Author Topic: Where will BFR be built?  (Read 123780 times)

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #40 on: 10/03/2017 11:44 PM »
It will be built at SpaceX's Hawthorne campus (which they keep expanding slowly). Can we close this thread, now?
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Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #41 on: 10/04/2017 02:33 AM »
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
4. Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd going North, which turns into South La Brea Ave
5. Turn left onto E Arbor Vitae Street, which turns into Westchester Parkway
* Now the BRF & ITS will be using part of the same route the Shuttle ET used, just in reverse
6. Turn right onto Loyola Blvd
7. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
8. Turn right onto Culver Blvd
9. Turn left onto CA-90 - going against the normal direction of traffic
10. Turn left onto Mindanao Way
11. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
12. Turn right onto Fiji Way
13. End at the CruiseMDR.com Dock 55 Landing

Lines and signs moved, and some tree trimming may be needed, but it looks doable.

I don't see how they can make the first turn.  I've shown BFR (booster) to scale as the white box on the image below.

Again, this is the 9m diameter version from the latest presentation. But still, at 30 feet diameter and over 200 feet long, the thing is huge.

Also, removing traffic lights and lifting power lines isn't cheap.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2017 02:36 AM by Dave G »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #42 on: 10/04/2017 02:35 AM »
Jack it up higher.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #43 on: 10/04/2017 02:41 AM »
....
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
4. Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd going North, which turns into South La Brea Ave
5. Turn left onto E Arbor Vitae Street, which turns into Westchester Parkway
* Now the BRF & ITS will be using part of the same route the Shuttle ET used, just in reverse
6. Turn right onto Loyola Blvd
7. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
8. Turn right onto Culver Blvd
9. Turn left onto CA-90 - going against the normal direction of traffic
10. Turn left onto Mindanao Way
11. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
12. Turn right onto Fiji Way
13. End at the CruiseMDR.com Dock 55 Landing

Lines and signs moved, and some tree trimming may be needed, but it looks doable.

Just like the Gerry Anderson TV show. Especially TB-3 moving along the taxi way with the tilting palm trees. Someone should do a P.O.V. overhead animation of the BFR transiting  @Coastal Ron's reverse scenic route.  8)
(reverse scenic == everyone staring at the BFR motoring at a walking pace.)  ;D

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #44 on: 10/04/2017 02:44 AM »
Jack it up higher.

Above the traffic lights?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #45 on: 10/04/2017 02:46 AM »
Jack it up higher.

Above the traffic lights?
No, remove the traffic light like they did for Shuttle. Jack up if there are things like 5 ft in the way.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #46 on: 10/04/2017 03:19 AM »
remove the traffic light like they did for Shuttle.

They would need to remove a lot of traffic lights and power lines along that route.

Seems crazy expensive.

Just space to move manufacturing for tanks and final assembly near enough to Hawthorne that employees can work in both places without relocating, that permits direct loading onto ocean going ships.

Seems like a more cost effective solution to me.  The L.A. sea port is only 20 miles from Hawthorne.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #47 on: 10/04/2017 03:21 AM »
remove the traffic light like they did for Shuttle.

They would need to remove a lot of traffic lights and power lines along that route.

Seems crazy expensive.

$3 million for moving the ET, including through the Panama Canal. Not too bad, all things considered. And the path is shorter than for the ET, and you could move multiple pieces at once, and if you did this regularly you could put stuff on hinges.

Not crazy.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Offline aero

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #48 on: 10/04/2017 03:46 AM »
For the 9m versions, a guess as to their route from the Hawthorne factory to the location where the Shuttle External Tank was unloaded from an ocean-going barge would be:

1. Start at the SpaceX factory, exiting (I think) onto Jack Northrop Blvd going East
2. Turn left onto Crenshaw Blvd going North
3. Turn left onto W 120th Street going West
4. Turn right onto Hawthorne Blvd going North, which turns into South La Brea Ave
5. Turn left onto E Arbor Vitae Street, which turns into Westchester Parkway
* Now the BRF & ITS will be using part of the same route the Shuttle ET used, just in reverse
6. Turn right onto Loyola Blvd
7. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
8. Turn right onto Culver Blvd
9. Turn left onto CA-90 - going against the normal direction of traffic
10. Turn left onto Mindanao Way
11. Turn left onto Lincoln Blvd
12. Turn right onto Fiji Way
13. End at the CruiseMDR.com Dock 55 Landing

Lines and signs moved, and some tree trimming may be needed, but it looks doable.

I don't see how they can make the first turn.  I've shown BFR (booster) to scale as the white box on the image below.

Again, this is the 9m diameter version from the latest presentation. But still, at 30 feet diameter and over 200 feet long, the thing is huge.

Also, removing traffic lights and lifting power lines isn't cheap.

It might be tricky, but I've seen 60 ft. long, 14 ft. wide mobile homes turn at a crossing of narrow two-lane roads. They can do the turn because they only have wheels in the middle of the mobile home so it pivots around the corner. The tail end does hang over the sidewalk though and the tractor pulling it gets to a configuration that looks like it jack-knifed but it works.

To apply this method to the BFR directly probably wouldn't work, but putting all but the center wheels of the BFR transport on casters might work. Then get rid of the tractor and make the transport self-powered to shorten the train. With geared steering and drive power applied to all of the castered wheels, I speculate that the transport could turn its load much more sharply than one might think at first blush.
Retired, working interesting problems

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #49 on: 10/04/2017 03:59 AM »
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

This brings up an interesting question. Note that Elon says "our existing factories" (plural). 

Assuming this wasn't a typo, what are their existing factories?

Is he including factories for SpaceX sub-contractors, like Janicki Industries ?

Does SpaceX have any other facilities that may fall into this category?

Offline darkenfast

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #50 on: 10/04/2017 04:39 AM »
A couple of thoughts: 

I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

SpaceX has multiple buildings in Hawthorne.  We don't know which one the BFThing will come out of. 

Regarding the BFS itself, I would expect that the vehicle would be designed from the beginning to ship with the wings off.  They would be installed in the BFHIF (sorry, had to do it!).

Sometimes I wonder if they plan their statements to make it confusing: "Okay, you say "A" at your speech this week and I'll say "B" at my announcement next week.  Those NSF guys will be pulling their hair out!"

Offline catdlr

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #51 on: 10/04/2017 04:39 AM »
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923

Then, he anounced the 9 m diameter, as decision. Any more queston?

Well, immediately after that tweet, somebody asked about the transport and Elon didn't answer, as far as I know.

what are their (SpaceX) existing factories?


see here:  https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1wvgFIPuOmI8da9EIB88tHo9vamo&hl
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #52 on: 10/04/2017 05:41 AM »
I don't see how they can make the first turn.  I've shown BFR (booster) to scale as the white box on the image below.

Again, this is the 9m diameter version from the latest presentation. But still, at 30 feet diameter and over 200 feet long, the thing is huge.

Don't take my directions literally - the goal is to go West on 120th Street, but that can be done in more than one way.

Looking at that overhead image you'll notice the turn to the left (West) has a sharper corner than the other side of the intersection. Which means the stage could be moved through the intersection, and then reverse and make a turn to the right onto W 120th Street.

Quote
Also, removing traffic lights and lifting power lines isn't cheap.

Let's keep perspective here - new factories cost more to build than it would cost to move signs and trees...  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #53 on: 10/04/2017 01:23 PM »
Sometimes I wonder if they plan their statements to make it confusing: "Okay, you say "A" at your speech this week and I'll say "B" at my announcement next week.  Those NSF guys will be pulling their hair out!"

LOL!

I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

Utility pole removal isn't cheap.

$3 million for moving the ET, including through the Panama Canal.

BFR is 50 feet longer than shuttle ET.  BFS is 17 feet wider than shuttle ET.  I suspect this will make it more expensive, perhaps around $5 million.

Let's keep perspective here - new factories cost more to build than it would cost to move signs and trees...  ;)

If they build BFR at the L.A. seaport, I'm assuming they would lease space at an existing building.

If they build BFR along the Brownsville shipping channel, where real estate prices are dirt-cheap, and construction labor is also relatively cheap, that could cost less than moving BFR/BFS though the streets of L.A.

Note: I'm assuming any BFR sub-component that can be easily road transported will continue to be built in Hawthorne.  That includes Raptor engines, avionics, grid fins, basically anything less than 4 meters tall.  And since most of the complicated stuff is less than 4 meters tall, I'd say the majority of BFR manufacturing will be in Hawthorne regardless.

So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #54 on: 10/04/2017 02:48 PM »
If they build BFR at the L.A. seaport, I'm assuming they would lease space at an existing building.

I think this is a possibility.

Quote
If they build BFR along the Brownsville shipping channel, where real estate prices are dirt-cheap, and construction labor is also relatively cheap, that could cost less than moving BFR/BFS though the streets of L.A.

Factories don't have to be complex, and you can take over an existing facility to speed up how quickly you can occupy a new factory. But finding people and getting everyone trained to the way you do manufacturing can take a while.

Moving power lines, road signs, and trimming trees can be done quickly and for less money. And if they plan to do it on a regular basis they cut the costs per trip over time. And not having to move personnel can be less disruptive on the Hawthorne factory.

Quote
So any other potential BFR manufacturing site would just build the large structures and do the final assembly.

Which is quite a bit. We're not talking about hiring a bunch of surfboard fiberglass layup guys, you need certified technicians, a small cadre of manufacturing engineers, quality control engineers and testing facilities, operations, procurement, inventory control, facilities, HR, and everyone else it takes for a well-running factory building human-rated transportation systems.

Hiring will take time, and so will training and certification. It obviously can be done of course, just pointing out that it's not something that happens in a month or two.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online nacnud

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #55 on: 10/04/2017 03:12 PM »
Just to derail this thread a little, I just rewatched the presentation a quick quote.

"So we've already started building the system. The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built, we will start construction the first ship around the second quarter of next year." -Elon Musk

I think that narrows down where it will be build to an existing SpaceX facility.

Offline RoboGoofers

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #56 on: 10/04/2017 03:12 PM »
I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

Utility pole removal isn't cheap.

I roughly estimate that a BFR/BFS is half a billion dollars, especially the first ones. Spending $5-10 million to be able to get it to a launch pad so they can start making money is the definition of the cost of doing business. Those costs will be paid for by the first launch.

Offline envy887

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #57 on: 10/04/2017 04:57 PM »
I just took a piece of paper and took it around that turn onto 120th St shown in the photo above.  If the BFBooster is on a transporter with steerable wheels both ends and the transporter's wheelbase is shorter than the payload, it just works, assuming utility pole removal.

Utility pole removal isn't cheap.

I roughly estimate that a BFR/BFS is half a billion dollars, especially the first ones. Spending $5-10 million to be able to get it to a launch pad so they can start making money is the definition of the cost of doing business. Those costs will be paid for by the first launch.

A lot of those are one-time costs. Power lines can be permanently raised. Signals and street lights can be hinged to move easily out of the way. If they have to cut trees, they won't grow back in 3 months when the next vehicle needs to be transported.

Offline starsilk

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #58 on: 10/04/2017 06:53 PM »
Jack it up higher.

stand it on its tail, move it while vertical. why not?

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #59 on: 10/04/2017 07:12 PM »
Is it physically possible to transport a 9 m wide vechicle from the company headquarters to the nearest port? If it is so, then it is necessary to close the segments of the route for a few minutes, few times a year. Probably during night.

It's easy.  Take it to the parking lot, turn it upright, fill it with fuel and oxidizer, and launch it.  It's not like the Hawthorne factory is surrounded on all sides by city or something.