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Цитата: Virgin OrbitReturn to Flight: Launch Demo 2 | Virgin Orbit Virgin Orbit14 окт. 2020 г.Our team has really been on their A-game, putting in an incredible amount of work to move quickly and efficiently through the biggest milestones on the path to our second launch demonstration. Hear directly from some of our technical leaders on how we've matured this year, and what exactly we've been up to since our last flight with LauncherOne!
ЦитатаLaunch Demo 2: October UpdateOctober 14, 2020 Featured/Technical UpdatesJust three years after Virgin Orbit was born as a company, we took to the skies to conduct our very first Launch Demo with LauncherOne. During that demo, we proved out all of the key technologies for a new kind of launch technology: liquid-fueled air-launch. With the first launch just a few months behind us, we are now smartly driving down the path to Launch Demo 2, which our incredibly talented and determined team is targeting to complete before the end of the year.That's a pretty quick turnaround by industry standards -- so how'd we manage that? Well, the simple answer is that our second launch rocket was already in assembly when the first one flew, along with several other rockets in flow at our state-of-the-art rocket production facility. After all, one launch can make history, but it's just the beginning. It takes a whole lot more to create a launch service.Our team has really risen to the occasion in recent months, doing the necessary work and driving forward at a best-in-industry pace -- despite the unprecedented circumstances of a global pandemic that has changed everything about the way we all live and work.Recent MilestonesThe rocket we will use for Launch Demo 2 shipped out of the factory in late August. After making the short trip up to Mojave Air and Spaceport, that rocket was fitted to a test stand built to emulate Cosmic Girl's left wing. There, our team hooked up our mobile ground support trailers and conducted a number of checkouts and tests, including fully loading the rocket with propellants like cryogenic liquid oxygen to verify the health of all rocket systems. The test was a major success, and the operation, which resembled a full countdown, benefited hugely from our operational refinements: completing cryo load was a much faster and much smoother process compared to the first time around earlier this year.We saw a similar quantum leap with the other build and test series we recently completed: the acceptance testing (ATP) campaign for our main stage ("NewtonThree") engine. Main stage propulsion is a big task for any rocket and any launch, and given the knowledge that we gained from our first Launch Demo, this milestone took on even more importance. But we got through it extremely quickly: work that took us two months to complete just one launch ago was finished in just two weeks this past September.Our team is better prepared, our hardware is better manufactured, all of our procedures, scripts, and tools are in launch-ready shape -- and all of that hard work is paying off big time.You can hear directly from our technical leaders on what we've been up to since our last flight:youtu.be/r7figg6NPg0 What's Next?Today, both rocket and engine are back down in our Long Beach HQ for final integration. Our NewtonFour upper stage engine is already fully tested and installed, and our NewtonThree engine and a few other bits of flight hardware will join the party in the coming days. We're preparing for the big move -- packing up the rocket and the mobile trailers and transiting everything back to the "hammerhead" at Mojave Air and Space Port -- a bare spot at the end of a taxiway (which is all we really require in a launch site). That's where we'll mate LauncherOne to Cosmic Girl's wing just before we fly.Here's a glimpse of all of the major campaigns we planned out in between our first Launch Demo in late May and our upcoming flight.As you'll see, we are moving steadily forward. We're not done yet, but every day brings more progress, and we're keeping our nose to the grindstone so that we can maintain this momentum.This week, we're taking another exciting step forward. Yesterday, for the first time in our company's short history, customers arrived at our facility to begin processing their spacecraft for launch!Thanks to COVID-19 everything looks a little different than we'd imagined, to be sure. But we've worked with NASA and with our payload teams to find safe ways for teams to conduct this work in our beautiful new payload processing facility, called Nebula.While they're on-site this week, we'll work with each team to complete a final round of analysis and testing before finally integrating their payloads into the fairing. The fairing will then be shipped up to Mojave, where we'll do the final mate to the rocket in our unique mobile cleanroom. Though our focus has been squarely on preparing for Launch Demo 2 and on welcoming our customers and their spacecraft, our other projects continue to make steady progress. Recently, we participated as the sole space launch provider in one of the biggest military training exercises of all time, demonstrating how a country could very quickly replace a satellite that had been interfered with by an adversary. We have also updated our Service Guide to better set up our customers for success as they plan their missions with LauncherOne. And in parallel to all of that, we're also preparing the hardware we'll use on the four flights that follow LD2.None of this work is ever easy -- even in a normal world, much less in the odd world we're all living in 2020. But the work is worth doing, and it can be done well with the right team, the right tools, and the right experience. We're excited about what we've done, and fired up about what comes next. The team working hard to pull off our second Launch Demo prior to the holidays, and we'll keep you all updated every step of the way.
