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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => ULA - Delta, Atlas, Vulcan => Topic started by: Galactic Penguin SST on 04/06/2012 04:10 AM

Title: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 04/06/2012 04:10 AM
Update thread for Atlas V with NROL-38:

Non morieris bello: “You are not going to war”. So not something related to direct surveillance? (SDS?)

Edit by input~2: the second patch below was issued for NROL-4 /USA-136
 
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 04/06/2012 04:25 AM
Speculation on why three headed creatures on both patches and the colored stars, 8 white and 3 blue?  11 total launched with 3 active?

Nunquam Ante Numquam Iterum, "Never Before, Never Again"--not a clue.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 04/06/2012 12:39 PM
Picked up these badges for this launch from another website.

Non morieris bello: “You are not going to war”. So not something related to direct surveillance? (SDS?)  ::)

Well, it's launching from CCAFS so that suggests that L38 is going to GEO.  Maybe either a communications relay or a COMINT platform?
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Skyrocket on 04/06/2012 03:05 PM
It is likely a SDS-3 data relay satellite. Both GEO or Molniya orbits are possible.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/sds-3.htm
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/06/2012 03:33 PM
It is likely a SDS-3 data relay satellite. Both GEO or Molniya orbits are possible.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/sds-3.htm

If going to a Molniya orbit, where will the end of mission blowdown most likely occur? Visible for us on the east coast?
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Rocket Guy on 04/06/2012 03:36 PM


Well, it's launching from CCAFS so that suggests that L38 is going to GEO.  Maybe either a communications relay or a COMINT platform?

They have launched plenty of Molniya and other high-incl orbits from the Cape, including SDS and Lacrosse.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 04/06/2012 07:08 PM
Probably SDS, but I wouldn't entirely rule Improved Trumpet out. Past launches have used the 411, but for all we know it could be just above the capacity of a 401 (it can't be more than halfway between the maximum 401 and 411 payloads, because DIVM+(4,2) can also launch it). Without the additional instruments carried by the last two it might fit on a 401. I'm not sure how much mass SBIRS-HEO adds, but TWINS is less than 20kg.


The second patch isn't from this launch. It was the mission patch for NROL-4/USA-136, launched by Titan IV(401)A A-17 in November 1997. That was the third and final launch of a first-generation Trumpet.


That said, the similarities between the two are striking. If this is a second-generation Trumpet, it would also be the third of its kind, so that patch would be appropriate. But patches can be misleading.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 04/07/2012 07:06 PM
Non morieris bello: “You are not going to war”.

The correct translation is "you will not die by war"
(Google translate can be misleading ;) )                      
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 04/07/2012 11:06 PM
The booster arrived by Delta Mariner this week
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Rahkashi on 04/07/2012 11:47 PM

Nunquam Ante Numquam Iterum, "Never Before, Never Again"--not a clue.

It could be a one time satellite, not one in a series.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: jcm on 04/08/2012 12:30 AM

Nunquam Ante Numquam Iterum, "Never Before, Never Again"--not a clue.

It could be a one time satellite, not one in a series.

Or the only time this type of sat is launched from the East coast, or on an Atlas... 
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 04/08/2012 06:53 AM
As William said above, the second patch with the "Nunquam Ante Numquam Iterum" inscription does not apply to NROL-38 but was issued for a past launch: NROL-4/USA-136 launched on Nov 8, 1997 by Titan-4A from CCAFS.
(alternative source: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1197/1 (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1197/1))
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: douglas100 on 04/08/2012 07:41 AM

They have launched plenty of Molniya and other high-incl orbits from the Cape, including SDS and Lacrosse.

Lacrosse in a Molniya orbit??
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 04/08/2012 08:22 AM

They have launched plenty of Molniya and other high-incl orbits from the Cape, including SDS and Lacrosse.

Lacrosse in a Molniya orbit??

Nope, however Lacrosse operates from a low Earth orbit with inclination at 57 degrees.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Blackstar on 04/14/2012 02:11 AM
It is likely a SDS-3 data relay satellite. Both GEO or Molniya orbits are possible.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/sds-3.htm

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1197/1

Anybody see the pattern?
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 04/14/2012 02:59 PM
They released mission patch, yeah that pattern must stop ;-)
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: baldusi on 04/14/2012 07:59 PM
Wyvern, snakes and Gryphons?
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 04/14/2012 08:13 PM
Wyvern, snakes and Gryphons?

Yeah, I noticed that - very aggressive styling for a recon-sat.  I wonder what that thing is?
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 05/22/2012 12:14 PM
Interestingly, the ULA mission poster shows a white Centaur (which allows an extended coast phase). The only previous NRO launch to use the white Centaur was NROL-30 (also a 401), which carried two NOSS satellites. So assuming that the poster is correct, then this could be NOSS. There could be another reason for using the white Centaur, or they might even be using it as misinformation, but either way, it is probably worth mentioning.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: fringe_dweller on 05/24/2012 11:28 PM
From e-bay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ATLAS-V-AV-023-NROL-38-USAF-LAUNCH-VEHICLE-MISSION-PATCH-/280875466187?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41657b7dcb): Anubis



Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: robertross on 05/25/2012 12:49 AM
From e-bay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ATLAS-V-AV-023-NROL-38-USAF-LAUNCH-VEHICLE-MISSION-PATCH-/280875466187?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41657b7dcb): Anubis


Pretty cool patch!
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: jkumpire on 06/03/2012 12:57 AM
A quick question:

For the first time in my life I might be able to see a launch live at the Cape. this one! I've wanted to do this since ah, 1962.

Any updates on the launch? Is it still a go?

Are the usual Shuttle viewing sites the best ones for a Pad 41 launch (assuming I have the right number)?
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Rocket Guy on 06/03/2012 04:41 AM
The best place to go is Playalinda Beach if it is in the daytime (or alternatively combine a KSC tour with viewing at the Saturn V Center if they offer that at the visitors complex) but I would choose Playalinda.

http://www.launchphotography.com/Delta_4_Atlas_5_Falcon_9_Launch_Viewing.html
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: KSC Engineer on 06/04/2012 02:43 AM
A quick question:

For the first time in my life I might be able to see a launch live at the Cape. this one! I've wanted to do this since ah, 1962.

Any updates on the launch? Is it still a go?

Are the usual Shuttle viewing sites the best ones for a Pad 41 launch (assuming I have the right number)?


I think they are selling launch pass tickets at the KSCVC which would put you closer than Playlinda...at the Press Site just south of the VAB.   
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: jkumpire on 06/04/2012 11:10 AM
Thanks for the help Engineer and KSC!

I was on the VC site Saturday and saw no mention of it. I will look again.

I know that launch times are not made public until more or less the morning of the launch, but does anyone have an idea when that is information is made public?

 
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/04/2012 01:48 PM
I know that launch times are not made public until more or less the morning of the launch, but does anyone have an idea when that is information is made public? 

Recent information from Spaceport News (June 1, 2012)

Targeted for June 18
Launch/CCAFS (SLC-41): Atlas V (AV-203), NROL-38
Launch window:               4:07 to 4:27 am EDT

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/655407main_jun1-2012.pdf
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: 00rs250 on 06/04/2012 09:36 PM
From Saturday’s family day and my iPhone.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Rocket Guy on 06/04/2012 09:43 PM
That's the window for RBSP in August. Don't go by Spaceport News.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/04/2012 10:50 PM
That's the window for RBSP in August. Don't go by Spaceport News.

Well spotted!
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 06/05/2012 12:35 AM
From Saturday’s family day and my iPhone.

Confirmation that it is a white Centaur. This is starting to look more like NOSS than SDS.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Rocket Guy on 06/05/2012 12:51 AM
Or perhaps they may all be white from now on. I don't quite think the paint has anything to do with the satellite...
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: FinalFrontier on 06/05/2012 12:59 AM
From e-bay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ATLAS-V-AV-023-NROL-38-USAF-LAUNCH-VEHICLE-MISSION-PATCH-/280875466187?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41657b7dcb): Anubis






So, who wants to speculate that the bird is actually an ancient weapon to keep the Goa'uld away?  ;D  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Skyrocket on 06/05/2012 06:32 AM
Or perhaps they may all be white from now on. I don't quite think the paint has anything to do with the satellite...

Unlikely: The white paint is only used on 4xx version  for thermal reasons on missions with longer coast periods.

Until now, three 401 missions sported this paint:
* AV-009: NROL-30 (NOSS-3)
* AV-018: PAN
* AV-021: SDO
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/05/2012 12:37 PM
RBSP
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Rocket Guy on 06/05/2012 02:51 PM
LRO and ASTRA 1KR as well.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 06/05/2012 04:00 PM
From quickly looking at launch photos:

Unpainted
AV-001 - 401 - Hot Bird 6
AV-002 - 401 - HellasSat-2
AV-004 - 431 - Inmarsat-4F1
AV-006 - 401 - MRO
AV-013 - 401 - STP-1 et al
AV-011 - 421 - WGS-1
AV-015 - 401 - NROL-24 (SDS)
AV-006 - 411 - NROL-28 (Imp. Trumpet)
AV-014 - 421 - ICO-G1
AV-016 - 421 - WGS-2
AV-027 - 411 - NROL-34 (NOSS)
AV-022 - 401 - SBIRS-GEO 1

Painted for thermal control:
AV-008 - 411 - Astra-1KR
AV-009 - 401 - NROL-30 (NOSS)
AV-020 - 401 - LRO/LCROSS*
AV-018 - 401 - PAN
AV-017 - 401 - DMSP-5D3 F18
AV-024 - 431 - Intelsat 14
AV-021 - 401 - SDO

*Probably more to do with its role in the LCROSS mission than the launch

Painted to reduce contamination (enclosed)
AV-003 - 521 - Rainbow 1
AV-005 - 521 - AMC-16
AV-010 - 551 - New Horizons
AV-012 - 501 - OTV-1
AV-019 - 531 - AEHF 1
AV-025 - 501 - NROL-41 (FIA)
AV-026 - 501 - OTV-2
AV-029 - 551 - Juno
AV-028 - 541 - MSL
AV-030 - 551 - MUOS-1
AV-031 - 531 - AEHF-2



