Author Topic: IFT-2 Tracking Facilities  (Read 4494 times)

Offline Yeknom-Ecaps

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IFT-2 Tracking Facilities
« on: 11/09/2023 03:32 am »
With IFT-2 travelling out to Hawaii I would guess that there needs to be sites to actually track the mission flight - where are they and what type of  tracking (e.g. optical, surveillance, etc.) are they doing?

SpaceX permanent/temporary/mobile stations?

Are any of the NASA and/or USSF stations involved (e.g., NASA NEAR EARTH NETWORK, Kaena Point Space Force Station)?

Others?

Any observation ships in the landing areas? Heard that ship Expediton (formerly Gladys D) worked the hazard area off Starbase Texas for ITF-1.

Any information appreciated!
« Last Edit: 11/15/2023 05:34 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online catdlr

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2023 03:35 am »
« Last Edit: 11/09/2023 03:39 am by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa, ...I'm no Feline Dealer!! I move mountains.  but I'm better known for "I think it's highly sexual." Japanese to English Translation.

Offline Yeknom-Ecaps

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #2 on: 11/09/2023 03:37 am »
You can start here:


Thanks Tony good info to start from!
« Last Edit: 11/09/2023 03:40 am by Yeknom-Ecaps »

Online catdlr

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #3 on: 11/09/2023 03:41 am »
« Last Edit: 11/09/2023 03:44 am by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa, ...I'm no Feline Dealer!! I move mountains.  but I'm better known for "I think it's highly sexual." Japanese to English Translation.

Offline edzieba

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #4 on: 11/09/2023 11:27 am »
Launch site - airborne optical tracking:
NASA WB-57, flown for IFT-1, assumed to be booked for IFT-2. Calendar available here - WB-57 #927 is currently booked for "Imagery Support (placeholder)" from 2023/11/01 to 2023/11/09 and 2023/11/27 to 2023/12/01.

Launch site - groundside optical tracking:
SpaceX tracking cameras onsite at Starbase.

Starship projected impact site - multi-wavelength tracking (RADAR through optical).
Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands (Kauai). Previously engaged for IFT-1, assumed to be engaged for IFT-2.

Offline Yeknom-Ecaps

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #5 on: 11/09/2023 01:20 pm »

Launch site - groundside optical tracking:
SpaceX tracking cameras onsite at Starbase.


Thanks for the reply!

Anyone have photos of the tracking camera site at Starbase? Have seen the report in NSF update that the "old" tracking site with the tracking dishes was dismantled.

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #6 on: 11/09/2023 02:38 pm »
What assets, if any, took over the role of the recently removed Apollo era tracking dishes?

Offline Jake-ZA

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #7 on: 11/09/2023 07:21 pm »
What assets, if any, took over the role of the recently removed Apollo era tracking dishes?

In South Africa the

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartebeesthoek_Radio_Astronomy_Observatory

took over the Deep Space Station 51 (DSS 51) constructed by NASA in 1961, and is still available to NASA on a contract basis to provide tracking services.

Offline Barley

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #8 on: 11/09/2023 07:39 pm »
What assets, if any, took over the role of the recently removed Apollo era tracking dishes?

In part GPS and TDRS.  GPS to tell the spacecraft where it is, TDRS so the spacecraft can tell mission control where it is.

Offline Yeknom-Ecaps

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #9 on: 11/09/2023 09:11 pm »
What assets, if any, took over the role of the recently removed Apollo era tracking dishes?

In part GPS and TDRS.  GPS to tell the spacecraft where it is, TDRS so the spacecraft can tell mission control where it is.

Does Starship use TDRS?

Offline CorvusCorax

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #10 on: 11/09/2023 09:47 pm »
What assets, if any, took over the role of the recently removed Apollo era tracking dishes?

In part GPS and TDRS.  GPS to tell the spacecraft where it is, TDRS so the spacecraft can tell mission control where it is.

Does Starship use TDRS?

I don't know for sure, but considering SpaceX contracts with NASA, and Starship being on the Artemis HLS contract, it's quite possible they can.

Starship to my knowledge also has Starlink antennas installed.

But one does not rule out the other. Redundancy is a virtue in Spaceflight.

Offline WTF

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #11 on: 11/10/2023 07:34 am »
Will a NASA WB-57 be deployed for the possible Starship return at the missle range off Hawaii?
AF has excellent assets there, however AIUI,NASA has three WB-57s in their inventory.
Colonel John Paul Stapp, MD. Formulated during those rocket sled experiments ... Stapp's Law: "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."

Online eriblo

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #12 on: 11/10/2023 09:15 am »
Will a NASA WB-57 be deployed for the possible Starship return at the missle range off Hawaii?
AF has excellent assets there, however AIUI,NASA has three WB-57s in their inventory.
I believe there is currently only one flying and for the previous launch they prioritized imaging the launch. Might also be slightly less of a hassle to depart from the home field and be back by lunch compared to the likely week long 5 flight minimum campaign of going to Hawaii*.

*If they are actually rated to do a close to ferry range ETOPS-180 flight which is a big if...
« Last Edit: 11/10/2023 09:28 am by eriblo »

Offline Asteroza

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #13 on: 11/13/2023 12:22 am »
Will a NASA WB-57 be deployed for the possible Starship return at the missle range off Hawaii?
AF has excellent assets there, however AIUI,NASA has three WB-57s in their inventory.
I believe there is currently only one flying and for the previous launch they prioritized imaging the launch. Might also be slightly less of a hassle to depart from the home field and be back by lunch compared to the likely week long 5 flight minimum campaign of going to Hawaii*.

*If they are actually rated to do a close to ferry range ETOPS-180 flight which is a big if...

Somewhere someone posted up the WB-57 schedule, and they've got openings at the end of November, but not around November 17...

Online eriblo

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #14 on: 11/13/2023 12:30 am »
Will a NASA WB-57 be deployed for the possible Starship return at the missle range off Hawaii?
AF has excellent assets there, however AIUI,NASA has three WB-57s in their inventory.
I believe there is currently only one flying and for the previous launch they prioritized imaging the launch. Might also be slightly less of a hassle to depart from the home field and be back by lunch compared to the likely week long 5 flight minimum campaign of going to Hawaii*.

*If they are actually rated to do a close to ferry range ETOPS-180 flight which is a big if...

Somewhere someone posted up the WB-57 schedule, and they've got openings at the end of November, but not around November 17...
The link is in Reply #4 and shows nothing booked for N927NA untill 2023-11-27. That might mean that it is available for a day on short notice, I have no idea of what goes into booking one ;)
« Last Edit: 11/13/2023 12:32 am by eriblo »

Offline Asteroza

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Re: ITF-2 Tracking Facilities
« Reply #15 on: 11/13/2023 01:09 am »
Will a NASA WB-57 be deployed for the possible Starship return at the missle range off Hawaii?
AF has excellent assets there, however AIUI,NASA has three WB-57s in their inventory.
I believe there is currently only one flying and for the previous launch they prioritized imaging the launch. Might also be slightly less of a hassle to depart from the home field and be back by lunch compared to the likely week long 5 flight minimum campaign of going to Hawaii*.

*If they are actually rated to do a close to ferry range ETOPS-180 flight which is a big if...

Somewhere someone posted up the WB-57 schedule, and they've got openings at the end of November, but not around November 17...
The link is in Reply #4 and shows nothing booked for N927NA untill 2023-11-27. That might mean that it is available for a day on short notice, I have no idea of what goes into booking one ;)

I had assumed the placeholder was for SpaceX thus nothing being scheduled near the 17th being odd.

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