Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon 9 - Iridium NEXT Flight 1 DISCUSSION (Jan. 14 2017)  (Read 287050 times)

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.

I count the September explosion as a launch vehicle failure, defined below (written by myself and subject to change without notice :-). What I am interested in is how the launch vehicle performs in delivering its payload, not just the act of launch itself. This includes how the vehicle performs with the payload prior to launch. If the vehicle destroys its payload prior to actual launch, I count that as a launch vehicle failure.

Launch Vehicle Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Partial Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload to the specified orbit, but deploys the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Success: The launch vehicle deploys the payload into the specified orbit.

Specified Orbit: An orbit defined by perigee, apogee, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of periapsis and true anomaly, including any specified range of these parameters.

Usable Orbit. The specified orbit, an orbit outside the specified orbit that can be used by the payload or an orbit from which the payload can maneuver from so as to reach the specified orbit or an orbit that can be used.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online ZachS09

Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.

I count the September explosion as a launch vehicle failure, defined below (written by myself and subject to change without notice :-). What I am interested in is how the launch vehicle performs in delivering its payload, not just the act of launch itself. This includes how the vehicle performs with the payload prior to launch. If the vehicle destroys its payload prior to actual launch, I count that as a launch vehicle failure.

Launch Vehicle Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Partial Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload to the specified orbit, but deploys the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Success: The launch vehicle deploys the payload into the specified orbit.

Specified Orbit: An orbit defined by perigee, apogee, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of periapsis and true anomaly, including any specified range of these parameters.

Usable Orbit. The specified orbit, an orbit outside the specified orbit that can be used by the payload or an orbit from which the payload can maneuver from so as to reach the specified orbit or an orbit that can be used.

Thanks for explaining, Steven, but I would not consider AMOS 6 a launch vehicle failure since it was not launch day. Who would want to say that Iridium-NEXT F1 was the 30th Falcon 9?

You don't have to side with my opinion. Please believe what you think.
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

Offline Vultur

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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.


I don't think this is physically possible - BFR isn't that big and liquid propellants aren't that explosive (need to mix first). It could be a large explosion, but no way could it affect a significant portion of a state. If a BFR blew up at Boca Chica, it might destroy the SpaceX facilities there, but not much outside that - maybe windows broken on beach houses but...

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]).

Sure, but Proton's failures are heavily biased toward recent flights. Proton's reliability /now/ is significantly worse than its historical average.

Offline guckyfan

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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.

Not showing it indicates a difference they did not want to show. Means it was anticipated and not a surprise.

Offline woods170

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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.
Emphasis mine (this time)
Practically every customer payload ever lost (no matter who the launch service provider was/is) was lost for no good reason. Loads of examples out there but I'll stick to the three I mentioned earlier:
- Losing a USAF GPS satellite because McDonnell Douglas didn't pay attention to the design of a new SRB transportation device is a prime example of losing a customer payload for no good reason.
- Losing Cluster mk.1 because ESA/Arianespace cut corners testing the flight software for Ariane 5 is a prime example of losing a customer payload for no good reason.
- Failing to achieve the proper orbit because Boeing didn't bother to properly model and examine the behaviour of three Delta IV cores vs. a single core is a prime example of not having your act together.

SpaceX may be doing Agile but everyone has lost customer payloads for no good reasons.

Offline meekGee

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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.

Not showing it indicates a difference they did not want to show. Means it was anticipated and not a surprise.
Good observation.

There was some confusion around sage separation time now that I think about it.
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Offline Bynaus

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Wasn't SpaceX working on reusable fairings? In that case, confusion at the moment of fairing separation does not necessarily mean something went wrong (or that there was a dangerous situation). It might also mean that the fairing behaved in a new way while separating, and not everybody knew this was coming. Or, everybody knew what to expect, but the new fairings behaved somewhat differently that hoped/expected.

Online toruonu

They showed the camera view inside the fairing, but then swapped to an external view of the stage 2 enging followed by the ground tracking that showed 4 items (stage 1, burning stage 2 and the 2 separated fairings). I saw that. They didn't show the actual camera view of the fairing separation, but they did show the ground tracking that showed both fairing halves.

Offline rpapo

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Regarding the fairing separation, was it earlier than we're used to seeing?  In that portion of video showing the four objects, they seemed awfully close together still.  That, or the image was simply foreshortened.
« Last Edit: 01/16/2017 10:25 AM by rpapo »
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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I've got to say that I loved the Imaging Infrared view from Vandenberg shortly after fairing sep that showed the booster, upper stage and both fairing segments in close formation with the booster clearly elongated because it was rotating to retrograde alignment.
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Offline meekGee

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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.

Not showing it indicates a difference they did not want to show. Means it was anticipated and not a surprise.
Good observation.

There was some confusion around sage separation time now that I think about it.
Bad choice of words.  I meant that the camera views were different than normal, and the commentator script didn't match


Agreeing that this is not a sign of trouble but maybe possibly of hiding something
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Online tleski

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Also, in contrast to the previous webcasts, they did not have "FAIRING" item following "MECO" on their timeline, which is interesting and indicates that they were planning on not drawing attention to it.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes  53m53 minutes ago
CEO Desch @IridiumComm: TBD but we may be able to cut @SpaceX launch interval to < 60 days as from our 3d launch. https://www.spaceintelreport.com/iridium-next-launch

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/820986025614934016

Offline rockets4life97

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Launching more frequently for Vandy would certainly help SpaceX's manifest. It seems to me that as a major customer Iridium would have some leverage in getting rockets before others on the manifest.

Offline edkyle99

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Do you count the September explosion as a launch (attempt)?
I do not. (For me the Iridium-1 flight was flight #29, 28 of those were successful.) 
Nor do SpaceX, ot his booster should have been at LEAST #30.

I count the September explosion as a launch vehicle failure, defined below (written by myself and subject to change without notice :-). What I am interested in is how the launch vehicle performs in delivering its payload, not just the act of launch itself. This includes how the vehicle performs with the payload prior to launch. If the vehicle destroys its payload prior to actual launch, I count that as a launch vehicle failure.

Launch Vehicle Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Partial Failure: The launch vehicle fails to deploy the payload to the specified orbit, but deploys the payload into a usable orbit.

Launch Vehicle Success: The launch vehicle deploys the payload into the specified orbit.

Specified Orbit: An orbit defined by perigee, apogee, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of periapsis and true anomaly, including any specified range of these parameters.

Usable Orbit. The specified orbit, an orbit outside the specified orbit that can be used by the payload or an orbit from which the payload can maneuver from so as to reach the specified orbit or an orbit that can be used.

Thanks for explaining, Steven, but I would not consider AMOS 6 a launch vehicle failure since it was not launch day. Who would want to say that Iridium-NEXT F1 was the 30th Falcon 9?

You don't have to side with my opinion. Please believe what you think.
I view it as a launch vehicle failure that occurred during a ground test, so not a launch failure, but a launch campaign failure.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline starhawk92

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I have so many questions about "satellite constellation management".  Please teach me.

1)  These 10 satellites which were just launched -- are they capable of sharing data with the prior constellation, or do they communicate in their own band?
2)  How long until the 10 just launches are "ready for work"?
3)  Is each of the 10 just launched satellites planned to replace a member of the prior consteallation 1-to-1?  Or have things come to light which makes the geometry planned for the new consteallation different?

Thanks if anyone has time to explain!

Offline rsdavis9

I read someplace that they would be operational in 3 months.
Also read that the plane they were launched into had one non functional satellite.
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
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Offline edkyle99

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Now I am wondering about that fairing separation.  This still from the technical webcast shows only one fairing half.  A  bit later two halves are visible, but it isn't immediately clear to me right now that they separated simultaneously.

I've also been wondering about the orbit.  Some pre-launch discussion described a planned 667 km insertion orbit.  The tracked orbit was more like 620 km.

Regarding the fairing separation not being shown on the webcast, there is a many-second delay that allows plenty of time for views to be cut off before being broadcast in the event of an anomaly.  They showed the inside-the-fairing view briefly just before planned separation, then cut away and, I think, never showed that view again.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/16/2017 02:37 PM by edkyle99 »

Online gongora

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I've also been wondering about the orbit.  Some pre-launch discussion described a planned 667 km insertion orbit.  The tracked orbit was more like 620 km.

Iridium CEO tweeted before the launch (couple weeks ago?) that the parking orbit was 625km.

Offline meberbs

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I've also been wondering about the orbit.  Some pre-launch discussion described a planned 667 km insertion orbit.  The tracked orbit was more like 620 km.

Iridium CEO tweeted before the launch (couple weeks ago?) that the parking orbit was 625km.
For reference, I checked the webcast, and stage 2 was at 627 km for the circularization burn. Seems like expected accuracy to me.

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