Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Iridium NEXT 6 with GRACE-FO : Mar 21/22, 2018  (Read 18967 times)

Online russianhalo117

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DISCUSSION THREAD for Flight 6 of the Iridium NEXT constellation, a rideshare of 5 Iridium NEXT satellites along with the 2 GRACE-FO satellites.

Flight 6: March 21, 2018 on a new Falcon 9 from SLC-4E at Vandenberg @ 1843 PDT/0143 UTC on the 22nd.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 6: Discussion
   NSF Articles for Iridium NEXT Flight 6: 

See the Flight 1 Discussion Thread for more information and links to other Iridium Next threads and articles.

Iridium satellites (5)
   Payload Mass: 860kg per satellite plus 500kg for dispenser.
   Launch orbit: 625km, 86.66 degrees

GRACE-FO satellites (2)
   Payload Mass: 580kg per satellite plus dispenser.
   Orbit: 490km, 89 degrees



The GRACE-FO launch vehicle system (LVS) was jointly selected by GFZ and NASA in June 2013. Before, a technical feasibility study has been successfully performed by the International Space Company Kosmotras (ISCK). It includes the DNEPR launch vehicle, a multi-satellite dispenser, and the personnel, test equipment and facilities for preparation, integration and launch of the twin satellites. The DNEPR launcher is a result of the Russian Program for Elimination of the SS-18 Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that are being withdrawn from service and instead further used for commercial orbital launches of payloads. The LVS is managed, under sub-contract of GFZ, by the SpaceTech GmbH (STI) Launch Vehicle System Manager and is supported by the JPL Project and its contractors.

The GRACE-FO satellites will be launched from Baikonur / Kazakhstan into a co-planar Orbit with a target launch date of 5. August 2017 and following (GRACE-like) orbital parameters:

a = 490 ± 10 km
i = 89.0 ± 0.06°
e < 0.0025

Source Link (Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences): http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/research/organizational-units/departments/department-1/global-geomonitoring-and-gravity-field/topics/development-operation-and-analysis-of-gravity-field-satellite-missions/grace-fo/launch-vehicle-system/

Date of Validity: 13.12.2013
NASA/DLR MISSION GRACE-FO (Follow On) scheduled for launch on ISC Kosmotras Dnepr ILV on 05 August 2017.



Other SpaceX resources on NASASpaceflight:
   SpaceX News Articles (Recent)  /   SpaceX News Articles from 2006 (Including numerous exclusive Elon interviews)
   SpaceX Dragon Articles  /  SpaceX Missions Section (with Launch Manifest and info on past and future missions)
   L2 SpaceX Section
« Last Edit: 12/08/2017 09:19 PM by gongora »

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: Dnepr with NASA/DLR MISSION GRACE-FO on 05 August 2017
« Reply #1 on: 08/23/2016 11:24 PM »
Got info from GFZ, that Dnepr is no longer available as launch vehicle for GRACE-FO. They are currently in negotiations with SpaceX for a Falcon-9 launch.

Online russianhalo117

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Re: Dnepr with NASA/DLR MISSION GRACE-FO on 05 August 2017
« Reply #2 on: 08/23/2016 11:59 PM »
Got info from GFZ, that Dnepr is no longer available as launch vehicle for GRACE-FO. They are currently in negotiations with SpaceX for a Falcon-9 launch.
PM this to Satori.

Offline Graham

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Re: Dnepr with NASA/DLR MISSION GRACE-FO on 05 August 2017
« Reply #3 on: 08/24/2016 12:04 AM »
Got info from GFZ, that Dnepr is no longer available as launch vehicle for GRACE-FO. They are currently in negotiations with SpaceX for a Falcon-9 launch.
Do we know why?
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Online russianhalo117

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Re: Dnepr with NASA/DLR MISSION GRACE-FO on 05 August 2017
« Reply #4 on: 08/24/2016 12:12 AM »
Got info from GFZ, that Dnepr is no longer available as launch vehicle for GRACE-FO. They are currently in negotiations with SpaceX for a Falcon-9 launch.
Do we know why?
Developing situation:
ISC Kosmotras appears to have had its authority to process spacecraft and launch Dnepr LV's terminated by the Corporations ROSCOSMOS and URSC by order from the Russian government. The only remaining Dnepr LV is currently in the silo for Iridium, but may be delayed or cancelled because permission to proceed into the launch campaign has been denied so far. ISC Kosmotras is apparently going to be dissolved via merger into Eurockot some time following the Iridium launch.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2016 01:57 AM by russianhalo117 »

Online russianhalo117

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« Last Edit: 12/10/2016 05:35 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline soltasto

What if a normal Iridium NEXT flight will be split into 2 and one gets a GRACE-FO satellite while the other gets the other 2 satellites that were meant to launch on a DNEPR?

Online russianhalo117

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What if a normal Iridium NEXT flight will be split into 2 and one gets a GRACE-FO satellite while the other gets the other 2 satellites that were meant to launch on a DNEPR?
The following satellites do not yet have a flight to space and 71/72 flight is in limbo.
Iridium-NEXT 71 - Do LC-370/11 Dnepr ? with Iridium-NEXT 72
Iridium-NEXT 72 - Do LC-370/11 Dnepr ? with Iridium-NEXT 71
Iridium-NEXT 73 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 74 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 75 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 76 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 77 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 78 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 79 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 80 - with Iridium-NEXT
Iridium-NEXT 81 - with Iridium-NEXT

Online gongora

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Tweet from Matt Desch
Quote
It's official: launching 75 of our 81 NEXT sats on a total of 8 Falcon 9s. Same cost through 2018 as last plan with Dnepr. Rideshare=smart!

Followup Tweet from Matt Desch
Quote
@IridiumBoss it will be new falcon 9 or a reused falcon 9???
Matt Desch: New.

Tweet from Iridium Investor Relations (@IridiumIR)
Quote
announces 8th launch, rideshare with NASA/GFZ to deliver 5 Iridium NEXT satellites to LEO, expected by early 2018.

Iridium Press Release [Jan 31, 2017] : Iridium Adds Eighth Launch with SpaceX for Satellite Rideshare with NASA/GFZ
Quote
Iridium strikes deal with GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences to launch five additional spare Iridium NEXT satellites as well as NASA/GFZ's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on (GRACE-FO) Mission

MCLEAN, Va., Jan. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM) announced today that it has contracted with SpaceX for an eighth Falcon 9 launch. Along for the ride are the twin-satellites of the NASA/GFZ Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will be deployed into a separate low-Earth orbit, marking the first rideshare deal for Iridium. An agreement of this kind is economical for all parties, and affords Iridium the ability to launch five additional satellites for its next-generation global satellite network.   The rideshare is anticipated to launch out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by early 2018.

"This is a very smart way to get additional Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit," said Matt Desch, chief executive officer at Iridium. "This launch provides added resiliency to our network for not much more than we had planned originally to launch 72 satellites, including two with Kosmotras."  Desch continued, "We are pleased to be sharing a rocket with NASA and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences for this additional SpaceX launch, and GFZ has been a great business partner throughout this process."

Not only is this launch a rare opportunity to ride with NASA, but it also represents a particularly compelling economical solution. The Company had always expected to launch additional satellites after the Iridium NEXT construction was completed to utilize the nine ground spares built into the program. This rideshare represents a material savings from other supplemental launch options due to the efficiency of sharing the rocket with GRACE-FO, and the incremental cost during the Iridium NEXT construction period is immaterial when considering the avoidance of unspent amounts contemplated under the Kosmotras program. It also affords Iridium the opportunity to rearrange its launch and satellite drifting plan and launch these five satellites directly into their operational orbital plane while increasing the number of planned in-orbit spares by three satellites.  Further, this development allows Iridium to complete the whole operational constellation at a faster rate than it would have with seven launches. Iridium will still consider launching satellites with Kosmotras once approvals are available.

Iridium NEXT is the company's next-generation global satellite constellation.  Replacing Iridium's existing network of low-Earth orbit satellites, Iridium NEXT is poised to re-energize the mobile satellite industry with faster speeds and higher throughputs for all industry verticals.  The launch of the Iridium NEXT constellation represents an unprecedented feat for satellite communications, and has been coined the largest "tech refresh" of its kind.

The Company has contracted with SpaceX for seven dedicated Iridium NEXT launches, deploying 70 Iridium NEXT satellites into low-Earth orbit, across a 13-month period out of Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This eighth launch will increase the constellation's count to 75 total in-orbit satellites, nine of which will serve as on-orbit spares. The first set of Iridium NEXT satellites was successfully launched on January 14th and is currently under test in orbit.  For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit www.iridiumnext.com.

