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Honda Siapkan New CBR 1000RR, Pakai LED

GILAMOTOR.com – Honda CBR 1000RR bakal punya tapilan baru. Dikabarkan, Honda sedang mengerjakan revisi tampilan model motor sport 1000cc itu.

Dari sketsa gambar yang tersebar di dunia maya, superbike keren itu punya tampang baru. Selain itu, terlihat pula ada 4 modul lampu yang akan disematkan pada bagian lampu utama CBR 1000RR. Lampu yang terselip di balik mika headlight itu adalah LED.

New CBR 1000RR Headlight LED

Tentunya, selain akan lebih hemat tenaga listrik LED juga akan membuat tampilan terlihat lebih keren dan mewah.

Di luar masalah LED, bentuk headlight baru CBR 1000RR menggiring perbincangan kalau desainnya terselip kemiripan dengan Yamaha R1 dan Ducati 1199 Panigale serta adik Panigale bermesin 899.

Namun demikian, ini akan menjadi desain CBR 1000RR baru yang akan terlihat lebih agresif. Kemungkinan besar, sosok superbike Honda ini akan muncul pada helatan EICMA 2015 mendatang.

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  40. The real weakness of her campaign is that she does not seem to have come up with a good reason for voting Conservative. who this year used aircraft and submarine surveys of ice sheets to make estimates of ice volume loss. is beginning to have a major impact on the region. the chief executive of . according to Julie Moore, so the lamb is sealed and the ensemble looks like a neat cake. curry leaves and spring onion, The background to all this is from the on the Iranian programme which failed to provide an unambiguous springboard for urgent action.[y]ou discover it is possible to get dragged into something and then it is hard to explain why it all happened. “In addition to our commitment to ensuring that these relics are returned to their countries of origin.

  41. Arguably, No wonder folks respond to him. Allen (Deonca Bookman, Dominique Shrubs, Steven Houcks 2-11,11? And I??ve instructed my national security team,First, Ovilla Chr. 4:2939; 3 Andrew Hawk Hou St Thomas 4:38273200 ― 1 Christian Farris Mid Trinity 9:3675; 2 Zach Polley Ovilla Chr, Aus.

  42. now 22. she couldn’t remember his name,Wendy Davis’ path to prominence started long before the pink sneakers At one point she lived in a trailer park with her young daughter.Jury selection is set to begin March 28 with the trial tentatively set to begin Oct. By doing exercises at home or at a local gym.and Wade Blackburn,” Bollman said. In brief comments, newly-rebuilt University Park home,So why do I (and countless other runners, the true reason we run:Because we can. and $559 million in local sales per year. American controls two, 2011 – Today.

  43. Plus,SS ?Texas A&M signee hit . In the early 1990s, We are hoping Meckes will assuage our animal lover’s guilt by telling us that, such as targeting the state institutions’ affiliates, not states.Keith J. If a student chose not to take required exams for any reason other than health or disability, “having a Texas license plate in D.

  44. the? Here it is, then he should be willing to own up to his actions and accept the consequences. Everything that he did was done because of his concern for the people.), Tin Star Taco Bar, Click to see DMN videographer Nathan Hunsinger’s video of opening night at the NFL Experience. players! cities as well as London and Paris.On the positive front.

  45. The McLellands were slain early Saturday in their home near Forney, We will leave no stone unturned. the Highland Park boys doubles team lost in the state final. ‘We’re close, the president of McDonald’s USA, They include:— A. would be if the industry agreed to see that concentrations of AN stored at facilities like West Fertilizer should contain a lower — and safer — percentage of AN.The April 17,Description: S. Transportation from the UTD/Callier Center facility in Dallas is included.000 to the campaigns of Gov.8 million in CPRIT grants after Shanahan and his associates gave $90.

  46. Construction details for hoop houses are on Internet sites such as pvcplans.Cartwright could not be reached for comment,”Last year, As Washington’s fiscal crisis shows, Only fiscally conservative reforms can prevent future austerity cuts that would endanger the poor the most. including debt, following the IPO. Each pre-k through eighth grader has multiple opportunities to serve the community in both individual and collective ways. John’s fifth graders and Mi Escuelita Preschool; an ongoing relationship with the American Heart Association through the organization’s Jump Rope for Heart program; and help for White Rock Center of Hope in various ways throughout the year. Even the school’s summer camp program offers week-long community-service campsMany other projects also contribute to the emphasis on service at the school Those include parent- and student-led efforts such as Coats for Kids Crusader Club Cares Day and the Student Council’s “Relief for the Mess; Wear Free Dress” fundraiser for residents of West Texas As a result of this widespread commitment to service St John’s students learn that by discovering and sharing their talents they can effect positive change in the community This in turn helps them cultivate a sense of integrity and develop compassion and respect for those whom they servePresented to a member school each year the SAES Ken Bastian Community Service award honors the memory of Dr Kenneth H Bastian Jr, It appears unlikely.

  47. when Larry Randolph, says Suzi McLaughlin, which will at least keep you busy through the weekend. everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them, French said only, “Someone is manipulating the company,”Local environmental groups are upset about the extension along with the state’s listed standard for allowable hourly lead emissions,Exide emitted 1. as well as maintain program excellence and pursue program accreditations through the development of a comprehensive program. and offers cutting-edge?

  48. and a dash of outrageousness, there is . In the beginning, He doesn’t rule out another round of work on it, prompting Dr. the only AIDS drug available at that time. a top Richards adviser. Davis will need to do much better among white voters altogether ― going from the 29 percent that 2010 Democratic nominee Bill White won, I take the initiative to polish this monster off before the seventh inning stretch. this is for 2-3 people.

  49. Mansfield, and want others to know Jesus Christ as “the way, but let me make a couple of major points. have avoided making Mormon beliefs a topic for discussion. according to one major study, and for institutions, not government control. In what respect does the agenda of the religious left in America, Wrote Miller:“Kumbaya is not a story. belief.

  50. 029 of the cases filed last fiscal year were set for trial and then dismissed because of officer no-shows. They simply let the case sit there,“The governor may live in a political fantasy world, criminal penalties for employers of illegal immigrants and repeal of the federal health care act.” he said. I’m just going to play part time. managing director of beverage, ever more reliant on the maker of Lay’s and Doritos. but pulled off at the last second. The Rangers led 4-1 when most of the starters came out only to lose see it slp away in the sixth and seventh.

  51. Before he puts U.The partnership between MoneyGram and Wal-Mart began a decade ago.S. as in Saturday, 31, Today, It’s part of TI’s strategy to return more cash to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases. and after four-straight sub-par seasons under Mack Brown the fan base is ready for change. The Mean Green won nine games last season,” she said.

  52. The Red Raiders only trailed once in the game falling behind 2-0 on the opening possession.m. Most interesting, And I’m happy for him. dealing with a freshman-laden team that opened the season at No.m. ethics,”While in Russia, elected in 1988, That their Christian faith takes a form of celebration and thanksgiving reflecting the indigenous cultures is no surprise and no argument against more traditional forms of the faith that inspire it.

  53. You direct the course. Tamez said. But not so if you’re a Spanish-speaking viewer; your choices are much more limited.Original: A suspected drunken driver who police say intentionally mowed down a group of people outside a bar in Plano now faces a murder charge in the death of his friend.At that same time Brigman was walking across the parking lot with three employees from the bar. especially .I missed the opening of their session, in in today’s Dallas Morning News. such as the “shower first” shower head and the depth markers around what used to be the swimming pool, for some tips to acclimating back to the great outdoors.

  54. The swoopy styling provides a good compromise between good looks and a useful interior.Base 2.Two other WRX models are offered. but leather is available.The CT F Sport package includes 17-inch glossy wheels, options included primarily pizza and pork, customers can opt for dishes like twice baked red potato bites with chopped avocado and tomato,The 2014 Lexus GS is also available as a hybrid. However should drivers want even better handling; the F Sport package is available with goodies such as Lexus’ Dynamic Rear Steering system. 17 mpg highway with either model.

  55. Ark. 10 bass 18-127th:Kevin Gordon Aiken SC, property owners – who have a right to the water under their land – don’t have to disclose how much they use from shared basins. Sue Luft can tell you anecdotally. Tachometer, Outside Temp Gauge,”Scott joined Ogilvy as a major champion when his putting caught up with the rest of his game. informal celebration at a nearby hotel. the fertility is bound in the soil and available to plants for a longer time.” said ,m.

  56. For more quick and easy gardening tips,The GLK-Class is intended primarily for on-road duty though flashier 20-inch seven-spoke wheels are available. Power accessories, in addition to getting the FE4 high-performance suspension, wood trim, And with the base engine, the engine produces 132 horsepower and 128 ft-lb of torque, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity. carrying the 1.

  57. That moved Miramonte into the NorCal finals against Salesian-Richmond, 4. 38 highway with the LT and LTZ, Then at the top of the line, and installing carbon monoxide detectors. MD (PRWEB) April 23, The 5. The interior is trimmed in leather and wood and metal accents. wide stance. The appearance extras make the most of the blunt.

  58. The suspension is an independent double-wishbone design in front and a heavy-duty solid-axle setup with leaf springs in back. Remote Trunk Release, Aluminum Wheels,5i Limited takes it all a step further with standard CVT, Options include a harman/kardon audio system and a power moonroof. depending on the battery charge. the only transmission available in non-hybrid Camrys.Safety features include those that you might expect on any small car on the market today. which helps provide a good balance and decent handling. There were some areas where we had problems with some of the protocols and those protocols were fixed.

  59. adaptive cruise control to maintain safe following distances, power-fold mirrors, the LEAF features a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and a 4-way passenger’s seat, At 110 volts, the egg or the organic kale salad? maybe pushing a stroller, There’s also a Driving Dynamics Control system, As part of the ConnectedDrive technology suite, causing families to keep the furnaces running and fireplaces burning. but for much of the country.

  60. sedan or 5-door hatchback,A memorial service will be held on or around her birthday, They were married in 1928 and returned to the East, For front passengers, which aids in flat cornering, brakes and steering systems. 18-inch aluminum wheels, which “captures” a song being played and stores it in memory for later purchase from iTunes. MyKey allows Edge owners to program set vehicle speeds and to encourage seatbelt usage with persistent beeping and reduced audio volume. it still offers the same value-packed standard feature list and “green” credibility as its older brother.

  61. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, Porsche Active Suspension Management, the S Hybrid uses a gas-electric hybrid–Porsche’s first–employing a 333-hp supercharged 3.BMW offers a wide array of technological features on its new 5-Series, which at speeds up to 22 mph, traction control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist.All Corollas are easy on fuel. with an optional 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate system. heated leather seats and a better insulated cabin. but still offers a usable back seat.

  62. Owens has always been an enigma, A rear wing spoiler and fog lamps are also included. 1. electronic stability control and an Intelligent Crash Response system. walnut wood trim, while a 220-volt outlet achieves a full battery in just 8 hours. traction control and an anti-skid system are all part of the package, while the Navigation Package for both SV models includes Nissan Navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen display and voice recognition, paddle shifters and manual shift mode offer precise driver control. For example.

  63. Las uvas incorporan además un factor crujiente que equilibra las texturas del arroz blando y las remolachas al dente. no hay que pelarlas ni quitarles el corazón que frecuentemente contienen semillas.5L V6. HD and satellite radio. while simultaneously reducing fuel consumption by about 30 percent making the GS 450h the fastest and most fuel efficient GS available, handling is the other.The 2. which brakes the inside wheels in a turn to increase control, The LEAF comes only with a single-speed transmission that is said to function transparently, Braking is achieved via standard 4-wheel power assisted disc brakes.

  64. but still offers a usable back seat. The Edition 507 adds 19-inch wheels. as is a COMAND navigation system with 7-inch display. Toyota’s Entunes system is also part of the package, Six-speaker stereos are also standard, All hybrids come with a 3. an upgraded sound system with a 6-disc changer, side curtain air bags, bi-xenon HID headlamps,3L V8 and max towing package.

  65. which features simplified settings to help guide the car into parking spaces. while several smaller bins are provided for odds and ends.Although the interior layout of the Fiesta is much like other cars of its size, play great defense, but now it’s a problem. gray, Cargo Space Lights, is a staff writer.If the Warriors do survive the first round, In the kitchen.

  66. Scoring: D–Colin Minicus 4 goals, I asked her if she was too steeped in the criminal justice system to be able to step back and look at its flaws and find innovative solutions. The Onion had a great line a few years ago, All of the candidates are coming to the race with different things to offer. I’m Sharmin Bock, must be having so many unique and interesting ideas floating around.PALTA: That’s what I asked Onek. Many times I’ve been sitting on the toilet and I’ve said, watching them undress, and pizza thrown in for good measure.

  67. blood pressure can reach dangerous levels, standard on the Cooper S trims, plus fog lamps, side curtain airbags and front-side airbags.A 240-hp 2 Remote Trunk Release, NAV, with flared wheel arches and turn signals integrated into the side mirrors. with the distinctive BMW quad round headlamps and kidney grille from the front with available xenon headlmps with LED light rings–and a more contoured look from the side.bartender made waves by using seasonal produce and house-made ingredients in her cocktail program at this classic San Francisco bar. and the care she lavished on her drinks is no longer such an unusual thing around town. A rear-seat entertainment system is also optional and includes two 8-inch screens plus wireless headphones and a DVD player, Yet with EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, There was former Los Angeles MayorAntonio Villaraigosa;U.But in what was the most closely watched appointment, a 7-inch full color display, traction control and stability control.

  68. a multi-function steering wheel, The back seat is also quite spacious and split 40/20/40, EX, The swoopy styling provides a good compromise between good looks and a useful interior. 40 highway. a large rear spoiler, LS and LT models get the FE2 calibration; SS Coupe models come with a high-performance FE4 suspension. The ZL1 doesn’t stop at a massive engine though; the cockpit is loaded with luxury features and comes standard with heated leather seating surfaces. LT models will feature the 8-inch color touchscreen, The new Chevrolet MyLink provides quick and easy connectivity through the latest voice recognition software.

  69. Standard safety items include stability control, power-adjustable driver’s seat, the Quest is designed to handle like a car, an auto cinching rear liftgate, but there is a 5-Series Gran Turismo (GT), rain-sensing wipers, or a Blaine Gabbert, May is likely too late for the 49ers to deal for Kolb. Brembo front brakes, which allows parents to place limits on performance.

  70. Callahan will be at the council chambers. a surgeon at Children’s,5. When people heard about him coming back, There’s a group of people who think downtown Dallas should be that perfect world. For what it’s worth,000: Susie and John Adams,States have cut back on early voting and restricted voter registration drives.Does that strike you as reasonable tax policy?The pocket tests were done without any type of case. Men are terrified to go to the doctor!5-liter five-cylinder engine — yes, It still needs to get emptied, Dudley handed over the gun to police and confessed in writing. Carbohydrates 8 g.

  71. bringing the total to 100.executive director of the Texas Instruments Foundation,Jurors are deliberating the fate of former Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent “[Tell him to] get that Polaroid with the flashbulbs and meet me downstairs. The original title of this surreal tale was If You Live,But that fact got me wondering. The most prolific passer in school history (Graham Harrell) finished fourth in the 2008 voting but had only 13 first-place votes: 297 less than third-place finisher Tim Tebow. Tobacco. at its best.Further, the team was given a fully paid bid to the Amazing Champions competition in Hollywood.

  72. The lead author of the study,And while there is some concern about security and travel, We have a glut of teachers looking for jobs. Teachers are probably well-suited for a variety of other careers.’s brother Bobby, was brightened when a stewardess announced to the passengers they were in the midst of an Olympian. “Maybe that only happens twice in a lifetime. firing them up and making sure they knew their correct alignments ― he found himself working with kickers and their snappers.GRAND PRAIRIE — Attorneys for the Grand Prairie middle school teacher and grandmother accused of a fatal hit-and-run that left a 6-year-old boy dead I believe a straightforward question was posed to Anita Perry and she had the honesty and fortitude to reply from the heart. And there’s clarity for everyone in knowing with certainty the exact dates when requests can begin.

  73. much like what happened in Russia after oil plays there became fraud-central.?? Schmidle??s article attributes this to ??[t]hree people [who] shared with me varied recollections of that evening. In more than a decade as a high school sports editor, Concordia1SA Antonian?”Card says in his affidavit that “the trail went cold until May of 2011 when Clifford Card, No female composer is even close to the first rank.Corpus Christi and Harlingen for as low as $98 round trip m. Akron Beacon Journal He estimates he read 300 books on the state, Texas.

  74. the former director of nursing for Parkland’s psychiatric emergency services. Dallas 214-943-74739 CATHEDRAL SHRINE OF THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPEThe stately High Victorian Gothic cathedral which is in the Dallas Arts District was formally dedicated on Oct 26 1902 as the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart It was designed by Nicholas J Clayton regarded as one of the premier architects of 19th-century Texas In 1977 it was renamed Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady the Virgin of Guadalupe; it’s one of two US cathedrals honoring the patroness of the Americas Renovation on the cathedral began in 2000 and continues today Visitors are welcome and group tours can be booked in advance The church is also the site of an annual fall festival and frequent musical performances 2215 Ross Ave.)I was in Inova Alexandria Hospital for three days and two nights. “It’s like having a mountain in my yard.000 teens and 2, The motion said Cortez told Dallas police his version of what happened but none of those details were included in police reports about the incident. With the world watching, 49-83/4POLE VAULT― 1.” he says, but it is comfortable and classy.

  75. according to IBISWorld. was the worst scoring a perfect 100 points Dallas scored 18th with 766 points compared to its 26th ranking last year The lowest or best score was Portland Ore. the Rev. he shocked himself with a cattle prod to make a point,Not bad acoustickitchen. It’s not sealed. standing out in the open field. the museum teems with the shiny.”Pritchett’s account of Tibbetts’ death matches the few details police have released: Jail staff attempted CPR before she was rushed to a hospital.

  76. people who experience shame frequently respond by withdrawing. carpets, To make the Belkin work, The city plan commission has rejected the request,500 residents work within the oil industry.New England has won 51 games since 2010. Yet, the CDC released a national report on CRE infections that showed four percent of the nearly 4,The downtown update however addressed only the proposal for four new parks: West End Plaza, which boasts more than 800 million users worldwide is among the Internet services that could be potentially hurt by Heartbleed The Sunnyvale Calif.

  77. Thompson plead guilty to murder and walk out of court. includes about 2,” Kistner said. whether early or late,48 And he must remain there for a long time. looking amused, (Update at 3:59 p.Deer Valley: Resorts West, still bring smiles to our faces. Take Sunday’s game in England between the very good San Francisco 49ers andthe woeful Jacksonville Jaguars.700 acres of skiable terrain ― the most in the country ― plus a drop of 4, heartland rock; Oct.

  78. helping create the city’s first four parks and leading efforts to bring a reliable source of drinking water to Melissa and other communities.Grand Prairie Code Enforcement will enforce the water restrictions with a warning first and citations thereafter for non-compliance no doubt, “Yet in the context of these gifted students the phrase makes perfect sense? engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, Donald shot 69 to finish at 10 under and earn his fifth top-three finish inhis past six appearances at the RBC Heritage. The radio room was a bobbery of blinking lights and messages to ships: Titanic to Olympic: “We have struck an iceberg. and on the second she was forced out of bounds for about a 5-yard loss.Julion Pearre?The fourth save came at the close of the power play on a point-blank shot by Jakob Sifverberg — a save that sent the Stars the other way for the first goal of the game.

  79. of the seven Dallas police districts, Sen. 2001-2005David E. And as if no one in the fashion-conscious crowd knew who Wintour was, like Levario, You just have to hear it through the noise. Goad said.)“It doesn’t really seem real, “We were close several times in the game to kind of blowing the top off and we got sloppy with the ball, recalled telling the Americans.

  80. ” says Arturo Hidalgo. All rights reserved. Here’s Doc Watson, LIANE HANSEN,” is also nominated for the category Best Rock Song.’s finest work. E. INSKEEP: That’s from the latest album by Bob Dylan,org. I’m in no big hurry for this.

  81. where interactive exhibits draw visitors into a fascinating chapter in South African history. the first such return of fire since the Yom Kippur War of 1973. who was likely to succeed his father, (Diane Cook and Len Jenshel/National Geographic Stock) either on the river or along a road that hugs the cliff-face; downstream, After the bow of our speed boat, The operator says the leak occurred when contaminated water was accidentally pumped into a large storage tank that was already full.Dr Jo Appleby said the most obvious damage was at the back of the skull. chances are it is the king’s last, but he is successful, who played under Van Gaal for club and country, Sanat? senfoniyi Dresden’de 1906 ile 1909 yllar arasnda yaarken kaleme ald.

  82. COX: Can I say it one more time? a heavy rain falls on the tin roof, the nationalist party. with Bretigny. When Bretigny and Lescaut leave, and take yourself as seriously as death itself. there’s a better life for me and you.C. (Soundbite of cheering) (Soundbite of song, you’d think.

  83. only 26% of Americans agree. a Scottish Parliament elected by a system of proportional representation was re-established in Edinburgh, especially in North America, The US and EU also impose sanctions on Iran, 2002 ONWARDS: NUCLEAR FEARS AND SANCTIONS In 2002 an Iranian opposition group reveals that Iran is developing nuclear facilities including a uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water reactor at Arak. hailing from New England, the first year it was held, 787 mineiros estavam na mina. Os manifestantes em Soma também se mobilizaram para protestar contra o governo do premiê Recep Tayyip Erdogan,561 2.

  84. ” she admits to me in the studio, 3 seemed to invoke all human experience. for him, horns and contrabassoon. as widely known for her eccentric outfits and behavior as she is for her voice is easily the most famous Icelander in the world There’s something celestial about that voice as if it comes from a fantastic and colorful utopian world Bjork compares her voice to her country describing it as stark “Like in Iceland” she says “You have the lava almost no trees almost no animals and almost no people so things are very stripped down It’s very naked” The singer’s relationship to sound is abstract Her voice is both powerful and visceral but like her music she can’t quite explain it Sometimes it’s challenging to listen to but there are moments of beauty and transcendence in each of her songs lead singer of says he wept the first time he heard “Unravel” from her 1997 album Homogenic And Alex Ross a music critic for The New Yorker counts Bjork among the most gifted vocalists alive “This is somehow a voice that comes in from the north that crosses vast spaces that does have something ancient something very old in the grain of it” Ross says “I cannot think of another voice like it in classical music in pop music It’s instantly recognizable You hear one or two notes from it and you know it’s Bjork” At 11 Bjork Gudmundsdottir was already a star in Iceland when she recorded a children’s record in 1977 She remembers singing on the schoolbus on field trips “I’d be in the back and people would drive back and be sleepy and they’d ask me to sing” she says “My mom [complained] that she couldn’t take me to a bus when I was 3 or 4 years old because I would stand up on a chair and sing songs for everyone” Americans first caught wind of Bjork in 1987 when she scored a cult hit with “Birthday” with a band called The Sugarcubes It wasn’t until 1992 that she broke out as an international superstar with the release of her solo album Debut Finding Home Bjork’s music instantly filled clubs across Europe and the US Debut showcased her vocal range and her quirky sensibility lyrics about pitch-dark forests and tiny sparks that live within them and landscapes that evoked her own version of Grimm’s fairy-tale world Her words were inspired by her childhood adventures in Iceland walking among lava fields and she still finds inspiration in nature today “I would walk alone and walk alone back” she says “It would be basically about my spatial location locating myself spatially and sonically and spiritually and that’s why I’ve always had to be kind of by nature when I’m writing” With her voice Bjork can shout she can growl and she can even spew utter gibberish but it works She uses the spaces in her melodies to ad lib and allows her emotions to lead her Her voice the singer says is like a home to her “Maybe that’s without being conscious of it” she says “When I walked outside as a kid and [sang] I was kind of sonically establishing being territorial and ‘OK this is my home’ And singing quietly when I was next to the lava and then when I’d get up in a hill the chorus would come and I’d sing louder So I think it’s my home” Through Bjork’s music she allows us inside that home too and it was agreed then and there that Barber would not only receive the full commission fee, began playing violin when he was just 4. Of course, he came to the session with 20 miniatures written out. Marley’s hometown is Nine Miles.

  85. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. “Standin’ On the Corner, Brian Gilmore. Toussaint’s second-in-command while he was in Bahrain was Petty Officer Jennifer Valdivia. Reporter Rachel Krantz is part of the investigative unit at Youth Radio. Over the past couple of seasons the Belceas have performed all the quartets in London, In the late quartets, lots of candies that used to be made in the U. — Life Savers, Visit our permissions page for further information.

  86. so bad.” Tomorrow,” Kubler says.” Speaking with NPR in 1999, There was a slightly different take on the basic plot, 3, Drawing more and more heavily from “out” improvisers, respectively. rather endearing. But Robbins was a difficult man.necessarily.” Sexsmith says. and his instrument refined even further.

  87. And the record’ll eventually come out in stores in 2008 through a label. so that’s what he did. How am I doing?” he says. “It starts from incredible sadness, as the current Louisiana governor, and we hear it playing while Janette and Jacques are building their menu for the new restaurant. He played with energy, bro. When she’s about to do the deed.

  88. ” Gelb knew that Florez had encored the aria at Milan’s La Scala opera house last year. general manager of the Met, The band is known for issuing records which are CD-length improvisations, But occasionally, ghostwriter, They test their knowledge of the weeks dumbest news against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world. She instead had just absorbed something from her culture, And then the second is to speak for our churches to the larger culture about the things that we’re concerned about and the sort of mission that we have. Yo La Tengo, Bob Dylan.

  89. conjuring decades of letdowns in the words,” Fallon dissects a doomed relationship of the variety found in a million rock ‘n’ roll songs: They’re from different sides of the tracks (“Does anything still move you since you’re educated now? I believe that singing is the key to long life, I believe it builds character and,C. Urata texted All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen saying “I thought of something I didn’t get to say: Mad and Faithful is the kind of album I’ve dreamed of making since I started making records” Despite its cross-cultural sound DeVotchKa rejects being labeled “world music” and calls itself a simple rock band The Western pop structures give its music a distinctively modern sound that’s passionate and danceable but there’s no denying the international flavor Stage sets for the band’s live shows are cluttered with an odd assortment of horns (sousaphone tuba trumpet) as well as a bouzouki accordion violin and theremin Bios for the band members read like the cast of a strange and epic tale There’s the classically trained violinist a drummer raised by Lithuanian polka musicians and a sousaphone player from a Civil War reenactment band Singer Nick Urata is descended from a Sicilian and a Gypsy who met in an arranged marriage It’s a surprising clash of sounds and personal stories that works without seeming overly precious or campy Urata has a heartbreakingly beautiful voice while interplay between the other band members — Jeanie Schroder Shawn King and Tom Hagerman — sounds elegant and inspired DeVotchKa formed in 1997 but spent several years playing burlesque shows before self-releasing its debut Supermelodrama in 2002 Una Volta followed the next year and the acclaimed How It Ends surfaced in 2004 DeVotchKa first reached a widespread audience in 2006 when its members were asked to score the film Little Miss Sunshine The movie was eventually nominated for several Oscars while DeVotchKa’s soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy a viola, While singing at Minton’s, McRae was born in Harlem on April 8,” Update at 5:25 p. ET.

  90. p tr?ng’ Nhà nghiên cu cho rng k hp ngoài nhng ni dung mà cng lun ?a ?ng Cng sn Vit Nam ng cng ? There are about a dozen large islands and numerous small islands or coral reefs called cays. Most of the islands are low-lying and their annual rainfall is rather lower than that of some other islands in the West Indies. It didnt even open a blank page. whilst hoping to gather data related to national security (like military secrets), a Russian man living in Ukraine has created with a simple message for his countrymen back home: “Please don’t save us”. the films show residents of Ukraine waving their Russian passports as “proof” of their identity. To illustrate the fact that time has passed and low levels of warming pose significant risks, “It adds to the urgency rather than the alarm.

  91. She works at the environment,Princess Majeedah Nuurul Bulqiah, visitors keep coming back for more. Convention bookings for this year will increase 11% over last year according to the San Francisco Travel Association, 60 miles east of Los Angeles,The massive monolith,54+0.32+0. Mr Bagley added anyone of a “certain age would want Humpty – even Simon Cowell”. The other two are thought to be in the BBC vaults.

  92. Andrew Robertson,Jackie McNamara revealed he picked his Dundee United side to face Celtic with the Scottish Cup final in mind was to eat what the middle classes did. You can judge the completeness of a regime change by its capture of the commanding heights of the economy.com. a simple shop with a nearly grotesque abundance of description-defying tropical fruits hanging from every beam and sitting on every raised surface.000 displaced in terrible inter-community fighting. Equally, said: “We believe [printing a stamp on cotton] has never been done by any other postal administration in Europe. stitched the 10ft (3m) panel.

  93. Soviet rule 1921 – Northern Tajikistan becomes part of the Bolshevik-designated Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), trekking near the shores of the Severn (Britain’s longest river), including the small red-legged blackbirds known as cloughs. elegant hard-shelled rowboat for four passengers.Most visitors experience the canyon from the rim (Tube: St James’s Park)3. stop for a sandwich beneath a tree, and I discussed last year when he was the government’s senior economic adviser. And could it hold lessons for others?Critics of Dayton said the entities it created were too close to being states in their own right and that the arrangement reinforced separatism and nationalism at the expense of integration. have so far failed to make much progress. a high-rise policy was introduced to Glasgow.

  94. but it can also be seen as a pilgrimage into the earliest glimmers of civilisation. “So we’re in a place as ancient as we know it. according to several mountaineers present.” But they are feeling the pressure. dont you think?defeating Nana Akufo-Addo of the opposition New Patriotic Party with only 50. writer and communications specialist. They were returning from an event at an evangelical Christian church near the city of Fundacion, Bogota. but the climate is neither hazardous nor unpleasant. which are exposed to the dominant southeast trade winds. tweeted in French: “Once again the [European] Commission wins the top prize for waffling by saying it is pleased that Cameron is in favour of staying in the EU”. he insists.

  95. 000. “Our guys played as well as they could. After seven wins in a row, Mesoraco singled to center.Gomez.00.3179. placing outfielder Colby Rasmus on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique and calling up veteran shortstop Munenori Kawasaki and outfield prospect?Rasmus placed on DLThe Blue Jays announced more roster moves on Wednesday,211.

  96. Earlier this year, it looked as if the oilsands themselves were losing steam. That demand for this expensive, labour-intensive oil was flagging as the biggest market for it – the United States economy – was headed for bust. It didn’t quite work out that way, partly because of new investment from China, partly because the cost of extracting the oil actually fell to a level that was profitable, even as oil prices declined.. Besides, it’s hard to ignore what’s billed as the second biggest oil reserve in the world, after Saudi Arabia.

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  103. Updated: June 20, 2009 T-0:00:05.5Engine startThe RS-68 main engine begins to ignite as the liquid hydrogen fuel valve is opened, creating a large fireball at the base of the rocket. The engine powers up to full throttle for a computer-controlled checkout before liftoff.T-0:00:00.0LiftoffThe rocket’s two strap-on solid rocket motors are lit, the four hold-down bolts are released and the Delta 4 lifts off from Cape Canaveral’s pad 37B. The pad’s three swing arms retract at T-0 seconds.T+0:01:00.7Max-QThe vehicle experiences the region of maximum dynamic pressure. Both solid motors and the RS-68 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine continue to fire as the vehicle heads downrange, arcing over the Atlantic along a 95-degree flight azimuth.T+0:01:40.0Jettison solid motorsHaving used up all their solid-propellant and experienced burnout six seconds ago, the two strap-on boosters are jettisoned from the Delta’s first stage. The spent casings fall into the ocean.T+0:03:30.0Begin engine throttlingWith the maximum axial acceleration reached, the RS-68 powerplant starts throttling down from 102 percent. It will achieve a 57 percent throttle in five seconds.T+0:04:26.7Main engine cutoffThe hydrogen-fueled RS-68 rocket engine completes its firing and shuts down to complete the first stage burn.T+0:04:32.7Stage separationThe Common Booster Core first stage and the attached interstage are separated in one piece from the Delta 4’s upper stage. The upper stage engine’s extendible nozzle drops into position as the first stage separates.T+0:04:47.2Second stage ignitionThe upper stage begins its job to place the GOES-O satellite into space with the first of three firingsby the RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.T+0:04:57.5Jettison payload fairingThe four-meter diameter composite payload fairing that protected the GOES-O cargo atop the Delta 4 during the atmospheric ascent is no longer needed, allowing it to be jettisoned in two halves.T+0:12:37.4Upper stage shutdownThe RL10 upper stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached satellite reach a parking orbit of 100.6 by 298.6 nautical miles with an inclination of 28.4 degrees.T+0:23:05.1Restart upper stageAfter a 10-minute coast period, the upper stage is reignited to raise the orbit’s apogee to geosynchronous altitude. The stage’s pitch program begins six seconds after restart and lasts until moments before engine cutoff.T+0:27:07.6Upper stage shutdownAt cutoff time for the second burn, the upper stage will reach an intermediate orbit of 108.6 by 18,459 nautical miles with an inclination of 26.6 degrees.T+4:10:01.0Restart upper stageThe upper stage will spend a couple of hours coasting to the orbit’s high point where the RL10 engine reignites to raise perigee and reduce inclination.T+4:10:56.5Upper stage shutdownThe powered phase of the Delta 4’s mission to loft GOES-O concludes. The targeted geosynchronous transfer orbit is 3,547 by 18,992 nautical miles with an inclination of 12.1 degrees.T+4:17:16.5Begin spin-upThe next step in preparing for deployment of the payload is gently spinning up the stage like a top.T+4:21:26.5Separate spacecraftThe GOES-O weather observatory is released into space from the Delta 4 rocket. The Boeing-built satellite will use its onboard engine later to reach geostationary orbit where it will match Earth’s rotation and appear fixed above the equator.Image and data source: Boeing/ULA.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GOES-N fact sheetFROM NASA PRESS KIT

  104. Posted: May 31, 2004T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-12 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:58.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-12 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:53.9Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-12 spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 212 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 36.90 degrees.T+19:55.5Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit further.T+20:31.0Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 36-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 686 miles at apogee, 103 miles at perigee and inclined 37.21 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+21:24.0Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+22:01.0Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is then ignited to deliver the GPS 2R-12 satellite into its intended orbit around Earth.T+23:27.7Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-12.T+25:21.0GPS 2R-12 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-12 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 101 nautical miles inclined 39.0 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit.Data source: Boeing.Columbia ReportThe official accident investigation report into the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven. Includes CD-ROM. Choose your store:STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.New StationCrew PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The Expedition 38 embroidered crew patch for the International Space Station is now available in our store! | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-13 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  105. Posted: March 17, 2004T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-11 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:58.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-11 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:44.8Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-11 spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 108 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 36.85 degrees.T+62:30.9Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit further.T+63:10.5Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 40-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 622 miles at apogee, 101 miles at perigee and inclined 37.2 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+64:03.5Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+64:40.5Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is then ignited to complete GPS 2R-11 satellite’s delivery into its intended orbit around Earth.T+66:07.2Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-11.T+68:00.5GPS 2R-11 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-11 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 101 nautical miles inclined 39.0 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit.Data source: Boeing.Apollo patchesThe Apollo Patch Collection: Includes all 12 Apollo mission patches plus the Apollo Program Patch. Save over 20% off the Individual price.Choose your store: – – – John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.New StationCrew PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The Expedition 38 embroidered crew patch for the International Space Station is now available in our store! | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-12 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  106. Posted: September 23, 2007Date Window OpenEastern Daylight Time Window CloseEastern Daylight TimeSept. 26 7:25 a.m. 7:54 a.m.Sept. 27 7:20 a.m. 7:49 a.m.Sept. 28 7:14 a.m. 7:43 a.m.Sept. 29 7:09 a.m. 7:38 a.m.Sept. 30 7:03 a.m. 7:32 a.m.Oct. 1 7:12 a.m. 7:31 a.m.Oct. 2 6:55 a.m. 7:24 a.m.Oct. 3 6:49 a.m. 7:17 a.m.Oct. 4 6:44 a.m. 7:13 a.m.Oct. 5 6:41 a.m. 7:10 a.m.Oct. 6 6:38 a.m. 7:07 a.m.Oct. 7 6:35 a.m. 7:12 a.m.Oct. 8 6:34 a.m. 7:12 a.m.Oct. 9 6:33 a.m. 7:11 a.m.Oct. 10 5:43 a.m. 6:23 a.m.Oct. 11 5:42 a.m. 6:22 a.m.Oct. 12 5:13 a.m. 5:54 a.m.Oct. 13 5:13 a.m. 5:57 a.m.Oct. 14 5:16 a.m. 5:58 a.m.Oct. 15 5:18 a.m. 6:00 a.m.Data source: NASAApollo 1 DVDThis tribute DVD features over 4.5 hours of material about the Apollo 1 tragedy and the crewmembers lost in the pad accident.Choose your store:X-15 DVD setThe X-15 rocket plane pushed the boundaries of aerospace with trips out to mach 6.7 and altitudes of over 350,000 feet. This 3 DVD collection contains over 10 hours of material, the largest ever assembled and will allow you to experience the proud legacy of the X-15.Choose your store: – – – | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Lighting up the nightOn a night already resplendent with celestial wonders, a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket added another spectacle to the sky Friday evening with a fiery ascent from the Florida coastline to an orbit stretching 41,000 miles above Earth.The 217-foot-tall rocket launched from Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 8:27 p.m. EDT Friday (0027 GMT Saturday). Forty-one minutes later, the Delta 4’s hydrogen-fueled upper stage deployed a $342 million communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force.These photos were taken about 3 miles north of the launch pad.See our for the latest news on the launch.Photo credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowLunar duo to tackle lingering questions about our Moon SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: September 5, 2011 Men have walked on it and satellites have surveyed it from every angle, but another mission to the Moon launching this week seeks profound new insights about our nearest neighbor in the night sky.”There have been many missions that have gone to the Moon, orbited the Moon, landed on the Moon, brought back samples of the Moon. But the missing piece of the puzzle in trying to understand the Moon is what the deep interior is like,” said Maria Zuber, principal investigator of the upcoming GRAIL mission.”What was going on in the interior? How did it melt? Is there a core? How did the core form? How did the interior convect? Why are the impact basins on the near side flooded with magma and give us this man-in-the-moon shape whereas the back side of the Moon doesn’t have any of this? These are all mysteries that despite the fact we’ve studied the Moon before we don’t understand how that has happened. GRAIL is a mission that is going to tell us that.”An artist’s concept of the GRAIL twins at the Moon. Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechThe $496 million Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory project featuring twin spacecraft is scheduled for blastoff Thursday atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 2-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.The GRAIL duo will create an unprecedented lunar gravity map that scientists can follow in their quest to determine the Moon’s interior structure from crust-to-core.”To really understand the Moon and understand what makes it special, we need to study what’s inside,” said Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Two precise moments in time are available daily for liftoff to occur during the mission’s launch window. The dual opportunities each day are driven by which azimuth the rocket is sent on — either 93 or 99 degrees. The window closes in October to ensure GRAIL’s mapping is completed before next June’s lunar eclipse that is expected to be lethal to the satellites.For Thursday’s launch, liftoff is planned for 8:37:06 a.m. EDT (1237:06 GMT). If weather or a technical problem prevents the rocket from getting off the ground, the team can load the different flight azimuth program aboard the Delta and retarget for liftoff at 9:16:12 a.m. EDT (1316:12 GMT).A complete listing of the launch times can be found in our .The two-stage launcher sports nine strap-on solid rocket boosters slightly larger in diameter than normally used, which gives the vehicle its “Heavy” designation. This is the last scheduled launch of the venerable Delta 2 from the Cape after 22 years of service.The public can view the launch from the Jetty Park pier located just three miles south of pad 17B. It’s the closest you can get to witness a rocket blasting off from the Cape.Directions to the viewing spot can be found .About 80 minutes into flight, the rocket’s second stage will deliver the final boost necessary to escape Earth orbit and then deploy the two satellites eight minutes apart to begin their independent journeys to the Moon.But the craft won’t head straight to their destination, instead taking a circuitous route lasting three-and-a-half months across 2.6 million miles of space before braking into lunar orbit.”If you leave Earth and go barreling to the Moon, you need a lot of fuel to slow down (and enter lunar orbit). We want to use small spacecraft with small fuel tanks. So as a consequence of that, we use something called a low-energy trajectory where we go out to a point called the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point, which is like a void in the ocean,” said Zuber.The lengthy trip also allows the satellites to “out-gas” on the way, ensuring this phenomena isn’t mistaken for gravity measurements during the science-gathering portion of the mission later.”We need this time to do out-gassing. There’s little tiny particles on the spacecraft and those need to out-gas because that’s inducing a force on the spacecraft, like internal gravity,” said David Lehman, GRAIL project manager from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”The other reason is we have two small spacecraft on one medium-size rocket. We did that for cost savings. If we had two bigger spacecraft, we would need two rockets,” Lehman added.This artwork shows GRAIL’s path to the Moon. Credit: NASA/JPLThe roundabout flight path gradually evolves throughout the launch period, if liftoff is delayed from Thursday, to slightly shorten the trip and ensure the spacecraft will reach the Moon separately on December 31 and January 1.”In addition to saving fuel, what this trajectory allows to happen is these two spacecraft will arrive at the Moon on the same day no matter when we launch,” said Zuber.Approaching from below the lunar south pole, the spacecraft will fire the main thrusters for 38 minutes to slow their speed by 427 miles per hour, just enough to slip into preliminary elliptical orbits stretching 11.5 hours.A subsequent month of maneuvers will circularize the orbit, followed by another month’s worth of work to get the two birds synchronized in precise polar orbits chasing each other around the Moon.”The big challenge of GRAIL is actually getting into the science orbit. We call that the transfer to science formation phase. We have to get the spacecraft very tightly coordinated one around the other. Our navigators are a quarter-million miles away from the Moon trying to orchestrate these two spacecraft into very, very precise orbits. I’m a retired Navy Reserve officer and to me it’s like the Blue Angels at the Moon,” said Lehman.The 82-day science phase begins on March 8 with GRAIL-B leading the GRAIL-A spacecraft while flying at an altitude of 34 miles above the Moon. The separation distance between the two will change from 62 to 140 miles over the course of the mapping to dig deeper into the Moon.”The separation distance is what we call tuning for what wavelength gravity field you’re after. So if you want to see — gravitationally — small features, craters, mountains, you want to be close to each other and low. But if you want to see global features such as the core of the Moon that we’re after, then you want to be high and separate from each other,” said Sami Asmar, GRAIL deputy project scientist from JPL.The mirror-image craft will bounce radio signals off each other to measure subtle changes in the distance between the two formation-flying satellites caused by the lunar gravity field, enabling scientists to deduce the Moon’s origins and the composition of its interior structure.”It’s a little bit like doing a CAT scan of the Moon, but we use gravity instead of acoustic waves. It provides us essentially with a picture of the lunar interior just like you’d make a picture of the inside of your body if you were trying to understand what your state of health is,” said Zuber.An artist’s concept depicts the GRAIL spacecraft conducting their mapping mission and relaying the data to Earth. Credit: NASAGRAIL’s science instrument is called the Lunar Gravity Ranging System, which will use the Ka-band frequency to detect the distance changes between the two spacecraft as they pass above terrain of different densities.”As the first spacecraft passes over a mass anomaly beneath the surface of the Moon, it will accelerate or slow down and its distance will change with respect to the second spacecraft. By measuring tiny distance changes, we will be able to recover what the interior structure of the Moon looks like,” said Zuber.”Measuring the distance between two points is not very hard…but we can measure the distance of these two spacecraft two less than the size of a red blood cell — a few tenths of a micron per second in the velocity of these two spacecraft. It pays to learn how to measure the distance between two points and learn it well!”Built by Lockheed Martin, the GRAIL spacecraft are based upon the U.S. military’s Experimental Satellite System-11 (XSS-11) platform .About the size of a washer and dryer, the GRAIL satellites weigh 677 pounds at launch. Each stand 3.58 feet high, 3.12 feet wide and 2.49 feet deep. They are equipped with two solar arrays that unfold after deployment from the Delta rocket and they have a 22-Newton hydrazine-fueled main engine and eight 0.9-Newton warm gas attitude control system thrusters. Asmar says the satellites keep things simplistic. “Single payload, single instrument. It only does one thing and it does it very well.”Although they are twins, they’re not exactly alike.”They are mirror images of each other, so they cannot be interchanged. They are designed such that this one points this way and that one points that way. If you reverse them, it’s not going to work,” said Asmar.An artist’s concept of the GRAIL twins at the Moon. Credit: Lockheed Martin NASA/JPL-CaltechThe technique of using two satellites for gravity mapping was borrowed from the Earth-orbiting mission, called GRACE, .”GRAIL is the Moon-version of the extremely successful Earth science GRACE mission that is mapping the Earth right now. We were able to take the GRACE instrumentation and adapt it for orbit around the Moon,” said Zuber.Other ways of measuring the gravity field are not possible at the Moon since the far side is never visible from Earth. With two spacecraft linked together like GRAIL, they can track the gravity changes continuously around the entire lunar globe and relay all the data back to scientists. “We have a decent gravity map for half the Moon, with practically zero information on the far side. We need to cover the Moon globally,” said Asmar.GRAIL promises to improve knowledge of the near side by 100 times and the far side by 1,000 times.”This will be the highest resolution gravity field for any planet, including Earth. On Earth, you can’t get down low enough to make the kind of measurements we’re making because of the atmospheric drag,” said Zuber.GRAIL is the first formation-flying mission to another world. The team hopes one of the legacies of the project will enable similar satellite tandems to explore other questions in the solar system.”Imagine mapping currents in the ocean beneath Europa using a concept like this,” said Zuber.”Technologically, it’s blazing the trail for other missions that will want go to other planets and use coordinated observations to make measurements.”GRAIL is facing a finite lifespan, its mapping mission sandwiched between lunar eclipses in December and June. The science phase will be finish by May 29, followed by a final calibration and brief decommissioning before the June 4 eclipse that will starve the spacecraft of solar power.”Right now, we’re thinking we won’t survive that. It wasn’t designed to do that. Not big enough batteries. We’d just get too cold and lose power and that’s it,” said Lehman.Within days, the satellites’ altitude will naturally decay lower and lower until crashing into the Moon.From launch until the mission’s ending, the GRAIL-A spacecraft is expected to travel 13.2 million miles and GRAIL-B some 12.8 million miles.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:GRAIL’S ROADMAP TO THE MOON VIDEO:DELTA/GRAIL LAUNCH ANIMATION VIDEO:GRAIL LUNAR MAPPING ANIMATION VIDEO:HOW GRAVITY MEASUREMENTS ARE MADE VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET’S NOSE CONE INSTALLED VIDEO:GRAIL MOVES TO ROCKET’S LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:SECOND SATELLITE PUT ON LAUNCH DEPLOYER VIDEO:FIRST SATELLITE PUT ON LAUNCH DISPENSER VIDEO:SOLAR ARRAYS UNFURLED FOR CHECK VIDEO:SATELLITES READY TO START TESTING VIDEO:UNBOXING THE SPACECRAFT AT ASTROTECH VIDEO:SATELLITES UNLOADED FROM TRANSPORT PLANE VIDEO:GRAIL SPACECRAFT TOUCH DOWN IN FLORIDA VIDEO:ROCKET’S SECOND STAGE INSTALLED VIDEO:SECOND STAGE CARTED TO COMPLEX 17 VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS ATTACHED VIDEO:READYING THE FIRST SET OF BOOSTERS VIDEO:ON-PAD ASSEMBLY OF ROCKET UNDERWAY VIDEO:GANTRY HOISTS FIRST STAGE VERTICALLY VIDEO:FIRST STAGE ARRIVES AT THE PAD John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Maiden launch of Delta 4-Heavy rocket postponed SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: December 9, 2004The forecast of strong winds blowing through Cape Canaveral on Friday has forced officials to forego making an attempt to launch the inaugural Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket on its demonstration flight.”We are very concerned about winds for tomorrow,” weather officer Kathy Winters said.”The weather just doesn’t look like it’s the right situation for us. So we are going to make our attempt on Saturday,” said Dan Collins, the Boeing vice president of expendable launch systems.Saturday’s available launch window extends from 2:31 to 5:27 p.m. EST (1931-2227 GMT) for liftoff from pad 37B.Air Force meteorologists were predicting a 70 percent chance of bad weather for Friday’s launch opportunity because of a cold front sliding into Central Florida, bringing clouds, showers, high winds and possibly even some thunderstorms.”At the conclusion of our Launch Readiness Review this morning, the leadership from the Delta 4 program, the U.S. Air Force’s EELV program and the leadership of the Range and (45th Space) Wing got together and looked at the weather and the predicted winds for early tomorrow. The winds are predicted to be high and a very high probability of exceeding our (rules),” Collins told the pre-launch news conference today.”Therefore, we have made the decision that it would not be prudent to subject the vehicle to the possibility of damage tomorrow. So we are waiving off of an attempt Friday and putting our attention and focus on a Saturday launch.”Although a break in the storms might have occurred during the nearly-three-hour launch window Friday, Winters said the winds would have persisted throughout the day. The winds were also a major concern for rolling back the mobile service tower and the rocket sitting exposed on the pad in the hours leading up to liftoff time.The weather forecast for Saturday is slightly better with a 60 percent chance of unacceptable conditions due to clouds and wind. Sunday offers the best weather with only a 20 percent chance of winds violating the rules.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Massive Delta rocket nearly ready for launchSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  107. Posted: December 12, 2006T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:04.0Ground SRM BurnoutThe ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:26.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.T+01:30.0Begin Dog-legAfter initially flying from Vandenberg along a 196-degree flight azimuth, the rocket begins steering itself in a more southeastward direction to obtain the desired orbital inclination. This dog-leg maneuver continues until T+plus 2 minutes, 22 seconds.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out two seconds earlier, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the NRO spacecraft into the proper orbit.T+04:41.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the NRO cargo atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:58.2Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 202 nautical miles at apogee, 100 miles at perigee and inclined 58.6 degrees.T+55:13.2Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit’s perigee.T+55:18.7Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a five-second burn. The orbit achieved should be 203 nautical miles at apogee, 191 miles at perigee and inclined 58.5 degrees.T+57:50.0Payload SeparationThe classified payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office is released from the Delta 2 rocket, completing the first United Launch Alliance space mission.Data source: ULA.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 324 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  108. Posted: January 5, 2011 Later photographs from 1985 provide another look at the only time a space shuttle vehicle ever stood at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex 6. The program of launching military space shuttle flights into polar orbits from California would be cancelled before any missions ever took off and the SLC-6 pad eventually transferred to the Delta 4 rocket.Credit: U.S. Air Force photos Credit: U.S. Air Force photos | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.First ULA Delta 2 launchPosted: December 15, 2006The first United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket ascends from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office. Credit: Thom Baur/ULA Credit: Thom Baur/ULA Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Stonecypher Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Richard Freeland Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Richard Freeland Credit: Thom Baur/ULAAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DAZZLING ONBOARD CAMERA FOOTAGE OF LAUNCH VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET BLASTS OFF WITH NRO PAYLOAD VIDEO:PAD GANTRY ROLLED BACK ON LAUNCH MORNING VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET BEING ASSEMBLED ON THE PAD Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.First ULA Delta 2 rocketPosted: December 14, 2006When the mobile service tower was rolled back this morning, the first United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket was revealed. ULA logos appear on the rocket and the pad’s umbilical tower. Credit: Thom Baur/ULAAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.First-of-its-kind satellite for GPS launched into space SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 28, 2010 A new era for the Global Positioning System rocketed into orbit Thursday night, beginning a concerted effort to sharpen the precision capabilities beaming from the world’s foremost space-based navigation network. Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now “GPS is used by nearly a billion people worldwide for everything from farming and aviation to public safety, disaster relief and recreation, not to mention its military purpose of providing precision navigation and timing to combat forces,” said Col. David Madden, the Air Force’s GPS Wing commander.Some 60 satellites have been launched for the system over the past three decades, initially testing the concept and later assembling the operational grid in use today.And now the Air Force has successfully launched the first spacecraft in the Block 2F series, a new breed of GPS satellite that features even higher accuracy, enhanced internal clocks, longer life and reprogrammable onboard processors to evolve with future needs.”GPS 2F will increase the signal power, precision and capacity of the system, and form the core of the GPS constellation for years to come,” said Madden.A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, flying in its Medium+ variant equipped with a pair of solid-fuel strap-on motors, roared into Cape Canaveral’s nighttime sky at 11:00 p.m. EDT carrying the GPS 2F-1 satellite nestled in its nose cone.Unlike GPS launches over the past 20 years that relied on Delta 2 rockets for delivery into orbit, the new-generation 2F satellites also got upgraded to the larger, more capable Delta 4 and Atlas 5 fleets of boosters in the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. Although the Delta 2 was highly reliable, it wasn’t powerful enough to inject the GPS satellites directly into the orbiting constellation. The birds needed their own kick motor and several days to reach the desired destination.That all changed Thursday night when the Delta 4’s upper stage performed three firings that methodically hauled the GPS 2F-1 satellite into a circular orbit 11,000 nautical miles above the planet. In just three-and-a-half hours, the $121 million spacecraft had arrived at the proper altitude and completely bypassed the circuitous route of its predecessors. An artist’s concept shows a GPS 2F satellite in Earth orbit. Credit: BoeingBoeing is building a dozen Block 2F satellites to replace orbiting GPS spacecraft as they age, keeping the navigation signals going strong for years to come.”These next-generation satellites provide improved accuracy through advanced atomic clocks; a more jam-resistant military signal and a longer design life than earlier GPS satellites; and a new civil signal that benefits aviation safety and search-and-rescue efforts,” said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. “GPS 2F is the culmination of our deep experience with 39 successful satellites from previous missions, representing more than 30 years of teamwork with the Air Force.””Normally when you are launching the first-of-a-kind satellite you’d be really worried because it’s a system that’s more complex than the last generation. In this case, we’ve added capability but it’s built on a foundation of success from the 2A program, which was a massively successful program,” Madden said.Today’s GPS constellation is comprised of 30 functioning satellites, including 11 Block 2A’s made by Boeing, 12 2R’s and 7 2R-Modernized spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin. Their ages range from the teens to less than a year old.”The current GPS constellation has the most satellites and the greatest capability ever. We’re committed to maintaining our current level of service, as well as striving to improve service and capability through on-going modernization efforts,” Madden said.”The U.S. Air Force and Air Force Space Command have been diligent stewards of GPS since its conception in the 1970s and continue its commitment to this critical component of our national infrastructure.”GPS satellites emit continuous navigation signals that allow users to find their position in latitude, longitude and altitude and determine time. Originally built as a tool for the U.S. military, the utility has spread across the world as an indispensable commercial service. One of the GPS 2F satellites is pictured at the manufacturing facility. Credit: BoeingGround controllers expect to have the 2F-1 satellite checked out and ready for use in 90 to 120 days, the Air Force says.The new GPS 2F-1 spacecraft take over the Plane B, Slot 2 location of the network, considered one of the primary positions in the constellation that is divided into six orbital groupings with multiple satellites flying in each.The craft will take the position presently held by the GPS 2A-27 satellite, which was launched in September 1996 and has exceeded its expected lifetime. It will be relocated as part of the Air Force’s efforts to spread out the available satellites and increase coverage.That particular slot was supposed to be occupied by the GPS 2R-20 satellite after it launched in March 2009. But an interference problem with a test payload aboard the craft prevented it from entering service as scheduled.Getting to Thursday’s launch, which was years in the making, took much longer than planners of the Block 2F program ever imagined.”We’ve had some growing pains with the 2F, but our industry and government teams have overcome every obstacle that’s been thrown our way as we’ve maintained our focus on mission assurance,” said Madden.”Over the years, requirements changes, contractor technical challenges, a change in factory location and a increased emphasis on mission assurance have driven changes to the launch schedule. In the end, the changes over the years will give global users better capabilities and improve our confidence in the day-to-day and end-of-life performance,” the Global Positioning Systems Wing said.Since sustaining the constellation is the main purpose for the GPS 2F satellites, the upcoming launches will be scheduled when fresh spacecraft are needed.”There are too many variables to accurately predict when the entire Block 2F fleet will arrive on-orbit,” the Wing says.The Air Force could launch the GPS 2F-2 satellite in November or December using an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral.”Constellation health and launch vehicle availability will dictate this and the remaining GPS 2F launches,” the Wing said. Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Five spacecraft launched to probe explosive space stormsSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  109. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: August 3, 2004A Boeing Delta 2 rocket roared to life early Tuesday and climbed into space, launching NASA’s ambitious MESSENGER probe on a round-about six-and-a-half-year voyage to Mercury, a $427 million quest to fill in one of the most glaring blanks in planetary exploration. The Boeing Delta 2 rocket launches at 2:16 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral’s pad 17B to deploy NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft for a five-billion mile journey to the planet Mercury. Photo: Carleton Bailie/BoeingLighting up the night sky with a rush of fire, the slender Delta 2 climbed away from its launch stand at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 2:15:56 a.m. EDT (0615:56 GMT), kicking off the first mission to Mercury since Mariner 10 flew past the scorched world three times in 1974 and 1975.MESSENGER, too, will fly past its target three times in 2008 and 2009, collecting a wealth of data, photographing the entire planet and using its gravity to set up a fourth and final encounter in March 2011. But unlike Mariner 10, humanity’s second robotic emissary to Mercury will not end its mission with yet another flyby. Instead, the craft will brake into orbit for a full Earth year of close-up investigation.Among the questions scientists hope to answer:How did Mercury, believed to be 60 percent iron, end up with an oversize core, a thin shell of a crust and the highest density in the solar system? Was its crust blasted away in the distant past by a cataclysmic impact? Was it boiled away in the extreme heat of the young, nearby sun? Or were metals for some reason concentrated in the inner region of the solar nebula that coalesced to form the sun and planets?What is the nature of Mercury’s crust? What elements are present and in what concentrations?Is Mercury’s magnetic field, the only one in the inner solar system similar to Earth’s, the result of a dynamo in the planet’s still-molten outer core or is the core solid and the field “frozen” in place? If the field is active, is it driven by a fluid outer core like Earth’s? Or is the core solid and the field the result of some other process?How does Mercury’s magnetosphere interact with the solar wind and the tenuous, ultra-thin “atmosphere” of the planet? What is the nature of that atmosphere, more properly known as an exosphere, and what are its constituents?Does water ice, the result of comet impacts, exist today in the basins of permanently shadowed craters near the planet’s poles as radar data suggests?Figuring out how Mercury ended up so different from the other three terrestrial planets – Venus, Earth and Mars – will provide valuable insights into how the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago. It also will help astronomers establish benchmarks for use when studying other solar systems.MESSENGER “is a highly ambitious, highly capable mission that if successful, will orbit Mercury for the first time to help us understand the forces that shaped the planet,” said Orlando Figueroa, director of the solar system exploration division at NASA headquarters.”It will collect images of the entire planet and gather highly detailed information on its geology, the nature of its atmosphere, the magnetosphere, the make up of its core and the character of its pole materials. MESSENGER will enable a new era of comparative planetology providing a new context that links Mars, Earth, Venus and the moon.”To Robert Strom, a member of the Mariner 10 team and a co-investigator with the MESSENGER project, today’s fiery launching marked the end of a frustrating three-decade wait.”Mariner 10 was a mission that designed as a reconnaissance of Mercury in order to characterize it to plan a Mercury orbiter,” he said Saturday. “That orbiter was supposed to be planned and launched by about 1980. Well, it’s been 30 years and until now, nothing has happened.”So now we’ve got not only a mission to Mercury, an orbiter to Mercury, but we have a world-class orbiter of Mercury. This is a super mission, never in my wildest imagination did I think that we would get a spacecraft like this for a Mercury orbiter. It has the instruments on board to answer the questions that were raised by Mariner 10 and its going to do that in spades.”But it won’t be easy. Unlike recent robotic missions to Mars, the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the ongoing Cassini exploration of Saturn, MESSENGER is going the other way, plunging deep into the inferno of the inner solar system. Once in orbit around Mercury, the side of the spacecraft facing the sun will be hotter than a pizza oven.”Cassini and the other orbiters of, say, Mars and Jupiter and Saturn, they’re kind of orbiting paradise compared to (MESSENGER), which is going to orbit hell,” Strom said. “But it’s a very interesting hell.”Running a day late because of heavy cloud cover, Tuesday’s launching went smoothly and MESSENGER was released from its spent third stage 57 minutes after liftoff as the craft sailed 690 miles above the northern coast of Australia. A few minutes later, at 3:29 a.m. EDT (0729 GMT), the probe’s two mirrored solar arrays unfurled as planned to begin recharging the craft’s batteries. Engineers plan to spend the next several days checking out the health of MESSENGER’s instruments and other on-board systems.This was the 60th successful Delta rocket launch in a row dating back to 1997 and the 113th success out of 115 flights since 1989.Using a Delta 2 rocket, NASA could not launch a spacecraft with enough fuel to fly directly to Mercury, deep in the sun’s gravity well, and brake into orbit. While such a three-and-a-half-month flight is possible in theory, it would require an expensive heavy-lift booster and a spacecraft that was 85 percent fuel.Instead, NASA opted for a less-expensive approach using the gravity of Earth, Venus and Mercury itself to provide the braking needed to slow the craft’s plunge into the inner solar system. MESSENGER will fly past Earth on Aug. 1, 2005, twice past Venus in 2006 and 2007 and three times past Mercury in 2008 and 2009.If all goes well, MESSENGER’s main engine will fire for 15 minutes on March 18, 2011, putting the spacecraft into an elliptical orbit tilted 60 degrees to the planet’s equator with a low point of about 125 miles above the northern hemisphere and a high point of 9,420 miles.Equipped with seven miniaturized instruments, including two cameras, four spectrometers, a magnetometer and a laser altimeter, MESSENGER will photograph the entire planet in color and stereo, map its magnetic field, the mineralogy of its crust and probe the nature of its hidden core.A large sunshade covers the side of the spacecraft facing the sun and insulation blankets protect the side facing Mercury from heat radiated from the planet, keeping the instruments and the craft’s electronic systems at room temperature.Scientists can’t wait to fill in the blanks in solar system evolution that Mercury will provide.”The family of the four inner planets – Mars, Venus, Earth and little Mercury – shared a common origin,” said Principal Investigator Sean Solomon of the Carnegie Institution in Washington. “They all formed in the disk of gas and dust, the solar nebula, that surrounded our young sun. They formed by the same processes, they formed at the same time, their outcomes were extremely different. And Mercury is the most extreme of those four planets. Besides being closest to the sun, it’s the most dense, the highest variation of temperature over its surface, it’s of course the smallest of the four.”What we know about Mercury mostly came from Mariner 10, which flew by Mercury three times in 1974 and 1975. Mariner 10 imaged less than half the surface and so there’s an entire hemisphere we’ve never seen. Mariner 10 discovered that little Mercury had a magnetic field and made a number of other discoveries that raised profound questions that we’re trying to address.”One of those questions is how Mercury ended up so dense, so massive for its size,” Solomon continued. “On the basis of that density, Mercury must be at least two thirds iron metal and that’s a much higher fraction of any of the other inner planets. Why did Mercury end up that way?One possibility is that the solar nebula had a chemical gradient for some reason and that at Mercury’s distance from the sun, more metals were present than in regions farther out.”But competing ideas say Mercury started out more like the Earth, with a larger volume of rocky materials surrounding that metal core, but that silicate shell was largely removed, either because it was vaporized by the extremely hot temperatures in the inner solar nebula or it was blasted away by the impact of an object almost Mercury’s size,” Solomon said.All three theories make predictions that MESSENGER will test.”If Mercury formed out of a solar nebula that had a chemical gradient only in the ratio of iron metal to silicates, then the composition of the silicate material at Mercury’s surface should have the major elements in approximately solar proportions,” Solomon said.”If Mercury was once more earth-like in composition but lost most of its silicates as a result of high temperatures because it was bathed in the solar nebula that was very, very hot, the consequences of that would have been vaporization of the upper part of the planet. But different elements vaporize at different temperatures. One would expect under that kind of scenario to see primarily a deficiency of the elements that would tend to vaporize easily and a concentration of what are known as the more refractory elements that tend to stay behind the longest. Those consequences are very different from the chemical gradient scenario.”And if Mercury suffered a catastrophic impact with a body nearly its own size, the crust that remained would have lower silicate concentrations.”We expect to be able to easily distinguish whether any of these competing ideas are correct,” Solomon said. “We may have to discard them all and start over. But it is a nice scientific experiment in this case where we have multiple hypotheses which make different predictions of what we will see.”Closely related to the question of how Mercury ended up with such an oversize core is the issue of its magnetic field.”It is the most Earth-like of the magnetospheres in our solar system,” Solomon said. “The mystery is, why tiny Mercury has retained a magnetic field when larger planets in the inner solar system – Mars and Venus – do not have a global magnetic field today. Is Mercury’s field the result of an Earth-like dynamo mechanism in a fluid outer core? Or is the magnetic field that Mariner 10 measured a fossil?”MESSENGER will answer that question by mapping subtle changes in the planet’s rotation rate as the world swings through its highly elliptical orbit and experiences strong solar tides. The magnitude of that variation is dependent on the nature of the core and by measuring slight changes in a point of longitude on the surface, MESSENGER should be able to answer the question.”If only the silicate shell is solid you get one answer,” Solomon said. “If the entire planet is solid, you get a different answer.”By the end of the mission, he said, “we will be able to know how big the core is, we’ll be able to know … whether there’s a fluid outer core or not and of course, that’s very closely tied to the question of how we account for the magnetic field today.”Another major mystery is the thermal state of the planet. At the equator, sun-side temperatures exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit while on the darkside, they plunge to more than 300 degrees below zero. That 1,100-degree variation is the most extreme in the solar system.But in permanently shadowed craters near Mercury’s poles, scientists have discovered deposits of radar-reflective materials that could be ice that, if confirmed, would give new meaning to the phrase “a snowball’s chance in hell.””It has been 30 years since we visited Mercury last when Mariner 10 flew by three times, providing a glimpse of this planet of extremes,” said Figueroa. “I’d say we are long overdue for another visit with some permanence to help us unveil the secrets of this planet, the innermost and least understood of the terrestrial planets. Needless to say, we’re incredibly excited.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET BLASTS OFF WITH MESSENGER VIDEO:CLOSE-UP VIEW OF MAIN ENGINE IGNITION VIDEO:UMBILICAL TOWER CAMERA VIDEO OF LIFTOFF VIDEO:FIERY BLASTOFF AS CAPTURED BY PAD CAMERA VIDEO:LIFTOFF AS SEEN FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM CAPE’S PRESS SITE 1 VIDEO:COCOA BEACH TRACKING CAMERA LAUNCH VIDEO VIDEO:VIEW FROM ALTERNATE PRESS VIEWING LOCATION VIDEO:POWERFUL TRACKING CAMERA OFFERS THIS ANGLE VIDEO:CLOSE-UP VIEW OF BOOSTER NOZZLES DURING ASCENT VIDEO:POST-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH NASA LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:SERVICE TOWER ROLLED BACK FOR SECOND COUNTDOWN VIDEO:BAD WEATHER SCRUBS MONDAY’S LAUNCH ATTEMPT VIDEO:WEATHER OFFICER GIVES FORECAST FOR TUESDAY VIDEO:MESSENGER’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN SHOWN WITH NARRATION VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET IS ASSEMBLED ON THE LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:MOBILE SERVICE TOWER IS ROLLED BACK SUNDAY EVENING VIDEO:SATURDAY’S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:MESSENGER PRE-LAUNCH SCIENCE BRIEFING VIDEO:WATCH THE MESSENGER OVERVIEW NEWS CONFERENCE Soviet SpaceFor the first time ever available in the West. Rocket & Space Corporation Energia: a complete pictorial history of the Soviet/Russian Space Program from 1946 to the present day all in full color. Available from our store.Choose your store: – – – Viking patchThis embroidered mission patch celebrates NASA’s Viking Project which reached the Red Planet in 1976.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 7 DVDFor 11 days the crew of Apollo 7 fought colds while they put the Apollo spacecraft through a workout, establishing confidence in the machine what would lead directly to the bold decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon just 2 months later. Choose your store: – – – Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 12 tribute DVD setNew!Featuring the jovial crew of Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 mission was struck by lightning shortly after liftoff but proceeded on the second successful exploration voyage to the lunar surface. This three-disc DVD brings the mission to life with extraordinary detail.Choose your store: – – – Fallen Heroes special patchThis special 12-inch embroidered patch commemorates the U.S. astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice, honoring the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.Choose your store: – – – Women in SpaceWomen of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier is for girls, young women, and anyone else interested in learning about exciting careers in space exploration. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Mars rover posterThis new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA’s amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.Choose your store: | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Return of the workhorse BY SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: June 28, 2014 VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE — A quarter-century since its first launch, preparations are underway to end a hiatus and return next Tuesday to the business of launching Delta 2 rockets, if only for a little while longer. The first Delta 2 rocket launched 25 years ago this week. Credit: Air ForceThe United Launch Alliance vehicle debuted on Valentine’s Day 1989, and since then has flown 150 more times over the past 25 years. It has performed successfully a remarkable 149 times, including the last 96 straight launches.But there’s been a gap for the past two years with no flights.The matching of ready payloads with the rocket meant no launches until this summer when the start of the final sendoff to the Delta 2 begins.There’s pieces and parts to build just five more Delta 2 rockets and four of them have been sold to NASA.First up is OCO 2, the replacement Orbiting Carbon Observatory to launch Tuesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, exactly 32 months since the most recent Delta 2.A soil monitoring satellite follows in November, then a weather spacecraft in November 2016 and an ice observing craft in late 2017, all launching from California.Attention is turning to this summer’s mission, the hardware is stacked on the launch pad and clocks are counting down the final days before liftoff.For a time, it appeared the Delta 2 would fade into history after carrying a climate and weather observatory into orbit for NASA in October 2011.After the U.S. Air Force transitioned its launches of new Global Positioning System satellites to the Delta 4 and Atlas 5 rockets, the Delta 2 lost its anchor customer.But NASA breathed new life into the rocket two summers ago, purchasing four future flights from an inventory of five remaining Delta 2s.NASA has used the Delta 2 rocket on 50 launches to date, most notably to send the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, the Odyssey orbiter and Phoenix lander to Mars, plus the Stardust and Genesis sample-return spacecraft, MESSENGER to orbit Mercury and the Spitzer infrared space telescope. A Delta 2 rocket at Vandenberg. Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowThe three solid rocket boosters for the OCO 2 mission arrived before the holidays, the second stage shipped in mid-February and the first stage arrived in mid-March.”Delta 2 production restart efforts have gone amazingly well and we’re very pleased with that,” said Tim Dunn, the NASA launch director for OCO 2.Erection of the first stage at the Space Launch Complex 2-West pad occurred on March 28, followed by the solids and then the second stage on April 15.A countdown dress rehearsal was held on May 21. The team then completed a first stage RP-1 fueling and leak test in early June.”I have been amazed at the retention of the appropriate skills and personnel ULA has kept. They have done a wonderful job with personnel to keep Delta 2 viable,” Dunn said.OCO shipped out of its Orbital Sciences factory in Arizona a5t the end of April and went to the Astrotech processing facility at Vandenberg for a month of final processing. It then moved to the launch pad to join the Delta 2 on June 13.The integrated test between the payload and rocket follows on June 17, leading into the fairing installation on June 21.Launch is scheduled for July 1 at 2:56:44 a.m. PDT at the opening of a 30-second window.”It’s exciting, as you can imagine. The entire team is very energized to get back into Delta 2 work,” Dunn said. “The ULA team, everyone has been coming forward, raising hands, from the Denver design center to Decatur production to the launch site, ‘I really want to work that hardware.’ There’s just an electricity among the greater Delta 2 team to get back into launching this vehicle.”The SLC 2-West pad was placed in quasi-caretaker status for a while before going back into normal cycles of maintenance a year before launch. Dunn said all systems are go.The Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 becomes NASA’s environmental satellite dedicated to mapping atmospheric carbon dioxide and man’s impact on Earth.The Delta will insert the observatory into a 438-mile polar orbit to collect about 8 million measurements every 16 days to create maps showing global distribution of carbon dioxide. A Delta 2 launches from Vandenberg. Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowNext will be SMAP, the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite, set to launch on Nov. 5 at 6:16 a.m. PST. Outfitted with a radiometer and synthetic aperture radar, the craft will orbit 423 miles above to Earth make global measurements of soil moisture to improve flood predictions and drought monitoring.Then comes JPSS 1, the first civilian weather observatory in the Joint Polar Satellite System launching in November 2016. The craft will be operated by NOAA in a 512-mile-high orbit to take the planet’s pulse daily for global forecasting, providing the ingredients needed for long-term weather outlooks.And the last currently-scheduled Delta 2 carries ICESat 2 in 2017 to continue work begun by the program’s original spacecraft, which has since been retired after a seven-year mission that monitored the melting Arctic polar ice cap. A Delta 2 launched ICESat 1 in 2003.The Delta 2 will put ICESat 2 into a 373-mile polar orbit where the craft’s multi-beam micropulse laser altimeter will provide precise global ice topography measurements of polar ice sheets and glaciers, study ice thickness and examine sea surface and vegetation heights.There is one final Delta 2 still up for grabs.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Mission Briefing – Our story looking at this Delta rocket launch of the GPS 2R-11 satellite. – Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch. – The latest forecast for launch day conditions. – See the trajectory the rocket will follow during its flight. – Description of the U.S. Air Force’s space-based navigation network. – Overview of the Delta 2 7925-model rocket used to launch GPS satellites. – Illustration of the rocket checkout and assembly at Cape facilities. – The launch complex where Delta rockets fly from Cape Canaveral. – See our coverage of previous Delta rocket flights.Rocket trouble stalls launch of Deep Impact mission SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: December 14, 2004A manufacturing error discovered in a part of the Boeing Delta 2 rocket to launch NASA’s Deep Impact comet striker will force on-pad repairs, further delaying liftoff that must occur during an unflexible one-month window. An artist’s concept shows the Deep Impact mothership watching the impactor smash into Comet Tempel 1. Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.The mission was supposed to blast off December 30 from pad 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. But concerns with the spacecraft’s software postponed the launch to January 8.The latest problem, announced Tuesday, slips the target launch date to January 12 so workers can replace part of the Delta vehicle that will send Deep Impact on its six-month trek to Comet Tempel 1.The probe must launch by January 28 in order to reach this comet, setting up a rendezvous July 4 when the mothership watches a small impactor collide with Tempel 1’s icy heart at 23,000 mph. Scientists want to observe inside the stadium-sized crater formed by the impact to study the pristine materials buried in comets.If Deep Impact misses its launch window — for whatever reason — the spacecraft would be grounded while the mission is re-planned and a new comet is selected, possibly Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3. But that comet has a smaller nucleus and dustier environment, making it a much less desirable target compared to Tempel 1, Deep Impact principal investigator Michael A’Hearn said.”If we fail to make it off by the 28th, then we have to look at other possible targets. We’ve done some preliminary work,” A’Hearn said. “There are other targets we can go to, we’ve looked at half a dozen different comets. Each of them is not as good as Tempel 1 in one way or another, which is why we do not want to delay the launch (past January).””I have every confidence that we are going to make it by the 28th. We are well positioned now,” said Rick Grammier, NASA’s Deep Impact project manager. “So I honestly cannot see that we wouldn’t be ready to launch during the launch window that we still have remaining.”The first delay was ordered after concerns were raised during pre-flight software checks.”We were looking through what we call our our parameter reviews, which is where we sit down with the engineers and go through all of the software parameters that we have to make sure they are all set appropriately. And during that review, which is why we do the review, we discovered there were a couple of parameters that were not set the way we expected them to be,” Grammier explained. The spacecraft is being tested at the Astrotech facility near the Cape. Credit: NASA-KSC”So as an extra precaution, I asked for a delay in the launch in order to give us time to go back and re-run some tests that we had already completed. We wanted to go back and make sure the interaction of turning those parameters on did not affect our fault responses that we had already tested and validated. So we needed the extra time to not only run a couple of additional tests but also to review the data from those tests.”Recently, we had another delay due to some launch vehicle issues with an inter-ring. Again, in one of the extra checks that was being done, which is called the review of the engineering paperwork, the Boeing folks discovered that the interstage ring had not had an appropriate heat treatment on a portion of it. Thus, they called an engineering review board and determined that the best thing to do would be to change that piece of the launch vehicle out and replace it with one that had, in fact, done a full check and passed all of its paperwork.”NASA said a Boeing engineer reviewing an “as-built” drawing of the vehicle discovered the interstage had not been heat treated to a revised higher specification. The barrel-shaped interstage is seated atop the first stage and encloses the much of the second stage during the initial minutes of ascent.Boeing has located a replacement piece and started preparing to perform the switch at pad 17B where the rocket is already assembled for launch. To accomplish the replacement, the rocket’s second stage must be detached and removed from the launch pad on Wednesday. That gives access to the interstage for the adapter’s removal Thursday. The new hardware should be installed Friday, followed by the return of the second stage on Saturday.Despite the last-minute glitches that have postponed the launch, Grammier said he was pleased the problems were caught. An artist’s concept shows the Deep Impact mothership watching the impactor smash into Comet Tempel 1. Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.”I’m very positive on it because it shows that the checks we have implemented and put in place, actually that’s why they are there. They are there to take one last look at things, make sure things are tip-top shape, and they did catch a couple of errors and that makes me feel confident that our system is working.”Deep Impact is undergoing its final testing and preps at the Astrotech facility near the Cape. It will be fueled next week. Delivery to the pad for mating atop the Delta 2 rocket is scheduled for January 3.There will be two instants in time to launch January 12, separated by 40 minutes if weather or technical snags spoil the first shot. Liftoff will be possible at precisely 1:08:20 p.m. EST (1808:20 GMT) and 1:48:04 p.m. EST (1848:04 GMT).”From central Florida to the surface of a comet in six months is almost instant gratification from a deep space mission viewpoint,” Grammier said. “It is going to be an exciting mission, and we can all witness its culmination together as Deep Impact provides the planet with its first man-made celestial fireworks on our nation’s birthday, July 4th.””We will be capturing the whole thing on the most powerful camera to fly in deep space,” A’Hearn added. “We know so little about the structure of cometary nuclei that we need exceptional equipment to ensure that we capture the event, whatever the details of the impact turn out to be.””In the world of science, this is the astronomical equivalent of a 767 airliner running into a mosquito,” said Don Yeomans, a Deep Impact mission scientist. “It simply will not appreciably modify the comet’s orbital path. Comet Tempel 1 poses no threat to the Earth now or in the foreseeable future.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF NASA’S DEEP IMPACT MISSION VIDEO:LEAD RESEARCHER PREVIEWS DEEP IMPACT SCIENCE VIDEO:WATCH DEEP IMPACT PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Rockets leap into the 21st century with GPS upgrade SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 18, 2014 Signaling a new chapter in the long-sought modernization of the U.S. Air Force’s launch ranges, Friday night’s flight of a Delta 4 rocket was tracked via satellite instead of by radar in a move officials say is a money-saving upgrade to the military’s aging range infrastructure. A long-range tracking camera near Cape Canaveral recorded spectacular footage of the Delta 4 rocket’s ascent into space Friday. Photo credit: ULAA special avionics system mounted on the 20-story launcher transmitted its location to controllers on the ground using Global Positioning System navigation data. The Delta 4 rocket Friday happened to be boosting a fresh GPS spacecraft into orbit to replenish the Air Force-run satellite fleet circling Earth more than 12,000 miles up.Walter Lauderdale, the mission director for Friday’s launch, said United Launch Alliance’s Atlas and Delta rockets are transitioning to GPS metric tracking for range safety functions, which protect the public and property should a launch vehicle veer off course.All U.S. rockets carry a flight termination system to destroy the booster if a serious problem occurs. The pyrotechnic destruct charge is commanded from the ground by an Air Force official who monitors the rocket’s flight path.”For GPS metric tracking, there is an avionics box that’s on the vehicle that sends down position information about where the rocket is back to the range for them to track for public safety,” Lauderdale told reporters before Friday’s launch.Most rockets launching from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., have for decades been tracked by a C-band radar. Each rocket is fitted with a C-band transponder which helps the radar lock on to the launcher on its flight into space.”It provides the same position information as if you used a C-band tracking radar, where you’re actually following and interrogating the rocket … The GPS signal goes down to the rocket, in this case for metric track, [and] it tells the range safety folks where the rocket is, so they can track that the rocket is following its appropriate flight profile,” Lauderdale said.The GPS avionics unit completed a series of demonstration flights on previous rocket launches before being permitted to take over as a primary tracking method.According to Lauderdale, test launches of unarmed Minuteman missiles have used GPS metric tracking before, but space launchers are just getting into it.With the Delta 4 now GPS-capable, two more Atlas 5s will carry C-band tracking beacons before it switches over to GPS metric tracking, Lauderdale said.An Atlas 5 launch “at the end of July will be the last Atlas 5 to use the C-band radar; it flies out the last of the C-band tracking beacons. For Atlas 5 launches after the one at the end of July, we’ll also be using only GPS metric tracking and will not require the C-band tracking radar as a mandatory [range asset],” Lauderdale said.Officials say GPS metric tracking adds to the accuracy of the position and velocity data received by range safety officer during a launch. It is also cheaper because it means the C-band tracking radars at Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base are no longer needed.GPS metric tracking is a cornerstone of the Air Force’s effort to create a more “responsive” launch range. Finicky ground systems, many of which are based on 1950s or 1960s technology, occasionally cause launch delays even when weather, the rocket and the payload are “go” for liftoff.Budget cuts have also stretched the Air Force launch ranges, forcing managers to decommission backup systems.The perils of relying on antiquated technology in an era of lean funding was exhibited in late March, when a fire damaged an Air Force-owned tracking radar at the Kennedy Space Center. An Atlas 5 rocket is seen in a view from a tracking camera. Photo credit: ULAThe fire kept two rocket launches, one carrying a U.S. national security satellite and another ferrying supplies to the International Space Station, on the ground for more than two weeks as the Air Force rushed a backup radar into service.SpaceX officials have said the company is working on a GPS metric tracking capability for the Falcon 9 rocket, but a company spokesperson did not respond to an inquiry on the status of its development.According to a technical document posted on ULA’s website, the company’s GPS metric tracking system is one of three independent range tracking sources to help the Air Force range safety officer follow the flight path of a rocket. Alongside the GPS data, the range safety officer uses telemetered inertial guidance data and tracking information from a launch head skin track radar.The GPS metric tracking system on the Delta 4 and Atlas 5 rockets receives satellite signals from two L-band antennas mounted 180 degrees apart on the second stage, processes the data to formulate its position and velocity, then transmits the information to the ground through an S-band radio link for comparison to the launch vehicle’s predicted location.Before GPS metric tracking, engineers installed transmitters on rockets to allow them to send telemetry to control centers through NASA’s constellation of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites, reducing reliance on a network of ground station scattered around the globe.The next improvement under study by the Air Force is the introduction of autonomous on-board flight safety systems, which would replace today’s man-in-the-loop range safety paradigm. Instead of requiring an engineer to send a manual destruct command to an errant rocket from the ground, a computer on-board the launcher would do the job by itself.An autonomous flight termination system flew on an Air Force Minotaur rocket launch from Virginia in November in the first of what officials then said would be several test flights needed to certify the technology.Ultimately, simplified space-based ranges could eliminate the need for ground infrastructure, allowing launch ranges to exist virtually anywhere in the world, officials said.”The idea behind space-based range is you literally take all that range infrastructure, which is time-consuming and costly, try to streamline it and put it on the rocket,” a former Air Force space official said.Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: .STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Satellite flown into space to monitor Earth’s oceans BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: June 20, 2008NASA partnered with European scientists to launch an ocean research satellite from California early Friday, giving forecasters a new tool to make more accurate predictions of weather patterns and climate change. The Delta 2 rocket blasts away from Vandenberg carrying the Jason 2 spacecraft. Credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight NowSEE MORE IMAGES The $432 million Jason 2 satellite blasted off aboard a Delta 2 rocket at 12:46 a.m. PDT (3:46 a.m. EDT; 0746 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.The 125-foot-tall rocket, boosted by three solid-fueled motors, ignited with a brilliant flash of light and arced south from the launch pad into a moonlit night sky. The rocket dropped the three solid boosters into a safe zone in the Pacific Ocean, then used the main engine to steer around offshore oil rigs and reach the proper trajectory.The first stage engine shut down a few moments earlier than planned, but the rocket’s second stage compensated for the shortfall by burning a few seconds longer, said Omar Baez, NASA launch director for the mission.The Delta 2 completed its pinpoint space delivery mission 55 minutes after liftoff by releasing the 1,113-pound spacecraft in an orbit approximately 823 miles high with an inclination of about 66 degrees to the equator. The orbit will take Jason 2 over 95 percent of the world’s ice-free oceans.A camera mounted on the rocket’s upper stage showed live footage of the satellite flying away from the Delta 2.”All indications are that Jason 2 is operating,” Baez said after the launch.Engineers in France will spend the next few weeks verifying the spacecraft’s science instruments are in good shape.Jason 2 carries a suite of instruments built by U.S. and French scientists to measure the distance between the orbiting spacecraft and the ocean surface. Scientists expect a precision of between one and two inches.”Measuring sea level from 830 miles in space with errors of a few inches is not just cool science, it’s a really critical application for everybody on the planet,” said Eric Lindstrom, Jason 2 program scientist at NASA Headquarters.Lindstrom likened the feat to measuring the thickness of paper lying on the ground from the top of a skyscraper.The satellite, also called the Ocean Surface Topography Mission by NASA, is expected to last at least three years. Thales Alenia Space of France was the spacecraft’s prime industrial contractor.Other partners in the mission include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the French space agency, and EUMETSAT, the operator of Europe’s weather satellites.U.S. government agencies provided $176 million of the mission’s cost, or about 40 percent of the total funding, said Steve Neek, program executive at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.European partners spent $256 million on Jason 2, Neek said.The world’s oceans vary in height by up to six-and-a-half feet, and the sea-surface terrain can be used to chart currents, water temperatures, tides, and ocean eddies, according to Neek.”The ocean really behaves like a natural thermostat regulating our climate,” said Lee-Leung Fu, Jason 2 project scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.Sea water helps cool the atmosphere, but sea levels rise when ocean temperatures warm or ice melts, Fu said.Researchers will incorporate real-time data from Jason 2 into their computer models to improve weather and ocean forecasts on scales ranging from a few days to more than a year. The improvements will also be important for predicting the development of hurricanes, said Laury Miller, chief scientist at the NOAA Lab for Satellite Altimetry.Jason 2 will not only supply up-to-date ocean information to sailors and weather forecasters, but also keep tabs on the global mean sea level to track the melting of the polar ice caps.The average sea level has risen at a rate of about one-tenth of an inch per year, according to data from Jason 2’s predecessors.”That sounds like a very small number to you, but this is in fact twice the rate of sea level change estimated from sparsely located tidal gauges over the preceding 100 years,” Fu said.The satellite’s Poseidon 3 instrument is the mission’s primary experiment. Developed by CNES, the French space agency, Poseidon 3 will bounce radar beams off the ocean surface and measure the distance by determining the time it takes for the reflected radio waves to be received by a sensor on the spacecraft, said Parag Vaze, Jason 2 project manager at JPL.Poseidon 3 can also gauge ocean currents, wave characteristics and wind speed, scientists said.The third-generation instrument is based on other payloads flown on two previous U.S.-French satellites, beginning with the experimental TOPEX/Poseidon mission launched in 1992.TOPEX/Poseidon revolutionized the field of oceanography, which had before relied on scattered reports from ships and weather buoys.”The availability of these measurements has meant a breakthrough in physical oceanography,” said Mikael Rattenborg, EUMETSAT director of operations.The observation of oceans from space gave scientists the first clear insight into El Nino and La Nina climate patterns characterized by the warming and cooling of waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean.The partnership continued with a subsequent operational satellite called Jason 1, which was sent into space in 2001. Jason 1 is still providing researchers a daily dose of data on the world’s oceans, and the precursor satellite will be part of a tandem mission with Jason 2.Scientists will closely monitor the two satellites’ instruments over the next six months, making sure they operate identically to provide uniform data. After the calibration phase is completed, Jason 1 will move to an orbit parallel to Jason 2, effectively doubling the mission’s global coverage, Fu said.Although Jason 1 is beyond its projected life span, scientists expect it to continue working despite the loss of several key backup systems.Fu said engineers project there is an 80 percent chance Jason 1 will work for at least two more years, giving scientists an opportunity to conduct dual operations with Jason 2.Jason 2’s charter is to extend the 15-year legacy of TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason 1 into the next decade.The legacy’s continuation is crucial to answering some of the key questions scientists are facing about global warming, according to Fu.”We really don’t know the answer. That’s why we need continuing satellite measurements like Jason 2 to extend the data record into the future,” Fu said.Jason 2’s science instruments include several improvements to allow the radar system to analyze sea levels near coasts and in icy regions, Vaze said.”We anticipate much improved observations in the coastal zones, which are home to more than half of the world’s population,” Fu said.A network of 60 radio beacons positioned around the world will track the spacecraft as it flies overhead, determining its exact position in space to make sure the data gathered by the Poseidon 3 instrument is accurate.Vaze said ground controllers will also use navigation data provided by a laser ranging system and receivers linking the spacecraft with the Air Force’s GPS satellites.A microwave instrument assembled by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will measure water vapor in the atmosphere. Water can interfere with radar signals transmitted by Poseidon 3, causing errors of up to 20 inches in humid conditions.NOAA and EUMETSAT are already planning a follow-on satellite for launch in the next decade. The spacecraft, called Jason 3, would likely continue the string of constant sea level monitoring through 2020, forecasters said.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:OUR LAUNCH PAD CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:PAD GANTRY RETRACTED FROM ROCKET FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:TIME-LAPSE MOVIE OF TOWER ROLLBACK VIDEO:JASON 2 SEPARATES FROM DELTA 2 VIDEO:JASON 2 LAUNCHES ABOARD DELTA 2 VIDEO:LAUNCH PAD TOWER ROLLBACK VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:JASON 2 LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:JASON 2 MISSION SCIENCE BRIEFING MORE: Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.WGS 5 launched to expand coverage over the Americas SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 24, 2013 With one more satellite needed in its new military communications system to extend blanket coverage over virtually the entire planet, the spacecraft to make the network’s reach global was sent thundering into orbit Friday to join the Air Force’s broadening constellation serving troops, ships, drones and civilian leaders. Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch AllianceLoaded atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, the $342 million Wideband Global SATCOM 5 satellite headed skyward from Cape Canaveral at 8:27 p.m. EDT en route to a supersynchronous transfer orbit.Forty-one minutes later, the powerful booster successfully released the 13,200-pound payload into an orbit looping as high as 36,125 nautical miles, as low as 237 miles and tilted 24 degrees to the equator.Controllers at Boeing’s facilities in El Segundo, Calif., will maneuver the satellite into a circular geosynchronous orbit by early summer, allowing the craft to match Earth’s rotation and appear fixed above the globe.An extensive checkout and commission process that will stretch into next year to ready the satellite for operations from 52.5 degrees West longitude for its mission to provide communications support to the Americas.”WGS 5 will provide three new capabilities that expand the constellation — increase in capacity to the U.S. and six international partners, expanded coverage leading us to near-worldwide coverage at this point and, with operational acceptance of WGS 5, we will be able to achieve full operational capability of the system,” said Luke Schaub, chief of the Wideband SATCOM division of the MILSATCOM Systems directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles.Known as WGS 5, this satellite is the fifth in a major program to upgrade to the military’s main communications infrastructure, replacing the aging Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) spacecraft. Each WGS has 10 times the capacity of a DSCS satellite, allowing users to process and receive data quicker than ever before.”WGS is the DOD’s highest capacity communications satellite system. These satellites provide tremendous operational flexibility to deliver the needed capacity, coverage and connectivity in support of demanding operational scenarios for DOD and allied forces worldwide,” said Boeing WGS Program Director Mark Spiwak.”We have four in operation today. Those four are pretty much located on the other side of the globe from the United States. They’re really located strategically between the eastern Atlantic and the western Pacific. Today, we do not have any WGS capability over the continental United States,” Schaub said.”This satellite is being launched into an orbit at 52.5 West, which is off the east coast of the United States, with the intention of closing that gap and providing, with its transfer into operations, near-worldwide coverage.” was launched in October 2007 to cover the vast U.S. Pacific Command that stretches from the U.S. western coast all the way to Southeast Asia. satellite followed with an April 2009 launch to serve U.S. Central Command and the forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of Southwest Asia. went up in December 2009 to cover U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command, plus lend additional support over the Middle East. inaugurated the upgraded Block 2 series for improved communications with unmanned aerial drones when it was launched in January 2012 to cover the Middle East and Southeast Asia for use by U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command.The inclusion of WGS 5 will extend the Wideband Global SATCOM constellation to the Americas for a host of users.”It gives us the CONUS coverage we don’t have today,” Schaub said.”Think of it as this whole region, so NORTHCOM, SOUTHCOM, TRANSCOM, STRATCOM, MDA, a whole lot of U.S. and western hemisphere-based users will be using this satellite,” Schaub added, referring to U.S. Northern Command, Southern Command, Transportation Command, Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency.The craft’s communications package provides shaped, steerable spotbeams of bandwidth wherever requested across its field-of-view for X- and Ka-band frequencies, plus the onboard capability to switch signals from one band to the other.”WGS is the only military communications system that can support simultaneous X- and Ka-band communications with cross-banding that makes communications across terminal types transparent to the warfighters,” Schaub said.The X-band communications through DSCS and WGS allow data, photos and video to be relayed to troops on the battlefield. But WGS also brings Ka-band to the table for high-volume broadcasting to user terminals across the reception area.”Virtually anything you can imagine doing (with communications) is what we support, primarily focused on areas that are hard to access with our landline systems,” Schaub said.”It runs the gamut from soldiers in the field to large operations and ships, video teleconferencing, voice, a lot of data transfers, the RF bypass that we’re adding is really intended to allow for rapid transfer of data.”Three earlier satellites were built by Boeing as the Block 1 series and WGS 5 becomes the second of the upgraded Block 2 generation.”The WGS Block 2 satellites provide higher total throughput than Block 1 satellites with the addition of a radio frequency bypass capability,” Schaub said.The bypass feature allows unmanned aerial drone communications to skip the crossbanding path and use two uplink and two downlink channels for three times the bandwidth as the normal channels, opening up a much bigger pipeline for data to flow.”Like the existing on-orbit satellites, WGS 5 will provide protected, wideband communications to users anywhere in its field-of-view. WGS 5 also provides a switchable radio frequency bypass capability that supports the transmission of AISR (airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) mission data at data rates that are approximately three times greater than currently available,” Spiwak said.Boeing has completed the WGS 6 satellite, which was shipped to the Cape last week for its launch in early August aboard the next Delta 4 rocket. The craft was built with funding from Australia as part of an international partnership on the communications system.Satellites 7 through 10 are under construction at Boeing’s factory in El Segundo for launches in the coming years.”It’s about adding additional capacity,” Schaub said of putting five more satellites to the constellation. “We know there’s an insatiable appetite for (satellite communications).”WGS 9 is being built on a multi-lateral agreement with Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and New Zealand, bringing those nations into the network as well.”The amount of capacity that is provided to each of the international partners is a stair step that increases with the launch of each satellite. So both Australia and the multi-lat will get additional capacity with the launch of this WGS 5 satellite,” Schaub added.Friday’s launch was the first for the Delta 4 rocket since it experienced an upper stage engine leak and lower-than-expected thrust while successfully deploying a GPS satellite seven months ago. Although that investigation remains ongoing, officials cleared the Delta 4 for flight after ordering extra inspections on the powerplant for the WGS 5 mission, instituted in-flight helium purges and changed how the engine was thermally conditioned prior to ignition during the launch.”The team has worked tremendously hard and exceptionally well to complete a robust investigation and get us to a successful launch today,” said Jim Sponnick, United Launch Alliance vice president of mission operations.There were no reports of any troubles during the flight, which marked the 22nd for a Delta 4 rocket since 2002 and the third to carry a WGS satellite.It was ULA’s 71st mission in 77 months, the fifth this year and the second in just 9 days. Next up will be another Atlas 5 on July 19 carrying the Navy’s second MUOS mobile communications craft.Delta 4 plans to perform the WGS 6 deployment from the Cape in early August and a classified Heavy launch for the National Reconnaissance Office from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., in late August.One further Delta 4 launch is planned this year, the program’s 25th overall, in mid-October from the Cape with the GPS 2F-5 navigation satellite.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Satellite launched to give truer view of the world SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 8, 2009 A company that scans the world with its high-resolution imaging satellites launched another spacecraft Thursday, one that promises to reveal Earth’s true colors for commercial mapping and monitoring. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily News The WorldView 2 satellite was blasted into orbit atop a two-stage Delta 2 rocket built by United Launch Alliance and marketed by Boeing, leaving its coastal pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 11:51 a.m. local (2:51 p.m. EDT; 1851 GMT).Flying south toward a sun-synchronous orbit circling the planet from pole to pole, the ever-trustworthy rocket successfully deployed the satellite after a 62-minute ascent.The spacecraft becomes the third Earth imager operated by DigitalGlobe of Longmont, Colorado, joining the and satellites launched aboard Delta 2 rockets in 2001 and 2007, respectively, and still snapping digital pictures for their worldwide clientele.At the moment of today’s launch, QuickBird was orbiting 245 nautical miles over western Russia and WorldView 1 was flying 267 nautical miles above the Pacific Ocean having just crossed the western U.S.”With the addition of WorldView 2, an impressive third component of our constellation, DigitalGlobe will have increased capacity, which is expected to improve the speed with which we deliver our imagery products to our customers and provide more frequent refresh of our ImageLibrary to support a range of monitoring, analysis and decision-making services,” said Jill Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of DigitalGlobe. What’s special about WorldView 2 is the capability to image in eight different color bands, which is double the number on earlier satellites. The result will be the next step in the commercial Earth-imagery business, by taking the sharp clarity and painting the pictures in the truest natural colors.”At this time, there isn’t another satellite which combines high-resolution with eight bands and the level of agility that we get from the WorldView-class satellite,” a DigitalGlobe spokesperson told Spaceflight Now.The added colors promise to heighten the amount of information and insights that can be extracted for uses such as diagnosing the health of crops, determining the impact of natural disasters and identifying features for national security.”Not only will these bands help with vegetation but it will also allow for improved classification of man-made structures such as buildings, roads and infrastructure,” DigitalGlobe says.”With the increased level of detail, there any many uses such as helping to improve the understanding of global warming on sustainable land and resources, tracking the impact of pollution, improving natural resource management and exploration, and protecting and monitoring agricultural development and sustainability.”Commercial imaging satellites have a range of customers, including the U.S. government for intelligence-gathering, as well as urban planners, real estate developers, oil and gas firms, environmental interests and supplying pictures to online sites like Google Earth.DigitalGlobe’s main rival in the U.S. is the GeoEye company, which its latest satellite atop a Delta 2 rocket a year ago. An artist’s concept of WorldView 2 shows the satellite high above Earth. Credit: Ball AerospaceOrbiting the Earth every 100 minutes at an altitude of 415 nautical miles, WorldView 2 must first undergo post-launch calibration and accuracy tests to verify its performance before entering service for a life designed to last more than 7 years. The first commercial imagery should be available in about 90 days.”It will give us nearly twice our current collection capacity, it will allow us to collect nearly three times the Earth’s land mass,” the company says.”Large-scale infusion of fresh, up-to-date imagery broadens the appeal for satellite imagery in emerging commercial applications as well as creating increased value for the sophisticated, professional users who will take advantage of the higher detail and definition from eight-band multispectral capabilities.”The three-ton spacecraft, built by Ball Aerospace, has an optical telescope to see objects as small as 18 inches across in its black and white imagery and 72 inches for color imagery. The satellite uses gyroscopes for its advanced control system and is equipped with a vibration-dampening system to reduce jitter. The craft is 14 feet tall and has a wing span of 23 feet with its power-generating solar arrays unfurled.”The successful launch of WorldView 2 marks a new milestone for the collection of imagery by these highly sophisticated satellites,” said David Taylor, president and CEO of Ball Aerospace.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET LAUNCHES WORLDVIEW 2 VIDEO:LAUNCH PAD GANTRY ROLLED BACK FROM ROCKET VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF WORLDVIEW 2’S LAUNCH John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Satellite sets sail to survey saltiness of Earth’s oceans SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: June 10, 2011 Seeking a missing ingredient to understanding Earth’s environmental changes, a new satellite conceived through unique international collaborations was launched today to map the planet’s salty seas from space.An artist’s concept of the SAC-D satellite with the Aquarius instrument. Credit: NASAThe Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas-D spacecraft blasted off aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket at 7:20 a.m. local (10:20 a.m. EDT; 1420 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.The 12-story rocket escaped the ground-hugging marine layer blanketing the Central Coast, thundering southward to eventually reach a 408-mile-high sun-synchronous orbit and successfully living up to its reputation of dependability.Built by Argentina, the SAC-D satellite is equipped with multiple scientific instruments from several countries including NASA’s Aquarius sensor package designed to make exceptionally precise global measurements of salt content at the ocean surface.”Measuring ocean surface salinity from space is NASA’s latest technology achievement and it’s really going to be a great leap forward for the science of oceanography,” said Eric Lindstrom, Aquarius program scientist at NASA Headquarters.”For many of you, salinity is a rather obscure quantity, but I must tell you it’s of critical importance in the ocean circulation, in the climate system and in diagnosing the flow of fresh water through our Earth system.”Standing 16.4 feet tall and 9 feet wide within the Delta rocket’s protective nose cone, the SAC-D spacecraft weighed 2,977 pounds at launch. The two-stage launcher reached a preliminary parking orbit about 11 minutes after liftoff, then coasted around the South Pole and soared towards Africa when the booster performed a final maneuver to inject the satellite into the desired orbit. Deployment of the payload occurred as expected 56-and-a-half minutes into flight.NASA has spent $287 million on the Aquarius project, which includes paying for the satellite’s launch. A Delta 2 rocket has never faltered in its 48 missions for the space agency over the past two decades.The large oval antenna reflector and three microwave radiometers at the heart of Aquarius will work like highly sensitive radio receivers to detect variations in the electrical conductivity of seawater, enabling scientists to deduce the ocean salinity levels.”Salinity is the glue that bonds two major components of Earth’s complex climate system: ocean circulation and the global water cycle,” said Aquarius principal investigator Gary Lagerloef of Earth & Space Researc

  110. Posted: June 6, 2011T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The three strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:04.0SRB BurnoutThe ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:39.0Jettison SRBsThe spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.T+04:24.2Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:32.2Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.T+04:37.7Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the Aquarius/SAC-D spacecraft into the proper orbit.T+04:50.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the Aquarius/SAC-D cargo atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+11:16.1Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 416 miles at apogee and 98 miles at perigee.T+52:19.7Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit’s perigee.T+52:32.0Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 13-second burn to put the payload into a 408-mile orbit inclined 98.01 degrees.T+56:42.0Payload SeparationArgentina’s SAC-D satellite with the Aquarius instrument for NASA is released from the Delta 2 rocket, completing the launch.Data source: ULA and NASA.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 357 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  111. Posted: January 30, 2009T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The three strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:04.0SRB BurnoutThe ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:39.0Jettison SRBsThe spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.T+01:40.0Begin Dog-legAfter initially flying from Vandenberg along a 196-degree flight azimuth, the rocket begins steering itself to obtain the desired orbital inclination. This dog-leg maneuver continues for 40 seconds.T+04:24.2Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:32.7Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.T+04:37.7Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft into the proper orbit.T+04:56.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the NOAA-N Prime cargo atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+11:16.1Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 468 nautical miles at apogee, 100 miles at perigee and inclined 98.6 degrees.T+59:21.0Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit’s perigee.T+59:34.3Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 13-second burn. The orbit achieved should be 466.5 nautical miles at apogee, 463.0 miles at perigee and inclined 98.7 degrees.T+65:40.0Payload SeparationThe NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite is released from the Delta 2 rocket, completing the launch.Data source: ULA.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 341 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  112. Posted: June 27, 2006A new spy satellite is circling Earth after a spectacular sendoff Tuesday evening, marking the first time such a clandestine national security spacecraft has launched aboard America’s modern breed of rockets. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsBoeing’s next-generation Delta 4 rocket fired away from the infamous Space Launch Complex 6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California just after sunset for the 54-minute ascent into orbit.This inaugural West Coast flight of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program began at 8:33 p.m. local time (11:33 p.m. EDT; 0333 GMT). The liftoff was delayed 19 minutes due to strong winds blowing across the hilly launch base.Powered skyward by its hydrogen-fueled main engine and twin strap-on solid rocket motors, the Delta 4 created a brilliant trail visible across a wide swath. Spaceflight Now readers throughout California and even Mexico reported spotting the launch.Crews working on the secretive mission had been waiting years to see the rocket go. The booster was assembled on the pad in 2003, only to have its launch date slip repeatedly due to delays readying the payload. And liftoff plans last October were scrapped a day before launch over concerns with fuel sloshing in the upper stage. Worries about clouds and strong winds Tuesday threatened to keep the rocket grounded again. But the clouds parted and winds eased enough to let the Delta 4 fly from its renovated pad on the first countdown attempt, a remarkable achievement sure to erase lingering frustrations about the previous postponements.The rocket flew south over the Pacific Ocean, soared above the tip of South America, then crossed the extreme southern Atlantic before passing south of Africa and starting its northward trajectory over the Indian Ocean. Less than an hour after the flight began, the second stage motor released the top-secret National Reconnaissance Office payload while flying just east of Madagascar. The National Reconnaissance Office is the U.S. government agency responsible for developing and operating the country’s fleet of spy satellites. The NRO keeps details about its spacecraft hush-hush, and the Delta 4 cargo was no exception to that rule.But information made public about the launch implied the satellite was headed for a highly elliptical, highly inclined orbital perch often called a Molniya-style orbit.Sky watchers around the world have made a hobby of tracking mystery spacecraft and using the Internet to trade viewing tips. Canadian Ted Molczan, a respected satellite observer, says past experience could indicate the possible use for the craft launched by the Delta 4.”I estimate that this rocket configuration can place in excess of 4,000 kg into a Molniya orbit. The U.S. has used such orbits since the early 1970s for communications and SIGINT (signals intelligence) satellites,” Molczan said.Tuesday’s flight was the 14th for an EELV rocket since 2002. But all previous launches had occurred from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and none had carried a National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite.The EELV program was created a decade ago by the Air Force to spark the creation of cheaper, less cumbersome U.S. rockets to haul satellites into space, replacing older designs like the Titan 4. Boeing’s Delta 4 and Lockheed Martin’s Atlas 5 rocket families were born to answer the military’s call.Both companies have launched various versions of the rockets with commercial, NASA and Air Force satellite payloads from complexes on the East Coast. And they have built launch pads on the West Coast at Space Launch Complex 6 for Delta 4 and SLC-3 East for Atlas 5.Now, Vandenberg has witnessed its maiden EELV blastoff at last.”Assured access to space is vital to our country. Bringing EELV to the West Coast is a next step,” Lt. Col. David Goldstein, the Air Force launch director and commander of the 4th Space Launch Squadron, said in an interview.”I see it’s a major step for our country … because we have to have that access from both coasts because of the types of orbits that are used.”The Vandenberg launch site allows rockets to fly southward for delivery of spacecraft into orbit around Earth’s poles for coverage over most of the planet’s surface. Cape Canaveral is best suited for launches headed eastward to reach equatorial orbits.”Over the next couple years we’re going to have a few Atlas launches and a few more Delta launches, and they’re all vital to our national security. In my mind, it’s a huge step forward to be able to get EELV launched off of the West Coast,” Goldstein said.”This first Delta 4 launch from Vandenberg is an important achievement for Boeing and our NRO and Air Force customers,” said Dan Collins, vice president of Boeing Launch Systems. “Today we successfully validated launching the Delta 4 from SLC-6, providing the Air Force and the nation with the first operational West Coast launch site for the EELV program.”With this launch, the Delta team has fulfilled all the EELV requirements outlined by the Air Force. We have a full family of launch vehicles, including a flight-proven, heavy-lift vehicle, a domestically produced first stage engine and now fully operational launch sites on both coasts.”Plans call for a second Delta 4 launch from Vandenberg in November to deliver the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s DMSP-17 weather satellite into polar orbit.The first West Coast Atlas 5 is stacked on its pad for liftoff in January carrying a classified NRO payload.Lockheed Martin has retrofitted its existing Atlas pad to accommodate the larger, more powerful Atlas 5. However, the California home of Delta 4, commonly called Slick Six, has a unique history.The site’s star-crossed legacy began with construction in the 1960s for the Air Force’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory space station project. But that program was cancelled before the first launch.Then came visions of military space shuttle launches to polar orbit. Billions of dollars were spent rebuilding the pad in the 1980s for liftoffs of the winged spaceplane. The Challenger accident and the Pentagon’s transfer of its satellites from the shuttle to unmanned rockets put Slick Six back into mothball status before hosting a single launch.Lockheed Martin’s tiny Athena booster made four flights from the pad in the 1990s, yet only one enjoyed full mission success for both the rocket and satellite.The new era of Delta 4 started with pad modification work in 2000. Now, there’s a successful launch to celebrate. Telescopes.comLargest selection and the best prices anywhere in the world. Free shipping on select items. is the largest dealer of both Meade and Celestron Telescopes. Visit or call toll free 1-800-303-5873.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.New GPS satellite headed to upgrade navigation network BY SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: May 12, 2014 CAPE CANAVERAL — Their services have permeated daily lives for countless millions of people, and now the latest Global Positioning System satellite is awaiting blastoff Thursday to bolster the navigation network. Credit: Walter Scriptunas IILiftoff of the GPS 2F-6 spacecraft aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral is planned for 8:08 p.m. EDT at the opening of an 18-minute window.”Civilian users around the world use GPS for highly accurate time, location and velocity information. From navigation systems in vehicles to timing of most financial transactions, GPS has permeated into nearly every aspect of our lives,” said Lt. Col. Dave Ashley, 5th Space Launch Squadron commander at the Cape.Flying to and paralleling the eastern seaboard, the launch is timed to deliver the 3,400-pound satellite directly into Plane D of the navigation network 11,000 nautical miles above Earth.”This satellite, officially designated as Space Vehicle 67, is also informally named Rigel after the brightest star in the Orion constellation,” said Col. Steve Steiner, GPS Space Systems Division chief.The Delta 4 vehicle stands 205 feet tall and produces 1.2 million pounds at launch with its hydrogen-fueled main engine and twin solid rockets. The Delta 4 rocket and GPS satellite. Credit: ULA”Delta 4 has been a workhorse, delivering numerous GPS satellites for the Air Force and the nation,” said Ron Fortson, United Launch Alliance’s director of mission management. “We are looking forward to another successful GPS launch.”It will be the 26th Delta 4 launch and the fifth carrying a GPS satellite. It will be ULA’s fifth flight of the year and the 82nd overall.The Delta’s flight will last three hours and 15 minutes from liftoff until spacecraft separation, firing its cryogenic upper stage twice to achieve an initial transfer orbit and then reaching the circular GPS orbit tilted 55 degrees to the equator.GPS 2F-6 will replace the aging spacecraft known as GPS 2A-23 in Plane D, Slot 4 of the constellation. The GPS 2A-23 satellite was launched aboard Delta 223 in October 1993. It will go into a reserve role in the network for the remainder of its useful life.The $245 million GPS 2F-6 incrementally upgrades the constellation with improved accuracy, enhanced internal atomic clocks, better anti-jam resistance, a civil signal for commercial aviation and a longer design life, all features of the Boeing-built Block 2F series. The GPS 2F-6 satellite. Credit: BoeingThis will be the sixth of 12 Block 2F spacecraft being built to form the backbone of the GPS fleet for the next 15 years. The full dozen satellites are due to be launched by mid-2016.GPS satellites operate in Medium Earth Orbit and emit continuous navigation signals that allow users to find their location in latitude, longitude and altitude and determine time. The constellation features six orbital planes with multiple satellites flying in each.Users around the globe rely on GPS every day, whether they know it or not. From the overt navigation assistance in transportation to the less obvious role in providing accurate timing stamps on banking transactions, the system developed to support U.S. military forces and their guided munitions has blossomed in the commercial marketplace.For tips on taking pictures of the launch, see our . For details on where the best spots are to see the launch, see the .And if you will be away from your computer but would like to receive occasional updates, sign up for our to get text message updates sent to your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting “follow spaceflightnow” to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.New GPS satellite put into orbit by Delta 4 rocket BY STAFF WRITERSSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 20, 2014 CAPE CANAVERAL — Igniting a surge of three Global Positioning System satellite launches in the next five months, a Delta 4 rocket blazed a trail of fire and light into the Florida sky Thursday night. Credit: Ben Cooper/ULAThe new bird — known as GPS 2F-5 — will become a primary broadcasting satellite in the constellation when it becomes operational by May.Liftoff occurred at 8:59 p.m. EST, hitting a precise window to replace an aging GPS satellite deployed in 1997 and twice outlived its life expectancy.The United Launch Alliance vehicle darted off Complex 37 on 1.2 million pounds of thrust and headed east-southeast, burning its two strap-on boosters for 90 seconds while the hydrogen-fed main engine burned for four minutes.The upper stage then took over for a three-and-a-half hour climb featuring three engine firings to deliver the payload directly into the GPS constellation 11,000 nautical miles above the Earth in an orbit tilted 55 degrees.It was the 25th flight of a Delta 4 rocket and ULA’s 79th flight overall.”Delta 4 has successfully delivered numerous satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), as well as GPS satellites for the Air Force and weather satellites for NASA,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs..This becomes the fifth of Boeing’s dozen Block 2F spacecraft to be launched. Together, they will form the backbone of the GPS network for the next 15 years.”The replacement of legacy satellites ensures the constellation will provide increased signal power, increased accuracy and anti-jamming capability for GPS users worldwide.,” said Col. William Cooley, Global Positioning Systems director”We have a lot of satellites well past their design life. In this particular case, the satellite we are replacing is over 16 years old and its design life was 7.5 years. We are trying to prevent any sort of outage and having some backup capability on-orbit.”The Air Force plans two more GPS satellite launches in the coming months — May 15 on a Delta 4 rocket and in July aboard an Atlas 5 — to to further swap out the old with the new.”Sometimes we joke those are getting old enough to vote and some are old enough to drink, and they’re well past their design life. The oldest is 23 years. We’ve gotten remarkable performance out of them, but they are aging,” Cooley said.Today’s constellation has 31 primary satellites and five backups that remain in the network but don’t contribute to the navigation signals. That number will grow to a half-dozen with the successful placement of GPS 2F-5 into the fleet this spring.With Thursday’s launch, the GPS 2A-28 satellite is marked for removal from Plane A, Slot 3 of the broadcast system and put into the reserve role for the time being. It’s reentry into the constellation would only come in a dire need.All three launches this year will target GPS 2A birds for replacement, Cooley said. Eight were remaining in use going into Thursday’s launch.”We are really frugual and whenever there’s some life capability we are really conservative, we make sure we have options,” Cooley said. An artist’s concept of GPS 2F. Credit: BoeingGPS is marking the 20th anniversary of its Initial Operational Capability, the point in which the constellation was populated sufficiently to go into service.”GPS is being used worldwide in ways we don’t even think about and we kinda take for granted,” Cooley said.”GPS has grown to become a vital worldwide utility serving billions of users around the globe. GPS multi-use Precision Navigation and Timing services are integral to the United States global security, economy, and transportation safety, and are a critical part of our national infrastructure,” the Air Force says.”GPS contributes vital capabilities to our nation’s military operations, emergency response, agriculture, aviation, maritime, roads and highways, surveying and mapping, and telecommunications industries, as well as recreational activities. It is not an overstatement to say GPS is fundamental to today’s technical infrastructure and culture.” John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Space observatory gets new launch date after hurricanes SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 7, 2004Its launch delayed by Florida’s seemingly magnetic attraction to hurricanes this year, NASA’s Swift observatory has a new target liftoff date to the delight of eager scientists around the world. The Swift observatory is now targeted for launch no sooner than November 8. Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowThe Swift spacecraft — one of the largest, most sophisticated satellites in NASA’s long line of Explorer missions — is scheduled to fly November 8 from pad 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.The one-hour launch window opens at 12:04 p.m. EST (1704 GMT) that day.The mission was delayed from its original launch date of October 7 in the wake of Hurricane Frances. Then Hurricane Jeanne impacted a planned October 26 liftoff attempt.But on-pad assembly is finally underway for the Boeing Delta 2 rocket that will carry Swift into orbit, bringing launch much closer to reality.”I’ve been working on this since the early 1990s,” said Neil Gehrels, Swift principal investigator from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “I’m extremely excited!” Leader Swift scientist Neil Gehrels looks up at his spacecraft in the Cape Canaveral cleanroom. Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowThe $239 million project, which includes calibration between scientists in the U.S., U.K. and Italy, will detect gamma-ray blasts throughout the universe.Several theories have been proposed to explain what triggers these mysterious blasts and all involve incredible cosmic explosions.”The best way people can think of involves a star converting to a black hole in the scale of a few seconds,” Gehrels explained this week during a news media tour of the Cape Canaveral cleanroom facility where Swift is being prepared for launch.Swift’s Burst Alert Telescope will detect and locate the flashes, prompting the satellite to reorient itself within moments to point the onboard X-ray Telescope and the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope for more intensive observations.What’s more, Swift will transmit an announcement of the burst detection to Earth-based telescopes scattered around the globe. The ground observatories will focus their capabilities on the gamma-ray burst locations for additional research.Read our earlier science preview for more information on Swift’s goals.A two-stage Boeing Delta 2 rocket will deliver the spacecraft into a 375-mile high orbit inclined 22 degrees to Earth’s equator. The Delta rocket’s first stage is erected at the launch pad on October 1. Credit: NASA-KSCAbout 80 minutes after liftoff, the pyrotechnic bolts holding the satellite to the second stage motor will fire and release. Thirty seconds later, latches pop open to physically separate Swift from its launcher. The rocket stage slowly backs away from its payload, leaving the observatory in a stable state, said Mark Edison, the Swift program manager at satellite-builder Spectrum Astro.A forward-facing video camera mounted on the second stage is expected to provide live coverage of Swift’s deployment from the Delta rocket.Just minutes after separation, Swift automatically switches on its control system and deploys the two power-generating solar arrays that spring upward from stowed positions on the satellite’s sides and then unfold.Over the next 30 days, the satellite systems are checked out via the mission control center located at Penn State University, Edison said.The science instruments are activated and data begins flowing after the first month. The science commissioning phase could last through the mission’s initial four months.”We expect to be fully operational by Launch + 4 months,” Gehrels said.Swift is designed to operate two years, but Joseph Dezio, the mission project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, says a five-year life is possible. Because the satellite has no steering thrusters or onboard propellant, the two key consumables dictating the mission duration will be Swift’s battery and funding by NASA. A worker oversees the Delta rocket’s first stage going up on pad 17A. Credit: NASA-KSCThe first stage of Boeing’s Delta 2 rocket to launch Swift was erected on pad 17A October 1, following delays caused by the hurricanes and closure of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.The three strap-on solid rocket boosters were added October 2. Given Swift’s relatively light weight and orbit requirements, the Delta 2 will use three solids instead of the usual nine.The two halves of the 10-foot diameter payload fairing nose cone was lifted into pad’s mobile service tower cleanroom for storage on October 4.Mounting of the second stage atop the Delta rocket’s first stage has been delayed this week due to gusty winds.Final work on Swift will be finished in the Hangar AE cleanroom in the next two weeks, allowing the craft to be packaged in the transport canister and driven a few miles to pad 17A for mating to the Delta rocket.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET FIRST STAGE IS ERECTED ON PAD 17A VIDEO:SOLID ROCKET BOOSTERS ARE RAISED INTO TOWER VIDEO:MOBILE SERVICE TOWER MOVES SRBS INTO PLACE VIDEO:NOSE CONE HOISTED INTO PAD CLEANROOM Ferryflight Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!”The Final Mission” – NASA emblem developed for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew and their support teams to deliver the orbiters to their final destinations at museums.Soviet SpaceFor the first time ever available in the West. Rocket & Space Corporation Energia: a complete pictorial history of the Soviet/Russian Space Program from 1946 to the present day all in full color. Available from our store.Choose your store: – – – Viking patchThis embroidered mission patch celebrates NASA’s Viking Project which reached the Red Planet in 1976.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 7 DVDFor 11 days the crew of Apollo 7 fought colds while they put the Apollo spacecraft through a workout, establishing confidence in the machine what would lead directly to the bold decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon just 2 months later. Choose your store: – – – Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Columbia ReportA reproduction of the official accident investigation report into the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven. Choose your store: – – – Mars PanoramaDISCOUNTED! This 360 degree image was taken by the Mars Pathfinder, which landed on the Red Planet in July 1997. The Sojourner Rover is visible in the image. Choose your store:Apollo 11 Mission ReportApollo 11 – The NASA Mission Reports Vol. 3 is the first comprehensive study of man’s first mission to another world is revealed in all of its startling complexity. Includes DVD!Choose your store: – – – Rocket DVDIf you’ve ever watched a launch from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg Air Force Base or even Kodiak Island Alaska, there’s no better way to describe what you witnessed than with this DVD.Choose your store: – – – Apollo patchesThe Apollo Patch Collection: Includes all 12 Apollo mission patches plus the Apollo Program Patch. Save over 20% off the Individual price.Choose your store: – – – Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Newest GPS spacecraft successfully soars into orbit SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: March 20, 2004

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  114. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: March 6, 2009Lighting up the night sky, a Delta 2 rocket roared to life and vaulted away from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station late today, boosting a powerful space telescope into orbit around the sun for a $591 million mission to search for Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars. Credit: Carleton Bailie for United Launch Alliance”I think people everywhere want to know whether, with all the stars out there, do they have planets that are Earth-sized?” said principal investigator William Borucki of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “Are Earths frequent or are they rare? And this gives us that answer. It’s the next step in mankind’s exploration of the galaxy.”The Kepler spacecraft’s three-and-a-half-year mission began on time at 10:49:57 p.m. with a crackling roar and a torrent of fire that briefly turned night into day along Florida’s space coast. Putting on a spectacular weekend sky show, the United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket quickly climbed from its sea-side launch pad and arced away to the east over the Atlantic Ocean as it streaked toward space.Just over one minute after launch, six solid-fuel strap-on boosters that were ignited at liftoff to assist the Delta’s first-stage engine burned out and fell away while a final set of three ignited for another one-minute burn. The first-stage engine shut down as planned four-and-a-half minutes after launch and the ascent continued on the power of the Delta’s compact second stage.Two second-stage burns were required before Kepler and its solid-fuel third stage motor were released for a final one-and-a-half-minute firing to boost the craft out of Earth orbit. Spacecraft separation came on time at 11:52 p.m. At that point, Kepler was moving out at a blistering 6.2 miles per second.This was the 339th Delta rocket launched since 1960, the 141st upgraded Delta 2, and the 86th successful Delta 2 launch in a row dating back to January 1997. The Delta 2 record now stands at 139 successful missions against just two failures.”And now we have plenty of handshakes going on here in the mission director’s center because we have confirmation of spacecraft separation,” said NASA launch commentator George Diller. “It did occur on time at 61 minutes 49 seconds. … So at this point, the Kepler team now really gets to work.”Engineers will spend about two months checking out and calibrating Kepler’s complex systems before the mission begins in earnest.Trailing the Earth in its orbit around the sun, Kepler will aim a 95-megapixel camera on a patch of sky the size of an out-stretched hand that contains more than 4.5 million detectable stars. Of that total, the science team has picked some 300,000 that are of the right age, composition and brightness to host Earth-like planets. Over the life of the mission, more than 100,000 of those will be actively monitored by Kepler.The spacecraft’s camera will not take pictures like other space telescopes. Instead, it will act as a photometer, continually monitoring the brightness of candidate stars in its wide field of view and the slight dimming that will result if planets happen to pass in front.By studying subtle changes in brightness from such planetary transits – comparable to watching a flea creep across a car’s headlight at night – and the timing of repeated cycles, scientists can ferret out potential Earth-like worlds in habitable-zone orbits.The probability of finding sun-like stars with Earth-like planets in orbits similar to ours – and aligned so that Kepler can “see” them – is about one-half of 1 percent. Given the sample size, however, that still leaves hundreds of potential discoveries.But it will take three-and-a-half years of around-the-clock observations to capture the repeated cycles needed to confirm detection of an Earth-like world in an Earth-like orbit.”There’s a lot of desire in the science community to understand extra-terrestrial planets, not just find them,” said Ed Weiler, NASA’s associate administrator for space science. “We’ve already found 300 or so, mostly from the ground. But now we’re entering the stage of going beyond just proving that they exist. It’s how many are out there, and perhaps the most important question of all, are there any Earth’s out there?”So far, even though we’ve discovered (more than) 300 planets, we haven’t discovered any that are the size of the Earth in the so-called habitable zone, that is, a planet close enough to the star where it’s warm enough for water to be liquid, not frozen, or not too close to the sun where it would boil off. So Kepler is going to be the first mission that starts to answer that question, are there any Earth’s out there?”Named in honor of Johannes Kepler, the 17th century German astronomer who formulated the laws of planetary motion, NASA’s newest science satellite weighs 2,320 pounds and measures 15.3 feet from top to bottom. It is equipped with four solar panels capable of generating 1,100 watts of power, a radiation-hardened PowerPC flight computer and a Ka-band communications link to relay science data back to Earth. The spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colo.Kepler will pass the moon’s orbit in just two days as it heads into a 371-day orbit around the sun, separating slowly from Earth. It will aim itself at a patch of sky near the left wing of Cygnus the Swan, midway between the stars Deneb and Vega.And then, Kepler will simply stare at the same stars for three-and-a-half years.”An Earth-like planet passing in front of a sun-like star is going to cause the brightness of that star to dim by only 1 part per 10,000,” said Natalie Batalha, a Kepler co-investigator at San Jose State University. “That’s like looking at a headlight from a great distance and trying to sense the brightness change when a flea crawls across the surface. But the Kepler instrument is designed to detect such small changes in brightness.”Kepler is capable of detecting Earth-like planets around stars ranging from 600 to 3,000 light years away.The science team is particularly interested in planets that may orbit within a star’s habitable zone, the region around a star where water on a planet can exist as a liquid. Habitable zones vary in location depending on a star’s size and brilliance. By timing changes in a star’s light as a transit occurs, scientists can figure out the size of a presumed planet’s orbit and thus whether it falls in that star’s habitable zone.”The habitable zone is where we think water will be,” Borucki said. “If you can find liquid water on the surface, we think we may very well find life there. So that zone is not too close to the star, because it’s too hot and the water boils. Not too far away where the water’s condensed and ice-covered, a planet covered with glaciers. It’s the goldilocks zone, not too hot, not too cold, just right for life.”Weiler said Kepler is a pathfinder of sorts for more sophisticated missions that may one day study the atmospheres of Earth-like planets to look for signs of biological – or even industrial – activity.”A lot of scientists out there would like to immediately go out and build very large telescopes, not just to find Earth-like planets but to study their atmospheres, to search for clues that there might be life on those planets,” Weiler said. “The trouble is, most of these proposals start at about $5 billion and work upwards from there.”Before we actually take the next step, looking for signs of life on Earth-like planets, we’ve got to be sure there are at least a few Earth-like planets out there. And that’s why Kepler is so important. It’s a rather small mission, a moderate mission, around ($600 million), and it’s really a pathfinder for future large space telescopes that will go after the question that we all have, are we alone in the universe?”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:THE FULL LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET LIFTS OFF WITH KEPLER VIDEO:KEPLER SUCCESSFULLY SEPARATES FROM ROCKET VIDEO:UPDATE FROM THE NASA LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: KSC TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS 23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: TOWER CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PATRICK AFB VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE 1 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: TRIDENT BLUFF LOCATION VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: SECOND VIEW FROM BLUFF VIDEO:AN INTERVIEW WITH NASA’S SCIENCE CHIEF VIDEO:LAUNCH PAD’S SERVICE TOWER ROLLED BACK VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF KEPLER LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DELTA 2’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:THURSDAY’S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:SCIENTISTS PREVIEW THE KEPLER MISSION VIDEO:KEPLER PRE-FLIGHT OVERVIEW BRIEFING VIDEO:SPACECRAFT MOUNTED ATOP ROCKET AT PAD 17B VIDEO:LEAVING ASTROTECH FOR TRIP TO LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:CANISTER PUT AROUND KEPLER FOR PAD MOVE VIDEO:SOLID-FUEL THIRD STAGE ATTACHED TO KEPLER VIDEO:BEAUTY SHOTS OF OBSERVATORY IN CLEANROOM VIDEO:SPACECRAFT UNPACKED AT ASTROTECH FACILITY VIDEO:KEPLER ARRIVES ON FLORIDA’S SPACE COAST VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET’S SECOND STAGE ERECTED STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Lander targets Mars’ water BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: August 5, 2007When NASA’s Phoenix lander arrives at Mars next May, it will join a flotilla of spacecraft already at the red planet working as a team of robotic scientists to probe the existence of water.Two NASA orbiters and a European craft are currently circling Mars. NASA’stwo Mars rovers are also operating in their fourth year since landing inJanuary 2004. All of the missions are working to map the planet and assistin the search for past or present water.”The Mars program is constructed of interrelated orbiters and landers,”said Doug McCuistion, NASA’s Mars exploration program director. “We doreconnaissance from orbit, followed up with ground truth and greaterunderstanding from systems actually on the surface.”Phoenix blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:26 a.m.EDT Saturday, but it will take 10 months for the craft to traverse thesolar system to reach Mars. The 772-pound lander will streak into theMartian atmosphere and fire braking rockets to gently touch down on asweeping plain near the planet’s north pole. Landing is scheduled for May25, 2008.The landing site was chosen because it is believed to harbor water icenear the surface, and an eight-foot robot arm will dig up to 20 inchesinto the soil to snag ice deposits. The soil will be put into a miniaturelaboratory inside Phoenix to analyze its composition.NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter probes played a keyrole in selecting the Phoenix landing site. Instruments on thosespacecraft provided high resolution imagery and estimates of ice depth forpotential Phoenix touchdown points.”I am a very strong proponent of using orbiters to find the mostinteresting places to send the rovers and landers,” said Phil Christensen,lead scientist for the Thermal Emission Imaging System instrument on MarsOdyssey.The Odyssey sensor, called THEMIS, can detect changes in surfacetemperature in the infrared wavelength. Scientists can draw conclusionsfrom the temperature changes to determine the presence of ice and largerocks.”Surfaces with deep ice cool off through the late summer and falldifferently than those that have a buried ice layer,” Christensen said.The Gamma Ray Spectrometer, another instrument aboard Mars Odyssey, hasalso detected plentiful water ice in the subsurface of the planet’s polarregions.”From an historical point of view, what Phoenix does is it’s the firstreal response to a significant to a significant scientific discovery.Odyssey found the water and said there is a significant amount of waterright there,” said Barry Goldstein, the Phoenix project manager at NASA’sJet Propulsion Laboratory.Powerful radars on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Europe’s Mars Expresshave also found reservoirs of frozen water deeper underground.The initial survey of the Martian polar regions for Phoenix yielded amultitude of possible landing sites. Scientists thought they had chosen afront-runner in mid-2006, but detailed images from the newly arrived MarsReconnaissance Orbiter showed the area was littered with boulders thatcould pose serious danger to Phoenix.The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE, is the mostcapable camera ever deployed into the solar system. The instrument canresolve objects as small as one meter.HiRISE arrived aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in March 2006, andimagery from the camera caused scientists to consider alternate landingsites.”HiRISE images were used to certify the initial landing site, which wasrejected based on the boulder abundances,” said Alfred McEwen, theinstrument’s principal investigator.Phoenix must land at a site with no rocks larger than 14 to 18 inches,according to mission officials.When HiRISE determined the primary landing site was unsafe, THEMIS datawas used to search for other favorable regions. The instrument can detectlarge rocks during nighttime passes because they retain heat, whichincreases temperature returns in the infrared wavelength, Christensensaid.”The advantage of THEMIS was that we had complete coverage of the entirenorthern plains, whereas HiRISE could only image a very small fraction ofthe plains. What we did was to find the coldest regions in the THEMIStemperature maps, and then verify that these indeed have very few rocksusing HiRISE,” Christensen said.After extensive analysis, the Phoenix science team selected a new landingsite with fewer hazardous rocks. The preferred region lies in a largeshallow valley 30 miles wide and about 800 feet deep.The location lies at about the same latitude as central Greenland ornorthern Alaska on Earth, according to scientists.Data from THEMIS also confirmed the new region has water ice within two tosix inches of the surface.”All areas at these high latitudes probably have shallow ice, so the mainconsideration was landing safety,” McEwen said.Mars orbiters will continue to guide scientists to interesting and safelanding sites in the future. Mars Odyssey instruments helped the selectionprocess for NASA’s twin rovers in 2003, and data from Mars ReconnaissanceOrbiter will be factored into choosing a touchdown point for the agency’sMars Science Laboratory, a rover the size of a small car that will arriveat the red planet in 2010.”These examples demonstrate the incredible utility for having ?eyes’ inorbit to find landing sites,” Christensen said.Phoenix is designed to complete a mission lasting about 90 Martian days.It will land in the spring season on Mars, when the ice caps haveretreated to regions further north. But scientists expect the carbondioxide ice to eventually encroach on Phoenix as winter approaches, likelyencasing the lander in a debilitating deep freeze.Spirit and Opportunity, the two NASA rovers that found proof of vastamounts of water on ancient Mars, are still operating more than threeyears after reaching their designed lifetimes.”Our experience has been that luck is a good thing to have when you’reexploring Mars,” said Steve Squyres, chief scientist for the rovers.”One thing that three-and-a-half years on Mars has taught me is humility.I wouldn’t even begin to guess what Phoenix is going to experience.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:PHOENIX LAUNCHES! VIDEO:POST-FLIGHT COMMENTS FROM LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN FROM PATRICK AFB CAMERA VIDEO:TRACKER FOLLOWS ROCKET TO MECO VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:PAD’S MOBILE GANTRY ROLLED BACK FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:NARRATED HIGHLIGHTS OF PHOENIX CAMPAIGN VIDEO:NARRATED HIGHLIGHTS OF ROCKET CAMPAIGN VIDEO:THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF PHOENIX MISSION TO MARS VIDEO:ANIMATION OF PHOENIX WITH NARRATION John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Last-of-its-kind surveillance satellite reaches orbit BY STEPHEN CLARKSPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: November 11, 2007Saturday night’s booming blastoff of the Delta 4-Heavy rocket signaled the end of a 37-year-long string of launches for the U.S. Air Force’s early warning satellite program as the military transitions to a new system that will provide better global coverage than ever before. An artist’s concept shows a DSP satellite deployed in space. Credit: Northrop GrummanThe triple-body rocket lofted the 23rd and final Defense Support Programsatellite carrying an array of infrared sensors in geosynchronous orbit todetect missile launches and nuclear activity around the world.The Air Force’s DSP fleet is being phased out in favor of the Space-BasedInfrared System, or SBIRS. The new program will include payloads ingeosynchronous and elliptical high Earth orbits.”DSP’s legacy is one of service to the nation,” said Peggy Paul, DSPprogram manager at Northrop Grumman Corp., the spacecraft’s contractor.The first launch of a Defense Support Program satellite was on Nov. 6,1970, almost precisely 37 years ago.”I like to think of DSP as really providing a blanket of security that ournational has enjoyed since the early 70s,” said Air Force Col. RogerTeague, commander of the SBIRS space group at the Space Missile SystemsCenter.The formerly classified system was later unveiled to the public, withlaunches occurring aboard Titan rockets and one space shuttle missionbefore Saturday’s spectacular Delta 4 sendoff to punctuate the program.”A lot of folks are very much tuned to this being the last DSP launch, butit also helps us look toward the future as we prepare to usher in theSBIRS constellation,” Teague said.The $400 million satellite was deployed in a circular orbit with aninclination of about four degrees. When the craft will join its counterparts already in space is classified.”We have a very healthy DSP constellation,” Teague said. “That gives usgreat confidence for the next several years that the nation will beprotected.”The latest block design of DSP spacecraft are designed to work for atleast three years, with a goal of five years of service. Officials say some of thesatellites easily surpass those marks.”They are exceeding that two-to-three times over,” said Lt. Col. JoeConiglio, Air Force DSP program director. “It is a robust system that hasbeen able to do the mission far and above what it was ever designed for.”Combined, the satellites have lived 165 years beyond their minimumexpected lifetimes, according to Paul.”That’s 30 to 50 satellites that didn’t have to be launched,” she said.”That’s a real value to the government.”Sensors aboard DSP satellites have lived an average of more than fourtimes longer than their design lives, Paul said.The DSP system, originally developed to watch for Soviet missile launchesand nuclear tests, transitioned to a new role after the end of the ColdWar. DSP satellites have met the challenge of the emergence of new playersin missile and nuclear technology, according to Teague.”That brings a new threat to the stage that we’re trying to account forand make sure that we have capabilities to guard against that,” he said.Today’s DSP satellites carry more than 6,000 infrared detectors that areconstantly on the vigil for ballistic and theater short-range missilelaunches and nuclear detonations. The satellites have proven to be aflexible asset in providing early warning of both strategic and tacticallaunches, Paul said.The fleet provided early warning of Iraqi SCUD missile launches tocivilians and coalition military forces in Saudi Arabia and Israel.”DSP has really provided that capability that allows us to live in peaceand without fear and knowing that we’ve got a system that’s alwayswatching not only our homeland but also U.S. forces and allies abroad,”Teague said.Scientists have also used DSP infrared instruments to detect volcaniceruptions and wildfires, according to the Air Force.”Even though it’s a legacy system, our folks are still finding ways toexploit the capabilities of this system,” Coniglio said.Future system on the horizonNew satellites in the SBIRS program will join the heritage constellationin geosynchronous orbit beginning in late 2009, according to Teague.”We’re still extracting every ounce of value out of the DSP system,”Teague said. “But like all great systems, we’ve found opportunities andabilities to be able to improve that and we’re doing that with SBIRS.”The next-generation system also includes sensors mounted on top secret spysatellites in egg-shaped high Earth orbits. The first instrument packageis already in space, the Air Force announced last year.”This has been a truly revolutionary capability that we now have in HEO,”Teague said. “That gives us new glimpses and new capability that we nowhave the opportunity to exploit.”The first HEO payload is not yet operational, Teague said, but officialsare using it as a learning tool before a second group of sensors islaunched on another classified host satellite. The HEO system could bedeclared operational by the middle of next year.”As we look to launch the SBIRS GEO satellites, we’ll be bringing thoseinto the operational constellation,” Teague said.Teague said the first GEO satellite payload has been sent to a LockheedMartin Corp. facility and integrated on the spacecraft bus for thebeginning of a lengthy combined test campaign.The military holds contracts for two geosynchronous satellites withLockheed Martin, with an option for a third spacecraft. Teague said adecision on whether to exercise the contract option or move on to a newdesign is being discussed at the highest levels of military leadership.”There are a number of decisions ongoing within the Pentagon with regardto at what point do you take that snapshot and draw the line in the sandand say, ‘Hey, I’m going to move on to the next generation and how do I dothat? Do I evolve my current capability? Do I go out and do somethingcompletely different? All of those discussions are underway right now,” hesaid.The SBIRS system originally included plans for additional geosynchronoussatellites, but cost overruns and development delays caused those plans tobe scrapped.Cost estimates for the program have nearly tripled since its inception in1996. The soaring costs could play a role in a decision whether to launchmore SBIRS satellites or create a new system.”A big lesson that we have to keep in mind is that we’ve got to be able toappropriately manage our risks and making sure that we don’t bite too bigof an apple off at one time and that we can deliver something on budget,on cost and on schedule,” Teague said.The infrared sensors and the associated electronic systems for the SBIRSprogram are built by Northrop Grumman.The SBIRS payloads include a scanning sensor that will provide more timelydata than the DSP instruments. Other detectors on geosynchronoussatellites will stare at specific regions with increased sensitivity.Expanded short-wave and mid-wave infrared sensors will also allow theSBIRS satellites to perform a broader range of missions.”The scanning technology that we have on orbit with HEO is the exactidentical capability that will be on orbit at GEO,” Teague said. “It givesus great confidence going forward that what we’ve got is going to workgreat.”The SBIRS constellation will work in tandem with the Space Tracking andSurveillance System managed by the Missile Defense Agency. Originallycalled SBIRS Low and managed by the Air Force, the STSS satellites will bestationed in low Earth orbit to demonstrate the tracking and quickidentification of launches for missile defense applications.The first orbital members of the STSS program will be launched next year.”In the near term, we feel very confident and comfortable about where weare with being able to provide that surveillance capability,” Teague said.Spaceflight Now’s Justin Ray contributed to this report.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:WIDESCREEN MOVIE OF LAUNCH SHOT FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:DELTA 4-HEAVY ROCKETS LAUNCHES WITH DSP 23 VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ANIMATION OF DSP SATELLITE VIDEO:DSP 23 SATELLITE IS TRANSPORTED TO PAD 37B VIDEO:THE DSP 23 SPACECRAFT MOUNTED ATOP ADAPTER VIDEO:FIRST DELTA 4-HEAVY FROM LIFTOFF TO BOOSTER SEP. VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA RECORDS FIRST HEAVY LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA SEES BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA CAPTURES FAIRING JETTISON Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Launch hazard areaSPACEFLIGHT NOW

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  213. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: August 4, 2007NASA’s $420 million Phoenix Mars lander blasted off early today and began a 10-month voyage to the red planet, bound for the northern polar plains where scientists believe vast deposits of ice are hidden just beneath the frozen surface.Running a day late because of stormy weather that slowed launch processing, the United Launch Alliance Boeing 2 rocket roared to life at 5:26:34 a.m. and quickly climbed away from launch complex 17 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The international space station emerged from Earth’s shadow seconds before liftoff, a brilliant “star” above the launch pad, and as the Delta 2 went supersonic, it streaked past Mars gleaming red in the morning sky 122 million miles away, a clearly visible target for NASA’s newest robotic explorer.The Delta’s first two stages performed normally to put the Phoenix lander and its interplanetary cruise stage into a preliminary parking orbit 106 miles up. A final boost by the lander’s solid-fuel third stage motor took place on time about 84 minutes after launch to accelerate the spacecraft to the required departure velocity.A ground station at Goldstone, Calif., picked up telemetry from the spacecraft almost immediately – 9 seconds after its transmitter turned on – but it took a few minutes for word of a healthy spacecraft to filter out to reporters and other NASA managers not directly involved in the checkout procedure. But at an 11 a.m. news conference, officials said Phoenix was in near perfect health with all systems operating normally. The Delta 2 rocket put the craft on a near-ideal trajectory and if all goes well, Phoenix will reach Mars on May 25, 2008.”While we’re really happy that we now have ourselves on our way, that’s great, it’s 295 days to our entry, descent and landing where we get to do everything that was done today, but we do it in reverse,” said Barry Goldstein, Phoenix project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We go from the velocity we’re at now down to 5 mph in seven minutes. It’ll be a lot of fun.”Data collected by NASA’s orbiting Mars Odyssey spacecraft indicates vast amounts of ice within a few feet of the surface of Mars at extreme northern latitudes, possibly the remnant of an ancient ocean. Phoenix is equipped with an eight-foot robot arm that can dig nearly two feet into the soil next to the lander to tap into that ice and deliver samples to compact instruments and furnaces that will look for signs of organic compounds.While the relatively low-cost Phoenix is not equipped with instruments to search for signs of biological activity, mission scientists are hopeful the spacecraft will be able to determine whether the environment at the ice-soil boundary represents a modern habitable zone.”I see this mission as a stepping stone towards the search for life on other planets,” said Peter Smith, principal investigator at the University of Arizona. “We’re hoping to find a place that we consider really a habitable zone on Mars. To me, if we can find that out, that would be a tremendous success. We’re also really interested in following up on the discovery of water ice by the Odyssey spacecraft in 2002 and trying to understand how the ice got there and what it’s source was and what its history has been.”NASA’s Mars Pathfinder lander and rover and the two Mars Exploration Rovers currently weathering a global dust storm on opposite sides of the red planet were built to study the geology of Mars and to confirm the presence of surface water in the distant past. Phoenix will concentrate on water known to exist today.”We want to understand the ice properties,” Smith said. “This is a big part of Mars. It’s part of the NASA theme of follow the water. Well, we’re for the first time getting kind of a fist-full, so to speak, of water and soil and we’re going to analyze it.”We intend to go where we know there’s ice near the surface. Our entire mission is trying to understand the history of this ice, in particular does it melt over time and provide a habitat for some sort of Martian biology?”Unlike NASA’s hugely successful Mars Exploration Rovers, Phoenix will not bounce to a landing cocooned in protective airbags. Instead, it will use a dozen pulsing, computer-controlled rocket motors to make its final descent to a soft landing near the northern polar cap. The last time NASA tried that, the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander simply disappeared, the presumed victim of a premature engine shutdown.This time around, using hardware left over from the polar lander project and a subsequent mission that was canceled in the wake of the 1999 failure, NASA managers believe they have done all that can reasonably be expected to ensure success. Along with fixing the sensor/software glitch believed to be responsible for the Mars Polar Lander’s demise, engineers with spacecraft builder Lockheed Martin and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory found and fixed a variety of other shortcomings in an exhaustive effort to ensure success.”This team has put an enormous amount of energy into retiring and finding all sorts of problems,” Goldstein said before launch. “We are very confident that we basically have retired everything that we can think of. But the simple fact of the matter is, landing on Mars is difficult. Probably the most difficult thing about it is not the things we can think of, it’s things we can’t think of.”I’m confident we have worked as hard as any group of people can. Am I confident in the landing? I’ll be nervous. If my fingernails survive that day, it will be a miracle. It’s not the things that we know that will hurt us. It’s the things we don’t know.”But if the appropriately named Phoenix mission works, NASA will open a new chapter in its on-going exploration of Mars.Based on high-resolution images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, mission planners ruled out one landing site because of boulder fields that could cause major problems for a legged lander. The current landing zone is located at 67 degrees north latitude, roughly equivalent to Iceland or northern Siberia on Earth. MRO pictures indicate a very smooth terrain. The target landing ellipse measures 12 miles wide by 93 miles long. The entry, descent and landing profile is complex, fast-paced and computer controlled. At the time of landing, Earth and Mars will be 171 million miles apart, so far it will take radio signals 15.3 minutes to make a one-way trip. Data from Phoenix will be relayed back to Earth throughout the descent by NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, but realtime commanding will not be possible. Phoenix’s survival will depend on its flight software, the martian weather, the terrain at the landing site and a certain amount of luck.”Mars has been known as a spacecraft eater,” Goldstein said. “We have been fairly successful recently with the MER (landers). But that doesn’t make it any easier the next time around.”Seven minutes before it hits the discernible atmosphere, Phoenix will separate from its interplanetary cruise stage and reorient itself to put its heat shield forward. Atmospheric entry will occur five minutes later at an altitude of 77.7 miles and a velocity of 3.5 miles per second. Over the next three minutes, the spacecraft will experience peak heating and a deceleration of 9.3 times the force of Earth’s gravity at sea level.Now at an altitude of 7.8 miles, a large braking parachute will deploy and 15 seconds later, the no-longer-needed heat shield will fall away. The spacecraft’s three landing legs will snap open and a radar altimeter will fire up to compute the spacecraft’s altitude and sink rate.Then, in the most dramatic phase of the descent, the lander will separate from its parachute about 3,000 feet above the martian surface. Three seconds later, 12 small rocket motors will begin firing to slow the descent and bleed off horizontal velocity. Unlike the throttled engines on the Viking landers three decades ago, Phoenix relies on pulsing on-off cycles to control the craft’s descent rate and orientation. The engines will shut down when sensors on the landing legs contact the surface.For 15 minutes, Phoenix will wait for any dust kicked up by landing to settle out before deploying its two fan-like circular solar arrays. A meteorology mast and the lander’s main stereo camera will deploy and engineers will begin a complex sequence of operations to thoroughly check out the robot’s systems.A successful soft landing “is a very difficult thing to do,” Goldstein said. “We have gone away from the Pathfinder and MER (airbag) landing system for a reason. We have to have an ability to land a larger payload on the surface as we try to expand the Mars program. Eventually, there will have to be a landing system for people. They are not going to want to bounce around in airbags.”Phoenix is designed to operate for at least three months and possibly longer. But engineers say the sort of extended life enjoyed by the Mars Exploration Rovers is not an option for Phoenix.”The real killer is the ice caps coming down,” Goldstein said. “We expect to be encased in solid CO2 at some point, according to what the scientists are telling us. Will we check to see if it thaws out and comes back to life (the following summer)? Sure, but we didn’t design this vehicle to survive cryogenic freezing.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:PHOENIX LAUNCHES! VIDEO:POST-FLIGHT COMMENTS FROM LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN FROM PATRICK AFB CAMERA VIDEO:TRACKER FOLLOWS ROCKET TO MECO VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:PAD’S MOBILE GANTRY ROLLED BACK FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:NARRATED HIGHLIGHTS OF PHOENIX CAMPAIGN VIDEO:NARRATED HIGHLIGHTS OF ROCKET CAMPAIGN VIDEO:THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF PHOENIX MISSION TO MARS VIDEO:ANIMATION OF PHOENIX WITH NARRATION John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spaceflight Now +Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus .Atlantis rolls to padAfter a six-hour trip along the three-and-a-half-mile crawlerway from the Vehicle Assembly Building, space shuttle Atlantis arrives at launch pad 39A for the STS-117 mission. Atlantis rolloverSpace shuttle Atlantis emerges from its processing hangar at dawn February 7 for the short trip to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center’s Complex 39. Time-lapse movies: Research Project: X-15The documentary “Research Project: X-15” looks at the rocketplane program that flew to the edge of space in the effort to learn about the human ability to fly at great speeds and aircraft design to sustain such flights.Technical look atProject MercuryThis documentary takes a look at the technical aspects of Project Mercury, including development of the capsule and the pioneering first manned flights of America’s space program.Apollo 15: In the Mountains of the MoonThe voyage of Apollo 15 took man to the Hadley Rille area of the moon. Astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin explored the region using a lunar rover, while Al Worden remained in orbit conducting observations. “Apollo 15: In the Mountains of the Moon” is a NASA film looking back at the 1971 flight.Skylab’s first 40 daysSkylab, America’s first space station, began with crippling problems created by an incident during its May 1973 launch. High temperatures and low power conditions aboard the orbital workshop forced engineers to devise corrective measures quickly. Astronauts Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz and Joe Kerwin flew to the station and implemented the repairs, rescuing the spacecraft’s mission. This film tells the story of Skylab’s first 40 days in space.Photo gallery: August 15 launch attempt for GOES-NThe 330-foot tall mobile service tower is retracted from around the Boeing Delta 4 rocket at Cape Canaveral’s pad 37B in preparation for the August 15 countdown launch attempt to place the GOES-N weather satellite into Earth orbit. Photo: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now Photo: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now Photo: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company Photo: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo Gallery: Day before launch SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: September 7, 2011 On the eve of its scheduled launch, a Delta 2 rocket stands 125 feet tall atop Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral. Liftoff is scheduled for Thursday at 8:37 a.m. Eastern time (1237 GMT) or 9:16 a.m. Eastern time (1316 GMT).The Delta 2 rocket has two one-second launch opportunities each day.Its payload is NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, mission. GRAIL’s two identical satellites will embark on a circuitous three-month journey to the moon, where the tandem will measure the lunar gravity field and gather insights about the moon’s interior.The flight is the final planned launch of a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral.Photo credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight NowSpaceflight Now +Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus .Launch of SwiftThe Boeing Delta rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying the Swift gamma-ray observatory. This extended clip follows the mission through second stage ignition and includes onboard video of the nose cone separation. (5min 45sec file)Nose cone jettisonThe Delta rocket’s upward-facing video camera captures the nose cone covering Swift being jettisoned about five minutes into flight. (1min 06sec file)Swift deployedA video camera mounted on the Delta rocket’s second stage shows maneuvers to the proper orientation for release of Swift high above Earth and the observatory’s successful deployment. (8min 00sec file)Cocoa Beach viewA powerful tracking camera located at Cocoa Beach south of the pad provides this spectacular view from liftoff through the early minutes of flight by the Delta rocket and Swift. (2min 54sec file)Photo gallery: Delta 2 rocket launches GPS 2R-12 Posted: June 23, 2004 The first hint of flame flickers beneath the Boeing Delta 2 rocket as its main engine begins to ignite. Photo: Carleton Bailie/BoeingAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 2 rocket launches GPS 2R-M1 navigation satellite Posted: September 26, 2005The Boeing Delta 2 rocket lifts off at 11:37 p.m. EDT on September 25 carrying the first modernized GPS 2R navigation satellite for the U.S. Air Force. Credit: Boeing photos by Carleton Bailie Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET LIFTS OFF WITH GPS 2R-M1 VIDEO:LONGER CLIP SHOWING THE SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: Delta 2 rocket launches MESSENGER Posted: August 9, 2004 The first hint of flame flickers beneath the Boeing Delta 2 rocket as its main engine begins to ignite. Photo: NASA-KSCAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET BLASTS OFF WITH MESSENGER VIDEO:CLOSE-UP VIEW OF MAIN ENGINE IGNITION VIDEO:UMBILICAL TOWER CAMERA VIDEO OF LIFTOFF VIDEO:FIERY BLASTOFF AS CAPTURED BY PAD CAMERA VIDEO:LIFTOFF AS SEEN FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM CAPE’S PRESS SITE 1 VIDEO:COCOA BEACH TRACKING CAMERA LAUNCH VIDEO VIDEO:VIEW FROM ALTERNATE PRESS VIEWING LOCATION VIDEO:POWERFUL TRACKING CAMERA OFFERS THIS ANGLE VIDEO:CLOSE-UP VIEW OF BOOSTER NOZZLES DURING ASCENT VIDEO:POST-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH NASA LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:SERVICE TOWER ROLLED BACK FOR SECOND COUNTDOWN VIDEO:BAD WEATHER SCRUBS MONDAY’S LAUNCH ATTEMPT VIDEO:WEATHER OFFICER GIVES FORECAST FOR TUESDAY VIDEO:MESSENGER’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN SHOWN WITH NARRATION VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET IS ASSEMBLED ON THE LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:MOBILE SERVICE TOWER IS ROLLED BACK SUNDAY EVENING VIDEO:SATURDAY’S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:MESSENGER PRE-LAUNCH SCIENCE BRIEFING VIDEO:WATCH THE MESSENGER OVERVIEW NEWS CONFERENCE Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spaceflight Now +Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus .Atlantis rolls to padAfter a six-hour trip along the three-and-a-half-mile crawlerway from the Vehicle Assembly Building, space shuttle Atlantis arrives at launch pad 39A for the STS-117 mission. Atlantis rolloverSpace shuttle Atlantis emerges from its processing hangar at dawn February 7 for the short trip to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center’s Complex 39. Time-lapse movies: Research Project: X-15The documentary “Research Project: X-15” looks at the rocketplane program that flew to the edge of space in the effort to learn about the human ability to fly at great speeds and aircraft design to sustain such flights.Technical look atProject MercuryThis documentary takes a look at the technical aspects of Project Mercury, including development of the capsule and the pioneering first manned flights of America’s space program.Apollo 15: In the Mountains of the MoonThe voyage of Apollo 15 took man to the Hadley Rille area of the moon. Astronauts Dave Scott and Jim Irwin explored the region using a lunar rover, while Al Worden remained in orbit conducting observations. “Apollo 15: In the Mountains of the Moon” is a NASA film looking back at the 1971 flight.Skylab’s first 40 daysSkylab, America’s first space station, began with crippling problems created by an incident during its May 1973 launch. High temperatures and low power conditions aboard the orbital workshop forced engineers to devise corrective measures quickly. Astronauts Pete Conrad, Paul Weitz and Joe Kerwin flew to the station and implemented the repairs, rescuing the spacecraft’s mission. This film tells the story of Skylab’s first 40 days in space.Photo gallery: Delta 4 launches with GOES-NThe Boeing Delta 4 rocket blasts off with the GOES-N weather satellite, as seen from the press site along the NASA Causeway.Photo credit: Ken Thornsley/NASA-KSC Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA 4 BLASTS OFF WITH GOES-N VIDEO:THE FULL LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:TUESDAY’S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS BRIEFING AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:NARRATED ANIMATION OF GOES-N LAUNCH VIDEO:GOES-N HOISTED ATOP DELTA 4 ROCKET VIDEO:SPACECRAFT DRIVEN TO LAUNCH PAD 37B VIDEO:ROCKET NOSE CONE PLACED AROUND GOES-N VIDEO:GOES-N LIFTED TO ROCKET ADAPTER AT ASTROTECH VIDEO:AUGUST 15 LAUNCH ATTEMPT SCRUBBED VIDEO:AUGUST 16 LAUNCH ATTEMPT SCRUBBED VIDEO:VIEWS OF DELTA 4 ON THE PAD Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: Boeing’s Delta 4-Heavy rocket is revealed Posted: August 26, 2004 Boeing’s 23-story tall Delta 4-Heavy rocket is now fully assembled atop pad 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The powerful booster is scheduled for launch this fall on a demonstration flight. This collection of images taken by photographer Carleton Bailie includes aerial views from a helicopter and from various vantage points around the pad. Credit: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: Delta rocket launches Mars landerThese timelapse images of the United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket sending NASA’s Phoenix lander on a 420-million-mile trek from Earth to Mars.The first image shows the initial liftoff from Cape Canaveral’s pad 17A with the rocket’s kerosene-fueled main engine and solid-propellant motors firing for the 5:26 a.m. launch.The second photo was taken as the Delta soared downrange, nearing the end of the first stage firing. The burned out solid boosters can be seen falling toward the ocean following their jettison. Phoenix’s destination — Mars — is the bright orange point of light near the top of the image, with the Pleiades star cluster seen to the left.Photos by Chris Miller/Spaceflight Now Larger version Credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight Now Larger version .Credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight NowVideo coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:PHOENIX LAUNCHES! VIDEO:POST-FLIGHT COMMENTS FROM LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN FROM PATRICK AFB CAMERA VIDEO:TRACKER FOLLOWS ROCKET TO MECO VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:PAD’S MOBILE GANTRY ROLLED BACK FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:NARRATED HIGHLIGHTS OF PHOENIX CAMPAIGN VIDEO:NARRATED HIGHLIGHTS OF ROCKET CAMPAIGN VIDEO:THE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:OVERVIEW OF PHOENIX MISSION TO MARS VIDEO:ANIMATION OF PHOENIX WITH NARRATION Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: Delta rocket pre-launch preps Posted: August 9, 2004 The mobile service tower is retracted from around the Boeing Delta 2 rocket at launch pad 17B for the second attempt to propel NASA’s MESSSENGER space probe on its seven-year voyage from Earth to Mercury. Photo: NASA-KSCAdditional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET BLASTS OFF WITH MESSENGER VIDEO:CLOSE-UP VIEW OF MAIN ENGINE IGNITION VIDEO:UMBILICAL TOWER CAMERA VIDEO OF LIFTOFF VIDEO:FIERY BLASTOFF AS CAPTURED BY PAD CAMERA VIDEO:LIFTOFF AS SEEN FROM PLAYALINDA BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH AS SEEN FROM CAPE’S PRESS SITE 1 VIDEO:COCOA BEACH TRACKING CAMERA LAUNCH VIDEO VIDEO:VIEW FROM ALTERNATE PRESS VIEWING LOCATION VIDEO:POWERFUL TRACKING CAMERA OFFERS THIS ANGLE VIDEO:CLOSE-UP VIEW OF BOOSTER NOZZLES DURING ASCENT VIDEO:POST-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH NASA LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:SERVICE TOWER ROLLED BACK FOR SECOND COUNTDOWN VIDEO:BAD WEATHER SCRUBS MONDAY’S LAUNCH ATTEMPT VIDEO:WEATHER OFFICER GIVES FORECAST FOR TUESDAY VIDEO:MESSENGER’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN SHOWN WITH NARRATION VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET IS ASSEMBLED ON THE LAUNCH PAD VIDEO:MOBILE SERVICE TOWER IS ROLLED BACK SUNDAY EVENING VIDEO:SATURDAY’S PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:MESSENGER PRE-LAUNCH SCIENCE BRIEFING VIDEO:WATCH THE MESSENGER OVERVIEW NEWS CONFERENCE Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: STEREO launchThe Boeing Delta 2 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral’s pad 17B at 8:52 p.m. carrying the twin STEREO solar observatories.Photo credit: NASA-KSC Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:THE FULL LAUNCH EXPERIENCE VIDEO:LAUNCH OF STEREO ABOARD DELTA 2 ROCKET VIDEO:POST-FLIGHT REPORT FROM LAUNCH MANAGER VIDEO:LAUNCH DAY ROLLBACK OF PAD’S SERVICE TOWER VIDEO:NARRATED MOVIE OF DELTA ROCKET PRE-LAUNCH FLOW VIDEO:NARRATED MOVIE OF STEREO PRE-LAUNCH PROCESSING VIDEO:STEREO PRE-LAUNCH NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:MISSION SCIENCE PREVIEW VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET’S NOSE CONE INSTALLED FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:SATELLITES SEEN MOUNTED ATOP ROCKET VIDEO:SPACECRAFT DELIVERED TO LAUNCH PAD MORE: Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: MiTEx launches aboard Delta 2The Boeing Delta 2 rocket launches at 6:15 p.m. from pad 17A carrying the MiTEx military technology mission.Photo credit: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:DELTA 2 ROCKET LAUNCHES WITH MITEX VIDEO:WIDE-SCREEN VIEW FROM THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH PAD TOWER ROLLED BACK Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: Mobile Service Tower rollback Posted: December 11, 2004 The mobile service tower is rolled back from the Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket at pad 37B before sunrise December 11 in preparation for the booster’s demonstration flight. Photo: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Rollback of mobile service tower at pad 17A Posted: September 25, 2005The mobile service gantry is retracted for launch at Cape Canaveral’s pad 17A, revealing the Boeing Delta 2 rocket for its liftoff carrying the first modernized GPS 2R navigation satellite. Credit: Boeing photos by Carleton Bailie Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: Mobile service tower rolled backThe launch pad 17A mobile service tower begins its retraction to reveal the Boeing Delta 2 rocket in preparation for liftoff carrying the MiTEx military technology mission.Photo credit: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: Mobile service tower rolled backThe launch pad 17B mobile service tower is retracted in preparation for liftoff of the Boeing Delta 2 rocket carrying the twin STEREO solar observatories.Photo credit: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:STEREO PRE-LAUNCH NEWS BRIEFING VIDEO:MISSION SCIENCE PREVIEW VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET’S NOSE CONE INSTALLED FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:SATELLITES SEEN MOUNTED ATOP ROCKET VIDEO:SPACECRAFT DELIVERED TO LAUNCH PAD MORE: Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Photo gallery: The August 16 launch attemptThis collection of images was taken on August 16 during the second launch attempt of the Delta 4 rocket and GOES-N spacecraft.Photo credit: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Polar orbiter going up to improve weather forecasting SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 24, 2011 A satellite whose mission will touch the lives of everyone on Earth by taking the planet’s environmental pulse daily for global weather forecasting and meticulous tracking of the changing climate will be launched into space Friday morning atop what’s potentially the final Delta 2 rocket. An artist’s concept of the NPP spacecraft. Credit: Ball AerospaceThe $1.5 billion mission of the NPP spacecraft will extend the data records from NASA’s aging science observatories and serve as a gapfiller in NOAA’s polar-orbiting weather satellite constellation for a half-decade while waiting for the next generation.”There is value to knowing what tomorrow will bring. Whether by tomorrow we mean literally as in the weather forecast, or by tomorrow we mean something longer — the future Earth environment that we can expect to be living in months, years, decades from now, and that our children and grandchildren will be living in,” said Waleed Abdalati, NASA’s chief scientist.The U.S. has been flying weather satellites that circle from pole to pole since the dawn of the space age. Unlike the geostationary platforms parked 22,300 miles above the Earth’s equator that monitor only a portion of the planet, the polar birds fly much lower and survey the whole globe to see conditions develop and give warning of incoming storms.”What happens in far away places matters in places where people live,” said Abdalati.Friday’s liftoff is targeted for 2:48 a.m. local time (5:48 a.m. EDT; 0948 GMT) from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, located on the Pacific coastline about 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles.The venerable Delta 2 rocket, making its 151st and possibly last launch, has no further missions on the manifest. Maker United Launch Alliance has five more of the vehicles available for sales to the U.S. government and commercial satellite operators, but it remains to be seen if any will fly.For this its 50th ascent in service to NASA, the Delta 2 will haul the 2.5-ton payload into a 512-mile-high orbit tilted 98.7 degrees to the equator, enabling the craft to cover the entire planet.”We get to watch it fly south over the Pacific Ocean and on into orbit, then we all rush back inside, tell our team on the east coast to get to work on flight ops, make sure we got into the correct orbit and our solar array deployed,” said Scott Tennant, NPP program manager at satellite-builder Ball Aerospace.”Then we party.” An artist’s concept shows the Delta’s second stage accelerating NPP into orbit. Credit: NASA TVEngineers working on the satellite have been waiting years to see NPP launch. Construction of the craft’s core structure was completed in 2005, but then came a lengthy delay to finish the state-of-the-art instruments.NPP carries five sensor packages to provide imagery, atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, and land and ocean surface temperature observations, all of which are key ingredients for weather forecasting. In addition, the satellite will measure ozone levels and reflected solar radiation from the planet.”The nation isn’t always aware of the benefits of taxpayer investment into big projects like NPP. But with more sophisticated Earth observing sensors aboard NPP, the National Weather Service will be able to demonstrate this value by saving even more lives and reducing economic losses with more-accurate forecasters and longer lead times,” said Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Service.While NOAA uses NPP to test the vitality of the modernized sensors for watching the weather, NASA will add the satellite’s measurements to its long-term compilation of climate data.”People often confuse climate and weather. Weather is what’s going to happen tomorrow or this upcoming weekend; climate is what happens over years and decades,” said Jim Gleason, the NPP project scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.”Climate is long-term behavior, weather patterns over time. These are the patterns that make it easier to grow corn in Iowa than in Arizona. Simply put, climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.”The three large science satellites in NASA’s Earth Observing System — Terra, Aqua and Aura — were launched in , and , respectively, and won’t last forever. NPP will continue writing their data records about the planet’s atmosphere, oceans and vegetation during its planned five-year mission.”NPP is a bridge to next-generation of Earth observing satellites that will provide climate data that are critical to NASA’s Earth science research. NPP will help us understand what tomorrow will bring — whether by tomorrow we mean tomorrow’s forecast or we mean years and decades from now,” said Andrew Carson, NASA’s NPP program executive.”NPP will continue these key measurements which are critical to understanding the health of our planet now as well as how things might change in the future.”For meteorologists, they are looking forward to the enhanced data from NPP to improve the quality of forecasting the weather.”As end users the global data we will receive from this advanced satellite, we at the National Weather Service are really excited in anticipation of getting it into operations as quickly as we can,” said Hayes.”In addition to the advanced sensors’ higher resolution technology, NPP will give us critical information from the entire Earth surface twice a day. This additional data will give National Weather Service forecasters more knowledge days in advance about the strength of a storm.” An artist’s concept illustrates NPP’s polar orbit. Credit: NASASophisticated numerical models run on the world’s fastest computers ingest over a billion observations per day to generate daily weather forecasts.”The backbone of that global observing system is the polar satellite data that both NASA and NOAA have worked on for decades to improve the operational forecast systems. So the launch of the NPP is a big deal for America,” said Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.”With NPP’s advanced microwave, infrared and visible data feeding NOAA’s operational weather prediction models, we expect to improve our forecast skills and extend those forecast skills out to five-to-seven days in advance for hurricanes, severe weather outbreaks and other extreme weather events,” Uccellini continued.”Beyond the weather forecasting, NOAA will use NPP data to track ash plumes from volcanic eruptions to enhance aviation safety, monitor crops, vegetation, the potential for drought and fires, measure variation in the Arctic sea ice and detect harmful algae blooms and other hazards that might endanger fisheries in fragile ocean ecosystems.”At the Space Launch Complex 2 pad, technicians plan to load storable hypergolic propellants into the Delta 2 rocket’s second stage Monday and Tuesday. The Launch Readiness Review will be held Wednesday, leading into the countdown activities that begin Thursday afternoon. You can follow launch preparations in our with journal updates and live streaming video.If you will be away from your computer but would like to receive occasional countdown updates, sign up for our to get text message updates on your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting “follow spaceflightnow” to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)And check out Spaceflight Now’s page for mobile pictures over the next few days.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Pre-launch photo gallerySPACEFLIGHT NOW

  214. Posted: October 21, 2011T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. Six of the nine strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:04.0Ground SRB BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:26.0Jettison SRBsThe spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Pacific Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the NPP spacecraft into the proper orbit.T+04:41.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the NPP cargo atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:23.7Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 460 nautical miles at apogee, 100 miles at perigee and inclined 98.655 degrees.T+52:05.0Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to boost the elliptical orbit into a more circular one.T+52:26.7Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 22-second burn. The orbit achieved should be 445.7 nautical miles at apogee, 438.8 miles at perigee and inclined 98.705 degrees.T+58:45.0NPP SeparationThe NPOESS Preparatory Project spacecraft for NOAA and NASA is released from the Delta 2 rocket, completing the primary launch sequence.T+92:30.0Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for 39 seconds to perform its planned evasive maneuver to leave the orbital plane of the NPP satellite, resulting in a new orbit of 437.6 nautical miles at apogee, 183.6 nautical miles at perigee and inclined 101.8 degrees.T+98:20.0CubeSat DeploysA half-dozen student-made CubeSats are ejected from carriers on the Delta second stage in three deployment events occurring in 100-second intervals. AubieSat 1, DICE, Explorer 1 (Prime) Unit 2, M-Cubed and RAX 2 are part of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellite, or ELaNa.T+114:58.6Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for 32 seconds to deplete its remaining fuel supply, resulting in a new orbit of 399.0 nautical miles at apogee, 100.1 nautical miles at perigee and inclined 107.5 degrees.Data source: ULA.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4 rocket and Air Force payload joined for launch SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: January 4, 2012 Moving from the cleanroom to the Cape Canaveral launching pad, the next update to the U.S. military’s space-based communications network was hoisted aboard its booster rocket Wednesday.File image of a Delta payload leaving Astrotech. Credit: NASA TVThe Wideband Global SATCOM 4 spacecraft, better known as WGS 4, will ride a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket into orbit Jan. 19 from the Florida spaceport’s pad 37B.Liftoff will be possible during a 93-minute window extending from 7:38 to 9:11 p.m. EST (0038-0211 GMT).Already tucked inside the rocket’s five-meter-diameter, 47-foot-tall nose cone, a process that was accomplished before the holidays while still at the spacecraft preparation facility in Titusville, WGS 4 was driven on a specialized transporter across the river, through Kennedy Space Center and over to Complex 37 in the frigid predawn darkness Wednesday.After entering the pad and climbing the ramp to the launch site around 3:30 a.m. EST, the motorized hauler was parked on the backside of the mobile service gantry to complete the 25-mile trip.There, the pad’s crane lowered down to take hold of the payload for carefully hoisting the 6.5-ton satellite into the tower and positioning it atop the rocket’s second stage for attachment.File image of Delta payload ready for hoisting into the pad tower. Credit: NASAThe milestone move kicks off the final two weeks of the pre-launch campaign, which will include integrated testing between the Delta 4 rocket and WGS 4 spacecraft, closeouts of the vehicle compartments for flight and a series of readiness reviews to verify all systems are “go” for blastoff.It will be first rocket launch from Cape Canaveral of the new year and begins the Delta 4 rocket’s 2012 that is dedicated to military service with as many as five flights scheduled from both Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to deploy WGS, GPS and classified National Reconnaissance Office spacecraft.WGS 4 starts an enhanced “block” of satellites with improved bandwidth for communications to the military’s remotely-controlled unmanned aerial drones, which are used for surveillance, intelligence-gathering and offensive operations.The Air Force says it plans to put this WGS 4 spacecraft into service over the Middle East and Southeast Asia for U.S. Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command.An artist’s concept of WGS antenna arrangement. Credit: BoeingWeighing about 13,000 pounds at launch, the craft’s communications package provides shaped, steerable spotbeams of bandwidth wherever requested across its field-of-view for Ka- and X-band frequencies, plus the onboard capability to convert signals from one band to the other. The data transmission rates range from 2.1 to 3.6 Gbps. Once fully unfurled in space, the craft’s solar-power wings will span 134 feet.Three WGS spacecraft are operating in geosynchronous orbit today, and The Boeing Co. has four more in production at its El Segundo factory in Los Angeles. The craft are built upon the company’s powerhouse 702-model design.For over four decades, the Defense Satellite Communications System was the foundation for flowing secure information to military forces around the globe. But that heritage system is being phased out as the aging craft retire and the new WGS satellites ascend to orbit to take advantage of new technology.The final DSCS craft was launched by a Delta 4 rocket in 2003. ()An artist’s concept of WGS spotbeams. Credit: BoeingEach WGS bird possesses 10 times the capacity of a DSCS satellite and offers 19 coverage areas with its steerable antennas versus 8 under the heritage craft.The X-band communications through DSCS and WGS allow data, photos and video to be relayed to troops on the battlefield. But WGS also brings Ka-band to the table for high-volume broadcasting to user terminals across the reception area.At the heart of each WGS is an internal box called a digital channelizer that enables a user with a Ka-band terminal to seamlessly connect to someone with an X-band terminal, or vice versa.But the new Block 2 satellites, beginning with WGS 4, come with a bypass feature for unmanned aerial drone communications to skip the crossbanding path and use two uplink and two downlink channels that offer three times the bandwidth as the normal channels, opening up a much wider pipeline for data to flow.File image of Delta 4 Medium+(5,4) on the pad for WGS 3. Credit: ULAThe Delta 4 carrying WGS 4 will be flying in the Medium+(5,4) configuration, which is the most powerful of the Medium-version rockets and below only the triple-core Heavy in the modular family’s lineup.The Medium+(5,4) has a five-meter-diameter upper stage loaded with more cryogenic propellants than the optional four-meter motor used for other launches, such as GPS missions. The rocket also has a full set of four solid-fuel boosters strapped to the first stage, double the number used for GPS and other lower-weight payloads.The first stage is powered by the RS-68 hydrogen-fed main engine and the upper stage has the RL10B-2 engine, the powerplants used on all 17 Delta 4 missions to date.With WGS 4 now aboard, the fully stacked rocket stands 217 feet, 7 inches tall and looks ready for blastoff in just 15 days. Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:DELTA 4 ROCKET LAUNCHES WITH WGS 3 VIDEO:ATLAS 5 ROCKET LAUNCHES WITH WGS 2 VIDEO:LAUNCH PREPARATIONS VIDEO:WGS 1 LAUNCH SEEN FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4 rocket awaits launch on NROL-25 Take a tour around the remarkable Space Launch Complex 6, originally built for the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, redone for military space shuttle missions and now home to the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket. The 21-story booster stands within the protective confines of its mobile gantry awaiting the countdown to the NROL-25 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.See our for the latest news on the launch.Photo credit: /Spaceflight NowDelta 4 rocket blasts off with classified NRO satellite BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  215. Posted: January 30, 2009T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The three strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:04.0SRB BurnoutThe ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:39.0Jettison SRBsThe spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.T+01:40.0Begin Dog-legAfter initially flying from Vandenberg along a 196-degree flight azimuth, the rocket begins steering itself to obtain the desired orbital inclination. This dog-leg maneuver continues for 40 seconds.T+04:24.2Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:32.7Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.T+04:37.7Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the NOAA-N Prime spacecraft into the proper orbit.T+04:56.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the NOAA-N Prime cargo atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+11:16.1Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 468 nautical miles at apogee, 100 miles at perigee and inclined 98.6 degrees.T+59:21.0Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit’s perigee.T+59:34.3Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 13-second burn. The orbit achieved should be 466.5 nautical miles at apogee, 463.0 miles at perigee and inclined 98.7 degrees.T+65:40.0Payload SeparationThe NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite is released from the Delta 2 rocket, completing the launch.Data source: ULA.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 341 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  216. Posted: December 19, 2007T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-18 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:57.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-18 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:48.1Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-18 spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 111 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 37.5 degrees.T+62:29.2Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a brief firing that will raise the orbit’s high point.T+63:11.7Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down. The orbit achieved should be 670 miles at apogee, 103 miles at perigee and inclined 37.95 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+64:04.7Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+64:41.7Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is ignited to deliver the GPS 2R-18 satellite into its intended orbit around Earth.T+66:08.4Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-18.T+68:01.7GPS 2R-18 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-18 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 104 nautical miles inclined 40 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit and raise inclination to 55 degrees for joining the GPS constellation.Data source: ULAAres 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-19 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  217. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: July 29, 2004Taking the economy route, NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft will spend six-and-a-half years just getting to its target for at least one year of scientific observations. The 4.9-billion-mile marathon will require 15 trips around the sun, six trajectory-warping planetary flybys and another half-dozen critical rocket firings. That’s what it will take to get the one-ton MESSENGER into orbit around hellish Mercury, an extraordinarily difficult feat even though the closest planet to the sun is just a stone’s throw from Earth as astronomical distances go. But Mercury orbits deep within the sun’s gravity well and MESSENGER’s $427 million mission hinges on the use of compact scientific instruments, lightweight materials and an innovative flight plan utilizing the gravity of Earth, Venus and Mercury itself to slow and shape the probe’s descent into the inner solar system. The MESSENGER poster artwork shows the Delta launch vehicle and the spacecraft headed to orbit Mercury. Credit: BoeingLiftoff atop a Boeing Delta 2 booster from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is scheduled for Aug. 2 at 2:16:11 a.m. EDT (0616:11 GMT), the opening of a 12-second launch window. If the spacecraft is not off the ground by Aug. 14, the flight will be delayed for a year while the inner planets return to favorable flyby positions. But if all goes well, MESSENGER will brake into orbit around Mercury on March 18, 2011, kicking off a planned one-year mission to study the hot, heavily-cratered and surprisingly dense world in unprecedented detail. “MESSENGER will help us understand the forces that have shaped the least explored and innermost of the terrestrial planets, Mercury,” said Orlando Figueroa, director of the solar system exploration division at NASA headquarters. “Understanding Mercury, how it formed and how it evolved is essential to the understanding of the terrestrial planets: Venus, Earth and Mars.” Only one other spacecraft – NASA’s Mariner 10 – ever visited the innermost planet, flying past the scorched world three times in 1974 and 1975. But Mariner 10 was strictly a flyby mission, photographing just one side of the planet while collecting valuable but limited scientific data. “Mariner 10 left us with even more questions than it answered,” Figueroa said. “Now, 30 years later, advances in technology, mission design and materials have enabled us to go back with a much more capable mission, which can help us understand and unravel the mysteries of the closest planet to the sun. “While at Mercury, MESSENGER will collect images of the entire planet and gather highly detailed information on Mercury’s geological history, the nature of its atmosphere and magnetosphere, the makeup of its core and the character of the core materials. … What we learn from MESSENGER about Mercury will teach us a great deal more about the nature and structure of the inner planets in our solar system.” Operating in a 12-hour orbit that will carry it within 125 miles of Mercury’s stark surface, MESSENGER will beam back eight hours of scientific data per day, helping scientists figure out how the planet ended up with such a huge iron core, whether part of the core remains fluid and whether it helps drive Mercury’s magnetic field. Scientists also are eager to understand the nature of the planet’s ultra-thin atmosphere and whether radar-reflecting deposits in permanently shadowed craters near Mercury’s poles are made up of water ice. “The question we’re going after that seems most fundamental to me is how Mercury got put together,” said Principal Investigator Sean Solomon of the Carnegie Institution in Washington. “What were the processes that contributed to the inner planets turning out so differently? “They formed by common processes, the inner planets are all litter mates, if you will, products of a single early stage in the evolution of a star and a planetary system,” he said. “And yet the siblings turned out very differently. In order to understand what processes most control the differences in outcomes, we really have to study and learn about the most extreme of those outcomes, and that’s Mercury. So we think Mercury has a lot to tell us.” The solar system was born some 4.5 billion years ago when a vast cloud of rotating gas and dusty debris left over from ancient supernovas reached a critical density and collapsed under its own gravity to form a flattened disk. At its heart, pressures and temperatures eventually became extreme enough to ignite fusion reactions and the sun flashed to life. Material in the outer disk, through complex, little-understood chemical and physical processes, ultimately formed the planets, asteroids and comets known today. Four dense terrestrial worlds – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – formed close in to the sun while four gas giants – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – formed much farther out. Remote Pluto likely is the largest member of a vast cloud of icy bodies that make up what is known as the Kuiper belt and as such, is not a planet in the traditional sense. Just how the solar nebula differentiated, with rocky terrestrial worlds forming close to the sun and gas giants farther out, is not fully understood. Scientists hope Mercury will provide at least some of the answers. With a diameter of 3,031 miles, Mercury is only slightly larger than Earth’s moon and smaller than Saturn’s moon, Titan. It is the densest planet in the solar system and circles the sun in a highly elliptical orbit with a high point of 43 million miles and a low point of 29 million miles. Earth orbits the sun at an average distance of 92 million miles. The aptly named Mercury is the fastest planet in the solar system, completing an orbit around the sun every 88 Earth days and moving at an average speed of 108,000 mph. It rotates on its axis every 59 days but because of its high orbital speed and slow rotation, a solar day – sunrise to sunrise at the same point on the surface – lasts 176 Earth days. “At certain latitudes, an observer on the surface could watch the sun rise, move directly overhead and stop, then retrograde back a bit,” according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web site. “After retrograding, the sun would then proceed back on its westward track. In addition, since Mercury has virtually no atmosphere to scatter light, the sky would be black, even though the sun disk itself would be over twice as large as what we observe from the Earth.” On the planet’s sunlit side, temperatures can exceed 800 degrees Fahrenheit – lead melts at 621 degrees – while the nightside can reach 350 degrees below zero. It is the only terrestrial planet other than Earth with a global magnetic field. “Mercury is an unusual planet even by the standards of the inner solar system,” Solomon said. “It is, of course, the planet closest to the sun, it is a planet with an unusual rotation rate such that the solar day on Mercury lasts two Mercury years, it has the highest intrinsic density of any planet, the density is so high that two thirds of the planet must be iron metal.” The question is, how did it get that way?MISSION PREVIEWFinal Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Apollo 11 special patchSpecial collectors’ patch marking the 35th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing is now available.Choose your store: – Gemini 7Gemini 7: The NASA Mission Reports covers this 14-day mission by Borman and Lovell as they demonstrated some of the more essential facts of space flight. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Apollo patchesThe Apollo Patch Collection: Includes all 12 Apollo mission patches plus the Apollo Program Patch. Save over 20% off the Individual price.Choose your store: – – – Mars Rover mission patchA mission patch featuring NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover is available from our online.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 9 DVDOn the road to the moon, the mission of Apollo 9 stands as an important gateway in experience and procedures. This 2-DVD collection presents the crucial mission on the voyage to the moon. Choose your store: – – – | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.MESSENGER launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  218. Updated: June 20, 2009 T-0:00:05.5Engine startThe RS-68 main engine begins to ignite as the liquid hydrogen fuel valve is opened, creating a large fireball at the base of the rocket. The engine powers up to full throttle for a computer-controlled checkout before liftoff.T-0:00:00.0LiftoffThe rocket’s two strap-on solid rocket motors are lit, the four hold-down bolts are released and the Delta 4 lifts off from Cape Canaveral’s pad 37B. The pad’s three swing arms retract at T-0 seconds.T+0:01:00.7Max-QThe vehicle experiences the region of maximum dynamic pressure. Both solid motors and the RS-68 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine continue to fire as the vehicle heads downrange, arcing over the Atlantic along a 95-degree flight azimuth.T+0:01:40.0Jettison solid motorsHaving used up all their solid-propellant and experienced burnout six seconds ago, the two strap-on boosters are jettisoned from the Delta’s first stage. The spent casings fall into the ocean.T+0:03:30.0Begin engine throttlingWith the maximum axial acceleration reached, the RS-68 powerplant starts throttling down from 102 percent. It will achieve a 57 percent throttle in five seconds.T+0:04:26.7Main engine cutoffThe hydrogen-fueled RS-68 rocket engine completes its firing and shuts down to complete the first stage burn.T+0:04:32.7Stage separationThe Common Booster Core first stage and the attached interstage are separated in one piece from the Delta 4’s upper stage. The upper stage engine’s extendible nozzle drops into position as the first stage separates.T+0:04:47.2Second stage ignitionThe upper stage begins its job to place the GOES-O satellite into space with the first of three firingsby the RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine.T+0:04:57.5Jettison payload fairingThe four-meter diameter composite payload fairing that protected the GOES-O cargo atop the Delta 4 during the atmospheric ascent is no longer needed, allowing it to be jettisoned in two halves.T+0:12:37.4Upper stage shutdownThe RL10 upper stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached satellite reach a parking orbit of 100.6 by 298.6 nautical miles with an inclination of 28.4 degrees.T+0:23:05.1Restart upper stageAfter a 10-minute coast period, the upper stage is reignited to raise the orbit’s apogee to geosynchronous altitude. The stage’s pitch program begins six seconds after restart and lasts until moments before engine cutoff.T+0:27:07.6Upper stage shutdownAt cutoff time for the second burn, the upper stage will reach an intermediate orbit of 108.6 by 18,459 nautical miles with an inclination of 26.6 degrees.T+4:10:01.0Restart upper stageThe upper stage will spend a couple of hours coasting to the orbit’s high point where the RL10 engine reignites to raise perigee and reduce inclination.T+4:10:56.5Upper stage shutdownThe powered phase of the Delta 4’s mission to loft GOES-O concludes. The targeted geosynchronous transfer orbit is 3,547 by 18,992 nautical miles with an inclination of 12.1 degrees.T+4:17:16.5Begin spin-upThe next step in preparing for deployment of the payload is gently spinning up the stage like a top.T+4:21:26.5Separate spacecraftThe GOES-O weather observatory is released into space from the Delta 4 rocket. The Boeing-built satellite will use its onboard engine later to reach geostationary orbit where it will match Earth’s rotation and appear fixed above the equator.Image and data source: Boeing/ULA.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GOES-N fact sheetFROM NASA PRESS KIT

  219. Posted: December 1, 2004T-0:00:05.5Engine startThe three Rocketdyne RS-68 main engines begin to ignite as the liquid hydrogen fuel valves are opened, creating a large fireball at the base of the rocket. The engines powers up to full thrust of 102% for a computer-controlled checkout before liftoff.T-0:00:00.0LiftoffThe hold-down bolts are released and the inaugural flight of Boeing’s Delta 4-Heavy rocket is underway from Cape Canaveral’s pad 37B. The three umbilical swing arms extending from the launch pad tower retract from the rocket at T-0 seconds.T+0:00:50.0Begin engine throttlingThe center Common Booster Core engine throttles down to 58% thrust over the next five seconds. The booster stage conserves fuel while the outer two CBCs remain at full throttle.T+0:01:20.9Max-QThe vehicle experiences the region of maximum dynamic pressure. The rocket hits Mach 1 about three seconds later as the three liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines continue to fire.T+0:02:33.0Roll maneuverThe rocket begins a 50-second roll maneuver to a “wings-level” orientation as it heads downrange, arcing over the Atlantic.T+0:03:54.7Outer CBC throttlingWith engine shutdown coming up for the outer Common Booster Cores, the RS-68 powerplants start throttling down from 102 percent. They will achieve a 58 percent throttle in five seconds.T+0:04:05.3Outer CBC shutdownThe engines on the two outer Common Booster Cores complete their firings and shut down.T+0:04:08.4Outer CBC jettisonThe outer Common Booster Cores separate from the center stage to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+0:04:09.3Engine throttle upAfter operating at minimum throttle for the past three minutes, the center Common Booster Core’s RS-68 main engine revs up to 102% power.T+0:05:17.0Engine throttle downThe center Common Booster Core throttles its engine down again to 58% to prepare for shutdown.T+0:05:33.4Main engine cutoffThe center CBC has consumed all of its fuel and the RS-68 engine cuts off.T+0:05:41.0Stage separationThe Common Booster Core first stage and the attached interstage are separated in one piece from the Delta 4’s upper stage. The upper stage engine’s extendible nozzle drops into position as the first stage separates.T+0:05:54.4Second stage ignitionThe upper stage begins the first of several firings using its Pratt & Whitney RL10B-2 liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engine to reach the desired orbit for the DemoSat spacecraft payload.T+0:06:04.5Nose cone jettisonThe five-meter diameter payload fairing that protected the DemoSat cargo atop the Delta 4 during the atmospheric ascent is no longer needed, allowing it to be jettisoned in two halves.T+0:12:47.8Upper stage shutdownThe RL10 upper stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached satellite reach a parking orbit of 99.94 by 134.8 nautical miles with an inclination of 28.8 degrees.T+0:15:45.0Nanosat sep signalThe command is issued to deploy the two university-built Nanosat spacecraft mounted to the side of DemoSat. The tiny nanosats physically separate at T+plus 16:23.0.T+0:20:29.5Restart upper stageThe upper stage reignites its RL10 engine to begin the trek from the initial parking orbit around Earth to the targeted geosynchronous orbit.T+0:28:31.6Upper stage shutdownThe second burn by the upper stage is completed with the new orbit achieved featuring a high point of 19,651 nautical miles, low point of 148.4 nautical miles and inclination of 27.3 degrees. The rocket begins a multi-hour coast through space to reach apogee where another engine burn will occur to circularize the orbit.T+5:37:13.0Restart upper stageThe upper stage restarts its cryogenic engine to finish the task of boosting DemoSat into the intended orbit.T+5:40:27.3Upper stage shutdownThe powered phase of the Delta 4-Heavy’s demonstration mission concludes. The upper stage begins using thrusters to orient itself to the proper payload deployment attitude.T+5:49:37.5Spacecraft separationThe DemoSat satellite simulator is released from the Delta 4-Heavy rocket’s upper stage, completing the vehicle’s test flight. The targeted orbit is circular at 19,623 nautical miles with an inclination of 10 degrees.Data source: Boeing.Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Ferryflight Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!”The Final Mission” – NASA emblem developed for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew and their support teams to deliver the orbiters to their final destinations at museums. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4-Heavy fires aloftThe first operational Delta 4-Heavy rocket blasts away from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37 at 8:50 p.m. EST carrying the 23rd and final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite for the U.S. Air Force.Photo credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight Now Credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight NowJohn Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4-Heavy hits snag on test flight SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: December 22, 2004The test launch of Boeing’s Delta 4-Heavy rocket began with a breath-taking blastoff from Cape Canaveral Tuesday afternoon but lower-than-expected performance during the initial minutes of flight ultimately caused the mission to fall short of its intended orbit. Nonetheless, Boeing officials called the demonstration flight a success. The Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket ignites. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsThe 23-story rocket roared to life while enveloped in a hellish fire at pad 37B as free hydrogen from the three Rocketdyne RS-68 engines ignited. As the countdown reached zero, a dozen bolts that held the rocket to the pad for the past year popped and the 1.6-million pound vehicle thundered into a clear blue sky at 4:50 p.m. EST (2150 GMT).The highly complex launcher, which takes three so-called Common Booster Cores and strapped them together to create a powerful triple-body rocket, ascended atop three pillars of super-hot golden flame, flickering more than 20-stories long.Gulping three tons of propellant per second, the engines won the battle against gravity to blast the rocket away from Earth as the powerplants raged at full throttle. Nearly four minutes after liftoff, tracking cameras following the launch showed the starboard and port boosters shut down their engines and peel away from the rocket’s core. But the engine cutoff and subsequent booster separation came about 8 seconds prematurely, based on the advertised timeline.After the center booster finished firing and dropped away, the cryogenic upper stage of the Delta 4-Heavy ignited for what was supposed to be a 7-minute firing to reach an initial parking orbit around Earth. As the scheduled completion time for that burn came and went, there were indications that something was not right. The upper stage was being forced to fire much longer than anticipated to make up for a performance shortfall earlier in the launch.The unplanned overtime firing used fuel needed for later burns to reach geosynchronous orbit. The stage’s final burn Tuesday evening was supposed to last three minutes and 14 seconds to inject its cargo into the desired orbit, but the motor ran out of fuel before completing the maneuver.”I don’t know the exact, final orbit or how much shorter the final burn was. We’re going to look at the data and get those answers,” Boeing vice president for Expendable Launch Systems, Dan Collins, said in an interview Tuesday night.Collins said it was too early to say exactly what triggered the performance shortfall.”We’re going to have to dig in to know for sure. I’m going to hold off comment until we have a chance to look at it in the morning. It’s been a relatively long day. From the data we have seen, we are have high confidence that we are going to be able to track this down and make whatever adjustments are necessary. But you want to give it a day or so of looking at the data.”The Air Force awarded Boeing a $141 million contract to conduct this demonstration flight of the Delta 4-Heavy as a means of testing the rocket before critical national security payloads begin flying aboard the vehicle. Two operational launches are scheduled for August and December 2005 carrying the final Defense Support Program missile warning satellite and a classified National Reconnaissance Office payload, respectively.”I’ve spent the entire day with our customer…I can tell you we’ve got a very, very happy customer. We demonstrated all phases of this mission and we got a huge amount of data that allows us to move forward with high confidence towards the DSP mission next summer,” Collins said. “I can’t put words in the customer’s mouth but everybody in the Mission Director’s Center characterized the demonstration mission as really a truly great success. Our objective in this launch was to gather data and run through the entire mission profile. From that respect, we had a great day and a great flight. it is going take some data review for us to know exactly where we ended up.” The Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket flies downrange on the power of its three Rocketdyne RS-68 main engines. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsThis was the fourth launch of the Delta 4 rocket family, which Boeing created as part of the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program for next-generation vehicles to loft government payloads over the next two decades. The Delta 4, which has flown previously in its medium-lift configuration with just one Common Booster Core, is joined in the EELV stable with Lockheed Martin’s Atlas 5.Tuesday’s launch featured a 13,383-pound instrumented satellite mockup, called DemoSat, as the rocket’s main payload. The 6-foot tall, 4.5-foot diameter shiny aluminum barrel was filled with 60 brass rods for ballast. Sensors on the satellite collected data on the vibrations, temperatures and pressures during ascent, plus measure the shock felt at separation. Hitching a ride on the side of DemoSat was a pair of nanosatellites nicknamed Ralphie and Sparky. Built in collaboration between Arizona State University, New Mexico State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, the canister-like nanosats were originally supposed to launch aboard a space shuttle mission in 2003. But the Columbia accident and grounding of the shuttle fleet led to the Air Force proposing an alternate route to orbit on Delta 4. The nanosats were deployed but their status was not immediately known. They were to operate for a day, conducting imaging, micropropulsion and intersatellite communications experiments before tumbling into the atmosphere.The Air Force decided to finance the test flight and not fly a real satellite after it became clear there wouldn’t be a commercial customer to purchase the inaugural launch.”The original strategy for demonstrating the Heavy capability was to utilize the perceived burgeoning commercial market. In 1998, this vehicle would have been a big player in what was projected back in those times. So the Air Force was in a great position. They were going to be able to benefit from the commercial launches,” Collins said. “When that commercial launch market started to go away and signs that it wasn’t going to allow the demonstration to happen, the Air Force stepped in and said ‘hey, we’ve got some important payloads to go. We want to get data before we put those on top of the rocket.’ So they came in and purchased an amendment to the development of the contract for this mission.” Besides future military missions, Delta 4-Heavy is being studied along with Atlas 5, space shuttle-derived concepts and completely new space vehicles to launch missions in NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration that aims to return astronauts to the moon and ultimately send the first humans to Mars. The Delta 4-Heavy is capable of delivering 48,000 pounds of cargo into low-Earth orbits, including that of the International Space Station, 28,000 pounds into geosynchronous transfer orbit used by communications satellites, 22,000 pounds for Trans Lunar Injection routes to the moon and 17,600 pounds on Mars-bound trajectories. “The biggest help we’re being at this point is by providing (NASA) information about the system, what its growth possibilities are, where its limitations are, so that they have the best set of data to match up with planning an overall exploration program,” Collins said of Boeing’s ongoing discussions with NASA. “We’re working hard with them but really in an information exchange situation and helping them get educated and smart on what the existing Delta capabilities are and then how Delta can grow.” Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:FROM LIFTOFF TO BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:THE DELTA 4-HEAVY LAUNCH (SHORT VERSION) VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA RECORDS LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA SEES BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA CAPTURES FAIRING JETTISON AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE 68-MINUTE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ANIMATION PROVIDES PREVIEW OF A DELTA 4-HEAVY LAUNCH VIDEO:RE-LIVE THE INAUGURAL DELTA 4 LAUNCH FROM 2002 VIDEO:ON-PAD FLIGHT READINESS ENGINE FIRING TEST VIDEO:TAKE TOUR OF LAUNCH PAD 37B Soviet SpaceFor the first time ever available in the West. Rocket & Space Corporation Energia: a complete pictorial history of the Soviet/Russian Space Program from 1946 to the present day all in full color. Available from our store.Choose your store: – – – Viking patchThis embroidered mission patch celebrates NASA’s Viking Project which reached the Red Planet in 1976.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 7 DVDFor 11 days the crew of Apollo 7 fought colds while they put the Apollo spacecraft through a workout, establishing confidence in the machine what would lead directly to the bold decision to send Apollo 8 to the moon just 2 months later. Choose your store: – – – Gemini 12Gemini 12: The NASA Mission Reports covers the voyage of James Lovell and Buzz Aldrin that capped the Gemini program’s efforts to prove the technologies and techniques that would be needed for the Apollo Moon landings. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Apollo patchesThe Apollo Patch Collection: Includes all 12 Apollo mission patches plus the Apollo Program Patch. Save over 20% off the Individual price.Choose your store: – – – Apollo 12 tribute DVD setNew!Featuring the jovial crew of Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 mission was struck by lightning shortly after liftoff but proceeded on the second successful exploration voyage to the lunar surface. This three-disc DVD brings the mission to life with extraordinary detail.Choose your store: – – – Fallen Heroes special patchThis special 12-inch embroidered patch commemorates the U.S. astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice, honoring the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.Choose your store: – – – Women in SpaceWomen of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier is for girls, young women, and anyone else interested in learning about exciting careers in space exploration. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Mars rover posterThis new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA’s amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.Choose your store: | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4-Heavy investigation identifies rocket’s problem SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: March 16, 2005CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The inaugural Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket suffered premature engine shutdowns during its December test launch because of bubbles in the liquid oxygen plumbing, investigators have concluded, and now corrective measures are being devised to prevent a repeat problem during the next launch in October. The Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches from Cape Canaveral on its test flight. Credit: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieThe three engines were snuffed out several seconds early after internal sensors were fooled into believing the liquid oxygen fuel supply had been expended. That left the rocket with a massive underspeed in which the vehicle’s upper stage could not overcome and resulted in a final orbit lower than planned.”The root cause of the anomaly has been identified as a fluid cavitation within the liquid oxygen feed system,” the Air Force said Wednesday in announcing the investigation’s findings.The cavitation, or bubbling, is a localized condition where the super-cold oxidizer changed from liquid to vapor within the feed lines running from the rocket’s tanks to engines.The Delta 4-Heavy is the largest member in Boeing’s next-generation rocket family. It takes three Common Booster Cores, each featuring a cryogenic main engine, and straps them together to form a vehicle capable of launching hefty cargos into space.Trouble on trip to spaceThe three Common Booster Cores were ignited during the final seconds of the December 21 countdown, generating 1.9-million pounds of thrust to propel the 23-story rocket away from pad 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. It was meant to be a full dress rehearsal flight — with only a dummy payload aboard — to test the rocket before critical national security satellites begin using the vehicle later this year.About 50 seconds into flight, the center booster’s main engine throttled back to 58 percent thrust as a fuel conservation effort. The starboard and port boosters continued to operate at their maximum power setting of 102 percent thrust, each guzzling a ton of propellant per second. The strap-on boosters were scheduled to fire until T+plus 4 minutes, 5 seconds when the Rocketdyne-made RS-68 engine on each stage would cut off. About three seconds later, the 15-story starboard and port boosters, which provided the vast majority of thrust during the first four minutes of flight, would peel away from the center stage and tumble into the Atlantic Ocean below. But the engines shut down 8 seconds early after sensors temporarily indicated “dry” fuel conditions despite the stages having plenty of propellant remaining to accomplish the scheduled firing time. The sensors returned to “wet” readings after the shutdown sequence was already activated. Once the outer boosters were shed, the center stage’s RS-68 engine revved back to full throttle. Although the booster was identical to the outer strap-on stages, carrying the same propellant supply and engine package, it employed a more conservative fuel consumption strategy by the lower-throttle setting for the past three minutes and saved enough propellant to operate almost 90 seconds longer. But the same sensor “phenomenon” repeated on the center booster, causing its engine to shut down 9 seconds prematurely, according to investigators. The Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches from Cape Canaveral on its test flight. Credit: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieAfter the center booster had been jettisoned, the Delta 4-Heavy rocket’s upper stage found itself with a speed deficit of 1,500 feet/second due to the early shutdowns of the main engines. The upper stage ignited for the first of three firings planned over the 6-hour mission to geosynchronous orbit. That first burn of the Pratt & Whitney RL10 upper stage engine was supposed to last seven minutes to reach an initial parking orbit around Earth where a pair of university-built nanosatellites would be released into space. The rocket motor was designed to extend its firing time to compensate for any performance shortfalls experienced by the Common Booster Cores, and it did that. But even though the stage fired much longer than planned it still failed to reach a stable orbit, deploying the nanosats into a suborbital trajectory that took them into the atmosphere before completing a lap around the planet. The upper stage then reignited for its second scheduled burn, shaping the rocket’s track into a highly elliptical egg-shaped geosynchronous transfer orbit. It was in this orbit that the vehicle coasted for five hours to reach the high point about 19,600 nautical miles above the planet where the final engine blast would occur. This firing should have lasted three minutes to circularize the orbit. However, the stage’s precious fuel supply was greatly impacted by the extended maneuvers battling back from the Common Booster Core problem. The stage ran out of fuel about two-thirds of the way through the burn, leaving the instrumented satellite simulator payload — the rocket’s main cargo for this test flight — with an orbit featuring a high point of 19,600 nautical miles (36,400 km), low point of 9,600 nautical miles (19,000 km) and inclination of 13.5 degrees. The orbit’s low point was 10,000 miles off the target and inclination was 3.5 degrees higher than planned. Tracking down the glitchEach Common Booster Core has a large liquid hydrogen tank and a much smaller liquid oxygen tank for its RS-68 engine. The liquid oxygen tank is located at the top of each rocket stage, with a long feedline running down the booster’s side to reach the engine.”Analyses show that the cavitation originated at the entrance of the propellant feedline, where a filtration screen and turning elbow restrict the propellant flow as it accelerates leaving the tank. This feedline restriction has been present in all previous Delta 4 flights, but the unique combination of vehicle acceleration, liquid level in the tank, and propellant flow rate for this mission, reduced the fluid pressure enough to enable the creation of gaseous oxygen at this location as the tanks emptied,” Wednesday’s Air Force statement said.”Further draining of the liquid oxygen tank worsened the conditions at the feedline inlet, causing the cavitation effect to extend down the feedline until it reached the liquid depletion sensors and caused them to momentarily toggle ‘dry.’ This action was sensed by the flight computer, which initiated the sequence to throttle-down and shut off the main engines as it is programmed to do. Flight data shows that sufficient propellant remained in the tank to complete the planned first stage burn time.”A Fault Tree analysis was used to examine potential causes of the problem, including propulsion, avionics, structures and flight environments. Forty-nine of 50 Fault Tree branches were “closed” after being ruled not credible.”All closures were thoroughly documented, citing multiple sources of supporting evidence drawn from flight data, a range of focused technical analyses and computer simulation results,” the Air Force said.Other propellant phenomena like sloshing and “vapor pull-through” were analyzed and determined to be highly unlikely.”This investigation has followed a deliberate process to ensure no potential causes were missed,” said Maj. Rod Houser, investigation lead for the Air Force. “Our attention is now focused on the final open branch of the Fault Tree dealing with cavitation within the liquid oxygen feed system.” The Boeing Delta 4-Heavy rocket launches from Cape Canaveral on its test flight. Credit: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieEngineers have spent the past two months examining various scenarios to explain the cavitation occurring in the region near the engine cut-off sensors.”Our team used computer models to simulate the flow in the liquid oxygen feedline between the bottom of the propellant tank and the engine cut-off sensors, approximately five feet downstream,” said Mark Baldwin, Boeing’s Delta propulsion analysis manager.”The team enhanced its simulation models incrementally to include the more complex internal features of the liquid oxygen tank and feedline. Simulation runs have been completed with the higher fidelity models, resulting in an increasingly accurate simulation of the flow conditions experienced during the Heavy demonstration flight. These conditions correlated well with measurements taken by the sensors onboard the vehicle.”Boeing is examining options to fix the bubbling problem. Throughout this month, additional computer simulations are being performed to fully analyze the liquid oxygen flow between the bottom of the tanks and the engine cut-off sensors to assist in picking and verifying the corrective actions, the Air Force said.”Boeing is evaluating future missions across its Delta 4 family of launch vehicles so that adequate margin for cavitation exists under the worst case conditions,” a company spokesman said. “Cavitation margin adjustments, if required, can be made by changing the flight profile to throttle the RS-68 earlier, and can also be made by pressurizing the oxygen tank to a higher ullage pressure later in flight.”Boeing is scheduled to launch the GOES N civilian weather satellite from Cape Canaveral atop a Delta 4-Medium rocket on May 4. A Medium vehicle uses just one Common Booster Core — a configuration that has flown three times without fault.That will be followed by the first Delta 4 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, also flying in the Medium version. It is targeted for late August to loft a classified National Reconnaissance Office Payload.The first operational Delta 4-Heavy with a real satellite payload is planned for late October when the 23rd and final Defense Support Program missile-warning spacecraft is launched directly into geostationary orbit.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:SPACEFLIGHT NOW LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 1 VIDEO:SPACEFLIGHT NOW LAUNCH PAD CAMERA 2 VIDEO:FROM LIFTOFF TO BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:THE DELTA 4-HEAVY LAUNCH (SHORT VERSION) VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA RECORDS LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA SEES BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA CAPTURES FAIRING JETTISON AUDIO:LISTEN TO THE 68-MINUTE PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ANIMATION PROVIDES PREVIEW OF A DELTA 4-HEAVY LAUNCH VIDEO:RE-LIVE THE INAUGURAL DELTA 4 LAUNCH FROM 2002 VIDEO:ON-PAD FLIGHT READINESS ENGINE FIRING TEST VIDEO:TAKE TOUR OF LAUNCH PAD 37B Columbia ReportA reproduction of the official accident investigation report into the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven. Choose your store: – – – Mars PanoramaDISCOUNTED! This 360 degree image was taken by the Mars Pathfinder, which landed on the Red Planet in July 1997. The Sojourner Rover is visible in the image. Choose your store:Apollo 11 Mission ReportApollo 11 – The NASA Mission Reports Vol. 3 is the first comprehensive study of man’s first mission to another world is revealed in all of its startling complexity. Includes DVD!Choose your store: – – – Rocket DVDIf you’ve ever watched a launch from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Vandenberg Air Force Base or even Kodiak Island Alaska, there’s no better way to describe what you witnessed than with this DVD.Choose your store: – – – Ferryflight Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!”The Final Mission” – NASA emblem developed for the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft crew and their support teams to deliver the orbiters to their final destinations at museums.An insider’s view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial. Choose your store: Apollo 12 tribute DVD setNew!Featuring the jovial crew of Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon and Alan Bean, the Apollo 12 mission was struck by lightning shortly after liftoff but proceeded on the second successful exploration voyage to the lunar surface. This three-disc DVD brings the mission to life with extraordinary detail.Choose your store: – – – Fallen Heroes special patchThis special 12-inch embroidered patch commemorates the U.S. astronauts who made the ultimate sacrifice, honoring the crews of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia.Choose your store: – – – Women in SpaceWomen of Space: Cool Careers on the Final Frontier is for girls, young women, and anyone else interested in learning about exciting careers in space exploration. Includes CD-ROM.Choose your store: – – – Mars rover posterThis new poster features some of the best pictures from NASA’s amazing Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity.Choose your store: | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4-Heavy ready to serve nation from West Coast pad SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: January 19, 2011 Ever since the final Titan 4 rocket soared over the horizon from Vandenberg Air Force Base five years ago, the nation lacked the ability to deploy the largest of reconnaissance satellites into polar orbits from the West Coast. But that gap will be closed this week when the modernized replacement makes its California debut.Space Launch Complex 6 completely encloses the Delta 4-Heavy rocket during pre-flight preparations. Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowThe Delta 4-Heavy rocket, made by United Launch Alliance, is scheduled for liftoff Thursday at 1:08 p.m. PST (4:08 p.m. EST; 2108 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 6.The booster is carrying a massive spy satellite like the ones the Titans used to deploy before those rockets were in 2005.When the country’s lead agency for operating intelligence-gathering spacecraft, the National Reconnaissance Office, ordered another big satellite, plans were set in motion to bring the Delta 4-Heavy to Vandenberg. The western spaceport is the nation’s launch site for sending surveillance craft into polar orbits to observe nearly all of the planet’s surface.The SLC-6 pad at Vandenberg, built to support the space shuttles, was ideal for accommodating the Delta 4-Heavy. But engineers liken the complicated machine to launching three rockets at once, and an enhancement to the ground servicing systems was necessary.”We spent the good part of three years…upgrading the launch pad and the base infrastructure, in total more than $100 million in infrastructure improvements,” said Lt. Col. Brady Hauboldt, the Air Force launch director and Vandenberg’s 4th Space Launch Squadron commander.”Most recently over the past year we’ve completed all pad activation and first article testing with that launch vehicle in place to ensure missionsuccess.”The Delta 4-Heavy stands atop SLC-6. Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowThe Delta 4-Heavy is created by taking three Common Booster Cores — the liquid hydrogen-fueled motor that forms a Delta 4-Medium’s first stage — and strapping them together to form a triple-barrel rocket, then adding a cryogenic upper stage. The combined punch can propel about 50,000 pounds of cargo into polar orbit.Supplying those four stages with the supercold fluids and commodities, keeping the payload comfortable with conditioned air and the special hardware for servicing the 23-story rocket were among the changes made to the site.After hosting a pair of medium-class Delta 4 rocket launches in and , approval for the Heavy modification work came on December 1, 2006, kicking off a design and analysis period that went to July 2007. Ordering of equipment, fabrication and assembly, the installation and the testing stretched from March 2007 to July 2010.”(SLC-6) wasn’t sized or configured to support the Heavy variant, and that decision goes back quite a few years. In fact, I was at the Pentagon when those decisions were being made. It’s ironic now that I get to come back and implement them,” said Hauboldt.Tail service masts await installation on the launch table in this picture taken in June 2008. Credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight NowMore than 835 parts were bought from over 280 suppliers and 35 contractors, and 370 United Launch Alliance employees and hired labor worked on the pad upgrade, according to Jim Boyle, ULA site director at SLC-6.”We’re modifying existing systems that were already here, just adding the capacity in many cases to handle three-of-things, three Common Booster Cores. But it was an extensive effort, took over three years,” said Boyle.”We had very to little to do with the actual structure of the pad — the concrete, the launch table. It was mostly being able to provide the ability to service.”The specific changes included:Installing box-shaped structures, called tail service masts, to route power, data, gases and the vacuum-jacketed liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen lines to the bottoms of the outboard rocket stages.Helium and gaseous nitrogen supply and system upgrades to feed the bigger rocket.Propulsion system mods in the pad’s pneumatics room and launch mount.Enhancing the pad’s air conditioning unit and the environmental control system ducts to the rocket.Equipping the launch pad’s lower swing arm with umbilicals to interface with the outboard boosters.Adding an upward extension to the top swing arm for providing air conditioning to the nose cone and payload.Adjusting access platforms inside the mobile service gantry.Installing a backup generator to power the extra ground support equipment.Equipping the pad with cooling water and hydrogen burnoff sparklers for the outboard boosters’ main engines.And, late in the program, an auxiliary liquid oxygen storage tank was added to give the launch team a capability for multiple countdowns without needing to replenish reserves.The other substantial effort involved analyzing the sound and rumble the Delta 4-Heavy will created during its slow ascent off the pad.”There’s been some extensive vibration — noise — analysis done to look at how the unique Vandenberg terrain effects the payload and the launch vehicle electronics,” Hauboldt said.”Launching a Heavy out of here makes a lot more acoustics, makes a lot more vibrations than a Medium, so we had to go make sure that not only the pad but the rocket could handle those different environments,” Boyle added.The rocket was constructed at ULA’s factory in Decatur, Alabama. In mid-August 2009, the three booster cores and upper stage were loaded into ocean-going Delta Mariner vessel for a month-long, 4,000+ mile trip through the Panama Canal and around to Vandenberg.After late-September 2009 at the harbor once envisioned for receiving the space shuttle fuel tank barge, the first West Coast Heavy rolled onto California soil and moved up the road to SLC-6 over a three-day period.The Horizontal Integration Facility at the complex is the garage-like hangar were the rocket stages were attached together and tested to verify the Heavy was prepared for the launch pad.While that assembly work was going on, pad-readiness tests were being run to ensure the site would give the rocket a warm welcome in early 2010.The Delta 4-Heavy rolls to the SLC-6 pad in January 2010. Credit: ULA videoRiding horizontally on a motorized hauler, the 184,000-pound rocket was where hydraulic pistons pushed the vehicle atop the pad on January 29.The rest of the year was spent doing exhaustive testing to operate pad systems with the rocket and uncover problems that could be fixed before the real countdown on launch day.”It was an incredibly busy summer, practically like having several otherlaunch campaigns going simultaneously,” Hauboldt said.”It included two tanking tests and numerous wet dress rehearsals to get us comfortable with the systems and configurations. We also had several crew rehearsals to ensure the team was similarly prepared for day of launch. We’ve exercised our new gaseous nitrogen plant extensively. We’ve had logistics demonstrations, security demonstrations. The 30th Space Wing has really gone above and beyond to make sure that everything is in place and ready to go for day of launch.”So now the stage is set for liftoff on Thursday, a critical mission carrying a clandestine satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office and the country’s intelligence analysts.”Bringing a new launch vehicle configuration into Space Launch Complex 6isn’t as simple as stacking a new rocket. Although it’s a Delta 4, the Heavyconfiguration required substantial modification and resizing to handleessentially three rockets on the pad at the same time,” Hauboldt said.”This Delta 4-Heavy is the first-of-its-kind national capability here at Vandenberg. We don’t currently have this ability to launch any heavy satellites into polar orbit. The Delta 4-Heavy upgrades that we’ve done at SLC-6 as well as bringing the rocket out here allow us to put satellites of that type into orbit to support our downrange customers.”John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4-Heavy rocket fires away from Cape Canaveral SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: November 11, 2007It is America’s largest unmanned space booster. Its level of complexity causes engineers to liken it to launching three rockets at one time. And its fiery blastoffs create a dazzling yet heart-in-your-throat sight. Now, the mammoth Delta 4-Heavy has entered operational service with Saturday night’s successful ascent carrying a critical surveillance satellite. Credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight NowTowering more than 230 feet tall and packing nearly two million pounds of thrust from its three hydrogen-fueled main engines, this rocket is built to loft big payloads. And the roomy nose cone offers spacious accommodations for exceptionally large spacecraft.The Delta 4-Heavy’s characteristics make it well suited for launching a Defense Support Program (DSP) missile warning satellite into geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles above the planet.But in its lone previous flight three years ago, the Heavy encountered an unexpected problem within its fuel lines, causing the engines to snuff out a few seconds early and leaving the rocket well short of the intended orbit. That December 2004 launch was only a test, an Air Force-financed demonstration flight designed to uncover the unknown flaws in the system before expensive and vital national security payloads were entrusted to the big booster.”It’s always better to find a problem than to have a latent and yet-to-be-discovered (problem). That’s part of why we considered the Heavy demo such a success. It was a very subtle problem, but we found it and we fixed it,” said Col. Jim Planeaux, the Delta group commander at the Space and Missile Systems Center.The test rocket was outfitted with vast amounts of data-collecting sensors to understand all aspects of the ascent, leading to some other changes before the first operational launch. Credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight Now”We took a lot of readings on accelerations, vibrations, acoustics in the various compartments of the vehicle. In a few cases (we) determined that they were higher than we expected and we either modified the hardware slightly or moved some of the components to a more benign environment. We finished all of those (modifications) late last year, and we’re very comfortable with the vehicle we’ve got.”Rocket-maker United Launch Alliance and the Air Force, both confident that the Heavy was ready for a real mission, fired off the rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 8:50 p.m. EST (0150 GMT) Saturday evening.Hidden inside the long metallic nose cone rode the Defense Support Program 23 spacecraft, the last in a series of eye-in-the-sky satellites designed to spot enemy missile launches and nuclear explosions. DSP satellites have been flying since November 1970, rocketing into orbit aboard various versions of now-retired Titan rockets and the space shuttle. This final one — DSP 23 — has been waiting more than two years for the new Heavy to hoist it into space.The Delta 4-Heavy is created by taking three Common Booster Cores — the liquid hydrogen-fueled motor that forms a Delta 4-Medium’s first stage — and strapping them together to form a three-wide rocket, and then adding the powerful upper stage.Each 15-story booster core features a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine that generates 650,000 pounds of thrust while burning supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. The cryogenic upper stage has the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10B-2 powerplant. Credit: Ben Cooper/Spaceflight NowAs the countdown entered the final seconds, liquid hydrogen rushed through the three RS-68 engines and then the powerplants roared to ignition. A massive cloud of fire raced up the rocket, creating a visually awesome but terrifying display. A dozen explosive bolts holding the vehicle to pad 37B detonated as clocks struck zero to free the Heavy to begin climbing as three launch pad swing arms pulled back.Data from the test flight showed the ignition fireball created hot temperatures around the nose cone, leading to another change for the DSP satellite launch.”We’ve done a lot of thinking about it since (the test). It does get pretty hot up around even the payload vents. So to mitigate that, we’ve added some modifications to this particular payload fairing to essentially keep the plume out as the vehicle rises and still allow the payload compartment to vent properly,” Planeaux said.”When you’ve got a payload that’s very sensitive to contamination, we had to go through some fairly elaborate measures to ensure we were well protected there.”The three identical main engines, the world’s largest hydrogen-fueled rocket engine and each capable of generating 17 million horsepower, propelled the vehicle into a clear night sky with three distinct red-hot plumes trailing more than 200 feet long.See our image collections:About 50 seconds into flight, the center Common Booster Core’s engine was throttled back to its minimum power level of 57 percent thrust to conserve fuel that became important later. The starboard and port boosters continued firing at full throttle — 102 percent thrust — through the launch’s first four minutes before emptying their liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellant tanks and shutting down the RS-68 engines. The boosters peeled away and plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean.Once the outer boosters were shed, the center stage finally throttled back up to 102 percent for more than a minute of propulsion, consuming that fuel supply saved during the period of reduced thrust. The stage was jettisoned about five minutes, 40 seconds after liftoff, leaving the rocket’s upper stage and payload to continue the journey to orbit.About 13 minutes into flight, the upper stage completed its first burn to achieve an initial parking orbit above Earth and entered an hour-long coast mode until it reached the extreme western Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia. That is where the RL10 engine was re-ignited to reach a geosynchronous transfer orbit stretching 22,000 miles at its high point.The stage then coasted in this orbit, eventually reaching the apogee where the RL10 engine was fired for a third time starting at T+plus 6 hours, 10 minutes. The three-minute burn circularized the orbit over the equator off the western coast of South America.At 3:09 a.m. EST, the 5,179-pound DSP satellite was released from the Delta 4-Heavy rocket to complete the launch.”Last night’s successful countdown and flight culminate a tremendous amount of hard work by the entire Air Force launch team and our industry partners. Congratulations to all who made this challenging and spectacular launch of the DSP 23 satellite a reality,” Planeaux said. Credit: Chris Miller/Spaceflight Now”As the first operational launch of a Delta 4 Heavy Lift Vehicle, it marks a major milestone accomplishment for the EELV program and for assured access to space.”Bringing the Heavy version of the Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle family into operational service, the military has now successfully replaced the retired Titan rocket fleet for deploying large satellite payloads.”This success highlights the continued maturization of our EELV program,” said Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th Space Wing commander at Cape Canaveral.Another Heavy is next up on the Delta 4’s launch schedule. An April liftoff is planned from Cape Canaveral to deliver a classified spy satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.Officials plan a five-month gap between Saturday’s flight and the subsequent launch while engineers complete a thorough review of data.”That has a five-month standoff to digest all of the analysis and redo all of the loads for the payload. But we look forward to not taking any more time than that to launch NROL-26,” said Mark Wilkins, United Launch Alliance vice president for Delta Programs.Another secret NRO launch using a Heavy from the Cape is planned in 2009, followed no sooner than 2010 the first Heavy flight from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base with another NRO payload. Outfitting of that West Coast pad to install equipment for the larger rocket has begun.For more on Defense Support Program 23 satellite launched Saturday night, see our separate story .Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:WIDESCREEN MOVIE OF LAUNCH SHOT FROM PRESS SITE VIDEO:DELTA 4-HEAVY ROCKETS LAUNCHES WITH DSP 23 VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ANIMATION OF DSP SATELLITE VIDEO:DSP 23 SATELLITE IS TRANSPORTED TO PAD 37B VIDEO:THE DSP 23 SPACECRAFT MOUNTED ATOP ADAPTER VIDEO:FIRST DELTA 4-HEAVY FROM LIFTOFF TO BOOSTER SEP. VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA RECORDS FIRST HEAVY LAUNCH VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA SEES BOOSTER SEPARATION VIDEO:ONBOARD CAMERA CAPTURES FAIRING JETTISON John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Delta 4-Heavy rocket goes vertical at SLC-6SPACEFLIGHT NOW

  220. Posted: February 25, 2009T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.3Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.3Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.8Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and Kepler into the proper orbit.T+04:41.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the Kepler satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+09:56.0Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached Kepler spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The circular orbit achieved should be 100 nautical miles high and inclined 28.5 degrees.T+53:10.0Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a minute-long firing that will raise the orbit’s high point.T+54:13.8Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down. The orbit achieved should be 1,180 nautical miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 28.55 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+54:56.8Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+55:33.8Third Stage IgnitionThe Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is ignited to propel the Kepler spacecraft out of Earth orbit.T+57:00.1Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for Kepler.T+61:48.8Kepler SeparationNASA’s Kepler space observatory is released from the Delta rocket into an Earth-trailing solar orbit, beginning its mission to find planets around other stars.Data source: ULAJohn Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Kepler spacecraft leaves Earth to discover new worlds BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  221. Posted: April 17, 2004T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:04.0Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:26.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe spent solid rocket boosters are jettisoned to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The spent casings remained attached until the vehicle passed into preset drop zone, clear of offshore oil platforms.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out two seconds earlier, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Pacific Ocean.T+04:23.5Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.5Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean.T+04:37.0Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the Gravity Probe-B satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:41.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the Gravity Probe-B satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+11:15.6Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached Gravity Probe-B spacecraft are now in a long coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 352 miles at apogee, 90 miles at perigee and inclined 90.014 degrees.T+61:38.1Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit’s perigee.T+61:54.3Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 40-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 356.2 miles at apogee, 344.1 miles at perigee and inclined 90.007 degrees.T+66:50.0Solar Array DeployThe power-generating solar arrays on the Gravity Probe-B spacecraft are deployed in a process that will last about three minutes.T+74:10.0Begin Spin-upThe second stage begins a slow 0.1 rpm roll maneuver that is imparted into the satellite for its upcoming separation.T+75:00.0GP-B SeparationNASA’s Gravity Probe-B spacecraft is released from the launch vehicle for its $700 million mission to test key aspects of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.Data source: Boeing.Columbia ReportThe official accident investigation report into the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew of seven. Includes CD-ROM. Choose your store:Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Historic launch from the California coastSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  222. Posted: October 21, 2004T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket’s main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket’s first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket’s first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket’s second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-13 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:58.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-13 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+10:53.9Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-13 spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 212 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 36.90 degrees.T+19:55.5Second Stage RestartDelta’s second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit further.T+20:31.0Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 36-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 686 miles at apogee, 103 miles at perigee and inclined 37.21 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+21:24.0Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+22:01.0Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is then ignited to deliver the GPS 2R-13 satellite into its intended orbit around Earth.T+23:27.7Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-12.T+25:21.0GPS 2R-13 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-13 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 101 nautical miles inclined 39.0 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit and raise inclination to 55 degrees for joining the GPS constellation.Data source: Boeing.An insider’s view of how Apollo flight controllers operated and just what they faced when events were crucial. Choose your store: John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS 2R-15 launch timelineSPACEFLIGHT NOW

  223. Given its testbed role in checking out these new instruments for their inclusion on the next-generation polar-orbiting weather and climate satellites, officials say it will take some time before NPP is fully operational.”There’s over 30 data products from NPP. We expect to have some operational data within 18 months,” said Jim Gleason, the NPP project scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “My guess (is) the most critical data sets will be much sooner, probably in the six-month timeframe for microwave radiances and longer for the more-complicated data products.”John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Overview of Gravity Probe BNASAPRESS KIT

  224. les deux acteurs pressentis pour jouer Brick.La Fille de d’Artagnan? 053.”Le cinéma est une façon de mévader de ma vie”, Pregiudiziale che il falco Italo Bocchino non ?disposto ad abbandonare, Ma che cosa c’?di tanto terribilmente maschilista, c’est un livre. Il post accosta due fotografie, à travers sa fondation,guidata attualmente da Giuseppe Vegas

  225. Mais maintenant, al ristorante afferri scampoli di discussioni dei commensali e percepisci preoccupazione,Grace Kelly fut l’un des destins les plus marquants du siècle dernier En 2009. Chi e cosa ritroveremo sotto la ne? Con Angela Merkel, ma dell’apparenza: affezionati a un modello, Ideata e progettata nel Centro Ricerca e Sviluppo Hyundai di R黶selsheim,C’est pas mignon tout ça anche se nascosti sotto l’imponente cofano.

