Author Topic: SpaceX McGregor Facilities  (Read 62639 times)

Offline ChileVerde

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SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« on: 07/19/2013 10:00 pm »

I'm not at all sure this deserves a new thread, but I didn't find one that quite addressed the question. If there is one, please let me know.

At any rate, the SpaceX site at McGregor has the well-known Falcon 9 test stand, a new one being built right next to it, and, some distance away, the Grasshopper pad.  But there are also another couple of nearby sites, one small, one somewhat substanial, that seem to be connected to the identified two by roads and chronology.  I've looked around but haven't IDed the latter two.  See attached picture, where the known sites are circled in yellow and the UNIDs in red.

Is it known what those red ones are?
"I canít tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #1 on: 07/19/2013 10:08 pm »
I believe that the "Unidentified New Construction 1" is the SuperDraco test facilities.

Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #2 on: 07/19/2013 11:54 pm »
Uninformed guess that the building at the bottom of site #2 is a high bay, given the depth of its shadow as compared with other shorter buildings on the site. High aspect ratio, so maybe for processing/storing stages?

Offline corrodedNut

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #3 on: 07/20/2013 12:07 am »
Check out the first few pages of the original McGregor Testing Update thread:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28332.0

My OP is a little out of date now, but some of is still the same.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 12:11 am by corrodedNut »

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #4 on: 07/20/2013 12:40 am »
Uninformed guess that the building at the bottom of site #2 is a high bay, given the depth of its shadow as compared with other shorter buildings on the site. High aspect ratio, so maybe for processing/storing stages?

That would be my guess. Notice that it went up recently, within a year. The buildings just to the north of it are also quite recent. The northernmost seems to have been a pre-existing one. 
"I canít tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #5 on: 07/20/2013 01:00 am »
Check out the first few pages of the original McGregor Testing Update thread:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28332.0

My OP is a little out of date now, but some of is still the same.

Thanks, you did get there first.  Keeping track of the McGregor site facilities is probably worth doing.
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Offline Kabloona

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #6 on: 07/20/2013 03:22 am »
I believe that the "Unidentified New Construction 1" is the SuperDraco test facilities.

corrodedNut's first post in the other McGregor thread (see above) marks that as a Grasshopper pad, and that seems more likely to me as it it's near the other GH pad and has a similar shape.

He has the Super Draco test site marked at a different location.

Offline Jason1701

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #7 on: 07/20/2013 06:06 am »
I believe that the "Unidentified New Construction 1" is the SuperDraco test facilities.

corrodedNut's first post in the other McGregor thread (see above) marks that as a Grasshopper pad, and that seems more likely to me as it it's near the other GH pad and has a similar shape.

He has the Super Draco test site marked at a different location.

I think Lars was right. There is no need for two GH pads.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 06:07 am by Jason1701 »

Offline corrodedNut

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #8 on: 07/20/2013 12:51 pm »
I believe the video showing the first super-draco firing (horizontally) was conducted at the regular (vacuum) draco facility located between the blockhouse and the big test stand. That's why I labeled it such in my old post. This was a temporary measure, intended to speed development of super-draco. Since then, all testing has moved to the new, dedicated super-draco stand (vertical) north of the grasshopper pad (Unidentified New Construction 1).

The new, large hangar at the southern end of the campus (Unidentified New Construction 2) is almost exactly the same size as the hangar at SLC-4E Vandenberg, so I speculate that it is for FH integration, even though it is somewhat far from the new FH test stand.

SpaceX calls the cluster of test stands just northeast of the blockhouse the "small engines" area, it includes the MerlinVac stand, the 2nd stage stand, and a pair of Merlin test cells. The horizontal stands used for Merlin1A and Kestrel during F1 development have since been deleted.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 01:09 pm by corrodedNut »

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #9 on: 07/20/2013 01:41 pm »

The new, large hangar at the southern end of the campus (Unidentified New Construction 2) is almost exactly the same size as the hangar at SLC-4E Vandenberg, so I speculate that it is for FH integration, even though it is somewhat far from the new FH test stand.

Whatever the large hanger is for, it went up rapidly in 2012. The attached pictures show bare dirt on November 2, 2011 and an externally complete hangar on December 12, 2012.
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Offline corrodedNut

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #10 on: 07/20/2013 01:43 pm »

The new, large hangar at the southern end of the campus (Unidentified New Construction 2) is almost exactly the same size as the hangar at SLC-4E Vandenberg, so I speculate that it is for FH integration, even though it is somewhat far from the new FH test stand.

Whatever the large hanger is for, it went up rapidly in 2012. The attached pictures show bare dirt on November 2, 2011 and an externally complete hangar on December 12, 2012.

And a nice, wide road coming out of both ends, with large radius turns.

Offline woods170

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #11 on: 07/22/2013 10:16 am »

The new, large hangar at the southern end of the campus (Unidentified New Construction 2) is almost exactly the same size as the hangar at SLC-4E Vandenberg, so I speculate that it is for FH integration, even though it is somewhat far from the new FH test stand.

Whatever the large hanger is for, it went up rapidly in 2012. The attached pictures show bare dirt on November 2, 2011 and an externally complete hangar on December 12, 2012.

And a nice, wide road coming out of both ends, with large radius turns.

FH

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #12 on: 07/22/2013 12:58 pm »
FH

Yes, it's hard to see what else it could be for. 

Speaking of FH, is any recent photography of the new large test stand on the north side of the site available?  Its configuration might be revealing.
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Offline CardBoardBoxProcessor

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #13 on: 07/22/2013 08:30 pm »
also note the rather huge concrete slab just outside the new large hanger. It is almost as big as the hanger itself. think they are building a TE (minus the L) in there?

Offline meekGee

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #14 on: 07/22/2013 08:36 pm »
They also paved a larger car parking area.
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Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #15 on: 07/22/2013 08:44 pm »
They also paved a larger car parking area.

Apropos of which, there are around a hundred cars parked around the area as of the Dec. 2012 GE image. Clearly there were a lot of SpaceXers toiling in the southern part of the site.
"I canít tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #16 on: 07/22/2013 08:52 pm »
I believe that the "Unidentified New Construction 1" is the SuperDraco test facilities.

Looking at this UNC1, I have a puzzlement. The facility itself looks like it could well be a two-cell engine test stand.  But what's that large leaf-shaped scar on the ground to the west of it?  I first thought it was just where grass and other plantae had been burned off during a test, but looking at the December 2012 GE image and the previous one leaves me scratching my head a bit.  The area doesn't seem to be quite aligned with the axis of the cells, the ground looks broken up, and there are several largish things in the area which might or might not have been there previously.

"I canít tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #17 on: 07/22/2013 09:07 pm »
Ok,

     I think I have figured out some of the mysteries behind the new construction and odd patches on the ground near the Grasshopper launch pad.

     Construction Area 1; A new launch pad.  Using both the shadow of the tower in the construction area and the shadow of a nearby water tower, I figured the tower in the construction area is much to compact and tall to be a test stand.  The water tower for noise suppression/fire suppression is a logical outgrowth there.  The road leading to the new construction is much more suited to being a tow road for a rocket than for test articles.

     Construction Area 2;  The highbay facility is very similar to the facility at teh Cape, where they build, assemble and maybe in the future, refurbish stages and teh spacecraft that are launched.

     The odd marks off to one side of the Grasshopper pad.  Simple scorch and blow down marks.  As it hovers, a great deal of air and gasses are blown directly down.  As such, the Grasshopper is going to make its' mark upon the land.

Just a thought...

Jason
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #18 on: 07/22/2013 09:17 pm »
Looking at this UNC1, I have a puzzlement. The facility itself looks like it could well be a two-cell engine test stand.  But what's that large leaf-shaped scar on the ground to the west of it?  I first thought it was just where grass and other plantae had been burned off during a test, but looking at the December 2012 GE image and the previous one leaves me scratching my head a bit.  The area doesn't seem to be quite aligned with the axis of the cells, the ground looks broken up, and there are several largish things in the area which might or might not have been there previously.
There have been EPA cleanup efforts at the former Naval and Army ordnance sites that were located here before Beal and SpaceX.  This might or might not be related to those efforts.  The "before" photos seem to show signs of previous digging, which makes me wonder.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Lars_J

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Re: SpaceX McGregor Facilities
« Reply #19 on: 07/22/2013 09:40 pm »
Construction Area 1; A new launch pad.  Using both the shadow of the tower in the construction area and the shadow of a nearby water tower, I figured the tower in the construction area is much to compact and tall to be a test stand.  The water tower for noise suppression/fire suppression is a logical outgrowth there.  The road leading to the new construction is much more suited to being a tow road for a rocket than for test articles.
Just a thought...

Jason

No. This does not look *anything* like a GH pad. If it does, then pretty much anything in their facility looks like a "launch pad". Let me illustrate:
« Last Edit: 07/22/2013 09:43 pm by Lars_J »

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