Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION  (Read 557884 times)

Offline abaddon

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #120 on: 10/16/2017 07:13 PM »
REMINDER

We may need to carve off a thread for the speculation posts. Unless you have a concrete theory with some analysis behind it, maybe just wait and see?  "it feels like X" posts may not be that helpful. Several mods have now said to curb the speculation... Please?

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #121 on: 10/16/2017 07:14 PM »
Millennium Space System's website has said for some time that a sat using their Aquila M8 bus of around three tons is 'scheduled to fly in 2016 as a GEO platform'; as far as I know this has not yet happened. This would seem like a good candidate as bus for this launch. If we do assume the launch is ultimately for the US government, a delivery-on-orbit contract through Aquila could still jive with the statements about a commercial customer.

If you are referring to the USAF WFOV satellite, a SpaceflightNow article listed it as part of the AFSPC-12 payload, which is part of a current RFP.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2017 07:16 PM by gongora »

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #122 on: 10/16/2017 07:32 PM »
Millennium Space System's website has said for some time that a sat using their Aquila M8 bus of around three tons is 'scheduled to fly in 2016 as a GEO platform'; as far as I know this has not yet happened. This would seem like a good candidate as bus for this launch. If we do assume the launch is ultimately for the US government, a delivery-on-orbit contract through Aquila could still jive with the statements about a commercial customer.

If you are referring to the USAF WFOV satellite, a SpaceflightNow article listed it as part of the AFSPC-12 payload, which is part of a current RFP.

Yes, this satellite from the Millennium Space System website is WFOV. Therefore it is no candidate for Zuma.

Offline JonathanD

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #123 on: 10/16/2017 07:48 PM »
From reddit user /u/teku45. He claims that he was/is an intern at SpaceX.

Quote
The Zuma mission involves Northrop Grumman in some capacity. I know this for a fact. They are likely the payload integration service.

Smells fishy.  If he is an intern, he probably won't be one for long.

Offline Barrie

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #124 on: 10/16/2017 07:56 PM »
Suppose this is a commercial payload.  Are the unusual circumstances - the secrecy, the shoe-horning it into a tight schedule - easier to understand if it is not for a simple fee-paying customer, but part of a joint venture?

Online Salo

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Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #126 on: 10/16/2017 09:01 PM »
Article on site updated to reflect the following:

NASASpaceflight.com has confirmed that Northrop Grumman is the payload provider for Zuma through a commercial launch contract with SpaceX for a LEO satellite with a mission type labeled as "government" and a needed launch date range of 1-30 November 2017.

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #127 on: 10/16/2017 09:06 PM »
Article on site updated to reflect the following:

NASASpaceflight.com has confirmed that Northrop Grumman is the payload provider for Zuma through a commercial launch contract with SpaceX for a LEO satellite with a mission type labeled as "government" and a needed launch date range of 1-30 November 2017.

Nice, now I can get rid of that unknown Northrop Grumman entry from the bottom of the manifest.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2017 09:07 PM by gongora »

Offline Craig_VG

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #128 on: 10/16/2017 09:13 PM »

Nice, now I can get rid of that unknown Northrop Grumman entry from the bottom of the manifest.

Yeah, this mission seems to have been on the books for a few years and isn't a rushed RapidLaunch-esque contract
« Last Edit: 10/16/2017 09:13 PM by Craig_VG »

Offline gongora

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #129 on: 10/16/2017 09:17 PM »

Nice, now I can get rid of that unknown Northrop Grumman entry from the bottom of the manifest.

Yeah, this mission seems to have been on the books for a few years and isn't a rushed RapidLaunch-esque contract

Some of the early contracts were just for unspecified future payloads (like the one that ended up becoming the PSN-6 mission) so we really can't know when they actually set up this launch.

Offline Skyrocket

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #130 on: 10/16/2017 09:55 PM »
Article on site updated to reflect the following:

NASASpaceflight.com has confirmed that Northrop Grumman is the payload provider for Zuma through a commercial launch contract with SpaceX for a LEO satellite with a mission type labeled as "government" and a needed launch date range of 1-30 November 2017.

Appears to be a similar handling as with the Nemesis (PAN & CLIO) satellites, which were also handles as unspecified government payloads via a commercial launch contract by the manufacturer.

Offline jcm

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #131 on: 10/16/2017 09:57 PM »
Article on site updated to reflect the following:

NASASpaceflight.com has confirmed that Northrop Grumman is the payload provider for Zuma through a commercial launch contract with SpaceX for a LEO satellite with a mission type labeled as "government" and a needed launch date range of 1-30 November 2017.

