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Iridium Next Flight 6 (x5), GRACE-FO 1, GRACE-FO 2 - Falcon 9 (B1043) - Vandenberg SLC-4E - NET 10.05.2018

Автор tnt22, 01.04.2018 22:36:17

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Sixth Set of Iridium NEXT Satellites Begins Pre-Operational Testing

by Iridium Communications | May 24, 2018 |

Upon completion of on-orbit testing, three of Iridium's six orbital planes will feature all Iridium NEXT satellites.

Iridium Communications announced today that the five Iridium NEXT satellites launched on Tuesday, May 22nd, by SpaceX are functioning nominally and have begun the testing and validation process. The launch brought the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in orbit to 55, leaving just two more launches of 10 satellites each remaining for the Iridium NEXT program.
 Скрытый текст:
"The team at Iridium's Satellite Network Operations Center (SNOC) has only positive news to share since Tuesday's launch," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer at Iridium. "Three of the satellites fr om this launch will be going directly in to service in our sixth orbital plane, wh ere the other two will serve as spares. Once testing is completed in a few weeks, and they are put into service, three of the six Iridium orbital planes, 2, 4 and 6, will be comprised of all Iridium NEXT satellites. This is another tremendous milestone on the horizon as we move ever closer to completing this historic tech refresh."

The Iridium constellation is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 satellites in the active constellation. This unique architecture creates a web of coverage around the earth, enabling Iridium to provide real-time communications over the oceans and from even the most remote locations. Two more Iridium NEXT launches are scheduled for 2018, to bring Iridium's total to 75 new satellites in orbit, including nine spares. A total of 81 satellites are being built, including 66 operational, nine on-orbit spares and six ground spares.


ЦитатаJonathan McDowell‏Подлинная учетная запись @planet4589 8 мин. назад

A new debris object (43483/2018-047H) in 500 km orbit associated with the GRACE-FO satellites - maybe an adapter or an experiment cover?? @NASAJPL @GFZ_Potsdam @Airbus @sslmda any suggestions?


Я смотрю на 1-й ступени были посадочные опоры. А на хрена козе баян, ведь посадка не планировалась? Лишний вес таскать, расход топлива.


НОРАД идентифицировал все обнаруженные объекты запуска


ЦитатаК.А. пишет:
Я смотрю на 1-й ступени были посадочные опоры. А на хрена козе баян, ведь посадка не планировалась? Лишний вес таскать, расход топлива.
Для опытов :)


ЦитатаMatt Desch‏ @IridiumBoss 11 мин. назад

For Iridium NEXT followers, our five Launch 6 satellites are all performing very well. The first 2 (SV110 and SV147) will go into service in two weeks, and the 3rd (SV152) will go into service about 5 days later, completing plane 6 (and 3 full planes!). Other 2: in-orbit spares


ЦитатаSpaceX‏Подлинная учетная запись @SpaceX 5 мин. назад

Falcon 9 fairing halves deployed their parafoils and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean last week after the launch of Iridium-6/GRACE-FO. Closest half was ~50m from SpaceX's recovery ship, Mr. Steven.


 Скрытый текст:


ЦитатаJeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 13 мин. назад

Zurbuchen: GRACE-FO spacecraft launched last month are working well. First data from them to be released shortly.


ЦитатаIridium NEXT Sixth Launch Highlights


Опубликовано: 11 июн. 2018 г.

On May 22, Iridium successfully launched five Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in a unique rideshare mission. Shortly after deployment, Iridium confirmed successful communication with all five new satellites, formally bringing the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in orbit to 55. This leaves just two more launches of 10 satellites each to complete this ambitious launch program. Here are some of the highlights and memorable moments of this exciting day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb1USi8bkJshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb1USi8bkJs (2:28 )


ЦитатаNASA JPL‏Подлинная учетная запись @NASAJPL 16 ч. назад

All systems go for #GRACEFO Spacecraft systems are powered on and performing as expected. "The Himalaya Plot" shows distance changes measured as the spacecraft flew over the mountains → https://go.nasa.gov/2JARDq9 




ЦитатаJuly 3, 2018

First Laser Light for GRACE Follow-On

Artist's rendering of the twin spacecraft of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Full image and caption

The laser ranging interferometer (LRI) instrument has been successfully switched on aboard the recently launched twin U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) satellites. The LRI, which is being flown as a technology demonstration, has made its first measurements in parallel with GRACE-FO's main microwave ranging instrument, and initial comparisons of the data from the two types of instruments show that they agree as expected.
 Скрытый текст:
"The LRI is a breakthrough for precision distance measurements in space," said LRI Instrument Manager Kirk McKenzie of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which manages NASA's contribution to the instrument. "It's the first inter-spacecraft laser interferometer and the culmination of about a decade of NASA- and German-funded research and development."

The GRACE-FO mission, launched on May 22, continues the work of the original GRACE mission of monitoring phenomena such as the melting of ice sheets and changes in groundwater levels by tracking the changing pull of gravity on the GRACE-FO satellites. The microwave ranging interferometer records these changes in gravity by measuring how they change the distance between the twin spacecraft. By accurately measuring these minute changes as the two spacecraft orbit the planet, scientists are able to calculate month-to-month variations in Earth's gravity field. The LRI is an enabling technology for future GRACE-FO-like missions with potential to significantly improve the accuracy of those missions. The instrument is jointly managed by JPL and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) in Hanover, Germany.

Seeing the light

The LRI's "first light" operation took place over two days. On June 13, the two GRACE-FO satellites began sweeping their lasers in spiral patterns in search of each other. Gerhard Heinzel, leader of the space interferometry research group at the Albert Einstein Institute and manager of the German contribution to the LRI, explained the challenge: "There are coin-sized holes on each satellite through which the laser has to be precisely pointed towards the holes in the other satellite over a distance of more than 200 kilometers [137 miles], while both spacecraft race around Earth at 27,000 kilometers an hour [16,000 miles per hour]. It is truly mind-boggling." (Here is a fuller explanation of how the LRI operates.)

As GRACE-FO orbits (ground track at bottom; north is to the right) the distance between the two spacecraft changes very slightly (top) as the mass below changes (middle, shown as changes in ground elevation).
Credits: B. Knispel/G.Heinzel/AEI/GFZ/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SRTM

In the data that were downlinked the next day, it was clear that each spacecraft had seen several flashes of light during the spiral scans, indicating both LRI instruments received light from the opposite spacecraft and were working as expected. The settings needed to establish a continuous laser link were calculated and uploaded to the satellites, and the LRI delivered its first intersatellite range data at a later downlink that day.

"The plan for establishing the laser link worked exactly as designed. In fact, the laser link locked in on the first attempt," said Christopher Woodruff, the LRI mission operations lead at JPL.

In the coming weeks and months, the GRACE-FO research team will work on fine-tuning the operation of this novel instrument and completing their understanding of the data it delivers.

The fine print

GRACE-FO is a partnership between NASA and German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany. JPL manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Additional contributors to the laser ranging interferometer include SpaceTech in Immenstaad, Germany; Tesat-Spacecom in Backnang, Germany; Ball Aerospace in Boulder, Colorado; iXblue in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France; the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics in Adlershof and Institute of Space Systems in Bremen; Hensoldt Optronics in Oberkochen; Apcon AeroSpace and Defence in Neubiberg/Munich; Diamond USA, Inc., and Diamond SA in Losone, Switzerland; and Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen.

Alan Buis / Esprit Smith
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
818-354-0474 / 818-354-4269
Alan.Buis@jpl.nasa.gov / Esprit.Smith@jpl.nasa.gov

Last Updated: July 3, 2018
Editor: Tony Greicius


ЦитатаNASA missions study Earth's frozen water: GRACE-FO & ICESat-2


Опубликовано: 8 сент. 2018 г.

GRACE-FO and ICESat-2 are the latest NASA missions that help scientists study the cryosphere, Earth's frozen water. The GRACE-FO mission was launched on 22 May 2018 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, while ICESat-2 is scheduled to launch on 15 September 2018.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vqOraF15aQhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vqOraF15aQ (4:05)


ЦитатаSept. 14, 2018

GRACE-FO Satellite Switching to Backup Instrument Processing Unit

Illustration of the NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) spacecraft, which will track changes in the distribution of Earth's mass, providing insights into climate, Earth system processes and the impacts of some human activities. GRACE-FO is a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission team plans to switch to a backup system in the Microwave Instrument (MWI) on one of the twin spacecraft this month. Following the switch-over, GRACE-FO is expected to quickly resume science data collection.

A month after launching this past May, GRACE-FO produced its first preliminary gravity field map. The mission has not acquired science data since mid-July due to an anomaly with a component of the Microwave Instrument on one of the GRACE-FO spacecraft. The mission team is completing its investigation into the cause of the anomaly.
 Скрытый текст:
The primary science objective of GRACE-FO -- like its predecessor GRACE, which operated from 2002 to 2017 -- is to track how water is redistributed on Earth, by producing highly accurate, monthly gravity field maps. Measurements of changes in Earth's gravity field provide measurements of mass change and enable unique insights into Earth's changing climate, Earth system processes like droughts and sea level changes, and the impacts of human activities on water resources.

The two GRACE-FO spacecraft were launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 22. The mission's launch and early operations phases were completed within five days, and the science instruments were activated a few days later. Analysis of the initial data indicated that both the Microwave Instrument and the Laser Ranging Interferometer were producing highly precise measurements of the gravity-induced change in distance between the two GRACE-FO satellites -- as good as or better than the original GRACE mission.

On July 19, the primary MWI Instrument Processing Unit (IPU) on the GRACE-FO 2 satellite powered down in response to autonomous commands from an instrument fault monitor indicating that the IPU was using less current than expected. The IPU provides various timing references for the satellite as well as onboard digital signal-processing functions for the Microwave Instrument and GPS signals. Each of the two GRACE-FO satellites is equipped with a pair of IPUs -- a primary unit and a redundant one -- to provide backup in case one unit malfunctions.

Following several unsuccessful attempts to reactivate the IPU, mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, established an anomaly response team on Aug. 6 to investigate the issue. The team is working with the engineers who developed the Microwave Instrument, attempting to reproduce the abnormal behavior in the laboratory to understand the cause of the problem.

Following completion of the remaining instrument calibrations, the performance and stability of the redundant IPU will be monitored for at least 30 days. Once the instrument's stable operation has been confirmed, the mission will be on track to enter its science operations phase, beginning with a four-month data-validation period as previously planned.

GRACE-FO is a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ). Both spacecraft are being operated from the German Space Operations Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, under a GFZ contract with the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)). JPL manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Esprit Smith
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Last Updated: Sept. 14, 2018
Editor: Tony Greicius