...the current Falcon 9 rocket is something that can be manufactured in California and road transported. In fact, I set the design diameter and dimensions of the rocket to be the maximum road transportable object, without requiring the lifting of power lines and that kind of thing. So it's roughly 13 feet in diameter and about 140 feet long for the first stage...But as we go to future rockets that are bigger than that, we would actually do the manufacturing at the launch site, or near the launch site, because otherwise the road transportation logistics become... Essentially you'd either have to put it on a big ship or build it near the launch site. The logical thing is to build it near the launch site. So that is something that would occur where ever this launch site occurs.
Would it not make sense to consolidate manufacturing of the larger parts, and final assembly, at Boca Chica?The advantages there are:- room to grow- ease of transport...- ... future iterations...- refits of flown stages...
Setting up an annex at a port within commuting distance of Hawthorne is a very different thing from trying to pivot to production of an entirely new rocket at the same time as moving a big chunk of the production process out of state.
Elon Tweeted in July, that "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ...".https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/888813713800785923Then, 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.
Remember also the main point of Elon's lecture: the canibalism thing. They wil convert the whole company to a BFR factory. Then? Will the Hawthorne floors remain empty? Will they produce only the engines and other subsytems there?I am sure that BFR will be produced in the existing facility at Hawthorne initially. The initial rate of production will not be higher that a few SCs per year. Maybe 2? This is 10 in 5 years, e.g. between 2020-24. Elon want to send 6 of them to Mars by '24, 4 are for testing and satellite launching purposes. Later, when they have to produce more, they have to relocate production, of course. Maybe, it will be a BFR v. 2.0, which will be constrained by the 9 m no longer.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.
Posters here have cited the Shuttle precedent for such a route. If/when SpaceX does this, I agree with those who speculate that SpaceX will pay for permanent relocation of overhead power lines, etc. along the route to facilitate late night traverses to the harbor.
1) Move Falcon9 production to a nearby facility to free up the main building for development of of BFR.
2) Move Engineering to a new facility.
The problem I see with building in Brownsville is how do you get the vehicle to the other side of the channel to Boca Chica. You can't barge it as you can't build barge docks, it's wetlands. So you have to road transport it. Meaning you may have clearance problems you need to work through. But everything's bigger in Texas so it may be less of a problem.We have had other threads that discussed this.
The BFS as shown has a wingspan of about 13.5 meters, compared to the Shuttle at 23.8 meters.