Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)  (Read 345921 times)

Offline mn

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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)? 

Offline gongora

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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.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2016 07:32 pm by gongora »

Offline mn

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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.

Offline Owlon

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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.

Offline cscott

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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.

Offline Comga

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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.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2016 11:48 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lar

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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?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
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Offline dkrening

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?

Offline whitelancer64

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.
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Offline Comga

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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
A post 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.

edit: PS  Don't take photos. Others will get great photos and videos and share them.  Just experience it.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2016 10:13 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline gongora

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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
A post 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.

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.

Offline Raul

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Any word on if this will be RTLS?
the FCC application was for the ASDS JRTI instead of RTLS ;)
FCC application is for both alternatives. For ASDS, as well as for RTLS location.

Landing pad could be ready - tent hangar is out, FAA permission is assigned too.

It is still question of how tight will be ground landing for Iridium launch.

Offline Skyrocket

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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?

Online Chris Bergin

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.”

Online Chris Bergin

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.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

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.  ;)
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Online eweilow

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

Offline Newton_V

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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.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2016 04:16 pm by Newton_V »

Offline gongora

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Tweet from Peter B. de Selding
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.

Online M.E.T.

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Well that is disappointing. So 8 launches remains their record for a year then.

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