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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Facilities and Fleets => Topic started by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/05/2019 07:36 am

Title: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/05/2019 07:36 am
Couldn’t find a thread specific to Cape facilities for Starship.

This seems like a good starting point:

https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1146887854334926863

Quote
SpaceX has a new job posting for “Launch Engineer, Starship Operations” in Cape Canaveral:

“The Cape Starship Operations Engineer...for Starship and Super Heavy vehicle development and initial launch capability from Launch Pad 39A.”

https://boards.greenhouse.io/spacex/jobs/4342965002?gh_jid=4342965002

Quote
LAUNCH ENGINEER, STARSHIP OPERATIONS
Cape Canaveral, FL, United States

SpaceX was founded under the belief that a future where humanity is out exploring the stars is fundamentally more exciting than one where we are not. Today SpaceX is actively developing the technologies to make this possible, with the ultimate goal of enabling human life on Mars.

LAUNCH ENGINEER (STARSHIP OPERATIONS)

The Cape Starship Operations Engineer plays a critical role, and is responsible for design, build, and operations for Starship and Super Heavy vehicle development and initial launch capability from Launch Pad 39A. Engineers will be working in multiple disciplines: fluids, structures, instrumentation, civil, and manufacturing.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Assist in the design and development of mechanical and fluid launch systems for the Starship and Super Heavy vehicle at our Cape Canaveral launch site
Develop novel ways site wide to streamline processes and increase the reliability of Starship operations
Projects will range from site development for fabrication, automated welding systems, launch pad fluid systems, to small custom valves for fluid systems, test fixtures, and automated mechanisms
Use your well-rounded technical knowledge to display proficiency in basic structural sizing, mechanisms, and design while making development decisions based on cost and schedule considerations
Directly support the fabrication of tooling and ground support equipment at the launch site facilities
Collaborate with both design and fabrication engineering
Ensure that all parts are received and inspected at the correct time to facilitate the build schedule
Participate in tool design and development
Develop production, activation, and operations procedures/processes
Resolve manufacturing discrepancies and interface with the cross functional teams

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:

Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering
2+ years of experience working with mechanical processes in a manufacturing environment
2+ year of hands-on fabrication, assembly, and/or testing experience

PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE:

Master's degree in an engineering discipline
Experience designing large mechanical systems within a fast paced environment requiring high-levels of autonomy and design creativity
Strong experience using a high-end CAD software design package (e.g. Unigraphics, CATIA, or ProE)
Previous experience managing large assembly models and drawings
Able to work well in an integrated collaborative team environment including daily interactions with technicians, engineers, and managers
Able to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment
Self-motivated and directed with keen attention to detail
Demonstrated expertise in the design of welded structures
Strong understanding and application of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)
Experience designing mass efficient structures
Ongoing drive for continuous improvement in all aspects of work
Able to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment
Detail oriented, organized, and demonstrate a high sense of urgency
Experience with metallic manufacturing techniques, processes, equipment, and other processes such as machining, welding, tube bending, structural assembly, etc.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

Ability to pass Air Force background check for Cape Canaveral
Ability to lift 20-30 lbs., standing, climbing, bending, grasping, sitting, pulling, pushing, stooping, stretching, and carrying may be required to perform the functions of this position
Willing to travel for undetermined periods of time with limited notice
Ability to work extended hours as needed to support project milestones

ITAR REQUIREMENTS:

To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here. 
SpaceX is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with SpaceX is governed on the basis of merit, competence and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.

Applicants wishing to view a copy of SpaceX’s Affirmative Action Plan for veterans and individuals with disabilities, or applicants requiring reasonable accommodation to the application/interview process should notify the Human Resources Department at (310) 363-6000.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Cheapchips on 07/05/2019 12:09 pm
Although we knew they were exploring the possibility, I think that's the first official confirmation that they plan on launching development vehicles out of 39a?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 07/05/2019 01:44 pm
I think it's just for the Starship prototypes, no idea where they will launch the full stack from.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/05/2019 02:02 pm
Although we knew they were exploring the possibility, I think that's the first official confirmation that they plan on launching development vehicles out of 39a?

Yes, I think that's true in terms of something said by SpaceX itself.

For completeness of this thread, here's the June 2 NSF article that made public that SpaceX was actively considering 39A:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/06/spacex-starhopper-hops-texas-pad-39a-plans-materialize-florida/

I think it's just for the Starship prototypes, no idea where they will launch the full stack from.

I agree that so far all SpaceX/Elon have explicitly talked about with Boca Chica and Cape launch sites is for testing prototypes. However, that obviously doesn't preclude doing operational/commercial launches from there as well. For example, I think dearmoon is most likely to launch from 39A.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: wannamoonbase on 07/05/2019 06:43 pm
I think if they are going to build up the facility and capability for LOx, Methane and other ground support for a new type of vehicle there will be financial and workforce benefits to starting in the same place you are likely to end up. 

NASA won't hate having the Super Heavy and Starship under development on KSC. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/05/2019 07:02 pm
Quote
The Cape Starship Operations Engineer plays a critical role, and is responsible for design, build, and operations for Starship and Super Heavy vehicle development and initial launch capability from Launch Pad 39A.

The SH part is new and significant.  Anybody have any thoughts on how SH could use the existing flame trench?  It'd be hard from where the Starship test pad is proposed to be located.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OxCartMark on 07/05/2019 07:51 pm
Have you ever felt like someone wrote a job description pointed at you?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Kansan52 on 07/05/2019 08:05 pm
...  Anybody have any thoughts on how SH could use the existing flame trench?  It'd be hard from where the Starship test pad is proposed to be located.

Maybe no F9 or FH and switch completely to SH/SS? If memory serves, the flame trench can do it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lar on 07/05/2019 09:05 pm
Have you ever felt like someone wrote a job description pointed at you?
Go get that job! I read it and wished I had the interdisciplinary experience needed... it sounds like a dream job that will give you an ulcer in a year but man what a ride...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gongora on 07/05/2019 09:14 pm
...  Anybody have any thoughts on how SH could use the existing flame trench?  It'd be hard from where the Starship test pad is proposed to be located.

Maybe no F9 or FH and switch completely to SH/SS? If memory serves, the flame trench can do it.

That is not feasible anytime soon.  They have large contracts for F9/FH flying from that pad.  You can't just throw away your existing vehicles before the replacement has even flown.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/05/2019 09:48 pm
That is not feasible anytime soon.  They have large contracts for F9/FH flying from that pad.  You can't just throw away your existing vehicles before the replacement has even flown.

That's my understanding, too.

A couple of half-baked ideas: 

1) Build an SH pad off to the side of the current F9/FH pad, so SH can share the same flame trench.  You'd have to do something weird with the flame deflector (maybe put it on rails?), and you'd need to have a very different way of putting the SS/SH/TEL onto the new pad.  You might need to build a new ramp.

2) Dig a new flame trench, and put the pad between the HIF and the current F9/FH pad.  You could presumably do this by building out the purported Starship test pad, but it sounds pretty expensive, and the HIF would be in for a bad day if the SH blew up.

One thing SpaceX has going for it:  All the truly scary SH testing can be done at Boca Chica, so the risk to the F9/FH infrastructure can be reduced.  But I still don't see how they're going to do this.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: billh on 07/05/2019 11:25 pm
I love how this qualification is listed twice:
Quote
Able to prioritize and execute tasks in a high-pressure environment
I think that's telling.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: GrandByte on 07/05/2019 11:45 pm
I feel that their best bet might be to move Falcon Heavy and Crew Dragon launches to other launchpads, so they can convert LC-39A to only launch Super Heavy/Starship. However, since there aren't that many spare launchpads floating around in Florida, that might become an issue. I know SLC-40 can be adapted for Crew Dragon with the addition of a crew arm, but it's too small to launch Falcon Heavy from. However they decide to tackle this problem will certainly be interesting indeed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/06/2019 01:31 am
I think SpaceX will find a way to use the flame trench. That seems like the most difficult part to build while the pad remains active and could be the longest lead time.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: BrianPeterson on 07/06/2019 03:56 am
What I haven't seen in any of the conversations of retrofitting 39A to handle starship is the potential of RUDs. 39A is too important to crew Dragon and Falcon heavy and starlink cadence when those launches start for, in my opinion, them risking 39A to a test rocket that frankly will probably at least once RUD.

It would be far safer if they are going to use 39a as the launch site, to build a side launch as has been pictured. The shorter distance between the two would lower tremendously the chance of a RUD doing any significant damage to the main pad that couldn't be repaired in short order.

I also question if the prep building could handle F9, Falcon Heave AND Starship. It looks full and busy most of the time now from pictures released. Frankly I'm of the mind that ultimately they'll move Starship to another pad entirely to test. I would not be surprised seeing as what there is in Boca that initial flights of the FL startship take place from the landing site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/06/2019 04:30 am
I feel that their best bet might be to move Falcon Heavy and Crew Dragon launches to other launchpads, so they can convert LC-39A to only launch Super Heavy/Starship. However, since there aren't that many spare launchpads floating around in Florida, that might become an issue. I know SLC-40 can be adapted for Crew Dragon with the addition of a crew arm, but it's too small to launch Falcon Heavy from. However they decide to tackle this problem will certainly be interesting indeed.

LC-40 doesn't have a service tower.  You'll need a lot more than a crew access arm.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/06/2019 04:32 am
What I haven't seen in any of the conversations of retrofitting 39A to handle starship is the potential of RUDs. 39A is too important to crew Dragon and Falcon heavy and starlink cadence when those launches start for, in my opinion, them risking 39A to a test rocket that frankly will probably at least once RUD.

It would be far safer if they are going to use 39a as the launch site, to build a side launch as has been pictured. The shorter distance between the two would lower tremendously the chance of a RUD doing any significant damage to the main pad that couldn't be repaired in short order.

I also question if the prep building could handle F9, Falcon Heave AND Starship. It looks full and busy most of the time now from pictures released. Frankly I'm of the mind that ultimately they'll move Starship to another pad entirely to test. I would not be surprised seeing as what there is in Boca that initial flights of the FL startship take place from the landing site.

Where the Starship pad is proposed has no access to the big flame trench.  That's probably not a problem for Starship, but it is for SuperHeavy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gtae07 on 07/06/2019 09:33 am
Have you ever felt like someone wrote a job description pointed at you?

I know what you mean.  However I think my wife would be... less than pleased... and I really do like my time off...

Now, if I were a little younger, and single...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jpo234 on 07/06/2019 09:45 am
Although we knew they were exploring the possibility, I think that's the first official confirmation that they plan on launching development vehicles out of 39a?

Yes, I think that's true in terms of something said by SpaceX itself.

It's right there in the very first ITS video released in 2016...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Cheapchips on 07/06/2019 12:16 pm
It's right there in the very first ITS video released in 2016...

That's why I said Development vehicles.  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: BrianPeterson on 07/06/2019 02:14 pm
Where the Starship pad is proposed has no access to the big flame trench.  That's probably not a problem for Starship, but it is for SuperHeavy.

What is the obsession with that trench? It's piled dirt with a high temperature concrete skin. A secondary one can easily be built.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 07/06/2019 02:23 pm
Where the Starship pad is proposed has no access to the big flame trench.  That's probably not a problem for Starship, but it is for SuperHeavy.

What is the obsession with that trench? It's piled dirt with a high temperature concrete skin. A secondary one can easily be built.

Why spend time and money building a new trench when you don't need one? Use the one that's already there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: BrianPeterson on 07/06/2019 02:34 pm
Why spend time and money building a new trench when you don't need one? Use the one that's already there.

Well frankly because I can see building one being cheaper than the money/time/flights lost if the test article explodes on the existing pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 07/06/2019 02:45 pm
Why spend time and money building a new trench when you don't need one? Use the one that's already there.

Well frankly because I can see building one being cheaper than the money/time/flights lost if the test article explodes on the existing pad.

The new proposed launch pad is still plenty close.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: speedevil on 07/06/2019 03:05 pm
Why spend time and money building a new trench when you don't need one? Use the one that's already there.

Well frankly because I can see building one being cheaper than the money/time/flights lost if the test article explodes on the existing pad.
'The north side of the flame trench is 180m long,20 m wide and 14m high'.
As an admittedly silly example, deck barges are ~$2M new per 100*30m. Six laid down to make a deck of a trench, with eight stacked forming the sides gets you to pretty much the same dimension for very close on the order of $15M.

They don't even need to be well anchored as filling the top ones with a hundred thousand tons of water will keep them in place just fine.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OxCartMark on 07/06/2019 04:15 pm
Why spend time and money building a new trench when you don't need one? Use the one that's already there.

Well frankly because I can see building one being cheaper than the money/time/flights lost if the test article explodes on the existing pad.
'The north side of the flame trench is 180m long,20 m wide and 14m high'.
As an admittedly silly example, deck barges are ~$2M new per 100*30m. Six laid down to make a deck of a trench, with eight stacked forming the sides gets you to pretty much the same dimension for very close on the order of $15M.

They don't even need to be well anchored as filling the top ones with a hundred thousand tons of water will keep them in place just fine.

Not silly but I think your $2M / barge cost is a bit light.  I'm going to offer you a seat on the ISSS advocacy board and assign to you member number 2.   https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47001.msg1962562#msg1962562 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47001.msg1962562#msg1962562)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: BrianPeterson on 07/06/2019 04:32 pm
The new proposed launch pad is still plenty close.

Yes, but watch the Amos 6 static fire explosion, the most destructive part of the explosion is contained within the lightning towers. Anything could happen, starship could launch and go right into the main structure of 39A from a secondary pad, but a secondary pad still removes a lot of the risk to the main pad.

Everyone seems to be obsessed with that flame trench and cost of building one for a new pad. I see the possibility of losing the existing pad to an experimental system a far greater cost/risk proposition.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: matthewkantar on 07/06/2019 04:34 pm
Why spend time and money building a new trench when you don't need one? Use the one that's already there.

Well frankly because I can see building one being cheaper than the money/time/flights lost if the test article explodes on the existing pad.
'The north side of the flame trench is 180m long,20 m wide and 14m high'.
As an admittedly silly example, deck barges are ~$2M new per 100*30m. Six laid down to make a deck of a trench, with eight stacked forming the sides gets you to pretty much the same dimension for very close on the order of $15M.

They don't even need to be well anchored as filling the top ones with a hundred thousand tons of water will keep them in place just fine.

Not silly but I think your $2M / barge cost is a bit light.  I'm going to offer you a seat on the ISSS advocacy board and assign to you member number 2.   https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47001.msg1962562#msg1962562 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47001.msg1962562#msg1962562)

May I suggest the first item on your agenda? To work toward a determination that barges are indeed LEGO elements. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/06/2019 05:31 pm
What is the obsession with that trench? It's piled dirt with a high temperature concrete skin. A secondary one can easily be built.

It's a fair question.

If you look at satellite photos, the current flame trench extends north, in line with the old crawler ramp (now the TE ramp), and the southward portion is divided in two by an island that forms the center part of the ramp, which supports the TE tower, while the transporter rails run along the outside edges of the ramp.

Recent FH launch video shows almost all of the exhaust going north.  Shuttle launches look like all the SSME exhaust goes south, while the SRB exhaust goes north.  And Apollo launches look like the exhaust is about equally distributed north and south.  (Do I have this right?)

The first thing to note is that the flame trench is an integral part of the pad itself.  I suspect that that means that building a new trench is pretty much equivalent to building a new pad.

The next thing to note is that the island in the center of the trench makes it very difficult to build a second launch mount very far to the south of the current launch mount and still use the trench.  I guess you could put a second TE mount just to the north of the island, but the stresses on the island would have to be taken into account.  And, if exhaust is mostly directed north, there's the whole issue of how you protect the existing mount and service structure from the exhaust.

Could you build an east-west flame trench?  Not without pretty much demolishing the ramp, which sounds like it would take the pad down for months if not years.

It looks to me that the flame "trench" for Starship tests, with a pad SSE of the main pad, would extend east, and would be pretty simple.  It doesn't have to handle huge amounts of exhaust.

I guess the question is whether that eastward trench, if built out more extensively, could handle SuperHeavy exhaust.  That seems... possible?  But the existing trench was designed to handle Saturn V mass flow and thrust, which is similar to SH, and it required bidirectional redirection of the exhaust.  A unidirectional trench therefore seems pretty iffy.

Seems like the only thing that's viable at 39A for SH is to re-do the launch mount to handle TE's for all 3 vehicles.  If Florida is only going to be used to handle high-inclination cargo launches for SH/SS, then maybe it can be horizontally integrated on some kind of super-TE, in which case maybe the service structure work isn't so bad.  But if SH/SS has to be vertically integrated or stacked, and it's hard to imagine 100 tonnes of payload being horizontally integrated, then using 39A is a real mess.

Of course, there's a pretty robust school of thought that says that LC-39B might be available in a few years.  It has a perfectly good flame trench already built.  Maybe doing a kludge at 39A for the early years of SH/SS isn't so bad if they can roll to a properly vertically-integrated system if/when SLS shuffles off this mortal coil.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/06/2019 05:40 pm
The new proposed launch pad is still plenty close.

Yes, but watch the Amos 6 static fire explosion, the most destructive part of the explosion is contained within the lightning towers. Anything could happen, starship could launch and go right into the main structure of 39A from a secondary pad, but a secondary pad still removes a lot of the risk to the main pad.

Everyone seems to be obsessed with that flame trench and cost of building one for a new pad. I see the possibility of losing the existing pad to an experimental system a far greater cost/risk proposition.

Note that there's a pretty simple risk mitigation strategy here:  Do things at BC until you know what you're doing.

Florida has lots of nice properties for extensive suborbital tests of Starship.  But presumably suborbital follows hopper testing, which is more likely to cause massive destruction.  I'm betting that all hopper stuff will be done at BC, as well as early suborbits.  For the same reasons, I'm betting that most of the SuperHeavy qualification will occur at BC.

SpaceX needs SH/SS in Florida to access high-inclination orbits, but that's for an operational cargo system.  It would be (is) nice to access the assembly, integration, and ops expertise in Florida.  But it's not so nice that SpaceX would risk Commercial Crew or heavy DoD contracts.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: joek on 07/06/2019 06:38 pm
... Florida has lots of nice properties for extensive suborbital tests of Starship.  But presumably suborbital follows hopper testing, which is more likely to cause massive destruction.  I'm betting that all hopper stuff will be done at BC, as well as early suborbits.  For the same reasons, I'm betting that most of the SuperHeavy qualification will occur at BC.

Agree up to the " SuperHeavy qualification will occur at BC"... depends on what you mean by "qualification"?

Quote
SpaceX needs SH/SS in Florida to access high-inclination orbits, but that's for an operational cargo system.  It would be (is) nice to access the assembly, integration, and ops expertise in Florida.  But it's not so nice that SpaceX would risk Commercial Crew or heavy DoD contracts.

Starlink is the priority "operational cargo system".  Orbits required by Starlink are going to be more difficult to reach from BC than FL.  That suggests FL will be priority for SS/SH operational flights.  Anyone have an analysis of the penalties Starlink launches from BC would incur (calling @OneSpeed and @speedevil)?

Not to mention that SS orbital reentry terminal phase from BC or FL will be over land, which may be the elephant in the room.[1]  In short, my vote goes to BC for hopper/SS tests; FL for SH full-up tests and SS/SH first operational flights.


[1] Long ago and far away Kistler obtained approval for similar, but that was over underpopulated areas and sparse air routes in Nevada (specifically, the Nevada Test Site).
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: envy887 on 07/06/2019 06:41 pm
... Florida has lots of nice properties for extensive suborbital tests of Starship.  But presumably suborbital follows hopper testing, which is more likely to cause massive destruction.  I'm betting that all hopper stuff will be done at BC, as well as early suborbits.  For the same reasons, I'm betting that most of the SuperHeavy qualification will occur at BC.

Agree up to the " SuperHeavy qualification will occur at BC"... depends on what you mean by "qualification"?

Quote
SpaceX needs SH/SS in Florida to access high-inclination orbits, but that's for an operational cargo system.  It would be (is) nice to access the assembly, integration, and ops expertise in Florida.  But it's not so nice that SpaceX would risk Commercial Crew or heavy DoD contracts.

Starlink is the priority "operational cargo system".  Orbits required by Starlink are going to be more difficult to reach from BC than FL.  That suggests FL will be priority for SS/SH operational flights.  Anyone have an analysis of the penalties Starlink launches from BC would incur (calling @OneSpeed and @speedevil)?

Not to mention that SS orbital reentry terminal phase from BC or FL will be over land, which may be the elephant in the room.[1]  In short, my vote goes to BC for hopper/SS tests; FL for SH full-up tests and SS/SH first operational flights.


[1] Long ago and far away Kistler obtained approval for similar, but that was over underpopulated areas and sparse air routes in Nevada (specifically, the Nevada Test Site).

What about SuperHeavy hops without upper stage, if they do those?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gongora on 07/06/2019 07:07 pm
Not to mention that SS orbital reentry terminal phase from BC or FL will be over land, which may be the elephant in the room.[1]  In short, my vote goes to BC for hopper/SS tests; FL for SH full-up tests and SS/SH first operational flights.

They have permission to do that with Dragon already (it is going to land very close to shore on the manned flights).  SS is a bit bigger, so that might affect the calculations.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: joek on 07/06/2019 07:10 pm
What about SuperHeavy hops without upper stage, if they do those?

Good point... At BC?  Maybe.   Might allow them to do at least some SH qualification work at BC.  I could see building out some infrastructure at BC for such testing ahead of preparation for operational flights from BC in the more distant future.  But that still seems like a lot of infrastructure--even for stripped down (e.g., not all engines) SH tests.

Thus my interest in what is happening East of the BC hopper pad.  If we get clues it will be there.  Build a launch pad and flame trench suitable for SS only or for both SS and SH?  Would seem a small delta to build for both (although maybe not for a full SH engine complement)?

But getting a bit OT... my vote still for limited BC testing and FL for full-up testing and first operational flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: joek on 07/06/2019 07:31 pm
Not to mention that SS orbital reentry terminal phase from BC or FL will be over land, which may be the elephant in the room.[1]  In short, my vote goes to BC for hopper/SS tests; FL for SH full-up tests and SS/SH first operational flights.
They have permission to do that with Dragon already (it is going to land very close to shore on the manned flights).  SS is a bit bigger, so that might affect the calculations.

Think "a bit bigger" is a bit of an understatement.  Not to mention Dragon will be under parachutes (at least we hope and expect), which while not providing the accuracy of a powered landing, also entails less risk than a powered landing to both sides--at least as presently determined.[1]

Not that the problem is insoluble.  Could aim for greater/safer off-shore (Eastward) entry point with SS and "bring it back to land" so to speak--at the expense of some propellant or cross-range maneuvers?  No idea what that would entail or the penalties involved.


[1] Starting to drift OT; not the thread to debate that subject (again).
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/06/2019 07:50 pm
Agree up to the " SuperHeavy qualification will occur at BC"... depends on what you mean by "qualification"?

"Qualification" = "Confident enough that you won't make a mess of the pad" in this case.

Quote
Starlink is the priority "operational cargo system".  Orbits required by Starlink are going to be more difficult to reach from BC than FL.  That suggests FL will be priority for SS/SH operational flights.  Anyone have an analysis of the penalties Starlink launches from BC would incur (calling @OneSpeed and @speedevil)?

I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.

A plane change from 550x550x33 to 550x550x53 costs about 2600 m/s.  That's well beyond what Starship can do without on-orbit refueling, even if the payload is pretty small.  The low-inclination VLEO orbits cost between 1200 and 2000 m/s, which are somewhat better, but aren't going to get you as much as you'd get from a stretched-fairing FH3R launch from the Cape.

Quote
Not to mention that SS orbital reentry terminal phase from BC or FL will be over land, which may be the elephant in the room.[1]  In short, my vote goes to BC for hopper/SS tests; FL for SH full-up tests and SS/SH first operational flights.


[1] Long ago and far away Kistler obtained approval for similar, but that was over underpopulated areas and sparse air routes in Nevada (specifically, the Nevada Test Site).

That is indeed a fair-sized indoor pachyderm.  But EDL over CO, NM, and West Texas is pretty good from a sparse population standpoint.  Also, I wouldn't completely rule out that SpaceX might eventually put a landing pad somewhere really desolate (how 'bout White Sands?).  From there, getting a Starship back to either BC or MacGregor is pretty easy.  Wide loads, even 9m-wide loads, could probably be accommodated.

EDL into Florida is a horse of a different quantum number.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: joek on 07/06/2019 08:37 pm
That is indeed a fair-sized indoor pachyderm.  But EDL over CO, NM, and West Texas is pretty good from a sparse population standpoint.  Also, I wouldn't completely rule out that SpaceX might eventually put a landing pad somewhere really desolate (how 'bout White Sands?).  From there, getting a Starship back to either BC or MacGregor is pretty easy.  Wide loads, even 9m-wide loads, could probably be accommodated.

EDL into Florida is a horse of a different quantum number.

Kistler chose an area within the Nevada Test Site for a reason.  Not many sites which meet the criteria in the continental US.  Then again, that was then, this is now... Although SpaceX's demonstrated capability of more precise landings may allow other options (although that has been demonstrated only for suborbital, not for orbital reentry).

What would be the effect of making SS effective terminal entry point, e.g., 150mi East of FL or BC [1], and land from the East?  Likely someone around here can do the analysis?  (I have no idea.)


[1] 150mi arbitrary; no idea what might satisfy the FAA, at least for the near term.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: joek on 07/06/2019 08:49 pm
...
I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.

A plane change from 550x550x33 to 550x550x53 costs about 2600 m/s.  That's well beyond what Starship can do without on-orbit refueling, even if the payload is pretty small.  The low-inclination VLEO orbits cost between 1200 and 2000 m/s, which are somewhat better, but aren't going to get you as much as you'd get from a stretched-fairing FH3R launch from the Cape.
...

That strongly suggests priority for SS/SH operational launches (Starlink) is FL, not BC, and FL is where we should see SpaceX focusing their efforts for operational pad construction, yes?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OxCartMark on 07/06/2019 10:50 pm
May I suggest the first item on your agenda? To work toward a determination that barges are indeed LEGO elements.

Looks like it from here.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/07/2019 03:27 am
...
I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.

A plane change from 550x550x33 to 550x550x53 costs about 2600 m/s.  That's well beyond what Starship can do without on-orbit refueling, even if the payload is pretty small.  The low-inclination VLEO orbits cost between 1200 and 2000 m/s, which are somewhat better, but aren't going to get you as much as you'd get from a stretched-fairing FH3R launch from the Cape.
...

That strongly suggests priority for SS/SH operational launches (Starlink) is FL, not BC, and FL is where we should see SpaceX focusing their efforts for operational pad construction, yes?

I think so.  But I still don't understand how they spin up launch facilities for the whole thing.  I just don't buy them launching that big a rocket from that tiny a pad, with no bidirectional flame trench.  My money's on horizontal integration for the time being, however much that limits the payload mass, because then the mods to 39A are probably doable between FH and CCP missions.

Anybody have an opinion on how big a payload (specifically a stack of Starlinks) you could horizontally integrate on a Starship?  If you need to use a 5-tonne PAF to keep it from torquing off the mount, that's probably fine, but at some point I'd guess the Starship structure will start to complain if you're trying to cantilever 100 tonnes off any kind of PAF.

Update:  I still think they'll work most of the kinks out in BC, because the consequences of blowing up 39A are very, very nasty.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/07/2019 03:50 am
What would be the effect of making SS effective terminal entry point, e.g., 150mi East of FL or BC [1], and land from the East?  Likely someone around here can do the analysis?  (I have no idea.)

Hard to say until we know more about the belly-flop reentry profile.  That might put the bulk of reentry over South Texas, which is a bad place to drop pieces of dead spacecraft.  But once you're going straight down in belly-flop mode, you only need to be a few miles off the coast to make things safe for descent.  Not quite sure how you'd get negative velocity back along the track, though: can you gimbal your landing burn enough to get back to the landing pad?

Still no clue what you do in Florida.  You could land on a drone ship well off the coast, but that probably runs a good risk of dropping pieces-parts on panhandle and central Florida.  Or you could land on the Gulf side and barge the Starship back to Canaveral.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OneSpeed on 07/07/2019 04:08 am
Starlink is the priority "operational cargo system".  Orbits required by Starlink are going to be more difficult to reach from BC than FL.  That suggests FL will be priority for SS/SH operational flights.  Anyone have an analysis of the penalties Starlink launches from BC would incur (calling @OneSpeed and @speedevil)?

I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.

A plane change from 550x550x33 to 550x550x53 costs about 2600 m/s.  That's well beyond what Starship can do without on-orbit refueling, even if the payload is pretty small.  The low-inclination VLEO orbits cost between 1200 and 2000 m/s, which are somewhat better, but aren't going to get you as much as you'd get from a stretched-fairing FH3R launch from the Cape.

Nice work!

I've just started a new topic in response to this: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48496.msg1963477#msg1963477

I'm hoping for it to be a central location for the various tools that people have created over the years. I've kicked it off with a Rocket Equation and a Vis-Viva Equation tool. I've used your launch out of Boca Chica as an example, although I've assumed the initial orbit is 180 x 440 kms.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DigitalMan on 07/07/2019 07:36 am
I've attached an image of the 39A flame trench I took a short time before the handover to SpaceX if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: speedevil on 07/07/2019 12:43 pm
I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.

A plane change from 550x550x33 to 550x550x53 costs about 2600 m/s.  That's well beyond what Starship can do without on-orbit refueling, even if the payload is pretty small.  The low-inclination VLEO orbits cost between 1200 and 2000 m/s, which are somewhat better, but aren't going to get you as much as you'd get from a stretched-fairing FH3R launch from the Cape.

In this thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47001.msg1946237#msg1946237) I made some rough calculations, and came to the conclusion that a launch ballistically due east at ~45 degrees elevation to 2km/s at which point you go ballistic till you near the atmosphere, taking you some 400km east of BC.
At this point, you light up again, and proceed with the rest of the burn.
This has ~2km/s penalty, not ~2.7.

However, it has the major issue that SH is downrange a thousand kilometers and needs to barge land.

I disagree that even a 2.6km/s plane change kills the idea.

It depends on launch costs.
If your primary goal is to prove out SS, and you are just fine with tiny launches, yes indeed it takes nearly all of the "100t+" payload to get to the right orbit.

However, 'just' ten or twenty or fifty tons (depending on how you read the + in "100t+" and work out empty weight) may be just fine.
Even five tons may be cheaper than a F9 launch, if in fact refurbishment hits cost targets, and you can launch a lot.

This is without more aggressive use of the ion engines.
If you use them to do 1300m/s (this has not been demonstrated as reasonably capable on the Starlink sats yet), things change rather a lot.

There are many reasons SpaceX would be very happy to operate launching only tiny amounts of cargo at a time, from it makes the payload adaptors trivial, to a deployment mechanism as simple as a 9m double extension door slide out a tiny hatch.
And of course the obvious of flying it a lot to qualify it for nervous users or people.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/07/2019 05:31 pm
I've attached an image of the 39A flame trench I took a short time before the handover to SpaceX if anyone is interested.

Would you happen to have a shot from the south side?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/07/2019 06:15 pm
I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.

A plane change from 550x550x33 to 550x550x53 costs about 2600 m/s.  That's well beyond what Starship can do without on-orbit refueling, even if the payload is pretty small.  The low-inclination VLEO orbits cost between 1200 and 2000 m/s, which are somewhat better, but aren't going to get you as much as you'd get from a stretched-fairing FH3R launch from the Cape.

In this thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47001.msg1946237#msg1946237) I made some rough calculations, and came to the conclusion that a launch ballistically due east at ~45 degrees elevation to 2km/s at which point you go ballistic till you near the atmosphere, taking you some 400km east of BC.
At this point, you light up again, and proceed with the rest of the burn.
This has ~2km/s penalty, not ~2.7.

However, it has the major issue that SH is downrange a thousand kilometers and needs to barge land.

I disagree that even a 2.6km/s plane change kills the idea.

It depends on launch costs.
If your primary goal is to prove out SS, and you are just fine with tiny launches, yes indeed it takes nearly all of the "100t+" payload to get to the right orbit.

However, 'just' ten or twenty or fifty tons (depending on how you read the + in "100t+" and work out empty weight) may be just fine.
Even five tons may be cheaper than a F9 launch, if in fact refurbishment hits cost targets, and you can launch a lot.

This is without more aggressive use of the ion engines.
If you use them to do 1300m/s (this has not been demonstrated as reasonably capable on the Starlink sats yet), things change rather a lot.

There are many reasons SpaceX would be very happy to operate launching only tiny amounts of cargo at a time, from it makes the payload adaptors trivial, to a deployment mechanism as simple as a 9m double extension door slide out a tiny hatch.
And of course the obvious of flying it a lot to qualify it for nervous users or people.

That's an interesting trajectory.  I'd never thought about a "vertical dogleg" before.  Some questions:

1) Did you ever de-rate this from Adelaide to DearMoon specs?

2) How much SH delta-v do you lose to gravity drag in the loft?

3) Risk of accident at staging is extremely high, and this has the nice property that staging accidents wind up in the drink.  But there is also some non-trivial residual risk of catastrophic failure during the Starship burn, and a lot of that failure track is still going over the Yucatan.  I did a quick azimuth map for various inclinations from BC a while back:

(https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gEFm5R5dsm8/XBCw95NW4cI/AAAAAAAAASE/E3bRoz2L2m0RjSvw67SnlYNZrW0RouvPQCLcBGAs/s1600/Screen%2BShot%2B2018-12-12%2Bat%2B12.49.15%2BAM.png)

If I eyeball sliding that whole set of southern legs 400 km to the right, the azimuth for the 53 degree inclination still looks like it overflies most of the Yucatan, but I have no intuition about what an extra 1500 m/s of downrange velocity does to it.  It'd be interesting to work out the actual azimuth and trajectory.  My guess is that you're still gonna have a decent-sized risk to the public, but running the numbers in some detail might say otherwise.

Worth looking at.  If SpaceX can vertically integrate 5x the number of Starlinks at BC, that makes short work of their initial deployment deadlines.

PS:  I haven't seen a lot of discussion about vertical vs. horizontal payload integration for Starship, but I'm kind of a newb on NSF.  Has there been a thread on this?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: speedevil on 07/07/2019 09:24 pm
In this thread (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47001.msg1946237#msg1946237) I made some rough calculations, and came to the conclusion that a launch ballistically due east at ~45 degrees elevation to 2km/s at which point you go ballistic till you near the atmosphere, taking you some 400km east of BC.
At this point, you light up again, and proceed with the rest of the burn.
This has ~2km/s penalty, not ~2.7.
That's an interesting trajectory.  I'd never thought about a "vertical dogleg" before.  Some questions:

1) Did you ever de-rate this from Adelaide to DearMoon specs?

2) How much SH delta-v do you lose to gravity drag in the loft?

I would argue that DearMoon is not convincingly derated, as  to read the dear moon presentation too literally makes it basically impossible.
(You can't get round the moon on 101+ of propellant, without assuming a ridiculously low dry mass or retanking).

The 100t+ figure is mentioned in other contexts in which it is clear it is not meant that it is without retanking.

100t+ is a marketing number only - I do not see it as inconsistent with 150 tons.

This of course is before the change to stainless which according to Elon is lighter, and better.

On the vertical loft, surprisingly little.
Going 15 degrees higher in loft to 2km/s, and then having to keep your exhaust 15 degrees down on relight is near zero penalty.
I guesstimated 500m/s loss - I did not carefully analyse this.
I need either more or less coffee before approaching the maths more carefully.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Zpoxy on 07/07/2019 10:59 pm
I've attached an image of the 39A flame trench I took a short time before the handover to SpaceX if anyone is interested.

Would you happen to have a shot from the south side?
The south side of the flame trench was filled and decked for the TEL transporter and supports to ride on. Plus the hydraulic cylinders that raise the TEL are located there too. Look at the bottom of the launch photo, you can see almost all of the exhaust exits the trench to the north.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 07/10/2019 01:06 pm
I have to wonder if long term we'll see the SLS project collapse under the weight of its own bureaucracy.   Then SpaceX can lease 39B, use the VAB to stack SS & SH, and use the Mobile Transporter to carry the stack out to the pad.  The VAB/39B facilities are definitely better suited to Starship than the way 39A is currently configured.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: quagmire on 07/10/2019 01:16 pm
The south side of the flame trench was filled and decked for the TEL transporter and supports to ride on. Plus the hydraulic cylinders that raise the TEL are located there too. Look at the bottom of the launch photo, you can see almost all of the exhaust exits the trench to the north.

Those hydraulic cylinder location is not new and not the south flame trench. The south flame trench is the side facing the HIF. The hydraulic cylinders were there during the Shuttle days too.

(http://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2011/07/space_shuttle_atlantis_on_launch_pad_39a2/10068032-2-eng-GB/Space_shuttle_Atlantis_on_Launch_Pad_39A_node_full_image_2.jpg)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Zpoxy on 07/10/2019 07:48 pm
The south side of the flame trench was filled and decked for the TEL transporter and supports to ride on. Plus the hydraulic cylinders that raise the TEL are located there too. Look at the bottom of the launch photo, you can see almost all of the exhaust exits the trench to the north.

Those hydraulic cylinder location is not new and not the south flame trench. The south flame trench is the side facing the HIF. The hydraulic cylinders were there during the Shuttle days too.

(http://www.esa.int/var/esa/storage/images/esa_multimedia/images/2011/07/space_shuttle_atlantis_on_launch_pad_39a2/10068032-2-eng-GB/Space_shuttle_Atlantis_on_Launch_Pad_39A_node_full_image_2.jpg)
Quagmire, those are not hydraulic cylinders you're talking about. That area is called the catacombs and those are compressed gas storage cylinders, yes they were present for Shuttle and Apollo. The hydraulic cylinders / rams I'm talking about are indeed in the south side of the flame trench, they raise and lower the transporter erector. Those are new, installed by SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: quagmire on 07/10/2019 08:02 pm
Quagmire, those are not hydraulic cylinders you're talking about. That area is called the catacombs and those are compressed gas storage cylinders, yes they were present for Shuttle and Apollo. The hydraulic cylinders / rams I'm talking about are indeed in the south side of the flame trench, they raise and lower the transporter erector. Those are new, installed by SpaceX.

Ah ok.... I am betting the red circle was already added to that top photo and not added by you then? That made me think you were referencing those things as being the south flame trench.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Zpoxy on 07/10/2019 08:52 pm
Quagmire, those are not hydraulic cylinders you're talking about. That area is called the catacombs and those are compressed gas storage cylinders, yes they were present for Shuttle and Apollo. The hydraulic cylinders / rams I'm talking about are indeed in the south side of the flame trench, they raise and lower the transporter erector. Those are new, installed by SpaceX.

Ah ok.... I am betting the red circle was already added to that top photo and not added by you then? That made me think you were referencing those things as being the south flame trench.
Yes, it was already there. It was the only photo I could find with a decent view of the south side.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Barley on 07/16/2019 03:38 am

I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.
What are the constraints here?

It has been suggested that it is okay to launch south from Cape Canaveral, over flying Cuba.  Cuba is about 400 miles from the Cape.  The Yucatan, and New Orleans, are over 500 miles from BC.  Is it just that we don't like the Cubans?

The US-Mexico border runs essentially due east from BC in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you launch a bit south of east you will cut across Mexican territorial waters.  How high or how far east do you need to be that you don't need Mexican permission?

 
That is indeed a fair-sized indoor pachyderm.  But EDL over CO, NM, and West Texas is pretty good from a sparse population standpoint.  Also, I wouldn't completely rule out that SpaceX might eventually put a landing pad somewhere really desolate (how 'bout White Sands?).  From there, getting a Starship back to either BC or MacGregor is pretty easy.  Wide loads, even 9m-wide loads, could probably be accommodated.

EDL into Florida is a horse of a different quantum number.
If you launch east from BC won't EDL be mostly in Mexican airspace?

Is there any launch from BC that avoids Mexico for during both launch and landing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: speedevil on 07/16/2019 11:35 am
 
That is indeed a fair-sized indoor pachyderm.  But EDL over CO, NM, and West Texas is pretty good from a sparse population standpoint.  Also, I wouldn't completely rule out that SpaceX might eventually put a landing pad somewhere really desolate (how 'bout White Sands?).  From there, getting a Starship back to either BC or MacGregor is pretty easy.  Wide loads, even 9m-wide loads, could probably be accommodated.

EDL into Florida is a horse of a different quantum number.
If you launch east from BC won't EDL be mostly in Mexican airspace?

Is there any launch from BC that avoids Mexico for during both launch and landing?

Taking 'any' to the extremes - due east, burn for luna, once round into a retrograde orbit, enter due west. (of marginal utility even if it works)

A few degrees north or south is plausible to tweak aerodynamically, but the border kinks hard north after only ~200km.
That's ~mach 8 and 5 minutes out on landing, and very much in the range that a catastrophic breakup could put down a lot of debris.


Flying over Mexico (or the US) is likely to be possible only at extreme altitudes and velocities that basically mean you're most of the way to Florida before landing.
For some considerable time at least.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 07/16/2019 01:04 pm
Correct me if I'm wrong, but beyond the initial minute of flight where other airspace occupants need to be considered, the 'flightpath' (ground projection of vehicle track) is of not much concern but rather the projection of the instantaneous impact point - plus projected impact area governed by debris spread model plus time delta between off-axis thrust detection and flight termination - that needs to be steered around populated areas.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: speedevil on 07/16/2019 01:34 pm
Correct me if I'm wrong, but beyond the initial minute of flight where other airspace occupants need to be considered, the 'flightpath' (ground projection of vehicle track) is of not much concern but rather the projection of the instantaneous impact point - plus projected impact area governed by debris spread model plus time delta between off-axis thrust detection and flight termination - that needs to be steered around populated areas.
In practice,  unless you are maneuvering hard aerodynamically, the possible debris track will overlay the flightpath.
The two only differ meaningfully if you have specific events you think might cause a breakup or loss of control.

Possible debris impact can happen quite a lot before the landing site along the ground track - peak heating is ~1500km out, and a severe breakup then could drop its first debris up to 1000km before the landing point. (most of the mass would not make it to the ground in this scenario).
This makes pretty much all entry over land questionable unless you have really nailed down the breakup risk.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 07/16/2019 01:50 pm
I was thinking more in terms of dogleg trajectories, where the ground track and IIP will significantly diverge (both on the way up and down).
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 07/16/2019 10:52 pm

I've done some work on that.  Assuming that launching over the Southeast US or Yucatan isn't allowed, the highest inclination you can get to is about 33 degrees, launching from BC through the Yucatan Channel.  I suspect that a dog-leg doesn't help very much, because by the time you clear Cancun, you're going fast enough that it's close to a full-up orbital plane change.
What are the constraints here?

It has been suggested that it is okay to launch south from Cape Canaveral, over flying Cuba.  Cuba is about 400 miles from the Cape.  The Yucatan, and New Orleans, are over 500 miles from BC.  Is it just that we don't like the Cubans?

The US-Mexico border runs essentially due east from BC in the Gulf of Mexico.  If you launch a bit south of east you will cut across Mexican territorial waters.  How high or how far east do you need to be that you don't need Mexican permission?

 
That is indeed a fair-sized indoor pachyderm.  But EDL over CO, NM, and West Texas is pretty good from a sparse population standpoint.  Also, I wouldn't completely rule out that SpaceX might eventually put a landing pad somewhere really desolate (how 'bout White Sands?).  From there, getting a Starship back to either BC or MacGregor is pretty easy.  Wide loads, even 9m-wide loads, could probably be accommodated.

EDL into Florida is a horse of a different quantum number.
If you launch east from BC won't EDL be mostly in Mexican airspace?

Is there any launch from BC that avoids Mexico for during both launch and landing?

I don't quite understand the Cuban Dogleg.  My guess is that it goes over a fairly narrow, sparsely populated part of the island (sort of Caguanes Park and points south).  Remember that the standard for risk to public is 1E-4 per flight (or is it 1E-5?).  You get that by integrating the risk of a debris-generating failure and the population density where that debris would impact, along the trajectory.  If you're not over land very long, and the land isn't densely populated, or if the period that the debris would impact the area happens to be in a relatively failure-free part of the trajectory, you can sometimes get away with an overflight.

There are sparsely populated parts of the Yucatan, but it's big, and there are also incredibly densely populated parts.  The US Southeast would obviously be a bit of a faux pas, as would going down the spine of Cuba and Hispaniola.  My guess is that they're restricted to the Yucatan Channel and the part of the Florida Strait that doesn't overfly the Bahamas.  That is, fortunately, just fine for a lot of BEO missions, but not so great for Starlink.

I do think that southerly launches will have to be coordinated with Mexican ATC.  However, EDL's won't come from due west; they're likely to come from the northwest.  That may hug the border in some cases, but probably won't overfly it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Rondaz on 07/17/2019 08:02 pm
Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins Returns to Launch Complex 39A

Linda Herridge Posted on July 17, 2019

Fifty years ago this week, the world watched and celebrated as the crew of Apollo 11 made history. Commander Neil Armstrong and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin became the first two people to set foot on the Moon as Command Module Pilot Michael Collins orbited above the lunar surface.

On July 16, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, astronaut Michael Collins, right, visited Kennedy Space Center and toured Launch Complex 39A, the site of the launch, with Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana. During his visit to the Florida spaceport, Collins discussed the moments leading up to launch at 9:32 a.m. on July 16, 1969, and what it was like to be part of the first crew to land on the Moon.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2019/07/17/apollo-11-astronaut-michael-collins-returns-to-launch-complex-39a/
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: docmordrid on 07/20/2019 01:52 am
Dark Energy @Alejandro_DebH
Replying to @elonmusk @annerajb
How are you going to have 39A ready in time for that??? O.o
|
Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
Starship launch structure is being built off-site in steel subsections
|
Falcon 9 Block 5 @Falcon9Block5
Replying to @elonmusk and 2 others
What will become of the old 39A tower?
|
Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
Won't change. Starship launch structure will be attached to the other side from tower.

https://twitter.com/Alejandro_DebH/status/1152374738662150145
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RoboGoofers on 07/20/2019 04:08 pm
So 39A is the first launch site and the cocoa SS will be the lead ship. I wonder if BC Starship progress will slow down, then.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gongora on 07/20/2019 04:24 pm
So 39A is the first launch site and the cocoa SS will be the lead ship. I wonder if BC Starship progress will slow down, then.

Where did it say 39A is the first launch site?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Cheapchips on 07/20/2019 04:44 pm
So 39A is the first launch site and the cocoa SS will be the lead ship. I wonder if BC Starship progress will slow down, then.

Where did it say 39A is the first launch site?

Musk didn't. It was 2-3 month for both prototypes and then someone went on to ask 39a questions.  Fairly safe to assume that there's launch structure being assembled for BC as well, if it's required for three engine tests.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Ludus on 07/21/2019 10:18 pm
So SpaceX is now building new flame ducts and pad for the other side of the FSS in steel subsections off-site? I suppose new service building? 39a is confirmed to launch both F9/FH and Starship/SH?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/22/2019 07:04 am
39a is confirmed to launch both F9/FH and Starship/SH?

It appears that way, at least for test flights with initial prototypes. Arguably Elon has only talked about SS rather than SH, but given how soon he says orbital flights could follow initial flights I think it must be from the same pad.

Even with reduced number of Raptors on first FH (20 vs 35?) that’s still a huge amount of thrust, so pad design is going to be interesting. Would also expect there to be an environmental impact assessment soon, otherwise that’ll be the critical path.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Cheapchips on 07/22/2019 12:40 pm
Could these triangular thingies be supports for launch shelf?  Attach them into the sides of the flame trench with a few screws?

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: intelati on 07/22/2019 04:27 pm
Could these triangular thingies be supports for launch shelf?  Attach them into the sides of the flame trench with a few screws?

Good eye.

But my pedant self is screaming bolts.....
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: testguy on 07/22/2019 06:15 pm
Could these triangular thingies be supports for launch shelf?  Attach them into the sides of the flame trench with a few screws?

Also the large diameter pipe and pipe elbows appear to be the same as we have seen in one of the BC yards if I am remembering correctly.. I asked a while back what they were for and no one volunteered any ideas. If they are both sites then it appears they will be part of some launch structure
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ShawnGSE on 07/30/2019 12:03 am
Could these triangular thingies be supports for launch shelf?  Attach them into the sides of the flame trench with a few screws?

No those are construction supports for something.  Used very similar structures (or maybe even those) when building the TE inside the 39A hangar to keep it up off the ground. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 08/02/2019 10:11 pm
I think we should either make a new master thread or rename and continue this one now that we have the Draft EA and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

Can't wait to see the hold-downs for 14Million lbs of Thrust...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gongora on 08/02/2019 10:13 pm
and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

We don't know any such thing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 08/02/2019 10:26 pm
and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

We don't know any such thing.
Let me rephrase that. I am referring to the operational Full Stack. Prototypes will be launched and landed in both FL and BC. But full stack SH/SS launch and landing operational missions will be at Pad 39A.

From the EA:  "LC-39A provides the best combination of available real estate, existing developments, distance from population centers, and available clear launch azimuths to maximize public safety for operational launches,” the report concludes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DistantTemple on 08/02/2019 10:42 pm
and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

We don't know any such thing.
Let me rephrase that. I am referring to the operational Full Stack. Prototypes will be launched and landed in both FL and BC. But full stack SH/SS launch and landing operational missions will be at Pad 39A.

From the EA:  "LC-39A provides the best combination of available real estate, existing developments, distance from population centers, and available clear launch azimuths to maximize public safety for operational launches,” the report concludes.
Yes we all read that agreed. But this is the EA for 39A and it can be 80% true, and not be misleading. However it does not say that SX agrees to not develop the Boca Chica site. 24 launches will be OK for the first year or two, but  it will be useless to uphold the planned Mars missions for 2024. at least 4 ships to mars is about 24 launches including refuelling. And the moon and any other business like refuelling for NASA, international moon trips, tourism... are not included.
I have this idea that BC will be developed to launch most of the refuelling flights, and maybe more cargo, whilst 39A will launch the "mission" and "manned", StarShips. BC will do this from offshore platforms. This looks to come online a little later, but will be needed before 2023-4. And then there is developing point-to-point! Brownsvill port will be SX's heavy industry, turning out a stream of SH, Tankers freighters, and crew vehicles....
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 08/02/2019 10:51 pm
and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

We don't know any such thing.
Let me rephrase that. I am referring to the operational Full Stack. Prototypes will be launched and landed in both FL and BC. But full stack SH/SS launch and landing operational missions will be at Pad 39A.

From the EA:  "LC-39A provides the best combination of available real estate, existing developments, distance from population centers, and available clear launch azimuths to maximize public safety for operational launches,” the report concludes.
Yes we all read that agreed. But this is the EA for 39A and it can be 80% true, and not be misleading. However it does not say that SX agrees to not develop the Boca Chica site. 24 launches will be OK for the first year or two, but  it will be useless to uphold the planned Mars missions for 2024. at least 4 ships to mars is about 24 launches including refuelling. And the moon and any other business like refuelling for NASA, international moon trips, tourism... are not included.
I have this idea that BC will be developed to launch most of the refuelling flights, and maybe more cargo, whilst 39A will launch the "mission" and "manned", StarShips. BC will do this from offshore platforms. This looks to come online a little later, but will be needed before 2023-4. And then there is developing point-to-point! Brownsvill port will be SX's heavy industry, turning out a stream of SH, Tankers freighters, and crew vehicles....
That all sounds great.....and very, very expensive. Perhaps BC will see a full stack, perhaps not. Personally, I hope it does. But if it does, it will not be for a couple years. And I could very well reason that by the time they need to make a move on a second launch site, Pad 39B, right down the old crawler way may be freed up for use...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DistantTemple on 08/02/2019 11:06 pm
and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

We don't know any such thing.
Let me rephrase that. I am referring to the operational Full Stack. Prototypes will be launched and landed in both FL and BC. But full stack SH/SS launch and landing operational missions will be at Pad 39A.

From the EA:  "LC-39A provides the best combination of available real estate, existing developments, distance from population centers, and available clear launch azimuths to maximize public safety for operational launches,” the report concludes.
Yes we all read that agreed. But this is the EA for 39A and it can be 80% true, and not be misleading. However it does not say that SX agrees to not develop the Boca Chica site. 24 launches will be OK for the first year or two, but  it will be useless to uphold the planned Mars missions for 2024. at least 4 ships to mars is about 24 launches including refuelling. And the moon and any other business like refuelling for NASA, international moon trips, tourism... are not included.
I have this idea that BC will be developed to launch most of the refuelling flights, and maybe more cargo, whilst 39A will launch the "mission" and "manned", StarShips. BC will do this from offshore platforms. This looks to come online a little later, but will be needed before 2023-4. And then there is developing point-to-point! Brownsvill port will be SX's heavy industry, turning out a stream of SH, Tankers freighters, and crew vehicles....
That all sounds great.....and very, very expensive. Perhaps BC will see a full stack, perhaps not. Personally, I hope it does. But if it does, it will not be for a couple years. And I could very well reason that by the time they need to make a move on a second launch site, Pad 39B, right down the old crawler way may be freed up for use...
Yes that would be ideal and SX wouldn't have a close neighbour at LC 39, meaning less disruption to others from launch exclusion areas. And logically that would allow 48 launches duplicating the AE! However AIUI there is no major LNG facility at the cape. Is there one at Port Canaveral? There is in the Brownsville Ship Channel. If SX capture their own LOX, they need some 20+ truckloads of CH4 per full stack, times the refuelling number!  One LNG tanker ship, and eventually a pipeline would be the BC Solution.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: envy887 on 08/03/2019 02:27 am
39A being the best sure right now doesn't mean it will be the only site for the future.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: speedevil on 08/03/2019 02:51 am
In the event SS/SH doesn't work (soon), I do wonder how much the construction of the new pad may inform any more work on Falcon infrastructure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: LucR on 08/03/2019 10:04 am
39A being the best sure right now doesn't mean it will be the only site for the future.

The section from the EA that contains the "best combination" sentence starts with:
Quote from: EA
Alternative locations for the operation, launch, and landing of the Starship/Super Heavy considered included, SLC-40 within CCAFS and Space Launch Complex 4 (SLC-4) within Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB)…

So I think the "best combination" should be parsed in this context, e.g. explicitly excluding Boca Chica from consideration. More evidence for that is provided by the last sentence of that same section:
Quote from: EA
In the future, SpaceX may develop and launch the Starship/Super Heavy from its facility in Cameron County, TX. This action would analyzed in a separate NEPA document.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 08/03/2019 10:29 pm
and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

We don't know any such thing.
Let me rephrase that. I am referring to the operational Full Stack. Prototypes will be launched and landed in both FL and BC. But full stack SH/SS launch and landing operational missions will be at Pad 39A.

From the EA:  "LC-39A provides the best combination of available real estate, existing developments, distance from population centers, and available clear launch azimuths to maximize public safety for operational launches,” the report concludes.
Yes we all read that agreed. But this is the EA for 39A and it can be 80% true, and not be misleading. However it does not say that SX agrees to not develop the Boca Chica site. 24 launches will be OK for the first year or two, but  it will be useless to uphold the planned Mars missions for 2024. at least 4 ships to mars is about 24 launches including refuelling. And the moon and any other business like refuelling for NASA, international moon trips, tourism... are not included.
I have this idea that BC will be developed to launch most of the refuelling flights, and maybe more cargo, whilst 39A will launch the "mission" and "manned", StarShips. BC will do this from offshore platforms. This looks to come online a little later, but will be needed before 2023-4. And then there is developing point-to-point! Brownsvill port will be SX's heavy industry, turning out a stream of SH, Tankers freighters, and crew vehicles....
That all sounds great.....and very, very expensive. Perhaps BC will see a full stack, perhaps not. Personally, I hope it does. But if it does, it will not be for a couple years. And I could very well reason that by the time they need to make a move on a second launch site, Pad 39B, right down the old crawler way may be freed up for use...
I had a different takeaway.  39A is good enough for a first "minimally complete" system that is very far from the one they want to build.

One possible reason is that they were told "no" on a bunch of things.

So 39A is "go first" since it already exists, since SpaceX needs to execute fast, and also since you don't want to "pack your rocket and go home".

After this, the real competition for the space port of the 21 century begins.  It will likely have more than one winner, but there will prizes of different sizes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Kabloona on 08/04/2019 12:41 am
and know definitively Pad 39A will be the location for all launch and landings for the SH / SS program.

We don't know any such thing.
Let me rephrase that. I am referring to the operational Full Stack. Prototypes will be launched and landed in both FL and BC. But full stack SH/SS launch and landing operational missions will be at Pad 39A.

From the EA:  "LC-39A provides the best combination of available real estate, existing developments, distance from population centers, and available clear launch azimuths to maximize public safety for operational launches,” the report concludes.
Yes we all read that agreed. But this is the EA for 39A and it can be 80% true, and not be misleading. However it does not say that SX agrees to not develop the Boca Chica site. 24 launches will be OK for the first year or two, but  it will be useless to uphold the planned Mars missions for 2024. at least 4 ships to mars is about 24 launches including refuelling. And the moon and any other business like refuelling for NASA, international moon trips, tourism... are not included.
I have this idea that BC will be developed to launch most of the refuelling flights, and maybe more cargo, whilst 39A will launch the "mission" and "manned", StarShips. BC will do this from offshore platforms. This looks to come online a little later, but will be needed before 2023-4. And then there is developing point-to-point! Brownsvill port will be SX's heavy industry, turning out a stream of SH, Tankers freighters, and crew vehicles....
That all sounds great.....and very, very expensive. Perhaps BC will see a full stack, perhaps not. Personally, I hope it does. But if it does, it will not be for a couple years. And I could very well reason that by the time they need to make a move on a second launch site, Pad 39B, right down the old crawler way may be freed up for use...
I had a different takeaway.  39A is good enough for a first "minimally complete" system that is very far from the one they want to build.

One possible reason is that they were told "no" on a bunch of things.

So 39A is "go first" since it already exists, since SpaceX needs to execute fast, and also since you don't want to "pack your rocket and go home".


Your reference to "go first" and fast execution reminds me of the Civil War general whose military strategy he described as "get there first with the most men," which was later bastardized into "git there firstest with the mostest."

SpaceX seems to have embraced the first part of the strategy: get there first (to an orbital launch). Of course Mars is the ultimate "there", but the competition right now is with New Glenn and Omega and perhaps even Vulcan for NSSL launch contracts. Wouldn't it be  something if Starship/Super Heavy launched before any of them? I wouldn't have thought it possible a few months ago, but now I'm not so sure.

In any case, the 39A "minimally complete" pad plan fits right in with the "get there first" strategy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: The Vorlon on 08/04/2019 02:30 am
In talking with a friend, he mentioned that the pad modifications would be costly, and I reminded him that no matter what the cost, it would be less expensive that the Senate Launch System, and have the benefit of not dumping itself into the sea upon first use.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: speedevil on 08/04/2019 05:13 am
In talking with a friend, he mentioned that the pad modifications would be costly, and I reminded him that no matter what the cost, it would be less expensive that the Senate Launch System, and have the benefit of not dumping itself into the sea upon first use.
It will be interesting to see timeline and budget (well, manpower on site, as there will probably be no direct budget published).

I would not be astounded to see these modifications come in at a small fraction of the SLS new mobile launcher budget alone, for a significantly higher practical capacity.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2019 11:27 pm
https://twitter.com/emrekelly/status/1158476880045060096

Quote
#SpaceX has officially started applying for construction permits related to Starship changes at KSC's pad 39A. Here's a preview of one of the planning documents. Third image is form last week's environmental assessment release.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 08/06/2019 12:47 am
Quote
#SpaceX has officially started applying for construction permits related to Starship changes at KSC's pad 39A. Here's a preview of one of the planning documents. Third image is form last week's environmental assessment release.

Here is the new image:
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: biosehnsucht on 08/06/2019 01:30 am
I wonder where they found that since it seems they only posted 1 of 4 pages that make up the map from that permit or whatever document it originated from.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gongora on 08/06/2019 03:49 am
We've discussed this document a little in L2 (starting here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48161.msg1973727#msg1973727)).  It seems it's now publicly available if you know where to look so might as well post it here too.  It can be found as part of a permit application on the St. John's River Water Management District web site.  Quite a few SpaceX, Blue Origin, and KSC/CCAFS projects can be found there too.  These mostly focus on water management/drainage/runoff, so the plans you find will be focused on that rather than detailed designs of the buildings.

https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Cheapchips on 08/06/2019 07:06 am
It occurred to me that "space vehicle loading area" can have two meanings.  As well as lifting and stacking on the booster, the launch structure is at a very handy 30m. This is roughly the same height as the cargo doors on SS.  If you have a 10m² platform, or even better a large cargo elevator on the west side of the launch mount it would streamline loading. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: intelati on 08/06/2019 01:29 pm
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609

Ooh, a stormwater report I can look at while making a stormwater report.

Oh, wait...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RedLineTrain on 08/06/2019 03:26 pm
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609

For those interested, the drawings in that report have a wealth of detailed information on the layout of Pad 39A.  Even Lars-J's zoomed image doesn't do it justice.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: intelati on 08/06/2019 04:07 pm
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609

For those interested, the drawings in that report have a wealth of detailed information on the layout of Pad 39A.  Even Lars-J's zoomed image doesn't do it justice.

For posterity
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 08/07/2019 05:22 am
https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609

For those interested, the drawings in that report have a wealth of detailed information on the layout of Pad 39A.  Even Lars-J's zoomed image doesn't do it justice.

For posterity
That version from the Stormwater Report has embedded/switchable layers. So can be customizable if somebody interested in.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/28/2019 02:20 pm
https://twitter.com/baserunner0723/status/1166716571764457477

Quote
So there have been some updated plans released for the Pad 39A developments. This is the "Paved Work Pad" but as you can see there is a different type of concrete in the middle. THis is called Fondag Concrete. 1/

twitter.com/baserunner0723/status/1166716574016819200

Quote
"Fondag® is a pre-blended, high strength, heat resistant concrete designed for heavy industrial applications.  Fondag® is a pure calcium aluminate concrete that contains both calcium aluminate cement and calcium aluminate aggregates." (kerneosinc.com/fondag.php) 2/

https://twitter.com/baserunner0723/status/1166716575296053248

Quote
This is yet more evidence that this will be the 39A landing zone. @NASASpaceflight @EmreKelly (thread above) 3/3
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: soltasto on 08/28/2019 03:53 pm
Attached the updated plan

EDIT:
Here is the original download link: https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/apps/idcplg?IdcService=GET_FILE&coreContentOnly=1&RevisionSelectionMethod=Latest&allowInterrupt=1&dDocName=EREG_6921265

From this page under CORRESPONDENCE: https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 08/29/2019 10:45 pm
More info on Fondag cement.  One manufacturers specs and description: "Fondag (https://www.wateronline.com/doc/fondag-0002)", which apparently was originally formulated in France as "Cimint fondu."

Quote
FONDAG is a pre-blended, high strength, heat resistant concrete designed for heavy industrial applications. FONDAG is a pure calcium aluminate concrete which contains both calcium aluminate cement and calcium aluminate aggregates. The aggregates within FONDAG are actually composed of the same clinker from which Lafarge grinds the calcium aluminate cement. When FONDAG hydrates, there is not only a physical bond between cement and aggregate, there is also a chemical bond. The aggregates within FONDAG are very hard, dense and non-porous. This combination of physical and chemical bond between cement and aggregate produces a superior concrete capable of withstanding the toughest combinations of thermal cycling, high heat, severe abrasion, mechanical shock and corrosion.
General characteristics of FONDAG include the following:

RESISTANCE TO EXTREME TEMPERATURES AND THERMAL CYCLING: FONDAG is extremely stable at high temperatures and in conditions of severe thermal cycling from ­395°F to +2,000°F (-184°C to +1,093°C). In the same conditions, portland cement based concrete becomes unstable and experiences mechanical and structural failure.

RESISTANCE TO ABRASION AND MECHANICAL SHOCK: FONDAG is a concrete with low porosity and high density, which is 7 to 10 times more resistant to wear than typical 5,000-psi portland cement concrete.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RandyP on 08/30/2019 04:12 pm
Is this FONDAG cement the same or similar to the FONDU FYRE cement used to repair 39A's flame trench after a shuttle mission?  Is that repaired section of 39A still in use today be SpaceX?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: woods170 on 08/30/2019 04:42 pm
Is this FONDAG cement the same or similar to the FONDU FYRE cement used to repair 39A's flame trench after a shuttle mission?  Is that repaired section of 39A still in use today be SpaceX?


Not same, but similar technology.

Fondu Fyre is produced by Allied Mineral Products

Fondag is produced by Kerneos Aluminate Technologies
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lar on 08/30/2019 10:40 pm
Fondag is produced by Kerneos Aluminate Technologies

Are they connected to Lafarge?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lafarge_(company)

because (from above)
Quote
The aggregates within FONDAG are actually composed of the same clinker from which Lafarge grinds the calcium aluminate cement.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 08/31/2019 03:30 am
Wikipedia on FONDAG:  FONDAG cement (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=FONDAG_cement)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 09/01/2019 06:01 am
We've discussed this document a little in L2 (starting here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48161.msg1973727#msg1973727)).  It seems it's now publicly available if you know where to look so might as well post it here too.  It can be found as part of a permit application on the St. John's River Water Management District web site.  Quite a few SpaceX, Blue Origin, and KSC/CCAFS projects can be found there too.  These mostly focus on water management/drainage/runoff, so the plans you find will be focused on that rather than detailed designs of the buildings.

https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609

This permit was approved yesterday, although it mentioned they may still need to get separate permit from Army Corps of Engineers...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 09/03/2019 11:58 am
We've discussed this document a little in L2 (starting here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=48161.msg1973727#msg1973727)).  It seems it's now publicly available if you know where to look so might as well post it here too.  It can be found as part of a permit application on the St. John's River Water Management District web site.  Quite a few SpaceX, Blue Origin, and KSC/CCAFS projects can be found there too.  These mostly focus on water management/drainage/runoff, so the plans you find will be focused on that rather than detailed designs of the buildings.

https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=158609

This permit was approved yesterday, although it mentioned they may still need to get separate permit from Army Corps of Engineers...

The USACE reference (...you may need another permit from the corps...) seems to me as a standard part of the permits, they have much more approved ERP permits and ongoing projects than EA-s from the corps. Anyhow there is nothing new in the USACE Jacksonville Public Notices (https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Public-Notices/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 09/08/2019 08:05 am
Picture taken of the SpaceX HIF by a tourist, not sure if it is a big deal  but I dont think I have ever seen this object before:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2IDdeWgiGC/
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/14/2019 04:26 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1172896260241666054

Quote
I took a bus ride today. Could it be that construction is about to start on the Starship pad at 39A? It looks like it to me! #SpaceX #Starship @elonmusk
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/18/2019 08:47 pm
https://twitter.com/therealjonvh/status/1174407230864666624

Quote
Some work going on at #LC39a most activity on the outskirts of the pad. More materials being brought in and staged. #Starship #Pad
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/21/2019 04:41 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1175442887611494405

Quote
While @BocaChicaGal is watching fins, I see ground being broken and construction beginning at 39A for the Starship launch pad. I expect this is going to happen fast with Starship MK2 being moved soon. So much equipment in movement! #Starship #39A @elonmusk
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/27/2019 02:02 am
https://twitter.com/therealjonvh/status/1177401479755390977

Quote
I took a bus tour today.

Remember that place where #Starship will be launching from... YES the construction is more than "WELL" underway here! #SLC39A #LC39A

🤠📷🚀
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 09/30/2019 12:32 am
4th image of 39A  :)

https://twitter.com/Star_Shattered/status/1178419540180586496?s
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 09/30/2019 07:46 am
39A starts at 9:21  :)

https://youtu.be/wIywsXRG_v4
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 10/03/2019 02:19 pm
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/09/elon-musks-starship-presentation-12-months-progress/ says:

Quote
It is understood that the mount for Pad 39A has been undergoing construction in the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) at the launch site. The HIF is normally used to store Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.

But we just saw HIF is actually full of F9 cores:

https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/status/1179748212963528705

I guess the mount is being built somewhere else at the moment?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: woods170 on 10/03/2019 05:45 pm
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/09/elon-musks-starship-presentation-12-months-progress/ says:

Quote
It is understood that the mount for Pad 39A has been undergoing construction in the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) at the launch site. The HIF is normally used to store Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.

But we just saw HIF is actually full of F9 cores:

https://twitter.com/Commercial_Crew/status/1179748212963528705

I guess the mount is being built somewhere else at the moment?

The HIF at 39A is actually quite a bit longer than just the length of a fully assembled F9. There is room to spare.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/04/2019 12:34 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1180090376071323649

Quote
I found myself with time to spare yesterday so I took a tour. The Starship pad at 39A is progressing fast. Logistically, I'm wondering how much equipment will have to be moved for a Falcon 9 launch or will the pad be done first? 🤔 #Starship #39A
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/07/2019 03:28 pm
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/10/construction-starship-39a-facility-pace/

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1181229385589886976
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Ballistic_Reindeer on 10/07/2019 04:06 pm
I took a tour at the Cape yesterday and spotted a temporary tent structure near a clearing by a service road. The tent appeared to house the Starship mount that I have seen in the Boca updates thread, and that was supposedly in the HIF. Unfortunately, didn't snag a photo.

The mount I refer to, as posted by Mary in the Texas Updates thread:
(https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=48895.0;attach=1586449;image)

Area as seen by poster above, skip to 8:28:
39A starts at 9:21  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIywsXRG_v4

Area from Google Maps:
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Rondaz on 10/07/2019 09:46 pm
Construction of Starship 39A launch & landing facility picking up the pace. https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/10/construction-starship-39a-facility-pace/ … Illustration by Jay DeShetler/Mack Crawford.


https://twitter.com/jdeshetler/status/1181280330017173507
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Alexphysics on 10/08/2019 12:54 am
I took a tour at the Cape yesterday and spotted a temporary tent structure near a clearing by a service road. The tent appeared to house the Starship mount that I have seen in the Boca updates thread, and that was supposedly in the HIF. Unfortunately, didn't snag a photo.

The mount I refer to, as posted by Mary in the Texas Updates thread:
(https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=48895.0;attach=1586449;image)

Area as seen by poster above, skip to 8:28:
39A starts at 9:21  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIywsXRG_v4

Area from Google Maps:

Isn't that their Roberts Road facility?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ChrisC on 10/08/2019 03:33 am
I took a tour at the Cape yesterday and spotted a temporary tent structure near a clearing by a service road. The tent appeared to house the Starship mount that I have seen in the Boca updates thread, and that was supposedly in the HIF. Unfortunately, didn't snag a photo.
Isn't that their Roberts Road facility?

Indeed.  Here's the thread for that (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45813.160), B_R.  And welcome to the forum :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 10/08/2019 10:12 am
Its a speculation at this point, but I have a feeling that MK1MK2 will transported for the Roberts Road facility first for whatever final assemble, and only go to 39A after.
 - As reported in this thread, a mount like they prefer to use for the latest work phase are at the RR fac.
 - As in the RR thread, the route from the nort to RR (that is the direction of the turning basin) will be reinforced.
 - They may have some time push to move the Starship from Cidco, since the ongoing Virgin trains project.
 - (I don't know, but maybe the available space in Cidco is also limited: they haven't got spare concrete rings to start the next one, if they hold the MK1 MK2 there)
 - To do the work at 39A can be limited, since the ongoing construction and scheduled launches there.

Do this make any sense?

EDIT: I mean MK2.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 10/08/2019 10:48 am
Its a speculation at this point, but I have a feeling that MK1 will transported for the Roberts Road facility first for whatever final assemble, and only go to 39A after.
 - As reported in this thread, a mount like they prefer to use for the latest work phase are at the RR fac.
 - As in the RR thread, the route from the nort to RR (that is the direction of the turning basin) will be reinforced.
 - They may have some time push to move the Starship from Cidco, since the ongoing Virgin trains project.
 - (I don't know, but maybe the available space in Cidco is also limited: they haven't got spare concrete rings to start the next one, if they hold the MK1 there)
 - To do the work at 39A can be limited, since the ongoing construction and scheduled launches there.

Do this have any sense?
Getting MK1 from Boca Chica to FL may present the first issue with your scenario;-)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 10/08/2019 01:55 pm
Its a speculation at this point, but I have a feeling that MK1 will transported for the Roberts Road facility first for whatever final assemble, and only go to 39A after.
 - As reported in this thread, a mount like they prefer to use for the latest work phase are at the RR fac.
 - As in the RR thread, the route from the nort to RR (that is the direction of the turning basin) will be reinforced.
 - They may have some time push to move the Starship from Cidco, since the ongoing Virgin trains project.
 - (I don't know, but maybe the available space in Cidco is also limited: they haven't got spare concrete rings to start the next one, if they hold the MK1 there)
 - To do the work at 39A can be limited, since the ongoing construction and scheduled launches there.

Do this have any sense?
Getting MK1 from Boca Chica to FL may present the first issue with your scenario;-)
Semi-joking, but...
If Mk.2 schedule slips far enough that Virgin goes ahead and starts work, Mk.2 may end up in effect trapped at Cocoa. On the other hand, from Boca Chica Mk.1 needs only to get to a barge (either by road to the beach next to the test site as hopper did, and then rolled onto a beached barge; or by road all the bay to Brownsville to be craned onto a barge at the port), and from there the barge can get up the coast and to the Turning Basin the same way Saturn stages did (and SLS stages will). Sure, it makes little sense to do so with a test site at BC unless there are outstanding issues preventing launch at BC while LC-39A is completed and idle, but it could end up being easier to get Starship to a barge from BC than from Cidco. Of course, that also puts Starship at the mercy of the sea.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 10/08/2019 02:32 pm
Its a speculation at this point, but I have a feeling that MK1 will transported for the Roberts Road facility first for whatever final assemble, and only go to 39A after.
 - As reported in this thread, a mount like they prefer to use for the latest work phase are at the RR fac.
 - As in the RR thread, the route from the nort to RR (that is the direction of the turning basin) will be reinforced.
 - They may have some time push to move the Starship from Cidco, since the ongoing Virgin trains project.
 - (I don't know, but maybe the available space in Cidco is also limited: they haven't got spare concrete rings to start the next one, if they hold the MK1 there)
 - To do the work at 39A can be limited, since the ongoing construction and scheduled launches there.

Do this have any sense?
Getting MK1 from Boca Chica to FL may present the first issue with your scenario;-)

Of course I cannot make a difference between 1 and 2... So what I want to suggest is all about the Cidco/Florida prototype (also edited the original).
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Rondaz on 10/12/2019 05:43 pm
Cement trucks were a common theme in space facility builds today. Fresh cement at the #Starship #39A build could be seen. In the 2nd photo it looks like the landing zone area near the camera pad is progressing. I believe the launch base will be closer to todays cement work.


https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1183053726526984192
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/18/2019 06:03 am
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1184996245166796800

Quote
Starship facilities update! It appears the new landing pad is just about finished at 39A. The phase one Starship pad should be added once the concrete cures. So, basically any day now we should see vertical progress. #Starship #39A
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Eylrid on 10/18/2019 03:25 pm
Quote
Starship facilities update! It appears the new landing pad is just about finished at 39A. The phase one Starship pad should be added once the concrete cures. So, basically any day now we should see vertical progress. #Starship #39A

Can they land Falcon 9s there when they're not using it for Starship?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/04/2019 07:04 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1191442894009327617

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The Starship pad at 39A is officially going vertical! You can see just how close the new launch mount is to the ramp and operational pad. Things are about to get really exciting around here. 🏗🚀 #Starship #MK2 @SpaceX
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/07/2019 06:29 am
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1192288496419057664

Quote
I know it's late but I have to admit I like seeing a launch pad being built just as much as I like seeing historic pads. The #Starship launch mount is progressing and I believe I spotted the fuel farm. Bonus though...LOOK! I spy the first @Tesla chargers being installed at KSC.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 11/07/2019 03:19 pm
So would the Starship Superheavy launch platform be designated as LC-39D as a separate launch pad or be still refer to a LC-39A?

Hope powers that be is not going to designated the Falcon pad as LC-39A1 and Starship Super Heavy pad as LC-39A2.  :P
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/11/2019 08:03 pm
So would the Starship Superheavy launch platform be designated as LC-39D as a separate launch pad or be still refer to a LC-39A?

Hope powers that be is not going to designated the Falcon pad as LC-39A1 and Starship Super Heavy pad as LC-39A2.  :P
I quite like the VAFB numbering system for the Atlas SLC-576 pads at the Alpha, Bravo and so on complexes.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/14/2019 10:48 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1195078750905479170

Quote
Had time before work today and Starship MK2 is getting ho hum from ground level viewing. In other news, the Starship pad at 39A definately is making progress. #39A #Starship
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 11/15/2019 02:09 am
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1195078750905479170

Assuming the manlift guardrail is 42 inches high, I estimate the launch stand structure is about 30 meters across, a lot bigger than the stand at Boca Chica. Is it possible they're building the orbital launch stand for SH already? This may explain why mk2 is being slow walked, since it would take a while for this stand to be ready.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Eka on 11/15/2019 03:35 am
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1195078750905479170

Assuming the manlift guardrail is 42 inches high, I estimate the launch stand structure is about 30 meters across, a lot bigger than the stand at Boca Chica. Is it possible they're building the orbital launch stand for SH already? This may explain why mk2 is being slow walked, since it would take a while for this stand to be ready.
We're thinking the same...
BTW: From the "Pad 39A Site Development Stormwater Improvements" document, the cement pad for it is 140' (42.6m) square.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: theinternetftw on 11/15/2019 03:43 am
Assuming the manlift guardrail is 42 inches high, I estimate the launch stand structure is about 30 meters across, a lot bigger than the stand at Boca Chica. Is it possible they're building the orbital launch stand for SH already? This may explain why mk2 is being slow walked, since it would take a while for this stand to be ready.

That follows when you consider the "If 20km works, then orbit" remark as well.

Edit: got exact remark
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/15/2019 03:44 am
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1195078750905479170

Assuming the manlift guardrail is 42 inches high, I estimate the launch stand structure is about 30 meters across, a lot bigger than the stand at Boca Chica. Is it possible they're building the orbital launch stand for SH already? This may explain why mk2 is being slow walked, since it would take a while for this stand to be ready.
I think the answer is no.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meberbs on 11/15/2019 03:45 pm
Assuming the manlift guardrail is 42 inches high, I estimate the launch stand structure is about 30 meters across, a lot bigger than the stand at Boca Chica. Is it possible they're building the orbital launch stand for SH already? This may explain why mk2 is being slow walked, since it would take a while for this stand to be ready.

That follows when you consider the "If 20km works, then orbit" remark as well.

Edit: got exact remark
Mk 2 is still heavier with piping for just 3 raptors. It would also just be to 20km. Testing the build and infrastructure at the different site. The statements were clear that orbit would only be with later versions (technically Musk said Mk 4 or 5, but I assume 3 is a possibility.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: theinternetftw on 11/15/2019 09:04 pm
Assuming the manlift guardrail is 42 inches high, I estimate the launch stand structure is about 30 meters across, a lot bigger than the stand at Boca Chica. Is it possible they're building the orbital launch stand for SH already? This may explain why mk2 is being slow walked, since it would take a while for this stand to be ready.

That follows when you consider the "If 20km works, then orbit" remark as well.

Edit: got exact remark
Mk 2 is still heavier with piping for just 3 raptors. It would also just be to 20km. Testing the build and infrastructure at the different site. The statements were clear that orbit would only be with later versaid Mk 4 or 5, but I assume 3 is a possibility.)ions (technically Musk s

I should have quoted differently.  Was mainly replying to the former "building the orbital launch stand for SH" remark.  What would make the most sense is a stand that could handle Starship, if Mk1 doesn't make it and Mk2 must fly, and that could stand ready as an orbital launch site otherwise.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/23/2019 05:39 pm
https://twitter.com/john_winkopp/status/1198279689539923968

Quote
Along bus tour pad 39A #Starship launch pad coming along.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 11/24/2019 01:28 am
https://twitter.com/john_winkopp/status/1198279689539923968

Quote
Along bus tour pad 39A #Starship launch pad coming along.

Tweet was deleted for some reason...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/01/2019 06:07 am
Here’s some more recent shots (to replace those deleted  :( )

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1200980563269734400

Quote
In all of the excitement about the goings on in port I forgot to post these from #39A this morning. Starship pad construction progresses despite the lack of launch vehicle. I bet photogs could get a sweet shot from this camera mound. #Starship
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/02/2019 06:27 pm
https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1201578051982839809

Quote
A look at #starship launch pad process at 39A.
#SpaceX
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/05/2019 03:30 am
https://twitter.com/abernnyc/status/1202406654844841984

Quote
It's absolutely incredible to see the progress @SpaceX has made on the #Starship launch mount currently being constructed at LC-39A
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/05/2019 06:39 am
In response to the tweet in the previous post:

twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1202445014808137730

Quote
Off the top of my head, this looks at least as tall as the mount/stand shown in SpaceX's updated 2019 renders. So it's probably safe to say that 39A is going directly to a Super Heavy-capable pad, which would make a lot of sense after the pause on FL Starship production.

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1202449363861041152

Quote
Based on these renders, the mount shown is 80-100 ft (25-30 m) tall. Based on Adam's photo, assuming the dude getting off the lift is an average ~6 feet, the steel skeleton is already ~70 ft (21 m) tall and clearly has some mounting points for another big addition on top of that.

twitter.com/rdstrick777/status/1202448765405167616

Quote
It’s at least 85 feet tall and the Starship Superheavy launchpad is around 100 feet, I think you got it.

https://twitter.com/13ericralph31/status/1202449780451901440

Quote
Yeah, I estimated 70 feet tall not including the mounting point protuberances, which are clearly designed to support something VERY heavy above them.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 12/06/2019 03:51 am
I post images like this more frequently in L2 but today we got some images about an hour before the launch  ;D

Edit: Date in top right should read 05/12/2019
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/09/2019 06:36 am
https://twitter.com/cirotweeter/status/1203847693203886080

Quote
Facility being built by #SpaceX on Launch Complex 39A for their #Starship
#NASA #KennedySpaceCenter
@NASAKennedy
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/13/2019 10:27 pm
Quote
SpaceX's East Coast Starship launch pad is making some serious headway
By Eric Ralph
Posted on December 13, 2019

Over the last few weeks, SpaceX’s Florida Starship launch pad construction has made some major progress and the structure that will one day support the first East Coast Starship and Super Heavy flight tests have grown several stories tall and show no signs of slowing down.

https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-florida-starship-launch-pad-progress/
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 12/14/2019 09:15 am
Found a few pics today. Not sure if this is the original source or not.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B53xt7UJss5/?igshid=11kffz7f88bzy
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: SDSmith on 12/14/2019 12:06 pm
Found a few pics today. Not sure if this is the original source or not.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B53xt7UJss5/?igshid=11kffz7f88bzy
That is a massive launch mount. I'm assuming that the curve section is for the flame deflector. If so then they have built about 1/4 the of the mount.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/14/2019 01:49 pm
Found a few pics today. Not sure if this is the original source or not.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B53xt7UJss5/?igshid=11kffz7f88bzy
That is a massive launch mount. I'm assuming that the curve section is for the flame deflector. If so then they have built about 1/4 the of the mount.
There’s L2 information that suggests this photo is a bit old...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/16/2019 06:14 pm
Nice view of flame diverter

https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1206651404288483328

Quote
#SpaceX 39A #Starship launch pad progress. Is that the start of a flame diverter I see 👀
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/21/2019 07:56 pm
https://twitter.com/abernnyc/status/1208491283070758918

Quote
They keep progressing more and more on the #Starship launch mount currently being constructed at LC-39A...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/30/2019 08:33 am
https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1211495501884989445

Quote
Photos of the #spacex #starship flame diverter at 39A from today. Doesn't look like much has changed since my last visit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 01/02/2020 01:16 am
An overhead view of changes made at 39A + other goodies  ;)
I really love the unique perspective of this imagery even though it's not the highest resolution!

https://youtu.be/_GqWBAEIFT4
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 01/02/2020 02:25 pm
An overhead view of changes made at 39A + other goodies  ;)
I really love the unique perspective of this imagery even though it's not the highest resolution!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GqWBAEIFT4

What is the last property shown?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 01/02/2020 07:14 pm
An overhead view of changes made at 39A + other goodies  ;)
I really love the unique perspective of this imagery even though it's not the highest resolution!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GqWBAEIFT4

What is the last property shown?

BO engine factory. Top right corner of the vid (all sites labeled accordingly)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 01/09/2020 02:48 pm
2 steel foundations has been installed
https://i.imgur.com/XxuCqaV.jpg

Credit to imgur user Anthony112358
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/10/2020 07:50 pm
Here’s a closer shot, from tour bus I think (2nd photo on tweet)

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/1215735472690991104
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/12/2020 01:26 am
Here’s a closer shot, from tour bus I think (2nd photo on tweet)

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/1215735472690991104
Oh wow.  Now that I understand how this thing is planned to be, watching the pieces come together is just beautiful..

The compactness of the concept is contrasted by the pad behind it...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: woods170 on 01/12/2020 12:07 pm
Here’s a closer shot, from tour bus I think (2nd photo on tweet)

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/1215735472690991104
Oh wow.  Now that I understand how this thing is planned to be, watching the pieces come together is just beautiful..

The compactness of the concept is contrasted by the pad behind it...

Yes. It is the difference between vertically integrating one's launcher on the launchpad versus vertical vehicle integration away from the launchpad. The latter generally requires more infrastructure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/12/2020 02:56 pm
Here’s a closer shot, from tour bus I think (2nd photo on tweet)

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/1215735472690991104
Oh wow.  Now that I understand how this thing is planned to be, watching the pieces come together is just beautiful..

The compactness of the concept is contrasted by the pad behind it...

Yes. It is the difference between vertically integrating one's launcher on the launchpad versus vertical vehicle integration away from the launchpad. The latter generally requires more infrastructure.
The former as you refer to it is the old old way of doing it...  "Build the rocket on the pad" is time consuming ..

This is designed for a very fast stacking of two RTLS components... Also using a cooled deflector...  That's unprecedented, and very minimal.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MichaelBlackbourn on 01/12/2020 05:51 pm
Here’s a closer shot, from tour bus I think (2nd photo on tweet)

https://twitter.com/wordsmithfl/status/1215735472690991104
Oh wow.  Now that I understand how this thing is planned to be, watching the pieces come together is just beautiful..

The compactness of the concept is contrasted by the pad behind it...

Yes. It is the difference between vertically integrating one's launcher on the launchpad versus vertical vehicle integration away from the launchpad. The latter generally requires more infrastructure.
The former as you refer to it is the old old way of doing it...  "Build the rocket on the pad" is time consuming ..

This is designed for a very fast stacking of two RTLS components... Also using a cooled deflector...  That's unprecedented, and very minimal.

And no umbilicals. Super small and clean pad for something the size of SH and SS
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meberbs on 01/12/2020 10:04 pm
Yes. It is the difference between vertically integrating one's launcher on the launchpad versus vertical vehicle integration away from the launchpad. The latter generally requires more infrastructure.
The former as you refer to it is the old old way of doing it...  "Build the rocket on the pad" is time consuming ..

This is designed for a very fast stacking of two RTLS components... Also using a cooled deflector...  That's unprecedented, and very minimal.
What are you talking about? Fast stacking of components at the pad as shown by SpaceX animations is the former (vertical integration at the pad) not the latter. Vertical integration away from the pad requires a mobile transporter that can hold a vertical stack and is what the main flame trench and other infrastructure at this pad was originally designed to support with Saturn V and the shuttle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/12/2020 10:08 pm
https://twitter.com/marekcyzio/status/1216405128674193408

Quote
#Starship #spacex launch pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/13/2020 02:02 am
Yes. It is the difference between vertically integrating one's launcher on the launchpad versus vertical vehicle integration away from the launchpad. The latter generally requires more infrastructure.
The former as you refer to it is the old old way of doing it...  "Build the rocket on the pad" is time consuming ..

This is designed for a very fast stacking of two RTLS components... Also using a cooled deflector...  That's unprecedented, and very minimal.
What are you talking about? Fast stacking of components at the pad as shown by SpaceX animations is the former (vertical integration at the pad) not the latter. Vertical integration away from the pad requires a mobile transporter that can hold a vertical stack and is what the main flame trench and other infrastructure at this pad was originally designed to support with Saturn V and the shuttle.
Yup.  And building a rocket on the pad is an alternative which generally tales a lot of time.  The crawlers and VAB and all of that were meant to simplify that.

What SpaceX is planning is only mating the two functional units on a pad, the pad itself being minimalistic - very unlike the pad and crawlway behind it.  They're aiming for a launch cycle of hours. 

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: woods170 on 01/13/2020 08:25 am
Yes. It is the difference between vertically integrating one's launcher on the launchpad versus vertical vehicle integration away from the launchpad. The latter generally requires more infrastructure.
The former as you refer to it is the old old way of doing it...  "Build the rocket on the pad" is time consuming ..

This is designed for a very fast stacking of two RTLS components... Also using a cooled deflector...  That's unprecedented, and very minimal.
What are you talking about? Fast stacking of components at the pad as shown by SpaceX animations is the former (vertical integration at the pad) not the latter. Vertical integration away from the pad requires a mobile transporter that can hold a vertical stack and is what the main flame trench and other infrastructure at this pad was originally designed to support with Saturn V and the shuttle.
Yup.  And building a rocket on the pad is an alternative which generally tales a lot of time.  The crawlers and VAB and all of that were meant to simplify that.

What SpaceX is planning is only mating the two functional units on a pad, the pad itself being minimalistic - very unlike the pad and crawlway behind it.  They're aiming for a launch cycle of hours. 



Vertical integration is not building the rocket on the pad. It is mating the already built stages in a vertical position, on the launchpad. Which is in fact exactly what SpaceX is intending to do at the new SS/SH pad. The main difference with other providers is that there will be no lengthy checkouts and no long periods between stacking of the first and second stage.

Where, for example, Vega takes weeks to have all four of its stages AND the payload stacked it will take at most a day for SpaceX to stack Superheavy and Starship. They are also being designed to be stacked out in the open. No mobile service tower (MST) required (yet).

The SS/SH pad is therefore minimal, much like the pad for Saturn I / Saturn IB was minimal. Just a pedestal with hold-downs, a deflector and a minimal fixed tower. Worked beautifully for Saturn I / Saturn IB. An MST was not added until it was needed. 

The Apollo- and Shuttle type LC-39A and B have massive infrastructure due to the "offline" nature of vertical vehicle stacking. Getting the stacked vehicle to the launchpad required massive infrastructure such as the mobile launcher with its massive LUT, massive crawlers, massive crawlerway, massive ramp to the launchpad. None of that stuff is required when stacking the launcher on the launchpad itself. Hence the minimal nature of the new SS/SH launch mount.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/13/2020 03:19 pm
Yes. It is the difference between vertically integrating one's launcher on the launchpad versus vertical vehicle integration away from the launchpad. The latter generally requires more infrastructure.
The former as you refer to it is the old old way of doing it...  "Build the rocket on the pad" is time consuming ..

This is designed for a very fast stacking of two RTLS components... Also using a cooled deflector...  That's unprecedented, and very minimal.
What are you talking about? Fast stacking of components at the pad as shown by SpaceX animations is the former (vertical integration at the pad) not the latter. Vertical integration away from the pad requires a mobile transporter that can hold a vertical stack and is what the main flame trench and other infrastructure at this pad was originally designed to support with Saturn V and the shuttle.
Yup.  And building a rocket on the pad is an alternative which generally tales a lot of time.  The crawlers and VAB and all of that were meant to simplify that.

What SpaceX is planning is only mating the two functional units on a pad, the pad itself being minimalistic - very unlike the pad and crawlway behind it.  They're aiming for a launch cycle of hours. 



Vertical integration is not building the rocket on the pad. It is mating the already built stages in a vertical position, on the launchpad. Which is in fact exactly what SpaceX is intending to do at the new SS/SH pad. The main difference with other providers is that there will be no lengthy checkouts and no long periods between stacking of the first and second stage.

Where, for example, Vega takes weeks to have all four of its stages AND the payload stacked it will take at most a day for SpaceX to stack Superheavy and Starship. They are also being designed to be stacked out in the open. No mobile service tower (MST) required (yet).

The SS/SH pad is therefore minimal, much like the pad for Saturn I / Saturn IB was minimal. Just a pedestal with hold-downs, a deflector and a minimal fixed tower. Worked beautifully for Saturn I / Saturn IB. An MST was not added until it was needed. 

The Apollo- and Shuttle type LC-39A and B have massive infrastructure due to the "offline" nature of vertical vehicle stacking. Getting the stacked vehicle to the launchpad required massive infrastructure such as the mobile launcher with its massive LUT, massive crawlers, massive crawlerway, massive ramp to the launchpad. None of that stuff is required when stacking the launcher on the launchpad itself. Hence the minimal nature of the new SS/SH launch mount.

I appreciate all that, but what I'm saying is that we'll be seeing rapid operations of a great-than Saturn V reusable rocket from a pad that is much smaller.

I think this is because the system design is neither "offline" (VAB and Crawler) nor built-it-on-the-pad...
Rather it is "rapid-stack-on-the-pad" and RTLS.   I'm dying to see the conops for the current generation pad, and how they'll progress to the "far-field" one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Semmel on 01/14/2020 07:52 am
I appreciate all that, but what I'm saying is that we'll be seeing rapid operations of a great-than Saturn V reusable rocket from a pad that is much smaller.

I think this is because the system design is neither "offline" (VAB and Crawler) nor built-it-on-the-pad...
Rather it is "rapid-stack-on-the-pad" and RTLS.   I'm dying to see the conops for the current generation pad, and how they'll progress to the "far-field" one.


If and when Starship flies, its a revolution not only in rocket technology (fully reusable, in-orbit re-fuelling) but also in ground handling facilities. It doesnt need an launch umbilical tower. It doesnt need an erector, it doesnt need a crawler. It just needs a stacking crane. I hope it works and I hope it gets copied like mad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/23/2020 12:04 pm
https://twitter.com/cowboydanpaasch/status/1220324113341960192

Quote
Interestin' cropped #NASAKennedy #Flickr acct shot of SpX IFA test a few days ago. #Starship's purported SH launch stand build.

Original image from NASA Kennedy attached
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: space_snap828 on 01/23/2020 01:39 pm
How wide is that ramp? Does it yet cover the 10 meter diameter of the bottom of the Superheavy booster?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Crispy on 01/23/2020 01:50 pm
How wide is that ramp? Does it yet cover the 10 meter diameter of the bottom of the Superheavy booster?
Scaling off the telehandlers in this photo
https://twitter.com/MarekCyzio/status/1216405128674193408
I make the current ramp about 9.5m wide
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/24/2020 05:01 pm
https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1220765503850938369

Quote
A look at #SpaceX's Starship launch pad at pad 39A. #starship
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RoboGoofers on 01/24/2020 05:47 pm
I hadn't noticed that horizontal grey pipe under the diverter before. part of the deluge system?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Eka on 01/24/2020 06:26 pm
I hadn't noticed that horizontal grey pipe under the diverter before. part of the deluge system?
That's what I think.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: starskale on 02/06/2020 04:09 am
The launch mount is visible in the third photo here:

https://twitter.com/Jordan2Mars/status/1225012675471605761

It looks like there's still a pause in progress.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: tyrred on 02/06/2020 08:55 am
I hadn't noticed that horizontal grey pipe under the diverter before. part of the deluge system?

Perhaps it is a part of the propellant loading GSE. The monster needs to feed... a LOT.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ChickeNES on 02/10/2020 10:01 pm
https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1220765503850938369

Quote
A look at #SpaceX's Starship launch pad at pad 39A. #starship

I'm not sure why people think that's part of the deluge system, it's obviously identical to the supports that are already upright and vertical.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: starskale on 02/10/2020 10:15 pm
https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1220765503850938369

Quote
A look at #SpaceX's Starship launch pad at pad 39A. #starship

I'm not sure why people think that's part of the deluge system, it's obviously identical to the supports that are already upright and vertical.

People think it's part of the deluge system because it's of a similar diameter as other deluge pipes and it comes from the direction of the water tower.

https://www.aft.com/blog/entry/2017/12/10/shhhh-suppressing-sound-waves

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: SteveU on 02/10/2020 10:39 pm
https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1220765503850938369

Quote
A look at #SpaceX's Starship launch pad at pad 39A. #starship

I'm not sure why people think that's part of the deluge system, it's obviously identical to the supports that are already upright and vertical.
Talking about two different cylinders.

Horizontal gray pipe behind ski slope- deluge system
Horizontal white pipe in foreground - support column

IMHO
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/01/2020 02:37 pm
Confirmation that nothing currently happening with Starship pad work at 39A - looks no different from weeks ago

https://twitter.com/felixschlang/status/1233821597980602369

Quote
Pad 39A update with Starship launch mount in the foreground. @MarcusHouseGame @SpacePadreIsle
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/04/2020 05:10 pm
https://twitter.com/realchefjared/status/1235259370998558728

Quote
#SpaceX flame diverter parts for the #starship pad 👀
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/04/2020 06:54 pm
https://twitter.com/baserunner0723/status/1235289875840225286

Quote
Visited LC-39A and saw the Starship mount
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TorenAltair on 03/15/2020 05:50 pm
From today's webcast of the Starlink launch attempt. Might those 2 ?steel? things be covers for the flame diverter? Seems to be about the right curvature in my eyes. Besides that, are the two tents in the left part new? I remember only 1 tent in the past, further away.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: WiresMN on 03/15/2020 06:05 pm
A couple of posts up has those pieces of metal in a tweet. They are the flame diverter panels. It is good to see that progress continues..... very slowly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TorenAltair on 03/15/2020 11:58 pm
A couple of posts up has those pieces of metal in a tweet. They are the flame diverter panels. It is good to see that progress continues..... very slowly.

Thanks, must have overlooked that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 03/27/2020 12:46 pm
39A looks very different from 39B these days  :)
https://twitter.com/HarryStrangerPG/status/1243530248945164289?s
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/22/2020 08:03 am
Someone is photobombing DM-2 (far left)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: awests on 05/23/2020 11:36 pm
New satellite photos from Maxar show a nice view of the launch mount!

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1264332888935485443

edit/gongora: attached images
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: bstrong on 05/24/2020 03:20 pm
A nice shot from Karen Nyberg: https://twitter.com/AstroKarenN/status/1264539030013857793?s=19
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: testguy on 05/24/2020 08:37 pm
A nice shot from Karen Nyberg: https://twitter.com/AstroKarenN/status/1264539030013857793?s=19
Are those new methane tanks between the Starship launch structure and the water tower?
That photo is just terrific!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Nevyn72 on 05/25/2020 03:08 am
From the same picture, the items in the red circle (image below), are these the surface plates for the flame defector?

If they are then the number would suggest the support framing is going to get wider......
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 05/25/2020 04:38 pm
Are those new methane tanks between the Starship launch structure and the water tower?
That photo is just terrific!

I think that's the new water tanks, the methane tanks may be the ones to the right hand side of the water tower, near the edge.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 05/26/2020 02:18 pm
Looks like the cladding for the flame diverter is on-site piled up just east of the new launch mount.
I can't recall seeing that tent and junkyard west of the pad before either, but we so rarely get views of that side it could easily have been missed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TomNTex on 05/28/2020 02:34 am
Compare the size of the Tesla cars to the Starship launch mount after today's Demo-2 launch attempt.

At the end of this video at 5:56:28

https://youtu.be/rjb9FdVdX5I?t=21388

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/28/2020 03:14 am
Compare the size of the Tesla cars to the Starship launch mount after today's Demo-2 launch attempt.

At the end of this video at 5:56:28

https://youtu.be/rjb9FdVdX5I?t=21388

Dang, you weren’t kidding! And the Teslas are IN FRONT of the launch mount...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 05/28/2020 08:40 am

Dang, you weren’t kidding! And the Teslas are IN FRONT of the launch mount...

It is a very long range shot, so perspective size mismatch should be not as big as you think. Actually I think we can use the Tesla size 1:1 in pixel count, to estimate the actual size of that mount. (More precisely 1,8 km if it filmed from the observation gantry, and additional 120 m to the mount, so the size of the mount will be only 6-7% greater that what you can count based on Tesla size and px count).

But jeah, its amazing how big that launch stand trully is. Had an exact similar thought when I watched the live.

EDIT: some calcs
Big cylindrical column I got 1,6m
For I-beam spacing on the mount I got 2,99m (should be 3m)

Angled plane
Tesla wheel span: 64,2px = 2,87m
Raw RelRes ,0,447 m/px
Tesla distance 1,8 km
Mount distance 1,92 km
Corrected RelRes: 0,0475 m/px

I-beam Spacing:
63px x 0,0475 =2,99m

Orthogonal plane
Corrected RelRes: 0,0475 m/px
Angle: 40°
Corrected RelRes: 0,0475*cos(40) = 0,0363 m/px
Big cylinder coulmn: 44 px = 1,6m


EDIT2: Wrong, Teslas are angled itself, so the same ratio applies to the mount front plane and the Teslas, and the Cylinder column have to be corrected with the cos tag. Modified calcs above.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 05/30/2020 12:07 am
After correcting the calculations above a bit (like the camera location seems to better fit the VAB, and the Tesla is a Model X with a bigger wheel span), crosscheck with other photos, and move to a spreadsheet instead of a piece of paper I got the following sketch and numbers.

But as a general note please consider that a broadcast camera through a 720p youtube stream is not a laser range finder, so the whole thing can be a bit off, while I still not sure that I interpret all those beams and columns correctly.

Distance of vertical columns to each other (center to center):
AC   6,0 m      
CB   9,0 m      
CD   4,8 m      
AB   10,8 m      
DB   10,2 m      
CE   3,6 m      
AA   23,0 m      
II   3,2 m      
DI   6,7 m      
DO   16,8 m
Flame deflector length   23,0 m

Oval Column Radius: 2,0 m   
Column Width: 0,5 m   (more like 20")
Corner Column Width: 0,80 m (more like 32")
Flame deflector frame thickness: 1,14 m (or 45")

For vertical spacing:
Each level of the 4 "floor" structure is 5 m, from which      
Horizontal Beam Height: 0,8 m   (more like 32")
Height between Vertical horizontal beams: 4,2 m

Or something like this.

Edit: attached as a picture also.
      
   

      
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 05/31/2020 02:44 am
Maxar back with another image of 39A!
https://twitter.com/Maxar/status/1266910686719795201?s
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 06/10/2020 09:04 am
An image from NASA Kennedy on Flickr with some of the launch mount in it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/49967543317
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jadebenn on 07/06/2020 11:49 pm
Does anyone know if these were actually ML-2 parts?

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1279381632378703872
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/07/2020 12:23 am
Does anyone know if these were actually ML-2 parts?

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1279381632378703872
No. They are more consistent with rail Bridge construction and look like the superstructure of the 39A/1 F9/FH NSSL MST's rail bridges before decked with rails or the base of the MST itself.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 08/08/2020 04:13 pm
Now that SLC-39A has been tied down as a vital port for the most important future national assets of the United States in the 2020s in addition to being a vital port for human access to space, I really wonder if it's still prudent to house Starship here for test flights, at least not until after it really matures to the point of starting to be bid for US government missions.

I can't see the Starship system going into orbit and beyond initially from anywhere except for Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: woods170 on 08/08/2020 04:30 pm
Now that SLC-39A has been tied down as a vital port for the most important future national assets of the United States in the 2020s in addition to being a vital port for human access to space, I really wonder if it's still prudent to house Starship here for test flights, at least not until after it really matures to the point of starting to be bid for US government missions.

I can't see the Starship system going into orbit and beyond initially from anywhere except for Boca Chica.


What I have from my sources indicates that your assessment is incorrect.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meberbs on 08/08/2020 04:36 pm
Now that SLC-39A has been tied down as a vital port for the most important future national assets of the United States in the 2020s in addition to being a vital port for human access to space, I really wonder if it's still prudent to house Starship here for test flights, at least not until after it really matures to the point of starting to be bid for US government missions.

I can't see the Starship system going into orbit and beyond initially from anywhere except for Boca Chica.
Emphasis added.
It has already been bid and accepted for a government (NASA) mission. (Pending downselect not withstanding.)

Sure, the early higher risk development already is mostly happening elsewhere. Maybe the first orbital launch won't be from 39A, but no reason 39A could not follow shortly after that.

And don't forget Boca Chica is not the only option, last I checked, ocean platforms were still under consideration for early launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 08/08/2020 10:29 pm
I think the contract award makes the ocean launch option much more important to SpaceX. (Elon mentioned that 39A, Boca chica, and ocean platform launch was the three tracked they were trading against each other)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: aero on 08/08/2020 11:22 pm
I think the contract award makes the ocean launch option much more important to SpaceX. (Elon mentioned that 39A, Boca chica, and ocean platform launch was the three tracked they were trading against each other)

Where would an ocean launch platform be located off the cape to avoid being in the keep-out zone of the rest of the launch pads at the cape? They certainly wouldn't want to move their ocean platform if Blue or ULA happens to get a launch contract.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 08/09/2020 01:41 am
I think the contract award makes the ocean launch option much more important to SpaceX. (Elon mentioned that 39A, Boca chica, and ocean platform launch was the three tracked they were trading against each other)

Where would an ocean launch platform be located off the cape to avoid being in the keep-out zone of the rest of the launch pads at the cape? They certainly wouldn't want to move their ocean platform if Blue or ULA happens to get a launch contract.

So what if it's in the keep-out zone?  It's not a ship, it's a platform.  It's no different from all the other pads that are in relatively close proximity to one another at KSC and CCAFS.  It just happens to be in the ocean.  It wouldn't have to move if Blue or ULA happens to get a launch contract any more than 39B has to move.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 08/09/2020 02:24 am
Now that OmegA may go belly up, I wonder how feasible it is for Starship to use part of 39B for launch/landing? Since 39B is a clean pad, there's not much to damage if something goes wrong.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 08/09/2020 03:09 am
Now that OmegA may go belly up, I wonder how feasible it is for Starship to use part of 39B for launch/landing? Since 39B is a clean pad, there's not much to damage if something goes wrong.

That's an interesting idea.  But then SpaceX would have to pay to lease another pad, and they couldn't do as much sharing of infrastructure as they could if they had the Starship pad at 39A.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: danneely on 08/09/2020 03:09 pm
Now that OmegA may go belly up, I wonder how feasible it is for Starship to use part of 39B for launch/landing? Since 39B is a clean pad, there's not much to damage if something goes wrong.

SLS is still planned to use 39B, so they'd still have all the shared pad headaches to deal with.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 08/09/2020 05:15 pm
Now that OmegA may go belly up, I wonder how feasible it is for Starship to use part of 39B for launch/landing? Since 39B is a clean pad, there's not much to damage if something goes wrong.

SLS is still planned to use 39B, so they'd still have all the shared pad headaches to deal with.

Yeah, but most of the launch infrastructure for SLS rolls onto the pad with SLS and rolls off when the launch is done.  When SLS is not on the pad, most of the SLS launch infrastructure isn't vulnerable to a hypothetical Starship explosion.

Given how seldom SLS is scheduled to launch, 39B is going to be pretty empty the vast majority of the time.

That's not to say that I think Starship is likely to use 39B instead of 39A, just that it's not an implausible possibility.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DistantTemple on 08/09/2020 08:27 pm
Now that OmegA may go belly up, I wonder how feasible it is for Starship to use part of 39B for launch/landing? Since 39B is a clean pad, there's not much to damage if something goes wrong.

SLS is still planned to use 39B, so they'd still have all the shared pad headaches to deal with.

Yeah, but most of the launch infrastructure for SLS rolls onto the pad with SLS and rolls off when the launch is done.  When SLS is not on the pad, most of the SLS launch infrastructure isn't vulnerable to a hypothetical Starship explosion.

Given how seldom SLS is scheduled to launch, 39B is going to be pretty empty the vast majority of the time.

That's not to say that I think Starship is likely to use 39B instead of 39A, just that it's not an implausible possibility.
Just off the top of my head with little thought.... SuperHeavy (+ StarShip) uses very little of the traditional pad infrastructure.

It needs: Its own special launch mount, currently with a flame deflector all of steel construction built above a flat "pad". It needs a nearby landing pad and "road" to transport them back to the vicinity of the launch mount, and a crane to stack them.
It needs a large supply farm for LOX and LCH4. Then there are bunkers, etc, and a nearby payload "encapsulation" operation.
Later it may need a crew access arm etc.

It doesn't need the traditional flame trench and immense ramp. It doesn't need a HIF or hanger - or not for SS or SH, maybe for support operations.

So It almost doesn't need a traditional pad at all! If there was an empty space it would be fine. at 39A SX is building all the SH/SS stuff in the gaps at the side of the existing ramp etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: danneely on 08/09/2020 09:52 pm
Now that OmegA may go belly up, I wonder how feasible it is for Starship to use part of 39B for launch/landing? Since 39B is a clean pad, there's not much to damage if something goes wrong.

SLS is still planned to use 39B, so they'd still have all the shared pad headaches to deal with.

Yeah, but most of the launch infrastructure for SLS rolls onto the pad with SLS and rolls off when the launch is done.  When SLS is not on the pad, most of the SLS launch infrastructure isn't vulnerable to a hypothetical Starship explosion.

Given how seldom SLS is scheduled to launch, 39B is going to be pretty empty the vast majority of the time.

That's not to say that I think Starship is likely to use 39B instead of 39A, just that it's not an implausible possibility.
Just off the top of my head with little thought.... SuperHeavy (+ StarShip) uses very little of the traditional pad infrastructure.

It needs: Its own special launch mount, currently with a flame deflector all of steel construction built above a flat "pad". It needs a nearby landing pad and "road" to transport them back to the vicinity of the launch mount, and a crane to stack them.
It needs a large supply farm for LOX and LCH4. Then there are bunkers, etc, and a nearby payload "encapsulation" operation.
Later it may need a crew access arm etc.

It doesn't need the traditional flame trench and immense ramp. It doesn't need a HIF or hanger - or not for SS or SH, maybe for support operations.

So It almost doesn't need a traditional pad at all! If there was an empty space it would be fine. at 39A SX is building all the SH/SS stuff in the gaps at the side of the existing ramp etc.

As paranoid as the feds are being about a RUD in BC, I'd expect them to be terrified that a debris fragment might take out part of the 39B tank farm, or even hit one of the connections near the flame trench that would get hooked into the launch platform. 

Rationally speaking OmegA as a giant stick of firebomb is far more dangerous in that regard than SS/SH would be; but they're currently treating SpaceX's rocket as being as dangerous as an equally large solid fueled rocket in Boca Chica, so I'm not going to hold my breath and assume they'd be reasonable about sharing the pad with SpaceX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: CameronD on 08/14/2020 05:48 am
Rationally speaking OmegA as a giant stick of firebomb is far more dangerous in that regard than SS/SH would be; but they're currently treating SpaceX's rocket as being as dangerous as an equally large solid fueled rocket in Boca Chica, so I'm not going to hold my breath and assume they'd be reasonable about sharing the pad with SpaceX.

There's no rationality required:  you simply run the calculations for TNT equivalents for both launch vehicles and work out the required quantity-distance calculations from the tables.  From that point on, it's all rocket science.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 10/01/2020 06:20 pm
An interesting project from KSC (this permit request was filled this spring). Road shoulder improvements, along the highlighted route, to enable trailers moving big rockets.

Quote
This application is for adding median/shoulder pavement for the purpose of improving roadway conditions to accommodate large tow vehicles for rockets with trailers about 300 feet long and 43 feet wide at the Kennedy Space Center. The project areas consist of 18 separate improvements totaling 1.65-acres of shoulder/median pavement on Space Commerce Way, Nasa Parkway, Kennedy Parkway and Saturn Causeway. The stormwater treatment of the runoff from the impervious in these locations is compensated for in several existing ponds.

SpaceX and NASA explicitly highlighted in the documents, but based on the route it can be also BO related.

If SpaceX, than the 43 feett is a new number.....

Full docs here: https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=160999
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Arb on 10/01/2020 08:12 pm
An interesting project from KSC (this permit request was filled this spring).

SpaceX and NASA explicitly highlighted in the documents, but based on the route it can be also BO related.

If SpaceX, than the 43 feett is a new number.....

Full docs here: https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=160999
From the documentation you linked, it's a Space Florida project for the entire route from the BO factory to the BO launch complex. So the 43' number is most likely not SpaceX related. Nice try though.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 10/01/2020 08:37 pm
An interesting project from KSC (this permit request was filled this spring).

SpaceX and NASA explicitly highlighted in the documents, but based on the route it can be also BO related.

If SpaceX, than the 43 feett is a new number.....

Full docs here: https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?theAction=searchDetail&permitNumber=160999
From the documentation you linked, it's a Space Florida project for the entire route from the BO factory to the BO launch complex. So the 43' number is most likely not SpaceX related. Nice try though.

Project Name:     EDTPF Infrastructure Improvements Roadway Package for NASA and SpaceX
Also Space Florida managed/prepared projects for SpaceX in the past (like Roberts Road initial EA).

But agree, the specified route is longer than supposedly required by SpaceX, as indicated in my orig post.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: retrojet on 10/29/2020 01:37 pm
A fan made - 3D render of the current state of the STARSHIP Launch Stand on PAD 39 A

https://twitter.com/RaceOrbit/status/1321366655734292482?s=20
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: inaccurate_reality on 10/29/2020 09:03 pm
A fan made - 3D render of the current state of the STARSHIP Launch Stand on PAD 39 A

https://twitter.com/RaceOrbit/status/1321366655734292482?s=20

It's interesting to consider in light of the orbital launch mount being constructed in boca chica.

It's pretty clear construction at 39A is on pause. Could be due to a change in the launch plan short-term (no launches from the cape in the next year or two) or a change in the launch mount design long-term.

I'm leaning towards the former since, it's hard to imagine SpaceX abandoning the launch corridors that the cape opens up, but elon's recent comments relating to orbital launch mount design and the need (or lack thereof) for a flame diverter seem to call the old launch mount design into question.

Now, the ramp-up of prototype construction in BC seems to indicate they'll be testing both SS and SH there to begin with. I have a hard time imagining them moving a ship and booster to the cape from there, since we've never seen a prototype moved horizontally (as I think they'd have to for barge transport). So that means they'll test in BC until they have a reliable vehicle, and then start constructing a new SS/SH factory in florida to open cape operations.

Then again, SS will have to be horizontal throughout the bellyflop maneuver, and SH will (likely) have stringers up the entire tank to prevent buckling, so maybe a horizontal move isn't impossible, and we'll see them start to ship boosters and ships to the cape.

Either way, I don't think we'll see further development at 39A until after a successful bellyflop, booster hop, and possibly even orbital flight (or orbital attempt).
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gemmy0I on 10/29/2020 10:12 pm
Now, the ramp-up of prototype construction in BC seems to indicate they'll be testing both SS and SH there to begin with. I have a hard time imagining them moving a ship and booster to the cape from there, since we've never seen a prototype moved horizontally (as I think they'd have to for barge transport). So that means they'll test in BC until they have a reliable vehicle, and then start constructing a new SS/SH factory in florida to open cape operations.

Then again, SS will have to be horizontal throughout the bellyflop maneuver, and SH will (likely) have stringers up the entire tank to prevent buckling, so maybe a horizontal move isn't impossible, and we'll see them start to ship boosters and ships to the cape.
Well, they do have a fair amount of experience transporting Falcon 9 boosters vertically on barges - and while crossing substantial distances over open ocean, no less. That technique should work at least as well for Starship and Super Heavy (possibly better, since they are not as "long and thin"). The fact that such a voyage could hug the Gulf Coast (and subsequently the east coast of Florida) instead of having to traverse open ocean should make conditions even more favorable.

In fact, they could likely use their existing droneship barges for the job. Their decks are plenty big enough for a Starship or Super Heavy standing up; much proverbial ink has been spilled here and elsewhere on the possibility of using them for landing SS/SH at sea, although that's more questionable since there's not a lot of margin of error should the landing be at all off-center. But for simply ferrying SS/SH between sites, that would not be a problem.

Assuming they were to build a relatively straightforward pier structure at Boca Chica Beach to allow the barge to maneuver close enough to shore, loading/offloading a SS or SH would be as easy as what they currently do when they move them around the build/launch site. They'd use Roll-Lifts to roll it down to the pier, and use one of their large mobile cranes to lift it onto a fixed transport stand welded (or otherwise firmly anchored) to the barge's deck.

Alternatively, they could Roll-Lift the thing over the road to the Port of Brownsville (via the port connector road currently under construction, which is supposed to have enough horizontal and vertical clearance for such things) and do the handoff to the barge there - potentially taking advantage of existing fixed crane infrastructure at the port. Ditto Port Canaveral on the receiving end.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: tbellman on 10/29/2020 11:54 pm
In fact, they could likely use their existing droneship barges for the job. Their decks are plenty big enough for a Starship or Super Heavy standing up; much proverbial ink has been spilled here and elsewhere on the possibility of using them for landing SS/SH at sea, although that's more questionable since there's not a lot of margin of error should the landing be at all off-center. But for simply ferrying SS/SH between sites, that would not be a problem.

Starship and SuperHeavy are significantly heavier than an empty Falcon 9 booster, though.  Estimated at 120 and 230 tonnes for SS and SH, respectively, compared to less than 30 tonnes for Falcon 9.  How much can OCISLY and JRTI carry?  (My initial gut feeling is that they can probably carry significantly more than 230 tonnes, so a SuperHeavy shouldn't be a problem, but I don't really know.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: eriblo on 10/30/2020 12:36 am
In fact, they could likely use their existing droneship barges for the job. Their decks are plenty big enough for a Starship or Super Heavy standing up; much proverbial ink has been spilled here and elsewhere on the possibility of using them for landing SS/SH at sea, although that's more questionable since there's not a lot of margin of error should the landing be at all off-center. But for simply ferrying SS/SH between sites, that would not be a problem.

Starship and SuperHeavy are significantly heavier than an empty Falcon 9 booster, though.  Estimated at 120 and 230 tonnes for SS and SH, respectively, compared to less than 30 tonnes for Falcon 9.  How much can OCISLY and JRTI carry?  (My initial gut feeling is that they can probably carry significantly more than 230 tonnes, so a SuperHeavy shouldn't be a problem, but I don't really know.)
About 10000 t. The mass of a landed rocket stage is insignificant compared to the water ballast they use for stability.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: guckyfan on 10/30/2020 03:49 am
Alternatively, they could Roll-Lift the thing over the road to the Port of Brownsville (via the port connector road currently under construction, which is supposed to have enough horizontal and vertical clearance for such things) and do the handoff to the barge there - potentially taking advantage of existing fixed crane infrastructure at the port. Ditto Port Canaveral on the receiving end.

Is that road under construction now? Last time I saw it mentioned it was still only planned. If it is under construction it should be finished when they need to move Starships to Florida, if not for early experimental downrange landings.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: danneely on 10/30/2020 09:32 am
Alternatively, they could Roll-Lift the thing over the road to the Port of Brownsville (via the port connector road currently under construction, which is supposed to have enough horizontal and vertical clearance for such things) and do the handoff to the barge there - potentially taking advantage of existing fixed crane infrastructure at the port. Ditto Port Canaveral on the receiving end.

Is that road under construction now? Last time I saw it mentioned it was still only planned. If it is under construction it should be finished when they need to move Starships to Florida, if not for early experimental downrange landings.

I think we saw pictures indicating that they were starting to do some preliminary ground clearing for the road a month or two ago.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheEmbeddedGuy on 10/30/2020 10:25 am
Alternatively, they could Roll-Lift the thing over the road to the Port of Brownsville (via the port connector road currently under construction, which is supposed to have enough horizontal and vertical clearance for such things) and do the handoff to the barge there - potentially taking advantage of existing fixed crane infrastructure at the port. Ditto Port Canaveral on the receiving end.

Is that road under construction now? Last time I saw it mentioned it was still only planned. If it is under construction it should be finished when they need to move Starships to Florida, if not for early experimental downrange landings.

I think we saw pictures indicating that they were starting to do some preliminary ground clearing for the road a month or two ago.
Maybe we can get our friends at RGV Aerial Photography take some snaps?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 10/31/2020 03:38 pm
Maybe we can get our friends at RGV Aerial Photography take some snaps?
KSC / CCAFS is *much* more restricted airspace... they won’t overflights like that. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: danneely on 10/31/2020 07:45 pm
Maybe we can get our friends at RGV Aerial Photography take some snaps?
KSC / CCAFS is *much* more restricted airspace... they won’t overflights like that. :)

Fortunately the road we're talking about is midway between Boca Chica and Brownsville, not in Florida.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DistantTemple on 11/01/2020 02:02 am
Maybe we can get our friends at RGV Aerial Photography take some snaps?
KSC / CCAFS is *much* more restricted airspace... they won’t overflights like that. :)

Fortunately the road we're talking about is midway between Boca Chica and Brownsville, not in Florida.
You wouldn't know from the thread title!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: PM3 on 01/20/2021 07:40 pm
Is KSC still on for Starship, now that SpaceX is planning towards offshore in Texas?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/20/2021 07:54 pm
Is KSC still on for Starship, now that SpaceX is planning towards offshore in Texas?
yes
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: philw1776 on 01/20/2021 08:13 pm
And if I remember correctly, although the LZ is go for Starship landings KSC requires the SH 1st stage to land offshore. Phobos? Or yet another?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ZChris13 on 01/21/2021 10:06 am
And if I remember correctly, although the LZ is go for Starship landings KSC requires the SH 1st stage to land offshore. Phobos? Or yet another?
They already have two ASDS on the east coast, Super Heavy can land on Of Course I Still Love You or Just Read the Instructions. Yes, they're big enough, I think the hard part would be getting Super Heavy back to the launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: PM3 on 01/21/2021 10:25 am
Is KSC still on for Starship, now that SpaceX is planning towards offshore in Texas?
yes
And if I remember correctly, although the LZ is go for Starship landings KSC requires the SH 1st stage to land offshore. Phobos? Or yet another?

So this catch-refuel-and-go thing (https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-super-heavy-landing-plans) will only be implemented in Texas? Because if the launch pad is at KSC and Super Heavy must land on the ocean, it cannot land on the launch mount. This will make launches from the Cape way more complicated, slow and expensive than from Texas (if the catching works).

Or LC-39A just for the crew, and the tankers and freighters from an additional sea pad?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 01/21/2021 01:48 pm
Don't forget 'minimum viable' comes before optimisations for turnaround time. Landing downrange on a barge and dragging it back to shore is clearly viable (Falcon 9), so there's no reason to skip over it for a fancier option that takes you months extra to get ready rather than just flying boosters in the meantime.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/21/2021 02:02 pm
Is KSC still on for Starship, now that SpaceX is planning towards offshore in Texas?
yes
And if I remember correctly, although the LZ is go for Starship landings KSC requires the SH 1st stage to land offshore. Phobos? Or yet another?

So this catch-refuel-and-go thing (https://www.space.com/spacex-starship-super-heavy-landing-plans) will only be implemented in Texas? Because if the launch pad is at KSC and Super Heavy must land on the ocean, it cannot land on the launch mount. This will make launches from the Cape way more complicated, slow and expensive than from Texas (if the catching works).

Or LC-39A just for the crew, and the tankers and freighters from an additional sea pad?

Planned future upgrades to LC-39A for Starship include a landing pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: PM3 on 01/21/2021 02:13 pm
Planned future upgrades to LC-39A for Starship include a landing pad.

That is from 2019. My question was if this plan is still active. Answer seems to be yes, though construction seems to be suspended for some months now ...?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: leetdan on 01/21/2021 03:06 pm
At the very least, those drawings are missing the VIF and other changes stemming from the NSSL win.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: danneely on 01/22/2021 03:13 am
At the very least, those drawings are missing the VIF and other changes stemming from the NSSL win.

IIRC the VIF is a mobile structure.  After the F9/FH is stood up on the pad the VIF would drive up to it, install the payload, and then drive back to a safe distance.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 01/22/2021 12:30 pm
The VIF only moves a very short distance on rails, from the launch mount itself to the north end of the elevated concrete (20m-30m).

All LC-39A Starship pad construction has been on hold for quite some time. It's unknown publicly whether it will resume with the previously published design, a different design, or not at all.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Rocket Surgeon on 01/22/2021 01:42 pm
The VIF only moves a very short distance on rails, from the launch mount itself to the north end of the elevated concrete (20m-30m).

All LC-39A Starship pad construction has been on hold for quite some time. It's unknown publicly whether it will resume with the previously published design, a different design, or not at all.

Wild speculation, but I'd guess that everything Florida is on-hold until they've figure most/everything out in Boca Chica.

I.E. once the designs for..well...everything (Starship, Superheavy, Launch pad and manufacturing site) is mostly locked in, then they will continue so A) they can immediately apply lessons learnt and B) they don't have to rebuild/reconfigure anything.

When that will change? No idea, probably close to when Super Heavy testing will begin.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Texsun on 01/22/2021 03:41 pm
Or, SS launch pad at 39A may be superseded by a Boring Co tunnel from JSC to an offshore launch/recovery platform.  :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: marssmmm on 01/25/2021 03:40 pm
i doubt that spacex will test from LC-39a.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/26/2021 03:13 pm
i doubt that spacex will test from LC-39a.
SpaceX FH first flight was a test from 39a
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: abaddon on 01/26/2021 03:51 pm
i doubt that spacex will test from LC-39a.
SpaceX FH first flight was a test from 39a
And from the same launchpad and tower, where Starship would be well off to the side and much less likely to damage the Falcon pad/tower in the event of a mishap.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: guckyfan on 01/26/2021 04:49 pm
i doubt that spacex will test from LC-39a.
SpaceX FH first flight was a test from 39a

They had no choice then. They have a choice now. They can do all the early tests in Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 01/26/2021 04:57 pm
They can do all the early tests in Boca Chica.
Once they've replicated the range control capabilities present at the Space Coast and Vandenberg. So far, their up-and-down flights have barely left their own property boundaries.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Thunderscreech on 01/26/2021 06:04 pm
They can do all the early tests in Boca Chica.
Once they've replicated the range control capabilities present at the Space Coast and Vandenberg. So far, their up-and-down flights have barely left their own property boundaries.
AFTS reduces the equipment requirements for this by a LOT, it's possible they may already be able to meet the needs of that range with what they have, no?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 01/27/2021 10:46 am
Range control is not just vehicle termination. There's ground-side tracking of the vehicle (and any debris), surface and aerial surveillance of the hazard zones to monitor and enforce NOTAMs and NOTMARs, etc. The recent incident of a random passerby violating the ground keep out zone (driving pas the launch site during tanking operations) illustrates that range control does not just occur on its own.
The Cape helpfully has AF and coast-guard bases and resources already right there to assist in this (along with a half century of tracking and telemetry infrastructure and experience in support of the range). Thus far, Boca Chica has two dishes (both appear to be set up for telemetry) and a local Sherriff.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lar on 01/27/2021 02:24 pm
Let's make sure that we stay on topic. Detailed discussion of BC conops, facilities, etc should always be in context (compare/contrast, etc)... thanks
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: retrojet on 04/07/2021 07:16 am
New Virtual Flyover Video:
SpaceX Starship Facility Update / April 2021
Covering the Starship Structures and Buildings at Roberts Road and at Pad39A.

https://youtu.be/BfSI7Kj5R3M (https://youtu.be/BfSI7Kj5R3M)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: enbandi on 04/09/2021 06:30 am
And this filling indeed support the depicted version:
https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=415650533&row=0

Quote
The tower will consist of a 100' tall platform where the vehicle will sit (phase 1 build near term), and 2 support towers that extend an additional 300' above the platform (phase 2 build after 100' tall platform). Expected to be ~30' higher than lightning protection rod currently on the launch pad.

To be clear: this is the 2019 version, we dont know if this plan still valid.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/14/2021 01:09 pm
twitter.com/ppathole/status/1404334458937872384

Quote
For Starlink launches using Starship, would LC-39A be the only option for these launches? All of the current satellites are launched in to a 53° inclined orbit. Can that orbit be launched in to with Starship from Starbase, Texas? Can lower inclinations be used in the future?

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1404336029776027651

Quote
After several successful launches, land overflight earlier in trajectory passes E-sub-c safety threshold. That said, Starship will also launch from Cape long-term.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: cohberg on 12/03/2021 03:19 pm
Quote from: Elon Musk @elonmusk
Construction of Starship orbital launch pad at the Cape has begun

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1466797158737268743

Satellite composite credit (https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Ulmo on 12/03/2021 03:57 pm
Is there anyplace SpaceX or other entities post public paperwork for 39A activities and/or construction?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/03/2021 04:00 pm
Is there anyplace SpaceX or other entities post public paperwork for 39A activities and/or construction?

Environmental Assessment for Starship/Super Heavy launch vehicle at Kennedy Space Center (KSC)

https://netspublic.grc.nasa.gov/main/20190919_Final_EA_SpaceX_Starship.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Ulmo on 12/03/2021 04:01 pm
I just found a related thread that seems to collect most messages that I thought would be placed in this thread:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45667.msg2317118#msg2317118
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 12/04/2021 09:47 am
I believe this thread is supposed to be for Starship 39A news/discussion while the other thread is for non-Starship 39A news/discussion, at least that's my understanding...

Elon Musk says SpaceX has started building a Starship launchpad on Florida’s Space Coast (https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/03/elon-musk-spacex-starts-construction-of-starship-launchpad-in-florida.html)

Quote from: CNBC
NASA, in a statement to CNBC, confirmed that SpaceX is “within the rights of their lease agreement to make launch infrastructure improvements within the boundaries of the pad.” The agency also confirmed that NASA is not providing funding for the Starship launchpad, and deferred to SpaceX on the project’s scope, cost, and timeline.

The space agency performed an environmental assessment of the plan in 2019 and gave SpaceX permission to begin work within the LC-39A site. But the agency said that “approval is only to build at this time,” with authorization for launches and landings requiring a separate approval process.

Tom Engler, director of planning and development at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, told CNBC that he think the SpaceX plan is “really exciting.” Before the company leased the complex, it was previously used to launch Saturn V rockets for Apollo missions, as well as Space Shuttle missions.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Norm38 on 12/04/2021 01:00 pm
Since 39A is the only crew launch pad, are there any details for how Starship and Falcon9 (and FH) are supposed to coexist on pad?

Or does “pad” mean the whole area and Starship can have a separate mount?

It seems to me that they should launch from BC and prove out the whole no flame diverter concept before spending money at 39A
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/04/2021 06:51 pm
Quote
It seems to me that they should launch from BC and prove out the whole no flame diverter concept before spending money at 39A
I suspect that SX knows what they're doing.  They have more freedom of design movement at the Cape than they do in a wildlife refuge.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Eer on 12/04/2021 07:03 pm
The cape is literally a wildlife refuge
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/04/2021 07:07 pm
With buildable area that BC doesn't have.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: whitelancer64 on 12/05/2021 03:25 pm
Since 39A is the only crew launch pad, are there any details for how Starship and Falcon9 (and FH) are supposed to coexist on pad?

Or does “pad” mean the whole area and Starship can have a separate mount?

It seems to me that they should launch from BC and prove out the whole no flame diverter concept before spending money at 39A

SpaceX is building a separate launch pad for Starship.

Below is a rough sketch from the 2019 EA for launching Starship from KSC, and two satellite images of the Starship launch pad as it is being constructed.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: sferrin on 12/05/2021 05:12 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Bob Niland on 12/05/2021 05:22 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.
They are going to be made there. See the Roberts Road thread.
They could also fly themselves there from BC, but that might not make sense, depending on the mission.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Eer on 12/05/2021 05:49 pm
I'm at a loss as to what the landing zone is for ... helicopters, F9, or footed SH or SS?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: scr00chy on 12/05/2021 05:51 pm
I'm at a loss as to what the landing zone is for ... helicopters, F9, or footed SH or SS?

It was originally built as a Starship landing pad. But now the plan is for Starships to be caught by Mechazilla, so they might repurpose the pad for something else.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: vaporcobra on 12/05/2021 10:35 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rpapo on 12/05/2021 11:34 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.
Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.
Launch SH & SS together.  Send SS to orbit and return it to the cape.  Recover SH on one of the two converted drilling rigs, offload to a ship, take that ship to the Cape and offload to land.  The real problem, I think, is that the SuperHeavy might not take kindly to being carried around horizontally.  I suspect that carrying the SuperHeavy around vertically on a ship or barge on the high seas is just asking for it all to capsize in any sea state worse than dead calm.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jrhan48 on 12/05/2021 11:44 pm
Quote
It seems to me that they should launch from BC and prove out the whole no flame diverter concept before spending money at 39A
I suspect that SX knows what they're doing.  They have more freedom of design movement at the Cape than they do in a wildlife refuge.
Cape is a wildlife refuge as well.  Also active operational spaceport for all NASA, Space Force, and Private companies,   Actually more restrictions to design at BC.   Doubt they'll do any development at the cape, only operational launches, but will take a year or so to get the "Stage 0" built so have to start now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/06/2021 01:55 am
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.

Hop an almost dry SH with no SS out to a floating platform a few miles from shore, fuel it up enough, and hop it as far as it can comfortably go to another floating platform. Continue this until you get to KSC.  Do the same with SS. The first hop is kept short to minimize required thrust at BC, to keep the noise down. I don't know if you would be allowed to hop across Florida but it's less dangerous than re-entry.  My guess is an SH or SS could hop from offshore BC to offshore Tampa in one hop. SS can go high and count on its TPS. SH (or an SS with no TPS) might need to go lower, slower, and very inefficiently, but still cheaper and easier than using barges.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ejb749 on 12/06/2021 02:15 am
I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but the biggest difference between the tower in Boca and the one at the Cape will be the Crew Access Arm!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: darkenfast on 12/06/2021 02:17 am
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.
Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.
Launch SH & SS together.  Send SS to orbit and return it to the cape.  Recover SH on one of the two converted drilling rigs, offload to a ship, take that ship to the Cape and offload to land.  The real problem, I think, is that the SuperHeavy might not take kindly to being carried around horizontally.  I suspect that carrying the SuperHeavy around vertically on a ship or barge on the high seas is just asking for it all to capsize in any sea state worse than dead calm.

Things like this have come up before in discussion. Super Heavy is light for it's size and most of the weight is down low (just like the Falcon 9 booster). Even a Marmac 300 barge (the base hull for SpaceX's drone ships), could easily carry one without stability problems. The barges also can (and often do), ballast down with seawater, which adds thousands of tons more weight down low. If weather gets rough, windage might present an issue. You would obviously want to secure the thing well and watch your forecasts for the Gulf crossing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/06/2021 04:00 am
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.

Hop an almost dry SH with no SS out to a floating platform a few miles from shore, fuel it up enough, and hop it as far as it can comfortably go to another floating platform. Continue this until you get to KSC.  Do the same with SS. The first hop is kept short to minimize required thrust at BC, to keep the noise down. I don't know if you would be allowed to hop across Florida but it's less dangerous than re-entry.  My guess is an SH or SS could hop from offshore BC to offshore Tampa in one hop. SS can go high and count on its TPS. SH (or an SS with no TPS) might need to go lower, slower, and very inefficiently, but still cheaper and easier than using barges.
Good one!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 12/06/2021 04:18 am
I haven't seen this mentioned yet, but the biggest difference between the tower in Boca and the one at the Cape will be the Crew Access Arm!
It will exists at both, nothing to prevent it from being installed at Starbase
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 12/06/2021 04:43 am
New NSF article: Starship to stand on the shoulders of Saturn V and Shuttle at 39A (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/12/starship-saturnv-shuttle-39a/)

Quote from: NSF
The pace of construction will also be closely followed, given Starbase’s known priority. It is likely that Starbase will push through the test program and enable Starship to become operational, flying many Starlink missions to demonstrate its reliability before debuting from Florida.

Numerous questions remain outstanding.

These range from where the vehicles will be constructed, be it Starbase and then shipped to KSC akin to the path the Saturn V stages and Shuttle External Tanks took a barge trip into the Turn Basin at KSC, or if a new facility will be built at one of SpaceX’s Florida sites – such as Roberts Road, which has room for expansion.

There also remains the potential that SpaceX could lease one of the spare High Bays inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) ahead of stacking at the pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 12/06/2021 01:15 pm
https://twitter.com/goaliebear88/status/1467859807398940674
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RedLineTrain on 12/06/2021 01:45 pm
Am I correct that this is drilling for foundations?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 12/06/2021 01:50 pm
Am I correct that this is drilling for foundations?

Yes the crane is attached to the piling rig
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TomH on 12/07/2021 12:35 am
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Asteroza on 12/07/2021 01:19 am
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Hamish.Student on 12/07/2021 10:43 am
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
 
 

I wonder if it could tolerate horizontal transport if it was pressed and/or had external ribbings temporarily installed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: capoman on 12/07/2021 12:43 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
 
 

I wonder if it could tolerate horizontal transport if it was pressed and/or had external ribbings temporarily installed.

I wonder if they can actually fly there. It's only a few hundred miles, and either fly between Cuba and Florida then translate over, or fly at higher altitude overhead Florida, then do a boostback burn to lower itself to the Cape. Booster by itself with a nosecone might have the range to do this. It doesn't make sense to transport by water if it can fly there on it's own.

This might be a solution until Starship production really ramps up for Mars when they'll likely need more production facilities. But I can't see them building a second production plant quite yet, especially if they can translate directly from Boca Chica.

I just don't know if this can be feasibly done. Pretty sure they will, if they can find a way to do it. Flying overhead at altitude should not be a huge risk as a failure would have momentum to carry it to the ocean. The approach would have to be monitored carefully though.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RonM on 12/07/2021 01:04 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
 
 

I wonder if it could tolerate horizontal transport if it was pressed and/or had external ribbings temporarily installed.

I wonder if they can actually fly there. It's only a few hundred miles, and either fly between Cuba and Florida then translate over, or fly at higher altitude overhead Florida, then do a boostback burn to lower itself to the Cape. Booster by itself with a nosecone might have the range to do this. It doesn't make sense to transport by water if it can fly there on it's own.

This might be a solution until Starship production really ramps up for Mars when they'll likely need more production facilities. But I can't see them building a second production plant quite yet, especially if they can translate directly from Boca Chica.

I just don't know if this can be feasibly done. Pretty sure they will, if they can find a way to do it. Flying overhead at altitude should not be a huge risk as a failure would have momentum to carry it to the ocean. The approach would have to be monitored carefully though.

Once SS/SH are reliable enough, flying to a new launch site would be an option, but how long will that take? Elon doesn't strike me as a patient man. Build them on site is the simplest solution.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: WiresMN on 12/07/2021 01:14 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
 
 

I wonder if it could tolerate horizontal transport if it was pressed and/or had external ribbings temporarily installed.

The Atlas rocket was transported in the horizontal position and that had balloon tanks that could not self support in the vertical position. This seems like a solved problem. I'm not saying that SpaceX will transport horizontally, but that they could if desired.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: capoman on 12/07/2021 01:34 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
 
 

I wonder if it could tolerate horizontal transport if it was pressed and/or had external ribbings temporarily installed.

The Atlas rocket was transported in the horizontal position and that had balloon tanks that could not self support in the vertical position. This seems like a solved problem. I'm not saying that SpaceX will transport horizontally, but that they could if desired.

Yes, I'm pretty sure it could be done, but ferrying a reusable booster or starship doesn't make sense if it can be done otherwise.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 12/07/2021 01:40 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
 
 

I wonder if it could tolerate horizontal transport if it was pressed and/or had external ribbings temporarily installed.

I wonder if they can actually fly there. It's only a few hundred miles, and either fly between Cuba and Florida then translate over, or fly at higher altitude overhead Florida, then do a boostback burn to lower itself to the Cape. Booster by itself with a nosecone might have the range to do this. It doesn't make sense to transport by water if it can fly there on it's own.

This might be a solution until Starship production really ramps up for Mars when they'll likely need more production facilities. But I can't see them building a second production plant quite yet, especially if they can translate directly from Boca Chica.

I just don't know if this can be feasibly done. Pretty sure they will, if they can find a way to do it. Flying overhead at altitude should not be a huge risk as a failure would have momentum to carry it to the ocean. The approach would have to be monitored carefully though.
Until a whole new regulatory regime to cover it is in place, 'suborbital transport hops' require all the same hoops to be jumped through as orbital launches, and potentially add extra for populated area overflight or impact risk. It's neither a fast nor easy option in the near term vs. surface transport.
Overland and water transport of large awkward objects is a regular occurrence with multiple specialist contractors experienced in transporting far bulkier and heavier items than Starship or Super Heavy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: capoman on 12/08/2021 12:36 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.

Does Pegasus sit idle when not transporting an SLS core? Could it be rented and would SH fit inside?

Wasn't Pegasus a covered barge though, which prevent large vertical objects from being transported? Starship currently doesn't seem to like being laid on it's side...
 
 

I wonder if it could tolerate horizontal transport if it was pressed and/or had external ribbings temporarily installed.

I wonder if they can actually fly there. It's only a few hundred miles, and either fly between Cuba and Florida then translate over, or fly at higher altitude overhead Florida, then do a boostback burn to lower itself to the Cape. Booster by itself with a nosecone might have the range to do this. It doesn't make sense to transport by water if it can fly there on it's own.

This might be a solution until Starship production really ramps up for Mars when they'll likely need more production facilities. But I can't see them building a second production plant quite yet, especially if they can translate directly from Boca Chica.

I just don't know if this can be feasibly done. Pretty sure they will, if they can find a way to do it. Flying overhead at altitude should not be a huge risk as a failure would have momentum to carry it to the ocean. The approach would have to be monitored carefully though.
Until a whole new regulatory regime to cover it is in place, 'suborbital transport hops' require all the same hoops to be jumped through as orbital launches, and potentially add extra for populated area overflight or impact risk. It's neither a fast nor easy option in the near term vs. surface transport.
Overland and water transport of large awkward objects is a regular occurrence with multiple specialist contractors experienced in transporting far bulkier and heavier items than Starship or Super Heavy.

Yeah, it may not be worth it for Super Heavy as the amount of SH's required at the cape will be limited, Starships however may be a different story, and there may be other ways including orbital and droneship methods to get there. Maybe those legs could be used on a temporary basis to do this.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 12/08/2021 10:19 pm
https://twitter.com/goaliebear88/status/1467859807398940674
Since the quoted tweet has since been deleted I thought this may be worth noting. The pile driving crane is still visible in photos for the IXPE mission.
Original photo from NASA taken on the 8th of December, here: https://flic.kr/p/2mPBwMQ
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: philw1776 on 12/09/2021 03:25 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.
Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.
Launch SH & SS together.  Send SS to orbit and return it to the cape.  Recover SH on one of the two converted drilling rigs, offload to a ship, take that ship to the Cape and offload to land.  The real problem, I think, is that the SuperHeavy might not take kindly to being carried around horizontally.  I suspect that carrying the SuperHeavy around vertically on a ship or barge on the high seas is just asking for it all to capsize in any sea state worse than dead calm.

Why do that?
Launch a partially fueled SS direct ballistic to FL
Launch a partially fueled SH direct ballistic to FL.
It has extra propellant to execute a re-entry burn to slow it down to its normal re-entry velocity.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 12/09/2021 04:11 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.
Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.
Launch SH & SS together.  Send SS to orbit and return it to the cape.  Recover SH on one of the two converted drilling rigs, offload to a ship, take that ship to the Cape and offload to land.  The real problem, I think, is that the SuperHeavy might not take kindly to being carried around horizontally.  I suspect that carrying the SuperHeavy around vertically on a ship or barge on the high seas is just asking for it all to capsize in any sea state worse than dead calm.

Why do that?
Launch a partially fueled SS direct ballistic to FL
Launch a partially fueled SH direct ballistic to FL.
It has extra propellant to execute a re-entry burn to slow it down to its normal re-entry velocity.

Two reasons:
1. Such ballistic overflights (of densely populated central FL) would likely not be allowed.
2. A distance of 1700km is a *significant* suborbital hop requiring about half of orbital velocity, roughly 4km/s. (unless my math is off) Probably doable by SS, but more questionable for SH. (keep in mind it would need an additional long braking burn for that high velocity)

I firmly believe SH's will be moved to FL by boat, or built in FL.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/09/2021 04:30 pm
Quote
or built in FL.
I suspect we're going to see this to a more significant extent than was previously imagined.  I can see Boca Chica relegated to a prototype testing site.  The rural nature of BC, the road and infrastructure constraints, and the orbital launch limitations might have shown them that that isn't the place for widespread development that was once thought.

I am skeptical that a second launch mount is going to happen there.  They'll have practice launches with landings at sea while they tweak the hovering and maneuvering necessary for catchment, and they'll eventually try it at BC.  But if it fails, they'll learn and rejigger it into the plans for the Cape setup. 

I think that we're going to find that they determine that BC just didn't work out like originally thought. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 12/09/2021 05:11 pm
Quote
or built in FL.
I suspect we're going to see this to a more significant extent than was previously imagined.  I can see Boca Chica relegated to a prototype testing site.  The rural nature of BC, the road and infrastructure constraints, and the orbital launch limitations might have shown them that that isn't the place for widespread development that was once thought.

I am skeptical that a second launch mount is going to happen there.  They'll have practice launches with landings at sea while they tweak the hovering and maneuvering necessary for catchment, and they'll eventually try it at BC.  But if it fails, they'll learn and rejigger it into the plans for the Cape setup. 

I think that we're going to find that they determine that BC just didn't work out like originally thought.

Doubtful, that doesn't align with them continuing to buy/lease new properties in Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/09/2021 05:23 pm
Quote
or built in FL.
I suspect we're going to see this to a more significant extent than was previously imagined.  I can see Boca Chica relegated to a prototype testing site.  The rural nature of BC, the road and infrastructure constraints, and the orbital launch limitations might have shown them that that isn't the place for widespread development that was once thought.

I am skeptical that a second launch mount is going to happen there.  They'll have practice launches with landings at sea while they tweak the hovering and maneuvering necessary for catchment, and they'll eventually try it at BC.  But if it fails, they'll learn and rejigger it into the plans for the Cape setup. 

I think that we're going to find that they determine that BC just didn't work out like originally thought.

The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate. OK at two SS per week it takes ten years to build 1000 Starships, so maybe Elon will want an additional build site.

The BC infrastructure might be able to support operational tanker flights if they add a methane liquifaction plant and a big-enough LOX plant, since that would impose very little load on the roads. Cargo, not so much unless they add at least a barge port.

They also need regulatory permission for operations, I think. They might manage to get permission to launch short hops to an offshore platform for each newly-build SS, but operational flights are two orders of magnitude more frequent even if you use the short-hop approach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: philw1776 on 12/09/2021 07:30 pm
Anybody know how they'd get the booster/Starship combo to the Cape?  ???    Can't just SPMT it from BC.
Conveniently, NASA already built its own canal and turning basin for delivering giant rocket stages to KSC and it's like a mile away from both 39A and Roberts Road or ~1000 ft away from the VAB. The challenge would be getting Starship and Super Heavy from Starbase to Port of Brownsville, which is a few miles of very empty road away.
Launch SH & SS together.  Send SS to orbit and return it to the cape.  Recover SH on one of the two converted drilling rigs, offload to a ship, take that ship to the Cape and offload to land.  The real problem, I think, is that the SuperHeavy might not take kindly to being carried around horizontally.  I suspect that carrying the SuperHeavy around vertically on a ship or barge on the high seas is just asking for it all to capsize in any sea state worse than dead calm.

Why do that?
Launch a partially fueled SS direct ballistic to FL
Launch a partially fueled SH direct ballistic to FL.
It has extra propellant to execute a re-entry burn to slow it down to its normal re-entry velocity.

Two reasons:
1. Such ballistic overflights (of densely populated central FL) would likely not be allowed.
2. A distance of 1700km is a *significant* suborbital hop requiring about half of orbital velocity, roughly 4km/s. (unless my math is off) Probably doable by SS, but more questionable for SH. (keep in mind it would need an additional long braking burn for that high velocity)

I firmly believe SH's will be moved to FL by boat, or built in FL.

1. Shipping SS to FL via orbital also overflies FL
2. SH has the Delta V. Empty it's ~ 200T. Carries LOTS of propellant. Enough for ballistic and enough to slow down.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=52841.msg2201594#msg2201594
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/09/2021 07:51 pm
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: philw1776 on 12/09/2021 08:04 pm
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Asteroza on 12/09/2021 10:13 pm
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.

If you can accept barging to an offshore launch/land facility, and can accept that initial static fires/shakedowns are also done at that offshore facility,  then any place near an acceptable barge pier/wharf/harbor with unrestricted height access to the sea, and is cheap will do. If you need to do static fires at the factory to wring out gremlins, then the number of acceptable sites gets harder to find.

As a possible example, with SS/SH initially proven, that will functionally kill SLS. It will also likely kill off anyone trying to use 39B as well, besides SLS. That means reservations for VAB high bays will drop eventually to zero. Which would open up an opportunity to use the VAB as an assembly facility. SPMT the builds over to a static fire mount by 39A. One cleared, barge them to the offshore facility. Or if the non-use of 39B becomes too obvious/painful, put a full launch tower and static fire stand over there if NASA is too uptight about continuity of Falcon 9 operations at 39A.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/09/2021 11:03 pm
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.
As I see it  one basic requirement for a factory is the ability to ship finished goods. I see no inexpensive way to ship SS and SH from BC except by launching them, and specifically by launching them by short hops to an offshore platform. Does anyone see any evidence (e.g., port facilities) that SpaceX has a plan to use barges? What is the cost of a barge port? what is the cost of shipment by barge? We do see evidence that SpaceX intends to implement an offshore platform. We do see evidence(!) that SpaceX intends to launch from BC. We do (sort of) see evidence (FAA permissions)  that SpaceX does not intend to do lots of  orbital launches from BC. Conclusion: SpaceX intends to deliver SS and SH by non-orbital launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/09/2021 11:46 pm
Quote
where's the better mfg & launch site?
The launch site is already under construction.  The factory we don't know yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 12/10/2021 01:48 am
Starbase will not be abandoned once the operational started
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: aip on 12/10/2021 03:08 am
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.
In a year or so, I could envision some engineers half hoping that a SH fails spectacularly when trying to be caught so they can rebuild the Boca Chica infrastructure based on lessons learned in Florida and/or Deimos/Phobos. So long as the destroyed infrastructure is a version behind a currently available version, it's not that valuable.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/10/2021 03:45 am
Starbase will not be abandoned once the operational started
Said no one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MDMoery on 12/10/2021 04:08 am
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.

If you can accept barging to an offshore launch/land facility, and can accept that initial static fires/shakedowns are also done at that offshore facility,  then any place near an acceptable barge pier/wharf/harbor with unrestricted height access to the sea, and is cheap will do. If you need to do static fires at the factory to wring out gremlins, then the number of acceptable sites gets harder to find.

As a possible example, with SS/SH initially proven, that will functionally kill SLS. It will also likely kill off anyone trying to use 39B as well, besides SLS. That means reservations for VAB high bays will drop eventually to zero. Which would open up an opportunity to use the VAB as an assembly facility. SPMT the builds over to a static fire mount by 39A. One cleared, barge them to the offshore facility. Or if the non-use of 39B becomes too obvious/painful, put a full launch tower and static fire stand over there if NASA is too uptight about continuity of Falcon 9 operations at 39A.

So how about this?  Take the old Apollo/STS legacy MLP that was being rebuilt for Omega and build a STARSHIP tower and launch mount on it.  Add an LCH4 tank at LC-39B and just use the existing legacy LOX sphere.  Haul the MLP/Tower out to LC-39B with the crawler, hard down on the launch mounts and hook up the connections.  Don't even have to stack SH/SS in the VAB.  Just stack at LC-39B with a crane, or maybe the MLP-mounted tower has a slightly different chopstick design than the ground-level towers to be able to reach a booster/ship down to the pad surface?

And I agree, if SLS were magically cancelled (not holding breath due to US Senate pork realities) and there are no longer any SRM's in the building, the four VAB high bays would be a SPECTACULAR Starship / SuperHeavy manufacturing site!  That amount of space with heavy cranes already built in could keep up with manufacturing demand for both KSC launched SS/SH as well as SS/SH build and barged elsewhere.  I have wondered if that possibility is why Elon has slow-rolled the building of Florida SS/SH manufacturing facilities.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 12/10/2021 04:29 am
Starbase will not be abandoned once the operational started
Said no one.
"Starbase is a prototyping ground = abandoned once they're moving to Cape" is an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence

Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.

If you can accept barging to an offshore launch/land facility, and can accept that initial static fires/shakedowns are also done at that offshore facility,  then any place near an acceptable barge pier/wharf/harbor with unrestricted height access to the sea, and is cheap will do. If you need to do static fires at the factory to wring out gremlins, then the number of acceptable sites gets harder to find.

As a possible example, with SS/SH initially proven, that will functionally kill SLS. It will also likely kill off anyone trying to use 39B as well, besides SLS. That means reservations for VAB high bays will drop eventually to zero. Which would open up an opportunity to use the VAB as an assembly facility. SPMT the builds over to a static fire mount by 39A. One cleared, barge them to the offshore facility. Or if the non-use of 39B becomes too obvious/painful, put a full launch tower and static fire stand over there if NASA is too uptight about continuity of Falcon 9 operations at 39A.

So how about this?  Take the old Apollo/STS legacy MLP that was being rebuilt for Omega and build a STARSHIP tower and launch mount on it.  Add an LCH4 tank at LC-39B and just use the existing legacy LOX sphere.  Haul the MLP/Tower out to LC-39B with the crawler, hard down on the launch mounts and hook up the connections.  Don't even have to stack SH/SS in the VAB.  Just stack at LC-39B with a crane, or maybe the MLP-mounted tower has a slightly different chopstick design than the ground-level towers to be able to reach a booster/ship down to the pad surface?

And I agree, if SLS were magically cancelled (not holding breath due to US Senate pork realities) and there are no longer any SRM's in the building, the four VAB high bays would be a SPECTACULAR Starship / SuperHeavy manufacturing site!  That amount of space with heavy cranes already built in could keep up with manufacturing demand for both KSC launched SS/SH as well as SS/SH build and barged elsewhere.  I have wondered if that possibility is why Elon has slow-rolled the building of Florida SS/SH manufacturing facilities.
OmegA tower isn't designed for Mechazilla. SpaceX will not use any NASA facilities beside the land if it didn't fit their trade-off, even if the communities keep insisting (mostly or the only sake of "cool/historical factor")
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/10/2021 08:14 pm
Elon is becoming increasingly disenchanted with government interactions of any sort. Why would he want to use any government-provided facility? He might offer to purchase the VAB, but he will not want to manufacture Starship in a government-owned facility. Example: SpaceX no longer tests engines at Stennis. Tests are now done at McGregor.

Beyond the other reasons that those above have explained, look at the clearance around 39A.

Boca Chica seems all cute and fun, but once that booster lights all those engines at one time, then the real complaints will begin in that area.

There is no shielding an area from the noise of a rocket on assent. 

Anyone that watched a Shuttle launch can tell you how noisy things were at the VAB at lift off.  When a booster fly's there will be reports of damage in surrounding communities.  How much we will out at that time. 

Flying from KSC is the obvious choice, it has the biggest possible buffer and existing infrastructure for stupid big rockets.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: butters on 12/10/2021 09:09 pm
I suppose NASA would have to be okay with Starship launch/landing operations at LC-39A while SLS is on LC-39B. If they want to make sure they're able to launch Orion and complete the Artemis mission well within the cryo endurance of HLS Starship, they're going to have to roll out the SLS stack before the Starship launch campaign is complete.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/11/2021 12:09 am
Elon is becoming increasingly disenchanted with government interactions of any sort. Why would he want to use any government-provided facility? He might offer to purchase the VAB, but he will not want to manufacture Starship in a government-owned facility. Example: SpaceX no longer tests engines at Stennis. Tests are now done at McGregor.

Beyond the other reasons that those above have explained, look at the clearance around 39A.

Boca Chica seems all cute and fun, but once that booster lights all those engines at one time, then the real complaints will begin in that area.

There is no shielding an area from the noise of a rocket on assent. 

Anyone that watched a Shuttle launch can tell you how noisy things were at the VAB at lift off.  When a booster fly's there will be reports of damage in surrounding communities.  How much we will out at that time. 

Flying from KSC is the obvious choice, it has the biggest possible buffer and existing infrastructure for stupid big rockets.

My observation was primarily directed at manufacturing, not operations. Outsiders such as myself have seen no indication that SpaceX will manufacture anywhere except BC.  But if manufacture remains at BC and operations are at KSC, we should expect to see some sort of infrastructure to transport SS and SH from BC to KSC. Where is it? The only hardware I can see is the launch platform.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: VoodooForce on 12/11/2021 01:41 am
They would fly them there wouldn't they?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MDMoery on 12/11/2021 03:43 am
Elon is becoming increasingly disenchanted with government interactions of any sort. Why would he want to use any government-provided facility? He might offer to purchase the VAB, but he will not want to manufacture Starship in a government-owned facility. Example: SpaceX no longer tests engines at Stennis. Tests are now done at McGregor.

Beyond the other reasons that those above have explained, look at the clearance around 39A.

Boca Chica seems all cute and fun, but once that booster lights all those engines at one time, then the real complaints will begin in that area.

There is no shielding an area from the noise of a rocket on assent. 

Anyone that watched a Shuttle launch can tell you how noisy things were at the VAB at lift off.  When a booster fly's there will be reports of damage in surrounding communities.  How much we will out at that time. 

Flying from KSC is the obvious choice, it has the biggest possible buffer and existing infrastructure for stupid big rockets.

I for one have been looking forward to a Walter Cronkite / Apollo 4 type moment, only with Tim Dodd on a hotel balcony at South Padre! :-)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/11/2021 11:38 am
Speculated that SpaceX might use a modified container ship carrying vertical Super Heavies and Starships to Port Canaveral from South Texas.


Of course how to embarked the Super Heavies and Starships onto a ship might require some Kerbal thinking. Somewhat alone the lines of the launch and recovery tower with the chopsticks at Starbase Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 12/11/2021 03:24 pm
I just don't see them shipping SH/SS all the way to KSC by sea. Shipping large & heavy unconventional loads is expensive & time consuming, might as well manufacture it locally. So that or hopping them.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/11/2021 04:30 pm
I just don't see them shipping SH/SS all the way to KSC by sea. Shipping large & heavy unconventional loads is expensive & time consuming, might as well manufacture it locally. So that or hopping them.


Large cylindrical objects for the petrol chemical industries and wind power generation industry are shipped by ships all the time. The Super Heavies and Starships are relatively light compare to those objects.


SpaceX will decide sometime in the future whether it is cheaper to build a new rocket shipyard or shipped hardware from South Texas. We shall see.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DistantTemple on 12/11/2021 05:29 pm
I just don't see them shipping SH/SS all the way to KSC by sea. Shipping large & heavy unconventional loads is expensive & time consuming, might as well manufacture it locally. So that or hopping them.


Large cylindrical objects for the petrol chemical industries and wind power generation industry are shipped by ships all the time. The Super Heavies and Starships are relatively light compare to those objects.


SpaceX will decide sometime in the future whether it is cheaper to build a new rocket shipyard or shipped hardware from South Texas. We shall see.
The Gas, Oil and wind components are all generally massively strong and (over) engineered for a long life in a marine + storm environment. Only the turbine blades are at all delicate. but they are transported horizontally.

The booster in particular will have to be pressurized (ok not a big deal) and how it is safely supported onboard ship in case of rough seas, to avoid (unseen) damage carefully considered. It looks as if it could be problematic.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 12/11/2021 06:42 pm
I just don't see them shipping SH/SS all the way to KSC by sea. Shipping large & heavy unconventional loads is expensive & time consuming, might as well manufacture it locally. So that or hopping them.


Large cylindrical objects for the petrol chemical industries and wind power generation industry are shipped by ships all the time. The Super Heavies and Starships are relatively light compare to those objects.


SpaceX will decide sometime in the future whether it is cheaper to build a new rocket shipyard or shipped hardware from South Texas. We shall see.

HLS Starship will need a proper build facility no? They can't just build that out on the open right? I'm guessing they will build a facility for HLS at KSC.

Edit: Perhaps they can use the VAB to assemble HLS components manufactured at BC?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: danneely on 12/11/2021 09:20 pm
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.
As I see it  one basic requirement for a factory is the ability to ship finished goods. I see no inexpensive way to ship SS and SH from BC except by launching them, and specifically by launching them by short hops to an offshore platform. Does anyone see any evidence (e.g., port facilities) that SpaceX has a plan to use barges? What is the cost of a barge port? what is the cost of shipment by barge? We do see evidence that SpaceX intends to implement an offshore platform. We do see evidence(!) that SpaceX intends to launch from BC. We do (sort of) see evidence (FAA permissions)  that SpaceX does not intend to do lots of  orbital launches from BC. Conclusion: SpaceX intends to deliver SS and SH by non-orbital launches.

The port connector road - to link highway 4 to the port without going through the edge of the city of Brownsville has been expedited because of SpaceX.  Moving rockets is really the only thing SpaceX would need it for; so it has to be at least a contingency consideration for them, even if only a plan B for if they can't fly in and out.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TomH on 12/11/2021 11:30 pm
If the STS tank and the SLS S1 core can be shipped horizontally on Pegasus, why is it that SH or SS cannot?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 12/12/2021 01:47 am
If the STS tank and the SLS S1 core can be shipped horizontally on Pegasus, why is it that SH or SS cannot?
It's assembled vertically, stacked vertically at the launchpad. Moving it horizontal & them vertical again once it reaches the pad involve more steps with no benefits
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: danneely on 12/12/2021 04:25 am
If the STS tank and the SLS S1 core can be shipped horizontally on Pegasus, why is it that SH or SS cannot?

They were designed to go sideways.  SS and SH were not. 

Could that be changed if SpaceX had a compelling reason to do so?  Almost certainly.  The biggest question is if the tanks are strong enough to keep their shape sideways if in a good cradle, or if they'd need help either in the form of removable hoops of some sort or being pressurized.  Centaur is pressurized to go horizontal; but the consequences of a SS or SH popping like a balloon in an accident are much scarier; OTOH Centaur's ultra thin skin is much more vulnerable to damage than what SpaceX is working with.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 12/12/2021 04:34 am
It seems that Roberts Road may be the location for Starship production in Florida. It would save the logistics of them having to transport the ships & boosters to Florida. But it may be worth reading that thread too https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45813.msg2320194#msg2320194
Of course that's speculation, but things seem to add up on that side.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 12/12/2021 04:37 am
If the STS tank and the SLS S1 core can be shipped horizontally on Pegasus, why is it that SH or SS cannot?

They were designed to go sideways.  SS and SH were not. 

Could that be changed if SpaceX had a compelling reason to do so?  Almost certainly.  The biggest question is if the tanks are strong enough to keep their shape sideways if in a good cradle, or if they'd need help either in the form of removable hoops of some sort or being pressurized.  Centaur is pressurized to go horizontal; but the consequences of a SS or SH popping like a balloon in an accident are much scarier; OTOH Centaur's ultra thin skin is much more vulnerable to damage than what SpaceX is working with.
The F9 stages are also pressurized during transport for additional strength, As far as I know. (But I don’t recall the source)

Of course both SH and SS could be transported horizontally if necessary. It would be an added pain, yes, but certainly less pain than constructing an entire factory in Florida. But that calculation all depends on how many they plan to build, and what the breakeven number is where it is worth it to construct another factory.

(And as other have mentioned, it may even be possible to transport them vertically with a suitable ship/barge)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Nevyn72 on 12/12/2021 07:48 am
Don't forget the current 'factory' at Boca Chica is as much a prototype as Starship itself.

They're learning how to build the factory so they can do it better for each subsequent factory...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 12/12/2021 10:45 am
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.
As I see it  one basic requirement for a factory is the ability to ship finished goods. I see no inexpensive way to ship SS and SH from BC except by launching them, and specifically by launching them by short hops to an offshore platform. Does anyone see any evidence (e.g., port facilities) that SpaceX has a plan to use barges? What is the cost of a barge port? what is the cost of shipment by barge? We do see evidence that SpaceX intends to implement an offshore platform. We do see evidence(!) that SpaceX intends to launch from BC. We do (sort of) see evidence (FAA permissions)  that SpaceX does not intend to do lots of  orbital launches from BC. Conclusion: SpaceX intends to deliver SS and SH by non-orbital launches.

The port connector road - to link highway 4 to the port without going through the edge of the city of Brownsville has been expedited because of SpaceX.  Moving rockets is really the only thing SpaceX would need it for; so it has to be at least a contingency consideration for them, even if only a plan B for if they can't fly in and out.

Genuine question, do you have any evidence it has been expedited for SpaceX? Because if I'm not mistaken it was a project planned well before SpaceX's arrival. Also shipping them to a rig 20 miles off the coast is one thing, shipping them all the way to KSC is another.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: mmeijeri on 12/12/2021 11:16 am
Genuine question, do you have any evidence it has been expedited for SpaceX? Because if I'm not mistaken it was a project planned well before SpaceX's arrival. Also shipping them to a rig 20 miles off the coast is one thing, shipping them all the way to KSC is another.

From a very recent newspaper article (https://myrgv.com/featured/2021/12/09/making-connections-south-port-entrance-to-open-soon/):

Quote
The connector was originally intended to be the second phase of the two-phase East Loop Project but was moved to the front of the line in part because things were beginning to happen at SpaceX’s Boca Chica site, roughly 12 miles to the east on S.H. 4 as the crow flies, he said.

The article also says that they're slightly ahead of schedule:

Quote
The South Port Connector Project linking the Port of Brownsville to S.H. 4 is nearly finished and is expected to be handed over to the port by the contractor and in operation by the end of the year.

Quote
“It’s pretty much complete,” Port Director and CEO Eduardo Campirano said of the connector. “The contract I think calls for completion sometime in the middle of next month, but they’re a little ahead of schedule, so the project for the most part is just about finished.”
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/12/2021 03:02 pm
Quote
The infrastructure seems to be supporting an adequate build rate so far. I doubt it can support an operational launch rate.
Hence my conjecture that BC is a prototyping location. 

Musk says repeatedly that learning to make the factories is the hardest part of what they're about.  Prototype factory and launch testing at BC.  The big enchilada elsewhere, built on lessons learned at BC.

If so, where's the better mfg & launch site? I don't buy this.
As I see it  one basic requirement for a factory is the ability to ship finished goods. I see no inexpensive way to ship SS and SH from BC except by launching them, and specifically by launching them by short hops to an offshore platform. Does anyone see any evidence (e.g., port facilities) that SpaceX has a plan to use barges? What is the cost of a barge port? what is the cost of shipment by barge? We do see evidence that SpaceX intends to implement an offshore platform. We do see evidence(!) that SpaceX intends to launch from BC. We do (sort of) see evidence (FAA permissions)  that SpaceX does not intend to do lots of  orbital launches from BC. Conclusion: SpaceX intends to deliver SS and SH by non-orbital launches.

The port connector road - to link highway 4 to the port without going through the edge of the city of Brownsville has been expedited because of SpaceX.  Moving rockets is really the only thing SpaceX would need it for; so it has to be at least a contingency consideration for them, even if only a plan B for if they can't fly in and out.
I have not been to BC, but you need to bring in your material to make your products. The existing roads have apparently been adequate for building Starbase and the current prototypes, so maybe it could support series production of two SS or SH a week, but maybe better roads would make life easier.  Not so sure about transporting a 9 m cylinder by road, even horizontally. Quite a bit oversize and overheight. It's taller and wider than an Airbus 380 fuselage.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RedLineTrain on 12/12/2021 04:20 pm
I don't know why shipping boosters vertically would be a big deal.  After all, SpaceX does it almost every week in ocean waters.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 12/12/2021 11:08 pm
I don't know why shipping boosters vertically would be a big deal.  After all, SpaceX does it almost every week in ocean waters.
The SpaceX F9 barges dock at decent deep-draft docks in commercial ports. The F9 boosters are then lowered and transported horizontally along normal roads. Horizontally, they are 3.7 m (12 ft) wide and 3.7m high: A slightly wide load. An SS or SH transported horizontally is 9m (30 ft) wide and 9 m (30 ft) high.

I am not familiar with the Boca Chica area. Just looking at Google Maps Satellite view, there is no obvious place where an ocean-going barge could dock that is reachable by a vertical SS or SH by road from Starbase. It doesn't look like the lower Rio Grande is navigable, so that leaves the Brownsville ship channel. I'm not seeing any docks that are close and accessible by road. Maybe someone familiar with the area has a better idea?

I suppose they could try coming in over the beach with a hovercraft, but somehow I can't see how they could get permission for that.

I'm fairly sure SS and SH are too heavy for a heavy-lift helicopter or a balloon lift.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/12/2021 11:30 pm
Ergo, to keep it simple, they'll build them in Florida.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RedLineTrain on 12/12/2021 11:32 pm
No need for any complicated solutions.  In the past, SpaceX (under the name Lone Star Mineral Development) negotiated for about 16 acres on the Brownsville Ship Channel.  It's right near the new Port Connector and if SpaceX wants it, it's theirs.

https://www.portofbrownsville.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/2020-12-16-Minutes.pdf
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 12/13/2021 11:49 am
Potentially they could also dredge a channel in the South Bay.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: darkenfast on 12/13/2021 06:51 pm
Potentially they could also dredge a channel in the South Bay.

I seriously doubt they would be allowed to dredge a channel right through a wildlife refuge and build a port facility there..
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 12/13/2021 06:59 pm
Potentially they could also dredge a channel in the South Bay.

I seriously doubt they would be allowed to dredge a channel right through a wildlife refuge and build a port facility there..

The whole area isn't a wildlife refuge.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: mmeijeri on 12/13/2021 07:07 pm
Given that the Connector Road was prioritised for the benefit of SpaceX, why would they use any other method should they want to ship SS/SH to Florida?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/13/2021 07:08 pm
Potentially they could also dredge a channel in the South Bay.

I seriously doubt they would be allowed to dredge a channel right through a wildlife refuge and build a port facility there..
Why not. The Apollo era LC-39 pads (built and unbuilt) plans and documentation in the federal register defined canals at the original depth of KSC Turn basin et al. It was to support RP-1, hypergolic, and cryogenic feeder barges/motor vessels. The launch rate and Apollo cancellation and later STS never reached the demand for supply rates using feeder barges to implement the canal based feeder systems already used at MSFC and SSC for the test stands. Updated NEPA documentation my be needed but the canals and docks were already surveyed and other work started/completed. It is only a matter of finishing the abandoned canal system. As for other areas that is not the case however these areas were never built to full potential.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/13/2021 07:37 pm
SX are clearing an area on Roberts Road that is at least as large as the mfg area at Boca Chica.  What else would that be if not the next factory, built on lessons learned in the tents? 

The idea of shipping Starships by sea to Florida just doesn't pass the practicality test.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: mmeijeri on 12/13/2021 07:45 pm
They could very well ship the first couple of SS/SHs while they were still setting up their production facilities in Florida even if they do intend to manufacture them locally eventually.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 12/13/2021 08:18 pm
SX are clearing an area on Roberts Road that is at least as large as the mfg area at Boca Chica.  What else would that be if not the next factory, built on lessons learned in the tents? 

The idea of shipping Starships by sea to Florida just doesn't pass the practicality test.

They will do whatever is simpler, cheaper, faster to get flying out of 39A. And sea transport is *certainly* on the table as a solution, even if only a stop-gap one.

Besides, if they eventually plan on doing point-to-point, they'll need to ship boosters. Building a factory at EVERY launch point doesn't pass the practicality test.  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TomH on 12/13/2021 08:37 pm
If the STS tank and the SLS S1 core can be shipped horizontally on Pegasus, why is it that SH or SS cannot?

They were designed to go sideways.  SS and SH were not. 

Could that be changed if SpaceX had a compelling reason to do so?  Almost certainly.  The biggest question is if the tanks are strong enough to keep their shape sideways if in a good cradle, or if they'd need help either in the form of removable hoops of some sort or being pressurized.  Centaur is pressurized to go horizontal; but the consequences of a SS or SH popping like a balloon in an accident are much scarier; OTOH Centaur's ultra thin skin is much more vulnerable to damage than what SpaceX is working with.

What evidence do you have to support this? The SLS core is actually not strong enough for the most of the thrust to be applied from the bottom. If all the thrust were applied from the base, the stage would collapse. It has an upper thrust beam upon which the solid boosters push from below. The result is that the thrust beam lifts the core from the top as the solids push on the thrust beam from below. If such a delicate stage can be given structural integrity via inflationary pressure and then be transported horizontally, it seems that SH could be also. I realize that the tiles and aerodynamic appendages on SS make it a little dicier.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 12/13/2021 09:16 pm
Quote
Besides, if they eventually plan on doing point-to-point
When they get to that stage of development, they'll fly to those points.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: AC in NC on 12/13/2021 09:23 pm
Quote
Besides, if they eventually plan on doing point-to-point
When they get to that stage of development, they'll fly to those points.
Boosters, not Ships.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Nevyn72 on 12/14/2021 04:18 am
Quote
Besides, if they eventually plan on doing point-to-point
When they get to that stage of development, they'll fly to those points.
Boosters, not Ships.
I thought the intent was that point to point didn't require boosters.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: darkenfast on 12/14/2021 05:54 am
Potentially they could also dredge a channel in the South Bay.

I seriously doubt they would be allowed to dredge a channel right through a wildlife refuge and build a port facility there..

The whole area isn't a wildlife refuge.

1. The South Bay is not SpaceX property. They cannot simply go out there and start dredging a channel through tidal wetlands that they don't own.

2. The current opposition to SpaceX at Boca Chica is nothing compared to what would happen if they proposed dredging a channel through that area and building a wharf next to the current road.

3. And what for? They have a connector road nearing completion that will link the road that their facilities are on to a port facility that they ALREADY own right on the Brownsville Shipping Channel. They will have to bring in their mobile platforms eventually and there will be times when a vehicle needs to be offloaded without flying.

4. Sooner or later, SpaceX will probably need the infrastructure to be able to swap vehicles around, regardless of which shipyard builds them. I believe the purchase of the Shipping Channel property is part of that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 12/14/2021 11:15 am
What is less of a logistical challenge, and faster in the short term:

1) Hire one of the many firms (such as Roll-Lift, who they already contract with for moving oversized objects overland) who specialise in transport of oversized objects, to move a handful of oversized objects overland and over ocean from Boca Chica to LC-39A.

2) Build an entire new manufacturing facility at the cape, along with hiring several hundred staff to run it.

More manufacturing sites may come later, but it is certainly not in SpaceX interest to stand next to LC-39A and twiddle their thumbs saying "gee, wouldn't it be nice of some of those Starships we've already built were here?" while waiting for Roberts Road to ramp up to actual production.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 12/14/2021 03:14 pm
Potentially they could also dredge a channel in the South Bay.

I seriously doubt they would be allowed to dredge a channel right through a wildlife refuge and build a port facility there..

The whole area isn't a wildlife refuge.

1. The South Bay is not SpaceX property. They cannot simply go out there and start dredging a channel through tidal wetlands that they don't own.

2. The current opposition to SpaceX at Boca Chica is nothing compared to what would happen if they proposed dredging a channel through that area and building a wharf next to the current road.

3. And what for? They have a connector road nearing completion that will link the road that their facilities are on to a port facility that they ALREADY own right on the Brownsville Shipping Channel. They will have to bring in their mobile platforms eventually and there will be times when a vehicle needs to be offloaded without flying.

4. Sooner or later, SpaceX will probably need the infrastructure to be able to swap vehicles around, regardless of which shipyard builds them. I believe the purchase of the Shipping Channel property is part of that.

I'm not saying this is what is going to happen, I'm saying it could be a possibility should they want to. It would be a long term solution anyway, once they know the thing actually works, not something done in the short term.

1. Property can be acquired, those underwater lots are worth next to nothing. SpaceX can also lever the Cameron County Spaceport authority to use eminent domain.

2. NIMBY's will protest anything.

3. The current opposition to road closures is nothing compared to what would happen if they were to transport them to the ex-Fortune Ferrous site. It's ~15 miles away. Rigs wouldn't be moving into port to get SH/SS they would be barged out.

4. It's not a purchase of property, it's an intent to negotiate a lease from 1 year ago. We don't even know if they went ahead with it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/14/2021 05:35 pm
What is less of a logistical challenge, and faster in the short term:

1) Hire one of the many firms (such as Roll-Lift, who they already contract with for moving oversized objects overland) who specialise in transport of oversized objects, to move a handful of oversized objects overland and over ocean from Boca Chica to LC-39A.

2) Build an entire new manufacturing facility at the cape, along with hiring several hundred staff to run it.

More manufacturing sites may come later, but it is certainly not in SpaceX interest to stand next to LC-39A and twiddle their thumbs saying "gee, wouldn't it be nice of some of those Starships we've already built were here?" while waiting for Roberts Road to ramp up to actual production.

Permitting digging or building in a wetland would be longer than either options.

I think there will be a FL manufacturing capability eventually, but not yet.  After they have everything sorted out on how to make these vehicles they can design and build a more efficiency facility.  Maybe everything under 1 roof and with better material handling and environmental controls to help make the process more efficient.

Maybe this is in the distant future (like 2 years, LOL) but it will be helpful for HLS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 01/16/2022 11:05 am
https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1482489907126104066

Quote
High resolution satellite imagery of Launch Complex 39A captured at 2022-01-14 16:08:55 UTC.

On the east side of the main launch pad we can see where the old launch mount used to be, as well as a pile driving crane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TomH on 01/29/2022 02:18 am
If the STS tank and the SLS S1 core can be shipped horizontally on Pegasus, why is it that SH or SS cannot?

They were designed to go sideways.  SS and SH were not. 

Here is evidence to the contrary:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55672.msg2335526#msg2335526
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 01/29/2022 02:49 am
If the STS tank and the SLS S1 core can be shipped horizontally on Pegasus, why is it that SH or SS cannot?

They were designed to go sideways.  SS and SH were not. 

Here is evidence to the contrary:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55672.msg2335526#msg2335526

Based on non-expert outsider observations, I think an SS should easily handle being moved horizontally from a structural standpoint, since it is designed for strong lateral forces during re-entry. However, it is covered in delicate TPS tiles, so it will need something more that a simple cradle.

SH is not designed for strong lateral forces, but it can probably withstand them if its tanks are pressurized for the move.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: retrojet on 01/29/2022 11:18 am
A new Virtual Flyover of the SpaceX Starship Facility at the Space Coast | January 2022
Showing progress at Pad39 A and Roberts Road.

https://youtu.be/rADel4ZsNAE

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 02/25/2022 10:40 am
https://twitter.com/GregScott_photo/status/1496988485336670214

Quote
Notice the new tanks delivered to 39A & the land grading there as well. Lots of ground work on site meaning the site should have lots of growth. Also notice the new footing for possible tower construction. Please follow along for more pics. #NASA #SpaceX
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/25/2022 07:21 pm
Includes 39A

https://twitter.com/spacecoast_stve/status/1497301169995010048



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki9VtGYWaas

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 02/28/2022 05:11 pm
https://twitter.com/TrevorMahlmann/status/1498357559777976321
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 03/03/2022 03:43 pm
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1499424744772452355
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 03/03/2022 05:24 pm
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1499450098555793408
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/03/2022 06:36 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8VmqHwwMMI
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 03/04/2022 10:06 am
https://twitter.com/MatoroIgnika/status/1499097840420802562
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 03/05/2022 03:27 am
They have suborbital pads at Starbase to proof-tested ships before launch (including static fire), but is there any plan for the same pad at KSC?

We have no idea if the orbital pad will be interchangeable so it can test the ship alone or not

If not, will it be like other upper stages (Centaur) that AFAIK hasn't been static fired before launch?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: whitelancer64 on 03/05/2022 04:18 am
They have suborbital pads at Starbase to proof-tested ships before launch (including static fire), but is there any plan for the same pad at KSC?

We have no idea if the orbital pad will be interchangeable so it can test the ship alone or not

If not, will it be like other upper stages (Centaur) that AFAIK hasn't been static fired before launch?

They might build a test facility at Roberts Road.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 03/05/2022 05:16 am
They have suborbital pads at Starbase to proof-tested ships before launch (including static fire), but is there any plan for the same pad at KSC?

We have no idea if the orbital pad will be interchangeable so it can test the ship alone or not

If not, will it be like other upper stages (Centaur) that AFAIK hasn't been static fired before launch?

They might build a test facility at Roberts Road.
It's a production site, and not a single plan for testing facilities
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 03/05/2022 06:19 am
They have suborbital pads at Starbase to proof-tested ships before launch (including static fire), but is there any plan for the same pad at KSC?

We have no idea if the orbital pad will be interchangeable so it can test the ship alone or not

If not, will it be like other upper stages (Centaur) that AFAIK hasn't been static fired before launch?

They might build a test facility at Roberts Road.
It's a production site, and not a single plan for testing facilities
Not static fires, but does proof testing of known designs require special permits?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 03/05/2022 12:37 pm
They have suborbital pads at Starbase to proof-tested ships before launch (including static fire), but is there any plan for the same pad at KSC?
No static fires, but proof tests have been conducted on a transport stand next to the orbital mount a few times now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 03/09/2022 04:42 pm
https://twitter.com/Arkvoodle55/status/1501609707789762568
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/15/2022 05:54 pm
New vid:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb9QpI9cbrc
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 03/18/2022 11:45 am
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1504792155256197121
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DeanG1967 on 03/18/2022 12:19 pm
I am confused (easy to do) and can't find my answer in the forums.  Why is there an OLIT being built so close to the Roberts Road buildings?  Even for a cryo checkout....I would think the buildings would be inside the safety zone.  I guess I just don't understand the plan.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: scr00chy on 03/18/2022 12:21 pm
I am confused (easy to do) and can't find my answer in the forums.  Why is there an OLIT being built so close to the Roberts Road buildings?  Even for a cryo checkout....I would think the buildings would be inside the safety zone.  I guess I just don't understand the plan.

The tower segments are being built at Roberts Road but the tower will be at pad 39A. The segments will be transported there before being assembled into the final tower at the pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 03/18/2022 02:24 pm
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1504840536062148609
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 03/26/2022 10:22 pm
https://twitter.com/CarstensPete/status/1507860159523360769
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 04/07/2022 11:07 am
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: JGSAeroSpaceN on 04/08/2022 02:32 pm
I don't know if this is the right topic for my question, so I apologize in advance. On Starship's orbital launch pad at 39A will there be a flame diverter, like those on the Soyuz rocket?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: [email protected] on 04/08/2022 02:35 pm
I don't know if this is the right topic for my question, so I apologize in advance. On Starship's orbital launch pad at 39A will there be a flame diverter, like those on the Soyuz rocket?
The consensus is there won't, like Starbase, since the mount will be several meters above the ground
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 04/09/2022 03:06 am
https://twitter.com/CSI_Starbase/status/1512450232562429959

Quote
(2/5) In this image you can see a total of 5 kettle reboiler heat exchangers. 2 near the CH4 absorption columns. And 3 more near the large horizontal methane tanks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/12/2022 08:53 pm
New vid, including Roberts Road and 39A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHPl2DbNJQE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TaurusLittrow on 04/13/2022 12:26 pm
So if SpaceX is repurposing the LH2 tank for LCH4 at 39A, no more addtional LCH4 tanks are needed? Is that right? Any consensus onhow many LOX tanks (presumably of the same design as Starbase) will be needed at 39A
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 04/13/2022 12:56 pm
So if SpaceX is repurposing the LH2 tank for LCH4 at 39A, no more addtional LCH4 tanks are needed? Is that right? Any consensus onhow many LOX tanks (presumably of the same design as Starbase) will be needed at 39A

The LOX sphere still exists, doesn’t it?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/13/2022 02:17 pm
So if SpaceX is repurposing the LH2 tank for LCH4 at 39A, no more addtional LCH4 tanks are needed? Is that right? Any consensus onhow many LOX tanks (presumably of the same design as Starbase) will be needed at 39A

The LOX sphere still exists, doesn’t it?
Yes it is in active use.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/13/2022 02:19 pm
So if SpaceX is repurposing the LH2 tank for LCH4 at 39A, no more addtional LCH4 tanks are needed? Is that right? Any consensus onhow many LOX tanks (presumably of the same design as Starbase) will be needed at 39A
Additional tanks for both commodities next to each sphere were required per the EA and certain supplemental documents.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 05/06/2022 12:30 pm
https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1522553052695511040
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 05/06/2022 01:52 pm
(don't need to include the Tweet again)

Looks like the launch mount is going to get some legs soon based on the row of tubes just above the foundation works.

Also, what is that octagon shaped pad on the left of the image likely to be?  Looks like a lot of rebar going in.  Didn't they do something like that in Boca Chica, but it isn't visible now as everything around is is covered in concrete?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 05/06/2022 01:58 pm
Looks like the launch mount is going to get some legs soon based on the row of tubes just above the foundation works.

Also, what is that octagon shaped pad on the left of the image likely to be?  Looks like a lot of rebar going in.  Didn't they do something like that in Boca Chica, but it isn't visible now as everything around is is covered in concrete?
Starship suborbital stand
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: robot_enthusiast on 05/06/2022 02:17 pm
Is it just me or does the tower foundation appear to be pointed directly at the launch mount? If so that would be another change from Starbase.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: baking on 05/06/2022 03:00 pm
Is it just me or does the tower foundation appear to be pointed directly at the launch mount? If so that would be another change from Starbase.
The Starbase placement of the tower seemed to be constrained by the location of the construction site boundaries and might have been less than ideal.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 05/06/2022 03:07 pm
Is it just me or does the tower foundation appear to be pointed directly at the launch mount? If so that would be another change from Starbase.

I see no difference from Boca
https://twitter.com/RGVaerialphotos/status/1504191165188526087
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: VaBlue on 05/06/2022 03:29 pm
Is it just me or does the tower foundation appear to be pointed directly at the launch mount? If so that would be another change from Starbase.

I see no difference from Boca
https://twitter.com/RGVaerialphotos/status/1504191165188526087

I may be mistaken, but I recall that the Starbase tower is something like 19° off-center from the launch table.  You really wouldn't notice such a small angle from the image you posted vs a top down view more like the picture of 39A.  Given what we now know about how Mechazilla works, being pointed right at the table (as at 39A) seems like a better idea.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: CrazyHorse80 on 05/06/2022 04:15 pm
Looks like the launch mount is going to get some legs soon based on the row of tubes just above the foundation works.

Also, what is that octagon shaped pad on the left of the image likely to be?  Looks like a lot of rebar going in.  Didn't they do something like that in Boca Chica, but it isn't visible now as everything around is is covered in concrete?
Starship suborbital stand

Is there a source for that or is it speculation? Could it be foundations for a new water tower, instead?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 05/06/2022 04:18 pm
Looks like the launch mount is going to get some legs soon based on the row of tubes just above the foundation works.

