Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)  (Read 286555 times)

Offline woods170

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The significance of this launch is that SX can field a finished Falcon 9 system where all the parts work on a major mission, flown under AF/FAA supervision. That means missions can continue now working down a manifest.

Prior to this they had lost that confidence due to an obvious, unanticipated failure when no expectation of such was present. Why this was so bad wasn't just due to the loss of the mission/payload/vehicle, but more so because they clearly did not understand that they were under risk of such.

Emphasis yours.
Unknown unknows. Those have happened to all major players in the launch industry. And all of them have lost payloads or had failed missions because of them.

Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with Arianespace and AF/FAA with ESA.
Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with McDonnell Douglas
Had it been 2007 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with ULA

Offline OnWithTheShow

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Don't think that's true. There's been photos of returned stages in the HIF with legs removed that had an ID #. The number was much (much) smaller and IIRC, was obscured when the leg was folded up.

I was pretty stoked to see such large numbers, in multiple locations, and in plain sight at launch time. Was a definite move towards giving individual cores a pronounced identity - something not surprising now that they will have both histories and futures...

When you start having multiple cores sitting around it becomes more important to be able to tell them apart at a quick glance than going searching for some small serial number somewhere.

Online yokem55

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Don't think that's true. There's been photos of returned stages in the HIF with legs removed that had an ID #. The number was much (much) smaller and IIRC, was obscured when the leg was folded up.

I was pretty stoked to see such large numbers, in multiple locations, and in plain sight at launch time. Was a definite move towards giving individual cores a pronounced identity - something not surprising now that they will have both histories and futures...

When you start having multiple cores sitting around it becomes more important to be able to tell them apart at a quick glance than going searching for some small serial number somewhere.
What a problem to have.

Offline kevinof

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Whats the alternative? Stagnate for the next 30 years just like we have for the last? For me, I'd rather take the "odd" failure in return for the many steps forward we get.

What these agile developers are doing is pushing forward trying new systems, new approaches, trying things that were ignored or dismissed. Even BO is redefining  how sub-orbital is approached.

I say bring it on and let's keep taking big steps rather than sit on our asses doing the same thing over and over.


The problem with SX (or others) aerospace agile development is that, in contrast to ULA (or others) system engineering is that these lapses are themselves excessively costly to all, and simply cannot be overlooked as many might. And where an engine anomaly (e.g. OA6) might bring things close to the edge of margin, during the same period lapses for SX have meant multiple lost missions.

For SX just flying does not mean they have reached parity with ULA/others - they need to be able to do "agile development" at comparable not excessive cost.

And its not just SX here that are affected by this - all other providers will be competing more with SX, and thus must be more "agile" to do so, otherwise they won't be competitive. They risk the same as SX in doing so.

SX is behind on FH. They also have a pad to rebuild. And another version of F9 to field, likely with 3 COPV's of improved design.

Those that want to wish away the problem will be disappointed. SX needs to have carbon fiber subcooled LOX tanks of radically excessive performance by current standards. Plus more.

Offline okan170

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Some fun alternate angles of the launch:

Online Space Ghost 1962

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The significance of this launch is that SX can field a finished Falcon 9 system where all the parts work on a major mission, flown under AF/FAA supervision. That means missions can continue now working down a manifest.

Prior to this they had lost that confidence due to an obvious, unanticipated failure when no expectation of such was present. Why this was so bad wasn't just due to the loss of the mission/payload/vehicle, but more so because they clearly did not understand that they were under risk of such.

Emphasis yours.
Unknown unknows. Those have happened to all major players in the launch industry. And all of them have lost payloads or had failed missions because of them.

Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with Arianespace and AF/FAA with ESA.
Had it been 1997 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with McDonnell Douglas
Had it been 2007 you could have written your post by simply replacing SpaceX with ULA
Understand the point you attempt to make.

In this case none of the above applies. ALL of those you list ... had/have the intent of a few handfuls of payloads to orbit per year.  (1.)They all want to mature a LV and then reduce risk to near zero.

If you believe SX's stated intent, (2.) they are focussed on making a high launch frequency reused launch system.

You do understand that (1.) is completely different than (2.)? Yet customers with payload expect (1.).

How do you otherwise "square this circle"?

