Author Topic: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018  (Read 57473 times)

Online Rondaz

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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 NASAís 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/

Online Rondaz

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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 todayís launch attempt of NASAís 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/

Online Rondaz

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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 NASAís 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.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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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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Online Rondaz

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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 rocketís Nov. 7 launch attempt for the agencyís 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/

Offline Chris Bergin

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

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

Offline Kim Keller

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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.

Offline Skyrocket

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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.

Online ZachS09

Will ICON ever be launched? I feel like itís been delayed for eternity.
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Offline lrk

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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 itís 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. 

Offline edkyle99

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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 itís 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 itís 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.

Offline JonathanD

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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?

Offline Lar

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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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Online Rondaz

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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 NASAís 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 Grummanís 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/

Offline edkyle99

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #156 on: 11/17/2018 02:59 AM »
Will ICON ever be launched? I feel like itís 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: 11/17/2018 03:01 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline MattBaker

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #157 on: 11/17/2018 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, 27į 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.

Online Rondaz

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Re: SCRUB: Pegasus-XL - ICON - Cape Canaveral- NET ?, 2018
« Reply #158 on: 11/28/2018 08:26 PM »
NASAís ICON Analysis Underway at Vandenberg AFB

Bob Granath Posted on November 28, 2018

On Monday, Nov. 19, Northrop Grumman flew the L-1011 Stargazer and Pegasus XL rocket carrying NASAís Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, spacecraft back to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. On Nov. 20, Northrop Grumman completed the de-mate of Pegasus from the L-1011 and transported the rocket safely into the integration facility.

The Northrop Grumman/NASA team continues its investigation into the off-nominal data observed during the Nov. 7 launch attempt. Once the analysis 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 Grummanís LEOStar-2 platform, is monitored at all times and remains healthy.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/icon/2018/11/28/nasas-icon-analysis-underway-at-vandenberg-afb/

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