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  [Discuss] Orbital's Antares-Cygus demo flight

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] Orbital's Antares-Cygus demo flight
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-15-2013 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Editor's note: To keep the topic Orbital Sciences Antares-Cygus COTS demo flight focused on status updates, feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss Orbital Sciences' Antares-Cygnus Demonstration Flight.

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 07-15-2013 07:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sounds like a road trip to Wallops is in order.

Linda Voss
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From: Arlington, VA
Registered: Jul 2013

posted 08-06-2013 02:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Linda Voss   Click Here to Email Linda Voss     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wallops is testing its wings as America's newest spaceport with a busy September launch manifest.

Wallops Flight Facility Launch Schedule (as of 7.23.13)

Launch DateTimeRocketSuborbital/OrbitalPayload/Organization
Aug. 13 - 146-10 AMTerrior-Improved MalemuteSuborbitalRockSat-X/Col. Space Grant/NASA
Sep. 6 - 1011:21 - 11:39 PMMinotaur VLunarLADEE/NASA
Sep. 14 - 19Mid-dayAntaresOrbitalCygnus/Orbital Sciences
NovemberEveningMinotaur IOrbitalORS-3/DoD

DavidH
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From: Huntsville, AL, USA
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posted 09-05-2013 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So is this the first time a flown spacecraft has been named after a US astronaut?

------------------
Homesteading Space | davidhitt.net

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-05-2013 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Maybe... Orbital says it has named a good number of its past rockets and spacecraft for Orbital employees, so it's at least possible that they've had another vehicle named for a former astronaut. I can ask Frank Culbertson or another Orbital representative at the next briefing (the day before the launch).

Update: I asked Culbertson after the launch and he couldn't recall Orbital naming another of its spacecraft after an astronaut.

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
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posted 09-09-2013 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will an updated time for the September 14th launch be available some time later this week? Thanks.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-09-2013 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As noted in the update thread, the Antares-Cygnus launch is now scheduled for 11:16 a.m. EDT on Sept. 17.

Jay Chladek
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From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 09-11-2013 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Which one do they plan to name after Dan Tani? He was an Orbital employee from the days of their first Pegasus launch and rejoined them after retiring from NASA.

hlbjr
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From: Delray Beach Florida USA
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 09-15-2013 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hlbjr   Click Here to Email hlbjr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Where would I go to watch this launch? Looking at various airports to fly in to it appears BWI, DCA, and PHL all take about the same amount of time to travel down to Wallops Island. Any travel tips (I'd be coming from South Florida)?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-15-2013 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your shortest drive will be if you fly in to Norfolk, Virginia, which is about two hours outside of Wallops. Plus, you'll get the benefit of driving over/under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

I suspect NASA Wallops will announce the public viewing sites tomorrow (Monday, Sept. 16).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-16-2013 11:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update from NASA:
At a Launch Readiness Review Monday (Sept. 16), managers for Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., and NASA gave a "go" to proceed toward the Wednesday, Sept. 18, launch of Orbital's demonstration resupply mission to the International Space Station, pending the outcome of a Wallops Range Authority to Proceed meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

Orbital is targeting a 10:50 a.m. EDT launch from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 10:15 a.m.

There is a 75 percent chance of favorable weather at the time of launch. Low clouds below 6,000 feet are the primary concern for a weather violation.

Ronpur
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From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 09-17-2013 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the Antares and the Atlas V both launch tomorrow, is this the first time we have had two US launches on the same day?

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
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posted 09-17-2013 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hardly. Just think of the Gemini/Agena missions where the rockets launched a rev or so apart.

Tomorrow is probably the first time that an Atlas V and Antares will both be launched on the same day, however.

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
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posted 09-17-2013 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
I suspect NASA Wallops will announce the public viewing sites
Yeah, but those sites suck! Some are 10 miles away — that's farther than most shuttle viewing locations at the cape!

Best to get there early, then trust your GPS and drive around. You can find spots just a bit over 2 miles away.

