A launch vehicle has not been selected now, but TESS is baselined with Athena-2c or Taurus-3210, both with additional Star-37FM kick motor. The baselined launch site is Cape Canaveral. Also Antares and Falcon-9 v1.1 are considered.
This is the first time I've seen the all inclusive pricing for a full launch services contact for SpaceX published. $62 million for just a rocket, $87 for the whole package....
So Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?
Probably more to do with reliability questions than it does cost given Athena was out of production for so long with a bad track record to boot and Antares is undergoing a re-design with a very recent failure.
Nice to see SpaceX win a NASA contract! Anyone (Jim) know what tier this satellite is considered? B?Here's a little more info on TESS from Gunter's: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_sdat/explorer_tess.htm. [snip]
That requires a two or three burn profile for the second stage.
Fantastic news for SpaceX and TESS. TESS is going to be a Kepler on steroids. It's going to really nail planets around down sun-like stars. Every time the TESS folks do a presentation you will be shocked by the numbers they're expecting. 20 million stars at 30 minute cadence (Kepler's ability). It also has one of the most fascinating orbital mechanics I've ever seen. Should be stable for decades without station keeping.Here's a good overview:
I'm a huge fan of Kepler -- have watched every one of their news conferences, starting before launch. In fact, just this morning I was listening to this interview with a planetary scientist, talking about Kepler, TESS and JWST.
Quote from: ugordan on 12/16/2014 08:25 pmSo Atlas might not have been even considered. I wonder what that says about the other options like Antares and Athena and their cost?Athena 2c is supposedly priced at $65 million, less than the $87 million now allocated for this Falcon 9 launch, but NASA would also have had to fund a Star 37 kick motor for an Athena 2c launch, not to mention restarting the long-dormant SLC 47 launch site. Falcon 9 probably also provides a lot more wiggle room on weight growth.I wonder where the second stage will be disposed. - Ed kyle