Busy Launch Week Begins on Monday with MAVEN Flight
The numbers are impressive.
6 launch vehicles
~ 40 satellites
That is the week in rocketry that will begin on Monday. The highlights include:
NASA’s MAVEN orbiter will study Mars’ atmosphere and climate (Monday, Nov. 18 at 1:28 p.m. EST — Cape Canaveral, Florida );
Minotaur I will set a new record for the number of satellites launched into space with by sending the military’s STPSat 3 and 29 CubeSats into orbit (Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 7:30 to 9:15 pm EST — Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Virginia);
SpaceX will attempt to put its first communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit using its upgraded Falcon 9 rocket (Monday, Nov. 25 at 5:37 pm EST — Cape Canaveral, Florida).
Three additional launches will take place from Russia and Kazakhstan over that 7-day period. A table with all scheduled launches is below along with a map showing East Coast residents how they can view Minotaur I’s night launch on Tuesday.
The launch window is set for Tuesday, Nov. 19, from 7:30 to 9:15 p.m. EST. The launch site is on Wallops Island, Virginia. The Minotaur I will be heading northeast along the coast.
November 19, 2013
Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Virginia
Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office
The launch of a Minotaur I rocket for the U.S. Air Force ORS-3 mission is scheduled to occur on November 19, 2013, with a planned launch window from 7:30 -9:15 pm EST. The launch, from ignition to delivery of the satellites in orbit, will take a little less than twelve-and-a-half minutes, with a targeted 500 km circular orbit at an inclination of 40.5 degrees.
Highlights of the mission include:
25th overall launch of the Minotaur family of rockets
6th Minotaur launch from the Wallops Flight Facility
2nd Minotaur launch from Wallops in the last three months
29 Satellites being launched in the mission (the most ever aboard a single rocket)
74 total number of satellites boosted into orbit aboard Minotaur rockets since the program’s first flight in 2000
The primary payload for the ORS-3 mission is the U.S. Air Force STPSat-3 spacecraft. In addition, the rocket will deploy 28 cubesats and carry two non separating tertiary payloads. Among the cubesats being launched is TJ3Sat, the first satellite built by high school students to be launched into space. Orbital employees advised the students who designed and built TJ3Sat and the company provided technical and financial assistance to the program.
TJ3Sat is a project between the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Orbital and other industry partners to design and build a CubeSat to increase interest in aerospace technology, as part of NASA's Educational Launch of NanoSatellites (ELaNa) program. TJ3Sat will be the first satellite built by high school students to orbit the Earth when it launches from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on an Orbital Minotaur I rocket.
TJ3Sat's primary mission is to provide educational resources to other K-12 education institutions and foster interest in aerospace through the successful design and flight of a CubeSat. The program was started in December 2006 and its launch is the culmination of almost 7 years of work by more than 50 TJ students. Orbital funded the purchase of the satellite hardware and its employees mentored the students providing engineering support. The company also made its software and hardware test facilities available to the project.
TJ3Sat will allow students and amateur radio users the opportunity to send and receive data from the satellite. Students and other users from around the world will be able to submit text strings to be uploaded to the TJ3Sat website.
Approved text strings will be transmitted to the satellite and its Text Speak module will convert the text messages into a voice signal which will be relayed back to Earth over an amateur radio frequency using an onboard Stensat radio. In addition to the voice signals, properly outfitted amateur radio stations will also be able to receive state of health telemetry from the satellite.
Orbit: 500 km, 40.5° inclination Dimension: 10 x 10 x 11 cm (3.9 x 3.9 x 4.5 in) Launch mass: 0.89 kg (2.0 lbs) Solar Arrays: Body mounted solar cells, >3W avg. Stabilization: Uncontrolled Mission Life: 6 months (2-4 year orbit lifetime)
Wallops Flight Facility (WFF), Virginia
Hampton Roads has front-row seats for Minotaur launch from MARS
On Tuesday evening, Hampton Roads residents looking to the eastern sky might be able to see the latest launch of the Minotaur I rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.
NASA says the launch — currently set for between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. — may be visible from northern Florida to Canada and as far west as Indiana, if weather permits.
The 63-foot rocket will deploy a U.S. Air Force demonstration satellite in space, along with 28 miniature satellites. It's part of the Air Force's Enabler Mission to "demonstrate and validate launch and range improvements for NASA and the military," said Keith Koehler, spokesman at NASA's Wallops Flight Center on the Eastern Shore.The mission will demonstrate trajectory targeting, range safety, rapid call-up missions, cost-effective launches and new hardware that allows the safe deployment of multiple cubesats, according to the U.S. Defense Department.
Cubesats are miniature satellites built with off-the-shelf components, such as smartphones, to help reduce engineering and launch costs. NASA says it's providing 13 of the cubesats, including one from its Small Satellite Program PhoneSat2 second generation smartphone mission.
The launch is part of the Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space Office's ORS-3 mission, and is also part of the process for the Federal Aviation Administration to certify the Minotaur rocket for commercial use. The FAA is the licensing authority for U.S. commercial rockets.
The public can view the launch from the NASA Visitor Center on Wallops Island and at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge/Assateague Island National Seashore. Visitors to Assateague need to be on the island by 6 p.m. when the entrance gate closes.
Quelle: Daily Press
Orbital Set to Launch Minotaur I Rocket in Support of ORS-3 Mission for the U.S. Air Force
-- Company’s 25th Minotaur Rocket to Launch Record Number of Satellites Into Orbit --
-- Orbital-Sponsored TJ3Sat to be First Satellite Designed and Built by High School Students --
(Dulles, VA 18 November 2013) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced today that it is in final preparations for tomorrow’s launch of a Minotaur I rocket in support of the Department of Defense Operationally Responsive Space Office’s ORS-3 mission. The vehicle is scheduled to be launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia on Tuesday, November 19 at approximately 7:30 p.m. (EST).
The Minotaur I space launch vehicle combines Orbital’s commercial launch vehicle technologies, including upper stage rocket motors, structures, avionics and other elements, with government-supplied first- and second-stage rocket motors to create responsive, reliable and low-cost launch systems for U.S. Government-sponsored spacecraft. It can place single or multiple satellites weighing up to 1,300 lbs. into low-Earth orbit. Tomorrow’s mission will be the 25th Minotaur launch since the rocket’s first flight in 2000.
Under the Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP) contract, which is managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Space Development and Test Directorate (SMC/SD) Launch Systems Division (SMC/SDL) located at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Orbital designs, integrates, tests and provides space launch services with the Minotaur I, IV, V and VI rockets, as well as suborbital launch capabilities with the Minotaur II and III configurations.
“We are pleased that the ORS office has chosen the Minotaur I rocket to support this important mission that will not only launch the Air Force’s Space Test Program Satellite-3 and 28 CubeSats, but will also demonstrate new methods and technologies designed to reduce overall launch costs,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “We look forward to a successful launch of the ORS-3 mission and the opportunity to continue supporting the Department of Defense’s important work in the area of ORS systems.”
In addition to conducting launch operations, Orbital is also a sponsor of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s TJ3Sat, one of the 28 CubeSats aboard the Minotaur rocket and the first satellite to be built and tested by high school students. Over the past several years, volunteers from Orbital’s technical staff mentored the student team and provided engineering oversight, while the company made its space testing facilities available and provided financial support for the satellite project at the Alexandria, VA school. The TJ³Sat was assigned to the ORS-3 mission through NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program based on launch manifest availability.
About the ORS-3 Mission
The ORS-3 mission, also known as the Enabler mission, will demonstrate launch and range improvements to include automated vehicle trajectory targeting, range safety planning, and flight termination; employ a commercial-like procurement with FAA licensing of a Minotaur I; and launch the Air Force’s Space Test Program Satellite-3 and 28 CubeSats on an Integrated Payload Stack. These enablers not only focus on the ability to execute a rapid call-up mission, they automate engineering tasks that once took months and reduce those timelines to days and/or hours resulting in decreased mission costs.
Air Force Minotaur Rocket Launching from Virginia November 19
WALLOPS FLIGHT FACILITY, Va. — A United States Air Force Minotaur I rocket is scheduled to lift-off at 7:30 p.m. EST, Nov.19, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0B at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.
The Minotaur will launch the Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space Office's ORS-3 mission, which features the deployment of 29 satellites in space.
The launch window is 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The backup launch days run through November 26.
Update: 22.30 MEZ
Tonight's Minotaur rocket launch is will set a record when it puts 29 satellites into orbit. See our latest story here: Record-Setting Rocket Launch to Loft 29 Satellites Tonight:
NASA and the U.S. military will launch a record payload of 29 satellites from a Virginia spaceport Tuesday night (Nov. 19) on a mission that could create a spectacular sight for skywatchers along the U.S. East Coast, weather permitting.
The U.S. Air Force launch will send an Orbital Sciences Minotaur 1 rocket into orbit from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Va., sometime during a two-hour launch window that opens Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. EST (0030 Nov. 20 GMT).
Erfolgreicher Start: Frams NASA-TV
Orbital Successfully Launches Minotaur I Rocket Supporting ORS-3 Mission for the U.S. Air Force
-- Mission Is 25th Consecutive Successful Launch of Minotaur Product Line --
-- Company-Sponsored TJ3Sat Becomes First High School Student-Built Satellite to Achieve Earth Orbit --
(Dulles, VA 19 November 2013) -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, announced that it successfully launched a Minotaur I rocket in support of the Department of Defense Operationally Responsive Space Office’s ORS-3 mission earlier this evening. Originating from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia, this mission marks the 25th launch for the Minotaur rocket, all of which have been successful, and the sixth Minotaur vehicle to be launched from the Wallops facility.
At approximately 8:15 p.m. (EST), the rocket’s first stage ignited, beginning its flight into low-Earth orbit. Approximately 12 minutes after lift-off, the Air Force’s Space Test Program Satellite-3 spacecraft was deployed into its intended orbit at an altitude of approximately 500 km (310 miles). The Minotaur’s upper stage then executed a pre-planned collision avoidance maneuver before starting deployment of 28 CubeSats sponsored by the ORS office, the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Test Program, and NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) program.
“This mission marks the final launch for Minotaur under the initial Orbital/Suborbital Program-1 and -2 contracts, culminating in the successful delivery of 74 satellites to orbit and 10 suborbital payloads to high-altitude trajectories over 25 total missions,” said Mr. Ron Grabe, Orbital’s Executive Vice President and General Manager of its Launch Systems Group. “Orbital’s team is absolutely focused on offering the most reliable and cost-effective launch systems to our government customers for their important space missions. This dedication and teamwork with the Air Force has resulted in achieving 25 consecutive successful missions since 2000. We look forward to continuing this collaboration under the OSP-3 contract in the years ahead.”
This launch, which was executed under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license obtained by Orbital through the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, demonstrated a commercial-like approach to government launches in an effort to reduce overall costs. Through this mission, Orbital also supported the development of new technologies for launch and range improvements including automated targeting, range tracking and flight termination systems.
The Minotaur I space launch configuration combines Orbital’s commercial launch vehicle technologies, including upper stage rocket motors, avionics, structures and other elements, with government-supplied lower-stage rocket motors to create responsive, reliable and low-cost launch systems for U.S. Government-sponsored spacecraft. It can place payloads of up to 600 kg (1,300 lbs.) into low-Earth orbit.
Under the OSP program, which is managed by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Development and Test Directorate (SMC/SD) Launch Systems Division (SMC/SDL) located at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Orbital designs, integrates, tests and provides space launch services with the Minotaur I, IV, V and VI rockets, as well as other suborbital capabilities with the Minotaur II and III configurations. The rockets are specifically designed to be capable of launching from all major U.S. spaceports, including government and commercial launch sites in Alaska, California, Virginia and Florida. Orbital’s use of standardized avionics and subsystems, mature processes and experienced personnel make Minotaur rockets both reliable and cost-effective for U.S. government customers.
About the ORS-3 Mission
The ORS-3 mission, also known as the Enabler Mission, will demonstrate launch and range improvements to include automated vehicle trajectory targeting, range safety planning, and flight termination; employ a commercial-like procurement with FAA licensing of a Minotaur I; and launch the Air Force’s Space Test Program Satellite-3 and 28 CubeSats on an Integrated Payload Stack. These enablers not only focus on the ability to execute a rapid call-up mission, they automate engineering tasks that once took months and reduce those timelines to days or hours, resulting in decreased mission costs.
Orbital develops and manufactures small- and medium-class rockets and space systems for commercial, military and civil government customers. The company’s primary products are satellites and launch vehicles, including low-Earth orbit, geosynchronous-Earth orbit and planetary spacecraft for communications, remote sensing, scientific and defense missions; human-rated space systems for Earth-orbit, lunar and other missions; ground- and air-launched rockets that deliver satellites into orbit; and missile defense systems that are used as interceptor and target vehicles. Orbital also provides satellite subsystems and space-related technical services to government agencies and laboratories.
Gordon Campbell- Start von Minotauer auf Wallops
The Minotaur 1's ascent to space was visible along the East Coast. This image looking across the Potomac River was taken at the waterfront in Alexandria, Va. Credit: Peter Ozdzynski
Update: 23.00 MEZ
Weitere Aufnahmen von Start
An Orbital Sciences Minotaur 1 rocket streaks toward space in this long-exposure view of the Air Force's ORS-3 mission launch of 29 small satellites from Pad 0B at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., on Nov. 19, 2013. Credit: NASA/Allison Stancil
Skywatcher Corey Clarke snapped this 15-second exposure of a Minotaur 1 rocket streaking over the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., as seen from the National Academy of Sciences Keck Center on Nov. 19, 2013. The rocket launched from a Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport pad at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va., carrying a record 29 satellites into orbit for the U.S. Air Force's ORS-3 mission.
Photographer Ryan Morrill Photography captured this view of the nighttime Minotaur 1 rocket launch from Wallops Island, Va., as it streaked over his location at Barnegat Light, N.J, on Nov. 19, 2013. The rocket launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility carrying 29 satellites into orbit for the U.S. Air Force's ORS-3 mission