Author Topic: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?  (Read 52802 times)

Offline baldusi

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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)

Offline alexw

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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?
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Offline Halidon

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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?
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?
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Offline HIP2BSQRE

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 »
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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. 
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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.
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Offline Lee Jay

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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.

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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 »
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Offline SpacexULA

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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 »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #20 on: 07/31/2011 11:40 PM »
A stock An-225 has demonstrated carrying a 7.75m wide 58m long Energyia 2nd stage. It weighted some 78tn, but the Anatov could carry 150tn easily. But how much does it costs? Wikipedia says that one transport was Euro 266k in 2008. So let's say that it costs 500k. If we talk about a Falcon X class, the launch cost should be around 150M, so a flight to Stennis for acceptance (or other test stand), plus another flight to KSC that's a 0.7% of the launch cost in transport. But they would keep the old factory, so no relocation cost. And less overhead. I guess airlift is not a bad option for a low rate of flight. It might also happen, that the cost of that flight was less because the An-225 is based of Ukraine, so the first airlift was less. But if it has to come to the US, it might cost more like 1M, in which case putting a new factory close to a port might not be a bad idea, since tooling has to be new, anyways.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #21 on: 08/01/2011 12:03 AM »
A stock An-225 has demonstrated carrying a 7.75m wide 58m long Energyia 2nd stage. It weighted some 78tn, but the Anatov could carry 150tn easily. But how much does it costs? Wikipedia says that one transport was Euro 266k in 2008. So let's say that it costs 500k. If we talk about a Falcon X class, the launch cost should be around 150M, so a flight to Stennis for acceptance (or other test stand), plus another flight to KSC that's a 0.7% of the launch cost in transport. But they would keep the old factory, so no relocation cost. And less overhead. I guess airlift is not a bad option for a low rate of flight. It might also happen, that the cost of that flight was less because the An-225 is based of Ukraine, so the first airlift was less. But if it has to come to the US, it might cost more like 1M, in which case putting a new factory close to a port might not be a bad idea, since tooling has to be new, anyways.

Yeah, but where would you take it off from?  The runway at the facility is nowhere near long enough.  So you'd have to transport over-land anyway.

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #22 on: 08/01/2011 12:14 AM »
Yeah, but where would you take it off from?  The runway at the facility is nowhere near long enough.  So you'd have to transport over-land anyway.

That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #23 on: 08/01/2011 12:37 AM »
Yeah, but where would you take it off from?  The runway at the facility is nowhere near long enough.  So you'd have to transport over-land anyway.

That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

It still needs up to 3,000 feet of runway they don't have.

Offline jabe

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #24 on: 08/01/2011 12:39 AM »
so...how easy would it be to pack up and move to florida? :)
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #25 on: 08/01/2011 01:39 AM »
Then again, if they do build in Texas they could barge big stages to the Cape.

If SpaceX builds in South Texas, figure they would do both a new launchpad and a new production facility. So it would only take a short road trip through non-populated area to a pad from production facility (probably near Corpus Christi).

Offline DaveH62

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #26 on: 08/01/2011 03:04 AM »
Yeah, but where would you take it off from?  The runway at the facility is nowhere near long enough.  So you'd have to transport over-land anyway.

That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

It still needs up to 3,000 feet of runway they don't have.
How heavy would this be? Could you use an airship to transport from Hawthorne to a port location? Perhaps ridiculous using the oldest flying technology to transport the most modern, but could you lift and control a short duration flight to deploy a 25 ft wide rocket?
If nothing else, it would look awesome.

Offline dragon44

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #27 on: 08/01/2011 03:17 AM »
so...how easy would it be to pack up and move to florida? :)
jb

I know your comment was only half serious, but I can see tank, dome and fairing fabrication over 4m moving to FL or TX. But I'm guessing Hawthorne would continue to do Dragon, Merlins, Dracos, etc. Too much talent at Hawthorne to lose half of them with a factory move.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #28 on: 08/01/2011 11:05 AM »
so...how easy would it be to pack up and move to florida? :)
jb

I know your comment was only half serious, but I can see tank, dome and fairing fabrication over 4m moving to FL or TX. But I'm guessing Hawthorne would continue to do Dragon, Merlins, Dracos, etc. Too much talent at Hawthorne to lose half of them with a factory move.

Not an issue.  Other vehicles have moved.  Shuttle from Huntington Beach to Houston.  Delta II to Decatur.  Atlas from San Diego to Denver to Decatur.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #29 on: 08/01/2011 05:11 PM »
3 JHL-40's could do it. 
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Offline jabe

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #30 on: 08/01/2011 06:09 PM »
I figure if push comes to shove and logistics say move to Florida I'd be surprised if they don't... either that or double the overhead and have to assembly plants... ;)
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #31 on: 08/01/2011 06:33 PM »
Any chance Michoud will go up for sale/auction (assuming SLS gets the axe)? 
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Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #32 on: 08/01/2011 06:47 PM »
I like the helicopter concept. If you can use something like that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-26 
Obviously lifting huge light structures is not easy.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #33 on: 08/01/2011 07:28 PM »
Any chance Michoud will go up for sale/auction (assuming SLS gets the axe)? 

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Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #34 on: 08/01/2011 08:01 PM »
I'd like to expand on my previous post, since upon further research this seems really possible.

The Mi-26 is available for rent in the US and the pricing is reasonable.
It seems it's lift capacity is in the range of what is needed.
It probably at least can transport the stage from factory to barge.

This pic below really convinced me.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #35 on: 08/01/2011 08:27 PM »
I'd like to expand on my previous post, since upon further research this seems really possible.

The Mi-26 is available for rent in the US and the pricing is reasonable.
It seems it's lift capacity is in the range of what is needed.
It probably at least can transport the stage from factory to barge.

This pic below really convinced me.

No.  A 6 m stage would weigh a lot more than 20 tons.  I think SpaceX would need more than one Jess Heavy Lifter.  Falcon 9 has a first stage fueled to dry weight ratio of just over 20.  Scale that up to get a rough idea.  Jess Heavy Lifter is apparently waiting on an installment of $100 million.  Given the times, unless Elon is willing to invest with Pete Jess and their partner Boeing, the scenario is unlikely.  Maybe after Tesla begins to pay out dividends neutral bouyancy airships will be examined.  Unless the timing of JHL availability coincides with the need (which is possible) it's more likely that they'll do it somewhere with easy access to a coast.   
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 08:58 PM by go4mars »
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #36 on: 08/01/2011 08:54 PM »
The most sensible place to build Big stages would be next to the launch pad ie Build at the cape. Theres plenty of room, a good work force and minimal transport problems. The engines, avionics etc could be shipped in from hawthorne.
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #37 on: 08/01/2011 08:57 PM »
The most sensible place to build Big stages would be next to the launch pad ie Build at the cape. Theres plenty of room, a good work force and minimal transport problems. The engines, avionics etc could be shipped in from hawthorne.
No, it is a bad place for it.  There are frequent shutdowns due to launches and other hazardous ops

Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #38 on: 08/01/2011 09:18 PM »
I'd like to expand on my previous post, since upon further research this seems really possible.

The Mi-26 is available for rent in the US and the pricing is reasonable.
It seems it's lift capacity is in the range of what is needed.
It probably at least can transport the stage from factory to barge.

This pic below really convinced me.

No.  A 6 m stage would weigh a lot more than 20 tons.  I think SpaceX would need more than one Jess Heavy Lifter.  Falcon 9 has a first stage fueled to dry weight ratio of just over 20.  Scale that up to get a rough idea.  Jess Heavy Lifter is apparently waiting on an installment of $100 million.  Given the times, unless Elon is willing to invest with Pete Jess and their partner Boeing, the scenario is unlikely.  Maybe after Tesla begins to pay out dividends neutral bouyancy airships will be examined.  Unless the timing of JHL availability coincides with the need (which is possible) it's more likely that they'll do it somewhere with easy access to a coast.   

Am I doing something wrong?
A wet Falcon 9 weights roughly 330,000 kg
So total Falcon 9 dry weight would be around 20,000 kg?


BTW, the Mi-26 can probably lift up to 25 tonnes.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #39 on: 08/01/2011 09:20 PM »
BTW, the Mi-26 can probably lift up to 25 tonnes.


Don't forget to include rigging and support structure (could be several tons).

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #40 on: 08/01/2011 09:39 PM »
That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

It still needs up to 3,000 feet of runway they don't have.
http://www.fltplan.com/AirportInformation/HHR.htm

Runway Identification: 07/25
Length: 4956 ft
Width: 100 ft
Surface: CONCRETE-GOOD CONDITION
Edge lights: Medium Intensity

Almost 5,000 feet?

Is that enough? :)
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #41 on: 08/01/2011 10:12 PM »
Of course, you also would have to fly it to Texas and back to wherever you're flying, at least for the first few flights.
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #42 on: 08/01/2011 10:25 PM »
That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

It still needs up to 3,000 feet of runway they don't have.
http://www.fltplan.com/AirportInformation/HHR.htm

Runway Identification: 07/25
Length: 4956 ft
Width: 100 ft
Surface: CONCRETE-GOOD CONDITION
Edge lights: Medium Intensity

Almost 5,000 feet?

Is that enough? :)


http://www.azfreighters.com/planes/a300bel.pdf

"Runway required T/O 2 600 m (8 530)"

Offline go4mars

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #43 on: 08/01/2011 11:39 PM »
No.  A 6 m stage would weigh a lot more than 20 tons.  I think SpaceX would need more than one Jess Heavy Lifter.  Falcon 9 has a first stage fueled to dry weight ratio of just over 20.  Scale that up to get a rough idea.  Jess Heavy Lifter is apparently waiting on an installment of $100 million.  Given the times, unless Elon is willing to invest with Pete Jess and their partner Boeing, the scenario is unlikely.  Maybe after Tesla begins to pay out dividends neutral bouyancy airships will be examined.  Unless the timing of JHL availability coincides with the need (which is possible) it's more likely that they'll do it somewhere with easy access to a coast.   

Am I doing something wrong?
A wet Falcon 9 weights roughly 330,000 kg
So total Falcon 9 dry weight would be around 20,000 kg?

We are discussing transportations issues with a highway-oversized diameter (like 6 meter or larger diameter stage).  The falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy stages are only 3.66 meters in diameter.  Even if you assumed that they were the same length, the extra surface area of the larger diameter tanks, and extra/beefier engines/pumps/plumbing, would push it above 25000 kg.   (pi)*(r^2)*h.  plus extras like bigger common bulkhead, etc. 

For F9/FH stages, they throw them on a low boy trailer (now with aerodymanic ends and a frame for protective black cloth), and send it down the highway.  No need for really fancy/unique transport solutions with F9.  It's diameter was designed with that in mind.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2011 11:44 PM by go4mars »
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #44 on: 08/02/2011 01:13 AM »
If one really wanted to airlift a giga falcon from the factory to the port, one could keep the dry weight down by shipping the engines separate from the tanks.

Just a thought.

The other obvious answer, what are noise regulations in Hawthorne again?

 
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #45 on: 08/02/2011 02:33 AM »
Really hard to see SpaceX moving unless two things happen:

1)  Taxes really start crimping Elon's style
2)  Some state offers the candy store to Elon.
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #46 on: 08/02/2011 02:37 AM »
Really hard to see SpaceX moving unless two things happen:

1)  Taxes really start crimping Elon's style

California? With their dysfunctional budget process?

- check
Quote
2)  Some state offers the candy store to Elon.

Texas, who's already sucking businesses out of Califlakey at Warp 9?

- check
« Last Edit: 08/02/2011 02:38 AM by docmordrid »
DM

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #47 on: 08/02/2011 03:26 AM »
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.

I've looked for this for years.  I remember reading about it at the time as being one of the largest, if not the largest item ever moved over a US highway.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/556186/Monster-rig-creeps-slowly-en-route-to-Nevada.html
http://www.eatonmetal.com/Autoclv_files/P1_75w96.jpg

"James T. Jensen, executive vice president of Savage, said the vessel is 76 feet long, 22 feet wide, 19 feet high and weighs in at 950,000 pounds."

22 feet is 6.7 meters.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2011 03:30 AM by Lee Jay »

Offline go4mars

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #48 on: 08/02/2011 04:12 AM »
I've looked for this for years.  I remember reading about it at the time as being one of the largest, if not the largest item ever moved over a US highway.

I think moving the Spruce Goose beats that. 
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Offline corrodedNut

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #49 on: 08/03/2011 02:50 PM »
Garrett Reisman talks about SpaceX infrastructure in Florida, including possible future production facilities:



At about 1:22:00 he says: "...if given the opportunity to compete for the super launch, the heavy lift vehicle, we have preliminary plans to build those tanks...right next to our facility at the launch pad"

It's hard to say exactly what he means by "right next to", but I thinks it's safe to say it's not California or Texas.

Sounds like they want to keep engine production at Hawthorne, but build larger (than current) tanks as close to the pad as possible.

These are "preliminary plans", of course.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2011 02:55 PM by corrodedNut »

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #50 on: 08/03/2011 04:00 PM »
It's hard to say exactly what he means by "right next to",

How about location in the area that would allow easy transport to the pad? 

There are industrial parks all over the area.

Doing it on the range and having to stop production every time ULA decides to run up the flag seems a bit much.

I hear Playalinda would have a great view ;)
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Offline simonbp

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #51 on: 08/03/2011 04:36 PM »
But in any information on other limitations?

The Hawthorne facility was previously used by Vought to build 747 fuselage panels. So, whatever the largest panel piece of a 747 is would be an empirical restriction.

Also, a suggestion for how they might do a super-heavy: do all the forming and machining in Hawthorne, and then ship the panels to Florida for final assembly...
« Last Edit: 08/03/2011 04:39 PM by simonbp »

Offline go4mars

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #52 on: 08/03/2011 04:53 PM »
It's hard to say exactly what he means by "right next to", but I thinks it's safe to say it's not California or Texas.

Thanks for the video! 

He explicitly says "Here in Florida" in the context of making tanks for the heavy lift (F-XX type) vehicle.  So not Cali or Texas.  Probably not on the range (as Jim says).  But where would a logical place be?  Near Titusville somewhere?  Based on that video, it appears SpaceX does not plan to buy or lease Michoud. 
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Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #53 on: 08/03/2011 04:55 PM »
Bridges would be issues for Titusville.  Maybe KSC.

Offline Lobo

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #54 on: 08/03/2011 05:39 PM »
It's hard to say exactly what he means by "right next to",

How about location in the area that would allow easy transport to the pad? 

There are industrial parks all over the area.

Doing it on the range and having to stop production every time ULA decides to run up the flag seems a bit much.

I hear Playalinda would have a great view ;)

Yea, I'd probably guess by "right next to the pad", they mean someplace in Florida near that pad, that could be easily transported to the pad.
Also, if they build FX cores at some point, those might be launching from KSC rather than LC-40.  So maybe a new facility somewhere near the space coast, but so that it could also be barged up to the turning bay by KSC. It could go to the VAB or to LC-40 from there.  (I'm not familiar enough with the geography of the area to know if there's a place you could unload a barge closer to LC-40, or if you could truck 6m cores from a nearby facility to LC-40 or KSC.) 

Also, back in Hawthorne, I'd imagine not only would they continue to do engines and the capsules, but continue the 3.6m cores for F9 and FH at Vandenberg, as well as any launches of them at the Cape.  A new facility in Florida would probably just have the hardware to bend metal for the 6m cores.  (although, I suppose they could make it so they can do both 3.6m cores and 6m cores in Florida for all Cape launches, and then continue the 3.6m cores for VAFB launches.  That'd cut down on their logistics.  Engines are pretty easy to truck to they'd probably have all engine production consolidated in Hawthorne.)

Texas would actually work to if they had easy coast access, so they could load their cores on a barge and ship them to the Cape.  It's a longer float, but probably not prohibitively so.

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #55 on: 08/03/2011 06:13 PM »
SpaceX future assembly facilities options seems to be in flux. Guess it all depending if SpaceX wants to tackle the transport issues around the Florida space facilities for a Falcon X or Falcon XX LV.

It might be easier and cheaper to set up a new launch site and an new  HLV assembly facility in South Texas with a dedicated road or railroad link.

Anyone have any idea if a Merlin 2 size engine can be truck from Hawthorne to Texas and Florida assembled?

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #56 on: 08/03/2011 06:21 PM »

It might be easier and cheaper to set up a new launch site and an new  HLV assembly facility in South Texas

The launch site in TX is yet to seen as viable.

Offline Halidon

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #57 on: 08/03/2011 08:12 PM »
Anyone have any idea if a Merlin 2 size engine can be truck from Hawthorne to Texas and Florida assembled?
If it's approximated F-1 size then yes, probably.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #58 on: 08/03/2011 08:43 PM »
Anyone have any idea if a Merlin 2 size engine can be truck from Hawthorne to Texas and Florida assembled?
If it's approximated F-1 size then yes, probably.
You can always ship the Engine and the nozzle extension separated. You put the engine horizontal and the nozzle extension vertical and you can get quite a bit of engine. You only need that the regen part of the engine be no more than 12.5ft wide, and the nozzle extension no more than 12.5ft long. If will be oversized on the width sense. But that's a lot more manageable.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #59 on: 08/03/2011 10:58 PM »
Garrett Reisman talks about SpaceX infrastructure in Florida, including possible future production facilities:



At about 1:22:00 he says: "...if given the opportunity to compete for the super launch, the heavy lift vehicle, we have preliminary plans to build those tanks...right next to our facility at the launch pad"

It's hard to say exactly what he means by "right next to", but I thinks it's safe to say it's not California or Texas.

Sounds like they want to keep engine production at Hawthorne, but build larger (than current) tanks as close to the pad as possible.

These are "preliminary plans", of course.

Watched part of this and got impression SpaceX was talking about the hanger they just leased.  But will have to check into the rest later.
 
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Offline Lobo

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #60 on: 08/03/2011 11:15 PM »
Anyone have any idea if a Merlin 2 size engine can be truck from Hawthorne to Texas and Florida assembled?
If it's approximated F-1 size then yes, probably.

If it's about the weight of the F-1, then it's dry mass is about 8.4mt.
So you are ok mass-wise. Probably could ship a couple on a single trailer.  The problem would be the nozzles.  The F-1 nozzel was about 12.2 ft wide, and I think most trailers are only about 8.5 ft wide.  But you could probably get a Wide Load permit for the difference.
If the nozzle isn't a single cast piece (have not idea how a Merlin 2 nozzle would be made), and if you could like ship two halves to be assembledin TX for testing, and/or in Florida, then they should be able to go in a single standard sized trailer. 

Or they could go by rail or transport plane.  I don't knwo the rail specifications to know if they could be shipped whole on rail or not.  If SpaceX could rent or lease a cargo plane that could land at the airfield next to Hawthorne (big if), then they could just fly the engines to TX for testing, then on to Florida for integration.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #61 on: 08/03/2011 11:25 PM »
Anyone have any idea if a Merlin 2 size engine can be truck from Hawthorne to Texas and Florida assembled?
If it's approximated F-1 size then yes, probably.

If it's about the weight of the F-1, then it's dry mass is about 8.4mt.
So you are ok mass-wise. Probably could ship a couple on a single trailer.  The problem would be the nozzles.  The F-1 nozzel was about 12.2 ft wide, and I think most trailers are only about 8.5 ft wide.  But you could probably get a Wide Load permit for the difference.
If the nozzle isn't a single cast piece (have not idea how a Merlin 2 nozzle would be made), and if you could like ship two halves to be assembledin TX for testing, and/or in Florida, then they should be able to go in a single standard sized trailer. 

Or they could go by rail or transport plane.  I don't knwo the rail specifications to know if they could be shipped whole on rail or not.  If SpaceX could rent or lease a cargo plane that could land at the airfield next to Hawthorne (big if), then they could just fly the engines to TX for testing, then on to Florida for integration.


You can ship stuff that's 4.2m in diameter over the road and 3.8m in diameter over the rails, without going to something extremely unusual (ordinary wide-load permits for roads, etc.).

Offline Lobo

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #62 on: 08/04/2011 05:04 PM »

You can ship stuff that's 4.2m in diameter over the road and 3.8m in diameter over the rails, without going to something extremely unusual (ordinary wide-load permits for roads, etc.).

OK, I'm not familiar with all the rules and regs.  If you can ship 4.2m wide over the road with ordinary wide-load permits, then you'd be ok width wise to do that, as long as the Merlin 2 is close to the F-1's dimensions and weight.

Weight should be a problem, especially if you were just hauling one per trailer.  (Which would seem likely, as they are valuable cargo).

The next problem would be height.  If the nozzle was 12.2 ft in diameter at the widest, YOu'd be tight.  A double drop trailer can haul around 11 ft, 8 inches.  I'm not sure if theres, anything lower that that.
I suppose there would be "tall load" permitting too.  Just have to plan your route to make sure you aren't going upder an bridges that are too low.  I saw a truck hauling a crane literally hit an overpass and wedge under it.  IT tore the crane arm back and snapped a bunch of the cables.  It was a big mess.  They had to restrict traffic accross that bridge for some time until they could do a structural ananlysis on it to make sure it hadn't been too badly damaged.

So maybe the nozzle could be separated from the motor and the two shipped next to each other so that you wouldn't run into those height issues.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #63 on: 08/04/2011 05:08 PM »
The 4.2m thing over the road is about height, not width.  You can go well over 5m wide.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #64 on: 08/04/2011 09:30 PM »
The 4.2m thing over the road is about height, not width.  You can go well over 5m wide.

Ahhh, I misunderstood.

Well then, if a Merlin 2 is about the same size and weight as an F-1 (a reasonable assumption I think, as they are similar in performance and both kerolox) then yes, they could be easily transported via truck with standard oversized load permits.  If you transport them vertically, you could probably get two on a double drop trailer.  But I wouldn't be surprised if they just put one per trailer to make sure they weren't packed in there too tight, and to allow pleanty of room for whatever protective cradles and packaging they use.  And if your engines are several million each, you can afford a truck from each one.  ;-)

And also, if you lost a truck in an accident or something, you would risk damaging just one engine, not two.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #65 on: 08/04/2011 09:54 PM »
The F-1 was transported on a special trailer, with the engine horizontal and the nozzle extension separated on vertical position (or was slanted? gotta see the F1 book again). That's why I proposed the same system for the Merlin. You can offer a lot better protection for the critical engine, and still move the nozzle extension in one piece.

Offline simonbp

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #66 on: 08/04/2011 10:19 PM »
F-1 without the rear nozzle is small enough to fit in a standard shipping container...

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #67 on: 08/04/2011 10:27 PM »
It's hard to see without specific numbers, but the infamous SpaceX propulsion PDF's that were leaked/released a while back with speculative Raptor & Merlin 2 info seemed to indicate that the Merlin 2 nozzle would be slightly larger than the F-1 nozzle. The nozzle seems to be ~15 ft in diameter from my eye approximation. But the slideshow had no hard figures.
« Last Edit: 08/04/2011 10:37 PM by Lars_J »

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #68 on: 08/04/2011 11:15 PM »
F-1 without the rear nozzle is small enough to fit in a standard shipping container...

I'll take one....
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Offline Blackjax

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #69 on: 08/05/2011 12:16 AM »
The F-1 was transported on a special trailer, with the engine horizontal and the nozzle extension separated on vertical position (or was slanted? gotta see the F1 book again). That's why I proposed the same system for the Merlin. You can offer a lot better protection for the critical engine, and still move the nozzle extension in one piece.

Certainly looks entirely truckable:




Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #70 on: 08/12/2011 08:19 PM »
Another thread in the the section mentioned the F9's first stage might weight at around 12 tonnes. So I'm tempted to believe a 6 meter core can be transported by a helicopter.

Do you think a 6 or 8 meter core can make sense? I can't believe Spacex will make another launcher so it's base configuration will not be significantly more powerful than a FH, not enough bang per buck.

Offline ArbitraryConstant

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #71 on: 08/12/2011 09:10 PM »
Do you think a 6 or 8 meter core can make sense? I can't believe Spacex will make another launcher so it's base configuration will not be significantly more powerful than a FH, not enough bang per buck.
Agree.

And not just FH, but FH with all likely upgrades like a LOX/LH2 US since that would be a cheaper growth path.

You'd also think a Merlin 2 would be a prerequisite for a larger core, since the number of Merlin 1s on such a beast would be unwieldy even for SpaceX, probably more than FH for just one core.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #72 on: 08/12/2011 09:15 PM »
Yep, I think FH is the limit of what SpaceX can practically accomplish with the Merlin 1 series of engines.

Bigger core stages should require larger engines - even if they don't go all they way to "Merlin 2" class engines.

Offline notherspacexfan

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #73 on: 08/12/2011 09:23 PM »
So I'm tempted to believe a 6 meter core can be transported by a helicopter.

An external load on a helicopter would likely not be allowed from Hawthorne because of the dense population and the proximity to LAX.

see:
http://rgl.faa.gov/regulatory_and_guidance_library/rgfar.nsf/farsbysectlookup/133.45

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #74 on: 08/12/2011 09:26 PM »
So I'm tempted to believe a 6 meter core can be transported by a helicopter.

