Author Topic: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3  (Read 268657 times)

Offline chrisking0997

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #620 on: 12/21/2017 04:09 PM »
wow...i thought they would have to remove all of the RSS structure near the hinge down to base level before removing the legs.  TIL
Tried to tell you, we did.  Listen, you did not.  Now, screwed we all are.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #621 on: 12/21/2017 04:15 PM »
My understanding is that the FSS was constructed from the Saturn 5 LUTs. They rolled the MLPs to the pads, cut chunks off the LUT and hoisted them over to become the FSS. I would not be surprised if the FSS was therefore quite overbuilt for its purpose, even with the extra Shuttle-era weight of the RSS and orbiter weather protection, etc.

Edit: Link and attached photo. The photo shows a very naked-looking nascent RSS also!

https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/pad_39a.html
ML-2 was used at 39A to support the RSS during its assembly. ML used for Skylab crew launches was used to suppport the RSS at 39b and afterward sat mothballed at the same ML Park Site that the current SLS ML is at until almost 1990 (I forget the exact year the ML was rebuilt into MLP-3) when it was dismantled to increase the rate of KSC shuttle launches. My grandfather has slides somewhere at his house showing the contractor using the ML's hammerhead crane to lift components onto to the top of the RSS during the final stages of construction. The other ML's LUT were dismantled inside the VAB and trucked to either the launch site or a storage area at the industrial park.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 04:20 PM by russianhalo117 »

Online Formica

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #622 on: 12/21/2017 04:43 PM »
Some mobile phone shots from the NASA tour bus this morning, courtesy of "Gridffin" on the Rocket Emporium Discord. Shows the TEL erect (getting the base maybe before heading into the HIF?) and that the RSS demolition continues apace. The "hanging off" part of the RSS structure as well as its legs appear to be completely demolished. They're moving very fast. Quality of the pics is definitely meh (handheld mobile phone, moving bus, window), but also definitely informative, so I thought I'd share them here.

Edit: not sure why the second pic is rotated? It's not that way on my workstation. I will try and fix it.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 04:44 PM by Formica »
I'm just a space fan, please correct me if I'm wrong!

The TEL looks different, like there are horizontal black stripes on the front and back.
Proud creator of Ian's Paper Model Rocket Collection:
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Offline cppetrie

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #624 on: 12/21/2017 05:36 PM »
Great. Will it be easier to make the FSS taller before, or after, the CAA is added, thought?

Easier before, but not by much IMO. The CAA is hung off the side of the FSS without interfering with the very top of the FSS. But mostly it depends very much on HOW sections would be added. Stacking them on top of the existing FSS versus cutting the current FSS in half and adding new sections in between. The latter would require removal (and later relocation) of the CAA.

That would be an astoundingly inefficient approach, requiring the heavy structure above the center to be dismantled and then reassembled.  All wiring runs above the cut would be sheared and have to be re-pulled in their entirety. 

Expect them to build a modular upper section, build attaching interfaces on the existing structure top, and then install the new levels quickly in a in a small number of lifts.

Pardon the dumb question, but what is the point of extending the FSS?
Additional height and an added crane are required to do vertical intervention at the pad in order to bid for and fly some NSS payloads.

Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #625 on: 12/21/2017 05:48 PM »
Additional height and an added crane are required to do vertical intervention at the pad in order to bid for and fly some NSS payloads.
Okay, but what payloads?  I believe that in order to save the cost of going with ULA, the government will test and certify their payloads for horizontal integration.  Vertical integration is stupid.  Just saying.  As violent as a launch is with the lateral forces and vibration, I find it comical to believe that horizontal integration is going to be a problem.

Offline jjyach

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #626 on: 12/21/2017 05:56 PM »
Additional height and an added crane are required to do vertical intervention at the pad in order to bid for and fly some NSS payloads.
Okay, but what payloads?  I believe that in order to save the cost of going with ULA, the government will test and certify their payloads for horizontal integration.  Vertical integration is stupid.  Just saying.  As violent as a launch is with the lateral forces and vibration, I find it comical to believe that horizontal integration is going to be a problem.

Speaking for the industry, there have been many directives/requirements from DOD over the past few years that new payloads in development should support horizontal integration.  You really need a special case and approvals to require vertical, and in the upcoming future many less will require vertical integration.  Even now there are maybe a few/couple that may need it.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 05:57 PM by jjyach »

Offline Norm38

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #627 on: 12/21/2017 06:05 PM »
Given Elon has admitted that there is risk of the FH not clearing the pad, does anyone expect them to do more than the absolute minimum of tower work necessary?  I wouldn't install crew access until after the STP-2 launch just to be sure.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #628 on: 12/21/2017 06:21 PM »
Another shot today:

Quote
Mandatory tour bus shot of #39A today. It appears the pad crew has been quite busy since the last @SpaceX launch. The answer to the big question is, no, I did not see @elonmusk red @Tesla on site.

https://twitter.com/julia_bergeron/status/943915874116866048

Offline Johnnyhinbos

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #629 on: 12/21/2017 06:21 PM »
Additional height and an added crane are required to do vertical intervention at the pad in order to bid for and fly some NSS payloads.
Okay, but what payloads?  I believe that in order to save the cost of going with ULA, the government will test and certify their payloads for horizontal integration.  Vertical integration is stupid.  Just saying.  As violent as a launch is with the lateral forces and vibration, I find it comical to believe that horizontal integration is going to be a problem.
I think there's more to it than that.

And I think I can hear Jim taping on his QWERTY WRONG keyboard...
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Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #630 on: 12/21/2017 06:25 PM »
Additional height and an added crane are required to do vertical intervention at the pad in order to bid for and fly some NSS payloads.
Okay, but what payloads?  I believe that in order to save the cost of going with ULA, the government will test and certify their payloads for horizontal integration.  Vertical integration is stupid.  Just saying.  As violent as a launch is with the lateral forces and vibration, I find it comical to believe that horizontal integration is going to be a problem.
I think there's more to it than that.

And I think I can hear Jim taping on his QWERTY WRONG keyboard...

Id bet a nickel that those few payloads that require vertical integration have launch prices that make the work to ground support systems well worth it.
Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #631 on: 12/21/2017 06:27 PM »
Id bet a nickel that those few payloads that require vertical integration have launch prices that make the work to ground support systems well worth it.
So the applicability to this thread is that with the requirement for vertical integration being minimal, is it really worth it for SpaceX to pursue modifications that enable it?  What's the point?  Just let ULA launch those payloads at double to triple the cost.

Offline cppetrie

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #632 on: 12/21/2017 06:33 PM »
Additional height and an added crane are required to do vertical intervention at the pad in order to bid for and fly some NSS payloads.
Okay, but what payloads?  I believe that in order to save the cost of going with ULA, the government will test and certify their payloads for horizontal integration.  Vertical integration is stupid.  Just saying.  As violent as a launch is with the lateral forces and vibration, I find it comical to believe that horizontal integration is going to be a problem.
Im not advocating for it. Just staying that VI is the reason for the FSS getting a lift kit added. I have no idea what potential payloads they might be able to get. It could be as simple as by supporting more varieties of scenarios they are better positioned to compete for all payloads regardless of whether they require VI. Ive got exactly zero insight into the industry. Im completely on the outside watching as a super big fan. Im just repeating whats been stated before by others including Elon and Gwynn.

Offline gongora

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #633 on: 12/21/2017 06:34 PM »
Whether or not you think the U.S. government should abolish vertical integration requirements or change their requirements for having two vehicle families available for their payloads is really not relevant for this thread.  There are more appropriate threads for that:

SpaceX Vertical Integration/DOD Market
Vertical vs. horizontal integration Q&A
Horizontal vs. vertical integration

Offline Comga

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #634 on: 12/21/2017 06:38 PM »
Id bet a nickel that those few payloads that require vertical integration have launch prices that make the work to ground support systems well worth it.
So the applicability to this thread is that with the requirement for vertical integration being minimal, is it really worth it for SpaceX to pursue modifications that enable it?  What's the point?  Just let ULA launch those payloads at double to triple the cost.
We know SpaceX
The BFS is to be mounted on the BFR with a crane. 
Maybe SpaceX will get DoD to pay for the development of the crane for a launch or two and then migrate it, or at least its design.
Musk seems to be always thinking about the long game.


Edit: but you are correct. This has little to do with getting LC-39A ready for Falcon Heavy, the topic of this thread.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 06:40 PM by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #635 on: 12/21/2017 06:50 PM »
not sure why the second pic is rotated? It's not that way on my workstation. I will try and fix it.

Here's that pic rotated properly. Jpeg orientation is weird. Web browsers are weirder.

If anyone wants to know more (what's going on, how to fix this programmatically, etc), you can PM me.

Offline BradyKenniston

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #636 on: 12/21/2017 08:11 PM »
Another shot from the front by instagram user "slim8881974".

instagram.com/p/Bc-YQPNl-1H/

Edit: Removed the Instagram hyperlink becasue some Tapatalk users were reporting some questionable things being linked instead of the actual post of 39a.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 09:15 PM by BradyKenniston »

Offline 39B

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #637 on: 12/21/2017 11:54 PM »
My understanding is that the FSS was constructed from the Saturn 5 LUTs. They rolled the MLPs to the pads, cut chunks off the LUT and hoisted them over to become the FSS.

Incorrect. The LUT that became the FSS was disassembled elsewhere, and sections were transported to the pad and assembled, from the bottom up.

If they'd disassembled the LUT in situ, and took the top section off and placed it on the pad, and then continued in that fashion, section by section, they would have built themselves an upside-down FSS. There's some pretty heavy iron in the perimeter columns, main platform framing, and diagonal bracing, down in the lower sections of the FSS, and it's noticeably heavier iron down low, because that iron has to support all of the structure above it. Up toward the top of the tower, that requirement gradually becomes less and less, and the iron therefore gets lighter and lighter as you go up in elevation toward the top of the tower.

Wilhoit (they were the steel erector for both Pad A and Pad B), transported the FSS sections to the jobsite on the pad from elsewhere, where they had been placed, following disassembly of the LUT (over in the MLP park area north of the VAB, if memory serves).
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 12:00 PM by 39B »

Offline 39B

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #638 on: 12/22/2017 12:12 AM »
Quote
ML used for Skylab crew launches was used to suppport the RSS at 39b and afterward ...

No.

The RSS on B Pad was built in the "de-mate" position, after Wilhoit learned the hard way on A Pad, that building the RSS in the "mate" position, spanning the flame trench, supported by a LUT, wasn't such a good idea. There was no LUT on B Pad when the RSS was being erected.

They built falsework on the pad deck, southwest of the FSS, and erected the RSS on top of that falsework away from the flame trench, which was removed once the RSS was complete enough, and strong enough, to support itself via the primary steel framing on Column Line 7 and the two main horizontal trusses, at El. 135' and 208'.

There is a thread, started by myself, with photographs and stories, detailing the construction of Pad 39-B, here on Nasaspaceflight.com, and you can click this link to see it: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25455.0

There are photographs in there which clearly show the growing RSS sitting on top of the falsework that supported it as it was being assembled.

And, for those who may be a bit more interested in this work, I am in the process of placing the same images on 16streets.com, with expanded stories and explanations of what the pictures are showing and what some of that means, and that can all be seen here: http://www.16streets.com/MacLaren/Misc/Launch%20Complex%2039-B%20Construction%20Photos%20-%20Space%20Shuttle/39-B%20Construction%20Photos%20-%20Space%20Shuttle%20-%20Contents.html

The work of expanding upon the original snippets of text associated with the original placement of those photographs on Nasaspaceflight.com is proceeding slowly, and I have no idea when it will all be complete, so please accept my apologies for it abruptly cutting off in the middle of things, right now.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2017 12:15 AM by 39B »

Offline DecoLV

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #639 on: 12/22/2017 04:40 PM »
I am idly curious about the hinge. How is that attached to the FSS -- is it freestanding at all so they could they just detach it at the top and bottom and crane-lift the whole thing away from the FSS, or must they ultimately smash/torch each point level by level? (Or, I suppose, they could detach the RSS frame from the hinge and just leave the hinge attached to the FSS.)

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