Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Starlink Group 4-4 : VSFB SLC-4E : 18 December 2021 (12:41 UTC)  (Read 71168 times)

Online gongora

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Discussion thread for Starlink Group 4-4

NSF Threads for Starlink Group 4-4: Discussion

Successful launch December 18, 2021 at 4:41am PST (12:41 UTC) on Falcon 9 (booster 1051-11) from SLC-4E. Successful booster landing on OCISLY. Fairing recovery is expected from the water.  The fairing halves were previously used, with this being the 4th flight of one half and 3rd flight of the other half.

Payload: A batch of 52 Starlink satellites. Expected deployment orbit of approximately 210x340km at 53.2? degrees inclination.

Please use the Starlink Discussion Thread for all general discussion on Starlink.

Check the Starlink Index Thread for links to more Starlink information.

L2 SpaceX:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=60.0

From a previous mission's Press Kit:
Quote
Each Starlink satellite weights approximately 260 kg and features a compact, flat-panel design that minimizes volume, allowing for a dense launch stack to take full advantage of Falcon 9’s launch capabilities. With four powerful phased array and two parabolic antennas on each satellite ... At end of their life cycle, the satellites will utilize their on-board propulsion system to deorbit over the course of a few months. In the unlikely event their propulsion system becomes inoperable, the satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within 1-5 years, significantly less than the hundreds or thousands of years required at higher altitudes. Further, Starlink components are designed for full demisability.

Starlink is targeting service to near global coverage of the populated world by 2021. Additional information on the system can be found at starlink.com.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 07:45 pm by gongora »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Is this the same as RF Mission 2-5?
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Is this the same as RF Mission 2-5?

We have no idea how to map those numbers (if they even map).

SpaceX revised their FCC application for Starlink 2-3 (1423-EX-ST-2021, was previously RF 3-5 0842-EX-ST-2021).  Why don't we see specific revised FCC applications for all launches?

https://fcc.report/ELS/Space-Exploration-Technologies-Corp-SpaceX/1423-EX-ST-2021
Starlink Group 2-3 from Vandy NET October to 70 degrees
[submitted September 1]

Six permits requested for Starlink flights from Vandenberg NET July, missions 1-5 through 6-5, with ASDS landing.
0817-EX-ST-2021 1-5
0826-EX-ST-2021 2-5
0842-EX-ST-2021 3-5  [submitted May 25]
0843-EX-ST-2021 4-5
0844-EX-ST-2021 5-5
0845-EX-ST-2021 6-5

[zubenelgenubi edited]
« Last Edit: 10/17/2021 04:40 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline StraumliBlight

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SpaceFlightNow is now showing a "Mid-October" launch date.  [dated October 6]
« Last Edit: 10/07/2021 04:48 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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My hypothesis is there are currently only enough SpaceX employees to handle one launch campaign at Vandenberg at a time.

The rest are in Boca Chica working on the first Starship launch.

Starlink 2-1    September 14 UTC
Starlink 2-2    mid-October
DART              November 24

(Same situation in Florida for the duration.)
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Offline wannamoonbase

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My hypothesis is there are currently only enough SpaceX employees to handle one launch campaign at Vandenberg at a time.

The rest are in Boca Chica working on the first Starship launch.

Starlink 2-1    September 14 UTC
Starlink 2-2    mid-October
DART              November 24

(Same situation in Florida for the duration.)

Starship is the future but launches and Starlinks provide the revenue. 

I’d bet they are launching as fast as the payloads and boosters are ready.

A few more upcoming West coast flights too, it’s going to be fun out there. 
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Offline Ken the Bin

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These NGA notices are not labeled as "Rocket Launching" and "Space Debris", but they look like a Starlink launch from VSFB and stage 2 splashdown.

Quote from: NGA
120908Z OCT 21
NAVAREA XII 588/21(18,21).
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
CALIFORNIA.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1522Z TO 2047Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 OCT IN AREA BOUND BY
   34-40N 120-43W, 34-40N 120-24W,
   33-48N 119-57W, 30-14N 118-05W,
   29-56N 117-39W, 28-33N 117-14W,
   28-33N 117-28W, 29-29N 118-19W,
   30-17N 118-19W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 182147Z OCT 21.
Quote from: NGA
120917Z OCT 21
HYDROPAC 2906/21(61,63).
ARABIAN SEA.
NORTHWESTERN INDIAN OCEAN.
DNC 02, DNC 03, DNC 10.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1644Z TO 2120Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 OCT IN AREA BOUND BY
   10-21N 062-11E, 09-10N 065-06E,
   00-23S 063-49E, 06-21S 059-42E,
   05-22S 057-02E, 04-08N 058-09E.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 182220Z OCT 21.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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BOLO (Be On the LookOut) for a possible SF (Static Fire).
(I know, the geography makes it much more difficult than at Canaveral.)
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Offline Ken the Bin

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The NGA notices that I posted above have been cancel-and-replaced with new notices (still just generic Hazardous Operations) with narrower time periods.

Quote from: NGA
122155Z OCT 21
NAVAREA XII 590/21(18,21).
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
CALIFORNIA.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1649Z TO 1916Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 OCT IN AREA BOUND BY
   34-40N 120-43W, 34-40N 120-24W,
   33-48N 119-57W, 30-14N 118-05W,
   29-56N 117-39W, 28-33N 117-14W,
   28-33N 117-28W, 29-29N 118-19W,
   30-17N 118-19W.
2. CANCEL NAVAREA XII 588/21.
3. CANCEL THIS MSG 182016Z OCT 21.
Quote from: NGA
122221Z OCT 21
HYDROPAC 2915/21(61,63).
ARABIAN SEA.
NORTHWESTERN INDIAN OCEAN.
DNC 02, DNC 03, DNC 10.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1811Z TO 1949Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 OCT IN AREA BOUND BY
   10-21N 062-11E, 09-10N 065-06E,
   00-23S 063-49E, 06-21S 059-42E,
   05-22S 057-02E, 04-08N 058-09E.
2. CANCEL HYDROPAC 2906/21.
3. CANCEL THIS MSG 182049Z OCT 21.

Offline Conexion Espacial

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The NGA notices that I posted above have been cancel-and-replaced with new notices (still just generic Hazardous Operations) with narrower time periods.

Quote from: NGA
122155Z OCT 21
NAVAREA XII 590/21(18,21).
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
CALIFORNIA.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1649Z TO 1916Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 OCT IN AREA BOUND BY
   34-40N 120-43W, 34-40N 120-24W,
   33-48N 119-57W, 30-14N 118-05W,
   29-56N 117-39W, 28-33N 117-14W,
   28-33N 117-28W, 29-29N 118-19W,
   30-17N 118-19W.
2. CANCEL NAVAREA XII 588/21.
3. CANCEL THIS MSG 182016Z OCT 21.
Quote from: NGA
122221Z OCT 21
HYDROPAC 2915/21(61,63).
ARABIAN SEA.
NORTHWESTERN INDIAN OCEAN.
DNC 02, DNC 03, DNC 10.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1811Z TO 1949Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 OCT IN AREA BOUND BY
   10-21N 062-11E, 09-10N 065-06E,
   00-23S 063-49E, 06-21S 059-42E,
   05-22S 057-02E, 04-08N 058-09E.
2. CANCEL HYDROPAC 2906/21.
3. CANCEL THIS MSG 182049Z OCT 21.
That's right, this NOTMAR coincides with the launch of Starlink 2-1.
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Online Rondaz

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SpaceX will launch a batch of Starlink satellites from Vandenberg SFB this Sunday, Oct. 17. Launch time will be between 10:34 am and 11:34 am Pacific.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1448064326124773376

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What is record minimum time from announcement of date of launch to launch date (excluding after recycle/scrub)?

4.5 days for this one seems low?

Offline John Santos

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What is record minimum time from announcement of date of launch to launch date (excluding after recycle/scrub)?

4.5 days for this one seems low?

Many launches were not announced until AFTER they were in orbit, so zero or negative days.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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What is record minimum time from announcement of date of launch to launch date (excluding after recycle/scrub)?

4.5 days for this one seems low?
Many launches were not announced until AFTER they were in orbit, so zero or negative days.
I think, from context, crandle's question refers to Falcon 9 launches?
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Online gongora

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https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1448458859320791050
Quote
Expect Falcon booster B1051 to fly the upcoming Starlink mission from Vandenberg – setting a new SpaceX reuse record at 11 flights.

Online Rondaz

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LHA map for #Starlink Group 2-2 from VSFB SLC-4E NET 17 Oct 17:34 UTC, alternatively 18 Oct based on issued NOTMARs. Booster landing ~640km downrange, estimated fairing recovery ~680km downrange. S2 reentry in northwestern Indian Ocean on the first orbit.

https://twitter.com/Raul74Cz/status/1448295159649775624

Offline Orbiter

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Possible delay incoming?

https://twitter.com/SpaceOffshore/status/1448700622405054468

Quote from: Gav Cornwell tweet
OCISLY has turned around and appears to be heading back home to the Port of Long Beach. The droneship departed yesterday [October 13] for the upcoming Starlink mission out of Vandenberg.
« Last Edit: 10/21/2021 12:54 am by zubenelgenubi »
Astronomer & launch photographer

Offline Ken the Bin

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Per these NGA notices, the marine hazard warnings are canceled, so the launch is postponed indefinitely.

Quote from: NGA
142203Z OCT 21
NAVAREA XII 597/21(18,21).
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
CALIFORNIA.
CANCEL NAVAREA XII 590/21 AND THIS MSG,
OPERATIONS POSTPONED.
Quote from: NGA
142222Z OCT 21
HYDROPAC 2935/21(61,63).
ARABIAN SEA.
NORTHWESTERN INDIAN OCEAN.
DNC 02, DNC 03, DNC 10.
CANCEL HYDROPAC 2915/21 AND THIS MSG,
OPERATIONS POSTPONED.

Online gongora

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Per these NGA notices, the marine hazard warnings are canceled, so the launch is postponed indefinitely.

Indefinitely meaning we don't know when it's rescheduled to, not necessarily a long time.

Offline Ken the Bin

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Starlink Group 2-2 : VSFB SLC-4E : October 2021
« Reply #21 on: 10/14/2021 11:24 pm »
Per these NGA notices, the marine hazard warnings are canceled, so the launch is postponed indefinitely.

Indefinitely meaning we don't know when it's rescheduled to, not necessarily a long time.

That's correct.  They could conceivably change their minds and go ahead with the launch as originally planned (with new notices issued of course).

Offline alugobi

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Starlink Group 2-2 : VSFB SLC-4E : October 2021
« Reply #22 on: 10/14/2021 11:31 pm »
Not likely.  OCISLY is heading back to the house.

Offline Vultur

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Starlink Group 2-2 : VSFB SLC-4E : October 2021
« Reply #23 on: 10/15/2021 07:00 am »
Has that happened for previous Starlink missions (sudden droneship turn-around)?

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Starlink Group 2-2 : VSFB SLC-4E : October 2021
« Reply #24 on: 10/15/2021 07:07 am »
Has that happened for previous Starlink missions (sudden droneship turn-around)?
I do not know about Starlink but several missions have previously seen a sudden delay resulting in ASDS accelerated return to port. OCISLY  can only be at sea during certain force sea state conditions and has a lower maximum loitering time due to onboard fuel reserves.

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Sorry work has been super busy this week but I am hearing the issue is not with the rocket. I do not have anymore information than that.

Offline cwr

Sorry work has been super busy this week but I am hearing the issue is not with the rocket. I do not have anymore information than that.

I see that the thread subject has changed from Starlink Group 2-2 to Starlink Group 2-3.
The same change has been made in the SpaceX Manifest Updates thread, but I don't see
a post that explains the change.
Nor can I find a post explaining the change, I've never been very successful with the NSF search
tool.

Can anybody shed light on this or is it a typo of some form?

Thanks

Carl

Online gongora

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I see that the thread subject has changed from Starlink Group 2-2 to Starlink Group 2-3.
The same change has been made in the SpaceX Manifest Updates thread, but I don't see
a post that explains the change.

2-2 was a guess on my part.  Apparently it's actually 2-3.  As for why it's 2-3, I'm really not sure, but it's not the first time I've been confused by SpaceX numbering.

Offline cwr

I see that the thread subject has changed from Starlink Group 2-2 to Starlink Group 2-3.
The same change has been made in the SpaceX Manifest Updates thread, but I don't see
a post that explains the change.

2-2 was a guess on my part.  Apparently it's actually 2-3.  As for why it's 2-3, I'm really not sure, but it's not the first time I've been confused by SpaceX numbering.

Thanks for the explanation.
Did we get this from SpaceX?
I've not seen any mention in L2.
Group 2-3 seems strange given it's the 2nd polar launch from VSFB for Starlink.
It almost seems like the mission numbers in the license applications.

Thanks

Carl

Online Josh_from_Canada

Could 2-2 be the next Starlink launch from the Cape?
Launches Seen: Atlas-V OA-7,

The FCC file that was submitted a while ago said 2-3

[See up-thread: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=54823.msg2292422#msg2292422]

zubenelgenubi: edit
« Last Edit: 10/17/2021 07:31 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Online Alexphysics

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I can confirm this is Group 2-3 as gongora pointed out. 2-2 is flying from Florida

Spaceflight Now reports "Starlink launches from Florida’s Space Coast are expected to resume as soon as October".

What I'd like to know:

1. Will it be called Starlink 2-2, Starlink 3-1 or something else?
2. Will it be launching to 53.2° or 97.6° inclination?

Is it possible for Florida Starlink launches to the 70 deg inclination?  Launch last night was 2-1, and next FCC filing for SLC-4E states mission 2-3 (https://fcc.report/ELS/Space-Exploration-Technologies-Corp-SpaceX/1423-EX-ST-2021), skipping 2-2.  Could they alternate launches from both coasts and complete the 70 deg shell faster?  Logistically in space it makes sense for sats to be raising at the same inclination, no?

cross post of the fcc report stating 2-3.  If 2-2 is going to launch from Florida, the designation doesn't necessarily mean that it will be the same inclination, right?  My gut says that SpaceX doesn't want to pussyfoot and will try to fill each shell as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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My parents was just being born when the Apollo program is over. Why we are still stuck in this stagnation, let's go forward again

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: transoceanic support ship swap:
This could be the reason?
Unscheduled major maintenance or repair on Adele Elise, the need for which was discovered after OCISLY set sail?

When did GO Quest leave Florida?

Why would Adele Elise leave for Louisiana?  Why not perform hypothetical repairs in Long Beach? It's a major harbor.
« Last Edit: 10/20/2021 11:45 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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It appears GO Quest is just replacing the other ship, period.  The other ship leaving already does seem to suggest there isn't a launch imminent.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Problem with Starlinks?

Problem with Ground Support Equipment (GSE)?

Not enough information to draw a conclusion.

Quote from: Gav Cornwell tweet
OCISLY has turned around and appears to be heading back home to the Port of Long Beach. The droneship departed yesterday [October 13] for the upcoming Starlink mission out of Vandenberg.

Sorry work has been super busy this week but I am hearing the issue is not with the rocket. I do not have anymore information than that.

Quote from: Gav Cornwell tweet
The current West Coast support ship Adele Elise has set a destination for Louisiana, paving the way for OG former East Coast ship GO Quest to become the new support vessel in California. GO Quest crossed through the Panama Canal yesterday [October 19]...

Perhaps the ship swap was previously scheduled after the conclusion of recovery, predicated on an October 17 launch?
It appears GO Quest is just replacing the other ship, period.  The other ship leaving already does seem to suggest there isn't a launch imminent.
« Last Edit: 10/21/2021 01:14 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Follow up:
Quote from: Gav Cornwell tweet
GO Quest has a loooong way to go to reach its new home in Los Angeles. Should arrive around November 2nd. Don't expect that postponed Starlink launch to happen anytime soon. [October 22]


Assuming GO Quest must dock in Long Beach before embarking on a recovery mission, this launch is now NET November.

DART launch scheduled for November 24 UTC. This is an interplanetary launch window and takes priority.

If SpaceX is only mobilizing Vandenberg staffing to support one launch campaign at a time, etc., then this launch could be NET December.
« Last Edit: 10/27/2021 09:31 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Next Spaceflight now has NET ETA of December
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/6798
« Last Edit: 11/14/2021 09:13 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Cross-post from the manifest discussion thread. Apparently this launch could be performed after SLC-4E is turned around from the DART launch = NET December.
Congratulations SpaceX on what appears to be a flawless flight and a return of east coast Starlink flights. 

The rest of the 2021 Manifest looks like it could finish strong. Hopefully there can be 1 or two more Starlink flights before 12/31

<snip> Been meaning to do this for awhile but per Elon's tweet that SpaceX plans to launch 80t in Q4, that will definitely require at least a few more Starlink launches. Based on him saying that SpaceX launched 41t in Q3, I'll ballpark that as 13t for Inspiration4, 14t for CRS-23, and 14t for Starlink 2-1.

In Q4, we have two launches behind us and five more confirmed missions on the manifest:
Quote
Crew-3 (13t)
Starlink 4-1 (15t)
DART (0.7t)
IXPE (0.4t)
CSG-2 (2.2t)
Turksat 5B (4.5t)
CRS-24 (14t)
Altogether, that's about 50t, leaving room for two more Starlink launches to reach Elon's 80t prediction. I'd personally guess that that means one more Starlink launch from each coast before the end of the year.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2021 11:29 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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I can confirm this is Group 2-3 as gongora pointed out. 2-2 is flying from Florida

FWIW, Starlink Group 2-2 is still from Florida as of a few days ago. Not sure why it was delayed to fly after 4-1 but I sure hope it's not for the same reason this mission was delayed too  : (

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Cross-post:
Not a big surprise, but I appreciate them reaching the same conclusions as us.

(This is beyond the Florida Starlink launch confirmed for December 1.)

SFN, SpaceX is about to break its own annual launch record, dated November 17

Quote
The schedule in December could have room for two more Starlink launches — one from California and one from Florida. But SpaceX typically does not reveal schedules for its Starlink missions until weeks, or even days, before the launch date.
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I wonder when this will launch--limiting parameter is turning around the recovery fleet after DART, or turning around the launch complex?



Vandenberg SFB launch schedule for the immediate future:
2021 Launched:
№ – Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site - Time (UTC)

December 18 late summer? NET Aug Sept NET Oct mid 17 TBD NET Nov NET Dec NET 17 17 - Starlink 4-4 2-2 2-3 (x52 x51) (flight 33? 31 TBD/high-inclination flight 2) [v1.5 L4? v2.0 L2 L-TBD] - Falcon 9-132 127? TBD 134? (1051.11? 1051.11? 1049.11? S) - Vandenberg SLC-4E - 12:41:40 ~15:30 ~17:00 17:34 TBD ~08:30 to 14:10 ~08:40 to 14:10 09:46:20 09:24:40 or
(mid-inclination Starlink: launch 20-22 minutes earlier/day)

2022 Scheduled:
№ – Date - Satellite(s) - Rocket - Launch Site - Time (UTC)

NET mid January NET Sept 2021 Oct 2021 NET Nov 2021 NET Dec 2021 - Starlink TBD 2-3 2-TBD (x51?) (flight TBD/polar flight 1? high-inclination flight 3) [v1.5 TBD v2.0 L3 L-TBD] - Falcon 9 (1051.12? 1063.4? S) - Vandenberg SLC-4E

February NET Jun 2021/NLT Dec 2021 NET 2022 Feb ~Feb 2 - NROL-87 - Falcon 9 (1063.4? L?) - Vandenberg SLC-4E

TBD NET May 2021 late 2021 NET Dec 2021 NET Jan 31, 2022 late Jan - ALS mission 1: Carbonite 4 (CBNT 4), GENESIS-G & J, QUBIK-3/4/5/6, Sapling-1, Spinnaker 3 - Firefly Alpha (FLTA002) - Vandenberg SLC-2W

Changes on November 19th, 2020
Changes on December 23, 2020
Changes on March 2nd
Changes on May 17th
Changes on May 26th
Changes on May 27th
Changes on May 28th
Changes on June 15th
Changes on June 29th
Changes on July 23rd
Changes on July 27th
Changes on August 15th
Changes on August 24th
Changes on August 29th
Changes on September 1st
Changes on September 7th
Changes on September 11th
Changes on October 6th
Changes on October 12th
Changes on October 13th
Changes on October 14th
Changes on October 22nd
Changes on November 3rd
Changes on November 5th
Changes on November 24th
Changes on December 3rd
Changes on December 9th
Changes on December 10th
Changes on December 12th
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zubenelgenubi
« Last Edit: 01/15/2022 09:26 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Starlink 2-3
This could be/should be? the next Falcon 9 Vandenberg launch.  We never found out during the October 17 launch campaign if there would be a Static Fire.

