Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)  (Read 336499 times)

Online dglow

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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.

Offline ChrisC

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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
« Last Edit: 01/10/2017 07:09 PM by ChrisC »
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Offline catdlr

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Tony De La Rosa

Offline xyv

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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.

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).

Online Brovane

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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. 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Online mme

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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.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2017 05:33 PM by mme »
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Online Mike_1179

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  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.

Offline joek

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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) (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.

Offline sdsds

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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.
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Offline sdsds

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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.
« Last Edit: 01/13/2017 12:16 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Online Herb Schaltegger

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.
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Online mme

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

Online mme

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

Offline hootowls

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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.

Offline Flying Beaver

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 ;)
« Last Edit: 01/13/2017 05:57 PM by Flying Beaver »
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Offline eweilow

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.

Offline Jarnis

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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...?

Offline Melanchthon

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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

Offline biosehnsucht

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"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.

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