Interestingly, the last Atlas III (which carried two NOSS satellites) also had a white Centaur. I'm not sure about earlier launches.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/06/2012 01:06 PM
From e-bay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ATLAS-V-AV-023-NROL-38-USAF-LAUNCH-VEHICLE-MISSION-PATCH-/280875466187?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item41657b7dcb): Anubis


So, who wants to speculate that the bird is actually an ancient weapon to keep the Goa'uld away?  ;D  ;D  ;D

If so, I'd evacuate Moscow, especially if a geeky archeologist/lingust is inexplicably the first FLIGHT for the mission. :P
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: fringe_dweller on 06/12/2012 06:43 PM
See to the launch reservation zone:

http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120406-075.pdf
http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120406-076.pdf

Low inclination.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 06/12/2012 07:34 PM
See to the launch reservation zone:

http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120406-075.pdf
http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-120406-076.pdf

Low inclination.

Hmm, there goes my theory that this is NOSS. This is obviously a GTO launch.

On closer inspection, and I don't know how I missed it, the last GEO SDS (NROL-27 on a Delta IV) was placed into a transfer orbit with a much higher perigee than that of its predecessors. If NROL-38 were to deploy to a similar orbit it would explain the need for an extended coast.

Jonathan McDowell gives the orbits of upper stages from GEO SDS launches as:
NROL-10/USA-155 -  266 km x 37378 km x 26.5o (Atlas IIAS in 2000)
NROL-12/USA-162 -  274 km x 37538 km x 26.5o (Atlas IIAS in 2001)
NROL-27/USA-227 - 6599 km x 35200 km x 13.0o (Delta IVM+(4,2) in 2011)


That does leave the question of whether the change to a high-perigee GTO is simply taking advantage of the increased payload capacity that the EELVs offer, or whether L-27 and L-38 are fourth-generation satellites. It will be interesting to see if there is any change in the deployment orbits for HEO launches.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: jcm on 06/14/2012 04:35 AM


That does leave the question of whether the change to a high-perigee GTO is simply taking advantage of the increased payload capacity that the EELVs offer, or whether L-27 and L-38 are fourth-generation satellites. It will be interesting to see if there is any change in the deployment orbits for HEO launches.

My impression is that the high perigee is indeed principally the more powerful EELV - seems to be pretty common that the MECO-1 orbit has a fairly high perigee.  Doesn't mean these aren't a new generation, but I don't think the orbit is evidence for it.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/14/2012 09:02 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/14/2012 10:12 PM
ULA:
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: robertross on 06/15/2012 11:03 PM
IMPORTANT NOTE!!

For those looking to attend this launch, I just received this from KSC VC (which may or may not have been published before, I certainly didn't know about this):

Introducing the KSC Up-Close: Launch Control Center Tour

Are you go for Launch Control? Visitors can now enter inside the Launch Control Center. For the first time in more than 30 years, step inside Firing Room 4, one of the LCC's four firing rooms and the one in which all 21 shuttle launches since 2006 were controlled. Available for a limited time. Make your reservation today.

Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: ras391 on 06/15/2012 11:28 PM
This is the LCC for shuttle, not Atlas V.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: jkumpire on 06/15/2012 11:47 PM
IMPORTANT NOTE!!

For those looking to attend this launch, I just received this from KSC VC (which may or may not have been published before, I certainly didn't know about this):

Introducing the KSC Up-Close: Launch Control Center Tour

Are you go for Launch Control? Visitors can now enter inside the Launch Control Center. For the first time in more than 30 years, step inside Firing Room 4, one of the LCC's four firing rooms and the one in which all 21 shuttle launches since 2006 were controlled. Available for a limited time. Make your reservation today.



I just got off the phone with the KSCVC, the LCC Close-up tour is for Firing Room 4, and unlike our good friend KSCEngineer, there are no closer tickets from the KSCVC than the visitor's complex, which opens at 7:00 A.M. on launch day for those wanting space there. Also, no tour starts until 10 A.M. so you get no closer to the launch than the Visitors Center...

... Unless you go to Playlinda beach. It's $5 a car to get in, the park opens at 6:00 A.M. and as of now there are no restrictions for access there! If anyone is going there to see the launch, let me know, I'd love to meet some of you who inhabit this forum!   ;D

     
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2012 09:01 AM
ULA:
The vehicle Launch Readiness Review was completed today and everything is moving forward for the Atlas V NROL-38 launch set for Monday, June 18 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The L-3 weather forecast continues to shows an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Mapperuo on 06/16/2012 02:10 PM
Rollout has begun
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: robertross on 06/16/2012 03:31 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 06/16/2012 04:35 PM
Looks like the somewhat confusingly-named "long payload fairing" (which is actually the shortest of the three Atlas V 400-series fairings. That fits with previous SDS launches. Would appreciate if someone could check my analysis though.

Another thing, the rocket's tail number has been painted on (see the pictures Chris has posted below), so its absence on the last launch may not be the start of a trend as was suspected at the time. The other possibility is that they may have simply decided not to paint it on 500-series rockets; on the 400-series it is painted on the Centaur, which is encapsulated on the 500-series.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2012 05:18 PM
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (June 16, 2012) - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V stands ready for launch at Space Launch Complex-41 with the NROL-38 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office. Launch is set for Monday, June 18 at 8:26 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

 

Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance

Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2012 05:23 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: FinalFrontier on 06/16/2012 05:24 PM
Still can't get over that mission symbol.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Skyrocket on 06/16/2012 05:34 PM
Looks like the somewhat confusingly-named "long payload fairing" (which is actually the shortest of the three Atlas V 400-series fairings.
The LPF designation comes from the Atlas II program, when it was (initially) the largest available payload fairing.


That fits with previous SDS launches. Would appreciate if someone could check my analysis though.

Yes, this correct. It fits with previous SDS launches (and also with PAN)
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Prober on 06/16/2012 07:16 PM
Looks like the somewhat confusingly-named "long payload fairing" (which is actually the shortest of the three Atlas V 400-series fairings. That fits with previous SDS launches. Would appreciate if someone could check my analysis though.


Is this the same type of fairing used on the Zenit launcher?
or is that a special design?
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/16/2012 08:08 PM
There is commonality between Zenit and Atlas, not even contractors
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/17/2012 01:01 PM
Delayed a few days - via ULA PAO:

ULA statement regarding launch delay.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (June 17, 2012) – The launch of an Atlas V carrying a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office is delayed.  Following the vehicle roll to the launch pad yesterday, the team identified an issue with an environmental control system duct that failed near its connection to the Mobile Launch Platform. The vehicle will be rolled back to the Vertical Integration Facility for removal and replacement of the duct prior to launch. The launch is now planned for Wednesday, June 20 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 06/17/2012 03:44 PM
Navigational warning (applicable to June 20)
Quote
WESTERN NORTH ATLANTIC.
ROCKETS.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 181220Z TO 181413Z JUN,
ALTERNATE 191220Z TO 191430Z AND
201220Z TO 201413Z JUN IN AREAS BOUND BY:
A. 28-36N 080-36W, 28-37N 080-33W,
28-35N 080-26W, 28-31N 080-08W,
28-29N 080-08W, 28-34N 080-35W.
B. 24-33N 060-15W, 22-32N 054-34W,
20-59N 055-03W, 23-22N 060-55W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 201513Z JUN.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/17/2012 06:14 PM
Still can't get over that mission symbol.

Another rollout of another rocket with a payload that we can't see, or know anything about.  This is what a substantial percentage of U.S. launches look like now. 

It could be something monumental inside that fairing, something spectacular and impressive and really, really expensive, or it could be mundane, or it could be another Glomar Explorer waste of money, but we'll never know. 

We should know, at least something, in my opinion.  It's our money after all (speaking for U.S. citizens).  And this is pretty much our space program now.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: ChileVerde on 06/17/2012 07:29 PM

There's an interesting set of messages concerning this launch and the disposal of the upper stage on SeeSat-L starting at http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jun-2012/0115.html
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/17/2012 07:35 PM
Still can't get over that mission symbol.

Another rollout of another rocket with a payload that we can't see, or know anything about.  This is what a substantial percentage of U.S. launches look like now. 

It could be something monumental inside that fairing, something spectacular and impressive and really, really expensive, or it could be mundane, or it could be another Glomar Explorer waste of money, but we'll never know. 

We should know, at least something, in my opinion.  It's our money after all (speaking for U.S. citizens).  And this is pretty much our space program now.

 - Ed Kyle

no different than the last 60 years.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Antares on 06/17/2012 09:39 PM
We live in a republic. Talk to the members of the Intelligence Committees.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Skyrocket on 06/17/2012 09:52 PM

There's an interesting set of messages concerning this launch and the disposal of the upper stage on SeeSat-L starting at http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jun-2012/0115.html

Concerning the white paint of the Centaur: AV-023 was originally slated to launch a GPS satellite - a mission which would have required white paint. But for the NROL-38 mission it might simply be left over from the earlier assignment.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/17/2012 11:49 PM
no different than the last 60 years.
What is different now is that the U.S. civilian space program has largely disappeared, leaving mostly only the once-ignored black side.  We used to have the civilian program to observe, and it used to be laid out in fine detail for observation.  Now it is largely gone, and the bits that remain are themselves partially masked due to ITAR and proprietary considerations.  That leaves us with NRO launches that disappear after first stage shutdown. 

I understand why, but unless one is on the program itself, it is painfully frustrating and even boring!

I know more about Russian launches than U.S. launches, thanks to their coverage.  As for excitement, China seems to be where the real money is being spent on new things of interest.  Big new rocket engines are rumbling on test stands there.  Shiny new rockets will soon follow.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/17/2012 11:56 PM
back in the VIF
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: spectre9 on 06/18/2012 01:16 AM
no different than the last 60 years.
What is different now is that the U.S. civilian space program has largely disappeared, leaving mostly only the once-ignored black side.  We used to have the civilian program to observe, and it used to be laid out in fine detail for observation.  Now it is largely gone, and the bits that remain are themselves partially masked due to ITAR and proprietary considerations.  That leaves us with NRO launches that disappear after first stage shutdown. 