Will there be a Static Fire before the Starlink 2-3 Starlink 2-2 launch from Vandenberg?

[First stage] is 1051.11.

If it's yet another booster [not 1049 nor 1063], transported from elsewhere, then I expect [a Static Fire] to ensure its proper function after said transport.
Edit: 1051 arrived at VSFB circa September 1.

I could be wrong about a static fire as a SpaceX SOP after cross-country road transport.

[Edit Dec 5: I split/merged this post to the launch thread.

It could successfully static fire one day, with payload under fairing attached, and launch the next.]
« Last Edit: 12/05/2021 04:26 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline vaporcobra

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I wonder when this will launch--limiting parameter is turning around the recovery fleet after DART, or turning around the launch complex?

SpaceX's fastest SLC-4E turnaround is 36 days, so the NET for this launch without setting a new record is already December 30th! If everything is relatively normal (i.e. no surprise trip to Mexico), recovery fleet turnaround should take no more than a week or two. I'd put the realistic NET firmly in the last full week of December.

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I wonder when this will launch--limiting parameter is turning around the recovery fleet after DART, or turning around the launch complex?

SpaceX's fastest SLC-4E turnaround is 36 days, so the NET for this launch without setting a new record is already December 30th! If everything is relatively normal (i.e. no surprise trip to Mexico), recovery fleet turnaround should take no more than a week or two. I'd put the realistic NET firmly in the last full week of December.

36 days is a while ago: 22 Feb 2018 Paz to 30 March 2018 Iridium Next 5
8 Iridium flights took two years when aiming for a launch every 2 months. 4 other Vandenberg launches in that 2 year period. So could well be payload availability meaning that launch every 2 months keeps up with demand so 36 days happened to be shortest without any need to try out shorter launch turnaround periods.

More recently
https://spaceflightnow.com/2021/07/27/spacex-to-begin-launching-new-generation-of-starlink-satellites-next-month/
Quote
SpaceX is expected to launch an average of one Starlink mission per month from Vandenberg over the next year

If there are also other launches from Vandenberg (and above is honest assessment even if haven't kept up so far) then this suggests that the minimum launch turnaround period could (must?) be somewhat less than 36 days.

Offline Elthiryel

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Next Spaceflight reports it's going to launch NET December 17. Still 1051.11.

https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/details/6798
« Last Edit: 12/09/2021 08:32 am by Elthiryel »
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

These two NOTMARs seems to be for this launch - the closure areas and timing seems right for Starlink’s orbit:

NAVAREA XII 696/21(18,21).
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
CALIFORNIA.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 0824Z TO 1414Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 DEC IN AREA BOUND BY
   34-34N 120-39W, 34-40N 120-39W,
   34-28N 120-12W, 34-08N 119-52W,
   33-16N 119-16W, 30-54N 117-23W,
   30-40N 117-00W, 29-16N 115-56W,
   29-05N 116-14W, 29-53N 117-05W,
   30-42N 117-30W, 33-03N 119-19W,
   34-23N 120-34W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 181514Z DEC 21.//


NAVAREA XII 697/21(16,19).
NORTH PACIFIC.
BEARING SEA.
ALASKA.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1023Z TO 1512Z DAILY
   17 AND 18 DEC IN AREA BOUND BY
   49-00N 179-00W, 51-38N 175-30W,
   51-45N 171-45W, 47-00N 159-00W,
   35-00N 141-00W, 32-00N 146-00W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 181512Z DEC 21.//
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Offline Ken the Bin

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These two NOTMARs seems to be for this launch - the closure areas and timing seems right for Starlink’s orbit:

I saw those, and in fact held them for possible future clarification.  The two notices do seem to be related to each other, but the one for the Bering Sea doesn't seem to fit.  In addition to one for California, I would expect rather one for the Indian Ocean.

I wish they would flag them properly as Rocket Launching and Space Debris when applicable, instead of just generic Hazardous Operations. :(

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Looks like NET Dec. 17 for the next Vandenberg Starlink. The launch was delayed from October. It is expected to feature the first 11th flight of a booster.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1470246280995631105

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NextSpaceFlight
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/?search=SpaceX
reports launch time 08:24UTC

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

NextSpaceFlight
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/?search=SpaceX
reports launch time 08:24UTC

Since I was the one who set it…it’s a NET time based on the marine space closure zones I posted, and the actual time should be some hours later given the window set is 6 hours long.
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NextSpaceFlight
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/?search=SpaceX
reports launch time 08:24UTC

Since I was the one who set it…it’s a NET time based on the marine space closure zones I posted, and the actual time should be some hours later given the window set is 6 hours long.

When in the window set exactly? I'm trying to look at other NOTAMs listed for previous launches in order to determine a trend between them.
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Offline Ken the Bin

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NextSpaceFlight
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/?search=SpaceX
reports launch time 08:24UTC

Since I was the one who set it…it’s a NET time based on the marine space closure zones I posted, and the actual time should be some hours later given the window set is 6 hours long.

When in the window set exactly? I'm trying to look at other NOTAMs listed for previous launches in order to determine a trend between them.

Good luck with that.  I've been trying for a long time.  The amount of time from the beginning of the hazard window to the targeted launch time can vary from zero minutes up to 1.5 hours.  And it's not necessarily consistent even for the same kind of launch from the same launch pad. :(

Edit: To clarify, I'm referring to NGA marine hazard notices (NOTMARs), not NOTAMs.
« Last Edit: 12/13/2021 01:25 pm by Ken the Bin »

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NextSpaceFlight
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/?search=SpaceX
reports launch time 08:24UTC

Since I was the one who set it…it’s a NET time based on the marine space closure zones I posted, and the actual time should be some hours later given the window set is 6 hours long.

When in the window set exactly? I'm trying to look at other NOTAMs listed for previous launches in order to determine a trend between them.

