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Delta IV Heavy: NROL-71 (mission)

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DocM    16,319

Forecasted high surface winds

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Yep, it's likely gonna be a slip. ULA are the most conservative bunch around.

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

DuqSPGOV4AIIAuw.jpg

 

 

Hopefully the weather holds for the launch window...would be a great day with 4 launches....barrel of popcorn and SpaceX coffee mug at the ready...

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Love busy days like the ones we're supposed to have tomorrow. :yes: 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

Quote

Dec. 18/19   Delta 4-Heavy • NROL-71

 

Launch time: 0157 GMT on 19th (8:57 p.m. EST; 5:57 p.m. PST on 18th)


Launch site: SLC-6, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

 

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite cargo for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. The largest of the Delta 4 family, the Heavy version features three Common Booster Cores mounted together to form a triple-body rocket. Delayed from Sept. 26. Moved forward from Dec. 3. Delayed from Nov. 29. Scrubbed on Dec. 7 by an issue with holdfire circuitry. Scrubbed on Dec. 8 at T-minus 7.5 seconds. [Dec. 13]

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/

 

ULA site for NROL-71

 

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747
Quote

DELTA IV HEAVY TO LAUNCH NROL-71

 

• Rocket: Delta IV Heavy
• Mission: NROL-71
• Launch Date: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018
• Launch Time: 5:57 p.m. PST
• Launch Broadcast: Live commentary will begin at 5:37 p.m. PST
• Launch Location: Space Launch Complex 6, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California 

 

Mission Information: United Launch Alliance will use the Delta IV Heavy rocket to launch the NROL-71 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.

 

Launch Notes: This will be 132nd mission for United Launch Alliance and ULA's second Delta IV Heavy launch in less than four months. It is the 382nd Delta launch since 1960, the 38th for a Delta IV rocket since 2002 and the 11th Delta IV Heavy.

Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch,twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch; hashtags #DeltaIV #NROL71

https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/delta-iv-nrol-71

 

 

Quote

The Delta IV rocket

 

United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV rocket has served the nation’s high-priority U.S. Air Force and National Reconnaissance Office space programs with distinction since entering service in 2002. The vehicle also launched NASA’s Orion capsule on its first orbital test flight and sent the Parker Solar Probe on its journey to become the fastest robot in history while surfing through the sun’s atmosphere. Having flown 37 missions in a variety of configurations ranging from medium-lift to heavy-lifter, the Delta IV continues the legacy of the Delta rocket family that dates to 1960.

 

NROL-71 will launch aboard a Delta IV Heavy rocket features three hydrogen-fueled common booster cores and a Delta Cryogenic Second Stage. The payload is protected during atmospheric ascent by a composite payload fairing.

 

Specs

Height: 233 feet

Weight: 1.6 million pounds

Thrust: 2.1 million pounds

Fuel: 465,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen

https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/delta-iv-nrol-71

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

I am not having a proper launch viewing session today....my popcorn is going stale.

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Jim K    12,781

...and scrubbed.  24-hour recycle (20 Dec @ 1731 PST).  Possible hydrogen leak in the port booster engine section.

 

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DocM    16,319

I'm getting a bad feeling about this bird

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Yeah. :no: This one's gonna be a no-go for a while, I think.

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DocM    16,319

Made on a Monday?

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Draggendrop    5,747

 

 

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DocM    16,319

Delayed again



Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Dec. 28, 2018 (ULA PR) The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy carrying the NROL-71 mission will launch no earlier than Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. The mission will launch from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

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Draggendrop    5,747

At least Iridium has slot rank on Delta IV...could interfere with RTLS though....I really hate this silliness...can't launch your sat on time...move over...everybody else does.

 

 

 

 Matt forgot how to count and it sounded like a slip...has not slipped...as of today, launch still...

 

 

At the end of the day though, SpaceX always pulls through and may "give" January 7th for a 24 hr slip if asked...they will want to RTLS the booster...too valuable to mess with...and a few days will not really change Iridium plans.

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DocM    16,319

Now I'm *really* getting a bad feeling

 

 

 

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flyingskippy    165

This rocket is fubar.

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Draggendrop    5,747

I am not sure what to think about this situation...could it be...

 

1) infrequent assembly and inspection.

 

2) loss of talent with employee down sizing of late.

 

3) manufacturing error...if the other remaining boosters are complete before phase-out...this will require an inspection.

 

4) can this system be torn down and reassembled...or could it be toast.

 

This has been happening over the last few years and getting worse. They need to keep an eye on quality and finish the designated contracts before phasing into Vulcan.

 

This could turn out bad unless they get a grip on this immediately...no one wants to see a disaster.

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DocM    16,319

Thing is this is a big KH-11 spysat, an earlier block of which is what Hubble was based on. Damed hard & expensive to replace.

 

Time for USAF to bite the bullet;  fund vertical integration and a Group 3 (longer) fairing for Falcon Heavy.

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Draggendrop    5,747
6 minutes ago, DocM said:

Thing is this is a big KH-11 spysat, an earlier block of which is what Hubble was based on. Damed hard & expensive to replace.

 

Time for USAF to bite the bullet;  fund vertical integration and a Group 3 (longer) fairing for Falcon Heavy.

There are still a few more launches to go as well before phase out.

 

Time to look at other providers options, now. When you think of it, SpaceX with 60+ F9 launches and FH set for 2 launches in a few months...and these guys are still playing politics......serves them right...the solution is on a pad next door and in Florida.

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

I still believe that the rocket suffered major damage from the almost-detonation aborted launch a few weeks back.

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DocM    16,319
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

I still believe that the rocket suffered major damage from the almost-detonation aborted launch a few weeks back.

 

I do not buy the "there was no ignition" story, at all. Nope.

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Unobscured Vision    2,650

Same. It was clearly alight and the ignition sequence was underway. Smoke does not simply appear from nowhere. Those engines were lit, however briefly; and the water deluge/quench system is the only thing that saved everything within 2000' of a very destructive event.

 

Rocket was about to go kaboom, big-time.

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Beittil    557

Ow well, at least Iridium can go up then... No more ULA stealing their slot. 

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Jim K    12,781
Quote

ULA Delta IV Heavy NROL-71 Set to Launch Jan. 19, 2019

 

(Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 15, 2019) -- The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy carrying the NROL-71 mission has been scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19 from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 11:05 a.m. PST.

ULA

 

 

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