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SpaceX Livestreams Sunday's Rocket Launch ( 74

An anonymous reader quotes A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the 10 satellites for Iridium Communications is scheduled to liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 1:25 p.m. PDT (4:25 p.m. EDT/2025 GMT). The live webcast is expected to begin about 1 hour before the opening of the launch window, and you can watch it on SpaceX's website, or at This is the second of eight planned Iridium launches with SpaceX. The launches will deliver a total of 75 satellites into space for the $3 billion Iridium NEXT global communications network. "Iridium NEXT will replace the company's existing global constellation in one of the largest technology upgrades ever completed in space," according to a statement from Iridium. "It represents the evolution of critical communications infrastructure that governments and organizations worldwide rely upon to drive business, enable connectivity, empower disaster relief efforts and more."
After the mission the booster rocket will attempt to land on a droneship. The droneships name is "Just Read The Instructions."
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SpaceX Livestreams Sunday's Rocket Launch

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  • We will be living on Mars any time now!
  • ...somebody wanted to name the droneship RTFM and the politically correct management screwed it up.

  • After the mission the booster rocket will attempt to land on a droneship. The droneships name is "Just Read The Instructions."

    You know, if you can't go with, "Read The Fucking Manual," the joke loses something.

  • It seems this is Falcon 9 block 5, because of the titanium fins.

    Block 5 also has 8% more thrust and " thermal-protection coating instead of paint on the first stage to help protect it from reentry heating"
    This is probably the first recovered stage that won't need refurbishing

    • Or they just decided to test the fins on the current generation model before going all-in on them with block 5.

      I don't know, but if it was really a new version, I think they would have mentioned it.

  • Does anyone know how the deployment is planned to happen ?

    From the webcast it seems they waited to be around the opposite side from launch, probably at apoapsis, then release the 10 sats in short bursts.

    Were they in a stable orbit at the time (would force you to deorbit stage 2) ? or were they with a low apoapsis (you only get one shot to stabilize) ?

    How do they plan to distribute the sats equidistantly along the orbit ?

    Please explain this to a Kerbin University graduate

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      They're in a stable orbit.

      The maneuvers required for the satellites to achieve their individual orbital parameters require only a minimal amount of dV. The constellation is 7 different planes of 10 satellites each, so they just need to vary TA with respect to each other. As a Kerbin University graduate, you're aware that you do this by making a small burn to increase or decrease orbital velocity, and thus orbital period, then recircularizing as you cross back over the orbital plane at the desired TA.

      The sec

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun