Author Topic: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?  (Read 44650 times)

Online launchwatcher

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #120 on: 12/30/2017 01:18 AM »
Any chance that the never built Pad 39C might be constructed ?

There is a pad 39C now but it's for small vehicles.
https://kscpartnerships.ksc.nasa.gov/Partnering-Opportunities/Capabilities-and-Testing/Physical-Assets/Launch-Pad-39C

The original proposed site for 39C is still unused but would require a lot of work as nothing was ever built not even roads.
It's one of the sites identified as a potential site for future launch pads in the current KSC master plan.

https://masterplan.ksc.nasa.gov/

Offline llanitedave

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #121 on: 12/30/2017 01:24 AM »

Really, SpaceX needs to stop trying to save a buck or two with rebuilding stuff and just build TWO new pads going forward... one on each coast where they KNOW they can get launch licenses...


SpaceX really needs to stop listening to random internet posters and...

Wait, they already aren't.


Never mind.
"I've just abducted an alien -- now what?"

Offline envy887

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #122 on: 12/30/2017 03:10 AM »
There is always the chance that SLS is canceled after N launches and 39B is put up for lease...  ;)

A far bigger chance that BFR will be cancelled before it even flies.....

Well, SLS will definitely be canceled after N launches, for varying values of N. The chance of that is 100%, as no program runs indefinitely. So the chance that BFR is canceled without flying is at most equal, not greater.

BFR in some form will almost certainly fly, eventually. The only way it won't is if SpaceX fails as a business, or undergoes a radical change in leadership and vision, or someone makes a major breakthrough in technology that renders it obsolete, all before it flies. Those are all rather unlikely at this point.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #123 on: 12/30/2017 12:07 PM »
There is always the chance that SLS is canceled after N launches and 39B is put up for lease...  ;)
A far bigger chance that BFR will be cancelled before it even flies.....
BFR in some form will almost certainly fly, eventually. The only way it won't is if SpaceX fails as a business...

I agree.  The only way SpaceX will cancel BFR is if they go bankrupt.

In addition, I believe BFR development is much further along than many people think.  Commercial development works like a pipeline.  By the time we see a test launch, the design engineers are already spending most of their time on the next project.

Also, in Septermber, Elon said:
http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-mars-iac-2017-transcript-slides-2017-10/#-34
Quote from: Elon Musk
The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built. We will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of next year...

The second quarter of next year starts in just 13 weeks.

With this in mind, I think the BFR design is locked down, and they're rapidly moving into the production phase.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #124 on: 12/31/2017 07:12 PM »
There is always the chance that SLS is canceled after N launches and 39B is put up for lease...  ;)

A far bigger chance that BFR will be cancelled before it even flies.....
Ill take that bet.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #125 on: 12/31/2017 07:15 PM »
Assuming they either get approval to launch from boca chica beach or do a offshore platform that still leaves another question.
They can only launch at low inclinations because of cuba for easterly directions or the yucatan for southerly direction. What's the probability of these restrictions being relaxed?
Within the next 10 years, I'd say the probability is 0.  After that, the probability would still be low.

But remember, SpaceX has been buying property at Boca Chica under the name "Dogleg Park LLC".

Since the first and primary reason for BFR/BFS is starlink doesn't this have a direct bearing on where the first complete BFR/BFS will be launched from?
I'd say the primary reason for BFR/BFS is for Mars missions.  For Starlink, they could have used Falcon 9.  In fact, depending on the timing of BFR, they may still use Falcon 9 to launch the majority of Starlink satellites.

Well if they do a dogleg for the south of cuba/north of yucatan trajectory, how much extra delta-v do they need to get to the starlink inclinations?
Also if they start the dogleg after clearing yucatan/cuba will south america be far enough away to not matter?
My understanding is that most starlink's will be in ~45 deg inclinations.
Keep in mind also that BFS is a hypersonic lifting body, and as such can change inclination using lift, which uses roughly half as much delta-V as a propulsive inclination change. That means that they should be able to reach more inclinations from Boca Chica than you might first think.
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Offline Ludus

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #126 on: 12/31/2017 08:52 PM »
Iíd go with BFR first launch from a Sea platform much like in the point to point video, off of Boca Chica. BFS suborbital hops earlier on itís own. First launches of BFR as well as BFS more like Grasshopper than an expendable rocket. First just engine burns tied down. Brief hovers. Short suborbital flights. Boosting the BFS suborbital. Quite a lot of flying before actually putting a BFS in orbit.

If that takes place 10 miles offshore thereís a lot less risk and disruption for Falcon operations taking place at the same time.

All three current pads will be busy constantly with the launch cadence going forward. Boca Chica will join them approved to launch F9 and FH 12x a year. 2018 will go for 30 total, 2019 maybe closer to 50.

I donít think SpaceX can afford the amount of disruption that rebuilding any of those Pads to accommodate any form of BFR would require.

They clearly have a goal of a sea platform process and no good reason to start with something else. Since most coastal locations are pretty shallow, a platform on legs may make sense. It would still be built in a big shipyard and towed into place.

The sea platform Spaceport lets them rapidly scale launch sites, putting them all over the world much faster than could ever happen with land based pads. If thatís the goal, they might as well focus on solving related technical issues rather than solving them for a different approach first then starting over.

If theyíre doing this there ought to be some evidence of a big platform under construction for them at a major shipyard in the next year or two.
« Last Edit: 12/31/2017 09:08 PM by Ludus »

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #127 on: 01/01/2018 03:02 PM »
Iíd go with BFR first launch from a Sea platform much like in the point to point video, off of Boca Chica. BFS suborbital hops earlier on itís own. First launches of BFR as well as BFS more like Grasshopper than an expendable rocket. First just engine burns tied down. Brief hovers. Short suborbital flights. Boosting the BFS suborbital. Quite a lot of flying before actually putting a BFS in orbit.

I suspect we'll see the the first Grasshopper-like test flights of BFS from Landing Zone 1 in Florida. 

For Boca Chica, the current EIS doesn't allow suborbital test flights of anything larger than Falcon 9, and SpaceX has not yet requested additional approvals to allow anything larger. 

Note that the Boca Chica EIS also doesn't allow F9/FH stages to return back to the launch site (RTLS not allowed). SpaceX's plans for the Boca Chica launch site do not include any landing pads. And again, SpaceX has not yet requested additional approvals for landing pads.  For recovery of Falcon 9 booster stages, it appears SpaceX will use ASDS exclusively.



Offline Patchouli

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #128 on: 01/01/2018 04:13 PM »
There is always the chance that SLS is canceled after N launches and 39B is put up for lease...  ;)

A far bigger chance that BFR will be cancelled before it even flies.....

BFR as we know it might not make it past the design stage but something bigger than Falcon heavy is pretty much a given unless Spacex self destructs like Commodore did in the 1990s.
SLS is pretty much intended to eventually be replaced with something else.

« Last Edit: 01/01/2018 04:19 PM by Patchouli »

Offline AncientU

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #129 on: 01/01/2018 05:04 PM »
There is always the chance that SLS is canceled after N launches and 39B is put up for lease...  ;)

A far bigger chance that BFR will be cancelled before it even flies.....

BFR as we know it might not make it past the design stage but something bigger than Falcon heavy is pretty much a given unless Spacex self destructs like Commodore did in the 1990s.
SLS is pretty much intended to eventually be replaced with something else.

Intended by whom?  Reference? ...or guess?
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Offline geoffc

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #130 on: 01/01/2018 05:50 PM »
BFR as we know it might not make it past the design stage but something bigger than Falcon heavy is pretty much a given unless Spacex self destructs like Commodore did in the 1990s.
SLS is pretty much intended to eventually be replaced with something else.

Never ever, ever, use Commodore and the company we are discussing in the same sentence! I loved Commodore (Had a C64, Amiga) and reading https://www.amazon.com/Commodore-Company-Edge-Brian-Bagnall/dp/0973864966/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514832547&sr=1-4&keywords=commodore was enough to make me cry.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #131 on: 01/01/2018 07:15 PM »
BFR as we know it might not make it past the design stage but something bigger than Falcon heavy is pretty much a given unless Spacex self destructs like Commodore did in the 1990s.
SLS is pretty much intended to eventually be replaced with something else.

Never ever, ever, use Commodore and the company we are discussing in the same sentence! I loved Commodore (Had a C64, Amiga) and reading https://www.amazon.com/Commodore-Company-Edge-Brian-Bagnall/dp/0973864966/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514832547&sr=1-4&keywords=commodore was enough to make me cry.

Didn't mean to hit a nerve but Commodore was very innovative,vertically integrated, shipped more systems than any other company during the 1980s.



Offline geoffc

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #132 on: 01/02/2018 08:33 PM »
BFR as we know it might not make it past the design stage but something bigger than Falcon heavy is pretty much a given unless Spacex self destructs like Commodore did in the 1990s.
SLS is pretty much intended to eventually be replaced with something else.

Never ever, ever, use Commodore and the company we are discussing in the same sentence! I loved Commodore (Had a C64, Amiga) and reading https://www.amazon.com/Commodore-Company-Edge-Brian-Bagnall/dp/0973864966/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514832547&sr=1-4&keywords=commodore was enough to make me cry.

Didn't mean to hit a nerve but Commodore was very innovative,vertically integrated, shipped more systems than any other company during the 1980s.

