Author Topic: Vulcan inaugural flight, VC2S - Peregrine Lander - CCSFS SLC-41 - Q1 2023  (Read 82081 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Cross-post:

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1563292230957166593

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Ok, then.   I spy a BE4 Flight Engine #2 on the test stand...

Offline Star One

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I am guessing this is the related launch though the article doesn’t say.


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Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols is taking one final journey through the final frontier.

Celestis Inc., a private space flight company that works with NASA, will include some of the actress’ ashes on a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket as part of the upcoming Enterprise flight, scheduled to take off sometime later this year.

The flight will begin in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and is slated to go beyond the James Webb telescope and into interplanetary deep space, where the company says the rocket will become the most distant permanent human repository outpost and a pathfinder for the human exploration of space

As part of the flight, Nichols’ ashes will be joined by a few fellow Star Trek names James “Scotty” Doohan and both Gene and Majel Roddenberry. All four will have a portion of their cremated remains aboard the Enterprise alongside more than 100 other individuals.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/star-trek-nichelle-nichols-ashes-sent-to-space-1235206711/

You can post a message for the flight on the link below.

https://enterprise-flight.com
« Last Edit: 08/27/2022 02:04 pm by Star One »

Offline Vahe231991

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1562893985253060613

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We’ll ok then. Here it is. The first flight payload fairing.  #VulcanRocket! . @Astrobotic how does it look? #CountdowntoVulcan
Good to see a photo of the payload fairing for the Peregrine lander. Since the exact month of this year this photo was taken isn't precisely given, as with so many photos on this thread, I'm guessing preparations are being made to encapsulate the lunar lander in the fairing once it is mated to the top of the Vulcan rocket.

Offline Jim

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1562893985253060613

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We’ll ok then. Here it is. The first flight payload fairing.  #VulcanRocket! . @Astrobotic how does it look? #CountdowntoVulcan
Good to see a photo of the payload fairing for the Peregrine lander. Since the exact month of this year this photo was taken isn't precisely given, as with so many photos on this thread, I'm guessing preparations are being made to encapsulate the lunar lander in the fairing once it is mated to the top of the Vulcan rocket.

No.   
A. The encapsulation is not done at the pad/VIF.
B.  The lander is not even in the Spaceport area.  Same with the fairing

Offline sdsds

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A. The encapsulation is not done at the pad/VIF.
B.  The lander is not even in the Spaceport area.  Same with the fairing

Response (B) above raises the question of reasonable expectations. In general, how long does it take after a payload and fairing (and presumably payload adapter) arrive in Florida to get them integrated?

Also: I seem to recall with Atlas V ULA experimented with a procedure where the payload and the Centaur were lifted onto the booster as a combined unit, rather than with a lift operation for each. Could this be done with Peregrine and is it planned? Or should we expect to see the launch vehicle stages stacked together some particular amount of time before the payload is added on top?
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Offline Jim

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A. The encapsulation is not done at the pad/VIF.
B.  The lander is not even in the Spaceport area.  Same with the fairing

Response (B) above raises the question of reasonable expectations. In general, how long does it take after a payload and fairing (and presumably payload adapter) arrive in Florida to get them integrated?

Also: I seem to recall with Atlas V ULA experimented with a procedure where the payload and the Centaur were lifted onto the booster as a combined unit, rather than with a lift operation for each. Could this be done with Peregrine and is it planned? Or should we expect to see the launch vehicle stages stacked together some particular amount of time before the payload is added on top?

It wasn’t payload and Centaur, but rather interstage, Centaur and fairing boat tail.

Payloads can take from 30 days to 9 months to prepare for launch onsite.

But payload encapsulation is around 7 to 10 days before launch
« Last Edit: 09/03/2022 11:40 pm by Jim »

Offline baldusi

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Is common for fairing to be painted at the factory? I though decals where applied at the encapsulation building. At least, that's what I'm used to in geo sats.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Is common for fairing to be painted at the factory? I though decals where applied at the encapsulation building. At least, that's what I'm used to in geo sats.
Key point is applied decal sticker sheet for the GEO comsats AIUI. The Peregrine fairing might be actually painted.

