Author Topic: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth  (Read 14295 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?

Offline 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"?

Offline 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 »

Offline 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.

Offline rpapo

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #20 on: 01/02/2018 02:30 PM »
Yes, I read the article.  It says that the second stage will be "high" by the time it passes over Cuba.  What it does not say is that it will only be "high" if everything works properly during the thrusting phase.  If something goes wrong, there will be a small probability that the second stage could crash onto Cuba.  The stage is still suborbital when the IIP passes over Cuba.
Which is what AFTS is all about.
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #21 on: 01/02/2018 04:49 PM »
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

To make sure I understand the article, it says that the southern launch corridor is "open."  It then says that Gen. Monteith is "confident" that they can launch in this direction.  It doesn't sound like they can offer this corridor yet, but what would they need to do to certify(?) this option?  Since the AF has done the calculations and the commander of the 45th Space Wing doesn't see any issues, seems pretty likely that they should be able to offer this to customers.

Offline woods170

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #22 on: 01/02/2018 05:01 PM »
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.
Yes, I read the article.  It says that the second stage will be "high" by the time it passes over Cuba.  What it does not say is that it will only be "high" if everything works properly during the thrusting phase.  If something goes wrong, there will be a small probability that the second stage could crash onto Cuba.  The stage is still suborbital when the IIP passes over Cuba.

 - Ed Kyle


And that is where AFTS comes in. All stages of a launcher must be equipped with it.

Offline deruch

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #23 on: 01/02/2018 08:12 PM »
I'm kind of surprised that James didn't contact the FAA for a comment.  For NSS launches, their input isn't involved.  But the discussion of potential benefits for commercial uses, most specifically by Blue Origin (potentially avoiding a VAFB pad), means that FAA approval of the launch path is also going to be necessary.  I think they use the same Ec numbers as the range as far as acceptiblilty is concerned, but I'm not sure whether they calculate them the same way.  Would have been nice to hear if they had seen the results of the USAF study and were preparing to consider future use.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 08:16 PM by deruch »
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Online Lars-J

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #24 on: 01/02/2018 09:07 PM »
I'm very skeptical of this... Here is a quick image showing the path. (from another thread) Note that it basically already overflies Bimini islands and edges Bahamas proper, not to mention all the disruption to shipping lanes and air traffic out of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area while also skimming the Florida coastline. There is a *LOT* of stuff to dodge.

It seems exceedingly optimistic. And that's not even getting into the Cuba overflight issues...
« Last Edit: 01/02/2018 09:09 PM by Lars-J »

Online LouScheffer

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #25 on: 01/02/2018 11:21 PM »
I'm very skeptical of this... Here is a quick image showing the path. (from another thread) Note that it basically already overflies Bimini islands and edges Bahamas proper, not to mention all the disruption to shipping lanes and air traffic out of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area while also skimming the Florida coastline. There is a *LOT* of stuff to dodge.

It seems exceedingly optimistic. And that's not even getting into the Cuba overflight issues...
I'm not so skeptical.  Start on the line you drew (155 degrees), then as soon as possible make a right turn and head due south.  On the Atlas launch with TDRS-M, at 40 some miles out it was doing 4700 mph (=2100 m/s in rational units).  Doing a 25 degree turn at that point means the cost is 2100 * (1 - cos(25 degrees)) or about 200 m/s (actually somewhat less, since only the horizontal component needs fixing).   That's certainly not prohibitive.

Now the only island that gets passed over is Cuba, and the rocket is high and fast by then.
« Last Edit: 01/03/2018 12:31 AM by LouScheffer »

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #26 on: 01/03/2018 02:31 PM »
If this option had been available a few years ago, I wonder if we would have seen a west coast SpaceX pad.

So, it sounds like the only launches you won't be able to do from CCAFS are retrograde. With the only reasonable payloads for such an orbit being radar satellites that gain an resolution advantage from the higher ground speed. USA-234 and USA-247 being recent examples.
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #27 on: 01/03/2018 04:30 PM »
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"?

It's one of those newfangled high velocity rendezvous.

Online Lars-J

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #28 on: 01/03/2018 06:59 PM »
I'm very skeptical of this... Here is a quick image showing the path. (from another thread) Note that it basically already overflies Bimini islands and edges Bahamas proper, not to mention all the disruption to shipping lanes and air traffic out of the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area while also skimming the Florida coastline. There is a *LOT* of stuff to dodge.

It seems exceedingly optimistic. And that's not even getting into the Cuba overflight issues...
I'm not so skeptical.  Start on the line you drew (155 degrees), then as soon as possible make a right turn and head due south.  On the Atlas launch with TDRS-M, at 40 some miles out it was doing 4700 mph (=2100 m/s in rational units).  Doing a 25 degree turn at that point means the cost is 2100 * (1 - cos(25 degrees)) or about 200 m/s (actually somewhat less, since only the horizontal component needs fixing).   That's certainly not prohibitive.

Now the only island that gets passed over is Cuba, and the rocket is high and fast by then.

Then you might as well go slightly north instead, and then turn left over South/North Carolina and head north right over the continental US. Use that as a litmus test for whether or not you think it would be safe for Cuba.  Because surely if it is safe for Cuba, it would be safe for us?  :)

Offline deruch

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #29 on: 01/03/2018 07:46 PM »
Now the only island that gets passed over is Cuba, and the rocket is high and fast by then.

Then you might as well go slightly north instead, and then turn left over South/North Carolina and head north right over the continental US. Use that as a litmus test for whether or not you think it would be safe for Cuba.  Because surely if it is safe for Cuba, it would be safe for us?  :)
That totally misses the point.  Cuba is narrow in the North/South direction and, of course, population density isn't uniform.  Additionally, there are paths over the island in that direction, and at relevant longitudes, which significantly limit overflight of densely populous areas for most of the distance.  But the most significant part of Lou's statement was that the rocket is going "fast by then".  Meaning that for a failure to drop debris on Cuba it would have to occur during a narrow time band during the mission.  Certainly, this remains a possibility.  History has shown that.  But, for a northbound trajectory over the continental US, this doesn't apply.  Any failure after the point where the IIP crosses onto land would result in debris falling on either US or Canadian territory.  Plus the overflight would be over many more areas of higher population density in the eastern US.

http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/data/set/grump-v1-population-density/maps?facets=region:north%20america
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Online LouScheffer

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #30 on: 01/03/2018 07:58 PM »
Then you might as well go slightly north instead, and then turn left over South/North Carolina and head north right over the continental US. Use that as a litmus test for whether or not you think it would be safe for Cuba.  Because surely if it is safe for Cuba, it would be safe for us?  :)

Precisely this has been done.  See STS-36, which reached 62 degrees where 57 is the normal maximum.  Take off as north as possible, make a left turn, go over North Carolina, then Cape Cod, then Canada.

Online envy887

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #31 on: 01/03/2018 08:53 PM »
Then you might as well go slightly north instead, and then turn left over South/North Carolina and head north right over the continental US. Use that as a litmus test for whether or not you think it would be safe for Cuba.  Because surely if it is safe for Cuba, it would be safe for us?  :)

Precisely this has been done.  See STS-36, which reached 62 degrees where 57 is the normal maximum.  Take off as north as possible, make a left turn, go over North Carolina, then Cape Cod, then Canada.

62 degrees is a long ways away from sun-sync or polar, neither of which are realistically achievable by launching north. Even if they fly far enough east before the dogleg that the main stage falls in the ocean, there would be several minutes of flight where a failure would drop on populated areas, vs a few seconds at most to the south.

Flying to sun-sunc to the south, the IIP trace crosses only ~70 miles of Cuba and another ~55 miles of Panama, the rest is ocean.

Online LouScheffer

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #32 on: 01/03/2018 09:10 PM »
Then you might as well go slightly north instead, and then turn left over South/North Carolina and head north right over the continental US. Use that as a litmus test for whether or not you think it would be safe for Cuba.  Because surely if it is safe for Cuba, it would be safe for us?  :)
Precisely this has been done.  See STS-36, which reached 62 degrees where 57 is the normal maximum.  Take off as north as possible, make a left turn, go over North Carolina, then Cape Cod, then Canada.
62 degrees is a long ways away from sun-sync or polar, neither of which are realistically achievable by launching north. Even if they fly far enough east before the dogleg that the main stage falls in the ocean, there would be several minutes of flight where a failure would drop on populated areas, vs a few seconds at most to the south.

Flying to sun-sunc to the south, the IIP trace crosses only ~70 miles of Cuba and another ~55 miles of Panama, the rest is ocean.
I was not suggesting to get to sun-sync by flying North, which is indeed much worse by going North than going South.   I was just noting that to get to orbits that are not "natural" for CCAFS, historically it's been OK to fly over at least some land.  Cape Hatteras, Cape Cod, and eastern Canada are not heavily populated, so the impact odds, times the population density,  gives a small enough number of people killed on the average.

Offline mrhuggy

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #33 on: 01/03/2018 09:36 PM »
I would see as this track would be a non starter, however there is another east coast luanch site which would be more sutible for south bound tracks and thats Wallops. However a overflight of Cape Hatteress would be needed but theres only population in small parts of the track.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #34 on: 01/03/2018 10:09 PM »
Isn't this analogous to N Korea overflying Japan? Tokyo has talked about attempting to shoot down overflying rockets.


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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #35 on: 01/04/2018 06:29 AM »
Isn't this analogous to N Korea overflying Japan? Tokyo has talked about attempting to shoot down overflying rockets.


Major difference between rockets carrying non-weapon payloads and rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The former is the subject of this thread. The latter is what North Korea has been doing.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #36 on: 01/04/2018 01:59 PM »
Isn't this analogous to N Korea overflying Japan? Tokyo has talked about attempting to shoot down overflying rockets.

Well, if the next North Carolina budget has funds for a THAAD system, we will know Polar from Wallops is a non-starter ;)
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #37 on: 01/04/2018 02:30 PM »
Missiles being tested don't carry live warheads.

True, well hopefully true. But how do you tell the difference between an unannounced missile test and an attack?

I think that in the case of overflying Cuba then there will be at least some dialogue between the various parties.

Offline Comga

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #38 on: 01/04/2018 04:58 PM »
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.

Here's a possible interpretation of his description of the trajectory including "we'd skirt Miami."
It flies over the center of Cuba and might require briefly shutting down Miami, Ft Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach Airports.
But it would be a great show from the Gold Coast, including Mar a Lago ;) 
Actually flying this would really surprise me.

edit:  That path looks a lot like the one Ed Kyle found, but with an earlier turn.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2018 05:08 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #39 on: 01/04/2018 05:21 PM »
The IIP trace can be "easily" steered to fly over sparsely populated areas of west/central Cuba and western Panama.  The dwell time is not long.  Location of jettisoned items like SRBs, stages, and PLF can also be controlled by lofting and/or timing of dogleg maneuver.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #40 on: 01/04/2018 06:34 PM »
The IIP trace can be "easily" steered to fly over sparsely populated areas of west/central Cuba and western Panama.  The dwell time is not long.  Location of jettisoned items like SRBs, stages, and PLF can also be controlled by lofting and/or timing of dogleg maneuver.

All true, but there is a reason why such an early ascent flyovers over other nations are a thorny issue, and thus generally avoided.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #41 on: 01/04/2018 07:57 PM »
The IIP trace can be "easily" steered to fly over sparsely populated areas of west/central Cuba and western Panama.  The dwell time is not long.  Location of jettisoned items like SRBs, stages, and PLF can also be controlled by lofting and/or timing of dogleg maneuver.

All true, but there is a reason why such an early ascent flyovers over other nations are a thorny issue, and thus generally avoided.
Perhaps current attitude is different, as in ... to intentionally antagonize?

Where this is seen as "encouraged to take advantage of", as an opportunity, rather than to be avoided?

Because things aren't "bad enough" yet? To matter?

"Hmm. Step on it and see if it's really all that bad. Can't blow my foot off anyways ... right?"

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #42 on: 01/04/2018 10:39 PM »
It flies over the center of Cuba and might require briefly shutting down Miami, Ft Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach Airports.

It also overflies a crap ton of shipping going into and out of the Ports of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, plus the Florida Current/Gulf Stream is also right down there.  Lots of shipping uses that for a minor speed advantage.  Dealing with the maritime hazard clearing may be a much, much bigger challenge than the air-lanes.  And maybe even harder than dealing with overflying Cuba.  Relations with them had been a bit warmer with Fidel no longer healthy (now dead) and President Obama in the White House.  Not sure if that's still the case given the new tenant. 
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #43 on: 01/04/2018 10:41 PM »
An article that talks about how FTS enables this new launch route:

Elon Musk's SpaceX has a new advantage: Blowing up its own rocket, automatically — Quartz

Quote
SpaceX, however, pursuing cheaper and more efficient launches, worked with the Air Force to turn over that duty to a GPS-equipped on-board computer, an “Automatic Flight Safety System” that debuted in 2017. ...

No other US rocket has this capability yet, and it could open up new advantages for SpaceX: The US Air Force is considering launches to polar orbits from Cape Canaveral, but the flight path is only viable if the rockets don’t need to be tracked for range-safety reasons. That means SpaceX is the only company that could take advantage of the new corridor to space.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #44 on: 01/04/2018 10:49 PM »
An article that talks about how FTS enables this new launch route:

Elon Musk's SpaceX has a new advantage: Blowing up its own rocket, automatically — Quartz

Quote
SpaceX, however, pursuing cheaper and more efficient launches, worked with the Air Force to turn over that duty to a GPS-equipped on-board computer, an “Automatic Flight Safety System” that debuted in 2017. ...

No other US rocket has this capability yet, and it could open up new advantages for SpaceX: The US Air Force is considering launches to polar orbits from Cape Canaveral, but the flight path is only viable if the rockets don’t need to be tracked for range-safety reasons. That means SpaceX is the only company that could take advantage of the new corridor to space.

It won't help SpaceX much... They already have a VAFB pad, which they need to use since both FL pads will be busy with regular traffic. I agree with others that this is likely being pushed more by Blue Origin and NorthropGrummanOrbitalATK (either by them or on behalf of them), since they wouldn't have to invest in west coast pads.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2018 10:51 PM by Lars-J »

Online IanThePineapple

An article that talks about how FTS enables this new launch route:

Elon Musk's SpaceX has a new advantage: Blowing up its own rocket, automatically — Quartz

Quote
SpaceX, however, pursuing cheaper and more efficient launches, worked with the Air Force to turn over that duty to a GPS-equipped on-board computer, an “Automatic Flight Safety System” that debuted in 2017. ...

No other US rocket has this capability yet, and it could open up new advantages for SpaceX: The US Air Force is considering launches to polar orbits from Cape Canaveral, but the flight path is only viable if the rockets don’t need to be tracked for range-safety reasons. That means SpaceX is the only company that could take advantage of the new corridor to space.

It won't help SpaceX much... They already have a VAFB pad, which they need to use since both FL pads will be busy with regular traffic. I agree with others that this is likely being pushed more by Blue Origin and NorthropGrummanOrbitalATK (either by them or on behalf of them), since they wouldn't have to invest in west coast pads.

Delta IV's VAFB pad will be offline in about 5 years or less, which would be great for NG. Delta II's pad will be offline in less than a year, and NGL might be able to use that.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #46 on: 01/05/2018 12:13 AM »
The IIP trace can be "easily" steered to fly over sparsely populated areas of west/central Cuba and western Panama.  The dwell time is not long.  Location of jettisoned items like SRBs, stages, and PLF can also be controlled by lofting and/or timing of dogleg maneuver.

All true, but there is a reason why such an early ascent flyovers over other nations are a thorny issue, and thus generally avoided.
Perhaps current attitude is different, as in ... to intentionally antagonize?

Where this is seen as "encouraged to take advantage of", as an opportunity, rather than to be avoided?

Because things aren't "bad enough" yet? To matter?

