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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Facilities and Fleets => Topic started by: corrodedNut on 01/08/2015 12:34 PM

Title: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: corrodedNut on 01/08/2015 12:34 PM
The title of this thread is intentionally "general" to include any changes to this or other additional facilities, as necessary.

Highlights of the proposed vertical landing facility at CCAFS LC-13, taken from the draft environmental assessment:

http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-141107-004.pdf

"The Proposed Action would include constructing an approximately 200 foot by 200 foot square concrete landing pad at LC-13 as shown in Figure 2-4. [see below]The pad would be designed to support the weight and thrust energy of the Falcon first stage and would comply with all CCAFS and ... it would be surrounded by an approximately 750 foot diameter compressed soil and gravel, flat pervious surface. Four additional, 150 foot diameter concrete “contingency” pads would also be constructed. The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-second navigation and landing diversion be required. There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event."

"At the location of the former blockhouse, a steel and concrete “stand” would be built to secure the Falcon stage during post-landing operations. The stand would consist of four Individual pedestal structures which would be transported to site and bolted to a concrete base. Each of the four pedestals, would weigh approximately 15,000 lbs, and would be 107 inches tall and 96.25 inches wide. A mobile crane would lift the stage from the landing pad, and transport and place it on the stand. Activities such as allowing the landing legs to be removed or folded back to the stage (flight position) prior to placing the stage in a horizontal position would occur there."

"The existing concrete pad may be removed as part of the Proposed Action in order to access underlying fill material."

"The existing roadways at the LC-13 pad operations area would be improved to handle mobile crane movement and the first stage transportation vehicle; road corners would be designed to support required turning radius."

"Up to four lattice towers, approximately 20 ft high, would also be positioned on the site; one of those four would be attached to a mobile command trailer. The towers would contain equipment needed to ensure adequate wifi service for the site. Up to two safety related lightening protection towers would also be installed on the western side of the parking area."

"A FireX system would be constructed with three or four remote controlled water cannons mounted on posts above ground to allow for remote firefighting capabilities. An above ground 12,000 gallon water storage tank would be placed on the western site of the LC-13 area and would be pressurized with nitrogen and provide the water for the fire-fighting equipment. Nitrogen would be supplied to the tank using a mobile trailer. The tank would be filled using the existing pad water supply."

"Operations of LC-13 would support preparations for, and the landing of the Falcon stage. It would also support the post-flight landing and safing. Safing activities would begin upon completion of all landing activities and engine shutdown. The LOX oxidizer system would be purged, and any excess fuel would be drained into a suitable truck mounted container or tanker. Any remaining pressurants (i.e., helium or nitrogen) would be vented, and any FTS explosives would also be rendered “inert” prior to declaring the vehicle safe. The vehicle would then be lifted and placed on to the stand; the landing legs would then be removed or folded back into place. The vehicle would then be lowered into a horizontal position, placed on a transport vehicle and taken to a SpaceX facility. A ground crew would perform and supervise all landing operations and would be familiar with the operating protocol including all potential “off nominal” events."

"It is anticipated that no more than 12 landings would take place per year for the initial five year license. SpaceX certainly prefers to conduct all of their launch operations during daylight hours but based on mission needs there is a possibility that some of the fly-back missions could be performed during the night; up to three night landings are assumed for this EA."
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 01/08/2015 01:16 PM
Can anyone speculate on the possible use of the 'divert' pads?  I can't really see how they would be used.  Unless a rogue alligator wandered on to the primary pad... but even then you'd only need one alternate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: guckyfan on 01/08/2015 01:35 PM
Can anyone speculate on the possible use of the 'divert' pads?  I can't really see how they would be used.  Unless a rogue alligator wandered on to the primary pad... but even then you'd only need one alternate.

They need 3 for a returning Heavy. The central core will not always land downrange.

Plus maybe 1 spare.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rpapo on 01/08/2015 01:57 PM
They need 3 for a returning Heavy. The central core will not always land downrange.

Plus maybe 1 spare.
While I agree there, I see a similarity in the proposals between here and Texas.  SpaceX is only asking for what they need for the here and now.  They never overbuild, as much as in 20/20 hindsight we might wish they had (like with the HIF at KSC).
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: speedevil on 01/08/2015 02:04 PM
They need 3 for a returning Heavy. The central core will not always land downrange.

Plus maybe 1 spare.

Quote
The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-second navigation and landing diversion be required. There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event."

I don't see how the above phrasing allows that.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Bargemanos on 01/08/2015 02:05 PM
Can anyone speculate on the possible use of the 'divert' pads?  I can't really see how they would be used.  Unless a rogue alligator wandered on to the primary pad... but even then you'd only need one alternate.

They need 3 for a returning Heavy. The central core will not always land downrange.

Plus maybe 1 spare.

As i read it, the four "additional" pads are for emergencies. Navigational errors, wind guts. Not for additional core's to return.

from the pdf:

Quote
The scope for this EA is limited to the landing of the first stage of a Falcon 9 vehicle, or a Falcon Heavy single first
stage, at LC-13, and the activities to support redeveloping LC-13 into a landing location. This EA does not include a
multiple booster landing scenario since only one booster will be landing at this facility during a landing event. This
EA assumes a normal launch mission of a Falcon vehicle continues forward with the successful separation of the
second stage and payload, while the first stage begins its landing sequence. Therefore specific details of only the
returning Falcon 9 first stage will be discussed; details of the full vehicle launch/takeoff and potential environmental
impacts can be found in the 2007 EA and 2013 SEA (USAF 2007, 2013). Launches/takeoffs of the Falcon Heavy
vehicle would be addressed in a separate NEPA document.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Dudely on 01/08/2015 02:24 PM
Bottom of 2-4:

Quote
propellants would be burned to depletion during flight

Does this mean the stage can hover until it burns through the rest of the fuel? Or is the whole sequence so exact that they land at the exact moment they run out of fuel?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: VulcanCafe on 01/08/2015 02:25 PM
This makes me wonder if these 4 additional landing pads are, in fact, the actual landing targets used during certain phases of the booster return, dependent on wind conditions or phase of booster return. (Similar to the maritime exclusion areas that depend on what phase of launch/failure/stage fall the stage is in)

For example, depending on wind direction, the booster targets one of the 'emergency' pads and diverts sometime during the boostback/landing phase, or simply allows the wind to push the booster towards the primary pad while it falls. (E wind rocket selects W emergency pad to aim at). In the event of an emergency, or changes in the wind, either the primary pad or the secondary emergency pad would be used.

Other than this, I am having a hard time imagining a scenario where 4 emergency pads and one primary are needed for a single booster. Any ideas?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Dudely on 01/08/2015 02:29 PM
Another gem:

Quote
Complexes at KSC were considered; however, no sites were readily available or within reasonable distances from
the launch and stage refurbishment location.

So this means they already have a site planned where they will refurbish the stages! Does anyone know where exactly? That is the only reference to refurbishment in the doc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: speedevil on 01/08/2015 02:46 PM
Bottom of 2-4:

Quote
propellants would be burned to depletion during flight

Does this mean the stage can hover until it burns through the rest of the fuel? Or is the whole sequence so exact that they land at the exact moment they run out of fuel?

It can't hover - for several reasons.

Thrust - unless the engine is able to be throttled below 40% or so maximum throttle - is too high and exceeds weight.
Hovering at ~1M so you can drop onto the pad when the engine cuts out would throw up all sorts of debris, and greatly heat the rocket and legs due to the blowback flames licking over the structure.
Hovering for an extended period leaves it more vulnerable to any upset - for example, wind.

That said - elsewhere the residual fuel is mentioned at 15! gallons RP1 and 150 gallons LOX.
Which seems really rather optimistic.
I also note in the document no mention of BargeX.
Though that was announced a month later.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 01/08/2015 02:46 PM
Now I'm wondering if their landing software is actually "designed for Mars" landing.  ALHAT (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/tdm/alhat/) for example might have several possible landing spots 'in mind' and be able to select one or the other of them based on hazards, flight conditions, etc in real time.

Perhaps they are planning/hoping to use this same software for landings at the Cape, even though strictly speaking it won't be necessary.  A nominal landing will always target the primary site, but technically the software will have all five landing sites loaded up as options.  "Test what you fly, fly what you test".

I'd think this sort of testing would be more appropriate over at Spaceport America, but maybe they just saw the opportunity to do a sort of continuous integration test at low cost here.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/08/2015 02:51 PM

So this means they already have a site planned where they will refurbish the stages! Does anyone know where exactly? That is the only reference to refurbishment in the doc.

Why would it be any different than the places they are using now?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 01/08/2015 03:09 PM

So this means they already have a site planned where they will refurbish the stages! Does anyone know where exactly? That is the only reference to refurbishment in the doc.

Why would it be any different than the places they are using now?

Because until now, we couldn't answer whether or not they were going to truck each stage back to Hawthorne for a tear down and refurbishment.  Now we can drive a stake in the ground because we've got something official stating they they are planning on doing the refurbishment in FL-even if it's in the same two HIF buildings they've got or if they have to build or lease a separate refurbishment facility.

The statement also implies that they think refurbishment will not be a complete tear down process that has to be handled at the CA factory.  That is another huge question mark that's been hanging over the economics debates around reusability, and we now have some insight into answering it.

With any luck, they'll be able to use the pad by July 24, 2015.  65 years to the day after the first rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, one came back.



Oh, and this tidbit from the .pdf:

Quote
The Falcon Heavy first stage center core and boosters each carry landing legs, which would have the capability to
land each core safely on earth after takeoff at some point in the future. After the side boosters separate, the center
engine in each would burn to control the booster’s trajectory safely away from the rocket. The legs would then
deploy as the boosters turn back to Earth, landing each softly on the ground. The center core would continue to fire
until stage separation, after which its legs would deploy and land on Earth. This document assumes that only one of the two boosters (or one center core) would return to LC-13. A multiple booster landing scenario would require additional infrastructure and study not included as part of this Proposed Action. Figures 2-2 and 2-3 below show the engine arrangement for the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy launch vehicles, respectively. ...
...It is anticipated that no more than 12 landings would take place per year for the initial five year license.

So they are sniffing around for additional landing sites to support FH.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Dudely on 01/08/2015 04:10 PM
Bottom of 2-4:

Quote
propellants would be burned to depletion during flight

Does this mean the stage can hover until it burns through the rest of the fuel? Or is the whole sequence so exact that they land at the exact moment they run out of fuel?

It can't hover - for several reasons.

Thrust - unless the engine is able to be throttled below 40% or so maximum throttle - is too high and exceeds weight.
Hovering at ~1M so you can drop onto the pad when the engine cuts out would throw up all sorts of debris, and greatly heat the rocket and legs due to the blowback flames licking over the structure.
Hovering for an extended period leaves it more vulnerable to any upset - for example, wind.

That said - elsewhere the residual fuel is mentioned at 15! gallons RP1 and 150 gallons LOX.
Which seems really rather optimistic.
I also note in the document no mention of BargeX.
Though that was announced a month later.

I am aware of the technical problems with hovering that you listed. I was thinking about the last couple Grasshopper tests, which seemed to "hang" close to the ground for much longer than necessary. Why did they do that? Why does this document say they will burn to depletion? Isn't it kind of dangerous to not have ANY margin? Could these two be related?

It's just wild speculation that I had hoped could be explained away with a more mundane reason.

And just to be a pedant, the residual fuel is listed as being 15 gal LOX and up to 150 gal RP-1. 15 gal of LOX is not very much.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/08/2015 05:05 PM

So this means they already have a site planned where they will refurbish the stages! Does anyone know where exactly? That is the only reference to refurbishment in the doc.

Why would it be any different than the places they are using now?

Because until now, we couldn't answer whether or not they were going to truck each stage back to Hawthorne for a tear down and refurbishment.  Now we can drive a stake in the ground because we've got something official stating they they are planning on doing the refurbishment in FL-even if it's in the same two HIF buildings they've got or if they have to build or lease a separate refurbishment facility.

The statement also implies that they think refurbishment will not be a complete tear down process that has to be handled at the CA factory.  That is another huge question mark that's been hanging over the economics debates around reusability, and we now have some insight into answering it.


Question marks for who?  Flight refurb shouldn't be much different than McGegor static fire refurb.   Also, it still doesn't mean that first/early recovered stages*are not send back to McGregor (a likely place for returned stages returned Dragons went to there vs Hawthrone)

*If they get enough stages from ASDS recoveries then they may bypass this for the shore landed stages.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 01/08/2015 05:25 PM

So this means they already have a site planned where they will refurbish the stages! Does anyone know where exactly? That is the only reference to refurbishment in the doc.

Why would it be any different than the places they are using now?

Because until now, we couldn't answer whether or not they were going to truck each stage back to Hawthorne for a tear down and refurbishment.  Now we can drive a stake in the ground because we've got something official stating they they are planning on doing the refurbishment in FL-even if it's in the same two HIF buildings they've got or if they have to build or lease a separate refurbishment facility.

The statement also implies that they think refurbishment will not be a complete tear down process that has to be handled at the CA factory.  That is another huge question mark that's been hanging over the economics debates around reusability, and we now have some insight into answering it.


Question marks for who?  Flight refurb shouldn't be much different than McGegor static fire refurb.   Also, it still doesn't mean that first/early recovered stages*are not send back to McGregor (a likely place for returned stages returned Dragons went to there vs Hawthrone)

*If they get enough stages from ASDS recoveries then they may bypass this for the shore landed stages.

"Should" is a word that means "I wish."  Very out of character for you. :)

I seem to recall you being vociferously in the "refurbishment-costs-may-make-reusability-unfeasible"  camp when we were discussing all this last summer and now you're in the "it'll-be-ok" camp?  The McGregor boosters never flew backwards at hypersonic speeds.  We don't know what the returning stage is going to look like beyond the grainy video of that charred booster landing in the ocean the airplane took during the last landing.

The point is that the booster may either need a complete tear down (and component replacements) requiring the abilities they have back at the CA factory- and I expect they will do this for the first few returns, or the booster may be good to go after an inspection, air in the tires, and fluid top-off, which allows them to use their existing HIF facilities, or get a new one (build or lease) for refurbishment in FL instead of CA.  The EA for LC-13 indicates that SpaceX believes the latter is true- which is what Dudely pointed out in his post.  I also pointed out that if the latter is indeed true, then we can also begin to put boundaries on questions about the economics of reusability because the refurbishment costs will likely be small.

Also, after the EA all the way through this morning and looking at all the construction, support, and available locations they are going to need to have three operational return pads, I strongly think the barge solution is going to be long term, with at least one barge supporting each FH launch, and perhaps two.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/08/2015 05:37 PM
I seem to recall you being vociferously in the "refurbishment-costs-may-make-reusability-unfeasible"  camp when we were discussing all this last summer and now you're in the "it'll-be-ok" camp?  The McGregor boosters never flew backwards at hypersonic speeds.  We don't know what the returning stage is going to look like beyond the grainy video of that charred booster landing in the ocean the airplane took during the last landing.

The point is that the booster may either need a complete tear down (and component replacements) requiring the abilities they have back at the CA factory- and I expect they will do this for the first few returns, or the booster may be good to go after an inspection, air in the tires, and fluid top-off, which allows them to use their existing HIF facilities, or get a new one (build or lease) for refurbishment in FL instead of CA.  The EA for LC-13 indicates that SpaceX believes the latter is true- which is what Dudely pointed out in his post.  I also pointed out that if the latter is indeed true, then we can also begin to put boundaries on questions about the economics of reusability because the refurbishment costs will likely be small.


My point is McGregor would be the likely site for any tear down vs Hawthorne.  They have replaced engines, attached engine structure to tanks before and fixed up stages from static fire.  Also, component replacements can be done at the launch site, since this happens prelaunch when failures are found.   If "teardown" doesn't include thrust structure or tank demates, any facility that can hold the stage on the access stands with roll rings can be used.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/08/2015 06:07 PM

So this means they already have a site planned where they will refurbish the stages! Does anyone know where exactly? That is the only reference to refurbishment in the doc.

Why would it be any different than the places they are using now?

Because until now, we couldn't answer whether or not they were going to truck each stage back to Hawthorne for a tear down and refurbishment.  Now we can drive a stake in the ground because we've got something official stating they they are planning on doing the refurbishment in FL-even if it's in the same two HIF buildings they've got or if they have to build or lease a separate refurbishment facility.

The statement also implies that they think refurbishment will not be a complete tear down process that has to be handled at the CA factory.  That is another huge question mark that's been hanging over the economics debates around reusability, and we now have some insight into answering it.


Question marks for who?  Flight refurb shouldn't be much different than McGegor static fire refurb.

This was a very long-running argument - about how GH reusability is "unapplicable" to a real F9 because the flight profile is all different.

So are we in agreement now, (especially taking into account Musk's comment at the AMA) that first stage refurb is a minimal task?

As for where it's going to happen, given that it's a recurring task, wouldn't it make more sense (in the medium term at least) to replicate McGregor's capabilities at the cape than it is to ship stages back to TX? 
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/08/2015 06:24 PM

So are we in agreement now, (especially taking into account Musk's comment at the AMA) that first stage refurb is a minimal task?
 

No, that is why I said McGregor and that "They have replaced engines, attached engine structure to tanks before and fixed up stages from static fire."  I didn't said anything about GH.

Just pointing out that McGregor is more like a logistics depot and a better site than the factory in Hawthrone for tear downs.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: pericynthion on 01/08/2015 06:50 PM
And just to be a pedant, the residual fuel is listed as being 15 gal LOX and up to 150 gal RP-1. 15 gal of LOX is not very much.

That really is a tiny amount.  At full thrust a single Merlin 1D uses something like 200 kg/s of propellant.

Perhaps they plan to vent the lox tank just before touchdown? idk, it doesn't make much sense to me.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: hrissan on 01/08/2015 07:19 PM
And just to be a pedant, the residual fuel is listed as being 15 gal LOX and up to 150 gal RP-1. 15 gal of LOX is not very much.

That really is a tiny amount.  At full thrust a single Merlin 1D uses something like 200 kg/s of propellant.

Perhaps they plan to vent the lox tank just before touchdown? idk, it doesn't make much sense to me.
The number of residual propellant is very small, which gives some ideas:

1. Why 10x less LOX than RP? IMHO they have long thin tube with LOX, but not with RP, so the precision of measuring remaining LOX may be much higher. Or there could be uncertainty in heat flux into LOX tank, so they load a bit more RP for the worst case LOX vaporization during flight, so there may be a bit of excess RP.

2. They know terminal velocity very well and so how much fuel is required, as the steering is by grid fins it does not ue propellant, so they will just extend the atmosperic entrance burn (the one before landing burn) to expend excess propellant leaving just required amount plus uncertainty.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 01/08/2015 07:28 PM
Does the potential ability to "boost" the first stage for BFR from construction site to the launch facility come into play at all?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: corrodedNut on 01/08/2015 07:29 PM
Maybe the divert pads are for off-nominal landings or unexpected ground winds.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rpapo on 01/08/2015 08:04 PM
Does the potential ability to "boost" the first stage for BFR from construction site to the launch facility come into play at all?
Unless the entire flight path from factory to the landing pad near the launch site is uninhabited, to a good distance to either side, the FAA is not very likely to grant a license for that to happen.

At least that is how I see it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 01/08/2015 08:46 PM
I seem to recall you being vociferously in the "refurbishment-costs-may-make-reusability-unfeasible"  camp when we were discussing all this last summer and now you're in the "it'll-be-ok" camp?  The McGregor boosters never flew backwards at hypersonic speeds.  We don't know what the returning stage is going to look like beyond the grainy video of that charred booster landing in the ocean the airplane took during the last landing.

The point is that the booster may either need a complete tear down (and component replacements) requiring the abilities they have back at the CA factory- and I expect they will do this for the first few returns, or the booster may be good to go after an inspection, air in the tires, and fluid top-off, which allows them to use their existing HIF facilities, or get a new one (build or lease) for refurbishment in FL instead of CA.  The EA for LC-13 indicates that SpaceX believes the latter is true- which is what Dudely pointed out in his post.  I also pointed out that if the latter is indeed true, then we can also begin to put boundaries on questions about the economics of reusability because the refurbishment costs will likely be small.


My point is McGregor would be the likely site for any tear down vs Hawthorne.  They have replaced engines, attached engine structure to tanks before and fixed up stages from static fire.  Also, component replacements can be done at the launch site, since this happens prelaunch when failures are found.   If "teardown" doesn't include thrust structure or tank demates, any facility that can hold the stage on the access stands with roll rings can be used.

Fair enough statement, but we know now from the EA that SpaceX rejected KSC for landing sites in part because it was too far from a TBD refurbishment location.  Normal post-flight refurbishment won't be happening in TX even if tear-downs and major work does occur there.

It also gives some insight into Musk's "self-contained space center" comment recently....
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: deruch on 01/08/2015 11:23 PM
I seem to recall you being vociferously in the "refurbishment-costs-may-make-reusability-unfeasible"  camp when we were discussing all this last summer and now you're in the "it'll-be-ok" camp?  The McGregor boosters never flew backwards at hypersonic speeds.  We don't know what the returning stage is going to look like beyond the grainy video of that charred booster landing in the ocean the airplane took during the last landing.

The point is that the booster may either need a complete tear down (and component replacements) requiring the abilities they have back at the CA factory- and I expect they will do this for the first few returns, or the booster may be good to go after an inspection, air in the tires, and fluid top-off, which allows them to use their existing HIF facilities, or get a new one (build or lease) for refurbishment in FL instead of CA.  The EA for LC-13 indicates that SpaceX believes the latter is true- which is what Dudely pointed out in his post.  I also pointed out that if the latter is indeed true, then we can also begin to put boundaries on questions about the economics of reusability because the refurbishment costs will likely be small.


My point is McGregor would be the likely site for any tear down vs Hawthorne.  They have replaced engines, attached engine structure to tanks before and fixed up stages from static fire.  Also, component replacements can be done at the launch site, since this happens prelaunch when failures are found.   If "teardown" doesn't include thrust structure or tank demates, any facility that can hold the stage on the access stands with roll rings can be used.

Fair enough statement, but we know now from the EA that SpaceX rejected KSC for landing sites in part because it was too far from a TBD refurbishment location.  Normal post-flight refurbishment won't be happening in TX even if tear-downs and major work does occur there.

It also gives some insight into Musk's "self-contained space center" comment recently....

Be careful about assigning long term planning to the short term.  I think that's the major disconnect in the above back-and-forth.  Jim is talking about what will happen with the very first few recovered stages.  The quote from the EA is really only applicable to SpaceX's long term vision.  Eventually, they don't plan to be totally taking apart recovered stages.  They are planning for success.  i.e. Only "minor" work necessary to get a stage ready to fly again.  At that point, it makes way more sense to refurb them where they are going to be used. 

Quote from: LC-13 as landing pad EA
While difficult to calculate, there may be a slight positive impact on traffic since the re-landed vehicle would be transported to a local SpaceX facility, rather than transporting a new Falcon first stage vehicle from Texas to CCAFS.
(emphasis added)

The context of the report is SpaceX's long term plans, i.e. for when reuse means not having to bring another new stage from TX.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jdeshetler on 01/09/2015 04:15 AM
http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-141107-004.pdf

Major modifications:
- New 200 foot by 200 foot square concrete landing pad
- surrounded by an approximately 750 foot diameter compressed soil and gravel, flat pervious surface.
- four additional, 150 foot diameter concrete “contingency” pads 
- access roads between pads is to be made with compact gravels/riverbed rocks.
- at the location of the former blockhouse, a steel and concrete “stand” would be built to secure the Falcon stage during post-landing operations.
- clearing existing vegetation from the land between the LC-13 operations area to
the ditch to the east, and then up to the beach area but not dunes itself.

The X logo on the major pad is the same size as the barge's for scale.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Dudely on 01/09/2015 01:30 PM
And just to be a pedant, the residual fuel is listed as being 15 gal LOX and up to 150 gal RP-1. 15 gal of LOX is not very much.

That really is a tiny amount.  At full thrust a single Merlin 1D uses something like 200 kg/s of propellant.

Perhaps they plan to vent the lox tank just before touchdown? idk, it doesn't make much sense to me.
The number of residual propellant is very small, which gives some ideas:

1. Why 10x less LOX than RP? IMHO they have long thin tube with LOX, but not with RP, so the precision of measuring remaining LOX may be much higher. Or there could be uncertainty in heat flux into LOX tank, so they load a bit more RP for the worst case LOX vaporization during flight, so there may be a bit of excess RP.

2. They know terminal velocity very well and so how much fuel is required, as the steering is by grid fins it does not ue propellant, so they will just extend the atmosperic entrance burn (the one before landing burn) to expend excess propellant leaving just required amount plus uncertainty.

I think 2 is probably right. It also explains why they have all those "contingency pads". . . because a big gust of wind might need too much fuel to overcome in order to hit the proper landing pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2015 01:39 PM
Maybe, but the cosine loss on even a 5 degree slew are minimal (0.5%)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 01/09/2015 03:14 PM
I'm also having trouble imagining a wind gust that would divert the stage to that degree --- or a fuel issue that would cause an abort to a pad *further* from the coast.

Perhaps the real issue is political: in order to expedite the application, the first EIS is explicitly only for a single returning core, even though they manage to build 5 (!) pads by using the "contingency" fig leaf.  (And perhaps this is even technically the truth if they have ALHAT-style targetting of all five----even though no reasonable combination of conditions will actually cause a divert.)

And then once they have established single-core landing operations, and everyone is happy with their safety, environmental soundness, etc, they can apply for a new EIS expanding their operations to two or three pads.  This would mitigate risk, as they wouldn't be endangering their existing one-pad operations if this new application runs into trouble.

That is, when they write, "There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event," the reader is meant to insert "For the purposes of this initial EIS" at the beginning.

Alternatively, their pivot to barges and the relative risk assessments might mean they plan to perform at least the first F9H core recoveries at sea, and at the moment they think that's a reasonable plan for the five-year span of the initial license.  Again, reserving the right to pivot via a new EIS later if the ASDSes run into issues.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: speedevil on 01/09/2015 03:58 PM
In principle, if you have accurate meteorological data for the last 30s or so of flight when the engines are lit, and data from throughout the flight on engine performance, you can generate a really accurate figure for fuel required to get down vertically.

The engine burn - based on ORBCOMM starts about 30s up, and 1500m in altitude.

At ~1500m and 100m/s downwards, the grid fins, and the body lift generated by tilting the stage sideways has a really decent aerodynamic effect.

As you get closer to zero velocity, it's pretty much all got to come from the rocket.
Once you're at 500m or so, the freedom you have to manoever in the face of severe gusts goes way down.
The rocket weighs ~20 tons, and you have a thrust of ~27.

One degree of freedom that could be built in is to design the landing so that it does not go straight in - but spirals to a small degree - keeping an approximately constant gimbal angle, so as to allow really quite large horizontal deflections without any impact on final fuel use. Another is gravity losses - blipping the throttle early rather than late will change the landing duration and fuel use.

Falcon 9 is 150m^2 or so in side-area.
In order to generate 2 tons sideways, you need a windspeed of about 14m/s.

To counteract this with the engine needs you to cant it 15 degrees, reducing the vertical thrust by only half a percent.

This would seem to indicate that you need to do nothing special if your unplanned winds at the landing site vary by a fairly significant amount.

I would hazard a guess that - for a properly performing stage - the ancillary pads would only be used in the event of a really severe gust a few hundred meters up, after the amount of landing fuel has already been determined, and the trajectory flexibility built into that has run out.

The gust sensitivity depends strongly on how much 'extra' fuel you can land with.
For the ridiculously low amounts specified - it gets lots harder to fight gusts and hit the pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2015 04:18 PM
Hey maybe this doubles as a landing pad for a *really* large rocket with asymmetric leg placement.

Honestly, I'm stumped by the contingency pads. 

For LC40, do they also control the area between it and the coast line?  Or is it limited (as I suspect) to the perimeter of the pad area?

EDIT: actually never mind LC40.  Is it possible there's room within the LC39 area for a landing pad, nearer to shore?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/09/2015 05:33 PM

...

Is it possible there's room within the LC39 area for a landing pad, nearer to shore?

If they couldn't find room for the HIB other than on the crawlway, there will also be no room for a landing pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/09/2015 05:44 PM
Had a thought about the contingency pads at LC13. If SpaceX upgrade LC40 to FH comparable then you can have dual FH launches with 4 strapped-on booster cores returning to CCAFS.

Or LC-39B could also hosted a FH launch.  Hmmm shades of that dual launch from that awful Armageddon movie. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: speedevil on 01/09/2015 05:53 PM
If they couldn't find room for the HIB other than on the crawlway, there will also be no room for a landing pad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOJ7fZPt0qI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOJ7fZPt0qI)

That rather depends how tough the roof is.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2015 05:55 PM

...

Is it possible there's room within the LC39 area for a landing pad, nearer to shore?

If they couldn't find room for the HIB other than on the crawlway, there will also be no room for a landing pad.

??  The requirements for both structures are almost completely opposite.

(Though I agree it's not very likely, I'm just trying to find out where the second core will land)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/09/2015 06:12 PM

...

Is it possible there's room within the LC39 area for a landing pad, nearer to shore?

If they couldn't find room for the HIB other than on the crawlway, there will also be no room for a landing pad.

??  The requirements for both structures are almost completely opposite.

(Though I agree it's not very likely, I'm just trying to find out where the second core will land)

The ground surface area require for both structures seems similar.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2015 06:35 PM

...

Is it possible there's room within the LC39 area for a landing pad, nearer to shore?

If they couldn't find room for the HIB other than on the crawlway, there will also be no room for a landing pad.

??  The requirements for both structures are almost completely opposite.

(Though I agree it's not very likely, I'm just trying to find out where the second core will land)

The ground surface area require for both structures seems similar.

And that's about all there is in common...

The landing pad will be between any other infrastructure and the shore (so there's no overflight during landing), whereas the HIF needs to support a lot of heavy traffic (stages, payloads, etc) and be on the "safe" side of the pad, since you don't want to put it at overflight risk during a launch.

The HIF is a complex building, whereas the pad is an almost bare-bones concrete pad.

The HIF is almost continuously occupied by a crew, the landing pad is pretty much unmanned.

The HIF needs a T/E path between itself and the pad (for a full-up FH), the pad only needs a road that carries a regular truck.

...

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: butters on 01/09/2015 07:59 PM
The contingency pads could come in handy in case they make a crater out of the main pad...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: te_atl on 01/09/2015 08:56 PM
Hey maybe this doubles as a landing pad for a *really* large rocket with asymmetric leg placement.

Honestly, I'm stumped by the contingency pads. 


This is the way I look at it.   Conceptually there are *6* contingency aborts.  4 concrete pads if the rocket is running wide or long on return, and two targets in the ocean about the same distance apart as the western concrete pads if its running short.  (the ocean "targets" are for illustration only.... in reality all of the ocean is just one big target)

If you add in the two ocean abort "targets" and then draw an ellipse on the contingency pads that extends into the ocean points and you get a good representation of a targeting ellipse like the ones used for the mars landers.  ie "We are pretty sure it will land somewhere in  here".   The contingencies are placed at nodes along the ellipse that divide it into pretty even abort zones.   The actual target ellipse is probably wider then the contingencies, but that's harder to visualize.

One thing to remember is documentation like this is many months in the writing and reviewing before it becomes public.  My guess is that the contingency aborts were originally planned as a hedge since they have yet to actually land on an exact target.   Likely started before the addition of the grid vanes.  Its possible they now have a higher confidence on targeting then they did when it was originally written.   
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2015 09:02 PM
Here's another interpretation.

The four pads are the eventual landing pads, when confidence in landing is improved.  They are like runways.
The center pad, with the large soil pad around it, is experimental. Think of it like a Dryden dry lake runway. You can miss and still walk away.

Once the large pad demonstrates that they can hit the bulls eye with high enough confidence, then the new pads will start getting used.

Even as I'm writing this I don't like it, since SpaceX doesn't tend to build ahead so much.  They'd just have built the center pad, and left the other pads on paper.

So, still stumped. 

I don't see the contingency as wind-induced.  I mean, if wind can kick them to another pad, then that landing will be "iffy", which means those pads need a compressed soil buffer around them too, no?

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: te_atl on 01/09/2015 09:17 PM
Who says they won't be left on paper?   Isn't that jpg that shows the actual pads a mockup created by one of the readers here?   Have they actually poured concrete yet?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2015 09:39 PM
Who says they won't be left on paper?   Isn't that jpg that shows the actual pads a mockup created by one of the readers here?   Have they actually poured concrete yet?

ok, if it happens that way, then we have the answer, but why go through the whole rigmarole of calling them "contingency"?  Just call them "future use"?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 01/09/2015 10:39 PM
SpaceX may not *build* ahead, but they certainly *plan* ahead.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rpapo on 01/09/2015 11:11 PM
And there is nothing that says they are going to build all that stuff at once.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2015 11:22 PM
Hey, if indeed it turns out that the center pad is only a training pad and this is a 5-pad landing facility, I'll be very happy.  That's what I proposed above.  I was just pointing out some reasons why it might not be a sure thing...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/10/2015 02:55 AM
Here are some questions.


What is the horizontal separation need between multiple cores coming in for landing? The center landing pad might not be usable with landing multiple cores from horizontal separation requirement.

Can the launch complexes adjacent to LC13 be available as possible future landing facilities?

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: llanitedave on 01/10/2015 03:27 AM
There will not be multiple cores coming in to this facility, per the application referenced at the top of the thread.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/10/2015 03:41 AM
There will not be multiple cores coming in to this facility, per the application referenced at the top of the thread.
Unless a new one is filed later on, right?

I mean, somewhere in the cape, there is hiding another landing spot.

This is like where's waldo.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: te_atl on 01/11/2015 09:08 PM
Who says they won't be left on paper?   Isn't that jpg that shows the actual pads a mockup created by one of the readers here?   Have they actually poured concrete yet?

ok, if it happens that way, then we have the answer, but why go through the whole rigmarole of calling them "contingency"?  Just call them "future use"?

Because on paper that's what they are.  Abort targets.   They could probably prove a landing error of probability prior to actual demonstration.  Placing contingency pads in abort zones allows them to increase the landing zone radius and increase probability of landing on a target in a off-nominal approach.   I don't see these "pads" as anything more then giving the AF (as stewards of Patrick) and FAA a higher level of confidence they could land at the target since at the time they didn't have actual accuracy data to show.   I would think this weekends attempt since it was "close but no cigar" would just make FAA and AF happier with  multiple abort targets.   
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/11/2015 09:21 PM
   I don't see these "pads" as anything more then giving the AF (as stewards of Patrick) and FAA a higher level of confidence they could land at the target since at the time they didn't have actual accuracy data to show.   I would think this weekends attempt since it was "close but no cigar" would just make FAA and AF happier with  multiple abort targets.   

Quite the opposite.  This weekend shows why the contingency pads are needed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Barrie on 01/11/2015 09:23 PM

What is the horizontal separation need between multiple cores coming in for landing?


My guess is they have no idea, which is why the requirement is excluded from this plan.  And if they had 4 contingency barges around the ASDS yesterday, we just might have an intact stage coming home today  :D
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Semmel on 01/11/2015 09:26 PM
Quite the opposite.  This weekend shows why the contingency pads are needed.

I see it exactly in the same way. Without more knowledge about the orientation and velocity vector of the first stage, it looks like the first stage could have landed but didn't hit the target right. Maybe it was also in a stable position but we will not know that until SpaceX publishes some telemetry. Too bad the not_a_barge drone ship doesn't have contingency pads.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sugmullun on 01/11/2015 10:32 PM
   I don't see these "pads" as anything more then giving the AF (as stewards of Patrick) and FAA a higher level of confidence they could land at the target since at the time they didn't have actual accuracy data to show.   I would think this weekends attempt since it was "close but no cigar" would just make FAA and AF happier with  multiple abort targets.   

Quite the opposite.  This weekend shows why the contingency pads are needed.

Four of them? I have a problem seeing that. The pads will be able to take much more abuse than the barge which wasn't quite totaled and by the time SpaceX wants to use the pads I think those almost empty cores will be pretty reliable... and accurate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/11/2015 10:40 PM
This week's landing attempt simply proves what we've already know - that unpredictable shit can happen.

Tailoring a solution to the exact same fault is silly, because this particular fault is less likely to recur than some other random problem.

But there's already a catch-all solution to all such problems, which is to progressively and actively walk the IIP from offshore and onto the pad, abort if you lose control, and have a margin around the pad.

It was never to try to land a sick stage at a different pad, and this week's crash does not indicate that a new plan is needed.

We still have two large unknowns, in my opinion:

- What does "contingency pad" even mean (and why are they smaller, have no buffer zones, and are unevenly spaced, etc. etc.)
- Where does the second side booster land.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: dglow on 01/12/2015 04:08 AM
- What does "contingency pad" even mean (and why are they smaller, have no buffer zones, and are unevenly spaced, etc. etc.)

The contingency pads look the same size as the circle on the center pad. The center pad is really the exception, and I like your theory as to why.

Quote
- Where does the second side booster land.

I think you called it upthread: it will also land at LC-13 once RTLS is proven and the requisite authorities consent.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: deruch on 01/12/2015 04:26 AM
- What does "contingency pad" even mean (and why are they smaller, have no buffer zones, and are unevenly spaced, etc. etc.)

The contingency pads look the same size as the circle on the center pad. The center pad is really the exception, and I like your theory as to why.

Quote
- Where does the second side booster land.

I think you called it upthread: it will also land at LC-13 once RTLS is proven and the requisite authorities consent.

The center pad is 200ft diameter.  The contingency pads are all 150ft diameter.  per the Environmental Assessment.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/12/2015 04:39 AM
- What does "contingency pad" even mean (and why are they smaller, have no buffer zones, and are unevenly spaced, etc. etc.)

The contingency pads look the same size as the circle on the center pad. The center pad is really the exception, and I like your theory as to why.

Quote
- Where does the second side booster land.

I think you called it upthread: it will also land at LC-13 once RTLS is proven and the requisite authorities consent.

The center pad is 200ft diameter.  The contingency pads are all 150ft diameter.  per the Environmental Assessment.
Which agrees with the idea that the center pad is a training pad, and this will become a 5 pad landing facility.

What's strange about this interpretation is the convoluted use of the "contingency" descriptor.

So I think we're still missing something. What's the contingency? Just in case SpaceX is successful?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: dglow on 01/12/2015 04:40 AM
The center pad is 200ft diameter.  The contingency pads are all 150ft diameter.  per the Environmental Assessment.

The center pad is a square, 200 ft. on each side.

What's strange about this interpretation is the convoluted use of the "contingency" descriptor.

So I think we're still missing something. What's the contingency? Just in case SpaceX is successful?

The contingency is 'how we justify the need for all these little pads when we're claiming only one core will land here'.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: dglow on 01/12/2015 04:52 AM
Aha! I think I see what's missing. How about...

– Center pad is the 'proving pad' for F9 booster landings
– After n successful bullseyes, boosters transition to the adjacent pads
– Center pad becomes the landing site for returning Dragons
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/12/2015 07:55 AM
...
– Center pad becomes the landing site for returning Dragons
Isn't pad SLC-4W at VAFB more like for Fiery Dragon returns?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: douglas100 on 01/12/2015 10:28 AM
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: dglow on 01/12/2015 12:18 PM
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.

Where they aim the trunk is independent from the capsule landing site.

...
– Center pad becomes the landing site for returning Dragons
Isn't pad SLC-4W at VAFB more like for Fiery Dragon returns?

The goal is returning astronauts to Florida, like shuttle. First they'll prove out returns in the desert, then build confidence in thruster-only landing profiles, sans-parachute.

Neither Vandenberg nor the Cape will be used for Dragon landings until then, and I've only heard Vandy mentioned in the context of stage returns.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: douglas100 on 01/12/2015 02:53 PM
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.

Where they aim the trunk is independent from the capsule landing site...

My point was that no particular aiming of the trunk is needed for a west coast landing. The ballistic coefficient of any trunk debris should cause it to fall short of the landing point, ie in the Pacific. For landing in other places, I agree that aiming might need to be done, maybe by carrying out the de-orbit maneuver by several burns.

Quote
The goal is returning astronauts to Florida, like shuttle.

Agree.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 01/12/2015 03:23 PM
I think the elephant in the room that we're not discussing with these contingency pads is the control software for the booster.  It must be incredibly dynamic (and fast) to make a last second abort-to-this-other-pad-over-here determination.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 01/12/2015 04:39 PM
I think the elephant in the room that we're not discussing with these contingency pads is the control software for the booster.  It must be incredibly dynamic (and fast) to make a last second abort-to-this-other-pad-over-here determination.

Yes, I think that's possibly the most interesting conclusion to draw: they must be basically running their "Mars landing" code already, with some sort of ALHAT-style site evaluation and selection code baked in from the start.  This is "the SpaceX way" and consistent with Elon's statements about their software team being aces (to more precisely paraphrase, he said everything but the Merlin was state-of-the-art & breaking new ground).  But still, it's quite forward-looking.

This is also consistent with Lars Blackmore (http://www.mit.edu/~larsb/) being responsible for EDL of the Falcon 9, since he "co-invented the G-FOLD algorithm for precision landing on Mars".

But still!
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: macpacheco on 01/12/2015 04:58 PM
How much each alternate landing pad cost ? Isn't it just a little concrete ? Its probably one such cheap item to build compared to rocket stages that they're going to do it anyways. The software programming to decide on the fly to divert to one of them might cost more money than those 4 concrete spots. Matter of fact, I don't understand why they don't just pour concrete in the whole gravel area and make it one huge landing area !
There's probably politics and posturing to please some of the harder to please FAA safety people in that design.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/12/2015 05:04 PM
1.  Matter of fact, I don't understand why they don't just pour concrete in the whole gravel area and make it one huge landing area !
2.  There's probably politics and posturing to please some of the harder to please FAA safety people in that design.

1.  Because that would cause unnecessary environmental impacts.  And no, it is not just a little concrete. 
2.  Unfounded conjecture. 

And how many times does it have to be stated that it is Air Force personnel in charge of safety at the Cape, not FAA.

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Dudely on 01/12/2015 05:18 PM
And how many times does it have to be stated that it is Air Force personnel in charge of safety at the Cape, not FAA.

Over and over and over again.

I saw a comment on another site which shall remain nameless that questioned why air force personnel were even present at the pre-launch conference. I just shook my head. . .
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: te_atl on 01/12/2015 06:51 PM
   I don't see these "pads" as anything more then giving the AF (as stewards of Patrick) and FAA a higher level of confidence they could land at the target since at the time they didn't have actual accuracy data to show.   I would think this weekends attempt since it was "close but no cigar" would just make FAA and AF happier with  multiple abort targets.   

Quite the opposite.  This weekend shows why the contingency pads are needed.

Actually we are in agreement, although in retrospect I can see how my post sounded otherwise.   My point was that SpaceX  tends to be overoptimistic and its possible the abort targets were written as a paper hedge.   If they needed them, the paperwork was already done.  Frankly, I think it would be foolish not to build them.  If they had an abort target this weekend it might have turned out differently.  (only might as its possible that the loss of hydraulics could have prevented any possible safe landing even if it had an abort site.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: schaban on 01/12/2015 07:28 PM
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: darkenfast on 01/12/2015 07:52 PM
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.

Where they aim the trunk is independent from the capsule landing site.

...
– Center pad becomes the landing site for returning Dragons
Isn't pad SLC-4W at VAFB more like for Fiery Dragon returns?

The goal is returning astronauts to Florida, like shuttle. First they'll prove out returns in the desert, then build confidence in thruster-only landing profiles, sans-parachute.

Neither Vandenberg nor the Cape will be used for Dragon landings until then, and I've only heard Vandy mentioned in the context of stage returns.
Where has SpaceX stated that the goal is to return astronauts to Florida?  Astronauts will come from wherever they are headquartered, such as Houston or Hawthorne.  They HAVE to dispose of the trunk safely.  Landing at Vandenberg makes sense for that.  The Dragons will go to Texas as they do now, unless they establish a facility on the West Coast to deal with offloading propellant and other issues.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jdeshetler on 01/12/2015 07:53 PM
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

The concrete pad (not driveway type, 4") is usually 10" to 30" thick w/ reinforcement steel bars for supporting the crane's bearing load so it will absorb any "hard landing".
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lar on 01/12/2015 08:10 PM
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

The concrete pad (not driveway type, 4") is usually 10" to 30" thick w/ reinforcement steel bars for supporting the crane's bearing load so it will absorb any "hard landing".

Right but if there is equipment, mounts, tankage, etc, .. .that might be damaged and need repair. Just like the barge survived but some of the equipment was hard done by.

So the pad might be out of service for that reason.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: schaban on 01/12/2015 08:12 PM
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

The concrete pad (not driveway type, 4") is usually 10" to 30" thick w/ reinforcement steel bars for supporting the crane's bearing load so it will absorb any "hard landing".

Well, it took several month to repair Shuttle fire trench...
What if stage crash lands on access road, not a pad?
Plus, if stages lands regularly, pad maintenance won't interfere with launch operations...

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: shooter6947 on 01/12/2015 09:11 PM
Quote
Complexes at KSC were considered; however, no sites were readily available or within reasonable distances from
the launch and stage refurbishment location.

What about the Shuttle Landing Facility?  An already-in-place 300ft by 15000ft landing pad.  They could land like 12 stages there simultaneously and not have to worry about them interfering with each other!  Presumably, then, this site is either not "readily available" or "within reasonable distance" from the launch and refurbish location?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rpapo on 01/12/2015 09:55 PM
What about the Shuttle Landing Facility?  An already-in-place 300ft by 15000ft landing pad.  They could land like 12 stages there simultaneously and not have to worry about them interfering with each other!  Presumably, then, this site is either not "readily available" or "within reasonable distance" from the launch and refurbish location?
The idea was certainly considered at one point.  Look where the Dragon 2 lands in SpaceX's promotional video on reusability.  And Dragon may indeed land there at some point in the future, though I suspect that once LC-13 is ready for use, they may prefer to go there.  It will be their own (leased) site.

That said, though, I don't think the powers that be will want boosters flying over their heads on the way to a more inland landing site.  LC-13 has the advantage of having nothing between it and the sea but some dunes and a beach.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/12/2015 11:26 PM

Well, it took several month to repair Shuttle fire trench...


not the same thing.  that was an age issue and also related to water deluge.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/12/2015 11:27 PM
[
What about the Shuttle Landing Facility?  An already-in-place 300ft by 15000ft landing pad.  They could land like 12 stages there simultaneously and not have to worry about them interfering with each other!  Presumably, then, this site is either not "readily available" or "within reasonable distance" from the launch and refurbish location?


Neither.  It has serious overflight issues.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: MattMason on 01/13/2015 01:25 PM
Parabolic Arc reports that a draft environmental report supports the new facility. While clearing out several acres of brush will temporarily disrupt some wildlife, they'll offset this with fresh growth over the next 5 years.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 01/23/2015 03:15 PM
Parabolic Arc reports that a draft environmental report supports the new facility. While clearing out several acres of brush will temporarily disrupt some wildlife, they'll offset this with fresh growth over the next 5 years.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/)

One item in there is: "The assessment also recommended a number of other mitigation measures, including limiting construction activities during the scrub-jay’s nesting season."

The Florida Wildlife Service (http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=B082#lifeHistory) lists the Florida scrub jay as "threatened" and says "the breeding season .... runs from March through June".  That could mean "limiting" construction throughout the spring.

Anyone have any history of other seasonal restrictions at other Cape construction sites?
Down the coast there are restrictions on lights near the beach after sundown to protect sea turtles.  I didn't see that mentioned here.

Are there other such restrictions?

edit: Factual error corrected
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: mvpel on 01/24/2015 06:57 PM
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

I think the "contingency" which they're concerned about is not a hard landing, but future approval of a future request for permission to land more than one stage at a time there, using the term in the meaning of "dependence on ... the fulfillment of a condition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contingency)." It's certainly better to get the environmental red tape out of the way now rather than later.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/25/2015 02:51 AM
Here's another thought:

The center pad might be more than just a "training pad".

Maybe the center pad is the future "crash pad".  Once SpaceX is confident, incoming stages will aim at the center pad, and then divert to any of the other four pads once the engine starts up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: speedevil on 01/26/2015 09:11 AM
Here's another thought:

The center pad might be more than just a "training pad".

Maybe the center pad is the future "crash pad".  Once SpaceX is confident, incoming stages will aim at the center pad, and then divert to any of the other four pads once the engine starts up.

The centre pad is where they fit the trampoline.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Burninate on 01/26/2015 07:41 PM
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

I think the "contingency" which they're concerned about is not a hard landing, but future approval of a future request for permission to land more than one stage at a time there, using the term in the meaning of "dependence on ... the fulfillment of a condition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contingency)." It's certainly better to get the environmental red tape out of the way now rather than later.
I don't.  These are very closely spaced.  You would not want to send rockets down simultaneously at this distance from each other.  I think an unexpected low-altitude wind change or misguided estimate which pushes the rocket off-course by ~100m+ in the last few thousand meters of descent is what they're protecting against.  RTLS is very useful for Falcon Heavy boosters, and mildly useful for Falcon 9R, while Falcon Heavy centercore will always need a barge/ship/island LZ.  I think Falcon Heavy will routinely land boosters RTLS-style on two separate pads, once it gets clearance - and each pad will have these four contingency pads positioned nearby.

Missed this:  "There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event."
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/26/2015 09:30 PM



Missed this:  "There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event."

This is the bit that has me stumped.

Using the 4 pads as alternate landing pads in case of an anomaly does not make sense.

We don't know of an additional pad for the other side core. Why have a plan for just one?

It just does not add up.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Space OurSoul on 01/26/2015 09:59 PM
Maybe the key phrase is "during a single landing event".

If there's a stage sitting on the main pad after a launch from '40, they can still land a stage that launched from '39A on the contingency pad (or vice-versa).

Just a guess. Doesn't make much sense to me either.

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: deruch on 01/27/2015 02:46 AM
An alternate hypothesis.  Maybe SpaceX doesn't plan to use the "contingency" pads at all.  They might not have wanted them in the first place and there's no guarantee that they will ever be built.  At this point in time, we don't know what regulatory oversight has driven the design of the landing facility.  [speculation] Say, for example, SpaceX only thinks they need the main pad for landing but either Range Safety or the FAA is telling them they need to have some "contingency" pads.  SpaceX hasn't yet been able to conclusively demonstrate that they are able to fully control a returning stage all the way to touchdown.  So even though they don't think they need them they can't really prove it.  Not yet anyways.  They want to move forward with the landing facility plans and don't want to wait until they can fully demonstrate their capabilities.  So they've added them to the Environmental Impact study.  If they are forced to keep them, OK they've done the paperwork.  If they can show that the extra pads aren't necessary, maybe the regulatory agencies won't insist on them being built.  If they decided later that they do actually want them, they won't have to do additional studies first. [/speculation]

I don't believe the above hypothesis is the case, but it's certainly possible.  And it could explain the apparent disconnect in the logic.  We haven't seen anything beyond the EIS.  What actually gets built on large projects is often different, at least somewhat, from the original plans used for study.  Until we start to see actual construction we may not fully know.  Unless SpaceX releases different drawings at some point.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/27/2015 03:13 AM
An alternate hypothesis.  Maybe SpaceX doesn't plan to use the "contingency" pads at all.  They might not have wanted them in the first place and there's no guarantee that they will ever be built.  At this point in time, we don't know what regulatory oversight has driven the design of the landing facility.  [speculation] Say, for example, SpaceX only thinks they need the main pad for landing but either Range Safety or the FAA is telling them they need to have some "contingency" pads.  SpaceX hasn't yet been able to conclusively demonstrate that they are able to fully control a returning stage all the way to touchdown.  So even though they don't think they need them they can't really prove it.  Not yet anyways.  They want to move forward with the landing facility plans and don't want to wait until they can fully demonstrate their capabilities.  So they've added them to the Environmental Impact study.  If they are forced to keep them, OK they've done the paperwork.  If they can show that the extra pads aren't necessary, maybe the regulatory agencies won't insist on them being built.  If they decided later that they do actually want them, they won't have to do additional studies first. [/speculation]

I don't believe the above hypothesis is the case, but it's certainly possible.  And it could explain the apparent disconnect in the logic.  We haven't seen anything beyond the EIS.  What actually gets built on large projects is often different, at least somewhat, from the original plans used for study.  Until we start to see actual construction we may not fully know.  Unless SpaceX releases different drawings at some point.

Interesting.

If an external body insisted on them, then yes, logic may not have been in command....

But still.  If a stage coming down is too sick to hit the large pad, who says 150 m (or whatever they used) is the right distance to place the smaller pads at?  what if it is "300 m sick"? 

It will be interesting to see how the west coast landing pad is shaping up.

And some time this year I hope  there will be some groundwork at Boca Chica to look at.

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sdsds on 01/27/2015 06:27 AM
If a stage coming down is too sick to hit the large pad, who says 150 m (or whatever they used) is the right distance to place the smaller pads at?  what if it is "300 m sick"? 

That's when you take some action that leads to a Rapidly Increased Ballistic Coefficient (RIBC) of the incoming mass so it ends up in the Atlantic.

I think the presence of contingency pads let them continue flying a healthy vehicle when it is still quite some distance out, and maybe a little outside its nominal corridor, without having the RSO send the RIBC signal.

;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: guckyfan on 01/27/2015 07:00 AM
Actually this kind of arrangement is what I thought of early on about possible landing pads. Until I discarded the idea as completely unnecessary. 8)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: dglow on 01/27/2015 03:04 PM
If four little pads are truly for contingency, why not extend the large gravel circle to reach all of them? It doesn't add up.

One possibility: the gravel is for returning capsules, or contingencies thereof. Parachutists often target shallow gravel patches on their return.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 01/27/2015 03:30 PM
If four little pads are truly for contingency, why not extend the large gravel circle to reach all of them? It doesn't add up.

Because it's environmentally sensitive land.  They want have to disturb as little as possible.

[soapbox] Folks, RTFM (pretty please).  The Environmental Assessment for the pad has almost every answer to serious questions raised on this thread- if you read enough of it.  It's not enough to take snippets like this:

"The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-second navigation and landing diversion be required [e.g. a wind gust IMHO]. There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event. "

[/soapbox]

:)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Doesitfloat on 01/27/2015 03:37 PM
If four little pads are truly for contingency, why not extend the large gravel circle to reach all of them? It doesn't add up.

One possibility: the gravel is for returning capsules, or contingencies thereof. Parachutists often target shallow gravel patches on their return.

"Gravel Patches"- When I missed the airport I aim for pool parties and BBQ's. 
We all have our priorities.  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Confusador on 01/27/2015 03:42 PM

[soapbox] Folks, RTFM (pretty please).  The Environmental Assessment for the pad has almost every answer to serious questions raised on this thread- if you read enough of it.  It's not enough to take snippets like this:

"The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-second navigation and landing diversion be required[e.g. a wind gust IMHO]. There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event. "

[/soapbox]

:)

The soapbox there is a little unwarranted, as if you'll read the thread you'll see that the explanation given is well known.  The discussion is about how to make the explanations make sense.

I'm personally of the opinion that they don't have any plan for FH boosters yet, because they're planning to see how operations work at this pad before designing the next one.  Though I still haven't seen any explanation that makes the number of contingency pads make sense.  (I'm willing to admit they may not be sensible, they may be intended as overkill in order to win approval.  Not convinced of that yet, either.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/27/2015 03:48 PM
Maybe the divert pads are for off-nominal landings or unexpected ground winds.

They could be for that.

They could also part of "future" plans, depending on how reliable single booster recovery is, and after they negotiate with USAF and work through whatever permits and environmental concerns there will be to bring 2 or 3 cores back all at once.  Maybe it's sort of a "one with an option for three later...depending on how things go" situation?

If you look at the two contingency pads just to the North and South of the main pad, sure seems like three cores could come back and land at those 3 pads, with the other two in case one of the 3 cores has issues.  There's two alternative pads do divert to.  If landing all 3 at once, thing will be pretty hectic.  You don't want their trajectories running them too close to each other.

If they have -no- plans to ever land more than 1 core here, 4 alternative pads seems a bit over kill.  But if landing 2 or 3 cores, that leaves 3 or 2 alternate pads available...which seems like a much more reasonable number.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/27/2015 03:59 PM
I'm also having trouble imagining a wind gust that would divert the stage to that degree --- or a fuel issue that would cause an abort to a pad *further* from the coast.

Perhaps the real issue is political: in order to expedite the application, the first EIS is explicitly only for a single returning core, even though they manage to build 5 (!) pads by using the "contingency" fig leaf.  (And perhaps this is even technically the truth if they have ALHAT-style targetting of all five----even though no reasonable combination of conditions will actually cause a divert.)

And then once they have established single-core landing operations, and everyone is happy with their safety, environmental soundness, etc, they can apply for a new EIS expanding their operations to two or three pads.  This would mitigate risk, as they wouldn't be endangering their existing one-pad operations if this new application runs into trouble.

That is, when they write, "There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event," the reader is meant to insert "For the purposes of this initial EIS" at the beginning.

Alternatively, their pivot to barges and the relative risk assessments might mean they plan to perform at least the first F9H core recoveries at sea, and at the moment they think that's a reasonable plan for the five-year span of the initial license.  Again, reserving the right to pivot via a new EIS later if the ASDSes run into issues.

@this.

I've heard it estimated that FH should be able to get 6-7mt to GTO while returning all three cores to the launch site.   More if they expend the central core or land it on the barge downrange....but there really aren't payloads that need more than 6-7mt to GTO out there in the near future.  So that configuration may not be needed for awhile.  There are unlikely any payloads in the next several years that would need FH to expend the boosters.  They should almost always be returning to the launch site.  Which means there will be -2- cores at least for every FH launch, and more likely all three for some time.  Unless SpaceX just wants to be dumping those in the ocean...which will make FH much more expensive to fly...they really need the ability to land 3 cores back at the launch site.  And sooner rather than later as FH should fly this year.  They can use the barge just off shore to recover one of the 3 cores, but they'll be wanting to land at least 2 cores at LC-13 within the first few FH launches I imagine.  Otherwise they are splashing cores for no reason.

With this LC design, it becomes pretty much immediately capable of recovering all 3 cores on 3 of the 5 pads with two alternate pads and a lot of level compressed soil/sand to cover contingencies.  All they'll need to do is an expanded EIS and probably some talks with USAF, and they'll be ready to roll.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: watermod on 01/27/2015 04:24 PM
Parabolic Arc reports that a draft environmental report supports the new facility. While clearing out several acres of brush will temporarily disrupt some wildlife, they'll offset this with fresh growth over the next 5 years.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/)

One item in there is: "The assessment also recommended a number of other mitigation measures, including limiting construction activities during the scrub-jay’s nesting season."

The Florida Wildlife Service (http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=B082#lifeHistory) lists the Florida scrub jay as "threatened" and says "the breeding season .... runs from March through June".  That could mean "limiting" construction throughout the spring.

Anyone have any history of other seasonal restrictions at other Cape construction sites?
Down the coast there are restrictions on lights near the beach after sundown to protect sea turtles.  I didn't see that mentioned here.

Are there other such restrictions?

edit: Factual error corrected

So... the tough question:  "Will a first stage be permitted to land when it is the scrub-jay’s nesting season?"
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: JamesH on 01/27/2015 04:28 PM
They are permitted to take off. Is landing any different (to the scrub Jay)?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/27/2015 04:37 PM
Aha! I think I see what's missing. How about...

– Center pad is the 'proving pad' for F9 booster landings
– After n successful bullseyes, boosters transition to the adjacent pads
– Center pad becomes the landing site for returning Dragons

Could be, but Dragons returning to Florida will be coming from the West, so there's not really any need to land them there like there is the cores.
Myself, I'd expect Dragons to return to either EAFB or VAFB/SLC-4 (if they want to prevent too much land flyover since DV2 can't actually "fly" like the Shuttle or DC) or the SLF at KSC if they are ok with it flying over populated land.  Don't know if that will be an issue or not.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/27/2015 04:59 PM
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

I think the "contingency" which they're concerned about is not a hard landing, but future approval of a future request for permission to land more than one stage at a time there, using the term in the meaning of "dependence on ... the fulfillment of a condition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contingency)." It's certainly better to get the environmental red tape out of the way now rather than later.
I don't.  These are very closely spaced.  You would not want to send rockets down simultaneously at this distance from each other.  I think an unexpected low-altitude wind change or misguided estimate which pushes the rocket off-course by ~100m+ in the last few thousand meters of descent is what they're protecting against.  RTLS is very useful for Falcon Heavy boosters, and mildly useful for Falcon 9R, while Falcon Heavy centercore will always need a barge/ship/island LZ.  I think Falcon Heavy will routinely land boosters RTLS-style on two separate pads, once it gets clearance - and each pad will have these four contingency pads positioned nearby.

Missed this:  "There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order to enable landing multiple stages at LC-13 during a single landing event."

Yes, that's a good point.  In reality they probably won't want 3 cores anywhere even near each other in case one veers off course, or needs to be detonated or something.  The contingency pads I supposed could just quite simply be a way to divert in all directions in case of unexected wind conditions, or inaccuracies in guidence...just as they are saying.  :-)    If it starts drifting off in one direction, rather than try to get it back to the main pad, they'll just steer it over to the alternate pad in that direction and try to put it down there.

Which leads me to believe there'll be talking with USAF about leasing LC-12 and LC-11?  And if this layout works good there, they can do the same with those two and bring each core down at it's own LC.  That should be sufficient spacing between the cores to keep them all well away from each other.  And it's not like LC-11 and 12 are being used for anything now, and all have basically the same foundational layout, so they should be able to do the same layout easily for them that they do for LC-13.

I would assume given the historical nature of LC-14  for Mercury/Altas that it's likely not be available for leasing?

The thing that still confuses me is once FH starts flying, they'll have 3 cores on each that can/could be recoverd and reused because I don't think there's any paylaods that would require and of the cores to be expended or recovered down range.  They all should be able to come back to CCAFS on every launch.  If there's just one pad in the works that can only recover one core, and maybe the barge can recover another, are they just going to be splashing the 3rd core every mission when it doesn't need to be?  Seems like they should be working one accomodations for all 3 cores right now given FH will be launching this year, and I think they already have several payloads manifested for it once it starts flying.   Maybe not enough to worry about recovering all of it's cores in the near term?  Not really understanding their plans.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/27/2015 05:13 PM
Here's another quandary.

Do EI statements typically go into the negatives such as "we have absolutely no, zero, zilch, nada plans to land multiple stages during the same landing operation"?  They may as well list all the vehicles they do not intend to land there.

Not only did they say they won't try it, they went as far as saying they don't even have any plans of doing it, ever.  Why even do that?

It almost seems like it was a mandatory add-on after someone said "we can approve this, but only for a single stage, and this needs to be clearly stated in the application."

And still, a future application should be able to over-write the first one, and so why even put forward-looking statements in it?


I'm all out.   We'll find out this year.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: abaddon on 01/27/2015 06:03 PM
Myself, I'd expect Dragons to return to either EAFB or VAFB/SLC-4 (if they want to prevent too much land flyover since DV2 can't actually "fly" like the Shuttle or DC) or the SLF at KSC if they are ok with it flying over populated land.  Don't know if that will be an issue or not.

Gwynn briefly mentioned the idea of someday landing cargo at JSC... so it is something they are thinking/dreaming about, at any rate.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: speedevil on 01/27/2015 06:08 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM&feature=youtu.be)

And another video - F9H - by spaceX - showing all three cores landing on the pads in question.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: abaddon on 01/27/2015 06:11 PM
SpaceX, thank you for reading our collective minds and releasing this video to blow our minds :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Helodriver on 01/27/2015 06:21 PM
The four surrounding pads must be for the four booster Angara 5 configured Very Heavy. ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jarnis on 01/27/2015 06:40 PM
SpaceX, thank you for reading our collective minds and releasing this video to blow our minds :)

Confirming mind blown.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/27/2015 08:23 PM
SpaceX, thank you for reading our collective minds and releasing this video to blow our minds :)

Confirming mind blown.



And would seem to directly contradict SpaceX's EIS and confirm what I was initially pondering.  They're going to likely want to be recovering all 3 FH cores for the payloads they'll be flying on FH for awhile, as I don't think there will be any payloads for awhile that will need more capacity than that can do.    Seems odd they wouldn't be accommodating that sooner rather than later...which is what hte EIS indicates.  Although seems like this cores would be close together, maybe not so much as the central core will stage a bit later and not be landing until the boosters are already down, as shown in the video.  But D4H does that too.    5 pads total means there will always be 3 open pads for the central core so there's still contingency options.
The contingency pads look to be arranged as they are in case of booster over shoot to the eastern most pads?  The 2 western contingency pads would be "down range" in case the boosters are a little long?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: JBF on 01/28/2015 12:49 AM
What they would like to do in the long term and what they plan on doing in the immediate future can be two different things.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/28/2015 12:55 AM
I think it will be Dragon V2 abort landing site and EOM landing site too.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: docmordrid on 01/28/2015 01:16 AM
I think it will be Dragon V2 abort landing site and EOM landing site too.
If memory serves Dragon 2 aborts burn to depletion and have to do splashdowns, or has this changed as  well? Will it have reserves for a propulsive landing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 01/28/2015 01:19 AM
I think it will be Dragon V2 abort landing site and EOM landing site too.
If memory serves Dragon 2 aborts burn to depletion and have to do splashdowns, or has this changed as  well? Will it have reserves for a propulsive landing?

No, launch abort will always end up in the ocean. Not enough propellant to do abort and propulsive landing, we have been told.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: hrissan on 01/28/2015 09:37 AM
I think it will be Dragon V2 abort landing site and EOM landing site too.
If memory serves Dragon 2 aborts burn to depletion and have to do splashdowns, or has this changed as  well? Will it have reserves for a propulsive landing?

No, launch abort will always end up in the ocean. Not enough propellant to do abort and propulsive landing, we have been told.
But reserving just 10m/s worth of propellant during abort may allow soft parachute landing on the hard surface (a la Soyuz), so that option may still be open.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: docmordrid on 01/28/2015 09:39 AM
I think it will be Dragon V2 abort landing site and EOM landing site too.
If memory serves Dragon 2 aborts burn to depletion and have to do splashdowns, or has this changed as  well? Will it have reserves for a propulsive landing?

No, launch abort will always end up in the ocean. Not enough propellant to do abort and propulsive landing, we have been told.
But reserving just 10m/s worth of propellant during abort may allow soft parachute landing on the hard surface (a la Soyuz), so that option may still be open.
How do you precisely steer it to the pad  once the chutes deploy?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: AncientU on 01/28/2015 02:20 PM
One day in the future, pad abort could simply be lofted and returned to the landing pad.  Chutes optional for fuel depletion past a certain point.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: OxCartMark on 01/28/2015 02:30 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM&feature=youtu.be)

And another video - F9H - by spaceX - showing all three cores landing on the pads in question.

My thoughts on this-

a) Who woulda thunket that in a cross feed launch the center core would be returning to the launch site?

b) It shows more hoverness and less slamness than I was envisioning

c)  How does this interact with the EIS that they're trying to get approved?

d) What is up with the building / tower at what I presume to be 39A?  They currently aren't allowed to remove the RSS but in this video everything has been changed changed.  Perhaps this is a sign that the video depicts not the near future of something likely to happen in the next 2 years but rather a longer term vision of what they eventually want to achieve with it.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: JamesH on 01/28/2015 03:39 PM
It's a video, done by an marketing animator on an unknown date about an unknown date, found on the internet.

Clearly it's 100% prescient.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: AncientU on 01/28/2015 03:56 PM
It's a video, done by an marketing animator on an unknown date about an unknown date, found on the internet.

Clearly it's 100% prescient.

To what video are you referring?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: kch on 01/28/2015 04:05 PM
I think it will be Dragon V2 abort landing site and EOM landing site too.

If memory serves Dragon 2 aborts burn to depletion and have to do splashdowns, or has this changed as  well? Will it have reserves for a propulsive landing?

No, launch abort will always end up in the ocean. Not enough propellant to do abort and propulsive landing, we have been told.

But reserving just 10m/s worth of propellant during abort may allow soft parachute landing on the hard surface (a la Soyuz), so that option may still be open.

How do you precisely steer it to the pad  once the chutes deploy?

The same way Soyuz does ... ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/28/2015 04:34 PM
It's a video, done by an marketing animator on an unknown date about an unknown date, found on the internet.

Clearly it's 100% prescient.

But someone has to tell the animator what to animate.  Someone told them to depict all 3 FH cores landing at LC-13.  He didn't just pull that out of his/her rearend.  And it looks to be an official SpaceX video, so it has as much weight as statements they'd make I would assume.
I assumed this is at least all the things they'd -like- to do.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/28/2015 05:00 PM
My thoughts on this-

a) Who woulda thunket that in a cross feed launch the center core would be returning to the launch site?

I'm almost positive that is not a crossfed FH. It's a non crossfed FH, but the central core stages just a little later than the boosters, but not far enough downrange that they can't RTLS.  Probably a somewhat more lofted trajectory to make that easier.  A crossfed FH would have a central core much to fast, high and far down range to RTLS I'm pretty sure.  THat's probably what the barge will be used for after it's job in intial F9R testing.  Or they may just expend the central cores and not worry about them.   The missions that will need that performance are probably not passed powerpoint anywhere yet.
D4H is not crossfed, but it's central core powers down during ascent and it stages several seconds after the outboard bosters.



c)  How does this interact with the EIS that they're trying to get approved?


That's the head scratcher.   After seeing the video, my guess is once they get the original EIS approved and construction started -with- the contingency pads, they'll then do a 2nd EIS showing 3 cores returning in a single launch.   I'm sure if one core returning isn't a problem, neither will 3, and they'll get it approved by the time LC-13 upgrades are all done, so they can start recovering all 3 FH cores right away. 
AS somesaid, this EIS says they don't plan on returning more that one core per launch...but unsaid could be "for the purposes of -this- EIS".


d) What is up with the building / tower at what I presume to be 39A?  They currently aren't allowed to remove the RSS but in this video everything has been changed changed.  Perhaps this is a sign that the video depicts not the near future of something likely to happen in the next 2 years but rather a longer term vision of what they eventually want to achieve with it.

Yes, I think it's showing what they think 39A will -eventually- look like.

I think they've always said they'd remove the RSS.  They just don't need to get it tore down propr to FH launch operations starting.  It's not in the way.  And their assets are busy getting the HIF done and pad mods ready.  They don't even need the FSS to start launching FH. 
So I'm guessing this is "Phase 1".  Just get F9R/FH launching commercial cargo.
"Phase 2" will be adding some sort of MSS so they can vertically integrate USAF/DoD payloads and start competing for those.  RSS may be dismantled at this point, or later.  That doesn't appear depicted in the video though.  Likely it would be right over the flame trench in the retracted position (FH will only use the non ramp side of the flame trench), which the video shows as covered.  Some sort of simple mobile gantry which can lift up a vertical encapsulated PLF and mate it to the top of FH.
"Phase 3" will probably be renovating the FSS itself and adding a crew access arm to it for launching Dv2.  They may have some conceptual plans to enclose the FSS to looks something lie what's shown in the video?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rpapo on 01/28/2015 06:23 PM
It seems to me that the amended EIS wouldn't be all that much different from the original.  After all, instead of having one 20-second burst of noise, you have three of them over the span of (say) ten minutes.  The birds won't be startled much more by the second and third, given how close in time they all will be.

And three times the smoke.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: JamesH on 01/28/2015 07:36 PM
It's a video, done by an marketing animator on an unknown date about an unknown date, found on the internet.

Clearly it's 100% prescient.

But someone has to tell the animator what to animate.  Someone told them to depict all 3 FH cores landing at LC-13.  He didn't just pull that out of his/her rearend.  And it looks to be an official SpaceX video, so it has as much weight as statements they'd make I would assume.
I assumed this is at least all the things they'd -like- to do.

Animators pull a lots of stuff out of their rear ends. I seriously doubt this video will be representative in 12 months time.  SPaceX change their minds. A lot. This, I think, is a good thing. They learn. But it means statements or video or whatever made 12 months ago are generally not representative - check out the original full reusability video for starters.  That was stuff they wanted (or liked) to do. But we know the second stage won't be recovered. So it clearly wrong in at least one major area.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/28/2015 07:44 PM
It's a video, done by an marketing animator on an unknown date about an unknown date, found on the internet.

Clearly it's 100% prescient.

But someone has to tell the animator what to animate.  Someone told them to depict all 3 FH cores landing at LC-13.  He didn't just pull that out of his/her rearend.  And it looks to be an official SpaceX video, so it has as much weight as statements they'd make I would assume.
I assumed this is at least all the things they'd -like- to do.

Animators pull a lots of stuff out of their rear ends. I seriously doubt this video will be representative in 12 months time.  SPaceX change their minds. A lot. This, I think, is a good thing. They learn. But it means statements or video or whatever made 12 months ago are generally not representative - check out the original full reusability video for starters.  That was stuff they wanted (or liked) to do. But we know the second stage won't be recovered. So it clearly wrong in at least one major area.

Sure, but for its time, it is surprisingly accurate.  This movie states that SpaceX intends to land multiple cores in LC-13, in contradiction with the EIS that we've seen.  That's as much as we can deduce.  They intended to, at the time the movie was made.  Also, they decided it was worth releasing, yesterday.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 01/28/2015 07:50 PM
The video was likely created after the EIS, which likely was started more than a year ago
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/28/2015 08:02 PM
Yes, I suspect the same, so I'm hoping something evolved with the EIS, or there's another one in the works.

Either way, there is intent to use more than one pad at a time, and I think 4 pads is the right number to build if you plan to return 2 cores on a regular basis.  (1-2 pads may always be down for repair or maintenance).

I think the center (IMO crash) pad is critical, and if it is down the whole complex is down, and so they'll hardly ever use it (even though the movie shows it). 

So more precisely, I think they'll always aim at the center pad, and then always divert to the same pair of side pads until they start showing wear and require resurfacing, then switch over to the other pair, etc.

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: moralec on 01/28/2015 08:03 PM
It's a video, done by an marketing animator on an unknown date about an unknown date, found on the internet.

Clearly it's 100% prescient.

But someone has to tell the animator what to animate.  Someone told them to depict all 3 FH cores landing at LC-13.  He didn't just pull that out of his/her rearend.  And it looks to be an official SpaceX video, so it has as much weight as statements they'd make I would assume.
I assumed this is at least all the things they'd -like- to do.

Animators pull a lots of stuff out of their rear ends. I seriously doubt this video will be representative in 12 months time.  SPaceX change their minds. A lot. This, I think, is a good thing. They learn. But it means statements or video or whatever made 12 months ago are generally not representative - check out the original full reusability video for starters.  That was stuff they wanted (or liked) to do. But we know the second stage won't be recovered. So it clearly wrong in at least one major area.

Sure, but for its time, it is surprisingly accurate.  This movie states that SpaceX intends to land multiple cores in LC-13, in contradiction with the EIS that we've seen.  That's as much as we can deduce.  They intended to, at the time the movie was made.  Also, they decided it was worth releasing, yesterday.

In my view we should take this video only a representation of their current vision (or maybe of some months ago), rather than as an exact description of how the launch and recovery operations are going to work. I think the animator had a lot of information in hand and made an honest effort to incorproate as much details as possible... but the particulars are naturally subject to change.
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lobo on 01/29/2015 04:17 PM
[Animators pull a lots of stuff out of their rear ends. I seriously doubt this video will be representative in 12 months time.  SPaceX change their minds. A lot.

I don't disagree that this may be outdated in 12 months.  But my point is I think this is their current "vision" for 39A and LC-13.  So they told their animators what to animate.  What needs to be in, and what to not have in.  So I think it's probably a pretty valid look at what they currently have plans for, for them.
That'll change down the road, but it's what they are thinking about right now.  So I think we can put weight to it for the purposes of our rampant speculations.  :-)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 01/29/2015 04:37 PM
It's a video, done by an marketing animator on an unknown date about an unknown date, found on the internet.

Clearly it's 100% prescient.

But someone has to tell the animator what to animate.  Someone told them to depict all 3 FH cores landing at LC-13.  He didn't just pull that out of his/her rearend.  And it looks to be an official SpaceX video, so it has as much weight as statements they'd make I would assume.
I assumed this is at least all the things they'd -like- to do.

Animators pull a lots of stuff out of their rear ends. I seriously doubt this video will be representative in 12 months time.  SPaceX change their minds. A lot. This, I think, is a good thing. They learn. But it means statements or video or whatever made 12 months ago are generally not representative - check out the original full reusability video for starters.  That was stuff they wanted (or liked) to do. But we know the second stage won't be recovered. So it clearly wrong in at least one major area.

Sure, but for its time, it is surprisingly accurate.  This movie states that SpaceX intends to land multiple cores in LC-13, in contradiction with the EIS that we've seen.  That's as much as we can deduce.  They intended to, at the time the movie was made.  Also, they decided it was worth releasing, yesterday.

In my view we should take this video only a representation of their current vision (or maybe of some months ago), rather than as an exact description of how the launch and recovery operations are going to work. I think the animator had a lot of information in hand and made an honest effort to incorproate as much details as possible... but the particulars are naturally subject to change.

For sure.  For example, the last core lands in the center pad, and no divert is shown (though in reality might be difficult to see).  Everything looks slow and gentle, and there are no charring marks on anything.

Fine.

But, simultaneous-dual-core at LC-13 is the intent, and a third core right afterwards (unless it heads out to the barge of course).

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 02/10/2015 02:26 PM
I haven't seen this posted yet, but it's pretty on topic for this thread so here goes.  The ink is now dry on the 5-year LC-13 pad lease between the Air Force and SpaceX:

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2015/02/10/spacex-air-force-sign-deal-for-landing-pad-at-cape-canaveral/23163757/

SpaceX and the Air Force have reached an agreement to use a former Atlas launch pad on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as a landing site for returning Falcon rocket boosters, the 45th Space Wing has confirmed.

FLORIDA TODAY reported last month that a five-year lease of Launch Complex 13 was expected by the end of January.

"The way we see it, this is a classic combination of a highly successful launch past morphing into an equally promising future," Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, commander of the 45th Space Wing, said in a statement.

"For decades, we have been refining our procedures for getting successful launches skyward here on the Eastern Range," Armagno said. "Now we're looking at processes on how to bring first-stage rockets back to earth at the first landing pad at the Cape. We live in exciting times here on the Space Coast."

Before flying boosters back to shore, SpaceX must first show it can land them safely on an ocean platform. The company will make a second attempt to do that today after a planned 6:05 p.m. launch of a Falcon 9 with the Deep Space Climate Observatory.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: yg1968 on 02/18/2015 02:36 PM
Here is another article:
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-spacex-rockets-to-land-at-cape-20150217-story.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: MattMason on 03/11/2015 12:54 PM
I haven't seen this posted yet, but it's pretty on topic for this thread so here goes.  The ink is now dry on the 5-year LC-13 pad lease between the Air Force and SpaceX:

http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2015/02/10/spacex-air-force-sign-deal-for-landing-pad-at-cape-canaveral/23163757/

SpaceX and the Air Force have reached an agreement to use a former Atlas launch pad on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as a landing site for returning Falcon rocket boosters, the 45th Space Wing has confirmed.

FLORIDA TODAY reported last month that a five-year lease of Launch Complex 13 was expected by the end of January.

"The way we see it, this is a classic combination of a highly successful launch past morphing into an equally promising future," Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, commander of the 45th Space Wing, said in a statement.

"For decades, we have been refining our procedures for getting successful launches skyward here on the Eastern Range," Armagno said. "Now we're looking at processes on how to bring first-stage rockets back to earth at the first landing pad at the Cape. We live in exciting times here on the Space Coast."

Before flying boosters back to shore, SpaceX must first show it can land them safely on an ocean platform. The company will make a second attempt to do that today after a planned 6:05 p.m. launch of a Falcon 9 with the Deep Space Climate Observatory.

Reinforcing this information, Florida Today reporter James Dean has tweeted a sign that apparently has renamed Launch Complex 13 as Landing Complex 1.

https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/575335955181268992/photo/1 (https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/575335955181268992/photo/1)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: philw1776 on 03/11/2015 04:40 PM
Parabolic Arc reports that a draft environmental report supports the new facility. While clearing out several acres of brush will temporarily disrupt some wildlife, they'll offset this with fresh growth over the next 5 years.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/01/12/draft-environmental-report-backs-spacex-landing-facility-cape-canaveral/)

One item in there is: "The assessment also recommended a number of other mitigation measures, including limiting construction activities during the scrub-jay’s nesting season."


I just hope the core landings don't make those tasty scrub jays too well done.  I like mine blackened medium rare.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/11/2015 04:47 PM
Will "Landing Complex 1" be the official (US Air Force) name, or will it remain LC 13 on their books?

(I see Jonathan has already pointed out that "LC 1" will be confusing to historians, since Cape Canaveral already had a "Launch Complex 1", and others have pointed out that it shouldn't be "1" anyway, since missile and space landings have previously occurred at the Skid Strip and Shuttle Landing Facility).

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: MattMason on 03/11/2015 05:17 PM
Will "Landing Complex 1" be the official (US Air Force) name, or will it remain LC 13 on their books?

(I see Jonathan has already pointed out that "LC 1" will be confusing to historians, since Cape Canaveral already had a "Launch Complex 1", and others have pointed out that it shouldn't be "1" anyway, since missile and space landings have previously occurred at the Skid Strip and Shuttle Landing Facility).

 - Ed Kyle

I'd say this is official, since the Air Force probably made that very sign we're seeing. Being the government, logic doesn't come into play here with naming, sensible or otherwise. ;)

It's a rather historic thing, though. Rather stimulating to see. At least the bulldozing and pad creation should be relatively quick, but SpaceX has to show several ASDS landings before they'll get to use this place.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: deruch on 03/11/2015 11:17 PM
There's no requirement for them to adopt "LC-1" as the abbreviation.  They could go with "LanC-1" (sounds like Lancy), or "LanCom-1" (sounds like Lancome), etc.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 03/11/2015 11:49 PM
Well the airport next door named its runways 1, 10, 19, and 28.
Go figure.
:)  (aviation joke)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: mheney on 03/12/2015 02:56 PM
There's no requirement for them to adopt "LC-1" as the abbreviation.  They could go with "LanC-1" (sounds like Lancy), or "LanCom-1" (sounds like Lancome), etc.

Or LC-1-Down (as opposed to LC-40-Up)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: dglow on 03/13/2015 12:47 AM
There's no requirement for them to adopt "LC-1" as the abbreviation.  They could go with "LanC-1" (sounds like Lancy), or "LanCom-1" (sounds like Lancome), etc.

Or LC-1-Down (as opposed to LC-40-Up)

Nope, very simple: 'Departures' and 'Arrivals'
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 03/13/2015 03:20 PM
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Eagandale4114 on 03/13/2015 07:30 PM
From SpaceX's Facebook page
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/13/2015 09:12 PM
Just don't call it "LC 1", please. 

http://www.robsv.com/cape/c1.html

I'd rather they have retained the "Complex 13" nomenclature, then "Landing Complex 13" would work perfectly.  LC 13 hosted the Lunar Orbiter launches.  Lunar Orbiter 1 was the first US spacecraft to orbit the Moon and the first to return an "Earth Rise" image.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: PahTo on 03/13/2015 09:22 PM

All of this naming stuff!  "LanCom1"?  As a network guy who helped bring DARPA (net) to the masses, I have trouble with that.  LC1?  "Landing Complex 1" with SLF so close by?  I know, how about "Stage Landing Site"  or SLS for short...?
:)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 03/13/2015 09:43 PM
Sorry but LC-1 seems perfectly reasonable.  How about just adding a coastal designation like "West" so any landing complexes at VAFB would be LC-1 West, LC-2 West etc. and then do the same for CCAFB. LC-1 East, LC-2 East etc..

Or not, I have no strong feelings either way. But there's little to no question it will be abbreviated to LC-1. or lick-1. I mean, people turned Space Launch Complex into SLC which turned into slick then number...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: xpete on 03/13/2015 10:03 PM
Just call it Vertical Landing Complex 1.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/13/2015 10:13 PM
Just call it Vertical Landing Complex 1.
VLC? Knowing the wags around there, it would be a moniker for "Very Large Crater" ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 03/14/2015 01:22 AM
From SpaceX's Facebook page
(http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=36513.0;attach=814528;image)

Ya know, it's great to see increased market forces and ordinary commercial practices begin to affect the space industry.  It is quite common for long-term leaseholders in ordinary commercial business deals, to have a certain amount of freedom in naming their facility. 

I think it is a great thing to see this happening, at some limited margins, in the traditionally national-government-centric space industry.  I very much look forward to a time when these sorts of commercial ventures are changing things up in the other space-going nations as well!
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Kabloona on 03/21/2015 01:53 AM
Just call it Vertical Landing Complex 1.
VLC? Knowing the wags around there, it would be a moniker for "Very Large Crater" ;)

Speaking of craters, some comments from Gwynne on range safety for incoming stages:

Quote
“It’s more a range safety activity. We basically have to get clearance from the range. I think the Eastern Range is going to let us, but they’d like to see us land on the drone ship first. But they have their finger on the button.

“If you think about the decision-making before you blow up a launch vehicle for safety reasons, on ascent it’s a harder decision. You’ve got a payload onboard. Someone’s bird is not getting to orbit if you press the Command Destruct button.

“If you hit Destruct an incoming stage, it’s an experiment at this point anyhow, it doesn’t have a ton of fuel on it, it’s probably going to hit a barge. You can imagine if a rocket with a bunch of fuel hit a building, there would be a huge explosion. You can be a little twitchier with your finger on the button for incoming.”

http://spacenews.com/spacex-aims-to-debut-new-version-of-falcon-9-this-summer/

Not sure I understand the "probably going to hit a barge" comment. Maybe she meant that's the worst that could happen in case of a destruct command. But how many barges are going to be in the vicinity of an RTLS attempt?

Or does she mean that they will be doing a near-shore barge landing demo for the range with live FTS in case the stage overshoots towards land?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/21/2015 02:03 AM
Sorry but LC-1 seems perfectly reasonable. 

That already was taken for Redstone.  And it still is the site of LC-13.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/21/2015 02:04 AM

Ya know, it's great to see increased market forces and ordinary commercial practices begin to affect the space industry.  It is quite common for long-term leaseholders in ordinary commercial business deals, to have a certain amount of freedom in naming their facility. 

I think it is a great thing to see this happening, at some limited margins, in the traditionally national-government-centric space industry.  I very much look forward to a time when these sorts of commercial ventures are changing things up in the other space-going nations as well!

It is nothing new.  The commercial companies (Boeing and LM) renamed facilities they reutilized. Same broken record about market forces and ordinary commercial practices.

Missile Inert Storage became Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center
Centaur Processing Facility became Delta Operations Center
Orbiter Processing Facility-3 became Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 03/23/2015 01:10 AM

Ya know, it's great to see increased market forces and ordinary commercial practices begin to affect the space industry.  It is quite common for long-term leaseholders in ordinary commercial business deals, to have a certain amount of freedom in naming their facility. 

I think it is a great thing to see this happening, at some limited margins, in the traditionally national-government-centric space industry.  I very much look forward to a time when these sorts of commercial ventures are changing things up in the other space-going nations as well!

It is nothing new.  The commercial companies (Boeing and LM) renamed facilities they reutilized. Same broken record about market forces and ordinary commercial practices.

Missile Inert Storage became Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center
Centaur Processing Facility became Delta Operations Center
Orbiter Processing Facility-3 became Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility

So, just wondering, since you have a great deal of knowledge on the historical way things have been done with the US government launch programs at the cape over the past several decades, which other "Launch Complexes", or "Launch Pads", have been renamed when they were leased by a commercial company, even one of the traditional cost-plus space contractors?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/23/2015 01:25 AM

Ya know, it's great to see increased market forces and ordinary commercial practices begin to affect the space industry.  It is quite common for long-term leaseholders in ordinary commercial business deals, to have a certain amount of freedom in naming their facility. 

I think it is a great thing to see this happening, at some limited margins, in the traditionally national-government-centric space industry.  I very much look forward to a time when these sorts of commercial ventures are changing things up in the other space-going nations as well!

It is nothing new.  The commercial companies (Boeing and LM) renamed facilities they reutilized. Same broken record about market forces and ordinary commercial practices.

Missile Inert Storage became Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center
Centaur Processing Facility became Delta Operations Center
Orbiter Processing Facility-3 became Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility

So, just wondering, since you have a great deal of knowledge on the historical way things have been done with the US government launch programs at the cape over the past several decades, which other "Launch Complexes", or "Launch Pads", have been renamed when they were leased by a commercial company, even one of the traditional cost-plus space contractors?

And your point is....?

(IIRC VAFB SLC-8 for Minotaur is one of them)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/23/2015 02:10 AM

So, just wondering, since you have a great deal of knowledge on the historical way things have been done with the US government launch programs at the cape over the past several decades, which other "Launch Complexes", or "Launch Pads", have been renamed when they were leased by a commercial company, even one of the traditional cost-plus space contractors?

None of the launch sites have been renamed.  Falcon 9 launches from SLC-40, which always was the numeric designator.

Landing Site-1 is on the site of LC-13.    So, no real change. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/23/2015 02:11 AM


So, just wondering, since you have a great deal of knowledge on the historical way things have been done with the US government launch programs

Not just gov't but commercial ones too.  Was doing commercial space back in the 90's
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 03/23/2015 05:18 PM
Speaking of craters, some comments from Gwynne on range safety for incoming stages:

Quote
“It’s more a range safety activity. We basically have to get clearance from the range. I think the Eastern Range is going to let us, but they’d like to see us land on the drone ship first. But they have their finger on the button.

“If you think about the decision-making before you blow up a launch vehicle for safety reasons, on ascent it’s a harder decision. You’ve got a payload onboard. Someone’s bird is not getting to orbit if you press the Command Destruct button.

“If you hit Destruct an incoming stage, it’s an experiment at this point anyhow, it doesn’t have a ton of fuel on it, it’s probably going to hit a barge. You can imagine if a rocket with a bunch of fuel hit a building, there would be a huge explosion. You can be a little twitchier with your finger on the button for incoming.”

http://spacenews.com/spacex-aims-to-debut-new-version-of-falcon-9-this-summer/

Not sure I understand the "probably going to hit a barge" comment. Maybe she meant that's the worst that could happen in case of a destruct command. But how many barges are going to be in the vicinity of an RTLS attempt?

Or does she mean that they will be doing a near-shore barge landing demo for the range with live FTS in case the stage overshoots towards land?

Since this seems to be a transcription of a spoken interview, my money at this point would be simply that the quote has gotten a little bit garbled in transcription, and shouldn't be parsed word-for-word.  There were probably several different incomplete thoughts there, and the pauses and topic-switches weren't transcribed, and some connector words got lost as well.

My (conventional wisdom) interpretation of her remarks is that they've already hit a barge with an incoming stage, they expect there's a fair chance they'll do so again (perhaps by falling over once landed), so the range has a pretty good idea of the incoming destructive potential (not much).  It's not like if "a rocket with a lot of fuel hit a building", but they'll probably treat it the same way -- ie, be "twitchy" on the trigger finger since "it's an experiment at this point anyhow".

Rephrased: we've already blown up our own returning core once by slamming it into a barge; we certainly don't mind if the range blows up one or two more out of twitchy trigger fingers and an abundance of caution.  It's an experiment at this point anyhow.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 03/23/2015 10:16 PM

So, just wondering, since you have a great deal of knowledge on the historical way things have been done with the US government launch programs at the cape over the past several decades, which other "Launch Complexes", or "Launch Pads", have been renamed when they were leased by a commercial company, even one of the traditional cost-plus space contractors?

None of the launch sites have been renamed.  Falcon 9 launches from SLC-40, which always was the numeric designator.

Landing Site-1 is on the site of LC-13.    So, no real change.

We'll see.

What that complex will be called, by the USAF, by SpaceX, and by the mainline space media, will determine the name of that facility over time.  No particular reason to believe (yet) that either Landing Complex 1 or Launch Complex 13 will carry the day.  The common name it is referred to in the future will emerge.  So, yes, we shall see.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/23/2015 10:24 PM

 by SpaceX, and by the mainline space media,

Those have never been the determinator. 

Spacex took over Building AO and tried calling it Hangar X.  It is still still referred to as  Building AO by everybody.  Same goes for the SPIF.

And Landing Site-1 will always be on the site of former LC-13 so there is no changing that no matter what spin is used.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: matthewkantar on 03/25/2015 07:54 PM
The sticky nature of place names on Cape Kennedy.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: llanitedave on 03/25/2015 10:24 PM
It's a truism that paradigms, no matter how anachronistic, don't change until the dominant people holding them retire or die.  That rate is a fairly good predictor of the rate of cultural change.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/25/2015 10:31 PM
The facilities at the Cape have existed over multiple generations. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: AncientU on 03/25/2015 10:42 PM
As launch facilities... If they remain launch facilities, the names stay same.  If they are used for landing, calling them launch facilities -- because generations have -- makes zero sense.

Since this has never happened before, we'll see whose 'logic' will prevail.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/25/2015 10:54 PM
As launch facilities...

Where did I say about "launch" facilities?  Anyways, some haven't launched anything for 50 years and have been used for other tasks and the names haven't changed.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: bubbagret on 03/26/2015 01:30 AM
The facilities at the Cape have existed over multiple generations.

Global sea level rise may eventually change this.

Not may, will. ...and the Sun will expand and vaporize the Earth too, how you going to launch your rockets then?  :o

Maybe SpaceX, and just maybe some other companies, will have thought of a place for a new facility or two in the coming century(s). I am pretty sure that barring a tsunami, the cape will remain as dry land until then.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: llanitedave on 03/26/2015 02:55 AM
There will still be Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 03/26/2015 03:20 AM
OK, I don't think we should go on talking about coastal flooding until it really occurs.  ;) Or arguing what should be the name of the new facility (I think since there will be departures and arrivals at the Cape in the future, it should be "CCAFS Gate 13" ;)).

Thanks!  :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: llanitedave on 03/26/2015 12:10 PM
OK, I don't think we should go on talking about coastal flooding until it really occurs.  ;) Or arguing what should be the name of the new facility (I think since there will be departures and arrivals at the Cape in the future, it should be "CCAFS Gate 13" ;) ).

Thanks!  :)


There will have to be a yellow line for loading and unloading only.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: ggr on 03/27/2015 12:47 AM
OK, I don't think we should go on talking about coastal flooding until it really occurs.  ;) Or arguing what should be the name of the new facility (I think since there will be departures and arrivals at the Cape in the future, it should be "CCAFS Gate 13" ;) ).

Thanks!  :)


There will have to be a yellow line for loading and unloading only.

No, that's the white zone!
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: catdlr on 03/27/2015 01:57 AM
OK, I don't think we should go on talking about coastal flooding until it really occurs.  ;) Or arguing what should be the name of the new facility (I think since there will be departures and arrivals at the Cape in the future, it should be "CCAFS Gate 13" ;) ).

Thanks!  :)


There will have to be a yellow line for loading and unloading only.



No, that's the white zone!

Yellow  is for Commercial Unload and Loading
White is for passenger Unload and Loading.

source: http://ladot.lacity.org/WhatWeDo/Parking/CanIParkThere/ColoredCurbZones/index.htm
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 03/27/2015 02:29 AM
OK, I don't think we should go on talking about coastal flooding until it really occurs.  ;) Or arguing what should be the name of the new facility (I think since there will be departures and arrivals at the Cape in the future, it should be "CCAFS Gate 13" ;) ).

Thanks!  :)


There will have to be a yellow line for loading and unloading only.



No, that's the white zone!

Yellow  is for Commercial Unload and Loading
White is for passenger Unload and Loading.

source: http://ladot.lacity.org/WhatWeDo/Parking/CanIParkThere/ColoredCurbZones/index.htm

Edit/Lar: AHEM, This is not the yellow zone. This is not the white zone. It is also NOT the party thread zone. Offending vehicles will be ticketed AND towed. And DON'T call me Shirley.


No, this is the source:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyOX4G7TmE0
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 03/30/2015 01:02 PM
http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/565808/45th-space-wing-spacex-sign-first-ever-landing-pad-agreement-at-cape-canaveral.aspx

"creation of the first-ever "Landing Pad" at Launch Complex 13"

No name change for the site, the landing pad is at the launch complex
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: deruch on 03/30/2015 11:16 PM
http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/565808/45th-space-wing-spacex-sign-first-ever-landing-pad-agreement-at-cape-canaveral.aspx

"creation of the first-ever "Landing Pad" at Launch Complex 13"

No name change for the site, the landing pad is at the launch complex

Yeah, LC-13 started off with a "Launch Pad" being built.  When referring to it together with the additional supporting structures and infrastructure it becomes a "Launch Complex".  Now they're creating the first ever "Landing Pad" and when referring to it together with the additional structures and infrastructure also under development it will be a "Landing Complex". 

Really this whole discussion has been pretty trivial from the beginning.  If SpaceX calls it Landing Complex-1 then there will be instances and people who call it that.  If the AF continues to call it Launch Complex-13 then there will be instances and people who call it that.  As the AF actually owns the location and SpaceX are just leasing it, I would think the AF gets to set the "official" name (see a similarly trivial discussion on whether SpaceX has the right to rename the Marmac 300 as the Just Read the Instructions in the ASDS thread).  But the popular/common reference name could change in short order.  Really, I wish SpaceX had just kept the "-13" designator.  LC-13 would work both ways then and it wouldn't make any difference. 

While we're having this somewhat silly discussion though, I want to ask: Is SpaceX's numbering accurate?  They leased SLC-4W before they leased LC-13, didn't they?  Based on Helodriver's pictures, the landing pad at VAFB looks like it will be done first.  There's a very good chance it will get used as a landing pad for a returning booster before any pad at CCAFS.  On what basis is SpaceX determining that the CCAFS pad is #1?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: mme on 03/31/2015 12:02 AM
...

While we're having this silly discussion though, I want to ask: Is SpaceX's numbering accurate?  They leased SLC-4W before they leased LC-13 didn't they?  Based on Helodriver's pictures, the landing pad at VAFB looks like it will be done first.  There's a very good chance it will get used as a landing pad for a returning booster before any pad at CCAFS.  On what basis is SpaceX determining that the CCAFS pad is #1?

LC-A at Point Arguello, I mean PALC-2-3, I mean SLC-4W will be known as Landing Complex 1.1.  But only at SpaceX because it's too confusing when things are renamed. (Sorry, I couldn't didn't want to resist.)  Anyway, the numbering is a way to identify the landing pad(s)[1]. I don't think it's a commitment to the order they come online.  I look forward to multiple page arguments about how Landing Complex 1 clearly slipped it's schedule since the first landing happened at Landing Complex 1.1. ;)
--
[1] I think there is a high probability that the "Landing Complex 1" is just SpaceX boosting (in a good way) and that we are completely over thinking this.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 03/31/2015 03:09 AM
...

While we're having this silly discussion though, I want to ask: Is SpaceX's numbering accurate?  They leased SLC-4W before they leased LC-13 didn't they?  Based on Helodriver's pictures, the landing pad at VAFB looks like it will be done first.  There's a very good chance it will get used as a landing pad for a returning booster before any pad at CCAFS.  On what basis is SpaceX determining that the CCAFS pad is #1?

LC-A at Point Arguello, I mean PALC-2-3, I mean SLC-4W will be known as Landing Complex 1.1.  But only at SpaceX because it's too confusing when things are renamed. (Sorry, I couldn't didn't want to resist.)  Anyway, the numbering is a way to identify the landing pad(s)[1]. I don't think it's a commitment to the order they come online.  I look forward to multiple page arguments about how Landing Complex 1 clearly slipped it's schedule since the first landing happened at Landing Complex 1.1. ;)
--
[1] I think there is a high probability that the "Landing Complex 1" is just SpaceX boosting (in a good way) and that we are completely over thinking this.

Things are heresy and remain so until one day they become gospel.    What else is new.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Arb on 04/01/2015 10:52 PM
More to the point, has work started and can any of the "locals" get us photos...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: MattMason on 04/06/2015 01:33 PM
I'm looking forward to the facility coming up to speed myself.

The challenge in proving the reliability and safety of the landings is beginning to worry me, however.

We have (at time of this post) CRS-6 in the wings for April 13. While it may fly from LC-41, we may find ourselves with similar problems as with CRS-5: Fighting the weather around the ASDS at the landing site.

I'm hoping that fortune holds up for them, but weather at the landing site is monitored but isn't a Go-NoGo matter that determines the launch, if I remember correctly.

What I'm getting at here is that, once the landing site is ready and authorized for use, the weather that helps launch the vehicle will match that for landing the booster.

Anyone in the meteorological field have any long-range data forecasts for the typical ASDS landing area? If 3 out of 4 landing attempts are scrubbed due to weather, it may take a long time before RTLS approval criteria is met.

Of course, the landing site isn't close to ready yet, so there is some time despite the fickle weather we've seen to date.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Kabloona on 05/13/2015 03:14 AM
Does anyone know the status of LC-13 construction and how soon it might be available for a landing? Gwynne Shotwell said recently that she hoped the next landing attempt (presumably CRS-7) would be on land, which suggests she thinks LC-13 will be ready by then.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rpapo on 05/13/2015 01:21 PM
Does anyone know the status of LC-13 construction and how soon it might be available for a landing? Gwynne Shotwell said recently that she hoped the next landing attempt (presumably CRS-7) would be on land, which suggests she thinks LC-13 will be ready by then.
See L2.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Confusador on 05/13/2015 09:05 PM
Does anyone know the status of LC-13 construction and how soon it might be available for a landing? Gwynne Shotwell said recently that she hoped the next landing attempt (presumably CRS-7) would be on land, which suggests she thinks LC-13 will be ready by then.
See L2.

Doesn't answer the question, which is really whether there is any public information (obviously someone knows, but have they said?).  As far as I know, there's been nothing since Shotwell's comments at Satellite.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: OxCartMark on 07/23/2015 05:59 PM
So it looks like the heated "landing" / "launching" discussion used up all the air in the room a few months back and caused people to run off.  Well, after the intervening months of lying fallow the air in this thread is now replenished, i've sniffed it and its ready to get back on topic.

So, how's progress going at LC-13?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 07/23/2015 07:14 PM
So it looks like the heated "landing" / "launching" discussion used up all the air in the room a few months back and caused people to run off.  Well, after the intervening months of lying fallow the air in this thread is now replenished, i've sniffed it and its ready to get back on topic.

So, how's progress going at LC-13?

Well, the issue of environmental permits paperwork appears to have resolved itself. Sort of.

The FAA quietly put up a document from 2013 on its website that wasn't there when I looked in late-May. [see first attached document]. https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/
(BTW, the Vandenburg landing pad FONSI is here too).

In short, the FAA issued a FONSI instead of requiring a final EIS (EA).

The FONSI states: "After reviewing and analyzing available data and information on existing conditions and potential impacts, including the SEA and the 2007 EA, the FAA has determined that issuance of launch and reentry licenses to conduct launches of the Falcon 9 vl.l with commercial payloads, including the Dragon Capsule, at CCAFS within the scope of the SEA would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the meaning of NEPA. Therefore, the preparation of an EIS is not required, and the FAA is issuing this FONSI/ROD. The FAA made this determination in accordance with all applicable environmental laws and FAA regulations. The SEA is incorporated by reference into this FONSI/ROD."

This is the first this has been reported to my knowledge even though the document was signed 10/23/2013.

The "SEA" they are referring to is a supplemental document related to the original EA developed for pad 40 in 2007.  The FONSI refers to that supplemental and not the EA that was developed in 2014 that we're all familiar with

And here's the second weird part.  The FAA FONSI was signed a whole year before the draft EA that was prepared in 2014 for SpaceX and Patrick AFB! [See second attached document], and the draft EA doesn't appear to have anything to do with the actual FAA permitting process which references the earlier SEA. (confused yet?)

No wonder the FAA didn't post the FONSI document to their website!  I will reiterate that this document was not on the FAA website in late May when I last looked and wrote about permitting: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36100.msg1379020#msg1379020

I'm going to speculate that SpaceX and the Air Force agreed to do an EA because Florida DEP required one even though the FAA did not require one as evidenced by the FONSI. 

The state DEP in October 2014 stated: "Based on the information contained in the Draft Final EA and comments received from the Florida Department of State-SHPO, the state has determined that, at this stage, the proposed federal action is consistent with the Florida Coastal Management Program (FCMP). The state's continued concurrence will be based on the activity's compliance with FCMP authorities, including federal and state monitoring of the activity to ensure its continued conformance, and the adequate resolution of any issues identified during subsequent regulatory reviews. The state's final concurrence of the project's consistency with the FCMP will be determined during the environmental permitting process, in accordance with Section 373.428, Florida Statutes. "

I'm also going to throw down a gauntlet and state that because the Oct. 2014 DRAFT EA is not considered in either of the two FAA FONSIs, SpaceX doesn't have to worry too much about its recommendation that they only land one core at a time during a Falcon Heavy launch and return operation at either Vandenburg or Canaveral as the FAA isn't considering that document.  I think they'll land two or three cores without any further environmental permitting- which is contrary to previous discussions we've had on this thread.

BUT- and this is a big but- the FONSI doesn't mention Falcon Heavy operations.  ONLY Falcon 9 v1.1 operations.  I'll let that overlooked detail hang there for a sec.

At any rate, read the document and discuss.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 10/13/2015 05:29 PM
There is a newer image on TerraServer (http://bit.ly/1LJ8G2e) dated July 10.
A faint grid is evident on the nearly finished circle.  (14 across the 85 m circle => 6 m squares)
There is no logo visible, but the image is still from before the images of Sept 5. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38409.msg1432728#msg1432728)

edit:  Those are not Landsat images from Sept 5.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Wonger on 10/13/2015 08:16 PM

Has any work been done on LC-13 to facilitate the landing?
They cant land on any of the surfaces that appear in public mapping programs like Google Maps or Bing Maps, can they?
Will we have "eyes on the pad" if they do some ground preparation?

Yes.  They have been clearing land and leveling it.  Haven't seen if they are using any type of concrete or asphalt.  They have some trailers out there.

There is a newer image on TerraServer dated July 10.
A faint grid is evident on the nearly finished circle.  (14 across the 85 m circle => 6 m squares)
There is no logo visible, but the image is still from before the Landsat images of Sept 5.


I'm wondering about the grid.  If the pad is concrete, could these be heat expansion joint similar to the ones they put on highways?


edit: removed hyperlinks
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: mvpel on 10/13/2015 08:28 PM
I'm wondering about the grid.  If the pad is concrete, could these be heat expansion joint similar to the ones they put on highways?

A 20' x 20' x 8" thick slab (6mx6mx20cm is just about 10 cubic yards of concrete, which is about the capacity of one ready-mix concrete delivery truck. Pour, screed, float, and on to the next square when the next truck shows up? That's what it looks like to me.

Concrete calculator: http://www.concrete-equipment-supply.com/materials_calc.html

Concrete control joint information: http://www.cement.org/for-concrete-books-learning/concrete-technology/concrete-construction/contraction-control-joints-in-concrete-flatwork

The joint spacing table does show that the proper control joint spacing for an 200mm slab thickness, with > 19mm aggregate maximum size, is 6m, so that fits nicely.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: CameronD on 10/13/2015 11:41 PM
I'm wondering about the grid.  If the pad is concrete, could these be heat expansion joint similar to the ones they put on highways?

A 20' x 20' x 8" thick slab (6mx6mx20cm is just about 10 cubic yards of concrete, which is about the capacity of one ready-mix concrete delivery truck. Pour, screed, float, and on to the next square when the next truck shows up? That's what it looks like to me.

Concrete calculator: http://www.concrete-equipment-supply.com/materials_calc.html

Concrete control joint information: http://www.cement.org/for-concrete-books-learning/concrete-technology/concrete-construction/contraction-control-joints-in-concrete-flatwork

The joint spacing table does show that the proper control joint spacing for an 200mm slab thickness, with > 19mm aggregate maximum size, is 6m, so that fits nicely.

FWIW, concrete paving slabs used for runway, taxiway and ramp area construction at commercial airports tend to be the same dimensions (6m x 6m) as those you listed.. even though somewhat thicker depending upon application and what kind of aircraft will be parked on it.
 
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: the_other_Doug on 10/14/2015 11:15 PM
There is a newer image on TerraServer (http://bit.ly/1LJ8G2e) dated July 10.
A faint grid is evident on the nearly finished circle.  (14 across the 85 m circle => 6 m squares)
There is no logo visible, but the image is still from before the images of Sept 5. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38409.msg1432728#msg1432728)

edit:  Those are not Landsat images from Sept 5.

Please note that, with the link to the Sept. 5th images, you seem to be linking to L2 board posts in the general forum, which I think is a no-no...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 10/15/2015 02:51 AM
Last I checked NSF didnt own Terraserver so any of us can go to their site and look at imagery... To help out the OP here is a link directly to Terraserver of a wider shot:

http://bit.ly/1RbQqTq

I wonder if they removed enough crawler way stone from inside 39a to fill in the crash pad area around the paved pad.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: sghill on 10/15/2015 08:01 PM
There is a newer image on TerraServer (http://bit.ly/1LJ8G2e) dated July 10.
A faint grid is evident on the nearly finished circle.  (14 across the 85 m circle => 6 m squares)
There is no logo visible, but the image is still from before the images of Sept 5. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38409.msg1432728#msg1432728)

edit:  Those are not Landsat images from Sept 5.

Please note that, with the link to the Sept. 5th images, you seem to be linking to L2 board posts in the general forum, which I think is a no-no...

It's ok.  Non-L2 members can't view the link if they try to click through.

