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  [Discuss] Orbital's Antares-Cygus Orb-1 flight

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] Orbital's Antares-Cygus Orb-1 flight
Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 12-09-2013 08:25 AM     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 Orb-1 CRS flight focused on status updates, feedback and opinions are directed to this thread.

Please use this topic to discuss Orbital Sciences' Antares-Cygnus Commercial Resupply Services-1 flight.

JBoe
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From: Edgewater, MD, USA
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posted 12-09-2013 03:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert, do you know if the launch will be offered on NASA TV/app or will it be televised via the Wallops link like Orbital's last launch?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-09-2013 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA TV will be providing live coverage of the launch through its television channel and app, as well streaming online.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2013 01:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the NASA TV schedule:
NASA Television Coverage Set for Cygnus Launch to International Space Station

NASA Television will provide coverage of Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo spacecraft mission to resupply the International Space Station this month.

On the heels of a successful demonstration flight to the space station in September, Orbital Sciences is scheduled to launch a Cygnus capsule on an Antares rocket at 9:42 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 18 (0242 GMT Dec. 19), from Launch Pad 0A at Wallops Flight Facility, Va.

Launch coverage on NASA TV will begin at 9:15 p.m. EST (0215 GMT) NASA TV will air a comprehensive video feed of launch preparations and other footage related to the mission beginning at 6:45 p.m. EST (2345 GMT).

On Tuesday, Dec. 17, briefings previewing the mission's science and a prelaunch status from Wallops will be broadcast on NASA TV at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. EST (1800 and 2000 GMT), respectively. The briefings will be replayed at Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. EST (0000 GMT), leading up to live coverage of the launch.

NASA TV coverage of capture and installation will begin at 3:45 a.m. EST (0800 GMT) Dec. 21. Grapple is scheduled at 4:38 a.m. EST (0938 GMT). Coverage of the installation of Cygnus onto Harmony will begin at 5:45 a.m. EST (1045 GMT).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2013 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As with past launches from Wallops, the Orb-1 launch will be visible for those along the Eastern seaboard.

Orbital Sciences has provided maximum elevation and time of first sighting maps to assist those hoping to catch the launch.

thump
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posted 01-09-2014 11:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for thump   Click Here to Email thump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will this launch be visible from the Washington DC area?

Editor's note: Threads merged.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-09-2014 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes (see maps above) though as noted by Orbital:
Because the launch will occur during the daytime, it will not be as visible as some of our recent nighttime launches from Wallops Island. In addition, because Antares first stage engines are liquid fueled, it will not produce a column of smoke that solid fueled rockets typically produce. As a result, from a distance Antares will appear as a faint bright spot ascending in the sky if viewing conditions are optimal.

Shuttle Endeavour
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posted 01-09-2014 12:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttle Endeavour   Click Here to Email Shuttle Endeavour     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I live in New Jersey and I just went outside to view the Antares launch, but I am trying to figure out if I saw it or if it was just a plane. If anyone knows, it would be greatly appreciated. I will post a photo.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-09-2014 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, that's a plane. Other than a brief period near maximum dynamic pressure (max Q), Antares did not leave a contrail.

Shuttle Endeavour
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posted 01-09-2014 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttle Endeavour   Click Here to Email Shuttle Endeavour     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, thanks for taking a look. Antares is hard to spot during the day.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-09-2014 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is what the launch looked like from Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-12-2014 05:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spaceflight Now's Stephen Clark was at Orbital Sciences' Cygnus mission control for this morning's capture where he shot this video.

As also seen on NASA TV, the Orb-1 team were outfitted in custom jerseys labeled with their console position on the back. Very cool!

JBoe
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posted 01-12-2014 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JBoe   Click Here to Email JBoe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I watched a portion of the post-launch press conference and Culbertson was saying that in the future they wanted to decrease the time it takes with rendezvous with the space station. What makes duration now so much more? Even with the checks, the four+ days now seems "excessive;" I'm sure there's some sort of reason.

By the way, Robert great questions and I too like the Orbital jerseys!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-12-2014 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Jason. Transit times are determined by a number of factors, driven by an overriding desire to minimize propellant consumption. Other constraints include the availability of the launch site and traffic at the space station.

Cygnus made the trip this time in three days. ESA's ATV has a nominal transit time of five days, similar to JAXA's HTV.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-12-2014 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mike Killian with AmericaSpace set up a couple of GoPro cameras near the launch pad and caught these views:

music_space
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posted 02-18-2014 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do we know why they don't use the Florida installations?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2014 04:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were technical, logistical and financial advantages to flying from Wallops Flight Facility.
  • From a technical viewpoint, Wallops is well situated for mid-inclination launches, and as the development of Pad 0-A coincided with Orbital's Antares development program, the company was able to help design the pad to meet its needs.

  • Logistically, Orbital's headquarters and other offices were already located in Dulles, Virginia, easing constraints on travel and staffing requirements.

  • Financially, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority underwrote the cost of completing the improvements to the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport needed to launch Orbital's Antares, among other considerations.

Jim Behling
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posted 02-18-2014 07:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Financially, the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority underwrote the cost of completing the improvements to the Mid-Atlantic Spaceport needed to launch Orbital's Antares, among other considerations.
The difference between what VCSFA underwrote and what Space Florida proposed has long vanished with the delays and costs to OSC with the issues at MARS. In addition, OSC thought that they would be catered to at MARS (as the BMOC) vs as just another range user at CCAFS, which turned out not to be the case. In hindsight, OSC would have been better off in Florida.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-18-2014 08:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whether or not that is true, Orbital made the choice it did with the information available at the time, before delays or other later factors could be taken into consideration.

Likewise, it is impossible to tell what the future might hold and whatever drawbacks might have weighed the scale in one or the other may still yet reverse.

All times are CT (US)

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