Author Topic: Electron : LC-1B : TROPICS F2: Rocket Like A Hurricane : 8 May 2023 01:00 UTC  (Read 36587 times)

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https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1595426341746364416

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NASA awards the remaining pair of TROPICS launches to Rocket Lab $RKLB:

The four cuebsats are expected to launch on two Electron rockets no earlier than May 1:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-launch-services-task-order-for-tropics-cubesats-mission/

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Nov 23, 2022
RELEASE 22-123

NASA Awards Launch Services Task Order for TROPICS CubeSats Mission

NASA has selected Rocket Lab USA Inc. of Long Beach, California, to provide the launch service for the agency’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) mission, as part of the agency's Venture-class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) launch services contract.

Rocket Lab is one of 13 companies NASA selected for VADR contracts in 2022. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manages the VADR contracts. As part of VADR, the fixed-price indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts have a five-year ordering period with a maximum total value of $300 million across all contracts.

The TROPICS mission consists of four CubeSats intended for two low-Earth orbital planes and is part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program. Rocket Lab will launch the TROPICS satellites into their operational orbits during a 60-day period (first insertion to final insertion). These two dedicated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) licensed launches, each on an Electron Rocket are targeted to launch no earlier than May 1, 2023, enabling NASA to provide observations during the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins June 1.

The TROPICS constellation targets the formation and evolution of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and will provide rapidly updating observations of storm intensity, as well as the horizontal and vertical structures of temperature and humidity within the storms and in their surrounding environment. These data will help scientists better understand the processes that effect these high-impact storms, ultimately leading to improved modeling and prediction.

Building on NASA's previous procurement efforts to foster development of new launch vehicles for NASA payloads, VADR provides FAA-licensed commercial launch services for payloads that can tolerate higher risk. By using a lower level of mission assurance, and commercial best practices for launching rockets, these highly flexible contracts help broaden access to space through lower launch costs.

For more information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

-end-

Joshua Finch / Kiana Raines
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
[email protected] / [email protected] 

Patti Bielling
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
321-501-7575
[email protected]

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Editor: Gerelle Dodson
« Last Edit: 05/05/2023 04:45 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #1 on: 11/23/2022 02:00 pm »
It will most likely be launched from Wallops, right?
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Offline imprezive

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #2 on: 11/23/2022 02:04 pm »
It will most likely be launched from Wallops, right?

Doubtful. They go to 30 deg inclination which I don’t think wallops can support.

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #3 on: 11/23/2022 02:34 pm »
It will most likely be launched from Wallops, right?

Doubtful. They go to 30 deg inclination which I don’t think wallops can support.
Wallops and Mahia are at basically the same latitude, except one is north of the equator while the other is south.

That said, the geography may make doglegs harder at Wallops. On their website, Rocket Lab specifically says that Mahia can support launches to 30 degrees, while it says nothing about the inclinations supported by Wallops.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #4 on: 11/23/2022 03:12 pm »
It will most likely be launched from Wallops, right?

Doubtful. They go to 30 deg inclination which I don’t think wallops can support.
Wallops and Mahia are at basically the same latitude, except one is north of the equator while the other is south.

That said, the geography may make doglegs harder at Wallops. On their website, Rocket Lab specifically says that Mahia can support launches to 30 degrees, while it says nothing about the inclinations supported by Wallops.
The Payload User's Guide lists Wallops as supporting inclinations between 38° and 60°. It also lists Mahia's inclination range as 39° to 120°, so from either site 30° would be incorporating a plane change, not just a dogleg.

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #5 on: 11/23/2022 03:17 pm »
The Payload User's Guide lists Wallops as supporting inclinations between 38° and 60°. It also lists Mahia's inclination range as 39° to 120°, so from either site 30° would be incorporating a plane change, not just a dogleg.
Doesn't a dogleg always imply a change in orbital inclination?

Offline edzieba

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #6 on: 11/23/2022 03:24 pm »
The Payload User's Guide lists Wallops as supporting inclinations between 38° and 60°. It also lists Mahia's inclination range as 39° to 120°, so from either site 30° would be incorporating a plane change, not just a dogleg.
Doesn't a dogleg always imply a change in orbital inclination?
No. For example, the southern polar launch corridor from KSC & CCAFS is not an unachievable inclination without the dogleg, the dogleg is to physically relocate the stage drop sites away from populated areas.

Offline niwax

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #7 on: 11/23/2022 03:32 pm »
Mahia and Wallops are both >1000km due north/south from 30°. That is way beyond dogleg territory, even if the were to launch straight north and do a 90° turn that would be around orbital insertion.
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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #8 on: 11/23/2022 03:33 pm »
The Payload User's Guide lists Wallops as supporting inclinations between 38° and 60°. It also lists Mahia's inclination range as 39° to 120°, so from either site 30° would be incorporating a plane change, not just a dogleg.
Doesn't a dogleg always imply a change in orbital inclination?
No. For example, the southern polar launch corridor from KSC & CCAFS is not an unachievable inclination without the dogleg, the dogleg is to physically relocate the stage drop sites away from populated areas.
It's unachievable without overflying populated areas. The initial launch inclination, without the dogleg, would lead to a different orbital inclination, and the dogleg changes the target orbital inclination.

Basically, I don't see a meaningful difference between "it changes the inclination because going directly without a dogleg would have involved overflying populated areas" and "it changes the inclination because going directly without a dogleg was physically impossible due to latitude." Both change the plane.

Edit: It occurred to me after thinking for a while that there is one potential difference: how long between launch and performing the trajectory-correction maneuver. If you're just trying to dodge populated areas, you can change as soon as you're past them, but if you're trying to hit a lower inclination than your launch latitude, you need to wait at least until you're under the appropriate latitude, if not until you hit the equator (I don't understand orbital mechanics enough to know whether making the change at the equator is extra efficient). The longer you wait to make the change, the faster you're going and the harder it is to change direction, so I could see "hitting extra-low inclinations" costing more than simple population avoidance maneuvers in general.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2022 04:17 pm by trimeta »

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #9 on: 11/23/2022 03:50 pm »
Choice of Electron is no surprise as it was cheapest and most reliable option to deliver these cubesats into orbit on time. LauncherOne was another option but lot more expensive.

In regards to discussion about reaching target orbits from Mahia or Wallops, Electron is way oversize for this mission which means there is lot of extra performance to play with. Curie kick stage can have extra fuel it needed to provide plane change.

Offline butters

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #10 on: 11/23/2022 03:57 pm »
We usually get the contract value in these press releases, but this time we only get the total value of all of the launch contracts under the VADR program. Astra won this contract (for the six cubesats) at $7.95M. Rocket Lab obviously won't launch two Electrons for that price. NASA will pay more for less (albeit with a much higher reliability launch provider) because of Astra's failure to deliver, but how much more? This could be a $15M contract or a $30M contract depending on how much it's marked up over base Electron pricing for NASA requirements. If they got too greedy they could lose out to Virgin Orbit, but they probably wouldn't do it for less than $30M.

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #11 on: 11/23/2022 04:11 pm »
We usually get the contract value in these press releases, but this time we only get the total value of all of the launch contracts under the VADR program. Astra won this contract (for the six cubesats) at $7.95M. Rocket Lab obviously won't launch two Electrons for that price. NASA will pay more for less (albeit with a much higher reliability launch provider) because of Astra's failure to deliver, but how much more? This could be a $15M contract or a $30M contract depending on how much it's marked up over base Electron pricing for NASA requirements. If they got too greedy they could lose out to Virgin Orbit, but they probably wouldn't do it for less than $30M.
Honestly, I wouldn't expect that much of a markup. The only factors which make this launch atypical are the need for a plane change and the relative urgency (NASA wants these satellites up and running in time for the 2023 hurricane season). The payload is so light that I don't think any custom design work is needed to give Electron the power to perform the plane change (just some additional trajectory calculations), and with Rocket Lab often saying "we could launch more often, we just don't have the customers," I would imagine it's not that hard for them to squeeze in a couple more. Although I suppose to that last point, just because it's easy for Rocket Lab doesn't mean they can't charge a hefty markup anyway...

Offline ZachS09

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #12 on: 11/23/2022 04:23 pm »
Choice of Electron is no surprise as it was cheapest and most reliable option to deliver these cubesats into orbit on time. LauncherOne was another option but lot more expensive.

In regards to discussion about reaching target orbits from Mahia or Wallops, Electron is way oversize for this mission which means there is lot of extra performance to play with. Curie kick stage can have extra fuel it needed to provide plane change.

