Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION  (Read 105197 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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DISCUSSION thread for X-37B OTV-5 mission

NSF Threads for OTV-5 : Discussion / Updates / L2 Coverage July-August September-October / Party
NSF Articles for OTV-5 :
   Bulgariasat launch realigns; SpaceX secures X-37B launch contract
   SpaceX in final preps for Falcon 9ís first mission with X-37B
   SpaceX to conduct first X-37B launch with a Falcon 9

NET September 7, 2017 on Falcon 9 from LC-39A.  RTLS landing.




Wow, definitely warrants its own thread:

I hadn't seen this come up anywhere here yet, so if so missed this, please disregard.

Fox Business is reporting that SpaceX will be launching an Air Force payload in August and from the sounds of it, it'll be the X37-B.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/06/06/elon-musks-spacex-to-conduct-first-mission-with-u-s-air-force.html

Quote
Tech entrepreneur and founder of aerospace company SpaceX, Elon Musk, is teaming up with the U.S. Air Force for the first time later this summer to conduct a joint mission for the military.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said on Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee that SpaceX would be sending the next Air Force payload up into space in August via one of the unmanned, reusable X-37B space planes.

Space-X to launch Air Force's next X-37B on a Falcon 9 August 2017. First X-37B launch not on an Atlas 5. First Air Force payload for Space X (per the article). Launch site (VAFB vs. KSC) not mentioned.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/06/spacex-launches-us-air-force-x-37b-space-plane.html

Edit/Lar: see also https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42889 which is about tech requirements, not mission specific stuff...




Other SpaceX resources on NASASpaceflight:
   SpaceX News Articles (Recent)  /   SpaceX News Articles from 2006 (Including numerous exclusive Elon interviews)
   SpaceX Dragon Articles  /  SpaceX Missions Section (with Launch Manifest and info on past and future missions)
   L2 SpaceX Section
« Last Edit: 09/07/2017 06:27 PM by input~2 »

Offline yokem55

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Hot damn. Gotta wonder when this was contracted to get an August launch slot. Might be why the Air Force Secretary was on site to watch the NROL launch...
« Last Edit: 06/06/2017 09:29 PM by yokem55 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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I imagine this must have been under discussion for a while. Isn't it quite a big deal technically to assess launching X-37B on a different LV? (aerodynamic forces etc)

Offline whitelancer64

Also being reported by Reuters.

http://www.reuters.com/article/space-spacex-idUSL1N1J31QH

No further details available anywhere yet.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline whitelancer64

I imagine this must have been under discussion for a while. Isn't it quite a big deal technically to assess launching X-37B on a different LV? (aerodynamic forces etc)

It's launched in a fairing, so probably not much difference to the X-37B.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline yokem55

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I imagine this must have been under discussion for a while. Isn't it quite a big deal technically to assess launching X-37B on a different LV? (aerodynamic forces etc)
This was discussed briefly in another thread (general falcon thread?). The conclusion was that it would fit in the fairing, but it was unclear whether it (or its payloads) would need vertical integration or not. Apparently not.

Offline Star One

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Pretty exciting news and a very bad result for ULA.

Were we aware the X-37B was launcher agnostic?

Offline acsawdey

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August is .. soon. Wonder if USAF picked out a used booster so they could jump to the head of the queue?

Offline Star One

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Partly reusable launcher launches reusable spaceplane seems kind of apt.

Offline abaddon

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I did not expect this, certainly not this soon.

Must mean the USAF has a lot of confidence in SpaceX (or they are OK with an elevated level of risk since there are two spacecraft/ maybe program goals are winding down /?).

Either way this is a big win for SpaceX.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2017 09:52 PM by abaddon »

Offline cppetrie

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #10 on: 06/06/2017 09:48 PM »
I did not expect this, certainly not this soon.

Must mean the USAF has a lot of confidence in SpaceX (or they are OK with an elevated level of risk since there are two / maybe program goals are winding down /?).

Either way this is a big win for SpaceX, if true.
It's been reported in several mainstream news sources at this point. Seems very unlikely to be "fake news". Fox did report it after all.

Offline abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #11 on: 06/06/2017 09:51 PM »
I did not expect this, certainly not this soon.

Must mean the USAF has a lot of confidence in SpaceX (or they are OK with an elevated level of risk since there are two / maybe program goals are winding down /?).

Either way this is a big win for SpaceX, if true.
It's been reported in several mainstream news sources at this point. Seems very unlikely to be "fake news". Fox did report it after all.
Yah, skimmed too quickly, clearly this is not in error.  Will edit.

Offline abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #12 on: 06/06/2017 09:54 PM »
Regarding the booster, surely the USAF will want a new Block 4.  I look forward to being surprised yet again if it is flight proven.

Offline Barrie

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #13 on: 06/06/2017 09:55 PM »
Given this and the tone of the NASA webcast for CRS11, istm that government agencies now really want to be associated in the public eye with SpaceX.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #14 on: 06/06/2017 09:55 PM »
August is .. soon. Wonder if USAF picked out a used booster so they could jump to the head of the queue?

More likely they reserved a new booster some time ago. Or a commercial customer jumped to a used booster for a discount, opening a new one up for the USAF.

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #15 on: 06/06/2017 09:56 PM »
Regarding the booster, surely the USAF will want a new Block 4.  I look forward to being surprised yet again if it is flight proven.

Either this has been in negotiation/plan for a long time so it's not jumping the line, or it's a used booster, or SpaceX is ok with some (at least mildly) annoyed commercial customers when USAF takes cuts in front of them.

My bet is used booster. Star One coined an apt phrase.  (but YMMV)

Partly reusable launcher launches reusable spaceplane seems kind of apt.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2017 10:05 PM by Lar »
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Offline old_sellsword

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #16 on: 06/06/2017 09:56 PM »
Regarding the booster, surely the USAF will want a new Block 4.

Why?

Offline abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #17 on: 06/06/2017 10:03 PM »
Regarding the booster, surely the USAF will want a new Block 4.

Why?
Hardly a mystery here.  Block 4/5 changes not related to rapid reuse were made to satisfy USAF/NASA.  US Govt is conservative with respect to risk profiles.  X-37B is presumably a precious payload compared to "tang and toilet paper" and even NASA hasn't signed off yet for the most risk-tolerant launch category.  Need I go on?
« Last Edit: 06/06/2017 10:04 PM by abaddon »

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : X-37B OTV-5 : September 2017 : DISCUSSION
« Reply #18 on: 06/06/2017 10:04 PM »
Regarding the booster, surely the USAF will want a new Block 4.

Why?
They are rather risk averse, especially as the X-37B is a rather unique and probably expensive payload. On the other hand, reuse will have been proven at least 2 or 3 times by then... perhaps that's enough??

I doubt any new Block 3 vehicles will be available in August, so if they go new it likely will be on Block 4


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