Author Topic: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16  (Read 37111 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Minotaur to launch from Wallops Island in November

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/08-04-2006/0004410554&EDATE=

"Wallops Flight Facility Selected as Launch Site for Air Force Satellite

    WALLOPS ISLAND, Va., Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The NASA Wallops Flight
Facility, Wallops Island, Va., has been selected by the Space and Missile
Systems Center's Detachment 12 as the launch site for the Air Force
Research Laboratory's TacSat 2 satellite. The launch is scheduled for
November 2006.
    The satellite will be launched on an Air Force four-stage Minotaur I
space launch vehicle contracted through Orbital Sciences Corporation's
Launch Systems Group. The mission will be conducted from the Mid-Atlantic
Regional Spaceport launch pad on the south end of Wallops Island.
    "The Wallops Flight Facility has a 61-year heritage of providing fast
response launch services to government, academia and commercial
organizations. We are very pleased to be able to support this Air Force
mission," said Jay Pittman, chief of the Range and Mission Management
Office.
    In addition to supporting the TacSat 2 launch, Wallops also will be the
launch site for a Minotaur I rocket carrying the Near-Field Infrared
Experiment (NFIRE) satellite.


SOURCE NASA"

 - Ed Kyle

Offline MKremer

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #1 on: 08/06/2006 04:47 AM »
I wonder if they had to go throught additional studies to get EPA approval to launch those larger solid-fuel boosters in that area?

Offline Jim

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #2 on: 08/06/2006 08:32 AM »
they have launched bigger vehicle from there

Offline aero313

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #3 on: 08/06/2006 02:21 PM »
Quote
Jim - 6/8/2006  4:19 AM

they have launched bigger vehicle from there

What, Conestoga?  I'm not sure how that compares to a Minuteman II from an environmental standpoint.  Prior to that, Scout had been the largest vehicle launched from WFF.  On the other hand, WFF and the Virginia Spaceport (now the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport - MARS - as a concession to Barbara Mukulski) have already done the environmental assessments required to launch a Castor 120 sized vehicle from the island.  The limiting factor is actually the weight limit on the bridge connecting the island to the mainland.  I'm not sure if the MMII motors are being brought in by road or barge, actually.

Offline Jim

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #4 on: 08/06/2006 03:40 PM »
exactly.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #5 on: 08/26/2006 09:22 PM »
Quote
aero313 - 6/8/2006  9:08 AM

Quote
Jim - 6/8/2006  4:19 AM

they have launched bigger vehicle from there

What, Conestoga?  I'm not sure how that compares to a Minuteman II from an environmental standpoint.  Prior to that, Scout had been the largest vehicle launched from WFF.  On the other hand, WFF and the Virginia Spaceport (now the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport - MARS - as a concession to Barbara Mukulski) have already done the environmental assessments required to launch a Castor 120 sized vehicle from the island.  The limiting factor is actually the weight limit on the bridge connecting the island to the mainland.  I'm not sure if the MMII motors are being brought in by road or barge, actually.

Actually, there have been six Pegasus launches from WFF for which we had to file an Environmental Impact Statement.  I think we also did the homework to launch a Taurus from WWF and that the C120 was transported by road from the assembly building at the base to the Virginia Spaceport pad (I can check).
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline MWDog

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #6 on: 09/03/2006 03:06 PM »
I'm from Pennsylvania, so it's not that long of a drive to Wallops. I'm thinking of viewing the November launch. Does anyone have suggestions for the best viewing location?

Offline TitanFan

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #7 on: 09/14/2006 06:29 AM »
Were these launches transferred from VAFB, or were they always scheduled from there?  I remember hearing that there was more launches booked on Minotaur from Vandy.
TITAN...assured access to space.

Offline Jim

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #8 on: 09/14/2006 11:36 AM »
Quote
TitanFan - 14/9/2006  2:16 AM

Were these launches transferred from VAFB, or were they always scheduled from there?  I remember hearing that there was more launches booked on Minotaur from Vandy.

Not transfers.  There are still more scheduled at VAFB

PS.  It is not "Vandy"

Offline aero313

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #9 on: 09/14/2006 10:26 PM »
Quote
Jim - 14/9/2006  7:23 AM

Quote
TitanFan - 14/9/2006  2:16 AM

Were these launches transferred from VAFB, or were they always scheduled from there?  I remember hearing that there was more launches booked on Minotaur from Vandy.

Not transfers.  There are still more scheduled at VAFB

The final orbital inclination requires launch from Wallops.  You can't get there from VAFB

Quote
PS.  It is not "Vandy"

Sadly, I've actually been in meetings at VAFB where Air Force personnel called it "Vandyland"...


Offline Jim

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #10 on: 09/14/2006 10:29 PM »
That is acceptable

Offline BFRC

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #11 on: 10/20/2006 04:45 AM »
No AF personnel from VAFB will refer to it as "Vandyland" just the tourists.

Offline shuttlepilot

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #12 on: 11/12/2006 05:35 PM »
Is there any live webcast of that launch?

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #13 on: 11/25/2006 04:23 PM »
Here are a couple of informative reports about the upcoming December 11 Wallops Island Minotaur launch.

"Sky-high hopes for future of Wallops
Va., Md. officials foresee busy niche for launch facility
By Frank D. Roylance
Sun reporter
Originally published November 25, 2006
The Dec. 11 blastoff of one of the most powerful rockets ever launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia could also boost the region's ambition to become a commercial spaceport."

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.wallops25nov25,0,1183433.story?coll=bal-home-headlines


"Wallops looking to grow
Spaceflight facility already is huge economic boost
By Ceri Larson Danes
WALLOPS - It is rocket science.
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility - part of their Goddard Space Flight Center -- is the only launch range that the space agency owns, and its mission is growing. "

http://www.delmarvanow.com/easternshore/stories/20061125/2349275.html

 - Ed Kyle

Offline gocamels

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Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #14 on: 12/09/2006 12:02 PM »
http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=115751&ran=112334

"TacSat-2"http://media.hamptonroads.com/media/content/pilotonline/2006/12/sat450x316.jpg" width="450" border="0" />

Offline dwmzmm

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Re: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #15 on: 12/09/2006 12:25 PM »
One of my all time favorites, as far as rocket launches from Wallops is concerned, is the Canadian Black Brant - II sounding rocket.  The Black Brant - II is
a popular subject of those rocketeers who love to build and fly scale models.
Dave, NAR # 21853 SR.

Offline Radioheaded

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #16 on: 12/09/2006 12:45 PM »
I am getting up very early to go catch this launch monday.  Is anyone (Jim, ect) familiar with launch requirements wrt weather for the minotaur I? Just don't want to drive 3 hrs for a weather delay  :)
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline Jim

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Re: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #17 on: 12/09/2006 01:27 PM »
Shuttle may interfere with this launch.   Not really familar with the Minotaur

Offline sammie

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Re: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #18 on: 12/09/2006 01:30 PM »
You better keep track of the Shuttle launch indeed, this article says that the Minotaur won't fly if the Shuttle is still on the ground by monday.
"The dreams ain't broken downhere, they're just walking with a limp"

Offline Radioheaded

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Re: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #19 on: 12/09/2006 01:36 PM »
Quote
sammie - 9/12/2006  9:13 AM

You better keep track of the Shuttle launch indeed, this article says that the Minotaur won't fly if the Shuttle is still on the ground by monday.

Chris just mentioned that.  Said Wallops people are supporting shuttle for 2 days after launch, and they can only work so many hours.  That had never occured to me.  Just another reason that this site is great  :)  :)  :)
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline dwmzmm

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Re: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #20 on: 12/09/2006 04:58 PM »
Looks like we get more accurate/timely up to date info on the space program(s) here better than anywhere else...
Dave, NAR # 21853 SR.

Offline hektor

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #21 on: 12/10/2006 02:23 AM »
Same question ? Is there a webcast ?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #22 on: 12/10/2006 03:10 AM »
Well we know this is now clear :)

Offline yuri_doma

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Online eeergo

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Re: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #24 on: 12/11/2006 06:50 AM »
However, in Spaceflightnow's Shuttle status report, there is word that they have scrubbed the launch.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts116/status.html (at the 0700GMT Monday remark)
-DaviD-

Offline hektor

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #25 on: 12/11/2006 11:16 AM »
Today's launch has been scrubbed.

Offline apollolanding

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #26 on: 12/11/2006 11:38 AM »
Thanks hektor for the scrub notice. I' was out this morning looking for the con trail and figured it had scrubbed when I haddn't seen it by 1215z.  Any word on why they scrubbed?

Joe
Proud Member of NSF Since 2006-04-10.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #27 on: 12/11/2006 11:54 AM »
Quote
apollolanding - 11/12/2006  1:21 PM

Any word on why they scrubbed?

Joe

Apparently a software-issue with the TacSat-2 payload

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061211/ap_on_sc/rocket_launch




Offline Radioheaded

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Re: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #28 on: 12/11/2006 11:59 AM »
Indeed, scrubbed for today.  I was roughly 1/2 hour from WFF, (after 2 1/2 hrs on the road) when I found out :(  Apparently a software glitch with TacStar.  They are saying launch will be no earlier than Wednesday.  (I am hoping for Saturday) :)
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline Radioheaded

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #29 on: 12/11/2006 12:12 PM »
As i  mentioned on Live spaceflight news thread, I was within 30 minutes of WFF when I heard of the scrub.  Sure made for a long boring ride back to Richmond :(
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline apollolanding

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #30 on: 12/11/2006 12:22 PM »
Thank god my wife put the kibosh on me taking a vacation day, packing my three year old, space crazy son, into the truck and driving the 3 hours down.  I'm opting to just watch the con trail from here in southern New Jersey.  You can see orbital launches out of Wallops from here as we're only 100 miles (as the crow flies).
Proud Member of NSF Since 2006-04-10.

Offline Radioheaded

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #31 on: 12/11/2006 12:29 PM »
My wife nearly did the same thing... should've listened ;) I dare say though, If the reschedule when I can make it, I'm just stubborn enough to try it again :)

This time though I'll call the info line MUCH sooner.....
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #32 on: 12/11/2006 01:46 PM »
Source info is there's a meeting at 10am local. An announcement at 2pm local.

Software issue with the payload.

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #33 on: 12/11/2006 02:37 PM »
This Minotaur might not make it off the pad this year now, according to this report.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061211/NEWS/61211002/-1/NEWS01

I wonder why this TacSat problem wasn't vetted until the last minute?  Surely this was an issue that was known by someone.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #34 on: 12/11/2006 03:23 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 11/12/2006  9:20 AM

This Minotaur might not make it off the pad this year now, according to this report.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061211/NEWS/61211002/-1/NEWS01

I wonder why this TacSat problem wasn't vetted until the last minute?  Surely this was an issue that was known by someone.

 - Ed Kyle


The following site provides some clues about what the problem might be.  TacSat-2 was built in a hurry using spare parts from a previous, canceled program.  The solar array design appears to have changed a bit during the development effort.

http://directory.eoportal.org/pres_TacSat2Roadrunner.html

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #35 on: 12/11/2006 04:18 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 11/12/2006  10:06 AM

Quote
edkyle99 - 11/12/2006  9:20 AM

This Minotaur might not make it off the pad this year now, according to this report.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061211/NEWS/61211002/-1/NEWS01

I wonder why this TacSat problem wasn't vetted until the last minute?  Surely this was an issue that was known by someone.

 - Ed Kyle


The following site provides some clues about what the problem might be.  TacSat-2 was built in a hurry using spare parts from a previous, canceled program.  The solar array design appears to have changed a bit during the development effort.

http://directory.eoportal.org/pres_TacSat2Roadrunner.html

 - Ed Kyle

The orientation of the telescope also changed - by 90 degrees.  Note that the fixed portion (all?) of the solar arrays only get full sun exposure at "noon" during an equator crossing if the telescope is looking down at the Earth.  The original design appears to have been oriented for optimum use in a sun synchronous orbit, with fullest exposure at sunrise/sunset.

In addition, TacSat-2 was originally supposed to be launched on a Falcon 1.  I'm not sure what the originally planned orbit would have been.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #36 on: 12/11/2006 08:07 PM »
http://www.wff.nasa.gov/tacsat2/

"LAUNCH UPDATE: 3:30 p.m. 12/11/06:
The TacSat-2/Minotaur 1 launch set for today, Monday, Dec. 11, has been delayed with Thursday [Dec. 14] as the earliest possible launch date while a potential inconsistency in the TacSat-2 spacecraft flight software is being investigated. Analysis is ongoing. Information will be posted as it becomes available."

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Jim

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #37 on: 12/11/2006 08:11 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 11/12/2006  10:20 AM

This Minotaur might not make it off the pad this year now, according to this report.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061211/NEWS/61211002/-1/NEWS01

I wonder why this TacSat problem wasn't vetted until the last minute?  Surely this was an issue that was known by someone.

 - Ed Kyle

Until spacecraft are no longer in the realm of rocket science, tactical ops is a pipedream.  "Quick callup" is not compatable with the testing required of standard spacecraft.

Offline SpacemanSpiff

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #38 on: 12/11/2006 09:05 PM »
Try to think 'Out of the BOX'; how would you get into the realm of tactical ops?
Well, you would accept a little more risk! And when you go low-cost, then you CAN assume more risk. I can think of a number of ways to get the spacecraft to orbit quickly.
This is a promising project that bears watching, if you have an interest in providing cost-efficient space vehicle services...

My company is interested in working with the provider of the solar array system for this vehicle, MicroSat Systems (their thin-film solar cell arrays could be a great new photovoltaic option). They look to be a very promising small, cost-efficient company. They were the systems integrator for this vehicle as well. I am hoping to see a successful mission.



Offline Jim

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #39 on: 12/11/2006 09:08 PM »
Quote
SpacemanSpiff - 11/12/2006  4:48 PM

Try to think 'Out of the BOX'; how would you get into the realm of tactical ops?
Well, you would accept a little more risk! And when you go low-cost, then you CAN assume more risk. I can think of a number of ways to get the spacecraft to orbit quickly.
This is a promising project that bears watching, if you have an interest in providing cost-efficient space vehicle services...

My company is interested in working with the provider of the solar array system for this vehicle, MicroSat Systems (their thin-film solar cell arrays could be a great new photovoltaic option). They look to be a very promising small, cost-efficient company. They were the systems integrator for this vehicle as well. I am hoping to see a successful mission.



No one wants to accept more risk.    More risk doesn't equate to cost effective.  There is a big difference in tactical and cost effective.

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Wallops Island launch is test of the quick, small
« Reply #40 on: 12/12/2006 03:11 AM »
Quote
Jim - 11/12/2006  2:54 PM

Quote
edkyle99 - 11/12/2006  10:20 AM

This Minotaur might not make it off the pad this year now, according to this report.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061211/NEWS/61211002/-1/NEWS01

I wonder why this TacSat problem wasn't vetted until the last minute?  Surely this was an issue that was known by someone.

 - Ed Kyle

Until spacecraft are no longer in the realm of rocket science, tactical ops is a pipedream.  "Quick callup" is not compatable with the testing required of standard spacecraft.

