Author Topic: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights  (Read 56399 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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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

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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.
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Online edzieba

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Re: SLC-40 upgrades for Dragon cargo & crew flights
« Reply #47 on: 01/25/2023 05:35 pm »
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1618314935402139650

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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

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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

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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

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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 »
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Offline jpfulton314

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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?

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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
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Offline edkyle99

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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

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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?
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Offline russianhalo117

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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

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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

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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.

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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 »
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