Launch News SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 with DSCOVR, February 11, 2015

C3PO

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Actually. Yes. There had never been really grave delays in NASAs launch schedules as long as NASA did not need another seven astronauts.

See how well selected definitions can help your argument? ;) Do delays in cancelled programmes count? Apples and oranges. :lol:
 

Urwumpe

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See how well selected definitions can help your argument? ;) Do delays in cancelled programmes count? Apples and oranges. :lol:

No, I just mean: If your launch manifest is delayed by three years or even more because your whole fleet of launch vehicles is grounded for three years after a fatal accident, it is a different kind of delay cause as the constant small bugs and procedural problems that SpaceX cites for their delays.

Of course NASA had delays. Even long delays. Like having to move a Shuttle back into the VAB after a hail storm damaged it. But did SpaceX encounter similar problems?

Technical problems with the Space Shuttle rarely resulted in weeks of delays - days, yes. NASA also never had the problem of launching only half of the planned launches for the year.
 

C3PO

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I know that SpaceX has been guilty of unrealistic expectations, but I'm quite sure that it's deliberate. I think the want to be perceived as the daring company that perseveres through difficulties and succeeds in the end, generating a lot of buzz in the process. It's just their style. I actually find it refreshing and it pushes competitors out of their rut.

I don't think comparing SpaceX to NASA makes that much sense. NASA is a customer that buys its launches from providers like SpaceX. Beating "Big Space" at their own game would take more $ than Musk could muster so they have to compete in other areas, and they seem to have chosen PR as a part of it. SpaceX is closer to the same league as Sierra, Orbital and Scaled, or maybe somewhere in between.
 

Urwumpe

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I know that SpaceX has been guilty of unrealistic expectations, but I'm quite sure that it's deliberate. I think the want to be perceived as the daring company that perseveres through difficulties and succeeds in the end, generating a lot of buzz in the process. It's just their style. I actually find it refreshing and it pushes competitors out of their rut.

Of course. Making such promises is part of Elon Musks business model.

But it is also a model that wears of. As long as you meet most of your goals, it works. But when you get "behind the throttle" your model will collapse, so you need to bail out of your visionary concept, sell it at the peak of its hype and let less visionary managers do it.

I don't think comparing SpaceX to NASA makes that much sense. NASA is a customer that buys its launches from providers like SpaceX. Beating "Big Space" at their own game would take more $ than Musk could muster so they have to compete in other areas, and they seem to have chosen PR as a part of it. SpaceX is closer to the same league as Sierra, Orbital and Scaled, or maybe somewhere in between.

Well, I would differ there: Yes, in general, you can't compare them.

In special fields though, you have to compare them, because they do it as well. When somebody claims that commercial spaceflight providers can be faster, cheaper and better than governmental spaceflight agencies, you have this comparison.

For example, SpaceX and NASA do both design rockets. But they do it with different goals and different external influences. But once you get to comparable processes, you can do that and should do that.

For example you could compare flight test campaigns, which are very similar in their goals for both.
 

C3PO

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In special fields though, you have to compare them, because they do it as well. When somebody claims that commercial spaceflight providers can be faster, cheaper and better than governmental spaceflight agencies, you have this comparison.

Of course you can compare them, and they deserve to have their "bluff" called after making those claims. I just don't find the politics as interesting as the stuff that goes "ROOOOOOAAARRRR". (even if it does go KABOOM once in a while) :)
 

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Doubt we'll see Falcon Heavy this year.

Falcon Heavy is scheduled to be launched from Launch Complex 39

Commerical launches are from Launch Complex 40 or Vandenburg (high inclination/Polar)

So isnt the pad thats the problem - IIRC Falcon Heavy was originally tasked for early 2015

Any idea what is the holdup
 

RisingFury

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Doubt we'll see Falcon Heavy this year.

Falcon Heavy is scheduled to be launched from Launch Complex 39

Commerical launches are from Launch Complex 40 or Vandenburg (high inclination/Polar)

So isnt the pad thats the problem - IIRC Falcon Heavy was originally tasked for early 2015

Any idea what is the holdup

It's the most badass rocket since Saturn V. That's the holdup. These things take time.
 

Andy44

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Actually. Yes. There had never been really grave delays in NASAs launch schedules as long as NASA did not need another seven astronauts. Even the sensitive Space Shuttle did result in less grave delays as the Falcon 9 series so far.

Well, there was the embarassment of Skylab crashing into Australia because NASA couldn't get that whole STS thingie going anywhere close to on time or under budget.

But seriously, this is cutting edge spaceflight. Expecting anyone to get new stuff off the pad on time is not realistic, at least not without the blank check of the Apollo program.
 
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Fabri91

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True, STS may have been late, but thinking now about how it was managed to develop a new spaceplane, new boosters, new cryogenic liquid fuel engines in slightly more than 10 years and starting around 10 years after the first manned spaceflight ever is mindboggling.
 

Galactic Penguin SST

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I will not lie - this launch really has standard wallpaper potential. :love:

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[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWnT5rINH-s"]SpaceX Falcon 9 DSCOVR Multiple Camera Launch View - YouTube[/ame]

I don't think anyone who participated in this project early on, including Al Gore, would have predicted that the history of this spacecraft would become so convoluted for 17 years after its proposal and that it would eventually launch on a rocket run by a company that didn't even exist when DSCOVR was completed! And now it is over 2 million km away from Earth, halfway through EM-L1; however given its declining velocity it won't reach the destination until June.
 

Galactic Penguin SST

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After an almost 4 month final leg of a 2 decade drama, the Deep Space Climate Observatory has finally reached SE-L1 late on Sunday and will start operations very soon. :cheers:

Nation’s first operational satellite in deep space reaches final orbit
Satellite expected to begin operations this summer


June 8, 2015

More than 100 days after it launched, NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite has reached its orbit position about one million miles from Earth.

Once final instrument checks are completed, DSCOVR, which will provide improved measurements of solar wind conditions to enhance NOAA’s ability to warn of potentially harmful solar activity, will be the nation’s first operational space weather satellite in deep space. Its orbit between Earth and the sun is at a location called the Lagrange point 1, or L1, which gives DSCOVR a unique vantage point to see the Earth and sun.

Data from DSCOVR, coupled with a new forecast model set to come online in 2016, will enable NOAA’s space weather forecasters to predict geomagnetic storm magnitude on a regional basis. Geomagnetic storms occur when plasma and magnetic fields streaming from the sun impact Earth’s magnetic field. Large magnetic eruptions from the sun have the potential to bring major disruptions to power grids, aviation, telecommunications, and GPS systems.

“DSCOVR will trigger early warnings whenever it detects a surge of energy that could cause a geomagnetic storm that could bring possible damaging impacts for Earth,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

DSCOVR will eventually replace NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) research satellite as America’s primary warning system for solar magnetic storms headed towards Earth. ACE will continue to provide valuable research data to the science community.

In addition to space weather-monitoring instruments, DSCOVR is carrying two NASA Earth-observing instruments that will gather a range of measurements from ozone and aerosol amounts, to changes in Earth's radiation budget—the balance between incoming radiation (largely from the sun) and that which is reflected from Earth. This balance affects our climate.

"DSCOVR has reached its final orbit and will soon be ready to begin its mission of space weather monitoring for NOAA and Earth observing for NASA," said Al Vernacchio, DSCOVR project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo., will begin using data from DSCOVR in its space weather forecasts as soon as DSCOVR is deemed operational.

The DSCOVR mission is a partnership between NOAA, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force provided the Space X Falcon 9 launch vehicle for the mission. NOAA will operate DSCOVR from its NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland, and process the space weather data at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) in Boulder, Colorado, one of NOAA’s nine National Centers for Environmental Prediction. SWPC will distribute these data to users within the United States and around the world. The data will be archived at NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information.

DSCOVR also hosts NASA-funded secondary sensors for Earth and space science observations. The Earth science data will be processed at NASA’s DSCOVR Science Operations Center and archived and distributed by NASA’s Atmospheric Science Data Center.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
 
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