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SpaceX Vehicles and Missions => SpaceX Mega Thread Archive Section => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2015 01:25 pm

Title: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2015 01:25 pm
Second thread for Pad 39A work by SpaceX ahead of Falcon Heavy's debut flight in 2016 (pad will also be used by F9).

Thread 1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36100.0

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39A News Articles:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/?s=39A
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/39A/

--

L2 39A - From shovel in the ground to the latest in updates and about 300 photos from KSC folk getting close to it - and rendering envisioning, etc.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34978.0

This is updates and discussion, but let's make sure posts are useful. This one is about the pad, remember. :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2015 01:26 pm
And the latest article to get us all up to speed:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/spacex-conducts-rollout-39a-te/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: dror on 11/10/2015 01:49 pm
Does Spacex plan to use the old shuttle tower for crew access?

thanks
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Beittil on 11/10/2015 01:59 pm
The FSS will be for crew access to Dragon, the RSS will be removed in due time.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: chrisking0997 on 11/10/2015 04:47 pm
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: LastStarFighter on 11/10/2015 05:20 pm
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch

That was my take from the article... Once the rocket commits to launching (hold downs are released) the strong back goes horizontal. I'm assuming this will help better mitigate strong back damage at liftoff.

PS is your signature a Sequential films Star Wars 3: A lost hope reference? Awesome
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 11/10/2015 05:35 pm
If the strongback is going to go horizontal, is there a separate umbilical tower?  It seems like that would add additional complexity to the launch system that hasn't been present on the other pads.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: LastStarFighter on 11/10/2015 05:40 pm
If the strongback is going to go horizontal, is there a separate umbilical tower?  It seems like that would add additional complexity to the launch system that hasn't been present on the other pads.

Umbilicals disconnect at liftoff anyway. Shouldn't be anything adding complexity with it going horizontal once the hold downs release and the rocket is in motion. (I think they are indicating it stays at an angle until liftoff and then goes horizontal once umbilicals release).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/10/2015 06:03 pm
Yeah, remember it's a step process. It initially retracts a few degrees (umbilicals attached) like it does with the current F9.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: DatUser14 on 11/10/2015 06:07 pm
will falcon 9/Falcon heavy enter ( be assembled for launch)and exit to the pad from the same doors in the HIF?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AS-503 on 11/10/2015 06:28 pm
will falcon 9/Falcon heavy enter ( be assembled for launch)and exit to the pad from the same doors in the HIF?

See attached images. Rocket goes in one door, and out the other! :D
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/10/2015 07:28 pm
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch

They did that for the Antares rocket launches.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jcc on 11/10/2015 11:32 pm
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch

They did that for the Antares rocket launches.

Should reduce scorching of the strong back and umbilicals.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: LastStarFighter on 11/11/2015 04:27 am
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch

They did that for the Antares rocket launches.

Do you have a link to a picture of that? From what I remember Antares would just tilt it back a little further at liftoff. Maybe 45 degrees. Not horizontal...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: MattMason on 11/11/2015 01:09 pm
will falcon 9/Falcon heavy enter ( be assembled for launch)and exit to the pad from the same doors in the HIF?

See attached images. Rocket goes in one door, and out the other! :D

Question:

If you look at the photos of the strongback test and compare it to the render (not sure if that's SpaceX's official render or one of Nathan's)--isn't the strongback on the wrong side now in the render? It's shown there where it drops towards the HIF, but the photos appear to show the strongback dropping away from the HIF.

It might be a photographic illusion, so I could be wrong.

EDIT: I'm probably wrong. It's like looking at lunar craters in photos where the orientation makes them appear to be domes and not holes. I look at it again and see the strongback falling towards the HIF as in the render...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Craftyatom on 11/11/2015 02:28 pm
will falcon 9/Falcon heavy enter ( be assembled for launch)and exit to the pad from the same doors in the HIF?

See attached images. Rocket goes in one door, and out the other! :D

Question:

If you look at the photos of the strongback test and compare it to the render (not sure if that's SpaceX's official render or one of Nathan's)--isn't the strongback on the wrong side now in the render? It's shown there where it drops towards the HIF, but the photos appear to show the strongback dropping away from the HIF.

It might be a photographic illusion, so I could be wrong.

EDIT: I'm probably wrong. It's like looking at lunar craters in photos where the orientation makes them appear to be domes and not holes. I look at it again and see the strongback falling towards the HIF as in the render...

The photo does not show the strongback or TEL.  Those are cranes, and they are working on the pad.

The render shows the TEL as it will be used, on the HIF-facing side of the rocket.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 11/11/2015 02:43 pm
Thats a pretty significant change in strongback mode of operation. Would require different hydraulic systems to drop the strongback quickly enough to make a difference. Hopefully someone gets some video when they test the drop back system operation.  Are there any rockets that drop the tower all the way back? Soyuz drops the first umbilical at ~t-40s and the second around ~t-10s but only to about -35 degree from vertical. Antares drops away right at lift off but again only to about -40 degree.  Both of those are also just umbilical towers and appear substantially lighter than the Falcon transporter/erector.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: douglas100 on 11/11/2015 03:24 pm
I notice that the render shows the 8 hold downs for FH, but only 2 seem attached to the F9. There was discussion about the base plate having interchangeable configs to allow 4 hold downs on the F9. I wonder if the render is slightly wrong here.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AS-503 on 11/11/2015 03:40 pm
I notice that the render shows the 8 hold downs for FH, but only 2 seem attached to the F9. There was discussion about the base plate having interchangeable configs to allow 4 hold downs on the F9. I wonder if the render is slightly wrong here.

I was wondering the same thing. Also, if the T/E is intended to go "full" horizontal at T=0 wont it need that center assembly shown in the red outline in the image below? That assembly, given its position in the exhaust deflection stream, is going to get a hell of a taste of the launch temps and pressures. If it is at that location at T0, what is securing it? What are the wheels made of (they look pneumatic/puffy)? 

Is it likely they won't have that assembly there during launch? If so, then the strong back will not go full horizontal after T0?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Joaosg on 11/11/2015 03:49 pm
I notice that the render shows the 8 hold downs for FH, but only 2 seem attached to the F9. There was discussion about the base plate having interchangeable configs to allow 4 hold downs on the F9. I wonder if the render is slightly wrong here.

I was wondering the same thing. Also, if the T/E is intended to go "full" horizontal at T=0 wont it need that center assembly shown in the red outline in the image below? That assembly, given its position in the exhaust deflection stream, is going to get a hell of a taste of the launch temps and pressures. If it is at that location at T0, what is securing it? What are the wheels made of (they look pneumatic/puffy)? 

Is it likely they won't have that assembly there during launch? If so, then the strong back will not go full horizontal after T0?

I've read somewhere that SpaceX closed that part of the flame trench and during the launch exhaust flames/vapor would go only in one direction (away from the pad).

I think I read it in Chris article.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: whitelancer64 on 11/11/2015 03:52 pm
I notice that the render shows the 8 hold downs for FH, but only 2 seem attached to the F9. There was discussion about the base plate having interchangeable configs to allow 4 hold downs on the F9. I wonder if the render is slightly wrong here.

I was wondering the same thing. Also, if the T/E is intended to go "full" horizontal at T=0 wont it need that center assembly shown in the red outline in the image below? That assembly, given its position in the exhaust deflection stream, is going to get a hell of a taste of the launch temps and pressures. If it is at that location at T0, what is securing it? What are the wheels made of (they look pneumatic/puffy)? 

Is it likely they won't have that assembly there during launch? If so, then the strong back will not go full horizontal after T0?

That's not supposed to be a flame trench, it's supposed to be a concrete ramp up to the pad. The South-facing flame trench has been filled in. The render is inaccurate in showing the South flame trench as still there.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: clongton on 11/11/2015 06:25 pm
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch

Should be similar to the launch of the Soyuz. The vertical supports are held upright by the mass of the vehicle on the pad but as soon as Soyuz lifts off the supports they swing away and down pretty rapidly. F9/F9H have a completely different mechanism, but the visual effect should be similarly spectacular.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris_Pi on 11/11/2015 07:06 pm
I notice that the render shows the 8 hold downs for FH, but only 2 seem attached to the F9. There was discussion about the base plate having interchangeable configs to allow 4 hold downs on the F9. I wonder if the render is slightly wrong here.

There's big plugs that fill the extra space with a hold-down on each that can be installed for a F9. (In photos at Vandenberg) Probably not worth messing with for the render - Extra work and who's going to notice one way or the other?  ;D
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AS-503 on 11/11/2015 07:08 pm
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch

Should be similar to the launch of the Soyuz. The vertical supports are held upright by the mass of the vehicle on the pad but as soon as Soyuz lifts off the supports they swing away and down pretty rapidly. F9/F9H have a completely different mechanism, but the visual effect should be similarly spectacular.

As mentioned above by star NSF forum member clongton, at T0 the large yellow counterweights shown in the images below act as a passive facilitator of the Soyuz mount retraction.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: douglas100 on 11/11/2015 08:56 pm
I notice that the render shows the 8 hold downs for FH, but only 2 seem attached to the F9. There was discussion about the base plate having interchangeable configs to allow 4 hold downs on the F9. I wonder if the render is slightly wrong here.

I was wondering the same thing. Also, if the T/E is intended to go "full" horizontal at T=0 wont it need that center assembly shown in the red outline in the image below? That assembly, given its position in the exhaust deflection stream, is going to get a hell of a taste of the launch temps and pressures. If it is at that location at T0, what is securing it? What are the wheels made of (they look pneumatic/puffy)? 

Is it likely they won't have that assembly there during launch? If so, then the strong back will not go full horizontal after T0?

I've read somewhere that SpaceX closed that part of the flame trench and during the launch exhaust flames/vapor would go only in one direction (away from the pad).

I think I read it in Chris article.

Yes, I think that's right. Also, the hydraulics which swing the TE vertical are on the south side as well. They can't be exposed to exhaust gasses any more than the bogey with its road wheels can.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/12/2015 04:01 am
do I understand that article correctly that on holddown release the strongback will drop to the horizontal position?  If so, that should make for a (n already) visually interesting launch

They did that for the Antares rocket launches.

Do you have a link to a picture of that? From what I remember Antares would just tilt it back a little further at liftoff. Maybe 45 degrees. Not horizontal...

I meant that the umbilical tower will start retracting immediately when Antares lifts off.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 11/12/2015 10:35 am
will falcon 9/Falcon heavy enter ( be assembled for launch)and exit to the pad from the same doors in the HIF?

That's where my confusion came from.  The text led me to believe that the strongback was going to retract all the way to horizontal before ignition.  That does bring up other ideas and/or questions.  How fast can the strongback retract?  As soon as there is launch commit and the holddowns release, can the strongback come down fast enough to make any meaningful difference on how much it gets cooked vs. just leaving it at the slightly back position?

EDIT: Reading the rest of the thread from after where I replied it looks like the retraction event has been the main topic of discussion.  Glad to know I'm not the only one a bit confused by this.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: darkenfast on 11/12/2015 11:46 am
Somewhere in the previous thread, someone was told (while on a tour at KSC), that the strongback will quickly drop back after the vehicle has started moving and the various umbilicals are pulled loose from the rocket.  I think that is about all we know at present.  It should be a lot of fun to watch!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 11/12/2015 01:17 pm
Remember that, as a liquid rocket, Falcon accelerates off the pad rather slowly.  Enough so that after every launch we have people dropping in here claiming there was some kind of anomaly.  The top of the strong back has quite a lever arm, so even a small angular change results in large horizontal displacement.  I'm sure there will be significant clearance by the time the stage rises its own length.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: philw1776 on 11/13/2015 01:07 am
The new Full Thrust Falcon will have a higher thrust/weight parameter even with heavier 2nd stage and will lift off faster
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AndyX on 11/13/2015 01:03 pm
And the latest article to get us all up to speed:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/spacex-conducts-rollout-39a-te/

The big SpaceX on the water tower is cool too! :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 11/13/2015 02:52 pm
And the latest article to get us all up to speed:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/spacex-conducts-rollout-39a-te/

The big SpaceX on the water tower is cool too! :)

No matter what logo you stick to it, a water tower is uncool.

(doing a 'Jim' here)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Zed_Noir on 11/13/2015 03:12 pm

The big SpaceX on the water tower is cool too! :)
No matter what logo you stick to it, a water tower is uncool.
...

Not if SpaceX put a countdown clock on it.  :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/13/2015 04:07 pm
The new Full Thrust Falcon will have a higher thrust/weight parameter even with heavier 2nd stage and will lift off faster
A little higher, maybe, but not that much different (especially during the first second).  T/W will still likely be in the typical liquid rocket range (maybe 1.3-ish versus 1.2-ish previously).  Still more like an Atlas or an R-7 or a Proton than a Zenit.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mme on 11/14/2015 12:49 am
The new Full Thrust Falcon will have a higher thrust/weight parameter even with heavier 2nd stage and will lift off faster
A little higher, maybe, but not that much different (especially during the first second).  T/W will still likely be in the typical liquid rocket range (maybe 1.3-ish versus 1.2-ish previously).  Still more like an Atlas or an R-7 or a Proton than a Zenit.

 - Ed Kyle
I have a hypothesis that one reason people constantly think the F9 launch is slow is an illusion of sorts.  It is slow, but I think it "looks" even slower because it's such a tall rocket.  Same reason that a 747 looks like it is just hanging in the air on final approach even though it's going at least 130 mph.

To (almost) tie this thought into the thread, I wonder if the width of the F9H will effect that illusion.  I think all that matters is the length in the direction of travel so I doubt it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: billh on 11/15/2015 06:44 pm
I have a hypothesis that one reason people constantly think the F9 launch is slow is an illusion of sorts.  It is slow, but I think it "looks" even slower because it's such a tall rocket.  Same reason that a 747 looks like it is just hanging in the air on final approach even though it's going at least 130 mph.
I think that's a good guess. I remember being in San Antonio and seeing a C-5A fly overhead after takeoff from Lackland AFB. It looked like it was going too slow to stay in the air and I had to keep reminding myself how big it really is.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 11/20/2015 08:40 pm
This image is from an angle I had not seen before (from the NASA commercial crew presser) - but it looks like it is a few weeks old:

EDIT - found a better version of the image!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/20/2015 09:06 pm
Yeah, but as you say it's a nice angle. You can see the rail guides nicely in this!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 11/20/2015 09:18 pm
What a missed opportunity Elon. Look at all that roof real estate - where's the solar city panels feeding a bank of powerwalls?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 11/20/2015 09:28 pm
What a missed opportunity Elon. Look at all that roof real estate - where's the solar city panels feeding a bank of powerwalls?

Look closer at the roof, maybe it is all panels.  ;D ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: douglas100 on 11/20/2015 09:37 pm

...That's not supposed to be a flame trench, it's supposed to be a concrete ramp up to the pad. The South-facing flame trench has been filled in. The render is inaccurate in showing the South flame trench as still there.

The south flame trench still appears to be there in the photo. I'm  guessing it has been blocked off as previously discussed. The TE hydraulics would be housed there below the level of the pad apron. Of course the trench may still be filled in, but I doubt it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 11/20/2015 09:42 pm

...That's not supposed to be a flame trench, it's supposed to be a concrete ramp up to the pad. The South-facing flame trench has been filled in. The render is inaccurate in showing the South flame trench as still there.

The south flame trench still appears to be there in the photo. I'm  guessing it has been blocked off as previously discussed. The TE hydraulics would be housed there below the level of the pad apron. Of course the trench may still be filled in, but I doubt it.

No, look closer - it is already filled in. See the fresh white concrete in this cropped image?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: douglas100 on 11/20/2015 09:59 pm
Yes, but it looks recessed to me, so maybe partially filled.  Guess we'll have to wait for better resolution to be sure. Think the point about hydraulics will be correct, based on SLC-40 and Vandenberg pads.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: psloss on 11/21/2015 06:22 pm
This image is from an angle I had not seen before (from the NASA commercial crew presser) - but it looks like it is a few weeks old:

EDIT - found a better version of the image!
Three images were added to the NASA Kennedy (PAO) photostream and CCP "album", link to the latter:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/albums/72157647244171004

They're easier to find right now on the photostream / "all images" link since they were recently posted:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/

Attached the other two here.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/22/2015 02:01 am
It would be so wonderful if a photo, an extreme closeup of the flame trench and launch mount, etc. could be posted on site here.  ;D
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 11/22/2015 05:30 am
It would be so wonderful if a photo, an extreme closeup of the flame trench and launch mount, etc. could be posted on site here.  ;D

I agree; I want to see the water deluge system if it's installed already.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/22/2015 03:10 pm
It would be so wonderful if a photo, an extreme closeup of the flame trench and launch mount, etc. could be posted on site here.  ;D

I agree; I want to see the water deluge system if it's installed already.

Yes an extreme closeup of the pad surface would be wonderful!!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sigil on 12/01/2015 08:07 am
This image is from an angle I had not seen before (from the NASA commercial crew presser) - but it looks like it is a few weeks old:

EDIT - found a better version of the image!
Three images were added to the NASA Kennedy (PAO) photostream and CCP "album", link to the latter:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/albums/72157647244171004

They're easier to find right now on the photostream / "all images" link since they were recently posted:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/

Attached the other two here.

Looks to me like its recessed to allow for the TE hydraulics that are tucked away under the launch mount
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Beittil on 12/01/2015 01:22 pm
Quote
James Dean ‏@flatoday_jdean 16m16 minutes ago

Pad 39A update: SpaceX in Jan. will start removing the shuttle-era Rotating Service Structure (RSS).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: jacqmans on 12/01/2015 01:32 pm
Photo credit: John Studwell (from his facebook site)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rcoppola on 12/01/2015 02:19 pm
Most excellent. Dean also mentioned they'll be replacing the current Lightning mast with a newly designed "Y" shaped mast. Too bad they couldn't install an "X" shaped mast.  :)

Since it's been reported they intend to begin installing the Crew Access Arm as well, I wonder if they still need to add another level to the FSS?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Prober on 12/01/2015 04:05 pm
Most excellent. Dean also mentioned they'll be replacing the current Lightning mast with a newly designed "Y" shaped mast. Too bad they couldn't install an "X" shaped mast.  :)

Since it's been reported they intend to begin installing the Crew Access Arm as well, I wonder if they still need to add another level to the FSS?

atm I'm interested to see how they are handling the drainage when the rains come.  They added a lot of concrete on that slope. See anything?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: johnnyhinbos01 on 12/02/2015 03:18 am
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648
Title: Re: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: The Roadie on 12/02/2015 04:19 am
Carol Scott works for NASA, not SpaceX: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/biographies/scott.html
Title: Re: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rpapo on 12/02/2015 10:13 am
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648
Well, I don't think many of us expected they would go straight to reflying the very first stage landed...
Title: Re: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mme on 12/02/2015 10:19 am
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648
Well, I don't think many of us expected they would go straight to reflying the very first stage landed...
I did. :)

I thought they were talking about taking the first landed stage to Spaceport America and reflying it to failure.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Mike_1179 on 12/02/2015 10:51 am
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648
Well, I don't think many of us expected they would go straight to reflying the very first stage landed...
I did. :)

I thought they were talking about taking the first landed stage to Spaceport America and reflying it to failure.

By test article, do they mean flight article or would the stage be used for fit checks and GSE validations then shipped off to New Mexico?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 12/02/2015 11:55 am
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648
Well, I don't think many of us expected they would go straight to reflying the very first stage landed...
I did. :)

I thought they were talking about taking the first landed stage to Spaceport America and reflying it to failure.

By test article, do they mean flight article or would the stage be used for fit checks and GSE validations then shipped off to New Mexico?

My first thought on this was, bad news for Spaceport America. They refly it from LC 39A instead of New Mexico.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: jacqmans on 12/02/2015 11:56 am
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: BrianNH on 12/02/2015 11:58 am
I don't think that she meant to imply that it would be reflown.  I think she meant that it would be used for fitting and final adjustments of the ground support equipment.  It will be interesting to see if it goes to Spaceport America for high altitude tests or if it is disassembled and tested to fine tune their reuse design.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 12/02/2015 02:28 pm
I don't think that she meant to imply that it would be reflown.  I think she meant that it would be used for fitting and final adjustments of the ground support equipment.  It will be interesting to see if it goes to Spaceport America for high altitude tests or if it is disassembled and tested to fine tune their reuse design.
It's a bit ballsy even by SpaceX standards to go directly to reflying like that, even if it's a throwaway launch....

But they've surprised us before, so who knows. They are not afraid of failures along the way, that's for sure.

Personally, I'd have expected a spaceport America launch.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: chrisking0997 on 12/02/2015 05:24 pm
well, if we're going to go throwing around crazy ideas....how about inflight abort?  ;D


but yeah, probably fit checks
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: yg1968 on 12/02/2015 05:53 pm
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648

The caption to the image is calling the landing complex, landing site 1 which is less confusing than calling it. LC-1. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 12/02/2015 06:12 pm
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648

The caption to the image is calling the landing complex, landing site 1 which is less confusing than calling it. LC-1.

That caption is written by space.com, not SpaceX.

We may never get full clarity---we still can't agree on what "Dragon 2" is called.  SpaceX does not seem to police trademarks or issue press releases to clarify nomenclature.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Prober on 12/02/2015 06:42 pm
I don't think that she meant to imply that it would be reflown.  I think she meant that it would be used for fitting and final adjustments of the ground support equipment.  It will be interesting to see if it goes to Spaceport America for high altitude tests or if it is disassembled and tested to fine tune their reuse design.
It's a bit ballsy even by SpaceX standards to go directly to reflying like that, even if it's a throwaway launch....

But they've surprised us before, so who knows. They are not afraid of failures along the way, that's for sure.

Personally, I'd have expected a spaceport America launch.

Better question might be, is there FAA clearance to do such a test?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rcoppola on 12/02/2015 07:05 pm
I'm not seeing the "first" returned stage, re-flown off of their brand new, most expensive, human crew capable pad. She's referring to fits & checks. But even before it's used for that, it will be extensively looked over inside the HIF. A great way to not only inspect the stage but also all the equipment and procedures inside the new HIF such as the cranes, etc..
Title: Re: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Zed_Noir on 12/03/2015 07:12 am
Carol Scott of SpaceX says if they do manage to land the Falcon9 first stage they will use it as the test article for Pad39A

http://m.space.com/31248-spacex-may-try-land-based-rocket-landing.html?cmpid=514648
Well, I don't think many of us expected they would go straight to reflying the very first stage landed...
I did. :)

I thought they were talking about taking the first landed stage to Spaceport America and reflying it to failure.

Only the SpaceX CTO knows for sure. ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: NovaSilisko on 12/03/2015 07:35 am
Well, unless somebody screws up really bad, they should be able to ship it just fine to NM after using it for fit checks at 39A. That seems most likely to me.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: johnnyhinbos01 on 12/03/2015 10:25 am

Well, unless somebody screws up really bad, they should be able to ship it just fine to NM after using it for fit checks at 39A. That seems most likely to me.
I don't understand SpaceX's involvement with NM spaceport. Any input or pointers in the right direction appreciated...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: BrianNH on 12/03/2015 11:52 am
This is OT for Falcon Heavy debut, but they want to do high altitude testing at Spaceport America.  At McGregor, they could only do low altitude testing due to the surrounding populated areas.   
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Beittil on 12/03/2015 01:01 pm
The idea was initially to do a few testruns with F9R-Dev1 at McGregor and then ship it to SP:A, but as we all know that kinda went south when Dev1 decided to turn itself inside out and distribute its components across the test facility.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 12/03/2015 01:29 pm
I don't understand SpaceX's involvement with NM spaceport. Any input or pointers in the right direction appreciated...
SpaceX has signed a lease at Spaceport America and is/was building infrastructure there to use as a high-altitude flight test facility.  News about that has gotten quiet lately, so it is unclear at this point if they are planning on fully developing and using it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Prober on 12/03/2015 02:34 pm

Well, unless somebody screws up really bad, they should be able to ship it just fine to NM after using it for fit checks at 39A. That seems most likely to me.
I don't understand SpaceX's involvement with NM spaceport. Any input or pointers in the right direction appreciated...

You might want to use the search features on NSF.
I just plugged in NM spaceport and it has a list including this one...

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34077.msg1393492#msg1393492
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 12/03/2015 04:20 pm
User 'jardeon' on Reddit posted this neat panorama of 39A:
(source https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3v0q5l/panoramic_image_of_lc39a_december_1_2015/ )

It does show that the distance between the SpaceX horizontal assembly hangar is not as close to the pad as it appears in many photos.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: chrisking0997 on 12/03/2015 04:40 pm
does anyone know what is going on with the curved roof structure seen in that photo at the base of the water tower (yes, I know its further back than that)?  Looks like some sort of open ended building, Im assuming its temporary.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/03/2015 04:43 pm
User 'jardeon' on Reddit posted this neat panorama of 39A:
(source https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3v0q5l/panoramic_image_of_lc39a_december_1_2015/ )

It does show that the distance between the SpaceX horizontal assembly hangar is not as close to the pad as it appears in many photos.

I don't know but 1200' is close for me
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/03/2015 05:38 pm
User 'jardeon' on Reddit posted this neat panorama of 39A:
(source https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3v0q5l/panoramic_image_of_lc39a_december_1_2015/ )

It does show that the distance between the SpaceX horizontal assembly hangar is not as close to the pad as it appears in many photos.

I don't know but 1200' is close for me
Especially for a rocket loaded with nearly 3 million pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen.  The VIF at LC41 looks to be more than 1500' distant, for a substantially smaller rocket.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sublimemarsupial on 12/03/2015 05:45 pm

User 'jardeon' on Reddit posted this neat panorama of 39A:
(source https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3v0q5l/panoramic_image_of_lc39a_december_1_2015/ )

It does show that the distance between the SpaceX horizontal assembly hangar is not as close to the pad as it appears in many photos.

I don't know but 1200' is close for me
Especially for a rocket loaded with nearly 3 million pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen.  The VIF at LC41 looks to be more than 1500' distant, for a substantially smaller rocket.

 - Ed Kyle

Good thing it was an order of magnitude cheaper than that VIF then.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 12/03/2015 05:50 pm
further than the HIF at Vandenberg and LC40
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: JasonAW3 on 12/03/2015 06:15 pm
Assuming that they start reusing the rockets after launch, I'm suspecting that they most likely will first launch the rockets for reuse on high priority / high value launches, (like Manned) from pad 39A and launch the reused rockets from SLC-40, with lower value, (unmanned) payloads.  At least at first, until they have a proven reuse record.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/03/2015 06:26 pm

Good thing it was an order of magnitude cheaper than that VIF then.

How do you know that?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mme on 12/03/2015 06:30 pm
User 'jardeon' on Reddit posted this neat panorama of 39A:
(source https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3v0q5l/panoramic_image_of_lc39a_december_1_2015/ )

It does show that the distance between the SpaceX horizontal assembly hangar is not as close to the pad as it appears in many photos.

I don't know but 1200' is close for me
Was there a better option available?  Share the VAB with SLS and whatever else uses 39B?  Could they have built the HIF further back on the causeway?  I've always assumed there were external constraints that limited their choices (leases, environmental impact, logistical requirements.)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 12/03/2015 06:41 pm
User 'jardeon' on Reddit posted this neat panorama of 39A:
(source https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3v0q5l/panoramic_image_of_lc39a_december_1_2015/ )

It does show that the distance between the SpaceX horizontal assembly hangar is not as close to the pad as it appears in many photos.

I don't know but 1200' is close for me

 ::) No one said it was far away... I'm merely stating that in most pictures published recently, due to the perspective and foreshortening, it appears to be even closer than it actually is. See this image for a comparison:
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 12/03/2015 06:45 pm
User 'jardeon' on Reddit posted this neat panorama of 39A:
(source https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3v0q5l/panoramic_image_of_lc39a_december_1_2015/ )

It does show that the distance between the SpaceX horizontal assembly hangar is not as close to the pad as it appears in many photos.

I don't know but 1200' is close for me

Especially for a rocket loaded with nearly 3 million pounds of kerosene and liquid oxygen.  The VIF at LC41 looks to be more than 1500' distant, for a substantially smaller rocket.

 - Ed Kyle

I guess everybody else in the business places their integration building much farther away... Oh wait.  :D Aren't you even more concerned here, since solids are in play?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/03/2015 06:51 pm

I guess everybody else in the business places their integration building much farther away... Oh wait.  :D Aren't you even more concerned here, since solids are in play?

 The Delta IV integration building is more than 3000' away.  That isn't the integration building, it is the MST which are always on the pad. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: douglas100 on 12/03/2015 07:15 pm
It's interesting that this point about the closeness of the hangar to the pad has come up again. I've always thought the hangars at SLC-40 and Vandenberg  are too close to the pad. It seems to me that there was no need to endanger the hangar in the event a Falcon suffers an Antares type failure. (Of course, the point is totally moot since they're not going to tear down the existing buildings and reconstruct them farther back.)

I remember Musk emphasizing rapid roll out targets for Falcon. I wonder if that was the driver behind the decision to site them so close.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 12/03/2015 07:20 pm

I guess everybody else in the business places their integration building much farther away... Oh wait.  :D Aren't you even more concerned here, since solids are in play?

 The Delta IV integration building is more than 3000' away.  That isn't the integration building, it is the MST which are always on the pad.

Don't be nitpicky about terms, you know exactly what I mean. Vertical integration of payload and SRBs happens in that building (MST). Yes, the 1st and 2nd stages are horizontally assembled further away, but the MST is still where additional integration happens, a critical piece of infrastructure for the Delta IV.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Arb on 12/03/2015 07:39 pm
does anyone know what is going on with the curved roof structure seen in that photo at the base of the water tower (yes, I know its further back than that)?  Looks like some sort of open ended building, Im assuming its temporary.

Well spotted that man.

Looks similar to the tent-with-shipping-container-walls on the landing pad at Vandenberg.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/03/2015 07:59 pm

Don't be nitpicky about terms, you know exactly what I mean. Vertical integration of payload and SRBs happens in that building (MST). Yes, the 1st and 2nd stages are horizontally assembled further away, but the MST is still where additional integration happens, a critical piece of infrastructure for the Delta IV.

When somebody repeatedly has shown a bias, I will be nitpicky.  Especially, when they are wrong.
The MST is designed to different criteria than sheet metal hangars.

Also, solid or liquid is not a factor. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rcoppola on 12/03/2015 08:13 pm
I just don't know why ULA needs to be brought into every SpaceX discussion and vice versa. The HIF is where it is for many reasons. SpaceX knew the risk/rewards and decided accordingly as to what worked for "them".

Besides, if a FH ever had a RUD at or above the pad, HIF damage would be the least of their problems.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/03/2015 08:27 pm
Was there a better option available?  Share the VAB with SLS and whatever else uses 39B?  Could they have built the HIF further back on the causeway?  I've always assumed there were external constraints that limited their choices (leases, environmental impact, logistical requirements.)
They did consider alternate locations.  One was closer to the VAB, along the crawlerway. 

It could be that it doesn't matter how close it is to the pad.  If things go really bad they won't need a HIF anymore because Launch Complex 39 Pad A itself will just be a giant hole in the ground. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Comga on 12/03/2015 08:32 pm
does anyone know what is going on with the curved roof structure seen in that photo at the base of the water tower (yes, I know its further back than that)?  Looks like some sort of open ended building, Im assuming its temporary.

Well spotted that man.

Looks similar to the tent-with-shipping-container-walls on the landing pad at Vandenberg.

No it doesn't
There is no evidence here that the ends or sides are open.
The white lines are not inside the structure.  They are bracing for the water tower.
The grey objects are not part of the structure.  They are in the foreground.
We are grasping at straws here.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sublimemarsupial on 12/03/2015 09:33 pm


Good thing it was an order of magnitude cheaper than that VIF then.

How do you know that?

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/03/2015 09:34 pm

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?

It is just a sheet metal building that is tall
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/03/2015 10:56 pm

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?

It is just a sheet metal building that is tall
And the HIF might cost more than the VIF because it needs a longer travel distance for its cranes.  The cranes might cost as much as the buildings.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jcc on 12/04/2015 12:42 am

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?

It is just a sheet metal building that is tall
And the HIF might cost more than the VIF because it needs a longer travel distance for its cranes.  The cranes might cost as much as the buildings.

 - Ed Kyle

Even if a HIF building cost more, the whole building is a fraction of the cost of one rocket, and money is saved due to faster processing.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: dorkmo on 12/04/2015 02:02 am
does anyone know what is going on with the curved roof structure seen in that photo at the base of the water tower (yes, I know its further back than that)?  Looks like some sort of open ended building, Im assuming its temporary.

Well spotted that man.

Looks similar to the tent-with-shipping-container-walls on the landing pad at Vandenberg.

No it doesn't
There is no evidence here that the ends or sides are open.
The white lines are not inside the structure.  They are bracing for the water tower.
The grey objects are not part of the structure.  They are in the foreground.
We are grasping at straws here.

We'd probably be able to have more confidence with at least one more photo from a different angle but from what i can see i'd say there could possibly be containers on either side supporting the tent structure in between. its either open front and dark inside, or black tarp front. the roof has a different shape compared to vandenburg's.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/04/2015 02:53 am

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?

It is just a sheet metal building that is tall
And the HIF might cost more than the VIF because it needs a longer travel distance for its cranes.  The cranes might cost as much as the buildings.

 - Ed Kyle

Even if a HIF building cost more, the whole building is a fraction of the cost of one rocket, and money is saved due to faster processing.
Faster processing?  SLC 41 still hasn't had its annual flight rate surpassed.  It will likely see eight launches this year.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sublimemarsupial on 12/04/2015 03:38 am

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?

It is just a sheet metal building that is tall
And the HIF might cost more than the VIF because it needs a longer travel distance for its cranes.  The cranes might cost as much as the buildings.

 - Ed Kyle

Even if a HIF building cost more, the whole building is a fraction of the cost of one rocket, and money is saved due to faster processing.
Faster processing?  SLC 41 still hasn't had its annual flight rate surpassed.  It will likely see eight launches this year.

 - Ed Kyle

One of these is a simple sheet metal building. The other is not.

You can purchase a used 90T bridge crane for ~ $30,000. No way Elon would let SpaceX buy a crane two orders of magnitude more expensive then that.

Also, annual flight rate has not yet been surpassed, but SpaceX has demonstrated two weeks from hardware arrival at SLC-40 to flight, multiple times. Has SLC-41 done so?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/04/2015 04:39 am
Also, annual flight rate has not yet been surpassed, but SpaceX has demonstrated two weeks from hardware arrival at SLC-40 to flight, multiple times. Has SLC-41 done so?
The quick Falcon 9 turnarounds were done through a bit of sleight of hand, with the vehicles being processed, then swapped back to the industrial area hangar while another launch took place, then back to SLC 40.  It was part of a "catch up" effort after some of the common Falcon 9 delays of the time. 

Maybe Falcon 9 will fly eight or more times from one pad in a year one day, matching or beating Atlas 5.   It was on pace this year until that failure, which left its pad empty for six months while Atlas continued to click off launches.  Success seems to me more important than rapid-fire pace in the long run.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 12/04/2015 06:16 am
The quick Falcon 9 turnarounds were done through a bit of sleight of hand, with the vehicles being processed, then swapped back to the industrial area hangar while another launch took place, then back to SLC 40.  It was part of a "catch up" effort after some of the common Falcon 9 delays of the time. 

Are you sure? The hangar was occupied all the time by the previous launch vehicle, I believe. If any preparation was done it must have been in the storage hangar.

Maybe Falcon 9 will fly eight or more times from one pad in a year one day, matching or beating Atlas 5.   It was on pace this year until that failure, which left its pad empty for six months while Atlas continued to click off launches.  Success seems to me more important than rapid-fire pace in the long run.

 - Ed Kyle

There will be many more than that if the demand requires it. It is possible for multiple reasons.

They have improved the TE for LC-39A to reduce rework. They can do that for LC-40 if necessary.

With time workflows get optimized and the same staff can do much more in less time.

The stages are more complete from prework in Hawthorne and McGregor.

They have the HIF at LC-39A. Parallel processing of multiple stages is possible there. Even parallel processing of a Falcon 9 and a Falcon Heavy. Stages can be preprocessed there and then transported to LC-40 for final processing.

Launches every two weeks should be achievable from each pad, so total of one a week. Some deductions for weather and range availability may reduce that number. I see only one limiting factor and that is available orders.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: jacqmans on 12/04/2015 07:56 am
During an International Space Station Program bilateral meeting at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 2, the agency’s international partners toured Commercial Crew Program facilities. They learned more about the work taking place at Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) for the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft and SpaceX’s Launch Pad 39A facilities for the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
 
Both commercial crew spacecraft, their launch vehicles and ground support infrastructure are going through final development and certification for human transportation services to the International Space Station that will launch from U.S. soil. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 12/04/2015 08:26 am

I guess everybody else in the business places their integration building much farther away... Oh wait.  :D Aren't you even more concerned here, since solids are in play?

 The Delta IV integration building is more than 3000' away.  That isn't the integration building, it is the MST which are always on the pad. 
Yes sir. And unfortunately those MST's have a habit of being rather expensive. Any on-pad all-out explosion of say Delta IV will not completely destroy the MST, as it is built very sturdy, but it will  also not leave it undamaged given the close proximity to the pad & vehicle. Given that both the MST for Delta IV, and the HIF for Falcon 9 (heavy) are critical pieces of launch infrastructure, locating them close to the pad is inherently risky. I don't see the point of having an argument over who's infrastructure is more at risk.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jdeshetler on 12/04/2015 02:56 pm
This photo showed the new concrete cover w/ metal fences over the south flame trench with gaps.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38802.msg1452545#msg1452545
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Prober on 12/04/2015 03:30 pm

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?

It is just a sheet metal building that is tall
And the HIF might cost more than the VIF because it needs a longer travel distance for its cranes.  The cranes might cost as much as the buildings.

 - Ed Kyle

Even if a HIF building cost more, the whole building is a fraction of the cost of one rocket, and money is saved due to faster processing.

This is a problem with most comments on NSF.  The focus mostly is on one item and not the "big picture"
ok we are talking money...
so if the building is taken out you have cleanup EPA & physical costs
you have the loss of the building; loss of any quick return to flight ie lots of costs
then you have the investigation, and that's a whole different matter.  Not only replacing the building but should the building be placed back in the same location.  Further, you have contracts; Crew to ISS, any Dod, launch contracts.  Clearly, you can talk all you wish about Russian engines, and "Access to Space".  Loss of this building would clearly hurt assured access to space and this would clearly cost tons of funds.

I'm sure I could ramble on, however these quick thoughts are a quick example of where focus, and the "big picture" needs to be considered.



Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/04/2015 03:37 pm
This photo showed the new concrete cover w/ metal fences over the south flame trench with gaps.


handrails have always been there
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/04/2015 03:43 pm

They have the HIF at LC-39A. Parallel processing of multiple stages is possible there. Even parallel processing of a Falcon 9 and a Falcon Heavy. Stages can be preprocessed there and then transported to LC-40 for final processing.


That doesn't provide any additional benefit.  When a stage leaves Building AO, the only work left is the integration ("final processing") in the hangar.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 12/04/2015 04:19 pm
This is a problem with most comments on NSF.
I'd say the bigger problem with (some) comments on NSF is that they rehash discussions we have already had, when there is in fact nothing new about anything being discussed here.

These issues were raised and considered when we knew where the HIF was being built long ago.  I see no purpose in rehashing a tired and partisan debate we've already had.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jcc on 12/05/2015 01:13 am

I've seen similar sheet metal sided building built for $2-3 million. Are you going to tell me that VIF was built for less than $20 million?

It is just a sheet metal building that is tall
And the HIF might cost more than the VIF because it needs a longer travel distance for its cranes.  The cranes might cost as much as the buildings.

 - Ed Kyle

Even if a HIF building cost more, the whole building is a fraction of the cost of one rocket, and money is saved due to faster processing.

This is a problem with most comments on NSF.  The focus mostly is on one item and not the "big picture"
ok we are talking money...
so if the building is taken out you have cleanup EPA & physical costs
you have the loss of the building; loss of any quick return to flight ie lots of costs
then you have the investigation, and that's a whole different matter.  Not only replacing the building but should the building be placed back in the same location.  Further, you have contracts; Crew to ISS, any Dod, launch contracts.  Clearly, you can talk all you wish about Russian engines, and "Access to Space".  Loss of this building would clearly hurt assured access to space and this would clearly cost tons of funds.

I'm sure I could ramble on, however these quick thoughts are a quick example of where focus, and the "big picture" needs to be considered.

How do you know that even a worst case explosion would "take out" the HIF? I would think that SpaceX have modeled the effects of different explosion scenarios, and find the risk of possible damage to infrastructure acceptable. If the rocket explodes, the mishap investigation would take many months, so repairing the HIF and pad may not be the limiting factor for RTF. And besides, they would still have LC40 and Texas for Eastern launches. That is also risk mitigation that other launch services don't have.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 12/05/2015 03:01 am
There's nothing to discuss here. The pad boundary combined with environmental factors meant this was the furthest from the pad SpaceX could build.  It doesn't matter whether it's "too close" or not, they had no choice if they wanted to use LC-39.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sghill on 12/16/2015 02:33 pm
Bringing this over from L2 because it's really not an L2 discussion even if it's a good one!

Original post:
I have a question for those in the know.

Will the side paneling on the FSS at pad 39A be sealed up so that the tower can have environmental controls?  Or are the wall panels just a wind break?

It seems to me that the ongoing maintenance costs for the FSS goes way down- and the comfort level for workers goes way up- if they have an HVAC system that blows cool dry air in there instead of corrosive warm salt air.

Would it be helpful and/or more viable to skip temperature control and focus on dehumidification?

As others have stated; you get both with an AC system.
http://blog.rotronic.com/en/2014/11/humidity-academy-part-1-chapter-2-relative-humidity-pressure-and-temperature/

Even just enclosing the FSS tower ought to reduce salt corrosion....

It permeates everywhere.   And enclosing actually makes it more intolerable for the workers.

Enclosing it without installing an A/C makes intolerable.  Enclosing it with an A/C system makes it nice inside.  It's not a huge volume to cool and dehumidify (about 5,600,000 ft volume using FSS outside measurements and not including the steel framework volume). 

A 280 ton air-cooled, commercial chiller unit would do the trick for that volume, and a similar water-cooled 300 ton chiller is only about the size of a car.  Both are a dime a dozen used, and new ones go for $100k.  So, basically, subtract $100k (plus power usage) from the expected annual servicing costs of the FSS due to humidity and salt corrosion to come up with the ballpark cost/benefit analysis over the lifetime of the Pad 39 contract.

Win win for the tower and the workers inside IMHO.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: CraigLieb on 12/16/2015 02:45 pm
Bringing this over from L2 because it's really not an L2 discussion even if it's a good one!
...

A 280 ton air-cooled, commercial chiller unit would do the trick for that volume, and a similar water-cooled 300 ton chiller is only about the size of a car.  Both are a dime a dozen used, and new ones go for $100k.  So, basically, subtract $100k plus power from the expected annual servicing costs of the FSS due to humidity and salt corrosion to come up with the ballpark cost/benefit analysis over the lifetime of the Pad 39 contract.

Win win for the tower and the workers inside IMHO.

The water cooled chiller type shown before requires a cooling tower and a few water pumps, just showing the inside unit doesn't tell the whole story. None of this changes the fact that it can be done.  Air cooled chillers make more sense for this application, or even DX units like home air conditioners.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 12/16/2015 04:56 pm

Enclosing it without installing an A/C makes intolerable.  Enclosing it with an A/C system makes it nice inside.  It's not a huge volume to cool and dehumidify (about 5,600,000 ft volume using FSS outside measurements and not including the steel framework volume). 

A 280 ton air-cooled, commercial chiller unit would do the trick for that volume, and a similar water-cooled 300 ton chiller is only about the size of a car.  Both are a dime a dozen used, and new ones go for $100k.  So, basically, subtract $100k (plus power usage) from the expected annual servicing costs of the FSS due to humidity and salt corrosion to come up with the ballpark cost/benefit analysis over the lifetime of the Pad 39 contract.

Win win for the tower and the workers inside IMHO.

Again, not necessary.  The tower is not needed for unmanned missions and only for a few days during manned missions.    The workers would only be in it for a few hours per month.  There isn't even a need for blowing air in it.  There are a lot of facilities like this around the Cape where there is no AC in them. 

Also, I doubt the FSS is "enclosed"  They are just putting sheeting on it, like the Delta IV FUT

And you forgot about replacing the chiller unit every few years due to corrosion.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 12/16/2015 06:49 pm
Bringing this over from L2 because it's really not an L2 discussion even if it's a good one!
...

A 280 ton air-cooled, commercial chiller unit would do the trick for that volume, and a similar water-cooled 300 ton chiller is only about the size of a car.  Both are a dime a dozen used, and new ones go for $100k.  So, basically, subtract $100k plus power from the expected annual servicing costs of the FSS due to humidity and salt corrosion to come up with the ballpark cost/benefit analysis over the lifetime of the Pad 39 contract.

Win win for the tower and the workers inside IMHO.

The water cooled chiller type shown before requires a cooling tower and a few water pumps, just showing the inside unit doesn't tell the whole story. None of this changes the fact that it can be done.  Air cooled chillers make more sense for this application, or even DX units like home air conditioners.

Is this picture of this big unit at Pad A?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Nomadd on 12/16/2015 08:00 pm
 Yesterday morning water was just running off of everything around here from 99% 80F air coming in when the sun rose. I've never seen worse in the 50 odd places I've lived. I think it's going to be even worse in Brownsville than it is in Florida.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 12/24/2015 03:07 pm
Has Pad A now been fully reconfigured for the Falcon 9 Heavy, with the exception of removal of the Rotating Service Structure next month?  :)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Roy_H on 12/25/2015 04:21 pm
Has Pad A now been fully reconfigured for the Falcon 9 Heavy, with the exception of removal of the Rotating Service Structure next month?  :)

Still no lightning towers. That is the most visible indication, and I expect that even though they said they could launch with the RSS in place, I believe the plan is to remove it first.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 12/25/2015 07:30 pm
Has Pad A now been fully reconfigured for the Falcon 9 Heavy, with the exception of removal of the Rotating Service Structure next month?  :)

Still no lightning towers. That is the most visible indication, and I expect that even though they said they could launch with the RSS in place, I believe the plan is to remove it first.

Yes they plan to remove the RSS next month. Merry Christmas!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Hauerg on 12/26/2015 01:43 pm
Didn't they complain for years and years that everything was so quiet, so dead?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/26/2015 01:46 pm
First SpaceX Falcon 9 core at 39A:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39138.0

That one will go out to the pad for a static fire in the new year.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: nadreck on 12/26/2015 04:28 pm
Quote
I see only one limiting factor and that is available orders.

And the willingness of the Titusville, Canaveral, and Cocoa Beach communities to put up with 1 to 4 sonic booms a week now that we have the results of a returning booster in hand....

It is entirely possible returning boosters will be required to land during daylight hours because the nearby residents demand their sleep.

It's one thing to hear ocassion all loud noises from over there (and it drives tourism). It's another to have it multiple times a day and week.

And other orbital operators are coming there too.

1 to 4 per week?  I think it has been discussed here that a practical limit at Canaveral is 24 SpaceX launches per year.

also which other orbital operators are going there who would have RTLS going on?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/26/2015 04:46 pm
A couple times per month at the Cape sounds more realistic. They'll be doing most of their launches out of Texas once that becomes fully operational.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sghill on 12/26/2015 05:01 pm
A couple times per month at the Cape sounds more realistic. They'll be doing most of their launches out of Texas once that becomes fully operational.

They have two pads. "A couple of times a month" means one launch per month per pad with 1 to 3 boosters returning to make sonic booms each launch (hense my 1 to 4 per week comment). We know they want a launch tempo higher than that.  Addionally, 3 double sonic booms in the middle of the night is not going to go over well with population. And the Sierra Club militia is going to freak out over the bird well-being.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/26/2015 05:10 pm
A couple times per month at the Cape sounds more realistic. They'll be doing most of their launches out of Texas once that becomes fully operational.

They have two pads. "A couple of times a month" means one launch per month per pad with 1 to 3 boosters returning to make sonic booms each launch (hense my 1 to 4 per week comment). We know they want a launch tempo higher than that.  Addionally, 3 double sonic booms in the middle of the night is not going to go over well with population. And the Sierra Club militia is going to freak out over the bird well-being.
This isn't much different than Shuttle during its heyday, which had bigger sonic booms as well as louder launches. Or Saturn V and its huge launches.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 12/26/2015 05:55 pm
Is the interior of the Horizontal Integration Facility all complete being they have put a first stage in it?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 12/27/2015 12:59 am
Actually the hif is not completely fitted out yet AFAIK, but it's "enough done" to house the stage while the rest of the outfitting is done.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Nomadd on 12/27/2015 03:11 am
A couple times per month at the Cape sounds more realistic. They'll be doing most of their launches out of Texas once that becomes fully operational.

They have two pads. "A couple of times a month" means one launch per month per pad with 1 to 3 boosters returning to make sonic booms each launch (hense my 1 to 4 per week comment). We know they want a launch tempo higher than that.  Addionally, 3 double sonic booms in the middle of the night is not going to go over well with population. And the Sierra Club militia is going to freak out over the bird well-being.
If you slept through the launch, I doubt if the return will wake you.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: llanitedave on 12/27/2015 02:53 pm
A couple times per month at the Cape sounds more realistic. They'll be doing most of their launches out of Texas once that becomes fully operational.

They have two pads. "A couple of times a month" means one launch per month per pad with 1 to 3 boosters returning to make sonic booms each launch (hense my 1 to 4 per week comment). We know they want a launch tempo higher than that.  Addionally, 3 double sonic booms in the middle of the night is not going to go over well with population. And the Sierra Club militia is going to freak out over the bird well-being.
If you slept through the launch, I doubt if the return will wake you.


And why is there an expectation that most launches and returns will be late at night?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: LaunchedIn68 on 12/27/2015 06:14 pm
A couple times per month at the Cape sounds more realistic. They'll be doing most of their launches out of Texas once that becomes fully operational.

They have two pads. "A couple of times a month" means one launch per month per pad with 1 to 3 boosters returning to make sonic booms each launch (hense my 1 to 4 per week comment). We know they want a launch tempo higher than that.  Addionally, 3 double sonic booms in the middle of the night is not going to go over well with population. And the Sierra Club militia is going to freak out over the bird well-being.
If you slept through the launch, I doubt if the return will wake you.

Not to mention the fact that they live in the lightning and thunder capital of the world.  If they're not sleeping through what I imagine are regular storms every night now....... ???
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Roy_H on 12/28/2015 03:55 pm
Not to mention the fact that they live in the lightning and thunder capital of the world.  If they're not sleeping through what I imagine are regular storms every night now....... ???

Excellent point, so how does the loudness of a lightning strike compare with the sonic boom of a returning stage? I have heard some pretty frightening loud lightning strikes when relatively near by, but no experience on the sonic boom.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sunbingfa on 12/28/2015 04:19 pm
I noticed this when reading the transcript of Elon's post-launch/landing tele conference. Regarding a question about Falcon heavy booster landing, he said:

The Falcon Heavy essentially consists of the Falcon 9 with two modified boost stages attached as strap on boosters. That would be quite an exciting aerial ballet with the two side boosters dropping off and doing a symmetric pirouette back to the launch site. We'd need to have another landing spot for the two boosters and then a third one for the center core. Although I think most of the Falcon Heavy missions will see the center core land on a ship most likely. It's really going ridiculously fast. The transfer energy of Falcon Heavy will more than double that of Falcon 9. The maximum transfer energy is approaching a terajoule.

Link: http://shitelonsays.com/transcript/postlanding-teleconference-with-elon-musk-2015-12-22


Interesting, for down-range center core landing, Falcon heavy have a payload of up to 7.5tons (can not remember the source), then I guess they have a pretty certain target market.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: RonM on 12/28/2015 04:49 pm
Not to mention the fact that they live in the lightning and thunder capital of the world.  If they're not sleeping through what I imagine are regular storms every night now....... ???

