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Traffic Jam at Canaveral



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 3rd 20, 02:18 PM posted to sci.space.policy
David Spain
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Posts: 2,901
Default Traffic Jam at Canaveral

It's not just ULA's DIV-H that is have trouble getting off the ground.
SpaceX aborted its GPS-III launch last night at T-2 seconds.

As traffic picks up I wonder if it all that helpful to schedule
extremely narrow launch windows for uncrewed missions? Missing a narrow
launch window doesn't allow for a recycle, even for the most trivial of
fixes. Instead, a launch scrub pushes back on the schedule for
everyone. And not necessarily just at Canaveral.

Of course there is still weather. That is what it is. Launch schedules
have to all take in the somewhat unpredictable. But you can provide
yourself with options and fall-backs in lieu of scrubs. Not a big deal
when launching once or twice a year, but 30+ times?

We live in interesting times.

Dave
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  #2  
Old October 3rd 20, 03:21 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Sylvia Else[_3_]
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Posts: 87
Default Traffic Jam at Canaveral

On 03-Oct-20 11:18 pm, David Spain wrote:
It's not just ULA's DIV-H that is have trouble getting off the ground.
SpaceX aborted its GPS-III launch last night at T-2 seconds.

As traffic picks up I wonder if it all that helpful to schedule
extremely narrow launch windows for uncrewed missions? Missing a narrow
launch window doesn't allow for a recycle, even for the most trivial of
fixes. Instead, a launch scrub pushes back on the schedule for
everyone. And not necessarily just at Canaveral.

Of course there is still weather. That is what it is. Launch schedules
have to all take in the somewhat unpredictable. But you can provide
yourself with options and fall-backs in lieu of scrubs. Not a big deal
when launching once or twice a year, but 30+ times?

We live in interesting times.

Dave


The launch time determines the orbital plane. Unless a mission is
insensitive to that there's little option but to wait until until the
narrow window reopens. A small amount of plane change after launch is
possible, but it consumes fuel

Sylvia.
  #3  
Old October 3rd 20, 04:04 PM posted to sci.space.policy
David Spain
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Posts: 2,901
Default Traffic Jam at Canaveral

Sylvia Else writes:
The launch time determines the orbital plane. Unless a mission is insensitive
to that there's little option but to wait until until the narrow window
reopens. A small amount of plane change after launch is possible, but it
consumes fuel


Yes that makes perfect sense. So the question remains, what is a
sustainable launch cadence from a single point of departure? Narrow
launch windows don't help if the hardware has reliability
problems. Which of course as you rightly point out in many cases are
necessary. Does that argue for multiple launch sites and more staggered
launch slots? Again we don't really know, we've never experienced this
level of traffic before. It will all be very interesting to see how this
unfolds.

Dave
  #4  
Old October 3rd 20, 05:48 PM posted to sci.space.policy
Scott Kozel
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Posts: 62
Default Traffic Jam at Canaveral

On Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 11:05:42 AM UTC-4, David Spain wrote:
Sylvia Else writes:
The launch time determines the orbital plane. Unless a mission is insensitive
to that there's little option but to wait until until the narrow window
reopens. A small amount of plane change after launch is possible, but it
consumes fuel


Yes that makes perfect sense. So the question remains, what is a
sustainable launch cadence from a single point of departure? Narrow
launch windows don't help if the hardware has reliability
problems. Which of course as you rightly point out in many cases are
necessary. Does that argue for multiple launch sites and more staggered
launch slots? Again we don't really know, we've never experienced this
level of traffic before. It will all be very interesting to see how this
unfolds.


Virginia has about 8 orbital launches per year, Canaveral about 35 to 40.

Maybe a few more could be moved to Virginia.
  #5  
Old October 4th 20, 03:09 AM posted to sci.space.policy
Sylvia Else[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 87
Default Traffic Jam at Canaveral

On 04-Oct-20 1:04 am, David Spain wrote:
Sylvia Else writes:
The launch time determines the orbital plane. Unless a mission is insensitive
to that there's little option but to wait until until the narrow window
reopens. A small amount of plane change after launch is possible, but it
consumes fuel


Yes that makes perfect sense. So the question remains, what is a
sustainable launch cadence from a single point of departure? Narrow
launch windows don't help if the hardware has reliability
problems. Which of course as you rightly point out in many cases are
necessary. Does that argue for multiple launch sites and more staggered
launch slots? Again we don't really know, we've never experienced this
level of traffic before. It will all be very interesting to see how this
unfolds.

Dave


Perhaps this is where a craft like Skylon will come back into its own,
despite SpaceX eating into its reusable economics, such that Reaction
Engines are no longer promoting it (at least, not much). It has the same
orbital plane constraints, but only has to occupy the launch site (a
runway, in its case) for a short period, so if a launch has to be
scrubbed, it can be towed away until the next window opens, while other
missions are handled.

Sylvia.
 




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