SpaceX Booster 4 Lifting Onto Launch Table

SpaceX is lifting Super Heavy Booster 4 onto the launch table which is beside the new giant launch tower.

There were previous pictures of the launch table under construction and workers in the picture show the giant size of the table.

SOURCES – NASASpaceflight, What About It?, SpaceX
Written By Brian Wang,

30 thoughts on “SpaceX Booster 4 Lifting Onto Launch Table”

  1. well. various coasts if the oil rig/ supported island model is to be believed. Pacific coast better than Gulf or Atlantic methinks.

  2. Things have always been designed for a given life, outside of a literal handful of things like religious monuments.

    Because if you designed something to last forever it would cost infinity, and weigh infinity.

    Now I won't deny that there are some ridiculous decisions that get made. – Sometimes because some committee meeting came up with a profit projection scheme where if the item automagically bricks itself after 24 months then OF COURSE the customer would be happy to buy another one.

    But a lot of the time because (listing things I've PERSONAL experience with)

    • someone was an idiot,
    • or there was some interaction nobody thought of between one part and the packaging material during shipping,
    • or they had 12 months to do the design, 2 months to test the final product and this particular problem doesn't appear until 2 years down the track
    • the product as designed lasts decades, but 3 months into production that gasket manufacturer went broke and the "equivalent" product from a different supplier was only equivalent for an application totally different from yours.
    • The tubing manufacturer buys their polymer from a supplier who, without telling anyone, changed the factory they source from. It was supposed to be identical, but there is a 0.2% plasticizer that is critically changed.
    • The sub-component manufacturer has a part buyer who found what he thought was an identical part from a cheaper supply so he would save 15c per part and make a bonus this year.
  3. Even back in the early 1980s, PM was far more gee-whiz than technical.

    Don't get me wrong, it's never been as bad a Popular Science.

  4. Valves misbehaving, apparently. That might take a few months to diagnose and fix, at ULA speeds.

  5. I think it has to do with the reflected shockwave from the hypersonic exhaust destroying the rocket and the launchpad.

  6. speaking of such systems:
    whatever happened to the second uncrewed test flight of the Starliner, scheduled to lift off Tuesday on a ULA Atlas V rocket from the Cape??

  7. In a million years when these sites are discovered, the best explanation will be alien technology.

  8. I think the long term plan is launching off modified oil drilling platforms, right? Long term, the pad at "Starbase" is going to be like the road out of the end of an auto factory: The vehicles only see it once after being manufactured. They'll be launched once from Starbase, then used elsewhere.

    That doesn't mean the launch from Starbase will be wasted, of course.

  9. Reasonable.
    Though waterproofing and draining foundation walls (before construction) is trivial these days, it is certainly not cheap and presumes the User will be around for 50 years.

  10. With All Due Respect (and to accept the pragmatics of the Business), it's the T&D engineers who have led the way to a 'design for obsolescence' culture. Failures at Warranty Period +1d, wear-out at the timing of a new product cycle (an Apple/ GM favourite), and a culture of easily (hopefully) replaceable 'transition parts' (essentially a labor subscription). Personal Request: more durable seals (c'mon EPDM and/or silicone?) and respect the duty cycles of the end result (5 uses per day or 5,000?).
    Cue the Curmudgeon: "Things lasted a lot longer in my day…"

  11. I'm going with "Next to ocean, below grade would be below water table".

    Also, the huge stand is probably quicker than digging a ginormous pit.

  12. He's absolutely right about this. I'm a tooling engineer for a deep draw stamping manufacturer, mostly automotive and medical. I see the truth of this every day. We'll get in products that have difficult features, and we'll always ask to see the assembly.

    When we do it's quite common to see that the feature isn't actually needed, or manufacture would be easier if the requirement were handled by a mating part, or even if two parts were combined.

    We're usually told, "It's too late in the process to do that, somebody is already making the mating part." It's a rare customer who brings us in early enough in the design process for productive changes.

    And he's right that design is easier than manufacture, a lot easier. A single part will be produced by tooling that has, typically, hundreds of custom components, many of them as complex, and higher precision, that all have to work together to produce it.

    I'd add a sixth step or rule, not sure where it goes in order: "You can't properly design a part if you don't understand the process for manufacturing it." You're going to, unavoidably, make assumptions about what the manufacturer is capable of. Sometimes you'll design in things that realistically can't be made. Other times you'll not design in things the manufacturer would have found almost trivial to make. And you won't have an understanding of which things are cheap, and which are expensive.

  13. Also worth watching for his description of his 5 "design" steps:

    1. Make requirements 'less dumb' – assume they may be dumb regardless who set it. All requirements should have the specifier's name attached, so they can be asked why something it is required.
    2. Try very hard to delete parts or processes. (May have to add back later.)
    3. Simplify it – engineers often start here because they're trained that way.
    4. Accelerate it – e.g. take out unnecessary testing on production lines.
    5. Automate the production or process.
  14. Ah. Buran-Energia-The so-called Soviet Space Shuttle #2.
    Energia 2 – was to be a fully re-usable soviet rocket.

  15. who knows where. Cape? Vandenberg? Kennedy? Brownsville South Texas? Likely his own personal Space Town in mid-2020s.

  16. …thought that only one super-heavy-lift system had ever reached orbit (loaded).
    A lot more hassle to load up the required 50 – 100t+ payL easily on such a table.
    Why not below grade? Easy-viewing Entertainment?

  17. completing 'Stage 0' (the Orbital Launch Table and Integration/Catch Tower), completing a flight capable Superheavy Booster and a flight capable Starship, and being able to do a full wet dress rehearsal, a (at least partial) static fire will go _long way_ towards retiring risks and finding bugs in the system. Even if the FAA denies the launch license and SpaceX has to construct a tower and launch table at KSC, it will be producing rather than developing the system at that site

  18. So, what's the plan here? Get everything ready to launch, and hope the EPA and FAA are so embarrassed at holding things up that they blink? Seems risky.

    Or maybe they've already gotten approval by back channels?

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