I knew Rocket Lab was most likely to launch the TROPICS cubesats. What was that one member thinking when he believed Starship could launch the remaining four on its test flight?
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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #13 on: 11/23/2022 05:25 pm »
Choice of Electron is no surprise as it was cheapest and most reliable option to deliver these cubesats into orbit on time. LauncherOne was another option but lot more expensive.

In regards to discussion about reaching target orbits from Mahia or Wallops, Electron is way oversize for this mission which means there is lot of extra performance to play with. Curie kick stage can have extra fuel it needed to provide plane change.

I knew Rocket Lab was most likely to launch the TROPICS cubesats. What was that one member thinking when he believed Starship could launch the remaining four on its test flight?
Because in addition to Astra, Rocketlab, and Virgin Orbit, SpaceX also bid for the original TROPICS launch with Starship.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #14 on: 11/23/2022 05:27 pm »
What was that one member thinking when he believed Starship could launch the remaining four on its test flight?

That was what SpaceX had offered in the original bid to launch TROPICS, which was then won by Astra.

I do not know if SpaceX had repeated it for the re-bid of the launch contract.

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #15 on: 11/23/2022 05:29 pm »
I suspect, the 30° inclination makes it difficult to find co-passengers for these launches. So they are dedicated launches?

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #16 on: 11/23/2022 05:33 pm »
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Online TrevorMonty

Launch’s from Wallops, Virginia
https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1595485294026887169
Going be launch facility of choice for Government missions unless the orbit requires Mahia. Lot cheaper to have mission personnel present at payload integration.

Offline sdsds

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The Payload User's Guide lists Wallops as supporting inclinations between 38° and 60°. It also lists Mahia's inclination range as 39° to 120°, so from either site 30° would be incorporating a plane change, not just a dogleg.
Doesn't a dogleg always imply a change in orbital inclination?
No. For example, the southern polar launch corridor from KSC & CCAFS is not an unachievable inclination without the dogleg, the dogleg is to physically relocate the stage drop sites away from populated areas.

Is it fair to guess that the vehicle will fly a mostly vertical ascent slowly drifting southeast and then, once at an altitude outside the atmosphere but still going nowhere close to orbital speed, perform a sub-orbital inclination change? That's not like a dog-leg in the atmosphere right after lift-off, but it isn't like an orbital inclination change either....
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 01:19 am by sdsds »
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Offline edkyle99

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"Launch Complex 2" seems to be just a Rocket Lab in-house identifier.  MARS has "Launch Pad 0A" (Antares) and "Launch Pad 0B" (Minotaur) and on its web site identifies the new Electron pad as "Launch Pad 0C". 
https://www.vaspace.org/our-facilities

Wallops Flight Facility already has/had a "Launch Area 1" and a "Launch Area 2" which were used for sounding rockets.  "Launch Area 3" handled Scout back in the day.   And so on.

 - Ed Kyle 
« Last Edit: 11/23/2022 08:30 pm by edkyle99 »

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"Launch Complex 2" seems to be just a Rocket Lab in-house identifier.  MARS has "Launch Pad 0A" (Antares) and "Launch Pad 0B" (Minotaur) and on its web site identifies the new Electron pad as "Launch Pad 0C". 
https://www.vaspace.org/our-facilities

Wallops Flight Facility already has/had a "Launch Area 1" and a "Launch Area 2" which were used for sounding rockets.  "Launch Area 3" handled Scout back in the day.   And so on.

 - Ed Kyle
When SpaceX took over CCAFS Launch Complex 13 to build their landing zone, they renamed it LZ-1 (and later added LZ-2). I view Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 the same way: they built it, they get to name it, even if that's inconsistent with the name scheme used by other nearby pads.

If it helps, they're consistent about saying "Launch Complex," so it's distinct from any nearby Launch Areas.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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From a 185 km insertion orbit, the required delta-V to go to a 550 km circular orbit with an 8º plane change (38 to 30 degrees) is 1088.1 m/s.

Enter initial perigee height (km): 185
Enter initial apogee height (km): 185
Enter required inclination change (deg): 8
Enter required perigee height (km): 550
Enter required apogee height (km): 550

Burn at   185.0 km: theta1 =  2.33 deg, dv1 =  335.8 m/s
Burn at   550.0 km: theta2 =  5.67 deg, dv2 =  752.3 m/s
dv = 1088.1 m/s

Using the attached program, a delta-V of 1088.1 m/s is equivalent to reaching a height of 2220.3 km without a plane change. Extrapolating from the Electron users guide, that gives a payload of 140 kg for an equivalent 40º circular orbit. Two TROPICS cubesats are 12 kg total, so Electron should have performance in reserve.

ha = 2220.3 km
dv = 1088.1 m/s

I used the last two points to generate the following linear extrapolation formula. For 400 km, the formula gives 272 kg, pretty close to the 270 kg value in  the graph, so it seems to be good over a wide range.

mc = -0.07222*h + 300.6
h = height in km
mc = payload in kg
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 05:42 am by Steven Pietrobon »
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Offline ZachS09

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Why can't they launch all four cubesats in one go?
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 05:17 am by ZachS09 »
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Why can't they launch all four cubesats in one go?

They are in different orbital planes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #24 on: 11/24/2022 11:07 am »
Edit: It occurred to me after thinking for a while that there is one potential difference: how long between launch and performing the trajectory-correction maneuver. If you're just trying to dodge populated areas, you can change as soon as you're past them, but if you're trying to hit a lower inclination than your launch latitude, you need to wait at least until you're under the appropriate latitude, if not until you hit the equator (I don't understand orbital mechanics enough to know whether making the change at the equator is extra efficient). The longer you wait to make the change, the faster you're going and the harder it is to change direction, so I could see "hitting extra-low inclinations" costing more than simple population avoidance maneuvers in general.
Trying to plane change at time of launch is inefficient (you waste energy gaining velocity you then need to waste more energy cancelling out again), plane changes are most efficient at apoapsis. You launch to a transfer orbit at the minimum inclination achievable (38°) then perform the plane change from that transfer orbit. The higher you can get your apoapsis (and therefor the lower the orbital velocity at apoapsis) the less energy needed for the plane change - but the more energy needed for the eccentricity change, so there is a tradeoff. This is why many GSO launches launch to supersynchronous GTO transfer orbits in order to perform the plane change with minimum propellant usage.

A dogleg is not a plane change, it is a temporary shifting of ground track (or more accurately, steering of the IIP).

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #25 on: 11/24/2022 12:05 pm »
Edit: It occurred to me after thinking for a while that there is one potential difference: how long between launch and performing the trajectory-correction maneuver. If you're just trying to dodge populated areas, you can change as soon as you're past them, but if you're trying to hit a lower inclination than your launch latitude, you need to wait at least until you're under the appropriate latitude, if not until you hit the equator (I don't understand orbital mechanics enough to know whether making the change at the equator is extra efficient). The longer you wait to make the change, the faster you're going and the harder it is to change direction, so I could see "hitting extra-low inclinations" costing more than simple population avoidance maneuvers in general.
Trying to plane change at time of launch is inefficient (you waste energy gaining velocity you then need to waste more energy cancelling out again), plane changes are most efficient at apoapsis. You launch to a transfer orbit at the minimum inclination achievable (38°) then perform the plane change from that transfer orbit. The higher you can get your apoapsis (and therefor the lower the orbital velocity at apoapsis) the less energy needed for the plane change - but the more energy needed for the eccentricity change, so there is a tradeoff. This is why many GSO launches launch to supersynchronous GTO transfer orbits in order to perform the plane change with minimum propellant usage.

A dogleg is not a plane change, it is a temporary shifting of ground track (or more accurately, steering of the IIP).
It still seems to me like any maneuver which changes the angle the rocket is traveling at will change the orbital inclination, and thus plane, relative to where the rocket would have gone absent said maneuver. However, I'll grant that performing this maneuver early into the first-stage flight, while the rocket is still gaining speed, is very different from doing so with a relight of the second-stage engine at apoapsis. Perhaps to the point where I have to abandon calling the latter a "dogleg," since the ground track doesn't change until half an orbit away from the launch site, thus looking nothing like the quick bend associated with a dogleg.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #26 on: 11/24/2022 12:19 pm »
Edit: It occurred to me after thinking for a while that there is one potential difference: how long between launch and performing the trajectory-correction maneuver. If you're just trying to dodge populated areas, you can change as soon as you're past them, but if you're trying to hit a lower inclination than your launch latitude, you need to wait at least until you're under the appropriate latitude, if not until you hit the equator (I don't understand orbital mechanics enough to know whether making the change at the equator is extra efficient). The longer you wait to make the change, the faster you're going and the harder it is to change direction, so I could see "hitting extra-low inclinations" costing more than simple population avoidance maneuvers in general.
Trying to plane change at time of launch is inefficient (you waste energy gaining velocity you then need to waste more energy cancelling out again), plane changes are most efficient at apoapsis. You launch to a transfer orbit at the minimum inclination achievable (38°) then perform the plane change from that transfer orbit. The higher you can get your apoapsis (and therefor the lower the orbital velocity at apoapsis) the less energy needed for the plane change - but the more energy needed for the eccentricity change, so there is a tradeoff. This is why many GSO launches launch to supersynchronous GTO transfer orbits in order to perform the plane change with minimum propellant usage.

