RE: NROL-24 probably targeting Molniya orbit

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sat Dec 08 2007 - 13:49:46 UTC

  • Next message: Ralph McConahy: "RE: NROL-24 probably targeting Molniya orbit"

    Bob Christy wrote:
    > The calendar shows Launch Support for NROL-24 on Dec 10. The 
    > NROL-24 window overlaps STS-122 and the task is also 
    > allocated to "Wallops radar". The calendar then shows Dec 11 
    > as the NROL-24 backup day.
    > Does Wallops have the radar capacity to support two major 
    > missions on the same day, or are we now waiting for the 
    > NROL-24 timeline to be adjusted to avoid STS-122?
    I do not know about Wallops specifically, but the rule of thumb used to be about
    48 hours to reconfigure the range as a whole from one launch vehicle to another.
    The article "Multiple launches challenge team", in the Aug 2001 issue of
    Spaceport News, quotes Mike Leinbach, Shuttle launch director:
    "With all the upgrades they've made in recent years, the Range can now process
    two launches within about 24 hours. Of course, we all worked together to help
    support the Range's efforts."
    So, if STS 122 is launched on Sunday, it appears that there is some possibility
    that NROL-24 will be able to launch on Monday. I will post updated NROL-24
    search elements within minutes of learning the officially announced launch time,
    expected 24-48 h in advance.
    Ted Molczan
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