Author Topic: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6  (Read 184210 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #920 on: 01/13/2018 06:33 PM »
What is surprising is Gwynne's announcement yesterday:
Quote from: Houston Chronicle, January 11, 2018
SpaceX has a rocket engine testing facility in McGregor and is building a launch site in Boca Chica, said Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. The latter project, she said, will be ready late this year or early next year for early vehicle testing. SpaceX will then continue working toward making it a launch site.

If they're still planning to launch Falcon 9 from Boca Chica, why would that require "early vehicle testing"?  Falcon 9 is flight proven. And if she meant early pad testing with a vehicle, then why does she imply it will take some time after that for them to "continue working toward making it a launch site"?

In other words, Gwynne's announcement yesterday could be interpreted as Boca Chica going straight to BFR.

Seems like an indication that they will do BFR launches from Boca Chica, and use the launch site as a testing site too. Especially if they don't feel they have to do full duration test fires of a complete BFR or BFS.

There is still the possibility that the launch site can handle Falcon 9/H too.
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Online AncientU

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #921 on: 01/13/2018 06:52 PM »
Are there practical reasons why LC39A should even be in consideration for BFR missions, or is it mostly for sentimental reasons that people try and argue for LC39A as a BFR launchpad?

Surely now that LC39A has been configured for F9 and FH, with LC40 as F9 backup, it makes sense to leave it as is and build your BFR launch infrastructure from scratch at a dedicated new site.

Why waste money on configuring a fourth site for Falcon family launches when you already have facilities that can do that? Just make Boca Chica your dedicated BFR launch site and be done with it.

Unless I'm missing something important, (which I probably am).

There will be multiple BFR launch sites.
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Offline Nomadd

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #922 on: 01/13/2018 07:12 PM »
Are there practical reasons why LC39A should even be in consideration for BFR missions, or is it mostly for sentimental reasons that people try and argue for LC39A as a BFR launchpad?

Surely now that LC39A has been configured for F9 and FH, with LC40 as F9 backup, it makes sense to leave it as is and build your BFR launch infrastructure from scratch at a dedicated new site.

Why waste money on configuring a fourth site for Falcon family launches when you already have facilities that can do that? Just make Boca Chica your dedicated BFR launch site and be done with it.

Unless I'm missing something important, (which I probably am).
Because Vandenberg is for high inclination launches that are mostly not interchangable with Florida pads, and there are things that could shut down both Florida pads since they're on the same range. There's also the issue of upgrades or repairs to one Florida pad, which would leave them with only one working pad for most launches.
 But mainly, Falcon launches at Boca Chica would be the only ones I could watch from a mile and a half away.
« Last Edit: 01/13/2018 07:18 PM by Nomadd »

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #923 on: 01/13/2018 07:24 PM »
There will be multiple BFR launch sites.

And Boca Chica will be one of them, sooner or later.  Gwynne made that pretty clear at Stanford.


Are there practical reasons why LC39A should even be in consideration for BFR missions, or is it mostly for sentimental reasons that people try and argue for LC39A as a BFR launchpad?

Surely now that LC39A has been configured for F9 and FH, with LC40 as F9 backup, it makes sense to leave it as is and build your BFR launch infrastructure from scratch at a dedicated new site.

Why waste money on configuring a fourth site for Falcon family launches when you already have facilities that can do that? Just make Boca Chica your dedicated BFR launch site and be done with it.

Unless I'm missing something important, (which I probably am).
Because Vandenberg is for high inclination launches that are mostly not interchangable with Florida pads, and there are things that could shut down both Florida pads since they're on the same range. There's also the issue of upgrades or repairs to one Florida pad, which would leave them with only one working pad for most launches.
 But mainly, Falcon launches at Boca Chica would be the only ones I could watch from a mile and a half away.

Exactly, a one-month range closing isn't too terrible now, but once SpaceX starts going nuts with launches, they'll probably want a backup LEO/GTO launch site other than the Cape.
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #925 on: 01/13/2018 08:55 PM »
What is surprising is Gwynne's announcement yesterday:
Quote from: Houston Chronicle, January 11, 2018
SpaceX has a rocket engine testing facility in McGregor and is building a launch site in Boca Chica, said Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. The latter project, she said, will be ready late this year or early next year for early vehicle testing. SpaceX will then continue working toward making it a launch site.

If they're still planning to launch Falcon 9 from Boca Chica, why would that require "early vehicle testing"?  Falcon 9 is flight proven. And if she meant early pad testing with a vehicle, then why does she imply it will take some time after that for them to "continue working toward making it a launch site"?

In other words, Gwynne's announcement yesterday could be interpreted as Boca Chica going straight to BFR.

That would be cool if true. But I'd like to see the actual quote, not just a reporter's paraphrase, before I would read too much into the words "early vehicle testing".

They will probably have the talk on Youtube soon.

https://www.youtube.com/user/TAMEST2004/videos

Offline Peter.Colin

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #926 on: 01/13/2018 10:11 PM »
Has anybody considered the possibility that Musk wants to use the solar panels to prove the concept of making one's own Methane?  With C02, water, and electricity, He can fuel the rocket on site with no outside assistance.

I doubt it.  Musk implied this wouldn't happen until much later.  Remember, the biggest challenge of BFR is financial, not engineering.  Any extra costs they can defer until after the initial Mars missions, they probably will.


Before the large scale Sabatier reactor launches to Mars.
It would be advisable to see if itís really capable of continued production a few million kg liquid methane every synod.
It would be really cool to do at least once, a sub orbital flight with a BFS from Boca Chica with locally produced Methalox, from CO2 out of the air, using energy from the sun.
People could get a changed mindset about the environment, when they see this is not some fantasy story.

(CO2 pre-scrubbed and enriched to 96%)



« Last Edit: 01/13/2018 10:18 PM by Peter.Colin »

Online SLC

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #927 on: 01/13/2018 10:23 PM »
Has anybody considered the possibility that Musk wants to use the solar panels to prove the concept of making one's own Methane?  With C02, water, and electricity, He can fuel the rocket on site with no outside assistance.

I doubt it.  Musk implied this wouldn't happen until much later.  Remember, the biggest challenge of BFR is financial, not engineering.  Any extra costs they can defer until after the initial Mars missions, they probably will.


Before the large scale Sabatier reactor launches to Mars.
It would be advisable to see if itís really capable of continued production a few million kg liquid methane every synod.
It would be really cool to do, at least once, a sub orbital flight with a BFS from Boca Chica with locally produced Methalox, from CO2 out of the air, using energy from the sun.
People could get a changed mindset about the environment, when they see this is not some fantasy story.
(CO2 pre-scrubbed and enriched to 96%)
... or even CO2 direct from the chimney of a coal-fired power station.  Why let it get diluted in the atmosphere and then have to concentrate it again?  The concentration process won't be needed on Mars, where the atmosphere is mostly CO2 already, so it doesn't need to be demonstrated.  And reprocessing pollution into rocket fuel would be great publicity.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #928 on: 01/13/2018 10:27 PM »
 After several engineering studies, two congressional investigations and countless computer simulations, the decision was made to keep the intact half of the fence netting sound by cutting V shaped holes in the middle of every panel.
 The justification for putting that stuff up in the first place was "That's how they have to do it in California." Somebody thought a black wall looks better than a field of solar panels.
 
« Last Edit: 01/13/2018 10:36 PM by Nomadd »

Offline speedevil

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #929 on: 01/13/2018 10:36 PM »
It would be advisable to see if itís really capable of continued production a few million kg liquid methane every synod.
It would be really cool to do at least once, a sub orbital flight with a BFS from Boca Chica with locally produced Methalox, from CO2 out of the air, using energy from the sun.
People could get a changed mindset about the environment, when they see this is not some fantasy story.

(CO2 pre-scrubbed and enriched to 96%)

Taking a year to produce the thousand tons of methane for a BFR/S (4.4*10^13J) = 1.4MW, or 2.8MW continuous with 50% efficiency.Or about 10MW of solar panels to provide that constant power.
A quarter of this for BFS only fully loaded.
The panels that are there already could do a very short hop, suitable for testing landing.
« Last Edit: 01/13/2018 11:44 PM by speedevil »

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #930 on: 01/13/2018 11:18 PM »
Before the large scale Sabatier reactor launches to Mars.
It would be advisable to see if itís really capable of continued production a few million kg liquid methane every synod.
Proving that it works in Earth atmosphere may not mean that much.

Might be better to prove it works small-scale in a simulated Martian atmosphere.

Offline deruch

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #931 on: 01/14/2018 12:52 AM »
Why would the test stand be at Michaud? They can run the envisioned raptor in Texas.

Yes, they can test a single Raptor engine in McGregor, but they cant' test 31 Raptor engines together.  The BFR booster is too big for road transport.  And even if they could get it there, the test stand at McGregor isn't rated for that much thrust.
Maybe you mean Stennis? 
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Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #932 on: 01/14/2018 01:13 AM »
Why would the test stand be at Michaud? They can run the envisioned raptor in Texas.

Yes, they can test a single Raptor engine in McGregor, but they cant' test 31 Raptor engines together.  The BFR booster is too big for road transport.  And even if they could get it there, the test stand at McGregor isn't rated for that much thrust.
Maybe you mean Stennis?
Yes.

Offline John Alan

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #933 on: 01/14/2018 01:32 AM »
Someone remind me WHY lighting 31 engines at once is such a big deal... that it requires such exhaustive testing?

I can think of a 27 engine rocket of note... that a 12 second static fire will be more then enough...  ::)

Everyone needs to remember...
SpaceX rocket engines each have a stand alone ECM and talk to the stage master ECM over a network...
This networking can be exhaustively tested in a room somewhere with just some code running...
This is not the miles and miles of wiring and hoping every twisted pair is wired right... like the 1960's...  ;)

That said.... IMHO...  ;)
A BFR test hop with only a hand full of Raptors running is well UNDER the current EIS approved FH thrust limits...
And I still believe the EIS will be redone (with the needed comment phase) once the BFS/BFR test plan is put out for approval...
I also still maintain that a RP-1 tank farm (for legacy rockets F9/FH) will never be built at BC... EVER!!

2 cents on recent posts... IMHO...  ;)
« Last Edit: 01/14/2018 01:53 AM by John Alan »

Online matthewkantar

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #934 on: 01/14/2018 03:13 AM »
I also meant Stennis. SpaceX has already used facilities there, I just don't think it has any appeal for all up testing of BFR.
« Last Edit: 01/14/2018 03:14 AM by matthewkantar »

Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #935 on: 01/14/2018 04:34 AM »
For the record, CO2 can be produced by several methods.  You can buy chunks of the stuff from the grocery store for $2 a pound; I'm sure Elon could get it cheaper.

To be clear, I was responding to a post that suggested the current solar array at Boca Chica may be used to create methane from CO2 and water, in order to prove out this process ahead of Mars.

My point was that proving this process in Earth's atmosphere may not be useful.  I believe it would be better to prove this process at a smaller scale in a simulated Martian atmosphere, i.e. near vacuum with appropriate levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, etc..  This would cost less, and be a more realistic test.

Offline Peter.Colin

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #936 on: 01/14/2018 11:33 AM »
For the record, CO2 can be produced by several methods.  You can buy chunks of the stuff from the grocery store for $2 a pound; I'm sure Elon could get it cheaper.

To be clear, I was responding to a post that suggested the current solar array at Boca Chica may be used to create methane from CO2 and water, in order to prove out this process ahead of Mars.

My point was that proving this process in Earth's atmosphere may not be useful.  I believe it would be better to prove this process at a smaller scale in a simulated Martian atmosphere, i.e. near vacuum with appropriate levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, etc..  This would cost less, and be a more realistic test.


This process doesnít work in Earthís atmosphere, thereís to low amount of CO2 in it.