"Hmm. Step on it and see if it's really all that bad. Can't blow my foot off anyways ... right?"
Many years ago (when "Freedom Fries" were a thing), by boss came to me and said there was a request to know what it would take to make the IIP (of a currently designed mission with European overflight) go over a certain large city in Western Europe.  Nothing ever came of it, but I know for a fact it was a legitimate request.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #47 on: 01/05/2018 08:17 PM »
The IIP trace can be "easily" steered to fly over sparsely populated areas of west/central Cuba and western Panama.  The dwell time is not long.  Location of jettisoned items like SRBs, stages, and PLF can also be controlled by lofting and/or timing of dogleg maneuver.

All true, but there is a reason why such an early ascent flyovers over other nations are a thorny issue, and thus generally avoided.
Perhaps current attitude is different, as in ... to intentionally antagonize?

Where this is seen as "encouraged to take advantage of", as an opportunity, rather than to be avoided?

Because things aren't "bad enough" yet? To matter?

"Hmm. Step on it and see if it's really all that bad. Can't blow my foot off anyways ... right?"
Many years ago (when "Freedom Fries" were a thing), by boss came to me and said there was a request to know what it would take to make the IIP (of a currently designed mission with European overflight) go over a certain large city in Western Europe.  Nothing ever came of it, but I know for a fact it was a legitimate request.
For some values of "legitimate".
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Ike17055

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #48 on: 01/07/2018 02:20 AM »
Wasn’t there once some discussion about a lauch complex at the old Roosevelt Roads air station in southern Puerto Rico? 

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

BTW for those who probably don't know, two nations' rockets also had to fly dog-legs during initial ascent when launching to polar orbits (incidentally, both towards south) - Japan (to avoid the Philippines) and India (to avoid Sri Lanka). However in both cases there are no further land masses to the east and south that would constraint the flight path further downrange.
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #50 on: 01/07/2018 01:11 PM »
In the argument of one pad to launch them all. Let's not forget, using a bi elliptic transfer orbit with minimal dv losses it is possible to reach GEO from Vandenberg. Studies have also been done to reach ISS from Vandenberg. Clementine went to the Moon from Vandenberg. Throw in the rare need to launch retrograde and Vandenberg is the best location for a single pad.
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #51 on: 01/07/2018 10:05 PM »
In the argument of one pad to launch them all. Let's not forget, using a bi elliptic transfer orbit with minimal dv losses it is possible to reach GEO from Vandenberg. Studies have also been done to reach ISS from Vandenberg. Clementine went to the Moon from Vandenberg. Throw in the rare need to launch retrograde and Vandenberg is the best location for a single pad.

Except Gen. Monteith clearly identifies that greatly expanding launch capacity at Vandenberg is a struggle.  That support from the local area and state is lacking or that they are even opposed in some cases.  In contrast with Florida and the space coast, which he identifies as being helpful.  Maybe some of that's just cheerleading for his base, but I don't think it's a suggestion that can be totally ignored for anyone who was considering using a pad at VAFB for one-stop shopping.  If your annual launch rate is low, this likely isn't a big deal.  But if you plan to launch regularly, it's something to consider.
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #52 on: 01/08/2018 09:56 AM »
An article that talks about how FTS enables this new launch route:

Elon Musk's SpaceX has a new advantage: Blowing up its own rocket, automatically — Quartz

Quote
SpaceX, however, pursuing cheaper and more efficient launches, worked with the Air Force to turn over that duty to a GPS-equipped on-board computer, an “Automatic Flight Safety System” that debuted in 2017. ...

No other US rocket has this capability yet, and it could open up new advantages for SpaceX: The US Air Force is considering launches to polar orbits from Cape Canaveral, but the flight path is only viable if the rockets don’t need to be tracked for range-safety reasons. That means SpaceX is the only company that could take advantage of the new corridor to space.

It won't help SpaceX much... They already have a VAFB pad, which they need to use since both FL pads will be busy with regular traffic. I agree with others that this is likely being pushed more by Blue Origin and NorthropGrummanOrbitalATK (either by them or on behalf of them), since they wouldn't have to invest in west coast pads.

