Per SpaceNews article SpaceX has set November 2014 for a Pad Abort test from LC-40 in Florida, and January 2015 for a Max-Q abort test from Vandenberg Airforce Base in California.

They have only done one launch from Vandenberg so far, so why test there, instead of in Florida, where manned flights will be performed?

If it is to clear space/time in the launch schedule at Florida, why do the Pad Abort in Florida at all? Do it in California and not interfere with regular launch operations.


1 Answer 1


I suspect these two abort situations test two different things, and as such have different requirements. As you mentioned, the Florida SpaceX launch schedule is quite busy, and I suspect they want to minimize the downtime there as much as possible. I suspect the pad abort test has to be done at Flordia, however, due to the unique communication lines and such at the Florida site.

The Max Q abort can happen at Vandenburg, because nothing will be plugged in, after the initial launch. Thus there is nothing that really needs to be configured to have the abort happen correctly.


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