Author Topic: SpaceX lease SLC-6  (Read 43532 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

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Online jstrotha0975

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #1 on: 04/24/2023 11:41 pm »
I thought it was being leased to Blue Origin?

Online catdlr

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #2 on: 04/24/2023 11:42 pm »
I thought it was being leased to Blue Origin?

Not anymore?  Lot's a lot of space for integration and one hell of a frame trench to boot for FH and a barge dock nearby.  This is "Jim's country", I'm sure over time, he'll provide valuable insight into this news. 
« Last Edit: 04/24/2023 11:59 pm by catdlr »
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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #3 on: 04/24/2023 11:42 pm »
I’m surprised it’s for Falcon……. So is this SpaceX moving to 6 from 4? Addition to 4? Or eventually gets announced it’s really for starship?

Vandy doesn’t seem to have much activity to need two F9 pads. Unless SpaceX plans to up the Starlink launches out of Vandy.

Offline lightleviathan

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #4 on: 04/24/2023 11:46 pm »
Maybe the long lost VIF for FH will be built here? It's probably for Starlink and a west-coast pad for Starship, even though it doesn't say on the press release.

I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.
« Last Edit: 04/24/2023 11:48 pm by lightleviathan »

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #5 on: 04/24/2023 11:54 pm »
Maybe the long lost VIF for FH will be built here? It's probably for Starlink and a west-coast pad for Starship, even though it doesn't say on the press release.

I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

SpaceX, I think, starts small and works bigger.  I'm just guessing here.  The means to transport a 9m wide stage is impossible at this base or through the area approaching the base unless Elon is planning to use some of the pad for the integration of segments barged in and assembled here before a flight.  It could also be for future use of Starship for military usage if that ever comes to be. He may even resurrect the LA Harbor manufacturing site to build segments. and barged them over to this site.  Whatever it will become, it will be some time.  It's a strategic placeholder for now.  We need to continue to focus on Starbase and its success.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2023 04:04 am by catdlr »
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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #6 on: 04/24/2023 11:59 pm »
OK this makes a lot more sense.

NG can start accruing pads once it shows up or has a credible claim on a schedule.  BO working on getting SLC-6, if they did, would have been premature.
un
It also makes sense to be a Falcon pad first. People still need to understand what a SH pad looks like IRL.
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Offline AmigaClone

Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #7 on: 04/25/2023 01:13 am »
<snip>
I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

ULA has 30 orbital launches from Vandenberg since 2010.

Atlas V - 15 launches
Delta II - 6 Launches
Delta IV and Delta IV Heavy - 9 Launches

SpaceX Falcon 9 has launched 39 times from Vandenberg since 2013. Twenty of those launches since 1 January 2022.

Offline lightleviathan

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #8 on: 04/25/2023 01:25 am »
<snip>
I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

ULA has 30 orbital launches from Vandenberg since 2010.

Atlas V - 15 launches
Delta II - 6 Launches
Delta IV and Delta IV Heavy - 9 Launches

SpaceX Falcon 9 has launched 39 times from Vandenberg since 2013. Twenty of those launches since 1 January 2022.

Exactly. Twenty since 1/1/22 is a fairly frequent amount. I'm talking about the launch rates now.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #9 on: 04/25/2023 01:38 am »
I’m surprised it’s for Falcon……. So is this SpaceX moving to 6 from 4? Addition to 4? Or eventually gets announced it’s really for starship?

Vandy doesn’t seem to have much activity to need two F9 pads. Unless SpaceX plans to up the Starlink launches out of Vandy.
Guessing the DoD (really the spooks) have some interesting polar orbit payloads in the pipeline that requires a Delta IV Heavy equivalent. The DoD probably allocated said payloads to ULA and their Vulcan. Which is running late in schedule. However the Falcon Heavy is operational and available.

Also the DoD requires vertical payload integration for most of the interesting payloads in the pipeline that might need extended time on the launch pad. Hence the reason for an additional Falcon pad, since SpaceX is already maxing out the SLC-4E pad.

Currently ULA could only conducted one launch campaign at a time due to limited personnel. So it is likely the launch cadence of the forthcoming Vulcan isn't going to ramped up quickly. Plus the Vanderberg SLC-3E pad have to be modified for the Vulcan. So the DoD and the Spooks either have to generated new launch capabilities at Vanderberg or payloads will be getting to orbit late.

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #10 on: 04/25/2023 01:53 am »
Maybe the long lost VIF for FH will be built here? It's probably for Starlink and a west-coast pad for Starship, even though it doesn't say on the press release.

