Author Topic: Space Force looks at options for relieving Cape Canaveral launch congestion  (Read 3696 times)

Offline zubenelgenubi

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SN, Space Force looks at options for relieving Cape Canaveral launch congestion, May 19, Jeff Foust
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WASHINGTON — With increasing activity pushing Florida’s launch sites to their limits, the Space Force is studying ways to move some of that activity elsewhere, including to California.
Many interesting 🤔 items in the article, but I would have to quote almost or all of it to express them--and that would be a copyright ©️ violation.

Please do use limited article quotes to discuss further.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2023 11:37 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Online catdlr

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It's summarizes to these three topics:
1) Running out of launch pads and opening up new ones.
2) Bi-directional launch trajectories from both the west and east coast
3) Employees to staff this increased workload.
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Offline deltaV

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The article says:
Quote
The Defense Department has offered a legislative proposal to create a “port authority” model for launch operations on the Eastern and Western Ranges, allowing the Space Force to charge commercial users range fees to recoup its costs.

Yeah things that are free tend to have imbalances between supply and demand.

Offline Vahe231991

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The SLC-6 pad has been recently leased to SpaceX for future use by the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and given that the Delta IV Heavy has only two launches left, the SLC-37B launch pad that began to be used for the Delta IV in 2001 could be blown up with explosives by US Space Force personnel.

Offline Orbiter

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I'm surprised Pad 17 hasn't been snagged up yet. Did Moon Express ever even do anything there?
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Offline Vahe231991

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I'm surprised Pad 17 hasn't been snagged up yet. Did Moon Express ever even do anything there?
Moon Express never ground tested any of its planned lunar landers at the demolished Pad 17 launch site.

Link:
https://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2020/11/19/moon-express-nasa-kennedy-space-center-florida/3652769001/

Online Arb

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According to Stack Exchange[1] orbital insertion typically occurs at 1200-1500 miles downrange or ~2000-2500 km (someone here will know the precise distances for F9 & FH).

Looking at satellite imagery the terrain east of Vandenberg is surprisingly sparsely populated for further than that because Rockies: 1,200 miles gets you to Oklahoma City; 1,500 miles halfway from there to Memphis.

Provided care is taken to avoid the few large conurbations (Flagstaff, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, etc, etc) there look to be many potential trajectories that overfly nothing of consequence.

[1] https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/24585/how-far-around-the-world-does-a-rocket-travel-before-it-enters-orbit
« Last Edit: 05/23/2023 10:00 pm by Arb »

Offline Jim

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The SLC-6 pad has been recently leased to SpaceX for future use by the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and given that the Delta IV Heavy has only two launches left, the SLC-37B launch pad that began to be used for the Delta IV in 2001 could be blown up with explosives by US Space Force personnel.

No and no.

A.  The next user of SLC-37 might want the pad as is.
b.  It would not be USSF personnel.  ULA would be the ones to take it down and still they would not do it, it would be a demo contractor.
c.  Explosives might not be used.

Offline Jim

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I'm surprised Pad 17 hasn't been snagged up yet. Did Moon Express ever even do anything there?

They are try not to have any pads south of Central Rd.

Offline Jim

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According to Stack Exchange[1] orbital insertion typically occurs at 1200-1500 miles downrange or ~2000-2500 km (someone here will know the precise distances for F9 & FH).

Looking at satellite imagery the terrain east of Vandenberg is surprisingly sparsely populated for further than that because Rockies: 1,200 miles gets you to Oklahoma City; 1,500 miles halfway from there to Memphis.


there is enough population within 50 miles due east of VSFB to nix the idea

Offline edkyle99

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According to Stack Exchange[1] orbital insertion typically occurs at 1200-1500 miles downrange or ~2000-2500 km (someone here will know the precise distances for F9 & FH).

Looking at satellite imagery the terrain east of Vandenberg is surprisingly sparsely populated for further than that because Rockies: 1,200 miles gets you to Oklahoma City; 1,500 miles halfway from there to Memphis.


there is enough population within 50 miles due east of VSFB to nix the idea
Agreed.  Note that article says that Maj. Gen. Stephen Purdy did not give specifics about the idea to reach lower inclination orbits from Vandenberg.  I wonder if they are merely looking at bigger doglegs downrange, or even thinking about westward retrograde as a "low inclination" alternative. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Zed_Noir

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The SLC-6 pad has been recently leased to SpaceX for future use by the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and given that the Delta IV Heavy has only two launches left, the SLC-37B launch pad that began to be used for the Delta IV in 2001 could be blown up with explosives by US Space Force personnel.

No and no.

A.  The next user of SLC-37 might want the pad as is.
<snip>

It appears to me that the SLC-37B pad after some modifications could be the ideal Falcon 9 relief launch pad as well as an alternate Falcon Heavy pad if they keep the mobile service structure.


 

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