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16

Kennedy Space centre in Florida formerly had its own plant for the manufacture of cryogenic fuels and other liquids. This is now closed as noted earlier. The procurement for cryogenic fuel for NASA is done via the office of procurement at KSC. It was determined that the US has only one supplier cryogenics that can supply the cape with the necessary 30 trucks ...


9

At Kourou, there's a production plant for liquid hydrogen and oxygen. The plant is run by Air Liquide, a French company that specializes in industrial gases. There's also a casting facility for solid rocket stages.


7

In a somewhat implicit way, Chapter 16 (By Joseph Tatarewicz) of NASA's SP-4219, "From Engineering to Big Science", provides an answer: While the $6 million per month seems like a lot for storage, the spacecraft had to be kept in a mammoth clean room with active air conditioning and filtering systems operating constantly, some nitrogen purging of areas ...


6

Depends on the fuel. With Liquid Oxygen, for regular launches, it makes more sense to build a LOX plant nearby and pipe it to the pad/storage tank, than it is to buy it offsite. You can see the SpaceX oxygen ball near the pad at LC-40. It seems that during the Saturn project they had such a plant at the Cape near LC-17 but no longer. Nitrogen in large ...


5

The storage hangar at Launch Complex 39A at the Cape according theverge.com, can store in total up to five boosters at once. Looking to the SpaceX successful landings, it rises the possibilities to have more consecutive 1st stage landings sooner then they thought. Imagining the time when Falcon Heavy will be operational, then a new storage hangar or an ...


4

Jan van Oort's answer triggered me to buy Robert W. Smith's "The Space Telescope" that was referenced in his source. This book gives a bit more context. According to Smith, the extra time was not just "testing and debugging". In particular, the thermal-vacuum tests performed on the fully assembled telescope conducted in May of 1986 revealed a number of ...


3

Giving the tank a positive charge is in the most extreme case to partially ionize it, but if it is possible to do it in another way, it is going to take a lot of energy anyway. Even with only a little energy usage, a bigger problem is to avoid heating of the hydrogen, and the resulting boil-off. I can not think of a way to charge either the tank nor the ...


1

This may seem strange, but certain compounds have greater hydrogen density than liquid hydrogen and thus can potentially pack more hydrogen per unit volume than the liquid. Liquid hydrogen weighs in at 70.8 kg per cubic meter, while the hydrogen content of magnesium hydride (one of many materials being evaluated for this purpose), for example, comes out to ...


1

First of all, I believe the limiting factor on SLS isn't so much the time it takes to build a rocket, but the cost per rocket. As more rockets get launched, the cost will go down per launch. As for the shelf life of a rocket, there are a couple of key things. The main cost is storage, in that the rocket has to be placed in a controlled environment to ...


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