Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION  (Read 411064 times)

Offline Flying Beaver

KSC opened up pad tours today it seems (multiple Instagram posts of the tour route). This would correlate to the payload being off-site (i.e the PPF @ CCAFS) as tours are prohibited if there is a fueled payload on-site at the launch complex.


Saw OG-2 Booster Land in person 21/12/2015.

KSC opened up pad tours today it seems (multiple Instagram posts of the tour route). This would correlate to the payload being off-site (i.e the PPF @ CCAFS) as tours are prohibited if there is a fueled payload on-site at the launch complex.

Well, they have time to work on it now...
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Offline jjyach

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #402 on: 11/21/2017 02:36 AM »
So they'll likely work on 39A for FH during this downtime, right?

Well, based on what we know and have reported, there really isn't a lot of work that could be done until Zuma is away. 

They still have to cut into the TEL, remove the east-west hold down clamps (which are 100% needed for Falcon 9 single stick missions), they have to install the compression bridges (which, again, can't be installed until Zuma is away as the compression bridge can't be installed until the east-west hold down clamps are removed)...

Basically, not really.
Can't they install the missing South side hold downs?

They will not be doing anything to the Reaction Frame or TEL while the booster is still attached.

Offline envy887

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #403 on: 11/21/2017 02:47 AM »
So they'll likely work on 39A for FH during this downtime, right?

Well, based on what we know and have reported, there really isn't a lot of work that could be done until Zuma is away. 

They still have to cut into the TEL, remove the east-west hold down clamps (which are 100% needed for Falcon 9 single stick missions), they have to install the compression bridges (which, again, can't be installed until Zuma is away as the compression bridge can't be installed until the east-west hold down clamps are removed)...

Basically, not really.
Can't they install the missing South side hold downs?

They will not be doing anything to the Reaction Frame or TEL while the booster is still attached.

It's back in the barn, could be demated already.

Offline georgegassaway

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #404 on: 11/21/2017 03:05 AM »
Looks like no Zuma launch until December:

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/spacex-classified-zuma-launch-delayed-until-least-december

Have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing, I'm not. 

A tweet by Irene Klotz , referencing the above, indicates the range will be down  for maintenance Dec 1st (and presumably a few days after).

Quote
#SpaceX Zuma off range at least until it reopens after annual maintenance Dec 1

https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/932689217599213568

Offline su27k

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #405 on: 11/21/2017 04:34 AM »
Worth a post in the update thread.

James Dean at Florida Today reports that Range maintenance down periods have been interrupted before to accommodate launch needs. 

So a hard close of the Range until 1 Dec appears, from a historical perspective, to be negotiable.

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/11/20/spacex-launch-secret-zuma-mission-hold-until-after-thanksgiving/880972001/?hootPostID=197b6f8f7befd7117f8b39925b800a15

Also interesting the conjecture that Zuma could have been a launch readiness drill:
Quote
Some have gone as far as to suggest that there really is no Zuma mission that the pre-launch preparations were an exercise to prove SpaceX's ability to fly on short notice.

SpaceX put a Falcon 9 on the pad at KSC and test-fired its main engines on Nov. 11. The rocket went vertical again before last week's planned launch attempts, but has since returned to its hangar.

Under that scenario, the payload fairing tests SpaceX cited might merely be an excuse to stand down from a launch that was never really going to happen.


In other Alex Jones-worthy news, we never landed on the Moon, either.

James Dean seems to be a respectable space journalist, I assume he wouldn't report something like this without some credible sources.

Offline CuddlyRocket

Also interesting the conjecture that Zuma could have been a launch readiness drill:
Quote
Some have gone as far as to suggest that there really is no Zuma mission that the pre-launch preparations were an exercise to prove SpaceX's ability to fly on short notice.

SpaceX put a Falcon 9 on the pad at KSC and test-fired its main engines on Nov. 11. The rocket went vertical again before last week's planned launch attempts, but has since returned to its hangar.

Under that scenario, the payload fairing tests SpaceX cited might merely be an excuse to stand down from a launch that was never really going to happen.

Well, it would give some context to the name Zuma as a homophone (sort of) of Zoom indicating speediness.   But really, that seems a bit of a stretch and highly unlikely.

Not to mention that they would've to put forward another 'excuse' if this mission is never going to happen, as the fairing issue alone wouldn't do it, and as a commercial company I don't think they would release potentially damaging false statements.

