Author Topic: Rebuilding SLC-40  (Read 209638 times)

Offline bstrong

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 392
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 321
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #40 on: 09/02/2016 05:56 PM »
"Redo[ing] the [flame] trench" would mean demolishing the entire pad. They're not going to do that.

Back before they got 39A, they planned to launch FH from 40. Presumably they had a plan for doing that didn't require that they stop launching for a year+ while they demolished and rebuilt the entire pad.

But I agree that now would be a bad time to do anything more than the minimum necessary to bring it back online.

Offline John Alan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 501
  • Central IL - USA - Earth
  • Liked: 241
  • Likes Given: 1213
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #41 on: 09/02/2016 05:58 PM »
They will probably figure which can be completed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time wise, then concentrate on the first one, say 39a.  Then if Boca Chica can be completed before 40, then concentrate on it, or if 40 can be rebuilt before Boca Chica, then concentrate of 40.  Simple.  Like someone said, they have a huge launch manifest.  However, they have to get the 2nd stage problems fixed also and fast.

Exactly... thanks for saying it better then I did up top...  :-[

And because SLC-40 can't do Heavy... they have to decide where to be with it in 5 years time...
1) repaired as a FT only pad...
2) rebuilt into a Heavy/FT pad...
3) decide 39A and Boca is enough and walk away from it...
« Last Edit: 09/02/2016 06:06 PM by John Alan »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31283
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9570
  • Likes Given: 299
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #42 on: 09/02/2016 06:02 PM »

Back before they got 39A, they planned to launch FH from 40. Presumably they had a plan for doing that didn't require that they stop launching for a year+ while they demolished and rebuilt the entire pad.


They were going to add another pad to 40 for FH and not rebuild the existing one.

Offline StuffOfInterest

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
  • Just interested in space
  • McLean, Virginia, USA
  • Liked: 83
  • Likes Given: 56
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #43 on: 09/02/2016 06:27 PM »
I really don't get this talk of walking away from SLC-40.  Even if the TEL and GSE are trashed, they have a lot of other valuable hardware at that pad which will not have been destroyed.  If anything there is probably already an order for steel going in to build a new TEL and designs are up on the screens in Hawthorne for an improved layout of the GSE.  This is probably a good time to work on SLC-40.  LC-39A is just about done and heavy work can't start at Boca Chica pad until the ground settling operations are done.

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4227
  • Liked: 121
  • Likes Given: 217
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #44 on: 09/02/2016 06:36 PM »


"Redo[ing] the [flame] trench" would mean demolishing the entire pad. They're not going to do that.

The flame trench looks like it's probably mostly intact along with many if the out buildings as rocket appears to have mostly went up in a deflagration vs a detonation.

A detonation would have completely or partly stripped the steel buildings.
« Last Edit: 09/02/2016 06:38 PM by Patchouli »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31283
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9570
  • Likes Given: 299
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #45 on: 09/02/2016 06:39 PM »
The most important object other than the flame trench at SLC-40 would be the LOX sphere and I believe it survived.

Offline Kansan52

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 863
  • Hutchinson, KS
  • Liked: 255
  • Likes Given: 305
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #46 on: 09/02/2016 06:41 PM »
Well, another stand down and customers start looking for alternatives. We saw this before, not launching costs revenue. Launching sooner means revenue starts sooner. If customer find another ride and the SX backlog shrinks, how many launch pads are needed?

I hope everyone is correct and no customer walks away.

Of course, they may have their new BFR site now.

Online AS-503

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • Orion Fab Team
  • Colorado USA
  • Liked: 143
  • Likes Given: 105
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #47 on: 09/02/2016 06:42 PM »
Are there folks around with the experience of building pads that SpaceX could quickly increase their pad construction team(s)?

From a financial perspective, it seems like SpaceX needs to get an East Coast pad up and running as soon as they can (and they probably need both pads) to have any chance of making up the backlog on their manifest in the coming 2 years. So, if there are people to be hired than it seems like SpaceX would hire them.

Well, they already have an exceptionally qualified ex-NASA engineer named John Muratore working on 39a.
With regard to your first question, one would think he is capable of putting together and managing a first class team. Photos are screen grabs from John's LinkedIn page (b.t.w. his previous job experience is impressive to say the least).

Buidling/commisioning a pad is one thing, but what if the mishap was process/QC related?

Wayne Hale had this to say about John...
https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/jfm-to-the-rescue/

Offline JasonAW3

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2416
  • Claremore, Ok.
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #48 on: 09/02/2016 06:43 PM »


"Redo[ing] the [flame] trench" would mean demolishing the entire pad. They're not going to do that.

The flame trench looks like it's probably mostly intact along with many if the out buildings as rocket appears to have mostly went up in a deflagration vs a detonation.

A detonation would have completely or partly stripped the steel buildings.

If the rocket had a full load of LOX, it would have been a MUCH larger detonation.  I suppose, if it turned out to be a umbilical related or tower related issue, then, if they had to do a crash rebuild, it looks as though they could have everything back together in a month.  Operational?  Don't know for sure on that.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Online rockets4life97

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 388
  • Liked: 175
  • Likes Given: 120
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #49 on: 09/02/2016 06:45 PM »
Well, another stand down and customers start looking for alternatives. We saw this before, not launching costs revenue. Launching sooner means revenue starts sooner. If customer find another ride and the SX backlog shrinks, how many launch pads are needed?

I hope everyone is correct and no customer walks away.

Of course, they may have their new BFR site now.

To take a leaf out of Jim's book: wrong. If SLC-40 is too small for FH, then it is definitely too small for BFR.

Also, where are the commercial customers going to go?
Arlene 5 is booked through 2017.
Proton: Arguably facing many more challenges with failures than SpaceX right now.
Atlas? I haven't seen any indication that ULA could ramp up flights for Atlas, not to mention the higher cost.

Offline JasonAW3

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2416
  • Claremore, Ok.
  • Liked: 377
  • Likes Given: 10
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #50 on: 09/02/2016 06:49 PM »
Well, another stand down and customers start looking for alternatives. We saw this before, not launching costs revenue. Launching sooner means revenue starts sooner. If customer find another ride and the SX backlog shrinks, how many launch pads are needed?

I hope everyone is correct and no customer walks away.

Of course, they may have their new BFR site now.

To take a leaf out of Jim's book: wrong. If SLC-40 is too small for FH, then it is definitely too small for BFR.

Also, where are the commercial customers going to go?
Arlene 5 is booked through 2017.
Proton: Arguably facing many more challenges with failures than SpaceX right now.
Atlas? I haven't seen any indication that ULA could ramp up flights for Atlas, not to mention the higher cost.

The Russians would be the only other viable launch provider and I somehow doubt that they could just magically produce a bunch of launch vehicles out of thin air.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Online Jdeshetler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
  • Silicon Valley, CA
  • Liked: 1641
  • Likes Given: 1085
« Last Edit: 09/02/2016 07:39 PM by Jdeshetler »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31283
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9570
  • Likes Given: 299
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #52 on: 09/02/2016 07:13 PM »
No, that was before they got LC-39

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31283
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9570
  • Likes Given: 299
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #53 on: 09/02/2016 07:14 PM »


"Redo[ing] the [flame] trench" would mean demolishing the entire pad. They're not going to do that.

The flame trench looks like it's probably mostly intact along with many if the out buildings as rocket appears to have mostly went up in a deflagration vs a detonation.

A detonation would have completely or partly stripped the steel buildings.

If the rocket had a full load of LOX, it would have been a MUCH larger detonation.  I suppose, if it turned out to be a umbilical related or tower related issue, then, if they had to do a crash rebuild, it looks as though they could have everything back together in a month.  Operational?  Don't know for sure on that.

It has a full or nearly full load of LOX

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31283
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9570
  • Likes Given: 299
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #54 on: 09/02/2016 07:15 PM »
ULA could ramp up

Offline Kansan52

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 863
  • Hutchinson, KS
  • Liked: 255
  • Likes Given: 305
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #55 on: 09/02/2016 07:30 PM »
To take a leaf out of Jim's book: wrong. If SLC-40 is too small for FH, then it is definitely too small for BFR.

Also, where are the commercial customers going to go?
Arlene 5 is booked through 2017.
Proton: Arguably facing many more challenges with failures than SpaceX right now.
Atlas? I haven't seen any indication that ULA could ramp up flights for Atlas, not to mention the higher cost.

Don't remember Jim saying 40 was too small for anything. He did say SX will still need 40.

And that is correct if the backlog doesn't shrink. The backlog now goes beyond 2017.

But how long will customers wait?

So we could see Ariane 5 take on customers in the 2018 and beyond range.

ULA can buy as many RD-180s they want for commercial. Can they build cores faster? Maybe not. Companies and people can do amazing things if given the chance.

I would agree that Proton is not a likely choice.

So if you are correct, the delay will not lose customers and they will need 40 more than ever.

Online envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2705
  • Liked: 1245
  • Likes Given: 777
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #56 on: 09/02/2016 07:56 PM »
The most important object other than the flame trench at SLC-40 would be the LOX sphere and I believe it survived.

Is that the white spherical tank visible on the right-hand side of the USLaunchReport footage? It appears to be in good shape in the video.

Offline floss

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 386
  • Liked: 13
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #57 on: 09/02/2016 08:01 PM »
What will this disaster do to Space X insurance costs ?

Offline ugordan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7366
    • My mainly Cassini image gallery
  • Liked: 1519
  • Likes Given: 331
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #58 on: 09/02/2016 08:02 PM »
The most important object other than the flame trench at SLC-40 would be the LOX sphere and I believe it survived.

Didn't they have to augment that storage tank with additional smaller, cylindrical tanks?

Offline NaN

  • ... a free man
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 145
  • Liked: 79
  • Likes Given: 98
Re: Rebuilding SLC-40
« Reply #59 on: 09/02/2016 08:12 PM »
Are there folks around with the experience of building pads that SpaceX could quickly increase their pad construction team(s)?

If anything, SpaceX has more recent pad-planning, building and upgrading experience than anyone else. Major work at Vandy, a pending new pad at Boca Chica, nearly completed 39A conversion, and subcooling and TEL improvements before that.
There will be lead time on some items they will need to repair/rebuild LC-40, but they shouldn't need to increase specialized expertise for this. It's more a matter of prioritization, particularly relative to Boca Chica which has the complete new build slated. I would imagine they would prioritize this higher than Boca Chica work if they even do come into conflict.


Tags: