Author Topic: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight  (Read 10331 times)

Offline catdlr

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Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight

Published on Dec 19, 2013
United Launch Alliance celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first successful launch of the Centaur upper stage during the Ohio Aerospace Institute event on Nov. 22. Centaur was recognized as the hallmark of innovative design and engineering excellence.

Tony De La Rosa

Offline veblen

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #1 on: 12/19/2013 08:00 pm »
I wish I could like or favourite your post catdir.  Dec. 24 is also the 50th anniversary of the DSN, another linchpin of NASA's solar system exploration. Thanks Centaur, thank you DSN.

Offline catdlr

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #2 on: 12/19/2013 08:04 pm »
I wish I could like or favourite your post catdir.  Dec. 24 is also the 50th anniversary of the DSN, another linchpin of NASA's solar system exploration. Thanks Centaur, thank you DSN.

Check here:  DSN : http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33554.msg1135697#msg1135697
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #3 on: 12/19/2013 09:05 pm »
Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight

Published on Dec 19, 2013
United Launch Alliance celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first successful launch of the Centaur upper stage during the Ohio Aerospace Institute event on Nov. 22.

There's a Centaur mockup on a trailer parked at Plum Brook west of Cleveland. Did they haul it out to the event?

I saw it last year and it seemed like it was in pretty good condition, Ohio winters and everything. It really should be a museum display.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #4 on: 12/19/2013 09:16 pm »
Taming liquid hydrogen : the Centaur

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4230.pdf
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #5 on: 12/19/2013 09:17 pm »
Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight

Published on Dec 19, 2013
United Launch Alliance celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first successful launch of the Centaur upper stage during the Ohio Aerospace Institute event on Nov. 22.

There's a Centaur mockup on a trailer parked at Plum Brook west of Cleveland. Did they haul it out to the event?

I saw it last year and it seemed like it was in pretty good condition, Ohio winters and everything. It really should be a museum display.
that would most likely be the Centaur test article that they loaned for R&D purposes a few years back.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #6 on: 12/20/2013 12:13 am »
That's a great video. :)

Does anyone have a link to the schematic images that are used at 0:26 (upper stages) and 0:56 (centaur cutaway) in the video?
« Last Edit: 12/20/2013 12:14 am by Lars_J »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #7 on: 12/20/2013 12:48 am »
That's a great video. :)

Does anyone have a link to the schematic images that are used at 0:26 (upper stages) and 0:56 (centaur cutaway) in the video?
I have not found it yet but I'm still looking.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #8 on: 12/20/2013 02:07 am »
That's a great video. :)

Does anyone have a link to the schematic images that are used at 0:26 (upper stages) and 0:56 (centaur cutaway) in the video?

I think the upper stages image is from something that appeared in Quest magazine at some point. It looks familiar. And it may have been drawn by an independent artist and not for government or the contractor (so they might have needed permission to use it).

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #9 on: 12/20/2013 03:25 am »
Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight

Published on Dec 19, 2013
United Launch Alliance celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first successful launch of the Centaur upper stage during the Ohio Aerospace Institute event on Nov. 22.

There's a Centaur mockup on a trailer parked at Plum Brook west of Cleveland. Did they haul it out to the event?

I saw it last year and it seemed like it was in pretty good condition, Ohio winters and everything. It really should be a museum display.
that would most likely be the Centaur test article that they loaned for R&D purposes a few years back.

No, it was obviously built for a traveling exhibit. They also have an Agena at Glenn. The Agena is in much worse shape. The Centaur looked pretty good. Here are photos I took when I was there.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #10 on: 12/20/2013 04:36 am »
Thanks for the link to the video! It was cool to get some glimpses of the current thinking on ACES, IVF, and several of those other technologies.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 12/20/2013 04:37 am by jongoff »

Offline Jim

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #11 on: 12/20/2013 01:30 pm »
That's a great video. :)

Does anyone have a link to the schematic images that are used at 0:26 (upper stages) and 0:56 (centaur cutaway) in the video?

They are in old user guides

Offline Targeteer

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #12 on: 12/20/2013 02:03 pm »
Steve Agid with the narration I believe.  Any word on which flight will be the first to use RL-10C next year as mentioned in the video?
« Last Edit: 12/20/2013 02:04 pm by Targeteer »
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Jason Davies

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #13 on: 12/20/2013 02:50 pm »
Nice video!

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #14 on: 12/20/2013 04:02 pm »
AC-2, launched on November 27, 1963, was the first Centaur success, but it took several additional years - a long road - for Atlas-Centaur to become operational and to succeed regularly.  The AC-2 Centaur was rigged as an R&D test with essentially no payload.  Its insulation panels were not jettisoned and it used an open-loop guidance system to simplify the mission.  The RL10A-3 engines were designed to perform one burn only, which boosted the stage into a 547 x 1,691 km x 30.4 degree orbit where it remains today, give or take some kilometers.

Subsequent launches by AC-3, AC-4, and AC-5 all failed.  It wasn't until August 11, 1965 that AC-6 finally scored a second success while carrying a Surveyor dummy (SD2).  AC-6 boosted SD2 into a 166 x 815,085 km x 28.6 degree orbit.  But the failures continued with AC-8 in 1966.  Atlas Centaur didn't launch an operational payload until May 30, 1966, when AC-10 boosted Surveyor 1 to the Moon.  A successful two-burn Centaur mission didn't happen until October 26, 1966, when AC-9 launched Surveyor dummy SD-4.  An RL-10 restart mission didn't boost a real payload until April 17, 1967 (AC-12 with Surveyor 3).  This was just a few months before SA-501 performed the first S-IVB restart of a J-2 engine!

I wonder why Centaur struggled then.  Funding may have been an issue, because NASA originally expected the stage to cost far less than it ended up costing.  Perhaps it was a poor stepchild to Apollo at that time. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 12/20/2013 04:13 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Lar

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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #15 on: 12/20/2013 04:14 pm »
Happy birthday Centaur... here's hoping ACES and IVF lead your progeny to 50 more, at least. :)
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Re: Centaur: 50th Anniversary of the First Successful Flight
« Reply #16 on: 12/26/2013 02:35 pm »
Taming liquid hydrogen : the Centaur

http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4230.pdf

good call  ;)  highly recommended reading
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