Behind the Scenes at the Eastern Range

Absolutely fascinating read about the work done by the 45th last week in response to the Amos-6 incident.

The SpaceX rep informed me that while the deluge wasn’t functioning optimally it was still helping to suppress the fire somewhat. That was fine except for one thing — our 1.2 million gallon tank was being depleted at a rapid rate and there was no way to refill the tanks fast enough to sustain the output. If the tanks ran dry then the motors to the pumps would burn up, which would render the deluge system inoperable for other launch pads meaning our upcoming ULA launch might then be in danger.

No sooner had we accomplished the securing of the pumps when I was approached by another one of our range users who explained they were losing pressure on the chillers at a neighboring launch complex. Without those chillers the spacecraft for the next launch would be lost. Needless to say at this point I had to reestablish our priorities and get a team working on a way to get our IRT into Space Launch Complex 41 to allow access for technicians to enter in order to make the necessary repairs.

Thankfully, OSIRIS-REx was saved, but it sounds like it was an incredibly tense day for all involved. The 45th does an incredible job, and we should all be thankful for their work.