Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon Heavy - STP-2 mission - 39A, Cape Canaveral - Mid 2015  (Read 50487 times)


Online simonbp

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Wow, this looks like a complicated mission. Two primary spacecraft inserted into different orbits (one LEO, one 12,000 km) and a ton of secondaries. Looks like every spare spacecraft the USAF could think of...

Offline Lee Jay

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Interesting article.  Thanks!

"With these two missions supporting the EELV certification process for both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, SpaceX noted they will be able to prove the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy launch vehicles are designed for exceptional reliability, meeting the stringent US Air Force requirements for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program."

Exceptional reliability?  To me, that would mean better than ULA, and that would require a very long string of successful missions, not just one successful demonstrator.  Is this just marketing/PR speak from SpaceX?

Offline Lars_J

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Of course it is marketing speak - until they can back it up.

But this will certainly be an interesting mission. It doesn't sound like a something pushing the lift capability to the limit, but they'll certainly give everything else a workout.

Offline spectre9

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Very cool!

Great article.

It's good to see support coming for Falcon Heavy.

Stacking all the payloads together is going to be the way to do it until somebody is willing to utilise the maximum payload to GTO. I think it's 12 tons? Not sure. Does anybody really know? With or without Merlin 1D and tank stretch  :P

Offline cleonard

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

Offline Jason1701

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Very cool!

Great article.

It's good to see support coming for Falcon Heavy.

Stacking all the payloads together is going to be the way to do it until somebody is willing to utilise the maximum payload to GTO. I think it's 12 tons? Not sure. Does anybody really know? With or without Merlin 1D and tank stretch  :P

The quoted FH figures for the last few years have all been with 1D and stretch, but not always admitting that.

Offline Comga

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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At the time the type was officially announced, it was implied very strongly that DoD or USAF had urged SpaceX to proceed with Falcon Heavy more quickly than they had initially planned.  I wonder if STP-2 was the mission that they had in mind, even then?
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Offline john smith 19

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But this will certainly be an interesting mission. It doesn't sound like a something pushing the lift capability to the limit, but they'll certainly give everything else a workout.

IIRC the "on ramp" for new launchers (reported on nasaspaceflight.com previously) has a scale of mission reliability. I suspect these payloads are not at top end so the customers can take the hit if it does not work out.

This is a huge opportunity to go head to head with ULA and start to build credibility and the all important "mission assurance" that these customers want.

I'm presuming this won't be the first F9H launch and even if it's in Q415 that's only (best case) 23 months away, which is not long for a 2nd launch of a new LV.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Online Chris Bergin

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Yep, the plan is to have a Falcon Heavy hanger and ramp, clocked 90 degrees (could be 180, but the Cape guys say 90) from the Falcon 9 Hanger and ramp. Other options include 39A - I just made Jim frown ;D -or a new pad.....if they don't need it, they don't need it.

Was pretty specific in the presser too: "The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.".

Online Galactic Penguin SST

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Yep, the plan is to have a Falcon Heavy hanger and ramp, clocked 90 degrees (could be 180, but the Cape guys say 90) from the Falcon 9 Hanger and ramp. Other options include 39A or a new pad.

Was pretty specific in the presser too: "The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.".

But that sentence does not exclude the chances of building a new pad aside the current pad at SLC-40 (I've seen someone here call it "SLC-40B"), no?
Hmm....where can I apply for the job of United Launch Alliance internet cheerleader?

Offline Halidon

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At the time the type was officially announced, it was implied very strongly that DoD or USAF had urged SpaceX to proceed with Falcon Heavy more quickly than they had initially planned.  I wonder if STP-2 was the mission that they had in mind, even then?
I don't think this specific mission was on their minds, I think they pushed SpaceX to accelerate FH because F1v1 wasn't meeting their requirements in general. DoD's high valure payloads are big and may be getting bigger.

Online Chris Bergin

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.

Yep, the plan is to have a Falcon Heavy hanger and ramp, clocked 90 degrees (could be 180, but the Cape guys say 90) from the Falcon 9 Hanger and ramp. Other options include 39A or a new pad.

Was pretty specific in the presser too: "The DSCOVR mission will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 and is currently slated for late 2014, while STP-2 will be launched aboard the Falcon Heavy and is targeted for mid-2015. Both are expected to launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.".

But that sentence does not exclude the chances of building a new pad aside the current pad at SLC-40 (I've seen someone here call it "SLC-40B"), no?

Sure, but I know the "plan" is to launch both from the same spot. What they eventually decide is "TBA". Point is, "SLC-40".

Online woods170

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It's a wonderful opportunity for Spacex, but they need to execute.  It might seem like it's a long way off in 2015, but it's really not that far off for a vehicle that has not flown yet.

and from a pad whose construction has not been started.
I will trust Chris that this confirms that SpaceX will launch the FH from the East coast using LC-40. 
This will be interesting.
Construction for the combined Falcon 9 / Falcon Heavy launchpad at Vandenburg has been on-going for some time now.

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