Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : Spaceflight SSO-A (Sun Synch Express) : Q2 2018  (Read 46713 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

List of known payloads


From Vandy I assume?

Spaceflight Purchases SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket to Provide More Frequent, Cost-Effective Rideshare Availability for Small Satellite Industry

Company expands launch services to meet growing demand for routine, predictable access to space, removing cost and access barriers for commercial and governmental organizations

 

SEATTLE (September 30, 2015)— Spaceflight, the company reinventing the model for launching small satellites into space, today announced the purchase of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the expansion of its launch services to include dedicated rideshare missions. Spaceflight’s first dedicated rideshare mission, named the “2017 Sun Synch Express,” will launch in the second half of 2017 to a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit which is popular for earth imaging satellites.

Dedicated rideshare is a new launch alternative that blends cost-effective rideshare pricing with first-class service typically associated with buying a private rocket. Spaceflight’s dedicated rideshare missions will deliver customer spacecraft to popular destinations, such as sun-synchronous and geosynchronous transfer orbits, and provide a new solution for smaller satellites that cannot afford a complete launch vehicle.

“By purchasing and manifesting the entire SpaceX rocket, Spaceflight is well positioned to meet the smallsat industry’s growing demand for routine, reliable access to space,” said Curt Blake, President of Spaceflight’s launch business. “Our purchase of a private rocket further continues our mission of providing a customer-focused, full-service launch experience.”

Spaceflight’s dedicated rideshare routes are not tied to any particular primary satellite mission, so commercial and non-commercial smallsat operators using the service will benefit from the certainty of set launch schedules that were not previously available to rideshare customers, and can thereby avoid delays resulting from geo-political issues or primary satellite schedule changes. This enables customers with spacecraft that range in mass from 5 to 2500 kg to create long-range mission plans to Sun Synch and GTO with more dependable launch dates. Spaceflight is creating steady access to space with yearly dedicated rideshare missions planned beginning in 2017.

Spaceflight’s 2017 Sun Synch Express mission manifest includes satellites as small as 5 kg 3U CubeSat up to 575 kg satellite. Over 20 satellites will be deployed during the mission, with commercial customers pursuing a range of endeavors and government-sponsored scientific research originating from six different countries. The manifest is nearly at capacity.

“Dedicated missions for Rideshare-class payloads are an excellent way to promote space enterprise and research,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX. “We are pleased that Spaceflight has successfully brought this multi-faceted partnership together.”

Spaceflight has launched 81 satellites to date and has over 135 satellites to deploy through 2018. The frequency of satellite launches, combined with Spaceflight’s cross-section of customers and variety of mission-applications, is a strong indicator of the growing capabilities of small satellites and the need for more timely and cost-effective access to space.

In addition to the new dedicated rideshare service, Spaceflight will continue to manifest small satellites as secondary payloads aboard several launch vehicles around the world to a variety of orbit destinations. Spaceflight is the only rideshare launch provider that publishes launch pricing and schedules online (http://www.spaceflightindustries.com/schedule-pricing/), aiming to make access to space as easy as booking an airline ticket.

About Spaceflight

Spaceflight is a next-generation, integrated space services and solutions company that is fundamentally changing how small satellites are built, launched and operated to improve access to space and enable persistent global awareness. Through its market-leading subsidiaries and service lines, including Spaceflight Systems, Spaceflight Services and Spaceflight Networks, the company provides cost-effective, comprehensive small-satellite products and services from development to launch, communications and operations. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Spaceflight provides its services worldwide through its global network of partners, ground stations and launch vehicle providers. For more information, please visit http://www.spaceflightindustries.com.

Offline arachnitect

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Liked: 384
  • Likes Given: 456
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #1 on: 09/30/2015 05:12 PM »
Very interesting.

LMCLS was trying to do this with Athena.

Offline NovaSilisko

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1828
  • Liked: 1435
  • Likes Given: 1305
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #2 on: 09/30/2015 05:57 PM »
Presumably by "purchasing and manifesting the entire SpaceX rocket" they mean the whole available payload on a launch, not literally the rocket itself?

Offline Rik ISS-fan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 615
  • the Netherlands
  • Liked: 115
  • Likes Given: 17
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #3 on: 09/30/2015 09:40 PM »
Read carefully. The press release stades:
 'a least 20 satellites` Most likely it will be more than 100 satellites.
Spaceflight industries gave a presentation at the Small Payload Rideshare Conference 2015.
I think page 6 and 14-18 contain info about this flight.
https://www.sprsa.org/sites/default/files/conference-presentation/Spaceflight%20Industries%20-%20SPRSA%202015%20-%20Q4%202015%20SHERPA%20Mission.pdf
« Last Edit: 05/06/2017 11:25 PM by gongora »

Online abaddon

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1443
  • Liked: 888
  • Likes Given: 704
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #4 on: 09/30/2015 09:59 PM »
So "over 20 satellites" at roughly $60 million is something around $3 million average cost per payload plus whatever profit Spaceflight is making here.  Maybe $3.5-4 million for an average cost to the satellite owner, for a very rough estimate of cost?

Offline nadreck

Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #5 on: 09/30/2015 10:11 PM »
So "over 20 satellites" at roughly $60 million is something around $3 million average cost per payload plus whatever profit Spaceflight is making here.  Maybe $3.5-4 million for an average cost to the satellite owner, for a very rough estimate of cost?

You can see the price list at http://www.spaceflightindustries.com/schedule-pricing/ note that if you scroll down to the schedule, I presume that this booked flight is the one labeled Q3 2017 launching from Vandenberg to a sun seeking orbit, note that I presume that because all possible satellite sizes are available on it.
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!

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2076
  • Likes Given: 2412
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #6 on: 10/01/2015 08:28 AM »
This is exactly why all those start-ups trying to build dedicated launchers for small payloads for $5-$10 million a shot are doomed to fail.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4246
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1416
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #7 on: 10/01/2015 11:12 AM »
This is exactly why all those start-ups trying to build dedicated launchers for small payloads for $5-$10 million a shot are doomed to fail.

At one launch/year they aren't going to steal many payloads from outfits who are planning on a shorter timeline. Especially for DoD smallsats which they may want up on demand.
DM

Offline arachnitect

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1438
  • Liked: 384
  • Likes Given: 456
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #8 on: 10/01/2015 01:21 PM »
This is exactly why all those start-ups trying to build dedicated launchers for small payloads for $5-$10 million a shot are doomed to fail.


They might be encouraged to see smallsat operators paying real money to go to useful orbits.

I'm not sure the dedicated launchers are doomed to fail, but their market is very small at best. Once a large number of smallsats want to go to the same place, they will fly on bigger rockets.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2015 01:22 PM by arachnitect »

Online abaddon

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1443
  • Liked: 888
  • Likes Given: 704
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #9 on: 10/01/2015 01:34 PM »
At one launch/year they aren't going to steal many payloads from outfits who are planning on a shorter timeline. Especially for DoD smallsats which they may want up on demand.
Twenty satellites a year plus all of the others that are already manifested as secondaries on other launches?  That's a decent amount of capacity there...

Offline mhlas7

  • Member
  • Posts: 78
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 593
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #10 on: 10/01/2015 03:37 PM »
This is exactly why all those start-ups trying to build dedicated launchers for small payloads for $5-$10 million a shot are doomed to fail.

Price isn't the only consideration. If you need a satellite to go in a specific orbit at a specific time, you don't want other payloads to delay the launch or have to compromise on the destination orbit. The extra cost may be worth it in this situation. Even though Falcon 9 is the cheapest rocket around, it doesn't get all the commercial launches. Proton and Ariane still get customers and even the Atlas V has been getting commercial customers despite its high cost.

Also, lighter weight launchers will still have multiple payloads. Look at Rocket Lab's website (http://book.rocketlabusa.com/). You can book a spot on a shared ride for a CubeSat, and since they will be launching every ~1.5 months, the customers have more flexibility in regards to launch date versus spaceflight industries which may have 1 launch per year.

Offline MikeAtkinson

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1667
  • Bracknell, England
  • Liked: 449
  • Likes Given: 51
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #11 on: 10/01/2015 03:55 PM »
At > $28,000 / kg Spaceflight only need to sell ~ 3 tonnes of capacity to break even, this could be very profitable for them.

I can't find any estimates of F9 FT (v1.2) payload to SSO, but I'm guessing it is about 8 tonnes with booster flyback.

It seems that they can undercut the competition:

http://www.virgingalactic.com/satellite-launch/l1-performance/
Quote
"For a price below US $10 million, LauncherOne will now be able to launch 200 kg into the standard Sun-Synchronous Orbit"
Which is $50,000/kg.

RocketLab Electron seems to be $50,000/kg for 100 kg into SSO.

Firefly alpha seems to be about $9M for ~ 100 kg to SSO, or about $90,000 / kg

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2191
  • Canada
  • Liked: 281
  • Likes Given: 434
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #12 on: 10/02/2015 01:03 AM »
We should re-titled this thread to SpaceX FalconBus SSO Xpress - Q3 2017   ;D

P.S. Xpress is not misspelled, remember this is SpaceX.

Offline OnWithTheShow

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 243
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Liked: 98
  • Likes Given: 12
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #13 on: 10/02/2015 02:26 AM »
Also F9 is a real rocket that is actually flown compared to some of the others mentioned in this thread.

Offline ChrisWilson68

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3519
  • Sunnyvale, CA
  • Liked: 2076
  • Likes Given: 2412
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #14 on: 10/02/2015 04:50 AM »
This is exactly why all those start-ups trying to build dedicated launchers for small payloads for $5-$10 million a shot are doomed to fail.

At one launch/year they aren't going to steal many payloads from outfits who are planning on a shorter timeline. Especially for DoD smallsats which they may want up on demand.

