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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:15 pm 
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100th flight from LC39A. Landed the 1st stage back LZ1. First Commercial Company to fly a re-used Orbital Spacecraft, the Dragon Capsule used for CRS-11 was previously used on CRS-4.

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https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/spacex-falcon-9-crs-11-dragon-iss-100th-39a/

The next launch by SpaceX from LC39A, BulgariaSat-1 is going to be using a flight proven booster.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:17 am 
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brovane wrote:
The next launch by SpaceX from LC39A, BulgariaSat-1 is going to be using a flight proven booster.


I'm hoping it delays till the last weekend of the month, as I'll be down in the area visiting family...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:11 pm 
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gtg947h wrote:
brovane wrote:
The next launch by SpaceX from LC39A, BulgariaSat-1 is going to be using a flight proven booster.


I'm hoping it delays till the last weekend of the month, as I'll be down in the area visiting family...


Well unfortunately for you SpaceX seems to be building up to a steady launch cadence of every 2-3 weeks. BulgariaSat-1 should be launch on the 6/17. On 6/25 there should be a launch out of Vandenberg and then back to the East coast for Intelsat 35e on 7/1. Intelsat 35e is over 6,000kg+ going to GTO so it will be an expendable launch, not sure if 7/1 meshes with you visiting the family. Of course with it being June and Florida you could easily see weather delays.

USAF has tapped SpaceX to launch the next X-37B mission which should be launching in August.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/06/06/u-s-air-force-taps-spacex-to-launch-next-x-37b-spaceplane-mission/

I bet some harsh language was exchanged at ULA about SpaceX getting that launch contract. Previously an Atlas-501 had been the go to LV for the X-37B.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 8:25 pm 
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Nope, we'll miss 7/1. So, hoping for weather.

Last launch I saw from there was the first Delta IV Heavy. I saw the second to last shuttle launch from St. Augustine though.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:31 am 
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I got to see the Challenger go up in 1984. A close family friend was on it. We got to watch from the Family Bleacher seats. A wonderful show.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Well, BulgeriaSat-1 is successfully on its way to its flight orbit, but it seems the first stage maxed out its emergency crush core in at least 2 legs from the looks of the tilted booster.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:59 pm 
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I watched that same booster go up (1029) in January when it launched from Vandenberg.

They really took this one to the limit. They did a 3-engine landing burn too rapidly decelerate the rocket.

This core is the first rocket to lift off from both an East Coast and West Coast launch site.

We have a double header this weekend with another launch planned on Sunday from Vandenberg.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:07 pm 
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The launch and landing from Vandenberg was successful. SpaceX used a new type of grid fin for the first time for this launch. Instead of Aluminium coated in TPS they are using Titanium now and the grid fins are slightly bigger. This allows a little better control of the LV and there will be no refurbishment required during launches.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:21 am 
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brovane wrote:
This allows a little better control of the LV and there will be no refurbishment required during launches.


I am positive this was just one of those brain farts we all have but I just had to laugh at the mental image of fixing a rocket during launch.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:11 pm 
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Calder wrote:
brovane wrote:
This allows a little better control of the LV and there will be no refurbishment required during launches.


I am positive this was just one of those brain farts we all have but I just had to laugh at the mental image of fixing a rocket during launch.


Yup, no refurbishment between launches.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:49 pm 
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Another successful launch by SpaceX for another Commercial Customer, Intelsat 35e.

Quickest turn around by SpaceX from the same pad 12days and the quickest turn around on LC39A and the 10th launch this year by SpaceX.

They are building up to a nice launch cadence.

Heaviest launch yet to GTO of 6761kg and the placed it into a super-synchronous orbit of 43,000 km. Basically, they delivered the Satellite at higher than contracted orbit which will result in less fuel to get the satellite into GSO.

No recovery of this booster because of the heavy payload.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:10 pm 
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12th launch of SpaceX this year, August 24th.

The 13th launch this year will be the USAF X-37B spaceplane from LC39A next week.