They should not appear like ULA/others if they are not like ULA/others is my point.

SX has no interest in not modifying any launch systems/services. They will be dicking with everything as long as they can find something to change. ULA/Ariane/others ... won't ... they'll only change up to a point.

They are different, not the same.

Whats the alternative? Stagnate for the next 30 years just like we have for the last? For me, I'd rather take the "odd" failure in return for the many steps forward we get.
You aren't a customer of the launch services.

And precisely why I'm holding SX's agile development "feet to the fire" is because I don't want to stagnate.

A long time ago I got on poor terms during EELV by suggesting marginal increased risk. Because any increased risk was unacceptable.

And now I'm getting criticized here for the opposite extreme. Amusing.

Quote
What these agile developers are doing is pushing forward trying new systems, new approaches, trying things that were ignored or dismissed. Even BO is redefining  how sub-orbital is approached.

I say bring it on and let's keep taking big steps rather than sit on our asses doing the same thing over and over.

That's because you don't understand (or accept) that there is considerable risk for all in unconstrained, radical development at any cost. Am attempting to quantify for ALL launch providers exactly where this risk is - SX is currently over the line and ULA isn't.

SX too a considerable financial hit due to all of this. The prospective "hits" increase in severity as they "mature" and take on larger scale programs like ITS.

This is more than sufficient to wipe them out as a business. Example - they have an BFR misfortune that wipes out a significant portion of Florida due to liability. Unlikely but still present.

One has to look at this responsibly.

Offline meekGee

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The problem with SX (or others) aerospace agile development is that, in contrast to ULA (or others) system engineering... 


I don't understand the contrast you draw - can you elaborate?
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Online Space Ghost 1962

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The problem with SX (or others) aerospace agile development is that, in contrast to ULA (or others) system engineering... 


I don't understand the contrast you draw - can you elaborate?

Agile development is ahistorical - you do something that was never done before, attempting to prove all elements of it and dependencies from the ground up.

"Systems engineering" is proving things that work (or not) from history, within very specific scope/bounds, and carefully composing/"evolving" subsystems/components along those rules, tracking dependences  through provenance, such that you can prove the "atomic" risks at all points, and by summing/multiplying such can accurately "know" your risks well ahead of use.

The first allows for radical speed/scope increase at the cost of exponential risk (provable but won't detail this, do your own homework).

The second always bounds risk and allows for deterministic fault tree analysis. But is slower/narrower in time/scope.

My point here is that you can have a hybrid that can have best trade of bounded risk with most of the speed/scope.

And that this hybrid is a responsible approach for acceptable rate of speed/scope change.

add:
And why I don't elaborate here is that it a)confuses threads further as everyone argues definitions and b) it is impossible to retain the point of the post, as everyone vectors off into nonsense land.

To reiterate, SX is losing customer payloads for no good reasons. They can innovate and use agile - that's fine. But to do so w/o the unacceptable LOM means you have to do far better than they are doing.

And I'm certain Musk himself would agree with me on this point. Ask him.
« Last Edit: 01/16/2017 12:43 AM by Space Ghost 1962 »

Offline xyv

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Quote

Agile development is ahistorical - you do something that was never done before, attempting to prove all elements of it and dependencies from the ground up.

"Systems engineering" is proving things that work (or not) from history, within very specific scope/bounds, and carefully composing/"evolving" subsystems/components along those rules, tracking dependences  through provenance, such that you can prove the "atomic" risks at all points, and by summing/multiplying such can accurately "know" your risks well ahead of use.

The first allows for radical speed/scope increase at the cost of exponential risk (provable but won't detail this, do your own homework).

The second always bounds risk and allows for deterministic fault tree analysis. But is slower/narrower in time/scope.

My point here is that you can have a hybrid that can have best trade of bounded risk with most of the speed/scope.

And that this hybrid is a responsible approach for acceptable rate of speed/scope change.

I have to disagree with your depiction of agile development versus systems engineering.  Agile development is an approach that attempts to defer decisions as late in the process as possible and eliminate queues - where work tasks wait for design attention.  Agile is applicable to new (ahistorical) or derivative development.

