AVN is in limbo land, but it will be longer with all electric satellites. An Ku band Eutelsat Satellite took 7 months to raise itself into orbit, instead of a couple of days. Eutelsat's Africa Broadband satellite is also going to be all electric
this article also has a good diagram on satellite orbit raising. Its as spectacular as the launch, without the pyrotechnics
yes AVN will be quiet for a while so congratulations to SpaceX and Iridium
I don't know if they are actually cheaper yet. I don't think they have reused a recovered first stage launcher on a commercial launch. Making a reusable first stage imposes a weight penalty so they have to make it more powerful than say an equivalent Ariane launcher
They use super cooled liquid oxygen ( to make it more dense) in the first stage to juice it all and make it more powerful. This much colder temperatures then what other launchers use. So its a bit risky and all the bugs may not be worked out. Its not for nothing this business is very conservative
No special reason for this post, just some background. There'll always be a cheaper product and no doubt all launches are cheaper than they were in the past. Competition also brings costs down. Article in today's FT:
Aerospace SpaceX back in orbit after launch success RICHARD WATERS — SAN FRANCISCO SpaceX has put a rocket into space for the first time since a launch pad explosion four months ago halted operations at the private US space company founded by billionaire Elon Musk. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg air force base on the southern California coast on Saturday, taking 10 one-ton satellites into space for the communications company Iridium. Last September’s explosion occurred during fuelling and was originally attributed to a leak of oxygen from a pressure vessel inside the rocket. What ignited the gas remains unclear. Mr Musk, who also heads the electric carmaker Tesla Motors, had pushed to resume launches before the end of the last year. But the delay in completing the investigation, and then bad weather, pushed back the launch. Restarting launches will reduce financial pressure on SpaceX, which promotes its rockets as the cheapest way for companies and governments to put satellites and other payloads into space. Iridium has seven launches planned between now and early next year, with the aim of getting 70 new satellites into low-earth orbit. For this it will pay SpaceX about $470m, said Matt Desch, the company’s chief executive officer. After Saturday’s launch, SpaceX managed to land the first stage of the rocket on a drone ship, the fifth time it had performed such a recovery. Reusing equipment plays a big part in the company’s efforts to hold down launch costs. For Iridium, the launch marks the first step in replacing an ageing satellite network that was put into space in the 1990s. The company picked SpaceX around the time of its first launch, in 2010, when SpaceX was promising launch costs that were around half those charged by rivals, Mr Desch said. The $3bn replacement project is half the cost of putting the original constellation of Iridium satellites into space.
Ariane is like a delivery truck that delivers your package 1000s of miles away and calls it job done. That's what they quote for.
After a successful launch, the satellite is ejected into an elliptical orbit called a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). The tricky bit is raising the satellite into its parked orbit after separating from the rocket. Avanti will be responsible for manoeuvring Hylas 4 into its orbit, with the help of OSC presumably. After that, there is the unfurling of the solar sails - that's another milestone.
The European Space agency will handle Hylas 3, since its a payload of a larger satellite, so Avanti should not be overwhelmed with work
Once they are in their parked positions, they can start setting up. Presumably the pressure is off - there is plenty of time and either it works or it doesn't
Perhaps I didn't express myself as clearly as I might. AVN may well have two satellites to set up. Ariane will have got these into the right position but that's only the start. All of the hardware needs to be checked over, the software checked to ensure that it is functioning correctly, the Ka beams focused etc etc. It all takes time and expertise. AVN have done it before but never with two satellites simultaneously. The other satellite alongside Hylas 3 is EDRS C and that's ESA's pigeon but we don't know what if anything may be accompanying Hylas 4 into space. AVN will be insuring the satellites but Ariane have a very good record so the launch should be OK
Well FredZGomez, we are all concerned about missing dates. But the PR of 20/12/2016 is an RNS so it will have been crawled over by the accountants and lawyers who are notoriously risk averse. So if they say Q1 and Q2 of 2017 it's a pretty fair bet that the answer was Q1 but to be on the safe side lets add another 3 months. If so, it really falls right on top of Hylas 3 which is my concern. Two satellites at the same time is a real ask.
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