Author Topic: Where will BFR be built?  (Read 208116 times)

Offline theinternetftw

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #300 on: 01/06/2018 08:13 pm »
That slide was created by a fan, not by SpaceX.
Not saying you are wrong but would appreciate if you or SPTexas could verify that.

You must have missed the post that came immediately after the one you're citing:

Just to make it clear, this comes from this reddit post and, from reading the comments there, is one reader's attempt to describe the coming year.

As well as the four or so posts after that, all pointing out to people that it was fan-made.

If you read the comments in that reddit post from the post's author, CProphet, the fact that he made the image becomes clear.  For example, he says "I have attempted to anticipate when these events will actually occur, to make guide more practical."  And he is already known on that subreddit as being a fan and not an insider.

I tried to warn everyone what this was when it showed up on NSF.  For multiple posts I tried.  I'm still trying.  We'll see if it works this time.

Edit: Clarity
« Last Edit: 01/06/2018 08:19 pm by theinternetftw »

Offline aero

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #301 on: 01/06/2018 08:52 pm »
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.

If he has to launch from the Cape or from Boca Chica, it seems to me the final assembly plant should be near one of those launch sites, to avoid shipping via the Panama Canal.

Here's the exact quote from Gwynne:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

So at this point, we know the new facility will be in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.

We're all speculating exactly where that will be.

Kind of a dumb question, but how much too big is the BFR stage and the BFS to fit into one of the Boring Company's tunnels? A big, dedicated tunnel from factory to test/launch facility would be just the ticket. Initially, put the factory near Palm Springs (cheap real estate) and send the stages via the tunnel to "near the water" for transshipping. Employees could use the tunnel to commute from the LA area and get a day off when a rocket stage was being transported via the tunnel. Or load a few tons of propellant and then the stage wouldn't need to delay anyone.  ;D

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Online Cheapchips

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #302 on: 01/06/2018 10:22 pm »

Boring Company tunnels are 14 feet diameter, so under half of what's needed for BFR transport.  We're not going to see rockets being shot around underground LA I'm afraid.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #303 on: 01/07/2018 02:12 am »

Here's the exact quote from Gwynne:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

So at this point, we know the new facility will be in the Los Angeles area, somewhere near water.

We're all speculating exactly where that will be.

Kind of a dumb question, but how much too big is the BFR stage and the BFS to fit into one of the Boring Company's tunnels?

Even if it did, why would it matter?

The President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX publicly disclosed their plans to build BFR at a new facility in the Los Angeles area somewhere by the water.  I see no reason to second-guess that.

The only question left now is exactly where that new facility will be.  Previous speculation on this thread includes the following locations:
« Last Edit: 01/07/2018 11:59 am by Dave G »

Offline jpo234

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #304 on: 01/07/2018 03:33 pm »


Anyone identified where the new floor space at the Port of LA is yet?

Nope.  Lots of speculation, but no clue where where the new building is.

And that seems kind of strange.  Musk said they plan to start building BFS in the second quarter of 2018.  That starts just 15 weeks from now.  Presumably, they'll need that much time to set up the manufacturing equipment. 
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.

Would this be legal?
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Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #305 on: 01/07/2018 03:42 pm »
Alternatively, the new factory (or final assembly plant) has been built somewhere they know about factories, like Korea or Japan, and is about to sail across the Pacific to LA.
Would this be legal?

Maybe, but who cares?

Again, the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX told us that they plan to build BFR at a new facility by water within the Los Angeles area.

When we don't know what's going on, speculation is fine.  This thread includes that.

But when we have it straight from the horse's mouth, speculation otherwise seems pointless.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
« Last Edit: 01/07/2018 03:49 pm by Dave G »

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #306 on: 01/07/2018 04:16 pm »
DaveG, you keep repeating that SpaceX is going to build a facility near the water in LA and then you quote GS.
 However in her quote she said
Quote
we are looking at building a facility near the water in LA.
I'm not saying it won't happen but we do not have confirmation from GS the it will happen as you keep suggesting.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #307 on: 01/07/2018 04:35 pm »
DaveG, you keep repeating that SpaceX is going to build a facility near the water in LA and then you quote GS.
 However in her quote she said
Quote
we are looking at building a facility near the water in LA.
I'm not saying it won't happen but we do not have confirmation from GS the it will happen as you keep suggesting.
If you ask any good scientist or engineer whether they're 100% certain of something, they'll say no.

For our purposes, the fact that they're willing to go on-record with a specific plan, I think that's >90% certainty.

