Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Falcon 9: ZUMA (mystery launch)

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default Falcon 9: ZUMA (mystery launch)

    No one has a clue what it is, the orbit or what it will do once it gets there. With all the secrecy one has to assume that it's for one of the spooky agencies.

    Launch Date: Nov. 15, 2018
    Launch Window: 2000-2200 EST, 0100-0300 GMT (Nov. 16)

    Pad: KSC LC-39A
    Stage Landing: LZ-1

    Payload: ZUMA (codename)
    Type: ????
    Contractor: Northrop Grumman
    Customer: ????

    Chris B - NSF @NASASpaceflight
    SpaceX on track to conduct a Static Fire test of the Falcon 9 (B1043) tasked with the launch of the secretive ZUMA spacecraft on Saturday evening.

    Window for the test opens at 18:00 local for those able to be in the area for streaming purposes. Will advise if the window changes.
    9:25 AM - Nov 8, 2017

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 8th November 2017 at 09:55.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  2. #2
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    Slipped to Thursday, Nov 16.

    Launch window still 2000-2200 Eastern

    Rocket OK, payload OK

    Why? Dunno. Never seen so few pre-launch leaks.The first rule of Fight Club is in full force.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  3. #3
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    I'd post the mission presskit PDF, but it's about as informative as a blank postcard. Nothing on the fairing but the N-G logo.





    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  4. #4
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    SpaceX: "We have decided to stand down and take a closer look at data from recent fairing testing for another customer. Though we have preserved the range opportunity for tomorrow, we will take the time we need to complete the data review and will then confirm a new launch date."

    Translation: they were testing an upcoming customers payload fairing and got a result they did not expect, so they are standing down in case the Zuma fairing has the same issue. Once they determine that the Zuma fairing is okay, they'll fly.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  5. #5
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    NET January 4, 2018

    Likely about 2000 Eastern

    And STILL no news on WTF this thing is.

    It has to be from Spook Central.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  6. #6
    Super MURCer Greebe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Bradenton, Florida
    Posts
    8,632

    Default

    So important they keep pushing back the launch window. Gotta be a one of a kind spookey, where launch failure cannot happen.

    No idea what's inside, but my gut tells me this thing has offensive capabilities. Small launch set backs at this time are acceptable.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -- Dr. Seuss

    "Always do good. It will gratify some and astonish the rest." ~Mark Twain

  7. #7
    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    3,221

    Default

    Is that fairing big enough for their little spook-shuttle?

  8. #8
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KRSESQ View Post
    Is that fairing big enough for their little spook-shuttle?
    Yup, Falcon 9 launched the USAF X-37B last September. It's up there, somewhere. It now has an electric plasma drive so where it is can change - a lot.

    That fairing is pretty large at 5.2x13.1 meters, but the BFR's BFS Chomper delivery vehicle cargo bay would ginormous at an estimated 8.6x16-18 meters.

    Now imagine flying a BFS Shuttle from NY to Sydney in <30 minutes. They've already modded the sea level engine count on BFS for Shuttle duty; 3 s/l Raptor's instead of 2. About the same internal volume as an A380.

    F9
    F9 fairing.jpg

    BFS Chomper
    IMG_0448.jpg
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 21st December 2017 at 15:32.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  9. #9
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    And here we go after weather delays (high altitude winds) during winter storm Grayson.

    Orbit destination is no longer "LEO," just "orbit." Hmmm....

    Weather now 80%

    Date: January 7 local (Sunday)

    Window: 2000-2200 Eastern (0100-0300 UT Jan. 8)

    Webcast should start 20-25 minutes before T-0.

    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  10. #10
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    Flow is looking good.

    This is likely a national security launch similar to NROL-76 and X-37B; no coverage of Stage 2 after separation, no deployment etc. Heavy coverage of Stage 1 and landing.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  11. #11
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default



    ZUMA, over & back - showing the first stage flip, entry and landing burns.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BdrZtc5A...en-by=elonmusk

    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  12. #12
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    Someone tracked S2 all the way to SECO-1. Neat footage of S2 sep and the landing too.

    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

  13. #13
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sin City
    Posts
    4,908

    Default

    Casually read on Zerohedge and Arstechnica that this has failed. What's the scoop?
    Last edited by UtwigMU; 9th January 2018 at 04:45.

  14. #14
    Super MURCer MultimediaMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,856

    Default

    A lot of people aren't buying the story that it failed to make orbit. There is this (and it's pretty telling):

    "Space-Track has cataloged the Zuma payload as USA 280, international designation 2018-001A. Catalog number 43098.
    No orbit details given. No reentry date given, but for a secret payload it might not be. Implication is Space-Track thinks it completed at least one orbit..."

    The payload was rumored to have a near-vacuum VASIMIR-type engine (suitable for Earth Orbit)... They probably did this to hide where it is.
    Hey, Donny! We got us a German who wants to die for his country... Oblige him. - Lt. Aldo Raine

  15. #15
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Westland, MI
    Posts
    25,304

    Default

    It's looking more and more like (a) the mission went as planned, perhaps a hypersonic or reentry vehicle test or the vehicle pulled a disappearing act, (b) the custom Northrop-Grumman supplied payload adapter failed to separate the vehicle from the upper stage, or (c) the vehicle failed after separation.

    Pick one.

    Statement by Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX,

    For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false. Due to the classified nature of the payload, no further comment is possible.

    Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule. Falcon Heavy has been rolled out to launchpad LC-39A for a static fire later this week, to be followed shortly thereafter by its maiden flight. We are also preparing for an F9 launch for SES and the Luxembourg Government from SLC-40 in three weeks.
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 9th January 2018 at 07:14.
    Dr. Mordrid
    ----------------------------
    An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

    I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •