Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 18, 2018 : GENERAL THREAD  (Read 36902 times)

Online Chris Bergin

December 16, 2014
NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS will launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, with liftoff targeted for August 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The total cost for NASA to launch TESS is approximately $87 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements.

TESSís science goal is to detect transiting exoplanets orbiting nearby bright stars. During a three-year funded science mission, TESS will sample hundreds of thousands of stars in order to detect a large sample of exoplanets, with an emphasis on discovering Earth- and super-Earth-sized planets in the solar neighborhood.

The Launch Services Program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for management and oversight of the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch services for TESS. The TESS Mission is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with oversight by the Explorers Program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Online abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #1 on: 12/16/2014 08:21 PM »
Nice to see SpaceX win a NASA contract!  Anyone (Jim) know what tier this satellite is considered?  B?

Here's a little more info on TESS from Gunter's: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/explorer_tess.htm.  From that page:

Quote
A launch vehicle has not been selected now, but TESS is baselined with Athena-2c or Taurus-3210, both with additional Star-37FM kick motor. The baselined launch site is Cape Canaveral. Also Antares and Falcon-9 v1.1 are considered.

Sounds like Atlas V was not a consideration.  The satellite is quite light, so I am guessing F9 will be able to do the job without any additional assistance.

Online ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #2 on: 12/16/2014 08:25 PM »
The LSP manifest shows TESS as a Medium Class mission.

Atlas V is grossly overpowered for this payload and so is Falcon 9 (I think, that periapsis is rather high...). OSC site states a launch mass of just 325 kg, albeit to a highly eccentric orbit that goes all the way out to the Moon's distance.

So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 08:38 PM by ugordan »

Online yokem55

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #3 on: 12/16/2014 08:25 PM »
This is the first time I've seen the all inclusive pricing for a full launch services contact for SpaceX published. $62 million for just a rocket, $87 for the whole package....

Online ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #4 on: 12/16/2014 08:28 PM »
This is the first time I've seen the all inclusive pricing for a full launch services contact for SpaceX published. $62 million for just a rocket, $87 for the whole package....

Jason-3 contract price was also published over 2 years ago.

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #5 on: 12/16/2014 08:43 PM »
This is the first time I've seen the all inclusive pricing for a full launch services contact for SpaceX published. $62 million for just a rocket, $87 for the whole package....

Let's hope this is one of the hypothesized "$6-10M" RTLS flights.
Of course, if they try there will be people on this forum complaining that SpaceX is not prioritizing the payload by reserving fuel for boost-back.   :o
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #6 on: 12/16/2014 08:43 PM »
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?

Probably more to do with reliability questions than it does cost given Athena was out of production for so long with a bad track record to boot and Antares is undergoing a re-design with a very recent failure.

« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 08:45 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline joshcryer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #7 on: 12/16/2014 08:45 PM »
Fantastic news for SpaceX and TESS. TESS is going to be a Kepler on steroids. It's going to really nail planets around down sun-like stars. Every time the TESS folks do a presentation you will be shocked by the numbers they're expecting. 20 million stars at 30 minute cadence (Kepler's ability). It also has one of the most fascinating orbital mechanics I've ever seen. Should be stable for decades without station keeping.

Here's a good overview:


Online ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #8 on: 12/16/2014 08:51 PM »
Probably more to do with reliability questions than it does cost given Athena was out of production for so long with a bad track record to boot and Antares is undergoing a re-design with a very recent failure.

Maybe the orbit requirement (108 000 km periapsis) makes it difficult to do with solid upper stage vehicles. That leaves what, 1 Delta II out of VAFB and F9?

Nevermind that, just saw the orbital insertion plan in the video above. It's your "basic" GTO/TLI-type injection from LEO, but goes out to a 250 000 km apogee and the spacecraft does the rest of the maneuvering work.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 09:09 PM by ugordan »

Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #9 on: 12/16/2014 09:13 PM »
Nice to see SpaceX win a NASA contract!  Anyone (Jim) know what tier this satellite is considered?  B?

Here's a little more info on TESS from Gunter's: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/explorer_tess.htm.  [snip]

Also from that page and the NASA link above the target orbit is  17 Earth Radii ◊ 59 Earth Radii

That requires a two or three burn profile for the second stage.  Something like #1 to a (negative something) by 150 km "orbit", #2 to 150 by 110,000 km (17 Re) #3 to 110,00 by 376,000 km.  With such a light payload it might be possible to go directly from staging to (negative something) by 110,000 and avoid the additional relight.

A quick calculation says that it would take ~64 hours, over 2.5 days, to do the half orbit from LEO to 110,00 km for the last burn.  That's a long time for the second stage to function. 

edit: Per ugordon's edit above "Never Mind".  A fairly nominal suprasyncronous transfer orbit insertion.
« Last Edit: 12/16/2014 09:27 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online ugordan

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #10 on: 12/16/2014 09:14 PM »
That requires a two or three burn profile for the second stage. 

See my comment above.

Offline mhlas7

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #11 on: 12/16/2014 09:55 PM »
Fantastic news for SpaceX and TESS. TESS is going to be a Kepler on steroids. It's going to really nail planets around down sun-like stars. Every time the TESS folks do a presentation you will be shocked by the numbers they're expecting. 20 million stars at 30 minute cadence (Kepler's ability). It also has one of the most fascinating orbital mechanics I've ever seen. Should be stable for decades without station keeping.

Here's a good overview:



At 15:08 there is a good animation of the orbital insertion

Offline Norm38

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #12 on: 12/16/2014 11:50 PM »
That's a great overview video, one of the best I've seen for a science mission.
When they show the mockup with people standing next to it, it's quite small.  Can tell why they need a passively stable orbit, not much room for fuel.

Offline ChrisC

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #13 on: 12/17/2014 12:15 AM »
Fantastic news for SpaceX and TESS. TESS is going to be a Kepler on steroids. It's going to really nail planets around down sun-like stars. Every time the TESS folks do a presentation you will be shocked by the numbers they're expecting. 20 million stars at 30 minute cadence (Kepler's ability). It also has one of the most fascinating orbital mechanics I've ever seen. Should be stable for decades without station keeping.

Here's a good overview:

Fantastic information, thanks joshcryer!

I'm a huge fan of Kepler -- have watched every one of their news conferences, starting before launch.  In fact, just this morning I was listening to this interview with a planetary scientist, talking about Kepler, TESS and JWST.

http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/planetary-radio/show/2014/sara-seager-and-the-search-for-earths-twin.html
« Last Edit: 12/17/2014 05:15 AM by ChrisC »
NASA TV in HD:  history, FAQ and latest status

Offline yg1968

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #14 on: 12/17/2014 03:58 AM »
This NASA press release from a month ago on the next phase for TESS also belongs in this thread:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-s-tess-mission-cleared-for-next-development-phase/#.VJEM4iuG-1Q

Offline joshcryer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #15 on: 12/17/2014 06:53 AM »
I'm a huge fan of Kepler -- have watched every one of their news conferences, starting before launch.  In fact, just this morning I was listening to this interview with a planetary scientist, talking about Kepler, TESS and JWST.

Same here, Borucki made me fall in love with the transit concept when I first learned of Kepler. I later watched an old Neil deGrasse Tyson course (The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries) where he talked about a "promising transit technique that hasn't been tried yet." Turns out it was not just promising, it was the best technique possible. And to think when Borucki first envisioned it the technology didn't even exist yet.

To add to the thread for others interested, TESS has social media pages.

Twitter @ MIT: https://twitter.com/TESSatMIT

Twitter @ NASA: https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS

Web @ MIT: http://space.mit.edu/TESS/

Web @ NASA: http://tess.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Facebook (they update mostly here, but I'm sure it'll change as time gets closer): https://www.facebook.com/NASATESS

Finally, TESS announced that they won't have a proprietary data period, and that they'll be dumping the data to the community as soon as possible on this FB post: https://www.facebook.com/NASATESS/posts/744397388947684

Online edkyle99

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #16 on: 12/21/2014 03:42 PM »
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
Athena 2c is supposedly priced at $65 million, less than the $87 million now allocated for this Falcon 9 launch, but NASA would also have had to fund a Star 37 kick motor for an Athena 2c launch, not to mention restarting the long-dormant SLC 47 launch site.  Falcon 9 probably also provides a lot more wiggle room on weight growth.

I wonder where the second stage will be disposed.

 - Ed kyle
« Last Edit: 12/21/2014 04:08 PM by edkyle99 »

Online abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #17 on: 12/21/2014 04:58 PM »
Ed, you're comparing a full contract including services to one without.  That is not an apples to apples comparison.

Offline baldusi

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #18 on: 12/21/2014 10:01 PM »
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
Athena 2c is supposedly priced at $65 million, less than the $87 million now allocated for this Falcon 9 launch, but NASA would also have had to fund a Star 37 kick motor for an Athena 2c launch, not to mention restarting the long-dormant SLC 47 launch site.  Falcon 9 probably also provides a lot more wiggle room on weight growth.

I wonder where the second stage will be disposed.

 - Ed kyle
IIRC, the certification cost for the first NASA mission was expected to be 10M. The Athena 2c certification should cost about the same, shouldn't it?

Offline catdlr

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : TESS : March 2018 : GENERAL THREAD
« Reply #19 on: 03/20/2015 09:32 PM »
NASA | The Search for New Worlds is Here

Published on Mar 20, 2015
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is an astrophysics Explorer-class mission between NASA and MIT. After launching in 2017, TESS will use four cameras to scan the entire sky, searching for planets outside our Solar System, known as exoplanets. The mission will monitor over 500,000 of the brightest stars in the sky, searching for dips in their brightness that would indicate a planet transiting across. TESS is predicted to find over 3,000 exoplanet candidates, ranging from gas giants to small rocky planets. About 500 of these planets are expected to be similar to Earth's size. The stars TESS monitors will be 30-100 times brighter than those observed by Kepler, making follow-up observations much easier. Using TESS data, missions like the James Webb Space Telescope can determine specific characteristics of these planets, including whether they could support life.

Tony De La Rosa

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