does anyone have pictures from the ceremony?

I so wish they had blogs

...Quote I so wish they had blogs I gues you'll have to do with poor little me... :)

OSC has yet to complete a COTS system-level PDR that had been scheduled for April.

OK, does anyone have pictures from the ceremony? That's one thing I wish Oribital did more like SpaceX.

Ask and ye shall receive:

Now if you had announced this in advance, and posted tickets on NSF I am sure your could have had quite the NSF crowd on hand to witness the events

What kind of upmass hit is Orbital taking by building at Wallops vs Kennedy/Canaveral?

Quote from: Riley1066 on 07/05/2009 09:52 pmWhat kind of upmass hit is Orbital taking by building at Wallops vs Kennedy/Canaveral?Zero.

Well, i *JUST* happen to have two Visual Basic macros for Excel that help a bit. The first one estimates (geometrically) the launch azimuth required to hit a desired inclination from a certain latitude, given the target orbital altitude (it's an estimation - accurate results depend on the particulars of the trajectory, e.g., slow liquid Ariane 5 style vs. fast, solid, taurus style; but, hey, it's a lot better than guessing!)The second function calculates - also geometrically - the inertial velocity due to earth rotation in the direction of the launch azimuth at a given latitude. Like the other function, this is an approximation to the performance impact, but, again, it's better than a guess...And the results are: WFF CCAFSLatitude, deg 37.83 28.5Launch az. For i=51.6º, deg 50.1 42.8Earth vel. In dir of launch az, m/s 282 278 Although these are approximations, I'd say the result is a tie. Downrange issues (stage imnpacts, overflights, etc) probably have more of an impact, and I can't evaluate them without a more detailed analysis, which we have not done yet. Even then I expect nearly a wash.

Well, from a northern latitude, you shoot closer to East to get to the desired inclination than from a southern latitude, and that helps in getting more of the Eastwards Earth Rotational Velocity (EERV) in the direction of launch, but on the other hand the amount of EERV up north is lower than further south. I guess one effect cancels the other.Also note that the launch azimuth numbers I gave in the table are the ascending ones; you get the same results if you mirror image them w.r.t. East, i.e. 129.9 deg from WFF and 137.2 deg from CCAFS (the approximate rotational velocity help being the same for both the ascending and descending cases.) From CCAFS, range limits may preclude use of the the ascending azimuth (anybody knows for sure?)BTW, from a latitude of 51.6 deg, my Excel calculations show a launch azimuth of 90 deg (duh...) and a net contribution of rotational velocity in the direction of launch of 289 m/s. Not a big difference from 278 (CCAFS) or 282 (WFF). What's at 51.6 deg north latitude?

The answer is not as simple as that; in addition to the obvious effect of the Earth's rotation, the location of the stage impact points and resulting probability of hitting somebody on the ground enter into the picture. For example, for high-acceleration vehicles with stage impact points close to the launch site, there is little practical performance difference to the ISS inclination (51.6 deg) from CCAFS (Florida) and from WFF (VA). However, you launch NORTH from CCAFS (ascending node) to avoid the islands, and SOUTH from WFF (descending node) to avoid Europe.With low acceleration vehicles stage impact points move downrange, so a CCAFS launch north to ISS (you still can't launch south, I'm told) might drop a stage on Newfoundland; this may require a payload-reducing dogleg right our of the Cape, making the WFF performance higher even tough, from an Earth rotation standpoint it's an even match (Earth rotation is higher from FL, but the launch azimuth is more easterly from VA).Oh by the way: the number of stages and the use of strapons makes a difference on this stage impact point analysis, too...The bottom line is that it is non-intuitive and requires more than a simple calculation - you have to run a complete trajectory analysis.