Excellent point, so how does the loudness of a lightning strike compare with the sonic boom of a returning stage? I have heard some pretty frightening loud lightning strikes when relatively near by, but no experience on the sonic boom.

My only experience with sonic booms was two F-4 fighters flying overhead. It was loud, but more of a surprise than anything else. You don't expect something like that on a clear day. Nearby big thunder, the rattle your dishes type, is louder.

Since the incoming stage is miles from the nearest home, I wouldn't think it would be an issue. Maybe someone viewing the next landing can take a sound level meter or download an app to their phone.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 12/28/2015 04:52 pm
Quote
Interesting, for down-range center core landing, Falcon heavy have a payload of up to 7.5tons (can not remember the source), then I guess they have a pretty certain target market.

It really depends on what the singe stick can do, and how it does it.

To be more precise. When FH was envisioned, the point of it was to have a launcher capable of doing heavy commsat GTO missions, while keeping it as cheap as possible (via economies of scale and commonality with the F9 rocket). F9 did not have the capability to do those, especially in a re-usable way.

I think that Elon might partially regret that decision now. FH seems to not have a significant market segment ready for it, which is one of the reasons that SpaceX might have decided to push its inaugural flight to the future some time ago by giving it a smaller priority.

I mean, think of it like this. If FT "can" (remains to be seen) carry a heavy commsat in expendable mode, and it costs $65M to launch it, why would a customer want to buy a FH re-usable contract for $90M? FH is also a step backwards concerning the rapid re-usability goal (logistics for 3 cores, using the barge etc etc).

There is still a niche for it (NRO birds, bigelow modules, sending tankers to LEO for BFS top up, very heavy commsats to GTO, possible service directly to GEO), but it seems like the "urgency" has been removed after the FT upgrades.

I may have this totally wrong of course.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Reflectiv on 12/28/2015 06:43 pm
Why would a customer want to buy a FH re-usable contract for $90M?
I guess they wouldn't, but the 90M is for expendable. More hassle with recovering/ASDSing, but saves ton of money (assuming the hole reusability thing goes well).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: elist on 12/28/2015 08:54 pm
Quote
I see only one limiting factor and that is available orders.

And the willingness of the Titusville, Canaveral, and Cocoa Beach communities to put up with 1 to 4 sonic booms a week now that we have the results of a returning booster in hand....

It is entirely possible returning boosters will be required to land during daylight hours because the nearby residents demand their sleep.

It's one thing to hear ocassion all loud noises from over there (and it drives tourism). It's another to have it multiple times a day and week.

And other orbital operators are coming there too.

1 to 4 per week?  I think it has been discussed here that a practical limit at Canaveral is 24 SpaceX launches per year.

also which other orbital operators are going there who would have RTLS going on?

X-37B has launched 4 times from Canaveral, but landed all 3 times (4th flight is still in orbit) at Vandenberg.  The AF could decide to land at Canaveral in the future.  Reports are that X-37B also produces the double sonic boom on landing just as the Space Shuttle did.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: philw1776 on 12/29/2015 01:03 pm
Not to mention the fact that they live in the lightning and thunder capital of the world.  If they're not sleeping through what I imagine are regular storms every night now....... ???

Excellent point, so how does the loudness of a lightning strike compare with the sonic boom of a returning stage? I have heard some pretty frightening loud lightning strikes when relatively near by, but no experience on the sonic boom.

Heard several sonic booms including the shuttle.  They're loud & noticeable but way, way less loud than lightning strikes within a couple Km.  Sonic booms I heard were a more muffled sound like distant thunder than the sharp LOUD crack of nearby lightning. Someone here must know the acoustic dBs.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 01/03/2016 03:51 pm
Rotating Service Structure set to come down this month. Any word on the start date?  ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Roy_H on 01/03/2016 04:16 pm
Rotating Service Structure set to come down this month. Any word on the start date?  ;)

I believe they said it had already been started. I am sure there is a lot of preparation work before we see pieces being lowered to the ground.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 01/03/2016 05:25 pm
Rotating Service Structure set to come down this month. Any word on the start date?  ;)

I believe they said it had already been started. I am sure there is a lot of preparation work before we see pieces being lowered to the ground.

Thanks for the information!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 01/03/2016 05:59 pm
I guess they wouldn't, but the 90M is for expendable. More hassle with recovering/ASDSing, but saves ton of money (assuming the hole reusability thing goes well).

If $90M was for expendable, they wouldn't advertise the price for a "standard payment plan for up to 6.4tons to GTO".

$90M is their current listed re-usable price. This doesn't mean much/anything btw...the rocket has not even flown yet.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/03/2016 06:07 pm
...
$90M is their current listed re-usable price....
You don't know that.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 01/03/2016 06:20 pm
Nobody does, its simply what they list though.

Unless someone wants to explain me how an expendable FH weighing something like 1,400tons does only 6.4tons to GTO (while the stated performance is listed in the same page below btw).

http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities)

Again, I have to state that their listed price does not mean much. For example, I'm pretty sure that the old price of $135M+ for using more than 6.4tons on the FH would apply. And yes...that's the possible expendable price..

https://web.archive.org/web/20140327021035/http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities (https://web.archive.org/web/20140327021035/http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities)

Also, we don't know how will they price actual re-flown rockets.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: dror on 01/03/2016 06:42 pm
I thought "up to 6.4 ton" means dual launch like arian 5.
More than 6.4 will cost the stated 135m$.

The point is we don't know.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 01/03/2016 06:44 pm
I thought "up to 6.4 ton" means dual launch like arian 5.
More than 6.4 will cost the stated 135m$.

The point is we don't know.

We have absolutely no information about a dual PAF on the FH. Moreover, the rocket will not be able to do 2x 6.4ton payloads with re-usability in mind.

But yes. We don't know.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 01/03/2016 07:03 pm
Elon Musk is strictly against dual manifest. He does not want Falcon Heavy that way. If he could not reuse at least the boosters he may have to. Fortunately the way to reuse looks to be open now.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Roy_H on 01/03/2016 09:12 pm
How do you come to the conclusion that Elon is against dual manifest? I think he said at one time that they weren't equipped to do dual manifest and some people have extrapolated that to mean he never would. Can you quote a source? SpaceX will do whatever makes sense. And wasn't flight 16 - ABS-3A & Eutelsat 115 West B  a dual manifest?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: RedLineTrain on 01/03/2016 09:23 pm
The source is Barry Matsumori at the 2013 Singapore Satellite Forum.  See YouTube.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 01/03/2016 09:26 pm
And wasn't flight 16 - ABS-3A & Eutelsat 115 West B  a dual manifest?

A dual manifest indeed, but one designed to be so by the customers contractor (Boeing 702SP). When we are talking about dual payload launches, we are thinking about what Ariane5 can do with Speltra/Sylda (an LV designed solution for dissimilar payloads).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 01/03/2016 09:43 pm
The source is Barry Matsumori at the 2013 Singapore Satellite Forum.  See YouTube.

Thanks for that. I often cannot point to a source. However Elon Musk has stated repeatedly that he does not want to dual manifest. ESA initially wanted Ariane 6 smaller to get rid of the problems they have with dual manifest but ended with it again when Ariane 6 became bigger. It is often a problem when one manifested payload is delayed and the other cannot launch because of that.

In that sense the twin sats of Boeing were one payload for SpaceX with one supplier responsible for the pairing.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rcoppola on 01/03/2016 09:44 pm
Where is this 135M FH launch cost coming from? The only time I've heard north of 100M for FH was within the context of DOD launches for the extra launch assurance, processing, etc..

I'm not aware of any current F9 or FH pricing being officially listed based upon whether they plan to recover or not. How could they? They have no idea when they are actually going to start "officially" offering pre-flown cores let alone what the correct pricing would be for such. Nor are they going to discount a first launch on the bases of expecting to RTLS because again, they don't really know the economics yet. Or have I missed official SpaceX statements to the contrary. Not their "future intentions" but actual customer listed prices.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Donosauro on 01/03/2016 10:42 pm
Nobody does, its simply what they list though.

Unless someone wants to explain me how an expendable FH weighing something like 1,400tons does only 6.4tons to GTO (while the stated performance is listed in the same page below btw).

http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities)

Just a quibble: the up-to-6.4 tons the page shows SpaceX offering to launch to GTO for $90M is 6.4 metric tons, which is about 7 English tons.

Edited.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Donosauro on 01/03/2016 10:57 pm
Not to mention the fact that they live in the lightning and thunder capital of the world.  If they're not sleeping through what I imagine are regular storms every night now....... ???

Excellent point, so how does the loudness of a lightning strike compare with the sonic boom of a returning stage? I have heard some pretty frightening loud lightning strikes when relatively near by, but no experience on the sonic boom.

At Eglin AFB, in the 1950s, sonic booms were a very regular thing, as was lightning. The sonic booms -- albeit from fighter jets, rather than from returning booster stages -- were, on average, comparable to typical thunder; but, the loudest thunder was louder than any sonic booms, with the possible exceptions of those during supersonic airshow flybys.

All, IIRC.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Mongo62 on 01/03/2016 11:00 pm
Nobody does, its simply what they list though.

Unless someone wants to explain me how an expendable FH weighing something like 1,400tons does only 6.4tons to GTO (while the stated performance is listed in the same page below btw).

http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities)

Just a quibble: the SpaceX page pointed to gives FH's capability to GTO as 6.4 metric tons, which is about 7 English tons.

Actually, that page lists FH capability to GTO as 21,200 kg. The 6.4 tonne figure is the maximum mass that the listed price of $90M applies to. Presumably, greater masses to GTO get negotiated individually.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jdeshetler on 01/07/2016 07:06 am
Looking forward to a real photo of Falcon Heavy in Pad 39A HIF (Of course the FH's center core will aligned along the center of HIF)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: hopalong on 01/07/2016 07:34 am
Nobody does, its simply what they list though.

Unless someone wants to explain me how an expendable FH weighing something like 1,400tons does only 6.4tons to GTO (while the stated performance is listed in the same page below btw).

http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities)

Just a quibble: the SpaceX page pointed to gives FH's capability to GTO as 6.4 metric tons, which is about 7 English tons.

Actually, that page lists FH capability to GTO as 21,200 kg. The 6.4 tonne figure is the maximum mass that the listed price of $90M applies to. Presumably, greater masses to GTO get negotiated individually.

By 'English' ton I presume you mean the American short ton (2000Lbs), a ton this side of the pond is 2240Lbs  :)
It can be very confusing to someone brought up with the metric system, it can be confusing to us Brits, we have a mixed unit environment, we use imperial and metric! And that the US also use pints and tons which are different to the imperial values just makes life more confusing still. ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 01/07/2016 01:54 pm
Has anyone seen a rough cost figure for the totally completed HIF at 39A?  ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mikelepage on 01/07/2016 02:40 pm
Nobody does, its simply what they list though.

Unless someone wants to explain me how an expendable FH weighing something like 1,400tons does only 6.4tons to GTO (while the stated performance is listed in the same page below btw).

http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities)

Just a quibble: the SpaceX page pointed to gives FH's capability to GTO as 6.4 metric tons, which is about 7 English tons.

Actually, that page lists FH capability to GTO as 21,200 kg. The 6.4 tonne figure is the maximum mass that the listed price of $90M applies to. Presumably, greater masses to GTO get negotiated individually.

By 'English' ton I presume you mean the American short ton (2000Lbs), a ton this side of the pond is 2240Lbs  :)
It can be very confusing to someone brought up with the metric system, it can be confusing to us Brits, we have a mixed unit environment, we use imperial and metric! And that the US also use pints and tons which are different to the imperial values just makes life more confusing still. ;)

On behalf of the rest of the world:

(http://stfuhero.com.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/568e847b0e320.png)

And you know the thing that really gets me? is that the reason that metric works is that it has a standardised system of units and prefixes, and yet the yanks mess that up as well by using the unit "mT", which translates to everyone else as "milli-tons" (i.e. Kilograms).  And then we realise what is meant, we roll our eyes and wonder how on earth the USA became a technologically advanced society.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/07/2016 02:46 pm
On behalf of the rest of the world:

(http://stfuhero.com.s3-website-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/568e847b0e320.png)

And you know the thing that really gets me? is that the reason that metric works is that it has a standardised system of units and prefixes, and yet the yanks mess that up as well by using the unit "mT", which translates to everyone else as "milli-tons" (i.e. Kilograms).  And then we realise what is meant, we roll our eyes and wonder how on earth the USA became a technologically advanced society.

It's actually a good example of the dominant world empire imposing its own irrational system(s) of weights and measures onto the rest of the world.

In defense of America, it's not a new thing -- it goes back to empires lost in the dim mists of the emergence of civilization.

Heck, for those of us who grew up watching Apollo, we still tend to think of velocities in feet per second... ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: JamesH on 01/07/2016 03:00 pm
Don't NASA use metric now? Sorry OT.
Title: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 01/07/2016 03:09 pm
Quote from: mikelepage link=topic=38802.msg1471354#msg1
And you know the thing that really gets me? is that the reason that metric works is that it has a standardised system of units and prefixes, and yet the yanks mess that up as well by using the unit "mT", which translates to everyone else as "milli-tons" (i.e. Kilograms).  And then we realise what is meant, we roll our eyes and wonder how on earth the USA became a technologically advanced society.

As an engineer I agree in principle.

On behalf of Americans I'll remind you that imperial units won two world wars, invented the atomic bomb and put men on the moon.

On behalf of the readers of the site, we really need to get back on topic.

EDITED: typo. I really hate posting to forums from my phone.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Hauerg on 01/07/2016 03:17 pm
I doubt that the US put men on the world.   ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 01/07/2016 03:21 pm
I doubt that the US put men on the world.   ;)
Tell that to a Selenian and see what they have to say about it!

Yeah, back on topic.  Any word on an ETA for the static fire of the returned core?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: JamesH on 01/07/2016 04:10 pm
Quote from: mikelepage link=topic=38802.msg1471354#msg1
And you know the thing that really gets me? is that the reason that metric works is that it has a standardised system of units and prefixes, and yet the yanks mess that up as well by using the unit "mT", which translates to everyone else as "milli-tons" (i.e. Kilograms).  And then we realise what is meant, we roll our eyes and wonder how on earth the USA became a technologically advanced society.

As an engineer I agree in principle.

On behalf of Americans I'll remind you that imperial units won two world wars, invented the atomic bomb and put men on the moon.

On behalf of the readers of the site, we really need to get back on topic.

EDITED: typo. I really hate posting to forums from my phone.

Tell that to the Mars Climate Orbiter.

(Oh, and imperial didn't win world wars, or invent the atom bomb. That was people. Imperial just happened to be in use at the time, and has now been replaced almost everywhere with something better)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AnalogMan on 01/07/2016 04:55 pm

And you know the thing that really gets me? is that the reason that metric works is that it has a standardised system of units and prefixes, and yet the yanks mess that up as well by using the unit "mT", which translates to everyone else as "milli-tons" (i.e. Kilograms). [...]

Not to me it doesn't - mT means millitesla, a unit of magnetic field strength.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 01/07/2016 06:05 pm

Quote from: mikelepage link=topic=38802.msg1471354#msg1
And you know the thing that really gets me? is that the reason that metric works is that it has a standardised system of units and prefixes, and yet the yanks mess that up as well by using the unit "mT", which translates to everyone else as "milli-tons" (i.e. Kilograms).  And then we realise what is meant, we roll our eyes and wonder how on earth the USA became a technologically advanced society.

As an engineer I agree in principle.

On behalf of Americans I'll remind you that imperial units won two world wars, invented the atomic bomb and put men on the moon.

On behalf of the readers of the site, we really need to get back on topic.

EDITED: typo. I really hate posting to forums from my phone.

Tell that to the Mars Climate Orbiter.

(Oh, and imperial didn't win world wars, or invent the atom bomb. That was people. Imperial just happened to be in use at the time, and has now been replaced almost everywhere with something better)

Yep and it worked just fine. Mixing systems is what leads to mistakes, along with conversion errors. I'm an engineer with space flight design experience. I understand very well. I also understand this is more and more off topic.

I'm about to report my own post. :p
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mikelepage on 01/08/2016 04:43 am
Ahem. Since I was the one that led us off topic, let me attempt to get us back on track...

I'm assuming pad 39A+ associated facilities is currently only able to handle 1x FH at a time? Once it comes time to increase launch rate, is there any benefit to using more than one [HIF per pad/Falcon Heavy per HIF] so they can go tag-team? or is it easier to just have multiple, separate pads set up for Falcon Heavy?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rocx on 01/08/2016 08:39 am
Well, there was a job position to get processing time down to 48 hours. As long as processing time goes down while launch rate goes up, the same amount of integration facilities per launch pad should be sufficient.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 01/08/2016 09:51 am
I'm assuming pad 39A+ associated facilities is currently only able to handle 1x FH at a time? Once it comes time to increase launch rate, is there any benefit to using more than one [HIF per pad/Falcon Heavy per HIF] so they can go tag-team? or is it easier to just have multiple, separate pads set up for Falcon Heavy?

It has not been mentioned for a while now. But plans to upgrade LC-40A for Falcon Heavy have been mentioned after SpaceX have rented LC-39A. If they follow through with it they could launch FH from both pads.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 01/08/2016 09:59 am
They will need to be able to launch FH from both pads, because of this:

08/28/13 Delta 4H     D364  NROL 65            ~17000  VA6   254x999x97.9       LEO/S
01/20/11 Delta 4H     D352  NROL-49                    VA6   250x1020x97.9      LEO/S

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rpapo on 01/08/2016 10:13 am
They will need to be able to launch FH from both pads, because of this:

08/28/13 Delta 4H     D364  NROL 65            ~17000  VA6   254x999x97.9       LEO/S
01/20/11 Delta 4H     D352  NROL-49                    VA6   250x1020x97.9      LEO/S


Okay, enlighten us.  What does two Delta Heavy launches, two and half years apart and over two years ago, have to do with the need to launch two Falcon Heavies in quick succession (thereby needing both pads)?

Worse: These were Vandenberg launches (VA6).  The earlier question was about LC-39A and LC-40A in Florida, after all.  I don't think there's any question that the Vandenberg pad will be used for Falcon Heavy.  It was built for it from the get-go.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 01/08/2016 10:54 am
They will need to be able to launch FH from both pads, because of this:

08/28/13 Delta 4H     D364  NROL 65            ~17000  VA6   254x999x97.9       LEO/S
01/20/11 Delta 4H     D352  NROL-49                    VA6   250x1020x97.9      LEO/S


Okay, enlighten us.  What does two Delta Heavy launches, two and half years apart and over two years ago, have to do with the need to launch two Falcon Heavies in quick succession (thereby needing both pads)?

Worse: These were Vandenberg launches (VA6).  The earlier question was about LC-39A and LC-40A in Florida, after all.  I don't think there's any question that the Vandenberg pad will be used for Falcon Heavy.  It was built for it from the get-go.

It is my mistake rpapo, I understood the question wrong. Instead of reading LC-40 in guckyfans' post, my mind went to the Vandenberg base as the second pad that could hold the Heavy. Thus, I thought that the question was made without knowing that FH has to launch from Vandenberg, since its a DoD EELV requirement for some missions.  :-[
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rpapo on 01/08/2016 03:49 pm
It is my mistake rpapo, I understood the question wrong. Instead of reading LC-40 in guckyfans' post, my mind went to the Vandenberg base as the second pad that could hold the Heavy. Thus, I thought that the question was made without knowing that FH has to launch from Vandenberg, since its a DoD EELV requirement for some missions.  :-[
No problem.  When I made my comment I wasn't entirely awake either, or I would have immediately realized what you were thinking.  But returning to the topic of the moment, I would believe it a good move on SpaceX's part to make both Florida pads capable of handling Falcon Heavy, and I suspect they will do so, with or without the need to launch two FHs in close time sequence.  After all, if reusability pans out, they will probably want to use FH any time a normal F9 couldn't do full RTLS with a given payload.  Cleanup of the used cores, (hopefully) minor maintenance, plus $600,000 combined fuel costs for three cores still beats the cost of building a new rocket and trucking it in from Hawthorne for the next launch.  The integration and launch costs should be the same in either case.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 01/08/2016 03:55 pm
But returning to the topic of the moment, I would believe it a good move on SpaceX's part to make both Florida pads capable of handling Falcon Heavy, and I suspect they will do so, with or without the need to launch two FHs in close time sequence.  After all, if reusability pans out, they will probably want to use FH any time a normal F9 couldn't do full RTLS with a given payload.  Cleanup of the used cores, (hopefully) minor maintenance, plus $600,000 combined fuel costs for three cores still beats the cost of building a new rocket and trucking it in from Hawthorne for the next launch.  The integration and launch costs should be the same in either case.
I think they will develop Boca Chica before modifying SLC40 for FH.  SLC40 is going to be very busy and I don't think they will want to shut it down for however long it takes to modify it for FH anytime soon.

Once Boca Chica is online and capable of those two FH flights a year (and more importantly capable of taking on F9 flights that SLC40 would be providing) I think they'll shut it down and upgrade it for FH flights.  I think they will have to, or modify the EIS at Boca Chica to allow more than two FH flights a year.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Dante80 on 01/08/2016 06:55 pm
I think a problem with working on SLC-40 for FH is that - as other people have said - the site will be very busy for the following years. They would need to work on the TE, the pad itself and maybe even do a HIF enlargement to process the three cores.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 01/08/2016 08:03 pm
I think a problem with working on SLC-40 for FH is that - as other people have said - the site will be very busy for the following years. They would need to work on the TE, the pad itself and maybe even do a HIF enlargement to process the three cores.

I don't really see how SLC-40 can be converted to support FH without *significant* reworking. As has been noted in the forum before, the flame trench could handle FH thrust but it is rotated 90 degrees from where it would need to be. So either A) redo the flame trench or B) build a new horizontal assembly building off to the side and have the T/E approach the pad where an FH would be aligned with the flame trench.
(EDIT: see image... current flame trench in red, FH cores in blue, and the redevelopment needed to use the current flame trench in green)

The current horizontal assembly building at SLC-40 is also probably too small to handle an FH - it can barely fit a F9FT as is.

No, as much as SpaceX say they might do this, I just don't think it makes much sense. They'll already have one FH pad on each coast, and Texas coming online after that. I just don't see there being that many FH launches to make an SLC-40 conversion necessary.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 01/08/2016 10:46 pm
I think a problem with working on SLC-40 for FH is that - as other people have said - the site will be very busy for the following years. They would need to work on the TE, the pad itself and maybe even do a HIF enlargement to process the three cores.

I don't really see how SLC-40 can be converted to support FH without *significant* reworking. As has been noted in the forum before, the flame trench could handle FH thrust but it is rotated 90 degrees from where it would need to be. So either A) redo the flame trench or B) build a new horizontal assembly building off to the side and have the T/E approach the pad where an FH would be aligned with the flame trench.
(EDIT: see image... current flame trench in red, FH cores in blue, and the redevelopment needed to use the current flame trench in green)

The current horizontal assembly building at SLC-40 is also probably too small to handle an FH - it can barely fit a F9FT as is.

No, as much as SpaceX say they might do this, I just don't think it makes much sense. They'll already have one FH pad on each coast, and Texas coming online after that. I just don't see there being that many FH launches to make an SLC-40 conversion necessary.

Plus, with all that work, might as well start with a new pad - are there other suitable pads at KSC?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/09/2016 03:51 am
I think a problem with working on SLC-40 for FH is that - as other people have said - the site will be very busy for the following years. They would need to work on the TE, the pad itself and maybe even do a HIF enlargement to process the three cores.

I don't really see how SLC-40 can be converted to support FH without *significant* reworking. As has been noted in the forum before, the flame trench could handle FH thrust but it is rotated 90 degrees from where it would need to be. So either A) redo the flame trench or B) build a new horizontal assembly building off to the side and have the T/E approach the pad where an FH would be aligned with the flame trench.
(EDIT: see image... current flame trench in red, FH cores in blue, and the redevelopment needed to use the current flame trench in green)

The current horizontal assembly building at SLC-40 is also probably too small to handle an FH - it can barely fit a F9FT as is.

No, as much as SpaceX say they might do this, I just don't think it makes much sense. They'll already have one FH pad on each coast, and Texas coming online after that. I just don't see there being that many FH launches to make an SLC-40 conversion necessary.
Previous documents on this site (both non-L2 and L2) said that FH would be from a new pad designated SLC-40A and would be located adjacent to the existing SLC-40 pad where the retracted park position of the old Titan MST was.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: baldusi on 01/10/2016 10:55 am
I believe it was LC-40B (SLC is Vandemberg's nomenclature). And it had an MST.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Skyrocket on 01/10/2016 07:17 pm
I believe it was LC-40B (SLC is Vandemberg's nomenclature). And it had an MST.
SLC is correct for Cape Canaveral AFS. The LCs of Cape Canaveral AFS were redesignated SLC in 1998.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Tomness on 01/13/2016 03:26 am
With the Pad about to come on line, what are the bets that it will host Falcon Heavy this spring or perhaps CRS-9? in march or april?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 01/13/2016 12:16 pm
The plan is to host a static fire of the returned Orbcomm booster, and then the launch campaign for the inaugural Falcon Heavy.  I'm not aware of any plans to use it for Falcon 9 missions until Dragon 2. (But I think there is an orbital test flight of Dragon 2 scheduled for this year.)

Edit: as @abaddon points out below, I had a brain cramp and originally wrote CRS-8 for Orbcomm above.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 01/13/2016 01:23 pm
Pretty sure that is a brain cramp and he meant Orbcomm2.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 01/13/2016 01:26 pm
Pretty sure that is a brain cramp and he meant Orbcomm2.
Yeah, oops.  Post edited.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/13/2016 03:03 pm
The move of the returned core to SLC-40 might be some indication of problems with some pad-side equipment at LC-39A. I get the impression that SpaceX's schedule is to do the re-fire before SES-9, probably for pad flow and crew availability reasons so there may not have been the flexibility to leave it at LC-39A until the problems were resolved.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 01/13/2016 03:24 pm
And Falcon Heavy must be scheduled to move in to LC-39A real soon now, which wouldn't leave any space for the returned cute to stick around.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 01/13/2016 06:26 pm
Is work underway to remove the Rotating Service Structure at Pad 39-A?

Also, I was thinking that THAT  perhaps figured into the decision to move the recovered stage to Pad 40?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 01/13/2016 09:44 pm
Has anyone heard about any of the cores arriving at McGregor
and / or being tested at McGregor

Has the date for Launch slipped - SFN has it listed for May, not April...

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Hywel1995 on 01/20/2016 11:30 pm
From Buzz's birthday celebrations, The transporter/erector has now been painted.

Quote: We made a special birthday visit to Launchpad 39A at KSC where #Apollo11 launched from. Now it's where @SpaceX does.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 01/31/2016 03:46 am
Anyone noticed lately how the removal of the Rotating Service Structure is going? ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jarnis on 01/31/2016 07:22 am
Not unexpected, but now official; Falcon Heavy debut is slipping, "towards the end of the year, maybe late summer". Elon Musk stated this at the Hyperloop competition Q&A at the end of the prize ceremony.

So April-May not going to happen.

Stream of the event, Elon shows up at around 28 minutes. FH stuff at about 58 minutes.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/uAPmkVhqjrx
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Beittil on 02/01/2016 07:33 am
Quite dissapointing to be honest, not unexpected, but dissapointing none the less. Also, regarding that RSS, how solid were the sources that it was supposed to come down last month anyway? I remember seeing a 39A photo not to long ago where the RSS was still fully up and I thought "Shouldn't they be stripping that thing by now?"
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 02/01/2016 12:34 pm
From Buzz's birthday celebrations, The transporter/erector has now been painted.

Quote: We made a special birthday visit to Launchpad 39A at KSC where #Apollo11 launched from. Now it's where @SpaceX does.

Glad Buzz doesn't know how many of us clicked on the picture to get a look at the T/E...

Photo bombed for sure!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Mongo62 on 02/03/2016 05:57 pm
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  7m7 minutes ago
Shotwell: we have completed and activated LC-39A for F9 and Falcon Heavy missions.

Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  2m2 minutes ago
Shotwell: we’ll post updated Falcon Heavy performance numbers later this week/early next week.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rockets4life97 on 02/03/2016 06:18 pm
With FH delayed until the end of the summer or later, it seems like a F9 will be the first to lift of from the pad. This pad coming online could really help them up the launch tempo and get through their manifest backlog.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: nadreck on 02/03/2016 06:25 pm
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  2m2 minutes ago
Shotwell: we’ll post updated Falcon Heavy performance numbers later this week/early next week.

Yikes, how am I going to be able to focus on anything else until these come out!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rocx on 02/03/2016 08:52 pm
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  2m2 minutes ago
Shotwell: we’ll post updated Falcon Heavy performance numbers later this week/early next week.

Yikes, how am I going to be able to focus on anything else until these come out!

Maybe you should open a poll about the updated FH numbers.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: LaunchedIn68 on 02/03/2016 11:37 pm
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  7m7 minutes ago
Shotwell: we have completed and activated LC-39A for F9 and Falcon Heavy missions.

For 'activated' I take this to mean for non-crewed and non-government (military) payloads? (At the moment anyway)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: jg on 02/03/2016 11:46 pm
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  7m7 minutes ago
Shotwell: we have completed and activated LC-39A for F9 and Falcon Heavy missions.

For 'activated' I take this to mean for non-crewed and non-government (military) payloads? (At the moment anyway)

IIRC, her comments were along the lines of the equipment for launch is all installed and activated, but not yet shaken down or quite ready for use.  And she noted that there was lots of crew related items left to build/install.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: baldusi on 02/04/2016 08:11 pm
If I'm not mistaken activating is when you have all the pieces ready and start them up to initiate the commissioning process. It should conclude with the formal review of a Wet Dress Rehearsal (the commissioning, that is).
Commissioning is a process to certify that the systems complies with design documentation and requirements.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 02/05/2016 12:43 am
SpaceX just tweeted this pic of the new TE at pad 39A
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 02/05/2016 06:55 am
SpaceX just tweeted this pic of the new TE at pad 39A
Notably, it shows the HIF facing side. The stuff that connect to the rocket is on the other side.

Added the original size image
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 02/05/2016 12:44 pm
The TE has sure evolved a long way from its early SLC-40/F9v1.0 incarnation.  It would actually be interesting to put a set of photos together of all the different TEs that SpaceX has used:

* SLC-40/F9v1.0
* SLC-40/F9v1.1
* SLC-4E
* LC-39A
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 02/05/2016 01:39 pm
Certainly seems way bigger and beefier than even the Vandenberg TEL.  Gives some credence to folks who have suggested that the Vandenberg TEL will need to be rebuilt for FH, despite being theoretically built for it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/05/2016 03:06 pm
Certainly seems way bigger and beefier than even the Vandenberg TEL.  Gives some credence to folks who have suggested that the Vandenberg TEL will need to be rebuilt for FH, despite being theoretically built for it.
Vandenberg TEL doesnt have to be entirely rebuilt. Only the base and the top removeable section of TEL needs to be replaced with a new one. The SLC-39A TE is specifically built for its pad and has a streamlined design. We may see the other TEL's replaced in the future, but currently this is not planned.
My sources are Helodriver and others in the SpaceX L2 threads.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 02/05/2016 03:56 pm
Certainly seems way bigger and beefier than even the Vandenberg TEL.  Gives some credence to folks who have suggested that the Vandenberg TEL will need to be rebuilt for FH, despite being theoretically built for it.

I don't think it is bigger than the VAFB T/E - but it looks more streamlined and evolved, obviously modified by a much higher experience with launches at SLC-40.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 02/05/2016 07:08 pm
It looks different because Musk knows it will be seen as part of how the public will see SX, as in hagiography.

With SLS to the side, as an afterthought rooted in the past.

add:

The more I think about it, the point of 39A has less to do with any kind of operational need to have govt missions fly, as it does in controlling the narrative of the story of govt vs commercial spaceflight via side-by-side comparison between 39A and 39B. Didn't think so much of this prior, but as it is happening step by step, you reach a point where the reality sets in...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 02/05/2016 10:17 pm
It looks different because Musk knows it will be seen as part of how the public will see SX, as in hagiography.

With SLS to the side, as an afterthought rooted in the past.

add:

The more I think about it, the point of 39A has less to do with any kind of operational need to have govt missions fly, as it does in controlling the narrative of the story of govt vs commercial spaceflight via side-by-side comparison between 39A and 39B. Didn't think so much of this prior, but as it is happening step by step, you reach a point where the reality sets in...

Some comparisons just write themselves.

I don't think there was that much intent to "stage it".  Just think about what we already know is coming, and the timelines, and the price tags, and you really don't need to have them physically side-by-side to make the point.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 02/05/2016 11:25 pm
I don't think there was that much intent to "stage it".  Just think about what we already know is coming, and the timelines, and the price tags, and you really don't need to have them physically side-by-side to make the point.

I see you've never met Musk before in business. In person, he takes this to a sometimes unbearable level. So much so that in prior companies, whole business teams have walked out the door on him.

I can't think of a time he hasn't staged things. And still am being impressed by the "art" of it, knowing all that.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: meekGee on 02/06/2016 01:35 am
I don't think there was that much intent to "stage it".  Just think about what we already know is coming, and the timelines, and the price tags, and you really don't need to have them physically side-by-side to make the point.

I see you've never met Musk before in business. In person, he takes this to a sometimes unbearable level. So much so that in prior companies, whole business teams have walked out the door on him.

I can't think of a time he hasn't staged things. And still am being impressed by the "art" of it, knowing all that.
I've heard of this, but not from personal experience.  I usually take war stories with a grain of salt...

Even if true though, I think they just wanted a kick ass structure, and it would have looked like that even if the SLS stand wasn't nearby.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 02/06/2016 02:36 am
I have a gut feeling (call it "engineering instinct") that the plating is there for a reason, not to upstage SLS or make a fashion statement - say, "lessons learned" from having built a few earlier T/E's over the years, and launched almost two dozen of these beasties, including at least one FT.
Title: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 02/06/2016 03:08 am
I'd say it's pretty obvious that it's a combination of both things. Engineering prowess combined with aesthetic grace. It's something I admire in Musk, and I'm sure raises the ire in both his engineering teams and his design teams. But that's part of what makes him who he is. And I have no doubt that his pressure suit design will be the ultimate blend of the two. Looking forward (and also kinda fearing) to that reveal...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 02/06/2016 06:09 am
You got a point. SpaceX really is building "machines of beauty and grace" ....
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 02/06/2016 04:44 pm
You got a point. SpaceX really is building "machines of beauty and grace" ....
Yes. In engineering, in business and in art.

But I think the enclosure of the TEL is for added protection from the FH (FT) exhaust for the umbilical that run down the TEL. They then just decided to completely enclose it to give it a better look than having one side open. It also provides some wind abatement. The Atlas E/F TEL at VAFB had deploy-able wings to provide wind abatement impinging on the standing vehicle. The winds at VAFB either were E or W most of the time so the "sails" were used alot.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Prober on 02/06/2016 05:54 pm
It looks different because Musk knows it will be seen as part of how the public will see SX, as in hagiography.

With SLS to the side, as an afterthought rooted in the past.

add:

The more I think about it, the point of 39A has less to do with any kind of operational need to have govt missions fly, as it does in controlling the narrative of the story of govt vs commercial spaceflight via side-by-side comparison between 39A and 39B. Didn't think so much of this prior, but as it is happening step by step, you reach a point where the reality sets in...


The new look has more of a Atlas, or Ariane pad flavor with SX mechanicals.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: karki on 02/07/2016 01:52 am
Is it missing the top "grappler" thing? I realize we're looking at the back, but I think we'd be able to see it if it was there. Is it no longer needed?

Could easily be the case that it's installed after the rocket is added.
Title: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 02/07/2016 02:10 am
Is it missing the top "grappler" thing? I realize we're looking at the back, but I think we'd be able to see it if it was there. Is it no longer needed?

Could easily be the case that it's installed after the rocket is added.
It's an incomplete system (and yes, we're looking at the backside in the picture). It's missing a ton of gear at this incarnation - starting with the actual launch platform.

I like the hydraulic locking pins, though the plumbing for those don't appear to be in place either.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Zed_Noir on 02/07/2016 07:42 am
Facing the back of the TEL also  allow the inclusion of the SpaceX logo to be display in large block letters. Maybe even with LED enhancement.  :D
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: douglas100 on 02/07/2016 09:34 am

...It's missing a ton of gear at this incarnation - starting with the actual launch platform...

Yeah, don't see any sign of hold-downs. (Might be hidden by the camera angle, though.)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/20/2016 12:41 am
Per KSC guys in L2, the massive crane - that had been arriving in parts over recent days/weeks - is now up at 39A ahead of RSS removal. It's absolutely massive (taller than the FSS!) All visual sightings, no pics of it now erected yet (only pics pre-erection). Challenge to anyone (as it's a weekend) to get a camera lens on this crane.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Joaosg on 02/20/2016 01:10 am
Per KSC guys in L2, the massive crane - that had been arriving in parts over recent days/weeks - is now up at 39A ahead of RSS removal. It's absolutely massive (taller than the FSS!) All visual sightings, no pics of it now erected yet (only pics pre-erection). Challenge to anyone (as it's a weekend) to get a camera lens on this crane.

Oh Chris what have you done... (bold is mine)


Any ETA for the ending of RSS removal? 2 months? 3?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: catdlr on 02/20/2016 01:16 am
Just for comparison, here was the crane used for 39B (RSS and Tower) deconstruction...

Pad 39B Deconstruction

Published on May 13, 2013
A time-lapse video of the deconstruction of Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The fixed service structure and rotating service structure were removed. Both structures were built to support space shuttle launches.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PISr5NDABCk
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 02/20/2016 12:16 pm
Per KSC guys in L2, the massive crane - that had been arriving in parts over recent days/weeks - is now up at 39A ahead of RSS removal. It's absolutely massive (taller than the FSS!) All visual sightings, no pics of it now erected yet (only pics pre-erection). Challenge to anyone (as it's a weekend) to get a camera lens on this crane.

Thanks for the update Chris!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: SVBarnard on 02/20/2016 04:10 pm
since they are taking down the tower that was used to ferry the astronauts all the way up to the top to board the shuttle, how are they going to load the crew onto the dragon? Are they going to build another tower in its place? Dont tell me they're going to board the crew while the Falcon 9 is horizontal?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jarnis on 02/20/2016 04:33 pm
since they are taking down the tower that was used to ferry the astronauts all the way up to the top to board the shuttle, how are they going to load the crew onto the dragon? Are they going to build another tower in its place? Dont tell me they're going to board the crew while the Falcon 9 is horizontal?

Tower is staying. Just the separate rotating service structure that was moved to cover shuttle payload bay for on-pad things is going away.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Paul_G on 02/20/2016 04:36 pm
since they are taking down the tower that was used to ferry the astronauts all the way up to the top to board the shuttle, how are they going to load the crew onto the dragon? Are they going to build another tower in its place? Dont tell me they're going to board the crew while the Falcon 9 is horizontal?

As I understand it, the tower will remain, only the RSS will be removed here.

Paul
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 02/20/2016 04:53 pm
...but I believe they *are* building a new crew entrance, since Dragon is substantially higher up than the shuttle deck was.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: JBF on 02/20/2016 05:00 pm
...but I believe they *are* building a new crew entrance, since Dragon is substantially higher up than the shuttle deck was.

They will be adding levels to the existing FSS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Llian Rhydderch on 02/20/2016 10:52 pm
Much of what SpaceX has said about the 39A RSS removal and FSS mods/extension is explained here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Space_Center_Launch_Complex_39#Launch_Pad_39A), with sources provided, some of them from NSF.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/21/2016 03:31 pm
The crane in its "not erected" stance! :)

(Screenshot as the tweet went missing as I was RTing it for some reason)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 02/21/2016 04:46 pm
The crane in its "not erected" stance! :)

(Screenshot as the tweet went missing as I was RTing it for some reason)

Chris does this mean it has already taken down a piece of the RSS?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/21/2016 05:50 pm
Quote
Don't worry Casey, there's still dreamers! @SpaceX controls pad 39A you helped save. Now about those those cranes...

https://twitter.com/TheTomorrowTime
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 02/22/2016 03:59 pm
I wonder if they'll move the TE down the hill before bringing up the crane?  That type of crane has been known to fail under load (see the Big Blue collapse in Milwaukee) so it would make sense to have valuable hardware as far away as possible during operations.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Nomadd on 02/22/2016 04:29 pm
I wonder if they'll move the TE down the hill before bringing up the crane?  That type of crane has been known to fail under load (see the Big Blue collapse in Milwaukee) so it would make sense to have valuable hardware as far away as possible during operations.
Any piece of equipment will fail if you ignore the ratings (Max windspeed in this instance). It's not the crane's fault that the operators were incompetent and wreckless.
      *You'd think I'd be able to spell better after 3 years of fifth grade*
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: kch on 02/22/2016 05:07 pm
I wonder if they'll move the TE down the hill before bringing up the crane?  That type of crane has been known to fail under load (see the Big Blue collapse in Milwaukee) so it would make sense to have valuable hardware as far away as possible during operations.

 Any piece of equipment will fail if you ignore the ratings (Max windspeed in this instance). It's not the crane's fault that the operators were incompetent and wreckless.

Sounds like, if they hadn't been reckless, they might still be wreckless ... ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 02/24/2016 01:24 pm
Any sign of actual RSS removal yet? ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2016 01:39 pm
No and the new photos in L2 show it in the wrong position to take down the RSS. So probably using it for something else at the pad first. We're asking.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: whitelancer64 on 02/24/2016 02:01 pm
I'm excited to see LC-39A with a hammerhead crane again, like it had back in the Apollo days. Any word on when SpaceX plans to begin work on that?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 02/24/2016 02:33 pm
I'm excited to see LC-39A with a hammerhead crane again, like it had back in the Apollo days. Any word on when SpaceX plans to begin work on that?

What hammerhead?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: whitelancer64 on 02/24/2016 02:39 pm
I'm excited to see LC-39A with a hammerhead crane again, like it had back in the Apollo days. Any word on when SpaceX plans to begin work on that?

What hammerhead?

Last I heard, SpaceX will be installing a hammerhead crane on top of the FSS to facilitate vertical integration of payloads.

"The FSS will eventually return to the role of  providing crew access, this time for the manned Dragon V2 spacecraft – another big milestone for the Californian company – while also supporting a hammerhead crane for vertical payload integration requirements."

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/07/spacex-roadmap-rocket-business-revolution/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/24/2016 02:42 pm
No and the new photos in L2 show it in the wrong position to take down the RSS. So probably using it for something else at the pad first. We're asking.
Chris, all of the pictures I have seen so far show it more so in position to remove remaining shuttle elements and steel off of the FSS first than RSS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mvpel on 02/24/2016 09:40 pm
Right now.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mvpel on 02/24/2016 10:11 pm
I just shot a gob of 40x frames which I'll be able to stitch tonight for a wicked hires image.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 02/24/2016 11:48 pm
Right now.

Not to sound dumb, but anything significant this photo tells us? They have not started removing the RSS?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 02/25/2016 12:41 am
Right now.

Not to sound dumb, but anything significant this photo tells us? They have not started removing the RSS?
Crane's in the "down" position, perhaps to safe it from the winds. That's my guess, nothing more.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mvpel on 02/25/2016 02:54 am
Here's the pano from earlier this evening, 14000x8800 pixels.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris_Pi on 02/25/2016 03:17 am
A good look at those enormous rainbirds in that photo. Assuming the yellow railing is 4' high, I get a quick-and dirty estimate of the rainbirds at 57'. :o That seems ridiculously big.

Could they be backed off from the rocket far enough that that actually makes sense? Or am I way off on the height?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 02/25/2016 04:28 am
Any ideas what the flame trench/duct looks like? I don't recall seeing any photo of it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Helodriver on 02/25/2016 04:45 am
A good look at those enormous rainbirds in that photo. Assuming the yellow railing is 4' high, I get a quick-and dirty estimate of the rainbirds at 57'. :o That seems ridiculously big.

Could they be backed off from the rocket far enough that that actually makes sense? Or am I way off on the height?

Pure speculation - These are  oversized for an F9 family vehicle but are right sized for a larger follow on vehicle. 39A is the eventual BFR launch site.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/25/2016 05:29 am
A good look at those enormous rainbirds in that photo. Assuming the yellow railing is 4' high, I get a quick-and dirty estimate of the rainbirds at 57'. :o That seems ridiculously big.

Could they be backed off from the rocket far enough that that actually makes sense? Or am I way off on the height?

Pure speculation - These are  oversized for an F9 family vehicle but are right sized for a larger follow on vehicle. 39A is the eventual BFR launch site.

I thought Musk or Shotwell said that 39A was too small for the BFR?  Is the flame trench big enough for a 12-15m rocket?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 02/25/2016 05:37 am

I thought Musk or Shotwell said that 39A was too small for the BFR?  Is the flame trench big enough for a 12-15m rocket?

They have said it consistently and again very recently. The flame trench is wide enough but not capable of the full thrust.

Still one of my pet ideas is that they will do initial test flights from LC-39A. Partly fueled and with only part of the engines installed or firing. Good enough to do a lot of MCT testing before they need the full BFR pad. Getting permission for that pad and building it may well be the long pole for the project.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 02/25/2016 12:38 pm
Winds should be lower today, we'll see if the crane goes up.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Zed_Noir on 02/25/2016 12:57 pm

I thought Musk or Shotwell said that 39A was too small for the BFR?  Is the flame trench big enough for a 12-15m rocket?

They have said it consistently and again very recently. The flame trench is wide enough but not capable of the full thrust.

Still one of my pet ideas is that they will do initial test flights from LC-39A. Partly fueled and with only part of the engines installed or firing. Good enough to do a lot of MCT testing before they need the full BFR pad. Getting permission for that pad and building it may well be the long pole for the project.

SpaceX could do sub-orbital tests and landing trials with the BFS from LC-39A. Presuming the BFS could lift off without payload. Of course they will need a new hangar for the BFS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Arb on 02/25/2016 02:58 pm
What is this?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: docmordrid on 02/25/2016 03:05 pm
Weird

Contrast boosted
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: abaddon on 02/25/2016 03:22 pm
Just at a glance it looks like a dummy stage and PLF, maybe for TEL fit checks or some such.  Photo is pretty vague though, so that's just a guess.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: sghill on 02/25/2016 03:27 pm
It's the TTCS.  ;)

It's visible in other pictures too.

{edit} The proper name is the "flare stack".
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: JBF on 02/25/2016 04:02 pm
What does TTCS stand for in this case? It's obviously not telemetry, tracking and command.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: whitelancer64 on 02/25/2016 04:09 pm
What does TTCS stand for in this case? It's obviously not telemetry, tracking and command.

"Tall Thingy Casting a Shadow" :p
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 02/25/2016 04:11 pm
Its the burn off tower for the excess hydrogen.

You can see it burning off hydrogen just to the left of the FSS in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OQdTjOJjq4

Edit: Added video
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: whitelancer64 on 02/25/2016 04:36 pm
Yep, part of the Hydrogen burn-off area of the pad.

Fascinating that they call it a "burn pond"

http://apollolaunchcontrol.com/v20test/http___www.apollolaunchcontrol.com_/Launch_Pads.html
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 02/25/2016 04:46 pm
"Flare Stack" thats the word I was looking for....  :P
Title: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mvpel on 02/25/2016 05:32 pm
About ten minutes ago. More zoomed shots tomorrow morning, since I forgot to bring the USB cable for my aging camera.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mme on 03/09/2016 09:41 pm
According to Shotwell an F9 may launch from 39A before the FH and they are now targeting an FH launch in November.

https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/707686842842353666 (https://twitter.com/pbdes/status/707686842842353666)
Quote
SpaceX's Shotwell: Falcon Heavy now expected to launch in November.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/707686924102803456 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/707686924102803456)
Quote
Shotwell: we’ll likely launch Falcon 9 from LC-39A before the Falcon Heavy initial launch there. SES interested in launching there. #satshow
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Semmel on 03/10/2016 11:56 am
Is there a recording from the Satellites 2016 conference? I dont find it on their webpage and I cant find anything on google. Using  twitter as source is frustrating because so much is lost in the context.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mattstep on 03/10/2016 01:35 pm
Haven't found a video, but Space News as a piece up on it.

http://spacenews.com/spacex-says-reusable-stage-could-cut-prices-by-30-plans-first-falcon-heavy-in-november/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 03/10/2016 03:53 pm
I wonder if that 39A F9 SES launch would also be a reused stage? It would be about the right timing for it. They should be able to recover several more stages (RTLS not ASDS) by then. And hopefully have recovered a ASDS landed stage as well.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 03/16/2016 11:47 pm
Anyone notice if the Rotating Service Structure has started coming down? ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 03/17/2016 06:12 pm
When I was at the cape for the SES-9 launch a crane was present, but it was erecting rainbirds, not working on the RSS.  L2 is a good place for Pad 39A stalking.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 03/21/2016 06:16 pm
A few photos were posted over on reddit. Sure looks like there are some chunks of the fixed or rotating service structure sitting on the ground in front of and to the right of the crane. Also some priming paint the same color as the new GSE has appeared on the FSS.

http://imgur.com/a/OoPq8
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 03/22/2016 10:16 am
A few photos were posted over on reddit. Sure looks like there are some chunks of the fixed or rotating service structure sitting on the ground in front of and to the right of the crane. Also some priming paint the same color as the new GSE has appeared on the FSS.

http://imgur.com/a/OoPq8 (http://imgur.com/a/OoPq8)
The chunks that have been removed resided on the north side of the FSS. The entire gantry holding the External Tank Hydrogen Vent Umbilical and Intertank Access Arm is gone. See image below.

I'm not sure this was done via the big crane. Just noticing that the structure is gone.

Edit: the gantry was visible in images from last August, but appeared gone in images from last November. So, the big crane probably did not remove it.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Bargemanos on 03/22/2016 10:35 am
For comparison, More stuff came down
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 03/22/2016 12:31 pm
For comparison, More stuff came down
Thanks guys for pointing this out! I never picked up on the change until you guys posted the two images for comparison!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 03/22/2016 02:05 pm
For comparison, More stuff came down
The GOX vent arm, along with it's access and maintenance gantry, and the crew access arm had already been removed shortly after the pad was leased to SpaceX. Those items were removed by NASA, in late summer and fall of 2014, for preservation.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/22/2016 08:01 pm
A few photos were posted over on reddit. Sure looks like there are some chunks of the fixed or rotating service structure sitting on the ground in front of and to the right of the crane. Also some priming paint the same color as the new GSE has appeared on the FSS.

http://imgur.com/a/OoPq8 (http://imgur.com/a/OoPq8)
The chunks that have been removed resided on the north side of the FSS. The entire gantry holding the External Tank Hydrogen Vent Umbilical and Intertank Access Arm is gone. See image below.

I'm not sure this was done via the big crane. Just noticing that the structure is gone.

Edit: the gantry was visible in images from last August, but appeared gone in images from last November. So, the big crane probably did not remove it.
Just look at the pad surface for all the material that is waiting to be scrapped. Also one the FSS Orbiter wing protection doors has been pulled and removed from its rails and placed on the pad surface.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 03/23/2016 11:13 am
A few photos were posted over on reddit. Sure looks like there are some chunks of the fixed or rotating service structure sitting on the ground in front of and to the right of the crane. Also some priming paint the same color as the new GSE has appeared on the FSS.

http://imgur.com/a/OoPq8 (http://imgur.com/a/OoPq8)
The chunks that have been removed resided on the north side of the FSS. The entire gantry holding the External Tank Hydrogen Vent Umbilical and Intertank Access Arm is gone. See image below.

I'm not sure this was done via the big crane. Just noticing that the structure is gone.

Edit: the gantry was visible in images from last August, but appeared gone in images from last November. So, the big crane probably did not remove it.
Just look at the pad surface for all the material that is waiting to be scrapped. Also one the FSS Orbiter wing protection doors has been pulled and removed from its rails and placed on the pad surface.
You're correct. Edited the image I provided earlier. See below.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: litton4 on 03/23/2016 12:34 pm
What about the structure, top left of the FSS, just below the lightning conductor?

That appears to be gone too, or it is just the angle of the photos?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 03/23/2016 12:42 pm
What about the structure, top left of the FSS, just below the lightning conductor?

That appears to be gone too, or it is just the angle of the photos?
That is where the GOX vent arm and associated maintenance gantry were located in stowed position. Those were removed in 2014.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: yg1968 on 03/23/2016 01:52 pm
The video below probably belongs in this thread as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C8vHsC35dA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C8vHsC35dA)
Take-aways from that vid:
- SpaceX and NASA in the middle of designing the crew acces arm for pad 39A (sounds like a combined effort)
- SpaceX working mainly on the FSS this year
- Every time the question came up about the RSS coming down the response was: "contact SpaceX"
- First demo mission (the unmanned one) is in 2017
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: b ramsey on 03/23/2016 02:18 pm
Wondered if anybody knew what the columns with the flat angled caps are for, that Spacex has erected on either side of the fame trench? Are they for the water deluge system or something else.  Picture link below.

http://i.imgur.com/2F1eZmG.jpg
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/23/2016 02:27 pm
Wondered if anybody knew what the columns with the flat angled caps are for, that Spacex has erected on either side of the fame trench? Are they for the water deluge system or something else.  Picture link below.

http://i.imgur.com/2F1eZmG.jpg

they are called Rain Birds and are primarily used for the Water Deluge System (WDS) but also serve as the above ground portion of the Sound Suppression System (SSS). As with all other SpaceX pads the SSS is activated first followed just before liftoff by the WDS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 03/31/2016 08:31 pm
Any word on whether or not they've started tearing down the Rotating Service Structure?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/01/2016 02:19 am
Any word on whether or not they've started tearing down the Rotating Service Structure?
FSS this year, with RSS very unlikely this year. There is not a pressing need to demolish it until US National Security Vertical Integration requirements kick in at which point it must be demolished to make room for the additions necessary to support this.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: docmordrid on 04/01/2016 04:01 am
Which side of FSS will the Crew Access Arm go? If on the RSS side wouldn't that necessitate RSS being removed, or would the arm be above RSS on the 2 new FSS levels?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 04/01/2016 07:29 am
Any word on whether or not they've started tearing down the Rotating Service Structure?
FSS this year, with RSS very unlikely this year. There is not a pressing need to demolish it until US National Security Vertical Integration requirements kick in at which point it must be demolished to make room for the additions necessary to support this.
The pressing need for getting rid of the RSS has just been alleviated, courtesy of the fact that inital crew launch from 39A has been delayed by no less than eight months, to august 2017.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/01/2016 06:49 pm
Which side of FSS will the Crew Access Arm go? If on the RSS side wouldn't that necessitate RSS being removed, or would the arm be above RSS on the 2 new FSS levels?
AFAIK, It hasn't been revealed yet to anyone as to which side of the FSS the Dragon 2 CAA would go on, but given the height of the present launcher it would have to go on either the top existing FSS level or the first new FSS Extension Level. Until I see an upright F9 Upgrade launcher on the pad it is difficult to pinpoint where it would actualy go. I'm hoping its the Existing top level as the required Service Arms and payload integration mechanisms for National security payloads in some design evaluation documents talk about those arms mounted on the top two/three levels of the extended FSS. Since the final design has not been selected yet (at least publicly), I will let time play out and let someone else post the final design. This year is solely about stripping and upgrading the FSS first ahead of outfitting for Commercial Crew and National Security
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 04/01/2016 07:08 pm
I went by the pad yesterday.  The crane was either removing or adding something to the 215' level of the FSS.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/01/2016 07:12 pm
I went by the pad yesterday.  The crane was either removing or adding something to the 215' level of the FSS.
if you can photograph it in a few days time then i can compare it to the most recently posted one and see what has changed (can be L2 if you choose).
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 04/01/2016 07:55 pm
I went by the pad yesterday.  The crane was either removing or adding something to the 215' level of the FSS.
if you can photograph it in a few days time then i can compare it to the most recently posted one and see what has changed (can be L2 if you choose).

Is there a current picture ( taken THIS week perhaps) on L2 that the public can see on here? I do think we ALL deserve to see at least ONE overall photo of the pad per week.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/01/2016 08:08 pm
I went by the pad yesterday.  The crane was either removing or adding something to the 215' level of the FSS.
if you can photograph it in a few days time then i can compare it to the most recently posted one and see what has changed (can be L2 if you choose).

Is there a current picture ( taken THIS week perhaps) on L2 that the public can see on here? I do think we ALL deserve to see at least ONE overall photo of the pad per week.
the latest one uploaded so far is from the week of the 23rd of March
This is one them that was ported over to the public side:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38802.msg1506986#msg1506986
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/03/2016 07:47 pm
Image from 3 days ago, looks like a tent was erected:

 pic.twitter.com/C2LtEzaJJI
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/03/2016 08:04 pm
Older but closer image, no tent in this one dated 26th of April but you can see a smaller crane removing items from the RSS:

https://twitter.com/Mike_Macedonia/status/725053271996403713
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: PahTo on 05/03/2016 08:25 pm

Thanks Ron.  The smaller mobile crane would appear to be working the RSS, though angles can be deceiving and I imagine there's still rain bird and other actual pad activities ongoing...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Joaosg on 05/03/2016 09:02 pm
Image from 3 days ago, looks like a tent was erected:

 pic.twitter.com/C2LtEzaJJI

Interesting. I remember seeing a tent like that on another launch/landing facility before ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jakusb on 05/03/2016 10:41 pm
What is the meaning of the EMPTY sign on the fence? It was earlier also on the door of the HIF...


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPad met Tapatalk
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 05/04/2016 12:47 am
Older but closer image, no tent in this one dated 26th of April but you can see a smaller crane removing items from the RSS:

https://twitter.com/Mike_Macedonia/status/725053271996403713

So the removal of the Rotating Service Structure is officially underway?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/04/2016 02:16 am
What is the meaning of the EMPTY sign on the fence? It was earlier also on the door of the HIF...


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPad met Tapatalk
it means that there is not a rocket on the pad as well as its associated fuel, ordinance, et cetera. In other words nothing hazardous for rockets is present
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 05/04/2016 12:14 pm
What is the meaning of the EMPTY sign on the fence? It was earlier also on the door of the HIF...


Verzonden vanaf mijn iPad met Tapatalk
it means that there is not a rocket on the pad as well as its associated fuel, ordinance, et cetera. In other words nothing hazardous for rockets is present
But we saw an EMPTY sign on the hangar door, then not too long after SpaceX posted a photo of the CRS-8 and Orbcomm stages in there together.  So the meaning isn't just "no rocket here"...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: tleski on 05/04/2016 01:37 pm
But we saw an EMPTY sign on the hangar door, then not too long after SpaceX posted a photo of the CRS-8 and Orbcomm stages in there together.  So the meaning isn't just "no rocket here"...

We have been discussing this ad nauseam in a number of threads. The empty sign has nothing to do with rockets themselves. It informs potential first responders about the presence of explosives/hazmats in the building/area. In the place I work we have this kind of sign on the every other building and we have no rockets here.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 05/15/2016 07:32 pm
New 39A images from SpaceX flickr account, showing the three cores in the hangar: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex/with/26428481444/

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: wannamoonbase on 05/15/2016 08:04 pm
Those pictures are fantastic.  They have a nice collection started.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: DanielW on 05/15/2016 08:11 pm
I note that the core that is supposedly due for 10 test fires is also missing engines now. Along with its grid fins and the wiring harness cover. Any word on whether this core is still up for reuse or have they just gone full inspection on it to improve future cores?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: matthewkantar on 05/15/2016 09:00 pm
If they don't start launching these soon, Elon is going to end up on an episode of Hoarders.

Matthew
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: billh on 05/15/2016 10:06 pm
Eccentric billionaire collects used rocket stages. Yeah, that sounds about right.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: overby on 05/15/2016 11:17 pm
New 39A images from SpaceX flickr account, showing the three cores in the hangar: https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacex/with/26428481444/

So they now have most of the hardware for the Falcon Heavy on site?  Put the engines back on all 3 boosters, plug them together, and add a new 2nd stage.

First stages are like legos, aren't they? :-)

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/16/2016 12:20 am
What they have, if they want to use them this way, are the biggest parts of a pathfinder Falcon Heavy that could be used to check out LC 39A.  There's value in that, if needed, but these aren't configured for Heavy assembly so it may be too difficult.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: wannamoonbase on 05/16/2016 01:09 am
If they don't start launching these soon, Elon is going to end up on an episode of Hoarders.

Matthew

Hopefully at a minimum they can reuse the entire on these early stages.  Some big valu there otherwise that's a lot of merlins. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: IainMcClatchie on 05/16/2016 10:27 pm
Rocket stages may not be like Legos, but it seems like a lot of organizations treat rocket engines like Legos.  Certainly NASA swapped engines among the Shuttle orbiters.

If the latest upgrades to the Merlin 1D are software only, then it seems that most of those returned engines should be mechanically identical to the (boost stage) ones coming off the production line.  Obviously there is a bunch of acceptance testing to do.  Once the engines get past acceptance testing, it appears to me that SpaceX can at least reuse returned Merlins on new F9 stage 1s.

The bottleneck to reusing the first stage would appear to be getting the entire thing to maturity.  If I understand correctly, the engine is more mature at this point than the stage, in the sense that stage modifications have happened more recently than engine modifications.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 05/17/2016 12:58 am
What's the current status on Rotating Service Structure removal?  ;)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 05/17/2016 01:37 am
Repeat after me

Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
(one guy in the back) Rockets are not like legos. 
SMACK!!!!  Told you not to say that.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: TomTX on 05/17/2016 07:57 am
Toured KSC yesterday, no cores on any SpaceX pads. Crane is obviously still there. Delta IV Heavy was the only visible vehicle.  Posting phone photos.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Paul_G on 05/17/2016 08:44 am
Toured KSC yesterday, no cores on any SpaceX pads. Crane is obviously still there. Delta IV Heavy was the only visible vehicle.  Posting phone photos.

Out of interest what tour was that - the Kennedy Space Center Bus Tour or the KSC Up-Close Tour?

Thanks

Paul
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: TomTX on 05/17/2016 04:15 pm
Up close tour, 'Explore' variant. The tour guide lies, both sides do not get the same view from the bus.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 05/17/2016 04:52 pm
Up close tour, 'Explore' variant. The tour guide lies, both sides do not get the same view from the bus.
Especially if you want to take pictures.  Right side has the better view of the VAB, left side has the better view of pad 39A:

Glad you got those tour tickets. I was going to recommend that to you.  A bunch of driving past nondescript buildings with verbal commentary assuring us that something really cool was inside... but for a SpaceX (or pad) fan, a really nice drive around three sides of LC-39A, which by itself made it worthwhile for me.  Sit on the right side for good views of the VAB, on the left for good views of LC-39A.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: bstrong on 05/25/2016 07:53 pm
Not sure if this has already been discussed somewhere, but I noticed that in the images released with the Red Dragon announcement, you can see the interior of the FSS through the cladding.

Some sort of wire mesh?

http://www.tylerdesignmesh.com/us/applications/facade-with-architectural-mesh/
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: OnWithTheShow on 05/25/2016 08:24 pm
Up close tour, 'Explore' variant. The tour guide lies, both sides do not get the same view from the bus.
Especially if you want to take pictures.  Right side has the better view of the VAB, left side has the better view of pad 39A:

My most recent KSC Up close tour stopped at VAB then stopped at one of the tracking camera positions past 39a then followed the same route back providing both sides of the bus the same view.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: StuffOfInterest on 05/26/2016 10:43 am
Not sure if this has already been discussed somewhere, but I noticed that in the images released with the Red Dragon announcement, you can see the interior of the FSS through the cladding.

Some sort of wire mesh?

http://www.tylerdesignmesh.com/us/applications/facade-with-architectural-mesh/

I wouldn't put too much stock in the accuracy of that render.  If you compare the TE in the render to the photo of the real one posted up-thread you can see that there is quite a bit of difference.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 05/26/2016 12:48 pm
Not sure if this has already been discussed somewhere, but I noticed that in the images released with the Red Dragon announcement, you can see the interior of the FSS through the cladding.

Some sort of wire mesh?

http://www.tylerdesignmesh.com/us/applications/facade-with-architectural-mesh/

I wouldn't put too much stock in the accuracy of that render.  If you compare the TE in the render to the photo of the real one posted up-thread you can see that there is quite a bit of difference.

Renders are indeed just that: renders. They are not necessarily any indication of what reality actually looks like.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: TomTX on 05/26/2016 02:39 pm
No crane, strongback out, down and empty.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: TomTX on 05/26/2016 04:29 pm
Photo since the prior message won't let me.modify
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: CorvusCorax on 05/31/2016 01:51 pm
Repeat after me

Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
(one guy in the back) Rockets are not like legos. 
SMACK!!!!  Told you not to say that.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.
Rockets are not like LEGO elements.

On the other hand, Dragon has a CBM hatch, and ISS modules with the CBM module installed are ...

*ducks*
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: LouScheffer on 05/31/2016 02:01 pm
All other things being equal, pad 39A might be preferred for single-stick F9 launches with long launch windows.  Since it will be capable of launching the Falcon Heavy, 19A will have at least 3x the sub-cooled LOX and kerosene capacity needed for a single core.   So SpaceX would be able to recycle several times, if needed, during a long launch window, loading each time with optimally cold fuel.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AncientU on 05/31/2016 03:52 pm
All other things being equal, pad 39A might be preferred for single-stick F9 launches with long launch windows.  Since it will be capable of launching the Falcon Heavy, 19A will have at least 3x the sub-cooled LOX and kerosene capacity needed for a single core.   So SpaceX would be able to recycle several times, if needed, during a long launch window, loading each time with optimally cold fuel.

Does anyone know if SpaceX pre-cools Lox tanks (with Lox flowing through and then vented or reprocessed) before filling them with sub-cooled Lox?  Not sure if significant gains are to be had, but they seem to be squeezing every bit of performance and margin from their system.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 05/31/2016 04:22 pm
Does anyone know if SpaceX pre-cools Lox tanks (with Lox flowing through and then vented or reprocessed) before filling them with sub-cooled Lox?  Not sure if significant gains are to be had, but they seem to be squeezing every bit of performance and margin from their system.

The fill and drain is only one valve on the vehicle.
Also, all launch vehicles go through a chill down phase for loading cryogens.  It is just a slower fill rate to condition the vehicle.  The boil off is vented as a normal course of action.  Doesn't matter whether it is LOX or sub-cooled LOX.  The initial starting point is the same.  The difference is at the end of loading.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: deruch on 06/07/2016 08:42 pm
Quoting from the Falcon Heavy thread:
SpaceX - Falcon Heavy - 39A Update 06-06-2016

USLaunchReport

Published on Jun 7, 2016
We noticed some big changes from a few months ago, especially under the tent and above. We are getting much closer to Falcon Heavy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-6-aDbVqvM?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-6-aDbVqvM
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: catdlr on 06/07/2016 09:58 pm
Thanks deruch for putting this in the correct thread.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: chalz on 06/07/2016 10:50 pm
Would it actually be necessary to remove the RSS before they launch? It isn't going to be in the way and the tower is where the new plumbing will go. Clearly they are going to remove it eventually, presumably to reduce maintenance costs, but why not leave it until next year?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: DatUser14 on 06/07/2016 11:26 pm
What is the white tent for? Is it to protect workers from weather while working on pad mods or for a parking space for the T/E with all the cores inside the HIF?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 06/08/2016 03:00 am
Would it actually be necessary to remove the RSS before they launch? It isn't going to be in the way and the tower is where the new plumbing will go. Clearly they are going to remove it eventually, presumably to reduce maintenance costs, but why not leave it until next year?
No, reason is a few pages earlier in this thread.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Flying Beaver on 06/11/2016 01:38 am
Hi-Rez close-up pics of LC-39A taken on May 19th.

From NASA Kennedy Flickr.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Bob Shaw on 06/11/2016 01:48 am
I'm still sorry to see the abandoned RSS - am I right in thinking that the remnants of the Saturn V LUT will actually be used as the core tower of the F9H pad? If so, I'm pleased!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 06/11/2016 03:37 am
This is on the NASA web site:
Commercial Crew Manufacturing Gains Momentum Coast to Coast (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/commercial-crew-manufacturing-gains-momentum-coast-to-coast)

Quote
At historic Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy, where Apollo and space shuttle missions began, SpaceX is taking down the rotating service structure designed to handle shuttle payloads. They've also removed more than 500,000 pounds of steel from the fixed service structure and are building shielding around the tower to protect from the blast of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. Its Crew Access Arm also is under construction and is slated to be installed on the tower later this year.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: biosehnsucht on 06/11/2016 06:57 am
Is the TEL's path OVER part of the flame trench somehow? It looks like there's a peninsula for the center wheeled section to come up on, with barricades that can be lowered for launch and raised for pad servicing.

Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: douglas100 on 06/11/2016 07:28 am
I thought it was reported that that section of the flame trench had been filled in. However it must be blocked off because the TEL hydraulics are directly below the viewpoint of the photo.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Space OurSoul on 06/11/2016 05:00 pm
Was it known before that there's what looks an awful lot like an MLP under the tent? That's news to me, at least. I wonder what it's for. Are they salvaging steel for cladding the FSS? Am I wrong about it being an MLP?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mfck on 06/11/2016 05:16 pm
Was it known before that there's what looks an awful lot like an MLP under the tent? That's news to me, at least. I wonder what it's for. Are they salvaging steel for cladding the FSS? Am I wrong about it being an MLP?
It is, presumably, the launch table
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: PahTo on 06/11/2016 05:39 pm
Would someone in the know please take one of those FINE shots of the FSS/LUT and overlay a diagram of which pipes carry what? (...085fd, ...8173).  It would help inform just how close we are to FH flying.
Thanks!

EDIT:  great photos, Flying Beaver (which fly over my house regularly, btw)!
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 06/12/2016 08:41 pm
Will there be a day in which SpaceX does a test of the new Sound Suppression System at 39A?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Space OurSoul on 06/13/2016 03:55 am
Was it known before that there's what looks an awful lot like an MLP under the tent? That's news to me, at least. I wonder what it's for. Are they salvaging steel for cladding the FSS? Am I wrong about it being an MLP?
It is, presumably, the launch table
It seemed too far from where the TEL always came to rest for that, but comparing its location to the rainbirds makes it obvious that it's the launch table, now that I hear you say it. Thanks.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: deruch on 06/13/2016 01:32 pm
Will there be a day in which SpaceX does a test of the new Sound Suppression System at 39A?
Yes...?  If you're asking whether SpaceX plans to test a subsystem of their launch complex before actually launching a rocket from there, then I think it's quite obvious that the answer is going to be yes.  If you're asking whether any information about the planning for or date of such an upcoming test has been publicly released, then...I haven't seen any info yet. 
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: CrudBasher on 06/13/2016 02:13 pm
You know what amazes me the most about this? SpaceX moves quick enough to actually see progress happening. I remember when we were talking about Orion going to the Moon back 10 years ago. Thing still hasn't flown with a crew and won't for a long time. When it does fly it will be very infrequently. I like to joke when the first NASA crew lands on Mars in 2051 they will have to go through customs at the SpaceX spaceport. lol

SpaceX moves like they have a purpose.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: ZachS09 on 06/13/2016 05:01 pm
Will there be a day in which SpaceX does a test of the new Sound Suppression System at 39A?
Yes...?  If you're asking whether SpaceX plans to test a subsystem of their launch complex before actually launching a rocket from there, then I think it's quite obvious that the answer is going to be yes.  If you're asking whether any information about the planning for or date of such an upcoming test has been publicly released, then...I haven't seen any info yet.

I mean the newly installed rainbirds.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: deruch on 06/14/2016 04:28 am
Will there be a day in which SpaceX does a test of the new Sound Suppression System at 39A?
Yes...?  If you're asking whether SpaceX plans to test a subsystem of their launch complex before actually launching a rocket from there, then I think it's quite obvious that the answer is going to be yes.  If you're asking whether any information about the planning for or date of such an upcoming test has been publicly released, then...I haven't seen any info yet.

I mean the newly installed rainbirds.
All launch center subsystems will be tested, including the water deluge system with the new rainbirds.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: catdlr on 07/02/2016 02:45 am
closeup of 39A at 1:37 in the video:

SpaceX Booster Watch 07-01-2016

USLaunchReport

Published on Jul 1, 2016
You might say we are obsessed with watching the pads each day. Going to be great when that first reusable takes flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R82zh-2ock?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R82zh-2ock
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cylindricalpete on 07/05/2016 05:55 pm
Not sure if this has already been discussed somewhere, but I noticed that in the images released with the Red Dragon announcement, you can see the interior of the FSS through the cladding.

Some sort of wire mesh?



I do indeed think they used a wire mesh on part of the interior.  I have done quite a bit of research into the SpaceX purchasing and sourcing, and I know they have used quite a bit of woven wire mesh material - something like what is seen here: www.bwire.com (http://www.bwire.com)

Obviously this material is mainly used as a filtration media, but it can also become structural in places that they want some air flow to go along with their strength.

While I am not too sure if this is indeed wire mesh in this specific rendering - I do know that in the past, they have used quite a bit of material.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: AnimatorRob on 07/05/2016 06:49 pm
Not sure if this has already been discussed somewhere, but I noticed that in the images released with the Red Dragon announcement, you can see the interior of the FSS through the cladding.

Some sort of wire mesh?

My supposition has always been that the whole reason for the cladding was to make it weather tight enough for air conditioning to prevent the steel structure from needing the constant anti-corrosion maintenance it does now. If my supposition is correct, then mesh isn't going to do much good. The render may be depicting translucent polycarbonate panels.   
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cylindricalpete on 07/06/2016 12:59 pm
Thank Rob -

Could not agree more - this is likely just a result of the rendering...

I do know for a fact that a large amount of wire mesh is used in building and running these, but likely in this scenario, this is not the woven wire mesh.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 07/06/2016 02:26 pm
Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38802.msg1547882#msg1547882)
Quote
At historic Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy, where Apollo and space shuttle missions began, SpaceX is taking down the rotating service structure designed to handle shuttle payloads. They've also removed more than 500,000 pounds of steel from the fixed service structure and are building shielding around the tower to protect from the blast of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 07/06/2016 02:55 pm

My supposition has always been that the whole reason for the cladding was to make it weather tight enough for air conditioning to prevent the steel structure from needing the constant anti-corrosion maintenance it does now. If my supposition is correct, then mesh isn't going to do much good. The render may be depicting translucent polycarbonate panels.   

It would require too much AC and in the end, still not help.  AC is only used for comfort and not to protect structures.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: woods170 on 07/07/2016 07:06 am

My supposition has always been that the whole reason for the cladding was to make it weather tight enough for air conditioning to prevent the steel structure from needing the constant anti-corrosion maintenance it does now. If my supposition is correct, then mesh isn't going to do much good. The render may be depicting translucent polycarbonate panels.   

It would require too much AC and in the end, still not help.  AC is only used for comfort and not to protect structures.
IMO your statement is a bit too general in nature Jim. The climate on some of the islands of the province of Zeeland in my home country is as corrosive as the one affecting structures at the Cape and KSC. There are quite a few structures over here that have their (metallic) insides protected from corrosive action by means of AC. Drop the moisture level and salt-air corrosion decreases significantly.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cylindricalpete on 07/07/2016 02:30 pm
Woods -

Valid point - but I think you are talking about an extreme scenario where AC is used for structural purpose.  It is not a very common theme to occur.

AC is generally for comfort - not to save structures.  That being said - the rendering - we can all agree is just that, and not to be taken as 100% literal.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 07/07/2016 04:07 pm
The climate on some of the islands of the province of Zeeland in my home country is as corrosive as the one affecting structures at the Cape and KSC. There are quite a few structures over here that have their (metallic) insides protected from corrosive action by means of AC. Drop the moisture level and salt-air corrosion decreases significantly.

I think technically it's the dehumidificatoin action that is providing benefit but  conventional AC (not swamp coolers) is one of the best ways to dehumidify
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 07/07/2016 09:10 pm
The climate on some of the islands of the province of Zeeland in my home country is as corrosive as the one affecting structures at the Cape and KSC. There are quite a few structures over here that have their (metallic) insides protected from corrosive action by means of AC. Drop the moisture level and salt-air corrosion decreases significantly.

I think technically it's the dehumidificatoin action that is providing benefit but  conventional AC (not swamp coolers) is one of the best ways to dehumidify

You can only de-humidify the inside of a building - not the outside - so its importance for structural integrity is questionable at best.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: matthewkantar on 07/08/2016 12:34 am
If you cool the inside of an uninsulated steel structure, I believe the result would be massive condensation on the exterior, resulting in a great increase in corrosion. No reason to cool a steel structure, paint is a proven technology.

Matthew
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: rcoppola on 07/08/2016 01:56 am
If they are putting up shielding to protect from the blast of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, what kind of damage was the FSS getting from Shuttle launches? Was NASA spending millions cleaning it up after every launch or every couple? Or does their (SpaceX) purported launch frequency just make it more economical to mitigate launch damage from the outset?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Mike_1179 on 07/08/2016 03:11 am
If they are putting up shielding to protect from the blast of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, what kind of damage was the FSS getting from Shuttle launches? Was NASA spending millions cleaning it up after every launch or every couple? Or does their (SpaceX) purported launch frequency just make it more economical to mitigate launch damage from the outset?

Source: http://quest.nasa.gov/qna/questions/FAQ_Shuttle_Launch.htm

QUESTION:
After a launch, how much repair is needed to prepare the pad for the next launch?
 
ANSWER
After launch there is typically some blast damage that has to be repaired in order to support the next launch. A large portion of the repairs (approximately 50 to 75%) are performed on the Mobile Launch Platforms (MLP's) with much of the work involving welding. This includes repairs of the solid rocket booster (SRB) holddown posts, heat shields, blast deck and the structure of the MLP. Occasionally repairs are required on the fixed service structure (FSS) at the launch pads. This work includes repairing handrails, repairing steel grating and decking, and replacement of lights. These repairs typically last about 2 to 3 weeks. Approximately $7000 worth of materials and labor is required to repair the structural damage in order to support the next mission. Much effort is expended to ensure that areas, which may have been damaged by the launch blast, do not create debris which could damage the launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: catdlr on 07/12/2016 03:02 am
39A - Falcon Heavy Prep 7.10.2016

Published on Jul 11, 2016
Just admiring the awesome scale and how cool it will be to see the Falcon Heavy upright on 39A.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFtM4vZTLXs?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFtM4vZTLXs
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Arb on 07/12/2016 11:36 am
At 0:18 in the video we're shown a long, low "SpaceX Falcon Support Building" which appears to be south-south-west of the HIF and may have formerly been the "Butler Building".

Anyone have any more info about this, either it's current use by SpaceX or it's previous history?

A quick Google brings up not much except a hint that "Butler Building" might be a generic/trade name for a prefabricated building.

Edit: Add still from video.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: kch on 07/12/2016 12:17 pm
At 0:18 in the video we're shown a long, low "SpaceX Falcon Support Building" which appears to be south-south-west of the HIF and may have formerly been the "Butler Building".

Anyone have any more info about this, either it's current use by SpaceX or it's previous history?

A quick Google brings up not much except a hint that "Butler Building" might be a generic/trade name for a prefabricated building.

You are correct:

http://butlermfg.com/en (http://butlermfg.com/en)

:D
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 07/12/2016 01:09 pm

Anyone have any more info about this, either it's current use by SpaceX or it's previous history?


Pad support building, both then and now.  The workers need base from which to work from which is away from the hazards.   It has offices, meeting rooms and break rooms.  Even a locker room.  It might even have a local control room.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: b ramsey on 07/14/2016 01:44 pm
So I guess all of the speculation about the RSS being removed this year was incorrect since the large crane appears to no longer be at the pad in the video.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lar on 07/15/2016 04:31 pm
From the source site...

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Removing images for now pending review...
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/17/2016 09:28 pm
Interesting equipment around the HIF, is it helium?

http://www.imagli.net/danielrainey
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 07/17/2016 10:32 pm
Yes, that shape trailer is almost always helium.

EDIT: see below.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: mme on 07/18/2016 10:34 pm
Re: speculation on staggering landing the HF boosters:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/755166100967550979 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/755166100967550979)
Quote
Elon MuskVerified account
‏@elonmusk
Can't wait to see all three cores of Falcon Heavy come back for landings! First two will be almost simultaneous.

https://t.co/ryMiewZM4L
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/18/2016 10:53 pm
Interesting equipment around the HIF, is it helium?

http://www.imagli.net/danielrainey
They are the N2 trailers SpaceX employs during Stage 1 safing operations.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: tleski on 07/19/2016 02:07 pm
Interesting equipment around the HIF, is it helium?

http://www.imagli.net/danielrainey
They a the He trailers SpaceX employs during Stage 1 safing operations.

I could not find the photo but as far as I remember the trailers used during Stage 1 processing contained the compressed nitrogen, not helium.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: shuttlefan on 07/19/2016 04:13 pm
Have they started removing small parts from the RSS?
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 07/21/2016 01:20 pm
[T]hat shape trailer is almost always helium.
To follow up: trailers with thin tubes like this are used for transporting *gases under high pressure*.  Helium does not liquefy at a reasonable temperature, so it has to be transported like this.

Nitrogen, on the other hand, liquefies readily at a moderate temperature, so it is almost always transported as a liquid in an insulated tank at low pressure.  This allows something like an order of magnitude more nitrogen to be carried by the truck.

Post-landing operations may require high pressure and/or "high" temperature (gaseous) nitrogen, and thus use the high pressure tanks shown in the photo.  Obviously the volume of transported gas is not such a big deal in this use case, so they can afford to take the order-of-magnitude hit there and not use the "typical" tank.

I'm assuming it's the "high pressure" aspect which would be relevant, avoiding the need for a compressor on site at the recovery area.  The stage presumably has no problem with cryogenic temperatures.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: tleski on 07/21/2016 02:13 pm
Maybe you are right in the general sense but the particular truck that was used for Falcon 9 stage 1 operations was marked as containing compressed nitrogen.
Please take a look at the photo below and a magnified fragment with the tanker truck having "COMPRESSED NITROGEN" and "6000PSI" written on its side. The photo was posted by te_atl and taken from this post:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40002.msg1520189#msg1520189

edit: fixed typos
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cscott on 07/21/2016 02:59 pm
Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  Nitrogen under high pressure.

That's not how nitrogen is typically transported, but it's how is being done in this case.

We agree.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: tleski on 07/21/2016 04:54 pm
I am sorry, I misread the last part of your post. Yes, we agree.
For me, it is the first time seeing this kind of truck transporting nitrogen (compressed vs. liquid) and I see plenty of it in the place I work.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: baldusi on 07/21/2016 09:04 pm
Liquid nitrogen is not useful for pressurization. That might mean something. Like used for purging.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: guckyfan on 08/05/2016 03:11 pm
Some new photos from the tent on LC-39A. The best I have seen yet. Still no idea what it is inside there. Taken during a bus tour.

Pictures were on the german forum Raumcon Index

https://www.raumfahrer.net/forum/smf/index.php?topic=11024.msg369069#msg369069

(http://www2.pic-upload.de/img/31379303/Axel01A.jpg)

(http://www2.pic-upload.de/img/31379305/Axel02A.jpg)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Wolfram66 on 08/05/2016 03:20 pm
Some new photos from the tent on LC-39A. The best I have seen yet. Still no idea what it is inside there. Taken during a bus tour.

Pictures were on the german forum Raumcon Index

https://www.raumfahrer.net/forum/smf/index.php?topic=11024.msg369069#msg369069

(http://www2.pic-upload.de/img/31379303/Axel01A.jpg)

(http://www2.pic-upload.de/img/31379305/Axel02A.jpg)


I believe this will be where the F9Hvy will be transferred to the TEL. Note how the TEL can roll right up to this area. There are 3 stands the appropriate distance apart to accommodate the Triple bodied F9H. The reused OTV (from another NSF thread) will also be avle to move the F9H to this stand then move to the TEL?

Any thoughts JIM... somebody turn on the JIM Bat signal

// Other musings... Is there still an effort to perform DoD vertical integration w F9FT & F9H ? what new infrastructure/structural elements might Spx utilize to test this capability? see Delta IV Hvy integration
(http://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IMG_2111a_Jeff-Seibert.jpg)
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: gongora on 08/05/2016 03:25 pm
I believe this will be where the F9Hvy will be transferred to the TEL. Note how the TEL can roll right up to this area. There are 3 stands the appropriate distance apart to accommodate the Triple bodied F9H. The reused OTV (from another NSF thread) will also be avle to move the F9H to this stand then move to the TEL?

Any thoughts JIM... somebody turn on the JIM Bat signal

The FH will be transferred to the TEL in the existing hangar.  The OTV is for moving one core around the Cape area, not from the hangar to the launch pad.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Kansan52 on 08/05/2016 03:51 pm
Great work on the fragment showing compressed nitrogen. It interested me that it has the NASA logo on it. It also is a 4 tank arrangement. The trailer by the HIF is a 6 tank trailer. Doesn't change the likelihood that it is also compressed nitrogen, just caught the eye.

Looking at the HIF photo again, might be 9 tanks.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 08/05/2016 04:08 pm
I am sorry, I misread the last part of your post. Yes, we agree.
For me, it is the first time seeing this kind of truck transporting nitrogen (compressed vs. liquid) and I see plenty of it in the place I work.

See that kind of truck all the time.   In fact, there is a fleet of them.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Jim on 08/05/2016 04:10 pm
NASA has a contract to provide propellants, fluids and gases for both NASA and USAF users.  Commercial entities can use the service on a reimbursable basis.  Depending on the type and quantity, commercial users will use other suppliers.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 08/05/2016 10:33 pm
I believe this will be where the F9Hvy will be transferred to the TEL. Note how the TEL can roll right up to this area. There are 3 stands the appropriate distance apart to accommodate the Triple bodied F9H. The reused OTV (from another NSF thread) will also be avle to move the F9H to this stand then move to the TEL?

Not. Even. Close. FH (as one unit) will be rolled out just like F9. There will be no "transfer at the pad". The TE part of the TEL means Transporter Erector. It rolls out with FH, attaches to the pad, and goes vertical.

See the picture below? But imagine it is a FH with an extra core on each side.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Kansan52 on 08/05/2016 11:39 pm
Looks like Vandenberg.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Lars-J on 08/05/2016 11:47 pm
Looks like Vandenberg.

Because it is Vandenberg. I'm using it to illustrate how Pad 39A will operate.
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 08/06/2016 12:22 am
Something to help the imagination; DON"T look too closely, I'm not Nathan  :( :-[
Title: Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 2
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/27/2016 04:37 pm
Now on to Thread 3:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41015.0