ЦитатаELaNa 20Date: TBDMission: Virgin Orbit, LauncherOne - Mojave, California10 CubeSat Missions scheduled to be deployedPolarCube - University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, ColoradoMiTEE - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MichiganCACTUS-1 - Capitol Technology University, Laurel, MarylandQ-PACE - University of Central Florida, Orlando, FloridaTechEdSat-7 - NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CaliforniaRadFXSat-2 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeEXOCUBE - California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaCAPE-3 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LouisianaPICS - Brigham Young University, Provo, UtahINCA - New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico
ЦитатаOct. 15, 2020ELaNa 20 CubeSat Mission Teams Complete Prelaunch Prep with Virgin OrbitMembers of the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) 20 mission teams completed final preparations of their respective CubeSats inside Virgin Orbit's payload processing facility in Long Beach, California, on Oct. 12, 2020. Shown above is the MiTEE payload, developed by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. These small satellites are part of NASA's ELaNa 20 payload complement, targeted to launch on the company's Launch Demo 2 mission before the end of the year.Installation of the ELaNa 20 CubeSats within their dispensers clears the way for installation of the payload fairing of the company's LauncherOne rocket. The integrated payload fairing assembly will then be shipped to the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, where it will be mated to the rocket in the company's mobile cleanroom. LauncherOne will then be attached below the wing of Virgin Orbit's carrier aircraft, "Cosmic Girl," and carried aloft for launch after taking off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.The agency's ELaNa 20 mission comprises eight NASA-sponsored CubeSats selected by the CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) and developed by educational institutions across the United States as well as NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California. CubeSats launching on ELaNa 20 are:PolarCube - University of Colorado at Boulder, ColoradoMiTEE - University of Michigan, Ann ArborCACTUS-1 - Capitol Technology University, Laurel, MarylandQ-PACE - University of Central Florida, OrlandoTechEdSat-7 - NASA's Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley, CaliforniaRadFXSat-2 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeEXOCUBE-2 - California Polytechnic University, San Luis ObispoCAPE-3 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LouisianaPICS - Brigham Young University, Provo, UtahCSLI provides launch opportunities for small payloads that hitch rides with planned spaceflight missions led by NASA, other U.S. government agencies, or commercial organizations. ELaNa missions are facilitated by the agency's Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Through CSLI, NASA provides CubeSat developers at universities, high schools, non-profit organizations, and NASA centers and programs a low-cost pathway to conduct scientific investigations and technology demonstrations in space. This enables students, teachers, and faculty to obtain hands-on flight hardware development experience.Photo credit: Virgin Orbit/Greg RobinsonLast Updated: Oct. 16, 2020Editor: Anna Heiney
Цитата BYU Spacecraft Group @byuspacecraft 27 окт.@BYU's first #satellites, the Passive Inspection CubeSats, are officially installed into @Virgin_Orbit LauncherOne release system. We're beyond excited to see our hard work come to fruition as our satellites get launched and perform their mission! @byu_flu@NASA 27 окт.The Passive Inspection CubeSats Mission is to snap some pictures of LauncherOne's upper stage after it released them and they float away. They'll also be capable of capturing 360° VR images in space!#cubesats #collegeengineering #space #collegelife #engineering #electronics #vr
Цитата Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 20 ч. назадCustomers for our upcoming Launch Demo 2 mission recently made the trip out to Long Beach to get their payloads checked out and integrated into our rocket. #ICYMI, read our latest blog for a big update on where we are on the road to our next flight: https://virg.in/amQ
