Two more huge Schweiss bifold doors destined for SpaceX at Cape Canaveral

SpaceX is getting to be a name as identifiable as NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) was. Ever since government funding was cut for NASA, SpaceX has been in the forefront of space exploration. They have already developed expendable rockets able to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) and are most likely going to provide satellite launch services, passenger tourist flights and cargo delivery to orbit sooner than you think.

Prior to attaching the exterior sheeting and insulation, the large door is put through a test run from top to bottom to ensure it is in working order.

Prior to attaching the exterior sheeting and insulation, the large door is put through a test run from top to bottom to ensure it is in working order.

“SpaceX is like Special Forces… we do the missions that others think are impossible. We have goals that are absurdly ambitious by any reasonable standard, but we’re going to make them happen. We have the potential here at SpaceX to have an incredible effect on the future of humanity and life itself,” noted Elon Musk – SpaceX CEO & Chief Designer.

Schweiss Doors SpaceX-1

A Schweiss Bifold Liftstrap/Autolatch door opens wide to enable spacecraft such as this at Cape Canaveral to be delivered to the launch pad. Schweiss Doors just delivered two more doors to the Cape, one of which is 90 ft. wide and another that is 69 ft. tall.

The same goes for Schweiss Doors, an established 35-year-old company that specializes in large custom-made doors that many other companies wouldn’t dare to make. Schweiss doors destined for SpaceX locations is nothing new. Schweiss has built large doors installed at various SpaceX locations going back to 2008 for Cape Canaveral, Waco, Texas and Vandenberg AFB in California, and they keep coming back for more.

A lot of steel went into this 90 foot x 61 foot door weighing in at 53,000 pounds with attached sheeting and insulation. A dual-autolatch system closes it securely to the space hangar. The huge door required four powerful bottom-drive motors and 31 liftstraps capable of lifting more weight. Five internal and one external truss add to the stability of the door.

A lot of steel went into this 90 foot x 61 foot door weighing in at 53,000 pounds with attached sheeting and insulation. A dual-autolatch system closes it securely to the space hangar. The huge door required four powerful bottom-drive motors and 31 liftstraps capable of lifting more weight. Five internal and one external truss add to the stability of the door.

Doors required by SpaceX are not your run-of-the-mill doors; there are a lot of specialized things associated with these doors that Schweiss Doors has to conform with.

Their latest orders just left the Schweiss Doors factory. They will soon be installed on a new steel hangar at Cape Canaveral. The largest of the two is a Bifold Liftstrap door 90 ft. wide x 61 ft. tall. The second door on that shipment is 40 ft. wide x 69 ft. tall. Each of the doors is equipped with automatic latches and are windrated to 150 mph. After they arrive at the site they will be clad in 26 gauge sheeting and have 4-inch blanket insulation. Bottom-drive 480 volt, 3-phase motors and patented Schweiss liftstraps will do the lifting of these doors that exceed 46,700 lbs.

SpaceX maintains launch sites at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and Boca Chica, Texas. Each location offers key benefits to support our customers’ missions. SpaceX tests its engines and structures at a 4,000-acre state-of-the-art rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.

SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation is a space transport company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. Their launch manifest is populated by a diverse customer base; including space station resupply missions, commercial satellite launch missions, and US government science and national security missions.

SpaceX-interior

The COTS 2 Demo Dragon sits alongside a Schweiss Bifold liftstrap/autolatch door as it undergoes launch prep at the SpaceX hangar in Cape Canaveral, Florida. These doors were ordered for the Cape in 2008 and since then others have been installed in Waco, Texas and Vandenburg AFB, California.

Cape Canaveral on the southeast coast of Florida provides access to a wide range of low and medium inclination orbits frequently used by communications and Earth-observing satellites and by supply missions to the International Space Station. The site also allows access to geostationary orbits, as well as departures to the Moon and interplanetary destinations.

Situated on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with Patrick Air Force Base to the south and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the north, SLC-40 benefits from many support services in the region, including security and launch range control, weather monitoring, ground support infrastructure, payload processing facilities, and long-range tracking cameras capable of observing launches from liftoff through stage separation and second-stage ignition out over the Atlantic.

Space-X-door-open

Men standing in front of one of the SpaceX hangars in Cape Canaveral give a good indication of what a Schweiss custom-made 90 ft. x 60 ft. tall bifold door actually is.

 

When the largest Schweiss bifold liftstrap door is open all the way it has a 52 foot clear opening.

When the largest Schweiss bifold liftstrap door is open all the way it has a 52 foot clear opening.

A view of the bifold door with exterior sheeting attached. The smaller 40 x 69 foot tall door required three powerful motors and has 16 liftstraps, five internal trusses and one external truss.

A view of the bifold door with exterior sheeting attached. The smaller 40 x 69 foot tall door required three powerful motors and has 16 liftstraps, five internal trusses and one external truss.

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