So this is analogous to the NEMESIS missions PAN and CLIO which were Lockheed Martin flights, apparently
contractor-operated satellites with NRO-operated sensor payloads as far as I can tell. But NEMESIS were GEO sigint
missions and this one is by NGST and in LEO so the analogy is just to the contracting method, not the payload.
This puts it in the general (but probably heterogeneous) category of 'mystery NRO LEO testbeds' with USA 193 and
USA 276.
-----------------------------

Jonathan McDowell
http://planet4589.org

Offline rockets4life97

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #132 on: 10/16/2017 10:02 PM »
SpaceX seemed to have been amenable to Northrop Grumman's need to launch in November. I wonder if this was due to being on the manifest for so long or because of it being a commercially contracted government payload. We've already seen SpaceX prioritize government payloads, so this could be another case.

But I'm curious if other companies who are holding spots on the manifest (Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Bigelow to name a few we know) will receive some priority in the manifest if/when they name a payload.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #133 on: 10/16/2017 10:22 PM »
Some of this goes to the AF statement about SpaceX launches when ready. It was discussed some about how much more nimble SpaceX seems to be in stepping up the launches without having to wait around to buy long lead items. Such that SpaceX is maxing out it's build and launching as fast as there are payloads. They seem to not assign cores to a flight until it is moving from McGregor to the pad. This is a different policy vs the build only on order that most other LV providers perform. But ULA has indicated that upper level management has been looking at changing their policy on this as well, since they got a taste of doing a quick contract response launch for Cygnus in from contract to launch was done in 1 year. They realized that being able to do quick response could pick up payloads that jump ship from another LV provider that has encountered sever delays for some reason.

But some of the data though gives that this is something that SpaceX has known about for a while  just like for the OTV-5 launch. And they had some juggling of schedules which they could do but was complicated with the SLC-40 reactivation delay.

Then the final item to mention since this is a LEO it is likely to be an RTLS. From other information the sat sounds like it is fairly light. The date of 15 Oct would fit with a almost minimum 17 day turnaround after Koreast. It also give a few days to handle any scrubs to be able to still launch on the 15th.


Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #134 on: 10/16/2017 10:54 PM »
Great points oldAtlas_Eguy. A light payload also fits with my PAN or CLIO type launch suggestion from page 1. The Atlas vehicles for both of those were 401 variants and those payloads could have been well under the Atlas V's capability for a 401. We'll know very soon anyway.

Offline Craig_VG

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #135 on: 10/16/2017 11:22 PM »
We can now confidently say that much of what u/ASTRALsunder had to say has been confirmed by L2 info (codename, spx-13 reuse being confirmed in early Nov, and timing for Zuma is tight).

Since that has been independently confirmed, it's likely the rest is true as well.

Since NGLS is managing the integration and it is their payload adapter being used the first thought is they are also the Sat operator (like CLIO / PAN), however that would contradict the reddit information. Specifically, this part:

Quote
"One friend did mention that the customer was pretty open and up front with SpaceX about their financial situation to give them an idea on how extremely crucial this flight was for them"

Why would the US Government or Northrop-Grumman (a company buying Orbital ATK for $9.2 Billion) need one particular launch so badly to stay afloat?


*Indeed, I think the current data points to a smaller commercial company operating this satellite.*

 I can also confirm that this November date has been set for about 6 months now and held.


Edit: (or I'm totally wrong which I think is likely at this point, we'll see soon)

« Last Edit: 10/17/2017 06:23 AM by Craig_VG »

Offline psionedge

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #136 on: 10/16/2017 11:26 PM »
Why does this thread title say KSC while the general speculation one says Vandenberg?

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Weren't there some previous instance where similar spacecraft by organizations like DARPA and/or the Missile Defense Agency popped out in similar faction with its identity only revealed very late?
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Galactic Penguin SST


Nice, now I can get rid of that unknown Northrop Grumman entry from the bottom of the manifest.

Yeah, this mission seems to have been on the books for a few years and isn't a rushed RapidLaunch-esque contract

When did the Northrop Grumman launch contract got added to SpaceX's official manifest?
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline ChrisGebhardt

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #139 on: 10/17/2017 03:09 AM »
Why does this thread title say KSC while the general speculation one says Vandenberg?

It doesn’t. If you’re referring to the general discussion SpaceX thread about the entire article on site, that article covers Zuma from KSC as well as Iridium NEXT-4 out of Vandenberg.

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