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Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Sixto, Jul 27, 2008.
I'm from that area...still have family there...but won't be there to help...
Some GREAT pics!
I think somebody (HoTat2 maybe?) asked earlier where the Proton itself is fueled. At the time I read the post I was scanning the forum and didn't have time to respond and then I forgot. Oops. But in any event, the answer is, at the pad. The rocket is transported basically empty and then erected onto the launch pad (that erector strongback) would have a hard time lifting a few hundred thousand pounds of liquids along with the rocket structure itself, plus the tanks would be subject to a lot of stresses in different directions and angles as the vehicle is stood up). Plus, and again I don't mean to harp on it, but the hypergolics used by Proton are very unpleasant and dangerous. The quantities used by the spacecraft and upper stage are substantial and require special handling, but the much larger quantities required by the three stages of the Proton itself are substantially larger and pose a much bigger hazard. Fueling at the pad creates a nice buffer zone between the processing areas for rockets and payloads and the launch pad in the event of a major problem or accident.
Thanks for the picture Sixto.
All I can tell is that the Proton is one big-butt rocket! :lol:
OK, some questions for you rocket scientists from someone who knows nothing about launch sites.
1. The red (orange?) and white tower to the left looks like either a tower crane or an antenna tower. Which is it? If antenna tower, why would they need an antenna tower so close to the launch pad?
2. There are two smaller towers to the right and left that have an array of something on top. Floodlamps? Am I seeing a similar array on the red and white tower?
3. The structure to the left that's leaning at about a 30 degree angle is a fueling gantry?
4. What is the horizontal "rack" at the left edge of the photo? Support for fuel lines or electrical cables?
5. Can I assume that the vehicles will be moved back before launch? Can I also assume that all of the small structures are either portable and will be moved before launch or are really well tied down? There just seems to be a lot of "stuff" near the base of the launch vehicle.
I think it's a multiple-use tower. I believe it serves as lightning protection for the pad plus a mounting for additional floodlights.
Yes, and yes.
That's the erector strongback. The rocket is transported by rail mounted to that structure and then erected onto the launch pad. After that, the erector is lowered out of the way. The Soviets and now the Russians have long preferred that method of booster preparation, while American preference was vertical stacking and transportation. Interestingly, newer Amercian rockets are going in the same direction. The Delta IV is transported horizontally and erected onto the pad in the same way, as are the new SpaceX Falcon family of boosters.
I don't know for sure, but you're probably right.
Anything that's too valuable to risk losing in an accident will be moved quite far from the pad before fueling operations and launch.
Now we have D12 Videos!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG6Di5HLj-w
Yes, it was me earlier with that question LameLefty;
And thanks for the info./clarification. For some strange reason the final fueling for the Proton-M rocket itself seems to be omitted in any of the ILS pre-launch processing chronologies for the Proton-M/Breeze-M I could find.
It is getting closer, I can feel it!
Very cool vids! Nice find, Sixto. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
That is amazing video....watching how D12 and the Proton gets to and on the pad.
More impressive yet is how smoothly it all happens, even with the snow on the ground and obvious cold.
Almost makes ya want to be a Rocket Scientist.
As a railfan myself, seeing the Russian rail equipment that moves the rocket onto the pad was very interesting. Yes, very cool video.
Come on, Monday!
Yeah, I can't believe how easily it goes vertical
Yes, Very Impressive!!!
Leverage is fun: you have the heaviest part (the spacecraft and fueled Briz-M upper stage) at one end, and the next heaviest part (the first stage engines) at the other. In between is mostly just empty tankage. Erecting the weight of the spacecraft and upper stage is not that much work; clever design of the erector mechanism allows the mass of the engines to help do the work while the strongback provides support and stability during the movement.
Imagine how fast that snow melts when they light all six of those engines. Monday will be great to watch.
Two more days, yes!
I suspect a fair amount will actually vaporize.
Are we going to be able to watch the live launch on any D* channel ?