Author Topic: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 1  (Read 397995 times)

Offline Zond

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The FAA is preparing an EIS to analyze the potential environmental impacts of SpaceXís proposal to launch orbital and suborbital launch vehicles from a private site in Cameron County in southern Texas. The EIS will consider the potential environmental impacts of the Proposed Action and reasonable alternatives, including the No Action Alternative. The successful completion of the environmental review process does not guarantee that the FAA would issue launch licenses and/or experimental permits to SpaceX. The project must also meet all FAA safety, risk, and indemnification requirements.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2012-08556.pdf

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As part of the Proposed Action, SpaceX proposes to construct a vertical launch area and a control center area. The proposed vertical launch area site is currently undeveloped and is located directly adjacent to the eastern terminus of Texas State Highway 4 (Boca Chica Boulevard) and approximately 3 miles north of the Mexican border on the Gulf Coast. It is located approximately 5 miles south of Port Isabel and South Padre Island. At the vertical launch area, the new facilities required would include: an integration- and processing-hangar, a launch pad and stand with its associated flame duct, propellant storage and handling areas, a workshop and office area, and a warehouse for parts storage.
Approximate location
« Last Edit: 04/03/2013 04:17 pm by Chris Bergin »

Offline mr. mark

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #1 on: 04/09/2012 03:29 pm »
Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy from a Texas launch site. There you go, I guess that was the answer we were waiting for as far as a third launch site. I'm sure this will be breaking news in the Texas media.
« Last Edit: 04/09/2012 03:36 pm by mr. mark »

Offline LegendCJS

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #2 on: 04/09/2012 04:01 pm »
Reading between the lines of the pdf, I think the primary motivation for this launch site is to create a safe test area for grasshopper and other suborbital research derivatives.

Being similar to the F9 first stage, the infrastructure required for grasshopper tests is probably pretty similar to a full launch complex anyway, so laying the groundwork for full scale launchers later on is probably just an investment for the future.

Grasshopper or its successors will have significant range. I think everyone would prefer that it is tested out over the gulf of Mexico where any mishap is a whole lot safer than over land.  This Texas coastal site allows SpaceX to do this.

I'd conclude that actually launching F9 and F9H from Texas is an afterthought for the time being.

« Last Edit: 04/09/2012 04:05 pm by LegendCJS »
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #3 on: 04/09/2012 04:08 pm »
Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy from a Texas launch site. There you go, I guess that was the answer we were waiting for as far as a third launch site. I'm sure this will be breaking news in the Texas media.

You are overblowing this.  It is just an assessment.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #4 on: 04/09/2012 04:10 pm »
Reading the pdf I agree that this is about Grasshopper. BUT I would not call the F9/FH part an afterthought. Seems to be fully orbital infrastructure from the start.
But it is also clear that Grasshopper will fly from this site only.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #5 on: 04/09/2012 04:11 pm »
Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy from a Texas launch site. There you go, I guess that was the answer we were waiting for as far as a third launch site. I'm sure this will be breaking news in the Texas media.

You are overblowing this.  It is just an assessment.
So how many assessments did SpaceX have that were not followed by "action"?

Offline notherspacexfan

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #6 on: 04/09/2012 04:16 pm »

You are overblowing this.  It is just an assessment.
So how many assessments did SpaceX have that were not followed by "action"?

They did an environmental assessment for flying the Falcon 9 from Kwajalein.

 

Offline butters

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #7 on: 04/09/2012 04:17 pm »
Should be nice launch views from South Padre Island.

Offline JWag

Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #8 on: 04/09/2012 04:20 pm »
This has to have been looked at before by other entities.  Was there a consensus on how Range Safety would be handled, and by whom?

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #9 on: 04/09/2012 04:24 pm »
This has to have been looked at before by other entities.  Was there a consensus on how Range Safety would be handled, and by whom?

By Spacex, it is their launch site.  They just have to follow FAA rules.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #10 on: 04/09/2012 04:25 pm »

You are overblowing this.  It is just an assessment.
So how many assessments did SpaceX have that were not followed by "action"?

They did an environmental assessment for flying the Falcon 9 from Kwajalein.



Falcon 1 from SLC-3.

Then there is Falcon 5, Falcon-1E.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #11 on: 04/09/2012 04:28 pm »
Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy from a Texas launch site. There you go, I guess that was the answer we were waiting for as far as a third launch site. I'm sure this will be breaking news in the Texas media.

You are overblowing this.  It is just an assessment.
So how many assessments did SpaceX have that were not followed by "action"?

Uh, Wallops.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #12 on: 04/09/2012 04:31 pm »
Reading the pdf I agree that this is about Grasshopper. BUT I would not call the F9/FH part an afterthought. Seems to be fully orbital infrastructure from the start.
But it is also clear that Grasshopper will fly from this site only.

The document mentions a capsule but does not mention passengers, so for the moment this is cargo only.

Offline go4mars

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #13 on: 04/09/2012 04:32 pm »
But it is also clear that Grasshopper will fly from this site only.
I assume you mean above 11500 feet.  They are planning to do flights from MacGregor with Grasshopper that go up to that height. 

It also says a variety of suborbital vehicles.  Not limited to just grasshopper. 
"Up to 12 per year."  My impression is that this includes sub-orbital flights based on the wording. 


What advantages does this location have over Vandenberg and the Cape (from an orbital mechanics point of view) if any? 
« Last Edit: 04/09/2012 04:44 pm by go4mars »
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Offline Jason1701

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #14 on: 04/09/2012 04:40 pm »
If they called it the KBH Spaceport, would she still hate them?

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #15 on: 04/09/2012 04:41 pm »
So flying the F9/FH East from South Texas. Any guess if the flight path is North or South of Cuba? My guess is the Southern route.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #16 on: 04/09/2012 05:00 pm »

There's a ~225x75 meter pad beside TX 4 at 25.983 N, 97.190 W with what might be scorch marks.  I wonder if the area was ever used for rocketry in past years.
"I canít tell you which asteroid, but there will be one in 2025," Bolden asserted.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #17 on: 04/09/2012 05:42 pm »
So flying the F9/FH East from South Texas. Any guess if the flight path is North or South of Cuba? My guess is the Southern route.

Does anyone know at what distance the F9 1st stage hit the ocean at the first 2 launches?

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #18 on: 04/09/2012 05:49 pm »
I was wondering how many oil rigs / drilling platforms are located in that area of the gulf. Those guys are not going to want to move every time SpaceX wants to launch.

How many tropical storms / huricanes hit that part of the coast ? Probably 1 or 2 per year, right ? Just the chance of a big storm would shutdown operations.

Offline mr. mark

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site
« Reply #19 on: 04/09/2012 05:52 pm »
Possible oil platform employee waiver? Or possible political solution?

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