Another Falcon Heavy Launch Coming Up

#11
About 25 minutes from the opening of the launch window. The Falcon Heavy is being fueled and vapor is visible venting from it.

Live here

http://kerbalspaceacademy.com/live

Edit: Beautiful launch. Both side boosters have returned and landed simultaneously at Cape Canaveral. The center core has landed successfully on the SpaceX landing barge out in the Atlantic. And the satellite is in orbit! A perfect day for SpaceX!

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/stat...4669901829

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/409596178

Quote:A perfect day for SpaceX!

In more good news for SpaceX, today NASA announced that SpaceX is the winning bidder to launch NASA's 'Double Asteroid Redirection Test' (DART) mission. This one proposes to crash a spacecraft at very high relative velocity into a very small (150 meter) asteroid to see how much they can deflect its orbit by kinetic energy alone. It's one of several plans that NASA is working on to protect Earth from asteroid collision. While this is obviously a very small asteroid, they are the ones statistically most likely to hit our planet. And you don't have to change the velocity of the asteroid very much if you can hit it far enough away. Planets are tiny things in the vastness of space. Even a tiny velocity change might be the difference between hitting and missing the Earth.

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-...st-mission

https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/dart

Hey, you can all laugh, but when the world needs protection from a marauding asteroid, everyone's gonna be demanding "Where's NASA?" CC will be delighted to know that this is one of the missions of NASA Planetary Defense. Our Space Guard!

https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/overview
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#12
It's being reported that the Falcon Heavy center core that successfully landed on SpaceX's landing barge out in the Atlantic has been lost. RIP B1055.

It fell overboard when the barge encountered rough seas as it was being towed back. Apparently there's a tie-down system that grabs the landing legs and supposedly secures them. (SpaceX calls it the "Octagrabber".) But it failed to get a secure hold on the Falcon Heavy center core because its landing legs were a little different than the normal Falcon core's legs.

https://www.space.com/spacex-loses-falco...t-sea.html
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#13
(Apr 16, 2019 07:14 PM)Yazata Wrote: It's being reported that the Falcon Heavy center core that successfully landed on SpaceX's landing barge out in the Atlantic has been lost. RIP B1055.

It fell overboard when the barge encountered rough seas as it was being towed back. Apparently there's a tie-down system that grabs the landing legs and supposedly secures them. (SpaceX calls it the "Octagrabber".) But it failed to get a secure hold on the Falcon Heavy center core because its landing legs were a little different than the normal Falcon core's legs.

https://twitter.com/lorengrush/status/11...5493145600


When watching it touchdown (or after the fact, due to a video glitch) I was wondering how it could avoid being tipped over eventually on that bare-minimum platform the barge provided. Even taking into consideration that they assuredly had to have a system for securing it, whatever the latter was still had to be flirting with the edge of being insufficient under certain conditions. That it was caused by the legs being different means that some re-engineering can at least get back to the success rate that the conventional Falcon had. (Which appearance-wise standing on the paltry dimensions of that platform and rough-rocking barge, still doesn't exactly instill unmitigated confidence in the causal observer.)

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#14
(Apr 16, 2019 08:27 PM)C C Wrote:
(Apr 16, 2019 07:14 PM)Yazata Wrote: It's being reported that the Falcon Heavy center core that successfully landed on SpaceX's landing barge out in the Atlantic has been lost. RIP B1055.

It fell overboard when the barge encountered rough seas as it was being towed back. Apparently there's a tie-down system that grabs the landing legs and supposedly secures them. (SpaceX calls it the "Octagrabber".) But it failed to get a secure hold on the Falcon Heavy center core because its landing legs were a little different than the normal Falcon core's legs.

https://twitter.com/lorengrush/status/11...5493145600


When watching it touchdown (or after the fact, due to a video glitch) I was wondering how it could avoid being tipped over eventually on that bare-minimum platform the barge provided.

The seagoing landing pad isn't very big. And reportedly the first stage is something like 14 stories tall. (An entire Falcon 9 stack is 70 meters.) So a returned booster is probably pretty top-heavy. Causing one to topple over probably isn't very hard. Put the landing pad in big waves and if the Octagrabber isn't grabbing, you got problems.


[Image: zn92cjz5mmHLLodaoMvM7W-970-80.jpg]


Quote:Even taking into consideration that they assuredly had to have a system for securing it, whatever the latter was still had to be flirting with the edge of being insufficient under certain conditions.

Yes, that was proven very true today.

Quote:That it was caused by the legs being different means that some re-engineering can at least get back to the success rate that the conventional Falcon had. (Which appearance-wise standing on the paltry dimensions of that platform and rough-rocking barge, still doesn't exactly instill unmitigated confidence in the causal observer.)

They say that SpaceX's engineering geeks are already working on mods to the Octagrabber. They should have a better system ready to deploy by the time the third Falcon Heavy flies (in June?) for the US Air Force... hopefully.
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#15
The latest scoop:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1118016410586771456

Tim the Everyday Astronaut asked:

"@elonmusk can the octagrabber be used with the FH center core or is this just a rumor? If it can't be used with the center core, are there plans to make changes so the octagrabber can be used?"

Elon Musk replied:

"It can, but the attachment fixtures are different from standard F9 & they weren't ready in time."

Somebody else asked:

"Will you guys attempt to recover any sections of the core or is it likely to be a total loss?"

Elon Musk replies:

"Engines seem ok, pending inspection."

https://twitter.com/i/status/1117918186777628672
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#16
(Apr 9, 2019 05:11 AM)Yazata Wrote: The Radarsats are a 'constellation' of three Canadian Earth-observation satellites operated by the Canadian Space Agency. They can detect shipping, ice in northern Canadian waters and stuff like that. The Canadian military use Radarsat data in a project that they call Polar Epsilon, to maintain surveillance of the remote Canadian north which is so big and so remote that anybody could be doing anything up there without Ottawa knowing.

So B1051 might get cleaned up if customers are paying. Or maybe not. The Canadians are our next door neighbors (oops, neighbours) and they already know how slovenly we are.)

Canadians! In California!!

Here's a video about transporting the Radarsats from outside Montreal, there they were manufactured by a company called MDA (a Canadian subsidiary of Maxar), to Palo Alto California (near me) where they will be prepped for launch by SSL (formerly Space Systems Loral, another subsidiary of Maxar and perhaps the world's largest commercial satellite and spacecraft manufacturer), prior to their launch by SpaceX from Vandenburg (down near Santa Barbara) in June.

https://vimeo.com/314603588

I'm thinking that if the three Radarsats are to launch from Vandenburg and B1051 is at Cape Canaveral, they might use a different booster, one that's already at Vandenburg or down in Hawthorne, rather then transporting B1051 across country.
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#17
The Canadian Radarsats are down at Vandenberg being fitted into their launch fairings. Watch a little promo-video from the Canadian Space Agency here:

https://twitter.com/csa_asc/status/1135992189304082432

They are currently slated to be launched from Vandenberg on Wednesday June 12th (not 11th) at 10:17 AM EDT (7:17 AM PDT) on a SpaceX Falcon 9. Hopefully there will be a live-feed on the Spacex.com website. Unfortunately, Vandenberg is notorious for early morning fog. The rockets don't care, but it makes launches hard to see in many videos. I assume that the booster will attempt a landing so that will be something to watch for. Deploying these big satellites in space should be something to see too.

https://twitter.com/csa_asc/status/1136380494134874113

Still not sure which booster is gonna do this deed.

CSA photo:


[Image: D8YhroOXYAYiseV.jpg]
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#18
If you won't settle for anything less than a Falcon Heavy launch, the third of those is coming up at Cape Canaveral.

https://www.spacex.com/stp-2

This is a mission for the US Department of Defense called STP-2 (Space Test Program 2). It proposes to launch 24 separate satellites into a variety of orbits requiring a succession of upper stage burns. So it will be complicated. There's an animation of the launch and satellite deployment at the webpage above.

The two side boosters are going to be the same ones that successfully returned to Cape Canaveral from the last Falcon Heavy mission. The center core will be new, since the first two center cores didn't make it. (The first crashed when its landing burn didn't ignite, and the second landed successfully but toppled off the landing barge in rough seas. Hopefully SpaceX's Octagrabber robot will get a better grip on this one.)

https://twitter.com/AF_SMC/status/1136065718250643456

Tentatively penciled in for June 22/23 launch.

https://spaceflightnow.com/launch-schedule/
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#19
The Radarsats are scheduled to launch tomorrow morning at dawn California time with a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg. Launch window opens at 7:17 AM PDT (10:17 EDT, 14:17 UTC). The booster is the cleaned-up (but still kind of smudgy) veteran B1051, last seen all black and sooty in a Cape Canaveral hanger after delivering Little Earth to the Space Station. It's slated to return tomorrow morning to land at LZ-4 at Vandenberg right down the hill from the pad where it left. (SpaceX photo)


[Image: D80UeEfV4AAHTNO.jpg]


Here's where the SpaceX live feed will be:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A2nJd9Urk8

Tim the Everyday Astronaut will have it on youtube with his own commentary (link here):

https://twitter.com/Erdayastronaut/statu...1749558273

SpaceX press kit that describes the mission and the sequence of events:

https://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/file...ss_kit.pdf
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#20
(Jun 12, 2019 04:03 AM)Yazata Wrote: The Radarsats are scheduled to launch tomorrow morning at dawn California time with a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg. Launch window opens at 7:17 AM PDT (10:17 EDT, 14:17 UTC). The booster is the cleaned-up (but still kind of smudgy) veteran B1051, last seen all black and sooty in a Cape Canaveral hanger after delivering Little Earth to the Space Station. It's slated to return tomorrow morning to land at LZ-4 at Vandenberg right down the hill from the pad where it left. (SpaceX photo)


[Image: D80UeEfV4AAHTNO.jpg]


Here's where the SpaceX live feed will be:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A2nJd9Urk8

Tim the Everyday Astronaut will have it on youtube with his own commentary (link here):

https://twitter.com/Erdayastronaut/statu...1749558273

SpaceX press kit that describes the mission and the sequence of events:

https://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/file...ss_kit.pdf

That is odd how it's still kind of smudgy. Understandable if it was just a test-flight of something, but it's got a satellite payload. Just for promotional commercial purposes of attracting more customers in the future, you'd think they'd want it decked out in pristine attire rather than looking a tad shabbily dressed. Maybe the deadline just came up too quick for a good outer refurbishing.
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