A dogleg is not a plane change, it is a temporary shifting of ground track (or more accurately, steering of the IIP).
It still seems to me like any maneuver which changes the angle the rocket is traveling at will change the orbital inclination, and thus plane, relative to where the rocket would have gone absent said maneuver.
No.
A dogleg does not change the inclination you can reach from a launch site by any appreciable value. It minimises the risk of dropping debris over population areas, but if those keep-out areas were not present then you could launch directly to that inclination form the same launch site. The velocity you add as part of the dogleg manoeuvre almost always ends up as part of the velocity component of the final orbit. 
A plane change is fundamentally different. You cannot launch from a 38° latitude launch site to a 30° inclined orbit no matter what direction you point the rocket. If you try and 'fly towards the equator' then turn 90° to point towards your desired inclination, you need to cancel out the 'northwards' velocity you gained in doing so. That means you waste energy gaining velocity and then cancelling that velocity again.

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #27 on: 11/24/2022 01:31 pm »
No.
A dogleg does not change the inclination you can reach from a launch site by any appreciable value. It minimises the risk of dropping debris over population areas, but if those keep-out areas were not present then you could launch directly to that inclination form the same launch site. The velocity you add as part of the dogleg manoeuvre almost always ends up as part of the velocity component of the final orbit. 
A plane change is fundamentally different. You cannot launch from a 38° latitude launch site to a 30° inclined orbit no matter what direction you point the rocket. If you try and 'fly towards the equator' then turn 90° to point towards your desired inclination, you need to cancel out the 'northwards' velocity you gained in doing so. That means you waste energy gaining velocity and then cancelling that velocity again.
I didn't say it changes the inclination you can reach. I said it changes the inclination you would be headed to if you didn't use the dogleg. If the rocket initially launches at 40°, and then 20 miles downrange changes to be going to 50°, it will end up in a different orbital plane vs. if it continued at 40°. Yes, it could also have reached the 50° inclination by going straight and not worrying about the ground track, but it didn't, to avoid overflying populated areas. So in this case, the dogleg changed where the rocket ended up.

Again, I'm not saying that the dogleg "plane changed" because it enabled accessing an inclination otherwise inaccessible due to latitude. That inclination could have been reached without the dogleg, by just overflying land. But it wasn't, because the rocket didn't start out aiming for the correct inclination. The dogleg changed where it ended up, relative to its initial trajectory. What do you call it if the initial trajectory went to one plane, then something happened to change it to another one?

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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #28 on: 11/24/2022 03:28 pm »
No.
A dogleg does not change the inclination you can reach from a launch site by any appreciable value. It minimises the risk of dropping debris over population areas, but if those keep-out areas were not present then you could launch directly to that inclination form the same launch site. The velocity you add as part of the dogleg manoeuvre almost always ends up as part of the velocity component of the final orbit. 
A plane change is fundamentally different. You cannot launch from a 38° latitude launch site to a 30° inclined orbit no matter what direction you point the rocket. If you try and 'fly towards the equator' then turn 90° to point towards your desired inclination, you need to cancel out the 'northwards' velocity you gained in doing so. That means you waste energy gaining velocity and then cancelling that velocity again.
I didn't say it changes the inclination you can reach. I said it changes the inclination you would be headed to if you didn't use the dogleg. If the rocket initially launches at 40°, and then 20 miles downrange changes to be going to 50°, it will end up in a different orbital plane vs. if it continued at 40°. Yes, it could also have reached the 50° inclination by going straight and not worrying about the ground track, but it didn't, to avoid overflying populated areas. So in this case, the dogleg changed where the rocket ended up.

Again, I'm not saying that the dogleg "plane changed" because it enabled accessing an inclination otherwise inaccessible due to latitude. That inclination could have been reached without the dogleg, by just overflying land. But it wasn't, because the rocket didn't start out aiming for the correct inclination. The dogleg changed where it ended up, relative to its initial trajectory. What do you call it if the initial trajectory went to one plane, then something happened to change it to another one?
You've missed the entire second half of the post, which explains the critical difference between a dogleg and a plane change.

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Edit: It occurred to me after thinking for a while that there is one potential difference: how long between launch and performing the trajectory-correction maneuver. If you're just trying to dodge populated areas, you can change as soon as you're past them, but if you're trying to hit a lower inclination than your launch latitude, you need to wait at least until you're under the appropriate latitude, if not until you hit the equator (I don't understand orbital mechanics enough to know whether making the change at the equator is extra efficient). The longer you wait to make the change, the faster you're going and the harder it is to change direction, so I could see "hitting extra-low inclinations" costing more than simple population avoidance maneuvers in general.
Trying to plane change at time of launch is inefficient (you waste energy gaining velocity you then need to waste more energy cancelling out again), plane changes are most efficient at apoapsis. You launch to a transfer orbit at the minimum inclination achievable (38°) then perform the plane change from that transfer orbit. The higher you can get your apoapsis (and therefor the lower the orbital velocity at apoapsis) the less energy needed for the plane change - but the more energy needed for the eccentricity change, so there is a tradeoff. This is why many GSO launches launch to supersynchronous GTO transfer orbits in order to perform the plane change with minimum propellant usage.


These are type maneuvers Electrons's high endurance kick stage is ideal for.


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From a 185 km insertion orbit, the required delta-V to go to a 550 km circular orbit with an 8º plane change (38 to 30 degrees) is 1088.1 m/s.

Enter initial perigee height (km): 185
Enter initial apogee height (km): 185
Enter required inclination change (deg): 8
Enter required perigee height (km): 550
Enter required apogee height (km): 550

Burn at   185.0 km: theta1 =  2.33 deg, dv1 =  335.8 m/s
Burn at   550.0 km: theta2 =  5.67 deg, dv2 =  752.3 m/s
dv = 1088.1 m/s

This  is great!

When doing calculations like this in the past I've always assumed the burns would happen at equator crossings, because otherwise you can't get to a 0 deg inclination orbit. But if the target orbit is 30 deg then in theory you could do the plane change from 38 deg inclination as soon as you reach 30 deg latitude, all in one burn. If the initial apogee height were 185 km and the initial perigee height were -1000 km (i.e. sub-orbital), the single burn could conceivably require lower total deltav than the two burn approach. (Of course I should do the math before posting like this; oh, weakness!)
« Last Edit: 11/24/2022 05:18 pm by sdsds »
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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #31 on: 11/24/2022 09:51 pm »
No.
A dogleg does not change the inclination you can reach from a launch site by any appreciable value. It minimises the risk of dropping debris over population areas, but if those keep-out areas were not present then you could launch directly to that inclination form the same launch site. The velocity you add as part of the dogleg manoeuvre almost always ends up as part of the velocity component of the final orbit. 
A plane change is fundamentally different. You cannot launch from a 38° latitude launch site to a 30° inclined orbit no matter what direction you point the rocket. If you try and 'fly towards the equator' then turn 90° to point towards your desired inclination, you need to cancel out the 'northwards' velocity you gained in doing so. That means you waste energy gaining velocity and then cancelling that velocity again.
I didn't say it changes the inclination you can reach. I said it changes the inclination you would be headed to if you didn't use the dogleg. If the rocket initially launches at 40°, and then 20 miles downrange changes to be going to 50°, it will end up in a different orbital plane vs. if it continued at 40°. Yes, it could also have reached the 50° inclination by going straight and not worrying about the ground track, but it didn't, to avoid overflying populated areas. So in this case, the dogleg changed where the rocket ended up.

Again, I'm not saying that the dogleg "plane changed" because it enabled accessing an inclination otherwise inaccessible due to latitude. That inclination could have been reached without the dogleg, by just overflying land. But it wasn't, because the rocket didn't start out aiming for the correct inclination. The dogleg changed where it ended up, relative to its initial trajectory. What do you call it if the initial trajectory went to one plane, then something happened to change it to another one?
You've missed the entire second half of the post, which explains the critical difference between a dogleg and a plane change.
I agree there are two different types of maneuvers. I'm saying that both of them change the plane. Maybe formally, only one is called a "plane change." But just because you could reach a given inclination from a particular launch site without any sort of maneuver (if you were willing to overfly populated area), if for one specific launch the initial heading does not go to the inclination you actually want (because you're performing a dogleg maneuver), then changing your heading later changes the plane. And no amount of telling me "it's only a plane change if you use it to hit an inclination that would otherwise have been physically impossible from that latitude" will make me think that changing the ground track of the rocket has no impact on the plane. If you launched due east from a 38° north latitude launch site, then 50 miles later turned the rocket due north, are you going to end up in a 38° inclination orbit? The fact that you could have aimed the rocket due north when you launched it doesn't change that for this launch, you didn't.

(And yes, that particular example is especially silly. The example isn't supposed to be efficient or directly represent any sort of realistic trajectory that one would ever use. It's supposed to be an extreme example to illustrate what I'm getting at.)

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Has Rocket Lab or NASA indicated anything about whether the TROPICS launch windows will be instantaneous? ULA is rightly proud of their launch systems' ability to do "RAAN steering" into a target orbital plane. See e.g.:
https://blog.ulalaunch.com/blog/lucy-trajectory-technique-gives-atlas-v-time-to-launch

I suppose it might be worth using a term like "inclination steering" rather than "dogleg" to describe the (simpler) process of targeting an inclination that would be otherwise unavailable from a launch site.
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Re: Electron : NASA TROPICS cubesats : NET 1 May 2023
« Reply #33 on: 11/25/2022 10:48 am »
No.
A dogleg does not change the inclination you can reach from a launch site by any appreciable value. It minimises the risk of dropping debris over population areas, but if those keep-out areas were not present then you could launch directly to that inclination form the same launch site. The velocity you add as part of the dogleg manoeuvre almost always ends up as part of the velocity component of the final orbit. 
A plane change is fundamentally different. You cannot launch from a 38° latitude launch site to a 30° inclined orbit no matter what direction you point the rocket. If you try and 'fly towards the equator' then turn 90° to point towards your desired inclination, you need to cancel out the 'northwards' velocity you gained in doing so. That means you waste energy gaining velocity and then cancelling that velocity again.
I didn't say it changes the inclination you can reach. I said it changes the inclination you would be headed to if you didn't use the dogleg. If the rocket initially launches at 40°, and then 20 miles downrange changes to be going to 50°, it will end up in a different orbital plane vs. if it continued at 40°. Yes, it could also have reached the 50° inclination by going straight and not worrying about the ground track, but it didn't, to avoid overflying populated areas. So in this case, the dogleg changed where the rocket ended up.

Again, I'm not saying that the dogleg "plane changed" because it enabled accessing an inclination otherwise inaccessible due to latitude. That inclination could have been reached without the dogleg, by just overflying land. But it wasn't, because the rocket didn't start out aiming for the correct inclination. The dogleg changed where it ended up, relative to its initial trajectory. What do you call it if the initial trajectory went to one plane, then something happened to change it to another one?
You've missed the entire second half of the post, which explains the critical difference between a dogleg and a plane change.
I agree there are two different types of maneuvers. I'm saying that both of them change the plane. Maybe formally, only one is called a "plane change." But just because you could reach a given inclination from a particular launch site without any sort of maneuver (if you were willing to overfly populated area), if for one specific launch the initial heading does not go to the inclination you actually want (because you're performing a dogleg maneuver), then changing your heading later changes the plane. And no amount of telling me "it's only a plane change if you use it to hit an inclination that would otherwise have been physically impossible from that latitude" will make me think that changing the ground track of the rocket has no impact on the plane. If you launched due east from a 38° north latitude launch site, then 50 miles later turned the rocket due north, are you going to end up in a 38° inclination orbit? The fact that you could have aimed the rocket due north when you launched it doesn't change that for this launch, you didn't.

(And yes, that particular example is especially silly. The example isn't supposed to be efficient or directly represent any sort of realistic trajectory that one would ever use. It's supposed to be an extreme example to illustrate what I'm getting at.)
If you count every change in vehicle direction as a plane change, then every single Shuttle mission, every Apollo mission, every Falcon mission, etc (basically every vehicle other than Soyuz with its rotating launch table) conducted a 'plane change' immediately after liftoff due to the roll program and gravity turn manoeuvres being conducted at the same time but not taking the same amount of time.
It is a nonsensical definition of 'plane change' to apply it to every vehicle attitude change, and makes about as much sense as trying to call any vehicle pitch change an eccentricity variation.

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"Launch Complex 2" seems to be just a Rocket Lab in-house identifier.  MARS has "Launch Pad 0A" (Antares) and "Launch Pad 0B" (Minotaur) and on its web site identifies the new Electron pad as "Launch Pad 0C". 
https://www.vaspace.org/our-facilities

Wallops Flight Facility already has/had a "Launch Area 1" and a "Launch Area 2" which were used for sounding rockets.  "Launch Area 3" handled Scout back in the day.   And so on.

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When SpaceX took over CCAFS Launch Complex 13 to build their landing zone, they renamed it LZ-1 (and later added LZ-2). I view Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 the same way: they built it, they get to name it, even if that's inconsistent with the name scheme used by other nearby pads.

If it helps, they're consistent about saying "Launch Complex," so it's distinct from any nearby Launch Areas.
SpaceX originally called it "Landing Complex 1", which conflicted slightly with the original LC (Launch Complex) 1 at the Cape.  They even put up a sign.  Then the name changed to "Zone", possibly to de-conflict with Air Force naming conventions.  At Wallops, Electron will be flying from Pad 0C because that's the MARS identification.   

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Edit: It occurred to me after thinking for a while that there is one potential difference: how long between launch and performing the trajectory-correction maneuver. If you're just trying to dodge populated areas, you can change as soon as you're past them, but if you're trying to hit a lower inclination than your launch latitude, you need to wait at least until you're under the appropriate latitude, if not until you hit the equator (I don't understand orbital mechanics enough to know whether making the change at the equator is extra efficient). The longer you wait to make the change, the faster you're going and the harder it is to change direction, so I could see "hitting extra-low inclinations" costing more than simple population avoidance maneuvers in general.
Trying to plane change at time of launch is inefficient (you waste energy gaining velocity you then need to waste more energy cancelling out again), plane changes are most efficient at apoapsis. You launch to a transfer orbit at the minimum inclination achievable (38°) then perform the plane change from that transfer orbit. The higher you can get your apoapsis (and therefor the lower the orbital velocity at apoapsis) the less energy needed for the plane change - but the more energy needed for the eccentricity change, so there is a tradeoff. This is why many GSO launches launch to supersynchronous GTO transfer orbits in order to perform the plane change with minimum propellant usage.

A dogleg is not a plane change, it is a temporary shifting of ground track (or more accurately, steering of the IIP).

Is any of this correct?
A dogleg IS a plane change.
Period
Plane changes are more efficient when done at lower velocity.  That means at apogee (apoapsis in general) not perigee. That’s why supra-synchronous transfer orbits work well.
Or it means soon after launch like the gravity turn from getting out of the atmosphere to gaining orbital velocity.
All energy is not equal between stages.
Photon may have capacity to change altitude and self-deorbit, but it’s not enough for much of  a plane change.
The specific optimum requires math, obviously, calculus of variations and such, which I can no longer do.  But shy of calculating (“just an opinion”) Electron likely will launch to the southeast, and yaw eastward when it gets near 30 deg N, making much of total plane change as early as possible. 
We have members on NSF who can do that calculation, and I hope they do.

