Author Topic: SpaceX F9 : NROL-186 : VSFB SLC-4E : 28/29 June 2024 (03:14 UTC)  (Read 11170 times)

Online zubenelgenubi

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Thread for the second Starshield launch, NROL-186.

Launch 29 June 2024, at 03:14 UTC (28 June 8:14 pm PDT), from Vandenberg SLC-4E, on booster 1081-8.  The first stage successfully landed aboard Of Course I Still Love You.

Payload 21 Starshield satellites, to a 70 degree inclination orbit on a southeastern trajectory.  Initial orbit nnn x nnn km?

Please use the Starshield Discussion Thread for all general discussion on Starshield.



L2 SpaceX: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=60.0
« Last Edit: 07/09/2024 03:21 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Online zubenelgenubi

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Possible June 30 or earliest July Vandenberg Falcon 9 Starlink launch, following Starlink 9-2:
Starlink 7-19,
Starlink 8-3,
Starlink 9-3.

Not-Starlink Vandenberg Falcon 9 launches in the near future, possibly back to back:
Transporter-11:
Celestis are saying 8 July.
https://www.celestis.com/launch-schedule/harmony-flight/
Quote
Earth Orbit Service #11
Celestis Memorial Spaceflight: #24
Mission Name: Harmony Flight
Mission Status: Closed for reservations
Launch Location: Vandenberg SFB California
Launch Date: July 8, 2024

ASBM:
Quote
Intelsat License LLC (“Intelsat”) herein requests 30 days of Special Temporary Authority (“STA”),1 commencing July 10, 2024, to use its Nuevo, California Ka-band earth station, E170039, to provide launch and early orbit phase (“LEOP”) services for the ASBM 1 and ASBM 2 satellites.2 ASBM 1 and ASMB 2 are expected to launch together no earlier than July 10, 2024.3 Intelsat expects the LEOP period to last approximately 45 days.

The ASBM 1 and ASBM 2 satellites will operate in the same highly elliptical, three apogee orbit with apogees of 69° E.L., 189° E.L., and 309° E.L. Intelsat will communicate with the satellites only when they are in view of its antenna.

Edit June 25: Surprise!  None of the above, although the Starshield satellites are supposed to be based on the Starlink V2 Mini design.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2024 03:36 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Online zubenelgenubi

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NextSpaceflight; updated June 23?:
Launch NET June 29

But, no Starlink designation yet.
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Online randomname

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There's an odd NOTAM likely associated with this launch:

Quote
R0142/24 NOTAMN
Q) SCIZ/QRDCA/IV/BO/W/000/999/4100S11910W715
A) SCIZ B) 2406290458 C) 2407050800
D) JUN 29 BTN 0458-0924 JUN 30 BTN 0444-0910 JUL 01 BTN 0430-0856
JUL 02 BTN 0416-0842 JUL 03 BTN 0402-0828 JUL 04 BTN 0348-0814
JUL 05 BTN 0334-0800
E)
 ZONE ...D... SECT WEST PACIFIC DUE TO RE-ENTRY FALCON 9 STARLINK 2
-5
STAGE 2 REENTRY ACTIVITY. THE AREA IS BOUNDED BY GEO COORD:
3000S 12153W
3000S 12000W
2843S 12000W
5909S 09534W
5958S 09905W
3000S 12153W
INSTRUCTIONS: SANTIAGO OCEANIC CONTROL 10024 KHZ FANS 1A EQUIPPED
ACFT LOG ON SCEZ
INFO PROVIDED BY SPACE X OPS, USA
F) SFC G) UNL

Starlink Group 2-5 has already launched, so the name seems to be an error. I suspect this may be intended to be Starlink Group 9-5 instead, but what confuses me the most is that the hazard area is oddly similar to those of Group 2 missions. Every Starlink group except 9 & 10 has previously launched a "-5" mission.

Offline Ken the Bin

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This NGA Space Debris notice matches the dates/times of the above NOTAM.

Checking the location against previous launches in my history, it exactly matches a Space Debris notice for NROL-146 and nothing else.

Quote from: NGA
250834Z JUN 24
HYDROPAC 2202/24(22,83).
EASTERN SOUTH PACIFIC.
DNC 06, DNC 07.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS
   290458Z TO 290924Z, 300444Z TO 300910Z JUN,
   010430Z TO 010856Z, 020416Z TO 020842Z,
   030402Z TO 030828Z, 040348Z TO 040814Z
   AND 050334Z TO 050800Z JUL
   IN AREA BOUND BY
   27-59.00S 122-44.00W, 27-09.00S 120-43.00W,
   59-09.00S 095-34.00W, 59-58.00S 099-05.00W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 050900Z JUL 24.

Offline GewoonLukas_

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Checking the location against previous launches in my history, it exactly matches a Space Debris notice for NROL-146 and nothing else.

There is this NOTAM for the launch of NROL-186, so looks like this will be another Starshield launch for the NRO's Proliferated Architecture:

Quote
9/24 NOTAMN
Q) NTTT/QRDCA/IV/BO/W/000/999/2850S12120W110
A) NTTT
B) 2406290458 C) 2407050800
D) JUN 29 0458-0924, 30 0444-0910 JUL 01 0430-0856, 02 0416-0842, 03
0402-0828, 04 0348-0814, 05 0334-0800
E) TEMPORARY DANGEROUS AREA DUE TO ATMOSPHERIC RE-ENTRY OF SPACEX
 NROL-186
, IN TAHITI FIR WITHIN AN AREA BOUNDED BY FOLLOWING
 POINTS :
2759S12244W 2709S12043W 2843S12000W 3000S12000W 3000S12153W
 2759S12244W.
THIS ACTIVITY IMPACTS SCIZ FIR AS WELL.
AIRSPACE USERS ARE ADVISED OF THE PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS NATURE
 OF THE ACTIVITY AND ARE STRONGLY INVITED TO AVOID THE AREA
 DURING THE ACTIVITY TIME SLOT.
OPERATORS ARE INVITED TO FILE THEIR FLIGHT PLAN WITH A TRAJECTORY
 THAT ENSURES THAT THE AREA IS CIRCUMNAVIGATED.
F) SFC G) UNL
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Online zubenelgenubi

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Cross-post; second launch of six scheduled in 2024:
https://defensescoop.com/2024/04/09/nro-proliferated-spy-satellite-constellation-launch/
Quote
The National Reconnaissance Office is targeting early May to begin launching the first phase of an operational proliferated constellation of spy satellites to enhance the military’s ability to gather space-based intelligence.

The mission, dubbed NROL 146, will be the first launch of six that are planned in 2024 for the NRO’s future proliferated architecture, Troy Meink, the agency’s principal deputy director, said Tuesday during a keynote speech at the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
...
“This launch will be the first launch of an actual operational system,” Meink said.
...
NROL-146 will be launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Meink did not provide details about how many payloads would be included in the first launch in May, or how many satellites NRO wants for the proliferated constellation.

New NextSpaceflight listing:
Launch 29 June 03:14 UTC = 28 June 8:14 pm PDT
« Last Edit: 06/25/2024 09:39 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline GewoonLukas_

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Quote
LAUNCH UPDATE: #NROL186 is scheduled to launch on a @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base (@SLDelta30) no earlier than June 28 at 11:14 p.m. EDT.

This is the second launch of NRO's proliferated architecture, delivering critical space-based ISR to the nation.

https://twitter.com/NatReconOfc/status/1805700036082213144
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Online zubenelgenubi

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Which first stage will be used for this launch?  (semi-rhetorical question)

Falcon 9 first stages are apparently now cleared for use over twenty times for non-human spaceflight missions, although that number is apparently more restricted for Cargo Dragon and Cygnus than these other payloads.

Available first stages, with UTC date of most recent recovery:
1063.19   May 14
1071.17   May 22
1081.8     May 28
1061.22   June 8  (maybe)

Edit June 27: It's B1081.8, skipping over B1063.19 and B1071.17.
« Last Edit: Today at 12:42 am by zubenelgenubi »
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Offline Martin_G

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https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_spt.jsp:

Quote
SPACEX NROL-186, VANDENBERG SFB, CA
PRIMARY:   06/29/24   0314Z-0743Z
BACKUP:      06/30/24   0300Z-0729Z
      07/01/24   0246Z-0715Z
      07/02/24   0232Z-0701Z
      07/03/24   0218Z-0647Z
      07/04/24   0204Z-0633Z
      07/05/24   0150Z-0619Z

Online rsmath

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Another good jellyfish visual opportunity for the Southwest US if this launches on the first launching opportunity.  We'll have to see about jellyfish observations on second or later opportunities if there is a delay.

Lindsay C + OCISLY departed PoLB on Jun 27 @ 11:15am PT / 2:15pm ET

Go Beyond departed PoLB on Jun 27 @ 12:01pm PT / 3:01pm ET

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1806412794444816599

Quote
Targeting Friday, June 28 for a Falcon 9 launch of the NROL-186 mission from California →

https://www.spacex.com/launches/mission/?missionId=nrol-186

Quote
SpaceX is targeting Friday, June 28 for a Falcon 9 launch of the NROL-186 mission from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The two-hour launch window opens at 8:14 p.m. PT. If needed, a backup opportunity is available on Saturday, June 29 starting at 8:00 p.m. PT.

A live webcast of this mission will begin about 10 minutes prior to liftoff, which you can watch here and on X @SpaceX.

This is the eighth flight for the first stage booster supporting this mission, having previously launched Crew-7, CRS-29, PACE, Transporter-10, EarthCARE, and two Starlink missions. Following stage separation, the first stage will land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

B1081.8
« Last Edit: 06/27/2024 07:45 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Ken the Bin

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NGA Space Debris notice that is effectively a Rocket Launching notice.

Quote from: NGA
271841Z JUN 24
NAVAREA XII 468/24(21).
EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
MEXICO.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS
   290314Z TO 290743Z, 300300Z TO 300729Z JUN,
   010246Z TO 010715Z, 020232Z TO 020701Z,
   030218Z TO 030647Z, 040204Z TO 040633Z
   AND 050150Z TO 050619Z JUL
   IN AREA BOUND BY
   29-53.00N 118-09.00W, 29-58.00N 118-07.00W,
   29-50.00N 117-52.00W, 29-23.00N 117-39.00W,
   29-10.00N 117-22.00W, 28-56.00N 117-16.00W,
   28-27.00N 117-16.00W, 28-21.00N 117-21.00W,
   28-20.00N 117-33.00W, 28-43.00N 117-55.00W,
   28-54.00N 118-01.00W, 29-15.00N 118-00.00W,
   29-40.00N 118-10.00W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 050719Z JUL 24.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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PDF of online press kit and link to X livestream.

https://x.com/i/broadcasts/1vAxRvDPwBrxl
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline OneSpeed

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NGA Space Debris notice that is effectively a Rocket Launching notice.

Maps from the NGA notices. ASDS some 695km downrange.

Offline Ron Lee

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NROL-186, 28 June 2024.  Launch time 8:14 - 10:14 PM PDT.   Jellyfish viewing.

For the Los Angeles area here are the sun events for 28 June 2024:

Sunset:  8:09 PM PDT
Civil twilight:  8:38 PM PDT
Nautical twilight:  9:14 PM PDT
Astronomical twilight:  9:54 PM PDT

Launching five minutes after sunset may mean that the sky is too bright to see the jellyfish effect for people along the California coast, but I would look anyway.

As a rough starting point, a launch at civil twilight may allow the ground observer to have adequately dark skies to see the plume.  It would be much better as the launch gets later. At some point, the second stage would no longer be sunlit during powered ascent.  That time is unknown to me but let us assume about 9:35 PM PDT.

Here is a positive.  For a given launch time that has the second stage in sunlight, the further east you go the darker the skies are on the ground, which would make a better visual experience.

To illustrate that, here are the 28 June 2024 sun events for Artesia, NM where the launch jellyfish has been seen:

Sunset:   8:10 PM MDT
Civil twilight:  8:39 PM MDT
Nautical twilight:  9:14 PM MDT
Astronomical twilight:  9:52 PM MDT

An 8:14 PM PDT launch is 9:14 PM MDT which is Nautical twilight.  Much better viewing conditions (darker sky) although video from the California coast looked good to me.  When you see the plume and the falling booster and payload fairings, that is great video/photos.  This was a previous launch around Los Angeles civil twilight.

This is a higher inclination launch which means that the launch trajectory is more westerly than recent Starlink launches.  The impact may be a slightly lower event for more eastern locations.

Livestream:


« Last Edit: 06/28/2024 11:44 am by Ron Lee »

Offline catdlr

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Here is a consolidated post of available video links for this launch:

SpaceX direct live broadcast on Twitter:  https://x.com/i/broadcasts/1vAxRvDPwBrxl

Space Affairs YouTube (SpaceX Re-broadcast):  https://youtube.com/watch?v=L_PcPbDGC8U

Replay supplied by The Space Devs (15 min after the broadcast end):  https://youtube.com/@thespacedevs/videos

Summary Video provided by SciNews (15 min after the broadcast ends):  https://youtube.com/@SciNewsRo/videos

Additional Landbase coverage:  "OliverVision" (Santa Barbara) and "Look Out and Look Up" (San Diego) will be provided when available.
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Offline catdlr

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T-12-hour weather forecast:

Some surface fog is predicted; otherwise, it is acceptable for launch.

Discussion:

Quote
.AVIATION...28/1157Z.

At 11Z at KLAX, the marine layer was 1000 feet deep. The top of
the inversion was at 6000 feet with a temperature of 22 C.

High confidence in CAVU TAFs for desert sites and KPRB/KVNY/KBUR,
with southwest wind gusts to 20-30 kt this afternoon and evening
at KPMD/KWJF. Moderate confidence in coastal/coastal-valley TAFs,
with MVFR-IFR cigs/vsbys this morning, clearing out by this
afternoon, and returning late tonight north of Point Conception
and in LA County. Onset and dissipation timing of cigs/vsbys may
vary by around +/- 2 hours from current forecasts. For KOXR/KCMA,
there is a 30% chance for cig/vsby restrictions to develop this
morning and again late tonight.

KLAX...Moderate confidence in TAF. Aside from onset/dissipation
timing uncertainty, 30% chance for cigs to become IFR and vsbys to
become MVFR this morning and again late tonight into Sat morning.
No significant east wind component is anticipated.

KBUR...High confidence in CAVU TAF.

Surface Weather Discussion:
Quote
An onshore flow pattern remains in place across the area early
this morning. Slight cooling will continue into today as the tail
end of upper-level trough of low pressure moving through the
northern Intermountain Region will brush the area and slightly
increase onshore flow. Night through morning low clouds and fog,
which have struggled to form over the last several nights and
mornings, are becoming more entrenched along the Central Coast of
California this morning, while an eddy circulation near Santa
Catalina Island still struggles to form stratus clouds around it.
The increase in northwest flow over the offshore coastal waters
and parallel to the southern California coastline should permit
the eddy circulation to become a little more vigorous. With the
shallow marine layer depth along the Central Coast, there is a
high-to-likely (40-60 percent) chance of dense fog developing
along the Central Coast this morning. A dense fog advisory might
be needed for the Central Coast later this morning.
« Last Edit: 06/28/2024 03:25 pm by catdlr »
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