We have seen how fast SpaceX built the Boca Chica launch mount. We also saw the approach of building the base, then lifting segments built offsite (At the gas well site) to assemble them.

However, as Musk just announced that they are starting work on the Florida launch site, at LC39A it makes me wonder... How do you run an active launch site, launching a 1.3 million lb thrust vehicle, right next to a construction site.

Someones porta potty is gonna blow over fer sure! And way way worse. LC39A is kind of big. (Everything Saturn V related was kind of big)

But more seriously, the set up/take down for everty LC39A flight, which is trending towards 1-2 launches a month, seems like a ton of overhead.

Now to argue against myself, at Boca Chica, they are testing a 400KLbs thrust vehicle while building a similarly sized structure. (3 engine tests are 1.2 million lbs thrust). But those were mostly short static fires, rare/occasional test flights (And they did move the porta potties when they tested, not providing a reference to that, go away Uhoh).

But a full orbital launch bathes the pad in a lot of thrust until it is high enough not to matter.

Things that make you go, Hmm... I cannot wait to see how they manage this task!

Also, here is hoping Mechazilla 2.0 gets legs and can walk! And looks more like a Gundam!

  • $\begingroup$ Different, but related: Was LC39A built with a rocket much larger than the Saturn V in mind? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 3, 2021 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh A good point. But the new pad is not using the existing, overbuilt one, rather a new one next to it, inside the footprint of the LC39A 'complex' $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ oh, complexes are more complicated than I thought! I sense a new question coming on :-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 5, 2021 at 3:32
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    $\begingroup$ It is interesting to note that SpaceX had already started on a Starship pad at 39A quite a while ago, then stopped when they moved all Starship efforts to Boca Chica. The partially built structures seem to have been torn down recently. So, that already happened on an active launchpad, although the launch cadence was not quite as aggressive as it is now. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ @JörgWMittag The first signs of 'work' at the pad, were in fact tearing down the old semi started pad. It was a water cooled flame diverter. They seem to have moved to a different design at Boca Chica. Also it was super close to the pad. Wonder fi the new one will be more on the fringes of the pad? (Away from LOX storage I hope. They are so close at BC to the tank farm I find it scary). $\endgroup$
    – geoffc
    Commented Dec 6, 2021 at 15:53


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