Also, what is that octagon shaped pad on the left of the image likely to be?  Looks like a lot of rebar going in.  Didn't they do something like that in Boca Chica, but it isn't visible now as everything around is is covered in concrete?
Starship suborbital stand

Is there a source for that or is it speculation? Could it be foundations for a new water tower, instead?

Speculation.

However the shape and size look very similar to the sub orbital pads
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: AS_501 on 05/06/2022 04:48 pm
Is anyone concerned about how close this is to the current F9/H launch facility?  If there was a SH/SS accident shortly after liftoff, flaming debris could rain down on the F9/H facility.  In fact, I can't think of two launch pads so close to each other anywhere.  Say it ain't so....much of a problem.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: quagmire on 05/06/2022 07:56 pm
Is anyone concerned about how close this is to the current F9/H launch facility?  If there was a SH/SS accident shortly after liftoff, flaming debris could rain down on the F9/H facility.  In fact, I can't think of two launch pads so close to each other anywhere.  Say it ain't so....much of a problem.

LC-17 had the two pads relatively close to each other. Granted Starship/super heavy going boom is a lot more energetic than Delta II and probably not as close as starship is to the main 39A pad, but still close proximity.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 05/06/2022 08:54 pm
If SpaceX isn't concerned, why should any readers here be concerned?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: The Shard Baby on 05/07/2022 02:37 pm
Latest KSC LC39 SpaceX Starship Launch Pad 1 Construction Progress Update Diagram - 6th May 2022. Drawn in Microsoft Paint 🎨
(https://theshardbaby.com/ws/media-library/30a6ef83853e4f96bb1c8fbcc7ba1920/2022_05_06_ksc-starship-orbital-launch-pad-1-jpeg.webp)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 05/07/2022 03:42 pm
CSI Starbase Investigations: Is SpaceX falling behind on Pad39A Starship Launch Pad Construction?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz6uGwjWs_I
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 05/16/2022 06:24 pm
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1526265937116250112

Starship/SH launch pad leg visible
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 05/21/2022 08:47 am
https://twitter.com/GregScott_photo/status/1527784999159795712
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/03/2022 02:00 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1532719835032993794
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 06/13/2022 01:45 pm
SpaceX faces NASA hurdle for Starship backup launch pad (https://www.reuters.com/technology/spacex-faces-nasa-hurdle-starship-backup-launch-pad-2022-06-13/)

Quote from: Reuters
NASA wants Elon Musk's SpaceX to ensure its plan to launch its next-generation Starship rocket from Florida would not put at risk nearby launch infrastructure critical to the International Space Station, a senior space agency official told Reuters.

<snip>

SpaceX has already invested heavily in building a Starship pad some hundreds of feet from pad 39A's launch tower. It has responded by pitching NASA on a plan to outfit its other Florida pad - Launch Complex 40, five miles away on Space Force property - with the means to launch U.S. astronauts, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The company is also studying ways to "harden" 39A, or make the launchpad more resilient to both an explosive Starship accident and the immense forces emitted from a successful Starship liftoff, Lueders said.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Athelstane on 06/13/2022 03:19 pm
SpaceX faces NASA hurdle for Starship backup launch pad (https://www.reuters.com/technology/spacex-faces-nasa-hurdle-starship-backup-launch-pad-2022-06-13/)

Quote from: Reuters
NASA wants Elon Musk's SpaceX to ensure its plan to launch its next-generation Starship rocket from Florida would not put at risk nearby launch infrastructure critical to the International Space Station, a senior space agency official told Reuters.

<snip>

SpaceX has already invested heavily in building a Starship pad some hundreds of feet from pad 39A's launch tower. It has responded by pitching NASA on a plan to outfit its other Florida pad - Launch Complex 40, five miles away on Space Force property - with the means to launch U.S. astronauts, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The company is also studying ways to "harden" 39A, or make the launchpad more resilient to both an explosive Starship accident and the immense forces emitted from a successful Starship liftoff, Lueders said.

Honestly surprised that NASA and SpaceX hadn't sorted this out by now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MGoDuPage on 06/13/2022 04:47 pm
SpaceX faces NASA hurdle for Starship backup launch pad (https://www.reuters.com/technology/spacex-faces-nasa-hurdle-starship-backup-launch-pad-2022-06-13/)

Quote from: Reuters
NASA wants Elon Musk's SpaceX to ensure its plan to launch its next-generation Starship rocket from Florida would not put at risk nearby launch infrastructure critical to the International Space Station, a senior space agency official told Reuters.

<snip>

SpaceX has already invested heavily in building a Starship pad some hundreds of feet from pad 39A's launch tower. It has responded by pitching NASA on a plan to outfit its other Florida pad - Launch Complex 40, five miles away on Space Force property - with the means to launch U.S. astronauts, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The company is also studying ways to "harden" 39A, or make the launchpad more resilient to both an explosive Starship accident and the immense forces emitted from a successful Starship liftoff, Lueders said.

Honestly surprised that NASA and SpaceX hadn't sorted this out by now.


Yeah, I'm not sure I understand the timing of this.  The instant SpaceX made it clear that they wanted to build SS/SH launch infrastructure at 39A, wouldn't this have naturally come up?

I'm not an engineer, so perhaps it's impossible/impractical from a logistics/financial standpoint, but in theory if NASA had voiced this concern previously, couldn't SpaceX have built the SS/SH infrastructure several more hundred feet away from the F9 infrastructure & still technically be on pad 39A?

Two side notes:

1) I think SpaceX has a long term lease for a notional Pad 49 just to the north of 39A. Has SpaceX submitted plans to build that out & has NASA approved of those plans? It seems like the best long term solution will be to build out 49 and designate that as a 100% SS/SH facility.


2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Athelstane on 06/13/2022 04:51 pm

1) I think SpaceX has a long term lease for a notional Pad 49 just to the north of 39A. Has SpaceX submitted plans to build that out & has NASA approved of those plans? It seems like the best long term solution will be to build out 49 and designate that as a 100% SS/SH facility.

That is my sense as well.

Lots of room to build several pads at LC-49, and it's reasonably far away from everything else. Use LC-39A sparingly while Falcon 9 is still in operation (which is going to be for at least a decade).

Quote
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

That's a great question.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/13/2022 04:55 pm
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/13/2022 04:56 pm


2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?
 

No different than FH and non Dragon F9 using 39A
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: volker2020 on 06/13/2022 05:01 pm
I can understand that NASA is not happy with using Launch Complex 40 for both Falcon 9 and Super Heavy. The question for me is, did they pay SpaceX to keep that redundancy? I am quite sure, they won't have Super Heavy and Facon at the pad at the same time. What legal basis does NASA have for such a request? After all, it is no cost plus contract.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/13/2022 05:11 pm
I can understand that NASA is not happy with using Launch Complex 40 for both Falcon 9 and Super Heavy. The question for me is, did they pay SpaceX to keep that redundancy? I am quite sure, they won't have Super Heavy and Facon at the pad at the same time. What legal basis does NASA have for such a request? After all, it is no cost plus contract.
I don't know (or much care) about the "legal basis". NASA sees risk to ISS operations, and they are exploring ways to mitigate the risk. But if you want a "legal basis" start with the CCP contract. I think SpaceX has a contractual obligation to maintain reliable Crew Dragon service to the ISS. SpaceX's CCP lawyers could claim that NASA has implicitly guaranteed the availability of the launch pad, but NASA would respond by saying that the only way to do this is to minimize risk by denying SpaceX the right to launch Starship. This is a stupid and contentious way to resolve the problem. I think it's smarter to have redundant ground facilities in any case. A Starship mishap is not the only thing that can render a launch pad unusable.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MGoDuPage on 06/13/2022 05:28 pm
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.

I'm not saying NASA doesn't have a right to be concerned--I think they DO.

However, what I'm wondering whether NASA raised this issue previously? If they did & SpaceX ignored their concerns, then that's on SpaceX. But if not, then why not, and why should SpaceX have to pay for a concern that was raised after-the-fact?

Also, are you saying the Vulcan launch infrastructure is miles away from the AtlasV/Starliner launch infrastrucutre? If so, then I agree there's no reason for NASA to require similar steps from ULA. But if not, then even if Vulcan won't be as big as the SH/SS stack, there'd still be a substantial risk of damaging the ability of Starliner to launch if an early Vulcan vehicle goes kablooey a few hundred feet away, no?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/13/2022 06:07 pm

Also, are you saying the Vulcan launch infrastructure is miles away from the AtlasV/Starliner launch infrastrucutre?


it is the exact same pad.

The issue is the size of Starship, not a vehicle sharing the same pad (see my earlier comment).
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/13/2022 08:34 pm
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.

I'm not saying NASA doesn't have a right to be concerned--I think they DO.

However, what I'm wondering whether NASA raised this issue previously? If they did & SpaceX ignored their concerns, then that's on SpaceX. But if not, then why not, and why should SpaceX have to pay for a concern that was raised after-the-fact?

Also, are you saying the Vulcan launch infrastructure is miles away from the AtlasV/Starliner launch infrastrucutre? If so, then I agree there's no reason for NASA to require similar steps from ULA. But if not, then even if Vulcan won't be as big as the SH/SS stack, there'd still be a substantial risk of damaging the ability of Starliner to launch if an early Vulcan vehicle goes kablooey a few hundred feet away, no?
The other reason the concern is high may be that Starliner is not yet crew-qualified. If Starliner were already operational, loss of the ability to launch Crew Dragon would not be as big a problem. If this factors into NASA's reasoning, then they might not want to risk 39A with a Starship launch attempt until Starliner-1 is ready to fly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 06/13/2022 08:40 pm
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.

I'm not saying NASA doesn't have a right to be concerned--I think they DO.

However, what I'm wondering whether NASA raised this issue previously? If they did & SpaceX ignored their concerns, then that's on SpaceX. But if not, then why not, and why should SpaceX have to pay for a concern that was raised after-the-fact?

Also, are you saying the Vulcan launch infrastructure is miles away from the AtlasV/Starliner launch infrastrucutre? If so, then I agree there's no reason for NASA to require similar steps from ULA. But if not, then even if Vulcan won't be as big as the SH/SS stack, there'd still be a substantial risk of damaging the ability of Starliner to launch if an early Vulcan vehicle goes kablooey a few hundred feet away, no?
The other reason the concern is high may be that Starliner is not yet crew-qualified. If Starliner were already operational, loss of the ability to launch Crew Dragon would not be as big a problem. If this factors into NASA's reasoning, then they might not want to risk 39A with a Starship launch attempt until Starliner-1 is ready to fly.

That makes sense.  But I think timing will work out more or less fine for that.  Go go go Boeing!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/13/2022 09:33 pm
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.

I'm not saying NASA doesn't have a right to be concerned--I think they DO.

However, what I'm wondering whether NASA raised this issue previously? If they did & SpaceX ignored their concerns, then that's on SpaceX. But if not, then why not, and why should SpaceX have to pay for a concern that was raised after-the-fact?

Also, are you saying the Vulcan launch infrastructure is miles away from the AtlasV/Starliner launch infrastrucutre? If so, then I agree there's no reason for NASA to require similar steps from ULA. But if not, then even if Vulcan won't be as big as the SH/SS stack, there'd still be a substantial risk of damaging the ability of Starliner to launch if an early Vulcan vehicle goes kablooey a few hundred feet away, no?
The other reason the concern is high may be that Starliner is not yet crew-qualified. If Starliner were already operational, loss of the ability to launch Crew Dragon would not be as big a problem. If this factors into NASA's reasoning, then they might not want to risk 39A with a Starship launch attempt until Starliner-1 is ready to fly.

That makes sense.  But I think timing will work out more or less fine for that.  Go go go Boeing!
If I were SpaceX I would not want my KSC Starship launch schedule to be contingent on the Starliner-1 schedule. On the other hand, If I were SpaceX or NASA I would want an alternative launch pad for Dragon (crew and cargo) regardless of any added risk caused by Starship.

I'm not NASA or SpaceX, so this is an uninformed gut feeling.  In the entire history of space flight, how many times has a launch pad been lost catastrophically for any reason?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/13/2022 09:36 pm


I'm not NASA or SpaceX, so this is an uninformed gut feeling.  In the entire history of space flight, how many times has a launch pad been lost catastrophically for any reason?

Off the top of my head:  LC-36A, 12, 13, 15?, SLC-4E
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 06/13/2022 09:49 pm


I'm not NASA or SpaceX, so this is an uninformed gut feeling.  In the entire history of space flight, how many times has a launch pad been lost catastrophically for any reason?

Off the top of my head:  LC-36A, 12, 13, 15?, SLC-4E

Plus LC-40 (AMOS-6 accident); Wallops Pad 0?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 06/13/2022 09:53 pm
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.

I'm not saying NASA doesn't have a right to be concerned--I think they DO.

However, what I'm wondering whether NASA raised this issue previously? If they did & SpaceX ignored their concerns, then that's on SpaceX. But if not, then why not, and why should SpaceX have to pay for a concern that was raised after-the-fact?

Also, are you saying the Vulcan launch infrastructure is miles away from the AtlasV/Starliner launch infrastrucutre? If so, then I agree there's no reason for NASA to require similar steps from ULA. But if not, then even if Vulcan won't be as big as the SH/SS stack, there'd still be a substantial risk of damaging the ability of Starliner to launch if an early Vulcan vehicle goes kablooey a few hundred feet away, no?
The other reason the concern is high may be that Starliner is not yet crew-qualified. If Starliner were already operational, loss of the ability to launch Crew Dragon would not be as big a problem. If this factors into NASA's reasoning, then they might not want to risk 39A with a Starship launch attempt until Starliner-1 is ready to fly.

That makes sense.  But I think timing will work out more or less fine for that.  Go go go Boeing!
If I were SpaceX I would not want my KSC Starship launch schedule to be contingent on the Starliner-1 schedule. On the other hand, If I were SpaceX or NASA I would want an alternative launch pad for Dragon (crew and cargo) regardless of any added risk caused by Starship.

I'm not NASA or SpaceX, so this is an uninformed gut feeling.  In the entire history of space flight, how many times has a launch pad been lost catastrophically for any reason?

That's reasonable but NASA is the one that should be on the hook for the costs of making SLC-40 crew capable.


1) I think SpaceX has a long term lease for a notional Pad 49 just to the north of 39A. Has SpaceX submitted plans to build that out & has NASA approved of those plans? It seems like the best long term solution will be to build out 49 and designate that as a 100% SS/SH facility.

That is my sense as well.

Lots of room to build several pads at LC-49, and it's reasonably far away from everything else. Use LC-39A sparingly while Falcon 9 is still in operation (which is going to be for at least a decade).

Quote
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

That's a great question.

It's going to be several years before LC-49 is operational, it needs to go through an EIS first. With only 5 orbital launches/yr at Boca Chica they can't afford to wait for that to be ready, they need to be able to use 39A in the meantime.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 06/13/2022 11:00 pm
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.

I'm not saying NASA doesn't have a right to be concerned--I think they DO.

However, what I'm wondering whether NASA raised this issue previously? If they did & SpaceX ignored their concerns, then that's on SpaceX. But if not, then why not, and why should SpaceX have to pay for a concern that was raised after-the-fact?

Also, are you saying the Vulcan launch infrastructure is miles away from the AtlasV/Starliner launch infrastrucutre? If so, then I agree there's no reason for NASA to require similar steps from ULA. But if not, then even if Vulcan won't be as big as the SH/SS stack, there'd still be a substantial risk of damaging the ability of Starliner to launch if an early Vulcan vehicle goes kablooey a few hundred feet away, no?
The other reason the concern is high may be that Starliner is not yet crew-qualified. If Starliner were already operational, loss of the ability to launch Crew Dragon would not be as big a problem. If this factors into NASA's reasoning, then they might not want to risk 39A with a Starship launch attempt until Starliner-1 is ready to fly.

That makes sense.  But I think timing will work out more or less fine for that.  Go go go Boeing!
If I were SpaceX I would not want my KSC Starship launch schedule to be contingent on the Starliner-1 schedule. On the other hand, If I were SpaceX or NASA I would want an alternative launch pad for Dragon (crew and cargo) regardless of any added risk caused by Starship.

I'm not NASA or SpaceX, so this is an uninformed gut feeling.  In the entire history of space flight, how many times has a launch pad been lost catastrophically for any reason?

Remember that they're allowed to fly FH from the same pad, without any separation.

They'll have to evaluate the risk of FH failing on ascent right on the pad vs. SH failing on ascent a certain distance away.  That's why I think BC will have to launch first, maybe even a couple of times, before they're allowed to launch from 39A.

I think it won't take long before SH surpaases FH in its ability to clear the pad.  With the extra engine-out capability, it won't be long before it overtakes F9 as well.

Also remember how integrated SH has become into the NASA space program.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/13/2022 11:38 pm

I'm not NASA or SpaceX, so this is an uninformed gut feeling.  In the entire history of space flight, how many times has a launch pad been lost catastrophically for any reason?

Off the top of my head:  LC-36A, 12, 13, 15?, SLC-4E
Thanks, Jim. This says to me that NASA is right to require that CCP should not depend on a single pad. Either get Starliner working or be able to launch Crew Dragon from more than one pad, and until one of those two requirements are met, don't risk 39A more than necessary.

What about CRS? Right now we still have both Cygnus and Cargo Dragon, but Cygnus' status in unknown after the last Antares launches. Can Cargo Dragon launch from more than one pad?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gemmy0I on 06/14/2022 12:25 am
What about CRS? Right now we still have both Cygnus and Cargo Dragon, but Cygnus' status in unknown after the last Antares launches. Can Cargo Dragon launch from more than one pad?
I believe it's been publicly stated that SpaceX considers itself able to launch Cargo Dragon (2) from either pad at present. However, the fact that they have always chosen to launch it from 39A thusfar suggests that they consider that to be the easier option, likely because the crew access arm makes late-loading of cargo straightforward.

At SLC-40, they would presumably need to rig up something like they used to use for Dragon 1 (and like Cygnus uses), with some sort of "mobile temporary clean room" draped over the capsule to provide access to its side hatch while it's laying down horizontally on the transporter-erector. (This, incidentally, would mean late-loaded cargo would need to be loaded horizontally and handle the raising to vertical before launch, but they did that in the past for Dragon 1 so presumably that's not a problem for most or all payloads.)

They can also, in theory, launch Dragons to the ISS from SLC-4E at Vandenberg (with a small dogleg that is well within Falcon 9's capabilities). This was considered during the AMOS-6 stand-down as an option for a quicker return to flight, but ultimately decided against since they were close enough to getting 39A finished when the rocket itself would've been ready to return to flight.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 06/14/2022 01:30 am
I can understand that NASA is not happy with using Launch Complex 40 for both Falcon 9 and Super Heavy. The question for me is, did they pay SpaceX to keep that redundancy? I am quite sure, they won't have Super Heavy and Facon at the pad at the same time. What legal basis does NASA have for such a request? After all, it is no cost plus contract.
I don't know (or much care) about the "legal basis". NASA sees risk to ISS operations, and they are exploring ways to mitigate the risk.

The "legal basis" would determine who gets to pay for the mitigation, I don't see how NASA can saddle this cost on SpaceX, given:
1. No such requirement when SpaceX flew 1st FH from the pad
2. No such requirement for Vulcan flying from Starliner's pad

And if you think about it, the reason NASA doesn't have redundancy with Commercial Crew right now is because of Boeing, so why should SpaceX pay for the additional redundancy?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ThatOldJanxSpirit on 06/14/2022 08:37 am
2) Someone mentioned over on Reddit that Vlucan Centaur is slated to be using the same launch pad/facility as the one used by Atlas V & Boeint's Starliner. I don't know if there are other pads capable of launching an Atlas V w/ crewed Starliner. But if not..... is NASA requiring ULA & Boeing to do a similar risk-avoidance exercise?

Vulcan is not the size of Superheavy and its miles away.

NASA is right to be concerned, I suspect that DOD also wants some assurances as some of the planned payloads need to use LC39A.

A problem with a fully fueled Superheavy could be very destructive.  Even LC49 north of LC39B may be a concern for that pad.

I'm not saying NASA doesn't have a right to be concerned--I think they DO.

However, what I'm wondering whether NASA raised this issue previously? If they did & SpaceX ignored their concerns, then that's on SpaceX. But if not, then why not, and why should SpaceX have to pay for a concern that was raised after-the-fact?
 

I find this totally incomprehensible.

In any other regulated industry the potential effects on adjacent facilities would have been assessed, high level risk control measures agreed and panels like ASAP consulted during the proposal stage. For major concerns about a rather obvious scenario to surface well into construction would suggest that NASA has a badly broken safety management system.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 06/14/2022 10:37 am
given:
1. No such requirement when SpaceX flew 1st FH from the pad
2. No such requirement for Vulcan flying from Starliner's pad
Not a given.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 12:22 pm

I find this totally incomprehensible.

In any other regulated industry the potential effects on adjacent facilities would have been assessed, high level risk control measures agreed and panels like ASAP consulted during the proposal stage. For major concerns about a rather obvious scenario to surface well into construction would suggest that NASA has a badly broken safety management system.

A.  This isn't a regulated industry
b.  It is not a safety issue.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 06/14/2022 12:37 pm
given:
1. No such requirement when SpaceX flew 1st FH from the pad
2. No such requirement for Vulcan flying from Starliner's pad
Not a given.
Ok, but just common sense.  Two examples of higher risk rockets that launch directly from a crew pad.

So the risk is accepted elsewhere, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be eliminated if possible.

So what I don't understand is why indeed the two pads are so close. Something about the foundations?  Or maybe it's "far enough"?

And how does this come up only now? Who exactly is expressing concern, and who was working with SpaceX on the plans?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ThatOldJanxSpirit on 06/14/2022 01:17 pm

I find this totally incomprehensible.

In any other regulated industry the potential effects on adjacent facilities would have been assessed, high level risk control measures agreed and panels like ASAP consulted during the proposal stage. For major concerns about a rather obvious scenario to surface well into construction would suggest that NASA has a badly broken safety management system.

A.  This isn't a regulated industry
b.  It is not a safety issue.

A. It’s a high hazard industry. I’d still expect to see equivalent processes, be they external or internal (NASA) regulation.
B. Assessments of safety and operability issues are usually closely entwined. Delete the word safety if you like Jim, but I’d still be mighty surprised to find out that NASAs management system was so poor as not to consider the effect of a failure on adjacent critical infrastructure prior to authorising construction work.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 06/14/2022 01:33 pm
given:
1. No such requirement when SpaceX flew 1st FH from the pad
2. No such requirement for Vulcan flying from Starliner's pad
Not a given.
Ok, but just common sense.  Two examples of higher risk rockets that launch directly from a crew pad.

So the risk is accepted elsewhere, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be eliminated if possible.

So what I don't understand is why indeed the two pads are so close. Something about the foundations?  Or maybe it's "far enough"?

And how does this come up only now? Who exactly is expressing concern, and who was working with SpaceX on the plans?
Why do you think it has "only come up now", or that no other launch provider has not gone through the same process? This sort of thing is not new (even the Reuters article does not make any claims of recency beyond "recent months"), nor a surprise, nor abnormal. Nor would Falcon Heavy, Vulcan, etc have 'skipped' basic questions like "if something goes wrong, what impact would this have on your other launch systems and how do you intend to mitigate those impacts to minimise loss of contracted capability?".
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 01:33 pm

A. It’s a high hazard industry. I’d still expect to see equivalent processes, be they external or internal (NASA) regulation.
B. Assessments of safety and operability issues are usually closely entwined. Delete the word safety if you like Jim, but I’d still be mighty surprised to find out that NASAs management system was so poor as not to consider the effect of a failure on adjacent critical infrastructure prior to authorising construction work.

No.
NASA turned over 39A to SpaceX.  They run it.  NASA as a customer of SpaceX services is raising an issue.   This is not NASA manager of the KSC Spaceport that has an issue.  NASA KSC does not manage the risk of SpaceX facilities.  It is NASA CRS and NASA CCP looking at this risk.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ThatOldJanxSpirit on 06/14/2022 01:53 pm

A. It’s a high hazard industry. I’d still expect to see equivalent processes, be they external or internal (NASA) regulation.
B. Assessments of safety and operability issues are usually closely entwined. Delete the word safety if you like Jim, but I’d still be mighty surprised to find out that NASAs management system was so poor as not to consider the effect of a failure on adjacent critical infrastructure prior to authorising construction work.

No.
NASA turned over 39A to SpaceX.  They run it.  NASA as a customer of SpaceX services is raising an issue.   This is not NASA manager of the KSC Spaceport that has an issue.  NASA KSC does not manage the risk of SpaceX facilities.  It is NASA CRS and NASA CCP looking at this risk.

I’ve got to accept what you say Jim.

I’ve been responsible for island facilities that are operated by another entity (in other high haz industries) and the buck has always stopped with the site, not the tenant.

At least I’m no longer surprised that such nonsense can occur.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 06/14/2022 02:07 pm
I'm only surprised it's taking this long to be reported on. After all, the pad has already been moved once, further away from the HIF.

Starship is a monster of a vehicle. NASA (CCP) must have been super concerned about this all along but we're just hearing about it now for some reason.

I'm curious how you would go about hardening 39A against Starship? Heck, I'm still wondering if the tree line is too close to the OLM?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: steveleach on 06/14/2022 02:17 pm
This is probably a dumb question, but what exactly is involved in hardening launch infrastructure (which is presumably already hardened against a very close failure of a fully-fuelled rocket) against a slightly more distant failure of a significantly larger rocket?

How does the level of protection required scale with the size of the vehicle, and with the distance from the incident?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Orbiter on 06/14/2022 02:21 pm
Is anyone concerned about how close this is to the current F9/H launch facility?  If there was a SH/SS accident shortly after liftoff, flaming debris could rain down on the F9/H facility.  In fact, I can't think of two launch pads so close to each other anywhere.  Say it ain't so....much of a problem.

LC-17 had the two pads relatively close to each other. Granted Starship/super heavy going boom is a lot more energetic than Delta II and probably not as close as starship is to the main 39A pad, but still close proximity.

Closer, actually. The SS and F9 pads will be about 1,000 feet apart. SLC-17A and B were 500-600 feet.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 02:33 pm

A. It’s a high hazard industry. I’d still expect to see equivalent processes, be they external or internal (NASA) regulation.
B. Assessments of safety and operability issues are usually closely entwined. Delete the word safety if you like Jim, but I’d still be mighty surprised to find out that NASAs management system was so poor as not to consider the effect of a failure on adjacent critical infrastructure prior to authorising construction work.

No.
NASA turned over 39A to SpaceX.  They run it.  NASA as a customer of SpaceX services is raising an issue.   This is not NASA manager of the KSC Spaceport that has an issue.  NASA KSC does not manage the risk of SpaceX facilities.  It is NASA CRS and NASA CCP looking at this risk.

I’ve got to accept what you say Jim.

I’ve been responsible for island facilities that are operated by another entity (in other high haz industries) and the buck has always stopped with the site, not the tenant.

At least I’m no longer surprised that such nonsense can occur.

What nonsense?

It is part of the lease agreement that SpaceX is responsible for safety within the pad boundaries.  NASA is not there to manage them. There are enough existing laws and regulations that SpaceX has to follow without having NASA overhead.  SpaceX get to operate at LC-39A like it operates at Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 02:35 pm
This is probably a dumb question, but what exactly is involved in hardening launch infrastructure (which is presumably already hardened against a very close failure of a fully-fuelled rocket)

Bad assumption
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/14/2022 02:56 pm
Launching SH/SS is one thing.  Catching the booster after the 250+ tonne stage restarts those complicated engines at high speed and then attempts to steer to drop straight down to be caught by those moving arms on that giant tower is another, especially given the "success is one possible outcome" statement by Elon recently.  Maybe the risk tolerance of the contractor no longer matches the risk tolerance of the customer.  Eight Starship prototypes destroyed at Boca Chica so far, some of them quite explosively.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: butters on 06/14/2022 03:10 pm
Starhopper the Immortal gives me hope that an empty Falcon pad would not be badly damaged by a Starship RUD. Hoppy has seen RUDs on the suborbital pads, it's seen RUDs on the landing pad, and it lives to tell the story.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Brovane on 06/14/2022 03:34 pm
This is probably a dumb question, but what exactly is involved in hardening launch infrastructure (which is presumably already hardened against a very close failure of a fully-fuelled rocket) against a slightly more distant failure of a significantly larger rocket?

How does the level of protection required scale with the size of the vehicle, and with the distance from the incident?

This is some examples of how SpaceX hardened LC40 after AMOS-6 according to the 45th SpaceX Wing Commander. 

"I believe if they had another catastrophic failure like that, they would be able to get back to operations on an order of magnitude quicker than they've been able to bring pad 40 back online this time," he said, noting that SpaceX might be able to return to flight within two months in the event of a similar failure.

Monteith, who regularly visits launch pads, said improvements to Launch Complex 40 include protection of hardware with steel and concrete casings as well as a transition to underground infrastructure.



https://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/01/spacex-cape-canaveral-test-fire-help-company-increase-rocket-launch-rate-nasa-iss-crs-13-florida/913240001/ (https://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/01/spacex-cape-canaveral-test-fire-help-company-increase-rocket-launch-rate-nasa-iss-crs-13-florida/913240001/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/14/2022 03:41 pm

A. It’s a high hazard industry. I’d still expect to see equivalent processes, be they external or internal (NASA) regulation.
B. Assessments of safety and operability issues are usually closely entwined. Delete the word safety if you like Jim, but I’d still be mighty surprised to find out that NASAs management system was so poor as not to consider the effect of a failure on adjacent critical infrastructure prior to authorising construction work.

No.
NASA turned over 39A to SpaceX.  They run it.  NASA as a customer of SpaceX services is raising an issue.   This is not NASA manager of the KSC Spaceport that has an issue.  NASA KSC does not manage the risk of SpaceX facilities.  It is NASA CRS and NASA CCP looking at this risk.
So basically, NASA-the landlord is saying "fine, it's your site to run, but if you break it, you have to fix it". NASA-the-CRS-customer is not saying anything, because if 39A becomes unusable CRS can still fly. But NASA-the-CCP-customer is saying "if you break 39A, you are still obligated to fly CCP missions on the same six-month cadence".

While it is true that Starship will add new risks to 39A that are currently unquantified but obvious, we know that launch complexes have a low but non-zero risk of catastrophic outage for other reasons. It seems to me that NASA should want redundant pads for CCP and CRS whether or not Starship is a risk to 39A.  The same would be true for the Cygnus launch complex, except Cygnus CRS can depend on Cargo Dragon as a backup. The same would be true for the Starliner launch complex, except Starliner can depend on Crew Dragon for backup.

The best and lowest-cost technical solution is to just add the crew service arm to allow CCP to fly from the other F9 pad (launch complex 40?)  To achieve this SpaceX could just pay for it, or they could ask NASA to award a sole-source contract to defray some of the cost, since it's not SpaceX's fault that there is no backup for CCP right now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ThatOldJanxSpirit on 06/14/2022 03:55 pm

A. It’s a high hazard industry. I’d still expect to see equivalent processes, be they external or internal (NASA) regulation.
B. Assessments of safety and operability issues are usually closely entwined. Delete the word safety if you like Jim, but I’d still be mighty surprised to find out that NASAs management system was so poor as not to consider the effect of a failure on adjacent critical infrastructure prior to authorising construction work.

No.
NASA turned over 39A to SpaceX.  They run it.  NASA as a customer of SpaceX services is raising an issue.   This is not NASA manager of the KSC Spaceport that has an issue.  NASA KSC does not manage the risk of SpaceX facilities.  It is NASA CRS and NASA CCP looking at this risk.

I’ve got to accept what you say Jim.

I’ve been responsible for island facilities that are operated by another entity (in other high haz industries) and the buck has always stopped with the site, not the tenant.

At least I’m no longer surprised that such nonsense can occur.

What nonsense?

It is part of the lease agreement that SpaceX is responsible for safety within the pad boundaries.  NASA is not there to manage them. There are enough existing laws and regulations that SpaceX has to follow without having NASA overhead.  SpaceX get to operate at LC-39A like it operates at Boca Chica.

Major works are being conducted at a NASA field centre in direct support to NASAs HSF flagship program. Well into construction parts of NASA are expressing concerns on potential impacts to another key HSF program. This is not about oversight of SpaceX, it’s about adequate joined-up NASA oversight of its own programs.

Jim we are not going to agree. Let’s not clog up the thread.

Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 04:45 pm

A.  Major works are being conducted at a NASA field centre

B. in direct support to  NASAs HSF flagship program.

C.  This is not about oversight of SpaceX, it’s about adequate joined-up NASA oversight of its own programs.

Jim we are not going to agree. Let’s not clog up the thread.


There is no disagreement, just a misunderstanding on your part.

A.  It is only government property.  It is not technically part of KSC for the lease.  Much like the IOZ for Orion in the O&C.  NASA has no jurisdiction in it.  These areas would not be leased out without such agreements.  This is no different than drilling for oil or mining on government land.

B.  Starship is not NASA's program.   Lunar Lander does not have to launch from LC-39A.

c. It is only a concern raised by ASAP and not a problem.  There are many ways to negate the concern.
1.  Starliner from SLC41 is a backup to Crew Dragon.
2.  Cargo Dragon from SLC-40 is a back up to Cargo Dragon from LC-39A
3.  Cygnus from Wallops and SLC-41 is a backup to Cargo Dragon
4.  Addition of a crew tower at SLC-40 is a tertiary backup to LC-39A

FH has the only real concern and that would be by multiple organizations other than NASA science and Gateway (DOD and commercial).   Backup could be Starship itself.

EDIT

There is no difference between this case and if Dragon and FH were flying out of Boca Chica and the OLS pad was next to it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 06/14/2022 04:58 pm
given:
1. No such requirement when SpaceX flew 1st FH from the pad
2. No such requirement for Vulcan flying from Starliner's pad
Not a given.
Ok, but just common sense.  Two examples of higher risk rockets that launch directly from a crew pad.

So the risk is accepted elsewhere, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be eliminated if possible.

So what I don't understand is why indeed the two pads are so close. Something about the foundations?  Or maybe it's "far enough"?

And how does this come up only now? Who exactly is expressing concern, and who was working with SpaceX on the plans?
Why do you think it has "only come up now", or that no other launch provider has not gone through the same process? This sort of thing is not new (even the Reuters article does not make any claims of recency beyond "recent months"), nor a surprise, nor abnormal. Nor would Falcon Heavy, Vulcan, etc have 'skipped' basic questions like "if something goes wrong, what impact would this have on your other launch systems and how do you intend to mitigate those impacts to minimise loss of contracted capability?".
Actually I expect it to have come up when the plans were still being, well, planned.

This latest bit doesn't sit well with common sense - not because of the "it's not a safety issue" sort of argument, but because I expect that it has already been settled.

So either the information is wrong, or there's a group that was kept out of the process and is now making waves, or some other explanation that reconciles the discrepancy.

What I expect happened was that there are some infrastructure reasons why the pad can't be further away, that the distance is enough to prevent damage on a bad catch attempt but not enough to prevent damage on a launch failure, that the damage may not be catastrophic, and that it was deemed equivalent or less than an FH failing on launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/14/2022 05:10 pm

c. It is only a concern raised by ASAP and not a problem.  There are many ways to negate the concern.
1.  Starliner from SLC41 is a backup to Crew Dragon.
2.  Cargo Dragon from SLC-40 is a back up to Cargo Dragon from LC-39A
3.  Cygnus from Wallops and SLC-41 is a backup to Cargo Dragon
4.  Addition of a crew tower at SLC-40 is a tertiary backup to LC-39A

Minor clarifications: #2 is presently true.  #1 is not yet true, so we have a gap until Starliner is crew-qualified and a capsule is available for Starliner-1. Cygnus is not available after March 2023 until they have an alternative to Antares.

Jim, you have been there and I have not. How long will it take to add the crew tower at SLC-40 if a contract is signed today?

I think I see a viable contract mechanism, by analogy with the CCP contract extensions. NASA awarded sole-source extensions to the SpaceX CCP contract because Starliner was late. These provided the capacity but not the redundancy. A sole-source contract for the crew arm would be for the CCP redundancy. I'm not sure how the contracting officers could twist this into a CCP contract extension, but surely there's a pony in there somewhere.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: darkenfast on 06/14/2022 05:15 pm
Launching SH/SS is one thing.  Catching the booster after the 250+ tonne stage restarts those complicated engines at high speed and then attempts to steer to drop straight down to be caught by those moving arms on that giant tower is another, especially given the "success is one possible outcome" statement by Elon recently.  Maybe the risk tolerance of the contractor no longer matches the risk tolerance of the customer.  Eight Starship prototypes destroyed at Boca Chica so far, some of them quite explosively.

 - Ed Kyle

As I'm sure you are quite aware, the fights at Boca Chica were TESTS of PROTOTYPES, not of operational rockets. Unless you have some magic secret source that says different, Starship is going to be tested in Texas, not at 39A. When they've tested the catcher concept at the launch complex that they have already built at the site that SpaceX intends to be their primary R&D site, then they will start flying at their KSC pad. Jim has listed several actions to mitigate what risk there is.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 05:17 pm

Minor clarifications: #2 is presently true.  #1 is not yet true, so we have a gap until Starliner is crew-qualified and a capsule is available for Starliner-1. Cygnus is not available after March 2023 until they have an alternative to Antares.

Starship is not launching from 39A within a year so there is no problem at this time.  #1 will be true by the time it does.
Atlas V and Vulcan are viable alternatives to Antares.  Starliner is a viable alternative to Cygnus.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/14/2022 05:34 pm

Minor clarifications: #2 is presently true.  #1 is not yet true, so we have a gap until Starliner is crew-qualified and a capsule is available for Starliner-1. Cygnus is not available after March 2023 until they have an alternative to Antares.

