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.
Also it presumably gives a simpler migration path to transitioning pad 40 to Starship operations in the future?
Quote from: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/10/2022 10:10 amAlso 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.
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.
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.
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:
Quote from: Jim on 09/27/2022 01:47 amHad to escort them for the whole time they were there working a mission.What's the problem with an escort?
Had to escort them for the whole time they were there working a mission.
Can someone post a rendering of what SLC-40 may look like with a crew access portion?
Cool that (S)LC 41 *and* 40 will finally see crewed launches. They were originally built with that purpose in mind.
Quote from: edkyle99 on 01/28/2023 09:41 pmCool that (S)LC 41 *and* 40 will finally see crewed launches. They were originally built with that purpose in mind. MOL, yes?
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.