Falcon 9R: NROL-76 (US NRO spy satellite) mission thread


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Yep, did a great job. ULA says more than SpaceX does during a NRO launch, but SpaceX made it way more entertaining. Nicely done. :yes: 

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Hmm .. some discussion about the S1 being 4 seconds early on staging and 10 m/s too fast. I'm betting on a light payload myself. A 10m/s overcook would get ya +30km overshot on Apogee ... no biggie. Sounded like they were expecting 130-ish km peak on their arc.

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2 minutes ago, DocM said:

Maybe a block upgrade to 4?

That's the hubub. I'm not going to give it a yea until confirmed though. [REDACTED] orbitals along with a light bird would explain it without needing Block 4, though. :) Sure are some spiffy software upgrades it was showing off today ... that flip was sheer stuntwork, and dropping the landing legs when it did was something we'd never seen before. Obviously different behavior than previous.

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That's why I mentioned Block 4, which is a short termer anyhow with Block 5 coming later this year.

 

But yeah, that was a helluva piece of aerobatics.

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Hmm ... now that I think about it, SpaceX did say that NRO/Gov launches would be using Block 4 beginning in 2Q 2017 then going all Block 5 by the fall ... think it was last fall we were discussing that during the whole speculation thing about Block 5's performance.

 

Heh. It'd be just like them to debut it and not say anything about it. Just smile and carry on like nothing.

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