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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Other US Launchers => Topic started by: DeanG1967 on 11/08/2015 01:47 AM

Title: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: DeanG1967 on 11/08/2015 01:47 AM
Does anyone know of any USAF ICBM test launches today?  About 1800L PST in Vegas (~ 0200Z on 8 Nov 15), I could see what looked like a launch to include staging.  It was about 1 hour after sunset here...was quite a site but can't find anything about any launches from the west coast.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: ethan829 on 11/08/2015 01:50 AM
I don't know anymore than you, but there are some photos here: https://twitter.com/Sidetrakn/status/663177389141196800 (https://twitter.com/Sidetrakn/status/663177389141196800)


Most likely a missile test. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/07/us-california-airport-military-idUSKCN0SW0SN20151107
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: benson125 on 11/08/2015 01:57 AM
Had an incredible view of this from Thousand oaks. It didnt appear to come from Vandenberg.  It almost looked like it came from the south and headed north. Maybe sea based?
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: wxmeddler on 11/08/2015 02:03 AM
Definitely seems like a staging or 2nd stage failure...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xLmB81v-BI&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: ethan829 on 11/08/2015 02:09 AM
Seeing more speculation that this was a sea launch and not from Vandenberg. Still no official word.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: DeanG1967 on 11/08/2015 02:12 AM
I could see the staging (as in you saw what appeared to be MECO...possible Retros then staging).  2nd stage continued to burn until the light was dimmed out / no longer visible.  I don't think it was a failure.  It was pretty awesome though.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: DeanG1967 on 11/08/2015 02:14 AM
Seeing more speculation that this was a sea launch and not from Vandenberg. Still no official word.

Standard missile is a possibility (part of the missile defense).  It does have a SRB booster and explains the staging.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: sdsds on 11/08/2015 02:15 AM
There are no unscheduled/unannounced launches out of Vandenberg. Whatever it was, someone should have filed a NOTAM. Unless ... ?
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: DeanG1967 on 11/08/2015 02:17 AM
There are no unscheduled/unannounced launches out of Vandenberg. Whatever it was, someone should have filed a NOTAM. Unless ... ?

The Warning areas were NOTAM'd surface to 80,000 but that happens a lot out there
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: sdsds on 11/08/2015 02:19 AM
 Twitter:
 
OC Sheriff, CA
‏@OCSD
#OCSDPIO: Light seen in OC sky was confirmed through JWA tower to be a Naval test fire off the coast. No further details.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: wxmeddler on 11/08/2015 02:22 AM
Twitter:
 
OC Sheriff, CA
‏@OCSD
#OCSDPIO: Light seen in OC sky was confirmed through JWA tower to be a Naval test fire off the coast. No further details.

What kind of naval weapon flies that high with staging? Unless it's a USA-193 type killer or an ICBM.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: hop on 11/08/2015 02:29 AM
What kind of naval weapon flies that high with staging? Unless it's a USA-193 type killer or an ICBM.
SLBM http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/nov/07/mystery-light-sky-military-navy-drill/
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: DeanG1967 on 11/08/2015 02:33 AM
What kind of naval weapon flies that high with staging? Unless it's a USA-193 type killer or an ICBM.
SLBM http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/nov/07/mystery-light-sky-military-navy-drill/

Or Standard Missile-3
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: hop on 11/08/2015 02:41 AM
What kind of naval weapon flies that high with staging? Unless it's a USA-193 type killer or an ICBM.
SLBM http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/nov/07/mystery-light-sky-military-navy-drill/

Or Standard Missile-3
A navy spokesperson confirmed that it was a Trident test
Quote
Navy Strategic Systems Programs conducted the scheduled Trident II (D5) missile test flight at sea from the Kentucky, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California, a Navy spokesman said.  

