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  ULA Atlas V/OTV-6 (X-37B) from LC-41

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Author Topic:   ULA Atlas V/OTV-6 (X-37B) from LC-41
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 43820
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-06-2020 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
U.S. Air Force release
Next X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Scheduled to Launch

The Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, in partnership with the U.S. Space Force, is scheduled to launch the sixth mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-6) on May 16 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The Department of the Air Force continues to push the flight envelope for the X-37B, and will build upon its growing collaboration with experiment partners with its sixth mission.

"In today's age of electrons, space systems track storms, locate stranded motorists, timestamp credit card transactions, and monitor treaty compliance," said Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett. "Demonstrating the department's innovation, this X-37B mission will host more experiments than any prior missions. This launch also demonstrates the department's collaboration that pushes the boundaries for reusable space systems."

The ability to test new systems in space and return them to Earth is unique to the X-37B program and enables the U.S. to more efficiently and effectively develop space capabilities necessary to maintain superiority in the space domain.

"The X-37B team continues to exemplify the kind of lean, agile and forward-leaning technology development we need as a nation in the space domain," said U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, Gen. John "Jay" Raymond. "Each launch represents a significant milestone and advancement in terms of how we build, test, and deploy space capabilities in a rapid and responsive manner."

The X-37B remains a Department of the Air Force asset; however, the U.S. Space Force is responsible for the launch, on-orbit operations, and landing.

"This launch is a prime example of integrated operations between the Air Force, Space Force, and government-industry partnerships," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. "The X-37B continues to break barriers in advancing reusable space vehicle technologies and is a significant investment in advancing future space capabilities."

This will be the first X-37B mission to use a service module to host experiments. The service module is an attachment to the aft of the vehicle that allows additional experimental payload capability to be carried to orbit.

"This sixth mission is a big step for the X-37B program," said Mr. Randy Walden, Director and Program Executive Officer for the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. "This will be the first X-37B mission to use a service module to host experiments. The incorporation of a service module on this mission enables us to continue to expand the capabilities of the spacecraft and host more experiments than any of the previous missions."

The mission will deploy the FalconSat-8, a small satellite developed by the U.S. Air Force Academy and sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory to conduct several experiments on orbit. The FalconSat-8 is an educational platform that will carry five experimental payloads for USAFA to operate. In addition, two National Aeronautics and Space Administration experiments will be included to study the results of radiation and other space effects on a materials sample plate and seeds used to grow food. Finally, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, will transform solar power into radio frequency microwave energy which could then be transmitted to the ground.

"We are excited to return the X-37B to space and conduct numerous on-orbit experiments for both the Air Force and its mission partners," said Lt. Col. Jonathan Keen, the X-37B program manager.

The X-37B program completed its fifth mission in October 2019, landing after 780 days on orbit, extending the total number of days spent on orbit for the spacecraft to 2,865 - or seven years and 10 months.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 43820
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-06-2020 11:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
USSF-7: Payload mounted atop Atlas V for launch

The United States Space Force-7 (USSF-7) payload featuring the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle has been hoisted atop United Launch Alliance's next Atlas V rocket in preparation for launch on Saturday, May 16 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

The encapsulated payload was delivered to the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) and lifted into position on Tuesday, May 5 to begin combined operations with the launch vehicle.

The completed 197-foot-tall rocket will be transported from the VIF to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 aboard a Mobile Launch Platform for the countdown, fueling and liftoff.

ULA will webcast the launch on our website, allowing the public to view the mission from the safety of their homes.

Conducting the USSF-7 launch with the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was deemed critical to perform during this national emergency. Personnel involved in the launch are following health guidelines such as wearing face coverings, adhering to physical distancing while on console and using virtual connections when possible.

This will be the 84th flight of the Atlas V and the seventh to fly in the 501 configuration with a five-meter payload fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single RL10C-1 engine on the Centaur upper stage.

The Atlas V rocket has been entrusted with four previous launches of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, starting with the maiden launch in 2010. This experimental test program demonstrates technologies for a reliable, reusable, unmanned space test platform for the U.S.

Technologies being tested in the program include advanced guidance, navigation and control, thermal protection systems, avionics, high temperature structures and seals, conformal reusable insulation, lightweight electromechanical flight systems, advanced propulsion systems, advanced materials and autonomous orbital flight, reentry and landing.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 43820
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-14-2020 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
Rollout of Atlas V to launchpad

Welcome to rollout day of ULA's Atlas V rocket and the USSF-7 mission for the U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex-41 is planned for Saturday at 8:24 a.m. EDT (1224 UTC).

The Atlas V rocket arrived at its launchpad and the mobile launch platform was lowered onto the launchpad piers, accomplishing the "harddown" milestone at 11:14 a.m. EDT on Thursday (May 14).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 43820
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-16-2020 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From United Launch Alliance (ULA), via Twitter:
Hold, hold, hold. The Atlas V countdown has been stopped due to "no go" weather conditions.

Launch Director Paul Aragon was announced that we will not continue with countdown operations today. Another launch attempt will be possible in 24 hours, with Sunday's target liftoff time at 9:14am EDT (1314 UTC).

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 43820
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-17-2020 07:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) video
Watch as ULA's Atlas V rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral with the USSF-7 mission for the U.S. Space Force and U.S. Air Force. The launch is planned for May 17 at 9:14 a.m. EDT.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 43820
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-17-2020 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
United Launch Alliance (ULA) release
United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches the Sixth Orbital Test Vehicle for the U.S. Space Force

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 501 rocket carrying the USSF-7 mission for the U.S. Space Force lifted off on May 17, 9:14 a.m. EDT, from Space Launch Complex-41. This marks the 84th successful launch of an Atlas V rocket, 139th launch for ULA, the second launch for the U.S. Space Force and the sixth flight of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-6).

"The success of this mission resulted from collaboration with our customer while working through challenging, and ever changing, health and safety conditions," said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. "We were honored to partner with the U.S. Space Force to dedicate this mission to first responders, front-line workers, and those affected by COVID-19. It is truly a unique time in our history and I want to thank the entire team for their continued dedication and focus on mission success."

Along with OTV-6, this mission deployed FalconSat-8, a small satellite developed by the U.S. Air Force Academy and sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to conduct experiments on orbit. The mission also carried two NASA experiments, including a material sample plate to determine the results of radiation and other space effects on various materials, and an experiment which will assess space effects on seeds used to grow food. Another experiment sponsored by the Naval Research Laboratory will examine the ability to transform solar power into radio frequency microwave energy which could be transmitted to the ground.

This mission launched aboard an Atlas V 501 configuration rocket that included a 5-meter-diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.

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