Author Topic: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"  (Read 47973 times)

Offline Jorge

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #80 on: 01/13/2010 06:25 PM »
Interesting read, Dwayne- and as you say, much info  has yet to be released..... or maybe like X-20 or MOL, some will never be released.
It goes without saying (so I'll say it anyway :) ) that much of the push for military & NRO to go Shuttle was based on early, and wildly optimistic flight-rate predictions... nearly one a week was projected in the early '70's.   If something were going up that often, it made economic sense to hitch a ride on it.

But- for polar orbits- they certainly never expected one per week out of Vandenberg.  So were the Vandenberg facilities justified simply for "standardization?"

No, it was to handle polar orbits that are unreachable from KSC. Remember, the shuttle was originally supposed to replace all ELVs, and ELVs to polar orbit launched from Vandenberg, therefore a shuttle facility at Vandenberg was required.
JRF

Offline Proponent

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #81 on: 01/15/2010 05:33 AM »
BTW, what was the reason that DoD required the Shuttle to be able to return to VAFB after a single orbit?  Was there concern about Soviet countermeasures?  I mean, even if the originally promised two-week turn-around time for orbiters had been realized, a delay of 12 or 24 hours in landing would not have made much difference to the flight rate.

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #82 on: 01/15/2010 12:46 PM »
Doesn't the single orbit imply a fairly quick deployment of the payload? Is that reasonable?
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Jim

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #83 on: 01/15/2010 12:47 PM »
BTW, what was the reason that DoD required the Shuttle to be able to return to VAFB after a single orbit?

For a quick satellite deploy or retrieval

Offline Proponent

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #84 on: 01/16/2010 12:50 AM »
But for quick deployment, you don't need to get the Shuttle back to VAFB quickly.  As for quick retrieval, why would that have been important?

Offline yinzer

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #85 on: 01/16/2010 01:02 AM »
Not a lot of tracking stations in the South Pacific - launching to the south you might be able to grab a satellite before the Soviets could stop you.
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Offline Jorge

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #86 on: 01/16/2010 01:33 AM »
BTW, what was the reason that DoD required the Shuttle to be able to return to VAFB after a single orbit?  Was there concern about Soviet countermeasures?

Detection, at least, if not countermeasures.

A single-orbit mission from VAFB with an inclination of 104 degrees would have had a groundtrack that never passed within range of Soviet ground stations.
JRF

Offline yinzer

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #87 on: 01/16/2010 02:41 AM »
BTW, what was the reason that DoD required the Shuttle to be able to return to VAFB after a single orbit?  Was there concern about Soviet countermeasures?

Detection, at least, if not countermeasures.

A single-orbit mission from VAFB with an inclination of 104 degrees would have had a groundtrack that never passed within range of Soviet ground stations.

Wouldn't you be able to see it launch from LA?
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline Art LeBrun

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #88 on: 01/16/2010 02:46 AM »
BTW, what was the reason that DoD required the Shuttle to be able to return to VAFB after a single orbit?  Was there concern about Soviet countermeasures?

Detection, at least, if not countermeasures.

A single-orbit mission from VAFB with an inclination of 104 degrees would have had a groundtrack that never passed within range of Soviet ground stations.

Wouldn't you be able to see it launch from LA?

Yes - in clear weather day or night. Day might be tough - gotta catch it before the solids come off.
1958 launch vehicle highlights: Vanguard TV-4 and Atlas 12B

Offline Jim

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #89 on: 01/16/2010 01:44 PM »
Saw a Scout during a day launch from LAAFB, saw an Atlas at night from Palo Verdes and one other launch I can't remember from LAAFB.

Offline Analyst

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #90 on: 01/16/2010 02:14 PM »
BTW, what was the reason that DoD required the Shuttle to be able to return to VAFB after a single orbit?  Was there concern about Soviet countermeasures?

Detection, at least, if not countermeasures.

A single-orbit mission from VAFB with an inclination of 104 degrees would have had a groundtrack that never passed within range of Soviet ground stations.

The Soviet Union had Oko early warning satellites which would have picked up the launch. I doubt you could open the payload bay doors, deploy a satellite and close the doors within about half an orbit, e.g. in the 45 minutes before deorbit burn. As for grappling one with the RMS in the same time: No way.

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Offline Jim

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #91 on: 01/16/2010 02:35 PM »
It was a joke requirement, just like the 2 week turnaround

Offline Blackstar

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #92 on: 01/16/2010 02:59 PM »
I am skeptical that there was a real requirement for a DoD shuttle to launch from Vandenberg, deploy a satellite, and land in one orbit.  I'd have to see a document from the time that clearly stated that.

There was a crossrange requirement dictated by abort concerns.  In other words, if they launched and had a problem, they had to be able to recover at Vandenberg because they did not want a shuttle with a spysat making an emergency landing in Russia.

But I'd like to see documents.

Offline Jim

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #93 on: 01/16/2010 03:12 PM »
I am skeptical that there was a real requirement for a DoD shuttle to launch from Vandenberg, deploy a satellite, and land in one orbit.  I'd have to see a document from the time that clearly stated that.

There was a crossrange requirement dictated by abort concerns.  In other words, if they launched and had a problem, they had to be able to recover at Vandenberg because they did not want a shuttle with a spysat making an emergency landing in Russia.

But I'd like to see documents.

SS-STS-100 was the DOD document.  And it was Baseline Reference Mission 3, I believe.

edit:

Not your favorite site

http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/launch/sts_ta.htm#N_6_

http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/launch/sts_brm.htm

I might have a document, somewhere.

« Last Edit: 01/16/2010 03:14 PM by Jim »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #94 on: 01/16/2010 05:22 PM »
That's interesting.  But I don't see a date.  Could this have been a potential requirement that never got very far? 

What azimuth would they have to fly to go one orbit and not cross the USSR?  What inclination orbit does that translate to?

Offline Jim

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #95 on: 01/16/2010 06:20 PM »
104 degrees was the inclination.

Offline Jorge

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #96 on: 01/16/2010 06:42 PM »
BTW, what was the reason that DoD required the Shuttle to be able to return to VAFB after a single orbit?  Was there concern about Soviet countermeasures?

Detection, at least, if not countermeasures.

A single-orbit mission from VAFB with an inclination of 104 degrees would have had a groundtrack that never passed within range of Soviet ground stations.

The Soviet Union had Oko early warning satellites which would have picked up the launch.

They did not have Oko during the 1969-72 period, when the VAFB single-orbit missions were conceived. Indeed, the development of Oko may have been a factor in the cancellation of these missions in the mid-70s.

Quote
I doubt you could open the payload bay doors, deploy a satellite and close the doors within about half an orbit, e.g. in the 45 minutes before deorbit burn. As for grappling one with the RMS in the same time: No way.

With the system as-built, I agree. But many of the operational details had not been nailed down even as late as 1972.
JRF

Offline Jorge

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #97 on: 01/16/2010 06:46 PM »
I am skeptical that there was a real requirement for a DoD shuttle to launch from Vandenberg, deploy a satellite, and land in one orbit.  I'd have to see a document from the time that clearly stated that.

There was a crossrange requirement dictated by abort concerns.  In other words, if they launched and had a problem, they had to be able to recover at Vandenberg because they did not want a shuttle with a spysat making an emergency landing in Russia.

But I'd like to see documents.

I have the documents, somewhere. May take a while to find. They were Baseline Reference Missions 3A (deploy) and 3B (retrieve) and the documents were dated in the 1974-75 timeframe. They are on paper but if I find them I'll scan a few representative pages if that will be enough to convince you.
JRF

Offline Jim

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #98 on: 01/16/2010 07:31 PM »
BRM-1 was east coast 65k lb.   This set the payload bay structural capability.
Performance Reference Mission -4 was a 98 degrees  32k lb VAFB mission.  This set the propulsion system sizing (32k lb out of VAFB equates to a larger payload out of KSC, around 77k lb)

Offline Jester

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Re: "Inside the Secret Space Shuttles"
« Reply #99 on: 01/28/2010 11:04 AM »
I am skeptical that there was a real requirement for a DoD shuttle to launch from Vandenberg, deploy a satellite, and land in one orbit.  I'd have to see a document from the time that clearly stated that.

There was a crossrange requirement dictated by abort concerns.  In other words, if they launched and had a problem, they had to be able to recover at Vandenberg because they did not want a shuttle with a spysat making an emergency landing in Russia.

But I'd like to see documents.

I have the documents, somewhere. May take a while to find. They were Baseline Reference Missions 3A (deploy) and 3B (retrieve) and the documents were dated in the 1974-75 timeframe. They are on paper but if I find them I'll scan a few representative pages if that will be enough to convince you.

I believe we are talking about the document attached.....

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