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SpaceX Launch Trajectories?

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by omgwtfbyobbq, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Active Member

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    Does SpaceX or anyone else publish their launch trajectories prior to launch? I ask because the 2nd to last (I think) launch from Vandenberg was straight up and we got a great view of it, but the launch after that was barely visible.

    SpaceX rocket blew a temporary hole in Earth's upper atmosphere

    I'd like to try to get some shots with my DSLR, but I'm guessing most launches aren't going to vertical, and it would be nice to know which lauches I could hopefully get decent pictures of.
     
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  2. Mike1080i

    Mike1080i Member

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    #2 Mike1080i, Apr 22, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
    Notices are posted showing the launch hazard area the trajectory will over fly. They don't cover the full path length all the way to orbit, but enough to show what direction they are headed. For Vandenberg, you can probably find them on their web site: Vandenberg Air Force Base > Home
    For launches at the Cape they are at 45th Space Wing > Home
    NOTAMs for Space Operation are also here: Federal Aviation Administration - Graphic TFR's

    Here is an example for TESS.
    http://www.patrick.af.mil/Portals/14/documents/TESS LHA.pdf?ver=2018-04-17-154646-447
     
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  3. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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  4. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Active Member

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  5. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Speaking of trajectories, I didn't learn this until recently:
    SpaceX’s latest advantage? Blowing up its own rocket, automatically

    Extrapolating slightly, it seems the days of Vandenberg launches are numbered. They are cleared for polar launches from the Cape. There's no reason for SpaceX to maintain both facilities and shuttle critical people back and forth. If so, I'm bummed because the launches, booster returns on clear evenings in SoCal are magical.
     
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  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That article states “The US Air Force is considering launches to polar orbits from Cape Canaveral, but the flight path is only viable if the rockets don’t need to be tracked for range-safety reasons. That means SpaceX is the only company that could take advantage of the new corridor to space.”

    “Is considering” is not the same as “are cleared for”.

    SpaceX just built a new RTLS pad at Vandenburg and they have a smooth running operation there. They may not be abandoning it just yet. But I am going to make a point of seeing a Vandenburg launch soon, just in case it will be my final opportunity!
     
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  7. Mike1080i

    Mike1080i Member

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    #7 Mike1080i, Feb 2, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
    If I recall correctly both ranges are switching to Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS) for all vehicles. So SpaceX won't likely be the only company using AFTS by the time a polar trajectory is certified out of the Cape.
    I don't think a map showing the proposed ground track has been published, but there were a handful of polar orbit launches out of the Cape in the mid/late 60's. All Deltas off of LC-17.

    Tiros 9 - 22.01.1965 - inclination 96,4°
    Tiros 10 - 02.07.1965 - inclination 98,6°
    ESSA 1 - 03.02.1966 - inclination 97,9°
    ESSA 2 - 28.02.1966 - inclination 101°
    ESSA 9 - 26.02.1969 - inclination 101,8°
     
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  8. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    I can't give you the details prior to launch but here is a link to all past launch trajectories.

    General SpaceX Map [Raul] - Google My Maps
     
  9. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    I would guess that's a long way away, if at all. As launch frequency increases, demand for launch site increases as well. Especially with the mega-constellations needing a number of launches to polar orbits, it is unlikely SLC-40 will be able to handle that load. We know the government is slower than commercial entities as well, and they're a LONG way away from being able to cope with a constant weekly (let alone more frequent) launch frequency from any spaceport.

    And honestly, the cynic in me doesn't believe the USAF will be ok with decreasing operations at VAFB. There's a lot of people that work there.


    For the record, many launchers have self-destruct features--its imperative for solid boosters--though most are commanded and not automatic. IIRC, Ariane 5 had a whoop-sie a few years ago when it didn't auto destruct after going out of bounds... Also IIRC, Russian launchers forego self-destruct for the simpler solution commanding the motors off. I mean, never mind what happens when the thing lawn-darts into Kazakstan or wherever, but...
     

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