Offline ccdengr

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Is common for fairing to be painted at the factory?
Certainly ULA has been posting timelapses of fairings being painted in Harlingen for a while, e.g.,

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Is common for fairing to be painted at the factory? I though decals where applied at the encapsulation building. At least, that's what I'm used to in geo sats.

Due to the corrugated surface, only the 4.2 m fairing gets painted. The smooth 5.4 m fairing uses stickers.
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A new story this morning from Eric Berger, apparently working from some inside sources, which points to more delays with both BE-4 delivery and Astrobotics' payload readiness:

Quote
Sources told Ars that the first engine was put onto the test stand in Texas early in August, but almost as soon as work began to hot-fire the powerful engine an issue was discovered with the engine build. This necessitated a shipment back to Blue Origin's factory in mid-August, as the company's test stands in Texas do not allow for more than minor work.

As a result of this technical issue, ULA now appears likely to get one flight engine this month, but it probably will not receive the other one for installation onto the Vulcan rocket before mid-October, assuming a clean battery of tests in Texas.

Almost certainly this will preclude a debut of the Vulcan rocket in 2022. It will simply not be possible for ULA to install and test the engines, move the rocket to Florida, and stand it up for launch in less than three months. However, Rye said that remains the company's goal. "ULA is planning for a launch by the end of the year," she said.

The engines are not the only factor behind a potential delay for Vulcan. The customer for the rocket, Astrobotic, has not completed final assembly of its Peregrine spacecraft that is intended to land scientific and commercial payloads on the Moon.

"Peregrine is currently undergoing final integration at Astrobotic’s headquarters in Pittsburgh and will be ready for launch aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur," said John Thornton, Astrobotic’s CEO, in a statement to Ars. "Our nimble team has already integrated all 24 payloads to Peregrine’s decks and successfully tested communications in July with NASA’s Deep Space Network."

However, a source with knowledge of Peregrine's development said Astrobotic is still validating the performance of thrusters built by Frontier Aerospace for the spacecraft. This raises questions about whether the Peregrine lander will be ready for delivery to ULA's launch site in Florida by the end of the year. Astrobotic may decide to fly with some thruster risks or delay Peregrine's launch to accommodate more testing.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/as-summer-turns-to-fall-ula-still-waiting-for-its-be-4-rocket-engines/?comments=1

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1569708540423438336

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Mark Peller, ULA: making good progress on Vulcan, should get BE-4 flight engines in the “coming weeks” and then send it to the launch site. (Does not commit to a specific launch date for first Vulcan launch.)

Offline Robert_the_Doll

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A new story this morning from Eric Berger, apparently working from some inside sources, which points to more delays with both BE-4 delivery and Astrobotics' payload readiness:

Quote
Sources told Ars that the first engine was put onto the test stand in Texas early in August, but almost as soon as work began to hot-fire the powerful engine an issue was discovered with the engine build. This necessitated a shipment back to Blue Origin's factory in mid-August, as the company's test stands in Texas do not allow for more than minor work.

As a result of this technical issue, ULA now appears likely to get one flight engine this month, but it probably will not receive the other one for installation onto the Vulcan rocket before mid-October, assuming a clean battery of tests in Texas.

Almost certainly this will preclude a debut of the Vulcan rocket in 2022. It will simply not be possible for ULA to install and test the engines, move the rocket to Florida, and stand it up for launch in less than three months. However, Rye said that remains the company's goal. "ULA is planning for a launch by the end of the year," she said.

The engines are not the only factor behind a potential delay for Vulcan. The customer for the rocket, Astrobotic, has not completed final assembly of its Peregrine spacecraft that is intended to land scientific and commercial payloads on the Moon.

"Peregrine is currently undergoing final integration at Astrobotic’s headquarters in Pittsburgh and will be ready for launch aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur," said John Thornton, Astrobotic’s CEO, in a statement to Ars. "Our nimble team has already integrated all 24 payloads to Peregrine’s decks and successfully tested communications in July with NASA’s Deep Space Network."