An external load on a helicopter would likely not be allowed from Hawthorne because of the dense population and the proximity to LAX.

see:
http://rgl.faa.gov/regulatory_and_guidance_library/rgfar.nsf/farsbysectlookup/133.45
Helicopters have crappy range, anyways. I think he was talking about picking it out of the water, though.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #75 on: 08/12/2011 09:37 PM »
The main reason for the Merlin 2 (besides a FX/XX), would be that most clients would consider it too unreliable. If they can get enough rate to show a good track record, then it might not be that important. Specially if it performs as well as they are hinting.
In any case, you could easily put 19 Merlin 1D on a 6m core. That should be enough (2.66Mlbf). Would you launch on that? Statistics really work against you. Unless SpaceX demonstrates the most catastrophic failures modes on a bench test, I still don't believe engine out.

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #76 on: 08/12/2011 09:41 PM »
http://rgl.faa.gov/regulatory_and_guidance_library/rgfar.nsf/farsbysectlookup/133.45

I would say you would be air lifting it to LAX, to be picked up by a wide body cargo aircraft.
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #77 on: 08/12/2011 10:02 PM »
Why not just build out a second production facility in TX once the engine reaches that maturation point and flight rates are assured. Starts to feel very NASA when you have production, testing, integration and launch facilitss spread out across the country...Does not seem as efficient as their vertically integrated model would appear..
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #78 on: 08/12/2011 10:10 PM »
I'm just thinking how incredibly efficient it would be to be able to build, test, integrate and launch all in the same general proximity.

My concern is that because they are using legacy NASA locations and infrastructure, they will eventually get trapped into some of the same inefficiencies...
« Last Edit: 08/12/2011 10:16 PM by rcoppola »
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Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #79 on: 08/12/2011 11:50 PM »
I'm just thinking how incredibly efficient it would be to be able to build, test, integrate and launch all in the same general proximity.

My concern is that because they are using legacy NASA locations and infrastructure, they will eventually get trapped into some of the same inefficiencies...

No, it isn't. Manufacturing, launch ops and mission ops are vastly different.  Plus there can't be  factories at every launch site.

Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #80 on: 08/12/2011 11:52 PM »
I'm just thinking how incredibly efficient it would be to be able to build, test, integrate and launch all in the same general proximity.

My concern is that because they are using legacy NASA locations and infrastructure, they will eventually get trapped into some of the same inefficiencies...

It isnt a contagious disease. The locations have no effect on it.  And reality will have a greater effect.  Real world effects will increase prices

Offline Prober

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #81 on: 08/13/2011 12:30 AM »
Why not just build out a second production facility in TX once the engine reaches that maturation point and flight rates are assured. Starts to feel very NASA when you have production, testing, integration and launch facilitss spread out across the country...Does not seem as efficient as their vertically integrated model would appear..

Better yet...move engine manufacture, and test to TX.  Tank manufacture in CA.  Final assembly at launch site.
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Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #82 on: 08/13/2011 12:42 AM »
Final assembly is still manufacturing and not a launch site task

Offline MP99

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #83 on: 08/13/2011 09:17 AM »
Final assembly is still manufacturing and not a launch site task

For launch from KSC, wouldn't Michoud be an attractive location if they're going to build a large stage?

cheers, Martin

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #84 on: 08/13/2011 10:35 AM »
So is Decataur

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #85 on: 08/13/2011 11:04 AM »
Quote from: Prober link=topic=26264.msg792684#msg792684

Better yet...move engine manufacture, and test to TX.  Tank manufacture in CA.  Final assembly at launch site.

Better yet, move everything to VAFB. Every orbit that really matters can be reached from it (Polar, ISS, GEO, even BEO). The Falcon 9 is undersized even from the cape for most GTO. Most commercial will go on the Heavy anyway, and it has performance to spare.
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Offline SpacexULA

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #86 on: 08/13/2011 03:02 PM »
Better yet, move everything to VAFB. Every orbit that really matters can be reached from it (Polar, ISS, GEO, even BEO). The Falcon 9 is undersized even from the cape for most GTO. Most commercial will go on the Heavy anyway, and it has performance to spare.

Sorry, your way more knowledgeable than I am so I have to ask.  You honestly think the Falcon Heavy will be the more popular product than the Falcon 9 for commercial payloads?  I thought most commercial payloads where below 8MT.
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Offline deltaV

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #87 on: 08/13/2011 03:18 PM »
Quote from: Prober link=topic=26264.msg792684#msg792684

Better yet...move engine manufacture, and test to TX.  Tank manufacture in CA.  Final assembly at launch site.

Better yet, move everything to VAFB. Every orbit that really matters can be reached from it (Polar, ISS, GEO, even BEO). The Falcon 9 is undersized even from the cape for most GTO. Most commercial will go on the Heavy anyway, and it has performance to spare.

A quick look at a map suggests that launch from SpaceX's SLC-4 site to an ISS orbit would involve on the order of a 5 mile dog-leg maneuver to avoid overflying civilian land just after launch. Is that correct?

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=34.632706%C2%B0N+120.613393%C2%B0W&ie=UTF8&ll=34.565948,-120.413589&spn=0.307596,0.727158&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&gl=us&z=11

Edit: is overflying Mexico a problem?
« Last Edit: 08/13/2011 03:30 PM by deltaV »

Offline MP99

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #88 on: 08/13/2011 04:30 PM »
So is Decataur

Intriguing thought. Many thanks.

cheers, Martin

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #89 on: 08/13/2011 10:15 PM »
Sorry, your way more knowledgeable than I am so I have to ask.  You honestly think the Falcon Heavy will be the more popular product than the Falcon 9 for commercial payloads?  I thought most commercial payloads where below 8MT.

Remember Mr. Musk said, he expects to fly about 20 rockets a year, half of which are heavies. Now, the DOD fly's maybe one Delta Heavy a year, sometimes even two. So who will be buying a ride on the other nine? GEO comsats are getting heavier.

Now it is unlikely that they will drop to only one pad, but it is worth noting they maybe talking about a third pad so they have two pads for GEO, ISS ops. Launching ISS/GEO missions from VAFB would give them the extra pad they need. It will also allow them to convert SLC-40 for the heavy while still flying the ISS/GEO missions. Remember Dragon is volume not mass limited.

Of course for GEO this assumes they can produce an upper stage that lives long enough to carry out a bielliptical transfer orbit mission.
« Last Edit: 08/13/2011 10:19 PM by kevin-rf »
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Offline geoallegrezza

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #90 on: 08/15/2011 03:02 PM »
Jumping back a bit to the discussion of moving large stages by road, here's a pic of an S-II being moved down Seal Beach Blvd. from the North American facility at Seal Beach NWS to the port facility for shipment to MTS and then KSC.

http://sbfoundersday.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/we-will-go-to-the-moon/

Certainly if you are close enough to the shore and the road is wide and free of obstruction, you ought to be able to move any conceivable stage as needed.  SpaceX might be able to build or repurpose a facility near a port in Southern California and not have to transfer production operations to another state.

Obviously, political and tax/economic considerations will  influence this decision as well.


Offline simonbp

Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #91 on: 08/16/2011 05:40 AM »
So is Decataur

Speaking as someone who lived in Northern Alabama for several years, I can't recall anyone ever calling Decatur "attractive". Better river access than Huntsville maybe, but damn if it isn't one of the ugliest towns I've ever seen...

Online docmordrid

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #92 on: 08/16/2011 06:37 AM »
Small town alright; the kind where you're born, live & die inside the township limits.  Probably more Evangelical Churches per capita than I've ever seen.
« Last Edit: 08/16/2011 06:38 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #93 on: 09/08/2011 11:43 PM »
http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/large-airship-purchase.html
Here it is folks, a 50 tonne airship by 2014.

Online douglas100

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #94 on: 09/09/2011 04:22 PM »
Are you suggesting that SpaceX should send super large stages by airship?
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #95 on: 09/09/2011 04:30 PM »
I personally like the idea of airships-they're kind of romantic.

The hybrid air vehicle shown in the link you posted seems similar to the SkyCat technology developed in the UK. That idea didn't succeed commercially at the time.

At the turn of the century there was also Cargo Lifter AG in Germany, but it  folded.

You could carry large size rocket stages this way avoiding ground bottlenecks, but:

a) large cargo lifting airships don't currently exist
b) it's cheaper to use surface transport.

Pity.

If SpaceX want to develop a vehicle larger than Falcon H it may be easier to cluster the appropriate number of Falcon 9 cores, sent to the launch site by road, as they are now.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2011 04:31 PM by douglas100 »
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Offline dlapine

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #96 on: 09/09/2011 05:31 PM »
I personally like the idea of airships-they're kind of romantic.