Unfortunately, I won't be there this time, although I am planning to take the morning off and watch it at home from the top of the hill in the back yard.

Ronpur
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From: Brandon, Fl
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posted 09-17-2013 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Glint:
Just think of the Gemini/Agena missions where the rockets launched a rev or so apart.
Okay, then the first time am alive to witness it.

I can't believe I didn't think of those launches.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-18-2013 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New targeted T-0 is 10:58 a.m. EDT (1458 GMT).

The range is currently red due to low cloud conditions and "distance focus over pressure," the latter basically a threat of damaging nearby structures (homes). Both conditions are expected to be cleared later in countdown.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-18-2013 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Range is now green (four houses near the pad needed to be evacuated as there was a chance of window damage).

Meanwhile, Antares' "rocket cam" is not working. Orbital hopes to resolve the issue and be able to stream on-board footage, but it is not critical for launch.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-18-2013 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Antares now switched avionics to internal batteries. All is nominal (including the "rocket cam").

Update: Liftoff!

MarylandSpace
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posted 09-18-2013 10:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wish I was at Wallops Island today.

Beautiful launch shown on NASA TV. Great camera work from the rocket after launch.

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
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posted 09-20-2013 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I saw the Antares liftoff from the back yard, 144 miles nw of the pad.

I missed the 1st stage ignition. Although the sky was clear and blue there was some clouds and haze down low on the horizon. Also, the backscatter from looking towards the sun did not help.

After scanning the horizon a bit with a pair of 7x50 Fujinons, I spotted the contrail left by the 1st stage. Scanning higher up revealed the rocket, very small by now, ascending on the 2nd stage's plume. Actually, I don't recall the rocket itself being visible. Just the growing and rapidly expanding comet-like plume.

By this time the rocket had just about reached peak altitude above my horizon, and was beginning to level out as seen from my perspective.

Overall, not as impressive as the LADEE launch less than two weeks previously. But for that launch I was also about 70 times closer, located 2.1 miles from the pad.

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
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posted 09-23-2013 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The delayed docking of Cygnus with the ISS until 09/28 at the earliest means there should be an extended opportunity for satellite observers to view both space vehicles flying in formation.

What is the standoff distance that Cygnus will be maintaining from the ISS?

I take it that Cygnus is trailing ISS by roughly a minute or less. Unfortunately, upcoming passes for the mid-Atlantic region here are low (i.e. distant) morning ones with Friday and Saturday mornings' being the best.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 09-23-2013 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, Analytical Graphics (AGI) has yet to update its Cygnus mission viewer (it is still displaying the data from a nominal mission profile), otherwise it would be easy to say how far away the Cygnus was station-keeping.

However, according to the information Orbital put out, the last maneuver placed Cygnus within 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of the ISS.

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
Registered: Oct 2012

posted 09-24-2013 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like they still haven't updated the viewer as it still says for nominal mission as of 17 September. That would be great to see it fly over Maryland. Although the viewer would make it easier to point binoculars in the right direction.

Glint
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From: New Windsor, Maryland USA
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posted 09-24-2013 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glint   Click Here to Email Glint     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Don't need it. If you're familiar with the cardinal directions at your location and can identify basic constellations Heavens-Above.com provides all the charts you need. There's even a special link just for ISS predictions and another for Cygnus.

I would just use the former as the latter is sure to pass within a minute either way along basically the same path in the sky.

Ronpur
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From: Brandon, Fl
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posted 09-29-2013 07:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like another great success for Commercial Spaceflight! I am hoping for a second later today!

J Blackburn
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From: Riner, Virginia USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 09-29-2013 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for J Blackburn   Click Here to Email J Blackburn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ronpur:
I am hoping for a second later today!
Looks like we got it!

SkyMan1958
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From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 09-29-2013 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congratulations to all the people at Orbital who made this possible (and to the US taxpayer too).

All times are CT (US)

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