As I understand it, the "Responsive Space' concept goal is to have pretested, "ready to go" spacecraft "on the shelf" so that they could be quickly called up and flown.  This seems plausible to me, given that the military has for decades now maintained hundreds to thousands of instantly "ready to go" intercontinental ballistic missiles topped with warheads mounted on buses that have many of the functions of a satellite bus.  But obviously the status-quo satellite launch campaign methods won't cut it.  "On the shelf" in the traditional meaning of "shelf" probably won't work either.  ICBMs, for example, don't just sit in their silos.  They are continuously maintained and tested.  "Ready to go" satellites would probably have to be maintained in a similar manner.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #41 on: 12/12/2006 03:27 PM »
http://www.wff.nasa.gov/tacsat2

"LAUNCH UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. 12/12/06:
The TacSat-2/Minotaur 1 launch set for Monday, Dec. 11, has been delayed with Friday, Dec. 15 as the earliest possible launch date. Analysis and testing continue on the TacSat-2 flight software and the ground-based simulator at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The launch window now extends to Dec. 22. Launch time remains 7 to 10 a.m. each day. As information becomes available, updates will be provided on this web site and on the launch status line at 757-824-2050."

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Radioheaded

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #42 on: 12/13/2006 09:25 PM »
Any news on this?  Info line stills say NET Friday, (I'm still hoping for NET Saturday  ;)  )  Chris, any info from your sources? (OT but I just want to say to the sources that there is no way to thank them enough for all the info  :)   :)   :)  )
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline rocketman007

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #43 on: 12/13/2006 10:11 PM »
well from my insider information here is what i know... the scrub was due to 2 software problems found at the 11th hour as the launch team continued to test scenerios on the TacSat-2 test bed at AFRL.  horray for whoever had the balls to scrub launch.. always better to fix those prior to launch than once on orbit.  the ADCS problem which would have had the SAs pointed 45 degress off sun has now been solved (2 lines of code), tested, and loaded onto the SC today in Wallops.  the other problem they have made good progress with the last few days and are converging on a solution.  there are still 2 scenerios... (1) the problem is found to be a ground configuration only and not a possible on orbit scenerio (this is what they are looking like it is).  if this is the case, they are looking for a 12/16 launch.  (2) the problem is a SC configuration and needs a flight software update which will require a destack from the LV and would slip launch until January sometime.  a decision will most likely be made by tomorrow i would imagine.

also, i agree with SpacemanSpiff... MSI looks like they have a great new solar array solution for future missions and TacSat-2 has an experimental solar array on it that will provide actual power to the bus, so it should be interesting to keep an eye on.  lighter, smaller, cheaper is a nice thing in this industry along with the ever important flight heritage.

on the other hand, edkyle... the imager orientation did change but that was early on in the program.. not an impact.  TacSat-2 was built rapidly but not quickly... care was taken and it will work... there was some GFE used on the program to reduce cost but they were not dusty old crap just sitting around... it was flight worthy and the Air Force deemed was a good alternative to save money and cost.  As a tax payer, we should appreciate that for sure.

an interesting program and set of experiments to keep an eye on for sure.  if there are more questions, i will do my best to get answers for you all.

Offline Radioheaded

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #44 on: 12/13/2006 10:50 PM »
Thanks Rocketman.... I hope your right about 12/16.  And although i was extraordinarily preturbed about the 12/11 (only because I had driven 2 1/2 hrs, only to turn around and head back to Richmond  :(  ) But I too am glad that someone caught this pre launch.... I think the entire concept  of tacsat is a good idea.  Seems to me (albeit I know absolutely nothing about anything  ;)  ) that It was actually a well thought out idea.  Relatively low cost, mininal amount of man hours, and yet give our boys on the ground over there a real time (or close to it) look @ hostile targets.  I'm pulling for this one on many levels  :)
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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #45 on: 12/13/2006 10:58 PM »
no worries radioman... just got latest info that 12/16 is looking greener, but they are not ready to make that call quite yet.  a few more test configurations to check and validate.  yes, i agree too, the tacsat programs are a very good resource for real time data to the troops and certainly the concept of responsive space is a good one... i do however think that there are many hurdles to get a spacecraft up and in theatre in 7 days.  i belive that tacsat-2 was about 15-18 months, which is still incredibly fast.

Offline Jim

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #46 on: 12/13/2006 11:07 PM »
Quote
rocketman007 - 13/12/2006  6:41 PM
  yes, i agree too, the tacsat programs are a very good resource for real time data to the troops and certainly the concept of responsive space is a good one...t.

not really, orbital mechanics prevent reconsats from being "tactical" or "realtime".  They can only make a few passes each day and not at the times the troops need it


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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #47 on: 12/13/2006 11:10 PM »
Jim.. that is certainly one view.  I guess that is what UAVs are for huh.  LEO birds get about 15 passes a day is all, so they have to be prepared to wait 90 minutes for data.  and certainly it all depends on ground station locations.  however, tacsat-2 does have the capability to image and then downlink that image all in the same 10-15 minute contact.  therefore, it is possible to get semi real time data to the people who need it.