This year they are 5/5 for landing attempts at Sea and 4/4 for attempts on land this year. The other 3 have been expendable missions.

Elon shared some interesting stats for this latest landing.

Touchdown:
Vertical Velocity (m/s): -1.47
Lateral Velocity (m/s): -0.15
Tilt (deg): 0.40
Lateral position: 0.7m from target center

I guess they are figuring out this landing thing. I remember a couple of years ago all the "rube goldberg" suggests on how to land it. As always the KISS principle applies.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Wait. They're at 12 in 8 months? While the landing specs are impressive, they aren't launching fast enough. How big is their backlog?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:39 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
Wait. They're at 12 in 8 months? While the landing specs are impressive, they aren't launching fast enough. How big is their backlog?


http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.0

SpaceX known Manifest list. It also seems like they are launching as fast as the payloads are getting to them from customers.
Does no good if you are ready to launch and the payload isn't. Also, they have to wait for the range to be ready. For example, both the Eastern and Western ranges were shut down for most of July and into August for maintenance. Another reason that SpaceX is working on Brownsville to have another launch site that they control.

It will be interesting to see if they can hit 20 launches this year. Realistically 20 launches a year from a single launch vehicle is fairly impressive.

SpaceX has more Orbital launches this year than any other Country (Even the Russians).

This latest launch USAF might be the last launch at LC39A before the stand down for modifications for FH. Launches will shift over to the repaired LC40 will LC39A is modified for Commercial Crew and FH.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:48 am 
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brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
Wait. They're at 12 in 8 months? While the landing specs are impressive, they aren't launching fast enough. How big is their backlog?


http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.0

SpaceX known Manifest list. It also seems like they are launching as fast as the payloads are getting to them from customers.
Does no good if you are ready to launch and the payload isn't

:shock:
Brovane, how often do I have to remind you not to believe their propaganda? SpaceX has never managed to meet a beginning-of-year schedule in its life, and you're blaming it on the payloads being late instead of a problem on SpaceX's end? Formosat-5 was contracted for in June 2010, at the time scheduled to launch 'as early as December 2013' on a Falcon 1e. Instead, it's August of 2017, within the margin of error of the SpaceX scheduling rule. Unless that's affecting every satellite they launch, including repeats with no engineering surprises. (Also, they must have lost their shirts on this one.)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:50 am 
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ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
Wait. They're at 12 in 8 months? While the landing specs are impressive, they aren't launching fast enough. How big is their backlog?


http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.0

SpaceX known Manifest list. It also seems like they are launching as fast as the payloads are getting to them from customers.
Does no good if you are ready to launch and the payload isn't

:shock:
Brovane, how often do I have to remind you not to believe their propaganda? SpaceX has never managed to meet a beginning-of-year schedule in its life, and you're blaming it on the payloads being late instead of a problem on SpaceX's end? Formosat-5 was contracted for in June 2010, at the time scheduled to launch 'as early as December 2013' on a Falcon 1e. Instead, it's August of 2017, within the margin of error of the SpaceX scheduling rule. Unless that's affecting every satellite they launch, including repeats with no engineering surprises. (Also, they must have lost their shirts on this one.)


Byron - I agree they lost money on Formosat-5 but there was no reason to keep the Falcon 1 in production with no market for it.

The majority of SpaceX's launches are private commercial launches. Yet only a couple of SpaceX's customers have chosen to switch launch providers because they are late for the launch.

The free market will sort out if the late launches from SpaceX are important or not.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:58 pm 
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brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
brovane wrote:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43418.0

SpaceX known Manifest list. It also seems like they are launching as fast as the payloads are getting to them from customers.
Does no good if you are ready to launch and the payload isn't

:shock:
Brovane, how often do I have to remind you not to believe their propaganda? SpaceX has never managed to meet a beginning-of-year schedule in its life, and you're blaming it on the payloads being late instead of a problem on SpaceX's end? Formosat-5 was contracted for in June 2010, at the time scheduled to launch 'as early as December 2013' on a Falcon 1e. Instead, it's August of 2017, within the margin of error of the SpaceX scheduling rule. Unless that's affecting every satellite they launch, including repeats with no engineering surprises. (Also, they must have lost their shirts on this one.)


