Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018  (Read 19143 times)

Offline beidou

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Discussion Thread for GPS III-2 mission.

NSF Threads for GPS III-2 : Discussion
NSF Articles for GPS III-2 :

NET May 2018 on Falcon 9 from the Eastern Range.



[GPS World] Lockheed Martin Powers on Second GPS III Satellite in Production
Quote
The Lockheed Martin team developing the U.S. Air Force’s next generation Global Positioning System (GPS) recently turned on power to the bus and network communications equipment payload of the program’s second satellite designated GPS III Space Vehicle 2 (SV-02).

The successful powering on of GPS III SV-02, on December 19, 2013, at Lockheed Martin’s Denver-area GPS III Processing Facility (GPF), is a major production milestone which demonstrates the satellite’s mechanical integration, validates its interfaces, and leads the way for electrical and integrated hardware-software testing.



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: 11/17/2017 10:31 PM by gongora »

Online Targeteer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2016 09:54 PM »
Interesting development...

United Launch Services, LLC, Centennial, Colorado, has been awarded a $41,894,000 modification (P00014) to previously awarded contract FA8811-13-C-0002 for Global Positioning System (GPS) III-02/ Wideband Global Satellite Communications (WGS)-10 Mission Swap. Contractor will provide a Delta IV (5,4) launch vehicle with the required hardware modifications, replacements, etc. for the WGS-10 Mission in place of the GPS III-02 Mission. Work will be performed at Centennial, Colorado; Decatur, Alabama; Cape Canaveral, Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; and is expected to be complete by Nov. 30, 2018. Fiscal 2015 missile procurement funds in the amount of $39,170,407 are being obligated at the time of award. Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB, California, is the contracting activity.


The US launch schedule currently shows WGS-10 to be TBD in 2019...
« Last Edit: 03/09/2016 09:58 PM by Targeteer »
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Online gongora

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« Last Edit: 09/06/2017 03:50 AM by gongora »

Offline Mike Jones

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #3 on: 04/27/2016 10:01 PM »
20 M$ of subvention from the USAF compared to F9 commercial prices. Nice for SpaceX. ULA, ILS and Arianespace are in big trouble...

Offline mhlas7

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #4 on: 04/27/2016 10:06 PM »
Will the Falcon 9 upper stage inject the satellites into their final orbit? Last I remember, the upper stage didn't have the capability to coast for that long (if I am remembering this correctly the constraint was batteries on the upper stage). Has SpaceX improved the upper stage so that it can perform a direct injection or will a transfer orbit be used relying on the spacecraft to make the final burn?

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #5 on: 04/27/2016 10:17 PM »
Will the Falcon 9 upper stage inject the satellites into their final orbit? Last I remember, the upper stage didn't have the capability to coast for that long (if I am remembering this correctly the constraint was batteries on the upper stage). Has SpaceX improved the upper stage so that it can perform a direct injection or will a transfer orbit be used relying on the spacecraft to make the final burn?

The spacecraft will be doing the perigee raising.

Offline enzo

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #6 on: 04/27/2016 11:12 PM »
Quote
"This GPS III Launch Services contract award achieves a balance between mission success, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs, and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander.
Hm, I wonder which of these USAF is sacrificing for the other three?
None of SpaceX's other customers feel it necessary to insult them for perceived failure risk. Especially rude given that certification was completed.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #7 on: 04/27/2016 11:17 PM »
Quote
"This GPS III Launch Services contract award achieves a balance between mission success, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs, and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander.
Hm, I wonder which of these USAF is sacrificing for the other three?
None of SpaceX's other customers feel it necessary to insult them for perceived failure risk. Especially rude given that certification was completed.

It's not an insult, it's an implicit acknowledgment of the fact that Atlas V has more flown successfully more than twice as many times as Falcon 9 to date.

And I doubt Elon or Gwynne are feeling insulted. They just won their first National Security mission. The champagne is flowing somewhere...though there wasn't any doubt about the win since ULA no-bid.
« Last Edit: 04/27/2016 11:28 PM by Kabloona »

Offline mhlas7

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #8 on: 04/27/2016 11:39 PM »
Will the Falcon 9 upper stage inject the satellites into their final orbit? Last I remember, the upper stage didn't have the capability to coast for that long (if I am remembering this correctly the constraint was batteries on the upper stage). Has SpaceX improved the upper stage so that it can perform a direct injection or will a transfer orbit be used relying on the spacecraft to make the final burn?

The spacecraft will be doing the perigee raising.

Thanks! Any particular reason why? Doesn't the Centaur inject GPS sats into their final orbit for Atlas V missions? What about Delta IV?

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #9 on: 04/27/2016 11:45 PM »
Will this payload be horizontally integrated?
If vertical, this starts a two-year clock on vertical integration hardware/processes.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #10 on: 04/27/2016 11:57 PM »
Quote
"This GPS III Launch Services contract award achieves a balance between mission success, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs, and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander.
Hm, I wonder which of these USAF is sacrificing for the other three?
None of SpaceX's other customers feel it necessary to insult them for perceived failure risk. Especially rude given that certification was completed.

It's not an insult, it's an implicit acknowledgment of the fact that Atlas V has more flown successfully more than twice as many times as Falcon 9 to date.

ULA has reliably flown more complicated, challenging missions, multiple times with well documented flight history showing how effective they are to achieving the mission success.

It is a compromise to use a new provider, who has none of that. That said, they can do the mission. And we have at least two different providers able to do such missions.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #11 on: 04/27/2016 11:58 PM »

Thanks! Any particular reason why? Doesn't the Centaur inject GPS sats into their final orbit for Atlas V missions? What about Delta IV?

It was changed for GPS-III

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #12 on: 04/28/2016 12:00 AM »
Quote
"This GPS III Launch Services contract award achieves a balance between mission success, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs, and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander.
Hm, I wonder which of these USAF is sacrificing for the other three?
None of SpaceX's other customers feel it necessary to insult them for perceived failure risk. Especially rude given that certification was completed.

It's not an insult, it's an implicit acknowledgment of the fact that Atlas V has more flown successfully more than twice as many times as Falcon 9 to date.

And I doubt Elon or Gwynne are feeling insulted. They just won their first National Security mission. The champagne is flowing somewhere...though there wasn't any doubt about the win since ULA no-bid.

It is just GPS

Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #13 on: 04/28/2016 12:35 AM »
Quote
"This GPS III Launch Services contract award achieves a balance between mission success, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs, and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander.
Hm, I wonder which of these USAF is sacrificing for the other three?
None of SpaceX's other customers feel it necessary to insult them for perceived failure risk. Especially rude given that certification was completed.

It's not an insult, it's an implicit acknowledgment of the fact that Atlas V has more flown successfully more than twice as many times as Falcon 9 to date.

And I doubt Elon or Gwynne are feeling insulted. They just won their first National Security mission. The champagne is flowing somewhere...though there wasn't any doubt about the win since ULA no-bid.

It is just GPS

Just a GPS is an upgrade from just Tang and T-Shirts.

Offline Brovane

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #14 on: 04/28/2016 02:47 AM »
With a bid of $82.7M this seems kind of low.  I would have thought they would bid between $90M-100M for this launch contract.  I hope that SpaceX isn't in for a rude shock with all the special requirements(and extra costs) for a DOD payload. 

With a bid of $82.7 Million I wonder if any harsh language is being exchanged at ULA right now? 
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 02:59 AM by Brovane »
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Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #15 on: 04/28/2016 03:17 AM »
With a bid of $82.7M this seems kind of low.  I would have thought they would bid between $90M-100M for this launch contract.  I hope that SpaceX isn't in for a rude shock with all the special requirements(and extra costs) for a DOD payload. 

They are probably willing to risk eating some of the cost of the first few DoD missions in order to get their foot in the door, and $10M or so loss here and there isn't going to break them. And they reportedly bid about $80M in 2012 for a GPS launch, so their new bid hasn't even kept up with inflation, so they're definitely being aggressive.

Quote
With a bid of $82.7 Million I wonder if any harsh language is being exchanged at ULA right now?

Well, if anything, it certainly justifies their no-bid, so at least they saved a few million B&P money. But they've reportedly said they will bid next time. That's when it gets interesting.
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 03:26 AM by Kabloona »

Offline Brovane

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #16 on: 04/28/2016 03:29 AM »
With a bid of $82.7M this seems kind of low.  I would have thought they would bid between $90M-100M for this launch contract.  I hope that SpaceX isn't in for a rude shock with all the special requirements(and extra costs) for a DOD payload. 

They are probably willing to risk eating some of the cost of the first few DoD missions in order to get their foot in the door, and $10M or so loss here and there isn't going to break them. And they reportedly bid about $80M in 2012 for a GPS launch, so their new bid hasn't even kept up with inflation, so they're definitely being aggressive.

Quote
With a bid of $82.7 Million I wonder if any harsh language is being exchanged at ULA right now?

Well, if anything, it certainly justifies their no-bid, so at least they saved a few million B&P money. But they've reportedly said they will bid next time. That's when it gets interesting.

Wasn't a Atlas-V 401 going for about $160 Million under the block-buy? 
"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 Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #17 on: 04/28/2016 05:36 AM »
<snip>
Wasn't a Atlas-V 401 going for about $160 Million under the block-buy?

Before or after the ELC money? Which if recalled is about $90M per launch.

Offline karanfildavut

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #18 on: 04/28/2016 06:05 AM »
First post after 3+ years of lurking. Geronimo.

Their prices have not changed much over 4 years. They charged NASA $82 mil for Jason-3 in 2012. With efficiency gains cancelling out inflation, $82-83 mil may be a sustainable price for mission assurance + launch services for government contracts. Is there really a $10mil+ yawning gap between NASA assurance and DoD assurance services? 

