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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Mega Thread Archive Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 08/17/2014 11:59 AM

Title: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/17/2014 11:59 AM
Thread 3 for McGregor testing. Please keep specific to the thread title. Make sure your post is useful and adds to the thread. The last one was viewed in the six figure range again, so remember when you post, your post will be seen by a heck of a lot of people, so don't disappoint them!

Thread 1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28332.0

Thread 2:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32202.0

--

Related News Articles - for Merlin 1D (articles include links to Grasshopper etc...but we'll keep this thread on the firings):

SpaceX joy at Merlin 1D test:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/06/spacex-merlin-1d-orbital-fire-aj-26-engine/

Falcon 9 boost as Merlin 1D engine achieves major milestone:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/03/falcon-9-boost-merlin-1d-engine-achieves-milestone/

(Sister Articles:)

Testing times for SpaceX’s new Falcon 9 v.1.1:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/06/testing-times-spacexs-new-falcon-9-v-1-1/

And:

Reducing risk via ground testing is a recipe for SpaceX success:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/06/reducing-risk-ground-testing-recipe-spacex-success/

More followed that included McGregor references:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/?s=McGregor

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Main L2 Thread for McGregor videos and photos:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34957.0
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: CraigLieb on 08/19/2014 10:11 PM
Has anyone noticed or noted that there is a Wiki maps view of the Falcon Heavy test stand under construction at:
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=31.398056&lon=-97.461787&z=18&m=b



Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: 411rocket on 08/19/2014 10:44 PM
Has anyone noticed or noted that there is a Wiki maps view of the Falcon Heavy test stand under construction at:
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=31.398056&lon=-97.461787&z=18&m=b

That photo is older, as it shows grasshopper on the test pad & not F9R Dev1. I had scrolled, to check out that pad, for a timeframe.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 09/06/2014 04:38 AM
My wife and I passed through McGregor today en route from central Texas to Arkansas, and she didn't kill me too badly when I peeled off our designated route and went looking for an impromptu back lot tour.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos.  No great cameraman I, and the camera is cheap, too.  The first photo is a first stage on the upright test stand.  If you look at the base of of the stage, you can see the black paint that I'm assuming marks where the legs would be attached.  So this will be for a mission that attempts a landing, right?  I don't know how far in advance these stages are tested, so I can't guess which mission this one is intended for.

The second picture is Grasshopper relatively close and the stage in the background.  Too bad the F9-R Dev isn't around any more -- it would have been nice to see.

The last one was a real stroke of luck, both good and bad.  We were just starting to leave when an engine test fired up!  It was only about a 30 second firing, so by the time I got the camera back out it had ended, leaving only a dissipating puff of smoke and vapors from the water flood.  Acceptance test for a new engine, perhaps?  Very cool to see!  I just wish I could have gotten a picture!
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MTom on 09/06/2014 06:54 AM
What's this big structure on the third photo?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 09/06/2014 01:03 PM
It's the engine test stand - see below.

And how lucky is that!! I hung around for hours getting sunburned hoping to catch an engine test. I was so hopeful when I saw the O2 clouds, but it turned out they were just testing a valve. Perhaps the 3D-printed one? Who knows.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MTom on 09/06/2014 06:14 PM

The first photo is a first stage on the upright test stand.  If you look at the base of of the stage, you can see the black paint that I'm assuming marks where the legs would be attached.  So this will be for a mission that attempts a landing, right?  I don't know how far in advance these stages are tested, so I can't guess which mission this one is intended for.


Am I remeber correctly that the first stage of CRS-4 already had been moved to Cape?
If this is the case it should be the stage assigned to the (until now unknown) launch after CRS4.

(If an answer would turn into a discussion about which is the next launch after CRS4, we should continue it in the launch manifest thread...)


Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: somepitch on 09/10/2014 04:35 AM
The only core that has had black paint around the legs has been F9RDev1 right?

Any chance this is the replacement, or maybe the core for the barge landing and that the black is ablative coating?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/04/2014 12:32 AM
SpaceX tweeted about McGregor, with a picture: https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/518194518676348928

Quote
SpaceX ‏@SpaceX
Our TX site averages around 2 tests per day, but the 9-engine hotfires are a clear favorite!
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AJW on 10/17/2014 04:37 AM
McGregor: SpaceX Plans Louder-Than-Usual Test - Friday

http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/McGregor--SpaceX-Plans-Louder-Than-Usual-Test-279488272.html?device=tablet&c=y
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/17/2014 04:39 AM
Is that CRS-5?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Geron on 10/17/2014 04:46 AM
This is the first raptor test!?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/17/2014 04:50 AM
This is the first raptor test!?
No, surely not. They haven't tested the parts, yet. "Louder than usual" means a 9-engine F9 first stage test so far.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rpapo on 10/17/2014 10:09 AM
This is the first raptor test!?
No, surely not. They haven't tested the parts, yet. "Louder than usual" means a 9-engine F9 first stage test so far.
And besides, the current plans have the Raptor being tested at Stennis, in a larger test stand with more distance away from normal human ears.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 10/17/2014 10:22 AM
And besides, the current plans have the Raptor being tested at Stennis, in a larger test stand with more distance away from normal human ears.

Stennis is for component testing. To my knowledge nothing has been said about full Raptor engine tests.

The new McGregor FH-Teststand seems well suited for full Raptor testing. Especially when they do plenty of acceptance testing.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 10/17/2014 11:54 AM
ISTM engine testing always runs the risk of a massive RUD, like what happened to AJR last spring with the AJ-26 but far worse with Raptor. Are we certain they want to risk damaging either the tripod or FH stand testing that beast? Seems that could mess with their launch flow.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JBF on 10/17/2014 11:57 AM
ISTM engine testing always runs the risk of a massive RUD, like what happened to AJR last spring with the AJ-26 but far worse with Raptor. Are we certain they want to risk.damaging either the tripod or FH stand testing that beast?
It's the only thing they have that's big enough. Nothing large enough at Stennis will be available near term and they haven't started on a new test stand anywhere else.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 10/17/2014 12:05 PM
Is the F-1 stand at Edwards still around? I know the one at  Marshall was demolished.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rpapo on 10/17/2014 12:11 PM
Stennis is for component testing. To my knowledge nothing has been said about full Raptor engine tests.

The new McGregor FH-Teststand seems well suited for full Raptor testing. Especially when they do plenty of acceptance testing.
That may well be true, but I remember in the announcement them saying they would have to strengthen the test stand and modify it for methane.  The strengthening part implied (to me) that they would eventually do full up testing there too.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JBF on 10/17/2014 12:29 PM
Is the F-1 stand at Edwards still around? I know the one at  Marshall was demolished.

Good point I forgot about those. http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25057.0 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25057.0)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 10/17/2014 04:38 PM
I understand that they do single-engine acceptance tests all the time and that full-up F9 tests are still "louder than usual"... but F9 tests are no longer that unusual and as the flight rate increases they will become even more commonplace.

Will be interesting to see how loud FH tests are.  On the one hand, we're talking about three F9 cores at once.  On the other hand, it's partially underground so that should presumably absorb a lot of the sound energy.

I really want to see FH get acceptance tested this year.  Make it happen SpaceX!
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: neoforce on 10/17/2014 05:35 PM
Will be interesting to see how loud FH tests are.  On the one hand, we're talking about three F9 cores at once.  On the other hand, it's partially underground so that should presumably absorb a lot of the sound energy.

I've followed the various threads about FH testing, and looked at all of the excellent McGregor pictures.  But I still can't visualize how the new FH test stand will look once there is hardware there for testing.  I understood the test stand is partially underground as abaddon said...  So, what will it look like from the outside?  If someone drives by on public roads when the test is getting set up, will they see the top part of the three cores?   How much would they see?

I'm really looking forward to the first pictures of FH ready to test on the new test stand.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 10/17/2014 06:31 PM
It seems the FH teststand will be much like a launch pad. A flametrench with water for cooling and noise suppression. So the rocket will be visible. If I am right a full time firing for qualification will need a LOT of water.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/17/2014 07:26 PM
It seems the FH teststand will be much like a launch pad. A flametrench with water for cooling and noise suppression. So the rocket will be visible. If I am right a full time firing for qualification will need a LOT of water.

Exactly. The rocket will be all above ground, just like a launch pad. (oooh, cue conspiracy theories...)  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Dudely on 10/17/2014 07:38 PM
I think by underground you just mean it's banked on the sides a bit. They're not going to stick it in a well or anything like that- the bouncing sound of the engines would shake them from their mounts and buckle the tanks.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 10/17/2014 07:40 PM
Correct, "underground" means what everyone above says, meaning the flame trench goes below ground level.  In contrast to "above ground" like the F9 test stand, where it is suspended fairly high and there is a blast shield under the rocket to direct it away from the test stand.

I guess "ground level" would be more accurate.

I also wonder if the FH stand will replace the F9 stand, or perhaps relegate it to "backup" status.  The F9 stand was inherited from Beal, right?  Seems like the above-ground nature of the test stand makes it a bit of a noise nuisance.  I would have to think the FH stand, for an F9, would be quieter than the current stand.

That last bit is total speculation by me, I haven't read anything to that effect.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/17/2014 08:21 PM
I also wonder if the FH stand will replace the F9 stand, or perhaps relegate it to "backup" status.  The F9 stand was inherited from Beal, right?  Seems like the above-ground nature of the test stand makes it a bit of a noise nuisance.  I would have to think the FH stand, for an F9, would be quieter than the current stand.

That last bit is total speculation by me, I haven't read anything to that effect.

It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 10/17/2014 08:29 PM
It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I have thought of a kind of strong-back or TE too. But I am not sure that a crane will not be cheaper to operate. Maybe a Heavy will need one though. That would make the operation even more launch pad like. They would need the full hydraulics to erect it.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Zardar on 10/17/2014 10:09 PM

It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I would hope so too!
SpaceX did build a new hanger/shed/hif down beside the administrative buildings, which is plenty wide for a falcon heavy.
They have widened some of the roadways a bit too.
Its about a 2km trip from there up to the new 'underground' test stand.
However, its very crowded around the test stand area.
I dont understand why they had to build it so close to the existing infrastructure - it might be a bit of a tight turn to get the heavy rolled in and lined up.
If they had built it a few hundred meters further south-west, they could have built the Heavy's hanger much closer to the test stand, and had a straight run in.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/17/2014 10:37 PM
Yes, but they have limited space there... And they want to contain most of immediate exhaust on their property.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Zardar on 10/18/2014 12:33 AM
Yes, but they have limited space there... And they want to contain most of immediate exhaust on their property.

Perhaps the test area will me a bit cleaner once they get the builders and the rest of the 'junk' cleared out.
How big a safety zone will they need for the heavy exhaust? It's about 1.4km from the south-facing heavy test stand to the southern boundary of the overall site, which seems a lot, but then, i'm not in the firing line!
Would be nice to see some more recent sat imagery. The google stuff is a more than a year old (doesn't show the newer buildings), and bing is ancient.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: nimbostratus on 10/18/2014 01:17 AM
I understand that they do single-engine acceptance tests all the time and that full-up F9 tests are still "louder than usual"... but F9 tests are no longer that unusual and as the flight rate increases they will become even more commonplace.

Will be interesting to see how loud FH tests are.  On the one hand, we're talking about three F9 cores at once.  On the other hand, it's partially underground so that should presumably absorb a lot of the sound energy.

I really want to see FH get acceptance tested this year.  Make it happen SpaceX!

Yes. FH makes sense for louder noise.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/18/2014 01:42 AM
Except it won't necessarily be louder. F9's milk stool is up high, so sound travels far. FH will be tested partially underground, sound far more muffled and directed away from McGregor.

I don't think they're testing FH yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MP99 on 10/18/2014 08:31 AM


It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I have thought of a kind of strong-back or TE too. But I am not sure that a crane will not be cheaper to operate. Maybe a Heavy will need one though. That would make the operation even more launch pad like. They would need the full hydraulics to erect it.

Is that necessarily true re the hydraulics?

It would seem to be simpler to have a winch from somewhere up on the test stand to pull the TE vertical. ISTM they avoid this on the launch pad because they don't have a fixed structure which could house the winch. (Or the winch could be in a protected place on the ground, with the cable trained through a pulley up on the stand.)

It's not like the launch pad, where the hydraulics are required to retract the TEL shortly before launch.

Think of it as a crane integrated into the stand.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 10/18/2014 09:45 AM
OTOH, using a TEL is what they know and they've built at least three already (original F9 and two FH capable for Vandy and KSC). Maybe four if McGregor has one. Test like you fly.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cambrianera on 10/18/2014 09:48 AM
Standard hydraulic isn't that expensive, neither is steelwork.
Once you have the design is often cheaper to tweak the structure to your needs than redo it.
And I guess a pad-like operation would be faster and safer than using a crane; more infrastructure, but less operating cost.

Only my guess perhaps.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MP99 on 10/18/2014 10:28 AM


OTOH, using a TEL is what they know and they've built at least three already (original F9 and two FH capable for Vandy and KSC). Maybe four if McGregor has one. Test like you fly.

I was assuming a TE (can you call it TEL if no "Launch"? :-) )

ISTM a winch is simpler than hydraulics. The hydraulic rams on the pads are very large.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cambrianera on 10/18/2014 10:43 AM
ISTM a winch is simpler than hydraulics. The hydraulic rams on the pads are very large.
When you need big force acting, hydraulic is often cheaper and sturdier than winches or other mechanical means.
An hydraulic ram is far simpler than any other type of actuator, specially for big forces/short strokes.
That's why you see so often (but not always!) hydraulics on earth moving machinery.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 10/18/2014 11:35 AM
OTOH, using a TEL is what they know and they've built at least three already (original F9 and two FH capable for Vandy and KSC). Maybe four if McGregor has one. Test like you fly.

I was assuming a TE (can you call it TEL if no "Launch"? :-) )
>

ISTM the difference is more a distinction. You still need the T and E, plus many things for L are needed for tests anyhow: umbilicals, data lines, platform + hold-downs, stage clamp etc.  Perhaps relocated, but still.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 10/19/2014 05:10 PM
I rode my motorcycle out to McGregor  yesterday.  There was a booster on the test stand, nothing on the launch pad except a couple of guys wandering around.

I did notice that new white tank of something has been installed near the launch pad.

No sign of the big red crane.

More images here (https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0NWW2tf69ZBbG5HejhHVEs1NnM&usp=sharing).
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 10/19/2014 06:50 PM
I rode my motorcycle out to McGregor  yesterday.  There was a booster on the test stand, nothing on the launch pad except a couple of guys wandering around.

I did notice that new white tank of something has been installed near the launch pad.

No sign of the big red crane.

More images here (https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0NWW2tf69ZBbG5HejhHVEs1NnM&usp=sharing).

I love it, JimNtexas!  Our very own Kremlinologist McGregorSpaceXologist.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: IslandPlaya on 10/19/2014 10:11 PM
I rode my motorcycle out to McGregor  yesterday.  There was a booster on the test stand, nothing on the launch pad except a couple of guys wandering around.

I did notice that new white tank of something has been installed near the launch pad.

No sign of the big red crane.

More images here (https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0NWW2tf69ZBbG5HejhHVEs1NnM&usp=sharing).
You are the coolest!
What sort of motorbike do you have? :)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 10/20/2014 01:44 AM
I'm glad you like the updates.

I have two bikes, a Yamaha FJR and a Ninja 250.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 10/20/2014 03:34 AM
Is that a pile of debris of some sort in front of the water tower?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MP99 on 10/20/2014 07:02 AM
OTOH, using a TEL is what they know and they've built at least three already (original F9 and two FH capable for Vandy and KSC). Maybe four if McGregor has one. Test like you fly.

I was assuming a TE (can you call it TEL if no "Launch"? :-) )
>

ISTM the difference is more a distinction. You still need the T and E, plus many things for L are needed for tests anyhow: umbilicals, data lines, platform + hold-downs, stage clamp etc.  Perhaps relocated, but still.
Thanks - makes good sense. "L" for the services, rather than anything actually lifting off.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/20/2014 07:13 AM
Is that a pile of debris of some sort in front of the water tower?

Yes, looks like pieces of the F9R-Dev1. Do you have any closeups of that pad area, Jim?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 10/20/2014 05:22 PM
Is that a pile of debris of some sort in front of the water tower?

It looks that way, doesn't it. 

There is a literal junkyard between the launch pad and the main facility buildings that has a lot of what appears to be old tankage, sheet metal, and miscellaneous junk. 
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 10/20/2014 06:46 PM
Is that a pile of debris of some sort in front of the water tower?

Yes, looks like pieces of the F9R-Dev1. Do you have any closeups of that pad area, Jim?

flight abort tankage?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MTom on 10/20/2014 07:06 PM
Is that a pile of debris of some sort in front of the water tower?

It looks that way, doesn't it. 

There is a literal junkyard between the launch pad and the main facility buildings that has a lot of what appears to be old tankage, sheet metal, and miscellaneous junk.

There it is, an aerial photo from this summer:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32202.msg1218016#msg1218016
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/20/2014 07:44 PM
Is that a pile of debris of some sort in front of the water tower?

It looks that way, doesn't it. 

There is a literal junkyard between the launch pad and the main facility buildings that has a lot of what appears to be old tankage, sheet metal, and miscellaneous junk.

There it is, an aerial photo from this summer:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32202.msg1218016#msg1218016

That's not the junk I was referring to, and that area is not visible from JimNTexas' photo. I'm referring to the pieces on the Grasshopper pad itself. Just right of the F9R-Dev1 launch mount:
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: getitdoneinspace on 10/22/2014 01:16 PM
According to this article from Parabolicarc
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/10/21/mexico-legislators-spaceport-america-finances/#sthash.JDFpti1H.dpuf
the New Mexico legislators spent Monday in Las Cruces reviewing the finances of Space America and one of the key points from their review included "SpaceX is about five months from being able to conduct flight tests of its reusable Falcon 9 vehicle at the spaceport."

That puts a start to F9R-Dev2 flights in New Mexico around March. Assuming a test flight in McGregor is required before sending the stage to New Mexico perhaps we may see F9R-Dev2 come to McGregor over the winter months.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MTom on 10/22/2014 06:58 PM
That's not the junk I was referring to, and that area is not visible from JimNTexas' photo. I'm referring to the pieces on the Grasshopper pad itself. Just right of the F9R-Dev1 launch mount:

Sorry, I understood your question as you ask about the first photo from Jim.  :-[
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mcoconnor on 12/13/2014 03:24 PM
Looks like SpaceX is planning to massively expand their McGregor operation.  They plan to add 300 new full time jobs (pending an almost-certain approval of incentives from local government), more than doubling the size of their Texas workforce.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html (http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html)

Maybe this means an expansion in the rate of testing due to more heavies in the pipeline?  Or maybe anticipating rehab and checkout for used stages?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Avron on 12/13/2014 03:43 PM
Looks like SpaceX is planning to massively expand their McGregor operation.  They plan to add 300 new full time jobs (pending an almost-certain approval of incentives from local government), more than doubling the size of their Texas workforce.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html (http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html)

Maybe this means an expansion in the rate of testing due to more heavies in the pipeline?  Or maybe anticipating rehab and checkout for used stages?

And privacy .. no more trips to 311- 310
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JBF on 12/13/2014 07:20 PM
No wounder they need a farmer,
Quote
recently expanded its lease from 922 acres to 4,280 acres
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/13/2014 07:23 PM
300 people is a lot of jobs and 4800 acres is a lot of land..

Maybe they are going to fabricate/assemble Dragon v2 in Texas.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 12/13/2014 07:23 PM
What about Raptor testing? it's likely that will be done at McGregor also.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 12/13/2014 07:26 PM
Maybe this means an expansion in the rate of testing due to more heavies in the pipeline?  Or maybe anticipating rehab and checkout for used stages?

think a sec on what you said; that would negate the claimed "cost savings" making a new small army.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: robertross on 12/13/2014 10:14 PM


It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I have thought of a kind of strong-back or TE too. But I am not sure that a crane will not be cheaper to operate. Maybe a Heavy will need one though. That would make the operation even more launch pad like. They would need the full hydraulics to erect it.

Is that necessarily true re the hydraulics?

It would seem to be simpler to have a winch from somewhere up on the test stand to pull the TE vertical. ISTM they avoid this on the launch pad because they don't have a fixed structure which could house the winch. (Or the winch could be in a protected place on the ground, with the cable trained through a pulley up on the stand.)

It's not like the launch pad, where the hydraulics are required to retract the TEL shortly before launch.

Think of it as a crane integrated into the stand.

Cheers, Martin

The problem with that is if the cable should fail, as it would be in tension. For hydraulics, the cylincers are in compression, and there are lond control valves to lock the cylindrs if a hose should fail. And if the worst should happen, they would still provide some amount of slowing of the load.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: deruch on 12/14/2014 08:48 AM
Looks like SpaceX is planning to massively expand their McGregor operation.  They plan to add 300 new full time jobs (pending an almost-certain approval of incentives from local government), more than doubling the size of their Texas workforce.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html (http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html)

Maybe this means an expansion in the rate of testing due to more heavies in the pipeline?  Or maybe anticipating rehab and checkout for used stages?

Possibly also related to delays with Spaceport America?  Though, I can't imagine much of a test ceiling expansion, so maybe not.  I wrote that before actually reading the article.  :-[  The labor force increase is projected for being finished "by Dec. 31, 2018".  Probably not related to Spaceport America.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: fast on 12/14/2014 11:52 AM


It would make sense. It looks like they'll just be able to use a simplified strong-back to drive a F9/FH up to the new stand, erect it, tank it up and start the test. (no crane needed to life a stage high)

I have thought of a kind of strong-back or TE too. But I am not sure that a crane will not be cheaper to operate. Maybe a Heavy will need one though. That would make the operation even more launch pad like. They would need the full hydraulics to erect it.





Is that necessarily true re the hydraulics?

It would seem to be simpler to have a winch from somewhere up on the test stand to pull the TE vertical. ISTM they avoid this on the launch pad because they don't have a fixed structure which could house the winch. (Or the winch could be in a protected place on the ground, with the cable trained through a pulley up on the stand.)

It's not like the launch pad, where the hydraulics are required to retract the TEL shortly before launch.

Think of it as a crane integrated into the stand.

Cheers, Martin

The problem with that is if the cable should fail, as it would be in tension. For hydraulics, the cylincers are in compression, and there are lond control valves to lock the cylindrs if a hose should fail. And if the worst should happen, they would still provide some amount of slowing of the load.

Very simple ratchet device at the base of strong-back structure will eliminate this threat
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MP99 on 12/14/2014 12:38 PM
Looks like SpaceX is planning to massively expand their McGregor operation.  They plan to add 300 new full time jobs (pending an almost-certain approval of incentives from local government), more than doubling the size of their Texas workforce.

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html (http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/spacex-expansion-could-add-jobs-locally/article_a805e495-09ed-5fb0-9b9d-95b038d4cbfc.html)

Maybe this means an expansion in the rate of testing due to more heavies in the pipeline?  Or maybe anticipating rehab and checkout for used stages?
There was some Twitter chat (Tom someone, but not Mueller) suggesting an announcement. This is probably it.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AncientU on 12/14/2014 02:20 PM
Hopefully they are building a Methlox test stand... they will need an entire parallel test campaignstaff to avoid disrupting the Kerlox test flow that includes multiple firings daily.  Their Stennis campaign was only at the component level, I think.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: DJPledger on 12/14/2014 02:56 PM
Hopefully they are building a Methlox test stand... they will need an entire parallel test campaignstaff to avoid disrupting the Kerlox test flow that includes multiple firings daily.  Their Stennis campaign was only at the component level, I think.
I don't think they will be testing Raptor at McGregor and will likely test complete Raptors on the B-1 stand at Stennis. The McGregor expansion plans are most likely for building more test stands for F9 cores and more single Merlin stands to increase the amount of parallel testing to meet demand.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 12/14/2014 03:22 PM
Methinks you could do that in a lot less than 3,000+ additional acres.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Razvan on 12/14/2014 03:27 PM
Hopefully they are building a Methlox test stand... they will need an entire parallel test campaignstaff to avoid disrupting the Kerlox test flow that includes multiple firings daily.  Their Stennis campaign was only at the component level, I think.
I don't think they will be testing Raptor at McGregor and will likely test complete Raptors on one of the B stands at Stennis. The McGregor expansion plans are most likely for building more test stands for F9 cores and more single Merlin stands to increase the amount of parallel testing to meet demand.
That much money just for test stands? I was thinking about, say, a new assembly line for rocket engines. Why not even for rockets?! They test the engines and rockets at McGregor, don't they? Then it looks pretty logic for saving money and a lot of time with the transportation/handling - which operation always pose a certain risk - why not do all these activities right here at Mc Gregor...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Avron on 12/14/2014 03:33 PM
Increase to allow for Dragon Crew training
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AncientU on 12/14/2014 03:39 PM
Hopefully they are building a Methlox test stand... they will need an entire parallel test campaignstaff to avoid disrupting the Kerlox test flow that includes multiple firings daily.  Their Stennis campaign was only at the component level, I think.
I don't think they will be testing Raptor at McGregor and will likely test complete Raptors on one of the B stands at Stennis. The McGregor expansion plans are most likely for building more test stands for F9 cores and more single Merlin stands to increase the amount of parallel testing to meet demand.
That much money just for test stands? I was thinking about, say, a new assembly line for rocket engines. Why not even for rockets?! They test the engines and rockets at McGregor, don't they? Then it looks pretty logic for saving money and a lot of time with the transportation/handling - which operation always pose a certain risk - why not do all these activities right here at Mc Gregor...
The new Raptor turbo-pump build engineer position is at Hawthorne... BFR cores are too large to transport from McGregor.  McGregor is their test facility, so far, and they have enough in the pipeline to double(?) the workforce there.

http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Avron on 12/14/2014 03:48 PM

The new Raptor turbo-pump build engineer position is at Hawthorne... BFR cores are too large to transport from McGregor.  McGregor is their test facility, so far, and they have enough in the pipeline to double(?) the workforce there.

http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985

Testing turbo pumps at McGregor, the rest of Raptor testing  will need Stennis. We still have not seen FH on test yet.. But the most important will be Crew Training.. My money is on Crew training and associated HSF facilities in terms of increase in size and workforce at McGregor
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Razvan on 12/14/2014 04:06 PM
Hopefully they are building a Methlox test stand... they will need an entire parallel test campaignstaff to avoid disrupting the Kerlox test flow that includes multiple firings daily.  Their Stennis campaign was only at the component level, I think.
I don't think they will be testing Raptor at McGregor and will likely test complete Raptors on one of the B stands at Stennis. The McGregor expansion plans are most likely for building more test stands for F9 cores and more single Merlin stands to increase the amount of parallel testing to meet demand.
That much money just for test stands? I was thinking about, say, a new assembly line for rocket engines. Why not even for rockets?! They test the engines and rockets at McGregor, don't they? Then it looks pretty logic for saving money and a lot of time with the transportation/handling - which operation always pose a certain risk - why not do all these activities right here at Mc Gregor...
The new Raptor turbo-pump build engineer position is at Hawthorne... BFR cores are too large to transport from McGregor.  McGregor is their test facility, so far, and they have enough in the pipeline to double(?) the workforce there.

http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985
Where did you read that position is going to be located at Hawthorne?
At McGregor you can have the manufacturing line for Raptors and Merlins as well. They need a lot of engines with all these launching pads, think of, say, 300 Merlins for Falcon 9, and now they are geting  216  far under their needs; in addition to those they'd need more Merlins for FH, say another 100 maybe 180.
They can start small at McGregor and eventually transfer the whole production from Hawthorne and use Hawthorne for Tesla in 5 years or so.
BFR might be assembled at Boca Chica site with all the required gear, test stand and all.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/14/2014 04:32 PM
Maybe SpaceX is thinking they might need an auxiliary landing field for the Dragon and whatever else in the future. They acquire the land now to prevent development.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Owlon on 12/14/2014 05:13 PM
Hopefully they are building a Methlox test stand... they will need an entire parallel test campaignstaff to avoid disrupting the Kerlox test flow that includes multiple firings daily.  Their Stennis campaign was only at the component level, I think.
I don't think they will be testing Raptor at McGregor and will likely test complete Raptors on one of the B stands at Stennis. The McGregor expansion plans are most likely for building more test stands for F9 cores and more single Merlin stands to increase the amount of parallel testing to meet demand.
That much money just for test stands? I was thinking about, say, a new assembly line for rocket engines. Why not even for rockets?! They test the engines and rockets at McGregor, don't they? Then it looks pretty logic for saving money and a lot of time with the transportation/handling - which operation always pose a certain risk - why not do all these activities right here at Mc Gregor...
The new Raptor turbo-pump build engineer position is at Hawthorne... BFR cores are too large to transport from McGregor.  McGregor is their test facility, so far, and they have enough in the pipeline to double(?) the workforce there.

http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985
Where did you read that position is going to be located at Hawthorne?
At McGregor you can have the manufacturing line for Raptors and Merlins as well. They need a lot of engines with all these launching pads, think of, say, 300 Merlins for Falcon 9, and now they are geting  216  far under their needs; in addition to those they'd need more Merlins for FH, say another 100 maybe 180.
They can start small at McGregor and eventually transfer the whole production from Hawthorne and use Hawthorne for Tesla in 5 years or so.
BFR might be assembled at Boca Chica site with all the required gear, test stand and all.

The Hawthorne factory is supposed to be sized for 400 Merlins and 40 cores a year. 300 more positions at McGregor aren't nearly enough to support that kind of manufacturing. Their lease in Hawthorne also runs through 2023, and they seem pretty committed to staying there in the mid- to long-term.

http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985 (http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985)
At the bottom, right above the blue "Apply Now" button it says the job is in Hawthorne.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: savuporo on 12/14/2014 05:22 PM
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985 (http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985)
At the bottom, right above the blue "Apply Now" button it says the job is in Hawthorne.

Actually their McGregor hiring page gives a pretty good idea what they are scaling up there
http://www.spacex.com/careers/list?location[]=57

I like the "Non-Destructive Test Technician" :)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Avron on 12/14/2014 05:36 PM
Next year we can expect Dragon to be hopping all over the place..  may need some room at McGregor..

I can't find the FAA licences .. :(
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 12/14/2014 05:45 PM
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985 (http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985)
At the bottom, right above the blue "Apply Now" button it says the job is in Hawthorne.

Actually their McGregor hiring page gives a pretty good idea what they are scaling up there
http://www.spacex.com/careers/list?location[]=57

I like the "Non-Destructive Test Technician" :)

The list of positions looks more like minor manufacturing and operations needed to operate the FH test stand. The additional acreage may be a insurance that sound levels restrictions would not be encroached by development of the land close to the FH test stand.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Razvan on 12/14/2014 05:58 PM
Hopefully they are building a Methlox test stand... they will need an entire parallel test campaignstaff to avoid disrupting the Kerlox test flow that includes multiple firings daily.  Their Stennis campaign was only at the component level, I think.
I don't think they will be testing Raptor at McGregor and will likely test complete Raptors on one of the B stands at Stennis. The McGregor expansion plans are most likely for building more test stands for F9 cores and more single Merlin stands to increase the amount of parallel testing to meet demand.
That much money just for test stands? I was thinking about, say, a new assembly line for rocket engines. Why not even for rockets?! They test the engines and rockets at McGregor, don't they? Then it looks pretty logic for saving money and a lot of time with the transportation/handling - which operation always pose a certain risk - why not do all these activities right here at Mc Gregor...
The new Raptor turbo-pump build engineer position is at Hawthorne... BFR cores are too large to transport from McGregor.  McGregor is their test facility, so far, and they have enough in the pipeline to double(?) the workforce there.

http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985
Where did you read that position is going to be located at Hawthorne?
At McGregor you can have the manufacturing line for Raptors and Merlins as well. They need a lot of engines with all these launching pads, think of, say, 300 Merlins for Falcon 9, and now they are geting  216  far under their needs; in addition to those they'd need more Merlins for FH, say another 100 maybe 180.
They can start small at McGregor and eventually transfer the whole production from Hawthorne and use Hawthorne for Tesla in 5 years or so.
BFR might be assembled at Boca Chica site with all the required gear, test stand and all.

The Hawthorne factory is supposed to be sized for 400 Merlins and 40 cores a year. 300 more positions at McGregor aren't nearly enough to support that kind of manufacturing. Their lease in Hawthorne also runs through 2023, and they seem pretty committed to staying there in the mid- to long-term.

http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985 (http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985)
At the bottom, right above the blue "Apply Now" button it says the job is in Hawthorne.
I looked at the list of Hawthorne's and McGregor's positions and I can see it supports your comments.
Thanks
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 12/14/2014 06:35 PM
http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985 (http://www.spacex.com/careers/position/5985)
At the bottom, right above the blue "Apply Now" button it says the job is in Hawthorne.

Actually their McGregor hiring page gives a pretty good idea what they are scaling up there
http://www.spacex.com/careers/list?location[]=57

I like the "Non-Destructive Test Technician" :)

The list of positions looks more like minor manufacturing and operations needed to operate the FH test stand. The additional acreage may be a insurance that sound levels restrictions would not be encroached by development of the land close to the FH test stand.

maybe its more like they can get the land because its available.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Zardar on 12/14/2014 07:41 PM
maybe its more like they can get the land because its available.

"McGregor Mayor Jim Hering said SpaceX leased the additional property because of the difficulties alerting and clearing out local farmers and others in a 1-mile radius each time a rocket engine is tested."


Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article4312711.html#storylink=cpy (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article4312711.html#storylink=cpy)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Avron on 12/14/2014 08:07 PM
maybe its more like they can get the land because its available.

"McGregor Mayor Jim Hering said SpaceX leased the additional property because of the difficulties alerting and clearing out local farmers and others in a 1-mile radius each time a rocket engine is tested."


Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article4312711.html#storylink=cpy (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article4312711.html#storylink=cpy)

and now we know why the need for a farmer.. its required by the lease
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: deruch on 12/14/2014 09:24 PM
maybe its more like they can get the land because its available.

"McGregor Mayor Jim Hering said SpaceX leased the additional property because of the difficulties alerting and clearing out local farmers and others in a 1-mile radius each time a rocket engine is tested."


Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article4312711.html#storylink=cpy (http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/article4312711.html#storylink=cpy)

After reading that article, I'm impressed with the McGreggor mayor.  It's hard to balance competing interests in a small town but it sounds like he found a decent line.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 12/15/2014 05:51 AM
Right now you can get a lot closer than a mile to the Grasshopper/F9Rdev1 pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 12/15/2014 08:22 PM
Right now you can get a lot closer than a mile to the Grasshopper/F9Rdev1 pad.
About 2,630 feet, to be more exact, which is where I took this photo back in June. Thanks for the tip, Jim!

The videographers who caught the explosion were just over one mile away, along the east-west section of that stretch of road.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 12/15/2014 09:35 PM
Near the Eagle Springs Baptist Church there is an abandoned windmill that is probably right at a mile away, only the tower is left.  If they close off the county road a brave person could climb up that tower and get a nice view of the hover pad.

Or you could ask the church to let you climb up on their roof!
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: IslandPlaya on 12/15/2014 09:40 PM
Either way lets get a web cam! The Church has wi-fi shirley? A solemn donation from the church of NSF would see them ok...
Or is that not the way things go in the US of A?
;)
Something like this... You may be able to get better...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Foscam-FI9828W-Wireless-Outdoor-Camera/dp/B00HZR8VD4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1418683444&sr=8-3&keywords=ip+camera+zoom
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: deruch on 12/16/2014 12:22 AM
Right now you can get a lot closer than a mile to the Grasshopper/F9Rdev1 pad.

While testing is going on?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 12/16/2014 01:04 AM
Right now you can get a lot closer than a mile to the Grasshopper/F9Rdev1 pad.

While testing is going on?

It wasn't aerial testing, but last September my wife and I managed to stumble up to the fence a few hundred yards from where an engine test was taking place.  Nobody was staking the place out...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 12/16/2014 01:11 AM
Near the Eagle Springs Baptist Church there is an abandoned windmill that is probably right at a mile away, only the tower is left.  If they close off the county road a brave person could climb up that tower and get a nice view of the hover pad.

Or you could ask the church to let you climb up on their roof!

hmmm, have a GPS location on this?

thinking one of my cam equipped drones....just add a clamping system and we have a nice spy drone 24-7
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: sghill on 12/16/2014 01:18 PM
Near the Eagle Springs Baptist Church there is an abandoned windmill that is probably right at a mile away, only the tower is left.  If they close off the county road a brave person could climb up that tower and get a nice view of the hover pad.

Or you could ask the church to let you climb up on their roof!

hmmm, have a GPS location on this?

thinking one of my cam equipped drones....just add a clamping system and we have a nice spy drone 24-7

Oh God.  Please don't send up a drone there.  That'll be the end of close up viewing IMHO.  Just bring a telephoto instead.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AncientU on 12/16/2014 04:41 PM
This article indicates they have eleven test stands at McGregor already... and they are planning to double the employment there and add $46M worth of upgrades.  This will be an impressive test facility when these new additions are completed.
Quote
“Every Merlin engine that powers the Falcon 9 rocket and every Draco thruster that controls the Dragon spacecraft is tested on one of 11 test stands.”
http://www.universetoday.com/117321/spacex-continues-to-expand-facilities-workforce-in-quest-for-space/
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: John-H on 12/16/2014 05:11 PM
What does a Draco test stand look like?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MTom on 12/16/2014 06:34 PM
Maybe helps:

Wired: Inside SpaceX’s Texas Rocket-Testing Facility
http://www.wired.com/2012/10/spacex-texas-rocket-test/?viewall=true
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 12/16/2014 08:30 PM
Near the Eagle Springs Baptist Church there is an abandoned windmill that is probably right at a mile away, only the tower is left.  If they close off the county road a brave person could climb up that tower and get a nice view of the hover pad.

Or you could ask the church to let you climb up on their roof!

hmmm, have a GPS location on this?

thinking one of my cam equipped drones....just add a clamping system and we have a nice spy drone 24-7

Oh God.  Please don't send up a drone there.  That'll be the end of close up viewing IMHO.  Just bring a telephoto instead.

Ok, we will just use the drone for transport.  Have the drone lock a cam up high for decent viewing.  Simple engineering solution 8)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Darga on 12/16/2014 08:48 PM
What does a Draco test stand look like?

This video has both Merlin testing and SuperDraco  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZI6U4an-V0#t=68
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Darga on 12/16/2014 08:50 PM
Images taken today of McGregor facility. Nothing interesting happening but that is interesting in itself. https://imgur.com/a/cYksl
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 12/16/2014 09:31 PM
This video has both Merlin testing and SuperDraco

Sweet video! It does, however, make me sad that they were just testing an oxygen valve on the stand when I spent the day hanging out at the fence, instead of Merlins.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Darga on 01/03/2015 08:40 PM
Anyone have eyes on the stand to see if there is another core ready for testing? McGregor is going to be a busy place this year if all goes to plan.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Marslauncher on 01/04/2015 07:01 PM
Per the twitter feed,

Waco McLennan Co OEM @WacoMclennanOEM  ·  Jan 2
SPACE X TEST More noticeable tests are scheduled for TUES 1/6 9AM-8PM. Bluebonnet closed @CaseRd periodically. Fields N, E & W off-limits

There is a core on the stand, I stopped off there yesterday. images are in L2.

John C
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: deruch on 01/05/2015 12:45 AM
Per the twitter feed,

Waco McLennan Co OEM @WacoMclennanOEM  ·  Jan 2
SPACE X TEST More noticeable tests are scheduled for TUES 1/6 9AM-8PM. Bluebonnet closed @CaseRd periodically. Fields N, E & W off-limits

There is a core on the stand, I stopped off there yesterday. images are in L2.

John C

I wonder if they might be testing F9R-dev2?  They don't normally put out so many warnings and closures for regular engine testing do they?  The last time I looked through that twitter feed it didn't appear that they were.

Look at the time warning.  They could be waiting till after the CRS-5 launch (tuesday at 5:30 am TX local time) to ensure that any failure related solely to the test doesn't effect the launch or messaging/branding like the F9R-dev1 failure did.   
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Marslauncher on 01/05/2015 01:07 AM
I can stop off on my way back from Dallas in the morning, if a F9r test were to occur I would expect it to be on the pad tomorrow.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jarnis on 01/05/2015 03:07 AM
Based on timing and the fact that there is a new core on the big stand, I'd guess this is all-up testing of the DISCOVR core (for late Jan launch).

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 01/26/2015 01:09 AM
I did another light plane photo run near McGregor today.   It was really bumpy, I made myself a bit airsick taking these!   

The usual caveats apply:

1) At no time did I overfly the SpaceX facility.
2) At no time did I descend below 1500 above ground level, and was mostly above 2500 agl feet because of the turbulence.
3) If anyone at SpaceX management want me to cease these flights, all they need do is contact me and ask.
4) Observations:
    - This is the first time I noticed the permanent entrance gate on plant road.
    - Lots of construction going on around the big test stand.
    - Three big red cranes.
    -  Nothing interesting near the hover pad.

5)  Consider these images to be public domain.   I'd appreciate credit if you want to use my images.  I haven't had time to process or mark today's images in any way.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0NWW2tf69ZBWUlrb0gxclpvTGM&usp=sharing
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Sam Hassall on 01/26/2015 01:26 AM
Holy crap, the horizontal trench behind the F9 stand is humongous. Any ideas other than FH testing? Raptor testing is being conducted at Stennis, so I'm out of leads.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Elmar Moelzer on 01/26/2015 01:34 AM
Holy crap, the horizontal trench behind the F9 stand is humongous. Any ideas other than FH testing? Raptor testing is being conducted at Stennis, so I'm out of leads.
I thought this was meant to be the FH test stand, but I might be wrong.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: dragon44 on 01/26/2015 01:36 AM
I did another light plane photo run near McGregor today.
[...]
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0NWW2tf69ZBWUlrb0gxclpvTGM&usp=sharing

Awesome pictures.

Just to be clear, the first photo (DSC_0469.JPG) is not of SpaceX. It's this company just down the road http://www.transtechfabrication.com/about (http://www.transtechfabrication.com/about)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 01/26/2015 01:46 AM
I did another light plane photo run near McGregor today.
[...]
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0NWW2tf69ZBWUlrb0gxclpvTGM&usp=sharing

Awesome pictures.

Just to be clear, the first photo (DSC_0469.JPG) is not of SpaceX. It's this company just down the road http://www.transtechfabrication.com/about (http://www.transtechfabrication.com/about)

Good catch, I wasn't sure what that was.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 01/26/2015 01:51 AM
Great pictures! The new in/under-ground test stand has progressed a lot since we last saw pictures of it.

Holy crap, the horizontal trench behind the F9 stand is humongous. Any ideas other than FH testing? Raptor testing is being conducted at Stennis, so I'm out of leads.
I thought this was meant to be the FH test stand, but I might be wrong.

That it indeed what it is for, it seems - But they will probably test regular/single F9 cores there as well, since it should reduce the sound impact for the surrounding community. The tripod might be phased out unless the schedule demands it to be used.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 01/26/2015 02:14 AM
I wonder:  How does an FH make it to the test stand?  Where is it stored before hand?

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jdeshetler on 01/26/2015 02:51 AM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Razvan on 01/26/2015 03:50 AM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...
I think, they are the foundations for the future launch pd lightning towers ...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 01/26/2015 04:07 AM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...

Interesting, but I'm not sure they are foundations for any kind of towers. One potential clue might be that they are aligned around the launching point, NOT the landing point.

The blue base for a crane - is that new? Is it part of a new folding crane that will replace the movable crane perhaps?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Zardar on 01/26/2015 06:21 AM
Looks like the heavy test stand has movable concrete slab 'blast doors', that slide in and out on rails, depending if theres' a single core or a heavy on there. (best view in DSC-0494)
But, how will they get a transporter-erector up to the stand, with those 2 small square buildings there? Or will they just use a crane like usual?

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Roy_H on 01/26/2015 06:45 AM
Looks like the heavy test stand has movable concrete slab 'blast doors', that slide in and out on rails, depending if theres' a single core or a heavy on there. (best view in DSC-0494)
But, how will they get a transporter-erector up to the stand, with those 2 small square buildings there? Or will they just use a crane like usual?
I suspect those small building are temporary to assist construction.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ohsin on 01/26/2015 07:19 AM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...

Those aren't new 12 July pics have them but that blue stand and tank is new and those safety cones around indicate fresh work.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 01/26/2015 10:35 AM
Seeing the new pictures of the pad left me with a few questions.

For some strange reason I had thought previously that the new test stand would actually test the rocket horizontally like the SRBs are.  From the new photo it is obvious that the stages will be vertical and then the flame deflected into the trench.  Has anyone seen how they plan to raise the stages onto the stand?  With three cores together I can't see them crane lifting them as a unit for FH testing so they will either have to lift them one at a time and vertically integrate them together or have some sort of transporter/erector on site to move the cores horizontally to the stand and then lift up.

Also, I wonder what happened to all the spoil from the flame trench.  It costs money to have dirt halled away.  I would have expected them to just re-purpose it for either a slightly raised burn around the trench or maybe have a slightly raised mount to provide a little more vertical distance before the flame deflects.  From the photos it doesn't appear anything was kept on site.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rpapo on 01/26/2015 10:42 AM
They could simply have sold the dirt as fill for some other project, some other company, some other place.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: douglas100 on 01/26/2015 10:52 AM

...Has anyone seen how they plan to raise the stages onto the stand?  With three cores together I can't see them crane lifting them as a unit for FH testing so they will either have to lift them one at a time and vertically integrate them together or have some sort of transporter/erector on site to move the cores horizontally to the stand and then lift up...

IMO cranes lifting each core individually with integration on the stand seems to be the simplest solution.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: GORDAP on 01/26/2015 12:09 PM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...

Um, quite obviously hold down clamps for the upcoming RBFR XXXX Heavy.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 01/26/2015 01:39 PM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...

emulation of the barge?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/26/2015 02:03 PM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...

emulation of the barge?


I'm sure some one with skills in our community could drop a measurement between those four points and compare them to the ASDS.  (hint hint)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: wannamoonbase on 01/26/2015 02:06 PM
Holy crap, the horizontal trench behind the F9 stand is humongous. Any ideas other than FH testing? Raptor testing is being conducted at Stennis, so I'm out of leads.
I thought this was meant to be the FH test stand, but I might be wrong.

I recall the plan being to put the flame trench below ground and directing it away from the town to reduce the noise.   It's a solid plan and frankly more professional. 

I could see them moving the F9 testing to the new stand as well.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 01/26/2015 02:18 PM
Holy crap, the horizontal trench behind the F9 stand is humongous. Any ideas other than FH testing? Raptor testing is being conducted at Stennis, so I'm out of leads.

The Stennis test stand is for components. It is not for testing full Raptors.

IMO the easiest and cheapest way for testing Raptors would be using a F9 tank, probably a flown one. The tanks are suited for LOX and methane. Mount a Raptor under it and erect it on the new stand or maybe on the old melkstool if that is too busy. It is not as loud as 9 Merlins.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 01/26/2015 02:25 PM
Great photos Jim!  Wonderful to see meaningful progress here, hopefully a good sign that we will see FH tested this year, at least.

As for the four posts on the pad... seems like an unlikely location for it, but maybe it is the beginnings of an above-ground test stand for DragonFly.  We saw the pod test video just released, and I would think they have to be planning a full-up held-down test of the pad abort article before it flies for real.  I don't see anything else that looks like it could be a DragonFly test stand...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 01/26/2015 02:28 PM
I wonder:  How does an FH make it to the test stand?  Where is it stored before hand?

Where are F9s stored beforehand?  Obviously an FH is bigger, but I would imagine they have space for more than one core already.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 01/26/2015 02:32 PM
I wonder:  How does an FH make it to the test stand?  Where is it stored before hand?

Where are F9s stored beforehand?  Obviously an FH is bigger, but I would imagine they have space for more than one core already.
I'm looking for a way for a T/E to approach. Integrating the cores vertically seems... Hacky.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Tomness on 01/26/2015 02:35 PM
I wonder:  How does an FH make it to the test stand?  Where is it stored before hand?

Where are F9s stored beforehand?  Obviously an FH is bigger, but I would imagine they have space for more than one core already.

Just use FH shed, store 3 cores at once
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: fthomassy on 01/26/2015 02:38 PM
Thanks for sharing the pics!
    - This is the first time I noticed the permanent entrance gate on plant road.
Bummer about the gate.  It was cool being able to drive the fence-line and get close(ish) to the tripod.  I guess this means SpaceX now owns the road?

I didn't see any images of the original Grasshopper.  Has SpaceX made it a museum piece somewhere?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 01/26/2015 02:44 PM
Quote
I think, they are the foundations for the future launch pd lightning towers ...

That makes a lot of sense.   I've never understood how SpaceX has avoided lighting strikes on the Grasshopper and F9r so far.   

Quote
I didn't see any images of the original Grasshopper. 


It's still sitting in the same place, about halfway between the hover pad and the main complex.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mlindner on 01/26/2015 02:58 PM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...

Cameras?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jdeshetler on 01/26/2015 03:01 PM
Also, I wonder what happened to all the spoil from the flame trench.  It costs money to have dirt halled away.

The dirt was originally dumped 1000' to the west according to the Google Earth but like you said according to JimNtexas's latest photo all spoil was actually hauled off site afterward, that I didn't expected in a Texas way...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Darga on 01/26/2015 03:18 PM
Cool, one of JimNtexas's photos of the Grasshopper pad show 4 new objects in red circles, any idea what it might be? It all lined up with take off position, not touch down position.  The yellow circle is the original fire nozzle and it doesn't even look alike...

Cameras?

If we are throwing ideas out how about this one: guy-wire anchors? Seem backwards though..
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: douglas100 on 01/26/2015 03:38 PM

I'm looking for a way for a T/E to approach. Integrating the cores vertically seems... Hacky.

There doesn't seem to be space (at the moment) for a T/E to approach the stand. Why over complicate things? I think using a T/E for this operation is unnecessary. There are more crane lifts to put the integrated vehicle on the stand using a T/E, compared with individual core erection.  And of course the cores have got to be separated for transport after testing, anyway.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 01/26/2015 03:44 PM

I'm looking for a way for a T/E to approach. Integrating the cores vertically seems... Hacky.

There doesn't seem to be space (at the moment) for a T/E to approach the stand. Why over complicate things? I think using a T/E for this operation is unnecessary. There are more crane lifts to put the integrated vehicle on the stand using a T/E, compared with individual core erection.  And of course the cores have got to be separated for transport after testing, anyway.

Possibly, but these cores have to be aligned and mated, which is not trivial - you don't want to damage anything as you're hanging 100' empty cylinders from 150' cranes in an outdoor environment.  Imagine the pinched fingers.

They already have a method for doing horizontal integration. I'd think that if possible, they'd want to use it.

But yeah, it doesn't look like it.

For FHs, at the acceptance level, are they going to test integrated 3-core stacks or just one core at a time?  If the latter, than the crane method makes more sense, since it's a one-time deal.  But if it's a per-flight thing, then it will be a serious rate-limiter.

Oh wait - maybe they're planning on reusability, and it's a per-vehicle thing, but only once per vehicle, for multiple flights.

Maybe,
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: TripD on 01/26/2015 03:48 PM
Quote
emulation of the barge?

Looking at DSC_0500 Those points appear more like a square than a 170 x 300 to me. 
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: fawkes on 01/26/2015 03:54 PM
Is it just me or does the object in the down-right corner of the F9R-Pad looks like a Dragon-Trunk (see the cross-structure on top)?

I would assume the this is for the Dragonfly-Test. So we can assume at least one will take place in the near future.
Maybe they want to start from there and hover to the concrete-pad, quite like the F9R-Test.

Or is it something else and I'm missing something?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/26/2015 03:55 PM
Oooh, lots of nice photos there!

First thing I always look for is a core on the test stand. No core.

When I grow up, I want to work there. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: douglas100 on 01/26/2015 04:09 PM

...For FHs, at the acceptance level, are they going to test integrated 3-core stacks or just one core at a time?  If the latter, than the crane method makes more sense, since it's a one-time deal.  But if it's a per-flight thing, then it will be a serious rate-limiter.

Oh wait - maybe they're planning on reusability, and it's a per-vehicle thing, but only once per vehicle, for multiple flights.

Maybe,

Judging by the size of the flame duct I guess they will test three integrated cores on the stand, at least in the early days. That seems to be their style. And it will extend processing time, but if you've got cross flow and 27 engines, you would want to do extensive testing before the vehicle ships out for launch. It's inevitable that FH will need a longer launch campaign than F9 since four "blocks" (in Russian parlance) need to be integrated compared with two. And that, I think, goes for the testing at McGregor too.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Roy_H on 01/26/2015 04:13 PM

...Has anyone seen how they plan to raise the stages onto the stand?  With three cores together I can't see them crane lifting them as a unit for FH testing so they will either have to lift them one at a time and vertically integrate them together or have some sort of transporter/erector on site to move the cores horizontally to the stand and then lift up...

IMO cranes lifting each core individually with integration on the stand seems to be the simplest solution.

Simple? I would think integrating them vertically would be the hardest way.

I wonder:  How does an FH make it to the test stand?  Where is it stored before hand?

Where are F9s stored beforehand?  Obviously an FH is bigger, but I would imagine they have space for more than one core already.
I'm looking for a way for a T/E to approach. Integrating the cores vertically seems... Hacky.

Yes, they already have a system in place at launch pads to integrate the cores, and have designed T/Es so ISTM that the obvious thing to do is duplicate that here with a HIF and erector. No advantage to a whole new different system.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 01/26/2015 04:24 PM

...For FHs, at the acceptance level, are they going to test integrated 3-core stacks or just one core at a time?  If the latter, than the crane method makes more sense, since it's a one-time deal.  But if it's a per-flight thing, then it will be a serious rate-limiter.

Oh wait - maybe they're planning on reusability, and it's a per-vehicle thing, but only once per vehicle, for multiple flights.

Maybe,

Judging by the size of the flame duct I guess they will test three integrated cores on the stand, at least in the early days. That seems to be their style. And it will extend processing time, but if you've got cross flow and 27 engines, you would want to do extensive testing before the vehicle ships out for launch. It's inevitable that FH will need a longer launch campaign than F9 since four "blocks" (in Russian parlance) need to be integrated compared with two. And that, I think, goes for the testing at McGregor too.
No doubt they'll test 3 cores.

The question is:
A) devel/qual only
B) once per vehicle
C) once per flight

If A, I can see maybe they chose an ad-hoc integration method.  If C, they need a streamlined method of doing it.  B is a middle case.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Elvis in Space on 01/26/2015 04:32 PM
Also, I wonder what happened to all the spoil from the flame trench.  It costs money to have dirt halled away.

The dirt was originally dumped 1000' to the west according to the Google Earth but like you said according to JimNtexas's latest photo all spoil was actually hauled off site afterward, that I didn't expected in a Texas way...

Since this was a former Navy testing facility it could be that anything they dig up has to be treated as "hazardous waste". This means it has to be taken to a landfill designated for such material. You can't leave it out to leach into the soil or water table. Where I work that is always a source of confusion since it came out of the ground anyway.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 01/26/2015 04:37 PM

...Has anyone seen how they plan to raise the stages onto the stand?  With three cores together I can't see them crane lifting them as a unit for FH testing so they will either have to lift them one at a time and vertically integrate them together or have some sort of transporter/erector on site to move the cores horizontally to the stand and then lift up...

IMO cranes lifting each core individually with integration on the stand seems to be the simplest solution.

Hardly. If you want simplest, just emulate a pad. Have a transporter/erector that just lifts the core(s) to vertical, fire them, and then lowers them to horizontal. That's much easier if you plan on doing a lot of tests.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 01/26/2015 04:56 PM
Can anyone identify the taller white cylinder near the pad?

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 01/26/2015 05:14 PM
Also, I wonder what happened to all the spoil from the flame trench.  It costs money to have dirt halled away.

The dirt was originally dumped 1000' to the west according to the Google Earth but like you said according to JimNtexas's latest photo all spoil was actually hauled off site afterward, that I didn't expected in a Texas way...


Maybe they gave it to the SpaceX farmer.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AncientU on 01/26/2015 05:23 PM
Oooh, lots of nice photos there!

First thing I always look for is a core on the test stand. No core.

When I grow up, I want to work there. ;)

Don't, it's over-rated.
Growing up that is...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jdeshetler on 01/26/2015 05:32 PM
Also, I wonder what happened to all the spoil from the flame trench.  It costs money to have dirt halled away.

The dirt was originally dumped 1000' to the west according to the Google Earth but like you said according to JimNtexas's latest photo all spoil was actually hauled off site afterward, that I didn't expected in a Texas way...

Since this was a former Navy testing facility it could be that anything they dig up has to be treated as "hazardous waste". This means it has to be taken to a landfill designated for such material. You can't leave it out to leach into the soil or water table. Where I work that is always a source of confusion since it came out of the ground anyway.

Very true however this pile of dirt wasn't covered with tarps, a tell-tale sign of hazardous waste.  Maybe they have a long term master plan to expand to the west and this pile of dirt is in the way?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: CLCalver on 01/26/2015 07:12 PM
Oooh, lots of nice photos there!

First thing I always look for is a core on the test stand. No core.

When I grow up, I want to work there. ;)

Don't, it's over-rated.
Growing up that is...

So is WORK!

CLC
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: sghill on 01/26/2015 08:43 PM
Is it just me or does the object in the down-right corner of the F9R-Pad looks like a Dragon-Trunk (see the cross-structure on top)?

I would assume the this is for the Dragonfly-Test. So we can assume at least one will take place in the near future.
Maybe they want to start from there and hover to the concrete-pad, quite like the F9R-Test.

Or is it something else and I'm missing something?

I'd buy that assumption.  The large blue truss on the left sure looks like the top 50 feet of the new "extended" erector design, so perhaps they are going to do some Dragon-Fly testing, pad abort, and pad integration work with this equipment.

P.S.  Thank you JimNtexas for these fly-by photos!
P.P.S.  Thank you SpaceX for painting everything bright Blue in McGregor so it stands out against the dirt! :)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 01/26/2015 09:32 PM
Let me revise and extend my remarks about seeing three big cranes.  I based that statement not on this set of images, rather one I took with my cell phone a few days earlier. 

Do see that object to left of the blue gantry (or whatever that is) and right of the water tower? I thought that was a crane.

Looking at yesterday's picture I release that this is probably the concret pump which is visible in DSC_0509.jpg.   

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 01/27/2015 02:09 AM
I'm asking again - anyone knows what this is?

It's in the top left of the first SpaceX image, it looks like it's right outside the frame of the close up images of the pad - assuming the smaller white cylinder is the one being discussed upthread.

The longer white cylinder, however - I don't recognize.  It is not in other pictures of the pad.

(I am not even 100% sure we're looking at the pad, but the access road looks familiar, and the short cylinder matches)

EDIT:  No matter.  It is the pad area, but this is the fueling area just short of the pad, see lower attached image.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 01/27/2015 02:20 AM
Do you mean this tank:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0NWW2tf69ZBYzFVUjlFOGlxVk0/view?usp=sharing
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 01/27/2015 02:25 AM
Do you mean this tank:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0NWW2tf69ZBYzFVUjlFOGlxVk0/view?usp=sharing

Yes, just figured it out with Goog Maps.  There's a "pre pad" (fueling area) just shy of the pad, and that's what visible at the edge of your image #3



Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ohsin on 01/27/2015 03:16 AM
Is it just me or does the object in the down-right corner of the F9R-Pad looks like a Dragon-Trunk (see the cross-structure on top)?

I would assume the this is for the Dragonfly-Test. So we can assume at least one will take place in the near future.
Maybe they want to start from there and hover to the concrete-pad, quite like the F9R-Test.

Or is it something else and I'm missing something?

I'd buy that assumption.  The large blue truss on the left sure looks like the top 50 feet of the new "extended" erector design, so perhaps they are going to do some Dragon-Fly testing, pad abort, and pad integration work with this equipment.

P.S.  Thank you JimNtexas for these fly-by photos!
P.P.S.  Thank you SpaceX for painting everything bright Blue in McGregor so it stands out against the dirt! :)

Shhh don't give them ideas! The similarity in dia also struck me. I need to lookup on speculation about strongback modifications.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 01/27/2015 06:49 AM
Shhh don't give them ideas! The similarity in dia also struck me.

It is not just the diameter. There is that hexagonal star in it, like in the Dragon Trunk.

(http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/earth/rapidscat/20140904/rapidscat20140904b-640.jpg)

I have added the relevant part of the picture, showing what seems to be a trunk.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 01/27/2015 02:07 PM
Certainly looks like a trunk, right down to the spider on top. Looks like a DragonFly hop "launch" fixture.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: sghill on 01/27/2015 02:19 PM
I'm asking again - anyone knows what this is?

The DC-X...

;)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Elmar Moelzer on 01/27/2015 02:38 PM
Certainly looks like a trunk, right down to the spider on top. Looks like a DragonFly hop "launch" fixture.
But a launch abort would be done with the trunk still attached, no?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 01/27/2015 02:44 PM
DragonFly hops are going to need a launch fixture, so why not trunk-like? ISTM it could also test the D2/trunk abort separation event.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 01/27/2015 02:54 PM
Certainly looks like a trunk, right down to the spider on top. Looks like a DragonFly hop "launch" fixture.
But a launch abort would be done with the trunk still attached, no?

It is not for launch abort. It is - if speculation is correct - for DragonFly tests, to qualify for powered land landing.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 01/27/2015 03:01 PM
Certainly looks like a trunk, right down to the spider on top. Looks like a DragonFly hop "launch" fixture.
But a launch abort would be done with the trunk still attached, no?

It is not for launch abort. It is - if speculation is correct - for DragonFly tests, to qualify for powered land landing.

Huh?  Powered land landings will be without the trunk, which is disposed of on orbit prior to reentry of the capsule.  DragonFly tests will not include any trunk.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 01/27/2015 03:16 PM

It is not for launch abort. It is - if speculation is correct - for DragonFly tests, to qualify for powered land landing.

Huh?  Powered land landings will be without the trunk, which is disposed of on orbit prior to reentry of the capsule.  DragonFly tests will not include any trunk.

That's what I said. The trunklike structure would be to launch Dragon from. Not to fly with Dragon.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 01/27/2015 03:25 PM
That's what I said. The trunklike structure would be to launch Dragon from. Not to fly with Dragon.

Ah, I see.

I don't see any reason why a trunk-like structure would be desirable to launch DragonFly from.  Dragon will never "launch from" a trunk, and on descent it doesn't matter what it launched from.  Why not a clean pad?  DragonFly will need legs to land on and unlike F9R there should be no load issues requiring a test stand for takeoff.  It also seems likely that the trunk-like structure would be damaged by the thrust of the SuperDracos; the trunk in a similar scenario stays attached rather than the Dragon departing from the trunk as it would be doing in DragonFly testing.

I think it is more likely the trunk-like structure is for pad abort or even more likely the in-flight abort article.  But then again, I have no idea why it'd be sitting out in the open at McGregor, so who knows...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 01/27/2015 04:12 PM
That's what I said. The trunklike structure would be to launch Dragon from. Not to fly with Dragon.

Ah, I see.

I don't see any reason why a trunk-like structure would be desirable to launch DragonFly from.  Dragon will never "launch from" a trunk, and on descent it doesn't matter what it launched from.  Why not a clean pad?  DragonFly will need legs to land on and unlike F9R there should be no load issues requiring a test stand for takeoff.  It also seems likely that the trunk-like structure would be damaged by the thrust of the SuperDracos; the trunk in a similar scenario stays attached rather than the Dragon departing from the trunk as it would be doing in DragonFly testing.

I'm not sure why you see a problem with this. The Dragon legs are likely not retractable, so at some point it makes sense to launch from a trunk structure (this is after all what a Dragon capsule is attached to!), and do hops where the legs are extended.

It may not be how all the hops are done, but it is useful to test leg deployment during a short hop.

And why would the trunk structure be that damaged? The SD's thrust is canted outwards and will not impact the structure from close distance. Besides, this "trunk" is likely a bit stronger/sturdier than a regular trunk.

I think it is more likely the trunk-like structure is for pad abort or even more likely the in-flight abort article.  But then again, I have no idea why it'd be sitting out in the open at McGregor, so who knows...

But the pad abort will likely take the trunk with it... This is the only way that its fins make sense. This clearly not a trunk structure made for flight.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 01/27/2015 04:22 PM
I still don't really see the benefit of launching from a trunk-like structure, but I must concede there really isn't any other reason for something looking like that to be there, and the possible downsides I listed are most likely not realistic.  So, I will agree that's what it must be there for.

I'm still interested if there will be any static tests (with hold downs).  Maybe the trunk is very solid and can be anchored to the pad, or maybe they'll build a structure that goes around it that holds the Dragon down.  Or maybe they have a static test setup somewhere else.  I would imagine they would want to static test it before doing DragonFly type testing and more importantly the pad abort, but if that is the case we should be seeing something very soon now.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/27/2015 04:24 PM
It's probably going to be a 'launch pad' of some sort for some sort of test relating to the pad abort. Using an actual trunk will enable SpaceX to simulate an operational-like launch condition without having to stick the test article on top of a boilerplate Falcon-9 several hundred feet in the air.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: fawkes on 01/27/2015 04:37 PM
As far as I know, SpaceX will do Testflights with and without a trunc.

That was at least in the FAA-Report regarding McGregor-Dragonfly-Tests.

It's also possible that this, together with the blue structure, will be the equipment for the pad abort test at KSC. They just build it in McGregor and ship it to Florida.
But then again, I have no idea if the build the truss for the test directly on the pad or not.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: macpacheco on 02/05/2015 07:59 AM
I stumbled on someone in youtube discussions that state SpaceX is leaving McGregor, as in they're shutting down everything there, stating even that SpaceX doesn't own the land, that it's leased. I never heard such a thing before. Is there any info on that ? I think she's confusing Grasshopper with the core McGregor activities.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Owlon on 02/05/2015 08:04 AM
I stumbled on someone in youtube discussions that state SpaceX is leaving McGregor, as in they're shutting down everything there, stating even that SpaceX doesn't own the land, that it's leased. I never heard such a thing before. Is there any info on that ? I think she's confusing Grasshopper with the core McGregor activities.

That sounds completely wrong. We just heard in the last month or so that SpaceX is hiring hundreds of additional people at McGregor over the next few years, and we know they're just finishing up building a new test stand. I also believe SpaceX owns, not leases, the McGregor facilities, though I'm not 100% sure on that point.

They also have 20-30 McGregor job openings listed on their website, which would be rather odd if they were shutting the place down.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 02/05/2015 10:08 AM
There was an announcement that they long term leased a lot of the area around their facilities just recently. That was under the condition that they maintain agricultural use. It will mainly serve as a buffer zone during tests.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AJW on 02/17/2015 06:12 AM
Reports last week from a fairly reliable source of a FH core that sustained minor damage in transit.  If this is indeed the case, I would think it was on the way from Hawthorne to McGregor for testing.   Any sign of it arriving there?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35365.msg1328500#msg1328500
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 02/17/2015 07:04 AM
Reports last week from a fairly reliable source of a FH core that sustained minor damage in transit.  If this is indeed the case, I would think it was on the way from Hawthorne to McGregor for testing.   Any sign of it arriving there?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35365.msg1328500#msg1328500

Spy network, activate!   :D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 02/17/2015 02:02 PM
I can't imagine it takes that long for a stage to get from Hawthorne to McGregor, so it should be there by now I would think.  So that's at least one of three (assuming they are going to test without the upper stage) cores necessary for FH qualification testing, which is exciting!

Wonder how close the test stand is to completion, as well as however they are going to raise that beast.

When FH testing begins in earnest, I imagine there will be a lot of stuff to check off before they actually light the engines.  (Load tests, propellent loading/unloading, etc).  So we probably have a ways to go yet, but I am still confident we will see FH at least qualified this year if not actually flying this year.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 02/17/2015 09:45 PM
Oooh, lots of nice photos there!

First thing I always look for is a core on the test stand. No core.

When I grow up, I want to work there. ;)

you just want to push the engine start key :D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: 411rocket on 02/18/2015 12:35 AM
Oooh, lots of nice photos there!

First thing I always look for is a core on the test stand. No core.

When I grow up, I want to work there. ;)

you just want to push the engine start key :D

Probably be a long line up for that...... Maybe a raffle would be better, as we could easily fill the building.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: BobHk on 02/19/2015 04:17 AM
Someone made loud noises in McGregor

http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud (http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud)

A nine engine test?

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: ugordan on 02/19/2015 01:00 PM
Someone made loud noises in McGregor

http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud (http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud)

A nine engine test?

It says so in that very article...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/19/2015 01:08 PM
Someone made loud noises in McGregor

http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud (http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud)

A nine engine test?

It says so in that very article...
It might be the higher thrust engines too.

Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 02/19/2015 01:10 PM
Someone made loud noises in McGregor

http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud (http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud)

A nine engine test?

It says so in that very article...

[email protected]>100%?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: ugordan on 02/19/2015 01:14 PM
It might be the higher thrust engines too.

Meteorological conditions seem to be playing a vastly bigger role in loudness at a distance than a 20% variation in thrust would. I wouldn't take noise as a relevant indicator for this.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 02/19/2015 08:04 PM
It's been pretty cool to cold in Central Texas for the last couple of weeks.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Bargemanos on 02/19/2015 11:13 PM
Someone made loud noises in McGregor

http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud (http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud)

A nine engine test?

It says so in that very article...

[email protected]>100%?

Could be.

Quote
The city prohibits tests between 10 p.m. and midnight for the amount of power SpaceX used Tuesday. For higher-thrust engines, they can only test between sunrise and sunset.

Tuesday's rocket test happened before 9 p.m.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/19/2015 11:31 PM
Nah, the "higher thrust engines" almost surely means multi-engine tests (or Raptor, which isn't being tested, yet) as opposed to single-engine tests. The only other explanation is Merlin tests versus Draco tests.

20% more thrust is only 0.8dB more sound, which is only slightly noticeable above the regular thrust tests. If this test is significantly louder, then it's almost certainly due to atmospheric phenomenon amplifying the sound.

But I predict further speculation because hey, this is the Internet.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: woods170 on 02/20/2015 06:08 AM
Someone made loud noises in McGregor

http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud (http://www.kcentv.com/story/28144641/spacex-rocket-test-shakes-central-texas-why-was-it-so-loud)

A nine engine test?

It says so in that very article...
It might be the higher thrust engines too.

Ed Kyle
Possibly, but SpaceX has been testing Merlin 1D at full throttle (the higher thrust) for months now. The fact that this test created rumbles much further away than usual suggests it might be related to meteorological circumstances.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/09/2015 02:04 PM
Forgive me if it's just me who forget this, but do SpaceX do an all-stage firing for every 2nd stage to be used right now?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MDDevice on 03/09/2015 03:28 PM
Reddit user TXPhilistine posted these yesterday.

imgur.com/a/wOhRS
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ohsin on 03/09/2015 05:40 PM
Attached
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 03/09/2015 08:17 PM
Attached
That last picture has some interesting equipment in it.  Can anyone attempt some identification?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 03/09/2015 08:20 PM
Attached
That last picture has some interesting equipment in it.  Can anyone attempt some identification?

You mean the engine test stand?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 03/10/2015 12:22 PM
Ah, I thought that was just a tank farm, and it seemed over-complicated for that purpose.  I was looking for some clues about propellant densification.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AncientU on 03/10/2015 01:58 PM
Couple new pics (i think) and short article:
Quote
SpaceX expands McGregor test facility
Quote
,,,the stand is needed for the testing of the company’s new three core, 27 engine, Falcon Heavy rocket.
Quote
...testing of the new human-rated version of the company’s Dragon capsule.
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/space-exploration-technologies/spacex-expands-mcgregor-tx-test-site/
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 03/10/2015 03:06 PM
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/space-exploration-technologies/spacex-expands-mcgregor-tx-test-site/

Those photos were taken by NSF member JimNtexas in January.  At least they credited him for the photos!  I hope they asked for permission first.

They do credit someone named Jim, so presumably that is JimNtexas.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: deruch on 03/10/2015 11:35 PM
Those photos were taken by NSF member JimNtexas in January.  At least they credited him for the photos!  I hope they asked for permission first.

JimNtexas stated that they were public domain so long as he was credited. 


5)  Consider these images to be public domain.   I'd appreciate credit if you want to use my images.  I haven't had time to process or mark today's images in any way.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0NWW2tf69ZBWUlrb0gxclpvTGM&usp=sharing
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 03/11/2015 05:12 PM
Scott contacted me in advance of the Spaceflight Insider article.  I was delighted that he choose to use my images.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: spacenut on 03/21/2015 02:28 AM
What pressure is this new engine supposed to operate at?  In English please. 
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: baldusi on 03/21/2015 04:00 PM
BTW, a 30% increase to GTO would make it equivalent to an Atlas V 521, or a bit more than a 411 but less than a 421. That's compatible with 36/53 Atlas V even launched. And it would be like a Delta IV M+(4,2), better than a 5,2 but worse than a 5,4. That's 16/28 of DIV missions counting the Heavy.
So, overall, it could cover 64% of EELV's missions just with the single core. I think that Ariane and ULA should be specially worried. I'm not mentioning Sea Launch nor ILS because they appear to have dropped from the market due to their unreliability.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rickyramjet on 03/28/2015 07:55 PM
Recently moved to Killeen, TX, about 50 minutes to McGregor.  Went up there today, found a rutted dirt road I wasn't sure I should be on and got some pics!  I don't think there is anything new, but we can never have enough SpaceX pics, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: QuantumG on 03/28/2015 09:34 PM
Poor little Grasshopper, put out to pasture in her prime.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: philw1776 on 03/29/2015 06:34 PM
No picture of Grasshopper is complete without the cows
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JoerTex on 03/30/2015 08:26 PM
No picture of Grasshopper is complete without the cows

Cows are in the next pasture.  They still don't have a Countdown Clock.  It's been suggested that we do a KickStarter to get them one.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Marslauncher on 05/16/2015 05:25 PM
McGregor Chamber
@mcgregorchamber
Thank you @elonmusk for making it possible for me to see a #SpaceX Falcon 9 1st stage wrapped in a ziploc bag driving down 84 in McGregor!

New core arriving or departing?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Kabloona on 06/04/2015 11:47 AM
Question: Is it known or assumed whether the new test stand will be designed/used for (1) testing full-up Falcon Heavies, or (2) only for testing one core/booster at a time?

I've seen comments from people suggesting that they believe a full-up Falcon Heavy will be tested on the new stand. Is that an assumption or based on info from SpaceX? If only an assumption, what are the merits?

Or is it more likely that SpaceX would use the stand only for one core/booster at a time? That would make the stand much smaller, less expensive, and easier to manage. Also, I don't really see the advantage of assembling/static firing a full-up FH on a static test stand as routine acceptance test procedure for every vehicle. Maybe they do it once or twice as a pathfinder, but for routine acceptance static testing of each vehicle, it seems like a static test of each core/booster separately would be sufficient.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Roy_H on 06/04/2015 02:33 PM
I've seen comments from people suggesting that they believe a full-up Falcon Heavy will be tested on the new stand. Is that an assumption or based on info from SpaceX? If only an assumption, what are the merits?

I think it is a very safe assumption. The existing stand can test one core at a time. Not a lot of incentive to build a new larger test stand for no increase in capability.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 06/04/2015 03:15 PM
Also, I don't really see the advantage of assembling/static firing a full-up FH on a static test stand as routine acceptance test procedure for every vehicle. Maybe they do it once or twice as a pathfinder, but for routine acceptance static testing of each vehicle, it seems like a static test of each core/booster separately would be sufficient.
They need the stand to qualify the rocket (there is nowhere else they could do it).  Once they have the stand, it seems to me that one test of the entire rocket would be quicker and simpler than three separate tests, and it would better reproduce the actual behavior of the rocket than testing separately.  Why wouldn't they use it this way once it already exists?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 06/04/2015 03:37 PM
Besides, wouldn't the three CBCs mated and firing simultaneously have a different vibration/acoustic environment than a single-stick F9? One of the early tests has got to be to validate the integrity of the core connectors and the analyse vibrations feeding into the upper stage and payload adapter.

The whole design is no good if, under some unanticipated real-world dynamic conditions, the stack (or some critical part of it) literally shakes itself apart. The recent revealed Proton-M design fault is a worthwhile lesson that no amount of sims or calculations can take the place of ground tests.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Kabloona on 06/05/2015 05:21 AM
Besides, wouldn't the three CBCs mated and firing simultaneously have a different vibration/acoustic environment than a single-stick F9? One of the early tests has got to be to validate the integrity of the core connectors and the analyse vibrations feeding into the upper stage and payload adapter.

The whole design is no good if, under some unanticipated real-world dynamic conditions, the stack (or some critical part of it) literally shakes itself apart. The recent revealed Proton-M design fault is a worthwhile lesson that no amount of sims or calculations can take the place of ground tests.

All three cores would presumably be held down at the base during static test firing, so there wouldn't be any flight-like loads being transferred through the core connector structures. And vehicle dynamics similarly would be quite unlike flight conditions for the same reason. Vibro-acoustic data might be similar, but usually that's ultimately verified in flight also because airflow around the fairing is a major factor. So I'm still having a hard time seeing the technical justification for needing to static fire all three cores simultaneously.

Maybe the best reason for doing so is simply throughput. They're going to need to test fire a lot of cores, and three at a time for FH may be faster than one at a time.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jason1701 on 06/05/2015 05:55 AM
Besides, wouldn't the three CBCs mated and firing simultaneously have a different vibration/acoustic environment than a single-stick F9? One of the early tests has got to be to validate the integrity of the core connectors and the analyse vibrations feeding into the upper stage and payload adapter.

The whole design is no good if, under some unanticipated real-world dynamic conditions, the stack (or some critical part of it) literally shakes itself apart. The recent revealed Proton-M design fault is a worthwhile lesson that no amount of sims or calculations can take the place of ground tests.

The STS stack was never fired together before it flew, was it? Same for Delta IV-H or any configuration of strap-on boosters on EELVs.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rpapo on 06/05/2015 10:07 AM
The STS stack was never fired together before it flew, was it? Same for Delta IV-H or any configuration of strap-on boosters on EELVs.
SpaceX uses an abundance of caution in this area, and performs extra tests because it can.  The STS could not and Delta stack cannot be tested together, as there are/were solid boosters involved.

[edit]Or was that Atlas that had strap-on solids?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Maciej Olesinski on 06/05/2015 10:10 AM
The STS stack was never fired together before it flew, was it? Same for Delta IV-H or any configuration of strap-on boosters on EELVs.
SpaceX uses an abundance of caution in this area, and performs extra tests because it can.  The STS could not and Delta stack cannot be tested together, as there are/were solid boosters involved.

Delta IV-H do not have solid boosters.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Kabloona on 06/05/2015 12:36 PM
The STS stack was never fired together before it flew, was it? Same for Delta IV-H or any configuration of strap-on boosters on EELVs.
SpaceX uses an abundance of caution in this area, and performs extra tests because it can.  The STS could not and Delta stack cannot be tested together, as there are/were solid boosters involved.

[edit]Or was that Atlas that had strap-on solids?

Extra tests and abundance of caution are fine general principles. But I'm still trying to understand what SpaceX might believe is the specific technical value of static testing three cores together vs separately. I suppose base heating of the center core will be higher due to the side boosters, so a full-up static test could verify that base heating rates don't exceed design limits.

Structural loads on core attach points can't be tested in any meaningful way due to the way the cores are restrained at the base, and because in a static test they lack aero load components. Vibroacoustics also can't be properly static tested. Propulsion, avionics, etc, are integral to each booster, although avionics are somewhat interconnected, but can be extensively bench tested as an end-to-end system. I suppose you could do some minor TVC vectoring of the side boosters during static test to verify that the center core is correctly controlling the side boosters, but you could do that in factory with all three cores side by side without a static fire.

So I'm still failing to see much technical data that can be gained from a full-up static test that couldn't be gotten from separate core/booster static tests. Verification of base heating rates is one data point. Maybe other people can think of more specifics.

And in the absence of more compelling specifics, it still looks to me like the main value of full-up testing is production throughput, ie simultaneous acceptance testing of three cores vs one at a time.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/05/2015 01:16 PM
The STS stack was never fired together before it flew, was it? Same for Delta IV-H or any configuration of strap-on boosters on EELVs.
SpaceX uses an abundance of caution in this area, and performs extra tests because it can.  The STS could not and Delta stack cannot be tested together, as there are/were solid boosters involved.

Delta IV-H do not have solid boosters.
D4H was only tested with one booster at a time, if I recall correctly.

Most other launch vehicle providers no longer do nearly as much test firing as SpaceX does. SpaceX adopted a "test the crap out of it (where possible) before launch" attitude after Falcon 1. It has served them well, they haven't had a major launch failure since. They still acceptance test-fire each stage before launch (in addition to hot-fire), something no one else does.

Three cores firing is a much more intense acoustic environment than a single core. More can go wrong, so you test as much as you can before launch. Remember, 27 engines at once.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 06/05/2015 01:26 PM
Test As You Fly™
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 06/05/2015 01:49 PM
The STS stack was never fired together before it flew, was it? Same for Delta IV-H or any configuration of strap-on boosters on EELVs.
SpaceX uses an abundance of caution in this area, and performs extra tests because it can.  The STS could not and Delta stack cannot be tested together, as there are/were solid boosters involved.

Delta IV-H do not have solid boosters.
D4H was only tested with one booster at a time, if I recall correctly.


 Remember, 27 engines at once.

field trip anyone?  :P
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: baldusi on 06/05/2015 05:25 PM
The STS stack was never fired together before it flew, was it? Same for Delta IV-H or any configuration of strap-on boosters on EELVs.
SpaceX uses an abundance of caution in this area, and performs extra tests because it can.  The STS could not and Delta stack cannot be tested together, as there are/were solid boosters involved.

Delta IV-H do not have solid boosters.
But have ablative cooled engines. Those are barely able to get acceptance and mission within rated lifetime.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/05/2015 05:42 PM
Why I was interested in "all up" ground test and stage pre flight qualification burns wasn't just to get technical data that you'd get from flight.

It was to allow you to iterate better/faster on propulsion/structures refinement on constantly updating LV.

This differs from the current accepted strategy of getting it right once, tweaking for next, examining flight data and iterating on a per launch basis. You can go faster and do a wider range of things if you iterate on ground test as well, because you can do back to back tests with speculative changes and compare to a greater test data set.

What advanced consumer software technology was a shorter "compile test debug edit" cycle. This is the same but for LV's.

So instead of an acceptable, marginal improvement rate - you can get a greater rate of change.

But its not for free. You now have to test each article for flight exhaustively, you have to set thresholds/tolerances to extremely tight margins, you have to meticulously follow back even the slightest deviation, and ... you're locked into that for the life of the vehicle.

If the vehicle is reused, this is not so much of a problem, because you save so much time in not rebuilding it from scratch the added costs don't matter, and, because of the harshness of reuse (reentry, landing, recovery, ...), you get a new set of stress paths that expose new failure modes that were hidden before that become obvious. Pays dividends.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 06/10/2015 06:48 PM
If they ever pick up propellant cross-feed again (my bet would be they haven't dropped it, just deprioritized it), then an all-up FH test stand would be a useful resource to develop that capability.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 07/06/2015 03:59 PM
Can anyone get eyes on McGregor in the next week?  There is some curiosity about whether a stage 2 LOX tank, Dragon trunk, and/or IDA-2 might be undergoing tests out there.

Edit: IDA-2 would be tested on NASA equipment, not SpaceX equipment, if it's being tested at all.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 07/07/2015 12:43 AM

Can anyone get eyes on McGregor in the next week?  There is some curiosity about whether a stage 2 LOX tank, Dragon trunk, and/or IDA-2 might be undergoing tests out there.
Source?

See http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37954.msg1400619.msg#1400619 and following.  Ultimate source is Elon's tweet, which implied they would be doing some validation this week.