The “roll programs” are completely separate, distinct from any change in direction. Those are to simplify internal guidance calculations.
« Last Edit: 11/25/2022 04:06 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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A dogleg IS a plane change.
Period
No. A dogleg is a manoeuvre to shift the ground track for a launch azimuth to an inclination that is achievable at the launch site latitude but required ground avoidance. A plane change is when you change the plane of an orbit to one you could not achieve from that latitude (otherwise you would have launched to that inclination).
Quote
Plane changes are more efficient when done at lower velocity.  That means at apogee (apoapsis in general) not perigee. That’s why supra-synchronous transfer orbits work well.
Or it means soon after launch like the gravity turn from getting out of the atmosphere to gaining orbital velocity.
All energy is not equal between stages.
No, plane changes are not efficient during ascent. That is why nobody performs plane changes during ascent, and do it once in a parking or transfer orbit instead.
Quote
Photon may have capacity to change altitude and self-deorbit, but it’s not enough for much of  a plane change.
Photon (and the kick-stage, which is likely what will be used as the full Photon capability is not required) has sufficient delta-V for the required plane change, as calculated earlier in the thread.
Quote
The “roll programs” are completely separate, distinct from any change in direction. Those are to simplify internal guidance calculations.
Vehicles do not leap off the pad directly into the final launch azimuth. They first need to clear the physical structure around the pad, then the pad complex, then the launch complex (for US sites, that means getting out over the ocean as all sites are coastal), then you can start being concerned with final launch azimuth.

For example, Shuttle first had to clear the launch mounts, then pitch over 'backwards' (which because the MLP could not rotate, meant the vehicle was now pitched due south), then clear the launch complex, and only then could it start the roll program to bring it to the final launch azimuth.
By the "any vehicle direction change is a plane change" idea, that would mean that every single Shuttle launch was a 0° polar orbit launch that conducted a plane change to the final 35°-120° azimuth.

::EDIT:: Attached is another Shuttle-era example: a dogleg that performs no inclination change at all. This is also what Atlas V's 'RAAN steering' also does.
« Last Edit: 11/25/2022 06:02 pm by edzieba »

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It still seems to me like any maneuver which changes the angle the rocket is traveling at will change the orbital inclination, and thus plane, relative to where the rocket would have gone absent said maneuver.
The mathematician in me forces me to say this is not true that a change in flight angle always results in a change in inclination.  For example, suppose you launch from the cape.  When you reach the equator your trajectory is 28.5 degrees to the equator, going south.  Then suppose you do an enormous plane change, until you are pointing 28.5 degrees north of the equator. Both orbits have exactly the same inclination.   So a huge change in angle, 57 degrees, results in no change in inclination.  Of course this is an enormously expensive and completely pointless maneuver, since the same resulting orbit can be obtained simply be launching earlier or later.  But it's mathematically possible.

More practically, any burn that is within the plane of the existing orbit (but not straight ahead or straight back) will change the direction of flight without changing the inclination or orbital plane.  It can change the apogee, perigee, eccentricity, and so on, and is often used for this purpose.


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It still seems to me like any maneuver which changes the angle the rocket is traveling at will change the orbital inclination, and thus plane, relative to where the rocket would have gone absent said maneuver.
The mathematician in me forces me to say this is not true that a change in flight angle always results in a change in inclination.  For example, suppose you launch from the cape.  When you reach the equator your trajectory is 28.5 degrees to the equator, going south.  Then suppose you do an enormous plane change, until you are pointing 28.5 degrees north of the equator. Both orbits have exactly the same inclination.   So a huge change in angle, 57 degrees, results in no change in inclination.  Of course this is an enormously expensive and completely pointless maneuver, since the same resulting orbit can be obtained simply be launching earlier or later.  But it's mathematically possible.

More practically, any burn that is within the plane of the existing orbit (but not straight ahead or straight back) will change the direction of flight without changing the inclination or orbital plane.  It can change the apogee, perigee, eccentricity, and so on, and is often used for this purpose.
Sure, I wasn't talking about things in the same "direction" as gravity turns or whatnot. Although I hadn't considered edzieba's point about launches from non-rotating pads where infrastructure (and possibly making a beeline to the coast) means you're not headed to the target inclination from T-0. I still think there's a little difference between doing this turn moments after you clear the tower and tens of miles downrange, but (and I say this as a non-rocket scientist) I could see the calculations being very similar, since you're making the adjustment during the initial boost phase in either case.

Although I'd say that ULA's "RAAN steering," if it means turning twice as in the picture, doesn't count as "changing the inclination" in the same way a dogleg does, simply because it changes it once but then changes it back to what it started at. Of course, the scale in that picture could be wrong, perhaps the initial trajectory (before the first turn) is different from the final heading (after the second turn), in which case it's doing the same thing as a dogleg.

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Any moderator who can change the title of the forum:
Electron : LC-1B : TROPICS Flight 2: Rocket Like A Hurricane : May 1, 2023 (01:00 UTC)
« Last Edit: 04/10/2023 09:04 pm by Conexion Espacial »
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Launch Window
NET May 1, 2023
Launch Time
01:00-03:00 UTC
Press-Kit: https://www.rocketlabusa.com/assets/Uploads/FINAL-TROPICS-Press-Kit.pdf
« Last Edit: 04/10/2023 09:01 pm by Conexion Espacial »
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https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230410005386/en/Rocket-Lab-to-Launch-NASA%E2%80%99s-Cyclone-Tracking-Satellite-Constellation-from-New-Zealand

Quote
Rocket Lab to Launch NASA’s Cyclone-Tracking Satellite Constellation from New Zealand
To ensure the constellation is in orbit for the 2023 storm season, Rocket Lab will launch NASA’s four TROPICS satellites from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand across two dedicated Electron missions in May

April 10, 2023 04:15 PM Eastern Daylight Time
LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced it will launch NASA’s TROPICS constellation across two dedicated Electron missions lifting off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand next month.

The TROPICS constellation (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation Structure and Storm Intensity with a Constellation of Small Sats) will monitor the formation and evolution of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, and will provide rapidly updating observations of storm intensity. This data will help scientists better understand the processes that effect these high-impact storms, ultimately leading to improved modelling and prediction. The two missions are expected to launch within approximately two weeks of each other in May 2023. The first launch, named ‘Rocket Like a Hurricane,’ is expected to launch as soon as May 1 NZST (30 April EDT) and the second mission, named ‘Coming to a Storm Near You,’ is expected to follow around May 16 NZST (May 15 EDT).

The constellation, which is part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program, consists of four CubeSats that require launch to a specific orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers and inclination of about 30 degrees. All four satellites need to be deployed into their operational orbit within a 60-day period, making Electron the ideal launch vehicle as it enables dedicated launch to unique orbits on highly responsive timelines. The two missions were initially scheduled to lift-off from Launch Complex 2 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia but will now take place at Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand to support a Q2 launch window that will see the satellites reach orbit in time for the North American 2023 hurricane season.

“The need for improved climate and weather data from space is acute and growing. Hurricanes and tropical storms have a devastating effect on lives and livelihoods, so we’re immensely proud to be entrusted by NASA to launch the TROPICS missions which will enable scientists and researchers to accurately predict storm strength and give people time to evacuate and make plans,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “With the 2023 hurricane season fast approaching, time is of the essence for these missions. Because we operate three launch pads across two countries, we can constantly assess the launch manifest and adapt launch schedules and locations based on customer and mission requirements.”

“The ability to advance our understanding of tropical cyclones from space has been limited by the ability to take frequent measurements, particularly from microwave instruments that see into the storms,” says Will McCarty, Program Scientist for the TROPICS Mission. “Historically, satellites have been too large and expensive to provide observations at a time-frequency that is consistent with the timescales at which tropical cyclones can evolve. The CubeSat era has allowed for smaller, less expensive satellites. With modern small satellite design, we designed a constellation that optimizes the scientific utility of the mission in a way that we can launch in a cost-effective manner. These factors enable TROPICS to provide a new understanding of tropical cyclones by decreasing the time by which a given storm is revisited by the satellites.”

Rocket Lab was selected to launch the TROPICS missions as part of NASA’s Venture-class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) launch services contract.

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No more to be launched from MARS but from Mahia (N-Z).

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An updated Press Kit has been posted. The Timeline of Launch Events has been updated. In particular the kick stage ignition and payload deployment occurs much sooner.

https://www.rocketlabusa.com/assets/Uploads/F3738-TROPICS-Press-Kit.pdf

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1646968461162344448

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Two launches, four satellites, one mission - to monitor hurricanes and extreme storms to better predict their intensity and save lives. 

Both Electron rockets are now undergoing final preparation ahead of lift-off for the two @NASA TROPICS launches next month 🚀🚀🛰️🛰️🛰️🛰️

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1648447618757042177

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It’s integration time for @NASA TROPICS! With satellite checks complete by the NASA and @MITLL teams at Launch Complex 1, soon the first pair of TROPICS sats will be mounted to Electron ahead of launch in >2 weeks.

First TROPICS launch: NET 1 May. https://bit.ly/2XZCCWf

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https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/1650594611205734400

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🛰🛰🚀Media are invited to ask experts about the upcoming launch of the TROPICS satellites at a news conference Friday, April 28!

