Author Topic: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-OD 1) : May 2025  (Read 1744 times)

Offline GewoonLukas_

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Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-OD 1) : May 2025
« on: 05/25/2023 09:08 pm »
Thread for the USSF-261S-A launch with the EWS-OD 1 satellite NET May 2025 aboard Minotaur IV

Quote
Space Systems Command Awards $45.5M Launch Service Order to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation for Prototype EWS Mission

May 25, 2023

The U.S. Space Force’s Small Launch and Targets Division’s Office at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, part of the Space Systems Command (SSC) Assured Access to Space organization, awarded a $45.5 million task order to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation on May 24 via an Orbital Services Program (OSP)-4 Indefinite Delivery / Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The contract will provide orbital launch services for the SSC Space Sensing Directorate’s latest spacecraft innovation, the Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) prototype, known as EWS Operational Demonstration-1, for a U.S. Space Force mission designated as USSF-261S-A. The EWS prototype will prove out new EO/IR sensor technology to provide operational quality data to the DoD weather community and inform development of a more cost-effective and proliferated operational architecture. Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation will accomplish one launch of its Minotaur IV rocket to deliver the prototype satellite to low earth orbit. The launch of EWS Operational Demonstration-1 on USSF-261S-A is planned for May 2025

[...]

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Northrop Grumman wins $45 million Space Force contract to launch small weather satellite

The company’s Minotaur 4 rocket will launch the Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System

May 25, 2023

Northrop Grumman won a $45.5 million contract to launch a small weather satellite in 2025, the U.S. Space Force announced May 25.

The company’s Minotaur 4 rocket will launch a payload called Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) Weather System (EWS) prototype that will demonstrate commercial weather imaging technologies for military use. The launch contract was a task order awarded by the U.S. Space Force’s Orbital Services Program-4.

[...]

The EWS weather satellite is a prototype made by General Atomics that will go to low Earth orbit for a three-year demonstration. The mission was designated USSF-261S-A.

[...]

EWS-OD 1 Satellite
« Last Edit: 05/28/2023 10:09 am by GewoonLukas_ »
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Online ZachS09

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #1 on: 05/25/2023 10:48 pm »
I wonder how many Minotaur rockets there are in storage after this one goes.

Why not use the rest up for small-sized national security missions?
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Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #2 on: 05/26/2023 12:15 am »
I wonder how many Minotaur rockets there are in storage after this one goes.

Why not use the rest up for small-sized national security missions?
It is too costly. The $45M price for this launch is only a few millions less than a Falcon 9 launch (Cf. IXPE launch at $50.3 M).

IMO, they fire off a Minotaur now and then to test solid boosters that is similar to ones in the silos.

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #3 on: 05/26/2023 12:21 am »
I wonder how many Minotaur rockets there are in storage after this one goes.

Why not use the rest up for small-sized national security missions?
It is too costly. The $45M price for this launch is only a few millions less than a Falcon 9 launch (Cf. IXPE launch at $50.3 M).

IMO, they fire off a Minotaur now and then to test solid boosters that is similar to ones in the silos.

Hmmmm,  So in other words, the USAF could make up to $45 million whenever they test an ICBM by allowing rideshares?  Just saying  ::)    (and just kidding, I know the ICBM are only ballistic).
« Last Edit: 05/26/2023 12:23 am by catdlr »
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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #4 on: 05/26/2023 12:25 am »
I wonder how many Minotaur rockets there are in storage after this one goes.

Why not use the rest up for small-sized national security missions?
It is too costly. The $45M price for this launch is only a few millions less than a Falcon 9 launch (Cf. IXPE launch at $50.3 M).

IMO, they fire off a Minotaur now and then to test solid boosters that is similar to ones in the silos.

I get how expensive Minotaur is, but you can't just turn to SpaceX every time. There's gotta be a variety of rockets rather than just the one that launches and lands routinely.
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Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #5 on: 05/26/2023 01:07 am »
I wonder how many Minotaur rockets there are in storage after this one goes.

Why not use the rest up for small-sized national security missions?
It is too costly. The $45M price for this launch is only a few millions less than a Falcon 9 launch (Cf. IXPE launch at $50.3 M).

IMO, they fire off a Minotaur now and then to test solid boosters that is similar to ones in the silos.

Hmmmm,  So in other words, the USAF could make up to $45 million whenever they test an ICBM by allowing rideshares?  Just saying  ::)    (and just kidding, I know the ICBM are only ballistic).

Not quite comparable, as there are no Minotaur related ICBMs now.
But the idea is not new - in the 60ies, the OV1 satellite/upperstage combination was developed to hitch-hike satellite launches on ballistic Atlas ICBM tests. However, all OV1 satellites except the first two ended up on dedicated launces.

https://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau_det/atlas-d_ov1.htm
« Last Edit: 05/26/2023 01:09 am by Skyrocket »

Offline freddo411

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #6 on: 05/26/2023 01:18 am »
What is the mass of this sat?  Going to SSO?

Offline DeimosDream

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #7 on: 05/26/2023 02:14 am »
What is the mass of this sat?  Going to SSO?

Looks like 400-455kg going to low polar.

Too big for Electron, but I'm surprised it wasn't scheduled for Firefly Alpha or ABL's RS1.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #8 on: 05/26/2023 08:34 am »
What is the mass of this sat?  Going to SSO?

Looks like 400-455kg going to low polar.

Too big for Electron, but I'm surprised it wasn't scheduled for Firefly Alpha or ABL's RS1.

Likely the payload is too important for a launch vehicle with insufficient success record.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #9 on: 05/27/2023 05:20 pm »
Attached image from the linked General Accounting Office study.
[Edit: zubenelgenubi]
« Last Edit: 05/28/2023 03:26 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #10 on: 05/28/2023 05:40 am »
Why is the name "EWS-I 1" given in the thread title when the news references says it is called "EWS Operational Demonstration-1"?
« Last Edit: 05/28/2023 05:43 am by Steven Pietrobon »
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Offline daedalus1

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #11 on: 05/28/2023 06:18 am »
Surely substantially cheaper to put it on a Falcon 9 rideshare....and more available.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #12 on: 05/28/2023 08:45 am »
Surely substantially cheaper to put it on a Falcon 9 rideshare....and more available.

It makes some sense not to rely only on a single launch contractor and retain other launch alternatives with known reliability -even if it is more expensive and has a lesser availability.
« Last Edit: 05/28/2023 09:30 am by Skyrocket »

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Minotaur IV : USSF-261S-A (EWS-I 1) : May 2025
« Reply #13 on: 05/28/2023 08:46 am »
Why is the name "EWS-I 1" given in the thread title when the news references says it is called "EWS Operational Demonstration-1"?

"EWS Operational Demonstration-1" seems to be the correct designation. I'll change this in my list too.

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