Author Topic: SpaceX use of the SPIF (Spacecraft Processing and Integration Facility)  (Read 77051 times)

Offline Jim

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I will try to tally the launches that passed through the facility.

STS 51-C, 51-J, 27, 28, 33, 36, 38, 44, 53
Syncom IV-X
Centaur G' for Galileo

Atlas II AC-101 DSCS III B-14,  AC-104 DSCS III B-9, AC- 109, 157, 162, 167
Atlas V AV-009, 015, 023
Delta IV D-239, 337, 351, 353, 360
Titan IV K-10, 21,  B-32, 41, 35, 38 and maybe 5-10 more.   Don't know about the later DSP's
Spacex CRS-2, SES-8, Asiasat

Offline chapi

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SES-8, Asiasat

I went through the thread (sorry if I was too fast and missed something) and didn't catch if the propellant filling of those commercial spacecraft were performed within the SPIF, or if operations were limited to handling/integration atop the launcher.

Also, everything looks operated by SpaceX staff, right ? no Astrotech team is involved ?

Thanks for informations.

Offline Jim

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I went through the thread (sorry if I was too fast and missed something) and didn't catch if the propellant filling of those commercial spacecraft were performed within the SPIF, or if operations were limited to handling/integration atop the launcher.


Prop loading would be in the SPIF. 
Astrotech would only support within their own facilities.
Either way, typically the spacecraft contractor loads the propellant into its own spacecraft.

Offline dsobin

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What is the business model for payload processing? Does the s/c owner or contractor pay SpaceX for use of the
SPIF to process their spacecraft. Is that effort part of the integration and encapsulation effort and considered included in basic launch cost (as SpaceX defines it)?

Is there reason to believe that SpaceX is billing for this any differently than any other launch provider? I'm curious because SpaceX publishes their basic launch cost, so I wonder if they then separately bill for any of the s/c processing.

My current curiosity is about how this is done for commercial payloads. Previous posts in other threads indicate that the military does things differently.

Offline Jim

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What is the business model for payload processing? Does the s/c owner or contractor pay SpaceX for use of the
SPIF to process their spacecraft. Is that effort part of the integration and encapsulation effort and considered included in basic launch cost (as SpaceX defines it)?

Is there reason to believe that SpaceX is billing for this any differently than any other launch provider? I'm curious because SpaceX publishes their basic launch cost, so I wonder if they then separately bill for any of the s/c processing.

My current curiosity is about how this is done for commercial payloads. Previous posts in other threads indicate that the military does things differently.

It is an additional charge and not included in the basic launch service price.

Offline Lar

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This is an awesome thread. Some trimming has occurred to return it to its former awesomeness... Why wasn't the issue reported until today... (stamps foot) ???
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Lar

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What is the business model for payload processing? Does the s/c owner or contractor pay SpaceX for use of the
SPIF to process their spacecraft. Is that effort part of the integration and encapsulation effort and considered included in basic launch cost (as SpaceX defines it)?

Is there reason to believe that SpaceX is billing for this any differently than any other launch provider? I'm curious because SpaceX publishes their basic launch cost, so I wonder if they then separately bill for any of the s/c processing.

My current curiosity is about how this is done for commercial payloads. Previous posts in other threads indicate that the military does things differently.

It is an additional charge and not included in the basic launch service price.

Doesn't almost any payload require SOME processing? I kinda feel like the guy at the car dealer who thought he understood the price but then optional (but really... required) extras appeared before he drove out. Thanks for any light you can shed!
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline russianhalo117

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What is the business model for payload processing? Does the s/c owner or contractor pay SpaceX for use of the
SPIF to process their spacecraft. Is that effort part of the integration and encapsulation effort and considered included in basic launch cost (as SpaceX defines it)?

Is there reason to believe that SpaceX is billing for this any differently than any other launch provider? I'm curious because SpaceX publishes their basic launch cost, so I wonder if they then separately bill for any of the s/c processing.

My current curiosity is about how this is done for commercial payloads. Previous posts in other threads indicate that the military does things differently.

It is an additional charge and not included in the basic launch service price.

Doesn't almost any payload require SOME processing? I kinda feel like the guy at the car dealer who thought he understood the price but then optional (but really... required) extras appeared before he drove out. Thanks for any light you can shed!
yes if you include inspection, checkout and mating as processing. Heck even ASI's LARES (Laser Relativity Satellite) sphere went through processing. I could name quite a few but Id most likely exceed my posts character limit and size.
Pictures here:
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Launchers/Launch_vehicles/Vega3/LARES_Laser_Relativity_Satellite
« Last Edit: 08/15/2014 12:41 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline Jim

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Doesn't almost any payload require SOME processing? I kinda feel like the guy at the car dealer who thought he understood the price but then optional (but really... required) extras appeared before he drove out. Thanks for any light you can shed!

It is up to the spacecraft to provide a processing facility and they know it.  They may use a 3rd party such as Astrotech or KSC or they can go through the launch vehicle to supply it.  The launch vehicle may have their own like Spacex or it can provide it via a subcontract to Astrotech.

If a payload requires no prop loading and no checkout, it still needs a place to be encapsulated.  The launch vehicle may pay for this.

Offline Jim

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Let's add these pics

Offline billh

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This is probably a pretty ignorant question, and it's also off topic, but I've been wondering why it looks like the satellite is covered with little strips of tape? What is that and what is it for?

Thanks.

Offline russianhalo117

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Let's add these pics
if you closely on the first one  the shuttle payload locks for processing are still there.

on the second on the left it looks like removed processing platforms and wall so did one cell get disassembled?

Jim since you would probably know, what was the last shuttle payload processed in each of the cells.
« Last Edit: 08/16/2014 12:21 am by russianhalo117 »

Offline Jim

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This is probably a pretty ignorant question, and it's also off topic, but I've been wondering why it looks like the satellite is covered with little strips of tape? What is that and what is it for?

Thanks.

Tape to keep the MLI in place.

Offline Jim

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if you closely on the first one  the shuttle payload locks for processing are still there.

on the second on the left it looks like removed processing platforms and wall so did one cell get disassembled?

Jim since you would probably know, what was the last shuttle payload processed in each of the cells.

That is the holding cell on the left, which never was outfitted, the view is facing south.  The two integration cells are on the right with the second one behind the photographer.

STS-53 was the last shuttle spacecraft, but there was a piece of GSE called the Payload Support Structure that some what simulated a IUS.  I believe they would put the DSP spacecraft on it and do the testing and prop loading on it.  I think it was done for the 2nd DIV Heavy and maybe some of the later Titan IV's

Offline Darga

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I will try to tally the launches that passed through the facility.

STS 51-C, 51-J, 27, 28, 33, 36, 38, 44, 53
Syncom IV-X
Centaur G' for Galileo

Atlas II AC-101 DSCS III B-14,  AC-104 DSCS III B-9, AC- 109, 157, 162, 167
Atlas V AV-009, 015, 023
Delta IV D-239, 337, 351, 353, 360
Titan IV K-10, 21,  B-32, 41, 35, 38 and maybe 5-10 more.   Don't know about the later DSP's
Spacex CRS-2, SES-8, Asiasat

Is it CRS-2 that went through here or CRS-3? Info and photos I have found are suggesting that CRS-2 was integrated in the SpaceX main hangar.

Offline Jim

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Found it

Offline Jansen

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Just stumbled across this old thread while researching.

Here is an updated map provided by SpaceX.

Offline Jester

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Sorry to bring an old thread back, but the SPIF ICD is currently on e-bay and I'm grabbing some pics...

ICD-SPIF-20047
https://www.ebay.com/itm/256139426282
« Last Edit: 10/10/2023 03:44 pm by Jester »

Offline Jim

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Sorry to bring an old thread back, but the SPIF ICD is currently on e-bay and I'm grabbing some pics...

ICD-SPIF-20047


That is the ICD for DSP/IUS.
The signature page has the following:
BAC - Boeing Aerospace Company - IUS contractor
SD/YU - IUS program office
SD/YG - DSP program office
SD/YOC - AF Shuttle cargo integration office
PSC A - TRW
PSC B - Aerojet

Offline Jim

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I went through the thread (sorry if I was too fast and missed something) and didn't catch if the propellant filling of those commercial spacecraft were performed within the SPIF, or if operations were limited to handling/integration atop the launcher.


Prop loading would be in the SPIF. 
Astrotech would only support within their own facilities.
Either way, typically the spacecraft contractor loads the propellant into its own spacecraft.

Astrotech has loaded propellant in the SpaceX PPF

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