Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : USSF-124/HBTSS : CCSFS SLC-40 : 14 February 2024 (22:30 UTC)  (Read 28745 times)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Cross-posts:
I noticed this in Ben Cooper's latest schedule updates:
Ben Cooper's Launch Photography Viewing Guide [probably late Feb 7 or just before PACE launch Feb 8]; his bold:
Quote
The next SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch NASA's Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) satellite from pad 40 on February 8 at 1:33 a.m. EST. The first stage will land back at the Cape about eight minutes after launch. A Falcon 9 will launch the Intuitive Machines & NASA IM-1 Nova-C commercial lunar lander from pad 39A on February 14 at 12:57 a.m. EST. The first stage will land back at the Cape about eight minutes after launch. A Falcon 9 will launch from pad 40. The first stage will land back at the Cape about eight minutes after launch. Upcoming launches include more Starlink batches from pad 40. A Falcon 9 will launch the Telkomsat communications satellite for Indonesia from pad 40 on mid-late February TBD. A Falcon 9 will launch the next crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station, Crew-8, from pad 39A on February 22 at the earliest, around 3 a.m. EST, or around February 29-March 1 at midnight (the latter date if IM-1 proceeds as planned). The first stage will land back at the Cape about eight minutes after launch.

This was originally a Starlink launch (6-39, see that thread where NOTAMs around the Cape has just been retracted), but I really wonder if something else is launching that goes RTLS as the next SLC-40 launch...sometimes this is a typo and sometimes it isn't.

The obvious candidate is USSF-124 which has been noted to launch in the first quarter for quite some time (delayed from late last year), the missile warning satellites payload seems light enough for RTLS (previous sources indeed list it going RTLS and polar orbit, just like PACE today) too. So...

Ben Cooper's Launch Photography Viewing Guide; updated February 8 after PACE launch; my bold:
Quote
The next SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Intuitive Machines & NASA IM-1 Nova-C commercial lunar lander from pad 39A on February 14 at 12:57 a.m. EST. The first stage will land back at the Cape about eight minutes after launch. A Falcon 9 will launch the USSF-124 mission for the U.S. Space Force from pad 40 on February 14 in the late afternoon to evening EST. The first stage will land back at the Cape about eight minutes after launch. A Falcon 9 will launch the Telkomsat communications satellite for Indonesia from pad 40 on February 20. Upcoming launches include more Starlink batches from pad 40. A Falcon 9 will launch the next crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station, Crew-8, from pad 39A on late February at the earliest, around 12-1 a.m. EST. The first stage will land back at the Cape about eight minutes after launch.

This launch date/time was apparently based on the second stage NOTAM:
NextSpaceflight (Updated February 8th)
Launch NET February 15th, 2024, at 00:51 UTC
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/6961
« Last Edit: 02/17/2024 11:06 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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NextSpaceflight (Updated February 11th)
First stage B1078-7
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/6961
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NextSpaceflight (Updated February 11th)
First stage B1078-7
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/6961
LZ-1  or LZ-2? Like that sole LZ-2 F9 landing in clash during oneweb launch

NextSpaceflight (Updated February 11th)
First stage B1078-7
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/6961
LZ-1  or LZ-2? Like that sole LZ-2 F9 landing in clash during oneweb launch

Yeah, likely the first one goes to LZ-1, and second one goes to LZ-2.

Also booster passed by the VAB earlier, its got a greyband on the second stage. Gonna be a long mission I guess.

Max got some great snaps of the booster as well.

Quote
Casual Sunday at KSC - B1078.7 rolling past the VAB, onwards to SLC-40 for the USSF-124 mission later this week.

But what’s not so casual is the appearance of the mission extension kit on the second stage, first time we’ve seen this on Falcon 9 in quite some time.

📸 - @NASASpaceflight
 

📺 - http://nsf.live/spacecoast
https://twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1756743984016142770
« Last Edit: 02/11/2024 06:28 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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NextSpaceflight, updated February 11:
First stage B1078-7

Falcon 9 first stages are now apparently cleared for use up to twenty times for non-crewed launches, although that number is apparently more restricted for Cargo Dragon or Cygnus than these other payloads.

1064.6 and 1065.6 are the Falcon Heavy side boosters for Europa Clipper.

1072.1 and 1086.1 are assigned as the side boosters for GOES-U.  1083.1 is reserved for Crew-8.

1073.13 and 1076.11 may undergo modifications to become Falcon Heavy side boosters for a future launch, but both are currently available for "single-stick" launches.

Available first stages, with UTC date of most recent recovery:
1078.7    Dec 3
1069.13  Dec 29
1076.11  Jan 3
1067.17  Jan 7
1073.13  Jan 15
1080.6    Jan 18
« Last Edit: 02/11/2024 06:48 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline DanClemmensen

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Falcon 9 first stages are now apparently cleared for use up to twenty times for non-crewed launches, although that number is apparently more restricted for Cargo Dragon or Cygnus than these other payloads.
What does "cleared for use" mean?  Who is the clearing authority? Does the launch customer have any input into this? Does anybody except SpaceX and the launch customer have any input?

In the case of Starlink, SpaceX is both launch service provider and the customer.

Given this specific thread, USSF is the customer. Have they "cleared for use" a twenty-timer for this launch?


Offline ddspaceman

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USSF-124 going to meet its ride to space, currently scheduled to launch Feb.14th at 1730

https://twitter.com/TalkOTitusville/status/1756421642853474551

Offline joek

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What does "cleared for use" mean?  Who is the clearing authority? Does the launch customer have any input into this? Does anybody except SpaceX and the launch customer have any input?

In the case of Starlink, SpaceX is both launch service provider and the customer.

Given this specific thread, USSF is the customer. Have they "cleared for use" a twenty-timer for this launch?

Could be DoD (NSSL) or NASA (LSP) or the payload owner. Who has cleared what for a specific payload is not public information.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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NextSpaceflight, updated February 11:
Launch time corrected to 14 February 22:30 UTC.
= 5:30 pm EST
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L-1 weather forecast

>95% GO for February 14th
Upper-Level Wind Shear & Solar Activity risks are Low-Moderate

90% GO for February 15th
Upper-Level Wind Shear risk is Low-Moderate
All other additional risk criteria are Low or N/A
« Last Edit: 02/13/2024 01:41 pm by GewoonLukas_ »
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Offline catdlr

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cross-post

https://twitter.com/LaunchPhoto/status/1757423046585888888

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Two Falcon 9 launches & two LZ landings in a row are on tap from Cape Canaveral overnight tonight and tomorrow afternoon, carrying a lunar lander & a Space Force mission.
« Last Edit: 02/13/2024 04:00 pm by catdlr »
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Online Galactic Penguin SST

https://www.spacex.com/launches/mission/?missionId=ussf-124

Quote
SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, February 14 at 5:30 p.m. ET for Falcon 9’s launch of the USSF-124 mission to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. If needed, a backup opportunity is available Thursday, February 15 at the same time.

A live webcast of this mission will begin on X @SpaceX about 15 minutes prior to liftoff. Watch live.

This will be the seventh launch of the first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched Crew-6, SES O3b mPOWER, and four Starlink missions (=B1078-7). Following stage separation, the first stage will land on Landing Zone 2 (LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2024 12:58 am by Galactic Penguin SST »
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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PDF of online press kit.
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Offline SpaceFinnOriginal

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Re: SpaceX F9 : USSF-124 : CCSFS SLC-40 : NET 29 September 2023
« Reply #56 on: 02/14/2024 08:13 am »
5SLS Mission Patch:

Doesn't give us any information about the payload unfortunatly.
Is it official patch?

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https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1757807250377482499

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Falcon 9 rolled out to pad 40 in Florida and is now vertical for today's launch of USSF-124 → spacex.com/launches

Offline Targeteer

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MDA, SDA Announce Upcoming Launch of the Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor and Tranche 0 Satellites
Feb. 14, 2024

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and Space Development Agency (SDA) announce the upcoming launch of six satellites into low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

Today's planned launch will include two satellites for MDA's Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensor (HBTSS) and the final four SDA Tranche 0 (T0) Tracking Layer satellites of its Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA). As part of the National Security Space Launch program, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the satellites to orbit.

"This launch represents a pivotal time for MDA as we enter a new phase of missile warning, tracking and defense," said Lt. Gen. Heath Collins, director of MDA. "These HBTSS satellites are an essential step forward in our efforts to stay ahead of our adversaries."

MDA, the U.S. Space Force and SDA are collaborating to develop HBTSS as a space sensor prototype demonstration providing fire control quality data required to defeat advanced missile threats. Ultimately, this data is critical to enabling engagement by missile defense weapons, including engagement of hypersonic glide-phase weapons. This "birth-to-death" tracking by HBTSS will make it possible to maintain custody of missile threats from launch through intercept regardless of location.

"Launching our Tracking satellites into the same orbit with the MDA HBTSS satellites is a win for both agencies," said Derek Tournear, director of SDA. "We'll be able to look at test targets from the same orbit at the same time, so that we can see how the two sensors work together. In Tranche 1, SDA will fly both sensor types as an operational system – medium-field-of-view demonstrating fire control, based on HBTSS design, and wide-field-of-view doing warning and tracking, based on T0 tracking design."

Operationally, the missile defense capability, developed through MDA's HBTSS demonstration program, will inform SDA's PWSA and will detect hypersonic, ballistic, and other advanced threats earlier than terrestrial radars, providing hypersonic threat tracking data for hand off through linked missile defense weapons. SDA will build upon the fire-control capability successes learned from HBTSS and proliferate those fully developed capabilities in the spiral approach to future tranches.

SDA, part of the U.S. Space Force, previously deployed 23 Tranche 0 satellites on-orbit in 2023, including Transport and Tracking Layer satellites, from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The four Tracking Layer satellites that will launch with MDA's HBTSS were delivered by L3Harris Corps. and represent the final satellites in the Tranche 0 program bringing the on-orbit constellation to 27.

MDA initiated the HBTSS program in 2018. In January 2021 MDA awarded Other Transaction Agreements to L3Harris Technologies Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corporation.

The pending launch of the two prototype systems will be followed by two years of on-orbit testing. Over the next few weeks, MDA and SDA engineers will run a series of tests and checkout procedures to ensure the satellites are operating and integrating with the Missile Defense System and other mission areas.

Please direct all MDA-related media queries to Mark Wright at 571-231-8212, [email protected] or Nancy Jones-Bonbrest at 571-363-0782, [email protected].

For more information on MDA please visit mda.mil.

Please direct all SDA-related media queries to Jonathan Withington at 202-468-4553, [email protected]. For more information on SDA, contact [email protected] or visit https://www.sda.mil.

A live feed of the launch can be found at: https://www.spacex.com/launches/mission/?missionId=ussf-124.
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https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1757880623115714837

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Four SpaceX rockets vertical on SpaceX's four launch pads in Florida, California, and Texas

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