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SpaceX Falcon 9 FT - OTV 5 - LC-39A

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Grendal, Aug 23, 2017.

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  1. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    #1 Grendal, Aug 23, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Sept. 7
    Launch window: TBD
    Launch site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the U.S. military’s X-37B, a spaceplane also called the Orbital Test Vehicle, on the program’s fifth mission. The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage will return to landing at Cape Canaveral a few minutes after liftoff. Delayed from Aug. 28. [July 26]

    This launch will use the upgraded Block 4 hardware. RTLS. I expect this webcast will be similar to the NROL-76 webcast and focus wholly on the booster return after MECO and separation.

    Boeing X-37 - Wikipedia
    X-37B: The Air Force's Mysterious Space Plane
     
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  2. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Love you Grendal !!
     
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  3. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    This will be the 13th launch of the year. If successful, and this should be an easy recovery, then this will be the 10th booster to be recovered this year.
     
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  4. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Static fire is planned for September 1st. A little earlier than usual. Probably want to get it in before the holiday weekend.
     
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  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    With all these routine recoveries, I wonder if SpaceX is going to have to throttle down manufacturing and divert some people towards recovery and refurbishment?
     
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  6. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Enemy of the Status Quo

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    Ooh, the spooky space plane! I'm going to guess that SpaceX won't be showing a "customer video" during the webcast just prior to launch.
     
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  7. TNEVol

    TNEVol Member

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    Thinking about driving down. Any idea about launch window and backup dates?
     
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  8. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The military is holding this close to the chest. We only have the date for now. Honestly, that could easily change at the last moment. As soon as I hear a solid date and time I'll post it. The current date is pretty good. I expect they are holding the time frame back because that would give an idea of what orbit they are trying for.
     
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  9. TNEVol

    TNEVol Member

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    Makes sense. thanks
     
  10. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    Static Fire happened today. Successful. Targeting September 7th. Still no launch time as of yet.
     
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  11. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    This is the holiday weekend. I've been on holiday since 2:45PM yesterday (Thursday).

    SpaceX launches are almost always on weekends, anyway.

    This begets the question: what types of holiday hours do SpaceX employees have? How are they treated with respect to work hours? How much of real life do they know? Do they have time to make families? They should make families; they're generally good gene pool material. No time like the present. They should do it even if they don't have time or money; it's that important.
    Great! And also good that they did do it before the holiday started.
     
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  12. MacGreiner

    MacGreiner Member

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    No window updates yet? I'm planning on heading down for this one. Booster RTLS right?
     
  13. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The Air Force ain't telling. It's still a super secret time frame. As soon as I know, all of you will know. September 7th is pretty solid as long as the weather is good. A definite RTLS. I expect the webcast (if it is allowed) will be a repeat of the NROL-76 launch.

    The weather is not looking good according to weather.com:
    Thunderstorms
    88°-77°
    90% of rain
    SE 10 mph

    So it looks like it will come down to timing with the storm. We don't even know if there is a window for launch or that it will be instantaneous launch.
     
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  14. wart

    wart Member

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    So Hurricane Irma is on the way. I suspect if they don't get this rocket launched Wednesday they'll have to wait until after the storm passes.

    Actually depending on the storm track and severity I wonder if there might be damage to launch facilities? If the rocket and payload are still on Earth when the storm comes, can SpaceX lie it back down and roll it into the shed for safekeeping?
     
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  15. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    SpaceX can definitely put it back in the hanger. It's what they do every time after a static fire. A strong storm can damage equipment. It happened a few years ago. Otherwise they'll just have to wait out the storm and launch when the weather clears.
     
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  16. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    We now have a hint of when the launch can happen. There is a "no fly" rule during launch windows and there is one for 0920 to 1455. So now we know it will be an early afternoon-ish launch.
     
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  17. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Thank goodness it's not scheduled for four days later. Here are the latest forecast wind conditions at midnight on Sunday 11th:

    Weather Forecast Maps

    With high tide also right at midnight: Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 3.18.31 PM.png
     
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  18. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    The encapsulated X-37B being moved across the Cape into SpaceX's hanger for horizontal integration probably happening right now:

     
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  19. swaltner

    swaltner Member

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    Yep, the FAA has issued a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) for the times listed above, which are in EDT. The details are posted at 7/6523 NOTAM Details. Interestingly, the TFR is only valid for the surface to 18,000 feet, but that's because anyone flying above 18,000 feet is required to be communicating with ATC, so they'll be directing airliners and business jets around the area because they'll be flying under IFR (Instrument Flight Rules).

    If you want to search for these TFRs yourself for future launch windows, you can go to the TFR List link on that web site, then select "Type: SPACE OPERATIONS" to see any scheduled TFRs for the continental US. The effective times are listed at the end of the TFR announcement and are given in GMT in the following format: YYMMDDHHMM-YYMMDDHHMM. You'll need to convert GMT into your local time zone.
     
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  20. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Why is this guy sawing at the wheel like a kid that is making like he is driving a real car?

    My real question: this reminded my that I wondered what was up with fairing recoveries. Any news on that front?
     

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