Author Topic: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)  (Read 264643 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Third thread for Pad 39A in its SpaceX role.

Thread 1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36100.0

Thread 2:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38802.0

Thread 3:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41015.0

--

39A News Articles:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/?s=39A

--

L2 39A - From shovel in the ground to the latest in updates and about 300 photos from KSC folk getting close to it - and rendering envisioning, etc.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34978.0

This is updates and discussion, but let's make sure posts are useful. This one is about the pad, remember.
« Last Edit: 08/15/2019 03:55 pm by gongora »
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Offline Craig_VG

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #1 on: 05/11/2018 05:27 pm »
Attachment 1) Here's a 3925  9964px panorama of the FSS as of 2018-5-11. I didn't have much time on the pad so I was moving fast, it's not incredibly sharp but still provides a lot of detail and insight (note the DEMO paint on top)


Attachment 2) This is a 5818  12060px panorama of the Only Slightly Bent (1046) and FSS in a profile view as of 2018-5-10 (posted in Bangabandhu-1 thread as well)


« Last Edit: 05/11/2018 05:49 pm by Craig_VG »

Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #2 on: 05/11/2018 05:34 pm »
Attachment 1) Here's a 3925  9964px panorama of the FSS as of 2018-5-11. I didn't have much time on the pad so I was moving fast, it's not incredibly sharp but still provides a lot of detail and insight (note the DEMO paint on top)

I notice lots of wires and ducts that were just cut off and are hanging there.  Looks like a little more cleanup left.  I wonder if and when they will start to enclose the FSS.  We are going by their illustrations of an enclosed structure, here, but that might have been artistic license.

Offline rpapo

Attachment 1) Here's a 3925  9964px panorama of the FSS as of 2018-5-11. I didn't have much time on the pad so I was moving fast, it's not incredibly sharp but still provides a lot of detail and insight (note the DEMO paint on top)

I notice lots of wires and ducts that were just cut off and are hanging there.  Looks like a little more cleanup left.  I wonder if and when they will start to enclose the FSS.  We are going by their illustrations of an enclosed structure, here, but that might have been artistic license.
Depends on the CGI creator's priorities and schedule pressure, but I do know one thing: a flat sided boxy structure is far easier to model than a open girder structure with lots of visible interior details.  The guy who created the video may have done it that way to save time and effort.  The focus was the rocket after all, not the service tower.
Following the space program since before Apollo 8.

Offline leetdan

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2018 10:12 pm »
Here's an easier question: Why do it?  What benefit is there to justify the cost of cladding a tower, one that has survived exposure to the elements for nearly 40 years?

Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2018 10:18 pm »
Here's an easier question: Why do it?  What benefit is there to justify the cost of cladding a tower, one that has survived exposure to the elements for nearly 40 years?

You can temperature/humidity control what's inside the cladding and protect it from deteriorating.  Maintenance on the tower is greatly simplified if it is not exposed to the elements.  Think of maintaining a shed vs. maintaining all of the tools, lawnmower, and tractor inside the shed.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #6 on: 05/11/2018 10:31 pm »
Here's an easier question: Why do it?  What benefit is there to justify the cost of cladding a tower, one that has survived exposure to the elements for nearly 40 years?

It has only survived because of a LOT of maintenance. That ocean air is brutal...

Offline deruch

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #7 on: 05/12/2018 01:13 am »
Enclosing the tower would be a big change in how the tower acts in high winds (e.g. hurricanes; this is Florida, remember).  There's more to consider than just if it would make maintenance cheaper/easier.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #8 on: 05/12/2018 07:13 pm »
Crew access arm?

Quote
I spy with my @SpaceX eye ...

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/995346732232921088

Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #9 on: 05/12/2018 08:50 pm »
Enclosing the tower would be a big change in how the tower acts in high winds (e.g. hurricanes; this is Florida, remember).  There's more to consider than just if it would make maintenance cheaper/easier.
Not at all.  The FSS is built stronger than the VAB, and they don't worry about the VAB.  The FSS would fail because of rust first.  I don't think wind is their primary concern.  It's the salt air, ultraviolet light, etc.

Online Herb Schaltegger

This topic has been discussed in prior threads. Pretty sure either Elon or Ms. Shotwell or some other SpaceX insider has confirmed that the enclosed FSS wasn't just artistic license. The enclosure isn't for humidity control, but blast mitigation (see, e.g., the current iteration of the LC-39A TEL). Jim has pointed out that sealing the entire structure to provide effective HVAC is basically not possible (as in: waaay to expensive to be worth it), as it was never designed for that.

On the other hand, the current TEL isn't "sealed" as such but per some L2 posts (*plug plug*) SpaceX is happy with how it's holding up to blast effects.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #11 on: 05/12/2018 10:26 pm »
Enclosing the tower would be a big change in how the tower acts in high winds (e.g. hurricanes; this is Florida, remember).  There's more to consider than just if it would make maintenance cheaper/easier.
Not at all.  The FSS is built stronger than the VAB, and they don't worry about the VAB.  The FSS would fail because of rust first.  I don't think wind is their primary concern.  It's the salt air, ultraviolet light, etc.

And the siding would rip off first before the structure took much wind loads.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #12 on: 05/12/2018 10:52 pm »
Enclosing the tower would be a big change in how the tower acts in high winds (e.g. hurricanes; this is Florida, remember).  There's more to consider than just if it would make maintenance cheaper/easier.
Not at all.  The FSS is built stronger than the VAB, and they don't worry about the VAB.  The FSS would fail because of rust first.  I don't think wind is their primary concern.  It's the salt air, ultraviolet light, etc.
And the siding would rip off first before the structure took much wind loads.

I used to manage a hangar built for two C-130's.  They didn't build it strong enough for tornado force winds, but it's held up to some pretty strong winds.  That cladding isn't going to be thin siding like you see in standard industrial buildings.  I think they have engineers to pick the right materials. 

Offline spacenut

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #13 on: 05/12/2018 10:58 pm »
Will the tower be used for crew or dissembled?

Offline IanThePineapple

Will the tower be used for crew or dissembled?

It will be used for crew, not disassembled (At least for a while)
« Last Edit: 05/13/2018 12:06 am by IanThePineapple »

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #15 on: 05/13/2018 12:15 am »
Enclosing the tower would be a big change in how the tower acts in high winds (e.g. hurricanes; this is Florida, remember).  There's more to consider than just if it would make maintenance cheaper/easier.
Not at all.  The FSS is built stronger than the VAB, and they don't worry about the VAB.  The FSS would fail because of rust first.  I don't think wind is their primary concern.  It's the salt air, ultraviolet light, etc.
And the siding would rip off first before the structure took much wind loads.

I used to manage a hangar built for two C-130's.  They didn't build it strong enough for tornado force winds, but it's held up to some pretty strong winds.  That cladding isn't going to be thin siding like you see in standard industrial buildings.  I think they have engineers to pick the right materials. 

Doing the engineering and picking materials that meet the needs of the space launch and salt air environment is no small thing.  There is a lot of learned lessons on the space coast and these facilities aren't easy or cheap.

The sea air environment is no joke.  unprotected materials don't last long.
Wildly optimistic prediction, Superheavy recovery on IFT-4 or IFT-5

Offline leetdan

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #16 on: 05/13/2018 02:50 am »
Again, why?  It already survives hurricanes and rocket blasts, it can't be contained enough to provide climate control, so what exactly is there to be gained?

Online Herb Schaltegger

Again, why?  It already survives hurricanes and rocket blasts, it can't be contained enough to provide climate control, so what exactly is there to be gained?

The first versions of SpaceX TEL's "survived" rocket blasts too. Didn't stop them from installing blast protection sheeting on the current 39A version.

As noted above, enclosing the 39A FSS will be for general blast protection. With a rough average of one Apollo/shuttle launch every 3 - 4 months, there was always plenty of time to schedule inspection, maintenance and repairs. SpaceX plans to use 39A a lot more often than that. Sheet metal panels will more than pay for themselves if it obviates some of that.
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Offline OnWithTheShow

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #18 on: 05/14/2018 02:17 am »
Crew access arm?

Quote
I spy with my @SpaceX eye ...

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/995346732232921088

Looks like they plan on it being on the ground for awhile if they are building a tent over it.

Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - SpaceX Modifications and Operations (Thread 4)
« Reply #19 on: 05/14/2018 02:18 am »
Crew access arm?

Quote
I spy with my @SpaceX eye ...

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/995346732232921088

Looks like they plan on it being on the ground for awhile if they are building a tent over it.

Or they had a spare tent.

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