Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)  (Read 341881 times)

Offline envy887

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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).

Offline Star One

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Iridium expects to renegotiate loan agreement by year’s end

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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.

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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/
« Last Edit: 10/31/2016 08:09 PM by Star One »

Offline Raul

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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/
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“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.”

Offline Kryten

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There's no active FAA licence for SpaceX launches out of Vandenberg; how soon before launch would a licence have to be issued?

Offline gongora

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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.

Online Chris Bergin

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
« Last Edit: 11/02/2016 02:03 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline old_sellsword

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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 by Spiiice (a SpaceX employee) in a recent Reddit thread:

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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?

Offline deruch

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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 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.)
« Last Edit: 11/03/2016 01:36 AM by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline gongora

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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 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.

Offline gongora

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Tweet from Peter B. de Selding
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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.)

Online Chris Bergin

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.

Offline Flying Beaver

Watched B1019 land in person 21/12/2015.

Offline Flying Beaver

Watched B1019 land in person 21/12/2015.


Offline Comga

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https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/800428377173725185
Good first post, but a bit thin.
To save people clicking through, (which is not always allowed....)
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online catdlr

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Tony De La Rosa

Offline russianhalo117

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Offline wannamoonbase

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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.
Needing a copy of 'Tales of Suspense #39'

Online ZachS09

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.
« Last Edit: 11/22/2016 03:28 PM by ZachS09 »
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

Offline starhawk92

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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?

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