By Douglas Messier
With the failure of the Falcon 9 on Sunday, SpaceX’s only launch vehicle will be grounded for an unknown number of months while engineers identify the cause of the crash and make necessary changes to ensure that failure won’t happen again.
The stand down will scramble SpaceX’s schedule for the rest of this year and into 2016. SpaceX had planned at least 9 launches carrying at least 28 payloads through the first quarter of next year. The manifest included the debut of the company’s 28-engine Falcon Heavy launch vehicle and an in-flight abort test using a modified Falcon 9 rocket by the end 2015.
The payloads include 26 communications satellites for commercial operators, the joint U.S.-European Jason 3 ocean topography satellite, and a Dragon test article for the in-flight abort test.
|SPACEX LAUNCH MANIFEST PRIOR TO FALCON 9 LAUNCH|
|DATE||LAUNCH VEHICLE||LAUNCH SITE||PAYLOADS||DESCRIPTION|
|8/8/15||Falcon 9||Vandenberg||Jason 3||U.S.-European ocean topography satellite will deliver data to NASA, NOAA, EUMETSAT and CNES.|
|August 2015||Falcon 9||Cape Canaveral||SES 9||SES communications satellite providing direct-to-home services in Northeast Asia, South Asia and Indonesia, and maritime communications to Indian Ocean ships.|
|August 2015||Falcon 9||Cape Canaveral||Orbcomm OG2||11 second-generation Orbcomm communications satellites|
|Fourth Quarter 2015||Falcon Heavy||Kennedy Space Center||Unknown||Demonstration flight of the 3-core, 28-engine heavy-lift launch vehicle|
|Fourth Quarter 2015||Falcon 9||Cape Canaveral||Eutelsat 117 West B & ABS 2A||Pair of Boeing satellites using all-electric propulsion. Eutelsat 117 West B will provide communications services to Latin America. ABS 2A will serve Russia, India, Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean area.|
|Fourth Quarter 2015||Falcon 9||Cape Canaveral||JCSAT 14||Providing data, television and mobile communications services in Hawaii, Japan, East Asia, Russia, and Oceania.|
|Second Half 2015||Modified Falcon 9||Vandenberg||Dragon test article||In-flight abort test for the Dragon V2 crew vehicle|
|First Quarter 2016||Falcon 9||Cape Canaveral||Amos 6||Communications and broadcast services to U.S. East Coast, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.|
|First Quarter 2016||Falcon 9||Vandenberg||Iridium Next||10 Iridium Next mobile communications satellites|
A Falcon 9 was to have launched 11 OG2 satellites for Orbcomm in August. Another rocket was scheduled to boost 10 Iridium Next satellites into orbit for Iridium during the first quarter of 2016.
SpaceX also was scheduled to launch communications satellites during this period for Eutelsat, SES, Spacecom, SKY Perfect JSAT Corp., and Asia Broadcast Satellite of Bermuda and Hong Kong.
The accident will likely mean a delay in the first demonstration flight of the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle, which was scheduled to occur by the end of the year. SpaceX had originally scheduled to have the heavy-lift launcher flying by early 2013, but the company ran into delays.
|PLANNED FALCON HEAVY MISSIONS|
|Fourth Quarter 2015||Falcon Heavy||None||Unknown||First demonstration flight of the 3-core, 28-engine heavy-lift launch vehicle|
|2016||Falcon Heavy||DOD||LightSail,Prox-1 nanosatellite, Green Propellant Infusion Mission||Second demonstration mission in support of USAF certification of Falcon Heavy|
|2016||Falcon Heavy||ViaSat, Inc.||ViaSat-2||Ka-Band broadband satellite|
|2017||Falcon Heavy||Iridium||Communications satellite||Geosynchronous satellite|
|2018||Falcon Heavy||Arabsat||Arabsat 6A||Saudia Arabian communications satellite|