Author Topic: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion  (Read 224250 times)

Offline Helodriver

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SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« on: 08/25/2014 08:05 PM »
I'd previously posted updates to SpaceX activities at SLC-4 under the General and Heavy sections where they seem to get buried rather quickly, hence the new standalone topic.

A trip around SLC-4 yesterday shows some visible progress being made since earlier this summer. The transporter/erector is back outside near the launch stand for the first time in months, but not attached to the pad.

New large white painted structures are mounted to the left the launch stand, but the hold downs are still not yet installed after their removal late last year.

The biggest news is that heavy equipment is now positioned at SLC-4W, the abandoned Titan-2 launch pad, and demolition of that structure is beginning. This in preparation for leveling the site for landings and is another confirmation of revelations made back in April.

Offline Helodriver

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #1 on: 08/25/2014 08:15 PM »
It was a warm day, lots of heat shimmer in the pics. Not as clear as I'd like.
« Last Edit: 08/25/2014 08:16 PM by Helodriver »

Offline catdlr

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #2 on: 08/25/2014 08:33 PM »
It was a warm day, lots of heat shimmer in the pics. Not as clear as I'd like.

You did great Helodriver, it's either too hot or to foggy there.
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Garrett

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #3 on: 08/25/2014 09:03 PM »
Nice photos.
Do you (or somebody else) have a link to those "revelations made back in April."? Can't remember seeing anything explicit.

Looking at your photos and comparing with Google satellite imagery, I'm presuming you took the photos from the south east of the pad, probably from Tank Road?

What is the next most probable launch from Vandenberg  - CONAE or Jason-3? I see multiple sources (JPL, CNES) citing March 2015 as the launch period for Jason-3.
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Online abaddon

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #4 on: 08/25/2014 09:19 PM »
What is the next most probable launch from Vandenberg  - CONAE or Jason-3? I see multiple sources (JPL, CNES) citing March 2015 as the launch period for Jason-3.

Next most probable launch is the Dragon 2 in-flight abort test: http://spacexstats.com/upcoming.php (and other sites, that's the first one I found).
« Last Edit: 08/25/2014 09:21 PM by abaddon »

Offline Mongo62

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #5 on: 08/25/2014 09:38 PM »
Do you (or somebody else) have a link to those "revelations made back in April."? Can't remember seeing anything explicit.

They are in L2. They include a lot of information about future plans for the Vandenberg launch site. Among the items disclosed at that time was the intended demolition of SLC-4W for a future landing pad.

Offline Helodriver

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #6 on: 09/17/2014 12:52 PM »
SpaceX continues to make progress on preparing for the demolition of the Mobile Service Tower at SLC-4W to make way for the landing facility.

The tower has been rolled from its park site where it has been abandoned in place since the last Titan II flight in 2003 into position over the launch mount. This will be the final time it is ever moved before explosives drop it to the ground.

A level of internal structure has been removed above the tower base exposing the support beams which will be cut for toppling back toward the park site. Workers are also welding the wheels in place to prevent motion during the explosive cut.

Offline Helodriver

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #7 on: 09/18/2014 06:50 AM »
A source who works on base said they tried to drop the tower today with 5 charges and it didn't fall. They will try again tomorrow.

Offline J-V

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #8 on: 09/18/2014 08:49 AM »
Does the TE now have room for three cores? I.e. FH.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #9 on: 09/18/2014 08:53 AM »
Does the TE now have room for three cores? I.e. FH.

The first post on this page shows a picture the TE for FH, with 3 cradles on top.

Offline J-V

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #10 on: 09/18/2014 08:55 AM »
Does the TE now have room for three cores? I.e. FH.

The first post on this page shows a picture the TE for FH, with 3 cradles on top.

That's what I was talking about. I just wasn't certain if those were clamps for F9 or positions for side boosters. Is this the first sighting of such TE?

Offline JBF

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #11 on: 09/18/2014 10:56 AM »
Does the TE now have room for three cores? I.e. FH.

The first post on this page shows a picture the TE for FH, with 3 cradles on top.

That's what I was talking about. I just wasn't certain if those were clamps for F9 or positions for side boosters. Is this the first sighting of such TE?

The TE at Vandenberg has always been sized for 3 cores.  That's not 3 cradles at top, it's one cradle with 2 clamping arms.
"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but thatís the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

Offline Jim_LAX

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #12 on: 09/18/2014 12:51 PM »
Looking closely at that first picture at the top I see that the TE runs on rubber tires.  I thought the TE in Florida used steel rails.  Wondering if tires give them some needed stearability.
"I don't go along with going to the Moon first in order to build a launch pad to go to Mars.  We should go to Mars from Earth orbit."

Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #13 on: 09/18/2014 01:03 PM »
Looking closely at that first picture at the top I see that the TE runs on rubber tires.  I thought the TE in Florida used steel rails.  Wondering if tires give them some needed stearability.

Or perhaps FL already had rail installed?  Installing rail isn't cheap, and maybe they decided they didn't really need it when tires would do.

Offline Helodriver

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #14 on: 09/18/2014 02:05 PM »
In Florida they used existing rails. In California, the route from their hangar to the pad traverses a slope and a turn and there was no infrastructure already built.

Offline Helodriver

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #15 on: 09/18/2014 09:53 PM »
The world's last intact launchpad for Titan family rockets was leveled today to make way for the Falcon Booster landing pad today at Vandenberg AFB. The Pad supported numerous Atlas and Titan types for over 40 years.

After an unsuccessful multi hour attempt yesterday, the Mobile Service Tower was pulled down today by heavy machinery and cables, rather than explosives as was previously expected. Multiple attempts were made to gain enough purchase to pull down the tower, weakened by cutting torches, before it came down slightly before 1:00 PM PDT.

Video linked here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYpDwS7HgEk&feature=youtu.be

Online oiorionsbelt

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #16 on: 09/18/2014 10:16 PM »
Nice video and that's a great way to get around the forum filters :)

Online Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #17 on: 09/18/2014 10:42 PM »
Thanks for the great video and pictures! :)

Offline Helodriver

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #18 on: 09/19/2014 03:43 PM »
A shot from the other side.

Online wannamoonbase

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Re: SpaceX Vandenberg Updates and Discussion
« Reply #19 on: 09/19/2014 04:04 PM »
A shot from the other side.

That photo is simply epic!
I know they don't need it, but Crossfeed would be super cool.

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