Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : Iridium NEXT Flight 3 : Oct 9, 2017: DISCUSSION  (Read 37426 times)

Online gongora

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DISCUSSION THREAD for Flight 3 of the Iridium NEXT missions.

Flight 3: Successful launch October 9, 2017 at 0537 PDT/1237 UTC on Falcon 9 (new booster 1041) from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.  Successful landing of first stage on ASDS.

   Flight 3 will launch into Iridium plane 4.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 3: Discussion / Updates / L2 Coverage September-October
   NSF Articles for Iridium NEXT Flight 3: 
   SpaceX realign near-term manifest ahead of double launch salvo
   SpaceX preps Falcon 9 for Iridium 3 static fire, Vandenberg manifest realigns
   Launch Article



See the Flight 1 Discussion Thread for more information and links to other Iridium Next threads and articles.

General information for Iridium flights 1-7
   Payload Mass: 8600kg for 10 satellites + 1000kg for dispenser = 9600kg
   Launch orbit: 625km, 86.66 degrees
   Operational orbit: 778km, 86.4 degrees

81 Satellites will be built for Iridium NEXT, with 66 being needed for a fully operational constellation.  All of the satellites will carry ADS-B aviation tracking hosted payloads for Aireon, and 60 of the satellites will carry AIS maritime tracking hosted payloads for exactEarth.



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: 10/10/2017 07:53 AM by input~2 »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Things are getting quite busy at SLC-4W for the tail end of this year, aren't they? Vandy is never as busy as the Cape so I think that the 30th SW are going to get a bit of a work-out!
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Offline OnWithTheShow

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So why the slip from net Aug 24 into Sept? I originally thought that production speed of the satellites was the bottleneck but someone indicated in another thread that all the birds for this flight were ready. Is the pad just not as durable as 39a? Or have they caught up to core production and cores are the bottleneck?

Online SmallKing

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The bottleneck is they produce a core every 20 days
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Offline Jcc

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Hence the interest recently expressed for reflown cores. That would be a change from the original plan, with the main motivation accelerated schedule.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Yes, still four more launches ahead of the next Iridium one, all on new boosters. It'll be interesting to see whether this pushes Iridium to switch to a flight proven booster for any later launches (I assume it's too late now for Sep launch). Iridium constellation seems to be in good shape but these launch delays may be delaying future revenue growth?

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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The bottleneck is they produce a core every 20 days
Core production is now <19 days average.

But yes this indicates a sustainable launch rate of less than 2 a month without considering a few reused boosters. A few reused boosters allows a sustained 2+ per month launch rate. But the surge in June seems to have exhausted supply of boosters. Also I think that the Iridium launch was the first of the Block 4s. But I think that this upcoming launch at LC39A will be a Block 3.

The switch from Block 3 to Block 4 output probably also has a small blip in delivery schedule hence the 30+ days stand-down.

Again booster availability seems to be the driver for the delays/slips to the Iridium launch schedule.

Offline rsdavis9

I think they are just pressuring iridium to go reusable.  :)
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Online gongora

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Tweet from Matt Desch:
Quote
Six more. Dnepr isn't in the mix anymore - all F9.

Can't remember if that was officially said before, even though it was obvious.

Online gongora

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Question on Twitter: @IridiumBoss if @SpaceX was ready to launch ID3, could it go up now or have to wait for orbital checkout and raising of ID2? Thanks!

Reply from Matt Desch: Could go as soon as about 30 - 40 days. Have the sats ready, but would be too busy operationally to try to handle 20 in space at a time.

Offline rsdavis9

so if they go reusable they could fly by aug. 10th if spacex has a used and refurbished booster.
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Online gongora

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so if they go reusable they could fly by aug. 10th if spacex has a used and refurbished booster.

SpaceX already has 3 launches in August.  This is more useful for knowing how close together they could launch in the future (first half of next year).

Offline rsdavis9

so if they go reusable they could fly by aug. 10th if spacex has a used and refurbished booster.

SpaceX already has 3 launches in August.  This is more useful for knowing how close together they could launch in the future (first half of next year).

Yes but only one from V-4E on the 24th.
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Offline OnWithTheShow

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Peter B. de Selding‏ @pbdes

Next @IridiumComm launch by @SpaceX is set for Sept. 30 from VAFB, Iridium says.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Launch time:

Quote
Stephen Clark‏ @StephenClark1 1m1 minute ago

Iridium confirms its next 10 satellites target launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg AFB on Sept. 30 at 6:30am PDT.

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/890578570363514881

Online gongora

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The launch info was from Iridium's quarterly results statement:
Iridium Announces Second-Quarter 2017 Results; Company Affirms 2017 Outlook

Online Chris Bergin

Iridium Announces Third Iridium® NEXT Launch Date

MCLEAN, Va. – July 28, 2017 - Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced today that the upcoming Iridium NEXT launch has been targeted for September 30, 2017 at 6:30 a.m. PDT. This launch will deliver another 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and will bring the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites deployed to 30. SpaceX selected the September 30th launch date based on rocket and Vandenberg Air Force Base range availability. SpaceX’s targeted launch schedule accommodates completion of the Iridium NEXT constellation as planned in mid-2018. In total, SpaceX will deliver 75 Iridium NEXT satellites to orbit. In case of inclement weather, a backup launch date has been scheduled for October 1.

Unlike previous launches where some Iridium NEXT satellites were sent drifting to an orbital plane different from where they were launched, all 10 satellites for this launch are currently planned to provide service in orbital plane four. The Iridium constellation’s unique architecture is designed with six polar orbiting planes consisting of 11 interconnected satellites per plane, with in-orbit spares, creating a true web of connectivity around the planet.

SpaceX has scheduled the fourth launch to take place in late November. Iridium NEXT manufacturing has completed enough satellites for nearly the next three SpaceX launches. All Iridium NEXT launches take place from SpaceX’s West Coast launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Iridium NEXT is the company’s $3 billion next-generation mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. Iridium NEXT will replace the company’s

existing global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely upon to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more. Iridium NEXT will enable and introduce new services like the company’s next-generation communications platform, Iridium CertusSM, and the AireonSM space-based ADS-B aircraft surveillance and flight tracking network. The Iridium NEXT satellites are manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and assembled by its subcontractor, Orbital ATK, at its facility in Gilbert, Arizona.

For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit www.IridiumNEXT.com.

Online gongora

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I guess they changed the deployment order, Matt Desch had previously said Flight 3 would go to plane 2.

Online gongora

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Tweet from Iridium Corporate
Quote
It'll be an early morning Sept 30 for our 3rd #IridiumNEXT launch @ 6:30am PDT, but we’ve got just the right cup of coffee 4 our early birds

Online gongora

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Tweet from Matt Desch:
Quote
Changed our plan recently. L3 goes to Plane 4 now: all 10 will go in service. L4 to Plane 2: 8 slated for operation, 2 to drift to P1.

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