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posted by takyon on Wednesday October 11, @10:00PM   Printer-friendly

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1937

SpaceX will attempt the launch of EchoStar 105/SES-11 at 6:53 PM EDT (10:53 PM UTC). This is SpaceX's second launch attempt in 3 days, following the successful launch of 10 satellites for Iridium on Monday:

It's the third time SpaceX has used one of its landed boosters for a second flight — and if it sticks the landing again, it'll also be the third to have come safely back to Earth for a second time. The first reused Falcon 9 flew in March, with the second one following close behind in June. It's possible we'll see more used rockets fly before the year is out: earlier this year, Musk said the company could fly as many as six used boosters in 2017. Eventually, SpaceX hopes to refly its Falcon 9s much more frequently, by making a landed booster ready to fly again in just 24 hours.

Going up on this flight is a hybrid satellite that will be used by two companies, SES and EchoStar. Called EchoStar 105/SES-11, the satellite will sit in a high orbit 22,000 miles above Earth, providing high-definition broadcasts to the US and other parts of North America. While this is the first time EchoStar is flying a payload on a used Falcon 9, this is familiar territory for SES. The company's SES-10 satellite went up on the first "re-flight" in March. And SES has made it very clear that it is eager to fly its satellites on previously flown boosters.

SpaceX Webcast.

Update: Liftoff was successful and the first stage landed successfully on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Update 2: EchoStar 105/SES-11 successfully deployed.

Original Submission

Related Stories

Watch Live: SpaceX Attempts First of Two Launch Attempts in Three Days 2 comments

Sorry for the late submission, but I just read over at Ars Technica that SpaceX has scheduled two launches in the next 3 days -- the first of which is in less than 45 minutes from the time of this writing.

Company remains on pace for 20 launches this year, smashing previous records.

SpaceX has made 13 successful launches this year, and with every additional flight it continues to add to its record for total number of missions in a calendar year. The company's previous high-water mark for launches came in 2016, with eight. But SpaceX flew no additional missions after Sept. 1 last year, standing down following a fueling mishap that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket and its payload on the launch pad.

Now, SpaceX is going for two launches in three days. On Monday, the company will attempt to launch 10 satellites into orbit about 700km above the Earth for Iridium. Scheduled for 8:37a.m. ET, the launch will take place from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This is SpaceX's third of eight launches for Iridium, which is establishing a new constellation of communications satellites known as Iridium NEXT. After launching, SpaceX will attempt a return landing of the first stage aboard the "Just Read the Instructions" droneship in the Pacific Ocean. The webcast below should begin 15 to 20 minutes before the launch attempt.

Then, on Wednesday, SpaceX is scheduled to attempt a launch from Kennedy Space Center at 4:30pm ET. This mission will put the SES-11/EchoStar 105 satellite into geostationary orbit. One of the highlights of this flight is that SpaceX will be flying a "used" first stage booster—only the third time the company has attempted this. A droneship landing attempt in the Atlantic Ocean is anticipated.

The first launch, of the Iridium satellites can we watched live on YouTube.

[Update: The launch was successful, the first stage landed back on droneship with no issues, and all ten Iridium Next satellites were deployed successfully. - Fnord666]

Musk's Successful SpaceX Iridium Launch Brings It Closer to 2017 Target

Original Submission

Morgan Stanley Analysts See Big Value in SpaceX Following "Mundane" Launches 16 comments

Following SpaceX's nearly back-to-back rocket launches this week, Morgan Stanley analysts released a report praising SpaceX's reusable rocket technology and predicting a big valuation for the company. But the value is expected to be in satellite-based broadband rather than mundane and cheap rocket launches:

SpaceX could become a $50 billion juggernaut through its launch of a satellite broadband network, a team of Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a report Thursday. The private space company on Wednesday launched its 15th rocket this year, and the second this week. More importantly, the Falcon 9 rocket launch was the third time SpaceX reused the first stage booster, and with each of these so-called "flight-proven" launches, it should be easier to attract new customers.

Morgan Stanley says SpaceX developing reusable rockets is "an elevator to low Earth orbit." "When Elisha Otis demonstrated the safety elevator in 1854, the public may have struggled to comprehend the impact on architecture and city design. Roughly 20 years later, every multistory building in New York, Boston, and Chicago was constructed around a central elevator shaft," Morgan Stanley said. "It all comes down to SpaceX."

Reducing the cost to launch a satellite to about $60 million, from the $200 million that United Launch Alliance charged through most of the last decade, was a monumental breakthrough. SpaceX is trying to reduce its cost to $5 million per mission, and Morgan Stanley says the launch business "generates limited operating income." The cash cow, to Morgan Stanley, is the SpaceX plan to launch a satellite broadband network in two years and send humans to Mars in seven.

Counterpoint at Business Insider and an even higher guesstimate at NextBigFuture.

Previously: SpaceX Successfully Launches and Lands its Third Used Falcon 9 Rocket (Second Launch in Three Days)

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday October 11, @10:34PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday October 11, @10:34PM (#580828) Journal

    Electronic music until that point.

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday October 11, @10:54PM (8 children)

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday October 11, @10:54PM (#580834) Journal

    30km up

    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday October 11, @11:02PM (7 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday October 11, @11:02PM (#580837) Journal

      Stage 1 landed successfully. 18th successful landing of the Falcon 9 first stage.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @11:28PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @11:28PM (#580846)

        Congratulations to SpaceX!

        It's neat how this is essentially normal now.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Thursday October 12, @12:12AM (1 child)

          by bob_super (1357) on Thursday October 12, @12:12AM (#580864)

          Something wasn't quite right, though.
          There were sparkish things on the way down, just before they cut off the booster cam, and after landing, there was an unusual glow for a long time at the bottom.
          I'd guess something caught on fire in/near one of the engines during the supersonic re-entry (the thing is shaped like a cylinder, not aerodynamic at all).
          Yet, they still stuck the landing. Again.

          • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday October 12, @09:28AM

            by isostatic (365) on Thursday October 12, @09:28AM (#581046) Journal

            Yet, they still stuck the landing. Again.

            Yes, it's like trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet, wearing a blindfold. On a horse. Amazing stuff.

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday October 12, @12:16AM

          by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <> on Thursday October 12, @12:16AM (#580869) Journal

          I hope that Falcon 9 launches decline dramatically in price due to partial reuse, allowing universities and smaller companies to launch stuff.

          If not, there's this [].

          Falcon 9's full thrust mode is fully expendable, allowing more mass to be launched but without enough fuel for landing the booster(s).

          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday October 11, @11:29PM (2 children)

        by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday October 11, @11:29PM (#580847) Journal

        EchoStar 105/SES-11 successfully deployed.

        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
        • (Score: 2) by rylyeh on Wednesday October 11, @11:36PM (1 child)

          by rylyeh (6726) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday October 11, @11:36PM (#580849)

          Yay! I missed the web cast though :(

          don’t tell nobody, but I swar ter Gawd thet picter begun ta make me hungry fer victuals I couldn’t raise nor buy—
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by martyb on Thursday October 12, @03:09AM

            by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @03:09AM (#580943) Journal

            I missed the web cast though :(

            Typically, SpaceX uploads a video of the livestream after the actual launch. This launch was no exception. You can see it on YouTube [].

            NB: The first 10 minutes of the video contains the SpaceX logo and a starfield effect reminiscent of an old screen saver.


            Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday October 12, @11:08AM

    by isostatic (365) on Thursday October 12, @11:08AM (#581081) Journal

    Having played Kerbal Space Program I am a defacto rocket expert</sarcasm>

    So we had stage 1 launch from c. 90W, reach a suborbital trajectory, separate, wait a bit, fire retros, then land. Fine.

    Stage 2 ignited shortly after separation, then pushed it either into a longer suborbital, or into a low orbit. It then coasted to c. 0W, then reignited pushing into a GTO, with presumably an apssis at GEO and a peripis of LEO, with a peripis low enough that it would de-orbit in a couple of months. Also fine.

    I assume this means that when the satellite reaches GEO altitude, it will again fire, to push it into a circular orbit. Is this just with the satelite'ss manuvering thrusters? The second stage will return from GEO, graze the atmosphere at c. 200k peripis, which reduces its apsis down to GEO, and over the next few months will eventually change that apssis down to 200k, where it will then rather swiftly collapse into deeper atmosphere and burn up.