The test was part of a scheduled, on-going system evaluation test, said Cmdr. Ryan Perry with the Navy’s Third Fleet.

edit
A few other news outlets have given different stories (claiming it was launched from Edwards for example), but this is the only one I've seen that quoted a named military source, and it seems by far the most credible and consistent with the locations of reported sightings.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Terry Rocket on 11/08/2015 02:48 AM
Oh, Trident as in the ones we're buying off you for a cut price £45 billion? :)

Thanks for testing the goods before shipping! ;)
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: sdsds on 11/08/2015 02:51 AM
Oh, Trident as in the ones we're buying off you for a cut price £45 billion? :)

Thanks for testing the goods before shipping! ;)

Money back guarantee, in case they don't help you survive Global Thermonuclear War....
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: ethan829 on 11/08/2015 02:57 AM

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/663202603224973312


Quote
US Navy say "light in the West Coast sky" was a Trident II (D5) missile test at sea from the submarine "Kentucky"
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2015 03:01 AM
Good work guys. Lots of "UFO" and "Is it the North Koreans?" comments on Twitter ;D

Oh, Trident as in the ones we're buying off you for a cut price £45 billion? :)

Thanks for testing the goods before shipping! ;)

Oh yeah!

For the four Royal Navy Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: DeanG1967 on 11/08/2015 03:08 AM
Good work guys. Lots of "UFO" and "Is it the North Koreans?" comments on Twitter ;D

Oh, Trident as in the ones we're buying off you for a cut price £45 billion? :)

Thanks for testing the goods before shipping! ;)

Oh yeah!

For the four Royal Navy Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines.

They are really Trident I...we just painted an extra "I" on them
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2015 03:11 AM

They are really Trident I...we just painted an extra "I" on them

Clever marketing by Lockheed Martin! :)

UK: New shiny missiles, all improved?
USA: Yes.....something like that.


https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/663202603224973312


Quote
US Navy say "light in the West Coast sky" was a Trident II (D5) missile test at sea from the submarine "Kentucky"

Yeah, that's me, passing on what was said in this thread - as I do! ;D Linked the thread in a follow up as people have questions about the plume and such.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: freakdog on 11/08/2015 03:14 AM
Here's my pics.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: WheelsStop on 11/08/2015 06:00 AM
I got lucky and was out at the right time looking at an Iridium flare to catch this.  For the record, here's an attempt to describe how it looked to me:

I was in Temecula (inland between San Diego and Los Angeles) and noticed it first as a contrail with a bright spot at one end and thought - wow, that's a cool fireball/bolide!  At the time it was yellowish.  It then blossomed into a small glowing ball (staging?), and a few seconds later a much brighter white blossom (second stage ignition?) that created a visible shockwave through the rest of the cloud!  It's really hard to describe how unusual and awesome seeing that was!  The core seemed to glow bluish, but the white cloud expanded around it, fading very gradually, and at one point covered nearly my entire forward view (i.e. not half the sky, but a very big corner of it).  My impression was that the contrail started too far south to be Vandenberg, so my best guess at the time was San Clemente Island.  That area would make sense for a sub launch as well.

It looks like the missile must have tracked up the coast, and my perspective was aft quarter to tail-on.  The first twitter photos posted up thread are from Santa Cruz and it looks side-on from there with the white cloud ahead (to the right of) the blue portion.

I assume the white cloud was sunlit exhaust at altitude, but what of the blue glow (which persisted for maybe as long as 10 minutes after?)  Is it just a different exhaust component being lit by the sun?  Or would some rocket exhaust ionize and glow like that at altitude?

I managed to get my camera out and fumble around in the dark to get some mediocre photos (handheld DSLR in the dark, ugh!), but they give a sense of the persistence of the blue cloud - the timestamps on the photos are 18:01, 18:02, and 18:06 (PST) respectively.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Orbiter on 11/08/2015 06:03 PM
Quality posts on here, which is nice to see compared to the incredible amount of misinformation going around the web about this particular event. I remember two of the most recent pre-dawn Atlas V launches also caused similar buzz around Florida.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: NovaSilisko on 11/08/2015 06:06 PM
Quality posts on here, which is nice to see compared to the incredible amount of misinformation going around the web about this particular event. I remember two of the most recent pre-dawn Atlas V launches also caused similar buzz around Florida.

Weird thing in the sky = aliens
Weird thing in the sky + government explanation = DEFINITELY ALIENS
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Helodriver on 11/08/2015 06:27 PM
Best video yet to surface of the Trident II test off the California coast.  I missed this spectral light show because I was in a theater catching "Spectre" last night. ;)


https://vimeo.com/145029572 (https://vimeo.com/145029572)
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Star One on 11/09/2015 08:38 AM

Quality posts on here, which is nice to see compared to the incredible amount of misinformation going around the web about this particular event. I remember two of the most recent pre-dawn Atlas V launches also caused similar buzz around Florida.