The first pair will launch May 1 from New Zealand on Rocket Lab’s #RocketLikeAHurricane mission.

Learn More: https://go.nasa.gov/3oGndwl

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Launch is UTC 01:00 on 1st.

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April 24, 2023
MEDIA ADVISORY M23-048
NASA, Rocket Lab Set Coverage for Tropical Cyclones Mission
Hurricane Ian as captured by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra on Sept. 27, 2022.
NASA’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) is a mission to study tropical cyclones, such as Hurricane Ian, pictured here as captured by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra on Sept. 27, 2022.
Credits: NASA

NASA and Rocket Lab are targeting 9 p.m. EDT, Sunday, April 30 (1 p.m. New Zealand Standard Time, Monday, May 1), to launch two storm tracking CubeSats into orbit. 

The agency’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) mission has a two hour launch window from Launch Complex 1 Pad B in Māhia, New Zealand.

Rocket Lab will provide live coverage beginning approximately 20 minutes before launch. Coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, as well as the Rocket Lab website.

TROPICS is a constellation of four identical CubeSats designed to observe tropical cyclones from low Earth orbit, making observations more frequently than current weather tracking satellites. Both payloads, each carrying a pair of CubeSats, will launch on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket.

A second launch from Rocket Lab with two additional CubeSats is targeted for Monday, May 15 EDT (Tuesday, May 16 NZST), with exact launch times contingent on the date and time of the first launch.

TROPICS will study tropical cyclones as part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program and should increase understanding of the processes driving rapid changes in storm structure and integrity. NASA plans to have the CubeSats distributed evenly in two low Earth orbital planes about 340 miles (550 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. TROPICS has the potential to provide roughly hourly observations of a storm’s precipitation, temperature, and humidity, compared to about every six hours with current satellites. Gathering data more frequently can help scientists improve weather forecasting models.

Full coverage of this mission is as follows (all times Eastern):

Friday, April 28

NASA and Rocket Lab will host a media teleconference at 4 p.m. for the TROPICS mission. Audio of the briefing will be livestreamed on NASA's website.

The teleconference participants will include:

    Dr. Will McCarty, program scientist, NASA Earth Science Division
    Ben Kim, program executive, NASA Earth Science Division
    Dr. William Blackwell, TROPICS principal investigator, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Bradley Smith, Director, Launch Services for NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate
    Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO

To participate, media must RSVP at least two hours prior to the start of the briefing by emailing: [email protected].

Saturday, April 30

Approximately 8:40 p.m. – Live launch coverage begins

9 p.m. – Launch window opens

NASA website launch coverage

Follow countdown coverage on NASA’s launch blog for live updates beginning no earlier than 8 p.m. as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff on Rocket Lab’s website and Flickr.

Watch, engage on social media

Stay connected and receive mission updates by following and tagging these accounts:

Twitter: @NASA_LSP, @NASAEarth, @NASAKennedy, @NASA, @RocketLab

Facebook: NASA, NASA LSP, RocketLabUSA

Instagram: @NASA, @NASAEarth, @RocketLabUSA

The TROPICS team is led by Blackwell at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, and includes researchers from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and several universities and commercial partners. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is managing launch services.

For more information about NASA’s TROPICS, visit:

https://go.nasa.gov/3h46pJp

-end-
    

Press Contacts

Karen Fox
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1275
[email protected]

Kiana Raines
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
[email protected]

Leejay Lockhart
Kennedy Space Center, Florida
321-747-8310
[email protected]
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

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NGA notice.

Quote from: NGA
252155Z APR 23
HYDROPAC 1371/23(76).
WESTERN SOUTH PACIFIC.
NEW ZEALAND.
DNC 06.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, ROCKET LAUNCHING
   010100Z TO 140300Z MAY IN AREA BOUND BY:
   39-15.00S 177-48.00E, 39-12.00S 177-51.00E,
   39-06.60S 178-00.00E, 38-56.40S 178-20.40E,
   39-07.20S 178-27.00E, 39-20.40S 177-57.60E,
   39-24.00S 177-57.60E, 39-25.20S 177-48.00E.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 140400Z MAY 23.

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https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1650984795470725120

Quote
Spacecraft integration is underway this week at LC-1 for our two
@NASA
 TROPICS missions.

The countdown to lift-off is on with the first launch scheduled no earlier than:
🚀 NZST | 13:00, May 1
🚀 UTC | 01:00, May 1
🚀 EDT | 21:00, 30 April
🚀 PDT | 18:00, 30 April

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NGA Space Debris notice to go along with the above posted Rocket Launching notice.

Quote from: NGA
252253Z APR 23
HYDROPAC 1372/23(76,83).
SOUTH PACIFIC.
DNC 06.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS
   010100Z TO 140300Z MAY IN AREAS BOUND BY:
   A. 35-07.09S 174-43.22W, 34-18.88S 175-39.48W,
      35-58.00S 177-54.06W, 36-46.55S 177-00.04W.
   B. 26-56.41S 155-33.85W, 26-01.49S 156-07.50W,
      28-44.90S 162-21.97W, 29-41.99S 161-53.52W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 140400Z MAY 23

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Quote
🛰🛰A pair of TROPICS #CubeSats are in the eye of the storm - or rather, in the nose of an Electron rocket!

Teams encapsulated the cyclone-tracking satellites at
@RocketLab
's processing facility in Mahia, New Zealand.

Get ready to #RocketLikeAHurricane early next week!

https://twitter.com/NASA_LSP/status/1651228639579521037
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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1651309725466902528

Quote
This mission is a particularly special one for our team. Earlier this year the region near LC-1 was hit hard by Cyclone Gabrielle, so it's a privilege to be launching satellites tasked with monitoring tropical storms and providing actionable data to those in storm paths.

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1651389155623206914

Quote
Roll out is underway at Launch Complex 1 ahead of our first @NASA TROPICS launch on 1 May UTC. Always love to see the NASA meatball on Electron's fairing!

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1651705408044814337

Quote
Our very first NASA launch was the ELaNa-19 mission in 2018. Electron has been providing reliable access to orbit for @NASA ever since. We can’t wait to launch the next one, TROPICS, on 1 May UTC.

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https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1652047013964292115

Quote
Rocket Lab says on a media call about the TROPICS launches that the first launch, which had been scheduled for Sunday night (US time), will likely slip a couple days because of weather at the New Zealand launch site.

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1652056834604437505

Quote
A weather front is headed toward LC-1, so we’re pushing lift-off a few days to the right for the #RocketLikeAHurricane launch to deploy the @NASA TROPICS satellites.  We’ll assess the weather as it evolves over the weekend and confirm the new target date soon. 🌧️🌬️🚀

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The satellites on board are TROPICS SV 05 and 06.

https://tropics.ll.mit.edu/CMS/tropics/Latest-News-and-Updates

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Cross-post:
https://www.rocketlabusa.com/missions/next-mission/
Quote
Mission Name Rocket Like A Hurricane
Rocket Electron
Electron Name Rocket Like A Hurricane
Launch Window No earlier than May 3, 2023
Launch Time 01:00-03:00 UTC
Launch Site Launch Complex 1
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?

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Astronomy & spaceflight geek penguin. In a relationship w/ Space Shuttle Discovery.

Offline Conexion Espacial

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I publish information in Spanish about space and rockets.
www.x.com/conexionspacial

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Rocket Lab WDR photos from flickr

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1653157041127702529

Quote
High winds & stormy skies continue for most of this week at LC-1, so we’re waiting for that to clear before the first of 2 @NASA TROPICS launches lifts off. Stay tuned for updates on target launch date soon as the forecast settles in the coming days. #RocketLikeAHurricane 🛰️🌧️🚀

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Photos from Rocket Lab flickr

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NGA notice.

NGA Space Debris notice to go along with the above posted Rocket Launching notice.

Maps from the NGA notices.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2023 11:30 pm by OneSpeed »

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The NASA stream is showing a "Live in 6 days, May 9 at 00:45 UTC". There has been no new update on RocketLab's twitter account.
« Last Edit: 05/02/2023 11:36 pm by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1653881060500049921

Quote
The weather is slowly starting to trend in the right direction for launch later this week/early next week at LC-1. Stay tuned for target date for the first of two @NASA TROPICS launches soon! #RocketLikeAHurricane

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"Launch Complex 2" seems to be just a Rocket Lab in-house identifier.  MARS has "Launch Pad 0A" (Antares) and "Launch Pad 0B" (Minotaur) and on its web site identifies the new Electron pad as "Launch Pad 0C". 
https://www.vaspace.org/our-facilities

Wallops Flight Facility already has/had a "Launch Area 1" and a "Launch Area 2" which were used for sounding rockets.  "Launch Area 3" handled Scout back in the day.   And so on.

 - Ed Kyle


Yeah, that's how it's been from the beginning of the construction of the pad.

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"Launch Complex 2" seems to be just a Rocket Lab in-house identifier.  MARS has "Launch Pad 0A" (Antares) and "Launch Pad 0B" (Minotaur) and on its web site identifies the new Electron pad as "Launch Pad 0C". 
https://www.vaspace.org/our-facilities

Wallops Flight Facility already has/had a "Launch Area 1" and a "Launch Area 2" which were used for sounding rockets.  "Launch Area 3" handled Scout back in the day.   And so on.

 - Ed Kyle


Yeah, that's how it's been from the beginning of the construction of the pad.
Here's where I've landed:

The land is Launch Pad 0C
Any facilities or equipment owned by Wallops Flight Facility or the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport are Launch Pad 0C
Any facilities or equipment owned by Rocket Lab are Launch Complex 2

So the strongback at least is Launch Complex 2. Everything else, I'm not sure who built it.

Online TrevorMonty

"Launch Complex 2" seems to be just a Rocket Lab in-house identifier.  MARS has "Launch Pad 0A" (Antares) and "Launch Pad 0B" (Minotaur) and on its web site identifies the new Electron pad as "Launch Pad 0C". 
https://www.vaspace.org/our-facilities

Wallops Flight Facility already has/had a "Launch Area 1" and a "Launch Area 2" which were used for sounding rockets.  "Launch Area 3" handled Scout back in the day.   And so on.

 - Ed Kyle


Yeah, that's how it's been from the beginning of the construction of the pad.
Here's where I've landed:

The land is Launch Pad 0C
Any facilities or equipment owned by Wallops Flight Facility or the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport are Launch Pad 0C
Any facilities or equipment owned by Rocket Lab are Launch Complex 2

So the strongback at least is Launch Complex 2. Everything else, I'm not sure who built it.
RL maybe using Antare's tank farm. Would help offset some of NG operating costs.

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Quote
Latest weather forecasts are looking better, so we’re preparing for a launch attempt in the coming days for the first @NASA
TROPICS launch!

Lift-off set for NET:
UTC | May 8, 01:00
NZT | May 8, 13:00
EDT | May 7, 21:00
PDT | May 7, 18:00

More info: https://bit.ly/2XZCCWf

https://twitter.com/RocketLab/status/1654333705228546048
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Quote
NASA, Rocket Lab Update Launch Coverage for Tropical Cyclones Mission


After the previous launch target date changed due to weather conditions in New Zealand, NASA and Rocket Lab are now targeting 9 p.m. EDT Sunday, May 7, (1 p.m. Monday, May 8, New Zealand Standard Time), to launch two storm tracking CubeSats into orbit.

The agency’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) mission has a two-hour launch window from Launch Complex 1 Pad B in Māhia, New Zealand.

Rocket Lab will provide live coverage beginning approximately 20 minutes before launch. Coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, the agency’s website, and Rocket Lab’s website.

A second launch from Rocket Lab will carry two additional CubeSats, with exact launch times contingent on the date and time of the first launch. TROPICS is a constellation of four identical CubeSats designed to observe tropical cyclones from low Earth orbit, making observations more frequently than current weather tracking satellites. Gathering data more frequently can help scientists improve weather forecasting models.

TROPICS will study tropical cyclones as part of NASA’s Earth Venture Class missions, which select targeted science missions to fill gaps in our overarching understanding of the entire Earth system.

Full coverage of this mission is as follows (all times Eastern):

Sunday, May 7

Approximately 8:40 p.m. – Live launch coverage begins

9 p.m. – Launch window opens
« Last Edit: 05/05/2023 09:14 pm by Conexion Espacial »
I publish information in Spanish about space and rockets.
www.x.com/conexionspacial

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655060360809021440

Quote
Launch readiness review is complete and we are GO for tomorrow's #RocketLikeAHurricane launch for the @NASA TROPICS constellation!

Launch window opens:
🚀NZST | 13:00
🚀UTC | 01:00
🚀EDT | 21:00
🚀PDT | 18:00

The live launch webcast will begin approx. 20 mins before lift-off.

Quote
Any information about weather ?

https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655061249330413568

Quote
Ground, upper atmosphere, and space weather all pose potential challenges tomorrow, so we'll be monitoring closely during the count 🌬️🌌🪐
« Last Edit: 05/07/2023 07:31 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655287248093593600

Quote
It’s launch day. #RocketLikeAHurricane

Launch window opens:
🚀NZST | 13:00
🚀UTC | 01:00
🚀PDT | 18:00
🚀EDT | 21:00

go.nasa.gov/3LGoGuq

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655315337964060672

Quote
Electron is vertical on the pad at LC-1 as we approach T-4 hours until lift-off for #RocketLikeAHurricane, the first of two dedicated launches for @NASA to deploy the TROPICS constellation 🚀

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https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1655305289577508867

Quote
Rocket Lab's Electron rocket will be back in action later today.

“Rocket Like A Hurricane” from Launch Complex 1B (LC-1B) in Mahia, New  Zealand. Liftoff from LC-1B is scheduled for 13:00 NZST (1:00 UTC) on  May 8.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2023/05/electron-tropics-launch-1/ - by Justin Davenport (@Bubbinski).

Electron's launch is part of NASA’s Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) constellation, having switched launch vehicles after losing two satellites aboard an Astra Rocket 3.3 last year.

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655356424690765824

Quote
When Electron’s icy white stripes start forming it only means one thing – liquid oxygen fill is underway! ❄️

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655365817008271361

Quote
Less than an hour until scheduled lift-off for #RocketLikeAHurricane. We’re keeping an eye on weather for today’s launch, but currently upper level winds are within acceptable bounds ✅

📺 youtube.com/live/N3prw-94w…

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The RocketLab stream has started.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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backup NASA programming started:

« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 12:30 am by catdlr »
It's Tony De La Rosa, ...I don't create this stuff, I just report it.

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Hosted commentary has begun.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Propellant loading complete.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Nice drone view.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T-15 minutes. TROPICS Mission Manager.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T-12 minutes. Performing poll.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Go for terminal count.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T-10 minutes. Second stage will put satellites into circular orbit with the third stage performing an inclination change.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 12:51 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T-8 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T-6 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T-4 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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T-3 minutes. Drone view.

Go for autosequence start.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T-2 minutes. AFTS is green and enabled for flight.
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T-1 minute.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Liftoff!
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https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1655377337674809344

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LAUNCH! Rocket Lab Electron launches with two TROPICS satellites from Launch Complex 1B (LC-1B) in Mahia, New Zealand.

Overview: nasaspaceflight.com/2023/05/electr… - by Justin Davenport (@Bubbinski)

RL Webcast:
youtube.com/watch?v=N3prw-…

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T+1 minute.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T+2 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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First stage separation.

T+3 minutes.
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Fairing separation.

T+4 minutes.
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T+5 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T+6 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Hotswap.

T+7 minutes.
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T+8 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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T+9 minutes.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Was that usual for all the flams and smoke?  Does the final speed seem short?
It's Tony De La Rosa, ...I don't create this stuff, I just report it.

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SECO. Stage separation confirmed.

T+10 minutes.
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T+11 minutes. Upcoming events.

+00:30:06 Kick Stage Curie engine ignition
+00:32:50 Curie engine Cut Off
~+00:33:00 Payload deployed
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Was that usual for all the flams and smoke?  Does the final speed seem short?
Yeah, that didn't seem right. The second stage seemed to be having control issues and SECO was under 26,000km/h
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Was that usual for all the flams and smoke?  Does the final speed seem short?
Yeah, that didn't seem right. The second stage seemed to be having control issues and SECO was under 26,000km/h
It was noted a few times that today's trajectory would be atypical: rather than the second stage putting the kick stage (and payload) into an elliptical orbit, which the kick stage would then circularize, the second stage was supposed to put everything into a circular orbit, and then the kick stage burn will be used for a plane change at the ascending node, not a circularization burn.

IANARS, though, so I can't tell you if the numbers we observed are consistent with the above plan.

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T+20 minutes. Over the Pacific Ocean. Looks like a dogleg was performed after launch.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 01:23 am by Steven Pietrobon »
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IANARS, though, so I can't tell you if the numbers we observed are consistent with the above plan.
Me neither, but it doesn't take one to know what sub orbital is. They haven't said anything yet, so maybe just bad telemetry?
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T+29 minutes and 6 seconds. One minute to third stage ignition.
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T+30 minutes and 6 seconds. Expected third stage ignition for 2 minutes and 44 seconds. Expected separation is 10 seconds later.
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Call for expected ignition. Looks like the press kit was incorrect.
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Expected cutoff.
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Expected separation.
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The animation was a few seconds behind actual expected events.
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It seems like these "expected" calls were based on mission parameters, not telemetry; the vehicle won't be within range for ground contact until it gets to the Azores.

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655386431924350978

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The Kick Stage's Curie engine is scheduled to have completed its final burn & deployed the TROPICS satellites now. As this takes place outside of ground station coverage, we expect to receive signal and get confirmation of payload deployment within the next ~20 mins

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RocketLab Webcast ending. Confirmation of good orbit and separation won't be until it reaches the next ground station in Portugal.
« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 01:41 am by Steven Pietrobon »
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It seems like these "expected" calls were based on mission parameters, not telemetry; the vehicle won't be within range for ground contact until it gets to the Azores.
I don't think any of the kick stage events were within ground coverage, so still a bit of a mystery as to the outcome of this mission.
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https://twitter.com/jacktwhitlock/status/1655384809701625856

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Here’s a video of the oscillation on Stage 2 at 2x speed:

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655391264706285568

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Mission success! Electron has successfully deployed 2 TROPICS satellites to orbit for @NASA. This constellation aims to improve forecasting of devastating tropical storms and save lives. We’re immensely proud to be part of making that possible. One down, one to go!
« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 01:57 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1655401617657835522

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Electron takes to the skies for the first of two launches for @NASA to deploy the TROPICS storm monitoring constellation. #RocketLikeAHurricane

Missed the launch? Catch it here: youtube.com/live/N3prw-94w…

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Archived video of ‘Rocket Like a Hurricane’ launch:

https://www.youtube.com/live/N3prw-94wQc?feature=share
« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 09:42 am by Star One »

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Photos from Rocket Lab flickr

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Was that usual for all the flames and smoke?  Does the final speed seem short?

I had to do some errands right after posting.  I see that the LV and Sats were injected correctly, that's great news.  I reviewed a few flights and found the same engine flames and smoke as this one.  So I'll stand in error with my comment.  Sorry for getting a few of you guys excited.  A similar high-insertion flight exhibits the same engine flames and smoke and is posted here.

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2023-062 A+B
TROPICS #5 and #6
32.73° 95.5 min 535x555 km
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Signal acquisition confirmed:

Quote
NASA, Rocket Lab Launch First Pair of Storm Observing CubeSats

May 8, 2023

[...]

Two NASA CubeSats designed to study tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are in orbit after successfully launching at 1 p.m. Monday, NZST (9 p.m. EDT Sunday).

The first pair of the agency’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) lifted off aboard an Electron rocket from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 Pad B in Māhia, New Zealand. Team members successfully sent commands to the first CubeSat at 1:48 a.m. EDT, May 8. Subsequently, they established communications with the second CubeSat at 6:31 a.m. EDT.

[...]

The second pair of TROPICS CubeSats is planned to launch aboard another Rocket Lab Electron rocket in about two weeks. The second launch will be timed to insert the next two CubeSats into the TROPICS constellation.

[...]
Lukas C. H. • Hobbyist Mission Patch Artist 🎨 • May the force be with you my friend, Ad Astra Per Aspera ✨️

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Signal acquisition confirmed:

Quote
NASA, Rocket Lab Launch First Pair of Storm Observing CubeSats

May 8, 2023

[...]

Two NASA CubeSats designed to study tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are in orbit after successfully launching at 1 p.m. Monday, NZST (9 p.m. EDT Sunday).

The first pair of the agency’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) lifted off aboard an Electron rocket from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 Pad B in Māhia, New Zealand. Team members successfully sent commands to the first CubeSat at 1:48 a.m. EDT, May 8. Subsequently, they established communications with the second CubeSat at 6:31 a.m. EDT.

[...]

The second pair of TROPICS CubeSats is planned to launch aboard another Rocket Lab Electron rocket in about two weeks. The second launch will be timed to insert the next two CubeSats into the TROPICS constellation.

[...]

That should be the second and third pair, as the first pair was lost in the failed Astra launch.

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https://twitter.com/tskelso/status/1655622908029603840

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CelesTrak has GP data for 4 objects from the launch (2023-062) of 2 TROPICS satellites atop an Electron rocket from Rocket Lab's launch site on Mahia Peninsula, NZ on May 8 at 0100 UTC: spaceflightnow.com/2023/05/05/twi…. Data for the launch can be found at: https://celestrak.org/NORAD/elements/table.php?INTDES=2023-062

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Signal acquisition confirmed:

Quote
NASA, Rocket Lab Launch First Pair of Storm Observing CubeSats

May 8, 2023

[...]

Two NASA CubeSats designed to study tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are in orbit after successfully launching at 1 p.m. Monday, NZST (9 p.m. EDT Sunday).

The first pair of the agency’s TROPICS (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) lifted off aboard an Electron rocket from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 Pad B in Māhia, New Zealand. Team members successfully sent commands to the first CubeSat at 1:48 a.m. EDT, May 8. Subsequently, they established communications with the second CubeSat at 6:31 a.m. EDT.

[...]

The second pair of TROPICS CubeSats is planned to launch aboard another Rocket Lab Electron rocket in about two weeks. The second launch will be timed to insert the next two CubeSats into the TROPICS constellation.

[...]

That should be the second and third pair, as the first pair was lost in the failed Astra launch.

lol NASA is just casually acting like the astra launch never happened

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lol NASA is just casually acting like the astra launch never happened
"NASA has given unto you these six...

[THUD]

"Four! Four TROPICS satellites!"


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https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1655646177340313601

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This is my new favorite launch footage. The team always has something new.

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https://twitter.com/peter_j_beck/status/1655646177340313601

Quote
This is my new favorite launch footage. The team always has something new.
I've attached a downloaded copy of the video.

Edit: Rocket Lab uploaded a copy to YouTube, it's higher-quality than what they had on Twitter. I'm not changing the attached file (it took long enough to upload already), but if you want an even better copy, check out this version:

« Last Edit: 05/08/2023 08:25 pm by trimeta »

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Quote
This is my new favorite launch footage. The team always has something new.

I wish they had shown that in the livestream, instead of the big cloud of steam we saw at liftoff!
« Last Edit: 05/09/2023 05:42 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Quote
This is my new favorite launch footage. The team always has something new.

I wish they had shown that in the live stream, instead of the big cloud of steam we saw at liftoff!

They had the drone shot hovering at LV level for a while just before liftoff but they probably didn't choose to switch over to that shot (intentionally or forgot).  Hopefully next time. I sure like these more than the static shots.   
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I wish they had shown that in the live stream, instead of the big cloud of steam we saw at liftoff!

They had the drone shot hovering at LV level for a while just before liftoff but they probably didn't choose to switch over to that shot (intentionally or forgot).  Hopefully next time. I sure like these more than the static shots.

They did - first there's the closeup, then a tracking camera shot, then the wide angle, then the drone footage:
https://www.youtube.com/live/N3prw-94wQc?feature=share&t=1242
I think the drone footage is a bit more delayed, so when they cut to it the rocket is a bit lower than the wide angle shot - but that's presumably just the encoding + decoding delay

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I wish they had shown that in the live stream, instead of the big cloud of steam we saw at liftoff!

They had the drone shot hovering at LV level for a while just before liftoff but they probably didn't choose to switch over to that shot (intentionally or forgot).  Hopefully next time. I sure like these more than the static shots.

They did - first there's the closeup, then a tracking camera shot, then the wide angle, then the drone footage:
https://www.youtube.com/live/N3prw-94wQc?feature=share&t=1242
I think the drone footage is a bit more delayed, so when they cut to it the rocket is a bit lower than the wide angle shot - but that's presumably just the encoding + decoding delay

It would be nice to have each of the launch camera angles replayed to us during the time we are waiting for deployment.
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https://twitter.com/rocketlab/status/1657930020319535104

Quote
The final launch milestone: satellite deployment!

Look carefully and you’ll see a @NASA TROPICS CubeSat deploy from our Canisterized Satellite Dispenser on Electron’s Kick Stage. We’re already counting down to our 2nd & final TROPICS launch soon. Stay tuned for the launch date!

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Here's an enhanced image of the satellite being deployed.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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