This seemed better as its own thread than wandering off topic in the Pot Bellied Stove "shooting down a drone" thread or Today's News "if the US has its B21" thread, so I clipped and moved them to this discussion. Gentlemen, I hope you do not disagree.
I think those cadets will be called "Starship Troopers", like the movie of that name, when "service guarantees Citizenship!" (whatever that means).
Having "served" in the business of access to space for the greater part of my engineering career, it was awe inspiring from my first trip to NASA's Pad 39A, where the Mobile Launcher (ML) sat on top of the pad above the Flame Trench (FT) and Main Flame Deflector (MFD) following the failed Challenger launch - a sad day for us all. I did not know then to wait for the Pad Transport bus at the badge check station as I walked up the incline to the top of the pad. It was a relatively short walk (~1000') up the 5 percent slope.
The closer I got to the pad surface, about 50 feet above grade, the greater was my anticipation that "Luke Skywalker", or other Star Wars "Trooper" would emerge from one of the ship's doors on the ML, the Rotating Service Structure (RSS), the Fixed Service Structure (FSS), or the Pad Deck. It was inspiring then and still would be today if the Shuttle Transportation System (STS) hadn't been mothballed and Pad A leased to SpaceX for their strong back modifications in the FT to right their horizontally transported vehicle to vertical.
It was often said, "NASA's Pad 39B is 'just like' Pad 39A", but those of us "in the know", knew better. The differences are much more subtle and widespread than first appearances. Pad 39B though, has been, and will remain, irreparably altered since the demolition of its RSS, FSS, and MFD for a "clean pad" leading to the current NASA program. A tower has been added to the ML, which the Crawler Transporters (CTs) have to carry, along with the rocket, from its hanger in the Vertical Assembly Building (VAB) to the Pad. Other extensive pad modifications in the FT, pad surface, and Side Flame Deflectors (SFD's) are less apparent, but equally important.
The remnant Lightning Towers remain on each of Pads 39 A and B. That was an interesting modification during their designs. Much "deep thought" went into those massive footprints to avoid conflicts with existing utilities and structures in place that were necessary for the continued success of each Pad. Worker and vehicle safety from a lightning strike was accomplished. It would have been a "bad day" to take a lightning strike on any Solid Rock Motor (SRM) strapped to the Shuttle and perched on an ML at a pad, potentially igniting and attempting to "lift off" unexpectedly and with certain disaster.
A "single wire" lightning arresting system was redesigned as a Faraday Cage at Pads 39A and B, similarly to those previously designed and constructed at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) Pads 40 and 41. I thought long and hard about the footprints of the designs at pads 40 and 41 too, except those had existing towers, buildings, and commodity tanks, to remain, that included both a vertical and horizontal standoff in their design. Like sticking a long needle in a haystack without touching any of the hay while maintaining equal distance from every piece of hay as you progress into the stack.
I wonder if the engineers and their companies that transform Earth into rocket launching sites, plan and design rocket launching facilities, transporters, distribution of fueling (cryogenics), sound suppression, electrical, communications, fire suppression, tracking, etc., will be included in the "Space Force". Or will that only apply to the Government workers and its astronauts?
How will Private Corporations that desire and will eventually send personnel into space be "labeled"? Is Space Force for peace and exploration? Or war?
Last edited by land_owner; 05-20-2020 at 06:10 AM.