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Thread: Could asteroid 2016 HO3 be another Saturn V S-IVB third stage?

  1. #1
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    Could asteroid 2016 HO3 be another Saturn V S-IVB third stage?

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2016-154
    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/16/us...circles-earth/
    A small asteroid has been found circling Earth as the two objects orbit the sun together.
    Scientists say it looks like the asteroid -- called 2016 HO3 -- has been out there for about 50 years and isn't going away anytime soon.
    50 years ago gives 1966 so maybe it's another Saturn V S-IVB third stage like J002E3 from Apollo 12? It would be easy to test.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J002E3
    J002E3 is the designation given to an object in space discovered on September 3, 2002 by amateur astronomer Bill Yeung. Initially thought to be an asteroid, it has since been tentatively identified as the S-IVB third stage of the Apollo 12 Saturn V rocket (designated S-IVB-507), based on spectrographic evidence consistent with the paint used on the rockets.[1][2] The stage was intended to be injected into a permanent heliocentric orbit in November 1969, but is now believed instead to have gone into an unstable high Earth orbit which left Earth's proximity in 1971 and again in June 2003, with an approximately 40-year cycle between heliocentric and geocentric orbit.
    Maybe AS-203, launched on July 5, 1966 wasn't inadvertently destroyed after all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AS-203
    AS-203 (or SA-203) was an unmanned flight of the Saturn IB rocket on July 5, 1966. It carried no Apollo Command/Service Module spacecraft, as its purpose was to verify the design of the S-IVB rocket stage restart capability that would later be used in the Apollo program to boost astronauts from Earth orbit to a trajectory towards the Moon. It successfully achieved its objectives, but the stage was inadvertently destroyed after four orbits.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2016-154
    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/16/us...circles-earth/


    50 years ago gives 1966 so maybe it's another Saturn V S-IVB third stage like J002E3 from Apollo 12? It would be easy to test.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J002E3


    Maybe AS-203, launched on July 5, 1966 wasn't inadvertently destroyed after all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AS-203
    But the mission did not ignite the SIV-B, and therefore can not be the 2016 HO3, whether or not it was destroyed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    But the mission did not ignite the SIV-B, and therefore can not be the 2016 HO3, whether or not it was destroyed.
    I cannot access the Evaluation of AS-203 Low Gravity Orbital Experiment pdf from NASA but the wikipedia article does say that the stage 2 exploded and does not mention what happened to the modified stage 3.

    It could also be the third stage from Apollo 8, 9, 10 or 11 which are all recorded to have reached heliocentric orbit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-IVB#Stages_built
    Last edited by LaurieAG; 2016-Jun-23 at 11:33 AM. Reason: remove extra ,

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    But the mission did not ignite the SIV-B, and therefore can not be the 2016 HO3, whether or not it was destroyed.
    I have just read the "RESULTS OF THE SECOND. SATURN IB LAUNCH VEHICLE TEST FLIGHT - AS-203 from NASA and must say I learnt alot and am very impressed with the massively great contribution the S-IVB guys made to the entire Apollo program, with the limited resources at their disposal.

    After reading the NASA report and comparing the figures with the other Apollo missions it is apparent that the S-IVB stage used live fuel loads that were expended successfully before telemetry was lost so the AS-203 S-IVB stage would be a similar weight and density to J002E3. Comparing the S-IVB stage weight total and Instrument Unit weights for AS-203, Apollo 7, 8, 9, etc shows that the S-IVB stage weight change is due to the amount of LOX being carried as everything else is within a couple of % when payloads are excluded.

    AS-203 was carrying 5/8 of the LOX of the typical Apollo mission so the Mass to LOX ratio would give a power to weight ratio equivalent to firing an Apollo program S-IVB stage with a small payload while leaving the stage in a heliocentric orbit like many of the others. Were the AS-203 S-IVB stage to have 100% of an Apollo missions LOX load it could effectively lift an Apollo equivalent moon bound payload.

    There was enough LOX on AS-203 to launch a small payload onto an Apollo mission trajectory, the main engine run was complete and well accounted for, there was no record that it came down and the same weight specs apart from LOX were used as an Apollo program benchmark thereafter so I cannot really exclude 2016 HO3 from being something like AS-203 S-IVB stage 3.

    Back in those cold war days it would probably be considered a good idea not to show all of your cards at once, just in case someone tried to peek. I can understand that. What I can't understand is why you wouldn't do a full restart and burn test if the opportunity came along and you were ready (command 'J2 Engine Start On').

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    From the mission report:
    http://klabs.org/history/history_doc...ch_results.pdf
    Page 355
    During the 90 minute period when the LH 2 ullage pressure had risen,
    the LOX ullage pressure had dropped from 16.2 to 3.4 N/cm 2 (23.5 to 5 psi).
    Figure 21-36 shows the pressure history of both tanks. It includes an
    extrapolation of pressures following the last data point, which gives a
    good indication of the range of the possible common bulkhead burst
    pressures. Bursting of the common bulkhead must have occurred during the
    two minute period between the KSC telemetry loss and Trinidad radar
    detection of several pieces. Thus, the common bulkhead burst pressure
    differential is confined to a range of 23.4 + 0.3 N/cm 2 (34 + 0.5 psi).
    A common bulkhead failure has previously occurred at a reversed differential
    pressure of 23.9 N/m 2 (34.7 psi) during a full scale structural
    test program at test facilities in Sacramento, California.

    Since the common bulkhead failed the restart did not occur and the vehicle was destroyed
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Apollo_missions

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Since the common bulkhead failed the restart did not occur and the vehicle was destroyed
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Apollo_missions
    The restart was only a simulation and everything functioned satisfactorily according to the Flight Test Summary.

    The J-2 engine restart systems and operations--including fuel repressurization, fuel recirculation chilldown, fuel lead during simulated restart, fuel anti-vortex screen, LOX recirculation chilldown, and storage bottles--functioned satisfactorily in general and gave confidence that restart of the J-2 engine under Saturn V conditions will be successful.
    If it was only a simulated restart (no engine ignition) and the bulkhead burst it would not cause the S-IVB stage to explode.

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    Did you read the description on page 355 of the mission report?
    Bursting of the common bulkhead must have occurred during the
    two minute period between the KSC telemetry loss and Trinidad radar
    detection of several pieces.

    The vehicle was destroyed. What ever 2016 HO3 is, clearly it isn't the SIV-B of AS 203

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Did you read the description on page 355 of the mission report?
    Bursting of the common bulkhead must have occurred during the
    two minute period between the KSC telemetry loss and Trinidad radar
    detection of several pieces.

    The vehicle was destroyed. What ever 2016 HO3 is, clearly it isn't the SIV-B of AS 203
    The bursting of the bulkhead would be expected when the LOX pressure has dropped due to it running out, i.e. at the completion of the burn.

    If the J2 rocket engine was never fired in the restart sequence there would be no heat to be sucked back through to the LOX tank to cause an explosion/implosion. If the J2 rocket engine was ignited and subsequently exploded into pieces when the S-IVB ran out of LOX then those pieces would be headed towards a heliocentric orbit.

    The scenario given in the official document only makes sense if a live restart of the J2 engine was successful to the exhaustion of available LOX (and completion of the burn).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaurieAG View Post
    The bursting of the bulkhead would be expected when the LOX pressure has dropped due to it running out, i.e. at the completion of the burn.

    If the J2 rocket engine was never fired in the restart sequence there would be no heat to be sucked back through to the LOX tank to cause an explosion/implosion. If the J2 rocket engine was ignited and subsequently exploded into pieces when the S-IVB ran out of LOX then those pieces would be headed towards a heliocentric orbit.

    The scenario given in the official document only makes sense if a live restart of the J2 engine was successful to the exhaustion of available LOX (and completion of the burn).
    From the mission report page 355 before my earlier quote

    http://klabs.org/history/history_doc...ch_results.pdf

    The pressure rise test was carried out in order to provide valuable
    knowledge of the thermodynamic and heat transfer characteristics of the
    LH 2 tank. It also provided valuable data on the negative pressure differential
    structural limits of the common bulkhead. During this test
    the LH 2 tank continuous and non-propulsive vents were closed and the
    pressure allowed to rise from self-pressurization due to external heating.
    The LH 2 tank relief vents were operative. During the time when the LH 2
    vents were closed, the LOX tank was depressurized through the ullage
    thrusting system.
    The hydrogen tank ullage pressure at the time of closing the tank
    was approximately 8.51N/cm2 (12.35 psi). The ullage pressure 5360 sec
    later (approximately one orbit) was 25.97 N/cm 2 (37.7 psi), which represents
    a pressure rise rate of 11.71N/cm2/hr (17.0 psi/hr) in the closed
    tank. The calculated pressure rise rate, based upon maximum predicted
    liquid heating only and assuming homogeneous distribution of the heat
    input within the liquid, was approximately 2.20 N/cm2/hr (3.2 psi/hr).
    The increased pressure rise rate is attributed to heating of the ullage
    gases.

    And my previous quote:

    During the 90 minute period when the LH 2 ullage pressure had risen,
    the LOX ullage pressure had dropped from 16.2 to 3.4 N/cm 2 (23.5 to 5 psi).
    Figure 21-36 shows the pressure history of both tanks. It includes an
    extrapolation of pressures following the last data point, which gives a
    good indication of the range of the possible common bulkhead burst
    pressures. Bursting of the common bulkhead must have occurred during the
    two minute period between the KSC telemetry loss and Trinidad radar
    detection of several pieces. Thus, the common bulkhead burst pressure
    differential is confined to a range of 23.4 + 0.3 N/cm 2 (34 + 0.5 psi).
    A common bulkhead failure has previously occurred at a reversed differential
    pressure of 23.9 N/m 2 (34.7 psi) during a full scale structural
    test program at test facilities in Sacramento, California.

    There was a negative differential of approximately 34 psi. (FIGURE 21-36) on the common bulkhead, a negative test of approximately 24 psi. caused a failure during a ground test. Trinidad AOS indicated pieces of the vehicle indicating the vehicle was destroyed.

    Further should the engine have fired both LH2 and LO tanks would deplete negating a extreme negative pressure gradient as you claim. I'll only cite the successful SIV-B firings during A8, A10-A17 for proof of my statement.

    Consider this a direct question: What data do you possess to continue to ignore the mission report data and post "The scenario given in the official document only makes sense if a live restart of the J2 engine was successful to the exhaustion of available LOX (and completion of the burn). "
    Last edited by bknight; 2016-Jul-02 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Added extreme

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bknight View Post
    Consider this a direct question: What data do you possess to continue to ignore the mission report data and post "The scenario given in the official document only makes sense if a live restart of the J2 engine was successful to the exhaustion of available LOX (and completion of the burn). "
    There was no successful unmanned S-IVB stage test that left the stage in a heliocentric orbit until the manned Apollo 8 mission. Apollo 7 was also manned but only leo, Apollo 4 and 6 were Saturn V and the J2 restart either failed or caused the stage to crash, and Apollo 5 and every other S-IVB are recorded as decaying from low earth orbit prior to S-IVB-503N. S-IVB 200 series = 201, 202, 203 while 500 series = 501, 502, 503 with 503N being the successful manned Apollo 8 that ended in a heliocentric orbit.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-IVB#Stages_built

  11. #11
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    You did not answer the question asked, but I'll take your descriptions of the SIV-B stages flown as evidence you agree that whatever the object 2016 HO3 is, it is not from AS-203.

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