Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : Jan 4, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION  (Read 152190 times)

Online Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22327
  • Liked: 608
  • Likes Given: 244
How about the Boeing Satellite Constellation (this launch being a prototype)? Had some strong rumors that Apple was funding it, the launch would fit for a LZ-1 landing, and would make sense for a "stealth" appearance.

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/04/21/boing-apple-satellite-service/
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline yokem55

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 443
  • Oregon (Ore-uh-gun dammit)
  • Liked: 247
  • Likes Given: 12
Will this be a new core, or a flight-proven core?
There is L2 info regarding this.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

How about the Boeing Satellite Constellation (this launch being a prototype)? Had some strong rumors that Apple was funding it, the launch would fit for a LZ-1 landing, and would make sense for a "stealth" appearance.

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/04/21/boing-apple-satellite-service/

Had this originates from Vandenberg I would have bet something like this (prototype satellites for any of the aspiring constellations). However they would need higher inclination orbits for simulating actual operations (probably eliminating any target orbit of below 60 degrees inclination) In the case that a huge dog-leg movement can be used, I fail to see why they would launch from the busier Cape instead of from the West Coast.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 04:24 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Barrie

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
  • Planets are a waste of space
  • Liked: 187
  • Likes Given: 2327
... I fail to see why they would launch from the busier Cape instead of from the West Coast.

Maybe at the time it was planned they didn't have clearance for RTLS at VAFB, so an east-coast launch allowed cheaper operations?
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 04:24 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »

Online Kryten

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 496
  • Liked: 222
  • Likes Given: 26
Does SpaceX need to file papers with FCC if it's a government payload? I thought the filing is only for commercial launches. Kind of defeat the purpose of a secret payload if you have to get public license from FCC.
The PAN and CLIO launches were also procured commercially.

Online Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22327
  • Liked: 608
  • Likes Given: 244
How about the Boeing Satellite Constellation (this launch being a prototype)? Had some strong rumors that Apple was funding it, the launch would fit for a LZ-1 landing, and would make sense for a "stealth" appearance.

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2017/04/21/boing-apple-satellite-service/

Had this originates from Vandenberg I would have bet something like this (prototype satellites for any of the aspiring constellations). However they would need higher inclination orbits for simulating actual operations (probably eliminating any target orbit of below 60 degrees inclination) In the case that a huge dog-leg movement can be used, I fail to see why they would launch from the busier Cape instead of from the West Coast.

Speculating a justification, but most likely not one of the Boeing internet constellation satellites:

-Since this would be a test satellite, it wouldnt need to launch on the better coverage route of polar, so a launch from the East coast will allow SpaceX to launch the satellite and recover the booster on land vs barge, saving money.
-Secondly, since the East coast flight would be closer to the equator, it would allow more passes near existing GEO satellite downlink stations for the test satellite, helping Boeing to quickly check out the system without needing to build dedicated ground infrastructure.
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline zack

  • Member
  • Posts: 22
  • Liked: 9
  • Likes Given: 14
The Audi lunar rover?

But more likely another NRO Club thingy...

Online ChrisGebhardt

  • Assistant Managing Editor
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5504
  • ad astra scientia
  • ~1 AU
  • Liked: 2190
  • Likes Given: 364
... I fail to see why they would launch from the busier Cape instead of from the West Coast.

Maybe at the time it was planned they didn't have clearance for RTLS at VAFB, so an east-coast launch allowed cheaper operations?

Busy-ness of the Cape launch schedule has no bearing on which coast a mission launches from.  Vandenberg is primarily for polar orbits with very high inclinations.  Cape handles GTO and LEO launches for lower inclinations.  Therefore, it follows that this mission - whatever it is - requires a launch trajectory that is only achievable from the Cape.

Furthermore, an inability to RTLS at Vandenberg at present has not stopped RTLS-capable missions (the Iridium flights and Formosat) from launching from there and landing on Just Read The Instructions.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 04:45 PM by ChrisGebhardt »

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2100
  • US
  • Liked: 1464
  • Likes Given: 1038
Boeing and SpaceX do not have permission to launch their satellites yet.

Offline Barrie

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 400
  • Planets are a waste of space
  • Liked: 187
  • Likes Given: 2327
...
Furthermore, an inability to RTLS at Vandenberg at present has not stopped RTLS-capable missions (the Iridium flights and Formosat) from launching from there and landing on Just Read The Instructions.

But they had to launch from VAFB because of their orbit requirements.  If a payload could make use of almost any orbital inclination, these other factors might come into play.

Online ChrisGebhardt

  • Assistant Managing Editor
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5504
  • ad astra scientia
  • ~1 AU
  • Liked: 2190
  • Likes Given: 364
...
Furthermore, an inability to RTLS at Vandenberg at present has not stopped RTLS-capable missions (the Iridium flights and Formosat) from launching from there and landing on Just Read The Instructions.

But they had to launch from VAFB because of their orbit requirements.  If a payload could make use of almost any orbital inclination, these other factors might come into play.

No.  It wouldn't.  SpaceX does not charge a customer more because SpaceX chooses to land the booster after it does its mission-specific job.  The cost-savings adjustment is made after the booster is back, refurbished, and sold to another customer.

Payloads/Missions have specific orbital inclination needs.  If this mission needed a polar orbit, it would be going from Vandy regardless of RTLS ability (like the Iridium flights and Formosat).  This mission clearly doesn't need a polar orbit.  It needs an orbit only serviceable from the Cape; hence why it's launching from the Cape.

Online Ronsmytheiii

  • Moderator
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 22327
  • Liked: 608
  • Likes Given: 244
Payloads/Missions have specific orbital inclination needs.  If this mission needed a polar orbit, it would be going from Vandy regardless of RTLS ability (like the Iridium flights and Formosat).  This mission clearly doesn't need a polar orbit.  It needs an orbit only serviceable from the Cape; hence why it's launching from the Cape.

Except the Mars InSight mission did have flexibility in selecting a launch site based on factors other than inclination needs:

Quote
All of NASA's probes to other planets have launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., but the specifics of the InSight spacecraft gave officials flexibility in choosing the launch site, according to mission managers.

https://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1312/19insight/#.UrR4J2eA0bI

So basing a test satellite launch site on other factors isnt unimaginable.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 05:28 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Online ChrisGebhardt

  • Assistant Managing Editor
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5504
  • ad astra scientia
  • ~1 AU
  • Liked: 2190
  • Likes Given: 364
Payloads/Missions have specific orbital inclination needs.  If this mission needed a polar orbit, it would be going from Vandy regardless of RTLS ability (like the Iridium flights and Formosat).  This mission clearly doesn't need a polar orbit.  It needs an orbit only serviceable from the Cape; hence why it's launching from the Cape.

Except the Mars InSight mission did have flexibility in selecting a launch site based on factors other than inclination needs:

Quote
All of NASA's probes to other planets have launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., but the specifics of the InSight spacecraft gave officials flexibility in choosing the launch site, according to mission managers.

https://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1312/19insight/#.UrR4J2eA0bI

So basing a test satellite launch site on other factors isnt unimaginable.

Right, and InSight's mission-specific needs allowed for a choice.

What I'm saying is that THIS mission's needs require a Cape launch - hence it's launching from the Cape.  SpaceX RTLS-ing a booster for themselves AFTER a customer's paid-for mission is accomplished isn't a mission requirement.  It's a bonus.  And since Vandy boosters can land on the ASDS, there is no SpaceX-imposed mission requirement to RTLS boosters.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 05:35 PM by ChrisGebhardt »

Offline robert_d

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 263
  • Liked: 31
  • Likes Given: 95
Fully recoverable payload fairing test flight? Maybe they have enough changes to the fairing that they are hesitant to try all the new changes on a paying customer's flight? Could also test a full block 5 vehicle?

Offline old_sellsword

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 598
  • Liked: 487
  • Likes Given: 435
Could also test a full block 5 vehicle?

It's not a Block 5 first stage, but I'm not sure about the second stage.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 05:38 PM by old_sellsword »

Online russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3860
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 754
  • Likes Given: 461
FYI: If it does launch on the 10th that currently sees 3 US launches on the same day from 3 different US facilities.

The other scheduled US launches on November 10th (All times are UTC) are:

Quote
2017:
November 10 - JPSS-1 (NOAA-20), MiRaTA, Buccaneer RMM, EagleSat, CP 7, Fox 1B (RadFxSat), MakerSat 0 - Delta II 7920-10C - Vandenberg SLC-2W - 09:47:03-09:48:05
November 10 - Cygnus OA-8 (CRS-8) - Antares-230 - MARS LP-0A - 12:03-12:08

If they launch in between the two launches above the Public will be overwhelmed by the Public Affairs coverage of the 2 NASA launches which by the way will be almost back to back coverage.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 06:24 PM by russianhalo117 »

Online russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3860
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 754
  • Likes Given: 461
I'm thinking if there are any light geostationary comsats (say 2 to 3.5 tonnes) around that had never had a launch contract announced, or even without their identities known, that might be launching by now.

For example, there was that 3 Boeing 702SP order from the US government in 2013 that cannot be pinned down to any known satellite and was once floated around as a candidate for NROL-76 earlier this year. So far none of them seemed to have been launched yet, and if they are launched on F9 one at a time the 1st stage would have easily made an RTLS.
It has been previously stated in a Boeing IR meeting last year that their are several 702 spacecraft (702SP?) in storage for to-remain-unidentified US government customer(s).
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 06:13 PM by russianhalo117 »

Offline ketivab

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 2
Recond stage recovery tests (+ fairing reuse)?
+Major changes to the stage, so they didn't find any customer who could agree to launch their payload with this modified stage
+If Elon really wants to recover it on the maiden FH flight, they might need some practise before that and this could even be a low-energetic (sub-)orbit (better for first tests?)

-Not sure, but I thing, that Gwynne said during some interview, that they will attempt S2 recovery NET 2018
-This mission could endanger FH launch this year: they will still need some time to modify 39A for FH

I still think it is more likely to be some kind of a NRO mission, but it's fun to speculate.

Offline saliva_sweet

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 490
  • Liked: 376
  • Likes Given: 1193
It is still possible, perhaps even the most parsimonious explanation, that there is no mystery launch. It could be second license for CRS-13 in case there are major hiccups with pad 40. The licenses could have ended up like that due to how the paperwork and ISS scheduling worked out. November 10th is notably an ISS launch date.

Online russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3860
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 754
  • Likes Given: 461
It is still possible, perhaps even the most parsimonious explanation, that there is no mystery launch. It could be second license for CRS-13 in case there are major hiccups with pad 40. The licenses could have ended up like that due to how the paperwork and ISS scheduling worked out. November 10th is notably an ISS launch date.
It is very unlikely as the most recent updated FCC Launch License shifted the launch back to SLC-40:

November 28th per https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/ Sept 30 change.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8184.1440 says SLC-40 dating back to a change on 9th August but I cannot see source for that. sfn and launchphotography are not yet showing pad.

Is SLC-40 confirmed somewhere?

Yes. According official FCC application issued last week (3th Oct) SpaceX plans launch CRS-13 mission from Complex 40.

Then we should be seeing some roll out and testing in the next 2-4 weeks.
« Last Edit: 10/14/2017 06:17 PM by russianhalo117 »

Tags: