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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Mega Thread Archive Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 11/17/2014 01:58 PM

Title: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/17/2014 01:58 PM
A round up on the latest for Falcon Heavy's debut from KSC's 39A:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/11/pad-39a-spacex-groundwork-falcon-heavy-debut/

Includes overview and history. L2 info. SpaceX comments to us. L2 graphics and photos and general excitement about a new rocket being added to the family! :)

Special thanks to Okan170 and Jdeshetler for their continued efforts on the visuals. Remember, these aren't SpaceX renderings, they are created in L2 via data (although we've been showing them to SpaceX - right to the top - and they really like them too!)

Giving this a standalone thread and we'll start another new FH general thread later.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: sigil on 11/17/2014 02:42 PM
Great article! Im glad to see Orkan170's amazing renders accompanied it!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: tesla on 11/17/2014 02:45 PM
WOW This article took my breath away...  ;D Thank you!!! I will be there next summer to see the launch and I will bring my telescope with optical tracking. I should be able to capture some nice videos. ;)

Btw. "Related Articles"..... "SpaceX reveals Falcon 1 Halloween date"

This is from 2005. Maybe it's time to update this related articles section. xD
...or is this already a tradition ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: nimbostratus on 11/17/2014 03:38 PM
It seems that the tower is not needed either, since the TEL can provide the function.

And can some one tell me what is Boca Chica launch site intended for? Forgive me if this question has beem asked.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 11/17/2014 03:41 PM
I'm surprised that the hangar is so close to the pad again. Since they are going to be laying new rails for the TEL and there seems to be plenty of space available, you might think it would be prudent to build it further back along the causeway to protect it from a (hopefully unlikely) failure like Antares.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/17/2014 03:46 PM
This article is a "tour de force" Chris... Thank you! :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: clongton on 11/17/2014 03:58 PM
Great article Chris - thanks.
Looking forward to continuing updates on the pad and Falcon Heavy.
:)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: hpras on 11/17/2014 04:04 PM
I wonder if the rail system have some kind of leveling feature like the crawlers did, or will the FH be dragged up the ramp in a 'head down' position.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Hog on 11/17/2014 04:06 PM
This article is a "tour de force" Chris... Thank you! :)
Tour de Force"
an impressive performance or achievement that has been accomplished or managed with great skill

Excellent summation.

As always Chris, great work.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MTom on 11/17/2014 04:11 PM
Is this thread only for discussing about construction of Pad39A, or generally about FH maiden flight?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JasonAW3 on 11/17/2014 04:19 PM
Is this thread only for discussing about construction of Pad39A, or generally about FH maiden flight?

It appears to be a combination of the two.

Although, if SpaceX is planning on sharing the pad, what other modifications will be needed to accommidate other launcher types than the Falcon Heavy and the BFR?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/17/2014 04:37 PM
It is my understanding that LC-39A will also be used for NASA-funded Falcon-9 v.1.1 launches too, including Dragon cargo and crew. I'm sure there are lots of folk at KSC who are glad that ISS crews will launch from their side of the island rather than from CCAFS.

It occurs to me that the RSS could be re-purposed too, some structural modifications so it folds around the Falcon-9 to allow on-pad servicing rather than having to roll back to the HIF. From the article, I got the impression that this isn't in SpaceX's plans right now but it might be at least a Powerpoint proposal somewhere in the organisation.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MattMason on 11/17/2014 04:42 PM
Excellent article. With stuff like that, I'm this close to looking to an L2 membership for my Christmas present.  8)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Orbiter on 11/17/2014 04:44 PM
It is my understanding that LC-39A will also be used for NASA-funded Falcon-9 v.1.1 launches too, including Dragon cargo and crew. I'm sure there are lots of folk at KSC who are glad that ISS crews will launch from their side of the island rather than from CCAFS.

It occurs to me that the RSS could be re-purposed too, some structural modifications so it folds around the Falcon-9 to allow on-pad servicing rather than having to roll back to the HIF. From the article, I got the impression that this isn't in SpaceX's plans right now but it might be at least a Powerpoint proposal somewhere in the organisation.

That's my understanding, too. I wonder when the first CRS launch will be from LC-39A.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: butters on 11/17/2014 04:50 PM
It seems that the tower is not needed either, since the TEL can provide the function.

And can some one tell me what is Boca Chica launch site intended for? Forgive me if this question has beem asked.

The FSS tower will be used for crew access to Dragon 2 (and emergency egress facilities). It also provides lightning protection.

Boca Chica will be for commercial GEO missions. LC-39A will be for NASA missions and manned missions. SLC-4W will be for SSO and other high-inclination missions. LC-40 will be for DoD/NRO missions and any unmanned commercial missions to orbits unsuitable for Boca Chica or Vandenberg.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 11/17/2014 05:25 PM
It is my understanding that LC-39A will also be used for NASA-funded Falcon-9 v.1.1 launches too, including Dragon cargo and crew. I'm sure there are lots of folk at KSC who are glad that ISS crews will launch from their side of the island rather than from CCAFS.

It occurs to me that the RSS could be re-purposed too, some structural modifications so it folds around the Falcon-9 to allow on-pad servicing rather than having to roll back to the HIF. From the article, I got the impression that this isn't in SpaceX's plans right now but it might be at least a Powerpoint proposal somewhere in the organisation.

No, they are just delaying its destruction.  It is not a good idea to reuse it.

Also, there is no difference whether ISS crews launch from KSC or CCAFS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/17/2014 05:53 PM
Also, there is no difference whether ISS crews launch from KSC or CCAFS.

In engineering and operational terms? Quite correct. However, this is about politics, perceptions and managerial turf. In that environment, it matters very much.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rcoppola on 11/17/2014 06:06 PM
I would think the mentioned "reinforcements" to the FSS is future proofing for when they eventually detach the RSS and add a level or two when preparing for their first Commercial Crew launch in 2017.

We'll probably see that Phase 2 of the Pad Mods in early to mid-2016?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rcoppola on 11/17/2014 06:13 PM
Also, there is no difference whether ISS crews launch from KSC or CCAFS.

In engineering and operational terms? Quite correct. However, this is about politics, perceptions and managerial turf. In that environment, it matters very much.
In this case, I'm not sure about that. After all Boeing is launching CST from the CCAFS side. SpaceX wanted 39A primarily because it's a time/cost saving, pre-existing infrastructure they can economically modify to use for their Dragon2 Crewed Service Contracts as well as FH.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 11/17/2014 06:42 PM
Also, there is no difference whether ISS crews launch from KSC or CCAFS.

In engineering and operational terms? Quite correct. However, this is about politics, perceptions and managerial turf. In that environment, it matters very much.

No, they are subject to the same range constraints.  There is no oversight by the USAF at either site and there is no oversight by NASA at either site.   NASA has no more control on KSC than on CCAFS for commercial launches.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AndyX on 11/17/2014 08:49 PM
Another article that shows this is easily the best site for SpaceX news.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 11/17/2014 09:48 PM
I'm actually a little surprised to see they didn't sit the hangar back a little further so as to allow the crawler way to still be usable all the way to the pad.  With their clean pad approach I could see them having a scenario where a crawler could bring a vertically integrated payload to the pad.  Putting the hangar another hundred feet back would have allowed for this while still giving them a straight shot up the ramp with their rails.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: TomH on 11/17/2014 09:54 PM
I'm actually a little surprised to see they didn't sit the hangar back a little further so as to allow the crawler way to still be usable all the way to the pad.  With their clean pad approach I could see them having a scenario where a crawler could bring a vertically integrated payload to the pad.  Putting the hangar another hundred feet back would allowed for this while still giving them a straight shot up the ramp with their rails.

Protected wetlands severely limited where they could construct it. If you look at photos, there are places where there is water on both sides of the crawlerway.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: okan170 on 11/18/2014 06:27 AM
Is it just me, or do the illustrations show the FH side boosters to be the same height as the core stage?  For a long time, it was said the side boosters would be longer, but it doesn't appear that way in the latest pictures.

their is going to be both versions that have cross feeds form the boosters and non cross feed versions. i would assume its the depiction of an non cross feed version and in which case it would be a waste to use extended boosters.

Well, nothing so nuanced  ;) Much of the FH depicted here is notional based on info available and whatever else can be found with some artistic license where there is little to no info available (boosters are connected with something fairly generic).   How stretched should the boosters be?
Title: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 11/18/2014 06:36 AM
All the SpaceX artwork that has been released (not much) is consistent - the booster tanks extend about 2/3rds up the interstage. Then the nose cone is on top of that. Here is the view from the web site:
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: okan170 on 11/18/2014 07:04 AM
All the SpaceX artwork that has been released (not much) is consistent - the booster tanks extend about 2/3rds up the interstage. Then the nose cone is on top of that. Here is the view from the web site:

Ah ok, yeah, thats the one I built mine off of, though the paint job is based on the flying Falcon 9 with the Falcon logo on the white interstage, .  Heres a quick orthogonal view; the Merlin Vac is under the FH logo.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/18/2014 11:26 AM
The renderings are from L2 and will only be worked and refined in there. People showing screenshots from a mural created over five years ago is not a refinement. Thread trimmed.

Thanks to those with the kind words, but let's discuss the content as it's a news story and you've all missed one of the key bits of info.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: tesla on 11/18/2014 12:19 PM
you've all missed one of the key bits of info.

And what's that?  ;D The structural reinforcements of the shuttle tower? Or that FH will try to return all 3 boosters to the land again? ... Lots of work to do for our friends over in Hawthorne. ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/18/2014 01:04 PM
you've all missed one of the key bits of info.

And what's that?  ;D The structural reinforcements of the shuttle tower? Or that FH will try to return all 3 boosters to the land again? ... Lots of work to do for our friends over in Hawthorne. ;)

The potential timeline to the WDR. They could be going from piledrivers to a facility with three cores and on the pad by July! That's stunning in my eyes.

Dates are subject to change of course, but still!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MTom on 11/18/2014 01:16 PM
you've all missed one of the key bits of info.

And what's that?  ;D The structural reinforcements of the shuttle tower? Or that FH will try to return all 3 boosters to the land again? ... Lots of work to do for our friends over in Hawthorne. ;)

The potential timeline to the WDR. They could be going from piledrivers to a facility with three cores and on the pad by July! That's stunning in my eyes.

Dates are subject to change of course, but still!

It't really sporty.
However, avoiding heavy modifications of FSS/RSS allowing parallel working on the hangar and the pad itself.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: ThereIWas3 on 11/18/2014 01:40 PM
No, they are just delaying its destruction.  It is not a good idea to reuse it.

In addition to not being needed in SpaceX's mode of operation, the RSS is probably a royal pain to maintain in working order and a money pit.  SPX is probably thinking they will get the pad useful again quicker by delaying the removal of RSS until later.  They can't just take it down with explosives like they did with the old Titan facility.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 11/18/2014 01:59 PM
No, they are just delaying its destruction.  It is not a good idea to reuse it.

In addition to not being needed in SpaceX's mode of operation, the RSS is probably a royal pain to maintain in working order and a money pit.  SPX is probably thinking they will get the pad useful again quicker by delaying the removal of RSS until later.  They can't just take it down with explosives like they did with the old Titan facility.

But they wanted to!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: RoboGoofers on 11/18/2014 02:21 PM
In addition to not being needed in SpaceX's mode of operation, the RSS is probably a royal pain to maintain in working order and a money pit.  SPX is probably thinking they will get the pad useful again quicker by delaying the removal of RSS until later.  They can't just take it down with explosives like they did with the old Titan facility.

By delaying the deconstruction, they can also push that budget item to a more profitable/less risky year.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: happyflower on 11/18/2014 11:27 PM
Sorry if its been answered already. But if they launch the F9H from pad 39A, where will they land the 3 cores simultaneously?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: 411rocket on 11/18/2014 11:40 PM
Sorry if its been answered already. But if they launch the F9H from pad 39A, where will they land the 3 cores simultaneously?

They currently have a barge in the works, until they get the ok to land at the Cape. Then it may get used for the center core, which will be too far away for RTLS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lar on 11/18/2014 11:48 PM
Sorry if its been answered already. But if they launch the F9H from pad 39A, where will they land the 3 cores simultaneously?

They currently have a barge in the works, until they get the ok to land at the Cape. Then it may get used for the center core, which will be too far away for RTLS.

If they try to recover all 3 cores early, they presumably would need 2 barges, one for the boosters (that would be a spectacular view!!! two cores landing near simultaneously at opposite ends) and another for the center core, farther downrange...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: 411rocket on 11/19/2014 12:43 AM
Sorry if its been answered already. But if they launch the F9H from pad 39A, where will they land the 3 cores simultaneously?

They currently have a barge in the works, until they get the ok to land at the Cape. Then it may get used for the center core, which will be too far away for RTLS.


If they try to recover all 3 cores early, they presumably would need 2 barges, one for the boosters (that would be a spectacular view!!! two cores landing near simultaneously at opposite ends) and another for the center core, farther downrange...

I figure they will go for, 2 out of three with the FH, but they may also try a core boost back to the barge. This may be possible, if the barge is far enough out where, the boosters basically drop straight down, or boost forward a bit. Then the core may also be saved, as well.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: happyflower on 11/19/2014 01:57 AM
I did see Elon stating that they will use a barge next time. Lets assume that the barge landing is successful, at some point they will need to land on ground (presumably close to launch site). So is there a large enough location at the cape to facilitate the return of 3 F9s at the same time?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 11/19/2014 03:07 AM
I did see Elon stating that they will use a barge next time. Lets assume that the barge landing is successful, at some point they will need to land on ground (presumably close to launch site). So is there a large enough location at the cape to facilitate the return of 3 F9s at the same time?

That is being discussed on (probably, more than one) other threads.  Here's one (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34534.0).

Probably best if we don't repeat all of that now on this thread too.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Kabloona on 11/19/2014 03:37 AM
So is there a large enough location at the cape to facilitate the return of 3 F9s at the same time?

As was said above, the center core will not have enough residual propellant to do a boostback to land. They will either let it sink or maybe try to land on the barge.

So there will never be 3 stages returning to land from one launch. 2 at most. The KSC/Cape master plan map shows a proposed generic landing area near the shore north of the launch complexes, but there aren't any details yet.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 11/19/2014 06:25 AM
So is there a large enough location at the cape to facilitate the return of 3 F9s at the same time?

As was said above, the center core will not have enough residual propellant to do a boostback to land. They will either let it sink or maybe try to land on the barge.

Not true. Return of all three cores reduces the payload a lot. But I understand they can deliver at least 7t to GTO which will enable them to launch even the heaviest Com-Sats while expending only the upper stage. Downrange recovery is considered for payloads heavier than that.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: newpylong on 11/19/2014 05:49 PM
Building over the crawlerway - interesting. Must really not be any room.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 11/19/2014 08:09 PM
Building over the crawlerway - interesting. Must really not be any room.
or the crawler way is the easiest, cheapest place to build because it's already a pretty good foundation and the EPA doesn't need to be involved.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rpapo on 11/19/2014 08:54 PM
Building over the crawlerway - interesting. Must really not be any room.
or the crawler way is the easiest, cheapest place to build because it's already a pretty good foundation and the EPA doesn't need to be involved.
Nor all that stuff involving archaeology either.  Remember the document we saw a few months back regarding the proposed vertical processing facility for LC40?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MP99 on 11/20/2014 08:49 AM


So is there a large enough location at the cape to facilitate the return of 3 F9s at the same time?

As was said above, the center core will not have enough residual propellant to do a boostback to land. They will either let it sink or maybe try to land on the barge.

So there will never be 3 stages returning to land from one launch. 2 at most. The KSC/Cape master plan map shows a proposed generic landing area near the shore north of the launch complexes, but there aren't any details yet.

Once they get crossfeed operational, that will make RTLS of the boosters quite a bit easier (they will stage earlier / slower / lower, so the recovery penalty is smaller).

Barge for the core only, much further downrange. Reminder that for a Boca Chica launch the core would overshoot Florida. (Which I mention only to highlight just how far downrange we're talking about - not a topic for discussion on this thread).

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cscott on 11/20/2014 02:17 PM
Building over the crawlerway - interesting. Must really not be any room.

The environmental assessment report for Pad 39A (http://environmental.ksc.nasa.gov/projects/documents/FinalMultiuseEA.pdf) (thank @sghill for that (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31847.msg1214456#msg1214456)!), showed the five different placements considered.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Kabloona on 11/20/2014 02:25 PM
So is there a large enough location at the cape to facilitate the return of 3 F9s at the same time?

As was said above, the center core will not have enough residual propellant to do a boostback to land. They will either let it sink or maybe try to land on the barge.

Not true. Return of all three cores reduces the payload a lot. But I understand they can deliver at least 7t to GTO which will enable them to launch even the heaviest Com-Sats while expending only the upper stage. Downrange recovery is considered for payloads heavier than that.

I stand corrected.

By the way, in answer to the original question, LC-13 is apparently the prime candidate for landing site at the Cape. Presumably SpaceX is looking down the road to simultaneous multiple stage returns and planning accordingly.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/11/crs-5-dragon-mission-iss-evaluating-december-target/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rpapo on 11/20/2014 03:08 PM
Presumably SpaceX is looking down the road to simultaneous multiple stage returns and planning accordingly.
The two landing pads at Vandenberg will be very close to each other, and there is a lot more space available at LC-13.  They should have no trouble building two 100m2 concrete pads (each twice the size of the barge) a few hundred yards apart from each other.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Beittil on 11/20/2014 03:19 PM
Landing pads would need to be bigger than 100m2 though, because at that size they wouldn't even cover the leg span of the returning stage (which is 18 meters I believe?). 100m2 = 10 by 10 meters.

The current pad at McGregor is (I believe) 30 by 30 meters. This comes down to 900m2, still something that you could easily fit twice over at LC13 it seems to be, but quite a bit more area than you project here :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Kabloona on 11/20/2014 03:46 PM
Landing pads would need to be bigger than 100m2 though, because at that size they wouldn't even cover the leg span of the returning stage (which is 18 meters I believe?). 100m2 = 10 by 10 meters.

He means 100 m x 100 m, which is about twice the size of the barge SpaceX is building for ocean landings, as he mentioned.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rpapo on 11/20/2014 04:27 PM
Landing pads would need to be bigger than 100m2 though, because at that size they wouldn't even cover the leg span of the returning stage (which is 18 meters I believe?). 100m2 = 10 by 10 meters.

He means 100 m x 100 m, which is about twice the size of the barge SpaceX is building for ocean landings, as he mentioned.
I've fixed my earlier post.  I hadn't noticed the "superscript" button here before.  Anyway, 100m squared is actually far larger than what they've been using for Grasshopper, and in fact almost as wide as the widest airport runway in the world (a Russian one).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cscott on 11/20/2014 05:02 PM
Landing pads would need to be bigger than 100m2 though, because at that size they wouldn't even cover the leg span of the returning stage (which is 18 meters I believe?). 100m2 = 10 by 10 meters.

He means 100 m x 100 m, which is about twice the size of the barge SpaceX is building for ocean landings, as he mentioned.
I've fixed my earlier post.  I hadn't noticed the "superscript" button here before.  Anyway, 100m squared is actually far larger than what they've been using for Grasshopper, and in fact almost as wide as the widest airport runway in the world (a Russian one).

100m x 100m = 10,000m2.  It's best to say "100m on a side" if that's what you mean.

From Vandenberg I think people are misapprehending the implications: 2 pads under construction at Vandenberg plus consideration of an island downrange = return 2 side boosters to vandenberg, eventually return the center core to the downrange island (but not immediately, for a while it will be expendable).  Yes, those parameters are "not ideal" -- you could get greater throw capability by landing *everything* downrange, and the island is not "far enough" downrange to be optimal for the center.  But SpaceX has been clear that they are not aiming at theoretic optimality, they are aiming to reduce costs and decrease turnaround time.  So: return to landing site for the boosters, and return downrange only for the center core, and only as far downrange as the presence of terra firma and site availability permits.  At this point in time SpaceX is operating as if they believe that barge landing is not an economic/practical long-term solution.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 11/20/2014 05:30 PM
Or at least that terra firma makes a better/cheaper 'barge' than one bobbing out in the pond...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: brettreds2k on 12/02/2014 05:59 PM
Cant wait to see some pictures as they start building.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: M_Puckett on 12/08/2014 04:10 AM
BTW, the first time in my life I ever saw the Atlantic was driving up on one of those two pads in a tour bus as a 12 year old in 1978 so I know how close they are to the ocean.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/16/2014 08:04 PM
LC 39A Today.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: ugordan on 12/17/2014 09:46 PM
Does this video by Florida Today show anything of interest? Apparently, the footage was taken today.

http://www.floridatoday.com/videos/news/local/2014/12/17/20547263/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/21/2014 09:02 PM
Does this video by Florida Today show anything of interest? Apparently, the footage was taken today.

http://www.floridatoday.com/videos/news/local/2014/12/17/20547263/

First picture looks like the start of the strong back construction, second shows the crawlerway and hangar constructon
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/21/2014 09:05 PM
Less pizzaz, but looks like SpaceX has also removed the flame duct and is working on the flame trench wall.  This reminds me of the damage the pad took after STS-124, SpaceX probably wants to make sure its not an issue going forward:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2008/07/investigation-confirms-vertical-debris-events-during-sts-124-launch/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: darkenfast on 12/22/2014 04:52 AM
I have a feeling that they're only going to use half of it.  The inclined half that points back towards the existing crawler-way and eventual hanger would (I think), need to be filled so that the rails from the hangar can be built.  Of course, they could build a dual track-set bridging over the gap, but I think they'll want to avoid having a flame duct pointed at their hangar.  The other half handled the full load of the Shuttle SRBs, so a Falcon Heavy shouldn't be too much.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MTom on 12/23/2014 06:14 PM
Does this video by Florida Today show anything of interest? Apparently, the footage was taken today.

http://www.floridatoday.com/videos/news/local/2014/12/17/20547263/

First picture looks like the start of the strong back construction, second shows the crawlerway and hangar constructon

About the second picture: see my comment on the google maps.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 12/24/2014 06:24 AM
Does this video by Florida Today show anything of interest? Apparently, the footage was taken today.

http://www.floridatoday.com/videos/news/local/2014/12/17/20547263/

First picture looks like the start of the strong back construction, second shows the crawlerway and hangar constructon

About the second picture: see my comment on the google maps.

That's where they are building the horizontal vehicle integration hangar. (See image below for the VAFB equivalent building, although this one might be bigger)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: CT Space Guy on 12/24/2014 01:41 PM
Humm...going to be a little hard to "share" the pad with others if they build a building that close to the ramp?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: LastStarFighter on 12/24/2014 02:09 PM
Humm...going to be a little hard to "share" the pad with others if they build a building that close to the ramp?

If I remember correctly... Blue Orgin (and ULA?) wanted to lease this pad and make it available to all current and future launch providers (via a true clean pad). However SpaceX won the lease and doesn't want to share :-\

http://www.gao.gov/products/B-408823

So it doesn't matter where they build their facilities... would have loved to have seen this utilized by multiple providers and become a launch hub! But I think NASA announced this year LC39B is becoming a clean pad to be used by commercial customers and SLS. So that should be exciting! 


Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lar on 12/24/2014 02:22 PM
I'm a huge SpaceX fan (this is news to anyone?) but once in a while I am disappointed in a decision they've taken. Building ON the crawlerway seems like a bad idea. I know the reasons for their choice but I still don't care for it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Coastal Ron on 12/24/2014 02:28 PM
Humm...going to be a little hard to "share" the pad with others if they build a building that close to the ramp?

If I remember correctly... Blue Orgin (and ULA?) wanted to lease this pad and make it available to all current and future launch providers (via a true clean pad). However SpaceX won the lease and doesn't want to share :-\

http://www.gao.gov/products/B-408823

So it doesn't matter where they build their facilities... would have loved to have seen this utilized by multiple providers and become a launch hub! But I think NASA announced this year LC39B is becoming a clean pad to be used by commercial customers and SLS. So that should be exciting!

LC-39B is the general use launch pad now, as NASA would only need it for at most 2 launches per year, but more likely one per year.

And yes Blue Origin and ULA said they wanted LC-39A for their own needs, but ULA already has two launch pads in the area, and it isn't clear when Blue Origin would want to start launch operations on the East Coast.  Many think Blue Origin's bid was to block SpaceX, but SpaceX is definitely more ready to use the pad than anyone else.

Musk did say that he would share LC-39A, but I would imagine he would insist that they max out LC-39B before allowing that to happen.  But if there is that much launch activity, that would be a good problem to have...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lar on 12/24/2014 02:35 PM
Musk did say that he would share LC-39A, but I would imagine he would insist that they max out LC-39B before allowing that to happen.  But if there is that much launch activity, that would be a good problem to have...

That's going to be hard with a building right on the crawlerway. No sharing with anything that uses a crawler. Maybe that was part of the decision process.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 12/24/2014 04:39 PM
I'm a huge SpaceX fan (this is news to anyone?) but once in a while I am disappointed in a decision they've taken. Building ON the crawlerway seems like a bad idea. I know the reasons for their choice but I still don't care for it.

Lar, just curious, what do you believe is the complete list of rationale for that decision?  I don't know much about any internal thinking in SpaceX.

But I would presume that one reason for doing so might simply be this:  they have leased the pad and a certain amount of land from NASA for some number of years, 2013 to yyyy.  Some of the land, within the SapceX lease acreage, is designated as undisturbed, or wetland, or whatever other sort of designation might necessitate long and complex environmental approvals before it could be used; some of it is likely not so designated, as it has been both "disturbed" and regularly maintained, excavated, etc. by NASA for decades now.   

Given SpaceX other constraints (need a certain amount of land and surrounding pad/parking/etc. for the large assembly building, and need ingress of stages from highway trucks, and egress of assembled stages to the pad itself, etc.) I'm guessing they only had a few places within the lease area to locate the new structure.

So given the time constraint (desire to launch in 2015), and the physical constraints, and the socio/political/environmental law constraints, I'm not too surprised by where SpaceX decided to locate their HAB.

~Llian
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 12/24/2014 04:56 PM
Yes, exactly. They are leasing Pad 39A (an exclusive lease), and not other land around it. Where else can it go really? Right at the base of the ramp makes the most sense, and it is also the max distance from the pad launch point.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: butters on 12/24/2014 05:14 PM
It doesn't seem likely that NASA will ever find a commercial customer that wants to roll their launch vehicle out to LC-39B on a crawler, so I wouldn't worry about crawlerway access to LC-39A. This isn't how anybody (besides SLS) wants to operate.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/24/2014 08:45 PM
Slightly off topic. Blue Origin might just build a launch facility at the vacated LC-36 site from scratch. Really can't see Blue Origin using the crawler and the VAB for LC-39B ops. Or using either LC-39A or LC-39B before 2019.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lobo on 12/24/2014 09:16 PM
I'm a huge SpaceX fan (this is news to anyone?) but once in a while I am disappointed in a decision they've taken. Building ON the crawlerway seems like a bad idea. I know the reasons for their choice but I still don't care for it.

Also seems unnecessary, when they [seemingly] could build next to it instead.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 12/24/2014 09:22 PM
The cost alone for using the crawler makes it prohibited.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mr. mark on 12/24/2014 09:34 PM
Talking about Blue Origin being a launch company is a little out of the box. At this point, they are a aerospace research and development concern. They have not sent anything to space and have not even done a suborbital flight. Talking about launch pads for them is kind of a joke. Right now their main focus is on engine development.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: QuantumG on 12/24/2014 10:19 PM
They have not sent anything to space and have not even done a suborbital flight.

You're half right and I understand the sentiment.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 12/24/2014 10:30 PM
I'm a huge SpaceX fan (this is news to anyone?) but once in a while I am disappointed in a decision they've taken. Building ON the crawlerway seems like a bad idea. I know the reasons for their choice but I still don't care for it.

Also seems unnecessary, when they [seemingly] could build next to it instead.

Do you have any solid information at all that would show that SpaceX could build the large HAB "next to" the crawlerway and not run afoul of either the environmental rulz for construction on KSC leased land in circa 2014, or would not be outside of the small land pad area NASA has leased to them? 

See these two previous posts:  here  (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36100.msg1306944#msg1306944)and here (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36100.msg1306948#msg1306948).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lar on 12/24/2014 10:50 PM
Yes, exactly. They are leasing Pad 39A (an exclusive lease), and not other land around it. Where else can it go really? Right at the base of the ramp makes the most sense, and it is also the max distance from the pad launch point.

ya, I get that an EIS might be needed to build in any other area near there but not on the crawlerway. Using the crawlerway doesn't mean using crawlers, it could mean tracks. But ya.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/24/2014 11:32 PM
Talking about Blue Origin being a launch company is a little out of the box. At this point, they are a aerospace research and development concern. They have not sent anything to space and have not even done a suborbital flight. Talking about launch pads for them is kind of a joke. Right now their main focus is on engine development.
Launch pads and propulsion.  That's where launch vehicle development programs have to start because both are, by nature, long-lead items.  NASA finished the bulk of Launch Complex 39 a couple of years before a Saturn V was ready, for example, (and F-1 work began nearly a full decade before SA-501).  Orbital likely wishes that work had started on its Antares launch pad a couple of years earlier than it did, and that it had spent more funds on propulsion development.  SpaceX and Blue Origin both wisely started with engines. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: TaurusLittrow on 01/04/2015 10:01 PM
What was the rationale for leasing SpaceX Pad 39A and not 39B? I'm a supporter of SpaceX, but given the role of 39A in the Apollo program (including Apollo 11) and Shuttle program (STS 1, etc.), I would argue that 39A could be considered a 'world historical site' worthy of 'preservation' to the extent practicable.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: QuantumG on 01/04/2015 10:06 PM
The best way to honour those programs is to keep flying crew from that pad.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: IslandPlaya on 01/04/2015 10:26 PM
Do we honour the first place a jet engine was developed?
Do we honour the first place a rocket engine was developed?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: TaurusLittrow on 01/04/2015 10:49 PM
Well, SLS/Orion will launch crews, and I am uncomfortable with SpaceX building on the actual crawler tracks at 39A. Just seems 39B would be more appropriate.

As for lesser historical sites, I'm all in favor of memorializing in some form - rather then honoring more in the breach than observance. But not relevant to 39A vs. 39B question.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/04/2015 10:56 PM
Do we honour the first place a supersonic aircraft flew?


not the place (middle of nowhere in the deserts of California), but the aircraft is on display

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_X-1#Aircraft_on_display (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_X-1#Aircraft_on_display)

Do we honour the first place a jet engine was developed?
Do we honour the first place a rocket engine was developed?

actually, there are many memorials to the person who was primarily responsible for the development of the jet engine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Whittle#Memorials (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Whittle#Memorials)

and yes, to the rocket engine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goddard_Rocket_Launching_Site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goddard_Rocket_Launching_Site)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/04/2015 11:14 PM
Well, SLS/Orion will launch crews, and I am uncomfortable with SpaceX building on the actual crawler tracks at 39A. Just seems 39B would be more appropriate.

As for lesser historical sites, I'm all in favor of memorializing in some form - rather then honoring more in the breach than observance. But not relevant to 39A vs. 39B question.

NASA modified 39B extensively for the Constellation Program / Ares I-X test flight. It has the most recent upgrades made by NASA for its use, which is why NASA has chosen to retain use of that site and was willing to lease out 39A.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39#Project_Constellation_and_Pad_39B (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39#Project_Constellation_and_Pad_39B)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39#Launch_Pad_39B (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39#Launch_Pad_39B)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cscott on 01/05/2015 06:04 PM
The Environmental Impact Statement with three different placements for the building is somewhere on this site; I don't have time to hunt for it right now.  The final location was really chosen by the environmental assessors, whoever set the land boundaries for the leased property, and the constraint that the building be a certain minimum distance from the pad.   If NASA wanted the crawlerway preserved, they could have written that into the lease.  And SpaceX might have then had to look for some other pad, since this site didn't give very many options if the crawlerway was sacrosanct.

You can always demolish the building and rebuild the pavement if you really think crawlers are going to re-emerge after SpaceX's lease is up.

EDIT: found it: http://environmental.ksc.nasa.gov/projects/documents/FinalMultiuseEA.pdf
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 01/05/2015 07:02 PM
What was the rationale for leasing SpaceX Pad 39A and not 39B? I'm a supporter of SpaceX, but given the role of 39A in the Apollo program (including Apollo 11) and Shuttle program (STS 1, etc.), I would argue that 39A could be considered a 'world historical site' worthy of 'preservation' to the extent practicable.

What if the best is yet to come to 39A?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 01/27/2015 06:13 PM
New SpaceX animation showing reusable FH launching from 39A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: kevinof on 01/27/2015 06:18 PM
Thanks for that.

Tell you what. If they ever (whenever) succeed in returning 3 cores to launch site it will be some sight to see.

Fingers crossed. Can't wait to see it happen.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 01/27/2015 06:32 PM
One interesting detail from the video... Although a lot of it seems notional (some artistic license), it does show is that FH is held anchored/held down by 8 hold-downs, as many speculated. 2 for the core, 3 for each side booster. (F9 is help by 4)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 01/27/2015 06:35 PM
Looks like the all the cores decelerate at about 4 m/s/s when landing in the video.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dmc6960 on 01/27/2015 06:38 PM
The side boosters do not appear to be longer than the central core in this video.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: moralec on 01/27/2015 06:39 PM
One interesting detail from the video... Although a lot of it seems notional (some artistic license), it does show is that FH is held anchored/held down by 8 hold-downs, as many speculated. 2 for the core, 3 for each side booster. (F9 is help by 4)

Seems like the natural extension of the original F9 design, as that will hold the entire booster from all sides:


Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 01/27/2015 06:40 PM
The side boosters do not appear to be longer than the central core in this video.

Right. It is either artistic license (shorthand by the animator), or a change. We'll find out soon.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/27/2015 06:59 PM
Loving that video! Always envisioned the two side boosters pretending to be Shuttle boosters, with the mirroring of what they were doing, but that's a level and a half up! Blimey! :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Hotblack Desiato on 01/27/2015 06:59 PM
Very interesting and well done video.

Regarding the center stage: from what I read here in the threads, the center stage will be too far away to attempt a flight back to the launchpad and is forced to land on the ASDS. Maybe something changed?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mme on 01/27/2015 07:04 PM
Very interesting and well done video.

Regarding the center stage: from what I read here in the threads, the center stage will be too far away to attempt a flight back to the launchpad and is forced to land on the ASDS. Maybe something changed?

We've got two threads going on this video.  Orbiter suggested:
...
Utilizing an Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship positioned downrange of Vandenberg, allowing it to refuel and make the “hop” back to the West coast would become a potential solution.
...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 01/27/2015 07:05 PM
Very interesting and well done video.

Regarding the center stage: from what I read here in the threads, the center stage will be too far away to attempt a flight back to the launchpad and is forced to land on the ASDS. Maybe something changed?

Nothing has changed. It all depends on the margin. If this is a payload that it only marginally more than what the F9 can lift, FH may have enough margin to bring all cores back to the launch site.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: abaddon on 01/27/2015 07:07 PM
The side boosters do not appear to be longer than the central core in this video.

The core has the interstage, so it would naturally be around as tall as the side boosters with that taken into account, no?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/27/2015 07:10 PM
Oh yeah, we have a standalone thread. Let's use that:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36660.0


--

Edit:

But they kept coming, so split and merged them into that thread.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 01/27/2015 09:31 PM
Based on this latest video:
1) The whole ramp is to be covered with cement with two recessed outer rails. So there will be no trace of crawlway gravels.....
2) The support for the upper TEL is on rubber wheel? Or it is the quality of the video makes the smaller inner rails that runs inside the HIF disappeared?
3) The blast trench to the north is covered with cement as a roof, to provide a more accessable and less blast effect on the rocket itself? It looks like non-bearing support thus mean no forklift or cranes in this area?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: TomH on 01/27/2015 09:58 PM
The whole ramp is to be covered with cement

Just a very minor nit: cement is the binder in concrete. Most of the material in concrete is sand and gravel aggregate. Portland Cement is the most common binder used in modern concrete. Concrete may also have fiberglass for strength and volcanic or fly ash to reduce porocity/increase impermeability, among other additives. The white paving material we use is concrete. Portland Cement is also used in mortar, gunnite, and various other materials. Rubber Cement is a different product, basically a glue, while concrete is manmade rock.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/28/2015 08:38 AM
It's interesting that the FH's legs are black. Is that a denser layer of SPAM or even PICA-X, similar in composition to the black underside of the Dragon-2? I wonder if we're going to see that colouration on the F9 v.1.1 too?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: inventodoc on 01/28/2015 11:04 AM
It's interesting that the FH's legs are black. Is that a denser layer of SPAM or even PICA-X, similar in composition to the black underside of the Dragon-2? I wonder if we're going to see that colouration on the F9 v.1.1 too?

I honestly think the bottom and legs are black because it looks cool and matches the look of the exhaust cowlings on the dragon v2. If a black ablative were necessary, it would be on current rockets I imagine.  This idea should be consistent with Elon-think.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 01/28/2015 04:12 PM
It's interesting that the FH's legs are black. Is that a denser layer of SPAM or even PICA-X, similar in composition to the black underside of the Dragon-2? I wonder if we're going to see that colouration on the F9 v.1.1 too?

Artistic license. SpaceX routinely shows interstages as black in promotional images and videos, yet every flying F9 has had a white interstage.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: BobHk on 01/28/2015 05:25 PM
It's interesting that the FH's legs are black. Is that a denser layer of SPAM or even PICA-X, similar in composition to the black underside of the Dragon-2? I wonder if we're going to see that colouration on the F9 v.1.1 too?

Artistic license. SpaceX routinely shows interstages as black in promotional images and videos, yet every flying F9 has had a white interstage.

They stand out much better in black.  Anyone unfamiliar with SpaceX or F9/FH might simply assume the while legs are part of the rocket fuselage and not legs at all until deployed.  In black they catch the eye.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JasonAW3 on 01/28/2015 05:31 PM
It's interesting that the FH's legs are black. Is that a denser layer of SPAM or even PICA-X, similar in composition to the black underside of the Dragon-2? I wonder if we're going to see that colouration on the F9 v.1.1 too?

Artistic license. SpaceX routinely shows interstages as black in promotional images and videos, yet every flying F9 has had a white interstage.

Might as well start painting them black.  It'll make it that much easier to clean for launch turn around.  (Plus, it'll make it easier to see any defects in structure, as it'll likely open up a visible gap in he paint, exposing the material underneith).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: somepitch on 01/28/2015 06:26 PM
It's interesting that the FH's legs are black. Is that a denser layer of SPAM or even PICA-X, similar in composition to the black underside of the Dragon-2? I wonder if we're going to see that colouration on the F9 v.1.1 too?

Artistic license. SpaceX routinely shows interstages as black in promotional images and videos, yet every flying F9 has had a white interstage.

Might as well start painting them black.  It'll make it that much easier to clean for launch turn around.  (Plus, it'll make it easier to see any defects in structure, as it'll likely open up a visible gap in he paint, exposing the material underneith).

Agree with the first part but structural cracking is much easier to see on light paint  ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: maximlevitsky on 01/28/2015 07:22 PM
Also the F9R (aka Grashopper 2) had black legs.
So either the video is old or they want in future to paint it black (which would be awesome in my opinion  :D).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: docmordrid on 01/28/2015 07:54 PM
Also the F9R (aka Grashopper 2) had black legs.
So either the video is old or they want in future to paint it black (which would be awesome in my opinion  :D).

Musk did tweet the legs would be changed for aerodynamic reasons, estimating F9 flight #21. Perhaps they'll also address the TPS.

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/536268250620125185
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mme on 01/28/2015 07:55 PM
Also the F9R (aka Grashopper 2) had black legs.
So either the video is old or they want in future to paint it black (which would be awesome in my opinion  :D).
SpaceX videos frequently have black interstages.  The old F9 V1 videos had black engine cowlings.  I think it's purely aesthetic for the video since so far all F9s have been all white.  But who knows, especially given the black ablative on the Dragon 2.

Personally, I think the white legs look awesome on the real rocket. :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lobo on 01/28/2015 08:15 PM
Very interesting and well done video.

Regarding the center stage: from what I read here in the threads, the center stage will be too far away to attempt a flight back to the launchpad and is forced to land on the ASDS. Maybe something changed?

Nothing has changed. It all depends on the margin. If this is a payload that it only marginally more than what the F9 can lift, FH may have enough margin to bring all cores back to the launch site.

Some on this forum have estimated 6-7mt to GTO for a FH returning all 3 cores to the launch site.  If so, that would be enough for most/all current commercial payloads.  The central core is recovered downrange on the barge, or expended all together if more performance is required, but I'm pretty sure most current or near future payloads should be able to have all 3 cores come back to LC-13.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/28/2015 09:05 PM
Lobo: Agreed. I'm not sure if there are any payloads which would require the central core to be expended. Landed down range, sure. I wonder if down range side booster landing would be an option and if that would be before or after central core would need to be disposed.

Interesting, it allows a bunch of levels of performance with various operational costs. Dial-a-rocket but with partial reuse:

(2nd stage expended for all)
F9R RTLS
F9 down range
F9 expended (this mode may become obsolete)
FH all RTLS
FH boosters RTLS core down range
FH all down range
FH boosters RTLS core expended
FH boosters down range core expended
FH all expended.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/28/2015 09:15 PM
Based on this latest video:
1) The whole ramp is to be covered with cement with two recessed outer rails. So there will be no trace of crawlway gravels.....
2) The support for the upper TEL is on rubber wheel? Or it is the quality of the video makes the smaller inner rails that runs inside the HIF disappeared?
3) The blast trench to the north is covered with cement as a roof, to provide a more accessable and less blast effect on the rocket itself? It looks like non-bearing support thus mean no forklift or cranes in this area?
yes, i Concur with that assessment. Elon is planning to release more info in the next site revamp according to their senior webmaster in a phone conversation. He couldnt elaborate about what is to come though.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: okan170 on 01/28/2015 09:19 PM
Also the F9R (aka Grashopper 2) had black legs.
So either the video is old or they want in future to paint it black (which would be awesome in my opinion  :D).
SpaceX videos frequently have black interstages.  The old F9 V1 videos had black engine cowlings.  I think it's purely aesthetic for the video since so far all F9s have been all white.  But who knows, especially given the black ablative on the Dragon 2.

Personally, I think the white legs look awesome on the real rocket. :)

I noticed that the legs also attach at the higher point, much like the F9R Dev 1.  I wonder if the material they worked from was based on that?  Black legs look awesome though.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: llanitedave on 01/28/2015 10:25 PM
Also the F9R (aka Grashopper 2) had black legs.
So either the video is old or they want in future to paint it black (which would be awesome in my opinion  :D ).
SpaceX videos frequently have black interstages.  The old F9 V1 videos had black engine cowlings.  I think it's purely aesthetic for the video since so far all F9s have been all white.  But who knows, especially given the black ablative on the Dragon 2.

Personally, I think the white legs look awesome on the real rocket. :)


I'd love to see lots of unique paint jobs on the Falcon reusable first stages, kind of like Southwest Airlines does on their planes.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: NovaSilisko on 01/28/2015 10:32 PM
I'd love to see lots of unique paint jobs on the Falcon reusable first stages, kind of like Southwest Airlines does on their planes.

I've long thought about that, in the event SpaceX eventually moves to being a rocket provider, as opposed t a launch provider. Operators would paint them in their own livery, if that's ever the case.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mto on 01/28/2015 10:38 PM
I'll continue the off topic paint scheme posts with this about why rockets are white

http://www.popsci.com/why-was-saturn-v-black-and-white

"Following the Saturn I was the Saturn IB. The first rockets that launched AS-201 and AS-202 were white with vertical black stripes on the first stage. Subsequent Saturn Is followed this scheme with the addition of a black interstage, until the Skylab program. For these launches, the first stage was painted entirely white to minimize heat absorption from the Sun.

Which brings us to the Saturn V. The first Saturn V that rolled out of the Vehicle Assembly Building in 1966 wasn’t a flight article, it was a dummy rocket designed to check out the launch and mating facilities as well as verify checkout procedures while also training crews in dealing with the mammoth rocket. It was the Apollo-Saturn 500F. This rocket was white with black stripes rising about a third of the way up the first stage and continued on the upper part of the stage and onto the aft interstage, ending at a black ring. It also had a black and white checkered pattern on the upper interstage and a black instrument unit. But that black ring caused a lot of problems. The paint absorbed enough heat from the Sun that the fuel tanks underneath got dangerously hot. The upper upper part of the black stripes and the band on the first stage was painted over in white on all subsequent Saturn Vs."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMZf9pZZM_A
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lobo on 01/28/2015 11:21 PM
Lobo: Agreed. I'm not sure if there are any payloads which would require the central core to be expended. Landed down range, sure. I wonder if down range side booster landing would be an option and if that would be before or after central core would need to be disposed.

Interesting, it allows a bunch of levels of performance with various operational costs. Dial-a-rocket but with partial reuse:

(2nd stage expended for all)
F9R RTLS
F9 down range
F9 expended (this mode may become obsolete)
FH all RTLS
FH boosters RTLS core down range
FH all down range
FH boosters RTLS core expended
FH boosters down range core expended
FH all expended.

Yup.  lots of capacity range options there!  But more than likely, all 3 stages RTLS will be the bread and butter for FH for quite some time.  With smaller sats flying on F9R, with the F9v1.1 with expended core becoming obsolete as you menton.  Probably the first payloads that will require more than FH can do with all 3 stages RTLS will be some DoD/USAF birds.  Then they'll look to recover the core down range or expend it.  There will be lots of money for those paylaods though, though big government contracts.  So expending the central core will be still very cost effective.  Especially compared to something like a D4H or Atlas V-551.

I would think before they'd try to recover the outboard boosters down range, they'd make the FH crossfed and still bring the boosters back to the landing site.  I think that configuration will be easy to get the boosters back as they will only be going low and slow at staging.  I think that FH would be pretty capable.  I think only a little less than a full crossfed FH with expended boosters.  The boosters will stage a little earlier with RTLS than they would expended, but either way the core is still almost fully fueled at booster sep.  With crossfeed, and a somewhat lofted trajectory, I don't know that the boosters will need to do much boostback.  They'll stage sooner than the non crossfed version, and so can have less propellant in them at separation as they don't have to slow down as much. 

Not that building two more barges would be all that expensive for SpaceX, but I'd think crossfeed would be more simple and cheap so the boosters can always be returned to the landing site on pretty much any payload other than one that might need the bleeding edge of FH's maximum performance.  Crossfeed is the plan to build into the cores anyway. 

 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: CameronD on 01/29/2015 12:46 AM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rickl on 01/29/2015 01:49 AM
What was the rationale for leasing SpaceX Pad 39A and not 39B? I'm a supporter of SpaceX, but given the role of 39A in the Apollo program (including Apollo 11) and Shuttle program (STS 1, etc.), I would argue that 39A could be considered a 'world historical site' worthy of 'preservation' to the extent practicable.

What if the best is yet to come to 39A?


The best possible way to honor LC-39A is to keep flying from there.  That's much better than turning it into a museum.


It's one of the two most historic launch sites in the world; the other being the pad Gagarin flew from, which is still in use.  In that case, today's Soyuz rocket is a direct descendant of the original R-7, so the pad hasn't changed much.  I'm sure there have been refurbishments and modifications over the years, but it's basically the same as it was nearly 60 years ago.


On the other hand, with 39A, the Saturn V, Shuttle, and Falcon Heavy are all very different launch vehicles that require different facilities.  It's necessary to demolish the old to make way for the new.  That's unavoidable.


If LC-39A was going to be declared a World Historical Site, the time to do that would have been at the end of the Apollo program, before the Shuttle facilities changed it.


Sure, put a visitors center/museum nearby detailing the history of the site.  Space travelers 100 years from now can visit it before setting off on their own journeys while thinking, "Wow, this is the same pad Neil Armstrong flew from."
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/29/2015 03:20 AM
Lobo: Agreed. I'm not sure if there are any payloads which would require the central core to be expended. Landed down range, sure. I wonder if down range side booster landing would be an option and if that would be before or after central core would need to be disposed.

Interesting, it allows a bunch of levels of performance with various operational costs. Dial-a-rocket but with partial reuse:

(2nd stage expended for all)
F9R RTLS
F9 down range
F9 expended (this mode may become obsolete)
FH all RTLS
FH boosters RTLS core down range
FH all down range
FH boosters RTLS core expended
FH boosters down range core expended
FH all expended.

Yup.  lots of capacity range options there!  But more than likely, all 3 stages RTLS will be the bread and butter for FH for quite some time.  With smaller sats flying on F9R, with the F9v1.1 with expended core becoming obsolete as you menton.  Probably the first payloads that will require more than FH can do with all 3 stages RTLS will be some DoD/USAF birds.  Then they'll look to recover the core down range or expend it.  There will be lots of money for those paylaods though, though big government contracts.  So expending the central core will be still very cost effective.  Especially compared to something like a D4H or Atlas V-551.

