I read through this thread and it seemed like the few times it was mentioned it was either ignored or dismissed, but it seems trivially easy to me for SpaceX to build a tunnel big enough and straight enough to fit the bfr/bfs from Hawthorne due west to the ocean south of lax or down to the port of la. I mean they are already tunneling as a hobby for many miles around there. Tunnels and tunneling machines the diameter of the bfr are nothing unusual at all. Compared to rebuilding infrastructure and relocating people elsewhere it seems by far the quickest, easiest and cheapest solution to me. I can't believe that idea wouldn't appeal to Elon too.
You might be right. Still, these are the kind of dismissive responses that I was talking about.
The whole idea of a new rocket factory is predicated that Hawthorne can't work due to logistical reasons related to rocket transport. I really don't think that's a valid assumption at all.
Quote from: guckyfan on 02/02/2018 09:26 pmI argue that for Gwynne Shotwell to convince Elon Musk that $2.5 million transport cost are too expensive for transport she needs to provide an alternative that does not greatly affect the timeframe. Otherwise they would build at least the first 6-8 BFS and BFR at their Hawthorne facility as initially planned. The where and how is another matter.That argument is compelling to me, but the where and how is what this thread is all about. Clearly, we don't have a key piece of information. Who knows, maybe that SSA Marine warehouse right next to Berths 51-53 is being unused and is big enough to do it. The roof doesn't look quite tall enough (tough to tell for sure) and it seems like a terrible waste and expense to do it right next to the water, but again, who knows.http://www.ssamarine.com/locations/outer-harbor-5455/
I argue that for Gwynne Shotwell to convince Elon Musk that $2.5 million transport cost are too expensive for transport she needs to provide an alternative that does not greatly affect the timeframe. Otherwise they would build at least the first 6-8 BFS and BFR at their Hawthorne facility as initially planned. The where and how is another matter.
The main issue with building in the Hawthorne plant at this point is space....I should put in a disclaimer that I am no longer a SpaceX employee. Still a fan though.
Back to the topic, the other big issue I've heard is a BFR move requires shutting down the route entirely to public traffic. Street lights, stop lights, power poles, and other road hazards need to be made removable which means transporting from Hawthorne to the port would be a lengthy process of shutting down and redirect traffic.
Yes the old Northrup facility has a massive footprint...
In thinking about the construction of the BFR, the largest components are the propellant tanks. To this end, my recollection is that Space X had Janicki Industries fabricate a rather large 12m 10m composite tank which they tested to destruction on a barge. It would seem that Janicki has large tank fabrication capabilities close to water. If this is the case why couldn't Janicki fabricate the BFR tanks at their facility and ship them to the future Space X BFR assembly location near water in the Los Angeles area?
Under this scenario smaller BFR components, such as engines could be fabricated by Space X in Hawthorne and sent by truck to the dockside assembly location.
Cheaper to build it in Florida or Texas.
If the tank assembly looks anything like Janicki's Boeing/NASA tank, then the footprint for layering up the tanks isn't much bigger than the tanks themselves. I'm unclear how it's cured though, unless I missed it in the articles. The epoxy used on the Boeing tank still need to be heated to 177 degrees when out of autoclave.Also, how do they manage the joins between the common bulkhead, nose cone & skirt on BFS?Shame we didn't get to see a making of the 12m tank. I'd give us a proper idea of how big the BFS campsite need to be.
Look the 4th picture here:Quote from: docmordrid on 02/02/2018 09:54 pmComposites World....The Automated Fiber Placement robot seems to be pretty small, relative to the tank produced. Compare this with the huge friction welding equipment for SLS in Michoud:The latter one had to be scaled to the size of the tank. (It is advertised as "the largest welding tools in the world are used to create the largest rocket ever assembled".)As the main equipment producing a carbon composite tank is so small, the factory building does not have to be much larger than the size necessary to accomodate the stage itself conveniently. It means also that it will be esay to relocate the tooling to a new factory, when so desired.
The more complex components like bulkheads, aero surfaces (wings) leg casings, maybe the nosecone, can still be produced in Hawthorne and transported to the assembly site for integration.
Quote from: guckyfan on 02/04/2018 09:20 pmThe more complex components like bulkheads, aero surfaces (wings) leg casings, maybe the nosecone, can still be produced in Hawthorne and transported to the assembly site for integration.You are missing my point. Like with the falcon 9 the tanks form an integral part of the rockets structure. Because of that mounting hardware will have to be woven into the skin. I don't see any other way of doing it that would not compromise the tanks integrity.