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SpaceX F9 - 15th Reuse - Merah Putih - SLC-40

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Jul 8, 2018.

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  1. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    #1 Grendal, Jul 8, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2018
    Launch Date: August 7, Tuesday
    Launch Window: 0519-0719 GMT (1:19-3:19 a.m. EDT)
    Launch site: SLC-40
    Booster Recovery: ASDS on OCISLY
    Booster Type: B1046.2 - 1st Reused Block 5
    Mass: 5800 kg
    Orbit: GTO

    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Merah Putih communications satellite for Telkom Indonesia. Merah Putih, previously known as Telkom 4, will provide C-band telecommunications services over Indonesia and India, replacing the aging Telkom 1 communications craft. The Merah Putih satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral. The mass is unknown but similar satellites are on the heavy side of 4500 kg to 6000+ kg.

    Telkom 4 (Merah Putih)
    Telkom Indonesia - Wikipedia

    This will be the 15th SpaceX launch of the year if the schedule holds.
    This will be the first Block 5 booster reused. The number following the booster number represents the number of reuses for that booster. So this is B1046.2. If it gets used again, it will be B1046.3.
    This will be the 10th booster reused this year and only 7 new boosters launched so far.
    If all recoveries happen as expected then this will be the 8th recovered booster of the year.
    This will be the 61st Falcon 9 launch.
     
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  2. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    A couple of years ago, SpaceX had a huge commercial order backlog, with many customers waiting much longer than they would have liked (some cases years) before SpaceX could launch them. I am guessing with the launch cadence since that they’ve eaten into the long wait times for a launch slot (however with their prices, their commercial backlog must still be huge). Anyone have an idea how long customer has to wait today for a lunch slot?
     
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  3. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    An excellent question. Also one that is likely impossible to answer without inside information. However, I can speculate that SpaceX has directly cut into their more impatient customers and launched their satellites. The exception would be the Falcon Heavy payloads that haven't been launched on an improved F9. As far as I am aware there isn't a satellite just sitting around waiting to get launched. Some of that might be that SpaceX has talked to the satellite manufacturers and given them a rough estimate for a launch window. If the time has been pushed out by SpaceX then they can slow the production slightly to allow SpaceX to catch up. Looking at the larger manifest, I can't see any critical demanding payloads that have been put on hold. I am not an insider, so it could be happening and I am not aware of it.

    So my uninformed guess would say that a customer with a ready satellite would have to wait six months or less. Most of that would be the logistics of integrating a satellite to the Falcon 9, which is a lengthy (many months) process of coordination.

    There are five Block 5 boosters now. So given a little more time to confirm everything is as expected in the Block 5 design, then there will be plenty of boosters ready to go at a moments notice. By next year, SpaceX will be taking any launch order on demand. Line them up and launch them...
     
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  4. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    It’s definitely complicated. You don’t just sign up for a launch date and that’s that. The corollary is that you don’t typically finish your satellite and then have to wait a long time for your launch. Outside of waiting for the launch provider to recover from an anomaly, it’s usually not more than a few months between completing a spacecraft and shipping to launch base, at least for the primary [or in the case of most GTOs: the only] customer...and in many cases it’s a few weeks. Hell, Ive pushed more spacecraft than I’d care to admit out the door for launch base hours after completion.

    The short story is that manifests are VERY fluid and nobody really gets too serious about it until a year or so out from launch. The launch providers are in constant front door communication with the customers and even more importantly, back door communication (well, maybe more around the side) with the satellite manufacturers, so ultimately everyone knows what hand everyone else is playing, at least to some degree. There's sometimes significant amounts of horse trading going on between all parties, and everyone usually plays nice [enough] because there's not a lot of upside making enemies in a small industry.

    There's an official notification from the launch provider that usually comes out somewhere around 4-6 months from launch, and at that point your slot is more or less fixed unless a payload ahead of you drops out for some random reason.

    On the satellite side, there's typically not a lot of value in completing really early, so all the manufacturers basically just try to not be the long pole. As they say: you don't need to outrun the bear, you just need to outrun your friend. For the manufactures its really just a matter of balancing their production facility loading/throughput/capacity/bottlenecks against cashflow/milestones, with a asterisk for the occasion non-negotiable contractural terms. You can imagine all manner of permeations on that equation--typically the first order variables on the production side are managing the backlog with respect to major facility resources (thermal vac chamber, anechoic range, etc) and staffing, typically on the operator side its driven by on-orbit demand. If you're replacing service, you want your gizmo up there ASAP. If you're putting up future/spare capacity, you can wait a little longer. There's no point in starting the candle burning on your 15 year geocomm if you don't actually need it.

    Its a bit of a different thing with Microsatellites, especially in today's market where they're almost always secondary payloads...but...we can save that for another day.
     
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  5. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    This launch was delayed to Aug 4th with the same 0519-0719 GMT (1:19-3:19 a.m. EDT) window.
     
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  6. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    First post has been updated.

    Is it me, or does SpaceX seem to prefer weekend launches? It seems that most launches happen on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Someone out there has probably done a spreadsheet about it.... :)
     
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  7. Electroman

    Electroman Active Member

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    Make sense. More eyeballs. Better ratings.
     
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  8. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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  9. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    That is fantastic news! Can't wait to see how fast the next re-use of a Block 5 after its landing happens.
     
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  10. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    Another small delay. First post updated.
     
  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    It's the re-re-use of a Block 5 we're really waiting for. ;)
     
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  12. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Baby steps.
    But yes. And the re-re-re use and so on. :)
     
  13. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    Static Fire successful. On track for August 7th. First reuse of a Block 5 booster.
    SpaceX on Twitter
     
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  14. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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  15. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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  16. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    Official webcast for the launch:
     
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  17. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Thank you @Grendal for continuing to keep us informed. We benefit from your sleuthing, and it is appreciated.
     
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  18. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    We're here watching. Should launch on time, all good. T-4:30
     
  19. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    Wow image with purple rings is very cool. Don't recall those colors before. Very colorful viewing tonight. Successful separation of fairing. Different cameras tonight?
     
  20. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    too funny message. Successful I Still Love You landing. Nice in circle.

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    92E5A2A9-B51B-4BB3-B1E4-2C006D75BA58.png
     
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