Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : PAZ : SLC-4E Vandenberg : Jan. 30, 2018  (Read 12403 times)

Offline guckyfan

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Based on the brief glimpses of the landing pad from various Formosat-5 launch videos and pictures, it appeared to not yet be painted indicating it is not yet ready to go.

Yes, but what is the holdup? Not finishing the landing pad, that's a quick job. What seems mostly missing is the stand to put the Falcon core on for safing. But that too is a quick job.

Offline DaveJes1979

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Step 1:  pour concrete.
Step 2: Paint a big, stylized "X" on it.
Step 3: ???

Unless there is some ground support equipment I'm not thinking of, you'd think the project would be simple.

Offline Joffan

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Step 1:  pour concrete.
Step 2: Paint a big, stylized "X" on it.
Step 3: ???

Unless there is some ground support equipment I'm not thinking of, you'd think the project would be simple.

Step 3: Get permission to drop a giant flying blowtorch from a great height onto an Air Force base.
When I say "Jump!", you say "To which orbital inclination?"

Offline woods170

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Step 1:  pour concrete.
Step 2: Paint a big, stylized "X" on it.
Step 3: ???

Unless there is some ground support equipment I'm not thinking of, you'd think the project would be simple.

Step 3: Get permission to drop a giant flying blowtorch from a great height onto an Air Force base.
What do you think CCAFS is?

Offline Joffan

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Step 1:  pour concrete.
Step 2: Paint a big, stylized "X" on it.
Step 3: ???

Unless there is some ground support equipment I'm not thinking of, you'd think the project would be simple.

Step 3: Get permission to drop a giant flying blowtorch from a great height onto an Air Force base.
What do you think CCAFS is?
I think CCAFS is... much more interested in public approval than Vandenberg. But more seriously, I'm certain that Vandenberg would not grant permission simply because CCAFS did.
When I say "Jump!", you say "To which orbital inclination?"

Offline cscott

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There is also the hugely expensive SLC-6 you have to overfly in order to RTLS to SLC-4W at Vandenberg.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandenberg_AFB_Space_Launch_Complex_6
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandenberg_AFB_Space_Launch_Complex_4
« Last Edit: 09/07/2017 01:40 PM by cscott »

Offline woods170

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There is also the hugely expensive SLC-6 you have to overfly in order to RTLS to SLC-4W at Vandenberg.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandenberg_AFB_Space_Launch_Complex_6
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandenberg_AFB_Space_Launch_Complex_4

What do you think flies straight over SLC-6 when SpaceX launches due-south from SLC-4? They don't perform a mini-dogleg around SLC-6 during ascent.

Offline cscott

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Sure, they've approved 1x the risk for launch, but it's entirely reasonable they may be dragging their feet on approving an additional 1x the risk (or more) for landing.  SpaceX deliberately keeps calling its landings "experimental", but launches are operational.  The overflight risks for the different phases of flight are different.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2017 02:15 PM by cscott »

Online abaddon

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SpaceX deliberately keeps calling its landings "experimental"
They stopped doing that some time ago.  They are considered a secondary objective (rightly so) but are no longer considered "experimental".  (And who would believe them if they did use that terminology at this point?)
« Last Edit: 09/07/2017 02:34 PM by abaddon »

Offline watermod

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SpaceX deliberately keeps calling its landings "experimental"
They stopped doing that some time ago.  They are considered a secondary objective (rightly so) but are no longer considered "experimental".  )And who would believe them if they did use that terminology at this point?)

Today's X37B launch landed right near the center of the landing X again.   Video was provided all the way down.   It looked perfect.   At what point will Vandenberg's decision makers consider it safe and proven?
This was the 16th successful one.

Offline russianhalo117

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SpaceX deliberately keeps calling its landings "experimental"
They stopped doing that some time ago.  They are considered a secondary objective (rightly so) but are no longer considered "experimental".  )And who would believe them if they did use that terminology at this point?)

Today's X37B launch landed right near the center of the landing X again.   Video was provided all the way down.   It looked perfect.   At what point will Vandenberg's decision makers consider it safe and proven?
This was the 16th successful one.

In a brief nutshell, whenever SpaceX installs the required post-landing GSE and Hardware and VAFB, FAA, and FCC sign off and give approval allowing "LZ-4W" landings to commence.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2017 05:01 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline DreamyPickle

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It's very interesting that SpaceX signed a 1400kg to SSO launch in 2017. They've done lighter launches before but those were originally signed up for the Falcon 1. This contract shows that SpaceX is profitably competing in the lower end of the market.

Maybe this is what reduced costs from reusability look like in practice?

