Author Topic: SpaceX Falcon Heavy : USSF-44 : KSC LC-39A: 1 Nov 2022 (13:41 UTC)  (Read 191038 times)

Offline Kansan52

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wild speculation alert on

What islands could be used out there? (If any.)

wild speculation off

Online gongora

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Some of the more unrealistic speculation might be more appropriate for the Party Thread.

Offline vaporcobra

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On topic, what's the source that this will be a Falcon Heavy flight? I don't see any mention of launcher in the SpaceNews article, $99 million seems quite low for a FH.

No individual amounts were reported for the three missions that went to SpaceX. Some idi*t took the reported figure of $297 million (for all three missions) and divided it by 3.

That's NOT how prices for these launches are negotiated. Not even by Elon et al.

Rest assured: the price-tag for the AFSPC-44 launch is more than $99 million.

Just gonna add to this the fact that SpaceX bid $82M for its first GPS III launch, while we have no real idea what NROL-76 cost. Could well be that two simpler LEO/SSO missions for NRO can be priced more like $85-90M, in which case $117-127M of that $297M could be dedicated to FH.

That's more than reasonable, given that AFSPC-52 probably carries some significant non-recurring costs as a sort of pathfinder for the USAF and SpaceX.
« Last Edit: 02/24/2019 10:31 am by vaporcobra »

Offline vaporcobra

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Here's the specific table from the RFP (attachment 5).

Online gongora

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[Space News] Air Force certified Falcon Heavy for national security launch but more work needed to meet required orbits
Quote
What that means is that Falcon Heavy has been certified “for certain orbits,” said Thompson. “It’s not certified for all of our most stressing national security space orbits,” he said. “We continue to work with SpaceX to mature their design and I think that’s going well.”
...
A spokesman for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center said the Falcon Heavy is certified for two Phase 1A reference orbits.

The two reference orbits are for the missions that Falcon Heavy was awarded by the Air Force under Phase 1A of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program

Offline ZachS09

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Since this mission is going to direct GEO, I'm speculating that the center core will have to land at least 1,000 kilometers downrange, meaning its survival probability will be slim again.

The last thing SpaceX would want is another destroyed center core because I think they've yet to bring one back in one piece and officially look over the data collected during its EDL profile.

« Last Edit: 12/28/2019 07:13 pm by ZachS09 »
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Offline scr00chy

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https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/12/spacex-record-breaking-2020-manifest/
Quote
Another notable launch in 2020 will be the next flight of Falcon Heavy. That event is not anticipated until the final months of the year under an Air Force mission known as AFSPC-44. The classified spacecraft is expected to be launched atop a brand new rocket, per Air Force requirements.
I wonder if there is a chance that USAF and SpaceX work out the certification for reused rockets by then which could potentially allow this launch to use reused side boosters.

Offline Hummy

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The mission can be called USSF-44 now:

Quote
Later this year, the U.S. Space Force (USSF)-44 will be the first NSS mission using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy.

https://www.losangeles.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2111921/new-decade-heralds-new-era-for-smcs-launch-enterprise/

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Quote
US Space Force TETRA-1 satellite prepared for launch after 15-month integration

Millennium Space Systems achieved a 60 percent faster development time

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 21, 2020 – Less than 15 months after contract award, Millennium Space Systems has designed, manufactured, assembled and integrated the U.S. Space Force TETRA-1 satellite. The work was completed 60 percent faster than previous missions, improving the U.S. Space Force’s ability to advance the TETRA-1 technologies more quickly.

TETRA-1 is a microsatellite created for various prototype missions in and around geosynchronous earth orbit. TETRA-1 was the first prototype award under the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Enterprise Consortium Other Transaction Authority (OTA) charter.

“One of our primary goals is to be more agile in the development and deployment of innovative space assets,” said Col. Tim Sejba, director, Innovation and Prototyping, Development Corps, Space and Missile Systems Center, Detachment 1 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. “By leveraging OTA contracts with programs like TETRA-1, we are expediting the execution of new space development missions. The partnership we’ve developed with Millennium Space Systems allows us to create and field a dynamic pathfinder capability to meet the future space warfighter’s needs.”

Most of the TETRA-1 components were completed by leveraging Millennium’s in-house capabilities, demonstrating that organically developed capabilities are a key enabler for executing programs on a tight schedule. After system integration, the satellite successfully completed its environmental and full functional tests.

“The pace set on TETRA-1 from contract award through readiness to launch represents what Boeing does best for our national security customers,” said Mark Cherry, vice president and general manager, Boeing Phantom Works. “Our lean Millennium team was up to the task, building and delivering a fully tested and verified satellite in record time.”

TETRA-1 is based on Millennium’s proven ALTAIR-class small satellite product line. It is the first of Millennium’s ALTAIR satellites to qualify for operations in the geosynchronous orbit space environment, 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) from the Earth’s surface. TETRA-1 is manifested on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket currently scheduled for launch in late 2020.

https://www.millennium-space.com/releases/20200421.html
« Last Edit: 04/21/2020 08:29 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline ZachS09

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Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Online abaddon

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Since this mission is going to direct GEO, I'm speculating that the center core will have to land at least 1,000 kilometers downrange, meaning its survival probability will be slim again.

The last thing SpaceX would want is another destroyed center core because I think they've yet to bring one back in one piece and officially look over the data collected during its EDL profile.
Good guess; from the SFN article:
Quote
“Based on mission performance requirements, the center core will be expendable and the two side boosters intend to be recovered,” Bongiovi said.
With all the work on JRTI's thruster pods, this would make sense for the first (intentionally) expended center core + ASDS booster landing mission, although the latter was not explicitly stated.

Online gongora

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The article also confirms all new boosters (which is exactly what we expect unless the USSF makes a policy change for the Phase 1A flights.)

Offline ZachS09

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If SpaceX says so, I’d love to see the side boosters land together at the Cape again.

But I agree that we’ll wait until later this year.
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline ejb749

If SpaceX says so, I’d love to see the side boosters land together at the Cape again.

But I agree that we’ll wait until later this year.
Dual simultaneous Sea Landings will be cool, too.

Offline ZachS09

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If SpaceX says so, I’d love to see the side boosters land together at the Cape again.

But I agree that we’ll wait until later this year.
Dual simultaneous Sea Landings will be cool, too.

As long as the satellite links hold out. Trust me, if the antennas get rattled too much, we’ll miss out on the best part unless Elon posts that footage on YouTube or Twitter.
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Online abaddon

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If SpaceX says so, I’d love to see the side boosters land together at the Cape again.
I know there was some excellent forum modeling of various Heavy options a while back, but I don't remember if there was an estimate of payload hit with RTLS boosters and expended core vs ASDS boosters and expended core.  My vague recollection is it works out very well with cross-feed, not as much with the center core just throttling down.  The mass to GEO doesn't seem that high, though, so maybe they will have enough margin with RTLS boosters.

I'm throwing my hat in the ring is that JRTI is being prepped now because they are going to be ASDS landings... but we'll see.  It's always possible they just want a faster launch cadence of Starlink launches than they can manage with one droneship.
« Last Edit: 04/28/2020 08:04 pm by abaddon »

Online quagmire

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The article also confirms all new boosters (which is exactly what we expect unless the USSF makes a policy change for the Phase 1A flights.)

Guess that eliminates my thinking why we haven’t seen 1052 and 1053 act as F9’s yet. Was thinking they would be used for this mission.

Offline spacetraveler

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It's really looking like dual droneship landings with center core expended.

Either way a GEO mission is definitely a great new challenge for SpaceX.

Online gongora

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This flight is currently targeting a launch around February 28, 2021 according to a presentation at the RAND Space Launch Virtual Forum today.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2020 08:54 pm by gongora »

Online Robotbeat

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Makes me wonder if the USAF has a certification path for flown boosters, perhaps dependent on STP-2 is successfully reflying the Arabsat boosters.
While that's definitely possible, it think it is more likely that all three boosters can be recovered on this flight (which seems reasonable since an Atlas V could have launched it), so it is a new FH that was bid with the boosters being recovered.  That'd be my guess, as I think it's still a little early for the USAF to be comfortable with reused boosters on a non-experimental flight.

[EDIT] Edited for clarity

Can FH do 4 t (2x 2,000 kg) direct to GEO with full recovery? That's a very high energy mission. Even to inclined GEO.

Should be similar to a trans mars injection, which is a C3 of ~12 km2/sec2 . The NASA LSP performance query says Falcon Heavy with recovery can do 4865 kg (a bit less than Atlas 551 at 4870 kg). So, they likely can attempt a recovery, but who knows if it will work in practice. Air Force also might want to leave more margin on the upper stage. Guess we will find out late next year.

edit: ULA lists Atlas V 551 GEO performance as 3850 kg. This corresponds to a LSP performance query of C3=23.5. The corresponding number for Falcon Heavy recovery is 3440 kg.
It's worth noting that the LSP estimator is pretty firmly on the conservative side for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. It hasn't been updated with new figures for years, and even then, i think it was conservative. For instance, SpaceX can be more risky with center core recovery than the LSP calculator assumes.
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