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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Missions Section => Topic started by: docmordrid on 07/04/2014 11:53 AM

Title: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: docmordrid on 07/04/2014 11:53 AM
DISCUSSION THREAD for the Falcon 9 launches with Iridium NEXT sats.

Flight 1: Successful launch and first stage offshore landing, January 14, 2017 (9:54 PST/17:54 UTC) on Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg

   Flight 1 launched 10 satellites into Iridium plane 6.  Two of the satellites will move to Iridium plane 5.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 1: Discussion (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.0) / Updates (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.0) / L2 Coverage (Flight 1) (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41538.0) / ASDS (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=66.0) / Party (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40089.msg1520968#msg1520968) / Viewing the flight from Vandenberg (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41995.0)
   NSF Articles for Iridium NEXT Flight 1:
      Booster Prep: SpaceX conducts Falcon 9 test; AMOS-6 investigation narrows (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/spacex-prepares-upcoming-falcon-9-amos-6/) (the booster being readied in that article was actually for Iridium)
      Booster Prep: SpaceX prime Falcon 9 rockets for December return (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/11/spacex-rockets-december-return/)
      Pre-Launch: SpaceX set to return to action with RTF Falcon 9 launch of Iridium spacecraft (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/01/spacex-return-rtf-falcon-9-iridium-spacecraft/)
      Launch: SpaceX Returns To Flight with Iridium NEXT launch – and landing (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/01/spacex-return-to-flight-iridium-next-launch/)
      Booster Recovery: Landed Falcon 9 booster sails into Los Angeles (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/01/landed-falcon-9-booster-los-angeles/)

Flight 2: Successful launch June 25 at 13:25:14 PDT (20:25:14 UTC) on Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.  Landing of first stage (new booster 1036) on ASDS Just Read the Instructions successful.

   Flight 2 launched 10 satellites into Iridium plane 3.  Four of those satellites will then be drifted to plane 2 and  one will be drifted to plane 4.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 2: Discussion (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42097.0) / Updates (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43149.0) / L2 Coverage May-June (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42839.0)
   NSF Articles for Iridium NEXT Flight 2:  SpaceX testing Vandy Falcon 9 amid schedule realignment (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/spacex-vandy-falcon-9-schedule-realignment/)
      SpaceX Doubleheader Part 2 – Falcon 9 set for Iridium NEXT-2 launch (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/spacex-falcon-9-iridium-next-2-launch/)

Flight 3: Successful launch October 9, 2017 at 0537 PDT/1237 UTC on Falcon 9 (new booster 1041) from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.  Successful landing of first stage on ASDS.

   Flight 3 will launch into plane 4.  All ten satellites will stay in plane 4.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 3: Discussion (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43217.0)

Flight 4: December 22, 2017 on reused Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.  Landing of first stage on ASDS is expected.

   Flight 4 will launch into plane 2 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43217.msg1710291#msg1710291).  One of the satellites will then drift to plane 1.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 4: Discussion (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43940.0)

Flight 5: Q1 2018 on reused Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.

   Flight 5 will launch 10 satellites into plane 1 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43217.msg1724516#msg1724516).

Flight 6 (5 Iridium sats with GRACE-FO): March 2018 on Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT 6/GRACE-FO: Discussion (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35275.0)

   Flight 6 will launch 5 satellites into plane 6.

Flight 7: Q2 2018 on Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.

   Flight 7 will launch into plane 5.

Flight 8: mid 2018 on Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg.

   Flight 8 will launch into plane 3.  One satellite each will be drifted to planes 2 and 4.



General information for Iridium flights 1-5, 7-8
   Payload Mass: 8600kg for 10 satellites + 1000kg for dispenser = 9600kg
   Launch orbit: 625km, 86.66 degrees
   Operational orbit: 778km, 86.4 degrees

81 Satellites will be built for Iridium NEXT, with 66 being needed for a fully operational constellation.  All of the satellites will carry ADS-B aviation tracking hosted payloads (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1632414#msg1632414) for Aireon, and 65 of the satellites will carry AIS maritime tracking hosted payloads (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1631005#msg1631005) for exactEarth.



Quote
Iridium and SpaceX Successfully Complete Dispenser Qualification Tests

Trio of Tests Prove Structural Integrity and Durability of Launch Equipment


Iridium Communications Inc. IRDM +0.01%  and SpaceX today announced the successful completion of dispenser qualification testing for the Iridium NEXT constellation. The dispenser is the mission-unique assembly that holds the satellites during launch and manages the perfectly timed separation of each satellite from the rocket, placing each of the satellites into its proper orbit. The testing program, a key milestone in the Iridium NEXT constellation build, included four types of testing on the satellite dispenser: fit check, separation and shock testing, a modal survey, and static loads testing. Overall the tests ensure launch shock environment, mechanical form, fit and function, separation dynamics, fundamental frequency and structural integrity.

SpaceX is charged with delivering the majority of satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation into their low Earth orbit. At each launch, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry 10 satellites. In total, SpaceX will launch 70 satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation over a planned period of two years. Iridium is SpaceX's largest commercial customer, and, with an investment of $453.1 million, the Iridium deal represents the largest single commercial space launch contract in history.
>
>



Other SpaceX resources on NASASpaceflight:
   SpaceX News Articles (Recent) (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/spacex/)  /   SpaceX News Articles from 2006 (Including numerous exclusive Elon interviews) (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21862.0)
   SpaceX Dragon Articles (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/dragon/)  /  SpaceX Missions Section (with Launch Manifest and info on past and future missions) (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=55.0)
   L2 SpaceX Section (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=60.0)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: sghill on 07/04/2014 12:19 PM
Hmmm. I'm having trouble coming up with an acronym that spells out P E Z for this device. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/04/2014 04:21 PM
I think we can use this as the discussion thread for now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Barrie on 07/04/2014 05:08 PM
Hmmm. I'm having trouble coming up with an acronym that spells out P E Z for this device. :)

Phased Ejection ... something beginning with Z.

HTH  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: docmordrid on 07/04/2014 05:14 PM
Payload Ejection giZmo
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Burninate on 07/04/2014 09:16 PM
Is this distinct from the existing ESPA hex ring bus that looked like it might become a standard for 100-200kg payloads?

EDIT:
Yes it is.  This is another scale entirely, 800kg per unit * 10 units per launch * 7 launches.

WP:
Quote
70 satellites will be put in orbit by seven launches of 10 satellites each on the Falcon 9, plus two of the 800 kilograms (1,800 lb) Iridium NEXT satellites on a single launch[17] of the an ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket, beginning in 2015 and completing the refresh of the entire constellation by 2017, as of August 2012.[13]
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: baldusi on 07/04/2014 11:16 PM
So, a 9.5 tonne payload to LEO. Probably the heaviest payload to LEO in a long time. Now I understand why if you saw a future with multiple LEO fleets you'd have developed something like the EELV.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Sam Hassall on 07/04/2014 11:46 PM
Payload Ejection giZmo

Haha, Nice.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 07/05/2014 12:44 AM
Booster recovery shouldn't be an issue on these launches. I wonder if Irdium get a discount on every flight where booster is recovered.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: SoulWager on 07/05/2014 01:52 PM
I wonder if Irdium get a discount on every flight where booster is recovered.
I doubt it, if there's a discount for anyone, it would be the people flying on a reused core. Only after reusability is demonstrated will it start to impact the prices of new cores.  It may be a matter of moving sacrificial f9 1.1 missions to reusable FH missions.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Karloss12 on 07/05/2014 11:52 PM
I wonder if Irdium get a discount on every flight where booster is recovered.
I doubt it, if there's a discount for anyone, it would be the people flying on a reused core. Only after reusability is demonstrated will it start to impact the prices of new cores.  It may be a matter of moving sacrificial f9 1.1 missions to reusable FH missions.

With a complex machine like a car, failure is most likely to occur during the first 1000 miles or after 150,000miles.

During the first 1000miles you are most likely to learn of flaws in the materials or fabrication errors.  After 1000miles the cars on average run well for years.  Until it reaches 150,000 miles and is just fatigued and worn out.

F9R will be no different.  First flight will be cheapest and carry inexpensive payloads, followed by say 10 serious expensive flights, followed by a few flights of unimportant fuel to orbiting fuel depots followed by retirement.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Aerospace Dilettante on 07/06/2014 05:45 AM
"... manages the perfectly timed separation of each satellite from the rocket, placing each of the satellites into its proper orbit."

Can we infer from that, that each satellite is ejected while the second stage is under power?  Otherwise wouldn't the stage have to re-light (9 re-lights is a lot!) to put the individual satellites into different orbits?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 07/07/2014 07:30 AM
"... manages the perfectly timed separation of each satellite from the rocket, placing each of the satellites into its proper orbit."

Can we infer from that, that each satellite is ejected while the second stage is under power?  Otherwise wouldn't the stage have to re-light (9 re-lights is a lot!) to put the individual satellites into different orbits?

Ejecting anything you want to keep while under power seems like a bad idea since it would fall behind the rocket engine. Ejecting a payload fairing is hard enough and it is not designed to survive the event, much less with sensitive equipment on board. I think it is more likely that it gives them a nudge after just the right amount of glide time so they are evenly spaced. Either that or the timing sensitivity is overstated and they just release them as they approach the intended inclination and let an on board system adjust the trajectory. I'm no rocket scientist so correct me if I've flunked orbital dynamics class.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: douglas100 on 07/07/2014 09:20 AM

Ejecting anything you want to keep while under power seems like a bad idea since it would fall behind the rocket engine. Ejecting a payload fairing is hard enough and it is not designed to survive the event, much less with sensitive equipment on board. I think it is more likely that it gives them a nudge after just the right amount of glide time so they are evenly spaced. Either that or the timing sensitivity is overstated and they just release them as they approach the intended inclination and let an on board system adjust the trajectory. I'm no rocket scientist so correct me if I've flunked orbital dynamics class.

Separating a satellite from a still operating stage was successfully done a long time ago http://www.nytimes.com/1964/01/31/soviet-lofts-2-satellites.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/1964/01/31/soviet-lofts-2-satellites.html?_r=0).

But I think you've got it right: I think the timing is just to ensure even separation after the stage has shut down.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/07/2014 11:51 AM
It might be worth noting that the Trident II ejects it's MIRV's while still thrusting... But that's an SLBM reentry vehicle and not a spacecraft satellite ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: garcianc on 07/07/2014 01:30 PM
It might be worth noting that the Trident II ejects it's MIRV's while still thrusting... But that's an SLBM reentry vehicle and not a spacecraft satellite ;)

The Trident third stage motor is ejected and the equipment section is in free ballistic flight and only making attitude and back-away adjustments at payload release (unclassified source here: http://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/slbm/d-5.htm (http://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/slbm/d-5.htm)). But you are right, this Programmed Elected Payload Ejection Zone (PEZ) dispenser could work similarly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/09/2014 12:27 AM
https://twitter.com/IridiumComm/status/486534548965318657
Quote
@IridiumComm
We’ve completed the first successful end-to-end test call using #IridiumNEXT hardware: http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=858159 … #Milestone

http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=858159
Quote
July 8, 2014
First Successful Call Completed Over Iridium Next Hardware

MCLEAN, Va., July 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) and its prime contractor, Thales Alenia Space, announced an important milestone in the development of the new Iridium NEXT constellation by completing the first successful end-to-end test call using Iridium NEXT hardware. The call provides initial validation of the L-band hardware and processing software that will be used in the Iridium NEXT constellation.

The test call was placed using an Iridium satellite phone. The call path was routed through Iridium NEXT satellite hardware components simulating the connection to a satellite, through Iridium's upgraded ground network, through the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and ultimately to a cell phone. This test marks a significant milestone in Iridium's system integration and testing efforts, and the first time a full end-to-end verification of the call flow has been accomplished.  This is also the first step in a comprehensive effort to fully validate service capability through the Iridium NEXT system, which is being readied for the first scheduled launch in 2015.

"Placing the first call through Iridium NEXT hardware is a big step for our team as they work to ensure high quality satellites will be ready for launch," said Scott Smith, chief operating officer. "The call quality we experienced was remarkable, and this achievement is a reflection of many long hours of design and development work by a very talented group of partners."

Iridium NEXT is the Company's next generation satellite constellation, offering improved bandwidth, improved data speeds and the global coverage Iridium is known for.  It will include a hosted payload for AireonSM, the first truly global aircraft tracking and surveillance capability, extending ADS-B coverage and benefits to every flight path across the planet. The Iridium NEXT satellite network will also serve as a platform for the company's Iridium PRIMESM offering, a turnkey solution for hosted payloads offering significant cost savings for civil, commercial and government payload customers.

For more information on Iridium NEXT, go to www.iridium.com.

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not purely historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has based these statements on its current expectations and the information currently available to us. Forward-looking statements in this presentation include statements regarding the development of the Iridium NEXT constellation; expected Iridium NEXT deployment and launch schedule; expected Iridium NEXT functionality; and the development and functionality of Aireon and Iridium PRIME satellites.   Forward-looking statements can be identified by the words "anticipates," "may," "can," "believes," "expects," "projects," "intends," "likely," "will," "to be" and other expressions that are predictions or indicate future events, trends or prospects. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Iridium to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties regarding overall Iridium NEXT development and functionality, potential delays in the Iridium NEXT deployment, the development of and market for Aireon and the Iridium PRIME hosted payloads and the company's ability to maintain the health, capacity and content of its satellite constellation, as well as general industry and economic conditions, and competitive, legal, governmental and technological factors. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements include those factors listed under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("the SEC") on May 1, 2014, as well as other filings Iridium makes with the SEC from time to time. There is no assurance that Iridium's expectations will be realized. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if Iridium's underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected, estimated or projected. Iridium's forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Iridium undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Press Contact:

         Ashley Eames

         Iridium Communications Inc.

         +1 (703) 287-7476

         Ashley.eames@iridium.com
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MTom on 07/10/2014 10:51 PM
Found this, should be placed to the beginning of the thread:

Quote
[Via Satellite 03-05-2014] Thales Alenia Space has delivered two complete Iridium high-fidelity satellite simulators and several low-fidelity simulators to SpaceX. The simulators have the same mechanical interface and mass properties of actual satellites, and will be used in a variety of launch tests to ensure structural integrity and functionality, vibration testing for durability, and deployment testing to confirm that the satellites will release from the dispenser correctly when in space.

Ten satellite simulators have been constructed and will be used in tests by launch partners Kosmotras, which will launch the first two satellites with its Dnepr rocket, and SpaceX, which will launch the remaining satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket. Iridium is SpaceX’s largest commercial customer, and its $453.1 million investment represents the largest single commercial launch contract in history.

...

Quote
“We continue to break space industry records with Iridium,” stated Jean-Loïc Galle, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “Typically, we produce one or two simulators per satellite program, but due to the size of the Iridium Next constellation and rigorous testing built into this launch plan, it requires 10 simulators to ensure full testing with the launch platform.”

http://www.satellitetoday.com/launch/2014/03/05/thales-alenia-space-delivers-iridium-simulators-to-spacex/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: nadreck on 06/11/2015 05:23 PM
Very interesting tidbit on SpaceX policy: "free reflight" in an article on Iridium Next.

Quote
Desch said the on-ground spares permit Iridium to take on part of the launch risk itself and reduce the amount of coverage it must purchase from insurance underwriters. In addition, he said, the insurance cover is only necessary for the satellites, as SpaceX is proving a reflight free of charge in the event of failure.


Link to full article: http://spacenews.com/iridiums-future-riding-on-7-spacex-launches-and-1-dnepr/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-future-riding-on-7-spacex-launches-and-1-dnepr/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jarnis on 06/11/2015 05:40 PM
Very interesting tidbit on SpaceX policy: "free reflight" in an article on Iridium Next.

Quote
Desch said the on-ground spares permit Iridium to take on part of the launch risk itself and reduce the amount of coverage it must purchase from insurance underwriters. In addition, he said, the insurance cover is only necessary for the satellites, as SpaceX is proving a reflight free of charge in the event of failure.


Link to full article: http://spacenews.com/iridiums-future-riding-on-7-spacex-launches-and-1-dnepr/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-future-riding-on-7-spacex-launches-and-1-dnepr/)

I doubt that is a general rule, but if you make a half-a billion bulk buy... :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/28/2016 04:02 PM
Here's an update today on readiness for first SpaceX Iridium launch in July:

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/725677133893394432 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/725677133893394432)

Quote
@pbdes: IRDM's Desch: At of today, if our late-July SpaceX launch is delayed it wont be because of sats. Thales & Orbital will be ready w/ 10 sats.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 04/28/2016 04:24 PM
Here's an update today on readiness for first SpaceX Iridium launch in July:

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/725677133893394432 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/725677133893394432)

Quote
@pbdes: IRDM's Desch: At of today, if our late-July SpaceX launch is delayed it wont be because of sats. Thales & Orbital will be ready w/ 10 sats.

Related:


https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/725665857024757760 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/725665857024757760)
Quote
@pbdes: IRDM CEO Desch: We are still 'eyeing' late July SpaceX launch of our 1st 10 sats. Date could slip a bit, but only by weeks at most.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/28/2016 10:00 PM


Peter B. de Selding (@pbdes) tweeted at 0:06 AM on Fri, Apr 29, 2016:
Iridium fact: IRDM's pays SpaceX $6.7M per sat launched (7 Falcon 9s x 10 sats each) & pays Kosmotras $25.9M per sat (1 launch w/ 2 sats).
(https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/725657453073977344)


Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/29/2016 07:07 AM
So, by my calculations, that makes it $67M for each SpaceX launch. Each satellite is 860 kg in mass (see attached fact sheet) or 8.6 t on each flight. That has a cost efficiency of $7,800 per kg.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Semmel on 04/29/2016 09:27 AM
So, by my calculations, that makes it $67M for each SpaceX launch. Each satellite is 860 kg in mass (see attached fact sheet) or 8.6 t on each flight. That has a cost efficiency of $7,800 per kg.

You forgot the mass of the dispenser.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rocx on 04/29/2016 09:32 AM
So, by my calculations, that makes it $67M for each SpaceX launch. Each satellite is 860 kg in mass (see attached fact sheet) or 8.6 t on each flight. That has a cost efficiency of $7,800 per kg.

You forgot the mass of the dispenser.

That's only a payload from a technical point of view, not from an economical one. If you want to launch large satellites, it's relevant, if you want to compare to smallsat launchers, you should not count it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 04/29/2016 12:48 PM
http://spacenews.com/iridium-says-2nd-generation-constellation-ready-to-launch-with-spacex-starting-in-july/ (http://spacenews.com/iridium-says-2nd-generation-constellation-ready-to-launch-with-spacex-starting-in-july/)
Interesting financial tidbit from SpaceNews story:  SpaceX has already received $315M out of the $468M for the seven launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 04/29/2016 12:51 PM

That's only a payload from a technical point of view, not from an economical one. If you want to launch large satellites, it's relevant, if you want to compare to smallsat launchers, you should not count it.

Not true and quite the opposite, because a dispenser for multiple smallsats will end up weighing a significant fraction of the mass of one spacecraft (or even more than one).   An adapter for a large spacecraft can be less than 2% of the spacecraft mass and doesn't really affect the economics.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 04/29/2016 01:26 PM
So, by my calculations, that makes it $67M for each SpaceX launch. Each satellite is 860 kg in mass (see attached fact sheet) or 8.6 t on each flight. That has a cost efficiency of $7,800 per kg.

You forgot the mass of the dispenser.

It's not forgotten; it's purposefully excluded. The dispenser is parasitic mass and by not subtracting it out, the cost of it's launch is properly distributed among the 'useful' mass, the satellites. If the mass of the dispenser were included in the calculation, the cost per mass of the satellites would be artificially lowered.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 04/29/2016 02:22 PM

That's only a payload from a technical point of view, not from an economical one. If you want to launch large satellites, it's relevant, if you want to compare to smallsat launchers, you should not count it.

Not true and quite the opposite, because a dispenser for multiple smallsats will end up weighing a significant fraction of the mass of one spacecraft (or even more than one).   An adapter for a large spacecraft can be less than 2% of the spacecraft mass and doesn't really affect the economics.

The point is that the majority of the dispenser mass is a result of the multi satellite launch rather than individual launches. The customer isn't paying anyone to send up a dispenser, they are paying for their satellites. If the dispenser weight made the F9 more expensive then the smaller rockets then they'd go with smaller rockets.

It matters from a rocket performance perspective, but not from the perspective of the customer's business decision.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/29/2016 06:05 PM
So, by my calculations, that makes it $67M for each SpaceX launch. Each satellite is 860 kg in mass (see attached fact sheet) or 8.6 t on each flight. That has a cost efficiency of $7,800 per kg.
Given SpaceX is likely to use reusable booster on most if not all of these launches they stand to make a tidy profit. Enough to offset a lot of R&D money put into reusability.

As pointed out by article, launching out Vandenberg means they are not effected by the usual launch slippages that occur at SLC40.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 04/29/2016 06:12 PM
As pointed out by article, launching out Vandenberg means they are not effected by the usual launch slippages that occur at SLC40.
No, they get to be affected by the usual Vandy launch slippages instead. :)

Agree that done right this will be a very profitable series of missions. Too bad the dispenser isn't reusable (I know, I  know, impossible at current tech)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ugordan on 04/29/2016 06:18 PM
As pointed out by article, launching out Vandenberg means they are not effected by the usual launch slippages that occur at SLC40.

Most of the LC-40 slippages weren't driven by the pad itself, but the production and acceptance test rate of the hardware. There is just one S1 test site operational so it would be the bottleneck even if production wasn't. So even if VAFB doesn't technically need to wait out the 6 launches before Iridium, it still needs to get the 7th core tested and shipped there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/30/2016 05:45 AM
You forgot the mass of the dispenser.

If you know the mass of the dispenser, add it in and see what you get. For SpaceX, the dispenser would be part of the payload mass. For Iridium, they only care what the cost per satellite is. The greater the dispenser mass, the greater the cost per kg for the payload is going to be.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 05/01/2016 01:03 AM
You forgot the mass of the dispenser.

If you know the mass of the dispenser, add it in and see what you get. For SpaceX, the dispenser would be part of the payload mass. For Iridium, they only care what the cost per satellite is. The greater the dispenser mass, the greater the cost per kg for the payload is going to be.

Look at it this way.
When Orbital launched Orbcomm satellites on Pegasus, they stacked the satellites one on top of another. 
Each satellite incorporated the structure and mechanisms to carry and release the other satellites.  That's one option.
This option has the structural elements and the release mechanisms separate from the satellites and left behind.
What's the difference to the launch vehicle?
Both attach to the upper stage in one place.
IMO, both are part of the payload.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kryten on 06/14/2016 04:27 PM
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes  3m3 minutes ago
Iridium says 1st SpaceX launch of 10 2nd generation sats planned for 12 Sept from VAFB, not July as previously targeted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: tleski on 06/14/2016 05:28 PM
pbdes: IRDM CEO Desch: Delay of 1st launch to 12 Sept due to crowded VAFB manifest, not to satellite or SpaceX issues.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/742769391788556288
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 06/14/2016 05:35 PM
pbdes: IRDM CEO Desch: Delay of 1st launch to 12 Sept due to crowded VAFB manifest, not to satellite or SpaceX issues.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/742769391788556288

The thinking is that this will likely be the first re-used first stage. Remember Iridium gets a free flight in the event of a launch failure and light enough payload for RTLS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: somepitch on 06/14/2016 06:18 PM
pbdes: IRDM CEO Desch: Delay of 1st launch to 12 Sept due to crowded VAFB manifest, not to satellite or SpaceX issues.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/742769391788556288

The thinking is that this will likely be the first re-used first stage. Remember Iridium gets a free flight in the event of a launch failure and light enough payload for RTLS.

Whose thinking?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: the_other_Doug on 06/14/2016 06:38 PM
pbdes: IRDM CEO Desch: Delay of 1st launch to 12 Sept due to crowded VAFB manifest, not to satellite or SpaceX issues.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/742769391788556288

The thinking is that this will likely be the first re-used first stage. Remember Iridium gets a free flight in the event of a launch failure and light enough payload for RTLS.

Speaking of which -- do we have any indication that the Air Force has granted permission for an RTLS to Vandenberg?  I wonder if the three straight successful ASDS launches out of Canaveral have increased their confidence in SpaceX's ability to accurately reach the designated landing point?

Also, is there any verification that the tent has been struck from the Vandenberg landing pad?  If not, then they have three months to get it cleared, if they think they're going to try for an RTLS...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 06/14/2016 08:16 PM
pbdes: IRDM CEO Desch: Delay of 1st launch to 12 Sept due to crowded VAFB manifest, not to satellite or SpaceX issues.
https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/742769391788556288

The thinking is that this will likely be the first re-used first stage. Remember Iridium gets a free flight in the event of a launch failure and light enough payload for RTLS.

Iridium has a lot riding on this launch.  I doubt they want to add any more risk to the first flight.  I think there are several other launches coming up for SES and JCSat that would be better candidates for the reuse flight.

Tweet from Stephen Clark (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/742777144778985473)
Quote
Iridium's Matt Desch: We procured 7 new Falcon 9s for our constellation, but would consider using used boosters in future at the right price

Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/742811664282615808)
Quote
Iridium CEO Desch: We've purchased 7 new Falcon 9s, no reusable stages in the mix. We think our Sept launch is next SpaceX launch from VAFB.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/14/2016 08:18 PM
Iridium press release attached plus photo from Orbital.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rpapo on 06/14/2016 09:59 PM
I wonder if the three straight successful ASDS launches out of Canaveral have increased their confidence in SpaceX's ability to accurately reach the designated landing point?
Only three on target?  IIRC, since the addition of grid fins the only time the Falcon hasn't made it back to within 100 feet of its target was CRS-7.  A fair number of those "on targets" were crashes, but they were accurate crashes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 06/15/2016 12:52 AM
I wonder if the three straight successful ASDS launches out of Canaveral have increased their confidence in SpaceX's ability to accurately reach the designated landing point?
Only three on target?  IIRC, since the addition of grid fins the only time the Falcon hasn't made it back to within 100 feet of its target was CRS-7.  A fair number of those "on targets" were crashes, but they were accurate crashes.

SpX-7 never made it even close to OCISLY! It failed because of the second stage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kabloona on 06/15/2016 01:14 AM
Quote
SpX-7 never made it even close to OCISLY! It failed because of the second stage.

Which was exactly his point: the grid fins are quite accurate when attached to an intact vehicle.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/15/2016 11:49 AM
Peter B. de Selding's write-up of why Iridium launch is delayed to NET than Sep 12:

http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/)

In short, too many other Vandenberg launches ahead of SpaceX in the queue. SpaceX and Iridium were both on track for August.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/15/2016 12:26 PM
Peter B. de Selding's write-up of why Iridium launch is delayed to NET than Sep 12:

http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/)

In short, too many other Vandenberg launches ahead of SpaceX in the queue. SpaceX and Iridium were both on track for August.

Planning to have all 7 launches complete by the end of 2017 is an exciting goal.  2017 is going to be a very busy year for SpaceX with existing CRS launches, Dragon 2, FH coming on line and the 5-6 launches for Iridium.  Wow!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: a_langwich on 06/18/2016 04:01 AM
Peter B. de Selding's write-up of why Iridium launch is delayed to NET than Sep 12:

http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/)

In short, too many other Vandenberg launches ahead of SpaceX in the queue. SpaceX and Iridium were both on track for August.

I asked this on another thread but forgot which..._what_ other Vandenberg launches?  AFAICT, only 1 Atlas V 401 launching WorldView in the June-July-August time frame, and it's been delayed to launch in Sept just 3 days after SpaceX-Iridium.  Could just those two launches "bottleneck" VAFB for two months?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 06/18/2016 04:07 AM
I asked this on another thread but forgot which..._what_ other Vandenberg launches?  AFAICT, only 1 Atlas V 401 launching WorldView in the June-July-August time frame, and it's been delayed to launch in Sept just 3 days after SpaceX-Iridium.  Could just those two launches "bottleneck" VAFB for two months?

Vandenburg also does suborbital missile tests. I don't know what the schedule for these tests are, but there may be a whole bunch going on this Northern hemisphere Summer.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 06/18/2016 04:29 AM
Peter B. de Selding's write-up of why Iridium launch is delayed to NET than Sep 12:

http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/)

In short, too many other Vandenberg launches ahead of SpaceX in the queue. SpaceX and Iridium were both on track for August.

I asked this on another thread but forgot which..._what_ other Vandenberg launches?  AFAICT, only 1 Atlas V 401 launching WorldView in the June-July-August time frame, and it's been delayed to launch in Sept just 3 days after SpaceX-Iridium.  Could just those two launches "bottleneck" VAFB for two months?
Also an Orbital ATK Minotaur launch and a couple of Minuteman III tests are scheduled to be happening out there this year.  But I don't know if any of them are planned to be before the SpaceX launch.  I've just assumed that the delay is related to a combination of the Range closure for the move and the move to bring AFSS online.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: a_langwich on 06/18/2016 04:52 AM
Peter B. de Selding's write-up of why Iridium launch is delayed to NET than Sep 12:

http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/)

In short, too many other Vandenberg launches ahead of SpaceX in the queue. SpaceX and Iridium were both on track for August.

I asked this on another thread but forgot which..._what_ other Vandenberg launches?  AFAICT, only 1 Atlas V 401 launching WorldView in the June-July-August time frame, and it's been delayed to launch in Sept just 3 days after SpaceX-Iridium.  Could just those two launches "bottleneck" VAFB for two months?
Also an Orbital ATK Minotaur launch and a couple of Minuteman III tests are scheduled to be happening out there this year.  But I don't know if any of them are planned to be before the SpaceX launch.  I've just assumed that the delay is related to a combination of the Range closure for the move and the move to bring AFSS online.

Minotaur is in October.

Is VAFB going to be the first to implement AFSS?  And does that apply to everybody, or just those launches that request it?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: baldusi on 06/18/2016 04:53 AM
It was going through a maintenance period. And then I guess it is, after all, an Air Force base that performs quite a bit of military launches. From practice to development and certification missions could be taking the range.
Those new SM-3 blocks need to be developed, you know.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: catdlr on 06/18/2016 08:06 AM
Peter B. de Selding's write-up of why Iridium launch is delayed to NET than Sep 12:

http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/ (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/)

In short, too many other Vandenberg launches ahead of SpaceX in the queue. SpaceX and Iridium were both on track for August.

I asked this on another thread but forgot which..._what_ other Vandenberg launches?  AFAICT, only 1 Atlas V 401 launching WorldView in the June-July-August time frame, and it's been delayed to launch in Sept just 3 days after SpaceX-Iridium.  Could just those two launches "bottleneck" VAFB for two months?

a_langwich, I responded to your question on that other thread, and repeated it here:

Base is preparing for a several-month span without blastoffs.

Joint Space Operations Center is moving into a another facility used by the Western Range.

Sourece:  http://www.noozhawk.com/article/vandenberg_afb_facing_busy_launch_year_in_20161
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: guckyfan on 06/18/2016 09:15 AM
Base is preparing for a several-month span without blastoffs.

Joint Space Operations Center is moving into a another facility used by the Western Range.

Sourece:  http://www.noozhawk.com/article/vandenberg_afb_facing_busy_launch_year_in_20161

This is well known. So why did SpaceX schedule flights in that period?

From a number of posts I gathered this: There was an understanding that with extended self control, like multiple redundant tracking devices to some extent flights would still be possible despite range down time. SpaceX applied for launch and was told, the military has booked the range for the whole time, so no available slots for SpaceX. Which is ok but maybe should have been communicated earlier.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 07/07/2016 12:04 PM
Has the topic regarding where Iridium-NEXT F1's first stage will land been discussed already?

If not, then my assumption about this matter is that the first stage could try barging on Just Read the Instructions.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 07/07/2016 11:46 PM
Has the topic regarding where Iridium-NEXT F1's first stage will land been discussed already?

If not, then my assumption about this matter is that the first stage could try barging on Just Read the Instructions.
In their filings on the matter, SpaceX stated that they would attempt to RTLS on all Vandenberg launches currently scheduled unless prevented from doing so by range safety issues (i.e. sensitive hardware on an adjacent pad).  In which case they would attempt boostbacked landings on an ASDS/JRtI.

edit: clarity/grammar
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 07/14/2016 12:25 PM
http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/13/iridium-satellites-rolling-off-assembly-line-in-arizona/

It appears that Iridium-NEXT F1 will be the third Falcon 9 from VAFB.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 07/14/2016 02:27 PM
http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/13/iridium-satellites-rolling-off-assembly-line-in-arizona/

It appears that Iridium-NEXT F1 will be the third Falcon 9 from VAFB.

The third Falcon 9 ever from VAFB, first one when flights restart this fall.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 07/14/2016 04:30 PM
http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/13/iridium-satellites-rolling-off-assembly-line-in-arizona/

It appears that Iridium-NEXT F1 will be the third Falcon 9 from VAFB.

"... the company’s launch contract with SpaceX for seven Falcon 9 flights was valued at $492 million when the parties signed it in 2010. ... Iridium’s contract with SpaceX calls for all the missions to fly on newly-built Falcon 9s"

$492M / 7 =$70.3M  for each launch with a new rocket

"...followed by a second launch as soon as December .....The other five launches should occur about once every two months next year to fill out the Iridium Next fleet 485 miles (780 kilometers) above Earth."

confirmation of old new

Edit: Seven flights, thanks guckyfan  (carelessness on my part)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: guckyfan on 07/14/2016 04:43 PM
$492M / 9 =$54.7M  for each launch with a new rocket

It is 7 launches.

492/7 = 70.3 M but that probably includes the dispenser built by SpaceX.

Edit: The article says 7 launches. But it also says 81 satellites. I believe 2 will fly on a russian rocket. That still leaves 79, so 8 flights with 10 each unless they will have ground spares.

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 07/14/2016 04:53 PM
I read it that they wanted to launch all 81 but didn't have rides for all of them yet.

The system requires 66 for full coverage, any others would be on-orbit spares
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 07/14/2016 05:05 PM
$492M / 9 =$54.7M  for each launch with a new rocket

It is 7 launches.

492/7 = 70.3 M but that probably includes the dispenser built by SpaceX.

Edit: The article says 7 launches. But it also says 81 satellites. I believe 2 will fly on a russian rocket. That still leaves 79, so 8 flights with 10 each unless they will have ground spares.

If Dnepr's unlikely, maybe a Proton or Soyuz can launch the other two Iridiums.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Nomadd on 07/14/2016 06:23 PM
Is the system still going to be 6 planes with 11 working sats each. that makes 7 launches of 10 sats seem a little odd. And, will some of the spares stay on the ground till needed?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 07/14/2016 07:43 PM
Is the system still going to be 6 planes with 11 working sats each. that makes 7 launches of 10 sats seem a little odd. And, will some of the spares stay on the ground till needed?
70 launched by SpaceX, plus the 2 that were to be launched by the Russians first, would have been 72 orbital, allowing for 6 planes of 11 operational plus a spare. Sounds right to me.

Quote
The operational Iridium constellation requires 66 satellites — 11 spacecraft in six orbital planes — for global coverage serving more than 800,000 subscribers.

Enough Iridium Next satellites should be launched by the end of 2017 to fully replace the first-generation fleet, allowing controllers to retire and de-orbit the old spacecraft. Iridium has launch contracts with SpaceX and Kosmotras for 72 satellites, but Desch said the company plans to eventually launch all 81 birds.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/13/iridium-satellites-rolling-off-assembly-line-in-arizona/ (https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/13/iridium-satellites-rolling-off-assembly-line-in-arizona/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: smh on 07/14/2016 08:29 PM
Is the system still going to be 6 planes with 11 working sats each. that makes 7 launches of 10 sats seem a little odd. And, will some of the spares stay on the ground till needed?
70 launched by SpaceX, plus the 2 that were to be launched by the Russians first, would have been 72 orbital, allowing for 6 planes of 11 operational plus a spare. Sounds right to me.
6 launches, 6 planes. How is the 7th launch going to get satelites to 6 (at least 4 if 2 by another launch provider) different planes?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: IntoTheVoid on 07/14/2016 08:49 PM
Quote
Spare satellites are usually held in a 414 mi (666 km) storage orbit.[2] These will be boosted to the correct altitude and put into service in case of a satellite failure. After the Iridium company emerged from bankruptcy the new owners decided to launch seven new spares, which would have ensured two spare satellites were available in each plane. As of 2009 not every plane has a spare satellite; however, the satellites can be moved to a different plane if required. A move can take several weeks and consumes fuel which will shorten the satellite's expected service life.

Significant orbital plane changes are normally very fuel-intensive, but orbital perturbations aid the process. The Earth's equatorial bulge causes the orbital right ascension of the ascending node (RAAN) to precess at a rate that depends mainly on the period and inclination. Iridium satellites have an inclination of 86.4°, so every satellite in a retrograde (inclination < 90°) orbit, their equator crossings steadily precess westward.[citation needed]

A spare Iridium satellite in the lower storage orbit has a shorter period so its RAAN moves westward more quickly than the satellites in the standard orbit. Iridium simply waits until the desired RAAN (i.e., the desired orbital plane) is reached and then raises the spare satellite to the standard altitude, fixing its orbital plane with respect to the constellation. Although this saves substantial amounts of fuel, it can be a time-consuming process.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_satellite_constellation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridium_satellite_constellation)

Based on the above, I'd guess that they'll all be dropped off in that storage orbit, and make their own way to the final orbital plane as Iridium sees fit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/15/2016 04:42 AM
Edit: The article says 7 launches. But it also says 81 satellites. I believe 2 will fly on a russian rocket. That still leaves 79, so 8 flights with 10 each unless they will have ground spares.

From the article. That leaves nine satellites that don't yet have a launch.

"Iridium has launch contracts with SpaceX and Kosmotras for 72 satellites, but Desch said the company plans to eventually launch all 81 birds."
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 07/15/2016 05:57 AM
An observation from the amateur astronomer/visual satellite observer/UFO debunker perspective:

A full, operational Iridium Next constellation will mean the end of the "Iridium flare": the specular sunlight reflection from the MMA (Main Mission Antennas).  These flares reach a visual magnitude of -8.
http://www.satobs.org/iridium.html (http://www.satobs.org/iridium.html)

The new satellite design will not produce these flares.

From Iridium satellites rolling off assembly line in Arizona (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/07/13/iridium-satellites-rolling-off-assembly-line-in-arizona/)
Quote
Enough Iridium Next satellites should be launched by the end of 2017 to fully replace the first-generation fleet, allowing controllers to retire and de-orbit the old spacecraft.

The impending end of an era!

To enjoy Iridium flares while you still can, predictions of such for your location can be found at:
http://www.heavens-above.com/ (http://www.heavens-above.com/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevin-rf on 07/15/2016 02:11 PM
Well you do still have NOSS satellites and Envirosat can produce very nice flares.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: docmordrid on 07/15/2016 03:28 PM
I believe the lack of a Dnepr is due to the ongoing embargo foodfight. What are the odds that'll spill over io Proton and Soyuz?

Also, documenting the new SpaceX satellite dispenser shown in the article. 'CommX' too?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 07/15/2016 04:06 PM
I believe the lack of a Dnepr is due to the ongoing embargo foodfight. What are the odds that'll spill over io Proton and Soyuz?

Also, documenting the new SpaceX satellite dispenser shown in the article. 'CommX' too?

Dnepr is a joint Ukrainian/Russian vehicle, which is why it is no longer flying.  It has nothing to do with Proton/Soyuz.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: abaddon on 07/15/2016 04:42 PM
Also, documenting the new SpaceX satellite dispenser shown in the article. 'CommX' too?
I'd have to think this would be a valuable learning experience in building the CommX dispensers.  Thinking further along those lines, I imagine SpaceX "proper" would build the dispenser much like they did for Iridium in this case, while the "CommX" org would build the satellites.  They need to make sure that the launcher side of the business and the satellite side are properly separated to prevent even a whiff of impropriety.  That's starting to verge on off-topic though.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 07/16/2016 12:20 AM
re: Iridium flares
Well you do still have NOSS satellites and Envirosat can produce very nice flares.
True, but my incomplete understanding is that the Iridium flares are quite predictable, given that the satellite design, and therefore the geometry creating the flare, is well-understood and modeled.

I think NOSS flares prediction, and Envisat flares prediction, are not as well modeled.  There's still a substantial bit of chance whether or not one observes a flare on a particular pass (latitude/longitude/time).

(Actually, that makes those flares a different and also exciting challenge.)

And Iridium flares are SOOOO bright!

Satellite observers should continue to watch for flares from other satellites when these Iridiums are no more.

In the not-so-distant future, veteran observers will tell tales of Iridium flares to half-believing tenderhoof stargazers.

(I wonder if anyone has seen, briefly, their shadow cast by Iridium flare.  You'd need at minimum, a fully dark, un-light polluted sky.  Maybe freshly fallen snow as the shadow projection surface?)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/16/2016 05:44 AM
Dnepr is a joint Ukrainian/Russian vehicle, which is why it is no longer flying.  It has nothing to do with Proton/Soyuz.

Despite what Spaceflightnow.com says, Dnepr has not been cancelled. ESA will be flying some of their QB50 satellites on it this year, probably with the two Iridium NEXT satellites.

https://www.qb50.eu/index.php/schedule
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Nomadd on 07/16/2016 07:49 PM
 Will they be bringing the old sats down once NEXT is fully up? That would make for a good light show. Or is fuel too far gone for that?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 07/16/2016 10:54 PM
Will they be bringing the old sats down once NEXT is fully up? That would make for a good light show. Or is fuel too far gone for that?
De-orbiting the old satellites, according to the SFN article referenced above.

To my knowledge, no one has ever de-orbited an entire satellite constellation.  How will this be executed?

My outsider's guess is the satellites will re-enter over remote ocean locations.  The South Pacific appears to be a favored location for this.

I'll voice my vote now for live video coverage of the re-entry event(s)!

A thought for producing a live web cast: sequential de-orbiting burns by the several satellites in one orbital plane as the orbital plane crosses the disposal zone, at night!  This would produce sequential fiery re-entries, all visible from one location!  The re-entries would span the sky, as the Earth turns under the orbital plane.

I believe the details of how the constellation disposal will be executed would make a great NSF follow-up article!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Semmel on 07/17/2016 01:08 PM
De-orbiting satelits for show.. There is actually a "fireworks" display planned for the Japanese Olympic games opening in 2020 that consists of de-orbiting a few hundred little particles of some mm in size.

http://global.star-ale.com/project/canvas

Unfortunately this is completely off topic and might be better discussed in a separate thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 07/17/2016 01:47 PM
De-orbiting satelits for show.. There is actually a "fireworks" display planned for the Japanese Olympic games opening in 2020 that consists of de-orbiting a few hundred little particles of some mm in size.

http://global.star-ale.com/project/canvas

Unfortunately this is completely off topic and might be better discussed in a separate thread.

That proposal is utter gibberish that ignores all relevant facts about satellites.
This discussion seems to be trying to duplicate that.
Deorbiting the first generation Iridium constellation is a work task. They will do it in a manner that maximizes success, which is dumping each satellite in the South Pacific as far from people as they can get. It will be slow and controlled, not paced for show.

And it is off topic for the launch of Gen 2.

Back on topic, does anyone have an estimate for the mass of the dispenser?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 07/17/2016 02:14 PM
Back on topic, does anyone have an estimate for the mass of the dispenser?

One of the articles said 1000kg, for total launch mass of 9600kg.

Edit:
SpaceNews: Iridium’s SpaceX launch slowed by Vandenberg bottleneck (http://spacenews.com/iridiums-spacex-launch-slowed-by-vandenberg-bottleneck/)
Quote
Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX is building the 1,000-kilogram dispenser that will separate the 10 satellites into or bit on release from the rocket.

Each Iridium Next satellite will weigh 860 kilograms at launch, for a total satellite payload mass of 8,600 kilograms, plus the 1,000-kilogram dispenser
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 07/17/2016 03:17 PM
Iridium Jul 15, 2016: First Falcon 9 Iridium NEXT Satellite Dispenser Arrives at Launch Site (http://blog.iridium.com/2016/07/15/first-falcon-9-iridium-next-satellite-dispenser-arrives-at-launch-site/)
Quote
On Tuesday, June 21st, SpaceX shipped the first Falcon 9 Iridium NEXT satellite dispenser to the Vandenberg Air Force Base launch site in California, and on Monday, June 27th, it was confirmed that the dispenser arrived safely. ...
In order to accommodate a payload of this size, SpaceX developed a Falcon 9 satellite dispenser unit that was capable of managing the critical-timed separation and deployment of ten satellites from each rocket. These dispensers were built out of a carbon fiber composite to reduce mass, minimize the total number of parts and simplify their composition while increasing structural stiffness and strength. The design of this dispenser places the Iridium NEXT satellite vehicles in two separate stacked tiers around the outside of each dispenser, holding five satellites per tier.
“We’re excited for the upcoming first launch of Iridium NEXT and proud of the work we’ve completed for the Iridium NEXT program. This is one of the heaviest payloads we will fly to-date – 10 Iridium NEXT satellites weighing over 20,000 pounds,” said Kris Kroc, mission manager at SpaceX.

Now that the dispenser is at the launch facility, the team will be running a series of end-to-end electrical tests with the tiers separated, as seen in the accompanying photo.
(photo copyright SpaceX)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 07/17/2016 09:34 PM
If they are short a bit on lift for the full constellation - they might want to be an early adapter of a used first stage F9. 
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: catdlr on 07/18/2016 03:17 AM
LAUNCH ALERT
                 
                              Brian Webb
                    Ventura County, California
                  launch-alert-editor@earthlink.net
                        www.spacearchive.info
             
                                  2016 July 17 (Sunday) 18:18 PDT
----------------------------------------------------------------------

                  VANDENBERG AFB LAUNCH SCHEDULE

                    Launch
                  Time/Window
  Date              (PST/PDT)              Vehicle          Pad/Silo
--------        -----------------        -------------      --------

SEP 11          22:33                    Falcon 9            SLC-4E
Vehicle will launch 10 Iridium Next low-altitude commercial
communications satellites 

source: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39426.msg1560825#msg1560825
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Junkie on 07/19/2016 12:30 AM
http://spacenews.com/spacex-launches-dragon-spacecraft-successfully-lands-first-stage/ (http://spacenews.com/spacex-launches-dragon-spacecraft-successfully-lands-first-stage/)
Quote
The next two launches, of geostationary communications satellites, will return to the ship landings. Koenigsmann said the next land landing will likely be on the next CRS mission, later this year.

SpaceX CRS-10 doesn't launch until November. I wonder if Koenigsmann forgot about the Iridium launch, or if this means SpaceX doesn't think they will be allowed to RTLS for this one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/19/2016 01:24 AM
http://spacenews.com/spacex-launches-dragon-spacecraft-successfully-lands-first-stage/ (http://spacenews.com/spacex-launches-dragon-spacecraft-successfully-lands-first-stage/)
Quote
The next two launches, of geostationary communications satellites, will return to the ship landings. Koenigsmann said the next land landing will likely be on the next CRS mission, later this year.

SpaceX CRS-10 doesn't launch until November. I wonder if Koenigsmann forgot about the Iridium launch, or if this means SpaceX doesn't think they will be allowed to RTLS for this one.

Koenigsmann didn't seem prepared to answer schedule questions in too detailed a manner, so I would limit the speculation. As Koenigsmann has said in the past, he focuses on the next couple launches at a time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 07/28/2016 02:17 PM
New launch date for the first Iridium flight,

Tweet from Stephen Clark (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/758627075355836416)
Quote
Iridium says first 10 next-gen satellites begin shipping to VAFB next week. Falcon 9 launch Sept. 19 at 9:49pm PDT  http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=981626 (http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=981626)

Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/758642807699546113)
Quote
IRDM CEO: Slight SpaceX delay to mid-Sept is one-time issue, SpaceX says wont recur in Dec launch (need 3 mnths between 1st & 2d launches).

Tweet from Stephen Clark (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/758647334976626688)
Quote
Iridium’s Matt Desch: SpaceX has assured me they will have rockets available for our launches every 60 days next year.

Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/758642545907920896)
Quote
IRDM: We've got needed insurance for 1st 2 SpaceX flights. We'll self-insure 1 of 5 launches w/ spare sats + prepaid SpaceX relaunch option.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Star One on 07/28/2016 03:08 PM
De-orbiting satelits for show.. There is actually a "fireworks" display planned for the Japanese Olympic games opening in 2020 that consists of de-orbiting a few hundred little particles of some mm in size.

http://global.star-ale.com/project/canvas

Unfortunately this is completely off topic and might be better discussed in a separate thread.

That proposal is utter gibberish that ignores all relevant facts about satellites.
This discussion seems to be trying to duplicate that.
Deorbiting the first generation Iridium constellation is a work task. They will do it in a manner that maximizes success, which is dumping each satellite in the South Pacific as far from people as they can get. It will be slow and controlled, not paced for show.

And it is off topic for the launch of Gen 2.

Back on topic, does anyone have an estimate for the mass of the dispenser?

Fair enough but perhaps that could  have been conveyed minus the attitude for the sake of civil discussion.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Wolfram66 on 07/28/2016 07:27 PM
this just in from SpaceNews.Com Peter B. de Selding @pbdes on Twitter

First SpaceX launch of Iridium Next slips to Sept. 19 -

See more at: http://spacenews.com/iridium-negotiates-payment-delays-with-lenders-contractor-to-mitigate-aireon-shortfall/#sthash.JiLBwZtq.dpuf (http://spacenews.com/iridium-negotiates-payment-delays-with-lenders-contractor-to-mitigate-aireon-shortfall/#sthash.JiLBwZtq.dpuf)

 :-X
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/28/2016 10:05 PM
this just in from SpaceNews.Com Peter B. de Selding @pbdes on Twitter

First SpaceX launch of Iridium Next slips to Sept. 19 -

See more at: http://spacenews.com/iridium-negotiates-payment-delays-with-lenders-contractor-to-mitigate-aireon-shortfall/#sthash.JiLBwZtq.dpuf (http://spacenews.com/iridium-negotiates-payment-delays-with-lenders-contractor-to-mitigate-aireon-shortfall/#sthash.JiLBwZtq.dpuf)

 :-X
Already mentioned above.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mattstep on 07/28/2016 10:20 PM
New launch date for the first Iridium flight,

Tweet from Stephen Clark (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/758627075355836416)
Quote
Iridium says first 10 next-gen satellites begin shipping to VAFB next week. Falcon 9 launch Sept. 19 at 9:49pm PDT  http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=981626 (http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=981626)

Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/758642807699546113)
Quote
IRDM CEO: Slight SpaceX delay to mid-Sept is one-time issue, SpaceX says wont recur in Dec launch (need 3 mnths between 1st & 2d launches).

Tweet from Stephen Clark (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/758647334976626688)
Quote
Iridium’s Matt Desch: SpaceX has assured me they will have rockets available for our launches every 60 days next year.

Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/758642545907920896)
Quote
IRDM: We've got needed insurance for 1st 2 SpaceX flights. We'll self-insure 1 of 5 launches w/ spare sats + prepaid SpaceX relaunch option.

Any thoughts on what the one time delay is?  Sounds a bit like SpaceX doesn't have a rocket ready to go.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/28/2016 10:56 PM
Have we heard an update of when the range will be open at Vandenberg?  That might be the cause of this short delay.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Star One on 07/29/2016 05:04 PM
Iridium negotiates payment delays with lenders, contractor to mitigate Aireon shortfall

Quote
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on July 28 said it had opened negotiations with its lenders and its satellite manufacturer to reduce or delay Iridium payments in the event Iridium’s Aireon air traffic surveillance affiliate cannot make its scheduled payment to Iridium.

The company said Aireon may have trouble paying Iridium $200 million in cash between 2016 and 2017, in part because some expected Aireon customers, including the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), had not yet committed to the service.

In a conference call with investors, Iridium Chief Executive Matthew J. Desch said he saw no special issue with the FAA, which had already signaled its interest in the Aireon.

“It’s more a matter of when, not if,” Desch said of an FAA contract with Aireon. “It’s how much [airspace] they will survey, and when, and it’s looking more like a 2017 event rather than a 2016 event.”

Quote
The delay is the latest in a series attributed to the Iridium Next satellites and, more recently, to scheduled maintenance at the launch base and the site’s launch manifest.

A week’s slip in a launch is not normally an issue for a satellite fleet operator. But for Iridium, it means an automatic delay in the second SpaceX Iridium launch, which for insurance and debt-covenant reasons cannot occur until three months following the first launch. That means a second launch no earlier than late December.

After that, the five remaining SpaceX launches should occur at 60-day intervals, Desch said.

Desch said SpaceX had assured Iridium that the December launch would occur on schedule.

“It’s a little hard for me to be patient with these ongoing short delays, but we’re getting very close and I’m sure it will all be worth it with a successful launch under our belts,” Desch said.

http://spacenews.com/iridium-negotiates-payment-delays-with-lenders-contractor-to-mitigate-aireon-shortfall/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 08/02/2016 04:24 PM
Tweet from Iridium (https://twitter.com/IridiumComm/status/760492894226710528) (found via retweet by Jeff Foust)
Quote
It’s a big day for Iridium as the first 2 Iridium NEXT satellites have successfully arrived at Vandenberg AFB!


Tweet from Matt Desch (Iridium) (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/760484821080694784)
Quote
Just informed we've passed an important regulatory milestone - approval for @IridiumNEXT. Thanks, @FCC! #Goodtogo!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 08/02/2016 06:36 PM
A friend who does interior communications consoles for high-end autos had the following question:
Quote
"I wonder what channel model they're using, and what modulation and coding ."

If anybody knows and can speak up... please do so.

He did say: "One good thing, it probably won't have a link budget determined by Tom H., and as such it'll have some chance at success."  I have to agree with him on that.

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/03/2016 02:30 PM
Orbital ATK update on shipping of first Iridium sats to VAFB:

Quote
First Iridium NEXT Satellites Shipped from Orbital ATK's Satellite Manufacturing Facility

http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/Iridium_NEXT_shipped/default.aspx?prid=145 (http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/Iridium_NEXT_shipped/default.aspx?prid=145)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 08/03/2016 04:31 PM
For the Iridium launch SpaceX submitted an FCC application for the landing that has both VAFB and Drone Ship transmitters, so they're covering their bases with the one submission.

Experimental first-stage recovery operation. Transmitting stations located on Port San Pedro, Vandenberg AFB and offshore.

City                              State           Latitude                   Longitude
Vandenberg AFB          California     North  34  37  58     West  120  36  55
                                                        North  28  8  52       West  73  49  48       BOAT, within 10 nautical miles
                                                        North  31  17  45     West  120  30  46     Autonomous Drone Ship, within 10 nautical miles
Vandenberg AFB          California     North  34  43  9       West  120  31  52
                                    California     North  33  43  17     West  118  16  29     Autonomous Drone Ship, port testing
                                                        North  28  8  52       West  73  49  48       BOAT, port testing

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 08/03/2016 06:37 PM
So this means that Iridium-NEXT F1 will not be doing a Vandenberg RTLS...

...and that the core will land on Just Read The Instructions?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: guckyfan on 08/03/2016 07:08 PM
So this means that Iridium-NEXT F1 will not be doing a Vandenberg RTLS...

...and that the core will land on Just Read The Instructions?

It says within 10 n miles. It either means no permission for land landing so they need JRTI out there or it has only functions for telemetry.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 08/03/2016 07:09 PM

It says within 10 n miles. It either means no permission for land landing so they need JRTI out there or it has only functions for telemetry.

Telemetry is received by the support ships and not the barge.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kabloona on 08/03/2016 08:50 PM
So this means that Iridium-NEXT F1 will not be doing a Vandenberg RTLS...

...and that the core will land on Just Read The Instructions?

It says within 10 n miles. It either means no permission for land landing so they need JRTI out there or it has only functions for telemetry.

The "within 10 nmi" is standard boilerplate meaning the ships will be operating/transmitting within the general area of the coordinates listed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 08/03/2016 08:52 PM
Quote
Please explain in the area below why an STA is necessary:
This STA uses information from previous application 1121-EX-ST-2016. This STA covers the experimental first-stage recovery operation, following a Falcon 9 launch (F9-30) from Vandenberg AFB. This request is limited to the TC uplink, transmitting from an offshore boat/autonomous drone ship and/or onshore station at Vandenberg AFB. This includes pre-launch check-out operations at San Pedro Port and/or CCAFS as pre-coordinated with the launch Range. Launch vehicle flight communications for this mission are covered by a separate STA. The current launch planning date is NET 9/1/2016. The requested expiration date is 6 months following the grant date or upon completion of the experimental recovery operation, whichever occurs first.

It doesn't really say what their intentions are for the landing, they are registering transmitters for both landing options.  (The "CCAFS" is obviously a typo, a lot of this stuff just gets copied from one application to another).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kabloona on 08/03/2016 09:01 PM
For the Iridium launch SpaceX submitted an FCC application for the landing that has both VAFB and Drone Ship transmitters, so they're covering their bases with the one submission.

Experimental first-stage recovery operation. Transmitting stations located on Port San Pedro, Vandenberg AFB and offshore.

   North  31  17  45     West  120  30  46     Autonomous Drone Ship, within 10 nautical miles

For comparison, ASDS coordinates on Jason-3 were:

North  32  7  44    West  120  46  43    BOAT, within 10 nautical miles
North  32  7  44    West  120  46  43    BARGE, within 10 nautical miles

So this time, a bit farther south.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kabloona on 08/03/2016 09:21 PM
So this means that Iridium-NEXT F1 will not be doing a Vandenberg RTLS...

...and that the core will land on Just Read The Instructions?

A key factor for RTLS is whether or not the landing pad has been completed. Last we heard, it was still being worked on.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kirghizstan on 08/16/2016 03:14 PM
Any update on this launch?  I'm going to be in Santa Barbara for a conference that day and thinking about driving up to see the launch if the launch date doesn't slip more than a day. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: manoweb on 08/16/2016 06:35 PM
I also plan to attend this launch. Last one was completely shielded by the fog...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 08/16/2016 08:00 PM
How about they make fog a weather violation at Vandenberg? I ask that because the fog caused one of Jason 3's landing legs to not deploy fully.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 08/16/2016 08:23 PM
How about they make fog a weather violation at Vandenberg? I ask that because the fog caused one of Jason 3's landing legs to not deploy fully.
I think they'd do better to fix the latch and/or protect it from moisture.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: abaddon on 08/16/2016 08:28 PM
SpaceX indicated at the time that those were an older revision of the leg hardware, and implied that the issue would not have occurred with the newer revision.  So it is likely no longer an issue.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: manoweb on 08/16/2016 08:29 PM
Yeah I think it is in SpaceX's interest to *remove* or weaken all possible violations, so they can operate more smoothly and cheaply, instead of creating hurdles. I believe fixing the latching mechanisms is much cheaper than postponing a launch one or more days.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Toastmastern on 08/17/2016 01:34 PM
Quote
Six #IridiumNEXT satellite vehicles down, 4 more to go! Another successful arrival at @VandenbergAFB #NEXTevolution

https://twitter.com/IridiumComm/status/765903388659814400
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 08/21/2016 10:52 PM
According to a post on the SpaceX FB group, the Iridium-1 booster (F9-30) is wrapped and shipping out of Hawthorne today for McGregor. Give it ~3 or so days to get there, a week of testing, and ~3 days to head west back to Vandenberg, and it could be there by 1st week of September.

Apparently not. The stage reported there might one returning from Canaveral.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 08/22/2016 04:06 PM
With the possibility that SES-10 in October may be the first recycled booster flight, it would make sense to see some Canaveral-to-McGreggor traffic.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wannamoonbase on 08/22/2016 04:17 PM
With the possibility that SES-10 in October may be the first recycled booster flight, it would make sense to see some Canaveral-to-McGreggor traffic.

With 3 VAFB launches before the end of this year, it makes sense that their would be lots of flow going west.  There is a lot of cores needed in the next 4 months, especially if one includes the FH.

But would they need to take a stage all the way to McGreggor then bring it back to CCAFS? 

Seems like an expense in time and money that should be done in Florida as that will be what they ultimately want to work toward anyway.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 08/22/2016 04:41 PM
I read somewhere that the Iridium NEXT spacecraft will be launched in clusters like the Orbcomm 2Gs. Is that right?

Seems like an expense in time and money that should be done in Florida as that will be what they ultimately want to work toward anyway.

Engine tests and a full structural check using the equipment at McGreggor; there's a lot riding on the first reuse flight so there's no need to rush it. Better to check every component twice and in as much detail as possible. Yes, later they'll want that work done in the Cape Industrial Area (maybe at Hanger AO) but that's when they've answered all their questions and know with a high degree of certainty what they need to do to turn around a stage. Until then, it's slow, detailed and methodical checks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: docmordrid on 08/22/2016 05:08 PM
I read somewhere that the Iridium NEXT spacecraft will be launched in clusters like the Orbcomm 2Gs. Is that right?
>

10 at a time using a new dispenser.

http://blog.iridium.com/2014/07/03/progress-continues-with-iridium-next-launch-milestone/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: tadaniels on 08/23/2016 06:40 PM
Wall Street Journal has an article today on the replacement of the Iridium constellation:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/aging-iridium-network-waits-for-key-satellite-replacements-1471961801

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: smoliarm on 08/24/2016 10:52 AM
The fourth set of Iridium NEXT satellites arrived at VAFB on Aug 22:
http://blog.iridium.com/2016/08/22/precious-cargo-assetpack-3tm-used-to-track-the-successful-delivery-of-iridium-next-satellites-to-launch-site/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/27/2016 12:19 PM
Western range open again!

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/881089/western-range-set-to-resume-normal-operations
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: philw1776 on 08/27/2016 01:35 PM
Western range open again!

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/881089/western-range-set-to-resume-normal-operations
The article is from July and says they're moved and hope to be operational in August. Is there some other source that says they are indeed operational?

Yes

http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/922257/with-operational-acceptance-complete-western-range-is-ready-for-launch

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
The Western Range is back in the launch business following an operational acceptance decision held by the Operations Acceptance Board at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Aug. 18, 2016.

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/29/2016 04:05 PM
"NEXT sats 9 & 10 arrived at VAFB. First launch payload is complete! "

http://blog.iridium.com/2016/08/29/special-delivery-the-first-full-payload-of-iridium-next-satellites-arrives-at-launch-site/

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 08/29/2016 06:44 PM
So it appears the dispenser itself splits into two pieces for ease of mating. Interesting.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/30/2016 05:41 PM
This video appears to show the core outside of the factory at Hawthorne:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJu_irCDLjy/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/30/2016 09:13 PM
Looks like one of the cores shipped out

https://instagram.com/p/BJvxSJEhAUA/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: AncientU on 08/30/2016 11:58 PM
Looks like one of the cores shipped out

https://instagram.com/p/BJvxSJEhAUA/

Any evidence that was Iridium heading east? (What remains on Crenshaw?)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/31/2016 10:57 AM
Any evidence that was Iridium heading east? (What remains on Crenshaw?)

The core that shipped had engines, the returned core did not per the attached image

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJs_x7yD1Px/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 08/31/2016 10:53 PM
 :) Instead of the open-topped bus tours through Hollywood to see the "homes of the stars," some entrepreneur should start booking open-topped LA bus tours for space enthusiasts to sightsee the SpaceX "home of the rockets!"

(Elon and company may appreciate that just as much as the Hollywood celebrities do.)  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 09/01/2016 11:27 PM
What will the be the likely launch time for this rocket after the AMOS event?   Six months from now?  Nine?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 09/01/2016 11:35 PM
What will the be the likely launch time for this rocket after the AMOS event?   Six months from now?  Nine?
There is no way to know at this point.  It depends on how long it takes to determine the cause, what the cause is, if changes are required to the rocket or GSE, etc, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/02/2016 10:12 PM
IridiumIR
‏@IridiumIR IridiumIR
Confident SpaceX will resolve issues leading to this anomaly; ready to launch when they are.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Skyrocket on 09/02/2016 11:13 PM
IMHO this misson is a likely candidate for the return to flight for Falcon-9 (or the Formosat-5 / Sherpa mission)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: vapour_nudge on 09/06/2016 08:50 AM
IMHO this misson is a likely candidate for the return to flight for Falcon-9 (or the Formosat-5 / Sherpa mission)
Agreed. What's your guess for the next launch? My money is on February
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Mike Jones on 09/06/2016 06:32 PM
January 2017 seems a credible target
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: the_other_Doug on 09/06/2016 06:59 PM
If the pad anomaly is quickly found to have been caused by a GSE or prop loading procedural issue (which I believe is possible), then we might even see Iridium launch as early as October.  If the anomaly was caused by an actual physical problem with engineering or manufacture of stage 2, then January may well be wildly optimistic.  You might be looking at RTF next Spring, or later, and it may be out of LC-39A and not VAFB.

IMHO, at any rate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: 2megs on 09/07/2016 04:30 PM
There are some interesting (but completely hypothetical) economics here: How much does Iridium stand to lose for each month of delay? Given that there's a currently-running production pipeline, what's the incremental cost of getting an extra 10 satellites out of that pipeline?

Somewhere between those two numbers and SpaceX's return-to-flight timeline, there's a cold business calculation where it's cheaper for the customer to accept a 1-in-9 (or 2-in-29, depending on how you want to score it) chance of paying for 10 more satellites if they can launch them today on "good enough" rockets.

Between SPX, VAFB, and the FAA that won't happen. But the economics of constellations do make for an interesting case where the customer is potentially the least concerned about reliability.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jirka Dlouhy on 09/08/2016 10:37 AM
I think, that is recomended make the static test without payload. After standard succesful test is possible to launch in september. Mistake was in fueling of second stage tank before test.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 09/08/2016 12:09 PM
I think, that is recomended make the static test without payload. After standard succesful test is possible to launch in september. Mistake was in fueling of second stage tank before test.

No, the second stage has to be fueled.
a.  That is part of the test and not just the first stage engine firing
b.  That would be unflightlike environment
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jet Black on 09/08/2016 02:49 PM
I think, that is recomended make the static test without payload. After standard succesful test is possible to launch in september. Mistake was in fueling of second stage tank before test.

No, the second stage has to be fueled.
a.  That is part of the test and not just the first stage engine firing
b.  That would be unflightlike environment

Just curious here, would there be issues with firing it with the second stage unloaded i.e. potential problems caused by the acoustic environment and the second stage not being designed to experience that while empty?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 09/08/2016 03:00 PM
This is a mission thread, most of the recent posts would be more appropriate in the general Falcon discussion thread.

--

(Chris Note: Indeed. So any further on the recent posts, quote the post and respond in the general thread).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 09/08/2016 08:23 PM
There are some interesting (but completely hypothetical) economics here: How much does Iridium stand to lose for each month of delay? Given that there's a currently-running production pipeline, what's the incremental cost of getting an extra 10 satellites out of that pipeline?

Somewhere between those two numbers and SpaceX's return-to-flight timeline, there's a cold business calculation where it's cheaper for the customer to accept a 1-in-9 (or 2-in-29, depending on how you want to score it) chance of paying for 10 more satellites if they can launch them today on "good enough" rockets.

Between SPX, VAFB, and the FAA that won't happen. But the economics of constellations do make for an interesting case where the customer is potentially the least concerned about reliability.
You are leaving out the main two players in the Iridium saga.   They are Iridium's insurers and note holders for Iridium.
Prior to this SpaceX incident Iridium had stated a willingness to launch it's fleet as fast as it could to keep bond holders and bankers happy but their insurers were demanding 3 months between launches.   This suggests an Iridium economic tension that predates any SpaceX incidents and downtime.  This was how I was looking at Iridium on the market before Amos 6 and how I am still looking at Iridium.  That non-SpaceX or Iridium (directly) drama is the cold business calculation taking place with Iridium.  If I knew how it would play I would have bought options already.   These two players have not shown their hands.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: launchwatcher on 09/08/2016 08:42 PM
Prior to this SpaceX incident Iridium had stated a willingness to launch it's fleet as fast as it could to keep bond holders and bankers happy but their insurers were demanding 3 months between launches.
what I recall reading was that it was a delay of 3 months between the first launch and any subsequent launches which would allow the spacecraft design to be extensively tested in orbit -- and any necessary design changes applied to subsequent spacecraft.  You don't want to launch the entire constellation then realize that they don't actually work well enough to support the number of customers they need to remain a viable business...

I believe that the initial plan was to launch two Iridium satellites on a Russian launcher (Dnepr?), test them out for some number of months, then launch the rest nine or ten at a time on Falcon 9, but then the Dnepr launch fell through due to what seemed like petty international politics..   That would be better (if they don't quite work, you only have two bricks in orbit instead of ten) but even with a full F9's worth it's still only a small fraction of the total constellation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: solartear on 09/08/2016 09:20 PM
From 2016 August: https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/03/first-two-iridium-next-satellites-shipped-to-vandenberg/ (https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/03/first-two-iridium-next-satellites-shipped-to-vandenberg/)

Quote
We’re excited for the upcoming first launch of Iridium Next .... , the satellites will complete three months of tests to check the health and function of spacecraft systems, ground and inter-satellite communications links, and tack-on instruments to track global air and maritime traffic.
...
After December, Iridium Next launches from Vandenberg should come every two months.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 09/08/2016 11:47 PM
http://www.pacbiztimes.com/2016/09/08/spacex-launch-at-vandenberg-afb-delayed/

Official (and very unsurprising) confirmation that this launch will not happen on the previously scheduled date of Sept 19th.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Aerospace Dilettante on 09/09/2016 08:02 AM
Any possibility the Iridium folks will just say, "we're loosing too much time waiting for them to figure this out, just launch the first 10 using the built rocket and the old procedures and we'll take our chances!"
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: GigaG on 09/09/2016 12:04 PM
^It'd be a ballsy move. I don't see it happening unless Iridium was really desperate.

Would SpaceX even allow it? If they had another pad explosion or other failure before finishing the AMOS-6 investigation, that's a boatload of terrible PR.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: 2megs on 09/09/2016 12:19 PM
As above, depending on the cost of delays, incremental cost of more satellites, and SpaceX's RTF timeline, there's an business case where it would make sense from Iridium's POV to launch now. They'd probably be renegotiating some very expensive insurance, but if that's cheaper than delays...

But it was just a hypothetical economic discussion. It won't happen in our reality:

* SpaceX wouldn't want another video of another fireball when they're working towards commerical crew.

* VAFB wouldn't want anything blowing up in the vicinity of other things that aren't meant to be blown up.

* The FAA may have a bit of say in here too. They may not technically have veto power, but in the long-term "How does this get us to Mars?" sense, you certainly want to play nice now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 09/09/2016 12:35 PM
As above, depending on the cost of delays, incremental cost of more satellites, and SpaceX's RTF timeline, there's an business case where it would make sense from Iridium's POV to launch now. They'd probably be renegotiating some very expensive insurance, but if that's cheaper than delays...

But it was just a hypothetical economic discussion. It won't happen in our reality:

* SpaceX wouldn't want another video of another fireball when they're working towards commerical crew.

* VAFB wouldn't want anything blowing up in the vicinity of other things that aren't meant to be blown up.

* The FAA may have a bit of say in here too. They may not technically have veto power, but in the long-term "How does this get us to Mars?" sense, you certainly want to play nice now.

The FAA would have to sign off on any launch. Can't launch without an FAA launch license.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: tleski on 09/09/2016 01:51 PM
SpaceNews_Inc: Iridium remains fully behind @SpaceX as Musk hints at difficult investigation  https://t.co/UoV3a2mD0m

https://twitter.com/spacenews_inc/status/774237945872121857
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 09/10/2016 08:54 AM
As above, depending on the cost of delays, incremental cost of more satellites, and SpaceX's RTF timeline, there's an business case where it would make sense from Iridium's POV to launch now. They'd probably be renegotiating some very expensive insurance, but if that's cheaper than delays...

But it was just a hypothetical economic discussion. It won't happen in our reality:

* SpaceX wouldn't want another video of another fireball when they're working towards commerical crew.

* VAFB wouldn't want anything blowing up in the vicinity of other things that aren't meant to be blown up.

* The FAA may have a bit of say in here too. They may not technically have veto power, but in the long-term "How does this get us to Mars?" sense, you certainly want to play nice now.

I can't imagine SpaceX going for it.  SpaceX just lost their main launch pad.  If they get to the root cause quickly and it turns out to have been GSE, there's a decent chance they can fix it at VAFB (if necessary) and return to flight there in relatively short order.  Maybe even before the end of the year--though this is a bit optimistic given recent comments by Elon.  i.e. They may have an opportunity to still make revenue before the end of the year with a launch from VAFB.  Given their down time last year and future delays to East coast launches, that's potentially a big deal.

Also, the FAA definitely has a say.  SpaceX needs a safety analysis acceptance from them to get a launch license.  Until they know what happened, they have no way of determining whether this same failure could happen during launch.

edit: added qualification to necessity of GSE change at VAFB
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/13/2016 10:30 PM
Sensible customer:

Iridium Corporate
‏@IridiumComm
Encouraged by SpaceX's Nov. target, but all based on a successful root cause finding and resolution. Ready to launch when our rocket is!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/16/2016 08:36 AM
According to this report in the AMOS-6 thread, launch appears to be scheduled for December 2016 and possibly the first reuse of a flown stage.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41252.msg1598513#msg1598513

"The plan is to get back to launch in early December and that will be from pad 39A at the Cape and we will be launching around the same time from Vandenberg as well. ... We are going to re-fly the first returned core December or January.  We have test fired one of the returned cores 8 times and it looks good.  That is promising for testing re-flight."
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 10/16/2016 02:58 PM
According to this report in the AMOS-6 thread, launch appears to be scheduled for December 2016 and possibly the first reuse of a flown stage.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41252.msg1598513#msg1598513

"The plan is to get back to launch in early December and that will be from pad 39A at the Cape and we will be launching around the same time from Vandenberg as well. ... We are going to re-fly the first returned core December or January.  We have test fired one of the returned cores 8 times and it looks good.  That is promising for testing re-flight."

You are combining two pieces of the statement that don't go together.  Iridium will fly on a new core.  Then SES-10 will fly on a used core.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 10/16/2016 05:01 PM
According to this report in the AMOS-6 thread, launch appears to be scheduled for December 2016 and possibly the first reuse of a flown stage.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41252.msg1598513#msg1598513

"The plan is to get back to launch in early December and that will be from pad 39A at the Cape and we will be launching around the same time from Vandenberg as well. ... We are going to re-fly the first returned core December or January.  We have test fired one of the returned cores 8 times and it looks good.  That is promising for testing re-flight."

You are combining two pieces of the statement that don't go together.  Iridium will fly on a new core.  Then SES-10 will fly on a used core.

This sounds logical.
Musk saying RTF in "early December" and first reflight in "December or January" seems to exclude first reflight from the RTF launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/17/2016 05:57 AM
You are combining two pieces of the statement that don't go together.  Iridium will fly on a new core.  Then SES-10 will fly on a used core.

Thanks for the clarification. I wasn't sure, which is why I said "possibly". Here's a quote from Iridium saying they are flying on new cores.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/4o3fwv/peter_b_de_selding_on_twitter_iridium_ceo_desch/

Peter B. de Selding on Twitter: "Iridium CEO Desch: We've purchased 7 new Falcon 9s, no reusable stages in the mix. We think our Sept launch is next SpaceX launch from VAFB."
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 10/25/2016 09:24 PM
With Worldview now set for a Nov 7th launch, Vandenburg seems to be back up and running. Bar and damage that was specific to SpX's pad from the wildfire, that has yet to be repaired. Could this bode well for a possibly November RTF from Vandy? Even though SpX has said early December for RTF, the Sat's are there. The rockets is (probably) there, and with no mechanical changes needed to Falcon, whats stopping them from launching? It'a be good press to actually meet September 2nd set - November RTF deadline.

EDIT: Also Iridium has just put up a new site dedicated to IridiumNEXT.

http://www.iridiumnext.com/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kabloona on 10/25/2016 10:53 PM
Quote
It'a be good press to actually meet September 2nd set - November RTF deadline.

And it'd be very, very bad press to fail again because they launched before they thoroughly understood the last failure. They need to take their time and understand this failure mode and mitigate against it very carefully. It's potentially catastrophic for F9's human rating. Rushing RTF could be a huge mistake. And let's remember there are still (reportedly) NASA people who don't believe the strut was the (sole) root cause of the previous failure,  and therefore still suspect a COPV root cause.

With COPV's possibly suspect in both failures, it's all the more reason to proceed with extreme caution.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mfck on 10/29/2016 03:55 PM


Quote
It'a be good press to actually meet September 2nd set - November RTF deadline.

...

 And let's remember there are still (reportedly) NASA people who don't believe the strut was the (sole) root cause of the previous failure,  and therefore still suspect a COPV root cause.

This is an appeal to an unspecified authority, whose argument is a suspicion based on unbelief. Let's forget it.

Quote

With COPV's possibly suspect in both failures, it's all the more reason to proceed with extreme caution.

COPV is a murder weapon in CRS-7 case and a suspect victim of a procedural failure (subjecting it to out of spec conditions) in Amos-6. Not the perpetrator in either.

I would argue against any "extreme" procedural modes, COPV or not. Extreme is unsustainable by definition. SX wants sustainable, routine ops. To have and to show. 


Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/31/2016 07:53 AM
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes 5m5 minutes ago

Self-evident dept: IRDM CEO says IRDM sats wont be on SpaceX Falcon 9 for static fire test. No info re launch date or if IRDM is RTF payload

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/793011616396763136 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/793011616396763136)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 10/31/2016 04:44 PM
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes 5m5 minutes ago

Self-evident dept: IRDM CEO says IRDM sats wont be on SpaceX Falcon 9 for static fire test. No info re launch date or if IRDM is RTF payload

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/793011616396763136 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/793011616396763136)

That's an even better idea than placing it on top of the Falcon 9. If another static fire failure ever occurs, then the Iridium sats won't be lost.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: TOG on 10/31/2016 05:36 PM
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes 5m5 minutes ago

Self-evident dept: IRDM CEO says IRDM sats wont be on SpaceX Falcon 9 for static fire test. No info re launch date or if IRDM is RTF payload

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/793011616396763136 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/793011616396763136)

That's an even better idea than placing it on top of the Falcon 9. If another static fire failure ever occurs, then the Iridium sats won't be lost.

One follow up question:

Will/is the second stage attached for the static fire?  The question goes to what doesn't go to the pad for the static fire:  just the payload or the payload and second stage (Recall the second stage failed the static fire, even though it obviously was not being fired)?  How does that affect the launch cadence?  Do they have to build in more time for integration? 

OK, that is more than one question...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/31/2016 06:57 PM
Will/is the second stage attached for the static fire?  The question goes to what doesn't go to the pad for the static fire:  just the payload or the payload and second stage (Recall the second stage failed the static fire, even though it obviously was not being fired)?  How does that affect the launch cadence?  Do they have to build in more time for integration?

What has been observed is that during 1st stage testing at McGregor they don't attach the 2nd stage, but when they do the pre-launch test fires at the launch site they do have the 2nd stage attached, and optionally the payload too (the customer has always had the option to not have the payload attached during test firings).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/31/2016 06:58 PM
Relevant, but yet to be confirmed - by Chris Gebhardt:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/spacex-prepares-upcoming-falcon-9-amos-6/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 10/31/2016 07:47 PM
Will/is the second stage attached for the static fire?  The question goes to what doesn't go to the pad for the static fire:  just the payload or the payload and second stage (Recall the second stage failed the static fire, even though it obviously was not being fired)?  How does that affect the launch cadence?  Do they have to build in more time for integration?

What has been observed is that during 1st stage testing at McGregor they don't attach the 2nd stage, but when they do the pre-launch test fires at the launch site they do have the 2nd stage attached, and optionally the payload too (the customer has always had the option to not have the payload attached during test firings).

The second stage definitely will be attached for the static fire, since it's required in order for the TEL to raise the Falcon 9 upright. Unlike McGregor, the launch sites aren't equipped to raise the first stage without the second. Also, the static fire tests that the second stage and GSE are all ready; just testing the booster doesn't reduce any risks (schedule or otherwise).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Star One on 10/31/2016 08:07 PM
Iridium expects to renegotiate loan agreement by year’s end

Quote
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications expects to complete negotiations with its lenders and its satellite manufacturer by the end of the year on loosening payment obligations to ride out the delay in the launch of its second-generation constellation.

As it awaits word on when launch-service provider SpaceX will return to flight after a Sept. 1 explosion during a test procedure, Iridium is contending with multiple challenges. Many of them are at least partly the result of the fact that the company’s seven SpaceX launches, each carrying 10 Iridium Next satellites, likely will not be completed as planned by late 2017.

McLean, Virginia-based Iridium until recently had assumed that 2018 would be its first full year of operations with the Iridium Next satellites.

Quote
The launch delay has a silver lining of sorts. With no launches, Iridium is not obliged to make some milestone payments to SpaceX and to Thales Alenia Space. As of Sept. 30, it had paid SpaceX about $339 million of contract’s full value of $468.1 million.

Fitzpatrick said the launch delay has reduced Iridium’s capital spending for 2016 by at least $100 million, to between $400 million and $450 million.

No effect on insurance from SpaceX failure

The SpaceX contract includes the right to a relaunch in the event of a failure of one of the seven contracted launches.

Iridium Chief Executive Mathew J. Desch said during the conference call that the company completed its Iridium Next launch insurance policy — also among the debt convent requirements — around the time of the Sept. 1 SpaceX explosion and that the terms and conditions did not change as a result of the failure.

http://spacenews.com/iridium-expects-to-renegotiate-loan-agreement-by-years-end/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Raul on 11/02/2016 11:48 AM
According to this article Iridium booster will arrive to Vandenberg in a few weeks. It means that it can be the one, which is on McGregor test stand right now.
https://spaceflightnow.com/2016/10/31/spacex-hopes-procedure-fix-can-allow-falcon-9-launches-to-resume/
Quote
“We have 10 satellites ready and waiting in the SpaceX processing facility at Vandenberg,” Desch said Oct. 27. “Transport of these satellites from Orbital’s facility in Arizona, as well as the satellite to dispenser mating process, all went very smoothly. The fairing which covers the satellite during launch is also at Vandenberg, so we’re just waiting for SpaceX’s rocket to arrive in a few weeks, as well as the final clearance to launch.”
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kryten on 11/02/2016 12:19 PM
There's no active FAA licence for SpaceX launches out of Vandenberg; how soon before launch would a licence have to be issued?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 11/02/2016 01:16 PM
There's no active FAA licence for SpaceX launches out of Vandenberg; how soon before launch would a licence have to be issued?

They've also run through all of the payloads listed on their Florida license, and would have needed  that updated within a month of the AMOS-6 flight.  The FAA licensing process seems like it is more opaque to the public than the FCC process.  They'll probably get updated licenses for both sites when the accident investigation is completed, and I wouldn't count on them being up on the FAA web site before launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/02/2016 01:54 PM
According to this article Iridium booster will arrive to Vandenberg in a few weeks. It means that it can be the one, which is on McGregor test stand right now.

Could be an old quote (we all use last available quotes to pan out articles sometimes) or it could be about the second stage, etc.....but we had eyes on observation of the S1 there.  Or they could have shipped it back out after the AMOS-6 incident.... but absolutely had a booster there before the wildfire. Without me popping over to Vandy and knocking on the HIF door* we'll have to wait and see. Lots of stages is a good problem for us to have per reporting! :)

*Please, someone send me to Vandy! ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 11/03/2016 01:32 AM
According to this article Iridium booster will arrive to Vandenberg in a few weeks. It means that it can be the one, which is on McGregor test stand right now.

...but we had eyes on observation of the S1 there. Or they could have shipped it back out after the AMOS-6 incident.... but absolutely had a booster there before the wildfire.

This seems to be the most likely case, considering this comment (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5aocs9/chris_b_on_twitter_not_official_but_we_understand/d9iwbr9/) by Spiiice (a SpaceX employee) in a recent Reddit thread:

Quote
There may be multiple sources confirming that a first stage was shipped to Vandyland, but I would be surprised if multiple sources said there was one there now.

So B1029 went through McGregor in August, traveled on to VAFB, then Amos 6 happened and now its back at McGregor for a second round of testing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 11/03/2016 01:33 AM
There's no active FAA licence for SpaceX launches out of Vandenberg; how soon before launch would a licence have to be issued?
The FAA active licenses page (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/licenses/) is consistently very slow in being updated.  So, just because they don't have a valid license currently listed for any planned upcoming launches doesn't mean that they don't actually have an approved license just that one hasn't been published yet.  IIRC, the Turkmensat mission launched before the appropriate license was updated on the website, though when the revision was published you could see that the license had been altered (to include the Turkmensat mission) well before the launch.  So, don't stress the fact that there isn't a license listed yet. 

(The reason none of the licenses currently listed are valid is because none of them allow for launches from a site other than SLC-40.  If they're going to use LC-39A for east coast launches in the near future then they'll need to be revised again to allow for it.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 11/03/2016 01:57 AM
According to this article Iridium booster will arrive to Vandenberg in a few weeks. It means that it can be the one, which is on McGregor test stand right now.

...but we had eyes on observation of the S1 there. Or they could have shipped it back out after the AMOS-6 incident.... but absolutely had a booster there before the wildfire.

This seems to be the most likely case, considering this comment (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5aocs9/chris_b_on_twitter_not_official_but_we_understand/d9iwbr9/) by Spiiice (a SpaceX employee) in a recent Reddit thread:

Quote
There may be multiple sources confirming that a first stage was shipped to Vandyland, but I would be surprised if multiple sources said there was one there now.

So B1029 went through McGregor in August, traveled on to VAFB, then Amos 6 happened and now its back at McGregor for a second round of testing?

It certainly sounds like that is the case, it's completely consistent with all the recent remarks we've seen on this site and others.  Even if the suspected cause of the accident was fueling procedures they may have found other improvements while they were working through the fault tree and run the stage back through the factory for a few tweaks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 11/08/2016 02:47 PM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/795994244880207873)
Quote
Orbital ATK: We & Thales delivered 1st 10 IRDM Next sats; AIT done on 13 more. We'll await SpaceX launch schedule clarity before shipping.

(The first 10 were delivered a while ago and have already been integrated with the payload dispensers at the launch site.  Sounds like they'll deliver more when the first set actually gets put on a rocket.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/08/2016 07:59 PM
We'll start an update thread when we get a date confirmation, but:

Matt Desch ‏@IridiumBoss  46m46 minutes ago
Our second stage has arrived at VAFB!  First stage to follow soon.  Still working to get our launch off this year!


--

We had eyes on the first stage at Vandy earlier in the year, so clearly that left for a while, but is returning soon.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 11/14/2016 02:01 AM
SLC-4E Strongback was up a few days ago. (From Reddit)

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5cth2j/got_a_few_pics_of_spacex_slc4_with_strong_back/

http://imgur.com/a/bzLXI

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 11/20/2016 12:13 AM
Stage headed westbound from McGregor. Near Tuscon, Arizona.

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5dvjrf/f9_booster_spotted_on_i10_presumably_in_route/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kkb350 on 11/20/2016 07:26 PM
https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185 (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 11/20/2016 07:31 PM
https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185 (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185)
Good first post, but a bit thin.
To save people clicking through, (which is not always allowed....)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: catdlr on 11/21/2016 01:02 AM
https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185 (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185)
This one must be arriving at VAFB.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/21/2016 01:49 AM
https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185 (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185)
This one must be arriving at VAFB.
It looks like the approach into the main gate at VAFB .
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wannamoonbase on 11/22/2016 02:55 PM
If it's going to be mid December we should start seeing the prelaunch flow any day

:)

Can't wait, it's been very boring without SpaceX launch and landings.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/22/2016 03:28 PM
If it's going to be mid December we should start seeing the prelaunch flow any day

:)

Can't wait, it's been very boring without SpaceX launch and landings.

I agree. If it weren't for AMOS 6, we would have been excited all year long.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: starhawk92 on 11/22/2016 03:41 PM
Did the extra downtime allow for the RTLS pad at Vandenberg to be available for this launch, assuming mid- to late- December?  Or is it expected to land on JRTI out in the Pacific?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/22/2016 04:26 PM
Did the extra downtime allow for the RTLS pad at Vandenberg to be available for this launch, assuming mid- to late- December?  Or is it expected to land on JRTI out in the Pacific?
PM Helodriver as he is most likely to know.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: chrisking0997 on 11/22/2016 04:38 PM
did the Vandenburg thread get embargoed to L2?  I wasnt able to find it and havent seen much other than this thread
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/22/2016 05:36 PM
did the Vandenburg thread get embargoed to L2?  I wasnt able to find it and havent seen much other than this thread

SpaceX Vandenburg thread has been moved to the SpaceX archive section (no posts for since Dec 2015):
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35480.0 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35480.0)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: 1 on 11/22/2016 06:36 PM
did the Vandenburg thread get embargoed to L2?  I wasnt able to find it and havent seen much other than this thread

Yes, the VAFB stuff got moved into L2. From a while ago:

All future high resolution photo updates about SpaceX Vandenberg activities will be on a new dedicated L2 thread. SpaceX has voiced legitimate concerns to me about potential misuse of prior photos posted here and no further detailed ones will be posted here by me. They also said that my photos, due to their quality, have been used for internal SpaceX purposes too :)

Photo updates on Vandenberg activities will continue, discussions on how they will be shared are underway with SpaceX site management. Going forward this cooperative arrangement should be of benefit to all of us on NSF and the SpaceX'ers busy building the world's first self contained VTOL orbital spaceport. Good times ahead!

A bit of a voluntary embargo perhaps, but since this kind cooperation keeps this site in the good graces SpaceX et. al., I think it's for the best.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/22/2016 10:24 PM
Keeping up to date with the milestones. Still require the official manifest plan and launch date (the investigation is obviously top priority) for the update thread to kick off....

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/11/spacex-rockets-december-return/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/24/2016 02:18 PM
https://www.instagram.com/p/BM94N0whiHZ/

Core leaving Waco
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Star One on 11/24/2016 09:09 PM
If it's going to be mid December we should start seeing the prelaunch flow any day

:)

Can't wait, it's been very boring without SpaceX launch and landings.

Boring is good in the launcher business don't knock it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 11/25/2016 05:32 AM
https://www.instagram.com/p/BM94N0whiHZ/ (https://www.instagram.com/p/BM94N0whiHZ/)

Core leaving Waco

We have a tweet link posted above (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1611990#msg1611990) of the first stage for Iridium Next #1 arriving at VAFB earlier this week.

This tweet was from 6 days ago.  Just posted here out of sequence.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/25/2016 03:10 PM
Been working it in L2, but you have to be careful with single source. A few more with the same date now so putting it into the public thread:

*Preliminary* planning schedule shows SpaceX Falcon 9 (Iridium NEXT) - NET December 16 (T-0 around midday, local).

Subject to Change. Not official. Don't go booking flights, etc. Would be that disclaimer at the best of times, but more so with the current concentration on finalizing the Amos-6 investigation, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: pb2000 on 11/25/2016 03:58 PM
Any word on if this will be RTLS?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 11/25/2016 04:29 PM
Any word on if this will be RTLS?

With EchoStar 23 hinting at an early January launch (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.msg1612887#msg1612887), it would certainly seem so.

Edit: Oops, mixed up RTF and RTLS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: eriblo on 11/25/2016 05:30 PM
Any word on if this will be RTLS?

With EchoStar 23 hinting at an early January launch (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.msg1612887#msg1612887), it would certainly seem so.
It will be the RTF if nothing untoward happens, but the FCC application was for the ASDS JRTI instead of RTLS ;) Remember that it is a heavy (the heaviest so far?) payload to a higher orbit than the ISS. NASA's LV performance website (https://elvperf.ksc.nasa.gov/Pages/Query.aspx) gives 8380 kg (RTLS) and 11330 kg (ASDS), this is 9600 kg.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: pb2000 on 11/25/2016 06:28 PM
Any word on if this will be RTLS?
the FCC application was for the ASDS JRTI instead of RTLS ;)
Darn. I'll probably make the ~15 hour round trip again (went to worldview-4), and was hoping for a double feature. Oh well, I guess JRTI is long overdue for it's moment in the spotlight (as oppose to fireball light).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meberbs on 11/25/2016 07:06 PM
Darn. I'll probably make the ~15 hour round trip again (went to worldview-4), and was hoping for a double feature. Oh well, I guess JRTI is long overdue for it's moment in the spotlight (as oppose to fireball light).

If I remember right, the barge won't be too far from shore, (maybe 50 miles rather than 100s) You might be able to see the start of the landing burn if you are looking the right way.

P.S. you should fix your quotes
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 11/25/2016 07:56 PM
Been working it in L2, but you have to be careful with single source. A few more with the same date now so putting it into the public thread:

*Preliminary* planning schedule shows SpaceX Falcon 9 (Iridium NEXT) - NET December 16 (T-0 around midday, local).

Subject to Change. Not official. Don't go booking flights, etc. Would be that disclaimer at the best of times, but more so with the current concentration on finalizing the Amos-6 investigation, etc.
If this schedule survives, we could be looking at back-to-back orbital launches--within the span of a few hours--one each in the Eastern and Western Test Ranges!  (Iridium Next and EchoStar XIX).

Seeking confirmation from our forum experts:
These ranges operate independently, so therefore there's no interference between supporting launches on both ranges simultaneously?

EDIT 12/1: See here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1615134#msg1615134) (this thread, next page) re: TDRS availability.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/25/2016 10:30 PM
Been working it in L2, but you have to be careful with single source. A few more with the same date now so putting it into the public thread:

*Preliminary* planning schedule shows SpaceX Falcon 9 (Iridium NEXT) - NET December 16 (T-0 around midday, local).

Subject to Change. Not official. Don't go booking flights, etc. Would be that disclaimer at the best of times, but more so with the current concentration on finalizing the Amos-6 investigation, etc.
If this schedule survives, we could be looking at back-to-back orbital launches--within the span of a few hours--one each in the Eastern and Western Test Ranges!  (Iridium Next and EchoStar XIX).

Seeking confirmation from our forum experts:
These ranges operate independently, so therefore there's no interference between supporting launches on both ranges simultaneously?

I'm certainly not an expert ;D But if the schedules hold (and that's a big ask at the best of times) I'm sure there wouldn't be a conflict. Different ranges, and I don't think there's any split of resource (like LSP or NASA, etc). Will leave that to a Jim-level member to confirm.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 11/27/2016 03:07 PM
I think I finally have all this merged in; still have related links & footnotes though.  Many thanks, gongora!

The following changes are needed to the manifest:

Additions:
Inmarsat 5 F4, 2017-Q1 (probably not before February) on F9 to GTO (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40231.msg1606107#msg1606107)
Bangabandhu, 2017-12 on F9 to GTO (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40231.msg1602013#msg1602013)
Inmarsat 6 F1, 2020 on F9? to GTO (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40231.msg1606208#msg1606208)

Change Dates:
Move Koreasat 5A to 2017-Q1 from TBD (was late 2016 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40947.msg1570378#msg1570378))
Move Intelsat 35e to 2017-Q2 from 2017-Q1 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40231.msg1603885#msg1603885)
Move Iridium flight dates for flights 2 through 7 to 2017-03, 2017-05, 2017-07, 2017-09, 2017-11, 2018-01?
SES-11 is scheduled for 2017-H1 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40231.msg1603993#msg1603993), so I'd probably stick it no earlier than April for now
Move Falcon Heavy Demo to 2017-05 from 2017-03 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40231.msg1598593#msg1598593)
Move CCTCAP DM1 to 2017-07 from 2017-05 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41557.msg1605886#msg1605886)
CCTCAP In Flight Abort Test will be later in the year if it even happens in 2017
Move STP-2 to 2017-Q3 from 2017-03 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40890.msg1567389#msg1567389)
Move CCTCAP DM2 to 2017-11 from 2017-08 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41557.msg1605886#msg1605886)

Other:
If Europasat stays with SpaceX it will launch on F9 instead of FH (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40231.msg1606107#msg1606107)
GRACE-FO isn't confirmed as a SpaceX payload, maybe mark it somehow as unconfirmed
There is only one ViaSat 3 launch, remove one row

The Iridium dates were originally 2 months apart because of the sat build rate. The sats are still being built. So the 2-7 flights will be able to do monthly flights for flight 2(starting in Mar[03] because of the 3 month required checkout) to 4 (May[05]) with the remaining at the original 2 month spacing #5-07 #6-09 #7-11.

This means that the Iridium launches can catch back up to the original full deployment end date.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 11/27/2016 03:23 PM
There are a LOT of launches on the SpaceX manifest besides Iridium.  Iridium has already said they expect final deployment in 2018 now.  Every two months starting in March 2017 would end in January 2018, we shouldn't expect a schedule any more aggressive than that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 11/27/2016 06:50 PM
There are a LOT of launches on the SpaceX manifest besides Iridium...

The vast majority are from Florida, so if they have available cores they may very well be able to do more than once every two months from Vandenberg?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 11/27/2016 07:09 PM
How often they could launch from Vandenberg is irrelevant.  Moving up later Iridium flights would jump them in front of other customers that have also paid SpaceX for launch contracts.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 11/27/2016 07:23 PM
How often they could launch from Vandenberg is irrelevant.  Moving up later Iridium flights would jump them in front of other customers that have also paid SpaceX for launch contracts.

I don't get it. How does a launch from Vandenberg impact a customer waiting for a launch from Florida (obviously only as long as core availability is not the gating factor)? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 11/27/2016 07:24 PM
How often they could launch from Vandenberg is irrelevant.  Moving up later Iridium flights would jump them in front of other customers that have also paid SpaceX for launch contracts.

I don't get it. How does a launch from Vandenberg impact a customer waiting for a launch from Florida (obviously only as long as core availability is not the gating factor)?

Launch vehicle availability IS the gating factor.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 11/27/2016 07:39 PM
How often they could launch from Vandenberg is irrelevant.  Moving up later Iridium flights would jump them in front of other customers that have also paid SpaceX for launch contracts.

I don't get it. How does a launch from Vandenberg impact a customer waiting for a launch from Florida (obviously only as long as core availability is not the gating factor)?

Launch vehicle availability IS the gating factor.

I guess you missed the IF in the first of my posts.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Owlon on 11/27/2016 08:53 PM
How often they could launch from Vandenberg is irrelevant.  Moving up later Iridium flights would jump them in front of other customers that have also paid SpaceX for launch contracts.

I don't get it. How does a launch from Vandenberg impact a customer waiting for a launch from Florida (obviously only as long as core availability is not the gating factor)?

Launch vehicle availability IS the gating factor.

It may be now, but that isn't guaranteed to be the case for long if reuse becomes routine in the near term. It's possible it could happen in time to impact Iridium launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: cscott on 11/27/2016 11:43 PM
Even if fabrication isn't a bottleneck, there is still MacGregor checkout, static fire, refurb, and other work which has to be pipelined.  Maybe eventually reuse will allow some parallelization or step-skipping, but probably not initially.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 11/27/2016 11:47 PM
This has wandered from discussing the next Iridium launch, which is hopefully in less than three weeks time.
The impact of reusability on launch rate has its own threads.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 11/28/2016 11:13 AM
How often they could launch from Vandenberg is irrelevant.  Moving up later Iridium flights would jump them in front of other customers that have also paid SpaceX for launch contracts.
Are the queues separate? Once the launch operations are working well at Vandy, you'd think they would be. So Iridium could go to the end of the Vandy queue if the orbital elements allowed Vandy launches?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dkrening on 11/30/2016 07:55 PM
Any word on if this will be RTLS?
the FCC application was for the ASDS JRTI instead of RTLS ;)
Darn. I'll probably make the ~15 hour round trip again (went to worldview-4), and was hoping for a double feature. Oh well, I guess JRTI is long overdue for it's moment in the spotlight (as oppose to fireball light).

It looks like I might be able to go to this one.  It would be my first launch!  Any advice on where to view from?  How early to show up, etc?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: whitelancer64 on 11/30/2016 08:23 PM
Any word on if this will be RTLS?
the FCC application was for the ASDS JRTI instead of RTLS ;)
Darn. I'll probably make the ~15 hour round trip again (went to worldview-4), and was hoping for a double feature. Oh well, I guess JRTI is long overdue for it's moment in the spotlight (as oppose to fireball light).

It looks like I might be able to go to this one.  It would be my first launch!  Any advice on where to view from?  How early to show up, etc?

I've never been to a Vandy launch (want to, but it's a 4+ hour drive for me and it would seriously suck to drive that far just for a scrub. I'll hold off until odds of launch on 1st launch opportunity (given good weather) approach 90%), but keep checking for launch date and time updates, weather updates, etc. Plan your drive time with traffic in mind.

https://wiki.dandascalescu.com/blog/where_to_watch_vandenberg_afb_rocket_launches

Also:

"...As far as public viewing locations for the Falcon 9 launch, it really all depends on the marine layer situation. We got very lucky with this launch, because usually during the spring/summer months, the marine layer parks itself over the coast, and sometimes will make it quite far inland. If it is clear, I would advise either taking Highway 246 as far as possible toward the beach. You won't be able to see the rocket on the pad, but you will see it about two seconds after liftoff when it comes up over the hill there. You could also pull off the side of the road on Highway 1 as you head toward Vandenberg's Main Gate. It's a little bit further away, but there, you have line-of-sight view of the pad. The viewing area the base provides for the public is on Corral Rd. On Vandenberg's Facebook page, they mention that place. Sometimes, they even have speakers set up there to monitor the countdown, and if I recall, I believe that area has a view of the pad as well.

Now, if it is foggy, I would advise Harris Grade Rd. That is about 12 miles away from the pad, but that is usually a good spot to get away from the marine layer..."

So you may also want to arrive early enough to be able to adjust your location depending on how the weather is on site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 11/30/2016 10:13 PM
It looks like I might be able to go to this one.  It would be my first launch!  Any advice on where to view from?  How early to show up, etc?
There are many threads dedicated to observing launches from Vandenberg, some for Atlas V, some for Falcon 9.
You can search for them.
Try this one (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39176.msg1467178#msg1467178)
A post  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39176.msg1467418#msg1467418) said "West Ocean Avenue along Vandenberg's base-line is a pretty good spot for viewing Falcon 9 launches from. It's not direct views of the launchpad, but as close as you can get, about 2.6mi."
Another aid you should go around the corner on Renwick Ave.
Here's another thread. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32534.msg1081516#msg1081516)

edit: PS  Don't take photos. Others will get great photos and videos and share them.  Just experience it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 11/30/2016 10:25 PM
It looks like I might be able to go to this one.  It would be my first launch!  Any advice on where to view from?  How early to show up, etc?
There are many threads dedicated to observing launches from Vandenberg, some for Atlas V, some for Falcon 9.
You can search for them.
Try this one (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39176.msg1467178#msg1467178)
A post  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39176.msg1467418#msg1467418) said "West Ocean Avenue along Vandenberg's base-line is a pretty good spot for viewing Falcon 9 launches from. It's not direct views of the launchpad, but as close as you can get, about 2.6mi."
Another aid you should go around the corner on Renwick Ave.
Here's another thread. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32534.msg1081516#msg1081516)

edit: PS  Don't take photos. Others will get great photos and videos and share them.  Just experience it.

If someone were to put together a couple good posts summarizing the viewing information for the east and west coast sites, we could link the information on the launch manifest.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Raul on 12/01/2016 11:45 AM
Any word on if this will be RTLS?
the FCC application was for the ASDS JRTI instead of RTLS ;)
FCC application (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=72958&RequestTimeout=1000) is for both alternatives. For ASDS, as well as for RTLS location.

Landing pad could be ready - tent hangar is out (http://i.imgur.com/ypUGirz.jpg), FAA permission (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/ea_fonsi_f9_boostback_vafb.pdf) is assigned too.

It is still question of how tight will be ground landing (https://flightclub.io/world/?view=earth&id=cd8b4a35-8d44-41e9-b604-aa0ad7b38ff6&code=IRD1) for Iridium launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/01/2016 11:49 AM
Do we have confirmation, if one or more of SpaceX's Microsat pathfinder satellites will launch with this mission, as reported in the launch schedule thread?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2016 12:03 PM
Been working it in L2, but you have to be careful with single source. A few more with the same date now so putting it into the public thread:

*Preliminary* planning schedule shows SpaceX Falcon 9 (Iridium NEXT) - NET December 16 (T-0 around midday, local).

Subject to Change. Not official. Don't go booking flights, etc. Would be that disclaimer at the best of times, but more so with the current concentration on finalizing the Amos-6 investigation, etc.

I'll start the update only thread shortly:

IridiumIR
‏@IridiumIR
Iridium NEXT first launch date set for Dec 16 at 12:36 PST, pending regulatory approvals #NEXTevolution.”
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/01/2016 12:38 PM
Iridium:

Iridium Announces Date for First Iridium NEXT Launch
SpaceX Set for First Launch of Iridium's Next-Generation Global Satellite Constellation
MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) announced today the date for the first launch of its next-generation global satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.  Iridium will be launching on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on December 16, 2016 at 12:36 p.m. PST. Launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into low-earth orbit.

This launch is contingent upon the FAA's approval of SpaceX's return to flight following the anomaly that occurred on September 1, 2016 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The investigation has been conducted with FAA oversight. Iridium expects to be SpaceX's first return to flight launch customer.

"We're excited to launch the first batch of our new satellite constellation.  We have remained confident in SpaceX's ability as a launch partner throughout the Falcon 9 investigation," said Matt Desch, chief executive officer at Iridium. "We are grateful for their transparency and hard work to plan for their return to flight.  We are looking forward to the inaugural launch of Iridium NEXT, and what will begin a new chapter in our history."

Iridium NEXT will replace the world's largest commercial satellite network of low-earth orbit satellites in what will be one of the largest "tech upgrades" in history. Iridium has partnered with Thales Alenia Space for the manufacturing, assembly and testing of 81 Iridium NEXT satellites, at least 70 of which will be launched by SpaceX.  The process of replacing the satellites one-by-one in a constellation of this size and scale has never been completed before.

"We are looking forward to return to flight with the first Iridium NEXT launch," said Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. "Iridium has been a great partner for nearly a decade, and we appreciate their working with us to put their first 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit."

Iridium NEXT will enable the development of new and innovative products and solutions across Iridium's vast partner ecosystem. Additionally, Iridium CertusSM, Iridium's next-generation multi-service communications platform enabled by Iridium NEXT, will deliver faster speeds and higher throughputs across multiple industry verticals. A service of this quality and value is unprecedented in the industry, and is poised to disrupt the current market status quo.  Currently, the service is set to be commercially available in 2017 and is undergoing testing on Iridium's existing network.

Iridium's primary launch campaign consists of seven SpaceX Falcon 9 launches, deploying ten Iridium NEXT satellites at a time. These 70 Iridium NEXT satellites are scheduled to be deployed by early 2018. For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit www.iridium.com.

About Iridium Communications Inc.

Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. Together with its ecosystem of partner companies, Iridium delivers an innovative and rich portfolio of reliable solutions for markets that require truly global communications. The company has a major development program underway for its next-generation network — Iridium NEXT. Iridium Communications Inc. is headquartered in McLean, Va., U.S.A., and its common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol IRDM. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/01/2016 01:26 PM
No immediate clash to Atlas V/EchoStar 19 then unless Atlas V slips to end of window - the launch window for Atlas V closes 13 minutes prior.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: eweilow on 12/01/2016 03:47 PM
No immediate clash to Atlas V/EchoStar 19 then unless Atlas V slips to end of window - the launch window for Atlas V closes 13 minutes prior.  ;)
One is at the Cape and another is at Vandenberg, would that really be an issue? :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Newton_V on 12/01/2016 04:07 PM
No immediate clash to Atlas V/EchoStar 19 then unless Atlas V slips to end of window - the launch window for Atlas V closes 13 minutes prior.  ;)
One is at the Cape and another is at Vandenberg, would that really be an issue? :D

Could be, depending on TDRS scheduling.  Atlas VAFB launches use TDRS east, and possibly all 3 locations depending on the flight profile.   Not sure about SpX.

And Echostar is definitely using TDRS east.

It's not just the launch window, it's how long through the plus-count TDRS is required.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 12/06/2016 09:16 PM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/806259747183820800)
Quote
Industry officials: looks like SpaceX return to flight w/ 10 IRDM sats from VAFB will slip into early January. Had been set for Dec 16.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: M.E.T. on 12/06/2016 09:30 PM
Well that is disappointing. So 8 launches remains their record for a year then.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Poole Amateur on 12/06/2016 09:46 PM
Could that be due to a delay with investigation sign off by the FAA?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/06/2016 10:04 PM
Could that be due to a delay with investigation sign off by the FAA?

Same day as the release of Rogue One. Can't conflict with that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dkrening on 12/07/2016 02:47 AM
Well boogers.  There goes my trip to Vandenberg for my first launch.  And my side trip to the Firestone Walker Barrelhouse / Brewery!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Basto on 12/07/2016 01:50 PM
Well boogers.  There goes my trip to Vandenberg for my first launch.  And my side trip to the Firestone Walker Barrelhouse / Brewery!

Didn't realize FW was that close to Vandenberg!  Will have to start planning a double pilgrimage myself.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 12/08/2016 02:39 AM
Re:
"NEXT sats 9 & 10 arrived at VAFB. First launch payload is complete! "

http://blog.iridium.com/2016/08/29/special-delivery-the-first-full-payload-of-iridium-next-satellites-arrives-at-launch-site/
And Re: First two Iridium Next satellites shipped to Vandenberg (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/03/first-two-iridium-next-satellites-shipped-to-vandenberg/), dated August 3
Quote
The first two next-generation Iridium satellites, designed to connect global subscribers with data and voice traffic, arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday [August 2], where they will join eight more message relay craft for launch in September on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Where at VAFB is the SpaceX satellite processing facility?

And is this where the Jason-3 and CASSIOPE payloads were processed?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/08/2016 04:52 AM
Re:
"NEXT sats 9 & 10 arrived at VAFB. First launch payload is complete! "

http://blog.iridium.com/2016/08/29/special-delivery-the-first-full-payload-of-iridium-next-satellites-arrives-at-launch-site/
And Re: First two Iridium Next satellites shipped to Vandenberg (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/03/first-two-iridium-next-satellites-shipped-to-vandenberg/), dated August 3
Quote
The first two next-generation Iridium satellites, designed to connect global subscribers with data and voice traffic, arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday [August 2], where they will join eight more message relay craft for launch in September on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Where at VAFB is the SpaceX satellite processing facility?

And is this where the Jason-3 and CASSIOPE payloads were processed?
All F9 VAFB payloads to date have been processed at different SPF's so far.

Astrotech Space Operations - Vandenberg AFB (http://www.astrotechspaceoperations.com/operating-facilities/aso-vandenberg-afb)
Integrated Processing Facility that is part of SLC-6 (http://www.calspace.com/IPF/IPF_Overview.html)
and some others

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: vapour_nudge on 12/08/2016 09:01 AM
IMHO this misson is a likely candidate for the return to flight for Falcon-9 (or the Formosat-5 / Sherpa mission)
Agreed. What's your guess for the next launch? My money is on February
Looking good for February now 😄
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 12/08/2016 12:23 PM

Where at VAFB is the SpaceX satellite processing facility?

And is this where the Jason-3 and CASSIOPE payloads were processed?

At the end of the Spacex hangar and yes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 12/08/2016 02:18 PM
Seems to be a little ruffled feathers between SpaceX and FAA, at least according to this guy:
https://www.wired.com/2016/12/spacex-says-ready-liftoff-faa-begs-differ/

Quote
However, that January launch might be optimistic. “They have not completed their investigation and therefore they do not have an (FAA launch) license,” said an FAA spokesperson

Just for the record, what I read on wired is often so wrong on facts it's laughable, but this guy is quoting an FAA spokesperson?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Paul Adams on 12/08/2016 02:54 PM
Non-story no matter where it is published. If SpaceX has not finished it's investigation I doubt they have even applied for a license.

If the FAA refuse a license after Space X apply for it, that might be something! But I doubt that very, very much.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: georgegassaway on 12/09/2016 02:38 AM
Can someone who knows (not speculation), shed some light on the “Chicken or the Egg” aspect of the SpaceX Pad Explosion report's release regarding the FAA.

Is the report supposed to come out first (publicly?), then the FAA responds to it?

Or is FAA given a copy of the report before it is made public, then FAA is supposed to respond to it BEFORE SpaceX makes the report public?

And yes I do know that FAA is involved in the investigation and to a limited extent involved with the report. But it’s SpaceX’s investigation and report, it’s not a co-production with FAA.

So if the report comes out “officially” first, then the FAA responds to it, then it would seem the lack of the report, yet, by SpaceX is not the responsibility of anyone other than SpaceX.

If OTOH  the official report is complete but kept under wraps for FAA response to a copy provided to them, then that’s a different issue. 

Also of course if it has been completed but kept under wraps for FAA to review it…. then how long ago would it have been given to the FAA.  I do not expect anyone to be able to publicly say how long FAA might have had the report if indeed it’s been completed, just pointing out that even if FAA does have a copy…..or whenever they do get a copy,  it’s not like SpaceX could expect the FAA to respond to it within days.

I can recall about exactly a year ago when SpaceX was saying they were going to do an RTLS at LZ-1…. but FAA had not yet given them permission to do so. Then almost literally at the last minute (OK,  few days), it came thru.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Toastmastern on 12/09/2016 06:34 AM
Can someone who knows (not speculation), shed some light on the “Chicken or the Egg” aspect of the SpaceX Pad Explosion report's release regarding the FAA.

Is the report supposed to come out first (publicly?), then the FAA responds to it?

Or is FAA given a copy of the report before it is made public, then FAA is supposed to respond to it BEFORE SpaceX makes the report public?

And yes I do know that FAA is involved in the investigation and to a limited extent involved with the report. But it’s SpaceX’s investigation and report, it’s not a co-production with FAA.

So if the report comes out “officially” first, then the FAA responds to it, then it would seem the lack of the report, yet, by SpaceX is not the responsibility of anyone other than SpaceX.

If OTOH  the official report is complete but kept under wraps for FAA response to a copy provided to them, then that’s a different issue. 

Also of course if it has been completed but kept under wraps for FAA to review it…. then how long ago would it have been given to the FAA.  I do not expect anyone to be able to publicly say how long FAA might have had the report if indeed it’s been completed, just pointing out that even if FAA does have a copy…..or whenever they do get a copy,  it’s not like SpaceX could expect the FAA to respond to it within days.

I can recall about exactly a year ago when SpaceX was saying they were going to do an RTLS at LZ-1…. but FAA had not yet given them permission to do so. Then almost literally at the last minute (OK,  few days), it came thru.

The report will not be made public, same as with the CRS-7 report
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/09/2016 07:09 AM
Is the report supposed to come out first (publicly?), then the FAA responds to it?

The report will not be made public, same as with the CRS-7 report
Correct. The best the public can expect to see is a short summary of the report. After all, this is not NASA.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: manoweb on 12/09/2016 07:14 AM
I am curious, but given that there are government agencies involved in writing/signing/approving this report, would it be theoretically possible to request a copy under the Freedom of Information Act?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Stephen GW on 12/09/2016 08:37 AM
I am curious, but given that there are government agencies involved in writing/signing/approving this report, would it be theoretically possible to request a copy under the Freedom of Information Act?

Probably not. The detailed information in the report is likely to be embargoed under an ITAR classification.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dmgaba on 12/09/2016 12:54 PM
I am curious, but given that there are government agencies involved in writing/signing/approving this report, would it be theoretically possible to request a copy under the Freedom of Information Act?

Probably not. The detailed information in the report is likely to be embargoed under an ITAR classification.

Similarly not --  there is an exemption in FOIA for trade secrets and commercial or financial confidential information.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mvpel on 12/09/2016 02:23 PM
Probably not. The detailed information in the report is likely to be embargoed under an ITAR classification.

In fact it's expressly embargoed under ITAR section 124.2(c)4)(i) through (c)(4)(iii) which covers design methodology, engineering analysis, and manufacturing know-how.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/09/2016 04:16 PM
Tiny trim to remove conspiracy from the discussion (no one was really claiming it, but asking the question that could infer it....ain't nobody got time for that ;))

For what it's worth, with the caveat no one really talks during investigations, what's being fed down to some of the NASA guys I know has them making positive noises about what SpaceX is doing in this interim period. That's (Captain Obvious) a good thing, not least because NASA is a major customer and have arguably much stricter rules, etc (not to say SpaceX doesn't have strict rules of course).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: manoweb on 12/09/2016 04:56 PM
@Chris Bergin, what do you mean with that? Are you saying that they are very confident they have found the real solution to their pad explosion?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DOCinCT on 12/09/2016 06:04 PM
@Chris Bergin, what do you mean with that? Are you saying that they are very confident they have found the real solution to their pad explosion?
OR that the NASA folks just like the way SpaceX is proceeding with their investigation: comprehensive, systematic and professional.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/09/2016 06:40 PM
@Chris Bergin, what do you mean with that? Are you saying that they are very confident they have found the real solution to their pad explosion?
OR that the NASA folks just like the way SpaceX is proceeding with their investigation: comprehensive, systematic and professional.

What Doc said. :)

And for context, NASA folk are not easily pleased.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 12/09/2016 08:43 PM
BUMP: GRACE-FO is official confirmed on an F9 as a rideshare with 5 Iridium NEXT during the Window of December 2017 till February 2018.

http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/section/global-geomonitoring-and-gravity-field/topics/development-operation-and-analysis-of-gravity-field-satellite-missions/grace-fo/launch-vehicle-system/
Quote
As the Russian/Ukraine Dnepr and corresponding launch services can no longer be provided by the International Space Company Kosmotras (ISCK), the joint NASA-GFZ Joint Steering Group has decided to exchange the GRACE-FO launcher. The corresponding contract was signed on 14. November 2016 by the Board of GFZ and Iridium Satellite LLC. It stipulates a "Rideshare" between GRACE-FO and 5 Iridium-Next satellites on a Space-X Falcon-9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California within the launch period December 2017 till February 2018. This also includes a contract with Airbus D&S who will build the necessary Multi Satellite Dispenser and will perform the Launch Service Management under contract of GFZ.

Interesting, so instead of stacking two Iridium dispensers together it would be one full Iridium dispenser stacked with the GRACE-FO dispenser.  Wonder if this means there will be an eighth Iridium launch on Falcon?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/09/2016 08:55 PM
BUMP: GRACE-FO is official confirmed on an F9 as a rideshare with 5 Iridium NEXT during the Window of December 2017 till February 2018.

http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/section/global-geomonitoring-and-gravity-field/topics/development-operation-and-analysis-of-gravity-field-satellite-missions/grace-fo/launch-vehicle-system/
Quote
As the Russian/Ukraine Dnepr and corresponding launch services can no longer be provided by the International Space Company Kosmotras (ISCK), the joint NASA-GFZ Joint Steering Group has decided to exchange the GRACE-FO launcher. The corresponding contract was signed on 14. November 2016 by the Board of GFZ and Iridium Satellite LLC. It stipulates a "Rideshare" between GRACE-FO and 5 Iridium-Next satellites on a Space-X Falcon-9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California within the launch period December 2017 till February 2018. This also includes a contract with Airbus D&S who will build the necessary Multi Satellite Dispenser and will perform the Launch Service Management under contract of GFZ.

Interesting, so instead of stacking two Iridium dispensers together it would be one full Iridium dispenser stacked with the GRACE-FO dispenser.  Wonder if this means there will be an eighth Iridium launch on Falcon?

The satellites use the same attachment mechanisms so adapters are compatible This would also be first time in US since STS that a commercial commsat is to launch with a NASA science satellite.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Skyrocket on 12/09/2016 09:30 PM

The satellites use the same attachment mechanisms so adapters are compatible This would also be first time in US since STS that a commercial commsat is to launch with a NASA science satellite.

Formally the GRACE-FO launch is not a NASA launch, as it is contracted via the German side of the GRACE joint venture
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 12/10/2016 12:28 PM
The satellites use the same attachment mechanisms so adapters are compatible This would also be first time in US since STS that a commercial commsat is to launch with a NASA science satellite.

They are German science satellites that have US instruments.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 12/11/2016 11:36 AM
The satellites use the same attachment mechanisms so adapters are compatible This would also be first time in US since STS that a commercial commsat is to launch with a NASA science satellite.

There are German science satellites that have US instruments.
By that definition just about every science satellite ever launched from the Western world would be a NASA science satellite.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevin-rf on 12/11/2016 07:51 PM
By that definition just about every science satellite ever launched from the Western world would be a NASA science satellite.
To listen to the popular press, every satellite ever launched is a NASA satellite.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DatUser14 on 12/13/2016 01:35 PM
A user on the SpX FB group who apparently works for Iridium says the launch is back on for Jan 6-9th
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danderman on 12/14/2016 04:03 PM
I guess it is time to ask the usual question about viewing opportunities for this launch in the Lompoc area.

I have been to other launches, but not a SpaceX launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: nukie19 on 12/15/2016 03:37 PM
I guess it is time to ask the usual question about viewing opportunities for this launch in the Lompoc area.

I have been to other launches, but not a SpaceX launch.

Anything good for an Atlas launch will work for a SpaceX one as well.  Ocean Ave. was pretty popular for Jason-3.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 12/15/2016 03:46 PM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/809408928912130049)
Quote
GRACE-FO/SpaceX(2): IRDM sold GRACE-FO share of Falcon 9 IRDM had booked after Russia/Ukraine Dnepr rocket disappeared from market.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 12/15/2016 03:50 PM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/809408928912130049)
Quote
GRACE-FO/SpaceX(2): IRDM sold GRACE-FO share of Falcon 9 IRDM had booked after Russia/Ukraine Dnepr rocket disappeared from market.
Sometimes the 140 char limit is maddeing. I had trouble parsing that, I got several different possible meanings.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meberbs on 12/15/2016 04:07 PM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/809408928912130049)
Quote
GRACE-FO/SpaceX(2): IRDM sold GRACE-FO share of Falcon 9 IRDM had booked after Russia/Ukraine Dnepr rocket disappeared from market.
Sometimes the 140 char limit is maddeing. I had trouble parsing that, I got several different possible meanings.
I understand it as saying "Iridium bought an extra F9 launch to make up for the 2 satellites Russia would no longer launch, and it sold off some of the excess capacity to GRACE-FO as a rideshare"

Combined with the fact that there will be 5 sats on this ride, this implies they may launch 3 of the planned ground spares as on-orbit spares since they have the spare capacity.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: iamlucky13 on 12/16/2016 06:22 AM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/809408928912130049)
Quote
GRACE-FO/SpaceX(2): IRDM sold GRACE-FO share of Falcon 9 IRDM had booked after Russia/Ukraine Dnepr rocket disappeared from market.
Sometimes the 140 char limit is maddeing. I had trouble parsing that, I got several different possible meanings.

As far as I know, Iridium was already short launch capacity for 2 satellites because their own Dnepr launch is in doubt just like GRACE-FO's was. This change seems to presume an 8th Falcon 9 launch as the way to get the last pair in orbit (and I guess at least five more now), but strictly reading, it doesn't say they've actually booked it yet.

As for the post length: There's no good reason for that website to exist, at least not in the form chosen. A service for publishing short updates is one thing. Refusing to let go of 25 year old technological constraints is another. The 140 character limit was resolved 5 years before Twitter even existed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 12/16/2016 08:37 PM
Quote from: https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/809869365046808576
Matt Desch
‏@IridiumBoss

Iridium's @Falcon9_rocket in processing at @VandenbergAFB, getting ready for our launch in early Jan. Progress! #Thistimeitsforreal!

4:14 PM - 16 Dec 2016
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Seamus on 12/16/2016 08:55 PM
Quote from: https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/809869365046808576
Matt Desch
‏@IridiumBoss

Iridium's @Falcon9_rocket in processing at @VandenbergAFB, getting ready for our launch in early Jan. Progress! #Thistimeitsforreal!

4:14 PM - 16 Dec 2016

The "thistimeitsforreal" hashtag seems like it could indicate SpaceX has gotten FAA approval and advised Iridium.  It doesn't seem like something that would be included unless it was more certain than his posts referencing 12/16 launch date.  And it is Friday, so maybe we'll get an update in the next couple of hours from the powers that be.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 12/16/2016 09:59 PM
Picture of Iridium,s booster at Vandenberg

https://mobile.twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/809869365046808576
Is it me or do the legs look a bit different? Maybe it's the angle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/16/2016 10:17 PM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/809408928912130049)
Quote
GRACE-FO/SpaceX(2): IRDM sold GRACE-FO share of Falcon 9 IRDM had booked after Russia/Ukraine Dnepr rocket disappeared from market.
Sometimes the 140 char limit is maddeing. I had trouble parsing that, I got several different possible meanings.

As far as I know, Iridium was already short launch capacity for 2 satellites because their own Dnepr launch is in doubt just like GRACE-FO's was. This change seems to presume an 8th Falcon 9 launch as the way to get the last pair in orbit (and I guess at least five more now), but strictly reading, it doesn't say they've actually booked it yet.

As for the post length: There's no good reason for that website to exist, at least not in the form chosen. A service for publishing short updates is one thing. Refusing to let go of 25 year old technological constraints is another. The 140 character limit was resolved 5 years before Twitter even existed.
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 12/16/2016 10:19 PM
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 12/16/2016 10:37 PM
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?

I think the key word is "assigned." The eighth Iridium flight (five NEXT satellites ridesharing with GRACE-FO) hasn't been officially announced, as far as I know.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/16/2016 10:54 PM
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?

I think the key word is "assigned." The eighth Iridium flight (five NEXT satellites ridesharing with GRACE-FO) hasn't been officially announced, as far as I know.
We dont yet know if they are either splitting up Iridium flight 7 to fly the GRACE-FO sats or if the GRACE-FO sats are flying with 5 previously unassigned Iridium sats.  Flight 7 target falls perfectly with the target launch period for GRACE-FO.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 12/16/2016 11:11 PM
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?

I think the key word is "assigned." The eighth Iridium flight (five NEXT satellites ridesharing with GRACE-FO) hasn't been officially announced, as far as I know.
We dont yet know if they are either splitting up Iridium flight 7 to fly the GRACE-FO sats or if the GRACE-FO sats are flying with 5 previously unassigned Iridium sats.  Flight 7 target falls perfectly with the target launch period for GRACE-FO.

PBdeS tweeted that they arranged for another Falcon after they found out they couldn't use Dnepr, which was long after the original 7 flights were bought.  He said it's the original 7 flights of Iridium plus the new flight with Iridium and GRACE-FO.  He also said the original 7 flights would go first, but depending on how the SpaceX launch manifest works out I wouldn't be surprised if that changed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/16/2016 11:32 PM
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?

I think the key word is "assigned." The eighth Iridium flight (five NEXT satellites ridesharing with GRACE-FO) hasn't been officially announced, as far as I know.
We dont yet know if they are either splitting up Iridium flight 7 to fly the GRACE-FO sats or if the GRACE-FO sats are flying with 5 previously unassigned Iridium sats.  Flight 7 target falls perfectly with the target launch period for GRACE-FO.

PBdeS tweeted that they arranged for another Falcon after they found out they couldn't use Dnepr, which was long after the original 7 flights were bought.  He said it's the original 7 flights of Iridium plus the new flight with Iridium and GRACE-FO.  He also said the original 7 flights would go first, but depending on how the SpaceX launch manifest works out I wouldn't be surprised if that changed.
I'm going by official information posted on the sites of Iridium and GFZ/DLR. I do not use or trust posted Social media including verified accounts
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: iamlucky13 on 12/17/2016 12:06 AM
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?

I think the key word is "assigned." The eighth Iridium flight (five NEXT satellites ridesharing with GRACE-FO) hasn't been officially announced, as far as I know.

^ This is the point I was making above.

Also, I'm probably referencing old info, since I haven't kept track of Iridium very closely, but the statements I've been seeing is 66 active satellites plus 6 on-orbit spares. I certainly could see them increasing the on-orbit spares to make the maximum use of the launch capacity they have and will undoubtedly be adding to. I just missed any separate discussion of that intent.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: smoliarm on 12/17/2016 12:21 AM
OK, about the eighth Iridium NEXT flight and *official information*
As far as I remember, the contract announcement back in 2012 was about SEVEN flights ordered AND an OPTION.
Unfortunately, SpaceX changed the structure of their site since then, so the link to this announcement in my archive does not work now. And I can't quote the exact language.
Nevertheless, my guess - they exercised option in the contract for this "5x Iridium NEXT + GRACE FO" flight.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 12/17/2016 01:53 AM
Look away if you don't like Social Media ... Some tweets from Matt Desch (Iridium)

Quote
(Tweet (https://twitter.com/ShorealoneFilms/status/809878994615046145)) @IridiumBoss @spacecom @Falcon9_rocket @VandenbergAFB and has the @faa granted launch clearance?

Quote
(Reply by Matt Desch [Dec. 16] (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/809890991666761730)) No, review process continues. Early January is subject to approval completion.

Quote
(Tweet (https://twitter.com/AleLovesio/status/809901206894243840)) @IridiumBoss Can you talk about the rideshare with the @NASA GRACE-FO satellites? Is the contract done? How many @IridiumComm satellites?

Quote
(Reply by Matt Desch [Dec. 16] (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/809929743596421120)) @AleLovesio @NASA @IridiumComm Not ready to talk about that. Hopefully soon...

Quote
(Tweet (https://twitter.com/BrandongTurner/status/809891484900196352)) @IridiumBoss What do you think about the whole re-usability race with you being involved directly, waste of time? Or future of spaceflight?

Quote
(Reply by Matt Desch [Dec. 16] (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/809892328743825408)) @BrandongTurner It's the future. We're just a little ahead of it now, so are using all new rockets. Anything to lower cost to space = good

Quote
(Tweet (https://twitter.com/WeatherPicsLive/status/799425852878573568)) @IridiumBoss Sorry one other question, Will your satellites be placed directly into a 780X780km orbit?

Quote
(Reply by Matt Desch [Nov. 17] (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/799448131607760896)) @WeatherPicsLive No, into a transfer orbit below, and then moved up one by one into position for a slot swap with existing sat to replace.

(Tweet (https://twitter.com/WeatherPicsLive/status/799485900845518848)) @IridiumBoss Will the orbit insertion be direct or will it require a stage 2 restart? That's my last Q. :)

Quote
(Reply by Matt Desch [Nov. 18] (https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/799489122637414400)) @WeatherPicsLive Direct
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 12/17/2016 05:21 AM
there are 81 satellites of which currently only 70 have an assigned flight.

Isn't that 75 now?

I think the key word is "assigned." The eighth Iridium flight (five NEXT satellites ridesharing with GRACE-FO) hasn't been officially announced, as far as I know.
We dont yet know if they are either splitting up Iridium flight 7 to fly the GRACE-FO sats or if the GRACE-FO sats are flying with 5 previously unassigned Iridium sats.  Flight 7 target falls perfectly with the target launch period for GRACE-FO.

PBdeS tweeted that they arranged for another Falcon after they found out they couldn't use Dnepr, which was long after the original 7 flights were bought.  He said it's the original 7 flights of Iridium plus the new flight with Iridium and GRACE-FO.  He also said the original 7 flights would go first, but depending on how the SpaceX launch manifest works out I wouldn't be surprised if that changed.
I wonder whether they got any price consideration due to the delays in launching the constellation so far? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lars-J on 12/18/2016 04:29 AM
Picture of Iridium,s booster at Vandenberg

https://mobile.twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/809869365046808576
Is it me or do the legs look a bit different? Maybe it's the angle.

I think it is just the angle, they look the same to me.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Warem on 12/19/2016 11:25 AM
There's a NET January 7 placeholder (L2)....again pending FAA, processing flow, good static fire and LRR.

I hope that will work fine :D

(Moved to the right thread, updates only in updates - I know you're new...welcome by the way ;D Chris).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: montmein69 on 12/22/2016 09:06 AM
Would the LOX used in this RTF be "super-chilled" , or would they used "nomal" LOX (if the mass of the satellites and the foreseen orbit allow that).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevinof on 12/22/2016 09:08 AM
Falcon 9 can only (far as we know) use Super-chilled. Also all the ground support equipment would have to be swapped out to support "regular" LOX.

Would the LOX used in this RTF be "super-chilled" , or would they used "nomal" LOX (if the mass of the satellites and the foreseen orbit allow that).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: montmein69 on 12/22/2016 09:43 AM
It's pretty great if SX engineers succeed in making totally secure the rapid  filling of the LOX tank with LOX (66K) - I guess O2 could not cristallised on the COPVs or if so, solid O2 could not react with carbon fibers -
No communication about the improvements ?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 12/22/2016 12:43 PM
Falcon 9 can only (far as we know) use Super-chilled. Also all the ground support equipment would have to be swapped out to support "regular" LOX.


Not true in both cases
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevinof on 12/22/2016 01:04 PM
Jim,
Do we know for a fact that it can still use both (regular and super!)  without changes?

Falcon 9 can only (far as we know) use Super-chilled. Also all the ground support equipment would have to be swapped out to support "regular" LOX.


Not true in both cases
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: The Roadie on 12/22/2016 03:37 PM
Jim,
Do we know for a fact that it can still use both (regular and super!)  without changes?

Falcon 9 can only (far as we know) use Super-chilled. Also all the ground support equipment would have to be swapped out to support "regular" LOX.


Not true in both cases
I've been told by people who know propulsion that the engines are shimmed differently to put the mixture control valves more in the center of their range. And it's different for subcooled propellants than the original temps. And this is done at single-engine testing time in McGregor.

It's rational to assume the GSE can supply propellants with the subchilling process turned off, but the decision to make a Falcon into a non-full-thrust version would have to be made early in the production process. Not on the fly at the pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jet Black on 12/22/2016 03:51 PM

I wonder whether they got any price consideration due to the delays in launching the constellation so far?

As I understand there are launch penalties payable to the satellite owner associated with delays, if that's what you mean.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: matthewkantar on 12/30/2016 12:22 AM
Saw this on Youtube, not sure how new it is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gitiIWJ0bcw

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 12/30/2016 11:29 PM
There's a NET January 7 placeholder (L2)....again pending FAA, processing flow, good static fire and LRR.
Open observation/question RE: FAA approval
Is the "hold-up" merely due to the fact that a significant, but daily-shifting portion of the FAA bureaucracy is on holiday?  (The same is probably true for the entire federal bureaucratic complex.)

If so, then might we see decisive action when the "holiday season" ends on Tuesday, January 3?  (Monday, January 2 is the New Year's federal holiday, observed.)

***
EDIT after FAA issues launch license on January 6 for a January 9 launch: Well, my guess was early by three days!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ccdengr on 12/31/2016 01:11 AM
Pop over to https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/licenses/ and you can review all of the currently active launch licenses.  https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/commercial_space_transportation/ describes the licensing process.

Interesting that SpaceX has/had a specific license for 6 launches in 2016, while LM has a license to launch all the Atlases they want until 2021.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CorvusCorax on 12/31/2016 09:52 PM
Pop over to https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/licenses/ and you can review all of the currently active launch licenses.  https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/commercial_space_transportation/ describes the licensing process.

Interesting that SpaceX has/had a specific license for 6 launches in 2016, while LM has a license to launch all the Atlases they want until 2021.

is there any way to view expired/revoked licenses? (I only found "past launch permits" which only lists individual launches that actually took place)

The only currently active license (LLS-14-087 Rev 2)  allows SpaceX to launch Dragon capsules "in support of NASA Commercial Resupply Service missions" (+ optional secondary payload) on board a Falcon 9 version 1.2 with a launch azimuth of 43 degrees from complex 40 at CCAFS until 2018.

I guess amending it with a Rev3 to launch from KSC's 39a might be possible in time for the next CRS flight (was previously done to switch to Falcon 9 version 1.2 and change the azimuth from 47 to 43 degrees) but as for Iridium next ...

"this is not the license you are looking for"

Edit: I found one way to view past licenses:
On the page for conducted launches (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launches/)

(the page only shows launches that were actually conducted, so that won't work for licenses that were issued but never used, or failed during launch preparation)

clicking on the link to a past launch, in this case JCSAT-16 (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/launch_details/?id=1879)

reveals the license ID, in this case LLS 14-090

putting this term into the
search box  (https://www.faa.gov/search/?omni=MainSearch&q=LLS+14-090)

lists the actual license in its latest revision (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/lls%2014-090%20rev%202%20-%20license%20and%20orders%20(final)%2001_21_2016%20-%20signed%20copy.pdf)

this is the license that allowed 6 launches in 2016 (not counting dragon resupply, which are covered by LLS-14-087)
It was very specific and only allowed "Transporting to geosynchronous transfer orbit the
following satellites on separate flights:  SES-9,  JCSAT-14, ABS/Eutelsat-2, AMOS-6, Thaicom-8, and JCSAT-16;"

Edit2: This "trick" using the search box failed for license LLS-14-088 (issued specifically for Dragon pad abort) and LLS-14-089 (issued specifically for Orbcomm 1+2) - probably because those licenses are too old and already "expired" in 2015

Edit3: By the looks of it these launch license number are issued sequentially with the ???issuing??? year at the start
LLS 14-087 : (active) SpaceX Dragon CRS until 2018 link (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-087_%20(Order%20D%20rev2)_07_15_2016.pdf)
LLS 14-088 : (expired) SpaceX Dragon pad abort (no link found)
LLS 14-089 : (expired) SpaceX Orbcom 1+2 (no link found)
LLS 14-090 : (expired) SpaceX 6 GEO launches link (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/lls%2014-090%20rev%202%20-%20license%20and%20orders%20(final)%2001_21_2016%20-%20signed%20copy.pdf)
LLO 14-091 : (active) ATK License for Cygnus Antares Configuration 230 link (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLO%2014-091%20Rev%202%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%20(FINAL%202016-09-28).pdf)
LRLO 16-092 : (active) Virgin Galactic License for Spaceship2 link (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/2016%2009%2008%20VG%20License%20&%20Orders.pdf)
LLS 15-093 : (expired) ATK Cygnus Spacecraft OA-4 + OA-6 on Atlas V (no link found)
* **-094 : no search results found so far
* **-095 : no search results found so far
...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: JohnWT on 01/01/2017 04:47 AM
Quote
is there any way to view expired/revoked licenses? (I only found "past launch permits" which only lists individual launches that actually took place)

You can see earlier iterations of the site on the Wayback Machine: http://web.archive.org/web/20160825164932/http://www.faa.gov/data_research/commercial_space_data/licenses/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DatUser14 on 01/02/2017 01:10 PM
From the Anomaly update posted today: http://www.spacex.com/news/2016/09/01/anomaly-updates (http://www.spacex.com/news/2016/09/01/anomaly-updates)


"this entails changing the COPV configuration to allow warmer temperature helium to be loaded"

Does this mean their getting rid of subcooled lox?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: toruonu on 01/02/2017 01:14 PM
From the Anomaly update posted today: http://www.spacex.com/news/2016/09/01/anomaly-updates (http://www.spacex.com/news/2016/09/01/anomaly-updates)


"this entails changing the COPV configuration to allow warmer temperature helium to be loaded"

Does this mean their getting rid of subcooled lox?

More likely means that they will not load so cool Helium meaning that the loading takes longer as LOX has to cool it and therefore He loading takes longer to reach the same total amount.

My question is does anyone have any idea on the launch window on 8th?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Beittil on 01/02/2017 01:14 PM
No, just warmer helium which is i believe even colder than sub-cooled LOX (which is what froze the lox, causing this problem apparently).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Torbjorn Larsson, OM on 01/02/2017 01:37 PM
Good to read!

But it leads to questions of course. Mine are:

If I understand correctly, it is the combination of low temperature and pressure during loading that pools the LOX, and if they revert to the old warmer helium loading the combination will prevent pooling? Seems it isn't a phase diagram problem as such, maybe it is a (somewhat peculiar) viscosity behavior.

Also, it seems they can proceed with an essentially sub-chilled LOX, just at a larger loading loss and a perhaps slightly higher temperature?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DOCinCT on 01/02/2017 01:55 PM
Article - yeah, I had already written it, was just waiting for the SpaceX release ;)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/01/spacex-return-rtf-falcon-9-iridium-spacecraft/

Cool Nathan L2 render to lead it.  8)
Wondering about one paragraph:
As part of the corrective process, SpaceX has opted to avoid its press towards super chilled LOX for the interim until they are confident they can redesign the COPVs to cope with the colder chill process."
Does this impact the density of the LOX which is part of the ability to RTLS (or JRTI)?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Star One on 01/02/2017 02:10 PM
It seems like it was their rush to change things up in a rapid way that directly contributed to this failure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/02/2017 02:23 PM
I wonder if this loading protocol change will apply to both stages - I'd assume both. I can't recall - did SpaceX pull the COPV manufacturing in-house, or are they still using the fabricator which experienced a COPV rupture in the past? Buckles in the AL liner sounds odd - AL extrusion for pressure cylinders is a pretty mature technology.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: IanThePineapple on 01/02/2017 02:49 PM
I think COPVs are made in-house, I believe I read that somewhere (I may be wrong though).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/02/2017 02:50 PM
Article - yeah, I had already written it, was just waiting for the SpaceX release ;)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/01/spacex-return-rtf-falcon-9-iridium-spacecraft/

Cool Nathan L2 render to lead it.  8)
Wondering about one paragraph:
As part of the corrective process, SpaceX has opted to avoid its press towards super chilled LOX for the interim until they are confident they can redesign the COPVs to cope with the colder chill process."
Does this impact the density of the LOX which is part of the ability to RTLS (or JRTI)?

I'm reading the relevant paragraph from the spacex report and I don't think this is what it means, SpaceX said "this entails changing the COPV configuration to allow warmer temperature helium to be loaded". They will use warmer helium to avoid freezing the LOX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yg1968 on 01/02/2017 03:42 PM
Yes but there is also this part:  "as well as returning helium loading operations to a prior flight proven configuration based on operations used in over 700 successful COPV loads."

What does this mean?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jarnis on 01/02/2017 03:46 PM
Yes but there is also this part:  "as well as returning helium loading operations to a prior flight proven configuration based on operations used in over 700 successful COPV loads."

What does this mean?

Educated guess: Do not try to load so cold helium so fast and instead use warmer helium & slower load that gets cooled by the LOX?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/02/2017 03:48 PM
Yes but there is also this part:  "as well as returning helium loading operations to a prior flight proven configuration based on operations used in over 700 successful COPV loads."

What does this mean?

Educated guess: Do not try to load so cold helium so fast and instead use warmer helium & slower load that gets cooled by the LOX?

AND the fact that they are lumping subcooled lox with non subcooled lox in one 700 number, seems to me they are fudging things a bit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/02/2017 04:00 PM
Yes but there is also this part:  "as well as returning helium loading operations to a prior flight proven configuration based on operations used in over 700 successful COPV loads."

What does this mean?

They were apparently testing (http://spaceflight101.com/falcon-9-amos-6/spacex-resorts-to-creative-testing-in-falcon-9-explosion-investigation) a new, faster loading procedure.

Quote from: Spaceflight 101
It is also understood that SpaceX was testing modifications to the countdown sequence on the Static Fire Test for the previous Falcon 9 mission with JCSat-16 to introduce window management capabilities for the FT version of Falcon 9 that initially had to launch very shortly after propellant loading finished in order to avoid the chilled propellants warming up inside the tanks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/02/2017 04:02 PM

They were apparently testing (http://spaceflight101.com/falcon-9-amos-6/spacex-resorts-to-creative-testing-in-falcon-9-explosion-investigation) a new, faster loading procedure.

Quote from: Spaceflight 101
It is also understood that SpaceX was testing modifications to the countdown sequence on the Static Fire Test for the previous Falcon 9 mission with JCSat-16 to introduce window management capabilities for the FT version of Falcon 9 that initially had to launch very shortly after propellant loading finished in order to avoid the chilled propellants warming up inside the tanks.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41566.0
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yg1968 on 01/02/2017 04:18 PM
OK. So SpaceX is saying that warmer helium will be loaded (not that super chilled LOX won't be used). Is that the consensus?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 01/02/2017 04:34 PM
Bit of a blurry line  between 1) failure analysis and 2) what corrective action is being taken and 3) how it impacts this specific launch.  Let's be mindful of that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/02/2017 04:34 PM
OK. So SpaceX is saying that warmer helium will be loaded (not that super chilled LOX won't be used). Is that the consensus?

Right. But I'm not sure why Chris wrote in his article that they won't be using subchilled LOX.

Quote from: Chris Bergin
As part of the corrective process, SpaceX has opted to avoid its press towards super chilled LOX for the interim until they are confident they can redesign the COPVs to cope with the colder chill process.

Maybe he can stop by and explain that?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yg1968 on 01/02/2017 04:36 PM
Jim seems to have answered my question in the other thread:


It goes on to state the following:

"“In the short term, this entails changing the COPV configuration to allow warmer temperature helium to be loaded, as well as returning helium loading operations to a prior flight proven configuration based on operations used in over 700 successful COPV loads."

I read that to mean they are not just avoiding super chilled LOX, but return to the previous POR, which was LOX at boiling temperature.  It has a flight history of success, and at this point, I think that probably weighed heavily on SpaceX's decision making.   Their business priorities are to work through their manifest, stay on track with commercial crew, and get FH to first flight.   This action eases the path for all those.


No, they are not changing how they load LOX but how they load the helium.   They are just going to load it slower.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/02/2017 04:48 PM
We'll know better after the Static Fire and the launch attempt per how they will load this F9. One thing we have heard is they have an extra COPV installed now. I did - but it could have been a mistranslation - hear they will only go back to super chilled LOX when they've redesigned the COPVs. But I bet - based on this thread's evaluation of the comments - it's about the HELIUM not the LOX.

Edited that line to avoid confusion.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yg1968 on 01/02/2017 05:04 PM
We'll know better after the Static Fire and the launch attempt per how they will load this F9. One thing we have heard is they have an extra COPV installed now. I did - but it could have been a mistranslation - hear they will only go back to super chilled LOX when they've redesigned the COPVs. But I bet - based on this thread's evaluation of the comments - it's about the HELIUM not the LOX.

Edited that line to avoid confusion.

It's a different issue but I wouldn't be surprised if SpaceX decides not to use super chilled LOX for commercial crew flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: feynmanrules on 01/02/2017 07:07 PM
Yes but there is also this part:  "as well as returning helium loading operations to a prior flight proven configuration based on operations used in over 700 successful COPV loads."

What does this mean?

believe it's something to effect of "none of our previous He COPVs failed in this exact way using an older procedure, so we're falling back to this procedure".   And 700# is (# of copvs per flight that didn't fail this way * of load/unloads for those flights * # of flights).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/02/2017 08:36 PM
We'll know better after the Static Fire and the launch attempt per how they will load this F9. One thing we have heard is they have an extra COPV installed now. I did - but it could have been a mistranslation - hear they will only go back to super chilled LOX when they've redesigned the COPVs. But I bet - based on this thread's evaluation of the comments - it's about the HELIUM not the LOX.

Edited that line to avoid confusion.

It's a different issue but I wouldn't be surprised if SpaceX decides not to use super chilled LOX for commercial crew flights.
Will they then go fully expendable for the first crewed flights?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 01/02/2017 08:46 PM
We'll know better after the Static Fire and the launch attempt per how they will load this F9. One thing we have heard is they have an extra COPV installed now. I did - but it could have been a mistranslation - hear they will only go back to super chilled LOX when they've redesigned the COPVs. But I bet - based on this thread's evaluation of the comments - it's about the HELIUM not the LOX.

Edited that line to avoid confusion.

It's a different issue but I wouldn't be surprised if SpaceX decides not to use super chilled LOX for commercial crew flights.
Will they then go fully expendable for the first crewed flights?

I think maintaining two processes, even if one of them is the "old" one, is unlikely. It increases failure probabilities. But what tech will be used for commercial crew is offtopic for this thread. Let's wait and see what changes in procedure are visible to us (for this first flight) first, eh?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kansan52 on 01/02/2017 09:39 PM
Reading various posts, this seems to the result.

The LOV was caused due to the attempt to load more helium than earlier launches with a procedural change to start with cooler helium (denser). The extra COPV will allow for more helium (maybe).

This will not change the LOX loading at all.

Other possible failure modes were uncovered. New designs may allow SX to resume safely the procedure that failed with LOV.

How far off is this recap?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jpo234 on 01/02/2017 09:47 PM
Reading various posts, this seems to the result.

The LOV was caused due to the attempt to load more helium than earlier launches with a procedural change to start with cooler helium (denser). The extra COPV will allow for more helium (maybe).

This will not change the LOX loading at all.

Other possible failure modes were uncovered. New designs may allow SX to resume safely the procedure that failed with LOV.

How far off is this recap?
My understanding of the changes was, that SpaceX tried to optimize the timing of the tanking to increase the launch window, not to squeeze more helium into the bottles.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wardy89 on 01/02/2017 11:22 PM
The way i read the update was that they have changes the COPV configuration to allow for warmer helium to be loaded, and reverting to a older proven helium load operation. I think that if they were dropping densified LOX they would have specifically stated that as it would be a significant change.

But on the off change if they were to switch back to boiling point lox would it require any launch vehicle modifications?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 01/02/2017 11:44 PM
It's worth pointing out that at CoB Friday Iridium was way down, trading at $9.60/share.
IRDM.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/03/2017 12:01 AM
It's worth pointing out that at CoB Friday Iridium was way down, trading at $9.60/share.
IRDM.

It's still higher than it was for almost all of 2016.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 01/03/2017 12:22 AM
It's worth pointing out that at CoB Friday Iridium was way down, trading at $9.60/share.
IRDM.

It's still higher than it was for almost all of 2016.
Expectation of launch had driven it up close to $12.00.   When it didn't happen it went down with the largest drop the week before new year.  Logic (which might be wrong as it's a market.) suggests a turn in direction.   
Closest  near-term analog was DGI which shot way up with successful launch of their #4 sat.   It crawled from $18 up to about $29.50 at the launch and then close to 32 in the days that followed.  Now it has dropped down to the 29 range.
Iridium is more complicated as it will take 8 launches to achieve their new network.   With 3 months between launches that will be awhile. SpaceX's own network might start launching before Iridium's is complete.  That would complicate their business plan.


Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jcc on 01/03/2017 11:56 AM
It's worth pointing out that at CoB Friday Iridium was way down, trading at $9.60/share.
IRDM.

It's still higher than it was for almost all of 2016.
Expectation of launch had driven it up close to $12.00.   When it didn't happen it went down with the largest drop the week before new year.  Logic (which might be wrong as it's a market.) suggests a turn in direction.   
Closest  near-term analog was DGI which shot way up with successful launch of their #4 sat.   It crawled from $18 up to about $29.50 at the launch and then close to 32 in the days that followed.  Now it has dropped down to the 29 range.
Iridium is more complicated as it will take 8 launches to achieve their new network.   With 3 months between launches that will be awhile. SpaceX's own network might start launching before Iridium's is complete.  That would complicate their business plan.

The Iridium and CommeX business models, as far as we have been led to believe, should be different enough that they don't step on each other, in that Iridium does direct to handset satcom, whereas Commex would be IP traffic to fixed stations.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/03/2017 02:22 PM
Has anyone seen a time for the launch window on Sunday?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Orbiter on 01/03/2017 02:25 PM
Has anyone seen a time for the launch window on Sunday?

18:28:07 UTC per Iridium CEO.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 01/03/2017 02:53 PM
It's worth pointing out that at CoB Friday Iridium was way down, trading at $9.60/share.
IRDM.

It's still higher than it was for almost all of 2016.
Expectation of launch had driven it up close to $12.00.   When it didn't happen it went down with the largest drop the week before new year.  Logic (which might be wrong as it's a market.) suggests a turn in direction.   
Closest  near-term analog was DGI which shot way up with successful launch of their #4 sat.   It crawled from $18 up to about $29.50 at the launch and then close to 32 in the days that followed.  Now it has dropped down to the 29 range.
Iridium is more complicated as it will take 8 launches to achieve their new network.   With 3 months between launches that will be awhile. SpaceX's own network might start launching before Iridium's is complete.  That would complicate their business plan.

The Iridium and CommeX business models, as far as we have been led to believe, should be different enough that they don't step on each other, in that Iridium does direct to handset satcom, whereas Commex would be IP traffic to fixed stations.

I am holding my breath as to how "fixed" a phased array antenna is in practice.   Say attached to the top of a vehicle and usable after a quick setup when parked to a WiFi wireless device like a cellphone? This would mean no communication while actually mobile but...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/03/2017 03:15 PM
Very fixed. The antenna has to track things which are constantly moving in the sky. They're used on airplanes to get you satellite internet today.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/03/2017 03:17 PM
This thread is not for the SpaceX internet constellation.  There are at least two other active threads for that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/03/2017 03:21 PM
It's worth pointing out that at CoB Friday Iridium was way down, trading at $9.60/share.
IRDM.

It's still higher than it was for almost all of 2016.
Expectation of launch had driven it up close to $12.00.   When it didn't happen it went down with the largest drop the week before new year.  Logic (which might be wrong as it's a market.) suggests a turn in direction.   
Closest  near-term analog was DGI which shot way up with successful launch of their #4 sat.   It crawled from $18 up to about $29.50 at the launch and then close to 32 in the days that followed.  Now it has dropped down to the 29 range.
Iridium is more complicated as it will take 8 launches to achieve their new network.   With 3 months between launches that will be awhile. SpaceX's own network might start launching before Iridium's is complete.  That would complicate their business plan.

The Iridium and CommeX business models, as far as we have been led to believe, should be different enough that they don't step on each other, in that Iridium does direct to handset satcom, whereas Commex would be IP traffic to fixed stations.
Youve convinced me. The CommX requires a pizza box sized antenna. Iridium just something the size of a handset.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mainmind on 01/03/2017 04:02 PM
Weather not looking good for the 8th at Vandenberg
https://www.google.com/search?q=vandenberg+afb+weather+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Jan 8 - 50% chance of rain
Jan 9 - 80% chance of rain
Jan 10 - 10% chance of rain

edit: correct spelling of Vandenberg - Thanks, Jim. Percentages were for correct location, though https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/USCA0629:1:US lists percentage for the 8th as 30% instead of 50.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: northenarc on 01/03/2017 04:35 PM
 So, any chance the static fire will happen today?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: cscott on 01/03/2017 04:50 PM
So, any chance the static fire will happen today?
Apparently the FAA is dragging their feet. That might be the hold up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 01/03/2017 05:02 PM
So, any chance the static fire will happen today?
Apparently the FAA is dragging their feet. That might be the hold up.
Updates on the static firing are in L2.
The statement about the FAA is in the public UPDATES thread (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1625554#msg1625554) but is not linked to the static firing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/03/2017 05:05 PM
Yeah, you can bet the FAA are watching this Static Fire like hawks. A bit strange as I was told the FAA has no say in mission success.


FAA is only concerned about 3rd parties.  They don't care if the launch isn't successful, as long as it doesn't harm people or property.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/03/2017 05:07 PM
Weather not looking good for the 8th at Vandenburg


Vandenberg
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 01/03/2017 05:15 PM
Yeah, you can bet the FAA are watching this Static Fire like hawks. A bit strange as I was told the FAA has no say in mission success.

FAA is only concerned about 3rd parties.  They don't care if the launch isn't successful, as long as it doesn't harm people or property.

My interpretation is that the FAA is not delaying the static firing.
That doesn't contradict Chris' statement that they are likely watching.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/03/2017 05:47 PM
... named for Hoyt Vandenberg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoyt_Vandenberg).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: WindyCity on 01/03/2017 09:49 PM
Static fire moved to Wednesday, as reported on Reddit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/03/2017 09:51 PM
Static fire moved to Wednesday, as reported on Reddit.

Actually, reddit was linking to Chris' post in the update thread...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 01/03/2017 10:44 PM
Static fire moved to Wednesday, as reported on Reddit.

Actually, reddit was linking to Chris' post in the update thread...
Citeology in action!
_________________________________________________
So, any chance the static fire will happen today?
Apparently the FAA is dragging their feet. That might be the hold up.

There shouldn't be any connection between the FAA's approval of the anomaly report and the Static Fire for this mission.  SpaceX has clearly gotten FAA approval/permission for the ground handling aspects of the launch license because otherwise they couldn't even bring the rocket hardware onto the launch site property.  I suppose that temporary approval could include restrictions on hazardous operations, but I would expect any such restrictions to come from Range Safety as opposed to the FAA.  Not really their thing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brovane on 01/04/2017 12:58 AM
Any word on the landing location for the 1st stage? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/04/2017 01:13 AM
Any word on the landing location for the 1st stage? 
JRTI is the approved plan. Currently waiting on the issuance of the Notice to Mariners and NOTAM for the barge landing and alternates.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/04/2017 01:50 AM
What makes IRIDIUM Flight 1 a barge landing, while Flights 2 and 3 are listed as RTLS?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/04/2017 01:53 AM
What makes IRIDIUM Flight 1 a barge landing, while Flights 2 and 3 are listed as RTLS?

Don't pay any attention to what's listed on the manifest thread now for those Iridium booster returns.  They'll get updated when we know what's actually going to happen.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/04/2017 01:58 AM
Got it, thanks. We could ask Starhawk to mark them blank in the manifest if their landings are uncertain.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/04/2017 02:38 AM
Aren't all the Iridium flights going to be either near shore barge landings, or pad landings? I thought they weren't doing any offshore landings.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/04/2017 03:18 AM
Aren't all the Iridium flights going to be either near shore barge landings, or pad landings? I thought they weren't doing any offshore landings.
Barge landings until final approval for pad landings is received.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: soltasto on 01/04/2017 10:03 AM
Aren't all the Iridium flights going to be either near shore barge landings, or pad landings? I thought they weren't doing any offshore landings.
Barge landings until final approval for pad landings is received.

Didn't the FAA already say that they are good to go with the RTLS landings? The just need the actual launch license I guess.
Here is the Finding of No Significant Impact fore the Falcon 9 landings on the pad: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/ea_fonsi_f9_boostback_vafb.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/04/2017 03:15 PM
Aren't all the Iridium flights going to be either near shore barge landings, or pad landings? I thought they weren't doing any offshore landings.
Barge landings until final approval for pad landings is received.

Didn't the FAA already say that they are good to go with the RTLS landings? The just need the actual launch license I guess.
Here is the Finding of No Significant Impact fore the Falcon 9 landings on the pad: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/ea_fonsi_f9_boostback_vafb.pdf
AFAIK DoD has to sign off on landings at military installations and I can find only evidence of approval at CCAFS at this time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: tleski on 01/04/2017 04:20 PM
Matt Desch (Iridium CEO) confirmed yesterday on Twitter that the launch window will be instantaneous (see below).
Not sure if it was obvious or not, so posting in the discussion thread.

Na45597459: @IridiumBoss is Sunday's launch instantaneous or does it have a window?
IridiumBoss: @Na45597459 Instantaneous.  Need to launch to a specific plane (#6) and that's when it's overhead that day.
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/816018732262817793
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Mike_1179 on 01/04/2017 05:44 PM
Matt Desch (Iridium CEO) confirmed yesterday on Twitter that the launch window will be instantaneous (see below).
Not sure if it was obvious or not, so posting in the discussion thread.

Na45597459: @IridiumBoss is Sunday's launch instantaneous or does it have a window?
IridiumBoss: @Na45597459 Instantaneous.  Need to launch to a specific plane (#6) and that's when it's overhead that day.
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/816018732262817793

So F9 can't do yaw steering like Atlas V when launched out-of-plane?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/04/2017 06:13 PM
Matt Desch (Iridium CEO) confirmed yesterday on Twitter that the launch window will be instantaneous (see below).
Not sure if it was obvious or not, so posting in the discussion thread.

Na45597459: @IridiumBoss is Sunday's launch instantaneous or does it have a window?
IridiumBoss: @Na45597459 Instantaneous.  Need to launch to a specific plane (#6) and that's when it's overhead that day.
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/816018732262817793

So F9 can't do yaw steering like Atlas V when launched out-of-plane?

They haven't demonstrated it
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: LouScheffer on 01/04/2017 06:24 PM
Matt Desch (Iridium CEO) confirmed yesterday on Twitter that the launch window will be instantaneous (see below).
Not sure if it was obvious or not, so posting in the discussion thread.

Na45597459: @IridiumBoss is Sunday's launch instantaneous or does it have a window?
IridiumBoss: @Na45597459 Instantaneous.  Need to launch to a specific plane (#6) and that's when it's overhead that day.
https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/816018732262817793
So F9 can't do yaw steering like Atlas V when launched out-of-plane?
The hardware seems like it should be capable of doing this, and the needed performance is there for at least a few minute window.  So my guess is that the software does not support this. 

Implementing yaw steering might be a low priority for SpaceX since steering gets expensive once your time from optimum exceeds a few minutes.  And if I remember right, it takes SpaceX about 10 minutes to recycle the count.  By that time the needed yaw steering would only be practical for missions with lots of extra performance.  Also, yaw steering would throw yet another wrinkle into recovery of the first stage.  So maybe they decided to stick with instantaneous windows for now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/04/2017 06:26 PM

The hardware seems like it should be capable of doing this,

Based on what?  Do you know the avionics architecture?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/04/2017 06:44 PM
Per the Static Fire attempt. Nothing's been held back...there's just nothing to report. :-\
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/04/2017 06:48 PM
This isn't from us, but the above reference to delays with Static Fire could make this fit:

https://twitter.com/VincentLamigeon/status/816656697708187648

#SpaceX Falcon 9 return to flight finally planned on Monday Jan 9th, a little bird told me. Backup dates Jan 11 & 12th

--

Totally unconfirmed of course, but it played to my tapping of fingers against the desk waiting for word on F9 drinking RP-1. ;)

Live webcam of me right now:
(http://www.reactiongifs.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/cookie_monster_waiting.gif)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/04/2017 07:23 PM

The hardware seems like it should be capable of doing this,

Based on what?  Do you know the avionics architecture?
It seems this would be a software limitation, not a hardware one, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: LouScheffer on 01/04/2017 07:25 PM

The hardware seems like it should be capable of doing this,

Based on what?  Do you know the avionics architecture?
Well, the first stage can clearly do closed loop steering of large magnitude, or it could not land.

The second stage can do closed loop steering, or it could not get accurate insertion, or recover from a first stage problem, which it has demonstrated.

Determining the desired trajectory is quite straightforward compared to landing.

So what do you imagine that the avionics could not do?

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/04/2017 07:38 PM

The second stage can do closed loop steering, or it could not get accurate insertion, or recover from a first stage problem, which it has demonstrated.


That has no bearing on the matter.  Delta can not do yaw steering or launch windows for planetary missions, yet it can provide accurate insertion or recover from a first stage problem. 



Determining the desired trajectory is quite straightforward compared to landing.


Not really.  There are sensors that help find the landing pad and the landing pad is fixed wrt the trajectory.  And it does change its relative location wrt time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/04/2017 07:40 PM

The second stage can do closed loop steering, or it could not get accurate insertion, or recover from a first stage problem, which it has demonstrated.


That has no bearing on the matter.  Delta can not do yaw steering or launch windows for planetary missions, yet it can provide accurate insertion or recover from a first stage problem.
But this is a software limitation, not a hardware one, correct?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/04/2017 07:44 PM

The second stage can do closed loop steering, or it could not get accurate insertion, or recover from a first stage problem, which it has demonstrated.


That has no bearing on the matter.  Delta can not do yaw steering or launch windows for planetary missions, yet it can provide accurate insertion or recover from a first stage problem.
But this is a software limitation, not a hardware one, correct?

Don't you think they would have changed it by now if that were so?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/04/2017 07:50 PM
Not sure that they would have. Software is incredibly difficult when it needs to be certified and already works great. Also, ULA has Atlas V. Also, could be that there's limited memory or computing power on Delta, whereas I think Falcon uses more modern computing hardware and so would have less of an issue.

I can't imagine how it would be a literal hardware issue unless it has something to do with the ability to upload a new trajectory on the fly to the flight computer immediately before launch... But even that sounds largely like a software issue.

I honestly don't know how it could be a hardware issue, but I understand you might not be at liberty to tell us.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: pb2000 on 01/04/2017 11:15 PM
#SpaceX Falcon 9 return to flight finally planned on Monday Jan 9th, a little bird told me. Backup dates Jan 11 & 12th

--

Totally unconfirmed of course, but it played to my tapping of fingers against the desk waiting for word on F9 drinking RP-1. ;)

I hope not. I was hoping for a leisurely Sunday drive from Nevada (and maybe even back again), but it would be an aweful shame to drive 7.5 hours, only to get stuck in traffic and miss the launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: LouScheffer on 01/05/2017 02:06 AM
The second stage can do closed loop steering, or it could not get accurate insertion, or recover from a first stage problem, which it has demonstrated.
That has no bearing on the matter.  Delta can not do yaw steering or launch windows for planetary missions, yet it can provide accurate insertion or recover from a first stage problem.
But this is a software limitation, not a hardware one, correct?
Don't you think they would have changed it by now if that were so?
It's entirely possible that for Delta, it's a hardware limitation.  The Delta-II RIFCA, which was in production in 1997, according to A Report on the Flight of Delta II's Redundant Inertial Flight Control Assembly (RIFCA) (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=670090), has 64K of RAM and 64K of program store.  The same unit is used in the Delta-IV.  The report of human rating Delta-IV (https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/377875main_081109HumanRatedDeltaIV.pdf) called for replacing the RIFCA due to "significant limitations" in enhancing it, so it may well be near capacity.

But for SpaceX, it's almost surely software.  The first stage is solving convex optimization in real time, a much harder task than yaw steering.  And I'd be very surprised if SpaceX uses a different computer for the second stage - that would go very much against their philosophy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/05/2017 02:56 AM

But for SpaceX, it's almost surely software.  The first stage is solving convex optimization in real time, a much harder task than yaw steering.

Not true.  Targeting for yaw steering is harder.  Again, the landing pad is a static target and always be in the same place no matter what time it is launched.  Launching into a specific orbital plane at anytime within a launch window is much harder.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/05/2017 03:15 AM

But for SpaceX, it's almost surely software.  The first stage is solving convex optimization in real time, a much harder task than yaw steering.

Not true.  Targeting for yaw steering is harder.  Again, the landing pad is a static target and always be in the same place no matter what time it is launched.  Launching into a specific orbital plane at anytime within a launch window is much harder.
Respectfully, I disagree. Landing is harder on the software. Margin for error is far, far smaller and control scheme is different, having to blend thrust and aero surfaces with real-time sensor data from radar.

Not saying yaw steering is a stroll in the park. But I cannot see it being a harder software challenge than barge landing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: sdsds on 01/05/2017 04:49 AM
I see how for landing GPS sensing can help a lot. I don't see how GPS sensing helps with yaw steering because the orbital track we want to target is in motion from the perspective of a GPS reference frame.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/05/2017 05:00 AM
I see how for landing GPS sensing can help a lot. I don't see how GPS sensing helps with yaw steering because the orbital track we want to target is in motion from the perspective of a GPS reference frame.
Who says it helps for yaw steering?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: sdsds on 01/05/2017 05:57 AM
Who says [GPS] helps for yaw steering?

You make my point for me! Someone implicitly asserted that since the first stage has precision descent guidance capability, then it would ipso facto "only" require software changes to give it yaw steering ascent capability.

I'm only suggesting it's unclear (to me) that the F9 ascent guidance system even has all the sensor inputs available to it that the Atlas yaw steering algorithm might be using. There's no public enumeration of the sensor inputs available to either, is there?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/05/2017 06:15 AM
What do most second stages use for position and orientation – IMUs and a star tracker?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/05/2017 12:45 PM
Who says [GPS] helps for yaw steering?

You make my point for me! Someone implicitly asserted that since the first stage has precision descent guidance capability, then it would ipso facto "only" require software changes to give it yaw steering ascent capability.
That's called a straw man.
Quote
I'm only suggesting it's unclear (to me) that the F9 ascent guidance system even has all the sensor inputs available to it that the Atlas yaw steering algorithm might be using. There's no public enumeration of the sensor inputs available to either, is there?
What sensors are needed for yaw steering?? As far as I can tell, none extra from the typical suite needed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: LouScheffer on 01/05/2017 12:48 PM
I see how for landing GPS sensing can help a lot. I don't see how GPS sensing helps with yaw steering because the orbital track we want to target is in motion from the perspective of a GPS reference frame.
Transforming positions and velocities from the GPS frame to an inertial frame is not at all complex.  The Earth is rotating at a very well known and constant rate (at least to the precision we need here) speed.   Any nav with an INS system uses this form of transformation already, since the vehicle itself may itself be rotating.  The gyro and accelerometer data need to be transformed to an inertial frame before integrating.

This transformation is not computationally demanding: just sin() and cos(), then one 3x3 matrix multiply. See, for example, Rotating Reference Frames (GPS)  (http://what-when-how.com/gps-with-high-rate-sensors/rotating-reference-frames-gps/). 

The Reference Frame Definitions (GPS) (http://what-when-how.com/gps-with-high-rate-sensors/reference-frame-definitions-gps/) discusses how to integrate INS and GPS data - it's a old and well solved problem:
Quote
For example, a strap-down GPS aided INS system performing navigation relative to a fixed tangent plane frame-of-reference will typically:

1. transform acceleration and angular rate measurements to platform coordinates;

2. compensate the platform angular rate measurement for navigation frame rotation;

3. integrate the compensated platform frame angular rates to maintain an accurate vector transformation from platform to navigation coordinates;

4. transform platform frame accelerations to tangent plane using the transformation from step 3;

5. integrate the (compensated) tangent plane accelerations to calculate tangent plane velocity and position;

6. use the position estimate to predict the GPS observables;

7. make GPS measurements, compute the residual error between the predicted and measured GPS observables, and use these measurement residuals to estimate and correct errors in the sensed and calculated INS quantities;

8. transform the vehicle inertial measurements and state variables that are estimated above to frames-of-reference (e.g., body) that might be desired by other vehicle systems (e.g., control or mission planning).
In particular, note step 8:  Transform into frame desired for mission planning.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/05/2017 01:04 PM
What do most second stages use for position and orientation – IMUs and a star tracker?

Launch vehicles don't use star trackers.  The IMU's are aligned before launch
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: LouScheffer on 01/05/2017 01:16 PM
What do most second stages use for position and orientation – IMUs and a star tracker?
Launch vehicles don't use star trackers.  The IMU's are aligned before launch
Part of the pre-launch checks is making sure the IMUs can detect the rotation of the Earth.  This means they are using an inertial reference frame already, which is exactly what they need for yaw steering.  So no extra work (from the nav system) is needed for this.  The control system, of course, still needs to get the right coordinates as efficiently as possible, while respecting aero loads, ground track, etc.  That's where the extra work is, not in the position measurement.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DOCinCT on 01/05/2017 01:40 PM
https://www.noozhawk.com/article/spacex_falcon_rcoket_launch_at_vandenberg_afb_slips_to_monday
Closer to an official statement than before.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/05/2017 03:24 PM
I wonder if there's a link that shows that new NOTAM anywhere?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jpo234 on 01/05/2017 03:38 PM
I wonder if there's a link that shows that new NOTAM anywhere?

Searching for "SPACE OPERATIONS" type NOTAMS on http://tfr.faa.gov draws a blank.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/05/2017 04:16 PM
https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/ doesn't show any launch-related NOTAMs for Vandenberg (location VBG) as of 17:00 UTC
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/05/2017 06:29 PM
F9 is vertical and going for an attempt today.

Will update again if we hear of a firing. HOWEVER, as per usual, only SpaceX (or Iridium as the customer) can declare a good static fire, usually via Twitter. Then it'll be data review and LRR.

Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 01/05/2017 06:40 PM
F9 is vertical and going for an attempt today.

Will update again if we hear of a firing. HOWEVER, as per usual, only SpaceX (or Iridium as the customer) can declare a good static fire, usually via Twitter. Then it'll be data review and LRR.

Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D

It's been talked about extensively, and confirmed by the Iriduim CEO. No...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/05/2017 06:43 PM
F9 is vertical and going for an attempt today.

Will update again if we hear of a firing. HOWEVER, as per usual, only SpaceX (or Iridium as the customer) can declare a good static fire, usually via Twitter. Then it'll be data review and LRR.

Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D

(https://imgflip.com/s/meme/How-About-No-Bear.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 01/05/2017 06:46 PM
Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D
:D Stirring the pot? ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: KaiFarrimond on 01/05/2017 06:48 PM
Do you have any idea of the time that the static fire could occur? Or is it just wait and see? Thanks
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: launchwatcher on 01/05/2017 06:53 PM

The hardware seems like it should be capable of doing this,

Based on what?  Do you know the avionics architecture?
It seems this would be a software limitation, not a hardware one, right?
Seems more like a feature that SpaceX deprioritized because it competes with their long-term goals - they clearly prefer to put excess launch vehicle performance towards recovery in order to enable reuse..
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/05/2017 07:08 PM
Do you have any idea of the time that the static fire could occur? Or is it just wait and see? Thanks

Now then Kai. Static Fire's have long windows, very unlikely a launch attempt. They do have target T-0s, but just class this one as potentially happening soon, knowing they could go anytime between now-ish and the next several hours....or not at all.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/05/2017 07:12 PM
Seems more like a feature that SpaceX deprioritized because it competes with their long-term goals - they clearly prefer to put excess launch vehicle performance towards recovery in order to enable reuse..

Not really.  There have been many missions with excess performance even with taking into account recovery.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/05/2017 07:29 PM
I think it's worth requoting, there's been much discussion about whether or not the hardware/software can or cannot do this, totally ignoring what seems like a very good reason why it likely doesn't matter to them at this point.

Implementing yaw steering might be a low priority for SpaceX since steering gets expensive once your time from optimum exceeds a few minutes.  And if I remember right, it takes SpaceX about 10 minutes to recycle the count.  By that time the needed yaw steering would only be practical for missions with lots of extra performance.  Also, yaw steering would throw yet another wrinkle into recovery of the first stage.  So maybe they decided to stick with instantaneous windows for now.

Does anyone really think SpaceX can't do it if they wanted to?

Whether or not the 'vehicle' (trying to avoid hardware or software ;)) can do it today is not that important of a question IMHO. I think if they are not doing it it's because they decided it's not worth the effort as Lou explained.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/05/2017 07:39 PM
And if I remember right, it takes SpaceX about 10 minutes to recycle the count.  By that time the needed yaw steering would only be practical for missions with lots of extra performance. 


It doesn't have to be a recycle.  It could help when picking up the terminal count late.

  Also, yaw steering would throw yet another wrinkle into recovery of the first stage. 


Not really, the boost back could take care of it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/05/2017 08:09 PM

It doesn't have to be a recycle.  It could help when picking up the terminal count late.


How many F9 launches did we have a situation where you can see 10 minutes in advance that you would like to move the T0 by a few minutes to get a better odds of a GO - trying to fly between the clouds...? Was there ever a F9 launch scrubbed because the weather was RED at T0 but they could have gotten a GREEN had they been able to adjust the T0 10 minutes in advance? I think the point is that such a scenario is so rare that it's not worth the effort at this time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/05/2017 08:47 PM

1.  How many F9 launches did we have a situation where you can see 10 minutes in advance that you would like to move the T0 by a few minutes to get a better odds of a GO - trying to fly between the clouds...?

2. Was there ever a F9 launch scrubbed because the weather was RED at T0 but they could have gotten a GREEN had they been able to adjust the T0 10 minutes in advance?


1.  Boat in the box, bad weather, range problem, GSE problem, etc.  Many things that could clear up in few minutes instead of scrub for an instantaneous window.

2.  yes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Star One on 01/05/2017 08:52 PM
Elon Musk – Verified account ‏@elonmusk

Hold-down firing of @SpaceX Falcon 9 at Vandenberg Air Force completed. All systems are go for launch next week.

https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/817123579343028227
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/05/2017 08:52 PM
This is the discussion thread, y'all. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MarekCyzio on 01/05/2017 08:53 PM
"Next week" instead of "Sunday" or "Monday". Still no FAA license?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/05/2017 08:53 PM

1.  How many F9 launches did we have a situation where you can see 10 minutes in advance that you would like to move the T0 by a few minutes to get a better odds of a GO - trying to fly between the clouds...?

2. Was there ever a F9 launch scrubbed because the weather was RED at T0 but they could have gotten a GREEN had they been able to adjust the T0 10 minutes in advance?


1.  Boat in the box, bad weather, range problem, GSE problem, etc.  Many things that could clear up in few minutes instead of scrub for an instantaneous window.

2.  yes.
SES-9 had a hold at for a boat in the range; it was recycled and another attempt made about 30 minutes later but the LOX had warmed too much. http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39348.160
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/05/2017 08:56 PM

1.  How many F9 launches did we have a situation where you can see 10 minutes in advance that you would like to move the T0 by a few minutes to get a better odds of a GO - trying to fly between the clouds...?

2. Was there ever a F9 launch scrubbed because the weather was RED at T0 but they could have gotten a GREEN had they been able to adjust the T0 10 minutes in advance?


1.  Boat in the box, bad weather, range problem, GSE problem, etc.  Many things that could clear up in few minutes instead of scrub for an instantaneous window.

2.  yes.

1. You would need to know at least 10 minutes in advance (before entering terminal count) that there's going to be a boat in 10 minutes that will not be there in 12 minutes or 8 minutes. At most you can say if there is a boat already in the box before the terminal count they can push the T0 by a few minutes and hope for the best, possible but I don't recall that happening.

If you say yes it did happen, I'll trust you on it, not going to go back to review each launch, in that case it's rather surprising that they didn't do this yet, unless you really think they can't (not whether the vehicle can do it now)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/05/2017 09:02 PM

1.  How many F9 launches did we have a situation where you can see 10 minutes in advance that you would like to move the T0 by a few minutes to get a better odds of a GO - trying to fly between the clouds...?

2. Was there ever a F9 launch scrubbed because the weather was RED at T0 but they could have gotten a GREEN had they been able to adjust the T0 10 minutes in advance?


1.  Boat in the box, bad weather, range problem, GSE problem, etc.  Many things that could clear up in few minutes instead of scrub for an instantaneous window.

2.  yes.
SES-9 had a hold at for a boat in the range; it was recycled and another attempt made about 30 minutes later but the LOX had warmed too much. http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39348.160

Hold was called at T-1:33 so they are forced to a full recycle, Had it been an instantaneous window, a few minutes of flexibility would not have helped.

I think we are far enough off topic without starting to disect individual launches, unless a mod wants to create a new thread to discuss this separately.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/05/2017 09:23 PM

At most you can say if there is a boat already in the box before the terminal count they can push the T0 by a few minutes and hope for the best, possible but I don't recall that happening.


That is the scenario
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: 3Davideo on 01/05/2017 10:48 PM
i have a question.  I live in the Greater Los Angeles area, about 200 miles ESE of the Vandenburg Range.  Assuming clear skies, nominal flight, and a view clear of obstructions, is there any chance I might be able to see any of the higher altitude flight?  Since this would be at about 10:30 in the morning locally, would I have any better or worse luck seeing future flights at different times of day, such as in the middle of the night?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: vulture4 on 01/05/2017 11:08 PM
It might be visible at that distance if you have clear weather over the entire area between you and the launch pad.


Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/06/2017 12:04 AM
For those interested in yaw steering, suggest you google "yaw steering patent". Many. Likely difficult litigation too.

Landing deals with an finite element model of an elastic vehicle in an inertial frame on a ballistic arc, to specific target(s). Yaw steering involves dynamic orbital mechanics to optimally, iteratively apply know vehicle performance to achieve multiple and concurrent degenerate flight guidance solutions compensating for missed propulsion "opportunities". Apples and oranges. Both are sinks for the same vehicle performance capability, which when you are maxing out with minimal margins, have limited benefit. Oh, and certain necessary performance characteristics have to be designed into the LV for the ability to "catch up" in certain orbital insertions.

You'd want to do this on a mature vehicle, not one under significant development.

As to launch, California is about to receive heavy rain storms from the north. Best day looks like Tuesday the 10th, which is not one of the days listed (9,11,12). And with these storms, launch visibility might be problematic.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/06/2017 12:04 AM
i have a question.  I live in the Greater Los Angeles area, about 200 miles ESE of the Vandenburg Range.  Assuming clear skies, nominal flight, and a view clear of obstructions, is there any chance I might be able to see any of the higher altitude flight?  Since this would be at about 10:30 in the morning locally, would I have any better or worse luck seeing future flights at different times of day, such as in the middle of the night?

I lived in LA and saw launches from San Pedro, El Segundo (LAAFB) and Palos Verdes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/06/2017 12:23 AM
For those interested in yaw steering, suggest you google "yaw steering patent". Many. Likely difficult litigation too.

Landing deals with an finite element model of an elastic vehicle in an inertial frame on a ballistic arc, to specific target(s). Yaw steering involves dynamic orbital mechanics to optimally, iteratively apply know vehicle performance to achieve multiple and concurrent degenerate flight guidance solutions compensating for missed propulsion "opportunities". Apples and oranges.
Sure, but landing is actually MORE dynamic as the parameter space is much larger in multiple dimensions. With yaw steering, the only thing changing is time of launch, which determines precisely where the launch vehicle and satellite are with respect to one another. This can be calculated in closed form, actually, though you then need to generate a launch solution, but you have to do that anyway. In principle, you could just pre-calculate a look-up table of solutions ahead of time. But with landing, the parameter space is much larger and doesn't change in just 1 dimensions (time) but basically all the other ones simultaneously, so cheating with pre-computed tables is impossible.
Quote
Both are sinks for the same vehicle performance capability, which when you are maxing out with minimal margins, have limited benefit. Oh, and certain necessary performance characteristics have to be designed into the LV for the ability to "catch up" in certain orbital insertions.

You'd want to do this on a mature vehicle, not one under significant development.
...
No argument there! Completely agree.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: sfxtd on 01/06/2017 01:23 AM
i have a question.  I live in the Greater Los Angeles area, about 200 miles ESE of the Vandenburg Range.  Assuming clear skies, nominal flight, and a view clear of obstructions, is there any chance I might be able to see any of the higher altitude flight?  Since this would be at about 10:30 in the morning locally, would I have any better or worse luck seeing future flights at different times of day, such as in the middle of the night?

Yes.  Weather is, of course, key. Given a clear sky the flight (exhaust trail, and perhaps even the vehicle itself with binoculars.) should be visible to the west. The sun angle should be good.

The classic Vandenberg launch scene is for sunset launches westward into the Pacific. The swirling high-altitude trails in the setting sunlight are spectacular. They were common during the cold-war heyday of missile development and training. I once saw clearly a westward night flight and staging from the San Fernando Valley (Birthplace of Rocketdyne and Lockheed.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: darkenfast on 01/06/2017 06:32 AM
F9 is vertical and going for an attempt today.

Will update again if we hear of a firing. HOWEVER, as per usual, only SpaceX (or Iridium as the customer) can declare a good static fire, usually via Twitter. Then it'll be data review and LRR.

Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D

(https://imgflip.com/s/meme/How-About-No-Bear.jpg)
Chris Beargin has spoken!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 01/06/2017 07:56 AM
F9 is vertical and going for an attempt today.

Will update again if we hear of a firing. HOWEVER, as per usual, only SpaceX (or Iridium as the customer) can declare a good static fire, usually via Twitter. Then it'll be data review and LRR.

Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D
Ever since AMOS-6 there is a couple hundred million dollars worth of reasons to NOT have your payload attached to the rocket for the static fire. It is likely that just about every SpaceX customer will now use that option by default.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: high road on 01/06/2017 09:01 AM
Can the FAA give the green light during the weekend? Or would it have to be today for SpaceX to be able to launch monday?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jacqmans on 01/06/2017 10:33 AM
F9 is vertical and going for an attempt today.

Will update again if we hear of a firing. HOWEVER, as per usual, only SpaceX (or Iridium as the customer) can declare a good static fire, usually via Twitter. Then it'll be data review and LRR.

Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D
Ever since AMOS-6 there is a couple hundred million dollars worth of reasons to NOT have your payload attached to the rocket for the static fire. It is likely that just about every SpaceX customer will now use that option by default.

I never understood why they did the static fires with the payload in the first place, there is always the risk, but SpaceX would have their reasons to do so.. (saving time is a bad reason as it is only 1 extra day in the flow...)

But that is another discussion....
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/06/2017 11:31 AM
F9 is vertical and going for an attempt today.

Will update again if we hear of a firing. HOWEVER, as per usual, only SpaceX (or Iridium as the customer) can declare a good static fire, usually via Twitter. Then it'll be data review and LRR.

Are they doing the static fire with the payload attached? :'D
Ever since AMOS-6 there is a couple hundred million dollars worth of reasons to NOT have your payload attached to the rocket for the static fire. It is likely that just about every SpaceX customer will now use that option by default.
It was just a joke, y'all! :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/06/2017 11:33 AM
Quote
"The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January," the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday. "The FAA continues to work closely with SpaceX as they conduct the investigation and prepare for future Falcon 9 launches."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/ (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/)
Hmmm...

What's up, I wonder? Is the FAA trying to take on mission assurance as well?

EDIT: Not likely going to be a problem.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/06/2017 01:03 PM
Quote
"The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January," the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday. "The FAA continues to work closely with SpaceX as they conduct the investigation and prepare for future Falcon 9 launches."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/ (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/)
Hmmm...

What's up, I wonder? Is the FAA trying to take on mission assurance as well?

EDIT: Not likely going to be a problem.

How can not having a launch license be anything other than a problem.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/06/2017 01:25 PM
Quote
"The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January," the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday. "The FAA continues to work closely with SpaceX as they conduct the investigation and prepare for future Falcon 9 launches."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/ (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/)
Hmmm...

What's up, I wonder? Is the FAA trying to take on mission assurance as well?

EDIT: Not likely going to be a problem.

How can not having a launch license be anything other than a problem.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41538.msg1626734#new
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/06/2017 01:40 PM
Quote
"The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January," the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday. "The FAA continues to work closely with SpaceX as they conduct the investigation and prepare for future Falcon 9 launches."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/ (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/)
Hmmm...

What's up, I wonder? Is the FAA trying to take on mission assurance as well?

EDIT: Not likely going to be a problem.

How can not having a launch license be anything other than a problem.

Perhaps they just want some data from the static fire before issuing the license?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/06/2017 02:24 PM
Out of curiosity (not that I think SpaceX would), what is the penalty for launching a rocket without an FAA launch license?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/06/2017 02:27 PM
Out of curiosity (not that I think SpaceX would), what is the penalty for launching a rocket without an FAA launch license?

Enormous fines, criminal charges against all involved including lengthy jail sentences (launching a huge vehicle filled with explosive and/or toxic fuels into crowded airspace would probably be treated as an act of domestic terrorism) and probably the closure of the company.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/06/2017 02:36 PM
It seems unlikely that the Air Force range would allow them to launch with out an FAA license. So, probably at this point not even possible from their current launch pads.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/06/2017 02:58 PM
Out of curiosity (not that I think SpaceX would), what is the penalty for launching a rocket without an FAA launch license?

They can try to pull an Uber and claim they don't need a licence ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 01/06/2017 03:36 PM
Weather not looking good for the 8th at Vandenberg
https://www.google.com/search?q=vandenberg+afb+weather+&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Jan 8 - 50% chance of rain
Jan 9 - 80% chance of rain
Jan 10 - 10% chance of rain

Now
Jan 9   - 50% chance of rain in the morning
Jan 10 - 40% chance of rain in the afternoon
Jan 11 - 40% chance of rain in the morning
Jan 12 - 20% chance of rain and cloudy

https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/USCA0629:1:US Lompoc/Vandenberg AFB
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MarekCyzio on 01/06/2017 03:52 PM
Quote
"The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January," the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday. "The FAA continues to work closely with SpaceX as they conduct the investigation and prepare for future Falcon 9 launches."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/ (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/)

Doesn't sound like something a federal agency would say days or hours before issuing license.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Joaosg on 01/06/2017 04:03 PM
Quote
"The FAA has not yet issued a license to SpaceX for a launch in January," the Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday. "The FAA continues to work closely with SpaceX as they conduct the investigation and prepare for future Falcon 9 launches."
http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/ (http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/elon-musk-spacex-launch/)

Doesn't sound like something a federal agency would say days or hours before issuing license.

They just did  :)

https://twitter.com/lorengrush/status/817414249643438080
Quote
Just got this statement from the FAA. A launch license for SpaceX's Iridium NEXT launch has been granted:
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: vanoord on 01/06/2017 04:19 PM
License is for seven launches of Falcon 9 Version 1.2 for Iridium.

Interesting that it says 1.2 rather than FT (although F9 > v1.1 > FT would only confuse); and that it presumably precludes any significant upgrade to F9 this year - given the talk of 'Block 5' and potentially a 'Fuller Thrust' between now and then.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/06/2017 04:26 PM
License is for seven launches of Falcon 9 Version 1.2 for Iridium.

Interesting that it says 1.2 rather than FT (although F9 > v1.1 > FT would only confuse); and that it presumably precludes any significant upgrade to F9 this year - given the talk of 'Block 5' and potentially a 'Fuller Thrust' between now and then.

IIRC the licenses for F9 FT have always used the version 1.2 nomenclature, and SpaceX doesn't consider the coming upgrades a different version.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/06/2017 04:29 PM
License is for seven launches of Falcon 9 Version 1.2 for Iridium.

Interesting that it says 1.2 rather than FT (although F9 > v1.1 > FT would only confuse); and that it presumably precludes any significant upgrade to F9 this year - given the talk of 'Block 5' and potentially a 'Fuller Thrust' between now and then.

IIRC the licenses for F9 FT have always used the version 1.2 nomenclature, and SpaceX doesn't consider the coming upgrades a different version.

They don't publicly refer to them as different versions, but they undoubtedly have internal designations (Block #s).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Tea Party Space Czar on 01/06/2017 04:36 PM
Out of curiosity (not that I think SpaceX would), what is the penalty for launching a rocket without an FAA launch license?

It would never happen.  Congress would completely become unhinged. 

Great people at the FAA.  Dr. George Nield and Jared Stout are true professionals.  If someone doesn't get a license there are solid reasons for it.

Some fly by night backyard rocketeer might try doing something without a license but you would never see any legitimate firm operate without one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: atsf90east on 01/06/2017 04:40 PM
I noticed that the license says "Landing of the Falcon 9 Version 1.2 first stage either on a droneship or in the ocean", which means unless they get a license modification for the later missions that none of the seven launches covered under this license will be allowed to land the first stages back at SLC-4W at Vandenberg.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/06/2017 04:45 PM
Is the landing site at Vandy even complete yet?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/06/2017 05:11 PM
I noticed that the license says "Landing of the Falcon 9 Version 1.2 first stage either on a droneship or in the ocean", which means unless they get a license modification for the later missions that none of the seven launches covered under this license will be allowed to land the first stages back at SLC-4W at Vandenberg.

Licenses get amended all the time.  We also still don't know how much margin they really have on these launches, they are higher than Dragon and possibly heavier (we don't have very reliable mass numbers for Dragon).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: vanoord on 01/06/2017 05:27 PM
@IridiumComm:

Quote
Iridium is excited to share we're planned to launch on Monday, Jan 9 at 10:22am PST weather permitting. bit.ly/2iZ7mCE #IridiumNEXT

Tuesday then?  :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mheney on 01/06/2017 05:49 PM
Here is the link the the license:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/SpaceX%20LLS%2017-096%20License%20and%20Orders_01_06_2017.pdf



Interesting.  The license LLS 17-096B (Flight) in paragraph 3(e) authorizes

"Landing the Falcon 9 Version 1,2 first stage either on a droneship or in the ocean"

So, no FAA approval for RTLS landings at VAFB yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/06/2017 05:50 PM
A couple other details from the license:
Launch azimuth 179.2 degrees
Still "Using a traditional command destruct Flight Termination System"
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MarekCyzio on 01/06/2017 05:52 PM
A couple other details from the license:
Launch azimuth 179.2 degrees
Still "Using a traditional command destruct Flight Termination System"

Local company in Melbourne, FL area is working on automated flight termination system for USAF, it's not ready yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: AS_501 on 01/06/2017 06:11 PM
Getting back to the static firing, anyone know if this F9 was more heavily instrumented than usual?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: spacekid on 01/06/2017 06:15 PM
Out of curiosity (not that I think SpaceX would), what is the penalty for launching a rocket without an FAA launch license?

They can try to pull an Uber and claim they don't need a licence ;)
The launch is taking place on a US AF Base. I suspect the US Gov would have ways of stopping them before a launch would take place.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/06/2017 06:20 PM
Please stop this discussion of launching without a license.  It wouldn't happen and there is no need to waste any more time on it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kansan52 on 01/06/2017 07:11 PM
Getting back to the static firing, anyone know if this F9 was more heavily instrumented than usual?

No signs of that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/06/2017 08:17 PM
Here is the link the the license:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/SpaceX%20LLS%2017-096%20License%20and%20Orders_01_06_2017.pdf



Interesting.  The license LLS 17-096B (Flight) in paragraph 3(e) authorizes

"Landing the Falcon 9 Version 1,2 first stage either on a droneship or in the ocean"

So, no FAA approval for RTLS landings at VAFB yet.

Doesn't mean that the RTLS can't be a minimum distance from shore.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/06/2017 08:49 PM
Here is the link the the license:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/SpaceX%20LLS%2017-096%20License%20and%20Orders_01_06_2017.pdf



Interesting.  The license LLS 17-096B (Flight) in paragraph 3(e) authorizes

"Landing the Falcon 9 Version 1,2 first stage either on a droneship or in the ocean"

So, no FAA approval for RTLS landings at VAFB yet.

Doesn't mean that the RTLS can't be a minimum distance from shore.

That depends on performance, for one thing. NASA's EELV performance page gives F9 FT RTLS payload to 680 km SSO as 8225 kg. There's some disagreement on whether these birds mass 800 or 860 kg each, but including the 1000 kg dispenser that's at least 9000 kg. Might be too heavy for RTLS with the current F9.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yg1968 on 01/06/2017 09:14 PM
For the static fire, was the payload matted to the rocket? I am guessing that it wasn't.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DatUser14 on 01/06/2017 09:16 PM
It was not
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 01/06/2017 09:43 PM
For the static fire, was the payload matted to the rocket? I am guessing that it wasn't.
Asked and answered.... (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1626416#msg1626416)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/07/2017 03:45 AM

But for SpaceX, it's almost surely software.  The first stage is solving convex optimization in real time, a much harder task than yaw steering.

Not true.  Targeting for yaw steering is harder.  Again, the landing pad is a static target and always be in the same place no matter what time it is launched.  Launching into a specific orbital plane at anytime within a launch window is much harder.
Respectfully, I disagree. Landing is harder on the software. Margin for error is far, far smaller and control scheme is different, having to blend thrust and aero surfaces with real-time sensor data from radar.

Not saying yaw steering is a stroll in the park. But I cannot see it being a harder software challenge than barge landing.
Not to mention that landing needs to zero 6 degrees of freedom, plus their first derivatives....

And yeah, to a much finer tolerance...

And in the presence of strong disturbing forces, on a large body with a quickly diminishing amount of fuel in it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/07/2017 12:41 PM
Not saying yaw steering is a stroll in the park. But I cannot see it being a harder software challenge than barge landing.

It is harder.  Landing can occur at an launch time. Yaw steering has to take into account launch time and launch location.

Landing on a spot is no different than rendezvous and docking.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/07/2017 02:17 PM
Not saying yaw steering is a stroll in the park. But I cannot see it being a harder software challenge than barge landing.

It is harder.  Landing can occur at an launch time. Yaw steering has to take into account launch time and launch location.

Landing on a spot is no different than rendezvous and docking.
A docking spacecraft is in zero g and can take its time with the maneuver. You have all the authority you need, and can abort and try again.

An F9 doing a hoverslam is so completely a different thing.

It is decelerating at multiple g, in wind, with very limited controls, especially towards the end - mostly main engine gimbaling.

Not the same as docking
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/07/2017 02:19 PM
Landing on a spot is no different than rendezvous and docking.

Except for the timeframes involved, capacity for do-overs, opportunities to abort, and consequences to the vehicle. Other than than, the two are identical.

Which is 'harder' may ultimately be a subjective matter... and also OT for this thread, no?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/07/2017 04:57 PM

A docking spacecraft is in zero g and can take its time with the maneuver. You have all the authority you need, and can abort and try again.

An F9 doing a hoverslam is so completely a different thing.

It is decelerating at multiple g, in wind, with very limited controls, especially towards the end - mostly main engine gimbaling.

Not the same as docking


wrong.  Avionics wise it is the same.  Landing just has more constraints and external influences.  The F9 always knows where it is going to land.   Landing a vehicle is not hard (see lunar and mars landers).   

Landing actually uses less external sensors (altitude radar).  Rendezvous and docking require long range (star trackers, radar, etc) and short range (radar, lidar, TV, etc) sensors. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/07/2017 05:14 PM
The longer range bit for rough initial navigation is achieved by a combination of inertial navigation sensors and GPS instead of a star tracker.

It is also the easiest part of either problem and irrelevant to the difficulty.

The secret sauce of the reentry burn and the aerodynamic​ flight segment are unique to SpaceX and already more difficult.

The final hoverslam maneuver, compared to the final docking maneuver... I'm struggling to even come up with an analogy.

There is nothing more predictable than orbiting bodies. A tiny puff of thrust here and there from any of many control thrusters, a simple constant velocity coast, no rotation motions, and then mechanical capture...  And you have all he time in the world to look at the process and back off.

A falcon comes in, fighting the wind, using almost only the gimbalimg engine cluster for control, has to do a divert, everything happening at high velocity going down to zero within seconds, no chance of a do over...

Easier than docking?  Not even close.

Even if visiting vehicles would approach ISS at 100 m/s, and brake to a halt on its surface without bouncing off or being captured - it would still be easier than what SpaceX does.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/07/2017 05:31 PM
The longer range bit for rough initial navigation is achieved by a combination of inertial navigation sensors and GPS instead of a star tracker.


wrong, star tracker is for tracking the target at long range



The secret sauce of the reentry burn and the aerodynamic​ flight segment are unique to SpaceX and already more difficult.


Doesn't require any changes to the avionics to perform those tasks.   Just a little more programming

And you have all he time in the world to look at the process and back off.

A falcon comes in, fighting the wind, using almost only the gimbalimg engine cluster for control, has to do a divert,

Meaningless.  Neither have no bearing on the avionics or flight software architecture, where as yaw steering and rendezvous/docking do. 

Landing can be done independent of the actual time, unlike yaw steering and rendezvous/docking.  That is a major change to the avionics/ flight software architecture
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/07/2017 05:52 PM
How is yaw steering hard? You need more on board memory to store a look up table of launch solutions, but other than that, how is it hard? Particularly, how can it possibly be easier than landing?

Landing on a small platform with rockets, in atmosphere, and in Earth gravity is anything but easy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/07/2017 06:01 PM
How is yaw steering hard? You need more on board memory to store a look up table of launch solutions, but other than that, how is it hard? Particularly, how can it possibly be easier than landing?

Landing on a small platform with rockets, in atmosphere, and in Earth gravity is anything but easy.

Time reference
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/07/2017 06:06 PM
  Landing a vehicle is not hard (see lunar and mars landers).     
How can this be? Mars landings are touted as one of the toughest feats out there. JPL gets lots of kudos for doing that. Lunar landings are still rare and booster landings are but one year old.
 if "Landing a vehicle is not hard" then we've been dicking around for a long time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kaputnik on 01/07/2017 06:23 PM
Wanted to ask which vehicles can do yaw steering but thought it was better to start a new thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41982.0
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/07/2017 06:44 PM
Great work by Kaputnik to start a splinter thread. Two more posts followed, they are merged into the new splinter thread. Some older posts can be copied (quoted) and posted into the new thread if you wish, but no more of it on this thread. Ta! ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Nick L on 01/07/2017 08:06 PM
Info not confirmed so I post this tweet here :
https://twitter.com/VincentLamigeon/status/817797297832501249

Edit/gongora: Tweet text is "#SpaceX return to flight will not occur on Monday 9th as planned. Officially weather issues. Jan 10th possible date, but pretty unlikely"
Edit : too fast gongora,  thanks
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lee Jay on 01/07/2017 08:32 PM
The weather doesn't look all that great until next weekend.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lee Jay on 01/08/2017 01:05 AM
Per the Twitter rumors, SpaceX's new launch date for Falcon 9/Iridium is NET January 14 via our sources. Not official as SpaceX or Iridium need to say it.

So, that's Saturday.

My question is, is there a 1-for-1 slip or something similar for the following Echostar mission from 39A?  I could make arguments both ways.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/08/2017 01:09 AM
This fella's got a big inside track on this one. He absolutely knew before I did:

https://twitter.com/VincentLamigeon
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/08/2017 01:19 AM
He's now saying:
Quote
Vincent Lamigeon ‏@VincentLamigeon  3m3 minutes ago
#SpaceX return to flight now planned on Jan 14th 9:54AM, according to industry sources
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: psloss on 01/08/2017 01:53 AM
Per the Twitter rumors, SpaceX's new launch date for Falcon 9/Iridium is NET January 14 via our sources. Not official as SpaceX or Iridium need to say it.

Definitely a weather component to the delay
http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/eastpac/movies/g9irn/g9irn_loop.html
A very unusual line of storms for here, bow signature and all, just rolled through the Vandenberg area.  This "pineapple express" "firehose" was forecast to be pointed down here in the L.A. Basin several days ago, but ended up aimed at the central part of the state for now.

Might be some infrastructure impacts if there are mudslides and the like...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/08/2017 05:37 AM
Any idea how much the launch time might move if the launch is on the 14th?

Edit: ok, I can't read!  :-[
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 01/08/2017 05:38 AM
Any idea how much the launch time might move if the launch is on the 14th?

"return to flight now planned on Jan 14th 9:54AM"

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Michael Baylor on 01/08/2017 08:06 AM
Pacific Warrior which is believed to be the tug pulling the ASDS made a 180 turn, which was pointed out on the  ASDS thread. It's been several hours now and clearly its heading back port. This confirms no launch tomorrow, and no launch for the next several days.

https://www.vesselfinder.com/?imo=7641384
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: catdlr on 01/08/2017 04:59 PM
Matt Desch ‏@IridiumBoss  28m28 minutes ago
Can now confirm: new launch date Jan 14 at 9:54am pst.  Bad weather the cause.  Anti-rain dances didn't work - oh well. Cal needs rain?

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/818093020369289216

--

The range issue - which is another (albeit less than the bad weather) issue - is an Atlas V doing a WDR next week ahead of a NROL mission that's upcoming after the Falcon 9 launch. WDRs need (and thus book) the range.

Cal needs rain?  Yep, we need it, sorry.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Comga on 01/09/2017 12:30 AM

It is interesting that the mission patch places so much emphasis on the booster recovery.
So a question for all you mission patch experts:
Have there been other patches with the rocket after stage separation?
Surely this is the first patch with the first stage engines lit after separation, is it not?
Or is this just depicted after separation to show the satellites after faring jettison?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dorkmo on 01/09/2017 12:50 AM
think the clover in the ocean has been used but i dont recall lit 1st stage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 01/09/2017 12:55 AM
think the clover in the ocean has been used but i dont recall lit 1st stage.

Orbcomm landing patch did ;)

*also, single engine boostback burn must be a "visual typo" (on above patch).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/09/2017 01:13 AM
A new tradition.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rower2000 on 01/10/2017 06:45 AM
Any idea how much the launch time might move if the launch is on the 14th?

"return to flight now planned on Jan 14th 9:54AM"
Is that local or zulu?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jpo234 on 01/10/2017 07:34 AM
"return to flight now planned on Jan 14th 9:54AM"
Is that local or zulu?

local, its 17:54 UTC
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/10/2017 10:15 AM
Droneship landing and stage 2 reentry zones have been published in the update thread, but with a Jan 17 date?!

More range conflicts, something else?

Edit: update info is here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1628102#msg1628102) and here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1628106#msg1628106)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 01/10/2017 10:33 AM
Droneship landing and stage 2 reentry zones have been published in the update thread, but with a Jan 17 date?!

More range conflicts, something else?

Edit; update info is here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1628102#msg1628102) and here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1628106#msg1628106)

The "17" is the year.  ;)

The zone closures are for
Jan. 14 17:24 - 18:38 UTC
Jan. 15 17:19 - 18:33 UTC
Jan. 16 17:13 - 18:27 UTC

 ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/10/2017 10:44 AM
Doh!   :-[

Thank you for clarifying that. Could only see time info in the posts and so made what I thought was the obvious assumption ...  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brovane on 01/10/2017 01:26 PM
So who from the area is planning on going to the launch?  If the current schedule holds for this Saturday I was planning on making the drive from OC. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: manoweb on 01/10/2017 06:47 PM
Brovane, I'm seriously considering going down from the Bay Area. The time of launch is kind of inconvenient as it means I'll have to leave extremely early or the day before and spend the night there. I am still not sure what I will do :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/10/2017 07:03 PM
Was planning to drive down this past weekend, now unsure. May wait for the first RTLS Iridium. Would be nice if they can get to it before heavy-fog season arrives.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ChrisC on 01/10/2017 07:08 PM
If any of you guys have VAFB launch viewing experience, I'd appreciate if you could add some tips into the new Vandenberg launch viewing thread, which is pinned to the top of this forum section's thread listing.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41995.0
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: catdlr on 01/11/2017 12:46 AM
Iridium NEXT Slot Swap

IridiumComm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlNxVNgCXKA?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlNxVNgCXKA
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: xyv on 01/11/2017 03:20 AM
I plan to be there.  If the low level weather is clear I will drive to Ocean Avenue.  Saw the last Atlas launch there and it was quite awesome.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ElGuapoGuano1 on 01/11/2017 01:45 PM
Was planning to drive down this past weekend, now unsure. May wait for the first RTLS Iridium. Would be nice if they can get to it before heavy-fog season arrives.

Pretty sure you're going to be waiting a long time for that. The FAA clearance for launching all (well 7) of the Iridium launches gives license to land the first stage at "The Iridium landing zone" which is out to sea OR just in the ocean, no land landing mentioned. The landing would have to be on an ASDS, and the barge (ship) currently on the West Coast is JRTI (Just Read the Instructions).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brovane on 01/11/2017 01:53 PM
Was planning to drive down this past weekend, now unsure. May wait for the first RTLS Iridium. Would be nice if they can get to it before heavy-fog season arrives.

Pretty sure you're going to be waiting a long time for that. The FAA clearance for launching all (well 7) of the Iridium launches gives license to land the first stage at "The Iridium landing zone" which is out to sea OR just in the ocean, no land landing mentioned. The landing would have to be on an ASDS, and the barge (ship) currently on the West Coast is JRTI (Just Read the Instructions).

Formosat-5 is the Next Vandenberg launch and it could be RTLS if the USAF gives clearance. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 01/11/2017 05:31 PM
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
CALIFORNIA.
HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS 141724Z TO 141838Z,
151719Z TO 151833Z AND 161713Z TO 161827Z JAN
IN AREAS BETWEEN:
A. 32-30N 29-20N AND 119-30W 121-40W.
B. 29-20N 24-40N AND 120-40W 120-20W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 161927Z JAN 17.//

Authority: WESTERN RANGE 080517Z JAN 17.

Date: 100319Z JAN 17
Cancel: 16192700 Jan 17
I assume that the Northern/larger hazard area is for the ASDS landing.  What is the narrow hazard zone immediately to the south?  Fairings?  And the hazard area is huge I guess it includes certain failure modes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Mike_1179 on 01/11/2017 07:09 PM

  What is the narrow hazard zone immediately to the south?  Fairings?  And the hazard area is huge I guess it includes certain failure modes.


Possible locations of debris in the event a failure during / following boost-back.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: joek on 01/11/2017 07:11 PM
Was planning to drive down this past weekend, now unsure. May wait for the first RTLS Iridium. Would be nice if they can get to it before heavy-fog season arrives.
Pretty sure you're going to be waiting a long time for that. The FAA clearance for launching all (well 7) of the Iridium launches gives license to land the first stage at "The Iridium landing zone" which is out to sea OR just in the ocean, no land landing mentioned. The landing would have to be on an ASDS, and the barge (ship) currently on the West Coast is JRTI (Just Read the Instructions).

Specifically; from the FAA SpaceX Iridium Launch License (LLS 17-096) (https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/SpaceX%20LLS%2017-096%20License%20and%20Orders_01_06_2017.pdf) (emphasis added):
Quote from: FAA LLS 17-096
Authorization: SpaceX is authorized to conduct seven flights of launch vehicles:
(a) Using a Falcon 9 Version 1.2 launch vehicle;
(b) From Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), California;
(c) On a flight azimuth of 179.2 degrees;
(d) Using a traditional command destruct Flight Termination System;
(e) Landing the Falcon 9 Version 1.2 first stage either on a droneship or in the ocean;
(f) Transporting to low Earth orbit ten Iridium Next payloads on each flight; and
(g) According to the launch vehicle, launch vehicle systems, and safety management program represented in the SpaceX application as of the date of this order, and any amendments to the license application approved by the FAA, in writing.
So unless-until launch license amendment, no RTLS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: sdsds on 01/12/2017 11:14 PM
Formosat-5 is the Next Vandenberg launch and it could be RTLS if the USAF gives clearance. 

They'll need a license for that launch first.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: sdsds on 01/12/2017 11:31 PM
I assume that the Northern/larger hazard area is for the ASDS landing.  What is the narrow hazard zone immediately to the south?  Fairings?  And the hazard area is huge I guess it includes certain failure modes.

It might not be fair to characterize all the dispersion as occurring only in failure mode cases. As regards the larger (presumably ASDS) zone, returning stage flight through a box that big might be the result of uncertainties about the boostback burn. Speculating about the long thin (presumably fairing) zone, it could indicate SpaceX does not believe the fairing descent will be purely ballistic in nature, i.e. aerodynamics might play a part.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 01/12/2017 11:37 PM
Formosat-5 is the Next Vandenberg launch and it could be RTLS if the USAF gives clearance. 

They'll need a license for that launch first.

Assuming Iridium NEXT goes off without a hitch, they'll get it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 01/13/2017 12:08 AM
Was planning to drive down this past weekend, now unsure. May wait for the first RTLS Iridium. Would be nice if they can get to it before heavy-fog season arrives.

Pretty sure you're going to be waiting a long time for that. The FAA clearance for launching all (well 7) of the Iridium launches gives license to land the first stage at "The Iridium landing zone" which is out to sea OR just in the ocean, no land landing mentioned. The landing would have to be on an ASDS, and the barge (ship) currently on the West Coast is JRTI (Just Read the Instructions).

Formosat-5 is the Next Vandenberg launch and it could be RTLS if the USAF gives clearance. 

They'll need a license for that launch first.

The Orbcomm-2 license was amended less than a week before launch.  This launch will land on the ASDS.

I think people are reading way too much into existing licenses for future launches not including RTLS.  SpaceX won't even ask for it until they are ready, VAFB has approved, and who knows what else.  SpaceX seems to always file the minimal paperwork and then amend when ready. Getting an amendment is not a huge deal.  Do we need a "when will SpaceX RTLS?" thread for all the speculation?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 01/13/2017 12:15 AM
I assume that the Northern/larger hazard area is for the ASDS landing.  What is the narrow hazard zone immediately to the south?  Fairings?  And the hazard area is huge I guess it includes certain failure modes.

It might not be fair to characterize all the dispersion as occurring only in failure mode cases. As regards the larger (presumably ASDS) zone, returning stage flight through a box that big might be the result of uncertainties about the boostback burn. Sepculating about the long thin (presumably fairing) zone, it could indicate SpaceX does not believe the fairing descent will be purely ballistic in nature, i.e. aerodynamics might play a part.
Fair point.  I'm curious how they determine hazard zones.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: hootowls on 01/13/2017 02:01 PM
The larger northern box has two purposes: 1) It encompasses the nominal stage 1 boostback and landing on the ASDS; 2) It protects for jettisoned debris (fairing and skirt rings) OR (ballistic stage 1 in the event of no boostback).  The narrow box beyond that is for unplanned stage 2 debris.  The general purpose of these boxes is part of the Broadcast Notice to Mariners.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 01/13/2017 05:56 PM
Matt Desch ‏@IridiumBoss  7m7 minutes ago
Beautiful picture of our ride to space tomorrow on the launch pad this morning!  #IridiumNEXT #SpaceX

Actually, note 2 Falcons in this shot. One F9 and one F3 ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: eweilow on 01/13/2017 06:30 PM
Matt Desch ‏@IridiumBoss  7m7 minutes ago
Beautiful picture of our ride to space tomorrow on the launch pad this morning!  #IridiumNEXT #SpaceX

Actually, note 2 Falcons in this shot. One F9 and one F3 ;)
That camera angle will be amazing to use when they do their first return-to-flight at Vandenberg. From where it came, it will return.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jarnis on 01/13/2017 06:51 PM
Press kit seems to say that this one will load up prop way slower than before.

T-70min for RP-1 load start, T-45min for LOX load start.

Interesting. Permanent change, something special for Vandy (this is first Full Thrust out of Vandy after all) or...?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Melanchthon on 01/13/2017 07:13 PM
Press kit seems to say that this one will load up prop way slower than before.

T-70min for RP-1 load start, T-45min for LOX load start.

Interesting. Permanent change, something special for Vandy (this is first Full Thrust out of Vandy after all) or...?

Very interesting! Previous press kits say:

- 00:35 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) and liquid oxygen (LOX) loading underway
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: biosehnsucht on 01/13/2017 07:54 PM
"Underway" could mean "has been going for some time" and the start wasn't specified but happened earlier. It's possible that whether or not the start has been moved, it may have started before then before anyways.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jarnis on 01/13/2017 07:56 PM
"Underway" could mean "has been going for some time" and the start wasn't specified but happened earlier. It's possible that whether or not the start has been moved, it may have started before then before anyways.

The start has been moved for sure. At previous F9 FT/v1.2 launches, T-38 was the go/no-go poll before prop load.

Now it is T-78 minutes. (1h 18min)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 01/14/2017 04:12 AM
"Underway" could mean "has been going for some time" and the start wasn't specified but happened earlier. It's possible that whether or not the start has been moved, it may have started before then before anyways.

The start has been moved for sure. At previous F9 FT/v1.2 launches, T-38 was the go/no-go poll before prop load.

Now it is T-78 minutes. (1h 18min)
On the SES-9 pad abort, I'm wondering if the the saturated helium was only in the mix because the vehicle had pressed for flight in the previous count (wayward boat). With an instantaneous launch, it might be possible to stretch out the countdown and tanking as the HE won't be pressing the stage until the last minutes before launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/14/2017 01:08 PM
WX still looks good for today, about 40% chance of winds violation...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kaiser on 01/14/2017 01:55 PM
I assume that the Northern/larger hazard area is for the ASDS landing.  What is the narrow hazard zone immediately to the south?  Fairings?  And the hazard area is huge I guess it includes certain failure modes.

It might not be fair to characterize all the dispersion as occurring only in failure mode cases. As regards the larger (presumably ASDS) zone, returning stage flight through a box that big might be the result of uncertainties about the boostback burn. Sepculating about the long thin (presumably fairing) zone, it could indicate SpaceX does not believe the fairing descent will be purely ballistic in nature, i.e. aerodynamics might play a part.
Fair point.  I'm curious how they determine hazard zones.

1e-X risk of a piece of debris Y size hitting an aircraft, and 1e-Q risk of a piece of debris R size hitting a boat. All based upon instantaneous energy available -- velocity, height, fuel on board for kaboom.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2017 02:13 PM
I assume that the Northern/larger hazard area is for the ASDS landing.  What is the narrow hazard zone immediately to the south?  Fairings?  And the hazard area is huge I guess it includes certain failure modes.

It might not be fair to characterize all the dispersion as occurring only in failure mode cases. As regards the larger (presumably ASDS) zone, returning stage flight through a box that big might be the result of uncertainties about the boostback burn. Sepculating about the long thin (presumably fairing) zone, it could indicate SpaceX does not believe the fairing descent will be purely ballistic in nature, i.e. aerodynamics might play a part.
Fair point.  I'm curious how they determine hazard zones.

1e-X risk of a piece of debris Y size hitting an aircraft, and 1e-Q risk of a piece of debris R size hitting a boat. All based upon instantaneous energy available -- velocity, height, fuel on board for kaboom.
How do they know how many pieces are generated by the hypothetical explosion? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: toruonu on 01/14/2017 02:21 PM
Well the fact that a few have blown up might help the modeling ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2017 02:51 PM
Well the fact that a few have blown up might help the modeling ;)
How many of the pieces (not mass fraction) were recovered?  And would an in-flight explosion of unknown mechanism be similar to a pad explosion?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deltaV on 01/14/2017 03:01 PM
Does anyone know when the webcast is supposed to start? The YouTube technical version of the webcast is showing a counter that's counting down to 9:54:00 local, i.e. less than a minute before liftoff. I'm assuming they'll show us more of the countdown than that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 03:05 PM
Does anyone know when the webcast is supposed to start? The YouTube technical version of the webcast is showing a counter that's counting down to 9:54:00 local, i.e. less than a minute before liftoff. I'm assuming they'll show us more of the countdown than that.

They generally start at T-20 minutes, but the YouTube countdown timer is set to T-0.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: launchwatcher on 01/14/2017 03:05 PM
Does anyone know when the webcast is supposed to start? The YouTube technical version of the webcast is showing a counter that's counting down to 9:54:00 local, i.e. less than a minute before liftoff. I'm assuming they'll show us more of the countdown than that.
Press kit PDF at http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/spacex_iridium1_press_kit.pdf says:
Quote
WEBCAST | Launch webcast will be live about 20 minutes before launch at spacex.com/webcast
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 01/14/2017 03:10 PM
Well the fact that a few have blown up might help the modeling ;)
How many of the pieces (not mass fraction) were recovered?  And would an in-flight explosion of unknown mechanism be similar to a pad explosion?
I would think they'd just do worst case assumptions, informed by experience.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2017 03:16 PM
Well the fact that a few have blown up might help the modeling ;)
How many of the pieces (not mass fraction) were recovered?  And would an in-flight explosion of unknown mechanism be similar to a pad explosion?
I would think they'd just do worst case assumptions, informed by experience.
I'd hate to belabor the point, but how?

Over-water failures don't help.  Different rockets have different structures. Different failures produce wildly different numbers of debris.

What I'm saying is - it's probably not a 1e-x thing, but simply "maximum range a piece of debris can travel".  That's easier to calculate.  (Big pieces travel further, but are shot out slower...)

Which will make the odds of being hit very low indeed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: leovinus on 01/14/2017 03:59 PM
Is there a picture somewhere that shows the flight path out of Vandenberg?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kosmos2001 on 01/14/2017 04:02 PM
~ T–1h
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Paul_G on 01/14/2017 04:04 PM
https://www.flightclub.io/world/?code=IRD1&view=space gives a visualisation of the launch track.

Paul
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kaiser on 01/14/2017 04:06 PM
Well the fact that a few have blown up might help the modeling ;)
How many of the pieces (not mass fraction) were recovered?  And would an in-flight explosion of unknown mechanism be similar to a pad explosion?

You can pretty much assume all sizes in the statistical analysis. Big pieces are draggy and don't go far. Little pieces don't go too far either. It's really the medium to medium small sized stuff that usually makes the edge conditions from what I've seen.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brovane on 01/14/2017 04:06 PM
Beautiful weather for a launch.  It is like a Tesla meet up out here at Ocean.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Prettz on 01/14/2017 04:08 PM
https://www.flightclub.io/world/?code=IRD1&view=space gives a visualisation of the launch track.

Paul
So it takes off like an airplane then does a 90 degree turn? Interesting.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Pete on 01/14/2017 04:09 PM
If you want to watch either the Hosted Webcast or the Technical Webcast on YouTube, both of them start at 17:20 UTC (9:20 AM local).

In other words, the countdown will be at T-34 minutes at the time the webcasts begin.

Thanx for the info, i was wondering why the webcasts were dry, yet the update board was full of detail.


Was afraid I would miss the whole thing, like that time I logged in AT the time webcast said it would begin, only to see the Falcon already ascending off the pad. (they sometimes make the "time" of the webcast be liftoff time, and sometimes its start-of-transmission time....)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Paul_G on 01/14/2017 04:10 PM
https://www.flightclub.io/world/?code=IRD1&view=space gives a visualisation of the launch track.

Paul
So it takes off like an airplane then does a 90 degree turn? Interesting.

I think there are some 'glitches' with it. I just noticed that, mashed some buttons, dragged the view around a bit, and it suddenly looks more like a rocket launch and not a plane departure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: launchwatcher on 01/14/2017 04:24 PM
I would think they'd just do worst case assumptions, informed by experience.
I'd hate to belabor the point, but how?
I found some light reading for you here:   
""Hazard Analysis of Commercial Space Transportation,"
https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/hazard.pdf

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 01/14/2017 04:33 PM
T-25 minutes. The fuel collector pre-valves are closed and the three cryo-helium pumps are active.

How do you know? AFAICT the YouTube hosted stream is showing only elevator music and the YouTube technical feed hasn't started at all.
I haven't looked, but maybe its in the press kit?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 01/14/2017 04:37 PM
FYI, the technical webcast is currently running between 4 and 5 seconds ahead of the hosted one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CJ on 01/14/2017 04:45 PM
I'm getting "please stand by" on both the technical (on youtube) and hosted (on Spacex.com) broadcasts. Is anyone else having this issue?

EDIT: the fix was to disable my script blocker and cookie blocker.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Phil Stooke on 01/14/2017 04:46 PM
watching on Spacex, no problem
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MrHollifield on 01/14/2017 04:47 PM
Technical on YouTube is working good for me.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: inventodoc on 01/14/2017 04:48 PM
Hosted webcast apperas to be about 9-11 seconds behind at the moment- as compared to the technical one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: The_Ronin on 01/14/2017 04:49 PM
Hosted webcast apperas to be about 9-11 seconds behind at the moment- as compared to the technical one.

Mine is the opposite... Technical is 7 sec from behind hosted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 01/14/2017 04:51 PM
The delay between feeds has been variable for me. Currently technical is maybe 1.5 sec ahead, both on youtube. Think it both depends on your connection and if you're viewing them on youtube or elsewhere.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 01/14/2017 04:54 PM
Booster is tagged '29'.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 01/14/2017 04:56 PM
Small flame from a strongback umbilical on launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: inventodoc on 01/14/2017 04:58 PM
The mylar coverings on the second stage engine mount looks new.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 01/14/2017 05:03 PM
Best ever view of landing!
EDIT: looked to be a bit of movement after landing, and maybe a bit of a list on the stage following landing? Not sure, might be a camera angle artefact.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Keeval on 01/14/2017 05:04 PM
Best ever view of landing!

That was awesome!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: longboard1210 on 01/14/2017 05:04 PM
it doesnt get much Better
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: The_Ronin on 01/14/2017 05:05 PM
That was amazing!!!!!!!!! Best footage of the landing so far!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: a_godumov on 01/14/2017 05:06 PM
The landing looked so routine! I'm crossing my fingers everything else goes perfectly!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachF on 01/14/2017 05:06 PM
Bullseye.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: sojourner on 01/14/2017 05:06 PM
Not even any visible lingering flames this time!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/14/2017 05:07 PM
This was the first time I have heard the grid fins are powered by nitrogen. Was this known previously?

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: cebri on 01/14/2017 05:07 PM
That video feed was great. Now let's wait for the S2 restart.

(https://media.giphy.com/media/UxREcFThpSEqk/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Prettz on 01/14/2017 05:08 PM
I can't believe they showed the first stage camera view, live, all the way down. That was astounding.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ellindsey on 01/14/2017 05:08 PM
This was the first time I have heard the grid fins are powered by nitrogen. Was this known previously?

Matthew
Compressed nitrogen providing pressure for the hydraulic system, yes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: The_Ronin on 01/14/2017 05:08 PM
This was the first time I have heard the grid fins are powered by nitrogen. Was this known previously?

Matthew

That may have been a mistaken comment.  It was RP-1 for the hydraulic fluid before, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: abaddon on 01/14/2017 05:08 PM
Best ever view of landing!
EDIT: looked to be a bit of movement after landing, and maybe a bit of a list on the stage following landing? Not sure, might be a camera angle artefact.
Movement yes, but this seems to be pretty normal, perhaps a ground effect kicking in at the last moment.  List no, that's just a fish-eye camera effect.

Congratulations to SpaceX for a very nice looking launch so far.  Obviously the most important part is yet to come.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 01/14/2017 05:10 PM
Best ever view of landing!
EDIT: looked to be a bit of movement after landing, and maybe a bit of a list on the stage following landing? Not sure, might be a camera angle artefact.
Movement yes, but this seems to be pretty normal, perhaps a ground effect kicking in at the last moment.  List no, that's just a fish-eye camera effect.

Congratulations to SpaceX for a very nice looking launch so far.  Obviously the most important part is yet to come.
Agree on rewatch, looks like camera artefact.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: The_Ronin on 01/14/2017 05:10 PM
Might be off topic, but I assume JRTI is bringing the core back to Long Beach.  I guess they are going to truck it directly back to Hawthorne for processing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: HankinNM on 01/14/2017 05:11 PM
WOW!!  That landing was exciting!  I found myself yelling at my computer as she came down.  Spacex is Back In Business!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: watermod on 01/14/2017 05:11 PM
Congrats to SpaceX - crossing fingers but looking positive for Iridium!!
 :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: docmordrid on 01/14/2017 05:11 PM
That landing rocketcam shot was....Amazing!! WOW!!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deltaV on 01/14/2017 05:12 PM
If you want a lagging livestream to catch up put YouTube in speed 1.25x mode. It'll automatically return to speed 1x mode once it's caught up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/14/2017 05:13 PM
SpaceX made it look easy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Hankelow8 on 01/14/2017 05:14 PM
What more could they ask for, no delays on launch, perfect touch down within centimetres (I think), and hopefully stage 2 perfect start up sending Iridium satellites into correct orbit.

Space X are back !!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: tyrred on 01/14/2017 05:17 PM
Spectacular show, SpaceX!  Launch and Landing soo smooth.... Experimental Landing on JRTI scored a perfect 10 in my book. 

Soo glad there was focus on the 1st stage all the way down, no dropout of signal, and no apparent residual flames from the engines after touchdown.  Obviously the RTF period has provided time for some noteworthy refinements, at least in the "optics" department  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: testguy on 01/14/2017 05:17 PM
Anyone see and know what the tumbling thing was to the left and below the first stage during the reentry burn?  It was so fast I couldn't tell.  Would be surprised if it where a fairing segment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 01/14/2017 05:18 PM
I'm currently watching the technical webcast where a continuous ambience of running water and venting can be heard.

Is the running water part of the water deluge system? Or is it from another source?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danderman on 01/14/2017 05:20 PM
Although the initial deployment orbit of the Iridium-NEXT satellites will be at an altitude of 667 kilometers and an inclination of 86.4 degrees to either side of the Equator, the satellites will actually raise their altitude to 780 kilometers once they move a safe distance away from the second stage.

I would imagine that the satellites will raise their orbits at different times to inject themselves into the final working orbit at the correct position within the plane.  I am assuming here that all of the satellites will end up in a single plane.


Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 01/14/2017 05:24 PM
Any possibility of trouble from the South Atlantic anomaly on the other side of the pole?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Thorny on 01/14/2017 05:26 PM
Any possibility of trouble from the South Atlantic anomaly on the other side of the pole?

The orbit doesn't go near it anytime soon. They'll be coming up over the Indian Ocean toward South Asia.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Pete on 01/14/2017 05:27 PM
Anyone see and know what the tumbling thing was to the left and below the first stage during the reentry burn?  It was so fast I couldn't tell.  Would be surprised if it where a fairing segment.
If you're referring to the object at about 5:40 , that cannot possibly be fairing. The fairing was released well before than, and both S1 and S2 have accelerated from that location since.

Much more likely, its a smallish, close object. Possibly a cover for the gridfin vents or somesuch. (they were opened just a few seconds before this)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danderman on 01/14/2017 05:28 PM
I would imagine that, in the event that the second stage were not to re-start, that the satellites would have enough prop to make it to their final orbit, at the price of a shorter working lifetime.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: abaddon on 01/14/2017 05:28 PM
Question: is this the longest coast of an S2 by SpaceX to date?  IIRC GTO launches have shorter coasts.  But maybe one of the more unusual launches (e.g. Jason-3) had a similar or longer coast and I am forgetting...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: getitdoneinspace on 01/14/2017 05:28 PM
Thanks for the FANTASTIC play by play Zach. Are you an intern at SpaceX? If so, I wish you a great career.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jaufgang on 01/14/2017 05:29 PM
Anyone see and know what the tumbling thing was to the left and below the first stage during the reentry burn?  It was so fast I couldn't tell.  Would be surprised if it where a fairing segment.

I saw it too starting at T+05:33 in the little triangular wedge of earth visible between the left grid fin and the fuselage.  If you are still connected to the live stream you can back up to see it again.  It's clearly tumbling and certainly looks like a fairing segment to me.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 01/14/2017 05:30 PM
Thanks for the FANTASTIC play by play Zach. Are you an intern at SpaceX? If so, I wish you a great career.

No. I am not a SpaceX intern. I'm just a college student at the University of Arkansas who knows a lot about the space program.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 01/14/2017 05:32 PM
Anyone see and know what the tumbling thing was to the left and below the first stage during the reentry burn?  It was so fast I couldn't tell.  Would be surprised if it where a fairing segment.

I saw it too starting at T+05:33 in the little triangular wedge of earth visible between the left grid fin and the fuselage.  If you are still connected to the live stream you can back up to see it again.  It's clearly tumbling and certainly looks like a fairing segment to me.

If it was a fairing segment, then SpaceX could be trying their hardest to recover the fairings.

Remember when they showed footage from a camera inside one of the fairings? That could be proof of why you saw that segment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Hankelow8 on 01/14/2017 05:33 PM
obviously have been working on de-fogging the decent camera, clear picture all the way down.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Saabstory88 on 01/14/2017 05:34 PM
obviously have been working on de-fogging the decent camera, clear picture all the way down.

Well this stage likely had a less rigorous decent regime than the GTO birds.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/14/2017 05:35 PM
Anyone see and know what the tumbling thing was to the left and below the first stage during the reentry burn?  It was so fast I couldn't tell.  Would be surprised if it where a fairing segment.
If you're referring to the object at about 5:40 , that cannot possibly be fairing. The fairing was released well before than, and both S1 and S2 have accelerated from that location since.

Much more likely, its a smallish, close object. Possibly a cover for the gridfin vents or somesuch. (they were opened just a few seconds before this)
I thought I could see some kind of RCS activating on that thing...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Norm38 on 01/14/2017 05:35 PM
The F9 is back online, and landings don't get any better than that. Congrats SpaceX on a great RTF.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Pete on 01/14/2017 05:36 PM
Heh, passing over the south Pole, and I see that the projection system they use has the same awkwardness in orientation as KSP when one tries to view a vehicle passing very close to the poles.

I think we are a little too bound to the north-is-to-the-top-of-the-screen viewpoint that we are comfortable with!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: karki on 01/14/2017 05:43 PM
A bit premature, but still....

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

FALCON 9 LAUNCH SUCCESS

To be fair, the *launch* part was successful  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 01/14/2017 05:44 PM
The F9 is back online, and landings don't get any better than that. Congrats SpaceX on a great RTF.

Not until the fat lady sings (SC Sep) ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2017 05:44 PM
Wow, just got home and watched. Seemed....  Controlled..

The one engine landing seemed almost slow-mo.

Like when you go back to level 1 after dying on level 20...

Everything is better in California!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Pete on 01/14/2017 05:45 PM
Mission timeline:
00:52:31    2nd stage engine restarts
00:52:34    2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)

So the second S2 burn is only three seconds??
What is the purpose of this burn, as it will impart only a very small amount of orbit change in such a short time. At most some 150m/s, likely a good bit less?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/14/2017 05:46 PM
A bit premature, but still....

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: 30th Space Wing Public Affairs, www.vandenberg.af.mil

FALCON 9 LAUNCH SUCCESS

To be fair, the *launch* part was successful  ;)


At the risk of being identified a pendant, for satellites I see the 'launch' as being really the entire mission from ignition to final s/c sep. However, I can see the merits of the argument that the 'launch' phase ends upon insertion into a stable parking orbit and, thereafter, the mission being in 'in-orbit operations'.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 05:47 PM
Mission timeline:
00:52:31    2nd stage engine restarts
00:52:34    2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)

So the second S2 burn is only three seconds??
What is the purpose of this burn, as it will impart only a very small amount of orbit change in such a short time. At most some 150m/s, likely a good bit less?

Circularization.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/14/2017 05:47 PM
Mission timeline:
00:52:31    2nd stage engine restarts
00:52:34    2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)

So the second S2 burn is only three seconds??
What is the purpose of this burn, as it will impart only a very small amount of orbit change in such a short time. At most some 150m/s, likely a good bit less?

Raise at apogee raise to put the spacecraft in circular orbit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Pete on 01/14/2017 05:52 PM
Mission timeline:
00:52:31    2nd stage engine restarts
00:52:34    2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)

So the second S2 burn is only three seconds??
What is the purpose of this burn, as it will impart only a very small amount of orbit change in such a short time. At most some 150m/s, likely a good bit less?

Circularization.

*slaps self*
Tsk, of course. The goal orbit is at about 630km, so of course you have to wait to the opposite side of the planet before circularising. (or do a ridiculous altitude-dogleg near launch.. inefficient)

So far so good Great!
Just awaiting good spacecraft sep and its a perfect launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ruthsarian on 01/14/2017 05:52 PM
Will S2 conduct another engine firing to deorbit itself or will it keep going until its orbit decays on its own?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 05:54 PM
Will S2 conduct another engine firing to deorbit itself or will it keep going until its orbit decays on its own?

It will do a deobrit burn and splashdown in the southern Pacific, very near Antartica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/14/2017 05:57 PM
At the risk of being identified a pendant

No one wants you to risk becoming a piece of jewelry. Smily face.

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/14/2017 06:00 PM
Just out of interest, where are the ground stations during this orbit? I'm guessing that they're out of range of Madagascar right now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: karki on 01/14/2017 06:03 PM
Just out of interest, where are the ground stations during this orbit? I'm guessing that they're out of range of Madagascar right now.

Not super surprised that the somalia/middle east coverage is spotty.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Orbiter on 01/14/2017 06:03 PM
Anyone hear if the SECO-1 orbital parameters were announced? ~166x628km?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Alastor on 01/14/2017 06:05 PM
Is ZachS09 high ? He's calling out things that even People at misson control do not seem to know, in the updates ...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 06:06 PM
Is ZachS09 high ? He's calling out things that even People at misson control do not seem to know, in the updates ...

He's guessing based on the timeline given. They're not real updates so I don't think they belong in the updates thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Nomadd on 01/14/2017 06:08 PM
Is ZachS09 high ? He's calling out things that even People at misson control do not seem to know, in the updates ...
He likes to see himself post.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Alastor on 01/14/2017 06:09 PM
Is ZachS09 high ? He's calling out things that even People at misson control do not seem to know, in the updates ...

He's guessing based on the timeline given. They're not real updates so I don't think they belong in the updates thread.

Seems like Chris is in the process of correcting said posts to make correct use of hypothetical formulations. Much better !
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jarnis on 01/14/2017 06:09 PM
Should never use such terms as "confirmed" when posting completely unconfirmed guesses based on pre-launch timeline.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Greg Hullender on 01/14/2017 06:11 PM
He's a super-enthusiastic college kid. Give him a break.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: francesco nicoli on 01/14/2017 06:12 PM
does anyone have any clue about what kind of debris can be seen at T+5.35 (the landing sequence) on the left side of the screen? it looks like a solid piece flying away from the stage, it stays there for quite sometime going of its own downground and rotating on itself...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: llanitedave on 01/14/2017 06:13 PM
He's a super-enthusiastic college kid. Give him a break.

Nah, he needs to be broken, like the rest of us old cynics.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Alastor on 01/14/2017 06:15 PM
He's a super-enthusiastic college kid. Give him a break.

It's not a problem of being enthousiastic. What we're calling him out on is making people believe that things have been confirmed to have happened when they actually haven't been confirmed.
It's bordeline an ethics question. People rely on us for actual information.
He should provide only information he actually has ! Otherwise he's missleading people !
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 01/14/2017 06:16 PM
Is ZachS09 high ? He's calling out things that even People at misson control do not seem to know, in the updates ...

You're out of your mind. I do not do drugs or drink.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/14/2017 06:17 PM
John I photo bombing. "He's got legs!"

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2017 06:22 PM
Jesus. A bit of proportion. It's happened before, it's a moderated forum, it's been fixed...

He's just a poster, so it's not an ethical problem any more than  any other industry insider that posts opinions as facts.

People are allowed to talk, and Chris B has to walk the line of keeping the site reputable.

In discussion threads, things usually self-moderate.  In update threads, the mods fix it.

And now, rockets.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Alastor on 01/14/2017 06:22 PM
Is ZachS09 high ? He's calling out things that even People at misson control do not seem to know, in the updates ...
You're out of your mind. I do not do drugs or drink.

That's good to hear ! Please make proper use of conditionnals next time and all will be great !
You got me really confused for a moment as I couldn't say where you got your infos ...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: TheSpaceRod on 01/14/2017 06:24 PM
does anyone have any clue about what kind of debris can be seen at T+5.35 (the landing sequence) on the left side of the screen? it looks like a solid piece flying away from the stage, it stays there for quite sometime going of its own downground and rotating on itself...

fairing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Hankelow8 on 01/14/2017 06:26 PM
obviously have been working on de-fogging the decent camera, clear picture all the way down.

Well this stage likely had a less rigorous decent regime than the GTO birds.

I believe all previous decent camera videos covered all types of decent regimes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kaputnik on 01/14/2017 06:27 PM
obviously have been working on de-fogging the decent camera, clear picture all the way down.

Well this stage likely had a less rigorous decent regime than the GTO birds.

I believe all previous decent camera videos covered all types of decent regimes.

It was pretty decent of them to show the entire descent.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Alastor on 01/14/2017 06:29 PM
does anyone have any clue about what kind of debris can be seen at T+5.35 (the landing sequence) on the left side of the screen? it looks like a solid piece flying away from the stage, it stays there for quite sometime going of its own downground and rotating on itself...

fairing?

Good catch ! It does look like a piece of fairing to me. It would make sense to see it there, too, I think.
By the way, did anyone catch something that would look like RCS jets on the fairings ? I wonder where they are with the fairing recovery project !
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ppb on 01/14/2017 06:34 PM
obviously have been working on de-fogging the decent camera, clear picture all the way down.

Well this stage likely had a less rigorous decent regime than the GTO birds.

I believe all previous decent camera videos covered all types of decent regimes.

It was pretty decent of them to show the entire descent.

I guess that makes you the docent of proper descent decency.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/14/2017 06:35 PM
I think that object is a lot closer, it seems to be flipping around a lot faster than it would if it was the fairing.

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dawei on 01/14/2017 06:38 PM
When is the de-orbit burn?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/14/2017 06:41 PM
I think that object is a lot closer, it seems to be flipping around a lot faster than it would if it was the fairing.

Is it common for the upper stage to shed bits of thermal blankets or bits of insulation from the engine piping during flight?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 01/14/2017 06:43 PM
Booster is tagged '29'.
I saw that and the whole room (I'm at a LEGO meeting, and I talked them all into watching) was impressed because I had predicted what number it was but said it probably wouldn't be actually on the booster.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DatUser14 on 01/14/2017 06:44 PM
Grey 29 under the legs, I thought F9-29 was AMOS-6?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: xyv on 01/14/2017 06:46 PM
Perfect day for a launch.  Was out at Ocean Ave and got a few good pictures.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 06:48 PM
Grey 29 under the legs, I thought F9-29 was AMOS-6?

You're right, Amos-6 was F9-029. However the 29 on this booster is a serial number for the first stage, 1029. This was flight F9-030 using first stage 1029-1.

Use this page (http://reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/cores) as a guide.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ppb on 01/14/2017 06:48 PM
Have the satellites been heard from yet?  Or is that another thread?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: The_Ronin on 01/14/2017 06:49 PM
Have the satellites been heard from yet?  Or is that another thread?

SpaceX reported all 10 satellites are reporting in.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/14/2017 06:49 PM
According to the twitter account of Iridium's boss, all 10 satellites are talking to them and are the post-launch health-checks seem good.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 01/14/2017 07:13 PM
Here is to them having a smooth orbit maneuvering and final orbit insertion with functional checkouts successful so the next batch would launch in about 3 months. NET April 15.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2017 07:18 PM
hey - I am not sure about this, but did previous landing come in oriented so the legs are at 45 degrees?

This one landed at a random angle.

With grid fins, controlling rotation should be very easy, and not at the expense of anything else - but landing "straight" gives the most amount of tolerance to X-Y errors.

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 07:24 PM
hey - I am not sure about this, but did previous landing come in oriented so the legs are at 45 degrees?

This one landed at a random angle.

With grid fins, controlling rotation should be very easy, and not at the expense of anything else - but landing "straight" gives the most amount of tolerance to X-Y errors.

The first stage is very tightly roll-controlled via ACS and grid fins, as seen in the Thaicom 8 landing video below. It seems to keep itself "facing the ground" (0º pointed at earth/launch site) during reentry. However they never land in any specific orientation to the ASDS because the ASDS orientation is based purely on local wave motion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jEz03Z8azc
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Kaputnik on 01/14/2017 07:39 PM
Will these satellites become an operational part of the existing constellation, or will that have to wait until they are all flown?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/14/2017 07:43 PM
They are replacing the old with the new as they launch them. There is a video (probably in the update thread) about the process.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 01/14/2017 08:15 PM

The first stage is very tightly roll-controlled via ACS and grid fins, as seen in the Thaicom 8 landing video below. It seems to keep itself "facing the ground" (0º pointed at earth/launch site) during reentry. However they never land in any specific orientation to the ASDS because the ASDS orientation is based purely on local wave motion.

Good evidence of the roll control at about T+7:30 (just before start of landing burn),when the stage starts rolling, only to be swiftly kicked in the behind by the RCS at T+7:35, quickly nulling rates.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/14/2017 08:27 PM
My old workhorse computer got so excited it crashed and rebooted back up with 15 seconds to launch... :o  Just what I needed, more nail-biting... Thanks to all for the coverage and discussion to catch up on especially the ever enthusiastic Zach! :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/14/2017 09:51 PM
Will S2 conduct another engine firing to deorbit itself or will it keep going until its orbit decays on its own?

It will do a deobrit burn and splashdown in the southern Pacific, very near Antartica.

Can you confirm this? There is an 11th object cataloged in the deployment orbit, with TLE epoch of 2030 UTC (launch plus 2h30, 1 orbit after deployment complete). Possibly a late TLE for second stage if it made 1.5 orbits and got a catalog number before the deorbit burn.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/14/2017 10:04 PM
Does anyone have an edited highlights version of the launch?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 10:50 PM
Will S2 conduct another engine firing to deorbit itself or will it keep going until its orbit decays on its own?

It will do a deobrit burn and splashdown in the southern Pacific, very near Antartica.

Can you confirm this? There is an 11th object cataloged in the deployment orbit, with TLE epoch of 2030 UTC (launch plus 2h30, 1 orbit after deployment complete). Possibly a late TLE for second stage if it made 1.5 orbits and got a catalog number before the deorbit burn.

Raul says S2 has already deorbited. (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5nsaqm/rspacex_iridium_next_constellation_mission_1/dcflwve/?context=0)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: envy887 on 01/14/2017 10:53 PM
Will S2 conduct another engine firing to deorbit itself or will it keep going until its orbit decays on its own?

It will do a deobrit burn and splashdown in the southern Pacific, very near Antartica.

Can you confirm this? There is an 11th object cataloged in the deployment orbit, with TLE epoch of 2030 UTC (launch plus 2h30, 1 orbit after deployment complete). Possibly a late TLE for second stage if it made 1.5 orbits and got a catalog number before the deorbit burn.

Raul says S2 has already deorbited. (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5nsaqm/rspacex_iridium_next_constellation_mission_1/dcflwve/?context=0)

That's not a confirmation that it actually happened, just a link to the NOTAM warning to look out for raining 2nd stage bits over the South Pacific around 20:00 GMT.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/14/2017 10:56 PM
Will S2 conduct another engine firing to deorbit itself or will it keep going until its orbit decays on its own?

It will do a deobrit burn and splashdown in the southern Pacific, very near Antartica.

Can you confirm this? There is an 11th object cataloged in the deployment orbit, with TLE epoch of 2030 UTC (launch plus 2h30, 1 orbit after deployment complete). Possibly a late TLE for second stage if it made 1.5 orbits and got a catalog number before the deorbit burn.

Raul says S2 has already deorbited. (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5nsaqm/rspacex_iridium_next_constellation_mission_1/dcflwve/?context=0)

That's not a confirmation that it actually happened, just a link to the NOTAM warning to look out for raining 2nd stage bits over the South Pacific around 20:00 GMT.

I provided confirmation that there was a planned S2 deorbit burn (as was requested), and noted that others said it was already deorbited as some extra info.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Flying Beaver on 01/14/2017 11:09 PM
Matt Desch on Twitter:

Great picture of our launch today.  Next time (April) they'll make sure Iridium NEXT logo on fairing pointed my way!

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/820422206228340736

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brovane on 01/14/2017 11:27 PM
Just got back home from watching the launch.  Was able to meet-up with Alex (Manoweb) while there, saved him a spot behind my car right near Ocean and 13th street.  I am in the black Stargate jacket in the picture. 

It was a good turn-out including several Model X's putting on a show with their gull-wing doors. 

I was able to track the rocket with my 20xBinoculars up through staging.  Sorry about the pictures just have my camera phone, don't have a real camera. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/15/2017 12:03 AM
Does anyone have an edited highlights version of the launch?
Will this do...?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7RcGfxsIbE
Found another... ;D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8wy5sQ2JDE
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: darkenfast on 01/15/2017 03:45 AM
Question: did the water deluge in the flame duct cut out earlier than has been usual for these launches?  The pad 's water system looked the same as at the Cape, but the exhaust coming out the duct changed from largely steam to flame and smoke, more like the new static test stand in Texas. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevin-rf on 01/15/2017 12:33 PM

It was a good turn-out including several Model X's putting on a show with their gull-wing doors. 
 

The Model X was first thing I noticed in your pictures....
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/15/2017 01:14 PM
Will S2 conduct another engine firing to deorbit itself or will it keep going until its orbit decays on its own?

It will do a deobrit burn and splashdown in the southern Pacific, very near Antartica.

Can you confirm this? There is an 11th object cataloged in the deployment orbit, with TLE epoch of 2030 UTC (launch plus 2h30, 1 orbit after deployment complete). Possibly a late TLE for second stage if it made 1.5 orbits and got a catalog number before the deorbit burn.

Raul says S2 has already deorbited. (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5nsaqm/rspacex_iridium_next_constellation_mission_1/dcflwve/?context=0)

That's not a confirmation that it actually happened, just a link to the NOTAM warning to look out for raining 2nd stage bits over the South Pacific around 20:00 GMT.

I provided confirmation that there was a planned S2 deorbit burn (as was requested), and noted that others said it was already deorbited as some extra info.

This is strange, because this morning JSPoC is still tracking 11 objects in orbit from the launch. If the 11th object is not the second stage, perhaps it is a small piece of debris of some kind, but it doesn't seem to be decaying rapidly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: AncientU on 01/15/2017 01:20 PM
Could it be one of SpaceX's test sats for their constellation?

There would be nothing forcing them to announce it in advance, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 01/15/2017 01:30 PM
Could it be one of SpaceX's test sats for their constellation?

There would be nothing forcing them to announce it in advance, right?

The FAA launch license and/or an FCC broadcast license would have to authorize it. Space-based RF emitters and ground-based tracking, telemetry and control stations are very highly regulated.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/15/2017 01:34 PM
Could it be one of SpaceX's test sats for their constellation?

There would be nothing forcing them to announce it in advance, right?

The FAA launch license and/or an FCC broadcast license would have to authorize it. Space-based RF emitters and ground-based tracking, telemetry and control stations are very highly regulated.

I would be rather surprised if it were a payload. The three plausible explanations are (1) small debris piece
(something fell off stage 2 or there is a deliberate ejection of some widget associated with the satellite dispensing process); (2) stage 2 didn't deorbit;  (3) JSpOC are confused and there are really only 10 objects but they accidentally 'created' an 11th by matching say  sat no. 1 on orbit 1 with sat no. 5 on orbit 2 - easy to do.
Should be able to tell in a few days once the satcat gets properly updated
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brian45 on 01/15/2017 02:03 PM
Didn't see any comment on this so I thought I'd ask.

Watching the launch yesterday I noticed the number 29 on the lower part of the rocket, just above the octoweb. Does anyone know what that number is? The 29th rocket?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/15/2017 02:13 PM
Is it just me or did the landed stage seem to be less on fire after landing than previous stages?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/15/2017 02:20 PM
Didn't see any comment on this so I thought I'd ask.

Watching the launch yesterday I noticed the number 29 on the lower part of the rocket, just above the octoweb. Does anyone know what that number is? The 29th rocket?

It is booster 1029. However this was the 30th Falcon 9 launch (F9-030). I assume the reason that the booster s/n is lower than the flight number is because they changed the s/n syntax with the introduction of Block 2.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/15/2017 02:23 PM
Is it just me or did the landed stage seem to be less on fire after landing than previous stages?

I thought the same. Someone reported a call out of no fire on the ASDS so I'm hoping that SpaceX have made some improvements that are having a positive effect.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/15/2017 02:43 PM
Could it be one of SpaceX's test sats for their constellation?

There would be nothing forcing them to announce it in advance, right?

I don't think they even have FCC approval yet for the test sats (assuming they're not going to launch the first simpler pair that was approved).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Reflectiv on 01/15/2017 02:54 PM
Is it just me or did the landed stage seem to be less on fire after landing than previous stages?

I thought the same. Someone reported a call out of no fire on the ASDS so I'm hoping that SpaceX have made some improvements that are having a positive effect.
That call out was regarding Launch Complex, Youtube Technical webcast 33:31
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WimRhydggo?t=2010
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/15/2017 03:00 PM
That call out was regarding Launch Complex, Youtube Technical webcast 33:31
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WimRhydggo?t=2010

Ah, ok thanks. I was going on this:

T+14 minutes. Think I heard "No indications of fire on ASDS".

I guess Steven didn't quite pickup what they were referring to.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Hauerg on 01/15/2017 03:08 PM
Didn't see any comment on this so I thought I'd ask.

Watching the launch yesterday I noticed the number 29 on the lower part of the rocket, just above the octoweb. Does anyone know what that number is? The 29th rocket?

It is booster 1029. However this was the 30th Falcon 9 launch (F9-030). I assume the reason that the booster s/n is lower than the flight number is because they changed the s/n syntax with the introduction of Block 2.
Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/15/2017 03:12 PM
On the tech webcast shortly after s2 startup they say "mvac pu is active". Did I here that correctly? what is mvac pu?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/15/2017 03:17 PM
Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.
Stage numbers can get shuffled around, and we don't know for certain if a different nomenclature wasn't  used for earlier stages.  See this reddit for a summary of what is known.
https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/wiki/cores

As stage reflights begin, the stage numbering will become even more confusing.  Hopefully SpaceX will keep numbering them as this one was numbered, but it would be nice to know the second stage numbers as well.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: HMXHMX on 01/15/2017 03:17 PM
On the tech webcast shortly after s2 startup they say "mvac pu is active". Did I here that correctly? what is mvac pu?

Propellant Utilization, presumably.  Adjusts mixture ratio for more complete propellant consumption.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/15/2017 03:18 PM
Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.

I count it as a launch attempt, and so does SpaceX actually (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5aocs9/chris_b_on_twitter_not_official_but_we_understand/d9iw3eh/?context=2). They called Amos-6 F9-029 and Iridium-1 F9-030. The number 29 painted on the booster was not the flight number, it was the booster's serial number (1029). These are very important to distinguish.

As I stated earlier, the booster serial numbers are smaller than the number of flights due to reasons the public doesn't know. The only way it makes sense to me is if Block 1 (v1.0) cores had s/n in the format B0001 and then when Block 2 started production they switched to B1001.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brian45 on 01/15/2017 03:24 PM
thanks for the clarification. Does that mean we'll see the "29" again on the launch pad at some future date (assuming the re-use this core)?

I don't recall seeing this number label on previous launches. Was it just the camera angle?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/15/2017 03:24 PM
I count it as a launch attempt, and so does SpaceX actually (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5aocs9/chris_b_on_twitter_not_official_but_we_understand/d9iw3eh/?context=2).
I know this is all semantics, but F9-29 was not an actual launch attempt as I'm sure you are aware.  It was an assembled vehicle that was destroyed in a ground test.  Such things have happened before (the first Atlas-Able, for example, Thor 103, a Soyuz or two, the Centaur stage of AC-68, etc, among a number of such incidents.)  If you count F9-29 as a "launch", you need to also count these others.  That list gets confusing pretty fast.  Was the exploded S-IVB-503 stage a "launch"?  Was "Discoverer Zero" a "launch?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/15/2017 03:28 PM
thanks for the clarification. Does that mean we'll see the "29" again on the launch pad at some future date (assuming the re-use this core)?

I don't recall seeing this number label on previous launches. Was it just the camera angle?

This is first painted number we've seen, and all cores after this one should have a painted serial number too. Although we don't know if they've gone back and painted numbers on the old ones (ie. CRS-8) as well.

I know this is all semantics, but F9-29 was not an actual launch attempt as I'm sure you are aware.

You're right, I used poor phrasing there. I was more noting that SpaceX isn't going to reuse the F9-029 mission designation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/15/2017 03:33 PM
If you think of them as missions instead of flights then leaving AMOS-6 as mission 29 is quite reasonable.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/15/2017 03:42 PM
This is first painted number we've seen...

Don't think that's true. There's been photos of returned stages in the HIF with legs removed that had an ID #. The number was much (much) smaller and IIRC, was obscured when the leg was folded up.

I was pretty stoked to see such large numbers, in multiple locations, and in plain sight at launch time. Was a definite move towards giving individual cores a pronounced identity - something not surprising now that they will have both histories and futures...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Bob Shaw on 01/15/2017 03:48 PM
MVAC is presumably 'Merlin Vacuum (Engine)'

PU could be a variety of things.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/15/2017 03:48 PM
This is first painted number we've seen...

Don't think that's true. There's been photos of returned stages in the HIF with legs removed that had an ID #. The number was much (much) smaller and IIRC, was obscured when the leg was folded up.

Can you point me to some of those pictures? I'd love to see them.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Brian45 on 01/15/2017 04:15 PM
Johnnyhinbos - you hit the nail on the head - I thought the number was an indicator of SpaceX's tracking of Stage 1s in a very public way. Hope to see ol' 29 on the stand many times!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: DanielW on 01/15/2017 04:45 PM
I would bet that stage serial numbers are 0 indexed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/15/2017 04:56 PM
I would bet that stage serial numbers are 0 indexed.

It's way more complicated than that, because you'd have to account for all the cores like Grasshopper, F9R Dev 1&2, FH STAs, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kch on 01/15/2017 05:08 PM

On the tech webcast shortly after s2 startup they say "mvac pu is active". Did I here that correctly? what is mvac pu?

MVAC is presumably 'Merlin Vacuum (Engine)'

Makes sense -- that's what it usually means, especially in that context.  :)



PU could be a variety of things.


Propellant Utilization, presumably.  Adjusts mixture ratio for more complete propellant consumption.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/15/2017 05:21 PM
This is first painted number we've seen...

Don't think that's true. There's been photos of returned stages in the HIF with legs removed that had an ID #. The number was much (much) smaller and IIRC, was obscured when the leg was folded up.

Can you point me to some of those pictures? I'd love to see them.
Wish I could - finding reference photos through Tapatalk is untenable. Perhaps this evening I'll try the desktop version and try to track one down unless someone else can (happily) ninja me...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jarnis on 01/15/2017 05:51 PM
My old workhorse computer got so excited it crashed and rebooted back up with 15 seconds to launch... :o  Just what I needed, more nail-biting...

What is this non-redundant mission critical computer system?!?! :D

(here I had two computers running one stream each, plus TV running youtube smartTV app running the hosted cast as well... The only non-redundant parts were the switch and the system running the firewall)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/15/2017 05:51 PM
I would bet that stage serial numbers are 0 indexed.
Believe they are "1"  indexed, e.g. first, second, third, und so weiter.

The significance of this launch is that SX can field a finished Falcon 9 system where all the parts work on a major mission, flown under AF/FAA supervision. That means missions can continue now working down a manifest.

Prior to this they had lost that confidence due to an obvious, unanticipated failure when no expectation of such was present. Why this was so bad wasn't just due to the loss of the mission/payload/vehicle, but more so because they clearly did not understand that they were under risk of such.

After having convinced all that they did.

The problem with SX (or others) aerospace agile development is that, in contrast to ULA (or others) system engineering is that these lapses are themselves excessively costly to all, and simply cannot be overlooked as many might. And where an engine anomaly (e.g. OA6) might bring things close to the edge of margin, during the same period lapses for SX have meant multiple lost missions.

For SX just flying does not mean they have reached parity with ULA/others - they need to be able to do "agile development" at comparable not excessive cost.

And its not just SX here that are affected by this - all other providers will be competing more with SX, and thus must be more "agile" to do so, otherwise they won't be competitive. They risk the same as SX in doing so.

SX is behind on FH. They also have a pad to rebuild. And another version of F9 to field, likely with 3 COPV's of improved design.

Those that want to wish away the problem will be disappointed. SX needs to have carbon fiber subcooled LOX tanks of radically excessive performance by current standards. Plus more.

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 01/15/2017 07:11 PM
The significance of this launch is that SX can field a finished Falcon 9 system where all the parts work on a major mission, flown under AF/FAA supervision. That means missions can continue now working down a manifest.

Prior to this they had lost that confidence due to an obvious, unanticipated failure when no expectation of such was present. Why this was so bad wasn't just due to the loss of the mission/payload/vehicle, but more so because they clearly did not understand that they were under risk of such.

Emphasis yours.
Unknown unknows. Those have happened to all major players in the launch industry. And all of them have lost payloads or had failed missions because of them.

Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with Arianespace and AF/FAA with ESA.
Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with McDonnell Douglas
Had it been 2007 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with ULA
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 01/15/2017 08:22 PM
Don't think that's true. There's been photos of returned stages in the HIF with legs removed that had an ID #. The number was much (much) smaller and IIRC, was obscured when the leg was folded up.

I was pretty stoked to see such large numbers, in multiple locations, and in plain sight at launch time. Was a definite move towards giving individual cores a pronounced identity - something not surprising now that they will have both histories and futures...

When you start having multiple cores sitting around it becomes more important to be able to tell them apart at a quick glance than going searching for some small serial number somewhere.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 01/15/2017 08:45 PM
Don't think that's true. There's been photos of returned stages in the HIF with legs removed that had an ID #. The number was much (much) smaller and IIRC, was obscured when the leg was folded up.

I was pretty stoked to see such large numbers, in multiple locations, and in plain sight at launch time. Was a definite move towards giving individual cores a pronounced identity - something not surprising now that they will have both histories and futures...

When you start having multiple cores sitting around it becomes more important to be able to tell them apart at a quick glance than going searching for some small serial number somewhere.
What a problem to have.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: kevinof on 01/15/2017 08:47 PM
Whats the alternative? Stagnate for the next 30 years just like we have for the last? For me, I'd rather take the "odd" failure in return for the many steps forward we get.

What these agile developers are doing is pushing forward trying new systems, new approaches, trying things that were ignored or dismissed. Even BO is redefining  how sub-orbital is approached.

I say bring it on and let's keep taking big steps rather than sit on our asses doing the same thing over and over.


The problem with SX (or others) aerospace agile development is that, in contrast to ULA (or others) system engineering is that these lapses are themselves excessively costly to all, and simply cannot be overlooked as many might. And where an engine anomaly (e.g. OA6) might bring things close to the edge of margin, during the same period lapses for SX have meant multiple lost missions.

For SX just flying does not mean they have reached parity with ULA/others - they need to be able to do "agile development" at comparable not excessive cost.

And its not just SX here that are affected by this - all other providers will be competing more with SX, and thus must be more "agile" to do so, otherwise they won't be competitive. They risk the same as SX in doing so.

SX is behind on FH. They also have a pad to rebuild. And another version of F9 to field, likely with 3 COPV's of improved design.

Those that want to wish away the problem will be disappointed. SX needs to have carbon fiber subcooled LOX tanks of radically excessive performance by current standards. Plus more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: okan170 on 01/15/2017 09:24 PM
Some fun alternate angles of the launch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErvThKVW5Lk
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/15/2017 09:54 PM
The significance of this launch is that SX can field a finished Falcon 9 system where all the parts work on a major mission, flown under AF/FAA supervision. That means missions can continue now working down a manifest.

Prior to this they had lost that confidence due to an obvious, unanticipated failure when no expectation of such was present. Why this was so bad wasn't just due to the loss of the mission/payload/vehicle, but more so because they clearly did not understand that they were under risk of such.

Emphasis yours.
Unknown unknows. Those have happened to all major players in the launch industry. And all of them have lost payloads or had failed missions because of them.

Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with Arianespace and AF/FAA with ESA.
Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with McDonnell Douglas
Had it been 2007 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with ULA
Understand the point you attempt to make.

In this case none of the above applies. ALL of those you list ... had/have the intent of a few handfuls of payloads to orbit per year.  (1.)They all want to mature a LV and then reduce risk to near zero.

If you believe SX's stated intent, (2.) they are focussed on making a high launch frequency reused launch system.

You do understand that (1.) is completely different than (2.)? Yet customers with payload expect (1.).

How do you otherwise "square this circle"?

They should not appear like ULA/others if they are not like ULA/others is my point.

SX has no interest in not modifying any launch systems/services. They will be dicking with everything as long as they can find something to change. ULA/Ariane/others ... won't ... they'll only change up to a point.

They are different, not the same.

Whats the alternative? Stagnate for the next 30 years just like we have for the last? For me, I'd rather take the "odd" failure in return for the many steps forward we get.
You aren't a customer of the launch services.

And precisely why I'm holding SX's agile development "feet to the fire" is because I don't want to stagnate.

A long time ago I got on poor terms during EELV by suggesting marginal increased risk. Because any increased risk was unacceptable.

And now I'm getting criticized here for the opposite extreme. Amusing.

Quote
What these agile developers are doing is pushing forward trying new systems, new approaches, trying things that were ignored or dismissed. Even BO is redefining  how sub-orbital is approached.

I say bring it on and let's keep taking big steps rather than sit on our asses doing the same thing over and over.

That's because you don't understand (or accept) that there is considerable risk for all in unconstrained, radical development at any cost. Am attempting to quantify for ALL launch providers exactly where this risk is - SX is currently over the line and ULA isn't.

SX too a considerable financial hit due to all of this. The prospective "hits" increase in severity as they "mature" and take on larger scale programs like ITS.

This is more than sufficient to wipe them out as a business. Example - they have an BFR misfortune that wipes out a significant portion of Florida due to liability. Unlikely but still present.

One has to look at this responsibly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/15/2017 10:32 PM

The problem with SX (or others) aerospace agile development is that, in contrast to ULA (or others) system engineering... 


I don't understand the contrast you draw - can you elaborate?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/15/2017 11:03 PM

The problem with SX (or others) aerospace agile development is that, in contrast to ULA (or others) system engineering... 


I don't understand the contrast you draw - can you elaborate?

Agile development is ahistorical - you do something that was never done before, attempting to prove all elements of it and dependencies from the ground up.

"Systems engineering" is proving things that work (or not) from history, within very specific scope/bounds, and carefully composing/"evolving" subsystems/components along those rules, tracking dependences  through provenance, such that you can prove the "atomic" risks at all points, and by summing/multiplying such can accurately "know" your risks well ahead of use.

The first allows for radical speed/scope increase at the cost of exponential risk (provable but won't detail this, do your own homework).

The second always bounds risk and allows for deterministic fault tree analysis. But is slower/narrower in time/scope.

My point here is that you can have a hybrid that can have best trade of bounded risk with most of the speed/scope.

And that this hybrid is a responsible approach for acceptable rate of speed/scope change.

add:
And why I don't elaborate here is that it a)confuses threads further as everyone argues definitions and b) it is impossible to retain the point of the post, as everyone vectors off into nonsense land.

To reiterate, SX is losing customer payloads for no good reasons. They can innovate and use agile - that's fine. But to do so w/o the unacceptable LOM means you have to do far better than they are doing.

And I'm certain Musk himself would agree with me on this point. Ask him.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: xyv on 01/15/2017 11:49 PM
Quote

Agile development is ahistorical - you do something that was never done before, attempting to prove all elements of it and dependencies from the ground up.

"Systems engineering" is proving things that work (or not) from history, within very specific scope/bounds, and carefully composing/"evolving" subsystems/components along those rules, tracking dependences  through provenance, such that you can prove the "atomic" risks at all points, and by summing/multiplying such can accurately "know" your risks well ahead of use.

The first allows for radical speed/scope increase at the cost of exponential risk (provable but won't detail this, do your own homework).

The second always bounds risk and allows for deterministic fault tree analysis. But is slower/narrower in time/scope.

My point here is that you can have a hybrid that can have best trade of bounded risk with most of the speed/scope.

And that this hybrid is a responsible approach for acceptable rate of speed/scope change.

I have to disagree with your depiction of agile development versus systems engineering.  Agile development is an approach that attempts to defer decisions as late in the process as possible and eliminate queues - where work tasks wait for design attention.  Agile is applicable to new (ahistorical) or derivative development.

Systems engineering is applicable to any complex development, irrespective of the development environment.  I would describe what ULA and others do as classic aerospace: highly program driven with government funding, milestones and long development cycles.  Yes, lean development can exponentially increase risk but the "classic" approach can exponentially increase cost and schedule due to the slavish adherence to the requirements and process - witness the F-35.

For the record, my companies attempt at lean was somewhat of a failure, but systems engineering was very much a part of it and we are still searching for the appropriate hybrid development approach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/16/2017 12:18 AM
SpaceX's launch reliability is fully in line with professional industry norms for a new launch vehicle, and is still way better than Proton for instance (both historical and modern) and FAR better than the early days of orbital launch when new ideas were constantly being used. This meme that SpaceX is "over the line" is false by any reasonable definition of new launch vehicle reliability.

ULA has only ever launched mature launch vehicles, their launch success rate is not surprising (though, of course, still requires good work). We'll see what happens when they introduce Vulcan.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/16/2017 12:22 AM
And why is this discussion in this thread? As if we didn't already discuss this to death 500 times.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/16/2017 01:21 AM
SpaceX's launch reliability is fully in line with professional industry norms for a new launch vehicle, and is still way better than Proton for instance (both historical and modern) ...
It may prove better than Proton in the long run, but it is still too soon to say for certain.  Proton M/Briz M has 9 failures in 89 flights (0.89 LaPlace point estimate reliability [1]).  Falcon 9 v1.2 has 9 launches and no failures (0.91 LaPlace) or 10 campaigns with one failure and one lost payload (0.83 LaPlace), depending on one's point of view.  Falcon 9 v1.1 and 1.2 together (the Merlin 1D Falcons) have 23 successes in 25 launch campaigns (0.90 LaPlace).

Too soon to say, and certainly not "way better" one way or the other.

 - Ed Kyle 

[1] http://www.measuringu.com/wald.htm
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danny452 on 01/16/2017 01:45 AM
In the Iridium-1 technical webcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WimRhydggo
there is a tumbling object visible from 25:12 to 25:21 to the left of the left grid fin.  My first thought was that it was one of the fairing halves.  But would that still be visible after the boostback burn?  Also, it is tumbling very fast for something as large as a fairing half.  Does anyone know what it is?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MATTBLAK on 01/16/2017 02:02 AM
Looks like a tumbling block of styrofoam - unlikely to be that, so I'd say insulation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CJ on 01/16/2017 02:10 AM
In the Iridium-1 technical webcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WimRhydggo
there is a tumbling object visible from 25:12 to 25:21 to the left of the left grid fin.  My first thought was that it was one of the fairing halves.  But would that still be visible after the boostback burn?  Also, it is tumbling very fast for something as large as a fairing half.  Does anyone know what it is?

It's hard to tell, but to me, it looks like it's tumbling at quite a rate. Something would have had to impart that tumble. I also, like you, have a hard time believing a fairing half would be visible so apparently close after the boostback.

My SWAG is that it's either a small piece of ice or a small cover of some sort that parted company with the F9 within the prior few seconds.

Are there covers of any sort associated with the grid fins? Perhaps around the hinge areas?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lar on 01/16/2017 02:13 AM
This is strange, because this morning JSPoC is still tracking 11 objects in orbit from the launch. If the 11th object is not the second stage, perhaps it is a small piece of debris of some kind, but it doesn't seem to be decaying rapidly.

Where is the dispenser? Did it remain mated to S2 when S2 deorbited? If not, could that be the 11th object?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/16/2017 02:18 AM

Are there covers of any sort associated with the grid fins? Perhaps around the hinge areas?

No covers or anything visible from the Thaicom 8 first stage landing video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jEz03Z8azc
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 01/16/2017 04:18 AM
Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/16/2017 04:33 AM
Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

 Agreed, faring separation was conspicuous by its absence.

 I'll be  paying attention to future lunches to see if they show fairing separation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Hauerg on 01/16/2017 04:51 AM
Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

 Agreed, faring separation was conspicuous by its absence.

 I'll be  paying attention to future lunches to see if they show fairing separation.
Bon appetit!
 ;D ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/16/2017 05:08 AM
Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.

I count the September explosion as a launch vehicle failure, defined below (written by myself and subject to change without notice :-). What I am interested in is how the launch vehicle performs in delivering its payload, not just the act of launch itself. This includes how the vehicle performs with the payload prior to launch. If the vehicle destroys its payload prior to actual launch, I count that as a launch vehicle failure.

Launch Vehicle Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Partial Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload to the specified orbit, but deploys the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Success: The launch vehicle deploys the payload into the specified orbit.

Specified Orbit: An orbit defined by perigee, apogee, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of periapsis and true anomaly, including any specified range of these parameters.

Usable Orbit. The specified orbit, an orbit outside the specified orbit that can be used by the payload or an orbit from which the payload can maneuver from so as to reach the specified orbit or an orbit that can be used.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ZachS09 on 01/16/2017 05:32 AM
Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.

I count the September explosion as a launch vehicle failure, defined below (written by myself and subject to change without notice :-). What I am interested in is how the launch vehicle performs in delivering its payload, not just the act of launch itself. This includes how the vehicle performs with the payload prior to launch. If the vehicle destroys its payload prior to actual launch, I count that as a launch vehicle failure.

Launch Vehicle Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Partial Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload to the specified orbit, but deploys the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Success: The launch vehicle deploys the payload into the specified orbit.

Specified Orbit: An orbit defined by perigee, apogee, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of periapsis and true anomaly, including any specified range of these parameters.

Usable Orbit. The specified orbit, an orbit outside the specified orbit that can be used by the payload or an orbit from which the payload can maneuver from so as to reach the specified orbit or an orbit that can be used.

Thanks for explaining, Steven, but I would not consider AMOS 6 a launch vehicle failure since it was not launch day. Who would want to say that Iridium-NEXT F1 was the 30th Falcon 9?

You don't have to side with my opinion. Please believe what you think.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Vultur on 01/16/2017 05:43 AM
This is more than sufficient to wipe them out as a business. Example - they have an BFR misfortune that wipes out a significant portion of Florida due to liability. Unlikely but still present.


I don't think this is physically possible - BFR isn't that big and liquid propellants aren't that explosive (need to mix first). It could be a large explosion, but no way could it affect a significant portion of a state. If a BFR blew up at Boca Chica, it might destroy the SpaceX facilities there, but not much outside that - maybe windows broken on beach houses but...

It may prove better than Proton in the long run, but it is still too soon to say for certain.  Proton M/Briz M has 9 failures in 89 flights (0.89 LaPlace point estimate reliability [1]).

Sure, but Proton's failures are heavily biased toward recent flights. Proton's reliability /now/ is significantly worse than its historical average.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: guckyfan on 01/16/2017 07:02 AM
Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

 Agreed, faring separation was conspicuous by its absence.

Not showing it indicates a difference they did not want to show. Means it was anticipated and not a surprise.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 01/16/2017 07:08 AM
To reiterate, SX is losing customer payloads for no good reasons. They can innovate and use agile - that's fine. But to do so w/o the unacceptable LOM means you have to do far better than they are doing.

And I'm certain Musk himself would agree with me on this point. Ask him.
Emphasis mine (this time)
Practically every customer payload ever lost (no matter who the launch service provider was/is) was lost for no good reason. Loads of examples out there but I'll stick to the three I mentioned earlier:
- Losing a USAF GPS satellite because McDonnell Douglas didn't pay attention to the design of a new SRB transportation device is a prime example of losing a customer payload for no good reason.
- Losing Cluster mk.1 because ESA/Arianespace cut corners testing the flight software for Ariane 5 is a prime example of losing a customer payload for no good reason.
- Failing to achieve the proper orbit because Boeing didn't bother to properly model and examine the behaviour of three Delta IV cores vs. a single core is a prime example of not having your act together.

SpaceX may be doing Agile but everyone has lost customer payloads for no good reasons.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/16/2017 07:48 AM
Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

 Agreed, faring separation was conspicuous by its absence.

Not showing it indicates a difference they did not want to show. Means it was anticipated and not a surprise.
Good observation.

There was some confusion around sage separation time now that I think about it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Bynaus on 01/16/2017 08:09 AM
Wasn't SpaceX working on reusable fairings? In that case, confusion at the moment of fairing separation does not necessarily mean something went wrong (or that there was a dangerous situation). It might also mean that the fairing behaved in a new way while separating, and not everybody knew this was coming. Or, everybody knew what to expect, but the new fairings behaved somewhat differently that hoped/expected.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: toruonu on 01/16/2017 09:30 AM
They showed the camera view inside the fairing, but then swapped to an external view of the stage 2 enging followed by the ground tracking that showed 4 items (stage 1, burning stage 2 and the 2 separated fairings). I saw that. They didn't show the actual camera view of the fairing separation, but they did show the ground tracking that showed both fairing halves.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rpapo on 01/16/2017 10:14 AM
Regarding the fairing separation, was it earlier than we're used to seeing?  In that portion of video showing the four objects, they seemed awfully close together still.  That, or the image was simply foreshortened.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/16/2017 11:24 AM
I've got to say that I loved the Imaging Infrared view from Vandenberg shortly after fairing sep that showed the booster, upper stage and both fairing segments in close formation with the booster clearly elongated because it was rotating to retrograde alignment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/16/2017 12:54 PM
Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

 Agreed, faring separation was conspicuous by its absence.

Not showing it indicates a difference they did not want to show. Means it was anticipated and not a surprise.
Good observation.

There was some confusion around sage separation time now that I think about it.
Bad choice of words.  I meant that the camera views were different than normal, and the commentator script didn't match


Agreeing that this is not a sign of trouble but maybe possibly of hiding something
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: tleski on 01/16/2017 01:23 PM
Also, in contrast to the previous webcasts, they did not have "FAIRING" item following "MECO" on their timeline, which is interesting and indicates that they were planning on not drawing attention to it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/16/2017 01:28 PM
Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes  53m53 minutes ago
CEO Desch @IridiumComm: TBD but we may be able to cut @SpaceX launch interval to < 60 days as from our 3d launch. https://www.spaceintelreport.com/iridium-next-launch

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/820986025614934016 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/820986025614934016)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/16/2017 01:37 PM
Launching more frequently for Vandy would certainly help SpaceX's manifest. It seems to me that as a major customer Iridium would have some leverage in getting rockets before others on the manifest.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/16/2017 01:38 PM
Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.

I count the September explosion as a launch vehicle failure, defined below (written by myself and subject to change without notice :-). What I am interested in is how the launch vehicle performs in delivering its payload, not just the act of launch itself. This includes how the vehicle performs with the payload prior to launch. If the vehicle destroys its payload prior to actual launch, I count that as a launch vehicle failure.

Launch Vehicle Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Partial Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload to the specified orbit, but deploys the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Success: The launch vehicle deploys the payload into the specified orbit.

Specified Orbit: An orbit defined by perigee, apogee, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of periapsis and true anomaly, including any specified range of these parameters.

Usable Orbit. The specified orbit, an orbit outside the specified orbit that can be used by the payload or an orbit from which the payload can maneuver from so as to reach the specified orbit or an orbit that can be used.

Thanks for explaining, Steven, but I would not consider AMOS 6 a launch vehicle failure since it was not launch day. Who would want to say that Iridium-NEXT F1 was the 30th Falcon 9?

You don't have to side with my opinion. Please believe what you think.
I view it as a launch vehicle failure that occurred during a ground test, so not a launch failure, but a launch campaign failure.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: starhawk92 on 01/16/2017 02:00 PM
I have so many questions about "satellite constellation management".  Please teach me.

1)  These 10 satellites which were just launched -- are they capable of sharing data with the prior constellation, or do they communicate in their own band?
2)  How long until the 10 just launches are "ready for work"?
3)  Is each of the 10 just launched satellites planned to replace a member of the prior consteallation 1-to-1?  Or have things come to light which makes the geometry planned for the new consteallation different?

Thanks if anyone has time to explain!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/16/2017 02:03 PM
I read someplace that they would be operational in 3 months.
Also read that the plane they were launched into had one non functional satellite.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/16/2017 02:32 PM
Now I am wondering about that fairing separation.  This still from the technical webcast shows only one fairing half.  A  bit later two halves are visible, but it isn't immediately clear to me right now that they separated simultaneously.

I've also been wondering about the orbit.  Some pre-launch discussion described a planned 667 km insertion orbit.  The tracked orbit was more like 620 km.

Regarding the fairing separation not being shown on the webcast, there is a many-second delay that allows plenty of time for views to be cut off before being broadcast in the event of an anomaly.  They showed the inside-the-fairing view briefly just before planned separation, then cut away and, I think, never showed that view again.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/16/2017 02:49 PM
I've also been wondering about the orbit.  Some pre-launch discussion described a planned 667 km insertion orbit.  The tracked orbit was more like 620 km.

Iridium CEO tweeted before the launch (couple weeks ago?) that the parking orbit was 625km.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meberbs on 01/16/2017 03:15 PM
I've also been wondering about the orbit.  Some pre-launch discussion described a planned 667 km insertion orbit.  The tracked orbit was more like 620 km.

Iridium CEO tweeted before the launch (couple weeks ago?) that the parking orbit was 625km.
For reference, I checked the webcast, and stage 2 was at 627 km for the circularization burn. Seems like expected accuracy to me.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/16/2017 03:25 PM
Tweet from Peter B. de Selding: (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/821017001183346688)
Quote
Sat-based maritime tracking co @exactEarth: 4 of 10 @IridiumComm sats launched Jan. 14 carry our exactView™ RT powered by Harris payloads.

These ExactEarth AIS maritime tracking payloads should be on 58 65 of the sats, and the Aireon ADS-B flight tracking payloads should be on all of the sats.

edit: apparently the number of hosted payloads has increased from 58 to 65 since the initial announcements.
exactEarth: The Next Generation Satellite AIS Constellation Provides Real-Time Global Ship Tracking (http://www.exactearth.com/technology/exactview-rt-powered-by-harris)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: su27k on 01/16/2017 03:26 PM
I've also been wondering about the orbit.  Some pre-launch discussion described a planned 667 km insertion orbit.  The tracked orbit was more like 620 km.

Iridium CEO tweeted before the launch (couple weeks ago?) that the parking orbit was 625km.

And from their FCC application: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-875A1.pdf

Quote
The initial insertion orbit for Iridium second-generation
satellites is a 625 km altitude circular orbit with an inclination of 86.66 degrees.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Bynaus on 01/16/2017 03:39 PM
The fairing separation not showing up in the "progress bar" might simply be due to available space there.

That the two halfes do appear at different distances from S2 could simply be a perspective effect (the "second" fairing half would simply be lost in the glare of the upper stage engine in the first image edkyle posted). I also re-watched both the technical and hosted webcasts at the time in question and could not find a moment when the audience "gasps" or so. So I think this whole thing is spurious and everything went just fine.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/16/2017 03:44 PM
And from their FCC application: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-16-875A1.pdf

This document also answers some of starhawk92's questions:
Quote
Iridium proposes to replace its existing constellation with a new constellation using the same orbital parameters, providing the same global coverage, and transmitting on the same frequency bands. Like Iridium’s first-generation satellites, the new satellites will be capable of operating in the entire 1616-1626.5 MHz band; however, Iridium here requests no change from the operating frequencies specified for its first-generation satellites. To provide continuous service during the transition, Iridium proposes to replace its existing satellites one-for-one with new satellites as they are launched.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 01/16/2017 04:00 PM
The crowd noise is heard at 22:58 of the hosted webcast 03:19 mission elapsed time just after they cut away from the inside the fairing shot.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/16/2017 04:10 PM
The crowd noise is heard at 22:58 of the hosted webcast 03:19 mission elapsed time just after they cut away from the inside the fairing shot.

I really didn't notice much noise or reaction from the crowd at that point in the webcast.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/16/2017 04:21 PM
The crowd noise is heard at 22:58 of the hosted webcast 03:19 mission elapsed time just after they cut away from the inside the fairing shot.

I really didn't notice much noise or reaction from the crowd at that point in the webcast.
It's more like a collective murmur.  Perhaps their on-board view also cut off at that time.  Agree after this discussion that there is no issue with the orbit or any certain indication of a fairing separation problem.  I think the crowd reaction would have been more substantive if, say, a fairing half had hung on for too long!

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/16/2017 04:40 PM
Space Intel Report: SpaceX's return to flight removes Iridium's Sword of Damocles (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/iridium-next-launch)
Quote
...
Desch said the 10 satellites launched on Jan. 14 will be sent into Iridium’s plane 6. Eight will stay there; the two others will be drifted over to Plane 5.

That will fill the most glaring hole in Iridium’s coverage. “For our next launch, in April, we’ll launch into Plane 3 — that’s the other hole,” Desch said. “Every launch provides resilience and redundancy to the existing network.”
...
“The way I look at it, even if they only get 10 launches off I think I have a good shot at getting my five” because of the less-crowded manifest at Vandenberg, Desch said. “We have 20 or more satellites in the factory and ready — enough for two launches. We are really only gated now by the rockets.”
...

So it sounds like Iridium expects at least 5 launches this year, and any two flights (after the second one) could be as little as 45 days apart.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/16/2017 04:41 PM
Compared to previous flights, the fairing separation appeared fairly nominal from the infrared camera view.

The thing that really confuses me with this flight is that there are still 11 objects in orbit. Either the second stage did not perform its deorbit burn at all or there is a piece of debris associated with this launch (or some other sat).

https://www.celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/tle-new.txt

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Bynaus on 01/16/2017 04:57 PM
Satellite dispenser?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/16/2017 05:08 PM
Satellite dispenser?

Why would that come off? Logical conclusion is the 11th object is the stage
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Bynaus on 01/16/2017 05:37 PM
Satellite dispenser?

Why would that come off? Logical conclusion is the 11th object is the stage

You are right of course. Stupid thinking on my part. So when do we expect that de-orbit burn that Elon mentioned on Twitter?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/16/2017 05:39 PM
Satellite dispenser?

Why would that come off? Logical conclusion is the 11th object is the stage

You are right of course. Stupid thinking on my part. So when do we expect that de-orbit burn that Elon mentioned on Twitter?

If it hasn't happened by now, it won't happen at all. Falcon 9 S2 can hardly last a couple hours.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/16/2017 05:43 PM
Satellite dispenser?

Why would that come off? Logical conclusion is the 11th object is the stage

You are right of course. Stupid thinking on my part. So when do we expect that de-orbit burn that Elon mentioned on Twitter?

If it hasn't happened by now, it won't happen at all. Falcon 9 S2 can hardly last a couple hours.

Right, if the 11th object is real, and is stage 2, then the window for relight has long since passed and it will be up there in orbit for many many years to come. If its not the stage then I have no idea what it could be.

If it was in fact a failed relight of the second stage, I wonder how that affects SpaceX operations for the next flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/16/2017 06:15 PM
To reiterate, SX is losing customer payloads for no good reasons. They can innovate and use agile - that's fine. But to do so w/o the unacceptable LOM means you have to do far better than they are doing.

And I'm certain Musk himself would agree with me on this point. Ask him.
Emphasis mine (this time)
Practically every customer payload ever lost (no matter who the launch service provider was/is) was lost for no good reason.

There is a difference. The whole point of systems engineering is to constrain sources of risk. And Atlas/Ariane prove this effectiveness on a routine basis.

"No good reason" means if you apply your process/procedure, you catch it before it happens.

There are "good reasons" LOM's. They are extremely few by design. Otherwise there would be no benefit to process/procedure.

Quote
SpaceX may be doing Agile but everyone has lost customer payloads for no good reasons.
Reuse greatly increases launch frequency, meaning this matters even more than Atlas/Ariane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: bstrong on 01/16/2017 07:15 PM
It's more like a collective murmur.  Perhaps their on-board view also cut off at that time.  Agree after this discussion that there is no issue with the orbit or any certain indication of a fairing separation problem.  I think the crowd reaction would have been more substantive if, say, a fairing half had hung on for too long!

 - Ed Kyle

I always assumed they only had one channel of video from the S2 and that camera switches were done onboard according to a preprogrammed script. If this is the case (someone please correct me if I am wrong), then they would have seen the same thing we did.

It does seem odd that they would deliberately not transmit the video of the fairing separation, even if they didn't want to show it to us, so maybe the camera timing was off or the separation was late?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/16/2017 07:20 PM
I haven't watched all the launches, but I don't remember ever seeing the view of the fairing separation from the view of the second stage. When I've seen the separation (as far as I can remember), it is usually from ground or first stage cameras.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/16/2017 07:27 PM
I haven't watched all the launches, but I don't remember ever seeing the view of the fairing separation from the view of the second stage. When I've seen the separation (as far as I can remember), it is usually from ground or first stage cameras.

Its on the webcasts, like these:

JCSAT-16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OERDIFnFvHs?t=1232 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OERDIFnFvHs?t=1232)
Eutelsat/ABS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckjP8stlzxI?t=1296 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckjP8stlzxI?t=1296)
Thaicom-8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPYOtCFSLKw?t=1508 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPYOtCFSLKw?t=1508)
etc..
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/16/2017 07:33 PM
I haven't watched all the launches, but I don't remember ever seeing the view of the fairing separation from the view of the second stage. When I've seen the separation (as far as I can remember), it is usually from ground or first stage cameras.

Its on the webcasts, like this from JCSAT-16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OERDIFnFvHs?t=1232 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OERDIFnFvHs?t=1232)

Thanks! My memory clearly isn't perfect.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/16/2017 08:42 PM
Satellite dispenser?

Why would that come off? Logical conclusion is the 11th object is the stage

You are right of course. Stupid thinking on my part. So when do we expect that de-orbit burn that Elon mentioned on Twitter?

If it hasn't happened by now, it won't happen at all. Falcon 9 S2 can hardly last a couple hours.

Right, if the 11th object is real, and is stage 2, then the window for relight has long since passed and it will be up there in orbit for many many years to come. If its not the stage then I have no idea what it could be.

If it was in fact a failed relight of the second stage, I wonder how that affects SpaceX operations for the next flights.

Seems now that the 11th object is real - still getting TLEs today for all 11.
In SpaceTrack as objects A to K and object M (which I think is just a mistake, should be L). At some point they will identify them, and possibly before then they will fill in a radar cross section value of 'Large', 'Medium' or 'Small'.
If it's Large, then it's the second stage; if Small, then just a piece of debris. So stay tuned for a few more days
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/16/2017 08:50 PM
Seems now that the 11th object is real - still getting TLEs today for all 11.
In SpaceTrack as objects A to K and object M (which I think is just a mistake, should be L). At some point they will identify them, and possibly before then they will fill in a radar cross section value of 'Large', 'Medium' or 'Small'.
If it's Large, then it's the second stage; if Small, then just a piece of debris. So stay tuned for a few more days

Looks like object M has been renamed to L already.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lars-J on 01/16/2017 09:14 PM
Now I am wondering about that fairing separation.  This still from the technical webcast shows only one fairing half.  A  bit later two halves are visible, but it isn't immediately clear to me right now that they separated simultaneously.

C'mon, this is getting ridiculous. You know about perspective, right? That the rocket isn't travelling straight away from the camera?

Draw an imaginary line between the 1st and 2nd stage in your second image, and voila... you'll see that the two fairing halves are pretty much down the middle of the direction of travel, equidistant from this line.

The fairing half's separated, even if you didn't see it.  ::)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: HMXHMX on 01/17/2017 04:55 AM
So do I understand correctly that the 2nd Stage has re-entered but there are 11 objects in orbit?  If that is so, do we have insight as to what the 11th may be?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: woods170 on 01/17/2017 06:34 AM
So do I understand correctly that the 2nd Stage has re-entered but there are 11 objects in orbit?  If that is so, do we have insight as to what the 11th may be?
A wheel of cheese.






(Sorry, couldn't resist)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: docmordrid on 01/17/2017 07:07 AM
My first instinct would be a Microsat for CommX tests, but didn't they plan to launch them in pairs?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2017 07:36 AM
My first instinct would be a Microsat for CommX tests, but didn't they plan to launch them in pairs?

I think it was pointed out earlier in this thread that this would need a licence (eg if SpaceX wanted to do some comms testing with it) and no such licence has been granted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: guckyfan on 01/17/2017 08:40 AM
My first instinct would be a Microsat for CommX tests, but didn't they plan to launch them in pairs?

I think it was pointed out earlier in this thread that this would need a licence (eg if SpaceX wanted to do some comms testing with it) and no such licence has been granted.

I understand a license has been granted. But they have applied for another license for different test articles which are already quite near the final design.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/17/2017 12:16 PM
So do I understand correctly that the 2nd Stage has re-entered but there are 11 objects in orbit?  If that is so, do we have insight as to what the 11th may be?

Do you have confirmation of the re-entry? Elon tweeted only that the stage "does" re-enter, not that it actually did. I'm not claiming that it didn't, only that the evidence says something else is up in orbit alongside the Iridium sats and the second stage is the most obvious candidate for that 11th object. Without confirmation we have to wait until the radar cross-sections for those objects are available.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/17/2017 01:38 PM
So do I understand correctly that the 2nd Stage has re-entered but there are 11 objects in orbit?  If that is so, do we have insight as to what the 11th may be?
TBD
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1631200#msg1631200

My guess is that the stage is still up there, in part because absolutely no one from SpaceX has said otherwise, but I'm not willing to wager on that assertion!

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/17/2017 02:08 PM
Could a large enough part of the satellite deployment structure have come loose during the rotation before the de-orbit burn and is now co-orbital with the INEXT vehicles?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/17/2017 02:28 PM
Does anyone have a valid reason to think that the two parts of the dispenser are not bolted together and the whole thing is not bolted to the second stage?  If not, could we stop talking about it?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/17/2017 02:37 PM
Does anyone have a valid reason to think that the two parts of the dispenser are not bolted together and the whole thing is not bolted to the second stage?  If not, could we stop talking about it?

Of course they are bolted together, only one person suggested otherwise. Ben is asking whether something could have failed in the dispenser. You are the one who brought it back up, not him.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Mader Levap on 01/17/2017 06:10 PM
...or simply deorbit burn was done and that stage will be up for days/weeks, not years...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: starhawk92 on 01/17/2017 06:19 PM
Space Intel Report: SpaceX's return to flight removes Iridium's Sword of Damocles (https://www.spaceintelreport.com/iridium-next-launch)
Quote
...
Desch said the 10 satellites launched on Jan. 14 will be sent into Iridium’s plane 6. Eight will stay there; the two others will be drifted over to Plane 5.

That will fill the most glaring hole in Iridium’s coverage. “For our next launch, in April, we’ll launch into Plane 3 — that’s the other hole,” Desch said. “Every launch provides resilience and redundancy to the existing network.”
...
“The way I look at it, even if they only get 10 launches off I think I have a good shot at getting my five” because of the less-crowded manifest at Vandenberg, Desch said. “We have 20 or more satellites in the factory and ready — enough for two launches. We are really only gated now by the rockets.”
...

So it sounds like Iridium expects at least 5 launches this year, and any two flights (after the second one) could be as little as 45 days apart.

They already paid for the core floating into Long Beach . . . . that could reduce turnaround . . . ?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/17/2017 06:20 PM
...or simply deorbit burn was done and that stage will be up for days/weeks, not years...

Except all 11 objects are still in the same orbit
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Stefan.Christoff.19 on 01/17/2017 06:58 PM
What do you mean by that? Did they really sell the core to Iridium with rights to use it in subsequent launches? I haven't seen them consider doing this, but I don't get to read every thread. I thought they only sell the service and once completed the core is SX's to keep and do whatever.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/17/2017 07:02 PM
What do you mean by that? Did they really sell the core to Iridium with rights to use it in subsequent launches? I haven't seen them consider doing this, but I don't get to read every thread. I thought they only sell the service and once completed the core is SX's to keep and do whatever.

The core belongs to SpaceX, and Iridium has said repeatedly that they are using new cores.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Stefan.Christoff.19 on 01/17/2017 07:15 PM
What do you mean by that? Did they really sell the core to Iridium with rights to use it in subsequent launches? I haven't seen them consider doing this, but I don't get to read every thread. I thought they only sell the service and once completed the core is SX's to keep and do whatever.

The core belongs to SpaceX, and Iridium has said repeatedly that they are using new cores.

Thank you for the clarification. I tried to reply to starhawk92, but didn't click on the correct option.
That was my understanding too, that they would be using new cores. The comment made me think that there's a more recent development.
Although the core looks to be in a decent shape from the pics in the other thread, so maybe they can rethink their position if the cores keep coming back like this.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danderman on 01/17/2017 07:29 PM
Satellite dispenser?

Why would that come off? Logical conclusion is the 11th object is the stage

Since the 2nd stage performed a circularization burn, and the 2nd stage is only good for one re-start, then the stage should still be in orbit. Perhaps there is a re-re-start capability that has not yet been demonstrated.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/17/2017 07:36 PM
and the 2nd stage is only good for one re-start,

That's a big assumption, and doesn't fit with what Gwynne said pre-launch (three S2 burns).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danderman on 01/17/2017 07:38 PM
and the 2nd stage is only good for one re-start,

That's a big assumption, and doesn't fit with what Gwynne said pre-launch (three S2 burns).


A single re-start is what has been demonstrated, AFAIK.

I suppose there was never an announcement by SpaceX of the de-orbit of the 2nd stage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/17/2017 07:40 PM
There have been numerous launches where they performed a de-orbit burn. Even after a 2 burn gto launch. Which would make it 3 burns.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: old_sellsword on 01/17/2017 07:41 PM
I suppose there was never an announcement by SpaceX of the de-orbit of the 2nd stage.

If Elon can speak for SpaceX, then there was. (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/820534283437621248)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/17/2017 07:50 PM
and the 2nd stage is only good for one re-start,

That's a big assumption, and doesn't fit with what Gwynne said pre-launch (three S2 burns).


A single re-start is what has been demonstrated, AFAIK.

...
Heck, even the first stage does 4 burns (3 restarts) nowadays.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/17/2017 07:51 PM
There have been numerous launches where they performed a de-orbit burn. Even after a 2 burn gto launch. Which would make it 3 burns.

Source on this? I don't doubt you but I don't remember another launch doing 3 second stage burns.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/17/2017 08:01 PM
and the 2nd stage is only good for one re-start,

That's a big assumption, and doesn't fit with what Gwynne said pre-launch (three S2 burns).

Gwynne said that in an interview with CBS (it's in the podcast version, not sure if it was in the video version).  They will also need multiple burns to do the Formosat 5/SHERPA mission, which deploys to a circular orbit and then an elliptical orbit.  (STP-2 will have even more but that second stage will probably have whatever modifications/mission kit they're designing for the longer duration DoD missions.).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/17/2017 08:04 PM
There have been numerous launches where they performed a de-orbit burn. Even after a 2 burn gto launch. Which would make it 3 burns.

Source on this? I don't doubt you but I don't remember another launch doing 3 second stage burns.

I found this out not because of any annoucement but by tracking the orbits of various launches from the orbit TLE sites. Some are not de-orbitted and some are. I am pretty sure SES was left in orbit. Thiacom maybe?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/17/2017 08:10 PM
There have been numerous launches where they performed a de-orbit burn. Even after a 2 burn gto launch. Which would make it 3 burns.

Source on this? I don't doubt you but I don't remember another launch doing 3 second stage burns.

I found this out not because of any annoucement but by tracking the orbits of various launches from the orbit TLE sites. Some are not de-orbitted and some are. I am pretty sure SES was left in orbit. Thiacom maybe?


The Jason-3 mission is an example where stage 2 was deorbited on a 3rd burn. Also F9-021/Orbcomm
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/17/2017 08:12 PM
There have been numerous launches where they performed a de-orbit burn. Even after a 2 burn gto launch. Which would make it 3 burns.

Source on this? I don't doubt you but I don't remember another launch doing 3 second stage burns.

I found this out not because of any annoucement but by tracking the orbits of various launches from the orbit TLE sites. Some are not de-orbitted and some are. I am pretty sure SES was left in orbit. Thiacom maybe?


The Jason-3 mission is an example where stage 2 was deorbited on a 3rd burn. Also F9-021/Orbcomm

Thanks. I was about to go to your monthly newsletter to try to find out which ones.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/17/2017 08:18 PM
The Jason-3 mission is an example where stage 2 was deorbited on a 3rd burn. Also F9-021/Orbcomm

Good find on Jason-3 -- that one looks like it would have to have 3 burns. F9-021/Orbcomm was launched into its orbit directly on the first burn of the second stage. There should have been no reason to fire that second stage up another two times. Do you have some data on the orbcomm launch that would indicate two more S2 burns?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 01/17/2017 08:53 PM
I wonder if the loss of tracking during the satellite deployment meant they lost their window for for the deorbit burn. Ie, the d/o burn was to happen x minutes after the last separation, but they didn't regain tracking until x+n minutes when they could confirm deployment, and a d/o burn would have them coming down outside the planned hazard area. So, at that point all they can do is passivate the stage and wait 20 years.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/17/2017 09:11 PM
I wonder if the loss of tracking during the satellite deployment meant they lost their window for for the deorbit burn. Ie, the d/o burn was to happen x minutes after the last separation, but they didn't regain tracking until x+n minutes when they could confirm deployment, and a d/o burn would have them coming down outside the planned hazard area. So, at that point all they can do is passivate the stage and wait 20 years.

I'm pretty sure the stage computer control the burns. There isn't a need to wait for commands from the ground, so loss of signal wouldn't matter.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: yokem55 on 01/17/2017 09:15 PM
I wonder if the loss of tracking during the satellite deployment meant they lost their window for for the deorbit burn. Ie, the d/o burn was to happen x minutes after the last separation, but they didn't regain tracking until x+n minutes when they could confirm deployment, and a d/o burn would have them coming down outside the planned hazard area. So, at that point all they can do is passivate the stage and wait 20 years.

I'm pretty sure the stage computer control the burns. There isn't a need to wait for commands from the ground, so loss of signal wouldn't matter.
Wouldn't you want ground confirmation of deployment so as to prevent accidentally deorbiting undeployed but otherwise potentially recoverable sats?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/17/2017 09:17 PM
Is there a chance that the reversion to likely "warmer" LOX in the wake of the AMOS 6 incident took away the margin needed for de-orbit?  Assuming, of course, that it is the stage up there.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/17/2017 09:27 PM
No because deorbit was planned as far as eel know. Also, if they had been low on margin, they could've done a more aggressive three engined landing burn instead of the safer but thirstier single-engined burn that they actually used.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: manoweb on 01/17/2017 09:55 PM
Some awesome pics in that, Jarnis. Local media also getting involved, with some good pics (and a good write up):
http://www.dailynews.com/science/20170117/spacex-rocket-docks-at-san-pedro-home-port-after-successful-mission

Chris Bergin, that article mentions a boost-back burn and two more burns to land. I was under the impression this flight did not perform any boost-back.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2017 10:20 PM
You can see the boost back burn pretty clearly in the webcast, starts about T+4:30.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 01/17/2017 10:22 PM
Some awesome pics in that, Jarnis. Local media also getting involved, with some good pics (and a good write up):
http://www.dailynews.com/science/20170117/spacex-rocket-docks-at-san-pedro-home-port-after-successful-mission

Chris Bergin, that article mentions a boost-back burn and two more burns to land. I was under the impression this flight did not perform any boost-back.
The boostback burn on this mission just decelerates the stage before reentry.  They still call it "boostback." It's on the timeline at the bottom of the technical webcast and you can see it at about T+4:23 (24:02 into the webcast).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rpapo on 01/17/2017 10:25 PM
The boostback burn on this mission just decelerates the stage before reentry.  They still call it "boostback." It's on the timeline at the bottom of the technical webcast and you can see it at about T+4:23 (24:02 into the webcast).
More than decelerating the stage before reentry, it reduced the distance downrange for the landing.  Without it, the rocket would have landed much further out.  It was a partial boostback.  A full boostback would have taken it all the way back to Vandenberg AFB, but they didn't grant permission for that to happen, and they may not have had enough fuel budget for that on this flight anyway.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/17/2017 10:26 PM
Some awesome pics in that, Jarnis. Local media also getting involved, with some good pics (and a good write up):
http://www.dailynews.com/science/20170117/spacex-rocket-docks-at-san-pedro-home-port-after-successful-mission

Chris Bergin, that article mentions a boost-back burn and two more burns to land. I was under the impression this flight did not perform any boost-back.
The boostback burn on this mission just decelerates the stage before reentry.  They still call it "boostback." It's on the timeline at the bottom of the technical webcast and you can see it at about T+4:23 (24:02 into the webcast).

Hmm.. If you're not trying to shorten the downrange landing point, then the way to reduce the entry speed (right after stage separation) is to actually burn "engines up"....  Did they do that?

Ah, ok - a partial boostback makes more sense. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/17/2017 11:06 PM
Wouldn't you want ground confirmation of deployment so as to prevent accidentally deorbiting undeployed but otherwise potentially recoverable sats?

It is simple for the stage to know if the sats have left or not, Would guess when the last one away, the stage deorbits into the Indian ocean at its earliest convenience.

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mme on 01/17/2017 11:06 PM
Moved here as it's probably the "more correct" thread...

The boostback burn on this mission just decelerates the stage before reentry.  They still call it "boostback." It's on the timeline at the bottom of the technical webcast and you can see it at about T+4:23 (24:02 into the webcast).
More than decelerating the stage before reentry, it reduced the distance downrange for the landing.  Without it, the rocket would have landed much further out.  It was a partial boostback.  A full boostback would have taken it all the way back to Vandenberg AFB, but they didn't grant permission for that to happen, and they may not have had enough fuel budget for that on this flight anyway.

...
Hmm.. If you're not trying to shorten the downrange landing point, then the way to reduce the entry speed (right after stage separation) is to actually burn "engines up"....  Did they do that?

Ah, ok - a partial boostback makes more sense. 
I choose my words poorly and now that I think about it made some assumptions.  The burn starts at about T+4:21 and appears to last about 40 seconds.  The engines seem to be pointing slightly above the horizon but given the wide angle lens maybe I'm wrong.  I said decelerate because I assumed that it did not entirely reverse the horizontal vector.

I totally should have said "reducing downrange landing distance."
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Jim on 01/17/2017 11:47 PM
I wonder if the loss of tracking during the satellite deployment meant they lost their window for for the deorbit burn. Ie, the d/o burn was to happen x minutes after the last separation, but they didn't regain tracking until x+n minutes when they could confirm deployment, and a d/o burn would have them coming down outside the planned hazard area. So, at that point all they can do is passivate the stage and wait 20 years.

I'm pretty sure the stage computer control the burns. There isn't a need to wait for commands from the ground, so loss of signal wouldn't matter.
Wouldn't you want ground confirmation of deployment so as to prevent accidentally deorbiting undeployed but otherwise potentially recoverable sats?

No, launch vehicles are autonomous and don't receive any ground commands.

The sats would not be recoverable anyways
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/18/2017 12:03 AM
The Jason-3 mission is an example where stage 2 was deorbited on a 3rd burn. Also F9-021/Orbcomm

Good find on Jason-3 -- that one looks like it would have to have 3 burns. F9-021/Orbcomm was launched into its orbit directly on the first burn of the second stage. There should have been no reason to fire that second stage up another two times. Do you have some data on the orbcomm launch that would indicate two more S2 burns?


My bad, there were only two burns for Orbcomm - the second one was a demo burn for GTO missions but it also accomplished the deorbit. Jason 3 does seem to have had 3 burns - MECO-1 at 1851 UTC, MECO-2 at 1937 UTC in
the circular orbit, and MECO-3 at about 2024 UTC for deorbit
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lars-J on 01/18/2017 02:24 AM
and the 2nd stage is only good for one re-start,

That's a big assumption, and doesn't fit with what Gwynne said pre-launch (three S2 burns).


A single re-start is what has been demonstrated, AFAIK.

I suppose there was never an announcement by SpaceX of the de-orbit of the 2nd stage.

That appears to be the modus operandi of many posters here. If SpaceX didn't announce it, or - better yet - didn;t show live video of it, obviously it cannot have happened.  ::) ::) C'mon.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/18/2017 03:08 AM
and the 2nd stage is only good for one re-start,

That's a big assumption, and doesn't fit with what Gwynne said pre-launch (three S2 burns).


A single re-start is what has been demonstrated, AFAIK.

I suppose there was never an announcement by SpaceX of the de-orbit of the 2nd stage.

That appears to be the modus operandi of many posters here. If SpaceX didn't announce it, or - better yet - didn;t show live video of it, obviously it cannot have happened.  ::) ::) C'mon.
Yeah, but why would it have been left in orbit?  Previous stages have been deorbited.  I'm waiting for more information...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/18/2017 03:21 AM
Is there a chance that the reversion to likely "warmer" LOX in the wake of the AMOS 6 incident took away the margin needed for de-orbit?

Wait, is that right? I understood the revision to be the addition of a fourth COPV, allowing for warmer helium.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 01/18/2017 03:32 AM
Is there a chance that the reversion to likely "warmer" LOX in the wake of the AMOS 6 incident took away the margin needed for de-orbit?

Wait, is that right? I understood the revision to be the addition of a fourth COPV, allowing for warmer helium.
The LOX was also loaded earlier and slower, ergo it had more time to warm up in the tanks than it would have in the fast loading sequence.  i.e. At launch the LOX was warmer than before.  I haven't seen anything about whether or not they have also somewhat raised the loading temp of the subcooled LOX so that they weren't as close to the freezing point.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danderman on 01/18/2017 03:58 AM
That appears to be the modus operandi of many posters here. If SpaceX didn't announce it, or - better yet - didn;t show live video of it, obviously it cannot have happened.  ::) ::) C'mon.

I am reacting here to the revelation that there is an extra object in orbit along with the 10 payloads. Perhaps it is not the 2nd stage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: su27k on 01/18/2017 04:16 AM
...or simply deorbit burn was done and that stage will be up for days/weeks, not years...

Unlikely given this: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1628106#msg1628106, seems to me the plan is to bring it down in a few hours...

On the other hand, if there is a restart anomaly I assume we'd have heard it by now, it will have consequences to follow on schedule and customers, kinda hard to hide it after they informed EchoStar/NASA/SES/Spaceflight Industries...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Danderman on 01/18/2017 10:03 AM


Unlikely given this: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1628106#msg1628106, seems to me the plan is to bring it down in a few hours...


You are suggesting that the plan is to bring down the stage a few days after launch?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/18/2017 10:40 AM
Is there a chance that the reversion to likely "warmer" LOX in the wake of the AMOS 6 incident took away the margin needed for de-orbit?

Wait, is that right? I understood the revision to be the addition of a fourth COPV, allowing for warmer helium.
The LOX was also loaded earlier and slower, ergo it had more time to warm up in the tanks than it would have in the fast loading sequence.  i.e. At launch the LOX was warmer than before.  I haven't seen anything about whether or not they have also somewhat raised the loading temp of the subcooled LOX so that they weren't as close to the freezing point.
This topic has been hashed before. I believe the following to be true...

- addition of fourth COPV to 2nd stage as a stop gap until reengineering of design.
- return to the original (slower) loading protocols for subcooled props. Still subcooled, just not the rapid fill they were toying with.
- still has same amount of prop at launch time, no performance hit there (with the small exception of the weight and displaced LOX caused by 4th COPV.
- same performance because LOX lost from warming is added during this slower process.)
- real hit is not to performance but from loss of ability to recycle count and try again (if the launch window allows). This is because too much subcooled LOX is required for topping off and so not enough in the GSE for a second try.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: ugordan on 01/18/2017 10:54 AM
This topic has been hashed before. I believe the following to be true...

- return to the original (slower) loading protocols for subcooled props. Still subcooled, just not the rapid fill they were toying with.

There was never an "original" loading protocol for subcooled prop to return to AFAIK, the first subcooled flight (OG-2) used the rapid load and all the previous v1.1 ones were normal LOX load. They weren't "toying" with it, rapid load was their operational procedure for v1.2 boosters.

- still has same amount of prop at launch time

No, it doesn't because warmer LOX at liftoff means less dense LOX means less total mass in kg of propellant loaded onto the vehicle means less total impulse by the vehicle.

- same performance because LOX lost from warming is added during this slower process.)

It's not a about LOX volume but LOX mass.

- real hit is not to performance but from loss of ability to recycle count and try again (if the launch window allows). This is because too much subcooled LOX is required for topping off and so not enough in the GSE for a second try.

The hit to performance is real because of warmer LOX, heavier 2nd stage due to an extra COPV and the entailing LOX volume displacement it also carries.

If neither of this carried a performance hit, SpaceX obviously wouldn't have pushed the margins on this so much. In fact, sacrificing their recycle options in the process of introducing subcooled prop. They literally had just minutes to recycle even with rapid load, the less subcooled prop doesn't make much difference to that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: deruch on 01/18/2017 10:57 AM
Is there a chance that the reversion to likely "warmer" LOX in the wake of the AMOS 6 incident took away the margin needed for de-orbit?

Wait, is that right? I understood the revision to be the addition of a fourth COPV, allowing for warmer helium.
The LOX was also loaded earlier and slower, ergo it had more time to warm up in the tanks than it would have in the fast loading sequence.  i.e. At launch the LOX was warmer than before.  I haven't seen anything about whether or not they have also somewhat raised the loading temp of the subcooled LOX so that they weren't as close to the freezing point.
This topic has been hashed before. I believe the following to be true...

- still has same amount of prop at launch time, no performance hit there (with the small exception of the weight and displaced LOX caused by 4th COPV.
Warmer LOX is less dense and therefore there should be some volume lost due to underfill to allow expansion as it warms.  Of course, this depends on whether and how large a gap they are allowing above the LOX, etc. 

Somewhat OT for this thread.

edit: ninja'd by ugordan
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 01/18/2017 11:33 AM
Expansion is vented. Loss volume replaced by GSE supplied LOX. Density remains at subcooled LOX. SpaceX overtly stated they are returning to original slower subcooled prop loading.

Main hit is quantity of subcooled LOX in GSE.

Honestly, these things have been discussed ad nauseam.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/18/2017 12:16 PM
Interesting background interview with Iridium CEO on working with SpaceX:

Quote
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000584939 Can't believe I still need to defend @SpaceX.  When engines light, they are 96.6%. Expect that to climb further.

https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/821704969409720320 (https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/821704969409720320)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mn on 01/18/2017 06:01 PM
So we know the 2nd launch needs to be a minimum of 3 months after the first for insurance reasons. To verify that there are no issues with the SC before you launch more. At the same time waiting is lost revenue for Iridium.

Is it possible for SpaceX/Iridium to decide to assume the risk on their own (or spacex taking on the risk to make up for delays) and launch earlier?

Do we have any idea what is the revenue value of launching the next batch in February instead of April? (especially considering that it's not a new service just an upgrade to existing service).

The range doesn't seem that crowded, I would imagine they could launch if they wanted to.

Not suggesting this is going to happen, just throwing it out there out of curiosity, if anyone knows what the numbers are and what would be the hypothetical cost/benefit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MKremer on 01/18/2017 07:07 PM
So we know the 2nd launch needs to be a minimum of 3 months after the first for insurance reasons. To verify that there are no issues with the SC before you launch more. At the same time waiting is lost revenue for Iridium.
Iridium will have known that for years and planned for it, at least to the extent that even a several month delay between launches shouldn't cause any sort of financial crisis. The new sats will complement the old in the existing network until the new one is complete.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Moonwatcher on 01/18/2017 07:12 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

Hey Chris, do you reely think they're still using film...?  ::)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: guckyfan on 01/18/2017 07:19 PM
Hey Chris, do you reely think they're still using film...?  ::)

No, he just wants to confuse those under 30 years of age.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: dglow on 01/18/2017 07:22 PM
Beautiful pics, with perfect sun position! They must have planned that.  ::)
I'm looking forward to the raw launch-to-landing rocketcam video.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: MKremer on 01/18/2017 07:26 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

Hey Chris, do you reely think they're still using film...?  ::)
Reel of film/card of images. Probably just putting it in terms we older folks can understand.   ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: vanoord on 01/18/2017 07:44 PM
I wonder how many computer screens will get that photo as a background today?!

The following one is pretty stunning, too - https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex/32351549066/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Lars-J on 01/18/2017 07:59 PM
I wonder how many computer screens will get that photo as a background today?!

The following one is pretty stunning, too - https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex/32351549066/

Yep, that is the most stunning one, IMO... Here it is attached:
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/18/2017 10:31 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

ok, that's cool.

Looks almost like a notional airbrushed "artist concept" of what it is.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: catdlr on 01/18/2017 10:49 PM
I personally like this one

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5518/31579784413_83aeac560a_o_d.jpg
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: laszlo on 01/18/2017 11:08 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

Nice landing shots. Is there a clean landing video, without all the dropouts?

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: mvpel on 01/18/2017 11:38 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

What a shot!! Styled like a medieval painting of a mighty angel descending from the heavens! What luck to get that alignment of the sunshine! Or maybe they positioned the ASDS just so for just that purpose... :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/19/2017 12:09 AM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

What a shot!! Styled like a medieval painting of a mighty angel descending from the heavens! What luck to get that alignment of the sunshine! Or maybe they positioned the ASDS just so for just that purpose... :D

Or there were multiple cameras, they got lucky and the is the most impressive one to realease.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: AncientU on 01/19/2017 01:03 AM

Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

Sometimes reality is on par with Nathan's work.


...Moved from Updates
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: su27k on 01/19/2017 02:38 AM


Unlikely given this: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41751.msg1628106#msg1628106, seems to me the plan is to bring it down in a few hours...


You are suggesting that the plan is to bring down the stage a few days after launch?

No, as I said, I think the plan is to bring down the stage a few hours after launch. Launch is 17:54 UTC, Jan 14th, the first time range in input~2's message is 19:46 to 20:12 UTC, Jan 14th, so about 2 hours after launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CameronD on 01/19/2017 02:41 AM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

One would hope SpaceX use something slightly more '21st Century' than a reel of film.  Surely you mean "USB stick" or something similar??   :P
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Craig_VG on 01/19/2017 02:56 AM
...Hey guys, the 11th object (if it's still 2017-003M) has changed orbit..

Apogee 868 km
Perigee 739 km
Inclination 89.91°

http://stuffin.space/?intldes=2017-003M&search=2017-003

EDIT: Space-Track.org is not showing this update for me yet, still 623x608.
Since stuffin.space uses space-track data, I'm not sure how to reconcile the two. A bug?


Norad TLE data seems to confirm:

2017-003L               
1 41927U 17003M   17018.38036057  .00005438  00000-0  21054-2 0  9997
2 41927  89.9068 166.9576 0089791 211.3438 148.2602 14.27777592   522

More info here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5nsaqm/rspacex_iridium_next_constellation_mission_1/dclyc7c/
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CyndyC on 01/19/2017 03:10 AM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

One would hope SpaceX use something slightly more '21st Century' than a reel of film.  Surely you mean "USB stick" or something similar??   :P

I think the cameras might belong to Ben Cooper of Launch Photography (http://www.launchphotography.com/), which would explain why he's been posting photos from western locations on Facebook lately, and cameras use SD cards, not USB sticks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CameronD on 01/19/2017 03:39 AM
On another subject regarding those photos, looks like the stage did some significant walking in the short time before the crew was able to board and secure it.

Not saying that's not the case.. but what gives you that impression?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CyndyC on 01/19/2017 03:58 AM
On another subject regarding those photos, looks like the stage did some significant walking in the short time before the crew was able to board and secure it.

Not saying that's not the case.. but what gives you that impression?

Oh, I just deleted that part before seeing your post. On further scrutiny I realized the photo I posted was from a different angle, from the side, and the stage just hadn't landed dead center between the bow & stern. The previous photos were from the bow or stern, and the landing was dead center between the 2 sides.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CameronD on 01/19/2017 04:14 AM
On another subject regarding those photos, looks like the stage did some significant walking in the short time before the crew was able to board and secure it.

Not saying that's not the case.. but what gives you that impression?

Oh, I just deleted that part before seeing your post. On further scrutiny I realized the photo I posted was from a different angle, from the side, and the stage just hadn't landed dead center between the bow & stern. The previous photos were from the bow or stern, and the landing was dead center between the 2 sides.

No probs.  In the video posted of the landing, the stage was certainly reeling around like a drunken sailor on the ocean swell, so if it didn't move significantly in the time it took them to secure it, that's a good indication that the landed stages are surprisingly stable.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/19/2017 04:58 AM
...Hey guys, the 11th object (if it's still 2017-003M) has changed orbit..

Apogee 868 km
Perigee 739 km
Inclination 89.91°

http://stuffin.space/?intldes=2017-003M&search=2017-003

EDIT: Space-Track.org is not showing this update for me yet, still 623x608.
Since stuffin.space uses space-track data, I'm not sure how to reconcile the two. A bug?


Norad TLE data seems to confirm:

2017-003L               
1 41927U 17003M   17018.38036057  .00005438  00000-0  21054-2 0  9997
2 41927  89.9068 166.9576 0089791 211.3438 148.2602 14.27777592   522

More info here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5nsaqm/rspacex_iridium_next_constellation_mission_1/dclyc7c/
They're saying the new numbers are nonsensical.  Odd.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: docmordrid on 01/19/2017 05:51 AM
A Microsat moving with a Hall thruster?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/19/2017 05:54 AM
...Hey guys, the 11th object (if it's still 2017-003M) has changed orbit..

Apogee 868 km
Perigee 739 km
Inclination 89.91°

http://stuffin.space/?intldes=2017-003M&search=2017-003

EDIT: Space-Track.org is not showing this update for me yet, still 623x608.
Since stuffin.space uses space-track data, I'm not sure how to reconcile the two. A bug?


Norad TLE data seems to confirm:

2017-003L               
1 41927U 17003M   17018.38036057  .00005438  00000-0  21054-2 0  9997
2 41927  89.9068 166.9576 0089791 211.3438 148.2602 14.27777592   522

More info here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5nsaqm/rspacex_iridium_next_constellation_mission_1/dclyc7c/
They're saying the new numbers are nonsensical.  Odd.

It's not that unusual to get garbage in the TLEs.
My current theory:
The TLEs for 41927 prior to this one referred to a nonexistent object created by confusing measurements
of Iridium Fred on one orbit with Iridium Joe on the next orbit.
They just realized this - oh, there are only 10 objects!
They then reassigned 41927 to a newly found debris object from an unrelated launch (maybe from an old Transit sat judging from the orbit). But they forgot to change the international ID.
If my theory is correct, the international ID for 41927 will change in a day or two.
Complicated, but it wouldn't be the first time something basically identical has happened

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Semmel on 01/19/2017 07:44 AM
yeah, the stuffin.space web page shows a completely different orbit for object M. Its almost 90 degrees apart from the others. That would take several thousand m/s of dv to get there in this short time period of a few days. Either the data is wrong or object M has nothing to do with the iridium constellation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: AncientU on 01/19/2017 11:05 AM
A Microsat moving with a Hall thruster?

An 'unannounced' payload?

Could it be one of SpaceX's test sats for their constellation?

There would be nothing forcing them to announce it in advance, right?

I believe that they've applied to FCC for test sats... don't know if yet approved.  SpaceX could have privately worked with Iridium to share the ride or at least inform the customer of their intent.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: stcks on 01/19/2017 12:26 PM
It's not that unusual to get garbage in the TLEs.
My current theory:
The TLEs for 41927 prior to this one referred to a nonexistent object created by confusing measurements
of Iridium Fred on one orbit with Iridium Joe on the next orbit.
They just realized this - oh, there are only 10 objects!
They then reassigned 41927 to a newly found debris object from an unrelated launch (maybe from an old Transit sat judging from the orbit). But they forgot to change the international ID.
If my theory is correct, the international ID for 41927 will change in a day or two.
Complicated, but it wouldn't be the first time something basically identical has happened

Thank you jcm, this is excellent. I think that at this point the notion of a failed second stage relight can be put to bed for good.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/19/2017 02:54 PM
yeah, the stuffin.space web page shows a completely different orbit for object M. Its almost 90 degrees apart from the others. That would take several thousand m/s of dv to get there in this short time period of a few days. Either the data is wrong or object M has nothing to do with the iridium constellation.

Well, also the point is that the object being called object M today isn't to do with Irid, but it's not the same
object as the object that was being called object M a few days ago.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/19/2017 03:18 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

Hey Chris, do you reely think they're still using film...?  ::)

Digital Trends: How did SpaceX snap this stunning rocket-landing photo? (http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/spacex-rocket-landing-photo/)
Quote
Photography buffs will be interested to learn that the shot was taken using a Canon EOS 6D DSLR. Set at ISO 125 for superior image quality, the shutter fired at a super-speedy 1/2500th of a second. Aperture and lens type aren’t noted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: gongora on 01/19/2017 03:45 PM
Aireon Announces Successful First Launch for Space-Based ADS-B Network (https://aireon.com/2017/01/14/aireon-announces-successful-first-launch-space-based-ads-b-network/)

Quote
Iridium NEXT satellites successfully launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base

McLean, Virginia (January 14, 2017) – Aireon announced today the successful launch and deployment of the first ten satellites hosting its space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system.  Part of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, Aireon’s space-based ADS-B network will transform air traffic management capabilities, providing real-time air traffic surveillance and flight tracking across 100 percent of the planet.  ...
...
Once in orbit, each satellite will undergo extensive testing by the Iridium team. After approximately 40-60 days Iridium will hand-off the ADS-B payloads to Aireon for verification of on-orbit technical specifications. Aireon will then conduct rigorous independent testing and validation of the space-based ADS-B system for approximately 60 days. As part of this testing and validation process, Aireon’s ADS-B receivers, which were manufactured by Harris Corporation, will provide air traffic surveillance data through the Aireon network to the Service Delivery Points (SDPs) at partners NAV CANADA, NATS, ENAV, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
...
Aireon, formed by Iridium Communications and investors NAV CANADA, ENAV, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and Naviair, will be operational in 2018. The advent of space-based ADS-B is expected to show a remarkable ability to increase safety and efficiency while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as noted in studies conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation and Purdue University, in addition to signed agreements with many of the world’s leading ANSPs.
...
The network will also provide a new service known as Aireon ALERTSM, a free global emergency-aircraft tracking service that will be hosted and operated by the IAA.  Earlier this year, Aireon also announced a partnership with FlightAware, and together launched the GlobalBeaconSM flight tracking service.  GlobalBeacon is designed to help airlines comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) requirements, and will provide airlines with minute-by-minute flight tracking data.
...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/19/2017 04:09 PM
So will this help with flights like mh370?
Where is the transmitter in the plane?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: John Alan on 01/19/2017 05:27 PM
So will this help with flights like mh370?
Where is the transmitter in the plane?

Yes...
I don't have the linkage to back this real handy...
But a ADS-B transponder that can NOT be turned off in flight is a worldwide requirement being implemented...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_dependent_surveillance_%E2%80%93_broadcast (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_dependent_surveillance_%E2%80%93_broadcast)
Some Iridium sats are carrying an added module that will forward these signals on to someone who will be watching 24/7/365 once fully implemented...

On edit... the above is my quick reply to the question... not an expert on this however...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: Oersted on 01/19/2017 07:07 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

Truly one of the most spectacular photos to ever come out of spaceflight. On purpose or not (I'd say probably not) the sun angle, the shade and angle of the legs, the size of the landing circle underneath, the hazy air thrown up by the rocket engine, and the body of the booster just blocking out the sun all come together for a magnificent composition.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/19/2017 07:33 PM
Holy moly!!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex

Photos now they've got the reel of film back from the ASDS:

Truly one of the most spectacular photos to ever come out of spaceflight. On purpose or not (I'd say probably not) the sun angle, the shade and angle of the legs, the size of the landing circle underneath, the hazy air thrown up by the rocket engine, and the body of the booster just blocking out the sun all come together for a magnificent composition.

Expect #1 on Aviation Week's photo edition...  Except it's only January...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: jcm on 01/19/2017 08:36 PM
It's not that unusual to get garbage in the TLEs.
My current theory:
The TLEs for 41927 prior to this one referred to a nonexistent object created by confusing measurements
of Iridium Fred on one orbit with Iridium Joe on the next orbit.
They just realized this - oh, there are only 10 objects!
They then reassigned 41927 to a newly found debris object from an unrelated launch (maybe from an old Transit sat judging from the orbit). But they forgot to change the international ID.
If my theory is correct, the international ID for 41927 will change in a day or two.
Complicated, but it wouldn't be the first time something basically identical has happened

Thank you jcm, this is excellent. I think that at this point the notion of a failed second stage relight can be put to bed for good.

Indeed, 41927 is now officially reassigned to Transit navigation satellite debris 1964-083S, a newly catalog piece
that flaked off the 5E-5 research satellite from that launch - exactly as I predicted
The TLEs in the 86 degree orbit were spurious and belong to one or more of the other Iridium sats
I conclude that the stage 2 deorbit indeed happened as per plan on the first orbit or so
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: wsl2005 on 01/20/2017 01:59 AM
yeah, the stuffin.space web page shows a completely different orbit for object M. Its almost 90 degrees apart from the others. That would take several thousand m/s of dv to get there in this short time period of a few days. Either the data is wrong or object M has nothing to do with the iridium constellation.

OBJECT M - Satellite Information   Home | Passes | Orbit | Close encounters
Designation
Spacetrack catalog number   41927
COSPAR ID   1964-083-S
Name in Spacetrack catalog   TRANSIT 5E-5 DEB
Satellite Details

Orbit   735 x 863 km, 89.9°
Category   unknown
Country/organisation of origin   United States
Intrinsic brightness (Magnitude)   ?
Launch

Date (UTC)   13 December 1964 00:08
Launch site   Vandenberg AFB,
United States
Launch vehicle   Thor Ablestar
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Helodriver on 01/20/2017 10:01 PM
So here are the shots I managed to get of the Iridium launch. I arrived back from Africa the day of the mission and I opted for the direct view from the mesa on the north side of the Santa Ynez River due to the super clear weather. Many SpaceXers were in attendance there.

Renwick/Ocean Avenue were a tad closer, with a great crowd (see first pic) but with intervening hills blocking direct view of liftoff.

My just in time return makes me 3 for 3 on seeing Falcon 9 launches from Vandenberg. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Kansan52 on 01/20/2017 10:28 PM
My just in time return makes me 3 for 3 on seeing Falcon 9 launches from Vandenberg. :)

I'm jealous!
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: mme on 01/20/2017 11:18 PM
... I opted for the direct view from the mesa on the north side of the Santa Ynez River due to the super clear weather. ...
That's not Provedence Landing Park is it?  If not, can you give GPS coordinates or cross streets for the location?  I was on Ocean and it was awesome (my first launch).
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: manoweb on 01/21/2017 04:23 AM
I opted for the direct view from the mesa on the north side of the Santa Ynez River due to the super clear weather.

Hello Helodriver, I went down the previous launch (the foggy one) and I spent the whole day before to scout for places. I even went up to the Santa Ynez peak with quite a bit of offroading (only to have ten meter visibility at top). However, I'm not familiar with the location you have listed. I am interested in understanding how far was from the launchpad.

I thought the location on Ocean was fantastic, with so many people to interact (and I've made good friends there!) and very very nice also to see a RTLS, FH, etc. I have three small children so I value more being able to see (and feel!) as close as possible compared to a more "technical" location, but I would not mind having the place you mentioned in my GPS, just in case :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Helodriver on 01/21/2017 04:34 AM
This is the spot, but you need base access to go there. It has direct level unobstructed views to the launch and landing sites from about 5 miles away.

https://goo.gl/maps/GhYRD5DN5gk (https://goo.gl/maps/GhYRD5DN5gk)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CyndyC on 01/21/2017 10:04 PM
No, launch vehicles are autonomous and don't receive any ground commands.

Which makes something Lauren Lyons said in the hosted webcast very surprising and maybe worth some extra attention, assuming she can be taken literally, "Once Falcon 9 gets to the right orbit, SpaceX will send a separation signal to the dispensers deploying the satellites one by one, 100 seconds apart at an altitude of 625km above the earth."

Link starts a few seconds before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTmbSur4fcs?t=8m16s
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: meekGee on 01/21/2017 10:32 PM
No, launch vehicles are autonomous and don't receive any ground commands.

Which makes something Lauren Lyons said in the hosted webcast very surprising and maybe worth some extra attention, assuming she can be taken literally, "Once Falcon 9 gets to the right orbit, SpaceX will send a separation signal to the dispensers deploying the satellites one by one, 100 seconds apart at an altitude of 625km above the earth."

Link starts a few seconds before:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTmbSur4fcs?t=8m16s

Remember the satellites deployed even when the down-link was broken, so clearly there's default programming that's pre-scheduled.

But, and this was a debate that recurred many times, the "simple controller" model of traditional launch vehicles is a result of the era in which they were designed, and a computational capacity of a gnat.

There is no reason why a flying vehicle designed from scratch in the 21st century would abide by any of those rules, and every time we get a glimpse into how things are done, it's clear that F9 is a lot cleverer then a simple automaton.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Constellation (Flight 2: NET April)- DISCUSSION
Post by: CyndyC on 01/21/2017 11:13 PM
But, and this was a debate that recurred many times, the "simple controller" model of traditional launch vehicles is a result of the era in which they were designed, and a computational capacity of a gnat.

There is no reason why a flying vehicle designed from scratch in the 21st century would abide by any of those rules, and every time we get a glimpse into how things are done, it's clear that F9 is a lot cleverer then a simple automaton.

That's what I was wondering, if this could be a harbinger of more ground control to come, except would mission control really want or need it? It might add too much complexity to already complex procedures.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: manoweb on 01/22/2017 07:08 AM
\but you need base access to go there.

Oh, OK it's inside the base. Only for Air Force members (maybe their family and friends?)
I mistakenly interpreted "Many SpaceXers were in attendance there" as "SpaceX fans"

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: WHAP on 01/22/2017 04:05 PM
But, and this was a debate that recurred many times, the "simple controller" model of traditional launch vehicles is a result of the era in which they were designed, and a computational capacity of a gnat.

There is no reason why a flying vehicle designed from scratch in the 21st century would abide by any of those rules, and every time we get a glimpse into how things are done, it's clear that F9 is a lot cleverer then a simple automaton.

That's what I was wondering, if this could be a harbinger of more ground control to come, except would mission control really want or need it? It might add too much complexity to already complex procedures.

It's not a harbinger of "more" ground control, since that implies that there is some, and that isn't true.  Falcon 9 doesn't appear to be any cleverer than "traditional" launch vehicles.  It does "more", because it has the ability to land, but nothing there seems any "cleverer" than a DC-X landing.  For example, neither one was able to recover from a broken landing leg.

I believe people are misinterpreting the quote to assume that there is some ground control.  SpaceX (the upper stage) is sending a signal to the Iridium dispenser.  That's all.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/22/2017 05:07 PM
But, and this was a debate that recurred many times, the "simple controller" model of traditional launch vehicles is a result of the era in which they were designed, and a computational capacity of a gnat.

There is no reason why a flying vehicle designed from scratch in the 21st century would abide by any of those rules, and every time we get a glimpse into how things are done, it's clear that F9 is a lot cleverer then a simple automaton.

That's what I was wondering, if this could be a harbinger of more ground control to come, except would mission control really want or need it? It might add too much complexity to already complex procedures.

It's not a harbinger of "more" ground control, since that implies that there is some, and that isn't true.  Falcon 9 doesn't appear to be any cleverer than "traditional" launch vehicles.  It does "more", because it has the ability to land, but nothing there seems any "cleverer" than a DC-X landing.  For example, neither one was able to recover from a broken landing leg.

I believe people are misinterpreting the quote to assume that there is some ground control.  SpaceX (the upper stage) is sending a signal to the Iridium dispenser.  That's all.

That would be one hell of a computer, allowing you to recover from a broken leg....

What we know is that both F9 stages have identical avionics, and that F9S1 is capable not only of ballistic flight, but can handle aerodynamic flight through multiple flight regimes (from hypersonic to subsonic), a re-entry burn which coincides with the reentry interface, terminal guidance and landing.

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: CyndyC on 01/22/2017 10:40 PM
I believe people are misinterpreting the quote to assume that there is some ground control.  SpaceX (the upper stage) is sending a signal to the Iridium dispenser.  That's all.

What is your source that SpaceX and stage 2 of the Falcon 9 are one and the same?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: WHAP on 01/23/2017 02:36 AM
I believe people are misinterpreting the quote to assume that there is some ground control.  SpaceX (the upper stage) is sending a signal to the Iridium dispenser.  That's all.

What is your source that SpaceX and stage 2 of the Falcon 9 are one and the same?

The words "I believe" should give you a clue.  Do you believe that SpaceX's primary method of commanding spacecraft separation is via ground commands?  What advantages do you believe this provides over the S2 flight computer, which has the best knowledge of orbital position, the least command latency, and would not be affected by data dropouts from relay spacecraft or ground stations?  Remember, we're only talking spacecraft separation here.  There are a lot of other times when ground command capability would be very useful.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/23/2017 03:19 AM
I believe people are misinterpreting the quote to assume that there is some ground control.  SpaceX (the upper stage) is sending a signal to the Iridium dispenser.  That's all.

What is your source that SpaceX and stage 2 of the Falcon 9 are one and the same?

The words "I believe" should give you a clue.  Do you believe that SpaceX's primary method of commanding spacecraft separation is via ground commands?  What advantages do you believe this provides over the S2 flight computer, which has the best knowledge of orbital position, the least command latency, and would not be affected by data dropouts from relay spacecraft or ground stations?  Remember, we're only talking spacecraft separation here.  There are a lot of other times when ground command capability would be very useful.

The primary mechanism should be self contained, in case of a communication break, but there should be the ability to control from the ground, in case (for example) the orbit achieved is not what was planned.

So basically, S2 should check the final orbit, and if within an envelope - deploy as planned. If not, wait for a phone call.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Sam Ho on 01/23/2017 03:55 AM
The primary mechanism should be self contained, in case of a communication break, but there should be the ability to control from the ground, in case (for example) the orbit achieved is not what was planned.

So basically, S2 should check the final orbit, and if within an envelope - deploy as planned. If not, wait for a phone call.
Waiting for a phone call if the injection orbit is wrong would be counterproductive. If the upper stage knows the orbit is wrong, it means it tried to get to the right orbit and failed, so it won't be much help salvaging the mission. By contrast, there's some chance the payload could salvage itself using its onboard thrusters. It can't do that if it's still attached to the upper stage. Furthermore, it can't deploy its solar panels while attached, so it's going to run out of power quickly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Kaputnik on 01/23/2017 11:50 AM
Doesn't CRS-1 demonstrate that S2 is prett much autonomous in deciding what to do in the event of anomolies?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/23/2017 12:45 PM
Doesn't CRS-1 demonstrate that S2 is prett much autonomous in deciding what to do in the event of anomolies?
Didn't they decided not to proceed with the next burn due to concerns about ISS?

The programming of S2, IIRC, didn't proceed with the second burn since fuel margins were lower than planned, but SpaceX could have overridden that.

IIRC, there was some bitterness about not being allowed to do the second burn.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: ugordan on 01/23/2017 02:35 PM
Doesn't CRS-1 demonstrate that S2 is prett much autonomous in deciding what to do in the event of anomolies?
Didn't they decided not to proceed with the next burn due to concerns about ISS?

Based on everything we know, it was an autonomous decision programmed into the stage to decide on the burn whether or not the propellant margin measured by the stage allowed for it.

To this very day I have not seen any evidence of any ground commanding of the F9 vehicle, both in burn commands or onboard camera view switching. Preemptive statement that callouts on flight loop like "FTS is safed" do not imply ground commanding.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/23/2017 02:54 PM
Doesn't CRS-1 demonstrate that S2 is prett much autonomous in deciding what to do in the event of anomolies?
Didn't they decided not to proceed with the next burn due to concerns about ISS?

Based on everything we know, it was an autonomous decision programmed into the stage to decide on the burn whether or not the propellant margin measured by the stage allowed for it.

To this very day I have not seen any evidence of any ground commanding of the F9 vehicle, both in burn commands or onboard camera view switching. Preemptive statement that callouts on flight loop like "FTS is safed" do not imply ground commanding.
The decision to stop the timeline was automatic.  I think there was a window where they could have started it, but we're not allowed to, due to ISS concerns.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jim on 01/23/2017 03:05 PM
The Falcon 9 has no capability of receiving RF commands except for destruct.  It has nothing to do with computational ability.  The Saturn V did have the ability to receive guidance updates but no other vehicle has this capability.   It is not needed for basic launch vehicles.  Their mission timeline is short.   Also, there likely is no transmitter or ground station in the appropriate locations.

Launch control centers lose "control" at launch.  Launch vehicles have no "Mission Control Centers" controlling them for flight.  Launch vehicle are autonomous.  All control centers that shown during a launch vehicle flight are just monitoring data.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meberbs on 01/23/2017 03:26 PM
Doesn't CRS-1 demonstrate that S2 is prett much autonomous in deciding what to do in the event of anomolies?
Didn't they decided not to proceed with the next burn due to concerns about ISS?

Based on everything we know, it was an autonomous decision programmed into the stage to decide on the burn whether or not the propellant margin measured by the stage allowed for it.

To this very day I have not seen any evidence of any ground commanding of the F9 vehicle, both in burn commands or onboard camera view switching. Preemptive statement that callouts on flight loop like "FTS is safed" do not imply ground commanding.
The decision to stop the timeline was automatic.  I think there was a window where they could have started it, but we're not allowed to, due to ISS concerns.
I had brought this up before and had to be corrected, because the mass media reports had made it sound like the decision was made in flight to stop the extra burn.

If you go back and find the relevant article on this site, you will see it is clearly stated that the aborted orbit raising burn was due to a pre-programmed constraint, with no ground based ability or desire to override.

The Falcon 9 has no capability of receiving RF commands except for destruct.
From the last time this came up, there was 1 RF link on the first stage that we were unable to determine its purpose. Unless you know the purpose of that link, your statement is a little too strong, as that link may be used to send commands related to recovery/safing for example.

This doesn't change that in this context the 2nd stage does not have ability to receive commands, and deployment and contingencies are pre-programmed. (Which makes sense, because as we saw this time, sat deployment occurred out of range of ground stations almost completely, due to a combination of orbit timing, and issues at 1 ground station.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/23/2017 03:48 PM
At 8:20 in the hosted broadcast for the Iridium launch, Lauren Lyons, a systems certification Engineer at SpaceX states: "Once the F-9 gets to the right orbit, SpaceX will send a separation signal to the dispensers deploying the satellites one by one…"

Here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTmbSur4fcs&t=1702s

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: CyndyC on 01/23/2017 03:51 PM
The Falcon 9 has no capability of receiving RF commands except for destruct.  It has nothing to do with computational ability.  The Saturn V did have the ability to receive guidance updates but no other vehicle has this capability.   It is not needed for basic launch vehicles.  Their mission timeline is short.   Also, there likely is no transmitter or ground station in the appropriate locations.

Launch control centers lose "control" at launch.  Launch vehicles have no "Mission Control Centers" controlling them for flight.  Launch vehicle are autonomous.  All control centers that shown during a launch vehicle flight are just monitoring data.

So all that is the case for launch vehicles (thank you, Jim!), but Lauren's statement was that a separation signal would be sent to a brand new invention between the launch vehicle and the satellites, the dispensers. Satellites receive ground commands all the time, so why not a structure so closely aligned with them. The separation signal wouldn't require a ground station if it can be bounced off a satellite, technology the Russians are using with their new ISS vehicles.

Another clue might be Lauren's current job title, at some point changed from Communications [Something] to Systems Certification Engineer. If you or your predecessors had a hand in certifying onboard systems, wouldn't you have specified the signal was originating within one of those systems? Either that or she was over-simplifying the process for the general public.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/23/2017 04:05 PM
I agree There's very little that can be done from the ground during LEO missions, there is certainly more that can be done during GEO or lunar missions.

F9 was built with an eye towards that.

We have no knowledge from SpaceX one way or another.

In the case of Dragon, clearly it can talk with the ground. Do we know if there's a data connection between it and the S2 flight computers?

Sometimes, "don't know" is all we have, and how it's traditionally done may or may not be applicable, because this is a brand new design, especially relevant when it comes to avionics.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Lar on 01/23/2017 04:27 PM
Furthermore, it can't deploy its solar panels while attached, so it's going to run out of power quickly.
Is that always true? I would think that once the fairing is gone, for some birds deployment is at least possible... (might not be a good idea)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jim on 01/23/2017 05:25 PM
...... she was over-simplifying the process for the general public.

Bingo


The separation signal wouldn't require a ground station if it can be bounced off a satellite, technology the Russians are using with their new ISS vehicles.


What satellite?  It can't be just anyone.


So all that is the case for launch vehicles (thank you, Jim!), but Lauren's statement was that a separation signal would be sent to a brand new invention between the launch vehicle and the satellites, the dispensers. Satellites receive ground commands all the time, so why not a structure so closely aligned with them.


What new invention?  The guidance system does this for almost all spacecraft.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jim on 01/23/2017 05:35 PM
There is no need for any communication regardless if is it LEO, GEO or Lunar.  There isn't anything special about the F9 or Spacex goals that change this.  The basic mission of a launch vehicle is over in 40 minutes or so.  There is not much to change in that time.  Then there is the ability to react to make a change and finally, there is the ability to communicate the change.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/23/2017 05:41 PM
Quote
Great tool to visualize all our Launch #1 NEXT sats. See them spreading in Plane 6 as they are tested and moved: stuffin.space/?search=2017-0…

https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/823597208314511360 (https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/823597208314511360)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: biosehnsucht on 01/23/2017 09:52 PM
Furthermore, it can't deploy its solar panels while attached, so it's going to run out of power quickly.
Is that always true? I would think that once the fairing is gone, for some birds deployment is at least possible... (might not be a good idea)

I imagine that at least for some satellites, their folded panels may have one fold "out" such that it could get a low level of solar power generation (as if it was mostly but not entirely shaded by another vehicle, in this case itself). However, it's possible that nobody designs them such that the panels are "connected" to generate power until after deployment ... but I don't know of any reason why they couldn't be.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: CyndyC on 01/23/2017 10:21 PM
Furthermore, it can't deploy its solar panels while attached, so it's going to run out of power quickly.
Is that always true? I would think that once the fairing is gone, for some birds deployment is at least possible... (might not be a good idea)

I imagine that at least for some satellites, their folded panels may have one fold "out" such that it could get a low level of solar power generation (as if it was mostly but not entirely shaded by another vehicle, in this case itself). However, it's possible that nobody designs them such that the panels are "connected" to generate power until after deployment ... but I don't know of any reason why they couldn't be.

OR, that could be a good way to throw the 2nd stage off course.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/23/2017 10:42 PM
The engineer says "SpaceX sends a signal" to simplify things for the public? Wouldn't it be simpler to say: "the second stage is programmed to release the space craft automatically?" Why would she say something that is completely false?

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: douglas100 on 01/23/2017 10:52 PM
The engineer says "SpaceX sends a signal" to simplify things for the public? Wouldn't it be simpler to say: "the second stage is programmed to release the space craft automatically?" Why would she say something that is completely false?

Matthew

WHAP already answered that.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1633847#msg1633847 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35112.msg1633847#msg1633847)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: envy887 on 01/23/2017 11:01 PM
The engineer says "SpaceX sends a signal" to simplify things for the public? Wouldn't it be simpler to say: "the second stage is programmed to release the space craft automatically?" Why would she say something that is completely false?

Matthew

Probably just to mess with the type of people who would worry about whether it's commanded or automated.

Or maybe she isn't used to talking to 100,000 people on a live webcast and didn't get her phrasing quite right.

Or perhaps she not an expert in that area and went with an apparently common misconception. Systems engineers work on all kinds of things entirely unrelated to upper stagecommunications or deployment.

Picking apart an off the cuff statement word by word isn't a great idea.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: matthewkantar on 01/23/2017 11:05 PM
The quote is:
I believe people are misinterpreting the quote to assume that there is some ground control.  SpaceX (the upper stage) is sending a signal to the Iridium dispenser.  That's all.

But it is unsourced. The claim "SpaceX" means "the upper stage" is strained. Get a reliable quote from someone who actually knows, or I will go with what the engineer for SpaceX said.

Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: llanitedave on 01/24/2017 02:43 AM
The quote is:
I believe people are misinterpreting the quote to assume that there is some ground control.  SpaceX (the upper stage) is sending a signal to the Iridium dispenser.  That's all.

But it is unsourced. The claim "SpaceX" means "the upper stage" is strained. Get a reliable quote from someone who actually knows, or I will go with what the engineer for SpaceX said.

Matthew

You can "go with" whomever you like, but that will have no effect on what SpaceX does.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: jjyach on 01/24/2017 03:14 AM
If this helps at all.

Quote
Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) and SpaceX today announced the successful completion of dispenser qualification testing for the Iridium NEXT constellation. The dispenser is the mission-unique assembly that holds the satellites during launch and manages the perfectly timed separation of each satellite from the rocket, placing each of the satellites into its proper orbit.

http://investor.iridium.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=857729

Speaking from a satellite commanding background, the time it would take for a commanding system to issue, transcode and send the commands would easily take a couple hundred milliseconds at a minimum to transmit and receive/process.  Even more if you are going off a relay sat.  I'm not sure how precise the release has to be, but I think by far the trust is in the flying hardware.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Lar on 01/24/2017 04:22 AM
That settles it I think... the argument is stale and boring so...
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: manoweb on 01/24/2017 06:40 PM
Speaking from a satellite commanding background, the time it would take for a commanding system to issue, transcode and send the commands would easily take a couple hundred milliseconds at a minimum to transmit and receive/process.  Even more if you are going off a relay sat.  I'm not sure how precise the release has to be, but I think by far the trust is in the flying hardware.

It most likely is, but it is also quite easy to precisely compensate for communication delays, come on this is trivial on a realtime OS
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/24/2017 07:46 PM
Speaking from a satellite commanding background, the time it would take for a commanding system to issue, transcode and send the commands would easily take a couple hundred milliseconds at a minimum to transmit and receive/process.  Even more if you are going off a relay sat.  I'm not sure how precise the release has to be, but I think by far the trust is in the flying hardware.

It most likely is, but it is also quite easy to precisely compensate for communication delays, come on this is trivial on a realtime OS

When it comes to the deployment of these 10 satellites, which were deployed on time, I think there's exactly zero reason for it to be commanded from the ground.  That's just asking for trouble.

In general, short-lived launch sequence don't leave enough time to "think about it and decide what to do".

But - that's different than saying that the second stage can't and shouldn't be able to listen to the ground.

Is SpaceX thinking about direct-GEO, for example? If so, then there are hours to take corrective action in case of an anomaly.

What is the lifetime of the second stage in LEO? Does anyone know?  Because if the LEO deployment orbit is wrong, it can be preferable to not deploy, but wait for further instructions from home.

So there's plenty reason to do it, and we don't know what capabilities the second stage has. It may have internally the ability to accommodate a receiver that's simply not installed, for example.

Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: jjyach on 01/24/2017 10:53 PM

What is the lifetime of the second stage in LEO? Does anyone know?  Because if the LEO deployment orbit is wrong, it can be preferable to not deploy, but wait for further instructions from home.

So there's plenty reason to do it, and we don't know what capabilities the second stage has. It may have internally the ability to accommodate a receiver that's simply not installed, for example.

That's what we do with spacecraft where they safe themselves.  They get in a sun pointed direction and await recovery commands from the ground when bad things happen.  The stage in theory may be able to do it, but I don't know how long it holds it's power. 

Then in that case it would take a new uplink of commands for the future, but not doing instantaneous commands.  You have to remember too that when commanding that there is not a 100% guarantee that all commands transmitted get received.  Sometimes you need re-transmits in a group and thats why commands are sent in loads with checksums.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/24/2017 10:56 PM

What is the lifetime of the second stage in LEO? Does anyone know?  Because if the LEO deployment orbit is wrong, it can be preferable to not deploy, but wait for further instructions from home.

So there's plenty reason to do it, and we don't know what capabilities the second stage has. It may have internally the ability to accommodate a receiver that's simply not installed, for example.

That's what we do with spacecraft where they safe themselves.  They get in a sun pointed direction and await recovery commands from the ground when bad things happen.  The stage in theory may be able to do it, but I don't know how long it holds it's power. 

Then in that case it would take a new uplink of commands for the future, but not doing instantaneous commands.  You have to remember too that when commanding that there is not a 100% guarantee that all commands transmitted get received.  Sometimes you need re-transmits in a group and thats why commands are sent in loads with checksums.
Yes - I was talking about uploading a new sequence, not about "flying it with a joystick".
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jim on 01/25/2017 01:00 AM

That's what we do with spacecraft where they safe themselves.  They get in a sun pointed direction and await recovery commands from the ground when bad things happen.  The stage in theory may be able to do it, but I don't know how long it holds it's power. 

Then in that case it would take a new uplink of commands for the future, but not doing instantaneous commands.  You have to remember too that when commanding that there is not a 100% guarantee that all commands transmitted get received.  Sometimes you need re-transmits in a group and thats why commands are sent in loads with checksums.

Launch vehicles are not spacecraft.  Some spacecraft don't even require computers to control them (see lunar Prospector).

There is no safe mode for launch vehicles.  They try complete the existing program

As stated before the stages timeline is in minutes.  It doesn't have a receiver for commands from orbital altitudes. The software is not set up for receiving commands.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: biosehnsucht on 01/25/2017 07:28 PM
Furthermore, it can't deploy its solar panels while attached, so it's going to run out of power quickly.
Is that always true? I would think that once the fairing is gone, for some birds deployment is at least possible... (might not be a good idea)

I imagine that at least for some satellites, their folded panels may have one fold "out" such that it could get a low level of solar power generation (as if it was mostly but not entirely shaded by another vehicle, in this case itself). However, it's possible that nobody designs them such that the panels are "connected" to generate power until after deployment ... but I don't know of any reason why they couldn't be.

OR, that could be a good way to throw the 2nd stage off course.

I'm not sure why it would? I'm not saying it folds out part of the solar panel array, merely that when folded up for launch, that one segment of the power generating side of the array is exposed (the 'front' of the panel is out, instead of the back)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Greg Hullender on 01/26/2017 02:04 PM
Furthermore, it can't deploy its solar panels while attached, so it's going to run out of power quickly.
Is that always true? I would think that once the fairing is gone, for some birds deployment is at least possible... (might not be a good idea)

I imagine that at least for some satellites, their folded panels may have one fold "out" such that it could get a low level of solar power generation (as if it was mostly but not entirely shaded by another vehicle, in this case itself). However, it's possible that nobody designs them such that the panels are "connected" to generate power until after deployment ... but I don't know of any reason why they couldn't be.

OR, that could be a good way to throw the 2nd stage off course.

I'm not sure why it would? I'm not saying it folds out part of the solar panel array, merely that when folded up for launch, that one segment of the power generating side of the array is exposed (the 'front' of the panel is out, instead of the back)
I'm pretty sure the Law of Conservation of Momentum guarantees that unfolding a solar panel array can't change the course of the second stage. If it moved the center of mass away from the main axis that might mess up the final burn, though. And I suppose it adds a risk that the unfolded array might not be strong enough to survive the final burn.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jim on 01/26/2017 02:15 PM

If it moved the center of mass away from the main axis that might mess up the final burn

That is how it would mess it up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Sam Ho on 01/26/2017 06:29 PM
Furthermore, it can't deploy its solar panels while attached, so it's going to run out of power quickly.
Is that always true? I would think that once the fairing is gone, for some birds deployment is at least possible... (might not be a good idea)

I imagine that at least for some satellites, their folded panels may have one fold "out" such that it could get a low level of solar power generation (as if it was mostly but not entirely shaded by another vehicle, in this case itself). However, it's possible that nobody designs them such that the panels are "connected" to generate power until after deployment ... but I don't know of any reason why they couldn't be.

OR, that could be a good way to throw the 2nd stage off course.

I'm not sure why it would? I'm not saying it folds out part of the solar panel array, merely that when folded up for launch, that one segment of the power generating side of the array is exposed (the 'front' of the panel is out, instead of the back)
I'm pretty sure the Law of Conservation of Momentum guarantees that unfolding a solar panel array can't change the course of the second stage. If it moved the center of mass away from the main axis that might mess up the final burn, though. And I suppose it adds a risk that the unfolded array might not be strong enough to survive the final burn.

Yes, moving the center of mass would do it, and even if you don't move the center of mass, you are changing the moment of inertia, which has a good chance of destabilizing the control loop.  In any case, aside from payloads where the upper stage (Agena, HAPS) was designed to be part of the satellite, there isn't any reason to remain attached to the upper stage.  The upper stage is programmed for the target orbit.  If it didn't make it there, it's out of propellant or has had some other failure (propulsion, guidance) that prevented getting to the target orbit.  Either way, it's pretty much dead weight.

Coming back to the subject of this thread, the Iridium NEXT solar panels are folded against the sloped sides of the spacecraft for launch, between the body of the satellite and the dispenser.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: JBF on 01/27/2017 10:51 AM
Coming back to the subject of this thread, the Iridium NEXT solar panels are folded against the sloped sides of the spacecraft for launch, between the body of the satellite and the dispenser.

The sloped sides are correct, but that puts them not between the satellites and the dispenser but between the satellites
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jcc on 01/27/2017 11:01 AM

If it moved the center of mass away from the main axis that might mess up the final burn

That is how it would mess it up.

If S2 needs a power source for longer endurance, why not attach solar panels to the surface if the stage, like on the trunk of Dragon2?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jim on 01/27/2017 01:11 PM
If S2 needs a power source for longer endurance, why not attach solar panels to the surface if the stage, like on the trunk of Dragon2?

Because:
the upper stage can't point to ensure illumination of the panels.
the S2 mission is so short, batteries are actually lighter than panels (which still need batteries)
The mission is seldom longer than one orbit and there may be little to no sunlight for any part of the mission
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: rsdavis9 on 01/27/2017 01:13 PM
so add more batteries if you need longer s2 mission.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/27/2017 01:49 PM
What's the point of all this again?
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: envy887 on 01/27/2017 02:02 PM
Direct GEO insertion, probably.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: rpapo on 01/27/2017 04:36 PM
Direct GEO insertion, probably.
Which is off-topic for Iridium.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: meekGee on 01/27/2017 04:46 PM
Also contingency deployment in case of an off-nominal LEO orbit.  Might want the second stage to live long enough to enable the customer to think about it and command a new sequence.   Or even another burn, if S2 shut down wrongly, but is not terminally ill.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Jim on 01/27/2017 05:15 PM
There is no commanding of the second stage and no need for it.
The spacecraft are going to be released in the off nominal orbit. The customer has their assets set up for release at a scheduled time.   There isn't enough time to react to those type of issues.   A S2 shut down "wrongly" is because it is terminally ill.  There is no reason for a commanded shutdown other than meeting the burn parameters.  If the stage shuts down earlier, it is due to propellant depletion or engine failure.
The vehicle does not check to see if it is in the right orbit before releasing the spacecraft.  It releases the spacecraft based on a time from the end of the last burn.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: gongora on 01/27/2017 05:35 PM
The vehicle does not check to see if it is in the right orbit before releasing the spacecraft.  It releases the spacecraft based on a time from the end of the last burn.

For the Formosat/SHERPA mission they are supposed to make sure it's in the right orbit before releasing the SHERPA.  Maybe that will just come down to seeing if the final burn is full duration and not necessarily knowing the orbit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Lar on 01/27/2017 05:35 PM
There is no commanding of the second stage and no need for it.
The spacecraft are going to be released in the off nominal orbit. The customer has their assets set up for release at a scheduled time.   There isn't enough time to react to those type of issues.   A S2 shut down "wrongly" is because it is terminally ill.  There is no reason for a commanded shutdown other than meeting the burn parameters.  If the stage shuts down earlier, it is due to propellant depletion or engine failure.
The vehicle does not check to see if it is in the right orbit before releasing the spacecraft.  It releases the spacecraft based on a time from the end of the last burn.


let's do better at staying on topic, this is a discussion thread for a specific flight.  Longer term S2 restart/retry options etc belong elsewhere on NSF. Arguing with Jim for the sake of arguing with Jim? Buy him a beer sometime and see. But not here.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: gongora on 02/22/2017 10:30 PM
I split off the mission simulation discussion into a new thread:
SpaceX Falcon Mission Simulations (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42389.0)

If anyone has a problem with where I split the thread let me know.
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/23/2017 12:50 PM
Quote
IRDM CEO(2): The 1st Iridium Next sat is now in full service, filling a hole in our coverage. 8 more to be in service by mid-April.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/834759988115603457 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/834759988115603457)
Title: Re: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)
Post by: Norm38 on 05/05/2017 01:55 PM
So this will be the next reused booster.  From the video it looked to have a very gentle reentry/landing.  I wonder how much refurbishment this one needed?

If BulgariaSat is coming up soon, they're under 6 months at least to get it flying again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8wy5sQ2JDE