Author Topic: Minotaur 4 - NROL-129 (USA 305 to 308) - MARS Wallops - July 15, 2020 (1346UTC)  (Read 33949 times)

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
NROL-129

Two Minotaur launches planned this year from Virginia, dated March 21, 2019
Quote
In response to questions from Spaceflight Now, the Air Force confirmed plans for another Minotaur launch for the NRO — a mission designated NROL-129 — in the fall of this year.

The NROL-129 mission will launch aboard a Minotaur 4 rocket...
<snip>
In a written statement, Galbreath said the Air Force awarded the NROL-129 launch contract in December 2017 to Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, then known as Orbital ATK. The NROL-129 launch order is valued at $38 million...<snip>

Launch services...were arranged through the Air Force’s Orbital/Suborbital Program-3 contract.
« Last Edit: 07/15/2020 09:04 pm by input~2 »
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline rayleighscatter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1098
  • Maryland
  • Liked: 563
  • Likes Given: 238
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - 2019
« Reply #1 on: 03/23/2019 01:10 pm »
First Minotaur launches at Wallops since 2013, which also had two late year launches.

If all five launches (Antares x2, Minotaur x2, Electron x1) take place this year, it will also be the most orbital launches from Wallops in a single year. 1964 saw Wallops launch 6 Scout rockets, but 3 of those were suborbital.

Minotaur IV is sometimes used as a suborbital rocket, but all instances of that in the past have been from Vandenberg.

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9347
  • US
  • Liked: 11926
  • Likes Given: 5281
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - 2019
« Reply #2 on: 07/01/2019 07:19 pm »
1212-EX-ST-2019
Quote
Please explain in the area below why an STA is necessary:
This FCC STA is required in support of the L-129 Mission. The Mission Requirements Document (MRD) requires this effort in support of the "A.8" over the horizon telemetry enhancement to the Minotaur IV Launch Vehicle. This enhancement requires the utilization of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS), TDRS-6 in order to satisfy the mission requirements. TDRS-3 and TDRS-12 may also be used as required.

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - Q4 2019
« Reply #3 on: 07/02/2019 07:05 pm »
From the July 2 update of the SFN Launch Schedule:
Launch is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Perhaps this launch is taking a hypothetical launch slot from NROL-111?  That launch has been delayed from the end of 2019 to TBD.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2019 07:17 pm by zubenelgenubi »
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - Q4 2019
« Reply #4 on: 07/12/2019 02:05 am »
Cross-post; NRO tweet probably refers to this mission, instead of NROL-111.
NRO tweet probably about this mission, stating "late 2019". https://twitter.com/NatReconOfc/status/1149417529217081344
« Last Edit: 07/17/2019 01:54 am by zubenelgenubi »
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
From the October 9 update of the SFN Launch Schedule: launch delayed to February 15, 2020.
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline joseph.a.navin

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • NSF Writer/Reporter | Freelance photojournalist
  • Elon, North Carolina, USA
  • Liked: 261
  • Likes Given: 226
I would like to attend this launch, does Wallops have media accreditation for NROL Minotaur launches?
Elon University class of 2024 | Past launches/events seen: Superbird-A2 on Atlas IIAS (Apr 2004), Discovery OV-103 ferry flight to Dulles (2012), NG-12, OFT-1, NG-13, Crew-2, NG-18

Offline rayleighscatter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1098
  • Maryland
  • Liked: 563
  • Likes Given: 238
I would like to attend this launch, does Wallops have media accreditation for NROL Minotaur launches?
Wallops hasn't hosted an NRO launch before. They've done accreditation for USAF launch though. I would probably expect they'll do it, but expect much less access than is given for Antares launches

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - Spring 2020
« Reply #8 on: 12/31/2019 09:25 am »
Belated cross-post:
https://spacenews.com/air-force-to-schedule-nine-small-launch-missions-in-2020/
Quote
A National Reconnaissance mission, NROL-129, is scheduled to fly sometime in the spring on a Northrop Grumman Minotaur 4 launch vehicle from Wallops Island, Virginia.

An Air Force Research Lab experimental payload will fly in the spring aboard a Rocket Lab Electron vehicle from the company’s new launch pad at Wallops Island. The STP-27RM Space Test Program mission is an experimental satellite called Monolith that will be used for space weather research.
...
Another NRO mission, NROL-111, will launch in late 2020 from Wallops Island aboard a Northrop Grumman Minotaur 1 vehicle.
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - March 31, 2020
« Reply #9 on: 01/23/2020 03:43 am »
From the January 22 update of the SFN Launch Schedule: launch on March 31, 2020.
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline soltasto

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 590
  • Italy, Earth
  • Liked: 977
  • Likes Given: 40
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - March 31, 2020
« Reply #10 on: 02/19/2020 10:48 am »
When do we expect stacking to occur? Would it be visible by the public?

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - NET April 2020
« Reply #11 on: 04/21/2020 04:36 am »
Belated cross-post:
Minotaur/NROL-129 delayed without new date

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - July 15, 2020
« Reply #12 on: 05/10/2020 06:20 am »
SFN Launch Schedule, updated May 9, 2020
NROL-129 launch date: July 15, 2020
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8231
  • Liked: 4070
  • Likes Given: 756
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - July 15, 2020
« Reply #13 on: 05/10/2020 09:07 am »
First Minotaur launches at Wallops since 2013, which also had two late year launches.

If all five launches (Antares x2, Minotaur x2, Electron x1) take place this year, it will also be the most orbital launches from Wallops in a single year. 1964 saw Wallops launch 6 Scout rockets, but 3 of those were suborbital.

Minotaur IV is sometimes used as a suborbital rocket, but all instances of that in the past have been from Vandenberg.
That would be Minotaur-III (TLV) and Minotaur-IV-Lite (R&D, Sounding Rocket). The Minotaur-IV Lite version uses the base Minotaur-III vehicle minus the Stage-4 GFE PBM or Super HAPS but at least for the flights flown uses the Minotaur-IV motor burn profile as if it had 4+ stages.

SLC-8 is being renovated for the next Minotaur-IV-Lite launch series for the CSM programme.
« Last Edit: 05/10/2020 09:08 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - July 15, 2020
« Reply #14 on: 06/27/2020 06:05 pm »
When do we expect stacking to occur? Would it be visible by the public?

Any visible launch campaign activity yet?

Will the Minotaur be horizontally integrated inside a processing facility (out of sight)?

EDIT: Per RH117's response, Minotaur stacking should be visible.

So, any activity sightings by Delmarva denizens?
« Last Edit: 07/02/2020 07:19 pm by zubenelgenubi »
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8231
  • Liked: 4070
  • Likes Given: 756
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - July 15, 2020
« Reply #15 on: 06/27/2020 06:56 pm »
Any visible launch campaign activity yet?

Will the Minotaur be horizontally integrated inside a processing facility?
Minotaur stages are shipped horizontally and stacked vertically on the launch mount. The sole exception are the common stages used by Minotaur-C and Pegasus, which are integrated horizontally as a combined stack on a processing stand then rolled as one unit onto its transport trailer and for Minotaur-C is lifted as one and placed on either the 92 inch Peacekeeper GFE or GFE derived Castor-120/120XL stage 0 booster. All Minotaur GFE stages and hardware use GFE transporters which raise the stages vertically but instead of lowering them into a silo, bunker or mobile TEL launch tube are craned from the transporters onto the missions launch mount. Commercial stage equivalents use non GFE transportation. Upon using up all GFE those Minotaur versions will switch to NG's commercial equivalents which are being co-developed with the Large Class Stage project (LCS-I, II, III motors and PBS developed for the all 92 inch GBSD version before granting ARH, Inc a concession to avoid political and legal actions on the GBSD award) with Castor-120XL and Castor-30XL being two of them.
« Last Edit: 06/27/2020 07:21 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline Olaf

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3124
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1481
  • Likes Given: 455
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - July 15, 2020
« Reply #16 on: 07/02/2020 07:04 pm »
https://twitter.com/NatReconOfc/status/1278756907440840708
Quote
We’re excited to announce that our next mission #NROL129 will be launching NET 15 July from @NASA_Wallops  in Virginia aboard a @northropgrumman   #MinotaurIV rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0B.
Quote
#NROL129 will be NRO’s first dedicated launch from the Virginia Space Coast and the first Minotaur mission from Wallops since 2013.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2020 07:06 pm by Olaf »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 33294
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 58599
  • Likes Given: 26232
Re: Minotaur IV - NROL-129 - MARS (Wallops) - July 15, 2020
« Reply #17 on: 07/03/2020 06:44 pm »
https://twitter.com/natreconofc/status/1279122369680900101

Quote
Things are moving along for #NROL129! This will be the NRO's 3rd launch of 2020 & carries four of the agency’s payloads. @NASA_Wallops @northropgrumman. @VCSFA_MARS @AF_SMC

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8827
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 5310
  • Likes Given: 47737
Top secret NRO payload installed on Minotaur rocket for launch from Virginia, dated July 4

Launch window opens at 1300 UTC = 9:00 am EDT.  Duration of window not disclosed.

Re: previous question about coverage:
Quote
NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility plans to provide a live video webcast of the Minotaur 4’s liftoff July 15, but officials are not opening the NASA Visitor Center at Wallops for launch viewing or hosting media representatives to cover the launch in person. NASA cited the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for the closure.
***

One satellite with four instruments, or four satellites?
Quote
Things are moving along for #NROL129! This will be the NRO's 3rd launch of 2020 & carries four of the agency’s payloads.

EDIT July 8
Attached Minotaur IV, V, and VI User's Guide, dated August 2015. I don't know if this is the most recent version.
« Last Edit: 07/08/2020 08:42 pm by zubenelgenubi »
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.)
My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!"

Offline rayleighscatter

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1098
  • Maryland
  • Liked: 563
  • Likes Given: 238
As a bit of an aside too, this summer is the 75th anniversary of the first rocket launch at Wallops. (Either this month or last month depending on the source)

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
0