Author Topic: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - January 19, 2019  (Read 81424 times)

Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Sep 26, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #20 on: 08/25/2018 03:57 pm »
With just about 1 month before launch, any photos available of the LV? Thank you.

Well, the rocket is stacked but you'll probably have to wait for the usual SFN pictures.
« Last Edit: 08/25/2018 04:00 pm by Newton_V »

Online TJL

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Sep 26, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #21 on: 09/07/2018 09:05 am »
Looks like launch has been pushed back to December 3rd.

Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Sep 26, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #22 on: 09/07/2018 10:32 pm »
Looks like launch has been pushed back to December 3rd.

26 Sept hasn't been the launch date for awhile.  Was kind of wondering why it took so long for the new date to be announced.
Looking forward to this one!

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #23 on: 09/10/2018 10:15 pm »
Re: progress of launch campaign:
Air Force releases new target dates for upcoming military launches, by Stephen Clark, dated September 7
Quote
The Delta 4-Heavy’s three first stage Common Booster Cores, each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine, and single-engine upper stage have been raised at Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-6 launch pad, nestled between hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rocket’s installation on the launch pad signals the start of several months of testing and checkouts.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2018 04:27 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline tyrred

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #24 on: 09/11/2018 10:29 am »
Re: progress of launch campaign:
Air Force releases new target dates for upcoming military launches, dated September 7
Quote
The Delta 4-Heavy’s three first stage Common Booster Cores, each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine, and single-engine upper stage have been raised at Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-6 launch pad, nestled between hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rocket’s installation on the launch pad signals the start of several months of testing and checkouts.

Pictures, anybody? Will this be the first time Delta-IV Heavy will potentially launch twice in the same calendar year?

Offline ZachS09

Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #25 on: 09/11/2018 02:30 pm »
Re: progress of launch campaign:
Air Force releases new target dates for upcoming military launches, dated September 7
Quote
The Delta 4-Heavy’s three first stage Common Booster Cores, each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine, and single-engine upper stage have been raised at Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-6 launch pad, nestled between hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rocket’s installation on the launch pad signals the start of several months of testing and checkouts.

Pictures, anybody? Will this be the first time Delta-IV Heavy will potentially launch twice in the same calendar year?

Surprisingly, yes. All other Delta IV Heavy vehicles launched once in a single year.
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #26 on: 09/11/2018 03:38 pm »
Pictures, anybody? Will this be the first time Delta-IV Heavy will potentially launch twice in the same calendar year?

See this reply up-thread:
Well, the rocket is stacked but you'll probably have to wait for the usual SFN pictures.

Re: VAFB rocket snaps
I've never worked at or visited Vandenberg AFB, and I welcome correction or elaboration...so...

The base is huge.

It's generally closed to the public--no tour buses past the launch complexes.

Sight-lines from off-base (or even on-base) are long, and often blocked by mountains or hills.

(There is the Amtrak Coast Starlight passenger train--IIRC, it runs through or adjacent to VAFB, on the seaward side of the launch complexes.)

It's not a "space tourism" destination, like Florida's Space Coast.

(L2 is a great source of legal hi-res imagery that might interest you.)
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Offline c3infinity

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #27 on: 09/11/2018 03:58 pm »
Re: progress of launch campaign:
Air Force releases new target dates for upcoming military launches, dated September 7
Quote
The Delta 4-Heavy’s three first stage Common Booster Cores, each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine, and single-engine upper stage have been raised at Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-6 launch pad, nestled between hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rocket’s installation on the launch pad signals the start of several months of testing and checkouts.

Pictures, anybody? Will this be the first time Delta-IV Heavy will potentially launch twice in the same calendar year?

Surprisingly, yes. All other Delta IV Heavy vehicles launched once in a single year.

Just barely. NROL-32 (2010-11-21) and NROL-49 (2011-01-20) were just 2 months apart.

Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #28 on: 09/12/2018 06:50 pm »
Re: progress of launch campaign:
Air Force releases new target dates for upcoming military launches, dated September 7
Quote
The Delta 4-Heavy’s three first stage Common Booster Cores, each powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68A main engine, and single-engine upper stage have been raised at Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-6 launch pad, nestled between hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The rocket’s installation on the launch pad signals the start of several months of testing and checkouts.

Pictures, anybody? Will this be the first time Delta-IV Heavy will potentially launch twice in the same calendar year?

Best I can do...  That's a MASSIVELY large building.  Very impressive.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2018 06:50 pm by Newton_V »

Offline Tibey

Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #29 on: 10/02/2018 01:20 pm »
I want to see what happens if the early KH-11s are declassified this year does that mean the whole program is semi-declassified in that they will at least acknowledge this is a KH-11 launch.

Maybe not?

If the changes to the original (not yet confirmed) Block I design compared to this (hypothesized) Block V design are substantial enough, then one could make the argument to truncate the KH-11 designation to the previous 4 blocks, and not officially acknowledge the new block items as a KH-11s?

Sophistry?  Perhaps.  Convenient to the needs of the organization(s)?  Also, perhaps.  Anyways, just a thought.

Just seems an unnecessary complication. From my prospective in this case identifying the payload doesn’t tell you anything that couldn’t be easily obtained through a telescope for a foreign power such as orbit etc.

By the way I reckon they’ll only declassify the block 1 versions as they are probably deemed sufficiently outdated that they are safe to declassify.

Well, it took them almost 30 years to declassify imagery from and show Hexagon to the public... your best guess is as good as mine.
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Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Dec. 3, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #30 on: 10/13/2018 02:53 am »
Looks like SpaceX gave up their launch slot.  I believe this is moving a few days to the left.

Offline input~2

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #31 on: 10/17/2018 11:36 am »
Quote
ULA's next launch is the NROL-71 mission for the National Reconnaisance Office on a Delta IV Heavy rocket. The launch is scheduled for Nov. 29 from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #32 on: 10/24/2018 11:19 pm »
Noted from reading the writings and postings of several satellite observing boffins/analysts:

All (deduced) KH-11 launches have been from Vandenberg.

Amateur satellite observers have observed that all successful launches for KH-11's result in two different polar (sun-synchronous?) destination orbits labelled East and West.

All "west" satellites have launched between 18:00 and 18:30 UTC.

All "east" satellites have launched between 21:10 and 21:35 UTC.

Some questions/thoughts:

Will the launch window for NROL-71, when announced, conform to the previous pattern of strict duality?

This launch would be the first of the KH-11's on a Delta IV-H upgraded.  Will the extra "performance" allow a greater breadth in launch time around the optimal, assuming other parameters are unchanged, such as payload mass and initial orbit?

Which older KH-11 satellite will this one replace, if any?

Will the new "Block 5" KH-11's utilize any form of low-observability/stealth technology, as the Misty satellites were alleged to have?

EDIT 10/27
Will the new "Block 5" s/c utilize (almost) circular orbits?
From Next round of U.S. optical spy satellites to start launching in 2018, dated May 1, 2015, by Justin Ray

Quote
All four satellites remain in operation today, with the two Delta 4-Heavy payloads in the typical, elliptical orbits used by KH-11 and the Titan 4 craft repositioned into fuel-hungry, circular orbits that could be a clue to the operating scheme of the future follow-on series.

“USA 161 and USA 186 remain in orbit, but they significantly reduced their mean altitude since their replacements were launched, which may offer a preview of what to expect from the next-generation spacecraft,” [Ted] Molczan said. “These more circular orbits offer more consistent resolution during each revolution, at the expense of greater drag, which requires more fuel for altitude maintenance.”
<snip>
“I speculate that the next-generation spacecraft may be designed to take full advantage of the performance of the Delta 4-Heavy, to carry a much greater fuel load than was possible with the Titan 3 and 4 rockets used to launch the previous generations. That would enable them to adopt the present orbits of USA 161 and USA 186 as the new KH-11 standard,” said Molczan.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2018 08:57 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #33 on: 11/10/2018 06:18 pm »

Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #34 on: 11/10/2018 06:55 pm »
Pretty handsome dude in that second picture..

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #35 on: 11/10/2018 09:18 pm »
Patch-ology:
Significance of the initials on the bald eagle's two dog-tags?  I noted they were whited out in the image up-thread with the original Klingon phrase.

Significance of the three talons slashing through material?

What is the slashed material supposed to be/represent?

Continuation of the eagle(ish) theme of NROL-49 and 65?

In any case, I love the artwork.  When I saw it, the classic Super Friends theme started playing in my head!



Too bad both Ted Knight and Bill Woodson (sequential Super Friends narrators) are no longer alive--either would do a great job narrating post-success documentary shorts.  (Bill Woodson in the clip above.)
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Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #36 on: 11/11/2018 12:02 am »
I whited out the tags because they were changing, and I think somebody wasn't happy with the original initials on there.  The patchology seems to have changed a bit since L-39.
I'm surprised no southern/central CA beer drinkers noticed anything about the L-47 logo.  Or maybe somebody did and I missed it in the thread.


Offline jacqmans

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #37 on: 11/16/2018 01:22 pm »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #38 on: 11/16/2018 01:24 pm »
In preparation for launch, the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-71 satellite, encapsulated inside a 5-meter-diameter payload fairing, is transported and mated to its United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy booster at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 6. Photo credit: United Launch Alliance

Offline Newton_V

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Re: Delta IV-H - NROL-71 - Nov. 29, 2018 - VAFB SLC-6
« Reply #39 on: 11/19/2018 10:24 pm »

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