There could be an actual payload; it's not ready to launch yet, but in the meantime the ultimate customer is prepared to pay to test SpaceX's ability to launch at short notice (you wouldn't want to test this on an actual time-critical mission - what if it failed?). In this scenario, the launcher will return to the integration facility where the current dummy payload will be removed and the real payload installed. Why invent a 'reason' for this scenario? It obfuscates the date that the payload has to be launched on, which makes it harder for third parties to divine its purpose!

As for any false statement by SpaceX being commercially damaging, I think that would be limited ('there was some unusual data ultimately deriving from the - classified - requirements that came with this particular payload, but we've double-checked and everything's fine'). And you have to set that against any commercial advantage from keeping this particular customer happy!

Though it's actually more likely they've found something and are being cautious! :)

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #407 on: 11/21/2017 07:15 AM »
Worth a post in the update thread.

James Dean at Florida Today reports that Range maintenance down periods have been interrupted before to accommodate launch needs. 

So a hard close of the Range until 1 Dec appears, from a historical perspective, to be negotiable.

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/11/20/spacex-launch-secret-zuma-mission-hold-until-after-thanksgiving/880972001/?hootPostID=197b6f8f7befd7117f8b39925b800a15
As a very authoritative source reported, they did some monkeying with range maintenance schedules for Intelsat 35e this July, so it wouldn't even be a first time for SpaceX in the last six months.

Probably a bit annoying to the range to have SpaceX twice request such schedule adjustments in the same year, both times also overlapping major US holidays (July 4th and Thanksgiving).  That said, assuming that the ZUMA launch date was in fact considered high priority by the US gov. then I'm sure such an adjustment would certainly be possible.  The USAF knows how to get the mission done. 
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Online jpo234

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #408 on: 11/21/2017 12:15 PM »
Looks like no Zuma launch until December:

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/spacex-classified-zuma-launch-delayed-until-least-december

Have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing, I'm not. 

A tweet by Irene Klotz , referencing the above, indicates the range will be down  for maintenance Dec 1st (and presumably a few days after).

Quote
#SpaceX Zuma off range at least until it reopens after annual maintenance Dec 1

https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/932689217599213568

This tweet is confusing. Does the annual maintenance start Dec 1st and SpaceX has to wait until after this (e.g. later in December) or does the annual maintenance end Dec 1st and SpaceX has to wait until then?

The fact that CRS-13 is scheduled to launch on Dec 4th seems to imply, that the range reopens on Dec 1st...
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Online ChrisGebhardt

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #409 on: 11/21/2017 12:43 PM »
Looks like no Zuma launch until December:

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/spacex-classified-zuma-launch-delayed-until-least-december

Have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing, I'm not. 

A tweet by Irene Klotz , referencing the above, indicates the range will be down  for maintenance Dec 1st (and presumably a few days after).

Quote
#SpaceX Zuma off range at least until it reopens after annual maintenance Dec 1

https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/932689217599213568

This tweet is confusing. Does the annual maintenance start Dec 1st and SpaceX has to wait until after this (e.g. later in December) or does the annual maintenance end Dec 1st and SpaceX has to wait until then?

The fact that CRS-13 is scheduled to launch on Dec 4th seems to imply, that the range reopens on Dec 1st...

It means the Range is currently closed for maintenance and will reopen - under a normal schedule - on 1 December.  However, as James Dean reported, these closure are not set in stone, and the Range can be reopened during a down period for a launch if needed.

Online yokem55

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #410 on: 11/21/2017 02:00 PM »
Looks like no Zuma launch until December:

http://aviationweek.com/awinspace/spacex-classified-zuma-launch-delayed-until-least-december

Have to be a subscriber to read the whole thing, I'm not. 

A tweet by Irene Klotz , referencing the above, indicates the range will be down  for maintenance Dec 1st (and presumably a few days after).

Quote
#SpaceX Zuma off range at least until it reopens after annual maintenance Dec 1

https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/932689217599213568

This tweet is confusing. Does the annual maintenance start Dec 1st and SpaceX has to wait until after this (e.g. later in December) or does the annual maintenance end Dec 1st and SpaceX has to wait until then?

The fact that CRS-13 is scheduled to launch on Dec 4th seems to imply, that the range reopens on Dec 1st...