Starship is not launching from 39A within a year so there is no problem at this time.  #1 will be true by the time it does.
Atlas V and Vulcan are viable alternatives to Antares.  Starliner is a viable alternative to Cygnus.
Starship is not the only threat to 39A, it's just the one folks are (understandably) worried about right now. CCP is at risk because of the low but non-zero possibility of a single-point failure: loss of 39A for any reason, e.g. an explosion on the pad of a Falcon Heavy. I assume  that Viasat-3 and Psyche are launching from 39A?

Atlas V and Vulcan will become viable alternatives to Antares if/when NG signs a contract with ULA and the two companies do whatever small development work is needed. But CRS already has an alternative to 39A in any event.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 06/14/2022 06:29 pm
Launching SH/SS is one thing.  Catching the booster after the 250+ tonne stage restarts those complicated engines at high speed and then attempts to steer to drop straight down to be caught by those moving arms on that giant tower is another, especially given the "success is one possible outcome" statement by Elon recently.  Maybe the risk tolerance of the contractor no longer matches the risk tolerance of the customer.  Eight Starship prototypes destroyed at Boca Chica so far, some of them quite explosively.

 - Ed Kyle
This is the same enthusiasm you showed for booster reuse.  Bravo.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 06/14/2022 06:37 pm
From the standpoint of real risk that the SS exploding on its pad vs a F9 or an FH doing the same, is that a F9 would cause twice as much damage and a FH would cause 6 times as much damage as an SS. That is just because of the SS being 1,000 ft away. A note is that when the F9 blew up on LC-40 that structures had not much damage and was not that difficult to repair. The primary problem was the wiring and piping equipment which was damaged primarily from the heat and fire. There was some almost random like damage from parts that flew out from the explosion and cause a kinetic damage upon impact.  This last item would likely be the biggest concern and not the explosion and fire itself from a SS explosion. And the highest value item that could get hit and be a difficult/timely thing to fix is the crew access arm. Everything else very likely would not get damaged beyond a short term repair time.

Mostly this is a concern trolling and not a real risk to F9 launch schedule risk because of a SS pad mishap. A best method too reduce risk to launch schedule for crew launch would building a replacement arm for just in case the current one gets damaged for any reason. Which could be more likely mother nature: hurricane.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 06/14/2022 06:59 pm

Atlas V and Vulcan will become viable alternatives to Antares if/when NG signs a contract with ULA and the two companies do whatever small development work is needed.

Atlas V and Vulcan are already.  Cygnus has flown on Atlas.  Signing a contract is not needed
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 06/14/2022 07:50 pm
From the standpoint of real risk that the SS exploding on its pad vs a F9 or an FH doing the same, is that a F9 would cause twice as much damage and a FH would cause 6 times as much damage as an SS.

You need to bias all of those numbers by the reliability of each platform, though.  FH is likely at least tens of times more reliable than an early SH/SS, and F9 is likely thousands of times more reliable.  This is especially true if you add in a chopstick landing for the SH and the SS, in addition to the launch.

I agree that blast and heat damage from an SH/SS explosion is likely a pretty small risk, but shrapnel damage seems more probable.  Stupid question:  How hard would it be to place ballistic netting between the two pads?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/14/2022 08:29 pm
From the standpoint of real risk that the SS exploding on its pad vs a F9 or an FH doing the same, is that a F9 would cause twice as much damage and a FH would cause 6 times as much damage as an SS.

You need to bias all of those numbers by the reliability of each platform, though.  FH is likely at least tens of times more reliable than an early SH/SS, and F9 is likely thousands of times more reliable.  This is especially true if you add in a chopstick landing for the SH and the SS, in addition to the launch.

I agree that blast and heat damage from an SH/SS explosion is likely a pretty small risk, but shrapnel damage seems more probable.  Stupid question:  How hard would it be to place ballistic netting between the two pads?
When doing contingency planning, you don't compare risks to each other like that. Instead, you must evaluate each risk against your threshold. If the risk of an FH exploding on the pad is too high, you need a contingency plan for loss of the pad. Starship enters the equation only if it's the risk due to FH is below the threshold and the risk due to Starship is above the threshold.

By the time Starship first launches from 39A, it may very well have already launched more times than FH, so I'm not sure your relative risk numbers will be accurate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 06/14/2022 08:45 pm
By the time Starship first launches from 39A, it may very well have already launched more times than FH, so I'm not sure your relative risk numbers will be accurate.

Talking of which, is it 5 orbital launches per year starting from the first launch or is it 5 orbital launches per calendar year in BC?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 06/14/2022 10:39 pm
Launching SH/SS is one thing.  Catching the booster after the 250+ tonne stage restarts those complicated engines at high speed and then attempts to steer to drop straight down to be caught by those moving arms on that giant tower is another, especially given the "success is one possible outcome" statement by Elon recently.  Maybe the risk tolerance of the contractor no longer matches the risk tolerance of the customer.  Eight Starship prototypes destroyed at Boca Chica so far, some of them quite explosively.

 - Ed Kyle

As I'm sure you are quite aware, the fights at Boca Chica were TESTS of PROTOTYPES, not of operational rockets. Unless you have some magic secret source that says different, Starship is going to be tested in Texas, not at 39A. When they've tested the catcher concept at the launch complex that they have already built at the site that SpaceX intends to be their primary R&amp;D site, then they will start flying at their KSC pad. Jim has listed several actions to mitigate what risk there is.
Ed is always quick to cite statistics of prototypes under development as if they were random clusters of unrelated events.

Besides, the main concern is at launch, and that doesn't involve the long-winded explanation of how SS landings works.

An empty Starship missing the chop sticks is literally orders (plural) of magnitude more benign than a booster at launch.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TheRadicalModerate on 06/15/2022 03:36 am
From the standpoint of real risk that the SS exploding on its pad vs a F9 or an FH doing the same, is that a F9 would cause twice as much damage and a FH would cause 6 times as much damage as an SS.

You need to bias all of those numbers by the reliability of each platform, though.  FH is likely at least tens of times more reliable than an early SH/SS, and F9 is likely thousands of times more reliable.  This is especially true if you add in a chopstick landing for the SH and the SS, in addition to the launch.

I agree that blast and heat damage from an SH/SS explosion is likely a pretty small risk, but shrapnel damage seems more probable.  Stupid question:  How hard would it be to place ballistic netting between the two pads?
When doing contingency planning, you don't compare risks to each other like that. Instead, you must evaluate each risk against your threshold. If the risk of an FH exploding on the pad is too high, you need a contingency plan for loss of the pad. Starship enters the equation only if it's the risk due to FH is below the threshold and the risk due to Starship is above the threshold.

By the time Starship first launches from 39A, it may very well have already launched more times than FH, so I'm not sure your relative risk numbers will be accurate.

When doing contingency planning, you want to know what the aggregate risk is to the resources you need.  It doesn't matter at all what any single point risk is.  That aggregate will be based on the flight rate, risk of an anomaly, and the impact that the anomaly can have, for all systems flown from the vicinity. 

If Starship has a lot of flight history before it launches from 39A, then I'm sure that will reduce the aggregate risk.  Meanwhile, NASA getting nervous about this should have been a foregone conclusion.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 12:42 am

Preparations for the transfer of the first section of the tower to LC-39A are underway and according to the publication tonight could be the transfer.https://twitter.com/ReventonHawx/status/1537172375132901376
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 02:40 am
LIVE NOW!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhJRzQsLZGg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhJRzQsLZGg)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: chopsticks on 06/16/2022 02:43 am
Also being shown on this livestream: https://youtu.be/prrf2IGsRLQ
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 02:48 am
We knew this was happening, so Chris G is at KSC for it:

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1537265405852516353
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 02:50 am
Wow it's really moving.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 02:52 am
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 02:53 am
Passing in front of the VAB, beautiful views of NSF!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 02:54 am
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 02:57 am
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1537266660180217857
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 02:57 am
VAB money shot!

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1537267985676746752
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 02:59 am
Just a reminder: The Buckner LR13000 crane is not yet fully assembled, it is possible that SpaceX will move a couple of segments before the crane is fully assembled and ready to work.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 03:06 am
DasArt:
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 03:47 am
Rollout continues after a stop
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 04:06 am
Hello SLS!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 04:10 am
https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1537286399933747200
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: catdlr on 06/16/2022 11:01 am
DasArt:


That would not be the initial route from the factory.  They would leave instead onto Roberts road eastward then north onto the Kenedey Parkway northbound side to avoid any overhead signals to move away each and every time a segment, booster, or SH would have to be transported. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 03:52 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1537428597136166912
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/16/2022 06:44 pm
For those who missed it on SBL. Was a bigger livestream than we assumed.

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1537504935507525632

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRZgFR92Q50
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Alexphysics on 06/16/2022 07:14 pm
DasArt:


That would not be the initial route from the factory.  They would leave instead onto Roberts road eastward then north onto the Kenedey Parkway northbound side to avoid any overhead signals to move away each and every time a segment, booster, or SH would have to be transported.

Nope, they use the north avenue for these movements then east and north into kennedy parkway, just like in the drawing. That's precisely why this road has seen upgrade work for the last year or so, including widening of the road. They now transport F9 boosters down that road as well. Before that, it was totally abandoned and hardly ever used.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/16/2022 07:51 pm
https://twitter.com/GregScott_photo/status/1537520670665588737
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 07:53 pm
https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1537520175649538049
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/16/2022 09:05 pm

The second rollout could occur early next week.https://twitter.com/ReventonHawx/status/1537518611769790468
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: baking on 06/17/2022 02:51 am
What's the round structure on the left with what looks like a tower crane on top?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 06/17/2022 03:38 am
Static fire tower?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: darkenfast on 06/17/2022 04:06 am
Pressure and/or cryo-testing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rsdavis9 on 06/17/2022 11:00 am
So basically every launch site needs:
1. The main launch pad/stool for booster static fire.
2. A second smaller stand for 2d stage(starship) static fire.

?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: baking on 06/17/2022 02:20 pm
It's a lot bigger (taller and wider) than the test stands at Boca but I can see why they might want a redesign.  Thanks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: chopsticks on 06/17/2022 03:31 pm
That thing is way bigger than the SS test stands at Boca. Look at the size of the pickup and compare it.

I don't know what it is but I don't think it's a launch/test mount for Starship. It's closer to the size of the tower, maybe it has something to do with that? The middle part looks like there could be an elevator shaft in there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jstrotha0975 on 06/17/2022 03:41 pm
The interior of the "stand" is open for raptor removal/replacement.

Edit: not open. (didn't have my coffee yet)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/17/2022 04:14 pm
View of the first segment of the tower, the Buckner LR13000 crane and some rings that could be used for the GSE tanks?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/17/2022 04:32 pm
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1537835287027531777

Quote
39A Starship launch site construction site via SpaceX stream:
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/17/2022 04:40 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1537829850697826307
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 06/17/2022 05:02 pm
https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1537829850697826307

MYGOD all this in 27 seconds?!

(-27 seconds actually)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/17/2022 06:35 pm
So basically every launch site needs:
1. The main launch pad/stool for booster static fire.
2. A second smaller stand for 2d stage(starship) static fire.

?

It almost looks like concrete form work on the top, but that doesn't make sense.

In some stills it looks like there are some really large rings on the ground. 

Edit: Could those two be combined it be something like a large water tank for a pump fed deluge system?

Impressive speed so far, I wonder how much time they will loose on site for F9/FH launches?  (Maybe less than the testing at BC)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 06/17/2022 07:51 pm
So basically every launch site needs:
1. The main launch pad/stool for booster static fire.
2. A second smaller stand for 2d stage(starship) static fire.

?

It almost looks like concrete form work on the top, but that doesn't make sense.

In some stills it looks like there are some really large rings on the ground. 

Edit: Could those two be combined it be something like a large water tank for a pump fed deluge system?

Impressive speed so far, I wonder how much time they will loose on site for F9/FH launches?  (Maybe less than the testing at BC)
The rings are 12m diameter as used on the starbase water tank and tank shells and the orbital tank farm.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 06/17/2022 08:42 pm
I thought, before, static fire tower.  After seeing this new still, I'm voting for support stand for water tower.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Michel Van on 06/18/2022 09:11 am
(https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/assets/48478.0/2108170.jpg)
I think this here is a support structure for large GSE Tank during construction
what could match the large ring to see right on Picture below
(https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=48478.0;attach=2108213;image)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: baking on 06/18/2022 11:58 am
I think this here is a support structure for large GSE Tank during construction
what could match the large ring to see right on Picture below
Yeah, most likely water deluge system as alugobi noted above.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 06/20/2022 06:29 pm
The Buckner LR13000 crane is already being erected on LC-39A and today or tomorrow will be the rollout of the second segment according to a previous posting.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/20/2022 09:02 pm
The crane has risen.

Credit Spaceflight Now
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/21/2022 03:02 pm
https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1539262305275367432
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/21/2022 04:18 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1539280326043770881
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/21/2022 05:00 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34ViXVF7NRE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/21/2022 06:16 pm
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1539310978721992705
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Hog on 06/22/2022 07:54 pm
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1539310978721992705
Stacking?  I was excited for a second there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/23/2022 01:13 am
https://youtu.be/1zzkTY_uVZY
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/23/2022 01:45 am
They sure love their VAB photo stops :D

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1539786337007566848
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ChrisC on 06/23/2022 04:15 am
Thank you for the coverage!

I'm quietly happy that nobody on the stream today was calling it the "vab".  I cringe every time I hear someone say that.  It's V-A-B.  (another one for the NSF drinking game)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/23/2022 06:54 am
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1539792560738156544

Quote
Want to learn more about tower construction in progress at the HangarX facility? Check out the @NASASpaceflight Cape flyover videos on our channel.

Latest update: youtu.be/uZEnbZN8D58
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/23/2022 10:34 am
https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1539918834311827456
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/23/2022 12:32 pm
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1539946879844220931

Quote
A giant crawler crane has started lifting the second tower segment for SpaceX's Florida Starship launch pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/23/2022 12:39 pm
https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1539950261032177666
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/23/2022 01:16 pm
https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1539960102148608000
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/23/2022 01:43 pm
twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1539966583988137984

Quote
39A/Starship (1/4): The Starship/Super Heavy launch pad SpaceX is building at KSC pad 39A is rapidly taking shape; responding to a query last week from CBS, NASA said the company only has permission to build the launch stand, but does not yet have permission to launch from it

https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1539966797205602305

Quote
39A/Starship (2/4): Confirming a Reuters story, NASA said the agency will conduct a "thorough" review of the Starship plans and will assess any risks that might be posed by launches of the huge rocket in close proximity to SpaceX's Crew Dragon pad at 39A

twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1539967155839459328

Quote
39A/Starship (3/4): While NASA’s response didn't address the nature of those risks, it is thought to concern the possibility of a catastrophic failure on or just off the new pad that could damage the Crew Dragon gantry/support systems, interrupting crew flights to the ISS

https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1539967484807155712

Quote
39A/Starship (4/4): As part of its review, NASA will assess "all options available including the development of a crew transportation capability at Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station"
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/23/2022 01:45 pm
https://youtu.be/53rNN2SDaKs
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/23/2022 03:41 pm
Useful graphic on current status of launch tower

https://twitter.com/lolomatico3d/status/1539961517038108672

Quote
The first segments of #SpaceX 's Mechazilla tower at the Cape have been mounted on the foundation.

The tower is quickly coming together 🤯
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jadebenn on 06/23/2022 03:47 pm
-snip-
I can't help but suspect there might be further issues if said analysis shows the VAB and 39B within the potential blast radius. I believe KSC was sized for a Nova-scale rocket, not Saturn V, but I'd think SS + SH would surpass even that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: chopsticks on 06/23/2022 04:59 pm
-snip-
I can't help but suspect there might be further issues if said analysis shows the VAB and 39B within the potential blast radius. I believe KSC was sized for a Nova-scale rocket, not Saturn V, but I'd think SS + SH would surpass even that.

Nova Rocket liftoff thrust: 4,536 - 9,072 tonnes

SH liftoff thrust: 7,590 tonnes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_(rocket)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 06/23/2022 05:22 pm
-snip-
I can't help but suspect there might be further issues if said analysis shows the VAB and 39B within the potential blast radius. I believe KSC was sized for a Nova-scale rocket, not Saturn V, but I'd think SS + SH would surpass even that.

Nova Rocket liftoff thrust: 4,536 - 9,072 tonnes

SH liftoff thrust: 7,590 tonnes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_(rocket)

It’s not just the thrust (and total sound pressure level). It’s the potential pressure wave from a detonation event. All of that data has been developed and presented to the FAA as part of SpaceX’s prior submissions during the Boca Chica regulatory process. So SpaceX and NASA already know if there’s a significant risk to the VAB (which I doubt). The risks, if any, are to the F9 Commercial Crew facilities and HIF inside the LC39A perimeter.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: chopsticks on 06/23/2022 05:52 pm


-snip-
I can't help but suspect there might be further issues if said analysis shows the VAB and 39B within the potential blast radius. I believe KSC was sized for a Nova-scale rocket, not Saturn V, but I'd think SS + SH would surpass even that.

Nova Rocket liftoff thrust: 4,536 - 9,072 tonnes

SH liftoff thrust: 7,590 tonnes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_(rocket)

It’s not just the thrust (and total sound pressure level). It’s the potential pressure wave from a detonation event. All of that data has been developed and presented to the FAA as part of SpaceX’s prior submissions during the Boca Chica regulatory process. So SpaceX and NASA already know if there’s a significant risk to the VAB (which I doubt). The risks, if any, are to the F9 Commercial Crew facilities and HIF inside the LC39A perimeter.

I know, but it's still a useful point of comparison.

I assume that methane as a propellant would be a higher overpressure event than kerosene in a RUD, but I don't have anything to back that up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: r8ix on 06/23/2022 07:28 pm
-snip-
I can't help but suspect there might be further issues if said analysis shows the VAB and 39B within the potential blast radius. I believe KSC was sized for a Nova-scale rocket, not Saturn V, but I'd think SS + SH would surpass even that.

Nova Rocket liftoff thrust: 4,536 - 9,072 tonnes

SH liftoff thrust: 7,590 tonnes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nova_(rocket)

That article only shows 6314 tonnes for Nova...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ThatOldJanxSpirit on 06/24/2022 06:41 am
Zack Golden’s CSI_Starbase Episode 5

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V9AYvtuQ95I&feature=youtu.be

The last section (from around 32 minutes) is a launch table deep dive. It includes images of 39A launch table segments and a good assessment of why this build will be faster than Texas.

I know some of you get sniffy about his style, but that’s what pays his bills and the content is superb.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/24/2022 12:13 pm
https://twitter.com/FarryFaz/status/1540303713801232390
https://twitter.com/ReventonHawx/status/1540159529308020741
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: AS_501 on 06/24/2022 03:20 pm
https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasa-spacex-assess-potential-starship-193358304.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/24/2022 04:38 pm
https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasa-spacex-assess-potential-starship-193358304.html
This is a well-written piece. No new news (the NASA announcement was three days ago) but this story clearly states the situation. NASA as the CCP customer recognizes that pat 39A is a single failure point for CCP right now, since there is no backup for crew Dragon and Crew Dragon cannot launch from any other pad. (SLC-40 has no crew gantry). NASA as the landlord for the pad 39 complex has the authority to withhold permission for SpaceX to use pad 39b for anything that is too high a threat to pad 30A. NASA will not grant SpaceX permission for stuff that is "too risky", like Starship wet dress rehersals and launches, until SpaceX convinces NASA that the risk is low enough.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ThatOldJanxSpirit on 06/26/2022 05:38 am
Another sighting of a launch table segment reported by Zack Golden.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CSI_Starbase/status/1540839279097692161

Note that his assessment is that this may be for the rigs or the cape, and if it is for the cape it’s running late.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Cheapchips on 06/26/2022 08:28 am
And another from Zack. Hydraulic pistons for the cape chopsticks.

That's BC. He mentioned them as a missing item in his latest video (ep5). They're for the shock absorbing 'rails'.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 06/26/2022 01:15 pm
Another sighting of a launch table segment reported by Zack Golden.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CSI_Starbase/status/1540839279097692161

Note that his assessment is that this may be for the rigs or the cape, and if it is for the cape it’s running late.

Why is it “late”? The LC39A tower has all of two segments stacked, with the last one or two not even started assembling yet. All the tower segments need to be stacked, the vertical members filled with concrete, and all the commodities lines and telemetry/power cabling need to be installed and integrated. There’s plenty of time (weeks at least) before the launch table becomes the singular pacing item.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: baking on 06/26/2022 02:11 pm
Another sighting of a launch table segment reported by Zack Golden.
Note that his assessment is that this may be for the rigs or the cape, and if it is for the cape it’s running late.

Why is it “late”? The LC39A tower has all of two segments stacked, with the last one or two not even started assembling yet. All the tower segments need to be stacked, the vertical members filled with concrete, and all the commodities lines and telemetry/power cabling need to be installed and integrated. There’s plenty of time (weeks at least) before the launch table becomes the singular pacing item.
I think Zack is being a bit over dramatic.  Some of the OLM segments have already been sighted at Roberts Road, but not all ten.  Also, the truck is headed East so Florida is still a likely destination.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: ThatOldJanxSpirit on 06/27/2022 09:39 am
Part of the Ship QD arm at KSC

https://mobile.twitter.com/CSI_Starbase/status/1541215957288456197
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Cheapchips on 06/27/2022 11:02 am
Another sighting of a launch table segment reported by Zack Golden.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CSI_Starbase/status/1540839279097692161

Note that his assessment is that this may be for the rigs or the cape, and if it is for the cape it’s running late.

Why is it “late”? The LC39A tower has all of two segments stacked, with the last one or two not even started assembling yet. All the tower segments need to be stacked, the vertical members filled with concrete, and all the commodities lines and telemetry/power cabling need to be installed and integrated. There’s plenty of time (weeks at least) before the launch table becomes the singular pacing item.

Dramatic wording aside, the Boca launch table was an absolute dog to build.  It could be a pacing item of many months.  They will have done more pre-work on the segments for 39a, so we'll see how it comes together.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 06/27/2022 03:57 pm

Dramatic wording aside, the Boca launch table was an absolute dog to build.  It could be a pacing item of many months.  They will have done more pre-work on the segments for 39a, so we'll see how it comes together.
The BC OLT was the first prototype, and they did several major changes requiring major rework. Presumably, this one, though still a prototype, will need much less rework, unless of course bad stuff happens at BC when Starship launches or even during static fire. We'll see.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/27/2022 11:37 pm
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1541565997475254273

Quote
It is Starship Florida tower roll time again! Going live shortly for segment #3.

https://youtu.be/kjnDtH_kW98
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/28/2022 12:13 am
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1541575159986929664

Quote
LC-39A Starship Launch Tower Section 3: "I live my life a quarter of a mile at a time"

#Speedy

youtube.com/watch?v=kjnDtH…
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/28/2022 12:44 am
https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1541581847720755201
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Patrick_colquhoun on 06/28/2022 05:42 pm
The first parts of the Chopstick system that will be used to catch and stack Starship were spotted at SpaceX's Roberts Road facility. At LC-39A, the Starship launch tower keeps growing, and a new rocket, Relativity Space’s Terran 1, was spotted at its launch site at the Cape.

https://youtu.be/fYdYTU4hgeo
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/29/2022 01:11 pm
https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1542133206211772416

https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1542145628083523589

https://twitter.com/Cygnusx112/status/1542249853736083459
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 06/30/2022 10:27 am
https://twitter.com/TLPN_Official/status/1542308571907387392
https://twitter.com/TLPN_Official/status/1542308670658080768
https://twitter.com/TLPN_Official/status/1542321531702747136
https://twitter.com/TLPN_Official/status/1542321920388976640
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/01/2022 05:48 pm
https://twitter.com/lolomatico3d/status/1542921199281487872

Quote
The 3rd tower segment of #SpaceX ´s OLIT 2.0 is now stacked at the cape.

Huge pieces of the Chopsticks were also spotted at the buildsite. (colored black, in the diagram)
Keep in mind that the Chopstick pieces are not yet welded together 😁
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MarvinSpace on 07/02/2022 11:54 am
Another sighting of a launch table segment reported by Zack Golden.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CSI_Starbase/status/1540839279097692161

Note that his assessment is that this may be for the rigs or the cape, and if it is for the cape it’s running late.

Why is it “late”? The LC39A tower has all of two segments stacked, with the last one or two not even started assembling yet. All the tower segments need to be stacked, the vertical members filled with concrete, and all the commodities lines and telemetry/power cabling need to be installed and integrated. There’s plenty of time (weeks at least) before the launch table becomes the singular pacing item.

Late as in atleast 4 segments were already spotted on site in January. So its a bit suprising that 6 months later still pieces for the base structure are arriving. Start of the thread saying those images are from January https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1511691485271724036

And here Hangar M with 4 pieces for the Table : https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1511691883726393345
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Conexion Espacial on 07/05/2022 10:14 pm
https://twitter.com/reventonhawx/status/1544404897814151168
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Stimbergi on 07/06/2022 08:38 am
Quote
Today July 5th was the first day in 2 years that KSC has offered the explore tour. This tour went up close to the VAB, and LC39a-b. This video focuses on LC39a.
https://youtu.be/nfFVL945fYo
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 07/06/2022 06:38 pm
https://twitter.com/John_Winkopp/status/1544742129829908483
https://twitter.com/John_Winkopp/status/1544751635804655617
https://twitter.com/John_Winkopp/status/1544752700960788480
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 07/06/2022 07:16 pm
That's got to be a base for a hefty water tank.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/06/2022 08:30 pm
twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1544780115292442624

Quote
Shots from our flyover this morning of #NASA Pad 39A, #SpaceX Hangar X on Roberts Rd & more. Lots of construction at the pad with 3 sections up already & if you notice in the 1st shot the Chopsticks are coming together nicely. Check my discord for many more📷 @FarryFaz @elonmusk

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1544780989330751489

Quote
Many more pics soon. Dont forget, if you like the pics hit the follow button.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: AU1.52 on 07/07/2022 12:30 am
That's got to be a base for a hefty water tank.


I keep half wondering if they plan on assembling the launch table on that. Seems very close the where the launches will be to have a water tank there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RobW on 07/07/2022 12:52 am
The best part is no part: If you launch off the top of an open water tank, you don't need a launch pad, and all the deluge system water is already where you need it, so you don't need all that complicated deluge piping either!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 07/07/2022 10:38 am
Too high for an assembly platform for the launch ring: makes work more difficult for no benefit (crane needed to lift it anyway).

About the right diameter to receive the LH2 sphere if being repurposed for LCH4, but I can think of no good reasons to move it from where it is (and extend/divert the lines from the main pad to the new one) and would be a huge headache to try and move if even possible- and the easiest way would be to roll it on SPMTs on the existing mount anyway.

Too much structure for a ground-level water tank (just needs a single skin there, and can be constructed jack-up style as the cheapest method) and even too much structure for legs of a suspended water tower.

It even looks like too much structure for a double-walled concrete LNG silo, those can be slip-formed for cheaper than building a full height form.

There are large-diameter steel rings going up next to it (at least two separate stack visible) so could be some unorthodox tank construction method.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/10/2022 04:09 pm
https://twitter.com/lolomatico3d/status/1546162371109875714

Quote
The 7th tower segment of #SpaceX´s Mechazilla at the Cape has been completed at the production site.

Lots of parts for the SQD (Ship Quick Disconnect) and the Chopsticks where also spotted (colored black).
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Hog on 07/12/2022 08:26 pm
The best part is no part: If you launch off the top of an open water tank, you don't need a launch pad, and all the deluge system water is already where you need it, so you don't need all that complicated deluge piping either!
Standing water behaves much differently than water mist/droplets/streams do in this application. Much more phase change would occur in the latter.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/13/2022 09:03 pm
New Cape/KSC Flyover!

https://twitter.com/thejackbeyer/status/1547325329949073408

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzxqQb35h4U
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: RobW on 07/13/2022 10:19 pm
The best part is no part: If you launch off the top of an open water tank, you don't need a launch pad, and all the deluge system water is already where you need it, so you don't need all that complicated deluge piping either!
Standing water behaves much differently than water mist/droplets/streams do in this application. Much more phase change would occur in the latter.
Absolutely. The comment was a (failed?) attempt at humor.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pilotError on 07/14/2022 10:47 am
Too high for an assembly platform for the launch ring: makes work more difficult for no benefit (crane needed to lift it anyway).

About the right diameter to receive the LH2 sphere if being repurposed for LCH4, but I can think of no good reasons to move it from where it is (and extend/divert the lines from the main pad to the new one) and would be a huge headache to try and move if even possible- and the easiest way would be to roll it on SPMTs on the existing mount anyway.

Too much structure for a ground-level water tank (just needs a single skin there, and can be constructed jack-up style as the cheapest method) and even too much structure for legs of a suspended water tower.

It even looks like too much structure for a double-walled concrete LNG silo, those can be slip-formed for cheaper than building a full height form.

There are large-diameter steel rings going up next to it (at least two separate stack visible) so could be some unorthodox tank construction method.

There's two tank sizes being built.  It looks to me like the same contruction method they used at the tank farm with an inner and outer tank.  The larger tank seems to fit nicely on that structure using the old finger on the screen method!  LOL
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 07/14/2022 07:52 pm
https://twitter.com/johnkrausphotos/status/1547667057281343496

https://twitter.com/johnkrausphotos/status/1547664410709176323
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/20/2022 10:01 pm
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1549876506188554244

Quote
SpaceX is rolling the fourth segment for the new Starship launch pad gantry toward Launch Complex 39A this evening at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Watch live:

https://youtu.be/6saHQF4ybKA
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/20/2022 10:36 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1549885083032641536

Quote
The 4th segment of SpaceXs Super Heavy-Starship service gantry headed for pad 39A this evening, but the crew pulled over at the entrance to the KSC press site to wait out approaching storms; despite seeing this three times before, it's still impressive!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/21/2022 12:43 am
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1549898691867287554

Quote
KSC VAB drive past for Section 4 of the 39A Starbase Tower.

youtube.com/watch?v=mhJRzQ…
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 07/21/2022 01:00 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1550102748242247681
https://twitter.com/SpaceflightNow/status/1550108842142228480
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 07/21/2022 02:43 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSr3eq4rFXg
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/21/2022 09:57 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1550236798776971266

Quote
The view of KSC from Titusville is ever changing and things got a bit taller at 39A today. The fourth Starship tower segment has been raised after rolling to the pad from HangarX last night.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/25/2022 10:16 pm
twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1551692043554111489

Quote
The tower roll appears to be canceled for tonight, but, I got a special consolation prize! The turn basin is full of activity with two tanks arriving today, possibly for 39A Starship operations. @SpaceOffshore was keeping an eye on the track this weekend.

📷: @NASASpaceflight

https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1551692449055129600

Quote
These two tanks can be traced back to Charleston, where they departed from last week.

The tug that was pushing the barge was swapped in Jacksonville and they later waited in the Canaveral barge canal over the weekend before sailing to KSC today.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 07/25/2022 10:40 pm
Looks like they gave up on making their own methane tanks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: tyrred on 07/26/2022 12:33 am
Funny how some people think that just because SpaceX changes something, it means they gave up and will never try it again.

They could still try to make their own methane tanks for other pads.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Rocket Surgeon on 07/26/2022 07:09 am
Looks like they gave up on making their own methane tanks.

I feel like "gave up" is a strong word...
"Found an external supplier that could meet their requirements" could also be just as easy an explanation...

People forget that one of the reason SpaceX is so Vertically Intergrated isn't because they set out to be... they just got sick of over paying for components they thought they could make themselves cheaper.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 07/26/2022 02:36 pm
Looks like they gave up on making their own methane tanks.
I had assumed that they switched to commercial tanks to meet state regulatory requirements for LNG tanks or to meet requirements to get liability insurance.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Tangilinear Interjar on 07/26/2022 02:55 pm
My money is on them coming across a couple inexpensive used tanks and saved a few bucks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 07/26/2022 04:27 pm
Looks like they gave up on making their own methane tanks.
I had assumed that they switched to commercial tanks to meet state regulatory requirements for LNG tanks or to meet requirements to get liability insurance.
My thinking, too, DC.  But I wrote "gave up" and "they [SX]", and that apparently didn't go over well.  Guess that was just too shorthand.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 07/26/2022 07:05 pm
Another idea is that they have decided that they want a lower profile tank farm.  Horizontal tanks vs vertical.  Bigger footprint, but maybe better in case of blast. 

Does the Florida site have more room (horizontal orientation) for a tank farm than BC?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/26/2022 07:25 pm
https://twitter.com/felixschlang/status/1552011932101746689

Quote
More SpaceX Mechazilla and Tank structure being repurposed for the Starship launch structure.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/27/2022 11:41 pm
Live in a few minutes

https://youtu.be/V4kSVzvy7LU

Edit to add: already live
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/28/2022 12:37 am
https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1552452857269743617
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OTV Booster on 07/28/2022 02:27 am
Got to wonder if SX sent some of the team leads and engineers from BC to the cape. They've already built a tower and a launch table. Drawings and assembly instructions are great but having even one build under your belt adds so much. Even if it has some variations.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/28/2022 07:02 am
https://twitter.com/gregscott_photo/status/1552489996107628545

Quote
Section 5 of the SBK (Starbase Kennedy) launch tower just passed by the VAB on its way out to Pad 39A tonight. This is the section where cryogenic propellants are loaded into Starship. It should be lifted into place soon making it 1 step closer to reality. #SpaceX #NASA
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/28/2022 08:21 pm
Article time:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022/07/starship-24-awaiting-static-fires/

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1552749362362605569
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/28/2022 08:21 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1552699384827187205
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/29/2022 06:28 am
https://twitter.com/felixschlang/status/1552830663350427649

Quote
SpaceX Starship Launch Tower Segment #5 has arrived at KSC Pad 39A and is already hooked up to the crane for stacking!

📸@SchlangStefanie for WAI Media LLC ❤️🚀
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/29/2022 11:26 am
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1552977220162945024

Quote
The fifth section of SpaceX's Starship launch pad tower is being lifted into place this morning at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Watch live: youtube.com/watch?v=ykjHh-…
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/29/2022 01:15 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1553005811001167872

Quote
ISS: SpaceX has mounted the 5th segment of the Super Heavy-Starship service gantry at pad 39A; 3 more full-size segments to go, plus a shorter top section; lightning mast aside, it's now visibly taller than the fixed service structure used for Crew Dragon launches
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 07/29/2022 04:24 pm
If memory serves, an extension had to be added to the jib on the crane for the top few sections of the tower at Starbase.  Does anyone recall if this was done before or after the launch table was lifted onto its legs?  Also, being that the lift of the launch table was done with two cranes at Starbase, perhaps it isn't going to happen at LC-39 until that new SpaceX branded crane spotted in Germany arrives at the Cape.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: SDSmith on 07/29/2022 04:30 pm
If memory serves, an extension had to be added to the jib on the crane for the top few sections of the tower at Starbase.  Does anyone recall if this was done before or after the launch table was lifted onto its legs?  Also, being that the lift of the launch table was done with two cranes at Starbase, perhaps it isn't going to happen at LC-39 until that new SpaceX branded crane spotted in Germany arrives at the Cape.
In the Everyday Astronaut video (1st interview set) I believe Patel said they used two cranes to save time. It would take about 3 days to update the crane since they had the other crane onsite it was easier to use both of them.
As to if this was done before the tower was completed I don't remember.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 07/29/2022 04:39 pm
If memory serves, an extension had to be added to the jib on the crane for the top few sections of the tower at Starbase.  Does anyone recall if this was done before or after the launch table was lifted onto its legs?  Also, being that the lift of the launch table was done with two cranes at Starbase, perhaps it isn't going to happen at LC-39 until that new SpaceX branded crane spotted in Germany arrives at the Cape.
In the Everyday Astronaut video (1st interview set) I believe Patel said they used two cranes to save time. It would take about 3 days to update the crane since they had the other crane onsite it was easier to use both of them.
As to if this was done before the tower was completed I don't remember.

I seem to remember seeing pictures of second SpaceX livery LR-11000 being transported to a port in Europe a while back. The question is will it get to the Cape in time to help with the launch table lift?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 07/29/2022 05:08 pm
If memory serves, an extension had to be added to the jib on the crane for the top few sections of the tower at Starbase.  Does anyone recall if this was done before or after the launch table was lifted onto its legs?  Also, being that the lift of the launch table was done with two cranes at Starbase, perhaps it isn't going to happen at LC-39 until that new SpaceX branded crane spotted in Germany arrives at the Cape.
In the Everyday Astronaut video (1st interview set) I believe Patel said they used two cranes to save time. It would take about 3 days to update the crane since they had the other crane onsite it was easier to use both of them.
As to if this was done before the tower was completed I don't remember.
They also mentioned the first launch table was massively overbuilt and the second one would be lighter.
Speaking to that is the table being assembled at one of the SpaceX hangers at CCSFS rather than at Roberts Road, meaning it has a longer and more tortuous route to LC-39A. The hanger likely allows outfitting on GSE inside the table before moving and in an indoor environment rather than outdoors at height as was done at Boca Chica.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: wannamoonbase on 07/29/2022 05:27 pm
If memory serves, an extension had to be added to the jib on the crane for the top few sections of the tower at Starbase.  Does anyone recall if this was done before or after the launch table was lifted onto its legs?  Also, being that the lift of the launch table was done with two cranes at Starbase, perhaps it isn't going to happen at LC-39 until that new SpaceX branded crane spotted in Germany arrives at the Cape.
In the Everyday Astronaut video (1st interview set) I believe Patel said they used two cranes to save time. It would take about 3 days to update the crane since they had the other crane onsite it was easier to use both of them.
As to if this was done before the tower was completed I don't remember.
They also mentioned the first launch table was massively overbuilt and the second one would be lighter.
Speaking to that is the table being assembled at one of the SpaceX hangers at CCSFS rather than at Roberts Road, meaning it has a longer and more tortuous route to LC-39A. The hanger likely allows outfitting on GSE inside the table before moving and in an indoor environment rather than outdoors at height as was done at Boca Chica.

SpaceX is pretty good at scheduling and building.  That launch table must be getting worked on indoors and near LC39.

I expect to a see a much more complete launch mount this time around.  Lots of lessons to apply from BC, which now looks like it was placed long before it was ready.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 08/03/2022 10:58 pm
https://twitter.com/GregScott_photo/status/1554963780911697922
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 08/03/2022 11:03 pm
New tank section lifted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykjHh-4cMO4


Credit Spaceflight Now
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 08/05/2022 11:05 am
https://twitter.com/FelixSchlang/status/1555383641114550273
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 08/05/2022 03:04 pm
I've uploaded 50cm resolution satellite imagery of 39A taken on 2022-08-04 here: https://soar.earth/maps/13046?basemap=Google+Street&pos=28.608625038475637%2C-80.60404923335018%2C18
There's been a lot of ground changes already  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Hamish.Student on 08/05/2022 03:26 pm
Random question. Who controls access to Pad 39A? KSC or SpaceX Security?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Hamish.Student on 08/05/2022 03:27 pm
I've uploaded 50cm resolution satellite imagery of 39A taken on 2022-08-04 here: https://soar.earth/maps/13046?basemap=Google+Street&pos=28.608625038475637%2C-80.60404923335018%2C18
There's been a lot of ground changes already  :)
 
 
Interesting to see all the pipe laid out between Pad and the (LH2)CH4 Sphere. Thanks for posting!! 
   
Edit: NW Sphere. Is that the one being repaired?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 08/05/2022 03:31 pm
Random question. Who controls access to Pad 39A? KSC or SpaceX Security?

SpaceX
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: kevindbaker2863 on 08/05/2022 04:34 pm
I've uploaded 50cm resolution satellite imagery of 39A taken on 2022-08-04 here: https://soar.earth/maps/13046?basemap=Google+Street&pos=28.608625038475637%2C-80.60404923335018%2C18
There's been a lot of ground changes already  :)
(http://TowerRings220805.png)
is it just me or do the rings in red look small enough to go inside the rings circled in blue?  let me know if there is a discussion thread this should have gone in?  I could not find one.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Alexphysics on 08/05/2022 05:07 pm
Yeah in fact I wrote about that on my latest Starship roundup article last week. We believe the tank is the same inner shell/outer shell design as the cryogenic tanks at Starbase, just larger (outer shell is about 20m diameter vs 12m diameter outer shell for the Starbase ones). The thinking is this might be a LOX tank.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2022 06:42 pm
https://twitter.com/FelixSchlang/status/1555617903734657024

Quote
Here's another one from SpaceX and LC39A!

The Starship OLM legs. SpaceX recently poured concrete into them. As a result, white concrete & water mixture poured out of small outlets on the legs to release pressure and speed up the curing process.

📸
@SchlangStefanie
 for WAI Media
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 08/05/2022 07:28 pm
Looks like a different grade of steel than what they used at BC.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 08/06/2022 12:59 am
Looks like a different grade of steel than what they used at BC.

You can't tell the grade of steel visually. At the very least, you need microscopic examination of the grain structure and hardness testing. It does look like it has some kind of anticorrosion paint or coating applied, however.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: alugobi on 08/06/2022 02:50 am
Point taken. I should have simply said that it looks different.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: baking on 08/06/2022 11:05 am
Point taken. I should have simply said that it looks different.
I concur.  Many more seams.  Not that it matters.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: lykos on 08/06/2022 12:38 pm
In general they do it a little different here compared to BC
The shielding on the bottom inside of each leg is done now and there are no horizontal transverse beams between the legs here before concret-filling.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/09/2022 05:51 am
https://youtu.be/urh_p-cMHyg
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jackvancouver on 08/09/2022 06:00 pm
I watched that and it is handy to have a higher vantage point to see it go all the way to the pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/10/2022 12:20 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1557337223258902529

Quote
After its move to KSC launch complex 39A Monday evening, segment No. 6 was hoisted atop SpaceX's Super Heavy-Starship gantry this morning as the tower continues to rise above Florida's Space Coast; 1 more full-size segment to go, along with 2 smaller sections to top it off
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/10/2022 10:15 pm
https://twitter.com/lolomatico3d/status/1557413582584877056

Quote
While #SpaceX is testing B7 and S24 in Boca Chica, TX, they are continuing building it's second launch tower at the Cape.
On August 9, the sixth segment rolled out to pad LC-39A and was lifted on August 10. Segments 7 and 8 are still at the construction area at Roberts Road.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/15/2022 10:44 pm
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1559308948095770630

Quote
Watch live as SpaceX transports a seventh segment for the Starship launch pad in Florida to Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center:

https://youtu.be/C5c3Y43Rji0
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/16/2022 12:02 am
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1559327150267932675

Quote
A couple of roofcam shots of gantry segment No. 7 en route to KSC launch complex 39A
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/21/2022 12:46 pm
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1561333415236042753

Quote
Construction continues on the Florida Starship launch facility with SpaceX lifting another major component of a huge tank. Watch live: youtu.be/EncMXOirMYE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/21/2022 09:08 pm
https://youtu.be/09XJgSmdiVs

Quote
This is amateur smartphone video I shot on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Explore Tour on Sunday, August 21, 2022.  It shows you Falcon operations as well as the Starship launch site construction.

If you use this video elsewhere, please credit SpaceKSC.com.

Visit our web site at www.spaceksc.com.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 08/22/2022 08:34 am
https://youtu.be/09XJgSmdiVs

Quote
This is amateur smartphone video I shot on the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Explore Tour on Sunday, August 21, 2022.  It shows you Falcon operations as well as the Starship launch site construction.

If you use this video elsewhere, please credit SpaceKSC.com.

Visit our web site at www.spaceksc.com.
New walkway & raceway added to the LC-39A LH2 sphere.
Thanks to Harry Stranger's regular satellite snapshots, construction can be tracked:
It was not visible as of 2022-05-05: https://soar.earth/maps/12764?pos=28.610344478844503%2C-80.60043634367237%2C20
Can be seen under construction 2022-07-22: https://soar.earth/maps/12876?pos=28.61031185533933%2C-80.60049420990097%2C20
And reached the apex 2022-08-04: https://soar.earth/maps/13046?pos=28.61035010278793%2C-80.60033693381266%2C20
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pyromatter on 08/22/2022 01:06 pm
https://twitter.com/johnkrausphotos/status/1561700747452055555
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: rpapo on 08/22/2022 05:05 pm
I wonder why level 7 has been sitting there for several days now?  The previous six levels went up almost as soon as they arrived there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: whitelancer64 on 08/22/2022 05:23 pm
I wonder why level 7 has been sitting there for several days now?  The previous six levels went up almost as soon as they arrived there.

It could be that SpaceX was not allowed to do any operations on their pad while the SLS was rolling out to its pad. There's too many other variables to consider, though, like work being done on other things, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Craigles on 08/22/2022 05:36 pm
I wonder why level 7 has been sitting there for several days now?  The previous six levels went up almost as soon as they arrived there.
It could be that SpaceX was not allowed to do any operations on their pad while the SLS was rolling out to its pad. There's too many other variables to consider, though, like work being done on other things, etc.
I was expecting to see them extend the crane now.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 08/22/2022 05:51 pm
I wonder why level 7 has been sitting there for several days now?  The previous six levels went up almost as soon as they arrived there.
It could be that SpaceX was not allowed to do any operations on their pad while the SLS was rolling out to its pad. There's too many other variables to consider, though, like work being done on other things, etc.
I was expecting to see them extend the crane now.

It was already down, extended, and back up. You missed it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 08/22/2022 10:37 pm
How is CH4 delivered to 39A? Pipeline?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/22/2022 11:17 pm
How is CH4 delivered to 39A? Pipeline?
We can make some informed guesses as the unloading area has not yet been constructed for deliveries. It will very likely be via truck since by train is presently banned for political reasons, which can be detailed by others at a later date in the Space Policy section, in the US for LNG/Methane however refined LNG products such as LPG (Propane) can ship by train. Barge/tamker ship delivery was designed in for the LC-39 and follow on launch complexes duing the Apollo Programme however the delivery scheme was never employed because the programme was kept at its initial launch rate and rate scalling schemes were shelved well before the programmes complete cancellation. Also the vast majority of the KSC and CCSFS rail network has long been inactivated or abandoned in placed or removed entirely. Hazardous long distance pipelines are generally not pursued on government installations for national and operational security reasons.

Edited for clarity.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Hamish.Student on 08/23/2022 07:20 am
How is CH4 delivered to 39A? Pipeline?
It will vry likely be via truck since by train is presently banned for political reeasons, which can be detailed in the Space Policy section, in the US for LNG/Methane however refined LNG products such as LPG (Propane) can ship by train.
 
 
Source please? I tried having a look and couldn't seem to find the thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/23/2022 04:45 pm
How is CH4 delivered to 39A? Pipeline?
It will vry likely be via truck since by train is presently banned for political reeasons, which can be detailed in the Space Policy section, in the US for LNG/Methane however refined LNG products such as LPG (Propane) can ship by train.
 
 
Source please? I tried having a look and couldn't seem to find the thread.
I have edited my previous post to add clarity. I said the political reason for why LCH4/LNG can't be shipped via rail shortly after approval by the previous president's executive administration can be discussed further in the Space Policy discussion. Their is presently no discussion for: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/08/2021-23132/hazardous-materials-suspension-of-hmr-amendments-authorizing-transportation-of-liquefied-natural-gas

The prior approval allowing LCH4/LNG rail shipment:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/07/24/2020-13604/hazardous-materials-liquefied-natural-gas-by-rail

Note that it can be shipped in compressed form only for locomotive and railcar generator and refrigeration unit use though the vast majority use traditional fuels such as diesel and kerosene due to availability.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/24/2022 01:04 pm
Making sure Harry's tweet gets posted here first, before someone else (naming no names) rips it and doesn't cite where he found it.

https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1562424082104139776
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 08/24/2022 01:41 pm
Making sure Harry's tweet gets posted here first, before someone else (naming no names) rips it and doesn't cite where he found it.

https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1562424082104139776
Yet another new tank going up, just north of the LH2 sphere.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/26/2022 11:52 am
https://twitter.com/lolomatico3d/status/1563129158934282240

Quote
#SpaceX ´s Launch Tower at the Cape is nearing completion.

On August 16, the 7th segment rolled to the pad and today, on August 26, the 7th segment is finally being lifted.

Additionally, we saw more progress on the Chopsticks, as well as on segment 8&9.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/26/2022 12:48 pm
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1563129102466695168

Quote
Hoisting operations at launch complex 39A are now well underway as SpaceX attaches the seventh segment of its Starship launch tower. Watch live: youtu.be/EncMXOirMYE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: pilotError on 08/27/2022 12:13 am
Sorry, don't post here much, still trying to figure this out...

August 26, 2022 (https://twitter.com/Michael10711597/status/1563158806976090112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: tgr9898 on 08/27/2022 01:11 am
Sorry, don't post here much, still trying to figure this out...

August 26, 2022 (https://twitter.com/Michael10711597/status/1563158806976090112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw)

At Boca Chica the tower segments were only the structure, no extra bits like pluming, wiring chases, stairs (iirc), etc.

At the Cape they pre-installed a lot of extra bits in order to save time at the pad (it is an active pad, adjacent to another rarely used but technically active pad ;) ).

I presume the pre-installed hardware put it over the crane limit
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: gemmy0I on 08/27/2022 01:22 am
Interesting that the seventh segment turned out to be the heaviest. Isn't the Ship QD arm attached to the fifth segment, i.e. the fifth segment is the highest the cryogenic plumbing has to go? It seems odd that the seventh segment would be heavier when (in theory) there shouldn't be nearly as much need for plumbing and gadgetry at that level.

AFAIK, the seventh level's only major purpose is to provide structural support and access up to the top level (which in turn serves as the load path for the Mechazilla cables to pass through). It should, then, be one of the simplest segments. Clearly it's not, though - why? ???

Come to think of it, maybe the seventh segment is where the future crew access arm needs to go. Maybe they pre-installed a whole bunch of support structure for that and it turned out to be pretty heavy?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 08/27/2022 01:25 am
Interesting that the seventh segment turned out to be the heaviest. Isn't the Ship QD arm attached to the fifth segment, i.e. the fifth segment is the highest the cryogenic plumbing has to go? It seems odd that the seventh segment would be heavier when (in theory) there shouldn't be nearly as much need for plumbing and gadgetry at that level.

AFAIK, the seventh level's only major purpose is to provide structural support and access up to the top level (which in turn serves as the load path for the Mechazilla cables to pass through). It should, then, be one of the simplest segments. Clearly it's not, though - why? ???

Come to think of it, maybe the seventh segment is where the future crew access arm needs to go. Maybe they pre-installed a whole bunch of support structure for that and it turned out to be pretty heavy?
I think they had to add the jib to the crane, and that configuration might have a lower weight limit.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: kdhilliard on 08/27/2022 02:54 am
ScreenCap of the Spaceflight Now livestream from 12 hours ago / ~ 10:50 EDT (as far back as the stream will rewind) showing the seventh segment in place.
Edit: Looks like they detached the spreader ~ 14:20 EDT.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 08/30/2022 10:10 pm
Updated 30cm/pixel imagery of LC-39A taken on 2022-08-28. Enjoy!  :)
https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1564728396986216448
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Nevyn72 on 08/31/2022 12:49 am
Updated 30cm/pixel imagery of LC-39A taken on 2022-08-28. Enjoy!  :)
https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1564728396986216448

From the above linked images, does that new tank close to the tower have three concentric walls?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: WiresMN on 08/31/2022 02:04 am
Updated 30cm/pixel imagery of LC-39A taken on 2022-08-28. Enjoy!  :)
https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1564728396986216448

From the above linked images, does that new tank close to the tower have three concentric walls?

My bet is on a walkway around the top ring like when they stack super heavies
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: harrystranger on 08/31/2022 03:06 am
Updated 30cm/pixel imagery of LC-39A taken on 2022-08-28. Enjoy!  :)
https://twitter.com/Harry__Stranger/status/1564728396986216448

From the above linked images, does that new tank close to the tower have three concentric walls?

My bet is on a walkway around the top ring like when they stack super heavies
That's my thought too. We know there were two different ring sizes being built and we saw the smaller barrels being lowered into the larger one. So two barrels and we're just seeing a walkway on top?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: jackvancouver on 08/31/2022 03:28 am
OLIT 8th segment rolling out: (SFN)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmQkFhTSjTY
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/02/2022 12:47 pm
https://twitter.com/csi_starbase/status/1565681881580015619

Quote
The Buckner LR11350 super crane is waking back up after completing the necessary boom and jib extensions for the remaining OLIT section lifts. 

🎥: @SpaceflightNow
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: WiresMN on 09/02/2022 06:41 pm


From the above linked images, does that new tank close to the tower have three concentric walls?

My bet is on a walkway around the top ring like when they stack super heavies
That's my thought too. We know there were two different ring sizes being built and we saw the smaller barrels being lowered into the larger one. So two barrels and we're just seeing a walkway on top?

well from Zach Golden's Twitter post above, you can clearly see the walkways on the tank next to the OLM. Looks like several rings of walk platforms now. They must be adding them for each ring that gets installed.

Any guess as to the liquid a tank this close to the OLM will contain? I'm thinking LOX for the pre-chillers.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Jim on 09/02/2022 07:08 pm
Driving by Hangar M, you can see the actual launch mount under assembly.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: lykos on 09/02/2022 09:09 pm
Any guess as to the liquid a tank this close to the OLM will contain? I'm thinking LOX for the pre-chillers.

Watertower?  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: WiresMN on 09/03/2022 01:02 am
Any guess as to the liquid a tank this close to the OLM will contain? I'm thinking LOX for the pre-chillers.

Watertower?  ;)

That was my first thought. If it sprouts legs I guess we will have our answer.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OTV Booster on 09/03/2022 03:09 pm
Any guess as to the liquid a tank this close to the OLM will contain? I'm thinking LOX for the pre-chillers.

Watertower?  ;)

That was my first thought. If it sprouts legs I guess we will have our answer.  ;D
Hoppy II?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/04/2022 03:58 am
https://twitter.com/SpaceOffshore/status/1566180353118990336

Quote
A tug and barge, originating from Port Canaveral, arrived at the Port of Brownsville today to load '4 empty tanks' per manifest.

The company that owns this tug has previously delivered tanks to LC-39A, KSC, for Starship ops so this movement is highly suspicious to say the least.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/09/2022 11:06 am
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1568189847679995906

Quote
Good morning from the Kennedy Space Center where SpaceX is getting ready to lift the 8th section of its Florida Starship launch pad tower. Watch live: youtu.be/EncMXOirMYE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/10/2022 10:53 am
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1568551920389742595

Quote
Section 8A of the Florida Starship launch pad tower now clearly visible atop the structure in the first rays of sunlight. Watch live: youtu.be/EncMXOirMYE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: CrazyHorse80 on 09/10/2022 11:05 am
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1568551920389742595

Quote
Section 8A of the Florida Starship launch pad tower now clearly visible atop the structure in the first rays of sunlight. Watch live: youtu.be/EncMXOirMYE

What's up with the other crane you can see raising near the one that put the 8A atop the OLIT? Immenent Launch Table lift atop the launch mount legs? I hope so...
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/10/2022 11:20 am
https://twitter.com/lolomatico3d/status/1568556636347813892

Quote
After the rollout of segment 8a on August 31st, it was finally lifted tonight.

With segment 8a the tower reaches an approx. height of 135,7m/443ft. Segment 8b looks complete and is waiting for rollout.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: robot_enthusiast on 09/10/2022 02:51 pm
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1568551920389742595

Quote
Section 8A of the Florida Starship launch pad tower now clearly visible atop the structure in the first rays of sunlight. Watch live: youtu.be/EncMXOirMYE

What's up with the other crane you can see raising near the one that put the 8A atop the OLIT? Immenent Launch Table lift atop the launch mount legs? I hope so...
That's the crane being used to build the enormous cryo tank next to the launch tower.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/11/2022 04:12 pm
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1568994946538999809

Quote
The topmost segment for SpaceX's Starship launch pad tower in Florida is on the move today at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. It's heading toward pad 39A for stacking.

Watch live views: youtube.com/watch?v=EncMXO…

Edit to add:

https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1569006347097604098

Quote
SpaceX's ninth and final tower segment is heading to Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. A crane at pad 39A will stack the section complete the build-up of the tower structure.

NASA's Artemis 1 moon rocket is in the background on pad 39B.

youtube.com/watch?v=EncMXO…
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/12/2022 07:58 pm
https://youtu.be/WUbcXM1V564
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/13/2022 06:03 am
https://youtu.be/BGi6AkIlWWE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/14/2022 04:27 pm
twitter.com/aaronwxjones/status/1570074734800273414

Quote
Taking a tour at KSC... They are moving FAST with getting ready for Starship. Also, delivery where we had to drive through the grass. 😁  @CSI_Starbase anything interesting yet?  #SpaceX #Starship

twitter.com/csi_starbase/status/1570080935944622081

Quote
Lol where do I start? That’s the booster QD hood being delivered to Pad39A!!!!

https://twitter.com/csi_starbase/status/1570081592638414848

Quote
Wow looks like brackets for the OLM skirt are being welded on as well. There will probably not be any extension pieces added on by the looks of it @AaronWxJones
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/16/2022 10:56 am
https://twitter.com/spaceflightnow/status/1570727926500401153

Quote
SpaceX is lifting into position the final segment of its Florida Starship launch pad tower: youtu.be/EncMXOirMYE
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/16/2022 02:15 pm
https://twitter.com/cbs_spacenews/status/1570771237131145216

Quote
The final segment of the Super Heavy/Starship service gantry was lifted into place today at Kennedy Space Center launch complex 39A; a wide-angle shot shows the new gantry (right) in comparison to the SLS mobile launcher at pad 39B (left)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/16/2022 02:42 pm
There’s this claim by CSI_Starbase that a third orbital tower (second one in Florida) is already being built, but I can’t really find corroboration yet.

Can anyone figure this out?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 09/16/2022 03:06 pm
There’s this claim by CSI_Starbase that a third orbital tower (second one in Florida) is already being built, but I can’t really find corroboration yet.

Can anyone figure this out?
There are sundry pieces remaining at Roberts Road (mostly cross-members), but no assembly in progress and no deliveries of more pieces (like the columns). Could just as well be unused spares delivered for the single tower built. Doesn't help that those grey-painted steel box- and I-beams are piled up near the grey-painted steel box- and I-beams for construction of the Florida Starfactory and the grey-painted steel box- and I-beams for construction of the Florida high bay.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: WiresMN on 09/16/2022 04:22 pm
There’s this claim by CSI_Starbase that a third orbital tower (second one in Florida) is already being built, but I can’t really find corroboration yet.

Can anyone figure this out?
There are sundry pieces remaining at Roberts Road (mostly cross-members), but no assembly in progress and no deliveries of more pieces (like the columns). Could just as well be unused spares delivered for the single tower built. Doesn't help that those grey-painted steel box- and I-beams are piled up near the grey-painted steel box- and I-beams for construction of the Florida Starfactory and the grey-painted steel box- and I-beams for construction of the Florida high bay.

The only part that is truly recognizable as tower parts are the four fist short segments that go between the concrete pedestal and full segment sections. It was when those showed up that CSI_Starbase started making claims of another tower construction. I'm not holding my breath for another tower anytime soon. Some have argued that it could be a replacement for the current one if it gets fragged. I think that is unlikely. If SPX was that confident of a tower failure I doubt NASA would allow them to launch or catch there.  I guess you could make the case for a catch tower at the SPX landing site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 09/16/2022 05:08 pm
Having a catch tower at the landing site would have some advantages, such as less risk to the launch site.  It would also help to explain the short arms for the LC-39A tower.  One question though, is there a good route from the landing zone back to LC-39A to carry Superheavy vertical?
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/16/2022 06:45 pm
https://twitter.com/lolomatico3d/status/1570836871512727557

Quote
It happened !!

The last tower segment was lifted today, this completes the core structure of the launch tower.

The only things missing are the chopsticks, SQD and internal plumbing. The legs of the OLM were prepared for the OLT.

First parts of the BQD were also spotted.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/16/2022 07:02 pm
Having a catch tower at the landing site would have some advantages, such as less risk to the launch site.  It would also help to explain the short arms for the LC-39A tower.  One question though, is there a good route from the landing zone back to LC-39A to carry Superheavy vertical?
Dunno, but planning for a landing tower could also allow them to turn it into also a launch tower if they think they might get approval for that down the road. (Or, before they’re actually stacked, divert the tower pieces to another launch site that gets approved in the future.)

BUT I kinda think CSI_Starbase’s claim is now effectively debunked unless more evidence shows up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: EL_DIABLO on 09/16/2022 08:46 pm
LC-48 would be a good place for it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: edzieba on 09/16/2022 11:06 pm
There also appear to be no sites at the cape prepped for receiving a tower. The earthworks and following concrete works needed before you can even roll out the first segment are not exactly subtle.
On top of that, it would be extraordinarily unlikely that anywhere you'd want to land a booster (and possibly smack a 70m tall thin can of residual propellants into) would not be subject to licensing under Part 450, which means NEPA would need to be adhere to, which means a public comment period, which has not occurred. That would be the first sign of a catch tower site being prepared, even ahead of any earthworks.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/16/2022 11:21 pm
There also appear to be no sites at the cape prepped for receiving a tower. The earthworks and following concrete works needed before you can even roll out the first segment are not exactly subtle.
On top of that, it would be extraordinarily unlikely that anywhere you'd want to land a booster (and possibly smack a 70m tall thin can of residual propellants into) would not be subject to licensing under Part 450, which means NEPA would need to be adhere to, which means a public comment period, which has not occurred. That would be the first sign of a catch tower site being prepared, even ahead of any earthworks.
There is a landing site already.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Nevyn72 on 09/16/2022 11:46 pm
I was thinking about the shorter chopsticks with this tower and a couple of concepts came to me...

Would the shorter, and hence less massive, arms result in a more dynamic mechanism?
ie. less inertia so faster response compensates for the 'smaller target'.

Has anyone measured the distance of the launch mount from the tower base yet?
Is it closer than at Boca Chica so shorter arms can be used?

Whatever else, it means deliveries of new flight hardware will need to be positioned much closer to the tower in order to be picked up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: robot_enthusiast on 09/17/2022 06:39 pm
I was thinking about the shorter chopsticks with this tower and a couple of concepts came to me...

Would the shorter, and hence less massive, arms result in a more dynamic mechanism?
ie. less inertia so faster response compensates for the 'smaller target'.

Has anyone measured the distance of the launch mount from the tower base yet?
Is it closer than at Boca Chica so shorter arms can be used?

Whatever else, it means deliveries of new flight hardware will need to be positioned much closer to the tower in order to be picked up.
Based on what I've seen the mount is the same distance from the tower. In Boca the center of the catch rail is aligned with the center of the launch mount, whereas in Florida the end of the rail will be aligned with the mount. During stacking ops the vehicles will be held at the end of the arms rather than at the midpoint like in Texas. Delivered hardware should be picked up at the same distance from the tower, but the targeted catch point will need to be several meters closer to the tower.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 09/17/2022 07:16 pm
There also appear to be no sites at the cape prepped for receiving a tower. The earthworks and following concrete works needed before you can even roll out the first segment are not exactly subtle.
On top of that, it would be extraordinarily unlikely that anywhere you'd want to land a booster (and possibly smack a 70m tall thin can of residual propellants into) would not be subject to licensing under Part 450, which means NEPA would need to be adhere to, which means a public comment period, which has not occurred. That would be the first sign of a catch tower site being prepared, even ahead of any earthworks.
There is a landing site already.
A separate catch tower would simplify scheduling once the launch cadence increases. for most missions, one launch will result in one SH catch and one SS catch. The launch time is scheduled based on the correct launch orbit and the SH catch will happen about 8 minutes later.  The SS catch can happen days. weeks, or months later, but on average the number of SS catches is about the same as launches, and the catch time is dictated by orbital mechanics. You really don't want to schedule your tower around both today's catch orbit and today's launch orbit if you can avoid it. The problem gets much harder as the number of launches per day increases.

A catch tower site is cheaper than a launch tower site. No OLM, not much GSE, and a shorter tower.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 09/17/2022 11:33 pm
There also appear to be no sites at the cape prepped for receiving a tower. The earthworks and following concrete works needed before you can even roll out the first segment are not exactly subtle.
On top of that, it would be extraordinarily unlikely that anywhere you'd want to land a booster (and possibly smack a 70m tall thin can of residual propellants into) would not be subject to licensing under Part 450, which means NEPA would need to be adhere to, which means a public comment period, which has not occurred. That would be the first sign of a catch tower site being prepared, even ahead of any earthworks.
There is a landing site already.
A separate catch tower would simplify scheduling once the launch cadence increases. for most missions, one launch will result in one SH catch and one SS catch. The launch time is scheduled based on the correct launch orbit and the SH catch will happen about 8 minutes later.  The SS catch can happen days. weeks, or months later, but on average the number of SS catches is about the same as launches, and the catch time is dictated by orbital mechanics. You really don't want to schedule your tower around both today's catch orbit and today's launch orbit if you can avoid it. The problem gets much harder as the number of launches per day increases.

A catch tower site is cheaper than a launch tower site. No OLM, not much GSE, and a shorter tower.
Would still need a significant amount of water for fire suppression.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MDMoery on 09/17/2022 11:36 pm
I also think they would at least enough GSE to remotely detank.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 09/18/2022 12:00 am
I also think they would at least enough GSE to remotely detank.
Since the SH catch is time-locked to the launch, there is no scheduling reason to use a separate catcher for SH: just catch the SH back at the launch tower. The separate catcher tower is sized for SS only.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: MDMoery on 09/18/2022 12:06 am
Yes, but they need to safe and detank Ship remotely too. Thus some GSE required.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: butters on 09/18/2022 02:20 am
Why mess around with partial redundancy instead of building additional full-up Stage Zeroes? As long as it is fully serviceable, any Stage Zero that does not have a Ship (on the Booster or in the catch position) is available for a Ship returning to land. If they need a landing site unexpectedly, the most they'd ever need to do is destack a Ship and roll it away on a SPMT. It would be prudent to have a rule that there must be a Stage Zero available to catch for each Crew Ship in orbit. In earth orbit at least. Elon might say that an extra Stage Zero cures many ills.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 09/18/2022 03:05 am
Why mess around with partial redundancy instead of building additional full-up Stage Zeroes? As long as it is fully serviceable, any Stage Zero that does not have a Ship (on the Booster or in the catch position) is available for a Ship returning to land. If they need a landing site unexpectedly, the most they'd ever need to do is destack a Ship and roll it away on a SPMT. It would be prudent to have a rule that there must be a Stage Zero available to catch for each Crew Ship in orbit. In earth orbit at least. Elon might say that an extra Stage Zero cures many ills.
It's just a matter of how simpler a catch-only facility is.

It'll have basically no launch mount and no tank farm and associated plumbing - just a mini setup to detank and flare.

It'll require no launch permitting, and any environmental impact work will be minimal as well.

There's some appeal in that.

With foresight, it can be built so that in the future it can be upgraded to a full launch site.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Hamish.Student on 09/18/2022 04:08 am
The separate catcher tower is sized for SS only.
 
 
I will print and eat this entire thread, with proof, if Starship lands on the chopsticks. No point building it into SS when SS will have to land on its own on Mars, Moon, etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: Robotbeat on 09/18/2022 04:15 am
The separate catcher tower is sized for SS only.
 
 
I will print and eat this entire thread, with proof, if Starship lands on the chopsticks. No point building it into SS when SS will have to land on its own on Mars, Moon, etc.
Lots of point for rapid Starlink or tanker launches.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: meekGee on 09/18/2022 04:51 am
The separate catcher tower is sized for SS only.
 
 
I will print and eat this entire thread, with proof, if Starship lands on the chopsticks. No point building it into SS when SS will have to land on its own on Mars, Moon, etc.
Lots of point for rapid Starlink or tanker launches.
...and orbital manned flights, and p2p.

For every SS that lands on moon or Mars there will be tens of flights that land on Earth.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: matthewkantar on 09/18/2022 01:22 pm
The separate catcher tower is sized for SS only.
 
 
I will print and eat this entire thread, with proof, if Starship lands on the chopsticks. No point building it into SS when SS will have to land on its own on Mars, Moon, etc.

If the ship can be caught, the weight of 8 (or more) sets of legs plus the propellant to lug them will end up as propellant on an outbound ship. Seems worthwhile.

I recommend rice paper.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OTV Booster on 09/18/2022 03:20 pm
I also think they would at least enough GSE to remotely detank.
Since the SH catch is time-locked to the launch, there is no scheduling reason to use a separate catcher for SH: just catch the SH back at the launch tower. The separate catcher tower is sized for SS only.
If and when they get booster turnaround to be less than the launch interval, a booster and OLM would be a semi-permanent match. When the booster needs additional TLC a new booster would be rotated in.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OTV Booster on 09/18/2022 03:22 pm
Why mess around with partial redundancy instead of building additional full-up Stage Zeroes? As long as it is fully serviceable, any Stage Zero that does not have a Ship (on the Booster or in the catch position) is available for a Ship returning to land. If they need a landing site unexpectedly, the most they'd ever need to do is destack a Ship and roll it away on a SPMT. It would be prudent to have a rule that there must be a Stage Zero available to catch for each Crew Ship in orbit. In earth orbit at least. Elon might say that an extra Stage Zero cures many ills.
Expense. Down the road maybe.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OTV Booster on 09/18/2022 03:31 pm
The separate catcher tower is sized for SS only.
 
 
I will print and eat this entire thread, with proof, if Starship lands on the chopsticks. No point building it into SS when SS will have to land on its own on Mars, Moon, etc.
Between what I think I know about the engineering and what I think I know about the way SX operates, there will be as many variants of SS as SX sees need for.


One kg of SS structure = one kg less of payload or propellant. Legs are heavy and don't scale well with increasing mass. Compare mouse and elephant legs for a clear example.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: waveney on 09/18/2022 03:55 pm
The first Starships to land on Mars will need legs.

Later when the colony has the capability to make its own catching tower, legs will be phased out.   Less legs means more useful mass to Mars.

(This is arguably off topic for this thread / section)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: lykos on 09/18/2022 05:19 pm
Imagine a Starship with 100 people on board catched in open air with Chopsticks!
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: AC in NC on 09/18/2022 05:29 pm
I will print and eat this entire thread, with proof, if Starship lands on the chopsticks. No point building it into SS when SS will have to land on its own on Mars, Moon, etc.
Pro Tip: FOR each thread page ( View Page Source -> Copy-Paste to Raw Text File ) -> Edit Margins -> Set Font Size 1 -> Screen Cap Pages to a single JPG -> Print JPG as Fit to Page -> Soak in Water -> Enjoy
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/18/2022 05:51 pm
https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1571532972297256963

Quote
Two tanks from Brownsville are now traversing the Indian River Lagoon. Presuming these are another load for the Starship ground systems, I expect they will dock near port to await a turn basin appointment at KSC.

📷 me for @NASASpaceflight

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/1571546368904241153

Quote
Did I say two tanks? Make that four Liquid Nitrogen tanks inbound on the barge canal! SpaceX is keeping someone very busy finding gently used assets for the Starship facilities at 39A.
📷 me for @NASASpaceflight
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: spacenuance on 09/19/2022 01:01 am
Tanks were delivered and unloaded at the Turning Basin, right across from the VAB.  Screenshots from the Spaceflight Now LC-39A 24/7 livestream from earlier today. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: spacenuance on 09/20/2022 01:27 am
Moved at least 2 of the 4 tanks delivered to the Cape yesterday over to 39A, though I assume all of them have made their way over to the launch pad by now.  Hopefully we can get some flyover or satellite imagery soon to confirm.  https://twitter.com/ReventonHawx/status/1571938464349978624 (https://twitter.com/ReventonHawx/status/1571938464349978624)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 09/20/2022 03:03 am
https://twitter.com/CSI_Starbase/status/1571900828247629825

Quote
Hey #StarshipAddicts, check out the massive  #WaterDeluge ring for the Pad39a OLM. If you zoom in you can see that this thing is going to be moving SERIOUS volumes of water. There are 192 nozzles that will create a waterfall between the OLM legs.

📸: @WL_Animal - CSI Field Agent
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: spacenuance on 09/20/2022 09:15 pm
SpaceX is certainly moving fast with LC-39A Starship complex.  https://twitter.com/JustinC78961574/status/1572318967515185154 (https://twitter.com/JustinC78961574/status/1572318967515185154)
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/21/2022 12:54 pm
Elon timeline:

twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1572565037633667074

Quote
Not to get ahead of ourselves, but do you have an estimate for the first booster at 39A?

Pending Roberts Road, or can you ship vehicles from Starbase (which some people say isn't possible).

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1572568337263243264

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Probably Q2 next year, with vehicles initially transferred by boat from Port of Brownsville to the Cape
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: OTV Booster on 09/21/2022 04:04 pm
Elon timeline:

twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1572565037633667074

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Not to get ahead of ourselves, but do you have an estimate for the first booster at 39A?

Pending Roberts Road, or can you ship vehicles from Starbase (which some people say isn't possible).

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1572568337263243264 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1572568337263243264)

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Probably Q2 next year, with vehicles initially transferred by boat from Port of Brownsville to the Cape
Okayyyy. How does it get to Brownsville? Vertical on an SPMT or horizontal like they were thinking in Florida a while back? Either way would be a monumental PITA. A quick google does not show any LST type ships that are big enough. Pull up to the beach, an SPMT rolls on with the ship, and awayyy er go.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: DanClemmensen on 09/21/2022 04:11 pm

Okayyyy. How does it get to Brownsville? Vertical on an SPMT or horizontal like they were thinking in Florida a while back? Either way would be a monumental PITA. A quick google does not show any LST type ships that are big enough. Pull up to the beach, an SPMT rolls on with the ship, and awayyy er go.
There is an extensive thread on this topic at:
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=55672.0
Partial consensus: It's a solvable problem, and vertical transport using SPMTs on a road from BC to the dock in Brownsville and vertical transport on a barge to Port Canaveral is the most likely solution.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: su27k on 09/27/2022 03:15 am
https://twitter.com/Alexphysics13/status/1574517138651504643

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I couldn't hear the specifics of what Gerst said but last I heard SpaceX wanted to fly at least three orbital flights of Starship from Starbase before trying an orbital flight from LC-39A. That should be good enough data for it to be safe to launch from there.
Title: Re: SpaceX Cape 39A Starship launch/landing facilities
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 09/27/2022 03:55 pm
https://twitter.com/Alexphysics13/status/1574517138651504643

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I couldn't hear the specifics of what Gerst said but last I heard SpaceX wanted to fly at least three orbital flights of Starship from Starbase before trying an orbital flight from LC-39A. That should be good enough data for it to be safe to launch from there.
I wonder how many catches they will want to see at Starbase before they are willing to risk a catch at LC-39A?  Or, maybe some of the speculation is right and there will be a dedicated catch tower at another location (such as at LZ-1/2).