However, a source with knowledge of Peregrine's development said Astrobotic is still validating the performance of thrusters built by Frontier Aerospace for the spacecraft. This raises questions about whether the Peregrine lander will be ready for delivery to ULA's launch site in Florida by the end of the year. Astrobotic may decide to fly with some thruster risks or delay Peregrine's launch to accommodate more testing.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/as-summer-turns-to-fall-ula-still-waiting-for-its-be-4-rocket-engines/?comments=1

When did he speak with Rye since buried deep in the article is this:

"In fact, the first flight engine had to be sent back to Blue Origin's production facilities in Kent, Washington, after a minor problem was found on the test stand. ULA's director of external communications, Jessica Rye, said the flight engine presently in Washington is expected to leave for Texas "shortly." She confirmed that the other flight engine is undergoing "final acceptance testing" in Texas before shipment to Alabama."

I also found it a bit curious that Mr. Berger does not reference Harry Stranger's excellent work in using the Sentinel satellite imagery to confirm that the ATP firing of FE-2 took place over two weeks ago.

Offline Vahe231991

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A new story this morning from Eric Berger, apparently working from some inside sources, which points to more delays with both BE-4 delivery and Astrobotics' payload readiness:

Quote
Sources told Ars that the first engine was put onto the test stand in Texas early in August, but almost as soon as work began to hot-fire the powerful engine an issue was discovered with the engine build. This necessitated a shipment back to Blue Origin's factory in mid-August, as the company's test stands in Texas do not allow for more than minor work.

As a result of this technical issue, ULA now appears likely to get one flight engine this month, but it probably will not receive the other one for installation onto the Vulcan rocket before mid-October, assuming a clean battery of tests in Texas.

Almost certainly this will preclude a debut of the Vulcan rocket in 2022. It will simply not be possible for ULA to install and test the engines, move the rocket to Florida, and stand it up for launch in less than three months. However, Rye said that remains the company's goal. "ULA is planning for a launch by the end of the year," she said.

The engines are not the only factor behind a potential delay for Vulcan. The customer for the rocket, Astrobotic, has not completed final assembly of its Peregrine spacecraft that is intended to land scientific and commercial payloads on the Moon.

"Peregrine is currently undergoing final integration at Astrobotic’s headquarters in Pittsburgh and will be ready for launch aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur," said John Thornton, Astrobotic’s CEO, in a statement to Ars. "Our nimble team has already integrated all 24 payloads to Peregrine’s decks and successfully tested communications in July with NASA’s Deep Space Network."

However, a source with knowledge of Peregrine's development said Astrobotic is still validating the performance of thrusters built by Frontier Aerospace for the spacecraft. This raises questions about whether the Peregrine lander will be ready for delivery to ULA's launch site in Florida by the end of the year. Astrobotic may decide to fly with some thruster risks or delay Peregrine's launch to accommodate more testing.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/as-summer-turns-to-fall-ula-still-waiting-for-its-be-4-rocket-engines/?comments=1

When did he speak with Rye since buried deep in the article is this:

"In fact, the first flight engine had to be sent back to Blue Origin's production facilities in Kent, Washington, after a minor problem was found on the test stand. ULA's director of external communications, Jessica Rye, said the flight engine presently in Washington is expected to leave for Texas "shortly." She confirmed that the other flight engine is undergoing "final acceptance testing" in Texas before shipment to Alabama."

I also found it a bit curious that Mr. Berger does not reference Harry Stranger's excellent work in using the Sentinel satellite imagery to confirm that the ATP firing of FE-2 took place over two weeks ago.
It is possible, though not confirmed, that Blue Origin quickly fixed the issue with the BE-4 in August and then brought the engine back to the test at the end of August.

Offline darkenfast

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A new story this morning from Eric Berger, apparently working from some inside sources, which points to more delays with both BE-4 delivery and Astrobotics' payload readiness:

Quote
Sources told Ars that the first engine was put onto the test stand in Texas early in August, but almost as soon as work began to hot-fire the powerful engine an issue was discovered with the engine build. This necessitated a shipment back to Blue Origin's factory in mid-August, as the company's test stands in Texas do not allow for more than minor work.

As a result of this technical issue, ULA now appears likely to get one flight engine this month, but it probably will not receive the other one for installation onto the Vulcan rocket before mid-October, assuming a clean battery of tests in Texas.

Almost certainly this will preclude a debut of the Vulcan rocket in 2022. It will simply not be possible for ULA to install and test the engines, move the rocket to Florida, and stand it up for launch in less than three months. However, Rye said that remains the company's goal. "ULA is planning for a launch by the end of the year," she said.

The engines are not the only factor behind a potential delay for Vulcan. The customer for the rocket, Astrobotic, has not completed final assembly of its Peregrine spacecraft that is intended to land scientific and commercial payloads on the Moon.

"Peregrine is currently undergoing final integration at Astrobotic’s headquarters in Pittsburgh and will be ready for launch aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur," said John Thornton, Astrobotic’s CEO, in a statement to Ars. "Our nimble team has already integrated all 24 payloads to Peregrine’s decks and successfully tested communications in July with NASA’s Deep Space Network."

However, a source with knowledge of Peregrine's development said Astrobotic is still validating the performance of thrusters built by Frontier Aerospace for the spacecraft. This raises questions about whether the Peregrine lander will be ready for delivery to ULA's launch site in Florida by the end of the year. Astrobotic may decide to fly with some thruster risks or delay Peregrine's launch to accommodate more testing.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/09/as-summer-turns-to-fall-ula-still-waiting-for-its-be-4-rocket-engines/?comments=1

When did he speak with Rye since buried deep in the article is this:

"In fact, the first flight engine had to be sent back to Blue Origin's production facilities in Kent, Washington, after a minor problem was found on the test stand. ULA's director of external communications, Jessica Rye, said the flight engine presently in Washington is expected to leave for Texas "shortly." She confirmed that the other flight engine is undergoing "final acceptance testing" in Texas before shipment to Alabama."

I also found it a bit curious that Mr. Berger does not reference Harry Stranger's excellent work in using the Sentinel satellite imagery to confirm that the ATP firing of FE-2 took place over two weeks ago.
It is possible, though not confirmed, that Blue Origin quickly fixed the issue with the BE-4 in August and then brought the engine back to the test at the end of August.

Do you have a source for that?
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Sounding like not too much longer to wait for engines:

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1574482099981148160

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I'm hearing good things about Blue Origin's testing of the second BE-4 flight engine, which United Launch Alliance is eagerly waiting for. First flight engine should ship back to Texas soon. Hopefully Blue will release some images or video of the BE-4 in action

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Feels like delivery of at least one flight engine is getting close:

twitter.com/torybruno/status/1575231771913994240

Quote
Found it!  Ok, since you asked so nicely... here is a full duration @BlueOrigin #BE4 firing.   #VulcanRocket #CountDownToVulcan.  Enjoy...

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1575233586885689357

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This is BE-4 flight engine two, shown here passing the first of two firing tests before it is shipped to ULA's facility in Alabama. After repairs, flight engine one should ship back to Texas for its tests soon.
« Last Edit: 09/28/2022 09:22 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

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twitter.com/blueorigin/status/1578907437033492480

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Our @ULAlaunch teammates came to West Texas to check out their first new flight engine: Two thumbs up! Now it’s off to ULA!

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1578913560356261888

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A beautiful sight
« Last Edit: 10/09/2022 07:11 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

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https://twitter.com/joroulette/status/1579471824085188614

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United Launch Alliance has pushed Vulcan's debut launch to early 2023 at the request of its customer Astrobotic, CEO Tory Bruno tells me and @Free_Space, scrapping a December target date that had already been imperiled by late delivery of the rocket's Blue Origin-made engines.

twitter.com/joroulette/status/1579474930659627008

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Vulcan's core booster has been ready for months. Blue Origin delivered its first BE-4 flight engine to ULA late last night, and Bruno expects the other engine to arrive in November after Blue had to fix a manufacturing defect. Targeting first Vulcan firings on FL pad in December

https://twitter.com/joroulette/status/1579476361655509000

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Astrobotic's CEO John Thornton says the company recently completed a "major milestone on propulsion system pressure testing" with Peregrine and plans to have the lander in Cape Canaveral for an early 2023 launch.

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ULA photos of ‘Certification One booster’

https://flic.kr/p/2nRVDgD

 

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