Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : Iridium NEXT Flight 3 : Oct 9, 2017: DISCUSSION  (Read 37266 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 »

Online 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?

Offline 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?

Online 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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Quote
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.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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While we await the next Iridium launch here’s a cool visualisation of the Iridium fleet:

Quote
@pbdes Hi, just finished pre-final version of https://www.iridium.online - just a webgadget for Iridium fans....
https://twitter.com/challengepm/status/896168399755239424

Offline soltasto

While we await the next Iridium launch here’s a cool visualisation of the Iridium fleet:

Quote
@pbdes Hi, just finished pre-final version of https://www.iridium.online - just a webgadget for Iridium fans....
https://twitter.com/challengepm/status/896168399755239424

Just to credit the original creator of the website, https://www.iridium.online is modified version of http://stuffin.space/ created by James Yoder.

Offline watermod

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Doesn't work for Linux Browsing in Chrome.

Error:  Iridium.online requires WebGL and Web Worker support.

Online llanitedave

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Doesn't work for Linux Browsing in Chrome.

Error:  Iridium.online requires WebGL and Web Worker support.

Does fine on Kubuntu in Firefox, at least.
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Online gongora

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Tweet from Matt Desch:
Quote
Formosat-5 now off “our” pad. @SpaceX informs us they need a few more days, so our L3 now Oct 4, 6:06am local. Ship 1st 2 sats tomorrow!

Offline Norm38

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Is the 39A pad that much better armored that it can do two week turns but this pad already needs over a month?

Offline macpacheco

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I think its the throwback feature. Which I think will be implemented at LC40.
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Online gongora

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Is the 39A pad that much better armored that it can do two week turns but this pad already needs over a month?

We don't actually know that the pad is the only reason for the slip.  Could be launch vehicle, dispensers, etc.

The record turnaround time for this pad so far is 2 months, before June of this year they had only launched from the pad 3 times.  By the end of 2018 that count could be 15+.  They should get much better at turning around that pad as the flight rate increases.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Iridium-3 Update: Excited to share that 2 of 10 #IridiumNEXT SVs for launch 3 arrived to @SpaceX VAFB facility & started launch processing

https://twitter.com/iridiumcomm/status/902595992419258368

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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7th and 8th sats for Launch #3 just pulled out to head towards VAFB.  I feel better knowing there's a guard riding along to protect them!

https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/904853448960696320

Offline darkenfast

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It looks like there's a dog driving as well.  No wonder SpaceX can undercut the competition: they pay in dog-food and treats!

Offline kevin-rf

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It looks like there's a dog driving as well.  No wonder SpaceX can undercut the competition: they pay in dog-food and treats!
That's the passenger side, we drive on the other side of the road ;-)

He's just along for the ride as the AI takes the rig for a spin.
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Offline darkenfast

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I was referring to what looks like the ear of a second doggy visible on the driver's side.  I did spend most of the 90's driving on the wrong side of the road (UK), but now I drive on the right side!

Offline kevin-rf

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Must not live in the country, the bigger the SUV, the more likely it will be driving down the center of both lanes...

btw. When I blow up that image, I'm pretty sure it's a cat, not a dog in the drivers seat.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2017 02:30 PM by kevin-rf »
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Online SpacedX

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Must not live in the country, the bigger the SUV, the more likely it will be driving down the center of both lanes...

btw. When I blow up that image, I'm pretty sure it's a cat, not a dog in the drivers seat.

It's a dog. As if cats can drive. lol.

Online gongora

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Perhaps the Party Thread would be a more appropriate place to discuss the driving skills of cats and dogs.

Offline Jakusb

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An F9 (likely 1041.1) just left McGregor heading west, so it's probably on its way to VAFB for Iridium-3.

Offline M.E.T.

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I was wondering why the long turnaround between the OTV flight and this one.  What's the reason for the sudden drop in launch frequency? Basically a month of no launches by SpaceX.

I thought the aim was to pick up the pace rather than slow it down in the 2nd half of the year.

Online gongora

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They seem to have a launches lined up for early and mid-October on the East coast, so their rate really isn't going down.  The target rate for this year is almost twice a month (20-24 launches).

Offline woods170

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They seem to have a launches lined up for early and mid-October on the East coast, so their rate really isn't going down.  The target rate for this year is almost twice a month (20-24 launches).
IF (notice the IF) Irma takes a route over Florida, with the eyewall passing over KSC/CCAFS or to the West of it, there will be so much damage that even the lower number of 20 launches will go out the window.

Offline M.E.T.

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They seem to have a launches lined up for early and mid-October on the East coast, so their rate really isn't going down.  The target rate for this year is almost twice a month (20-24 launches).
IF (notice the IF) Irma takes a route over Florida, with the eyewall passing over KSC/CCAFS or to the West of it, there will be so much damage that even the lower number of 20 launches will go out the window.

Why? Surely this is a constant, planned for threat in Florida? How can any high launch cadence be planned for if you can't deal with annual hurricane season?

Offline Perchlorate

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They seem to have a launches lined up for early and mid-October on the East coast, so their rate really isn't going down.  The target rate for this year is almost twice a month (20-24 launches).
IF (notice the IF) Irma takes a route over Florida, with the eyewall passing over KSC/CCAFS or to the West of it, there will be so much damage that even the lower number of 20 launches will go out the window.