It means the Range is currently closed for maintenance and will reopen - under a normal schedule - on 1 December.  However, as James Dean reported, these closure are not set in stone, and the Range can be reopened during a down period for a launch if needed.
In previous years, the range maintenance was around Christmas and new years. I wonder if the maintenance schedule was bumped up due to the issue so as to keep it open later in the year?

Online jpo234

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #411 on: 11/21/2017 02:11 PM »
It means the Range is currently closed for maintenance and will reopen - under a normal schedule - on 1 December.  However, as James Dean reported, these closure are not set in stone, and the Range can be reopened during a down period for a launch if needed.
In previous years, the range maintenance was around Christmas and new years. I wonder if the maintenance schedule was bumped up due to the issue so as to keep it open later in the year?

Unlikely, I think. CRS-13 and FH have been planned for December quite some time now.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Online ChrisGebhardt

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #412 on: 11/21/2017 05:10 PM »
It means the Range is currently closed for maintenance and will reopen - under a normal schedule - on 1 December.  However, as James Dean reported, these closure are not set in stone, and the Range can be reopened during a down period for a launch if needed.
In previous years, the range maintenance was around Christmas and new years. I wonder if the maintenance schedule was bumped up due to the issue so as to keep it open later in the year?

Unlikely, I think. CRS-13 and FH have been planned for December quite some time now.

Also, the sheer logistics of advancing a major down period like this by over a month with only a day or two's notice is completely impractical.

Offline jjyach

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #413 on: 11/21/2017 06:28 PM »
It means the Range is currently closed for maintenance and will reopen - under a normal schedule - on 1 December.  However, as James Dean reported, these closure are not set in stone, and the Range can be reopened during a down period for a launch if needed.
In previous years, the range maintenance was around Christmas and new years. I wonder if the maintenance schedule was bumped up due to the issue so as to keep it open later in the year?

Unlikely, I think. CRS-13 and FH have been planned for December quite some time now.

Also, the sheer logistics of advancing a major down period like this by over a month with only a day or two's notice is completely impractical.

Chris is correct, the range was scheduled to be down this week through 12/1 well in advance of the planned launch.  SX knew this hence why they left the booster upright incase it was something they could launch with and not press the window start.

Offline mn

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #414 on: 11/21/2017 11:03 PM »
From update thread

Worth a post in the update thread.

James Dean at Florida Today reports that Range maintenance down periods have been interrupted before to accommodate launch needs. 

So a hard close of the Range until 1 Dec appears, from a historical perspective, to be negotiable.

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/11/20/spacex-launch-secret-zuma-mission-hold-until-after-thanksgiving/880972001/?hootPostID=197b6f8f7befd7117f8b39925b800a15

Update to this.  Below is a response from the 45th Squadron of the Air Force per my inquiry about the Range closure.

"Hi Chris,

Yes, our annual Eastern Capitalization Period began yesterday 20 Nov and will run through 1 Dec.

As an aside, the article referenced is inaccurate in that launches supported by the 45th Space Wing are at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, not Kennedy Space Center - which is NASA."

It would appear - if I'm reading that right - that the Range closure would not affect any missions going from LC-39A.

That doesn't sound right, the 45th Space wing most definitely issued Launch Hazard Area maps and such for 39A.

Edit: add quote from http://www.patrick.af.mil/Portals/14/documents/8-23%20Priorities%20Commitments%20Booklet.pdf?ver=2017-08-23-174650-240#page=3

Quote
and neighboring Kennedy Space Center (which relies heavily upon us for range support)
« Last Edit: 11/21/2017 11:08 PM by mn »

Online Michael Baylor

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #415 on: 11/21/2017 11:45 PM »
I am certain the Eastern Range supports KSC. Either the person worded something wrong or they are very confused.

Offline ChrisC

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #416 on: 11/22/2017 03:48 AM »
Often when there's confusing information like this, it's because there's an underlying conflict.  Turf battle?
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Big news, 1043 is off the TEL.

FH mods continuing.

https://twitter.com/Delta_IV_Heavy/status/933405458051862528
As if Zuma wasn't an odd mission already...
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Offline ZachS09

Now the question is whether Zuma was just a fictitious mission or not.
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Online Michael Baylor

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Re: SpaceX F9 : Zuma : January 7/8, 2018, CCAFS : DISCUSSION
« Reply #419 on: 11/22/2017 06:49 PM »
I am confident that there is a payload. If it was a bluff, they would have blamed the payload for the delay. SpaceX will have to explain the fairing problem to all of its customers. How would they tell them they there isn't actually an issue?

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