LRO/LCROSS Updates

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Carrickagh

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<p>&nbsp;</p><p>I first read about this at SDC.</p><p>Rumor has it that the Lunar Recon Orbiter has been bumped for another launch from KSC. That payload will use the ride...an Atlas V...that had been scheduled for LRO. NASA hasn't confirmed so it may be a rumor. However, some folks at Ames have been notified of the shift. </p><p>All in all it looks like it definitely won't be flying til Feb/Mar 2009.</p><p>The probe was to be the first in a fleet of robotic explorers to help look at resources for future human explorers. LCross will actually impact on the lunar surface with the debris plume analyzed by space and ground-based scopes. </p><p>Oh well, in some ways a delay may give them more time for check-out, altho last I heard that was going pretty well.</p><p><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-frown.gif" border="0" alt="Frown" title="Frown" /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Carrickagh

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<p>It looks like LRO/LCROSS was bumped for a DOD payload launch in November. </p><p>Word on the street is that&nbsp;a USAF/Boeing team are getting ready to test some type of unmanned military space plane.</p><p>The system will launch aboard LRO's Atlas V ride at Cape Canaveral with a return to earth at Edwards. The mission concept has been under development for decades as a way to broaden U.S. military space access with a winged vehicle that could perform a multitude of missions before returning to Earth for a runway landing. The craft, called X37B, is about 8 meters long and has a 4 meter wingspan.</p><p>This is sort of Son of X40. That system has undergone ground tests and drop tests from choppers. Indeed, it was even dropped from the White Knight....</p><p><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/14/9ad5376f-f756-4369-ae47-039b4ba9c05c.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/8/f8ccb9f7-5c3a-4bfd-b882-d781f8735ca7.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p>Very cool. And the LRO guys get a breather, to boot.</p><p><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/13/6/6d7d11ca-14bb-44f2-b617-2e223ecd9987.Medium.jpg" alt="" />x-37 (in November??)</p><p><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-cool.gif" border="0" alt="Cool" title="Cool" /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>research: http://www.space.com/spacenews/archive06/briefs_1120.html</p><p>http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.space.history/2006-11/msg01713.html</p><p>http://www.spacedaily.com/news/rlv-98k.html</p><p>http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2003/q2/nr_030418s.html<br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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3488

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<p><font size="2" color="#000000"><strong>Hopefully this delay will give the LRO engineers more time to fine tune testing, etc.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000"><strong>We'll see.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2" color="#000000"><strong>Andrew Brown. <br /></strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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Carrickagh

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<p><br />LRO is currently undergoing tests at NASA Goddard. </p><p>It is quite a regimen, including structural vibration tests, acoustic tests,&nbsp;spin-rot tests, and thermal vacuum testing. Glad to hear they are doing thermal vacuum...some systems have failed when this hasn't been checked out before hand.&nbsp;TVAC&nbsp;&nbsp;is scheduled for late August, and is a 5 week regimen. Perhaps it is a good thing the November launch was delayed for the x-37b. </p><p><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/13/af166d65-87e2-44e9-8dc9-586307a1efa7.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p>http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/jul/HQ_08194_LRO_Environment_Tests.html</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Carrickagh

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<p>I thought this was a nice tribute. It would be good to see the MSM carry this story to show the human side of these "unmanned" endeavours.</p><p>http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/vitale_tribute.html</p><p>The reaction wheel with tribute:</p><p><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/10/7/2a8a6a39-bf97-4c91-87d7-43b13dd01866.Medium.jpg" alt="" /><br /><br />The engraving on the reaction wheel reads: "The life of Joe Vitale ended far too early, but his work will carry on as the United States space program returns to the moon. The software Joe wrote for this reaction wheel will play a vital role. It will help the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter identify natural resources and landing sites as a first step to populating the moon and traveling beyond. Joseph E. Vitale, 1965-2007. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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