Author Topic: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3  (Read 204726 times)

Online abaddon

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #20 on: 10/17/2014 04:38 PM »
I understand that they do single-engine acceptance tests all the time and that full-up F9 tests are still "louder than usual"... but F9 tests are no longer that unusual and as the flight rate increases they will become even more commonplace.

Will be interesting to see how loud FH tests are.  On the one hand, we're talking about three F9 cores at once.  On the other hand, it's partially underground so that should presumably absorb a lot of the sound energy.

I really want to see FH get acceptance tested this year.  Make it happen SpaceX!

Offline neoforce

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #21 on: 10/17/2014 05:35 PM »
Will be interesting to see how loud FH tests are.  On the one hand, we're talking about three F9 cores at once.  On the other hand, it's partially underground so that should presumably absorb a lot of the sound energy.

I've followed the various threads about FH testing, and looked at all of the excellent McGregor pictures.  But I still can't visualize how the new FH test stand will look once there is hardware there for testing.  I understood the test stand is partially underground as abaddon said...  So, what will it look like from the outside?  If someone drives by on public roads when the test is getting set up, will they see the top part of the three cores?   How much would they see?

I'm really looking forward to the first pictures of FH ready to test on the new test stand.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #22 on: 10/17/2014 06:31 PM »
It seems the FH teststand will be much like a launch pad. A flametrench with water for cooling and noise suppression. So the rocket will be visible. If I am right a full time firing for qualification will need a LOT of water.


Online Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #23 on: 10/17/2014 07:26 PM »
It seems the FH teststand will be much like a launch pad. A flametrench with water for cooling and noise suppression. So the rocket will be visible. If I am right a full time firing for qualification will need a LOT of water.

Exactly. The rocket will be all above ground, just like a launch pad. (oooh, cue conspiracy theories...)  ;D

Offline Dudely

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #24 on: 10/17/2014 07:38 PM »
I think by underground you just mean it's banked on the sides a bit. They're not going to stick it in a well or anything like that- the bouncing sound of the engines would shake them from their mounts and buckle the tanks.

Online abaddon

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #25 on: 10/17/2014 07:40 PM »
Correct, "underground" means what everyone above says, meaning the flame trench goes below ground level.  In contrast to "above ground" like the F9 test stand, where it is suspended fairly high and there is a blast shield under the rocket to direct it away from the test stand.

I guess "ground level" would be more accurate.

I also wonder if the FH stand will replace the F9 stand, or perhaps relegate it to "backup" status.  The F9 stand was inherited from Beal, right?  Seems like the above-ground nature of the test stand makes it a bit of a noise nuisance.  I would have to think the FH stand, for an F9, would be quieter than the current stand.

That last bit is total speculation by me, I haven't read anything to that effect.
« Last Edit: 10/17/2014 07:44 PM by abaddon »

Online Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #26 on: 10/17/2014 08:21 PM »
I also wonder if the FH stand will replace the F9 stand, or perhaps relegate it to "backup" status.  The F9 stand was inherited from Beal, right?  Seems like the above-ground nature of the test stand makes it a bit of a noise nuisance.  I would have to think the FH stand, for an F9, would be quieter than the current stand.

That last bit is total speculation by me, I haven't read anything to that effect.

It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #27 on: 10/17/2014 08:29 PM »
It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I have thought of a kind of strong-back or TE too. But I am not sure that a crane will not be cheaper to operate. Maybe a Heavy will need one though. That would make the operation even more launch pad like. They would need the full hydraulics to erect it.


Offline Zardar

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #28 on: 10/17/2014 10:09 PM »

It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I would hope so too!
SpaceX did build a new hanger/shed/hif down beside the administrative buildings, which is plenty wide for a falcon heavy.
They have widened some of the roadways a bit too.
Its about a 2km trip from there up to the new 'underground' test stand.
However, its very crowded around the test stand area.
I dont understand why they had to build it so close to the existing infrastructure - it might be a bit of a tight turn to get the heavy rolled in and lined up.
If they had built it a few hundred meters further south-west, they could have built the Heavy's hanger much closer to the test stand, and had a straight run in.

Online Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #29 on: 10/17/2014 10:37 PM »
Yes, but they have limited space there... And they want to contain most of immediate exhaust on their property.

Offline Zardar

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #30 on: 10/18/2014 12:33 AM »
Yes, but they have limited space there... And they want to contain most of immediate exhaust on their property.

Perhaps the test area will me a bit cleaner once they get the builders and the rest of the 'junk' cleared out.
How big a safety zone will they need for the heavy exhaust? It's about 1.4km from the south-facing heavy test stand to the southern boundary of the overall site, which seems a lot, but then, i'm not in the firing line!
Would be nice to see some more recent sat imagery. The google stuff is a more than a year old (doesn't show the newer buildings), and bing is ancient.

Offline nimbostratus

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #31 on: 10/18/2014 01:17 AM »
I understand that they do single-engine acceptance tests all the time and that full-up F9 tests are still "louder than usual"... but F9 tests are no longer that unusual and as the flight rate increases they will become even more commonplace.

Will be interesting to see how loud FH tests are.  On the one hand, we're talking about three F9 cores at once.  On the other hand, it's partially underground so that should presumably absorb a lot of the sound energy.

I really want to see FH get acceptance tested this year.  Make it happen SpaceX!

Yes. FH makes sense for louder noise.
Wonders in the desert

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #32 on: 10/18/2014 01:42 AM »
Except it won't necessarily be louder. F9's milk stool is up high, so sound travels far. FH will be tested partially underground, sound far more muffled and directed away from McGregor.

I don't think they're testing FH yet.
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Offline MP99



It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I have thought of a kind of strong-back or TE too. But I am not sure that a crane will not be cheaper to operate. Maybe a Heavy will need one though. That would make the operation even more launch pad like. They would need the full hydraulics to erect it.

Is that necessarily true re the hydraulics?

It would seem to be simpler to have a winch from somewhere up on the test stand to pull the TE vertical. ISTM they avoid this on the launch pad because they don't have a fixed structure which could house the winch. (Or the winch could be in a protected place on the ground, with the cable trained through a pulley up on the stand.)

It's not like the launch pad, where the hydraulics are required to retract the TEL shortly before launch.

Think of it as a crane integrated into the stand.

Cheers, Martin

Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #34 on: 10/18/2014 09:45 AM »
OTOH, using a TEL is what they know and they've built at least three already (original F9 and two FH capable for Vandy and KSC). Maybe four if McGregor has one. Test like you fly.
« Last Edit: 10/18/2014 09:47 AM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline cambrianera

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #35 on: 10/18/2014 09:48 AM »
Standard hydraulic isn't that expensive, neither is steelwork.
Once you have the design is often cheaper to tweak the structure to your needs than redo it.
And I guess a pad-like operation would be faster and safer than using a crane; more infrastructure, but less operating cost.

Only my guess perhaps.
« Last Edit: 10/18/2014 10:44 AM by cambrianera »
Oh to be young again. . .

Offline MP99



OTOH, using a TEL is what they know and they've built at least three already (original F9 and two FH capable for Vandy and KSC). Maybe four if McGregor has one. Test like you fly.

I was assuming a TE (can you call it TEL if no "Launch"? :-) )

ISTM a winch is simpler than hydraulics. The hydraulic rams on the pads are very large.

Cheers, Martin

Offline cambrianera

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #37 on: 10/18/2014 10:43 AM »
ISTM a winch is simpler than hydraulics. The hydraulic rams on the pads are very large.
When you need big force acting, hydraulic is often cheaper and sturdier than winches or other mechanical means.
An hydraulic ram is far simpler than any other type of actuator, specially for big forces/short strokes.
That's why you see so often (but not always!) hydraulics on earth moving machinery.
Oh to be young again. . .

Offline docmordrid

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #38 on: 10/18/2014 11:35 AM »
OTOH, using a TEL is what they know and they've built at least three already (original F9 and two FH capable for Vandy and KSC). Maybe four if McGregor has one. Test like you fly.

I was assuming a TE (can you call it TEL if no "Launch"? :-) )
>

ISTM the difference is more a distinction. You still need the T and E, plus many things for L are needed for tests anyhow: umbilicals, data lines, platform + hold-downs, stage clamp etc.  Perhaps relocated, but still.
DM

Offline JimNtexas

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #39 on: 10/19/2014 05:10 PM »
I rode my motorcycle out to McGregor  yesterday.  There was a booster on the test stand, nothing on the launch pad except a couple of guys wandering around.

I did notice that new white tank of something has been installed near the launch pad.

No sign of the big red crane.

More images here.
« Last Edit: 10/19/2014 05:10 PM by JimNtexas »

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