Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Iridium NEXT Flight 5 : March 30, 2018 @ Vandenberg : Discussion  (Read 62632 times)

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3900
  • US
  • Liked: 3276
  • Likes Given: 1916
DISCUSSION THREAD for Flight 5 of the Iridium NEXT missions.

Flight 5 successfully launched March 30, 2018 at 0714 PDT (14:14 UTC) on a reused Falcon 9 (1041.2) from SLC-4 at Vandenberg.  The first stage was expended.

   Flight 5 will send all of its satellites into plane 1.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 5: Discussion / Updates / L2 Coverage / ASDS / Party
   NSF Articles for Iridium NEXT Flight 5: 
      [Jan. 22, 2018] Iridium-5 to launch in March; government shutdown creates manifest uncertainty



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

General information for Iridium flights 1-5 & 7-8
   Payload Mass: 8600kg for 10 satellites + 1000kg for dispenser = 9600kg
   Launch orbit: 625km, 86.66 degrees
   Operational orbit: 778km, 86.4 degrees

81 Satellites will be built for Iridium NEXT, with 66 being needed for a fully operational constellation.  All of the satellites will carry ADS-B aviation tracking hosted payloads for Aireon, and 60 of the satellites will carry AIS maritime tracking hosted payloads for exactEarth.



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: 09/24/2018 09:52 PM by gongora »

Offline Inoeth

Re-used core again... so will they attempt to land this time- either on the drone ship or RTLS?

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3900
  • US
  • Liked: 3276
  • Likes Given: 1916
Re-used core again... so will they attempt to land this time- either on the drone ship or RTLS?

We have no idea yet.

Offline deruch

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2322
  • California
  • Liked: 1856
  • Likes Given: 4087
Re-used core again... so will they attempt to land this time- either on the drone ship or RTLS?
None of the Iridium launches will likely RTLS, even with Block 5 boosters which may be capable they aren't currently planning to do so.  Don't know about ASDS recovery plans. 
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline cppetrie

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 620
  • Liked: 352
  • Likes Given: 3
Re-used core again... so will they attempt to land this time- either on the drone ship or RTLS?
None of the Iridium launches will likely RTLS, even with Block 5 boosters which may be capable they aren't currently planning to do so.  Don't know about ASDS recovery plans.
They had originally planned to RTLS for the 4th launch before switching from Block 4 to reuse Block 3. I see no reason that the next Iridium flight to use a new core wouldn’t RTLS.

Offline deruch

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2322
  • California
  • Liked: 1856
  • Likes Given: 4087
Re-used core again... so will they attempt to land this time- either on the drone ship or RTLS?
None of the Iridium launches will likely RTLS, even with Block 5 boosters which may be capable they aren't currently planning to do so.  Don't know about ASDS recovery plans.
They had originally planned to RTLS for the 4th launch before switching from Block 4 to reuse Block 3. I see no reason that the next Iridium flight to use a new core wouldn’t RTLS.
1. Their FAA launch license for Iridium launches hasn't been revised to allow for it yet.  It only allows expended or ASDS recovery missions.  This isn't definitive as such revisions can happen "last minute" and the FAA sucks at updating their online licenses.  So, at best suggestive that they hadn't finalized the necessary paperwork to allow it for Iridium 4 irrespective of the core swap. 

2. More to the point however, here's their VAFB launch schedule as of mid October.  Dates are off but IMO the operations plan is still relevant.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline scr00chy

  • Member
  • Posts: 57
  • Czechia
  • Liked: 57
  • Likes Given: 30
2. More to the point however, here's their VAFB launch schedule as of mid October.  Dates are off but IMO the operations plan is still relevant.
Is that some kind of official USAF list?

Offline deruch

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2322
  • California
  • Liked: 1856
  • Likes Given: 4087
It's an official SpaceX one from their filing for permission for RTLS to VAFB.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3900
  • US
  • Liked: 3276
  • Likes Given: 1916
It's an official SpaceX one from their filing for permission for RTLS to VAFB.

Was that documentation posted somewhere, or do you have a link?

Offline Norm38

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1147
  • Liked: 522
  • Likes Given: 761
What is an "Iridium Landing Area" and why is it unique to Iridium?

Offline AnalogMan

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3011
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 780
  • Likes Given: 24
« Last Edit: 01/09/2018 06:08 PM by AnalogMan »

Offline crandles57

  • Member
  • Posts: 70
  • Sychdyn
  • Liked: 29
  • Likes Given: 25
Shortest gaps between Vandenberg launches has been about 6 weeks for SpaceX

Paz Feb 10
Iridium 5  ???
Iridium 6/Grace April 14

Odd to have April 14th date but not date for earlier flight?

Gap is 9 weeks. So presumably they think they can get gaps down to 4.5 weeks?
Needs to be mid March at latest?

Offline Roy_H

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 932
  • Liked: 282
  • Likes Given: 1601
What is an "Iridium Landing Area" and why is it unique to Iridium?
It's just a name of an area, no reason to think that it is unique to Iridium flights.
"If we don't achieve re-usability, I will consider SpaceX to be a failure." - Elon Musk

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10781
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7681
  • Likes Given: 5526
What is an "Iridium Landing Area" and why is it unique to Iridium?
It's just a name of an area, no reason to think that it is unique to Iridium flights.

Different inclination (and energy?) missions will have different areas where we would expect the ASDS to be. There might be overlaps between such different areas, but I'd expect the landing area for Iridium to differ from that of some other classes of missions. So the label does have some possible uniqueness and explicatory power.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY


Offline deruch

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2322
  • California
  • Liked: 1856
  • Likes Given: 4087
What is an "Iridium Landing Area" and why is it unique to Iridium?
It's just a name of an area, no reason to think that it is unique to Iridium flights.

Other non-RTLS recoveries out of VAFB are currently planned to land on ASDSs in a different area (~50+ km WSW of VAFB).  In that respect, based on current plans it is unique to Iridium.  The reason for this has not been explained in any documents/filings that I've seen.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10781
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 7681
  • Likes Given: 5526
What is an "Iridium Landing Area" and why is it unique to Iridium?
It's just a name of an area, no reason to think that it is unique to Iridium flights.

Other non-RTLS recoveries out of VAFB are currently planned to land on ASDSs in a different area (~50+ km WSW of VAFB).  In that respect, based on current plans it is unique to Iridium.  The reason for this has not been explained in any documents/filings that I've seen.

Why wouldn't it just be due to orbital inclination, energy, etc. ?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6246
  • Liked: 4081
  • Likes Given: 5600
That sounds like one per month or so from mid-March to mid-summer.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3900
  • US
  • Liked: 3276
  • Likes Given: 1916
That sounds like one per month or so from mid-March to mid-summer.

An article in Space News says they want to average about every 5 weeks.  That would probably be late April, early June, mid-July.  Of course if you look at the history of Iridium launch dates, I really wouldn't bet on this schedule holding.

Offline AncientU

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6246
  • Liked: 4081
  • Likes Given: 5600
That sounds like one per month or so from mid-March to mid-summer.

An article in Space News says they want to average about every 5 weeks.  That would probably be late April, early June, mid-July.  Of course if you look at the history of Iridium launch dates, I really wouldn't bet on this schedule holding.

Do they have all sats for these flights ready and waiting?
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Tags: