Author Topic: Launch Complex-48  (Read 22644 times)

Offline Orbiter

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Offline jstrotha0975

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #1 on: 06/14/2019 09:03 pm »
Why are they building a new pad for small rockets? They already have 39c and 46.

Offline Kansan52

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #2 on: 06/14/2019 09:19 pm »
The article states no services from NASA. You tote in your vehicle, control systems, fuel, oxidizer, ect. The other sites offer services (if memory serves).

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #3 on: 06/14/2019 09:50 pm »
Why are they building a new pad for small rockets? They already have 39c and 46.

Moreover, most of the smallsat launch providers that are building orbital rockets expected to launch from Florida have already been leased launch pads:

LC-16 will be used by Relativity Space's Terran-1.
LC-20 will be used by Firefly.
LC-46 will be used by Vector.

And Electron already has an east coast pad. So who's going off LC-48?
« Last Edit: 06/14/2019 09:50 pm by Orbiter »
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #4 on: 06/14/2019 11:58 pm »
Why are they building a new pad for small rockets? They already have 39c and 46.

Moreover, most of the smallsat launch providers that are building orbital rockets expected to launch from Florida have already been leased launch pads:

LC-16 will be used by Relativity Space's Terran-1.
LC-20 will be used by Firefly.
LC-46 will be used by Vector.

And Electron already has an east coast pad. So who's going off LC-48?
46 and 48 are multiple user pads capable of solid and liquid launchers and supports the same thrust classes. 46 will become unavailable at times when GBSD candidate out of silo testing (ie above ground, mobile and railcar canister and non canister testing) and D5LE
Next generation SLBMreplacement programmes start.

Offline Orbiter

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #5 on: 06/15/2019 01:42 am »
Some photos from the article. Expected completion by the end of the year.
KSC Engineer, astronomer, rocket photographer.

Offline e of pi

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #6 on: 07/03/2019 03:35 pm »
Seems like this could be useful for vehicles like the EXOS Jaguar once/if they get that flying--they mentioned during their live-stream of the Sarge 3 launch that their orbital vehicle is currently conceived of as having road-mobile launch support systems which would go well with a site that provides a launch site, but no services.

Offline jstrotha0975

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #7 on: 07/18/2019 07:10 pm »
Found an article from Aug. 2018 saying LC-48 is for Boeing's Phantom Express (XS-1).

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2018/08/05/space-florida-proposes-launch-landing-pads-ksc/896648002/
« Last Edit: 07/18/2019 07:11 pm by jstrotha0975 »

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #8 on: 01/07/2020 07:35 am »
Do we know if this is going to use much of the same processing flow envisioned for LC-39C? (i.e: use of the VAB low bay?)
« Last Edit: 01/07/2020 07:35 am by jadebenn »

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #9 on: 01/07/2020 08:09 am »
Also, I found these two renders of Phantom Express at LC-48 within the draft EIS.

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #10 on: 01/08/2020 12:12 am »
I've created a Wikipedia page for LC-48 if anyone would like to contribute.

Offline jadebenn

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #11 on: 01/22/2020 07:27 pm »
Welp, there goes LC-48's most likely user.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1220075858150481922

Unless NASA is able to convince someone else to replace them as a (likely) tenant of LC-48, I wouldn't expect to see it get built.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #12 on: 01/23/2020 11:41 pm »
<snip>
Unless NASA is able to convince someone else to replace them as a (likely) tenant of LC-48, I wouldn't expect to see it get built.

Maybe Astra?

Online harrystranger

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #13 on: 03/27/2020 12:41 pm »

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #14 on: 03/28/2020 05:07 pm »
LC-48 under construction  ;)
https://twitter.com/HarryStrangerPG/status/1243531266835640323?s

And reviewing the Sentinel 2 IR data, looks like construction began between 27-30 November 2019
« Last Edit: 03/28/2020 05:08 pm by Ronsmytheiii »

Online harrystranger

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #15 on: 03/28/2020 10:54 pm »
LC-48 under construction  ;)
https://twitter.com/HarryStrangerPG/status/1243531266835640323?s

And reviewing the Sentinel 2 IR data, looks like construction began between 27-30 November 2019
A quick animation of construction

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #16 on: 03/28/2020 11:25 pm »
Racing ahead with construction on a pad for a canceled launch vehicle.  Go figure.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #17 on: 03/29/2020 04:48 am »
Unless NASA is able to convince someone else to replace them as a (likely) tenant of LC-48, I wouldn't expect to see it get built.
As noted above, construction is proceeding.
Is there a new tenant lined up?
Or is there a business case for completing the pad on the chance of gaining a new tenant?
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #18 on: 03/29/2020 05:28 am »
Unless NASA is able to convince someone else to replace them as a (likely) tenant of LC-48, I wouldn't expect to see it get built.
As noted above, construction is proceeding.
Is there a new tenant lined up?
Or is there a business case for completing the pad on the chance of gaining a new tenant?
It is a multiple customer clean pad complex. All components are to be portable like Astra which could use this and other complexes. It has also been suggested by OSP-4 that it could be used for mobile sounding rockets like at WFF and elsewhere.

Online harrystranger

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #19 on: 03/30/2020 04:46 am »

Online harrystranger

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #20 on: 06/03/2020 03:14 am »
An image of LC-48 taken from the ISS as it passed over minutes before the DM-2 launch!

Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Offline FutureMartian97

Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #21 on: 06/10/2020 01:53 pm »
From what i've found LC-48 has been referenced as far back as 2017. Can anyone confirm that or has it been in planning for a lot longer than that?

Offline KSC Sage

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #22 on: 06/10/2020 02:06 pm »
I'll keep the updates coming  :)
https://twitter.com/HarryStrangerPG/status/1244468035663982592?s
The Southern Pad will only be built if there is a customer demand for it. 

Offline KSC Sage

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #23 on: 06/10/2020 02:13 pm »
From what i've found LC-48 has been referenced as far back as 2017. Can anyone confirm that or has it been in planning for a lot longer than that?
SLC-48 has been planned since 2016 when the decision was made to not use Pad-39C.  It took a couple of years to get the funding, conduct the environmental impact study, and develop the design requirements.  A contractor was hired and design began in 2018.

Offline FutureMartian97

Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #24 on: 06/10/2020 05:59 pm »
Found this rendering of what the site would look like after Phase 2 from the draft EIS from another angle

Online harrystranger

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #25 on: 07/10/2020 07:40 am »
An image from Sentinel-2 taken @ 2020-07-07 16:15:27 UTC.
Comparison GIF below  :)

Offline soltasto

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #27 on: 09/08/2020 08:03 am »
Google Earth Pro has updated their imagery, taken on 2020-02-02

You can download Google Earth Pro here: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/#earth-pro

Second image is the most recent from Sentinel-2  :)
« Last Edit: 09/08/2020 08:04 am by harrystranger »

Offline jstrotha0975

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #28 on: 09/08/2020 04:37 pm »
Are they still going ahead with this launch complex now that the XS-1 has been cancelled?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #29 on: 09/08/2020 04:53 pm »
Are they still going ahead with this launch complex now that the XS-1 has been cancelled?

Yes, as it's a multi-user complex, currently at least iRocket plans to use it

http://irocketusa.com/fully-reusable-autonomous-small-rockets-flight-ready-in-under-24-hours/
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Offline PM3

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #30 on: 12/14/2020 08:15 pm »
Looks like construction is finished.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/kennedy-s-newest-launch-complex-ready-to-serve-smaller-class-of-rockets




Dec. 11, 2020
Kennedy’s Newest Launch Complex Ready to Serve Smaller Class of Rockets

By Anna Heiney
NASA's Kennedy Space Center


Launch Complex 48 expands the scope of the agency’s premier multi-user spaceport by creating a dedicated launch site to accommodate launchers generating 500,000 pounds of thrust or less.

“Launch Complex 48 fills a need for new, low-cost launch systems with very fast turnaround cycles,” said Keith Britton, a senior project manager in Kennedy’s engineering directorate. “The site was built as a ‘blue-sky’ concept – companies can come in and work as they please.”

The 10-acre complex is located about a mile south of Kennedy’s historic Launch Complex 39A, a relatively isolated area where activities are less likely to disrupt operations at other launch sites. The concrete pad measures 42 by 54 feet and is 4 feet thick. The site offers access from Cape Road, the main roadway connecting the oceanside launch complexes. It includes the pad itself, an area where customers may stage fuel tankers or other commodities, and a basin to capture sound suppression water, if needed.

“This complex creates a significant savings for companies,” said Tom Engler, director of Kennedy Center Planning and Development. “They are looking for that clean pad concept, not having to develop the infrastructure we have developed.”

The site’s flexibility also means multiple commercial launch service providers and commercial research and development efforts can conduct testing and launch operations. Each customer can truck in the power, water, support equipment, and communications resources their vehicle requires, then depart with it, leaving behind a clear pad for the next user.

“Other launch pads are unique pads for unique rockets,” Britton said. “Complex 48 is different – it allows any commercial provider to have a dedicated space. The infrastructure is there for them to launch at a single point, and it offers a huge decrease in turnaround time.”

The project was created in 2017, and the design was completed in May 2019. Construction began in November 2019 but was delayed in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Work resumed in June, and construction was completed in October.

“This is the first truly new launch pad built at Kennedy since the 1960s,” Britton said.

Companies are getting ready to take advantage of this new capability.

“A number of folks have come to us about Launch Complex 48 who aren’t in a position to use it just yet, but are getting close,” Engler said. “We’re continuing those discussions. My expectation is that during the 2021 timeframe, we will start to see companies launch from 48.”
« Last Edit: 12/14/2020 08:16 pm by PM3 »
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Online harrystranger

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #31 on: 12/15/2020 08:48 am »
I thought I'd share a timelapse of construction from Sentinel-2  :)
(3.61 MB. Shared as an MP4 as GIFs can be unreliable)


Offline jacqmans

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Launch Complex 48
« Reply #33 on: 09/01/2021 01:15 pm »
NASA Kennedy Space Center’s newest launch complex – Launch Complex 48 – is a dedicated site for small-class launch vehicles. The complex offers a “clean pad” concept, allowing companies to bring in their own resources and commodities for launch and, in turn, reducing their investment in launch pad infrastructure.
Jacques :-)

Offline jstrotha0975

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Re: Launch Complex 48
« Reply #34 on: 09/01/2021 03:13 pm »
Sounds like a good spot for Astra once they add an FTS.

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Re: Launch Complex 48
« Reply #35 on: 09/01/2021 03:47 pm »
iRocket and ABL Space Systems have expressed interest in LC-48 as well. The former is a little odd, since they don't emphasize "fully containerized/mobile launch system" the way that Astra and ABL do, but I guess the animation on their website does show the whole transporter-erector being towed behind a pickup truck, which perhaps suggests a drive-anywhere mentality.

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #36 on: 02/10/2023 05:53 pm »
NASA has issued an RFI today regarding use of LC-48 (solicitation RFI-KSC-LC48-2023)

https://sam.gov/opp/6eebe77827bb490cb0a130d635cb2664/view

Introductory section begins as follows:

Title:

Request for Information – Concepts for Operation and Utilization of Launch Complex 48 (LC-48); includes North and South sites located on the complex

Description(s):

[…]

This Request for Information (RFI) concerns Launch Complex 48 (LC-48), which NASA developed to support and encourage growth of the emerging small class launch vehicle industry and the small satellite industry.  LC-48 is situated between Launch Complexes 39A and 41.  It is divided into two approximately equal areas: a 10.85 acre developed launch pad to the north and an approximately 11-acre undeveloped parcel to the south that can accommodate a similarly sized launch pad.  LC-48 is accessible only through KSC’s secured perimeter.  Accordingly, NASA procedures and policies regarding badging, background investigation requirements, foreign national access, and unescorted access to controlled areas apply.

LC-48 North – This site is capable of supporting vehicles with a maximum gross liftoff weight of 300,000 pounds, a maximum of 500,000 pounds of vehicle thrust, and a maximum Net Explosive Weight of 30,000 pounds.  If additional Net Explosive Weight for a particular proposed launch vehicle could exceed 30,000 pounds, additional analysis would be required to determine if the vehicle could safely launch from LC48.  It can be used for launch or testing operations.  NASA designed LC-48 as a “clean pad” offering approximately 30,000 square feet of paved area available for the launch system, ground support equipment and separated areas for fuel and oxidizer placement.  NASA envisioned launch service providers would transport, configure, and remove their equipment upon completion of activities.

LC-48 South – This parcel is vacant, undeveloped land that could support launch operations for an additional small class launch vehicle, provided that it meets similar weight and thrust constraints identified for LC-48 North to avoid exceeding Quantity-Distance (QD) limits that could impact nearby operations. 

Purpose of this RFI

The purpose of this RFI is to obtain information on the following:

  1. Launch site operator interest in, and concepts for managing, LC-48 and

  2. Infrastructure requirements for launch service providers to perform operations at LC-48.
      LC-48 can accommodate multiple users performing concurrent activities, and LC-48 North
      must be operated as a multiuser launch site.

[copy of RFI attached]

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #37 on: 02/17/2023 09:36 pm »
It is known when suppliers will be able to start using the facilities if this goes ahead?. Satellite imagery from this week shows that work has not yet started on the second launch pad.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #38 on: 02/18/2023 04:25 am »
NASA designed LC-48 as a “clean pad” offering approximately 30,000 square feet of paved area available for the launch system,


It is very clean.   Not even utilities.  They are just concreted acreage and nothing more.   
A silly idea.   Much like 39C.   And how much use has that got.

Online AmigaClone

Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #39 on: 02/18/2023 07:09 am »
NASA designed LC-48 as a “clean pad” offering approximately 30,000 square feet of paved area available for the launch system,


It is very clean.   Not even utilities.  They are just concreted acreage and nothing more.   
A silly idea.   Much like 39C.   And how much use has that got.

LC48 is nothing more than a repeat of LC39C built outside the fence surrounding LC39B so that the small-launch vehicles launched from that location would not have to compete with the launches scheduled for LC39B.

Offline Jim

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #40 on: 02/18/2023 01:14 pm »
NASA designed LC-48 as a “clean pad” offering approximately 30,000 square feet of paved area available for the launch system,


It is very clean.   Not even utilities.  They are just concreted acreage and nothing more.   
A silly idea.   Much like 39C.   And how much use has that got.

LC48 is nothing more than a repeat of LC39C built outside the fence surrounding LC39B so that the small-launch vehicles launched from that location would not have to compete with the launches scheduled for LC39B.
LC-48 has less than 39C

Offline soltasto

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #41 on: 02/18/2023 05:27 pm »
NASA designed LC-48 as a “clean pad” offering approximately 30,000 square feet of paved area available for the launch system,


It is very clean.   Not even utilities.  They are just concreted acreage and nothing more.   
A silly idea.   Much like 39C.   And how much use has that got.

I imagine SLC-46 has utilities, in which case that explains why astra went there and not to LC-48.
Any plans to bring at least electricity there?

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #42 on: 02/28/2023 06:32 pm »
Some additional files have been added to the recent RFI for concepts and operation of LC-48:

LC-48 Artist sketch of both pads-north and south
LC-48 Key Map
LC-48 Neighboring Pads
LC-48 Site Boundary
LC-48 North Boundary Sketch

Nothing very interesting - I've copied the Key Map for LC-48A below.
https://sam.gov/opp/cd18acfc7c384583b54fc79839c55e3c/view

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #43 on: 02/28/2023 08:11 pm »
Some additional files have been added to the recent RFI for concepts and operation of LC-48:

<snip>

Nothing very interesting - I've copied the Key Map for LC-48A below.
<snip>
Someone at NASA think launch providers will use liquid Hydrogen at the LC-48 complex as indicated on the key map.  ::)

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Launch Complex-48
« Reply #44 on: 03/15/2023 08:24 pm »
Some additional files have been added to the recent RFI for concepts and operation of LC-48:

<snip>

Nothing very interesting - I've copied the Key Map for LC-48A below.
<snip>
Someone at NASA think launch providers will use liquid Hydrogen at the LC-48 complex as indicated on the key map.  ::)

LC-48 was initially designed with the Boeing XS-1 in mind, which would have used liquid hydrogen for fuel.

Now, it's just a placeholder. The RFI only says "fuel"
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