Author Topic: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth  (Read 11906 times)

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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The caveat being that this new option is only available to LVs with an automated flight termination system:

Quote
The Air Force has opened a “polar corridor” that would allow certain rockets to launch spacecraft from Cape Canaveral into north-south orbits circling the poles, a development that could bring more launches to Florida.


http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/31/southbound-cape-rockets-may-fly-new-path-toward-poles/975027001/
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Offline rpapo

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The caveat being that this new option is only available to LVs with an automated flight termination system:

Quote
The Air Force has opened a “polar corridor” that would allow certain rockets to launch spacecraft from Cape Canaveral into north-south orbits circling the poles, a development that could bring more launches to Florida.


http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/31/southbound-cape-rockets-may-fly-new-path-toward-poles/975027001/
Is this slightly east of due south?  Even heading south-east with a gradual turn to the right, I find it hard to imagine a due south trajectory from the Cape without crossing any land.  Worse yet for the sun-synchronous orbits, which, IIRC, require a slightly south-west trajectory.
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Offline nacnud

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Flying sout south east from the Cape the first land crossed is cuba after 800 km. If the falcon 9 is flown expendably then the first stage would impact the ocean at about 800km down range. However a non boost back ASDS landing flies a slightly lofted trajectory and lands around 600 to 700 km down range, so even if the entry and landing burns fail the stage should end up safely in the ocean.

Iridium and RTLS fly even more lofted trajectories so should be fine.

For true polar orbits the vehicle must launch SSE and then dogleg after 200km just off Palm Beach. Cuba then arrives after 630 km or so. If the second stage performs the dogleg then all the above described trajectories are possible as the first stage would still land in the ocean before getting to Cuba.

So the big question is what are the flight rules for a second stage, with automatic termination, over flying land?

Sources: Google maps buried ruler and the Reddit Falcon 9 stage 1 landing analysis

« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 11:05 AM by nacnud »

Offline Comga

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Would the dogleg, the first change of direction, be after staging for Falcon?
ASDS landings would occur not far off Ft Lauderdale. Would be a good show for many.
Launching into morning Sun-synch orbits could occur near sunset and occasionally produce great displays like the last Iridium launch off LA.
However, this has the ring of a turf war between CCAFS and VAFB. Any advantages seem marginal.  The Air Force is unlikely to close Vandenberg.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online AncientU

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This is going to make the Cape/Eastern Range even more over-taxed.  OneWeb/NG plus Starlink/SpaceX could blow away range availability without a single USG flight -- obviously won't happen, but over subscription could break the current model.

Seems that similar route with respect to logic/over land clearance is available from Boca Chica, too, especially with a reusable rocket.  500-600 mile downrange is also available in some sparsely populated interior areas of the Western US.
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Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Offline leetdan

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Quote
Beyond satellite launches, the corridor could open opportunities to rendezvous with the International Space Station as it flew to the north or south.

???

No citation given, does this mean anything besides "the writer/editor misunderstands orbital mechanics"?

Online AncientU

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This is going to make the Cape/Eastern Range even more over-taxed.

CCAFFS is working to support 48 launches a year by 2023:

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/01/us-air-force-budget-uncertainty-threatens-cape-canaveral-florida-rocket-launch-rate-nasa-spacex-ula/902868001/

Which is about what SpaceX is planning to fly... in 2019-2020.
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Offline philw1776

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Would the dogleg, the first change of direction, be after staging for Falcon?
ASDS landings would occur not far off Ft Lauderdale. Would be a good show for many.
Launching into morning Sun-synch orbits could occur near sunset and occasionally produce great displays like the last Iridium launch off LA.
However, this has the ring of a turf war between CCAFS and VAFB. Any advantages seem marginal.  The Air Force is unlikely to close Vandenberg.

Dogleg way before staging.
Agree that brother-in'law's penthouse in Melbourne will get some great views as F9s,etc.  boogie south along the coast.

Not a turf war.  CA local and state are hostile to launch cadence.

I definitely see this as opening up polar for Boca Chica.
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Offline Oberon_Command

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I wonder if this might be motivated by Blue Origin, not SpaceX. Does Blue have an VAFB plans currently? How far downrange is New Glenn supposed to land?

Offline cwr

I wonder if this might be motivated by Blue Origin, not SpaceX. Does Blue have an VAFB plans currently? How far downrange is New Glenn supposed to land?

As stated in the Florida Today article that started this thread
"The Eastern Range began analyzing options for polar launches as a wild fire raged near Vandenberg in September 2016. The fire damaged power and communications lines and delayed a commercial mission by two months."

Why do people need to dream up ideas without reading the source material?

Carl

Offline Comga

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #11 on: 01/01/2018 06:55 PM »
I wonder if this might be motivated by Blue Origin, not SpaceX. Does Blue have an VAFB plans currently? How far downrange is New Glenn supposed to land?

As stated in the Florida Today article that started this thread
"The Eastern Range began analyzing options for polar launches as a wild fire raged near Vandenberg in September 2016. The fire damaged power and communications lines and delayed a commercial mission by two months."

Why do people need to dream up ideas without reading the source material?

Carl

People have read the article. We just have a cautious attitude towards public announcements.
All sorts of actions are couched in “motherhood” statements. Some are genuine. Some are disingenuous. Some are a bit of both.
Florida promotes launches and the industries involved. CA pushes back on launches.
CCAFS says “We can take over launches if you have a fire.”
Which is it?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Oberon_Command

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #12 on: 01/01/2018 07:01 PM »
I wonder if this might be motivated by Blue Origin, not SpaceX. Does Blue have an VAFB plans currently? How far downrange is New Glenn supposed to land?

