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Antares Rocket Launch Scrubbed

samzenpus posted 1 year,6 days | from the not-this-time dept.

Space 45

An anonymous reader writes "This evening's planned launch of the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket had to be canceled just 12 minutes before liftoff, due to the unexpected separation of the booster's umbilical cable while the vehicle was on the launch pad. This is the first attempt to fly the Antares rocket, which is a commercial craft and direct competitor to the SpaceX Dragon 9. Beyond being the first flight of a brand new commercial rocket, this mission is also notable for carrying three of NASA's PhoneSats; small satellites powered by Android running on Nexus smartphones. With each PhoneSat costing just $3,500, they're designed to test the limits of extremely low cost spacecraft, similar to the European STRaND-1 mission. Since this is simply an orbital test, and the Antares will not be attempting to dock with the International Space Station, the launch window is highly flexible. It's anticipated Orbital Sciences will make another attempt at launching the Antares within 48 hours."

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45 comments

They were right to scrub. (4, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478099)

This evening's planned launch of the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket had to becanceled just 12 minutes before liftoff

Wow! Antares is 470 light years away. Private space companies are advancing faster than I thought.

Re:They were right to scrub. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#43478239)

huuuuhuuuuuhuuuuu

Excellent. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#43478143)

The last thing we need to do is antagonize the Antarans. We don't even have planetary missile bases yet.

Powered by? (0)

techno-vampire (666512) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478151)

TFS says that the three satellites are "...small satellites powered by Android running on Nexus smartphones." I didn't know that any smartphone put out that much power or that their batteries lasted that long. I think that whoever wrote that meant that they are controlled buy Nexus smartphones.

Re:Powered by? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478265)

Pedantic mode, eh? There.... FTFY.

I think that whoever wrote that meant that they are controlled sell Nexus smartphones.

Re:Powered by? (2)

techno-vampire (666512) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478365)

All this goes to prove is that no spelling checker will catch the wrong word spelled correctly.

Re:Powered by? (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478537)

That's something you should use you're eyes and brain four

Re:Powered by? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#43478309)

"Of course, the phones won’t exactly resemble their Earth-bound brethren while in space. To save weight, the screens and cases will be removed from the phones, and their batteries will be replaced with more appropriate power systems."

http://www.thepowerbase.com/2012/08/can-android-revolutionize-spacecraft-design/

Re:Powered by? (2)

kimble3 (736268) | 1 year,6 days | (#43479035)

Actually, I think they are referring to small experimental satellites that are piggybacking on the main mission. They are small 4" square cubes powered by off the shelf components and smartphone parts. http://www.phonesat.org/ [phonesat.org]

US Flag also came off (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#43478305)

The second stage umbilical cable was not the only thing to come off the rocket. Check out the pic of the American flag on the side. I guess the flag does not feel it belongs on a rocket being made of 95% foreign parts. An American rocket it is not.

http://spaceflightnow.com/antares/demo/prelaunch/06.jpg

I hate it when that happens. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478323)

>unexpected separation of the booster's umbilical cable

I hate it when that happens.

Re:I hate it when that happens. (2)

sycodon (149926) | 1 year,6 days | (#43479949)

Got to remember to screw in those to screws on either side of the connector. But if that rocket is like any of the PCs I've owned, there's never enough room to get your fingers in there to twist them.

wimps (1, Insightful)

hort_wort (1401963) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478411)

The Kerbals would've launched anyway. It would've been *glorious*.

Re:wimps (1)

RMingin (985478) | 1 year,6 days | (#43479607)

Damned straight.

I can't count the number of times I've chanted "ABORT TO ORBIT, ABORT TO ORBIT, C'MON YOU SUMBITCH" while my wife and/or kids boggled at my antics. Desperately trying to circularize my orbit with my leftover RCS fuel, to avoid a restart and rebuild... Good times.

KSP is one of the longest-term entries in my gaming shortlist in years. Simple sandbox, just enough structure to get you having your own ideas, tons of flexibility.

Sounds a lot like the 4 inch flight (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#43478683)

"Causes of the failure
Investigation revealed that the Redstone's engine shutdown was caused by two of its electrical cables separating in the wrong order.[6] These cables were a control cable, which provided various control signals, and a power cable, which provided electrical power and grounding. Both cables were plugged into the rocket at the bottom edge of one of its tail fins and would separate at liftoff.[10] The control cable was supposed to separate first, followed by the power cable. However, for this launch, the control cable was longer than expected—it was one designed for the military Redstone missile rather than the shorter cable designed for Mercury-Redstone. This control cable had been clamped to compensate for its greater length, but when the vehicle lifted off, the clamping did not work as planned and the control cable separation was delayed, eventually occurring about 29 milliseconds after the power cable had separated.[4][11]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury-Redstone_1

Re:Sounds a lot like the 4 inch flight (1)

Alex Vulpes (2836855) | 1 year,6 days | (#43480117)

I just read about the 4 inch flight, and for some reason I found it hilarious. It sounds like something out of Kerbal Space Program.

Excellent time to scrub the launch (4, Insightful)

Kittenman (971447) | 1 year,6 days | (#43478971)

Before it gets messy.

This is similar to IT - when a user finds a bug in testing, that's a GOOD thing: it means it's not going to production like that.

Low cost satelites = bad news (1)

sinij (911942) | 1 year,6 days | (#43479359)

In most cases this will hasten Kessler Syndrome.

Re:Low cost satelites = bad news (2)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,6 days | (#43480107)

Because keeping space pristine is more important than doing anything in space. The solution is to figure out how to remove space debris not try to hold back the tide.

Re:Low cost satelites = bad news (1)

sinij (911942) | 1 year,6 days | (#43481659)

Keeping it pristine is more important. You don't do anything in space that could potentially make it unusable for thousands of years. There might not be a practical solution to remove space debris past some threshold, would you rather find out that the case after the fact?

Re:Low cost satelites = bad news (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,5 days | (#43489541)

There might not be a practical solution to remove space debris past some threshold, would you rather find out that the case after the fact?

Sure. At least you did something in space.

Re:Low cost satelites = bad news (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | 1 year,6 days | (#43482457)

Yes and no.

The idea is: the more crud we put into orbit the more garbage we have to deal with. So when we launch (rocket, shuttle-type-craft, etc) now we've got all of these ballistic metal+plastic slugs flying around that we either have to avoid or watch them damage/pierce the hull. Those things move fast: factor in many many of them and avoidance becomes near impossible if we start putting up too much.

Keep that going, and we'll need flippin armored vehicles to get past orbit which means heavier vehicles which means more fuel and less payload.

The orbit-leaving scene in WALL-E was kind of tongue-in-cheek, but you get the idea.

So yes, we NEED to put stuff into orbit. Communications satellites, weather / monitoring satellites, GPS satellites, even various research satellites. But we should be careful about how MUCH we put up there.

Re:Low cost satelites = bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#43480829)

Nope. These are deposited in a low orbit with no propulsion systems. They will become fried smartphone-carrying cubes in 2-4 weeks. No risk of long term debris clutter.

race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#43479467)

Antares rocket, which is a commercial craft and direct competitor to the SpaceX Dragon

Orbital Sciences represents the epitome of American hustle, aiming to leapfrog the bottom feeding SpaceX.
I'm sorry but how do I opt out my tax money from these under-perform, over-budget LOSERS !!!
The Russians and Europe are kicking our ass.

Re:race to the bottom (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,6 days | (#43479567)

hey, everybody, look - a pissed-off government worker who can't stand that SpaceX can get the job done for 20% of the cost of NASA.

I'm old enough to remember Sally Ride talking about the plan for a moon base by 2010 and George the smarter committing to a 2017 Mars landing. The government has failed to execute.

Elon Musk is planning to retire on Mars and it looks like he will.

Re:race to the bottom (1)

Creepy (93888) | 1 year,6 days | (#43483159)

Yeppers, kinda hard to hide your age when you're a member of the 4 digit Id club (close to site founding in 1997 or 16 years ago). Even us 5 digiters are pretty creaky.

Re:race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43489495)

hey, everybody, look - a pissed-off government worker who can't stand that SpaceX can get the job done for 20% of the cost of NASA.

hey, everybody, look - a fucking idiot.
Sorry can't resist.
It looks like arithmetic is not your strong suit, so let me give you the autopsy here:
SpaceX is getting $1.6 billion for 12 flights to the ISS.
That's $133 million per flight (feel free to ask a twelve year old if you are not following me).
Now SpaceX has shown that it's more than capable of delivering upwards of a pathetic 1,000 lbs into orbit per flight.

The Russians, Europeans... is more than happy to put that same 1,000 lbs into orbit for something like $10 million before markup.
Your 80% discount is actually closer to a 1300% ripoff of your tax remittance.

Re:race to the bottom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,5 days | (#43489591)

Apologies for sloppiness.
A empty delivery vehicle would be about 5,000 lbs, so the $50 million fix cost need to be accounted above.

Re:race to the bottom (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,1 day | (#43525797)

Yes, ignore the fixed costs of the vehicle development and your math works out fine. I can pull the NASA administrator's quote about SpaceX being able to deliver for 20% of NASA's cost if you insist.

Re:race to the bottom (1)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,6 days | (#43480123)

Well, for starters come up with a better alternative. Right now, these companies are the only game in town.

Re: Antares Rocket Launch Scrubbed (0)

jonathonlettvin (2900923) | 1 year,6 days | (#43481037)

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