Author Topic: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights  (Read 56424 times)

Offline ulm_atms

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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.
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Offline meekGee

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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?
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Offline ThatOldJanxSpirit

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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?

It’s 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

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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?

It’s 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?

It’s 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.
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"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline rsnellenberger

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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?

It’s 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

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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?

It’s 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

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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.
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Offline meekGee

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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. :)
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Offline rsnellenberger

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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?

It’s 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...


Online matthewkantar

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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 “quiescent.”

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

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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 “quiescent.”

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 »

Offline edzieba

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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

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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

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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.

Offline meekGee

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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.
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Offline litton4

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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

Offline meekGee

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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 :)
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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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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 don’t think there’s yet any direct evidence they are using a Starship tower design?

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