Good luck with that.  I've been trying for a long time.  The amount of time from the beginning of the hazard window to the targeted launch time can vary from zero minutes up to 1.5 hours.  And it's not necessarily consistent even for the same kind of launch from the same launch pad. :(

Edit: To clarify, I'm referring to NGA marine hazard notices (NOTMARs), not NOTAMs.
Also, let's remember that although NOTMARS and NOTAMS are multi-hour, the launch window for Starlink missions are unique, so SpaceX only has one launch opportunity and that makes guessing the launch time and minute a bit more difficult.
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Could be Static Fire time any time now...
BOLO (Be On the LookOut) for a possible SF (Static Fire).
(I know, the geography makes it much more difficult than at Canaveral.)
« Last Edit: 12/15/2021 12:49 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline lenny97


TFR Published, presumably for the mission.
https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1399.html
Quote
0839 to 1414 UTC Daily starting December 17 and ending December 21.
1/1399

Offline zubenelgenubi

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NextSpaceFlight
https://nextspaceflight.com/launches/?search=SpaceX
reports launch time 08:24UTC

Since I was the one who set it…it’s a NET time based on the marine space closure zones I posted, and the actual time should be some hours later given the window set is 6 hours long.

When in the window set exactly? I'm trying to look at other NOTAMs listed for previous launches in order to determine a trend between them.

Good luck with that.  I've been trying for a long time.  The amount of time from the beginning of the hazard window to the targeted launch time can vary from zero minutes up to 1.5 hours.  And it's not necessarily consistent even for the same kind of launch from the same launch pad. :(

Edit: To clarify, I'm referring to NGA marine hazard notices (NOTMARs), not NOTAMs.
Also, let's remember that although NOTMARS and NOTAMS are multi-hour, the launch window for Starlink missions are unique, so SpaceX only has one launch opportunity and that makes guessing the launch time and minute a bit more difficult.
There could be two or more launch windows within the NOTAM/NOTMARS temporal boundaries.

This early in the process of filling the polar orbital planes (polar flight 2), one argument of perigee could be as useful as another?
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Offline Ken the Bin

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There could be two or more launch windows within the NOTAM/NOTMARS temporal boundaries.

This early in the process of filling the polar orbital planes (polar flight 2), one argument of perigee could be as useful as another?

Yes, the actual launch window may be fairly wide.

My SWAG based on a combination of the notices is targeting ~~~09:09 UTC.  Three ~'s tells you that I don't have a lot of confidence in that.

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https://twitter.com/TSKelso/status/1470940418523099139
Quote
CelesTrak has pre-launch SupTLEs for #Starlink Group 4-4, which is set to launch 2021-12-17 09:46:20 UTC on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg AFB, California. Deployment of 52 satellites occurs just over 15 minutes later at 10:01:56.540 UTC: https://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/supplemental/.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2021 01:32 am by gongora »

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Kelso is showing this launch to 53.2 degrees.  Which would be surprising.  But ever since the water tower got legs, I've tried to keep an open mind about SpaceX activities.

Offline Ken the Bin

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Just to add to the confusion, there is an additional TFR for the exact same time frame, but a different location (mostly over land), and up to an altitude of 500 feet AGL.

https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_1478.html

Quote from: FAA
Airspace Definition:
      Region bounded by:
      
         Latitude:    Longitude:    FRD:
      From:    34º38'34"N    120º31'23"W    
      To:    34º24'38"N    120º19'13"W    
      To:    34º25'01"N    120º15'36"W    
      To:    34º30'00"N    120º15'36"W    
      To:    34º36'19"N    120º27'24"W    
      To:    34º35'47"N    120º28'14"W    
      Altitude: From the surface up to and including 500 feet AGL
Effective Date(s):
      In UTC:
      0839 to 1414 UTC Daily starting December 17 and ending December 21.

My first thought is a static fire.  However it seems unlikely that they would have a static fire NET December 17 at 08:39 UTC and then launch the same day at 09:46 UTC.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Kelso is showing this launch to 53.2 degrees.  Which would be surprising.  But ever since the water tower got legs, I've tried to keep an open mind about SpaceX activities.

A non-polar Starlink launch this month would track with polar Starlink launches beginning next month.
https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/1470783838058078208
Quote
At Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week, SpaceX’s Jonathan Hofeller says launches into the Starlink network’s polar orbital shell will begin “in a month or so.”

Dedicated Starlink missions so far have targeted the 53-degree, 53.2-degree, and 70-degree inclination shells.
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Offline WheelsStop

Just to add to the confusion, there is an additional TFR for the exact same time frame, but a different location (mostly over land), and up to an altitude of 500 feet AGL.

Those TFRs are to cover the airspace below Restricted Areas R-2534A and R-2534B, which, when active, only apply to the airspace above 500 AGL.

The adjacent R-2517 which covers the airspace over the launch pad is surface to unlimited, so doesn't require a TFR.

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A non-polar Starlink launch this month would track with polar Starlink launches beginning next month.

This flight was never thought to be polar

Offline vaporcobra

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Kelso is showing this launch to 53.2 degrees.  Which would be surprising.  But ever since the water tower got legs, I've tried to keep an open mind about SpaceX activities.

The most surprising thing to me that is one Starlink satellite (~1.8% of the total payload) is all it will cost Falcon 9 to perform the several-degree dogleg a 53.2 degree Vandy launch will require. Either that or Mexico has basically given SpaceX permission to completely overfly Baja California and/or the entire Mexican west coast lol.

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So that VSFB launch back in October... was that supposed to be Starlink 2-3 launching to 70°, which then got cancelled and replaced with 4-4 to 53.2°? Or has it always been 4-4 launching to 53.2° and it just got delayed by 2 months, and we just incorrectly thought it was called 2-3 and launching to 70°?

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Starlink 53.2 degree shell from Vandenberg!?! Friday's launch will apparently hug the coast as it goes southeast, presumably with a bit of a dogleg. This screenshot is the pre-launch SupTLE at the time of liftoff. Rocket will insert the satellites into the orbit shown below.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1470946084599988225

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The initial Starlink constellation was launched into a 53 degree inclination all from the Cape. Recent launches to the 53.2 degree inclination have also occurred from the Cape. This will be the first such Starlink mission to take place from California.

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1470946430449635330

Offline Elthiryel

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So that VSFB launch back in October... was that supposed to be Starlink 2-3 launching to 70°, which then got cancelled and replaced with 4-4 to 53.2°? Or has it always been 4-4 launching to 53.2° and it just got delayed by 2 months, and we just incorrectly thought it was called 2-3 and launching to 70°?

Looks like it that was supposed to be Starlink 2-3 launching to 70° in October. See NOTMARs here, they look the same as Group 2-1: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=54823.msg2299554#msg2299554
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I guess someone crunched numbers and saw that the 53.2 degree shells have more revenue.

If they start filling the shell from both coasts the launch cadence could be really impressive.

Can't wait!
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A gentle reminder to the military that they need to hand out contracts if they want polar service? 100$/month per dish won't do.

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From the USCG District 11 weekly Local Notice to Mariners that came out today.  This is not the first occurrence of this notice.  It was at least in last week's report, however at that point I didn't know what it was.  Note that like the NGA notices, it doesn't say that it's a rocket launch. :( (Not the fault of the NGA or the USCG; they can only work with the information that they are provided.)

