Falcon 9: Iridium NEXT #6/GRACE-FO (mission)


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DocM

Date: May 19, 2018 
Time: 1104 ET, 1304 PT (2104 UT)
Pad: Vandenberg SLC-4E
Core: B1043.2 (ZUMA)
Landing: no (2nd use Block 4)
Entry experiments: likely

Iridium NEXT #6
Number: 5 satellites
Mass (each): 860kg 
Dispenser: 500kg 
Orbit: 625km
Inclination: 86.66°
Mission: communications constellation

GRACE-FO (NASA/German DLR)
Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On 
Number: 2 satellutes
Mass (each): 580kg
Orbit: 490km
Inclination: 89°
Mission: "GRACE-FO, scheduled for launch in 2018, will continue the work of tracking Earth's water movement to monitor changes in underground water storage, the amount of water in large lakes and rivers, soil moisture, ice sheets and glaciers, and sea level caused by the addition of water to the ocean." 

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  • 3 weeks later...
DocM

New date: May 21
Time: 1253 PT, 1523 ET, 1923 UT

 

 

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Unobscured Vision

I love these Iridium launches. Getting so much done in one shot ... the model of efficiency. :jump:

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DocM

 

So, 15:47;58 Eastern

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DocM

Vertical for the static fire.

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DocM

 

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DocM

 

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Skiver

Has there ever been any footage of one of these recovery attempts? 

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DocM

Just a few pics of a fairing in the water, on deck, and one of a fairing under the parafoil. My favorite,

 

31070327_164427757566288_2666001116772171776_n.thumb.jpg.f53420c36f5afb9469b00bcb9531e777.jpg

 

 

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DocM

 

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DocM

NASA TV and webcast starts at 1215 PDT, 1515 EDT, 1915 UTC

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DocM

Smooth launch.

 

GRACE-FO 1&2 and Iridium NEXT #6 1-5 all deployed.

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DocM

 

Fairing deployed the parachute, but just missed the boat. Getting closer. 

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bguy_1986
1 hour ago, DocM said:

 

Fairing deployed the parachute, but just missed the boat. Getting closer. 

Is that what the awws were about on the video?

 

did they change something with the cameras on the second stage?  Quality hasn’t looked as good recently.

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Unobscured Vision

Looked to me like some outgassing in the camera view. Relatively minor thing but interesting to see.

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DocM
1 hour ago, bguy_1986 said:

Is that what the awws were about on the video?

 

First stage's demise. No recovery this time; second use, Block 4 etc.

1 hour ago, bguy_1986 said:

 

did they change something with the cameras on the second stage?  Quality hasn’t looked as good recently.

 

All the S2's are Block 5 now.

 

Speculation: they may have changed to cheaper cams now that F9 development is largely done. No need for diagnostics via razor sharp cams.

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