A analytical ammunition ascendancy valve has been faulted for the Atlas V barrage aberration that affected a abortive abeyance of the rockets aboriginal date engines during its best contempo barrage of a Cygnus burden freighter to the International Amplitude Base (ISS) aftermost ages – that about was acknowledged in accustomed the burden to its advised orbit.
Having articular the basis annual of the agent shortfall, workers for Atlas rocket architect United Barrage Alliance (ULA), accept now ample the booster slated for the aing planned ascent in the processing ability at their Cape Canaveral barrage pad, the aggregation appear in a annual Friday.
The Atlas rockets Centaur high date accursed best than accustomed afterwards the aboriginal date anomaly, extenuative the day by authoritative up for the cogent abridgement of advance and “delivering Cygnus to a absolute orbit, able-bodied aural the appropriate accuracy,” ULA said.
ULA says it hopes to resume launches of the 20 adventure alpine rocket as anon as this summer, starting with the MUOS-5 communications accessory burden for the U.S. Navy.
Following a assiduous analysis to absolutely appraise all the data, the ULA engineering aggregation “determined an aberration with the RD-180 Admixture Ratio Ascendancy Valve (MRCV) accumulation acquired a abridgement in ammunition breeze during the addition appearance of the flight,” the aggregation accepted in a statement.
The Atlas V aboriginal stages are powered by the Russian-made RD AMROSS RD-180 engines. The bifold bill powerplants accept been absolutely reliable in 62 Atlas launches to date.
The RD-180s are fueled by a admixture of RP-1 kerosene and aqueous oxygen stored in the aboriginal stage.
The Centaur RL10C-1 added date powerplant had to accomplish up for a advance and acceleration absence consistent from a 6 added beneath than planned battlefront of the aboriginal date RD-180 engines.
“The Centaur [upper stage] austere for best than planned,” Lyn Chassagne, ULA spokesperson, told Universe Today.
Indeed Centaur accursed for a minute best than planned to inject Cygnus into its able orbit.
“The aboriginal date absolute occurred about 6 abnormal early, about the Centaur was able to bake an added about 60 abnormal best and accomplish mission success, accustomed Cygnus to its appropriate orbit,” said ULA.
MUOS-5 was originally declared to alpha on May 5. But the ascent was put on authority anon afterwards the Atlas V barrage aberration accomplished during the March 22, 2016 barrage of the Alternate ATK Cygnus OA-6 accumulation address to the ISS for NASA.
Since then, ULA army a absolute analysis to actuate the basis annual and analyze fixes to actual the botheration with RD-180 Admixture Ratio Ascendancy Valve (MRCV) assembly, while apathetic all Atlas V launches.
ULA has inspected, analyzed and activated their absolute accrue of RD-180 engines.
Last Friday, the Atlas V aboriginal date for the MUOS-5 barrage was erected central ULA’s Vertical Integration Ability (VIF) at Amplitude Barrage Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The bristles solid motors accept been absorbed and the Centaur is next.
In this configuration, accepted as Barrage Agent on Stand (LVOS) operation, technicians can added audit and affirm that the RD-180 engines are accessible to abutment a launch.
The two date Atlas V for MUOS-5 will barrage in its best able 551 agreement with bristles solid rocket boosters absorbed to the aboriginal stage, a distinct agent Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 Centaur high date and a 5-meter-diameter burden fairing.
The RD-180s were declared to blaze for 255.5 seconds, or aloof over 4 minutes. But instead they shut bottomward anon consistent in decreased acceleration that had to be supplemented by the Centaur RL10C-1 to get to the advised apogee bare to ability the orbiting outpost.
The aqueous oxygen/liquid hydrogen fueled Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 agent was planned to blaze for 818 abnormal or about 13.6 minutes. The distinct agent produces 22,900 lbf of thrust.
The Atlas V aboriginal and added stages are preprogrammed to apace acknowledge to a advanced ambit of aberrant situations to annual for the unexpected. The rocket and barrage teams conduct endless simulations to acknowledge to off nominal situations.
“The Atlas V’s able-bodied arrangement design, software and agent margins enabled the acknowledged aftereffect for this mission,” Chassagne said.
MUOS-4 US Navy communications accessory stowed central huge 5 beat bore burden allowance aloft Atlas V rocket at pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL set for barrage on Sept. 2, 2015. EDT. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com “As with all launches, we will abide to focus on mission success and assignment to accommodated our customer’s needs.”
ULA currently sports a year’s continued apparent of approaching Atlas V launches in the pipeline. It includes a advanced ambit of payloads for NASA, US and adopted governments, and aggressive and bartering barter – all of who are depending on ULA advancement its cord of 106 beeline launches with a 100% almanac of success back the aggregation formed in 2006.
The Alternate ATK Cygnus CRS-6 amplitude freighter was loaded with 3513 kg (7700 pounds) of science abstracts and hardware, aggregation supplies, additional parts, accessory and base accouterments for the alternate class in abutment of over 250 analysis abstracts actuality conducted on lath by the Expedition 47 and 48 crews.
Cygnus auspiciously accustomed and berthed at the ISS on March 26 as planned.
An exact date for the MUOS-5 barrage has yet to be accepted on the Eastern Ambit with the US Air Force.
ULA is in the action of analogous barrage dates with barter for their actual Atlas V launches in 2016.
The 15,000 batter MUOS burden is a next-generation narrowband appropriate accessory communications arrangement advised to decidedly advance arena communications for U.S. armament on the move.
ULA says they apprehend basal appulse and apprehend commutual all launches planned for 2016, including the top antecedence OSIRIS-REx asteroid mission for NASA which has a specific barrage window requirement.
Explore further: Streaks abounding as Cygnus soars, block base for science
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