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Falcon 9 and Taurus II for Planetary Missions
Drkskywxlt
post Jul 30 2010, 12:18 PM
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http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100518/full/465276a.html

NASA hopes to certify Falcon 9 or Taurus II (or another commerical rocket) by the end of 2013 for planetary missions. Falcon 9's successful first launch helps that process. Hopefully, they will fill the perfect-sized shoes that are empty once Delta II is finished after launching GRAIL next year. Perhaps the next Discovery mission, with a launch date in 2016ish, will be able to intiate the planetary program to these new launch vehicles.

Does anyone know of proposed Discovery missions that are baselining to Falcon 9 or Taurus II? The ones proposed to the outer solar system like IVO, TiME, or AVIATR still need an Atlas V or Delta IV I'm sure.
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TPISCzar
post Nov 9 2012, 02:03 AM
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The JASON-3 spacecraft will be launched on a Falcon 9 v1.1

I realize the contract says 1.0 but it will be a 1.1.

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/H...h_Services.html

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser
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ugordan
post Nov 9 2012, 08:46 AM
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QUOTE (TPISCzar @ Nov 9 2012, 03:03 AM) *
I realize the contract says 1.0 but it will be a 1.1.

What makes you say it will be a 1.1?


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Mongo
post Nov 18 2012, 02:00 AM
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QUOTE (ugordan @ Nov 9 2012, 09:46 AM) *
What makes you say it will be a 1.1?


There is only a single 1.0 left in stock, and it is already allocated to the next ISS resupply flight. All subsequent F9 flights will be using the 1.1
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ugordan
post Nov 18 2012, 10:31 AM
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QUOTE (Mongo @ Nov 18 2012, 03:00 AM) *
There is only a single 1.0 left in stock


Source I've heard says there were 6 v1.0 cores built in total so someone must be wrong here.


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djellison
post Nov 18 2012, 04:55 PM
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Four flights, one still to fly, one playing Grasshopper in Texas? Would that be 6?
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ugordan
post Nov 18 2012, 05:16 PM
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No idea if that's counted in the total. I was under the impression that Grashopper uses a special, "run tank" that was originally used for multi-engine qualification test runs in 2008 before first flight hardware was built.

I'm personally somewhat skeptical about that six-core-total claim, but then I'm also a bit skeptical that NASA would switch versions that easily, in light of them recently getting burned twice (with Taurus). The NASA LSP press release was pretty specific about v1.0 and that currently is the only vehicle configuration that has a demonstrated success record of at least 3 flights in a row. Given that Jason-3 is slated to launch in 2014 it's possible, but not at all a sure bet that v1.1 will accumulate at least 3 (succesful) flights by then.


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Ron Hobbs
post Dec 10 2012, 09:14 PM
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I saw the news that the USAF had contracted with SpaceX for a couple of launches. (Covered at Spaceflight Now and other places.)

One of the launches will be the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCVR), the re-purposed Triana craft. I found it curious that the Air Force was launching a climate probe. SN claims it will "provide warning of approaching solar storms for NOAA and the Air Force."

SpaceX books first flights for U.S. military

Seems like this might be considered the first interplanetary or solar probe to be launched by SpaceX.

Does anyone know if the camera designed to look at the Earth will be installed and active?
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Ron Hobbs
post Dec 14 2012, 04:30 AM
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I guess the answer to my question is that this mission is still too much of a hot potato to know for sure.

I have been doing some poking around about this and the most recent information seems to be from this NASA presentation to the Heliophysics Subcommittee.

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) Mission Briefing

From this the Earth Pointing Imaging Camera (EPIC) and the NIST Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR) are part of the secondary (optional) mission. I guess this says it clearly:

"NASA does not have any appropriations to expend on DSCOVR, hence direction as to which instruments will fly are at NOAA’s discretion. "

I haven't found anything from NOAA about their plans.

I have always been fond of this mission. I agree with tedstryk: "That would be great! As an image junkie, I was really bummed about that mission's fate."

Anyway, it looks like it will fly, and on a Falcon 9. I say good for SpaceX.
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