Author Topic: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights  (Read 56398 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« on: 09/26/2022 09:45 pm »
From today's Crew-5 FRR teleconference:

SpaceX is working on a plan for pad 40 to have both a Dragon cargo and crew capability. Gerst said some hardware for pad 40 has already been ordered.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #1 on: 09/26/2022 09:55 pm »
SpaceX have agreed with NASA to do this work.

Detailed plans still being worked, NASA is already participating in design reviews of equipment needed at 40.

Work will all be done before any Starship operations at 39A.

Offline wannamoonbase

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5378
  • Denver, CO
    • U.S. Metric Association
  • Liked: 3085
  • Likes Given: 3817
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #2 on: 09/26/2022 10:14 pm »
SpaceX have agreed with NASA to do this work.

Detailed plans still being worked, NASA is already participating in design reviews of equipment needed at 40.

Work will all be done before any Starship operations at 39A.

This is going to be very exciting to see built.  Adding crew capability to SLC40 is cool and I look forward to seeing SpaceX's solution to the structure.
Wildly optimistic prediction, Superheavy recovery on IFT-4 or IFT-5

Offline ZachS09

  • Space Savant
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8393
  • Roanoke, TX
  • Liked: 2339
  • Likes Given: 2053
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #3 on: 09/26/2022 10:20 pm »
After the crewed and cargo launch upgrades are made to SLC-40, does that mean SpaceX will stop using LC-39A for Crew and Cargo Dragon missions?
Liftoff for St. Jude's! Go Dragon, Go Falcon, Godspeed Inspiration4!

Offline ulm_atms

  • Rocket Junky
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 920
  • To boldly go where no government has gone before.
  • Liked: 1549
  • Likes Given: 742
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #4 on: 09/26/2022 10:46 pm »
After the crewed and cargo launch upgrades are made to SLC-40, does that mean SpaceX will stop using LC-39A for Crew and Cargo Dragon missions?
I would guess no.  SLC-40 is being upgraded to support cargo/crew in case something happens with SS/SH and LC-39A.  Then NASA loses it's only non-Russian access to the ISS again, or until Starliner is operational and can fill in if need be.

Figure NASA's cargo/crew goes from LC-39A and all the private cargo/crew go from SLC-40.  That way both are regularly exercised and either can move from one to the other if something bad happens.  win/win for both SpaceX or NASA.  Redundancies save schedules!

Offline whitelancer64

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #5 on: 09/26/2022 10:55 pm »
After the crewed and cargo launch upgrades are made to SLC-40, does that mean SpaceX will stop using LC-39A for Crew and Cargo Dragon missions?
I would guess no.  SLC-40 is being upgraded to support cargo/crew in case something happens with SS/SH and LC-39A.  Then NASA loses it's only non-Russian access to the ISS again, or until Starliner is operational and can fill in if need be.

Figure NASA's cargo/crew goes from LC-39A and all the private cargo/crew go from SLC-40.  That way both are regularly exercised and either can move from one to the other if something bad happens.  win/win for both SpaceX or NASA.  Redundancies save schedules!

There is one potential issue with private crew flying from SLC-40 -- it is on military controlled property. That may be an issue if there are foreign crew on the flight. It's much easier for foreign nationals to go through KSC security than Space Force security.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline ulm_atms

  • Rocket Junky
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 920
  • To boldly go where no government has gone before.
  • Liked: 1549
  • Likes Given: 742
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #6 on: 09/26/2022 11:47 pm »
After the crewed and cargo launch upgrades are made to SLC-40, does that mean SpaceX will stop using LC-39A for Crew and Cargo Dragon missions?
I would guess no.  SLC-40 is being upgraded to support cargo/crew in case something happens with SS/SH and LC-39A.  Then NASA loses it's only non-Russian access to the ISS again, or until Starliner is operational and can fill in if need be.

Figure NASA's cargo/crew goes from LC-39A and all the private cargo/crew go from SLC-40.  That way both are regularly exercised and either can move from one to the other if something bad happens.  win/win for both SpaceX or NASA.  Redundancies save schedules!

There is one potential issue with private crew flying from SLC-40 -- it is on military controlled property. That may be an issue if there are foreign crew on the flight. It's much easier for foreign nationals to go through KSC security than Space Force security.
I didn't say there would be edge cases.  That just shows two also allow flexibility too!

But I don't think that would be too much an issue.  Just have a secure pickup point outside the base(security vetted by the base) where a very obvious SPACEX bus is waiting.  Get in, notice it has blacked out windows, and it takes you to SpaceX's location at SLC-40.  You get out and you are in SpaceX's facilities.  You board the rocket and off you go.  Try and get out of the bus when not supposed to...bad day.

Also, Blue Origin is going to have the same issue.  Might as well figure this all out now instead of waiting.

Offline alugobi

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1480
  • Liked: 1543
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #7 on: 09/27/2022 12:12 am »
What's the concern?  A non-citizen might do what, exactly?  Take a picture of the Big Board?  (Remember that?)

NASA is flying a Russian on an upcoming crew mission.  No doubt residing and training in NASA facilities.  Is that OK because it's not a military base?

An edgy edge case, to be sure.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39253
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25205
  • Likes Given: 12104
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #8 on: 09/27/2022 01:28 am »
Sometimes issues are less practical and nature and more procedural.

But anyway, another benefit of this is that if LC39A gets converted to pure Starship operations, then SpaceX keeps two crew launch vehicles.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37429
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21434
  • Likes Given: 428
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #9 on: 09/27/2022 01:47 am »

But I don't think that would be too much an issue.  Just have a secure pickup point outside the base(security vetted by the base) where a very obvious SPACEX bus is waiting.  Get in, notice it has blacked out windows, and it takes you to SpaceX's location at SLC-40.  You get out and you are in SpaceX's facilities.  You board the rocket and off you go.  Try and get out of the bus when not supposed to...bad day.

Also, Blue Origin is going to have the same issue.  Might as well figure this all out now instead of waiting.

Nope, Nope, nope.   The issue is not visual.   Just being on base is the issue.  Also, they have to be on base for more than just launch day and they have to move around.

They are not going to bend.   I had to deal with getting foreign national to SLC-41, which is surrounded by KSC property.  The Air Force would not give in for just 1 km into their property.  Had to escort them for the whole time they were there working a mission.
« Last Edit: 09/27/2022 01:53 am by Jim »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37429
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21434
  • Likes Given: 428
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #10 on: 09/27/2022 01:48 am »
What's the concern?  A non-citizen might do what, exactly?  Take a picture of the Big Board?  (Remember that?)

NASA is flying a Russian on an upcoming crew mission.  No doubt residing and training in NASA facilities.  Is that OK because it's not a military base?

Yep

Offline distancesquared

  • Member
  • Posts: 4
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 6
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #11 on: 09/27/2022 03:06 am »
On top of redundancy, I can see this helping to increase experience and solidify protocols for crewed launches, something that's an eventual central pillar to near-, medium- and long-term starship operations and goals.

Online meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14123
  • N. California
  • Liked: 13996
  • Likes Given: 1390
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #12 on: 09/27/2022 03:37 am »

But I don't think that would be too much an issue.  Just have a secure pickup point outside the base(security vetted by the base) where a very obvious SPACEX bus is waiting.  Get in, notice it has blacked out windows, and it takes you to SpaceX's location at SLC-40.  You get out and you are in SpaceX's facilities.  You board the rocket and off you go.  Try and get out of the bus when not supposed to...bad day.

Also, Blue Origin is going to have the same issue.  Might as well figure this all out now instead of waiting.

Nope, Nope, nope.   The issue is not visual.   Just being on base is the issue.  Also, they have to be on base for more than just launch day and they have to move around.

They are not going to bend.   I had to deal with getting foreign national to SLC-41, which is surrounded by KSC property.  The Air Force would not give in for just 1 km into their property.  Had to escort them for the whole time they were there working a mission.
What's the problem with an escort?  I used to be a foreign national, and got escorted around a whole bunch...  usually with everyone eye-rolling, but I was just happy there were procedures in place.

Funny thing, once the hatch closes, I guess another astronaut will have to be the escort...  All the way till they clear the coastline...
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37429
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21434
  • Likes Given: 428
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #13 on: 09/27/2022 03:43 am »
What's the problem with an escort?  I used to be a foreign national, and got escorted around a whole bunch...  usually with everyone eye-rolling, but I was just happy there were procedures in place.


Extra costs and people

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #14 on: 09/27/2022 08:51 am »
Reuters first wrote about potential upgrades to pad 40 in June (see https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48478.msg2376885#msg2376885), but SpaceX didnít comment at the time.

Itíll be interesting to see how SpaceX manage the work at the pad to reduce launch impacts, as Eric notes:

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1574635766923526146

Quote
I'm sure SpaceX would prefer not to, even if it's obviously the right thing to do, as constructing all that new infrastructure at LC-40 with a strict deadline is probably going to limit launch cadence from its most important pad.

After all Elon wants a 100 launches in 2023!

Online AmigaClone

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #15 on: 09/27/2022 09:04 am »
Reuters first wrote about potential upgrades to pad 40 in June (see https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48478.msg2376885#msg2376885), but SpaceX didnít comment at the time.

Itíll be interesting to see how SpaceX manage the work at the pad to reduce launch impacts, as Eric notes:

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1574635766923526146

Quote
I'm sure SpaceX would prefer not to, even if it's obviously the right thing to do, as constructing all that new infrastructure at LC-40 with a strict deadline is probably going to limit launch cadence from its most important pad.

After all Elon wants a 100 launches in 2023!

I can imagine the foundation work for the new crew tower being the reason for the longest interruption of launches from SLC40. The tower itself possibly would be built at Roberts' Road and a tower segment making it's way to the pad less than 24 hours after a launch.

That segment would be stacked while the pad is being refurbished for the next launch. after which will be a case of repeating the process until the tower is complete with the crew arm being installed between two other launches.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12082
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 18057
  • Likes Given: 12083
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #16 on: 09/27/2022 10:13 am »
I can imagine the foundation work for the new crew tower being the reason for the longest interruption of launches from SLC40. The tower itself possibly would be built at Roberts' Road and a tower segment making it's way to the pad less than 24 hours after a launch.

That segment would be stacked while the pad is being refurbished for the next launch. after which will be a case of repeating the process until the tower is complete with the crew arm being installed between two other launches.

Its not just the tower and crew arm. Modifications to the TEL are required as well. As well as an crew landing zone after they have evacuated the tower via the basket line. And an escape route for the crew evac vehicle. The tower in itself will host a whole bunch of systems to host Crew Ingress/Egress & Cargo Loading needs, as well as provisions for crew evacuation. And I'm still overlooking a host of other stuff.
Stacking the actual segments of the tower is not so much the problem. What is much more time consuming is connecting all the stuff in the segments, to turn them into functional units. That work also has to stop each time the pad is used for a launch. Which, with the planned launch rate of 100 missions in 2023, is going to happen a lot.

Offline Craigles

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #17 on: 09/27/2022 03:47 pm »
In adjacent threads, several of us have been wondering where the new starship-sized tower parts will go. Since we are seeing immediate impetus to build the SLC-40 Dragon upgrades, could this tower be an adaptation of existing SpaceX designs, and active SS Stage-0 construction tooling, to build part of the Dragon access at SLC-40?
People are wondering where the next tower would be located why not LC-39a? They already have two towers near(ish) to each other, why not three? There seems to be plenty of room there still and both towers could share the same GSE systems.
I'd rather be here now

Offline StuffOfInterest

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 925
  • Just interested in space
  • McLean, Virginia, USA
  • Liked: 887
  • Likes Given: 226
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #18 on: 09/27/2022 03:52 pm »
Its not just the tower and crew arm. Modifications to the TEL are required as well.
It may be easier to just build another TEL.  The one at LC-40 has been replaced a couple of times already.

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5430
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1792
  • Likes Given: 1291
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #19 on: 09/27/2022 08:51 pm »
I can imagine the foundation work for the new crew tower being the reason for the longest interruption of launches from SLC40. The tower itself possibly would be built at Roberts' Road and a tower segment making it's way to the pad less than 24 hours after a launch.

That segment would be stacked while the pad is being refurbished for the next launch. after which will be a case of repeating the process until the tower is complete with the crew arm being installed between two other launches.

Its not just the tower and crew arm. Modifications to the TEL are required as well. As well as an crew landing zone after they have evacuated the tower via the basket line. And an escape route for the crew evac vehicle. The tower in itself will host a whole bunch of systems to host Crew Ingress/Egress & Cargo Loading needs, as well as provisions for crew evacuation. And I'm still overlooking a host of other stuff.
Stacking the actual segments of the tower is not so much the problem. What is much more time consuming is connecting all the stuff in the segments, to turn them into functional units. That work also has to stop each time the pad is used for a launch. Which, with the planned launch rate of 100 missions in 2023, is going to happen a lot.
Maybe SpaceX will do a service gantry tower with a crew/cargo access arm and emergency egress roller coasters system.

Offline ulm_atms

  • Rocket Junky
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 920
  • To boldly go where no government has gone before.
  • Liked: 1549
  • Likes Given: 742
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #20 on: 09/27/2022 10:15 pm »
What's the problem with an escort?  I used to be a foreign national, and got escorted around a whole bunch...  usually with everyone eye-rolling, but I was just happy there were procedures in place.


Extra costs and people
I don't see that as a problem.  Of course an escort requires that.  ???

Question.  Would SpaceX have to copy LC-39A's emergency facilities exactly or would they be allow to "innovate"?  I could see two different emergency scripts depending on LC being a pain but curious if anyone has a more concrete answer.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #21 on: 09/27/2022 11:01 pm »
What's the problem with an escort?  I used to be a foreign national, and got escorted around a whole bunch...  usually with everyone eye-rolling, but I was just happy there were procedures in place.


Extra costs and people
I don't see that as a problem.  Of course an escort requires that.  ???

Question.  Would SpaceX have to copy LC-39A's emergency facilities exactly or would they be allow to "innovate"?  I could see two different emergency scripts depending on LC being a pain but curious if anyone has a more concrete answer.

The military also needs to do a background check on each foreign national you're taking on base. The person needs to have a visa or other international documentation that indicates their need to be on a US military base. It's a whole separate vetting process you don't have to do with US citizens.

They don't have to copy what's at LC-39A. Look at what ULA did at SLC-41, it's not even similar. SpaceX leveraged existing infrastructure at LC-39A, but they can do what they like at SLC-40, so long as it meets requirements.  Hopefully SpaceX will release some concept drawings soon.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14123
  • N. California
  • Liked: 13996
  • Likes Given: 1390
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #22 on: 09/28/2022 12:31 am »


What's the problem with an escort?  I used to be a foreign national, and got escorted around a whole bunch...  usually with everyone eye-rolling, but I was just happy there were procedures in place.


Extra costs and people
I don't see that as a problem.  Of course an escort requires that.  ???

Question.  Would SpaceX have to copy LC-39A's emergency facilities exactly or would they be allow to "innovate"?  I could see two different emergency scripts depending on LC being a pain but curious if anyone has a more concrete answer.

The military also needs to do a background check on each foreign national you're taking on base. The person needs to have a visa or other international documentation that indicates their need to be on a US military base. It's a whole separate vetting process you don't have to do with US citizens.

They don't have to copy what's at LC-39A. Look at what ULA did at SLC-41, it's not even similar. SpaceX leveraged existing infrastructure at LC-39A, but they can do what they like at SLC-40, so long as it meets requirements.  Hopefully SpaceX will release some concept drawings soon.

Sure but they also have to train the person to fly to space, right?  I think the cost of the escort and document check is forgivable.

And yes of course on infrastructure, agreed - but I lost track, was someone saying otherwise?
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Online ThatOldJanxSpirit

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 920
  • Liked: 1425
  • Likes Given: 3411
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #23 on: 09/29/2022 07:12 pm »
What's the problem with an escort?  I used to be a foreign national, and got escorted around a whole bunch...  usually with everyone eye-rolling, but I was just happy there were procedures in place.


Extra costs and people
I don't see that as a problem.  Of course an escort requires that.  ???

Question.  Would SpaceX have to copy LC-39A's emergency facilities exactly or would they be allow to "innovate"?  I could see two different emergency scripts depending on LC being a pain but curious if anyone has a more concrete answer.

Specifically, is the pad escape system requirements or risk driven?

Itís not obvious that a zip wire escape system would significantly reduce risk compared to hunkering down in Dragon and trusting in the LES, in particular for a vehicle where the crew are strapped in, the CAA is retracted, and the LES is armed prior to prop load.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37429
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21434
  • Likes Given: 428
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #24 on: 09/29/2022 07:29 pm »

Specifically, is the pad escape system requirements or risk driven?

Itís not obvious that a zip wire escape system would significantly reduce risk compared to hunkering down in Dragon and trusting in the LES, in particular for a vehicle where the crew are strapped in, the CAA is retracted, and the LES is armed prior to prop load.

Cost.   It is for occasions where it is safe to leave the vehicle but not stay in the area

Offline whitelancer64

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #25 on: 09/29/2022 08:04 pm »
What's the problem with an escort?  I used to be a foreign national, and got escorted around a whole bunch...  usually with everyone eye-rolling, but I was just happy there were procedures in place.


Extra costs and people
I don't see that as a problem.  Of course an escort requires that.  ???

Question.  Would SpaceX have to copy LC-39A's emergency facilities exactly or would they be allow to "innovate"?  I could see two different emergency scripts depending on LC being a pain but curious if anyone has a more concrete answer.

Specifically, is the pad escape system requirements or risk driven?

Itís not obvious that a zip wire escape system would significantly reduce risk compared to hunkering down in Dragon and trusting in the LES, in particular for a vehicle where the crew are strapped in, the CAA is retracted, and the LES is armed prior to prop load.

Slidewire or similar escape systems are not for crew who are already strapped into the capsule for launch.  It's for anyone working on the tower in case of an emergency or if other means of exit are blocked, particularly in the case of a fire.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline rsnellenberger

  • Amateur wood butcher
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 837
  • Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Liked: 371
  • Likes Given: 55
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #26 on: 09/29/2022 08:38 pm »

Specifically, is the pad escape system requirements or risk driven?

Itís not obvious that a zip wire escape system would significantly reduce risk compared to hunkering down in Dragon and trusting in the LES, in particular for a vehicle where the crew are strapped in, the CAA is retracted, and the LES is armed prior to prop load.

Cost.   It is for occasions where it is safe to leave the vehicle but not stay in the area

If cost is the main factor, that would leave the decision up to SpaceX whether or not to build, test, and maintain a complex slide wire system, versus accepting the risk of losing a booster (possibly - remember MR-1) in the event Dragon needs to leave the pad early.

Foust reported back in May 2018 that NASA had provided ASAP with a detailed report on the safety of SpaceX's "load-and-go" strategy for Crew Dragon that convinced ASAP that it could work. That'd be an interesting read...

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37429
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21434
  • Likes Given: 428
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #27 on: 09/29/2022 08:41 pm »

Specifically, is the pad escape system requirements or risk driven?

Itís not obvious that a zip wire escape system would significantly reduce risk compared to hunkering down in Dragon and trusting in the LES, in particular for a vehicle where the crew are strapped in, the CAA is retracted, and the LES is armed prior to prop load.

Cost.   It is for occasions where it is safe to leave the vehicle but not stay in the area

If cost is the main factor, that would leave the decision up to SpaceX whether or not to build, test, and maintain a complex slide wire system, versus accepting the risk of losing a booster (possibly - remember MR-1) in the event Dragon needs to leave the pad early.

Foust reported back in May 2018 that NASA had provided ASAP with a detailed report on the safety of SpaceX's "load-and-go" strategy for Crew Dragon that convinced ASAP that it could work. That'd be an interesting read...

still need it for ground crew

Offline darkenfast

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1531
  • Liked: 1827
  • Likes Given: 8664
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #28 on: 09/29/2022 09:02 pm »
I think SpaceX re-built the slidewire system on 39A, so it might be a case of building a second one to the same design. Not trivial, but not that expensive either. The tower won't need to be huge, because it won't carry the kind of systems that SS/SH needs. More like ULA's. The Crew Access Arm can be taken from the design that SpaceX used on 39A.

None of this is as cheap as it might look at first, but by launch complex standards it's not that expensive either. It's the kind of thing that SpaceX can do quickly.
Writer of Book and Lyrics for musicals "SCAR", "Cinderella!", and "Aladdin!". Retired Naval Security Group. "I think SCAR is a winner. Great score, [and] the writing is up there with the very best!"
-- Phil Henderson, Composer of the West End musical "The Far Pavilions".

Online meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14123
  • N. California
  • Liked: 13996
  • Likes Given: 1390
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #29 on: 09/29/2022 11:16 pm »
I think it'll be really cool if they make into an active system that can be used to load up the crew, just for kicks. It's so much cooler than a boring old elevator. :)
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline rsnellenberger

  • Amateur wood butcher
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 837
  • Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Liked: 371
  • Likes Given: 55
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #30 on: 09/30/2022 02:29 am »

Specifically, is the pad escape system requirements or risk driven?

Itís not obvious that a zip wire escape system would significantly reduce risk compared to hunkering down in Dragon and trusting in the LES, in particular for a vehicle where the crew are strapped in, the CAA is retracted, and the LES is armed prior to prop load.

Cost.   It is for occasions where it is safe to leave the vehicle but not stay in the area

If cost is the main factor, that would leave the decision up to SpaceX whether or not to build, test, and maintain a complex slide wire system, versus accepting the risk of losing a booster (possibly - remember MR-1) in the event Dragon needs to leave the pad early.

Foust reported back in May 2018 that NASA had provided ASAP with a detailed report on the safety of SpaceX's "load-and-go" strategy for Crew Dragon that convinced ASAP that it could work. That'd be an interesting read...

still need it for ground crew
Are there slidewire escape systems for ground crew from the upper levels of the Delta MST or Atlas VIF? I've never seen any reference to them...


Offline matthewkantar

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2055
  • Liked: 2494
  • Likes Given: 2190
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #31 on: 09/30/2022 02:36 am »
Are there slidewire escape systems for ground crew from the upper levels of the Delta MST or Atlas VIF? I've never seen any reference to them...

Not needed, no crew to assist astronauts into the vehicle while it is fully fueled and ďquiescent.Ē

Come to think of it, since SpaceX loads astros onto an unfueled vehicle, does load-n-go, need for slide wires would be different, no?

Edit: I mean on Delta, not Atlas.
« Last Edit: 09/30/2022 02:39 am by matthewkantar »

Offline rsnellenberger

  • Amateur wood butcher
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 837
  • Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Liked: 371
  • Likes Given: 55
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #32 on: 09/30/2022 05:08 am »
Are there slidewire escape systems for ground crew from the upper levels of the Delta MST or Atlas VIF? I've never seen any reference to them...

Not needed, no crew to assist astronauts into the vehicle while it is fully fueled and ďquiescent.Ē

Come to think of it, since SpaceX loads astros onto an unfueled vehicle, does load-n-go, need for slide wires would be different, no?

Edit: I mean on Delta, not Atlas.
I wouldn't expect there to be anything more than fast elevators in those structures, but defer on that question to people (like Jim) with real expertise.

