Author Topic: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities  (Read 185717 times)

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #60 on: 01/12/2015 07:55 AM »
...
Center pad becomes the landing site for returning Dragons
Isn't pad SLC-4W at VAFB more like for Fiery Dragon returns?

Online douglas100

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #61 on: 01/12/2015 10:28 AM »
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.
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Offline dglow

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #62 on: 01/12/2015 12:18 PM »
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.

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

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

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

Neither Vandenberg nor the Cape will be used for Dragon landings until then, and I've only heard Vandy mentioned in the context of stage returns.

Online douglas100

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #63 on: 01/12/2015 02:53 PM »
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.

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

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

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

Agree.
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Offline sghill

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #64 on: 01/12/2015 03:23 PM »
I think the elephant in the room that we're not discussing with these contingency pads is the control software for the booster.  It must be incredibly dynamic (and fast) to make a last second abort-to-this-other-pad-over-here determination.
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Offline cscott

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #65 on: 01/12/2015 04:39 PM »
I think the elephant in the room that we're not discussing with these contingency pads is the control software for the booster.  It must be incredibly dynamic (and fast) to make a last second abort-to-this-other-pad-over-here determination.

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

This is also consistent with Lars Blackmore being responsible for EDL of the Falcon 9, since he "co-invented the G-FOLD algorithm for precision landing on Mars".

But still!
« Last Edit: 01/12/2015 06:52 PM by cscott »

Offline macpacheco

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #66 on: 01/12/2015 04:58 PM »
How much each alternate landing pad cost ? Isn't it just a little concrete ? Its probably one such cheap item to build compared to rocket stages that they're going to do it anyways. The software programming to decide on the fly to divert to one of them might cost more money than those 4 concrete spots. Matter of fact, I don't understand why they don't just pour concrete in the whole gravel area and make it one huge landing area !
There's probably politics and posturing to please some of the harder to please FAA safety people in that design.
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Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #67 on: 01/12/2015 05:04 PM »
1.  Matter of fact, I don't understand why they don't just pour concrete in the whole gravel area and make it one huge landing area !
2.  There's probably politics and posturing to please some of the harder to please FAA safety people in that design.

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

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

« Last Edit: 01/12/2015 05:14 PM by Jim »

Offline Dudely

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #68 on: 01/12/2015 05:18 PM »
And how many times does it have to be stated that it is Air Force personnel in charge of safety at the Cape, not FAA.

Over and over and over again.

I saw a comment on another site which shall remain nameless that questioned why air force personnel were even present at the pre-launch conference. I just shook my head. . .

Offline te_atl

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #69 on: 01/12/2015 06:51 PM »
   I don't see these "pads" as anything more then giving the AF (as stewards of Patrick) and FAA a higher level of confidence they could land at the target since at the time they didn't have actual accuracy data to show.   I would think this weekends attempt since it was "close but no cigar" would just make FAA and AF happier with  multiple abort targets.   

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

Actually we are in agreement, although in retrospect I can see how my post sounded otherwise.   My point was that SpaceX  tends to be overoptimistic and its possible the abort targets were written as a paper hedge.   If they needed them, the paperwork was already done.  Frankly, I think it would be foolish not to build them.  If they had an abort target this weekend it might have turned out differently.  (only might as its possible that the loss of hydraulics could have prevented any possible safe landing even if it had an abort site.)

Offline schaban

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #70 on: 01/12/2015 07:28 PM »
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

Online darkenfast

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #71 on: 01/12/2015 07:52 PM »
Interesting thought. Landing at Vandenberg ensures that any surviving trunk debris falls into the sea.

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

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

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

Neither Vandenberg nor the Cape will be used for Dragon landings until then, and I've only heard Vandy mentioned in the context of stage returns.
Where has SpaceX stated that the goal is to return astronauts to Florida?  Astronauts will come from wherever they are headquartered, such as Houston or Hawthorne.  They HAVE to dispose of the trunk safely.  Landing at Vandenberg makes sense for that.  The Dragons will go to Texas as they do now, unless they establish a facility on the West Coast to deal with offloading propellant and other issues.

Online Jdeshetler

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #72 on: 01/12/2015 07:53 PM »
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

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

Offline Lar

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #73 on: 01/12/2015 08:10 PM »
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

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

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

So the pad might be out of service for that reason.
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Offline schaban

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #74 on: 01/12/2015 08:12 PM »
What if "hard landing" would render main pad inoperable for the next several launches? Contingency pad  could be used as a min pad until main is back in the operation...

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

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


Offline shooter6947

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #75 on: 01/12/2015 09:11 PM »
Quote
Complexes at KSC were considered; however, no sites were readily available or within reasonable distances from
the launch and stage refurbishment location.

What about the Shuttle Landing Facility?  An already-in-place 300ft by 15000ft landing pad.  They could land like 12 stages there simultaneously and not have to worry about them interfering with each other!  Presumably, then, this site is either not "readily available" or "within reasonable distance" from the launch and refurbish location?

Offline rpapo

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #76 on: 01/12/2015 09:55 PM »
What about the Shuttle Landing Facility?  An already-in-place 300ft by 15000ft landing pad.  They could land like 12 stages there simultaneously and not have to worry about them interfering with each other!  Presumably, then, this site is either not "readily available" or "within reasonable distance" from the launch and refurbish location?
The idea was certainly considered at one point.  Look where the Dragon 2 lands in SpaceX's promotional video on reusability.  And Dragon may indeed land there at some point in the future, though I suspect that once LC-13 is ready for use, they may prefer to go there.  It will be their own (leased) site.

That said, though, I don't think the powers that be will want boosters flying over their heads on the way to a more inland landing site.  LC-13 has the advantage of having nothing between it and the sea but some dunes and a beach.
An Apollo fanboy . . . fifty years ago.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #77 on: 01/12/2015 11:26 PM »

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


not the same thing.  that was an age issue and also related to water deluge.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #78 on: 01/12/2015 11:27 PM »
[
What about the Shuttle Landing Facility?  An already-in-place 300ft by 15000ft landing pad.  They could land like 12 stages there simultaneously and not have to worry about them interfering with each other!  Presumably, then, this site is either not "readily available" or "within reasonable distance" from the launch and refurbish location?


Neither.  It has serious overflight issues.

Offline MattMason

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Re: SpaceX Eastern Range Landing Facilities
« Reply #79 on: 01/13/2015 01:25 PM »
Parabolic Arc reports that a draft environmental report supports the new facility. While clearing out several acres of brush will temporarily disrupt some wildlife, they'll offset this with fresh growth over the next 5 years.

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