It's one dedicated launch per year already.  As the smallsat market grows, the flights become more frequent.

Also, there are opportunities as secondary payloads.  The same company offering the dedicated rideshare flight also offers opportunities as secondaries from multi-satellite secondary dispensers.

And the costs are several times lower.  How many organizations are so insensitive to price that they can pay many times as much just to launch a few months earlier?

Smallsats tend to be done by organizations that are much more constrained in their budgets than those that do larger satellites.  I think the vast majority of the smallsat market will go to ridesharing companies.

Online guckyfan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6321
  • Germany
  • Liked: 1578
  • Likes Given: 1388
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #15 on: 10/02/2015 07:17 AM »
Dedicated launch vehicles let you chose your orbit as well as the launch date. That may be a large advantage. However if one or two bulk launches a year take many of the customers it may undermine the business case of small launch vehicles.

Edit: there is one thing that worries me about many smallsats in sunsynchronous orbit. It is quite high and they will decay very slowly.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2015 07:22 AM by guckyfan »

Offline nadreck

Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #16 on: 10/02/2015 02:07 PM »
there is one thing that worries me about many smallsats in sunsynchronous orbit. It is quite high and they will decay very slowly.

The solution here as I see it would be satellite corrals for birds that can't control themselves or have a high likelyhood of failure and as an alternative a commitment to use manoeuvring fuel to deorbit by a set date. The enforcement of the 'corral' would be with a device launched with them that can tether or net inactive sats that stray outside the corral. It would have guidance and electric propulsion. Eventually the whole corral has failed and is all tethered to the sheep dog satellite and can be deoribited together, or even if not, they are at least one monolithic piece and not 100's. The enforcement of the 'commitment' to deorbit should be a license fee and review of the likelihood of successful deorbit. If the bird fails before it deorbits the fee should have been high enough to pay for trash collection of the bird multiplied by the odds of it failing.
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!

Offline douglas100

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
  • Liked: 214
  • Likes Given: 95
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #17 on: 10/02/2015 03:52 PM »
I don't think that corral is a very good analogy. There is no place like a corral in sunsynchronous orbit. Everything is in a state of flux. Either a satellite can maneuver or it can't. If it can't then it will inevitably drift in altitude and orbital plane from those which it was launched with. You could imagine launch providers refusing to launch non maneuverable satellites, but I think this is unlikely in the near future.

If your satellite can maneuver then it is only necessary that it operate in such a way that it causes no danger to others, no matter where it physically is. If it cannot, then your electrically propelled sheepdog could be part of a future solution. However policing such a service could be a major regulatory headache. For example, a US sheepdog couldn't sweep up a foreign-owned vehicle without the owner's permission.

Even the Cosmos Iridium collision didn't bring about the development of orbital clean up technology. It looks like things are going to continue as they are for some time yet.
Douglas Clark

Offline nadreck

Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #18 on: 10/02/2015 06:02 PM »


If your satellite can maneuver then it is only necessary that it operate in such a way that it causes no danger to others, no matter where it physically is. If it cannot, then your electrically propelled sheepdog could be part of a future solution. However policing such a service could be a major regulatory headache. For example, a US sheepdog couldn't sweep up a foreign-owned vehicle without the owner's permission.


I see the sheepdog as going up with the launcher, and being agreed to by the client (and of course being paid for by the client as part of their launch cost). Basically adding the guidance system, capturing system, SEP, Solar panels and comms to the deployment device (SHERPA in this case)
« Last Edit: 10/02/2015 06:02 PM by nadreck »
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!

Offline Comga

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3887
  • Liked: 1214
  • Likes Given: 1037
Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - 2017 Sun Synch Express - Q3 2017
« Reply #19 on: 10/02/2015 07:45 PM »
there is one thing that worries me about many smallsats in sunsynchronous orbit. It is quite high and they will decay very slowly.

The solution here as I see it would be satellite corrals for birds that can't control themselves or have a high likelyhood of failure and as an alternative a commitment to use manoeuvring fuel to deorbit by a set date. The enforcement of the 'corral' would be with a device launched with them that can tether or net inactive sats that stray outside the corral. It would have guidance and electric propulsion. Eventually the whole corral has failed and is all tethered to the sheep dog satellite and can be deoribited together, or even if not, they are at least one monolithic piece and not 100's. The enforcement of the 'commitment' to deorbit should be a license fee and review of the likelihood of successful deorbit. If the bird fails before it deorbits the fee should have been high enough to pay for trash collection of the bird multiplied by the odds of it failing.

"Space is big.  Really big.  You won't believe how mind boggling big it is.  I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the Chemist, but....."

You may think the two dimensional surface of the Earth is big but increase that from two to six dimensions and it gets really big.

There is no such thing as a "corral" for satellites and no practice al way to do" trash collection".  Even if dispensed together they will disperse in all those dimensions. 

There are NSF threads and conferences discussing that. It is not clear that this is on-topic for this thread about this particular launch. 
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Tags: