Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)  (Read 286442 times)

Online gongora

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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.

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
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
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.
« Last Edit: 06/14/2016 08:21 PM by gongora »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Iridium press release attached plus photo from Orbital.

Offline rpapo

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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.
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Online ZachS09

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.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline Kabloona

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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.  ;)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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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/

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

Offline wannamoonbase

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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/

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!
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline a_langwich

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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/

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?

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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

Offline deruch

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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/

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.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline a_langwich

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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/

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?

Offline baldusi

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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.

Online catdlr

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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/

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
Tony De La Rosa

Offline guckyfan

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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.

Online ZachS09

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.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline deruch

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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
« Last Edit: 07/09/2016 01:07 AM by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Online ZachS09

"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Online gongora

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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.

Online Comga

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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)
« Last Edit: 07/14/2016 07:06 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline guckyfan

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$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.

« Last Edit: 07/14/2016 04:52 PM by guckyfan »

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