Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : Iridium NEXT Flight 7 : July 25, 2018 : Vandenberg - DISCUSSION  (Read 22952 times)

Offline gongora

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DISCUSSION THREAD for Flight 7 of the Iridium NEXT missions.

Flight 7 successfully launched July 25, 2018 at 04:39 PDT / 11:39 UTC on a new Falcon 9 B1048 from SLC-4 at Vandenberg.  The first stage successfully landed on the drone ship JRTI.  Fairing recovery attempt was unsuccessful.

   Flight 7 will send all of its satellites into plane 5.

   NSF Threads for Iridium NEXT Flight 7: Discussion / Update
   NSF Articles for Iridium NEXT Flight 7:



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: 07/25/2018 12:58 PM by gongora »

Offline Kaputnik

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Do we know anything about the booster for this flight?
Waiting for joy and raptor

Offline gongora

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Do we know anything about the booster for this flight?

New booster, don't know serial number.

Offline Elthiryel

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https://twitter.com/Elthiryel/status/1001120220625408001
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Elthiryel @Elthiryel

Hello @IridiumBoss! Is there already any NET date for the Iridium-7 launch?

https://twitter.com/IridiumBoss/status/1001144325521231872
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Matt Desch @IridiumBoss

No, haven't provided a specific date , but iI'm expecting it in about mid to late July.
GO for launch, GO for age of reflight

Online vaporcobra

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I couldn't find an Iridium-8 thread, but Matt Desch said that Flight 8 was NET "September or early-October" in the Iridium-6 recap.


Online Chris Bergin

HAWTHORNE, Calif. – June 13, 2018. Media accreditation is now open for SpaceX's Iridium-7 mission from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch is targeted for no earlier than July. 

A Falcon 9 rocket will deliver ten Iridium NEXT satellites to low-Earth orbit (LEO).

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Announcement of L7 date/time imminent.  (Hint: shipping first two satellites to VAFB tomorrow...).  RTLS unlikely due to our mission profile.

https://twitter.com/iridiumboss/status/1007339109612912640

Online Chris Bergin

Iridium Release:

Iridium-7 Target Launch Date Announced

MCLEAN, Va. – June 15, 2018 – Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced today that the seventh Iridium® NEXT mission has been targeted by SpaceX for launch on July 20, 2018, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO) from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California at approximately 5:12 am PDT (12:12 UTC). An exact instantaneous launch window time will be available closer to the launch date. As the second-to-last launch of the planned Iridium NEXT program, this mission will increase the total number of Iridium NEXT satellites in space to 65.

All 10 satellites for this mission will be deployed to Iridium orbital plane number 5 where they will go into operation immediately following a thorough testing and validation process.  The Iridium network is comprised of six polar orbiting planes, each containing 11 operational crosslinked satellites, for a total of 66 satellites in the active constellation. Once all the satellites from the Iridium-7 mission are operational, plane 5 will be the fourth orbital plane to be comprised entirely of Iridium NEXT satellites.  In total, 81 Iridium NEXT satellites are being built, with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six serving as ground spares.

Iridium NEXT is the company's $3 billion, next-generation, mobile, global satellite network scheduled for completion in 2018. Iridium NEXT is replacing the company's first generation global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space. It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely on to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more.

For more information about Iridium NEXT, please visit www.IridiumNEXT.com
« Last Edit: 06/15/2018 12:34 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline hopalong

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Sunrise in LA is 05:56 on the 20th July, so we may see some front lit exhaust trails in the western sky.

Offline Norm38

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While it is understood that the increased ability of a Block 5 Falcon 9 launching an Iridium NEXT mission leaves enough performance margin and propellant to RTLS to Vandenberg, it is likely that environmental restrictions (seal nesting/mating season) or technical work on the landing pad at SLC-4W prevent Iridium NEXT-7 from attempting the first West Coast RTLS.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/07/spacex-ula-manifests-spacex-1st-rtls-vandenberg/

Oh come on!  So they can launch a rocket on 9 engines next to nesting seals, but they can't land the same rocket 10 minutes later on 3/1 engines?  Is it the sonic boom?

This says the wildlife at Vandy has been adjusting to the noise.  I think they worry too much.
https://lompocrecord.com/news/local/military/vandenberg/elephant-seals-return-to-vandenberg-air-force-base/article_60d47201-81f4-5ceb-a40e-89852991e8ec.html

Offline woods170

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While it is understood that the increased ability of a Block 5 Falcon 9 launching an Iridium NEXT mission leaves enough performance margin and propellant to RTLS to Vandenberg, it is likely that environmental restrictions (seal nesting/mating season) or technical work on the landing pad at SLC-4W prevent Iridium NEXT-7 from attempting the first West Coast RTLS.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/07/spacex-ula-manifests-spacex-1st-rtls-vandenberg/

Oh come on!  So they can launch a rocket on 9 engines next to nesting seals, but they can't land the same rocket 10 minutes later on 3/1 engines?  Is it the sonic boom?


I was originally trained to be a biologist. One thing I learned over the years is this: never argue with environmentalists. You'll lose.

Online deruch

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While it is understood that the increased ability of a Block 5 Falcon 9 launching an Iridium NEXT mission leaves enough performance margin and propellant to RTLS to Vandenberg, it is likely that environmental restrictions (seal nesting/mating season) or technical work on the landing pad at SLC-4W prevent Iridium NEXT-7 from attempting the first West Coast RTLS.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/07/spacex-ula-manifests-spacex-1st-rtls-vandenberg/

Oh come on!  So they can launch a rocket on 9 engines next to nesting seals, but they can't land the same rocket 10 minutes later on 3/1 engines?  Is it the sonic boom?

This says the wildlife at Vandy has been adjusting to the noise.  I think they worry too much.
https://lompocrecord.com/news/local/military/vandenberg/elephant-seals-return-to-vandenberg-air-force-base/article_60d47201-81f4-5ceb-a40e-89852991e8ec.html
Yes, it's the sonic boom that is the major concern for wildlife impact.

Another, IMO more likely, reason is that it would necessitate a revised launch license to allow it.  The current license is explicitly limited to downrange recovery or ocean disposal.  And since there is only two Iridium launches left the effort to apply for such a change may not be considered worth it vs. just recovering the boosters on an ASDS for them.  Or, the lead time required for license changes may not have allowed for requesting such a change WRT Iridium 7.  Maybe that will be different for Iridium 8.
« Last Edit: 07/07/2018 12:24 AM by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline catdlr

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[Launch Alert] July 20 Dawn Launch

Launch Alert
4:47 PM

Quote
For those of you who are hoping to see an impressive launch, here is an item I just posted at www.spacearchive.info:

"The next announced Vandenberg AFB rocket launch is a Falcon 9 on the morning of July 20. The vehicle is slated to lift off from Space Launch Complex-4E at 05:12 PDT and places Iridium NEXT satellites 56-65 into orbit. The first stage's bright flame could make the early portion of this launch visible for more than 120 miles. Liftoff occurs 54 minutes before Vandenberg AFB sunrise. A computer simulation by Rick Baldridge shows the rocket will climb into the sunlight at T+ 3 minutes 30 seconds. If so, this would create an impressive display as the rocket's exhaust is illuminated at high altitude by the sun and suspended in a deep twilight sky."
« Last Edit: 07/08/2018 03:07 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Online ZachS09

[Launch Alert] July 20 Dawn Launch

Launch Alert
4:47 PM

Quote
For those of you who are hoping to see an impressive launch, here is an item I just posted at www.spacearchive.info:

"The next announced Vandenberg AFB rocket launch is a Falcon 9 on the morning of July 20. The vehicle is slated to lift off from Space Launch Complex-4E at 05:12 PDT and places Iridium NEXT satellites 56-65 into orbit. The first stage's bright flame could make the early portion of this launch visible for more than 120 miles. Liftoff occurs 54 minutes before Vandenberg AFB sunrise. A computer simulation by Rick Baldridge shows the rocket will climb into the sunlight at T+ 3 minutes 30 seconds. If so, this would create an impressive display as the rocket's exhaust is illuminated at high altitude by the sun and suspended in a deep twilight sky."

Both the first and second stages will have separated by T+210 seconds, which might be past the end of the first stage's partial boostback burn and about a minute into the second stage's first burn. So, when both stages are illuminated, the second stage's plume will start out huge.
Because the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was successful, it has inspired thousands of people to consider changing the future of space travel.

Offline aero

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It may be more spectacular than that! Sunlight is refracted around the Earth so some rays of light will strike the rocket before it rises into direct light. I have no idea how high the rocket will be before the first refracted rays reach it but I think that the plume will start to brighten several, if not many seconds before reaching "sunrise."
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Offline Star One

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While it is understood that the increased ability of a Block 5 Falcon 9 launching an Iridium NEXT mission leaves enough performance margin and propellant to RTLS to Vandenberg, it is likely that environmental restrictions (seal nesting/mating season) or technical work on the landing pad at SLC-4W prevent Iridium NEXT-7 from attempting the first West Coast RTLS.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/07/spacex-ula-manifests-spacex-1st-rtls-vandenberg/

Oh come on!  So they can launch a rocket on 9 engines next to nesting seals, but they can't land the same rocket 10 minutes later on 3/1 engines?  Is it the sonic boom?


I was originally trained to be a biologist. One thing I learned over the years is this: never argue with environmentalists. You'll lose.

In this case for good reason. Seems some posters need to take a wider view of things.

Offline Norm38

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I do take a wider view of things.  We don't launch rockets all up and down the coast, there's one location.  I wouldn't expect Vandy to be the only or the best seal habitat in California.  Second, what has the greater environmental impact?  Bringing the rocket back to land, or sending out the drone ship across hundreds of miles of ocean each time? How much ocean impact is that?
Once RTLS is happening, I would hope they aren't forcing barge landings for missions when they're not necessary.  We'll find out.

Offline mme

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I do take a wider view of things.  We don't launch rockets all up and down the coast, there's one location.  I wouldn't expect Vandy to be the only or the best seal habitat in California.  Second, what has the greater environmental impact?  Bringing the rocket back to land, or sending out the drone ship across hundreds of miles of ocean each time? How much ocean impact is that?
Once RTLS is happening, I would hope they aren't forcing barge landings for missions when they're not necessary.  We'll find out.
1. We don't know this was environmental delay.
2. There are very few rookeries left on the coast.
3. When I was growing up rivers literally caught on fire, the Santa Barbara beach was one big oil slick, we had "smog days" where we could not play outside because our lungs were burning and species where going endangered do to lead poisoning. Personally I'm OK if we're a little over cautious at times.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline guckyfan

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Maybe the concern is that engine noise ramps up more slowly than the sonic boom on return. I suggest putting speakers at the beach where the seals may be and have an announcement of the imminent boom to prepare them. Or assuming they don't speak english, any noise should do the trick.

Offline gongora

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The Vandenberg Landing Facilities thread is:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40443.0

This discussion really doesn't have anything to do with the Iridium missions.

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