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Falcon 9 - AsiaSat 8 (MISSION THREAD)

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Currently targeting August 3, 2014

Only 20 days after ORBCOMM, if it goes off on time they may try launching AsiaSat 6 before Dragon CRS-4 in early September..

Launch window: TBD, late evening EDT - early morning UTC.

No landing attempt with this launch as it's a big honkin' GTO communications satellite leaving no propellant margins.

AsiaSat 8 info,

http://www.asiasat.com/asiasat/contentView.php?section=216〈=0

AsiaSat 8

The most powerful among AsiaSat satellites with multiple Ku beams

AsiaSat 8 is designed to be co-located with AsiaSat 7 at the orbital location of 105.5 degrees East. This new satellite is a Space Systems/Loral 1300 series satellite, to be equipped with 24 Ku-band transponders and a Ka-band payload. Co-locating with AsiaSat 7, Asias most established satellite platform for Middle Eastern, European, Asian and international programming, AsiaSat 8 will provide exceptional power and additional Ku beam coverage with inter-beam switching capability for services including DTH television, private networks and broadband services. AsiaSat 8, planned to be launched in the first half of 2014, will be the most powerful member of AsiaSats fleet, with a payload power of about 8,500 watts.

AsiaSat 8

AsiaSat8_L4.JPG

asiasat-6__1.jpg

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We have a date,

Falcon 9 / ASIASAT-8

Launch: August 4, 2014

Locale: KSC LC-40

Window: 0125-0325 Local (EDT)

Range Approved

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Looks like both AsiaSat 8 and AsiaSat 6 have been ready to ship since March, perfect for an accelerated back-to-back campaign before Dragon CRS-4.

Also found out the LS-1300 bus is larger than I thought. It's a total brick at ~6,700kg, depending on what they hang on it.

http://spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/010/140421manifest/#.U8k-hXrD_qA

AsiaSat 8 and AsiaSat 6 each passed a "pre-ship review" in early March, a milestone marking the completion of manufacturing and testing of a satellite before shipment to the launch site, according to Roger Tong, AsiaSat's vice president of engineering and operations.

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6700kg to GTO? SpaceX lists the F9 as being able to deliver only 4850kg to GTO. I know SES signed contracts for payloads 10% heavier, but 6700 is quite a bit more.

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Yeah, that chassis is a brick. Two factors,

1) most all of F9's margins are going to be used. That pushes the F9's mass to all orbits WAY up. In this mode its LEO performance is almost 17,000 kg. Still short for the regular GTO orbit for a sat this size though.

2) the new AsiaSats have an ion drive, an electric space drive using Hall Effect ion thrusters. This allows options, one being the launcher to put it into a super-synchronous transfer orbit**, which the satellites propulsion can then circularize to GEO.

A LOT of satellites are getting ion thrusters of various types, ranging from big Hall Effect or plasma thrusters to postage stamp size units for cubesats. These open up a lot of cheap launcher and deorbit (space junk mitigation) options.

Sci-Fi fans know ion or plasma drives by another name: impulse drive, as in Star Trek but not as high powered. Trek uses a fusion pumped ion/plasma drive and guess what? That too is coming with 2 groups working on it. Try a Mars trip in under 40 days.

** a perigee of a few hundred kilometers, but an apogee of 90,000+ km. Paradoxically, this lowers the required launcher delta-v performance from 1800 km/s to only 1500 km/s.

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Falcon 9 - AsiaSat 8

Local = EDT

Static fire: July 29, 1300 Local

Launch: August 4, 0125-0325 Local, 0525-0725 GMT (Range Approved)

Alternate launch: August 5, 0125-0325 Local, 0525-0725 GMT

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I know that F9v1.1 has an overcapacity.

Almost 2000 kg more to geo is a lot.

I suppose that they take measures to save weight like leaving the landing legs of the booster ?

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Check 2 posrs above your post.

The satellite has hypergolic thrusters that help with getting the extra 300 km/s of delta-v required (1500 to 1800) to go from the supersynchronous transfer orbit to GEO, then it uses an ion drive for station keeping in GEO.

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I already did read those.

So they keep the leg configuration.

And two launches in one month, i hope they pull it off.

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No legs on AsiaSats, not enough propellant. The next legs are CRS-4.

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So i image they do everything to save weight on the booster.

No legs, no fuel for the thrusters etc.

i heard the upper stage has a fuel margin as well, are they going to top it off ?

Cool the propellant for higher density ?

6700 kg to geo, arianespace must have bellyache...

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And just think, a Falcon Heavy Reusable (FHR) will be able to do >7,000 kg to GTO without orbital shenanigans. FHR will be the default configuration from the get-go.

Arianespace members are talking about a major restructuring because of competition from SpaceX, Blue Origin on a ramp up to their EELV class reusable booster and the expected Antares upgrade. Headaches all around.

There's a possibility of a short slip in the AsiaSat 8 launch date.

The problem isn't with SpaceX but with a Delta IV launch that has slipped 3 times (and counting). Next try Monday, maybe.

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Delayed to August 5.

Bumped by an Atlas V launch, which in turn was bumped several times by a Delta IV scrubbing.

This is why they want the Texas spaceport so badly.

@SCLAUNCH321

Range schedule change:

falcon static fire 7/31

Atlas launch 8/1 2323-2341

Falcon launch 8/5 0125-0325 **

https://twitter.com/SCLAUNCH321/status/494183165276069890

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F9 is upright on the pad for the static fire test.

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Weather is at 70% for an Aug. 5 0125-0325-Local launch. Hurricane Bertha is 550+ miles NorthEast and heading North.

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Prop load should have started.

enuqu7un.jpg

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Well, another last moment abort... This is really the sort of thing they neer to get under control :(

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Sensor picked up a slightly off hydraulic reading.

Never know with those if it's the sensor or the system, so the computer is told to play it safe with that $100m payload.

Recycling the count to T-20 minutes. Another attempt after 0300 Local.

There's time as the launch window was extended a couple of days ago. Window closes at 0811 UTC (0611 EDT).

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End of window is 0411 Eastern, not 0611. Typo.

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Counting down for a T-0 of 0400 Eastern.

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Liftoff!!

MECO, stage 2 separation

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Nice and clean launch there :)

 

Fairing sep was good also!

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SECO-1, in orbit, orbital parameters good. GTO insertion burn later.

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