As stated in the Florida Today article that started this thread
"The Eastern Range began analyzing options for polar launches as a wild fire raged near Vandenberg in September 2016. The fire damaged power and communications lines and delayed a commercial mission by two months."

Why do people need to dream up ideas without reading the source material?

Carl

This quote from the article was what got me thinking:
Quote
Both the military and commercial launchers could save money by no longer having to maintain and staff infrastructure sites on both coasts.

SpaceX and ULA both already have active pads at VAFB; Blue is planning to manufacture their rockets on-site and would need some sort of transportation plan to get New Glenns from Florida to California, would they not? So it seems to me being able to support polar launches from CCAFS would help Blue more than it would help SpaceX/ULA, because then Blue doesn't have to expend money to set up that VAFB pad and infrastructure for New Glenn if they want to compete for polar launches.

Furthermore, again, quoting from the article:
Quote
Blue Origin, which has a contract to launch OneWeb satellites into polar orbits in the 2020s, does not yet have a Vandenberg launch site and says those missions could launch from the Cape.
...
Brian Holz, CEO of OneWeb Satellites, which next year will start building satellites at KSC, said a polar launch option from Florida would benefit rocket and satellite providers.

“From a OneWeb Satellites perspective, having the satellite manufacturing located next door to a launch facility that has such flexibility would be a huge benefit,” he said.

Even if the original motivation for the studying the option was the wildfires, I think it unlikely that the Air Force would not at the very least have both existing and future launch providers in mind when doing these studies. And surely Blue, being in communication with the AF over launch site selection, might have mentioned at some point that it would be real nice if they could fly out of the cape to polar orbit, given that they're contracted to launch OneWeb sats...
« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 07:09 PM by Oberon_Command »

Online AncientU

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #13 on: 01/01/2018 07:41 PM »
Would also help SpaceX avoid having to build FH and Vertical integration facilities on both coasts.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #14 on: 01/02/2018 03:54 AM »
That said, NASA apparently last used this corridor in 1965-66 to orbit TIROS satellites using Thor-Delta rockets.

More information here. TIROS 9 and 10 flew on Delta-C on 22 January 1965 and 2 July 1965, respectively. ESSA 1 also flew on Delta-C on 3 February 1966.

http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/thorflew.html

"Remarkably, Delta boosted the TIROS 9 and 10 and ESSA 1 weathersats into near sun synchronous orbits - from Cape Canaveral, Florida! The flight paths doglegged south, crossing Cuba and Panama before the third stage fired over the equator just northwest of South America to complete the insertion. (Delta would not fly from Vandenberg AFB until 1966.)"
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 03:56 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline woods170

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #15 on: 01/02/2018 07:31 AM »
Personally, I don't see this happening.  Flying over Cuba, with an IIP passing over the island during the thrusting phase, given the history of past flights on this corridor, presents too many opportunities for trouble.  If you think California is "hostile" to VAFB launches, what do you think Cuba is going to say?  Not to mention the more crowded sea lanes beneath such a launch track.  Liability would be an issue for a commercial contractor, etc.  That said, NASA apparently last used this corridor in 1965-66 to orbit TIROS satellites using Thor-Delta rockets.

 - Ed Kyle

Using NASA as a yardstick isn't always the way-to-go when dealing with USAF decisions.
Plus: did you bother to actually read the article?

Quote from: James Dean
“They crunched numbers for about eight months, and I am confident we can go south,” said Monteith (Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing)

Monteith did not detail the precise trajectory, but said it involved “a little jog shortly off the pad” to turn south once offshore, “and then we’d skirt Miami.”

The rocket’s first stage would drop safely before reaching Cuba, he said. The second stage would be so high up by the time it flew over the island that no special permissions would be required.

Also: why do you think this is only being considered for vehicles with autonomous flight termination systems?

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #16 on: 01/02/2018 09:40 AM »
If you think California is "hostile" to VAFB launches, what do you think Cuba is going to say?

The difference is that California has the power to do something about it but Cuba doesn't.

Offline Jarnis

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #17 on: 01/02/2018 10:16 AM »
Also: why do you think this is only being considered for vehicles with autonomous flight termination systems?

I thought that's because range isn't set up to track a southbound rocket to do Old School ground-controlled FTS and adding support to that would be Expensive and kinda silly now that AFTS is the state of the art.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #18 on: 01/02/2018 11:52 AM »
Also: why do you think this is only being considered for vehicles with autonomous flight termination systems?

I thought that's because range isn't set up to track a southbound rocket to do Old School ground-controlled FTS and adding support to that would be Expensive and kinda silly now that AFTS is the state of the art.

It's not the tracking that's the issue, it's the transmitter to send the signal to terminate the rocket.

Offline woods170

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #19 on: 01/02/2018 12:30 PM »
Also: why do you think this is only being considered for vehicles with autonomous flight termination systems?

I thought that's because range isn't set up to track a southbound rocket to do Old School ground-controlled FTS and adding support to that would be Expensive and kinda silly now that AFTS is the state of the art.

Ground-based FTS is a set of personnel monitoring vehicle health by means of telemetry. Only when those folks have clear indications from telemetry that the vehicle is "going south" (pun intended) will they "hit the self-destruct button". But, in most vehicle anomalies this means the vehicle has already begun to disintegrate all by itself before it actually receives the FTS signal.

One of the quoted advantages of AFTS is that it reacts to vehicle anomalies orders of magnitude faster than ground-based FTS.

So, the clear advantage of AFTS is that it is much more likely the vehicle will end up in lotsa small pieces upon hitting an anomaly whereas in the case of ground-based FTS it is much more likely that large pieces of the vehicle will reach the surface intact.
And that is a particularly important aspect when one considers overflying land, such as overflying Cuba on a south-bound trajectory.

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