Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Starlink Group 4-4 : VSFB SLC-4E : 18 December 2021 (12:41 UTC)  (Read 72704 times)

Online gongora

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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 »

Online 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.

Online 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
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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.

Online gongora

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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.

Offline scr00chy

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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°?

Offline Rondaz

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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

Offline Rondaz

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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
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight


Offline wannamoonbase

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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!
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Offline guckyfan

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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.

Offline Ken the Bin

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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.

Offline Rondaz

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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

Online Barley

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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.

Offline soltasto

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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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