The West Coast’s First Interplanetary Launch Coming Up!

Images & videos credit & copyright: NASA/JPL/United Launch Alliance (ULA). More links than you will ever need below.

LAUNCH ALERT: Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 04:05 PDT (07:05 EDT & 11:05 UTC) a United Launch Alliance (ULA), Atlas V-401 rocket designated (AV-078) will lift off from Space Launch Complex-3E (SLC-3E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to deliver NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) Mission on a course for Mars. This will be the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast of the United States.

This will be the ULA’s 5th launch of 2018, 128th launch since its founding in 2006, the 78th launch of the Atlas V since its inaugural flight in 2002 and the 38th launch of the Atlas V in its 551 configuration.

NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) Mission: When InSight touches down on the Martian surface on approximately November 26, 2018 at Elysium Planitia, it will attempt to complete two main science goals. Science Goal 1: Understand the formation and evolution of Mars and Science Goal 2: Determine the level of tectonic activity on Mars. The entire mission is scheduled to take over 1 Mars year which equates to roughly 2 Earth years, 708 Sols (Mars days) or 728 Earth days.

There will be another first as well; Mars Cube One (MarCo) are a pair of cubesats nicknamed “Wall-E” and “Eva” that will travel to the Red Planet along with InSight. This will be a technology demonstrator test as no cubesats have yet left low Earth orbit (LEO). They will conduct no science but instead will attempt to provide updates on InSight as it lands.

401 Configuration Summary:

4 = 4 meter, two-shell fairing

0 = 0 external solid rocket boosters

1 = 1 Aerojet-Rocketdyne, Centaur second stage engine

*

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V-400 Series Rocket:

Launch Sites: Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral AFS, FL and Space Launch Complex 3E (SLC-3E) at Vandenberg AFB, CA.

Height: 57.3 m (188 ft.)

Core Diameter: 3.81 m (12.5 ft.)

Width at Base (no boosters on this flight): 3.81 m (12.5 ft.)

Stages: 2

Boosters: 0-5

Total Engines: Single NPO Energomash RD-180 first stage engine (Aerojet-Rocketdyne AJ-60A boosters vary per mission)

Total Liftoff Thrust (sea level)(no boosters): 3,827 kN (860,000 lbf.)

Gross Mass: 334,500 kg (737,400 lb.)

Payload to Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 9,370-15,130 kg (20,650-33,360 lb.)

Payload to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO): 4,750-7,700 kg (10,470-16,970 lb.)

Cost: $109 million

Main Payload Fairing (PLF): The Main Payload Fairing for the Atlas-V-400 series is a two-shell (bisector) fairing that can come in three configurations. The oddly named Large Payload Fairing “LPF” is the shortest option at 12 m (39.3 ft.), followed by the Extended Payload Fairing “EPF” which is 12.9 m (42.3 ft.), and the “XEPF” which is 13.8 m (45.3 ft.). The fairings are used to protect the spacecraft & Centaur during its ascent through atmospheric turbulence and into space. Once the rocket has reached a safe altitude the fairings are pyrotechnically jettisoned via a debris-free actuating system.

Centaur Upper Stage:

Height: 12.68 m. (41.6 ft.)

Diameter: 3.5 m (10 ft.)

Engine(s): Single Aerojet-Rocketdyne RL-10 Engine

Engine Chambers: 1

Engine Type (cycle): Expander cycle

Propellant Feed Method: Turbopump

Chamber Pressure: 9.7 MPa or 97 bars or 1,410 psi

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Liquid Hydrogen (LH2). More expensive, less powerful by volume, and much less stable than Rocket Propellant 1 (RP-1) but provides a higher specific impulse.

Oxidizer: Subcooled Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Thrust (vacuum): 110 kN (25,000 lbf.)

Single RL-10 Thrust to Weight Ratio: N/A

Specific Impulse (vacuum): 450.5 s

Burn Time: 842 s

Restart Ability: Yes

Reusable?: No

Attitude Control: There are also four 27-N (Newton) thrusters and eight 40-N (Newton) thrusters used for attitude control. Both utilize hydrazine as propellant. The Centaur Forward Adapter (CFA) provides structural mountings for vehicle electronics within the spacecraft.

*

Solid Rocket Booster’s (SRB’s): (none used on this mission: booster data for informational purposes only):

Height: 17 m. (55.8 ft.)

Diameter: 1.6 m (5.1 ft.)

Engine(s): Single Aerojet-Rocketdyne AJ-60A engine

Engine Chambers: 1

Engine Type (cycle): N/A

Propellant Feed Method: N/A

Chamber Pressure: N/A

Fuel Type: Solid

Fuel: Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB)

Single AJ-60A Thrust (sea level): 1,688 kN (379,600 lbf.)

Single RD-180 Thrust to Weight Ratio: 78.44

Specific Impulse (sea level): 279.3 s

Burn Time: 94 s

Restart Ability: No

Reusable?: No

Common Core Booster (CCB) (First-Stage):

Height: 32.46 m. (106.5 ft.)