Byron - I agree they lost money on Formosat-5 but there was no reason to keep the Falcon 1 in production with no market for it.

It may or may not have suffered from the same problem that killed the 757 (market wasn't right at the time, and is now), but it also may have been a victim of Elon. Not sure.

Quote:
The majority of SpaceX's launches are private commercial launches. Yet only a couple of SpaceX's customers have chosen to switch launch providers because they are late for the launch.

The free market will sort out if the late launches from SpaceX are important or not.

These contracts come with penalties for being late. If you really care about on-time launches, you don't go to to SpaceX. You go to ULA. If you go to SpaceX, your prime criterion is cheapness. As it is, SpaceX didn't just get paid Falcon 1 prices for a Falcon 9 launch, they got paid Falcon 1 prices minus two and a half years of late penalties. Most of the accountants for their customers are probably cackling right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of those contracts were going to lose money even if launched tomorrow. Satellite engineers are really good at stretching the life of satellites, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the customers had already taken predictable lateness into account when making their plans.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:02 am 
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ByronC wrote:
These contracts come with penalties for being late. If you really care about on-time launches, you don't go to to SpaceX. You go to ULA. If you go to SpaceX, your prime criterion is cheapness. As it is, SpaceX didn't just get paid Falcon 1 prices for a Falcon 9 launch, they got paid Falcon 1 prices minus two and a half years of late penalties. Most of the accountants for their customers are probably cackling right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of those contracts were going to lose money even if launched tomorrow. Satellite engineers are really good at stretching the life of satellites, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the customers had already taken predictable lateness into account when making their plans.


Remind me again how many private Commercial launches ULA has on the books this year? Isn't is zero? Looks like the market is already sorting out how much a priority an on-time launch is compared to cost.

FYI - Late penalties are capped, usually at a maximum of 10% of the contract price.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:27 am 
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Admittedly, I don't very deep knowledge about the field. But aren't delays of years for satellite launches routine? I mean, schedule slippage in the Shuttle program was so normal, I don't think anything launched within a few months of when it was originally scheduled. The Russian launches are similar. Between delays in getting the satellites ready, delays in building and launching the earlier loads, 'surprise' DOD cargos, and a routinely over-ambitious schedule, nothing goes as planned.

Incidentally, using some ratios with Falcon Heavy and Saturn V, I estimate that the Falcon 9 can put between 11,000 and 14,000 lbs into lunar orbit. So is there anything really useful that could be done with that load that's worth buying a launch on a used booster?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:45 am 
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brovane wrote:
ByronC wrote:
These contracts come with penalties for being late. If you really care about on-time launches, you don't go to to SpaceX. You go to ULA. If you go to SpaceX, your prime criterion is cheapness. As it is, SpaceX didn't just get paid Falcon 1 prices for a Falcon 9 launch, they got paid Falcon 1 prices minus two and a half years of late penalties. Most of the accountants for their customers are probably cackling right now, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of those contracts were going to lose money even if launched tomorrow. Satellite engineers are really good at stretching the life of satellites, and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the customers had already taken predictable lateness into account when making their plans.


Remind me again how many private Commercial launches ULA has on the books this year? Isn't is zero? Looks like the market is already sorting out how much a priority an on-time launch is compared to cost.

Yes. The only people who really care about on-time launches tend to be governments. Who are still buying from ULA.

Quote:
FYI - Late penalties are capped, usually at a maximum of 10% of the contract price.

Interesting. Source? (Genuinely curious. I'm not that familiar with the business side of space launch.)
From what I've heard, SpaceX is going to continue to rack up late fees on most contracts, so I'd doubt they've already hit caps. But I (or my source) could be wrong.

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