Launch News SpaceX Falcon 9 Return to Flight with 11 Orbcomm-2 satellites, December 21/22, 2015

Col_Klonk

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They should put a (drogue) chute on top, to help with vertical stability close to landing :thumbup:

Why.. are they trying to land on a ship ??? :rofl:
 
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MaverickSawyer

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Interesting... Blue Origin has Elon running scared and trying to prove he's still #1.
 

RisingFury

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Unlikely. Falcon 9 has received many vertical landing tests. I think the autopilot is ready for it and has been for a while.

I think the greatest danger now is that the landing leg fails at touchdown and the rocket tips over and falls.


That said, even if there's a failure, they'll be able to learn much more from it than they would over the sea, because they'll be able to inspect the parts. No salt water or anything :p
 

Col_Klonk

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Interesting... Blue Origin has Elon running scared and trying to prove he's still #1.
Well.. Blue Origin's 'lander' was a lot shorter = easier to control.

That SpaceX thing was big... even the side thrusters couldn't cope... Is SpaceX's auto lander ready..Not by a long shot :)
 

Thunder Chicken

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Interesting... Blue Origin has Elon running scared and trying to prove he's still #1.

Unlikely. Not knocking Blue Origin for what they did, but going straight up, tagging the Karman line, falling back and landing is much easier than accelerating a payload to suborbital velocity, hitting the brakes and flying back to the launch site.

SpaceX decided to jump into the deep end of the pool of reusable technology, and are attempting things NASA only dreamed of. Hypersonic retropropulsion is a bleeding edge technology, and they have actually pulled it off. They have come close to landing on barges twice. They're getting payloads to orbit for customers while testing stage reusability. The strut failure was a bad break (no pun intended), but thanks to their use of sensors they actually were able to identify the problem and resolve it.

I think they have a good chance of success both getting their customer's payload to orbit and getting their first stage back.
 

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SpaceX Preparing for Launch of “Significantly Improved” Falcon 9 by Jeff Foust.
December 15, 2015
Much of the attention on the upcoming launch has less to do with the launch vehicle’s return to flight or its payload, but rather with plans by SpaceX to attempt to recover the rocket’s first stage.
During a media tour of the Kennedy Space Center in early December, NASA officials said SpaceX was planning to land the first stage at a decommissioned launch site at Cape Canaveral called “Landing Complex 1” by SpaceX. Previous attempts to land the Falcon 9 first stage involved ships in the ocean downrange from the launch site.
...
FAA spokesman Hank Price directed questions about any requested changes to the launch license to SpaceX. Taylor, meanwhile, directed questions about license changes to the FAA.
http://spacenews.com/spacex-preparing-for-launch-of-significantly-improved-falcon-9/

As of the Dec. 15th date of this article, four days before the launch, SpaceX still had not received authorization to attempt a landing at the launch site. It is known though the landing barge is being prepared for another trip out to sea.

Bob Clark
 

Urwumpe

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As of the Dec. 15th date of this article, four days before the launch, SpaceX still had not received authorization to attempt a landing at the launch site. It is known though the landing barge is being prepared for another trip out to sea.

Could still be granted just shortly before launch. Still it is dubious which former launch complex SpaceX could be using there: Either they are too close to active launch sites or too close to history memorials, for example LC-14 is optimally far away from active launch sites and completely demolished, but hosts the Mercury Monument.
 

DaveS

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Could still be granted just shortly before launch. Still it is dubious which former launch complex SpaceX could be using there: Either they are too close to active launch sites or too close to history memorials, for example LC-14 is optimally far away from active launch sites and completely demolished, but hosts the Mercury Monument.
Yes it is known which former LC SpaceX is leasing for land returns: LC-13, a former Atlas-Agena launch complex.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Canaveral_Air_Force_Station_Launch_Complex_13
 
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Urwumpe

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Yes... looking a bit longer for the information helps... when searching for LC-13 you quickly find this: :facepalm:

New_Landing_Complex_1_sign_at_old_Launch_Complex_13_%2816619020720%29.jpg


Thank you, David!
 

Kyle

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LC-13:

Wouldn't be the first time a rocket has landed on that pad (although it would be the first intentional landing).
 

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The first (successful) rocket landing was in LC-5 :p
 

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And if the landing failed, they can blame it on the Triskaidekaphobia
 

PhantomCruiser

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Triskaidekaphobia is for "suckas".
But seriously, the autonomous drone ship is being towed out to sea.

I can't see a Falcon 9 doing an RTLS until it's been proven. Even then I think it'd have to be repeatable, rather than rely on it being luck (calm seas, prefect winds, plus the good graces of Demon Murphy).
 

RGClark

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And if the landing failed, they can blame it on the Triskaidekaphobia

Why 13?

The static fire did not happen yesterday:

ORBCOMM ‏@ORBCOMM_Inc 40m 40 minutes ago
Yesterday @SpaceX had a good run through of pad operations. Looking to static fire this afternoon (exact time TBD)
https://twitter.com/ORBCOMM_Inc/status/677518697112731648

If it does not happen today, the launch will have to be pushed back. Probably being super careful because of the engine upgrade.

That may also be why the FAA is hesitating giving it the go ahead on a return-to-launch-site landing.

Bob Clark
 

Thunder Chicken

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No news on the static fire yet. It doesn't seem the timeline is going to support a Saturday launch.
 
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