I would think before they'd try to recover the outboard boosters down range, they'd make the FH crossfed and still bring the boosters back to the landing site.  I think that configuration will be easy to get the boosters back as they will only be going low and slow at staging.  I think that FH would be pretty capable.  I think only a little less than a full crossfed FH with expended boosters.  The boosters will stage a little earlier with RTLS than they would expended, but either way the core is still almost fully fueled at booster sep.  With crossfeed, and a somewhat lofted trajectory, I don't know that the boosters will need to do much boostback.  They'll stage sooner than the non crossfed version, and so can have less propellant in them at separation as they don't have to slow down as much. 

Not that building two more barges would be all that expensive for SpaceX, but I'd think crossfeed would be more simple and cheap so the boosters can always be returned to the landing site on pretty much any payload other than one that might need the bleeding edge of FH's maximum performance.  Crossfeed is the plan to build into the cores anyway.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JamesH on 01/29/2015 09:42 AM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)

How about launching a test BA330?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/29/2015 10:24 AM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)

How about launching a test BA330?

Bigelow would need to have one first; I don't think that the design is sufficiently mature for them to build a flight article this year.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: llanitedave on 01/29/2015 01:54 PM
School buses, on the other hand, are old school...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: sanman on 01/29/2015 06:05 PM
Personally, I think the white legs look awesome on the real rocket. :)

I noticed that the legs also attach at the higher point, much like the F9R Dev 1.  I wonder if the material they worked from was based on that?  Black legs look awesome though.

I'd love to see lots of unique paint jobs on the Falcon reusable first stages, kind of like Southwest Airlines does on their planes.

I'll continue the off topic paint scheme posts with this about why rockets are white

http://www.popsci.com/why-was-saturn-v-black-and-white


So is Fire-Engine-Red totally out of the question?

I wouldn't mind if they stamped on lots of logos NASCAR-style, if it meant that such sponsorship would help lower the cost of access to space.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: adrianwyard on 01/29/2015 06:28 PM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)

How about launching a test BA330?

Bigelow would need to have one first; I don't think that the design is sufficiently mature for them to build a flight article this year.

If the goal is to demonstrate performance (delta-v), that needn't be in the form of ballast/mass-simulator (or indeed a bus). Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: newpylong on 01/29/2015 07:19 PM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)

How about launching a test BA330?

Bigelow would need to have one first; I don't think that the design is sufficiently mature for them to build a flight article this year.

If the goal is to demonstrate performance (delta-v), that needn't be in the form of ballast/mass-simulator (or indeed a bus). Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Lobbing an empty upper stage would make a statement, just how?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: TomH on 01/29/2015 07:21 PM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: BobHk on 01/29/2015 07:32 PM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.

I'd go for one if it were a science mission to help SpaceX's future Mars activities.  Especially if it were to test ballistic capture.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: KSC Sage on 01/29/2015 07:46 PM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.

Don't be surprised if they send an unmanned Dragon around the moon and back to Earth with an early FH launch.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: adrianwyard on 01/29/2015 07:54 PM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)

How about launching a test BA330?

Bigelow would need to have one first; I don't think that the design is sufficiently mature for them to build a flight article this year.

If the goal is to demonstrate performance (delta-v), that needn't be in the form of ballast/mass-simulator (or indeed a bus). Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Lobbing an empty upper stage would make a statement, just how?

It would be the first time a non-governmental entity had sent anything to Mars - that's a milestone for the history books. It would be the first time SpaceX (a company ostensibly formed to get to Mars) does something that publicly and directly relates to that ambition. And it would also re-ignite the 'Red Dragon' discussion (supposedly a FH has the performance required to send a modified Dragon 2 to Mars, where it could land propulsively. See http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33596.0).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Clyde on 01/29/2015 07:55 PM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)

How about launching a test BA330?

Bigelow would need to have one first; I don't think that the design is sufficiently mature for them to build a flight article this year.
But Bigelow has been hiring 100+ people since december, they've got to be busy with something. And beam must be done, so I think it is quite possible they are making a BA330 now.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: beancounter on 01/29/2015 11:55 PM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.

Don't be surprised if they send an unmanned Dragon around the moon and back to Earth with an early FH launch.
Well I would be surprised.  EM expressed pretty luke warm interest the last time he was asked this question and SpaceX has mentioned that they are directing their resources towards activities that support their Mars quest.  An FH moonshot doesn't really do that.
Cheers
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/30/2015 12:02 AM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.

Don't be surprised if they send an unmanned Dragon around the moon and back to Earth with an early FH launch.
Well I would be surprised.  EM expressed pretty luke warm interest the last time he was asked this question and SpaceX has mentioned that they are directing their resources towards activities that support their Mars quest.  An FH moonshot doesn't really do that.
Cheers

However Elon did say he might send something around the Moon to test out the various SpaceX deep space tech.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: NovaSilisko on 01/30/2015 12:04 AM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.

Don't be surprised if they send an unmanned Dragon around the moon and back to Earth with an early FH launch.

How early is "early" in this case?  ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: CameronD on 01/30/2015 12:28 AM
School buses, on the other hand, are old school...

Precisely. It's something that the average Joe can relate to... Imagine the news headlines!! It'd think it'd get more press coverage than the launch itself. :)

And I wouldn't count on them using the first FH launch to lob anything into orbit around any celestial body other than our own.  The restrictions that would place on launch timing and trajectory would take too much focus off the prime objective - getting the rocket up there and bits of it back again.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/30/2015 01:34 AM
School buses, on the other hand, are old school...

Precisely. It's something that the average Joe can relate to... Imagine the news headlines!! It'd think it'd get more press coverage than the launch itself. :)

...


School bus is a bad idea. Use a Winnebago camper instead.  ;D More culture resonance (Spaceballs movie)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: llanitedave on 01/30/2015 01:39 AM
Good point.  Of course, if they launched it from Texas they could name it "Lone Star".
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: CameronD on 01/30/2015 01:55 AM
School buses, on the other hand, are old school...

Precisely. It's something that the average Joe can relate to... Imagine the news headlines!! It'd think it'd get more press coverage than the launch itself. :)

...

School bus is a bad idea. Use a Winnebago camper instead.  ;D More culture resonance (Spaceballs movie)

Fair point.

The only mods needed (apart from taking the tires off and maybe the engine out) would be a camera looking out the windscreen monitoring the action of the fluffy-dice on the rear-view mirror... a far trendier view than the one from the ISS. ;D

It'd be the fastest camper on(off) the planet - especially on re-entry. ..although, given that re-entry would be completely un-controlled, I still think reading about someone getting hit by a school-bus (which must happen all the time in various parts of the world) is less likely to attract negative press than getting hit by a Winnebago.  :P

   
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mme on 01/30/2015 03:08 AM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.
He could always send a greenhouse.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: NovaSilisko on 01/30/2015 04:07 AM
Or a reliant robin with fake wings, a tail, and engines...  ;)

I do hope SpaceX resurrects Elon's mars greenhouse idea someday. Green Dragon!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/30/2015 04:23 AM
Or a reliant robin with fake wings, a tail, and engines...  ;)

Better yet, send Jeremy Clarkson.

Or -- hmmm... I bet you could fit the entire U.S. Congress, if you pack them in really tight.  Of course, you wouldn't be able to give them luxury items like food... or air...

:D

(We return you now to your originally scheduled thread.)

Honestly, I am also really excited seeing 39A being prepared for launch operations again.  I watched *all* of the Saturn V launches live (on TV, sigh), almost all of them from 39A.  And, of course, I've seen the rich history of Shuttle launches from LC39, A and B.

If LC 39 is ever completely retired, it will be a very sad day for me.  It deserves more than "Abandon In Place"...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: sghill on 01/30/2015 02:41 PM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.

Don't be surprised if they send an unmanned Dragon around the moon and back to Earth with an early FH launch.
Well I would be surprised.  EM expressed pretty luke warm interest the last time he was asked this question and SpaceX has mentioned that they are directing their resources towards activities that support their Mars quest.  An FH moonshot doesn't really do that.
Cheers

However Elon did say he might send something around the Moon to test out the various SpaceX deep space tech.

Well, if you're going to lob a D2 around the moon, why not have it land?  It could spew several Lunar X-Prize entrants out the hatch for the final leg of their race and make it a money-generating venture in addition to testing necessary propulsive landing capabilities.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rklaehn on 01/30/2015 03:08 PM
And I wouldn't count on them using the first FH launch to lob anything into orbit around any celestial body other than our own.  The restrictions that would place on launch timing and trajectory would take too much focus off the prime objective - getting the rocket up there and bits of it back again.

Good point. Getting those 27 engines to work properly the first time will require a lot of patience from everybody involved even without a restrictive launch window.

But they could send a Dragon V1 into a highly elliptical orbit and test a reentry from almost hyperbolic velocity. Maybe even do a simulated aerocapture on the way back. That would not add any launch window constraints and nevertheless be quite impressive.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: NovaSilisko on 01/30/2015 03:46 PM
Well, if you're going to lob a D2 around the moon, why not have it land?  It could spew several Lunar X-Prize entrants out the hatch for the final leg of their race and make it a money-generating venture in addition to testing necessary propulsive landing capabilities.

I'm not sure the delta-v is there to do anything but a Zond-style flyby. Maybe the superdracos could get it captured into orbit, but I really doubt it could perform the full landing.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Space OurSoul on 01/30/2015 04:44 PM
My vote is for an entire cheese shop.


FYI, there's an old thread speculating on FH test flight payload:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29768.0 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29768.0)

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AS_501 on 01/30/2015 05:05 PM
Meanwhile back at the pad, it will be interesting to see if F9 and F9H execute a tower avoidance yaw maneuver (for the FSS) after liftoff.   After all, this will be the first time Falcon launches with a conventional gantry standing nearby.  Presumably this will be no big deal for the many Merlins.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 01/30/2015 05:23 PM
Meanwhile back at the pad, it will be interesting to see if F9 and F9H execute a tower avoidance yaw maneuver (for the FSS) after liftoff.   After all, this will be the first time Falcon launches with a conventional gantry standing nearby.  Presumably this will be no big deal for the many Merlins.


Why?  The shuttle didn't.  The erector is closer and there is no maneuver for it.  The Atlas V mast is closer and there is no maneuver.  Just because it is on a former Saturn pad, doesn't mean it is going to follow Saturn procedures
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AS_501 on 01/30/2015 05:25 PM
Thanks for the clarification.  I was trying to understand this relative to Ares -1X.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: watermod on 01/30/2015 05:53 PM
Lobbing something - even an empty upper stage - to Mars would make quite a statement.

Sending a previously used cargo Dragon around Mars and back to Earth might awaken some enthusiasm in various circles.
He could always send a greenhouse.

No make it a double statement with a "dymaxion dwelling machine".
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/30/2015 06:07 PM
... But they could send a Dragon V1 into a highly elliptical orbit and test a reentry from almost hyperbolic velocity. Maybe even do a simulated aerocapture on the way back. That would not add any launch window constraints and nevertheless be quite impressive.
Indeed. Even a Dragon reuse here too. A SpaceX claim.

A Mars velocity heat shield test would up the ante considerably, making good on a spaceX claim. Fits also within the vehicles demonstration capabilities nicely too.

Aerocapture would extend spacex GNC capabilities usefully, fit nicely with the repropropulsion demonstrated, and add a Mars related EDL capability.

Musk said he was "turning to Mars". This does that perfectly. Also excellent message to send the new Congress too.

rklaehn, you score on more fronts than you know. In fact, I can't think of a better choice than what you have suggested.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lobo on 01/30/2015 06:09 PM
I notice they're quoting "53 metric tons" to LEO:  The Dragon test article carried a cheese to orbit; I wonder if SpaceX might be persuaded to launch something equally appropriate on FH??

An old school bus would be cool... :o  8)

How about launching a test BA330?

Bigelow would need to have one first; I don't think that the design is sufficiently mature for them to build a flight article this year.
But Bigelow has been hiring 100+ people since december, they've got to be busy with something. And beam must be done, so I think it is quite possible they are making a BA330 now.

And didn't Bolden say in a recent presser that the "next ISS" would likely be a Bigelow inflatable?  That would be down the road a ways, but bodes well for Bigelow's long term business plan.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 02/11/2015 07:44 AM
Some new images of the Pad 39A work, spotted on Reddit:

 - Foundation being poured for the horizontal FH hangar
 - Installation of launch mount in progress
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: bunker9603 on 02/12/2015 12:43 AM
I would love to see a time lapse video from start of construction to finish.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/12/2015 08:55 PM
And didn't Bolden say in a recent presser that the "next ISS" would likely be a Bigelow inflatable?  That would be down the road a ways, but bodes well for Bigelow's long term business plan.

Not sure about recent comments from Bolden, but Gerstenmaier has mentioned on many occasions that NASA has no plans to build a follow-on government-owned space station after the ISS, and that if they still need to perform research in space that they would contract to do that on a commercial space station.

Some discussion about that in a 2013 NSF article called:
From Space Station to Moon Base – Bigelow expands on inflatable ambitions (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/05/space-station-moon-base-bigelows-expands-inflatable-ambitions/)

In that article Gerstenmaier expressed his hope that there would be an overlap between commercial space stations coming online before the end of the ISS, but there is a lot that has to happen between now and then both on the commercial side (i.e. is there a real market?) and the government side (i.e. budgets and goals).

There is still the chance that the transportation side of the equation will be solved (cost) with the Falcon Heavy but that they operational side is not (the space station customers were not really real, or there is not enough profit).  Still need to keep our fingers crossed...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MattMason on 03/12/2015 03:27 PM
NASA put up a photo of the nearly-complete skeleton of the horizontal integration facility on their blog page on Tuesday.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/03/10/spacex-prepares-historic-launch-pad-for-future/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/03/10/spacex-prepares-historic-launch-pad-for-future/)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 03/12/2015 03:50 PM
how wide is it again?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cdleonard on 03/12/2015 04:27 PM
But they could send a Dragon V1 into a highly elliptical orbit and test a reentry from almost hyperbolic velocity. Maybe even do a simulated aerocapture on the way back. That would not add any launch window constraints and nevertheless be quite impressive.
They could even launch a refurbished Dragon V1 in order to demonstrate the mythical reusable heatshield.

But it would generate too many ugly looks from the SLS crowd.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dorkmo on 03/12/2015 06:54 PM
NASA put up a photo of the nearly-complete skeleton of the horizontal integration facility on their blog page on Tuesday.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/03/10/spacex-prepares-historic-launch-pad-for-future/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/03/10/spacex-prepares-historic-launch-pad-for-future/)

i could be wrong but it looks like they are waiting on the gantry cranes to be installed before they close up that last piece of roof steel
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AndyX on 03/12/2015 06:56 PM
The photos in L2 yesterday show the above photo was probably taken last week :)

They really are moving fast!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: deruch on 03/12/2015 10:14 PM
NASA put up a photo of the nearly-complete skeleton of the horizontal integration facility on their blog page on Tuesday.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/03/10/spacex-prepares-historic-launch-pad-for-future/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/03/10/spacex-prepares-historic-launch-pad-for-future/)

The NASA Commercial Crew Facebook page put up that one, with a link to the blog post, and a few others that didn't make it into the blog.

https://www.facebook.com/NASACommercialCrew/posts/767378723358988
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/22/2015 09:26 PM
Update on the KSC pads including updated status on 39A for SpaceX:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/ksc-pads-preparations-future-vehicles/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: go4mars on 03/23/2015 12:48 PM
Great article!  I like that you tied both endeavours in, and found the catacomb and pre-SLS groundwork interesting.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 03/23/2015 03:30 PM
The catacombs weight load limit is interesting but for SpaceX plan of operation they would not reach the catacomb degraded weight load limit even if they used the 39A pad to launch a full sized BFR. It's the super crawler that is the significant contributor to the SLS catacomb weight requirement.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: darkenfast on 03/23/2015 05:43 PM
Nice article!  Great to see that the Falcons will role to the pad on railroad tracks, as God and Korolev intended!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Mongo62 on 03/23/2015 05:54 PM
The catacombs weight load limit is interesting but for SpaceX plan of operation they would not reach the catacomb degraded weight load limit even if they used the 39A pad to launch a full sized BFR. It's the super crawler that is the significant contributor to the SLS catacomb weight requirement.

Yep. And the reason they need to use the crawler is because of the SRBs.

I wonder how much money could have been saved if the SLS had gone with liquid boosters instead of solids? Booster design would have cost a bunch of money (although the new 5-segment SRBs have consumed a lot of development money too), but the rest of the launch infrastructure could have been a LOT cheaper than it will be, without the need for the crawler.

But that would never have happened, of course. Orbital ATK would have pitched a fit.

In order to keep this post on-topic (LC-39A versus LC-39B), I will just point out how choosing solids for the SLS has driven up launch complex expenses, while SpaceX choosing to go all-liquid had kept their launch complex expenses quite low in comparison.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: clongton on 03/23/2015 06:35 PM
In order to keep this post on-topic (LC-39A versus LC-39B), I will just point out how choosing solids for the SLS has driven up launch complex expenses, while SpaceX choosing to go all-liquid had kept their launch complex expenses quite low in comparison.

Good observation. It would have cost quite a bit to make the switch to LRB's but the payoff would have exceeded the expense in terms of both the ground infrastructure and SLS performance capability as well as potentially providing a NASA-owned CLV for Orion.

Great article Chris. And thank you for making it a 2-pad article. The 2 LV's and their infrastructure really do need to be kept in the context of each other so long as both exist because they will dominate the skyline for some time to come. Now if we could only get a real handle on what ULA is really going to do with the NGLV. But if I know you we will know before too much longer. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 04/06/2015 09:02 PM
New 39A images tweeted by SpaceX: https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/585182828943560704

(Oops, Chris posted at the same time - but these are larger versions I found in Twitter - Feel free to delete this post and move the images if you want, Chris)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rcoppola on 04/06/2015 09:33 PM
In the cb78rm photo, it looks as if there's a very tall crane leaning over the RSS. I know it's been reported that they will not completely dismantle it for the near term but are they going to be removing any of the shuttle cargo bay access structural complexities while they have all that equipment currently at the pad?

Or is it possible they decided to dismantle it and see how far they can get before they need to be ready for FH?

Seems like they could at least begin to break it down to its' core structural supports. But without having actually been up close to it, I'm not sure exactly the effort to do this in such increments. It looks like quite the complex structure with lots of loads dependancies. Or not. Either way, would love to know if anyone has any insights if plans have been amended.

(BTW, I know the crane looking as large and as close to the RSS is most likely the composition of the photo and doesn't nessesarily represent reality but my questions are the same regardless)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/06/2015 09:44 PM
New 39A images tweeted by SpaceX: https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/585182828943560704

(Oops, Chris posted at the same time - but these are larger versions I found in Twitter - Feel free to delete this post and move the images if you want, Chris)


Na, yours are better res, easier to delete my post.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Prober on 04/06/2015 10:33 PM
New 39A images tweeted by SpaceX: https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/585182828943560704

(Oops, Chris posted at the same time - but these are larger versions I found in Twitter - Feel free to delete this post and move the images if you want, Chris)

that first pic has the makings of a good desktop screen.   

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 04/06/2015 11:02 PM
New 39A images tweeted by SpaceX: https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/585182828943560704

(Oops, Chris posted at the same time - but these are larger versions I found in Twitter - Feel free to delete this post and move the images if you want, Chris)

that first pic has the makings of a good desktop screen.

Just add a FH rolling out...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: 411rocket on 04/06/2015 11:58 PM
In the cb78rm photo, it looks as if there's a very tall crane leaning over the RSS. I know it's been reported that they will not completely dismantle it for the near term but are they going to be removing any of the shuttle cargo bay access structural complexities while they have all that equipment currently at the pad?


Another possibility, park the crane close to the structure, so it is less likely to get struck, by lightening in a storm. It should also be relatively out of the way there, in between lifts.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: deruch on 04/07/2015 06:12 AM
In the cb78rm photo, it looks as if there's a very tall crane leaning over the RSS. I know it's been reported that they will not completely dismantle it for the near term but are they going to be removing any of the shuttle cargo bay access structural complexities while they have all that equipment currently at the pad?

Or is it possible they decided to dismantle it and see how far they can get before they need to be ready for FH?

Seems like they could at least begin to break it down to its' core structural supports. But without having actually been up close to it, I'm not sure exactly the effort to do this in such increments. It looks like quite the complex structure with lots of loads dependancies. Or not. Either way, would love to know if anyone has any insights if plans have been amended.

(BTW, I know the crane looking as large and as close to the RSS is most likely the composition of the photo and doesn't nessesarily represent reality but my questions are the same regardless)

Perspective effect.

As to what they can do to dismantle it in the mean time, I wonder how much that will be controlled by NASA.  Are they being told anything besides "No bang-bang"?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Raul on 04/20/2015 01:23 AM
Actual LC-39A progress at images from my Saturday's visit.
http://www.imgur.com/a/T7Yim

You can see, that both HIF side walls are fully skinned now.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: b ramsey on 04/20/2015 06:55 PM
When was the hammerhead crane removed from the FSS. The NASA website describes it having one and earlier pictures show it with one.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Beittil on 04/21/2015 09:16 AM
I wonder why that first section of the building still does not have its support section of the roof installed. All along the way you can see in the photo's how the building gets more and more beam work and skinning, but that first section never got its roof structure yet!

Could this be to make installing the overhead crane into the building easier. After which they could then complete the roof?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 04/21/2015 10:10 AM
I wonder why that first section of the building still does not have its support section of the roof installed. All along the way you can see in the photo's how the building gets more and more beam work and skinning, but that first section never got its roof structure yet!

Could this be to make installing the overhead crane into the building easier. After which they could then complete the roof?

That's what I've been reading.  A lot easier to drop the crane in from above (using more cranes, of course) than to jack it up inside of the structure and then rotate onto the tracks.  Once the crane is dropped in and rolled over to the other end of the structure (under cover), it shouldn't take but a few days to finish off the roof.

What I find interesting is that the next to last vertical support is thinner than the others.  Perhaps there will be some different type of structure at that end.  Has there been any talk of a high bay at the back end of the hangar?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 04/21/2015 10:38 AM
I wonder why that first section of the building still does not have its support section of the roof installed. All along the way you can see in the photo's how the building gets more and more beam work and skinning, but that first section never got its roof structure yet!

Could this be to make installing the overhead crane into the building easier. After which they could then complete the roof?

Not one overhead crane, but two.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Beittil on 04/21/2015 10:44 AM
...
What I find interesting is that the next to last vertical support is thinner than the others.  Perhaps there will be some different type of structure at that end.  Has there been any talk of a high bay at the back end of the hangar?
Maybe it has to do with that side section along the building. In the image above you can clearly see there is 2nd level within the side section, which stops at the last 'big' support beam before that thinner one comes. Perhaps it is to created more room there to move around equipment/cargo.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: hallmh on 04/21/2015 03:05 PM
What I find interesting is that the next to last vertical support is thinner than the others.  Perhaps there will be some different type of structure at that end.  Has there been any talk of a high bay at the back end of the hangar?

[Delurks]

The other columns are presumably that large because they are supporting the roof beams. Maybe this end part of the roof doesn't have a roof beam, in order to easily remove and service the cranes; the roof itself could be made stiff enough to bridge the gap.

If that's the case, the column in question only has to be thick enough to support the wall.

[Relurks]
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: deruch on 04/25/2015 01:03 PM
And the HIF has cranes.  [Photo from Chris Boyd on Facebook, via reddit]
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: -eumel- on 04/30/2015 12:39 PM
SpaceX Integration Facility for Falcon 9 Heavy Rockets at Kennedy Space Center LC-39A and pad 39A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtpV2Zb6I5s
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: parham55 on 04/30/2015 03:53 PM
SpaceX Integration Facility for Falcon 9 Heavy Rockets at Kennedy Space Center LC-39A and pad 39A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtpV2Zb6I5s

On one of these threads we were trying to see the rating on the bridge cranes. This is the best grab I could come up with from -eumel-'s video.

edit: second try resulted in a better image, 0:56 in the video.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 04/30/2015 07:38 PM
Nice catch.  Tried same but was unsuccessful.

50 Ton is the light end of the rocket, distal from the pad.  All engines except Mvac are on other end with octaweb.  Rating on that crane is probably greater than or equal to the 60 Ton we saw at Vandenburg.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: gongora on 04/30/2015 08:36 PM
Saw an item yesterday (Space KSC blog http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html (http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html)) with clearer picture of the 50 ton crane, and the guy said the other crane was 90 ton.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 04/30/2015 08:39 PM
Saw an item yesterday (Space KSC blog http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html (http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html)) with clearer picture of the 50 ton crane, and the guy said the other crane was 90 ton.

Maybe the 50 tons bridge crane (visible) just for the payload processing use while the other two 90 tons bridge cranes (hidden) is for handling the 1st and 2nd stages plus TEL?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 04/30/2015 08:52 PM
Saw an item yesterday (Space KSC blog http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html (http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html)) with clearer picture of the 50 ton crane, and the guy said the other crane was 90 ton.

Maybe the 50 tons bridge crane (visible) just for the payload processing use while the other two 90 tons bridge cranes (hidden) is for handling the 1st and 2nd stages plus TEL?

Don't think the TEL ever is lifted.  It rolls under a lifted launch vehicle, I think.

If there are two 90 ton cranes (actually even if there is only one), the possibility of lifting a BFR is still there.  At 12.5m, would be about as wide as FH and the overhead in the building should accommodate it.  Any other reasons for having a 90 ton crane in the building?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 04/30/2015 09:33 PM
Saw an item yesterday (Space KSC blog http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html (http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html)) with clearer picture of the 50 ton crane, and the guy said the other crane was 90 ton.

Maybe the 50 tons bridge crane (visible) just for the payload processing use while the other two 90 tons bridge cranes (hidden) is for handling the 1st and 2nd stages plus TEL?

Don't think the TEL ever is lifted.  It rolls under a lifted launch vehicle, I think.

If there are two 90 ton cranes (actually even if there is only one), the possibility of lifting a BFR is still there.  At 12.5m, would be about as wide as FH and the overhead in the building should accommodate it.  Any other reasons for having a 90 ton crane in the building?

A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 04/30/2015 11:23 PM
Saw an item yesterday (Space KSC blog http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html (http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html)) with clearer picture of the 50 ton crane, and the guy said the other crane was 90 ton.

Maybe the 50 tons bridge crane (visible) just for the payload processing use while the other two 90 tons bridge cranes (hidden) is for handling the 1st and 2nd stages plus TEL?

Don't think the TEL ever is lifted.  It rolls under a lifted launch vehicle, I think.

If there are two 90 ton cranes (actually even if there is only one), the possibility of lifting a BFR is still there.  At 12.5m, would be about as wide as FH and the overhead in the building should accommodate it.  Any other reasons for having a 90 ton crane in the building?

A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.

Here is a close up shot of -eumel-'s video, it seems to show there are one 50 tons and three 90 tons bridge cranes:
Label 1 - 50 tons single span bridge crane.
Labels 2,3,4 - 90 tons double spans bridge cranes
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 04/30/2015 11:56 PM
And... this makes you think that the building is BFR ready? Are you agreeing or disagreeing?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 05/01/2015 12:33 AM
And... this makes you think that the building is BFR ready? Are you agreeing or disagreeing?

Maybe a "BFR Block 1" but it would required the 39A launch pad's fueling infrastructure to go intensive modification.... Too disruptive.  Not making sense.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 01:48 AM
Saw an item yesterday (Space KSC blog http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html (http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html)) with clearer picture of the 50 ton crane, and the guy said the other crane was 90 ton.

Maybe the 50 tons bridge crane (visible) just for the payload processing use while the other two 90 tons bridge cranes (hidden) is for handling the 1st and 2nd stages plus TEL?

Don't think the TEL ever is lifted.  It rolls under a lifted launch vehicle, I think.

If there are two 90 ton cranes (actually even if there is only one), the possibility of lifting a BFR is still there.  At 12.5m, would be about as wide as FH and the overhead in the building should accommodate it.  Any other reasons for having a 90 ton crane in the building?

A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.

Why?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/01/2015 02:24 AM
A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.
Why?

As I recall either Shotwell or Musk stated that Pad 39A was too small for their future BFR, and that a new pad would have to be built.  I think they mentioned the flame ducts as the main constraint.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/01/2015 02:28 AM
A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.
Why?

As I recall either Shotwell or Musk stated that Pad 39A was too small for their future BFR, and that a new pad would have to be built.  I think they mentioned the flame ducts as the main constraint.
I don't think they actually said that. But yeah, they probably would need a new building.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: -eumel- on 05/01/2015 03:58 AM
Have more photos from F9H integration facility and the crane:
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 05/01/2015 06:24 AM
As I recall either Shotwell or Musk stated that Pad 39A was too small for their future BFR, and that a new pad would have to be built.  I think they mentioned the flame ducts as the main constraint.
I don't think they actually said that. But yeah, they probably would need a new building.

I recall them saying that 39A is not big enough for their large launcher and that they need to build a larger pad for it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/01/2015 07:11 AM
Saw an item yesterday (Space KSC blog http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html (http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/04/going-up-part-4.html)) with clearer picture of the 50 ton crane, and the guy said the other crane was 90 ton.

Maybe the 50 tons bridge crane (visible) just for the payload processing use while the other two 90 tons bridge cranes (hidden) is for handling the 1st and 2nd stages plus TEL?

Don't think the TEL ever is lifted.  It rolls under a lifted launch vehicle, I think.

If there are two 90 ton cranes (actually even if there is only one), the possibility of lifting a BFR is still there.  At 12.5m, would be about as wide as FH and the overhead in the building should accommodate it.  Any other reasons for having a 90 ton crane in the building?

A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.

Why?

Common sense. It will be cramped enough for a FH. They are not building any bigger than they have to - especially when the need for a larger building is years away. SpaceX has shown this many times over.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/01/2015 09:44 AM
A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.

Why?

It's also worth noting that the design for BFR is probably only a pencil sketch at this time. Testing on Raptor and operational experience with the recoverable F9 v.1.whatever will doubtless change some details. No doubt MCT will change somewhat in years to come too.

Building an integration facility for a vehicle whose design isn't even finalised in broad sweeps would be potentially wasteful.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 11:55 AM
The question remains.
Why build an oversized building (height and 3x 90 ton cranes) as they apparently are?
The size of the BFR has varied all over the map... and the big-box HIF is the question. If BFR is sized so that it can launch from 39A, then having its HIF on the causeway makes sense.  If simultaneous F9/FH/BFR ops are envisioned, another small pad/HIF will be built for F9/FH to relieve overcrowding IMO.
I agree that SpaceX has only 'planned for the present' as a quotable member insists, but Ithink they're doing the opposite here.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/01/2015 11:58 AM
Remember that the cranes will need enough room to lift one Falcon-9 CCB over another with reasonable head room and without getting it too close to the crane. That in part explains the height. A ~3 x 3 CCB diameter frontal area sounds right to me.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dglow on 05/01/2015 12:14 PM
Was Vandy's HIF sized for FH?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 12:35 PM
Remember that the cranes will need enough room to lift one Falcon-9 CCB over another with reasonable head room and without getting it too close to the crane. That in part explains the height. A ~3 x 3 CCB diameter frontal area sounds right to me.

And a CCB weighs what? 30 tonnes? Less?

Lifting one over the others requires less than 10m vertical... 3x3 frontal area is just about right for a 12m core.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 05/01/2015 12:41 PM
Remember that the cranes will need enough room to lift one Falcon-9 CCB over another with reasonable head room and without getting it too close to the crane. That in part explains the height. A ~3 x 3 CCB diameter frontal area sounds right to me.

And a CCB weighs what? 30 tones? Less?

Lifting one over the others requires less than 10m vertical... 3x3 frontal area is just about right for a 12m core.

Don't forget about the TEL.  If they have contingency plans for removing a core while on the TEL they need clearance for that as well.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 05/01/2015 12:44 PM
Why would they need to lift one core over the other? It should be enough to lift them from the floor on the left and on the right and place them on the TE.

They need to have the building wide enough that they can place them on the ground and have enough space in the middle that the TE can enter. Unless the crane bridges can lift all three at once. I see already three crane hooks on one of them.

I don't think they would remove the central core from the stack while leaving both side cores in their places on the TE. Maybe that assumption is wrong.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 05/01/2015 12:46 PM
Here is a close up shot of -eumel-'s video, it seems to show there are one 50 tons and three 90 tons bridge cranes:
Label 1 - 50 tons single span bridge crane.
Labels 2,3,4 - 90 tons double spans bridge cranes

After looking at Advanced Overhead System's web site, it turns out that it is not overhead crane but a box girder so it is just three 50 tons box girders w/ built in catwalks.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 12:47 PM
Don't forget that they're building a set of tracks to the pad where they used inflatable tires/trucks for FH at Vandenburg.  What changed?

They are also leasing 39A for twenty years, with up front discussions of FX/FXX for the pad.
Raptor being built, announcement on MCT later this year...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 12:54 PM
The pad structure remains covered. Curious...
If there is revealed a double position engagement strucure (I.e., centering two different diameter cores) when the pad is uncovered, then it will be settled.
A similar structure was seen in the models for Boca Chica pad.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 12:57 PM
Oversized center landing pad that no one could plausibly explain...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: gongora on 05/01/2015 03:01 PM
Lifting one over the others requires less than 10m vertical... 3x3 frontal area is just about right for a 12m core.

The fairing is 13M tall.  If the encapsulated payload is transferred vertically they'll need 15m+ just for dealing with the payload (as Jim pointed out a while back.)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: gongora on 05/01/2015 03:09 PM
Here is a close up shot of -eumel-'s video, it seems to show there are one 50 tons and three 90 tons bridge cranes:
Label 1 - 50 tons single span bridge crane.
Labels 2,3,4 - 90 tons double spans bridge cranes

After looking at Advanced Overhead System's web site, it turns out that it is not overhead crane but a box girder so it is just three 50 tons box girders w/ built in catwalks.

I'm not sure how you're coming to that conclusion.  A girder is the basis for an overhead crane.  It's sitting on the side rails where the cranes would go.  Seems to be a crane.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/01/2015 03:12 PM
Here is a close up shot of -eumel-'s video, it seems to show there are one 50 tons and three 90 tons bridge cranes:
Label 1 - 50 tons single span bridge crane.
Labels 2,3,4 - 90 tons double spans bridge cranes

After looking at Advanced Overhead System's web site, it turns out that it is not overhead crane but a box girder so it is just three 50 tons box girders w/ built in catwalks.
Huh? Those are clearly bridge cranes. I work under a similar one every day.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 05/01/2015 03:33 PM
Why would they need to lift one core over the other? It should be enough to lift them from the floor on the left and on the right and place them on the TE.

They need to have the building wide enough that they can place them on the ground and have enough space in the middle that the TE can enter. Unless the crane bridges can lift all three at once. I see already three crane hooks on one of them.

I don't think they would remove the central core from the stack while leaving both side cores in their places on the TE. Maybe that assumption is wrong.

I don't think the TE will be brought into the hangar until all the complete FH is assembled on the floor. The total weight of the vehicle (minus payload and fairing) should be less than 100 tons, allowing two 50 ton bridge cranes to lift it. Once lifted, the TE would be brought in beneath the suspended FH which would be then lowered on to it.

Assembling the vehicle first gives more working space. Remember the TE runs on two sets of rails which are set apart almost the width of the hangar, so bringing it in requires the floor to be almost cleared. Essentially the MO for FH would be the same as F9, with extra assembly, of course.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/01/2015 04:01 PM

Why build an oversized building (height and 3x 90 ton cranes) as they apparently are?

It isn't oversized.  This has to fit in it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MattMason on 05/01/2015 04:13 PM
A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.
Why?

As I recall either Shotwell or Musk stated that Pad 39A was too small for their future BFR, and that a new pad would have to be built.  I think they mentioned the flame ducts as the main constraint.

Not to pull things further off-topic with discussion of the BFR, but there's always the unconstructed area designated for pad LC-39C for such a venture. SpaceX is trying to adapt LC-39A for FH/F9 but not remove its historical flavor, and trying to make a pad be capable of launching many spacecraft just isn't done historically. Else, we'd see greater launch flexibility as Falcons and Atlases and Deltas could use any ol' pad.

Even close siblings like Saturn V and I-B were too different to use the same pad, and for Skylab, they built the "milk-stool" platform to help the I-B use the V gantry.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 05/01/2015 04:15 PM
Oversized center landing pad that no one could plausibly explain...

I think I have that particular one figured out.  The center pad is the "crash pad", and can take an off-nominal landing with better containment.   All stage will aim for it, and then divert to the smaller pads.

(If they were truly off-nominal landing pads, then we should have had a small center pad and 4 larger gravel-surrounded side pads.)

As for the building size, I don't know.  It doesn't seem THAT oversized, and I'm not sure if it's that much more expensive to splurge - not when the construction is so simple. Maybe all the existing hangers are just really tight, and this one has more breathing room.

The argument FOR the hanger being BFR 1.0 compatible is that in all previous cases, "planning for the present" did not get in the way of operations.   Here, 3-4 years from now, this pad will be very busy.  Replacing the hangar at that point will require a prolonged stand-down.  So why not over-size now?



Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: abaddon on 05/01/2015 04:25 PM
Isn't the current hanger a little close to the pad for a BFR type of rocket?  I would think an Antares type failure could do some very serious damage to a hanger located that close to the pad.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 04:35 PM
A BFR would require a whole new integration building. This is built for FH/F9.
Why?

As I recall either Shotwell or Musk stated that Pad 39A was too small for their future BFR, and that a new pad would have to be built.  I think they mentioned the flame ducts as the main constraint.

Not to pull things further off-topic with discussion of the BFR, but there's always the unconstructed area designated for pad LC-39C for such a venture. SpaceX is trying to adapt LC-39A for FH/F9 but not remove its historical flavor, and trying to make a pad be capable of launching many spacecraft just isn't done historically. Else, we'd see greater launch flexibility as Falcons and Atlases and Deltas could use any ol' pad.

Even close siblings like Saturn V and I-B were too different to use the same pad, and for Skylab, they built the "milk-stool" platform to help the I-B use the V gantry.

Historically, there haven't been landing pads at the Cape either.  39B is supposedly being developed to accommodate multiple vehicles.  There is no reason that 39A cannot also be for multi-vehicle use, especially since the developer has lots of insight (I dare say more than we have, or NASA has for 39B) into what else might need the pad.

As they say, past performance is no guarantee of future results...

Note: I don't think it is OT at all.  The pad is certainly being prepared for Falcon Heavy debut, but we're (I'm) seeing inconsistencies that may indicate the facility is being readied for more than that.  (To be honest, I'm looking for any shred of evidence that forward looking plans are in place for BFR at 39A and am asking for help examining several of the new/changed features from Vandenberg which was the original pad developed for Falcon Heavy's debut.)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 04:45 PM

Why build an oversized building (height and 3x 90 ton cranes) as they apparently are?

It isn't oversized.  This has to fit in it.

THAT has to fit into Vandy's HIF, which I believe is quite a bit shorter (and has lower-than-reported bridge crane capacity).  I expect that a BFR strongback would be about the same size/thickness -- the base plate would obviously have to be larger and would dictate the height of the HIF doorway.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/01/2015 05:16 PM
Why would they need to lift one core over the other? It should be enough to lift them from the floor on the left and on the right and place them on the TE.

They need to have the building wide enough that they can place them on the ground and have enough space in the middle that the TE can enter. Unless the crane bridges can lift all three at once. I see already three crane hooks on one of them.

I don't think they would remove the central core from the stack while leaving both side cores in their places on the TE. Maybe that assumption is wrong.


They will all be mated before the lift onto the TEL.  The cores won't be individually lifted onto the TEL.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/01/2015 05:18 PM
THAT has to fit into Vandy's HIF, which I believe is quite a bit shorter

Not enough to matter
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/01/2015 05:49 PM
The pad is certainly being prepared for Falcon Heavy debut, but we're (I'm) seeing inconsistencies that may indicate the facility is being readied for more than that.  (To be honest, I'm looking for any shred of evidence that forward looking plans are in place for BFR at 39A and am asking for help examining several of the new/changed features from Vandenberg which was the original pad developed for Falcon Heavy's debut.)

No, you are NOT. You just decided on a spur of the moment that "hey a BFR might fit", and ran with it. You are jumping to conclusions without fully understanding how an FH is integrated with the TEL in the HIF.

Look at the picture below. See how much space is taken up by just a F9 on a TEL? The 39A HIF is not that much larger (if any) than the VAFB HIF.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: newpylong on 05/01/2015 07:09 PM
The question remains.
Why build an oversized building (height and 3x 90 ton cranes) as they apparently are?
The size of the BFR has varied all over the map... and the big-box HIF is the question. If BFR is sized so that it can launch from 39A, then having its HIF on the causeway makes sense.  If simultaneous F9/FH/BFR ops are envisioned, another small pad/HIF will be built for F9/FH to relieve overcrowding IMO.
I agree that SpaceX has only 'planned for the present' as a quotable member insists, but Ithink they're doing the opposite here.

No, there is no question remaining. This HIF is being built for F9/FH and that is it. How can you build a facility for a launch system not even fully designed yet? You think they are going to fit something as big or bigger than SLS in there, let alone still use it for regular launches? Not gonna happen.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 07:54 PM
The pad is certainly being prepared for Falcon Heavy debut, but we're (I'm) seeing inconsistencies that may indicate the facility is being readied for more than that.  (To be honest, I'm looking for any shred of evidence that forward looking plans are in place for BFR at 39A and am asking for help examining several of the new/changed features from Vandenberg which was the original pad developed for Falcon Heavy's debut.)

No, you are NOT. You just decided on a spur of the moment that "hey a BFR might fit", and ran with it. You are jumping to conclusions without fully understanding how an FH is integrated with the TEL in the HIF.

Look at the picture below. See how much space is taken up by just a F9 on a TEL? The 39A HIF is not that much larger (if any) than the VAFB HIF.

I'm glad to know that you know better than I what I'm doing...
I'll drop it now and wait until more information is available.
(If you know better, please let me know. ;)  By the way, what are my plans for the weekend? ::))

Note: The bridge crane in your image is rated for 30 tons... and it will handle the FH.  Just sayin'...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: eriblo on 05/01/2015 09:42 PM
[...]

Note: The bridge crane in your image is rated for 30 tons... and it will handle the FH.  Just sayin'...

Remember that there is one light and one heavy end on these rockets, especially on a fully assembled FH...

(Removed an erroneous edit...)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/01/2015 10:46 PM
[...]

Note: The bridge crane in your image is rated for 30 tons... and it will handle the FH.  Just sayin'...

Remember that there is one light and one heavy end on these rockets, especially on a fully assembled FH...

(Removed an erroneous edit...)

Yes, approximately the same weight ratio on each (F9/FH)-- in fact, similar on another rocket which I won't mention.  30 and 60 ton cranes in Vandy HIF to lift that load.  50/90 (possibly x 3) at 39A.  Of course, the East Coast heavies might be heavier than West Coast.

Edit: Added parenthetical for clarity.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: eriblo on 05/01/2015 11:14 PM
[...]

Note: The bridge crane in your image is rated for 30 tons... and it will handle the FH.  Just sayin'...

Remember that there is one light and one heavy end on these rockets, especially on a fully assembled FH...

(Removed an erroneous edit...)

Yes, approximately the same weight ratio on each (F9/FH)-- in fact, similar on another rocket which I won't mention.  30 and 60 ton cranes in Vandy HIF to lift that load.  50/90 (possibly x 3) at 39A.  Of course, the East Coast heavies might be heavier than West Coast.

Edit: Added parenthetical for clarity.

Newer mind my comment, I see it was mentioned a page or so back. Using 30 ton crane examples when arguing about the 90 ton ones got me a little confused, I blame the late hour.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cartman on 05/02/2015 10:18 AM
Maybe they need the 90 ton crane so they can lift the ~50 ton maximum payload of FH?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/02/2015 10:30 AM
The 50 ton crane is at the distal end of the HIF from the pad which would put it at the payload end... but you make a great point.  Could be an explanation of why there are so many cranes.  Could take two to lift maximum payloads.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/02/2015 10:44 AM
  Could take two to lift maximum payloads.

It takes to rotate from vertical to horizontal.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: deruch on 05/02/2015 02:07 PM
  Could take two to lift maximum payloads.

It takes to rotate from vertical to horizontal.

They don't use a dedicated break-over jig?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/02/2015 02:15 PM

They don't use a dedicated break-over jig?

No
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: baldusi on 05/02/2015 05:29 PM
What about the hydraulics to keep the TEL horizontal on the ramp? Couldn't that be an explanation?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dglow on 05/02/2015 10:16 PM
I've seen this asked before, but missed the answer. While traveling up the ramp to the pad, is there need for the TEL to keep the stack horizontal?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AncientU on 05/03/2015 11:28 AM
And assuming that it does need to be kept horizontal, how much flat pavement is there outside of the HIF before the leading end of the TEL starts up the ramp?  If less than 70 meters or so, raising the payload end may need to begin before fully out of the HIF.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dglow on 05/04/2015 07:58 PM
And assuming that it does need to be kept horizontal, how much flat pavement is there outside of the HIF before the leading end of the TEL starts up the ramp?

From this photo upthread it appears that flat pavement < TEL length.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 05/05/2015 10:12 PM
I've seen this asked before, but missed the answer. While traveling up the ramp to the pad, is there need for the TEL to keep the stack horizontal?

I can't think of a reason why they would need to do that. Assuming they don't, then the only thing to look out for would be clearance between the TEL and the ground where the slope changes at the top of the ramp.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/06/2015 09:02 AM
I've seen this asked before, but missed the answer. While traveling up the ramp to the pad, is there need for the TEL to keep the stack horizontal?

I'm sure that there is a maximum angle beyond which the effective negative gees on the structure exceeds the load-bearing capacity of the explosive bolts and struts holding the stages and PLF together. That said, the ramp up to LC-39A's pad was designed so that the CT could ascend and handle the elevation angle changes without scraping its bottom on the concrete or bumping its load too much. So I imagine the slope is as gentle as its architects could manage.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: hallmh on 05/06/2015 10:17 AM

They will all be mated before the lift onto the TEL.  The cores won't be individually lifted onto the TEL.


I'm surprised - with all the cores being lifted together horizontally, there will be differential loads stressing the interconnects, which won't exist in flight when the cores are of course vertical.

It seems safer to use the TEL as an assembly jig / armature.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Crispy on 05/06/2015 11:25 AM
I imagine the slope is as gentle as its architects could manage.

5% according to http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/facilities/lc39a.html
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 05/06/2015 03:14 PM

I'm surprised - with all the cores being lifted together horizontally, there will be differential loads stressing the interconnects, which won't exist in flight when the cores are of course vertical.

It seems safer to use the TEL as an assembly jig / armature.

There isn't enough room to do it that way.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 05/06/2015 03:18 PM
I imagine the slope is as gentle as its architects could manage.

5% according to http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/facilities/lc39a.html

I tried to find that number before I posted previously. Thanks for that. I think the ramp  is a non issue.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2015 05:23 PM

They will all be mated before the lift onto the TEL.  The cores won't be individually lifted onto the TEL.


I'm surprised - with all the cores being lifted together horizontally, there will be differential loads stressing the interconnects, which won't exist in flight when the cores are of course vertical.

It seems safer to use the TEL as an assembly jig / armature.

Those loads are much smaller than in-flight loads. Keep in mind that the cores are EMPTY and very light when mated to the TEL.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/06/2015 05:58 PM

I'm surprised - with all the cores being lifted together horizontally, there will be differential loads stressing the interconnects, which won't exist in flight when the cores are of course vertical.

It seems safer to use the TEL as an assembly jig / armature.


There is no room in the building for the boosters and the TEL.  The vehicle is lifted and then the TEL is rolled in and the vehicle set upon it. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 05/06/2015 06:14 PM
There is no room in the building for the boosters and the TEL.  The vehicle is lifted and then the TEL is rolled in and the vehicle set upon it.

They can still lift all three boosters separately. The pictures of the assembly-building show 3 hooks on one bridge crane.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rpapo on 05/06/2015 06:18 PM
It's quite obvious that the HIF can hold a TEL at the same time as a fully assembled F9H.  Otherwise how would the rocket be lowered on to the TEL?  But you wouldn't want the TEL in there all the time, as it would be a lot harder to work on the rocket than having the separate cores line up side by side, separated a little bit and held in their rotisserie clamps.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2015 06:26 PM
It's quite obvious that the HIF can hold a TEL at the same time as a fully assembled F9H.  Otherwise how would the rocket be lowered on to the TEL?  But you wouldn't want the TEL in there all the time, as it would be a lot harder to work on the rocket than having the separate cores line up side by side, separated a little bit and held in their rotisserie clamps.

You misunderstand. The point is that the hangar is not wide enough to accommodate the TEL *and* three cores next to each other. That's why they have to be assembled as one piece and lifted before the TEL rolls in.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 05/06/2015 06:41 PM

You misunderstand. The point is that the hangar is not wide enough to accommodate the TEL *and* three cores next to each other. That's why they have to be assembled as one piece and lifted before the TEL rolls in.

As I said that the hangar is not wide enough to accomodate them beside each other does not require to lift the assembled heavy configuration. Also it was speculated that it may be wide enough that both side boosters can be at the side and only the central core is lifted up while the TEL is brought in. But lifting the three cores separately is certainly a possible solution. I don't claim that is the better solution but it may well be.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2015 06:51 PM

You misunderstand. The point is that the hangar is not wide enough to accommodate the TEL *and* three cores next to each other. That's why they have to be assembled as one piece and lifted before the TEL rolls in.

As I said that the hangar is not wide enough to accomodate them beside each other does not require to lift the assembled heavy configuration. Also it was speculated that it may be wide enough that both side boosters can be at the side and only the central core is lifted up while the TEL is brought in. But lifting the three cores separately is certainly a possible solution. I don't claim that is the better solution but it may well be.

Yes it does. The TEL is wider than an FH. I don't know how else we can explain this to you.

EDIT: Added additional images to show the size of an FH capable TEL.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/06/2015 07:33 PM

You misunderstand. The point is that the hangar is not wide enough to accommodate the TEL *and* three cores next to each other. That's why they have to be assembled as one piece and lifted before the TEL rolls in.

As I said that the hangar is not wide enough to accomodate them beside each other does not require to lift the assembled heavy configuration. Also it was speculated that it may be wide enough that both side boosters can be at the side and only the central core is lifted up while the TEL is brought in. But lifting the three cores separately is certainly a possible solution. I don't claim that is the better solution but it may well be.

Yes it does. The TEL is wider than an FH. I don't know how else we can explain this to you.
If you were to strap 6 cores together in a straight line that is roughly how much space there has to be to get the VAFB TEL out its door.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 05/06/2015 07:42 PM
As I said that the hangar is not wide enough to accomodate them beside each other does not require to lift the assembled heavy configuration. Also it was speculated that it may be wide enough that both side boosters can be at the side and only the central core is lifted up while the TEL is brought in. But lifting the three cores separately is certainly a possible solution. I don't claim that is the better solution but it may well be.

Yes it does. The TEL is wider than an FH. I don't know how else we can explain this to you.

 Bold mine. Irrelevant.

Once again and for the last time. Your statement is wrong. You can lift the three cores separately (parallel at the same time) and lower them onto the TEL. No wider building required.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2015 08:15 PM
As I said that the hangar is not wide enough to accomodate them beside each other does not require to lift the assembled heavy configuration. Also it was speculated that it may be wide enough that both side boosters can be at the side and only the central core is lifted up while the TEL is brought in. But lifting the three cores separately is certainly a possible solution. I don't claim that is the better solution but it may well be.

Yes it does. The TEL is wider than an FH. I don't know how else we can explain this to you.

 Bold mine. Irrelevant.

Once again and for the last time. Your statement is wrong. You can lift the three cores separately (parallel at the same time) and lower them onto the TEL. No wider building required.

How many cranes do you think they have?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 05/06/2015 08:26 PM

How many cranes do you think they have?

One picture shows that one bridgecrane has 3 hooks. Do you anticipate that a bridgecrane lifts an assembled Falcon Heavy with one hook?

Edit: That may be possible, but the 3 independent hooks are there.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2015 08:34 PM

How many cranes do you think they have?

One picture shows that one bridgecrane has 3 hooks. Do you anticipate that a bridgecrane lifts an assembled Falcon Heavy with one hook?

Edit: That may be possible, but the 3 independent hooks are there.

No - each core has to be lifted by two cranes/hooks. So you need 6 cranes/hooks to independently loft all three cores at the same time. And I know they don't have that many in there.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 05/06/2015 08:37 PM
That may be possible, but the 3 independent hooks are there.

No - each core has to be lifted by two cranes/hooks. So you need 6 cranes/hooks to independently loft all three cores at the same time. And I know they don't have that many in there.

I am at a loss what you are trying to say.

Of course you need two cranes with one hook each to lift a core. Two crane bridges with three hooks each can lift three cores independently from each other.

Edit: fixed quote
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/06/2015 10:31 PM
The middle two pics have me retracting my statement and it has me rethinking.

There are no rails for the boosters next to the core.  They are further outboard.  So the concop would be to lift the core and roll in the TEL and place the core on the TEL.  Then the boosters will be lifted onto TEL.   There isn't a launch mount like on Energia that would hold the boosters in place.

The Energia frame is visible in this pic.  Falcons launch mount/frame is part of the TEL
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: baldusi on 05/06/2015 11:03 PM
We should consult Bart Hendrixx, but the "frame" was actually the Blok-Y, which abstracted all the pad conectors, a bit like the MLP, a bit like the integrated TEL of the Falcon 9.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2015 11:24 PM
The middle two pics have me retracting my statement and it has me rethinking.

There are no rails for the boosters next to the core.  They are further outboard.  So the concop would be to lift the core and roll in the TEL and place the core on the TEL.  Then the boosters will be lifted onto TEL.   There isn't a launch mount like on Energia that would hold the boosters in place.

I'm not sure why that would change anything. The lack of TEL booster "supports" would be just as much of an issue before the FH is assembled as after. Either the TEL for FH is modified to add booster rest points, or it isn't. But FH being assembled before or after is meaningless as FH still has to ride out to the pad on it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 05/07/2015 03:34 AM
The middle two pics have me retracting my statement and it has me rethinking.

There are no rails for the boosters next to the core.  They are further outboard.  So the concop would be to lift the core and roll in the TEL and place the core on the TEL.  Then the boosters will be lifted onto TEL.   There isn't a launch mount like on Energia that would hold the boosters in place.

The Energia frame is visible in this pic.  Falcons launch mount/frame is part of the TEL

We were indeed wondering what was happening with the side rails. 

The width of the hangar looks to me sufficient to support this.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 05/07/2015 03:48 AM

I'm not sure why that would change anything. The lack of TEL booster "supports" would be just as much of an issue before the FH is assembled as after. Either the TEL for FH is modified to add booster rest points, or it isn't. But FH being assembled before or after is meaningless as FH still has to ride out to the pad on it.


No, there doesn't have to be TEL booster "supports".  The boosters are attached to the TEL holddowns at the aft and to the core booster at forward attach points.

Much like below
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 05/07/2015 05:00 AM

I'm not sure why that would change anything. The lack of TEL booster "supports" would be just as much of an issue before the FH is assembled as after. Either the TEL for FH is modified to add booster rest points, or it isn't. But FH being assembled before or after is meaningless as FH still has to ride out to the pad on it.


No, there doesn't have to be TEL booster "supports".  The boosters are attached to the TEL holddowns at the aft and to the core booster at forward attach points.

Much like below

I know there doesn't have to be. I was merely saying that the presence (or not) of forward support points - which I thought you were arguing for - would be immaterial for how FH is assembled, because the same loads would occur during roll-out anyway.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: spacenut on 05/20/2015 09:19 PM
Any updates on Pad 39A?  Is it going to be ready for Falcon Heavy this fall?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/23/2015 12:23 PM
Update on the pads including 39A - with that cool moment where the site has such a massive collection of SpaceX fans that the chance of a SpaceX truck overtaking you is likely to occur.....

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/space-coast-pads-transitioning-new-era/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: sghill on 05/24/2015 12:54 PM
Fantastic info, thanks Chris (and source!).

Any word on approvals (environmental? / USAF? etc) progress, in addition to construction, would also be greatly appreciated.

The final draft EA (EIS) was issued in October 2014 which we knew already: http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-141107-004.pdf

The Florida Clearinghouse gave a positive concurrence from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the project back in September 2014, and stated at the time: "The state's final concurrence of the project's consistency with the FCMP will be determined during the environmental permitting process." [emphasis mine]. This is public info, but most people wouldn't know where to find it.
In January, 2015 SpaceX signed the lease with Patrick AFB.  I can't find a copy of that lease anywhere.
There is no a final FDEP approval to be found here: http://appprod.dep.state.fl.us/clearinghouse/applicant/project_search_p.asp (search on spacex as a keyword)
There is no final EA is posted at the Patrick AFB website to be found here: http://search.af.mil/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&affiliate=patrick (search on LC-13 or SpaceX as keywords)
There is no final EA to be found at the FAA website here: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/
There is some limited additional correspondence submitted as an Appendix to the above EA also at the Patrick web site.

With concrete being poured already, it's my opinion that it's worth a better inquiry to ask where the final EA is, where the FAA's record of decision is, and where the Florida Coastal Management Program final approval is.  All three of these should not be missing if they are indeed moving earth at this point, but then again I was only making cursory checks and I am in no way implying that something nefarious is going on, it might just be lazy website updating...

BTW, same thing goes for the Vandenburg AFB landing site....
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 05/27/2015 03:16 PM
Well that settles the crane question. If you look at some of the other pictures there are three 50 ton.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: catdlr on 05/27/2015 08:08 PM
I also don't see any rail tracks on the ramp leading up to the pad.  There is one picture where the ramp subgrade is being laid down and the finish surface, both with no tracks installed??
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/27/2015 08:45 PM
I also don't see any rail tracks on the ramp leading up to the pad.  There is one picture where the ramp subgrade is being laid down and the finish surface, both with no tracks installed??
the yet to be installed rail is visible in the foreground of pic 1
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 05/27/2015 09:19 PM
I also don't see any rail tracks on the ramp leading up to the pad.  There is one picture where the ramp subgrade is being laid down and the finish surface, both with no tracks installed??
the yet to be installed rail is visible in the foreground of pic 1
Stephen Smith's photo of the ramp:
- Red = new rail tracks on packed crawler way gravel.
- Blue = rubber wheels on new concrete ramp. (aircraft tug type?)

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 05/27/2015 09:55 PM
What type of work would require the launch mount to be completely encapsulated like it is? Or do they just want to be able to work in inclement weather?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/10/2015 01:01 AM
Sexy! ;D

(Someone will do the full image size and what-have-you, I'm sure) :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 06/10/2015 01:04 AM
Sexy! ;D

(Someone will do the full image size and what-have-you, I'm sure) :)

Glad they didn't hire the paint guys from Jacksonville.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Misha Vargas on 06/10/2015 01:12 AM
Sexy! ;D

(Someone will do the full image size and what-have-you, I'm sure) :)

I can get it a bit bigger, sure. Here you go:


Edit: jacqmans found a bigger, betterer one. Posted 24 posts down.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: docmordrid on 06/10/2015 03:40 AM
White balance corrected
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 06/10/2015 05:19 AM
This HIF illustration (see L2 link below for much larger photo) was posted last May 1st.

Duh, I forgot to add the rain gutters drainage pipes but the best part is that no white balance correction is needed.... ;D

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34978.msg1367920#msg1367920
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dcporter on 06/10/2015 05:37 AM
White balance corrected

You mean gorgeous sunset balance ruined =)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/10/2015 08:35 AM
So, as SpaceX are saying that the LC-39A HIF is 5 x F9 CCB + work space in width, how high does it make the roof? Does that tell us anything about the maximum PLF length that SpaceX are planning to be capable of integrating-in HIF?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 06/10/2015 08:52 AM
So, as SpaceX are saying that the LC-39A HIF is 5 x F9 CCB + work space in width, <snip>
That's a wrong assumption. They never said that the LC-39A HIF can hold five CCB's side-by-side. I suggest you try again and this time take the height into account.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/10/2015 09:09 AM
So, as SpaceX are saying that the LC-39A HIF is 5 x F9 CCB + work space in width, <snip>

That's a wrong assumption. They never said that the LC-39A HIF can hold five CCB's side-by-side. I suggest you try again and this time take the height into account.

That number does not fit a vertically-stacked storage assumption; it would necessarily have to be multiple of three, even if you hand-waved away the fact that storing a couple of CCBs overhead would likely interfere with integration on the work-floor.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 06/10/2015 10:34 AM
5 makes perfect sense, you need that many spaces to be able to get the TEL in while only lifting one core.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/10/2015 11:43 AM
5 makes perfect sense, you need that many spaces to be able to get the TEL in while only lifting one core.

Another artful attempt of reinterpreting what was said.

Quote
capable of holding up to 5 rockets at once

is not saying there are 5 bays that can hold 3 cores.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/10/2015 12:27 PM
It's taller than it looked during construction. Is it a forced perspective issue or is it something else like the roof from the vertical payload processing room runs back over the top of the HIF with the extra height being used as an office level or something?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Nomadd on 06/10/2015 01:34 PM
It's taller than it looked during construction. Is it a forced perspective issue or is it something else like the roof from the vertical payload processing room runs back over the top of the HIF with the extra height being used as an office level or something?
It's sort of a standing joke with the guys who construct those things. People always tell them they're making a mistake when they start building, and it's way too small. Then it looks much larger when they're done.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 06/10/2015 02:06 PM
So, as SpaceX are saying that the LC-39A HIF is 5 x F9 CCB + work space in width, <snip>

That's a wrong assumption. They never said that the LC-39A HIF can hold five CCB's side-by-side. I suggest you try again and this time take the height into account.

That number does not fit a vertically-stacked storage assumption; it would necessarily have to be multiple of three, even if you hand-waved away the fact that storing a couple of CCBs overhead would likely interfere with integration on the work-floor.
Again, you are not thinking in the right direction. Think of rockets being stored while horizontal, in a rack.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 06/10/2015 02:15 PM
So, as SpaceX are saying that the LC-39A HIF is 5 x F9 CCB + work space in width, <snip>

That's a wrong assumption. They never said that the LC-39A HIF can hold five CCB's side-by-side. I suggest you try again and this time take the height into account.

That number does not fit a vertically-stacked storage assumption; it would necessarily have to be multiple of three, even if you hand-waved away the fact that storing a couple of CCBs overhead would likely interfere with integration on the work-floor.
Again, you are not thinking in the right direction. Think of rockets being stored while horizontal, in a rack.

I feel you are mistaken, they will not be storing them in a rack.  There is room for 5 cores horizontally, that is all they need there at this time.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 06/10/2015 03:01 PM
It fits 5 cores - 3 on the TEL, and 1 on each side, before it's loaded onto the TEL.

With everything SpaceX has planned, (high flight rate, reusability), somewhere there needs to be a core-storage facility, but not just yet.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: abaddon on 06/10/2015 03:45 PM
With everything SpaceX has planned, (high flight rate, reusability), somewhere there needs to be a core-storage facility, but not just yet.

The logical place would be McGregor.  Lots of space already available and it's where stages are qualified and will (probably) be re-qualified.  And I think this facility may need to be built sooner rather than later.  I can imagine if recovery has a high percentage of success once they get it to work once, they could build up quite a backlog of recovered cores before they are able to start actually reusing them.

The economics are going to be really interesting.  I think you can make a case that they can be very aggressive in testing recovered cores, because the value of a recovered core is going to go downward as they continue to introduce new improvements to newer vehicles.

In any case, to bring this post back on-topic, I don't see them storing recovered cores at a launch site for a very long time.  Five cores should be plenty for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/10/2015 06:29 PM
With everything SpaceX has planned, (high flight rate, reusability), somewhere there needs to be a core-storage facility, but not just yet.

The logical place would be McGregor.  Lots of space already available and it's where stages are qualified and will (probably) be re-qualified.  And I think this facility may need to be built sooner rather than later.  I can imagine if recovery has a high percentage of success once they get it to work once, they could build up quite a backlog of recovered cores before they are able to start actually reusing them.

The economics are going to be really interesting.  I think you can make a case that they can be very aggressive in testing recovered cores, because the value of a recovered core is going to go downward as they continue to introduce new improvements to newer vehicles.

In any case, to bring this post back on-topic, I don't see them storing recovered cores at a launch site for a very long time.  Five cores should be plenty for the foreseeable future.

Qualification is a near destructive test for the design. The correct term is flight acceptance for a specific flight unit.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JamesH on 06/10/2015 09:06 PM
The cores are mostly painted aluminium and carbon fibre, the engines can be dismounted. You only need to keep the engines under cover. The cores can be outside. Reduces storage requirements a lot.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Owlon on 06/10/2015 10:06 PM
The cores are mostly painted aluminium and carbon fibre, the engines can be dismounted. You only need to keep the engines under cover. The cores can be outside. Reduces storage requirements a lot.

That's incompatible with the "gas and go" vision of SpaceX, so I don't expect that to be done in the long term. Maybe early on, but not a few years down the line when reusing a stage doesn't involve major refurbishment.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 06/11/2015 01:47 AM
The cores are mostly painted aluminium and carbon fibre, the engines can be dismounted. You only need to keep the engines under cover. The cores can be outside. Reduces storage requirements a lot.

not true.  There are avionics and cable trays that have to be protected.  The non tank  portions of the stages are under constant purge
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JamesH on 06/11/2015 08:10 AM
The cores are mostly painted aluminium and carbon fibre, the engines can be dismounted. You only need to keep the engines under cover. The cores can be outside. Reduces storage requirements a lot.

not true.  There are avionics and cable trays that have to be protected.  The non tank  portions of the stages are under constant purge

Tarpaulin and duct tape?

What do you mean by constant purge?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 06/11/2015 11:04 AM
The cores are mostly painted aluminium and carbon fibre, the engines can be dismounted. You only need to keep the engines under cover. The cores can be outside. Reduces storage requirements a lot.

not true.  There are avionics and cable trays that have to be protected.  The non tank  portions of the stages are under constant purge

Tarpaulin and duct tape?

What do you mean by constant purge?
Dry air or nitrogen purge to keep moisture (and salt!) out. Avionics and cabling don't like moisture, let alone salt.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JamesH on 06/11/2015 02:08 PM
The cores are mostly painted aluminium and carbon fibre, the engines can be dismounted. You only need to keep the engines under cover. The cores can be outside. Reduces storage requirements a lot.

not true.  There are avionics and cable trays that have to be protected.  The non tank  portions of the stages are under constant purge

Tarpaulin and duct tape?

What do you mean by constant purge?
Dry air or nitrogen purge to keep moisture (and salt!) out. Avionics and cabling don't like moisture, let alone salt.

OK, easy enough to do, still don't need a large building to encase a pump and dry air supply.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cscott on 06/11/2015 02:19 PM
It's probably easier just to put up a building.  Large prefab buildings are not expensive.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: matthewkantar on 06/11/2015 02:21 PM
OK, easy enough to do, still don't need a large building to encase a pump and dry air supply.

Buildings are cheap. By the time you disassemble the stage, wrap it, provide for purge equipment, unwrap it, reassemble it, etc. you have burnt hundreds of man hours and probably have critters and critter nests in your rocket. I could see keeping gear outside in a dead dry desert, but not in Florida or Texas. These are high performance machines, they should be kept in a clean dry environment.

Matthew
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: jacqmans on 06/11/2015 07:39 PM
Sexy! ;D

(Someone will do the full image size and what-have-you, I'm sure) :)

I can get it a bit bigger, sure. Here you go:

I can get it a bit bigger, sure. Here you go:  lol
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: CraigLieb on 06/11/2015 08:42 PM
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=36100.0;attach=981775

Does anyone else find that picture moving and exciting?
A new hangar at the bottom of a modified ramp leading to a storied launch pad from which the Apollo Astronauts went to the Moon... And it has a SPACEX logo on it!?!   
UNREAL.. pinch me.  If this was the 60's I would say "Heavy man... heavy!"
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Arb on 06/11/2015 09:23 PM
Don't think this has been posted before. It's from page 2 of Commercial Crew Program, Status to the NAC, April 2015 at https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/1-CSD_Brief_to_NAC_Apr_2015_TAGGED.pdf (https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/1-CSD_Brief_to_NAC_Apr_2015_TAGGED.pdf)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: James54 on 06/11/2015 09:52 PM
"If this were the 60's I'd say, 'Heavy, man, heavy"

Dr. Emmett Brown: There's that word again. "Heavy." Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth's gravitational pull?

Pretty exciting no matter how we express it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: the_other_Doug on 06/11/2015 10:06 PM
I also don't see any rail tracks on the ramp leading up to the pad.  There is one picture where the ramp subgrade is being laid down and the finish surface, both with no tracks installed??
the yet to be installed rail is visible in the foreground of pic 1
Stephen Smith's photo of the ramp:
- Red = new rail tracks on packed crawler way gravel.
- Blue = rubber wheels on new concrete ramp. (aircraft tug type?)

I'm assuming, from the way this is laid out and the way the main launch structure seems to be designed to roll on rubber wheels, that the rocket will be dragged up and down by switcher-type locomotives, one on each side?

If so, any idea what kinds of engines SpaceX plans to use?  Also, I believe that if SpaceX is going to operate locomotives, they have to set up as an actual railroad line, just as the now-defunct rail lines that were used to transport Saturn and Shuttle parts from the barge docks to the VAB was an official railroad line.

Since that line is now defunct, do y'all think SpaceX will just form its own short line, here, or will they also take over the trackage that had been used by NASA/MILA/KSC as well, and operate it when SLS needs its use again in five or six years?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: DaveS on 06/11/2015 10:25 PM
If so, any idea what kinds of engines SpaceX plans to use?  Also, I believe that if SpaceX is going to operate locomotives, they have to set up as an actual railroad line, just as the now-defunct rail lines that were used to transport Saturn and Shuttle parts from the barge docks to the VAB was an official railroad line.
The only things that arrive by rail is the SRB segments. The ETs and the Saturn stages used wheeled transporters.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Damon Hill on 06/11/2015 10:53 PM
The rail line into the Cape and Merritt Island is still in service, except along the beach and south to the old Titan III/IV complex.  The new pair(?) of tracks at Pad 39 wouldn't connect to the legacy service tracks anyway.

I doubt SpaceX needs to use an actual locomotive to move the transporter; Ariane V's MLP moves on rails but is towed by a rubber-tired tractor, and Atlas V uses versatile Trackmobiles that can operate on rails or off on rubber tires.  I expect SpaceX will thus use some type of off-rail tractor to push the MLP/erector up the slope.  I'm guessing they chose rail for the load-carrying capability and self-guided precision to the pad itself, just as they used legacy rails at their existing Falcon 9 pad.

I can't tell for certain, but I think SpaceX uses a rubber-tired transporter at Vandenberg--correct me if I'm wrong.

Guess there aren't any online aerial photos that are very recent?  Google and Bing are way out of date.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 06/11/2015 10:53 PM


I'm assuming, from the way this is laid out and the way the main launch structure seems to be designed to roll on rubber wheels, that the rocket will be dragged up and down by switcher-type locomotives, one on each side?

If so, any idea what kinds of engines SpaceX plans to use?  Also, I believe that if SpaceX is going to operate locomotives, they have to set up as an actual railroad line, just as the now-defunct rail lines that were used to transport Saturn and Shuttle parts from the barge docks to the VAB was an official railroad line.

They will be using an airplane puller like at VAFB.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: jacqmans on 06/13/2015 12:39 PM
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: obi-wan on 06/18/2015 04:27 AM
I had a tour of the SpaceX facilities at pad 39A today. Although much of what I found out is relevant to discussions in the L2 section, no one from SpaceX said anything about limited distribution so I don't see any reason not to post it in this open section. Sadly, no pictures were allowed. Here are some observations (and things the SpaceX tour leader told us) in stream-of-conciousness order.

There were deep trenches inboard of the crawler tracks up the ramp to the pad. They just started this week putting in the rails to take the rocket and transporter-erector to the pad.

The building is sized to support four Falcon 9 cores side-by-side. The idea is a Falcon Heavy and "single-stick" Falcon 9 preparation in parallel.

The Falcon Heavy is assembled in the building "on roll-around support structures". When complete, the TE (they don't call it TEL or transporter-erector-launcher, just TE) is brought in underneath the stack and the FH is attached to it.

Four launch hold-downs for a Falcon 9, 10 hold-downs for a Heavy.

There is a hydraulic system to keep the vehicle "roughly level" as it goes up the ramp to the pad. This is not intrinsically necessary, but they raise the payload end to keep it from hitting the ground as the rocket transitions from level to the ramp.

The 39A TE will retract all the way back to horizontal prior to launch. This is "a big benefit" with the enhanced Merlins running at 100%. This will be for both the Heavies and the F9 "single stick". The tour guide thinks LC40 and other pads will be retrofitted to this full retraction too, but hasn't seen anything about it on the timelines.

The shuttle rotating service structure (RSS) will be removed soon - "it's not in the way, but we don't need it". The current fixed service structure (FSS) will be used exclusively for crew ingress on the crewed Dragon. "If we have to do vertical payload integration for the Air Force, a second tower will be built at the pad for that."

The slide wires and baskets have been taken down, but will be put back up for ground abort in case of an emergency. The basket stations will probably have to be installed higher on the FSS because the Dragon is higher off the pad than the shuttle crew cabin, but he didn't know the details.

There are three gantry cranes in the building, apparently all at the same level and running on the same tracks. The one nearest the pad is rated for 90 tons; the center one is 30 tons, and the far one (payload end) is 50 tons.

They are currently building the TE in the building, but I didn't get to see much of it because there were shield curtains up for welding operations (which were going on).

The idea is that the TE will support both single stick and heavy launches. This was the idea behind the one at Vandenburg, but since that structure was designed and built the vehicles have been changing, "particularly the Heavy". He said the current TE at Vandenburg could (and will) be modified to support F9 launches, but it can't be refurbished to support the Heavy and will have to replaced. The TE under construction at 39A will be the first truly capable of supporting both F9 and FH.

The spherical liquid hydrogen tank isn't needed by SpaceX, but will be used by NASA for LH2 storage and will be maintained by NASA. Next to it there are four 46,000 gallon tanks of RP-1.

They have roofed over the flame trench to the North of the pad, "mostly" for acoustic suppression. He said Elon wants to make this system the lowest acoustic loading of any commercial vehicle.

That's all I can think of at the moment...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 06/18/2015 04:57 AM
Very interesting update.  The bit about the assembly order is definitely not what we've inferred.

Being able to handle two rockets at a time is fantastic, as far as launch rate is concerned.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: butters on 06/18/2015 05:59 AM
If the TE retracts to horizontal at LC39A, then there are several possibilies for the umbilicals:

A) Carried by the FSS (contradicted by statement that FSS would be used exclusively for Dragon crew access)
B) Carried by a separate umbilical tower which is not also the proposed vertical integration tower
C) Routed up the vehicle from the launch mount at the base of the TE
D) TE carries umbilicals and retracts very rapidly at launch commit
E) TE carries umbilicals and retracts before launch commit (must be able to re-attach umbilicals for abort recycle)

I feel pretty comfortable ruling out C, and B doesn't make much sense to me. A and B don't allow for umbilical integration in the hangar. Antares and Soyuz use variants of D, but not with a TE so massive. I wouldn't put it past SpaceX to try something like E with a next-generation vehicle, but I don't see how umbilical reattachment could work with F9/FH.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: sdsds on 06/18/2015 08:36 AM
What about:

F) Very, very long umbilicals, that remain attached even when the TE is horizontal?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 06/18/2015 08:53 AM
The Falcon Heavy is assembled in the building "on roll-around support structures". When complete, the TE (they don't call it TEL or transporter-erector-launcher, just TE) is brought in underneath the stack and the FH is attached to it.
That contradicts an earlier assessment from someone here that the FH would be assembled directly on the TE.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/18/2015 09:04 AM
That contradicts an earlier assessment from someone here that the FH would be assembled directly on the TE.

I would not call it assessment. There was a discussion. Either it would be assembled on the ground and lifted on the TE as one or it would be put on the TE core by core. This is now in the middle between the two. Some crate to assemble the FH and then the launch vehicle would be put on the TE including the crate. At least this is my understanding.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: obi-wan on 06/18/2015 12:49 PM
If the TE retracts to horizontal at LC39A, then there are several possibilies for the umbilicals:

A) Carried by the FSS (contradicted by statement that FSS would be used exclusively for Dragon crew access)
B) Carried by a separate umbilical tower which is not also the proposed vertical integration tower
C) Routed up the vehicle from the launch mount at the base of the TE
D) TE carries umbilicals and retracts very rapidly at launch commit
E) TE carries umbilicals and retracts before launch commit (must be able to re-attach umbilicals for abort recycle)

I feel pretty comfortable ruling out C, and B doesn't make much sense to me. A and B don't allow for umbilical integration in the hangar. Antares and Soyuz use variants of D, but not with a TE so massive. I wouldn't put it past SpaceX to try something like E with a next-generation vehicle, but I don't see how umbilical reattachment could work with F9/FH.

I may have stated it improperly. His point was that the FSS would not be used for vertical payload integration. We never discussed umbilicals one way or the other.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/18/2015 02:27 PM
They will want to continue connecting the umbilicals at the hangar. It is a major matter in easy operations. Unless they make the connections at the foot of the rocket directly and not through the TE.

Disconnecting and laying the TE flat and then stopping the countdown and defuel would be rare if the TE goes down late in the process, when weather constraints are no longer an issue. Last minute launch vehicle related aborts will become rare, hopefully.

But what when it happens? Unless reconnecting is automated someone will have to go to the fuelled up launch vehicle and make the connection. I understand the process as it is now requires defuelling before people get near.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: billh on 06/18/2015 02:30 PM
Maybe there will be an umbilical pole attached to the TE that stays vertical when the rest of the TE goes horizontal.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 06/18/2015 02:40 PM
I had a tour of the SpaceX facilities at pad 39A today.   ...

The spherical liquid hydrogen tank isn't needed by SpaceX, but will be used by NASA for LH2 storage and will be maintained by NASA. Next to it there are four 46,000 gallon tanks of RP-1.


Is the pad 39A LH2 tank inside the fence that surrounds the SpaceX leased area?

I'm wondering if NASA would need to enter the SpaceX area at 39A in order to gain access to the LH2 during a launch campaign on 39B where, conceivably, the hydrogen might be needed during an SLS or other 39B launcher launch campaign.

Do we have any photographic evidence of how that's going down?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 06/18/2015 02:48 PM

Is the pad 39A LH2 tank inside the fence that surrounds the SpaceX leased area?

I'm wondering if NASA would need to enter the SpaceX area at 39A in order to gain access to the LH2 during a launch campaign on 39B where, conceivably, the hydrogen might be needed during an SLS or other 39B launcher launch campaign.


Yes, the tank is in the fenced area of 39A.  But it doesn't matter, NASA already has some access rights as lessor of the facility, like any landlord does.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rsnellenberger on 06/18/2015 03:31 PM
I had a tour of the SpaceX facilities at pad 39A today.   ...

The spherical liquid hydrogen tank isn't needed by SpaceX, but will be used by NASA for LH2 storage and will be maintained by NASA. Next to it there are four 46,000 gallon tanks of RP-1.


Is the pad 39A LH2 tank inside the fence that surrounds the SpaceX leased area?

I'm wondering if NASA would need to enter the SpaceX area at 39A in order to gain access to the LH2 during a launch campaign on 39B where, conceivably, the hydrogen might be needed during an SLS or other 39B launcher launch campaign.

Do we have any photographic evidence of how that's going down?

How could the LC39A LH2 tank be used by NASA for a launch conducted from LC39B?  Is there a LH2 pipeline between the two launch sites, or would it just serve as "backup storage" that would still need trucks to transfer the LH2 from the LC39A tank to the LC39B tank for it to be of any use? 

And in what universe would SpaceX be enthusiastic about a loaded LH2 tank located a quarter mile away from their operation (even if it's only going to happen once every year or two)?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Prober on 06/18/2015 03:50 PM
"The idea is that the TE will support both single stick and heavy launches. This was the idea behind the one at Vandenburg, but since that structure was designed and built the vehicles have been changing, "particularly the Heavy". He said the current TE at Vandenburg could (and will) be modified to support F9 launches, but it can't be refurbished to support the Heavy and will have to replaced. The TE under construction at 39A will be the first truly capable of supporting both F9 and FH."

So many questions with this.  But let's start with; at one time the FH was going to be first launched from Vandenburg what ver FH was that and what ver is the TEL at Vandenburg now?

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/18/2015 03:52 PM
We know FH has gone through significant design changes. I don't see how this is at all surprising.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 06/18/2015 04:06 PM

And in what universe would SpaceX be enthusiastic about a loaded LH2 tank located a quarter mile away from their operation (even if it's only going to happen once every year or two)?

Because it has a negligible impact to pad operations.   It never had an effect on shuttle pad ops.  The only time it mattered was during shuttle launches (which obviously doesn't apply here) and during filling ops (which only was a local clear around the storage sphere and didn't affect operations on the pad‚
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 06/18/2015 04:42 PM
I had a tour of the SpaceX facilities at pad 39A today.   ...

The spherical liquid hydrogen tank isn't needed by SpaceX, but will be used by NASA for LH2 storage and will be maintained by NASA. Next to it there are four 46,000 gallon tanks of RP-1.


Is the pad 39A LH2 tank inside the fence that surrounds the SpaceX leased area?

I'm wondering if NASA would need to enter the SpaceX area at 39A in order to gain access to the LH2 during a launch campaign on 39B where, conceivably, the hydrogen might be needed during an SLS or other 39B launcher launch campaign.

Do we have any photographic evidence of how that's going down?

How could the LC39A LH2 tank be used by NASA for a launch conducted from LC39B?  Is there a LH2 pipeline between the two launch sites, or would it just serve as "backup storage" that would still need trucks to transfer the LH2 from the LC39A tank to the LC39B tank for it to be of any use? 

And in what universe would SpaceX be enthusiastic about a loaded LH2 tank located a quarter mile away from their operation (even if it's only going to happen once every year or two)?

I read on a previous post on some NSF thread that certain use cases of launch ops could need so much LH2 around KSC that the (NASA?) fallback plan for LH2 at 39B was to have an army of semi-truck LH2 transporters staged nearby so that some subsequent event could occur.  Don't recall the scenario or the launch vehicle in question.  But that's the answer to your question. 

NASA could need LOTS of LH2, enough that the storage at 39B is thiught by them to be inadequate.  So the 39A LH2 tank, which NASA still  owns and is not leased to SpaceX, seems to help meet that requirement.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rcoppola on 06/18/2015 04:50 PM
To Llian:

I believe that scenario was with launch aborts and recycling. (ie. boil-off and not enough at 39B to refill the tanks for a recycled next day launch.)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: PahTo on 06/18/2015 04:58 PM
To Llian:

I believe that scenario was with launch aborts and recycling. (ie. boil-off and not enough at 39B to refill the tanks for a recycled next day launch.)

Yep, and to be more specific, for the 1B variant of SLS, the "overflow" will be substantial, hence the need for additional storage.  There is a long-term plan to have sufficient storage at 39B, but that of course depends on the future of SLS.  I imagine KSC Sage or some of the others in the know could comment with more detail.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: hrissan on 06/18/2015 05:54 PM
Very interesting info about preparing both F9 and F9H in the same hangar. Ok, then how we launch F9? We need to roll TE inside, but F9H will interfere (there is not enough room for both F9H and TE inside), so we'd need to raise both F9 and F9H, roll in TE then put F9 on it, and there is only 3 cranes inside.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: newpylong on 06/18/2015 09:28 PM
I had a tour of the SpaceX facilities at pad 39A today.   ...

The spherical liquid hydrogen tank isn't needed by SpaceX, but will be used by NASA for LH2 storage and will be maintained by NASA. Next to it there are four 46,000 gallon tanks of RP-1.


Is the pad 39A LH2 tank inside the fence that surrounds the SpaceX leased area?

I'm wondering if NASA would need to enter the SpaceX area at 39A in order to gain access to the LH2 during a launch campaign on 39B where, conceivably, the hydrogen might be needed during an SLS or other 39B launcher launch campaign.

Do we have any photographic evidence of how that's going down?

How could the LC39A LH2 tank be used by NASA for a launch conducted from LC39B?  Is there a LH2 pipeline between the two launch sites, or would it just serve as "backup storage" that would still need trucks to transfer the LH2 from the LC39A tank to the LC39B tank for it to be of any use? 

And in what universe would SpaceX be enthusiastic about a loaded LH2 tank located a quarter mile away from their operation (even if it's only going to happen once every year or two)?

LH2 on premises is worse than rocket grade kerosene how?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lobo on 06/18/2015 10:54 PM
If the TE retracts to horizontal at LC39A, then there are several possibilies for the umbilicals:

A) Carried by the FSS (contradicted by statement that FSS would be used exclusively for Dragon crew access)
B) Carried by a separate umbilical tower which is not also the proposed vertical integration tower
C) Routed up the vehicle from the launch mount at the base of the TE
D) TE carries umbilicals and retracts very rapidly at launch commit
E) TE carries umbilicals and retracts before launch commit (must be able to re-attach umbilicals for abort recycle)

I feel pretty comfortable ruling out C, and B doesn't make much sense to me. A and B don't allow for umbilical integration in the hangar. Antares and Soyuz use variants of D, but not with a TE so massive. I wouldn't put it past SpaceX to try something like E with a next-generation vehicle, but I don't see how umbilical reattachment could work with F9/FH.

D would be my guess.
And it could partially retract like the current one prior to launch commit, with the umbilicals still attached, and then at engine ignition, it's basically let loose to do a controlled fall and let gravity do the work (obviously the fall would be arrested so avoid damage).  Not unlike how the Saturn V umbilical arms were retracted basically once it was released from the hold downs.  If you look at the SLS umbilical animation, it's doing the same thing.    The SLS stabilizer arm doing an arrested fall pulled down by gravity (seemingly) with hydraulic arresting would be most analogous.   By the time Falcon raises up enough where it's plume might impact the base of the TE, it'd be horizontal.

So there really wouldn't be a scenario where you'd shut the engines down and have Falcon sitting on the mounts fueled with the plugs pulled, just as there wasn't with Saturn V. 

In this way, they can keep making the umbilical connections in the HIF and not have to do them at the pad.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 06/18/2015 11:00 PM
Very interesting info about preparing both F9 and F9H in the same hangar. Ok, then how we launch F9? We need to roll TE inside, but F9H will interfere (there is not enough room for both F9H and TE inside), so we'd need to raise both F9 and F9H, roll in TE then put F9 on it, and there is only 3 cranes inside.

That's an interesting point.

But if the hangar is wide enough to allow 4 cores to be on the floor at once, then there should be enough space at the side for an F9 to be processed without being in the way of the TE when it is brought in. That would mean that if an FH and F9 were being processed in parallel, the FH would have to be rolled out first.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: obi-wan on 06/18/2015 11:29 PM
Just remembered a couple more tidbits from my tour/discussions at 39A - there are ongoing discussions with NASA about crewed launch operations - SpaceX wants to have the crew ingress after fueling operations are complete (which conforms to all previous crewed vehicles), but NASA wants the crew in the vehicle and all of the final support personnel clear of the pad prior to tanking. This new desire may be tied to another SpaceX comment, which is they want to reach the point of taking only 60 minutes from erection to launch. Maybe (and this is my conjecture) NASA feels like having the crew on board for an hour or so is not unusual, and it would allow them to not require the close-out crew to perform operations on a fully fueled vehicle.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Prober on 06/19/2015 02:20 AM
Very interesting info about preparing both F9 and F9H in the same hangar. Ok, then how we launch F9? We need to roll TE inside, but F9H will interfere (there is not enough room for both F9H and TE inside), so we'd need to raise both F9 and F9H, roll in TE then put F9 on it, and there is only 3 cranes inside.

Also the other pad at the cape would need to be rebuilt again with the new TE design for 1.2 unless they stick with 1.1 cores only.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/19/2015 06:10 AM
Also the other pad at the cape would need to be rebuilt again with the new TE design for 1.2 unless they stick with 1.1 cores only.

There will be no more 1.1 cores. But with the info on Vandenberg it seems they can accomodate a 1.2 core on a slightly modified 1.1 TE. However SpaceX has consistently said they want to modify LC-40 for Falcon Heavy too. That would be a major upgrade.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: darkenfast on 06/19/2015 08:47 AM
Just remembered a couple more tidbits from my tour/discussions at 39A - there are ongoing discussions with NASA about crewed launch operations - SpaceX wants to have the crew ingress after fueling operations are complete (which conforms to all previous crewed vehicles), but NASA wants the crew in the vehicle and all of the final support personnel clear of the pad prior to tanking. This new desire may be tied to another SpaceX comment, which is they want to reach the point of taking only 60 minutes from erection to launch. Maybe (and this is my conjecture) NASA feels like having the crew on board for an hour or so is not unusual, and it would allow them to not require the close-out crew to perform operations on a fully fueled vehicle.

That is a significant change to all previous manned operations!  Can anyone think of a time when that has ever happened?  Has that ever been proposed for any manned system that we know of?  This, combined with whatever approach that they are going to take for the "get-the-TE-out-of-the-way-in-a-hurry!" system are going to make 39A operation VERY interesting to watch.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 06/19/2015 09:33 AM
I believe LOX was loaded into the Mercury Atlas after the astronaut had boarded.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 06/19/2015 11:00 AM
That contradicts an earlier assessment from someone here that the FH would be assembled directly on the TE.

I would not call it assessment. There was a discussion. Either it would be assembled on the ground and lifted on the TE as one or it would be put on the TE core by core. This is now in the middle between the two. Some crate to assemble the FH and then the launch vehicle would be put on the TE including the crate. At least this is my understanding.
With the phrase "assembled directly on the TE" I specifically refer to the discussed way of "putting the FH on the TE core-by-core". The latter means doing integration of the cores (physically connecting the cores together into a single launcher/stack) on the TE. That was the way 'someone' here pointed out he was sure it would be done that way.

The new information contradicts this: The FH will be assembled as a complete stack on roll-around supports. Once complete the completed stack will be lifted off the roll-around supports (by the overhead cranes). The roll-around supports will next be removed. The TE will then be rolled in and the overhead cranes will lower the completed stack onto the TE.
But that 'someone' I mentioned was very clear in his opinion that it would not be done that way. That 'someone' is apparantly wrong in his beliefs. At least, he's wrong according to the latest given information.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/19/2015 11:45 AM
But that 'someone' I mentioned was very clear in his opinion that it would not be done that way. That 'someone' is apparantly wrong in his beliefs. At least, he's wrong according to the latest given information.

Thanks for the clarification of the process. If you believe that someone was me, then your impression was incorrect. I did not say this is the way it is done. I argued that doing it this way is possible from what we know as opposed to declaring it cannot be done.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/19/2015 11:51 AM
Also the other pad at the cape would need to be rebuilt again with the new TE design for 1.2 unless they stick with 1.1 cores only.

There will be no more 1.1 cores. But with the info on Vandenberg it seems they can accomodate a 1.2 core on a slightly modified 1.1 TE. However SpaceX has consistently said they want to modify LC-40 for Falcon Heavy too. That would be a major upgrade.
Yeah, v1.2 likely isn't too big of a modification to the TE (although they've already built several different F9 TEs over the years). But where have they said recently that LC-40 would launch FH?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/19/2015 04:22 PM
But where have they said recently that LC-40 would launch FH?

Sorry I don't remember the source but they said it last after they got the lease of LC-39A. I think that is recent enough to be valid. Though I am surprised especially with Boca Chica not far behind.

Considering the upgrade to the new Falcon 9 they may also have abandoned this idea after that because that can reduce the number of Heavy launches a lot.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mr. mark on 06/19/2015 04:31 PM
Is LC40 even necessary after 39A is up and operational?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: RonM on 06/19/2015 04:35 PM
Is LC40 even necessary after 39A is up and operational?

SpaceX is expecting to launch a lot of reusable rockets, especially when they start launching their own satellites. They will still need LC40.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 06/19/2015 04:45 PM
That contradicts an earlier assessment from someone here that the FH would be assembled directly on the TE.

I would not call it assessment. There was a discussion. Either it would be assembled on the ground and lifted on the TE as one or it would be put on the TE core by core. This is now in the middle between the two. Some crate to assemble the FH and then the launch vehicle would be put on the TE including the crate. At least this is my understanding.
With the phrase "assembled directly on the TE" I specifically refer to the discussed way of "putting the FH on the TE core-by-core". The latter means doing integration of the cores (physically connecting the cores together into a single launcher/stack) on the TE. That was the way 'someone' here pointed out he was sure it would be done that way.

The new information contradicts this: The FH will be assembled as a complete stack on roll-around supports. Once complete the completed stack will be lifted off the roll-around supports (by the overhead cranes). The roll-around supports will next be removed. The TE will then be rolled in and the overhead cranes will lower the completed stack onto the TE.
But that 'someone' I mentioned was very clear in his opinion that it would not be done that way. That 'someone' is apparantly wrong in his beliefs. At least, he's wrong according to the latest given information.

Heh, ironically, this was one the few times that "someone" actually provided some rationale to what he was thinking (with which I agreed, btw).

That's the problem with deduction...  Since information is almost always partial, you have to accept that something you'll be, how shall I phrase it...  wrong?

It was a good guess, and it might still prove true - we really don't have a good picture of what they have in mind.

I can see a 3-core rocket getting assembled on the T/E (using one side rail), and then a second single-core rocket getting assembled next to it (on the other side rail).

We'll find out this year.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/19/2015 05:16 PM
Is LC40 even necessary after 39A is up and operational?

LC-39A will be for crew, for CRS, for Air Force, for NASA science, often with instantaneous windows. Those will cause uncalculable schedule slips. LC-40 can fly commercial unaffected of such problems - it will no doubt have enough problems of its own. The pads share crew so running one more should not cost too much.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rcoppola on 06/19/2015 05:16 PM
It would seem that if you want to be able to integrate/process both F9 and a FH at the same time in a parallel processing world, then needing to have the TE in the HIF the whole time in order to integrate/process the FH doesn't seem right to me. imo.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 06/19/2015 05:35 PM

....I can see a 3-core rocket getting assembled on the T/E (using one side rail), and then a second single-core rocket getting assembled next to it (on the other side rail)...

Assuming obi-wan's info is accurate, how would this be accomplished? You've got 4 cores side by side being processed  in parallel. You lift the central core of the FH, bring in the TE and lower it on...except you've got another 3 cores sitting on the floor, so how would you get the TE in?

Quote
...we really don't have a good picture of what they have in mind...

Again, assuming obi-wan's info is accurate, I think we do have a pretty clear idea.

Quote
We'll find out this year.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 06/19/2015 06:22 PM

....I can see a 3-core rocket getting assembled on the T/E (using one side rail), and then a second single-core rocket getting assembled next to it (on the other side rail)...

Assuming obi-wan's info is accurate, how would this be accomplished? You've got 4 cores side by side being processed  in parallel. You lift the central core of the FH, bring in the TE and lower it on...except you've got another 3 cores sitting on the floor, so how would you get the TE in?

Quote
...we really don't have a good picture of what they have in mind...

Again, assuming obi-wan's info is accurate, I think we do have a pretty clear idea.

Quote
We'll find out this year.

Agreed.
It doesn't, but it was a third hand account, at best.  The rails on the floor are fact, but of course are only hints.

There was also the use of the word "move around' with respect to the cradles, as if they can shuffle freely in X-Y.  More conjecture...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dorkmo on 06/19/2015 08:47 PM
te mounting
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: fthomassy on 06/19/2015 10:24 PM
This is how I understood it.
The Falcon Heavy is assembled in the building "on roll-around support structures". When complete, the TE (they don't call it TEL or transporter-erector-launcher, just TE) is brought in underneath the stack and the FH is attached to it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Kansan52 on 06/19/2015 10:56 PM
Looking at the diagram, you could have the TE take a Heavy out and launch then come back do an F9. Unless the cranes can 'hang' a Heavy and those cranes still handle placing an F9 on the TE. Tetris with rocket cores!

The same tracks and the same TE would do both.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 06/19/2015 10:59 PM
Looking at the diagram, you could have the TE take a Heavy out and launch then come back do an F9. Unless the cranes can 'hang' a Heavy and those cranes still handle placing an F9 on the TE. Tetris with rocket cores!

The same tracks and the same TE would do both.

The game you're looking for is Sokoban :)  (online (http://sokoban.info))
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 06/19/2015 11:07 PM

Looking at the diagram, you could have the TE take a Heavy out and launch then come back do an F9...

Yes, but not in the opposite order.

Quote
The same tracks and the same TE would do both.

I believe that's been the plan from the start.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: OneSpeed on 06/20/2015 03:27 AM

Looking at the diagram, you could have the TE take a Heavy out and launch then come back do an F9...

Yes, but not in the opposite order.