Weird thing in the sky = aliens
Weird thing in the sky + government explanation = DEFINITELY ALIENS

This aspect has seemed particular bad this year for some reason.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: kevin-rf on 11/09/2015 01:32 PM

Quality posts on here, which is nice to see compared to the incredible amount of misinformation going around the web about this particular event. I remember two of the most recent pre-dawn Atlas V launches also caused similar buzz around Florida.

Weird thing in the sky = aliens
Weird thing in the sky + government explanation = DEFINITELY ALIENS

This aspect has seemed particular bad this year for some reason.
Aliens
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: CJ on 11/09/2015 11:16 PM
I'm a bit perplexed by these Trident D5 launches (there's been another).

The claim I'm seeing is that secrecy was essential for the tests to avoid the Russians or Chinese monitoring them.

However, there's an agreement in place requiring notification of ballistic missile tests, due to the danger that the other side could think it's an attack. Firing a SLBM in a northbound trajectory from off California would certainly run that risk.

http://www.state.gov/t/avc/trty/187150.htm

So, if the Russians were notified, it seems to rather negate the secrecy claim.

My current guess; the secrecy was aimed at the US military, part of a test of missile tracking. It's much more realistic if the trackers (or anyone involved in any test) don't know in advance.

I wonder what the ground track really was?

Interesting stuff!     
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Star One on 11/10/2015 12:46 AM
I assume all these tests are part of the LE program for the Trident.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: FinalFrontier on 11/10/2015 12:51 AM
Pretty cool to see a trident test at night like that. One of the most powerful and all around great weapon systems ever developed.

Testing is probably not just in relation to the LE program but also in relation to SSBNX.

Seemed like it staged properly but its hard to say. Certainly hope so. Trident is the bulk of our strategic deterrence these days.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: DeanG1967 on 11/10/2015 03:51 AM
Navy did a second test today.

http://defensetech.org/2015/11/09/navy-launches-second-ballistic-missile-test-in-pacific/ (http://defensetech.org/2015/11/09/navy-launches-second-ballistic-missile-test-in-pacific/)

Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: sdsds on 11/10/2015 03:58 AM
Note this bit from a previous pair of launches as described by Lockheed-Martin:
Quote
The test flights were part of a demonstration and shakedown operation, which the Navy uses to certify a submarine for deployment following an overhaul.
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/june/0604-ss-trident.html

I have absolutely no inside knowledge of SSBN design practices, but hypothesize they launch tests in pairs to validate each "leg" of a redundant fire control system.
Title: Re: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: jcm on 11/10/2015 04:19 AM
I assume all these tests are part of the LE program for the Trident.


Certainly DASO-24 and DASO-25 in 2013 and 2014 were acknowledged as part of the D5LE program.
One assumes DASO-26 is too.

Does anyone know the difference in current usage between the DASO and FCET launches? I guess the FCET ones
are more standard training and the DASO ones are more R&D instrumentation oriented?
FCET-49 and 50 appear to have been the Sep 2014 and Feb 2015 launches, but I haven't been able to find
which submarines performed the launches - if anyone knows please speak up. (keep an eye out for mission patches too)
Title: What launched from Vandenberg
Post by: Star One on 11/10/2015 07:03 AM
I assume all these tests are part of the LE program for the Trident.


Certainly DASO-24 and DASO-25 in 2013 and 2014 were acknowledged as part of the D5LE program.
One assumes DASO-26 is too.

Does anyone know the difference in current usage between the DASO and FCET launches? I guess the FCET ones
are more standard training and the DASO ones are more R&D instrumentation oriented?
FCET-49 and 50 appear to have been the Sep 2014 and Feb 2015 launches, but I haven't been able to find
which submarines performed the launches - if anyone knows please speak up. (keep an eye out for mission patches too)

If you look in the suborbital thread it says it was the USS Kentucky.

And here's the relevant link.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-second-missile-launch-pentagon-20151109-story.html