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Default SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.2 with SES-9 March 4 2016
by Thunder Chicken 02-08-2016, 02:39 PM

Rescheduled for Friday March 4, 1835 EST - 2005 EST (2335 - 0105 UTC ).

Luxembourg-based SES, a communications satellite operator, is the client for this launch. SES-9 orbit and communications coverage can be found here:

http://www.ses.com/ses-9

SpaceX is pushing SES-9 to GTO, so flyback of the 1st stage won't be possible. Another 1st stage landing attempt will be made on their autonomous drone ship Of Course I Still Love You. Hopefully they have their legs figured out and don't run out of fuel before touchdown.

EDIT: Scrubbed on Feb. 24, rescheduled for Thursday February 25th, 18:46 EST (23:46 UTC).

EDIT #2: Scrubbed on Feb. 25, rescheduled for Sunday February 28th, 18:46 EST (23:46 UTC).

EDIT #3: Scrubbed on Feb. 28, range violation.

EDIT #4 Scrubbed on March 1, high altitude winds.

Livestream Webcast

http://livestream.com/spacex/events/4862005

Youtube (Full Webcast)



Youtube (Technical Webcast)



Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 03-01-2016 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 02-08-2016, 03:02 PM   #2
Lmoy
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They've finally finished rescheduling this launch, eh?
I'll definitely watch the livestream of the landing if they have one, even if just for the fireworks if they crash again.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:27 PM   #3
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Gwynne Shotwell says that they are anticipating production of thirty Falcon 9 cores this year, with launches every 2-3 weeks.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/02/...ch-rates-2016/

Even assuming Musk's hope of a 70% return success rate, that's nine RUDs.

I love it - cranking out rockets like sausages (thanks Khruschev for the meme!), Falcon 9 Heavy, fiery RUDs while still getting customers to orbit, and (hopefully) a lot of cool landings.

EDIT: In searching for Khruschev's "turning out missiles like sausages" speech, I found that rocket sausages are a thing. Looks like good finger food for watching launches.



---------- Post added at 04:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:21 PM ----------

AFAIK Jason-3 was the last Falcon 9 v1.1, so from here on we're on looking at v1.2s.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Chicken View Post
 AFAIK Jason-3 was the last Falcon 9 v1.1, so from here on we're on looking at v1.2s.
Or, if my suspicions are correct, v1.3s will soon supplant v1.2s, to reduce the rate of single-use recoverable boosters.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickSawyer View Post
 Or, if my suspicions are correct, v1.3s will soon supplant v1.2s, to reduce the rate of single-use recoverable boosters.
You do know that the Orbcomm stage was never meant to fly again - they wanted it for testing and examination? I agree that there will be a v1.3 at some point, but retooling their entire fleet based on one data point doesn't make sense.

There is likely a block production scheme (under the version number) where they can incorporate incremental improvements and retrofit existing cores post manufacturing.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Chicken View Post
 You do know that the Orbcomm stage was never meant to fly again - they wanted it for testing and examination? I agree that there will be a v1.3 at some point, but retooling their entire fleet based on one data point doesn't make sense.

There is likely a block production scheme (under the version number) where they can incorporate incremental improvements and retrofit existing cores post manufacturing.
Then why'd they say they needed to make the booster more robust?

As for the Block system... yeah, that'd be logical.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:20 AM   #7
Dantassii
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I read somewhere that during WW II, Germany was making dozens if not hundreds of flights with the V2 every week. Something like 3000-4000 V2s were launched in about 2 years time. Now granted, most of them didn't fly right or blew up or crashed, but consider if a modern rocket making company could mass produce their rockets and launch even 100 or 200 of them a year. If they could get it up to 1 rocket EVERY DAY, it would be like a fireworks display compared to what is done now.

And if you attempt to land the 1st stage of every one of these rockets either back at the launch site or out on a barge...

Just thinking,

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Old 02-09-2016, 03:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MaverickSawyer View Post
 Then why'd they say they needed to make the booster more robust?
Because that is what design engineers do - make designs more robust as more information comes available. "Low robustness" does not mean "inadequate design" - it means that improvements could be made based on better information about flight experience. Robustness improvements are likely what would be rolled into a block system and carried into future design variants. Otherwise, why are they ramping up production of the v1.2 (full-thrust or FT) variant and indicate it as the launch vehicle for its manifest through 2017?

Put it this way - the C-130A was first built in the early 50s. They are still building C-130J variants today based on over 60 years of service experience. Was the C-130A inadequate? Hell no. Is the the C-130J a much more robustly capable aircraft compared to those early variants? Absolutely. Did they wait until the next model variant to make performance upgrades? Absolutely not - upgrades requiring minor modification, particularly ones that could be made in the field, were pushed out as block upgrades and incorporated into the current model coming off the line.

---------- Post added at 10:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:36 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dantassii View Post
 And if you attempt to land the 1st stage of every one of these rockets either back at the launch site or out on a barge...
I do have to wonder how long those barges are going to last if 30% of the stages that attempt to land on them crash and explode. I know the pieces are getting larger after every crash, but still.

Last edited by Thunder Chicken; 02-09-2016 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:58 AM   #9
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 I do have to wonder how long those barges are going to last if 30% of the stages that attempt to land on them crash and explode. I know the pieces are getting larger after every crash, but still.
Build an artificial island.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:52 AM   #10
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 Build an artificial island.
Paint a dartboard on each pad and start taking bets?
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder Chicken View Post
 I do have to wonder how long those barges are going to last if 30% of the stages that attempt to land on them crash and explode. I know the pieces are getting larger after every crash, but still.
30%... you are generous I'd place it at 75%+
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:08 PM   #12
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 Build an artificial island.
You'd need a couple to allow variable inclination.

Maybe if the crash enough stages they'll make islands in the right places naturally?
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:12 PM   #13
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 I do have to wonder how long those barges are going to last if 30% of the stages that attempt to land on them crash and explode. I know the pieces are getting larger after every crash, but still.
Those can take a lot of punishment. Essentially, you can completely rip the deck off them and install a new one, should the old deck be too damaged to repair. And repairing is just cutting bend metal away and weld new metal on top....
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
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 You'd need a couple (islands) to allow variable inclination.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:27 AM   #15
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Thunder Chicken

Still flying DC 3 some 80 years after first flight

Flew in one back in 1980's on dive trip to one of the outer Bahama islands
(San Salvador) - interesting flight . Had character compared to modern
jet aircraft........
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