Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9: To Static Fire or not to Static Fire; that is the question  (Read 64772 times)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Bump as launch approaches for B1058.6; watching for vehicle erection.  Launch now March 9 UTC.

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 06:06 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline cscott

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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.

[zubenelgenubi: Dedicated thread for Static Fire updates and discussion here.]

I'd think boots are more likely to be damaged during a static fire. If boot damage is a concern, I'd think it would have the opposite effect, and make them less likely to do "unnecessary" static fires which age the boots.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Static Fire? for Starlink v1.0 Flight 20:
I'd think boots are more likely to be damaged during a static fire. If boot damage is a concern, I'd think it would have the opposite effect, and make them less likely to do "unnecessary" static fires which age the boots.
My opinion: Boot damage during a 2 or 3 second Static Fire is not a significant factor.
My further opinion: I'll bet any damage done is either inflicted during re-entry and the associated burns, and secondarily during ascent.

We should know soon.  It's now March 7 UTC.  Launch is currently scheduled for March 10 UTC.

If there will be a Static Fire, then the LV will be transported to the pad shortly.
(LV to pad with satellites loaded under the fairing > prep > Static Fire > analysis and any final prep > countdown)

If there will be no Static Fire, then the LV won't appear on the pad until the day before launch or so, with launch preparations until the countdown begins.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2021 04:09 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Online wannamoonbase

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Well SpaceX just fired up the next one.

They are really getting alot of cycles on fueling and firing up the F9.

It's amazing how casual it has become to launch 60, 60!!! satellites in one flight, ever couple of weeks.
Wildly optimistic prediction, Superheavy recovery on IFT-4 or IFT-5 (Welp a little early on IFT-4, but still have a shot at 5)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Static Fire? for Starlink v1.0 Flight 20:
If there will be a Static Fire, then the LV will be transported to the pad shortly.

Static Fire? Yes.
Quote from: William Harwood tweet
F9/Starlink 21 (V1-L20): SpaceX test fired the first stage engines of a Falcon 9 rocket at LC-40 today [March 8] at 6pm EST (2300 GMT); test appeared normal; we'll now stand by for an update from SpaceX on plans to launch 60 Starlinks from the Cape Canaveral SFS Tuesday night.
Launch scheduled for March 9 EST/March 10 UTC.

Update: Successful launch March 11, followed by successful first stage ASDS landing.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2021 08:30 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline 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.

I guessed wrong, apparently. As of this post, about one day before launch, the LV has not been moved to the pad.
Quote from: SpaceX tweet
Targeting Sunday, March 14 at 6:01 a.m. EDT for Falcon 9's next launch of 60 Starlink satellites. The first stage booster supporting this mission has completed eight flights to date.
= 10:01 March 14 UTC
B1051.9 (1st ninth use)

Edit: LV transported to and raised on pad Saturday, March 13. No Static Fire.

Edit: Successful launch and ASDS landing on March 14.
« Last Edit: 03/15/2021 02:14 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 22?

The first stage will be 1060.6.  Launch is currently scheduled for March 24 23 22 21 UTC.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2021 12:34 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 23?

We don't know the ID of the first stage; we don't know exactly when the launch is scheduled, but it could be circa April 1; etc.!

This could be the first Florida launch for B1063.

Edited March 26: Launch scheduled for April 7.
« Last Edit: 03/26/2021 08:03 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 22?
No, apparently.
LV vertical on the pad March 23, one day before launch on the 24th.  Successful launch and successful first stage ASDS landing on the 24th.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2021 06:55 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline RocketLover0119

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At this point, I think static fires will only come on customer payloads, and potentially boosters that are in the mid point of life, like 3-5 (maybe a wider envelope), or if an issue were to arise,(such as one of the recent Starlink missions) and extra precaution is wanted.
« Last Edit: 03/23/2021 04:32 pm by RocketLover0119 »
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Offline Alvian@IDN

Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 23?

We don't know the ID of the first stage; we don't know exactly when the launch is scheduled, but it could be circa April 1; etc.!

This could be the first Florida launch for B1063.

Edited March 26: Launch scheduled for April 7.
Obviously no static fire, less than 3 hours away from launch
Booster 1058.7 is vertical
« Last Edit: 04/07/2021 02:25 pm by Alvian@IDN »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 23?

We don't know the ID of the first stage; we don't know exactly when the launch is scheduled, but it could be circa April 1; etc.!

This could be the first Florida launch for B1063.

Edited March 26: Launch scheduled for April 7.
Obviously no static fire, less than 3 hours away from launch
Booster 1058.7 is vertical
April 7: Successful launch and 1st stage recovery via ASDS landing.
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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A Static Fire will be part of the launch preparations for Crew-2.  See NSF article SpaceX and NASA entering final preparations for Crew-2 launch, dated April 1. (My bold)
Quote
During static fire, the launch teams will work through a launch-day countdown, including fueling Falcon 9 and test firing all nine of its first stage engines for a few seconds. The crew will not be placed inside the Dragon for the static fire, which is currently set to take place on April 17, five days before launch [April 22].
« Last Edit: 04/14/2021 04:46 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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A Static Fire will be part of the launch preparations for Crew-2.  See NSF article SpaceX and NASA entering final preparations for Crew-2 launch, dated April 1. (My bold)
Quote
During static fire, the launch teams will work through a launch-day countdown, including fueling Falcon 9 and test firing all nine of its first stage engines for a few seconds. The crew will not be placed inside the Dragon for the static fire, which is currently set to take place on April 17, five days before launch [April 22].

April 17 Static Fire is successful.
« Last Edit: 04/19/2021 02:32 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 24?

We don't yet know the ID of the first stage.  Launch is scheduled for April 28.

EDIT April 19: B1060.7
« Last Edit: 04/25/2021 02:55 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 24?

We don't yet know the ID of the first stage.  Launch is scheduled for April 28.

EDIT April 19: B1060.7

Apparently, no.  Falcon 9 erected April 27.  Then, the launch was delayed to April 28 EDT/April 29 UTC.

Successful launch and ASDS landing.

Edits
« Last Edit: 04/30/2021 04:58 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 25?

The first stage will be 1049.9.  Launch is currently scheduled for May 4.

There was no Static Fire before the first ninth launch of a first stage.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2021 05:04 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 25?

The first stage will be 1049.9.  Launch is currently scheduled for May 4.

There was no Static Fire before the first ninth launch of a first stage.
Static Fire at 1 am EDT on May 3.

Successful launch and first stage ASDS landing on May 4.
« Last Edit: 05/07/2021 07:20 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline gemmy0I

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The policy seems to be to always static fire booster 1049 before every flight. They've been consistent on this regardless of whether 1049 was the fleet leader at the time.

Notably, they haven't always static fired 1051 when it was the leading edge, so this seems to be more of a 1049 issue than a leading-edge issue.

My theory on this continues to be that 1049 is "special" due to being the oldest (design-wise) booster in the fleet. We know SpaceX introduces minor design improvements on each successive build, and there were in fact some more major improvements made between 1049 and 1051 due to crew-rating. Modifications to the turbopumps to reduce the risk of blade cracking come to mind as the most major of these, and something that would definitely account for a desire to static fire 1049 each time for extra surveillance of the turbopumps.

The fact that it also consistently seems to take them longer to refurbish 1049 than the other boosters (even 1051 on leading-edge flights has seen some fast turnarounds) would seem to be in line with this theory.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Will there be a Static Fire before the launch of Starlink v1.0 Flight 27?

The first stage will be 1051.10.  Launch is currently scheduled for May 9.  This will be the first 10th flight of a Falcon 9 first stage.

Edit May 8: No Static Fire.  LV erected this afternoon EDT.

Edit May 9: Successful launch and first stage ASDS landing.
« Last Edit: 05/10/2021 04:12 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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