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SpaceX F9: ORBCOMM ORB-2 #1-6

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Falcon 9 First Stage Return | ORBCOMM Mission:

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Repeat from the other thread....

YESSssss ....

FALCON 9 ROCKET FIRST STAGE

Following last week's successful launch of six ORBCOMM satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket?s first stage reentered Earth?s atmosphere and soft landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This test confirms that the Falcon 9 booster is able consistently to reenter from space at hypersonic velocity, restart main engines twice, deploy landing legs and touch down at near zero velocity.

After landing, the vehicle tipped sideways as planned to its final water safing state in a nearly horizontal position. The water impact caused loss of hull integrity, but we received all the necessary data to achieve a successful landing on a future flight. Going forward, we are taking steps to minimize the build up of ice and spots on the camera housing in order to gather improved video on future launches.

At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment. However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which don?t allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode.

We will attempt our next water landing on flight 13 [CRS-4] of Falcon 9, but with a low probability of success. Flights 14 and 15 will attempt to land on a solid surface with an improved probability of success.

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~3 Months to land based touchdown! Sooner than I expected. That after quick turn around back to back Asia sat missions would be awesome!

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Wow....talk about a precision insertion.

Orbcomm pleased with SpaceX rocket performance

The six Orbcomm communications satellites launched last week are in good shape after an ultra-precise orbital delivery by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, according to Orbcomm's chief executive.

Marc Eisenberg, head of New Jersey-based Orbcomm Inc., said the Falcon 9 rocket placed its six payloads in an orbit just a half-kilometer off prelaunch predictions, ending up in an orbit with a high point of 740.5 kilometers (460 miles), a low point of 619.5 kilometers (385 miles) and an inclination five one-thousandths of a degree off the rocket's target of 47 degrees.

The satellites will not need to use extra propellant loaded into their fuel tanks to correct a potential orbit injection error, Eisenberg said.

He said "13 percent of our propellant was budgeted to correct a miscalculation in the insertion. We'll use none of it."

The extra fuel will add to the spacecraft's reserves, providing more maneuverability for the 375-pound satellites in orbit.

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This would be of the ORBCOMM first stage landing.

Foust is speaking of Steve Jurvetson, venture capitalist and SpaceX board member.

Jeff Foust @jeff_foust

Jurvetson showed video (not previously shown outside of SpaceX) of the reentry, ocean touchdown of latest F9 1st stage. #smallsat2014

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ORBCOMM landing video from chase plane

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