Based on the 5 a.m. advisory, Irma's eye will pass west of KSC/CCAFS, with them having about a 35% chance of feeling hurricane-force winds.  If this forecast holds, I would not expect debilitating damage.  Irma will have been over land for nearly 24 hours by then.

There certainly are hurricane scenarios which could bring the right side of a Cat 4 or Cat 5 storm directly over the cape, with a far worse outcome.  Irma is not such a scenario.

That said, my best wishes for everyone on the Space Coast; hunker down and be safe.  And, for those south and east who have felt, and will feel, the undiminished brunt of this powerful storm.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2017 10:13 AM by Perchlorate »

Offline kaiser

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They seem to have a launches lined up for early and mid-October on the East coast, so their rate really isn't going down.  The target rate for this year is almost twice a month (20-24 launches).
IF (notice the IF) Irma takes a route over Florida, with the eyewall passing over KSC/CCAFS or to the West of it, there will be so much damage that even the lower number of 20 launches will go out the window.

Why? Surely this is a constant, planned for threat in Florida? How can any high launch cadence be planned for if you can't deal with annual hurricane season?

Seriously?  This is a question?

Surprisingly when people are evacuated, they aren't there receiving stages, integrating payloads, and prepping for launches.  Similarly, when they're back in state and their house is flooded they also still aren't at work, but rather getting the house back in shape to be able to sleep in.

Similarly, while structures may have been built to handle Cat 3/4/5 hurricanes, that doesn't mean that the area doesn't still end up flooded, and that trees don't fall down across roads, that there isn't any debris build up that needs to be cleaned, etc.  Not to mention that the buildings are old.  There's likely a couple of things that will need repair due to it not being quite as strong as when built.  Not to mention that they're built to "withstand" those events, not essentially be able to operate through without any rework and zero damage, zero down time, etc.  That's basically impossible to ask for.

A force of nature like this will *always* disrupt major operations on land where it hits, no matter how thoroughly you plan for it.  Period.

Offline Michael Baylor

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Ok, if we are going to continue to talk about the impact that Irma will have on SpaceX's Florida launch capabilities, can we please not do so on the Iridium 3 thread? Last time I checked Vandenberg was not in the path of Irma.

Online gongora

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SpaceX just filed another FCC permit application for this launch (the other permit applications for launch vehicle communications and first stage recovery were filed about 6 weeks ago.)

Quote
This STA covers the experimental radar usage during first-stage final descent, following a Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. This request is limited to the brief radar usage prior landing. Launch vehicle flight communications for this mission are covered by a separate STA.

Offline SmallKing

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Quote
Matt Desch‏ @IridiumBoss  22h22 hours ago
More
Replying to @IridiumBoss @AleLovesio @SpaceX
Final plan for launch 3: SV100(renamed as SV127),107,119,122,125,126,132,133,136,139.  All at VAFB, mated, and ready for 10/4 launch!
https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/909436252092583937
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Online gongora

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Currently planned orbital planes for the rest of the launches:
Quote
Tweet from Matt Desch:
No, try instead: L5: P1, L6(5): P6, L7: P5, L8: P3 (1 -> P2, 1 -> P4).  Really feel like I should yell "Bingo!" at this point though...

Reply to question about whether rocket stages and fairings at Vandenberg for Flight 3:
Quote
Tweet from Matt Desch:
Yep! T minus 17 days...

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Matt Desch‏ @IridiumBoss  22h22 hours ago
Replying to @IridiumBoss @AleLovesio @SpaceX
Final plan for launch 3: SV100(renamed as SV127),107,119,122,125,126,132,133,136,139.  All at VAFB, mated, and ready for 10/4 launch!

Gunter's Space page says that SV126 was launched on Iridium 2.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/iridium-next.htm
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Offline Skyrocket

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Matt Desch‏ @IridiumBoss  22h22 hours ago
Replying to @IridiumBoss @AleLovesio @SpaceX
Final plan for launch 3: SV100(renamed as SV127),107,119,122,125,126,132,133,136,139.  All at VAFB, mated, and ready for 10/4 launch!

Gunter's Space page says that SV126 was launched on Iridium 2.

http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/iridium-next.htm

Matt Desch corrected his tweet (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/909974014621253632):

Quote
Replying to @Skyrocket71 @AleLovesio @SpaceX
You are right - my bad.  Let me try again: 107, 119, 122, 125, 127, 129, 132, 133, 136, 139.   Thanks for double checking me.


Online zubenelgenubi

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The next two SpaceX/Falcon 9 launches are re-aligned to:

October 7, SES-11/EchoStar 105, KSC LC-39A

October 9, Iridium Next Flight 3, Vandenberg SLC-4E.

Are we seeing the minimum amount of time between East Coast/West Coast launches that SpaceX current staffing levels can support?
Support your local planetarium!

Online ZachS09

The next two SpaceX/Falcon 9 launches are re-aligned to:

October 7, SES-11/EchoStar 105, KSC LC-39A

October 9, Iridium Next Flight 3, Vandenberg SLC-4E.

Are we seeing the minimum amount of time between East Coast/West Coast launches that SpaceX current staffing levels can support?

It's been done before with BulgariaSat 1 and Iridium-NEXT F2. Both launched within 49 hours.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

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Another note/"fun fact":
October 9 may be a "three-fer" launch day!

Iridium Next Flight 3,

QZS-4 from Tanegashima,

and VRSS-2 from Jiuquan.

