Author Topic: Where will BFR be built?  (Read 151498 times)

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #320 on: 01/09/2018 03:17 PM »
Obviously no matter where they build it, all the fixturing and so forth will have to be built regardless.  But she's implying that the facility by the water is going to be cheaper than X BFRs * $2.5m.  Seems like X would have to be 50 or more for that to be true, as they have to pay for both leasing the land and building the shell on top of it.
As I've said before, SpaceX may just lease an existing building. In other words, when Gwynne says "We're looking at building a facility", it's possible she meant building new manufacturing facilities within an existing building.

Also remember that SpaceX tends to think long-term.  That's why they're not a publicly traded company.

As I said before, I'd guess that 3 BFRs could satisfy the entire current launch market, plus Starlink, plus a couple of Mars missions every 2 years

They would also need a couple of throw-away BFRs at the beginning to work the kinks out. And they would need a lot more than 3 BFSs, perhaps 6 or 8, plus few throw-away BFSs to gather data and tweak the design. I'm not sure on these exact amounts, but my main point is that SpaceX can do a lot with relatively few BFRs, and this may last them through the next 7-8 years. 

Beyond that, as they ramp up the number of active BFRs, that's probably where the cost of transporting BFR from Hawthorne comes into play.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2018 03:27 PM by Dave G »

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #321 on: 01/09/2018 03:27 PM »
SpaceX's plan for the first two Mars missions alone requires a ship completed every six months or so.  There's some ramp in production between that and the 1000 ships per synod ambition...
1000 BFRs seems crazy high to me.  Remember that BFR and BFS are designed to be reused hundreds of times, so that would be hundreds of thousands of BFR launches.  Also remember that each BFR can launch 10 times the payload of Falcon 9, so 1000 BFRs would be the equivalent of millions of F9 launches.  By the time the launch market expands that much, I think SpaceX will have multiple serious competitors doing similar things.

I'm guessing maybe 50-100 BFRs over the next 20 years or so, something in that ballpark.

Offline DaveGee66

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #322 on: 01/09/2018 03:37 PM »
Perhaps I am repeating a previous post  (likely, almost assuredly) but the first question that I'd think needs to be answered is this:

Q: Where is the BFR going to be launched from on its maiden/test flights?

Yes I  know that the point to point vision of the future shows these being launched from ocean platforms (someday) but will the initial BFR test flights be launched from the same platforms?  If so what states are going to allow SpaceX to build them off shore and if not then can the BFR be launched from an already built pad??  I'd think quite a bit of work would need to be done prior to any of the existing pads being usable for the BFR and finally can SpaceX afford to have an existing launch site down during a time when they are expected to open the flood gates on the space launch industry?

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #323 on: 01/09/2018 03:43 PM »
Q: Where is the BFR going to be launched from on its maiden/test flights?

Yes I  know that the point to point vision of the future shows these being launched from ocean platforms (someday) but will the initial BFR test flights be launched from the same platforms?  If so what states are going to allow SpaceX to build them off shore and if not then can the BFR be launched from an already built pad??  I'd think quite a bit of work would need to be done prior to any of the existing pads being usable for the BFR and finally can SpaceX afford to have an existing launch site down during a time when they are expected to open the flood gates on the space launch industry?

Note that there's another thread called: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.140

Offline Cheapchips

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #324 on: 01/09/2018 06:58 PM »
1000 BFRs seems crazy high to me.  Remember that BFR and BFS are designed to be reused hundreds of times, so that would be hundreds of thousands of BFR launches.  Also remember that each BFR can launch 10 times the payload of Falcon 9, so 1000 BFRs would be the equivalent of millions of F9 launches.  By the time the launch market expands that much, I think SpaceX will have multiple serious competitors doing similar things.

I'm guessing maybe 50-100 BFRs over the next 20 years or so, something in that ballpark.


The thousand ships to Mars was from IAC2016. Agree it's a crazy number.  I wasn't putting forward a timescale, just that it's a stated end goal.  That and P2P does demand Boeing/Airbus levels of production capacity.   

So my guess would be that every time you build a new HIF it has robotised tank/airframe/assembly element to it as well.   

The initial LA site will be a test bed for this.


Quote
Now over time there would be many spaceships. Ultimately, I think, upwards of 1,000 or more spaceships waiting in orbit. And so the Mars colonial fleet would depart en masse, kind of "Battlestar Galactica" ó if you've seen that thing, it's a good show ó so a bit like that. But it actually makes sense to load the spaceships into orbit, because you've got 2 years to do so, and then make frequent use of the booster and the tanker to get really heavy reuse out of those.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #325 on: 01/09/2018 07:29 PM »
Obviously no matter where they build it, all the fixturing and so forth will have to be built regardless.  But she's implying that the facility by the water is going to be cheaper than X BFRs * $2.5m.  Seems like X would have to be 50 or more for that to be true, as they have to pay for both leasing the land and building the shell on top of it.
As I've said before, SpaceX may just lease an existing building. In other words, when Gwynne says "We're looking at building a facility", it's possible she meant building new manufacturing facilities within an existing building.

Also remember that SpaceX tends to think long-term.  That's why they're not a publicly traded company.

As I said before, I'd guess that 3 BFRs could satisfy the entire current launch market, plus Starlink, plus a couple of Mars missions every 2 years

They would also need a couple of throw-away BFRs at the beginning to work the kinks out. And they would need a lot more than 3 BFSs, perhaps 6 or 8, plus few throw-away BFSs to gather data and tweak the design. I'm not sure on these exact amounts, but my main point is that SpaceX can do a lot with relatively few BFRs, and this may last them through the next 7-8 years. 

Beyond that, as they ramp up the number of active BFRs, that's probably where the cost of transporting BFR from Hawthorne comes into play.


I expect BFRs launch rate to start out somewhat slow at a first as they will want to inspect every vehicle extensively early one so they can figure out what will need to be serviced.
As they get more data the flighty rate will ramp up.
The location of manufacture probably would be largely driven by accessibility by large barges as that's how they'll probably be transported from the factory.
Probably along the east coast of Texas, Louisiana, and even where there's a suitable river such as how the ULA factory is located in Decatur so they can avoid having to go all the way to Panama to reach the launch site at the Cape.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2018 07:34 PM by Patchouli »

Offline Negan

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #326 on: 01/09/2018 08:04 PM »
I expect BFRs launch rate to start out somewhat slow at a first as they will want to inspect every vehicle extensively early one so they can figure out what will need to be serviced.

I think because of all the reuse data they have and will gain by then, they'll look to exceed Falcon 9's reuse numbers right out of the gate. The first full stack launch will be a dummy payload, but after that, plenty of Starlink satellites.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #327 on: 01/09/2018 08:25 PM »
The location of manufacture probably would be largely driven by accessibility by large barges as that's how they'll probably be transported from the factory.
I agree.

Probably along the east coast of Texas, Louisiana, and even where there's a suitable river such as how the ULA factory is located in Decatur so they can avoid having to go all the way to Panama to reach the launch site at the Cape.
At SpaceX, there's a strong desire to keep development engineers physically close to the manufacturing area.  For Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, development engineers and manufacturing share the same building.  For this reason, many of the early posts on this thread assumed BFR would be built at Hawthorne.

But then on Oct 11, Gwynne said:
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

Since then, speculation on this thread has mainly focused on where this new Los Angeles based facility will be.

Offline D_Dom

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #328 on: 01/22/2018 04:19 PM »
This tent was mostly finished Dec 2, the day after picture was taken. Friday was the most activity I have seen here since then, they had a lot of heavy equipment around.
« Last Edit: 01/22/2018 04:24 PM by D_Dom »
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #329 on: 01/22/2018 06:39 PM »
Is that tent structure high enoug for a 9m core? Comparing to that perimeter wall it seems not high enough.

Online docmordrid

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #330 on: 01/22/2018 08:36 PM »
Check the overpass behind it. In urban areas the road to structure clearance needs to be 14 feet (4.3 m) + margin for road resurfacing.
« Last Edit: 01/22/2018 08:37 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline Nydoc

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #331 on: 01/23/2018 12:50 PM »
This tent was mostly finished Dec 2, the day after picture was taken. Friday was the most activity I have seen here since then, they had a lot of heavy equipment around.
Do you get the impression that they might be building a second roomba in this tent or something bigger?

Offline D_Dom

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #332 on: 01/23/2018 04:13 PM »
Apologies for that poor image, we were driving. The perspective is hard to describe but the structure is far removed from the both the overpass and the perimeter wall. I would guess it is more than tall enough for 9 meter storage. No doubt a second Roomba could be built there, it is big enough for much larger assemblies. I noticed utilities connection as well as a backup generator.
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Offline Cheapchips

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #333 on: 01/25/2018 05:52 AM »

That does seem like a good spot to assemble BFR.  It's straight down Navy Way to pier 400. There's a couple of over the road signs to remove.  Don't know if the crash barrier in the middle of the bridge just before the pier would cause issues?

Offline catdlr

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #334 on: 01/25/2018 08:35 AM »

That does seem like a good spot to assemble BFR.  It's straight down Navy Way to pier 400. There's a couple of over the road signs to remove.  Don't know if the crash barrier in the middle of the bridge just before the pier would cause issues?

the above posts were previously discussed here (just FYI).  http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43871.msg1749135#msg1749135
« Last Edit: 01/25/2018 08:42 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Offline catdlr

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #335 on: 01/25/2018 08:37 AM »
The latest Port of Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners meeting in December had this SpaceX related topic at Stage One recovery area:

Quote
Waterfront & Commercial Real Estate

8.   RESOLUTION NO.____________ - APPROVE THIRD AMENDMENT TO REVOCABLE PERMIT NO. 15-19 WITH SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGIES CORP. DBA SPACEX

Summary: Staff requests approval of the Third Amendment to Revocable Permit No. 15-19 (RP 15-19) with Space Exploration Technologies Corp. dba SpaceX (SpaceX) to increase permit premises by approximately 34,643 square feet (s.f.) of land and water areas and allow the berthing of a 204' long vessel. The additional land area will also allow SpaceX to remove equipment from the tops of their sea vans and store them in the additional area, away from public view. The Third Amendment to RP 15-19 increases City of Los Angeles Harbor Department (Harbor Department) revenue by $45,205.04 per year to $337,149.80, a 15.48 percent increase over its current annual rent of $291,944.76.

Recommendation: Board resolve to (1) find that the proposed action is categorically exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Article III Class 1(14) of the Los Angeles City CEQA Guidelines as determined by the Director of Environmental Management; (2) approve the Third Amendment to Revocable Permit No. 15-19 with Space Exploration Technologies Corp.; (3) authorize the Executive Director to execute and the Board Secretary to attest to the Third Amendment to Revocable Permit No. 15-19; and (4) adopt Resolution No.____________.

Source: https://www.portoflosangeles.org/Board/2017/December%202017/121417_Regular_Agenda.asp

There was no activity for SpaceX mentioned in the January meeting.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2018 08:40 AM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

Online docmordrid

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #336 on: 01/25/2018 05:39 PM »
Where?

NSF....

Quote
As Kennedy Space Center continues its transition to becoming a multi-user spaceport, more details are emerging about its possible future, including a new small vehicle launch complex, a New Armstrong launch pad, and a SpaceX BFR assembly facility.
« Last Edit: 01/25/2018 05:41 PM by docmordrid »
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Online Zed_Noir

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #337 on: 01/25/2018 08:55 PM »
Where?

NSF....

Quote
As Kennedy Space Center continues its transition to becoming a multi-user spaceport, more details are emerging about its possible future, including a new small vehicle launch complex, a New Armstrong launch pad, and a SpaceX BFR assembly facility.

From Ian Atkinson's NSF article.
Quote
SpaceX is also considering building their own new facilities, although this will not be a launch complex but rather a factory to build their future BFR vehicle. The company is talking with NASA and Space Florida about obtaining land for the new factory, likely be located near or right next to Blue Originís existing New Glenn factory.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #338 on: 01/25/2018 09:09 PM »
Where?

NSF....

Quote
As Kennedy Space Center continues its transition to becoming a multi-user spaceport, more details are emerging about its possible future, including a new small vehicle launch complex, a New Armstrong launch pad, and a SpaceX BFR assembly facility.

From Ian Atkinson's NSF article.
Quote
SpaceX is also considering building their own new facilities, although this will not be a launch complex but rather a factory to build their future BFR vehicle. The company is talking with NASA and Space Florida about obtaining land for the new factory, likely be located near or right next to Blue Originís existing New Glenn factory.

Given how EM thinks about vertical integration I can easily imagine the BFR facility being in Florida.

He describes in a Tesla YouTube that he would like to have a factory where raw materials go in one end of a factory and out the other end comes finished cars. 

Why not do this with the BFR as well.  The people that need to build it would be there to service and operate as well.  Anything that reduced the number of touches and number of times it needs to be moved.

Jonesing for a copy of 'Tales of Suspense #39'

Offline matthewkantar

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #339 on: 01/25/2018 09:17 PM »

Given how EM thinks about vertical integration I can easily imagine the BFR facility being in Florida.

He describes in a Tesla YouTube that he would like to have a factory where raw materials go in one end of a factory and out the other end comes finished cars. 

Why not do this with the BFR as well.  The people that need to build it would be there to service and operate as well.  Anything that reduced the number of touches and number of times it needs to be moved.

A totally automated factory of the sort described here would only make sense if millions of BFR's were being built. Dozens of units would never cover the capital costs.

Matthew