Author Topic: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - Cygnus OA-4 (CRS-4) - December 6, 2015 (21:44 UTC)  (Read 161390 times)

Offline rayleighscatter

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The next Orbital Cygnus flight will take place on a ULA Atlas V 401 rocket from SLC-41 at CCAFS.

It was announced a few days ago by Orbital ATK CEO David Thompson that the mission is currently preparing for a NET October 2015 launch.



Resources:

Orbital ATK GENERAL Forum Section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=46.0

Orbital ATK (Antares/Cygnus) News Articles:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/orbital/



==

L2 Antares/Cygnus Section - Really good section with a lot of documentation, video and content resources exclusive to L2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=54.0
(Now includes 100s of mbs of unreleased hi res images taken of Cygnus from the ISS during ORB-D, ORB-1, and ORB-2).
« Last Edit: 12/06/2015 03:33 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »

Offline Norm38

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Well that's exciting.  Good to see Atlas V pressed into ISS duty, and it'll be very nice to have ISS get a 3rd supply chain now that ATV is done flying.  And even better, once all the upfront work is done, it stays done.  If Antares ever had another stand down, Orbital could quickly order up another Atlas V to give Cygnus a ride.

Offline woods170

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Well that's exciting.  Good to see Atlas V pressed into ISS duty, and it'll be very nice to have ISS get a 3rd supply chain now that ATV is done flying.  And even better, once all the upfront work is done, it stays done.  If Antares ever had another stand down, Orbital could quickly order up another Atlas V to give Cygnus a ride.
What 3rd supply chain?

Post-shuttle there were Soyuz (yes, it carries a very moderate amount of cargo as well), Progress, ATV, HTV, Cygnus and Dragon. That's six.
ATV goes away. That leaves five. Cygnus is still part of the supply chain, regardless of the launcher.

Offline MattMason

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Well that's exciting.  Good to see Atlas V pressed into ISS duty, and it'll be very nice to have ISS get a 3rd supply chain now that ATV is done flying.  And even better, once all the upfront work is done, it stays done.  If Antares ever had another stand down, Orbital could quickly order up another Atlas V to give Cygnus a ride.
What 3rd supply chain?

Post-shuttle there were Soyuz (yes, it carries a very moderate amount of cargo as well), Progress, ATV, HTV, Cygnus and Dragon. That's six.
ATV goes away. That leaves five. Cygnus is still part of the supply chain, regardless of the launcher.

I understand the understated count. The Japanese H-II TV has flown quite infrequently (last time was August 2013), and we don't generally associate a crew transfer as also a cargo launch, and probably we shouldn't since it can never carry as much as the unmanned transfers, but often priority equipment/experiments.

There's also the matter of CST-100 cargo flights, as well, but that's the future.
"Why is the logo on the side of a rocket so important?"
"So you can find the pieces." -Jim, the Steely Eyed

Offline ZachS09

Well that's exciting.  Good to see Atlas V pressed into ISS duty, and it'll be very nice to have ISS get a 3rd supply chain now that ATV is done flying.  And even better, once all the upfront work is done, it stays done.  If Antares ever had another stand down, Orbital could quickly order up another Atlas V to give Cygnus a ride.

Good point. I think Orbital ATK had two Atlas V rockets to launch the Orb-4 and Orb-5 missions in case the Antares needed more hiatus time. But since it looks like Antares will return to flight next March, only one Atlas V will be used unless Orbital ATK needs the second rocket.
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Offline okan170

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Is this to be the first extended Cygnus?

Offline woods170

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Well that's exciting.  Good to see Atlas V pressed into ISS duty, and it'll be very nice to have ISS get a 3rd supply chain now that ATV is done flying.  And even better, once all the upfront work is done, it stays done.  If Antares ever had another stand down, Orbital could quickly order up another Atlas V to give Cygnus a ride.
What 3rd supply chain?

Post-shuttle there were Soyuz (yes, it carries a very moderate amount of cargo as well), Progress, ATV, HTV, Cygnus and Dragon. That's six.
ATV goes away. That leaves five. Cygnus is still part of the supply chain, regardless of the launcher.

I understand the understated count. The Japanese H-II TV has flown quite infrequently (last time was August 2013), and we don't generally associate a crew transfer as also a cargo launch, and probably we shouldn't since it can never carry as much as the unmanned transfers, but often priority equipment/experiments.

There's also the matter of CST-100 cargo flights, as well, but that's the future.
Don't agree on your HTV stance. HTV flies per a pre-determined manifesto and is a vital part of the ISS supply chains.
So much so in fact that NASA and JAXA have agreed to fly two additional HTV's beyond the original five.  Dismissing HTV as an independent supply chain because it supposedly flies "quite infrequently" equals to dismissing Japan as an ISS partner in USOS. Quite insulting IMO.
It also foregoes the fact that HTV currently provides the only means of delivery of external ORU's, other than Dragon. And HTV carries an amount of internal cargo (by volume), directly to the USOS section of the ISS, that is similar to Cygnus.

But I digress. My original point stands: Cygnus on Atlas V does not constitute a third supply chain, for two reasons.
- It fits in the existing supply chain of Cygnus-on-Antares with the only exception being the one-time swap of launch vehicle.
- There are at least five existing supply chains, for cargo, not two or three.

