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SpaceX successfully launches its first attempt at geosynchronous orbit

Early this evening in Florida, space transport company SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket on a trajectory to place a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. The success comes on the third attempt, with one of the previous tries getting as far as engine ignition before shutting down. If the remaining maneuvers are completed successfully, the launch will place a commercial communications satellite into a geosynchronous orbit that will keep it positioned above Asia—and represent the first… ( More...

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phil gibson 4
I was inflight.....saw the launch "live"......awesome! Also, filmed it. What a treat!
Tim Eichman 1
Did you post the video anywhere (wink,wink, nudge, nudge)?
phil gibson 2
Not yet.......I may post it to utube later today. It was awesome!
Ric Wernicke 2
Why are they putting an Orbital Sciences TV satellite over SE Asia? Who there would pay even $10 a month for TV service? Cable and Satellite TV in the US is $100 a month and subscribers are dropping like flies. Internet streaming of video on demand is the path to the future.
Wonder what kind of liability insurance you buy for a rocket gone awry?
CyranoSmith 1
Lloyd's of London makes out either way, I expect.
Matt Lacey 1
For liability insurance, there's actually FAA regs on that (and the House just voted to extend the rest). Basically, the government requires commercial launch entities (U.S. launch companies launching from anywhere or foreign companies launching from the U.S., which there aren't any) to buy ALL available insurance on the market, which is in the high 9 figures. That insures 3rd party hazards, like some unlucky boat in the Atlantic or if there were extremely remote (10^10 or more) chances that all of the different layers of controls failed and a wayward rocket went into an inhabited area. Because the chances are so remote, the rates are quite low. Any damages above that 9-figure amount are paid, per international treaties, from the Treasury. That part of it is what the House just voted to extend.

For insurance of the payload and rocket itself, that's up to the contract between the launcher and the payload. These rates are actually fairly low (<12%) right now because there have not been a lot of recent payouts. In the case of government satellites, they are too unique so the insurance industry won't insure them at reasonable prices. Hence NASA and the USAF have their own engineers who look at designs and testing to ensure mission success.
Thanks. I figured there had to be some type of liability ins. Hasn't happened yet but it will. Murphy always shows up at some point.
Tom Kennedy 1
Great work! I'm impressed to see the Falcon 9 is powerful enough to get a satellite that far out in space. Normal geosync is out around 36,000KM. That's some rocket!!
Matt Lacey 1
The transfer orbit where the Falcon 9 dropped the satellite off was somewhere around 275km x 80500km. Orbit mechanics figured out that flying above GSO and having the spacecraft raise its perigee from there is actually more efficient than a straight Hohmann transfer to GSO altitude.

A little inside baseball.
Tom Kennedy 1
Thanks for the info, I can see that a long ellipse would be more practical and stable.
Are rocket launches exempt from EPA?
kev wu 1
AWESOME!! Cant believe I missed the launch


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