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Orbcomm G2 (x11) - Falcon 9 v1.2 - Canaveral SLC-40 - 20.12.2015 01:25 UTC
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SpaceX Changes its Falcon 9 Return-to-flight Plans
by Peter B. de Selding — October 16, 2015
Falcon 9 in SpaceX's Cape Canaveral hangar in advance of the 2014 Orbcomm OG2 Mission 1. Credit: SpaceX  

JERUSALEM – SpaceX on Oct. 16 said it had changed its Falcon 9  return-to-flight plans and would first launch 11 small Orbcomm messaging satellites into low Earth orbit, and then test reignition of the rocket’s redesigned second-stage engine during the same flight before launching SES’s heavier telecommunications satellite into higher orbit, a mission that will need the reignition capability.
Luxembourg-based SES said the company was comfortable with ceding its slot to Rochelle Park, New Jersey-based Orbcomm, especially since SpaceX has said it can launch the SES-9 telecommunications satellite into geostationary orbit in late December.
Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX said the Orbcomm launch would occur by mid-December, meaning the company will proceed with full development of at least two Falcon 9 Upgrade vehicles and launch SES within a couple of weeks of the Orbcomm mission.
SES-9 is a high priority at SES. The delay in the launch — it was supposed to occur by September at the latest —is one reason why SES has trimmed its 2016 revenue projections.
SES spokesman Markus Payer said Oct. 16 that while the company wanted SES-9 in service as soon as possible, it was not inclined to disagree with SpaceX about the risk profile of the return to flight and the advisability of a real-world test of the second-stage engine’s reignition.
“At the end of the day, if the launch provider tells you this is the way they would prefer to proceed, then we take that seriously,” Payer said. “We are working toward a late-December launch.”
SpaceX is returning to flight after a June failure not with the same rocket that failed, but a modified version known variously as Falcon 9 Upgrade and Falcon 9 v1.2. The main purpose of the upgrade is to give Falcon 9 about 30 percent more power. It can then use the extra muscle to return the rocket’s first stage to a landing platform even after missions to geostationary orbit.
The Falcon v1.1, which will be used only once more, for a low-orbit mission for NASA, does not have sufficient power to perform a geostationary transfer orbit mission and a return of the rocket’s first stage, a maneuver that consumes substantial fuel on its own.
In a statement, Orbcomm Chief Executive Marc Eisenberg said, “We are excited to launch our 11 OG2 [Orbcomm second generation] satellites aboard SpaceX’s newly upgraded Falcon 9 rocket and have full confidence in SpaceX and their dedication to this launch.”
The Falcon 9 Upgrade features changes throughout the vehicle with the exception of the payload fairing. On the second stage, the enhancements include increased engine thrust, a longer nozzle and a longer second stage overall.
The decision to switch customers suggests that beneath the confidence routinely demonstrated by SpaceX officials lies a prudence that may have been enhanced by the June failure. SpaceX and SES have known for many months about the upgraded vehicle’s novelties and test campaign.
SpaceX issued the following statement explaining its decision.

“As we prepare for return to flight, SpaceX together with its customers SES and Orbcomm have evaluated opportunities to optimize the readiness of the upcoming Falcon 9 return-to-flight mission.  All parties have mutually agreed that SpaceX will now fly the Orbcomm-2 mission on the return-to-flight Falcon 9 vehicle.
“The Orbcomm-2 mission does not require a relight of the second stage engine following orbital insertion. Flying the Orbcomm-2 mission first will therefore allow SpaceX to conduct an on-orbit test of the second stage relight system after the Orbcomm-2 satellites have been safely deployed. This on-orbit test, combined with the current qualification program to be completed prior to launch, will further validate the second stage relight system and allow for optimization of the upcoming SES-9 mission and following missions to  geosynchronous transfer orbit.
“This change does not affect the timeline for SpaceX’s return-to-flight mission which is still targeted to take place in the next 6-8 weeks. The SES-9 launch is currently targeted for late December 2015.”
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Orbcomm first in Falcon 9’s return-to-flight launch queue
Marc Eisenberg ‏@Marc944Marc
Give us a ride, we're good to go @elonmusk @SpaceX

13:58 - 19 окт. 2015 г.  
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Moog has shipped the Satellite Dispenser to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to support ORBCOMM Generation 2 satellites
26 October 2015  
East Aurora, N.Y., 26 October 2015

Moog Inc. (NYSE: MOG.A and MOG.B) Space and Defense Group has shipped the Satellite Dispenser to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) to support the launch of eleven ORBCOMM (Nasdaq: ORBC) Generation 2 (OG2) satellites.  The launch will take place in the coming weeks from Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) atop a dedicated SpaceX Falcon 9, completing ORBCOMM’s next generation satellite constellation.  A Moog dispenser supported the previous successful launch of six ORBCOMM OG2 satellites on July 14, 2014.

Both launches rely on a modular Satellite Dispenser built on multiple Moog EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) rings. The Dispenser protects the entire payload “stack” from launch vehicle vibrations and shock using a Moog SoftRide vibration isolation system. In addition, Moog provided the Dispenser electrical harness and will be performing the integration of the Dispenser/spacecraft assembly at the SpaceX CCAFS facility.

The Moog ESPA, first launched in 2007, has established standards for secondary payloads, spawning the standard of “ESPA class” spacecraft. This versatile design can be used for Ride Share opportunities, multiple payload launches as with OG2, a modular spacecraft structural bus as with LCROSS, or the platform for a “free flyer” as for the Air Force EAGLE program. ESPA has enabled missions from Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) to the Moon.

The Moog SoftRide system has flown over 30 times since 1998 on ten different launch vehicles, isolating spacecraft and payloads from the rough launch vibration, shock, and structure-borne acoustic environment associated with the launch.  The SoftRide system uses a series of isolators ‘tuned’ to the launch vehicle environment and properties of the payload, in this case three ESPAs and eleven OG2 spacecraft. The SoftRide system allows the spacecraft design to be focused on the mission and not the first several minutes of the launch.

Moog engineers and technicians will be performing launch site integration of the spacecraft to the ESPA/SoftRide Dispenser in the next few weeks.  Moog engineers will perform the mechanical integration of the OG2 spacecraft to the ESPAs and electrical harnessing and checkouts for the dispensing system that deploys the spacecraft into the correct orbits.

Moog Inc. is a worldwide designer, manufacturer, and integrator of precision control components and systems. Moog’s high-performance systems control military and commercial aircraft, satellites and space vehicles, launch vehicles, missiles, automated industrial machinery, wind energy, marine and medical equipment. Additional information about the company can be found at www.moog.com. Additional information about Moog’s Space Sector can be found at www.moog.com/space.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Peter B. de Selding ‏@pbdes
SpaceX President Shotwell Oct 27 at CASBAA convention: Current target is early Dec for Falcon 9 v1.2 Full Thrust upgrade w/ Orbcomm sats.

0:48 - 27 окт. 2015 г.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Chris B - NSF ‏@NASASpaceflight
Reports of a three minute rumble from the SpaceX test stand! (Should be Falcon 9 ORBCOMM-2 Full Thrust First Stage) http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38149.msg1439815#msg1439815 …

17:46 - 27 окт. 2015 г.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Chris B - NSF ‏@NASASpaceflight  
No overnight confirmation the rumble at McGregor was F9 First Stage. Rocket Cows are currently "moo comment". ;) #PatienceRequired

 6:43 - 28 окт. 2015 г.  
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Marc Eisenberg ‏@Marc944Marc

First six satellites headed to the Cape  

 18:33 - 2 нояб. 2015 г.
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Marc Eisenberg ‏@Marc944Marc
Moog espa rings stacked and preparing for the integration to #OG2 satellites next week.

 5:50 - 4 нояб. 2015 г.  
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
CEO of ORBCOMM: launch date for OG2 "roughly four to five weeks from today" (self.spacex)
отправлено 4 часа назад автор frowawayduh

In the ORBCOMM earnings call today, there was a discussion of the upcoming launch.
OG2 an ideal candidate for return to flight (RTF). Mass to orbit is 50% less than most SpaceX missions, providing margins that make it ideal for RTF. Repeat of July 2014 mission reduces unknowns. RTF missions generally have higher success rates than other missions. Second batch of satellites will ship in the next few days for attachment to dispenser and integration. ORBCOMM expect to announce a specific launch date in the next couple weeks. Expect a late night launch.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Orbcomm Expects December SpaceX Launch To Fill ‘Hole in the Sky’
by Peter B. de Selding — November 6, 2015
Orbcomm’s coverage (which changes due to satellite movement) after its Orbcomm Generation 2 (OG2) satellites are all in place. Credit: Orbcomm  

PARIS — Satellite machine-to-machine (M2M) messaging provider Orbcomm Inc. on Nov. 5 said it remained cautiously optimistic that launch service provider SpaceX will return to flight in December with a new-version Falcon 9 by launching 11 Orbcomm second-generation satellites.
The launch will complete Rochelle Park, New Jersey-based Orbcomm’s second-generation constellation after the six satellites launched aboard Falcon 9 in July 2014.
Orbcomm had expected to be second or third on the flight manifest following Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX’s June launch failure. But in October, Orbcomm, SpaceX and SpaceX’s putative return-to-flight customer, fleet operator SES of Luxembourg, agreed to switch the two launches’ order to allow SpaceX to test reignition of the upgraded Falcon 9’s second-stage engine.
Orbcomm’s satellites will be dropped off at about 600 kilometers in altitude some 14 minutes after the Falcon 9 lifts off, after a single burn of the second-stage engine. The second stage then will test a 20-minute coast and reignition, which will be required to launch heavy satellites, like SES’s, into geostationary transfer orbit.
The 11-satellite Orbcomm payload, including the satellite dispenser, is about one-half the weight of a single large telecommunications satellite headed to geostationary orbit.
The new-version Falcon 9 has more-powerful first- and second-stage engines.

Orbcomm Chief Executive Marc J. Eisenberg

In a conference call with investors, Orbcomm Chief Executive Marc J. Eisenberg said he expected the launch to occur in the first half of December. “While there is still some work to be done, primarily on the SpaceX side, December is achievable as long as their preparation continues to go well,” he said.
One of the most immediate effects of placing into service the full second-generation Orbcomm constellation will be filling what Eisenberg called “a hole in the sky” that has caused service delays for some customers.
In particular, subscribers to Orbcomm’s Automatic Information System marine vessel tracking service will see increased flyovers of a given sea lane, to 135 flights per day, with AIS data refresh rates increased to once every 15 minutes, Eisenberg said.
Increased visibility of ships means more AIS revenue. Orbcomm has said its current annualized $5.6 million in AIS revenue will be growing to $10 million to $15 million over time once all 17 second-generation satellites are in service starting in 2016. The company reported that AIS-based revenue for the three months ending Sept. 30 was $1.4 million.
AIS is a side business for Orbcomm, whose focus is to sell service and hardware related to tracking commercial assets on land and sea. Eisenberg said the company would be using its technology to track the arrival, by road, of the 11 remaining satellites as they leave the Nevada facility of builder Sierra Nevada Corp. and head to the launch base at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Orbcomm has been growing its asset-tracking business rapidly in part due to acquisitions as it seeks scale in an exploding M2M market in which new competition appears regularly.
Eisenberg said Orbcomm has some 40 patents covering different aspects of cargo monitoring by satellite and asset monitoring that should provide protection against incursions by new competitors.

Falcon 9 in SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral hangar in advance of the Orbcomm OG2 Mission 1. Credit: SpaceX

“We’ve had three or four occasions where we thought there were patent violations,” Eisenberg said. “We’ve been pretty successful in defending our patents.”
Helped by two acquisitions that closed early this year, Orbcomm reported huge increases in revenue, gross profit and net income. Stripping away the effects of the new purchases, the company grew its organic revenue by 33 percent in the three months ending Sept. 30.
Orbcomm Chief Financial Officer Robert G. Costantini said during the call that Orbcomm expects to spend $40 million at the end of this year in costs related to the delivery, launch and insurance of the 11 satellites, but will still report free cash flow in its fourth-quarter results.
Once this spending is completed and the satellites are in orbit, Orbcomm will begin a capex holiday that will allow it to focus on growing the business, Costantini said.
As he has in the past, Eisenberg told investors that the M2M business is growing so fast that the opportunities for investment are too many to count. With some of the biggest names in commercial rail, road and maritime transport now adopting satellite M2M — from Orbcomm and others — he said no commercial shipper of goods would be able to do without the service.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Chris Bergin пишет:

We've entered today's window for the full duration Static Fire test for OG2's S1 . Everyone keep an ear to the ground for locals saying they heard a three minute rumble.

Note: Rumble doesn't mean "test done" - as always. Static Fires are tests that require data evaluation etc, so I wouldn't expect any comment from SpaceX until next week, should the test occur today.

Edit: Moved to Sunday.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
04-10.12.2015 (okno startowe ~07:00-08:00) z wyrzutni SLC-40 na Cape Canaveral wystrzelona zostanie RN Falcon 9 v1.2 (debiut tej wersji rakiety), która wyniesie w 9' 45" na orbitę o parametrach:hp=614 km, ha=749 km, i=47,0° jedenaście satelitów komunikacyjnych Orbcomm 2G.
Изменено: Pirat5 - 09.11.2015 02:34:29
Planning for December Falcon 9 launch, Orbcomm ships satellites
Posted on November 6, 2015 by Stephen Clark

Orbcomm’s 11 second-generation OG2 satellites are pictured inside Sierra Nevada’s factory in Louisville, Colorado. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corp.

The first shipment of Orbcomm’s 11-satellite payload for the Falcon 9 rocket’s first flight since a June launch failure has arrived at Cape Canaveral, and the rest of the spacecraft will reach the Florida spaceport in the coming days, Orbcomm officials said Thursday.
The liftoff is expected in December aboard SpaceX’s return-to-flight mission, and the maiden launch of an uprated version of the Falcon 9 booster designed to lift heavier payloads into space.
“We are now planning around a December launch roughly four to five weeks fr om today,” said Marc Eisenberg, CEO of Orbcomm, in a quarterly earnings call with investment analysts Thursday. “While there’s still some work to do, mostly from the SpaceX side, December is achievable as long as their preparations continue to go well.”
The first six spacecraft due to fly on the launch have arrived at SpaceX’s payload processing facility at Cape Canaveral, with another five due to depart their manufacturing facility near Denver in a few days, Eisenberg said.
The multi-satellite adapter ring, made by Moog, that will dispense the 11 Orbcomm second-generation, or OG2, spacecraft on the launch is also being prepared for liftoff at Cape Canaveral.
Components of the Falcon 9 booster itself are still awaiting shipment from SpaceX’s Central Texas test facility, wh ere they are finishing up qualification testing, to Cape Canaveral.
Upgrades set to to fly first on the Orbcomm mission include “full-thrust” Merlin engines rated for higher thrust levels, bigger upper stage propellant tanks, and densified kerosene fuel. The design changes raise the Falcon 9’s lift capacity by about 30 percent.
With the Falcon 9 grounded since its June 28 launch failure, which SpaceX blames on a structurally deficient strut inside the rocket’s upper stage oxidizer tank, the Orbcomm mission will be both a return-to-flight launch and a critical debut of the company’s latest rocket iteration.
But Eisenberg is confident going into the launch.

File photo of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

“SpaceX and their team have conducted a comprehensive investigation over the last few months to ensure the readiness of the Falcon 9’s return-to-flight,” Eisenberg said. “Considering the huge focus SpaceX has placed on this launch, and the fact that return-to-flight missions generally have more favorable success rates than those following normal missions, we have full confidence in SpaceX and believe this is our best opportunity to launch.”
SpaceX and Orbcomm announced in October the 11-satellite mission, which is heading for low Earth orbit approximately 400 miles in altitude, will be first in line when the Falcon 9 launch queue resumes.
The decision pushed the launch of SES 9, a large telecommunications satellite heading for geostationary transfer orbit stretching more than 22,000 miles above Earth, until at least late December.
The low-altitude orbit targeted on the Orbcomm flight requires a single burn of the Falcon 9’s upper stage Merlin 1D engine, not two firings as needed on geostationary launches like SES 9’s mission.
“Looking at it from Orbcomm’s point of view, we have an opportunity to get launched and kick off new OG2 services that customers have been planning on for quite some time,” Eisenberg said, adding that the mission enables Orbcomm’s AIS vessel tracking service to go from periodic to near-realtime coverage and keeps the spacecraft out of cold storage at Sierra Nevada Corp., the OG2 satellite manufacturer.
“From SpaceX’s perspective, we are an ideal candidate for the first launch of the newly-updated Falcon 9,” Eisenberg said. “Even with 11 satellites, the mass to orbit is nearly 50 percent less than other Falcon 9 missions providing substantial performance margins.”
Officials said the Falcon 9’s upper stage engine will conduct a re-ignition experiment after releasing the 11 Orbcomm payloads about 14 minutes after liftoff, verifying the relight system works before flying satellites that require the capability.
SpaceX has successfully launched several payloads on two-burn missions using the previous Falcon 9 configuration.
Orbcomm, a New Jersey-based company specializing in asset and maritime tracking via satellite, launched six identical satellites on a Falcon 9 flight in July 2014. The 11 satellites set to go in December complete the company’s second-generation constellation.
“From here forward, the satellites will be tested to verify proper operation after transit, fueled, then attached to the Moog dispenser, which once launched is used to dispense the satellites into orbit,” Eisenberg said. “The final satellite operation is to encapsulate the satellite stack into the Falcon 9 fairing.”
Eisenberg said he expects to announce a specific launch date “in a couple of weeks,” but a December launch would be late at night.
“If we launch in December as expected, break out the coffee,” Eisenberg said. “Looks like a late evening event, great for spectators.”
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Stephen Clark ‏@StephenClark1  
I was in the area and detoured to SpaceX’s McGregor test site last night. Orbcomm’s booster on the test stand.  

11:21 - 9 нояб. 2015 г.  
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
SpaceX to Run 'Significantly More Noticeable' Test
Posted: Nov 09, 2015 4:09 AM
Upd ated: Nov 09, 2015 4:09 AM

MCGREGOR -- SpaceX is planning to run a test at their rocket development facility in McGregor.

The noise from the test is expected to be significantly more noticeable than the typical tests run there daily.

The exact date and time of the test has not been se t, but the earliest possible date is Monday, November 9.
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
F9-021 S1 full duration static fire just occurred at McGregor. Everything looked good! (self.spacex)

отправлено 11 часов назад, изменено * автор EchoLogic

They may want to conduct further checks, but the core should soon be heading off to the Cape for vehicle integration very soon. Three minute test firing looked good.

At the SLC-40 hangar, it will be integrated with the second stage. Satellites have yet to arrive IIRC.
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