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Falcon 9 FT (3R) 3rd Reuse - SES 11/Echostar 105 - LC-39A

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #1 Grendal, Sep 7, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
    Launch Date: Oct. 2
    Launch window: TBD
    Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SES-11/EchoStar 105 hybrid communications satellite to replace the AMC-15 and AMC-18 satellites. As SES-11, the spacecraft’s C-band capacity will provide replacement capacity for SES of Luxembourg for AMC-18. EchoStar Corp. of Englewood, Colorado, will market the Ku-Band transponder capacity, with coverage of the 50 U.S. states, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, as EchoStar 105, replacing AMC-15. The Falcon 9 rocket will launch with a previously-flown first stage. Delayed from October, November, July and Sept. 27. [Sept. 6]

    EchoStar 105 / SES 11

    So this is a heavy GTO satellite (5400 kg) that is roughly the same weight as SES-10 which was recovered on an ASDS successfully. The reused booster is the one recovered from the CRS-10 mission in February 2017. It is a Block 3 booster and it is expected to have a recovery attempt on OCISLY ASDS.
     
  2. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The satellite just arrived in Florida to prepare for the October launch.
     
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  3. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #3 Grendal, Sep 24, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
    Launch has been delayed because of Atlas V delay and possibly other reasons. We now have a launch window though:

    Launch Date: October 7th
    Launch window: 2253-0053 GMT (6:53-8:53 p.m. EDT)

    This will be SpaceX's 15th launch of the year. Possibly the last launch using 39A before the upgrades needed to prepare for the FH launch out of 39A.

    Sunset is 7:01 PM on October 7th in Florida.

    This will be the 17th booster recovery but only out of 14 different boosters since this is the third to be reused.
     
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  4. ccdisce

    ccdisce Member

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    Thanks for posting this reminder, I am planing to be at KSC that day.
     
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  5. ICUDoc

    ICUDoc Member

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    thanks as always Grendal, for keeping us up to date.
    Thanks especially for the Australian timing!
    This is a "first re-use" of this booster, then? And the third time one of the boosters has flown a second time (I coulda found a better way to write that!)?
    Look forward to it.
    And Falcon Heavy
    And miniBFR
    And BFR
    Hurry up!!
     
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  6. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    You're welcome. Yes, this is the first reuse of this booster. I'm speculating but I don't expect any of the current boosters to be reused more than once until SpaceX officially moves to the Block 5 boosters. They simply have enough spare boosters lying around (Block 3 and Block 4 now) that it isn't necessary to overuse a single booster. I'm sure it is possible to fly one of these boosters four or more times but it just isn't needed.

    The rest of the points I'll move over to the IAC thread.
     
  7. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Static fire took place today at LC-39A. It was successful.
    SpaceX on Twitter

     
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  8. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Surprise. Weather in Florida is not great. We have 60% go for Saturday and it seems Sunday is the backup and is also at 60%.
     
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  9. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Since it's a heavy satellite going to GTO, I imagine the booster will be a bit crispy when they get it back down. Good research material I expect.
     
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  10. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Yeah. I don't expect this booster to be reused. They have plenty of Block 3 and 4 boosters in great shape sitting around. I'm pretty sure SpaceX is focused on getting Block 5 up and running. Once they begin recovering those boosters, I think they will focus on multiple reuses as quick as possible to confirm how well they will hold up. Reusing a booster multiple times that is obsolete does nothing for them unless they have no choice. For now, SpaceX has plenty of choices. The best scenario for SpaceX is to use the obsolete boosters for expendable launches.
     
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  11. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #11 Grendal, Oct 5, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
    SES says there will be a delay for the Saturday launch. However there is nothing from SpaceX about it. Here's an article on it:
    SpaceX delays Falcon 9 launch of TV broadcast satellite – Spaceflight Now

    It's now an official delay until the Wednesday the 11th.
    SpaceX on Twitter
    Back again to being the 15th launch of the year.

    The next launch, Koreasat 5A, is scheduled for late October and will also launch from LC-39A. Which pretty much ensures that Falcon Heavy will be delayed to December at least.
     
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  12. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Not directed at you, Grendal: as a Californian, I am not surprised that Florida weather is not great. But, after many decades, I've started to actually open my mind to those explaining that Florida's position on the globe is important, and that's part of why we put up with the weather problems in Florida for space launches. SpaceX is one of the first institutions to help prove that to me, since their manufacturing is in California and they actually do launch in California when it's prudent, but prefers Florida for many launches due to its position on the planet. That says a lot to me about how important Florida is for space travel, and I accept that now. It used to baffle me though, since weather was so much easier in California.
     
  13. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.

    The decision to launch from California or Florida is unequivocally binary. It has nothing to do with preference, it has nothing to do with SpaceX (or LM, or Boeing, etc.). It doesn't matter how much money is involved, there is no sociopolitical factor. There is no choice. There is a singular factor on whether to launch from Florida or California: The intended orbit. If your mission needs a polar orbit (mostly used for earth observation), you launch from California south over the Pacific, then loop around the south pole. Pretty much any other orbit launches from Florida, east over the Atlantic toward Africa. That's it. That's how it works. That's how it has worked since the beginning of American spaceflight.

    The reason is that we don't fly over land--beyond staging events that drop rocket hardware under the flight path, its not a good idea to huck a rocket over an area where there might be people. (Russia and China don't follow this logic...)
     
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  14. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #14 Ulmo, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    That's what I said and meant. My faculty with language must not be good enough then.

    I had no idea they were so religious about avoiding overflying populations. Jets do it all the time and are awful. How much worse could some rockets be?

    Edit: It took me a long time thinking about your post to realize that you are saying that the sole reason they choose California or Florida is to avoid overflying population. Is that really the case? I never knew that. How could that have never been revealed before? They never discuss this or show this in the rocket launches.
     
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  15. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    When I was researching for a previous post over in the Mars thread, I discovered an interesting fact. The reason that the ISS orbit inclination is 51.6 degrees is so that launches from Baikonur go north enough to avoid overflying China. Optimal from there would be about 46 degrees, optimal when considering launches from both there and the Cape would be about 37 degrees (depending on the mix of launches), but in both cases Russian launches would go straight over some very important Chinese cities.
     
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  16. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    --Rockets all have staging events, so there's some amount of crap falling out of the sky every launch. Even with predictable and timed events, there's still some unpredictability where all the junk might land. Even with the VERY controlled spaceX recoveries, there's a large area that is cleared for safety.
    --Rockets can have very nasty fuels and very nasty combustion byproducts. Its like chemtrails over your house. :p
    --Rockets aren't all that reliable compared to something like jet aircraft, so safety regarding unpredictability is still a huge consideration. There are probably more airline flights a day than total rocket launches/attempts ever. Nobody would get on an aircraft if the chance of failure was 1 in 100...or even 1 in 1000. Or hell, even 1 in 10,000. Rocket people, OTOH, would LOVE a 1 in 1000 failure rate.
    --From a fuel volume, and thus explosion perspective, rockets are WAY worse than jet aircraft
    --Compared to an aircraft, rocket failures are pretty binary. They either make it to orbit or they don't. And most of the time when they don't its because they blew up. Aircraft failures are much more manageable, and in most cases the aircraft can land in relative safety.

    I'm not sure where that information comes from, but IMHO its a bit dubious. Of course its sub-optimal to launch in a direction that's not due east, but an inclination change during ascent or once in orbit is much more sub optimal. I'm sure you could do a study where you compare the total amount of energy used on ISS expedition/resupply missions to find a theoretical optimal inclination, but it would be something close to 46 degrees, not halfway between 28 and 46.

    I'm quite certain it is about not flying over a foreign country rather than the more specific concern of population centers. Staging from Baikonur happens over Kazakhstan mostly, which of course was part of the USSR. The 51.6 degree illustration you linked in the other thread is a good one--by the time it clips Mongolia ~2500km away a LEO launch is basically in orbit.
     
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  17. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    OT: all great challenges for the BFR Earth-to-Earth hops.
     
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  18. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    An awesome way to visualize this was just posted by @dhanson865 in another thread: the area that is identified as “at risk” for the launch in California this week.
    SpX Hazard Areas#6 [Raul]
     
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  19. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #19 Ulmo, Oct 8, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
    Thank you. The word "hazard" in the link makes perfect sense, too.

    Clicking on the SES-11 launch shows that the green zone and orange zone aren't necessarily connected; I wonder why? Is there really a little bit of zone where risk is extremely low between two high risk areas?
    Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 1.57.38 PM.png
     
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  20. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    Yes--there's the near-pad zone, where it all kind of happens, then there's the staging/landing zone, where it all kind of happens again. In between the flight is pretty benign. Another major factor is the ballistic aspect--at some point you have enough velocity up that if it all goes sideways, its still going to fly quite a way. If you're on second and the batter hits a homer to center field, even if the ball his an insect or a small bird or something over the pitcher's mount, you're not in any danger of taking one in the noggin.
     
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