GRACE-FO is a successor to the joint NASA/DLR/GFZ GRACE mission, which launched in 2002 and is still in operation. The twin GRACE-FO satellites, which operate in tandem, will continue GRACE's legacy of tracking changes in the distribution of Earth's mass over time by creating monthly maps of Earth's gravity field. The movements of masses of water, ice, air, and the solid Earth are driven by processes such as precipitation, droughts, floods, the melting of snow and ice, ground water usage and storage, and even tectonic events such as large earthquakes. GRACE is improving our understanding and knowledge of a variety of important Earth system processes:  the terrestrial water cycle and changes in ice sheets, glaciers and sea level, surface and deep-ocean currents; and variations in Earth's lithosphere and mantle density. These measurements provide a unique view of the Earth system and have far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population. The mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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@IridiumComm : We're paying @SpaceX $67.9M for 8th Falcon 9 launch in mid-2018. GFZ Germany funds $31.8M of that to carry 2 GRACE-FO sats.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/834787161539039232

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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So because of sharing the launch cost, the 8th F9 for Iridium is cheaper than the previous planned (now doubtful) Dnepr launch:

Quote
@IridiumComm: We pd Kosmotras Moscow $38.6M for 2-sat launch on Dnepr. Launch may never happen, & $$ may be lost.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/835046295941353473

Online russianhalo117

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So because of sharing the launch cost, the 8th F9 for Iridium is cheaper than the previous planned (now doubtful) Dnepr launch:

Quote
@IridiumComm: We pd Kosmotras Moscow $38.6M for 2-sat launch on Dnepr. Launch may never happen, & $$ may be lost.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/835046295941353473
cheaper on F9 because launching 5 Iridium sats versus previous plan of launching 2 on Dnepr. Then couple that savings with a large 2 sat rideshare and price goes down.

Online abaddon

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cheaper on F9 because launching 5 Iridium sats versus previous plan of launching 2 on Dnepr. Then couple that savings with a large 2 sat rideshare and price goes down.
Right; $36.1M cost to Iridium for the launch versus $38.6M on Dnepr.  In terms of cost per satellite it gets even better; $7.22M vs $19.3M.  $7M/per is pretty close to the cost to Iridium with the current contract, so it is a good deal for them that they found a way to get the extra birds on orbit at a similar price.

Online russianhalo117

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cheaper on F9 because launching 5 Iridium sats versus previous plan of launching 2 on Dnepr. Then couple that savings with a large 2 sat rideshare and price goes down.
Right; $36.1M cost to Iridium for the launch versus $38.6M on Dnepr.  In terms of cost per satellite it gets even better; $7.22M vs $19.3M.  $7M/per is pretty close to the cost to Iridium with the current contract, so it is a good deal for them that they found a way to get the extra birds on orbit at a similar price.
So if they do recover the full cost of the Dnepr payment (They wont) and pay 36.1M for flight 8 then that is a savings of 38.6 - 36.1 = 2.5 (in millions). If they dont recover it payment then the cost is 38.6 + 36.1 = 74.7 (in millions).

Online russianhalo117

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GRACE-FO satellites
Airbus Defence and Space
Published on Jun 22, 2017
Both GRACE-FO satellites will continually take very exact measurements of their separation distance, which changes depending on the Earth’s gravity. In this way, scientists are able to map the Earth’s gravitational fields.


Online gongora

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Tweet from Caleb Henry:
Quote
.@AirbusSpace tested the dispensers for the NASA/GFZ GRACE-FO mission. Both science sats launch w/ 5 @IridiumComm sats on a @SpaceX rocket.

Offline Rik ISS-fan

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Tweet from Caleb Henry:
Quote
.@AirbusSpace tested the dispensers for the NASA/GFZ GRACE-FO mission. Both science sats launch w/ 5 @IridiumComm sats on a @SpaceX rocket.

So for this launch, they will not be using SpaceX dispensers for GRACE-FO / Idriduim NEXT Launch?

Online gongora

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Tweet from Caleb Henry:
Quote
.@AirbusSpace tested the dispensers for the NASA/GFZ GRACE-FO mission. Both science sats launch w/ 5 @IridiumComm sats on a @SpaceX rocket.

So for this launch, they will not be using SpaceX dispensers for GRACE-FO / Idriduim NEXT Launch?

For the launches with 10 Iridium satellites they use two 5-satellite dispensers from SpaceX stacked together.  For the Iridium/GRACE-FO launch, it will be a single 5-satellite dispenser from SpaceX stacked with the GRACE-FO dispenser from Airbus.

Offline deruch

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Just stumbled across the Office of Safety & Mission Assurance's long-term planning schedule for Safety & Mission Success Reviews which shows tentative launch date for GRACE-FO of 2018-03-21.  That date was current based on an ELV milestone schedule from August 2nd.  I won't be too surprised if this date doesn't hold since it's still quite a ways out, especially since then they'd have a bunch of very high profile launches currently scheduled for that month: DM-1, TESS, GRACE-FO.  TESS has a harder deadline for launch and DM-1 is vital for their crew schedules.

Link to SMSR .pdf
« Last Edit: 08/23/2017 01:06 AM by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

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