Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9: To Static Fire or not to Static Fire; that is the question  (Read 64394 times)

Offline john smith 19

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I'm pretty surprised by no static fire for a NRO launch on a used booster. SpaceX must have made a convincing case with their data.

This suggests to me that future static fires for used boosters might only be for cases when the previous flight data had a few peculiarities, and/or they've changed out some major components.

This launch was unusual in that it was a commercial launch contract, not under NSSL. NRO wanted this bird up quickly, even opting for LC-39A vs the more secure SLC-40.
Interesting. it is commonly asserted that NRO payloads are very expensive, and hence justify all the little extras-at-extra-cost that ULA provide.

That they accepted a launch without static fire suggests either a) This payload was not one of the usual $Bn+ b)The couldn't negotiate a static fire (because that's no longer SOP for SX commercial launches) c) SX's data from previous launches is that good (and NRO has that much access to it) that NRO could look at it and say "OK, no problems here. Carry on"
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Online zubenelgenubi

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[snip]
My guess: mostly a) and c).  One can ALWAYS negotiate further services for extra $$$.
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Offline LouScheffer

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I'm pretty surprised by no static fire for a NRO launch on a used booster. SpaceX must have made a convincing case with their data.

This suggests to me that future static fires for used boosters might only be for cases when the previous flight data had a few peculiarities, and/or they've changed out some major components.

This launch was unusual in that it was a commercial launch contract, not under NSSL. NRO wanted this bird up quickly, even opting for LC-39A vs the more secure SLC-40.
Interesting. it is commonly asserted that NRO payloads are very expensive, and hence justify all the little extras-at-extra-cost that ULA provide.

That they accepted a launch without static fire suggests either a) This payload was not one of the usual $Bn+ b)The couldn't negotiate a static fire (because that's no longer SOP for SX commercial launches) c) SX's data from previous launches is that good (and NRO has that much access to it) that NRO could look at it and say "OK, no problems here. Carry on"
Another possibility is that this was a pathfinder for "launch on demand", i.e. NRO buys a launch(s) in advance, for an un-determined date, but as soon as possible after they deliver the payload.   SpaceX is one of the few (likely only) vendor that could commit to launch immediately after they receive the payload, as they have a stock of available boosters.  If it's really a rush job, skipping the static fire would save a few days.  So maybe they did this as for "test as you fly" reasons.

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Booster 1060.4 for Turksat 5A.  Launch currently scheduled for [January 4 EST] / January 5 UTC, SLC-40.

Will SpaceX perform a Static Fire?

Apparently not.

A Static Fire, before a GTO launch for an external customer, would (most likely) be performed without payload and payload fairing attached.  After the firing, then the LV would return to the SLC-40 HIF for payload integration.  And, then the LV would return to the pad for launch.

Launch currently scheduled for January 6 7 EST / January 7 8 UTC.  The back-up launch window is 24 hours later.

No sign of LV transport yet from HIF to SLC-40 (January 4 2200 UTC).

EDIT January 7 EDT: LV vertical before this January 7 Tweet.  No Static Fire.
https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/1347203176580190215
« Last Edit: 01/08/2021 01:53 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 16?

The first stage will likely be 1051.8 1049.8, the first eighth use of a Falcon 9 first stage.  Because of this, I think that there will be a Static Fire, with the payload attached.  We shall see.

The launch is currently scheduled for January 18 17.
***

Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Transporter-1?  And, if so, will it be with the multiple payloads attached?

The first stage will likely be 1058.5.

The launch is currently scheduled for NET January 23 22 21.

Edited
« Last Edit: 01/22/2021 02:27 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 16?

Apparently, no. LV was not transported to the pad today, January 17, for a launch scheduled on the 18th.

Launch is now scheduled for the 20th 19th.

LV was transported to the pad on the evening of January 19, for a launch scheduled on the 20th.

No Static Fire before January 20 launch.

Edited
« Last Edit: 01/25/2021 05:10 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Transporter-1?  The launch is currently scheduled for January 22.

Apparently, no.  As of the evening of January 20, the LV has not transported to the pad.

Edit: No Static Fire before January 24 launch.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2021 05:09 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 17?

The first stage will likely be 1049.8, the second eighth use of a Falcon 9 first stage.  1051.8, also with 60 Starlink satellites as payload, was not Static Fired before launch.  I doubt this one will be either.

The launch is currently scheduled for January 27, but the consensus here is that launch may slip several days later.

Edit: Launch scheduled January 30 29.
« Last Edit: 01/26/2021 06:59 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 18?

The first stage will likely be 1059.6.  As an "only" sixth use of a Falcon 9 first stage, I doubt that there will be a Static Fire before launch.

Launch is currently scheduled for February 4.
« Last Edit: 01/31/2021 07:45 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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« Last Edit: 02/04/2021 02:38 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 18?

The first stage will be 1060.5 1059.6.  As an "only" fifth sixth use of a Falcon 9 first stage, I doubt that there will be a Static Fire before launch.

Launch is currently scheduled for February 4.

LV raised on SLC-40 on February 3rd.  No Static Fire before launch.
Launched on February 4.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2021 06:13 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 19?

The first stage will likely be 1059.6.  As an "only" sixth use of a Falcon 9 first stage, I doubt that there will be a Static Fire before launch.

Launch is currently scheduled for February 15 14 12 UTC.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2021 07:16 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Given the continuing multiple delays of the launch, will there be another Static Fire of B1049.8 before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 17?
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 19?

The first stage will likely be 1059.6.  As an "only" sixth use of a Falcon 9 first stage, I doubt that there will be a Static Fire before launch.

Launch is currently scheduled for February 15 14 12 UTC.

Perhaps there will be a Static Fire before launch; the LV is vertical on the pad, February 11 evening EST.  That's just-in-time delivery, if a Static Fire will be executed before a launch on February 14 13 evening EST:
Falcon 9 is vertical at SLC-40

https://twitter.com/Cygnusx112/status/1359999128827265030
« Last Edit: 02/12/2021 07:17 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 19?
The first stage will likely be 1059.6.  As an "only" sixth use of a Falcon 9 first stage, I doubt that there will be a Static Fire before launch.
Launch is currently scheduled for February 15 14 12 UTC.
Perhaps there will be a Static Fire before launch; the LV is vertical on the pad, February 11 evening EST.  That's just-in-time delivery, if a Static Fire will be executed before a launch on February 14 13 evening EST:

Yes, why?
Pardon me if I missed something but do we know why B1059 is static firing? The booster hasn't done that since her maiden re-flight so I'm wondering if they swapped an engine or something.

Static Fire on afternoon February 13 EST.
Quote from: SpaceX
Static fire test complete – targeting Sunday, February 14 at 11:21 p.m. EST for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from SLC-40.

EDIT
Launched February 16 UTC.  ASDS landing failed.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2021 09:56 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 20?

The first stage will likely be either 1051.9 or 1058.6.

Even before the landing loss of 1059.6, I expected a Static Fire for 1051.9, as the first ninth flight of a Falcon 9 first stage.

SpaceX chose to use 1058.6 on this launch.

Given the loss of 1059.6, I wonder if SpaceX will perform a Static Fire on 1058.6.

Launch is currently scheduled for NET February 25 March 8 UTC.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2021 03:54 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Given the continuing multiple delays of the launch, will there be another Static Fire of B1049.8 before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 17?
Question is even more relevant after the ASDS landing failure of B1059.6.

Launch NET February 26 UTC.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2021 09:53 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 21?

The first stage will likely be 1051.9.

Even before the landing loss of 1059.6, I expected a Static Fire for 1051.9, as the first ninth flight of a Falcon 9 first stage.

No launch date yet announced.
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Given the continuing multiple delays of the launch, will there be another Static Fire of B1049.8 before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 17?
Question is even more relevant after the ASDS landing failure of B1059.6.

Cross-post:
Quote from: Emre Kelly tweet
Falcon 9 and its Starlink payload went vertical at 39A about an hour ago [February 23 afternoon EST]...
Launch is currently scheduled for February 28 EST--5 days later.

I suspect that another Static Fire will precede launch.

EDIT/ADD--Second successful Static Fire on February 24.
Static fire test was performed at 3am EST.
Quote from: William Harwood tweet
F9/Starlink-20 [F9/Starlink v1.0 Flight 17]: SpaceX carried out a Falcon 9 hot-fire test at KSC pad 39A this morning at 3am EST (08:00 GMT); this was the 2nd static firing for stage B1049; we’ll now await an update from SpaceX on plans to launch 60 more Starlinks this weekend.

Follow-up edit: Successful launch and first stage ASDS landing on March 4 UTC.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2021 03:50 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline scr00chy

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This is now the next Falcon 9 launch.
I wonder when the LV will be erected at the pad?

Static Fire or not to Static fire?

With the recent loss of booster 1059 I'd bet they do Static Fires on all vehicles for sometime.

I wouldn't be so sure. The Falcon that failed recently did have a SF prior to that launch and it didn't help. :) I think the lessons from that anomaly will be applied to inspections and refurbishment processes and will not necessarily affect their decision-making about whether to do SF or not.

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