ЦитатаLauncherOne Arrives in MojaveNOVEMBER 13, 2020BLOG/FEATUREDOn the strength of a busy few weeks since our last update, our team is about to initiate our pre-launch operations phase for the Launch Demo 2 mission. We're excited to share a few updates with you.When we last left off, our Launch Demo 2 rocket was in the midst of final integration on our shop floor, with the team working to incorporate the upgraded NewtonThree engine that will power LauncherOne's main stage. As expected, we were able to take advantage of the lessons learned from the previous LauncherOne and finish all that work in short order. With LauncherOne buttoned up from nose to tail, we then hit the road again to transport the rocket up to Mojave Air and Space Port.LauncherOne left our factory in Long Beach early Wednesday morning, and was fully mated to our carrier aircraft by around 10 A.M. the next day. Now, out at the end of a taxiway in Mojave, a familiar sight has begun to take shape. The trailers that serve as our transportable ground equipment have been set up on the tarmac. Just a few feet away, we've parked our carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl, with LauncherOne nestled safely underwing. What was a bare concrete pad just days ago is now a complete launch site.Additionally, all 10 of the payloads that will fly onboard LauncherOne are now safely encapsulated in their dispensers, and will travel up to Mojave separately in our mobile payload cleanroom. Consistent with our normal operations flow, we will mate the payload fairing to the rocket just before our final launch rehearsal. As our launch date approaches, we'll pull that payload trailer adjacent to Cosmic Girl and mate the fairing to the rocket while it is attached to the aircraft. This is all excellent practice for our team, as the process will be exactly the same for future missions from other planned launch sites like in the UK, Guam and Japan.Before that final mate happens, we're planning yet another round of checkouts for our flight hardware, including full-up wet dress rehearsals.As we progress through cryogenic testing, we will announce our specific launch window, which is currently projected to occur before the end of the year. Our team has done a best-in-industry job in digesting knowledge acquired from Launch Demo 1 to better inform our work for Launch Demo 2, implementing a series of hardware upgrades and performing a rigorous suite of major tests. We've done a hell of a lot these past few months as we worked to improve our probability for success, including modifications to our main engine assembly, the hot-fire and vibration testing of our engines, cryoload tests, full system check-outs, aircraft inspection, flight software qualification, and more. And what's remarkable is we've done all this in the context of a global pandemic.Still, our progress has been steady and our focus unwavering. It is satisfying work, and our team is happiest when we are making progress towards our goal of fielding the world's most flexible and mobile launch system.As always, we'll keep you all updated as work continues. With only weeks left on the countdown clock to Launch Demo 2, we hope you all are as excited as we are to see LauncherOne fly again.
ЦитатаSOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-OFFSHORE SAN NICOLAS ISLAND-HAZARDOUS OPERATIONSVirgin Orbit will conduct hazardous operations offshore of San Nicolas Island, CA from 1000-1400 on 18-21 Dec 20. Hazardous operations will be conducted within a 10 nm radius centered at 33-06-00N 119-48-00W. Mariners are advised to remain clear of these areas during the duration of operations. For more details or comments contact Collin Corey at 661-754-4371.LNM: 47/20
ЦитатаКомпания Virgin Orbit в период с 18 по 21 декабря предпримет вторую попытку запуска миссии с помощью ракеты-носителя с воздушным стартом LauncherOne. В рамках миссии на орбиту будут запущены несколько кубсатов по заказу NASA. Напомним, что первая попытка запуска миссии с помощью ракеты LauncherOne, предпринятая в мае, оказалась неудачной - двигатель ракеты отключился через несколько секунд после зажигания.Ракета LauncherOne ранее была подготовлена для запуска и доставлена на базу Мохаве, где ее установили на самолет-носитель Boeing 747.Ранее Virgin Orbit определила проблему, которая возникла при запуске 25 мая. Из строя вышла линия подачи кислорода в двигатель первой ступени NewtonThree. Та ракета не несла никакой полезной нагрузки.В ходе второго запуска носитель должен будет вывести 10 кубсатов, большая часть которых построена университетами в рамках программы MASA CubeSat Launch Initiative. Сам запуск осуществляется в рамках контракта Venture Class Launch Services, заключенного NASA в 2015 году для демонстрации возможностей новых малых ракет-носителей.