I understand why, but unless one is on the program itself, it is painfully frustrating and even boring!

I know more about Russian launches than U.S. launches, thanks to their coverage.  As for excitement, China seems to be where the real money is being spent on new things of interest.  Big new rocket engines are rumbling on test stands there.  Shiny new rockets will soon follow.

 - Ed Kyle

You're just a launch junkie I reckon but you do have a point.

No shuttle, JPL probe launches slowing to a crawl... nothing to see except these spy sat launches.

The US space program is going to be very boring over the next few years outside of SpaceX launches.

Some hope for Antares but I reckon they're years away no matter what sort of optimistic predictions come through media outlets.

Commercials have already run away to Proton. Good reasons for that too.

Soyuz and Long March might have to do for a while  :(
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Prober on 06/18/2012 01:52 AM
back in the VIF

Ohhhh I missed the show
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/18/2012 02:06 AM
None of this banter has anything to do with processing updates, please get back on topic or lose your post
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 06/18/2012 08:30 AM
Quote
06/074 (A2548/12) - AIRSPACE DCC ER OPA6563 ATLAS REENTRY STATIONARY 
RESERVATION WITHIN AN AREA BNDD BY 1900N/17930E 1530N/16900W
0930N/17100W 1300N/17730E SFC-UNL. 20 JUN 21:16 2012 UNTIL 20 JUN 22:21 2012.
CREATED: 17 JUN 19:46 2012
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/18/2012 10:50 AM
Another rollout of another rocket with a payload that we can't see, or know anything about.  This is what a substantial percentage of U.S. launches look like now. 

It could be something monumental inside that fairing, something spectacular and impressive and really, really expensive, or it could be mundane, or it could be another Glomar Explorer waste of money, but we'll never know. 

We should know, at least something, in my opinion.  It's our money after all (speaking for U.S. citizens).  And this is pretty much our space program now.

Seriously, Ed, apart from a handful of experts, who could learn anything useful from photos of the payload? The problem is that at least some of those experts will be working for hostile or allegedly-friendly intelligence agencies and advertising one's orbital recon capabilities to them is not condusive to national security.

I admit that I don't think that saying: "This is a COMINT platform" or "This is a synthetic-appature radar mapping satelite" would be too harmful (indeed things like this can be reasonably inferred from the launch site and the observed final orbit).  However, too much detail, even decent-resolution photographs, could possibly compromise the mission.

FWIW, I notice that the DoD's comsats are covered in detail and we get photos of the payload during processing, etc.  I understand why we don't really see much for NRO launches.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Speedracer on 06/18/2012 02:13 PM
Looks like NROL is rolling out.

Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Speedracer on 06/18/2012 02:17 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Speedracer on 06/18/2012 02:18 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/18/2012 02:22 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Speedracer on 06/18/2012 02:22 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Speedracer on 06/18/2012 02:23 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/18/2012 02:24 PM
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Mapperuo on 06/18/2012 03:46 PM
http://countdown.ksc.nasa.gov/elv/ Showing live views today.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/18/2012 08:43 PM
ULA:

The vehicle was rolled back to the launch pad this morning following the replacement of an environmental control system duct. Everything is moving forward for the Atlas V NROL-38 launch set for Wednesday, June 20 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The L-2 weather forecast shows a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: TrueGrit on 06/18/2012 10:34 PM
What is different now is that the U.S. civilian space program has largely disappeared, leaving mostly only the once-ignored black side.  We used to have the civilian program to observe, and it used to be laid out in fine detail for observation.  Now it is largely gone, and the bits that remain are themselves partially masked due to ITAR and proprietary considerations.  That leaves us with NRO launches that disappear after first stage shutdown. 

I understand why, but unless one is on the program itself, it is painfully frustrating and even boring!

First off let me point out that outside of Saturn the so called military side has always exceeded the number and size than the civilian side.   And they have a different job, and one that in many ways is incompatible with the the public outreach objectives of the civilian side.  You wouldn't be asking to be fully aware of when, what, and where a Seal Team is doing would you?  Just because the civilian side flopped on its face doesn't change the military's job.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: jkumpire on 06/19/2012 02:36 AM
What is different now is that the U.S. civilian space program has largely disappeared, leaving mostly only the once-ignored black side.  We used to have the civilian program to observe, and it used to be laid out in fine detail for observation.  Now it is largely gone, and the bits that remain are themselves partially masked due to ITAR and proprietary considerations.  That leaves us with NRO launches that disappear after first stage shutdown. 

I understand why, but unless one is on the program itself, it is painfully frustrating and even boring!

First off let me point out that outside of Saturn the so called military side has always exceeded the number and size than the civilian side.   And they have a different job, and one that in many ways is incompatible with the the public outreach objectives of the civilian side.  You wouldn't be asking to be fully aware of when, what, and where a Seal Team is doing would you?  Just because the civilian side flopped on its face doesn't change the military's job.

Sir,

Respectfully, the civilian program has been starved to death since the days of Saturn, and if it got the same funding as the military side things would be much better than they are. BTW, last time I checked the Atlas V and Delta IV had a lot of civilian uses and development that assisted them to become the excellent platforms they are now. They did not magically become these great machines purely from MX-774 and Thor. NASA did have more than a little to do with their evolution.

That's not to claim NASA is perfect, but you take your point way too far IMO.
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/19/2012 02:42 AM
Looking pretty in the flood lights
Title: Re: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 18, 2012
Post by: Lurker Steve on 06/19/2012 03:04 AM
What is different now is that the U.S. civilian space program has largely disappeared, leaving mostly only the once-ignored black side.  We used to have the civilian program to observe, and it used to be laid out in fine detail for observation.  Now it is largely gone, and the bits that remain are themselves partially masked due to ITAR and proprietary considerations.  That leaves us with NRO launches that disappear after first stage shutdown. 

I understand why, but unless one is on the program itself, it is painfully frustrating and even boring!

First off let me point out that outside of Saturn the so called military side has always exceeded the number and size than the civilian side.   And they have a different job, and one that in many ways is incompatible with the the public outreach objectives of the civilian side.  You wouldn't be asking to be fully aware of when, what, and where a Seal Team is doing would you?  Just because the civilian side flopped on its face doesn't change the military's job.

Sir,

Respectfully, the civilian program has been starved to death since the days of Saturn, and if it got the same funding as the military side things would be much better than they are. BTW, last time I checked the Atlas V and Delta IV had a lot of civilian uses and development that assisted them to become the excellent platforms they are now. They did not magically become these great machines purely from MX-774 and Thor. NASA did have more than a little to do with their evolution.

That's not to claim NASA is perfect, but you take your point way too far IMO.

I'm pretty sure that the current EELVs wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the DoD.

And these DoD launches cover the overhead of the Atlas / Delta programs, making the NASA missions less expensive than they would be if NASA has to cover the EELV program or an equivalent launcher program for science missions by itself.

Now, let's watch the launch, and not worry about what is hiding underneath the fairing. That's for the other guys to worry about.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 08:16 AM
Moved for live coverage...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 06/20/2012 08:36 AM
Quote from:  ULA website
Launch is set for 8:28 am EDT
ie T0 = 1228UTC
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Artyom. on 06/20/2012 09:30 AM
Live broadcast - http://www.livestream.com/spaceflightnow  :).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: tehwkd on 06/20/2012 09:52 AM
Live broadcast - http://www.livestream.com/spaceflightnow  :).

better quality, same camera
mms://kscwmserv1.ksc.nasa.gov/ae%20video%20channel%201
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:04 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 10:04 AM
William Graham's superb overview:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/live-ula-atlas-v-50th-eelv-launch-nrol-38/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:11 AM
latest weather conditions
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:11 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:23 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: David AF on 06/20/2012 10:29 AM
William Graham's superb overview:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/live-ula-atlas-v-50th-eelv-launch-nrol-38/

EXCELLENT article William!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:31 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:39 AM
2 hours to the start of the window

Frost forming on the CCB, must be fueling
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2012 10:41 AM
William Graham's superb overview:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/live-ula-atlas-v-50th-eelv-launch-nrol-38/

"Seven first-generation SDS satellites were launched into Molniya orbits between June 1976 and February 1987. These spacecraft were constructed by Hughes, based around the HS-312 bus, and carried twelve UHF transponders.

Why would they carry 12 UHF transponders?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: William Graham on 06/20/2012 10:46 AM
William Graham's superb overview:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/live-ula-atlas-v-50th-eelv-launch-nrol-38/

"Seven first-generation SDS satellites were launched into Molniya orbits between June 1976 and February 1987. These spacecraft were constructed by Hughes, based around the HS-312 bus, and carried twelve UHF transponders.

Why would they carry 12 UHF transponders?

Working too late at night. That should be twelve channels, not transponders.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:50 AM
trending towards the peak
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 10:58 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:00 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:08 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:11 AM
Quote
Beginning flight control final preps


https://twitter.com/#!/ulalaunch (https://twitter.com/#!/ulalaunch)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:12 AM
Quote
The first stage liquid oxygen tank is now 70% full. Chilled to Minus-298 degrees F, the liquid oxygen will be used with RP-1 kerosene by the RD-180 main engine on the first stage during the initial four-and-a-quarter minutes of flight today. The 25,050 gallons of RP-1 were loaded into the rocket after rollout.

https://twitter.com/#!/45thSpaceWing (https://twitter.com/#!/45thSpaceWing)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:29 AM
L minus 1 hr, webcast showing mission cover, 40 minutes t webcast start :
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:30 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:30 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:31 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:31 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Mapperuo on 06/20/2012 11:35 AM
Clouds aren't a friendly colour.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:41 AM
Quote
L-48 Minutes: The Flight Termination System of the Atlas V Launcher is now undergoing a pre-flight test

https://twitter.com/#!/SPACEFLIGHT101 (https://twitter.com/#!/SPACEFLIGHT101)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 11:42 AM
ULA PAO: "Everything is continuing toward a planned launch at 8:28 a.m. this morning. The team is not currently working any technical issues."

Fabulous.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:43 AM
https://twitter.com/#!/ShuttleAlmanac (https://twitter.com/#!/ShuttleAlmanac)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:49 AM
peak winds on a plateau, but getting close to the red line
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:51 AM
Quote
T-15 minutes and counting: Pre-launch checks of the rocket's safety system have been completed.

https://twitter.com/#!/45thSpaceWing (https://twitter.com/#!/45thSpaceWing)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:53 AM
Quote
L-36 Minutes: The first stage RD-180 Main Engine has now initiated its Fuel Fill Sequence

https://twitter.com/#!/SPACEFLIGHT101 (https://twitter.com/#!/SPACEFLIGHT101)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:54 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: HIPAR on 06/20/2012 11:54 AM
Radar looks clear of vertical cloud development.

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 11:55 AM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:01 PM
Quote
Entered a planned 25-minute hold at T-4 minutes

https://twitter.com/#!/ulalaunch (https://twitter.com/#!/ulalaunch)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:06 PM
peak winds holding below red line for now
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:08 PM
webcast started
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:09 PM
Don Spencer for the ULA webcast, as per usual. Broadcast will end at T+4.5m.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:10 PM
webcast will end at plf sep
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:11 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:11 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:14 PM
brief processing overview, but no payload shot ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:17 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:20 PM
l minus 10 minutes
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:21 PM
polling for final count
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:22 PM
All go, proceeding with count
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:24 PM
Coming out of the final BIH.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2012 12:24 PM
Who caught the little dig at Spacex?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:24 PM
t minus 4 minutes and counting
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:25 PM
l minus 3 minutes, tanks to flight pressure
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:25 PM
FTS internal.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:26 PM
l minus 2 minutes, vehicle internal launch sequencer start
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:26 PM
Launch Enable.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:27 PM
l minus 1 minute, will screenshot eelv feeds not ULA
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:27 PM
FTS Armed.

T-60 seconds.

Range Green.

GO Atlas! GO Centaur!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:28 PM
LAUNCH!!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:28 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:29 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:29 PM
Mach 1.

Max-Q. Engine throttling to 95%.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:29 PM
Heading to MaxQ
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:29 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:30 PM
Nominal first stage performance - impressive view:
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:30 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:30 PM
Vehicle now weighs half of what it did at launch.

Speed 3600 mph.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:31 PM
Centaur RCS charging.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:31 PM
Down to 92%.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:32 PM
46 miles altitude, 106 miles downrange.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:32 PM
5G throttling.

BECO and staging.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:32 PM
Centaur engine ignition.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:32 PM
Staging:

1-2 Sep.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:33 PM
BECO
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Nick L. on 06/20/2012 12:33 PM
Fairing separation.

Webcast ending.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:33 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 06/20/2012 12:34 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 12:36 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8_LO77I_oQ&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxjHgStmSr8&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Rocket Science on 06/20/2012 12:36 PM
Like clockwork… Well done ULA!
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/20/2012 12:37 PM
Many thanks to Ron for the coverage, and William Graham for his excellent mission overview:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/live-ula-atlas-v-50th-eelv-launch-nrol-38/
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 06/20/2012 01:00 PM
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: mike robel on 06/20/2012 01:26 PM
Photos from the SR528 Causeway

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/20/2012 01:49 PM
Question: do ULA have a 'generic payload' graphic that they use for NRO launches' simulated ascent graphics or is it possible that what we saw duirng simulated PLF sep was what the real NRO-38 spacecraft loooks like?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2012 02:31 PM
Quote
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasts off from Space Launch Complex-41 on June 20, 2012, at 8:28 a.m. EDT with a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. This is the 61st launch for ULA and marks the 50th successful launch of an Atlas V and Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.

Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance

https://www.facebook.com/ulalaunch
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Prober on 06/20/2012 03:10 PM
That payload had to be one of the lightest for an Atlas V.  Maybe could have even flown on a Delta II if they wanted to.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: jkumpire on 06/20/2012 03:31 PM
I have not real good photos from Playalinda beach I will try and post. What a magnificient view from there! I was surprised by how much noise we got from the launch, it's hard to imagine how loud a Saturn V or Shuttle launch was from that viewpoint (Obviously no access would be allowed to where I was :( for one of those launches).

I'd guess 200 or so others were there where we were for it, a surprising mumber of Germans were there from the languages I heard spoken. What a great thing to see, you folks who get to see these things regularly are the luckiest people in the world. I'd move here today if I could.

Thanks for all the information people, after 50 years of wishing to see a live launch in person it was worth it. 
 
 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2012 03:56 PM
That payload had to be one of the lightest for an Atlas V.  Maybe could have even flown on a Delta II if they wanted to.

nope and no
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2012 03:57 PM
Question: do ULA have a 'generic payload' graphic that they use for NRO launches' simulated ascent graphics or is it possible that what we saw duirng simulated PLF sep was what the real NRO-38 spacecraft loooks like?

yes and no
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2012 03:57 PM
The view and sound was great from the NASA Causeway.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: HIPAR on 06/20/2012 04:13 PM
Question: do ULA have a 'generic payload' graphic that they use for NRO launches' simulated ascent graphics or is it possible that what we saw duirng simulated PLF sep was what the real NRO-38 spacecraft loooks like?

Let's for the sake of discussion say that graphic was the actual spacecraft.  So other than the obvious size from which you might also make an educated of it's weight, what else can you deduce.  Maybe the power delivered from the solar panels? 

Then we can speculate about the purpose of that 'do-hickey' on the top panel  ???

That looks like a generic spacecraft to me.

---  CHAS
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: jkumpire on 06/20/2012 05:01 PM
The view and sound was great from the NASA Causeway.

Well Jim,

I'd sure like to come down the next launch and compare notes to see how good your view was. Can ylou get me past the gate at the KSCVC?  ::)

Let me know where we can meet to look at it, dinner on me at some local dive of your choice 8)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Rocket Guy on 06/20/2012 06:26 PM
The view and sound was great from the NASA Causeway.

 Can ylou get me past the gate at the KSCVC?  ::)

Playalinda is actually a crop closer than the causeway (4.8 versus 5), and the closest on-base viewing for Atlas for is only a little closer than that (4). You got as good a view as you can :-)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Space Pete on 06/20/2012 10:33 PM
ULA does it again!

And check it out - NSF quoted by AFP! :)
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gDdnB-SCH3X5Z_YfSFOnnkpkmSrQ
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2012 11:41 PM

Well Jim,

I'd sure like to come down the next launch and compare notes to see how good your view was. Can ylou get me past the gate at the KSCVC?  ::)

Let me know where we can meet to look at it, dinner on me at some local dive of your choice 8)

Sorry, not since 9/11
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: baldusi on 06/21/2012 07:28 PM
I have to congratulate ULA for their fantastic work. I'm amazed that they are making launching satellites so routine that people pay little attention (just four pages!).
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/22/2012 08:47 AM
I'm amazed that they are making launching satellites so routine that people pay little attention (just four pages!).

I think that, in this case, it's an issue that, as an NRO launch, there is very little information to discuss - just launch to PLF sep! ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: input~2 on 06/22/2012 01:55 PM
NROL-38 catalogued as USA 236, 38466/2012-033A
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: jcm on 06/23/2012 06:58 PM
Subsequent cataloging makes it clear there'll be no entry for the NROL-38 Centaur stage, supporting the assumption it was deorbited on the first revolution
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: ugordan on 06/29/2012 06:16 PM
Wow, this looks like a very nice place to view an Atlas launch from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42t4hQ-bxe8

Judging from the sound delay, I'd say the observers were within 2.5 km of the pad.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/29/2012 06:39 PM
Judging from the sound delay, I'd say the observers were within 2.5 km of the pad.

Based on the hedgerow, I would guess about 1.5 km, the red dot on the google maps image.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/29/2012 06:44 PM
I was going to say 1 mile

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=216393130822747849500.0004c3a0d08f6f4e64331&msa=0&ll=28.569089,-80.58579&spn=0.00735,0.011115
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: ugordan on 06/29/2012 06:50 PM
Hmm. I counted ~7 seconds from what I'd expect is thrust ramp-up to the roar arriving. There is a fainter sound arriving about 3 secs earlier, perhaps that can account for the difference.

Looks real close to the pad either way. Comparing the apparent sizes of the VIF and MLP tower, yeah, it's probably closer in.
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/29/2012 06:54 PM
Hmm. I counted ~7 seconds from what I'd expect is thrust ramp-up to the roar arriving. There is a fainter sound arriving about 3 secs earlier, perhaps that can account for the difference.

Looks real close to the pad either way.

When the photo zooms back, you can see an antenna to the left
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: ugordan on 06/29/2012 06:57 PM
Would people only be allowed that close for no-SRB configurations?
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/29/2012 07:04 PM
Would people only be allowed that close for no-SRB configurations?
I guess that is the key
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/29/2012 07:09 PM
When the photo zooms back, you can see an antenna to the left

Aaarg..., in both Jim's location and my location there is a bloody antenna! Following the unwritten NSF rules, Jim's must be the correct Antenna ;)
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Jim on 06/29/2012 07:16 PM
When the photo zooms back, you can see an antenna to the left

Aaarg..., in both Jim's location and my location there is a bloody antenna! Following the unwritten NSF rules, Jim's must be the correct Antenna ;)

I didn't see your post. 
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Rocket Guy on 07/15/2012 08:31 PM
I had not seen this video until today, but the above video is taken from this parking lot 1.8 miles back:

https://maps.google.com/?ll=28.556754,-80.58756&spn=0.005711,0.010171&hnear=Daytona+Beach,+Volusia,+Florida&t=h&z=17
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Targeteer on 07/18/2012 03:17 AM
An update on NROL-38

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jul-2012/0228.html
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: ugordan on 07/18/2012 10:35 AM
I had not seen this video until today, but the above video is taken from this parking lot 1.8 miles back:

So, the good old sound delay method is not too shabby after all...
Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Star One on 07/18/2012 06:48 PM
An update on NROL-38

http://www.satobs.org/seesat/Jul-2012/0228.html


A related article.

http://spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av023/payload.html

Title: Re: LIVE: Atlas V 401 - NROL-38 - June 20, 2012
Post by: Satori on 01/09/2013 01:51 PM
Did anyone managed to get the exact launch time in the format 1228:XX.XXXUTC?

Thanks!