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Frilock

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Now I suppose I could google this, but I thought it might be better to ask an actual person, I'm curious, are the SRBs (for lack of a better word) 'loaded' during all this? I've actually kind of wondered about this since I was younger. The movie 'Space Camp' and all that. Or do they need to come back off again to get 'loaded'?
 

GLS

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Now I suppose I could google this, but I thought it might be better to ask an actual person, I'm curious, are the SRBs (for lack of a better word) 'loaded' during all this? I've actually kind of wondered about this since I was younger. The movie 'Space Camp' and all that. Or do they need to come back off again to get 'loaded'?
Yes, they are loaded for... maybe 2 years now? At least since they left the factory for the trip to Florida.
 

Frilock

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On the one hand it makes sense, on the other, all this stuff they got to do, and they're basically working around giant bombs. Hats off to those guys!
 

clipper

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Well if it makes you feel any better, there's hundreds of solid-propellant ICBMs deployed out there for years on standby with actual bombs on top of them - they don't mind sitting loaded for a while.
 

N_Molson

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Well if it makes you feel any better, there's hundreds of solid-propellant ICBMs deployed out there for years on standby with actual bombs on top of them - they don't mind sitting loaded for a while.

Yeah and that's nothing, in Russia they pushed that a step further from the UR-500 and most of their ICBMs with UDMH/N2O4. Which does not only go boom, but is highly a corrosive solution that can easily leak out, seep into aquifer and cause a local ecologic nightmare. Civilian Angara went for Kero/LOX, but not the military programs. And most of their ICBMs are probably 1960's stuff, they probably replaced just the ones that failed the drills.
 

DaveS

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it’s good that European Ariane rockets and American Delta rockets fly on flowers
All Delta IVs only use liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen. The only Delta stage to use hypergols was the Delta II second stage (called the Delta K) which used Aerozine 50 (a special blend of hydrazine and UDMH) and Dinitrogen tetroxide. Delta III and later replaced the Delta K second stage with a newly developed LH2/LOX stage using the tried and true RL-10 engine (world's first rocket engine to use LH2 as the fuel). T
his upper stage called the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS) was re-used for the later Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) in the Medium configurations (Medium, Medium+) with a brand new Common Booster Core (CBC) which used the then unflown RS-68 engine which also uses LH2/LOX. This erased the last bit of common Thor IRBM heritage from the Delta family.

The DCSS lives on as the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) upper stage of SLS, where it has a 18"(0.4572 m) stretch of its LH2 fuel tank (the LOX tank is unmodified).

And the Atlas V EELV uses RP-1/LOX in the Atlas stage and LH2/LOX in the Centaur upper stage. There are currently no flying western space launch vehicles that use UDMH any more since the retirement of the Delta II.
 

N_Molson

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it’s good that European Ariane rockets and American Delta rockets fly on flowers

Well those rocket have LOX/LH2 (oxygen+hydrogen) first stages, that's rather hard to beat. Combustion product is H2O.

Titan II-IV and Ariane 1-4 used hypergolics, but all those are long retired (and were not fired over land).
 
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Thunder Chicken

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If the program (and NASA) had some minimal popular support the production line of those engines would be healthy and could be easily replaced. Its not the SLS that sends RS-25 engines to trash, its USA that sent 30 years of space program to trash because a couple of billionaires bought the whole thing for their DC Comics fantasies.
I think the Commercial Cargo/Crew concept is a sound one, and SpaceX has been delivering good access to LEO with a safe, relatively economical rocket. Their flight tempo is impressive. Maybe even Boeing will get Starliner operational.*

I suppose in fairness to NASA that the SLS did need to be a thing to keep their engineers busy, keep federal funds flowing, and with CC/C in progress their best efforts would be to build an extra heavy lift vehicle for beyond LEO operations to complement the LEO capability they farmed out to commercial interests. I had thought for a while that SpaceX Superheavy/Starship was going to come in and make SLS completely obsolete before SLS was even built, but now I'm worried that Musk is going around the bend and that may affect the political interest in NASA supporting that program in the same way that they did with Falcon.

I don't see SLS and Superheavy/Starship both operating side-by-side to their full potential. Either S/S ramps up as intended and provides another paradigm-shifting launch capability that makes SLS look like a horse-and-wagon in comparison, or it flops and SLS is the STS 2.0 program of the 2020-2030s.

*The Phlying Phallus is a useless millionaire's joyride and I won't dignify it by calling it a rocket. :(
 
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Gargantua2024

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Titan II-IV and Ariane 1-4 used hypergolics, but all those are long retired (and were not fired over land).
To be fair with the Russians in the 1950s-1990s, they simply had no choice but to launch over land, as their southernmost coastal area (Okhotsk) is still too far north. Also, all Baikonur launches are deliberately planned to always launch northeast so that the rocket stages would fly over most uninhabited areas of their own territory in Siberia rather than crash on China or India
 

steph

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To be fair with the Russians in the 1950s-1990s, they simply had no choice but to launch over land, as their southernmost coastal area (Okhotsk) is still too far north. Also, all Baikonur launches are deliberately planned to always launch northeast so that the rocket stages would fly over most uninhabited areas of their own territory in Siberia rather than crash on China or India
Wouldn't the eastern coast / Vladivostok area make a good launching area? I mean, they were the ones initially putting stuff in orbit, it was up to them to decide the latitude.

Meanwhile, I'm actually wondering if NASA/the US govt/deep state isn't actually trying to screw Elon over with the environmental inquiry and all that. Most people at NASA seem to be old school state-sponsored spaceflight kind of people. I guess SpaceX putting a Starship on the moon, even uncrewed, wouldn't make them look too competent.
 

Gargantua2024

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Vladivostok is still too far north compared to Baikonur, and given the highly classified nature of their rocket technology in the 1950s, the site is far more vulnerable from being seen by enemy spy planes. Baikonur's location is deep enough within Soviet territory that its existence and name hadn't been fully been publicly revealed until the ASTP mission in 1975 (aside from occasional images taken by Corona spy satellites at the time)


Also the intense Pacific and Arctic weather around Vladivostok made it unfavorable for any type of rocket launch
 

clipper

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(aside from occasional images taken by Corona spy satellites at the time)
Baikonur was first revealed and pictured by an CIA U-2 all the way back in August of 1957 actually, and they weren't really aware of where it could exactly be aside from it probably being accessible via railway - so "all" the pilot had to do after taking off from Lahore is head to Tashkent and then follow the rail line from there.

There's a pretty good research paper worth reading that goes into all the details of its discovery and Soviet (futile) attempts to cover up the exact location after Gagarin's flight.
 

MaxBuzz

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There's a pretty good research paper worth reading that goes into all the details of its discovery and Soviet (futile) attempts to cover up the exact location after Gagarin's flight.
what does it mean to hide?
another thing is so spit on the opinion of the CIA that you don’t even shoot down the U-2
 

Urwumpe

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what does it mean to hide?
another thing is so spit on the opinion of the CIA that you don’t even shoot down the U-2

Maybe read the paper first. The story about the beginnings and the many Maskirovka operations to deceive the USA is common knowledge today, you can also find it in the important books about the Soviet spaceflight program. Poligon wasn't build in Baikonur, which was 300 k,m away from the site at that time. The name change of the nearby town from Leninsk to Baikonur happened in 1995. The train station is still called Tyuratam, which the USA used as name for the launch site until the Apollo-Soyuz project.

EDIT: And yes, thanks to the Soviet habit of using trains for many transportation jobs, western intelligence was able to locate quite many "hidden" targets easily for a while. It took the Soviets almost 15 years to realize it and use alternatives, like looking for huge helicopters and finally ending up with road-mobile ICBMs. I know that former GDR officers had been quite surprised after 1990, when they learned after the reunification, what NATO knew about their secrets - there was really little left, About many things, even low-ranking NATO officers had been better informed than the warsaw pact division commanders.
 
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MaxBuzz

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on the secrecy of the construction of Baikonur: there was a correspondent in the first construction team in the newspapers a list of labor exploits of youth was published 243 people received awards

(I found the story with the CIA in the "yellow press")

after his flight, Yuri Gagarin holds a press conference (for the foreign press) where he talks in detail about his flight
 
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4throck

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Meanwhile, I'm actually wondering if NASA/the US govt/deep state isn't actually trying to screw Elon over with the environmental inquiry and all that. Most people at NASA seem to be old school state-sponsored spaceflight kind of people. I guess SpaceX putting a Starship on the moon, even uncrewed, wouldn't make them look too competent....
For extra perspective, look up the story about commercial TV and the 373, 441 and 576-line standards in the US around 1936-1940. The conflict between industry and regulators for approval of a single standard stalled regular broadcasts in America. It was entirely possible to build a multistandard receiver - in fact, older sets had a "vertical hold" control - but acknowledging that would benefit no one. It was all about "winner takes it all", so the systems were considered incompatible.
 
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