The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [launch-site]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How does one dogleg from Florida to a sun-synchronous orbit?

From NASA Spaceflight's article SpaceX Falcon 9 launches first NRO mission with NROL-76: The NROL-76 launch was not to be targeting a sun-synchronous orbit, typically used by the NRO’s optical ...
55
votes
4answers
22k views

What are the towers around the SpaceX launch pad used for?

I noticed four(?) towers around the SpaceX launch pad during yesterday's aborted launch Image credit NBC News What are the towers used for? Tracking? Radio communications?
14
votes
4answers
19k views

How close can I get to a rocket launch and not get killed?

There was a question regarding the closest distance regular people are allowed to be near a rocket. At that distance (Baikonur I, 1.1 miles), even if a rocket explodes, there is a small chance someone ...
9
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
12k views

How far away can one see a NASA rocket launch?

I live in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., and the weatherman thought we'd be able to see a rocket launched from Wallops Island (alas, it blew up instead) which by car is 166 miles away. ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Where is the optimal location to launch payloads to outer space?

Imaginary scenario: The US, Russia, China, Europe, India, and all the private space companies in between combine resources for a sustained space exploration program beyond Earth. They can choose any ...
24
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the highest inclination orbit ever attained from a Cape Canaveral launch?

The launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, FL are located at a latitude of about 28.5° N, so that puts a hard lower bound on inclinations from that site. I assume there are well-defined azimuth limits ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How are multiple launches handled?

A spacecraft may launch with multiple payload, as is evidenced by How does a single rocket place multiple satellites into orbit? This question however is not about multiple payload carried in a ...
7
votes
0answers
700 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
586 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 ...
-6
votes
4answers
219 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

Are there any benefits to launching from Vandenberg AFB instead of Cape Canaveral?

Launching from Cape Canaveral has many benefits, including launching over the ocean (in case something needs to be dropped off) and saving energy by being at a lower latitude than most of the United ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

NASA Launch Control: was all of its capacity ever used?

The NASA Launch Control Center at Cape Canaveral has 4 Firing Rooms. Each can support the launch of a spacecraft. Similarly, the VAB was divided into four bays, each large enough to support assembly ...
2
votes
0answers
227 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 ...
22
votes
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
594 views

How often are space launches substantially delayed by protests physically at the launch site?

Update: Following a one month loss of launch capability, from Spaceflight Now, April 25, 2017; Operations resume at European-run launch base in French Guiana: Protest leaders demanded more 3 ...
12
votes
1answer
585 views

What is the alternate hangar SpaceX has available at the Cape?

In the web cast for the Falcon 9 Flight 8 launch campaign they showed an alternate hangar where spacecraft can be prepared and fueled, before being brought to the SpaceX hangar on LC-40 for ...
8
votes
1answer
370 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
457 views

Possible places for a launch complex in UK and continental Europe

Reading "Britain selects U.S., French, British teams to study spaceport feasibility" — I can imagine places in Europe for retrograde or polar launches, but are there places where standard LEO/...
4
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
197 views

Is there a significant difference between launching a polar orbit mission south from New Zealand versus launching it north?

The Channel News Asia article New Zealand launches into space race with 3D-printed rocket says: Ships and planes need re-routing every time a rocket is launched, which limits opportunities in ...
53
votes
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
915 views

Excluding Russia, has Europe launched a single satellite or spacecraft into Earth's orbit and beyond from its own continent?

I was going through the list of European rocket launch sites on Wikipedia, and I can't find a single reference for an orbited satellite launched from any of them. Honestly, I wasn't even aware of most ...
14
votes
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
691 views

What are the rectangular wires around Atlas V launch site?

You can see those wires spanning between four towers directly around the rocket in the following screenshot (taken from this video). I assume they are some kind of antenna or for some kind of ...
12
votes
2answers
845 views

Are the Russians planning to replace the Baikonur Cosmodrome?

For decades, the Baikonur Cosmodrome was the premier Soviet space launch site. Many historic launches took place there, and it earned its place in the history books. But then the Soviet Union fell ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

What decides if a launch has to be done instantaneously or during a window?

What determines if a launch has to be done instantaneously or has a launch window of minutes or hours? To what parts is it about celestial and ground issues? Just one example of alleged switching ...
11
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

What is involved in clearing air space for an orbital launch?

When the Nov 25th, 2013 SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 launch was scrubbed on a Monday, next launch opportunity was reported as Thursday (Thanksgiving) since the Tues/Wed days are the busiest day in the year ...
14
votes
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
732 views

Do any of the developing space programs use horizontal launcher assembly and launchpad loading?

Do any of the developing space programs (i.e. not NASA, ESA or Roscosmos) use horizontal launcher assembly in the launcher integration building and launchpad loading like the Soyuz at the Baikonur ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Is Cape Canaveral the ideal launch location in the US?

Is there any reason why we can't launch from other primary locations other than Cape Canaveral? I know we have begun launching some rockets from Virginia, but is the Space Coast really the ideal ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

How close can I get to a rocket launch?

At NASA Wallops the visitor center is 4 miles from the pad. Families of shuttle crews could watch from 3 miles away as their loved ones where hurled into orbit. At Biakonur I can apparently get to ...
9
votes
1answer
696 views

Do strongbacks/launch towers have to be repainted or refurbished after a launch?

Videos of rocket launches often show exhaust flames engulfing at least the upper parts of a launch tower or strongback. Do these towers need to be reconstructed or at least repainted after a launch? ...
7
votes
1answer
508 views

For SpaceX's Texas launch site, what kind of range radar/tracking will they have?

The Air Force runs the range for launches out of Florida and it is aging hardware, with long reset times, radars dropping off (Like first attempt of DSCOVR, and SMAP launch). I cannot find a ...
5
votes
1answer
606 views

Which launch sites were considered for Ariane 6?

I often see it mentioned that the selection of the launch site for Ariane 6 was one of the preliminary requirements that froze its final design. That does make sense, especially since there was some ...
3
votes
1answer
535 views

How are different spaceports restrained in terms of orbits reachable?

Vandenberg and Plesetsk and Satish Dhawan (India) have obviously been used for polar orbits. Palmachim (Israel) launches westward due to political and safety reasons. But what are the constraints on ...
20
votes
2answers
6k views

Why won't SpaceX launch a rocket for a month?

The last launch of a Falcon 9 (Intelsat 35e) took place on July 5, but the next launch of a falcon 9 (CRS-12) won't take place until August 10. Elon said that SpaceX still had 12 launches to go this ...
16
votes
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?
7
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
527 views

Why is Rocket Lab's New Zealand launch site good for polar orbits?

The Channel News Asia article New Zealand launches into space race with 3D-printed rocket says: Ships and planes need re-routing every time a rocket is launched, which limits opportunities in ...
2
votes
0answers
352 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
391 views

What is all the stuff that goes flying during a launch?

In today's SpaceX launch, at 41:25-41:28 there are a lot of dark objects which appear to be flying debris, almost like they might be parts of the light poles etc. which are visible on/near the launch ...
1
vote
0answers
119 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...