Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : SDA Tranche 0 Flight 1 : Vandenberg SLC-4E : late March 2023  (Read 17241 times)

Offline Jansen

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Discussion thread for the US Space Development Agency’s first Transport & Tracking Layer mission.

More details on these satellites and the launch solicitation can be found in the discussion thread for SDA LEO constellations.

Some discussion on the SpaceX Tracking Layer satellite award can be found in SpaceX wins contract for missile-warning satellites

NSF Threads for SDA Tranche 0 Flight 1 : Discussion

March 2023 on Falcon 9 from SLC-4E VAFB to polar orbit.  First stage is xxxx-x, landing at LZ-4.

SpaceX wins $150 million contract to launch Space Development Agency satellites
Quote from: Sandra Erwin
SpaceX has been awarded a $150.4 million contract to launch as many as 28 satellites for the Pentagon’s space agency, the Defense Department announced Dec. 31.

The contract is to launch a mix of small and medium spacecraft of different sizes that the Space Development Agency is acquiring from multiple vendors. That includes 20 data-relay satellites known as the Transport Layer and the other eight are missile-warning satellites known as the Tracking Layer.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2023 08:05 pm by gongora »

Offline Jansen

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SPACE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Space Exploration Technologies Inc. (SpaceX), Hawthorne, California, has been awarded a $150,450,000 firm-fixed-price contract for launch services from Vandenberg Air Force Base for the Space Development Agency's Tranche 0 Transport and Tracking Layer space vehicles. This award was made based on the Tranche 0 Launch request for proposal (HQ085021R0001) released Oct. 6, 2020, to which responses were due Nov. 9, 2020. SpaceX will provide standalone launch services via two launches, with the first launch occurring in September 2022, and the entire constellation on orbit no later than March 31, 2023. Work will be performed in Hawthorne, California; Vandenberg AFB, California; and McGregor, Texas. Fiscal 2020 and 2021 defense-wide research, development, test and evaluation funds will be obligated at the time of award. The Space Development Agency, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (HQ085021C0005).

Offline Jansen

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RFP details attached

Quote
The first launch is required in September 2022. If additional launches are required, all launches shall be completed as close to September 2022 as possible, but not later than 31 March 2023.
The LSC shall also provide Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) rings as well as the individual satellite deployment/separation systems and shall perform the SV-to-Launch Vehicle (LV) integration efforts.
Reference Attachment 4 – Tranche 0 Launch Services SV Planning Info for SV parameters. The LSC shall deploy the SDA satellites into orbits with the following characteristics:
• Apogee: 950km +/- 11.1km
• Perigee: 950km +/- 3.7km
• Inclination between 80 degrees (threshold) and 89.5 degrees (objective)+/- 0.05deg
Solicitation HQ085021R0001 Attachment 1 (Rev 1)
 3

• RAAN separation of 31 deg +/- 1deg
Plane 1 will include All Transport Vendor 1 SVs, two Tracking Vendor 1 SVs, and two Tracking Vendor 2 SVs.
Solicitation HQ085021R0001 Attachment 1 (Rev 1)
  Plane 2 will include All Transport Vendor 2 SVs, two Tracking Vendor 1 SVs, and two Tracking Vendor 2 SVs.
 There are no additional sequencing or position requirements for the SVs in each plane.
 The SDA T0 SVs will be the primary payload. The Government will not restrict the LSC from using any additional payload capacity for other purposes or clients, as long as the SDA schedule, orbital parameters, and security requirements are still met, contingent upon SDA approval.
The LSC shall perform launch vehicle planning, analysis, design, development, production, integration, and testing required to provide the launch service appropriate to transport the payload to the desired orbit. The
2.6 Compliance Documents
51 U.S.C. § 50131(a) requires the Federal Government to acquire space transportation services from U.S. commercial providers whenever such services are required in the course of its activities. To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services of U.S. commercial providers. The National Space Transportation Policy (NSTP) provides that U.S. Government payloads shall be launched on vehicles manufactured in the United States.
Consistent with these requirements, the SDA launch services are required to be provided by a U.S. commercial provider, using a launch vehicle manufactured in the United States. Proposers will be required to demonstrate that they have satisfied these requirements. The awarded contract will also require the LSC to continue to comply with 51 U.S.C. § 50131 and the NSTP.
The LSC shall comply with U.S. Government Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices, requiring deorbit of the launch vehicle upper stage within 25 years or less.
3.0 Launch Vehicle Analysis and Design
The LSC shall provide the predicted launch vehicle environments to the SDA SV Prime Contractors. Potential mitigation approaches should be identified for any environments which exceed LV and SV design levels based on inputs from the SV providers and predicted SV configurations relative to ESPA rings inside the payload fairing.
4.0 Development and Production
The LSC shall be responsible for manufacture, assembly, test and transport of the launch vehicle and all mission hardware to the launch site; the LSC shall provide all materials and equipment necessary for these tasks.
The LSC shall hold third party liability insurance based on a Maximum Probable Loss value as calculated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
 LSC shall provide two Trajectory Analysis cycles and two Coupled Loads Analysis cycles. The analysis shall
 account for the complete stack, including Transport and Tracking SVs and all ESPA rings and other adaptors.
 The first cycle shall be delivered by TBD (estimated date 1 March 2021).
« Last Edit: 01/01/2021 12:26 am by Jansen »

Offline Jansen

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Quote
The SDA T0 SVs will be the primary payload. The Government will not restrict the LSC from using any additional payload capacity for other purposes or clients, as long as the SDA schedule, orbital parameters, and security requirements are still met, contingent upon SDA approval.

That’s an interesting rideshare opportunity.

Offline Vanspace

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The SDA T0 SVs will be the primary payload. The Government will not restrict the LSC from using any additional payload capacity for other purposes or clients, as long as the SDA schedule, orbital parameters, and security requirements are still met, contingent upon SDA approval.

That’s an interesting rideshare opportunity.

Or a nice way to deploy the polar orbiting StarLink sats for Canada and Northern Europe markets.
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Offline Jansen

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Quote
The SDA T0 SVs will be the primary payload. The Government will not restrict the LSC from using any additional payload capacity for other purposes or clients, as long as the SDA schedule, orbital parameters, and security requirements are still met, contingent upon SDA approval.

That’s an interesting rideshare opportunity.

Or a nice way to deploy the polar orbiting StarLink sats for Canada and Northern Europe markets.

It would be, except:

1) The mass of 14 SVs and the polar orbit likely means there will only be room for smallsats

2) There are only two launches for tranche 0

3) The first launch is September 2022, so a bit too far out considering SpaceX wanted to start the first polar shell in December 2020.

Offline Skyrocket

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Quote
The SDA T0 SVs will be the primary payload. The Government will not restrict the LSC from using any additional payload capacity for other purposes or clients, as long as the SDA schedule, orbital parameters, and security requirements are still met, contingent upon SDA approval.

That’s an interesting rideshare opportunity.

Or a nice way to deploy the polar orbiting StarLink sats for Canada and Northern Europe markets.

It would be, except:

1) The mass of 14 SVs and the polar orbit likely means there will only be room for smallsats

2) There are only two launches for tranche 0

3) The first launch is September 2022, so a bit too far out considering SpaceX wanted to start the first polar shell in December 2020.

Also the Tranche 0 launch contract specifies that ESPA dispensers to be used. AFAIK, these can not be combined with an Starlink stack.

Offline Vanspace

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Quote
The SDA T0 SVs will be the primary payload. The Government will not restrict the LSC from using any additional payload capacity for other purposes or clients, as long as the SDA schedule, orbital parameters, and security requirements are still met, contingent upon SDA approval.

That’s an interesting rideshare opportunity.

Or a nice way to deploy the polar orbiting StarLink sats for Canada and Northern Europe markets.

It would be, except:

1) The mass of 14 SVs and the polar orbit likely means there will only be room for smallsats

2) There are only two launches for tranche 0

3) The first launch is September 2022, so a bit too far out considering SpaceX wanted to start the first polar shell in December 2020.

Also the Tranche 0 launch contract specifies that ESPA dispensers to be used. AFAIK, these can not be combined with an Starlink stack.

Not to be contradictory but I thought the 4 SpaceX sats in Tranche 0 are Starlink bus derivatives. If they aren't Starlink derived, then 'SpaceX has a new Satellite Bus' would seem to me to be way more important news than a couple of essentially ride share launches. Of course Jensen shot down my original idea but I would be interested if this is a new bus
« Last Edit: 01/02/2021 01:31 am by Vanspace »
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Offline Jansen

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Not to be contradictory but I thought the 4 SpaceX sats in Tranche 0 are Starlink bus derivatives. If they aren't Starlink derived, then 'SpaceX has a new Satellite Bus' would seem to me to be way more important news than a couple of essentially ride share launches. Of course Jensen shot down my original idea but I would be interested if this is a new bus

Just because they are Starlink derived doesn’t mean that they are the same as Starlink satellites.

