Author Topic: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3  (Read 310293 times)

Offline IanThePineapple

Demo of RSS is moving quickly now.

Clearing the way for FH and Dragon Crew

Out with the old, in with the new.
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Offline BadgerLegs

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #601 on: 12/21/2017 12:01 AM »
NASA posted a video that suggests SpaceX has a crew access arm at 1:06 in the video I'm linking.  Any other info out there on this arm?  Is there a white room to go along with it?  How does it extend and where is it attaching to the tower?  Thanks.

« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 12:02 AM by BadgerLegs »

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #602 on: 12/21/2017 01:00 AM »
NASA posted a video that suggests SpaceX has a crew access arm at 1:06 in the video I'm linking.  Any other info out there on this arm?  Is there a white room to go along with it?  How does it extend and where is it attaching to the tower?  Thanks.


The 39A CAA is 100 percent built and tested. CAA installation on FSS was bumped to 2018 to allow FH and RSS work to proceed first due to changed priorities and CCP first launch being moved to the right.

Offline IanThePineapple

NASA posted a video that suggests SpaceX has a crew access arm at 1:06 in the video I'm linking.  Any other info out there on this arm?  Is there a white room to go along with it?  How does it extend and where is it attaching to the tower?  Thanks.


The 39A CAA is 100 percent built and tested. CAA installation on FSS was bumped to 2018 to allow FH and RSS work to proceed first due to changed priorities and CCP first launch being moved to the right.

What else is needed/wanted to be done to 39A for crew besides the CAA installation?
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Offline Lar

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #604 on: 12/21/2017 01:30 AM »
I thought some sections had to be added to the top, that is, that the CAA can't just go in...
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Offline deruch

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #605 on: 12/21/2017 01:42 AM »
The RSS is almost entirely gone now. The "legs" are removed. Additionally the TEL is still at the pad.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc8CZiRjFQO

Here's two videos with views from just before that point.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc7fyjWFPjB/  Has a short clip of the pad just at the end.  Plus views into the hangar (I'll post in appropriate FH thread as well). 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc8QP4QHx30/  About 20 seconds into the video, you can see the RSS/FSS just before the final removal of the rotating legs.

*Attaching screencaptures of the two videos and .mp4s.*
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 01:45 AM by deruch »
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Offline cppetrie

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #606 on: 12/21/2017 04:24 AM »
I thought some sections had to be added to the top, that is, that the CAA can't just go in...
I was under the impression the increase in FSS height was for vertical integration for NSS payloads rather than CAA.

Offline woods170

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #607 on: 12/21/2017 09:32 AM »
I thought some sections had to be added to the top, that is, that the CAA can't just go in...
I was under the impression the increase in FSS height was for vertical integration for NSS payloads rather than CAA.

Correct. The CAA is installed on the FSS "as is". No adding of sections needed.

Offline Lar

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #608 on: 12/21/2017 11:18 AM »
Great. Will it be easier to make the FSS taller before, or after, the CAA is added, thought?
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Offline woods170

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #609 on: 12/21/2017 11:29 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 11:29 AM by woods170 »

Online AncientU

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #610 on: 12/21/2017 01:17 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.
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Offline stcks

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #611 on: 12/21/2017 01:19 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?

Offline IanThePineapple

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?

It's thought that they're adding a crane on the top of it to vertically integrate military payloads.
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Offline Roy_H

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #613 on: 12/21/2017 03:15 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.

Your argument is certainly the most obvious, but we do not know all the details. It could be that the top section is not strong enough to support the additional weight and the lower sections are stronger. If this is the case adding stronger sections immediately above the existing transition from stronger to lighter duty sections might be required. Another approach could be adding additional bracing on sections to increase strength without having to remove/raise sections.
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Offline rpapo

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #614 on: 12/21/2017 03:22 PM »
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. 
But it may be necessary, depending on the design strength of the lower parts of the tower, and on the ease of simply strengthening those levels.
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Online AncientU

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #615 on: 12/21/2017 03:30 PM »
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. 
But it may be necessary, depending on the design strength of the lower parts of the tower, and on the ease of simply strengthening those levels.

If you watched the RSS disassembly, you'd see how heavily-constructed are such structures... factor of several overbuilt IIRC.  That said, if the fixed structure cannot take additional upper loads, I'd expect the entire structure to be demolished and rebuilt... much easier than salvaging a pile of old steel.

Since zero mention has been made of major reconstruction, I'd assume that they'll just add needed layers on top.  Strengthening the structural elements of such an old structure isn't viable.
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Offline JWag

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
« Last Edit: 12/21/2017 03:58 PM by JWag »

Offline chrisking0997

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #617 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
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Offline russianhalo117

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #618 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 »

Offline Formica

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Re: Pad 39A - Transition to SpaceX Falcon Heavy debut - Thread 3
« Reply #619 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 »
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