Questions tagged [launch-site]

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

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Why was the "lunar launch window" different between the Cape Canaveral and Baikonur launch sites?

I'm reading A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts (page 78), and I was confused about this passage: As the fall of 1968 wore on, apprehension surfaced once more within NASA. Would ...
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Why is most of mission control in Houston? [duplicate]

They were already making a mission control at Cape Canaveral, and then decided to move some, but not all, of it to Houston. Why? Wouldn't it make more sense to have the entire mission control in one ...
9 votes
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Proposed Christmas Island launch site, 1952 von Braun Luna Study

In a 1952 study, Wernher von Braun devised a "manned lunar lander" as illustrated below. The study looked at three lunar landers taking a crew of 50 to Sinus Roris (Bay of Dew) in 1977. ...
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2 votes
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Why does Vandenberg have the most launches?

Why does Vandenberg SFB have the most launches? Is it related to location, when it was founded, something else, etc? It would make more sense for Florida to have more launches. It is illegal for ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What launch market is the new Shetland spaceport targeting?

The new spaceport on Shetland has now been given planning permission. It is at quite a high latitude (60 degrees north) which will effect the types of launch that are easily achievable so what is the ...
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What is the current turnaround time for Vandenberg SLC-4E?

Is there public knowledge for the turnaround time for this Falcon 9 B5 pad?
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What's the highest latitude for a human spaceflight?

There are obviously many satellites in polar orbits or in orbits that extend to very high latitudes. There are obvious reasons to do this in terms of Earth observations, but there is probabably much ...
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When and why was Cape Canaveral "Launch Complex 40" renamed to "Space Launch Complex 40"?

From Wikipedia: Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), previously Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) It seems to me that all other Cape Canaveral launch complexes are just "LC" without the "Space&...
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Why not first stage rocket recovery at launching site after one orbit?

Rockets first stage recovery at launch site needs a significant amount of fuel for going back. This is why SpaceX most often uses sea platform and booster back burn for re-entry. As we see on Falcon9 ...
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What 1960s era launch pad and vehicle is shown in this still from stock footage?

The interesting question Identify this 1960's launch site and mission? contains some screenshots of launch pad stock footage. Most are of LC39, but as @Puffin points out in a comment, one does ...
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Selection of rocket launch sites [duplicate]

Viewed from above the North pole, earth's rotation is seen to be "anti-clockwise". Given this fact, any rockets launched from the eastern coast of U.S. have more chances of falling back onto ...
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Maximum Acceleration for NASA's Transport Crawler while carrying Saturn V

I was reading about the transport crawler and one detail that seems to be not covered in any of the lay-person's easily accessible literature is the recommended acceleration for the transport while ...
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How will SpaceX build a SuperHeavy launch mount at LC39A, an active launch pad?

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 ...
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High latitude launch sites

I have two questions: What is the hype about launching rockets from high latitude launch sites? For references: Andoya Space (Norway) and ESRANGE (Sweden) received grants of > 20 M EUR. Wouldn’t a ...
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Tilt of Strongback

Roughly by how many degrees does the strongback tilt back during liftoff? does the angle have any significance other than avoiding collision?
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Why were American Apollo-era launch towers red, and why was the reused elements of the Shuttle-era FSS painted over in grey?

This image of STS-8 shows red peeking through the grey of the launch structure. That got me thinking... Mercury-Atlas launch towers were red (although Mercury-Redstone's towers were yellow, I think) ...
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Trussed strongback or hollow shell strongback?

I noticed that rocket Lab has a hollow rectangular section strongback made of steel, while few strongbacks like that of Astra [similar size] has a trussed structure for a strongback. is there any ...
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Are cherry-pickers a new thing in spaceflight?

NASA Spaceflight's Chang Zheng-4B launches with two Tianhui 2 satellites links to the following @Cosmic_Penguin tweet It turns out to be...something else, an LM-4B successfully launching the 2nd pair ...
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Largest number of rockets launched into space from a given launch site in a 24 hour period?

Question: What is the largest number of rockets launched into space from a given launch site in a 24 hour period? Where, when, why? "into space" means $\ge$ 100 km, but pretty close to 100 ...
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Did the flare stacks at LC39 have pilot lights?

The liquid hydrogen fuel in the space shuttles would slowly boil off, while they waited on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center launch complex 39A or 39B. The hydrogen vapors were removed by the ...
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Canso, NS as a launch site

I read a recent press release from Maritime Launch Systems and looked up their proposed launch site location in Nova Scotia, Canada. I don't understand why this location was chosen. If I were looking ...
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What exactly are "launch tables" and "dog bones" in the context of SpaceX's Super heavy-lift launch vehicle, as shown in these images?

@geoffc's Pod Bay comment and link Great aerial photo of launch table with the 'dog bones' being installed. So curious how this will all play out! https://twitter.com/RGVaerialphotos/status/...
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launch rocket like bullet from steam/air rifle?

I've included an image depicting how exhaust energy from a rocket launch can be recouped by turning it into a large scale pressure cooker by the use of some kind of platform=sabot (thanks @...
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What is the Best position of an object in geostationary orbit relative to the launch site for rendezvous using GTO?

So let's say we have a space station or spacecraft in GEO, and I want to get another spacecraft to it from earth's surface on a direct geostationary transfer orbit, i.e. no waiting about in LEO for ...
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Are submarine launches horizontal?

Are the rockets launched from submarines in a horizontal or vertical position? I mean for the space launches like Volna and Shtil. This article says By reaching orbit, LauncherOne has become the first ...
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Are SpaceX launches from California going to retrograde orbits?

SpaceX has a launch site in Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Will satellites launched from that place have a retrograde orbit?
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What force do the armed guards guarding the Crew-1 crew belong to?

In the comments to the question Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons?, the question was raised what force the guards in the photo belong to. In particular, ...
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Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons?

The photo in NPR's 4 Astronauts Aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon Successfully Dock With Space Station shows the four astronauts standing in front of a serious-looking military vehicle flanked by at least two ...
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Chinese launch site locations [duplicate]

As far as I can find, 3 out of 4 launch sites that the Chinese space program uses are far inland with launch trajectories that go over populated areas. This strikes me as odd, because unlike Russia, ...
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Water Deluge and Flame Trenches [duplicate]

After years of seeing a water tower so close to the launch pad, I’m now just starting to realize it has a purpose. I was a fool to think the water tower had been there for years and they just could ...
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Do the Russians use a water deluge system when launching their current rockets?

After a video by What About it discussing water deluge systems I got to thinking about it. I remember hearing that the Russians don't use water deluge systems. Not sure if these would be considered a ...
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Top American rocket launch sites?

Which American rocket launch sites had the most space launches?
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Why isn't SpaceX constructing the Super Heavy launch mount on top of the water?

With SpaceX creating their launch facility in Boca Chica Texas, right next to the water, why would they bother building a huge launch pad to withstand the blast, as opposed to building it on top of ...
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What damage/repairs have to be done to the launch pad every time SpaceX launches?

As SpaceX is a company that is very focused on rapid reusability, low-cost operation and a philosophy of "the best part is no part", what repairs have to be done to the towers and general ...
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Why do the Chinese launch most of their rockets so far from the coast?

We know that launching rockets near the coast is safe for human settlement areas in case a failure occurs. But, why does China launch its rockets so far from the coast (near hills)? Many launch sites ...
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How was the Buran launch stack assembled?

There is plenty of information about how the U.S. Space Shuttle was assembled for launch. How was the Soviet Buran shuttle assembled? Was it done at the pad, or in a separate building? In what order ...
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What is "TFR" in the context of operating a marine radar on top of a "water tower" at a launch site?

This answer to What is this propellor-like object on top of the SpaceX Hopper? includes the following: FCC filing: Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 0459-EX-CN-2020: ...d) List any natural ...
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Has any rocket been launched into orbit from a plain flat surface?

Related: Why will Superheavy/Starship have a landing pad so close to the launch pad? Most launch vehicles are launched from somewhat complex launchpads with towers, erectors, flame trenches or ...
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Why a 900,000 gallons LOX storage tank at Launch Complex 39?

At KSC complex 39 there is a 900,000 gallons LOX storage tank. It was used for Apollo Saturn V, the Space Shuttle and lately for the SpaceX Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket. But why such a large tank for ...
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How many rising pipes for LOX at the the Saturn V launch tower?

The Saturn V used liquid oxygen for all three stages plus the Apollo Service Module. Were all these LOX tanks filled using the same rising pipe or did they use a seperate pipe for each tank? Using ...
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Why were the Little Joes launched from Virginia?

Little Joe was a program to test the Mercury launch escape system and heat shield. The 8 unmanned flights (2 with monkeys!) plus one pad abort were all launched from Wallops Island, Virginia. Why ...
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Why were two different California airbases (Vandenberg and Edwards) intended for Shuttle launches versus landings?

Vandenberg Air Force Base was intended to be the west-coast launch site of the Space Shuttle. Its Space Launch Complex 6 was only a few months from being ready for the first launch, when the ...
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How much of the Apollo gantry, tower, and pad were destroyed on each launch? How much could be reused?

I have often seen various videos showing the huge fireball beneath a Saturn rocket launching. But I have not seen video or photos of the aftermath. Was the gantry, ...
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Why did NASA collect so much data about electrical phenomena at the Apollo 13 launch site?

Apollo 13 was launched at Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970. The mission report devotes a considerable amount -- over 7 pages -- to a set of electrical measurements at the launch site: The ...
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Looking for ICS information at common launch facilities

I'm doing some research on cyber threats to launch facilities, such as those against industrial control systems leveraged by a typical launch service provider. Details of which types of systems are ...
33 votes
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Why are Japan's launch facilities so far north?

Japan currently has two space launch facilities: Uchinoura Space Center (31°15′07″N 131°04′55″E) and Tanegashima Space Center (30°24′00″N 130°58′12″E). Both of these are at the south end of the main ...
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Advantages of launching very large rocket while submerged, buoyant, in a body of water

I vaguely remember reading about some supposed advantages of launching very large rockets (Saturn size and larger) from underwater in an ocean or similar large body of water. I was recently reminded ...
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Why does launching east result in an orbital inclination equal to the latitude of the launch site?

As mentioned briefly in this answer and this Everyday Astronaut video: And just as a reference, if you launched straight east out of Kennedy Space Center, you'd be on a 28.6° inclination which you ...
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What force would it take to launch a 100kg projectile into orbit from a big cannon?

What force would it take to launch a 100kg projectile into orbit from a big cannon? And what would be the optimum angle of the barrel of the cannon? I'm working on an animation and it's going to ...
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What is the utility of this peanut-shaped ground facility?

The following image is from GSLV-F11 GSAT-7A Mission: Location: Second Launch Pad (SLP), Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, India. Please click here in case you want to see the image in ISRO's ...
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