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SpaceX Falcon 9 FT launch - Iridium Next 11-20 - SLC-4E

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Jun 4, 2017.

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  1. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #1 Grendal, Jun 4, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2017
    Launch Date: June 25th
    Launch time: 2024:59 GMT (4:24:59 p.m. EDT; 1:24:59 p.m. PDT)
    Launch site: SLC-4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California
    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 10 satellites for the Iridium next mobile communications fleet. This is the second flight of ten with the first ten launched last January. The constellation will have 66. SpaceX had another 5 launches to go.

    Iridium satellite constellation - Wikipedia
    Iridium-NEXT
    Iridium-NEXT
     
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  2. NikeWings

    NikeWings Active Member

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    LMK if anyone wants to meet up there........especially if you have the perfect location. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Piney999

    Piney999 Member

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    Once again, Grendal comes through.... where do you get your information from??
     
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  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I are planning to go see this launch. It will be our first "live" viewing". According to the SpaceX fans in a Facebook group (essentially the only reason I use FB is to read that group's discussion)
    Vandenburg launch site best viewing location: 5014 W Ocean Ave, Lompoc, CA 93436

    The FB group is a closed group that one can request to join. It is moderated by Bill Carton, who does an excellent job, along with some other admins, of keeping the discussions focused, civil, and informative. I recommend it. SpaceX

    Note: the FB group is not an "official" SpaceX group, just a bunch of rabid fans. :D
     
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  5. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    ...aaaannndd lets come to the most exciting part - is it a drone ship landing? is there an RTLS in Vandenberg at all?
     
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  6. NikeWings

    NikeWings Active Member

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    I ditched FB long ago - will get my tips through you. :)
    Thx for the info and hope to see you there!
     
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  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Yikes....isn't that the last day of TMC Connect? Or the Laguna Seca get-together?
     
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  8. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    This one is a possible record breaker for another reason. If BulgariaSat-1 and Iridium 2 (11-20) both launch before the end of this month as currently planned it will be the first time SpaceX has launched 3 times in one calender month.

    I find the launches/manifest - spacex easier to read in some ways than the Wikipedia version and the official outward facing SpaceX version doesn't post dates.
     
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  9. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Thank you. I get my information from a number of different sources. For the most part the SpaceX FB group that ecarfan mentioned. There are a number of actual SpaceX employees, general knowledgeable rocket enthusiasts, and SpaceX fans that also pull information from lots of sources. Launch data is from: https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/ and http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/launch-schedule/ which get their data from some official source. Occasionally they are not up to date though.

    If you are really into rockets and want to converse with serious rocket enthusiasts, real rocket scientists, and insiders then https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ is the place to be. There is a regular section for general conversation and a section (Level 2) that you pay to get into and are sworn to not pass any of the inside information that you get there. I have not paid to get in because I wouldn't want to accidently step out of bounds. I occasionally visit the basic forum but a lot of it is too detailed for what I'm interested in.

    At the speed that SpaceX seems to be moving, I am trying to limit the launch threads to just the next two unless there is something very special going on. That's why BulgariaSat popped in a little early. The 2nd reuse launch is a big event.

    This launch will break the record for number of launches in one year for SpaceX with this being #9. As the previous post from dhanson865 mentions, this launch (if there are no delays) will also be the first time SpaceX has had 3 launches in one month. Which may be beat the very next month of July if the four launches on the schedule actually happen. One or two of those are likely to get moved though.
     
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  10. landis

    landis Member

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    These threads have been an awesome resource. Many thanks. And thanks for the links too!

    Now I will press my luck even further.

    What do you think of a new 'Upcoming SpaceX Launches" thread we could 'watch' so that these new threads would pop up in 'Unread Watched Threads"?

    I've been using What's New: "Unread posts (Watched)" and "Recent threads (Watched)" in addition to alerts on this SpaceX forum, in pretty successful attempts to pick up these new threads. Is there a better way?
     
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  11. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #11 Grendal, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    Oops. Missed your question.

    The Iridiums are a very heavy payload. Luckily, they are a very heavy LEO launch. So because of the weight I don't think that an RTLS is possible for Iridium and they will always be an ASDS on JRTI.

    And to answer the more important second question, yes, there is a landing pad at Vandenberg. It's very near the launch pad. Here is a picture of the last Iridium launch from SpaceX's Flickr account and you can barely see the landing pad in the background behind and to the right of the rocket:
    31450835954_178ca1272b_z.jpg

    Interesting. So a pinned thread of upcoming launches where a post will link to the new launch thread. Since I am not a moderator I'm not sure whether that will be too much of a pain to them or not. As far as entering that kind of data< i would have no issue.
     
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  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know SpaceX has not done an RTLS stage recovery at Vandenburg yet, just an ASDS stage recovery on JRTI (Just Read The Instructions).

    For this particular launch I believe the plan is to use JRTI to recover the first stage.
     
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  13. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #13 Grendal, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    No RTLS has been done at Vandenberg. All Iridium launches will be ASDS recoveries since Iridium payloads are extremely heavy.

    SpaceX has a bunch of SSO payloads coming and most seem to be extremely light. Hopefully one or more of those allow for a RTLS at Vandenberg. It will be interesting to see how SpaceX juggles these numerous lightweight satellites and their widely varying launch time frames.
     
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  14. landis

    landis Member

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    Yes, it would be a great idea if it was pinned since that would make it even easier for newcomers to find it.

    It wouldn't need to be pinned to be useful. We could try it out without moderator involvement.
     
  15. Nikxice

    Nikxice Member

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    It struck me that SpaceX is setting a launch pace that NASA could only dream of keeping more than thirty years ago flying Space Shuttles. Recalling the late 70's, I think they initially hoped to launch once a week. Then after the Challenger was lost in 1986, expectations were lowered to every two weeks. That also never came to pass. With SpaceX having multiple launch sites, keeping that pace doesn't seem so daunting. We could even see the first orbital flights from Texas sometime next year.

    Whenever I read about a launch out of Vandenberg I'm reminded of those long lost manned flights during the Shuttle era. I had to look it up to confirm that it was Discovery that the Air Force was going to use at Vandenberg. Discovery was scheduled to launch shortly after Challenger went down. Unfortunately safety concerns and budget issues kept it grounded. Soon after the program was terminated. Eventually a west coast manned flight will happen. I envision that SpaceX will be the one to get it done.
     
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  16. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, the Shuttle was a vastly more complex craft than an uncrewed F9.
     
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  17. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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  18. bxr140

    bxr140 Member

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    Nice! Was just down there only a few weeks ago and saw the bare dispensers with nary a sight of the spacecraft.

    Also, checked off the SLC-4 supercharger while in town. :D
     
  19. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The static fire for this launch is set for June 20th. That is one day after the BulgariaSat launch. The weather in Florida is bad so that launch could slip more affecting this launch. It will be interesting to see if there is an effect. Maybe there is more than one launch team now with the much more rapid launch cadence.

    The weather in California is usually better than Florida for those planning on catching this launch.
     
  20. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    It is confirmed that there is more than one launch team and it now looks like there might be a launch from each coast within 24 to 48 hours of each other....
     
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