Author Topic: Vulcan VC2S 1st launch - Peregrine Lander - CCSFS SLC-41 - NET mid-December 2023  (Read 242111 times)

Offline Jim

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More concrete progress in putting together components for the Vulcan VC2S rocket that will conduct the Vulcan rocket's long awaited maiden launch.

What is the point about "concrete" progress?   There wasn't any doubt of progress.  Nobody was questioning it.

Offline Jim

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At last, components for the first Vulcan rocket are beginning to be brought to the launch pad, with the payload waiting to be brought to the launch facility for installation atop the upper stage.

No, the payload isn't waiting.  It has yet to be shipped to the launch site.

Online mn

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At last, components for the first Vulcan rocket are beginning to be brought to the launch pad, with the payload waiting to be brought to the launch facility for installation atop the upper stage.

No, the payload isn't waiting.  It has yet to be shipped to the launch site.

Posted a few pages back: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43448.msg2452179#msg2452179

https://www.astrobotic.com/peregrine-tvac-testing-successful/

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Astrobotic announced today that its Peregrine lunar lander has successfully completed its entire flight acceptance campaign. Peregrine is now ready to be shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida when Astroboticís rocket provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA), gives the green light to receive it

« Last Edit: 01/31/2023 03:53 pm by mn »

Offline edkyle99

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Right.  This is the start of a possibly long testing campaign that culminates in WDR, then another WDR with a long static firing, according to AvWeek.  Only then will Vulcan be ready for its payload. 

This is the Certification-1 mission, to be followed by Certification-2 with Dream Chaser.  If both succeed, Vulcan will be ready for NSSL payloads.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/31/2023 03:57 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline deadman1204

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At last, components for the first Vulcan rocket are beginning to be brought to the launch pad, with the payload waiting to be brought to the launch facility for installation atop the upper stage.

No, the payload isn't waiting.  It has yet to be shipped to the launch site.
Aren't both sides playing schedule chicken? ULA has been saying they are about to launch for a few months, and Peragrine doesn't actually have its engines yet?

Offline Jim

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Astrobotic announced today that its Peregrine lunar lander has successfully completed its entire flight acceptance campaign. Peregrine is now ready to be shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida when Astroboticís rocket provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA), gives the green light to receive it



ULA won't receive it.  It will have to do some processing before encapsulation.

Online mn

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At last, components for the first Vulcan rocket are beginning to be brought to the launch pad, with the payload waiting to be brought to the launch facility for installation atop the upper stage.

No, the payload isn't waiting.  It has yet to be shipped to the launch site.
Aren't both sides playing schedule chicken? ULA has been saying they are about to launch for a few months, and Peragrine doesn't actually have its engines yet?

One of Astrobotic's engineers told us that several (didn't give a number) of Peregrine's five engines have been installed.  I didn't want to push him to say when the remaining engines will be installed.  But he did say that Astrobotic chose not to do an all-up test of the engines for cost reasons.  Presumably that would have been done at the company's Mojave facility (former Masten?).  Have any of the other CLPS contractors performed all-up engine tests yet?  I hope Astrobotic's decision doesn't come back to haunt them.

So astrobiotic was lying when they said the spacecraft is ready and waiting for ULA?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1621192863957614592

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Nice looking Interstage. #CountdowntoVulcan

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1621188498299428865

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Hereís the best view out here. #CountdowntoVulcan

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/astrobotic/status/1621195339096023040

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This just in - Peregrine is now heading to just outside the Gruithuisen Domes, a geologic enigma. 🕵️‍♀️ Read more from @NASA CLPS here:

https://blogs.nasa.gov/clps/2023/02/02/new-landing-site-will-upgrade-science-returns-for-astrobotic-flight/

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New Landing Site Will Upgrade Science Returns for Astrobotic Flight

Through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, NASA is working with American companies to deliver scientific, exploration, and technology payloads to the Moonís surface and orbit. The science investigations and technology demonstrations delivered to the lunar surface through CLPS are part of the agencyís broader goal of returning humans to the Moon through Artemis, and the success of CLPS could help further establish American leadership in the global and commercial space industries.

Astroboticís first orders for scientific payload delivery were awarded in May 2019.  Astrobotic will deliver NASA payloads on its first flight to the lunar surface using the companyís Peregrine lunar lander. These NASA payloads will investigate specific aspects in and around the landing site. Astrobotic also will carry some non-NASA payloads from other organizations.

The original landing site for Astroboticís flight within Lacus Mortis, which is in the northeast quadrant of the lunar nearside of the Moon, was chosen by Astrobotic to suit its lander performance and safety, as well as Astroboticís preferences.  However, as NASAís Artemis activities mature, it became evident the agency could increase the scientific value of the NASA payloads if they were delivered to a different location. The science and technology payloads planned for this delivery to the Moon presented NASA scientists with a valuable opportunity, prompting the relocation of the landing site to a mare Ė an ancient hardened lava flow Ė outside of the Gruithuisen Domes, a geologic enigma along the mare/highlands boundary on the northeast border of Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms, the largest dark spot on the Moon. The Domes are suspected to have been formed by a sticky magma rich in silica, similar in composition to granite. On Earth, formations like these need significant water content and plate tectonics to form, but without these key ingredients on the Moon, lunar scientists have been left to wonder how these domes formed and evolved over time. With the selection of the Lunar Vulkan Imaging and Spectroscopy Explorer (Lunar-VISE), a suite of instruments that will investigate the origin and composition of the Gruithuisen Domes in 2026 on a separate CLPS delivery, relocation of Astroboticís Peregrine CLPS flight to a mare near the Domes will present complementary and meaningful data to Lunar-VISE without introducing additional risk to the lander.

CLPS providers are responsible for managing their activities to ensure they are compliant with NASA schedule requirements. While NASA is the primary customer purchasing a flight to send its payloads to the lunar surface, CLPS vendors also work with other customers to send non-NASA payloads to the Moon. 

Follow along for more updates on Astroboticís upcoming flight in 2023 and other CLPS news!

Photo captions:

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Astroboticís Peregrine lander, which will launch on a United Launch Alliance Vulcan Centaur rocket and deliver NASA payloads to the Moon. Credits: Astrobotic.

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The Gruithuisen Domes, seen in an image captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera.The Gruithuisen Domes, seen in an image captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Credits: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
« Last Edit: 02/02/2023 04:53 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline DanClemmensen

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This just in - Peregrine is now heading to just outside the Gruithuisen Domes, a geologic enigma. 🕵️‍♀️ Read more from @NASA CLPS here:
:) My first thought when I read this: what did they launch it on and how will they retrieve to to launch it on Vulcan Centaur in April??? :)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Where will the payloads be processed for launch?  At the Astrotech facility?
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.) My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!" Yes, there are God-given rights.  Do you wish to gainsay the Declaration of Independence?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1621265238438862848

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Could not help getting up close and personal with this beautiful beast from inside our brand new Vulcan Mobile Launch Platform (VLP). #CountdowntoVulcan

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1621315463803289603

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ULA lifted the Centaur V upper stage for integration with the Vulcan first stage at SLC-41 today!

Timelapse from Space Coast Live: nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1621539369864642572

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It looks like Vulcan's debut launch is NET May 2023. That, and more tidbits, in this look at where we are with one of the most anticipated rocket launches of the year.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/02/when-will-united-launch-alliances-vulcan-rocket-fly/

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At last, components for the first Vulcan rocket are beginning to be brought to the launch pad, with the payload waiting to be brought to the launch facility for installation atop the upper stage.

No, the payload isn't waiting.  It has yet to be shipped to the launch site.

Aren't both sides playing schedule chicken? ULA has been saying they are about to launch for a few months, and Peragrine doesn't actually have its engines yet?

One of Astrobotic's engineers told us that several (didn't give a number) of Peregrine's five engines have been installed.  I didn't want to push him to say when the remaining engines will be installed.  But he did say that Astrobotic chose not to do an all-up test of the engines for cost reasons.  Presumably that would have been done at the company's Mojave facility (former Masten?).  Have any of the other CLPS contractors performed all-up engine tests yet?  I hope Astrobotic's decision doesn't come back to haunt them.

So astrobiotic was lying when they said the spacecraft is ready and waiting for ULA?

The truth of the matter is somewhere in the mix.

So yes indeed they lied:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/02/when-will-united-launch-alliances-vulcan-rocket-fly/

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This release made it sound like Astrobotic simply needed to ship the lander from Pittsburgh to the launch site, where it would be installed on the rocket. However, the lander's engines, which have been undergoing extensive testing in White Sands, New Mexico, are still not ready for flight and are not yet attached to the lander. The company plans to complete the integration of the engines onto the lander at the launch site in Florida
« Last Edit: 02/03/2023 03:23 pm by mn »

Offline DanClemmensen

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It looks like Vulcan's debut launch is NET May 2023. That, and more tidbits, in this look at where we are with one of the most anticipated rocket launches of the year.
Please help me understand. I may have this completely wrong.

Apparently SLC-41 has two assembly buildings with differing capabilities: the VIF and the SPOC (formerly known as SMARF). VIF is taller and is where the payload will actually be stacked onto the rocket. The building in the picture is presumably the SPOC and is not tall enough to stack the payload.  VIF is shared by Vulcan and Atlas V, and will be needed to stack Starliner onto Atlas V for the Starliner-CFT in April 2023. So how long will it take after Atlas clears the VIF before Vulcan can be moved to the VIF and stacking can begin? Must Starliner actually launch before this happens? I assume it must, they need to be able to roll Atlas V/Starliner back if there is a problem. Since this is the third Starliner flight, there will prpbably not be a problem, but other things (like the ISS schedule) may affect the Starliner launch date.
« Last Edit: 02/03/2023 03:35 pm by DanClemmensen »

Offline russianhalo117

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It looks like Vulcan's debut launch is NET May 2023. That, and more tidbits, in this look at where we are with one of the most anticipated rocket launches of the year.
Please help me understand. I may have this completely wrong.

Apparently SLC-41 has two assembly buildings with differing capabilities: the VIF and the SPOC (formerly known as SMARF). VIF is taller and is where the payload will actually be stacked onto the rocket. The building in the picture is presumably the SPOC and is not tall enough to stack the payload.  VIF is shared by Vulcan and Atlas V, and will be needed to stack Starliner onto Atlas V for the Starliner-CFT in April 2023. So how long will it take after Atlas clears the VIF before Vulcan can be moved to the VIF and stacking can begin? Must Starliner actually launch before this happens? I assume it must, they need to be able to roll Atlas V/Starliner back if there is a problem. Since this is the third Starliner flight, there will prpbably not be a problem, but other things (like the ISS schedule) may affect the Starliner launch date.
Atlas with Starliner could with ease be stacked in the SPOC Highbay 1 (now designated VIF2/VIF-2 (note that the disused/unconverted SPOC Highbay 2 tentatively designated VIF3/VIF-3 requires SPOC to have a second door, railway infrastructure access and mirrored access platforms installed (given platform swing design unique only to SPOC to allow MLP's to enter and exit the highbays))) as that is where its MLP is right now. Note that the starliner CSM when stacked on Atlas V does not exceed the height of its Launch Umbilical Tower which is mounted onboard the MLP. With further major structural modifications third and fourth SPOC hibays could also be created replacing one for one the four highbay Titan VIB.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2023 08:39 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1621607583961300992

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The Centaur V on its way to the top of the booster. #CountdowntoVulcan

Offline whitelancer64

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It looks like Vulcan's debut launch is NET May 2023. That, and more tidbits, in this look at where we are with one of the most anticipated rocket launches of the year.
Please help me understand. I may have this completely wrong.

Apparently SLC-41 has two assembly buildings with differing capabilities: the VIF and the SPOC (formerly known as SMARF). VIF is taller and is where the payload will actually be stacked onto the rocket. The building in the picture is presumably the SPOC and is not tall enough to stack the payload.  VIF is shared by Vulcan and Atlas V, and will be needed to stack Starliner onto Atlas V for the Starliner-CFT in April 2023. So how long will it take after Atlas clears the VIF before Vulcan can be moved to the VIF and stacking can begin? Must Starliner actually launch before this happens? I assume it must, they need to be able to roll Atlas V/Starliner back if there is a problem. Since this is the third Starliner flight, there will prpbably not be a problem, but other things (like the ISS schedule) may affect the Starliner launch date.

Vulcan is being stacked at the VIF.

SPOC  is not yet capable (as far as I know) of stacking a payload fairing on a Vulcan Centaur.

It looks like ULA is currently working towards launching Vulcan first (probably in mid to late March), Starliner after in April.

I personally do not think that Vulcan integrated testing, on-pad WDR, then hot fire, will take much longer than a month or so, considering that a fair amount of the on-pad GSE testing was completed with the Vulcan Pathfinder back in 2019. Peregrine will have been shipped to the Cape for engine integration well before the integrated testing, WDR, etc. are done. I think the Ars article is making bit of a mountain of a molehill.
« Last Edit: 02/03/2023 09:15 pm by whitelancer64 »
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