December 1, 2022

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SpaceX upgraded to Florida launch pad in case of spacecraft failure

Super Heavy Booster 7 completes 7 StarBuzz static engine burning tests.

SpaceX’s Super Heavy Booster 7 recently completed a 7-engine static fire test on Starbase.
picture: SpaceX

SpaceX continues its plans to upgrade the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which will serve as a backup for Kennedy Space Center company pillow It is currently used to launch merchandise and crews in the space.

At a press conference last week, Bill Gerstenmaier, SpaceX’s vice president of construction and flight reliability, said the company is preparing the necessary upgrades to Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) to prepare it for upcoming cargo and crew launches. That Space News reports. SpaceX currently has a commercial contract with NASA to transport crew and cargo to the International Space Station with its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft.

“We’ve already started preparing for plate 40,” Gerstenmaier said during the briefing. “We ordered some devices and signed contracts.” Initially, the company will only launch cargo missions from the SLC-40, but plans to add crew missions later. “It gives us some flexibility to move some of the things from the 39A, which helps us balance the firing of both pads,” Gerstenmaier added.

The SLC-40 has been leased to SpaceX from the US Air Force since 2007; The Air Force previously used the launch pad at Cape Canaveral to launch a missile Titan III and IV missiles, which it carried out from 1965 to 2005. SpaceX is Rental of Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, ie The facility is used for: Crew and cargo missions launched to the International Space Station. The private space company is also working on the inaugural launch of its Super . spacecraft Heavy-lift Starship rocket from launch site in Boca Chica, TexasFrom This is what Elon Musk, CEO of the company, recently claimed: It can fly as early as November.

The company in the end Plans to launch the massive rocket from the Kennedy Space Center. NASA chose the spacecraft for Humans will land on the moon by the end of 2025 As part of the space agency’s Artemis 3 mission. To this end, SpaceX is building a massive launch tower for the spacecraft a few hundred meters from the launch tower of Platform 39A. The height of the launch tower is 300 meters. Approaching completionWith the addition of the sixth and seventh sections this summer. But the idea of ​​a spacecraft somewhere near Panel 39A seems to make NASA a bit Nervous, especially when it comes to SpaceX to treat Commercial Crew Obligations.

You see, SpaceX has a history of blowing up its model rockets on the platform. In 2016, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket explodes on the Cape Canaveral launch pad, resulting in extensive damage that took over a year to repair. Other tricks are Launchpad a eight The second hard test of a prototype for Starship Finished with brush fireand the In an incident last month.

According to Reuters the name of the thing In June, NASA officials told SpaceX that a spacecraft explosion near LC-39A could cut off the space agency’s only means of launching astronauts to the International Space Station. hfrom this moment Desire to have a backup launch pad. the interview, SpaceX will upgrade the board in Cape Canaveral, but Gerstenmaier says the company won’t bring Starship to Kennedy until it’s ready in prime time. space ship Testing is currently taking place at Boca Chica Huge progressThe first orbital test of the missile. “Our goal is to bring the Starship to 39A after we have a reliable car. We will do a series of tests in Boca [Chica] To ensure that the vehicle is fit to drive on the road. “If we thought we had a good, reliable car, we would bring it in to the 39A,” Gerstenmaier said during the briefing.

The Starship is a fully reusable heavy launch vehicle designed to carry supplies and passengers to Earth and Moon orbit and possibly even to other destinations like Mars. It’s all well and good, but perhaps NASA is right to be a little wary of having this rocket on its premises.

Lake: SpaceX rocket tower forming in Florida

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