See attached for more info.

Online gongora

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Previous discussion on these satellites and the launch procurement can be found in the SDA LEO Constellations thread.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47145.0

The SpaceX tracking satellites stack on top of the ESPA ring.

Offline Vanspace

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Thanks guys!

This makes me think the permission to have other ride shares along with this mission was more about establishing the legal status/flexibility than any actual intent to do so. Seems there isn't any berths available in the stack for them to sell. I can see SpaceX wanting to establish launch services as legally equal to any other common carrier. I had not expected the military to take this baby step until ordered to by congress budget. Good news all around
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Offline Skyrocket

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Thanks guys!

This makes me think the permission to have other ride shares along with this mission was more about establishing the legal status/flexibility than any actual intent to do so. Seems there isn't any berths available in the stack for them to sell. I can see SpaceX wanting to establish launch services as legally equal to any other common carrier. I had not expected the military to take this baby step until ordered to by congress budget. Good news all around

Don't expect commercial ride share payloads. More likely any available ride share options on these launches will be used for the Space Test Program or other military programs.

Offline Vanspace

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The first baby step never goes far but is still worthy of celebration ;)
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Offline scr00chy

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Possible launch delay?

Quote
DoD’s Space Development Agency (SDA) in 2020 bought the first eight satellites of the Tracking Layer — four from L3Harris and four from a SpaceX-Leidos team. Both have passed design reviews and are scheduled to launch in 2023.

https://spacenews.com/dod-estimates-2-5-billion-price-tag-for-global-constellation-to-track-hypersonic-missiles/
[March 15]
« Last Edit: 03/30/2022 04:53 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Yiosie

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Possible launch delay?

Quote
DoD’s Space Development Agency (SDA) in 2020 bought the first eight satellites of the Tracking Layer — four from L3Harris and four from a SpaceX-Leidos team. Both have passed design reviews and are scheduled to launch in 2023.

https://spacenews.com/dod-estimates-2-5-billion-price-tag-for-global-constellation-to-track-hypersonic-missiles/

The September 2022 launch is for the 20 Transport Layer Tranche 0 satellites, not the eight Tracking Layer satellites mentioned in the article.

DoD space agency making contingency plans in case Congress doesn’t pass a budget [dated Dec. 6, 2021]

Quote
The first 20 satellites of the Transport Layer Tranche 0 are scheduled to launch in September.

Online gongora

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Actually it's still set for 10 transport and 4 tracking on each of the first two flights.  (or at least they said 14 on each flight, I assume that's 10 and 4.  The two flights populate different planes.)
« Last Edit: 03/16/2022 06:12 pm by gongora »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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SFN Launch Schedule update, March 25 (one of many):
This launch is NET September 24, 2022, launching 14 satellites.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2022 06:55 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline scr00chy

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https://spacenews.com/space-development-agency-to-accelerate-deployment-of-missile-tracking-satellites/

Quote
The Defense Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 includes $500 million for the Tracking Layer.

The first eight satellites – made by L3Harris and SpaceX – are projected to launch in 2023. The next batch of at least 28 satellites would launch in 2025.

Offline mkent

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https://spacenews.com/space-development-agency-to-accelerate-deployment-of-missile-tracking-satellites/

Quote
The Defense Department’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 includes $500 million for the Tracking Layer.

The first eight satellites – made by L3Harris and SpaceX – are projected to launch in 2023. The next batch of at least 28 satellites would launch in 2025.

That's the tracking layer, not the transport layer.

Online gongora

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Tranche 0 has both transport and tracking layer, and there could still be some of each on both launches.

Offline AndrewM

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Keep in mind that it could very easily be referring to FY23 not CY23 as it is in a budget.

Online gongora

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Keep in mind that it could very easily be referring to FY23 not CY23 as it is in a budget.

