Author Topic: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert  (Read 1304 times)

Offline manboy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2082
  • Texas, USA, Earth
  • Liked: 126
  • Likes Given: 539
Western Nevada might be a good place to launch a first stage reusable rocket. The area east is sparsely populated and the limited vegetation reduces the wild fire risks. Land is generally cheap or owned by the federal government. Lack of rain means less scrubbed launches. You could manufacture the stages in California and ship them by truck. It is further North than the Cape but it would mean you wouldn't need a barge or take the payload hit from flying back to the pad.
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline Stan-1967

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 461
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Liked: 237
  • Likes Given: 161
Re: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert
« Reply #1 on: 05/04/2016 04:41 AM »
Western Nevada might be a good place to launch a first stage reusable rocket. The area east is sparsely populated and the limited vegetation reduces the wild fire risks. Land is generally cheap or owned by the federal government. Lack of rain means less scrubbed launches. You could manufacture the stages in California and ship them by truck. It is further North than the Cape but it would mean you wouldn't need a barge or take the payload hit from flying back to the pad.

What about the second stage?   You are talking about a 2 stage to orbit vehicle, not something straight up and down like New Shepard or the Grasshopper vehicles?   Where would a failed stage 2 land? 


Offline strangequark

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1070
  • Co-Founder, Tesseract Space
  • Mojave, CA
  • Liked: 211
  • Likes Given: 11
Re: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert
« Reply #2 on: 05/04/2016 05:50 AM »

What about the second stage?   You are talking about a 2 stage to orbit vehicle, not something straight up and down like New Shepard or the Grasshopper vehicles?   Where would a failed stage 2 land?

Orbit
Don't flippantly discount the old rules of this industry. Behind each one lies a painful lesson learned from broken, twisted hardware. Learn those lessons, and respect the knowledge gained from them. Only then, see if you can write new rules that will meet those challenges.

Online RonM

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2102
  • Atlanta, Georgia USA
  • Liked: 988
  • Likes Given: 760
Re: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert
« Reply #3 on: 05/04/2016 02:30 PM »

What about the second stage?   You are talking about a 2 stage to orbit vehicle, not something straight up and down like New Shepard or the Grasshopper vehicles?   Where would a failed stage 2 land?

Orbit

If it's failed it's not getting to orbit.

Offline manboy

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2082
  • Texas, USA, Earth
  • Liked: 126
  • Likes Given: 539
Re: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert
« Reply #4 on: 05/04/2016 04:10 PM »

What about the second stage?   You are talking about a 2 stage to orbit vehicle, not something straight up and down like New Shepard or the Grasshopper vehicles?   Where would a failed stage 2 land?

Orbit

If it's failed it's not getting to orbit.
If it fails to start then why shouldn't it land near where the first stage falls? Launches are already carried out from places like Baikonur and Jiuquan.
« Last Edit: 05/04/2016 04:15 PM by manboy »
"Cheese has been sent into space before. But the same cheese has never been sent into space twice." - StephenB

Offline Citabria

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 140
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 52
  • Likes Given: 26
Re: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert
« Reply #5 on: 05/04/2016 04:20 PM »
If it fails to start then why shouldn't it land near where the first stage falls? Launches are already carried out from places like Baikonur and Jiuquan.

It lands where it wants:
http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/01/04/photos-long-march-rocket-stage-falls-in-rural-china/
http://io9.gizmodo.com/heres-what-our-space-junk-looks-like-after-its-crashed-1596339327
« Last Edit: 05/04/2016 04:31 PM by Citabria »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12650
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3454
  • Likes Given: 574
Re: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert
« Reply #6 on: 05/04/2016 04:33 PM »

What about the second stage?   You are talking about a 2 stage to orbit vehicle, not something straight up and down like New Shepard or the Grasshopper vehicles?   Where would a failed stage 2 land?

Orbit

If it's failed it's not getting to orbit.
If it fails to start then why shouldn't it land near where the first stage falls? Launches are already carried out from places like Baikonur and Jiuquan.
Western Nevada might be a good place to launch a first stage reusable rocket. The area east is sparsely populated and the limited vegetation reduces the wild fire risks. Land is generally cheap or owned by the federal government. Lack of rain means less scrubbed launches. You could manufacture the stages in California and ship them by truck. It is further North than the Cape but it would mean you wouldn't need a barge or take the payload hit from flying back to the pad.
Let's assume the launch is from Gerlach, on the edge of the famous Black Rock Desert.  Looking at a map I see that I-80 would have to be closed nearly all the way across the state for the duration of the launch windows plus flight time.  That doesn't work. 

OK, move south to somewhere near, say, Beatty.  Lots of space to the east, right?  Except for Yucca Flat and all of that secret space that would have to be evacuated.  U.S Highway 93 and Interstate 15 and other roads and rails and airspace would have to be closed during launches.  The first stage would land where, in New Mexico?  Lots of highways and people between launch pad and landing pad.  There is more population out there than people think, and the area is criss-crossed by busy transport corridors.

The lawsuits if anything goes wrong - and it would eventually go wrong since this is space launch - would be ferocious.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 05/04/2016 04:35 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Stan-1967

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 461
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Liked: 237
  • Likes Given: 161
Re: Launching to the East from Nevada's Great Basin Desert
« Reply #7 on: 05/04/2016 07:44 PM »
I don't think it's impossible, I just can't think of any scenarios other than a political breakup of the USA, whereby a landlocked state entity without access to the coastal facilities would launch a rocket over populated areas.

Whether it launched from Nevada, Utah, or Eastern Oregon, there is ample space for a S1 landing in the manner of F9, but that second stage is tricky not only from a safety standpoint, but from a trajectory standpoint as well.  Orbital inclinations best served would be high inclination orbits. ( like out of Baikonur)   I'd say you would want to be north of I-80, and threading the needle between Boise & Idaho Falls.  DO NOT hit the bears in Yellowstone. Second stage FTS might alleviate some risk, but not all.

I'm imagining some secessionist Mormon group, year 2025, collectivizing the ATK Brigham City facility and finally building that Liberty Rocket.  :)


Tags: