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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => NGIS (Formerly Orbital ATK) - Antares/Cygnus Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 05/06/2013 09:41 PM

Title: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/06/2013 09:41 PM
DISCUSSION Thread for Antares and Cygnus ORB-D mission.

Latest Full Overview Article:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/05/cygnus-mission-iss-moving-september/

---

FOR UPDATES, SEE THIS THREAD:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31844.0

Please note the difference between this thread and the update thread.

For everything else, here's the Party Thread (Using A-One party thread for the interim):
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30923.0

Resources:

Orbital GENERAL Forum Section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=46.0

Orbital (Antares/Cygnus) News Articles (Recent):
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/orbital/


L2 Antares/Cygnus Section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=tags&tags=orbital
(Includes updates, videos, graphics, presentations and specific interactive posts - great section now, will be a "L2 SpaceX Standalone Section for ORB-D).

As always, stay on topic and use the correct threads.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 07/12/2013 04:33 PM
any movement of material(s) from the delayed SpaceX flight being transferred to Cygnus?
 
I for one would be very interested in the inner working of NASA in shipments to the ISS.
 
 
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: LegendCJS on 07/12/2013 05:14 PM
any movement of material(s) from the delayed SpaceX flight being transferred to Cygnus?

Unlikely.  As this is a test flight for Orbital, NASA will probably do them the same courtesy as they did SpaceX and classify all cargo carried on the test flight as "non-critical" supplies.  Cargo on regular CRS delivery flights is classified as critical, however.  Thus any specific special hardware or cargo items (but not generic consumables like food and clothes) already scheduled for a ride in a CRS Dragon will already have the critical classification, making them unsuitable as cargo for this Cygnus test flight.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 07/12/2013 05:56 PM
So will the "late load" capability be used for perishable items (fruit, vegies, etc.), or maybe some non-critical ISS item that will take this flight of opportunity ?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Joffan on 07/12/2013 10:08 PM
So will the "late load" capability be used for perishable items (fruit, vegies, etc.), or maybe some non-critical ISS item that will take this flight of opportunity ?
Unlikely IMO. The demo flight doesn't assume that the material will actually be delivered - there are acceptance gates to get through first -  and the timing is also uncertain due to all the approach and abort demonstrations that need to be done.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 07/13/2013 05:13 AM
How late in the flow is late-load for Cygnus? I imagine access must be harder than for Dragon because Cygnus is buttoned up inside the fairing.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/11/2013 03:42 PM
Given that the launch date for ORB-D hasn't move a lot over the last few months, and that there are no more major orbit changes for the ISS over the next month or so, can someone help to calculate the approximate in-plane launch time on Sept. 14? (remember that all Antares/Cygnus launches go for the descending node)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Salo on 08/14/2013 08:13 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/home/flightdata/calendar.html
Quote
Processing Milestones

Updated: 08/14/13

09/15/13...16:08:00...Orbital/Cygnus demo launch (NET)
09/22/13...11:30:00...Orbital/Cygnus berthing (Harmony)
10/22/13..............Orbital/Cygnus unberth and deorbit (Harmony nadir)

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/14/2013 08:35 PM
Quote
(from the update thread)
12/08/13..............Orbital/Cygnus CRS-1 launch
12/11/13..............Orbital/Cygnus CRS-1 berthing (Harmony nadir)

Seems a tad aggressive... Lets hope they do not have to spend cycles digesting the 9/15/13 demo launch data, and can pull it off in less than three months! Though from previous Orbital posts it appears all the hardware for the next few flights is already on site.

What was Orbital's original prediction after the first flight for the demo?

For a new vehicle, 3 Antares launches in 2013 would be a nice flight rate. Have any new space companies achieved that rate?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/15/2013 12:36 AM
We clearly need a ORB-1 Thread. I'll sort that out in the morning, per:

Launch date latest for CRS-3/SpX-3 - now 2014, with ORB-1 going in December.

Article by Pete Harding (with the meat) and the dates covered by yours truly.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/08/nasa-planners-switch-spacex-dragon-mission-2014/
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/15/2013 07:15 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/network/news/space/home/flightdata/calendar.html
Quote
Processing Milestones

Updated: 08/14/13

09/15/13...16:08:00...Orbital/Cygnus demo launch (NET)
09/22/13...11:30:00...Orbital/Cygnus berthing (Harmony)
10/22/13..............Orbital/Cygnus unberth and deorbit (Harmony nadir)



That's UTC so the launch time is 12:08 pm EDT on Sept. 15. Prepare for your cameras and cars for the trip to Wallops!  :D
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: R7 on 08/15/2013 10:06 AM
We clearly need a ORB-1 Thread.

And ORB-1 Party Thread. A name suggestion in the hopes that it will make it in December:

Urbi et ORB-1
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/15/2013 01:14 PM
"Nominal ORB-it" ?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/23/2013 01:52 AM
With Cygnus ORB-D now to depart Earth 2 days later than planned & Atlas V/AEHF-3 flying a week earlier, the two launches are now less than 16 hours apart. Anyone here willing to try the ultimate NSF geek mission of catching both launches at once?  ;)

(shouldn't be too difficult to drive from Wallops to DC/Hampton Roads area and catch a flight to Orlando that evening.....  ::))

Maybe it's even worthy to try to catch all 5 US launches over the next 3 weeks, although that obviously requires loads of free holiday, bucks, buck rogers, prayers that all 5 goes on time and a transcon flight.  ;D
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/23/2013 02:13 AM
(shouldn't be too difficult to drive from Wallops to DC/Hampton Roads area and catch a flight to Orlando that evening.....  ::))

Actually, it is possible to drive it in that time frame...
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Salo on 08/23/2013 10:06 PM
http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/

COTS Demonstration Mission Schedule Update (as of August 22, 2013)
August 2013

Following a planning and coordination meeting held yesterday, August 21, Orbital and NASA have identified September 17, 2013 as the targeted launch date for the COTS Demonstration Mission to the International Space Station. The launch of Orbital's Antares rocket carrying the company's Cygnus cargo logistics spacecraft will originate from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport launch pad 0A located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. Orbital's Antares team is targeting a launch time of 11:16 a.m., which is at the opening of an available 15-minute launch window.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Joffan on 09/03/2013 04:59 PM
Any sign of Antares/Cygnus at the pad?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/03/2013 05:19 PM
Any sign of Antares/Cygnus at the pad?

It's scheduled to roll out on 9/11. I assume 1 week before launch is plenty of time at the pad.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: averagespacejoe on 09/05/2013 04:03 AM
So I guess I will be that guy that asks if the mission patch image is public. With all the good news about LADEE I haven't seen one on Orbital's website or Google image searches. Probably wait until Saturday if the answer is that they haven't.  :P
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: rtphokie on 09/12/2013 12:43 PM
Notice to Mariners for the Sept 17 launch of Antares ORB-D1 is attached.   2 ship avoidance areas.

Updated to Rev1 with corrected coordinates.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/12/2013 01:04 PM
So I guess I will be that guy that asks if the mission patch image is public. With all the good news about LADEE I haven't seen one on Orbital's website or Google image searches. Probably wait until Saturday if the answer is that they haven't.  :P

have one
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 09/12/2013 01:09 PM
Sounds like Cygnus is doing well with the milestones; late load etc.
 
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 09/12/2013 10:27 PM
Sounds like Cygnus is doing well with the milestones; late load etc.
 

Also, now we know what "late load" looks like.

Hope the astros weren't expecting ice cream.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/12/2013 11:24 PM
Great work by Orbital to get a load of resources published.....
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/MissionUpdates/Orb-D1/

Rollout operations begin at about 12:30 a.m local. The rocket first emerges from the HIF about 2:30 a.m., the rocket with the integrated Cygnus travels about one mile to MARS pad 0A, and by early morning hours, if all goes well, we'll have an upright Antares on the pad.

I'll use this post to be the basis of the main live update thread for the launch.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/13/2013 02:28 AM
Ok, Party Thread suggestions please!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: strangequark on 09/13/2013 02:49 AM
Given it's the début of Cygnus, something about a Kegger perhaps?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/13/2013 03:56 AM
Given it's the début of Cygnus, something about a Kegger perhaps?
+yes.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 09/13/2013 04:38 PM
Ok, Party Thread suggestions please!
think someone might have deleted part of that thread  :(   it was human  :o

We were going for a play on the Keg look..... OrbitalFest etc.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/13/2013 05:20 PM
I thought the winner was Oktorbitalfest
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/13/2013 05:33 PM
Oktorbitalfest Kegger? Either way, there's going to be lots more of these party threads, so the runners up can have another go at it. ;)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/13/2013 05:40 PM
But how often will they occur during Oktoberfest?

Time for some Bratwurst and Wienerschnitzel!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: R7 on 09/15/2013 04:29 PM
Kegnus D-ORBs
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 09/15/2013 05:03 PM
The OrbiNOMINAL swan beer keg festival?  :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06NegxrDSlQ
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Garrett on 09/16/2013 09:22 AM
Chris posted this on the flow updates thread:
Orbital Sciences ‏@OrbitalSciences
Our #Antares and #Cygnus launch teams for the #cotsdemo successfully completed CST late last night. On track for launch on 9/18 at 10:50am

What does "CST" mean?

Edit: Never mind, found it here: http://www.orbital.com/Antares-Cygnus/
CST = Combined Systems Test
Like a dry dress rehearsal I presume?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Garrett on 09/16/2013 09:38 AM
Maybe this has already been asked, but what is this opening in the fairing for? (circled in red in the attached photo)
Umbilicals for Cygnus?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/16/2013 11:38 AM
Maybe this has already been asked, but what is this opening in the fairing for? (circled in red in the attached photo)
Umbilicals for Cygnus?

From the position, it looks like it would be for access to the Cygnus service module once the fairing is on.  Also, could be used in aiding the installation of the fairing
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/16/2013 11:42 AM
What does "CST" mean?

CST = Combined Systems Test
Like a dry dress rehearsal I presume?

A test of the combined spacecraft and launch vehicle.  Up until this point, they have never "seen" each other.  Other vehicles called it IVT or IST.  It is a test of the electrical interfaces between the vehicles, culminating in a PCD (plus count demonstration) or FPV (flight program verification)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: sycophantic on 09/16/2013 12:20 PM
Looks like the 19th is a backup day as well.

https://twitter.com/OrbitalSciences/status/379571373363822592 (https://twitter.com/OrbitalSciences/status/379571373363822592)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Kabloona on 09/16/2013 04:32 PM
Weather looking good for both Weds and Thursday.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: neoforce on 09/16/2013 04:42 PM
The OrbiNOMINAL swan beer keg festival?  :P



I agree the party thread has to have the word nominal in it!  Could use what Galactic Penguin said, or something with the word "phe-NOMINAL"  Because its going to be a phenomenal party!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/16/2013 09:26 PM
sorry to say I'm disappointed today.....expected a rollout video.  :(
hope its available soon.

I hope they don't delay the launch waiting for our Party thread.

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 09/16/2013 10:40 PM
sorry to say I'm disappointed today.....expected a rollout video.  :(
hope its available soon.

I hope they don't delay the launch waiting for our Party thread.
nah, that can't happen now..... was working to add a little Russian zest for some of the parts..
Oktober fest        Октябрь Fest
Орбитальная Fest
Orbital Fest   Oяbital    OяberFest   or Orb_erFest
========
Orbital Oktober Keg Fest
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 09/17/2013 01:23 PM
From the updates thread:

Sun Rise
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/9783747841/

Poor Bill Ingalls.  Never a moment's rest.  Just back from Kazakhstan and already out at Wallops for ORB-D.

I don't think anyone will try this (too hardcore, plus there may not be any flights at the right time  ;)), but is it just possible that someone can try to watch the Atlas V launch at Titusville, then (assuming it goes on time) drive to Orlando to take an early bird flight to Hampton Roads/DC and drive east, just in time to catch the Cygnus launch?   ;)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: input~2 on 09/17/2013 01:55 PM
NOTAMs
!CARF 09/096   ZDC AIRSPACE DCC ANTARES ORB D1 STATIONARY RESERVATION WITHIN AN AREA BNDD BY 3748N/7531W 3738N/7536W 3732N/7530W 3742N/7530W WITHIN AN AREA BNDD BY 3757N/7527W 3756N/7527W 3751N/7516W 3754N/7515W WITHIN AN AREA BNDD BY 3701N/7435W 3705N/7440W 3705N/7435W SFC-UNL WEF 1309181445-1309181545

!CARF 09/097   ZNY AIRSPACE DCC ANTARES ORB D1 STATIONARY RESERVATION WITHIN AN AREA BNDD BY 2403N/6333W 2729N/5844W 2129N/5318W 1803N/5329W 1803N/5801W SFC-UNL WEF 1309181445-1309181545
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 09/17/2013 02:44 PM
I noticed on FlightAware that both of NASA's Global Hawk's are active at Wallops currently - I wonder whether one of them could or would be used to acquire high-altitude imagery of the Orb-D ascent?

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA871
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/NASA872
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: catdlr on 09/17/2013 03:10 PM
Rollout of Antares Rocket with first Cygnus Spacecraft for International Space Station

Published on Sep 16, 2013
The Orbital Sciences Antares rocket rolled out to the launch pad the other day ahead of it's demo Cygnus flight to the International Space Station. This is the second Antares launch and first fully functioning Cygnus launch. Launch is scheduled for September 18th from Wallops Flight Facility.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTzW6HrWWFE
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 09/17/2013 05:33 PM
Anyone else getting the feeling that Orbital's CRS production flow to launch has gone much smoother than with SpaceX CRS? Seems like they have this working smoothly.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/17/2013 06:02 PM
They have already flown this vehicle from this pad, the v1.1 from SpaceX has a new vehicle on a new pad. So one would assume the Antares flow with be smoother.

To be fair, Antares did have some pad teething problems before the first launch...
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: woods170 on 09/17/2013 07:32 PM
They have already flown this vehicle from this pad, the v1.1 from SpaceX has a new vehicle on a new pad. So one would assume the Antares flow with be smoother.

To be fair, Antares did have some pad teething problems before the first launch...

"some pad teething problems" ? The problems with the pad delayed the first flight of Antares for the better part of a year. That's a LOT of delay because of pad problems. Trouble for Orbital was that they were not in control of the pad. It was built for them by a third party.
The pad delays are partly the reason why Orbital now has a nice line-up of Cygnus and Antares vehicles waiting to get going: they kept building them while waiting for the launch pad to finally become available.

Say for instance that the same amount of delay would happen to the pad of SpaceX at Vandy. It would delay the first flight of Falcon 9 v1.1 into summer 2014.
Obviously, SpaceX has some issues with it's new pad, but the first flight of Falcon 9 v1.1 will very likely be well before summer 2014.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Antares on 09/17/2013 08:29 PM
I don't think anyone will try this (too hardcore, plus there may not be any flights at the right time  ;)), but is it just possible that someone can try to watch the Atlas V launch at Titusville, then (assuming it goes on time) drive to Orlando to take an early bird flight to Hampton Roads/DC and drive east, just in time to catch the Cygnus launch?   ;)

There's a 5:15 USAir/United flight connecting through Charlotte (50-minute layover) that gets into Norfolk at 8:45.  It could be done.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/17/2013 08:38 PM
I don't think anyone will try this (too hardcore, plus there may not be any flights at the right time  ;)), but is it just possible that someone can try to watch the Atlas V launch at Titusville, then (assuming it goes on time) drive to Orlando to take an early bird flight to Hampton Roads/DC and drive east, just in time to catch the Cygnus launch?   ;)

There's a 5:15 USAir/United flight connecting through Charlotte (50-minute layover) that gets into Norfolk at 8:45.  It could be done.

That's a 100 mile drive to Wallops, although I suppose to could just watch the launch from Virginia Beach. That view shouldn't be too bad, right ?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/17/2013 11:59 PM
It's only 870 miles, pad to pad...

Google maps may say 12 hours 43 minutes, just put on Radar Love on auto repeat and floor it.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/18/2013 12:15 AM
Party Thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32875.0

LIVE Launch Day Update thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32876.0
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Targeteer on 09/18/2013 02:37 AM
Interesting note during today's presser that Cygnus' hatch is too small to allow passage of full ISS equipment racks--weight was one of reasons given.  The hatch can be enlarged, if requested, to take full advantage of the CBM opening. Are any more slated for launch?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/18/2013 02:50 AM
Interesting note during today's presser that Cygnus' hatch is too small to allow passage of full ISS equipment racks--weight was one of reasons given.  The hatch can be enlarged, if requested, to take full advantage of the CBM opening. Are any more slated for launch?
Any more what?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/18/2013 03:13 AM
Interesting note during today's presser that Cygnus' hatch is too small to allow passage of full ISS equipment racks--weight was one of reasons given.  The hatch can be enlarged, if requested, to take full advantage of the CBM opening.

That seems odds. Oh well, I guess all those nice expensive payloads will go on the other CRS provider.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/18/2013 03:15 AM
Interesting note during today's presser that Cygnus' hatch is too small to allow passage of full ISS equipment racks--weight was one of reasons given.  The hatch can be enlarged, if requested, to take full advantage of the CBM opening.

That seems odds. Oh well, I guess all those nice expensive payloads will go on the other CRS provider.
Nope. Dragon doesn't carry full ISS racks, either. The only vehicle that currently can take full ISS racks to Station is HTV.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/18/2013 04:25 AM
Interesting note during today's presser that Cygnus' hatch is too small to allow passage of full ISS equipment racks--weight was one of reasons given.  The hatch can be enlarged, if requested, to take full advantage of the CBM opening.

That seems odds. Oh well, I guess all those nice expensive payloads will go on the other CRS provider.
Nope. Dragon doesn't carry full ISS racks, either. The only vehicle that currently can take full ISS racks to Station is HTV.

Can Cygnus take EXPRESS (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/background/facts/expressrack.html) racks? Apparently that's what Dragon does, according to some guy named Pete Harding (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/10/spacexs-dragon-return-earth-precious-cargo-iss/) :)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: woods170 on 09/18/2013 06:45 AM
Interesting note during today's presser that Cygnus' hatch is too small to allow passage of full ISS equipment racks--weight was one of reasons given.  The hatch can be enlarged, if requested, to take full advantage of the CBM opening.

That seems odds. Oh well, I guess all those nice expensive payloads will go on the other CRS provider.
Nope. Dragon doesn't carry full ISS racks, either. The only vehicle that currently can take full ISS racks to Station is HTV.

Can Cygnus take EXPRESS (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/background/facts/expressrack.html) racks? Apparently that's what Dragon does, according to some guy named Pete Harding (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/10/spacexs-dragon-return-earth-precious-cargo-iss/) :)


No, you read incorrectly. Dragon cannot take EXPRESS racks. What Pete's article says is that Dragon flew back a GLACIER freezer that was taken out of an EXPRESS rack onboard the ISS.

Being able to carry standard ISS racks was not a requirement for the vehicles that were developed under COTS. As such, neither vehicle currently has that capability.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/18/2013 01:28 PM
I believe the door opens into the cargo vehicle.

Providing support for a larger door means you need to leave more open space inside the vehicle for the door to open. That means less cargo volume can be carried up on each flight.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Hog on 09/18/2013 01:34 PM
I think the titles for these threads should include "COTS Demo Flight 1".  Space X got them.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 09/18/2013 01:49 PM
Can Cygnus take EXPRESS (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/background/facts/expressrack.html) racks? Apparently that's what Dragon does, according to some guy named Pete Harding (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/10/spacexs-dragon-return-earth-precious-cargo-iss/) :)

Heh!

No, as Woods said, ExPrESS Racks are merely a hosting platform for mid-deck locker standard payloads (such as the GLACIER freezers that Dragon returned). Cygnus can carry active (powered) and passive (unpowered) mid-deck lockers for the ExPrESS Racks, but cannot carry ExPrESS racks themselves.

This is because A) the Cygnus CBM hatch is not big enough to allow for the passage of racks (which is actually more efficient for the carriage of non-rack cargo since you are saving weight and space with the smaller hatch), and B) because there is no structure inside Cygnus capable of supporting racks.

The only vehicle capable of carrying racks to the ISS now is HTV, although it really isn't an issue since only one rack (the European Advanced Closed-loop Life Support/ACLS) is currently planned for launch to the ISS between now and 2020 (and thus it can easily go on HTV). If HTVs end after 2016 however, and ISS is extended to 2028, then lack of rack launch or return/disposal capability may become an issue.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: jcm on 09/18/2013 02:12 PM
Nomenclature question time -

    The flight is ORB D-1.
    What is the Cygnus vehicle?  Is it Cygnus ORB D-1, Cygnus 1, Cygnus 0?  (yes, I know it's G David Low,
    but it must have another name as well)
    Cygnus is made of a PCM and an SM. Thales talked a couple years ago about the delivery of "PCM-0",
 the demo Cygnus PCM. Was that a ground test one, or is the PCM on this flight PCM-0?
   What about the SM, does it have a serial number?

 - Thanks to any in the know who can fill this in
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: jcm on 09/18/2013 02:12 PM
and a followup question: of the 4100 kg quoted mass for this flight, how much is PCM and how much SM?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 09/18/2013 02:47 PM
Can Cygnus take EXPRESS (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/background/facts/expressrack.html) racks? Apparently that's what Dragon does, according to some guy named Pete Harding (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/10/spacexs-dragon-return-earth-precious-cargo-iss/) :)

Heh!

No, as Woods said, ExPrESS Racks are merely a hosting platform for mid-deck locker standard payloads (such as the GLACIER freezers that Dragon returned). Cygnus can carry active (powered) and passive (unpowered) mid-deck lockers for the ExPrESS Racks, but cannot carry ExPrESS racks themselves.

This is because A) the Cygnus CBM hatch is not big enough to allow for the passage of racks (which is actually more efficient for the carriage of non-rack cargo since you are saving weight and space with the smaller hatch), and B) because there is no structure inside Cygnus capable of supporting racks.

The only vehicle capable of carrying racks to the ISS now is HTV, although it really isn't an issue since only one rack (the European Advanced Closed-loop Life Support/ACLS) is currently planned for launch to the ISS between now and 2020 (and thus it can easily go on HTV). If HTVs end after 2016 however, and ISS is extended to 2028, then lack of rack launch or return/disposal capability may become an issue.

How many powered MLEs can Cygnus take?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 09/18/2013 02:50 PM
How many powered MLEs can Cygnus take?

Four, per the latest info I have (which is from a few years ago).
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jason1701 on 09/18/2013 03:05 PM
For attitude control, does the upper stage have its own thrusters or use Cygnus's?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Nate_Trost on 09/18/2013 03:12 PM
NASA-TV Wallops feed had some post-launch shots of the pad with ongoing gaseous release worthy of a Thriller video, post-launch GSE issue?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 09/18/2013 03:18 PM
Awesome job Orbital! :)

To any Orbital folks, I just want to say that I enjoyed that telemetry screen greatly - a great way to "see" the theories of orbital and flight mechanics at work.

For instance, you saw acceleration decrease as the upper stage chamber pressure decreased, you saw velocity increase as altitude decreased toward perigee, you saw a negative acceleration spike at Cygnus sep. I felt like a Cygnus flight controller!

Great work.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/18/2013 03:42 PM
For attitude control, does the upper stage have its own thrusters or use Cygnus's?

Its own
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Hog on 09/18/2013 05:35 PM
The Canadian design company NEPTEC developed TriDAR and was funded by Canadian Space Agency and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Is TriDAR riding on Cygnus?  Will it be performing berthing activities during Orbital's 1st ever approach of the ISS?

IIRC TriDAR flew on STS-135 Atlantis and on STS-131/128 Discovery.

RADAR=RAdia Detection And Ranging
SONAR-SOund Navigation And Ranging
LASER=Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation

Are TriDAR and LiDAR true acronyms like RADAR/SONAR/LASER?  There seems to be some question if these are actually acronyms.

Thank you
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/18/2013 10:57 PM
No, as Woods said, ExPrESS Racks are merely a hosting platform for mid-deck locker standard payloads (such as the GLACIER freezers that Dragon returned). Cygnus can carry active (powered) and passive (unpowered) mid-deck lockers for the ExPrESS Racks, but cannot carry ExPrESS racks themselves.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: CardBoardBoxProcessor on 09/19/2013 12:41 AM
I had to work today so I could only go as far as Kent Island near The Jetty. I think it was a good thing in the end because I got a good view and it looks like Orb-D flew into a cloud up close. I was able to view it from just after cloud birth all the way to second stage burnout from there. it was pretty radical. I had hoped to see second stage light and I knew when a cloud in the arch curve suddenly appeared I knew it was second stage ignition. Though I saw it all quite clearly with my eyes my camera strained so i have edited them to bring out the details a tad. I think I am done with Nikons and automatic cameras...

So Arbuckle was open was it? Interesting. What was the closure radius since Cygnus has "toxics" onboard?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Garrett on 09/19/2013 03:29 PM
You can multitrack ISS and Cygnus on n2yo.com using the following link:
http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|39258 (http://www.n2yo.com/?s=25544|39258)
In the attached image are their positions at 15:25 UTC. (roughly 3 days till berthing)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 09/19/2013 11:31 PM
For attitude control, does the upper stage have its own thrusters or use Cygnus's?

Its own

How do these thrusters work before fairing sep? The RCS is enabled and firing before the PLF jettisons.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/20/2013 12:09 AM
I believe they are on the aft
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/20/2013 12:26 AM
Great article by Philip Sloss, who was at the launch and media events:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/as-cygnus-heads-iss-orbital-eyeing-future/
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/20/2013 12:52 AM
Nice article, sounds like NASA now has more capability than payload... who would have thought.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/20/2013 12:54 AM
Agree, great article Phil!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 09/20/2013 01:44 AM
Great article, Philip!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: newpylong on 09/20/2013 01:00 PM
Great article. It says the Orb-D launch used a Castor 30B, but I thought A-One and Orb-D used an A where as CRS-1 and 2 would use the B, and then the XL from that point forward.

Did this one really use the B?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: psloss on 09/20/2013 02:27 PM
Great article. It says the Orb-D launch used a Castor 30B, but I thought A-One and Orb-D used an A where as CRS-1 and 2 would use the B, and then the XL from that point forward.

Did this one really use the B?
That's my mistake; the article that Chris wrote back in March still applies:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/03/castor-30xl-prepares-static-fire-antares-boost/
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/20/2013 02:36 PM
Here's the run down:

This flight and the first one used the Castor 30 (no letter).  The next two will use the Castor 30B.  The difference is mainly a slightly faster burning propellant.  Orbital has no plan to use the A.  The only real difference between the B and the A is that the A has all-US components and is used for a missile application.  The XL will start with Orb-3.  The Antares model designations are
110 = Castor 30 second stage - A-One and Demo
120 = Castor 30B second stage - Orb-1 and Orb-2
130 = Castor 30XL second stage - Orb-3 and on
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jakusb on 09/20/2013 02:50 PM
real-time tracker I found on the Orbital blog

http://cesium.agi.com/cygnus/

Maybe a stupid question, but why does Cygnus fly so much in a spiral? For max solar exposure?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: StarryKnight on 09/20/2013 02:57 PM
real-time tracker I found on the Orbital blog

http://cesium.agi.com/cygnus/

Maybe a stupid question, but why does Cygnus fly so much in a spiral? For max solar exposure?

I'm not sure what you mean by spiral. But Cygnus has non ariculating solar arrays (i.e. no motor to drive them), so unless it is performing delta-v maneuvers or during the capture or release phase (when it is in free drift, i.e. no thruster firing) the spacecraft body is positioned to maximize solar array power while still being able to maintain good comms links with the ground or TDRSS.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jakusb on 09/20/2013 03:02 PM
real-time tracker I found on the Orbital blog

http://cesium.agi.com/cygnus/

Maybe a stupid question, but why does Cygnus fly so much in a spiral? For max solar exposure?

I'm not sure what you mean by spiral. But Cygnus has non ariculating solar arrays (i.e. no motor to drive them), so unless it is performing delta-v maneuvers or during the capture or release phase (when it is in free drift, i.e. no thruster firing) the spacecraft body is positioned to maximize solar array power while still being able to maintain good comms links with the ground or TDRSS.

Check the realtime tracker. It shows a spiral shape trajectory, mostly around the trajectory of ISS. Also the animation shows Cygnus turning in such a fashion.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Silmfeanor on 09/20/2013 03:04 PM
real-time tracker I found on the Orbital blog

http://cesium.agi.com/cygnus/

Maybe a stupid question, but why does Cygnus fly so much in a spiral? For max solar exposure?

I'm not sure what you mean by spiral. But Cygnus has non ariculating solar arrays (i.e. no motor to drive them), so unless it is performing delta-v maneuvers or during the capture or release phase (when it is in free drift, i.e. no thruster firing) the spacecraft body is positioned to maximize solar array power while still being able to maintain good comms links with the ground or TDRSS.

Check the realtime tracker. It shows a spiral shape trajectory, mostly around the trajectory of ISS. Also the animation shows Cygnus turning in such a fashion.
I wouldnt put too much faith in that tracker. It is fed by "nominal data" - NOT realtime attitude / orbit info fed to them from orbital.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: newpylong on 09/20/2013 03:31 PM
Here's the run down:

This flight and the first one used the Castor 30 (no letter).  The next two will use the Castor 30B.  The difference is mainly a slightly faster burning propellant.  Orbital has no plan to use the A.  The only real difference between the B and the A is that the A has all-US components and is used for a missile application.  The XL will start with Orb-3.  The Antares model designations are
110 = Castor 30 second stage - A-One and Demo
120 = Castor 30B second stage - Orb-1 and Orb-2
130 = Castor 30XL second stage - Orb-3 and on

Thank you, makes sense.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: StarryKnight on 09/20/2013 05:31 PM
Jakusb,

I apparently can't access the cesium.agi.com site from work. It says I need to add Chrome Frame to my browser and my company's IT department doesn't let us do that. I can check it out when I get home tonight.

But based on a screen shot from that site that someone posted in the Updates thread, I think I see what you mean by spirals. I thought you were talking about the attitude of the spacecraft. The trajectory track shown in that screen shot is an artifact of the reference frame being used for the display. The spacecraft is in an elliptical orbit. That's what is accounting for the vertical motion of the path. It it is highest at apogee and lowest at perigee.

Also, in such an orbit, a object slows down relative to the ground as it approaches apogee and speeds up as it approaches perigee. Since all of the orbit is lower than the ISS, Cygnus is catching up to the ISS. However, due to the elliptical shape of Cygnus' orbit, relative to the ISS (whose orbit is more circular, only about five kilometers difference between apogee and perigee), Cygnus will appear to be getting closer at a higher rate when Cygnus is near perigee and getting closer a slower rate when Cygnus is near apogee.

That screen shot also shows that there's a slight difference between the inclinations of the two objects.

Combining all these effects makes it look like Cygnus is in a sprial. But it's only doing what Kepler tells it to do. So there is no active maneuvering being done by Cygnus to make it look like it's orbiting in that way.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/21/2013 01:16 AM
I do wish that the media would do basic fact checking.

  https://www.google.com.au/#q=%2B%22private+company%22+%2B%22orbital+sciences%22

For anyone who is writing an article about Orbital Sciences in the future, they are not a private company. They're listed on the New York Stock Exchange. They're a public company.

Just because AP doesn't fact check their headlines doesn't mean you shouldn't.

Congrats to NSF for writing their own articles.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/21/2013 01:32 AM
Not to  defend it, I think they mean private in the sense that it is not the government.

Private industry is a US buzz word for non government corporations. That includes company's that are publicly traded. To most American's a private company would make sense. Call it a public company and most non wall street types would be very very confused. The first words out of the public's mouths would be, So NASA flew the rocket?

Actually you launch a PROTON with a Russian Spy Satellite and the general US reaction would be NASA just launched a spy satellite. Cool!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: jcm on 09/21/2013 05:18 AM
Here's the run down:

This flight and the first one used the Castor 30 (no letter).  The next two will use the Castor 30B.  The difference is mainly a slightly faster burning propellant.  Orbital has no plan to use the A.  The only real difference between the B and the A is that the A has all-US components and is used for a missile application.  The XL will start with Orb-3.  The Antares model designations are
110 = Castor 30 second stage - A-One and Demo
120 = Castor 30B second stage - Orb-1 and Orb-2
130 = Castor 30XL second stage - Orb-3 and on


Thanks for that! I hadn't realized that the  'no letter' and the A were different.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: jcm on 09/21/2013 05:30 AM
Don't do that. The general public is quite capable of understanding the significance of commercial resupply of the ISS without dumbing it down. Making false statements is more likely to confuse readers, not less.
 

Not a question of false statements but of jargon. And maybe this is an American vs UK English thing?
(like "public school" meaning opposite things?)

To me "private industry", "private enterprise" and "private company"  = "private sector", i..e not the "public sector" or state.
Privately traded company vs publicly traded company are both examples of the private sector. "Public company"
can mean either publicly traded limited liability company or government owned corporation, depending on context, so it's a risky phrase to use.

But....  I freely admit I am not an economist or businessperson.

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Confusador on 09/21/2013 06:11 AM
I do wish that the media would do basic fact checking.

  https://www.google.com.au/#q=%2B%22private+company%22+%2B%22orbital+sciences%22

For anyone who is writing an article about Orbital Sciences in the future, they are not a private company. They're listed on the New York Stock Exchange. They're a public company.

One of those links is to a site called Investor Place (http://investorplace.com/2013/09/orbital-sciences-profit-from-privatizing-orb/), and their coverage looks like this:
Quote
In one area, privatization has already become the norm — and has created real opportunity for investors as a result.
On Wednesday, a company called Orbital Sciences (ORB (http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=ORB)) launched a rocket...
...Orbital Sciences isn’t the first private company...

So yes, they know perfectly well that it's publicly traded, and still have no problems calling it private.  You can keep railing against American English, but don't blame the publications for it.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/21/2013 06:18 AM
So yes, they know perfectly well that it's publicly traded, and still have no problems calling it private.  You can keep railing against American English, but don't blame the publications for it.

What evidence do you have that they know it's a publicly traded company?

I think they just assume Orbital Sciences is "the other SpaceX" in this game so they must be the same.

I expect if I contacted that particular publication I'd get a different response to the one I got from the Forbes "journalist" I contacted, simply because an investment publication actually cares about whether or not people are able to invest in the companies they're reporting on, but there's nothing there to suggest they know what they're talking about and just chose to use the wrong word due to some imagined dialectal difference.

In any case, my request remains the same: if you're a journalist reading this thread for information please report this accurately, as NSF always has done, it's not that hard.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: woods170 on 09/21/2013 12:59 PM
Don't do that. The general public is quite capable of understanding the significance of commercial resupply of the ISS without dumbing it down. Making false statements is more likely to confuse readers, not less.
 

I've had some personal experience with Americans (a couple of hundred US citizens actually) who had come over to this side of the big pond for all kinds of work in the IT industry. In my opinion most of them are not actually aware of the difference between private companies and public companies. Most of them only are aware of the difference between "government" and "non-government".

Yeah, I know. I'll be burned at the stake for saying what I just said. So be it. Been there, done that....
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/21/2013 01:03 PM
Quote
What evidence do you have that they know it's a publicly traded company?

They list Orbital's stock symbol.

It is a soccer vs. football thing.

In the US private sector, private industry, private company, private jobs, private enterprise all refer to for profit companies.

Conversely Public sector refers to government or non profit organizations ( Charities ) and jobs.

The reference to private spaceflight has been in use since well before SpaceX began. Anything non NASA/DOD has always been called private. That includes commercial Delta II, Atlas II, Commercial Titan launches during the 90's.

Besides if you look at the discussion a bunch of Australian astronomers had ( http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=112236 ) concerning the ULA's launch of the USAF AEHF-3 satellite from ULA's pad on an Air Force range you will notices every last one of them refers to it as a NASA launch. The only thing that NASA about that launch was Jim most likely watched it from the balcony of his condo.

In the US the press will continue to refer to it as a private launch, and by the US version of English they are not wrong.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/21/2013 10:44 PM
Quote
What evidence do you have that they know it's a publicly traded company?

They list Orbital's stock symbol.

That's an automated script.

Quote
It is a soccer vs. football thing.

No it isn't.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/21/2013 11:07 PM
Guess some editing is needed for this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_private_spaceflight_companies

Anyway I give up, and know to ignore all future outburst about headlines screaming "Private Space Launch" being wrong, wrong, wrong.

People have been calling non government space launches private launches as far back as I can remember.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/21/2013 11:11 PM
So what? If I said Google or Microsoft was a private company no-one would be suggesting that I was engaging in some dialectal voodoo, they'd just say I was wrong. It's entirely possible for a public company to build a private yacht, many do, but it still doesn't make it right to say they're a private company.

Besides if you look at the discussion a bunch of Australian astronomers had ( http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=112236 ) concerning the ULA's launch of the USAF AEHF-3 satellite from ULA's pad on an Air Force range you will notices every last one of them refers to it as a NASA launch. The only thing that NASA about that launch was Jim most likely watched it from the balcony of his condo.


Yeah, they're wrong. It's not like there's some dialectal difference in Australian English that means every US launch is a NASA launch, but for some reason every time I bring up that an American doesn't seem to know the meaning of a particular word I get told there's a dialectal difference. There isn't, they're just lazy journalists.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Moe Grills on 09/21/2013 11:24 PM
   Sigh!  :(

While I am normally a"cup half-full" kind of guy, the success of Antares and its Cygnus
"space-truck" mission leaves me with some disappointment.
  I don't deny that the launch and orbital maneuvers have been a success for the "space truck",
Cygnus ORB-D, and I am totally confident that it will be snatched and linked up with the ISS
tomorrow, then unloaded as any cargo-truck should be.

But then?
When it departs the iSS in a few days it becomes a multi-million dollar "orbiting garbage scow"
until it burns up.
I'm sorry if any are offended by the use of that label, but I regretfully stick with it. Sorry.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/21/2013 11:30 PM
But then?
When it departs the iSS in a few days it becomes a multi-million dollar "orbiting garbage scow"
until it burns up.
I'm sorry if any are offended by the use of that label, but I regretfully stick with it. Sorry.

Hey, disposing of ISS trash is a real problem. It's a useful function too.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/21/2013 11:49 PM
Don't do that. The general public is quite capable of understanding the significance of commercial resupply of the ISS without dumbing it down. Making false statements is more likely to confuse readers, not less.
 

I've had some personal experience with Americans (a couple of hundred US citizens actually) who had come over to this side of the big pond for all kinds of work in the IT industry. In my opinion most of them are not actually aware of the difference between private companies and public companies. Most of them only are aware of the difference between "government" and "non-government".

Yeah, I know. I'll be burned at the stake for saying what I just said. So be it. Been there, done that....

I have some bad personal experience with that public / private / public thing. Normally "public" means that the stock is listed and traded on the normal public stock exchanges. Then along comes some idiot management team that wants to do a LBO and takes the company "private". No more stock holders to report to, but no funds for R&D either, since the company is working too hard to service it's debt.

Then  of course, some of our "wonderful" elected officials have decided to "privatize" certain formerly public utilites such as tollways and parking meters.

Back to this actual mission. The launcher and spacecraft were designed and integrated by Orbital Sciences. They are under contract from NASA to perform this mission to the very "public" International Space Station. Orbital doesn't seem to need to toot their horn about how they did this all themselves. They are using public resources (both the launch pad and integration building), and there was a NASA logo and American flag on the fairing. All future CRS missions will be paid for by NASA, so there is nothing at all wrong with calling them "NASA" missions, even though Orbital is in charge of the spacecraft up to the point where it is grappled by the astronauts on the ISS.

OK, time for another beer and over to the party thread. 
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/22/2013 12:17 AM
   Sigh!  :(

While I am normally a"cup half-full" kind of guy, the success of Antares and its Cygnus
"space-truck" mission leaves me with some disappointment.
  I don't deny that the launch and orbital maneuvers have been a success for the "space truck",
Cygnus ORB-D, and I am totally confident that it will be snatched and linked up with the ISS
tomorrow, then unloaded as any cargo-truck should be.

But then?
When it departs the iSS in a few days it becomes a multi-million dollar "orbiting garbage scow"
until it burns up.
I'm sorry if any are offended by the use of that label, but I regretfully stick with it. Sorry.

And your point is?   So what if it is a garbage scow?   What is to be disappointed about that?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/22/2013 12:49 AM
It is a soccer vs. football thing.

In the US private sector, private industry, private company, private jobs, private enterprise all refer to for profit companies.

Conversely Public sector refers to government or non profit organizations ( Charities ) and jobs.

Bingo.

In the United States, the meaning of the word "private" depends on the context.  I've lived in the U.S. my whole life, and I live and work in Silicon Valley, where the distinction between a company whose shares are listed on a stock exchange and a company whose shares are not is very important and is often a subject of conversation.

Virtually everyone in the tech industry here is aware of the distinction.  When we're having a conversation about the difference between listed and unlisted companies, we use the word "private" to mean only those companies that aren't listed and the word "public" to mean only those companies that are listed.  But the very same people, when having a different conversation about the role of government consistently use the term "private company", along with terms such as "private industry" and "the private sector", to mean any company that isn't government owned, whether its shares are listed or not.

If some people unilaterally declare certain usage of a word to be wrong and whine loudly about it, that won't change the fact that this is the way the word is commonly used in some parts of the world.  And it's not out of ignorance.  We're talking about very highly educated people who are fully aware of the differences in meanings.  That's the way natural language works -- the same term, in different contexts, can mean different things.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/22/2013 01:09 AM
But the very same people, when having a different conversation about the role of government consistently use the term "private company", along with terms such as "private industry" and "the private sector", to mean any company that isn't government owned, whether its shares are listed or not.

If some people unilaterally declare certain usage of a word to be wrong and whine loudly about it, that won't change the fact that this is the way the word is commonly used in some parts of the world.  And it's not out of ignorance.  We're talking about very highly educated people who are fully aware of the differences in meanings.  That's the way natural language works -- the same term, in different contexts, can mean different things.

Do tell then, which government owned companies in the US have been launching spacecraft to the ISS previously? I mean, obviously there has to be some, otherwise it would be a pointless distinction for all these highly educated journalists to be making, right? That's what's special about SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, isn't it? They're not government owned? Whereas United Space Alliance was, right?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/22/2013 03:07 AM
USA is an LLC owned by Boeing and Lockheed, it is not government owned and being owned by two publically traded companies is actually "private"

http://www.unitedspacealliance.com/about-USA.cfm

The Space Shuttle was a government owned launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/22/2013 03:13 AM
Yep, there's no distinction between the companies which have previously launched vehicles to the ISS, and the new companies, of which Orbital Sciences is one. So why are the highly educated journalists making it the centerpiece of their articles? Must be just some dialectal difference: American journalists focus on irrelevant details because of a quirk of their language. Or, ya know, they just don't get what this whole commercial spaceflight thing is about.

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/22/2013 03:47 AM
There IS a pretty big difference: Orbital could sign a deal to use Cygnus to supply a Bigelow station or run a long-duration experiment for some research firm tomorrow if they wanted to, without asking NASA's permission. The IP and everything belong to Orbital. Same was not true of any HSF-related vehicle before (besides Dragon, of course). SpaceHab was arguably a start of this, but it relied entirely on Shuttle.

And QuantumG, I don't know if you're being intentionally dense, but the "private vs. public" distinction in this context has nothing to do with whether or not Orbital is listed on the stock exchange. It's referring to private sector vs. public sector.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/22/2013 03:50 AM
There IS a pretty big difference: Orbital could sign a deal to use Cygnus to supply a Bigelow station or run a long-duration experiment for some research firm tomorrow if they wanted to, without asking NASA's permission. The IP and everything belong to Orbital. Same was not true of any HSF-related vehicle before (besides Dragon, of course). SpaceHab was arguably a start of this, but it relied entirely on Shuttle.

Which has nothing to do with the companies being public or private. It has to do with the vehicles being owned by the government or not.

Quote
And QuantumG, I don't know if you're being intentionally dense, but the "private vs. public" distinction in this context has nothing to do with whether or not Orbital is listed on the stock exchange. It's referring to private sector vs. public sector.

If you'll read the thread, you'll discover that we just went over this.. what public sector companies are there in the space industry in the US? I can't think of one. They're all private sector.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/22/2013 04:09 AM
what public sector companies are there in the space industry in the US? I can't think of one. They're all private sector.

The use of an adjective with a particular noun doesn't necessarily imply that without the adjective there would be confusion.  The adjective can be used to emphasize a quality of the thing being discussed when that quality is important to the sense of the discussion.

So, using the term "private company" about a company in the U.S. space industry doesn't imply there are non-private companies, it just means the author is emphasizing that the fact that it is private is relevant.  In this case, "private" versus "public" or "government".

It's like when someone refers to a 6-month old victim of a bombing as an "innocent baby".  They don't add the word "innocent" because they think people are under the impression there are innocent and guilty babies and they want to narrow it down to one of the innocent ones.  It's because they want to emphasize that the innocence of the baby is important to the point the person is making.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/22/2013 04:32 AM
There IS a pretty big difference: Orbital could sign a deal to use Cygnus to supply a Bigelow station or run a long-duration experiment for some research firm tomorrow if they wanted to, without asking NASA's permission. The IP and everything belong to Orbital. Same was not true of any HSF-related vehicle before (besides Dragon, of course). SpaceHab was arguably a start of this, but it relied entirely on Shuttle.

Which has nothing to do with the companies being public or private. It has to do with the vehicles being owned by the government or not.

Quote
And QuantumG, I don't know if you're being intentionally dense, but the "private vs. public" distinction in this context has nothing to do with whether or not Orbital is listed on the stock exchange. It's referring to private sector vs. public sector.

If you'll read the thread, you'll discover that we just went over this.. what public sector companies are there in the space industry in the US? I can't think of one. They're all private sector.
Orbital's spacecraft isn't reliant on civil servants being any more than air traffic controllers. This is different than Shuttle, Gemini, Apollo, Mercury, etc, which were efforts really headed by civil servants.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 09/22/2013 04:40 AM
Orbital's spacecraft isn't reliant on civil servants being any more than air traffic controllers. This is different than Shuttle, Gemini, Apollo, Mercury, etc, which were efforts really headed by civil servants.

I agree, but none of the press are reporting anything similar to this. They think the relevant difference of this mission is that Orbital Sciences is a private company.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: veblen on 09/22/2013 08:32 AM
Quantum G you are correct about the lazy journalist reporting for Forbes part but his American audience understood, correctly I might add, what he was trying to say. As an aside, does Australia still have "Crown corporations" like Canada, thank God neither country has launch capabilities lol!
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/22/2013 08:39 AM
Guys, this may require a new thread as this is wandering in and out of ORB-D. (I know the reaction is to an article about ORB-D).

Maybe someone would like to start a splinter thread?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 09/22/2013 02:19 PM
Quantum G you are correct about the lazy journalist reporting for Forbes part but his American audience understood, correctly I might add, what he was trying to say. As an aside, does Australia still have "Crown corporations" like Canada, thank God neither country has launch capabilities lol!

The United States also has federal government-owned and operated corporations, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (a large, regional U.S. power production and flood-control entity) and AMTRAK (federally-owned company managing passenger rail service); some states may have similar state-owned corporations that manage and run some services such as handicapped transportation services or low-income subsidized housing developments, etc. 
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Danderman on 09/22/2013 02:28 PM
IIRC, Orbital's DART mission failed in its rendezvous mission because its CPU could not reconcile conflicting GPS and visual data.  In this case, there was only GPS data on hand, but the GPS data obtained from ISS conflicted with the GPS data from the onboard Cygnus avionics.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: butters on 09/22/2013 03:17 PM
If I'm understanding correctly, the signal from the ISS is a time-stamped series of its GPS coordinates, and the visiting vehicle compares that to its own GPS coordinates. So nothing about that signal would be dependent on the relative position of the visiting vehicle, and therefore it should be simple to produce a sample signal for a representative ISS orbit.

I'm assuming that Orbital's simulation environment verified the operation of the spacecraft's navigation system against such a representative signal. And SpaceX didn't have a problem, so I doubt that any NASA-furnished data or documentation was faulty. So it will be interesting to see how this little mix-up came about.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Garrett on 09/22/2013 04:55 PM
Could it be that the simulation software did not accurately produce a real GPS signal? Maybe they GPS data in the simulator was software produced and not hardware produced (i.e. not hardware-in-loop), so that's why they're only seeing this problem now?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: jcm on 09/22/2013 05:40 PM
So this was a failure of the "DEMO 3" step, and they'll need to repeat it at the beginning of the next attempt - is that a correct understanding?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/22/2013 09:14 PM
If I'm understanding correctly, the signal from the ISS is a time-stamped series of its GPS coordinates, and the visiting vehicle compares that to its own GPS coordinates. So nothing about that signal would be dependent on the relative position of the visiting vehicle, and therefore it should be simple to produce a sample signal for a representative ISS orbit.

I'm assuming that Orbital's simulation environment verified the operation of the spacecraft's navigation system against such a representative signal. And SpaceX didn't have a problem, so I doubt that any NASA-furnished data or documentation was faulty. So it will be interesting to see how this little mix-up came about.

Chris has updated his article with the exact details of what the GPS problem was (thanks, Chris!):

Quote
There are forms of GPS, one in respect to the original 1980 ephemeris and another based around an ephemeris designed 20 years later. The difference being exactly 1024 weeks.

Compact GPS time was introduced in the late 90′s to save old hardware-based receivers that had 10-bit week number counters and were rolling over the GPS time “week number” – a problem similar to, but exactly, the “Y2K” issue.  Modern GPS time uses a 13-bit week number.

The relevance to the issue between the ISS and Cygnus is the The PROX system transmits the GPS data from the SIGIs in the JEM module, including GPS time.  It then uses that data in a Kalman filter to produced best estimate of the ISS-relative Cygnus position.

Before Cygnus uses that data, though, it compares it with the GPS time derived from its own SIGI GPS receivers, the same make and model as the ISS.

Orbital interpreted the PROX ICD as specifying that GPS time was transmitted using the 1980 ephemeris.  Unfortunately, 1999 ephemeris data was received, which failed the Cygnus data integrity test.

In all of the integrated tests, 1980 ephemeris was used.  It was not until the actual JEM receivers were in the loop that this discrepancy was discovered.

The simple fix is to add “1024″ to the data received from the PROX system, which only requires modification of a single instruction in the Cygnus software. As of Sunday morning Orbital began running regression tests to insure not in breaks as a result, but the very limited nature of the modification can insure high confidence by inspection.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/cygnus-cots-graduation-iss-berthing/
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/22/2013 09:31 PM
That update is via notes in L2's rolling updates for ORB-D. We're still working with it, so another modification is likely yet.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/22/2013 10:27 PM
Now I'm a bit confused about the equipment used for the integrated test.

Why was that running off the old 1980 baseline ?

It seems impossible to pass both the "integrated" tests and the "live" tests with the same software.
Was this a NASA ISS simulator or something developed by Orbital or one of their partners ?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/22/2013 11:19 PM
Final revision (now a lot of info) with additional help from Pete with his ISS expertise.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/cygnus-cots-graduation-iss-berthing/

Update is about 8000 words in the middle of the article.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: joek on 09/23/2013 03:15 AM
Quote
Before Cygnus uses the GPS time data from the PROX system SIGIs however, it first compares it with the GPS time derived from its own on-board SIGI units, which are the same make and model as those used on the ISS. The issue that led to the Cygnus-ISS GPS communication issue is that Orbital interpreted that that ISS PROX system was transmitting GPS times based on the 1980 ephemeris, and thus used the 1980 ephemeris in Cygnus’ on-board SIGI units too.

Thanks very much for the updates.  Not to go too far off on a tangent, but I'd expect basic COMSEC requirements mandate reasonably close time sych between transmitter and receiver, otherwise the receiver should reject the message?  Specifically, Cygnus did not reject the data in the message, but rejected the authenticity of message?  Can someone more familiar with the protocols elaborate?  (sorry *cough* or is this ITAR-restricted information otherwise intuitively obvious to any student of secure communications protocols *cough*)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: wintermuted on 09/23/2013 04:46 AM
It sounds to me - and this is only based on my interpretation of NSF's excellent article, that a few things can be deduced:

a) The data used in integrated testing was not real data from the ISS but generated from simulation software.  If they used real data this would have been discovered in testing.  Possibly NASA's simulation data has always been wrong, but no other vehicle's avionics has ever used the discrepant week number. Failing to "test like you fly" rears it's ugly head again.

b) Secure communications may be handled at a different protocol level - sounds like Cygnus saw the GPS time from ISS and threw a red flag because it exceeded some delta threshold (likely much smaller than 1024 weeks) when compared with it's own calculated GPS time.

c) I assume that someone at NASA knows that the ISS transmits using the 1999 ephemeris, and Orbital had someone that programmed their system to use the 1980 ephemeris.  Unfortunately these people never communicated or double checked that one agreed with the other.  You'd think it would make sense to use the later specification, since it's now 2013.  Maybe the programmer wrote the code using the 1980 spec, tested it with the erroneous GPS data also used during integrated simulation and it worked, so thought nothing more of it and continued on.  It's quite easy to make an assumption so you can move forward with your work, especially when everything tests out successfully, and never give it a second thought.  It can be a hassle to track and then go back and confirm these assumptions, but often you can uncover important issues.  Not saying this is certainly what happened, but it's a trap I've fallen into before.

wm
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/23/2013 08:01 AM
Quote
Before Cygnus uses the GPS time data from the PROX system SIGIs however, it first compares it with the GPS time derived from its own on-board SIGI units, which are the same make and model as those used on the ISS. The issue that led to the Cygnus-ISS GPS communication issue is that Orbital interpreted that that ISS PROX system was transmitting GPS times based on the 1980 ephemeris, and thus used the 1980 ephemeris in Cygnus’ on-board SIGI units too.

Thanks very much for the updates.  Not to go too far off on a tangent, but I'd expect basic COMSEC requirements mandate reasonably close time sych between transmitter and receiver, otherwise the receiver should reject the message?  Specifically, Cygnus did not reject the data in the message, but rejected the authenticity of message?  Can someone more familiar with the protocols elaborate?  (sorry *cough* or is this ITAR-restricted information otherwise intuitively obvious to any student of secure communications protocols *cough*)

Authenticity of the message?  I'm not sure where you got that idea, but I don't think anything in the article suggests that.  I think the article is pretty clear.  It's not a question of security or authentication.  It's a question of a sanity check failing.  Cygnus receives some data from a unit on the ISS.  It does some sanity checking and rejects the data and raises a red flag to abort if the data fails the sanity check.  One of the sanity checks is that the time stamp in the GPS data it receives is close enough to its own idea of the current time.

It's completely understandable, and similar to what a lot of software does.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 09/23/2013 08:10 AM
It sounds to me - and this is only based on my interpretation of NSF's excellent article, that a few things can be deduced:

a) The data used in integrated testing was not real data from the ISS but generated from simulation software.  If they used real data this would have been discovered in testing.

If you use actual data from ISS, it will specify where and when ISS was when the data was captured. Question is, is there other data that would also need to be captured at the same time for Cygnus to be happy with the complete data set it is receiving?



Possibly NASA's simulation data has always been wrong, but no other vehicle's avionics has ever used the discrepant week number. Failing to "test like you fly" rears it's ugly head again.

Don't forget, this is using the Japanese PROX system, and HTV (apparently) ignores the week number.



b) Secure communications may be handled at a different protocol level - sounds like Cygnus saw the GPS time from ISS and threw a red flag because it exceeded some delta threshold (likely much smaller than 1024 weeks) when compared with it's own calculated GPS time.

AFAICT, GPS satellites transmit a 10-bit week number, and it's the receiver's responsibility to "correct" that by deducing (adding) 11th, 12th & 13th bits (which should be "001" until 2019), but this doesn't seem to be absolutely required if the receiver doesn't need to recover/report a true date. Basically "I'm getting week number 1759 from the sats, what are you receiving"? vs "If I add 1024, I reckon today's date is...".



c) I assume that someone at NASA knows that the ISS transmits using the 1999 ephemeris, and Orbital had someone that programmed their system to use the 1980 ephemeris.  Unfortunately these people never communicated or double checked that one agreed with the other.  You'd think it would make sense to use the later specification, since it's now 2013.  Maybe the programmer wrote the code using the 1980 spec, tested it with the erroneous GPS data also used during integrated simulation and it worked, so thought nothing more of it and continued on.  It's quite easy to make an assumption so you can move forward with your work, especially when everything tests out successfully, and never give it a second thought.  It can be a hassle to track and then go back and confirm these assumptions, but often you can uncover important issues.  Not saying this is certainly what happened, but it's a trap I've fallen into before.

That's why integration testing is a standard part of the development cycle.

The bit you really need to test with is in orbit, but you wouldn't normally test with the production service, anyway. Question is where they got the hardware & config for their testing against the PROX system.

cheers, Martin

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 09/23/2013 08:14 AM
Quote
Before Cygnus uses the GPS time data from the PROX system SIGIs however, it first compares it with the GPS time derived from its own on-board SIGI units, which are the same make and model as those used on the ISS. The issue that led to the Cygnus-ISS GPS communication issue is that Orbital interpreted that that ISS PROX system was transmitting GPS times based on the 1980 ephemeris, and thus used the 1980 ephemeris in Cygnus’ on-board SIGI units too.

Thanks very much for the updates.  Not to go too far off on a tangent, but I'd expect basic COMSEC requirements mandate reasonably close time sych between transmitter and receiver, otherwise the receiver should reject the message?  Specifically, Cygnus did not reject the data in the message, but rejected the authenticity of message?  Can someone more familiar with the protocols elaborate?  (sorry *cough* or is this ITAR-restricted information otherwise intuitively obvious to any student of secure communications protocols *cough*)

Authenticity of the message?  I'm not sure where you got that idea, but I don't think anything in the article suggests that.  I think the article is pretty clear.  It's not a question of security or authentication.  It's a question of a sanity check failing.  Cygnus receives some data from a unit on the ISS.  It does some sanity checking and rejects the data and raises a red flag to abort if the data fails the sanity check.  One of the sanity checks is that the time stamp in the GPS data it receives is close enough to its own idea of the current time.

It's completely understandable, and similar to what a lot of software does.

Agreed.

IME, good coding sometimes involves putting a lot more effort into dealing with/rejecting unexpected situations (sanity checks, consistency checks etc), than just making sure code produces the right outputs if it happens to receive the right inputs. GIGO.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 09/23/2013 08:18 AM
c) I assume that someone at NASA knows that the ISS transmits using the 1999 ephemeris, and Orbital had someone that programmed their system to use the 1980 ephemeris.  Unfortunately these people never communicated or double checked that one agreed with the other.  You'd think it would make sense to use the later specification, since it's now 2013.  Maybe the programmer wrote the code using the 1980 spec, tested it with the erroneous GPS data also used during integrated simulation and it worked, so thought nothing more of it and continued on.  It's quite easy to make an assumption so you can move forward with your work, especially when everything tests out successfully, and never give it a second thought.  It can be a hassle to track and then go back and confirm these assumptions, but often you can uncover important issues.  Not saying this is certainly what happened, but it's a trap I've fallen into before.

It's good that the code seems to have been written "defensively", so that it trapped the mistaken assumption, IE failed gracefully rather than falling to pieces.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/23/2013 08:28 AM
I assume that someone at NASA knows that the ISS transmits using the 1999 ephemeris, and Orbital had someone that programmed their system to use the 1980 ephemeris.  Unfortunately these people never communicated or double checked that one agreed with the other.  You'd think it would make sense to use the later specification, since it's now 2013.

I'd like to clear up a bit of misunderstanding about the week counter in GPS.

It's not that 1980 was an "old" ephemeris that was replaced by a "new" ephemeris in 1999.

GPS satellites broadcast the time.  They broadcast the time very precisely.  The precision of this time is what allows receivers to work out their positions, based on comparing the delays between the signals from different satellites.

So, the GPS signal includes time information.  It includes the hour, minute, and second of the day.  It doesn't include the day of month, month, or year.  Why?  Because those are irregular.  Rolling over at 60 seconds to 0 seconds is regular.  Rolling over at 60 minutes to 0 minutes is regular.  Rolling over at 24 hours to 0 hours is regular.  Days of the month are irregular.  So, instead, the designers of GPS gave a day-of-week counter in the GPS time signal.  This is nice and regular too -- at 7 it rolls over to 0.  Just in case anyone was interested in periods of time longer than a week, they added a week counter.  They gave it 10 bits, so every 1024 weeks it would roll over.  The week counter started in 1980.  That was the same time everything in GPS timing started.  GPS time was synched to UTC in 1980.  (BTW, GPS has since gotten out of synch with UTC because UTC throws in leap seconds every once in a while to keep roughly in synch with the rotation of the Sun and Earth, but the GPS signal includes a field to specify how many seconds off of UTC time GPS time is.  That's to keep GPS time rolling along regularly.)

The designers of GPS probably figured 1024 weeks was long enough that no receiver would have a practical reason to care about periods of time beyond that and wouldn't be confused.  The week counter on GPS rolled over in 1999.  That was expected.  It's really no different from the day-of-week counter rolling over every seven days or the hour counter rolling over every 24 hours.  Except that there is no higher unit in the original GPS protocol, so the timestamps start repeating those starting in 1980.

While the original GPS designers figured that was no problem, when 1999 started approaching, people decided it would be good not to have the confusion of repeated timestamps, so new GPS messages started adding 3 extra bits of week counter, so they won't roll over for 157 years.

The 10-bit week counter has a zero in 1980 and another zero in 1999.  The 13-bit week counter has a zero in 1980 and the next in 2137 (when the 10-bit week counter will also have another zero).

Orbital was using the 13-bit week counter.  That bit of the ISS was using the 10-bit week counter.  So, even though Orbital's counter was last zero in 1980 and the ISS unit's was last zero in 1999, that doesn't mean 1999 was a "new" or better zero point to use.  In fact, Orbital was using the more modern way of counting weeks and the ISS's module was using the older way of counting weeks.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/23/2013 08:36 AM
IME, good coding sometimes involves putting a lot more effort into dealing with/rejecting unexpected situations (sanity checks, consistency checks etc), than just making sure code produces the right outputs if it happens to receive the right inputs. GIGO.

Absolutely.  I find it's often hard to get people to do that, though.  A lot of coders get in the habit of writing something that works for the cases they expect, declaring victory, and moving on.  It's hard to break people of that habit and get them to really carefully consider and test all the edge cases, particularly all the bad things an outside entity might send you.

I respect Orbital for the fact that they bothered to check the week counter at all.  When the stakes are high, it's better to be paranoid and check everything and not go forward if anything is fishy -- assuming you have a safe abort scenario.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/23/2013 09:07 AM
AFAICT, GPS satellites transmit a 10-bit week number, and it's the receiver's responsibility to "correct" that by deducing (adding) 11th, 12th & 13th bits (which should be "001" until 2019), but this doesn't seem to be absolutely required if the receiver doesn't need to recover/report a true date. Basically "I'm getting week number 1759 from the sats, what are you receiving"? vs "If I add 1024, I reckon today's date is...".

Modernized GPS includes a CNAV transmission that includes a 13-bit week counter.  The original GPS only included NAV transmissions that had 10-bit week counters.

It seems that although the block IIR-M and block IIF GPS satellites have the capability to broadcast CNAV messages, they've been broadcasting dummy data in those fields except for a two-week trial period earlier this year.

http://gpsworld.com/2c-or-not-2c-the-first-live-broadcast-of-gps-cnav-messages/
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Kabloona on 09/23/2013 09:47 AM


c) I assume that someone at NASA knows that the ISS transmits using the 1999 ephemeris, and Orbital had someone that programmed their system to use the 1980 ephemeris.  Unfortunately these people never communicated or double checked that one agreed with the other.

wm

The statement that Orbital "interpreted" the ISS PROX ICD as specifying the 1980 ephemeris suggests an ambiguous, vague, or incomplete ICD provided by NASA. IF the ICD had been specific about which ephemeris to use, no one would have had to "interpret" anything. That's like saying an engineer had to interpret a dimension on a drawing. If it's clearly specified, no intepretation is necessary.

Unfortunately ambiguous, vague, or incomplete ICD's are one of the hazards of the business, and this isn't the first or last time an ICD problem gets found in flight. Fortunately it's not a fatal error.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: R7 on 09/23/2013 10:49 AM
If Cygnus expected 13 significant bits but received only 10 is it now transmitting 13 significant bits too while ISS expects 10? (edit: assuming Cygnus does transmit it's location ... don't know if it does)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/23/2013 12:07 PM
They could transmit the size of the field with the field, then transmitting a different number of bits doesn't generate a warning. More likely, they transmit two byes (16 bits) and pad the 3/6 bits with zero's or something.

I am finding the discussion very interesting. And I can not telly how many times I've been in the situation where the simulated data did not match real world live data causing rework. This happens, and the fact that they did a sanity check on the data and triggered a graceful abort says wonders for Orbital's internal process.

Not to throw stones, but Antonioe indicated on MACH they do a fair amount of code reuse. I wondering if this systems code has some pre 1999 heritage and reuse of the code caused it to slip through.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/23/2013 01:34 PM
They could transmit the size of the field with the field, then transmitting a different number of bits doesn't generate a warning. More likely, they transmit two byes (16 bits) and pad the 3/6 bits with zero's or something.

I am finding the discussion very interesting. And I can not telly how many times I've been in the situation where the simulated data did not match real world live data causing rework. This happens, and the fact that they did a sanity check on the data and triggered a graceful abort says wonders for Orbital's internal process.

Not to throw stones, but Antonioe indicated on MACH they do a fair amount of code reuse. I wondering if this systems code has some pre 1999 heritage and reuse of the code caused it to slip through.

I think he said MACH wasn't used on spacecraft, only launch vehicles.

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Garrett on 09/23/2013 02:05 PM
Not to throw stones, but Antonioe indicated on MACH they do a fair amount of code reuse. I wondering if this systems code has some pre 1999 heritage and reuse of the code caused it to slip through.
As ChrisWilson68 pointed out, Cygnus is using the more recent, post-1999, week number format.

Also, if the ground testing involved a software/hardware simulated PROX (presumably supplied by JAXA or their contractor) that used post-1999 (13-bit) week numbers, then no amount of software testing or internal controls could ever have detected this issue beforehand.
So the question is, how was the PROX signal simulated on the ground and who was its maker? Orbital, JAXA or a JAXA sub-contractor?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/23/2013 02:11 PM
....

Not to throw stones, but Antonioe indicated on MACH they do a fair amount of code reuse. I wondering if this systems code has some pre 1999 heritage and reuse of the code caused it to slip through.

I think he said MACH wasn't used on spacecraft, only launch vehicles.

That is why I said this system (not MACH, should have typed that) was also based on pre-1999 heritage hardware. They most likely have satellite navigation (not MACH) building blocks they also reuse.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Kabloona on 09/23/2013 02:51 PM

Not to throw stones, but Antonioe indicated on MACH they do a fair amount of code reuse. I wondering if this systems code has some pre 1999 heritage and reuse of the code caused it to slip through.

It's not an issue of old code "slipping through" because Orbital's statement says they "interpreted" the ISS PROX ICD as requiring the 1980 ephemeris which means they made a conscious decision to do so. But as I suggested above, if they had to "interpret" an ICD requirement, that requirement wasn't clear in the first place, and the ICD came from NASA.

If the ICD had clearly said "the GPS data transmitted to the visiting vehicle by the ISS PROX will use the 1999 ephemeris," Orbital wouldn't have had to play a guessing game as their statement suggests.

I'm reading between the lines, and I could be wrong, but the wording of Orbital's statement suggests to me that NASA's ISS PROX ICD was ambiguous or incomplete and thus Orbital had to "interpet" it in a way that turned out to be incorrect.

Ambiguous or unclear ICD requirements are often the source of misunderstandings, and it seems this incident falls into that category.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: antonioe on 09/23/2013 04:37 PM

I'd like to clear up a bit of misunderstanding about the week counter in GPS.
...


Chris, this is the clearest description of the situation I've seen so far... did you work with/for Brad Parkinson?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Moe Grills on 09/23/2013 06:51 PM
   Sigh!  :(

While I am normally a"cup half-full" kind of guy, the success of Antares and its Cygnus
"space-truck" mission leaves me with some disappointment.
  I don't deny that the launch and orbital maneuvers have been a success for the "space truck",
Cygnus ORB-D, and I am totally confident that it will be snatched and linked up with the ISS
tomorrow, then unloaded as any cargo-truck should be.

But then?
When it departs the iSS in a few days it becomes a multi-million dollar "orbiting garbage scow"
until it burns up.
I'm sorry if any are offended by the use of that label, but I regretfully stick with it. Sorry.

And your point is?   So what if it is a garbage scow?   What is to be disappointed about that?

   It should be obvious to you.
I don't like the idea of a multimillion dollar system being chucked away after one use.
You want to dispose of garbage/waste from ISS?
Why not the KISS approach? and thinking outside the box?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Moe Grills on 09/23/2013 06:53 PM
  Reading some of the posts, you get the idea that some of you think the engineers for OSC
aren't upto the task of improvising or doing a work around.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/23/2013 06:56 PM
  Reading some of the posts, you get the idea that some of you think the engineers for OSC
aren't upto the task of improvising or doing a work around.
Who are you to even say something like that?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/23/2013 07:05 PM

I'd like to clear up a bit of misunderstanding about the week counter in GPS.
...


Chris, this is the clearest description of the situation I've seen so far... did you work with/for Brad Parkinson?

No, unfortunately I've never met Brad Parkinson, but I have two friends who have worked with him.  I've been very impressed by everything they've said about him.  That GPS has been so amazingly successful is no accident.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/23/2013 07:10 PM

   It should be obvious to you.
I don't like the idea of a multimillion dollar system being chucked away after one use.
You want to dispose of garbage/waste from ISS?
Why not the KISS approach? and thinking outside the box?

It is KISS and it isn't one use, it is reusing a delivery vehicle as a disposal system.

Disposing of garbage/waste from ISS requires a spacecraft to safely separate it from the volume around the ISS, to ensure that it does reenter and not be part of the orbit debris issue and to make sure it is disposed in area that doesn't cause any hazards on earth.

Also, it is a fairly cheap system, there are many more expensive ones not reused.  Reuse does not always mean cheaper.

BTW, Dragon has yet to be reused.

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: woods170 on 09/23/2013 07:40 PM

   It should be obvious to you.
I don't like the idea of a multimillion dollar system being chucked away after one use.
You want to dispose of garbage/waste from ISS?
Why not the KISS approach? and thinking outside the box?

It is KISS and it isn't one use, it is reusing a delivery vehicle as a disposal system.

Disposing of garbage/waste from ISS requires a spacecraft to safely separate it from the volume around the ISS, to ensure that it does reenter and not be part of the orbit debris issue and to make sure it is disposed in area that doesn't cause any hazards on earth.

Also, it is a fairly cheap system, there are many more expensive ones not reused.  Reuse does not always mean cheaper.

BTW, Dragon has yet to be reused.



I knew it. I knew it. Someone was bound to drag SpaceX into this discussion. Stop doing that. This is an Orbital thread. There's about a million SpaceX threads up yonder in that other section. Keep them there.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: watermod on 09/23/2013 07:55 PM
Were the test-harness and the GPS item both made with:
  "./configure;make:"  ?
If so I suspect that the older GPS libraries were already on the system so "./configure" just adjusted  accordingly.
The requirements need to specify that the config script needs at least a library revision number that naturally does 1999 version.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 09/23/2013 08:07 PM

   It should be obvious to you.
I don't like the idea of a multimillion dollar system being chucked away after one use.
You want to dispose of garbage/waste from ISS?
Why not the KISS approach? and thinking outside the box?

It is KISS and it isn't one use, it is reusing a delivery vehicle as a disposal system.

Disposing of garbage/waste from ISS requires a spacecraft to safely separate it from the volume around the ISS, to ensure that it does reenter and not be part of the orbit debris issue and to make sure it is disposed in area that doesn't cause any hazards on earth.

Also, it is a fairly cheap system, there are many more expensive ones not reused.  Reuse does not always mean cheaper.

BTW, Dragon has yet to be reused.



I knew it. I knew it. Someone was bound to drag SpaceX into this discussion. Stop doing that. This is an Orbital thread. There's about a million SpaceX threads up yonder in that other section. Keep them there.


That was the insinuation I was trying to nip in the bud before it was brought up as to " multimillion dollar system being chucked away after one use"
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/23/2013 08:19 PM
  Reading some of the posts, you get the idea that some of you think the engineers for OSC
aren't upto the task of improvising or doing a work around.

Perhaps these engineers from OSC have a more mature development methodology. It didn't take that long to determine the problem. That doesn't mean they didn't need to perform some regression tests to make sure nothing else is broken before uploading the new code to their space craft. Then, they discussed the issue with NASA, and decided the date for the next attempt.

Obviously Cygnus has the ability for extended free-flight, so they can make the next attempt after the Soyuz docking. They don't need to overwork the crew of the ISS, which only has people on station at the current time.

Perhaps you are thinking about some other craft that must be launched in instantaneous launch windows, and would probably need to have been splashed in the ocean by now.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: StarryKnight on 09/23/2013 08:38 PM
Lurker Steve - That's correct.

As pointed out in the update thread, the fix is simple (adding 1024 to the week counter on one line of code). If this was a problem that was critical to the point of possibly losing the spacecraft, the testing could have been curtailed and uploaded yesterday/early this morning. But with the spacecraft healthy, capable of flying in orbit a long time, and the closing in on the Soyuz mission, there is no reason to rush through the validation process and take unnecessary risks.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Hog on 09/24/2013 01:45 AM
  Reading some of the posts, you get the idea that some of you think the engineers for OSC
aren't upto the task of improvising or doing a work around.

Perhaps these engineers from OSC have a more mature development methodology. It didn't take that long to determine the problem. That doesn't mean they didn't need to perform some regression tests to make sure nothing else is broken before uploading the new code to their space craft. Then, they discussed the issue with NASA, and decided the date for the next attempt.

Obviously Cygnus has the ability for extended free-flight, so they can make the next attempt after the Soyuz docking. They don't need to overwork the crew of the ISS, which only has three people on station at the current time.

Perhaps you are thinking about some other craft that must be launched in instantaneous launch windows, and would probably need to have been splashed in the ocean by now.
I fixed it for you my friend.  You make good points, there are only so many man/hours available on station.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Antares on 09/24/2013 02:52 AM
Instantaneous launch windows are an effect of the launcher, not the spacecraft.  And even then, it's also a mass to orbit vs prop choice.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: yg1968 on 09/24/2013 03:38 AM
The "other spacecraft" can also stay a long time in orbit.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/24/2013 05:35 AM
Instantaneous launch windows are an effect of the launcher, not the spacecraft.  And even then, it's also a mass to orbit vs prop choice.

Instantaneous launch windows are also an effect of how much margin one is willing to live with, and whether there are secondary payloads the launcher is trying to get into a different orbit.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: R7 on 09/24/2013 07:31 AM
the fix is simple (adding 1024 to the week counter on one line of code).

[nitpick]
Fix that simple would leave the door open for problems in following missions if somebody patches the PROX system on ISS to broadcast all 13 bits of GPS week-data. Then Cygnus would think ISS lives 1024 weeks into the future. Using 10-bit mask on the ISS broadcast before adding 1024 would be future-compatible. Just one line of code more.
[/nitpick]

Sorry, did a lot of bit-wiggling in my nerdy youth  ;)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/24/2013 07:55 AM
the fix is simple (adding 1024 to the week counter on one line of code).

[nitpick]
Fix that simple would leave the door open for problems in following missions if somebody patches the PROX system on ISS to broadcast all 13 bits of GPS week-data. Then Cygnus would think ISS lives 1024 weeks into the future.

True.

Using 10-bit mask on the ISS broadcast before adding 1024 would be future-compatible. Just one line of code more.
[/nitpick]

Sorry, did a lot of bit-wiggling in my nerdy youth  ;)

The article says adding 1024 to the week count requires only the modification of a single instruction, not line:

Quote
The simple fix is to add “1024″ (the difference in week numbers between the 1980 and 1999 ephemeris) to the data received from the PROX system, which only requires modification of a single instruction in the Cygnus software.

That implies only a single machine instruction was modified, not a source-code line in a higher-level language than assembly.

Doing a mask might require the insertion of one or more instructions.  That would potentially change the locations of lots of other things in memory, if the code is tightly packed and lots of things come after the insertion point.  So it's plausible that Orbital might consider that riskier than the single-instruction modification they are apparently doing.

This fix might be just for this mission.  They might be planning a more extensive fix for the next mission.

If it were my choice, I'd just eliminate the sanity check on the week number entirely.  Ignore the week number and just do a diff on the day, hour, minute, and second fields, taking care to make the day diff a signed modulus subtraction.  If this all checks out fine, everything should be OK.  It's hard to imagine a scenario where the rest of the timestamp data checks out and only the week number is different and somehow that's the only sign of a critial problem that will destroy the ISS.

Apparently, that's what HTV did, since we've been told HTV never checked the week number (it may not have done any sanity checking on the timestamp at all, for all we know).
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: sdsds on 09/24/2013 08:21 AM
At the point Cygnus recognized the trouble and chose not to attempt rendezvous it was approaching ISS. Was any propellant (other than attitude control) being used for that, or was it simply moving along an orbital path that naturally brought it closer? Or at that point was it already using propellant to "hold" at a fixed position relative to the station?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: mikes on 09/24/2013 08:47 AM
...
I don't like the idea of a multimillion dollar system being chucked away after one use.
You want to dispose of garbage/waste from ISS?
Why not the KISS approach? and thinking outside the box?

Cygnus was designed to a NASA brief. You can argue that the brief was too conservative, but Cygnus does the job it was asked to do (well, we expect it will!)

Consider also the advantages of a system designed for destructive re-entry:
* Mass limits will be higher (no parachutes, no aerodynamic limits) so you can dispose of a larger amount of garbage (relative to system mass).
* Additional payloads for post-separation ops do not have to fit into a re-entry profile (e.g. they can stick out).
* KISS by simplifying re-entry.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: pippin on 09/24/2013 12:07 PM
Why not the KISS approach? and thinking outside the box?

Yea, let's raise the bar and apply some best practices and not just go for the low hanging fruit, then this will really gain some traction and.... BINGO!!!




SCNR
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Mader Levap on 09/24/2013 03:31 PM
You want to dispose of garbage/waste from ISS? Why not the KISS approach? and thinking outside the box?
How you would do it? Throwing garbage out of airlock?  ::)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/24/2013 04:14 PM
Well if you throw it out fast enough it will reenter quite quickly and ISS would git a bit of a boost ;)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lar on 09/24/2013 04:48 PM
* Additional payloads for post-separation ops do not have to fit into a re-entry profile (e.g. they can stick out).

That one concerns me... if something sticks out "too far" isn't it going to change how the craft reenters and what trajectory it follows? Possibly in unpredictable ways if some of the thing sticking out breaks off...That might complicate having the craft reenter in a safe place
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/24/2013 04:52 PM
* Additional payloads for post-separation ops do not have to fit into a re-entry profile (e.g. they can stick out).

That one concerns me... if something sticks out "too far" isn't it going to change how the craft reenters and what trajectory it follows? Possibly in unpredictable ways if some of the thing sticking out breaks off...That might complicate having the craft reenter in a safe place
Doesn't matter. It's not like the break-up process is terribly well-behaved.

And besides, Cygnus I don't think can do any kind of unpressurized disposal. It's all pressurized.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/24/2013 05:04 PM
Well if you throw it out fast enough it will reenter quite quickly and ISS would git a bit of a boost ;)

Well, this isn't the party thread, but I think the ISS needs a Mr. Fusion.

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/24/2013 06:22 PM
Well if you throw it out fast enough it will reenter quite quickly and ISS would git a bit of a boost ;)

Well, this isn't the party thread, but I think the ISS needs a Mr. Fusion.

The trash from a crew of 6 should give 1.21 Jigawatts of power.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: mr. mark on 09/24/2013 06:33 PM
What ISS needs is a very large trash compactor. That way you can put more into Cygnus.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 09/24/2013 06:41 PM
What ISS needs is a very large trash compactor. That way you can put more into Cygnus.

I'm not sure that's a good idea.  The only station I know of that had that kind of trash compactor had a very bad design flaw that led to that station's destruction.  Not the kind of design one should emulate.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: rlmoser on 09/24/2013 07:42 PM
This fix might be just for this mission.  They might be planning a more extensive fix for the next mission.

They definitely need to do something else before 2018 or so, since the next week number rollover will happen around then and 1024 will no longer be the correct number to add.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: rayleighscatter on 09/25/2013 12:46 AM
Spotted the Cygnus shipping container heading up the highway in Maryland today. Still sporting it's cover with the big Cygnus and Orbital logos.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: sdsds on 09/25/2013 05:11 AM
This fix might be just for this mission.

They definitely need to do something else before 2018 or so, since the next week number rollover will happen around then

I calculate the next rollover of the 10-bit week counter occurs 7 April 2019 at 00:00:00 UTC.
See e.g. http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=gpsweek for a description of the calculation.

(I calculate on 6 January 2137 the first rollover of the 13 bit counter occurs.)

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 09/27/2013 08:12 AM
It's not an issue of old code "slipping through" because Orbital's statement says they "interpreted" the ISS PROX ICD as requiring the 1980 ephemeris which means they made a conscious decision to do so. But as I suggested above, if they had to "interpret" an ICD requirement, that requirement wasn't clear in the first place, and the ICD came from NASA.

Why would it come from NASA when it's being broadcast from a Japanese system?

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 09/27/2013 08:21 AM
While the original GPS designers figured that was no problem, when 1999 started approaching, people decided it would be good not to have the confusion of repeated timestamps, so new GPS messages started adding 3 extra bits of week counter, so they won't roll over for 157 years.

Modernized GPS includes a CNAV transmission that includes a 13-bit week counter.  The original GPS only included NAV transmissions that had 10-bit week counters.

It seems that although the block IIR-M and block IIF GPS satellites have the capability to broadcast CNAV messages, they've been broadcasting dummy data in those fields except for a two-week trial period earlier this year.

http://gpsworld.com/2c-or-not-2c-the-first-live-broadcast-of-gps-cnav-messages/

AFAICT, apart from those test CNAV transmissions, GPS currently only transmits 10 bits for week numbers.

It is the responsibility of the receiver to deduce the correct 11th, 12th & 13th bits (decide whether it's in the 1980, 1999, 2019, etc epoch), and will then report these to the outside world as if they had been broadcast / received.

Once CNAV goes live, receivers will be able to use the additional three transmitted bits, rather than having to derive them.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Kabloona on 09/27/2013 02:44 PM
It's not an issue of old code "slipping through" because Orbital's statement says they "interpreted" the ISS PROX ICD as requiring the 1980 ephemeris which means they made a conscious decision to do so. But as I suggested above, if they had to "interpret" an ICD requirement, that requirement wasn't clear in the first place, and the ICD came from NASA.

Why would it come from NASA when it's being broadcast from a Japanese system?

cheers, Martin

Because NASA provides all ISS interface requirements to Orbital, regardless of where the PROX comes from. It's the customer's responsibility to provide correct system requirements, and the customer here is NASA, not Japan.

Edit: and although the language has been changed since, Orbital's original statement mentioned the issue as resulting from their interptretation of the ICD (Interface Control Document/Drawing). ICD's are the responsibility of the customer, i.e. NASA in this case.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: corrodedNut on 09/29/2013 12:35 PM
Sorry for being lazy, but when is hatch opening?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 09/29/2013 12:49 PM
Sorry for being lazy, but when is hatch opening?

Tomorrow, according to commentary.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jarnis on 09/29/2013 01:02 PM
Sorry for being lazy, but when is hatch opening?

Tomorrow, according to commentary.

Cheers, Martin

...but it has happened before that the crew decides to press ahead earlier, so it is not written to stone.

Supposedly there is some chocolate on board. They might want to raid that stash today :)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: psloss on 09/29/2013 01:05 PM
Sorry for being lazy, but when is hatch opening?

Tomorrow, according to commentary.

Cheers, Martin

...but it has happened before that the crew decides to press ahead earlier, so it is not written to stone.

Supposedly there is some chocolate on board. They might want to raid that stash today :)
A good point and I know there are regulars who monitor the space to ground a lot...but it's also Sunday and maybe the crew have some family things on the weekend that they might get to fit in given how early they got the berthing done.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Joffan on 09/30/2013 05:54 PM
Cygnus is a very spacious-looking module, swallowed up a couple of the ISS crew with no problems.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/30/2013 06:12 PM
Is there video of this?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lars_J on 09/30/2013 06:17 PM
Is there video of this?

Yes, this one shows hatch opening and other activities shortly afterwards: (starting at 1:18)

http://www.space-multimedia.nl.eu.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8521
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 09/30/2013 06:39 PM
Cygnus is a very spacious-looking module, swallowed up a couple of the ISS crew with no problems.

Cygnus held 2 or 3 crew members along with the cargo.

When I saw the picture with the hatch open, I was wondering where all the cargo was. That PCM has just a ton of room inside, and this is the "small" model. They could still stuff cargo bags down the middle of the PCM, right ? Or is some sort of hold-down required before they can use that space ?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 09/30/2013 06:47 PM
They could still stuff cargo bags down the middle of the PCM, right ?

Yup - they can stuff the PCM pretty good.

The Orb-D PCM (3rd attached image) is fairly empty by comparison.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: psloss on 09/30/2013 07:22 PM
When I saw the picture with the hatch open, I was wondering where all the cargo was. That PCM has just a ton of room inside, and this is the "small" model. They could still stuff cargo bags down the middle of the PCM, right ? Or is some sort of hold-down required before they can use that space ?
This was in many ways a test flight and as noted, they "only" took up 700 kg on this flight; being a demo mission was one of the reasons.  As the slides that Pete attached show, the Standard Cygnus can carry up to about 2000 kg.  (Also with the other note that volume is as big a consideration as mass.)

Last number I heard for the next mission was ~1350 kg.  (As always, subject to change.)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Danderman on 09/30/2013 11:21 PM
http://spacefrontier.org/2013/09/cygnus-berthing-delivers-on-newspace-promise/

Orbital Sciences Corp. Proves COTS Success by Delivering Cargo to International Space Station

Nyack, NY - The Space Frontier Foundation congratulates Orbital Sciences Corporation on a successful berthing with the International Space Station (ISS), proving that investment in the NewSpace industry pays off in a big way.

On September 18, 2013 Cygnus launched atop the Antares rocket, and 11 days later, after successfully fixing a navigation software issue, the Cygnus cargo vehicle berthed with the International Space Station.  This completes almost all of the COTS program, and allows Orbital Sciences Corporation to begin delivering up to 20,000 kg of supplies – over eight launches – to the ISS, under the Commercial Re-Supply Services (CRS) contract with NASA.

“We now have two private space companies that have succeeded in delivering cargo to the International Space Station, which up until NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program arrived, was a job reserved for only the wealthiest governments,”said Foundation President James Pura. ”Since 2006, the Foundation has supported the COTS program because it uses fixed-price, milestone-based awards, and believes that more funding should go into these kinds of programs, including the Commercial Crew program. Programs like COTS and CCiCap force the space industry to be innovative and not rely solely on cost-plus contracts.”

The successful berthing of the Cygnus vehicle follows in the footsteps of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, which berthed for the first time in May 2012. The Space Frontier Foundation hails these historical events as proof that given the chance, the NewSpace Industry can be the fastest, most economical way to ensure we have safe and reliable access to space. This is just the beginning of a thriving, innovative and robust commercial space industry.

“Proving the capability of commercial launchers is one more step in achieving sustainable space settlement,” said Foundation space policy expert and Board of Directors member, Aaron Oesterle. “This work, combined with station utilization enabled by companies like Nanoracks and Bigelow Aerospace’s BEAM module, all point towards a future where exciting space exploration is dependent upon embracing NewSpace principles.”

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/01/2013 01:12 AM
When I saw the picture with the hatch open, I was wondering where all the cargo was. That PCM has just a ton of room inside, and this is the "small" model. They could still stuff cargo bags down the middle of the PCM, right ? Or is some sort of hold-down required before they can use that space ?
This was in many ways a test flight and as noted, they "only" took up 700 kg on this flight; being a demo mission was one of the reasons.  As the slides that Pete attached show, the Standard Cygnus can carry up to about 2000 kg.  (Also with the other note that volume is as big a consideration as mass.)

Last number I heard for the next mission was ~1350 kg.  (As always, subject to change.)


Also this launch used the last base Castor 30 upperstage, the next one will use the uprated B model.

Edit:  CRS-1&2 will use the Castor 30B, CRS-3 on will use the stretch Castor 30 XL
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: woods170 on 10/01/2013 10:29 AM
When I saw the picture with the hatch open, I was wondering where all the cargo was. That PCM has just a ton of room inside, and this is the "small" model. They could still stuff cargo bags down the middle of the PCM, right ? Or is some sort of hold-down required before they can use that space ?
This was in many ways a test flight and as noted, they "only" took up 700 kg on this flight; being a demo mission was one of the reasons.  As the slides that Pete attached show, the Standard Cygnus can carry up to about 2000 kg.  (Also with the other note that volume is as big a consideration as mass.)

Last number I heard for the next mission was ~1350 kg.  (As always, subject to change.)


Also this launch used the last base Castor 30 upperstage, the next one will use the uprated B model.

Edit:  CRS-1&2 will use the Castor 30B, CRS-3 on will use the stretch Castor 30 XL

Equating to flying no less than three different version of the Antares launch vehicle on four flights. Man, if that other CRS service provider changed the specs of their upper stage as often as Orbital is planning to do, it would result in some very lively debates in that associated section of this forum.
Fortunately this is Orbital and we have none of that forum baloney over here, thank goodness.  ;)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jester on 10/01/2013 10:45 AM
Now on L2, a nice set of Cygnus images on orbit ;)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 10/01/2013 10:54 AM

Equating to flying no less than three different version of the Antares launch vehicle on four flights. Man, if that other CRS service provider changed the specs of their upper stage as often as Orbital is planning to do, it would result in some very lively debates in that associated section of this forum.
Fortunately this is Orbital and we have none of that forum baloney over here, thank goodness.  ;)

The other did change the other vehicle every launch in different aspects, just not in total impulse.  But the difference with Antares is the initial version was not marketed for other launches and they are upfront about the two versions.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 10/01/2013 12:24 PM
Let's not discuss that other vehicle's second stage issues over here.

When there are 20+ objects to track after the next Antares launch, it will be due to the 28 cubesats that are riding along.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/01/2013 01:51 PM
If there are only 20 tracks after the next Minotaur launch, something went wrong!
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30651.0
Quote
November 4 - ORS 3: STPSat 3, ORSES, ORS Tech 1, ORS Tech 2, Prometheus 1, Prometheus 2, Prometheus 3, Prometheus 4, SENSE 1, SENSE 2, Firefly, STARE B (Horus),  NPS-SCAT, CSIP, Rampart, CAPE 2, KYSat 2, Lunar Orbiter&Lander CubeSat, SwampSat, Black Night 1, SPA-1 Trailblazer, TetherSat, DragonSat 1, COPPER, PhoneSat 2.0 - Minotaur I - MARS LP-0B - 23:30-02:30

I could be wrong, but I don't think the next Antares will be carrying 20+ cube sats...
Quote
December 8 - Cygnus Orb-1 (CRS1), Flock-1 (x28) - Antares-120 - MARS LP-0A

As for other launchers...
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32875.msg1100429#msg1100429
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: woods170 on 10/01/2013 02:03 PM
Let's not discuss that other vehicle's second stage issues over here.

When there are 20+ objects to track after the next Antares launch, it will be due to the 28 cubesats that are riding along.


As I fully expected it, a specific someone with a sore spot for that other CRS provider responded to my little ramble.
But you're right: I won't discuss that particular second stage any further here.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Silmfeanor on 10/01/2013 02:04 PM

I could be wrong, but I don't think the next Antares will be carrying 20+ cube sats...
Quote
December 8 - Cygnus Orb-1 (CRS1), Flock-1 (x28) - Antares-120 - MARS LP-0A


What do you think Flock-1 (x28) means? That's 28 3U cubesats  ;)

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/flock-1.htm (http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/flock-1.htm)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 10/01/2013 02:05 PM
I thought I heard that "Flock-1 (x28)" represents 28 cubesats.

All following the Swan on a graceful ride into orbit.

Yes, that Minotaur has a large number of cubesats as well..
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/01/2013 02:40 PM
That means 65 (5 A-One, 1 Ladee, 1 Cygnus Orb-D1, 29 ORS-3, 29 Orb-1) satellites will orbit from Wallops this year... By my fingers only 64 (if you count HETE and SAC-B which failed to separate as two) made it to orbit prior to 2013.

That is quite something... Half of all Wallops Satellites will launch this year!

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 10/02/2013 12:41 PM
That is quite something... Half all all Wallops Satellites will launch this year!

Was LADEE the first lunar launch from Wallops FF?
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: kevin-rf on 10/02/2013 01:34 PM
Yes
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: joek on 10/05/2013 12:45 AM
Is OSC's mission control center required to provide 24x7 coverage for the duration of these COTS missions (e.g., the entire timeCygnus is berthed to the ISS, arrival, departure, etc.)?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: StarryKnight on 10/05/2013 12:50 AM
Is OSC's mission control center required to provide 24x7 coverage for the duration of these COTS missions (e.g., the entire timeCygnus is berthed to the ISS, arrival, departure, etc.)?  Thanks.
There are people 24x7 in the Mission Operations Center. But the team is down to an handful of people as opposed to the 30 or so people prior to berthing.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: joek on 10/05/2013 01:33 AM
Is OSC's mission control center required to provide 24x7 coverage for the duration of these COTS missions (e.g., the entire timeCygnus is berthed to the ISS, arrival, departure, etc.)?  Thanks.
There are people 24x7 in the Mission Operations Center. But the team is down to an handful of people as opposed to the 30 or so people prior to berthing.

Thanks.  Hoping for more OSC missions in the future (not just CRS)!  The question then arises ... Can the OSC Mission Operations Center handle multiple concurrent missions?  E.g., What happens if you have a COTS CRS mission which could last for several weeks, and another mission during that period?  Not sure that is a situation that has arisen in the past?  Thanks again.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: DFSL on 10/11/2013 01:09 PM
I posted this in the "updates" thread and it got deleted. I hope it's not too insulting.

Finally, a small piece of the N-1 went to space...
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: baldusi on 10/11/2013 01:47 PM
Blok-D went many times, so did Soyuz (on Proton). BTW, the NK-33 were for the next evolution of N1, all the launches were done with NK-15 family.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: manboy on 10/13/2013 05:41 PM
Since the public is in a near media black-out of the mission I'm curious how many quality mission images are on L2.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Space Pete on 10/13/2013 06:46 PM
Since the public is in a near media black-out of the mission I'm curious how many quality mission images are on L2.

L2 has a massive dump of hi-res rendezvous and berthing images, which are truly amazing.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: manboy on 10/13/2013 11:00 PM
Since the public is in a near media black-out of the mission I'm curious how many quality mission images are on L2.

L2 has a massive dump of hi-res rendezvous and berthing images, which are truly amazing.
But how many are good? (i.e. in-focus, decent lighting and framing, minor noise)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Jim on 10/13/2013 11:50 PM
Since the public is in a near media black-out of the mission I'm curious how many quality mission images are on L2.

L2 has a massive dump of hi-res rendezvous and berthing images, which are truly amazing.
But how many are good? (i.e. in-focus, decent lighting and framing, minor noise)

all.  The bad ones aren't released much less posted
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lars_J on 10/14/2013 12:15 AM
Since the public is in a near media black-out of the mission I'm curious how many quality mission images are on L2.

L2 has a massive dump of hi-res rendezvous and berthing images, which are truly amazing.
But how many are good? (i.e. in-focus, decent lighting and framing, minor noise)

all.  The bad ones aren't released much less posted

From NASA or L2? Because the NASA released images from the last two Dragon flights were pretty dire - most of them. Wrong ISO settings, camera shake, out of focus, or all of the above in some cases. Maybe this current expedition members are better photographers, it seems to be hit and miss.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: manboy on 10/14/2013 01:31 AM
Since the public is in a near media black-out of the mission I'm curious how many quality mission images are on L2.

L2 has a massive dump of hi-res rendezvous and berthing images, which are truly amazing.
But how many are good? (i.e. in-focus, decent lighting and framing, minor noise)

all.  The bad ones aren't released much less posted

Because the NASA released images from the last two Dragon flights were pretty dire - most of them. Wrong ISO settings, camera shake, out of focus, or all of the above in some cases. Maybe this current expedition members are better photographers, it seems to be hit and miss.
This was discussed in another topic but I can't find it right now. When expedition crew members are amateur photographers (ex:Don Pettit (http://blog.photoshelter.com/2012/11/want-to-know-how-astronauts-photograph-in-space/)) the pictures are generally better. When they have very little experience with DSLRs they typically leave it on the automatic settings or sometimes use the wrong ones.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lars_J on 10/14/2013 05:50 AM
Yes, I was part of that discussion, I do recall that.

I was merely reacting to Jim's suggestion that NASA doesn't release "bad" images. But perhaps I misunderstood him.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 10/17/2013 09:13 PM
The shutdown is over and dozens of images have been uploaded.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/)
better yet the Gov can now cut Orbital a check.  ;)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Antares on 10/18/2013 09:30 PM
The shutdown is over and dozens of images have been uploaded.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/)
better yet the Gov can now cut Orbital a check.  ;)

If it was FY13 money, the lapse in appropriations was irrelevant.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 10/18/2013 11:26 PM
The shutdown is over and dozens of images have been uploaded.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/)
better yet the Gov can now cut Orbital a check.  ;)

If it was FY13 money, the lapse in appropriations was irrelevant.
Explain that to the Orbital stockholders.   Orbital has responsibilities.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Antares on 10/19/2013 01:37 AM
The shutdown is over and dozens of images have been uploaded.
better yet the Gov can now cut Orbital a check.  ;)
If it was FY13 money, the lapse in appropriations was irrelevant.
Explain that to the Orbital stockholders.   Orbital has responsibilities.

Dear Orbital stockholders:

The payment for the final COTS milestone and its timing will not be threatened by the lapse in appropriations for FY14 since the money was already obligated in FY13.

Sincerely,
The Government
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lurker Steve on 10/19/2013 02:56 AM
The shutdown is over and dozens of images have been uploaded.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/)
better yet the Gov can now cut Orbital a check.  ;)

If it was FY13 money, the lapse in appropriations was irrelevant.


But now there is someone sitting in the treasury department that can write that 5 million dollar check for the last milestone.

Also, since the CRS contract is a pre-existing commitment from year's past, the funding is included in the CR, so that Orbital is guaranteed to be paid for the next mission. That last COTS milestone is nothing compared to the CRS contract. CRS payments will make Orbital stockholders happy.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Antares on 10/19/2013 03:24 AM
The Treasury does not obligate money.  Agencies do, and the ability to spend FY13 money was not impacted.  The funding is not included in the CR since it was FY13 money.  Please learn government budgeting before arguing about it.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 10/19/2013 08:50 AM
The Treasury does not obligate money.  Agencies do, and the ability to spend FY13 money was not impacted.  The funding is not included in the CR since it was FY13 money.  Please learn government budgeting before arguing about it.

While that's understandable for Orb-D1, are you sure that's true for all Orb-1 milestones, also?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: jacqmans on 10/19/2013 01:00 PM
Report #M13-158 

NASA TV Coverage Set Cygnus Departure

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure of the newest U.S. commercial cargo spacecraft to deliver supplies to the International Space Station

Coverage for departure of the Cygnus spacecraft begins at 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 22. The spacecraft has been attached to the space station since Sept. 29 on a demonstration cargo resupply mission by
Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va.

Cygnus delivered about 1,300 pounds (589 kilograms) of cargo, including food, clothing and student experiments to the Expedition 37 crew aboard the space station. Future flights of Cygnus will significantly
increase NASA's ability to deliver new science investigations to the only laboratory in microgravity.
Astronauts will load Cygnus with items no longer needed and detach the spacecraft from the station's Harmony module using the orbiting complex's robotic arm. The crew will release Cygnus at 7:30 a.m.
Orbital engineers then will conduct a series of planned burns and maneuvers to move Cygnus toward a destructive re-entry in Earth's atmosphere Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Cygnus was launched on the company's Antares rocket on Sept. 18 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Orbital is the second of NASA’s two partners taking part in the agency's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. The goal of COTS is to develop safe, reliable and cost effective cargo
transportation systems. Following a successful demonstration mission, the company is poised to begin regular resupply missions.

For the full schedule of video files and live events on NASA TV, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/ntvnews
 
For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
 
For information on the International Space Station, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/station
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Antares on 10/19/2013 10:39 PM
The Treasury does not obligate money.  Agencies do, and the ability to spend FY13 money was not impacted.  The funding is not included in the CR since it was FY13 money.  Please learn government budgeting before arguing about it.
While that's understandable for Orb-D1, are you sure that's true for all Orb-1 milestones, also?

I can make a few points that suggest it strongly but are not conclusive.
1) I took the original "cut a check" comment in relation to D1 milestones not Orb-1.
2) Station Program management took the position that supply vehicles were part of protection life and property and did not fully furlough staff in that area.
3) D1 and Orb-1 milestones have been delayed from earlier in the year and did not require New Obligation Authority.

Budget and procurement are actually somewhat fascinating for technical folks because the rules are ignored or skirted so often.  Knowing them, and how they are interpreted, helps anticipate what the government might do or what the bean counters inside the government might try to do to the people wanting to do the work (both gov and contractor).
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Silmfeanor on 10/20/2013 12:12 AM
https://twitter.com/AstroKarenN/status/391682971641450496 (https://twitter.com/AstroKarenN/status/391682971641450496)

Quote
The moon rising as the sun sets. With #Cygnus. October 19. pic.twitter.com/Iq8QGKhNzo

Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: robertross on 10/20/2013 12:21 AM
The Treasury does not obligate money.  Agencies do, and the ability to spend FY13 money was not impacted.  The funding is not included in the CR since it was FY13 money.  Please learn government budgeting before arguing about it.
While that's understandable for Orb-D1, are you sure that's true for all Orb-1 milestones, also?

I can make a few points that suggest it strongly but are not conclusive.
1) I took the original "cut a check" comment in relation to D1 milestones not Orb-1.
2) Station Program management took the position that supply vehicles were part of protection life and property and did not fully furlough staff in that area.
3) D1 and Orb-1 milestones have been delayed from earlier in the year and did not require New Obligation Authority.

Budget and procurement are actually somewhat fascinating for technical folks because the rules are ignored or skirted so often.  Knowing them, and how they are interpreted, helps anticipate what the government might do or what the bean counters inside the government might try to do to the people wanting to do the work (both gov and contractor).

And that should about do it for the non-updates on an update thread. Please.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 10/20/2013 05:33 PM
The shutdown is over and dozens of images have been uploaded.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/)
better yet the Gov can now cut Orbital a check.  ;)

If it was FY13 money, the lapse in appropriations was irrelevant.


But now there is someone sitting in the treasury department that can write that 5 million dollar check for the last milestone.

You got it  ;)
Now the Contractor (Orbital) can get paid for their per their contract.
 
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Antares on 10/21/2013 01:35 AM
How do you know who was working (and how much) during the shutdown and who wasn't?  You're making assumptions based on stereotypes.  Any checks using FY13 money were still cut.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: MP99 on 10/21/2013 12:08 PM
The Treasury does not obligate money.  Agencies do, and the ability to spend FY13 money was not impacted.  The funding is not included in the CR since it was FY13 money.  Please learn government budgeting before arguing about it.
While that's understandable for Orb-D1, are you sure that's true for all Orb-1 milestones, also?

I can make a few points that suggest it strongly but are not conclusive.
1) I took the original "cut a check" comment in relation to D1 milestones not Orb-1.
2) Station Program management took the position that supply vehicles were part of protection life and property and did not fully furlough staff in that area.
3) D1 and Orb-1 milestones have been delayed from earlier in the year and did not require New Obligation Authority.

Budget and procurement are actually somewhat fascinating for technical folks because the rules are ignored or skirted so often.  Knowing them, and how they are interpreted, helps anticipate what the government might do or what the bean counters inside the government might try to do to the people wanting to do the work (both gov and contractor).

Thanks for the insight.

Obviously, I was thinking of the time the milestone payments would become due, not the time when the payments became obligated. Now you point it out, I can see how these come under FY13.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lar on 10/23/2013 06:46 PM
The recent article  ( http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/cygnus-departs-destructive-farewell/ ) has a picture of a LEGO model of Cygnus on CAPCOM's stand.  Someone on L2 (jokingly?) said they wanted it. I posted the info there but decided here is better, it's all public info.

Here's info:
   http://rebrickable.com/sets/StephenPakbaz/cygnus

You can build it yourself, if you have the pieces, the instructions are there. You'll need LDD [1] to read the instruction file.   (as a note, I've seen a copy of this model in person at last year's Brickfair if I'm not misremembering)

Stephen Pakbaz has some prior space cred, having done Mars rovers (which got 10,000 votes on LEGO CUUSOO) and some other neat stuff. Real nice guy.  Here is a shot of the model interior showing what a clever build it is... 12 sided things are non trivial to do with LEGO elements.     
   http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7539524714/

Edit: If you want the parts without rooting in your collection for them, this site has copies for sale:
   http://www.brixalot.com/pages/for_sale.htm#Cygnus_I   180 USD.
I can't vouch for it myself but expect it would work out fine. The site also has an Orbital logo (as a mosaic) and a small sat among its models for sale.

1 - freely available from LEGO at http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/download/
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Alpha Control on 10/23/2013 07:13 PM
The recent article  ( http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/cygnus-departs-destructive-farewell/ ) has a picture of a LEGO model of Cygnus on CAPCOM's stand.  Someone on L2 (jokingly?) said they wanted it. I posted the info there but decided here is better, it's all public info.

Here's info:
   http://rebrickable.com/sets/StephenPakbaz/cygnus

You can build it yourself, if you have the pieces, the instructions are there. You'll need LDD [1] to read the instruction file.   (as a note, I've seen a copy of this model in person at last year's Brickfair if I'm not misremembering)

Stephen Pakbaz has some prior space cred, having done Mars rovers (which got 10,000 votes on LEGO CUUSOO) and some other neat stuff. Real nice guy.  Here is a shot of the model interior showing what a clever build it is... 12 sided things are non trivial to do with LEGO elements.     
   http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7539524714/

Edit: If you want the parts without rooting in your collection for them, this site has copies for sale:
   http://www.brixalot.com/pages/for_sale.htm#Cygnus_I   180 USD.
I can't vouch for it myself but expect it would work out fine. The site also has an Orbital logo (as a mosaic) and a small sat among its models for sale.

1 - freely available from LEGO at http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/download/

I took a look at the brixalot site. Very impressive Cygnus build!

They also have a Pegasus. I wonder if a certain Dr. E has one of those?  :)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ugordan on 10/24/2013 04:46 PM
Watching the mission highlights video, I'm reminded of something that intrigued me: the Antares (as well as Cygnus apparently) onboard video. It looks digital based on occasional artifacts (wavelety-looking), but the image quality appears to degrade more gracefully than for example SpaceX's recent onboard video where you either have signal or have a complete dropout.

If it really is digital, I was wondering if Orbital is employing some custom codec? Doesn't look MPEG-like to me.

EDIT: seems like a similar system was flown on the Ariane 5 with ATV-4: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-32EgwhJ8w
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Prober on 10/24/2013 10:42 PM
The recent article  ( http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/cygnus-departs-destructive-farewell/ ) has a picture of a LEGO model of Cygnus on CAPCOM's stand.  Someone on L2 (jokingly?) said they wanted it. I posted the info there but decided here is better, it's all public info.

Here's info:
   http://rebrickable.com/sets/StephenPakbaz/cygnus

You can build it yourself, if you have the pieces, the instructions are there. You'll need LDD [1] to read the instruction file.   (as a note, I've seen a copy of this model in person at last year's Brickfair if I'm not misremembering)

Stephen Pakbaz has some prior space cred, having done Mars rovers (which got 10,000 votes on LEGO CUUSOO) and some other neat stuff. Real nice guy.  Here is a shot of the model interior showing what a clever build it is... 12 sided things are non trivial to do with LEGO elements.     
   http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7539524714/

Edit: If you want the parts without rooting in your collection for them, this site has copies for sale:
   http://www.brixalot.com/pages/for_sale.htm#Cygnus_I   180 USD.
I can't vouch for it myself but expect it would work out fine. The site also has an Orbital logo (as a mosaic) and a small sat among its models for sale.

1 - freely available from LEGO at http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/download/

Another way would be to print from the work Manboy did:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=29378.0;attach=537826

Been holding off on printing one for the office as Manboy likes to do upgrades.    Hope he adds just a little more detail then Im off and printing.    :)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lar on 10/24/2013 10:45 PM
[quote author=Prober link=topic=31845.msg1112268#msg1112268 date=1382654520

Another way would be to print from the work Manboy did:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=29378.0;attach=537826

Been holding off on printing one for the office as Manboy likes to do upgrades.    Hope he adds just a little more detail then Im off and printing.    :)
[/quote]

He's not printing LEGO elements. :) I mean, if you want an accurate model, fine, be that way. But if you want the best model available at that scale made from LEGO... no, you can't print it. :)
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: dcporter on 10/25/2013 02:41 AM
You have to be suuuper cool before you're cooler than a lower-fidelity Lego version.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Mapperuo on 10/25/2013 09:42 AM
Watching the mission highlights video, I'm reminded of something that intrigued me: the Antares (as well as Cygnus apparently) onboard video. It looks digital based on occasional artifacts (wavelety-looking), but the image quality appears to degrade more gracefully than for example SpaceX's recent onboard video where you either have signal or have a complete dropout.

If it really is digital, I was wondering if Orbital is employing some custom codec? Doesn't look MPEG-like to me.

EDIT: seems like a similar system was flown on the Ariane 5 with ATV-4: www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-32EgwhJ8w

I think the Spacex complete dropout buffering graphic was on purpose for whatever reason, I'd have preferred to see the raw feed with breakup, may have saw more video.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: QuantumG on 10/25/2013 10:29 AM
I think the Spacex complete dropout buffering graphic was on purpose for whatever reason, I'd have preferred to see the raw feed with breakup, may have saw more video.

There was no feed during those periods. The receiving dish at VAFB got knocked out of alignment by the launch.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ugordan on 10/25/2013 11:08 AM
I think the Spacex complete dropout buffering graphic was on purpose for whatever reason, I'd have preferred to see the raw feed with breakup, may have saw more video.

I'm not even talking about the complete breakup, I'm talking about how the picture completely falls apart when transmission glitches are present, see the MVac ignition moment.

Orbital's feed seems to behave more "analog-like" with increasing amounts of noise when transmission has errors. You could say it's best of both worlds - the analog "resiliency" and digital image quality.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: arachnitect on 10/25/2013 02:01 PM
I think the Spacex complete dropout buffering graphic was on purpose for whatever reason, I'd have preferred to see the raw feed with breakup, may have saw more video.

I'm not even talking about the complete breakup, I'm talking about how the picture completely falls apart when transmission glitches are present, see the MVac ignition moment.

Orbital's feed seems to behave more "analog-like" with increasing amounts of noise when transmission has errors. You could say it's best of both worlds - the analog "resiliency" and digital image quality.

You may be on to something, it looks like Orbital are using RocketCam, which does offer something like you're describing. I'm guessing SpaceX uses an in-house system that's all digital.

Quote from: http://eclipticenterprises.com/rocketcam
Ecliptic's integrated RocketCam™ systems help you understand and appreciate what your remote, complex system is doing and experiencing in extreme environments.

You don't need a high-end, expensive, science-quality imaging system.  RocketCam™ systems provide engineering and PR-quality situational awareness within a small, rugged, cost-effective package, and are available in analog (Analog Video Systems, AVS), digital (Digital Video System, DVS), and hybrid analog-digital configurations (Integrated Video Assembly, IVA).
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: ww2planes1 on 10/25/2013 02:28 PM

You may be on to something, it looks like Orbital are using RocketCam, which does offer something like you're describing. I'm guessing SpaceX uses an in-house system that's all digital.


According to their "platforms" page, both Taurus II (looks like they haven't updated in a while) and Cygnus use RocketCam.
http://eclipticenterprises.com/platforms

And given SpaceX's goal of maximizing vertical integration, using an in-house developed system makes sense for them.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: russianhalo117 on 10/25/2013 03:30 PM

You may be on to something, it looks like Orbital are using RocketCam, which does offer something like you're describing. I'm guessing SpaceX uses an in-house system that's all digital.


According to their "platforms" page, both Taurus II (looks like they haven't updated in a while) and Cygnus use RocketCam.
http://eclipticenterprises.com/platforms

And given SpaceX's goal of maximizing vertical integration, using an in-house developed system makes sense for them.
Try looking under Antares as the name of the launcher changed quite a while ago as well as the edition of the Castor 30B and Castor 30XL Solid Rocket Motors as additional options for the second stage motor.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: sublimemarsupial on 10/25/2013 03:41 PM

You may be on to something, it looks like Orbital are using RocketCam, which does offer something like you're describing. I'm guessing SpaceX uses an in-house system that's all digital.


According to their "platforms" page, both Taurus II (looks like they haven't updated in a while) and Cygnus use RocketCam.
http://eclipticenterprises.com/platforms

And given SpaceX's goal of maximizing vertical integration, using an in-house developed system makes sense for them.

At least some of the Falcon 1 flights used off the shelf GoPro cameras that they modified. Don't know about F9.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lars_J on 10/26/2013 03:56 AM

I think the Spacex complete dropout buffering graphic was on purpose for whatever reason, I'd have preferred to see the raw feed with breakup, may have saw more video.

There was no feed during those periods. The receiving dish at VAFB got knocked out of alignment by the launch.

That explains some if it, but not all. Look at the recent SpaceX video for the launch, it has more footage from that main rocket camera than the launch feed had, especially at stage separation.
Title: Re: Orbital's Antares/Cygnus ORB-D Discussion Thread
Post by: Lar on 10/26/2013 04:02 AM
You have to be suuuper cool before you're cooler than a lower-fidelity Lego version.

That's what I'm talking about, right there.

THAT said I am glad they weren't using the (rebranded Logictech) LEGO camera for their onboard camera :)