BTW, I think they added the grid so NSF members can play landing Bingo more easily.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: dorkmo on 10/16/2015 03:31 AM
since we have some spare time here at the forum, should we go ahead and start working on a numbering system for the squares? since we're dealing with a circle and rows are hard to see, how about we do it like an x and y axis. and the center is 0,0? negative to the south and west?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 10/16/2015 03:57 AM
There is a newer image on TerraServer (http://bit.ly/1LJ8G2e) dated July 10.
A faint grid is evident on the nearly finished circle.  (14 across the 85 m circle => 6 m squares)
There is no logo visible, but the image is still from before the images of Sept 5. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38409.msg1432728#msg1432728)

edit:  Those are not Landsat images from Sept 5.

Please note that, with the link to the Sept. 5th images, you seem to be linking to L2 board posts in the general forum, which I think is a no-no...

It's ok.  Non-L2 members can't view the link if they try to click through.

BTW, I think they added the grid so NSF members can play landing Bingo more easily.

We can stop discussing the L2 vs not-L2 because it was Chris Bergin's decision.

However, that last comment is wonderful, although these grids are much larger, 6 meters vs 2.5 meters or about 5.5 times the area. There will be a real rush for the handful within the equivalent of the yellow circle.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: eriblo on 10/16/2015 03:19 PM
[...]
Begs the question why the squares are there to begin with though! 

I think they may be removable reinforced concrete panels in case of damage to one or several of them when a booster craters.  That way, they don't have to repave the whole thing and simple pot hole repairs would be inappropriate for this application (the patch might dislodge and fly up from the descent blast and damage the booster).

I bet if you got up close to one, you'd see industrial strength flush fixing anchors at each corner going into a "subfloor" of concrete below the panel.

I guess that is possible, but my bet would be standard concrete slab crack control joints as pointed out by mvpel upthread:
[...]
Concrete control joint information: http://www.cement.org/for-concrete-books-learning/concrete-technology/concrete-construction/contraction-control-joints-in-concrete-flatwork

The joint spacing table does show that the proper control joint spacing for an 200mm slab thickness, with > 19mm aggregate maximum size, is 6m, so that fits nicely.

You will see those on more or less any concrete slab that doesn't explicitly need a smooth surface. For example, check out the "before" images of LC-13 (https://www.google.se/maps/@28.4857263,-80.5444166,232m/data=!3m1!1e3) or the grasshopper landing pad (https://www.google.se/maps/@31.3880412,-97.4690183,153m/data=!3m1!1e3) in McGregor on google maps :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: acsawdey on 10/16/2015 03:30 PM
I think they may be removable reinforced concrete panels in case of damage to one or several of them when a booster craters.  That way, they don't have to repave the whole thing and simple pot hole repairs would be inappropriate for this application (the patch might dislodge and fly up from the descent blast and damage the booster).

I bet if you got up close to one, you'd see industrial strength flush fixing anchors at each corner going into a "subfloor" of concrete below the panel.

I tend to think they won't bother with that until they get to a launch cadence that is significantly faster than "every 2 weeks at best".

Around here you see highway crews do concrete repair in just a few days, which includes:
* cut and remove damaged concrete
* drill into the side of the good concrete and install rebar to join it to the new section
* arrange rebar for the replacement section
* pour and surface the new section.
* wait a couple days to cure and then traffic resumes using the lane

Also I'm not sure that even a crashing F9 S1 would do much damage. It didn't do more than scorch the paint on JRTI's deck.

If you bolt anything to the concrete, it'll be plates comparable to the deck of an ASDS. Assuming $500/ton cost of steel, 2" plate to cover one of those 20m^2 sections is something like $90k.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: CameronD on 10/18/2015 10:44 PM
If you bolt anything to the concrete, it'll be plates comparable to the deck of an ASDS. Assuming $500/ton cost of steel, 2" plate to cover one of those 20m^2 sections is something like $90k.

Personally, I can't see any benefit in doing that since dealing with thermal expansion/buckling of the plate (even just from the hot sun) and FOD from loose fastenings wouldn't be worth the trouble given that, as you point out, concrete repair (and even replacement of an entire panel if required) is really no big deal.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 11/14/2015 03:44 AM
There is a newer image on TerraServer (http://bit.ly/1LJ8G2e) dated July 10.
A faint grid is evident on the nearly finished circle.  (14 across the 85 m circle => 6 m squares)
There is no logo visible, but the image is still from before the images of Sept 5. (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38409.msg1432728#msg1432728)

A new August 11 image on TerraServer (http://www.terraserver.com/?tid=21&cx=544724&cy=3151078&proj=32617&mpp=0.971&pic=img&prov=dg&stac=a09349d702a46cb7b360b9e1e7b6280f) still shows the grid and no SpaceX logo.
These seem to come about one per month.  Perhaps the December update will show a logo from September.

edit: More accurate link to zoomed in image.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: DatUser14 on 12/04/2015 10:56 PM
Never mind, this was a bad idea :(
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: joek on 12/05/2015 01:15 AM
This is it looks like relative to ASDS (assuming ASDS 300'x170', give or take a bit)....
edit: The TerraServer image is copyrighted; removed and replaced with EIA image.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: DatUser14 on 12/07/2015 02:45 PM
Do you think landing pads will get names from the culture series? My suggestion is "Flexible demeanor" from Consider Phleblas.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: JasonAW3 on 12/07/2015 03:50 PM
I think they may be removable reinforced concrete panels in case of damage to one or several of them when a booster craters.  That way, they don't have to repave the whole thing and simple pot hole repairs would be inappropriate for this application (the patch might dislodge and fly up from the descent blast and damage the booster).

I bet if you got up close to one, you'd see industrial strength flush fixing anchors at each corner going into a "subfloor" of concrete below the panel.

I tend to think they won't bother with that until they get to a launch cadence that is significantly faster than "every 2 weeks at best".

Around here you see highway crews do concrete repair in just a few days, which includes:
* cut and remove damaged concrete
* drill into the side of the good concrete and install rebar to join it to the new section
* arrange rebar for the replacement section
* pour and surface the new section.
* wait a couple days to cure and then traffic resumes using the lane

Also I'm not sure that even a crashing F9 S1 would do much damage. It didn't do more than scorch the paint on JRTI's deck.

If you bolt anything to the concrete, it'll be plates comparable to the deck of an ASDS. Assuming $500/ton cost of steel, 2" plate to cover one of those 20m^2 sections is something like $90k.

They could use a modular block system of concrete that would have "tie downs" embedded into the concrete. They would also double as attachment points for lifting the blocks out when damaged, and replacing them as needed.  The small gaps between each block would act as the equivelent of expansion joints.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: CameronD on 12/08/2015 09:13 PM
Do you think landing pads will get names from the culture series? My suggestion is "Flexible demeanor" from Consider Phleblas.

I wouldn't think so.. The issue is that, unlike Star Wars, no-one outside the science fiction community has ever heard of the Culture series, so whilst they could get away with it for an ASDS or two as some kind of obscure insider joke, writing ""Flexible Demeanor" in large letters across a permanent landing pad would have the watching world thinking SpX has gone nuts.

EDIT: At least writing something like "No Naked Flames" might be seen for the joke it is.. :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/08/2015 09:28 PM
Do you think landing pads will get names from the culture series? My suggestion is "Flexible demeanor" from Consider Phleblas.

I wouldn't think so.. The issue is that, unlike Star Wars, no-one outside the science fiction community has ever heard of the Culture series, so whilst they could get away with it for an ASDS or two as some kind of obscure insider joke, writing ""Flexible Demeanor" in large letters across a permanent landing pad would have the watching world thinking SpX has gone nuts.

EDIT: At least writing something like "No Naked Flames" might be seen for the joke it is.. :)

There was worse...

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: OxCartMark on 12/10/2015 07:07 PM
What are the environmental remediation steps and timeline in the case that a few tens or hundreds of gallons of kerosene and hydraulic fluid gets scattered about the sandy vegetation?  How long would it take to do the remediation of that?  Would the landing complex or an individual pad there be out of service during that time or could landings still go on (with the contractors obviously removed for the landing)?  What would be done as remediation, removing soil?  Would wells need to be put in to collect deeper fluids?  Would any cleanup of a new spill cascade downward into legal requirements to clean up pre-existing contamination from the 1960s?  What about TEA/B and other contaminants that might be spilled, would there be residue or would it be consumed in any inferno?  And how long would it take to safe pressure vessels and energetic materials before a cleanup of the ground could take place?  In other words, if there is a crash near the landing pad how long would it be before another landing could be attempted there?

What are the chances that SpaceX has some strategy of intentionally depleting any remaining high pressure N, He, and the TEA/B just before landing?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Lars-J on 12/10/2015 07:23 PM
What are the environmental remediation steps and timeline in the case that a few tens or hundreds of gallons of kerosene and hydraulic fluid gets scattered about the sandy vegetation?
Minimal compared to what would needed during a launch failure.

What are the chances that SpaceX has some strategy of intentionally depleting any remaining high pressure N, He, and the TEA/B just before landing?

Not before landing, since all of it will be needed for the propulsive landing. (except maybe the remaining TEA/B, but *something* needs to start the engine for the landing burn)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jcc on 12/13/2015 10:41 PM
I think the procedure will be to vent out the O2 before anyone approaches the landed stage, and they can do the same with N2 and He if necessary. They will probably need to offload any remaining RP1 before the stage is tilted horizontal, so they will need to bring in a truck or something to collect it. TEA/B is dangerous, but less so if there are no propellants on board.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: hrissan on 12/15/2015 11:52 AM
What are the chances that SpaceX has some strategy of intentionally depleting any remaining high pressure N, He, and the TEA/B just before landing?
Sounds good idea for TEA/B, just use up all the reserve when starting the engine for landing burn.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Ludus on 12/16/2015 01:57 AM
Do you think landing pads will get names from the culture series? My suggestion is "Flexible demeanor" from Consider Phleblas.

I wouldn't think so.. The issue is that, unlike Star Wars, no-one outside the science fiction community has ever heard of the Culture series, so whilst they could get away with it for an ASDS or two as some kind of obscure insider joke, writing ""Flexible Demeanor" in large letters across a permanent landing pad would have the watching world thinking SpX has gone nuts.

EDIT: At least writing something like "No Naked Flames" might be seen for the joke it is.. :)

So Mos Eisley it is. Nice tie in if the first landing there happens to be shortly after the release of Episode 7.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Wonger on 12/18/2015 04:56 PM
FAA's environmental assessment on SpaceX proposed vertical landings at LC-1:
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/media/20151201_faa_fonsi_for_f9_rtls_at_lc-1.pdf (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/media/20151201_faa_fonsi_for_f9_rtls_at_lc-1.pdf)

"ACTIONS: Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)"


SpaceNews article about this:
http://spacenews.com/faa-moves-closer-to-approving-falcon-9-landings-at-cape-canaveral/ (http://spacenews.com/faa-moves-closer-to-approving-falcon-9-landings-at-cape-canaveral/)


edit add spacenews article
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: the_other_Doug on 12/19/2015 06:43 PM
So -- no clue either way as to whether or not a big circle-X has been painted onto the main landing pad at Landing Complex 1, in preparation for tomorrow's landing attempt?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 12/19/2015 09:23 PM
So -- no clue either way as to whether or not a big circle-X has been painted onto the main landing pad at Landing Complex 1, in preparation for tomorrow's landing attempt?

No September image is available on the TerraServer, so the latest remains the one from August (http://bit.ly/1lK0QQd) which has no X.
There are other resources for overhead photography, but a better hope is for a ground based image Tuesday morning with a smudged, shadowed Space-X. ;)

edit: Aligned wording with new launch date
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: ftbotsb on 12/19/2015 11:14 PM
http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/sect_print_5_9835.html
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: enzo on 12/21/2015 09:47 PM
https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/679068266975920128
Pic. :o
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Req on 12/21/2015 09:48 PM
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 12/21/2015 09:51 PM
Bigger
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: brettreds2k on 12/21/2015 10:16 PM
They are going to have to repaint that X a lot :)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: mfck on 12/21/2015 10:21 PM
Bigger
Looks big enough for three cores at same time
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: brettreds2k on 12/21/2015 10:35 PM
I truly believe with the attempt on solid ground and a space much larger than the drone ship, I mean that guy looks like an ant in the middle of the big 'ol X lol, I feel they will nail the attempt on the first try!! C'Mon!!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: brettreds2k on 12/22/2015 01:00 AM
Landing Zone 1 is all they needed to nail it!!
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Brick_top on 12/22/2015 01:04 AM
Anyone seen this? Jeff Bezos on twitter

https://twitter.com/jeffbezos (https://twitter.com/jeffbezos)

Quote
Congrats @SpaceX on landing Falcon's suborbital booster stage.  Welcome to the club!

 ::) ;D
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: jfallen on 12/22/2015 01:09 AM
I like the back and forth before Bezos and Musk.  Competition is healthy, even though this was way more impressive.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: brettreds2k on 12/22/2015 01:11 AM
Was I the only one cheering at home like I was watching a football game? LOL. I even had a few tears in my eyes when she touched down, was simply amazing. Cant wait for daylight pictures tomorrow to see how exact in the middle the touch down was.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: jfallen on 12/22/2015 01:11 AM
Is anyone going to start the landing discussion thread?  Everyone is still wired from adrenaline and looking for more.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Hauerg on 12/22/2015 01:14 AM
Was I the only one cheering at home like I was watching a football game? LOL. I even had a few tears in my eyes when she touched down, was simply amazing. Cant wait for daylight pictures tomorrow to see how exact in the middle the touch down was.

No, you were not, might have been standard behavior.
Same here at 2:39 am local.  :)

And it was a LOT better than a major victory in sports.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 12/22/2015 02:51 PM
So -- no clue either way as to whether or not a big circle-X has been painted onto the main landing pad at Landing Complex 1, in preparation for tomorrow's landing attempt?

No September image is available on the TerraServer, so the latest remains the one from August (http://bit.ly/1lK0QQd) which has no X.
There are other resources for overhead photography, but a better hope is for a ground based image Tuesday morning with a smudged, shadowed Space-X. ;)

Done!
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 12/23/2015 05:32 PM
Any word where LZ-2 will be placed? Is there another open LC along missile row they can lease and put in another landing pad? I'm thinking of the boosters for FH. (Central core will probably go to the ASDS at this point.)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rpapo on 12/23/2015 05:37 PM
Any word where LZ-2 will be placed? Is there another open LC along missile row they can lease and put in another landing pad? I'm thinking of the boosters for FH. (Central core will probably go to the ASDS at this point.)
Why?  Setting aside the EIS for the moment, wasn't the plan to build more pads in their currently leased zone?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 12/23/2015 05:48 PM
Any word where LZ-2 will be placed? Is there another open LC along missile row they can lease and put in another landing pad? I'm thinking of the boosters for FH. (Central core will probably go to the ASDS at this point.)
Why?  Setting aside the EIS for the moment, wasn't the plan to build more pads in their currently leased zone?
That was indeed the plan the last FH animation outlined. But after seeing the actual return profile, landing and size of the pad, I was wondering if there's enough space at LZ-1 to have two pads of that size, separated by enough distance to allow each booster enough margin "room" to maneuverer. Perhaps there is and they still intend to build another one. It's just a question...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/23/2015 05:52 PM
Any word where LZ-2 will be placed? Is there another open LC along missile row they can lease and put in another landing pad? I'm thinking of the boosters for FH. (Central core will probably go to the ASDS at this point.)
Why?  Setting aside the EIS for the moment, wasn't the plan to build more pads in their currently leased zone?
That was indeed the plan the last FH animation outlined. But after seeing the actual return profile, landing and size of the pad, I was wondering if there's enough space at LZ-1 to have two pads of that size, separated by enough distance to allow each booster enough margin "room" to maneuverer. Perhaps there is and they still intend to build another one. It's just a question...

Only the center pad is this large, and IMO it is the "crash pad".  The actual landing pads are the four around it, and looking at the landing, they're pretty oversized as they are....   SpaceX could have replaced each pad with four 3' circular pads in the right locations :)

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: JasonAW3 on 12/23/2015 06:05 PM
Any word where LZ-2 will be placed? Is there another open LC along missile row they can lease and put in another landing pad? I'm thinking of the boosters for FH. (Central core will probably go to the ASDS at this point.)
Why?  Setting aside the EIS for the moment, wasn't the plan to build more pads in their currently leased zone?
That was indeed the plan the last FH animation outlined. But after seeing the actual return profile, landing and size of the pad, I was wondering if there's enough space at LZ-1 to have two pads of that size, separated by enough distance to allow each booster enough margin "room" to maneuverer. Perhaps there is and they still intend to build another one. It's just a question...

Only the center pad is this large, and IMO it is the "crash pad".  The actual landing pads are the four around it, and looking at the landing, they're pretty oversized as they are....   SpaceX could have replaced each pad with four 3' circular pads in the right locations :)

Actually, I wouldn't be at all suprised if the big central one was for the BFR's and MCT's while the outer ones are for the Falcon 9 and Dragonns.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/23/2015 06:06 PM
Any word where LZ-2 will be placed? Is there another open LC along missile row they can lease and put in another landing pad? I'm thinking of the boosters for FH. (Central core will probably go to the ASDS at this point.)
Why?  Setting aside the EIS for the moment, wasn't the plan to build more pads in their currently leased zone?
That was indeed the plan the last FH animation outlined. But after seeing the actual return profile, landing and size of the pad, I was wondering if there's enough space at LZ-1 to have two pads of that size, separated by enough distance to allow each booster enough margin "room" to maneuverer. Perhaps there is and they still intend to build another one. It's just a question...

Only the center pad is this large, and IMO it is the "crash pad".  The actual landing pads are the four around it, and looking at the landing, they're pretty oversized as they are....   SpaceX could have replaced each pad with four 3' circular pads in the right locations :)

Actually, I wouldn't be at all suprised if the big central one was for the BFR's and MCT's while the outer ones are for the Falcon 9 and Dragonns.
That would be a hell of a surprise...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 12/23/2015 06:09 PM
Any word where LZ-2 will be placed? Is there another open LC along missile row they can lease and put in another landing pad? I'm thinking of the boosters for FH. (Central core will probably go to the ASDS at this point.)
Why?  Setting aside the EIS for the moment, wasn't the plan to build more pads in their currently leased zone?
That was indeed the plan the last FH animation outlined. But after seeing the actual return profile, landing and size of the pad, I was wondering if there's enough space at LZ-1 to have two pads of that size, separated by enough distance to allow each booster enough margin "room" to maneuverer. Perhaps there is and they still intend to build another one. It's just a question...

Only the center pad is this large, and IMO it is the "crash pad".  The actual landing pads are the four around it, and looking at the landing, they're pretty oversized as they are....   SpaceX could have replaced each pad with four 3' circular pads in the right locations :)
Yes, I know what you mean and I rationally agree...but I get the feeling these plans have changed. I guess we'll find out soon enough. Perhaps in early spring if not sooner.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Kansan52 on 12/23/2015 06:23 PM
Logic says (engineering may disagree) but if any margin is needed during landing, that margin could be done with a slightly different timing of the boostback phase. So 1 second difference between each core at that speed should create a large separation at landing. Could be possible that less than a second could do it and have a usable separation.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: rcoppola on 12/23/2015 06:29 PM
Logic says (engineering may disagree) but if any margin is needed during landing, that margin could be done with a slightly different timing of the boostback phase. So 1 second difference between each core at that speed should create a large separation at landing. Could be possible that less than a second could do it and have a usable separation.
Absolutely agree. But I wonder what the scenarios look like for one landing successfully and one core not (at the pad)? What are the distance safety margins for potentially not losing both?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Kansan52 on 12/23/2015 06:43 PM
My guess (and only a guess) is the separation between the pads will be enough. They will be on separate paths.  Not like the turbulence cause by a plane landing then another plane lands on the same runway. Each core is it's own runway, so to speak.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Craig_VG on 12/26/2015 04:28 PM
Yesterday I was flying to Miami and realized I would pass by the cape. I took out my 300mm and got a couple good shots of the landing pad. If you'd like I can post the original RAW files as you guys are pros at photo editing.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/26/2015 05:02 PM
Yesterday I was flying to Miami and realized I would pass by the cape. I took out my 300mm and got a couple good shots of the landing pad. If you'd like I can post the original RAW files as you guys are pros at photo editing.

Awesome!

Can see the logistics area (rectangular) which supports the idea that the stage was driven by the crane (what an awesome sight!) to a common area where "de-legging" occurs.  (The crane is still there)

Too cool.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Mongo62 on 12/26/2015 05:28 PM
Here is a close-up of the above upper image, showing the area where the paint of the X appears to have been eroded away. The central point of that area must be within a few meters of the intersection of the two SpaceX slashes.

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/26/2015 05:58 PM
Sadly, no sign of any of the smaller pads...  I keep seeing one on the lower left (like it was brush-cleared) but I think it's just willful imagination...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 12/26/2015 06:08 PM
Here is a close-up of the above upper image, showing the area where the paint of the X appears to have been eroded away. The central point of that area must be within a few meters of the intersection of the two SpaceX slashes.

You have insufficient evidence to say that, particularly from this image, which is great for what it is.
We know your second point is correct from the helicopter video, photos and videos from the pad after the landing, and statements by, IIRC, Musk in the post-landing Q&A.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/26/2015 11:28 PM
Yesterday I was flying to Miami and realized I would pass by the cape. I took out my 300mm and got a couple good shots of the landing pad. If you'd like I can post the original RAW files as you guys are pros at photo editing.

Tweaked the first photo (maybe a tad too much though!)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/27/2015 01:38 AM
Does anyone have the image of the four small pads?  Maybe we can overlay it (and distort it) to match the picture, and gain some insight
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: bstrong on 12/27/2015 04:45 AM
I drew lines connecting the water cannons in an attempt to find the center of the pad, but after seeing the overlay, I just wonder if the paint wasn't completely dry.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: the_other_Doug on 12/27/2015 05:30 AM
From the look of the picture above (and I know, it's not high enough resolution to be certain), it really looks like the blast pattern indicates the stage landed near the edge of the inner ring.  I know, that's not exactly what the helicopter landing video seems to show, but there is a discoloration at about the 1:30 position on the transected circle image bstrong posted.  The edge between the inner concrete pad and the outer gravel ring (I'm assuming) has been scuffed out, and the end of the "X" has been darkened into a streak that looks like it extends into the outer ring.

I wish we could have an overhead image of the pad the morning after, before the crane was attached and the Falcon could have been moved.  Just to see exactly where it landed...
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: bstrong on 12/27/2015 01:40 PM
From the look of the picture above (and I know, it's not high enough resolution to be certain), it really looks like the blast pattern indicates the stage landed near the edge of the inner ring.  I know, that's not exactly what the helicopter landing video seems to show, but there is a discoloration at about the 1:30 position on the transected circle image bstrong posted.  The edge between the inner concrete pad and the outer gravel ring (I'm assuming) has been scuffed out, and the end of the "X" has been darkened into a streak that looks like it extends into the outer ring.

I wish we could have an overhead image of the pad the morning after, before the crane was attached and the Falcon could have been moved.  Just to see exactly where it landed...
My interpretation of the dark area at 1:30 was that the paint was smudged in that direction by the flow of water from fire suppression system.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: the_other_Doug on 12/27/2015 01:58 PM
From the look of the picture above (and I know, it's not high enough resolution to be certain), it really looks like the blast pattern indicates the stage landed near the edge of the inner ring.  I know, that's not exactly what the helicopter landing video seems to show, but there is a discoloration at about the 1:30 position on the transected circle image bstrong posted.  The edge between the inner concrete pad and the outer gravel ring (I'm assuming) has been scuffed out, and the end of the "X" has been darkened into a streak that looks like it extends into the outer ring.

I wish we could have an overhead image of the pad the morning after, before the crane was attached and the Falcon could have been moved.  Just to see exactly where it landed...
My interpretation of the dark area at 1:30 was that the paint was smudged in that direction by the flow of water from fire suppression system.

I would buy that, except for the fact that I have seen no signs at all that the fire suppression system was ever activated.  When the teams were out surveying the landed stage later that night, the concrete pad looked dry as a bone, and there was obviously no water deluge across the pad immediately following the landing.  I'm not sure there is one planned after a successful landing, either -- depending on how and where the fire hoses spray out and where the stage lands, you could produce an unstable situation, even tip the rocket over.  It's only sitting on those legs, it's not bolted down to the landing pad, after all.

So, I'm not buying that the fire suppression system ever went off...  Of course, there was some lateral motion as the stage came in, perhaps that discolored streak simply shows the horizontal approach pattern of the descending rocket plume?  In other words, it came in from the 1:30 direction and discolored the pad as it descended, but by the point of footpad contact it had arrived at or near the center of the pad...?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Dante80 on 12/27/2015 02:13 PM
The live video from LZ-1 Musk tweeted does show some water on the concrete. No idea whether its from the FSS.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/27/2015 09:31 PM
So to compare:

The easiest feature to match is the semi circular narrow road that cuts through the gravel area of the pad.

The logistics area where the crane is, is the smaller rectangular area in the picture, the one that is almost lost in clutter.  It matches the only rectangular area in the rocket landing video.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 12/27/2015 09:45 PM
I'd think the easiest feature to align would be the shoreline.  It looks like you've got one of the images upside down, but maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to do.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/27/2015 09:50 PM
I'd think the easiest feature to align would be the shoreline.  It looks like you've got one of the images upside down, but maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're trying to do.
I have them in their original form.

I need to paste the CGI one onto a flat plane in a CAD program and replicate the perspective to do a good comparison...

Or perhaps just a four point distort in Photoshop will do...

Anyway, I don't think the shoreline is visible in the CGI image, just the perimeter road.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/28/2015 12:24 AM
Based on this screen capture, I laid them out approximately, here's hoping to see at least one more taking shape next month...

EDIT: The bottom right pad should be slightly lower, in line with the "across" access road.

We also know now that the crane is going to be driving around with stages hung from it, and so the CGI image is missing one important access trail, from the main pad to the logistics area...  Probably not shown because it already exists and they don't have to pave it.  heh, I was staring at it too much, misses the two curved roads that are clearly shown...

I also added the Google Maps image, for posterity, before they capture the recent mods.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: JBF on 12/28/2015 02:50 PM
Hmmm from what land they have cleared it looks like they won't be building the bottom right pad. (Looking at your modified image)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 12/28/2015 03:00 PM
"Won't be building" is a little strong.  "Haven't yet cleared," certainly.

Folks have been wondering why *five* pads were necessary for a while.  My presumption is that the inaugural FH flights will have ASDS landing for the central core, so only two pads seem worth clearing and paving in the medium term future.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 12/28/2015 03:27 PM
My personal guess on the pad arrangements remains unchanged: the one large central pad will be "primary" for single-core missions simply because it's biggest, to allow for literal last-seconds contingencies, and because there won't be RTLS missions often enough to need the secondary pads.  As the technology continues to be proven operationally over a wider variety of payloads and launch trajectories (and assuming that landing accuracy and precision remain problem-free in practice for the first few RTLS flights), SpaceX will try to transition to first targeting and then regularly using these not-yet-built secondary pads. If their plans hold up over the next couple years and they build up to their hoped-for full flight cadence, having five pads gives them operational flexibility for handling a full mix of FH and F9 flights, and allows for one or more pads to be out of commission in case of a failed/hard landing or what have you. 
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 12/28/2015 04:19 PM
I've always believed that the "contingency" pads as described in the original license had to do with one flight crashing, or even just having two flights close enough together that there is no time to clear a pad before another launch (two launch pads you know). The idea of diverting a rocket midflight from one to the other because of wind or something is rather absurd considering how quickly everything happens. Contingency is about one flight not impacting the next.

Even with heavy and all 3 boosters returning to launch site, that doesn't really account for all 5 unless you consider one pad for a dragon propulsive landing. Perhaps that is why they have not cleared space for the 5th pad. A F9 and FH launch in quick succession will be possible next year though with 39A coming online, so there are your 4.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: John Alan on 12/28/2015 10:34 PM
I have always thought the big pad was so a Dragon could do a hybrid landing...
Chutes with propulsive finish...
It allows the chutes some room to lay down post landing out of the brush...  ;)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: georgegassaway on 12/29/2015 03:56 AM
The idea of diverting a rocket midflight from one to the other because of wind or something is rather absurd considering how quickly everything happens.

Not absurd at all. R/C Multicopters can be programed to fly autonomously, in Ardupilot, to do just that.  See "Rally Points".

http://copter.ardupilot.com/wiki/common-rally-points/

For a multcopter, if the voltage is getting too low to fly back to home, it can be programmed to automatically land at the closest "rally point".

For Falcon boosters, replace home with big center pad, and rally points as the four smaller "contingency" pads. Replace low voltage with horizontal error too far beyond some pre-determined value to likely land safely at the center pad, therefore to divert to a contingency pad if that is significantly closer, with a more  likely safer outcome.

Now, by no means am I saying Falcon is using Ardupilot software.  But I am saying that hobbyists have been doing this for some time now, for an automated flying machine to vertically land itself at an alternative landing spot if it can't safely make it to the primary landing spot. Surely SpaceX's programmers can do the same, and even more (add in criteria for where it is headed and if it can land safer at a contingency pad than to try to divert laterally to the center pad, then land at the contingency pad). 

Absurdity factor = 0. 

Not to have that capability, for a flight coming in say 150 meters south of the center pad, to sacrifice not trying to land safely on a closer contingency pad for the sake of a higher-risk lateral maneuver to land at the "X" on the center pad, THAT would be the absurd part.

If SpaceX ever has another CRS-6 type "Kamikaze" crash landing for the sake of trying to hit the "X", that will also be absurd. I hope they learned far more from that crash than just to add more hydraulic fluid.  As that also showed the landing software was too dumb to know what to do when a safe landing is hopeless (not enough throttle capability and not enough fuel left to do a near-hover horizontal maneuver like Blue Origin did when it was about to miss it's landing pad entirely in the last 50-100 feet or so above the ground). And it's better to ditch in the ocean than crash into the barge (1 destroyed rocket better than 1 destroyed rocket and 1 damaged barge). Of course, that was a learning experience, so I'm not faulting that it happened once. If that sort of thing happened again for a similar hopeless "too far out of safe parameters" landing attempt, no landing software change, that would be stunningly dumb-surd (tm!)

Now, the above portions about primary and contingency pads at LZ-1, are mostly about a single Falcon booster coming back.  For a Falcon Heavy, with two (or three) boosters coming back, the criteria would be changed, less flexible options.

- George Gassaway
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 12/29/2015 12:32 PM
I find the idea that a booster can navigate from 100km up and then find itself in need of a "rally point" only 150m away from its proper target rather cute.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 12/29/2015 12:42 PM

Absurdity factor = 0. 


Not true at all.  RC copters have nothing in common with this
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: the_other_Doug on 12/29/2015 04:45 PM
From the look of the picture above (and I know, it's not high enough resolution to be certain), it really looks like the blast pattern indicates the stage landed near the edge of the inner ring.  I know, that's not exactly what the helicopter landing video seems to show, but there is a discoloration at about the 1:30 position on the transected circle image bstrong posted.  The edge between the inner concrete pad and the outer gravel ring (I'm assuming) has been scuffed out, and the end of the "X" has been darkened into a streak that looks like it extends into the outer ring.

I wish we could have an overhead image of the pad the morning after, before the crane was attached and the Falcon could have been moved.  Just to see exactly where it landed...
My interpretation of the dark area at 1:30 was that the paint was smudged in that direction by the flow of water from fire suppression system.

I would buy that, except for the fact that I have seen no signs at all that the fire suppression system was ever activated.  When the teams were out surveying the landed stage later that night, the concrete pad looked dry as a bone, and there was obviously no water deluge across the pad immediately following the landing.  I'm not sure there is one planned after a successful landing, either -- depending on how and where the fire hoses spray out and where the stage lands, you could produce an unstable situation, even tip the rocket over.  It's only sitting on those legs, it's not bolted down to the landing pad, after all.

So, I'm not buying that the fire suppression system ever went off...  Of course, there was some lateral motion as the stage came in, perhaps that discolored streak simply shows the horizontal approach pattern of the descending rocket plume?  In other words, it came in from the 1:30 direction and discolored the pad as it descended, but by the point of footpad contact it had arrived at or near the center of the pad...?

OK, so I've studied the various landing videos, especially the more recently released ones that were taken from ground level, and I think I know why there is a blast pattern that flows to the 1:30 position in the image in question.

The stage wasn't translating from the 1:30 position towards the center of the pad.  It was killing horizontal velocity in the direction of the 1:30 position -- in other words, while it came down relatively straight, the engine plume was angled somewhat towards the 1:30 position.  This seems to have been to try and kill the final horizontal component of the stage's descent.  The stage landed off-vertical by about five degrees or so, because the engine was still being gimbaled to manage horizontal velocity, even right up to touchdown.

So, it is just a rocket blast scar on the concrete pad, but it happened not because the stage landed near the 1:30 edge of the pad, and not because the stage was walking from the 1:30 position towards the center of the pad.  It happened just because the engine was pointed in that direction during final descent, just enough to leave a non-symmetrical blast pattern.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/29/2015 05:57 PM
From the look of the picture above (and I know, it's not high enough resolution to be certain), it really looks like the blast pattern indicates the stage landed near the edge of the inner ring.  I know, that's not exactly what the helicopter landing video seems to show, but there is a discoloration at about the 1:30 position on the transected circle image bstrong posted.  The edge between the inner concrete pad and the outer gravel ring (I'm assuming) has been scuffed out, and the end of the "X" has been darkened into a streak that looks like it extends into the outer ring.

I wish we could have an overhead image of the pad the morning after, before the crane was attached and the Falcon could have been moved.  Just to see exactly where it landed...
My interpretation of the dark area at 1:30 was that the paint was smudged in that direction by the flow of water from fire suppression system.

I would buy that, except for the fact that I have seen no signs at all that the fire suppression system was ever activated.  When the teams were out surveying the landed stage later that night, the concrete pad looked dry as a bone, and there was obviously no water deluge across the pad immediately following the landing.  I'm not sure there is one planned after a successful landing, either -- depending on how and where the fire hoses spray out and where the stage lands, you could produce an unstable situation, even tip the rocket over.  It's only sitting on those legs, it's not bolted down to the landing pad, after all.

So, I'm not buying that the fire suppression system ever went off...  Of course, there was some lateral motion as the stage came in, perhaps that discolored streak simply shows the horizontal approach pattern of the descending rocket plume?  In other words, it came in from the 1:30 direction and discolored the pad as it descended, but by the point of footpad contact it had arrived at or near the center of the pad...?

OK, so I've studied the various landing videos, especially the more recently released ones that were taken from ground level, and I think I know why there is a blast pattern that flows to the 1:30 position in the image in question.

The stage wasn't translating from the 1:30 position towards the center of the pad.  It was killing horizontal velocity in the direction of the 1:30 position -- in other words, while it came down relatively straight, the engine plume was angled somewhat towards the 1:30 position.  This seems to have been to try and kill the final horizontal component of the stage's descent.  The stage landed off-vertical by about five degrees or so, because the engine was still being gimbaled to manage horizontal velocity, even right up to touchdown.

So, it is just a rocket blast scar on the concrete pad, but it happened not because the stage landed near the 1:30 edge of the pad, and not because the stage was walking from the 1:30 position towards the center of the pad.  It happened just because the engine was pointed in that direction during final descent, just enough to leave a non-symmetrical blast pattern.

Huh.  I looked at the HD helicopter video and came out with the impression that there was a streak there even before the rocket got close.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: georgegassaway on 12/29/2015 06:36 PM
I find the idea that a booster can navigate from 100km up and then find itself in need of a "rally point" only 150m away from its proper target rather cute.


Absurdity factor = 0. 


Not true at all.  RC copters have nothing in common with this

I'll add this then.

The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-second navigation and landing diversion be required.

- George Gassaway
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 12/29/2015 07:31 PM
And you think this need will be frequent?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 12/29/2015 07:57 PM


The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-second navigation and landing diversion be required.

- George Gassaway

why?  The vehicles are autonomous.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/29/2015 08:31 PM
I find the idea that a booster can navigate from 100km up and then find itself in need of a "rally point" only 150m away from its proper target rather cute.


Absurdity factor = 0. 


Not true at all.  RC copters have nothing in common with this

I'll add this then.

The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-second navigation and landing diversion be required.

- George Gassaway

I can't see that.

If that was the case, make a larger pad.  But what if the unforseen emergency takes it between the contingency pads?  The distance between them is larger than the distance back to the mother-pad....

Given that only the center pad has a gravel zone around it, I am sure it is the crash pad.

All stages initially aim for it.  Then each stage, after relighting and passing health checks (which is 30 seconds and some 5000' out) diverts to its pre-assigned pad.  It is such a tiny divert that you won't even be able to see it.

Any stage that does not pass the health check will attempt to land on the crash pad to the best of its ability.

This is different than the "major divert" which is performed by the grid fins for the entirety of the atmospheric descent, by actively "pulling" towards shore.  The purpose of the major divert is to guarantee that the stage does not end up outside of LZ1 or more broadly inland over population centers.

Yes, the EIS not withstanding.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 12/29/2015 09:12 PM
@meekGee with all respect, the way you've formulated your theory it is unfalsifiable.

Occam's Razor might suggest, "just build a single pad to start with, and build it as large as you can in case the first few landings run into trouble.  Later on, once the bugs are shaken out, you can build a few more (as needed) and make them smaller."

Isn't that a simpler explanation?
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/29/2015 09:27 PM
@meekGee with all respect, the way you've formulated your theory it is unfalsifiable.

Occam's Razor might suggest, "just build a single pad to start with, and build it as large as you can in case the first few landings run into trouble.  Later on, once the bugs are shaken out, you can build a few more (as needed) and make them smaller."

Isn't that a simpler explanation?

I don't know if it's simpler.  It's certainly an explanation, and like any good guess, it is unfalsifiable too...

I don't think you need to build a 3x diameter pad just because you're not sure.

When I look at the 5 pad layout, it makes sense to me as I describe, and I think they'll build it the same way even in the future (e.g. other sites), even after they've worked out the kinks in the process.

This is because the possibility of a crashing stage is real, and if it's happening late in the game, it won't fall in the ocean, and so you need a containment pad somewhere.  (And the stage might be sick but still be able to land)

To give the dreaded airplane analogy, you see in airports a cleared but unpaved area past the landing strips.  It's not because they're still working out the kinks, but because the possibility of airplanes overshooting the runway is real, even with mature jetliner technology.

In the landing pads, you might want 5 large gravel-surrounded pads, but I think there's just not enough space there...

Emphasis on "I think".  It's obviously only conjecture.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/29/2015 09:58 PM
Yesterday I was flying to Miami and realized I would pass by the cape. I took out my 300mm and got a couple good shots of the landing pad. If you'd like I can post the original RAW files as you guys are pros at photo editing.

Awesome!

Can see the logistics area (rectangular) which supports the idea that the stage was driven by the crane (what an awesome sight!) to a common area where "de-legging" occurs.  (The crane is still there)

Too cool.
The rectangular area with the crane is the site of the original LC 13 blockhouse. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: georgegassaway on 12/29/2015 10:55 PM
My last message was a bit of a trick, and unfortunately it worked.  Sorry,  I got tired of the attitude that no way would SpaceX use the contingency pads that way, when I know (remember)  better.

Because that is exactly their justification for being allowed to build the contingency pads in the first place.

So,  I quoted the exact words from the environmental impact study that SpaceX commissioned,
as their own justification and explanation for why they needed those other pads. 
A little surprised nobody recognized it, and very surprised at the attitudes that  SpaceX would never plan to do such a thing.

You can find it here, in a Feb 10th  article about SpaceX leasing LC-13:

Quote
http://spacenews.com/spacex-leases-cape-canaveral-launch-pad-for-falcon-landings/

SpaceX’s plan calls for constructing a 60-meter by 60-meter square concrete landing pad surrounded by four
additional 45-meter diameter “contingency” pads, according to a 2014 environmental impact statement prepared
 for SpaceX and the Air Force.

The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-
second navigation and landing diversion be required.
There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order
to enable landing multiple stages” at once, the assessment said. The document was prepared by Gator
Engineering and Aquifer Restoration, Inc. of Lake Mary, Florida.

In addition, SpaceX plans to build a steel stand to secure the stage during “post-landing operations” the impact
statement said. The company does not expect more than 12 landings a year.

The full environmental impact study is here, see page #17:

http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-141107-004.pdf

So, this is what SpaceX says the contingency pads were for, in the environmental impact study created for their behalf.

Now if you do not  not believe it, still want to call it absurd, take it up with Musk. :)

- George Gassaway
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: meekGee on 12/30/2015 12:34 AM
My last message was a bit of a trick, and unfortunately it worked.  Sorry,  I got tired of the attitude that no way would SpaceX use the contingency pads that way, when I know (remember)  better.

Because that is exactly their justification for being allowed to build the contingency pads in the first place.

So,  I quoted the exact words from the environmental impact study that SpaceX commissioned,
as their own justification and explanation for why they needed those other pads. 
A little surprised nobody recognized it, and very surprised at the attitudes that  SpaceX would never plan to do such a thing.

You can find it here, in a Feb 10th  article about SpaceX leasing LC-13:

Quote
http://spacenews.com/spacex-leases-cape-canaveral-launch-pad-for-falcon-landings/

SpaceX’s plan calls for constructing a 60-meter by 60-meter square concrete landing pad surrounded by four
additional 45-meter diameter “contingency” pads, according to a 2014 environmental impact statement prepared
 for SpaceX and the Air Force.

The contingency pads would only be utilized in order to enable the safe landing of a single vehicle should last-
second navigation and landing diversion be required.
There are no plans to utilize the contingency pads in order
to enable landing multiple stages” at once, the assessment said. The document was prepared by Gator
Engineering and Aquifer Restoration, Inc. of Lake Mary, Florida.

In addition, SpaceX plans to build a steel stand to secure the stage during “post-landing operations” the impact
statement said. The company does not expect more than 12 landings a year.

The full environmental impact study is here, see page #17:

http://www.patrick.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-141107-004.pdf

So, this is what SpaceX says the contingency pads were for, in the environmental impact study created for their behalf.

Now if you do not  not believe it, still want to call it absurd, take it up with Musk. :)

- George Gassaway

I am not sure what you're referencing by "that way", but:

We all saw the EIS.   Which was followed in short order by a SpaceX video showing all three cores landing at LZ-1.

So something's gotta give.

It was discussed to death, and I think the best explanation was that the EIS is simply a first step, to be amended later, and so irrelevant to the eventual CONOPS.

Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: cscott on 12/30/2015 07:24 AM
If you want to take the EIS document literally (which was written by Gator Engineering, not Musk, and is a draft, not final), then the fact that none of the "contingency"  pads have actually been built would support the contention that subsequent development has confirmed they are not necessary (since last minute diversions are unlikely to occur).

But it's more likely that the draft EIS reflects a misunderstanding, one possibly corrected in the final version, or an error that was deemed immaterial.  As @meekGee noted, we have numerous subsequent confirmations that they do in fact intend to land multiple cores at LZ-1.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Jim on 12/30/2015 11:22 AM
.

Now if you do not  not believe it, still want to call it absurd, take it up with Musk. :)


It is very easy not to believe it since it contains many errors such as " square concrete landing pad" and "The company does not expect more than 12 landings a year.".
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 12/30/2015 10:18 PM
As for the EIS ... while I've never actually drafted one, I have drafted plenty of other documents for submittal and filing with various governmental bodies. It's not at all uncommon for initial versions to be amended later, especially a year (or 3 or 5 or 10 ...) as things change. What usually matters is that some virtual checkmark in some low-level procedures manual (as defined and set forth in the relevant section of the CFRs) gets checked off as "done." In essence, in this case, it's almost 100% certain that submittal of the draft EIS that's floating around was the checkbox that had to be marked off. And even once a "final" draft of a document is filed, it's very common to file amendments and supplements as facts warrant.

Contrary to the opinions of most engineers (and most NSF forum members), my experience tells me that government in operation - as slow and creaky as it often can be - is rarely as hidebound and ignorant of reality as it's portrayed. "Government" is usually real people doing moderately-challenging work (and sometimes VERY challenging work), trying to do a decent job in the face of limited budgets and near-constant public derision these days
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: The_Ronin on 12/31/2015 01:41 PM
What's to stop them from reusing LC-11 & 12 like they did with 13 to provide multiple pads (other than USAF and EPA approval)?  Both of the sites are in the same condition that 13 was in prior to it's new role.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Beittil on 01/04/2016 12:22 PM
For LC11 my best guess would be that it puts incoming rocket stages a wee bit to close to LC36 where BO is planning on building their launch facilities and where Moon Express also has facilities.

LC12 could be an option I suppose, unless they still consider it to be to close to LC36.

Neither pads seem to have 'significant' historical relevance, unlike LC14 (launch pad of John Glenn) for example.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: The_Ronin on 01/05/2016 03:14 PM
For LC11 my best guess would be that it puts incoming rocket stages a wee bit to close to LC36 where BO is planning on building their launch facilities and where Moon Express also has facilities.

Might be an opportunity for CCAFB to establish a consolidated landing zone for both SpaceX and BO.
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: Comga on 02/11/2016 07:18 PM
So -- no clue either way as to whether or not a big circle-X has been painted onto the main landing pad at Landing Complex 1, in preparation for tomorrow's landing attempt?

No September image is available on the TerraServer, so the latest remains the one from August (http://bit.ly/1lK0QQd) which has no X.
There are other resources for overhead photography, but a better hope is for a ground based image Tuesday morning with a smudged, shadowed Space-X. ;)

That image (http://bit.ly/1lK0QQd) is a half year old today and has still not been superseded by one of the finished pad with the big "X".
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: acsawdey on 04/04/2016 02:07 AM
There doesn't seem to be a separate thread for Vandenberg landing activities so I'll just post this here. Mods can decide if we should rename this thread or do something different.

Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Taking Marine Mammals Incidental to Boost-Backs and Landings of Rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Quote
NMFS has received a request from Space Explorations Technology Corporation (SpaceX), for authorization to take marine mammals incidental to boost-backs and landings of Falcon 9 rockets at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and at a contingency landing location approximately 30 miles offshore. Pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), NMFS is requesting comments on its proposal to issue an incidental harassment authorization (IHA) to SpaceX to incidentally take marine mammals, by Level B Harassment only, during the specified activity.

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/31/2016-07191/takes-of-marine-mammals-incidental-to-specified-activities-taking-marine-mammals-incidental-to (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/31/2016-07191/takes-of-marine-mammals-incidental-to-specified-activities-taking-marine-mammals-incidental-to)
Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
Post by: chalz on 04/04/2016 06:20 AM
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/31/2016-07191/takes-of-marine-mammals-incidental-to-specified-activities-taking-marine-mammals-incidental-to (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/31/2016-07191/takes-of-marine-mammals-incidental-to-specified-activities-taking-marine-mammals-incidental-to)
Thanks for posting, I read the whole thing :) I had to find out for myself how many seals SpaceX are allowed to slaughter. In a triumph for American bureaucracy the answer is none.

Summary:
  • SpaceX want permission to possibly harm seals for the year June 30 2016-June 29 2017 up to 6 times.
  • Land landings or barge landings 50km offshore were considered.
  • Possible sources of harm - direct impact, oil spill, debris field, percussion from explosive barge impact, sonic boom during retry.
  • Only sonic boom is likely to have any chance of an effect.
  • Study of the effect of sonic booms from many launches show the effects can be significant behavioural change(haul outs at breeding locations) but temporary.
  • Harbour seals and California Sea Lions show more reaction to sonic booms than others that have been studied.
  • Mitigation proposed by SpaceX: 'Unless constrained by other factors including human safety or national security concerns, launches will be scheduled to avoid, whenever possible, boost-backs and landings during the harbor seal pupping season of March through June.'
  • SpaceX should monitor at risk sites for effects and if any animal is injured or killed (a type A harassment which they are not requesting permission for) then they must stop the regulated activities (landings not launches) for NMFS to review.
  • This is a proposed authorization and is still open for public comment, it does not say when it will be closed.

  • Other facts:
  • SpaceX expect to never miss the barge so the question of a stage hitting the water was not studied.
  • The maximum explosive force in a barge impact is 503ibs of TNT equivalent.
  • California piniped populations are a soap opera of ups and downs and roundabouts in recent years.
  • Auditory Brainstem Response experiments have been done on seals which involved them wearing headphones.

  • One factor that was not mentioned in the report is that a landing sonic boom occurs very soon after a launch sonic boom. Given that pinipeds can take from a few minutes to several hours to return to shore if startled this may change the effect from a typical sonic boom. Good luck to the marine biologist who has to determine what behaviour resulted from what effect. Although counting sea lions all day sounds like a cushy job.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Zed_Noir on 04/04/2016 09:18 AM
    For LC11 my best guess would be that it puts incoming rocket stages a wee bit to close to LC36 where BO is planning on building their launch facilities and where Moon Express also has facilities.

    Might be an opportunity for CCAFB to establish a consolidated landing zone for both SpaceX and BO.

    Are you suggesting that Bezos & Musk share a facility at CCAFS?  :o

    As I commented on one of the Blue Origin threads. It is a good idea with likelihood of happening as never. Both Bezos & Musk got the Billionaire oneupmanship issue.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CameronD on 04/07/2016 02:56 AM
    Other facts:
    SpaceX expect to never miss the barge so the question of a stage hitting the water was not studied.
    The maximum explosive force in a barge impact is 503ibs of TNT equivalent.

    That's interesting.. and especially so when SpX have performed 'water landings' several times before and IIRC have publicly stated that 'divert to water' is their plan if they consider it too rough to land (explosively or otherwise) on the barge.

    Surely having a mostly-empty stage land on your head is going to be a bad day for any seal caught in the wrong place at the wrong second.. no?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mme on 04/07/2016 03:28 AM
    Other facts:
    SpaceX expect to never miss the barge so the question of a stage hitting the water was not studied.
    The maximum explosive force in a barge impact is 503ibs of TNT equivalent.

    That's interesting.. and especially so when SpX have performed 'water landings' several times before and IIRC have publicly stated that 'divert to water' is their plan if they consider it too rough to land (explosively or otherwise) on the barge.

    Surely having a mostly-empty stage land on your head is going to be a bad day for any seal caught in the wrong place at the wrong second.. no?
    'Divert to water' implies the rocket changes course.  If the seas are too rough, they move the barge before launch.  The rocket always tries to hit specific GPS coordinates.  Whether the barge is there or not.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 04/07/2016 02:50 PM
    It's a bad day for the seal, but it is multiplied out by the infinitesimal probability of the seal being in that wrong place at that wrong time.  They just need the statistical probability of killing a seal to be well below <some number>, which is different from never killing a seal.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: whvholst on 04/07/2016 06:47 PM
    Isn't the much simpler explanation that the big pad is intended to be used for up to four stages simultaneously who under nominal control conditions will each be diverted from the four external pads that are crash pads/emergency pads in case there isn't sufficiently control over them? That way it could handle even a Falcon Heavy with a Raptor reusable S2.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 04/07/2016 06:53 PM
    The even-simpler explanation is that there are three pads for FH stages, one big one for Dragon 2 landings, and one extra to ease logistics in case of a crowded schedule.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 04/07/2016 08:03 PM
    For LC11 my best guess would be that it puts incoming rocket stages a wee bit to close to LC36 where BO is planning on building their launch facilities and where Moon Express also has facilities.

    Might be an opportunity for CCAFB to establish a consolidated landing zone for both SpaceX and BO.

    Pad 36, where BO will launch from, is actually two pad sites (A and B). One of which is already a landing pad, and was, until very recently, being used by Moon Express for landing testing.

    The other pad will be the launch pad. And gift shop...

    On a separate note.  All this talk about diverting to contingency pads, got me to thinking how long does the booster have during its descent to choose to divert to the contingency pad.  It can't be more than 1 second at most.

    The only reason to use the diversion pad is because of wind gusts.  If it's an engine or control system problem, the booster is going to have to splash itself if it can, and if it can't, it's going to lawn dart wherever it was headed.

    So what is the maximum height and time to impact where it could make a controlled divert decision.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: llanitedave on 04/08/2016 04:43 AM
    It's a bad day for the seal, but it is multiplied out by the infinitesimal probability of the seal being in that wrong place at that wrong time.  They just need the statistical probability of killing a seal to be well below <some number>, which is different from never killing a seal.
     


    The seal's odds are much better than they would have been for an expendable launch, regardless.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CameronD on 04/08/2016 05:14 AM
    It's a bad day for the seal, but it is multiplied out by the infinitesimal probability of the seal being in that wrong place at that wrong time.  They just need the statistical probability of killing a seal to be well below <some number>, which is different from never killing a seal.
     

    The seal's odds are much better than they would have been for an expendable launch, regardless.

    How do you figure that?  The Falcon stage will be coming down belching fire over a wide perimeter.  A poor unfortunate little seal in the wrong spot would get a long, slow roasting before the metal coup de grace...

    EDIT:  Whilst not wanting to proceed too far off-topic, FWIW, has anyone ever seen footage of an expended stage hitting the ocean?  What sort of splash are we taking about?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 04/08/2016 06:28 AM
    It's a bad day for the seal, but it is multiplied out by the infinitesimal probability of the seal being in that wrong place at that wrong time.  They just need the statistical probability of killing a seal to be well below <some number>, which is different from never killing a seal.
     

    The seal's odds are much better than they would have been for an expendable launch, regardless.

    How do you figure that?  The Falcon stage will be coming down belching fire over a wide perimeter.  A poor unfortunate little seal in the wrong spot would get a long, slow roasting before the metal coup de grace...

    EDIT:  Whilst not wanting to proceed too far off-topic, FWIW, has anyone ever seen footage of an expended stage hitting the ocean?  What sort of splash are we taking about?

    Thus plenty of noisy time for the creature to dive, which would be their instinct... 

    OTOH, an empty stage (or pieces thereof) coming down at terminal velocity?   No warning time. 

    If I was a seal, I'd rather have the slow loud flamey thing.

    Just sayin'.  Or a beach ball, those are good too.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rpapo on 04/08/2016 10:26 AM
    FWIW, has anyone ever seen footage of an expended stage hitting the ocean?  What sort of splash are we taking about?
    There may be something out there in the archives, but if memory serves me the only film/video we have showing a first stage returning to earth are these:

    (1) Various space shuttle SRB splashdowns.
    (2) At least two shots of the Falcon 9 first stage "landing" on water (CASSIOPE, ORBCOMM).
    (3) Two on-board videos of Falcon 9 landing on water (CRS-3, DISCOVR).
    (4) Miscellaneous flight aborts where a rocket blew up right after launch, making the "return" of the stage quite visible.

    Most of the time, the region where a first stage returns to earth (in pieces, usually) are marked off as hazard zone, so nobody goes there and therefore we don't get film of the event.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Garrett on 04/08/2016 10:54 AM
    On a separate note.  All this talk about diverting to contingency pads, got me to thinking how long does the booster have during its descent to choose to divert to the contingency pad.  It can't be more than 1 second at most.
    My guess is that the booster will not do a last minute divert. Instead, during its freefall between boost back and the landing burn it will continuously be calculating which pad to land on. If all is nominal, then the center pad will be chosen, otherwise a contingency pad, and worst case an ocean landing.

    I would presume that once the landing burn is started, the booster is commited to a specific pad (center or contigency).

    Just my guess though.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: MattMason on 04/08/2016 12:40 PM
    On a separate note.  All this talk about diverting to contingency pads, got me to thinking how long does the booster have during its descent to choose to divert to the contingency pad.  It can't be more than 1 second at most.
    My guess is that the booster will not do a last minute divert. Instead, during its freefall between boost back and the landing burn it will continuously be calculating which pad to land on. If all is nominal, then the center pad will be chosen, otherwise a contingency pad, and worst case an ocean landing.

    I would presume that once the landing burn is started, the booster is commited to a specific pad (center or contigency).

    Just my guess though.

    I'm certain that, based on prior discussions, the F9 booster is pre-programmed to one specific target and does not "pick" or change landing destinations. Landing is automatic and the booster hasn't the capacity to adjust targets on its own.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kabloona on 04/08/2016 01:57 PM
    Quote
    I'm certain that, based on prior discussions, the F9 booster is pre-programmed to one specific target and does not "pick" or change landing destinations. Landing is automatic and the booster hasn't the capacity to adjust targets on its own.

    That does appear to be the case now for F9.

    However, SpaceX's discussion of the "divert" option to different pads suggests that they anticipated a possible *future* capability for real-time retargeting, probably for FH where multiple boosters would be returning.

    Whether they actually implement that capability for FH remains to be seen.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 04/08/2016 03:13 PM
    I'm certain that, based on prior discussions, the F9 booster is pre-programmed to one specific target and does not "pick" or change landing destinations. Landing is automatic and the booster hasn't the capacity to adjust targets on its own.

    Then the divert pads are useless by definition. 

    My original question was how high up (or how long until landing) can the decision be made for it to be worth anything.  I think Kabloona has it right.  They've got to develop the ability to think about the target for the divert pads to make any sense.

    However, I think because of how ground winds are going to affect the final moments when a divert is going to happen, and the speed the booster returns before the hoverslam, the decision of which pad to land on happens less than a second before touchdown.  All of which makes separate pads (versus one huge pad) a little silly.

    IMHO, the separate pads were intended all along to be separate simultaneous landing sites, and discussion of diversion pads is academic.  SpaceX will conduct a new EA when Falcon Heavy gets closer to flight and ask to use three (or 4) of the pads at once.

    We've known since January 2015 when the FAA released its FONSI that the EIS was NOT REQUIRED, and that Falcon Heavy operations would necessitate changing it if it were required.  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1408590#msg1408590

    We also know from the attached FONSI just released in December 2015 (which we've not discussed before that I can recall) that the FAA and USAF has only studied a single core returning from either a F9 or FH, and that modifying the current approval situation will require additional environmental study (pages 2-3).

    "Because the launch (or takeoff) of Falcon launch vehicles was analyzed in the 2007 and 2013 EAs, the scope of launch operations analyzed in the 2014 EA is limited to the return and landing of the Falcon 9 first stage, or a single core of the Falcon Heavy first stage, at LC-1. The EA assumes a normal launch mission of a Falcon vehicle from CCAFS with the successful separation of the second stage and payload, while the first stage begins its landing sequence.

    As the Proposed Action would require Federal actions (as defined in 40 CFR § 1508.18) involving the USAF and FAA, the EA was prepared to satisfy the NEPA obligations of both agencies. The FAA’s Federal action in this matter pertains to its role in issuing licenses for the operation of commercial launch and reentry vehicles at launch sites. The USAF issued a FONSI on January 8, 2015, which stated the potential environmental impacts associated with the Proposed Action would not individually or cumulatively result in a significant impact on the quality of the human environment, and therefore, the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) was not required. SpaceX is required to obtain a launch license from the FAA to conduct Falcon landings at CCAFS. SpaceX could request a new launch license to include takeoff and landing activities, or modify an existing launch license that has been issued to support Falcon 9 launches at CCAFS to include landing activities. Based on its independent review and consideration of the EA, the FAA issues this FONSI concurring with the analysis of impacts and findings in the EA and formally adopts the EA to support the issuance or modification of launch licenses for Falcon landings at LC-1, CCAFS. If changes to the Proposed Action fall outside the scope of the EA, additional environmental analysis will be required prior to the FAA issuing or modifying a license.

    After reviewing and analyzing available data and information on existing conditions and potential impacts, including the EA, the FAA has determined issuance or modification of a launch license to conduct Falcon landings at CCAFS would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment within the meaning of NEPA. Therefore, the preparation of an EIS is not required, and the FAA is issuing this FONSI. The FAA made this determination in accordance with all applicable environmental laws and FAA regulations. The EA is incorporated by reference into this FONSI."
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: MattMason on 04/08/2016 03:29 PM
    I'm certain that, based on prior discussions, the F9 booster is pre-programmed to one specific target and does not "pick" or change landing destinations. Landing is automatic and the booster hasn't the capacity to adjust targets on its own.

    Then the divert pads are useless by definition. 

    My original question was how high up (or how long until landing) can the decision be made for it to be worth anything.  I think Kabloona has it right.  They've got to develop the ability to think about the target for the divert pads to make any sense.

    (snipped for thread brevity)

    A bit too much jargon for my head to wrap around, but yes, I'd agree with you and Kabloona in it, lacking much else to go on. There's still the matter of how/if SpaceX sends updated GPS data to a returning booster. It seems logical (though I haven't verification) that boosters themselves don't have the capacity to alter their course data. And that change would have to be entered and verified from SpaceX to the booster before separation and boostback (if not before launch) or the calculations for needed fuel to accomplish the mission and have sufficient boostback fuel trajectory would get really messy, IMO.

    I had problems projecting the correct trajectories for model rockets, so from here on it's clear I'm meddling in the affairs of rocket wizards here and will bow out for more wiser folk's input and more legitimate speculation.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 04/08/2016 03:52 PM
    I agree that the "divert" terminology was a fig leaf to get all five pads built while delaying EIS for multiple rocket return until (a) it was needed, and (b) they had some operations history to quantify the low environmental risk.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rcoppola on 04/08/2016 04:38 PM
    I agree wrt the comments concerning Divert Pads.

    Also, during yesterdays CRS-8 briefing, Hans made it seem fairly clear that FH boosters will always (or mostly) RTLS. In which case they'll need another Landing Pad whether at LZ-1 or close by as we all know. But...the range will also need to implement the Autonomous FTS as they can't track and deal with multiple incoming bogies, so to speak. But I'm curious how far apart they'll require these landing pads to be in relation to one another. I'd assume they'd require them to be as far apart as the established maximum distance debris would be scattered upon various impacts and/or last minute FTs, post divert profiles. In which case, I don't see any of those original conceptual divert pads being able to accommodate the second booster. imo.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 04/08/2016 05:00 PM
    The way I read it, the center pad (being much larger and surrounded by a wide gravel strip) is actually the real "crash pad". 

    1. After the third reentry burn, the stages is aimed just off shore.  If the stage fails during reentry (grid fin torn off, etc) then it will naturally splash, by default.
    2. Using the grid fins, the stages moves the IIP inwards, and aims at the center pad.  If re-start fails, the stage will crash naturally there, by default.
    3. Once the engine turns on successfully (about 30 seconds away), it diverts to the pre-assigned pad.  It might still crash, but it's a much smaller explosion (less fuel, less velocity)

    EDIT:  fixed it, doh.  Reentry burn, not third burn.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rcoppola on 04/08/2016 05:14 PM
    Not sure that's how it does or should work. Once the landing burn is initiated, the stage turns towards the designated coordinates. if it doesn't start or detects some anomaly that will prevent it from making it, it splashes.
    It doesn't need to aim or divert to a crash pad pre-landing burn.

    If you look at that double exposure picture of the return profile, it would seem the stage diverts over land towards the pad after the landing burn as been initiated. Once you're committed, and over land for that short time, you're committed.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Doesitfloat on 04/08/2016 06:23 PM
    I notice that you have renamed the contingency pads on the EA report to "Divert pads."
    IMO this limits the use to in-flight changes. They might have used the term contingency pads to cover more than just in flight redirect. Such as one of the pads is not available at Launch time.  They may rocket at one pad,  resurfacing another,  patching a hole and picking up pieces at another.  Might be why they want multiple contingency pads.
    In this case the contingency pad would be targeted before launch and no divert necessary.  Of course it would also allow targeting of contingency pads for multiple FH boosters.

    Edit: Picture
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kabloona on 04/08/2016 08:29 PM
    Quote
    There's still the matter of how/if SpaceX sends updated GPS data to a returning booster.

    This has been discussed elsewhere. The simplest method would probably be to have the coordinates of all pads pre-programmed in a look-up table in the flight computer. One of those is designated as the default coordinate set where the stage will attemot to land unless it receives a divert signal from the ground.

    The divert signal would be a simple radio command from the ground telling the flight computer which "line" in the look-up table to select for the divert coordinates.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mvpel on 04/17/2016 04:45 PM
    "Contingency" is defined as "dependence on... the fulfillment of a condition."

    I submit that the "contingency" to which they're referring with these pads  has nothing to do with the flight path of a returning booster and it trying to decide where it's going to land, but on the condition  of the government approving the return of multiple boosters at the same time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mme on 04/17/2016 05:22 PM
    "Contingency" is defined as "dependence on... the fulfillment of a condition."

    I submit that the "contingency" to which they're referring with these pads  has nothing to do with the flight path of a returning booster and it trying to decide where it's going to land, but on the condition  of the government approving the return of multiple boosters at the same time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think they may also be for if a pad is damaged or unavailable for some reason.  I guess technically multiple landings is a specific case of a pad not being available.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Hauerg on 04/17/2016 05:27 PM
    "Contingency" is defined as "dependence on... the fulfillment of a condition."

    I submit that the "contingency" to which they're referring with these pads  has nothing to do with the flight path of a returning booster and it trying to decide where it's going to land, but on the condition  of the government approving the return of multiple boosters at the same time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think they may also be for if a pad is damaged or unavailable for some reason.  I guess technically multiple landings is a specific case of a pad not being available.
    You sound like a formula 1 designer interpreting the regulations.   :)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Comga on 04/17/2016 07:33 PM
    Terraserver finally has a new image as of March 10 (http://bit.ly/1SnLEaD).
    The SpaceX logo looks a bit worn, right above the center.
    Perfect!
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Ohsin on 04/24/2016 02:18 AM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIzLMjiyBog
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: KSHavre on 04/28/2016 09:00 PM
    Or (hopefully) do send the barge, because the other two cores are landing at home.  ;D

    There is no place to land two cores. And it does not look like SpaceX is builiding Landing Zone 2 - we have not seen any environmental studies yet.

    There will be multiple pads at LZ1; see animation @ 2:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lar on 04/28/2016 09:23 PM
    Or (hopefully) do send the barge, because the other two cores are landing at home.  ;D

    There is no place to land two cores. And it does not look like SpaceX is builiding Landing Zone 2 - we have not seen any environmental studies yet.

    There will be multiple pads at LZ1; see animation @ 2:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM


    Do we have a definitive answer or a way to get one? We have heard people say "the permits only allow one landing at a time" and other folk say "there's only one pad built" and still others say "the vid shows 5 pads and there is room in the site for them" ...
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: KSHavre on 04/28/2016 09:56 PM

    Do we have a definitive answer or a way to get one? We have heard people say "the permits only allow one landing at a time" and other folk say "there's only one pad built" and still others say "the vid shows 5 pads and there is room in the site for them" ...

    edits -
    On the previous page, the drawing from the engineering firm that installed the first shows shows the "contingency pads. IMHO the first landing was so dead on, they may not need more than 1 (either side of center...).

    As for the permit; they must get it or an FH just is not (as) reusable...
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 04/28/2016 10:22 PM
    Or (hopefully) do send the barge, because the other two cores are landing at home.  ;D

    There is no place to land two cores. And it does not look like SpaceX is builiding Landing Zone 2 - we have not seen any environmental studies yet.

    There will be multiple pads at LZ1; see animation @ 2:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM


    Do we have a definitive answer or a way to get one? We have heard people say "the permits only allow one landing at a time" and other folk say "there's only one pad built" and still others say "the vid shows 5 pads and there is room in the site for them" ...

    We only know for sure that they have to get a new FONZI (or EIS) to land multiple cores. We suspect they will need a new permit, but honestly,  no one has ever shown any sort of "permit" paperwork for landing the first core...
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 04/29/2016 01:28 AM
    Or (hopefully) do send the barge, because the other two cores are landing at home.  ;D

    There is no place to land two cores. And it does not look like SpaceX is builiding Landing Zone 2 - we have not seen any environmental studies yet.

    There will be multiple pads at LZ1; see animation @ 2:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM


    Do we have a definitive answer or a way to get one? We have heard people say "the permits only allow one landing at a time" and other folk say "there's only one pad built" and still others say "the vid shows 5 pads and there is room in the site for them" ...
    All of those are true.  What's unknown is how hard it is (or isn't) to update the EIS and build another pad.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Retired Downrange on 04/29/2016 02:06 AM
    Given the accuracy demonstrated hitting the ASDS, and the Landing Zone 1 main pad is 282 feet (86 m) in diameter, I would guess they could land two on the main pad if needed. (With some increased risk of course.)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 04/29/2016 11:32 AM
    Or (hopefully) do send the barge, because the other two cores are landing at home.  ;D

    There is no place to land two cores. And it does not look like SpaceX is builiding Landing Zone 2 - we have not seen any environmental studies yet.

    There will be multiple pads at LZ1; see animation @ 2:00

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ca6x4QbpoM


    Do we have a definitive answer or a way to get one? We have heard people say "the permits only allow one landing at a time" and other folk say "there's only one pad built" and still others say "the vid shows 5 pads and there is room in the site for them" ...
    All of those are true.  What's unknown is how hard it is (or isn't) to update the EIS and build another pad.

    We have the mathematical expertise to work it out here. The EIS considered noise primarily and pollution secondarily. You can calculate the added noise of two, or three returning boosters instead of one. The original EIS used launch noise instead of landing noise as the criteria for landing engine noise approval- but now we have real data from a landing to use and double. 2 sonic booms simultaneously will be pretty loud, but none of this may be simple doubling except for the amount of liquids and gases in each returning booster.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kabloona on 04/29/2016 12:04 PM
    Quote
    2 sonic booms simultaneously will be pretty loud,

    Each stage will by itself produce 2 sonic booms (leading and trailing edges), and IIRC, someone reported actually hearing 3 sonic booms from the OG2 landing.

    But I would guess SpaceX would stagger the booster landings slightly by varying the entry burn durations. So there is the potential for 6 sonic booms per pair of booster landings.  :o
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Jim on 04/29/2016 12:36 PM

    Each stage will by itself produce 2 sonic booms (leading and trailing edges), and IIRC, someone reported actually hearing 3 sonic booms from the OG2 landing.

    I only heard one.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kabloona on 04/29/2016 12:40 PM

    Each stage will by itself produce 2 sonic booms (leading and trailing edges), and IIRC, someone reported actually hearing 3 sonic booms from the OG2 landing.

    I only heard one.

    My memory could be wrong, too. I am trying to find that post...and in any case, at supersonic speed of the booster, the shock waves are so close together that they arrive at the ear almost simultaneously.

    But in any case, more than one sonic boom probably not going to be an environmental problem for booster landings...
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: MarekCyzio on 04/29/2016 12:48 PM
    All of those are true.  What's unknown is how hard it is (or isn't) to update the EIS and build another pad.

    So I was at LZ-1 last weekend. There were no signs of any activity to build additional pads. Moreover:
    - building pad #1 from that diagram would require pretty massive work - new crane path, weather station moved, clearing of vegetation (and you cannot touch them during Scrub Jay nesting season = until June 30)
    - pad #2 would be easier, but Scrub Jay again
    - pad #3 looks like easiest to build as terrain is already cleared, but may need removal of old concrete from original launch pad
    - pad #4 is touching current exposed water lines - SpaceX may need to bury them.
    - pads #3 and #4 are uncomfortably close to Landing Operations Control
       
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Orbiter on 04/29/2016 12:51 PM
    Any reason to believe that SpaceX just wouldn't use another old Atlas pad or two? LC-12 and LC-11, for example.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: MarekCyzio on 04/29/2016 12:54 PM
    Any reason to believe that SpaceX just wouldn't use another old Atlas pad or two? LC-12 and LC-11, for example.

    Environmental Impact Study. Only LC-13 EIS was completed. And LZ-1 is designed to have 5 pads = more than enough for Falcon Heavy launches.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 04/29/2016 01:58 PM

    Each stage will by itself produce 2 sonic booms (leading and trailing edges), and IIRC, someone reported actually hearing 3 sonic booms from the OG2 landing.

    I only heard one.

    My memory could be wrong, too. I am trying to find that post...and in any case, at supersonic speed of the booster, the shock waves are so close together that they arrive at the ear almost simultaneously.

    But in any case, more than one sonic boom probably not going to be an environmental problem for booster landings...

    I seem to recall someone posting about three as well but it was an isolated report. It passes the plausibility sniff-test (leading edge of the blunt "bubble" at the base of the stage, grid fins, trailing edge of the rocket body) but as you say, at the speeds and angles involved, it might only give one audible boom at any particular location.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 04/29/2016 02:17 PM
    MarekCyzio gave a good reason why we might not see any activity until June 30 even if another pad is in the works.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 04/30/2016 05:42 PM

    Each stage will by itself produce 2 sonic booms (leading and trailing edges), and IIRC, someone reported actually hearing 3 sonic booms from the OG2 landing.

    I only heard one.

    My memory could be wrong, too. I am trying to find that post...and in any case, at supersonic speed of the booster, the shock waves are so close together that they arrive at the ear almost simultaneously.

    But in any case, more than one sonic boom probably not going to be an environmental problem for booster landings...

    I seem to recall someone posting about three as well but it was an isolated report. It passes the plausibility sniff-test (leading edge of the blunt "bubble" at the base of the stage, grid fins, trailing edge of the rocket body) but as you say, at the speeds and angles involved, it might only give one audible boom at any particular location.

    Here's a video from Cocoa Beach with three booms at the very end of the LZ-1 landing.  Got to the end, it's very clear.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5pTDx-hFDc

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mme on 04/30/2016 06:11 PM
    Or (hopefully) do send the barge, because the other two cores are landing at home.  ;D

    There is no place to land two cores. And it does not look like SpaceX is builiding Landing Zone 2 - we have not seen any environmental studies yet.

    There will be multiple pads at LZ1; see animation @ 2:00

    ...

    Do we have a definitive answer or a way to get one? We have heard people say "the permits only allow one landing at a time" and other folk say "there's only one pad built" and still others say "the vid shows 5 pads and there is room in the site for them" ...

    We only know for sure that they have to get a new FONZI (or EIS) to land multiple cores. We suspect they will need a new permit, but honestly,  no one has ever shown any sort of "permit" paperwork for landing the first core...

    I agree "we don't know."   I feel like this is a repeat of the old "the range/the FAA will never let SpaceX land a booster at the Cape."  I don't know if they'll be ready by FH debut, but I don't think that the EIS will be a show stopper.  If other government online docs are an example there can be quite the lag before updated documents are published.  Or there is some other document we aren't aware of, etc.

    We know Musk is going to try though:

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/726301598398312448 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/726301598398312448)
    Quote
    Danny S. Parker ‏@dannysparker  15h15 hours ago
    @elonmusk For 1st launch of Falcon Hvy will there be effort to simultaneously land all 3 booster stages?  #FalconHeavy
    Quote
    Elon MuskVerified account
    ‏@elonmusk
    @dannysparker yes
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rocx on 04/30/2016 06:35 PM
    We know Musk is going to try though:

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/726301598398312448 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/726301598398312448)
    Quote
    Danny S. Parker ‏@dannysparker  15h15 hours ago
    @elonmusk For 1st launch of Falcon Hvy will there be effort to simultaneously land all 3 booster stages?  #FalconHeavy
    Quote
    Elon MuskVerified account
    ‏@elonmusk
    @dannysparker yes


    They did not say where they would land. But either an extra ASDS is needed in the Atlantic or a second booster landing must be allowed at the cape, if three first stages are to land from one launch. My guess is two to LZ-1 and one to OCISLY.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mvpel on 05/01/2016 02:33 AM
    Here's a video from Cocoa Beach with three booms at the very end of the LZ-1 landing.  Got to the end, it's very clear.

    "Crack-a-thoom," as Stan Lee might put it, at 1:59. Sonic booms echo, and the viewers were quite a ways away, so I'd be more inclined to chalk it up to an echo or some distortion or smearing of the sound as it traveled through the layers atmosphere than multiple shockwaves.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 05/01/2016 05:14 AM
    Here's a video from Cocoa Beach with three booms at the very end of the LZ-1 landing.  Got to the end, it's very clear.

    "Crack-a-thoom," as Stan Lee might put it, at 1:59. Sonic booms echo, and the viewers were quite a ways away, so I'd be more inclined to chalk it up to an echo or some distortion or smearing of the sound as it traveled through the layers atmosphere than multiple shockwaves.

    I don't think so.  That rumble afterwards is echos.  The "ratatat" sounds like three primary shocks.   You'd need a small and focused reflector to generate a sharp retort like that as an echo.  Mostly it's from the distributed environment, and that's why it's a rumble.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mvpel on 05/01/2016 02:06 PM
    I think the rumble afterward may be the landing burn, it reminded me of the CRS-8 launch rumble.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mvpel on 05/01/2016 02:38 PM
    You called it - here's a more pronounced series of three booms at 2:21:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6eD9Xrdsss

    And at 10:24:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50HMRP2ILnM
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/02/2016 09:42 AM
    There have been speculations in this thread that Falcon Heavy first flight would not land all boosters due to missing landing capability at eastern range (contingency pads not yet built and not enough drone ships)

    Now we have a tweet:

    https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/726301598398312448

    Quote
    Quote
    Danny S. Parker ‏@dannysparker Apr 29

    @elonmusk For 1st launch of Falcon Hvy will there be effort to simultaneously land all 3 booster stages?  #FalconHeavy

    Elon Musk Verified account
    ‏@elonmusk

    @dannysparker yes

    That raises multiple questions regarding the how:

    1. Extra pads being built?
    2. Multiple landings on the same large enough central pad?
    3. Extra drone ships?

    Would they even do center core RTLS?

    This is going to be fun, at least now we know no one is going to throw cores away - or any such nonsense ;)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: timverhoeven on 05/02/2016 10:52 AM
    That raises multiple questions regarding the how:

    1. Extra pads being built?
    2. Multiple landings on the same large enough central pad?
    3. Extra drone ships?

    Would they even do center core RTLS?

    I'm guessing they are going to let de 2 side cores do a RTLS. If they don't build an extra pad somewhere, my best guess would be that they would set them to land left and right of the, large, pad they have now. It is pretty big.

    The central core would most likely do a barging on the drone ship since it will be a lot further downrange then the side cores.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: DAZ on 05/02/2016 09:02 PM
    Regarding the unusual 3 sonic booms for the falcon 9 landings, this would seem to make sense if you think about it a moment.  An object traveling supersonic will produce a shockwave.  Every protrusion from this object will produce its own wave.  For most objects these waves tend to align at the front/back of the object and thus produce 2 booms.  This is characterized by the phrase “N wave”.  The shape of the pressure wave has a characteristic N shape.  The sudden rise fall rise of the pressure wave produces the 2 booms that most people find startling and unpleasant.  (Recently NASA has been doing research projects to try to predict and spread out these multiple pressure waves.  The intent is to flatten out the N thus producing a more soft and acceptable rumble) So the returning falcon 9, like most supersonic objects, should produce the characteristic N shaped wave with its 2 sonic booms.  But at this point the falcon 9 does something unprecedented, it nearly instantaneously makes itself appeared to be approximately 3 times longer.  It does this by starting its engine facing into a supersonic airflow in what is now the front of the vehicle.  The outflow from this engine stretches out to between 1 and 2 times the length of the vehicle and at that this point that it interacts with the air around it to produce a new wave front.  This is why I believe you hear a boom, followed by a short pause and then almost 2 overlapping booms.  As the 2 booms at the back and front respectively of the falcon 9 are still being produced at the time of the engine start you get 3 total booms.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/02/2016 11:11 PM
    Regarding the unusual 3 sonic booms for the falcon 9 landings, this would seem to make sense if you think about it a moment.  An object traveling supersonic will produce a shockwave.  Every protrusion from this object will produce its own wave.  For most objects these waves tend to align at the front/back of the object and thus produce 2 booms.  This is characterized by the phrase “N wave”.  The shape of the pressure wave has a characteristic N shape.  The sudden rise fall rise of the pressure wave produces the 2 booms that most people find startling and unpleasant.  (Recently NASA has been doing research projects to try to predict and spread out these multiple pressure waves.  The intent is to flatten out the N thus producing a more soft and acceptable rumble) So the returning falcon 9, like most supersonic objects, should produce the characteristic N shaped wave with its 2 sonic booms.  But at this point the falcon 9 does something unprecedented, it nearly instantaneously makes itself appeared to be approximately 3 times longer.  It does this by starting its engine facing into a supersonic airflow in what is now the front of the vehicle.  The outflow from this engine stretches out to between 1 and 2 times the length of the vehicle and at that this point that it interacts with the air around it to produce a new wave front.  This is why I believe you hear a boom, followed by a short pause and then almost 2 overlapping booms.  As the 2 booms at the back and front respectively of the falcon 9 are still being produced at the time of the engine start you get 3 total booms.

    I always thought by the time the landing burn started the vehicle was already slowed down to terminal velocity and subsonic.

    I am pretty sure I recall from the webcasts launch-com-net the events being called in the following order:

    - reentry burn started
    - reentry burn finished
    - vehicle is transsonic
    - landing burn started
    - legs deployed
    - landed

    the vehicle would stop producing a sonic boom once its below the transonic region, (and it would certainly not stay in the transonic region for very long, as air drag spikes during that.

    (
    Drag is significantly less when fully supersonic, and also when fully subsonic - the transonic region is when the vehicle itself is technically subsonic, but the airflow being forced around the vehicle still reaches supersonic relative flow velocities, which creates massive drag (thus the term "sound barrier", as its very hard to overcome when speeding up)
    )

    that rules out the landing burn as a source for sonic booms. For your explanation to make any sense, the boom being heard would still have to originate from when the vehicle is in its reentry phase at >Mach 4.  Although it's possible that this shockwave eventually catches up with the vehicle after the vehicle itself slowed down below sonic speed, it would still be created incredibly high up and far away. I think by the time this pressure wave reaches the ground it has diminished a lot. Also the majority of this early, reentry sound front would be travelling perpendicular to the flight path and not end up at the landing site. (but possibly be heard by someone watching the reentry burn from further away)

    also this shockwave only travels with Mach 1, so the earliest sign of a sonic boom heard at or near the landing site would be the shockwave produced just as the vehicle transients to subsonic, as this is the latest and closest part of the shock front being created (and anything produced earlier would likely be heard just as a diminishing rumble that goes on for a while, as sound produced earlier in the flight path arrives)

    The simplest explanation for 3 booms is

    1. bow shock at bottom of vehicle
    2. grid fin shock wave produced at beginning of interstage (this is F9 specific, other rockets don't do that)
    3. trailing shock wave produced by the blunt top end above interstage

    of these, 2nd and 3rd would be very close together and likely hard to tell apart. the first would likely a bit ahead, as the stage is pretty long, even at 300 m/s it takes sound around .2 seconds to travel the length of the stage - that's easily discernible as 2 booms. But the double-boom from grid fins and tail end would likely merge into a seemingly single event unless you are just in the right spot in the right distance.


    Edit: I just remembered a detail regarding the grid fins - they don't work in the transonic region. At subsonic speeds you have laminar flow through the grid fins. and at high enough supersonic speeds, each "leading edgelet" of the grid produces its own mini-shockwave, which widen narrowly and cancel each other out way behind the grid fin - so the grid fin has a good flow and steering authority - and likely barely any sonic boom.

    That changes when the vehicle is in transonic. The air forced through the grid fin still flows at relative supersonic speeds, but the shock fronts are so wide-angled, they don't fit through a grid hole anymore - as thus the shock front "blocks" the holes in the grid and the entire fin acts as one solid "paddle" that blocks airflow.

    in this configuration, just before the vehicle goes subsonic, the grid fins very likely would create a very loud 3rd sonic boom. But only during the very last part of the subsonic transition. If you get your sonic boom from earlier in the flight (because you watch from further "downrange") you wouldn't get the 3rd boom because at those speeds the grid fins hardly produce any.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: DAZ on 05/03/2016 12:06 AM
    Transonic is generally described as the speed between .80 – 1.2 of Mack.  It is generalized this way because the more precise definition is “speed at which the airflow around the object is both supersonic and subsonic even though the overall speed of the object may be supersonic or subsonic “.  Any object that protrudes into the airflow will change both the density and the speed of this airflow.  This means that at speeds starting at transonic shockwaves will start to be produced.  After the reentry burn the falcon 9 will be traveling at high supersonic velocities.  This will also produce a high amount of drag to slow the vehicle down.  It will continue to slow down into the trans-sonic region but without a propulsive engine burn would probably not slow down to full subsonic velocities before it hits the ground.  Even the callouts you remember hearing somewhat reinforce this.  Yes the vehicle enters the transonic range but immediately after that it starts its engine burn.  Since we are talking about the high side of transonic this means the vehicle is going approximately Mack 1.2-1.1.  At these speeds it will produce sonic booms.  Even though the grid fins will lose some of their control authority they will produce a sonic boom until the vehicle is fully subsonic.  As these are so close to the aft end of the vehicle the shockwaves would be lay down so close to the shock wave produced from the aft of the vehicle that to the human observer they would be one and the same.  The same as the shockwave produced off of a supersonic fighter in the aft end of the aircraft would be perceived as one and the same.  There are multiple other shockwaves produced along the length of the Falcon 9 but they are both small and not noticeable in comparison or become combined with the other shockwaves from the front and back of the vehicle.  The Falcon 9s landing 3 sonic booms are somewhat unique as I cannot remember reading of any other like occurrences for any other single object.  The slightly longer pause between the 1st boom with the smaller spacing between the next 2 booms is what leads me to believe that the 1st boom is produced by the longer aero spike affect from the rocket engine exhaust.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/03/2016 01:13 AM

    Let's assume the sonic booms were from the vehicle itself, travelling at 300 m/s (transonic range)

    length of stage 1 is 41m (without interstage)  then comes the grid fins, then the interstage (used to be 6.5m but got lengthened, so around 7) and then the trailing edge.

    if this were to produce the 3 booms, there would be 130 milliseconds between first and second boom and 23 milliseconds between second and 3rd boom. That is long enough for all 3 to be heard separately.

    One "_" or "X"  for 10 milliseconds each, the tripple-boom would sound like this:

    ________________X___________X_X______

    with the first and last X around 150 ms apart.

    It's subjective of course, but I think this is what is heard in the videos


    If the first boom was by an aero-spike effect, this would change. Judging by the CRS-6 video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhMSzC1crr0&feature=youtu.be&t=6

    The "aerospike" shockwave of the flame is longer than the visible flame. Its reach can be seen hitting the water as the stage throttles in the final manouver, at a distance of roughly one stage size (including interstage) give or take a few meters.


    Assuming 150ms delay for the full stage length, that would be another 150 ms "ahead" so like this:

    ________________X_____________X______________X___________

    where the first boom would be the leading shock of the aerospike, the second would be by the actual engine, and the third by combined grid fins and trailing shock

    however I don't think  the aerospike would even reach that far when the vehicle is still transonic and the engine is just powering up, so with a shorter flame - it would more likely look like this:

    ________________X______X______________X___________


    That is however not the boom pattern audible in the posted videos. The "claps" are not spaced 300 or more milliseconds apart, but in rapid succession, and the long gap is after the first, matching the "leading edge + grid fins + trailing edge" model.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/03/2016 01:47 AM
    I checked the audio in a sound sample editor.

    The first sonic boom and the second sonic boom are 184 milliseconds apart.
    The second sonic boom and the third sonic boom are 105 milliseconds apart.

    so like

    __________X________________X________X___________

    Assuming a vehicle traveling at 340 m/s (Mach 1) and identical sound propagation paths and speeds for all three booms, that would correspond to a distance of 62 meters between first and second boom and 35 meters between second and third boom

    that matches neither model ;)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: S.Paulissen on 05/03/2016 02:02 AM
    Consider the encoding of the audio.  How often does it refresh?  Does this capture rate change the resolution of your time measurements. 

    Also, the trailing edge sonic boom of an N-wave is not strictly at the location of the top of the interstage.  It takes time/distance travelled for the air to collapse in the wake of the stage.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: AnalogMan on 05/03/2016 02:29 AM
    I had a also had a look with an audio editor for both video clip soundtracks with similar results:

    1st to 2nd boom:  183.1 ms & 182.6 ms
    2nd to 3rd boom:  104.0 ms & 102.4 ms

    Both tracks were recorded at 44.10 ksps, giving intervals between samples of ~22.7 microseconds.

    If the audio response of the cameras was good to 16 kHz, then the recorded rise-time of a fast pressure step or edge would be around 22 microseconds (10% to 90% levels).
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CameronD on 05/03/2016 04:36 AM
    I checked the audio in a sound sample editor.

    The first sonic boom and the second sonic boom are 184 milliseconds apart.
    The second sonic boom and the third sonic boom are 105 milliseconds apart.

    so like

    __________X________________X________X___________

    Assuming a vehicle traveling at 340 m/s (Mach 1) and identical sound propagation paths and speeds for all three booms, that would correspond to a distance of 62 meters between first and second boom and 35 meters between second and third boom

    that matches neither model ;)

    I'm curious:  why would you assume identical sound propagation paths given the stage is descending at high speed through the atmosphere (ie. towards the microphone) with possibly different air densities - maybe boundary layers even?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kabloona on 05/03/2016 10:08 AM
    Quote
    I'm curious:  why would you assume identical sound propagation paths given the stage is descending at high speed through the atmosphere (ie. towards the microphone) with possibly different air densities - maybe boundary layers even?

    Because regardless of vehicle speed, the shock waves are generated only 150 feet or so apart (the length of the stage), and atmospheric conditions don't vary enough across any 150-foot span to make a significant difference between bow shock and " tail" shock paths.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 05/03/2016 02:03 PM
    Remember that the speed of sound varies with altitude (and weather, for that matter).  I think the results we have are consistent with the second and third booms being from the stage, and the first being from the retropropulsion bow shock.  In fact, I suspect you can calculate the altitude of the stage at the time it goes transonic from the timing we observe and the known length of the stage.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/03/2016 03:45 PM
    I projected the boom timings back on the stage assuming Mach 1 speed:


    Considering the too-long delay between first and second boom (longer than rocket length) I took into account that landing burn ignition might indeed possibly occur while still in the transonic region.

    Assuming the 2nd boom originating from the grid fins, the bow shot origin location matches almost exactly the visible flame length from the CRS-8 video.

    What I don't get is how the trailing shock wave ends up so far behind. Is that realistic?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 05/03/2016 04:52 PM
    17s out decelerating at 20m/s/s, the stage will be 2.9km up.  The speed of sound at that altitude is 328m/s, according to http://www.fighter-planes.com/jetmach1.htm. That shrinks your distances somewhat.

    Further, I'm pretty sure the "second" shock will be from the front of the stage, not from the grid fins.  It wouldn't be surprising for the "first" shock to be pretty far out, considering how exhaust expands with altitude.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/03/2016 05:19 PM
    340 vs 328 m/s is negligible - that would make the distances 4% shorter which isn't even one full diameter of the stage.

    A bigger difference could be the speed of the stage. I assumed it would be at Mach 1 to still be able to produce a sonic boom. If it somehow still creates a boom at Mach 0.8, that would be 20% size reduction and as such more significant.

    Your expansion with altitude wouldn't matter that much. Although the plume does expand a lot as can be seen on launch tracking - that happens at really high altitude beyond 30k feet.

    At 10k ft the pressure is still more than 70% sea level pressure, as such the expansion of the exhaust would not be that significant. (Less than 30%)

    Mostly this would make the plume wider, but not longer, as the stage is retrothrusting into a ~Mach 1 airstream. Under these conditions the high pressure area in front of the stage would be much shorter than when it's at an almost standstill just before touchdown.

    Definitely not long enough to produce the second boom with the engine section. In fact - IF the engine is already running, I doubt there would be much of a shock front from the engines themselves at all, as the air will be pushed around them by the engine created high pressure area (the same principle that protects the stage during reentry)

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: biosehnsucht on 05/03/2016 08:40 PM
    As I understand supersonic retropropulsion, when thrusting from a single engine through the center of the shock front, it doesn't actually push the shock front away from the engine, but instead punches through it, and causes a loss of the aerodynamic drag you'd normally gain from the shockwave. For the shock front that would be at the engines (if  they weren't running) to push out ahead of the engines they would need to run the 8 outer engines to push the shockwave ahead of the stage, not the center engine.

    Would the exhaust itself on it's own generate a shock front? Since the center engine running is "punching through" the shockwave, rather than pushing it away as running engines along the periphery of the stage would do, shockwave drag should be almost entirely eliminated with only thrust from the engine providing any major reduction in speed. What would this do to the shockwave, does it somehow "collapse" or otherwise cease to exist at that area? Perhaps this is part of why nothing seems to line up with observed audio...
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: MichaelBlackbourn on 05/04/2016 03:42 AM
    I don't think they will vary the EIS.

    There will be only a single landing. No simultaneous landings.

    After the first booster has landed the second booster will arrive on a slightly different trajectory and then will land. We are only arguing about how long this delay counts as 'non simultaneous'.

    I'm guessing it will be technically impossible to land two boosters at the 'same' time.

    Three serial landings.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: nadreck on 05/04/2016 06:23 AM

    I'm guessing it will be technically impossible to land two boosters at the 'same' time.


    They are autonomous in landing, why would it be technically impossible? If their margin of error is X meters  and they land on pads with centres > 2X meters apart all is well.  Or do you simply mean that there will always be some number of milliseconds difference in the moment they touch down, in which case, of course that is correct but it seems a moot point in the context of the discussion here.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 05/04/2016 12:20 PM
    I think he is referring to range tracking, which we've been told needs to be updated to support simultaneously tracking two targets.  My understanding, however, is that (a) autonomous flight termination equipment will address this limitation (although it was not successfully demonstrated on the CRS-8 launch), and (b) the range recognizes the tracking limitation and is working with SpaceX to address it.  So perhaps the first landings will be serial, but that's not a situation that will persist.  The EIS will eventually be updated.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 05/04/2016 12:22 PM
    As I understand supersonic retropropulsion, when thrusting from a single engine through the center of the shock front, it doesn't actually push the shock front away from the engine, but instead punches through it, and causes a loss of the aerodynamic drag you'd normally gain from the shockwave. For the shock front that would be at the engines (if  they weren't running) to push out ahead of the engines they would need to run the 8 outer engines to push the shockwave ahead of the stage, not the center engine.

    Would the exhaust itself on it's own generate a shock front? Since the center engine running is "punching through" the shockwave, rather than pushing it away as running engines along the periphery of the stage would do, shockwave drag should be almost entirely eliminated with only thrust from the engine providing any major reduction in speed. What would this do to the shockwave, does it somehow "collapse" or otherwise cease to exist at that area? Perhaps this is part of why nothing seems to line up with observed audio...
    It does seem clear that the situation is not straightforward!  Perhaps some examination of the supersonic retropropulsion video that NASA posted might lend some clues?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/05/2016 11:04 PM
    As I understand supersonic retropropulsion, when thrusting from a single engine through the center of the shock front, it doesn't actually push the shock front away from the engine, but instead punches through it, and causes a loss of the aerodynamic drag you'd normally gain from the shockwave. For the shock front that would be at the engines (if  they weren't running) to push out ahead of the engines they would need to run the 8 outer engines to push the shockwave ahead of the stage, not the center engine.

    Would the exhaust itself on it's own generate a shock front? Since the center engine running is "punching through" the shockwave, rather than pushing it away as running engines along the periphery of the stage would do, shockwave drag should be almost entirely eliminated with only thrust from the engine providing any major reduction in speed. What would this do to the shockwave, does it somehow "collapse" or otherwise cease to exist at that area? Perhaps this is part of why nothing seems to line up with observed audio...
    It does seem clear that the situation is not straightforward!  Perhaps some examination of the supersonic retropropulsion video that NASA posted might lend some clues?

    I don' t have the expertese to interpret that video, however supersonic retropopulsion has been discussed in various other threads.Unfortunately I can't find it, but one of them had a paper to a study on retropropulsion on martian entryand its effect ( link anyone? )

    The gist was, your exhaust does in all cases push "into" the airstream and offset the shock front but:

    If you run "outer engines" at low throttle,then they create a short but wide pressure zone. This acts like a large blunt heat shield and makes awide angled shock front, resulting in pretty massive drag (acting on the vehicleby the highpressure area in front of it. You have basically a "virtual heat shield" and the drag force is much higher than the effective engine thrust alone.

    The opposite happens if you run a center engine at high thrust. This offsets the shock front to the tip of a long narrow exhaust column. But this pointed ness actually reduces drag ( narrow angled shock cone) and your deceleration is caused exclusively by engine thrust force.

    However, with a relatively narrow vehicle like the F9, both shockcone shapes should asily clear the bottom of the stage imho, so no  boom caused by engine compartment itself while under thrust
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: DAZ on 05/06/2016 02:06 AM
    If anybody’s looking for additional audio recordings approximately 7 seconds into the 360 barge landing video (you can see the shockwave scare up a bird off the deck to the right) you can hear the arriving Sonic Booms.  They are much closer together than the other audio recordings and almost overlapping.  It is difficult to distinguish the 3 individual booms from the recording.

    Analyzing where the shock waves are coming from studying the audio recordings may not be possible as the situation is not static.  We can pretty much assume that as the stage is decelerating from high supersonic toward mack 1 that it is producing the classical N-wave.  There is a shockwave being produced of the engine bells, the aft of the stage (now the forward end) and the folded landing legs.  The shockwave is probably all pretty much merge into one perceptible wave.  At the other end of the stage the grid fins and aftershock wave pretty much merge together at the other end.  As the engine starts just above supersonic it could be presumed that it produces a shockwave at this point but as the stage is quickly decelerating below supersonic at that point the production of all high-pressure shockwaves would cease.  No new shockwaves would be produced but the shockwaves that had been produced would continue to radiate away from the vehicle.  It is these shockwaves that we hear in the recordings.  It may not be possible to determine how many shockwaves or where they’re being produced.  As soon as the new ones are being produced they collapse and radiate away from the vehicle with the previous produced shockwaves.

    Depending on the distance from the vehicle different shockwaves may be heard.  Directly underneath it there all almost on top of each other.  From a distance of, let’s say, 5 – 8 miles we may hear 3 distinct booms.  From a distance of 15 – 20 miles we may hear only the classical 2 booms.  All of this could be due to observers at different distances having different paths to the returning vehicle and as such can only perceive the shockwaves being generated at the time the vehicle was traveling along those paths.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lars-J on 05/06/2016 06:27 AM
    As I understand supersonic retropropulsion, when thrusting from a single engine through the center of the shock front, it doesn't actually push the shock front away from the engine, but instead punches through it, and causes a loss of the aerodynamic drag you'd normally gain from the shockwave. For the shock front that would be at the engines (if  they weren't running) to push out ahead of the engines they would need to run the 8 outer engines to push the shockwave ahead of the stage, not the center engine.

    No, that's a common misconception. That effect - of a single engine doing retro-propulsion and reducing drag - only happens at *LOW* thrust. At high thrust you get the normal effect.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mvpel on 05/06/2016 09:27 AM
    I think he is referring to range tracking, which we've been told needs to be updated to support simultaneously tracking two targets.

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    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: biosehnsucht on 05/06/2016 09:18 PM
    As I understand supersonic retropropulsion, when thrusting from a single engine through the center of the shock front, it doesn't actually push the shock front away from the engine, but instead punches through it, and causes a loss of the aerodynamic drag you'd normally gain from the shockwave. For the shock front that would be at the engines (if  they weren't running) to push out ahead of the engines they would need to run the 8 outer engines to push the shockwave ahead of the stage, not the center engine.

    No, that's a common misconception. That effect - of a single engine doing retro-propulsion and reducing drag - only happens at *LOW* thrust. At high thrust you get the normal effect.

    Are you agreeing with the part you bolded, or saying the bolded part is the misconception? I understand that the increase of drag only works at low thrust when using a center engine, at high thrust the flame "punches through" and you actually have less drag from what I understand. Supposedly thrust around the sides instead of from the center though would allow for a much higher thrust while keeping the drag force in addition to the thrust force, vs thrust from the center.

    If I've got it wrong, then I'd like to get it right :)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/06/2016 11:06 PM
    you always have a shock front where (air) molecules that move with the speed of the vehicle hit against air molecules flying towards the vehicle at (super)sonic speeds.

    If you run engines, you direct high pressure exhaust molecules against the stream. They quickly decelerate though until they reach the same speed as the stage itself, and in front of that you get the usual shock front.

    The only thing that changes is the shape of the shock front, and where it occurs.

    narrow pointed shape: narrow angled shock cone - low drag (but in case of reentry, a lot of heating as parts of the vehicle can protrude beyond the shock cone and get exposed to the full onslaught themselves (in case of supersonic aircraft for example wings)

    blunt shape: wide angled shock cone - high drag (in case of reentry, the whole vehicle fits into the shadow of the shock cone)

    now with engines at the rim of the base, you'd more likely create a wide angled "cushion" in front of the stage. Effectively you can create a "blunter" and wider virtual base behind which the vehicle can hide itself from reentry heat (but it still gets the heat of its own exhaust which is usually pretty hot)
    that way you also get more deceleration (which harmlessly heats exhaust gas safely away from the actual metal) without necessarily needing too much engine power.

    with a center engine on sufficient thrust you make the cone narrower, the virtual shape pointier, and you get less air drag. Instead your engine thrust decelerates the vehicle.

    There are some retropropulsion configurations where you can increase the deceleration force by more than your engine thrust force, amplifying your engines. I assume that's what SpaceX does during the reentry burn.

    There's also potentially some retropropulsion configurations where the decrease in drag is actually higher than your effective engine thrust, so your retropropulsion actually helps you cut through the atmosphere more streamlined. You decelerate less than you would with no engines at all. This might make sense for some very steep reentries where a vehicle is facing too high G forces and needs to "soften" the atmospheric impact.

    The paper link I still didn't find analyzed this in respect to optimizing the entry delta-V achievable with a certain amount of propellant in the thin martian atmosphere and retropropulsive aerobraking (unlike earth there's a real risk of hitting the ground before the atmosphere even slowed you to terminal velocity - which is pretty high itself compared to earth)

    I'll search google scholars, maybe i can find a link
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/06/2016 11:08 PM
    found it :-)))

    http://tinyurl.com/jcom5qh
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: IntoTheVoid on 05/07/2016 05:02 AM
    There was also this paper which was referenced a while back somewhere here on NSF.

    http://www.ssdl.gatech.edu/papers/phdTheses/CordellC-Thesis.pdf
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: biosehnsucht on 05/07/2016 05:59 AM
    you always have a shock front where (air) molecules that move with the speed of the vehicle hit against air molecules flying towards the vehicle at (super)sonic speeds.

    ...

    The paper link I still didn't find analyzed this in respect to optimizing the entry delta-V achievable with a certain amount of propellant in the thin martian atmosphere and retropropulsive aerobraking (unlike earth there's a real risk of hitting the ground before the atmosphere even slowed you to terminal velocity - which is pretty high itself compared to earth)

    I'll search google scholars, maybe i can find a link

    Thank you for the in depth information. Seems like I was half on the right track, half not, and this cleared up a lot of details I wasn't really sure of.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/24/2016 06:58 PM
    Quote
    USAF: SpaceX's landing complex at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport is a multi-user facility...not only for Falcon-9. #SpaceCongress2016

    https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592 (https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: envy887 on 05/24/2016 07:06 PM
    Quote
    Edward Ellegood ‏@FLSPACErePORT  9m9 minutes ago
    SpaceX at #SpaceCongress2016: Initial reuse of Falcon-9 limited to components: engines, landing legs, paddles, etc. Not entire booster.

    What is a paddle?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lar on 05/24/2016 07:08 PM
    Quote
    USAF: SpaceX's landing complex at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport is a multi-user facility...not only for Falcon-9. #SpaceCongress2016

    https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592 (https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592)

    Multi-user or multi-vehicle? I think we might need some clarification on that... what other users (companies) would be landing there?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kabloona on 05/24/2016 07:20 PM
    Quote
    Edward Ellegood ‏@FLSPACErePORT  9m9 minutes ago
    SpaceX at #SpaceCongress2016: Initial reuse of Falcon-9 limited to components: engines, landing legs, paddles, etc. Not entire booster.

    What is a paddle?

    Probably meant grid fins.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: envy887 on 05/24/2016 07:24 PM
    Quote
    Edward Ellegood ‏@FLSPACErePORT  9m9 minutes ago
    SpaceX at #SpaceCongress2016: Initial reuse of Falcon-9 limited to components: engines, landing legs, paddles, etc. Not entire booster.

    What is a paddle?

    Probably meant grid fins.
    That could explain the "patches" and heavy damage on the JCSAT-14 grid fins.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/24/2016 07:51 PM
    what other users (companies) would be landing there?

    I'm assuming Blue Origin (eventually).
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/24/2016 07:56 PM
    Quote
    USAF: SpaceX's landing complex at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport is a multi-user facility...not only for Falcon-9. #SpaceCongress2016

    https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592 (https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592)

    Multi-user or multi-vehicle? I think we might need some clarification on that... what other users (companies) would be landing there?

    I would imagine that statement is pretty standard.  That the entire range supports multiple users, whether they exist today or not.

    And it may also mean that what the USAF does won't be customized just for one user.  Which is a good thing, since in this case SpaceX is being a pathfinder for many capabilities, and I'm sure we all hope others will follow.  And when they do, the USAF will be ready to support them too.

    My $0.02
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: abaddon on 05/24/2016 08:00 PM
    Quote
    USAF: SpaceX's landing complex at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport is a multi-user facility...not only for Falcon-9. #SpaceCongress2016

    https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592 (https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592)
    Well, that's interesting.  Wonder if that was part of the lease agreement, and/or if the USAF contributed any money to the construction of the pad.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lar on 05/24/2016 08:00 PM
    Quote
    USAF: SpaceX's landing complex at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport is a multi-user facility...not only for Falcon-9. #SpaceCongress2016

    https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592 (https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592)

    Multi-user or multi-vehicle? I think we might need some clarification on that... what other users (companies) would be landing there?

    I would imagine that statement is pretty standard.  That the entire range supports multiple users, whether they exist today or not.

    And it may also mean that what the USAF does won't be customized just for one user.  Which is a good thing, since in this case SpaceX is being a pathfinder for many capabilities, and I'm sure we all hope others will follow.  And when they do, the USAF will be ready to support them too.

    My $0.02

    Who paid for the mods to the landing complex? Will SpaceX get to collect landing fees? Who decides who gets to land if there are two incoming vehicles arriving in close order (with their surface equipment waiting)

    This kind of seems like a rehash of Blue's attempt to prevent SpaceX from getting exclusive use of 39A ... We aren't privy to the contract details  but I can't imagine SpaceX voluntarily paying for mods and then not being able to control who lands there.

    Or are we talking about range assets which support landings, rather than the actual pad and equipment itself?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Jim on 05/24/2016 08:43 PM

    ho paid for the mods to the landing complex? Will SpaceX get to collect landing fees? Who decides who gets to land if there are two incoming vehicles arriving in close order (with their surface equipment waiting)

    This kind of seems like a rehash of Blue's attempt to prevent SpaceX from getting exclusive use of 39A ... We aren't privy to the contract details  but I can't imagine SpaceX voluntarily paying for mods and then not being able to control who lands there.

    Or are we talking about range assets which support landings, rather than the actual pad and equipment itself?

    Spacex got a pad and payload processing facility from the USAF for free.   
    The USAF owns the land. 
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lar on 05/24/2016 09:10 PM
    So Jim, what is your opinion of what that tweet meant? Range assets (other than the pad) like tracking radars, etc?  or the pad (and whatever equipment SpaceX has or might in future deploy there) itself?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Jim on 05/25/2016 01:58 PM
    So Jim, what is your opinion of what that tweet meant? Range assets (other than the pad) like tracking radars, etc?  or the pad (and whatever equipment SpaceX has or might in future deploy there) itself?

    The concrete landing pad and maybe the firex emplacements.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 07/19/2016 11:43 AM
    From the Orlando Sentinel this morning...

    SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-spacex-landing-pads-space-coast-20160718-story.html

    "...The new landing areas would be built within that [LZ-1] landing zone."

    I have sent a message to the PA officer asking for an electronic copy of the permissions application they submitted. There is a public comment period that ends in August. I will post it here if she responds.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: southshore26 on 07/19/2016 12:01 PM
    From the Orlando Sentinel this morning...

    SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-spacex-landing-pads-space-coast-20160718-story.html

    "...The new landing areas would be built within that [LZ-1] landing zone."

    I have sent a message to the PA officer asking for an electronic copy of the permissions application they submitted. There is a public comment period that ends in August. I will post it here if she responds.

    There is already an entire thread dedicated to this subject.

    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40667.0
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 07/19/2016 12:05 PM
    From the Orlando Sentinel this morning...

    SpaceX seeks approval for two additional landing pads on Space Coast
    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-spacex-landing-pads-space-coast-20160718-story.html

    "...The new landing areas would be built within that [LZ-1] landing zone."

    I have sent a message to the PA officer asking for an electronic copy of the permissions application they submitted. There is a public comment period that ends in August. I will post it here if she responds.

    There is already an entire thread dedicated to this subject.

    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40667.0

    The public notice that I have attached answers a ton of previous questions we have posed on this thread.

    But thank you for the cross post and the link.

    As an update from my earlier post, the public affairs officer at Patrick Air Force Base tells me that SpaceX is developing a new environmental assessment document for the proposed plan, but that the document is not finished and not available at this time.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: joek on 07/21/2016 09:15 PM
    Not sure where to put it, but this thread seems more appropriate than others...

    SpaceX CRS launch license LLS 14-087 Rev 2 (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-087_%20(Order%20D%20rev2)_07_15_2016.pdf) was updated 15-Jul and posted today by the FAA.  The only change is liability insurance requirement increase from $45M to $185M if the flight includes first stage return to launch site.  Other insurance requirements remain unchanged.

    The other launch license for GEO sat launches, LLS 14-090 Rev 2 (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-090%20Rev%202%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%20(FINAL)%2001_21_2016%20-%20signed%20copy.pdf), is unchanged; presumably because none of those are expected to involve RTLS.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 07/21/2016 11:01 PM
    Not sure where to put it, but this thread seems more appropriate than others...

    SpaceX CRS launch license LLS 14-087 Rev 2 (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-087_%20(Order%20D%20rev2)_07_15_2016.pdf) was updated 15-Jul and posted today by the FAA.  The only change is liability insurance requirement increase from $45M to $185M if the flight includes first stage return to launch site.  Other insurance requirements remain unchanged.

    The other launch license for GEO sat launches, LLS 14-090 Rev 2 (http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/LLS%2014-090%20Rev%202%20-%20License%20and%20Orders%20(FINAL)%2001_21_2016%20-%20signed%20copy.pdf), is unchanged; presumably because none of those are expected to involve RTLS.

    And to put that into perspective (and unless it's changed in the last couple years), the US DOT insurance minimum-limits requirement for an 18-wheel tractor/semi-trailer carrying non-hazardous cargo is only $750K. So that's a LOT of insurance for a vanishingly-small risk of injury, but someowhat higher risk of property damage to very specialized facilities.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 07/23/2016 07:36 PM
    Quote
    USAF: SpaceX's landing complex at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport is a multi-user facility...not only for Falcon-9. #SpaceCongress2016

    https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592 (https://twitter.com/flspacereport/status/735157372809838592)

    Multi-user or multi-vehicle? I think we might need some clarification on that... what other users (companies) would be landing there?

    I would imagine that statement is pretty standard.  That the entire range supports multiple users, whether they exist today or not.

    And it may also mean that what the USAF does won't be customized just for one user.  Which is a good thing, since in this case SpaceX is being a pathfinder for many capabilities, and I'm sure we all hope others will follow.  And when they do, the USAF will be ready to support them too.

    My $0.02

    Who paid for the mods to the landing complex? Will SpaceX get to collect landing fees? Who decides who gets to land if there are two incoming vehicles arriving in close order (with their surface equipment waiting)

    This kind of seems like a rehash of Blue's attempt to prevent SpaceX from getting exclusive use of 39A ... We aren't privy to the contract details  but I can't imagine SpaceX voluntarily paying for mods and then not being able to control who lands there.

    Or are we talking about range assets which support landings, rather than the actual pad and equipment itself?

    Suggest a different overall meaning. They want to treat the vertical landing facility like an runway/airport. With multiple vehicles coming and going on the same facility, instead of one for each provider. Likely they don't want to spread risk over a wider area and have to deconflict operations. So they don't want dedicated facilities/equipment that locks out the other providers. All happens in one spot.

    Likely there's still one operator, like an FBO. That's SX. Would imagine that charging for use of facilities within the landing zone/complex/whatever,  just like services at a commercially run airport, is how the operator gets a ROI for having put it in, in the first place. And that the operator has to "play nice" with the other tenants.

    Also, if capacity becomes limited, the operator accommodates additional use by expansion, and the AF again has only one organization to deal with, not N.

    As to the range, does SX want to run that? There has been talk of privatizing, which would lower costs and possibly increase capabilities. There's a lot involved in taking over from the AF much of this, including insurance, and SX will be running its own Texas operation, which might be a kind of precident. But I'm not sure they have the skills or attention span for "watching the grass grow". I'd guess that they'd sub out to a firm that does manage like assets, sort of in the same way the recovery barges are dealt with.

    And this would be all done, if done, under the lease agreement to the AF who could yank the whole thing back. There are few that might be able to desire or have the capability to handle this.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Comga on 08/22/2016 06:02 PM
    As of July 4, the latest posted image, the TerraServer (https://www.terraserver.com/view?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_text=Cape+Canaveral%2C+Florida%2C+United+States&searchLat=28.4058&searchLng=-80.6048&lat=&lng=&bbox=&center=) shows no progress on a second landing zone.
    However, some time between May 16 and July 4 SpaceX has repainted the X on LZ-1.
    It is not obvious why, but it looks great. ??? 
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: The_Ronin on 08/23/2016 05:55 PM
    Same reason they repaint OCISLY after every landing...  looks matter to Elon!
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mfck on 08/23/2016 06:17 PM


    As of July 4, the latest posted image, the TerraServer (https://www.terraserver.com/view?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_text=Cape+Canaveral%2C+Florida%2C+United+States&searchLat=28.4058&searchLng=-80.6048&lat=&lng=&bbox=&center=) shows no progress on a second landing zone.
    However, some time between May 16 and July 4 SpaceX has repainted the X on LZ-1.
    It is not obvious why, but it looks great. ???

    It would seem more practical to paint the X much bigger. That way you don't have to repaint after every landing with the bonus of shot-grouping (great for bingo:)

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CameronD on 08/23/2016 10:45 PM
    As of July 4, the latest posted image, the TerraServer (https://www.terraserver.com/view?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_text=Cape+Canaveral%2C+Florida%2C+United+States&searchLat=28.4058&searchLng=-80.6048&lat=&lng=&bbox=&center=) shows no progress on a second landing zone.
    However, some time between May 16 and July 4 SpaceX has repainted the X on LZ-1.
    It is not obvious why, but it looks great. ???

    It would seem more practical to paint the X much bigger. That way you don't have to repaint after every landing with the bonus of shot-grouping (great for bingo:)

    Maybe they forgot to use heat-resistant paint.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mfck on 08/27/2016 10:04 AM
    As of July 4, the latest posted image, the TerraServer (https://www.terraserver.com/view?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_text=Cape+Canaveral%2C+Florida%2C+United+States&searchLat=28.4058&searchLng=-80.6048&lat=&lng=&bbox=&center=) shows no progress on a second landing zone.
    However, some time between May 16 and July 4 SpaceX has repainted the X on LZ-1.
    It is not obvious why, but it looks great. ???

    It would seem more practical to paint the X much bigger. That way you don't have to repaint after every landing with the bonus of shot-grouping (great for bingo:)

    Maybe they forgot to use heat-resistant paint.
    Nah... It was a mix between metric and imperial that caused the size discrepancy
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: docmordrid on 10/25/2016 03:14 PM
    Manager of Falcon Launch Fleet Operations Trip Harriss (@SpaceXTrip) has new LZ-1 images via Apple Maps

    https://twitter.com/SpaceXTrip/status/790728268534218752

    Boosted the saturation a bit over his images
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Comga on 10/25/2016 07:23 PM
    A search on the TerraServer (https://www.terraserver.com/view?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_text=Port+canaveral%2C+FL&searchLat=&searchLng=&lat=&lng=&bbox=&center=) and Google Maps (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cape+Canaveral+Air+Force+Station/@28.4856493,-80.5456244,674m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x88e0a4e74e6a8abb:0x2a16683cb4a44f!8m2!3d28.4886723!4d-80.5728241) now both show old images from before the construction of LZ-1.

    They used to show the landing pad.  (See up-thread (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1520062#msg1520062))
    What's going on?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Raul on 10/26/2016 06:08 AM
    Manager of Falcon Launch Fleet Operations Trip Harriss (@SpaceXTrip) has new LZ-1 images via Apple Maps

    https://twitter.com/SpaceXTrip/status/790728268534218752

    However these "new" images are still several months old - without hangar near the booster stand.

    LZ-1 landing pad as of October 8th, 2016 in Hurricane Matthew Imagery (http://storms.ngs.noaa.gov/storms/matthew/index.html).
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kansan52 on 11/14/2016 09:09 PM
    That's not a hanger. It's the S.W.I.F.T (Spray Wash of Incoming Falcon full Thrust)!! ;)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: tleski on 01/04/2017 04:13 PM
    Cross posting...

    https://twitter.com/nova_road/status/816670841521971204

    SpaceX leased two extra pads in CCAFS?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: guckyfan on 01/04/2017 04:54 PM
    The statement was retracted according to reddit. It means they seek permission to build two more landing pads.

    Added link:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5lzzvy/seemangel_spacex_recently_leased_2_more_pads_at/dbzt8b3/?st=ixj8u2jp&sh=85005ed7
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Orbiter on 01/04/2017 04:57 PM
    Tweet for clarification. The user meant that SpaceX was seeking approval for two additional LZ's at LC-13.

    Robin Seemangal ‏@nova_road  9m9 minutes ago
    Clarification: @SpaceX is speaking approval to build two more landing pads within current Landing Zone and have NOT leased two more pads.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 01/04/2017 10:29 PM
    Tweet for clarification. The user meant that SpaceX was seeking approval for two additional LZ's at LC-13.

    Robin Seemangal ‏@nova_road  9m9 minutes ago
    Clarification: @SpaceX is speaking approval to build two more landing pads within current Landing Zone and have NOT leased two more pads.

    Is this our cue to keep an eye open for an updated EIS for multiple simultaneous stage landings?

    FH preparations are looking more serious on all fronts, not just some publicity shots on SpaceX's Instagram feed.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 01/09/2017 06:40 PM
    Is this our cue to keep an eye open for an updated EIS for multiple simultaneous stage landings?

    FH preparations are looking more serious on all fronts, not just some publicity shots on SpaceX's Instagram feed.


    Ask and Ye shall receive!  I just received a message from the environmental officer at Patrick.  The new EA (EIS) is finally out!!!

    Tons of delicious trainspotting goodies. Start reading and discussing!

    First up, here is the FONSI notice.

    "In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the United States Air Force, 45th Space Wing (45 SW), as the Executing Agency for Air Force Space Command, offers for public comment the Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA)/Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)/ Finding of No Practical Alternative (FONPA) for activities occurring on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) property for expanded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) operations at Launch Complex 13 (also known as Landing Zone 1). The Draft SEA assessed potential impacts to land use/visual resources (which includes coastal resources), noise, biological resources, cultural resources, air quality, climate, hazardous materials/hazardous waste (which includes solid waste and pollution prevention), orbital debris, water resources, geology and soils, transportation, utilities, health and safety, socioeconomics, environmental justice, and Section 4(f) properties. The Draft FONSI/ FONPA is based on the findings in the Draft SEA. Copies of the Draft SEA/FONSI/FONPA are available for public review through February 4, 2017 at the 45 SW Public Affairs Office, Bldg 423, Rm C-129, PAFB, Florida; in the public libraries in Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach, Florida; and online at www.patrick.af.mil (at the “Environmental Office” page)."

    Next, some summary quotes from the supplemental EA (see the attached copy):

    "The Proposed Action would include constructing two additional concrete landing pads, each with an approximate
    diameter of 282 feet surrounded by an approximate 50 foot-wide hard-packed soil “apron”, which would bring the
    diameter of each pad area to approximately 400 feet. These two additional landing pads would be in a north and a
    south area as shown in Figure 2-4 of the SEA. The pads would be approximately 18 inches thick and designed to
    support the weight and thrust energy of the Falcon booster vehicle; they would comply with all CCAFS and other
    relevant construction requirements, the same requirements as for the original main landing pad. These new pads
    would be constructed on previously undisturbed land. Two short access crane paths would be constructed from the
    existing crane path to those contingency pads for the retrieval crane movement following a landing event. Pedestals similar to what was constructed for the main pad may also be constructed at each pad. Additionally, the Proposed Action would include constructing a Dragon capsule processing facility including an approximately 130ft X 100ft 30-foot-tall building and related utilities. The Proposed Action would also include the operation of LZ-1 which would support preparations for, and the landing of up to three booster stage vehicles. It would also support the post-flight landing and safing. Should one of the booster’s land on the droneship, it would be safed at sea, then the droneship would be brought back to a local port. The original EA estimated that 12 landings would take place per year for the initial five-year license, of a single stage vehicle. SpaceX estimates there may be up to 6 events per year for a Falcon Heavy launch, and therefore up to 18 landings (12 Falcon 9 single core landings and 6 Falcon Heavy triple core landings) at LZ-1 or on the droneship. Operations at the LZ-1 area would also include Dragon Capsule processing and testing."


    So two new pads for simultaneous first stage landings.  We also know how thick the concrete has to be to survive landings- 18 inches.


    (Don't hot link attachments on other sites. Link to the post, but linking directly to the upload is uncontrolled drain on bandwidth. I've reuploaded the attachments with a different download url. People can download as much as they want if they are on the site. "Blind" downloading from other sites is naughty - Carl, Mod).
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 01/09/2017 06:43 PM
    From pg. 2.2

    "While the additional clearing for this Proposed Action is also needed for the radar altimeter system on the Falcon 9 boosters to work properly, much less is needed because the landing navigation system is more advanced and has become more accurate."

    "Two short crane access paths would be constructed from the existing crane path to the landing pads. To simplify operations, SpaceX may install a set of pedestals within the compacted apron around each landing pads, similar to what exists now at the LZ-1 main pad. This would allow parallel processing of landed boosters,"

    Pg. 2-4
    "The detailed sequence of events for booster stage landings along with trajectory data would be provided in the Flight Safety Data Plan (FSDP) once it is finalized. Although most of the on-board propellant volumes would be expended during flight, there is a potential for a relatively small amount of LOX (less than 5,840 lbs) and RP-1 fuel (less than 2,160 lbs) to remain in the Falcon booster stages upon landing. Final volumes of fuel would also be included in the FSDP."

    pg. 2-5
    "The original EA estimated that 12 landings would take place per year for the initial five-year FAA launch license, of a single stage vehicle. SpaceX estimates there may be up to 6 events per year for a Falcon Heavy launch, and
    therefore up to 18 landings (12 Falcon 9 single core landings and 6 Falcon Heavy triple core landings) at LZ-1.
    SpaceX prefers to conduct all of their launch operations during daylight hours, but, based on mission needs, there is a possibility that some of the additional fly-back missions could be performed during the night. Accordingly, up to two Falcon Heavy night landings (3 stages each time) are assumed for this SEA."


    Pg. 2-5
    "SpaceX initiated a facility assessment process with the Air Force in May of 2016 in an attempt to locate an existing site capable of accommodating Dragon capsule processing requirements. In coordination with 45 SW it was determined that locating the processing facility at LZ-1 would allow immediate mission requirements to be met. Long –term CCAFS real estate planning efforts are underway; that effort may result in the development of a new facility at a different location. In this instance, a new location facility would be evaluated under a separate study.
    LZ-1 provides a location to perform propellant servicing operations and post-flight refurbishment for Dragon capsule missions. Following space flight operations, the Dragon capsule would splashdown off the coast of Florida where vehicle recovery would occur. The Dragon capsule would be transported back to the processing facility for post-flight processing and refurbishment. In order to support pre- and post-flight operations, the Dragon capsule would require a processing facility to perform various vehicle checkouts, final flight closeouts, propellant load, propellant unload and propellant servicing operations.

    The Dragon capsule would also require a location to perform periodic vehicle static fires in order to test the
    SuperDraco launch abort and landing system. The Capsule would be fastened to a portable mechanical stand than
    can be configured to varying heights. The mobile static fire stand would be integrated to the northern edge of the
    North Pad, and would not be permanently installed. The un-fueled Dragon capsule would be trucked to the LZ-1
    facility. The transport method would follow the approved Department of Transportation methods for transporting the Dragon capsule; the transport fixture would be the same fixture used for recovery and transport of Dragon capsule in the past. Road slopes, grades, and turn radii are all consistent with current methods of transporting Dragon. At this time, the planned facility would be a temporary location.
    In addition to the vehicle propellant loading, propulsion system servicing and pre- and post- static fire preparation the facility would also serve as the home for Dragon refurbishment. The facility would incorporate the experience that SpaceX has gained from the Dragon post-flight processing building at the SpaceX Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. The Texas facility is currently used to process all flown Dragon capsule vehicles and is also the
    home to all Dragon capsule propulsive landing tests.

    Planned activities at the LZ-1 Hypergol Processing Facility therefore include:
    • Hypergolic Propellant (MMH and NTO) Load and Offload
    • Post Flight and Static Fire Helium and Prop Tank Ullage Venting
    • System and/or component decontamination
    • Non-Hazardous component removal, inspection, repair and replacement
    • Integrated vehicle checkouts"


    Pg. 4-3
    "Recently SpaceX performed a sonic
    noise study for the Falcon 9 RLV landing at LZ-13, CCAFS that indicated sonic booms may be heard off shore and in areas north and south of the landing pad. The maximum focus boom would be 3psf or less and occur beyond over the ocean 30 miles from the coast. CCAFS and the Daytona Beach area may experience a slight over pressure of up to 1 psf, but generally about 0.4 psf or less. Based on the discussion above, sonic boom effects from landing operations at LC-13 would be less than other launch actions and would not cause a significant noise impact in sensitive areas. Based on the study at that time, sonic boom effects from landing operations at LZ-1 would be less than other launch actions and would not cause a significant noise impact in sensitive areas or to wildlife."


    Pg. 4-10
    "According to Air Force modeling, a loud sonic boom could be expected from the current SpaceX Falcon9 flyback design trajectories, peaking at approximately 5-7 PSF in the near-field (on CCAFS property) and reaching dozens of miles beyond with over 0.5 PSF. These peak “modeled” values (5-7 PSF) exceed the historical sonic boom vehicles (Space Shuttle, Concorde, Apollo capsule, etc.; typically below 2 PSF), however as shown in the CRS-9 landing data in Appendix C, the highest value actually measured was only 5.48 at LZ-1 during the July 18, 2016 landing event. At a distance of 10.13 miles the measurement was 1.45 PSF, which is less than the generally accepted potential damage threshold of about 2 psf.

    With up to three first stage boosters returning, the same sonic boom effects would be expected, but would occur
    once for each returning stage, several seconds apart. Two sonic boom events may occur for each returning stage,
    for a total of up to six for the returning three booster stages may be generated. In situations where multiple launch vehicles are returning to CCAFS simultaneously (e.g. the Falcon Heavy side boosters returning to CCAFS) it is possible that the pressure waves from the two (or three) vehicles could interact and cause localized regions of
    increased sonic boom overpressures, down track. These local interactions would change the signature of the
    pressure waves in small regions on the ground affected by the coalesced waves; however, those small areas are not expected to significantly increase the overpressure magnitudes. Elsewhere, a dual, or triple-vehicle fly back would result in similar overpressure signatures and magnitudes to that of a single vehicle re-entry but with two sets of booms - one set for each vehicle (e.g. 6 sonic booms would possibly be audible when the Falcon Heavy side
    boosters return: 2 for each booster)."
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: tleski on 01/09/2017 07:00 PM
    No mention of Dragon propulsive landings in LZ1? Just testing and processing after a splashdown?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: dglow on 01/09/2017 07:11 PM
    Quote
    Following space flight operations, the Dragon capsule would splashdown off the coast of Florida where vehicle recovery would occur. The Dragon capsule would be transported back to the processing facility for post-flight processing and refurbishment.

    So they're planning to land Dragon off the coast of FL instead of in the Pacific? Interesting. And that processing facility will be conveniently located when propulsive landings of Dragon 2 commence.

    I presume they'll need another supplemental EIS to clear the D2 landings?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: acsawdey on 01/09/2017 07:21 PM
    Numerous references to "Falcon 9 (Block 1)" which establish that it means what we have called v1.0.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: dglow on 01/09/2017 08:07 PM
    It's unfortunate that Google Maps does not have up-to-date photography of LZ-1, as usually they're pretty good about that sort of thing. But it is an Air Force base, and many govt. facilities have restrictions on the use of aerial/satellite photography, alas.

    So imagine my astonishment to find that Apple's maps app is more current than Google! Go figure. Please allow me to share that with you now:

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Comga on 01/09/2017 08:13 PM
    I am a bit surprised that the "Conceptual Heavy Landing Pad Layout" dated 10/24/2016 put the illustrated pads over a satellite image from before the first landing pad was created and the old hardware cleared.

    In fact, Figure 1-4 of the EIS, labeled "LZ-1 LANDING AREA – EXISTING CONDITION", and 1-5 posted above, both use the same background image as Figure 1-3 which is labeled "PROPOSED LZ-1 LANDING AREA – ORIGINAL CONCEPTUAL PLAN (ORIGINAL EA)"

    Why would "Gator Engineering and Aquifer Restoration, Inc." do that?
    We have good, post pad-construction images on this thread, and they can buy them for a few dollars.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: old_sellsword on 01/09/2017 09:06 PM
    Numerous references to "Falcon 9 (Block 1)" which establish that it means what we have called v1.0.

    We've known this since they published the original Falcon 9 Users's Guide. (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/falcon9/001/f9guide.pdf)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mme on 01/09/2017 09:27 PM
    No mention of Dragon propulsive landings in LZ1? Just testing and processing after a splashdown?
    I think they're are trying to keep the complexity of the EIS down.  Just like the original EIS was for one pad, no simultaneous booster landings.  Dragon landings are next year's problem, FH is (hopefully) this year.

    I was surprised they included Dragon processing at all, but I guess they want to make it more efficient now.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: launchwatcher on 01/09/2017 10:05 PM
    So two new pads for simultaneous first stage landings. 

    Looks like separation, center-to-center, of around 1000 feet?   

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: tleski on 01/09/2017 10:08 PM
    (...)
    So imagine my astonishment to find that Apple's maps app is more current than Google! Go figure. Please allow me to share that with you now:

    There was information on updated Apple map's images of the LZ1 area posted on the previous page of this thread:
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1603165#msg1603165

    And even the Apple's imagery is a few months old. See another post on this thread, which shows a hangar not visible on Apple map images:
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1603367#msg1603367
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: oiorionsbelt on 01/09/2017 10:34 PM
     Landing ITS back on the launch mount will probably entail interim steps before it works.
    What will those steps look like?
    Are scale tests with F9 family possible? Maybe an F9 gets it legs removed and then it attempts to land in a similar launch/land mount cradle, set up on the landing pads? This way the launch pad is sparred the inevitable early fails.
     
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Barrie on 01/09/2017 10:56 PM
    Landing ITS back on the launch mount will probably entail interim steps before it works.
    What will those steps look like?
    Are scale tests with F9 family possible? Maybe an F9 gets it legs removed and then it attempts to land in a similar launch/land mount cradle, set up on the landing pads? This way the launch pad is sparred the inevitable early fails.

    My gut feeling is one would use an F9RDev for this rather than fold it into a live launch
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Jim on 01/09/2017 11:35 PM
    Landing ITS back on the launch mount will probably entail interim steps before it works.
    nch/land mount cradle, set up on the landing pads? This way the launch pad is sparred the inevitable early fails.
     

    if it is even going to happen at all
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 01/09/2017 11:53 PM


    Landing ITS back on the launch mount will probably entail interim steps before it works.
    nch/land mount cradle, set up on the landing pads? This way the launch pad is sparred the inevitable early fails.
     

    if it is even going to happen at all

    I too am skeptical of there being early failures.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: yg1968 on 01/10/2017 12:02 AM
    Quote
    Following space flight operations, the Dragon capsule would splashdown off the coast of Florida where vehicle recovery would occur. The Dragon capsule would be transported back to the processing facility for post-flight processing and refurbishment.

    So they're planning to land Dragon off the coast of FL instead of in the Pacific? Interesting.

    I suspect that this relates to crewed Dragon2 (but not Dragon1).
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 01/10/2017 06:37 AM
    Quote
    Following space flight operations, the Dragon capsule would splashdown off the coast of Florida where vehicle recovery would occur. The Dragon capsule would be transported back to the processing facility for post-flight processing and refurbishment.

    So they're planning to land Dragon off the coast of FL instead of in the Pacific? Interesting.

    I suspect that this relates to crewed Dragon2 (but not Dragon1).
    My understanding is that all dragon 2 flights would land propulsively.  So an ocean recovery means dragon 1.

    Edit: all *cargo* dragon 2 are propulsive. So this is either crewed dragon 2 or else dragon 1.
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41016.msg1624908.msg#1624908
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: ATPTourFan on 01/10/2017 02:02 PM
    Landing ITS back on the launch mount will probably entail interim steps before it works.
    What will those steps look like?
    Are scale tests with F9 family possible? Maybe an F9 gets it legs removed and then it attempts to land in a similar launch/land mount cradle, set up on the landing pads? This way the launch pad is sparred the inevitable early fails.

    The higher degree of precision to enable an ITS booster landing inside the launch mount comes from (if I remember correctly):
    - additional cold gas thrusters near the bottom of the booster
    - improved raptor throttling (or effective throttling by using combinations of engines to achieve slower, controlled landing)
    - 3 alignment fins near engines to mate with the launch mount

    I would guess that they could create a scaled ITS that has these features for testing of this new landing technique.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Jim on 01/10/2017 02:11 PM
    Landing ITS back on the launch mount will probably entail interim steps before it works.
    What will those steps look like?
    Are scale tests with F9 family possible? Maybe an F9 gets it legs removed and then it attempts to land in a similar launch/land mount cradle, set up on the landing pads? This way the launch pad is sparred the inevitable early fails.

    The higher degree of precision to enable an ITS booster landing inside the launch mount comes from (if I remember correctly):
    - additional cold gas thrusters near the bottom of the booster
    - improved raptor throttling (or effective throttling by using combinations of engines to achieve slower, controlled landing)
    - 3 alignment fins near engines to mate with the launch mount

    I would guess that they could create a scaled ITS that has these features for testing of this new landing technique.

    There is a lot more required that just that
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 01/10/2017 02:29 PM
    ITS is off topic for this thread.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: envy887 on 01/10/2017 03:29 PM
    ITS is off topic for this thread.

    Agreed, any pending LZ-1 modifications are most certainly not related to ITS.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/11/2017 05:55 PM


    Ask and Ye shall receive!  I just received a message from the environmental officer at Patrick.  The new EA (EIS) is finally out!!!

    Tons of delicious trainspotting goodies. Start reading and discussing!

    I'll give this a standalone thread, but great work by Sghill on passing on that document - and now written up as an article by Chris Gebhardt, with the addition of some sexy L2 renders from Nathan Koga  8)

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/01/spacex-air-force-landing-pads-dragon-lz-1/
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kansan52 on 02/20/2017 08:50 PM
    The drone video of the CRS-10 S1 landing doesn't seem to show any work started on the additional landing pads.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 02/27/2017 03:30 PM
    Has anyone seen activity over there regarding clearing the brush for the extra pads for the RTLS of the Boosters from FH??

    Visually, nothing yet. You could see all around LZ-1 in the drone and booster landing footage from last week, and nothing had been done.

    I should think they'd want pad 40 working again before worrying about LZ-1.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 02/27/2017 03:53 PM
    Folks are worried about getting into Scrub Jay nesting season, which starts in March.  Ground clearing can't be done during that time, and the worriers seem to be concerned that SpaceX can't get the secondary pads built for falcon heavy in time if they wait until afterward.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: MarekCyzio on 02/27/2017 04:40 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: mme on 02/27/2017 04:50 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)
    What is the long pole for the pads?  How much soil preparation is required?  It seems to me one option is to just finish the pads and then launch FH.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lars-J on 02/27/2017 05:57 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 02/27/2017 06:43 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    Was there a gravel ring planned for the new pads?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: envy887 on 02/27/2017 08:24 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    Was there a gravel ring planned for the new pads?

    A much smaller gravel ring was planned.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 02/27/2017 08:26 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    Was there a gravel ring planned for the new pads?

    A much smaller gravel ring was planned.
    K, so that is option #4.  Enlarge current pad into Mickey Mouse shape
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: envy887 on 02/27/2017 09:16 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    Was there a gravel ring planned for the new pads?

    A much smaller gravel ring was planned.
    K, so that is option #4.  Enlarge current pad into Mickey Mouse shape

    And have Disney pay for it!
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lars-J on 02/27/2017 09:17 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    I didn't realize that the outer edge of the circle was gravel, but yes, that's exactly what I meant. Adding concrete out to the edge.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Wolfram66 on 02/27/2017 09:45 PM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    I didn't realize that the outer edge of the circle was gravel, but yes, that's exactly what I meant. Adding concrete out to the edge.

    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35480.msg1402386#msg1402386

    I do not believe there is any "Concrete" poured at all. The landing area and outer ring are crushed recycled concrete aka AgSlag . Ground AgSlag is dumped,spread ,packed, vibrated, Watered and Rolled. The inner pad area that looks like brushed concrete pavement is just the AgSlag that has been scarified (ground flat and smooth) and re-watered. Much like grooming of snow done on ski slopes. This is much easier to repair and maintain between landings as all you need to do is grind the area flat and add a little more agSlag water and Roll/smooth. Forms it's own caliche...like desert pavement The outer Ring is just left un-groomed.   and no Gravel...Gravel + M1-D Rocket engine = 360 degree shotgun blast of rocks
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 02/28/2017 02:42 AM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    I didn't realize that the outer edge of the circle was gravel, but yes, that's exactly what I meant. Adding concrete out to the edge.

    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35480.msg1402386#msg1402386

    I do not believe there is any "Concrete" poured at all. The landing area and outer ring are crushed recycled concrete aka AgSlag . Ground AgSlag is dumped,spread ,packed, vibrated, Watered and Rolled. The inner pad area that looks like brushed concrete pavement is just the AgSlag that has been scarified (ground flat and smooth) and re-watered. Much like grooming of snow done on ski slopes. This is much easier to repair and maintain between landings as all you need to do is grind the area flat and add a little more agSlag water and Roll/smooth. Forms it's own caliche...like desert pavement The outer Ring is just left un-groomed.   and no Gravel...Gravel + M1-D Rocket engine = 360 degree shotgun blast of rocks
    I think we call it base rock here, and I agree that's what is on the outer ring.  However, the exhaust IMO will fragment the baserock and remove it.  I think it's concrete there.  The outer ring may function as a contamination barrier in case of a crash.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Wolfram66 on 02/28/2017 03:19 AM
    Scrub Jay nesting season starts in 2 days so unless clearing is already in progress, SpaceX will have to wait with any groundwork until July 1st.

    Possible options:
    - one core goes to waste
    - SpaceX brings JRTI to Port Canaveral and all Vandenberg launches are RTLS until LZ-1 is expanded
    - SpaceX learns how to land one core on top of the other ;)

    Another option... SpaceX is gaining more confidence in the landing accuracy. That landing pad could actually support 2 (or even 3) cores landing, if they land closer to the edge. They might have strengthen the outer areas for that, though.

    Or, add concrete where the current gravel ring is.

    I didn't realize that the outer edge of the circle was gravel, but yes, that's exactly what I meant. Adding concrete out to the edge.

    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35480.msg1402386#msg1402386

    I do not believe there is any "Concrete" poured at all. The landing area and outer ring are crushed recycled concrete aka AgSlag . Ground AgSlag is dumped,spread ,packed, vibrated, Watered and Rolled. The inner pad area that looks like brushed concrete pavement is just the AgSlag that has been scarified (ground flat and smooth) and re-watered. Much like grooming of snow done on ski slopes. This is much easier to repair and maintain between landings as all you need to do is grind the area flat and add a little more agSlag water and Roll/smooth. Forms it's own caliche...like desert pavement The outer Ring is just left un-groomed.   and no Gravel...Gravel + M1-D Rocket engine = 360 degree shotgun blast of rocks
    I think we call it base rock here, and I agree that's what is on the outer ring.  However, the exhaust IMO will fragment the baserock and remove it.  I think it's concrete there.  The outer ring may function as a contamination barrier in case of a crash.

    Here's the FONSI filed with FAA
    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/review/launch/media/20151201_FAA_FONSI_for_F9_RTLS_at_LC-1.pdf

    And a great view provided by USLaunchReport.com on their YouTube channel.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIzLMjiyBog
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: MarekCyzio on 02/28/2017 02:39 PM

    I do not believe there is any "Concrete" poured at all. The landing area and outer ring are crushed recycled concrete aka AgSlag . Ground AgSlag is dumped,spread ,packed, vibrated, Watered and Rolled. The inner pad area that looks like brushed concrete pavement is just the AgSlag that has been scarified (ground flat and smooth) and re-watered. Much like grooming of snow done on ski slopes. This is much easier to repair and maintain between landings as all you need to do is grind the area flat and add a little more agSlag water and Roll/smooth. Forms it's own caliche...like desert pavement The outer Ring is just left un-groomed.   and no Gravel...Gravel + M1-D Rocket engine = 360 degree shotgun blast of rocks

    I've been to LZ-1 and I can assure you center circle is poured concrete. Moreover it has dilatation gaps sealed with some kind of elastomer.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rpapo on 02/28/2017 04:16 PM
    I've been to LZ-1 and I can assure you center circle is poured concrete. Moreover it has dilatation gaps sealed with some kind of elastomer.
    Note from the picture above that we are not the only people who have debated or been confused by the "Landing Complex" / "Landing Zone" naming debate.  Notice the label on the surveyor's benchmark: LC-1.  Dated 2015, so things changed afterward, probably to avoid confusion with "Launch Complex".
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 02/28/2017 05:52 PM
    I've been to LZ-1 and I can assure you center circle is poured concrete. Moreover it has dilatation gaps sealed with some kind of elastomer.
    Note from the picture above that we are not the only people who have debated or been confused by the "Landing Complex" / "Landing Zone" naming debate.  Notice the label on the surveyor's benchmark: LC-1.  Dated 2015, so things changed afterward, probably to avoid confusion with "Launch Complex".

    Clearly the surveyor is not on this forum!
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: corrodedNut on 04/26/2017 02:19 PM
    New Google Earth images from this March:
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/10/2017 09:00 AM
    Tweet by an Inmarsat VP:

    Quote
    Massimiliano Ladovaz‏ @M_Ladovaz 17h17 hours ago

    On the historic Falcon 9 landing pad

    https://twitter.com/M_Ladovaz/status/861979809152462852 (https://twitter.com/M_Ladovaz/status/861979809152462852)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/05/2017 06:43 AM
    The new paint scheme can be seen in the attached CRS-11 shot. Clearly some re-painting will be needed after each landing. What I'm unsure about is why SpaceX need to do this given how accurate landings have been without it?

    Some possible reasons are:

    1. Smaller pads for FH
    2. Testing on land before ASDS to give more margin

    But with 10 successful landings before CRS-11 I'm not convinced by these reasons. Thoughts?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: docmordrid on 06/05/2017 08:01 AM
    Greater Z-axis accuracy for softer touchdowns, which are easier on the hardware and therefore better for reuse?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 06/05/2017 04:04 PM
    Dialing in accuracy for eventually cradle capture for ITS?  Might as well use your F9 returns as a development testbed.

    I expect the conductive paint was a "cheap test".  I don't think it will be often repainted; if increased conductivity is useful I suspect they'll lay down some steel plate or use a denser rebar pattern for future pads.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: dorkmo on 06/06/2017 02:58 AM
    I think a big goal of more precise z will be to allow them to reduce the heft of the legs. Pehaps shrink diameter of cylinders, reduce gas tank storage etc. Might be able to shift some borderline asds landings to rtls?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cppetrie on 06/06/2017 03:05 AM
    I'd guess the improved z accuracy is mostly about reducing wear and tear on the landing legs. Remember with Block 5 they are wanting to just fold the legs back up and go again. That requires the legs sustain manageable shock loading during landing so as not to damage them or prematurely wear them out. I think it's really all about improving reuseability and time to refurbish and nothing more.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: intrepidpursuit on 06/08/2017 10:59 PM
    IMO it is likely that the Z accuracy of landings so far have proven a margin of error the could include putting too much stress on the legs. The pattern so far could indicate that it is +/- 3m accuracy, even though it has only actually been off by 1m so far, but 2.5m would break a leg.

    If all it takes to add margin is to paint the pad, then obviously they'd do it.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Robotbeat on 06/09/2017 02:23 PM
    IMO it is likely that the Z accuracy of landings so far have proven a margin of error the could include putting too much stress on the legs. The pattern so far could indicate that it is +/- 3m accuracy, even though it has only actually been off by 1m so far, but 2.5m would break a leg.

    If all it takes to add margin is to paint the pad, then obviously they'd do it.
    That's not my read. The legs have a lot of margin in the crush core, but ideally you wouldn't want to have to rely on the crush core. Good enough z height and throttle response would mean you wouldn't need to replace the crush core.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: wannamoonbase on 06/09/2017 05:04 PM
    I think a big goal of more precise z will be to allow them to reduce the heft of the legs. Pehaps shrink diameter of cylinders, reduce gas tank storage etc. Might be able to shift some borderline asds landings to rtls?

    It's possible they are always going to look for ways to be more efficient and accurate landings.  This could be a small step toward figuring out ITS cradle landing technology.

    Regarding heft of the legs, I think of comparisons with Navy vs Air Force plants.  Navy planes have more robust landing gear and airframe to support the loads.  ASDS has several difficult factors in landing and transportation that RTLS will never face.

    Is it possible we see different landing gear for RTLS and ASDS cores?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: AncientU on 06/11/2017 10:29 AM
    I think a big goal of more precise z will be to allow them to reduce the heft of the legs. Pehaps shrink diameter of cylinders, reduce gas tank storage etc. Might be able to shift some borderline asds landings to rtls?

    It's possible they are always going to look for ways to be more efficient and accurate landings.  This could be a small step toward figuring out ITS cradle landing technology.

    Regarding heft of the legs, I think of comparisons with Navy vs Air Force plants.  Navy planes have more robust landing gear and airframe to support the loads.  ASDS has several difficult factors in landing and transportation that RTLS will never face.

    Is it possible we see different landing gear for RTLS and ASDS cores?

    The hardened gear on carrier-based aircraft is due to the short 'runway' and need to put aircraft down quickly and precisely (hard touchdowns). ASDS has a bit of roll and pitch to deal with, but basically same as land landings with respect to velocity profile I believe.  Gear will remain common between the two IMO.  (Also simplifies ops by allowing single booster to do both without changing landing kit.)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: titusou on 07/31/2017 05:16 PM
    I was checking Planet.com today and found something, and then photoshop them together.

    The above is from http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1627861#msg1627861
    The bottom is from Planet.com (login required to get higher-res image)

    Well... Maybe north pad will be ready in time for FH F1?

    Titus
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: old_sellsword on 07/31/2017 05:28 PM
    I was checking Planet.com today and found something, and then photoshop them together.

    The above is from http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1627861#msg1627861
    The bottom is from Planet.com (login required to get higher-res image)

    Well... Maybe north pad will be ready in time for FH F1?

    Titus

    Yep, we’ve been keeping tabs on the progress since at least May.

    Land clearing has begun to the north, per May 16 Planet imagery update:

     link (https://www.planet.com/explorer/#/geometry/POLYGON((-80.5492+28.483,-80.5401+28.483,-80.5401+28.4892,-80.5492+28.4892,-80.5492+28.483))/interval/1%20day/items/PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151252_0f25,PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151251_0f25/center/-80.549,28.485/zoom/16/mosaic/global_monthly_2017_04_mosaic/labels/0)

    With Elon recently confirming side boosters RTLS and center core ASDS for FH-1, they definitely have to finish that northern pad before it launches.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: SoulWager on 07/31/2017 07:33 PM
    With Elon recently confirming side boosters RTLS and center core ASDS for FH-1, they definitely have to finish that northern pad before it launches.
    They could probably land them both on the existing pad, though I don't expect they will.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 08/02/2017 07:46 AM
    I was checking Planet.com today and found something, and then photoshop them together.

    The above is from http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1627861#msg1627861
    The bottom is from Planet.com (login required to get higher-res image)

    Well... Maybe north pad will be ready in time for FH F1?

    Titus

    Yep, we’ve been keeping tabs on the progress since at least May.

    Land clearing has begun to the north, per May 16 Planet imagery update:

     link (https://www.planet.com/explorer/#/geometry/POLYGON((-80.5492+28.483,-80.5401+28.483,-80.5401+28.4892,-80.5492+28.4892,-80.5492+28.483))/interval/1%20day/items/PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151252_0f25,PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151251_0f25/center/-80.549,28.485/zoom/16/mosaic/global_monthly_2017_04_mosaic/labels/0)

    With Elon recently confirming side boosters RTLS and center core ASDS for FH-1, they definitely have to finish that northern pad before it launches.

    Well, technically they only have to finish it before they land.  :)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Wolfram66 on 08/02/2017 05:11 PM
    I was checking Planet.com today and found something, and then photoshop them together.

    The above is from http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1627861#msg1627861
    The bottom is from Planet.com (login required to get higher-res image)

    Well... Maybe north pad will be ready in time for FH F1?

    Titus

    Yep, we’ve been keeping tabs on the progress since at least May.

    Land clearing has begun to the north, per May 16 Planet imagery update:

     link (https://www.planet.com/explorer/#/geometry/POLYGON((-80.5492+28.483,-80.5401+28.483,-80.5401+28.4892,-80.5492+28.4892,-80.5492+28.483))/interval/1%20day/items/PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151252_0f25,PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151251_0f25/center/-80.549,28.485/zoom/16/mosaic/global_monthly_2017_04_mosaic/labels/0)

    With Elon recently confirming side boosters RTLS and center core ASDS for FH-1, they definitely have to finish that northern pad before it launches.

    Well, technically they only have to finish it before they land.  :)

    as of 7/28/2017
     LINK  (https://www.planet.com/explorer/#/geometry/POLYGON((-80.5492+28.483,-80.5401+28.483,-80.5401+28.4892,-80.5492+28.4892,-80.5492+28.483))/interval/1%20day/items/PSScene4Band%3A20170728_151641_1042,PSScene4Band%3A20170728_151640_1042/center/-80.547,28.486/zoom/17/mosaic/global_monthly_2017_04_mosaic/labels/0)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cppetrie on 08/03/2017 12:49 AM
    I was checking Planet.com today and found something, and then photoshop them together.

    The above is from http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1627861#msg1627861
    The bottom is from Planet.com (login required to get higher-res image)

    Well... Maybe north pad will be ready in time for FH F1?

    Titus

    Yep, we’ve been keeping tabs on the progress since at least May.

    Land clearing has begun to the north, per May 16 Planet imagery update:

     link (https://www.planet.com/explorer/#/geometry/POLYGON((-80.5492+28.483,-80.5401+28.483,-80.5401+28.4892,-80.5492+28.4892,-80.5492+28.483))/interval/1%20day/items/PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151252_0f25,PSScene4Band%3A20170516_151251_0f25/center/-80.549,28.485/zoom/16/mosaic/global_monthly_2017_04_mosaic/labels/0)

    With Elon recently confirming side boosters RTLS and center core ASDS for FH-1, they definitely have to finish that northern pad before it launches.

    Well, technically they only have to finish it before they land.  :)

    as of 7/28/2017
     LINK  (https://www.planet.com/explorer/#/geometry/POLYGON((-80.5492+28.483,-80.5401+28.483,-80.5401+28.4892,-80.5492+28.4892,-80.5492+28.483))/interval/1%20day/items/PSScene4Band%3A20170728_151641_1042,PSScene4Band%3A20170728_151640_1042/center/-80.547,28.486/zoom/17/mosaic/global_monthly_2017_04_mosaic/labels/0)
    Looks like may have started pouring concrete on the outer ring. If true, it should go pretty quickly from there.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: guckyfan on 08/03/2017 06:48 AM
    Looks like may have started pouring concrete on the outer ring. If true, it should go pretty quickly from there.

    The outer ring is gravel. But otherwise, yes we may see quick advances now.

    Edit: fixed quote
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/13/2017 12:09 AM
    Great time lapse of LZ-1 satellite images from:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6ta7sj/timelapse_showing_progress_made_on_lz1_from/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/6ta7sj/timelapse_showing_progress_made_on_lz1_from/)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/14/2017 10:39 PM
    From the CRS-12 webcast looks like more work done on the 2nd landing pad.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CameronD on 08/17/2017 11:04 PM
    From the CRS-12 webcast looks like more work done on the 2nd landing pad.

    You know we've come a long way with Earth Imagery when surface details are discussed, not using Google Earth (that is sooo yesterday) but from photos taken from a rocket coming in to land!..
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: sghill on 08/22/2017 04:18 PM
    From the CRS-12 webcast looks like more work done on the 2nd landing pad.

    Yeah, you could see the beginnings of the access road to the third pad as well. There is a big mound of gravel there that's hard to see in the still image, but was easy in the video because of the changing perspective.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: gongora on 08/25/2017 08:52 PM
    [Florida Today] SpaceX to build Dragon facility, test stand at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1 (http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/08/25/spacex-build-dragon-facility-test-stand-cape-canaveral-landing-zone-1-florida/594380001/?hootPostID=bcfa5782b0b0cb086a5b8bc7e0ac3ff3)
    Quote
    The St. Johns River Water Management District granted SpaceX permission to move ahead with changes to Landing Zone 1 ... in a document filed on Monday. SpaceX and the Air Force, which owns the land, submitted the environmental permit for stormwater infrastructure on July 31.
    ...
    "This modification will be for the addition of the Dragon Site in the former South Pad area, which will include a Dragon Processing Facility and static fire test stand," one of the documents reads.

    The new facilities, totaling 7.6 acres in size, will be located to the southwest of the pad
    ...
    SpaceX was granted permission in April 2017 to begin constructing a second landing pad to the north of the first

    The article has a picture with the location of the new facilities, looks like only two landing pads right now.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kansan52 on 08/25/2017 09:19 PM
    I agree, this new facility and test stand is the same space that was once listed as the South Pad.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: intrepidpursuit on 08/26/2017 01:37 AM
    I really wish we could read the text in their graphic to better understand the elements. Has anyone seen an original for this floating around?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: docmordrid on 08/26/2017 03:08 AM
    My best guesses
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Lar on 08/26/2017 05:42 AM
    Kind of hornswoggled that the permits for a Dragon landing facility came through but landing is off plan now.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: AnalogMan on 08/26/2017 11:49 AM
    I really wish we could read the text in their graphic to better understand the elements. Has anyone seen an original for this floating around?

    Larger version, plus a site plan attached.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: gongora on 08/26/2017 02:09 PM
    I really wish we could read the text in their graphic to better understand the elements. Has anyone seen an original for this floating around?

    Larger version, plus a site plan attached.

    Where is this from?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: deruch on 08/28/2017 01:41 AM
    I really wish we could read the text in their graphic to better understand the elements. Has anyone seen an original for this floating around?

    Larger version, plus a site plan attached.
    Why is the "Explosive Arc" being measured from a point in between the facility and static fire pad? 
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: gongora on 10/07/2017 01:31 PM
    And now for some testing on the east coast...

    FCC STA application (https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/els/reports/STA_Print.cfm?mode=current&application_seq=80736&RequestTimeout=1000):
    Quote
    SpaceX would like to perform further testing of a radar altimeter on board a helicopter nearby the Cape Canaveral AFS. Emission will last between several minutes to half an hour in duration. All tests will be radiating from the helicopter, with the antenna pointed directly at the ground. All testing based out of Cape will be pre-coordinated with CCAFS.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: DOCinCT on 10/07/2017 04:30 PM
    I really wish we could read the text in their graphic to better understand the elements. Has anyone seen an original for this floating around?

    Larger version, plus a site plan attached.

    Where is this from?
    Believe it is this one https://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/2017/08/25/Brevard/Brevard/636392748802799727-Screen-Shot-2017-08-25-at-4.19.29-PM.png
     (https://www.gannett-cdn.com/media/2017/08/25/Brevard/Brevard/636392748802799727-Screen-Shot-2017-08-25-at-4.19.29-PM.png)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: vaporcobra on 10/09/2017 08:22 PM
    Looks like the North pad is progressing nicely. Not 100% certain but looks like about half of the concrete has been poured.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BaCPZEWl253/?taken-by=tedwardmeyer
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rockets4life97 on 10/09/2017 08:50 PM
    Looks like the North pad is progressing nicely. Not 100% certain but looks like about half of the concrete has been poured.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BaCPZEWl253/?taken-by=tedwardmeyer

    It looks to me like the center square has been pored and that they are poring half circle shapes around the square to make a full circle. One of these half circles (out of 4) appears to be pored. So, I'd say they are over halfway done.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Kansan52 on 10/09/2017 09:15 PM
    And, if memory serves, the new landing pad will not be much larger than the 'bulls eye' of the first landing pad.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: old_sellsword on 10/09/2017 09:17 PM
    And, if memory serves, the new landing pad will not be much larger than the 'bulls eye' of the first landing pad.

    The concrete areas are the same size, but the surrounding gravel ring will be smaller.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cppetrie on 10/09/2017 09:42 PM
    Looks like the North pad is progressing nicely. Not 100% certain but looks like about half of the concrete has been poured.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BaCPZEWl253/?taken-by=tedwardmeyer

    It looks to me like the center square has been pored and that they are poring half circle shapes around the square to make a full circle. One of these half circles (out of 4) appears to be pored. So, I'd say they are over halfway done.
    Agree. Looks like they poured the largest possible square that fits inside the circle and are now pouring the chord segments that complete the circle. If my memory of geometry and math and my quick calculation is correct they are actually ~73% done. Can anyone verify my math?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: launchwatcher on 10/09/2017 10:30 PM
    Looks like the North pad is progressing nicely. Not 100% certain but looks like about half of the concrete has been poured.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BaCPZEWl253/?taken-by=tedwardmeyer

    It looks to me like the center square has been pored and that they are poring half circle shapes around the square to make a full circle. One of these half circles (out of 4) appears to be pored. So, I'd say they are over halfway done.
    Agree. Looks like they poured the largest possible square that fits inside the circle and are now pouring the chord segments that complete the circle. If my memory of geometry and math and my quick calculation is correct they are actually ~73% done. Can anyone verify my math?
    a circle with radius 1 has an area of pi.
    the inscribed square has a diagonal of length 2, sides of sqrt(2) and thus area 2.

    3/4 of the square plus 1/4 of the circle is (1.5 + pi/4); divide the whole thing by pi to get the ratio; the number I get rounds to 73%

    So yes they've poured ~73% of the concrete.   No idea what that means in terms of actual project completion.


    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: AnalogMan on 10/10/2017 01:25 AM
    And, if memory serves, the new landing pad will not be much larger than the 'bulls eye' of the first landing pad.

    The concrete areas are the same size, but the surrounding gravel ring will be smaller.

    Here's a site plan from February this year giving the dimensions of the new North Pad.  The second drawing shows a cross-section through the pad showing some construction details (the red line on the site plan shows the location of the cross-section). Note that the pad is slightly crowned - the center is 1.25 feet higher than the outer edge of the compacted aggregate ring.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: old_sellsword on 10/10/2017 02:16 AM
    And, if memory serves, the new landing pad will not be much larger than the 'bulls eye' of the first landing pad.

    The concrete areas are the same size, but the surrounding gravel ring will be smaller.

    Here's a site plan from February this year giving the dimensions of the new North Pad.  The second drawing shows a cross-section through the pad showing some construction details (the red line on the site plan shows the location of the cross-section). Note that the pad is slightly crowned - the center is 1.25 feet higher than the outer edge of the compacted aggregate ring.

    These are great drawings, where do they come from?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: vanoord on 10/10/2017 09:36 AM
    Approximately a 1:200 fall from the centre of the concrete pad to the edge - will enable drainage, but probably wouldn't be noticeable unless you got very close.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: LouScheffer on 10/10/2017 01:54 PM
    Random SpaceX numerology:   The dimensions of the concrete circle seem oddly specific.  The concrete pad is spec'ed as 282.84 feet in diameter.   It's not an even number in metric either - 86.21 meters.  It covers some odd fraction of the outer ring - 46.45%.  The area is not a round number in square feet or meters.   The outer ring is 415 feet exactly, so they are not averse to rounding to even values. 

    But if you work out the size of the central square, it's exactly 200 x 200 feet.  So they likely designed a square of this size, then expanded it to a circle.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meekGee on 10/10/2017 02:14 PM
    Random SpaceX numerology:   The dimensions of the concrete circle seem oddly specific.  The concrete pad is spec'ed as 282.84 feet in diameter.   It's not an even number in metric either - 86.21 meters.  It covers some odd fraction of the outer ring - 46.45%.  The area is not a round number in square feet or meters.   The outer ring is 415 feet exactly, so they are not averse to rounding to even values. 

    But if you work out the size of the central square, it's exactly 200 x 200 feet.  So they likely designed a square of this size, then expanded it to a circle.
    In other words, 2828 is 2000*✓2.

    I don't think you can put root values in construction plans, even if you really really want to.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cppetrie on 10/10/2017 06:10 PM
    Given the way it was constructed (by pouring a square first and then rounding the edges), it may have made the most sense to define the square’s dimension in nice round numbers and let the rest of the final shape dimensions just be whatever they turn out to be.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Coastal Ron on 10/10/2017 06:20 PM
    Note that the pad is slightly crowned - the center is 1.25 feet higher than the outer edge of the compacted aggregate ring.

    Curvature of the Earth? They want to shed water quickly after a rain?

    Any ideas why they are doing that?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: envy887 on 10/10/2017 06:23 PM
    Note that the pad is slightly crowned - the center is 1.25 feet higher than the outer edge of the compacted aggregate ring.

    Curvature of the Earth? They want to shed water quickly after a rain?

    Any ideas why they are doing that?

    To avoid water puddling on the surface, undoubtedly.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: meberbs on 10/10/2017 06:27 PM
    Note that the pad is slightly crowned - the center is 1.25 feet higher than the outer edge of the compacted aggregate ring.

    Curvature of the Earth? They want to shed water quickly after a rain?

    Any ideas why they are doing that?

    To avoid water puddling on the surface, undoubtedly.
    Agreed. Sidenote: curvature of the Earth should be around one thousandth of an inch on that scale if I did the math right.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cppetrie on 10/10/2017 07:50 PM
    Note that the pad is slightly crowned - the center is 1.25 feet higher than the outer edge of the compacted aggregate ring.

    Curvature of the Earth? They want to shed water quickly after a rain?

    Any ideas why they are doing that?

    To avoid water puddling on the surface, undoubtedly.
    Most definitely. Same reason that playing fields, roads and many other “flat” surfaces are actually crowned. Standing water is bad for many reasons.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Jdeshetler on 10/17/2017 10:07 PM
    1/8" for every foot or 1% slope is a standard runs off for any exterior surfaces except for flat roof which must be double, 1/4" or 2% slope.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/20/2017 06:04 PM
    Concrete pad almost done for the north pad, looks like the south area has been cleared for the new Dragon building construction:

    https://www.planet.com/explorer
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Gotorah on 10/20/2017 06:16 PM
    The concrete needs to be kept as dry as possible. Wet concrete when quickly heated will spall and very quickly erode in the high temperature, high velocity engine exhaust.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: georgegassaway on 10/20/2017 11:41 PM
    Well, if they want to try to keep the concrete as dry as possible, I could envision a baseball stadium type of "Field Crew" laying out a huge tarp when it's going to rain within 48 hours of a launch/landing.  And then the crew would go out and fold/roll the tarp up an hour or so before launch-ding  ("Launch-ding",  did I just invent a term?  :)  ). 

    (http://www.etpsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Baseball-field-cover2.jpg)

    Of course, the tarp would have the SpaceX logo on it.  :)

    Also of course, I am not serious about them really doing that....
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 10/21/2017 01:26 AM
    The concrete needs to be kept as dry as possible. Wet concrete when quickly heated will spall and very quickly erode in the high temperature, high velocity engine exhaust.

    You do realize, don't you #1) freshly poured concrete is generally wetted gently over a period of a day or two (or longer, depending on thickness) to prevent it from curing too quickly and thus cracking; and #2) this pad is in a sub-tropical climate and will be exposed to almost-daily showers for months on end? :p
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Robotbeat on 10/21/2017 02:30 AM
    And SpaceX is using some kind of special heat-resistant cement, I think. And a generous layer of radar-reflective paint.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CyndyC on 11/30/2017 03:47 PM
    And SpaceX is using some kind of special heat-resistant cement, I think. And a generous layer of radar-reflective paint.

    It doesn't seem it would matter whether or not the concrete itself is heat resistant if it's coated with reflective paint, and is radar ever aimed at the ground? Maybe you meant infrared-reflective, since satellite-mounted infrared cameras measure heat, and just such a coating called CoolSeal is used to help keep spy planes cool and hide them.

    There was a discussion about concrete reflectance that started in the permits thread (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40667.msg1557815#msg1557815) in July of last year, which Lar had to put a stop to because it was drifting off into a discussion of Los Angeles climate control, which had been mentioned in a research paper (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/reflectance_chap12.pdf) I had posted about variations in the potential of different forms of concrete to reflect heat. I was excited to see our discussion might have helped galvanize an effort in LA to act on the research beginning in April or May of this year, but not suggesting we should drift off to LA again, just that the following might be the same thing SpaceX has done/is doing with their landing pads as white as they appear in daytime imagery:

    Quote
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/09/los-angeles-paints-streets-white-stay-cool [with photo]

    Los Angeles, California, in the summertime can be, for lack of a better word, a hellscape. It is the quintessential smog-laden, traffic-jammed, heat island, but a new initiative from Mayor Eric Garcetti aims to help cool the city by 1.67°C over the next 20 years. Part of the plan, Popular Science reports, is to paint over many of the city’s black roads with a reflective white coating called CoolSeal originally designed by the military to keep spy planes cool and hide them from satellite infrared cameras. Adding the coating to a patch of black asphalt can keep the area up to 5.55°C cooler, a difference that could prove vital as global temperatures continue to increase.

    And below would be how they are doing it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ileU--wuOd0
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: whitelancer64 on 11/30/2017 04:05 PM
    And SpaceX is using some kind of special heat-resistant cement, I think. And a generous layer of radar-reflective paint.

    It doesn't seem it would matter whether or not the concrete itself is heat resistant if it's coated with reflective paint, and is radar ever aimed at the ground? *snip*

    The landing radar on the Falcon 9 rocket is.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CyndyC on 11/30/2017 04:30 PM
    This might be a stupid question, but what's the point of a landing radar since the trajectory is pre-programmed and can't be changed mid-flight from the ground, or is it just the launch trajectory that can't [per Jim}? Is the AFTS re-armed for landings?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: old_sellsword on 11/30/2017 04:43 PM
    This might be a stupid question, but what's the point of a landing radar since the trajectory is pre-programmed and can't be changed mid-flight from the ground...

    They use radar to get more precise altitude readings as they approach the pad.

    Is the AFTS re-armed for landings?

    No, you can hear the "Stage 1 FTS is safed" callout sometime after MECO.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: John Alan on 11/30/2017 04:43 PM
    The ground radar gives the Stage much faster (readings per second) altitude above the landing surface for the last 1000' or so... Much more so then the GPS can do...
    More reads and more accurate... why it's there and kinda important... to stick the landing...  ;)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: octavo on 11/30/2017 06:48 PM
    The ground radar gives the Stage much faster (readings per second) altitude above the landing surface for the last 1000' or so... Much more so then the GPS can do...
    More reads and more accurate... why it's there and kinda important... to stick the landing...  ;)
    Most especially on a pitching drone ship deck.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rpapo on 11/30/2017 08:39 PM
    This might be a stupid question, but what's the point of a landing radar since the trajectory is pre-programmed and can't be changed mid-flight from the ground, or is it just the launch trajectory that can't [per Jim}? Is the AFTS re-armed for landings?
    One reason: GPS is much less accurate in Z than in X and Y.  And Z really matters in the last few seconds of the landing.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: speedevil on 11/30/2017 10:54 PM
    This might be a stupid question, but what's the point of a landing radar since the trajectory is pre-programmed and can't be changed mid-flight from the ground, or is it just the launch trajectory that can't [per Jim}? Is the AFTS re-armed for landings?
    One reason: GPS is much less accurate in Z than in X and Y.  And Z really matters in the last few seconds of the landing.

    GPS is also so low power it can be almost trivially jammed, perhaps even accidentally.
    Something you certainly don't want to happen in the last 50m.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CyndyC on 11/30/2017 11:53 PM
    Those are some very interesting characteristics & differences between GPS & radar, but my point was no matter how they watch, I didn't think the landing trajectory could be altered once it was programmed. There was a big discussion in an Iridium thread with Jim insisting no changes to a launch could be made from the ground, so I wrongly assumed changes couldn't be made at all, or couldn't be made to landings either. I take it the responses imply there are some "IF/THEN" scenarios built into the programming in the avionics inside the interstage, just nothing from the ground.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: launchwatcher on 12/01/2017 12:12 AM
    Those are some very interesting characteristics & differences between GPS & radar, but my point was no matter how they watch, I didn't think the landing trajectory could be altered once it was programmed. There was a big discussion in an Iridium thread with Jim insisting no changes to a launch could be made from the ground, so I wrongly assumed changes couldn't be made at all, or couldn't be made to landings either. I take it the responses imply there are some "IF/THEN" scenarios built into the programming in the avionics inside the interstage, just nothing from the ground.
    The planned trajectory is not altered after launch.   Because nothing's perfect, the vehicle can't and won't exactly follow the planned trajectory; instead, it needs to be able to continuously estimate how far away it is from the planned trajectory so it can correct its actual trajectory to approach the planned trajectory. 

    Think "solving for [dx, dy, dz, z] = [0,0,0,0]" rather than "if/then".



    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: e of pi on 12/01/2017 12:24 AM
    Those are some very interesting characteristics & differences between GPS & radar, but my point was no matter how they watch, I didn't think the landing trajectory could be altered once it was programmed. There was a big discussion in an Iridium thread with Jim insisting no changes to a launch could be made from the ground, so I wrongly assumed changes couldn't be made at all, or couldn't be made to landings either. I take it the responses imply there are some "IF/THEN" scenarios built into the programming in the avionics inside the interstage, just nothing from the ground.
    Yeah, the avionics on pretty much any launch vehicle these days are "smart". For instance, IIRC, ULA's avionics on Atlas are smart enough they can take into account wind speeds and change the ascent profile midflight to  reduce angle of attack and resulting aerodynamic stresses, expanding the margin for allowable upper level winds.The computers have sensors, use that to make a model of the state of how they're flying, compare to a given state they want to achieve, and rules about the actions they can take to push the state-as-it-is to the state they want.

    Similarly, Falcon on descent needs to account for winds pushing it around in the upper atmosphere, variable atmospheric braking that might result from varying density (due to temperature/humidity/whatever), and then dynamically steer itself with the grid fins to remain on target, not just hold attitude, then pick the right moment before impact to start firing its engine(s) for landing. If the atmosphere slows it down by 1 m/s more or less than expected, then over the last minute or so before landing, the stage's altitude could be plus or minus 60m--more than its own height! You need a closed-loop onboard control system to adjust to that kind of change.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: deruch on 12/01/2017 01:39 AM
    And SpaceX is using some kind of special heat-resistant cement, I think. And a generous layer of radar-reflective paint.

    It doesn't seem it would matter whether or not the concrete itself is heat resistant if it's coated with reflective paint,

    I hadn't heard about the heat-resistant cement, but if they are using it, it makes sense because any spalling/degredation of the concrete as it gets hit with the F9 exhaust on landing is going to create a lot of FOD getting blasted everywhere, including potentially back into the vehicle itself or a side core landing on the next pad.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: CyndyC on 12/01/2017 02:53 AM
    And SpaceX is using some kind of special heat-resistant cement, I think. And a generous layer of radar-reflective paint.

    It doesn't seem it would matter whether or not the concrete itself is heat resistant if it's coated with reflective paint,

    I hadn't heard about the heat-resistant cement, but if they are using it, it makes sense because any spalling/degredation of the concrete as it gets hit with the F9 exhaust on landing is going to create a lot of FOD getting blasted everywhere, including potentially back into the vehicle itself or a side core landing on the next pad.

    Omigosh, silly me, I was thinking only of heat from sunlight (I've had to spend almost all of this year devoted to refurbishing more conventional real estate). What component(s) could possibly make concrete more heat resistant, or perhaps more importantly what component(s) were omitted would be a subject of curiosity for some. The research paper (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-08/documents/reflectance_chap12.pdf) I mentioned discussed tests of 32 different mixes. Cement is only one component of concrete, and the researchers used either white or gray Portland, along with selections from 4 different types of sand and 4 different types of rocks, each pictured on page 4 of the paper. Below is the chemical composition of each cement, and the most obvious answer is to leave out all the iron in gray Portland. Rocks come into play increasingly after abrasion.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: georgegassaway on 12/01/2017 03:34 AM
    The planned trajectory is not altered after launch.   Because nothing's perfect, the vehicle can't and won't exactly follow the planned trajectory; instead, it needs to be able to continuously estimate how far away it is from the planned trajectory so it can correct its actual trajectory to approach the planned trajectory. 

    Think "solving for [dx, dy, dz, z] = [0,0,0,0]" rather than "if/then".

    This video about guidance comes to mind (I know many have seen this before).  "The missile knows where it is at all times. It knows this by knowing where it isn't.....".  Educational and a bit funny.  Intended for explaining guidance for  missiles hitting a target, but also applicable for steering a planned trajectory along the way to the target (some like the Tomahawk may make several planned course changes along the way to the target).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZe5J8SVCYQ

    The landing radar is ONBOARD the Falcon.  Think Lunar Module Landing Radar (Radar altitude system mounted on the base of the Descent Stage).  It has been stated by many, on many occasions, that the F9 uses no uplinked ground signals for the landing process (with the caveat that IIRC, SpaceX has not officially said this (?). ). So ground-based radar can be useful for live tracking to see "where it is", or for later analysis, but not to actively assist the booster with the landing.

    Dec 11th update - Came across this video recently, by Ryan.  About how the LM Landing Radar was fabricated. And at about 4:50 into it,  "why" it was needed and how it was used for landing. Obviously F9 does not use mid 1960's landing radar, and not exactly the same way (but both need/needed to be extremely accurate the last few hundred feet). But I hope it's of some value for this thread and otherwise.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emCLag0Wf5o
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: gongora on 12/12/2017 10:13 PM
    [Florida Today] NASA talks underway about potential rocket landing site at KSC (http://www.floridatoday.com/story/tech/science/space/2017/12/12/nasa-spacex-talks-falcon-rocket-landing-zone-ksc/945993001/?hootPostID=de2c8b47f8f308c492bc063972c7d7b9)
    Quote
    In the future, the rockets may target another local landing site: a proposed pad at Kennedy Space Center that is the subject of early discussions between the Air Force, NASA and Space Florida.

    The goal is to lessen the burden landings impose on the Cape’s nearby industrial area, which workers must evacuate for hours during some missions.
    ...
    As outlined in KSC’s master plan, the new landing pad could be built near the northern end of the spaceport’s secure perimeter — north of pad 39B and south of State Road 402 leading to Canaveral National Seashore's Playalinda Beach.
    ...
    It was not immediately clear who would pay for the landing pad and if it would be exclusive to SpaceX or potentially available for other uses.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/15/2017 03:02 PM
    Excellent launch and landing!

    Anyone else think for a few seconds that the Falcon 9 was WAY off from the landing pad on final approach--  :-\

    --until you realized that the second landing pad was now complete?

    Congratulations to SpaceX, CCAFS and NASA. Onward with the mission.

    For those that missed shot of second pad
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Galactic Penguin SST on 12/15/2017 04:47 PM
    Quoting from today's post launch press conference:

    FH landing pads.

    LZ-2 will be ready.  It's right next to LZ-1.  Center core to ASDS Of Course I Still Love You.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: docmordrid on 12/15/2017 05:37 PM
    That shot is missing a circular feature north of LZ-1 and LZ-2, visible for a very few frames on the technical webcast. Any ideas? LZ-3 for a triple RTLS?

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rpapo on 12/15/2017 05:45 PM
    That shot is missing a circular feature north of LZ-1 and LZ-2, visible for a very few frames on the technical webcast. Any ideas? LZ-3 for a triple RTLS?
    That should be where the stand the booster gets bolted to is placed.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Semmel on 06/23/2018 01:03 AM
    Drove by LC13 today. Unfortunately, trees and bushes are blocking the view to the landing pads. The bus can't get closer. But I saw this on the way..
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/28/2018 06:08 AM
    Latest image dated July 16:

    Quote
    #DEIMOS2 captured new developments at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1, where @SpaceX is expanding its facilities. #ChangeDetection #SpaceX #DragonSpacecraft

    https://twitter.com/deimosimaging/status/1022745963734228992
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 07/28/2018 12:27 PM
    Latest image dated July 16:

    Quote
    #DEIMOS2 captured new developments at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1, where @SpaceX is expanding its facilities. #ChangeDetection #SpaceX #DragonSpacecraft

    https://twitter.com/deimosimaging/status/1022745963734228992
    Looks like they are getting ready to build a third landing pad.  Any guesses on which FH mission that would be for?
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cppetrie on 07/28/2018 12:41 PM
    Latest image dated July 16:

    Quote
    #DEIMOS2 captured new developments at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1, where @SpaceX is expanding its facilities. #ChangeDetection #SpaceX #DragonSpacecraft

    https://twitter.com/deimosimaging/status/1022745963734228992
    Looks like they are getting ready to build a third landing pad.  Any guesses on which FH mission that would be for?
    If you’re talking about the area that appears to have been cleared to the left of the original landing pad, that is a new building going in, not a new landing pad. If memory serves it’s a dragon processing facility, but it’s been many months since the site plan was updated so i could be remembering it’s purpose incorrectly.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Nehkara on 07/28/2018 03:26 PM
    Latest image dated July 16:

    Quote
    #DEIMOS2 captured new developments at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1, where @SpaceX is expanding its facilities. #ChangeDetection #SpaceX #DragonSpacecraft

    https://twitter.com/deimosimaging/status/1022745963734228992
    Looks like they are getting ready to build a third landing pad.  Any guesses on which FH mission that would be for?
    If you’re talking about the area that appears to have been cleared to the left of the original landing pad, that is a new building going in, not a new landing pad. If memory serves it’s a dragon processing facility, but it’s been many months since the site plan was updated so i could be remembering it’s purpose incorrectly.

    This is correct from what I've read.  It's a Dragon facility, not a pad.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: AnalogMan on 07/28/2018 06:54 PM
    Latest image dated July 16:

    Quote
    #DEIMOS2 captured new developments at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1, where @SpaceX is expanding its facilities. #ChangeDetection #SpaceX #DragonSpacecraft

    https://twitter.com/deimosimaging/status/1022745963734228992 (https://twitter.com/deimosimaging/status/1022745963734228992)
    Looks like they are getting ready to build a third landing pad.  Any guesses on which FH mission that would be for?
    If you’re talking about the area that appears to have been cleared to the left of the original landing pad, that is a new building going in, not a new landing pad. If memory serves it’s a dragon processing facility, but it’s been many months since the site plan was updated so i could be remembering it’s purpose incorrectly.

    This is correct from what I've read.  It's a Dragon facility, not a pad.

    See plans from earlier in this thread:
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1716623#msg1716623 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1716623#msg1716623)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: rpapo on 07/28/2018 07:59 PM
    In any case, AFAIK, a Falcon Heavy with total RTLS can hardly carry more to orbit than a Falcon 9 with RTLS, so why would they ever need three landing pads?  Not simply because the original concept video did.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: envy887 on 07/28/2018 08:46 PM
    In any case, AFAIK, a Falcon Heavy with total RTLS can hardly carry more to orbit than a Falcon 9 with RTLS, so why would they ever need three landing pads?  Not simply because the original concept video did.

    FH with 3x RTLS can probably put about as much payload to GTO as F9 fully expended.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: speedevil on 07/28/2018 08:50 PM
    In any case, AFAIK, a Falcon Heavy with total RTLS can hardly carry more to orbit than a Falcon 9 with RTLS, so why would they ever need three landing pads?
    Unless the second stage was significantly stretched.
    Quote from:
    (about stretching stage 2) under consideration. We’ve already stretched the upper stage once. Easiest part of the rocket to change. Fairing 2, flying soon, also has a slightly larger diameter. Could make fairing much longer if need be & will if BFR takes longer than expected.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: gongora on 07/28/2018 10:01 PM
    I was looking at various places to find the environmental assessments for the SpaceX projects.

    The SpaceX landing area environmental assessment can be found at
    Patrick AFB:
    https://www.patrick.af.mil/About-Us/Environmental/
    Of course the pictures in the environmental assessment don't match the site plans that were posted earlier in the thread, but with SpaceX things usually change.

    Various other SpaceX environment assessments can be found at
    KSC:
    https://environmental.ksc.nasa.gov/EnvironmentalPlanning/NEPA

    FAA:
    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/environmental/nepa_docs/
     > Look under "Experimental" and "Launch Operator" sections

    Regulations.gov theoretically should theoretically have most of them, but maybe you need to know what words to search on for a particular document to actually find it.  You can find some of them by searching for Space Exploration Technologies:
    https://www.regulations.gov/searchResults?rpp=25&so=DESC&sb=postedDate&po=0&s=%22space%2Bexploration%2Btechnologies%22
    or sometimes just SpaceX:
    https://www.regulations.gov/searchResults?rpp=25&so=DESC&sb=postedDate&po=0&s=spacex&fp=true&dct=FR%2BPR%2BN%2BO

    If you've found other places with this sort of document please let us know.
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: cscott on 07/29/2018 03:01 AM



    This is correct from what I've read.  It's a Dragon facility, not a pad.

    See plans from earlier in this thread:
    https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1716623#msg1716623 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36513.msg1716623#msg1716623)

    Thanks for the reference.  I've attached the more legible drawing from the above.  So I was clearly wrong about a third pad --- but on the other hand, the sat images seem to clearly show that they've started building the static fire stand at LZ-1.

    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: docmordrid on 08/21/2018 09:30 AM
    https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/1026462841992347649?s=19

    James Dean ✔ @flatoday_jdean
     KSC reviewing state proposals for new Launch Complex 48, Landing Zone 2: https://on.flatoday.com/2M4tNry
    9:39 AM - Aug 6, 2018

    As NSF previously reported, LC-48 would be for small launchers; Boeing's Phantom Express spaceplane (aka DARPA's XS-1), Electron, Firefly etc.

    LZ-2 would be three (3!) landing pads between LC-39B and Playalinda Beach,

    (map location image is my understanding of media reports)
    Title: Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
    Post by: Comga on 11/21/2018 11:21 PM
    A few pictures I took of the move this morning.
    Wait
    From fourth photo, the booster attachment fixture is powered by solar panels, and commercial looking ones at that?
    What a Tesla/Solar City solution!
    Anyone else would have strung a 200' power cable to it.

    edit: corrected the count