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SpaceX F9 - SAOCOM-1B - SLC-40


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(EDIT July 22: this launch was first announced as occurring at Vandenburg, then later changed to the Cape)

SpaceX's first West Coast Falcon 9 launch in eight months now set for early 2020

Finally, another Vandenburg launch. Sometime in February 2020?

Launch Date: August 30
Launch Window: 7:19 p.m. EDT (2319 GMT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral, Florida
Core Booster Recovery: RTLS
Booster: B1059.4
Fairings: Maybe reused - nothing from SpaceX yet.
Mass: 3000 kg (6000 lbs)
Orbit: LEO - Polar Orbit

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SAOCOM 1B satellite for CONAE, Argentina’s space agency. SAOCOM 1B is the second of two SAOCOM 1-series Earth observation satellites designed to provide radar imagery to help emergency responders and monitor the environment, including the collection of soil moisture measurements. Will also carry Gnomes 1: a constellation of small weather satellites. Also Capella: a Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite.

If it goes up as scheduled this will be the 14th SpaceX launch of the year.

SAOCOM - Wikipedia
GNOMES 1, ..., 20
x1, y1, z1, z2, z3 (Sequoia, Whitney)
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Read this in the Ars Technica Rocket Report weekly email just now: the SAOCOM 1B mission will not be launching from Vandenburg. Darn. I was hoping to go see it.

Falcon 9 to reopen polar corridor from Florida. When SpaceX launches the SAOCOM 1B satellite int a polar orbit later this year, it will do so from Florida. According to reporter Michael Baylor, this will be the first use of the southern polar corridor from Cape Canaveral since 1960. Cuba flyover ... It's not clear why SpaceX chose to launch this mission from Florida (SAOCOM 1A flew from Vandenberg Air Force Base), but as the satellite weighs just three tons the Falcon 9 rocket clearly has more than enough delta-V for in-flight maneuvers. After launching, the rocket will make a dogleg around Miami in Southern Florida, but will overfly Cuba.”
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“When SpaceX launches the SAOCOM 1B satellite int a polar orbit later this year, it will do so from Florida.”

That is a very interesting turn of events, though in hindsight not off-brand for Elon. It sounds like SpaceX is basically shutting down ops at VAFB and moving the crew to Florida because a) the manifest for vandy is super light and b) they’re likely making a push for a lot more eastern range launches [mostly due to starlink].

I don’t know how hard it is to open up that flight path with The Man but certainly this mission has performance to spare to account for the super dogleg around Miami, so the extra inefficiency for this mission is offset by the greater good gains.

Reading ahead in class it looks like BC could also launch polar, potentially with less penalty than CCAFS...
There is still hope for a Vandenburg launch this year. Different mission, and I’m sure @Grendal will start a dedicated thread when there is definite information, but at Launch Schedule – Spaceflight Now It shows this:

November Falcon 9 • Sentinel 6A
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Sentinel 6A, or Jason-CS A, satellite. The Sentinel 6A satellite is a joint mission between the European Space Agency, NASA, NOAA, CNES and Eumetsat to continue the sea level data record previously collected by the Jason series of satellites. Sentinel 6A, built by Airbus Defense and Space and Thales Alenia Space in Europe, will also join the European Commission’s Copernicus Earth observation satellite network. [Dec. 30]
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This launch has been delayed for an indeterminate period because of current coronavirus-related travel restrictions:
There could still be delays due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions and other issues outside of the control of the military-run range. For example, stringent travel bans issued by the U.S. and Argentine governments have prevented key workers from traveling from Argentina to Cape Canaveral to support the launch of the country’s second radar observation satellite aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

That has forced an indefinite delay in the launch from March 30.
Source: Military officials committed to keeping Cape Canaveral open for launches – Spaceflight Now
I just edited my post that started this thread to make clear that this launch was initially announced as going from Vandenburg and later changed to Cape Canaveral. I know that @Grendal kindly edited it with the correct “Launch Site” information but the post could still be misinterpreted.

I can’t explain why I was able to edit my 9 month old post, but the Edit button was available to me. I am not a moderator in this forum.
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