60

Why were the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts backed up by guards with automatic weapons? A NASA crew launch is a highly-visible symbol of US national pride. I mean, the slogan for the whole campaign is Launch America, and the message has always been "Launch American astronauts from American soil in an American capsule on American rockets (for the first time ...


48

Salt does all sorts of unpleasant things to just about every building material humans use. Hot salt spray, such as you'd get from a rocket launch, is even worse: spraying something with hot saltwater is one of the techniques used for corrosion testing. Build a launch pad over the ocean, and you'll need to clean it off after each launch to try to keep the ...


43

Partial answer covering only Is this a new thing, or were similar military guards around to guard Shuttle crews as well? It is not a new thing. Photo by former colleague Michael Grabois at STS-101 crew walkout, 2000. The guards were not only on the ground. Image source Personal photo at STS-135 launch, 2011.


21

Excess capacity was needed in the storage sphere to allow for multiple attempts in a launch campaign. Much of the propellant was recovered during a scrub but not all. The storage spheres were loaded from waves of tanker trucks and it was a lengthy process - weeks to several months. It would have been embarrassing to run out of propellant after a series of ...


18

Why have two separate sites for launch and landing, instead of consolidating them at one site? The plan was to have one site for both launch and landing. The Challenger disaster resulted in a change of plans. Edwards AFB was one of the test locations of the Shuttle program. The test flights with the prototype Enterprise were performed here. But since ...


17

It was done horizontally, in a separate building called MIK-112 (MIK is translated as ‘assembly and testing building’) See more details and photos here: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/baikonur_energia_112.html


15

A ICBM rocket launched from a submarine should leave the water as fast as possible. Therefore the rocket has to leave the water vertically. The rocket is blown out of the submarine by using compressed air, it is ignited in air, not in the water. The rocket is stored in vertical position within the submarine. To be launched successfully, the rocket is ...


12

The reason why the launch sites are built inland goes back to the Cold War. Western commentators have expressed surprise at the selection of a launch site so far inland, in difficult terrain, with poor communication facilities in a relatively populated rural area. The Chinese subsequently explained that during the tense seventies, an inland site was ...


12

"Buran" orbiters were assembled in Tushinskiy complex in Moscow (Тушинский авиастроительный завод). Than the orbiter articles were transported by VM-T airplane. The iconic An-225 was not ready in 1988. MIK-112 in Baikonur was used for preflight/postflight maintenance. ( From Russian wikipedia https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Энергия_—_Буран) Quote: ...


12

Environmental impact may be a major consideration The effect on the local water environment from that sort of blast into it could be severe and far reaching in the neighborhood around a water based launch pad. Also if there are any abort or need to dump fuel or uncombusted fuels from explosions could also have massive impacts that are immediately spread due ...


11

Launches out of Vandenberg in California are generally into high inclination orbits (like polar and near-polar) rather than retrograde. Per NASA: Launches from Vandenberg have an allowable launch path suitable for polar insertions south, southwest and southeast. The launch limits at Vandenberg are 201 and 158 degrees. At a 201-degree launch azimuth, the ...


8

Edwards already existed, so using that for landing saves you the cost of constructing something else. Moving the shuttle back to Florida after landing cost a lot of money and time. With sufficient flight rate, you recoup the cost of a closer landing facility. History of the Shuttle Landing Facility states Landing the orbiter at KSC’s Shuttle Landing ...


8

On the spectrum from "build a new one for every launch" to "nothing was damaged" the actual experience was "some repair and refurbishment needed". The Mobile Launch Platforms (MLPs) and the Launch Umbilical Towers that were mounted on them for Apollo survived the program and were re-built and reused for Shuttle. (For Apollo, the towers were mounted on the ...


7

Hayabusa-2 landed on and then took of from the asteroid, so "unprepared surface". Also the ascent stages of the Apollo Lunar Module were launched from the Moon back to orbit but they used the descent stage as a launchpad.


6

Per the answers here the water around rocket launches is in spray or mist form to absorb energy through evaporation, with cooling being largely a happy side effect. A flat sea surface will instead tend to reflect energy back towards the launch structure and rocket. The rocket blast will tend to displace it downwards but not actually absorb the much energy ...


