Tag Archives: Orbcomm

Falcon 9 launch

The competition heats up: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 has successfully launched six Orbcomm commercial satellites into orbit.

The six satellites still must be deployed. We will know if this is successful sometime in the next hour or so. Also, no news yet on SpaceX’s effort to recover the rocket’s first stage after a soft splashdown in the ocean.

Update: All 6 Orbcomm satellites have successfully deployed.

Update 2: From Elon Musk as to the first stage recovery: “Rocket booster reentry, landing burn & leg deploy were good, but lost hull integrity right after splashdown (aka kaboom).”

SpaceX delays its Falcon 9 Orbcomm launch until July.

SpaceX has delayed its Falcon 9 Orbcomm launch until July.

“SpaceX is taking a closer look at a potential issue identified while conducting pre-flight checkouts during (Sunday’s) countdown,” the company said in statement posted on its website on Monday. “SpaceX will stand down Tuesday while our engineering teams evaluate further,” it said.

Taking into account a previously scheduled maintenance period for the Eastern Test Range, which supports launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the earliest SpaceX expects to be able to fly is the first week of July.

The willingness of SpaceX to address technical issues rather than push for launch continues to recommend them to me, especially as the company also has a record of producing what it promises within a remarkably fast schedule.

SpaceX now says that Tuesday will be the earliest it will try again to launch six Orbcomm satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX now says that Tuesday will be the earliest it will try again to launch six Orbcomm satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket.

There were attempts to launch both on Saturday and Sunday, with weather scrubbing the first and an unspecified technical problem scrubbing the second.

SpaceX scrubbed its Falcon 9 commercial launch of six Orbcomm satellites tonight because of an issue with the rocket’s second stage.

SpaceX scrubbed its Falcon 9 commercial launch of six Orbcomm satellites tonight because of an issue with the rocket’s second stage.

The next launch opportunity is Saturday evening, and based on other sources it sounds like they hope to fly then.

A detailed look at tomorrow’s Falcon 9 commercial launch of six Orbcomm satellites.

A detailed look at tomorrow’s Falcon 9 commercial launch of six Orbcomm satellites.

Launch is set for 6:08 pm (Eastern). If all goes well, SpaceX will also attempt another soft vertical splashdown of the first stage in its continuing effort to make that first stage reusable.

SpaceX and ORBCOMM have now set Friday, June 20, as the date for next commercial launch of the Falcon 9.

SpaceX and ORBCOMM have now set Friday, June 20, as the date for next commercial launch of the Falcon 9.

The article is interesting in that it is somewhat critical of SpaceX’s overall failure so far to meet its launch manifest schedules. The point is well taken, but it seems to me that most of the delays were related to getting the upgraded Falcon 9 into operation. Now that this has happened, I expect SpaceX’s launch rate will continue to accelerate.

After successfully completing its standard prelaunch static fire, SpaceX has delayed the Sunday Falcon 9 commercial launch at the request of its customer which wishes to do further tests of the six satellites on board.

After successfully completing its standard prelaunch static fire, SpaceX has delayed the Sunday Falcon 9 commercial launch at the request of its customer which wishes to do further tests of the six satellites on board.

A new launch date is yet to be determined.

Posted from Durango, Colorado.

The next Falcon 9 commercial launch, scrubbed from early May, has now been rescheduled to June 11.

The next Falcon 9 commercial launch, scrubbed from early May, has now been rescheduled to June 11.

This new date is a significant slip in the schedule, as they originally announced only a two week delay, and this adds on another two weeks. The original announced reason for the scrub was umbilical connection issues, but a commenter here at Behind The Black says it might have been something more serious, “a helium pressurization bottle burst in the stage.”

SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 commercial launch, set for Saturday, will once again attempt a soft splashdown of its first stage.

The competition heats up: SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 commercial launch, set for early Saturday morning, will once again attempt a soft splashdown of its first stage.

If this launch happens as scheduled it will also be the fastest turn-around between launches for the company.

It appears that SpaceX and Orbcomm have finalized their launch agreement.

The competition heats up: It appears that SpaceX and Orbcomm have finalized their launch agreement.

On December 21, 2012, ORBCOMM Inc. (Nasdaq: ORBC) and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) entered into a Launch Services Agreement pursuant to which SpaceX will provide launch services for the carriage into low-Earth-orbit of up to 18 ORBCOMM second-generation commercial communications satellites currently being constructed by Sierra Nevada Corporation.

The agreement schedules the launches for sometime between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, subject to normal scheduling changes.

This is a strong endorsement by Orbcomm of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, despite the engine problem which prevented an Orbcomm prototype satellite from reaching its correct orbit on the last Falcon 9 launch. Also, note that Sierra Nevada is building the satellites, thereby giving that company a firm foundations while it also builds its Dream Chaser manned spacecraft.

The Orbcomm communications satellite put in a wrong orbit in the Falcon 9 launch has fallen to Earth.

The Orbcomm communications satellite that was put in the wrong orbit by the Falcon 9 rocket Sunday has fallen to Earth.

According to the company insurance will cover most of the loss. They also said that “had Orbcomm been the primary payload on this mission, as planned for the upcoming launches, we believe the OG2 prototype would have reached the desired orbit.” This appears to be a strong endorsement of the Falcon 9 rocket from the company, which has a contract with SpaceX to launch 17 more satellites on two Falcon 9 launches, scheduled for 2013 and 2014.

An update on the Falcon 9 engine problems.

An update on the Falcon 9 engine problems.

Based on SpaceX’s press release, the rocket functioned as designed to overcome the engine failure. Nonetheless, it behooves them to find out why that engine shut down prematurely.

More worrisome for the company is the failure the Falcon 9 rocket to place in its proper orbit a secondary payload, an Orbcomm communications satellite. The satellite ended up in too low an orbit, probably because of the engine failure during launch. Orbcomm has a contract with SpaceX to launch a whole series of these satellites. This failure now, right at the get-go, won’t do them much good in terms of public relations.