Author Topic: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018  (Read 38682 times)

Online gongora

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #60 on: 05/23/2018 09:43 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

ICON will fly in an orbit around Earth at a 27-degree inclination and at an altitude of some 360 miles.

So why NOT launch from KSC/CCAFS?
I know some are looking forward to a trip to the far Pacific ;) but that's not NASA's criterion.
It's a lot closer to the west coast and easier to support.
The Stargazer can fly 1.5 degrees (167 km) south and launch due east from east of the Bahamas to hit the target inclination.

I think the reason why the L-1011 is not taking off from Cape Canaveral is because of the Eastern Range maintenance, so Kwajalein is being used as the takeoff site for ICON.

It has nothing to do with Eastern Range maintenance.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #61 on: 05/26/2018 06:09 AM »
It has nothing to do with Eastern Range maintenance.
[/quote]

No, it doesn't. The launch location is driven by the mission requirements and how the launch vehicle can deliver the desired orbit. I don't know the specifics of why ICON wants to reach orbit from Kwajalein - orbital mechanics is not my strong suite - but it is not an insignificant labor to adjust the mission to the Eastern Range.

BTW, Kwaj is NOT a tropical paradise. Taking launch ops out there is not considered a "vacation" by anyone. It is not Tahiti. Working there invokes some serious hardships. My first week on Kwaj was one of the most stressful work periods I can remember. It is not selected as a launch site trivially.

We have four days on the RTS range to pull this off - the RTS schedule is that tight. If we don't pull it off in those four days, we'll have to fall back to KSC/CCAFS and try again in October.

Offline Yeknom-Ecaps

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #62 on: 05/27/2018 03:43 AM »
Is the L-1011 at Kwaj? IF so, when did it fly from VAFB to Kwaj?

Offline Comga

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #63 on: 05/27/2018 04:11 AM »
Quote
It has nothing to do with Eastern Range maintenance.

No, it doesn't. The launch location is driven by the mission requirements and how the launch vehicle can deliver the desired orbit. I don't know the specifics of why ICON wants to reach orbit from Kwajalein - orbital mechanics is not my strong suite - but it is not an insignificant labor to adjust the mission to the Eastern Range.

BTW, Kwaj is NOT a tropical paradise. Taking launch ops out there is not considered a "vacation" by anyone. It is not Tahiti. Working there invokes some serious hardships. My first week on Kwaj was one of the most stressful work periods I can remember. It is not selected as a launch site trivially.

We have four days on the RTS range to pull this off - the RTS schedule is that tight. If we don't pull it off in those four days, we'll have to fall back to KSC/CCAFS and try again in October.

I am glad we have a real authority discussing this instead of guessing. (Being honest)
Your comment was the source of my joke (sort of got lost) about the tropical vacation.
But doesn’t the Pegasus have MORE capacity into the 27 deg Target orbit from CCAFS at 28.5 deg N than from the 8.7 deg N Kwajalein?  Especially when the Stargazer can fly south to 27 deg N and launch due East?
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.
« Last Edit: 05/27/2018 04:28 AM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Thorny

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #64 on: 05/27/2018 05:10 PM »
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Delta II launched GLAST into a 25.6 deg. inclination from Cape Canaveral in 2008.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #65 on: 05/27/2018 05:30 PM »
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Delta II launched GLAST into a 25.6 deg. inclination from Cape Canaveral in 2008.

The reason why Fermi was placed into a 25.6-degree orbit was because of the plane-changing that was done during the late ascent.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #66 on: 05/27/2018 07:08 PM »
Is the L-1011 at Kwaj? IF so, when did it fly from VAFB to Kwaj?

No, Stargazer is here at VAFB. We did pre-mate electrical checks on the A/C yesterday, and Stargazer/Pegasus mate is scheduled for June 2. Flyout starts June 5, with landing at Kwaj June 6.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #67 on: 05/27/2018 07:10 PM »
I am glad we have a real authority discussing this instead of guessing. (Being honest)
Your comment was the source of my joke (sort of got lost) about the tropical vacation.
But doesn’t the Pegasus have MORE capacity into the 27 deg Target orbit from CCAFS at 28.5 deg N than from the 8.7 deg N Kwajalein?  Especially when the Stargazer can fly south to 27 deg N and launch due East?
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

I'm not the right guy to answer this. I just don't know much about putting payloads in the desired orbit from differing launch sites. I bow to anyone who's more familiar with the numbers in the Pegasus Payload User's guide.

Online LouScheffer

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #68 on: 05/28/2018 02:24 PM »

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

The capacity should be essentially the same for both sites.  Look at launching from the equator and the northern limit.  At the equator, the full earth velocity V is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern limit, only V*cos(i) is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  In between it's more complicated mathematically, but the terms still cancel.  ( V*cos(b)*cos(90o-sin-1(cos(i)/cos(b)) = v*cos(i), since the cos(b) cancels, where b is the launch lattitude). So there should be very little difference in capacity.

Online envy887

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #69 on: 05/28/2018 03:10 PM »

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

The capacity should be essentially the same for both sites.  Look at launching from the equator and the northern limit.  At the equator, the full earth velocity V is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern limit, only V*cos(i) is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  In between it's more complicated mathematically, but the terms still cancel.  ( V*cos(b)*cos(90o-sin-1(cos(i)/cos(b)) = v*cos(i), since the cos(b) cancels, where b is the launch lattitude). So there should be very little difference in capacity.

Aren't there more launch opportunities from the equatorial site though? They can at least pick from ascenting and descending nodes.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #70 on: 05/28/2018 03:27 PM »
NASA's launch schedule shows the launch time as 10:06 am Eastern = 14:06 UTC (i.e. night launch from Kwajalein).
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Offline deruch

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #71 on: 05/30/2018 01:56 AM »

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

The capacity should be essentially the same for both sites.  Look at launching from the equator and the northern limit.  At the equator, the full earth velocity V is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern limit, only V*cos(i) is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  In between it's more complicated mathematically, but the terms still cancel.  ( V*cos(b)*cos(90o-sin-1(cos(i)/cos(b)) = v*cos(i), since the cos(b) cancels, where b is the launch lattitude). So there should be very little difference in capacity.

Aren't there more launch opportunities from the equatorial site though? They can at least pick from ascenting and descending nodes.

Also fewer other launches to fit within and the Eastern Range maintenance downtime is scheduled for the upcoming week(s).
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Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #72 on: 05/30/2018 02:35 AM »
Actually, it’s tough to find a suitable break in the RTS range schedule for a space launch. MDA takes up most of the schedule.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #73 on: 05/30/2018 06:06 AM »
May 29, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-087

NASA Previews Mission to Study Frontier of Space

NASA will host a media briefing at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, June 4, on the agency’s mission to explore Earth’s ionosphere and the processes there that impact life on Earth’s surface. The event will air live on NASA Television, the agency’s website and Facebook Live.

Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will study the layer of charged particles extending from about 50 to 360 miles above Earth’s surface, through which radio communications and GPS signals travel, and the processes there that can distort or even disrupt these signals. Knowledge gleaned from this mission will aid in mitigating its effects on satellites and communications technology worldwide.

The event will be held at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Participants will include:
•Willis Jenkins, ICON program executive at NASA Headquarters, Washington
•Thomas Immel, mission principal investigator at the University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory
•Rebecca Bishop, ionospheric research scientist at Aerospace Corporation
•Douglas Rowland, mission scientist at Goddard

Media who would like to attend the briefing or participate by phone must email their name, media affiliation and phone number to Karen Fox at [email protected] by 12:30 p.m. June 4.

The public can send questions on social media by using #askNASA at any time during the event.

ICON will launch June 14 Eastern time on an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and deploy from Orbital’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft.

For more information about the mission, visit:

https://nasa.gov/ICON

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #74 on: 05/30/2018 06:09 PM »
NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft is partially mated to the starboard faring of Orbital ATK's Pegasus XL rocket on May 21, 2018, inside Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The explorer will launch on June 15, 2018, from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands (June 14 in the continental United States) on the Pegasus XL, which is attached to the company's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft. ICON will study the frontier of space - the dynamic zone high in Earth's atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above. The explorer will help determine the physics of Earth's space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology and communications systems.

Photo credit: Orbital ATK/Kettner Griswold

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #75 on: 06/06/2018 08:09 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline jcm

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #76 on: 06/07/2018 02:51 AM »
Does anyone have info on the drop location coordinates?
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Offline Jim

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #77 on: 06/07/2018 01:16 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

 - Ed Kyle

Nope, already seeing it in the press as  Northrop Grumman Pegasus.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #78 on: 06/07/2018 01:24 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

 - Ed Kyle

Nope, already seeing it in the press as  Northrop Grumman Pegasus.
Interesting.  Orbital ATK officially signing off on Twitter, and the official change-over date appears to have been June 6, 2018.  I'm pretty sure that Pegasus still sports Orbital ATK logos though ...

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
 
"@OrbitalATK
 16h
16 hours ago
 
More
Today, we begin a new chapter as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. As we sign off, we hope you will continue to keep up with our products & programs by following @NorthropGrumman. We’d like to thank all of you for engaging with us & sharing our content over the years!"

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/07/2018 01:33 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #79 on: 06/07/2018 05:24 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

 - Ed Kyle

Nope, already seeing it in the press as  Northrop Grumman Pegasus.
Interesting.  Orbital ATK officially signing off on Twitter, and the official change-over date appears to have been June 6, 2018.  I'm pretty sure that Pegasus still sports Orbital ATK logos though ...

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
 
"@OrbitalATK
 16h
16 hours ago
 
More
Today, we begin a new chapter as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. As we sign off, we hope you will continue to keep up with our products & programs by following @NorthropGrumman. We’d like to thank all of you for engaging with us & sharing our content over the years!"

 - Ed Kyle
yes this is the last flight to sport an OATK logo.

New website: http://www.northropgrumman.com/AboutUs/BusinessSectors/InnovationSystems/Pages/default.aspx

Also Ed the Motor Catalogs are now behind a Credential Wall and no longer considered public information. you have to email the NG PBS Dev and go through a review process to be granted a copy.

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