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SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!

 
The Gentle AstromutModerator
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12/22/2017 12:32 PM

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SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
SpaceX closes out the year with one final launch scheduled for tonight from Vandenberg Air Force Base. A previously-flown Falcon 9 will launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites providing satellite phone communications.

[link to spaceflightnow.com (secure)]

The launch is scheduled for 8:27pm eastern time, 5:27pm pacific time. The booster has no landing legs and it appears they do not plan to recover this booster. It's an older generation block 3 Falcon. The block 5 Falcon should start flying next year with the goal of reducing the amount of servicing needed between flights (they state that they aim to achieve at least 10 flights before any major servicing, maybe more), so they may simply use the older block Falcons for disposable flights in the future to clear out old inventory.

The rocket mysteriously does have grid fins, and combined with a dark interstage section (the section between the first and second stages), this suggests they do plan to do some kind of testing with the rocket after first stage cutoff. One theory is that they plan to test some block 5 components during a very hot re-entry to see how they hold up, but without any intention of recovering the rocket intact. They also seem to be planning to attempt to recover one or both of the payload fairings. A ship with special arms has been sighted in port and ships have been seen heading to the recovery area out in the ocean.
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12/22/2017 12:42 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Are those the ones which can produce an iridium flare which looks something like an extremely slow moving and bright shooting star?
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 12:54 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Are those the ones which can produce an iridium flare which looks something like an extremely slow moving and bright shooting star?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75578431


The old generation did. Unfortunately the new generation has been redesigned and no longer has the large flat reflective antenna that caused the Iridium flares. Soon there won't be any more Iridium flares.
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12/22/2017 02:21 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
I always thought zillions of cell phone towers was stupid compared to a couple dozen satellites. Not sure why it failed the first time this was tried.
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 02:34 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
I always thought zillions of cell phone towers was stupid compared to a couple dozen satellites. Not sure why it failed the first time this was tried.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 74197478


Well I don't know about the new Iridium network, but at least with the old one it didn't really work indoors. You had to have clear line of sight to the satellites or it would attenuate the signal way too much and you'd lose the connection. It's great in situations where cell phones aren't an option, like out on the open ocean or in some remote area, but cell phones have far more utility and far more bandwidth for data in all other situations.
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12/22/2017 02:42 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
I always thought zillions of cell phone towers was stupid compared to a couple dozen satellites. Not sure why it failed the first time this was tried.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 74197478


the upload transmitter will fry you , give you cancer. the strength required to transmit to satellite is too much radiation to have on you.
Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2017 02:48 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Also JAXA is planning a launch (GCOM-c & SLATS) about the same time as Iridium 4 goes up, if i'm correct.

Double the fun.
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12/22/2017 02:54 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
billclinton1
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12/22/2017 02:55 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Are those the ones which can produce an iridium flare which looks something like an extremely slow moving and bright shooting star?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75578431


The old generation did. Unfortunately the new generation has been redesigned and no longer has the large flat reflective antenna that caused the Iridium flares. Soon there won't be any more Iridium flares.
 Quoting: The Gentle Astromut



Makes me feel kinda fortunate that I've gotten to see a couple of the flares...
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12/22/2017 03:40 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
drevil
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12/22/2017 04:47 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
SpaceX voluntarily (?) gave their missile guidance research to elements within the CIA who directly gave it to the North Korean regime.

From one rocket man to another.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 72886729


I'm sure you can prove all of that. Oh? No? You can't? Then stop posting bullshit on my threads. North Korea has been doing missile tests SINCE LONG BEFORE SPACEX EVEN EXISTED!
[link to en.wikipedia.org (secure)]
 Quoting: The Gentle Astromut


That's fine, you can choose not to believe it. At least you are now aware of it so when it comes out in the future you won't be shocked.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 72886729


It's factually false and not even plausible. North Korea has been testing rockets since before SpaceX existed, what part of that did you not understand? I swear, some of you are so motherfucking stupid it's a wonder you know how to turn on a computer.
 Quoting: The Gentle Astromut


Gentle there Astro. Telling people to fuck off is better left to others.

Thanks for posting about the launch. I would never have seen even one of these without your posts.
Carnac

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12/22/2017 04:48 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Don't know if you simply believe in all those space lies, or if you actually are a paid disinformation agent? Leaning toward the latter. Sad to see...
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 76015697


Fuck off.
Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2017 05:05 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
grouphugROBOTdance
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12/22/2017 05:12 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Why iridium?
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 05:14 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
if Q anon says it, there must be something to it.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75302223:


Bullshit. It's exactly this kind of dogmatic faithful Devotion to whatever conspiracy horseshit you feel you want to swallow that results in stupid fucking shit getting repeated endlessly. SpaceX Rockets have nothing to do with North Korean ICBMs, they are completely different beasts. Fuck Q anon.

Last Edited by Astromut on 12/22/2017 05:15 PM
astrobanner2
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12/22/2017 05:15 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
thanks astromut i would have missed it if you didnt say,.
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 05:15 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Why iridium?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75966877


Because they are the next ones to launch? I don't understand your question.
astrobanner2
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12/22/2017 05:16 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Iíll be watching 5:27 pm
Anonymous Coward
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12/22/2017 05:28 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
What do you think the odds are that they try to land on the engines themselves?

If I can do it in Kerbals... :)
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:03 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
SpaceX webcast just started the bumper music.
astrobanner2
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12/22/2017 08:07 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
LOL and you were the first winner??
Got more ALPO 4 U
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:11 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
LOL and you were the first winner??
Got more ALPO 4 U
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 76023426


Borked bot?
astrobanner2
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:15 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Webcast started. That dark interstage section sure is interesting. I really wonder if that's a Block 5 part they're testing with the grid fins (which would otherwise be unneeded as this is an expendable launch).
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The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:26 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
1 minute to launch!
astrobanner2
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:31 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
HOLY SHIT! Did you guys catch that? They re-lit the first stage for some kind of unannounced boostback burn. I wonder where they're going with no landing legs? Practicing putting it back down onto launch clamps for BFR? No fuckin way...
astrobanner2
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12/22/2017 08:31 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
1 star. I have never seen any evidence of satellites as explained to the public.
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:32 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
1 star. I have never seen any evidence of satellites as explained to the public.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75745888


Fuck off.
ISS
astrobanner2
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:35 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
Stage 1 entry burn callouts...
astrobanner2
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12/22/2017 08:39 PM
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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
I think it just exploded over my house...

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The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:41 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
So they did some kind of experimental thing with the first stage off the coast of california. Not officially acknowledged during the webcast, but you could hear the callouts. I'm guessing they splashed it into the water deliberately, but I could be wrong. I think they're testing the interstage for Block 5 next year and making sure the new components all work well, though this is a Block 3 rocket and isn't designed for easy reuse the way the new Block 5 will be (which is why they're not bothering to try to recover it).
astrobanner2
The Gentle AstromutModerator  (OP)
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12/22/2017 08:41 PM

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Re: SpaceX Launch of Iridium Satellites Scheduled for Tonight!
I think it just exploded over my house...

[link to scontent.fsnc1-1.fna.fbcdn.net (secure)]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 75303541


No, it was all nominal, that's just the smoke trail lit by the setting sun. It's high enough that it had line of sight to the sun while it was dark on the ground where you are. Must have been spectacular to see.
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