Author Topic: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?  (Read 48268 times)

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7436
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1433
  • Likes Given: 4468
How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« on: 07/31/2011 04:26 AM »
I seem to recall something on the lines of Elon proposing that a 6m Falcon could be built at Hawthorne. I've looked at google and it's not really far from a port. In fact it seems there's an avenue that goes straight to port. The pictures of the factory seem to show a place big enough for a lot. Obviously they would need bigger tooling, and a sea going transport. But in any information on other limitations?
BTW, they could build a 7.2m fairing (if they had the tooling)? I mean, a half is less than 12.5 feet high for road transport, but the with would be impressive (24ft)

Online alexw

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1227
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #1 on: 07/31/2011 04:48 AM »
I seem to recall something on the lines of Elon proposing that a 6m Falcon could be built at Hawthorne. I've looked at google and it's not really far from a port. In fact it seems there's an avenue that goes straight to port. The pictures of the factory seem to show a place big enough for a lot. Obviously they would need bigger tooling, and a sea going transport. But in any information on other limitations?
BTW, they could build a 7.2m fairing (if they had the tooling)? I mean, a half is less than 12.5 feet high for road transport, but the with would be impressive (24ft)
       Does the port have infrastructure for 8m-wide cargo?
                          -Alex

Offline Halidon

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
  • whereabouts unknown
  • Liked: 119
  • Likes Given: 338
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #2 on: 07/31/2011 08:11 AM »
It's been 2 years, but last time I drove by their place in Hawthorne I didn't see doors big enough to move something that big out of the building.

       Does the port have infrastructure for 8m-wide cargo?
                          -Alex

8m would be too big for rail lines, but If you can get it to the port you can roll it onto a ship at a Ro/Ro pier. Charter a heavy lift ship with its own cranes, like BBC Alaska, and all you have to do is drive the stage up next to it.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31144
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9395
  • Likes Given: 297
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #3 on: 07/31/2011 03:17 PM »
I seem to recall something on the lines of Elon proposing that a 6m Falcon could be built at Hawthorne. I've looked at google and it's not really far from a port. In fact it seems there's an avenue that goes straight to port.

There isn't a port near by.   Long Beach is the closest and there isn't path to it for that size
« Last Edit: 07/31/2011 03:19 PM by Jim »

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6618
  • Liked: 890
  • Likes Given: 135
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #4 on: 07/31/2011 03:53 PM »
I seem to recall something on the lines of Elon proposing that a 6m Falcon could be built at Hawthorne. I've looked at google and it's not really far from a port. In fact it seems there's an avenue that goes straight to port.

There isn't a port near by.   Long Beach is the closest and there isn't path to it for that size


I'm not convinced that's really true.  I moved something 4.8m in diameter from a mountain on the North shore of Oahu to Denver.

It wouldn't be easy and it would certainly require significant permitting and possibly some night road closures, but having looked at the route, I think it could be done if it had to be.

I'm not saying that's necessarily practical or what they are planning, I'm just saying you'd be surprised what size equipment can be moved over the roads if you have the time and money to get it done.  There are whole companies that specialize in doing exactly this sort of thing.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31144
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9395
  • Likes Given: 297
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #5 on: 07/31/2011 04:24 PM »
Spacecraft have a hard enough time to go from Redondo Beach to LAX. 

Money is the key.  One time only is one thing, to routinely do it is another.

Offline krytek

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 536
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #6 on: 07/31/2011 07:12 PM »
I seem to recall something on the lines of Elon proposing that a 6m Falcon could be built at Hawthorne. I've looked at google and it's not really far from a port. In fact it seems there's an avenue that goes straight to port.

There isn't a port near by.   Long Beach is the closest and there isn't path to it for that size


I'm not convinced that's really true.  I moved something 4.8m in diameter from a mountain on the North shore of Oahu to Denver.

It wouldn't be easy and it would certainly require significant permitting and possibly some night road closures, but having looked at the route, I think it could be done if it had to be.

I'm not saying that's necessarily practical or what they are planning, I'm just saying you'd be surprised what size equipment can be moved over the roads if you have the time and money to get it done.  There are whole companies that specialize in doing exactly this sort of thing.

I had the chance to see a couple of times how they move a turbine for a power plant. The truck that carried it was pretty huge (at least the trailer was), it was 2-3 lanes wide. The thing traveled at about 15km/h and had a sizeable escort including police cars. Obviously the road was closed during the move.

Definitely possible.

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7436
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1433
  • Likes Given: 4468
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #7 on: 07/31/2011 07:17 PM »
I've looked up in google and there are two small bridges that look like a no go. Very difficult indeed. The fact was that I think I recall Elon saying that he could use Michaud for a 10m core. But he also spoke of a 6m core. So I was wondering if they considered they could do it with their current factory. Obviously it's an hypothetical question, since I don't expect anything bigger than the FH at least until 2020.

Offline FinalFrontier

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3799
  • Space Watcher
  • Liked: 243
  • Likes Given: 119
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #8 on: 07/31/2011 07:26 PM »
Since it doesn't look like its going to see much use in the near term, would it be possible for Elon to "rent" Michoud assembly facility, and just do it there? Could this be done?
3-30-2017: The start of a great future
"Live Long and Prosper"

Offline HIP2BSQRE

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 638
  • Liked: 35
  • Likes Given: 14
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #9 on: 07/31/2011 07:42 PM »
I seem to recall something on the lines of Elon proposing that a 6m Falcon could be built at Hawthorne. I've looked at google and it's not really far from a port. In fact it seems there's an avenue that goes straight to port.

There isn't a port near by.   Long Beach is the closest and there isn't path to it for that size


I'm not convinced that's really true.  I moved something 4.8m in diameter from a mountain on the North shore of Oahu to Denver.

It wouldn't be easy and it would certainly require significant permitting and possibly some night road closures, but having looked at the route, I think it could be done if it had to be.

I'm not saying that's necessarily practical or what they are planning, I'm just saying you'd be surprised what size equipment can be moved over the roads if you have the time and money to get it done.  There are whole companies that specialize in doing exactly this sort of thing.

I had the chance to see a couple of times how they move a turbine for a power plant. The truck that carried it was pretty huge (at least the trailer was), it was 2-3 lanes wide. The thing traveled at about 15km/h and had a sizeable escort including police cars. Obviously the road was closed during the move.

Definitely possible.

You are assuming that all the roads are at least 2 lines wide to get to the port.  Remember the LA has a lot of roads but maybe not all the roads are available.

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6618
  • Liked: 890
  • Likes Given: 135
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #10 on: 07/31/2011 07:51 PM »
Spacecraft have a hard enough time to go from Redondo Beach to LAX. 

Money is the key.  One time only is one thing, to routinely do it is another.

Yep, agreed.  Cities are tolerant of doing something a bit ugly once, or a few times, but doing it routinely is another matter and is quite often frowned upon.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31144
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9395
  • Likes Given: 297
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #11 on: 07/31/2011 08:14 PM »
Spacecraft have a hard enough time to go from Redondo Beach to LAX. 

Money is the key.  One time only is one thing, to routinely do it is another.

Yep, agreed.  Cities are tolerant of doing something a bit ugly once, or a few times, but doing it routinely is another matter and is quite often frowned upon.

And this would go across multiple cities and involve the Los Angeles County and Caltrans.

Offline Halidon

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 809
  • whereabouts unknown
  • Liked: 119
  • Likes Given: 338
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #12 on: 07/31/2011 09:30 PM »
The Hawthore building really doesn't appear suited to large-diameter stages even if they could get it across town, unless Elon massively expands and signs on with a cargo Zeppelin company to move stages around they're likely going to be looking at another facility for large stage work.

I don't think Michoud itself is feasible as long as the SLS war is ongoing, but I could certainly see SpaceX buying/building/leasing on a navigable waterway. Plenty of closed naval stations and shipyards out there.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 700
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #13 on: 07/31/2011 09:54 PM »
Since it doesn't look like its going to see much use in the near term, would it be possible for Elon to "rent" Michoud assembly facility, and just do it there? Could this be done?

Read somewhere that Michoud was open to new companies coming in and using the equipment etc.

2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4212
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1388
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #14 on: 07/31/2011 10:09 PM »
Build a big (aluminum?) transport canister/platform and rent a Sky-Crane or Mi-26.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2011 10:15 PM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10313
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 700
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #15 on: 07/31/2011 10:13 PM »
Build a big (aluminum?) transport canister and rent a Sky-Crane.

Nah, fuel costs sooner or later are going to eat into the SpaceX price list.

It's the shipping costs that will spike. 
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4212
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1388
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #16 on: 07/31/2011 10:16 PM »
Then again, if they do build in Texas they could barge big stages to the Cape.
DM

Offline Lee Jay

  • Elite Veteran
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6618
  • Liked: 890
  • Likes Given: 135
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #17 on: 07/31/2011 10:26 PM »
Build a big (aluminum?) transport canister/platform and rent a Sky-Crane or Mi-26.

You think it would be light enough for those?  The Shuttle ET (8.4m) is about 3 times the weight a Sky-Crane could handle.

Offline docmordrid

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4212
  • Michigan
  • Liked: 1388
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #18 on: 07/31/2011 10:51 PM »
IIRC it's been mentioned (at NASAWatch) that an empty F9 first stage masses about 10T but dunno if that's with or without the engine cluster.  Supposedly S-C can handle 9T and MI-26 20T.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2011 10:57 PM by docmordrid »
DM

Offline SpacexULA

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1756
  • Liked: 46
  • Likes Given: 73
Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #19 on: 07/31/2011 10:52 PM »
Airbus Beluga can carry 7 Meter diameter 40 meters length, and SpaceX backs up to the airport in Hawthorne, that's how the airframes that where originally manufactured there where shipped, by plane.

40 Meter might not be long enough to send an integrated 1st stage, but maybe the 1st stage could be designed to be shipped in 40 meter sections.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2011 10:52 PM by SpacexULA »
No Bucks no Buck Rogers, but at least Flexible path gets you Twiki.

Tags: