Author Topic: Rebuilding SLC-40  (Read 277817 times)

Offline cppetrie

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #520 on: 09/27/2017 05:31 PM »
They should have dismantled the TEL on the west coast and carted it east.

Then all the Iridium missions, FORMOSAT, and other missions would have been pushed back by about a year. Also take into account that it takes time and money to dismantle and rebuild the TEL.

Also the SLC-4E TEL is sized for Falcon Heavy, I don't think it would fit in the HIF on on the pad at LC-40.
Plus it doesn’t utilize the new throwback method, which would presumably limit turn-around time. Turnaround at LC-40 will be important whereas it is less so at Vandenberg because there is far fewer launches per year off the west coast.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #521 on: 09/27/2017 07:38 PM »
They should have dismantled the TEL on the west coast and carted it east.

Then all the Iridium missions, FORMOSAT, and other missions would have been pushed back by about a year. Also take into account that it takes time and money to dismantle and rebuild the TEL.

Also the SLC-4E TEL is sized for Falcon Heavy, I don't think it would fit in the HIF on on the pad at LC-40.
Plus it doesn’t utilize the new throwback method, which would presumably limit turn-around time. Turnaround at LC-40 will be important whereas it is less so at Vandenberg because there is far fewer launches per year off the west coast.

Cutting apart a TEL and putting it back together probably would cost more and take longer than building a new one.  Since the West Coast will be venue for launching a bunch of the Starlink sats, I suspect a new throw-back, FH TEL will be built out there, too... when the queue allows.
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Online russianhalo117

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #522 on: 09/28/2017 04:56 AM »
They should have dismantled the TEL on the west coast and carted it east.
All new TEL's will be 39A TEL design with slight changes since 39A is a special case. SLC-40 TEL is a single stick version of the 39A TEL

Offline Comga

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #523 on: 09/28/2017 07:09 PM »
Have we had enough responses to Zingpc's simple if curious question? 
It appears that consensus has been reached on a negative response, despite many contributors convictions about what SpaceX "should have done".
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline jpo234

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #524 on: 09/28/2017 08:55 PM »
Some time ago there was a post from ShawnGSE where he explained that the TEL has to be assembled in place. Drilling the holes is done in place because of thermal expansion.

That's exactly why our machining must be done in place.  The fixtures are welded out entirely before we get them so we can avoid heat induced distortion.



If only it were that easy.  This is the kind of machining that has to be done in place with boring bars and X-Y mills shot into location with laser trackers (which is what I do).  You need to be able to climb like a kid on a tree house with your machining equipment on your back, hit size marks .0018 wide, and do it all in the heat of summer while swatting away mosquitoes no noseeums.

If I understand this correctly, than the TELs are not interchangeable and unique to their pad.
« Last Edit: 09/28/2017 09:08 PM by jpo234 »
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Offline whitelancer64

Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #525 on: 09/28/2017 09:37 PM »
Technically, TELs would be unique to the rocket its launching, but they also have to be integrated to the GSE equipment that's built into the pad that it's at as well, all of which are different.

If SpaceX had clean-built all of its launch pads to the same design, then they could use interchangeable TELs.
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Offline rpapo

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #526 on: 10/01/2017 07:02 PM »
If SpaceX had clean-built all of its launch pads to the same design, then they could use interchangeable TELs.
SpaceX do something the exact same way twice?  I don't think even the Falcons are all identical, what with the forever ongoing tweaks they do.  The chances of them making two identical launch pads, even only months apart, are (IMHO) quite small.

Correction: I don't think there are two identical Falcons out there.  Obviously can't even come close to that over the entire (40+) production run so far.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 10:14 AM by rpapo »
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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #527 on: 10/01/2017 08:07 PM »
I have been trying to find out when SLC-40 will return to operational status. I have found no news articles here about it since the one on April 12. Almost no other site has even mentioned it. The one site I have found a reference to it is on Spaceflight101 that lists Koreasat-5A as launching from it in 2 weeks. Can anyone confirm or refute this?
https://spaceflight101.com/calendar/

Offline old_sellsword

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #528 on: 10/01/2017 08:11 PM »
I have been trying to find out when SLC-40 will return to operational status. I have found no news articles here about it since the one on April 12. Almost no other site has even mentioned it. The one site I have found a reference to it is on Spaceflight101 that lists Koreasat-5A as launching from it in 2 weeks. Can anyone confirm or refute this?
https://spaceflight101.com/calendar/

KoreaSat-5A was planned for SLC-40, but got bumped back to Pad 39A because SLC-40 isn’t ready yet.

I wouldn’t hold your breath for SLC-40 reactivation, or even news about it. SpaceX has been keeping it very much under the radar.

Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #529 on: 10/02/2017 02:55 AM »
This was a tweet someone thought proved that CRS 13 would be going from 39A. I think this is incorrect. The request clearly identifies the launch vehicle as experimental. At this point, I do not think the Falcon 9 is still experimental. Also, why would they be installing 4 new transmitters to support the same launches that have been going on for almost a year now?
It is more likely that the transmitters are there to support the test launches of the Falcon Heavy. The request defines a time period of 5 months that I believe cover the 2 test launches of the Falcon Heavy.
https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/913806233626431489

Online gongora

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #530 on: 10/02/2017 03:30 AM »
This was a tweet someone thought proved that CRS 13 would be going from 39A. I think this is incorrect. The request clearly identifies the launch vehicle as experimental. At this point, I do not think the Falcon 9 is still experimental. Also, why would they be installing 4 new transmitters to support the same launches that have been going on for almost a year now?
It is more likely that the transmitters are there to support the test launches of the Falcon Heavy. The request defines a time period of 5 months that I believe cover the 2 test launches of the Falcon Heavy.
https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/913806233626431489

No.  Launch vehicles don't have an assigned range of frequencies reserved for their use.  For EVERY launch SpaceX has to get a Special Temporary Authority to use the frequencies.  This is done through the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology's Experimental Licensing System.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 03:31 AM by gongora »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #531 on: 10/07/2017 10:51 PM »
Had to remove a couple of photos as they were probably taken without SpaceX approval (not by any member here, I'd add. Found on instagram).

It's basically what you already know....40 is a while away yet because the TEL is still being constructed.

Online StuffOfInterest

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #532 on: 10/08/2017 12:56 AM »
Interesting that the TEL would be the long poll in bringing the pad back online.  SpaceX must have known that it needed replaced as soon as the fires were out.  I'd think they would have been working on it in the hangar as soon as they decided on any design changes and either before or at the same time as work started on the rest of the pad.

Online DaveS

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #533 on: 10/08/2017 01:13 AM »
Interesting that the TEL would be the long poll in bringing the pad back online.  SpaceX must have known that it needed replaced as soon as the fires were out.  I'd think they would have been working on it in the hangar as soon as they decided on any design changes and either before or at the same time as work started on the rest of the pad.
Doesn't SpaceX only have two pad teams, one for Vandenberg and one for the Cape? The Cape team was busy modding and activating 39A at the time, so that team wasn't freed up until 39A had been activated and supported its first F9 launch. So that would have delayed any significant work of 40.
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #534 on: 10/08/2017 02:12 AM »
Don't forget that several storms/hurricanes that disrupt the schedule.

Offline crandles57

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #535 on: 10/11/2017 02:00 PM »
Quote
SLC-40 is not expected to be ready to support a launch until at least the end of November.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/falcon-9-second-launch-week-ses-11/

Offline Mike_1179

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #536 on: 10/12/2017 01:23 PM »
Interesting that the TEL would be the long poll in bringing the pad back online.  SpaceX must have known that it needed replaced as soon as the fires were out.  I'd think they would have been working on it in the hangar as soon as they decided on any design changes and either before or at the same time as work started on the rest of the pad.

I think it's harder than most people believe to build a TEL. It may look like a big, dumb mass of steel truss with a few pipes running through it, but it's more complicated than that. There are some very tight tolerances that have to be held on a big structure that will bend under its own weight and then further when loaded with a vehicle and pumped full of cryo propellant. There was a post from one of the guys working on the LC-39 TEL where he mentioned having to haul his machining equipment up the truss while it was strapped to his back to do high-precision machining in situ. Holding gauge tolerances on something 200' tall is not a simple as cut-weld-paint.

Offline joncz

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #537 on: 10/12/2017 03:43 PM »
Interesting that the TEL would be the long poll in bringing the pad back online.

Long pole - think tent poles.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #538 on: 10/12/2017 03:50 PM »
Interesting that the TEL would be the long poll in bringing the pad back online.  SpaceX must have known that it needed replaced as soon as the fires were out.  I'd think they would have been working on it in the hangar as soon as they decided on any design changes and either before or at the same time as work started on the rest of the pad.

I think it's harder than most people believe to build a TEL. It may look like a big, dumb mass of steel truss with a few pipes running through it, but it's more complicated than that. There are some very tight tolerances that have to be held on a big structure that will bend under its own weight and then further when loaded with a vehicle and pumped full of cryo propellant. There was a post from one of the guys working on the LC-39 TEL where he mentioned having to haul his machining equipment up the truss while it was strapped to his back to do high-precision machining in situ. Holding gauge tolerances on something 200' tall is not a simple as cut-weld-paint.

Also, it's packed full of piping, duct work, electrical and controls and designed and built to survive a F9 launch a few feet away.

Rockets are hard, like really hard.
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Offline SDSmith

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Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #539 on: 10/12/2017 04:16 PM »
Interesting that the TEL would be the long poll in bringing the pad back online.  SpaceX must have known that it needed replaced as soon as the fires were out.  I'd think they would have been working on it in the hangar as soon as they decided on any design changes and either before or at the same time as work started on the rest of the pad.

I think it's harder than most people believe to build a TEL. It may look like a big, dumb mass of steel truss with a few pipes running through it, but it's more complicated than that. There are some very tight tolerances that have to be held on a big structure that will bend under its own weight and then further when loaded with a vehicle and pumped full of cryo propellant. There was a post from one of the guys working on the LC-39 TEL where he mentioned having to haul his machining equipment up the truss while it was strapped to his back to do high-precision machining in situ. Holding gauge tolerances on something 200' tall is not a simple as cut-weld-paint.

Also, it's packed full of piping, duct work, electrical and controls and designed and built to survive a F9 launch a few feet away.

Rockets are hard, like really hard.
A steel fabricator has to do the initial work before SpaceX can start welding anything. The steel fabricator has to have the capacity to do the job. Once the job is started they have a massive list of steel to cut to a specific length and angle,then load the steel on to flat bed trailers grouping the steel in sections so they can start welding a section. I remember that 39A TEL is 1,500,000 pounds and at 40,000 pounds per load that will take 38 trailers to deliver. The LC40 TEL weight of 500,000 pounds (SWAG) that would be around 13 truck loads. A considerable amount of work has to be done before the welders get hold of the steel. I'm impressed as to what has been done.


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