Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Starlink Group 4-7 : KSC LC-39A : 3 February 2022 (18:13 UTC)  (Read 66194 times)

Offline Craftyatom

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On two occasions (1983-86 and 1990-96) R-7 based launchers recorded 133 consecutive mission successes.
Eric counting IFA really doesn't change much because the previous record was at 100 so 111 or 112 doesn't matter.
This is the part that's causing some confusion, AIUI.

Eric Berger's article counts individual Soyuz versions, and the longest streak on any individual version is 100 with Soyuz-U (unless you consider Cosmos 2243 as a success, in which case the streak is 112).  However, if you count the R-7 family as a whole, the streak is 133, including Soyuz-U, Soyuz-U2, Molniya-M, and Vostok-2M rockets.

This is where the "family" definitions become problematic.  Falcon 9 also has "variants": v1.0, v1.1, v1.2 ("Full Thrust" or FT), Block 4, Block 5 (and of course Falcon Heavy of various versions), and the 112 success streak cited in the article includes FT, Block 4, and Block 5 (and Falcon Heavy versions thereof) since AMOS-6.

I don't think it's too contentious to say that if Falcon Heavy is included, the R-7 family as a whole should be included, since FH and F9 are significantly different stage layouts.  What makes this more difficult is if you don't include Falcon Heavy - then F9's streak becomes 109, and the question then becomes whether the different F9 variants are as significant as the R-7 variants.

The difference between an F9 FT and an F9 B5 is clearly less than the difference between an R-7 ICBM and a Soyuz-2 (and let's not even start with Soyuz-2.1v).  But it's probably more significant than the difference between a Soyuz-U and Soyuz-FG.  Soyuz-U and Soyuz-U2 differed almost only by propellant - but propellant choice is one of the core features of a rocket design, so are they very similar or very different?  The Molniya series had improved thrust off the pad, but also a different final stage - but is that stage difference on the same level as having two extra cores?

"The R-7 Family" has existed for so long, and covered so many vehicles (some with 17% success rates and some with 97% success rates), that it is no longer a useful delineation for the purposes of such discussion.  However, since "variants" or "versions" are designated by the launch provider, they're also not useful for comparisons, since the manner in which they're assigned differs from provider to provider.  All variants are different, but not all by the same amount - and even rockets within the same variant can have significant differences.

In a class I took on computer modeling, the professor retold a story about a king who wanted an accurate map of his lands.  The cartographers made many maps, but each time they ended up missing some of the details the king found most important.  In the end, he was finally satisfied with a map the size of the kingdom itself - though for some reason it never got used.  In the end, all launchers have only a 0% or 100% success rate - but that's not exactly a useful point of comparison, is it.

I just can't wait until the end of the year, when - all going well - this whole debate will be moot.
All aboard the HSF hype train!  Choo Choo!

Offline mandrewa

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Don't know why Elon is supporting Eric Berger's tweet when it is proved wrong here.
It all depends on one's criteria.  Main problem with Berger's number is that it includes a suborbital launch.  If we're going to include suborbital success strings we're going to have to compare against Minuteman, Polaris, etc., and those ran far beyond this number.  AMOS 6 was obviously a failed launch campaign, but it was not a launch.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle

It says

"The Falcon 9 rocket has now flown more consecutive successful missions, 111, than any orbital rocket in history."

If it said 111 consecutive successful orbital flights that would be wrong, but the case of a deliberate suborbital flight by a rocket that has reached orbit many times being successful is clearly 'a successful mission by an orbital class rocket'.

It also seems right to regard the AMOS 6 *mission* as a failure - the payload was destroyed. While there wasn't a flight, there was an unsuccessful mission.

So it seems to me to be entirely accurate and also devoid of any hint of deceitful slight of hand that would be present in a claim of 121 consecutive successful flights. It is the right thing to do to reduce 121 to 112 and the wording is clear and accurate.

Amos 6 was not lost during a launch attempt.  Amos 6 was lost because they were experimenting with a very rapid LOX load.  And they wouldn't have used that very rapid LOX load in the launch procedure they had already established for the Falcon 9 FT.

But who knows, maybe if that very rapid LOX load had worked during that static fire, and they obviously had every expectation it was going to work, they would have eventually used it on an actual launch attempt.

Now whether or not a person thinks Amos 6 should have counted as a launch failure depends on what they are trying to do.  Ed Kyle has been keeping statistics on rockets launches for many years.  And he already had a definition long predating Amos 6 for what constituted a success and failure.  And by that definition Amos 6 was not an attempted launch and therefore shouldn't count.

I don't think it should be counted as a launch failure.  But then my perspective is that I'm trying to figure out the inherent reliability of the rocket and I'm not sure how relevant this failed experimental expansion of the envelope for the Falcon is to that.  But if I were looking at it from the perspective of a company looking to hire SpaceX to launch my payload into orbit, I would definitely count it as a failure!

But now if I were SpaceX I wouldn't try to argue this. It's just not worth it.  There are too many people around like you, crandles57, who would think it would be deceptive to not count Amos 6 or Alexphysics who seems to be saying that it's a math error if someone doesn't count Amos 6 as a failed launch attempt.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2022 05:49 pm by mandrewa »

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Don't know why Elon is supporting Eric Berger's tweet when it is proved wrong here.
It all depends on one's criteria.  Main problem with Berger's number is that it includes a suborbital launch.  If we're going to include suborbital success strings we're going to have to compare against Minuteman, Polaris, etc., and those ran far beyond this number.  AMOS 6 was obviously a failed launch campaign, but it was not a launch.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle

It says

"The Falcon 9 rocket has now flown more consecutive successful missions, 111, than any orbital rocket in history."

If it said 111 consecutive successful orbital flights that would be wrong, but the case of a deliberate suborbital flight by a rocket that has reached orbit many times being successful is clearly 'a successful mission by an orbital class rocket'.

It also seems right to regard the AMOS 6 *mission* as a failure - the payload was destroyed. While there wasn't a flight, there was an unsuccessful mission.

So it seems to me to be entirely accurate and also devoid of any hint of deceitful slight of hand that would be present in a claim of 121 consecutive successful flights. It is the right thing to do to reduce 121 to 112 and the wording is clear and accurate.

Amos 6 was not lost during a launch attempt.  Amos 6 was lost because they were experimenting with a very rapid LOX load.  And they wouldn't have used that very rapid LOX load in the launch procedure they had already established for the Falcon 9 FT.

But who knows, maybe if that very rapid LOX load had worked during that static fire, and they obviously had every expectation it was going to work, they would have eventually used it on an actual launch attempt.

Now whether or not a person thinks Amos 6 should have counted as a launch failure depends on what they are trying to do.  Ed Kyle has been keeping statistics on rockets launches for many years.  And he already had a definition long predating Amos 6 for what constituted a success and failure.  And by that definition Amos 6 was not an attempted launch and therefore shouldn't count.

I don't think it should be counted as a launch failure.  But then my perspective is that I'm trying to figure out the inherent reliability of the rocket and I'm not sure how relevant this failed experimental expansion of the envelope for the Falcon is to that.  But if I were looking at it from the perspective of a company looking to hire SpaceX to launch my payload into orbit, I would definitely count it as a failure!

But now if I were SpaceX I wouldn't try to argue this. It's just not worth it.  There are too many people around like you, crandles57, who would think it would be deceptive to not count Amos 6 or Alexphysics who seems to be saying that it's a math error if someone doesn't count Amos 6 as a failed launch attempt.
What I usually tell people whenever this Amos-6 issue comes up is that counting this is up to each one, if you are counting, Spacex launches, Amos-6 would not count since there was never even a launch attempt, if you are going to count SpaceX missions, then Amos-6 would count since it was a mission that just didn't launch.


I personally count SpaceX missions and always make the clarification that Amos-6 is included.
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Offline ZachS09

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What thread can we place the launch record discussion? This is kinda deviating from the Starlink mission topic.
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline Alexphysics

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On two occasions (1983-86 and 1990-96) R-7 based launchers recorded 133 consecutive mission successes.
Eric counting IFA really doesn't change much because the previous record was at 100 so 111 or 112 doesn't matter.
This is the part that's causing some confusion, AIUI.

Eric Berger's article counts individual Soyuz versions, and the longest streak on any individual version is 100 with Soyuz-U (unless you consider Cosmos 2243 as a success, in which case the streak is 112).  However, if you count the R-7 family as a whole, the streak is 133, including Soyuz-U, Soyuz-U2, Molniya-M, and Vostok-2M rockets.

This is where the "family" definitions become problematic.  Falcon 9 also has "variants": v1.0, v1.1, v1.2 ("Full Thrust" or FT), Block 4, Block 5 (and of course Falcon Heavy of various versions), and the 112 success streak cited in the article includes FT, Block 4, and Block 5 (and Falcon Heavy versions thereof) since AMOS-6.

I don't think it's too contentious to say that if Falcon Heavy is included, the R-7 family as a whole should be included, since FH and F9 are significantly different stage layouts.  What makes this more difficult is if you don't include Falcon Heavy - then F9's streak becomes 109, and the question then becomes whether the different F9 variants are as significant as the R-7 variants.

The difference between an F9 FT and an F9 B5 is clearly less than the difference between an R-7 ICBM and a Soyuz-2 (and let's not even start with Soyuz-2.1v).  But it's probably more significant than the difference between a Soyuz-U and Soyuz-FG.  Soyuz-U and Soyuz-U2 differed almost only by propellant - but propellant choice is one of the core features of a rocket design, so are they very similar or very different?  The Molniya series had improved thrust off the pad, but also a different final stage - but is that stage difference on the same level as having two extra cores?

"The R-7 Family" has existed for so long, and covered so many vehicles (some with 17% success rates and some with 97% success rates), that it is no longer a useful delineation for the purposes of such discussion.  However, since "variants" or "versions" are designated by the launch provider, they're also not useful for comparisons, since the manner in which they're assigned differs from provider to provider.  All variants are different, but not all by the same amount - and even rockets within the same variant can have significant differences.

In a class I took on computer modeling, the professor retold a story about a king who wanted an accurate map of his lands.  The cartographers made many maps, but each time they ended up missing some of the details the king found most important.  In the end, he was finally satisfied with a map the size of the kingdom itself - though for some reason it never got used.  In the end, all launchers have only a 0% or 100% success rate - but that's not exactly a useful point of comparison, is it.

I just can't wait until the end of the year, when - all going well - this whole debate will be moot.

Block 4 and Block 5 are still Falcon 9 v1.2. 111 Falcon 9 successful launches in a row does NOT count Falcon Heavy. People, please, let's do better at counting

SpaceX launches since Amos 6:

2017: 18
2018: 21
2019: 13
2020: 26
2021: 31
2022: 6 (5 when he wrote the article)

total is 115, it gets to 112 if you remove the 3 Falcon Heavy flights and it goes down to 111 if you remove IFA.

Falcon 9 v1.2 is the only single core rocket that has been launched since Amos 6 by SpaceX into orbit. Block 4 and Block 5 are still part of that variant of the rocket.

Offline alugobi

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Somebody on the internet is wrong.  Better keep arguing until they capitulate. 

Offline Conexion Espacial

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What thread can we place the launch record discussion? This is kinda deviating from the Starlink mission topic.
I don't see a suitable thread in this section or in the general section, how about a new thread in the SpaceX General Section?
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Offline ZachS09

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What thread can we place the launch record discussion? This is kinda deviating from the Starlink mission topic.
I don't see a suitable thread in this section or in the general section, how about a new thread in the SpaceX General Section?

Sure.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55747.0
« Last Edit: 02/05/2022 04:46 am by ZachS09 »
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline edkyle99

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Any news on ASOG return?

Offline vaporcobra

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Any news on ASOG return?

Nothing encouraging! B1061 already sliding around minutes after touchdown was not a great omen 😬

https://twitter.com/CowboyDanPaasch/status/1490234049478238208


Offline thirtyone

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Just out of curiosity, for someone who was truly nosy, are images of the droneship potentially available on some commercial earth imaging platform? Or at least a way to find out if it is (I realize distribution is typically a more complex / $$$ issue)

Offline ejb749

Looks like Doug is on the move.  Still in the Bahamas, but running at 10knts pointed toward home.
https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/shipid:454774/zoom:10

Offline Rondaz

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In this image you can see Doug alongside ASOG from earlier today,  when they were stopped.

Doug left the area recently and the droneship is heading in the general direction of Port Canaveral now.

https://twitter.com/SpaceOffshore/status/1490473843772866562

Offline alugobi

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Looks like a booster standing up, but it doesn't look centered anymore.

4 Objects from this launch have appeared in the catalog on Space-track.org

                                          ILD                 PERIOD     INC           AP    PER
51456    STARLINK-3XXX    2022-010A     87.56   53.21   164   144
51457       STARLINK-3XXX    2022-010B     89.55   53.19   303   202
51458       STARLINK-3XXX    2022-010C     89.13   53.22   271   192
51459       STARLINK-3XXX    2022-010D    89.30   53.22   287   192   


« Last Edit: 02/07/2022 02:56 pm by Notleslie »

Offline Rondaz

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Offline Zeitmas

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ASOG seems to be about 30 miles out. Will be interesting to see when it gets back.

Edit: looks like Bob has joined the party as well.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2022 07:23 pm by Zeitmas »

Offline Rondaz

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ASOG droneship is closing in on Port Canaveral.

Support ship Bob actually departed Port Canaveral this morning and has now met ASOG offshore. (Not typical behaviour)

https://twitter.com/SpaceOffshore/status/1491139649116545027

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