Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-3 : Cape Canaveral : Feb. 2019  (Read 15038 times)

Online AncientU

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I looked it up: SpaceX's first GPS III launch contract was awarded in April 2016 and valued at $ 82.7 million.

So, discounting inflation, a price increase of 16.7%

I'm curious about the price increase, additional requirements or just cost of doing business?
Just like Jim predicted long ago, SpaceX prices are rising to meet the requirements of reality.

 - Ed Kyle

So, Ariane can stop developing A-6 and ULA can discontinue layoffs... why bother cutting prices in half when Spacex is doing just what Jim predicted.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline rockets4life97

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I looked it up: SpaceX's first GPS III launch contract was awarded in April 2016 and valued at $ 82.7 million.

So, discounting inflation, a price increase of 16.7%

I'm curious about the price increase, additional requirements or just cost of doing business?
Just like Jim predicted long ago, SpaceX prices are rising to meet the requirements of reality.

 - Ed Kyle

So, Ariane can stop developing A-6 and ULA can discontinue layoffs... why bother cutting prices in half when Spacex is doing just what Jim predicted.

I think Air Force launches are a special case. Ariane in particular, but also ULA in the future, are going to need commercial launches.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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SpaceNews has a follow-up article on this contract award.

You won't be suprised to know that SpaceX won on price, but this quote is interesting on AF's view of re-use:

Quote
Meanwhile, [Claire] Leon said that the Air Force has no plans to fly payloads on Falcon 9 rockets with previously-flown first stages. The service has specifically requested SpaceX not to fly re-used hardware.

“We would have to certify flight hardware that had been used which is more qualification, more analysis, so we’re not taking that on quite yet,” she said. “If it proves to be successful for commercial, we might consider that in the future.”

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-low-cost-won-gps-3-launch-air-force-says/

Claire Leon is the launch enterprise director for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center
« Last Edit: 03/16/2017 12:00 PM by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online AncientU

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Interesting section later in the article:
Quote
Of the 15 missions planned for Phase 1A, the first two – the GPS 3 launches – are already awarded to SpaceX. Leon said SMC plans to group the next seven launches together, and expects to put out a request for proposal (RFP) within the next couple of months.

The seven launches will be grouped together to help streamline the acquisition process, but it does not mean that a single launch provider will win all seven contracts, Leon said.

SpaceX, however, will need to roll out its next rocket if it wants to win some of the launches.

“They will need the Falcon Heavy for some of those competitions,” Leon said. “They need to get a demo flight off at least to be competitive for some of those missions.”

Seems to be a much more cost-effective way to do these two-party competitions instead of one at a time.  Also applies considerable pressure for FH demo to stop slipping.
« Last Edit: 03/16/2017 12:20 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Hmm, as I understand it FH demo flight is NET Q4 2017. So if the RFP is going out 'wirhin the next couple of months' then doesn't sound like it can fly before SpaceX submit their response.

I guess if contract award isn't until 2018 may still be ok, but presumably FH has to fly - and the AF see and assess the data - before the AF completes their bid assessment?

Offline woods170

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Nice fat indirect subvention from US government, which SpaceX will
continue to use to offer cheap rides to SES, Spanish government and so on... what about taxpayers' money ?

What about it? A USAF representative has made it very clear that SpaceX won GPS IIIA-3 on price: http://spacenews.com/spacexs-low-cost-won-gps-3-launch-air-force-says/

Quote from: Phillip Swarts
SpaceX’s lower cost compared to its competitor was the major factor in winning a contract for a GPS 3 launch, an Air Force representative said Wednesday. “Price was a major factor,” said Claire Leon, the launch enterprise director for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, which oversees acquisitions for many space systems and services. During a teleconference with reporters, Leon said SpaceX’s bid price was lower than other “competitors,” but did not refer to United Launch Alliance by name when discussing the contract award.

Offline Star One

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Hmm, as I understand it FH demo flight is NET Q4 2017. So if the RFP is going out 'wirhin the next couple of months' then doesn't sound like it can fly before SpaceX submit their response.

I guess if contract award isn't until 2018 may still be ok, but presumably FH has to fly - and the AF see and assess the data - before the AF completes their bid assessment?

I'd thought more than once knowing the AF cautious response to such things.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
@AF_SMC: @SpaceX still needs to do work re: review of Sept failure before launching the GPS-3 sats it's been awarded.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/843877576095535104

http://bit.ly/2nfa8bl

Offline Star One

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Ken Kramer's article on this win for Space X.

Quote
SpaceX has suffered a pair of calamitous Falcon 9 rocket failures in June 2015 and Sept. 2016, destroying both the rocket and payloads for NASA and the AMOS-6 communications satellite respectively.

So the U.S. Air Force should definitely be balancing risk vs. reward with regard to lower pricing and factoring in rocket robustness and reliability, regarding launches of national security satellites which could cost into the multi-billions of dollars, take years to manufacture and are not swiftly replaceable in case of catastrophic launch failures.

ULA’s workhorse Atlas V rocket successfully delivered the final GPS satellite in the IIF series to orbit for the US Air Force on Feb 5, 2016.

http://www.universetoday.com/134630/spacex-outbids-ula-military-gps-contract-igniting-fierce-launch-competition/

Online AncientU

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SpaceNews has a follow-up article on this contract award.

You won't be suprised to know that SpaceX won on price, but this quote is interesting on AF's view of re-use:

Quote
Meanwhile, [Claire] Leon said that the Air Force has no plans to fly payloads on Falcon 9 rockets with previously-flown first stages. The service has specifically requested SpaceX not to fly re-used hardware.

“We would have to certify flight hardware that had been used which is more qualification, more analysis, so we’re not taking that on quite yet,” she said. “If it proves to be successful for commercial, we might consider that in the future.”

http://spacenews.com/spacexs-low-cost-won-gps-3-launch-air-force-says/

Claire Leon is the launch enterprise director for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center

Does she work for this guy, General John "Jay" Raymond, Commander, Air Force Space Command?

Quote
“I would be comfortable if we were to fly on a reused booster,” General John "Jay" Raymond told reporters at the U.S. Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. “They’ve proven they can do it. ... It’s going to get us to lower cost.”

Sounds like there is more qualification work coming.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline catdlr

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS IIIA-3 : Cape Canaveral : Feb. 2019
« Reply #50 on: 10/10/2017 02:50 AM »
Building the Most Powerful GPS Satellite Ever - GPS III

LockheedMartinVideos
Published on Oct 9, 2017

In 2018, the U.S. Air Force is expected to begin launching the most powerful GPS satellites ever designed and built – GPS III.
 
Today, GPS III satellites are in full production at Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility near Denver, a $128 million, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, itself designed in a virtual reality environment to maximize satellite production effectiveness and efficiency.
 
For more information about GPS III: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/gps

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MysI2_Sbmsg?t=001

Tony De La Rosa

Offline jacqmans

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-3 : Cape Canaveral : Feb. 2019
« Reply #51 on: 11/27/2017 01:24 PM »
News Release Issued: Nov 27, 2017 (9:07am EST)


On A Production Roll: Lockheed Martin Assembles Third U.S. Air Force GPS III Satellite


DENVER, Nov. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Air Force's third GPS III satellite in production flow at Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)'s advanced satellite manufacturing facility here is now fully integrated into a complete space vehicle.

GPS III Space Vehicle 03 (GPS III SV03) followed the first two GPS III satellites on a streamlined assembly and test production line. Technicians successfully integrated the satellite's major components – its system module, navigation payload and propulsion core – into one fully-assembled space vehicle on August 14.

GPS III SV03 was assembled in Lockheed Martin's GPS III Processing Facility, a $128 million, cleanroom factory designed in a virtual reality environment to drive efficiency and reduce costs in satellite production. Now fully assembled, the third satellite is being prepared to begin environmental testing.

GPS III SV03 closely follows the company's second satellite in production flow. GPS III SV02 completed integration in May, finished acoustic testing in July and moved into thermal vacuum testing in August. The second GPS III satellite is expected to be delivered to the U.S. Air Force in 2018.

The fourth GPS III satellite is close behind the third. Lockheed Martin received the navigation payload for GPS III SV04 in October and the payload is now integrated with the space vehicle. The satellite is expected to be integrated into a complete space vehicle in January 2018.

In August, Lockheed Martin technicians began major assembly work on GPS III SV05.

All of these satellites are following Lockheed Martin's first GPS III satellite, GPS III SV01, through production flow. In September, the Air Force accepted and declared GPS III SV01 "Available For Launch," with launch expected in 2018. 

"GPS III is the most powerful and complex GPS satellite ever designed and built, and it's now into a smooth production flow. The real credit goes to the Air Force for all the Back to Basics work done in advance, reducing program risk for all the GPS III satellites going forward," said Mark Stewart, Lockheed Martin's vice president for Navigation Systems. "We are looking forward to bringing GPS III's advanced capabilities to our warfighters in 2018."

Lockheed Martin is under contract for ten next generation GPS III satellites as part of the Air Force's modernized Global Positioning System. 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.

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.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 : GPS III-3 : Cape Canaveral : Feb. 2019
« Reply #52 on: 11/27/2017 01:25 PM »
GPS III SV03 Fully Integrated
 

Lockheed Martin technicians successfully integrated the U.S. Air Force’s third GPS III space vehicle (GPS III SV03) on August 14, 2017. During the procedure, the satellite’s major components – its system module, navigation payload and propulsion core – came together with the help of a 10-ton crane to form the fully-assembled space vehicle. Next, GPS III SV03 will undergo environmental testing to ensure the satellite is ready for the rigors of space.

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