Author Topic: Blue Origin working towards making the Cape its Orbital Launch Site  (Read 34941 times)

Offline TrevorMonty

I read recent article about polar launches from Florida. Airforce thinks its possible. Can't remember where I read it but it was only few days ago.


Offline nacnud

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2242
  • Liked: 402
  • Likes Given: 194

Offline Chasm

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
  • Liked: 152
  • Likes Given: 0
I guess NG will just have to stage a bit early...

Or do a much more pronounced dogleg. They have more spare performance than the rest.

Offline ZachF

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 504
  • NH, USA, Earth
  • Liked: 398
  • Likes Given: 104
I guess NG will just have to stage a bit early...

Or do a much more pronounced dogleg. They have more spare performance than the rest.

Since they are using wings primarily to slow down couldn't the first stage turn east after separation? Land in the space between Cuba and the Bahamas?


Offline Space Ghost 1962

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2783
  • Whatcha gonna do when the Ghost zaps you?
  • Liked: 2903
  • Likes Given: 2249
I guess NG will just have to stage a bit early...

Or do a much more pronounced dogleg. They have more spare performance than the rest.

Since they are using wings primarily to slow down couldn't the first stage turn east after separation? Land in the space between Cuba and the Bahamas?
Not quite.

Not wings but fins. The vehicle strategy is to boost with maximum use of propellants, reserve only for landing downrange. Likely the booster body is the wing, and the fins are used to adjust attitude when the vehicle is in the atmosphere.

The idea is to use atmospheric drag maximally to consume the kinetic energy of the booster rather than boostback/entry burns, so that the reuse losses are at a minimum.

So back to your question - likely they are "doglegging" once offshore to the south, relying on AFTS to allow for enough coastal margin, then flying an optimal trajectory til stage sep - well before encountering the islands.

Then if the vehicle reuse strategy is best employed ... the booster post sep coasts as high and as long as possible to shed momentum with drag, using its attitude to gradually work off energy, and likely veering to avoid its IIP encountering land, where the recovery ship is located.

How close the vehicle is to any islands when it lands on the recovery ship only BO knows.

Likely there is considerable lost payload/margin for such a mission, but NG has a lot to lose to begin with.

Offline vaporcobra

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1052
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Liked: 1861
  • Likes Given: 2237
At long last, a vague and unintentional update on LC-36's progress. Did some perspective changes in Photoshop to make it more natural. The original came from NASA Kennedy's Flickr, it was presented during the second National Space Council meeting.

Online Navier–Stokes

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Liked: 218
  • Likes Given: 1832
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust

Scott Henderson, Blue Origin: led site selection process for orbital launch site. Florida won, but strong competition from Texas, Georgia, North Carolina.

Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust

Henderson: Blue Origin has invested more than $200M so far for just-completed manufacturing facility and launch complex under construction (LC-36).

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4375
  • Liked: 170
  • Likes Given: 305
NG first stage lands after about 800km, so it could come down before cuba.

In theory, but not in practice. See my image. That will place the ship on the shores of Cuba, and that ignores overflying Bimini islands (part of Bahamas), not to mention many other issues such as a very busy shipping and aircraft filled water/air space as the launch trajectory basically follows the Florida coast. It ain't happening - at least not that way.

You wouldn't want it landing that close to Cuba you may not get it back at least not right away and then it will have been taken halfway apart and reassembled and a few years later you'll see a Russian or Chinese rocket landing in the same manner.

« Last Edit: 02/28/2018 03:47 AM by Patchouli »

Online Navier–Stokes

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Liked: 218
  • Likes Given: 1832
A changing shade of Blue (Jeff Foust on The Space Review)
Quote
The Air Force, which operates the overall facility, limits work that can be done on “critical days” around launches, to avoid construction work that could cause mishaps—broken pipelines or severed cables—that would delay those launches. “Part of building is that you’ve actually got to be able to put a shovel into the ground,” Henderson said. “On a critical day at Cape Canaveral you cannot break the surface of the ground.”

The number of critical days has been growing, in part because of increased launch activity. In 10 of the previous 12 months, he said, more than half of the work days were deemed critical days. “It’s nearly impossible to build a project under those kinds of constraints,” he said.

He added he expected more infrastructure, from electrical systems to commodities, at the Cape than they’ve found. “I’m going to be brutally honest: when we chose Florida, we thought infrastructure was a no-brainer,” he said. “We are investing way too much money in putting what I would call core systems—new substations, pipelines, trying to figure out where commodities are going to come from. That’s less money invested in the really hard work of developing new and innovative launch systems, figuring out [concepts of operations], how to launch and re-launch.”

Those launch site issues have not, so far, affected launch plans for New Glenn, with the company still planning a first launch of the vehicle by the end of 2020.

Offline Lars-J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4050
  • California
  • Liked: 3349
  • Likes Given: 2110
That "critical days" information is very interesting. It certainly would explain some of the "slow" progress at the pad.

I'm sure SpaceX is most upset that their increased flight rate also slows down Blue.  ;)

Offline rockets4life97

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 549
  • Liked: 248
  • Likes Given: 225
A changing shade of Blue (Jeff Foust on The Space Review)
Quote
The Air Force, which operates the overall facility, limits work that can be done on “critical days” around launches, to avoid construction work that could cause mishaps—broken pipelines or severed cables—that would delay those launches. “Part of building is that you’ve actually got to be able to put a shovel into the ground,” Henderson said. “On a critical day at Cape Canaveral you cannot break the surface of the ground.”

The number of critical days has been growing, in part because of increased launch activity. In 10 of the previous 12 months, he said, more than half of the work days were deemed critical days. “It’s nearly impossible to build a project under those kinds of constraints,” he said.

He added he expected more infrastructure, from electrical systems to commodities, at the Cape than they’ve found. “I’m going to be brutally honest: when we chose Florida, we thought infrastructure was a no-brainer,” he said. “We are investing way too much money in putting what I would call core systems—new substations, pipelines, trying to figure out where commodities are going to come from. That’s less money invested in the really hard work of developing new and innovative launch systems, figuring out [concepts of operations], how to launch and re-launch.”

Those launch site issues have not, so far, affected launch plans for New Glenn, with the company still planning a first launch of the vehicle by the end of 2020.

The critical days work stoppage and the lack of infrastructure make SpaceX's choice of the port of LA for their factory look even better.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32333
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10991
  • Likes Given: 327

The critical days work stoppage and the lack of infrastructure make SpaceX's choice of the port of LA for their factory look even better.

No, not even related.  The factory would not have been on the Cape.  Just like Blue Origins factory is not on the Cape.  This issue is with pad construction.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2018 12:43 PM by Jim »

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4333
  • Liked: 2294
  • Likes Given: 1315

The critical days work stoppage and the lack of infrastructure make SpaceX's choice of the port of LA for their factory look even better.

No, not even related.  The factory would not have been on the Cape.  Just like Blue Origins factory is not on the Cape.  This issue is with pad construction.

Right, the nearer corollary would be the Boca Chica facility. But the lack of infrastructure issue is probably even more limiting at BC than at CCAFS.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32333
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10991
  • Likes Given: 327

The critical days work stoppage and the lack of infrastructure make SpaceX's choice of the port of LA for their factory look even better.

No, not even related.  The factory would not have been on the Cape.  Just like Blue Origins factory is not on the Cape.  This issue is with pad construction.

Right, the nearer corollary would be the Boca Chica facility. But the lack of infrastructure issue is probably even more limiting at BC than at CCAFS.

I don't know why they would think it would have been turnkey.  They are putting in more than just a pad at LC-36.  Engine test stands, vehicle processing facilities, etc all which take more utilities than just a pad.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4333
  • Liked: 2294
  • Likes Given: 1315

The critical days work stoppage and the lack of infrastructure make SpaceX's choice of the port of LA for their factory look even better.

No, not even related.  The factory would not have been on the Cape.  Just like Blue Origins factory is not on the Cape.  This issue is with pad construction.

Right, the nearer corollary would be the Boca Chica facility. But the lack of infrastructure issue is probably even more limiting at BC than at CCAFS.

I don't know why they would think it would have been turnkey.  They are putting in more than just a pad at LC-36.  Engine test stands, vehicle processing facilities, etc all which take more utilities than just a pad.

Why can't they isolate their systems and continue working on critical days? It can't be that difficult to bring in some generators, water tanks, etc. Construction is very frequently done without needing complete infrastructure tie-in for most of the work.

Offline notsorandom

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1716
  • Ohio
  • Liked: 408
  • Likes Given: 90
Why can't they isolate their systems and continue working on critical days? It can't be that difficult to bring in some generators, water tanks, etc. Construction is very frequently done without needing complete infrastructure tie-in for most of the work.
Because they need to dig into the ground and that carries the risk that they could hit a buried utility vital for another entity's a launch. Even someone hand digging with a shovel carries that risk so they are not allowed to do so on those days.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4333
  • Liked: 2294
  • Likes Given: 1315
Why can't they isolate their systems and continue working on critical days? It can't be that difficult to bring in some generators, water tanks, etc. Construction is very frequently done without needing complete infrastructure tie-in for most of the work.
Because they need to dig into the ground and that carries the risk that they could hit a buried utility vital for another entity's a launch. Even someone hand digging with a shovel carries that risk so they are not allowed to do so on those days.

Do they not know where the utilities are located and have them marked?

There shouldn't be anything critical to other facilities that close to a pad anyway. What happens if a rocket blows up on the pad? IIRC that already happened with the AMOS-6 explosion affecting utilities to a nearby ULA facility.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32333
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 10991
  • Likes Given: 327

Do they not know where the utilities are located and have them marked?

There shouldn't be anything critical to other facilities that close to a pad anyway.

Yes, and problems still happen, just like the real world too.  Installing infrastructure tie-ins can happen miles away from the main site.

Offline notsorandom

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1716
  • Ohio
  • Liked: 408
  • Likes Given: 90
Do they not know where the utilities are located and have them marked?

There shouldn't be anything critical to other facilities that close to a pad anyway. What happens if a rocket blows up on the pad? IIRC that already happened with the AMOS-6 explosion affecting utilities to a nearby ULA facility.
I have worked in the utility industry for a number of years (though not around The Cape) and you'd be surprise how often people dig into things. The utility company may know where everything is but that's not the whole picture. The excavator needs to submit a locate request a few days prior to digging. The utility company will send someone out with locating equipment out to find and mark the buried equipment. Sometimes the excavator fails to notify the utility. Sometimes the locator can't detect the utility or marks it wrong. Sometimes the excavator still hits the properly marked utilities.

Offline Aurora

  • Member
  • Posts: 21
  • USA
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 25
Contractors certified to work on CCAFB understand protocol and procedures.   The key discussion is whether they are on target to complete and certify LC-36 for launch in 2020 to meet their ILC target.   The schedule should have accounted for critical days with margin.  So, hopefully they are on schedule for ILC target.   

Tags: