Author Topic: Should SpaceX construct a launch facility in northern California?  (Read 4140 times)

Offline Vahe231991

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I know that SpaceX's rockets are launched from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg SFB, with a launch facility for the Starship rocket under construction in Boca Chica, Texas. However, I wanted feedback on the question of whether SpaceX should build a launch facility in northern California. There are several sites in northern California where SpaceX could build a launch facility for the Falcon and Starship rockets: (1) Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County; (2) coast of Marin County; and (3) vicinity of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County.

Offline spacenut

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Why?

Offline JAFO

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I know that SpaceX's rockets are launched from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg SFB, with a launch facility for the Starship rocket under construction in Boca Chica, Texas. However, I wanted feedback on the question of whether SpaceX should build a launch facility in northern California. There are several sites in northern California where SpaceX could build a launch facility for the Falcon and Starship rockets: (1) Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County; (2) coast of Marin County; and (3) vicinity of Santa Rosa, Sonoma County.


Iíve lived in all those areas. Elon Musk does not have enough money to make that happen, even if there was a reason to. See also: The Hole in Bodegaís Head.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodega_Bay_Nuclear_Power_Plant

« Last Edit: 05/17/2021 03:00 am by JAFO »
Anyone can do the job when things are going right. In this business we play for keeps.
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Offline butters

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SpaceX will never construct another launch facility for Falcon. I'd suggest that the most likely location for a future California launch facility would in the Pacific Ocean, due south of Vandenberg and roughly due west of Long Beach. SpaceX will operate a droneship and recovery fleet from the Port of Long Beach (at the former Sea Launch facility) for F9 missions from SLC-4 later this year. I expect that this marine terminal will become the support base for an offshore Starship launch facility.

This would be the most convenient location for Starship launches to SSO and other high-inclination orbits. They need an offshore location where the noise won't be a nuisance, where they can launch south over the ocean, and with an industrial-scale port nearby. Bonus points for proximity to existing SpaceX manufacturing facilities (Hawthorne).

I used to live a few hundred meters from Astra's headquarters in Alameda. They have very unique indoor engine test facility that was originally built for the Navy. They can test their engines without bothering the neighbors. Perfect for a stealth-mode rocket startup. That's how you can get away with firing rocket engines in the Bay Area. Nobody is putting an orbital launch facility in silicon valley, in wine country, or carved into the giant redwood forests.

Offline Vahe231991

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Why?
The coast of Marin County has sufficient terrain for SpaceX to construct a launch facility for the Starship or a single stage to orbit spaceplane, and SpaceX, as a private space company, would like to reinforce California as its commercial base of operations for space launches, vying to make California a commercial space hub.

Offline Amos

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The coast of Marin County has sufficient terrain for SpaceX to construct a launch facility for the Starship or a single stage to orbit spaceplane, and SpaceX, as a private space company, would like to reinforce California as its commercial base of operations for space launches, vying to make California a commercial space hub.

SpaceX is not developing a SSTO Spaceplane and their recent behavior seems to indicate that in the medium- to long-term, they intend to move towards offshore launches. California would make a poor commercial space hub as only high inclination orbits are available without overflight of the continental US.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2021 03:55 am by Amos »

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Iíve moved this thread to SpaceX facilities section (as itís not a poll).

Welcome to NSF Vahe231991!

Offline edzieba

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If SpaceX really wanted another west coast pad, then it makes more sense to convert one of the inactive pads at Vandenberg (an active launch range where they already have a presence) rather than trying to set up a brand new launch range from scratch in a highly built up area.

Offline cuddihy

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SpaceX will never construct another launch facility for Falcon. I'd suggest that the most likely location for a future California launch facility would in the Pacific Ocean, due south of Vandenberg and roughly due west of Long Beach. SpaceX will operate a droneship and recovery fleet from the Port of Long Beach (at the former Sea Launch facility) for F9 missions from SLC-4 later this year. I expect that this marine terminal will become the support base for an offshore Starship launch facility.

This would be the most convenient location for Starship launches to SSO and other high-inclination orbits. They need an offshore location where the noise won't be a nuisance, where they can launch south over the ocean, and with an industrial-scale port nearby. Bonus points for proximity to existing SpaceX manufacturing facilities (Hawthorne).

How do they get a Superheavy out to Long Beach?

Offline maquinsa

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Flying?? 8) ;)

Offline butters

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SpaceX will never construct another launch facility for Falcon. I'd suggest that the most likely location for a future California launch facility would in the Pacific Ocean, due south of Vandenberg and roughly due west of Long Beach. SpaceX will operate a droneship and recovery fleet from the Port of Long Beach (at the former Sea Launch facility) for F9 missions from SLC-4 later this year. I expect that this marine terminal will become the support base for an offshore Starship launch facility.

This would be the most convenient location for Starship launches to SSO and other high-inclination orbits. They need an offshore location where the noise won't be a nuisance, where they can launch south over the ocean, and with an industrial-scale port nearby. Bonus points for proximity to existing SpaceX manufacturing facilities (Hawthorne).

How do they get a Superheavy out to Long Beach?
I think they'll assemble the Super Heavy on port property.

Offline Jim

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 SpaceX, as a private space company, would like to reinforce California as its commercial base of operations for space launches, vying to make California a commercial space hub.

Unsubstantiated

Offline daavery

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 SpaceX, as a private space company, would like to reinforce California as its commercial base of operations for space launches, vying to make California a commercial space hub.

Unsubstantiated

probably less likely now with Musk unhappy with the state


Offline RedLineTrain

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While Musk may be unhappy with California, the majority of SpaceX's hires are happening in Hawthorne.

In any event, it would probably be impossible in a practical sense to build a new launch facility on land in California (excepting Vandenberg).  After all, even the seals in California are asked how much they dislike to be near launches and landings.  Starbase will probably be the last land-based launch facility that they ever build from scratch.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2021 05:29 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline dchill

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I vote for ocean launches off the coast of Hawaii. 

They've even found lava tubes that extend to well off the coast that might give the Boring Company a halfway head start to building their tunnel for quick trips out to the platform.  (https://eos.org/science-updates/deep-submarine-fresh-water-a-new-resource-for-volcanic-islands)

SpaceX/BC could even earn extra income by recovering some portion of the fresh water normally lost to the ocean to recycle it back onto the island or for use on the platform.

Offline docmordrid

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I vote for ocean launches off the coast of Hawaii. 

They've even found lava tubes that extend to well off the coast that might give the Boring Company a halfway head start to building their tunnel for quick trips out to the platform. 

Tunnels in lava tubes in a volcano zone with a long history landslides. Sounds like fun 👍
DM

Offline Zed_Noir

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While Musk may be unhappy with California, the majority of SpaceX's hires are happening in Hawthorne.

In any event, it would probably be impossible in a practical sense to build a new launch facility on land in California (excepting Vandenberg).  After all, even the seals in California are asked how much they dislike to be near launches and landings.  Starbase will probably be the last land-based launch facility that they ever build from scratch.


There is a very tiny possibility that if SpaceX need to build a new non Super Heavy launch facility in Northern California. There are a few former SAC airbases in that area that might work.


More likely all future SpaceX launch facilities will be afloat.




 

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