In any event, betting against the President and COO of SpaceX, I would not take that bet.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #308 on: 01/07/2018 05:09 pm »
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.
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Online meekGee

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #309 on: 01/07/2018 05:24 pm »
DaveG, you keep repeating that SpaceX is going to build a facility near the water in LA and then you quote GS.
 However in her quote she said
Quote
we are looking at building a facility near the water in LA.
I'm not saying it won't happen but we do not have confirmation from GS the it will happen as you keep suggesting.
If you ask any good scientist or engineer whether they're 100% certain of something, they'll say no.

For our purposes, the fact that they're willing to go on-record with a specific plan, I think that's >90% certainty.

In any event, betting against the President and COO of SpaceX, I would not take that bet.
He's not betting against her, he's saying that she didn't say what you attribute to her.

I agree with that assessment.  She says "we're looking at", which I interpret as "one of the options", or even "our current leading option", but certainly not "it's a done deal for us".
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Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #310 on: 01/08/2018 02:30 am »
He's not betting against her, he's saying that she didn't say what you attribute to her.

I agree with that assessment.  She says "we're looking at", which I interpret as "one of the options", or even "our current leading option", but certainly not "it's a done deal for us".
When did I say it was a done deal?

I said that was their plan, which is a reasonable interpretation of "we're looking at", especially when the president of the company says it in public.

God, what a tough crowd.


Online meekGee

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #311 on: 01/08/2018 02:51 am »
He's not betting against her, he's saying that she didn't say what you attribute to her.

I agree with that assessment.  She says "we're looking at", which I interpret as "one of the options", or even "our current leading option", but certainly not "it's a done deal for us".
When did I say it was a done deal?

I said that was their plan, which is a reasonable interpretation of "we're looking at", especially when the president of the company says it in public.

God, what a tough crowd.
Notoriously so!
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Offline speedevil

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #312 on: 01/08/2018 03:43 am »
When did I say it was a done deal?
By repeatedly arguing that any other possible plan is impossible based on the one 'looking at' statement.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #313 on: 01/08/2018 04:25 am »
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?"
When I started this thread, Gwynne had not yet made this statement, and it seemed like most of the people posting thought BFR would be built exclusively at Hawthorne.

Since Gwynne's statement, yes, this thread has focused more on where BFR will be built first, which is fine. But talking about where BFR may be built later is also on-topic. No need to change the name of the thread.

As for when they will start building BFR near the launch sites, I think that will be much later. Remember, BFR is more of a financial challenge than an engineering one.  In order to build additional BFR production facilities, they'll need to make enough money to pay for it. 

Also, how many BFRs do they need to build?  Remember that:
  BFR and BFS are designed to be reused hundreds of times
  BFR and BFS are aimed at very rapid reuse, perhaps less than 24 hours between flights
  The BFS cargo version will have a huge payload capability for comsats and ISS cargo
  BFS will return from Mars back to Earth, and be reused

With all this in mind, I'd guess that maybe 3 BFRs and 6 BFSs could service the entire current launch market, plus Starlink, plus a couple of Mars missions once every 2 years.  While these two numbers are a guess, the main point is that the 4 factors listed above allow SpaceX to do a lot with relatively few BFRs and BFSs.  So in order to cost-justify additional BFR production facilities, I think they would need to really expand the launch market, e.g. thousands of people buying tickets to Mars every 2 years, and/or daily flights between major cities on Earth.

« Last Edit: 01/08/2018 06:25 am by Dave G »

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #314 on: 01/08/2018 06:25 am »
I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

Remember what else Gwynne said at Stanford:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/37659376821
Quote from: Fireside Chat with SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
Pad 39a will be used for Falcon Heavy launches and crew flights.
Boca Chica launch site under construction is the "perfect location for BFR".
She did not mention anything else about Boca Chica other than its prime suitability for BFR.

These comments have led many to speculate that BFR will launch from Boca Chica first.  I have no idea if they're right, but for more info, check out the thread titled: Where will BFR launch from first? and When will that be?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44168.140

Offline IainMcClatchie

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #315 on: 01/09/2018 04:13 am »
Quote from: Gwynne Shotwell
Q: Where will the BFR be built?

A: We're looking at building a facility by the water in LA. We thought we'd build it in our factory in Hawthorne, but we priced transport to the harbor, and it came out to $2.5m per trip. It would require taking down stoplights, and just wouldn't be worth it. So we will build a new facility by the water. We will eventually also have a number of production sites by out launch sites.

I've just noticed one aspect of what she said so long ago.

It costs $2.5m/trip to move BFRs to the harbor, which "just wouldn't be worth it".  That implies it's cheaper for them to build the new facility by the water.

Hmmm.

Obviously no matter where they build it, all the fixturing and so forth will have to be built regardless.  But she's implying that the facility by the water is going to be cheaper than X BFRs * $2.5m.  Seems like X would have to be 50 or more for that to be true, as they have to pay for both leasing the land and building the shell on top of it.

That's a lot of BFRs.

Maybe the big cost driving this new facility is that, if they'd build BFR at the existing Hawthorne facility, they'd have had to move their existing tooling around to make room for the big new stuff.

Offline Radical_Ignorant

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #316 on: 01/09/2018 08:30 am »
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.

For me it makes no sense. What's the reason for additional expense of tooling for whole production facilities if BFRs are rapidly reusable? There won't be many of them build, so why multiply factory cost few times?!
I interpret this statement as "we will have refurbishment facilities near launch sites"

Online Cheapchips

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #317 on: 01/09/2018 09:31 am »
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.

For me it makes no sense. What's the reason for additional expense of tooling for whole production facilities if BFRs are rapidly reusable? There won't be many of them build, so why multiply factory cost few times?!
I interpret this statement as "we will have refurbishment facilities near launch sites"

SpaceX's plan for the first two Mars missions alone requires a ship completed every six months or so.  There's some ramp in production between that and the 1000 ships per synod ambition.  P2P ships are in that mix too.  Likelihood of either happening doesn't matter such as that being where the company wants to head.

I'm curious as to how much larger a BFR scale HIF needs to be to accommodate assembly.  The tank production will be highly robotised.  Might as well use that for skirt and nosecone. 


Offline Radical_Ignorant

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #318 on: 01/09/2018 11:25 am »
She also says, "We will eventually also have a number of production sites by our launch sites."

I think this happens sooner. Much sooner. . Perhaps the Thread Title should be, "Where will the First BFR be built?" I think LA is a temp solution at best to keep things moving along until they get approval for a FL facility.

There is no specific plan that is not a Monday morning meeting change-of-plan beyond the grand plan of BFR being built.

For me it makes no sense. What's the reason for additional expense of tooling for whole production facilities if BFRs are rapidly reusable? There won't be many of them build, so why multiply factory cost few times?!
I interpret this statement as "we will have refurbishment facilities near launch sites"

SpaceX's plan for the first two Mars missions alone requires a ship completed every six months or so.  There's some ramp in production between that and the 1000 ships per synod ambition.  P2P ships are in that mix too.  Likelihood of either happening doesn't matter such as that being where the company wants to head.

I'm curious as to how much larger a BFR scale HIF needs to be to accommodate assembly.  The tank production will be highly robotised.  Might as well use that for skirt and nosecone.

Uhmmm... 1000 ships. OK, maybe I wasn't clear. What production rate makes building second factory reasonable. And in my ignorant view there is no way that production for customers (including Starlink) makes second factory economically reasonable. 1000 ships is a goal, a far away dream. And we have no idea if BFS if final tech to reach this goal. And btw - those thousand ships would be used multiple times.

To put it other way - whole point of 2017 presentation was: "how SpaceX can reach mars transportation technology without breaking the bank". So I can't wrap my head around idea "now we not only will develop ship and biggest ever satellite constellation, we will also build many factories now, we will enlarge our investment a lot"... it sound's like this idea of offshore launchpad, like fairytale where SpaceX has access to unlimited funding.

Offline Dave G

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Re: Where will BFR be built?
« Reply #319 on: 01/09/2018 03:17 pm »
Obviously no matter where they build it, all the fixturing and so forth will have to be built regardless.  But she's implying that the facility by the water is going to be cheaper than X BFRs * $2.5m.  Seems like X would have to be 50 or more for that to be true, as they have to pay for both leasing the land and building the shell on top of it.
As I've said before, SpaceX may just lease an existing building. In other words, when Gwynne says "We're looking at building a facility", it's possible she meant building new manufacturing facilities within an existing building.

Also remember that SpaceX tends to think long-term.  That's why they're not a publicly traded company.

As I said before, I'd guess that 3 BFRs could satisfy the entire current launch market, plus Starlink, plus a couple of Mars missions every 2 years

They would also need a couple of throw-away BFRs at the beginning to work the kinks out. And they would need a lot more than 3 BFSs, perhaps 6 or 8, plus few throw-away BFSs to gather data and tweak the design. I'm not sure on these exact amounts, but my main point is that SpaceX can do a lot with relatively few BFRs, and this may last them through the next 7-8 years. 

Beyond that, as they ramp up the number of active BFRs, that's probably where the cost of transporting BFR from Hawthorne comes into play.
« Last Edit: 01/09/2018 03:27 pm by Dave G »

 

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