It's not a sure thing, just a reasonable hunch.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: gongora on 07/07/2015 01:49 AM
See http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37954.msg1400619.msg#1400619 and following.  Ultimate source is Elon's tweet, which implied they would be doing some validation this week.

It's not a sure thing, just a reasonable hunch.

IDA-2 going to McGregor is not a reasonable hunch.  It would be a really bizarre occurrence if it happened.  It's not SpaceX equipment, it's a customer payload.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 07/07/2015 02:10 AM
Ok, scratch IDA-2.  The other possibilities stand.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rickyramjet on 07/07/2015 03:46 AM
Making an assumption SpaceX will be doing testing on an upper stage + trunk is a pretty far stretch IMO. 

Elon said: "Expect to reach preliminary conclusions regarding last flight by end of week. Will brief key customers & FAA, then post on our website" 

Nothing in that statement suggests anything related to a cause, so I don't know how the leap to testing a stage is made.

Also, the main road that goes right by SpaceX in McGregor is now labelled with a huge sign that says private road, authorized vehicles only.  I didn't want to risk getting ticketed for trespassing!!  The only view I found is from the far back of the property is on a farmers heavily rutted dirt road.  There were no signs on that road, but I'd assume it's private too and wouldn't be surprised if it was also restricted now that SpaceX increased the amount of land they are leasing.  I was out there about 3 months ago, posted a few pics back a couple of pages in this thread.

I'd certainly be interested if anyone else has been out there recently, and if they've found a good legal place to view things from as I'm only about 30 minutes away.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JoerTex on 07/07/2015 05:48 PM
I'll see if I can make a photo run on Friday.

The rutted road is County, not private.

The only area of good observation is the Dragonfly pad, all the rest, for tanks, etc.  is under a roof.

I'll say Hi to the cows.  We need to run a Kickstarter campaign to get the cows their own count-down clock.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JimNtexas on 07/07/2015 07:15 PM
My FAA medical expired on July 1, but I hope to get it updated by the end of July.  I'll do my best to do another aerial photo run as soon as I'm legal again.

Edited to add:

Somebody did put a 'private road' sign on that back country road last summer, but it was quickly taken down. 
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 07/07/2015 09:30 PM
...
I'd certainly be interested if anyone else has been out there recently, and if they've found a good legal place to view things from as I'm only about 30 minutes away.

fly

that's the point, if the farmer gives permission to fly a drone on his land your good to go. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 07/07/2015 09:48 PM
Ok, scratch IDA-2.  The other possibilities stand.

It could also be SpaceX's IDA for Crew Dragons. IIRC they're rolling their own.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 07/13/2015 06:31 PM
I'll see if I can make a photo run on Friday.

The rutted road is County, not private.

The only area of good observation is the Dragonfly pad, all the rest, for tanks, etc.  is under a roof.

I'll say Hi to the cows.  We need to run a Kickstarter campaign to get the cows their own count-down clock.

opps you said kickstarter....just was like a kid a few minutes ago.

from our London friends...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPDTTMA98iQ
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: corrodedNut on 07/15/2015 01:23 PM
Google Earth has new imagery of McGregor, dated Feb 9, 2015.

If you prefer Google Maps, here: https://goo.gl/maps/HdFx4
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: xpete on 07/16/2015 05:09 PM
Some new things I noticed.
1st image - New pipeline to a new construction... maybe a new test stand.
2nd Image - DragonFly test stand.
3rd  image - F9R-dev lauchpad with some changes. Some new metal structures already seen on JimNTexas fotos.
And the last image... Just north of the tripod there's this new construction. No idea what this is, not even sure it's from SpaceX. I know SpaceX bought or rented more land but don't know where are the new land borders. Anybody else knows? Maybe it's a new raptor test stand or Hyperloop track.
I hope JimNTexas can take better pictures soon.

Let the speculation begin.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: acsawdey on 07/16/2015 05:14 PM
1st image - New pipeline to a new construction... maybe a new test stand.

So, one of those pipes has periodic expansion loops. Normally one sees that sort of thing for steam pipes over long distances (across campus, or from one part of a refinery to another) but in this case I wonder if it's because it's a LOX pipeline? Presumedly the other pipe is RP-1, which isn't bothered by Texas ambient temperatures.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: BrianNH on 09/04/2015 04:21 PM
I haven't gone back and searched, but it's been a really long time since we have seen the "louder than normal" test warning.  They have definitely flown some rockets since then.

I think that it has also been a while since we have seen a report of a booster stage on the test stand (even ignoring the last couple of months since CRS-7).

I wonder if they could be testing booster stages on the falcon heavy test stand?  It is built into the ground to help suppress the noise, so it would be less annoying to the neighbors.  Perhaps they have abandoned the booster stage test stand?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 09/04/2015 04:59 PM
There is a lag time between the test and when the rocket flies.  It's also possible that there is a rocket or two that got tested and then held up due to the CRS-7 failure.  I wouldn't think they'd be doing any testing during the failure investigation.

Last we had seen the test stand did not seem to be nearly complete, and that was before the failure I think.  So it seems more likely that they were not testing on the Heavy stand then, and very likely they are not testing now during the failure investigation.

Would be nice to get newer images of the site to see if any progress has been made on the stand, though.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jdeshetler on 09/06/2015 04:40 AM
Can't find the previous posts on many acres SpaceX has acquired for McGregor Testing so far?

At northeast corner, the new Security Gateway built in late 2014. So where are the overall properties lines as of now?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 09/08/2015 09:42 PM
F9 first stage on new test stand: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38405.msg1423929#msg1423929.  Exciting!  Hope we can get some pictures of this...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: BrianNH on 09/09/2015 02:18 AM
We still don't know if previous rockets were tested on the Falcon Heavy test stand, but at least we know that this one is.  I hope they release a nice picture of the new stand being used.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/10/2015 02:25 AM
Article on the SES-9 F9 First Stage at McGregor - with photos - and a few other things:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/09/full-thrust-falcon-9-stage-testing-mcgregor/

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 09/10/2015 09:19 PM
So will the new test stand reduce the "louder than usual" side effects, or will those warnings be issued as usual?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Paul_G on 09/10/2015 09:44 PM
When the 'milk stool' stage test was used, the stage seemed secured against the blue metal structure, but the new test stand doesn't seem to have  the same support structure - looking back at Jim Howard's photos from the start of the year, all that is really visible is the flame pit. Have SpaceX moved on from the TEL like structure on the Milk Stool and now use hold down devices similar to a live pad?

Is the first stage fuelled from the base, and the TEL structure on the pad only needed to support fuelling lines for the upper stage?

Thanks

Paul
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 09/16/2015 10:31 AM
Looks like the test is coming soon!

From twitter, from the science reporter at the local Waco newspaper:

Joe Science ‏@JoeScience    7 hours ago

Got notice from @SpaceX today of a louder-than-usual test as early as Wednesday. Presumably the even-newer, improved #Falcon9. (https://twitter.com/JoeScience/status/643989738282614785)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 09/16/2015 02:12 PM
Wonder if it is anticipated to be "louder than usual" even with the new test stand?  Speculation was the below-ground (at least, until the exit) flame trench would reduce the range/volume of the testing.  Maybe they are being careful until they have a chance to put it through its paces.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 09/16/2015 05:16 PM
Wonder if it is anticipated to be "louder than usual" even with the new test stand?  Speculation was the below-ground (at least, until the exit) flame trench would reduce the range/volume of the testing.  Maybe they are being careful until they have a chance to put it through its paces.

Cow Warning  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 09/16/2015 05:27 PM
Wonder if it is anticipated to be "louder than usual" even with the new test stand?  Speculation was the below-ground (at least, until the exit) flame trench would reduce the range/volume of the testing.  Maybe they are being careful until they have a chance to put it through its paces.

Until the test stand has been actually used, they don't know for sure how it will affect the noise level. It is better to play it safe and warn the community.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/16/2015 07:36 PM
Looks like the test is coming soon!

From twitter, from the science reporter at the local Waco newspaper:

Joe Science ‏@JoeScience    7 hours ago

Got notice from @SpaceX today of a louder-than-usual test as early as Wednesday. Presumably the even-newer, improved #Falcon9. (https://twitter.com/JoeScience/status/643989738282614785)

Yep. Everyone local please listen out for the rumble. Rocket Cows of McGregor will be "Meh. Heard it before" ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Tomness on 09/17/2015 01:21 PM
Looks like the test is coming soon!

From twitter, from the science reporter at the local Waco newspaper:

Joe Science ‏@JoeScience    7 hours ago

Got notice from @SpaceX today of a louder-than-usual test as early as Wednesday. Presumably the even-newer, improved #Falcon9. (https://twitter.com/JoeScience/status/643989738282614785)

Yep. Everyone local please listen out for the rumble. Rocket Cows of McGregor will be "Meh. Heard it before" ;D

I have asked a couple of Team Mates through TeamBridge/Teleconference that work in Mcgregor if SpaceX had done their testing yet this week, they just said where they work it sounds like train passing by but if weather conditions are just right it rattles the windows, but doubt does that with the new test stand. My other Team Mates asked me "they thought SpaceX just launched in Florida.... I had educated them.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Roy_H on 09/18/2015 02:44 PM
When the 'milk stool' stage test was used, the stage seemed secured against the blue metal structure, but the new test stand doesn't seem to have  the same support structure - looking back at Jim Howard's photos from the start of the year, all that is really visible is the flame pit. Have SpaceX moved on from the TEL like structure on the Milk Stool and now use hold down devices similar to a live pad?

Is the first stage fuelled from the base, and the TEL structure on the pad only needed to support fuelling lines for the upper stage?

Thanks

Paul

The first stage is fueled from the base, but I too expected them to build a TE at McGregor. My reasoning is not just to add support for the top, but it would be required if they ever build a cross-over version of the FH as they would have to raise all three cores together. So in the non-crossover version, could they use a crane to erect each booster separately and attach them together while vertical?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 09/18/2015 04:49 PM
I wonder if the test hasn't happened yet, or if nobody noticed because it wasn't very loud...

I'm assuming the test hasn't happened yet though.  Probably still shaking out bugs in the new test stand.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jarnis on 09/18/2015 04:58 PM
I wonder if the test hasn't happened yet, or if nobody noticed because it wasn't very loud...

I'm assuming the test hasn't happened yet though.  Probably still shaking out bugs in the new test stand.

Assume "hasn't happened yet" - we usually hear about these things pretty reliably...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/18/2015 05:21 PM
I wonder if the test hasn't happened yet, or if nobody noticed because it wasn't very loud...

I'm assuming the test hasn't happened yet though.  Probably still shaking out bugs in the new test stand.

Static Fire hasn't taken place yet.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: nadreck on 09/18/2015 10:10 PM
http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/McGregor--Collision-At-SpaceX-Leaves-2-Injured-328274751.html (http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/McGregor--Collision-At-SpaceX-Leaves-2-Injured-328274751.html)

Arriving employee car hits forklift.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 09/19/2015 02:15 AM
He's probably the one that had the firing key...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mtakala24 on 09/20/2015 11:40 AM
Still no news from the rocket cows?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: xpete on 09/25/2015 01:43 AM
Quote
SpaceX
11 min ·

This week we static fired the upgraded Falcon 9’s first stage for a planned 15 second test. This was the first test of the upgraded first stage with densified propellant, and we’ve now static fired both stages of the upgraded Falcon 9.

This was also the first time we utilized our new Falcon Booster Test Stand at our facilities in McGregor, TX.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbe1KNUBEEU
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Damon Hill on 09/25/2015 01:56 AM
It looks as though the center engine may still be firing at the "end" of the test fire?

Nice drone flyby; what would it take to get a 4K video now that those are becoming more affordable?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 09/25/2015 02:07 AM

It looks as though the center engine may still be firing at the "end" of the test fire?

Nice drone flyby; what would it take to get a 4K video now that those are becoming more affordable?

Their drones already capture 4K video, they have released 4K drone footage of Grasshopper and F9R-Dev1.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/25/2015 02:22 AM
Great view.

Anyhoo:
Updated the previous article (as I said I would), added images and Elon's comment from Berlin:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/09/full-thrust-falcon-9-stage-testing-mcgregor/
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 09/25/2015 05:41 AM
Any idea how noisy this test was compared to the elevated stand?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: corrodedNut on 09/25/2015 02:27 PM
Why are they calling it the "Falcon Booster Test Stand"?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: ugordan on 09/25/2015 02:28 PM
Aren't first stages traditionally called boosters?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: corrodedNut on 09/25/2015 02:41 PM
Aren't first stages traditionally called boosters?

I thought that they were calling it the Falcon Heavy Test Stand. Makes it sound like they won't be testing three cores at once on this stand.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Joaosg on 09/25/2015 03:16 PM
Aren't first stages traditionally called boosters?

I thought that they were calling it the Falcon Heavy Test Stand. Makes it sound like they won't be testing three cores at once on this stand.

If they called it Falcon Heavy Test Stand and kept testing (as they will) F9 cores on that stand would make even less sense. Calling it Falcon Boster test stand allows them to keep testing all kind of Falcon cores there without making us crazy (remind the falcon 9 v1.1, v1.2, v2.0 and full trust discussions here)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 09/25/2015 03:26 PM
With the "Falcon Booster" test stand going active are there plans to retire the milk stool test stand or will it be used for additional testing capacity?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 09/25/2015 03:44 PM
It is interesting to note (IMO)  ;) that the "booster test stand" is setup almost like a launch pad, where the booster is only anchored by the ground attachment points - whereas the old tripod stand has a mast that supported the booster.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 09/25/2015 03:50 PM
It is interesting to note (IMO)  ;) that the "booster test stand" is setup almost like a launch pad, where the booster is only anchored by the ground attachment points - whereas the old tripod stand has a mast that supported the booster.

I don't know that the booster can be held anywhere BUT at the bottom.  You could potentially apply force at the interstage connection point, but it should be "free floating" - with no positional constraints.

I don't know what the tower does.  Maybe it's for access, maybe for lifting and positioning before the stage is anchored down.  It does look beefy, but I just can't see the stage held by its walls while the engine is thrusting.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 09/25/2015 03:53 PM
It is interesting to note (IMO)  ;) that the "booster test stand" is setup almost like a launch pad, where the booster is only anchored by the ground attachment points - whereas the old tripod stand has a mast that supported the booster.

I don't know that the booster can be held anywhere BUT at the bottom.  You could potentially apply force at the interstage connection point, but it should be "free floating" - with no positional constraints.

I don't know what the tower does.  Maybe it's for access, maybe for lifting and positioning before the stage is anchored down.  It does look beefy, but I just can't see the stage held by its walls while the engine is thrusting.

I didn't mean that it was held by the walls, but the old stand did appear to hold the stage by the top as well, see image: (I could be wrong)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 09/25/2015 03:55 PM
It is interesting to note (IMO)  ;) that the "booster test stand" is setup almost like a launch pad, where the booster is only anchored by the ground attachment points - whereas the old tripod stand has a mast that supported the booster.

I don't know that the booster can be held anywhere BUT at the bottom.  You could potentially apply force at the interstage connection point, but it should be "free floating" - with no positional constraints.

I don't know what the tower does.  Maybe it's for access, maybe for lifting and positioning before the stage is anchored down.  It does look beefy, but I just can't see the stage held by its walls while the engine is thrusting.

I didn't mean that it was held by the walls, but the old stand did appear to hold the stage by the top as well, see image: (I could be wrong)

I think the truss is there to support the crane that lifts stages into place, though not sure if SpaceX is using it that way.  (They didn't build the stand)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Paul_G on 09/25/2015 04:30 PM
If you look at the top of the stage on the new stand, I think I can see some (4?) cables attached to something on top of the inter-stage. The cables look taut enough to stabalise the top of the stage and stop it flopping about, but suspect they aren't actively holding it down

Paul
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rpapo on 09/25/2015 05:20 PM
If you look at the top of the stage on the new stand, I think I can see some (4?) cables attached to something on top of the inter-stage. The cables look taut enough to stabalise the top of the stage and stop it flopping about, but suspect they aren't actively holding it down

Paul
It may not need anything stabilizing it up top for a static fire, but what about the wind?  I don't suppose they take the stage down immediately like they do at the Cape after the static fire test.  If it's going to be standing for longer times, something to moderate the side-ways push from wind would be nice, especially with something that tall.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 09/25/2015 06:44 PM
If you look at the top of the stage on the new stand, I think I can see some (4?) cables attached to something on top of the inter-stage. The cables look taut enough to stabalise the top of the stage and stop it flopping about, but suspect they aren't actively holding it down

Paul
It may not need anything stabilizing it up top for a static fire, but what about the wind?  I don't suppose they take the stage down immediately like they do at the Cape after the static fire test.  If it's going to be standing for longer times, something to moderate the side-ways push from wind would be nice, especially with something that tall.

I'm not sure about that.   What stabilizes utility poles, wind turbines, silos and tall buildings?   They have similar aspect ratios, and some are even more slender.  This is a 3.6 m metallic structural tube.  I don't think wind can touch it.   Once it's in position and pinned to the foundation, it's not flopping anywhere.

The time it is vulnerable is during the transfer process.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Roy_H on 09/27/2015 06:20 PM
Oops, I meant to post this here instead of the general discussion thread.

Does anyone know how much water is used for the flame trench in these static fires? ISTM that at Canaveral, they have a large pond of water and have this "Niagra" water system dumping tons of water on the pad and into the flame trench. Presumably this is to minimize damage to the flame trench as well as reducing noise from take-off. All this water for a few seconds before the rocket is clear of the pad. But at McGregor, they talk of full duration filght simulation static fire and no apparent large water supply.  Am I wrong in my assumptions? Could they operate the Canaveral launches dry without damage?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 09/27/2015 06:34 PM
Oops, I meant to post this here instead of the general discussion thread.

Does anyone know how much water is used for the flame trench in these static fires? ISTM that at Canaveral, they have a large pond of water and have this "Niagra" water system dumping tons of water on the pad and into the flame trench. Presumably this is to minimize damage to the flame trench as well as reducing noise from take-off. All this water for a few seconds before the rocket is clear of the pad. But at McGregor, they talk of full duration filght simulation static fire and no apparent large water supply.  Am I wrong in my assumptions? Could they operate the Canaveral launches dry without damage?

I don't know the # of gallons, but it can't possibly compare with what goes into agriculture, if you have to irrigate a field.

I think that water tower is enough, and then they re-charge it over the next day or two.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 09/28/2015 01:41 PM
Oops, I meant to post this here instead of the general discussion thread.

Does anyone know how much water is used for the flame trench in these static fires? ISTM that at Canaveral, they have a large pond of water and have this "Niagra" water system dumping tons of water on the pad and into the flame trench. Presumably this is to minimize damage to the flame trench as well as reducing noise from take-off. All this water for a few seconds before the rocket is clear of the pad. But at McGregor, they talk of full duration filght simulation static fire and no apparent large water supply.  Am I wrong in my assumptions? Could they operate the Canaveral launches dry without damage?

I don't know the # of gallons, but it can't possibly compare with what goes into agriculture, if you have to irrigate a field.

I think that water tower is enough, and then they re-charge it over the next day or two.

The info was saved in my archive,

Waco Tribune.... (http://www.wacotrib.com/waco_today_magazine/spacex-blasting-into-the-future-a-waco-today-interview-with/article_6710295c-9151-59ba-b091-99aeade5beff.html)

Quote
Adjacent land that SpaceX secured last spring will be excavated for an in-ground testing facility for its newest rocket, the Falcon Heavy.

Testing will begin this spring on the Merlin 1D engine, which will power the Falcon Heavy. To fire all 27 engines at the same time, which is required to lift the massive rocket, a test stand will be built deep into the earth.

The new test stand will be connected to the tallest water tower in America. The tower will be 280 feet high and hold 500,000 gallons of water that can be emptied in less than 90 seconds via 6-foot-wide tubes.

Edit: fixed link
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 09/29/2015 12:50 AM
The info was saved in my archive,

Waco Tribune.... (http://www.wacotrib.com/waco_today_magazine/spacex-blasting-into-the-future-a-waco-today-interview-with/article_6710295c-9151-59ba-b091-99aeade5beff.html)

Quote
Adjacent land that SpaceX secured last spring will be excavated for an in-ground testing facility for its newest rocket, the Falcon Heavy.

Testing will begin this spring on the Merlin 1D engine, which will power the Falcon Heavy. To fire all 27 engines at the same time, which is required to lift the massive rocket, a test stand will be built deep into the earth.

The new test stand will be connected to the tallest water tower in America. The tower will be 280 feet high and hold 500,000 gallons of water that can be emptied in less than 90 seconds via 6-foot-wide tubes.

Edit: fixed link

Well, that would be the mother of all flushes. :)

Considering that the flame pit for the test stand is below grade, I wonder where the water goes.  It can't all be evaporated.  It would make sense for it to drain into either a holding pond or underground tank so that the residual can be pumped back into the tower.  Waste not want not.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 09/29/2015 01:59 AM
Here's another shot of the milk stool stand:
Falcon 9 First Stage on Test Stand (https://flic.kr/p/xv2mDV) by Michael Pelletier (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mvpel/), on Flickr

I can't quite tell, but is that a guy standing on the platform at the top of the booster leaning towards it? You can also see that the platforms are folding and available at each level of the scaffold.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: HMXHMX on 09/29/2015 07:09 PM
I'm hoping someone on this forum can answer a question about distance of control room from the Merlin single engine test stand(s).  I've tried to answer the question by using Goggle maps, but so far can't.

Specifically, I'm wondering what the closest human presence is to those stands?  (Context: someone has asked me for some advice on a test site layout, and I figured that SpaceX would have given this more than cursory thought, so why reinvent the wheel?  I've built plenty of test stands but never one quite as large as ~200K-lbf, such as a single engine Merlin.)

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JoerTex on 09/29/2015 07:37 PM
I'm hoping someone on this forum can answer a question about distance of control room from the Merlin single engine test stand(s).  I've tried to answer the question by using Goggle maps, but so far can't.

Specifically, I'm wondering what the closest human presence is to those stands?  (Context: someone has asked me for some advice on a test site layout, and I figured that SpaceX would have given this more than cursory thought, so why reinvent the wheel?  I've built plenty of test stands but never one quite as large as ~200K-lbf, such as a single engine Merlin.)

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Look at the Google Earth images of the site.  I'd estimate buildings within 60ft.  But during a burn . . . .?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: LastStarFighter on 09/29/2015 08:32 PM
I'm hoping someone on this forum can answer a question about distance of control room from the Merlin single engine test stand(s).  I've tried to answer the question by using Goggle maps, but so far can't.

Specifically, I'm wondering what the closest human presence is to those stands?  (Context: someone has asked me for some advice on a test site layout, and I figured that SpaceX would have given this more than cursory thought, so why reinvent the wheel?  I've built plenty of test stands but never one quite as large as ~200K-lbf, such as a single engine Merlin.)

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Hard to know with out know which building their bunker is. If I were to guess the bunker appears to be 300ft to the SW of the single engine stand. Appears to be the only building built like a bunker. That would put it ~4000ft from the other test stands. Not claiming to know but that's my guess.

This question reminds me that it's been a while since an attempt has been made to label the facilities on a map. Looks like a lot of new stuff in the area. Not sure where the test facility ends and other owners are building but it would be interesting to do a map like what's been done for Brownsville.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: corrodedNut on 09/29/2015 08:40 PM
I'm hoping someone on this forum can answer a question about distance of control room from the Merlin single engine test stand(s).  I've tried to answer the question by using Goggle maps, but so far can't.

Specifically, I'm wondering what the closest human presence is to those stands?  (Context: someone has asked me for some advice on a test site layout, and I figured that SpaceX would have given this more than cursory thought, so why reinvent the wheel?  I've built plenty of test stands but never one quite as large as ~200K-lbf, such as a single engine Merlin.)

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28332.msg872448#msg872448

Note "Blockhouse" in the lower right corner of either picture
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: HMXHMX on 09/29/2015 10:11 PM
I'm hoping someone on this forum can answer a question about distance of control room from the Merlin single engine test stand(s).  I've tried to answer the question by using Goggle maps, but so far can't.

Specifically, I'm wondering what the closest human presence is to those stands?  (Context: someone has asked me for some advice on a test site layout, and I figured that SpaceX would have given this more than cursory thought, so why reinvent the wheel?  I've built plenty of test stands but never one quite as large as ~200K-lbf, such as a single engine Merlin.)

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28332.msg872448#msg872448

Note "Blockhouse" in the lower right corner of either picture

Thanks!
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: pospa on 10/07/2015 04:11 PM
I had a chance to visit Houston and McGregor in pevious week. On Saturday Sep 3rd at 10 am local time a totally quiet test base, no visible activity, closed hangar, no rocket stage on any test stand observable from south gate. My effort to get inside for a tour via friend working in Hawthorne wasn't successful, so I saw it at least from behind the fence on my own eyes.  Happy space fan though.  :)

A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: dorkmo on 10/07/2015 09:05 PM
I had a chance to visit Houston and McGregor in pevious week. On Saturday Sep 3rd at 10 am local time a totally quiet test base, no visible activity, closed hangar, no rocket stage on any test stand observable from south gate. My effort to get inside for a tour via frend working in Hawthorne wasn't successful, so I saw it at least from behind the fence on my own eyes.  Happy space fan though.  :)

A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822

does that last picture you posted on flickr look like some sort of second stage structural test rig. perhaps trying to replicate conditions in flight? looks like some sort of cooling system and insulation covering the outside of it? they didnt paint it, makes me think it was built asap.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: pospa on 10/07/2015 09:41 PM
A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822
does that last picture you posted on flickr look like some sort of second stage structural test rig. perhaps trying to replicate conditions in flight? looks like some sort of cooling system and insulation covering the outside of it? they didnt paint it, makes me think it was built asap.

Yes, you are right, it looks like simulation of 2nd stage deeper cryogenic conditions, but I think we saw some preparation of that stand even before CRS-7 crash. So it was likely build not just for mishap investigation purposes, but rather before that for full thrust and moore cooled fuel version tests (my guesswork).
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: dorkmo on 10/08/2015 02:46 AM
A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822
does that last picture you posted on flickr look like some sort of second stage structural test rig. perhaps trying to replicate conditions in flight? looks like some sort of cooling system and insulation covering the outside of it? they didnt paint it, makes me think it was built asap.

Yes, you are right, it looks like simulation of 2nd stage deeper cryogenic conditions, but I think we saw some preparation of that stand even before CRS-7 crash. So it was likely build not just for mishap investigation purposes, but rather before that for full thrust and moore cooled fuel version tests (my guesswork).

interesting! considering those lox tanks are venting id definitely say its being used, been used lately, or will soon be used. To me it seems late in the game to be testing the full thrust design. would they be testing on orbit bleed off performance? is that not a straigt forward calc? any ideas whats mounted on the upper half of the rig? yellow and black cylinders, are those fans? then there looks like a handful of long pole type things coming out of the top of the tank.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: LouScheffer on 10/08/2015 11:14 AM
A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822
does that last picture you posted on flickr look like some sort of second stage structural test rig. perhaps trying to replicate conditions in flight? looks like some sort of cooling system and insulation covering the outside of it? they didnt paint it, makes me think it was built asap.
Also looks to me like a second stage structural test.  They load the stage with cryogens (maybe liquid nitrogen instead of oxygen to minimize the risk if it blows), then push on it with hydraulic jacks to simulate flight stress, plus some margin.  Meanwhile they measure with strain gauges to make sure their models are correct.  They would for sure want to do this at least once after the tank stretch.  They might even do it for each production stage.

The trailer looks pretty close to the stand, which is why I suspect no liquid oxygen.  And perhaps the fans(?) on top are to disperse any nitrogen that might otherwise accumulate from venting during the test, to avoid creating an oxygen-free zone.

All guesses from a grainy picture, so take them with a boulder of salt.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 10/12/2015 05:13 PM
A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822

Quite a noticeable change from last June... (https://flic.kr/p/yrUGxD)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 10/13/2015 12:39 PM
A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822

Quite a noticeable change from last June... (https://flic.kr/p/yrUGxD)

Okay, being as this is NSF, and the NSF video reconstruction army has been short of work lately, who is going to put together a gif of the two images, with annotated frame-by-frame analysis of the changes?   ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: dmc6960 on 10/14/2015 07:28 PM
A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822

Quite a noticeable change from last June... (https://flic.kr/p/yrUGxD)

Okay, being as this is NSF, and the NSF video reconstruction army has been short of work lately, who is going to put together a gif of the two images, with annotated frame-by-frame analysis of the changes?   ;)

There are no major changes.  The two photos are from different angles.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 10/14/2015 09:03 PM
There are no major changes.  The two photos are from different angles.
I was noting the two new large tanks to the left of the Merlin test stand, and the facilities for the new booster test stand between the Merlin stand and the tanks on the right in the background, and that they apparently have removed a number of trees. Not "major," but certainly "noticeable" as I put it.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: pospa on 10/15/2015 09:02 AM
A few spy pictures from there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157659486448822
Quite a noticeable change from last June... (https://flic.kr/p/yrUGxD)
Okay, being as this is NSF, and the NSF video reconstruction army has been short of work lately, who is going to put together a gif of the two images, with annotated frame-by-frame analysis of the changes?   ;)
There are no major changes.  The two photos are from different angles.

Just for your reference I took the majority of those pictures from the South gate = right orange dot on the map and the final seven photos were taken from the bend of 311 = left orange dot.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: dorkmo on 10/16/2015 03:17 AM
feels like im playing that game in first grade, find the differences
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Nomadd on 10/21/2015 04:48 AM
 Somehow, I've managed to neglect to find McGregor on a map all these years. Now, sitting in a hotel room in Waco, I find out it's about 12 miles away. I guess I'll need to go poke around tomorrow. If I'm caught, I'll just tell them I'm from Reddit.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 10/21/2015 04:56 AM
Somehow, I've managed to neglect to find McGregor on a map all these years. Now, sitting in a hotel room in Waco, I find out it's about 12 miles away. I guess I'll need to go poke around tomorrow. If I'm caught, I'll just tell them I'm from Reddit.

From one post up, I thought you're already lounging at your beach front property with a Margarita at hand...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: rpapo on 10/21/2015 10:17 AM
That's a fair drive, according to Google Maps.  It estimated nearly seven hours to drive from Boca Chica to McGregor, and since I've seen first-hand that Google Maps underestimates things, I would probably guess it was really eight to nine hours driving.  Texas is a big place.

Unless you can get JimNTexas to fly you up...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 10/21/2015 02:28 PM
Somehow, I've managed to neglect to find McGregor on a map all these years. Now, sitting in a hotel room in Waco, I find out it's about 12 miles away. I guess I'll need to go poke around tomorrow. If I'm caught, I'll just tell them I'm from Reddit.

I'll be interested to hear if the Atria hotel is still cheekily touting itself as the "Best Hotel in McGregor" on the sign out front. It's technically true, since they're the only hotel in McGregor.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Nomadd on 10/22/2015 01:54 AM
 Well, it was kind of hazy and half way through my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: darkenfast on 10/22/2015 06:05 AM
Somehow, I've managed to neglect to find McGregor on a map all these years. Now, sitting in a hotel room in Waco, I find out it's about 12 miles away. I guess I'll need to go poke around tomorrow. If I'm caught, I'll just tell them I'm from Reddit.

After the newspaper article and this site, they probably already have a file on you!  Hopefully, it says something like "harmless rocket-spotter"!
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Beittil on 10/22/2015 09:22 AM
Somehow, I've managed to neglect to find McGregor on a map all these years. Now, sitting in a hotel room in Waco, I find out it's about 12 miles away. I guess I'll need to go poke around tomorrow. If I'm caught, I'll just tell them I'm from Reddit.

After the newspaper article and this site, they probably already have a file on you!  Hopefully, it says something like "harmless rocket-spotter"!
Since his house buying stint it probably has been revised to 'mostly harmless rocket-spotter' ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 10/22/2015 11:04 AM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.

Is that the OG-2 core or is it F9r vehicle 2?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Nomadd on 10/22/2015 01:13 PM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.

Is that the OG-2 core or is it F9r vehicle 2?
The F9R wouldn't have the interstage, would it?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: woods170 on 10/22/2015 02:38 PM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.

Is that the OG-2 core or is it F9r vehicle 2?
The F9R wouldn't have the interstage, would it?
In fact it would since the interstage is home to the grid fins and associated hardware.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 10/22/2015 02:48 PM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.
Interesting... they seem to have put guy lines to the top of the rocket. Has anyone seen them do that before?  I don't recall seeing lines on the last batch of test-stand photos, and when F9R-Dev1 was up on blocks out at the test pad, it was just sitting there, occasionally with the crane hooked to it and nothing else. I expect they'd want to reduce the loads on the mounting hardware in the test stand. Maybe it was shimmying a bit in the wind while they were working to install the engines?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/22/2015 03:47 PM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.
Interesting... they seem to have put guy lines to the top of the rocket. Has anyone seen them do that before?  I don't recall seeing lines on the last batch of test-stand photos, and when F9R-Dev1 was up on blocks out at the test pad, it was just sitting there, occasionally with the crane hooked to it and nothing else. I expect they'd want to reduce the loads on the mounting hardware in the test stand. Maybe it was shimmying a bit in the wind while they were working to install the engines?

Yes, the 4 lines were there in the night time video of the first FT test. If you look VERY carefully at 1080p quality, you can see one of the lines (to the left of the rocket near the light):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbe1KNUBEEU
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: douglas100 on 10/22/2015 04:06 PM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.

Is that the OG-2 core or is it F9r vehicle 2?

Is there actually going to be an F9R vehicle 2? I thought the plan now was to re-fly successfully recovered stages in New Mexico.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 10/22/2015 04:43 PM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.

Is that the OG-2 core or is it F9r vehicle 2?

Is there actually going to be an F9R vehicle 2? I thought the plan now was to re-fly successfully recovered stages in New Mexico.
My recollection is that you are correct, and the core that was slated to become the F9r Dev2 vehicle was re-purposed to be the in-flight abort core, and was last seen conducting tanking tests at SLC-4.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: itzdanielp on 10/22/2015 05:23 PM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.

Is that the OG-2 core or is it F9r vehicle 2?

Is there actually going to be an F9R vehicle 2? I thought the plan now was to re-fly successfully recovered stages in New Mexico.
My recollection is that you are correct, and the core that was slated to become the F9r Dev2 vehicle was re-purposed to be the in-flight abort core, and was last seen conducting tanking tests at SLC-4.

That's what I seem to recall as well.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Nomadd on 10/23/2015 03:39 AM
Well, it was kind of hazy and half way trough my circumnavigation of the site, something came up that's calling me to Michigan. But I did get one fair shot.
Interesting... they seem to have put guy lines to the top of the rocket. Has anyone seen them do that before?  I don't recall seeing lines on the last batch of test-stand photos, and when F9R-Dev1 was up on blocks out at the test pad, it was just sitting there, occasionally with the crane hooked to it and nothing else. I expect they'd want to reduce the loads on the mounting hardware in the test stand. Maybe it was shimmying a bit in the wind while they were working to install the engines?
A little different angle.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/23/2015 05:58 AM
I'm a little surprised that they are testing the stage with the trunk interstage  attached. I don't think this was done when they used the "tripod" stand.

I suppose this is a further development in wanting to test it as "whole" as possible, and make it as launch-ready as possible before shipping it off to the launch site.

It could also be that a piece of the stage essential systems has migrated to the trunk interstage in the FT version, so it needs to be attached to work right.

EDIT: I meant interstage, not trunk.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: douglas100 on 10/23/2015 10:11 AM
Small nit: by "trunk" I assume you mean interstage.

Quote
I suppose this is a further development in wanting to test it as "whole" as possible, and make it as launch-ready as possible before shipping it off to the launch site.

Makes sense, especially in the context of re-use.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: GORDAP on 10/23/2015 11:11 AM
Small nit: by "trunk" I assume you mean interstage.
 

Hmm, I wonder if Elon refers to the interstage as a 'Frunk'.   ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: abaddon on 10/23/2015 02:03 PM
So... looks a bit... squat?  I am assuming that is because it is partially under ground level in the new test stand.  Any estimates for how much of the stage is belowground?

(Or I am imagining things.  Which is always possible).
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: eriblo on 10/23/2015 02:15 PM
So... looks a bit... squat?  I am assuming that is because it is partially under ground level in the new test stand.  Any estimates for how much of the stage is belowground?

(Or I am imagining things.  Which is always possible).
I don't think that the base of the stage is much below ground level, looking at the resent hot fire video i would say that its actually a few meters above. The picture is taken from quite some distance and the ground is well below the local horizon, compare with the red crawler crane to the right (only a portion of the boom is visible).
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MattMason on 10/23/2015 03:13 PM
FYI: The remains of Hurricane Patricia (currently the nastiest hurricane ever in the western hemisphere with sustained winds near 200 MPH) will pass through northern Mexico on a collision course with central Texas by Saturday. That might put an additional damper on any static fire testing.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 10/23/2015 05:06 PM
Small nit: by "trunk" I assume you mean interstage.

D'oh, of course! I have edited my post.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 10/24/2015 01:24 AM
FYI: The remains of Hurricane Patricia (currently the nastiest hurricane ever in the western hemisphere with sustained winds near 200 MPH) will pass through northern Mexico on a collision course with central Texas by Saturday. That might put an additional damper on any static fire testing.


No pun intended, of course.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 10/24/2015 09:29 PM
I wonder what the wind-speed criteria are for taking the stage off the stand.

McGregor, Texas Observed Wind Speed Contour Map (http://weather.weatherbug.com/maps/Contour.Observed.WindSpeed/mcgregor-tx-76657?center=31.5668353,-97.5366211,8)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/24/2015 10:05 PM
I wonder what the wind-speed criteria are for taking the stage off the stand.

McGregor, Texas Observed Wind Speed Contour Map (http://weather.weatherbug.com/maps/Contour.Observed.WindSpeed/mcgregor-tx-76657?center=31.5668353,-97.5366211,8)

Yeah, that would be interesting. The static fire is NET "now!" (late Saturday).....but the weather was classed as an item. However, that seemed to be a lot to do with tanking. You don't tank in a storm.

Haven't had an update as to the plan past the Saturday NET. Going to put an article on to note it's soon to happen. The weather after today looks a lot better.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/24/2015 11:10 PM
I wonder what the wind-speed criteria are for taking the stage off the stand.

McGregor, Texas Observed Wind Speed Contour Map (http://weather.weatherbug.com/maps/Contour.Observed.WindSpeed/mcgregor-tx-76657?center=31.5668353,-97.5366211,8)

Yeah, that would be interesting. The static fire is NET "now!" (late Saturday).....but the weather was classed as an item. However, that seemed to be a lot to do with tanking. You don't tank in a storm.

Haven't had an update as to the plan past the Saturday NET. Going to put an article on to note it's soon to happen. The weather after today looks a lot better.

That article:

So we're waiting for the test and I'll update this article when we hear of it. Is NET today, but the weather is apparently dire in the area.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/spacex-fire-full-thrust-falcon-9-first-stage/

Putting it on to also cover the latest NET dates for the next three missions, and such.
Title: Rain at McGregor
Post by: JoerTex on 10/25/2015 02:46 PM
Any work at the facility has been impacted.  The work areas around the test stands are 'improved',  not paved.
Rain slack today.  Here's RADAR Estimated Storm Totals. 10" to 12" just west. The 6"-8" in immediate area will make movement difficult.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/25/2015 04:07 PM
Waiting for the US Grand Prix #LewisHamiltonHammertime and it's chucking it down in Austin. I know, Texas is massive, but sure seems like that Hurricane (former) has sent some of the wet stuff your way!
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MarsInMyLifetime on 10/25/2015 11:59 PM
Waiting for the US Grand Prix #LewisHamiltonHammertime and it's chucking it down in Austin. I know, Texas is massive, but sure seems like that Hurricane (former) has sent some of the wet stuff your way!
Most of the rain today was to our south; trials were had and trophies won, as you know by now. http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/34633569


Now, let's light some candles at McGregor.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/26/2015 03:56 PM
Weather seems a lot better from now through the rest of the week. Let's hopefully hear reports of locals saying they heard a rumble.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Scylla on 10/26/2015 05:10 PM
SpaceX starting louder than normal tests this week

Posted: Oct 26, 2015 9:18 AM EDT
By Anthony J. GarciaCONNECT


SpaceX has announced that they will be running tests on their rocket development facility in McGregor.

The company says people can expect significantly more noticeable notice than they typically hear when SpaceX runs tests.

Tests are expected to start Monday, Oct. 26 at the earliest.
http://www.kxxv.com/story/30348563/spacex-starting-louder-than-normal-tests-this-week
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: BrianNH on 10/26/2015 05:35 PM
I think they meant "noise" instead of "notice".  People can expect significantly more noticeable noise...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: llanitedave on 10/26/2015 08:53 PM
Well, I'd hate it if the notice went unnoticed because it wasn't noticeable.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: WBY1984 on 10/27/2015 06:06 AM
Wait, the stage was exposed to that storm??? Sounds like a good way to mess the vehicle up in all sorts of hard-to-detect ways...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MattMason on 10/27/2015 11:29 AM
Wait, the stage was exposed to that storm??? Sounds like a good way to mess the vehicle up in all sorts of hard-to-detect ways...

Rockets are generally pretty durable. While they won't like a hailstorm, very high winds or, say, a bolt of lightning, normal precipitation isn't a bother. Keep in mind that rockets have to also endure the natural oceanic corrosive effects you're going to have when flying things off the coast of Florida or other coast.

And the things are coated with ice condensing from cryogenic fuels as well as water spray from the pad during liftoff. Up to dipping them in sea water, rockets do OK.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: The Roadie on 10/27/2015 02:27 PM
Normal precip doesn't get into the interstage, so I'm assuming they install some sort of cap on top of the first stage before erection. The second stage test stand includes a "beanie" dome cap to protect its top. Since this SpaceX pic was taken, they now have more protection structure around the stage. Helps keep the workers out of the sun and weather as well.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JoerTex on 10/30/2015 07:29 PM
So far today McGregor has only 1.6" of rain.  The storm is just moving into the area and produced much heavier amounts further south.  The river authority recorded 14.88" just south of Austin's airport in 6 hours.  Looks like bad conditions for a full duration firing.  Things should clear Saturday.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Roy_H on 10/30/2015 10:12 PM
Wait, the stage was exposed to that storm??? Sounds like a good way to mess the vehicle up in all sorts of hard-to-detect ways...

It better be designed to survive a lightning strike on it's way through clouds. Airplanes are, not that big a deal.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: DanseMacabre on 10/31/2015 12:02 AM
Wait, the stage was exposed to that storm??? Sounds like a good way to mess the vehicle up in all sorts of hard-to-detect ways...

It better be designed to survive a lightning strike on it's way through clouds. Airplanes are, not that big a deal.

I believe the cost of designing the rocket itself to sustain a lightning strike is impractical, hence the usage of the anvil weather rules we know and despise and the usage of lightning towers at pads to mitigate.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: The Roadie on 10/31/2015 03:01 PM
Posted with permission of my source who lives just south of the facility. A multi-minute engine test this morning from the vertical engine cluster
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: The Roadie on 10/31/2015 03:30 PM
View of the first stage erect on the new stand just before midnight last night. Again, thanks to my source with the amazing view.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/05/2015 01:01 AM
Google Earth has new imagery of McGregor, dated Feb 9, 2015.

If you prefer Google Maps, here: https://goo.gl/maps/HdFx4

New update showing the second new test stand being completed:

as you can see it seems to be smaller
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JBF on 11/05/2015 01:23 AM
What I find more interesting is what is happening at the old grasshopper stand.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 11/05/2015 01:43 AM
Zoomed in the new pads trench, then overlaid a pickup truck from elswhere in the map - same scale.  If it's an F-250 class truck it's about 228-263" long and 80" wide.

"Big-Raptor" test stand?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Darga on 11/05/2015 02:16 AM
Zoomed in the new pads trench, then overlaid a pickup truck from elswhere in the map - same scale.  If it's an F-250 class truck it's about 228-263" long and 80" wide.

"Big-Raptor" test stand?

If not for Raptor could it be for single stick F9? The other trench is designed for F9 and FH which explains it's width. Could the hexagon stand be a horizontal stand for Raptor? The two outer cells point directly to nearby towns however. Components like fuel and oxy injectors maybe? Just throwing everything out there.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 11/05/2015 04:44 AM
I was assuming the triple stand would be for new thrusters (green prop SD's & methane?), turbopumps and possibly integrated powerheads.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: corrodedNut on 11/05/2015 11:32 AM
If it's public, it's public. New three-cell stand:
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: corrodedNut on 11/05/2015 11:39 AM
I believe this is the turbo-pump/GG testing area:
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Craftyatom on 11/05/2015 02:55 PM
New three-cell stand

IMO, the only reason to have multiple (seemingly identical) stands is because you have too many rockets to test on just one.  I've often wondered how quickly they can go through the test firings of each engine (I believe they fire every engine that goes on a core), especially if there were a malfunction and the test stand were disabled for a period of time.

To me, it looks like this is just SpaceX speeding up part of the production process.  It might not be the rate-limiting factor right now, but they want to make sure that it never will be.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 11/05/2015 04:26 PM
If it's public, it's public. New three-cell stand:

I completely missed that in Google Earth. They've really expanded the McGregor facility over the last year!

There were some fairly recent pictures where people had driven up almost to the Tripod test stand. It looks like the gates are way back from that now.  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/05/2015 06:29 PM
New update showing the second new test stand being completed:

as you can see it seems to be smaller

They'll probably be running single-stick tests more often than full-up heavy tests, so why pour the extra concrete, right? Looks like they have room for about three or four more of of those stands along that stretch of Plant Road.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 11/05/2015 07:51 PM
If it's public, it's public. New three-cell stand:

I completely missed that in Google Earth. They've really expanded the McGregor facility over the last year!

Looking at the chronological scale for the Google Earth version shows some interesting metadata.  It goes from a long lull between imagery updates from 12/11/2015 to 2/9/2015, then the next update is for 8/8/2015 or close to exactly six months.  I am guessing some one tasked the satellite provider for the repeated images and google eventually integrated them into maps/earth ect, and that someone has big interest/pockets in what SpaceX is doing.

Also notice all of the road construction that has occured around the eastern property with nice long turns (probably to turn stages)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/05/2015 08:10 PM
Looking at the chronological scale for the Google Earth version shows some interesting metadata.  It goes from a long lull between imagery updates from 12/11/2015 to 2/9/2015, then the next update is for 8/8/2015 or close to exactly six months.  I am guessing some one tasked the satellite provider for the repeated images and google eventually integrated them into maps/earth ect, and that someone has big interest/pockets in what SpaceX is doing.

Google and Fidelity Put $1 Billion Into SpaceX (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/21/technology/google-makes-1-billion-investment-in-spacex.html?_r=0)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/06/2015 01:13 PM
How large is the area SpaceX hires at Mcgregor? Can someone draw a border line on the image I've added.
I really didn't expect the area would also cover the location of the three-cell stand.

I've added an image with borders this is a guess I was expecting the orange line, but the red line is the perimeter border I expect now. I'm uncurtain about the part with the interrupted red line.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/06/2015 02:33 PM
Google Earth has new imagery of McGregor, dated Feb 9, 2015.

If you prefer Google Maps, here: https://goo.gl/maps/HdFx4
(look back for the second images)

Something else. I think the heavy test stand can only accommodate one Full Trust stage. If you look at the opening at the heavy test stand, only one stage will fit. What I also noted is that the flame deflector at the bottom of the tripod is the same width as the base of the 'heavy' test stand.
I think SpaceX build this teststand so they don't have to hoist al stages on top of the tripod to test them. And they could decrease the noise (=vibrations) during the tests.
What I don't get is why they are using a crane to hoist the stage on this stand. Why didn't they develop a erector for the teststand. The chance of damaging the stage while hoisting with the crane is and with the cables is much higher than when they use an small erector (e.a. the LC-40 TEL could be modified for this).
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 11/06/2015 02:38 PM
Erecting a stage using the TE requires some not insignificant hydraulics. As long as they still need the crane, like for handling second stages and other tasks using it may be the cheaper option.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/06/2015 03:24 PM
Erecting a stage using the TE requires some not insignificant hydraulics. As long as they still need the crane, like for handling second stages and other tasks using it may be the cheaper option.

E voila we might know where this stand will be used for.
Zoomed in the new pads trench, then overlaid a pickup truck from elswhere in the map - same scale.  If it's an F-250 class truck it's about 228-263" long and 80" wide.

"Big-Raptor" test stand?

Also about the crane they are going to use for the dragon testing. most likely they have to send the crane to the scrapyard after a couple of tests, cranes are not designed for shock-loads (caching a falling dragon capsule).
I hope they use an old crane and write it off afterwards.
For further testing the dragon land landing and stage reusability. Could they adopt something like the new Sheperd of Blue Origin. Launch a F9 FT first stage (with 3-5 engines) with only a dragon capsule (with trunk) on top. Inside the dragon some microgravity experiments could be placed (short 1-2 minutes microgravity), to make the testing program a bit more affordable. Next land both the dragon and the F9FT first stage. For the dragon both parachute and propulsive testing can is necessary. They need to do this at their leased facility at spaceport america.
Before this the test a F9FT will have to land on a barge; and the dragon has to be tested in the crane and a couple of times from a helicopter.   

edit: maybe SpaceX ends up with a profitable microgravity and space-hop program. (although that's wishful thinking)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Comga on 11/06/2015 03:54 PM
Rik:
SpaceX does not intend to drop the Dragonfly during successful tests of powered landing. AFAIK there are no plans to test just the liftoff.
SpaceX has also clearly stated that they are not and will not be in the business of suborbital flights.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Rik ISS-fan on 11/06/2015 05:04 PM
My Idea is to combine the DragonFly program with a program to mature/ certify the F9 first stage for land landing. Instead of a lot of helicopter flights (what was it 8 (4 parachute and 4 propulsive landing) and lots of flights of the dragon alone. only a couple of helicoper and solo dragon flights are used. The dragon is tested in a more realistic scenario because it reenters from about 90km (300k ft).
At the same time the first stage is used for proving land landing. And instead of just spending money on tests. Microgravity and medium-high G-force payloads get a test opportunity, for a fare price. This way the program pays for itself a bit.

The current position of SpaceX might be that they don't want to do suborbital flights. Mostly because the orbital flights generate work enough. Next to this they don't see a market as of jet. But if the market develops and it's an easy way to generate profit (not revenue but really $$$). I think they will change their minds quickly, because they need a lot of capital to develop the technologies needed for a mars mission. Especially live support systems are by far not ready for mars missions, the ISS has proven that these systems are not reliable and unexpected phenomena happen during spaceflight. Only in space testing for long periods proves that systems work reliably.
If I'm not mistaken SpaceX postponed the DragoFly program so they could do it as a Nasa/Darpa program instead of on their own funding. To me this proves financial credibility is more impotent than technical credibility or a drive to go to mars. No company can innovate without generating income on another program on the long term. I don't think they can generate enough with orbital flights alone, so if suborbital is an easy way to generate profit they will do it. Time will tell who was right on this.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/07/2015 11:11 PM
We've entered today's window for the full duration Static Fire test for OG2's S1 . Everyone keep an ear to the ground for locals saying they heard a three minute rumble.

Note: Rumble doesn't mean "test done" - as always. Static Fires are tests that require data evaluation etc, so I wouldn't expect any comment from SpaceX until next week, should the test occur today.

Edit: Moved to Sunday.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/08/2015 02:46 PM
How large is the area SpaceX hires at Mcgregor? Can someone draw a border line on the image I've added.
I really didn't expect the area would also cover the location of the three-cell stand.

I've added an image with borders this is a guess I was expecting the orange line, but the red line is the perimeter border I expect now. I'm uncurtain about the part with the interrupted red line.

These documents about the history of the Naval Reserve Ordnance Plant give some useful insights into the landscape there.

From Bombs to Rockets at McGregor, Texas (http://enu.kz/repository/2009/AIAA-2009-1163.pdf)
FY 2006 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award (http://www.denix.osd.mil/awards/upload/ER_Inst_McGregor.pdf)
Innovative Cleanup Leads to Navy’s First EPA Ready for Reuse Determination (http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/success_story_mcgregor.pdf)

Interestingly, techniques used in McGregor to treat the perchlorate contamination plume may one day prove useful on Mars.

Remediation Technologies for Perchlorate Contamination in Water and Soil (http://www.itrcweb.org/Guidance/GetDocument?documentID=61)
Perchlorate on Mars: a Chemical Hazard and a Resource for Humans (http://www.researchgate.net/publication/242525435_Perchlorate_on_Mars_A_chemical_hazard_and_a_resource_for_humans)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jarnis on 11/09/2015 06:35 PM
Report from Reddit user:
Quote
"Full burn. Saw it and counted a little more than 3 min from downtown McGregor."

Doesn't obviously confirm yet that the test was good, but sounds promising.

Edit: OP deleted his Reddit post for whatever reason so take this as "very very unconfirmed".

Edit2: Another report that points towards the static fire happening;

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3s699v/f9021_s1_full_duration_static_fire_just_occurred/
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Darga on 11/09/2015 08:33 PM
Report from Reddit user:
Quote
"Full burn. Saw it and counted a little more than 3 min from downtown McGregor."

Doesn't obviously confirm yet that the test was good, but sounds promising.

Edit: OP deleted his Reddit post for whatever reason so take this as "very very unconfirmed".

Edit2: Another report that points towards the static fire happening;

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3s699v/f9021_s1_full_duration_static_fire_just_occurred/

Facebook user reports "I heard it today and managed to get a pic of the smoke cloud from Hewitt" and included this pic.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: a_langwich on 11/09/2015 09:40 PM
So how many proto-RTF-hotfire tests has that been so far?  On what days have people reported 3-minute-ish burns?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jarnis on 11/09/2015 09:42 PM
So how many proto-RTF-hotfire tests has that been so far?  On what days have people reported 3-minute-ish burns?

AFAIK this is the second time this stage has been hotfired (first one was short, and had some issues - they took the stage down from the stand for fixes after it)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: a_langwich on 11/09/2015 10:06 PM
So how many proto-RTF-hotfire tests has that been so far?  On what days have people reported 3-minute-ish burns?

AFAIK this is the second time this stage has been hotfired (first one was short, and had some issues - they took the stage down from the stand for fixes after it)


Yeah, in looking back through the thread maybe one on 10/31 and this one on 11/08?  I thought there had been more, but I guess I fuzzed out and mistook extended mentions of one test to be multiples.  Too much anticipation.  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Mike_1179 on 11/09/2015 10:18 PM
Other "rumblings and smoke" could be individual engine tests or stage 2 test firings.

The only confirmed test of the full-thrust stage 1 was the short test.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Darga on 11/09/2015 10:20 PM
Marc Eisenberg says it was a 208 second test. https://twitter.com/Marc944Marc/status/663854946350157825
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2015 10:44 PM
Doesn't mean it was successful (not being negative, just know we need to wait for confirmation of testing complete - which then puts the stage into a path for shipping to KSC). SpaceX not saying anything yet. They said they would after a successful test (which requires data review), so let's see.

If so, and let's hope so, we'll likely get a youtube video like they did for the 15 second burn in a few days! :)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: LastStarFighter on 11/09/2015 11:31 PM
If it was a successful test do we know how quickly they could get it to the Cape and ready for launch?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2015 11:34 PM
If it was a successful test do we know how quickly they could get it to the Cape and ready for launch?

Usually a few days for a full data review process (I was told several flows ago....perhaps they've refined it since). Lower (perhaps while doing the review). Give her a clean. Crane on to the back of a truck and then road trip to Florida. I guess it varies, but let's face it, the moment SpaceX say all is good and the Stage has moved on in the flow to launch, it'll be all good.

Certainly would be in time for December.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Mike_1179 on 11/10/2015 01:52 AM
If it was a successful test do we know how quickly they could get it to the Cape and ready for launch?

Usually a few days for a full data review process (I was told several flows ago....perhaps they've refined it since). Lower (perhaps while doing the review). Give her a clean. Crane on to the back of a truck and then road trip to Florida. I guess it varies, but let's face it, the moment SpaceX say all is good and the Stage has moved on in the flow to launch, it'll be all good.

Certainly would be in time for December.

The first stage helium bottles use the same struts as the second stage, right? Does a successful static fire help retire any risk for the second stage?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: matthewkantar on 11/10/2015 02:39 AM
A static fire does not load the struts like a flight does. Stage has to accelerate in order to produce the added buoyancy that loads the COPV struts.
Matthew
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/10/2015 06:33 PM
A new video of a SuperDraco test was just posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zOzk0keqU8
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: xpete on 11/10/2015 06:36 PM
Related article:
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2015/11/10/crew-dragon-propulsion-system-completes-development-testing/
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: tleski on 11/10/2015 06:43 PM
<edit> removed duplicate link, mvpel was faster by a few seconds  :)

Does anyone know which test stand is this? It looks different from the photos of the two position test stand that were posted before and what can be seen on the recently updated Google maps satellite imagery.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 11/10/2015 06:55 PM
I see the two engines throttled independently.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/10/2015 07:04 PM
It's on the test stand at the east end of the facility.

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5659/21108736398_1e3aa1fbcd_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/yaiMV1)
Merlin Engine Test Stand (https://flic.kr/p/yaiMV1) by Michael Pelletier (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mvpel/), on Flickr
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Raul on 11/10/2015 09:11 PM
Does anyone know which test stand is this? It looks different from the photos of the two position test stand that were posted before and what can be seen on the recently updated Google maps satellite imagery.

SuperDraco test stand is here.
https://goo.gl/maps/gxeyz63MEw92

Here you can see a better how it looks Merlin test stand and this SD stand
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZI6U4an-V0
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: tleski on 11/11/2015 12:50 AM
Thanks. I did not realize the superdraco stand is located there. But it is rather in the center of the facility near grasshopper testing pad, not in the east end.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: sdsds on 11/11/2015 04:20 AM
Hard to image any test that runs the full 3 minutes is anything other than good.

I want an imagination like yours! Instead mine comes up will all kinds of truly dreadful scenarios.... My guess is that after a test burn SpaceX at a minimum does photographic inspection of the engines' exteriors and up into the nozzles. Possibly boroscopic inspection of the combustion chambers as well. But maybe the perceived need for that is merely pessimism rearing its ugly head.... ;)

Seriously though there's always a chance that after shutdown was commanded some transient behavior didn't look right. That would be a  difficult case for us on the outside to distinguish from a fully successful test.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 11/11/2015 04:57 AM
Hard to image any test that runs the full 3 minutes is anything other than good.

I want an imagination like yours! Instead mine comes up will all kinds of truly dreadful scenarios.... My guess is that after a test burn SpaceX at a minimum does photographic inspection of the engines' exteriors and up into the nozzles. Possibly boroscopic inspection of the combustion chambers as well. But maybe the perceived need for that is merely pessimism rearing its ugly head.... ;)

Seriously though there's always a chance that after shutdown was commanded some transient behavior didn't look right. That would be a  difficult case for us on the outside to distinguish from a fully successful test.

Quite.  Damage can be incurred during the burn, and during the post-burn.

Take for example STS-133.  Just cycling the tank caused it to fail structurally, in a pretty hidden way.  But since there were no dynamic or aero loads, it was not catastrophic and was eventually fixable.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JoerTex on 11/11/2015 03:59 PM
The red borders drawn on the map from RIK ISS-fan to indicate SpaceX control at McGregor are not accurate in at least one way.  They have built an access control gate at Mother Neff  just about the turn south, the road leading north off Mother Neff close to the Google mark at the lower edge of the map.  So the southern border needs update.  I've seen posts that show SpaceX controlling the field of abandoned storage on the northern side.   The exact leased area is public record since it is McGregor city property.  It'll take contact to city staff.   

http://www.mcgregor-texas.com/city.html
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Marslauncher on 11/13/2015 12:50 PM
Tests of the Dragonfly test article should be upcoming relatively soon as the crane is in place and attachments appear ready. Also behind the second stage / F9r pad is what seems to be a new leg?

Hopefully I will get out there with a Dragonfly on the pad and ready for pictures soon :D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: dorkmo on 11/14/2015 06:20 AM
a bunch of helium tanks?

looks like theyre mounted on a rig that they can winch up and then move that stage sized vessel under it and drop it in.

from the earlier pictures i think they were putting lox in the vessel.

the fans look like they would be pointing at the helium tanks when they are in the lifted position. perhaps to heat up the tanks after being removed from the lox. as they lift the tanks out, it would be like the lox level lowering over the tanks as its used during landing.

still cant decide what theyre testing. how fast the helium changes temperature as the lox is used up? trying to replicate the leg extension with flight like helium situation? or maybe to test its ability to stand on its own as the helium warms? maybe trying to find the best time to extend the legs in relation to the amount of lox left in the stage?



i think i spot a pneumatically operated valve at the end of the insulated pipe coming from the left side. yellow with black ends.

also looks like theres a wheeled space heater on the ground to the left. is that just for warming workers up or involved with the test.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/14/2015 09:16 PM
SpaceX recently posted a beautiful mosaic of the SuperDraco test photos, from a lower angle than the video. The original is 3000x3000 resolution.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/651/22925132396_3cb8d4b19f_o.jpg)
SuperDraco Test Fire Mosaic (https://flic.kr/p/AVPiao) by SpaceX Photos (https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacexphotos/), on Flickr

Based on the middle right photo, it appears that the right engine may have run much hotter than the left, which would explain the difference in the volume of dripping depending on the boiling point of the liquid in question.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 11/14/2015 11:30 PM
SpaceX recently posted a beautiful mosaic of the SuperDraco test photos, from a lower angle than the video. The original is 3000x3000 resolution.

Based on the middle right photo, it appears that the right engine may have run much hotter than the left, which would explain the difference in the volume of dripping depending on the boiling point of the liquid in question.

(attach images, don't embed)

Eh... You do realize that they were running throttling them separately, right?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/16/2015 03:01 PM
Eh... You do realize that they were running throttling them separately, right?

Of course. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35381.msg1445203#msg1445203) Don't be silly.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Lars-J on 11/16/2015 04:46 PM
Eh... You do realize that they were running throttling them separately, right?

Of course. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35381.msg1445203#msg1445203) Don't be silly.  ;D

Just making sure you didn't forget.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Kartoffelkuchen on 11/21/2015 12:57 PM
Uhm, any word on the Full Duration Static fire test of Stage 1? I mean, december is getting closer and closer, and still no word of a test.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/21/2015 01:11 PM

Uhm, any word on the Full Duration Static fire test of Stage 1? I mean, december is getting closer and closer, and still no word of a test.

Uh, I believe the eagle, er, Falcon, has left the nest. It's been confirmed to now be in Florida...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Kartoffelkuchen on 11/21/2015 02:12 PM
Oh you're right, I just saw the news article about it! :# I just wondered that there was no word about this in here.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Craig_VG on 11/22/2015 09:15 PM
Here are some photos of testing Today. These were taken by people on the SpaceX Facebook group:

http://imgur.com/a/6tWo0

And now a video too, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spacexgroup/permalink/10153797186826318/
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/22/2015 11:08 PM
There's also a vid of the test on the group. Any speculation as to what was being tested? Second stage for RTF?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Ohsin on 11/23/2015 04:10 PM
Here are some photos of testing Today. These were taken by people on the SpaceX Facebook group:

http://imgur.com/a/6tWo0

And now a video too, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spacexgroup/permalink/10153797186826318/

Can someone attach/rehost that video for us non facebooked people.  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/23/2015 05:25 PM
It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations. Deep throttling. Some of the throttling was abrupt up and down".  Faster throttling than Merlin 1D can do so speculated was the SuperDracos...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: tleski on 11/23/2015 05:50 PM
Here are some photos of testing Today. These were taken by people on the SpaceX Facebook group:

http://imgur.com/a/6tWo0

And now a video too, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spacexgroup/permalink/10153797186826318/

Can someone attach/rehost that video for us non facebooked people.  ;D

Here you go:

https://www.dropbox.com/l/s/CJ2ehwhVLQKWNX5EWVKSbu

Credit:
The original video was posted on Facebook's SpaceX public group by Keith Wallace
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Wolfram66 on 11/23/2015 09:51 PM
If it's public, it's public. New three-cell stand:

Possible DragonRider Testing site. PAD Abort Dragon test article currently being reconfigured to be DragonRider test unit.   :D :o
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Wolfram66 on 11/23/2015 09:53 PM
Zoomed in the new pads trench, then overlaid a pickup truck from elswhere in the map - same scale.  If it's an F-250 class truck it's about 228-263" long and 80" wide.

"Big-Raptor" test stand?

Either Raptor or test Stand for Merlin 1D Vacuum upper stage qualification? ???
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Mike_1179 on 11/24/2015 04:14 PM
Here are some photos of testing Today. These were taken by people on the SpaceX Facebook group:

http://imgur.com/a/6tWo0

And now a video too, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spacexgroup/permalink/10153797186826318/

Very white cloud in that static image. Would you expect a kerolox engine (some flavor of Merlin) or a hypergolic (some flavor of Draco) to have a cloud that white?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cambrianera on 11/24/2015 06:02 PM
Here are some photos of testing Today. These were taken by people on the SpaceX Facebook group:

http://imgur.com/a/6tWo0

And now a video too, check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spacexgroup/permalink/10153797186826318/

Very white cloud in that static image. Would you expect a kerolox engine (some flavor of Merlin) or a hypergolic (some flavor of Draco) to have a cloud that white?

Lot of carbonium in RP-1, then more soot (darker smoke).
No carbonium in Hydrazine-Nitrogen tetroxide (and then whiter smoke).
(a few in MMH or UDMH, but much less than RP-1).
Likely (but not sure!) a superdraco test.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: ugordan on 11/24/2015 06:06 PM
Very white cloud in that static image. Would you expect a kerolox engine (some flavor of Merlin) or a hypergolic (some flavor of Draco) to have a cloud that white?

Kerolox. Both the deluge water and water vapor in the combustion products when condensed into droplets will hide the sooty smoke signature. Look at max-Q contrails F9 produces.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Mike_1179 on 11/24/2015 06:37 PM
They use a water deluge system for single-engine tests?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: mvpel on 11/24/2015 07:02 PM
They use a water deluge system for single-engine tests?
It's dated 2012, but it does show a deluge for a single-engine Merlin test.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZI6U4an-V0
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cosmicvoid on 11/26/2015 01:17 AM
It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations.

How is that possible?  I wouldn't even think 10Hz engine control is doable.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 11/26/2015 03:46 AM
It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations.

How is that possible?  I wouldn't even think 10Hz engine control is doable.
Hypergolics are fantastic that way.

And you have an actuator in whatever loudspeaker is closest at hand which is good to at least 20kHz or so.  1kHz actuator response isn't the hard part: usually it's the fact that the actual combustion process is slow.  But hypergolics are... energetic.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 11/26/2015 03:49 AM
It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations.

How is that possible?  I wouldn't even think 10Hz engine control is doable.


Someone probably recorded the rumble and ran the audio through a spectrum analyzer and found a 1kHz spike. That doesn't meant the engine is throttling that fast, merely that whatever portion of the acoustic signature that travels that far has such a peak.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: The Roadie on 11/26/2015 05:17 AM
You can easily see 8-10 Hz pulse throttling in various SD videos.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: AncientU on 11/26/2015 01:25 PM
They use a water deluge system for single-engine tests?
It's dated 2012, but it does show a deluge for a single-engine Merlin test.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZI6U4an-V0

Vid shows distinctly sooty plume for Merlin and red plume without deluge for SuperDraco.
Has anyone seen the SuperDracos being tested with a deluge?
Certainly larger plume than expected from these engines, too.

If this test is from the new stand, it could be a Raptor or Raptor power head (I hope, I hope)?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 11/26/2015 01:36 PM
You can easily see 8-10 Hz pulse throttling in various SD videos.

Is it throttling as such, or merely a harmonic resonance in the system and/or a "spinning wheels" effect in combination with the electronic shutter of whatever cam they're using to film these publicly-released videos?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/26/2015 06:54 PM
It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations. Deep throttling. Some of the throttling was abrupt up and down".  Faster throttling than Merlin 1D can do so speculated was the SuperDracos...
I'm pretty sure it was 1Hz, not 1kHz. Do you have a link?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: bstrong on 11/26/2015 07:19 PM
It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations.

How is that possible?  I wouldn't even think 10Hz engine control is doable.


Someone probably recorded the rumble and ran the audio through a spectrum analyzer and found a 1kHz spike. That doesn't meant the engine is throttling that fast, merely that whatever portion of the acoustic signature that travels that far has such a peak.

Or, if they were firing two engines, it could be a beat frequency.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/26/2015 07:37 PM

It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations. Deep throttling. Some of the throttling was abrupt up and down".  Faster throttling than Merlin 1D can do so speculated was the SuperDracos...
I'm pretty sure it was 1Hz, not 1kHz. Do you have a link?

It was from the SpaceX group on Facebook:

Quote
Just had a 140 sec burn. Some 1 Hz oscillations.  Deep throttling. Some of the throttling was abrupt up and down.

Soooo.... It looks like I added a 1000x multiplier. 1 Hz

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 11/27/2015 01:41 AM
Does anyone know what max throttle response for hypergolics is?  It would depend on combustion speed, most likely.  So the fastest response would probably be from one of those nasty evil hypergolic combinations, like flourine-oxygen.  I found https://books.google.com/books?id=-o9TJa2F4qsC&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56 which claimed a 0.075s response time for a *cryo* engine.  Hypergolics ought to be faster, right?  But I couldn't find a definitive reference.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: HMXHMX on 11/27/2015 04:27 AM
Does anyone know what max throttle response for hypergolics is?  It would depend on combustion speed, most likely.  So the fastest response would probably be from one of those nasty evil hypergolic combinations, like flourine-oxygen.  I found https://books.google.com/books?id=-o9TJa2F4qsC&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56 which claimed a 0.075s response time for a *cryo* engine.  Hypergolics ought to be faster, right?  But I couldn't find a definitive reference.

The TRW PAYE had a 10-100% 10 msec throttle response.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 11/27/2015 12:26 PM
It's also been reported on that group (about two hours ago) that there was another test today. This one "140 sec burn with some 1kHz oscillations.

How is that possible?  I wouldn't even think 10Hz engine control is doable.


Someone probably recorded the rumble and ran the audio through a spectrum analyzer and found a 1kHz spike. That doesn't meant the engine is throttling that fast, merely that whatever portion of the acoustic signature that travels that far has such a peak.

You think there might be a correlation with the earthquake tremors in Oklahoma ?  Oil fracking is getting the blame maybe its that Full thrust Merlin  ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: the_other_Doug on 11/28/2015 02:35 AM
I would be interested in knowing what was the standard time to throttle, say, 1% up or down in thrust for the LM DPS engine.  That engine was able to handle quick throttle changes and slight throttle changes (very small changes in thrust) quite well -- enough to gently land a LM on the Moon.

I did some quick Googling, and while there are any number of sites and documents out there that describe various aspects of the TRW LM DPS engine, I can't find any that give throttle response time from initiation of a throttle command to the achievement of the change in thrust.

I would think that you would need the same general kind of throttle response in a rocket, whether you're trying to use it to land a LM on the Moon or trying to land a Falcon stage on a barge...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: The Roadie on 11/28/2015 02:47 AM
Big difference between  the inertia pf pressure-fed hypergolics, and turbopump fed rp1/LOX. And just look at the videos of SD testing, and you would see the frequency change. No way it's a beat frequency or video artifact. Need a link?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: docmordrid on 11/28/2015 06:38 AM
IIRC, the NASA SuperDraco announcement said it reached max thrust in 100 milliseconds.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 11/28/2015 02:11 PM
Wrapping up and summarizing the discussion: the actual superdraco test report stated 1Hz pulses were audible. State-of-the-art throttle response time limits are about 10Hz for cyro engines and 100Hz for hypergolics.

The original "1kHz" report was a typo, but it would be "only" an order of magnitude off from plausible for a hypergolic engine.  However, the NASA announcement indicates that 10Hz is closer to superdraco's actual response limit.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: MP99 on 12/01/2015 05:05 AM


Wrapping up and summarizing the discussion: the actual superdraco test report stated 1Hz pulses were audible. State-of-the-art throttle response time limits are about 10Hz for cyro engines and 100Hz for hypergolics.

I'd guess those fast response times might be easier in a small engine (like draco), and harder in a large hypergolic engine (like super draco)?

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jarnis on 12/01/2015 06:26 AM
New loud test today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkLXnCPI7zE

Looks like 9-engine first stage test to me, so SES?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: ugordan on 12/01/2015 07:12 AM
Looks like 9-engine first stage test to me, so SES?

How so? The old VTS-3 stand, structural test stand and water tower are way off to the left of the frame. This is at most a 2nd stage firing.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 12/01/2015 07:38 AM
Looks like 9-engine first stage test to me, so SES?

How so? The old VTS-3 stand, structural test stand and water tower are way off to the left of the frame. This is at most a 2nd stage firing.

But is this not the location of the new test stand with flame trench? The duration would also be right as after the full duration qualification burn of the first new first stage the test burns get shorter. If they want to hit a fast pace now would be the time to test the next stage even if it does not lift off in december.

Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jarnis on 12/01/2015 07:41 AM
Looks like 9-engine first stage test to me, so SES?

How so? The old VTS-3 stand, structural test stand and water tower are way off to the left of the frame. This is at most a 2nd stage firing.

Based it purely on the loudness and size of the plume that is coming out of the flame trench.

Also the guy who got the video said their house rattled and implied that this was not an ordinary single engine test.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: ugordan on 12/01/2015 08:00 AM
Looks like 9-engine first stage test to me, so SES?

How so? The old VTS-3 stand, structural test stand and water tower are way off to the left of the frame. This is at most a 2nd stage firing.

But is this not the location of the new test stand with flame trench?

No. Check the endless previous discussion on the test site layout on this very thread. The new first stage site is near the ones I listed above.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: ugordan on 12/01/2015 08:08 AM
Looks like 9-engine first stage test to me, so SES?

How so? The old VTS-3 stand, structural test stand and water tower are way off to the left of the frame. This is at most a 2nd stage firing.

Based it purely on the loudness and size of the plume that is coming out of the flame trench.

Also the guy who got the video said their house rattled and implied that this was not an ordinary single engine test.

It has been established that the loudness of a particular test varies wildly with atmospheric conditions. Additionally, any test in the evening will be more noticeable because things around you are inherently more quiet. This is far from being the first time a single engine test caused a rattle in the local population.

As for the size of the plume, what basis do you use for judging whether a plume is too big or small for a single engine test? What about this one https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/590240825914757120
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jarnis on 12/01/2015 09:00 AM
Well, guess I may be wrong. Was just a guess.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Mike_1179 on 12/01/2015 08:13 PM
So was this possibly the second stage for Orbcomm-2?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/01/2015 09:23 PM
So was this possibly the second stage for Orbcomm-2?
So was this possibly the second stage for Orbcomm-2?
I suspect that the Orbcomm 2 second stage was previously tested and must soon be at the Cape, if it isn't already. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Kabloona on 12/01/2015 10:05 PM
Just for reference the newly revised F9 User's Guide processing schedule shows LV arrival at the launch site at around L-13 days. Meaning that S2 should be at the Cape right around now in order to be ready for a December 15 attempt.

Or, put another way, if S2 is not there now or tomorrow, a December 15 attempt might not be possible.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: cscott on 12/01/2015 11:28 PM
L2 has some info on S2 arrival at cape.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: johnnyhinbos01 on 12/03/2015 03:21 AM
Another static fire test reported on the Facebook group just now. 9:54 CST. No duration given but I _think_ this is the Merlin test stand? (Grabbed a still from vid)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: johnnyhinbos01 on 12/03/2015 03:28 AM
(The clip is 1:18 long - and test was already underway when recording started)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: JasonAW3 on 12/03/2015 06:18 PM
A new video of a SuperDraco test was just posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zOzk0keqU8

OK, well THAT was interesting!

     Looks like they're playing with variable throttling between each individual engine, rather than each pair.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 12/04/2015 06:45 PM
A new video of a SuperDraco test was just posted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zOzk0keqU8

OK, well THAT was interesting!

     Looks like they're playing with variable throttling between each individual engine, rather than each pair.
That's how you can survive loss of an entire pod.  You run the remaining opposite pair with more power on the engines closest to the failed pod, and partial thrust on the pod opposite the failed pod.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: drzerg on 12/04/2015 11:07 PM
i think 2 engines in one pod are too close to compensate rotational moment of remaining opposite pod even with 10%  throttling margin. opposite pod must be shutdown. but when you have only 2 pods variable throttling could help to mantain stability. i suggest that orientation system could help too.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 12/06/2015 06:38 AM
i think 2 engines in one pod are too close to compensate rotational moment of remaining opposite pod even with 10%  throttling margin. opposite pod must be shutdown. but when you have only 2 pods variable throttling could help to mantain stability. i suggest that orientation system could help too.
It really depends on how much angle is between them, and that's hard to judge from the picture.

However, it's reasonably to expect that malfunctions of two engines in one pod are not independent events.  So it's not outside of reason to expect a failure of an entire pod.

We do know that the 8 engines are vastly overpowered for landings. From a thrust standpoint, four engines are more than enough.

So if you lose a pod, you can in principle fly on the two opposite remaining pods, but now you have very weak control over rotation about the axis between them.

You can help that by biasing towards the lone remaining pod, using asymmetrical thrust in the two opposing pods, and fixing the asymmetry with that single pod, thrusting there at maybe 10%, but over the full one radius arm. I think it will be more effective than just doing differential thrusting between the closely-spaced pairs.

I don't know if the RCS is powerful enough to play a role here.  We're talking about regular Dracos that produce 400 N of force.  Not insignificant, but not a lot either.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 12/06/2015 06:49 AM
Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Jcc on 12/06/2015 12:45 PM
Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.

There are parachutes too, and the potential deployment at low altitude to save life needs to be considered.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Prober on 12/06/2015 03:58 PM
Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.

that depends wholly on the pressurization design.  It was clear from the launch abort test that full power was not obtained on one engine just by opening up the valve.

 
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 12/06/2015 04:23 PM
Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.

that depends wholly on the pressurization design.  It was clear from the launch abort test that full power was not obtained on one engine just by opening up the valve.

Yes, there was that problem. Yet, despite the problem, which is now certainly fixed, Dragon performed the pad abort to the satisfaction of NASA, if not to the satisfaction of SpaceX.

I believe they will limit the number of failure scenarios they plan for at least initially to a subset and eliminate some they see as very unlikely. It reduces the risk of introducing new failure possibilities.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 12/06/2015 05:47 PM
Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.

It depends on the type of failure.  If an engine simply shuts down, than the other will continue. (I agree that it's likely that they are fed individually from an A/B type system, at a minimum).

But if the failure is energetic, these engines are really close to each other. It's enough that the explosion affects any feedline of electric harness, or even deforms the shape of the "nozzle", and the second engine is out too.

So what I was saying is that the odds of failure are not independent.  Meaning, if one engine fails, the odds of the second engine failing increase.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 12/06/2015 06:12 PM
Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.

It depends on the type of failure.  If an engine simply shuts down, than the other will continue. (I agree that it's likely that they are fed individually from an A/B type system, at a minimum).

But if the failure is energetic, these engines are really close to each other. It's enough that the explosion affects any feedline of electric harness, or even deforms the shape of the "nozzle", and the second engine is out too.

So what I was saying is that the odds of failure are not independent.  Meaning, if one engine fails, the odds of the second engine failing increase.

True but an "energetic failure" is very unlikely with a pressure fed engine. Not impossible but much less likely than with pumpfed engines.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: meekGee on 12/06/2015 06:27 PM
Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.

It depends on the type of failure.  If an engine simply shuts down, than the other will continue. (I agree that it's likely that they are fed individually from an A/B type system, at a minimum).

But if the failure is energetic, these engines are really close to each other. It's enough that the explosion affects any feedline of electric harness, or even deforms the shape of the "nozzle", and the second engine is out too.

So what I was saying is that the odds of failure are not independent.  Meaning, if one engine fails, the odds of the second engine failing increase.

True but an "energetic failure" is very unlikely with a pressure fed engine. Not impossible but much less likely than with pumpfed engines.
Very little can go wrong with these engines, I agree.

It might even be that because of that, if anything goes wrong during start up, even if recoverable, they go to parachute.

Redundancy only comes in if there's a failure late in the burn.

With this constraint, an energetic failure is relatively more likely, but overall of course any failure is less likely.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/06/2015 07:29 PM

Assuming the two engines in one pod are fed from different tanks I think that both engines of one pod failing is very unlikely. Maybe unlikely enough that they would not plan for it.

It depends on the type of failure.  If an engine simply shuts down, than the other will continue. (I agree that it's likely that they are fed individually from an A/B type system, at a minimum).

But if the failure is energetic, these engines are really close to each other. It's enough that the explosion affects any feedline of electric harness, or even deforms the shape of the "nozzle", and the second engine is out too.

So what I was saying is that the odds of failure are not independent.  Meaning, if one engine fails, the odds of the second engine failing increase.

True but an "energetic failure" is very unlikely with a pressure fed engine. Not impossible but much less likely than with pumpfed engines.
Very little can go wrong with these engines, I agree.

It might even be that because of that, if anything goes wrong during start up, even if recoverable, they go to parachute.

Redundancy only comes in if there's a failure late in the burn.

With this constraint, an energetic failure is relatively more likely, but overall of course any failure is less likely.

Better nothing goes wrong then during a launch abort then! Backup to chutes at that point would ruin your day... ;-)
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/06/2015 07:41 PM
BTW, Facebook group reports another "large" engine test this morning (Sunday), no video but heard 25 miles away...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Kartoffelkuchen on 12/06/2015 07:53 PM
Great to hear that they're getting more busy over there again! :P
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: wannamoonbase on 12/06/2015 11:08 PM
BTW, Facebook group reports another "large" engine test this morning (Sunday), no video but heard 25 miles away...

I was thinking that we should be seeing another core being tested any day now.

I'm hopeful that RTF means we see a launch every 2-4 weeks.  I miss those days.

Edit: Also excited that we should be seeing FH testing in a few months.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/07/2015 10:30 AM
Another test reported for yesterday - 8:53 PM CST. That makes two yesterday. This on on video - Merlin / 2nd stage test area. They're on a roll...
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Eagandale4114 on 12/08/2015 02:17 AM
Another test reported for yesterday - 8:53 PM CST. That makes two yesterday. This on on video - Merlin / 2nd stage test area. They're on a roll...
And the associated video from Facebook.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 12/12/2015 03:11 AM
Let me know if these posts are just clutter. I find test fires interesting for what they may portend...

Another test tonight has been reported. Single engine test, about 2.5 minutes in duration.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 12/12/2015 07:47 AM
Let me know if these posts are just clutter. I find test fires interesting for what they may portend...

Everybody looking into this thread will very likely be very interested. Thanks for reporting.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: xpete on 12/15/2015 04:57 PM
Loud SpaceX test alert
http://www.wacotrib.com/blogs/joe_science/loud-spacex-test-alert/article_bd68fdcc-a2f8-11e5-b651-1710b926fdcc.html
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 12/18/2015 05:34 AM
There is a photo on the spacex facebook group of a new S1 on the stand at McGregor. They are saying this must be CRS8 based on SES saying their satellite is already at the cape, but that means nothing. I haven't seen the SES stage come through here yet so that is likely the answer no?
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: TomTX on 12/20/2015 03:35 PM
Since I'm less than 2 hours away and have a toddler obsessed with rockets (okay, he gets it honestly) - what's the best way to determine when visiting McGregor is likely to coincide with a test? I know that SpaceX sends out alerts for "louder than normal" testing, but I've only seen the announcements in secondary sources (ie news media) - is there a way to get on the direct distribution list?

Yes, I'll do my best to get pics, presumably from the south.
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: guckyfan on 12/20/2015 04:24 PM
I don't think you can get direct notification. But Joe Science from the Waco Tribune Herald gets them and puts them out on his twitter account. Probably the easiest way to follow him. Good luck and lots of fun.

https://twitter.com/joescience
Title: Re: SpaceX McGregor Testing Updates and Discussion Thread 3
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/30/2015 12:00 PM
On to thread 4!
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39182.0