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Posted: September 22, 2005T-00:00LiftoffThe Delta 2 rocket's main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:03.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:05.5Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket's first stage are ignited.T+01:06.0Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:11.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air- started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.4Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.4Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket's first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.9Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket's second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ118-K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of two firings needed to place the upper stage and GPS 2R-M1 satellite into the proper orbit.T+04:57.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 9.5-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GPS 2R-M1 satellite atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+11:28.2Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch. The rocket and attached GPS 2R-M1 spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites. The orbit achieved should be 601 miles at apogee, 94 miles at perigee and inclined 37.77 degrees.T+19:19.2Second Stage RestartDelta's second stage engine reignites for a short firing to raise the orbit further.T+19:26.8Second Stage Cutoff 2The second stage shuts down after a 7.6-second burst. The orbit achieved should be 699 miles at apogee, 103 miles at perigee and inclined 37.84 degrees. Over the next minute, tiny thrusters on the side of the rocket will be fired to spin up the vehicle in preparation for stage separation.T+20:19.8Stage SeparationThe liquid-fueled second stage is jettisoned from the rest of the Delta 2 rocket.T+20:56.8Third Stage IgnitionThe Thiokol Star 48B solid-fueled third stage is then ignited to deliver the GPS 2R-M1 satellite into its intended orbit around Earth.T+22:23.5Third Stage BurnoutHaving used up all its solid-propellant, the third stage burns out to completed the powered phase of the launch sequence for GPS 2R-M1.T+24:16.8GPS 2R-M1 SeparationThe U.S. Air Force's NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R-M1 spacecraft is released into space. The Delta should have placed the satellite into a transfer orbit with a high point of 10,998 nautical miles and low point of 152 nautical miles inclined 39.5 degrees. The satellite will circularize its orbit and raise inclination to 55 degrees for joining the GPS constellation.Data source: Boeing.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. |    |    |    |    2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS gets another upgraded satellite for constellation       SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 4, 2012       Upgrading the Global Positioning System one launch at a time, a modern bird soared to space Thursday to replace a long-surviving navigation satellite deployed 19 years ago, a durable craft of the past that doubled life's expectations and will give way to current advancements. Delta 4 soars after sunrise this morning. Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight NowFollowing an overnight countdown that saw United Launch Alliance load its Delta 4 with supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen rocket fuel at Cape Canaveral's Complex 37, clocks hit the targeted blastoff time at 8:10 a.m. EDT (1210 GMT).The pad's three swing arms pulled away as the 206-foot-tall, orange and white launcher thundered skyward atop 1.2 million pounds of thrust from its cryogenic main engine and twin strap-on solid motors.The rare morning launch was precisely timed to deliver the GPS 2F-3 satellite into the orbiting constellation three-and-a-half hours later. Performance measurements observed during the ascent, however, prompted whispers and wondering about the vehicle's upper stage throughout the morning.After a tense wait to hear official confirmation of the rocket's final maneuvering, deployment of the spacecraft and the ultimate outcome for the mission, word of success and a sigh of relief verified that the GPS satellite had arrived in the proper orbit.Telemetry obtained during the launch will be thoroughly analyzed in the rigorous post-flight review process, but ULA and its Air Force customer both stressed that the Delta's launch achieved the correct altitude for the payload to begin its 12-year mission life."Congratulations to the entire team on today's successful launch of the GPS 2F-3 satellite," Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president for mission operations, said in the post-launch press release.It was only the third GPS replacement launch in the past three years, as the Air Force stewards manage the delicate balance of extracting the entire usefulness of existing spacecraft while introducing enhanced capabilities when the newest satellites go up."One of the really great things about our GPS satellites is that they've consistently exceeded their design life. In fact, our oldest GPS 2A that's still operating on-orbit is actually of drinking age!" said Col. Steve R. Steiner, chief of the GPS Space Systems Division at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center."The steady, measured launching of these GPS 2Fs is in line with making sure we have a steady constellation that is robust and doesn't have any performance hits over time."A billion users around the globe rely on GPS every day, whether they know it or not. From the overt navigation assistance in transportation to the less obvious role in providing accurate timing stamps on banking transactions, the system developed to support U.S. military forces and their guided munitions has blossomed in the commercial marketplace. An artist's concept of GPS 2F. Credit: BoeingWhen the GPS 2F-3 satellite is checked out and becomes operational later this year, it will assume the role filled by the GPS 2A-21 spacecraft that has been in service since July 21, 1993.That old craft was deployed by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral on June 26, 1993, during the heydays of launching GPS satellites at a fast and furious rate.The bigger Delta 4 took over with the next-generation GPS satellite series in 2010 with the first of the Block 2F craft and followed that up with another success last year carrying 2F-2.The launch rate throttled back to meet the needs of the constellation, calling up rockets only when aging satellites needed replacing. But that tempo is expected to start picking up again."We do expect to see an increase in the one-launch-per-year (rate) starting in the next year and beyond," Steiner said.But instead of waiting for in-space failures of aged satellites, the Air Force "does smart planning of launches to ensure we are resilient," Steiner added."We plan (launches) based on reliability and how old the ones we have on-orbit are, so even if something hasn't failed yet, we do make plans to be resilient to any dips or drop outs."Projections show GPS 2F-4 launching next May aboard an Atlas 5 rocket and GPS 2F-5 following next November aboard another Delta 4 from Cape Canaveral. But the true needs of the constellation next year coupled with the availability of spots on the cramped military launch schedule will drive final scheduling."This is an operational decision, based on the operational needs across the Department of Defense," Steiner said.       A GPS 2F satellite in the California factory. Credit: BoeingBoeing has three more 2Fs already finished and waiting in storage for launch opportunities, three further birds that should finish construction by year's end and the final three that will complete assembly by next summer, according to Paul Rusnock, Boeing's vice president of government space systems."As each 2F satellite becomes operational, we continue the seamless transformation of the GPS constellation into an even more accurate, reliable and durable navigation resource for the U.S. military and the global civilian user community," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "Our efficient pulse- line manufacturing process, adapted from Boeing's commercial airplane production lines, also ensures that we deliver each spacecraft on time and on cost."GPS satellites fly about 11,000 miles above the planet and emit continuous navigation signals that allow users to find their precise position in latitude, longitude and altitude and determine time. Populating the operational constellation began on Valentine's Day 1989.Today's GPS fleet is comprised of 31 satellites, including 10 Block 2A's made by Boeing, 12 Block 2R's and seven 2R-Modernized spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin, and Boeing's two Block 2F. The oldest still in operation is nearing its 22nd orbital birthday."We do have a very robust constellation, but it is a mix of older and newer satellites," Steiner said.The Air Force is in the midst of further advancing the GPS network by deploying a new breed of satellite, produced by Boeing, that features improved accuracy, enhanced internal atomic clocks, better anti-jam resistance, a civil signal for commercial aviation, a longer design life and reprogrammable onboard processors to evolve with future needs."The first two of these 12 GPS 2F satellites are on-orbit and are meeting all of our mission requirements. The atomic clocks on board are providing the best accuracies ever for the GPS constellation," Steiner said.Boeing is building the dozen Block 2F craft to form the constellation's foundation for the next 15 years.       Credit: Justin Ray/Spaceflight Now"With each GPS 2F launch and deployment, we are contributing to the sustainment and modernization of the network. It's a privilege and a thrill to be part of this absolutely critical global utility," said Jan Heide, Boeing's GPS program director.The space system features six orbital planes with multiple satellites flying in each. This latest sustainment craft will be maneuvered into Plane A, Slot 1 of the network, with the old bird currently in that position sliding aside to begin an auxiliary role within the A-Plane.The roots of GPS are firmly entrenched with the U.S. military, which developed the satellites to guide warfighter with unparalleled exactness. Nearly every piece of military equipment uses GPS' precision timing and navigation capabilities."GPS continues to provide vital capabilities to our nation's military operations, our global information infrastructure, emergency response, transportation, telecommunications and a host of other commercial applications in every day life," Steiner said. "Our commitment is to ensure this capability continues to deliver this precise PNT (position, navigation and timing) across the globe."STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. |    |    |    | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS modernization begins with Delta rocket launch SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: September 26, 2005A Boeing Delta 2 booster pierced the night sky Sunday evening, successfully launching the first modernized Global Positioning System satellite to build a bridge from the navigation network of today to the advancements of tomorrow.       The Delta 2 rocket launches with GPS 2R-M1. Credit: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieFollowing a smooth-as-silk countdown, the blue and white rocket shot off Cape Canaveral's pad 17A at 11:37 p.m. EDT (0337 GMT) trailing a plume of blinding flame. Night owls as far away as Miami spotted the launch.The two-ton GPS 2R-M1 spacecraft rode its three-stage launcher into a temporary, looping orbit stretching from 150 to nearly 11,000 miles where the Delta successfully released its payload nearly 25 minutes after liftoff.Ground controllers will spend the next several days guiding the $75 million satellite to its final destination by firing an onboard kick motor to raise the orbit's low point. The power-generating solar panels will be deployed and antennas unfurled during the critical early days, too.If all goes according to plan, a separate mission control team takes over Friday to commence an extensive four-month test regimen that will put the Lockheed Martin-built satellite through its paces.Video coverage for subscribers only:VIDEO:DELTA ROCKET LIFTS OFF WITH GPS 2R-M1 VIDEO:LONGER CLIP SHOWING THE SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH GPS 2R-M1 begins a new breed of updated GPS satellites that will not only broadcast the navigation signals as previous spacecraft but also provide two new military signals and a second civilian signal. Those improvements promise to bring greater accuracy, added resistance to interference and enhanced performance for users around the world.The advancements for the military will provide warfighters with a more robust jam-resistant signal and enable better targeting of GPS-guided weapons in hostile environments, while the new civilian signal removes navigation errors caused by the Earth's ionosphere. "I think this is a pretty huge step. We have essentially been operating on the original-design signals of GPS for over a decade, and this is going to be the first time we are actually adding new signals from space," said Col. Allan Ballenger, GPS system program director at the Space and Missile Systems Center."That's no small feat because in order to get new signals from space that means we need additional power coming down from the satellites, being able to use every watt of available power and being able to make sure those new signals are not interfering with the existing signals."Ensuring the new signals do not cause problems will be a key focus during the next four months of on-orbit tests."One part of our responsibility that we take very seriously is what we call backwards compatibility -- making sure while we are modernizing and adding new signals for both the military and civil customers we're not introducing inadvertent problems for those users out there already with their GPS receivers across many hundreds of thousands of DoD platforms, coalition partner military platforms as well as millions of civil users -- things like OnStar, what's embedded in cell phones as well as automobiles. We want to be very careful to make sure that we don't do anything to (mess) those up," Ballenger said.       The Delta 2 rocket launches with GPS 2R-M1. Credit: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieLockheed Martin has built 21 of the GPS 2R satellites for the Air Force, of which 14 have now launched. Five years ago, the military decided to add the modernization features to the final eight spacecraft in the series.The changes fit within the existing GPS 2R satellite design. The modernized spacecraft weigh 4,545 pounds at launch, only 60 pounds heavier than the earlier model, have a redesigned external antenna panel and higher-power, more-efficient transmitters.The second modernized satellite will be shipped to Cape Canaveral later this year for launch in early 2006. The exact launch date depends on the results of the GPS 2R-M1 testing.The spaceborne network features 24 primary and several backup satellites flying in six orbital groupings. The Air Force began launching the fleet in 1989 and continues to send up new satellites as replacements to keep the navigation system in good health. There are 28 functioning GPS satellites today.GPS 2R-M1 will assume the Plane C, Slot 4 position, taking over for the GPS 2A-20 craft launched in May 1993. The aging satellite, although still operational, will be repositioned within the GPS constellation for the remainder of its life. The new slot for the old spacecraft will be determined later. The Air Force is expecting to deploy three new GPS satellites next year. Getting multiple modernized spacecraft in orbit is necessary to reap the benefits of the new signals by covering more of the planet at any given time."At our current projected launch rate, which is between two and four satellites a year, that takes us out some number of years before we actually populate the full constellation. Obviously, one satellite will give you only several hours of coverage to a particular receiver. As we launch more and more satellites, that coverage will improve over time," Ballenger said. "On the military side, we're also looking to modernize user equipment for military users to take advantage of the military code. But that will involve making modifications in ships and tanks and planes."Ballenger said some civilian receivers already on the market can pick up the new signal, while older units will have to be replaced.       An artist's concept shows a GPS Block 2R satellite orbiting Earth. Credit: Lockheed MartinMillions of people across the globe use GPS every day, and that commercial marketplace for GPS technology has exploded in recent years, growing from $16 billion in 2003 to what analysts predict will be $68 billion in 2010, said Michael Shaw, director of radionavigation and positioning at the U.S. Department of Transportation."We are seeing continued growth in precision civilian applications such surveying, precision agriculture, infrastructure monitoring, geodesy, as well as volcano and earthquake research. More specifically at the Department of Transportation where I work, we are expanding our applications across the entire U.S. transportation infrastructure," Shaw said."The bottom line -- GPS is absolutely critical to our nation's economic well being.""We have the most robust and capable global positioning system in the history of space. The navigation and timing signals our GPS satellites provide have changed the face of war, enabling precision operations and more importantly saving lives by helping minimize collatoral damage. GPS has also spurred on an international multi- billion dollar civilan and commercial market for a variety of GPS and timing applications," Ballenger said.       The Delta 2 rocket launches with GPS 2R-M1. Credit: Boeing photo by Carleton BailieAdding more of the new modernized satellites is eagerly awaited, Shaw said."We are starting on a journey of one satellite at a time."While the new series has just begun to fly, the Air Force has the next generation already in the works. The GPS 2F satellites are under construction at a Boeing plant in California. They will feature the original and the new modernized signals, plus offer a third civilian signal of particular interest to the aviation industry. A dozen of those satellites will be built, with the first launch anticipated in 2007 from the Cape.Sunday's launch was the 53rd for a GPS satellite and the 42nd carried on a Delta 2 rocket. For Boeing's workhorse booster, it marked the 118th successful Delta 2 rocket launch out of 120 flights since 1989 and extended the string of consecutive successes to 65 dating back to 1997. The next Delta 2 rocket launch occurs from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base around October 26 carrying the CloudSat and CALIPSO environmental satellites for NASA. The next Delta 2 from Cape Canaveral will be early next year carrying either GPS 2R-M2 or the MITEX experimental military mission for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Expedition 21The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 21 crew is now available from our stores.Hubble PatchThe official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase. |    |    |    |    2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GPS navigation satellite takes nighttime ride to orbit       SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: July 16, 2011       Continuing a prolific partnership that has benefited billions of users around the world, the Delta rocket family today successfully launched its 50th satellite for the Global Positioning System.The Delta 4 rocket fires away from the Cape. Credit: Pat Corkery/ULAThe powerful Delta 4 booster blasted away from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37 at 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT) for a middle-of-the-night ascent precisely timed to deliver a critical replacement satellite directly into the GPS constellation.It was the type of rocket flight that could appear routine. But replenishing the navigation network is vital to the military forces, civilian consumers and the blossoming commercial marketplace that have come to depend on GPS every day.Known as the GPS 2F-2 satellite, this newest bird will take the place of the GPS 2A-11 spacecraft that just celebrated its 20th birthday in orbit, exceeding the the wildest expectations for longevity.That old craft was deployed by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral on July 3, 1991, during the heydays of launching GPS satellites at a fast and furious rate.The Delta 2 booster was conceived in the late 1980s because the Air Force needed a reliable launcher to get its space-based navigation system off the ground. That marriage clicked and the worldwide phenomenon called GPS was born.From the first launch on Valentine's Day 1989 through its last in 2009, the Delta 2 assembled the entire operational constellation and then sustained it with fresh craft, experiencing only one failure along the way.The bigger Delta 4 took over with the next-generation GPS satellite series in 2010 and didn't disappoint the legacy today during its second launch for the system."This mission represents the epitome of teamwork and we're proud to have served alongside a dedicated and well-integrated government and contractor team over the last two decades in successfully launching GPS missions for the United States Air Force," said Jim Sponnick, United Launch Alliance's vice president of mission operations.The Delta 4 rocket launches with GPS 2F-2. Credit: Pat Corkery/ULAAnd while the Delta rockets have grown more capable over the years, the GPS satellites also evolved to improve the system's quality, accuracy and strength.The newest breed, called GPS Block 2F, is the most advanced yet fielded."GPS 2F enhances the constellation by providing increased accuracy through improved atomic clock technology, a more jam-resistant military signal and a more powerful and secure civilian signal to help commercial airline operations and search-and-rescue missions," said Jon Goodney, the GPS 2F deputy program director at Boeing.GPS satellites orbit about 11,000 nautical miles above the planet and emit continuous navigation signals that allow users to find their location in latitude, longitude and altitude and determine time. The constellation features six orbital planes with multiple satellites flying in each."GPS is a global utility providing highly accurate position, navigation and timing services at no cost to billions of people," said Goodney. "Originally developed for military use, it's since been adopted as the foundation of modern communications. GPS saves lives and enhances quality of living. And adding GPS 2F-2 ensures the constellation will remain robust."The roots of GPS are firmly entrenched with the U.S. military, which developed the satellites to guide the warfighter with unparalleled exactness. "Nearly every piece of military equipment uses GPS precision timing and navigation capabilities to perform its missions more safely and effectively," said Col. Bernard Gruber, director of the Air Force's GPS Directorate.Today's GPS fleet is comprised of 31 satellites, including 11 Block 2A's made by Boeing, 12 Block 2R's and seven 2R- Modernized spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin, and Boeing's first Block 2F."The GPS constellation remains healthy, stable and robust. We have 31 operational satellites on- orbit actively broadcasting position, navigation and timing information to users around the world," said Col. Christopher Warack, space systems program manager at GPS Directorate.       An artist's concept shows a GPS 2F satellite in Earth orbit. Credit: BoeingGround controllers expect to have the GPS 2F-2 satellite checked out and ready for service about 30 days after launch. It will occupy the Plane D, Slot 2A location of the network."I'm extremely pleased with today's successful launch," said Gruber. "The GPS system's overall navigational accuracy will improve as more GPS 2F space vehicles are put into service.""The GPS 2F satellites will become the backbone of the GPS constellation over the next 15 to 18 years. GPS 2F satellites continue our modernization efforts to provide new space-based capabilities to ensure GPS remains the gold standard for PNT (position, navigation and timing) information," said Warack.Boeing's Block 2F series has a dozen satellites in all, with two now in space. The launches are called up when the constellation needs to replace a bird, slowly but surely populating the network with the enhanced features as the aging craft retire."I would suspect as we go forward the launch rate will stay fairly low for another year or two, but then will pick up," said Warack.The next GPS launch is tentatively targeted for September 2012."GPS is integrated into every facit of U.S. military operations and we are committed to responsible stewardship of GPS as a global utility," Warack added.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter- century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. |    |    |    |    2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Spaceflight Now +Subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus for access to our extensive video collections!STS-120: Rollout to padSpace shuttle Discovery rolls out of the Vehicle Assembly Building and travels to launch pad 39A for its STS-120 mission.Dawn leaves EarthNASA's Dawn space probe launches aboard a Delta 2-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral to explore two worlds in the asteroid belt.Riding on EndeavourNow you can take a virtual trip aboard shuttle Endeavour's recent launch thanks to video cameras mounted inside the ship's cockpit as well as outside on the twin solid rocket boosters and external tank.Launch of PhoenixThe Phoenix lander bound for the northern plains of Mars is launched atop a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral."The Time of Apollo"This stirring 1970s documentary narrated by Burgess Meredith pays tribute to the grand accomplishments of Apollo as men left Earth to explore the Moon and fulfill President Kennedy's challenge to the nation.1958: America in spaceThis is a video report on the United States' space exploration efforts during 1958. These historic pioneering days included the launch of Explorer 1, the first American satellite to orbit Earth.The Flight of Faith 7The final and longest manned flight of Project Mercury was carried out by astronaut Gordon Cooper in May 1963. This film shows the voyage of Faith 7."Apollo 17: On The Shoulders of Giants"Apollo's final lunar voyage is relived in this movie. The film depicts the highlights of Apollo 17's journey to Taurus- Littrow and looks to the future Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and shuttle programs."Apollo 10: To Sort Out The Unknowns"The May 1969 mission of Apollo 10 served as a final dress rehearsal before the first lunar landing later that summer. Stafford, Young and Cernan went to the moon to uncover lingering spacecraft problems that needed to be solved.Traveling on Freedom 7Fly with Alan Shepard during his historic journey into space with this documentary that takes the viewer along as an invisible companion to America's first astronaut.Flight of Gemini 3The first manned flight of Project Gemini launched on March 23, 1965 with pioneering astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young. Take a look back!Apollo 9: Spider fliesApollo 9 put the lunar landing module Spider through the stresses of spaceflight while orbiting Earth. This documentary looks back with astronauts Jim McDivitt, Dave Scott, and Rusty Schweickart.GPS satellite mounted atop booster for Feb. 20 launch       SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: February 5, 2014       Beginning a slate of three launches in five months to fortify the Global Positioning System, the first craft was mounted atop its Delta 4 booster rocket Wednesday for liftoff Feb. 20. File image of payload being attached to Delta 4. Credit: United Launch AllianceThe launch is precisely timed at 8:40 p.m. EST to replace a 16-year-old member of the navigation network -- the GPS 2A-28 satellite. The evening launch opportunity extends 19 minutes.Built by Boeing, the new GPS 2F-5 satellite brings with it modernized features including greater accuracy, better anti-jamming and a civil signal for commercial aviation as the fifth Block 2F bird. Crews transported the satellite to Complex 37 overnight and lifted it into the gantry. The initial stage of attachment of the craft onto the upper stage of the rocket was completed at....The Air Force and partner United Launch Alliance plan to launch GPS 2F-6 in May on another Delta and GPS 2F-7 on an Atlas 5 in July.The Feb. 20 launch is headed for Plane A, Slot 3 of the constellation where it will become a primary spacecraft to transmit navigation and timing to military and civilian users around the globe. The satellite currently in that slot will be moved into a backup role for remainder of its useful life.It will be the 25th Delta 4 launch and the fourth with a GPS satellite. ULA intends to conduct four flights of the Delta 4 this year.       A GPS 2F satellite in the California factory. Credit: BoeingThe launch was delayed from October while engineers ran additional tests and analysis on the low-thrust condition experienced on the successful GPS 2F-3 flight."The delay of the GPS 2F-5 was not related to any new observation fromthe GPS 2F-3 launch. The Phase II investigation of the GPS 2F-3 flighttelemetry continues the analysis from Phase I with the goal to thoroughlyconfirm there are no systematic issues with RL10B-2 engine," the Air Force says."Over the last several months, the team has continued testing andanalysis which has increased our understanding and confidence in theconclusions of the GPS 2F-3 flight telemetry and the conclusions from PhaseI."Investigators believe a tiny fuel leak developed at the first ignition of the upper stage engine, resulting in lower-than- expected thrust and longer burn times. It is possible there were low-frequency dynamic responses that occurred on the engine system during ignition.Additional inspections, in- flight helium purges to critical areas of the engine system and changes to how the engine is thermally conditioned during ascent to prepare for its initial ignition have been put in place to mitigate the risks.       An artist's concept of the GPS 2F constellation. Credit: Air ForceGPS is marking the 20th anniversary of its Initial Operational Capability, the point in which the constellation was populated sufficiently to go into service."GPS has grown to become a vital worldwide utility serving billions of users around the globe. GPS multi-use Precision Navigation and Timing services are integral to the United States global security, economy, and transportation safety, and are a critical part of our national infrastructure," the Air Force says."GPS contributes vital capabilities to our nation's military operations, emergency response, agriculture, aviation, maritime, roads and highways, surveying and mapping, and telecommunications industries, as well as recreational activities. It is not an overstatement to say GPS is fundamental to today's technical infrastructure and culture."STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. |    |    |    | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GRAIL launch timeline       Posted: September 3, 2011 Editor's note: The following times are based upon a launch during the first instantaneous liftoff opportunity available daily. If the launch slips to the second daily time, the rocket's second stage restart and payload deploy times will vary by a couple of minutes.T-00:00LiftoffThe ULA Delta 2 rocket's main engine and twin vernier steering thrusters are started moments before launch. The six ground-start strap-on solid rocket motors are ignited at T-0 to begin the mission.T+01:17.1Ground SRM BurnoutThe six ground-start Alliant TechSystems-built solid rocket motors consume all their propellant and burn out.T+01:19.0Air-Lit SRM IgnitionThe three remaining solid rocket motors strapped to the Delta 2 rocket's first stage are ignited.T+01:20.5Jettison Ground SRMsThe six spent ground-started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned in sets of three to fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+02:39.5Jettison Air-Lit SRMsHaving burned out, the three spent air- started solid rocket boosters are jettisoned toward the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:23.2Main Engine CutoffAfter consuming its RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen, the Rocketdyne RS-27A first stage main engine is shut down. The vernier engines cut off moments later.T+04:31.2Stage SeparationThe Delta rocket's first stage is separated now, having completed its job. The spent stage will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.T+04:36.7Second Stage IgnitionWith the stage jettisoned, the rocket's second stage takes over. The Aerojet AJ10-118K liquid-fueled engine ignites for the first of its two firings to boost the GRAIL satellites out of Earth orbit.T+04:41.0Jettison Payload FairingThe 10-foot diameter payload fairing that protected the GRAIL spacecraft atop the Delta 2 during the atmospheric ascent is jettisoned is two halves.T+07:09.7Second Stage Cutoff 1The second stage engine shuts down to complete its first firing of the launch after reaching a 90-nautical-mile circular orbit. The rocket and attached GRAIL spacecraft are now in a coast period before the second stage reignites.T+67:56.7Second Stage RestartDelta's second stage engine reignites for the firing that accelerates the payload out of Earth orbit on the circuitous route to the Moon.T+72:28.8Second Stage Cutoff 2The stage shuts down to complete its second burn after propelling GRAIL on the departure trajectory from Earth.T+81:58.8GRAIL-A DeployThe first of the twin GRAIL spacecraft is released from the launch dispenser system atop the rocket's second stage.T+90:13.8GRAIL-B DeployNASA's second GRAIL spacecraft is released from the Delta 2-Heavy rocket to begin the journey from the Earth to the Moon to map the lunar gravity field.Data source: ULASTS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia's historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard's historic Mercury mission with this collectors' item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. |    |    |    | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.GRAIL launch window chartSPACEFLIGHT NOW
 


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