This process has been shown to work with simulated Martian atmosphere, on a small scale.
It hasnít been tested on a milion kilo scale, do the electrodes last long enough?, how do the compressors hold up?, etc.? Better to find out if there are unexpected problems at Boca Chica than on Mars.

SpaceX could either buy a around a hundred truckloads of solid CO2,
or extract (scrub) CO2 out of the air, at Boca Chica.
Extraction of CO2 is not part of the to be tested system, but it is how it could be done in the future here on Earth.
Therefor its more inspirational, especially if the Falcon Spaceship uses fuel made out of CO2 out of the air, by sunlight.







Offline Dave G

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #937 on: 01/14/2018 06:25 PM »
Officials plan to break ground on Phase 1 of East Loop project in 2018
Quote from: Brownsville herald, January 13, 2018
Pete Sepulveda Jr., executive director of the Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority, said his office is working with the Port of Brownsville on a wetland mitigation plan for a two-mile stretch of road that will connect State Highway 4 to docks on Ostos Road.

Once approved by state and federal agencies, he said, construction of the road will take about one year and $10 million.

The port connector is the first phase of the larger State Highway 32 construction project, also called the East Loop, which will route commercial trucks traveling between VeteransBridge and the Port of Brownsville around the cityís southeast side. That phase will cost about $60 million, Sepulveda said.

Offline pb2000

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #938 on: 01/14/2018 06:51 PM »
For the record, CO2 can be produced by several methods.  You can buy chunks of the stuff from the grocery store for $2 a pound; I'm sure Elon could get it cheaper.

To be clear, I was responding to a post that suggested the current solar array at Boca Chica may be used to create methane from CO2 and water, in order to prove out this process ahead of Mars.

My point was that proving this process in Earth's atmosphere may not be useful.  I believe it would be better to prove this process at a smaller scale in a simulated Martian atmosphere, i.e. near vacuum with appropriate levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, argon, etc..  This would cost less, and be a more realistic test.


This process doesnít work in Earthís atmosphere, thereís to low amount of CO2 in it.

This process has been shown to work with simulated Martian atmosphere, on a small scale.
It hasnít been tested on a milion kilo scale, do the electrodes last long enough?, how do the compressors hold up?, etc.? Better to find out if there are unexpected problems at Boca Chica than on Mars.

SpaceX could either buy a around a hundred truckloads of solid CO2,
or extract (scrub) CO2 out of the air, at Boca Chica.
Extraction of CO2 is not part of the to be tested system, but it is how it could be done in the future here on Earth.
Therefor its more inspirational, especially if the Falcon Spaceship uses fuel made out of CO2 out of the air, by sunlight.
With all the oil and gas activity in Texas, there's bound to be no shortage of CO2. As part of a new refinery we just finished in Alberta, a 240km pipeline with a capacity of 40000 tons per day of CO2 is being built to capture the CO2 and re-inject it back into formations (to force even more oil out of the formation, naturally).
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Offline Llian Rhydderch

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Re: SpaceX Texas launch site Discussion and Updates - Thread 6
« Reply #939 on: 01/14/2018 06:58 PM »
Is that ďFranks towerĒ? Isnít it a relatively new construction? It isnít on google street view.
This topic has been going since 2012, with 6 threads to sort of separate things a bit.

Previous threads.
   Thread 1 COVERAGE
   Thread 2 COVERAGE
   Thread 3 COVERAGE   
   Thread 4 COVERAGE
   Thread 5 COVERAGE

If you're interested in the details, it may be worth your time to go back and skim some of the previous threads, looking at the attached pictures to see what sub-topics are being discussed.

Nomadd started to looking to buy property there in Thread 3, so maybe start there.  Lots of good stuff.

Besides Nomadd, there are at least 2 other people living in Boca Chica Village that have posted on this thread, plus several others that live in the general area.  At one point, we thought about showing where everyone lives on the map, but then changed that due to privacy concerns.

Hope this helps.

Could we perhaps create just a South Texas Launch Site UPDATES thread, with rigorous enforcement of updates only like we do in the launch threads.  That way, those who want to get the updates but not get involved in months of speculation on things-we-don't-know-about could get just the updates.
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