Author Topic: SpaceX First Launch Site, SLC-3W Today  (Read 2976 times)

Offline Helodriver

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SpaceX First Launch Site, SLC-3W Today
« on: 10/09/2013 08:40 pm »
Recent shots of the apparently abandoned SLC-3W on Vandenberg AFB. Previously home to Atlas and Thor vehicles it was stripped to bare concrete and modified for use by the Falcon 1 vehicle in 2005. A steel approach deck and launch mount centered over the preexisting flame trench left to the elements are all that remain of SpaceX's first foray into the rocket business.

Images shared with permission of the source.

Pad surface:
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVO_zps3a491269.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVN_zps66d23848.jpg

Umbilical tower mount: http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVG_zps00b52c84.jpg

Falcon 1 launch mount with ULA's SLC-3E:
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVH_zps7484469d.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVI_zps77fdc2d9.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVJ_zps582a3b16.jpg

Launch mount surface:
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVK_zpse042dbee.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVM_zps98f957aa.jpg

Flame duct and blast scarring:
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVL_zpsbec46d0b.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVP_zps937cba8f.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVQ_zps65543224.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVR_zps897e5713.jpg
http://i1351.photobucket.com/albums/p783/spacecoaster1/NVS_zps276ea4e1.jpg

While there are no plans to resume Falcon 1 flights, the simplicity and robustness of these structures, despite them having been exposed and unmaintained since 2005, does not seem to rule out their future use. The prior stumbling block, overflight of SLC-4, is now moot with it being a SpaceX facility.







 

Offline cambrianera

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Re: SpaceX First Launch Site, SLC-3W Today
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/2013 08:51 pm »
Very interesting, thanks!
Oh to be young again. . .

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