I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

SpaceX, I think, starts small and works bigger.  I'm just guessing here.  The means to transport a 5m wide stage is impossible at this base or through the area approaching the base unless Elon is planning to use some of the pad for the integration of segments barged in and assembled here before a flight.  It could also be for future use of Starship for military usage if that ever comes to be. He may even resurrect the LA Harbor manufacturing site to build segments. and barged them over to this site.  Whatever it will become, it will be some time.  It's a strategic placeholder for now.  We need to continue to focus on Starbase and its success.

No way the Port of LA will lease to SpaceX again. SpaceX has burned the port twice now, getting everyone excited and then bailing on the signed contracts. They’ve indicated they have no intention of being fooled a third time.
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Offline ChrisC

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #11 on: 04/25/2023 01:55 am »
I think the status of the Starship program plays into the timing of this.   Hold on, hear me out ...

Starship is (will be) so ridiculously cost efficient that it seems inevitable that it will eventually be used to launch anything and everything, and to any orbit.  Even if it could only go to LEO and constrained inclinations, on-orbit refueling means it could then easily hit higher orbits or execute massive plane changes.

OK, but the recent Starship test shows that they still have a lot of work to do.  Pad repair and redesign, staging, reliable ignition, etc.  And those are on top of the known challenges ahead of on-orbit refueling and payload deployment.  To me this means that SpaceX now knows that they really will need to leverage Falcon Heavy for a long time to come -- no quick switch to Starship is coming.

I think SpaceX pulled the trigger on this lease immediately after their quick look at the Starship test results.
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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #12 on: 04/25/2023 02:17 am »
It will be interesting to see what mods they need to make to convert SLC-6 into a Falcon pad.  I assume that they will use the Delta Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) north of the pad for Falcon processing and then drive the TEL to the pad from there.  The roads should be wide enough since the D-IV Heavy processed there.  The launch mount will need to be modified to accommodate the Falcon TEL. The flame ducts probably can be used with little mods since the current version was designed for the 3-stick Delta.  The MST presumably will be used with platform mods to provide the vertical integration that SpaceX needs.  The umbilical tower really isn't needed unless, for some reason, they want to fly Dragon from the west coast.  The Mobile Assembly Shelter really isn't needed, but can provide weather protection for the vertical integration capability.  The biggest change will probably be in the propellant farm. They will need to add kerosene tanks to the pad (or use the old LH2 tanks) and will need to update the LOX side for supercooling.  So it seems like modifying SLC-6 for Falcon may be fairly straightforward.   

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #13 on: 04/25/2023 02:19 am »
Maybe the long lost VIF for FH will be built here? It's probably for Starlink and a west-coast pad for Starship, even though it doesn't say on the press release.

I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

SpaceX, I think, starts small and works bigger.  I'm just guessing here.  The means to transport a 5m wide stage is impossible at this base or through the area approaching the base unless Elon is planning to use some of the pad for the integration of segments barged in and assembled here before a flight.  It could also be for future use of Starship for military usage if that ever comes to be. He may even resurrect the LA Harbor manufacturing site to build segments. and barged them over to this site.  Whatever it will become, it will be some time.  It's a strategic placeholder for now.  We need to continue to focus on Starbase and its success.

No way the Port of LA will lease to SpaceX again. SpaceX has burned the port twice now, getting everyone excited and then bailing on the signed contracts. They’ve indicated they have no intention of being fooled a third time.
SpaceX used the Port of LA for a while. I don't see why they'd want to build there, though. Build in Texas or Florida, by a launch pad.
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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #14 on: 04/25/2023 03:14 am »
Solves their NSSL vertical payload integration problem if the mobile hangars can be adapted to Falcon Heavy.  SLC 4E can remain a "flat pad" for Falcon 9.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/25/2023 03:15 am by edkyle99 »

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #15 on: 04/25/2023 03:33 am »
I’m surprised it’s for Falcon……. So is this SpaceX moving to 6 from 4? Addition to 4? Or eventually gets announced it’s really for starship?

Vandy doesn’t seem to have much activity to need two F9 pads. Unless SpaceX plans to up the Starlink launches out of Vandy.
Also the DoD requires vertical payload integration for most of the interesting payloads in the pipeline that might need extended time on the launch pad. Hence the reason for an additional Falcon pad, since SpaceX is already maxing out the SLC-4E pad.

