Inspired by this picture from Does this Soyuz vehicle burn coal or oil? What is its official name?

Soyuz rocket on its way to the launch pad (on a train of course) from https://twitter.com/marsrader/status/1151484833987796992

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Once erected vertically, do horizontally transported rockets need a period of adjustment to the vertical alignment for redistribution of stresses and possible realignment of components?

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    $\begingroup$ I made some formatting edits just this once in case you find them useful and simplifying. If not please accept my apologies and just roll back. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 23, 2023 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ interesting question. Stress should propagate through the rocket structure at the local speed of sound so my initial assumption is that any redistribution should be so quick as to not be accounted for, compared to e.g. the thermal and structural loads imposed by propellant loading. I don't feel sure about it though, so +1 $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 0:09
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: Thanks for the reformatting. It can stay as you've done it. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 1:13
  • $\begingroup$ I would think that rocket and satellite manufacturers would not want any type of shimmying or wiggling going on, so I would suspect that all connections are designed to be secure throughout the lift and are likely immediately ready for launch, at least structurally. The only thing that might need a period of time for settling might be some of the fluids like hydraulic fluid, but even those might be pressurized enough to be immediately ready. Calibration of IMU's (inertial measurement unit) and the like would be necessary, but that would also be true with a stack rolled to the pad vertically. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 9:00
  • $\begingroup$ Some payloads, mainly DOD cannot be horizontally integrated and must be vertically stacked. According to the answer here it's mainly just for a slight cost and weight savings in the payload design, which is probably important to DOD because of their heavy satellites. Horizontally integrated rockets accommodate this requirement with mobile service structures that allow attaching the payload to the rocket at the pad. In fact SpaceX is modifying pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center with a mobile service tower to accommodate this. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 25, 2023 at 9:11


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