Цитата Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 5 ч. назадIt's difficult to overstate how much work we've been able to accomplish to reach this point in just 7 months. We modified our NewtonThree engine & verified it through hotfire. We upgraded everything from our carrier aircraft to our ground support equipment to our data systems. 5 ч. назадWe finalized the integration and testing of the rocket we'll fly in a few weeks' time, simultaneously working on the next rocket and the few after that -- all while solving a variety of technical challenges along the way. It really has been a wild ride. 5 ч. назадNow, yet again, we are headed to launch during a time of great turbulence in the world. But the one thing that has not wavered is our confidence in LauncherOne. And we're so appreciative to all of you who have expressed support and followed along our journey thus far.5 ч. назадOn launch day, we'll provide real-time updates right here on Twitter as the mission progresses.In the meantime, check out our blog to learn more about our pre-launch activities -- and stay tuned for more info as #LaunchDemo2 inches closer!Цитатаhttps://virginorbit.com/the-latest/announcing-the-window-for-launch-demo-2/
Цитата NASA's Launch Services Program @NASA_LSP 5 ч. назадMark your calendars! The launch window for @Virgin_Orbit's #LaunchDemo2 mission opens on Dec. 19! This mission will carry the CubeSats of our ELaNa 20 mission to space. Stay tuned for more details!
Цитата Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 6 ч. назадWe are so excited to announce that the launch window for our upcoming #LaunchDemo2 mission opens on Saturday, December 19th!
ЦитатаAnnouncing the Window for Launch Demo 2NOVEMBER 30, 2020FEATURED/TECHNICAL UPDATESAfter our first Launch Demo earlier this year, we set a goal to return to flight before the end of 2020, and we're proud that we remain on target. Now, we're excited to announce that, pending some additional tests and operations, the launch window for our Launch Demo 2 mission will open on Saturday, December 19th, with an opportunity to launch from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Pacific. We also have a similar launch window available on Sunday, December 20th, with further opportunities available in the following weeks, if needed.In our first Launch Demo, we demonstrated the entire prelaunch sequence, flyout, rocket separation and unpowered flight, engine start and first stage powered flight. Our team is fired up to build on those steps and to demonstrate the rest of the rocket system, including our upper stage. Again, we're poised to collect terabytes of data from LauncherOne as it flies, further enhancing our knowledge and proving out our system's capabilities.We're taking another big first step with this mission too, as we'll be carrying customers' satellites on board for the first time. We are immensely grateful to our friends at NASA's Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) and NASA's Launch Service Program (NASA LSP) for what has been an incredibly collaborative team effort. NASA created VCLS to foster the development of new commercial launch capabilities for innovative, risk-tolerant payloads; and working with them has given us the opportunity to learn about their journey while bringing them some of Virgin's unmatched heritage of customer service, and enabling us both to build upon and enhance future missions.Being first in line -- and what's more, flying on a demonstration flight -- always carries with it a special relationship. It's been a true honor working with NASA on this mission as we opened the doors to our new payload processing facility, received and processed our first customer spacecraft, verified our integration processes, and more. Having a customer like NASA on board as we realize our vision of creating a new game-changing capability for spacelaunch has been inspiring for the whole Virgin Orbit team.All along, we've been focused, dedicated and driven by the responsibility to get these experimental spacecraft on their way. At the same time, we all understand the risks and uncertainties inherent in flying a demonstration flight. We're proud to become part of NASA's long history of taking measured risks to bring new spaceflight capabilities to humankind. That is what Virgin Orbit is all about.Flight Manifest9 CubeSat missions comprising 10 total spacecraft are set to fly on LauncherOne during Launch Demo 2, which will also mark the 20th mission in NASA's Educational Launch of NanoSatellites (ELaNa XX) series. NASA is using small satellites, including CubeSats, to advance exploration, demonstrate emerging technologies, and conduct scientific research and educational investigations. Nearly each payload on this flight was fully designed and built by universities across the US.The manifest for this flight includes the following:CACTUS-1 -- Capital Technology University, Laurel, MarylandA 3U CubeSat carrying out two technology demonstrations. The primary payload, TrapSat, is tackling the issue of space debris by using aerogel to capture and profile orbiting microdebris. The mission also includes the first secondary stand-alone payload for a CubeSat, the Hermes module, which demonstrates commanding via Internet as an cost-saving communications and command subsystem for gathering scientific data.CAPE-3 - Unversity of Louisiana Lafayette, Louisiana This educational mission will fly the Smartphone CubeSat Classroom, which allows anyone with a smartphone to set up a ground station with a kit. Interactive educational activities will give students the ability to interact with the CubeSat via an app on their smartphone and use their smartphone to design their own CubeSat experiments.EXOCUBE-2 - California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaThis 3U CubeSat is equipped with a space weather platform that will measure a number of atomic and ionic substances in the exosphere. Knowledge of the composition and the current state of activity in the exosphere can be useful in the prediction of space weather phenomena in order to forecast potential effects on satellite communications and spacecraft performance. MiTEE - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MichiganMiTEE is a series of two CubeSat missions developing the capability to deploy a pico/femto (i.e. very small) satellite-tether system. The missions will allow students to work on a real-world, research-driven mission to assess the key dynamics and electrodynamic fundamentals of a very short tether system for flying pairs of smallsats.PICS - Brigham Young University, Provo, UtahA pair of two satellites, PICS is a technology demonstration of a spacecraft that can perform inspection, maintenance and assembly on another spacecraft. The two flight systems deployed simultaneously will enable the collection of image data from each other as well as the parent spacecraft. PolarCube - University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, ColoradoPolarCube is a small radiometer that will collect Earth surface and atmospheric temperature data. Its purpose is to collect brightness temperature spectra at a low cost, useful for applications like storm cell observations and the study of sea ice fractions near the poles.Q-PACE - University of Central Florida, Orlando, FloridaQ-PACE will facilitate long-duration microgravity experiments to study collisions in the early protoplanetary disk. The CubeSat will observe low-velocity collisions between cm-scale and smaller particles, addressing the decades-old question of how bodies grow past the meter-size barrier into planetesimals that can become planets through gravitational accretion.RadFXSat-2 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeRadFxSat-2 has two mission objectives: to study the effects of space radiation on a specific kind of Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) for the purpose of validating single-event error rate predictions, and to test a design for two-way amateur radio communications.TechEdSat-7 - NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett, CaliforniaThe overall goal of TECHEDSAT is to evaluate, demonstrate, and validate two new technologies for future experiments aboard smallsats. After 60 days in orbit, the satellite will be commanded to quickly re-enter the atmosphere utilizing a new device called an Exo-Brake.Launch ReadinessAfter a rigorous investigation, then modification and test program -- both alongside some true luminaries in the launch business -- we're delighted to be back on the runway in Mojave just 7 months after our first demonstration. And this is despite the complexities of working in a global pandemic!As we've outlined in previous blogs, our team has performed a battery of critical tests to give us the best chance possible for success. Throughout these activities, we've seen the benefits from all of the learning and operational refinements that came from moving through Launch Demo 1.As our team works with a new level of experience and efficiency, milestones have been falling like dominoes, with all pre-launch activities to date looking picture-perfect from beginning to end.Before we recently mated the rocket, our flight crew took Cosmic Girl out for one final test flight to simulate the mission. Not only did this flight provide valuable practice for both our pilots and launch engineers, it also gave us the opportunity to send simulated rocket data back and forth from the plane to mission control on the ground.We also recently conducted a cryo-load on the rocket after mating it to the plane, fully loading the rocket with both fuel and LOX at super-cold temperatures. The system health report was excellent.Like any other rocket, the last piece of the puzzle before we fly is wet dress rehearsals, which essentially combines all of the operations from the dry run with propellant loading. If those go well, we'll be ready to fly out and light this candle.We know you all are just as excited as we are to see LauncherOne fly again, so we'll keep you in the loop as Launch Demo 2 approaches. We'll also post real-time updates as the mission progresses -- just follow us on Twitter (@Virgin_Orbit) so you don't miss a thing. And as always, we'll follow up with photos and videos as quickly as we can.