We'll see if this all actually happens this way.
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Online zubenelgenubi

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The next two SpaceX/Falcon 9 launches are re-aligned to:

October 7, SES-11/EchoStar 105, KSC LC-39A

October 9, Iridium Next Flight 3, Vandenberg SLC-4E.

Are we seeing the minimum amount of time between East Coast/West Coast launches that SpaceX current staffing levels can support?

It's been done before with BulgariaSat 1 and Iridium-NEXT F2. Both launched within 49 hours.

Yes, and thank you for pointing that out.

Another way of asking the question--given current SpaceX staffing, is it IMPOSSIBLE to launch East Coast/West Coast within significantly less than 48 hours?  36 hours?  24 hours?  Less?
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Offline mn

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The next two SpaceX/Falcon 9 launches are re-aligned to:

October 7, SES-11/EchoStar 105, KSC LC-39A

October 9, Iridium Next Flight 3, Vandenberg SLC-4E.

Are we seeing the minimum amount of time between East Coast/West Coast launches that SpaceX current staffing levels can support?

It's been done before with BulgariaSat 1 and Iridium-NEXT F2. Both launched within 49 hours.

Yes, and thank you for pointing that out.

Another way of asking the question--given current SpaceX staffing, is it IMPOSSIBLE to launch East Coast/West Coast within significantly less than 48 hours?  36 hours?  24 hours?  Less?

Those two launches could have been much closer together and Chris B confirmed that they CAN do both in one day if the schedule works out that way.

Static Fire is June 20. Two individual launch teams, so possible to keep to the schedule, even if SpaceX launches BulgariaSat-1 the same day (based on the new back up date to the new NET 19th target).  :o

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Thanks, mn.

I knew I'd read something like that in one of the threads.
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Online vaporcobra

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

Falcon 9 Scheduled for Launch

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -  Team Vandenberg is scheduled to launch
the third Iridium mission consisting of 10 satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9
rocket from Space Launch Complex-4 here Monday, Oct. 9, at 5:37 a.m. PDT.

If schedules hold for both launches, 1041's launch and landing would be the second in approximately 37.5 hours.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 05:44 AM by vaporcobra »

Offline BabaORileyUSA

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https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/915936031706370049

Quote
Getting real!  Weather currently looks good for Monday morning, and all else is on track.  Busy @SpaceX weekend- rooting for SES-11 on Sat!

SES-11 has moved to the 11th.....

Offline Semmel

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SES-11 has moved to the 11th.....

SES-11 launch is scheduled to 11.11, hope they make the launch time at 11:11. The space geeks would go nuts!

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Some good views of the satellites under construction:


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SES-11 has moved to the 11th.....

SES-11 launch is scheduled to 11.11, hope they make the launch time at 11:11. The space geeks would go nuts!

Um.... SES-11 is Oct. 11... 10/11 or 11/10 depending on what country you're in.

And this is the Iridium thread.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2017 08:06 PM by ChrisGebhardt »

Offline su27k

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SES-11 has moved to the 11th.....

SES-11 launch is scheduled to 11.11, hope they make the launch time at 11:11. The space geeks would go nuts!

Missing the point here. The question is given SES-11 has moved to the 11th, will Iridium need to be delayed in lock step as before?

Offline SmallKing

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SES-11 has moved to the 11th.....

SES-11 launch is scheduled to 11.11, hope they make the launch time at 11:11. The space geeks would go nuts!

Missing the point here. The question is given SES-11 has moved to the 11th, will Iridium need to be delayed in lock step as before?
No, Iridium will go first
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Yeah, there's no issue from the reschedule. The two vehicles are coming from different pads. All that's changed is that the MCC team at Hawthore need to open the Iridium-3 folder before the SES-11 one.
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DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Comga

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Quote
With #Iridium-3 now 6 days away, we're excited to share the official launch patch! Check it out along w/ other gear bit.ly/2yFW0dM

https://twitter.com/iridiumcomm/status/915239432869089282

What's with the "6 days away" stuff?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Quote
With #Iridium-3 now 6 days away, we're excited to share the official launch patch! Check it out along w/ other gear bit.ly/2yFW0dM

https://twitter.com/iridiumcomm/status/915239432869089282

What's with the "6 days away" stuff?

The tweet was posted on Oct. 3.

Online John Alan

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Looks like the boat DM Tapper is off shore for the Iridium flight:

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:424351/mmsi:366053000/imo:0/vessel:DM_TAPPER

Quote
Offshore for the week! #spacex #dmtapper

Now THAT is interesting... SpaceX chartered a sightseeing passenger boat?... Or who and why?...
« Last Edit: 10/08/2017 03:34 PM by John Alan »

Offline pb2000

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Looks like the boat DM Tapper is off shore for the Iridium flight:

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:424351/mmsi:366053000/imo:0/vessel:DM_TAPPER

Quote
Offshore for the week! #spacex #dmtapper

Now THAT is interesting... SpaceX chartered a sightseeing passenger boat?... Or who and why?...

The boats look nothing alike. Something doesn't quite add up here.

