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Subject: Most underated Board on the site.....
EW3    6/23/2006 8:46:07 PM
This little tidbit seems to have gotten ignored..... --------------------------------------------------------------------- Delta 2 rocket puts military experiment into space BY JUSTIN RAY SPACEFLIGHT NOW Posted: June 21, 2006 Updated: Fixing a couple of typos The Delta rocket launches with MiTEx. Credit: Carleton Bailie for The Boeing Company An experimental U.S. military project to characterize the performance of two micro-satellite trailblazers operating 22,300 miles above Earth and a prototype maneuvering motor for small spacecraft began with a beautiful blastoff from Cape Canaveral Wednesday evening. The Micro-Satellite Technology Experiment, or MiTEx, was successfully delivered into space by Boeing's workhorse Delta 2 rocket. Launch from pad 17A occurred at 6:15 p.m. EDT (2215 GMT) after a short delay to clear both a technical issue with the payload and any boats from the restricted waters under the rocket's flight path. The swift half-hour ascent by the three-stage rocket put MiTEx into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit to mark the 67th consecutive successful Delta 2 mission dating back to 1997 and the 120th success overall in 122 flights since 1989. The Delta's job has been completed but the year-long missions for the two 500-pound micro-satellites of MiTEx can't begin quite yet. The miniature spacecraft are relying on their Naval Research Laboratory-developed upper stage rocket motor to boost them from the current launch orbit to the final destination -- a circular geostationary orbit over the equator. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force and Navy have collaborated to fly this space mission to test technologies that could be incorporated in future military programs. MiTEx will prove whether the technologies -- for satellites and upper stages -- are deemed worthy or simply need more work. According to information about MiTEx provided to Spaceflight Now by DARPA officials, the major goals of the project include: Develop and flight-test a new experimental upper stage Investigate and demonstrate advanced space technologies such as lightweight power and propulsion systems, avionics, and spacecraft structures; commercial-off-the-shelf processors; affordable, responsive fabrication/build-to-launch techniques; and single-string components Demonstrate a one-year lifetime for small satellites built using these new technologies and techniques Demonstrate the ability to insert small satellites into geostationary orbit Gain experience in the operations and determine the potential utility of small satellites for future Defense Department missions in a geostationary orbit The new upper stage burns monomethylhydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. It is equipped with a 90-pound-force engine as well as a half-dozen five-pound-force engines. Specific technologies being tested on the stage include: Platinum/rhodium bi-propellant attitude control thrusters High-performance coated columbium delta-V thruster Commercial off-the-shelf manual valve tested to aerospace standards Light-weight Inconel-718 composite overwrap pressure vessels Lightweight titanium propellant tanks with internal propellant management devices Triple junction solar cells Lithium-ion batteries A low-cost/high-performance star tracker The micro-satellites are bound for geostationary orbit, a unique vantage point 22,300 miles above the equator that allows spacecraft to match the planet's rotation and appear fixed over one location. Geostationary orbit is the home of government and commercial communications satellites, plus spy spacecraft for eavesdropping reconnaissance missions and missile-launch detection. Once the MiTEx upper stage achieves that orbit, the micro-satellite pair will be deployed from the motor to begin running their experiments for the benefit of military planners. "The satellites will conduct a variety of experiments in autonomous operations and maneuvering and station-keeping. MiTEx will also demonstrate the ability to launch multiple small satellites into GEO orbit," according to DARPA officials. Orbital Sciences built one satellite and Lockheed Martin the other. "Since (they were) built by different companies, they are not identical, but both will investigate and demonstrate high payoff technologies. Immediately after release, the spacecraft will commence independent operations," DARPA officials said. Meanwhile, the Delta launch team has little time to savor Wednesday's success. About 60 workers and managers involved in the MiTEx liftoff must get in position to support next Tuesday's Delta 4 rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. That classified liftoff carrying a national security spy satellite will happen sometime between 7 and 9 p.m. local time (10 p.m. - 12 a.m. EDT). For the rest of the Cape crew, assembly of another Delta 2 rocket is underway at pad 17B to launch NASA's STEREO solar ob
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EW3    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....   6/23/2006 10:14:33 PM
Sorry guys, but 10 years from now this topic will be way hotter than any artillery or armor topic. With the exception of a few aircraft like the F-22, and the subs guys, you're all pretty much fighting the last war.
