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SFS News: Falcon 9 is now fully integrated at the Cape!

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:50 am
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SFS News: Falcon 9 is now fully integrated at the Cape! 
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Post SFS News: Falcon 9 is now fully integrated at the Cape!   Posted on: Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:50 am
Falcon 9 is now fully integrated at the Cape! Today we mated the 5.2 m payload fairing to the Falcon 9 first stage (see below). This was the final step in the integration process—one day ahead of schedule.

With Falcon 9 integrated, our focus shifts to the big launch mount and erector. All the pieces have been delivered, and the coming days will see a tremendous amount of welding to join them all together.

The long hours put in by the SpaceX team over the last several weeks, particularly the folks on the ground at the Cape, are certainly paying off. Once the launch mount and erector are complete, we'll transfer Falcon 9 on to the erector and raise it to vertical early in 2009. Happy New Year!

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Please feel free to discuss this topic further...

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Post How do they do that?   Posted on: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:57 am
How do the Space X folks get the rocket onto the lifting mechanism? I saw the pictures of the rocket assembled and sitting on the railcar axels. But the next pictures show it sitting on the lifter. How do they get it from one to the other?

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 13, 2009 10:52 am
As far as I understand it, Falcon 9 is either supposed to be assembled directly on the erector, or at least put onto it while still in the hangar.

The whole erector (with F9 on top) then rides on the rail cars to the launch position.

I think those small "rail cars" we see in the other pictures are just something provisional for the first F9 because the erector wasn't built yet.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:33 am
I guess that still begs the question then. How did it levitate from the blue rail cars to the erector?

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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:34 pm
Probably with those?
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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:01 pm
I was going to suggest "by hand" but I think Marcus' suggestion is much closer to the truth ;)

I mean - the things the rocket rested on don't look like they're taller than a grown man, and SpaceX has what, 500 employees? I think if enough of them positioned themselves underneath it and lifted simultaneously, they could lift the whole rocket. As long as it's not fueled.


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