The hybrid air vehicle shown in the link you posted seems similar to the SkyCat technology developed in the UK. That idea didn't succeed commercially at the time.

At the turn of the century there was also Cargo Lifter AG in Germany, but it  folded.

You could carry large size rocket stages this way avoiding ground bottlenecks, but:

a) large cargo lifting airships don't currently exist
b) it's cheaper to use surface transport.

Pity.

If SpaceX want to develop a vehicle larger than Falcon H it may be easier to cluster the appropriate number of Falcon 9 cores, sent to the launch site by road, as they are now.

Given that 40 of these airships are on order be delivered in 2014 to Canada (I think that it's in support of oil shale extraction ops), I submit that they will exist in the near future commercially. I know that the development prototypes are flying now.

The usefulness of one these for SpaceX pre flight operations would depend on it's cost and capability. The units claim to be able to lift 30 tons vertically. Would a 30 ton vertical takeoff limit be sufficient to lift an unfueled but integrated F9 or FH? Does anyone have a ballpark cost for a Hybrid Air Vehicle?

More importantly, can you lift full an unfueled F9/FH with sling loading, or would it fold/spindle/mutilate in the process?  ;D

I've seen information on these which suggests that carrying cargo externally is possible for some distance, but at what range penalty, I don't know. I suspect that carrying the launcher externally is the only possibility.

If this is cost effective and has enough lift capability and an F9/FH can survive the trip, a lot more launch sites become available.

Offline baldusi

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #97 on: 09/09/2011 05:51 PM »
Don't forget the strong back or support structure to actually carry and protect the first stage.
BTW, the page says
Quote
"Crane" type ops - lift of up to 90 tonnes vertically.
A Falcon Heavy booster has a 0.966 of fuel mass. Of the 480tn for the 16tn to LEO, if we subtract the 16tn of payload, and assume that the whole US is 1/8 of the total weight, we'd reach 406tn first stage fully fueled. If you multiply by 0.004, you'd get 16.24tn.  ::)
If you assume that the support structure would weight 35% of the whole stage, that would allow for a 4 times heavier first stage. If they can keep the T/W, that could be a 7.2m wide first stage, for example.
« Last Edit: 09/09/2011 05:59 PM by baldusi »

Offline Jason1701

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #98 on: 09/09/2011 05:52 PM »
Given that 40 of these airships are on order be delivered in 2014 to Canada (I think that it's in support of oil shale extraction ops), I submit that they will exist in the near future commercially. I know that the development prototypes are flying now.

The usefulness of one these for SpaceX pre flight operations would depend on it's cost and capability. The units claim to be able to lift 30 tons vertically. Would a 30 ton vertical takeoff limit be sufficient to lift an unfueled but integrated F9 or FH? Does anyone have a ballpark cost for a Hybrid Air Vehicle?

More importantly, can you lift full an unfueled F9/FH with sling loading, or would it fold/spindle/mutilate in the process?  ;D

I've seen information on these which suggests that carrying cargo externally is possible for some distance, but at what range penalty, I don't know. I suspect that carrying the launcher externally is the only possibility.

If this is cost effective and has enough lift capability and an F9/FH can survive the trip, a lot more launch sites become available.

F9 first stage best guess is 20-25 tons. That leaves some margin for a carrying platform, so it wouldn't have to be slung directly to the airship.

Offline corrodedNut

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #99 on: 09/09/2011 06:03 PM »
Given that 40 of these airships are on order be delivered in 2014 to Canada (I think that it's in support of oil shale extraction ops), I submit that they will exist in the near future commercially. I know that the development prototypes are flying now.

The usefulness of one these for SpaceX pre flight operations would depend on it's cost and capability. The units claim to be able to lift 30 tons vertically. Would a 30 ton vertical takeoff limit be sufficient to lift an unfueled but integrated F9 or FH? Does anyone have a ballpark cost for a Hybrid Air Vehicle?

More importantly, can you lift full an unfueled F9/FH with sling loading, or would it fold/spindle/mutilate in the process?  ;D

I've seen information on these which suggests that carrying cargo externally is possible for some distance, but at what range penalty, I don't know. I suspect that carrying the launcher externally is the only possibility.

If this is cost effective and has enough lift capability and an F9/FH can survive the trip, a lot more launch sites become available.

F9 first stage best guess is 20-25 tons. That leaves some margin for a carrying platform, so it wouldn't have to be slung directly to the airship.

The current F9 1st stage and interstage is 33,000 lbs, dry weight.

Offline dlapine

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #100 on: 09/09/2011 07:33 PM »
Don't forget the strong back or support structure to actually carry and protect the first stage.
BTW, the page says
Quote
"Crane" type ops - lift of up to 90 tonnes vertically.
A Falcon Heavy booster has a 0.966 of fuel mass. Of the 480tn for the 16tn to LEO, if we subtract the 16tn of payload, and assume that the whole US is 1/8 of the total weight, we'd reach 406tn first stage fully fueled. If you multiply by 0.004, you'd get 16.24tn.  ::)
If you assume that the support structure would weight 35% of the whole stage, that would allow for a 4 times heavier first stage. If they can keep the T/W, that could be a 7.2m wide first stage, for example.


And it also says:

Quote
The hybrid airships are HAV's model 366, which can carry 50 tonnes if they take off horizontally like an airplane and around 30 tonnes if they take off vertically.

 ;D

In a stationary crane mode you might do 90 tons, but for the long distance transport, the limit is 30 tons. As I understand it, during operations the airship changes the amount of lifting gas it has on board to ascend and descend and it has a limited capability to do that.

http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/hav366.aspx claims a 1250 NM range with a max payload and a max speed around 100 KIAS. I read somewhere that an external load would reduce the range somewhat.

Hmm, the internal bay is only 4M across, so the launcher would definitely be external cargo.

Didn't see anything about cost, or rental fees for that matter

The current F9 1st stage and interstage is 33,000 lbs, dry weight.

Nice to see that weight doesn't rule it out.

So, are there any good launch sites within, say 1000 miles of Hawthorne?

Hmmm, The larger 606 model http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/hav606.aspx has an internal payload bay of 7.5M by 49M.

What's the length on a current F9 1st stage and interstage?

Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #101 on: 09/09/2011 07:42 PM »
VAFB is only 150 miles from Hawthorne

Offline dlapine

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #102 on: 09/09/2011 07:51 PM »
VAFB is only 150 miles from Hawthorne

Hmmm, 150 miles for a sling load seems very doable.

As an added bonus, you could fly most of the route over the ocean if that was desirable for hazmat transport. (Mostly, I'm thinking of the hazard of 15+ tons hanging overhead)

Offline sdsds

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #103 on: 09/09/2011 08:05 PM »
VAFB is only 150 miles from Hawthorne

Hmmm, 150 miles for a sling load seems very doable.

Hawthorne to the harbor at Long Beach is even less.  Once there, I'm pretty sure the Panama Canal is large enough to handle anything Hawthorne can produce.  ;)
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #104 on: 09/09/2011 08:18 PM »
Massive airships in the very tight LA airspace will be a problem, no matter which route the air ships take.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #105 on: 09/09/2011 09:43 PM »
This is pretty fanciful, but the LA airspace probably isn't much of a problem during the night.

Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #106 on: 09/09/2011 09:45 PM »
This is pretty fanciful, but the LA airspace probably isn't much of a problem during the night.

And this wouldn't fly at night

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #107 on: 09/09/2011 09:46 PM »
It doesn't have the capability to do so?

Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #108 on: 09/10/2011 11:04 AM »
The difference from what was discussed earlier in this thread is they now have 40 units on order.

Do you believe air traffic congestion can be a real problem for a low flying airship?  (it's max altitude was 3km I believe).

Offline go4mars

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #109 on: 09/11/2011 01:57 AM »
It will be hard for SpaceX to compete with low impact oil and gas operations for moving bulldozers and rigs around.  But if they have already made 40, that suggests the ability to make more.  It might eventually be available without booking years in advance.

What might make more sense, is for SpaceX to buy one of these things, and rent it out in California for fighting forest fires (dumping 90 tonnes of water would be useful), and other nearby uses.  It could offset the cost that way, and still have the thing on hand at short notice for moving stages around.  Probably not a go, but might be worth looking into for SpaceX.  Though I suspect they would rather make big stages close to the launch pad, or to a coast. 

I wonder if this is idea supplanted Pete Jess and his JHL-40, or if the JHL 40 is still planning to come online as competition for this. 

I've always thought neutral buoyancy airships and the like are a romantic idea (especially for keeping oil and gas/logging roads out of pristine wilderness areas). 
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Online Zed_Noir

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #110 on: 09/11/2011 06:08 AM »
What might make more sense, is for SpaceX to buy one of these things, and rent it out in California for fighting forest fires (dumping 90 tonnes of water would be useful)

Don't think it's a good idea for fire fighting. Airship type vehicles don't handle the updrafts created by wildfires well.

Offline krytek

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #111 on: 09/11/2011 11:43 AM »
They'll only need it for stages bigger than a F9. This won't happen in 2014 and probably not for a few years after that.
If we're talking a 2016-2020 time frame those things can start to be common enough for SpaceX to buy or rent one.

They're also planning a 200 tonne model, so that one could be a real game changer, just imagine hauling a whole stack of falcons direct from the factory.

Here's a prototype flight -

Online douglas100

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #112 on: 09/11/2011 03:32 PM »
This news story gives an idea the size of the unmanned vehicle: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12110386

It's a very appealing concept, but a word of caution about large numbers of them being built. Markets for pure airships have been thin. Maybe the hybrids with their versatility and ease of handling will bring them success. We'll see. But if they prove successful large rocket stages could be one of their cargoes, in principle.
Douglas Clark

Offline DaveH62

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #113 on: 09/12/2011 03:10 AM »
Rather than a sling, could a tri-hull be built, with an upper hull above the rocket and twin hulls on each side and a kevlar cradle to hold the rocket. You could slide the rocket out of the warehouse, right into the airship? The transfer process would be much safer than a sling hanging down from the airship. Fly straight to shore, and up to Vandenberg, or to a ship for delivery to KSC. If practical, it would also be a media spectacle with press you couldn't pay for.
Anyhow, certainly not on the critical path for SpaceX at this point.

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #114 on: 09/12/2011 02:25 PM »
L
It's hard to say exactly what he means by "right next to",

How about location in the area that would allow easy transport to the pad? 

There are industrial parks all over the area.

Doing it on the range and having to stop production every time ULA decides to run up the flag seems a bit much.

I hear Playalinda would have a great view ;)

Yea, I'd probably guess by "right next to the pad", they mean someplace in Florida near that pad, that could be easily transported to the pad.
Also, if they build FX cores at some point, those might be launching from KSC rather than LC-40.  So maybe a new facility somewhere near the space coast, but so that it could also be barged up to the turning bay by KSC. It could go to the VAB or to LC-40 from there.  (I'm not familiar enough with the geography of the area to know if there's a place you could unload a barge closer to LC-40, or if you could truck 6m cores from a nearby facility to LC-40 or KSC.) 

Also, back in Hawthorne, I'd imagine not only would they continue to do engines and the capsules, but continue the 3.6m cores for F9 and FH at Vandenberg, as well as any launches of them at the Cape.  A new facility in Florida would probably just have the hardware to bend metal for the 6m cores.  (although, I suppose they could make it so they can do both 3.6m cores and 6m cores in Florida for all Cape launches, and then continue the 3.6m cores for VAFB launches.  That'd cut down on their logistics.  Engines are pretty easy to truck to they'd probably have all engine production consolidated in Hawthorne.)

Texas would actually work to if they had easy coast access, so they could load their cores on a barge and ship them to the Cape.  It's a longer float, but probably not prohibitively so.



Does anyone know if any of the navy bases at jacksonville would be suitable?


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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #115 on: 09/12/2011 03:19 PM »
Rather than a sling, could a tri-hull be built, with an upper hull above the rocket and twin hulls on each side and a kevlar cradle to hold the rocket. You could slide the rocket out of the warehouse, right into the airship? The transfer process would be much safer than a sling hanging down from the airship. Fly straight to shore, and up to Vandenberg, or to a ship for delivery to KSC. If practical, it would also be a media spectacle with press you couldn't pay for.
Anyhow, certainly not on the critical path for SpaceX at this point.

Yes, there have been plans for very large roll on roll off HAV's that could possibly do that. HAV's have short field performance. It's perhaps physically possible that such a craft could land at Hawthorne Municipal Airport next to SpaceX and a large rocket stage could be rolled on. However judging by comments made earlier on this thread it seems unlikely that this would be allowed in such a built up area.
Douglas Clark

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #116 on: 09/12/2011 03:37 PM »
However judging by comments made earlier on this thread it seems unlikely that this would be allowed in such a built up area.

You kidding me, I would buy some adjacent land, build bleachers, and sell tickets  ::)
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #117 on: 09/12/2011 11:32 PM »
Ah, for simpler times... ;-)

Offline DaveH62

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #118 on: 09/13/2011 10:36 PM »
I would pay for a seat. Beer and hot dogs too.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #119 on: 09/18/2011 08:31 PM »
http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/large-airship-purchase.html
Here it is folks, a 50 tonne airship by 2014.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #120 on: 06/12/2017 03:25 PM »
Apologies for bringing this thread back to life after so long, but this appears to be the thread with the most relevant and current information on this topic gathered together.

If SpaceX were to want to build a 10-meter or 12-meter stage and 13-meter or 15-meter max width spaceship at Hawthorne, could it be transported to Long Beach in a cost-effective manner?

Let's assume motivated California development officials, but no big infrastructure additions, like bridges over freeways, etc.  Likewise, let's also assume no airships.

For instance, could SpaceX use cranes to get these pieces over the two or three bridges/overpasses?  Admittedly, this doesn't seem elegant, cheap, or non-annoying to the good residents of LA County to do this a couple of times a year, but I wonder how expensive it actually would be.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #121 on: 06/12/2017 03:49 PM »
Apologies for bringing this thread back to life after so long, but this appears to be the thread with the most relevant and current information on this topic gathered together.

If SpaceX were to want to build a 10-meter or 12-meter stage and 13-meter or 15-meter max width spaceship at Hawthorne, could it be transported to Long Beach in a cost-effective manner?

Let's assume motivated California development officials, but no big infrastructure additions, like bridges over freeways, etc.  Likewise, let's also assume no airships.

For instance, could SpaceX use cranes to get these pieces over the two or three bridges/overpasses?  Admittedly, this doesn't seem elegant, cheap, or non-annoying to the good residents of LA County to do this a couple of times a year, but I wonder how expensive it actually would be.

basically, it is impossible. 

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #122 on: 06/12/2017 03:55 PM »
Apologies for bringing this thread back to life after so long, but this appears to be the thread with the most relevant and current information on this topic gathered together.

If SpaceX were to want to build a 10-meter or 12-meter stage and 13-meter or 15-meter max width spaceship at Hawthorne, could it be transported to Long Beach in a cost-effective manner?

Let's assume motivated California development officials, but no big infrastructure additions, like bridges over freeways, etc.  Likewise, let's also assume no airships.

For instance, could SpaceX use cranes to get these pieces over the two or three bridges/overpasses?  Admittedly, this doesn't seem elegant, cheap, or non-annoying to the good residents of LA County to do this a couple of times a year, but I wonder how expensive it actually would be.

basically, it is impossible.

Thank you, Jim.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #123 on: 06/12/2017 04:14 PM »
Apologies for bringing this thread back to life after so long, but this appears to be the thread with the most relevant and current information on this topic gathered together.

If SpaceX were to want to build a 10-meter or 12-meter stage and 13-meter or 15-meter max width spaceship at Hawthorne, could it be transported to Long Beach in a cost-effective manner?

Let's assume motivated California development officials, but no big infrastructure additions, like bridges over freeways, etc.  Likewise, let's also assume no airships.

For instance, could SpaceX use cranes to get these pieces over the two or three bridges/overpasses?  Admittedly, this doesn't seem elegant, cheap, or non-annoying to the good residents of LA County to do this a couple of times a year, but I wonder how expensive it actually would be.

basically, it is impossible.

Thank you, Jim.

maybe go to Marina Del Rey and barge to Long Beach.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2017 04:16 PM by Jim »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #124 on: 06/12/2017 04:31 PM »
maybe go to Marina Del Rey and barge to Long Beach.

You can make it across the freeways, but shoot, Marina Del Rey is super non-industrial.

This wouldn't win them any friends, that's for sure.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #125 on: 06/12/2017 04:37 PM »
Yeah, but where would you take it off from?  The runway at the facility is nowhere near long enough.  So you'd have to transport over-land anyway.

That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

It still needs up to 3,000 feet of runway they don't have.

The Beluga needs 1386 m for takeoff per http://www.aertecsolutions.com/download/infographics/Infographic-AirbusBeluga-ENG.pdf

Hawthorne Muni has 1511 m of runway per https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/1706/05120AD.PDF

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #126 on: 06/12/2017 04:46 PM »
Following up on Jim's suggestion, the move to Marina del Rey would be retracing many of the steps of the Shuttle External Tank move detailed here.

http://www.latimes.com/visuals/graphics/la-g-space-shuttles-external-tank-comes-to-la-20160226-htmlstory.html

The External Tank is 8.4 meters diameter by 47 meters long.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2017 04:47 PM by RedLineTrain »

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #127 on: 06/12/2017 07:31 PM »
After looking at pictures of Endeavor and the External Tank moving through the streets of Los Angeles from Marina del Rey, I'm absolutely convinced that moving a BFR stage and the spaceship from Hawthorne to port would be perfectly doable...  if you are willing to shut down LA for three days. ;)

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-101612f.html
« Last Edit: 06/12/2017 07:40 PM by RedLineTrain »

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #128 on: 06/12/2017 08:31 PM »
After looking at pictures of Endeavor and the External Tank moving through the streets of Los Angeles from Marina del Rey, I'm absolutely convinced that moving a BFR stage and the spaceship from Hawthorne to port would be perfectly doable...  if you are willing to shut down LA for three days. ;)

http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-101612f.html

I'm surprised no one has mentioned tunnels yet...  :)

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #129 on: 06/12/2017 08:38 PM »
Ok, can SpaceX build a 5m 2nd stage (metholox) for F9 there?  If so, could a super-guppy or other short take off plane fly it to the cape?

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #130 on: 06/12/2017 08:54 PM »
Following up on Jim's suggestion, the move to Marina del Rey would be retracing many of the steps of the Shuttle External Tank move detailed here.

http://www.latimes.com/visuals/graphics/la-g-space-shuttles-external-tank-comes-to-la-20160226-htmlstory.html

The External Tank is 8.4 meters diameter by 47 meters long.

The SpaceX facility in Hawthorne is not that close to the route used for the Shuttle ET, although a 5m diameter structure would not need the same room as one that is 8.4m in diameter.

I would think they would be more likely to build such an item at a different location - one with better access to water transportation. Which could be a contractor facility, not one that is SpaceX owned.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #131 on: 06/12/2017 09:13 PM »
Yeah, but where would you take it off from?  The runway at the facility is nowhere near long enough.  So you'd have to transport over-land anyway.

That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

It still needs up to 3,000 feet of runway they don't have.

The Beluga needs 1386 m for takeoff per http://www.aertecsolutions.com/download/infographics/Infographic-AirbusBeluga-ENG.pdf

Hawthorne Muni has 1511 m of runway per https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/1706/05120AD.PDF
I wonder what this thingy's take off distance would be while carrying a big cylindrical thing.



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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #132 on: 06/12/2017 09:19 PM »
The route that the shuttle external tank took would mostly work.

Instead of turning left on South La Brea Ave, so straight and turn right on South Prarie Ave.  This takes you OVER the 105.  Turn left on Jack Northrop Ave and you are at SpaceX.

Shoot.  Last year I looked at the LA map for quite a while trying to figure out how to get out from SpaceX, and never saw this route.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #133 on: 06/12/2017 09:55 PM »
 ???  I guess I'm missing something here (Is this OT??)  I thought the plan was to build and launch from south Texas, or is this thread an exercise in speculation?  I know it has just been 'reactivated', but thought they were headed this way (to south Texas) back in 2011.
Not an engineer or a mathematician.  Just a rabid space/astronomy freak and Spacex 'groupie'.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #134 on: 06/13/2017 12:01 AM »
Is there a way to take it down the 105 and use the LA River basin to get it to Long Beach? What are the bridge clearances along that stretch?
DM

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #135 on: 06/13/2017 12:26 AM »
Yeah, but where would you take it off from?  The runway at the facility is nowhere near long enough.  So you'd have to transport over-land anyway.

That's the reason I was sugjesting the A300-600ST Beluga it can use standard runways, and the stages of a rocket sans engines are not that much heavier than aircraft frames.

It still needs up to 3,000 feet of runway they don't have.

The Beluga needs 1386 m for takeoff per http://www.aertecsolutions.com/download/infographics/Infographic-AirbusBeluga-ENG.pdf

Hawthorne Muni has 1511 m of runway per https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/1706/05120AD.PDF
I wonder what this thingy's take off distance would be while carrying a big cylindrical thing.



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Given that the clear height under the wing spar is about 6M, it might be infinite.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #136 on: 06/13/2017 01:31 AM »
Is there a way to take it down the 105 and use the LA River basin to get it to Long Beach? What are the bridge clearances along that stretch?
Worked on The Core.

For reals though, no.  Wouldn't have clearance along 105E, and probably not on the river either, but there I'm not sure.
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #137 on: 06/13/2017 01:46 PM »
???  I guess I'm missing something here (Is this OT??)  I thought the plan was to build and launch from south Texas, or is this thread an exercise in speculation?  I know it has just been 'reactivated', but thought they were headed this way (to south Texas) back in 2011.

This thread is an exercise in speculation, but SpaceX has never specified where they are going to build the bigger stages.  It's not really out of the question for initial production to happen in LA.

Offline RotoSequence

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #138 on: 06/13/2017 01:51 PM »
???  I guess I'm missing something here (Is this OT??)  I thought the plan was to build and launch from south Texas, or is this thread an exercise in speculation?  I know it has just been 'reactivated', but thought they were headed this way (to south Texas) back in 2011.

This thread is an exercise in speculation, but SpaceX has never specified where they are going to build the bigger stages.  It's not really out of the question for initial production to happen in LA.

I don't foresee them getting very far without dramatic developments and innovation with segmented carbon fiber pressure vessels, which sounds rather unlikely.

Offline gospacex

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #139 on: 06/13/2017 02:32 PM »
so...how easy would it be to pack up and move to florida? :)
jb

It makes more sense for Hawthorne to continue making money, er, I meant making F9s and Merlins, and open a *new* factory for large diameter new rockets whereever is convenient.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #140 on: 06/13/2017 05:20 PM »
???  I guess I'm missing something here (Is this OT??)  I thought the plan was to build and launch from south Texas, or is this thread an exercise in speculation?  I know it has just been 'reactivated', but thought they were headed this way (to south Texas) back in 2011.

This thread is an exercise in speculation, but SpaceX has never specified where they are going to build the bigger stages.  It's not really out of the question for initial production to happen in LA.

I don't foresee them getting very far without dramatic developments and innovation with segmented carbon fiber pressure vessels, which sounds rather unlikely.

I'm not sure where you're coming from in any part of this post.

They already have a 10m cf tank test item that has been pressure tested.  What's the massive and unlikely leap left that you think they need?

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ya4e7p3w

Edit: tiny url
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 05:25 PM by S.Paulissen »
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #141 on: 06/13/2017 05:29 PM »
???  I guess I'm missing something here (Is this OT??)  I thought the plan was to build and launch from south Texas, or is this thread an exercise in speculation?  I know it has just been 'reactivated', but thought they were headed this way (to south Texas) back in 2011.

This thread is an exercise in speculation, but SpaceX has never specified where they are going to build the bigger stages.  It's not really out of the question for initial production to happen in LA.

I don't foresee them getting very far without dramatic developments and innovation with segmented carbon fiber pressure vessels, which sounds rather unlikely.

I'm not sure where you're coming from in any part of this post.

They already have a 10m cf tank test item that has been pressure tested.  What's the massive and unlikely leap left that you think they need?

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ya4e7p3w

Edit: tiny url


Well that tank is in pieces as of a few months ago...

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5ul1du/remains_of_the_its_composite_tank_in_anacortes_wa/

Offline RotoSequence

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #142 on: 06/13/2017 05:46 PM »
I'm not sure where you're coming from in any part of this post.

They already have a 10m cf tank test item that has been pressure tested.  What's the massive and unlikely leap left that you think they need?

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ya4e7p3w

Edit: tiny url

As tvg98 said:

[...]that tank is in pieces as of a few months ago...

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5ul1du/remains_of_the_its_composite_tank_in_anacortes_wa/

The unannounced destruction of their first structural test article suggests that the ITS' composite tanks will require some significant developments in multi-part composite structure fabrication to meet design strength, or the use of a one piece tank.
« Last Edit: 06/13/2017 05:47 PM by RotoSequence »

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #143 on: 06/13/2017 05:59 PM »
I'm not sure where you're coming from in any part of this post.

They already have a 10m cf tank test item that has been pressure tested.  What's the massive and unlikely leap left that you think they need?

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ya4e7p3w

Edit: tiny url

As tvg98 said:

[...]that tank is in pieces as of a few months ago...

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5ul1du/remains_of_the_its_composite_tank_in_anacortes_wa/

The unannounced destruction of their first structural test article suggests that the ITS' composite tanks will require some significant developments in multi-part composite structure fabrication to meet design strength, or the use of a one piece tank.

I don't think it suggests that - all those pictures suggest to me is that the tank (unexpectedly or predicted) failed under conditions that we have no insight into to my knowledge.  Or (less likely) perhaps it didn't fail at all but served its purpose and is not worth transporting to storage (Hawthorne/McGregor/etc) in one piece so is being destroyed for easy disposal.


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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #144 on: 06/13/2017 06:03 PM »
The first three attempts to reach orbit in Falcon 1 failed.  F9Dev1 (aka Grasshopper 2) blew up while testing landing technology in Texas.  None of those things meant the development programs were failing.  They were failures along the way, which is the normal course of things when developing new technology.

Should we be surprised to find out SpaceX had a test tank for ITS blow up?  Not really.  Should we conclude that if they did the program is halted or has run into an insurmountable hurdle?  Definitely not.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #145 on: 06/13/2017 06:40 PM »
While we're speculating about the test tank, I'll toss in my two cents. SpaceX could have had a series of successful tests and decided to test the tank to failure.

Without any information, we have no idea how the tests went.

Didn't SpaceX say they were going to build ITS at the launch site? They could still build the engines and some other at Hawthorne.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #146 on: 06/13/2017 10:30 PM »
...

Didn't SpaceX say they were going to build ITS at the launch site? They could still build the engines and some other at Hawthorne.

I think building at the Launch site was the original idea.
However, in the IAC speech Elon indicated the ITS would probably be constructed in several states and assembled at the launch site (39-A).
source: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41250.msg1590018#msg1590018

If west coast locations like Hawthorne are considered then maybe the Seattle area should be considered since this is where the test tank was tested.

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #147 on: 07/04/2017 05:58 PM »
10m tunnel 5km long costs how much? Might be cheaper than relocating factory.
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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #148 on: 07/04/2017 07:13 PM »
As I was driving yesterday down the 405 yesterday to the in-law's house for 4th of July.  I couldn't help but notice the former S-II assembly building in Seal Beach.  What is the conditions of the Former North American (Now Boeing) S-II assembly facilities in Seal Beach? 
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Online docmordrid

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #149 on: 07/04/2017 07:57 PM »
As I was driving yesterday down the 405 yesterday to the in-law's house for 4th of July.  I couldn't help but notice the former S-II assembly building in Seal Beach.  What is the conditions of the Former North American (Now Boeing) S-II assembly facilities in Seal Beach?

Says here they're moving people out of Huntington Beach and into Seal Beach & elsewhere.

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« Last Edit: 07/04/2017 07:57 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #150 on: 07/10/2017 01:16 AM »
Setting aside the more sensible options (Texas) and the more fanciful options (Zeppelins), the size of the stage they could build in Hawthorne really comes down to the tooling and the road transport to the port.

Looking at the factory floor now it's not that hard to imagine cores twice as wide. i.e., 7.5 m diameter, but what about length? Twice as long? Doesn't seem like there's room... maybe they'll need to extend the hangar?

Even then, I find it hard to imagine anything that big going south down the 110 to the Port of LA.
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Online Coastal Ron

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #151 on: 07/10/2017 03:11 AM »
Looking at the factory floor now it's not that hard to imagine cores twice as wide. i.e., 7.5 m diameter, but what about length? Twice as long? Doesn't seem like there's room... maybe they'll need to extend the hangar?

If the special core is not going to use the same tooling and production sequences of the current Falcon 9 cores (which if it's composite construction it wouldn't), then they would have to shut down the existing Falcon 9 core production line while they build the special core. I don't see that happening.

But maybe they have room somewhere else in their Hawthorne facility (or buildings nearby they could rent) and they'll set up a temporary production facility? That would be my guess.
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Online docmordrid

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #152 on: 07/10/2017 03:23 AM »
AIUI, they're slowly taking over parts of the Triumph Aerostructures facility at the other end of the block, with one smaller building now being used as the Dragon Hatchery.

Isn't Triumph supposed to be out of the large Boeing parts facility about 2019-2020, moving production east? If so, how high/long are its spaces?
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 03:25 AM by docmordrid »
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Offline Roy_H

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #153 on: 07/10/2017 12:44 PM »
Is somebody ambitious enough to take a map of the area and highlight all the buildings owned by SpaceX?

I gather they would have easy access to the runway there. I think in terms of largest practicable diameter core from Hawthorn, I think the barge idea through Panama is not cost effective. What about air lift like StratoLaunch? Someone pointed out that the clearance is 6 meters so maybe the maximum core it could carry would be about 5m? A helicopter could carry a 5m stage from SpaceX to LA airport where StratoLaunch could land. I think this would be a much cheaper option to a barge through Panama. On this basis I think the largest stage out of Hawthorn would be 5m.

Just for reference, the ITS optimal diameter would be 12 to 15 meters, 10m would be a skinny tall version.
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Offline bobc

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #154 on: 07/10/2017 01:57 PM »
Raul made this incredible map that shows all SpaceX facilities and booster/dragon landing locations for each mission. I'm really surprised I don't see it mentioned more, it's a fantastic resource.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1wvgFIPuOmI8da9EIB88tHo9vamo&hl&ll=33.29380355834657%2C-116.24898087834447&z=7

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #155 on: 07/10/2017 02:01 PM »
Even then, I find it hard to imagine anything that big going south down the 110 to the Port of LA.

As discussed earlier in the thread, it would go Northwest to Marina del Rey, not South to the Port of LA.  The proof of concept for this is the movement of the Shuttle orbiter and external tank from Marina del Rey to the California Science Center.  It's doable, if disruptive and expensive.  Unknown max diameter and length with current infrastructure.

Is somebody ambitious enough to take a map of the area and highlight all the buildings owned by SpaceX?

Is there any chance that one of the more graphically gifted NSFers would be willing to create a map of SpaceX's Hawthorne footprint similar to what DaveG has done for Boca Chica properties in TX?

Incidentally, @Raul here at NSF has put together a Google Maps of SpaceX facilities.  It has the two facilities that I mentioned above, so it's probably pretty comprehensive.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1wvgFIPuOmI8da9EIB88tHo9vamo&hl
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 02:27 PM by RedLineTrain »

Offline Zucal

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #156 on: 07/10/2017 04:13 PM »
That map's still missing some facilities. I'll draw something up soon.

Offline Jim

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #157 on: 07/10/2017 04:29 PM »
LA airport where StratoLaunch could land.

It can't land there

Online S.Paulissen

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #158 on: 09/30/2017 05:00 AM »
I'm not sure where you're coming from in any part of this post.

They already have a 10m cf tank test item that has been pressure tested.  What's the massive and unlikely leap left that you think they need?

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ya4e7p3w

Edit: tiny url

As tvg98 said:

[...]that tank is in pieces as of a few months ago...

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5ul1du/remains_of_the_its_composite_tank_in_anacortes_wa/

The unannounced destruction of their first structural test article suggests that the ITS' composite tanks will require some significant developments in multi-part composite structure fabrication to meet design strength, or the use of a one piece tank.

Just dredging this up after finally getting some insight into the tank failure.

They most certainly did successfully make and test this tank.
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Offline octavo

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #159 on: 09/30/2017 06:28 AM »
I'm not sure where you're coming from in any part of this post.

They already have a 10m cf tank test item that has been pressure tested.  What's the massive and unlikely leap left that you think they need?

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ya4e7p3w

Edit: tiny url

As tvg98 said:

[...]that tank is in pieces as of a few months ago...

https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5ul1du/remains_of_the_its_composite_tank_in_anacortes_wa/

The unannounced destruction of their first structural test article suggests that the ITS' composite tanks will require some significant developments in multi-part composite structure fabrication to meet design strength, or the use of a one piece tank.

Just dredging this up after finally getting some insight into the tank failure.

They most certainly did successfully make and test this tank.
Even more significant for me was that the failure in the video didn't seem to occur along the seam (assuming it was tested in the orientation we saw it in earlier photos)

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #160 on: 09/30/2017 05:56 PM »
Looks like it was tested in the same position and on the same stand.
 Also the failure appears to happen at the lower dome which is why it shot 300 ft up in the air.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How big a stage could SpaceX build at Hawthorne?
« Reply #161 on: 09/30/2017 09:59 PM »
It appears that the question in the opening post has more or less been answered.

* Booster:  9m diameter (plus centering features), 58m length
* Spaceship:  9m diameter (plus delta wings), 48m length

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