Quote from: USCG
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA-VANDENBERG AFB-HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS

Hazardous operations will be conducted from Vandenberg AFB, CA starting at 12:24am on 17 Dec 21 until 6:14am on 18 Dec 21. Hazardous operation areas are bounded by the following coordinates:
34-34-00N 120-39-00W
34-40-00N 120-39-00W
34-28-00N 120-12-00W
34-08-00N 119-52-00W
33-16-00N 119-16-00W
30-54-00N 117-23-00W
30-40-00N 117-00-00W
29-16-00N 115-56-00W
29-05-00N 116-14-00W
29-53-00N 117-05-00W
30-42-00N 117-30-00W
33-03-00N 119-19-00W
34-23-00N 120-34-00W
Mariners are advised to remain clear of these areas for the duration of operations. For more details or comments contact Vandenberg AFB at 805-606-8825.

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NRC Quest and GO Quest have both departed from Long Beach for the West Coast Starlink mission

Support fairing recovery and droneship support respectively.

https://twitter.com/SpaceOffshore/status/1471213077802717188

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I guess someone crunched numbers and saw that the 53.2 degree shells have more revenue.

Do we know for certain they have the inter satellite links sorted?  They could be waiting for improvements before filling the polar orbits.

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I guess someone crunched numbers and saw that the 53.2 degree shells have more revenue.

Do we know for certain they have the inter satellite links sorted?  They could be waiting for improvements before filling the polar orbits.

Yes, otherwise they would be launching more satellites and not just 52.

This launch profile matches up with FCC applications 1176-EX-ST-2021, 1177-EX-ST-2021, 1178-EX-ST-2021, 1179-EX-ST-2021, 1180-EX-ST-2021, 1182-EX-ST-2021 (Starlink RF Mission 1-8, 2-8, 3-8, 4-8, 5-8, 6-8).  Any idea what the RF would stand for?

Offline cwr

I guess someone crunched numbers and saw that the 53.2 degree shells have more revenue.

Do we know for certain they have the inter satellite links sorted?  They could be waiting for improvements before filling the polar orbits.

Yes, otherwise they would be launching more satellites and not just 52.

I just noticed the article at
https://www.noozhawk.com/article/spacex_rocket_ready_to_launch_vandenberg_sfbs_second_starlink_mission
which says that this launch has slipped to early Saturday morning but I've not seen it
reported anywhere else.

can anybody confirm or deny this report?

Carl

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I just noticed the article at
https://www.noozhawk.com/article/spacex_rocket_ready_to_launch_vandenberg_sfbs_second_starlink_mission
which says that this launch has slipped to early Saturday morning but I've not seen it
reported anywhere else.

can anybody confirm or deny this report?

Carl

This information from the article:
Quote
A mariner’s notice issued recently advised boaters to remain out of the area of SLC-4 between 1:16 a.m. and 5:33 a.m. Friday. However, early Thursday morning, the notice was revised to note the delay and new date, with the launch now sete to occur between 12:54 a.m. and 5:11 a.m.
... does not match the NGA notice.  (Of course mariner's notices are issued by other organizations as well.)

I'm assuming the times are given are local (PST, UTC-8:00).  The one NGA notice that came out Saturday is for Friday and Saturday, from 12:54am to 6:14am PST.  At this point I have not received a new notice to replace it.

I'm not seeing anything in the NGA or FAA notices to indicate a delay.

Offline Conexion Espacial

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I guess someone crunched numbers and saw that the 53.2 degree shells have more revenue.

Do we know for certain they have the inter satellite links sorted?  They could be waiting for improvements before filling the polar orbits.

Yes, otherwise they would be launching more satellites and not just 52.

I just noticed the article at
https://www.noozhawk.com/article/spacex_rocket_ready_to_launch_vandenberg_sfbs_second_starlink_mission
which says that this launch has slipped to early Saturday morning but I've not seen it
reported anywhere else.

can anybody confirm or deny this report?

Carl
NexSpaceFlight also has the launch for Saturday at 09:24 UTC.
I publish information in Spanish about space and rockets.
https://twitter.com/conexionspacial

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I just noticed the article at
https://www.noozhawk.com/article/spacex_rocket_ready_to_launch_vandenberg_sfbs_second_starlink_mission
which says that this launch has slipped to early Saturday morning but I've not seen it
reported anywhere else.

can anybody confirm or deny this report?

Carl
NexSpaceFlight also has the launch for Saturday at 09:24 UTC.

09:24 UTC does match the time that I had calculated based on a Friday launch time of 09:46 UTC, so if it has slipped to Saturday, the time is right.

Offline WheelsStop

An airspace NOTAM associated with the launch previously effective for Dec 17 has been cancelled:

Quote
!CARF 12/141 ZLA AIRSPACE DCC 2 ROPS AIROP D0-2118 STNR ALT
RESERVATION WI AN AREA DEFINED AS 343800N1203100W TO 335100N1194500W
TO 320000N1181600W TO 315600N1182500W TO 332100N1193500W TO
341800N1202400W TO 343800N1204000W TO POINT OF ORIGIN
SFC-UNL
2112170839-2112171414
( Cancel Date UTC: 12/16/2021 1619 )

Corresponding NOTAMs for Dec 18 and 19 (12/146, 12/155) are still up.

Offline Ken the Bin

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New cancel-and-replace NGA notices for December 18 through December 20 ...

Quote from: NGA
162339Z DEC 21
NAVAREA XII 705/21(19).
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
CALIFORNIA.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 0818Z TO 1352Z DAILY
   18 THRU 20 DEC IN AREA BOUND BY
   34-34N 120-39W, 34-40N 120-39W,
   34-28N 120-12W, 34-08N 119-52W,
   33-16N 119-16W, 30-54N 117-23W,
   30-40N 117-00W, 29-16N 115-56W,
   29-05N 116-14W, 29-53N 117-05W,
   30-42N 117-30W, 33-03N 119-19W,
   34-23N 120-34W.
2. CANCEL NAVAREA XII 696/21.
3. CANCEL THIS MSG 201452Z DEC 21.
Quote from: NGA
162356Z DEC 21
NAVAREA XII 706/21(16,19).
NORTH PACIFIC.
BEARING SEA.
ALASKA.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 1017Z TO 1450Z DAILY
   18 THRU 20 DEC IN AREA BOUND BY
   49-00N 179-00W, 51-38N 175-30W,
   51-45N 171-45W, 47-00N 159-00W,
   35-00N 141-00W, 32-00N 146-00W.
2. CANCEL NAVAREA XII 697/21.
3. CANCEL THIS MSG 201550Z DEC 21.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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This Falcon 9 launch is at December 18 09:24 UTC.

18 hours, 34 minutes later, the Turksat 5B Falcon 9 will launch at Dec 19 03:58 UTC.