That being said, is there anything stopping a private vessel from going out to watch the show?
Launches attended: Worldview-4 (Atlas V 401), Iridium NEXT Flight 1 (Falcon 9 FT)

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DM

Offline catdlr

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LAUNCH ALERT

                              Brian Webb
                  launch-alert-editor@earthlink.net
                        www.spacearchive.info

                                 2017 October 8 (Sunday) 10:14 PDT
----------------------------------------------------------------------

                       MONDAY VANDENBERG LAUNCH

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial payload is scheduled for
launch from south Vandenberg AFB tomorrow morning at 05:37 PDT.

Following lift-off, the rocket will climb vertically for several
seconds before it begins a gradual turn and heads south. If the launch
is successful, the Falcon 9 will place several Iridium NEXT
communications satellites into orbit.

Weather permitting, the launch could be visible as far away as San
Francisco, Mammoth, Needles, and San Diego, Calif.

People in very quiet locations in coastal Santa Barbara and Ventura
Counties and the western Santa Monica mountains may hear a distant,
muffled rumble or perhaps a sonic boom from the launch some time
between T+4 and T+12 minutes.

Some launch enthusiasts may be planning gather to watch the event from
west of Lompoc near highway 246 (west Ocean Avenue) and Union Sugar
Road. However, since this area is near the coast, there is a
possibility the liftoff will be hidden by low clouds or fog.

Regardless of where you plan to go to view the launch, allow yourself
enough time to get there well before liftoff. After you arrive, be
aware of your surroundings and possible hazards such as traffic.

For launch status and countdown information, go to:

      www.spaceflightnow.com

      www.spacex.com

For information on viewing Vandenberg rocket and missile launches, go
to:

      www.spacearchive.info/vafbview.htm

The Internet countdown feed may be delayed by several seconds. Rather
than relying on the feed for launch cueing, use a GPS receiver or
another source to obtain the exact time. You can also set your watch
to the exact time from the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (www.nist.gov).

----------------------------------------------------------------------

                           SECURITY POLICY

Launch Alert does not intentionally publish sensitive, potentially
sensitive, or inside information. All information comes from open
sources or is approved for public release.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright 2017, Brian Webb. All rights reserved. No portion of this
newsletter may be used without identifying Launch Alert as the
source and providing a functioning hyperlink or text that point to
http://www.spacearchive.info/newsletter.htm.
Tony De La Rosa

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Now THAT is interesting... SpaceX chartered a sightseeing passenger boat?... Or who and why?...

The boats look nothing alike. Something doesn't quite add up here.

That being said, is there anything stopping a private vessel from going out to watch the show?

Actually, the boat does look like itself, but it's lived many lives since being built in 1979.  The image on Marine Traffic shows it back when it was Expeditions in passenger ferry service.  It's currently DM Tapper with Pacific Tugboats.

The PTS Vessel Spec Sheet PDF includes an image.  The passenger area aft of the three oblong windows is not present in the image, and it looks a lot like the other vessels SpaceX uses (with a flat deck astern). The URL of the PDF implies it was uploaded in August, so I'd assume it shows the current config.

Online ZachS09

According to the picture embedded in https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/917127765555503104, this Falcon 9 that will launch Iridium-NEXT F3 is using the aluminum grid fins again.

My best guess is that there are a stockpile of these grid fins which will be used up first before the titanium type stays in place.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2017 09:25 PM by ZachS09 »
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline AncientU

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According to the picture embedded in https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/917127765555503104, this Falcon 9 that will launch Iridium-NEXT F3 is using the aluminum grid fins again.

My best guess is that there are a stockpile of these grid fins which will be used up first before the titanium type stays in place.

I suspect they made a limited number (4 or 8 maybe) of the titanium fins to get some flight data... full production run is probably for Block 5 vehicles.

Question: Are fairing recovery(ies) planned?
« Last Edit: 10/08/2017 11:57 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Different angle:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BaAGV8CDAsQ/

There is a photo in the Update thread linked above that looks like its from the West coast landing zone can any one confirm.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Press kit shows RP-1 loading at T-1 hour 10 minutes, compared to T-1 hour for previous launches. T-1:10 was the time of the older launches. LOX loading is at T-35 minutes, corresponding to the later launches (previous was T-45 minutes). No sure what that exactly means. A combination of new and old propellant systems?
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 11:28 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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RP-1 loading should have started 3 minutes ago, if the press kit is correct.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 11:30 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Did RP-1 fuelling start at T-1:10 or T-1 hour?
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Semmel

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From the webvast: I cant remember seeing the second stage bleed off LOX from two ports simultaneously. This is entirely possible to be a failure of my memory, but can anyone confirm this is the usual case or is this new?

Offline old_sellsword

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From the webvast: I cant remember seeing the second stage bleed off LOX from two ports simultaneously. This is entirely possible to be a failure of my memory, but can anyone confirm this is the usual case or is this new?

There’s always been two LOX bleed valves on the upper half of S2.

Offline matthewkantar

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Second. Stage altitude is plummeting??

Offline ehb

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Second. Stage altitude is plummeting??
Was stage 1 altitude.

Offline matthewkantar

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Ah, got it. Thought it was a glitch.  Thx.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Boy, the center engine ran for about 10 seconds or so after the stage 1 landing, there....
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline ehb

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Confirmation of aluminum grid fins due to lower energy trajectory.

I suspect this might have been said due to NSF discussions.
Maybe the answer is they will use titanium when needed and keep both types available ?

Offline lrk

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Boy, the center engine ran for about 10 seconds or so after the stage 1 landing, there....

That was just extra fuel leaking out of the engine and burning off after shutdown - it always happens, but looked brighter this time since it was at night. 

Offline old_sellsword

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The animation is completely false, since it's not a Florida flight... !?

Err, no, that’s just an view of California and Mexico looking east.

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Landing again looks very close to the bullseye, so SpaceX's amazing run continues - so far so good for BFR to land on launch mounts.

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Landing burn seemed very 'flashy'- just an effect of it being night time?
Waiting for joy and raptor

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On the webcast someone asked to zoom in on a fire on JTRI.  Hopefully not a big deal.

Offline toruonu

When the second stage lit it looked like th first stage was going through its flip manoeuvre and got the full blast of the S2 engine exhaust for a good many seconds before its own engines lit and it flew out of the exhaust path. Hadn't seen that before, wonder if that brought about some extra crispiness ;)

Offline ugordan

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Nighttime viewing conditions.

Offline rower2000

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Landing burn seemed very 'flashy'- just an effect of it being night time?
Night time plus some gimbal action of the engine, I assume. If the engine gimbals right, it gets brighter on the right hand side and darker on the left hand side, similar for the other gimbal directions.

Offline EspenU

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So far so good. Beautiful launch. Although my heart stopped for a few seconds around Max-Q when the plume dissapeard behind the clouds.

Also; Smoke ring at T-9:55!

Edit: OK, technically a GOX ring..
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 01:45 PM by EspenU »

Offline woods170

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Boy, the center engine ran for about 10 seconds or so after the stage 1 landing, there....

That was just extra fuel leaking out of the engine and burning off after shutdown - it always happens, but looked brighter this time since it was at night. 
Correct. If the center engine was still running the first stage would have lifted off again.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Boy, the center engine ran for about 10 seconds or so after the stage 1 landing, there....

That was just extra fuel leaking out of the engine and burning off after shutdown - it always happens, but looked brighter this time since it was at night. 
Correct. If the center engine was still running the first stage would have lifted off again.

That's what I thought -- though, maybe because it was night-time still, the fire coming from the engine sure looked like it had a nice, well-formed exhaust flame coming out of the bell.  Left a bright, glowing spot on the deck of JRtI, too...
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline dawei

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For some reason the liftoff looked "slow" to me.  (I am not saying anything was off nominal - just conveying my impression at the moment of liftoff).  I imagine it had to do with nighttime viewing conditions.  But I really did have several heartbeats where I was thinking "Oh CRUD, it's gonna do a big RUD before liftoff and blow the pad to bits and pieces!"  I was very  happy to see it move up and away.

Offline AncientU

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Lots of vibration seen on second stage throughout burn.  Maybe just camera mounting vibs?
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Offline lrk

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For some reason the liftoff looked "slow" to me.  (I am not saying anything was off nominal - just conveying my impression at the moment of liftoff).  I imagine it had to do with nighttime viewing conditions.  But I really did have several heartbeats where I was thinking "Oh CRUD, it's gonna do a big RUD before liftoff and blow the pad to bits and pieces!"  I was very  happy to see it move up and away.

Iridium launches are the heaviest payload F9 has launched, IIRC, so the TWR might be visibly lower than for a GTO mission. 

Offline ehb

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Was concerned about the long apparent leak, but it was cleared up, "solid oxygen", not a concern.

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With the barge landing, why was there a boost back burn?  I thought boost back was only for RTLS. 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline rpapo

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With the barge landing, why was there a boost back burn?  I thought boost back was only for RTLS.
If you've got the fuel to spare, and don't really want to send the barge a few hundred miles further out...
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 01:42 PM by rpapo »
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

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With the barge landing, why was there a boost back burn?  I thought boost back was only for RTLS.
If you've got the fuel to spare, and don't really want to send the barge a few hundred miles further out...

Seems they are not worried about another burn.

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For some reason the liftoff looked "slow" to me.  (I am not saying anything was off nominal - just conveying my impression at the moment of liftoff).  I imagine it had to do with nighttime viewing conditions.  But I really did have several heartbeats where I was thinking "Oh CRUD, it's gonna do a big RUD before liftoff and blow the pad to bits and pieces!"  I was very  happy to see it move up and away.

Iridium launches are the heaviest payload F9 has launched, IIRC, so the TWR might be visibly lower than for a GTO mission.

A loaded F9 weighs almost 600 tonnes, while the difference between a GTO sat and the Iridium stack is only about 4 tonnes. Doubt the difference is at all noticeable (roughly 0.08 m/s^2 difference in acceleration at liftoff).

Offline kevin-rf

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With the barge landing, why was there a boost back burn?  I thought boost back was only for RTLS.
If you've got the fuel to spare, and don't really want to send the barge a few hundred miles further out...

Also, the more forward speed you can kill, the lower the thermal loads (and damage) on the recovered stage.
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It's your med's!

Offline ugordan

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FWIW, liftoff didn't seem any slower than usual for me.

Offline dawei

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FWIW, liftoff didn't seem any slower than usual for me.

I'm sure your are right.  Just my very adrenaline filled impression at the moment of liftoff.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 01:57 PM by dawei »

Offline dawei

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Anybody know the timing of the deorbit burn?  Any guesses on burn duration from all you amateur rocket scientists out there?  Professional rocket scientists are also welcome to weigh in :)

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Was concerned about the long apparent leak, but it was cleared up, "solid oxygen", not a concern.