Ref : http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_C12-029_RSLP-20_Launch_Services.html

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #19 on: 04/28/2016 06:26 AM »
With efficiency gains cancelling out inflation, $82-83 mil may be a sustainable price for mission assurance + launch services for government contracts.

Welcome!

But Brett Tobey doesn't think so. He said they were shooting for $125 million, and that's without counting ELC.

Quote
As far as those costs, Tobey said SpaceX was able to offer launch services as low as $60 million per flight, whereas the lowest ULA could offer was $125 million. However, he added, that did not include an $800 million "capability contract" that the military pays ULA annually to guarantee readiness and the ability to essentially launch on demand. If you factor in these funds, which SpaceX does not receive, the lowest cost launches that ULA can offer are about $200 million.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/03/ula-executive-admits-company-cannot-compete-with-spacex-on-launch-costs/
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 06:30 AM by Kabloona »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #20 on: 04/28/2016 06:34 AM »
So two well known space journalists both say that SpaceX submitted two proposals for this contract:

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/725451263891099649

Quote
@flatoday_jdean: A new sight in Air Force launch contracting. (Note "two proposals received" apparently both from SpaceX.)

https://twitter.com/gruss_sn/status/725452087996370944

Quote
@gruss_sn: Also what I've heard.

Offline sewebster

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #21 on: 04/28/2016 06:55 AM »
Horizontal and vertical integration options?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #22 on: 04/28/2016 07:05 AM »
Horizontal and vertical integration options?

Possibly. Do we know if GPS sats can be horizontally integrated?

I was going to say that given the contract value I'm guessing the cheaper option was selected, but now I'm not so sure!

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #23 on: 04/28/2016 07:09 AM »
Horizontal and vertical integration options?

Possibly. Do we know if GPS sats can be horizontally integrated?

I was going to say that given the contract value I'm guessing the cheaper option was selected, but now I'm not so sure!

With all the mission assurance requirements, I don't see how there could be a cheaper option than $83M. Those mission assurance requirements alone were expected to cost an additional $20M. And remember, SpaceX submitted an $80M unsolicited bid for GPS back in 2012 (?) and that certainly would have been horizontal integration. So maybe their other proposal was vertical integration for, say, $100M.

But, from a knowledgeable source, the GPS sats can be horizontally integrated. So it seems likely the winning bid was in fact SpaceX's cheapest option, for horizontal integration.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38557.msg1433475#msg1433475
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 07:42 AM by Kabloona »

Offline saliva_sweet

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #24 on: 04/28/2016 08:36 AM »
They may have bid an expendable launch with tons of margin for 90+M and a recoverable launch for 83M. I don't see the value in offering vertical integration for a payload that doesn't need it.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #25 on: 04/28/2016 11:18 AM »

The spacecraft will be doing the perigee raising.

Thanks! Any particular reason why? Doesn't the Centaur inject GPS sats into their final orbit for Atlas V missions? What about Delta IV?
I recall (perhaps wrongly) that one reason was not to create more space junk.   At this altitude, if the booster circularizes, then it will hang around for millions of years after it releases the satellite.  It's too expensive (in delta-V) to de-orbit it.  If you just use a transfer orbit, the booster can be easily de-orbited, or naturally decay.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #26 on: 04/28/2016 01:21 PM »

The spacecraft will be doing the perigee raising.

Thanks! Any particular reason why? Doesn't the Centaur inject GPS sats into their final orbit for Atlas V missions? What about Delta IV?
I recall (perhaps wrongly) that one reason was not to create more space junk.   At this altitude, if the booster circularizes, then it will hang around for millions of years after it releases the satellite.  It's too expensive (in delta-V) to de-orbit it.  If you just use a transfer orbit, the booster can be easily de-orbited, or naturally decay.

You may be (rightly) recalling this post from Jim:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38557.msg1432863#msg1432863
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 01:22 PM by Kabloona »

Online Norm38

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #27 on: 04/28/2016 02:16 PM »
With all the mission assurance requirements, I don't see how there could be a cheaper option than $83M. Those mission assurance requirements alone were expected to cost an additional $20M.

It's not clear to me what that $20 million is actually buying.  Is it just paperwork, or is the rocket physically different than for a typical comsat?

Also, this mission was getting a lot of notice on the national news this morning.  Saw segments on both CNN and CBS news at the gym.
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 02:17 PM by Norm38 »

Offline nadreck

Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #28 on: 04/28/2016 02:18 PM »
Will we get details of the bid that didn't win? I am curious as to the differences between the two proposals.
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #29 on: 04/28/2016 02:26 PM »
With all the mission assurance requirements, I don't see how there could be a cheaper option than $83M. Those mission assurance requirements alone were expected to cost an additional $20M.

It's not clear to me what that $20 million is actually buying.  Is it just paperwork, or is the rocket physically different than for a typical comsat?

IIRC, the "mission assurance" part is a lot of QA paperwork submittal requirements that SpaceX would not normally provide to a commercial customer.
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 02:27 PM by Kabloona »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #30 on: 04/28/2016 03:03 PM »
Quote
"This GPS III Launch Services contract award achieves a balance between mission success, meeting operational needs, lowering launch costs, and reintroducing competition for National Security Space missions," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space and SMC commander.
Hm, I wonder which of these USAF is sacrificing for the other three?
None of SpaceX's other customers feel it necessary to insult them for perceived failure risk. Especially rude given that certification was completed.

It's not an insult, it's an implicit acknowledgment of the fact that Atlas V has more flown successfully more than twice as many times as Falcon 9 to date.

And I doubt Elon or Gwynne are feeling insulted. They just won their first National Security mission. The champagne is flowing somewhere...though there wasn't any doubt about the win since ULA no-bid.

It is just GPS

Just a GPS is an upgrade from just Tang and T-Shirts.

GPS-3 satellites use the Lockheed Martin commercial A2100 bus, so besides the orbit it will be a similar launch to a commercial launch ( GPS is not a unique platform, no real time sensitivity other than a normal launch, and horizontal integration) Pretty much the ideal DoD mission for SpaceX.
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 03:04 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #31 on: 04/28/2016 04:31 PM »
GPS-3 satellites use the Lockheed Martin commercial A2100 bus, so besides the orbit it will be a similar launch to a commercial launch ( GPS is not a unique platform, no real time sensitivity other than a normal launch, and horizontal integration) Pretty much the ideal DoD mission for SpaceX.
One quibble with that, You will be targeting a specific inclined plane. So you will have some real time launch window sensitivity. GEO planes are not inclined, so no time sensitivity on the window.

That said, it should be no worse than Iridium or CRS launches.
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Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #32 on: 04/28/2016 05:16 PM »
One quibble with that, You will be targeting a specific inclined plane. So you will have some real time launch window sensitivity. GEO planes are not inclined, so no time sensitivity on the window.

That said, it should be no worse than Iridium or CRS launches.

I meant that DoD won't expect SpaceX to drop everything and launch the GPS satellite as soon as it is ready under ELC satellites from DoD.
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #33 on: 04/28/2016 05:58 PM »
Quote
James Dean ‏@flatoday_jdean 54m54 minutes ago

An Air Force official today said SpaceX's winning GPS III bid was 40% below government estimates.

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/725731649921646593

So government estimates must have been around the 135 - 140M range.

Edit: here's an attribution

Quote
Mike Gruss ‏@Gruss_SN 1h1 hour ago

SMC's Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves says SpaceX's $82.7M launch contract is about 40 percent lower than previous government estimates.

https://twitter.com/Gruss_SN/status/725728982700810244
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 06:00 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #34 on: 04/28/2016 08:14 PM »
Quote
James Dean ‏@flatoday_jdean 54m54 minutes ago

An Air Force official today said SpaceX's winning GPS III bid was 40% below government estimates.

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/725731649921646593

So government estimates must have been around the 135 - 140M range.

Which is almost exactly the average of SpaceX's old 2012 bid of $80M and ULA's expected $200M or so bid, according to Brett Tobey (ie $125M plus ELC).  Coincidence, or did the Gov't just average the two numbers?

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/03/ula-executive-admits-company-cannot-compete-with-spacex-on-launch-costs/
« Last Edit: 04/28/2016 08:17 PM by Kabloona »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #35 on: 04/29/2016 12:38 AM »
The timeline between the RFP and award was 7 months. So if SpaceX avoids falling on its face in the next 8 months it is highly likely it will win the GPS 3-3 award as well.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #36 on: 04/29/2016 02:12 AM »
The timeline between the RFP and award was 7 months. So if SpaceX avoids falling on its face in the next 8 months it is highly likely it will win the GPS 3-3 award as well.
ULA might lowball. Or warrant the launch? But the former is dangerous as it sets a precedent. They're in a bit of a bind. As some people predicted they would be, some considerable time ago.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #37 on: 04/29/2016 03:26 AM »
Since this is a 2018 launch bid...

Anyone want to take a wager that bid 1 was for a new 1st stage and bid two was for a reused 1st stage?

Just one of the few reasons I can see SpaceX submitting two bids.  Looking forward to seeing what the second bid was.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #38 on: 04/29/2016 06:14 AM »
They may have bid an expendable launch with tons of margin for 90+M and a recoverable launch for 83M. I don't see the value in offering vertical integration for a payload that doesn't need it.

But don't they just use the margin if they need it on a planned recoverable launch? Or do you mean a "better" orbit such that the satellite has more margin for its perigee raising? But I agree that if it does not require vertical integration then that probably wasn't the other bid.

Anyone want to take a wager that bid 1 was for a new 1st stage and bid two was for a reused 1st stage?

Aha, that could be it too.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #39 on: 04/29/2016 06:29 AM »
Since this is a 2018 launch bid...

Anyone want to take a wager that bid 1 was for a new 1st stage and bid two was for a reused 1st stage?

Just one of the few reasons I can see SpaceX submitting two bids.  Looking forward to seeing what the second bid was.

Quite likely - the second bid could have been considerably cheaper.

If that's the case, almost certainly the airforce went for a fresh stage - as they should and good on them. No sense purchasing unproven technology yet.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #40 on: 04/29/2016 06:46 AM »
I agree a re-used stage could be the second bid but the submission date was before SpaceX had successfully returned any stage. Of course SpaceX planned to re-use stages and had got close to returning them but they must have known that the USAF wouldn't be that adventurous right off the bat? So I do wonder what the point of such a second bid was?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #41 on: 04/29/2016 07:05 AM »
Since this is a 2018 launch bid...

Anyone want to take a wager that bid 1 was for a new 1st stage and bid two was for a reused 1st stage?

Just one of the few reasons I can see SpaceX submitting two bids.  Looking forward to seeing what the second bid was.
My bet is government contracts will provide brand new stages to increase/replenish the warehouse.
They are likely to be the last to go for reuse. Specially the DoD.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #42 on: 04/29/2016 10:33 AM »
Which is almost exactly the average of SpaceX's old 2012 bid of $80M and ULA's expected $200M or so bid, according to Brett Tobey (ie $125M plus ELC).  Coincidence, or did the Gov't just average the two numbers?

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/03/ula-executive-admits-company-cannot-compete-with-spacex-on-launch-costs/

The press write-up of yesterday's remarks says the 40% cheaper referred to estimates of previous missions, which is being interpreted as 40% cheaper than ULA (eg see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-launch-ula-idUSKCN0XP2T2). But that would seem to imply no factoring in of ELC in the estimates (which I guess could be true if the estimates were done a while ago) ?

But clearly the USAF know the ELC can't be factored in anymore - indeed isn't there a clause that explicitly precludes such cross subsidy from other government contracts? So 40% seems a bit low in terms of saving.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2016 10:36 AM by FutureSpaceTourist »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #43 on: 04/29/2016 09:04 PM »
Likely this will be a SpaceX mission...
Quote
The Air Force announced today (April 27, 2016) the award to Space Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of an $82.7-million contract for GPS III Launch Services.

The Air Force characterized the contract as “the first competitively sourced National Security Space (NSS) launch services contract in more than a decade.” However, a decision last November by the United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed, not to compete for this GPS III launch effectively left SpaceX as the only bidder.

Announced by the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, the firm-fixed price, standalone contract requires SpaceX to provide the Government with a total launch solution for the second GPS III satellite, which includes launch vehicle production, mission integration, and launch operations and spaceflight certification. The launch will be the second for the GPS III program and is scheduled to take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, in May 2018.

http://insidegnss.com/node/4930

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #44 on: 04/29/2016 11:26 PM »

Thanks! Any particular reason why? Doesn't the Centaur inject GPS sats into their final orbit for Atlas V missions? What about Delta IV?

It was changed for GPS-III

In fact, GPS-IIF was the only series, which used direct insertion into the final orbits - all other (GPS I, II, IIA, IIR, IIRM and III) used (or use) their own apogee propulsion system or motor.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPS 3-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #45 on: 05/02/2016 03:44 PM »

The press write-up of yesterday's remarks says the 40% cheaper referred to estimates of previous missions, which is being interpreted as 40% cheaper than ULA (eg see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-launch-ula-idUSKCN0XP2T2). But that would seem to imply no factoring in of ELC in the estimates (which I guess could be true if the estimates were done a while ago) ?

But clearly the USAF know the ELC can't be factored in anymore - indeed isn't there a clause that explicitly precludes such cross subsidy from other government contracts? So 40% seems a bit low in terms of saving.

The 40% comparison in this case is probably right since the ELC money is pretty much a "sunk cost".  The USAF would be paying that amount whether or not ULA won the contract.  If let's say ULA won the contract with a $180 million bid and they determined the ELC contribution was worth $60 million.  ULA would wind up refunding the USAF that $60 million which will get you your net $120 million launch cost.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #46 on: 05/03/2016 03:34 AM »
So why did not SpaceX bid $100 million?  It would have still won the contract...

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #47 on: 05/03/2016 04:10 AM »
SpaceX could have bid $200M and won the contract.  They were the only bidder.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #48 on: 05/03/2016 04:29 AM »
So why did not SpaceX bid $100 million?  It would have still won the contract...
Short term gain but long term off message. SpaceX wants to be perceived as not just a dollar or two cheaper but a LOT cheaper...

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #49 on: 05/03/2016 04:36 AM »
So why did not SpaceX bid $100 million?  It would have still won the contract...

Not sure how this sort of contract works, but they might have to justify their costs to some degree and therefore can't just jack up the profit margin arbitrarily "just because they can."

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #50 on: 05/03/2016 04:46 AM »
SpaceX could have bid $200M and won the contract.  They were the only bidder.

Yeah, but as @Lar commented, that wouldn't fit their branding goals.  Though, as a bonus(?), they would have made ULA look really stupid since one of their official reasons for not bidding was that the USAF's focus on price and not reliability essentially made it useless for them to bid in the first place (this was in addition to their claims of being precluded from bidding by the accounting issue). 
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 04:46 AM by deruch »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #51 on: 05/03/2016 04:08 PM »
So why did not SpaceX bid $100 million?  It would have still won the contract...

Not sure how this sort of contract works, but they might have to justify their costs to some degree and therefore can't just jack up the profit margin arbitrarily "just because they can."

Since this is a fixed priced contract they don't have to justify their expenses like they would on a cost-plus contract. So SpaceX could have bid whatever price they wanted and without a competing ULA bid they could have gone pretty high and still won. Though I'm not sure at which point they found out ULA was not bidding.  It could have been too late to change the bid.

But one of the nagging doubts surrounding SpaceX in the launch industry seems to be that these low prices SpaceX is offering is only temporary and that once they gain dominance they'll jack up their rates to more of the current industry norm. So coming in with a very high bid in this case would probably have counter productive long term. This is just the impression I get from reading the various SpaceX coverage over the last few years.  This could be real or it could just be FUD spread by their competitors.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #52 on: 05/03/2016 04:41 PM »
So why did not SpaceX bid $100 million?  It would have still won the contract...

Not sure how this sort of contract works, but they might have to justify their costs to some degree and therefore can't just jack up the profit margin arbitrarily "just because they can."

Since this is a fixed priced contract they don't have to justify their expenses like they would on a cost-plus contract.

Not to the same level of detail, but they DO have to convince the federal contracting officer to have some degree of confidence in the bid pricing. In other words, if the KO doesn't believe the amount SpaceX pinned onto their proposal is reasonable and will support  successful mission, the KO wouldn't have awarded the contract, even if there were no other bidders.
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Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #53 on: 05/03/2016 04:54 PM »
So why did not SpaceX bid $100 million?  It would have still won the contract...

Not sure how this sort of contract works, but they might have to justify their costs to some degree and therefore can't just jack up the profit margin arbitrarily "just because they can."

Since this is a fixed priced contract they don't have to justify their expenses like they would on a cost-plus contract. So SpaceX could have bid whatever price they wanted and without a competing ULA bid they could have gone pretty high and still won. Though I'm not sure at which point they found out ULA was not bidding.  It could have been too late to change the bid.

But one of the nagging doubts surrounding SpaceX in the launch industry seems to be that these low prices SpaceX is offering is only temporary and that once they gain dominance they'll jack up their rates to more of the current industry norm. So coming in with a very high bid in this case would probably have counter productive long term. This is just the impression I get from reading the various SpaceX coverage over the last few years.  This could be real or it could just be FUD spread by their competitors.

There doesn't seem to be evidence of jacking up the price*, so your suggested answer seems to be correct.

* In fact, they have upped capability by huge steps with a fairly constant price -- and advertised a 30% or so reduction in price for reused cores.  Long term projections from their management hint at incredibly lower costs/prices.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 04:56 PM by AncientU »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #54 on: 05/03/2016 06:10 PM »
I think that the actual bid price has to also do with the type of mission this contract is about. GPS sats can be horizontally integrated and don't need a lot of the "special stuff" in GSE or the pad that other, more "exotic" DoD payloads do.

Which means that the campaign itself would be less expensive than others. I expect to see a much bigger price for a F9 contract in the future if the payload needs vertical integration and special feeds, hardware or procedures..

What WOULD be interesting to know imo...is what their second bid was about..
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 06:12 PM by Dante80 »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #55 on: 05/03/2016 06:12 PM »
I think that the actual bid price has to also do with the type of mission this contract is about. GPS sats can be horizontally integrated and don't need a lot of the "special stuff" in GSE or the pad that other, more "exotic" DoD payloads do.

Which means that the campaign itself would be less expensive than others. I expect to see a much bigger price for a F9 contract in the future if the payload needs vertical integration and special feeds or hardware..

And presumably the "expectation" from the Air Force on price (ie what it would have cost before competition) would be much higher too.  The real question to me is when do we get to see something like that up for bids?
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #56 on: 05/03/2016 06:15 PM »
I think that the actual bid price has to also do with the type of mission this contract is about. GPS sats can be horizontally integrated and don't need a lot of the "special stuff" in GSE or the pad that other, more "exotic" DoD payloads do.

Which means that the campaign itself would be less expensive than others. I expect to see a much bigger price for a F9 contract in the future if the payload needs vertical integration and special feeds or hardware..

And presumably the "expectation" from the Air Force on price (ie what it would have cost before competition) would be much higher too.  The real question to me is when do we get to see something like that up for bids?

I think that the Air Force has to become more confident and..er..cozy with SpaceX before it commits for something a lot more expensive/important/special. SpaceX needs good and timely campaigns with the DoD before we move to that point imo..the GPS contracts are definitely an ideal starter though.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 06:15 PM by Dante80 »

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #57 on: 05/03/2016 06:40 PM »
The timeline for 'competitive' USAF payloads has 6-8 up for competition before the first launches in 2018, I believe.  USAF will have to watch commercial and CRS launches to inform their confidence.  I suspect a handful of these DoD payloads will be awarded to SpaceX before feedback from good and timely campaigns with the DoD.  We'll have to see if the payloads get much more complicated than GPS-III.
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 06:46 PM by AncientU »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #58 on: 05/03/2016 06:49 PM »
The timeline for 'competitive' USAF payloads has 6-8 up for competition before the first launches in 2018, I believe.  USAF will have to watch commercial and CRS launches to inform their confidence.  I suspect a handful of these DoD payloads will be awarded to SpaceX before feedback from good and timely campaigns with the DoD.  We'll have to see if the payloads get much more complicated than GPS-III.

wrong take away.  USAF hasn't been able to watch commercial and CRS launches like they watch ULA launches.

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #59 on: 05/03/2016 07:14 PM »
The timeline for 'competitive' USAF payloads has 6-8 up for competition before the first launches in 2018, I believe.  USAF will have to watch commercial and CRS launches to inform their confidence.  I suspect a handful of these DoD payloads will be awarded to SpaceX before feedback from good and timely campaigns with the DoD.  We'll have to see if the payloads get much more complicated than GPS-III.

wrong take away.  USAF hasn't been able to watch commercial and CRS launches like they watch ULA launches.

So will USAF have to watch how SpaceX does the first GPS-III before they will award any other competitive launches?  If not, you've missed my point.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #60 on: 05/03/2016 07:24 PM »
So will USAF have to watch how SpaceX does the first GPS-III before they will award any other competitive launches?

That's not what I said btw. I said that they need more confidence before assigning something much more important to the LV. SpaceX will bid all competitive launches, what they will get though depends partly on this (especially since the contract details and the scoring procedure might change from one payload to the other).

Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #61 on: 05/03/2016 07:34 PM »
So will USAF have to watch how SpaceX does the first GPS-III before they will award any other competitive launches?

That's not what I said btw. I said that they need more confidence before assigning something much more important to the LV. SpaceX will bid all competitive launches, what they will get though depends partly on this (especially since the contract details and the scoring procedure might change from one payload to the other).

I agree with you. USAF will not be able to wait until SpaceX launches USAF payloads, simply because of the timing of when the next 6-8 competitions will happen with respect to this first GPS-III launch.  They will have to judge the SpaceX bids on something else, like a string of commercial/CRS failures*, for example.  I wouldn't be surprised if they do limit the awards to payloads where they have room to lose or replace the payload, and manage competition/allocate the expensive, one-of-a-kind payloads to ULA. 

USAF watching commercial launches from a distance (not as intimately involved with SpaceX as ULA launches) is still better than nothing.

* or possibly successes...
« Last Edit: 05/03/2016 07:37 PM by AncientU »
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #62 on: 05/03/2016 07:39 PM »
I know it wasn't an NSS launch, but SpaceX has already successfully completed 1 launch for the USAF: DSCOVR.  This launch won't be their first date.
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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #63 on: 05/03/2016 08:28 PM »
USAF watching commercial launches from a distance (not as intimately involved with SpaceX as ULA launches) is still better than nothing.
IIRC, SpaceX has said on several occasions that both the USAF and NASA get full and complete access to flight data.  Most notably during certification, and during the CRS-7 investigation.  "Not as intimately involved ... as ULA" is definitely correct, but "at a distance" is overstating things quite a bit.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - GPSIIIA-2 - SLC-40 - May 2018
« Reply #64 on: 05/04/2016 12:56 AM »
So why did not SpaceX bid $100 million?  It would have still won the contract...
For starters, the didn't knew (and I guess not even considered) that ULA would not bid. Second, making a very aggressive pricing on your competitor's only customer might be a death stroke. In fact, I guess they were worried about not opening themselves to a dumping lawsuit. But those are incremental launches that can be priced relatively low, and ULA really struggles if they can't launch 8 times per year. Since they have those huge fixed costs, stealing a couple of launches per year with the GPS bid might increase their prices as much as 30% and that will really put them in a very tight situation.

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS IIIA-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #65 on: 09/06/2017 03:50 AM »
Quote
Second Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Successfully Completes Test Simulating Strenuous Launch Environment
GPS III Space Vehicle 02 Completes Acoustic Testing

DENVER, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Launch is the most strenuous part of a satellite's life. To survive the extreme sound wave pressure and pounding vibrations generated by more than 700,000 lbs. of thundering rocket thrust, spacecraft need a solid, reliable design if they hope to arrive operational on orbit.

On July 13, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)'s second, fully-assembled GPS III space vehicle (SV) completed a realistic simulation of its future launch experience and passed this critical acoustic environmental test with flying colors.

During acoustic testing, the GPS III SV02 satellite was continuously blasted with deafening sound reaching 140 decibels in a specialized test chamber equipped with high-powered horns. For comparison, that is about as loud as an aircraft carrier deck and human hearing starts to be damaged back at about 85 decibels. The test uses sound loud enough to literally shake loose anything not properly attached.

"With this launch-simulation test, we are talking about sophisticated, advanced satellite technology and electronics enduring tremendous forces and then working flawlessly afterward," said Mark Stewart, Lockheed Martin's vice president for Navigation Systems. "Passing this test with GPS III SV02 further validates the robustness of our GPS III design. We credit this success and risk-retirement to all the pathfinding work we accomplished early in the program."

The GPS III SV02 satellite is part of the U.S. Air Force's next generation of GPS satellites and will bring critical new capabilities to the warfighter. GPS III will have three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest GPS satellites on-orbit today. GPS III's new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems.

GPS III SV02 is Lockheed Martin's second GPS III satellite to successfully complete acoustic testing. The company's first satellite, GPS III SV01 – which is in storage awaiting its expected 2018 launch – completed acoustic testing in 2015.

The GPS III SV02 satellite is now being prepared for Thermal Vacuum (TVAC) testing this fall, where it will be subjected to extreme cold and heat in zero atmosphere, simulating its on-orbit life. The satellite is expected to be delivered complete to the Air Force in early 2018.

GPS III SV02 is the second of 10 GPS III satellites Lockheed Martin is contracted for and is assembling in full production at the company's GPS III Processing Facility near Denver. The $128 million, state-of-the-art manufacturing factory includes a specialized cleanroom and testing chambers designed to streamline satellite production.

Lockheed Martin's unique GPS III satellite design includes a flexible, modular architecture that allows for the insertion of new technology as it becomes available in the future or if the Air Force's mission needs change. Satellites based off this design are already proven compatible with both the Air Force's next generation Operational Control System (OCX) and the existing GPS constellation.

The GPS III team is led by the Global Positioning Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. Air Force Space Command's 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS), based at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, manages and operates the GPS constellation for both civil and military users.

For additional GPS III information, photos and video visit: www.lockheedmartin.com/gps.

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

Online Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS IIIA-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #66 on: 09/06/2017 06:20 AM »
Quote
Second Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Successfully Completes Test Simulating Strenuous Launch Environment
GPS III Space Vehicle 02 Completes Acoustic Testing

DENVER, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Launch is the most strenuous part of a satellite's life. To survive the extreme sound wave pressure and pounding vibrations generated by more than 700,000 lbs. of thundering rocket thrust, spacecraft need a solid, reliable design if they hope to arrive operational on orbit.

(snip)

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

Isn't 700,000 lbs a relatively small value?
A current F9 is well over 1e6 kbf.
Why would LM do that?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS IIIA-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #67 on: 09/06/2017 07:41 AM »
Isn't 700,000 lbs a relatively small value?
A current F9 is well over 1e6 kbf.
Why would LM do that?

I think its just a typo. They meant to write 1,700,000 lbf.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline beidou

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS IIIA-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #68 on: 11/17/2017 09:11 PM »
Do we have an approximate launch date for this mission?

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS IIIA-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #69 on: 11/17/2017 09:44 PM »
Do we have an approximate launch date for this mission?

I haven't seen one.  If it's still launching second then it may be a while.

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #70 on: 11/17/2017 11:04 PM »
An image was posted in the ULA GPS III-1 thread that showed how integration of GPS would be performed at SpaceX. Attached is a cropped and enlarged section of that image.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30912.msg1751112#msg1751112
« Last Edit: 11/17/2017 11:05 PM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #71 on: Today at 01:46 AM »
An image was posted in the ULA GPS III-1 thread that showed how integration of GPS would be performed at SpaceX. Attached is a cropped and enlarged section of that image.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30912.msg1751112#msg1751112

That is the standard for all Spacex launches

Offline Brovane

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #72 on: Today at 05:30 AM »
An image was posted in the ULA GPS III-1 thread that showed how integration of GPS would be performed at SpaceX. Attached is a cropped and enlarged section of that image.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30912.msg1751112#msg1751112

Doesn't this animation imply that the payload will be horizontally integrated? 
"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

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-2 : SLC-40 : NET May 2018
« Reply #73 on: Today at 05:39 AM »
Doesn't this animation imply that the payload will be horizontally integrated? 

Yes and no. GPS is vertically integrated onto the PAF (Payload Attach Fitting) with the fairings vertically encapsulated. The whole thing is then rotated and horizontally integrated with the second stage. As Jim said, this is the way SpaceX integrates all their payloads.
« Last Edit: Today at 05:39 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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