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It's very interesting that SpaceX signed a 1400kg to SSO launch in 2017. They've done lighter launches before but those were originally signed up for the Falcon 1. This contract shows that SpaceX is profitably competing in the lower end of the market.

Maybe this is what reduced costs from reusability look like in practice?

Allllllso, it appears extremely likely that SpaceX intends to launch its first two test satellites for their LEO constellation as passengers on this launch. Tim Farrar made the extremely astute observation that the publicly released orbits for both Microsats and PAZ are virtually identical, "a sun-synchronous orbit at 514 km altitude with an inclination of 97.44 degrees".

2200ish kg to SSO is marginally less crazy than 1400 kg for a Falcon 9, but it's something.

http://tmfassociates.com/blog/2017/09/08/me-first-no-me/

Offline russianhalo117

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It's very interesting that SpaceX signed a 1400kg to SSO launch in 2017. They've done lighter launches before but those were originally signed up for the Falcon 1. This contract shows that SpaceX is profitably competing in the lower end of the market.

Maybe this is what reduced costs from reusability look like in practice?

Allllllso, it appears extremely likely that SpaceX intends to launch its first two test satellites for their LEO constellation as passengers on this launch. Tim Farrar made the extremely astute observation that the publicly released orbits for both Microsats and PAZ are virtually identical, "a sun-synchronous orbit at 514 km altitude with an inclination of 97.44 degrees".

2200ish kg to SSO is marginally less crazy than 1400 kg for a Falcon 9, but it's something.

http://tmfassociates.com/blog/2017/09/08/me-first-no-me/
That doest currently have any confirmation other than coincidence at this point.

Online vaporcobra

It's very interesting that SpaceX signed a 1400kg to SSO launch in 2017. They've done lighter launches before but those were originally signed up for the Falcon 1. This contract shows that SpaceX is profitably competing in the lower end of the market.

Maybe this is what reduced costs from reusability look like in practice?

Allllllso, it appears extremely likely that SpaceX intends to launch its first two test satellites for their LEO constellation as passengers on this launch. Tim Farrar made the extremely astute observation that the publicly released orbits for both Microsats and PAZ are virtually identical, "a sun-synchronous orbit at 514 km altitude with an inclination of 97.44 degrees".

2200ish kg to SSO is marginally less crazy than 1400 kg for a Falcon 9, but it's something.

http://tmfassociates.com/blog/2017/09/08/me-first-no-me/
That doest currently have any confirmation other than coincidence at this point.

Unless it's just an absurdly unusual placeholder, it's quite the improbable coincidence. SpaceX's constellation as currently planned has no use for DSP satellites, whereas SSO for a testbed for new comms tech would allow greater flexibility than an operational orbit.

Offline DreamyPickle

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That doesn't currently have any confirmation other than coincidence at this point.

Yes, but it's the closest thing we've seen to a launch date for CommX. It would be great is somebody else could confirm or deny this.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2017 11:41 AM by DreamyPickle »

Offline Semmel

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SpaceX said that they would only operate the sats when above the control center to limit radio interference with other sats in orbit. A sun synchronous orbit might maximise the number of overpasses as compared to an operational orbit. Also for the rideshare, what other payloads are there that make a rideshare possible? Maybe the specifically selected PAZ because there are little to no other rideshare options available in the near future. I am not saying that is the case, but it is a possibility.

Offline russianhalo117

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That doesn't currently have any confirmation other than coincidence at this point.

Yes, but it's the closest thing we've seen to a launch date for CommX. It would be great is somebody else could confirm or deny this.
First Comm-X prototypes MicroSat-2A/2B are not expected to fly until 2018 at this point and will have a final test orbit of 1125 km circular at roughly 98 inclination. Deployment orbit will depend on Primary payload and Delta-v capability being high enough to also allow the second stage to deorbit.

Offline su27k

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Peter Selding reported that PAZ will have a co-passenger, but doesn't know who yet:

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/839102717591158784

This tweet is worth revisiting given the new speculation...

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That doesn't currently have any confirmation other than coincidence at this point.

Yes, but it's the closest thing we've seen to a launch date for CommX. It would be great is somebody else could confirm or deny this.
First Comm-X prototypes MicroSat-2A/2B are not expected to fly until 2018 at this point and will have a final test orbit of 1125 km circular at roughly 98 inclination. Deployment orbit will depend on Primary payload and Delta-v capability being high enough to also allow the second stage to deorbit.

Interesting, do you have a source? I'm mainly just concluding that it's highly likely because the evidence we currently have is far too specific to be a coincidence. Of course, things can change over several months. But it's the best public info we currently have.

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