I know, I am joking around.  I miss Commodore. I do not want SpaceX to end the same way. 

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #133 on: 01/02/2018 10:12 PM »
There is always the chance that SLS is canceled after N launches and 39B is put up for lease...  ;)

A far bigger chance that BFR will be cancelled before it even flies.....

BFR as we know it might not make it past the design stage but something bigger than Falcon heavy is pretty much a given unless Spacex self destructs like Commodore did in the 1990s.
SLS is pretty much intended to eventually be replaced with something else.

I agree on all parts.  I don't think BFR as shown to us so far is a given.  It will evolve and mature with time, it will be larger than FH and be a very impressive vehicle, but maybe not the monster we've seen.

I think SLS is going to muddle along until BFR or a Blue Origin is flying and the dialogue changes to 'why are we paying for the most expensive launch system ever, when they're are flying competitive options?'  Then it will be retired.

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Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #134 on: 01/03/2018 02:50 AM »
I don't think BFR as shown to us so far is a given.  It will evolve and mature with time, it will be larger than FH and be a very impressive vehicle, but maybe not the monster we've seen.

What you say doesn't seem to agree with Musk's statements at IAC 2017:
Quote from: Elon Musk
The tooling for the main tanks has been ordered, the facility is being built. We will start construction of the first ship around the second quarter of next year...

Note that the second quarter of 2018 is now just 13 weeks away.  So if Musk's statement is true, the design for BFR is pretty much nailed down, and they're getting ready to manufacture it.

Offline butters

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #135 on: 01/03/2018 03:36 AM »
The 2017 BFR is conspicuously sized for the maximum thrust rating of the LC-39 flame duct, so that should say something about their plans.

Offline Ludus

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #136 on: 01/03/2018 09:58 PM »
The 2017 BFR is conspicuously sized for the maximum thrust rating of the LC-39 flame duct, so that should say something about their plans.

That may be coincidental. Musk said BFR2 was constrained by what could be built using SpaceX existing facilities and a lot of work to optimize the Raptor (which ended up very similar in size to Merlin and buildable by the same facilities). Those limits scale BFR down to the old 39a limits but SpaceX didnít seem too concerned about those old limits when it planned to launch the first version of ITS from 39a. NSF threads discussed that a lot and seemed to reach a consensus that it wouldnít be a big deal to upgrade 39a to handle more thrust.

The problem with launching BFR from 39a is SpaceX needs 39a to pay the bills with launches every couple weeks indefinitely. BFR canít use it without a lot of modifications that would interfere with it launching F9 and FH all the time.

If this is the plan though, there ought to be evidence of starting new construction at 39a pretty soon. It would be interesting if SpaceX wants to reconcile a legless BFR that lands on its launch mount with the horizontal integration system of F9 and FH on the same pad.

Offline DistantTemple

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #137 on: 01/03/2018 10:25 PM »
Iíd go with BFR first launch from a Sea platform much like in the point to point video, off of Boca Chica. BFS suborbital hops earlier on itís own. First launches of BFR as well as BFS more like Grasshopper than an expendable rocket. First just engine burns tied down. Brief hovers. Short suborbital flights. Boosting the BFS suborbital. Quite a lot of flying before actually putting a BFS in orbit.

If that takes place 10 miles offshore thereís a lot less risk and disruption for Falcon operations taking place at the same time.
...........
The sea platform Spaceport lets them rapidly scale launch sites, putting them all over the world much faster than could ever happen with land based pads. If thatís the goal, they might as well focus on solving related technical issues rather than solving them for a different approach first then starting over.

If theyíre doing this there ought to be some evidence of a big platform under construction for them at a major shipyard in the next year or two.

... And Boca Chica, has the most amazing deep water harbour, with cheaper industrial land... Perhaps that was a major unspoken attraction for Spacex. Will they build a BFR factory there; not at the launch site, but close to the port/inlet?
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Offline geoffc

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #138 on: 01/03/2018 11:49 PM »

I played with my 1983 Commodore Vic 20 over the holidays, that was a trip down memory lane.

Alas I sold my Commodore 64 and my Amiga 2000 (With Retina video card, deinterlacer, 68040 card, 16 megs of RAM, SCSI hard drive) many moons ago.

Offline groundbound

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Re: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
« Reply #139 on: 01/04/2018 01:31 AM »
I had an interesting thought that I don't remember anyone posting here: I wonder if the first BFR site will also get a prototype ISRU plant.

I don't think SpaceX is so careless as to attempt their first ISRU deployment on Mars. Elon said that someday they might produce BFR propellant near the launch pad. I wonder if a token small ISRU plant might show up as a demonstrator early in the process.

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