Author Topic: Where will BFR be built?  (Read 21432 times)

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #100 on: 10/07/2017 01:00 AM »
From ShitElonsays.com
Transcript - Making Life Multiplanetary - Elon Musk - Adelaide IAC:

Quote
[36:56] That's not a typo. [Laughter] Although it is aspirational. [Laughter] So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built...

...the facility is being built...  That sounds like he is currently planing to build the main tanks somewhere new rather than Hawthorne

Inside the Hawthorne building is the Merlin engine production line, the Dragon production line, the Falcon 9 production line, the Falcon fairing production line. Each of these could be considered to be "factories" in a loose sense.

That said, the usual interpretation of the word "factory" is one or more buildings where product is built. But as Robotbeat has advocated, a new building could be the "factory", and that could be on the same street as their current factory.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #101 on: 10/07/2017 01:04 AM »
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..
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Offline jedsmd

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #102 on: 10/07/2017 01:22 AM »
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..

Agreed the preponderance of info implies Hawthorne.  But I think it will have to be someplace larger and more convenient.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #103 on: 10/07/2017 01:26 AM »
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..

Agreed the preponderance of info implies Hawthorne.  But I think it will have to be someplace larger and more convenient.
The Triumph facility is the obvious one. They built 747s there, and there's a straight shot up Prairie Ave. Also, what besides BFR would SpaceX need to acquire a new, huge facility for?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #104 on: 10/07/2017 03:26 AM »
Is it possible to use a Zeppelin for short distance transport of the BFR second stage? There are modern cargo lifter in development: Lockheed was planning an air vehicle with 90 metric tons of maximum payload. The first stage, however, might be too heavy to be transported this way, but maybe in parts and components to be integrated at the port...

The Sept 2017 presentation specifies the 9m BFS dry mass = 85 tons (1st slide below).

From the 2016 BFR presentation, we know that the older 12m BFS dry mass was 150 tons, and the older 12m BFR dry mass was 275 tons.

Using the older 12m BFR/BFS dry mass ratio of 275/150, and assuming the new 9m BFR/BFS has a similar dry mass ratio, we can estimate that the new 9m BFR dry mass is around 155 tons.
« Last Edit: 10/07/2017 03:29 AM by Dave G »

Offline jedsmd

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #105 on: 10/07/2017 06:42 AM »
And he said /facility/, which doesn't imply a building necessarily. An earlier (but still very recent) tweet said BFR would be built in existing /factories/, which do imply buildings..

Agreed the preponderance of info implies Hawthorne.  But I think it will have to be someplace larger and more convenient.
The Triumph facility is the obvious one. They built 747s there, and there's a straight shot up Prairie Ave. Also, what besides BFR would SpaceX need to acquire a new, huge facility for?

I did not know about SpaceX acquiring (part of?) the Triumph Aerospace facility.  Still a hard haul out to the port but maybe it's just not that big a deal.


Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #106 on: 10/07/2017 01:44 PM »
The Triumph facility is the obvious one... what besides BFR would SpaceX need to acquire a new, huge facility for?
I believe there's no question that the majority of BFR manufacturing will occur at Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically any sub-assembly that can be road transported without much fuss.

The only question in my mind is where they'll manufacture the large carbon-fiber structures, and where they'll do the final BFR assembly.  I suspect these steps will occur somewhere other than Hawthorne, but we'll see.

So as they ramp down F9/FH production and ramp up BFR sub-assembly production at Hawthorne, I suspect they'll simply need more floor space.  The Triumph building is an obvious choice for that.

They built 747s there...
Did they build full length 747 airframes, or just smaller sub-assemblies of that?

and there's a straight shot up Prairie Ave.
Looking at Google maps 3D view, it looks like the part of the Triumph facility that borders Prairie Ave isn't very tall.  The taller building is East of there, along Jack Northrop Ave.

Also, looking at the Google street view along Prairie Ave, there's a large concrete wall and a row of public trees blocking access.

So if they do all of the BFR manufacturing at the Triumph facility, including the large CF structures and final assembly (which I doubt), then the BFR street parade would still need to start along Jack Northrop Ave.  With that in mind, they could opt to go either East or West initially.
« Last Edit: 10/07/2017 02:29 PM by Dave G »

Offline Thorny

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #107 on: 10/07/2017 02:00 PM »
They built 747s there,

Just fuselage panels. Final assembly has always been in Everett, Washington.

Offline Brovane

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #108 on: 10/07/2017 05:34 PM »
Just a wild idea, but what about flying the BFR stages out of LAX?  The BFR should be doable as an external payload on the AN-225.  The aircraft is rated for up to 200,000kg on the upper fuselage and the payload can be 70 meters long.  The AN-225 is available for charter through Antonov airlines.

Route

Head South on Prairie and then head West on El Segundo.  You then enter the 405 freeway North on the Off-ramp, there is a flyover from the 405N to the 105 heading towards LAX.  However, you are on the South side of LAX, which is the Air Cargo side.   Once you are on the LAX property, it shouldn't be an issue moving the stage(s) around.

To make things easier you could, move both the upper and lower stages simultaneously too LAX.  You then transport one stage at a time and you just park the stage at LAX for a couple of days until the AN-225 finishes transporting the other stage. 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #109 on: 10/07/2017 05:43 PM »
No. Just use a barge.

Geez, this isn't that hard. We already had this figured out before IAC2017 and it has just been confirmed since then.

They're going to make the BFRs at their Hawthorne campus and ship them via barge.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #110 on: 10/08/2017 01:27 AM »
Just a wild idea, but what about flying the BFR stages out of LAX?

1) more expensive than shipping BFR / BFS from the L.A. sea port.
2) you still have to remove traffic signals, utility poles, etc. to get from Hawthorne to LAX.

Offline Brovane

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #111 on: 10/08/2017 05:43 AM »
Just a wild idea, but what about flying the BFR stages out of LAX?

1) more expensive than shipping BFR / BFS from the L.A. sea port.
2) you still have to remove traffic signals, utility poles, etc. to get from Hawthorne to LAX.

Is it more expensive?  Didn't it cost $3M to ship the ET-94 from Louisiana to LA.  The AN-225 charters for $30,000 hour.   For sea shipping wouldn't SpaceX need to build a special purpose barge/ship that would allow enclosed space, something like the Delta Mariner?   I would assume that SpaceX would want to have a BFR exposed on a barge deck all the way from LA to Florida. 

Interesting enough I found a reference of about $300k to transport cargo from Denmark to Kazakhstan.  Which is just about the same distance from LA to the Cape. 

True about the traffic signals, but it is about 5 miles to the airport, isn't the journey to LA harbor about 15 miles?   Would that mean a lot fewer traffic signals etc would have to be moved going to LAX versus LA harbor. 
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Offline Brovane

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #112 on: 10/08/2017 05:46 AM »
No. Just use a barge.

Geez, this isn't that hard. We already had this figured out before IAC2017 and it has just been confirmed since then.

They're going to make the BFRs at their Hawthorne campus and ship them via barge.

When did SpaceX confirm the method of shipping the BFR from Hawthorne to Florida?
"Look at that! If anybody ever said, "you'll be sitting in a spacecraft naked with a 134-pound backpack on your knees charging it", I'd have said "Aw, get serious". - John Young - Apollo-16

Online Lars-J

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #113 on: 10/08/2017 07:19 AM »
Is it more expensive?  Didn't it cost $3M to ship the ET-94 from Louisiana to LA.  The AN-225 charters for $30,000 hour.

In additional to the ways this is a bad idea - The AN-225 won't work. It has never carried anything close to the size of the BFR booster or BFR spaceship.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2017 07:20 AM by Lars-J »

Online Flying Beaver

Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #114 on: 10/08/2017 07:36 AM »
Is it more expensive?  Didn't it cost $3M to ship the ET-94 from Louisiana to LA.  The AN-225 charters for $30,000 hour.

The AN-225 won't work. It has never carried anything close to the size of the BFR booster or BFR spaceship.

Well... It was built for a certain, large spacecraft shuttling, purpose.

Edit: It also does state on Anotonov's website that it is still capable of carrying 200t of payload externally.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2017 07:55 AM by Flying Beaver »
Saw OG-2 Booster Land in person 21/12/2015.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #115 on: 10/08/2017 11:10 AM »
Well... It was built for a certain, large spacecraft shuttling, purpose.

The shuttle orbiter is relatively small compared to BFR.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #116 on: 10/08/2017 11:41 AM »
When did SpaceX confirm the method of shipping the BFR from Hawthorne to Florida?

Good point.  We should avoid making statements that sound like facts until they're confirmed.

We're all speculating here.

By the way, has SpaceX even confirmed that the first BFR launch will be from Florida?  I think it will be, but some folks over on the Texas launch site thread are speculating it may launch from there.  Also, they could use some type of offshore platform to launch BFR, as shown in the last video in the presentation.

In any case, it will be fascinating to see how this all plays out.  BFR is uncharted territory.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #117 on: 10/08/2017 12:53 PM »
folks need to remember that a key SpaceX culture is co-location of R&D with manufacturing.

We also need to remember that Elon Musk is on record saying BFR will be built near the launch site:
Quote
The current Falcon 9 rocket is something that can be manufactured in California and road transported...

But as we go to future rockets that are bigger than that, we would actually do the manufacturing at the launch site, or near the launch site, because otherwise the road transportation logistics become... Essentially you'd either have to put it on a big ship or build it near the launch site.  The logical thing is to build it near the launch site.  So that is something that would occur where ever this launch site occurs.

With this in mind, I'd say it's at least a possibility.

Yes, co-locating R&D with manufacturing has helped SpaceX reach their goals, but it's not a goal in and of itself. 
The goal is a Mars base.  If there's a case where co-location doesn't align with that goal, they may make an exception.

Again, I'm assuming most BFR sub-assemblies, i.e. Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, etc., basically anything less than 13 feet tall will still be manufactured in Hawthorne. There are no issues with co-location here. And since most of the complicated stuff is less than 13 feet tall, I'd say the majority of BFR manufacturing will be in Hawthorne regardless.

So my only question is where SpaceX will build the large carbon fiber structures and do the final assembly.

And to be clear, Elon has changed his mind about things in the past, so I'm not saying this is certain.  But it's definitely within the realm of possibility.
« Last Edit: 10/08/2017 01:37 PM by Dave G »

Offline spacenut

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #118 on: 10/08/2017 01:22 PM »
SpaceX could just buy a ship to transport the BFR/BFS, enclosed via Panama Canal to the cape, or Boca Chica when it is ready.  Once the first few are built, I predict they will manufacture them in Texas. 

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #119 on: 10/08/2017 01:31 PM »
SpaceX could just buy a ship to transport the BFR/BFS, enclosed via Panama Canal to the cape, or Boca Chica when it is ready.  Once the first few are built, I predict they will manufacture them in Texas.
Building at the launch site is obsolete, based on the old 12-15 meter designs which couldn't be built in and transported from Hawthorne.

Useful for a larger variation in the future.
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