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Transcript

Space Science and Sector

UKSA Space Cluster Microcredentials

06

from launch to orbit

  1. Be able to describe appreciate how a launch vehicle can be selected
  2. Understand what a launch window is
  3. Know that the procedure for launch begins a long time before launch.
  4. Describe briefly the main events in countdown.
  5. Describe briefly the main events from lift-off to reaching orbit.
  6. Describe the process from achieving orbit to full operational capability.

Learning Objectives

learning objectives

  • In this module you will study the entire process from a year before launch through the launch itself to becoming fully operational in orbit.
  • Let's begin !

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Welcome to module 6

  • CubeSats and pocketqubes usually launch as secondary payload on a major large satellite launch. The launch and orbit will be optimised for this major satellite and any rideshare payloads such as CubeSats will have to make the best of it. (Alternatively, they could be launched from the ISS)
  • If you want to launch into a LEO close to the equator with Falcon 9 you will probably select the Florida launch location to take advantage of the rotational speed of the Earth as well as having a large body of water to the East for rocket recovery and safety.
  • If you want to launch polar Vandenberg on the West Coast is more likely to provide the Pacific Ocean as a large body of water for safety.
  • The launch vehicle may be agreed with or without the services of a launch broker. At some point you will know what vehicle you want to use, which launch site, the launch opportunity and launch date.
  • We will use the Space X Falcon 9 LV as an example.

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choosing a launch vehicle

  • The launch window is a term used to describe a time period in which a particular mission must be launched.
  • The target orbit will be a given plane relative to the earth.
  • This plane usually doesn’t rotate but the earth does.
  • As the launch site begins to rotate under the orbit plane, the launch window opens.
  • Eventually the launch site will have rotated too far beyond the target orbit and the launch window will close for the time being.

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what is a launch window ?

  • We will walk through a launch on the Space X Falcon rocket.
  • Space X provides a single point of contact Mission Manager to guide the customer (that’s you). The Mission Manager will work with your company to produce an Interface Control Document.
  • The satellite company will work with the Mission manager to produce many models, analyse any hazards to the LV, make sure all testing has been done, documentation has been completed and a set of procedures agreed.
  • The overall Space X schedule is captured in the table. (See page 58, Falcon User Guide) .
  • In the table, L-24 m means 24 months before launch ! The contract for a SpaceX launch is signed 2 years before launch !

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initial procedures for a space x falcon launch

  • Click on the image to the right and download the Falcon User Guide, which has MUCH more information than we will be covering here in this module, but will repay reading if you want to take this further.(image right courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons Licence)

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activity 1 falcon user guide

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  • The next slide shows the launch profile of a Falcon launch.
  • You are NOT expected to remember all the events on the launch ! In summary:
  • First stage fires for about 3 minutes until Main Engine Cut Off (MECO)
  • Second stage engine starts (SES) and fires for another 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Once outside the atmosphere the Payload Fairing protecting the satellite is jettisoned.
  • The payload seperates into an initial orbit.
  • When you look at the profile identify these events.
  • NOTEThe first stage seperates and flies back to erath for recovery and re-use. This is an incredible feat of engineering but for this course please ignore this on the flight profile ! Concentrate ONLY on the part of the rocket heading to orbit.

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falcon launch profile

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  • This video shows a summary of most of the launch, although does get side tracked into the landing of the first stage !
  • Try and indentify MECO and SES.
  • Do some research - what is MaxQ ?

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activity falcon launch and first stage landing

  • Once in orbit the spacecraft will (hopefully) be located by the ground stations and identified by ground control and assigned a number (example COSPAR number). This and the next stages are called the Launch and Early Operations Phase or In Orbit Validation.
  • Basically LEOP/IOV checks out that the system is working.
  • The mission control team will perform a series of operations designed to check out the satellite bus is working well, deploying any structures such as solar arrays and orienting them to face the sun to charge.
  • After the correct orbit reached the payload will be activated and investigated to make sure it is operating normally.
  • After all checks have been performed and the system will reach full operational capability and the service can begin taking the data it was intended to do. This is Full Operational capability.

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LEOP - launch and early orbit phase

  • The entire sequence can be viewed in this video.
  • You should now be able to fully understand many things which are spoken about in this video !

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activity intelsat launch to full operational service

  • This video from NASA explains how CubeSats are put into space using a container.

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activity HOW DO CUBESATS GET INTO SPACE ?

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Test your Knowledge

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Test your Knowledge

You should now :

  1. Be able to describe appreciate how a launch vehicle can be selected
  2. Understand what a launch window is
  3. Know that the procedure for launch begins a long time before launch and that the spacecraft is delivered to the SpaceX site four weeks before launch.
  4. Describe briefly the main events in countdown.
  5. Describe briefly the main events in a launch including MECO and when the Payload Fairing is jettisoned.
  6. State that LEOP is the Launch and Early Orbit Phase. and describe the process from achieving orbit to full operational capability.

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module summary

Click Here

Please continue to the next section of the course.

THANK YOU!