Questions tagged [launch-site]

Questions on launch complexes, spaceports or other locales for the launch of spacecraft.

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4
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2answers
188 views

Why do personnel in the KSC launch control room face away from the launchpad?

The firing rooms of the Kennedy Space Center have enormous windows that face the launch pads. However, personnel faced away from the windows, and thus away from the launchpad. Is there a documented ...
3
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1answer
140 views

What is a propellant burner trailer?

CNN and NPR have pointed out that the US president recently tweeted a surveillance photo of an explosion of a rocket on a launch pad. One of the items identified in the photo is labeled as a ...
2
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0answers
58 views

How do rocket launch sites get liquid oxygen? [duplicate]

How do rocket launch sites obtain their liquid oxygen used for loading the oxygen tanks in the rockets? A while ago I seem to remember reading something that implied SpaceX had equipment to generate ...
3
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1answer
131 views

Why were Robert Goddard's later launches in New Mexico?

Robert Goddard was born, educated, taught, and performed the first liquid-fuel rocket flight in Massachusetts. Why then were his later launches done in New Mexico?
3
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0answers
55 views

Australian rocket launches

Is there a rocket launching facility in Western Victoria or Eastern South Australia, situated west of Warracknabeal in Victoria? I witnessed what appeared to be two stage launch whilst travelling ...
2
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1answer
76 views

What scenario would require the closeout crew to use their light sticks?

The light sticks are intended as an aid in case of an emergency, and are colored orange to identify the astronaut crew, while technicians in the close-out crew carry green ones. https://en....
5
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2answers
112 views

Does landing a Falcon 9 first stage affect the allowable launch azimuths?

The rationale for limiting the allowable launch azimuths for many launch sites usually includes "dropping booster stages on population". With SpaceX (and maybe Blue Origin in the future) returning ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Was launch pad 110R ever used again after being obliterated on 3 July 1969?

A few weeks before the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Soviets attempted the second unmanned launch of their own lunar launch vehicle, the N1. This occurred at pad 110R (also called 110/38) of the ...
4
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0answers
86 views

How much did it cost to refurbish the Launch Complex 39 hardware after an Apollo Saturn V launch?

A launch pad used for a rocket of some 30-35 MNewtons of thrust does not come out of it unscathed. It must be refurbished before it can be used again. How much does that cost? As an indication of such ...
14
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1answer
1k views

What happened to boiled-off gases from the storage tanks at Launch Complex 39?

Both Apollo and the Shuttle launched from KSC complex 39, and used liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as propellants. These cryogenic liquids were held in storage tanks near the perimeter of each ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Negative impact of having the launch pad away from the Equator

I imagine a satellite meant for reaching a geostationary orbit will benefit most from it, but being near the Equator is surely an advantage to any space launch (right?). However, what's the impact ...
4
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1answer
343 views

How are umbilical connectors held in place until their intended detachment?

When a rocket is on its launch pad, umbilicals allow the flow of liquids, gases, electric power, and signals to the spacecraft. The umbilical is detached from the spacecraft at or before launch, to ...
4
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1answer
171 views

Why rockets are launched from sea level and not highlands? [duplicate]

This Is a question that was buzzing me, but since every meter of altitude a rocket consume an absurd amount of fuel, wouldn't be more efficent launching rocket from higher altitudes? Thinking to ...
5
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1answer
58 views

Are there any references about rocket Launchapd Design?

I am trying to figure out all the systems/structures/services that would be required to support rocket launches. Are there any references that describe this information? Essentially, I want to have ...
23
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1answer
6k views

Why is this part of the Space Shuttle launch pad suspended so high off the ground?

http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/sts-107/images/high/KSC-02PD-1894.jpg shows a large part of the launch pad suspended off the ground. What is it for and why is there all that empty space ...
3
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0answers
66 views

What was the fate of the Shiloh Launch Complex at Canaveral

Living near Canaveral, since 2013 (that I know of) much has gone back and forth about the proposed Shiloh Launch Complex in the former citrus groves within the north side of the Cape Canaveral ...
16
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4answers
5k views

Are there any known reasons why there are no spaceports in the European Union?

As far as I know, there are no spaceports in the European Union. Why is it so?
6
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4answers
209 views

During a government shutdown, is it possible for US rocket companies to launch from outside the US?

With the ongoing shutdown, it's causing some test flights of SpaceX and others to be pushed back. If it goes on for an extended period, is it possible for said rocket company to launch from another ...
3
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1answer
125 views

Using weather patterns as a primary criteria, would South America be an ideal place to launch rockets?

I was looking at a map of historic hurricane travel the other day and noticed that South America doesn't really get them. Florida gets a lot of hurricanes. Texas gets them too. It also occurred to me ...
4
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1answer
142 views

Where is the San Marco Launch Platform now?

@Hobbes's answer to a question about gregarious rockets mentions the San Marco platform of the Broglio_Space_Center. That Wikipedia lists the following coordinates: 2°56′18″S 40°12′45″E and that link ...
5
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1answer
292 views

What are “high altitude winds” and why do they often delay rocket launches?

High altitude winds seem to frequently postpone launches from Earth to orbit. Presumably, they are fast and strong enough to induce stresses on a rocket or impede guidance, but that's guessing from ...
6
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1answer
573 views

Why are lightning towers at launch pads topped with big hollow tubes with spiral windings and not “lightning rod-shaped” lightning rods?

https://xkcd.com/2107/ Why are the lightning towers around launch pads topped with big hollow tubes with spiral windings? Why not conventional lightning rods - big metal rods with pointy things at ...
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0answers
116 views

How are the liquid propellant umbilical cord protected from the exhaust?

The launch pad umbilical cords supply propellant to the rocket, and will definitely have some remaining at the time of liftoff. I remember the Saturn V footage wherein a heavy protection door slams ...
2
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0answers
348 views

How far is Cape Canaveral from Kennedy Space Center, administratively and programmatically?

Answers to a similar-sounding question What is the difference between Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center? deal mostly with history and geography. In the question Which has been the most ...
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4answers
6k views

Which has been the most gregarious rocket, launched from the most sites?

Which orbital launch vehicle has been "getting around" the most? Which rocket has put things in orbit from the largest number of different launch sites? For the purposes of this question, allow for ...
2
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1answer
192 views

How soon will LC-39A be at significant risk to storm-surge damage?

Rising sea levels due to thermal expansion due to global warming due to farting cattle and unicorns and of course also due to CO2 emissions caused by people has certainly caught the eye of the US ...
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1answer
213 views

What's the geometry of Ignition Overpressure Protection system protecting rocket launches?

During a rocket launch, both the rocket as well as the launch pad have to be protected. This is usually done by shooting enormous amounts of water somewhere 'at' the rocket engines. The then ...
5
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1answer
204 views

Would a Martian landing and take off require a flame trench/deflector?

Flame trenches/deflectors are essential for avoiding reflections of acoustic waves from damaging the rocket system while taking off. This is discussed in this YouTube video - Why doesn't the sound of ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What happens to rocket stages that land in the oceans, and how many are still there?

When a rocket stage is jettisoned into the ocean, does it typically sink? Assuming yes, how many rocket stages are now lying on the ocean floor? Are there, on the ocean floor, areas where there ...
5
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1answer
109 views

Where did the families of astronauts watch the launch?

Where did the families of American astronauts watch the launch from? I've heard the Saturn V Center and also the Launch Control Center. Maybe it was different for each launch? TIA
8
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1answer
358 views

Are there any dog-leg hot-spots? Where are dog-leg maneuvers used most frequently?

Dog-leg maneuvers are nicely explained in @JakeBlocker's excellent answer. If you go there now (and hopefully come back here) you can see a diagram of a dog-leg maneuver along with a comparison to an ...
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4answers
215 views

Inflatable Power Line?

Could the weight of a launch tower or some of a space elevator be mitigated balloons? Similar to the children's air inflated jump houses could a tower be inflated with hydrogen/helium with different ...
2
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1answer
108 views

Deciding factors for launch site

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 ...
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0answers
27 views

Parker Solar Probe Launch - Burning Flame [duplicate]

When watching the live launch of the NASA Parker Solar Probe, I noticed that there was a burning flame near the launch site (bottom left in the image) My intuition tells me that it's hydrogen that's ...
11
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2answers
343 views

How does a water based acoustic suppression system work?

Now a days every rocket launch (except Russian or cliff hanging launch) happens using water acoustic suppression system. How does the water based acoustic suppression works? What is the water ...
9
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6answers
2k views

What benefits can be gained from launching below ground?

ICBMs are commonly launched from below ground. How much fuel could be saved if a missile is launched below ground instead of above? If the tube was deeper with modified launch by a separate chemical ...
1
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2answers
190 views

What prevents the use of electric engines to assist with spacecraft launches? (Launch Booster Supplement)

Much fuel is used to get rocket off the platform on the initial launch. Could electric turbine engines be used like booster rockets? Could an electric engine like a rail gun work similar in the way ...
12
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2answers
651 views

What orbital inclinations will be launched into from Scotland?

It has recently been announced that the A'Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland, Scotland will be host to the United Kingdom's first vertical launch site (assuming they can get anything done with just £30m ...
2
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0answers
223 views

Why put both Orbex and Rocket Labs on adjacent launch pads in Scotland?

update: There's some recent and potentially helpful information in NASA Spacefligh: UK Spaceport at Sutherland enters public consultation phase I've just read Jonathan Amos' article in the BBC News ...
6
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1answer
147 views

What is the oldest functional Launch Complex?

Space Launch Complex 17 at Cape Canaveral was demolished today (July 12, 2018). It was first put into operation in 1957 and was last used in 2011. I was surprised to learn it was 60 years old. This ...
7
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2answers
207 views

Why did the Russians choose to locate their new spaceport at Vostochny?

I can understand why Russia would want a spaceport on their own territory. But when you look at where Vostochny is located, it looks like there are other, more southern, parts of Russia with their ...
14
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1answer
1k views

How does an array of concrete pillars protect a launch control bunker?

This answer explains that this regular grid of concrete posts at Baikonur LC-1 Gagarin's Start is designed to reduce damage to the launch control bunker beneath it in the event of a catastrophic ...
53
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4answers
12k views

“Pillars of Baikonur” What is the purpose of the hundreds of short, white posts near the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad?

The caption given in the third image included in the Space.com page Expedition 56: The Space Station Mission in Photos reads as follows: At the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad, remote-controlled ...
4
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0answers
320 views

During the launch of a rocket, how close are the nearest humans?

I've been wondering how close other people are to large rockets when they launch. launch complexes looks huge; are there people near the launch pad during a launch? If yes, how do they handle the ...
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0answers
105 views

Launch corridors

I was wondering where I could find a list of the launch azimuth ranges - i.e. the corridors - for the main launchpads worldwide (Baikonur, Kourou, KSC, ... as many as possible). Thank you in advance!
7
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0answers
683 views

Which launch was the first to use a dogleg maneuver?

Jake Blocker's excellent answer explains what a dogleg maneuver is, what it's for, what it looks like, and even what a real dog's leg looks like for comparison! A dogleg maneuver is done to change ...
2
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1answer
176 views

Does China have a “space coast”? Will it?

I noticed that the Chinese GEO communications satellite Apstar 6C was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan, China. Saying this is far inland would be an understatement. ...
3
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1answer
240 views

First interplanetary launch from California, why the initial polar orbit? [duplicate]

The Phys.org article Bound for Mars—countdown to first interplanetary launch from California says: In the early morning hours of May 5, millions of Californians will have an opportunity to witness ...
4
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1answer
134 views

Why does the SpaceX strongback outgas 60 seconds before launch?

I was watching the live stream of the Iridium-5 / SpaceX launch and they mentioned that the strongback would outgas a minute before launch. I assume it was to prevent the strongback from exploding ...
24
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2answers
3k views

Why does InSight plan to launch from Vandenberg

Why does the InSight Mars lander mission intend to launch from Vandenberg, which does not allow for prograde launches? Will it launch into polar or retrograde orbit? Why? It will do an interplanetary ...