Цитата Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 2 ч. назадThey say a photo is worth a thousand words... but what about a mission patch? Our #LaunchDemo2 patch was designed with a lot of heart, reflecting our close relationship with @NASA, honoring the payloads flying onboard LauncherOne & expressing our love for all things air launch.2 ч. назадPlus, it looks great on a flight suit!
Цитата Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 2 ч. назадWith less than two weeks until our #LaunchDemo2 window opens, the last bits of work we need to complete are falling into place! Last week, among other activities, we mated the encapsulated payload assembly to the forward end of LauncherOne.2 ч. назадGiven that there are several small satellites nestled within (and that LauncherOne was already mated to Cosmic Girl) this was a delicate process. But our payload trailer served us well, allowing us to integrate fairing & rocket right on the tarmac in a cleanroom environment.2 ч. назадThe transportability of our ground support equipment is partly what allows us to be so much more mobile than traditional launch systems. We're looking forward to doing this same operation over and over again as we bring LauncherOne to new launch sites all around the world.
Цитата NASA's Launch Services Program @NASA_LSP 11 дек.Check out this week's ELaNa 20 mission milestones!The encapsulated payload assembly was mated to the forward end of @Virgin_Orbit's LauncherOne for #LaunchDemo2. Our CubeSat missions are almost ready to ride!
Цитата Jeff Foust @jeff_foust 12 ч. назадVirgin Orbit is halting preparations for its next launch, which had been scheduled for next weekend, after COVID-19 contract tracing "led to a new batch of precautionary quarantines" among employees.Цитата Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 13 ч. назадOur vehicles, hardware, and software are all ready to go. With two rehearsals already complete, one final wet dress rehearsal is all that remains for us to do. However, the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our ability to safely operate, and thus our schedule. Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 13 ч. назадOur team has really proven to be outstanding. In the past week, we've completed full mission duration hotfire campaigns on both our upper & main stage engines, qualified our flight software and mission planning for this flight, verified the health of all rocket systems, and more.13 ч. назадThrough extensive use of remote work and PPE, the redesign of our launch operations, and well-trained and dedicated staff, we've done everything in our power to keep our team safe at work -- and thus far, we've prevented any cases of teammate-to-teammate transmission.13 ч. назадBut even with these strict measures in place, as infection rates skyrocket in our communities, that is becoming a more difficult task.Our latest round of contact tracing Friday evening led to a new batch of precautionary quarantines.13 ч. назадConsequently, we've fallen below the number of staff we feel we require to prudently and safely proceed with pre-launch operations.Our priority now is ensuring the well-being of our team, and to support the few who have tested positive.13 ч. назадMore than anything else, we wish them a speedy recovery.13 ч. назадUpon receiving this information late Friday, we stepped out of a major operation, our final wet dress rehearsal, which we had already begun, and stood down the team so we could make a clear-sighted assessment before moving forward.13 ч. назадGiven the timelines associated with accurate Covid-19 testing results, this will impact our launch schedule. We are assessing that impact now. We will be ready to fly soon, but the health of our team and their families remains at the forefront of our decisions.13 ч. назадA final note: if you love space, love Earth and love its people, please take the proper precautions. Social distance and wear your mask. Simple, individual actions can save lives -- and can keep our communities, our economies, and even our rocket launches on track.
Цитата Virgin Orbit @Virgin_Orbit 13 ч. назадOur vehicles, hardware, and software are all ready to go. With two rehearsals already complete, one final wet dress rehearsal is all that remains for us to do. However, the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting our ability to safely operate, and thus our schedule.
ЦитатаDec. 11, 2020NASA's ELaNa 20 Mission First to Fly on Virgin Orbit LaunchVirgin Orbit teammates complete a dry run of the payload encapsulation process in Aug. 2020 inside their "Nebula" payload processing facility ahead of the company's Launch Demo 2 mission.Credits: Virgin Orbit/Greg RobinsonBy Danielle Sempsrott NASA's Kennedy Space CenterTen NASA-sponsored CubeSats are preparing to fly on the agency's next Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) mission, making this the first payload carried by Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket.With the small satellites safely secured inside the payload fairing, and the fairing mated to the rocket, Virgin Orbit is gearing up for ELaNa 20, the Dec.19, 2020, Launch Demo 2 flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.Virgin Orbit's mobile payload trailer pulls up next to the carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl to integrate the encapsulated payload assembly, carrying several NASA-sponsored small satellites for the company's Launch Demo 2 mission, on Nov. 30, 2020. Launch is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19, from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.Credits: Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson"This initiative actually enables the market for future CubeSats or future missions needing a ride to space by providing different approaches and different options to better meet spacecraft needs," Hector Viera, NASA's contracting officer representative for Virgin Orbit. "This launch is going to open the doors for them (Virgin Orbit) and for NASA, and that's a good thing."Virgin Orbit completed their first launch demo earlier this year, validating that LauncherOne could be successfully air-launched from the company's "Cosmic Girl" carrier aircraft. LauncherOne attaches to the underside of the 747 aircraft's left wing. On launch day, once the aircraft reaches a specified altitude, the rocket will be released from the wing for a controlled drop over the Pacific Ocean. After dropping, LauncherOne's NewtonThree first stage engine will ignite, starting the launch sequence that will send the satellites on board into low-Earth orbit."This is the first time Virgin Orbit is actually launching NASA payloads or has had some interaction with NASA," Viera said. "Both teams have learned a lot from each other, and getting ready to see the launch and all the progress they've made is a huge deal."Virgin Orbit was one of three companies selected as Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) providers through a contract NASA first awarded in October 2015. Before then, small satellites and science missions could only fly when NASA and other launch providers had space available. Now, dedicated launch opportunities are available for CubeSats and other small payloads through the contracts, managed by NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Services Program (LSP) in Florida.Ahead of the company's Launch Demo 2 mission, Virgin Orbit's carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl is staged on a taxiway with the LauncherOne rocket underwing at Mojave Air and Space Port in California on Nov. 10, 2020.Credits: Virgin Orbit/Greg RobinsonA low-cost platform for agency missions, CubeSats and other small satellites are beginning to play a larger role in exploration, technology demonstration, scientific research, and educational investigations at NASA. The 10 CubeSats set to launch on this mission were designed and built by eight different universities in the United States, as well as one NASA center. These include:PolarCube - University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, ColoradoMiTEE - University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MichiganCACTUS-1 - Capitol Technology University, Laurel, MarylandQ-PACE - University of Central Florida, Orlando, FloridaTechEdSat-7 - NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CaliforniaRadFXSat-2 - Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeEXOCUBE - California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaCAPE-3 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LouisianaPICS (two CubeSats) - Brigham Young University, Provo, UtahNASA selected and sponsored these providers through the agency's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI). By offering CubeSat developers a relatively low-cost avenue to conduct science investigations and technology demonstrations in space, NASA gives K-12 schools, universities, and non-profit organizations hands-on flight hardware development experience."The journey to this launch has been long and challenging," said Scott Higginbotham, ELaNa 20 mission manager. "Our CubeSat developers have invested much of themselves in their spacecraft, and I know they'll all be thrilled to see them fly later this month."The Dec. 19 launch window for ELaNa 20 will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST (1 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST), with additional backup opportunities in the ensuing weeks.Last Updated: Dec. 14, 2020Editor: Danielle Sempsrott
