Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)  (Read 285853 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Here's an update today on readiness for first SpaceX Iridium launch in July:

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.

Online mme

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Here's an update today on readiness for first SpaceX Iridium launch in July:

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
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.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline TrevorMonty



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)



Online Steven Pietrobon

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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.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Semmel

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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.

Offline rocx

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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.
Any day with a rocket landing is a fantastic day.

Online gongora

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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.

Offline Jim

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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.

Offline IntoTheVoid

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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.

Online intrepidpursuit

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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.

Offline TrevorMonty

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.

Offline Lar

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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)
"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
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline ugordan

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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.

Online Steven Pietrobon

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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.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online Comga

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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.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Kryten

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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.

Online tleski

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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

Offline rockets4life97

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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.

Offline somepitch

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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?

Offline the_other_Doug

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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...
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

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