While deciding the launch site layout, what parameters are considered?

I understand that the various components like monitoring station, propellant storage tanks are kept at some safe distance. How are these distance decided?

In the launch site how the overall distance is decided from where person can see the launch safely?


1 Answer 1


Safety distances are decided by modelling the worst-case scenario (an explosion of the rocket right on the launch pad). An explosion results in an overpressure which drops off as distance increases, the safe distance is one where the overpressure is limited to a survivable level.

The same goes for structures: you can calculate how much overpressure a structure can withstand, so you can make a tradeoff (heavy bunkers can be placed closed to the launch pad, lighter structures must be further away).

NASA limits exposure of the public to 130 dB (= an overpressure of 69 Pa or 0.01 psi), it seems.


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