Offline MattMason

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Well that's exciting.  Good to see Atlas V pressed into ISS duty, and it'll be very nice to have ISS get a 3rd supply chain now that ATV is done flying.  And even better, once all the upfront work is done, it stays done.  If Antares ever had another stand down, Orbital could quickly order up another Atlas V to give Cygnus a ride.
What 3rd supply chain?

Post-shuttle there were Soyuz (yes, it carries a very moderate amount of cargo as well), Progress, ATV, HTV, Cygnus and Dragon. That's six.
ATV goes away. That leaves five. Cygnus is still part of the supply chain, regardless of the launcher.

I understand the understated count. The Japanese H-II TV has flown quite infrequently (last time was August 2013), and we don't generally associate a crew transfer as also a cargo launch, and probably we shouldn't since it can never carry as much as the unmanned transfers, but often priority equipment/experiments.

There's also the matter of CST-100 cargo flights, as well, but that's the future.
Don't agree on your HTV stance. HTV flies per a pre-determined manifesto and is a vital part of the ISS supply chains.
So much so in fact that NASA and JAXA have agreed to fly two additional HTV's beyond the original five.  Dismissing HTV as an independent supply chain because it supposedly flies "quite infrequently" equals to dismissing Japan as an ISS partner in USOS. Quite insulting IMO.
It also foregoes the fact that HTV currently provides the only means of delivery of external ORU's, other than Dragon. And HTV carries an amount of internal cargo (by volume), directly to the USOS section of the ISS, that is similar to Cygnus.

But I digress. My original point stands: Cygnus on Atlas V does not constitute a third supply chain, for two reasons.
- It fits in the existing supply chain of Cygnus-on-Antares with the only exception being the one-time swap of launch vehicle.
- There are at least five existing supply chains, for cargo, not two or three.

I wasn't dismissing H-II at all. I'm simply pointing out the tendency of human memory to recall what is more frequent than less frequent. For most of us, we're thinking bulk, unmanned cargo missions, which H-II certainly qualifies.
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Offline AS_501

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Will this be the first time an Atlas V has launched out of the Cape in a north-easterly azimuth?  I assume all previous launches have been due East(?)  Thx.

Online jcm

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Will this be the first time an Atlas V has launched out of the Cape in a north-easterly azimuth?  I assume all previous launches have been due East(?)  Thx.

No, there have been 6 Atlas V launches from the Cape to inclination > 45 degrees, so far.
(one was at 63 deg).
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Offline Jim

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Will this be the first time an Atlas V has launched out of the Cape in a north-easterly azimuth?  I assume all previous launches have been due East(?)  Thx.

No, and no.
There have been some NRO missions and GPS and X-37 do not go due east

Offline kevin-rf

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Offline ZachS09

Is this to be the first extended Cygnus?

Yes. This mission will be the first flight of the Enhanced Cygnus module. Sadly, the Antares failure last October was carrying the final regular Cygnus module, which was smaller than this new module and had rectangular solar panels. This enhanced variety has circular panels.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline AS_501

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Hopefully it will also be named for Deke Slayton.

Offline ZachS09

No. Deke Slayton was already named for Cygnus CRS Orb-3 last October. Just because the spacecraft was destroyed in the explosion, it doesn't mean that the same name can be used for the next mission.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline ZachS09

So, in contrast to your idea, I suggest Sonny Carter as a namesake for the next Cygnus flight.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline AS_501

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I just now read his biography.  Good choice among many possible good choices.
I will be interesting to see whom Orbital/ATK finally chooses.
PS:  For those out there not familiar with Deke Slayton, he has a remarkable biography too.  I was glad to see him assigned to ASTP.

Offline edkyle99

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No. Deke Slayton was already named for Cygnus CRS Orb-3 last October. Just because the spacecraft was destroyed in the explosion, it doesn't mean that the same name can be used for the next mission.
"Deke Slayton II".  And why not?  Deke's astronaut career seemed finished, but he staged a comeback for a happy "rookie" flight.

Perhaps a better approach would be to assign or announce informal or numerical names only once orbit is achieved.  NASA used to do this for some missions.  JAXA and ESA have done or are doing the same.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/04/2015 06:49 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline ZachS09

No. Deke Slayton was already named for Cygnus CRS Orb-3 last October. Just because the spacecraft was destroyed in the explosion, it doesn't mean that the same name can be used for the next mission.
"Deke Slayton II".  And why not?  Deke's astronaut career seemed finished, but he staged a comeback for a happy "rookie" flight.

Perhaps a better approach would be to assign or announce informal or numerical names only once orbit is achieved.  NASA used to do this for some missions.  JAXA and ESA have done or are doing the same.

 - Ed Kyle

Mr. Kyle, what you said about Deke Slayton is true. And yes, he did finally fly on ASTP after a long grounding due to heart problems. But Sonny Carter, in my opinion, had only one place named after him, which was the Neutral Buoyancy Lab at JSC. Also, your idea about names being announced after successful orbit achievement is great.
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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We usually hear there's around an 18-month to 2-year lead time on ordering an Atlas V launch.  This Cygnus launch clearly has a significantly shorter lead time.  Was there already an extra Atlas V in the pipeline that was re-purposed for this mission?  Or is the lead time for Atlas V always this short?

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