[FPSPACE] correction/update

David Portree dsfportree at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 6 16:57:22 EDT 2017


It's not too complicated. If a rocket can't get off the ground because it shuts down at T-9 seconds for reasons unknown, it means in most cases that a launch scrub occurs, which in turn means that the mission becomes vulnerable to other schedule pressures, be they other scheduled launches, poor weather conditions on the reset date, launch team weariness, holidays, or whatever.

If it does it twice, then probably the launch should be called off until the problem can be understood. From what I am hearing here, SpaceX just nudged the software. Again, I think back to pre-Challenger Shuttle, when, as you put it, "schedule was king" and problems were ignored.

A scrub - or even two back-to-back - would not matter so much except SpaceX has set itself a formidable launch schedule which it says it needs to meet to become economical. Hence, it needs its rockets to work when they are supposed to work. Hence, if they fail to launch *twice* in succession, and only make it off on the third try, then I call that a partial success.

SpaceX imposed a brisk schedule on its rockets and other infrastructure. I'm just assuming that they actually mean to meet that schedule.

If a rocket is meant to operate in any weather conditions and it cannot, then it is not fully a success. Otherwise, one cannot fault the rocket for weather delays (but if weather destroys a rocket that should not have been launched because of weather, then one can blame the launch team, as per Challenger).

No point in answering the other questions - they're sort of silly.


David S. F. Portree


dsfportree at hotmail.com<mailto:dsfportree at hotmail.com>



From: FPSPACE <fpspace-bounces at mail.friends-partners.org> on behalf of Robert Pearlman <robert at collectspace.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 7:47 AM
To: FPSPACE at mail.friends-partners.org
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] correction/update

Just trying to explore the logic here... are weather delays setbacks? If schedule is king and the launch had been delayed by two days due to bad weather, would that be a ding on SpaceX, too?

What about a range safety delay? For example, a wayward boat; would that result in a partial launch success?

When NASA (or any of its customers) request a change of schedule, requiring a shuffle of the manifest, does that result in a partial launch success?

What if ULA experiences a launch delay, forcing SpaceX to slip a launch? Is that then a partial success for ULA alone or ULA and SpaceX?

> On Jul 5, 2017, at 11:53 PM, David Portree <dsfportree at hotmail.com> wrote:
> For the sake of argument (and because I am a curmudgeon), I'm going to call this a partial success because of the delays. As long as the business model demands 40 or so launches a year, delays are set-backs.

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