Any more info on this? What source is there for O2 other than a leak?
Waiting for joy and raptor

Offline Pete

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The 12:37 bus to the Iridium dorms has completed its route.
Bus has returned to depot for routine maintenance.
No events, no incidents.
.
Next bus leaves in 2 days time.
Just another routine day in a routine job.

Offline Pete

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Was concerned about the long apparent leak, but it was cleared up, "solid oxygen", not a concern.


Any more info on this? What source is there for O2 other than a leak?

I would not be surprised at all if this is exactly as intended.
You want to avoid the formation of either gaseous bubbles or solid ice in the O2 lines, the easiest way (by far) to achieve this is to allow a minute trickle of O2 to flow through, thus maintaining the lines at the temperature of the main tank, rather than worrying about exact thermal environment, shade vs. sunlight, etc...

Online Robotbeat

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LOx is gonna boil off, and venting also can help settle propellant. Totally nominal.
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Block 4 stages, presumably.  Hope we learn more about post-landing situation (mention of post-landing fire upthread).

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 04:14 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline ugordan

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Block 4 stages, presumably.  Hope we learn more about post-landing situation (mention of post-landing fire upthread).

It was never explicitly stated that the fire was on the droneship. My initial guess, given that LC was addressed/called it, made me think it was actually a fire at SLC-4E.

Online nacnud

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With the post landing fire was the camera working in IR? It was rather dark out in the Pacific.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 04:40 PM by nacnud »

Online Johnnyhinbos

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With the post landing fire was the camera working in IR? It was rather dark out in the Pacific.
The ASDS' are festooned with all kinds of lights.
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A surprisingly nice view, 100 miles from the site.


(1:20 for the sighting)

Many congrats to everyone involved for the successful conclusion of yet another launch campaign.
Check out the interacting S1/S2 exhaust plumes at about 2:50.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline mvpel

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For some reason the liftoff looked "slow" to me.  (I am not saying anything was off nominal - just conveying my impression at the moment of liftoff).  I imagine it had to do with nighttime viewing conditions.  But I really did have several heartbeats where I was thinking "Oh CRUD, it's gonna do a big RUD before liftoff and blow the pad to bits and pieces!"  I was very  happy to see it move up and away.

I wish somebody had gotten a picture of me when I was watching CRS-8 lift off, the first and so far only launch I've seen in person. I must have looked like Kevin from Home Alone as I struggled to grasp the impossible sight of this immense machine the size of a building slowly claw its way skyward on a blazing shard of sunlight. I had exactly the same thought you did, too.
"Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they're much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans (especially engineer-humans) perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code." - Eric S. Raymond

Offline haywoodfloyd

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Was it me or did the YouTube feed seem "jerky". Seems there was lot of buffering going on.

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Was it me or did the YouTube feed seem "jerky". Seems there was lot of buffering going on.
YouTube stream was just fine for me.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk


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Was concerned about the long apparent leak, but it was cleared up, "solid oxygen", not a concern.
They pre-chill by venting LOX through the system.  It's not a leak, it's intentional.

Engine Chilldown
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline woods170

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Block 4 stages, presumably.  Hope we learn more about post-landing situation (mention of post-landing fire upthread).

 - Ed Kyle
There was no such as a post-landing fire. What was seen in the post-landing footage was the usual burning-off of residual propellant from the center engine. It stopped less than 15 seconds after touch-down. No fire after that. This burning-off of residual propellants happens on all landings. It is completely nominal. The only reason it was seen this clearly is because of the night-time conditions. Had this landing been witnessed in bright daylight the burning-off would have hardly been visible.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 06:44 PM by woods170 »

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Block 4 stages, presumably.  Hope we learn more about post-landing situation (mention of post-landing fire upthread).

 - Ed Kyle
There was no such as a post-landing fire. What was seen in the post-landing footage was the usual burning-off of residual propellant from the center engine. It stopped less than 15 seconds after touch-down. No fire after that. This burning-off of residual propellants happens on all landings. It is completely nominal. The only reason it was seen this clearly is because of the night-time conditions. Had this landing been witnessed in bright daylight the burning-off would have hardly been visible.
Yes, I saw that initial brightness as normal.  I'm wondering about what happened after the view cut away.  There was a flicker or two at the base of the propulsion section just before the view ended.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 07:08 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline ChrisC

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Here's another video I stumbled across zoomed in on stage separation and boostback:



Going to quote this closeup video into here for further discussion.  Absolutely astonishing! 
NASA TV in HD:  history, FAQ and latest status

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I've said this before after the SpaceX CRS-9 launch: that phenomenon during which both the first and second stage plumes collided with each other made me think the rocket exploded until I checked the webcast to make sure everything was fine.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

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Going to quote this closeup video into here for further discussion.  Absolutely astonishing!

Yes ... this reminds me of images of the Crab Nebula and other similar things, it's just many orders of magnitude closer and smaller, supersonic shock waves of low density gas interacting in space.

Offline woods170

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I've said this before after the SpaceX CRS-9 launch: that phenomenon during which both the first and second stage plumes collided with each other made me think the rocket exploded until I checked the webcast to make sure everything was fine.
Only seen because of the nighttime conditions of this launch. The same interactions take place in daylight launches but are not seen as sunlight is much brighter than light effects coming off the interaction of the plumes.