The Falcon 9/Crew Dragon aren't like Saturn or Shuttle where you had ground crew and astronauts (backup and/or flight crews) working around and inside (capsule/orbiter) the upper levels of a fully fueled launch vehicle who'd need a quick escape strategy on a bad day.  The Crew Dragon ground crew leaves the pad 40 minutes before fueling begins at T-0:35:00, when the vehicle gets extra dangerous.  Before fueling, ground and flight crews can take the usual elevator down.  After fueling, only the flight crew is exposed to the extra danger -- and they're cocooned inside Dragon with suits, acceleration couches, and a LES if something happens. 

Of course, NASA can always insist on having an escape system for staff at the capsule access arm level, and SpaceX can always decide to build one "just because".  I just have difficulty thinking of how it'd be used outside multiple-implausible-failure scenarios (e.g., "can't detank + LES fails + hatch fails requires ground crew on hot pad to get crew out").
« Last Edit: 09/30/2022 05:12 am by rsnellenberger »

Online edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5986
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 9159
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #33 on: 09/30/2022 09:02 am »
Dragon 2 contains ~2.5 tonnes of toxic hypergolic propellants, and this is loaded prior to rollout. That's enough of a fire and respiratory hazard that a rapid egress system would be an effective risk reduction mechanism.

Offline litton4

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 596
  • Liked: 390
  • Likes Given: 148
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #34 on: 09/30/2022 10:19 am »
I think it'll be really cool if they make into an active system that can be used to load up the crew, just for kicks. It's so much cooler than a boring old elevator. :)


Been watching "Thunderbirds" or "Stingray" again, have we?

https://en-gb.facebook.com/GerryAndersonOfficial/videos/stingray-opening-titles-alternate-version/603909437089356/
Dave Condliffe

Offline rsnellenberger

  • Amateur wood butcher
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 837
  • Harbor Springs, Michigan
  • Liked: 371
  • Likes Given: 55
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #35 on: 09/30/2022 02:27 pm »
Dragon 2 contains ~2.5 tonnes of toxic hypergolic propellants, and this is loaded prior to rollout. That's enough of a fire and respiratory hazard that a rapid egress system would be an effective risk reduction mechanism.
Every payload installed at the Delta and Atlas pads is loaded with its hypergols before coming to the pad. This is a known and apparently acceptable risk.

Online meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14123
  • N. California
  • Liked: 13996
  • Likes Given: 1390
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #36 on: 09/30/2022 04:17 pm »
I think it'll be really cool if they make into an active system that can be used to load up the crew, just for kicks. It's so much cooler than a boring old elevator. :)


Been watching "Thunderbirds" or "Stingray" again, have we?

https://en-gb.facebook.com/GerryAndersonOfficial/videos/stingray-opening-titles-alternate-version/603909437089356/
The foundation of all my knowledge, clearly :)

"Get ready for action!  <Exsplooshsion>"  too funny.
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline litton4

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 596
  • Liked: 390
  • Likes Given: 148
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #37 on: 10/01/2022 01:01 pm »
I think it'll be really cool if they make into an active system that can be used to load up the crew, just for kicks. It's so much cooler than a boring old elevator. :)


Been watching "Thunderbirds" or "Stingray" again, have we?

https://en-gb.facebook.com/GerryAndersonOfficial/videos/stingray-opening-titles-alternate-version/603909437089356/
The foundation of all my knowledge, clearly :)

"Get ready Standby for action!  <Exsplooshsion>"  too funny.

Corrected!
Dave Condliffe

Online meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 14123
  • N. California
  • Liked: 13996
  • Likes Given: 1390
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #38 on: 10/01/2022 01:21 pm »
I think it'll be really cool if they make into an active system that can be used to load up the crew, just for kicks. It's so much cooler than a boring old elevator. :)


Been watching "Thunderbirds" or "Stingray" again, have we?

https://en-gb.facebook.com/GerryAndersonOfficial/videos/stingray-opening-titles-alternate-version/603909437089356/
The foundation of all my knowledge, clearly :)

"Get ready Standby for action!  &lt;Exsplooshsion&gt;"  too funny.

Corrected!
This is why I like posting on NSF where one can be among true domain experts :)
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #39 on: 10/10/2022 09:57 am »
https://twitter.com/carstenspete/status/1579275114088120320

Quote
More tower segments being built at hanger X Kennedy space center.
I was told they are building a launch tower at pad 40.
These could be for that.

We know SpaceX will put at tower at 40 to support crewed launches but I donít think thereís yet any direct evidence they are using a Starship tower design?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #40 on: 10/10/2022 10:10 am »
https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1579353711377526784

Quote
As soon as SpaceX and NASA confirmed that an LC-40 crew access tower was already in work, I got the feeling that it would have Starship tower heritage. It would be WAY overbuilt, just like 39A's FSS is for its current role, but the supply chain is already mostly in place.

This makes sense to me. Also it presumably gives a simpler migration path to transitioning pad 40 to Starship operations in the future?

Offline vaporcobra

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #41 on: 10/10/2022 08:01 pm »
Also it presumably gives a simpler migration path to transitioning pad 40 to Starship operations in the future?

Yes, someone also mentioned that on Twitter and made me double-check, and it looks like it may be possible to install a Dragon CAA on a full Starship tower without requiring a redesign of the Starship QD arm. So they could potentially just build a full Starship tower if the LC-40 Dragon access tower ends up being Starship-derived.

Beyond the obvious benefit that the supply chain is already in place, it doesn't hurt that a Dragon tower derived from Starship would have dimensions very similar to the 39A FSS. The layout and procedures could probably be almost identical.

Offline wannamoonbase

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5378
  • Denver, CO
    • U.S. Metric Association
  • Liked: 3085
  • Likes Given: 3817
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #42 on: 10/10/2022 09:04 pm »
Also it presumably gives a simpler migration path to transitioning pad 40 to Starship operations in the future?

Yes, someone also mentioned that on Twitter and made me double-check, and it looks like it may be possible to install a Dragon CAA on a full Starship tower without requiring a redesign of the Starship QD arm. So they could potentially just build a full Starship tower if the LC-40 Dragon access tower ends up being Starship-derived.

Beyond the obvious benefit that the supply chain is already in place, it doesn't hurt that a Dragon tower derived from Starship would have dimensions very similar to the 39A FSS. The layout and procedures could probably be almost identical.

I am familiar with LC-40's twin pad, LC-41.  I think we need to see some accurately scaled Starship tower placed at LC-40.

It would be a very large footprint.

Maybe LC-40 can one day receive permission to fly Starships.  However, the infrastructure to launch and support Starship may take more area than LC-40 has.

I'd love to see some sketches.

I think it's more likely we see a shortened tower that fits under the lighting protection.  LC-40 probably has a decade left, no need build a Starship tower there now.
Wildly optimistic prediction, Superheavy recovery on IFT-4 or IFT-5

Online edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5986
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 9159
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #43 on: 10/11/2022 11:19 am »
As of 1st October (NOAA post-Ian imagery) no foundation work at SLC-40 has started.

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #44 on: 12/09/2022 04:31 pm »
Proposal to FAA for SLC-40 crew and cargo tower plus the LR-11350 crane (likely the one currently at LC-39A) they intend to use to construct it. Work schedule starts in May, supposed to last 6 months.  Structure height will be 265ft, or ~81 meters.  Not sure how set in stone these dates are of course, but mid 2023 for the start of construction seems about right. 
https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=562167642&row=5
https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=562168891&row=17

Offline Tomness

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Into the abyss will I run
  • Liked: 289
  • Likes Given: 736
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #45 on: 12/09/2022 05:06 pm »
ML-1 & ML-2  have left the chat.... being able to process Crew Dragons and FH concurrently will be huge benefit.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #46 on: 01/25/2023 05:01 pm »
From Crew-6 briefing now:

twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1618307643470118912

Quote
SpaceX's Sarah Walker says the company is making "good progress" toward having Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral SFS ready to support launches of Dragon cargo missions to the International Space Station in the fall, then will add in crew launch capability later.

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1618307887549276161

Quote
Steve Stich, NASA's commercial crew program manager, says SpaceX is already clearing the site and beginning work on pilings for the new tower at Pad 40 for crew and cargo missions.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2023 05:08 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #47 on: 01/25/2023 05:35 pm »
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1618314935402139650

Quote
In a SpaceX Crew-6 media briefing, NASA confirms that work is underway to add a crew access tower to SLC-40, with a plan to support Cargo Dragon missions first, as early as this fall.

We already saw excavation equipment in our latest flyover:


Offline LouScheffer

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3370
  • Liked: 6071
  • Likes Given: 828
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #48 on: 01/25/2023 10:51 pm »
Had to escort them for the whole time they were there working a mission.
What's the problem with an escort? 
It can certainly be a productivity problem.  I was once attempting to sell a product in these circumstances.  We arrived the day before to set up the demo, but were having problems.  When 5:00 rolled around, they said we'd have to leave since they (our escorts) were leaving.  We asked if there was any way we could stay, and they said "Maybe we can switch your escort to Dave.  Dave works late."  So we went across the room, got introduced to Dave, and kept working.  At 5:30 Dave stopped by and said "Time to go".  At least we got the extra half hour.

Offline Alexphysics

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1598
  • Spain
  • Liked: 5854
  • Likes Given: 942
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #49 on: 01/26/2023 10:16 am »
Made a thread on twitter pointing out the location of the new crew access tower. As hinted on the flyover video, the location is visible on SpaceX's streams and work had already been done as well. A new crane has arrived at the site and can be seen on today's Starlink stream. Now here's hoping SpaceX doesn't stop showing that view...

https://twitter.com/Alexphysics13/status/1618558068291407879

Offline ChrisC

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2197
  • Liked: 1517
  • Likes Given: 1706
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #50 on: 01/26/2023 07:59 pm »
For those wondering about simply using the Starship tower design to support this new CAA for SLC-40, please first see earlier discussion in this thread for some good info, especially starting here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=57271.msg2417612#msg2417612  (top of this third page of the thread, in my viewer's rendering of the thread)
« Last Edit: 01/26/2023 08:00 pm by ChrisC »
PSA #1: EST does NOT mean "Eastern Time".  Use "Eastern" or "ET" instead, all year round, and avoid this common error.  Google "EST vs EDT".
PSA #2: It's and its: know the difference and quietly impress grammar pedants.  Google "angry flower its" .  *** See profile for two more NSF forum tips. ***

Offline jpfulton314

  • NSF Lurker
  • Member
  • Posts: 53
  • Sierra Vista, AZ, USA
  • Liked: 23
  • Likes Given: 117
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #51 on: 01/28/2023 08:12 pm »
Can someone post a rendering of what SLC-40 may look like with a crew access portion?

Online Alvian@IDN

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #52 on: 01/28/2023 09:41 pm »
Can someone post a rendering of what SLC-40 may look like with a crew access portion?
Nobody in the public knew what the design looks like yet
My parents was just being born when the Apollo program is over. Why we are still stuck in this stagnation, let's go forward again

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15349
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 8487
  • Likes Given: 1345
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #53 on: 01/28/2023 09:41 pm »
Cool that (S)LC 41 *and* 40 will finally see crewed launches.  They were originally built with that purpose in mind.  Both pads had fixed umbilical towers at one time, on the west side of each pad.  Here is pad 40 in 1965, looking north with pad 41 in the distance.  I think SpaceX still uses those same mobile launcher tracks leading to the pad.  The second image, from the Titan 3 User's Guide, shows Titan 3C-9 on LC 40 in 1966 with the service tower moved back, looking toward the south.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/28/2023 10:02 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline zubenelgenubi

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11021
  • Arc to Arcturus, then Spike to Spica
  • Sometimes it feels like Trantor in the time of Hari Seldon
  • Liked: 7304
  • Likes Given: 70456
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #54 on: 01/28/2023 10:38 pm »
Cool that (S)LC 41 *and* 40 will finally see crewed launches.  They were originally built with that purpose in mind. 
MOL, yes?
Support your local planetarium! (COVID-panic and forward: Now more than ever.) My current avatar is saying "i wants to go uppies!" Yes, there are God-given rights. Do you wish to gainsay the Declaration of Independence?

Offline russianhalo117

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8745
  • Liked: 4646
  • Likes Given: 768
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #55 on: 01/29/2023 12:43 am »
Cool that (S)LC 41 *and* 40 will finally see crewed launches.  They were originally built with that purpose in mind. 
MOL, yes?
AFAIU:
MOL was to be SLC-6 for reconnaissance missions. Ttian-M was designed to fly from all pads for future missions and for other government agencies so the pad infrastructure was equipped. Titan-IIIA pads were also designed to receive upgrades for Genimi-B replensihment flights for later MOL project architectures.
« Last Edit: 01/29/2023 12:47 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15349
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 8487
  • Likes Given: 1345
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #56 on: 01/29/2023 01:24 am »
Cool that (S)LC 41 *and* 40 will finally see crewed launches.  They were originally built with that purpose in mind. 
MOL, yes?
X-20/Dyna Soar was still an active program when construction of ITL (LC 40/41) began in 1963.  It would have launched from that site. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/29/2023 01:24 am by edkyle99 »

Online edzieba

  • Virtual Realist
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5986
  • United Kingdom
  • Liked: 9159
  • Likes Given: 38
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #57 on: 01/30/2023 12:09 pm »
The excavation area does appear to match the location of the old tower. Makes sense to re-use the foundations if they're still present, but it's probably the only spare pad area to put a tower anyway that doesn't block the TE path, sit over the hollow exhaust duct, or require re-routing plumbing.

Online gsa

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 124
  • Moscow, Russia
  • Liked: 120
  • Likes Given: 136
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #58 on: 01/30/2023 12:56 pm »
The excavation area does appear to match the location of the old tower. Makes sense to re-use the foundations if they're still present, but it's probably the only spare pad area to put a tower anyway that doesn't block the TE path, sit over the hollow exhaust duct, or require re-routing plumbing.
Judging by SLC-41 the new tower will be slightly further away from the launch table than the old one. Approximately on the level of the rail track for the old mobile tower. This is because new launch structures (for both ULA and SpaceX) are slightly wider than the Titan mobile launcher.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #59 on: 02/17/2023 08:16 pm »
Support NSF via L2 -- Help improve NSF -- Site Rules/Feedback/Updates
**Not a L2 member? Whitelist this forum in your adblocker to support the site and ensure full functionality.**

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37429
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21434
  • Likes Given: 428
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #60 on: 02/18/2023 04:20 am »
Cool that (S)LC 41 *and* 40 will finally see crewed launches.  They were originally built with that purpose in mind. 
MOL, yes?
AFAIU:
MOL was to be SLC-6 for reconnaissance missions. Ttian-M was designed to fly from all pads for future missions and for other government agencies so the pad infrastructure was equipped. Titan-IIIA pads were also designed to receive upgrades for Genimi-B replensihment flights for later MOL project architectures.

No MOL missions from the Cape.   There was only one T-IIIA pad and it was deactivated after test launches.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #61 on: 02/21/2023 10:46 pm »
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1628179241060732931

Quote
SpaceX's Bill Gerstenmaier said the company may be prepared to launch crewed missions from Launch Complex-40 as soon as the third quarter of this year.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1628179385835462657

Quote
Gerstenmaier says work on the new crew access tower at SLC-40 is underway; should be ready to support crew by the third quarter, but will start with cargo.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2023 10:48 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5430
  • Canada
  • Liked: 1792
  • Likes Given: 1291
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #62 on: 02/23/2023 07:40 pm »
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1628179241060732931

Quote
SpaceX's Bill Gerstenmaier said the company may be prepared to launch crewed missions from Launch Complex-40 as soon as the third quarter of this year.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1628179385835462657

Quote
Gerstenmaier says work on the new crew access tower at SLC-40 is underway; should be ready to support crew by the third quarter, but will start with cargo.
Hmm, Polaris Dawn after the Cargo Dragon for CRS-28 to the ISS in the third quarter from the upgraded SLC-40 pad?

Think NASA will be happier if a Crew Dragon flight to the ISS isn't diverted from pad LC-39A to pad SLC-40 for the inaugural Crew Dragon flight from SLC-40.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #63 on: 03/09/2023 06:43 pm »
Good spot!

https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1633916222554120192

Quote
I spy, with my little eye, something beginning with T.

The foundations for the new Tower (CAA Tower, initially to be used for Cargo missions, but eventually Crew capable) at SLC-40.

Adds redundancy in case 39A's CAA becomes damaged.  Cropped from the SpaceX webcast.

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15349
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 8487
  • Likes Given: 1345
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #64 on: 03/09/2023 09:35 pm »
I checked on a bit of history after today's OneWeb F17 launch from Complex 40.  It was the 9th launch from SLC 40 already this year.  There were 30 from the pad last year and 16 during 2021.  If I am counting right, during just those 26.3 months Falcon 9 flew more times from Pad 40 than all of the Titan 3/4 vehicles launched from that same pad during a 40 year span (there were 54 Titans from (S)LC 40 from 1965 to 2005). 

I'm not sure that any orbital launch pad anywhere has been pushed this hard ever.  It's done LEO, SSO, GTO, MTO, and near trans-lunar during that time.

In total, I count 116 Falcon 9 launches from SLC 40 since the first in 2010.  This does not include the AMOS 6 Falcon 9 on-pad prelaunch test explosion, which took the site out of service for most of one year.

 - Ed Kyle

« Last Edit: 03/09/2023 10:49 pm by edkyle99 »

Online AmigaClone

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #65 on: 03/10/2023 12:10 am »
I checked on a bit of history after today's OneWeb F17 launch from Complex 40.  It was the 9th launch from SLC 40 already this year.  There were 30 from the pad last year and 16 during 2021.  If I am counting right, during just those 26.3 months Falcon 9 flew more times from Pad 40 than all of the Titan 3/4 vehicles launched from that same pad during a 40 year span (there were 54 Titans from (S)LC 40 from 1965 to 2005). 

I'm not sure that any orbital launch pad anywhere has been pushed this hard ever.  It's done LEO, SSO, GTO, MTO, and near trans-lunar during that time.

In total, I count 116 Falcon 9 launches from SLC 40 since the first in 2010.  This does not include the AMOS 6 Falcon 9 on-pad prelaunch test explosion, which took the site out of service for most of one year.

 - Ed Kyle

There are two launch complexes in the Baikonur Cosmodrome that might have been pushed just as hard - if not harder in the late 1970s to early 1980s. The first of those two pads is called Gagarin's Start with a total of about 520 launches over a 62 year period (1957-2019). The second is Baikonur Site 31, with about 420 launches over 61 years (1961 to present).

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15349
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 8487
  • Likes Given: 1345
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #66 on: 03/10/2023 12:45 pm »
I checked on a bit of history after today's OneWeb F17 launch from Complex 40.  It was the 9th launch from SLC 40 already this year.  There were 30 from the pad last year and 16 during 2021.  If I am counting right, during just those 26.3 months Falcon 9 flew more times from Pad 40 than all of the Titan 3/4 vehicles launched from that same pad during a 40 year span (there were 54 Titans from (S)LC 40 from 1965 to 2005). 

I'm not sure that any orbital launch pad anywhere has been pushed this hard ever.  It's done LEO, SSO, GTO, MTO, and near trans-lunar during that time.

In total, I count 116 Falcon 9 launches from SLC 40 since the first in 2010.  This does not include the AMOS 6 Falcon 9 on-pad prelaunch test explosion, which took the site out of service for most of one year.

 - Ed Kyle

There are two launch complexes in the Baikonur Cosmodrome that might have been pushed just as hard - if not harder in the late 1970s to early 1980s. The first of those two pads is called Gagarin's Start with a total of about 520 launches over a 62 year period (1957-2019). The second is Baikonur Site 31, with about 420 launches over 61 years (1961 to present).
During that late-1970s/early-1980s period, the USSR was using five launch pads for R-7, three at Plesetsk and two at Baikonur.  R-7's busiest year was 1980, with 63 launches, not including the Vostok-2M fueling explosion at Plesetsk.  The launch breakdown for 1980 was as follows.

PL 41/1:  26
PL 43/3:  17
PL 43/4:  5 (not including Vostok 2M pad explosion)
TB 1/5:    6
TB 31/6:  9

So during this busiest year, only pad 41/1 came close to what SLC 40 did last year and seems to be doing this year, and the Soviets may have been forced into that due to damage at pad 43/4.  There were other nearly-as-busy-years of course.  This is just a sample.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 03/10/2023 12:47 pm by edkyle99 »

Offline Tomness

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Into the abyss will I run
  • Liked: 289
  • Likes Given: 736
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #67 on: 03/29/2023 02:51 pm »
Being able to off load Dragon Crew and Cargo to SLC-40 should help LC-39A handle more Falcon Heavys since they moved on from building a F9/FH pad at Boca Chica/Starbase. Hiring for Infrastructure upgrades to rebuild SLC-4 Transporter Erector.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37429
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21434
  • Likes Given: 428
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #68 on: 03/29/2023 03:08 pm »
Being able to off load Dragon Crew and Cargo to SLC-40 should help LC-39A handle more Falcon Heavys since they moved on from building a F9/FH pad at Boca Chica/Starbase. Hiring for Infrastructure upgrades to rebuild SLC-4 Transporter Erector.

No, it isn't FH flight rate that is driving this, it is Starship launches from LC-39A
There are only 7 or so FH for the next few years.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #69 on: 07/16/2023 03:48 am »
https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1680356444430901248

Quote
Construction uptick at #SpaceX's Roberts Rd & #BlueOrigin's campus on todays flyover. Hangar X is active again with (LC-40 Crew?) tower sections being built. @blueorigin putting the sides on the new VIF & a new strongback @ the pad. The Artemis Mobile launcher is still under repair. #ULA's Vulcan sits inside its VIF & much more. w/@FarryFaz 1/2

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #70 on: 07/25/2023 05:35 pm »
During the Crew 7 Mission Overview News Conference, Joel Montalbano mentioned that the next SpaceX cargo mission, CRS-29 mission would fly from 39A, not pad 40. The first ISS mission from pad 40 since the end of Dragon 1 flights will be the NG-20 Cygnus mission in December. CRS-30 early next year may be the first Dragon 2 flight from SLC-40.

Offline jstrotha0975

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 563
  • United States
  • Liked: 330
  • Likes Given: 2596
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #71 on: 08/10/2023 04:38 pm »
Anything new on crew tower construction?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #72 on: 08/26/2023 09:46 am »
From Crew-7 post launch press conference:

Benji Reed: looking to bring Dragon capability at pad 40 online around end of this year / early next [I assume uncrewed at that point, based on previous SpaceX statements]

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #73 on: 09/04/2023 02:09 am »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1698462975139438645

Quote
Through the haze from Fleetcam a few miles away... a crane has risen at SLC-40 for the new crew tower construction!

nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #74 on: 09/04/2023 11:51 am »
https://twitter.com/harry__stranger/status/1698659379179147410

Quote
High resolution satellite images taken on September 3rd captured SpaceX's new crew access arm for SLC-40 poking out of Hangar M.

More below:

https://twitter.com/harry__stranger/status/1698659402964987995

Quote
SLC-40 is being prepared for the arrival of the tower segments ahead of stacking with a large crane being assembled, and there's also a hole in the roof of the hangar..? 🧐

Full image: https://soar.earth/maps/15725
@Soar_Earth

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #75 on: 09/04/2023 09:28 pm »
Great visualisations of what pad 40 may be like

https://twitter.com/mcrs987/status/1698805115124138299

Quote
SLC-40 Crew Tower
conceptual renders
(A quick image thread 1/7)

Quote
A few views around the pad
(2/7)

https://twitter.com/mcrs987/status/1698805186523717739

Quote
During a launch
(3/7)

Quote
Tower segments
(4/7)

https://twitter.com/mcrs987/status/1698805264634245549

Quote
Tower Framework
(5/7)

Quote
Tower Framework
(6/7)

https://twitter.com/mcrs987/status/1698805574350012759

Quote
We can see these segments being built from these great photos from @NASASpaceflight  and @michaelsrockets . Notice how the top segment appears to be double the width of the other 3. This gives the whole tower a very similar appearance to the crew tower at SLC-41
(7/7)

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #76 on: 09/06/2023 10:39 pm »
First tower section heading by the VAB now.


Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #77 on: 09/07/2023 05:26 am »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1699551208715816996

Quote
Here comes the first section of the new Crew Tower for SLC-40! Initially will be used for Cargo Dragon launches from SLC-40, but eventually also for crew. It adds redundancy to 39A.

nsf.live/spacecoast

Quote
Tower on the loose at KSC!

https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1699554718433833418

Quote
Passing the grown-up Towers.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #78 on: 09/07/2023 05:27 am »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1699558017375608954

Quote
SLC-40 Tower section passing 39A's historic FSS and the new Starship Tower.

nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #79 on: 09/07/2023 05:57 am »
twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1699555260765700426

Quote
Itís been a long time coming!

First segment of SLC-40ís crew access tower is on the move!

📸 - @NASASpaceflight
📺 - nsf.live/spacecoast

https://twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1699557769630667039

Quote
wen astronauts?

Easy to forget the scale of the hardware being assembled and transported here.

📸 - @NASASpaceflight

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15349
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 8487
  • Likes Given: 1345
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #80 on: 09/08/2023 02:55 am »
Now up to 34 launches from SLC 40 this year, as of September 7, with another planned tomorrow.  That's roughly one launch per week.  I wonder what the exhaust duct concrete looks like!

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/08/2023 02:56 am by edkyle99 »

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #81 on: 09/09/2023 04:01 am »
First tower section in place during starlink 6-14, Sept 8. From SpaceX livestream.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #82 on: 09/15/2023 12:12 pm »
https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1702655525941334151

Quote
Tower sections being built at #SpaceX's Roberts Rd & #BlueOrigin's campus on yesterdays flyover. Hangar X is active with LC-40 Crew access tower sections being built. Blue Origin has a new new strongback on the pad. 39B has the new Artemis ML on site & lots of GSE work going on. New Amazon Project Kuiper building going up and construction of the tower sections at LC-40 underway. Sadly the disassembly of a Shuttle mobile launcher & much more. w/@FarryFaz 1/2

Looks like the 4 sections needed for the tower are near or at completion.
« Last Edit: 09/15/2023 12:19 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline ChrisC

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2197
  • Liked: 1517
  • Likes Given: 1706
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #83 on: 09/22/2023 03:06 am »
I tip my hat to whomever at NSF was doing the camera tracking during the 2nd segment roll shown on Space Coast Live this evening.  Really nice job with the PTZ.  Video is here, scrub back to 7pm on clock in upper left corner.  (only visible until 7am Friday, but I'm sure it'll make it into an upcoming SpaceCoast update video)  https://youtube.com/watch?v=Jm8wRjD3xVA
PSA #1: EST does NOT mean "Eastern Time".  Use "Eastern" or "ET" instead, all year round, and avoid this common error.  Google "EST vs EDT".
PSA #2: It's and its: know the difference and quietly impress grammar pedants.  Google "angry flower its" .  *** See profile for two more NSF forum tips. ***

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #84 on: 09/22/2023 05:21 am »
twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1705006377549066617

Quote
Now entering: SLC-40 CAT phase ✌🏻

The second segment of SpaceXís eventual second crew access tower here at the Cape is on the move!

📸 - @NASASpaceflight

📺 - nsf.live/spacecoast

https://twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1705006385920942144

Quote
SPMT on the move past the VAB and the LC-39 Press Site.

Expecting the third and fourth segments to be moved in the near future!

Quote
The size of these segments cannot be understated.

https://twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1705006403159568787

Quote
Casual evening in the office here at the Kennedy Space Center.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #85 on: 09/26/2023 04:21 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1706705225480806422

Quote
The third section of the SLC-40 Crew Tower rolled out this morning, taking in the sights of the VAB, 39B (with SLS ML-1), and 39A, with the F9/Dragon tower - it will provide redundancy for - and the Starship tower.

Highlights from our KSC cams: nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline DeanG1967

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 167
  • Liked: 24
  • Likes Given: 11
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #86 on: 09/27/2023 01:29 pm »
Did I miss a picture of the 2nd segment being installed or is it just sitting on site while segment 3 comes in waiting for a good time to stack?

Offline russianhalo117

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8745
  • Liked: 4646
  • Likes Given: 768
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #87 on: 09/27/2023 02:54 pm »
Did I miss a picture of the 2nd segment being installed or is it just sitting on site while segment 3 comes in waiting for a good time to stack?
Between launches they alternate a segment rollout and a segment stacking.
« Last Edit: 09/29/2023 02:33 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline DeanG1967

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 167
  • Liked: 24
  • Likes Given: 11
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #88 on: 09/28/2023 12:37 pm »
Did I miss a picture of the 2nd segment being installed or is it just sitting on site while segment 3 comes in waiting for a good time to stack?
Between launches they alternate a segmrnt rollout and a segment stacking.

Thanks...surprised there were no pictures of the stacking

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #89 on: 09/28/2023 03:56 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1707419983750570065

Quote
At Cape Canaveral's pad 40 an access tower is rising for SpaceX crew and cargo Dragon missions. The third section of the structure is now in place. Once the tower is complete, it will relieve a bottleneck at pad 39A, which is currently the only pad equipped for Dragon launches.

Online AmigaClone

Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #90 on: 09/29/2023 08:36 am »
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1707419983750570065

Quote
At Cape Canaveral's pad 40 an access tower is rising for SpaceX crew and cargo Dragon missions. The third section of the structure is now in place. Once the tower is complete, it will relieve a bottleneck at pad 39A, which is currently the only pad equipped for Dragon launches.

The most amazing part of SpaceX putting a Dragon 2 access tower at SLC 40 is that they are doing so at a pad that already has launched 38 Falcon 9s this year. At that pace SpaceX could reach 50 launches from SLC 40  by the end of the year.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #91 on: 10/13/2023 07:30 pm »
Nice view of new tower progress:

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1712911728806449299

Quote
Team is on track for launch tonight of a Falcon 9 carrying @Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit → spacex.com/launches

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #92 on: 10/15/2023 06:01 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1713615206067094007

Quote
Oh look, it's the final section of the new SLC-40 tower waiting to roll past the VAB and head to the pad. SpaceX is showing how fast you can build a cargo/crew tower!

nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #93 on: 10/15/2023 06:27 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1713622412271440340

Quote
The final segment for the new crew tower at SLC-40 - VAB for scale.📐

nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #94 on: 10/15/2023 07:11 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1713626845520744599

Quote
And more towers. 39A FSS and Starship Tower.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #95 on: 10/17/2023 10:10 pm »
Last tower section is in place:

https://twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1714403438757400773

Quote
The last segment of SLC-40ís crew access tower has already been stacked in place! The crew access arm should be next, coming soon.

Tune in tonight for the launch of Starlink 6-23 to see it yourself and hear more about it.

📺 - youtube.com/live/gUuoya8HzÖ

📸 - @NASASpaceflight

Quote
Crazy to see how quickly the pad has gone from looking bare to blending in with LC-39A and SLC-41!

📸 - @NASASpaceflight
« Last Edit: 10/17/2023 10:13 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #96 on: 11/04/2023 05:30 am »
« Last Edit: 11/04/2023 05:30 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #97 on: 11/06/2023 07:47 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1721628727828713499

Quote
SpaceX hoisted the crew access arm onto its new crew/cargo tower out at SLC-40 today.

Sources tell Spaceflight Now that the Ax-3 private astronaut mission is likely to be the first to use it, due to a scheduling conflict with the IM-1 Moon mission.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #98 on: 11/06/2023 09:53 pm »
https://twitter.com/_mgde_/status/1721655331971817514

Quote
SLC-40 Crew Access Arm: mated

The busiest launch complex in the world is looking a lot more handsome now nearing completion of itís brand new crew access tower.

📸 - @NASASpaceflight

📺 - nsf.live/spacecoast

Quote
For the first time since the 1960ís, this complex should be ready to launch itís first crew of astronauts to space from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, formerly Air Force Station, in the near future.

Offline ChrisC

  • Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2197
  • Liked: 1517
  • Likes Given: 1706
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #99 on: 11/06/2023 10:30 pm »
Elsewhere, this question was posed:

Quote from: Alpha Control
... a question that I've had for a long time: Is the CAA level to the ground when mounted to the tower, (meaning 0 degree incline from the attach point to the Dragon access hatch)?  All the photos and vids I've seen of the CAA at 39B (sic) look like there is an incline that the astros must walk up in order to access the Dragon.  Are my eyes deceiving me? If not, then why the incline?

It's certainly been discussed here plenty, perhaps even in this thread.  The FSS at LC-39A has discrete levels -- floor altitudes like 195 feet, 205 feet, 215 feet.  The Dragon hatch is at some other altitude that doesn't perfectly match the FSS levels -- I'd guess about 207 feet or something like that.  Hence 1) elevator to 195, 2) stairs to 205, and 3) ramp to 207.

EDIT: here's a post from 2018, during the original CAA install, discussing the incline.  (found via this search)

We're about to find out if the CAA at LC-40 will have a similar incline.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2023 10:34 pm by ChrisC »
PSA #1: EST does NOT mean "Eastern Time".  Use "Eastern" or "ET" instead, all year round, and avoid this common error.  Google "EST vs EDT".
PSA #2: It's and its: know the difference and quietly impress grammar pedants.  Google "angry flower its" .  *** See profile for two more NSF forum tips. ***

Offline russianhalo117

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8745
  • Liked: 4646
  • Likes Given: 768
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #100 on: 11/07/2023 02:13 am »
An overly inclined arm is not needed here as the tower is custom built for optimal Cargo Dragon and Crew Dragon access unlike the 39A FSS CAA which has to compensate for using an existing structure from previous programmes. The SLC-40 CAA is not inclined at all. The CAA in how it attaches to the SLC-40 CAT is considerably different. Next for installation is the slidewire CES.
CAA = Crew Access Arm
CAT = Crew Access Tower
CES = Crew Escape System
« Last Edit: 11/14/2023 06:57 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline Metalskin

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 110
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Liked: 76
  • Likes Given: 1588
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #101 on: 11/07/2023 02:32 am »
...
CAA = Crew Access Arm
CAT = Crew Access Tower
CES = Crew Escape System

Thank you for defining the TLAs.
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean. - Arthur C. Clarke

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #102 on: 11/07/2023 05:11 am »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #103 on: 11/07/2023 07:30 pm »
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1721983986883305641

Quote
Adding a @SpaceX crew arm for @NASA astronauts at launch pad 40

Offline Alpha Control

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1236
  • Washington, DC
  • Liked: 164
  • Likes Given: 102
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #104 on: 11/07/2023 10:29 pm »
Elsewhere, this question was posed:

Quote from: Alpha Control
... a question that I've had for a long time: Is the CAA level to the ground when mounted to the tower, (meaning 0 degree incline from the attach point to the Dragon access hatch)?  All the photos and vids I've seen of the CAA at 39B (sic) 39A look like there is an incline that the astros must walk up in order to access the Dragon.  Are my eyes deceiving me? If not, then why the incline?

It's certainly been discussed here plenty, perhaps even in this thread.  The FSS at LC-39A has discrete levels -- floor altitudes like 195 feet, 205 feet, 215 feet.  The Dragon hatch is at some other altitude that doesn't perfectly match the FSS levels -- I'd guess about 207 feet or something like that.  Hence 1) elevator to 195, 2) stairs to 205, and 3) ramp to 207.

EDIT: here's a post from 2018, during the original CAA install, discussing the incline.  (found via this search)

We're about to find out if the CAA at LC-40 will have a similar incline.

Thank you ChrisC! Much appreciated, and it all makes great sense.

*edited my original post to show the correct pad for the original SpaceX CAA.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2023 10:39 pm by Alpha Control »
Space launches attended:
Antares/Cygnus ORB-D1 Wallops Island, VA Sept 2013 | STS-123 KSC, FL March 2008 | SpaceShipOne Mojave, CA June 2004

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #105 on: 11/08/2023 03:26 am »
Crosspost:

https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1722092614533718300

Quote
Sunset at Space Launch Complex 40 with newly installed crew access arm. Falcon 9 is vertical for tonight's launch of @Starlink satellites

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #106 on: 11/08/2023 03:35 am »
https://twitter.com/spaceabhi/status/1722098148179689583

Quote
Amazing. I spent many late nights at this pad. Beautiful to see this transformation from the early days. It's come a long way from the reclamation project it kind of started as.

Offline king1999

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 437
  • F-Niner Fan
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Liked: 302
  • Likes Given: 1280
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #107 on: 11/12/2023 11:41 pm »

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6332
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 4204
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #108 on: 11/23/2023 03:24 am »
https://spacenews.com/starliner-on-track-for-april-crewed-test-flight/

Quote
Ö McAlister confirmed that SpaceX and Axiom Space are in discussions about launching the Ax-3 private astronaut mission from ... SLC-40 where SpaceX is completing construction of a crew and cargo access tower. Ax-3 is scheduled to launch as soon as Jan. 10, and going from SLC-40 would allow Intuitive Machinesí IM-1 lunar lander mission to launch Jan. 12 from Kennedy Space Centerís Launch Complex 39A,
DM

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #109 on: 12/12/2023 07:00 am »
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1734398004822712586

Quote
Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #110 on: 12/21/2023 03:31 pm »
Looks like Axiom 3 wonít be the first SLC-40 crewed mission:

https://twitter.com/axiom_space/status/1737869807045812366

Quote
#Ax3 is now targeted to launch to the @Space_Station NET Jan. 17 from LC-39A at @NASAKennedy in #Florida.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #111 on: 02/01/2024 08:51 pm »
https://twitter.com/spacex/status/1753151972503629865

Quote
SpaceX is working with researchers to develop and fly critical science on Dragon, helping to advance humanityís ability to live and work in space →

https://www.spacex.com/humanspaceflight/research

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47417
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 80275
  • Likes Given: 36322
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #112 on: 02/26/2024 07:19 am »
Per the Crew 8 Post FRR teleconference, SpaceX is currently planning on flying this mission from SLC-40. They said it could move back to LC-39A depending on how preparations go.

They also said that the plan is for pad 40 to be available for crewed launches by Crew-9 later this year.

Online catdlr

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10722
  • Enthusiast since the Redstones
  • Marina del Rey, California, USA
  • Liked: 8073
  • Likes Given: 7404
Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #113 on: 02/27/2024 04:20 am »


Quote
Feb 26, 2024
SpaceX is closing in on certifying its launch pad at Space Launch Complex 40 to support astronaut and cargo missions with its second-generation Dragon spacecraft. On Monday, Feb. 26, the company performed a test of its new emergency egress system featuring a type of deployable slide.

NASA and SpaceX are aiming to complete certification of the crew access tower ahead of the Commercial Resupply Services 30 (CRS-30) mission set for mid-March. The earliest it could be used for an astronaut mission would be for the Crew-9 flight set for no earlier than August 2024.

Reporting/Editing: Will Robinson-Smith
Video shot by: Adam Bernstein

Additional video courtesy:
ē NASA
ē SpaceX
ē ULA
ē U.S. Senate
« Last Edit: 02/27/2024 04:21 am by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa, ...I'm no Feline Dealer!! I move mountains.  but I'm better known for "I think it's highly sexual." Japanese to English Translation.

Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1