Author Topic: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica  (Read 1109815 times)

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2220 on: 12/04/2023 04:32 pm »
Yes, agreed.  And I have seen doors and wall sections be reconfigured often and quickly.  But not pillars.
« Last Edit: 12/04/2023 04:33 pm by RedLineTrain »

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2221 on: 12/17/2023 10:31 pm »
https://twitter.com/vickicocks15/status/1736518806049100064

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The recently built concrete building up at Sanchez has become the new home of the ball-shaped Starlink ground-station antennas.
@LabPadre #RaptorRoost

Offline catdlr

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2222 on: 12/17/2023 10:46 pm »


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The recently built concrete building up at Sanchez has become the new home of the ball-shaped Starlink ground-station antennas.
@LabPadre #RaptorRoost

The building and Starlink antennas are similar to other downlink centers that SpaceX has constructed over the earth.  Here's one between Austin and San Antonio.

« Last Edit: 12/17/2023 10:47 pm by catdlr »
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Offline Stourwalk

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2223 on: 12/18/2023 09:05 pm »
Given that MegaBay1 is (at some point) getting some doors, do we think they'll retrofit the same sort of thing to MB2?  I wonder why they didn't build at least some of the parts whilst erecting MB2!

Offline catdlr

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2224 on: 12/18/2023 09:49 pm »
One aspect of the Starfactory that is interesting to me.  The first part of the factory has pillars that are ~12 meters apart.  This disallows ring diameters of around 11 or more meters through the factory.

However, the newer sections appear to have pillars placed ~24 meters apart in one dimension (and ~12 meters apart in the other).  This would allow very large ring diameters flowing through the factory.

My intuition is that at least the ship wants to have very large ring diameters, subject to the transportation infrastructure being able to handle them.

Why do you think any of this spacing has to do with larger rings?

There is no indication that I have seen that it does.  But allowing larger ring diameters is one side effect of the larger spacing.

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SpaceX has said nothing about changing the ring size and making such a change would require scrapping a lot of infrastructure.  The best reason I can see for larger spacing in parts of the factory is to support handling of sections with some of the bolted on parts like wing/flap roots.

As far as infrastructure, yes, you would need to scrap or abandon some of the launch site.  But SpaceX is going to be building perhaps dozens of these launch stands and towers in the next few years, so this issue would not block going to larger diameters.

Larger diameters may be too difficult to move around using the road infrastructure that is readily available near production and launch sites.  It seems likely that the 9 meters was chosen based on that limitation.

Yes, agreed.  And I have seen doors and wall sections be reconfigured often and quickly.  But not pillars.

Redline and Stuff of Interest (or anyone else that wants to discuss),
Your comment/opinion is appreciated here. I've been watching the build in the area where the larger foundation pads are larger and spaced differently and perhaps wider than the adjoining building where the newly installed but radically different support structure (ecto-skeleton-like) and I have a wild interpretation of that. Could we be seeing the reconstruction of a new slightly taller and wider/longer sized Mid-Bay that abuts the production-building for nose-cones and possibly fully completed Booster and ship "fuel" segments, before being moved to the High-Bays for final welding integration?

The process would be, that ring segments would come from the nearly completed Factory building (the one with roof/siding installed), and each segment of the fuel and O2 tanks would be welded on turntables inside this new building under construction until those sections are fully completed. In addition, the Nose cones/payload sections would also arrive here for their integration. When these large segments are completed, they would leave via large doors and move across the ring area to the Maga-bay(s) for final segment integration. The current ring area outside would no longer be necessary as that staging area will now be inside the plant. This integration building would be only as tall as the tallest completed segment, which I believe would be the Booster LOX section.  This new building could very well be dark to match the Mega-bays across from it.

The sad prospect is that the only time we see some rocket parts is the short time when segments leave this new building and move over to the Mega-Bays, where newly installed doors block our view until the final LV is revealed.  Also, the Meg-Bay doors will also make it impossible to track the booster/ship number.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2023 08:57 am by catdlr »
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2225 on: 12/19/2023 03:34 pm »
I'm not sure that I understand completely what you are saying.  A labeling of the factory sections, like Joe Tegtmeyer does periodically for Giga Texas, would be warranted.  Or simply a short list of the steps in the build process would be helpful to me.  But here are some things that I noticed.

In the first picture, you can see the double pillars on the Southeast unbuilt portion, which indicates that the bridge crane will continue along this line in the unbuilt portion.  Unclear whether the roof height will increase in this line in the unbuilt portion.

On the other hand, you can see that the rest of the unbuilt portion does not have double pillars, which indicates that there will not be bridge cranes there.  As with the above, the roof height for this unbuilt portion is unknown.

The unbuilt portion without bridge cranes looks like it will be a large production hall.  If they don't move the rocket sements around by bridge cranes, how will they move them around?  Maybe the bridge cranes are only useful when doing things like flipping segment parts or stacking rings.

Also, the roof height would seem to limit the height of the segments being built.  I expect that both ships and boosters will trend to being around 70 meters tall, but the fiddly unitary segments will be relatively few.  Basically crew cabins and engine segments.  Maybe also nosecones?  The propellant tanks and perhaps payload bays don't need to be unitary.  Rather, they can be comprised of smaller segments.

Stack segments in the megabays.  This is basic naval shipyard design, although it is on a smaller scale than modern cruiseliners, for instance.  I wouldn't be surprised to see at least one more megabay constructed.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2023 04:09 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline WiresMN

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2226 on: 12/19/2023 04:35 pm »
I was watching a video by Joe Tegtmeyer about the die shop at Giga Texas (Megapack Done!) and saw an image that my be of interest here. It shows a very beefy bridge crane rail over what will most likely be a large machining center for casting dies.

Looking at the latest stream from LabPadre's Sentinel cam it looks like a second section was added to on of the space frame beams and tops it out around the same height as the current bay section next door. I expected this section to go taller to accommodate complete payload bay and nose cones.

Sources:
Joe Tegtmyer - Megapack Done! S Steel & 2nd Floor Concrete! 40 Cybertrucks! 18 Dec 2023 Giga Texas Update
Lab Padre - Sentinel Cam - SpaceX Starbase Starship Launch Facility

Edit to remove the Youtube hyperlinks. I dislike the embeded videos. It clutters the space up.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2023 04:39 pm by WiresMN »

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2227 on: 12/19/2023 04:50 pm »
Attached is a picture from the latest RGV Aerial Photography flyover, with my quick notes (and my naming convention), that might be helpful when referencing portions of the Starfactory.  Suggested revisions welcome, especially since I have not been following this as closely as some.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2023 05:17 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline alugobi

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2228 on: 12/19/2023 06:27 pm »
If they build another megabay, I'd look for it to go where it's labeled "Section G".

Edit:  with front and rear doors.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2023 06:27 pm by alugobi »

Offline lykos

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2229 on: 12/19/2023 10:05 pm »
I would look for a demolished Highbay

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2230 on: 12/19/2023 10:13 pm »
I would look for a demolished Highbay

How tall is the highbay?

Offline catdlr

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2231 on: 12/19/2023 10:13 pm »
If they build another megabay, I'd look for it to go where it's labeled "Section G".

Edit:  with front and rear doors.

Thanks, alugobi and RedLineTrain for your responses,

Sorry for the dialog without illustration, it may be hard to describe what my intentions were.  The end result I was trying to convey is that the uncompleted section E would be taller than the rest of the complex and in this section, the rings that would normally occupy the ring yard would all be assembled in this area into complete sections on several turntables to be welded.  Once welding is completed, A large door would lead out onto the existing ring yard and the sections transport directly across to the appropriate Mega-Bays for final assembly, thus eliminating the ring yard.

The picture provided by WiresMN of the die-cast shop shows that the wider support going up in the incomplete Section E would indeed collaborate with as a bridge crane support.  But did you notice that the section of support above (ie, the second floor?) is thinner (marked in RED)?  I believe the screenshot provided by WiresMN may also be in store for this uncompleted section E building.

In the end, what I'm trying to convey is the welding done on the turntables currently in Mid-bay and Mega-Bay's for the completed 3-4 ring segments, would be moved into this uncompleted section E building, and the resulting larger tank segments would go into the Mid-Bay and MegaBays for final integration, side tanks installed, and engine mounting.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2023 10:13 pm by catdlr »
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Offline ChrisC

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2232 on: 12/20/2023 05:29 am »
Edit to remove the Youtube hyperlinks. I dislike the embeded videos. It clutters the space up.

If you delete the leading "www." in the URL, that suppresses the auto-embed.  I keep wanting to put that in my sig :)
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Offline gsa

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2233 on: 12/20/2023 07:38 am »
Attached is a picture from the latest RGV Aerial Photography flyover, with my quick notes (and my naming convention), that might be helpful when referencing portions of the Starfactory.  Suggested revisions welcome, especially since I have not been following this as closely as some.
There is at least one bridge crane in Section D. I am not as sure about Section A, but I think I saw it during construction.
Double pillars are not strictly necessary for a bridge crane. Maybe they are for a heavy-duty one.

Offline catdlr

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2234 on: 12/20/2023 09:06 am »
I was watching a video by Joe Tegtmeyer about the die shop at Giga Texas (Megapack Done!) and saw an image that my be of interest here. It shows a very beefy bridge crane rail over what will most likely be a large machining center for casting dies.

Looking at the latest stream from LabPadre's Sentinel cam it looks like a second section was added to on of the space frame beams and tops it out around the same height as the current bay section next door. I expected this section to go taller to accommodate complete payload bay and nose cones.

Sources:
Joe Tegtmyer - Megapack Done! S Steel & 2nd Floor Concrete! 40 Cybertrucks! 18 Dec 2023 Giga Texas Update
Lab Padre - Sentinel Cam - SpaceX Starbase Starship Launch Facility



WiresMN,

Here is another example of those structural beams used at the world's Largest Earthquake simulator that has a massive crane inside.  The structural beam in question is highlighted in Red, a common beam in Green, and the bridge rail in blue.  A picture from outside and inside is provided.

Video Credit from: "World’s Largest Earthquake Simulator",
Veritasium
Published: Dec 29, 2023
Screengrabs at 4:39, 4:41
youtube.com/watch?v=Q51-gLL_MRM
« Last Edit: 12/20/2023 09:10 am by catdlr »
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Offline Tangilinear Interjar

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2235 on: 12/20/2023 03:51 pm »
I'm not sure if I misread some speculation up thread but I'm VERY confident that every section of the factory will have a bridge crane. They are simply very cheap and super useful.

I did a project at a company in Germany that built huge machinery for the bottling industry, one man could assemble these huge machines alone, using a 10,000 kg crane to place everything from multi ton frames to items that only weighed a few dozens of pounds.

As for the factory, my thought/hope/wish is that the last section of the factory continues to grow in height towards the West such that the last section has room to fully stack the Starships. Once they are fully stacked they would move across to one of the other bays for final outfitting, engines, etc. That would look the most like a production line that could produce a ship per week.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2236 on: 12/20/2023 04:18 pm »
I'm not sure if I misread some speculation up thread but I'm VERY confident that every section of the factory will have a bridge crane. They are simply very cheap and super useful.

That does seem like a good idea, and provides a lot of flexibility.

Quote
As for the factory, my thought/hope/wish is that the last section of the factory continues to grow in height towards the West such that the last section has room to fully stack the Starships. Once they are fully stacked they would move across to one of the other bays for final outfitting, engines, etc. That would look the most like a production line that could produce a ship per week.

By "fully stack" you mean putting the Ship on top of the Booster? If so, I'm not understanding how that would improve the manufacturing flow...  ???
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Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2237 on: 12/20/2023 04:26 pm »
There is at least one bridge crane in Section D. I am not as sure about Section A, but I think I saw it during construction.
Double pillars are not strictly necessary for a bridge crane. Maybe they are for a heavy-duty one.

I'm not sure if I misread some speculation up thread but I'm VERY confident that every section of the factory will have a bridge crane. They are simply very cheap and super useful.

I did a project at a company in Germany that built huge machinery for the bottling industry, one man could assemble these huge machines alone, using a 10,000 kg crane to place everything from multi ton frames to items that only weighed a few dozens of pounds.

@gsa, @Tangilear Interjar.  In the tents, SpaceX uses all sorts of gantry cranes very often, including the 10-ton Spanco gantry cranes on rails.  See for instance, Everyday Astronaut's tent tour with Elon @ 8:40.  Are we sure that those gantry cranes will be replaced with bridge cranes in the Starfactory (other than in what I call Section E, in which the bridge cranes are obvious)?

« Last Edit: 12/20/2023 04:31 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline DistantTemple

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2238 on: 12/20/2023 04:35 pm »
There is at least one bridge crane in Section D. I am not as sure about Section A, but I think I saw it during construction.
Double pillars are not strictly necessary for a bridge crane. Maybe they are for a heavy-duty one.

I'm not sure if I misread some speculation up thread but I'm VERY confident that every section of the factory will have a bridge crane. They are simply very cheap and super useful.

I did a project at a company in Germany that built huge machinery for the bottling industry, one man could assemble these huge machines alone, using a 10,000 kg crane to place everything from multi ton frames to items that only weighed a few dozens of pounds.

@gsa, @Tangilear Interjar.  In the tents, SpaceX uses all sorts of gantry cranes very often, including the 10-ton Spanco gantry cranes on rails.  See for instance, Everyday Astronaut's tent tour with Elon @ 8:40.  Are we sure that those gantry cranes will be replaced with bridge cranes in the Starfactory (other than in what I call Section E, in which the bridge cranes are obvious)?


Tent walls and sprung structures don't lent themselves to bridge cranes. Plus the severe rounding of the rectangular cross section, by the tent curvature would force bridge crane rails down and in - massively reducing their effectiveness in such a tent. A bridge crane is a permanent part of the building structure. In a tent they were unsuitable and all these other types of lift and crane had to be used instead.
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Offline gsa

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Re: Starship Manufacturing Facility in Boca Chica
« Reply #2239 on: 12/20/2023 07:38 pm »
There is at least one bridge crane in Section D. I am not as sure about Section A, but I think I saw it during construction.
Double pillars are not strictly necessary for a bridge crane. Maybe they are for a heavy-duty one.

I'm not sure if I misread some speculation up thread but I'm VERY confident that every section of the factory will have a bridge crane. They are simply very cheap and super useful.

I did a project at a company in Germany that built huge machinery for the bottling industry, one man could assemble these huge machines alone, using a 10,000 kg crane to place everything from multi ton frames to items that only weighed a few dozens of pounds.

@gsa, @Tangilear Interjar.  In the tents, SpaceX uses all sorts of gantry cranes very often, including the 10-ton Spanco gantry cranes on rails.  See for instance, Everyday Astronaut's tent tour with Elon @ 8:40.  Are we sure that those gantry cranes will be replaced with bridge cranes in the Starfactory (other than in what I call Section E, in which the bridge cranes are obvious)?
A crane inside Section D is visible on the photo in this post:
Redline and Stuff of Interest (or anyone else that wants to discuss),
A month ago, the whole east wall of the factory extension hadn't been constructed yet. You can browse this thread and find plenty of photos of the interior. Look for the rails along the columns. 

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