Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION  (Read 869051 times)

Offline dawei

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1540 on: 03/01/2016 02:18 PM »
Wow.  Just Wow.  I'm learning tons about what is and isn't required for range clearance to launch.  Really interesting.  I thought I understood range rules clearly.  I was mistaken.  Yet another example of how nasaspaceflight is an awesome educational resource.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1541 on: 03/01/2016 02:21 PM »
As I recall, Soviet ELINT platforms (euphemistically labeled by the Russians as fishing trawlers) would criss-cross the keep-out zones during American manned launches back in the 60's and 70's.  And NASA would never cancel their launches because of the presence of those trawlers in the zone.  Had they done so, they would have given a green light to the Soviet Union (or any nation, organization or just individual) motivated to interfere with the American manned space program to go out and cancel launches by purposely traversing the keep-out zones.

Again, the rules are obviously more complex than just "no one can be here when we launch."
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1542 on: 03/01/2016 02:36 PM »
Correct. I'm not doing anything illegal so can't be taken to court.  So long as I dont interfere with the passage and navigation of a another vessel I can bob around out there as long as I want.

Navigation in international waters doesn't say anything about landing rockets.



Also just because they can't stop you doesn't mean they can't sue you for messing with their business once you again set foot on US soil later. Especially if you did it on purpose.


Spacex would have no ground for a suit.

International maritime law does exist, and is more complex than that.  In some cases, you can do things and not be concerned about being taken to court, true -- but also other people and countries are free to try and get you to stop doing those things, up to and including firing a shot across your bow... ;)
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1543 on: 03/01/2016 02:38 PM »
As I recall, Soviet ELINT platforms (euphemistically labeled by the Russians as fishing trawlers) would criss-cross the keep-out zones during American manned launches back in the 60's and 70's.  And NASA would never cancel their launches because of the presence of those trawlers in the zone.  Had they done so, they would have given a green light to the Soviet Union (or any nation, organization or just individual) motivated to interfere with the American manned space program to go out and cancel launches by purposely traversing the keep-out zones.

Again, the rules are obviously more complex than just "no one can be here when we launch."
Presumably the range also has to give permission for unannounced ballistic missile tests from submarines.   It would seem particularly difficult to clear all boats from the range for an un-announced test.

Offline Garrett

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1544 on: 03/01/2016 02:44 PM »
Also just because they can't stop you doesn't mean they can't sue you for messing with their business once you again set foot on US soil later. Especially if you did it on purpose.


Spacex would have no ground for a suit.
If a private vessel were in international waters (near the coast for launch, or near the droneship for landing) and if people on-board were in any way injured after, say, a RUD, would they have grounds to sue?
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Offline DecoLV

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1545 on: 03/01/2016 02:45 PM »
Correct. I'm not doing anything illegal so can't be taken to court.  So long as I dont interfere with the passage and navigation of a another vessel I can bob around out there as long as I want.

Navigation in international waters doesn't say anything about landing rockets.



Also just because they can't stop you doesn't mean they can't sue you for messing with their business once you again set foot on US soil later. Especially if you did it on purpose.


Spacex would have no ground for a suit.

Keep in mind that civil lawsuits don't necessarily depend on any criminal law, and can be international in scope (though not easy to do). Businesses sue other businesses for tort claims all the time. IANAL, but if a mariner has to read the NOTAM, and then takes action that interferes with the launch provider, somebody could make a claim on that.

Online kevinof

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1546 on: 03/01/2016 02:51 PM »
As far as I know, the only legal issue beyond the 12 mile is interference with navigation.  You can get special exclusion zones (say for oil rigs etc) but these take time and last a long time. Would be difficult to get one for a barge landing.


Notices to Mariners are just advisory and not mandatory in any way. It's up to you as the "Captain" to ensure the safety of your vessel and crew and if you put them in harms way, you may have to answer back in the country where your vessel is registered.


Correct. I'm not doing anything illegal so can't be taken to court.  So long as I dont interfere with the passage and navigation of a another vessel I can bob around out there as long as I want.

Navigation in international waters doesn't say anything about landing rockets.



Also just because they can't stop you doesn't mean they can't sue you for messing with their business once you again set foot on US soil later. Especially if you did it on purpose.


Spacex would have no ground for a suit.

Keep in mind that civil lawsuits don't necessarily depend on any criminal law, and can be international in scope (though not easy to do). Businesses sue other businesses for tort claims all the time. IANAL, but if a mariner has to read the NOTAM, and then takes action that interferes with the launch provider, somebody could make a claim on that.

Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1547 on: 03/01/2016 02:52 PM »
Interesting -- the rules for holding a launch are not that there can be no vessels in the KO zone, it's that any vessels in that zone have to be small enough that they present a smaller statistical likelihood of being hit with debris from a failed launch than a larger vessel that would cause a violation.

This illustrates that the rules are a lot more complex than just "Hey, everybody, get off my lawn!"
I didn't read it quite the same way: I read "size" as being a proxy for "number of people in the keep out area".  Based on just the radar return, it could have been a cruise ship or ferry with hundreds of people aboard.  They ran the risk calculations based on the maximum possible occupancy and got a range violation.  Once the helo had gotten a more precise value of "size" (which I'm reading as "occupancy"), they could rerun the numbers with the smaller humans-at-risk count and clear for launch.

I don't think it's the fact that you're out there in kayaks, I think the issue is *how many* of you are out there in kayaks (and whether the range can be sure of the details, based on a radar return from a longish distance away).

Online kevinof

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1548 on: 03/01/2016 02:58 PM »
Possibly but in international waters the governing power is the country where the vessel is registered. That could be some country where laws are different and legal action more difficult.

It's a complicated subject.

Also just because they can't stop you doesn't mean they can't sue you for messing with their business once you again set foot on US soil later. Especially if you did it on purpose.


Spacex would have no ground for a suit.
If a private vessel were in international waters (near the coast for launch, or near the droneship for landing) and if people on-board were in any way injured after, say, a RUD, would they have grounds to sue?

Offline gadgetmind

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1549 on: 03/01/2016 03:00 PM »
I posted about the most recent scrub on Facebook and FB in its wisdom showed my friends adverts for "Flight Delay Compensation"!

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1550 on: 03/01/2016 03:16 PM »
IXNAY[1] on the "how to watch the launch from within the exclusion zone posts", peeps.  And on the "Musk is gonna get you"... Some of this stuff isn't even worthy of the party thread. Yeesh.


1 - pig latin for STOP doing that!!!!"

Edit: A BUNCH of posts got trimmed. Some were kinda good but referenced dross. Sometimes you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I saved them in a secret place just in case.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2016 03:25 PM by Lar »
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Online llanitedave

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1551 on: 03/01/2016 03:22 PM »

Not saying it's the smart thing to do, but legally I could do it.

But SpaceX would not be allowed to launch by FAA rules if you did that. I don't think they'd be happy. Also just because they can't stop you doesn't mean they can't sue you for messing with their business once you again set foot on US soil later. Especially if you did it on purpose.


That's news to me. So let's all get out there in sea kayaks with handheld VHF radios...?

that's the other thing. a single small vessel doesn't incur a high enough risk of "hitting it" - however in a target rich environment (like hundreds of spectators in kayaks) you'd also have as many times the risk as you have kayaks.  So the question is, how many kayaks can be where in the stay out zone so they can still launch?


Which means sabotaging a launch is actually easier than getting a heat-seeking missile. The advantages of Kazakhstan become more obvious.
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Offline Comga

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1552 on: 03/01/2016 03:30 PM »
Actually, it looks like rocket reliability is part of the equation.  Section 3.1 of that FAA doc says risk is the product of the probability of occurrence of an event (rocket failure here) and the consequences of that event (someone being hit by falling debris here)


In the end, they don't use numbers specific to a vehicle.

So they don't use the reliability of the specific rocket but they do use the size of the specific boat when calculating the probability of fatalities.

That is a curious mix of precision and generality.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1553 on: 03/01/2016 03:38 PM »
So they don't use the reliability of the specific rocket but they do use the size of the specific boat when calculating the probability of fatalities.

That is a curious mix of precision and generality.

Trying to explain the unexplainable here, but maybe it's easier to find out sizes of boats than rocket reliability data? Maybe boat sizes change less frequently? (i was going to say never change but instantly thought of counter examples including our own beloved ASDS fleet that has grown wings)
« Last Edit: 03/01/2016 03:39 PM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline OxCartMark

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1554 on: 03/01/2016 04:14 PM »
So they don't use the reliability of the specific rocket but they do use the size of the specific boat when calculating the probability of fatalities.

That is a curious mix of precision and generality.

So which counts for more points, a cruise ship with a few thousand people on board or a large tow of empty grain barges of equivalent size?

Offline Brian45

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1555 on: 03/01/2016 04:32 PM »
I watched the launch of the Mars Curiosity Rover from a kayak on the Banana River, South of the causeway. I was the only one there and got buzzed by a military helicopter. They circled around and definitely were checking me out. They left me alone. Had a great view!

Offline PreferToLurk

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1556 on: 03/01/2016 04:35 PM »
Well, in defense of the beurocracy, the sample size for almost any given rocket is too small to make statistically meaningful conclusions.  So I am fine with the methodology.  It does irk me a little that the range can call a hold for a violation occurring in an area that they seem to have zero jurisdiction over. They calculated the risks, put out a NOTAM, and broadcast live radio warnings - if someone is dumb enough to be there anyway, wash your hands and launch anyway. Now, if the violation is within US territorial boundaries - fine, stop the launch, and clear the range.

Secondary anoyance: they scrambled the chopper in order to verify vessel size and properly calculate the risk.  .... Because the USAF can't maintain visual surveilence of a critical safety/security zone?  Come on. Put up a drone already.  I know, I know, it's all about the $$$ and those things aren't cheap. But if this had been a ULA launch I'd bet my hat that an army of lobbyists would right now be drafting up the required legislation to give the range the necessary equipment. Just saying.   It seems that if they new the size of the boat right away, there would not have been a hold, and that just feels bad.

Offline WHAP

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1557 on: 03/01/2016 04:51 PM »
Can we stop complaining about Range and USAF policies on a mission thread - especially when proposing things like maintaining constant detailed surveillance of hundreds of square miles of ocean?  This isn't the first time it has happened and it won't be the last.  Find another thread, please.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2016 04:52 PM by WHAP »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1558 on: 03/01/2016 05:12 PM »
Here you go... ;)
File you range constraints, complaints and suggestions here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39708.0
« Last Edit: 03/01/2016 05:13 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - SES-9 - March 4, 2016 - DISCUSSION
« Reply #1559 on: 03/01/2016 05:14 PM »
Here you go... ;)
File you range constraints, complaints and suggestions here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39708.0
Moved all my comments over there.
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