Author Topic: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018  (Read 55291 times)

Online Comga

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Another Pegasus
Launch contract is ~$56.3 M.November 20, 2014
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Ionospheric Connection Explorer
NASA has selected Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia, to provide launch services for the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission.
 
ICON is targeted to launch in June 2017 from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands aboard a Pegasus XL launch vehicle from Orbital's "Stargazer" L-1011 aircraft.
 
The total cost for NASA to launch ICON under this new firm-fixed price launch services task order is approximately $56.3 million. This includes spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry and other launch support requirements.
 
ICON will study the interface between the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere and space in response to a recent scientific discovery that the ionosphere, positioned at the edge of space where the sun ionizes the air to create charged particles, is significantly influenced by storms in the lower atmosphere. ICON also will help NASA better understand how atmospheric winds control ionospheric variability.
 
NASA's Launch Services Program at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for management and oversight of the Pegasus XL launch services. The ICON mission is led by the University of California, Berkeley, with oversight by the Explorers Program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

edit/gongora: Current launch date showing as October 2018
« Last Edit: 11/15/2018 03:21 PM by Chris Bergin »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #1 on: 11/20/2014 11:13 PM »
Glorious news as we really don't want to see Pegasus go away! I want to do an article on this, but they've not really provided much info there. Will have a think, but we're covered with this thread at least.

Offline pericynthion

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #2 on: 11/21/2014 11:09 AM »
Hooray! Every time I land at Mojave I see the L-1011 and wish it would fly again.  Yeah, it's kind of expensive, but it's such a neat system.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #3 on: 11/21/2014 01:25 PM »
Here's hoping I have another trip to Kwaj in my future!

Offline starchasercowboy

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #4 on: 11/21/2014 10:24 PM »
We flew Stargazer for 45 minutes on Novenber 19th.  Crew had only one squawk.  Last flying L1011 in the world and still flying great.  Got 2 missions on the books to last us to 2017 and we hope Pegasus will take us into the 2020's. 8)
« Last Edit: 11/21/2014 10:26 PM by starchasercowboy »

Online Comga

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #5 on: 11/21/2014 10:33 PM »
We flew Stargazer for 45 minutes on Novenber 19th.  Crew had only one squawk.  Last flying L1011 in the world and still flying great.  Got 2 missions on the books to last us to 2017 and we hope Pegasus will take us into the 2020's. 8)
Welcome to the forum.
The pictures make for a great first post.
It is lovely to see that old machine flying.  Always liked the lines on the L-1011.
Which Pegasus is being carried in the photos?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #6 on: 11/22/2014 12:35 AM »
Last flying L1011 in the world and still flying great. 
I was going to ask....
« Last Edit: 11/22/2014 12:36 AM by kevin-rf »
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Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #7 on: 11/22/2014 03:35 PM »
We flew Stargazer for 45 minutes on Novenber 19th.  Crew had only one squawk.  Last flying L1011 in the world and still flying great.  Got 2 missions on the books to last us to 2017 and we hope Pegasus will take us into the 2020's. 8)
Welcome to the forum.
The pictures make for a great first post.
It is lovely to see that old machine flying.  Always liked the lines on the L-1011.
Which Pegasus is being carried in the photos?

The second photo looks like the arrival of Stargazer/NuSTAR at Kwaj. Not sure about the top photo - it's a departure shot at VAFB, possibly for NuSTAR, too?

Offline starchasercowboy

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #8 on: 11/22/2014 09:53 PM »
The first photo was Stargazer landing in Kona, Hi with IBEX 2008 onboard Pegasus XL. One night stop over for crew rest and then on to Kwaj.  Second photo was landing in Kwaj with IBEX. We only launch the Pegasus XL version now. 
Chris
What kind of article do you want to do? Stargazer, Pegasus or both? Orbital has been very open to media when it comes to  this launch system.  I can put you in touch with somebody.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #9 on: 11/23/2014 05:57 AM »
@starchasercowboy

Is the Stargazer L-1011's engines meeting upcoming noise restrictions? If not, can the L-1011 be refitted with new engines?

Hope to see the Stargazer fly more launch missions.

Offline pericynthion

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #10 on: 11/23/2014 06:03 AM »
I would hope the regulators are sensible enough that those noise restrictions don't apply to MHV, VBG and PKWA - I'm sure the neighbors don't care - but I guess it's never safe to assume that's the case...

Offline llanitedave

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #11 on: 11/23/2014 03:59 PM »
@starchasercowboy

Is the Stargazer L-1011's engines meeting upcoming noise restrictions? If not, can the L-1011 be refitted with new engines?

Hope to see the Stargazer fly more launch missions.

From here:

Quote
The design featured a twin-aisle interior with a maximum of 400 passengers, a three-engine layout, low noise emissions (in the early 1970s, Eastern Air Lines nicknamed the L-1011 "WhisperLiner")

I know noise tolerances are lower than they used to be, but I don't think there's going to be a problem in the context of use here.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #12 on: 11/23/2014 07:02 PM »
Funny, some how the An-124 and An-225 manage to still fly cargo through out the US. Not only do they deliver spacecraft, rocket stages, but Boeing uses them from time to time to deliver aircraft parts. Some how I suspect they are louder than a TriStar.

Honestly, if it came down to it, it would be cheaper to find a replacement than to re-engine.

If memory serves, the last profitable re-engine program was the DC-8 Super 70 conversions in the late seventies, early 80's. You could include the mid 90's re-engining of the U-2 with General Electric F118-GE-101's. Every now and then re-engining the B-52 comes up. I think some 707's have been re-engined over the years, but that is about it.

It is not a very common practice. 

The Airbus and Boeing programs to re-engine the a320's and 737's center around new builds, not retro fits.

That said, there are several programs to improve fuel burn by adding wing tips to existing planes. There are always the freighter conversion programs for passenger jets. Yet in all the current refit programs, no one offers an option to replace the engines.
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #13 on: 11/23/2014 07:25 PM »
Funny, some how the An-124 and An-225 manage to still fly cargo through out the US. Not only do they deliver spacecraft, rocket stages, but Boeing uses them from time to time to deliver aircraft parts. Some how I suspect they are louder than a TriStar.

Honestly, if it came down to it, it would be cheaper to find a replacement than to re-engine.

If memory serves, the last profitable re-engine program was the DC-8 Super 70 conversions in the late seventies, early 80's. You could include the mid 90's re-engining of the U-2 with General Electric F118-GE-101's. Every now and then re-engining the B-52 comes up. I think some 707's have been re-engined over the years, but that is about it.

It is not a very common practice. 

The Airbus and Boeing programs to re-engine the a320's and 737's center around new builds, not retro fits.

That said, there are several programs to improve fuel burn by adding wing tips to existing planes. There are always the freighter conversion programs for passenger jets. Yet in all the current refit programs, no one offers an option to replace the engines.

IIRC you need a jumbo jet of some type without a center fuselage landing gear under the wings to carry & launch the Pegasus. So not too many alternates to the L-1011, maybe some early models of the DC-10/MD-11.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #14 on: 11/23/2014 10:57 PM »
Uummm... as the B-52 proved, it does not have t be carried on the center line.  The under construction Straolauncher also comes to mind. I think White Knight 2 lacks the necessary lift, Space Ship 2 is half the weight.

There are options, but I don't see them being needed. They chose the airframe because it was cheap and has a beam along the center of the fuselege that the DC-10 lacks.  For Pegasus, the airframe has plenty of life left in it. They are storing it in a desert. A place that has a fair number of noisy military aircraft flying in and out.

I think the worry about noise compliance is a red herring. It definitely is not a valid reason to spend a large sum of money on an aircraft that flies fewer times in a year than it did over a week while in commercial service. I mean jeeze, Travolta still goes bouncing around in that retired Qantas 707 he has. (Though, to be fair, it does have hush kits on the engines)
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Offline starchasercowboy

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #15 on: 11/24/2014 09:32 PM »
We upgraded the engines from RB211-22b to RB211-524B4, 42k to 50k thrust per engine back in 2009. Stargazer is a real hotrod now. She got a new paint job in 2013. This aircraft is babied all the time and should last a while. The management at Orbital has a lot of fondness for this launch system and as long as we keep getting satellites to put up, the airplane will be ready.
We usually fly to military bases when we launch Pegasus, so noise is not a factor.

Offline llanitedave

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #16 on: 11/25/2014 02:15 AM »
I flew on an L-1011 once, back in 1974.  I thought I had really hit the big time!

Purty plane, it was.  And this one still is.
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Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #17 on: 11/26/2014 06:59 PM »
I flew on an L-1011 once, back in 1974.  I thought I had really hit the big time!

Purty plane, it was.  And this one still is.

Purty, yes. Big time? Well, I flew across the pond a few times on L1011's with 2-5-2 seating. Since I was a lowly contractor (flying to TAL sites for shuttle support), my seat was usually in the middle of the 5-seat group, at the rear of the cabin, directly under that center engine - for six hours or more. I never felt like I had hit the big time!

Online edkyle99

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #18 on: 11/26/2014 08:29 PM »
I flew on an L-1011 once, back in 1974.  I thought I had really hit the big time!

Purty plane, it was.  And this one still is.

Purty, yes. Big time? Well, I flew across the pond a few times on L1011's with 2-5-2 seating. Since I was a lowly contractor (flying to TAL sites for shuttle support), my seat was usually in the middle of the 5-seat group, at the rear of the cabin, directly under that center engine - for six hours or more. I never felt like I had hit the big time!
I share your less than fond memories of flying on L1011 aircraft.  I remember the interior vibrating, rattling the overhead bins during climbouts, etc.  I rode them on Eastern Airlines and maybe TWA.

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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #19 on: 02/20/2015 12:57 PM »
Looks like Stargrazer went out for a flight recently, a fair number of people on airliners.net are all abuzz about the flight.

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/6320479/
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Offline newpylong

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #20 on: 02/20/2015 01:16 PM »
Always loved the Tristar.  Orbital's is a beauty!

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #21 on: 03/09/2015 03:00 AM »
For this final Pegasus rocket launch, I would like it if a rocketcam was positioned on the rocket's second stage to capture liftoff video as seen on the ALEXIS and Minisat 01 missions. Lately, Ecliptic Enterprises only put rocketcams on where viewers can see the spacecraft separation.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #22 on: 03/09/2015 03:22 AM »
For this final Pegasus rocket launch, I would like it if a rocketcam was positioned on the rocket's second stage to capture liftoff video as seen on the ALEXIS and Minisat 01 missions. Lately, Ecliptic Enterprises only put rocketcams on where viewers can see the spacecraft separation.
"Final"?

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Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #23 on: 03/09/2015 02:50 PM »
Well, there are only two more Pegasus rockets scheduled and ICON seems to be the last one. What do you think about my rocketcam idea?
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #24 on: 03/09/2015 04:11 PM »
Well, there are only two more Pegasus rockets scheduled and ICON seems to be the last one. What do you think about my rocketcam idea?
Rocketcam would be fun, but I'm not sure they would be set up to handle the downrange downlinking needed from the Marshall Islands.  A lot of blue water and little else out there.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #25 on: 03/09/2015 06:11 PM »
For this final Pegasus rocket launch, I would like it if a rocketcam was positioned on the rocket's second stage to capture liftoff video as seen on the ALEXIS and Minisat 01 missions. Lately, Ecliptic Enterprises only put rocketcams on where viewers can see the spacecraft separation.

No, Ecliptic Enterprises does not put them on rockets.  ULA and Spacex do it.  Also, Spacex has their own cams and I believe ULA does too.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #26 on: 03/09/2015 07:00 PM »
For this final Pegasus rocket launch, I would like it if a rocketcam was positioned on the rocket's second stage to capture liftoff video as seen on the ALEXIS and Minisat 01 missions. Lately, Ecliptic Enterprises only put rocketcams on where viewers can see the spacecraft separation.

No, Ecliptic Enterprises does not put them on rockets.  ULA and Spacex do it.  Also, Spacex has their own cams and I believe ULA does too.

I thought Ecliptic Enterprises used to do rocketcams since 1997. Didn't they quit doing them?
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #27 on: 03/09/2015 07:14 PM »

I thought Ecliptic Enterprises used to do rocketcams since 1997. Didn't they quit doing them?

They were a supplier for them.   But it is not up to them to add them to vehicles, it is up to the launch vehicle contractor and some, if not all, are producing the cams themselves.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2015 07:16 PM by Jim »

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #28 on: 03/09/2015 08:54 PM »
I apologize; I was convinced the wrong way.
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Offline starchasercowboy

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #29 on: 03/10/2015 03:24 PM »
There are plenty of camera angles in this IRIS/Pegasus video. Cockpit, fin sweep, drop from the plane and first stage ignition (from NASA F-18).  More on youtube.

Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #30 on: 12/17/2016 04:52 AM »
NASA’s ICON and GOLD missions will take complementary observations of Earth’s ionosphere and upper atmosphere. NASA image.


Offline eeergo

This launch has been delayed to November 14th, according to SFN's schedule.
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON November 14, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #32 on: 06/10/2017 12:37 AM »
Funny, some how the An-124 and An-225 manage to still fly cargo through out the US. Not only do they deliver spacecraft, rocket stages, but Boeing uses them from time to time to deliver aircraft parts. Some how I suspect they are louder than a TriStar.

Honestly, if it came down to it, it would be cheaper to find a replacement than to re-engine.

If memory serves, the last profitable re-engine program was the DC-8 Super 70 conversions in the late seventies, early 80's. You could include the mid 90's re-engining of the U-2 with General Electric F118-GE-101's. Every now and then re-engining the B-52 comes up. I think some 707's have been re-engined over the years, but that is about it.

It is not a very common practice. 

The Airbus and Boeing programs to re-engine the a320's and 737's center around new builds, not retro fits.

That said, there are several programs to improve fuel burn by adding wing tips to existing planes. There are always the freighter conversion programs for passenger jets. Yet in all the current refit programs, no one offers an option to replace the engines.

IIRC you need a jumbo jet of some type without a center fuselage landing gear under the wings to carry & launch the Pegasus. So not too many alternates to the L-1011, maybe some early models of the DC-10/MD-11.
An-124, An-225 and IL-76 are in different phases of planning for re-engining with PD18R engine but geo-political fallout has slowed the effort since the aircraft were built primarily in Ukraine so Ilyushin IL-106 project revival is considered to replace both fleets. Chinese versions have already been re-engined.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2017 12:48 AM by russianhalo117 »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON November 14, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #33 on: 06/10/2017 09:51 PM »
Funny, some how the An-124 and An-225 manage to still fly cargo through out the US. Not only do they deliver spacecraft, rocket stages, but Boeing uses them from time to time to deliver aircraft parts. Some how I suspect they are louder than a TriStar.

Honestly, if it came down to it, it would be cheaper to find a replacement than to re-engine.

If memory serves, the last profitable re-engine program was the DC-8 Super 70 conversions in the late seventies, early 80's. You could include the mid 90's re-engining of the U-2 with General Electric F118-GE-101's. Every now and then re-engining the B-52 comes up. I think some 707's have been re-engined over the years, but that is about it.

It is not a very common practice. 

The Airbus and Boeing programs to re-engine the a320's and 737's center around new builds, not retro fits.

That said, there are several programs to improve fuel burn by adding wing tips to existing planes. There are always the freighter conversion programs for passenger jets. Yet in all the current refit programs, no one offers an option to replace the engines.

IIRC you need a jumbo jet of some type without a center fuselage landing gear under the wings to carry & launch the Pegasus. So not too many alternates to the L-1011, maybe some early models of the DC-10/MD-11.
An-124, An-225 and IL-76 are in different phases of planning for re-engining with PD18R engine but geo-political fallout has slowed the effort since the aircraft were built primarily in Ukraine so Ilyushin IL-106 project revival is considered to replace both fleets. Chinese versions have already been re-engined.

Just have a quick at some under body illustrations of the An-124 & Il-76 online. The Il-76 does have main landing gears retracted inwards toward the center line of the fuselage, so no room to mounted something like the Pegasus underneath. Seems the An-124 also have the inward retracting main landing feature from their military rough field operating requirements. So the An-124 & Il-76 does not appears to be variable candidates for conversion to be a Pegasus launching aircraft.

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #34 on: 06/11/2017 04:08 PM »
Funny, some how the An-124 and An-225 manage to still fly cargo through out the US. Not only do they deliver spacecraft, rocket stages, but Boeing uses them from time to time to deliver aircraft parts. Some how I suspect they are louder than a TriStar.

Honestly, if it came down to it, it would be cheaper to find a replacement than to re-engine.

If memory serves, the last profitable re-engine program was the DC-8 Super 70 conversions in the late seventies, early 80's. You could include the mid 90's re-engining of the U-2 with General Electric F118-GE-101's. Every now and then re-engining the B-52 comes up. I think some 707's have been re-engined over the years, but that is about it.

It is not a very common practice. 

The Airbus and Boeing programs to re-engine the a320's and 737's center around new builds, not retro fits.

That said, there are several programs to improve fuel burn by adding wing tips to existing planes. There are always the freighter conversion programs for passenger jets. Yet in all the current refit programs, no one offers an option to replace the engines.

IIRC you need a jumbo jet of some type without a center fuselage landing gear under the wings to carry & launch the Pegasus. So not too many alternates to the L-1011, maybe some early models of the DC-10/MD-11.

The L1011 was chosen over the DC-10 because the fuselage had twin spars and the Pegasus vertical fin could go between them.

Offline starchasercowboy

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON November 14, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #35 on: 06/11/2017 04:34 PM »
The vertical fin is about 6 feet tall from the aft skirt.  The hydraulic service center for the L1011 is in the right spot for this.  No other aircraft has this in the right place. The placement of the main hooks also connects from the bottom of the center wingbox and the wing of Pegasus. This first stage holds 52k lbs in the right place for the CG to be in MAC for all the flight conditions designed for the L1011 with cargo for ferry.  Fitting Pegasus close to the bottom of the fuselage and having the fairings close off the airflow helps with less buffeting and flutter.  All the support,  like nitrogen,  clean air conditioning, satellite monitoring equipment, battery monitoring, rocket monitoring,  fin sweep, and hook hydraulics have all been modified over the years to get it right.  I bring this up to inform you that not many airplanes are designed to carry a Rocket.  The L1011, passenger/cargo, just happened to work out for Orbital when they made the switch from B52. To reach the specific orbits that the satellite customers want means the place where you launch from, altitude,  rocket performance, and speed at launch from the type of aircraft you are using has to be very flexable. By this I mean, the aircraft might have to be able to land on short thin runways, like Kwaj, reach 40k feet altitude, and 250kts airspeed to reach the customers required orbit. Virgin and Strato have many hours of flight test to get their platforms right. IMHO liquid rockets will take more time to develop than the already proven chemical rocket for airlaunch.

Offline StevenV

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON in June '17 from Kwajalein
« Reply #36 on: 06/14/2017 09:34 PM »
The L1011 was chosen over the DC-10 because the fuselage had twin spars and the Pegasus vertical fin could go between them.

It was chosen because it was cheap, as you noted almost 10 years ago. ;) The twin spars was a lucky coincidence.
It's in the stickied Q&A.

What we did NOT know when we chose the L-1011 is how PERFECT the L-1011 was going to be for that application!

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON November 14, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #37 on: 09/09/2017 06:56 AM »
https://www.nasa.gov/launchschedule/#.U0NkJ6L-6c4
Quote
Date: December 8, 2017
Mission: ICON (Ionospheric Connection Explorer)

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #38 on: 10/04/2017 08:20 PM »
Quote
🚀We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #39 on: 10/05/2017 01:29 AM »
Quote
🚀We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

Does anyone know where these photos were taken?
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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #40 on: 10/05/2017 02:51 AM »
Quote
🚀We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

Does anyone know where these photos were taken?

Jim is the definitive person to answer this, but I think it's at VAFB:  Source : https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/10/04/pegasus-rocket-prepared-for-nasas-icon-mission/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL rocket is being prepared to launch NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON mission. The rocket is being prepared in a facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 02:51 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #41 on: 10/09/2017 08:38 PM »
Quote
🚀We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

Does anyone know where these photos were taken?

That's OATK's Vehicle Assembly Building on the north base side of VAFB. It's a nondescript building with two side-by-side bays for doing horizontal assembly and integration of some of OATK's rockets.

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #42 on: 10/09/2017 11:32 PM »
Quote
We're preparing for an ICONic launch! This Pegasus rocket will launch our Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON): go.nasa.gov/2hOm5Ec

https://twitter.com/nasa_lsp/status/915637769078235150

Does anyone know where these photos were taken?

Jim is the definitive person to answer this, but I think it's at VAFB:  Source : https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/10/04/pegasus-rocket-prepared-for-nasas-icon-mission/

Quote
Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL rocket is being prepared to launch NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON mission. The rocket is being prepared in a facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California.
VAFB Building 1555 is used solely for processing Orbital ATK's Minotaur-C and Pegasus-XL. All other Minotaur and defense target products use VAFB Building 1900.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 11:44 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #43 on: 10/19/2017 10:31 PM »
VAFB Building 1555 is used solely for processing Orbital ATK's Minotaur-C and Pegasus-XL. All other Minotaur and defense target products use VAFB Building 1900.
Both of which can be seen in a new photo from the Minotaur-C mission thread.

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Re: Pegasus to launch ICON Dec. 8, 2017 from Kwajalein
« Reply #44 on: 11/03/2017 03:50 PM »
Quote
Mission Update Nov. 3, 2017 - NASA is postponing launch of the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) until 2018. The mission was previously planned to launch Dec. 8, 2017, on an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket from the Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. NASA and Orbital ATK need additional time to assess a separation component of the rocket. More information on a revised launch date will be provided once it becomes available.

From: https://www.nasa.gov/content/icon-mission-overview

Offline starchasercowboy

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #45 on: 11/19/2017 04:46 PM »
Speculating,  maybe this separation component has something to do with SpaceX Zuma component.  Explosive bolt testing might have found a bad batch?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #46 on: 11/19/2017 05:43 PM »
Speculating,  maybe this separation component has something to do with SpaceX Zuma component.  Explosive bolt testing might have found a bad batch?

Fairly[1] far fetched.  Not every thread is about SpaceX.

1 - see what I did there?

"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Jim

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #47 on: 11/20/2017 12:21 AM »
Speculating,  maybe this separation component has something to do with SpaceX Zuma component.  Explosive bolt testing might have found a bad batch?

Spacex doesn't use explosive bolts

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #48 on: 12/22/2017 09:12 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #49 on: 12/22/2017 11:03 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...
The mission is not restricted to solely US launch Sites, although that is generally preferred. It can also launch from many sites in allied nations.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #50 on: 12/22/2017 11:29 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...
The mission is not restricted to solely US launch Sites, although that is generally preferred. It can also launch from many sites in allied nations.

An example of an "allied nation launch" was from Gran Canaria in the Spanish Canary Islands.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

Offline The Phantom

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #51 on: 12/23/2017 12:10 AM »
The mission is not restricted to solely US launch Sites, although that is generally preferred. It can also launch from many sites in allied nations.

In the case of this mission the two launch site options I cited are the only two launch site options on offer. While Pegasus has indeed launched from other locations, NASA will not, unless there are special conditions identified by the launch customer. Historically, all NASA Pegasus missions have launched from US-controlled territory (Wallops, VAFB, EAFB, RTS, CCAFS). ICON will follow this model.
« Last Edit: 12/23/2017 12:28 AM by The Phantom »

Offline The Phantom

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #52 on: 12/23/2017 12:25 AM »
An example of an "allied nation launch" was from Gran Canaria in the Spanish Canary Islands.

Bad example: Minisat 01 was a Spanish Space Agency payload, so they specified a Spanish launch site. Celestis was a commercial customer on that flight and didn't really care where it launched from.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #53 on: 05/01/2018 09:01 PM »
From GAO's "NASA: Assessments of Major Projects" for 2018
Quote
The ICON project had planned to launch early, in June 2017, but the project has experienced delays associated with its launch vehicle. In January 2017, two of the Pegasus launch vehicle’s three stages were involved in a transport accident. The stages were subsequently returned to the launch vehicle contractor facility for inspection and testing, and no damage was found. The launch vehicle contractor then delivered the stages to Vandenberg Air Force Base for integration and testing activities. Due to conflicts at the launch vehicle range, the earliest available launch date was December 2017, which resulted in a 6-month launch delay from the planned June 2017 launch date.

In September 2017, however, an anomaly identified in bolt cutter assembly confidence testing—testing to show that the bolts that hold the launch vehicle and payload together will separate as planned during launch—resulted in additional delays, but the magnitude of the delay is unknown. One of nine bolt cutter assemblies failed to fracture a bolt during testing. As a result, NASA and the contractor halted testing and began an investigation of the anomaly, which is ongoing. NASA’s Launch Services Program is working with the launch vehicle provider to identify the root cause of the anomaly, evaluate options to resolve the issue, and determine a new launch readiness date. In February 2018, NASA determined the project will launch no earlier than June 2018, but this date is still under review.

As of January 2018, the observatory remains in the Orbital-ATK cleanroom in Gilbert, Arizona in a safe state—under continuous purge and performing periodic monitoring of the battery voltage—awaiting determination of a new launch date and shipment for launch vehicle integration.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - 2018
« Reply #54 on: 05/02/2018 09:07 PM »
Tweet from Orbital ATK:
Quote
The Orbital ATK-designed and built ICON spacecraft has arrived in Vandenberg ahead of its June 14 launch. ICON will launch from Kwajalein Atoll aboard one of our #Pegasus rockets!

Tweet from NASA Sun & Space:
Quote
ICON is headed toward launch!

The spacecraft has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and its launch from Kwajalein Atoll is now scheduled for June 14 US time / June 15 local time. #NASAICON https://go.nasa.gov/2HMI6M1

[NASA] ICON Spacecraft Arrives at Vandenberg

Offline eeergo

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #55 on: 05/03/2018 12:00 AM »
In September 2017, however, an anomaly identified in bolt cutter assembly confidence testing—testing to show that the bolts that hold the launch vehicle and payload together will separate as planned during launch—resulted in additional delays, but the magnitude of the delay is unknown. One of nine bolt cutter assemblies failed to fracture a bolt during testing. As a result, NASA and the contractor halted testing and began an investigation of the anomaly, which is ongoing. NASA’s Launch Services Program is working with the launch vehicle provider to identify the root cause of the anomaly, evaluate options to resolve the issue, and determine a new launch readiness date. In February 2018, NASA determined the project will launch no earlier than June 2018, but this date is still under review.

Interesting (especially so close after the Zuma debacle) that the Parker Solar Probe+ is also experiencing problems associated with its separation mechanism. Shouldn't spacecraft adapters be one of the most tried-and-true (not to mention simple) components in an LV?
-DaviD-

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #56 on: 05/22/2018 08:53 AM »
May 21, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-085

NASA Invites Media to View New Mission to Study the Frontier of Space

Media will have the opportunity June 4-5 for tours, interviews and photographs of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) as it prepares to leave Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for a scheduled mid-June launchfrom Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

ICON team members will be available to answer questions about Orbital ATK’s Pegasus XL rocket, which is attached to the company’s L-1011 “Stargazer” aircraft and will carry ICON into orbit. There also will be opportunities to tour the aircraft and witness itstakeoff on its ferry flight to the island.The observatory will leave Vandenberg June 5 for ascheduled launch on June 15 from Kwajalein (June 14 in the continental United States).

ICON will study the frontier of space: the dynamic zone high in Earth’s atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above. This area at times can be filled with such beauty as the aurora, and at other times experience increases in radiation that can interfere with radio communications, satellites and even astronauts. ICON will help determine the physical process at play in this space environment and pave the way for mitigating their effects on our technology, communications systems and society.

This event is open only to U.S. citizens who possess a government-issued photo identification. One form of government-issued photo identification is required and must be a driver’s license or passport.

To apply for media credentials, go to https://media.ksc.nasa.gov. Media interested in attending this event must also RSVP via email at [email protected] In your RSVP, please include your driver’s license number and its state of issuance. The deadline for submitting credentials and to RSVP is no later than noon EDT Tuesday, May 22.

Monday, June 4

There will be an opportunity to tour the Orbital ATK L-1011 Stargazer aircraft and interview officials involved in the launch and mission.

Interview participants:

•Omar Baez, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services Program
•Bryan Baldwin, Pegasus Program senior director, Orbital ATK
•Thomas Immel, ICON principle investigator, UC Berkeley

Media should meet at the Vandenberg south gate parking lot on California State Road 246 and 13th Street at noon PDT to be escorted.Media must present a valid driver’s license or passport to receive a base pass.

Tuesday, June 5

There will be an opportunity to view the takeoff of the ferry flight of the Orbital ATK L-1011 Stargazer with the Pegasus XL rocket that will air launch ICON.

Media should meet at the Vandenberg south gate parking lot on California State Road 246 and 13th Street at 9:30 a.m. to be escorted.Media must present a valid driver’s license or passport to receive a base pass.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the Explorer Program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory leads the ICON mission. The ICON spacecraft was built by Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch service acquisition, integration, analysis, and launch management.

For more information about NASA’s ICON mission, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/icon

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #57 on: 05/23/2018 02:11 PM »
May 21, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-085

NASA Invites Media to View New Mission to Study the Frontier of Space

<snip>
The observatory will leave Vandenberg June 5 for a scheduled launch on June 15 from Kwajalein (June 14 in the continental United States).

<snip>

FYI, if I research correctly:
Kwajalein is on Marshall Islands Standard Time, UTC +12:00.

When will launch-time be announced?
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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #58 on: 05/23/2018 06:10 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

ICON will fly in an orbit around Earth at a 27-degree inclination and at an altitude of some 360 miles.

So why NOT launch from KSC/CCAFS?
I know some are looking forward to a trip to the far Pacific ;) but that's not NASA's criterion.
It's a lot closer to the west coast and easier to support.
The Stargazer can fly 1.5 degrees (167 km) south and launch due east from east of the Bahamas to hit the target inclination.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #59 on: 05/23/2018 09:23 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

ICON will fly in an orbit around Earth at a 27-degree inclination and at an altitude of some 360 miles.

So why NOT launch from KSC/CCAFS?
I know some are looking forward to a trip to the far Pacific ;) but that's not NASA's criterion.
It's a lot closer to the west coast and easier to support.
The Stargazer can fly 1.5 degrees (167 km) south and launch due east from east of the Bahamas to hit the target inclination.

I think the reason why the L-1011 is not taking off from Cape Canaveral is because of the Eastern Range maintenance, so Kwajalein is being used as the takeoff site for ICON.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #60 on: 05/23/2018 09:43 PM »
Seems that this mission’s launch site is now a toss-up: because of the lengthy delay the mission’s experiencing, analyses are now being done to determine if it can be launched out of the Cape. Kwaj is a very busy place, and it may be very difficult to find a slot in its schedule. It all depends on mass - the s/c came in at the low end of its estimated mass. That makes a Cape launch feasible - if the solution to the current issue doesn’t drive up the total LV mass. No firm decisions yet...

ICON will fly in an orbit around Earth at a 27-degree inclination and at an altitude of some 360 miles.

So why NOT launch from KSC/CCAFS?
I know some are looking forward to a trip to the far Pacific ;) but that's not NASA's criterion.
It's a lot closer to the west coast and easier to support.
The Stargazer can fly 1.5 degrees (167 km) south and launch due east from east of the Bahamas to hit the target inclination.

I think the reason why the L-1011 is not taking off from Cape Canaveral is because of the Eastern Range maintenance, so Kwajalein is being used as the takeoff site for ICON.

It has nothing to do with Eastern Range maintenance.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #61 on: 05/26/2018 06:09 AM »
It has nothing to do with Eastern Range maintenance.
[/quote]

No, it doesn't. The launch location is driven by the mission requirements and how the launch vehicle can deliver the desired orbit. I don't know the specifics of why ICON wants to reach orbit from Kwajalein - orbital mechanics is not my strong suite - but it is not an insignificant labor to adjust the mission to the Eastern Range.

BTW, Kwaj is NOT a tropical paradise. Taking launch ops out there is not considered a "vacation" by anyone. It is not Tahiti. Working there invokes some serious hardships. My first week on Kwaj was one of the most stressful work periods I can remember. It is not selected as a launch site trivially.

We have four days on the RTS range to pull this off - the RTS schedule is that tight. If we don't pull it off in those four days, we'll have to fall back to KSC/CCAFS and try again in October.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #62 on: 05/27/2018 03:43 AM »
Is the L-1011 at Kwaj? IF so, when did it fly from VAFB to Kwaj?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #63 on: 05/27/2018 04:11 AM »
Quote
It has nothing to do with Eastern Range maintenance.

No, it doesn't. The launch location is driven by the mission requirements and how the launch vehicle can deliver the desired orbit. I don't know the specifics of why ICON wants to reach orbit from Kwajalein - orbital mechanics is not my strong suite - but it is not an insignificant labor to adjust the mission to the Eastern Range.

BTW, Kwaj is NOT a tropical paradise. Taking launch ops out there is not considered a "vacation" by anyone. It is not Tahiti. Working there invokes some serious hardships. My first week on Kwaj was one of the most stressful work periods I can remember. It is not selected as a launch site trivially.

We have four days on the RTS range to pull this off - the RTS schedule is that tight. If we don't pull it off in those four days, we'll have to fall back to KSC/CCAFS and try again in October.

I am glad we have a real authority discussing this instead of guessing. (Being honest)
Your comment was the source of my joke (sort of got lost) about the tropical vacation.
But doesn’t the Pegasus have MORE capacity into the 27 deg Target orbit from CCAFS at 28.5 deg N than from the 8.7 deg N Kwajalein?  Especially when the Stargazer can fly south to 27 deg N and launch due East?
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.
« Last Edit: 05/27/2018 04:28 AM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #64 on: 05/27/2018 05:10 PM »
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Delta II launched GLAST into a 25.6 deg. inclination from Cape Canaveral in 2008.

Offline ZachS09

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #65 on: 05/27/2018 05:30 PM »
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Delta II launched GLAST into a 25.6 deg. inclination from Cape Canaveral in 2008.

The reason why Fermi was placed into a 25.6-degree orbit was because of the plane-changing that was done during the late ascent.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #66 on: 05/27/2018 07:08 PM »
Is the L-1011 at Kwaj? IF so, when did it fly from VAFB to Kwaj?

No, Stargazer is here at VAFB. We did pre-mate electrical checks on the A/C yesterday, and Stargazer/Pegasus mate is scheduled for June 2. Flyout starts June 5, with landing at Kwaj June 6.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #67 on: 05/27/2018 07:10 PM »
I am glad we have a real authority discussing this instead of guessing. (Being honest)
Your comment was the source of my joke (sort of got lost) about the tropical vacation.
But doesn’t the Pegasus have MORE capacity into the 27 deg Target orbit from CCAFS at 28.5 deg N than from the 8.7 deg N Kwajalein?  Especially when the Stargazer can fly south to 27 deg N and launch due East?
I agree it’s not possible to launch into the target orbit directly from CCAFS but that’s supposed to be an advantage of air launch.

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

I'm not the right guy to answer this. I just don't know much about putting payloads in the desired orbit from differing launch sites. I bow to anyone who's more familiar with the numbers in the Pegasus Payload User's guide.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #68 on: 05/28/2018 02:24 PM »

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

The capacity should be essentially the same for both sites.  Look at launching from the equator and the northern limit.  At the equator, the full earth velocity V is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern limit, only V*cos(i) is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  In between it's more complicated mathematically, but the terms still cancel.  ( V*cos(b)*cos(90o-sin-1(cos(i)/cos(b)) = v*cos(i), since the cos(b) cancels, where b is the launch lattitude). So there should be very little difference in capacity.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #69 on: 05/28/2018 03:10 PM »

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

The capacity should be essentially the same for both sites.  Look at launching from the equator and the northern limit.  At the equator, the full earth velocity V is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern limit, only V*cos(i) is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  In between it's more complicated mathematically, but the terms still cancel.  ( V*cos(b)*cos(90o-sin-1(cos(i)/cos(b)) = v*cos(i), since the cos(b) cancels, where b is the launch lattitude). So there should be very little difference in capacity.

Aren't there more launch opportunities from the equatorial site though? They can at least pick from ascenting and descending nodes.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #70 on: 05/28/2018 03:27 PM »
NASA's launch schedule shows the launch time as 10:06 am Eastern = 14:06 UTC (i.e. night launch from Kwajalein).
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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #71 on: 05/30/2018 01:56 AM »

Edit: Belay that. By orbital mechanics the Pegasus would have very slightly more capacity from Kwai, because of its slightly higher easterly rotational velocity.  Plus they can launch from within the radar coverage of the base, rather than behind 300 km to the southeast. That’s my guess at the reason.

The capacity should be essentially the same for both sites.  Look at launching from the equator and the northern limit.  At the equator, the full earth velocity V is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern limit, only V*cos(i) is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  In between it's more complicated mathematically, but the terms still cancel.  ( V*cos(b)*cos(90o-sin-1(cos(i)/cos(b)) = v*cos(i), since the cos(b) cancels, where b is the launch lattitude). So there should be very little difference in capacity.

Aren't there more launch opportunities from the equatorial site though? They can at least pick from ascenting and descending nodes.

Also fewer other launches to fit within and the Eastern Range maintenance downtime is scheduled for the upcoming week(s).
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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #72 on: 05/30/2018 02:35 AM »
Actually, it’s tough to find a suitable break in the RTS range schedule for a space launch. MDA takes up most of the schedule.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #73 on: 05/30/2018 06:06 AM »
May 29, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-087

NASA Previews Mission to Study Frontier of Space

NASA will host a media briefing at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, June 4, on the agency’s mission to explore Earth’s ionosphere and the processes there that impact life on Earth’s surface. The event will air live on NASA Television, the agency’s website and Facebook Live.

Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) will study the layer of charged particles extending from about 50 to 360 miles above Earth’s surface, through which radio communications and GPS signals travel, and the processes there that can distort or even disrupt these signals. Knowledge gleaned from this mission will aid in mitigating its effects on satellites and communications technology worldwide.

The event will be held at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Participants will include:
•Willis Jenkins, ICON program executive at NASA Headquarters, Washington
•Thomas Immel, mission principal investigator at the University of California Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory
•Rebecca Bishop, ionospheric research scientist at Aerospace Corporation
•Douglas Rowland, mission scientist at Goddard

Media who would like to attend the briefing or participate by phone must email their name, media affiliation and phone number to Karen Fox at [email protected] by 12:30 p.m. June 4.

The public can send questions on social media by using #askNASA at any time during the event.

ICON will launch June 14 Eastern time on an Orbital ATK Pegasus XL rocket from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and deploy from Orbital’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft.