Diameter: 3.81 m (12.5 ft.)

Width at Base (no boosters): 3.81 m (12.5 ft.)

Engine(s): Single NPO Energomash RD-180 engine

Engine Chambers: 2

Engine Type (cycle): Staged combustion

Propellant Feed Method: Turbopump

Chamber Pressure: 26.7 MPa or 267 bar or 3,870 psi

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Rocket Propellant-1 (RP-1) or highly refined kerosene. Lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen (LH2) but is cheaper, room temperature stable, less explosive and denser. RP-1 is much more powerful than LH2 by volume and much less toxic than other room temperature fuels such as hydrazine (N2H4).

Oxidizer: Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Single RD-180 Thrust (sea level/vacuum): 3,827 kN (860,000 lbf.)/4,152 kN (933,000 lbf.)

Single RD-180 Thrust to Weight Ratio: 78.44

Total Liftoff Thrust (sea level)(core only-no SRBs): 3,827 kN (860,000 lbf.)

Specific Impulse (sea level/vacuum): 311 s/337.8 s

Burn Time: 270 s

Restart Ability: No

Reusable?: No

*

Stream Live:

ULA Webcast: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx

ULA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedLaunchAlliance

ULA Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ulalaunch

NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

NASA TV on Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv

NASA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASA/

NASA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/NASA

NASA TV schedule: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html

NASA InSight Launch & Mission Information:  

45th Space Wing L-1 Weather Forecast (not applicable for this launch): http://www.patrick.af.mil/About-Us/Weather

Vandenberg AFB launch complex locations & viewing locations: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1eJ71ff_mISR9o8ndMX7nwrvQlTw&hl=en_US&ll=34.6567746365756%2C-120.51221950488281&z=12

ULA Mission Basics: https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/atlas-v-insight

JPL Press Kit: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/press_kits/insight/

NASA/JPL Information Lithograph: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/insight/InSightLitho2015.pdf

NASA InSight Landing Location: https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/mission/timeline/prelaunch/landing-site-selection/

NASA InSight Landing Location (topo): https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA17357

Mars Cube One (MarCo): https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php

General 2018 Launch Schedule (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_in_spaceflight

NASA InSight Social Media:

NASA InSight Main: https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/

JPL InSight Main: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/insight/

NASA InSight: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/insight/main/index.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASAInSight/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NASAInSight/

NASA InSight Images: https://mars.nasa.gov/insight/multimedia/images/

NASA InSight Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/albums/72157662415118206

NASA Social Media Bank:

https://www.nasa.gov/socialmedia

United Launch Alliance (ULA):

ULA homepage: http://www.ulalaunch.com/

Discover ULA: http://www.discoverula.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ulalaunch

Twitter for ULA CEO Tory Bruno: https://twitter.com/torybruno

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ulalaunch

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ulalaunch

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedLaunchAlliance

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ulalaunch/

Aerojet-Rocketdyne:

Main Site: http://www.rocket.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AerojetRdyne

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AerojetRdyne

Atlas V Rocket:

Atlas V rocket: https://www.ulalaunch.com/rockets/atlas-v

Atlas V Users Guide: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/atlasvusersguide2010.pdf

Atlas V 400 Series Cutaway: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/atlas400_cutaway.pdf

Atlas V 500 Series Cutaway: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/atlas500_cutaway.pdf

Atlas V & Delta IV Technical Summary: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/av_div_product_card.pdf

Lockheed Martin Atlas V: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/atlas.html

Atlas V Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_V

Atlas V Spaceflight 101: http://www.spaceflight101.net/atlas-v-551.html

List of all Atlas V launches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlas_launches

Patrick AFB: 45th Space Wing, Cape Canaveral, FL:

Main Site: http://www.patrick.af.mil/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/45thSpaceWing

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/45thSpaceWing

Vandenberg AFB, 30th Space Wing, CA:

Vandenberg AFB launch complex locations & viewing locations: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1eJ71ff_mISR9o8ndMX7nwrvQlTw&hl=en_US&ll=34.6567746365756%2C-120.51221950488281&z=12

Vandenberg AFB : http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/30thSpaceWing

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/30thSpaceWing

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/30SWVandenberg

Air Force Space Command (AFSC):

Main Site: http://www.afspc.af.mil/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFSpace

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AirForceSpaceCommand

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC339eVx3dEGpH6tFRZt-oDg

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/airforcespacecommand/

Los Angeles Air Force Base, Space and Missile Systems Center:

Main Site: http://www.losangeles.af.mil/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SpaceandMissileSystemsCenter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AF_SMC

Instagram: https://instagram.com/af_smc/

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129133022@N07/

Peterson AFB (21st Space Wing), Colorado Springs, CO:

Main Site: http://www.peterson.af.mil/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/21stSpaceWing

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeteAFB

Instagram: http://instagram.com/officialusairforce

Advertisements
Image | This entry was posted in Images, Launches, News, Solar System, Spaceflight Companies & Vehicles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s