The FY23 budget part is for Tranche 1 launches (paying for them, not flying them)

Offline scr00chy

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Quote
SDA in 2020 ordered the first eight satellites of the  Tracking Layer — known as Tranche 0 — from L3Harris and SpaceX. The first two Tranche 0 satellites are projected to launch in 2023.

https://spacenews.com/l3harris-northrop-grumman-to-build-28-missile-tracking-satellites-for-u-s-space-development-agency/
[July 18]
« Last Edit: 08/20/2022 02:20 am by zubenelgenubi »

Online gongora

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SDA in 2020 ordered the first eight satellites of the  Tracking Layer — known as Tranche 0 — from L3Harris and SpaceX. The first two Tranche 0 satellites are projected to launch in 2023.

https://spacenews.com/l3harris-northrop-grumman-to-build-28-missile-tracking-satellites-for-u-s-space-development-agency/

Sandra must have misheard that part.  Derek Tournear said today that the first two Tranche 0 Tracking Layer sats are on this flight.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2022 01:18 am by gongora »

Offline scr00chy

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L3Harris to deliver five missile-warning satellites for 2023 launches
[July 27]

Quote
SDA, a defense agency tasked to field a large constellation of satellites for communications and missile tracking, in October 2020 awarded SpaceX a $149 million contract and L3Harris a $193.5 million contract to each build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles [...]

Quote
The eight satellites make up the Tracking Layer Tranche 0. The first Tracking Layer launch, projected for September 2022, is likely to include at least two SpaceX satellites. The second launch, planned for March, will include all four L3Harris satellites and others from the Transport Layer Tranche 0, which are being produced by Lockheed Martin and York Space. SDA said the manifest has not yet been finalized.
« Last Edit: 08/20/2022 02:21 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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SDA Tranche 0 Flight 1 on NextSpaceFlight, updated August 3:
First stage 1071.5, landing at LZ-4.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2022 06:52 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Rondaz

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It appears a Falcon 9 is wrapped and ready to ship from Port of Long Beach back to Vandenberg SFB. Perhaps this is B1071 which arrived last week after recovery from the Starlink 3-2 mission?

https://twitter.com/w00ki33/status/1555223239571300353
« Last Edit: 08/04/2022 06:10 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Cross-post; operations date NET September 22:
1363-EX-ST-2022
Mission 1641 from Vandy, NET Late September
No droneship listed

Timing matches SDA flight, which I'm amazed hasn't slipped since it was awarded
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1559136892851036161

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A barge, which should be carrying B1071 from Starlink 3-3, has departed from SpaceX's recovery facility in Long Beach.

The booster is being towed to Vandenberg for processing for its next launch.

[zubenelgenubi: B1071 launched Starlink 3-2.]
« Last Edit: 08/15/2022 08:07 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline scr00chy

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https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1559136892851036161

Quote
A barge, which should be carrying B1071 from Starlink 3-3, has departed from SpaceX's recovery facility in Long Beach.

The booster is being towed to Vandenberg for processing for its next launch.

Wrong thread? This booster is relaunching on the SDA mission, not Starlink 3-4.

[zubenelgenubi: Posts split/merged to the correct thread.]
« Last Edit: 08/20/2022 02:15 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Huskymaniac

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I think it is important to accept the fact that space flight isn't just all a nerdy quest for knowledge.  This isn't Star Trek.  There is a reason why we have missile tracking and missile intercept systems.  The world isn't all rainbows and unicorns.  We have identified our biggest threats and we don't look at them as our brothers in humanity.  I have worked on missile defense technology for a long time and I can tell you that the DOD is VERY worried about hypersonic missiles right now.  This is a VERY important mission. 

We should discuss these realities along with the purely nerdy side of spaceflight.  In that vein, I think the DOD made a major mistake in locking SpaceX out of Tranche 1.  For all the good work that Lockheed and Northrop do, they have been slow and over budget on just about everything they have done lately.  Missile defense is too important and too urgent.

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There is a thread to discuss the SDA LEO Constellations, linked in the top post.  This isn't it.  This thread is to cover the first launch campaign.  If you want to start a discussion in the other thread, please put something more useful than "SpaceX is awesome and everyone else sucks."

Online gongora

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https://mailchi.mp/spacenews/sn-military-space-starfleet-amendment-sparks-op-ed-feud-ula-investigates-delta-4-heavy-abort-sda-picks-satellite-providers-179060
Quote
"The launch window opens on the 29th of September," John London, chief of SDA's warfighting integration cell, said last week at the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the agency's first eight satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California.
...
The remaining 20 will launch in spring 2023

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Starlink 4-29 is NET September 25, but it should be after this launch, assuming the current schedule holds:
1496-EX-ST-2022
Mission 1791 Starlink Group 4-29 from SLC-4E, Vandenberg
NET late September
ASDS North  29  47  54   West  116  40  39

SFN SpaceX closes out quartet of Starlink launches from Vandenberg, August 31:
Quote
The next Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg is scheduled for late September carrying a tranche of small demonstration satellites for the U.S. military’s Space Development Agency, which is developing a constellation of missile tracking and data relay spacecraft.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2022 09:15 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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SFN Launch Schedule, updated August 31.
Launch is September 29.
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https://spacenews.com/space-development-agencys-first-launch-slips-due-to-supply-chain-setbacks/

Quote
Space Development Agency’s first launch slips due to supply chain setbacks
by Sandra Erwin — September 14, 2022

SDA's second batch of Tranche 0 is still on track to launch in March

WASHINGTON — The first launch of the Space Development Agency’s low Earth orbit satellites that had been scheduled for late September is slipping to no earlier than mid-December.

Offline su27k

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Space Development Agency still hoping to launch satellites next month, ‘but there’s risk’ [Nov 10]

Quote from: SpaceNews
The Space Development Agency remains optimistic it will launch next month the first satellites of a planned mesh network of sensors and communications nodes in low Earth orbit, the agency’s director Derek Tournear said Nov. 10.

“We have high confidence … but there’s obviously risk there because we are pushing industry to go as quickly as possible,” he said on an online forum hosted by the National Security Space Association.

<snip>

The satellites trying to make the December launch are “in integration right now, doing last minute finishing touches, putting the payloads on the satellites,” he said. “There was some ground software that we actually had to change.”
« Last Edit: 12/10/2022 02:38 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Dec 15        Vand SLC-4E   SWOT
Dec 29        Vand SLC-4E   EROS C3 no. 1
NET Jan?   Vand SLC-4E   SDA Tracking Layer Tranche 0 Flight 1
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Offline scr00chy

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Next Spaceflight is listing booster B1071.5 for this launch.

https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/5657

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Next Spaceflight is listing booster B1071.5 for this launch.

https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/5657

It has been doing so since it was originally scheduled for the end of September:

SDA Tranche 0 Flight 1 on NextSpaceFlight, updated August 3:
First stage 1071.5, landing at LZ-4.

Given that B1071 has already made it's fifth flight, it would be at least on it's sixth flight if B1071 is still scheduled to launch this mission.
Mission Patch Designer

Offline scr00chy

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Next Spaceflight is listing booster B1071.5 for this launch.

https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/5657

It has been doing so since it was originally scheduled for the end of September:

SDA Tranche 0 Flight 1 on NextSpaceFlight, updated August 3:
First stage 1071.5, landing at LZ-4.

Given that B1071 has already made it's fifth flight, it would be at least on it's sixth flight if B1071 is still scheduled to launch this mission.

Ah, good catch. I guess it hasn't been updated since the delay.

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Oops that was probably my fault. Booster was eventually moved to another flight. I'll delete it since the booster assigned to it is likely a different one now.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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SFN Launch Schedule update, December 5:
Launch January 2023

Dec 15        Vand SLC-4E   SWOT
Dec 29        Vand SLC-4E   EROS C3 no. 1
NET Jan?   Vand SLC-4E   SDA Tracking Layer Tranche 0 Flight 1
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Online gongora

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https://spacenews.com/space-development-agencys-first-launch-slips-to-march-due-to-satellite-glitch/
Quote
“Our plan now is to launch 10 satellites in March and the remaining 18 in June,” he said.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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https://spacenews.com/space-development-agencys-first-launch-slips-to-march-due-to-satellite-glitch/
Quote
“Our plan now is to launch 10 satellites in March and the remaining 18 in June,” he said.

More:
Quote
[Space Development Agency Director Derek] Tournear said the latest delay resulted from a “noisy power supply” issue that requires a fix for all eight York satellites that were manifested to launch in December.

“Technical issues came up during testing … we had a noisy power supply,” Tournear told SpaceNews. “We have to take the satellites apart and add in an electrical filter to all the York [Space Systems] satellites.”
<snip>
The launch rescheduled for March includes York’s eight satellites and two of four SpaceX-Leidos missile-tracking satellites the companies are building for SDA’s Tracking Layer Tranche 0.
« Last Edit: 12/10/2022 01:47 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Cross-post:
Mission 1641 (SDA) back on the schedule, NET March 22
0278-EX-ST-2023
RTLS
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