Launch News SpaceX F9 SES-12 Mission (June 4, 12:29 a.m. EDT/4:29 UTC)

Nicholas Kang

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SpaceX is targeting launch of the SES-12 satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The four-hour launch window opens on Monday, June 4 at 12:29 a.m. EDT, or 4:29 UTC. The satellite will be deployed approximately 32 minutes after liftoff. A four-hour backup launch window opens on Tuesday, June 5 at 12:29 a.m. EDT, or 4:29 UTC.

Falcon 9’s first stage for the SES-12 mission previously supported the OTV-5 mission from Launch Complex 39A in September 2017. SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.



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Launch date:​
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June 4, 2018​
Launch Window Opens:​
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12:29 a.m. EDT/4:29 UTC​
Launch Window Closes:​
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4:29 a.m. EDT/8:29 UTC​
Backup Launch Window:​
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Tuesday, June 5 (12:29 a.m. EDT/4:29 UTC)​
Launch site:​
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Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida​

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[highlight]L[eventtimer]2018-06-04 04:29:00;%c%%ddd%/%hh%:%mm%:%ss%[/eventtimer][/highlight]​
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Mission Patch​
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Launch coverage:



Payload:


ses-12__1.jpg

SES 12 is a powerful geostationary communications satellite operating in Ku- and Ka-bands, which uses electric propulsion for initial orbit raising and all on-orbit manoeuvres.

Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, has been awarded a contract by SES in July 2014 to design and build a highly innovative high-performance telecommunications satellite.

The satellite will have a dual mission. It will replace the NSS-6 satellite in orbit, providing television broadcasting and telecom infrastructure services from one end of Asia to the other, with beams adapted to six areas of coverage. It will also have a flexible multi-beam processed payload for providing broadband services covering a large expanse from Africa to Russia, Japan and Australia.

SES-12 will be based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform from Airbus Defence and Space as an all new EOR (Electric Orbit Raising) version. This version uses only electric propulsion for initial orbit raising, with the reduction in mass enabling the satellite to be equipped with an exceptionally large payload.

SES-12 will operate in the Ku and Ka bands with a total of 76 active transponders, and will be equipped with eight antennas. The satellite also incorporates other state-of-the-art solutions, in particular multi-beam antennas linked to a digital signal processor that enables a multitude of basic spectral channels to be allocated to various beams in a completely flexible manner. It will have a launch weight of 5,300 kg and an electric power of 19 kW.

SES-12 was to launched in late 2017 on an Ariane-5ECA booster, and its electric propulsion system will enable it to reach its geostationary orbit in three to six months, depending on the type of launcher used. In August 2017, the launch providers for SES 12 and SES 14 were switched, putting SES 12 on a Falcon-9 v1.2(ex). Its nominal operational position will be 95° East and it has been designed to remain in service in orbit for more than 15 years.

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Specifications

Type / Application:|
  • Communication

Operator:|
  • SES

Contractors:|
  • Airbus Defence and Space

Equipment:|
  • 68 active Ku-band transponders
  • 8 Ka-band transponders

Configuration:|
Propulsion:|
  • Fakel SPT140D propulsion unit

Power:|
  • 2 deployable solar arrays
  • Batteries

Lifetime:|
  • 18 years

Mass:|
  • 5383.85kg

Orbit:|
  • GEO
  • Insertion orbit: Super Synchronous GTO (294 x 58,000 km, ?°)

Launch Vehicle:

Falcon 9 FT represents an evolved version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket incorporating a number of performance enhancements to enable the launch vehicle to lift heavy satellites to Geostationary Transfer Orbit while preserving the option of re-using the first stage. Operated by Space Exploration Technologies, the rocket represents the third evolutionary stage of the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 Full Thrust (FT) vehicle is also known as ‘Falcon 9 Upgrade,’ ‘Enhanced Falcon 9,’ ‘Full Performance Falcon 9’ and ‘Falcon v1.2.’

The Falcon 9 FT launch vehicle is based on the Falcon 9 v1.1 (F9R) which in turn built on the original Falcon 9, retrospectively known as the v1.0 version of the rocket. Falcon 9 v1.0 was inaugurated in 2010 and flew successfully five times until 2013 when it was succeeded by the v1.1 version of the launcher. Falcon 9 v1.1 is retired after 15 missions, one of which was a failure. The v1.1 version itself was subject to a stepwise evolution, notably the implementation of reusability technologies on its first stage. These systems, among other changes, are standard on the Falcon 9 FT that premieres in late 2015 and is likely the final version of Falcon 9 with the maximum possible performance.

27294262015_caf6d1648c_o-683x1024.jpg

The Falcon 9 Full Thrust launch vehicle retains the overall design of the previous Falcon 9 rockets as a two-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle. Its first stage includes all systems necessary for an operational re-use of stages while the second stage is operated as an expendable rocket stage.

Falcon 9 FT stands 70 meters tall, is 3.66 meters in diameter and has a launch mass of 549,054 Kilograms. Both stages use sub-cooled Liquid Oxygen and chilled Rocket Propellant 1 as propellants consumed by Merlin 1D engines, nine of which are installed on the first stage while the second stage hosts a single Merlin 1D engine optimized for operation in vacuum.

SpaceX lists the payload capability of the Falcon 9 FT as 22,800 Kilograms to Low Earth Orbit and 8,300kg to Geostationary Transfer Orbit – these figures are for the fully expendable configuration of the vehicle. Leaving sufficient propellant margin for the return of the first stage to the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship for later re-use cuts the payload mass to GTO to around 5,500 Kilograms.

To achieve an operational re-usability of Falcon 9 first stages, all Falcon 9 FT rockets are outfitted with a reaction control system, four grid fins for steering and four deployable landing legs. Dropping the second stage off on its way to orbit, the first stage goes through a series of complex propulsive maneuvers before guiding itself through the atmosphere towards a target landing site for a soft touchdown under the power of one of its Merlin engines to be re-used on a future flight.

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Specifications

Height:|
  • 70m

Diameter:|
  • 3.66m

Launch Mass:|
  • 549,054kg

Stages:|
  • 2

Boosters:|
  • None

Mass to LEO:|
  • 22,800 kg

Mass to GTO:|
  • 8,300 kg

Mass to Mars:|
  • 4,020 kg

Launch Cost:|
  • $62M


L-1 Weather forecast by Patrick AFB Weather Squadron

Time​
|
Temps​
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Humidity​
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Pressure​
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Solar Activity​
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Surface Visibility​
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Liftoff Winds​
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Weather
4 June 2018/0029-0429 EDT(0429-0829 UTC)​
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76 °F​
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95%​
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29.82 inHg​
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Low​
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7 miles​
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260° @ 20-25 (200’)​
|
None​

Launch day probability of violating launch weather constraints: 30%
Primary concern(s): Liftoff Winds

Delay day probability of violating launch weather constraints: 20%
Primary concern(s): Thick Cloud Layers Rule, Liftoff Wind

(Latest weather forecast is available here.)


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Thunder Chicken

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I assume since this is a used Block 4 that no first stage recovery will be attempted?
 

MaverickSawyer

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Per the first quoted bit:
SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.


---------- Post added at 20:19 ---------- Previous post was at 19:35 ----------

Launch delayed until 4:45 UTC.

---------- Post added at 21:50 ---------- Previous post was at 20:19 ----------

Good first-stage flight. Currently powering to the parking orbit.

---------- Post added at 21:54 ---------- Previous post was at 21:50 ----------

SECO-1.
 

Donamy

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It looked like something fell off the rocket at 13.17, T+17.
 

Felix24

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I was there!! My first launch in person! :woohoo:

DSC_5388.jpg

DSC_5393.jpg

DSC_5396_2_.jpg


I had planned the trip months in advance to attend a friend's wedding, and only the week before the trip I realized there was going to be a launch a couple of days days before my trip. "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if they delayed the launch so we could see it? Just kidding, that would never happen..." And then they delayed it!

Even my wife came with me to see it. Mostly to make sure I didn't fall asleep while driving the 2 hours back home at 3 in the morning. That and being there to watch me geek out.
 

ADSWNJ

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This was the first hybrid Falcon launch for SpaceX, with a Block 4 first stage (expendable for this flight), and a Block 5 second stage. The mission was to launch to Geostationary Transfer Orbit, for the SES sat's electrical thruster to do the rest. THis was the heaviest of the SES birds, by 100kg or so (range is 5200-5400 kg).

Per Reddix SpaceX forum, this demonstrates the evolution in thrust capability for the past 4 SpaceX SES launches (there was a rather crappy Ariane SpaceX launch earlier this year for SES-14, resulting in a really poor orbit, by the way).

SES-9:: 290 x 40k x 28º -> GTO-1773 (1773 m/s delta-V to GEO)
SES-10: 217 x 34k x 26,2º -> GTO-1816 (1816 m/s delta-V to GEO)
SES-11: 309 x 40k x 27,8º -> GTO-1179 (1779 m/s delta-V to GEO)
SES-12: 248 x 58k x 26º -> GTO-1637 (1637 m/s delta-V to GEO)


The operator (SES) said that this additional supersync performance (i.e. higher apoapsis than the final orbit), resulting in a reduced dV to final orbit, will give them approx 7 more years of life on this bird.

For those wondering why SpaceX doesn't dial out all the inclination before handoff ... it's because it's much more efficient to do on the satellite at 58,000km, than by burning more propellant at 100km alt. Basically "give me altitude please, and I'll handle inclination later"
 
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