Author Topic: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg  (Read 5252 times)

Offline Vahe231991

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Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« on: 07/07/2022 03:51 am »
https://keyt.com/news/santa-maria-north-county/2022/07/06/test-rocket-launch-scheduled-from-vandenberg-space-force-base-thursday-morning/

The Minotaur II+ launch tomorrow will be the first launch of the Minotaur II since 2008 and is to test the aerodynamics of the Mk.21A re-entry vehicle to be carried by the Sentinel ICBM*, which is designed to be silo-launched like the LGM-30 Minuteman and the long-decommissioned LGM-118 Peacekeeper.

*Note: Although internal DoD records show that the Northrop Grumman Sentinel ICBM (winner of the GBSD competition) has been designated LGM-182, USAF press releases for unknown reasons refer to the Sentinel as LGM-35 rather than LGM-182 even the design number 35 in the M-for-Missile series was already used for the Northrop Q-4/AQM-35 supersonic target drone.
« Last Edit: 07/07/2022 03:20 pm by gongora »

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #3 on: 07/07/2022 09:13 am »
More details:

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/missile_test_ends_in_explosion_seconds_after_launch_from_vandenberg_sfb

Launch took place from Test Pad 01 (TP-01) at 06:01 UTC and the missile exploded 11 seconds after lift-off

Online eeergo

Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #4 on: 07/07/2022 09:29 am »
From Wikipedia's list, it was almost 14 years since the last Minotaur II(+) launch. If this failure was not due to the payload causing an unforeseen instability (although that would mean pretty sloppy wind tunnel testing, and would the rocket be transonic so soon after liftoff anyway?), and instead was a first stage failure, wonder if this will have been the last M-II launch?
On the other hand, NROL-174 launching soonish in Minotaur-IV shouldn't be affected, given the lack of obvious commonality (Minuteman motors for II vs Peacekeeper for IV)?
-DaviD-

Offline Rondaz

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #5 on: 07/07/2022 10:33 am »
Minotaur II+ test from Vandenberg ended in failure. Rocket failed seconds into flight resulting in a fire near the pad.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1544955582234341376

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #6 on: 07/07/2022 02:34 pm »
So what is "Test Pad 01"?  All previous Minotaur 2(+) launches were from the LF06 silo during 2000-2008.   Those eight were all successful.  14 years since the last though.

If Test Pad 01 is the flat pad I think it is, it hasn't been used since the early 1990s (it only hosted canister tests for PK and Midgetman as I understand things, not full-fledged launches) and it would represent an all-new, never-before-flown launch set-up for Minotaur 2+.  Gotta wonder if the launch equipment was part of the failure, but it is only speculation on my part.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/07/2022 06:57 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #7 on: 07/07/2022 03:08 pm »
This prior article also refers to it as the LGM-35A.

https://www.airforcemag.com/new-pentagon-acquisition-boss-deep-dive-sentinel-icbm-significant-risk/
I'm aware of prior USAF press releases referring to the Sentinel as LGM-35, but I'm not sure why the Sentinel is called LGM-35 in those public press announcements even though the latest DoD designation addendum calls it LGM-182.

Offline starchasercowboy

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« Last Edit: 08/04/2022 05:26 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline edkyle99

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« Last Edit: 07/07/2022 06:42 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #10 on: 07/07/2022 11:10 pm »
This prior article also refers to it as the LGM-35A.

https://www.airforcemag.com/new-pentagon-acquisition-boss-deep-dive-sentinel-icbm-significant-risk/
I'm aware of prior USAF press releases referring to the Sentinel as LGM-35, but I'm not sure why the Sentinel is called LGM-35 in those public press announcements even though the latest DoD designation addendum calls it LGM-182.
Your link is incorrect the  orrevt link is https://www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/missiles.html

The designation change was due to a procedural error. The authorisation to use the addendum in items approved for public release is in work and takes time due to bureaucratic procedure.
Also LGM-182 is the family with YLGM-182A prototype designation being the only one authorised.
« Last Edit: 07/07/2022 11:17 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #11 on: 07/08/2022 01:38 am »
Here's an Orbital Minotaur 2 fact sheet from 2007.  This shows a Minuteman 2 third stage (M57A1).  The Minotaur 2+ that failed likely used an SR-73-AJ third stage, which I believe is a Minuteman 3 third stage.  That would be a bigger diameter stage than the one shown on this fact sheet.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/10/2022 01:59 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline harrystranger

Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #12 on: 07/08/2022 04:10 am »
It can be really hard to interpret satellite imagery! Local knowledge & an understanding of an area’s history are crucial pieces of the puzzle.
- Rob Simmon

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #13 on: 07/10/2022 07:46 pm »
More details:

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/missile_test_ends_in_explosion_seconds_after_launch_from_vandenberg_sfb

Launch took place from Test Pad 01 (TP-01) at 06:01 UTC and the missile exploded 11 seconds after lift-off
This report names the resulting 150 acre fire the "Minotaur Fire".

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #14 on: 07/12/2022 02:00 pm »
Looking at previous Minuteman 2/3 launch videos shows that a lot happens in the first few seconds.  Within 4 or 5 seconds the missile rolls and then pitches sharply downrange.  If those maneuvers don't happen correctly, would a Minotaur 2+ be immediately RSO'd around, say, T+11 seconds?

 - Ed Kyle

Online DanClemmensen

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #15 on: 07/12/2022 05:13 pm »
More details:

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/missile_test_ends_in_explosion_seconds_after_launch_from_vandenberg_sfb

Launch took place from Test Pad 01 (TP-01) at 06:01 UTC and the missile exploded 11 seconds after lift-off
This report names the resulting 150 acre fire the "Minotaur Fire".

 - Ed Kyle
For those unfamiliar with California, the lead organization for fighting wildfires here  is Calfire. Since there are frequently multiple simultaneous wildfires being fought with resources from multiple organization, Calfire names each fire to simplify the co-ordination.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #16 on: 07/13/2022 02:28 am »
More details:

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/missile_test_ends_in_explosion_seconds_after_launch_from_vandenberg_sfb

Launch took place from Test Pad 01 (TP-01) at 06:01 UTC and the missile exploded 11 seconds after lift-off
This report names the resulting 150 acre fire the "Minotaur Fire".

 - Ed Kyle
For those unfamiliar with California, the lead organization for fighting wildfires here  is Calfire. Since there are frequently multiple simultaneous wildfires being fought with resources from multiple organization, Calfire names each fire to simplify the co-ordination.
Yes, however not in the case of federal installations such as VSFB. They name the fire following first contact from the installations liaison with notice of the incident. They do not however become involved unless asked. Same protocol applies both directions for Search and Rescue and other mission type sorties with for instance the Civil Air Patrol (United States Air Force Auxiliary).

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #17 on: 07/13/2022 02:29 am »
Looking at previous Minuteman 2/3 launch videos shows that a lot happens in the first few seconds.  Within 4 or 5 seconds the missile rolls and then pitches sharply downrange.  If those maneuvers don't happen correctly, would a Minotaur 2+ be immediately RSO'd around, say, T+11 seconds?

 - Ed Kyle
Most likely yes.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Minotaur II+ : July 7, 2022 : Vandenberg
« Reply #18 on: 07/28/2022 02:38 pm »
Looking back at Minuteman failure history, thanks to Stumpf's book and other resources, it looks like you have to go back to June 15, 1993 to see a failure that might be similar to this Minotaur 2+.  The 1993 failure was of a Minuteman 1B that veered immediately east toward Casmalia, now remembered as the "Casmalia Express".  Range safety hit the button after just a few seconds on this one.  Here it is on YouTube.



These early flight failures, which occurred several other times over the years, usually came down to either faulty guidance (guidance system miswiring for this 1993 failure) or, in the early days, a Nozzle Control Unit (NCU) failure.  That first stage has four pivot nozzles driven by a hydraulic NCU that is positioned between the nozzles.  Insulating the NCU was a design challenge back in 1958-1960 when they designed these stages!  NCU failures occurred several times during the 1960s development phases, but I don't think they recurred often during the Operational Test years. 

Minuteman 2/3 stage production probably finished before the mid-1970s.  That would include the stage used in the failed Minotaur 2+ launch.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/30/2022 02:01 pm by edkyle99 »

 

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