For more information about the mission, visit:

https://nasa.gov/ICON

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #74 on: 05/30/2018 06:09 PM »
NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft is partially mated to the starboard faring of Orbital ATK's Pegasus XL rocket on May 21, 2018, inside Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The explorer will launch on June 15, 2018, from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands (June 14 in the continental United States) on the Pegasus XL, which is attached to the company's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft. ICON will study the frontier of space - the dynamic zone high in Earth's atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above. The explorer will help determine the physics of Earth's space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology and communications systems.

Photo credit: Orbital ATK/Kettner Griswold

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #75 on: 06/06/2018 08:09 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #76 on: 06/07/2018 02:51 AM »
Does anyone have info on the drop location coordinates?
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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #77 on: 06/07/2018 01:16 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

 - Ed Kyle

Nope, already seeing it in the press as  Northrop Grumman Pegasus.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #78 on: 06/07/2018 01:24 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

 - Ed Kyle

Nope, already seeing it in the press as  Northrop Grumman Pegasus.
Interesting.  Orbital ATK officially signing off on Twitter, and the official change-over date appears to have been June 6, 2018.  I'm pretty sure that Pegasus still sports Orbital ATK logos though ...

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
 
"@OrbitalATK
 16h
16 hours ago
 
More
Today, we begin a new chapter as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. As we sign off, we hope you will continue to keep up with our products & programs by following @NorthropGrumman. We’d like to thank all of you for engaging with us & sharing our content over the years!"

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/07/2018 01:33 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - June 14, 2018
« Reply #79 on: 06/07/2018 05:24 PM »
Given this week's announcements about FTC approval for the Northrop Grumman buyout, will this be the final launch under the Orbital ATK banner?

 - Ed Kyle

Nope, already seeing it in the press as  Northrop Grumman Pegasus.
Interesting.  Orbital ATK officially signing off on Twitter, and the official change-over date appears to have been June 6, 2018.  I'm pretty sure that Pegasus still sports Orbital ATK logos though ...

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
 
"@OrbitalATK
 16h
16 hours ago
 
More
Today, we begin a new chapter as Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems. As we sign off, we hope you will continue to keep up with our products & programs by following @NorthropGrumman. We’d like to thank all of you for engaging with us & sharing our content over the years!"

 - Ed Kyle
yes this is the last flight to sport an OATK logo.

New website: http://www.northropgrumman.com/AboutUs/BusinessSectors/InnovationSystems/Pages/default.aspx

Also Ed the Motor Catalogs are now behind a Credential Wall and no longer considered public information. you have to email the NG PBS Dev and go through a review process to be granted a copy.


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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #81 on: 06/09/2018 02:11 AM »
Is the L-1011 at Kwaj? IF so, when did it fly from VAFB to Kwaj?

No, Stargazer is here at VAFB. We did pre-mate electrical checks on the A/C yesterday, and Stargazer/Pegasus mate is scheduled for June 2. Flyout starts June 5, with landing at Kwaj June 6.

Thanks Kim .... assuming it did fly on June 5/6 and is now returning to VAFB do you have return dates?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #82 on: 06/09/2018 02:30 AM »
Return flights, Honolulu to Vandenberg:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/06/08/airplane-with-pegasus-rocket-returning-to-california-postponing-nasa-satellite-launch/
Carrier jet with Pegasus rocket returning to California, postponing NASA satellite launch
Updated 6 pm EDT, Friday, June 8
Quote
The online flight tracking website FlightAware.com showed the charter plane with members of the ICON team took off from Honolulu on Friday bound for Vandenberg. A flight plan for the L-1011 aircraft, carrying the Pegasus rocket, showed it was scheduled to leave Hawaii later Friday.
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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #83 on: 06/09/2018 06:23 AM »
Thanks Kim .... assuming it did fly on June 5/6 and is now returning to VAFB do you have return dates?

Launch efforts will now move to CCAFS in October. There's no more room for ICON on the RTS range this year.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #84 on: 06/09/2018 03:37 PM »
It's as if this is a maiden launch campaign or something. Mishandled solid motors, 6 month delay. Second-guessing the size of frangible bolts in the fairing system, 6 month delay. Problem discovered during a captive carry ferry flight, another delay of at least 4 months. This doesn't seem like a well-run operation. This seems like more trouble than it's worth for NASA LSP.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #85 on: 06/11/2018 08:05 AM »
All these problems and its high cost doesn't bode well for the future of Pegasus XL. This could end up being the last flight of this rocket.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #86 on: 06/11/2018 02:02 PM »
All these problems and its high cost doesn't bode well for the future of Pegasus XL. This could end up being the last flight of this rocket.

ICON masses 291 kg.  It could almost fit on RocketLab, which has a 225 kg capacity for about 1/4 of the cost - $10M vs $40M.  And though RocketLab has only two flights to date, its scheduling certainty looks comparable.  Reliability has yet to be determined.

So Pegasus will likely be squeezed from both ends.  If a small satellite is enough, keep it less than 225 kg and use RocketLab and save money.  If it's too big for that, get a Falcon-9 for not too much more.  If you can find a partner, such as Iridum and Grace did, it might even be cheaper than Pegasus.  And if Launcher One works (or somewhat less likely any of the other 1000 kg to orbit startups), then it gets squeezed directly, with similar capabilities for lower cost.  And Vega already offers more payload for a similar price.

Overall, it's hard to see much of a niche where Pegasus is the logical choice.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #87 on: 06/11/2018 11:40 PM »
All these problems and its high cost doesn't bode well for the future of Pegasus XL. This could end up being the last flight of this rocket.

Very unlikely. I rather expect IXPE to be awarded to NG/Pegasus.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #88 on: 06/12/2018 06:26 AM »
Very unlikely. I rather expect IXPE to be awarded to NG/Pegasus.

Spacecraft mass is 292 kg from the fact sheet. The Minotaur 4/Orion 38 launched the 140 kg ORS-5 into 0° 600 km orbit, but that looks too low in mass for IXPE. LauncherOne could do it, but probably could not get qualified in time. Electron is out due to the inclination and not having the performance. Looks like NASA doesn't have much choice.

"The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer will be launched on or after November 20, 2020 from Kwajelein Atoll into a 540-km circular orbit at 0° inclination."

https://ixpe.msfc.nasa.gov/about/index.html
https://ixpe.msfc.nasa.gov/about/fact_sheet.html
« Last Edit: 06/12/2018 06:30 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #89 on: 06/12/2018 06:41 PM »
Very unlikely. I rather expect IXPE to be awarded to NG/Pegasus.

Spacecraft mass is 292 kg from the fact sheet. The Minotaur 4/Orion 38 launched the 140 kg ORS-5 into 0° 600 km orbit, but that looks too low in mass for IXPE. LauncherOne could do it, but probably could not get qualified in time. Electron is out due to the inclination and not having the performance. Looks like NASA doesn't have much choice.

"The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer will be launched on or after November 20, 2020 from Kwajelein Atoll into a 540-km circular orbit at 0° inclination."

https://ixpe.msfc.nasa.gov/about/index.html
https://ixpe.msfc.nasa.gov/about/fact_sheet.html
Yes, the fact sheet baselines Pegasus.  There aren't many launchers that can get to an equatorial LEO.
Quote
Mission Design and Operations Concept
• Pegasus launch from Kwajalein (RTS) on or after 11/20/2020
• 540-km circular orbit at nominal 0° inclination
• Two-year mission
• Point-and-stare observations of known targets
• Science Operations Center (SOC) at MSFC
• Mission Operations Center (MOC) at CU/LASP
• Ground Station at Malindi (backup: Singapore)

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #90 on: 06/12/2018 07:24 PM »
Very unlikely. I rather expect IXPE to be awarded to NG/Pegasus.

Spacecraft mass is 292 kg from the fact sheet. The Minotaur 4/Orion 38 launched the 140 kg ORS-5 into 0° 600 km orbit, but that looks too low in mass for IXPE. LauncherOne could do it, but probably could not get qualified in time. Electron is out due to the inclination and not having the performance. Looks like NASA doesn't have much choice.

"The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer will be launched on or after November 20, 2020 from Kwajelein Atoll into a 540-km circular orbit at 0° inclination."

https://ixpe.msfc.nasa.gov/about/index.html
https://ixpe.msfc.nasa.gov/about/fact_sheet.html
Yes, the fact sheet baselines Pegasus.  There aren't many launchers that can get to an equatorial LEO.
Quote
Mission Design and Operations Concept
• Pegasus launch from Kwajalein (RTS) on or after 11/20/2020
• 540-km circular orbit at nominal 0° inclination
• Two-year mission
• Point-and-stare observations of known targets
• Science Operations Center (SOC) at MSFC
• Mission Operations Center (MOC) at CU/LASP
• Ground Station at Malindi (backup: Singapore)

I think all the DIVM, AV 401, and F9R/ASDS can do 2000+ kg to 540 km circular equatorial LEO. And Delta II out of Canaveral, if that were still available, could do 400+ kg. Perhaps Minotaur C or Antares 2xx as well.

Of course Pegasus is cheaper than any of those, at least at the moment.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #91 on: 06/13/2018 05:31 AM »
I think all the DIVM, AV 401, and F9R/ASDS can do 2000+ kg to 540 km circular equatorial LEO. And Delta II out of Canaveral, if that were still available, could do 400+ kg. Perhaps Minotaur C or Antares 2xx as well.

Of course Pegasus is cheaper than any of those, at least at the moment.

Yes, the IXPE team is designing the spacecraft and instrument compliment to fit in the Pegasus, including the telescoping boom that  folds small for launch and expands to set the proper, 4 meter distance between the Multiple (X-Ray) Mirror Assemblies and the (pixelated gas cell) Detector Units.

Someone on NSF, and I am ashamed to admit that I can't remember who, modeled a Falcon 9 launch to a zero degree inclination orbit.  The potential payload was around 3000 kg, and that was probably before Block 5.  If IXPE could have shared the ride on Falcon 9, (always very difficult to arrange, just ask Arianespace) it would be cheaper than Pegasus, partially because they could launch at the full 5 meter length, and obviate the boom and all its complications.

edit: But that's not going to happen.
edit 2: And it's wandering off topic for this ICON thread.  IXPE stuff goes here.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2018 02:32 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #92 on: 06/13/2018 01:00 PM »
Ride-sharing to equatorial LEO isn't very plausible since very few payloads go there. Who would they share with?

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #93 on: 06/13/2018 08:58 PM »
I think all the DIVM, AV 401, and F9R/ASDS can do 2000+ kg to 540 km circular equatorial LEO. And Delta II out of Canaveral, if that were still available, could do 400+ kg. Perhaps Minotaur C or Antares 2xx as well.
Someone on NSF, and I am ashamed to admit that I can't remember who, modeled a Falcon 9 launch to a zero degree inclination orbit.  The potential payload was around 3000 kg, and that was probably before Block 5. 

Searching NSF is so hard it's easier to do the calculations from scratch.  Let's do a 250 km orbit going 7760 m/s.  Then making a 28 degree turn while leaving speed unchanged takes 3754 m/s.  At an ISP of 348, this takes a mass ratio of 3.0.  Since a Falcon 9 GTO launch puts about 24t in orbit (second stage + fuel + payload), then the burnout mass is about 8t.   Given the second stage mass of about 4.5t, that leaves 3500 kg for the payload.   But you don't want to burn to depletion, so maybe a little less.   3000 kg seems reasonable.

The same line of reasoning will show that for any rocket, the 0 degree from the cape mass will be about, more or less, 1/2 of the GTO mass.  (very rough since ISP and second stage dry mass differ by quite a bit).  However,  given that that IXPE is only 292 kg, any rocket that can do GTO at all can probably do it.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #94 on: 07/06/2018 01:52 PM »
The explanation for the move of ICON from Kwaj to Cape in this SFN article makes no sense to me.  According to NASA, ICON is headed to a 27 degree circular orbit.  The article states that it was originally slated for Kwaj since the Cape did not have the desired performance.

But this seems odd.  Surely the L-1011 can fly south from the 28.5 degree Cape to get within the 27 degree orbit - that's only about half way to Miami.  And if it launches within the 27 degree orbit, then no plane change is required, and the performance should be the same from both sites.  At the equator, the full speed of the Earth is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern tip of the orbit, only cos(i) of the Earth's speed is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  The two effects cancel, and the capacity is the same.

So what am I missing?  Perhaps the Eastern range cannot cover the launch if they fly south first, so a plane change is required after all?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #95 on: 07/06/2018 01:56 PM »
The explanation for the move of ICON from Kwaj to Cape in this SFN article makes no sense to me.  According to NASA, ICON is headed to a 27 degree circular orbit.  The article states that it was originally slated for Kwaj since the Cape did not have the desired performance.

But this seems odd.  Surely the L-1011 can fly south from the 28.5 degree Cape to get within the 27 degree orbit - that's only about half way to Miami.  And if it launches within the 27 degree orbit, then no plane change is required, and the performance should be the same from both sites.  At the equator, the full speed of the Earth is available, but only cos(i) is in the direction you need.  At the northern tip of the orbit, only cos(i) of the Earth's speed is available, but it's all in the direction you need.  The two effects cancel, and the capacity is the same.

So what am I missing?  Perhaps the Eastern range cannot cover the launch if they fly south first, so a plane change is required after all?
Kim Keller's explanation upthread seems correct to me.  He gives range availability as the reason for the shift.  You are right about the orbital mechanics I believe, but I'm pretty sure the L1011 cannot drop launch off, say, Jupiter, Florida given the presence of the Bahamas, etc..

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/06/2018 02:00 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Kwajalein - TBA, 2018
« Reply #96 on: 08/24/2018 05:59 PM »
SFN Launch Schedule, updated Aug. 24:
ICON launch date and window announced:
October 6, 08:00 to 09:30 UTC = 4:00 to 5:30 a.m. EDT.
Support your local planetarium!


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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October, 2018
« Reply #98 on: 09/01/2018 11:53 PM »
We flew Stargazer for 45 minutes on Novenber 19th.  Crew had only one squawk.  Last flying L1011 in the world and still flying great.  Got 2 missions on the books to last us to 2017 and we hope Pegasus will take us into the 2020's. 8)

Just found this forum via an article on the Pegasus launch. For a few months, Stargazer was at Guardian Jet Center which is on my route to work. Normally there's just smaller private jets parked there, so imagine the shock of seeing the ass-end of this beast sticking out of Guardian's hangar one chilly February morning. I love living near the airport,  and this was definitely a bright spot of my daily drive. I'll always have a soft spot for Stargazer.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October, 2018
« Reply #99 on: 09/03/2018 08:04 AM »
August 31, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-131

NASA Invites Media to View Spacecraft to Study the Frontier of Space

NASA is inviting media to view NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft Thursday, Oct. 4, ahead of its scheduled launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket Saturday, Oct. 6, at 4 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

ICON will study Earth’s ionosphere to help determine the physical process at play in this frontier of space where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology and society.

Media will be able to interview ICON team members, see the rocket, and tour Northrop Grumman’s L-1011 “Stargazer” aircraft that will carry the rocket over the Atlantic Ocean, where it will detach and carry ICON into orbit.

Media prelaunch activities will take place at CCAFS and neighboring NASA Kennedy Space Center. Credentialing deadlines are as follows:

•Media who are U.S. citizens must apply by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27.

•Media who are not U.S. citizens must apply by noon Tuesday, Sept. 4, for access to CCAFS; or by 4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, for access to Kennedy media activities only.

All media accreditation requests must be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

For questions about accreditation, media representatives should email [email protected] For other questions, contact Kennedy’s newsroom at 321-867-2468.

For more information about ICON visit

https://www.nasa.gov/icon

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October, 2018
« Reply #100 on: 09/04/2018 11:49 PM »
This is not ICON specific, but I didn't know if there was a better place to post this. The Smithsonian Channel's Mighty Planes series is showing an episode on the Pegasus XL and it's carrier aircraft, Stargazer, this Sunday Sept. 9 at 9:00 PM EDT. The show repeats 3 hours later (9:00 PM PDT) and several times during the following week.

The channel lets you watch some shows on line. I don't know how soon after the episode airs that you can watch it via the internet.


https://www.smithsonianchannel.com/shows/mighty-planes/stargazer-l-1011/1003002/3461841
In satellite operations, schedules are governed by the laws of physics and bounded by the limits of technology.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October, 2018
« Reply #101 on: 09/14/2018 04:45 PM »
ICON Launch Delayed; New Launch Date to Come

Bob Granath September 14, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman have decided to delay the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, to allow time to address a quality issue with a vendor-supplied electrical connector on the launch vehicle. Northrop Grumman does not expect an extended delay and will work with the range to determine a new launch date. The ICON spacecraft will launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October, 2018
« Reply #102 on: 09/21/2018 04:02 PM »
NASA’s ICON launch now targeted for Oct. 26 – Kennedy Space Center

Bob Granath September 21, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman are now targeting Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, for the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON. The spacecraft will launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is 90 minutes starting at 4 a.m. EDT and ICON will be launching off the coast of Daytona at 39,000 ft. at a heading of 105.0 degrees. The launch was postponed from Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, to allow time to address a quality issue with a vendor-supplied electrical connector on the launch vehicle, which has been resolved.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #103 on: 10/02/2018 07:35 PM »
Will be doing an interview with Northrop managers regarding Pegasus and ICON on Wednesday (10/3) morning.

If you have any questions you'd like asked, PM them to me.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2018 07:36 PM by ChrisGebhardt »


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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #105 on: 10/16/2018 05:26 PM »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #106 on: 10/16/2018 05:29 PM »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #107 on: 10/16/2018 05:31 PM »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #108 on: 10/16/2018 05:31 PM »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #109 on: 10/17/2018 02:41 AM »
What is the significance of the name "Linda" on the Payload fairing shroud?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #110 on: 10/18/2018 05:57 AM »
October 17, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY M18-154

NASA to Host Briefings, Events for ICON Launch to Study Space Weather

NASA will host a series of media briefings leading up to the Friday, Oct. 26, launch of its Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission to study the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above.

The launch and briefings, which begin Wednesday, Oct. 24, will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The spacecraft, which is undergoing final preparations, will launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The 90-minute launch window will open at 4 a.m. EDT. The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed.

Mission coverage is as follows:

Wednesday, Oct. 24

•1 p.m. – ICON Mission Briefing

Although the deadline has passed to attend the briefing, media can ask questions via phone. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact Kennedy’s News Center at 321-867-2468.

Thursday, Oct. 25

•3 p.m. – NASA EDGE program

NASA EDGE will broadcast live from Cape Canaveral to discuss the ICON spacecraft operations, science, and engineering. In addition, NASA EDGE will highlight the launch processing of the L-1011 Stargazer with the Pegasus rocket.

Friday, Oct. 26

•3:45 a.m. – Launch coverage begins

ICON will study the ionosphere, where terrestrial and space weather meet. This dynamic zone, high in Earth’s atmosphere, can be a source of great beauty – such as the aurora – but also can be disruptive to radio communications, satellites and astronaut health. ICON will help determine the physical processes at play in this frontier of space, thus paving the way for mitigation of these disruptive effects.

More information on the ICON mission, prelaunch and launch events is available at:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/icon-launch-briefings-and-events

Join the conversation on social media by following on Twitter and Facebook at:

https://twitter.com/NASASun

and

https://www.facebook.com/NASASunScience/

Offline Jim

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« Last Edit: 10/19/2018 01:41 PM by Jim »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #112 on: 10/19/2018 02:49 PM »
What is the significance of the name "Linda" on the Payload fairing shroud?

The LSP Mission Manager is given the privilege of naming the rocket after someone. In the past, there have been wives' names, kids' names, friends' names, or - this case - the name of someone who contributed greatly to the success of the mission. In this case, that's one of our admins. She did tons of work organizing travel for the team, which was a real challenge for this mission.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #113 on: 10/20/2018 01:23 AM »
Unboxing a New NASA Spacecraft


NASA Goddard
Published on Oct 19, 2018

Go behind the scenes as we unbox NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, after its arrival at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Northrop Grumman engineer Steve Turek and NASA EDGE's Chris Giersch walk us through the whole process of unboxing a spacecraft - from the instrument that records every tiny bump on its journey to the special crane used to lift the spacecraft to its new home.

ICON launches on Oct. 26, 2018, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to study Earth's interface to space. Read more about the ICON mission: nasa.gov/icon

Music credits: 'Yellow Flicker' by Andrew John Skeet [PRS], Andrew Michael Britton [PRS], David Stephen Goldsmith [PRS]; 'Passing Images' by Andrew Michael Britton [PRS], David Stephen Goldsmith [PRS]; 'Push Away' by Andrew Michael Britton [PRS], David Stephen Goldsmith [PRS], Mikey Rowe [PRS]

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12971

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Joy Ng

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmAf11F2JRo?t=001

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #115 on: 10/22/2018 01:57 PM »
I'm in Cocoa Beach this week, was hoping to see the launch. Since it's launching at night from the air off of Daytona Beach, will I be able to see anything from the beach in Cocoa Beach?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #116 on: 10/22/2018 06:57 PM »
Stargazer Aircraft Arrives with Pegasus XL, ICON Satellite

Bob Granath Posted on October 22, 2018

The Northrup Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft arrived Oct. 19, 2018 at the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida following a cross-country trip from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Attached beneath the Stargazer is the company’s Pegasus XL rocket with NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite on board.

ICON will study the ionosphere, where terrestrial weather meets space weather. This dynamic zone high in Earth’s atmosphere can be a source of great beauty such as the aurora, but can also be disruptive to radio communications and satellites and astronaut health. ICON will help determine the physical processes at play in this “frontier of space,” thus paving the way for mitigating their effects on our technology, communications systems and society.

ICON was processed and prepared for its mission at Vandenberg. The satellite is scheduled for its airborne launch aboard the Pegasus XL rocket after takeoff from the Skid Strip during a 90-minute launch window opening at 4:00 a.m. EDT on Oct. 26.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #117 on: 10/22/2018 07:01 PM »
I'm in Cocoa Beach this week, was hoping to see the launch. Since it's launching at night from the air off of Daytona Beach, will I be able to see anything from the beach in Cocoa Beach?

Sorry, but no. The drop point is too far out.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #118 on: 10/23/2018 06:46 AM »
The Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL vehicle is being prepared for its move from Building 1555 to the hot pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, on Oct. 14, 2018. NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) is secured inside the rocket's payload fairing. The Pegasus XL rocket will be attached beneath the company's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft, and travel to the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. ICON will launch aboard the Pegasus XL rocket on Oct. 26, 2018, from the Skid Strip at the Cape. ICON will study the frontier of space - the dynamic zone high in Earth's atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather above. The explorer will help determine the physics of Earth's space environment and pave the way for mitigating its effects on our technology, communications systems and society.

Photo credit: NASA/Randy Beaudoin
« Last Edit: 10/23/2018 06:47 AM by jacqmans »

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #119 on: 10/23/2018 07:36 PM »
The ICON broadcasts have disappeared from the NASA TV schedule.
Does anyone know a new launch date?

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #120 on: 10/23/2018 07:42 PM »
Slipped about a week. Was mentioned in L2 yesterday, but without a new date. Florida Today saying might not be before October 31.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #121 on: 10/23/2018 08:57 PM »
NASA’s ICON Launch Delayed; New Launch Date to Come

Bob Granath Posted on October 23, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman have delayed the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, to conduct further pre-launch testing on the rocket. Upon completion of the testing, a new launch date will be established.

The spacecraft is launching aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The L-1011 Stargazer carrying the Pegasus rocket arrived at CCAFS last Friday and will remain in Florida to conduct the testing. The spacecraft remains in good health.

The pre-launch mission briefing originally scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24, also has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #123 on: 10/27/2018 12:02 AM »
ICON Prelaunch Flight Test Set for Oct. 27

Al Feinberg Posted on October 26, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman will be conducting a flight of the L-1011 carrying Pegasus on Saturday, Oct. 27 to perform further prelaunch testing. Once the flight is completed, the team will review the test data and ensure readiness to proceed with remaining preparations for launch. This includes working with the Eastern Range to determine the new launch date. Currently, there is Range availability from Oct. 31 through Nov. 8.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2018/10/26/icon-prelaunch-flight-test-set-for-oct-27/


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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #125 on: 10/30/2018 05:49 PM »
NASA, Northrop Grumman Reviewing Flight Test Data

Bob Granath Posted on October 30, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman completed a test flight of the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday, Oct. 28. Carrying Pegasus XL and NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON), the 4-hour, 45-minute flight tested the aircraft’s systems prior to launch.

A new launch date for the ICON mission will be determined after the team finishes processing and reviewing the data.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2018/10/30/nasa-northrop-grumman-reviewing-flight-test-data/

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- October 26, 2018
« Reply #126 on: 11/03/2018 02:41 AM »
NASA to Hold Launch Readiness Review for ICON

Anna Heiney Posted on November 1, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman will hold a Launch Readiness Review early next week at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to ensure preparations are continuing on track for the launch of the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite.

ICON will be launched by Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL rocket which will be carried aloft by the L-1011 Stargazer aircraft taking off from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The ICON satellite mission is expected to launch no earlier than Wednesday, Nov. 7 with a 90-minute launch window opening at 3 a.m. EST. Release from the Stargazer is anticipated for 3:05 a.m. ICON is designed to study the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.

Follow the prelaunch coverage and the launch on NASA Television at:
https://www.nasa.gov/live

Tuesday, Nov. 6
3 p.m. – NASA EDGE webcast from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will discuss ICON spacecraft operations, science and engineering, as well as launch processing of the Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer with the Pegasus rocket.

Wednesday, Nov. 7
2:45 a.m. – Launch coverage begins at 2:45 a.m.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2018/11/01/nasa-to-hold-launch-readiness-review-for-icon/

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 2018
« Reply #127 on: 11/05/2018 10:31 PM »
Launch Week Begins for ICON

Anna Heiney Posted on November 5, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman will hold a Launch Readiness Review at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 6, to ensure preparations are on track for launch of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite.

ICON is scheduled to launch Wednesday, Nov. 7, by Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL rocket, which will be carried aloft by the company’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft taking off from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The 90-minute launch window opens at 3 a.m., with a targeted release at 3:05 a.m. Ignition of the Pegasus XL rocket occurs five seconds after release from the Stargazer.

ICON is designed to study the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2018/11/05/launch-week-begins-for-icon/

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #128 on: 11/06/2018 06:44 PM »
Launch Readiness Review Completed for ICON

Bob Granath Posted on November 6, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman completed their Launch Readiness Review on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There are no technical issues being worked at this time. NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite mission is scheduled to launch Wednesday, Nov. 7, by Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus XL rocket, which will be carried aloft by the company’s L-1011 Stargazer aircraft taking off from the Skid Strip at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The 90-minute launch window opens at 3 a.m. EST, with a targeted release at 3:05 a.m. Ignition of the Pegasus XL rocket occurs five seconds after release from the Stargazer.

The official weather forecast calls for a 90 percent chance for favorable conditions for launch. The primary launch weather concerns are cumulous clouds.

ICON is designed to study the dynamic zone high in the atmosphere where terrestrial weather from below meets space weather from above.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2018/11/06/launch-readiness-review-completed-for-icon/

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #129 on: 11/07/2018 05:02 AM »
Tour the Plane Giving NASA’s ICON a Ride to Space


NASA Goddard
Published on Nov 6, 2018

Early in the morning of Nov. 7, 2018, NASA launches the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, a spacecraft that will explore the dynamic region where Earth meets space. ICON launches on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, which is carried aloft by the Stargazer L-1011 aircraft.

Join NASA on a behind-the-scenes tour of this plane, once a jet airliner and now uniquely retrofitted to boost spacecraft into low-Earth orbit. Learn about ICON’s science and meet the people — including an engineer, technician, and pilot — who will help launch the spacecraft into orbit.

CREDITS:
Scott England (Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley): Talent
Edward Dunlap (Northrop Grumman): Talent
Jim Stowers (Northrop Grumman): Talent
Don Walter (Northrop Grumman): Talent
Karen Fox (ASI): Host
Glenn Benson (ASRC Federal Data Solutions): Videographer
Francis Michaux (ASRC Federal Data Solutions): Videographer
Joy Ng (USRA): Editor
Sarah Frazier (ADNET Systems Inc.): Producer
Kathalina Tran (Wyle Information Systems): Producer
Michael Justice (ASRC Federal Data Solutions): Support
Amber Jean Watson (Abacus Technology Corporation): Support

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13106

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Hx1Qe07ig?t=001

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #130 on: 11/07/2018 06:08 AM »
Stargazer/Pegasus/ICON has just departed the Skid Strip for the drop box.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #131 on: 11/07/2018 06:32 AM »
They have two attempts at launch today.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #132 on: 11/07/2018 06:33 AM »
The launch button!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Kim Keller

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #133 on: 11/07/2018 06:38 AM »
We're aborting. The electrical gremlin has returned.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #134 on: 11/07/2018 06:42 AM »
Damn! Sorry to hear.

Explains this:

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #135 on: 11/07/2018 06:45 AM »
And now a ticker.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #136 on: 11/07/2018 06:45 AM »
Confirmation of scrub.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.



Offline eeergo

SFN reports the delays so far have been due to:

* 2017-2018: Mishandling of rocket motors + cutters for fairing and spacecraft adapter.
* June-October: Rudder fin actuator problems.
* October-November: GPS receiver used during the Pegasus drop gets signal but displays error during ferry flight.

Has any of these glitches reocurred, possibly the one with the GPS receiver?
-DaviD-

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #140 on: 11/07/2018 12:19 PM »
Stargazer Aircraft Airborne with Pegasus XL, ICON Satellite

Bob Granath Posted on November 7, 2018

The Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft carrying a Pegasus XL Rocket with NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, satellite is airborne after taking off from the Skid Strip runway at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Northrop Grumman produces the Pegasus XL, a small expendable rocket that attaches beneath the Stargazer aircraft and is carried to 39,000 feet to be released for launch. It is the only airborne-launched rocket.

The Pegasus XL can carry a payload up to 992 pounds to low-Earth orbit. The rocket weighs about 51,000 pounds and measures 55.4 feet in length and 50 inches in diameter. Pegasus has a wing span of 22 feet

With the Stargazer aircraft flying over the Atlantic Ocean about 50 miles offshore from Daytona Beach Florida, the Pegasus rocket will be released. Five seconds later, the solid propellant engine will ignite and boost the ICON satellite to orbit.

Did you know!

The L-1011 Stargazer is a mobile launch platform and the only one of its kind in the world.

The 90-minute launch window opens at 3 a.m. EST, with a targeted release at 3:05 a.m. EST about 50 miles east of Daytona Beach, Florida. Ignition of the Pegasus XL rocket occurs five seconds after release from the Stargazer.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2018/11/07/stargazer-aircraft-airborne-with-pegasus-xl-icon-satellite/

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #141 on: 11/07/2018 12:20 PM »
ICON Launch Update

Bob Granath Posted on November 7, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman have postponed today’s launch attempt of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission due to off-nominal data observed on the Pegasus XL rocket, during the captive carry flight. The L-1011 Stargazer carrier aircraft returned to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and the team will begin an investigation into the issue. The ICON spacecraft remains healthy. The team is evaluating the next launch attempt.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2018/11/07/icon-launch-update/

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #142 on: 11/08/2018 01:19 PM »
ICON Launch Update

Bob Granath Posted on November 8, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman have postponed the Nov. 7 launch attempt of NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission due to off-nominal data observed on the Pegasus XL rocket, during the captive carry flight. The L-1011 Stargazer carrier aircraft returned to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and the team will begin an investigation into the issue. The ICON spacecraft remains healthy. The team is evaluating the next launch attempt.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2018/11/08/icon-launch-update/

Offline MattBaker

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #143 on: 11/08/2018 02:50 PM »
Are there any restrictions on a launch window like there were when it was originally supposed to be flown out of Kwajalein? Or now that it's at the Cape whenever things are ready to go they'll set a new date X days away and go?

And would the Range have any problems with for example launching a Falcon 9 in the afternoon and then the Pegasus the same night? Then again there isn't a whole lot scheduled at the Cape for the rest of the year, so even if you'd want a gap it wouldn't be all too hard.

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #144 on: 11/08/2018 04:23 PM »
Cross-post; ER is not as open as may initially appear:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/11/06/pegasus-xl-icon-mission-status-center/
Quote
11/08/2018 03:37

NASA and Northrop Grumman are not expected to attempt a launch of the Pegasus rocket Thursday, as officials continue evaluating pesky problems plaguing the launcher after an aborted try to send NASA's ICON ionospheric probe into orbit early this morning.

A new launch date has not been determined, but the availability of the Air Force's Eastern Range to support the mission is in question the next few days.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set for a static fire attempt at the Kennedy Space Center as soon as Sunday, followed by a launch no earlier than Nov. 15 carrying a commercial communications satellite.

That mission, coupled with other maintenance activity on the range, could be problematic for NASA and Northrop Grumman managers to find an opening for a launch attempt in the coming days, assuming the Pegasus is cleared for flight.
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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- November 7, 2018
« Reply #145 on: 11/09/2018 09:03 PM »
ICON Launch Update

Bob Granath Posted on November 9, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman are continuing to investigate the off-nominal data observed during the Pegasus XL rocket’s Nov. 7 launch attempt for the agency’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission. The next launch attempt will be evaluated once the investigation is complete. The ICON spacecraft remains healthy.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2018/11/09/icon-launch-update-2/

Online Chris Bergin

What is now a word going around, starting in L2, but more since.

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1063104184793337856

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #147 on: 11/15/2018 07:24 PM »
What is now a word going around, starting in L2, but more since.

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1063104184793337856

ICON cannot reach its target orbit from the west coast.

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #148 on: 11/15/2018 11:23 PM »
What is now a word going around, starting in L2, but more since.

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1063104184793337856

ICON cannot reach its target orbit from the west coast.

Yes, the launch site has to be either Kwajalein or Cape Canaveral.

Offline ZachS09

Will ICON ever be launched? I feel like it’s been delayed for eternity.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #150 on: 11/16/2018 03:38 AM »
Will ICON ever be launched? I feel like it’s been delayed for eternity.

The launch campaign that never ends...

In all seriousness, I wonder at what point NASA decides they've had enough and switches launchers.  This is also the last scheduled mission for Pegasus, right?  Doesn't bode well for it getting any future missions. 

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #151 on: 11/16/2018 03:49 AM »
Will ICON ever be launched? I feel like it’s been delayed for eternity.
I've seen longer launch campaigns.  They always launched, eventually.

As for Pegasus, there was an AvWeek article mid-summer that noted that Orbital (now Northrop Grumman) had bought another L1011 for spare parts and was in the process of upgrading or updating some Pegasus systems to cut costs.  Perhaps some of these delays are related to teething problems with some of those updates.  It seems to me that the company would not be making these moves unless it had plans for a Pegasus future.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 11/16/2018 04:16 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #152 on: 11/16/2018 05:23 AM »
Will ICON ever be launched? I feel like it’s been delayed for eternity.
I've seen longer launch campaigns.  They always launched, eventually.

As for Pegasus, there was an AvWeek article mid-summer that noted that Orbital (now Northrop Grumman) had bought another L1011 for spare parts and was in the process of upgrading or updating some Pegasus systems to cut costs.  Perhaps some of these delays are related to teething problems with some of those updates.  It seems to me that the company would not be making these moves unless it had plans for a Pegasus future.

 - Ed Kyle

But after this launch - could there be much market left for it? With RocketLab in operation and soon Virgin Galactic, the future prospects would appear grim, despite its history with NASA. And it has only flown 5(?) times in the last 10 years. Not a great flight rate for any system.

So I'm wondering is NG is holding on to it (and Antares) just to have a toe in the game and keep launch experience in-house to as a bridge until OmegA arrives.

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #153 on: 11/16/2018 07:19 AM »
But after this launch - could there be much market left for it? With RocketLab in operation and soon Virgin Galactic, the future prospects would appear grim, despite its history with NASA. And it has only flown 5(?) times in the last 10 years. Not a great flight rate for any system.

So I'm wondering is NG is holding on to it (and Antares) just to have a toe in the game and keep launch experience in-house to as a bridge until OmegA arrives.

Rocket aside, how much does it cost just to keep that old TriStar flying?  How do they even get parts?

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #154 on: 11/16/2018 02:12 PM »
Rocket aside, how much does it cost just to keep that old TriStar flying?  How do they even get parts?
See above, they bought another one for spares. Also, boneyards. There are vast fleets of various aircraft types in various states of disassembly (some ready to fly again after removing covers, some half scrapped, and everything in between) in Arizona.
« Last Edit: 11/16/2018 02:12 PM by Lar »
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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #155 on: 11/16/2018 05:22 PM »
ICON to Return to Vandenberg AFB for Further Analysis

Bob Granath Posted on November 16, 2018

NASA and Northrop Grumman have made the decision to fly the L-1011 Stargazer and Pegasus XL rocket carrying NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, spacecraft back to its integration facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The ferry flight will take place early next week. Returning to the environmentally-controlled integration facility allows the team to further investigate off-nominal data observed during the Nov. 8 launch attempt.

Once the investigation is complete, a new launch date will be determined. ICON will launch out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The ICON spacecraft, which uses Northrop Grumman’s LEOStar-2 platform, is monitored at all times and remains healthy.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2018/11/16/icon-to-return-to-vandenberg-afb-for-further-analysis/

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #156 on: Today at 02:59 AM »
Will ICON ever be launched? I feel like it’s been delayed for eternity.
I've seen longer launch campaigns.  They always launched, eventually.

As for Pegasus, there was an AvWeek article mid-summer that noted that Orbital (now Northrop Grumman) had bought another L1011 for spare parts and was in the process of upgrading or updating some Pegasus systems to cut costs.  Perhaps some of these delays are related to teething problems with some of those updates.  It seems to me that the company would not be making these moves unless it had plans for a Pegasus future.

 - Ed Kyle

But after this launch - could there be much market left for it? With RocketLab in operation and soon Virgin Galactic, the future prospects would appear grim, despite its history with NASA. And it has only flown 5(?) times in the last 10 years. Not a great flight rate for any system.

So I'm wondering is NG is holding on to it (and Antares) just to have a toe in the game and keep launch experience in-house to as a bridge until OmegA arrives.
Electron can only lift half of a Pegasus payload on paper (so far it has only lifted about 15% as much as Pegasus in reality).  LauncherOne matches Pegasus on paper, but it is going to be a challenge to air launch with its cryogenic liquid propellants.  Meanwhile, Pegasus shares much with the Minotaur series, and with OBV.  Altogether, they account for probably 25-30 or so launches during the past decade.     

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: Today at 03:01 AM by edkyle99 »

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #157 on: Today at 11:07 AM »
Plus Electron only really works for polar orbits right now with their launch site, let's see when it comes to lower latitudes. But a mission like ICON, 27° inclination wouldn't be possible even from Wallops without sacrificing the already not-enough power for a plane change?

Pegasus, especially when it can go from Kwajalein without scheduling issues, can offer a pretty wide range of inclinations.

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