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #48 on: 12/13/2006 11:23 PM »
Quote
rocketman007 - 13/12/2006  6:53 PM

Jim.. that is certainly one view.  I guess that is what UAVs are for huh.  LEO birds get about 15 passes a day is all, so they have to be prepared to wait 90 minutes for data.  and certainly it all depends on ground station locations.  however, tacsat-2 does have the capability to image and then downlink that image all in the same 10-15 minute contact.  therefore, it is possible to get semi real time data to the people who need it.

15 passes?  Only in a low inclination orbit which is useless since most of the targets are at higher latitudes.  Polar orbits are 2 a day.

Tactical reconsat is a farce, physically impossible

Getting data to the troops can be solved.  A system like DMSP uses might work.  Getting a satellite over the objective at the time the troops want it is a different thing.




Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #49 on: 12/13/2006 11:56 PM »
Quote
Jim - 13/12/2006  6:06 PM

Tactical reconsat is a farce, physically impossible


Not if you can make them cheap enough and launch enough of them...

If one passed overhead every 15 minutes, you would need 48 birds...
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Offline Jim

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #50 on: 12/14/2006 12:02 AM »
Quote
kevin-rf - 13/12/2006  7:39 PM

Quote
Jim - 13/12/2006  6:06 PM

Tactical reconsat is a farce, physically impossible


Not if you can make them cheap enough and launch enough of them...

If one passed overhead every 15 minutes, you would need 48 birds...

You would need 100's more.  

Which means it isn't a "tactical" satellite.  It would be a strategic system with tactical use

Should have said a responsively launched Tactical  reconsat is a farce

Good article:  The Myth of the Tactical Satellite

http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj06/sum06/tomme.html

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #51 on: 12/14/2006 02:49 AM »
http://www.wff.nasa.gov/tacsat2

"LAUNCH UPDATE: 3:55 p.m. 12/13/06:
The Minotaur 1 launch set for Monday, Dec. 11 from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, has been delayed with Saturday, Dec. 16, as the earliest possible launch date. Analysis and testing continue on the TacSat-2 satellite systems by researchers with the Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The launch window now extends to Dec. 22. The daily launch window is 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. As information becomes available, updates will be provided on this web site and on the Wallops launch status line at 757-824-2050."

Thursday sounds like decision day - either Dec 16 or punt to January for TacSat-2.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline yinzer

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #52 on: 12/14/2006 04:29 AM »
Responsively launched tactical reconsats do seem rather unlikely.  However, I'll just point out that Iridium put something like 100 satellites in orbit for something like 25% of the money that was been spent on the FIA before the entire program was taken away from Boeing and given to Lockheed to start over on.  It's not an inherently silly notion.
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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #53 on: 12/14/2006 05:34 AM »
Jim.. tacsat-2 is getting 15 orbits a day (93 minutes per) with approximately 10-13 contacts per day depending on the ground station availability.  i'd have to check on the inclination exactly... but i believe it is 40 degrees.

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #54 on: 12/14/2006 11:09 AM »
It is not going to pass over the same point on earth 15 times a day.  That is basic orbital mechanics.  As for ground stationS, it will need to have more than a few to get the 10-13 contacts a day.

Here is a orbital trace for 51.6 degrees at 180 nmi .  The sites in the mid latitudes only get 2 over passes a day

Offline Jim

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Re: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #55 on: 12/14/2006 11:10 AM »
Quote
yinzer - 14/12/2006  12:12 AM

Responsively launched tactical reconsats do seem rather unlikely.  However, I'll just point out that Iridium put something like 100 satellites in orbit for something like 25% of the money that was been spent on the FIA before the entire program was taken away from Boeing and given to Lockheed to start over on.  It's not an inherently silly notion.

FIA was not that type of constellation

Offline Radioheaded

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #56 on: 12/15/2006 03:18 PM »
LAUNCH UPDATE: 10:20 p.m. 12/14/06:
The Air Force TacSat-2/Minotaur 1 launch has been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16. The launch window is 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The TacSat-2 micro satellite?s software issues have been resolved and it has been cleared for launch.

Invited Guests: The badging center (at the NASA Visitor Center) will be open on Friday, December 15, from noon to 4 p.m., and from 3-5 a.m. on Saturday, December 16. Guests need to report to the NASA Project Support Building no later than 5:30 a.m. on Saturday. Do not forget your guest badge.

Media: The L-1 press conference will be held at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center at noon, Friday, December 15. Media badging center (also at the Visitor Center) will be open from noon-4 p.m. on Friday, December 15, and from 3-5 a.m. on Saturday, December 16. Media must be at the Visitor Center no later than 5 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, to meet the bus. Do not forget your media badge.


 :)   :)   :)  I'll try to get some pics to post, although I won't make any promises, because my photography skills are mediocre at best.
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Offline edkyle99

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RE: Another Wallops Island Minotaur
« Reply #57 on: 12/16/2006 12:46 AM »
A feed, showing the launch pad, is already flowing on the webcast.

http://www.wff.nasa.gov/webcast/

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #58 on: 12/16/2006 10:34 AM »
Moved for live coverage.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #59 on: 12/16/2006 10:35 AM »
T-45 mins.

Offline rfoshaug

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #60 on: 12/16/2006 10:51 AM »
T-30 mins. Horizon is getting brighter.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #61 on: 12/16/2006 10:55 AM »

Offline rfoshaug

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #62 on: 12/16/2006 10:57 AM »
That is not a very big rocket. ;)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #63 on: 12/16/2006 11:02 AM »

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #64 on: 12/16/2006 11:03 AM »
T-15 mins. No hold anticipated.

Offline rfoshaug

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #65 on: 12/16/2006 11:05 AM »
T-15 minutes. That's a nice color view of the launchpad at dawn. :)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #66 on: 12/16/2006 11:06 AM »
Now that's what I call a sunrise.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #67 on: 12/16/2006 11:06 AM »
Status checks to come at T-11 mins.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #68 on: 12/16/2006 11:08 AM »
"We're all green here." - as the flight director goes through his primary teams.

Offline Captain Scarlet

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #69 on: 12/16/2006 11:09 AM »
This isn't bad for Wallops tourism. Great view.

Offline dutch courage

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #70 on: 12/16/2006 11:10 AM »
Quote
rfoshaug - 16/12/2006  12:40 PM

That is not a very big rocket. ;)
That launch pad seems so tall and narrow. You think a gust of wind might blow it of the pad. :)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #71 on: 12/16/2006 11:11 AM »
Polls being taken.

All go for launch.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #72 on: 12/16/2006 11:12 AM »
Somone's flow into the range!

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #73 on: 12/16/2006 11:13 AM »
He's changing course north. "Yeah, good thing" - RSO heh.

"Well tell him to hurry up!"

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #74 on: 12/16/2006 11:14 AM »
T-6 mins.

Offline dutch courage

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #75 on: 12/16/2006 11:14 AM »
They are not happy with that NASA plane. The pilot may get a reprimande.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #76 on: 12/16/2006 11:15 AM »
Quote
dutch courage - 16/12/2006  11:57 AM

They are not happy with that NASA plane. The pilot may get a reprimande.

He didn't even have his squark ident right, I don't think they noticed he was a NASA plane at first until he changed his squark.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #77 on: 12/16/2006 11:16 AM »
RSO switching to green for now. Still a potential range conflict.

Offline rfoshaug

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #78 on: 12/16/2006 11:17 AM »
With accelerations of up to 7-9 G's, things are going to happen quite rapidly. Stages 1, 2 and 3 will all be used up in less than 4 minutes.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #79 on: 12/16/2006 11:17 AM »
RSO: "Range clear - all aircraft are clear at this time" - he must have put his foot down :)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #80 on: 12/16/2006 11:19 AM »
T-60 seconds.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #81 on: 12/16/2006 11:21 AM »
LAUNCH!!

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #82 on: 12/16/2006 11:21 AM »

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #83 on: 12/16/2006 11:23 AM »
Seps and Faring sep.

Offline rfoshaug

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #84 on: 12/16/2006 11:24 AM »
That was fast!

Offline dutch courage

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #85 on: 12/16/2006 11:25 AM »
Altitude anybody? Looks they are in space.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #86 on: 12/16/2006 11:26 AM »
Quote
dutch courage - 16/12/2006  12:08 PM

Altitude anybody? Looks the are in space.

They aren't really calling out anything that gives indictations.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #87 on: 12/16/2006 11:27 AM »
"It looks like a good launch"

Offline TJL

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #88 on: 12/16/2006 11:28 AM »
Saw the contrail of launch from Long Island!

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #89 on: 12/16/2006 11:29 AM »

Offline jwkatz

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #90 on: 12/16/2006 11:29 AM »
That was amazing!  I am more than a couple of hundred miles north and I could see it clearly!

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #91 on: 12/16/2006 11:30 AM »
Having issues with tracking.

LOS. But they still have Antigua.

Offline rfoshaug

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #92 on: 12/16/2006 11:31 AM »
Quote
dutch courage - 16/12/2006  1:08 PM

Altitude anybody? Looks they are in space.

According to this:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Minotaur_Guide.pdf

on page 8 (page 18 according to Acrobat Reader), it should have about 800,000 feet altitude at stage 3 burnout. That's something like 250 km altitude after 203 seconds!

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #93 on: 12/16/2006 11:31 AM »
Some concerns over LOS it would seem.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #94 on: 12/16/2006 11:32 AM »
They do still have tracking from one station though.

Offline dutch courage

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #95 on: 12/16/2006 11:32 AM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 16/12/2006  1:13 PM

Having issues with tracking.

LOS. But they still have Antigua.

Doesn't the trajectory of the rocket determines which ground station is available?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #96 on: 12/16/2006 11:33 AM »
LOS from all stations!

Offline dutch courage

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #97 on: 12/16/2006 11:34 AM »
Ground teams report no fires on the pad.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #98 on: 12/16/2006 11:34 AM »
Everyone's shaking hands though.

Offline uko

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #99 on: 12/16/2006 11:37 AM »
Really strange.. did smth happen to the vehicle or why the LOS?
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is !

Offline hektor

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #100 on: 12/16/2006 11:37 AM »
I am confused, the timeline said:
T+11:00.2 TacSat 2 Separation
T+20:58.2 GeneSat 1 Separation

And nobody seems to care much

Offline sawtooth

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #101 on: 12/16/2006 11:38 AM »
Posted by RCC on 2006-12-16 at 07:15:51 EST
The Minotaur rocket was successfully launched at 7 a.m. today. The TacSat-2 spacecraft has been deployed.

(From the wff webpage)

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #102 on: 12/16/2006 11:38 AM »
They're asking for all console operators for a conference, and to bring all the data they had.

Offline hektor

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #103 on: 12/16/2006 11:39 AM »
If this is true, TacSat is not lucky

Offline uko

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #104 on: 12/16/2006 11:40 AM »
Whoooaa.. that's what conflicting reports is all about :)
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is !

Offline sawtooth

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #105 on: 12/16/2006 11:41 AM »
It did seem they were a bit confused about some things.  One call was "The transponder should be on stage 4" or something...so who knows?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #106 on: 12/16/2006 11:41 AM »
Quote
sawtooth - 16/12/2006  12:21 PM

Posted by RCC on 2006-12-16 at 07:15:51 EST
The Minotaur rocket was successfully launched at 7 a.m. today. The TacSat-2 spacecraft has been deployed.

(From the wff webpage)

Well that's good. They sure haven't said anything over the webcast.

Offline hektor

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #107 on: 12/16/2006 11:43 AM »
So what about Genesat-1 ?

Offline hektor

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #108 on: 12/16/2006 11:45 AM »
What surprises me is that they acted as if everything was over before the actual separation time of the payload. Maybe everything is automated and the launcher manages alone ?

Offline dutch courage

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #109 on: 12/16/2006 11:45 AM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 16/12/2006  1:24 PM

Well that's good. They sure haven't said anything over the webcast.

The could do with a little more info. They didn't even call the stage seperations.

Offline sawtooth

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #110 on: 12/16/2006 11:45 AM »
Web feed just ended.  They still seemed to be shaking hands.  Quite confusing for anyone watching trying to follow things. :)

Offline hektor

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #111 on: 12/16/2006 11:46 AM »
webcast over

Offline uko

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #112 on: 12/16/2006 11:47 AM »
Was this the worst launch commentary ever or what? :)
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is !

Offline dutch courage

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #113 on: 12/16/2006 11:49 AM »
Quote
uko - 16/12/2006  1:30 PM

Was this the worst launch commentary ever or what? :)
Which launch commentary? ;)

Offline shuttlepilot

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #114 on: 12/16/2006 11:50 AM »
I didn't hear any launch commentary on that webcast ;)

Offline Captain Scarlet

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #115 on: 12/16/2006 11:50 AM »
Quote
uko - 16/12/2006  6:30 AM

Was this the worst launch commentary ever or what? :)

Yeah, that was so weird.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #116 on: 12/16/2006 11:52 AM »
This was just a basic feed with no commentary.  It seemed to be devoted to the launch team only, with nothing from the payload side.  I'm not going to complain about the lack of a slick commentator.  It let us hear the launch loop without interruption!

Congrats to Orbital Sciences, Wallops, and MARS on the first successful ground-based orbital space launch from Wallops Island in two decades!

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #117 on: 12/16/2006 11:54 AM »
Yeah, we only got to listen in on their control centre (as strange as that turned out).

Launch video: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5741

Offline hektor

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #118 on: 12/16/2006 11:55 AM »
So we can assume that TacSat-2, and Genesat-1 are safely in orbit ?

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #119 on: 12/16/2006 11:55 AM »
Quote
hektor - 16/12/2006  12:38 PM

So we can assume that TacSat-2, and Genesat-1 are safely in orbit ?

Until told otherwise, yes.

Offline uko

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #120 on: 12/16/2006 11:56 AM »
At least they called out the most important "3..2..1.. LAUNCH!" :)
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is !

Offline apollolanding

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #121 on: 12/17/2006 12:36 PM »
I can't believe I missed the launch.  I had last minute family obligations that totally screwed things up.  Oh well, thanks for recording the webcast Chris.  Hopefully this will be the first (in years) of many orbital launches out of Wallops.
Proud Member of NSF Since 2006-04-10.

Offline Radioheaded

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #122 on: 12/17/2006 03:20 PM »
Here are a few pics form the launch. Sorry they aren't of the greatest quality, but you get the idea.  BTW it was an absolutely gorgeous day for a launch (If not a bit "brisk")
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline edkyle99

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #123 on: 12/17/2006 10:07 PM »
Nice snaps!  I especially like that third shot.  

Predawn launches paint their own rainbows.  Sights like these you don't see every day!

- Ed Kyle

Offline jacqmans

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #124 on: 12/18/2006 05:06 PM »
Contact: Barron Beneski, (703) 406-5000, [email protected]  
 
Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur Rocket Carrying U.S. Air Force's TacSat-2 Satellite

Launch Conducted From Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility Continues Minotaur Program's 100% Mission Success Record
NASA's GeneSat-1 Microsatellite Also Deployed During Mission
 
(Dulles, VA 18 December 2006) - Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) today announced that it successfully launched the TACSAT-2 satellite for the U.S. Air Force aboard a Minotaur I space launch vehicle. The Minotaur launch was carried out by Orbital for the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Space Development and Test Wing (SDTW) located at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico. The mission originated on Saturday, December 16 at approximately 7:00 a.m. (EST) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), a private facility located at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility.

Approximately 11 minutes following lift-off, the Minotaur rocket accurately placed the TACSAT-2 spacecraft into a low-altitude orbit above the Earth. In addition to the Air Force's TACSAT-2 spacecraft, the Minotuar rocket also deployed a very small "microsatellite" for NASA's Ames Research Center known as GeneSat-1.

"The Air Force/Orbital Minotaur launch team did another fantastic job on this mission," said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital's Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. "We were challenged to conduct the mission on a very short schedule to demonstrate the Minotaur's quick turnaround, responsive launch capabilities. I am very proud of how our Minotaur program came through for our customer, the Space and Missile Systems Center, which is leading the charge to develop and demonstrate Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) missions for the U.S. military. We carried out the Minotaur/TACSAT-2 mission in just seven months from the start of the contract to the completion of today's mission."

Minotaur I launches have now put a total of 24 satellites into orbit. The TACSAT-2 mission was the 11th consecutive successful launch of the Minotaur family of space and suborbital launch vehicles since the program's first flight in January 2000. Over the next three years, another eight Minotaur rockets are under contract to carry out important U.S. government missions in future years.

The TACSAT-2 mission is a trailblazing demonstration of ORS satellite and launch vehicle technologies. The mission began with contract award and kick-off in late May 2006 and the Minotaur vehicle was ready for launch just 200 days later. Achieving this responsive capability required a dramatic compression of the normal mission integration, range interface and field processing schedules. The final operational schedule, from the beginning of spacecraft integration with the launch vehicle to readiness for launch, was independently monitored and timed. The Minotaur program demonstrated its ability to launch with a "call up" time of less than one week, fully accomplishing the ORS goal for rapid spacecraft launch. The lessons learned from these efforts to dramatically reduce the schedules will be applied in ways that will further compress the response time of Minotaur vehicles in support of ORS.

Orbital's Minotaur vehicles are the only proven launch vehicles currently capable of supporting the Department of Defense's evolving ORS launch requirements. They are specifically designed to be capable of launching from all U.S. spaceports, including government and commercial launch sites in Alaska, California, Florida and Virginia. Due to the minimal amount of specialized infrastructure that is required to support Minotaur launches, they can also be deployed at other U.S. launch sites.

The TACSAT-2 mission also featured several "firsts" for the Minotaur program. Saturday's launch was the first Minotaur flight to be conducted from MARS at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. The previous five Minotaur I space launches had been conducted from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The rocket also debuted a new 61-inch payload fairing, the protective cover that encases the satellite as it flies through the atmosphere. The wider fairing will accommodate a larger satellite than the previous 50-inch diameter fairing.

About the TACSAT-2 and GeneSat Spacecraft

The TACSAT-2 satellite is part of a series of experimental spacecraft designed to demonstrate new technologies and capabilities for providing responsive space-based support of military operations. The TACSAT-2 spacecraft has multiple experiments onboard, although the primary experiment is a medium resolution imager that will demonstrate the ability to be autonomously tasked and rapidly provide data to troops on the ground. The TACSAT series of satellites, plus the quick-reaction Minotaur I launches, are key parts of the U.S. government's effort to develop Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) systems. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), in partnership with SDTW, both at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico is leading both the TACSAT-2 and -3 joint development teams in partnerships that include space organizations from the Air Force, Navy and Army.

The GeneSat-1 picosatellite is an astrobiology experiment to monitor space environment effects on bacteria. The approximately four inch square by one foot long, 10-pound spacecraft was designed and built by NASA Ames Research Center with participation by students at Santa Clara University.


Note to Editors: Photos of the Minotaur rocket are available at: http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Images/index.html  

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #125 on: 12/18/2006 06:02 PM »
We're hearing there's a problem with TacSat-2 :(

Nothing more than that at this time.

Offline edkyle99

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #126 on: 12/18/2006 06:23 PM »
Orbital Sciences has a series of new pre-launch images of the Wallops Island Minotaur at:

http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Images/SpaceLaunch/minotaur.html

 - Ed Kyle

Offline SpacemanSpiff

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #127 on: 12/26/2006 06:53 PM »
I've heard through a friend at Orbital Sciences that the TacSat-2 is operating properly on-orbit.
Although it was said that there may have been a high tip-off rate to be solved. Apparently they used a somewhat unproven separation mechanism.
Any other information out there?

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #128 on: 12/27/2006 04:09 AM »
Maybe the initial "problem" info was related to that, or false.

Main thing is it's working, so all is well :)

Offline Radioheaded

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RE: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #129 on: 12/27/2006 11:13 AM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 26/12/2006  11:52 PM

Maybe the initial "problem" info was related to that, or false.

Main thing is it's working, so all is well :)


Glad to hear that  :) .  Hopefully this is the beginning of quite a few missions to launch @ Wallops.  (I've heard at least 2 more tentatively scheduled for 2007) :)
I know only enough to know that I don't know....

Offline SpacemanSpiff

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Re: LIVE: Wallops Island Minotaur - TacSat 2 - Dec 16
« Reply #130 on: 01/02/2007 02:46 PM »

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