6

Apparently it is an overhead tank (OHT) associated with fire suppression system of Second Launch Pad in Sriharikota. Learned about this from a recent tender about upgrading fire suppression to meet safety requirements of Augmented Second Launch Pad project under which few new facilities will be added to SLP complex to serve future line of Kerolox based ...


6

I was the US Army Corps of Engineers Cape Canaveral Area Engineer from 1981 - 1983. I managed all the heavy construction at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Patrick AFB. The SMAB was an existing facility integral to the Titan Integrate, Transfer, Launch Complex at CCAFS that we modified under a $25 million contract to Algernon-Blair of Montgomery, AL. ...


6

Partial answer: I can identify the manager responsible for the decision, and the date, but not the reason why. LC-39 was the sole topic at a meeting of the Launch Operations Working Group on 18-19 July [1962] that brought together 113 representatives from LOD, MSFC, and the launch vehicle contractors: Boeing, North American, Douglas, and General Electric. ...


5

It stands for Temporary Flight Restriction. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_flight_restriction Presumably the TFR is in place for whatever SpaceX is doing and the radar will be utilized during that same event. So the two things are associated, but one is not because of the other.


5

Welcome to Space stack exchange. This is a part of launch window analysis and I'd recommend using that as a search term. The simplest answer is "a bit more than 180 degrees". This is for the situation where the launch site is on the equator and the target satellite is geostationary rather than inclined geosynchronous orbit. Imagine that the ...


5

Your launch method would destroy an unmodified rocket by the heat and pressure of the exhaust. The water sprinklers would reduce the heat a little, but not the pressure. The effect would be very, very tiny. The rocket has to reach a hight of 400 km and a speed of 8 km/s. If 100 m height is done in 8 seconds, the mean speed is only 12.5 m/s, a little more ...


4

There are a couple of reasons why one might want to put launch sites on the coast: You don't want to drop rockets on people. Only relevant if you actually care about people. Access to a port, for parts that are too large to ship over land. Only relevant if you care about not blowing up mountains, filling up valleys. Also, only relevant if you have to ...


3

A TFR is a Temporary Flight Restriction. My best guess for why SpaceX would include this information in their filing is that the FCC requires that marine radar does not interfere with airplane operations, and what SpaceX is saying is that because of the fact that there are no airplane operations when the radar is transmitting, there is no further need to ...


3

There are two big problems with acoustic energy during a rocket launch: Sound pressure waves hitting and damaging the launch pad. Sound being reflected off the launch pad and hitting and damaging the vehicle. If you look at the launch mount at Baikonur, you can see that the vehicle is actually suspended over the side of a cliff of a man-made crater:NASA/...


3

I believe the answer is that no, they don't. Below is a quote from this page by Franco Carnevale, who works for Immarsat and has been involved in launches from Baikonur: The sound pressure level of large rocket engines has been measured at greater than 200 decibels – one of the loudest man-made sounds on earth. I have always been interested at the reasons ...


3

No rocket has done except for those launched from airplanes, which take off from a flat runway. The reason are that the following would have to be true. The upper stage to such a rocket would have to be either solidly fueled, have long term liquid storage, or be fueled from the lower stage(s). The rocket would need to be small. A large rocket has needs for ...


3

I think the closest to what you want is Start-1. Start-1 is a modified RT-2PM Topol ICBM equipped with extra stage to put the payload in orbit (Topol itself is suborbital). So besides the civilian application and orbital capacity it retains most of its ICBM features. It's not exactly 'just a flat surface' - it's an all-terain vehicle. All prerequisites for ...


3

Reading a bit "between the lines" of a NASA history book, it seems that Wallops was already the main workspace / location for PARD (Pilotless Aircraft Research Division) , part of NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) . The PARD's experience at Wallops put the NACA in a very good position. Deriving accurate data using the rocket model ...


3

Not really definitive, but max zoom in on the picture here shows an individual in the camo uniform exiting a KSC security forces vehicle as shown here


2

Wallops Island was already an established flight test facility, and there has been a number of rocket launches, for instance the explorer series. It was also close to NASA's facility in Langley, Virginia, which is where many of the scientists and engineers were located at the time, the other main location was Huntsville, Alabama, which was not that far away ...


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