Author Topic: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations  (Read 17082 times)

Offline Tnarg

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #20 on: 03/10/2011 04:37 pm »
From an untrained eye It looks to me as if they are planning from going from making and testing a less than one Merlin 1 engine every 2.5 weeks to 1 every week*.

As a fan boy I think they would be crazy if there were not making sure there new test site could be easily upgraded to test a Merlin 2.




*Numbers based on target date for hardware arrival at launch site.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #21 on: 03/10/2011 05:00 pm »
Huh? 

How do you get Merlin 2 and Raptor?

Merlin2 is to replace 9 Merlin 1's.  They already test the F9 first stage their with 9 engines.  So, using logic and not unwarranted fanboi speculation, there is no need for infrastructure changes for Merlin 2.  And there still is no indication for Merlin 2 development.

As for Raptor, again no indication for it. 

What is Spacex looking to do next other than F9H?  Not Merlin 2, not Raptor, but commercial crew.  So logic would say this extra area is for Dragon LAS and maybe powered landing testing.
I have to agree that Dragon LAS is probably the most likely answer, here.
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Offline Jason1701

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #22 on: 03/10/2011 07:17 pm »
C'mon - there's a helluva quantitative and safety difference between teasing Dracos on a stand and flying a crew Dragon.

Who said flying.

That means propulsive landing and pad abort tests.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #23 on: 03/10/2011 08:12 pm »
C'mon - there's a helluva quantitative and safety difference between teasing Dracos on a stand and flying a crew Dragon.

Who said flying.

That means propulsive landing and pad abort tests.

FWIW, the PAs and landing tests will likely be carried out at Edwards or at the Nellis Range.  I know that SpaceX is a civilian private organisation, but as it's doing work for NASA (and, potentially, for DoD), I'm sure that DoD will see their way clear to allow full-up tests of the hardware to take place on military ranges.

That said, no doubt that McGreggor will be the site of tests of the engines on test stands.  One day, we might see post-manufacture hotfire tests of every capsule's landing/abort system engines on test stands at McGreggor too, before the vehicle is shipped to CCAFS.


[edit]
Added some thoughts about what could be happening in the near future
« Last Edit: 03/10/2011 08:14 pm by Ben the Space Brit »
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Offline notherspacexfan

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #24 on: 03/10/2011 09:18 pm »
Could the additional land be for warehouses?

Ideally once operations are running smoothly you would want to decouple the manufacturing schedule, the testing schedule, and the launch schedule. The only place where SpaceX has a lot of storage space is in Hawthorne, so stages can only be shipped to Texas when the last ones have left for the launch site, and they can only leave for the launch site when the last rocket has flown. This would improve with a large storage facility in Texas, close enough that you can transport without packing for the road transport, but far enough away from your test stand that you don't have problems.

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #25 on: 03/10/2011 09:27 pm »
C'mon - there's a helluva quantitative and safety difference between teasing Dracos on a stand and flying a crew Dragon.

Who said flying.

That means propulsive landing and pad abort tests.

FWIW, the PAs and landing tests will likely be carried out at Edwards or at the Nellis Range.  I know that SpaceX is a civilian private organisation, but as it's doing work for NASA (and, potentially, for DoD), I'm sure that DoD will see their way clear to allow full-up tests of the hardware to take place on military ranges.

That said, no doubt that McGreggor will be the site of tests of the engines on test stands.  One day, we might see post-manufacture hotfire tests of every capsule's landing/abort system engines on test stands at McGreggor too, before the vehicle is shipped to CCAFS.


[edit]
Added some thoughts about what could be happening in the near future

Of course, Spaceport America would be more than accommodating too.  Probably have fewer hoops to jump through and be more responsive too.  (Don't forget the fiasco with SpaceX's first Vandenberg launch facility.  Part of the long delay of Falcon 1's first flight attempt was having to build Kwaj from scratch after DOD leased them an 'occluded pad' at Vandy)
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Offline mrhuggy

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #26 on: 03/10/2011 09:33 pm »
Talking of pad abort tests another possibility would be at the Cape. Most likely would be White Sands or Edwards.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #27 on: 03/10/2011 09:49 pm »

Of course, Spaceport America would be more than accommodating too.  Probably have fewer hoops to jump through and be more responsive too. 

Not really, they wont have the infrastructure for such tests.

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #28 on: 03/10/2011 09:54 pm »

Of course, Spaceport America would be more than accommodating too.  Probably have fewer hoops to jump through and be more responsive too. 

Not really, they wont have the infrastructure for such tests.

I believe that SpaceX wants to use their LAS as a propulsive landing stage.  In that case they ALREADY have the infrastructure for that.  They hosted the NASA Lunar Lander Challenge with it.
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Offline corrodedNut

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #29 on: 03/10/2011 10:32 pm »
What about the possibility of a new test stand for Falcon Heavy? Not a tall, vertical stand like the big "tripod", but a horizontal one like ATK's in Utah.

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #30 on: 03/10/2011 10:40 pm »
I was thinking more of additional Merlin 1 test stand(s). With a high production rate, acceptance testing could become a bottleneck.

Offline mr. mark

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #31 on: 03/10/2011 10:43 pm »
This is probably what all those rumors were about a month ago about an additional facility that we were hearing about and I mentioned. How things change rather quickly. Glad to see this expansion is coming to pass for whatever reason.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2011 12:36 am by mr. mark »

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #32 on: 03/10/2011 11:54 pm »
What about the possibility of a new test stand for Falcon Heavy? Not a tall, vertical stand like the big "tripod", but a horizontal one like ATK's in Utah.

horizontal doesn't work for liquid stages.  Also, what reason?  the individual cores can be tested, there is nothing to gain buy ground testing 3 of them at once.

Offline Danderman

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #33 on: 03/11/2011 12:33 am »
What about the possibility of a new test stand for Falcon Heavy? Not a tall, vertical stand like the big "tripod", but a horizontal one like ATK's in Utah.

horizontal doesn't work for liquid stages.  Also, what reason?  the individual cores can be tested, there is nothing to gain buy ground testing 3 of them at once.

Horizontal seemed to work for this liquid stage.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #34 on: 03/11/2011 12:40 am »

Horizontal seemed to work for this liquid stage.

Reread "Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket, 1958-2002", the RL-10 was initially tested horizontally, worked well, then when they went to test it vertically it did not work. It required changes.

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Offline edkyle99

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #35 on: 03/11/2011 01:03 am »
What about the possibility of a new test stand for Falcon Heavy? Not a tall, vertical stand like the big "tripod", but a horizontal one like ATK's in Utah.

horizontal doesn't work for liquid stages.  Also, what reason?  the individual cores can be tested, there is nothing to gain buy ground testing 3 of them at once.

Horizontal seemed to work for this liquid stage.

We're seeing a vertical S-IC stage there, firing into a 90 degree deflector on the B-1 test stand I think.

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« Last Edit: 03/11/2011 01:08 am by edkyle99 »

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #36 on: 03/11/2011 01:08 am »
Reread "Taming Liquid Hydrogen: The Centaur Upper Stage Rocket, 1958-2002", the RL-10 was initially tested horizontally, worked well, then when they went to test it vertically it did not work. It required changes.


engine vs stage

Offline Lars_J

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #37 on: 03/11/2011 01:12 am »
What about the possibility of a new test stand for Falcon Heavy? Not a tall, vertical stand like the big "tripod", but a horizontal one like ATK's in Utah.

Why would you build a test stand for the F9 Heavy? There's no reason to run full stage burns of all three cores simultaneously.

Before a launch they might run a quick couple of seconds fire, but there's no reason to do that at McGregor.

Also, for the Merlin2 speculation... Even if it was coming soon (which it probably isn't), it should be able to be tested on the existing stand - where they did run 9 Merlins for a full stage run.

Offline kraisee

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #38 on: 03/11/2011 01:26 am »
Liquid run tanks always need their engine feedlines located at the bottom.   Gravity is a bit funny like that :)

So if you try to fire a normal liquid rocket stage horizontally, you'll only be able to run it for a short while before the fluid level gets down to the feedline -- and you don't want to run most engines while ingesting pressurization gas!

To do a full-duration integrated liquid stage test, you've got to run it vertically so that the tank can be run all the way to depletion.

To test just the engines, you'll use separate run tanks that always have their outlets at the bottom, whether they are vertically or horizontally oriented.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2011 01:34 am by kraisee »
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Offline kraisee

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Re: SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations
« Reply #39 on: 03/11/2011 01:30 am »
Didn't Space-X have some local noise complaints when they ran the 9x engine configuration at their full power around 1.1m lb thrust?

If they're getting noise complaints at that level, they're going to have real issues trying to run a 1.7m lb thrust engine at that site.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2011 01:31 am by kraisee »
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