Forgot about that requirement.  Using that existing 6-SLC integration structure, the FH can have the payload mounted while the FH is in the required upright position without the need to do so at the Cape (at least for Polar orbits).  I don't have the height measurements between the D5H and FH, someone may have to get that for us.
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #16 on: 04/25/2023 03:54 am »
I thought it was being leased to Blue Origin?
No a nonbinding MoU regarding future plans.

Offline danneely

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #17 on: 04/25/2023 03:56 am »
Maybe the long lost VIF for FH will be built here? It's probably for Starlink and a west-coast pad for Starship, even though it doesn't say on the press release.

I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

SpaceX, I think, starts small and works bigger.  I'm just guessing here.  The means to transport a 5m wide stage is impossible at this base or through the area approaching the base unless Elon is planning to use some of the pad for the integration of segments barged in and assembled here before a flight.  It could also be for future use of Starship for military usage if that ever comes to be. He may even resurrect the LA Harbor manufacturing site to build segments. and barged them over to this site.  Whatever it will become, it will be some time.  It's a strategic placeholder for now.  We need to continue to focus on Starbase and its success.

No way the Port of LA will lease to SpaceX again. SpaceX has burned the port twice now, getting everyone excited and then bailing on the signed contracts. They’ve indicated they have no intention of being fooled a third time.
SpaceX used the Port of LA for a while. I don't see why they'd want to build there, though. Build in Texas or Florida, by a launch pad.

Once it's operational, SpaceX could fly Starship to Vandenberg, they can't fly the booster there from the other side of the country.  That would either need to go all the way by barge, or be hopped to Vandenberg from a (theoretical) offshore platform that was sent through the canal. Once SpaceX can do off shore launches they won't have much need for Vandenberg anymore (you can do non-dogleg polar launches from off the coast of Florida and could probably launch nearly due west if needed by going south and flying over the Caribbean); so I think if they decide to fly superheavy from the west cost upgrading Vandenbergs port/etc facilities to handle a 9m booster is probably the easiest option.

Offline danneely

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #18 on: 04/25/2023 04:06 am »
Maybe the long lost VIF for FH will be built here? It's probably for Starlink and a west-coast pad for Starship, even though it doesn't say on the press release.

I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

SpaceX, I think, starts small and works bigger.  I'm just guessing here.  The means to transport a 5m wide stage is impossible at this base or through the area approaching the base unless Elon is planning to use some of the pad for the integration of segments barged in and assembled here before a flight.  It could also be for future use of Starship for military usage if that ever comes to be. He may even resurrect the LA Harbor manufacturing site to build segments. and barged them over to this site.  Whatever it will become, it will be some time.  It's a strategic placeholder for now.  We need to continue to focus on Starbase and its success.

No way the Port of LA will lease to SpaceX again. SpaceX has burned the port twice now, getting everyone excited and then bailing on the signed contracts. They’ve indicated they have no intention of being fooled a third time.

The DoDs keyhole optical spy satellites currently are launched from Vandenberg on Delta IVH.  Most of them have gone into ~98* SSO orbits that might be doable from Florida using a dog-leg (or might not FH is more powerful than Delta IVH but the dogleg eats into that and might not leave enough power); but some have gone into 73.6* orbits, that's well beyond the 57* that can be launched to directly from Florida and would require a major dogleg to reach. 

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: SpaceX lease SLC-6
« Reply #19 on: 04/25/2023 04:06 am »
I thought it was being leased to Blue Origin?
No a nonbinding MoU regarding future plans.
Maybe the long lost VIF for FH will be built here? It's probably for Starlink and a west-coast pad for Starship, even though it doesn't say on the press release.

I think it's funny that in the Falcon 1 days, the Air Force didn't give SpaceX a single thought, and now they have two pads, and are effectively the only frequently launching provider at Vandenberg.

SpaceX, I think, starts small and works bigger.  I'm just guessing here.  The means to transport a 5m wide stage is impossible at this base or through the area approaching the base unless Elon is planning to use some of the pad for the integration of segments barged in and assembled here before a flight.  It could also be for future use of Starship for military usage if that ever comes to be. He may even resurrect the LA Harbor manufacturing site to build segments. and barged them over to this site.  Whatever it will become, it will be some time.  It's a strategic placeholder for now.  We need to continue to focus on Starbase and its success.
The stages for F9/FH are 3.7m diameter core stage which provides a similar diameter as the 3.05m diameter core stage with the Titan family and was one of the proposed Titan diameter enlargement planned before Titan-V was shelved.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2023 04:07 am by russianhalo117 »

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