Systems engineering is applicable to any complex development, irrespective of the development environment.  I would describe what ULA and others do as classic aerospace: highly program driven with government funding, milestones and long development cycles.  Yes, lean development can exponentially increase risk but the "classic" approach can exponentially increase cost and schedule due to the slavish adherence to the requirements and process - witness the F-35.

For the record, my companies attempt at lean was somewhat of a failure, but systems engineering was very much a part of it and we are still searching for the appropriate hybrid development approach.

Online Robotbeat

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SpaceX's launch reliability is fully in line with professional industry norms for a new launch vehicle, and is still way better than Proton for instance (both historical and modern) and FAR better than the early days of orbital launch when new ideas were constantly being used. This meme that SpaceX is "over the line" is false by any reasonable definition of new launch vehicle reliability.

ULA has only ever launched mature launch vehicles, their launch success rate is not surprising (though, of course, still requires good work). We'll see what happens when they introduce Vulcan.
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Offline mn

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And why is this discussion in this thread? As if we didn't already discuss this to death 500 times.

Offline edkyle99

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SpaceX's launch reliability is fully in line with professional industry norms for a new launch vehicle, and is still way better than Proton for instance (both historical and modern) ...
It may prove better than Proton in the long run, but it is still too soon to say for certain.  Proton M/Briz M has 9 failures in 89 flights (0.89 LaPlace point estimate reliability [1]).  Falcon 9 v1.2 has 9 launches and no failures (0.91 LaPlace) or 10 campaigns with one failure and one lost payload (0.83 LaPlace), depending on one's point of view.  Falcon 9 v1.1 and 1.2 together (the Merlin 1D Falcons) have 23 successes in 25 launch campaigns (0.90 LaPlace).

Too soon to say, and certainly not "way better" one way or the other.

 - Ed Kyle 

[1] http://www.measuringu.com/wald.htm
« Last Edit: 01/16/2017 01:23 AM by edkyle99 »

Online Danny452

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In the Iridium-1 technical webcast
there is a tumbling object visible from 25:12 to 25:21 to the left of the left grid fin.  My first thought was that it was one of the fairing halves.  But would that still be visible after the boostback burn?  Also, it is tumbling very fast for something as large as a fairing half.  Does anyone know what it is?
« Last Edit: 01/16/2017 01:47 AM by Danny452 »

Online MATTBLAK

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Looks like a tumbling block of styrofoam - unlikely to be that, so I'd say insulation.
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Offline CJ

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In the Iridium-1 technical webcast
there is a tumbling object visible from 25:12 to 25:21 to the left of the left grid fin.  My first thought was that it was one of the fairing halves.  But would that still be visible after the boostback burn?  Also, it is tumbling very fast for something as large as a fairing half.  Does anyone know what it is?

It's hard to tell, but to me, it looks like it's tumbling at quite a rate. Something would have had to impart that tumble. I also, like you, have a hard time believing a fairing half would be visible so apparently close after the boostback.

My SWAG is that it's either a small piece of ice or a small cover of some sort that parted company with the F9 within the prior few seconds.

Are there covers of any sort associated with the grid fins? Perhaps around the hinge areas?

Offline Lar

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This is strange, because this morning JSPoC is still tracking 11 objects in orbit from the launch. If the 11th object is not the second stage, perhaps it is a small piece of debris of some kind, but it doesn't seem to be decaying rapidly.

Where is the dispenser? Did it remain mated to S2 when S2 deorbited? If not, could that be the 11th object?
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Offline old_sellsword

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Are there covers of any sort associated with the grid fins? Perhaps around the hinge areas?

No covers or anything visible from the Thaicom 8 first stage landing video.


Offline OnWithTheShow

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Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

Online wannamoonbase

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Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

 Agreed, faring separation was conspicuous by its absence.

 I'll be  paying attention to future lunches to see if they show fairing separation.
« Last Edit: 01/16/2017 04:34 AM by wannamoonbase »
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline Hauerg

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Any idea what the audible gasp from the crowd right around fairing sep was about? Also interesting they didn't show fairing sep on either feed. Perhaps it wasn't clean?

 Agreed, faring separation was conspicuous by its absence.

 I'll be  paying attention to future lunches to see if they show fairing separation.
Bon appetit!
 ;D ;D

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