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EW3    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....another important launch.....   6/28/2006 11:34:09 PM
from: New era of rocket launches begins at California base BY JUSTIN RAY SPACEFLIGHT NOW Posted: June 27, 2006 A 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 News Boeing'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. "Tod
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Nichevo    RE:Most underated payload...more commo pleez!   6/29/2006 12:04:21 PM
Satcom, now *that* is a growth field. What do you know about the Global Information Grid? (More than you can say on an open channel?)
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EW3    RE:Most underated payload...more commo pleez!   6/29/2006 12:23:36 PM
Actually I'm not privy to anything that is not public. I stopped doing anything secure (USN) 32 years ago. But as an engineer with a diverse background I can read public reports and connect the dots. Sadly the bad guys can do the same ;( For example I made a post about a year ago, about 2 missiles that were fired off that had small satellites capable of autonomous rendezvous with other satellites. The objective was to bring the small satellite close to the target satellite so it could do "maintenance" on them.. Cough Cough, harrrumph...
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DarthAmerica    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....   6/29/2006 12:32:36 PM
Sorry guys, but 10 years from now this topic will be way hotter than any artillery or armor topic. With the exception of a few aircraft like the F-22, and the subs guys, you're all pretty much fighting the last war. Sorry Skipper I've heard that before. I have to disagree. Armor and Artillery will evolve and continue to be a mainstay of armed conflict for decades. Nature of the beast. However, space operations will grow by leaps and bounds and will be a very decisive domain of warfare.
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EW3    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....   6/29/2006 12:44:03 PM
I'll bet you a beer on it DA ;) We'll probably be here 10 years from now... Soon as we get some decent sized DEWs into orbit... I'm not sure about armor/artillery in a conflict where both sides have PGMs and nobody has air dominance. It's a bit like the battle of Midway.
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displacedjim    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....   6/29/2006 1:03:33 PM
"and nobody has air dominance." -- EW3 BLASPHEMER!!! What Satan-spawned-scenario is this?!?! Displacedjim
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EW3    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....   6/29/2006 1:05:22 PM
All we need is 8 years of Hillary....
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DarthAmerica    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....   6/29/2006 1:29:27 PM
I'll bet you a beer on it DA ;) We'll probably be here 10 years from now... Soon as we get some decent sized DEWs into orbit... I'm not sure about armor/artillery in a conflict where both sides have PGMs and nobody has air dominance. It's a bit like the battle of Midway. lol good thing we are both young enough to see whos "more correct" considering the rate of technological progress. But seriously Skipper who's going to occupy and hold key terrain? Space Command? I dont think so. We will need INF, AR and ARTY as long as there is warfare. I agree that precision munitions make survivability very suspect these days if you are reliant on old manuver warfare methods, communications and passive armor protection. But let me ask you this. How do big azz USN surface ships manage to survive in an environment where you almost cannot hide by comparison? Well they use electronic warfare and now Stealth technology to conceal themselves. They also use passive and active defenses. Ironically enough though. As the lethality of modern munitions has increased. The passive armor protection on ships has decreased. Because for ships the state of the art of defense revolves around denying the enemy a chance to shoot and if he does shoot being able to shoot down or decoy the incoming. The same will happen with ground forces as technology miniaturizes to make such a defense possible. Tanks and Body armor are quite a bit smaller than ships which until now has made up for lack of active protection. Enter Space... ...2025 some silly dictator doing on an equally silly expedition gets his shiny outdated force of T-90s and SU-30s blasted to bits as the USA/coalition unleashes all its technological might. Just like Saddam had no practical means to defend against the F-117. This future dictator will have no means to defend against GPS Guided weapons with terminal phase seekers, SATCOM and Space based DEWs. THe outcome is all but certain. Peer level conventional conflict just doesnt happen because nations like the USA, China and Russia realise there is little to gain and much to lose in open conflict. But by proxy wars for profit are still going to happen. And when these proxies encounter technological powerhouses. They will have observed and studied the fall of the hypothetical 2025 conflict mentioned above. Tactics will be adjusted accordingly. Nothing could completely offset the disadvantages. But just like the insurgents of OIF learned from their previous ODS experience. So too will future enemies. A bit of ranting babble but I doubt that Ground Combat will go away. If anything ground combat has withstood the test of time and outlasted all other forms of warfare no matter what the state of the art.
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EW3    RE:Most underated Board on the site.....DA   6/29/2006 8:46:12 PM
The USN will survive the same way that tanks/artillary can survive, massive air defenses with a very long reach. "No mans land" becomes bigger and bigger over time. As each side develops precision systems that have increasing range. Replay in your mind how we we would have taken on Iraq if Iraq had our air strength and a real SAM systems....
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