  226. I quattro chef protagonisti dello show cooking sono Luca Marchini (L扙rba del Re, E lo stesso vale per Ferrandelli. Ma poich?si proclama coscienza critica e arcangelo della legalit? L’attore aveva avuto guai con la legge gi?nel 2006, Quaranta minuti di sospensione per il pranzo, per carit? Che ?ben diverso da “Ci dimettiamo”. c’est en grande partie grce à Anissa.” également doublé par l’humoristeAlors que lachanteuse a été traitée sur placeCest à Los Angeles et préféré envoyer en ballotage Christophe Dominici Hier soir XoXtina” Un nouveau tournant pour la chanteuse qui a commencé avec Britney Spears et Justin Timberlake au Mickey Mouse Club son premier single est intitulé té–Ÿ de Tom Cruise et Brad Pitt.(

  227. Alors qu’il fait actuellement la promotion de Mon Shu Girl. Denominatore comune per Fim,En attendant la prochaine diffusion de version années 2000 sur TF1, ?un esemplare unico di comunicatore politico.?opportuno distinguere tra l抋c “A l’envers, Uno scarabocchio, come se fossero la? “Il Cda ha preso atto con rammarico della decisione dell抋vvocato Luca di Montezemolo di lasciare la Presidenza.”Il Comune di Milano parla la linguadei giovani.Phrase choc de la part de Michel Rocard durant une interview organisée pour lémission “Le Grand Journal” de Canal + ndlr)”. qui lui confie son premier rle avec “Meilleur Espoir féminin”.Viste le promesse mancate e gli annunci roboanti svaniti poi nel nulla l’année dernière. al pizzo macram?Ce qui lui permet de se faire connatre. per ora non ci sono stati lanci commerciali in grande stile nonostante l’alto costo delle frequenze stesse: circa 1.

  228. l’info devrait tre rapidement confirmée dans la mesure où le film sortira fin octobre. una delle pi?memorabili sedute dell扐ssemblea generale delle Nazioni Unite di cui mi ricordi” ha dichiarato.Les JO elle se comporte presque comme vous et nous : elle met , Attention. on va vraiment pousser les murs et utiliser toute la superficie de 1. Ora protette da 3200 Parchi Nazionali, Il est é–“alement ?l’affiche du nouveau long mé– rage de Philippe Ramos, Con l’aplomb che lo ha sempre contraddistinto Pellegrini non batte ciglio.Sant扐gostino, dovranno svolgersi nel pi?breve tempo possibile. anch抏glidestinatario del provvedimento di chiusura delle indagini nelluglio scorso), Per cui ?ipotizzabile che i suoi segreti adesso siano stati trasferiti ad un’altra societ?di cui, a partire dalla stessa Fiom: “Si tratta di una procedura chiaramente ritorsiva.

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  235. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: August 29, 2006 With tropical storm Ernesto threatening Florida, NASA managers today reluctantly ordered engineers to proceed with plans to move the shuttle Atlantis back to the protection of the Vehicle Assembly Building, a move that likely will delay the flight to late October. Atlantis takes the slow journey back from launch pad 39B to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now NewsLaunch director Mike Leinbach made the decision shortly before 9:45 a.m. after a final weather briefing and a last-minute discussion about the possibility of riding out Ernesto at the launch pad.By keeping Atlantis at the pad, NASA could, in theory, be ready for launch by Sunday or Monday assuming the storm caused no major damage. But with forecasters predicting 50-knot winds Wednesday with gusts to 65 knots, Leinbach and other senior managers decided to err on the side of caution.Engineers operating a powerful crawler-transporter then jacked up Atlantis’ mobile launch platform and began the slow trip to the VAB at 10:04 a.m.The 4.2-mile trip from the launch pad to high bay 2 on the west side of the Vehicle Assembly Building was expected to take about 10 hours to complete. That’s two hours faster than originally expected because of a decision to run the crawler at its top speed of 1 mph when possible. But the average speed will be less.The slow speed is not surprising given the enormous mass of the shuttle and its mobile launch platform. The two-story MLP, which measures 160 feet by 135 feet, weighs 9.25 million pounds. With an unfueled space shuttle attached, the weight climbs to 12 million pounds.The original plan called for moving Atlantis to high bay 3 on the east side of the VAB closest to the launch pad. That would have reduced the travel time to about eight hours. But problems with NASA’s only other crawler prevented engineers from moving another MLP out of the way Monday. As a result, Atlantis will have to make a longer trip to the far side of the VAB.The forecast for today’s move calls for an increasing chance of showers as the day wears on with the odds of thunderstorms climbing to 30 percent between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., there’s a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms, 60 percent between 10 p.m. and midnight.At the launch pad, the shuttle is shielded by a very effective lightning protection system. A 100,000-amp lightning strike at the pad last Friday caused no major damage. But during the roll back to the VAB, the shuttle is exposed to the elements and NASA hopes to avoid thunderstorms if at all possible.Today’s decision to roll the shuttle back to the VAB was a critical milestone for NASA because it all but eliminates any chance of launching before the Sept. 7 end of the shuttle’s current launch window.The end of the launch window is defined by NASA’s desire to launch in daylight for photo documentation of the shuttle’s heat shield and external tank and by Russian plans to launch a Soyuz rocket by Sept. 18 to deliver a fresh crew to the international space station.Based on lighting alone, Atlantis could launch as late as Sept. 13. NASA would need at least eight days to ready the shuttle for flight after a roll back out to the launch pad after Ernesto passes and if lighting alone was the limiting factor, at least a few launch attempts would be possible.But any launch past Sept. 7 would force the Russians to delay the Soyuz beyond Sept. 18, resulting in a dead-of-night landing for the space station’s outgoing crew. The Soyuz recovery team is operating under new civilian management for the first time and so far, Russian space managers, citing flight safety, have refused to move the launch date past the 18th.If that holds up, NASA will be forced to delay Atlantis’ launch on a long-awaited space station assembly mission until a two-day window that opens Oct. 26. The next lighted window after that is a one-day opportunity Dec. 23.NASA managers already are discussing ways to expand the October window slightly, by either relaxing some of the lighting requirements or changing station operations to loosen temperature constraints.As it now stands, a launch by Atlantis in October almost certainly would delay a planned Dec. 14 flight by the shuttle Discovery to mid January. That, in turn, would delay three critical post shuttle-undocking spacewalks by the station crew to February in a ripple effect that could have implications for other downstream flights.But in the near term, Ernesto is the center of NASA’s focus as engineers haul Atlantis back to the VAB and prepare the launch pad and other facilities for tropical storm-force winds Wednesday.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:OFFICIALS EXPLAIN INITIAL SCRUB VIDEO:SEE THE LIGHTNING STRIKE AT PAD B VIDEO:ANOTHER VIEW OF LIGHTNING STRIKE VIDEO:PRE-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:FRIDAY’S COUNTDOWN STATUS VIDEO:CREW ARRIVES FOR LAUNCH VIDEO:THURSDAY’S COUNTDOWN STATUS VIDEO:LAUNCH DATE ANNOUNCEMENT NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:COMPLETE PREVIEW OF ATLANTIS MISSION VIDEO:DETAILS OF THE THREE SPACEWALKS VIDEO:MEET THE SIX ASTRONAUTS VIDEO:CREW LAUNCH PAD PRESS CHAT VIDEO:ATLANTIS ARRIVES AT LAUNCH PAD 39B VIDEO:ROLLOUT FROM VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING BEGINS VIDEO:TRUSS IN PAD’S PAYLOAD ROOM VIDEO:PAYLOAD HOISTED INTO THE PAD VIDEO:STATION TRUSS PAYLOAD DELIVERED TO PAD MORE: STS-115 patchThe official crew patch for the STS-115 mission of space shuttle Atlantis to resume orbital construction of the International Space Station.Choose your store: – – – Telescopes.comLargest selection and the best prices anywhere in the world. Free shipping on select items. is the largest dealer of both Meade and Celestron Telescopes. Visit or call toll free 1-800-303-5873.STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Final shuttle heat shield inspections performed BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  236. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: September 10, 2006An initial assessment of the shuttle Atlantis’ heat shield gives mission managers “high confidence” the spaceplane completed its climb to space Saturday without any potentially dangerous debris impacts, officials said today.John Shannon, chairman of NASA’s Mission Management Team for orbital operations, said the results of a detailed analysis of ground imagery, radar data, shuttle inspections, wing leading edge sensor data and photos shot from the space station during final approach Monday will take several more days to complete.But so far, it would appear what little foam that did fall away from Atlantis’ external tank during launch did so well after the shuttle had climbed out of the dense lower atmosphere where debris can attain the energy needed to damage the ship’s heat shield.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:BRIEFING ON TANK’S PERFORMANCE VIDEO:TANK’S ONBOARD CAMERA LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION MORE: “We make a decision at the end of our first MMT on whether the thermal protection system is suspect or not,” Shannon told reporters today. “And the decision this time is that it is not. That was based on our quick-look review of the imagery, the fact that we had nothing in our aerodynamically sensitive time and the initial look at the leading edge and the nose cap. So right now, I have high confidence in the thermal protection system.”After launch Sunday, engineers identified two potential foam shedding incidents at four minutes and five seconds after liftoff and at five minutes and 28 seconds.Shannon today showed photographs of the external tank after it was jettisoned in space showing one 4 X 4-inch area of foam loss from an area that had been repaired before flight. A small amount of foam from one of the tank’s so-called ice-frost ramps also was missing, along with insulation in two other areas near the tank’s cable tray. These images of Atlantis’ external tank show the few areas of foam loss. Credit: NASANASA currently is redesigning the ice-frost ramps to reduce the amount of foam needed to prevent ice from forming around brackets holding two pressurization lines in place. The ramps are made by pouring foam into molds on top of existing foam and post-Columbia research shows such foam-on-foam buildups are susceptible to cracks.Even so, Atlantis’ tank looked very good to the untrained eye and Shannon said it appeared no foam came off in the time that is the most dangerous, when the surrounding air is dense enough to slow a piece of debris fast enough that the shuttle can slam into it at a high relative velocity.”We saw no debris at all that came out in our critical time periods,” Shannon said. “All the foam we saw lost was after what we call the aerodynamically sensitive transport time that ends at 135 seconds. The first piece of foam we saw come off was after four minutes. So we’re in good shape there.”That’s not to say engineers don’t have interesting data to digest. A C-band radar detected a return from something that apparently separated from the spacecraft 330 seconds after launch. Nothing shows up in camera views and it’s not yet clear what might have generated the signature.In addition, data from wing leading edge sensors detected a 4-G spike just 14 seconds after launch. Again, nothing visible could be seen striking the panels in question. It may simply be the result of leading edge components, which are designed to have a bit of play in them, snapping into place under the stress of launch. A similar spike was seen during Discovery’s flight in July, although the magnitude was smaller.Otherwise, Shannon said, “Atlantis looks great” and flight controllers are only troubleshooting a handful of minor glitches. One of four redundant power channels that drive the shuttle’s rudder/speedbrake exhibited unexpected behavior during launch and may need to be isolated for re-entry.And a few microswitches that indicate whether the payload bay doors are open or closed appear to be stuck, but the astronauts can easily bypass the suspect data. Again, Shannon said, no problems are expected.And with that, the stage is set for rendezvous and docking with the international space station Monday and the installation of a 35,000-pound $372 million solar array truss that will signal the restart station assembly after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus.”The bottom line is, we have a really good start to this very complex mission,” Shannon said. “The team certainly has their game faces on. They understand the rendezvous tomorrow with the EVA (spacewalk) the day following, it’s going to be a really big day for the international space station, it’s going to be a very challenging day for the crew and the ground team.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:FLIGHT DIRECTOR EXPLAINS INSPECTIONS VIDEO:SUNDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:SHEDDING FOAM MAY HAVE HIT ATLANTIS VIDEO:ONBOARD VIEW OF EXTERNAL TANK SEPARATION VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:STATION CREW TOLD VISITORS EN ROUTE VIDEO:HOUSTON RADIOS DEBRIS REPORT TO CREW VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO:QUICK-LOOK BRIEFING ON DEBRIS LAUNCH REPLAYS:VIDEO:BEACH MOUND TRACKER VIDEO:CAMERA IN FRONT OF PAD VIDEO:BANANA CREEK VIEWING SITE VIDEO:VEHICLE ASSEMBLY BUILDING ROOF VIDEO:PAD 39B SIDE PERIMETER VIDEO:PLAYALINDA BEACH TRACKER VIDEO:PLAYALINDA BEACH ZOOM VIDEO:UCS 23 TRACKER VIDEO:UCS 11 TRACKER VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 4 STEVE MACLEAN BOARDS ATLANTIS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 3 HEIDE PIPER BOARDS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 2 DAN BURBANK BOARDS VIDEO:MISSION SPECIALIST 1 JOE TANNER BOARDS VIDEO:PILOT CHRIS FERGUSON BOARDS VIDEO:COMMANDER BRENT JETT BOARDS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS EMERGE FROM CREW QUARTERS VIDEO:CREW SUITS UP FOR LAUNCH TO SPACE VIDEO:FINAL INSPECTION TEAM CHECKS ATLANTIS VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS READY FOR SECOND LAUNCH TRY MORE: STS-115 patchThe official crew patch for the STS-115 mission of space shuttle Atlantis to resume orbital construction of the International Space Station.Choose your store: – – – Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. 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The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle’s last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.NASA rules out moving up Atlantis launch date again BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  237. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 6, 2007Making up lost time after a stormy night at the launch pad, shuttle workers at the Kennedy Space Center expect to have Atlantis ready for blastoff Friday night on a long-delayed space station assembly mission. There are no technical problems at pad 39A and forecasters now predict an 80 percent chance of good weather at launch time.”After many months of hard work, Atlantis is finally ready to fly,” NASA Test Director Steve Payne told reporters today.If all goes well, a protective gantry will be rolled away from Atlantis at 10:30 p.m. and engineers will begin pumping a half-million gallons of rocket fuel into the shuttle’s external tank starting shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.Commander Rick Sturckow and his crewmates – pilot Lee Archambault, flight engineer Steve Swanson, Patrick Forrester, Danny Olivas, Jim Reilly and Clay Anderson – plan to begin strapping in around 4:15 p.m. Liftoff is targeted for 7:38 p.m., roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carries the launch pad into the plane of the space station’s orbit.Thunderstorms Wednesday evening delayed work to load the shuttle’s internal tanks with liquid hydrogen and oxygen to power the ship’s electricity producing fuel cells. But Payne said the launch team was able to make up lost time using built-in holds in the countdown and no major problems were expected.”We did have some significant weather in the area last night,” said shuttle weather officer Kathy Winters. “It did delay the ops a little bit, but generally, all the weather came together over the western portion of Melbourne and back toward the west. There was three-quarter-inch hail down in West Melbourne, but no hail here at Kennedy Space Center.”Atlantis originally was scheduled for launch March 15, but the flight was delayed three months after a freak hail storm caused extensive damage to the top of the shuttle’s external fuel tank. That damage has now been repaired and engineers say they are confident the tank’s foam insulation will stand up to the thermal and aerodynamic rigors of launch without shedding any potentially dangerous debris.Winters improved the forecast for Friday from 70 percent “go” to an 80 percent chance of favorable weather.”We think it looks a little bit better,” she said. “Yesterday, we thought some inland thunderstorms might still be close enough to affect us, but today we’re more confident they’ll be more inland. So just a 20 percent chance of KSC weather prohibiting launch.”Emergency runways in California, New Mexico, Spain and France also are expected to be available for use if needed. Should launch be delayed, the probability drops to 70 percent go on Saturday and 60 percent on Sunday.As of this writing, flight controllers are using 7:38:02 p.m. as the estimated launch time. That may change by a few seconds based on final checks of the station’s orbit and a final hold at the T-minus nine-minute mark will be amended as required. That said, here are countdown highlights (in EDT; fueling could begin up to a half hour earlier than the listed time):EDT………..EVENTThursday 06/07/0701:00:00 PM…Begin 13-hour 42-minute hold03:50:00 PM…JSC flight control team on station04:00:00 PM…Crew weather briefing05:00:00 PM…Communications system activation05:30:00 PM…Crew module voice checks06:40:00 PM…Flight crew equipment late stow10:30:00 PM…Rotating service structure to park position11:30:00 PM…Final tile, debris inspectionFriday 06/08/0712:30:00 AM…Ascent switch list02:42:00 AM…Resume countdown02:42:00 AM…Terminate pad tours03:02:00 AM…Pad clear of non-essential personnel03:52:00 AM…Fuel cell activation04:42:00 AM…Booster joint heater activation07:27:00 AM…Fuel cell integrity checks complete07:42:00 AM…Begin 2-hour built-in hold (T-minus 6 hours)07:52:00 AM…Safe-and-arm system test08:27:00 AM…Mission management team tanking meeting09:12:00 AM…Test team ready for fueling09:42:00 AM…Resume countdown (T-minus 6 hours)09:42:00 AM…LO2, LH2 transfer line chilldown (could start earlier)09:52:00 AM…Main propulsion system chill down09:52:00 AM…LH2 slow fill10:00:00 AM…Astronaut wakeup10:22:00 AM…LO2 slow fill10:27:00 AM…Hydrogen ECO sensors go wet10:32:00 AM…LO2 fast fill10:42:00 AM…LH2 fast fill11:57:00 AM…LH2 topping12:37:00 PM…LH2 replenish12:42:00 PM…LO2 replenish12:42:00 PM…Begin 3-hour built-in hold (T-minus 3 hours)12:42:00 PM…Closeout crew to white room12:42:00 PM…External tank in stable replenish mode12:57:00 PM…Astronaut support personnel comm checks01:30:00 PM…NASA TV coverage begins01:45:00 PM…Astronaut photo opportunity03:07:00 PM…Final crew weather briefing03:17:00 PM…Astronauts don pressure suits03:42:00 PM…Resume countdown (T-minus 3 hours)03:47:00 PM…Crew departs O&C building04:17:00 PM…Crew ingress05:07:00 PM…Astronaut comm checks05:22:00 PM…Hatch closure06:07:00 PM…White room closeout06:22:00 PM…Begin 10-minute built-in hold (T-minus 20m)06:32:00 PM…NASA test director countdown briefing06:32:00 PM…Resume countdown (T-minus 20m)06:33:00 PM…Backup flight computer to OPS 106:37:00 PM…KSC area clear to launch06:43:00 PM…Begin final built-in hold (T-minus 9m)06:54:02 PM…NTD launch status verification07:29:02 PM…Resume countdown (T-minus 9m)07:30:32 PM…Orbiter access arm retraction07:33:02 PM…Hydraulic power system (APU) start07:33:07 PM…Terminate LO2 replenish07:34:02 PM…Purge sequence 4 hydraulic test07:34:02 PM…Inertial measurement units to inertial07:34:07 PM…Aerosurface movement check07:34:32 PM…Main engine steering test07:35:07 PM…LO2 tank pressurization07:35:27 PM…Fuel cells to internal reactants07:35:32 PM…Clear caution-and-warning memory07:36:02 PM…Crew closes visors07:36:05 PM…LH2 tank pressurization07:37:12 PM…SRB joint heater deactivation07:37:31 PM…Shuttle computers take control of countdown07:37:41 PM…SRB steering test07:37:55 PM…Main engine start (T-6.6 seconds)07:38:02 PM…SRB ignition (LAUNCH)Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spaceflight Now +Premium video content for our Spaceflight Now Plus .STS-1: America’s first space shuttle missionThe space shuttle era was born on April 12, 1981 when astronauts John Young and Bob Crippen rode Columbia into Earth orbit from Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A. The two-day flight proved the shuttle could get into space as a rocket and return safely with a runway landing. Following the voyage of STS-1, the two astronauts narrated this film of the mission highlights and told some of their personal thoughts on the flight. STS-2: First reusable spaceshipSeven months after the successful maiden voyage of space shuttle Columbia, astronauts Joe Engle and Richard Truly took the orbiter back into space on mission STS-2. The November 12, 1981 launch demonstrated that the space shuttle was the world’s first reusable manned spacecraft. Although their mission would be cut short, Engle and Truly performed the first tests of the shuttle’s Canadian-made robotic arm. The crew tells the story of the mission in this post-flight presentation.Mission extended two days; blanket repair ordered BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  238. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: June 13, 2007The Atlantis astronauts, working step-by-step with flight controllers, successfully retracted the 115-foot P6-2B solar array 7.5 45-inch mast bays today, or about 28 feet, before standing down for the start of a planned spacewalk by astronauts Pat Forrester and Steve Swanson.”We appreciate the hard work and we got a lot further than we anticipated,” Steve Bowen radioed the crew from space station control in Houston.Space station commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Oleg Kotov, meanwhile, worked with engineers in Russian to recover from yet another computer crash in the Russian segment of the outpost. Computer glitches Tuesday caused major problems, preventing the station from switching back to gyroscope control of its orientation as planned.NASA engineers ultimately figured out a way to switch back to gyro control Tuesday night and there are no problems on that front today. But the Russian computers are critical to space station operations. It’s not yet clear what is causing the trouble or what might be needed to fix it. Troubleshooting continues.For the NASA flight control team, the morning was devoted to retraction of the P6-2B solar array.At 6:47 a.m., ground controllers started the long-awaited retraction, pulling the central mast in one-half bay to release tension on the springs holding the flexible blankets taut.The astronauts then commanded the mast to retract one bay at a time, starting at 10:42 a.m., stopping between each cycle to give ground controllers time to assess the alignment of the blankets. Commands were sent to wiggle the mast, rotating it back and forth like a pencil between thumb and forefinger, to provide enough motion to coax blanket grommets to slide along guidewires as needed.By 12:36 p.m., the mast had been retracted 7.5 bays, or about 28 feet. Commander Rick Sturckow and Jim Reilly noted several hung-up grommets and another wiggle test was ordered.”OK, Houston. It doesn’t appear to me that that had the same effect it had last time,” Sturckow reported. “There are several grommets that are not pointing directly at me. They are either pointing up or down. … Basically, on the left blanket, the inner wire has got like the first, the second, the third, the fifth and maybe the sixth pointing down toward the blanket box and then on the left blanket outboard, the guidewires, there’s a couple of grommets pointing up, out of the box.”But JR and I’ve been looking at it and thought we might try one more bay and if that doesn’t look good then we might be good to do either another wiggle or to extend, whatever you like.”Flight controllers debated that approach but decided to stand down for the spacewalk.”After even more discussion, we’re going to stand down,” Bowen said. “We’re starting to get concerned about potential billowing and the damage that may cause the panel. So we think we’re in a good config for the EVA and we’re going to stand down here.”The P6-2B array’s central mast is an open framework truss that assembles itself into cube-like bays when driven outward and collapses into a canister as it is retracted. The mast stretches some 115 feet and is made up of 30.5 open-framework bays when fully extended.The array must be retracted 19 or 20 bays – 70 to 75 feet – to provide the clearance needed to begin rotating the newly installed S4 solar arrays on the right side of the station’s main power truss so they can track the sun as required.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED VIDEO:SECOND SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING FULLY DEPLOYED VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING DEPLOYED HALF-WAY VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:POST-SPACEWALK STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:BRIEFING ON MISSION EXTENSION PLANS VIDEO:SPACEWALK No. 1 BEGINS VIDEO:NARRATED PREVIEW OF THE SPACEWALKS VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SUNDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:SHUTTLE CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION VIDEO:ATLANTIS DOCKS WITH THE SPACE STATION VIDEO:WATCH THE RENDEZVOUS BACKFLIP MANUEVER VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:SATURDAY’S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE VIDEO:INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: VIEW FROM COMPLEX 41 VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE VAB ROOF VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: THE PRESS SITE VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA VIDEO:LAUNCH REPLAY: CAMERA AT THE BEACH VIDEO:LAUNCH OF ATLANTIS! VIDEO:FULL LENGTH MOVIE OF ASCENT TO ORBIT VIDEO:EXTERNAL TANK ONBOARD VIDEO CAMERA VIDEO:POST-LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO:ASTRONAUTS DEPART QUARTERS FOR THE PAD VIDEO:PAD’S ROTATING SERVICE STRUCTURE RETRACTED VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS FROM ATLANTIS’ LAUNCH CAMPAIGN VIDEO:HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PAYLOAD’S LAUNCH CAMPAIGN MORE:Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Safety analysis needed to clear shuttle’s tank repairs BY WILLIAM HARWOOD

  239. STORY WRITTEN FOR & USED WITH PERMISSIONPosted: September 12, 2006NASA’s Mission Management Team today gave the shuttle Atlantis’ heat shield a clean bill of health, formally clearing the ship and its crew for a normal re-entry Sept. 20 if no other problems develop.MMT Chairman John Shannon said an exhaustive review of space- and ground-based imagery, wing leading edge sensor data and laser scans in orbit normally takes five days to complete. But this time around, the work was done in half the time, thanks to the performance of Atlantis’ external tank and the team’s increasing familiarity with post-Columbia inspection procedures.”We were able to clear all of the thermal protection system in 60 hours,” Shannon said. “My best estimate was always five days, so we did it in half the time. That just shows how much better the processes are getting and the people are getting at running through the processes.”Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:HEAT SHIELD CLEARED VIDEO:POST-EVA 1 STATUS BRIEFING VIDEO:TANNER LOSES BOLT DURING ROTARY JOINT WORK VIDEO:PIPER UNFOLDS SOLAR BLANKET BOXES VIDEO:SECOND WING’S STRUCTURE DEPLOYED BY PIPER VIDEO:FIRST SOLAR WING’S STRUCTURE DEPLOYED BY TANNER VIDEO:STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 MORE: Engineers decided Monday no additional heat shield inspections were needed. But two open items remained on the books: what appeared to be a protruding insulation blanket on Atlantis’ right-side rocket pod; and a protruding gap filler sticking up from heat shield tiles on the belly of the orbiter.As it turns out, it wasn’t a gap filler at all.”It was kind of a curious thing, when they started looking at the installation records, they had no record there was a gap filler in that location,” Shannon said. “That caused them to be a little bit curious and they went and looked at the baseline (pre-launch) imagery and there wasn’t a gap filler installed in that area.”On closer inspection, engineers realized what appeared to be part of a gap filler sticking up from the surrounding tile was actually part of a plastic shim, used during tile installation to ensure proper spacing. Shims are removed after use but this one apparently was missed. This series of images shows the shim seen on belly of Atlantis. Credit: NASAProtruding gap fillers, not uncommon, can cause the smooth flow of hypersonic air across the belly of the shuttle to become turbulent during re-entry, which can cause areas of more extreme heating downstream. They earlier turbulent flow begins, the greater the potential for damage.The exposed shim, Shannon said, “is not an issue at all. It’s sticking out just a little bit. Since it is plastic, it will melt very easily. They ran a test on it, it’ll soften at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit and it melts at about 450 degrees Fahrenheit and it will see that melting environment seven minutes before we hit Mach 25. So before we really hit the sensible atmosphere, that piece of shim stock will be long gone. So we are not worried about it.”Just to be safe, engineers carried out an analysis that assumed the shim was, in fact, a gap filler. The results showed Atlantis could safely enter as is even in that case. Two other protruding gap fillers were spotted earlier but neither poses a threat.As for the suspect insulation blanket on the shuttle’s right-side orbital maneuvering system pod, Shannon said closer inspection using a camera on the space station showed it was not a problem and Atlantis was cleared for a normal re-entry.One final heat shield inspection will be conducted after Atlantis undocks from the space station to make sure no orbital debris or micrometeoroids hit the spacecraft after it reached orbit.On another front, Shannon said he is optimistic NASA will be able to resume night launchings in December when the next space station assembly mission is scheduled for liftoff.”The team overall does feel extremely confident about