54 hours, 12 minutes after the second launch, the Dragon SpX-24 Falcon 9 will launch at Dec 21 10:06 UTC.
« Last Edit: 12/17/2021 09:43 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Today is the first day ever that SpaceX has had all three of its autonomous spaceport droneships deployed offshore for missions simultaneously.

https://twitter.com/SpaceOffshore/status/1471951315798573062

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SFN, SpaceX to set new company records with back-to-back weekend launches [dated Dec 17]
Quote
SpaceX has a backup launch opportunity available at 7:41 a.m. EST (4:41 a.m. EST; 1241 GMT) for the mission, named Starlink 4-4 in the company’s launch schedule.
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« Last Edit: 06/07/2022 06:34 pm by ZachS09 »
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Repost/update:
This Falcon 9 launch is at December 18 12:41 UTC.

15 hours, 17 minutes later, the Turksat 5B Falcon 9 will launch at Dec 19 03:58 UTC.

54 hours, 12 minutes after the second launch, the Dragon SpX-24 Falcon 9 will launch at Dec 21 10:06 UTC.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 02:28 am by zubenelgenubi »
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From Mission Audio, the launch auto sequence has started.


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"Press kit" capture with OCR

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Successful launch, ascent, and staging.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 11:50 am by RocketLover0119 »
"The Starship has landed"

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Stage 1 entry burn.
"The Starship has landed"

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Stage 1 has landed, and nominal orbital insertion.

No ground coverage of deploy, so confirmation will will come at T+50 minutes.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 11:54 am by RocketLover0119 »
"The Starship has landed"

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AOS and confirmation of deploy!
"The Starship has landed"

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During the webcast the presenter said that this was the third flight for one of the fairing halves an the fourth flight for another one.
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight

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Deployment of 52 Starlink satellites confirmed

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1472192947324014592

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During the webcast the presenter said that this was the third flight for one of the fairing halves an the fourth flight for another one.

The active fairing half is clearly the one from Sentinel 6A and Starlink v1.0 L20 (see attached comparison photo). But we didn't get a clear shot or any photos of the passive half, so I'm not sure it's possible to determine which one it actually is. There are too many options and SpaceX didn't specify anything about the fairings on the official website this time.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 01:21 pm by scr00chy »

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Not sure if I'm missing something but is there any reason why SpaceX decided to launch this Starlink mission from the West coast (not going into polar orbit) impacting the payload capability it would have had launching from KSC? Thank you.

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Not sure if I'm missing something but is there any reason why SpaceX decided to launch this Starlink mission from the West coast (not going into polar orbit) impacting the payload capability it would have had launching from KSC? Thank you.

I think because it was the only pad left for Starlink.  The other two east coast pads are launching this weekend too. (Turksat 5B - SLC-40 and Spx-24 - 39A)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Thanks, RL, for the launch thread coverage!  Congratulations to the launch campaign team!



In watching the launch after the fact, I see we got a short glimpse of the LOX dregs in the second stage during the rocketcam step-throughs via Punta Arenas at mission elapsed time +28:57 (instead of waiting until it came in range of Mauritius).



Launch time to the second or millisecond?
(Answered below.)

Edited
« Last Edit: 12/19/2021 02:41 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Elthiryel

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Launch time to the second or millisecond?

According to T.S. Kelso, it was supposed to be 12:41:40 UTC.

https://twitter.com/TSKelso/status/1472117225234464771
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 04:09 pm by Elthiryel »
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Historical question re: today's launch descending node launch to a 53.2 deg inclination orbit, grazing the Pacific coast of Baja California:

Is this a new use of available launch azimuths from Vandenberg?  Any similar launches from NASA or Air Force history?
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Offline russianhalo117

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Historical question re: today's launch descending node launch to a 53.2 deg inclination orbit, grazing the Pacific coast of Baja California:

Is this a new use of available launch azimuths from Vandenberg?  Any similar launches from NASA or Air Force history?
The launch used an already available azimuth which did not need a required overflight permission.

Titan-23G was proposed to keep flying out of VAFB SLC-4W to provide upto 3,600kg interim/emergency resupply capability per launch to ISS immediately following the Columbia launch and reentry disaster. It should be discussed wayback somewhere on this forum. When was it decided to keep using STS to resupply ISS, Titan-23G was retired (converted from deactivated and stored ICBM fleet) with the remaining Titan-II inventory scrapped as their saving grace proposal was shelved (not the only reason for retiring the Titan launcher family).
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 05:58 pm by russianhalo117 »

Offline wannamoonbase

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During the webcast the presenter said that this was the third flight for one of the fairing halves an the fourth flight for another one.

I love that fairing recovery is becoming normal and so successful too. It’s t knocks about $100K off per star link to orbit.

Also raises the bar for industry too, case in point the proposed Neutron design.

Great launch by SpaceX by using the west coast.  I was hoping for fog but I’ll take it.
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

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https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1472197309333000196
Quote
Liftoff of SpaceX Falcon 9 B1051.11, the first ever 11th flight of a booster, carrying the Starlink 4-4 group into orbit on a rare crystal clear night at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. @NASASpaceflight
https://twitter.com/SLDelta30/status/1472247436202504195
Quote
The @SpaceX Starlink mission successfully launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 4:41 a.m today. The mission launched on a Falcon 9 rocket and will add 52 satellites to the Starlink satellite constellation. Job well done #TeamV!
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 08:44 pm by SPKirsch »

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Here is a comparison of the telemetry from the Starlink Group 4-1 and 4-4 missions, both to an inclination of 53.2°, but launched from opposite coasts.

From the Starlink Mission Control Audio, the 4-4 launch azimuth was initially 180°, or due south. From 50s to 100s in flight, the booster yawed about 36° to the east. I was hoping to see some evidence of this manoeuvre in the telemetry, but unfortunately any difference is hidden within the noise of the available data.

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Watching the landing on the broadcast, I noticed the displayed stage 1 velocity was still 263 kph when the altitude reach 0.0 km, and was still 183 kph when the altitude flipped from 0.0 km to -0.0 km, which presumable meant effectively 0 m. Since the video had cut out (as usual) I found this telemetry disconcerting. Fortunately, a few seconds later we got confirmation of a safe landing so clearly the broadcast telemetry was inaccurate (maybe just out of synch). I haven't watched every landing, but it always seemed like the displayed telemetry converged nicely to 0 velocity and altitude at the same time in the past. Was this landing unique or have we seen misleading telemetry in the broadcast previously? Any idea why the two data streams would be so far out of synch?

Offline mkent

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Not sure if I'm missing something but is there any reason why SpaceX decided to launch this Starlink mission from the West coast (not going into polar orbit) impacting the payload capability it would have had launching from KSC? Thank you.

I think because it was the only pad left for Starlink.  The other two east coast pads are launching this weekend too. (Turksat 5B - SLC-40 and Spx-24 - 39A)

I think the question is not "Why did they launch from the Western Range?" but "Why did they launch into the 53.2 deg shell?"

By my calculations SpaceX needs 24 launches to fill the 70 deg and 97.6 deg shells and 30 launches to fill the 53.2 deg shell.  But the higher launch cadence possible from the Eastern Range should cause the 53.2 deg shell to be filled much sooner than the higher-inclination shells.

Launching this flight into the 70 deg shell should have helped balance things out, making the question "Why didn't they do that?"  Does anyone here know?

Offline AC in NC

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Not sure if I'm missing something but is there any reason why SpaceX decided to launch this Starlink mission from the West coast (not going into polar orbit) impacting the payload capability it would have had launching from KSC? Thank you.

I think because it was the only pad left for Starlink.  The other two east coast pads are launching this weekend too. (Turksat 5B - SLC-40 and Spx-24 - 39A)

I think the question is not "Why did they launch from the Western Range?" but "Why did they launch into the 53.2 deg shell?"

By my calculations SpaceX needs 24 launches to fill the 70 deg and 97.6 deg shells and 30 launches to fill the 53.2 deg shell.  But the higher launch cadence possible from the Eastern Range should cause the 53.2 deg shell to be filled much sooner than the higher-inclination shells.

Launching this flight into the 70 deg shell should have helped balance things out, making the question "Why didn't they do that?"  Does anyone here know?
TJL's question wasn't why did they launch from the West Coast.  There were a couple typos and awkward phrasing.  If you step back and read it carefully ...

The question was "Did the decision to launch from the West Coast impact payload capacity?" thus resulting in the fewer than typical number of Starlink.
« Last Edit: 12/18/2021 11:27 pm by AC in NC »

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Watching the landing on the broadcast, I noticed the displayed stage 1 velocity was still 263 kph when the altitude reach 0.0 km, and was still 183 kph when the altitude flipped from 0.0 km to -0.0 km, which presumable meant effectively 0 m. Since the video had cut out (as usual) I found this telemetry disconcerting.
One factor is the rotation of the planet.  SpaceX's telemetry, certainly for the first stage, is relative to the launch site - however, since the rocket launched south towards the equator, it ended up in a position further from Earth's axis of rotation, and was thus moving from west to east slightly faster.

Vandenberg is at 34°43′58″N, or ~0.6062 radians.
Assuming a spherical earth with a radius of 6378km, that means that the launch site is about cos(0.6062)*6378 = 5242 km away from the axis of rotation.
The earth completes a rotation approximately once every 24 hours, or 0.2618 radians per hour.  Thus, the linear speed of a point 5242 km away from the axis of rotation is 5242*0.2618 = 1372 kph.
Estimating the location of the barge (if someone has the ship tracking data feel free to jump in) as about 30 degrees N, and performing the same math, we get cos(0.5236)*6378*0.2618 = 1446 kph, or a difference of 74 kph.

Obviously that's not all of it, but it's one big culprit in SpaceX telemetry that we've seen before.  Oh, and feel free to check my math, as always.
All aboard the HSF hype train!  Choo Choo!

Offline Kiwi53

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I think the question is not "Why did they launch from the Western Range?" but "Why did they launch into the 53.2 deg shell?"

By my calculations SpaceX needs 24 launches to fill the 70 deg and 97.6 deg shells and 30 launches to fill the 53.2 deg shell.  But the higher launch cadence possible from the Eastern Range should cause the 53.2 deg shell to be filled much sooner than the higher-inclination shells.

Launching this flight into the 70 deg shell should have helped balance things out, making the question "Why didn't they do that?"  Does anyone here know?

I don't know, but I'd guess that the 70° shell gives them access to Alaska, far north Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and far north Norway & Sweden, plus the adjacent seas. These are interesting, underserved and strategically important regions, but not going to be big revenue earners. And almost nothing in the southern hemisphere - the very bottom of S. America is ~56°S

True polar (97.6°) orbits with inter-satellite links allows true global coverage, but that's only going to interest those that can't see 70° orbit satellites - airlines flying trans-polar, the military and Antarctic research stations


A second (and later a third, IIRC) 53.x° shell delivers the meat of the world's population, more minutes per orbit above revenue-rich areas - i.e. better for profitability.
So for Starlink's commercial viability, it's much better to fill up the 53.x° shells than the higher-inclination orbits

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So for Starlink's commercial viability, it's much better to fill up the 53.x° shells than the higher-inclination orbits

What if a single government services contract for higher inclination coverage was worth 10,000 or more consumer dishy subscriptions?  Would filling up a higher inclination shell desired by that customer be worth it?

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In watching the launch after the fact, I see we got a short glimpse of the LOX dregs in the second stage during the rocketcam step-throughs via Punta Arenas at mission elapsed time +28:57.

Doesn't look like much was left in the tank.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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In watching the launch after the fact, I see we got a short glimpse of the LOX dregs in the second stage during the rocketcam step-throughs via Punta Arenas at mission elapsed time +28:57.
Doesn't look like much was left in the tank.
When I see the very low LOX level, I hear this in my imagination (technically, I suppose my imagination should hear this only if the tank is draining):
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Quote
This was the shortest launch turnaround at SLC-4E, just 24 days since the DART launch.

Wow, I didn't notice that!

Previous record: 35d 23h 56m (PAZ -> Iridium-5) - long time ago in SpaceX terms, March 2018!
New record: 24d 06h 20m (DART -> Starlink Group 4-4)
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight

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Official photos from SpaceX Flickr

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Sentinel-2 caught the west coast fleet heading back to the Port of Long Beach with B1051 after Starlink 4-4.

Image taken 2021-12-19 18:45:28 UTC.

https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1472717149848289281

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OCISLY droneship and the 11x flown B1051 should reach Long Beach at 7am PT this morning.

https://twitter.com/SpaceOffshore/status/1472921979607031814

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Quote
This was the shortest launch turnaround at SLC-4E, just 24 days since the DART launch.

Wow, I didn't notice that!

Previous record: 35d 23h 56m (PAZ -> Iridium-5) - long time ago in SpaceX terms, March 2018!
New record: 24d 06h 20m (DART -> Starlink Group 4-4)

I had noticed that but only now worked out Dec 18 to Feb 2 for NROL 87 is 46 days. Time to fit in another starlink mid way between for a couple of ~23 day gaps?

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If you want a moment of pure beauty you have to tune in. That golden glow is so beautiful. Also, B1051

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1472951731776638990

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SpaceX Falcon 9 booster 1051.11 returns to the Port of LA after its eleventh mission lofting Starlink 4-4 into orbit. Watch live on fleet cam!

https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1472951621386596352

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Falcon 9 B1051-12 <---Twelve! (The counter rises the moment they safely touchdown).

Jack Beyer (@thejackbeyer) live views:

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1472962333131554829

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Welcome home, Falcon 9 B1051. This magnificently used looking rocket has flown to space and back 11 times, no big deal.

https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1472974305541562370

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This one goes to 11.

Reusable rocketry milestone achieved as 11x-flown Falcon 9 B1051 glides home to Port of LB this morning.

https://twitter.com/w00ki33/status/1473034229151723521

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