Offline woods170

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Block 4 stages, presumably.  Hope we learn more about post-landing situation (mention of post-landing fire upthread).

 - Ed Kyle
There was no such as a post-landing fire. What was seen in the post-landing footage was the usual burning-off of residual propellant from the center engine. It stopped less than 15 seconds after touch-down. No fire after that. This burning-off of residual propellants happens on all landings. It is completely nominal. The only reason it was seen this clearly is because of the night-time conditions. Had this landing been witnessed in bright daylight the burning-off would have hardly been visible.
Yes, I saw that initial brightness as normal.  I'm wondering about what happened after the view cut away.  There was a flicker or two at the base of the propulsion section just before the view ended.

 - Ed Kyle
Yes. Completely normal for Falcon 9. When Falcon 9 lands there is massive interaction of fuel-rich center-engine exhaust with both the deck of the ASDS as well as the business end of Falcon 9 itself. There will be burning stuff on the outside of the aft end and it will burn for some time after touch-down. On previous landings this localized burning stuff has also been spotted on the legs, and the ASDS deck.
You have to remember that prior to Falcon 9 there was no reference in what is "normal" for a propulsively landed rocket stage. Falcon 9 is now writing the initial "handbook" for this, including all the phenomena observed after touch-down.
« Last Edit: 10/10/2017 07:07 AM by woods170 »

Offline octavo

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You have to remember that prior to Falcon 9 there was no reference in what is "normal" for a propulsively landed rocket stage. Falcon 9 is now writing the initial "handbook" for this, including all the phenomena observed after touch-down.

I might be well off-base here, but that sort of sounds like the thinking that lead to the loss of Columbia? I don't think post-landing fires are quite the same as heat-shield damage, but imo "normal" should only be decided once Block V has proven at least 5 or 6 unrefurbished reflights.

Offline woods170

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You have to remember that prior to Falcon 9 there was no reference in what is "normal" for a propulsively landed rocket stage. Falcon 9 is now writing the initial "handbook" for this, including all the phenomena observed after touch-down.

I might be well off-base here, but that sort of sounds like the thinking that lead to the loss of Columbia? I don't think post-landing fires are quite the same as heat-shield damage, but imo "normal" should only be decided once Block V has proven at least 5 or 6 unrefurbished reflights.
Incorrect. Post-landing fires are a problem if they are of the type that does unexpected damage. Like having an extended fire INSIDE the octoweb when there is not supposed to be one.
They have had those on early landings, but not anymore, courtesy of progressive improvements to prevent fires inside the octoweb. Short duration fires on the outside of the stage are now effectively remedied by the stage TPS and are expected. You don't do propulsive landings - of the type SpaceX does - and expect flaming stuff to NOT hit the legs or bounce back up against the stage itself.
Trouble was that SpaceX initially did not quite know what kind of a local environment a landing Falcon 9 would create. So, during the first several landings they ran into some surprises. Things they hadn't expected yet happened anyway. That's "writing the book" on this stuff. The way SpaceX operates they learned from their observations quickly AND next began to "harden" Falcon 9 to better withstand the landing-environment and subsequent results. One of the best observable effects was that eventually the post-landing fires INSIDE the octoweb went away. A substantial part of the effort being put into Block 5 is taking protection from the landing-environment to the ultimate level. So, SpaceX has been busy fixing the problem, and they are succeeding.

Columbia was completely different. That was normalization of deviance. In stead of fixing their problem (prevent foam-loss all together AND harden your heatshield to take on anything) they just comforted themselves expecting foam-loss, and other debris, to never be an issue because it had not killed in orbiter in 100 previous flights. This despite the fact that STS-27 was one heck of a wake-up call.

That's the difference: NASA failed to fix a problem despite getting warnings about the problem on almost every flight. SpaceX however got warnings of a problem and has acted (and is still acting) to fix the problem.
That doesn't go to say though that they are infallible. They had plenty of indications of a problem with their COPV's on multiple flights. They didn't begin to fix that problem however until after AMOS-6. They learned their lesson there. Unlike NASA, who knew - even before Challenger - that shuttle had several major design issues, but never bothered to fix them properly. Even the extensive improvements made after Columbia fixed only about half of the problem.
« Last Edit: 10/10/2017 12:00 PM by woods170 »

Offline Brovane

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With the barge landing, why was there a boost back burn?  I thought boost back was only for RTLS.
If you've got the fuel to spare, and don't really want to send the barge a few hundred miles further out...

Do we know if SpaceX could do an RTLS with the Iridium launches?  Assuming the Vandenberg landing site was completed and available. 
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With the barge landing, why was there a boost back burn?  I thought boost back was only for RTLS.
If you've got the fuel to spare, and don't really want to send the barge a few hundred miles further out...

Do we know if SpaceX could do an RTLS with the Iridium launches?  Assuming the Vandenberg landing site was completed and available.

Not for sure, but likely they can with Block 5.

Online vaporcobra

I also noticed the extremely unusual lack of photos thus far. Hoping it's just a fluke or that Ben Cooper was unavailable or something ???

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Some rough seas are apparently delaying crew from boarding JRTI.

Edit: I should clarify, as of ~24 hours ago.

No Roomba (as of ~28 hours ago, about 12 hours after landing)
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online vaporcobra

Some rough seas are apparently delaying crew from boarding JRTI.

Edit: I should clarify, as of ~24 hours ago.

No Roomba (as of ~28 hours ago, about 12 hours after landing)

There is only one Roomba, and that guy is on OCISLY ;)

Offline old_sellsword

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And another one. Does not get old, even if it is starting to feel routine

Edit: FWIW, the poster (an employee) said that we should "stay tuned for more pictures of the actual launch", so hopefully that means the lack of official photos is temporary!

This picture is not from Iridium-3, the caption says that’s OCISLY.

Edit: Original context of that post: https://instagram.com/p/BFMliSUl8e8/
« Last Edit: 10/11/2017 12:13 PM by old_sellsword »

Offline Comga

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Some rough seas are apparently delaying crew from boarding JRTI.

Edit: I should clarify, as of ~24 hours ago.

No Roomba (as of ~28 hours ago, about 12 hours after landing)

There is only one Roomba, and that guy is on OCISLY ;)
DUH!  Wrong coast for Roomba, wrong day of this week.
It was so much easier when launching and landing was infrequent and unknown, respectively.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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I'm confused, it was a Falcon launch but this makes it look like Dragon's breath  ;)

Quote
The SpaceX Falcon 9 Iridium NEXT III cleared the transporter erector. @SpaceX @IridiumComm @NASASpaceflight

https://twitter.com/jdeshetler/status/918122350406656000

Online vaporcobra

And another one. Does not get old, even if it is starting to feel routine

Edit: FWIW, the poster (an employee) said that we should "stay tuned for more pictures of the actual launch", so hopefully that means the lack of official photos is temporary!

This picture is not from Iridium-3, the caption says that’s OCISLY.

Edit: Original context of that post: https://instagram.com/p/BFMliSUl8e8/

Thanks, good eye. I just went ahead and removed it, the ones above are good enough on their own :D

Online vaporcobra

There is only one Roomba, and that guy is on OCISLY ;)
DUH!  Wrong coast for Roomba, wrong day of this week.
It was so much easier when launching and landing was infrequent and unknown, respectively.

Heh, I can't blame you ;D I am no longer able to keep a running list of cores in my head. O, what must we sacrifice in the name of progress...

Online edkyle99

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There is only one Roomba, and that guy is on OCISLY ;)
DUH!  Wrong coast for Roomba, wrong day of this week.
It was so much easier when launching and landing was infrequent and unknown, respectively.

Heh, I can't blame you ;D I am no longer able to keep a running list of cores in my head. O, what must we sacrifice in the name of progress...
I'm trying to keep track here.  A launch log list just above this first stage list.
http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/falcon9ft.html#f9stglog

 - Ed Kyle

Offline CraigLieb

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There is only one Roomba, and that guy is on OCISLY ;)
DUH!  Wrong coast for Roomba, wrong day of this week.
It was so much easier when launching and landing was infrequent and unknown, respectively.

Heh, I can't blame you ;D I am no longer able to keep a running list of cores in my head. O, what must we sacrifice in the name of progress...

...another good reason to subscribe to L2 as there is a  great core watch thread with graphic outlining best guesses as to where the cores are, links to documentation about them and a historical listing.
(L2 link to use after you subscribe)
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42452.0
« Last Edit: 10/12/2017 02:08 PM by CraigLieb »
Colonize Mars!

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I'm confused, it was a Falcon launch but this makes it look like Dragon's breath  ;)

Quote
The SpaceX Falcon 9 Iridium NEXT III cleared the transporter erector. @SpaceX @IridiumComm @NASASpaceflight

https://twitter.com/jdeshetler/status/918122350406656000

The launch of Iridium NEXT III photos was merged into animated 4K video, no audio.

« Last Edit: 10/12/2017 11:31 PM by Jdeshetler »

Online vaporcobra

I observed 10 Iridium satellites in Japan(October 10, 2017 19:25 UT).


Welcome to NASASpaceflight! What an absolutely stunning first post, thank you for sharing. A gorgeous literal display of Iridium's post-deployment orbital dynamics.
« Last Edit: 10/13/2017 07:47 AM by vaporcobra »

Offline woods170

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I observed 10 Iridium satellites in Japan(October 10, 2017 19:25 UT).

Welcom to the forum.
Beautiful first post. I love the images. And congratulations on scoring 16 likes in the first 3 hours since your post.

Online kdhilliard

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I observed 10 Iridium satellites in Japan(October 10, 2017 19:25 UT).

Beautiful!

Let's see, launch was at 2017-10-09  0537/-7, or 12:37 UT, and the the satellites were deployed from about T+0:57:00 (13:34 UT) to T+1:12:00 (13:49), so your photos were taken about 29.5 hours after deployment.

~Kirk

Offline kevin-rf

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Just awesome... curious, are they naked eye or will I need binoculars to see the trail? It's kinda why I love watching NOSS pairs, two satellites flying in formation. Now multiply that by 10!
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Offline Comga

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I observed 10 Iridium satellites in Japan(October 10, 2017 19:25 UT).

Welcom to the forum.
Beautiful first post. I love the images. And congratulations on scoring 16 likes in the first 3 hours since your post.
Agreed.  Even our inside sources don't get 45 likes (current tally) on their first post. This is one of the best first posts ever.
It's fascinating to watch.
« Last Edit: 10/13/2017 08:27 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Not only best first post ever... currently the best last post ever too!  Although I hope that changes.

If not, nobody is ever going to beat a 48 likes (and counting) per post average...

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