GPS III SV03 Launch Rescheduled

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jimh
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GPS III SV03 Launch Rescheduled

Postby jimh » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:08 am

The launch of GPS III SV03 (GPS III-3) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station has been rescheduled to no earlier than June 30, 2020 from mid-April. The principal reason for the delay was concern for the health of launch site personnel.

jimh
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Re: GPS III SV03 Launch Rescheduled

Postby jimh » Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:14 pm

The launch of GPS III SV03 is now scheduled for June 30, 2020 at 3:55 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40. This newest GPS satellite will be lifted into orbit by a Space-X FALCON 9 rocket.

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Re: GPS III SV03 Launch Rescheduled

Postby jimh » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:33 pm

The GPS III SV03 launch is still on for tomorrow, June 30, 2020.

Much more information is at

https://www.americaspace.com/2020/06/28 ... n-tuesday/

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Re: GPS III SV03 Launch Rescheduled

Postby jimh » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:43 pm

Today’s launch was perfect. The SPACE FORCE’s GPS III SV 03 payload was lifted into its intended orbit, and the Falcon 9 first stage booster was recovered.

In the prior SpaceX launch of GPS SV01 the customer (the Air Force) insisted that all first stage propellants be used for the payload orbit mission, and there were no propellants reserved for recovery of the rocket. On this mission the customer agreed that SpaceX could reserve propellants for the recovery of the rocket, in return for a cost reduction on the mission. All went according to plan, and the first stage was recovered and can be reused on other launches by SpaceX, saving lots of money for both SpaceX and the SPACE FORCE.

The broadcast via YouTube live stream was very impressive. This was the 87th successful launch by SpaceX.

At 5:40 p.m. the GPS III SV03 separated from the Falcon 9 second stage, and will now raise itself to its final circular orbit using its own propulsion engine.

Both payload fairing halves were also recovered and can be reused.

jimh
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Re: GPS III SV03 Launch Rescheduled

Postby jimh » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:12 am

A replay of the launch broadcast can be viewed at

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zr0nfG3Xy4

Although not shown in the broadcast, the payload fairings were recovered by two specially designed vessels, the GO Ms. Chief and the GO Ms. Tree.

These two fairing recovery ships are fast offshore supply vessels that have been fitting with large nets. The fairings are equipped with a remotely controlled steerable parachute and their own thrusters, and descend with a considerable horizontal motion. The ships try to maneuver under the fairings and catch them in their nets before they hit the water. Accomplishing this has proven to be more difficult than one might expect. Sea conditions often affect the ability of the ships to maneuver at speed.

These fairing halves cost about $3-million each, so recovery and reuse can provide significant savings for future launches. Even if the ships miss the mid-air catch, they can still recover the fairings from the sea.

More about these fairing recovery ships at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ms._Tree_(ship)

A replay of a successful mid-air catch is available at

https://gfycat.com/densewellinformedirishterrier