Author Topic: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B OTV-4) - May 20, 2015 to May 7, 2017 - UPDATES  (Read 114546 times)

Offline Star One

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The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Could it be a deliberate confusion?

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

Not that I don't doubt you, just wondering why it couldn't launch by the end of 2017, as I thought the RapidLaunch service could go up in as little as three months?

Quote
Last September ULA announced its RapidLaunch service, aiming to fill gaps in its launch manifest with commercial missions contracted at as little as three months’ notice.

Is that just for Atlas 401 (not 501 as the X-37B needs), just for commercial clients, or is the 2017 manifest that full?

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/04/atlas-v-oa-7-cygnus-launch-iss/
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Offline ChrisGebhardt

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The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Could it be a deliberate confusion?

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.

Offline Star One

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The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Could it be a deliberate confusion?

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.

Didn't OTV-4 suddenly appear on the schedules only a relatively short amount of time before it actually flew?

Offline smoliarm

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...

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.

Florida Today, May 7, 2017:
**The Air Force says the fifth X-37B mission, OTV-5, is scheduled to launch later this year from Cape Canaveral.**
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/05/07/air-forces-x-37b-space-plane-lands-ksc/101401768/

Offline Star One

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This forum is quoted in this news report.

Quote
According to NASASpaceFlight.com, which reported back in February, “Depending on the specific path the X-37B follows in its entry sequence – currently understood to be a descending node entry over portions of the United States and Florida – large swathes of Central Florida could be graced with twin sonic booms during the morning commute as the X-37B rather insistently heralds its arrival back home.”

The site also noted that this would be the first time since the mini shuttle landed at Kennedy Space Center, where America’s space shuttle program used to call its home for decades during their program.

“The ability for this fourth mission to attempt a return to the runway at Kennedy follows three highly successful, completely autonomous deorbit, entry, and landing sequences of the first three X-37B flights, which all ended with precise touchdowns at the runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA,” the site said.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/go-for-launch/os-sonic-boom-military-space-shuttle-0507-story.html

Offline vapour_nudge

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The second link reveals that OTV-5 will launch later in 2017. Has a possible launch for this appeared on the schedule yet?

It's not launching on an Atlas in 2017.

That was an Air Force press release I quoted from, I'd think they'd know when their own vehicle is launching.

Newton_V works for ULA. And X-37B launch on Atlas V 501.

USAF says, OTV-5 will launch in 2017 from the Cape. Newton_V is known for is reliability and says, it does not launch on an Atlas in 2017. Does that imply, OTV-5 will use another launch vehicle - although we do not know of any USAF launch contracts on Delta-IV or Falcon-9 in 2017. Or perhaps (IMHO more likely) the PR department of the USAF did not use the recent launch schedules and OTV-5 launches again on an Atlas, but delayed to 2018.

Any chance they mean the 2017 financial year. Or perhaps it will be a Rapid Launch? ( is rapid launch only for an AV401 or is an AV501 possible?)

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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...

We could be reading too much into this at the moment.  All it means right now is that the USAF is planning to launch OTV-5 in 2017.  Why there's no manifest slot for it yet could simply be a factor of the contracts not yet being completely secured/signed and therefore public information on the launcher is not yet available.  There are clearly many slots in Q3 and Q4 2017 that an Atlas 501 could easily slip into.

Florida Today, May 7, 2017:
**The Air Force says the fifth X-37B mission, OTV-5, is scheduled to launch later this year from Cape Canaveral.**
http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/05/07/air-forces-x-37b-space-plane-lands-ksc/101401768/

Not clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
« Last Edit: 05/07/2017 11:25 PM by ChrisGebhardt »

Online kevin-rf

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Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)
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Online Skyrocket

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Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)

X-37 is not NRO

Offline kch

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Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)

X-37 is not NRO

... and May 1st is not later than May 7th.

Offline vapour_nudge

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Not at all clear what the bolded statement is meant to imply.
For all we know , it could have gone up May 1st.

(Unrealistic I know,...)
Probably not Kevin, they're not secretive about the launches, only about what is inside the payload bay

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: LIVE: Atlas V 501- AFSPC-05 (X-37B) - May 20, 2015
« Reply #412 on: 05/08/2017 03:27 PM »
Quote
Looking at the NOTAMS <snip>

https://twitter.com/dutchspace/status/861217995502362624

I'm away from NSF for a day and this happens!

When/where were the relevant NOTAMs?

Wow, this landing SEEMS to have surprised the amateur satellite observing community!  (No slight intended)

I see no advance notice postings on the Seesat-l bulletin board.
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Offline SMS

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https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/07/x-37b-spaceplane-returns-to-earth-and-makes-precision-autopilot-landing/

Editor’s note: Exact landing time now added

Quote
With Runway 15 fast approaching the glider dropped its landing gear with dinner plate-sized wheels for a tire-smoking touchdown at 7:47 a.m. EDT (1147 GMT) while flying on a sophisticated autopilot fed with GPS navigation.

Total flight duration was 717 days, 20 hours and 42 minutes from liftoff to landing.
---
SMS ;-).

Offline dawei

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Wow.  I stop paying attention for just a bit and a spaceplane comes and lands at the SLF.  Makes me think of the immortal words of Ferris Bueller.... "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

Offline Citabria

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Maybe they brought her down so they could install a new Twitter-based command system?

Offline Star One

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Interesting that they've never identified which of the two vehicles flew this mission.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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A couple of questions for Chris G, from his article Air Force’s X-37B lands at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility

(Great reporting!  :) )

Quote
In fact, after landing, the X-37B is expected to be towed to OPF-1 for post-flight servicing operations. This operation has been tested several times with a mock-up space plane.
This appears to be "new news," but not unexpected.  Do you know when this happened?  Were practice moves also performed at Vandenberg before OTV-1?

Quote
Presently, two X-37Bs are known to exist, with the first flying the OTV-1 and -3 missions and the second flying the OTV-2 and -4 missions.

Re: the identity of the craft used on OTV-4; this also appears to be "new news."  Is there any documentation?
***

Questions for any knowledgeable peanut in the NSF Peanut Gallery:

Pardon me if this question has been asked and answered.  Is there any reason PRECLUDING launching an X-37B from Vandenberg?

Could an X-37B in polar orbit land at KSC?  (Another way of asking this question--if Shuttles had launched from Vandenberg, could they have used the KSC SLC as a back-up landing location?)

Thank you in advance!
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Online kevin-rf

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Interesting that they've never identified which of the two vehicles flew this mission.

Maybe it's a bit of both ;)

(before people take that seriously, it's a joke, both vehicles are separate vehicles, right?)
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Offline Star One

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I wonder if the X-37B is able to be launched on other vehicles?

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