Delta IV's VAFB pad will be offline in about 5 years or less, which would be great for NG. Delta II's pad will be offline in less than a year, and NGL might be able to use that.
Not unless they completely and utterly rebuild it, right down to replacing the entire flame trench and everything else.
No, my guess is that you don't want to unnecessarily spend money on a VAFB launchpad (along with all its restrictions, such as the one described by Gen. Monteith) if you can pull-off all the required missions from a single pad. And AFTS just might enable this.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #53 on: 01/08/2018 04:41 PM »
In the argument of one pad to launch them all. Let's not forget, using a bi elliptic transfer orbit with minimal dv losses it is possible to reach GEO from Vandenberg. Studies have also been done to reach ISS from Vandenberg. Clementine went to the Moon from Vandenberg. Throw in the rare need to launch retrograde and Vandenberg is the best location for a single pad.

Except Gen. Monteith clearly identifies that greatly expanding launch capacity at Vandenberg is a struggle.  That support from the local area and state is lacking or that they are even opposed in some cases.  In contrast with Florida and the space coast, which he identifies as being helpful.  Maybe some of that's just cheerleading for his base, but I don't think it's a suggestion that can be totally ignored for anyone who was considering using a pad at VAFB for one-stop shopping.  If your annual launch rate is low, this likely isn't a big deal.  But if you plan to launch regularly, it's something to consider.

I'm skeptical that this is such a big issue. SpaceX is expanding its VAFB footprint and missions. So it may actually be the reverse, that VAFB operations are costly and complex (per launch) if your flight rate is *low*.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #54 on: 01/09/2018 10:08 PM »
Suggest it is nothing more than a means to attract as many potential launch service providers to the  NSS "wanna be" role.

If there's more vying for such, even in a casual "onesy, twosy" way, this means that actual bidders won't inflate launch costs as much, out of fear of loss (likely directed at ULA costing, others really don't care so much).

OTOH, note the push to satisfy all potential missions in order to potentially bid, which has driven ULA to do Vulcan with Centaur V, likely as one vehicle that, with variable SRBs, can do all effectively (SX would need F9/FH, although am beginning to think that they may have still the edge on costing as one watches FH being fielded fairly effortlessly).

BO/NG and NGL fit the bill for new providers that could intrude. Long way off.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #55 on: 01/10/2018 07:02 AM »
OT: nice facepalm there GS.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #56 on: 01/10/2018 01:52 PM »
When is ULA going to introduce AFTS?

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #57 on: 01/10/2018 02:47 PM »
When is ULA going to introduce AFTS?
Vulcan

Offline AncientU

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #58 on: 01/10/2018 02:53 PM »
When is ULA going to introduce AFTS?
Vulcan

Maiden Vulcan or a later version?
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #59 on: 01/10/2018 03:16 PM »
When is ULA going to introduce AFTS?
Vulcan

Maiden Vulcan or a later version?
AFAIK Vulcan will have the ULA version of AFTS from the get go. It may fly in engineering mode on Atlas V and Delta IV on some flights to gain data before Vulcans first flight.

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #60 on: 01/11/2018 08:36 PM »
Isn't this analogous to N Korea overflying Japan? Tokyo has talked about attempting to shoot down overflying rockets.
Major difference between rockets carrying non-weapon payloads and rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The former is the subject of this thread. The latter is what North Korea has been doing.
The difference is that the orbital launch vehicle (presumably New Glenn based on discussions in that thread) could be more destructive if it fell on Cuba than the smaller North Korean missile might be if it fell on Japan.  Missiles being tested don't carry live warheads.

 - Ed Kyle

Does North Korea issue NOTAMs or publish launch activities?

If you don't know what is launching and when, and why, you'd be far more inclined to shoot it down. Especially if it's coming from someone who constantly threatens to shoot missiles at you...

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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #61 on: 01/12/2018 07:35 PM »
Didn't we all learn about the pitfalls of this launch azimuth from Dr. No? :)
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Re: Air Force Identifies CCAFS southbound polar launch azimuth
« Reply #62 on: 01/13/2018 02:22 AM »

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