ЦитатаVirgin Orbit планируют вторую попытку запуска своей ракеты LauncherOneОкно для запуска миссии Launch Demo 2 открывается 10 января. Резервные дни: 17, 24 и 31 январяКомпания уже доставила ракету LauncherOne для новой миссии со своего завода в Калифорнии на аэродром в Мохаве. Она была подвешена под крыло специального самолёта-носителя Boeing 747 "Cosmic Girl". В связи с пандемией компания отказалась от попытки запуска в конце декабря того года, но сейчас Virgin Orbit снова вернулись к работе и нацелены всё-таки запустить свою ракету. Скрытый текст: Первая попытка запуска LauncherOne 25 мая этого года была неуспешна, двигатель первой ступени отключился спустя пару секунд после зажигания.Было проведено расследование, которое показало, что вышла из строя линия подачи кислорода, что привело к преждевременному отключению двигателя.В первой миссии LauncherOne не несла полезной нагрузки. В новой миссии ракета будет нести 10 кубсатов от NASA в рамках контракта Venture Class Launch Service, заключённого в 2015 для демонстрации технологий и запуска малых космических аппаратов в космос.Это будет 20-я миссия NASA по программе ELaNa, она поможет провести на орбите 9 разнообразных миссий, используя небольшие спутники для демонстрации новых технологий и проведения научных и образовательных исследований.Почти каждая полезная нагрузка этой миссии была полностью разработана и произведена силами университетов:🛰 CACTUS-1 - 3U кубсат, для демонстрации двух технологий. Одна из них должна решить проблему космического "мусора" с помощью аэрогеля для его захвата и последующего свода. Вторая - модуль Hermes, который демонстрирует технологию управления с помощью сети Интернет, как экономичную коммуникационную и командную систему для сбора научных данных.🛰 CAPE-3 - кубсат для образовательной миссии Smartphone CubeSat Classroom, которая позволяет любому, у кого есть смартфон участвовать в интерактивном образовательном мероприятии и взаимодействовать с кубсатом через приложение на его телефоне.🛰 EXOCUBE-2 - 3U кубсат для исследования космической погоды, который будет измерять количество частиц в экзосфере. Знание состава и текущего состояния активности в экзосфере может быть полезно при прогнозировании потенциальных воздействий на спутниковую связь и негативного влияния на космические аппараты.🛰 MiTEE - два образовательных пикоспутника в одном космическом аппарате, для демонстрации спутниковой системы связи. Они позволят студентам поработать над реальной исследовательской миссией с двумя кубсатами, связанными между собой системой тросов для оценки их электродинамических характеристик.🛰 PICS - два демонстрационных кубсата, которые проведут осмотр друг друга и системы развёртывания с помощью камер. В перспективе это должно помочь создать кубсаты для наблюдений и выполнения технических работ друг с другом прямо на орбите.🛰 PolarCube - кубсат, который собирает данные о температуре поверхности Земли и атмосферы. Его цель - сбор температурных показателей для формирования карт температур, что полезно для наблюдений за штормами и изучения морского льда вблизи полюсов Земли.🛰 Q-PACE - кубсат для изучения столкновений космических объектов, подобных тому, что происходили во время раннего протопланетного диска. Спутник будет наблюдать столкновения между частицами сантиметрового размера и даже более мелкими, помогая решить загадку: как тела в космосе вырастают за барьер метрового размера и потом могут становиться планетами в результате гравитационной аккреции.🛰 RadFXSat-2 - кубсат для изучения влияния космического излучения на оперативную память (SRAM) с целью проверки прогнозов частоты появления ошибок в единичных событиях. Также он протестирует двустороннюю любительскую радиосвязь.🛰 TechEdSat-7 - кубсат для демонстрации новых технологий для будущих экспериментов на борту малых спутников. После 60 дней нахождения на орбите спутнику будет дана команда быстро сойти с орбиты с помощью своеобразного космического "парашюта" под названием Exo-Brake.Но все эти кубсаты доберутся до орбиты, если ракета LauncherOne сработает как надо, поэтому мы желаем Virgin Orbit - успешной миссии и обязательно расскажем, смогла ли компания выйти на орбиту
ЦитатаLaunch Demo 2 | LauncherOneLaunch Lift Off Time(Subject to change) January 13, 2021 - 12:00 UTC | 7:00 AM PSTMission Name Demo-2, the launch of NASA's Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) satellitesLaunch Provider (What rocket company is launching it?) Virgin OrbitCustomer(Who's paying for this?) NASARocket LauncherOneLaunch Location Various. Cosmic Girl lifts off from Mojave Air and Spaceport in CaliforniaPayload mass N/AWhere are the satellites going? Low Earth OrbitWill they be attempting to recover the first stage? No, this is not a capability of Virgin OrbitWhere will the first stage land? It will crash into the Pacific OceanWill they be attempting to recover the fairings? No, this is not a capability of Virgin OrbitAre these fairings new? YesHow's the weather looking? N/AThis will be the:- 2nd test flight of LauncherOne- 1st flight for Virgin Orbit in 2021- 1st time Virgin Orbit flies a commercial payload- Cosmic Girl's 8,338th flight all-time