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SpaceX Falcon 9 FT launch - SES 9 - SLC-40

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    This looks like it will be the next launch for the company:

    NET Feb. 6? Falcon 9 • SES 9

    Launch window: TBD
    Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SES 9 communications satellite. Owned by SES of Luxembourg, the spacecraft will provide direct-to-home and other communications services over Northeast Asia, South Asia and Indonesia, as well as maritime communications for vessels in the Indian Ocean. The rocket will fly on a full-thrust version of the Falcon 9 rocket. Delayed from July 15, August, November and December. [Jan. 13]
     
  2. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Will there be a first stage recovery attempt?
     
  3. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    I think so. I seem to remember in one of the articles about Jason 3 that there would be an attempt on this launch. Another barge landing too, I think.
     
  4. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    "Full thrust" version - doesn't that imply that any booster re-entry would have to be towards a barge rather than a return to base? Or is this a separate issue?

    (on edit: quasi cross-posting w/above)
     
  5. Auzie

    Auzie Tree Hugger Member

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    Thanks Grendal

    I am already in countdown mode, hoping for all those legs to lock
     
  6. ivog

    ivog Member

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    No, the Orbcomm 2 was on a FT and landed on land. If I understand correctly from the NSF forums the required velocity and payload determine whether or not a barge landing is needed. In the case of SES-9 a return to landing site will be impossible and even a barge landing will be quite challenging but they're gonna nail it this time anyways ;)
     
  7. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    "Full Thrust" refers to the use of super-cooled (densified) propellants, which allows them to get more fuel into the rocket, and the pumps to move more mass of fuel to the motors more quickly. Basically this is just the official name for what SpaceX-watchers were calling either 2.0 or 1.2 versions of the F9.

    The satellite being launched is going to a Clarke (geostationary) orbit, which always uses a lot of fuel. If it's close to the limit, there isn't enough fuel left to land the first stage at all. With a bit more fuel left over, the stage can land on the barge. With even more fuel left over, the stage can reverse course and land back at the launch site (or somewhere else, for that matter). But none of these calculations have anything to do with "Full Thrust" which is really just the name for the newest version of the rocket.
     
  8. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Got it. Thanks for the clarification. For once, I make no apologies over the confusion.
     
  9. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    I read somewhere that every Falcon launch carries surplus fuel. It is needed in case of an "engine out" event in the first stage. The remaining engines need to burn longer to deliver the payload with correct orbit parameters. The rocket would be a loss.

    If no such event occurs, the fuel can be spent for the landing manoeuvre.

    Can someone confirm this story line?
     
  10. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Kind of yes, and kind of no. F9 has different parameters based on many factors. There is a weight allowance for the payload, if the weight exceeds a certain amount then there will be no attempt at landing. There is a speed and angle allowance as well. If the rocket is moving too fast or angled for certain orbits it creates issues that interfere with a land landing, barge landing, or even trying for a landing at all. I believe that there is no chance for booster recovery of a GEO type satellite launch which SpaceX has done twice.

    So, yes, there is surplus fuel. I don't think it is specifically enough to perform a landing attempt.

    With one less engine burning fuel does a F9 need extra fuel or is the fuel just routed to the remaining engines and a longer burn is needed?
     
  11. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    Based on NSF forum comments and also lack of immediate pre-launch support activity i.e. no static fire prep, looks like the NET (no earlier than) date for this SES-9 launch is getting pushed back -- to at least last part of February, and potentially later than that.
     
  12. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    It seems there might be a clear reason for a small delay:

    SpaceX will modify its Falcon 9 rocket based on tests of its landed vehicle | The Verge

    I doubt they are making big overall changes that will affect this launch but there might be a few small changes to better improve landing chances.

    An article that backs the point that there are some delays:

    SpaceX Falcon 9 Upgrade launch delay raises concern
     
  13. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Maybe it won't be delayed as much as we think:

    SpaceX seeks to accelerate Falcon 9 production and launch rates this year - SpaceNews.com

    There is a lot more detail about future plans in the article.
     
  14. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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  15. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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    The Air Force’s 45th Space Wing has formally approved SpaceX’s request to launch a Falcon 9 rocket and commercial communications satellite on Feb. 24.
    This will be the most challenging drone ship launch yet though.

    "With little fuel to spare, SpaceX won’t attempt to land the Falcon 9 booster back on shore like it did — successfully — on Dec. 21.
    But the company is expected to try to land the rocket stage on an ocean platform, even though the odds of success are low because of the higher flight and low fuel margin."


    http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2016/02/13/spacex-aims-for-drone-ship-landing-falcon9-ses9-launch-cape-canaveral-air-force-station/80339842/
     
  16. jtg

    jtg Member

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    So a drone ship landing? Great! Anybody have the at sea weather forecast? Thanks.
     
  17. hockeythug

    hockeythug Active Member

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    #17 hockeythug, Feb 23, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
    10-15 kt winds, 2-3 foot seas. So favorable.

    Launch weather is 60% go for tomorrow.
     
  18. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    Apparently SpaceX is going to launch the satellite into a higher orbit than normal so it will be actually on-station at the originally planned date despite the launch delays. I believe this satellite was originally supposed to get to it's final orbit using an electron propulsion engine which is very slow, but with the increased capabilities of the Falcon 9 Full Thrust, they can get it much closer to the final orbit. However, that means there's not as much fuel left in the launch stage, and I believe it will have more velocity to get rid of.

    I wish them luck, it's all pretty impressive and very promising.
     
  19. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    SES is very pleased that SpaceX is willing to spend the extra fuel necessary to get their satellite into the higher orbit. SpaceX, being an Elon company, is willing to go above and beyond the parameters of the contract for their customer especially because of the delays. This allows SES to get the satellite operational around the same time as originally planned and it will save them extra fuel for future maneuvers as well. Someone on SpaceX facebook said that the information from the landing attempt will be useful no matter what. If the booster is coming in "too hot" they will likely not try to hit the barge but bring it in nearby. If SpaceX does manage to land this booster under essentially the worst possible conditions and situation, well that will be another serious win for the company.

    The next "return to landing pad" attempt will likely be for CRS-8.
     
  20. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Having most unexpectedly finding myself on a certain portion of the California coast late last week ( a very surprise birthday.....for ME!!!!...), it was extremely interesting to read at the marina a DoD Bulletin announcing that "Zones One & Two" would be off limits to all vessels on 24 Feb. Thanks to this thread, I was able to explain to Jenny the reason.

    Her reaction: it gave new meaning to our old back-and-forth when we were raft guides - bow and stern: "Paddle PADDLE PADDLE!!!!!":scared:
     

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