Doesn't the third arrangement in dorkmo's diagram already show how you could launch an F9 first?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: deruch on 06/20/2015 06:38 AM
When trying to model, don't forget there may be more room in the hangar than just for 4 cores side-by-side.  Per an official SpaceX tweet, it can hold 5 (https://twitter.com/spacex/status/608437594448359424).  At first, this sounds like obi-wan's info was contradictory but I don't think it is.  The tweet says that it can "hold" 5 rockets (read cores).  obi-wan's info was that 4 could be "processed" simultaneously.  Parsing that difference, it sounds to me like the extra work space needed to work the cores takes up the equivalent of 1 core bay.  But for moving them around, and loading them onto/off the TE, they may be able to use the additional space.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 06/20/2015 09:26 AM

Doesn't the third arrangement in dorkmo's diagram already show how you could launch an F9 first?

Yes, you're right, it does. But it involves three simultaneous lifts which I think should be avoided. Six hooks would be needed and it's not clear if the hangar is cranes can handle that. I seem to remember Jim argued somewhere that crane lifts should be kept to a minimum to speed up ops. Floor assembly does that.

Also F9's can still be processed at SLC-40 to avoid any scheduling conflicts.

I tried to find out the length of the hangar before making the first post. If it's possible to store two cores end to end, then the problem disappears.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 06/20/2015 09:36 AM

Doesn't the third arrangement in dorkmo's diagram already show how you could launch an F9 first?

Yes, you're right, it does. But it involves three simultaneous lifts which I think should be avoided. Six hooks would be needed and it's not clear if the hangar is cranes can handle that.

One photo showed that at least one of the cranes has three hooks, so probably the others have too. But it would require to keep two cores or at least one suspended until the Falcon 9 is launched. So no or very limited work would be possible during that phase.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: deruch on 06/20/2015 09:53 AM

Doesn't the third arrangement in dorkmo's diagram already show how you could launch an F9 first?

Yes, you're right, it does. But it involves three simultaneous lifts which I think should be avoided. Six hooks would be needed and it's not clear if the hangar is cranes can handle that. I seem to remember Jim argued somewhere that crane lifts should be kept to a minimum to speed up ops. Floor assembly does that.

Also F9's can still be processed at SLC-40 to avoid any scheduling conflicts.

I tried to find out the length of the hangar before making the first post. If it's possible to store two cores end to end, then the problem disappears.

~300ft 

mentioned at 8m:45s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sMPwJJuBMU
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 06/20/2015 10:59 AM
Thanks for that. It looks like it might be just possible to get two cores in end to end, but a pretty tight fit.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Roy_H on 06/20/2015 02:38 PM
Don't forget that the TE is narrower at the top than the bottom. Since the cores are on cradles that can be wheeled around the booster cores could be pushed up to the top end of the rocket, just slightly displaced sideways away from the central core. This way the central core could be lifted up and the TE wheeled in without requiring a lot of extra space to the sides.

For the all at once scenario the heavy end of the rocket would be the engines. So what would the load of 3 cores be at the engine end? I think it would come under 50 tons and having 3 hooks per crane suggests this method is being allowed for if not planned.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 06/20/2015 04:16 PM
39a TE construction from just now.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Kabloona on 06/22/2015 03:09 PM
On a related issue, KSC is making plans to deal with beach erosion near 39A & B:

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2015/06/18/erosion-threatens-iconic-nasa-launch-pads/28945493/

Excerpt from article:

"But if nothing's done, erosion along 4.6 miles of the KSC shoreline, coupled with sea-level rise, "would result in large-scale inundation, habitat alteration, and land loss along the coastal strand," the environmental assessment says.

That could result in damage to launch infrastructure and seawater flooding into nearby marshes.

Sea level at KSC could rise from 6 to 25 inches (2 feet) by the 2050s and 10 to 49 inches (4 feet) by the 2080s, according to the environmental assessment."
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 06/22/2015 04:52 PM
When trying to model, don't forget there may be more room in the hangar than just for 4 cores side-by-side.  Per an official SpaceX tweet, it can hold 5 (https://twitter.com/spacex/status/608437594448359424).  At first, this sounds like obi-wan's info was contradictory but I don't think it is.  The tweet says that it can "hold" 5 rockets (read cores).  obi-wan's info was that 4 could be "processed" simultaneously.  Parsing that difference, it sounds to me like the extra work space needed to work the cores takes up the equivalent of 1 core bay.  But for moving them around, and loading them onto/off the TE, they may be able to use the additional space.

You need one slot to bring the stages in, so 5 slots, and 4 being processed simultaneously makes sense, and is just slightly more aggressive than the previous best guess, which was two "loading slots" and one 3-core rocket being processed.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: OneSpeed on 06/22/2015 09:56 PM
When trying to model, don't forget there may be more room in the hangar than just for 4 cores side-by-side.  Per an official SpaceX tweet, it can hold 5 (https://twitter.com/spacex/status/608437594448359424).  At first, this sounds like obi-wan's info was contradictory but I don't think it is.  The tweet says that it can "hold" 5 rockets (read cores).  obi-wan's info was that 4 could be "processed" simultaneously.  Parsing that difference, it sounds to me like the extra work space needed to work the cores takes up the equivalent of 1 core bay.  But for moving them around, and loading them onto/off the TE, they may be able to use the additional space.

You need one slot to bring the stages in, so 5 slots, and 4 being processed simultaneously makes sense, and is just slightly more aggressive than the previous best guess, which was two "loading slots" and one 3-core rocket being processed.

The building is sized to support four Falcon 9 cores side-by-side. The idea is a Falcon Heavy and "single-stick" Falcon 9 preparation in parallel.

Sorry, I may be missing your point, where are you suggesting the 5th slot would be positioned relative to the 4 for processing?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: 411rocket on 06/23/2015 12:24 AM
Sorry, I may be missing your point, where are you suggesting the 5th slot would be positioned relative to the 4 for processing?

To the right side of the building (as looking towards the pad, through the building), after all, the stage being delivered, needs to be backed in through the door.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: OneSpeed on 06/23/2015 02:59 AM
But the building is 300' long, and an assembled F9 v1.1 is 224'. An F9 v1.2 would be a bit longer, because of the extended second stage. So, two cores would probably not fit end to end. If the building is sized for processing 4 cores side by side, then the only way I can see to accommodate 5 cores, is like this, with the fifth core suspended:
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/31/2015 10:01 PM
This aerial photograph of LC-39A was included in a recent NAC presentation.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Scylla on 08/05/2015 05:49 PM
The road to the launch pad is complete @NASAKennedy’s 39A where @SpaceX is building new facilities to #LaunchAmerica.
https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/status/628917117799264256
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: a1dutch on 08/05/2015 09:50 PM
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/08/05/spacex-completes-road-to-launch-pad/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: nadreck on 08/05/2015 09:53 PM
Something seems seriously wrong with image2 (or with the other ones . . .)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: a1dutch on 08/05/2015 09:55 PM
wrong in what way?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: nadreck on 08/05/2015 10:03 PM
wrong in what way?
Like it was taken long before the other two when the far side and roof didn't extend all the way
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AndyX on 08/05/2015 10:24 PM
Old photos. The ones in L2 have the new doors on and being tested, etc.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 08/05/2015 10:24 PM
wrong in what way?
Like it was taken long before the other two when the far side and roof didn't extend all the way

Wide angle distortion. These were taken with a wide angle lens that keeps lines straight, but it leads to some interesting effects near the edges.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: nadreck on 08/05/2015 10:46 PM
wrong in what way?
Like it was taken long before the other two when the far side and roof didn't extend all the way

Wide angle distortion. These were taken with a wide angle lens that keeps lines straight, but it leads to some interesting effects near the edges.
No that can't be it as it is from far enough away that the water was in the picture, also where are the mounds of dirt from the 1st picture then. Seriously a wide angle lens would not have removed the whole roof like that. This has to be from back when they had the one side walled two panels further than the rest of the structure.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Nomadd on 08/05/2015 10:59 PM
 OK. you caught em. The whole thing is only a facade.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: RonM on 08/05/2015 11:20 PM
wrong in what way?
Like it was taken long before the other two when the far side and roof didn't extend all the way

Wide angle distortion. These were taken with a wide angle lens that keeps lines straight, but it leads to some interesting effects near the edges.
No that can't be it as it is from far enough away that the water was in the picture, also where are the mounds of dirt from the 1st picture then. Seriously a wide angle lens would not have removed the whole roof like that. This has to be from back when they had the one side walled two panels further than the rest of the structure.

No, it's perspective. The water is close to the building, so is the camera. Nothing unusual here.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 08/05/2015 11:30 PM
wrong in what way?
Like it was taken long before the other two when the far side and roof didn't extend all the way

Wide angle distortion. These were taken with a wide angle lens that keeps lines straight, but it leads to some interesting effects near the edges.
No that can't be it as it is from far enough away that the water was in the picture, also where are the mounds of dirt from the 1st picture then. Seriously a wide angle lens would not have removed the whole roof like that. This has to be from back when they had the one side walled two panels further than the rest of the structure.

No. Allow me to illustrate. Also, I have marked the probable location of the photographer (with the wide field of view indicated) - do you think he should have been able to see the roof and building sides from there? And the mounds of dirt are simply out of frame to the left.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 08/05/2015 11:38 PM
It SEEMS that the left side of the wall is a lot closer to us, therefore we're looking at the building from the corner, therefore we should be seeing another face, which is apparently missing.

However, suppose we are actually looking at the building from a point midway across the large white wall.  We would not be expecting to see the side walls then.  However, we also would expect to see the distortion look different. 

Therefore, I think this image is cropped, and that's what confusing about it.

Here's an example:


Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: nadreck on 08/06/2015 12:33 AM
So Lars-J where are the mounds then, from that angle they should be clearly visible? I would put the camera at the left end of the lake not the right. And given the distance there is no reason why it would have been that wide an angle to distort it so much.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/06/2015 02:29 AM
Nice looking building, but too close.  Drop or burn a Falcon Heavy on that pad and its all gone.  See Wallops and Kodiak and Baikonur 45/2 for hints of potential result.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 08/06/2015 03:06 AM
Nice looking building, but too close.  Drop or burn a Falcon Heavy on that pad and its all gone.  See Wallops and Kodiak and Baikonur 45/2 for hints of potential result.

 - Ed Kyle

Do the advantages of having it close outweigh the risk of having it destroyed? One way to look at it is that any explosion large enough to destroy the HIF will require a complete rebuild of the pad in any case.  If it is only damaged it should be easy to repair.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 08/06/2015 05:48 AM
Something seems seriously wrong with image2 (or with the other ones . . .)

Not anymore...(same image altered by Photoshop)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: darkenfast on 08/06/2015 07:31 AM
Nice looking building, but too close.  Drop or burn a Falcon Heavy on that pad and its all gone.  See Wallops and Kodiak and Baikonur 45/2 for hints of potential result.

 - Ed Kyle
I'm going to take a wild guess and speculate that SpaceX actually took the calculated over-pressure from an explosion into account when they had the building designed. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 08/06/2015 08:00 AM
Something seems seriously wrong with image2 (or with the other ones . . .)

Not anymore...(same image altered by Photoshop)

Exactly.  Image was taken from a location about midway from the wall.

However, the camera FoV wasn't centered, and then the image was cropped, so only one side of the distortion is visible.  Symmetry would have given it away.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/06/2015 02:29 PM
Nice looking building, but too close.  Drop or burn a Falcon Heavy on that pad and its all gone.  See Wallops and Kodiak and Baikonur 45/2 for hints of potential result.

 - Ed Kyle
I'm going to take a wild guess and speculate that SpaceX actually took the calculated over-pressure from an explosion into account when they had the building designed. 
I'm sure they did.  I'm also pretty sure they accepted the calculated damage that would occur, and the odds of occurrence, making it a potentially partially sacrificial building.  (My guess for an on-pad explosion is that the skin would be ripped off of the building, but its frame would mostly stand.)  A Falcon Heavy explosion could reach or exceed 100 tons TNT equivalent.  Antares was probably only 20 tons TNT equivalent, but still damaged buildings that were only slightly closer to the pad than the LC 39A HIF.  This doesn't even begin to consider the effects of debris impacts or of the likely massive post-failure fire.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cscott on 08/06/2015 03:01 PM
We already had the "buildings are too close" mega-thread, months ago.  Please don't rehash it here.

Short story is that the building is on the edge of SpaceX's parcel, and there were environmental impact considerations.  They didn't really have any choice as to where it is.  They put it as far away as they could.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/06/2015 03:28 PM
We already had the "buildings are too close" mega-thread, months ago.  Please don't rehash it here.

Short story is that the building is on the edge of SpaceX's parcel, and there were environmental impact considerations.  They didn't really have any choice as to where it is.  They put it as far away as they could.
otherwise we'll bring out the mod and ban hammers again ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: nadreck on 08/06/2015 04:25 PM
Something seems seriously wrong with image2 (or with the other ones . . .)

Not anymore...(same image altered by Photoshop)

Ok, being as that removed an untenable lean on the left side of the wall, I can accept that you photoshopped it into something more closely resembling reality than the original.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Prober on 08/06/2015 05:06 PM
Nice looking building, but too close.  Drop or burn a Falcon Heavy on that pad and its all gone.  See Wallops and Kodiak and Baikonur 45/2 for hints of potential result.

 - Ed Kyle
I'm going to take a wild guess and speculate that SpaceX actually took the calculated over-pressure from an explosion into account when they had the building designed. 
I'm sure they did.  I'm also pretty sure they accepted the calculated damage that would occur, and the odds of occurrence, making it a potentially partially sacrificial building.  (My guess for an on-pad explosion is that the skin would be ripped off of the building, but its frame would mostly stand.)  A Falcon Heavy explosion could reach or exceed 100 tons TNT equivalent.  Antares was probably only 20 tons TNT equivalent, but still damaged buildings that were only slightly closer to the pad than the LC 39A HIF.  This doesn't even begin to consider the effects of debris impacts or of the likely massive post-failure fire.

 - Ed Kyle

Believe I know where Ed is coming from.   Thinking of a Delta II launch :-X
Experiences tend to live with you.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: xpete on 08/10/2015 05:06 PM
New photos:
http://spaceksc.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/going-up-part-7.html?m=1
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 08/11/2015 08:52 AM
Nice looking building, but too close.  Drop or burn a Falcon Heavy on that pad and its all gone.  See Wallops and Kodiak and Baikonur 45/2 for hints of potential result.

 - Ed Kyle
I'm going to take a wild guess and speculate that SpaceX actually took the calculated over-pressure from an explosion into account when they had the building designed. 
I'm sure they did.  I'm also pretty sure they accepted the calculated damage that would occur, and the odds of occurrence, making it a potentially partially sacrificial building.  (My guess for an on-pad explosion is that the skin would be ripped off of the building, but its frame would mostly stand.)  A Falcon Heavy explosion could reach or exceed 100 tons TNT equivalent.  Antares was probably only 20 tons TNT equivalent, but still damaged buildings that were only slightly closer to the pad than the LC 39A HIF.  This doesn't even begin to consider the effects of debris impacts or of the likely massive post-failure fire.

 - Ed Kyle

Believe I know where Ed is coming from.   Thinking of a Delta II launch :-X
Experiences tend to live with you.


Unless one decides to NOT have solid boosters on one's rocket.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Grandpa to Two on 08/12/2015 03:10 AM
While considering how close buildings are to launch pads, check out the layout for the New Soyuz-2 launch site at Vostochny, Russia. http://www.russianspaceweb.com/vostochny_soyuz_mbo.html
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 08/12/2015 09:15 AM
While considering how close buildings are to launch pads, check out the layout for the New Soyuz-2 launch site at Vostochny, Russia. http://www.russianspaceweb.com/vostochny_soyuz_mbo.html (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/vostochny_soyuz_mbo.html)
Which is derived directly from the Soyuz set-up at CSG (http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bulletin132/bul132h_arend.pdf), French Guyana. Haven't heard Ed complain about that one being too close for comfort.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 08/29/2015 04:02 PM
Are they going to start removing the Rotating Service Structure soon?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Grandpa to Two on 08/29/2015 10:24 PM
Wasn't the plan to leave the rotating structure until after the Falcon Heavy had completed a launch? Perhaps they will start while waiting for RTF.  I do know it has to be cut down in pieces not by explosives due to environmental concerns.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 08/29/2015 10:30 PM
Yes they dismantled the 39B RSS not by explosives. :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: atomic on 08/30/2015 11:35 PM
SLC 39A. Taken on the 25th of August.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Kansan52 on 08/31/2015 04:03 PM
Wasn't the plan to leave the rotating structure until after the Falcon Heavy had completed a launch? Perhaps they will start while waiting for RTF.  I do know it has to be cut down in pieces not by explosives due to environmental concerns.

The last information posed was no date has been set to remove the RSS.

After FH has launch had been a guess.

Plus, imho, that removal may be further down the line since RTF will consume mass quantities of resources ($$$ and time).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: JBF on 08/31/2015 04:52 PM
Plus, imho, that removal may be further down the line since RTF will consume mass quantities of resources ($$$ and time).

Since the FH debut flight has been delayed, now would be the perfect time to pull down the RSS.  It really should consume little internal resources except to monitor the work.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 09/01/2015 06:49 AM
Plus, imho, that removal may be further down the line since RTF will consume mass quantities of resources ($$$ and time).

Since the FH debut flight has been delayed, now would be the perfect time to pull down the RSS.  It really should consume little internal resources except to monitor the work.
And directly interferes with getting the pad operational. IMO not gonna happen now and not before end of the year.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: OneSpeed on 09/01/2015 07:12 AM
Plus, imho, that removal may be further down the line since RTF will consume mass quantities of resources ($$$ and time).

Since the FH debut flight has been delayed, now would be the perfect time to pull down the RSS.  It really should consume little internal resources except to monitor the work.

The RSS currently includes a lightning conductor tower, and so it's removal would require the construction of new lightning towers, as per SLC-40. Does the RSS actually block any planned SpaceX activity?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: pospa on 09/01/2015 07:59 AM
Plus, imho, that removal may be further down the line since RTF will consume mass quantities of resources ($$$ and time).
Since the FH debut flight has been delayed, now would be the perfect time to pull down the RSS.  It really should consume little internal resources except to monitor the work.
The RSS currently includes a lightning conductor tower, and so it's removal would require the construction of new lightning towers, as per SLC-40. Does the RSS actually block any planned SpaceX activity?

Sorry, but I see quite clearly lightning conductor tower on top of higher FSS, not on movable RSS.
See picture DSCI0477 above.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: OneSpeed on 09/01/2015 10:33 AM
Plus, imho, that removal may be further down the line since RTF will consume mass quantities of resources ($$$ and time).
Since the FH debut flight has been delayed, now would be the perfect time to pull down the RSS.  It really should consume little internal resources except to monitor the work.
The RSS currently includes a lightning conductor tower, and so it's removal would require the construction of new lightning towers, as per SLC-40. Does the RSS actually block any planned SpaceX activity?

Sorry, but I see quite clearly lightning conductor tower on top of higher FSS, not on movable RSS.
See picture DSCI0477 above.

Yes, I see what you mean. Still, is there any pressing reason to remove either the RSS or the FSS?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 09/01/2015 12:08 PM
Plus, imho, that removal may be further down the line since RTF will consume mass quantities of resources ($$$ and time).
Since the FH debut flight has been delayed, now would be the perfect time to pull down the RSS.  It really should consume little internal resources except to monitor the work.
The RSS currently includes a lightning conductor tower, and so it's removal would require the construction of new lightning towers, as per SLC-40. Does the RSS actually block any planned SpaceX activity?

Sorry, but I see quite clearly lightning conductor tower on top of higher FSS, not on movable RSS.
See picture DSCI0477 above.

Yes, I see what you mean. Still, is there any pressing reason to remove either the RSS or the FSS?

There is no reason to remove the FSS (Fixed Service Structure). SpaceX needs the FSS for on-pad crew-access to Dragon 2 and is therefore part of their critical launchpad infrastructure. The RSS (Rotating Service Structure) is of no use to SpaceX. It has been confirmed by SpaceX that the RSS will go away, some time in the future. The reason it was not removed earlier was because NASA blocked the preferred method of demolition (explosive demolition) for fear of damage to the pad structure. Traditional demolition (disassembly and cutting it into pieces) is much more time-consuming and interfered with SpaceX planning for the pad mods. As a result, it was decided to keep the RSS in place for the time being.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 09/01/2015 02:37 PM
Thanks for filling us in on the RSS! ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rcoppola on 09/01/2015 04:48 PM
If you look at their CCtCAP milestone schedule, they'll need FSS mods ready for the first test flight of crewed Dragon in late 2016.(I suspect that will creep to Jan 2017) They'll probably combine RSS dismantle with FSS mods as they leverage those huge cranes to remove Lightning mast, add a level or two for FSS height and attach the Crew Access arm with white room.

The catch will be FH timing as you're not going to want any loose debris at the pad when firing up 27 full thrust merlins.

Currently, launch site readiness review for crew is Q2 (June) 2016. So perhaps they'll begin mods Jan-Feb 2016, and be ready for FH in early Q3.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: NovaSilisko on 09/02/2015 01:53 AM
Some new renderings just popped up on the SpaceX twitter feed.

By the way, for the record - you can see if there's a high resolution version available from a twitter image. Usually,  when you open the direct link to the image, it will be suffixed with something like ":large" - if you change that to ":orig", it will provide the highest available resolution.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 09/02/2015 02:08 AM
So they're going to close in the FSS?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: pippin on 09/02/2015 02:09 AM
Aha, back to equally sized core and boosters, did we know this for sure before?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Aussie_Space_Nut on 09/02/2015 03:53 AM
Perhaps the inner core "stretched" in sympathy with the outer cores. In other words have all three cores now stretched in accordance with gains made in performance of merlin engines?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Aussie_Space_Nut on 09/02/2015 03:54 AM
Upper stage kinda looks stretched too?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 09/02/2015 04:00 AM
Upper stage kinda looks stretched too?

That was my first impression too. 

EDIT: Two truss structures hiding behind the FSS.  At the top is the crew access structure, which I guess telescopes out.  Further down though is something at a slant.  Could it be a swing arm that swings vertically?  the upper stage appears to be the same for both F9 and FH.

The front wheels of the T/W are tracked, one track on each side, and it looks like the back wheels run on tyres.  Does that conform to what's laid out already?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/02/2015 04:30 AM
Aha, back to equally sized core and boosters, did we know this for sure before?
Yes. Or at least I was firmly in the different-sized-boosters camp for FH before Ed convinced me otherwise (I very begrudgingly admitted equal-size). I am stubborn, so the only way I would've changed my mind is if we knew for sure. :) I can't remember the citation, though.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MP99 on 09/02/2015 06:58 AM
Aha, back to equally sized core and boosters, did we know this for sure before?
Yes. Or at least I was firmly in the different-sized-boosters camp for FH before Ed convinced me otherwise (I very begrudgingly admitted equal-size). I am stubborn, so the only way I would've changed my mind is if we knew for sure. :) I can't remember the citation, though.
Gwynne said that FH side boosters are common with F9's core. FH core is the only unique config.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 09/02/2015 07:43 AM
So they're going to close in the FSS?
Yes they are. It was already determined earlier that this was not artistic license but an impression of what the FSS will look like eventually.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 09/02/2015 08:01 AM
Upper stage kinda looks stretched too?

Yes, when the "1.2" changes were announced, it was mentioned that the tank volume for the 2nd stage had been increased. So, yes, an upper stage stretch. (still the same upper stage for F9 and FH)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: francesco nicoli on 09/02/2015 08:15 AM
So, the schedule now is that- if no further delays appear- FH debut flight will fly in Q3/Q4 2016? this is a year-long delay on the previous launch schedule...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 09/02/2015 08:37 AM

Further down though is something at a slant.  Could it be a swing arm that swings vertically? 

Is that not on the ground, behind the FSS? To me it looks like pipes going off into the distance.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: guckyfan on 09/02/2015 08:43 AM
Enclosing the FSS and the TE. Will that reduce corrosion from the salty air and consequently maintenance?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: PerW on 09/02/2015 08:44 AM
They look beautiful with those black legs!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 09/02/2015 09:43 AM
Enclosing the FSS and the TE. Will that reduce corrosion from the salty air and consequently maintenance?
Only is the internal volume of the enclosed FSS is climate controlled. If it is ventilated uncontrolled/naturally then salty air still gets inside.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: pippin on 09/02/2015 10:40 AM

So, the schedule now is that- if no further delays appear- FH debut flight will fly in Q3/Q4 2016? this is a year-long delay on the previous launch schedule...

FH seems to be one of these vehicles who's maiden launch is always 1 year away.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Comga on 09/02/2015 02:37 PM

So, the schedule now is that- if no further delays appear- FH debut flight will fly in Q3/Q4 2016? this is a year-long delay on the previous launch schedule...

FH seems to be one of these vehicles who's maiden launch is always 1 year away.

Yesterday Lee Rosen of SpaceX said at AIAA Space 2015 that the launch is scheduled for April 2016.
So only seven months away.
Here's hoping the SpaceX time dilation factor has diminished.....
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: fthomassy on 09/02/2015 03:28 PM
Some new renderings just popped up on the SpaceX twitter feed.
Thanks ... two things.
1. Are those escape lines angling down from the right of the tower?
2. Rendering of the trees is fantastic!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: rcoppola on 09/02/2015 03:30 PM
Here's a random question, one they must've thought through but I find interesting still.

How will enclosing the FSS affect the pad environment? Meaning natural wind swirl interaction, launch disturbed air and engine noise/soundwaves bouncing off the solid surface back towards the rocket? If any...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: philw1776 on 09/02/2015 03:37 PM
So, the schedule now is that- if no further delays appear- FH debut flight will fly in Q3/Q4 2016? this is a year-long delay on the previous launch schedule...

I just hope that Musk does not fire SpaceX's CTO for repeated announcement of schedules that are not met.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 09/02/2015 03:42 PM

Further down though is something at a slant.  Could it be a swing arm that swings vertically? 

Is that not on the ground, behind the FSS? To me it looks like pipes going off into the distance.

'doh.  Yup.  That's what it is.  :) 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: DanielW on 09/02/2015 04:46 PM
It looks to me like the catwalk peeking around the back on the right side is the right height for a crew access arm and it looks hinged. So arm stows on the side and swings out? I am guessing there will eventually be a access door where it would meet. Also the roof of the cat walk is peaked instead of lean-to style. Makes me think that it is not permanently along the side like that.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: cscott on 09/02/2015 08:06 PM
So, the schedule now is that- if no further delays appear- FH debut flight will fly in Q3/Q4 2016? this is a year-long delay on the previous launch schedule...
Lightsail is on the second FH flight, and they have said to expect that to be in fall 2016.  That fits in with an April debut flight of FH.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/02/2015 08:10 PM
Upper stage kinda looks stretched too?

That was my first impression too. 

EDIT: Two truss structures hiding behind the FSS.  At the top is the crew access structure, which I guess telescopes out.  Further down though is something at a slant.  Could it be a swing arm that swings vertically?  the upper stage appears to be the same for both F9 and FH.

The front wheels of the T/W are tracked, one track on each side, and it looks like the back wheels run on tyres.  Does that conform to what's laid out already?
The other is the triangular interface between FSS and RSS. If thats not what your talking about then highlight it with circles in Photoshop.

No your CAS claim is invalid as that structure is left from both Apollo and Shuttle and hold all of the towers microwave, Sat, and wire Antennas.
The other is the RSS Interface (hinge) with FSS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 09/02/2015 10:59 PM
Upper stage kinda looks stretched too?

That was my first impression too. 

EDIT: Two truss structures hiding behind the FSS.  At the top is the crew access structure, which I guess telescopes out.  Further down though is something at a slant.  Could it be a swing arm that swings vertically?  the upper stage appears to be the same for both F9 and FH.

The front wheels of the T/W are tracked, one track on each side, and it looks like the back wheels run on tyres.  Does that conform to what's laid out already?
The other is the triangular interface between FSS and RSS. If thats not what your talking about then highlight it with circles in Photoshop.

No your CAS claim is mute as that structure is left from both Apollo and Shuttle and hold all of the towers microwave, Sat, and wire Antennas.
The other is the RSS Interface (hinge) with FSS.

What CAS claim did I make?   Do you mean "that I guess telescopes out"?  Well it either telescopes or it's a swing arm...  We only see the end of the fixed part of the mechanism.  The answer may not even be in this model.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: philw1776 on 09/03/2015 12:51 AM
No your CAS claim is mute as that structure is left from both Apollo and Shuttle and hold all of the towers microwave, Sat, and wire Antennas.
The other is the RSS Interface (hinge) with FSS.

Moot, not mute.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/03/2015 05:02 AM
Upper stage kinda looks stretched too?

That was my first impression too. 

EDIT: Two truss structures hiding behind the FSS.  At the top is the crew access structure, which I guess telescopes out.  Further down though is something at a slant.  Could it be a swing arm that swings vertically?  the upper stage appears to be the same for both F9 and FH.

The front wheels of the T/W are tracked, one track on each side, and it looks like the back wheels run on tyres.  Does that conform to what's laid out already?
The other is the triangular interface between FSS and RSS. If thats not what your talking about then highlight it with circles in Photoshop.

No your CAS claim is mute as that structure is left from both Apollo and Shuttle and hold all of the towers microwave, Sat, and wire Antennas.
The other is the RSS Interface (hinge) with FSS.

What CAS claim did I make?   Do you mean "that I guess telescopes out"?  Well it either telescopes or its a swing arm...  We only see the end of the fixed part of the mechanism.  The answer may not even be in this model.
except that the antenna truss is staying and not planned for removal all access the from the escape side of the FSS. The graphic is not a complete graphic. All data presently points to to the attach point from the GOX vent arm for access.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 09/03/2015 05:16 AM
Upper stage kinda looks stretched too?

That was my first impression too. 

EDIT: Two truss structures hiding behind the FSS.  At the top is the crew access structure, which I guess telescopes out.  Further down though is something at a slant.  Could it be a swing arm that swings vertically?  the upper stage appears to be the same for both F9 and FH.

The front wheels of the T/W are tracked, one track on each side, and it looks like the back wheels run on tyres.  Does that conform to what's laid out already?
The other is the triangular interface between FSS and RSS. If thats not what your talking about then highlight it with circles in Photoshop.

No your CAS claim is mute as that structure is left from both Apollo and Shuttle and hold all of the towers microwave, Sat, and wire Antennas.
The other is the RSS Interface (hinge) with FSS.

What CAS claim did I make?   Do you mean "that I guess telescopes out"?  Well it either telescopes or its a swing arm...  We only see the end of the fixed part of the mechanism.  The answer may not even be in this model.
except that the antenna truss is staying and not planned for removal all access the from the escape side of the FSS. The graphic is not a complete graphic. All data presently points to to the attach point from the GOX vent arm for access.

Sure, except it happens to be at the same height, but if it ends up being a new structure, I don't really mind - I was commenting on what was visible in the picture, not what was missing....

Anyhoo, as long as people are spell checking, might as well grammar check too - "moot" is the wrong word here.  You meant to say "wrong".  :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Bargemanos on 09/03/2015 12:03 PM
Also, the hold down's have to twice as strong because on the picture there are only two holding one core down. Instead of 4.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: PreferToLurk on 09/03/2015 01:24 PM
Also, the hold down's have to twice as strong because on the picture there are only two holding one core down. Instead of 4.

I don't usually chime in on nit picks like this... but... 

OR,  the current hold downs are massively overbuilt and they will simply eat into that margin when launching the single stick.  We know that the Heavy only has 8 hold downs instead of a perfectly scaled up 12 from single stick.

OR, the two side hold downs can slide in, but are not shown that way for emphasis that the T/E is the same between configurations. 

Either way, we do not need to assume that the hold downs have been strengthened.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 09/03/2015 02:10 PM
Also, the hold down's have to twice as strong because on the picture there are only two holding one core down. Instead of 4.

I don't usually chime in on nit picks like this... but... 

OR,  the current hold downs are massively overbuilt and they will simply eat into that margin when launching the single stick.  We know that the Heavy only has 8 hold downs instead of a perfectly scaled up 12 from single stick.

OR, the two side hold downs can slide in, but are not shown that way for emphasis that the T/E is the same between configurations. 

Either way, we do not need to assume that the hold downs have been strengthened.
And, the center core has the same thrust, but more mass on top, so less lift...   But that's just partial.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 09/03/2015 03:39 PM
Also, the hold down's have to twice as strong because on the picture there are only two holding one core down. Instead of 4.

I think that is simply due to lazy/quick rendering by the artist. The F9 will still have four hold-downs/supports - you can take that to the bank. There will probably be an interchangeable hold-down base plate, one for F9 and one for FH. The F9 version will likely just have the hold-downs needed for F9, similar to how the pad looks at VAFB:
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dorkmo on 09/03/2015 04:07 PM
im not an engineer, but id assume u'd also have to beef up the structure of the rocket itself if you switched to only using two hold downs.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jdeshetler on 09/03/2015 04:35 PM
This photo is more for basic study modeling on the 39A pad itself since the HIF in the rear is out of position by as much as 250 ft to the rear.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: sghill on 09/03/2015 08:43 PM
Tweeted image from Stephen Smith a few hours ago.

The lights are on and both doors are cracked.

Plumbing doesn't appear to be operational yet.....
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: obi-wan on 09/12/2015 06:38 PM
Tweeted image from Stephen Smith a few hours ago.

The lights are on and both doors are cracked.

Plumbing doesn't appear to be operational yet.....

It's common practice, if you have construction crews on a site, to have them use portapotties even if there are functional bathrooms in the building. I bet if SpaceX is in that building at all the lights and bathrooms work.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 09/16/2015 11:10 PM
Astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted a new image: https://twitter.com/astro_reid/status/643967953684180992

Quote
Reid Wiseman
‏@astro_reid
Walked around Shuttle pad 39A today with @AstroBehnken. It is being completely reworked by @SpaceX to #launchamerica
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/08/2015 05:37 PM
Super round up of the Cape Pads as they transition for their new rockets - by Chris Gebhardt - including 39A.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/canaveral-ksc-pads-new-designs-space-access/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: MattMason on 10/08/2015 07:57 PM
Super round up of the Cape Pads as they transition for their new rockets - by Chris Gebhardt - including 39A.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/canaveral-ksc-pads-new-designs-space-access/

Good article. Still digging the in-land launch angle of the Blue Orbital Lipbalm Vehicle.

Can't recall when an FH static test will be done first, on LC39 or Texas...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: The Roadie on 11/04/2015 07:56 PM
Lookie what a source spotted from the bus route today! T/E (sans paint, it looks like).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: dorkmo on 11/04/2015 11:38 PM
looks like we're getting the design featured in the render eh
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: The Roadie on 11/05/2015 01:42 AM
I've been informed that's just the "strongback", not the entire T/E. Makes sense.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: NovaSilisko on 11/05/2015 04:36 AM
It looks like it's being held so that even as it goes up the slope it keeps the spine horizontal?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Craftyatom on 11/05/2015 03:00 PM
It looks like it's being held so that even as it goes up the slope it keeps the spine horizontal?

Makes sense - the visualizations we've seen from SpaceX show the rocket rolling out tail-first, which means the slope would tilt the nose down, resulting in accelerations that even a horizontally-integrated rocket is not supposed to get subjected to.  Like "eyeballs-out", but without the eyes.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: lark on 11/05/2015 07:10 PM
Here's a dim view of the inside of the hangar on Oct 31 (I took the bus tour after the awesome ULA launch).  Not sure it's useful, but posting in the interest of raw data. Couple more photos in this imgur album (http://imgur.com/a/UIodQ).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 11/05/2015 08:47 PM
Here's a dim view of the inside of the hangar on Oct 31 (I took the bus tour after the awesome ULA launch).  Not sure it's useful, but posting in the interest of raw data. Couple more photos in this imgur album (http://imgur.com/a/UIodQ).
Here is a brightened version... Not much there in the image data unfortunately. But it is clear that this strong-back is a hefty piece of hardware.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: meekGee on 11/05/2015 08:52 PM
and they've already got fuel on site!  :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Mongo62 on 11/05/2015 09:22 PM
Here is an even brighter version of the strongback in the hangar.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/05/2015 09:32 PM
I look forward to seeing these thingies (there must be four of them?) in better resolution.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 11/05/2015 09:52 PM
I look forward to seeing these thingies (there must be four of them?) in better resolution.

 - Ed Kyle

Do you mean the rail bogeys? There's only two of them, at the base. The third holding point - supporting/holding the top of the rocket - is not on rails, as far as I can tell.

See image (from the latest SpaceX FH video):
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 11/05/2015 11:18 PM
Yes, I think that's right. It looks like it's on road wheels and you can see the towing tractor in front of it in the first photo.

No sign of any pipework in the strongback or the cladding shown in the rendering, yet. Still early days. I guess this is a first fit check with the launch mount.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 11/05/2015 11:28 PM
It looks like it's being held so that even as it goes up the slope it keeps the spine horizontal?

Makes sense - the visualizations we've seen from SpaceX show the rocket rolling out tail-first, which means the slope would tilt the nose down, resulting in accelerations that even a horizontally-integrated rocket is not supposed to get subjected to.  Like "eyeballs-out", but without the eyes.

I think there was a previous post which said it would be kept horizontal on the ramp. But it's a bit difficult to tell from the photos if it actually is horizontal. There are also clearance issues at the top of the ramp where the slope changes. The strongback must be high enough off the ground so the underside doesn't come in contact with the ground as it goes over the "hump."

Notice that it's attached to the rail bogey by what looks like a hydraulic ram. This might be the leveling mechanism.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 11/06/2015 02:56 AM
What is the means of locomotion?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 11/06/2015 10:40 AM
I've been informed that's just the "strongback", not the entire T/E. Makes sense.


Don't see a pad base, so that makes sense
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: AndyX on 11/06/2015 11:10 AM
I look forward to seeing these thingies (there must be four of them?) in better resolution.

 - Ed Kyle

There's a bunch of new photos in the L2 39A section from better viewpoints (KSC people, not bus tour people), with it now up on the pad. Amazing structure.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/06/2015 01:15 PM
Can one of these photos PERHAPS be shared on here? ;D And this structure STAYS on the pad surface permanently, correct?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/06/2015 02:39 PM
Is this an Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) or is it a Transporter Erector (TE) with a launcher and the stage on top of it? And I agree with the non L2 picture share request.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: douglas100 on 11/06/2015 03:14 PM
What is the means of locomotion?

Thought I spotted a tow tractor similar to the one used at SLC-40 in the first photo.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 11/06/2015 03:23 PM
What is the means of locomotion?

Thought I spotted a tow tractor similar to the one used at SLC-40 in the first photo.

Yeah it's hard to make that out and that would mean the TE would be pushed, which seems unlikely.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/06/2015 05:47 PM
Is this an Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) or is it a Transporter Erector (TE) with a launcher and the stage on top of it? And I agree with the non L2 picture share request.

Thanks for agreeing with me on the picture share request. I think everyone should be able to see at least just ONE photo, PLEASSSE? :D
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/06/2015 06:02 PM
Is this an Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) or is it a Transporter Erector (TE) with a launcher and the stage on top of it? And I agree with the non L2 picture share request.

Thanks for agreeing with me on the picture share request. I think everyone should be able to see at least just ONE photo, PLEASSSE? :D

Here's one from L2 then, especially as people started getting carried away by asking if a stage was on it! ;) It's unpainted and as you've seen in early photos, but cool that it's at the pad and we can see the rails and such - so I intend to write an article over the weekend (covering the pad work as we saw those rails arrive last year), as such I'll include more photos and info in that obviously :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/06/2015 06:53 PM
I was referring to the design and function of the TE. Is it the same as the current design. So Transport from the hangar to the pad; Erect the rocket to the vertical position and holding the Launch umbilicals. Or did they split the system. Into a Transporter Erector, and the hold down bottom plate with a hinge-able boom that holds the launch umbilicals (power, data and fueling lines).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/06/2015 11:41 PM
Is this an Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) or is it a Transporter Erector (TE) with a launcher and the stage on top of it? And I agree with the non L2 picture share request.

Thanks for agreeing with me on the picture share request. I think everyone should be able to see at least just ONE photo, PLEASSSE? :D

Here's one from L2 then, especially as people started getting carried away by asking if a stage was on it! ;) It's unpainted and as you've seen in early photos, but cool that it's at the pad and we can see the rails and such - so I intend to write an article over the weekend (covering the pad work as we saw those rails arrive last year), as such I'll include more photos and info in that obviously :)

Thank-you so much Chris! Much appreciated and looking very foreward to the article! :)

Does this STAY at the pad?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: darkenfast on 11/07/2015 03:03 AM
It looks like they can push/pull the Strongback from a point UNDER the upper part, i.e. with the tractor towing the road-wheel unit.  If this works, then they don't have to do the switcharound that they do at LC-40, where they pull the thing out, then push it to the pad.  It's just a little quicker and simpler.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: pospa on 11/07/2015 09:13 PM
New T/E has been erected on the pad. http://imgur.com/a/NSz8S
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 11/07/2015 09:54 PM
New T/E has been erected on the pad. http://imgur.com/a/NSz8S

Cool! It really does look very faithful to the renders/animation that SpaceX released a while back.  :)

And was the cladding/structure cover plates  there in the earlier pictures, or was it just added in the last week or two?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: enzo on 11/07/2015 11:38 PM
New T/E has been erected on the pad.
I like that SpaceX is patriotic, despite being a private company with global ambitions and no obligation to fly/display flags everyplace. Makes me proud.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/08/2015 04:29 AM
New T/E has been erected on the pad. http://imgur.com/a/NSz8S

Is this the strongback that stays on the pad permanently?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Lars-J on 11/08/2015 05:10 AM
New T/E has been erected on the pad. http://imgur.com/a/NSz8S

Is this the strongback that stays on the pad permanently?

No, it does not stay on the pad permanently. None of the SpaceX strongbacks at the various pads do.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mvpel on 11/08/2015 01:00 PM
I like that SpaceX is patriotic, despite being a private company with global ambitions and no obligation to fly/display flags everyplace. Makes me proud.

Quote from: Elon Musk
I’m nauseatingly pro-American. It is where great things are possible.

People who choose to become Americans usually appreciate what America stands for far more deeply than most natural-born citizens.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mr. mark on 11/08/2015 03:40 PM
SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: mr. mark on 11/08/2015 03:50 PM
Anyone have any idea where 39A astronauts will don their spacesuits and do preflight suit checkouts?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/08/2015 04:47 PM
SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter

That's a neat next-generation "Astrovan".
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jim on 11/08/2015 09:26 PM
SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter

I doubt it.  There are 3 of those vehicles at the Cape.  With the windows, more like for tours and customers.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: arachnitect on 11/08/2015 10:33 PM
I hope Jim's right.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/09/2015 12:26 AM
SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter

I doubt it.  There are 3 of those vehicles at the Cape.  With the windows, more like for tours and customers.
the original tweet was meant to be taken tongue in cheek:
"Sneak peek at new @SpaceX commercial crew vehicle parked outside Pad 39A. :-)"
https://twitter.com/SpaceKSCBlog/status/663388175109353472

The word "Astronaut" does not appear.

This is why you should ALWAYS provide a link to the original source whenever possible.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: spacekscblog on 11/09/2015 01:11 AM
The passenger van was meant as a joke.  They use it for transporting guests.

My latest photos of Pad 39A renovations just went online:

http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2015/11/going-up-part-9.html

The transporter erector went vertical Saturday afternoon, and had the American flag flying from its apex.  But today it was back to horizontal, although still on the pad.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Brovane on 11/09/2015 01:11 AM
SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter

We all know that van isn't "bad ass" enough for SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronauts. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: sublimemarsupial on 11/09/2015 04:36 AM

SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter

We all know that van isn't "bad ass" enough for SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronauts.

I mean the crew transport vehicle is pretty obvious already: the falcon wing doors on the Tesla Model X are perfect for letting a suited astronaut into and out of the vehicle easily and quickly, and there is plenty of space left over for the flight surgeons and whoever else the NSA entourage consists of.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: kch on 11/09/2015 04:58 AM

SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter

We all know that van isn't "bad ass" enough for SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronauts.

I mean the crew transport vehicle is pretty obvious already: the falcon wing doors on the Tesla Model X are perfect for letting a suited astronaut into and out of the vehicle easily and quickly, and there is plenty of space left over for the flight surgeons and whoever else the NSA entourage consists of.

NSA?  When-and-how did they get in on this?  ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Flying Beaver on 11/09/2015 05:17 AM

SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronaut delivery vehicle for 39A. Source: Stephen C. Smith Twitter

We all know that van isn't "bad ass" enough for SpaceX Commercial Crew Astronauts.

I mean the crew transport vehicle is pretty obvious already: the falcon wing doors on the Tesla Model X are perfect for letting a suited astronaut into and out of the vehicle easily and quickly, and there is plenty of space left over for the flight surgeons and whoever else the NSA entourage consists of.

...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Flying Beaver on 11/09/2015 06:09 AM
Made it just a little bit more badass.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: woods170 on 11/09/2015 08:52 AM
Made it just a little bit more badass.
Just wondering: what is a CST-100 crew doing there? Doesn't the SpaceX crew suit look A LOT different? ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/09/2015 09:17 AM
Sorry for messing around in advance.
A model X is to dull for a crew transportation vehicle. I was thinking about the SuperBus TUDelft developed. It is fully electric and can drive 155 miles an hour.  8) ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Jarnis on 11/09/2015 09:33 AM
Sorry for messing around in advance.
A model X is to dull for a crew transportation vehicle. I was thinking about the SuperBus TUDelft developed. It is fully electric and can drive 155 miles an hour.  8) ;)

That looks hilariously impractical. I looked at the site and all I can say is "what were they thinking..."?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2015 04:24 PM
My article within the hour, then we'll move to a new thread 2 as this one is turning into a party thread ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2015 05:21 PM
Here's that article. Yeah, L2 has a collection (in a cool section that's covered the pad work since the first shovel in the ground) and of course there's others out there too, but I've beefed this up with the rollout procedures that were outlined to us.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/spacex-conducts-rollout-39a-te/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Gary NASA on 11/09/2015 08:42 PM
Here's that article. Yeah, L2 has a collection (in a cool section that's covered the pad work since the first shovel in the ground) and of course there's others out there too, but I've beefed this up with the rollout procedures that were outlined to us.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/spacex-conducts-rollout-39a-te/

Great article Chris. Good to see the pad come back to life!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Beittil on 11/09/2015 09:13 PM
Nice article, but a slight side note. Could you please work with dual measurements? I mean, your readers are not all American and thus on that Imperial system!

In stead of this:
Quote
By February of this year, steel columns – around 50 to 55 feet high – rose out of the foundations at the perimeter.

Say this:
Quote
By February of this year, steel columns – around 50 to 55 feet (~15-~17 meters) high – rose out of the foundations at the perimeter.

Would be much appreciated!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2015 10:53 PM
Interesting, as Englishman we use feet a lot more than meters. I'm six foot tall. I don't have a clue what I am in meters. Now I do, because I googled it! ;D

Will keep it in mind for future articles.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/09/2015 11:04 PM
Made it just a little bit more badass.
Just wondering: what is a CST-100 crew doing there? Doesn't the SpaceX crew suit look A LOT different? ;)

That's the STS-133 crew. A bit earlier than the Starliner generation.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: jak Kennedy on 11/09/2015 11:36 PM
Hi Chris, could you clarify.

"However, for 39A operations, when the hold down post clamps are released, the Transporter/Erector will be fully retracted/lowered back to ground level."

Are you saying as Falcon 9xx is taking off the TE starts to retract. ie at T -0.1
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/10/2015 12:36 AM
Here's that article. Yeah, L2 has a collection (in a cool section that's covered the pad work since the first shovel in the ground) and of course there's others out there too, but I've beefed this up with the rollout procedures that were outlined to us.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/spacex-conducts-rollout-39a-te/

Great article Chris...Thank-you!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: darkenfast on 11/10/2015 07:44 AM
Interesting, as Englishman we use feet a lot more than meters. I'm six foot tall. I don't have a clue what I am in meters. Now I do, because I googled it! ;D

Will keep it in mind for future articles.

You could always weigh Falcons in Stones!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Semmel on 11/10/2015 07:59 AM
I prefer horses: http://xkcd.com/1461/large/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX laying the groundwork for Falcon Heavy debut
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 11/10/2015 12:16 PM
I prefer horses: http://xkcd.com/1461/large/

As a SpaceX fanboy I note that 1 Falcon 1 is equivalent to 1 horse and therefore the unit of measure should be a Falcon. EG The Falcon 9 has a launch capacity of 29 Falcons and SLS Block 2 would have a launch capacity of 289 Falcons.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2015 01:17 PM
Ok, that's it for this thread then. New thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38802.0