunch webcast for the MMS mission will be available on NASA’s YouTube channel and NASA’s website on Wednesday, March 11. Live countdown coverage through NASA's Launch Blog begins at 8 p.m., Thursday, March 12. Coverage features live updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact Nancy Bray at 321-867-9112. For NASA’s Launch Blog, visit:

blogs.nasa.gov/mms

To view the webcast or to learn more about the MMS mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mms


Social Media

Join the conversation and follow the MMS mission online by using #MMS on Twitter and Facebook at:

http://www.twitter.com/mms

https://www.facebook.com/mms

Throughout the launch countdown, the NASA Kennedy Twitter and Facebook accounts will be continuously updated throughout the launch countdown at:


http://www.twitter.com/NASAKennedy

https://www.facebook.com/NASAKennedy


Recorded Status

Recorded status reports and updates to the media advisory on the MMS launch will be provided through the Kennedy media phone line starting Monday, March 9. The telephone number is 321-867-2525.


Wireless Capability

Wireless capability for news media is available at Kennedy’s Press Site.

NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington is responsible for the MMS mission. The MMS spacecraft project is managed by the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #56 on: 02/28/2015 07:39 AM »
MMS Taken to Launch Pad, Lifted to Rocket

Friday, February 27, 2015 - 11:18

The MMS observatory atop the payload transporter departed the Astrotech payload processing facility near Kennedy Space Center at 1:30 a.m. en route to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It arrived at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at 4:13 a.m. The operation to hoist the spacecraft atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket was completed at 9:40 a.m. The mechanical and electrical connections are now being established.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #57 on: 02/28/2015 05:06 PM »
Some links that forum members may find useful:

NASA MMS mission page
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mms/index.html

NASA science MMS mission page
http://science.nasa.gov/missions/mms/

NASA Goddard MMS mission web site
http://mms.gsfc.nasa.gov/

SwRI (Southwest Research Institute) MMS SMART (Solving Magnetospheric Acceleration, Reconnection, and Turbulence) web site
http://mms.space.swri.edu/

Link within the immediately previous web site to a re-print of the article "Reconnecting Magnetic Fields" in the September-October 2009 issue of American Scientist magazine.  The article was authored by SMART PI Jim Burch from SwRI and SMART Theory Team member Jim Drake from the University of Maryland.
http://mms.space.swri.edu/AmSci-Reconnection.pdf

Briefing Materials from the February 25 news briefing
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/details.cgi?aid=11780
« Last Edit: 02/28/2015 05:33 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #58 on: 03/01/2015 06:30 PM »

Question about how the formation of 4 MMS craft will be maintained--by GPS measurements, even though the MMS orbits are (mostly? all the time?) above GPS satellite altitude.  They will get enough signal from GPS satellite side-lobe transmission.


http://spacejournal.ohio.edu/issue9/pdf/geosynchronous.pdf

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Atlas V 421 - MMS (4x) - March 13, 2015
« Reply #59 on: 03/01/2015 08:30 PM »
Thanks for posting the article, Foltster!

Using such weak signal is impressive (to me) at GSO.  Geostationary (geosynchronous and circular) orbit has a radius (not altitude) of approximately 7 Earth radii.

MMS will spend most of any given orbit beyond that altitude, slowly sweeping along their highly elliptical orbits near apogee.

Phase 1 of the MMS mission will use an orbit of 1.2 RE X 12 RE X 28 deg--this is to measure magnetic reconnection on the dayside of the magnetopause.

Phase 2 will culminate in an orbit of 1.2 RE X 25 RE X 28 deg--to measure magnetic reconnection in the magnetotail.

Source:
http://mms.space.swri.edu/mission-2.html

edit: geosynchronous/geostationary
« Last Edit: 03/02/2015 10:53 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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